A couple of weeks ago, just before the last PTQ of the season, I was thinking of quitting Magic. Not because I’m tired of it or anything, but because I’ve run out of people to play with. Unlike last year where we had enough players in the office to occasionally have an 8-man draft, this year most of the Magic players have either switched to WoW or moved to a different company/country.
The last qualifier in the Philippines, held last December 16. I wasn’t able to attend the Gold Rush the day before due to prior commitments, so this was my last tournament for the year. I opened a pool with a lot of removal: 1 Herbal Poultice 1 Briarhorn 1 Moonglove Extract 1 Fertile Ground 1 Bog Hoodlums 1 Immaculate Magistrate 1 Boggart Loggers 1 Kithkin Daggerdare 1 Colfenor's Plans 2 Lace with Moonglove 1 Dread 2 Lignify 1 Exiled Boggart 2 Sylvan Echoes 1 Fodder Launch 1 Timber Protector 2 Footbottom Feast 1 Warren-Scourge Elf 1 Hornet Harasser 1 Woodland Changeling 1 Hunter of Eyeblights 1 Island 1 Marsh Flitter 1 Shelldock Isle 1 Prowess of the Fair 1 Vivid Marsh 1 Scarred Vinebreeder 1 Adder-Staff Boggart 1 Skeletal Changeling 2 Axegrinder Giant 1 Spiderwig Boggart 1 Blind-Spot Giant 1 Thieving Sprite 1 Faultgrinder 2 Weed Strangle 1 Fire-Belly Changeling 1 Amoeboid Changeling 2 Lash Out 1 Aquitect's Will 1 Lowland Oaf 2 Deeptread Merrow 1 Rebellion of the Flamekin 1 Drowner of Secrets 2 Tar Pitcher 1 Faerie Trickery 1 Hillcomber Giant 1 Familiar's Ruse 1 Judge of Currents 1 Merrow Reejerey 1 Kinsbaile Balloonist 1 Mulldrifter 1 Kinsbaile Skirmisher 2 Ponder 1 Kithkin Greatheart 1 Protective Bubble 1 Kithkin Harbinger 1 Ringskipper 2 Kithkin Healer 1 Whirlpool Whelm 1 Lairwatch Giant 1 Sentry Oak 2 Springjack Knight I built some deck with Goblins and Giants:
Dec-2, Sunday. Lorwyn Sealed. The usual location of course, NG Galleria. _ I find your lack of socks… disturbing _ I played a couple MTGO drafts the day before but did not do very well, I hoped my luck would be better this time. But my day did not start very well as I found that I had forgotten to bring sleeves to the event. I had to buy some rough-backed Ultra Pros.
Yeah, I post these late, I’m a busy man. But I want to have a record so here we go. Same deck as [ the last time]1 , except I removed the 2 grim harvests from the board and put in +2 sudden death (to improve the pickles matchup) Round 1: My opponent had a BUw Mannequin deck, splashing for O-Ring and Blink. He obviously put the deck together at the last minute though.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. I’ve thrown away games because I played spells without thinking and attacked without thinking. I go on autopilot far too often. It has got to stop. What’s the preventive measure? I’ll count to 3 before making every decision.
_ “Robert suggested we create Facebook accounts, I think in an effort to establish that we were “down” with whatever “new jives” the kids were flexing on the mean streets. I refused. Gabriel buckled, and the bullshit that ensued verified my initial assessment: that maintaining Facebook would quickly constitute another job. Of which I already have several.”_ — Tycho, Penny-Arcade I never really bought into social networking (because I am of course antisocial) But lo and behold!
I don’t particularly care one way or another whether Gloria falls out of power or not. I suspect a lot of people don’t. And a lot of people probably don’t give a hoot about Trillianes either. I am however of the opinion that he is an idiot. What exactly did he hope to accomplish yesterday anyway? The only difference between now and Oakwood a few years ago is that since then he’s gotten the pity vote to actually be able to call himself a senator.
My single greatest problem with Magic Online is the fact that it’s on a computer. Which means that unlike a real draft where I can focus 100% on the draft, in Magic Online I could possibly be doing several other things such as coding, blogging, random surfing, IM, etc. that may cause terrible misclicks such as a first-pick Faultgrinder (true story) I should stop writing this post now and maybe try to salvage the draft.
Tournament was last Sunday, November 18. Format was Lorwyn Sealed. I open a pretty good sealed pool this time. Notable cards include Mistbind Clique, Profane Command, Mulldrifter, Cloudgoat Ranger, Oblivion Ring, Shriekmaw and Silvergill Douser. Haven’t written up the sealed pool yet, will probably do so later. I play major blue, minor black and white. Round 1: 2-0 win vs BG Goblin/Elf Round 2: 2-0 win vs UB Faeries Round 3 vs merfolk, things start getting interesting.
Tournament was on Saturday, November 10. Format was Standard. I didn’t have any good deck ideas this time around (some would argue I never do!), so I played a netdeck. I played the Mannequin deck that originally appeared in US States, as reported by BDM here. I had to change the board around a bit, I went with: 4 Nameless Inversion (to help kill black/artifact critters) 3 Vesuvan Shapeshifter (get random tricks off pickles, and kill legends)
2 days ago: My brother Alvin and Brian report suspicious activities on the computer in their room. Random Chinese popups appearing, mysterious processes in the taskbar. As needed, virus scans and adware scans are done. Trojans are identified and quarantined, but keep reappearing. Brian plays WoW on the machine despite the issues. Yesterday: Alvin decides to reformat the machine and begins backing up. Brian plays WoW on the machine in my room instead.
The format is Lorwyn Sealed. Note here that I they had a shortage of boosters and had to split tournament packs into 3 boosters to be able to accomodate all the players. Decklist/Card pool later, I’m too lazy to type it up. Unfortunately, I failed to learn from the previous mistakes as I got blinded by the shiny again, thinking I could actually cast Horde of Notions, so I went with an almost-five color build, major red-blue-and-green.
(7:51:16 PM) Roy: I dug into the invasion box to look for fertile grounds (invasion common, reprinted in lorwyn) guess how many I found? (7:51:26 PM) switch: 1? (7:51:31 PM) switch: 0? (7:51:34 PM) Roy: zero (7:51:46 PM) switch: hmmm. that’s oddish (7:51:59 PM) switch: then again, it’s common in lor (7:52:10 PM) Roy: yes, but I wanted to play with Invasion ones! (7:52:33 PM) switch: oh well (7:52:34 PM) Roy: it may just be that we really didn’t have any at all – I didn’t even realize it was in invasion until I say it in gatherer
I still have no idea what to play for Lorwyn Standard, so I was eagerly awaiting this year’s States/Champs results. There are already partial results up at MTG.com, and I had some time so I did some of my programming hocus-pocus and extracted some fun data. States / Champs 2007 Card Counts The data is of course extracted from top eight decklists, so what we have here are literally the best decks this past weekend.
One of the qualities that I think make a really good software developer is the ability to solve difficult technical problems. Unless you’re the sort of software developer who just sells the same piece of software over and over again, at some point in time you’ll to need to find out how to implement some feature you’ve never tried before. Or you’ll hit a problem that’s not documented in any official docs and you need that critical functionality.
The Right Brain vs Left Brain test | PerthNow This is awesome. It's not a trick, and if you concentrate enough you can make the test go either way. (tags: cool psychology)
I was in Galleria earlier today and suddenly the power went out for a few seconds. It came back up almost immediately, but of course everyone was a bit spooked given the recent bombings at Glorietta 2. Even I felt a bit shaken up I might add, even considering cutting short the tournament (I wasn’t doing well) I hate that. Being overcome by fear, even for a very short instant.
Ugh, I feel like an idiot. Lowryn Sealed card pool: 1 Runed Stalactite 1 Wanderer’s Twig 2 Bog Hoodlums 1 Boggart Loggers 1 Faerie Tauntings 1 Footbottom Feast 1 Hornet Harasser 1 Makeshift Mannequin 1 Marsh Flitter 1 Nightshade Stinger 1 Peppersmoke 1 Prowess of the Fair 1 Quill-Slinger Boggart 3 Scarred Vinebreeder 1 Warren Pilferers 1 Æthersnipe 1 Amoeboid Changeling 1 Drowner of Secrets 1 Ego Erasure 1 Faerie Harbinger
STREET FIGHTER WORLD Wow, Street Fighter IV. That probably determines my next console... (tags: games)
FMAHQ.com Full Metal Alchemist scans (tags: manga) Null -- This website doesn't exist! One Piece scans (tags: manga) Step By Step: Share a Printer on Your Home Network -- Lifehacker (tags: howto)
The game was not as long as I had hoped, although I finished without completing stuff. (Only had 11 hearts when facing the final boss). I told a friend that the current Zeldas are too easy compared to the Zeldas of old . There are a lot more hints this time around on how to get past stuff, etc. He told me that the 3d Zeldas are even easier. One of the sacrifices they had to make to become popular I suppose.
I wasn’t too keen on playing, but that Dark Confidant kept whispering at me to give him one more chance. Rakdos again, except I removed Martyr of Ashes from the board and put in Avalanche Riders to help the terrible Angelfire matchup. Round 1: 2-1 win vs BWR Slivers I kept Hit/Run in the main because I thought he had Solifuges, he did not. Round 2: 2-1 win vs White Weenie
Can holding a stylus cause carpal tunnel syndrome? Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for a few days now; the controls are purely-stylus driven so my wrist aches a bit after a few hours of play. Of course the game has been consuming a good number of my waking hours (I didn’t even play any Magic this weekend), but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the original Legend of Zelda.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the AM flights yesterdat, so I hung around Galleria for a few hours watching people play. A lot of people seemed to be playing blue or green stuff. There are people saying Needle Drop is good, what? Just because it cantrips? My flight manages to start around 4 PM, and I open the sealed pool I’m registering. The first two rares I see are Jace Beleren and Chandra Nalar!
Lorwyn prerelease in two days, and of course MTG Salvation is spoiler-complete. Some thoughts on cards: ** Thoughtseize ** – B Sorcery (Rare) Target player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life. ** My take: ** Undercosted cards that demand a 2 life payment are usually pretty good. (See: Shocklands, Char, Psionic Blast, Vampiric Tutor). Thoughtseize is widely anticipated to be the chase rare of the set, with starcitygames.
The full spoiler is of course now available at MtgSalvation; I’ll talk about planeswalkers first. Each planeswalker is rare and has 3 abilities: a normal attack, a special move, and a finishing move. ** Ajani Goldmane ** 2ww Planeswalker – Ajani +1: You gain 2 life -1: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control. Those creatures gain vigilance until end of turn. -6: Put a white Avatar creature token into play with “This creature’s power and toughness are each equal to your life total.
My reading lately has comprised of Orson Scott Card’s excellent Ender’s Game series. I got a copy of six of the books from an officemate a couple of months back, and I’ve just finished the seventh book today. I don’t usually go through books that quickly, so it’s a sign that I’ve really enjoyed this series. (If I don’t enjoy a series, I typically lose interest before even finishing the book – I have a copy of Sword of Shannara around here to prove that.
I played at an FNM for the first time last Friday, in a cramped room at the back of the Neutral Grounds in Galleria. It was definitely… different than the usual weekend tournaments. I mean people playing Rhox different. Asking whether equip costs needed to be paid every turn different. Not that I’m picking on noobs or anything; it was all fun and refreshing. Everything was a lot more casual than the highly competitive PTQs or GPTs.
I’m planning to write more about Magic, so I created a separate space for that. All MtG-related posts are moved there.
Obviously, I’ve started playing a lot of Magic since last year. I’ve been a long-time player, having started around the time of Revised more than twelve years ago, but I’ve never seriously started playing in tournaments in such until I had a job, which meant more money to spend on Magic (also meant less free time though =/) As anyone who has immersed himself in this game knows, Magic is an addictive experience.
It’s my first time playing at BCI Greenhills. During deck registration, I open a Damnation and a Graven Cairns. If I got up then, I’d have gotten my money’s worth. But I didn’t come here to buy a Damnation, I came here to play. My sealed deck: Gemhide Sliver Thornweald Archer Thallid Germinator Citanul Woodreaders Giant Dustwasp Durkwood Baloth Tromp the Domains Dead/Gone Rift Bolt Orcish Cannonade Basalt Gargoyle Coal Stoker
When you get off at the SM North station, there are always a million people lining up at the entry turnstiles (where you insert your ticket before exiting the station). The outermost lines are always the slowest ones, because effectively three to four lines of people are trying to use that line. To save time, instead use one of the innermost lines.
This weekend was the first of three “Pre-Lorwyn Triple Treats” at Neutral Ground, featuring Saturdays with three tournaments: one each of Standard, Block Constructed and Legacy. I tried preparing a deck for block but I couldn’t come up with anything consistent enough. Lazily, I just picked up the Standard Rakdos deck the day before the tourney, tweaked the sideboard for the inevitable TarmoRack decks (-4 Bottle Gnomes +4 Dodecapod). I lacked a 15th sideboard card, so I toss in a random Seize the Soul.
Maya: SuPer-Admin Restricted Desktop Access password-protected!? What!? This is madness! Phoenix: No, Maya, that is SPARDA.
Yeah, I actually did play at the Standard Open at Trinoma Mall a couple of weekends ago, but my performance was so piss-poor I didn’t bother writing a report. Long and short of it, I played Rakdos, but didn’t have time to look for Rain of Gores for the board. They would have really helped against the two Angelfire losses I got in rounds 3 and 5, including the one where the opponent drew all four Lightning Helixes :/ The decks record against Angelfire decks is something 1-3 I believe.
When at home or at the office, if I ever get a craving for something to snack on I can usually find some easily. At home I just go down to the kitchen and check the ref or the cupboards. At the office, there’s always the pantry or those people you know that usually store some snacks. If I need something, I can get it fairly easily. This is something of an abundance situation.
My first day of work back home, and I’m immediately greeted by a powerful storm and terrible traffic jams. I love this country 🙂
I couldn’t sleep, so obviously, I had to start a new personal project. PyMTG I was inspired after forum-browsing lead me to look at existing MTG open-source software. I’ve been thinking of starting a true-blue personal software project for a while now, and the idea of PyMTG appeals to me for several reasons: (a) It’s related to one of my current hobbies (b) Allows me to become familiar with a new language (Python)
VML -- the Vector Markup Language -- path element Just need to note this for work. 🙂 (tags: tech)
Check. Yeap, I turned 29 a couple of days ago. There’s a typhoon signal no. 8 over HK right now as I type this. For people in the Philippines, that’s hard to imagine since our local indicators only go up to storm signal no. 4. But it’s really a bit calm where I am right now, some wind but not much rain. I’m not inclined to go out though, I’m running out of clothes as it is.
The official title is quite long. Actually, the English Title for _ Gyakuten Saiban 3 _ is even worse! Ace Attorney is an awesome series, I finally got around to playing the second game since the third one is scheduled for an English NDS release in September. I started playing the day I arrived in HK – so I beat the game in six days. Justice for All is a more difficult game than the original, putting the title character in more difficult situations, and making it a lot more tedious to ‘cheat’ with the save file.
It’s a bit strange, but somehow Hong Kong is becoming a bit familiar to me by now. This is only my third time here of course, and I’ve spent less than five weeks here in total since 2004. Still I find that certain things like ordering at restaurants and riding the MTR have started to become a bit more “normal” for me. Originally when I was told that I would be staying in HK for two weeks, I was a bit depressed, as I didn’t really enjoy the prolonged stay last time.
Customizing the 2007 Office Fluent Ribbon for Developers (Part 1 of 3) (tags: programming windows)
Most of the time, my work involves mostly run-of-the-mill information management systems. Lately however, I’ve been asked to look into some new tech, and that got me interested in what’s called Rich Internet Applications (RIAs for short). The primary platform for RIAs is Flash, which apparently is already owned by Adobe and Macromedia is no more. Yeah, I never really paid attention to Flash, like most people I assumed it was only for making amusing movies and annoying ads.
A friend of mine, let’s call her “C”, was waiting for a taxi near her home. There were several other people there waiting for taxis but she had been there first. She finally managed to hail a cab and had already gotten in the back seat when an MMDA traffic guy  stopped her and told her that he had hailed that taxi for two women nearby that he pointed to.
For two weeks, starting next Tuesday. Maybe the time away from everyone will be good for me. Work has been a chore lately.
Just to make it, y’know, official: I suck at Standard. I played in two Nationals qualifiers over the past two weekends. The first one with the Mishra deck (Flores’ Legends of Team CMU) to a disappointing 4-3 finish in a sea of Angelfire, Solar Flare and Gruul. Disappointed with the decks performance, I took a look at the result of Australian Nationals that same weekend, and decided to play the Rakdos “Satanic Sligh” build that had won that event in today’s qualifier, which was incidentally the last one I could play given my schedule.
SlideRocket (tags: flex) Demo of Virtual Ubiquity's Buzzword web word processor recorded by Dan Bricklin (tags: flex) Picnik -- Photo Editing Webapp (tags: flex)
YouTube -- Algorithm March with Prisoners The inmates at a prison in Cebu perform the Algorithm March from Pythagoras Switch (tags: music weird pinoy) YouTube -- "Thriller" The inmates at a prison in Cebu perform the "Thriller" video. This has got to be a really entertaining prison. (tags: music weird pinoy) Gang Kidnaps Gamer to Get Password Using Fake Orkut Date -- Gizmodo
Today is of course the release of Magic’s Xth edition, Magic Game Day. As usual, I played at Neutral Grounds in Galleria. Helluva lot of people there, more than I was expecting for a Core Set Release tournament. The format is, as usual, Sealed Deck with four rounds of Swiss pairings. Players were grouped in Flights of 32 people each (previous prerelease tournaments had 48-people flights), each win gets you an Xth booster pack and the top 2 of each flight (the ones who went 4-0) get something extra.