Friday, December 23, 2011

Updating with or without Chupacabras

1) Graduation?
Holy crapolas! I've graduated college! Dance with me people. It's contagious. I mean, the dancing is, not the crapolas mentioned earlier. This is kind of a big deal alright? I obviously have to join the real world (whatever that means) and find a job but for now I'm going to attempt some shenanigans on the internets and see what happens. Join me on my journey won't you?

2) Commissions!
The second order of business is that you want to give all of your money to k4it0u (aka Wafflesaurus and other aliases). This is the same badass art mage that created the banner for this very site so you know she's got street cred already. Seriously take a look at this commission page:

That is classy. She's even drawn Rapunzel and Marceline the Vampire Queen. You should totally investigate her deviantART page right here at this link right now:
Then share that commission page with all of your friends and family. Just because you can!

3) Facebook and Twitter.
Now that I'm free from the machine, I'm able to post more on both of these bad boys. Links are plastered all over this site (But just in case. Facebook: Twitter:!/AllGeeksRejoice). You totally want to follow those pages because I'm going to say some weird crap and start to post things that I won't post here on the site. Plus, what fun is a playground if you aren't all there?

4) New Content.
That sounds ominous. Almost ominous enough to be true! Yeah... it's true. There's going to be new content coming down the pipeline in the coming months. January starts a whole new year and if all the planets align properly: there will be new content that isn't just articles! Gasp indeed my friend. Gasp indeed. I'm going to sacrifice a few goats and get some videos made and with any luck there will be more than just videos. If you haven't checked the "About" page at the top by now then you should since it gives quite a few hints as to what's going on around here.

5) Break time.
Regardless of having this newfound freedom, I'm going to take a break from the 24th until the 2nd of January. I'm pretty sure no one can fault me for taking the Christmas holidays and New Years off from posting (and if you can then you're walking down a dark path and need to bring a flashlight). Don't worry though, I'll be back and just maybe I'll bring snacks.

Happy Holidays everybody!

This is Kylak signing out and putting the Chupacabras to bed. Don't ask. I'm sure it has something to do with the Holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MTG Tips #7 Top 7 Ways to Handle Counterspells

Tips and tricks for Magic the Gathering players.

Counterspells are a necessity to the game of Magic as a whole but players that are still starting out can have a lot of trouble with them. This can lead to players feeling the match is hopeless because their strategy was shut down by three simple words: counter target spell. Let me help you turn the tables and make counterspells seem almost useless in retrospect.

1) Play around them.
-provoke them into countering things you don’t care about
-attempt to play multiple spells in a single turn so they can’t counter everything
-pay attention to how much mana they have open (can they even cast a counterspell?)
-how many cards do they have in their hand?
-keep track of which cards they keep over multiple turns
-save your major threats if you’re concerned they won’t resolve
-increase your card advantage to outweigh any counterspells (click here for further explanation)

2) Play uncounterable cards.
Cards with phrases like, "can't be countered" obviously do the job rather effectively. Cards with Split Second also have this trait innately. Some examples:
Leyline of Lifeforce, Thrun the Last Troll, Vexing Shusher, Spellbreaker Behemoth, Volcanic Fallout, Akroma, Angel of Fury, Banefire, and Boseiju, Who Shelters All (which makes things uncounterable).

3) Recursion!
Creatures like Bloodghast and Vengevine are prime examples of cards that can not only be played repeatably but they can't be countered when they enter play from the graveyard as they aren't being cast as spells. Other creatures with recursion, such as almost every Phoenix in the history of Magic, will make counterspells futile to use (watch out for cards like Dissipate).

4) Punish to your heart's content.
Luminarch Ascension and Eyes of the Wisent drop early and make your opponent regret playing a deck with counterspells.

5) Discard.
Normally you would want to save discard spells for their threats but if you seriously aren’t worried about those and just really need to cast something then use discard to rip out their counters. If they waste a counterspell on your discard then you’re already on the path to winning as it is. Use cards like Duress that not only let you pick and choose what to discard but they allow you to see their hand and figure out if they're holding back any other secrets or extra counterspells.

6) Triggered abilities.
Enters the battlefield triggers DON’T WORK because counterspells never let the card resolve. On the other hand though, cards that only care if the card was played still trigger. The number one example of this is probably Demigod of Revenge. He only cares that he was ever played. Even if Demi is countered, his triggered ability still resolves and all Demis from the graveyard return in full force.

7) Lands!
Lands can't be countered. Plain and simple. Manlands are always effective and they exist in every color such as Treetop Village and Celestial Colonnade. Another option is any land that can win on its own. Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Moorland Haunt, Stensia Bloodhall, and Nephalia Drownyard are well equipped candidates.

This is Kylak signing out and counting on the fact you'll be uncounterable the next time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

MTG Tips #6 How to Build a Sideboard

Tips and tricks for Magic the Gathering players.

What is a sideboard you ask? A sideboard consists of 15 cards in addition to your 60 card deck. Since a match consists of a 2 out of 3, you can swap these cards in after the first and second rounds of a match.

You should always be thinking about sideboards for your decks. Contrary to common thought: they’re not just for tournaments. They help address particular weaknesses your deck might have in certain matchups without forcing you to lose the focus of your 60 card deck just to accomodate such issues. So today we’re going to go over how to pick the best 15 cards possible for your sideboard. We'll be splitting this up into steps on what to consider:

Step 1) Think about your meta. Your meta includes all the decks and most common cards you normally go up against or plan to face. For example: Is reanimator a normal deck type you play against? Is Tarmagoyf ruining your day? Then add Relic of Progenitus, Wheel of Sun and Moon, Jรถtun Grunt, or Leyline of the Void. Figure out the biggest threats or most common threats to your deck and pick cards that punish or destroy those decks.

Step 2) Think about your weaknesses. What are the biggest holes in your defense? If you're not sure what those might be then playtesting against different decktypes is important. Test against major archetypes, every deck that your friends' own, and proxy versions of tournament decks. This will be answered in time. Example: Do combo decks just steamroll you? Then add cards like Rule of Law, Runed Halo, Duress, Memoricide, Counterspells, etc.

Step 3) Don’t just think about your colors. Remember that you can put artifacts in your sideboard as well. There are plenty of artifacts like Pithing Needle that are generally useful and can be included in most sideboards. Some artifacts bend the rules of what should be allowed in certain colors. For example: the color Red isn't able to destroy enchantments but it is fully capable of destroying artifacts. Adding Liquimetal Coating in your sideboard as well as Artifact destruction allows you to destroy any permanent type and suddenly Enchantments and Planeswalkers aren't that big of a deal anymore.

Step 4) Not sure about your meta? Not sure about your weaknesses either? It might be best to add situational cards. Green and White for example are exceptional at destroying Artifacts and Enchantments. Even though those two card types don’t come up in every match, having the option to take them out is incredibly useful and it helps that these cards will be in your sideboard rather than taking up space in your maindeck. Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep incredibly situational cards in your sideboard as well. For example: Shadow of Doubt or Aven Mindcensor. Many decks never need to search but some decks rely on it. You could be preventing fetchlands, Cultivates, Tutors, Trinket Mages, Quest for the Holy Relic, Dragonstorm, etc.

Step 5) Another thought is to have a transformational sideboard. A transformational sideboard is exactly what it sounds like. The 15 cards can be swapped in to change the current deck into an almost entirely different deck. Transforming your aggro deck into a combo deck in the next round can really throw your opponent off.

And there you have it.

This is Kylak signing out and leaving you with this: Never underestimate a well thought out sideboard.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decklist Ex Machina #12 Proliferation Nation

Coming up with fun decklists so you don't have to.

Ever since the sheer joy of placing poison counters on whatever the hell I wanted was a reality (seriously, I was placing these things on books, faces, cats, your mom, and anything else in sight), I knew that I had to make a poison deck. But that just wasn’t insane enough for me. Not at all! So I started staring at the Proliferate keyword until I burned a hole through a card and realized that proliferation was for me. I wanted to proliferate “all the things” and so I began engineering this fine piece of machinery. I give you: Proliferation Nation!

Necropede 4
Ichor Rats 3
Blighted Agent 3
Viral Drake 3
Skithiryx, the Blighted Dragon 2

Contagion Engine 2
Tezzeret's Gambit 4
Black Sun's Zenith 3
Everflowing Chalice 3
Go for the Throat 4
Corrupted Resolve 3
Ponder 3

Darkslick Shores 4
Inkmoth Nexus 3
Swamp 8
Island 8

Let’s start with how this machine rolls. You only need to get 1 poison counter through and then you can proliferate up to 10 easily. Ultimately, this is a Black/Blue Control deck (mmm my favorite) and so it should be played as such. Though there is a strange twist in that you have early drops that happen to be creatures. Necropede is your friend. He does triple duty by being a threatening wall, he's removal: sometimes he can kill two creatures on his own (his infect + his leaves the battlefield ability), and he can attack to get poison counters on the opponent. Ichor Rats and Blighted Agent force poison counters regardless of what the opponent wants which is also helpful. Let's not forget Inkmoth Nexus who swings overhead and ignores Black Sun's Zenith. All of the infect counters can be proliferated later so don't worry about them mostly being 1/1 creatures.

Ponder acts as early filtering and Everflowing Chalice can be played as you please because you can proliferate the counters to get insane amounts of mana later for an early Skithiryx or Contagion Engine. Go for the Throat, Corrupted Resolve, and Black Sun's Zenith are your main control elements. Black Sun's Zenith is insane in this deck. If you need to kill something massive and don't have enough mana then you can simply proliferate the counters later. The fact that it's repeatable board sweep thanks to it getting shuffled back into your library furthers the insanity level.

Late game revolves around Skittles (Skithiryx), Viral Drake, Tezzeret's Gambit, and the Contagion Engine itself. Skittles is quite the finisher. He can win games by himself and he's easy to take care of thanks to his regeneration. Viral Drake is fantastic. That four defense is nothing to sneeze at and some aggro decks just can't handle it. The fact that it can proliferate multiple times a turn means you'll be putting that Everflowing Chalice to use. Tezzeret's Gambit is pretty self explanatory here.

The deck originally ran Contagion Clasp but that just wasn’t enough proliferation even if it's more practical (psshh practical). You don’t bring that weak ass stuff up in here. So I tossed it. Plus, let’s face it: the Contagion Engine encompasses everything this deck wants to do: MOAR proliferation because MOAR! The fact that it doubles as additional boardsweep is just the icing on this deliciously evil cake.

As a final note: eventually I'd prefer to add a Planeswalker to the deck (such as Jace 2.0) and push the proliferation over the edge but for now that will have to wait.

This is Kylak signing out and itching to proliferate. Gotta get my fix.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Video Spotlight #42 Stephen Colbert Interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson

Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the internet.

An out-of-character Stephen Colbert interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson for a hilarious and inspiring talk about all things Science. This is a must watch video. It's over an hour long but every minute is well worth it.

This is Kylak signing out because today is a great day for science!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Critical Playtesting #11 The Wizard

Playtesting different classes and races so you'll give them a shot.

Let me just start with saying that the Wizard has and will probably always be my favorite class. I realize that it isn't for everyone (in fact it's not for most) but that's A-okay. I didn't write an article about the class until just now simply because I felt I couldn't do it justice. So with the encouragement of Tevye's request for a Wizard article, I have crafted this arcane page so that you can add it into your spellbook. Here's what you need to know about the Wizard:

1) You like having options with a side of options
The Wizard is essentially a swiss army knife of sorts when it comes to picking powers (knife and bottle opener included). You gain twice the number of Daily and Utility powers of any other class but you are also burdened with twice the amount of decision making (and possibly good looks) since you can't prepare more powers than any other class. Each day you'll have to pick and choose which Daily and Utility powers you'll be adventuring with. This gives you the benefit of picking the right spell for the job but the drawback of needing to know what exactly that job would be beforehand (and let’s face it, in this economy, there’s no telling what the next job will be for a starving adventurer).

2) You prefer implements that rock and roll all night long
This is easily the most important feature for the Wizard. You get to pick from the following implements: Orb of Imposition, Orb of Deception, Staff of Defense, Tome of Binding, Tome of Readiness, and Wand of Accuracy. Each of these not only gets a snazzy name but it also gives you a different class feature and benefit for your spells. Want to sustain spells for extra rounds? What about being able to give your summons a damage bonus? Maybe you want a side order of fries to come with every cheeseburger? You’ve got options my friend.

3) You enjoy studying magic in your spare time
Not only do you get a pile of cantrips to use as you please (I personally use them just about every other second) but you are also the master of Rituals. You get more than other classes from the start and throughout the game (for FREE). You also get better feat support to abuse rituals however you feel like. (double check that last part)

4) You desire variety in large quantities
Illusionist, Summoner, Evoker, Enchanter, Pyromancer, Necromancer, Nethermancer, and even the deadly Ranchdressingmancer! Actually that last one was too powerful to be printed in a book so that’s not an option but the rest (and whatever you come up with) are totally available.

5) You want a challenge
You have the lowest HP in the game (unless you’re one of the two builds that use Con as a secondary stat and even then you’re probably still the lowest), pretty low AC, low defenses, you aren’t going to dish out crazy damage unless you’re a particular build, and you have to study your magic to learn it unlike most other classes. All in all you’ve got a rough start but if you’re willing to face it then you have a different kind of opportunity before you.

This is Kylak signing out to prestidigitate to my hearts content.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reverse Dungeoneering #8 A party of Dungeon Masters?

Improving your D&D experience. For Dungeons and Dragons Players and DMs.

Something to test out in a future campaign: splitting up Dungeon Master duties among the entire group. It may sound crazy (and I’ll admit it kind of is) but it’s easier than you’d think. There are a thousand ways to pull this off so let’s take it in steps.

Step 1) Start things off by all agreeing on a concept (or maybe let the dice decide). What kind of campaign will it be? Is it going to be in a particular campaign setting? Figure out the groundwork first.

Step 2) Split up the storytelling. Are you going to take turns between sessions and just DM on the fly? Are you going to each plan out a major story arc? Maybe you have an egg timer and you pass the torch each time it sets off? There are plenty of ways to go about this but solve which method your group would prefer.

Step 3) Pick which tasks you want. One person can take care of the geography and maps. The next can take care of keeping track of status effects and initiative. Another can handle tiles and monster HP. Maybe someone can take care of inventory, rewards, or whatever else you want to split?

Step 4) Last but not least, you should make a group of characters together. You’ll all be players and Dungeon Masters simultaneously in this campaign.

So try this out and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

This is Kylak signing out as the ball's in your court now.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Critical Playtesting #10 The Monk

Playtesting different classes and races so you'll give them a shot.

The Monk in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is exactly what we've always wanted. It takes what made the Monk fun in 3.5 and adds so much more to the class. This time around the Monk is reflavored as a Psionic Striker and before you ragequit (which is something a Monk would never do as they've practiced their meditation) at the concept, you should take a moment to understand why that makes perfect sense. The Monk has always been about the balance of the mind and body: perfecting both so that the body can overcome any obstacle. It's time to begin your training.

1) Sixty-four Palms!
The Monk is the only Striker with a class feature that allows you to hit multiple opponents in the kidneys and you top it off by obtaining a healthy dose of close burst powers. It's that much easier to spread the love and dish out several worlds of hurt.

2) Who needs to ride a cheetah when you can outrun one?
Each of your At-Will and Encounter powers give you extra movement options which makes the Monk the most mobile class in the game. Tactical movement and blazing across the battlefield is easier now than heating up hot pockets.

3) If you can dodge a wrench then you can dodge a fireball.
Between your stellar high Dex score, your Unarmored Defense class feature, and feat support, your AC can surpass some Defenders. You'll be dodging bullets and tiny nets in no time.

4) Abs that can crush diamonds.
Your HP outclasses that of Chuck Norris. Surely that still means something in 2011. You could be trained wrong as a joke and still survive armies.

5) Buildability is now a word.
Any kind of real or fake martial art style is a possibility: whether you're going for an Anime kind of feel, making your own fighting game character, or doing your best Jackie Chan impression.

This is Kylak signing out and standing for the opposite of killing: gnodab


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