This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series (Vexing) Devil's Advocate

378127_10150441621792624_1477312954_nConcrete shrapnel whistled by my head as a blast of energy narrowly missed me, taking a chunk out of the alley I was running down instead. If I needed any more motivation to keep sprinting through the pain, that certainly provided it. I couldn’t take too many more hits like that.

“Calm down, Eric. Assess the situation. Look for advantages,” I muttered under my breath as I tried to keep up the pace of my sprint. Panic wasn’t going to do me any good, I needed to break things down into manageable bits.

Well, I was bleeding from a gash across my stomach that would have eviscerated me had it been an inch deeper, so that should probably be looked at. I could taste the metallic tang of blood in my mouth, my head was pounding with a dull throb that made focusing nearly impossible, and the softly glowing purple runes wreathed around my left hand reminded me that I wasn’t going to be getting any more power without a bit of pain first. Lyzolda, my right hand girl, was banished from my thoughts by some nasty blue spell and I couldn’t remember how to call her despite my best efforts. Meaning I was entirely on my own.

Oh, and the Vendilion Clique was chasing me down some crappy back alley in Ravnica. Meanwhile, their neck-bearded overseer cackled from… Somewhere way behind me.

Yup, I’m pretty much f#%^ed.

God, do I hate blue.

God, do I hate blue.

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This entry is part 9 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam

When you’re a beginner, there are cards that can be scary to play against. Some can leave a lasting impression on how you play the game. They can awe and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before.

As I begin a new season here at Commandercast, I’m reminded of how our experiences shape who we are and how we do the things we do. Of course, playing Magic fits into this like a hand and glove.

I was just a newbie when I started playing Commander. My scope of what the multiverse held was limited to what was found in Zendikar, and what were the beginnings of Mirrodin’s impending war.

In those days, Rith, the Awakener was my only general, and I was having fun playing one-on-one games against a friend and his Reaper King deck. When I eventually got Kaailia’s pre-con, I had a pair of decks that used big creatures and were very aggressive. To me, that was the only way to play.

Later that summer, I made a good friend (henceforth referred to as “Gary”) during the M12 pre-release, and got invited play Commander at his apartment the week after. I went over with my wide-eyed youth and a deck full of creatures that were bigger than life itself.

When our group finally sat down to play, I looked over curiously at Gary’s general. There were still tons of cards I hadn’t seen before, and Merieke Ri Berit was one of them. I asked if I could read the card. When I had, I knew I wasn’t going to like where the game was going.

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By William aka BlueRam
Zombies….why’d it have to be zombies?

Let’s be clear: zombies scare the SHIT out of me. I can’t get through a zombie flick unscathed. Every time I watch one, paranoia creeps in and I have to carry a bat around to make myself feel better.

They’re mindless, soulless monsters that can’t be reasoned with or bribed. They’re relentless ghouls that only know basic hunger, and they’ll never be satisfied.

One or two by themselves isn’t a problem. Depending on the type of zombie we’re referring to, they can be outrun (Rule #1: Cardio!), or you may be able to take them down by yourself no problem. But when they gather together in packs, or a horde if you will, then what’s to stop them from overrunning, and tearing your body apart from a hundred different directions at once? What do you do when your friends, your family, or your life partner gets attacked? What happens when you can’t save them? I can imagine fewer ways to die that are as grisly and scary as that.

But…as much as I fear them, I can’t help but love these shambling terrors of the night.

I might not be able to handle certain zombie flicks (I’ve never seen a George Romero product), but I’ve taken a shine to some of the smaller series that have been popping up recently. I just started watching The Walking Dead, and Highschool of the Dead. I’m enjoying both so far, and I LOVED Zombieland. There’s also a manga called Sankarea for those who enjoy a more humane characterization of the zombies themselves.

So naturally I when I first heard about “Horde Magic”, I jumped at the chance to try it out.

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This entry is part 8 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam

Okay….I’m back. I know I bugged out last week, but my screen seems to have stabilized AND I just bought a new external hard drive to back everything up. I’ve taken to leaving my laptop on with a fan on it at all times. I figure the less I jostle the screen, the less chance it has to start acting up. Here’s hoping. Wait…Griselbrand got banned?


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This entry is part 7 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

By William aka BlueRam
You know what? This hasn’t been a fun week, AT ALL.

Writing a weekly column about flavor can be awesome…when you actually have ideas for it. So what do I do? I end up spending over half a day diving through old “Savor the Flavor” articles looking for inspiration. And boy did I find it.

Planeswalkers as commanders? Creatures unique to commander? Sure! Why not? I could even write about why we start with larger life totals. I’m sure there’s PLENTY of yarn I can spin off of this stuff! Hell, I’ve got a secret project I’m working on involving people I like to call “Tommy” and “Bob” that could be the next breakthrough in target demographics for Wizards! (Think something along the lines of Timmy, Johnny, and Spike)

But now I’m two days away from my deadline, so all of these awesome ideas need to pushed back so I can flesh them out properly. I even stopped working on an article that was almost finished for this one, just because I didn’t feel it was up to snuff, and I’m tired of putting out a half-baked articles that receive little to no feedback.

But when will I get a chance to get to it? I work a 36-hr shift from Saturday to Monday, so I only have the two days before my deadline to actually work on the meat of these stories.

Even then my computer screen keeps flickering in the most obnoxious way. It keeps me from reading anything I need to read to write my article, AND it forces me to type blind. It’ll clear up for a couple of hours afterwards, but 20 mins of non-stop flickering is a part of my life that I will NEVER get back. Instead, I spend it clenching my hands at the screen like a mystic, trying to WILL it to settle the static down and conform to my eyesight. Sometimes it even works.

I’m still relatively inexperienced too. I’m perpetually losing in my regular playgroup, and I’m tired of living through the growing pains that come with trying to get better. I refuse to make the generic good decks that are required to win in my group, and when I DO win with decks I built myself, I can’t enjoy it because of the sour mood everyone else gets in. I want to win, and win NOW! Not to mention- DAMN IT, STOP FLICKERING, YOU GOD DAMN SCREEN!!!

All of this just keep piling on, and on, and on. It’s too much to take in stride. Thinking about it just makes me so…so…ANGRY! It just makes me want to…to…AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This entry is part 5 of 23 in the series Savor That Commander Flavor

Posted by William aka BlueRam

The multiverse is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to your local game shop, but that’s just peanuts to the multiverse, listen…

When you consider that we’ve already visited a multitude of planes, from the cold desolate nights of Rabiah’s desert to the humid jungles of Naya, you realise that we’ve only seen a handful of the worlds that are out there. There are, literally, multiple planes that still need to be discovered out there, and others that have only been touched upon. But there are also previous planes that are begging to be acknowledged; that we were there and have witnessed their world’s glory.

If only there were a way we could revisit our favorite planes…

I mean BESIDES creating a new set for standard.

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