24.10.14

MTG Decklists: Sen-I-Soshitsu


Artist's Rendition of the Author preparing for Game Day

I recently had the distinct pleasure experience of playing in my local FLGS Khans of Tarkir Game Day, and, as I'm wont to do, I brought a decklist that was definitely not meta for the small town of Hilo, Hawaii. Or really much of anything for that matter.

Story Time

The plan to run this deck was birthed with a passing joke when my friend Blankato threw the following decklist at me on Khans release weekend.

Source
I looked it over, took a sip of whatever magical alcohol Blankato had served that night, and jokingly said that I should run it for Game Day. At the time, I was brewing an Izzet deck that ran Ornithopter/Darksteel Citadel/Ensoul Artifact, Scuttling Doom Engine, and other shenanigans, like Shrapnel Blast. The deck wasn't really doing what I wanted it to do, and I had most of the cards that were worth something. It would have been little effort to pick up the cheap rares and commons -- I had just cracked something like 28 Khans of Tarkir packs at the time, and had plenty of commons and most of the rares from that set needed for this deck.

So, I started making my usual secret trade for bad cards thing I do prior to an event, while showing off my ideas for post-rotation Minotaurs in order to throw off potential snipers and other information gatherers. As an aside, I seriously hate that when asking/trading for cards over facebook -- almost instantly one's super sekret awesome deck plan is found out and everyone prepares for it. That's why I do most of my random rare trading offline, to give the illusion of spontaneity.

Long, terrible story short, I placed 5th at my FLGS, going 3-1-1 and scrubbing out in the quarter finals. Not bad, considering most times I play Standard Constructed, I usually go 1-3 and wonder why I even bother playing the format (and in fits of cold rage, Magic as a game) at all.

The Deck

Holy crap this thing is hilarious, due to the fact that it's so goddamn fragile, yet if an opponent isn't ready, you can dunk them by turn 6 at the latest. Let's take a peek at a few of the card choices Takahashi Naoya took when putting this list together:

One of many sleeper hits for this deck.

Tomb of the Spirit Dragon is a card I wouldn't normally bat an eyelid over, but after playing it at Game Day, I might actually throw one in my Sharuum Commander Deck. Being able to gain an impressive 6 life a turn with two of these out, all open land due to convoking Ornithopter shenanigans makes for a hilarious turn of events against aggro. Also, the look on your opponent's face when you drop this turn one makes it worth it.

What's your's is mine, what's mine is also mine.
Daring Thief is just a great card when built properly around. With Springleaf Drum and useless permanents such as Ensoul Artifacts and Singing Bell Strikes that are already enchanting stuff, you can use those $15 Courser of Kruphixs that you traded away after the Born of the Gods Prerelease! On top of that, they don't even have to be yours! Or trade that Ornithopter with their piece of absurdist bullshit Siege Rhino!

Die in a fire, activated abilities.
Chump blocking. That's cute.

When faced with the hated Sylvan Caryatid or the annoying Hornet Nest, you must be able to get around it, and shut it down. Also, locking down their creature that has Singing Bell Strike enchanted to it is great. General planeswalker neutralization is good too.

TeeHee

Not only did I almost single-handedly demolish a dude with my Bident in a game, but being able to draw free cards off my weenies is great. Having them swing with their (bad) blockers is even better.

Observations

Upon playing the deck for a time, I did discover some interesting things about it as well as the format:
  • With only 20 land, including 12 islands, the potential for mana screw is rather high. I recall one particluar game against Abzan where I had to literally run off of a Tomb of the Spirit Dragon, a Darksteel Citadel, and Ornithopters/Springleaf Drums in order to cast my colored permanents, most of them promptly removed by the Abzan player. That leaves me to my next point:
  • I'm about 90% sure that this deck loses straight up against spot removal.dec. In games against Abzan, Mardu and Jeskai, the player with the removal would merely burn/remove the offending artifact creature as I attempt to cast Ensoul Artifact upon them. In Abzan and Mardu's case, having access to Utter End (and to an extent, Crackling Doom) makes things like getting rid of Doom Engines much easier. Jeskai has access to blue, which can start counter-wars or other blue shenanigans. Abzan has its charm, which, much like its Rhino, is the "I win" button against your win conditions. End Hostilities also throws huge wrenches into your plans.
  • If you can't match the speed of the Rabblemaster, don't even bother. I can understand why he's so sought after in Standard nowadays. If he isn't dealt with (or summarily countered), he will rekt you, since it's likely the Rabblemaster player is clearing the way with removal galore.
  • I feel like I need practice with sample hands and mulliganing. There are many times where I feel that I have a good hand that works fine only to be blown out by a single Thoughtseize. Of course, there were times where I didn't know what lands looked like, and other times where I drew 10/12 Islands in the deck.
  • Dig Through Time is a great card that I almost want to throw a copy into the deck for more "send help" options. Either that, or Treasure Cruise, because that's also a pretty good card, and it's not like I have ways to return cards from my graveyard back to the field in this format.
  • Wingmate Roc is a dirty totally balanced and fair card. That second ability is fantastic, by the way.

Some Final Thoughts

Artist's rendition of the Author 2-1ing people left and right.
Everything about this deck screams potential value at high risk, and that's what makes it fun. Much like my Minotrolls deck during RTR-THS standard, or even prior to that, the famed StuffyDoll™ deck from ISD-RTR standard, I go for wacky, silly things that amuse me, although in this case I did netdeck this. I hate netdecking, so I felt particularly dirty playing it. But whatever.

Unfortunately, as with most great plans, I may scrap it due to the ever changing meta. Who knows? Maybe I'll throw in some Clever Impersonators and Stubborn Denials in the board to help me out.

15.9.14

Dr. Strangecon or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Worked HawaiiCon

I still have no idea what just happened.
For some people, HawaiiCon 2014 was a resounding success. As the first convention ever to be based upon the soils of the Big Island of Hawaii, I can't deny the fact that this is pretty damn awesome. That being said, my penchant for needing to comment on things that bother me is flaring up again after this past weekend, and I guess I want to voice my concerns out to anyone who cares to listen. As a member of the team that was given the "opportunity" to set up the "gaming" room at the Con, and with my experience staffing at Hawaii's Premiere Anime Convention, I have a limited, but informed view on the nature of a convention.

Here be Ranting


As a person who's worked on, with, at, near, and all other adverbs describing actions involving gaming tournaments (notably Magic: The Gathering) for as long as I have, I tend to see what works and what doesn't. For example, our team works hard to run seasonal prereleases that draw in at least a hundred people, some times two hundred people over a weekend. The following:
  • Having a link to an excel sheet schedule instead of integrating the schedule onto the website.
  • Putting the events in a room different from the room described in the program and on the map.
  • Not having a correction in your program about said room venue change.
  • Having the room venue not be anywhere near the rest of the rooms of the Con.
  • Provide basic power (yeah, half the power outlets were dead) and internet to the given room without needing to ask the custodial staff. (I didn't realize this was a thing at a supposed 4+ star hotel. I've seen better from 3 star hotels.)
  • Doing all of the above one week before the Con weekend. (to my understanding)
all led me to the number one statement given to me and my companions at HawaiiCon:

"Oh, you guys run the gaming room! Great, I was looking forward to playing some games. So, where is that, by the way?"

Cue righteous fury. We expect some sort of proper advertising (or if you guys won't do it in a timely manner; let us know. We'll do it.)

So, we spent our weekend in a mostly empty room on Friday until the Hotel staff finally got around to putting up some sort of signage, as we weren't able to. I'm sure if the vendor's were dicked over in a similar manner, they'd probably pack up and leave at this point. We even considered it multiple times over the course of the con. You must understand our irritation -- we throw in a ton of money in order to prepare product for tournaments and other things regularly seen at conventions. We take time out of our schedules to share our love for our respective games with the greater public, and provide a service to those gamers coming in from other areas. When the potential gamers/customers have no idea where they can go to play games/buy gaming supplies, we get stuck with a ton of useless product and a nice fat pile of expenses that we now have to eat, and the players were unable to have the fun they could have had if they had just known where to go. I'm sure the vendors would be furious if they were relegated to some deserted corridor of the hotel with zero signage and incorrect directions to their room instead of the primo spot next to the Main Events hall and the Registration table. Oh yeah, and we had to leave the room by 8PM in order to accommodate a dance party.

Why wasn't the dance party over at the main ballroom? A big event like that should be in the big room, or over in the central Con area.

Whatever. Mindless rant over.


Saturday and Sunday were a little better, a group of my usual players from the local FLGS dropped by and I was able to run a Conspiracy Draft queue. We were even able to get a constructed event off the ground, and was happy to meet and make new friends (once they were able to find the bloody room) all throughout the weekend. I'd like to think my actions got a few groups of friends to go out and purchase copies of Coup, so as to lie, cheat, and steal even after HawaiiCon got out.

 Just kidding, I have some more stuff to rant about. 

Some other things that mildly annoyed really pissed me off:
  • Con Security was all but nonexistent. I'm almost certain that with a minimal application of charisma, I could have gone to Hapuna Prince, parked, and participated in all of the desired convention events without so much as a single person checking for a badge. I prefer KawaiiKon's method of having a member of security checking badges at each door of each of the rooms used at the convention.
  • In relation to the above, I feel like the volunteers should be relegated to a department with respective jobs and those jobs be noted on their staff badge. This makes sure I won't waste a tech's time when I'm looking for this room or that room. This also allows me to file a complaint with whoever's in charge of the idiot who couldn't answer any questions yet was able to sit at the main registration desk blithely. There were multiple people who did that over the course of the weekend (rumored), and had they been at my events, they'd have been chewed out/shamed into not working under me again.
  • You have to be kidding me that you're going to charge $25+ for a single autograph. I only want to get my staff badge signed, not fund your next god damn trip. :getout:
  • Much like Beats by Dre, the badge lanyards were very nice to look at (big old HawaiiCon logos and other fancy stuff on it), but were so flimsy that the slightest accidental hang up and SNAP -- your badge is on the ground and the lanyard is now worthless. The response from a passerby? "Well, if you had bought a ticket..." >implying implications As if buying a 3day pass was going to magically improve the state of these flimsy lanyards. Perhaps if the money didn't go into a metric ton of high costing guests, you'd have some money on some decent lanyards.
  • For the amount of money people are shelling out for this Con, you'd think the Hapuna Prince would throw in complimentary internet service. Hint, hint. (somethingsomethingfourplusstarhotelsomethingsomething)
  • Randomly turning off the AC and re-purposing rooms during scheduled events is a surefire way to give me a headache and lower my impression of the hotel. I'm looking at you, Hapuna Prince. (rumored, I can't say I personally experienced it)

Further Thoughts on Stuff

I feel like the organizers thought that "Con" meant "Conference" rather than "Convention", and here's some reasons mixed in with other stuff that came to mind as I'm writing this stuff all down:
  • The few panels I went to (when they weren't being reprogrammed, moved, or otherwise fucked with) were fantastic, the content matter was interesting and interactive.
  • The guests were top notch (and I think most of their budget went there, honestly). Special thanks go out to Esme Bianco, she found a new fan in me due to her bro-like nature.
  • The venue is gorgeous. Seriously, just go out there and see the sights. Just don't deal with the hotel, the upper management is probably braindead.
  • In relation to the previous point, the service personnel were great people and I have to thank them for doing everything in their power to allow us to salvage the weekend. From getting power to the room to adjusting the lights and air conditioning, I have them to thank in our attempt to create a positive gaming ambiance within the Con.
All these things gave the event the feeling of an academic conference, rather than an enthusiast's convention.

Granted, these points weigh very highly against the multiple pages of drivel I just vomited on things that irritate me this past weekend. That's why I can't say I hated my personal experience there. Professionally, I won't be doing any sort of work for HawaiiCon until they shape up and actually cater to the people they want to have hosting events for them. Believe me, I have no confidence in the alternative.

Personally, the con was about as enjoyable as any other weekend getaway, and I had more fun in the off time away from the con. I think my friend R1nzler put it best in his own review, poasted on faecbook, and repoasted here in picture form. Context -- he was a Kickstarter backer and got to do way more stuff that lowly me did not get to:

Go view it using your browser, I'm saving space.

As always, I'm welcome to clearing up misunderstandings or addressing issues that are wrong, or need clarification. I think myself reasonable, a simple explanation or actions moving in the right direction for next year go a long way with me. Oh, did you hear? They're doing 4 days next year. Four days. And apparently they're going to try to get the cast of Dr. Who in for next year, if the giant Tardis with "2015" painted on it is any indication of what's going on. Talk about ambitious...

Until next time, may your fury be righteous, your rants relevant, and your organization top-notch.

22.8.14

The Great Hurricane Iselle Adventure

While life has become much better since the events of the recent Hurricane Iselle some two weeks ago, last week I wanted to put up a blogpoast talking about my experiences regarding the matter. As I am as of this writing still internetless since the Great Hurricane of August 8th, it is only now that I have been able to find a computer terminal with internet that can put together a poast of this magnitude. So, with minimal edits and commentary (all in red), I can finally present to you the Great Hurricane Iselle Adventure. ~teh_chris, Aug 22


-


So, it's been a while here at Traditionally Virtual, and I bet you're all just chomping at the bit to read more dreck quality poastings. With this knowledge firmly in hand, I have decided to descend from upon my mountain of silence to give to you, my readers, what you've all been waiting for. A poast.

As those who have been following the past week of US news already know, the Big Island of Hawaii had been hit with a category 1 hurricane, known by its name "Iselle". Being that I actually live in the affected region, and because I'm waiting for Hawaiian Telcom to grant me the privilege of using it's fabled fantastic telecommunications service #alwayson, I've decided on writing about my limited experiences here in the Puna district within Hawaii County, State of Hawaii during the Great Hurricane 2014. For those who are looking for a personal record of the power of nature alongside the coming together of a community in need, you may want to just look on Facebook or walk over to the Pahoa Fire Station. For those looking for a humorous yet mostly true account of a real event, full of snark, irritation, and other First World Problems, read look no further.

Thanks, HawaiianTel!~

Without further ado: a short, day by day account.

Wednesday

The Wednesday before the hurricane, I go out and help with the gathering of supplies -- water, paper towels, paper plates. I even took the opportunity to renew my IDs at the public safety building, since they were on the verge of expiration. All of the things purchased were at normal amounts, and not like those crazy people I see on facebook with a veritable truckloads of bottled water being assholes and hoarding that shit. Just restocking our normal supply, since we were expecting some wind, but nothing too bad. I go about my day, downplaying the hurricane with friends and family, as I know the past couple either missed us, or did so little by the time it hit that I couldn't be bothered about it.

Thursday

The day was festive. Downplaying the seriousness with clanmates and other friends on teamspeak, I even went so far as to change my name to "teh_chris [>implying hurricane]" on Steam. I played games as usual and I got to taste the last bit of internet before the storm came on time at around 6p. Heralded with a couple of power losses over the next couple of hours, the power struggled to stay on until it finally went out and stayed out at 8:30p. We stayed up for a short while, listening to the howling of the wind as it smacked down tons of brittle albezia trees, which would continue well into the night. With the reasonable knowledge that the power should be up by morning (so we thought), I decide on calling it a night, and my family and I all hit the bed by around 9pm or slightly thereafter.

Friday statuses after the storm.

Friday

Friday was the worst. Before the batteries on all my electrical devices died, I was able to get this short faecbook status out. We also got a phone call from my grandmother, which I found amazing, due to all the damage the storm caused. We haven't had a call since. Dozens of destroyed power poles, and ruined telephone wires meant that it felt like repairs would be weeks away. By the time nightfall came, we were wondering about the state of the food in the refrigerator. This "oh shit" sentiment would continue until the power returned the next day. The cool thing about it was I got to see my family do stuff I never thought we'd ever do again. Play board games, for instance. I haven't played a board game with my family for probably 5 years or so. It was weird. But we came together, and had a blast.

Saturday's statuses.

Saturday

The day of the Primary Election was one of general sadness. Due to the massage damage all around the area, I was still unable to leave my house and therefore unable to exercise my right to vote at that time. My family went to survey the neighborhood, leaving me to watch the property. At around 3, the power returned, which brought general feelings of gratitude and calm to the house.

Yes, that is Dynasty Warriors 4 on the PC. You jealous?
Thank god for cell phone towers, right?

Sunday and Beyond

With having power but no internet, I was forced to return to a pre-internet world, in which I regress to my adolescent days of not having internet. What better way of doing this than to play my number one three favorite PS2 game of all time, Dynasty Warriors 4? Thankfully, a port for the PC was developed, and I put my copy to good use, since I can't go on the internet and hang out with people. I have since also been able to watch anime again, and have but a considerable dent in my backlog, knocking out entire shows in one day. I also found my old Command and Conquer Zero Hour CDs and have moved to the church of GLA Stealth, a faction whose feel is much like piloting a tier 1 deck in Modern -- stupid and almost un-fun. For a couple of days I lost cell phone service, and I almost went crazy when I couldn't even check my faecbook. It taught me a lot about how connected we are and just how much we rely on technology.

Reflection

I've thought about it for some time (like, fifteen minutes), and I put together a tentative pros/cons of my experience:

Pros:
-Family came together for like two days. Seriously. That's huge for a family like mine.
-It pays to have friends, who knows where they'd be years down the road.
-Made me much more aware of how much we rely on electricity.
-I got to sleep at much earlier times than I normally do. And I'm going to try to keep it that way, because it's Healthier.
-I didn't have to eat nasty-ass cold cuts. (No really, I'm sick of Cotto Salami and Velveeta. It's all my family eats nowadays.)
-In the grand scheme of things, this wasn't nearly as bad as the experience of living in really bad areas (looking at you, Middle East, and you too, West Africa).
-I was able to knock out a few anime on my backlog that I've been dragging my feet over. More on that in a later blogpost.
-I got to write something because I felt like venting.


Cons:
-My dad's arowana died. I sort of liked that fish, and I'm very sad it's dead.
-Good bye, DickerMax.
-I have been proven yet again just how bad HawaiianTel's service really is. HELCO got their shit together in like a day, and explained themselves. What's your excuse?
-Thanks to the hurricane, I got screwed out of not just voting in the primary election, but also working at the polls - an activity I enjoy. No Scott Nago, your first plan to send everyone an absentee ballot was smarter -- this new plan basically screws me out of voting, never mind working. Thanks. Luckily, everything should be back to normal for the General Election. Actually, I was able to vote in the makeup election that happened a week later. Due to me being unable to contact the Election's Office, I still wasn't able to work at the polls. Whatever. It's the small victories, right? I'll be back for the General.

-I realize just how badly I utilize my time. For example, here's what I've done in the past week:

Taiga is like the best anime tracking program ever.
Yuan Zheng undertakes the Great Chinese Crusade of 203.
Funny thing is, I was playing as USA Lazer.

I'm mean, god damn. I can't wait for the fall semester to start up again, because I feel like I'm wasting everyone's time - including my own.

Looking Ahead

Don't get me wrong, there are still communities to this day that are still without power, internet, even basic running water due to their inaccessibility to the main power grid. I applaud the efforts of HELCO to return everyone back to the grid. I also want to throw a shout-out to the folks from the other islands that sent repair crews to help our guys. Big mahalos there. Also shout-out to County Councilman Greg Ilagan, a guy I've known for about as long as our families have been friends here -- his hosted free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week after the storm hit, all out of his humble home within Paradise Park for anyone who could make it there.

My own experience was very light compared to some of the other people living in Paradise Park and the greater Puna area. I know of friends who have literally received power yesterday. I also know of friends who weren't affected at all (lucky bastards). There are still some who need ice for their food and medicines, and others who need water. This is only one story in the Iselle experience, and I wanted to share it for those interested.

9.5.14

Pappy's Home

It's good to be "back".

Happy belated New Years, from Traditionally Virtual to what's left of you, the readers.

So, for the record, it's not like I left you. It's more like I neglected you.

You see, I had planned on there being more blogposts involving top ten lists, album reviews, complaints spirited discussion about gaming (both traditional and virtual), and a host of other interesting and insightful content that I felt had the potential to not only be interesting, but be entertaining. Instead, real life reared its ugly head, and this blogproject fell to the wayside. Hard. There were points where I had forgotten this had existed. And suddenly I realized it was May of 2014, on a relatively sunny, breezy day and I had the sudden desire to blog again.

As for my absence, I have nothing more to say but sorry.

With all that said, I've come into a patch of relatively free time, and I plan on using it to the fullest. I have big plans for the blog, and I'm going to be writing up a review on an album given to me for review. I'm pretty excited as it's an opportunity to train my ears critically as well as write in a genre that I'm not very good at. It's a band a friend of mine is in, and so this is an opportunity to plug the talent that I'm honored to know.

~

So, it's been a couple of years since the last post, and while a lot has happened, a lot more is on it's way. Hopefully I'll be able to share more experiences with you all.

It took so long for me to blog, Sabaton put out a new album.




Oh, and a new Sabaton album is out. That's right, during the time I was away, a new Sabaton album had been researched, recorded, produced, and released in the time between this and the last post.

5.1.13

The Year is Dead, Long Live the Year!

Happy New Year!

Yes, we didn't die this year. Rejoice.
My goodness, it's another year. From multiple reports of the end of the world being nigh, to the controversial presidential election, to me being unable to do anything with online video games except for World of Tanks and Dota 2, I'll go ahead and say it was a good year, albeit rough. A new year brings a new set of resolutions that will most likely be broken before January is over. In an attempt to abide by my "do more blagspot blagging and not that tumboor/faecbook trash", as well as attempt to do a better job than last year, here is  "Best of 2012" blagpost. Enjoy.

Best of 2012 - Gaming

[haha noep]

As I said earlier, this year was rather rough for me regarding video gaming. Hell, I couldn't even sit through this year's Call of Duty, and I always find time to play that piece of garbage. I'll most definitely try to finish it, so I can ramble about it in a future blagpost. World of Tanks continues to enthrall me, and while I've been tempted to throw down cash for some gold/premium tanks, I still have yet to do some. Yay for FTP games, I guess.

As far as Traditional Games go, Magic The Gathering's Return to Ravnica block was a return to the "fun" in what I felt was becoming a very stale Standard environment. Now, all we need is Thragtusk to go away, and I might start playing Standard again. Maybe. On the board game front, I bought Munchkin, which is awesome, as well as some other board games. Talisman caught my eye, and is an amazing addition to anyone's collection of board games.

Best of 2012 - Music

A selection from my notes.txt file that I do all this in.
A challenge that I personally undertook this year was to actually list albums that I listened to that were released this year. This (I hoped) was to assist in my "Best of Year X" posts that I now do. Without further ado, here is my top 5 for music for 2012. All of these albums are 5/5 stars for me, and are honestly ranked by my personal preference. I would recommend any and all of them to anyone willing to try them out. The link in the header is a link to the entire album in YouTube, while the links at the end of each section are selections from the album, also in YouTube.

5. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol

Badass album art? Check.
Paradise Lost's thirteenth release, released in April, showed that after thirteen albums, the British doom group still has the ability to make an album that is enjoyable. Excellent solos, great lyrics and vocals. An all around great album. Highlights: Crucify, In This We Dwell, Tragic Idol, Worth Fighting For

 4. Antimatter - Fear of A Unique Identity

Embracing a lie/Got stuck on rewind/Requiem in constant replay
We continue our tour of the UK with Antimatter's fifth debut album, released in November. Singer/songwriter Mick Moss describes the album as "a concept album that explores the mimics in society that would rather blend in with the masses rather than stand as a unique entity for fear of being singled out. This becomes a problem if the masses themselves are actually on the wrong path spiritually and ideologically." Personally, I haven't enjoyed an Antimatter album since Planetary Confinement, and this had the same ambiance about it, just.... darker. And that's why this makes my top five. Highlights: Fear of A Unique Identity, Here Come the Men, Uniformed & Black

3.  Syven - Corpus Christi

36:26. In one track. Wish it was longer.
My love for the kantele brings me to the newest release by the Finnish duo Syven. Inspired by an old English carol, Syven creates a symphony of sorts, blending their unique shamanistic music with what they felt was a proper interpretation of Medieval-era choral music. Personally, I think it's genius. The piece is loosely broken up into four movements, one of them being the actual Corpus Christi carol. The song also comes with a sweet video which is meant to be viewed as you listen to the track (this is included in the YouTube link listed above). Highlight: Movement II - Corpus Christi (6:50 -13:20)

2. Sabaton - Carolus Rex (SWE)

To the skiiiies, see Carolus rise!
As is customary when dealing with unadulterated manliness like the 2012 Sabaton album, you need to understand something that made this release different from the others: they did the entire album in their native Swedish as well. And it's better than the English version. It's an excellent telling of the story of King Karl XII, better known as Carolus Rex. As such, I put both complete versions of selections above and below for you to listen/compare. Highlights: The Lion From the North (Lejonet från Norden), A Lifetime of War (En Livstid I Krig), Carolus Rex (Carolus Rex), Poltava (Poltava

Album of the Year 2012: Woods of Ypres - Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light

One of the best swansongs I've ever heard.
To be perfectly honest, I had a very difficult time choosing my Album of the Year. Even now, I'm still thinking about whether or not I made the correct decision in declaring Woods of Ypres' final album to be my AotY 2012. This album was -as most WoY albums are- full of emotions. Walls of emotions even. The band died when David Gold was killed in a tragic car accident in November of 2011, and the album was released in Feburary of 2012. As I would go through other albums, and even when Carolus Rex was released, I would find myself coming back to this album. Strange, yes. I guess this ability to draw one back to it is the tipping point that would put Woods V over Carolus Rex for Album of the Year. Highlights: Lighting & Snow, Keeper of the Ledger, Travelling Alone, Silver, Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)

Honorable Mentions:

Comus - Out of the Coma
Kamelot - Silverthorn
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost in the New Real

What Next?

Next post will feature another Top Five list from 2012. A medium that I haven't really covered at all on this blag before, but I figure why not? So I will have a Top Five list covering what I feel to be the Top 5 Anime from 2012. Yes, I'm expanding my topic coverage because I'm awesome.

20.9.12

The International 2012 - Three Weeks Later

Valve's Premier Tournament: The International
The hype has finally died down. My heart has finally stopped beating after the splendor that was an event fully sponsored by Valve. Some three weeks ago, The International Dota 2 Championships were held in Seattle, Washington under the control of the fine folks over at Valve. The top sixteen Dota 2 teams in the esports community competed over a prize pool of over $1.6 million USD, as well as a chance to have their names engraved on the Aegis of Champions that served as the tournament's trophy. I won't say much, as whatever would have been said has already been said by people more knowledgeable than myself at this particular artform. I will do this, though:


This video posted above is probably some of the best Dota seen in years. I haven't seen plays this big since the first International, a year ago. It truly shows the level of skill needed to play at the very height of the scene. Without further ado: The Play. Seen over a hundred thousand times by loyal fans, this just proves that this game (not even out of beta, mind you) has the potential to become huge. Just huge. Even now, as I finish this blog post, I'm thinking about what hero I'm going to play as I enter the matchmaking queue.

27.6.12

Meet the Troll

It's finally here.
Meet the Pyro is released. Go watch it.

Day three of the Pyromania update will be featured later today. Day two was a bunch of weapons, which doesn't really matter.

An interesting thing that went along with MTP's release was the announcement of the Source Filmmaker beta, which can be signed up for starting today. The Source Filmmaker is what VALVe uses to create all their "Meet The" shorts.