Best New Stuff of 2014

Well we’re into 2015 so that means looking back at the past year and figuring out what the best stuff from it was. If possible I’m going to restrict myself to stuff that came out in 2014 since that’s just more interesting in my opinion. If there are any categories that I feel like I should talk about and it’s about stuff I’ve discovered in the past year then I’ll talk about that a bit further down. Let’s get to it.

Favorite movie: Snowpiercer– I reviewed this movie a few months back and my opinion of it has only gone up. This is partly due to an increase of my general appreciation of it and partly because of the commentary I’ve read on it.

Favorite web series: Carmilla– This is basically what happens when you mix Buffy the Vampire the Slayer without Joss Whedon’s latent sexism, a moderately more restrained Welcome to Night Vale in terms of weirdness and I assume Veronica Mars(I never got around to watching it) It’s a really fun indie web series that’s easy to watch. The whole season is roughly an hour and a half, two at most and the individual episodes average out to five minutes.

Favorite game: 2048– In case you somehow missed this, 2048 is about adding blocks together to get to 2048. It’s very simple, very addictive and requires thought due to the element of randomness in it.

Favorite podcast: Constructed Resources- I talked about this two weeks ago so I’m not going to rehash anything here. It’s one of two podcasts I listen to that came out last year.

Favorite Live Action TV Show: the 100, if by virtue of the fact that I didn’t try many new shows this year. It’s not the greatest, but its fun.

Favorite Animated TV:  BoJack Horseman-Not only this is brilliantly dark and not so dark humor, it’s the only new animated series. All of the anime I’ve watched and liked came out in 2013.

I don’t have a favorite music related thing or book cause I didn’t consume anything that came out last year in those two categories. I can’t think of any other categories. Till next time

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January Solforge draftcap

Pack 1: This is a fairly interesting pack. Netherscale is a great way to try and get the poison deck rolling. Scarab is a fine card for an Esperian deck. Oratek Explosions hasn’t really impressed me in draft as being anything other than a Heavy Artillery. Windreaver is one of the best cards to open, as is Broodqueen due to their sheer power level. Mimicleaf is just bad. I’m not in the mood to try making the poison deck and I’m feeling lucky enough that I can make Dysian happen, so Broodqueen. Windreaver is a safer pick and comparable in power level, but I did that in my last draft and want some diversity. Even if youcan’t proc the allied trigger Broodqueen does work.

01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 2: And punished. Conflagration is a fine spell,  Explorer isn’t terrible but it’s not good either. Battlesuit is pretty bad. Razortooth Stalker is one of my favorite commons and Oracle is fine as well. I take Stalker and regret not taking Windreaver.

02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 3: the RNG us just mocking me now. Siphon is bad if you’re not Dysian and Ghastly Renewal is pretty bad. Ambusher is good at trading but is fairly interchangeable beyond that, Titan is a bit more unique and a good card in its own right.

03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 4: Spirit Torrent is bad, as is Ghastly Renewal. Mystic turns into a beater with minimal investment and is an easy pick here.

04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 5: Ooze blocks twice, Kadars Colossus is one of many big level 2 creatures and is fairly interchangeable. Ooze is the pick.

05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 6: Glacial Crush is a relevant card. Cinder isn’t what I want unless I”m in Oratek. 2nd Stalker is good and points this deck in a solid direction.  Spiritleash is I card I like when I”m Onxyium or Dysian given the density of small creatures you can get. Colossus is still meh and I probably don’t value Seal as highly as I should.

06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 7: Steed is fine,the mobility and the fact that it gets massive are relevant. Host doesn’t do enough of anything. Fiend affects multiple lanes. Sparksoul is jmeh. Fiend is the pick easy.

07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 8: Brute is very powerful by virtue of what he can do to the other creature you play than himself. Sorrow Harvester is bad unless you’re an abomination deck…which you can’t do anymore. Crypt Slime is ok. Titan would be nice to have a second of down the line.

08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 9: Asir is such a marginal card. Wallbreaker is passable on the vanilla test and has a relevant, albeit, levelgated ability. Death Current has never impressed me.

09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 10: Zombie is a creature, gets massive at level 3 and just does more than spiriteash.

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 11: Stampede doesn’t do a ton in this deck, or in general. Tremorcharge is pretty good, since it makes the Stalkers harder to deal with. Second Titan with Brute is nice. Brawler is a good aggressive card/underdrop. Harvester is the worst card in the pack Shambler is good, but a small step below the others. I take Brawler.

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 12: Spiritcleave is somewhat conditional removal. Pact isn’t doing much in this deck. I still don’t want Colossus. Beserker kills just about everything. Harvester is still bad. I take Berserker.

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 13: Shaman and Ambusher are the only two cards worth talking about and Shaman is strictly better.

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 14: Manticore is good, it picks stuff off, it puts pressure on the opponent. Organ Harvester is also a card I like, but I want to be more aggressive. Spider basically doesn’t do anything unless you’re ahead.

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 15: Carg Walker is exactly what this deck wants.

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 16: I basically never pass an Ebonbound,or any of the bound cards for that matter. While Brawler and Titan would be nice, I think I”m more likely to get them later than a Warlord.

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 17: I would happily take a Brawler or a Fiend but I have no spells and Conflagrate is a good one.

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 18: Wow, this is terrible. Primoridal is the only playable here.

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 19: Mystic is the only playable.

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Pack 20: Chant, while not being amazing in what this deck wants to do, is at least a different effect, which isn’t nothing.

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 21: Burnout wins here cause i just want spells that let my creatures get in.

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 22: Rotfiend is the most powerful card here, although I would be happy with anything but warrior.

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 23: Brawler, not close.

23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 24: Crush does the most here.

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 25: Asir gives me slightly more flexibility.

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 26: This is interesting, Evoker primarily makes my Stalkers more of a problem while Infernal Visage makes Brute and Titan more of a problem. I think Evoker has just a bit more upside though.

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 27: I would happily take this entire pack, but I can’t. So I’ll take the Barbarian.

27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 28: Again, I want all of these sans the shock. Drake has more upside for this deck.

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 29: Well that’s a plummet in quality. Asir does the most.

29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pack 30: Happily take another Crag Walker.

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Round 1 was against an A/N deck that didn’t seem to draw that well and lost the tempo game in PL1 due to a Conflagrate on my part. 1-0

Round 2 was against an U/T deck that just ran over me.1-1

Round 3 was against an A/U deck that was just better. 1-2

Round 4 was against  an U/N deck that couldn’t handle a Stalker in PL2. 2-2

Well that went about as well as expected. Till next time.

What I’m Listening to: Podcasts January 2015 edition

I’m chewing on a few other ideas for posts so I figured I’d start this year off with something on the fluffy side: podcasts. One of the advantages of getting a smartphone is that I have a way of actually listening to them in an organized manner instead of the sporadic manner that I had before. So I figured I’d talk about what I’m listening to. Let’s get into it.

First, I’m on Android and use Podcast Addict. It’s free, you can pay to get rid of the ads and it does basically everything I want.

The stuff I can listen to can be broken up into the following categories: Loadingreadyrun, Music, Gaming, Other

Loadingreadyrun: They’re a Canadian sketch comedy group who put out an enormous amount of content on a weekly basis. I suggest checking them out and if you like their stuff listen to their podcasts.

  • Lrrcast: Their normal podcast where they talk about random stuff
  • TapTapConcede: Magic the Gathering oriented podcast
  • Temple of the Lava Bears: A Dungeons and Dragons campaign

Gaming: This is heavily biased towards Magic podcasts due to wanting to keep my podcasts down to a somewhat manageable level and networking.

  • Drive to Work: Mark Rosewater, the head designer of MtG, talks about topics related to his job on his drive to work
  • Limited Resources: Marshall Sutcliffe and guests talk about Limited. I don’t really listen to this given my general low interest in Limited but there are some good episodes nonetheless
  • Constructed Resources: Marshall Sutcliffe and Jon Loucks talk about Constructed Magic. Finding Constructed and Jon Loucks to be more interesting than Limited, I enjoy this one a lot more
  • Victory Conditions: Jon Loucks talks to his coworkers about game design. I’m really enjoying this but wish it was longer.
  • The Dice Tower: This makes me feel like I’m connected to a wider range of board games than I am in actuality and there can be neat things from time to time.

Music:  Apparently EDM is really popular as podcasts. While I like the genre I only follow two since at a certain point the music is very samey. They’re Group Therapy and Sound of Egypt.

Other: I couldn’t think of a better way to describe Welcome to Night Vale; which is a fake pubic radio show set in the town of Night Vale, where weird stuff happens.

That’s all I got for this week, if you have any suggestions feel free to suggest them in the comments with an elevator pitch. Till next time where I do another Solforge draft.