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Standard Showdown / Pro Tour Hour of Devastation Update

The Bad News: My UR Control homebrew got decimated this passed Thursday. The Good News: I converted the deck into a Jeskai Control deck, which allowed me to utilize Irrigated Farmland, as well as a few other awesome cards in Blessed Alliance, Cast Out, and Linvala. The Result? 3 matches that went 1-2, 2-1, and 1-2. (A whole lot more respectable than 0-6.) Relying too heavily on basic lands with a deck that almost always makes it to the late game meant that I was top-decking a lot of mana with no way to get rid of it. That's when I remembered I have plenty of cycling lands at home, and the only question that remained was, "What color do I want to splash into the mix?" Additionally, the losses

My Current Standard Constructed Deck

Pro Tour Hour of Devastation takes place this weekend in Kyoto, Japan. And since we already have an SCG Open under our belts from this Standard season, we'll know by next week what Magic the Gathering's Standard Constructed Format is truly looking like. (Personally, I like it when we have seven or eights sets in the format. It allows for more variety, and typically helps contribute to a fun and healthy Standard environment.) Currently, it seems like Grixis Control is definitely the most popular deck being played amongst Standard players, but that's no shocker. And even though the seven-drop Nicol Bolas is one hell of a card, I've decided to stick with my UR Control deck, with a few substit

Show Review: Game of Thrones, "Stormborn"

Warning: Spoilers Ahead Game of Thrones S.7: E2 was one of the most well-rounded episodes I've seen in a while. It had a lot of the suture and plot build-up that episode one, "Dragonstone" contained, but then threw all sorts of other goodies into the mix as well. A gross scene, (Sam helping Jorah with his skin disease by literally chiseling off his puss-filled flesh, transitioning into a scene of a soldier eating some sort of chicken pot pie) a sexy scene, (let's face it, we were all wondering how sex with Grey Worm was gonna go down...but the only thing that went down, was Grey Worm) and a battle scene, as Theon and Yara's fleet came under attack by their Uncle Euron and his fleet. And it

Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island

Oh, boy. This one's going to be rough. Three or four shimmering moments shrouded in gargantuan mounds of Kaiju Shit. Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, and John C. can this many top-tier actors cohesively create such a silly product. Kong: Skull Island's a real head scratcher. Film was almost over and I didn't know a single one of the character's names. So when they got batted down or flung into the cliffside, I truly didn't give a rat's ass. Since the movie is so depressingly filled with cons, let's just highlight the pros. A few of the scenes were shot well and creatively, like their first encounter with Kong, for example. The camera being inside t

Show Review: Game of Thrones, "Dragonstone"

Game of Thrones: The only show I know of that can have you on the edge of your seat, before the opening credits have run. As GoT fans, we waited patiently. We were then told the seventh season of Game of Thrones would be delayed until the summer, and wouldn't be starting in April as it normally did. Seasonality enduced shift in production. (After all, Winter can't come correctly if you're shooting it in the fall.) And I think most fans would agree, it was worth the wait. Without giving it away (for those that haven't seen it yet, but plan to), the opening scene involves a Stark child, and is pretty bananas. The remainder of the episode is relatively mellow, but simultaneously filled with a l

Movie Review: Power Rangers

When I first heard Saban & Lionsgate announce plans to make Six Power Rangers Films, I damn near fell out of my chair. Ambition is one thing. Delusion is another. And a couple weeks after Power Rangers debuted in theatres, its captains retracted their dreams of a Transformers-esque franchise. The lesson here? Walk first, then run. Yesterday afternoon I went on a delightful walk through my neighborhood. 88 degrees and sunny. I swung by a RedBox and was disheartened to find the best option available to me was Power Rangers. With a huff and a sigh, I reluctantly rented the film, almost kicking myself in the process. But I figured, "Hey, if it sucks ass, I'll turn it off after five minutes. But

Movie Review: Kill Command

Watched Kill Command on Netflix yesterday shortly after getting home from work. Didn't even bother with the trailer. Got myself a movietime snack and drink, and let'er rip. Kill Command is an science fiction actionfilm. If you're looking for depth in story telling, turn around, head the other way. This film's a sci-fi military shoot 'em up where a team of unknowing marines face a squad of A.I. powered non-humanoid robots, to the death, in some cases. For as dry as the characters are, they're also pretty charming and likeable. The robots are downright scary at times, and there's definitely a handful of drama and suspense as the marine detachment, with the help of the engineer that's accompany

Cinephile: Confessions of a Sci-Fi Movie Addict

I've been watching two or three science fiction films a day lately. The reason? It's layered, but allow me to explain the recent surge in my sci-fi movie viewing addiction. 1. It's Hot Outside. I live in Los Angeles. And although I'm used to relatively warm weather, we've already had two or three heat waves this summer, and it's only July 9th. Crankin' the air and watching genre-fiction film, television, and cartoons, is a great way to beat the heat. Besdies, the sci-fi author in me both loves and needs to indulge in spec-fiction material as often as possible. Savor the great, enjoy the good, and diagnose the bad in an effort to learn as much as I can from it. I recently watched Life, and al

Movie Review: Spectral

Being let down by a film is far more prevalent than being pleasantly surprised by one. Spectral was one of those rare cinematic gems that shined brighter than I ever expected it to. I spent the 4th at home, nursing a cold and dog sitting while browsing Netflix for goodies. I watched S1:E1 of Voltron. That was cute. Easy, nostalgic fun. But before I did that, I watched Spectral, and it became one of my favorite military sci-fi stories ever, regardless of medium. (Halo will most likely always be my #1...) I'll more often than not have gripes with a film. Indie, big-budget blockbuster, doesn't matter. But nothing really comes to mind when I try to consider major or even moderate issues with thi

Movie Review: ARQ

I was browsing Netflix's science fiction section a few nights ago when I came across ARQ. Checked out the trailer, and decided to give it a whirl. We all enjoy a good big-budget sci-fi blockbuster, but those only come around once in a blue moon, and I bore relatively easily. Netflix provides a sci-fi lover like me some additional comfort. Especially via original science fiction content. I sincerely hope Netflix continues to invest in the creation of original genre fiction films, because that, my friends, is pretty awesome. Anyhoo, I'd like to spend a couple minutes sipping on pulp-free orange juice and chatting with ya'll about ARQ. The first thing I noticed about this film was that it was

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