Book Blogger Insider Tag

Tagged by Lashaan. Feel free to riot and mob, as long as you do it at his place, not mine!

 

1) WHERE DO YOU TYPICALLY WRITE YOUR BLOG POSTS?

Sitting on our couch, looking out at the gray and drab weather! If that view doesn’t cheer you up, you’re obviously not a good enough pessimist.

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2) HOW LONG DOES IT GENERALLY TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK REVIEW?

About an hour, maybe 2 if I get distracted. Either I’ll go down a rabbit trail of blogs or start paying attention to whatever I have playing on the tv in the background.

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The Magic Box told me to put this picture on my blog…

 

3) WHEN DID YOU START YOUR BOOK BLOG?

This particular one I started back in ’13 when Goodreads started hiding or deleting reviews that didn’t meet their intentionally vague and pro-author/pro-selling guidelines, that they introduced without actually telling anyone.

My original book review blog is at Bookstooge.blogspot.com and that was started in 2005. However, even that blog underwent a name change to the Bookstooge brand and honestly, I can’t remember what it USED to be.

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4) WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT HAVING A BOOK BLOG IN YOUR OPINION?

The Invisible Reader. It depresses me more than some jackass writer expecting me to be his editor because I agreed to review his indie book. I simply don’t understand those who follow but won’t interact.

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But they don’t “like” me, whahhhhhhh!

 

5) WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT HAVING A BOOK BLOG IN YOUR OPINION?

The countless horde of followers that I can unleash at a moments notice to wreak havoc across the ENTIRE INTERNET!  Fear me, Internet, you have met your doom.

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Also, a little flattery for your Great Leader goes a long way these days

 

6) WHAT BLOG POST HAVE YOU HAD THE MOST FUN WRITING SO FAR?

Definitely the Bookstooge Confessional and follow up Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer.  How can you resist a post that ends with such a horrifying gif?

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Even now, I shudder at this nightmare inducing visage!

 

 

7) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF BLOG POST TO WRITE?

Probably my reviews. They aren’t necessarily as fun or exciting to write as Tag posts or the misc posts I manage to spew out, but I couldn’t write misc posts 3 times a week, every week. I just couldn’t do it. This kind of post is icing ON the cake but my review posts are THE cake for me.

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8) WHEN DO YOU TYPICALLY WRITE?

Saturdays and Sundays and whenever inspiration or desire strikes during the week.

 

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Yep, that’s my mind, just exploding with pure awesomesauce!

 

10) HOW DO YOU WRITE YOUR BOOK REVIEWS? WITH A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA? WITH NETFLIX? CUDDLED WITH YOUR FUR BABY?

Usually with the tv going in the background playing something from Prime. If it’s a Saturday, there will probably be a Bang next to me. Caffeine helps my brain run more efficiently you know.

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Super Creatine means this is a good as medicine, honest.

 

11) WHEN DO YOU WRITE YOUR BOOK REVIEWS? RIGHT AFTER FINISHING THE BOOKS? TWO WEEKS AFTER FINISHING THE BOOK?

Usually within 3 days of finishing the book. It might not post for 2-3 weeks, but if a review isn’t written within 5 days, all the salient details are GONE from my mind, just like the wind.

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12) HOW OFTEN DO YOU POST?

3-5 times a week.  Pretty regularly unless Life happens, then it’s anyone’s guess.

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And that about wraps everything up. Cheers!

 

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Bookstoogedamus Predicts The FUTURE!

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You know what? I saw that picture while googling for one of the tag posts, grabbed it, thought up the title of this post, saved it as a draft and now I have NO idea where I was going with this. I mean absolute zero idea. Not even Kelvin could get anymore zero’ey than me at the moment.

Which means I’m going to have to put my brain into gear and work at this post! So what I have been trying to predict? Let us explore…

 

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I predict there will be some rain this year and sunshine. Also, some snow for variety’s sake. Temperatures will get really hot and also really cold. As completely accurate as I know that is going to be, it just doesn’t seem what I was aiming for.

 

bruh-fight-me-27954658I predict that I will get in a fight with somebody on the internet this year. Wowzah, I bet THAT comes as a shock to everybody.  Peaceful ol’ Bookstooge who wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless it was a COMMUNIST FLY!!!!!!!!) predicting he’ll get into an altercation of opinions with somebody else? I give this prediction a very low chance of happening, but just in case, you know?

 

 

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I predict I am going to watch some movies this year and some of them will be so bad they are good. Well, as long as Rifftrax keeps putting out their lower tier releases on Amazon Prime, I don’t see how I can go wrong with this prediction, especially that bad part.

 

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I will read at least “some” books this year! If THIS prediction doesn’t come true, you, me and the whole planet are bloody screwed and I do mean royally.

 

Well, that is pretty much it. Besides lottery numbers, what else is worth predicting? (and seeing as how I don’t gamble, it’s a moot point) And even after all that work, I still have no idea what my original intent was. Talk about a disappointment, eh? Yeah, me too. You all should probably buy me consolation prizes so I feel better about myself.  I’m very sensitive on the inside, as this picture shows:

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Welp, until next time, Bookstooge out…

 

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Bookstooge Reviews 2018

2018Review

Collage created at Ipiccy.com.  I used the Gunmetal Font and the text color hex code is E4B678. 

2018 was a very different year from 2017. Here’s my 2017 in Review post.

 

THE STATS

 

Annual Blog Stats:

Total Posts – 248’ish

Total Views –  20K

Followers – 360+/- [fluctuation due to spam accounts getting deleted by WP]

 

Book Stats:

Books Read – 172

Pages Read – 59,371

Average Rating – 3.31

 

Graph Stats:

As you can see, the majority of what I read is in the 3-4 star rating range. I explain my rating system Here.

 

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Almost 27% of my books were re-reads and STILL my average is under 3.5. To put things in perspective though, anything over 3.1 is a good year for me. I just feel like grumping about something!

 

General Thoughts

2018 was a year of digging into blogging at wordpress and realizing that the ebb and flow of people I follow and the people who follow me, is normal. I’ve fully instituted my “I don’t follow someone who doesn’t post at least once a month” rule for new potentials and unless someone I follow lets their followers know they’re going to be gone, the same applies to people I already follow. I’ve probably stopped following quite a few sporadic bloggers this year, which has made my feed and interactions with others a bit more stable. It is also nice when people I do follow DO let their followers know that Life is getting in the way and they won’t be around for a bit. What has saddened me though is watching people disappear. While it is completely understandable, it has been a bit tough to see Life, Health or Interest make people just go “poof”. But I’m realizing this is normal and I’m hoping that in 2019 I’ll be a little more inured to such things. I hope so anyway because it is a really sucky feeling to see someone “take a health break” and then never come back.

Ok, enough of THAT!

 

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WordPress is now completely my blogging home. Anything I feel like writing, it roosts here. From the good to the bad, from the happy to the sorrowful, it gets written and posted here.

My post count was almost 100 posts lower than in ’17 but since I wrote a post almost every day that year, I’m not surprised. I can’t keep that level of creativity going. It also came down to me starting to schedule my reviews 2-3 weeks in advance. It has made my review writing much more disciplined but that very same discipline has impacted my writing on the spur of the moment, which is when a lot of non-review posts get written.

On a daily basis that lack of creativity did affect my numbers (ie, views, visits, likes, comments) but on the annual side of things, my numbers are stronger than in ’17. So with less posts I’ve gotten more. I think part of it is that not writing everyday gives people a chance to actually read what I post. If you’re only a weekly blogger and then visit me, 4 posts is a lot more handle-able (my goodness, that’s not even a real word!) than 7 or 8. Whatever the reason, 2018 was a good year for all my numbers and I’m very satisfied with them.

Speaking of satisfaction… (Sing it!)

I feel like I have settled into a good routine. I’m following people who are constant posters. My reading and reviewing schedule has fallen right into line with my whole reading rotation. My followers go up and down, but that is an aspect of what I alluded to in the opening paragraph. It does mean that I am always on the lookout for a new blogger to follow every 4-5 months, which is good for me so I don’t completely get set in my ways.

Overall, 2018 was everything I wanted from a free book blog. I reviewed, I ranted, I had fun. I also updated my little avatar,

From This:

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To This:

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I’m obviously moving up in the world!

 

 

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Blogger is now my backup blog for just my reviews. I started out ’18 trying to mirror some non-review posts but gave it up pretty quickly. It’s a good blog if you like my reviews but don’t like anything else I write. It’s just as disorganized as my wordpress blog but I’m not trying to retro-actively clean it up. I also don’t like how the comment notification works so I’m not really incentivized to make it work.

 

 

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Had a bit of a dustup in a group because I talked about killing communists & hippies in one of my reviews, so Librarything has pretty much reverted to being the place where I keep track of what I’m currently reading and where I get info and cover data from. I put my reviews there as well, but since there isn’t much of a social thing outside of groups, I’m not very active there. Me and groups, we just don’t get along, sigh.

 

 

THE BOOKS

 

Best Book of the Year:

Ok, I have to admit, I am beyond stingy when it comes to this particular tag. I am also super miserly with 5star ratings. I only had two instances of this tag and only 9 5star reads. Only 3 of ANY of those was a new to me book. Books these days, they’re just not what they used to be…*sigh*

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1, takes this category.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a strong runner up.

 

Worst Book of the Year:

This category is a little easier for me to write about, as I did read some atrocious books this year. The book that takes this category however, gets this “honor” because while it probably wasn’t actually the most un-enjoyable book I read, the interactions with its author went downhill very quickly; let me tell you, some severe comment deletion went on. That reaffirmed my faith in not thinking of Writers as People. Most people are jackasses. Most writers, surprisingly, are people. Which means that most writers are jackasses. Goodness, don’t you just love Logic?

Ok, now that I’m done being all clever, here’s the loser.

Gods of the Mountain

Sandworms of Dune almost beat it, but at least the authors didn’t whine at me and expect me to be their personal editor.

 

 

Plans for 2019

Not much. Last year, I was brimming with ideas. Then Life happened and stuff. This year, all I really want is to get my blog fully organized. I’m closing in on getting all my recent reviews fully tagged and categorized (recent being 2013 to Present). Once that gets done, then the BIG job of going backwards in time can begin. 2012 back to 2000. But I’m being super casual and laid back about it, so it’ll happen when it happens.

I did have a goal of breaking the 100 view mark for a post for 2018 and not only did that happen, it happened 10 times. Now, quite a few more posts have also passed the 100 view mark, but they are older posts that either I reference or get picked up in a google search. I’d be happy with the same results for 2019.

Actually, I JUST thought of a goal while writing this post. I’ve mentioned before that I think that the world NEEDS a World Book Czar and that I think I’m pretty qualified. So 2019 is the year I get serious about running for office. And by running for office I mean getting rid of all of the competition so you all have a choice of One. Me. I look forward to discussing the issues with my fellow candidates!

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“Discussions”, yes….

 

 

Personal

Where to even start? I guess church stuff. January and February were pretty bad and led to us leaving the church that we’d been attending for a decade and begin looking for another. While we have found another, you don’t make changes like that without upheaval and inner consequences. We’ll see how we do in ’19.

Health has been all over the place for both of us. Between a hospital stay for Mrs B and several crohn’s related incidents and my diabetes and then gastroenteritis and flu at the end of the year, we became pretty well acquainted with our hospital bills.

I’ve been working by myself at work since July and it is wearing me out. Things need to change by Spring or I’ll have to make some changes myself. I’m just not thinking about that to be honest.

I did finish up my Bookstooge in 100 Books and pinned it to the side of my blog. That was a lot of fun to write and think about. I should probably also go over my About page and see if anything needs updating. Thankfully, both of those posts tend to be rather static and a once a year check is good enough.

This year I did get into Magic the Gathering a bit more. Probably played a little less, but have started on constructing my own Commander decks, which takes a lot of time, thought, creativity and if one is so inclined, money. I am also dabbling with the idea of getting into the digital version of MTG, called Arena. We’ll see, as me and computer games just don’t really click that well.

I would categorize 2018 as a tough year but Mrs B and me are still doing ok, praise God.

 

 

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Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories.

 

Book Review Posts

Algorithm of Power (negative review with a good writer interaction)

Gods of the Mountain (negative review with a negative writer interaction)

Lord of Light

Toll the Hounds

We are Legion(We are Bob)

 

Hmmmm, I’m sensing a trend with the ratings and viewership there….

 

Non-review Posts

Honesty and Book Reviewing

DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

Why I Re-Read

Too Big to Comment

Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer

 

Ranting does seem to get some good views!

 

Commentors + Runner Up

Lashaan

Orangutan Librarian

SavageDDT (Dave)

Ola G (NOT Olag, like I originally thought)

Nicole

+ Maddalena

I live for comments, so I am glad that WordPress gives me this kind of info. I’d also like to thank everyone (well, except for that writer who got butt hurt that I did exactly what he asked me to, ie, write an honest review of his book) who commented this year. Written interactions on my blog make it so much more fun.

I’ve had more visitors and more comments than last year, so I’m hoping to keep that trend going. I’ve had some wonderful new followers this year who seem to like commenting as much as I do and I’m thankful for that. With almost 5,800 comments this year (to be honest half of them are me), that feeds my soul like you wouldn’t believe.

Who knows, maybe next’s years list of commentors will be completely different people. Come on, you know you want to edge Lashaan out of the top spot!

 

Movies

Once again, my movie list is less than 10, so a top 5 would pretty much include them all. Here’s the Top 2, just like last year.

Thor: Ragnarok (man, what a FUN movie)

Boondock Saints vs John Wick (a comparison post)

It’s not so much that I don’t watch ANY movies, but I just don’t review them. It doesn’t come nearly as easy as the book reviews. As much as I’d like to say there will be more movie reviews in 2019, we all know I’d be lying. So folks, there will be MORE movie reviews in 2019 😀

 

 

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Ok, while this post is shorter than last years Review, it’s still monstrously long by my standards (anything over 1K is monstrous in my opinion). I look forward to reading all of your various yearly posts, if you’re so inclined that way, and I hope to see you around in 2019. Unless you’re a communist, because then I will shoot you.

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My Personal ACD (anti-communist device)

 

 

 

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December ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

3338 Pages

3.67 Average Rating (talk about ending the year on a high note. I’m pretty happy!)

 

The Bad:

Of Mice and Men – 1 Star (ugh, what a waste of talent)

 

The Good:

To Kill a Mockingbird – 5 Stars (it should REMAIN required reading in schools)

Hogfather – 5 Stars (Pratchett was bitter but he still wrote really funny books)

Seal of the the Worm – 4.5 Stars  (what a great ending to a great series)

 

Manga:

Shaman King is really revving up and I’m excited about continuing to read this series each month. This month I read all 3 volumes in one day and wrote the reviews between each volume (I was feeling in a VERY wordy mood) and then just scheduled the reviews for each monday. Just like in November, that kind of pace worked really well for me. I don’t know exactly why nor do I particularly care, as all I DO care about is it is  working.  Bring on the FIGHTING!!!

 

Misc. and Personal:

I totally slacked in reading this month. January is going to have me reading like crazy to get that 3 week cushion back. I used it all up this month 🙂  Of course, with the Parental Pods, Miss Betsy W & her friend and the Bombfunk’s and the Bookstooge’s all together for Christmas, for nigh on a week, I was doing a lot of things besides reading.

Christmas went well but I started getting sick the Sunday before and was flat out by Christmas. Mrs B caught it from me post-Christmas, so there’s not been much going on after Christmas except trying to recover and drinking of lots of herbal teas and hot water.

Thankfully, I was Tagged by Norrie and so had an easy post on a weekend. I also did another 6Degrees post and that allowed me even more breathing room.  Thank goodness for people who continually tag and remind me that I can do book related, non-review posts!

A lot of time was also spent on writing up my thoughts on 2018. I’ve got that mostly taken care of by now and my Annual Review should be coming out January 1st.

No Cover Love this month as nothing really stood out to me. I’m not going to throw a “pity” cover love to something that I don’t actually love.

The End.

 

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Merry Christmas!!!

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Joy to the World:

♪Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.♪

♪Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.♪

♪No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.♪

♪He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.♪

 

I pray that Christ will find welcome in your hearts this Christmas.

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#6degrees – from A Christmas Carol to The Terminator

Bookwyrm did another 6Degree Post and it reminded me I should do one too.

Starting with this book, lets see where we end up! (obviously, you know beforehand because of the title. I didn’t know where I was going to end up, so pretend you didn’t see the title and act completely surprised, please.)

 

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A Christmas Carol.   The edition I read has a cover composed primarily of the colors Green and Red, appropriate for a Christmas book don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A series that is ALL ABOUT colors is the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks. I’ve been waiting for the final book since The Blood Mirror came out in ’16.  The Burning White, the fifth and final book, is supposed to come next year. May it be so!

 

 

 

 

 

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A book that I have read that I was waiting for was Sergei Lukyanenko’s Sixth Watch.  Thankfully, I didn’t start the Night Watch series until 2015, so I only had a year to wait. My goodness, what great Russian Urban Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

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I don’t like Urban Fantasy. Most of the time. Mainly because I’ve had more run-ins with books like Bitter Night than the types of UF that I end up liking.  Totally not cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A “cool” book that I did read was Dr. Zhivago. And we’re talking Siberian Exile cold here, not just your every day Snoopy in Joe Cool sunglasses!

 

 

 

 

 

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Now, when I think of “Sunglasses” only ONE thing comes to mind. Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator!!! While the book wasn’t as awesome as the movie, it still was decent enough.

 

 

 

 

 

My goodness, from A Christmas Carol to The Terminator sounds like a title of a Dr. Who Christmas special. You know, back when Dr. Who was awesome with David Tennant? 😉

I’m beginning to think that I like this whole 6th Degree tag thing. I foresee it becoming a semi-regular feature here. Easy peasy and lets me talk nonsense without appearing like a complete idiot. Cheers!

 

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MTG: Get Salted, I’m Exalted!

Magic_card_backMy last Commander/EDH post was about my Good Knight to You, Sirrah deck that I was in the middle of constructing. I’ve tweaked it so I have a bit more card draw as I was finding I was running out of cards quickly due to the low casting cost of the majority of my creatures and other spells. But it is done and I’ve used it several times. In a one on one duel, it’s pretty aggressive and can easily destroy the other player quickly.

Anyway, this post is about my next endeavor, an Exalted deck headed by Rafiq of the Many. The main win condition is to make Rafiq  unblockable and using the Exalted mechanic, pump him up and win with 2 swings of Commander damage. With Commander Damage, I only need to damage my opponent with 21 points of damage. All by himself, with Exalt and Double Strike, he’s going to do 8points of Commander Damage if he’s unblockable. Even if Rafiq can’t do it, I’ve got multiple ways to make creatures unblockable and hence swing for some serious damage.

 

 

 

Commander: 1

rafiq (Small)

Rafiq of the Many —– ORDERED

 

Planeswalkers: 5 + Alternate

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Tamiyo Field Researcher —-OWN

Jace Beleren 

Jace, Memory Adept

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria  —— EXPENSIVE!!! (On my Christmas list)

Elspeth Knight Errant

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage  —-OWN (Alternate if Teferi stays out of reach)

 

 

Creatures: 24

246

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Stoic Angel

Suspicious Bookcase  —– OWN

Wall of Swords  ——- OWN

Wall of Denial

Wall of Tanglecord  ——OWN

Hover Barrier —–OWN

Noble Hierarch  —— EXPENSIVE!!! (On my Christmas list)

Nylea, god of the Hunt

Thassa, god of the Sea

Sovereigns of Lost Alara

Sublime Archangel

Aven Squire

Battlegrace Angel

Court Archers

Ethercaste Knight

Giltspire Avenger —ORDERED

Guardians of Akrasa

Qasali Pridemage

Rhox Charger

Sigiled Paladin

Waveskimmer Avon

Knight of Glory

Verdurous Gearhulk —–OWN

Torrential Gearhulk —–OWN

 

Enchantments: 15

78

195

Finest Hour —– ORDERED

Eldrazi Conscription —– ORDERED

Steel of the Godhead —– ORDERED

Rancor

Favor of the Overbeing

Unquestioned Authority

Vow of Wildness

Wheel of Sun and Moon

Wurmweaver Coil

Angelic Benediction

Ardent Plea

Prodigious Growth ——- OWN

Mammoth Umbra

Spider Umbra

Armadillo Cloak

 

Sorcery/Instants: 14

255

52

Worldly Tutor

Enlightened Tutor —-OWNED

Mystical Tutor

Reclaiming Vines

Crypsis —– OWN

Distortion Strike

Vines of Vastwood

Call the Gatewatch —– OWN

Crop Rotation

Hour of Promise

Reap and Sow

Scapeshift (Borderline)

Sylvan Scrying

Verdant Confluence

 

Artifacts: 6

162

213

Behemoth Sledge

Loxodon Warhammer

Swiftfoot Boots

Sol Ring – OWN

Expedition Map

Argentum Armor

 

Land: 38

289

165

272

Tropical Island—–OWN

Breeding Pool —–OWN

Misty Rain Forest —–OWN

Temple of Mystery

Savanna —–OWN

Temple Garden —–OWN

Windswept Heath —–OWN

Temple of Plenty

Tundra —–OWN

Flooded Strand —–OWN

Hallowed Fountain —–OWN

Temple of Enlightenment —— OWN

Islandx6 —–OWN

Plainx6 —–OWN

Forestx6 —–OWN

Command Tower

Cathedral of War —- ORDERED

Rogues Passage —–OWN

Temple of the False God

Maze of Ith —– Eventually but not essential

Ghost Quarter

Field of Ruin

Strip Mine

 

 

 

Obviously, I’ve done a lot more background work before posting this deck, unlike the Orzhov Knight decklist. Some of the cards I still question. I also question how well this is actually going to work. I just won’t know until I build it and play it.  This is probably as close to a finished deck list as I’m going to get though so I don’t plan on publishing an updated version.  Maybe some edits if needed, but no whole new post. I figured my Knight deck was going to take until the end of the year and I finally finished it in October, so pretty close. This deck is going to take most of 2019 to assemble, as money will be tight next year due to all our hospital stuff this year.

There is going to be a lot of proxy’ing going on, as I am NOT going to be playing with my actual dual lands, nor with cards like Noble Hierarch or any other $60+ cards. If my fellow player is ok with it, I might use proxy cards for any card I don’t yet own just to test the deck.

Sadly, I don’t feel nearly as inspired about the Deck Name (Get Salted, I’m Exalted just seems a bit braggadocio) as I did with my knight deck. “Exalt” or some form of that has to be in the title since the Exalt mechanic is what everything is based on. I might even have to enlist Mrs B’s creative powers to help me out!

If anyone has suggestions for card changes, feel free to let me know. Cheers!

 

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