MTG: Lands Matter – The Ecology of Magic

Magic_card_backIt has been a while since I’ve done a Magic the Gathering Deck List post.  I just looked and my last one was back in April of last year.  So time to haul out the cards and list out a custom built deck.

This is a Lands Matter deck, and while my post title is jokingly subtitled, the mana base for any deck is very important. For this one though, it matters even more.  The point of the deck is to pull shenanigans with lands entering the battlefield and either get Landfall triggers from your cards on the battlefield or amass a large number of lands and burn your opponents to death. I got the general idea from the Commander 2018 precon, which was a disappointment no matter how you sliced it. I’ve also got a secondary “play lands from your graveyard” theme going on as well.

So without further ado, here’s my deck list with some of the more interesting cards in pictures.

 

COMMANDER: 1

Lord Windgrace

windgrace

 

 

PLANESWALKERS: 8

Nissa Who Shakes the World

Vraska the Unseen

Vraska, Relic Seeker

vraskarelicseeker

 

Ob Nixilis Reignited

Wrenn & Six

wrennsix

 

Ob Nixilis the Hate Twisted

Domri, Anarch of Bolas

Garruk Primal Hunter

 

CREATURES: 22

Archfiend of Ifnir

Jaddi Offshoot

Nesting Dragon

Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

Omnath, Locus of Rage

omnath

 

Oran-rief Hydra

Rampaging Baloths

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Titania, Protector of Argoth

Ramunap Excavator

ramunapexcavator

 

Gitrog Monster

Multani, Yavimay’s avatar

Mina and Denn, Wildborn

Azusa Lost but Seeking

azusa

 

Wayward Swordtooth

Ob Nixilis Unshackled

Elvish Piper

Undergrowth Champion

Xenagos, God of Revels

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove

dryad

 

INSTANTS/SORCERIES/ENCHANTMENTS: 25

Scapeshift

scapeshift

 

Fireball

Lavalanche

lavalanche

 

Ghitu Fire

Kaervek’s Purge

Clan Defiance

Drain Life

Consume Spirit

Sorin’s Vengeance

Sanguine Bond

Exquisite Blood

Torment of Hailfire

tormentofhailfire

 

Worldly Tutor

Diabolic Tutor

Polluted Bonds

Splendid Reclamation

Boundless Realm

Pulse of Murasa

Unbound Flourishing

Treacherous Terrain

Repeated Reverberation

Explosive Vegetation

Red Sun’s Zenith

redsunszenith

 

Wildwood Rebirth

Violent Ultimatum

 

ARTIFACTS: 6

Crucible of Worlds

crucibleofworlds

 

Sol Ring

Arcane Signet

Eternity Vessel

Library of Leng

libraryofleng

 

Pyromancers Goggles

 

LANDS: 38

Nurturing Peatland

nurturingpeatland

 

Reliquary Tower

Terramorphic Expanse

Ash Barrens

Cryptic Cave

Taiga

Badlands

Bayou

Lotus Field

lotusfield

 

Swamps x8

Mountains x7

Forests x7

Blood crypt

Verdant Catacombs

Bloodstained Mire

Cabal Stronghold

Overgrown Tomb

Mossfire Valley

mossfirevalley

 

Shadowblood Ridge

 

 

And this my Lands Matter EDH deck.  Hope you enjoyed some of the pictures.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

Breakfast of Poopers (Courtesy of Amazon)

pooplikeachampion

 

Back in 2017 I was browsing Amazon and came across a Big Blue Donkey Butt.  I never thought that experience could be topped. Today, I proved myself W-R-O-N-G!!!

How this even exists is beyond me. But it gave me a laugh and I thought I share. Because Sharing is Caring and I really care about your intestinal health! You know it’s good for you if Dr. Bookstooge endorses it. And I’m done being silly now. Have a great day.

 

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A History of… The Hobbit

 

Lashaan recently wrote up a review of his first time reading The Hobbit. Great review and I highly recommend you read it. But it got me to thinking. I literally grew up with the Hobbit and thought I’d try to remember my life as defined by the experiences I was going through when I read and re-read the Hobbit.

I believe that my experience with the Hobbit started before I could even read. My mom used to read to me in the afternoons before I started going to school and I know she read me Narnia and the Little House on the Prairie series. I can’t remember her explicitly reading me the Hobbit but my familiarity with it in later years leads me to believe she did. I don’t remember too much of that time overall except for a warm fuzzy sense of “rightness”. 

The next instance of the Hobbit is an explicit memory, one very well defined. I believe I was in middleschool and our family was going up to Canada to visit the Grands. I went to the library and got the Hobbit so I would have a book to read. Even then I knew to always have a book handy. It was one with the faux-leather green cover.

Not sure it was this exact edition, but if not, it looked almost like it

I remember this so well because on the way home we stopped in Maine at some relatives and I got a wicked bad sunburn on my whole back (didn’t use sunscreen) and we had to travel for 12hrs in the car the next day. You don’t forget experiences like that!

In highschool I wrote a paper on the Hobbit and Tolkien. I don’t have that paper handy nor do I remember anything about it, except, I got to read the Hobbit and use it to do some school work. Score!

Jump forward in time to Bibleschool in the late 90’s. One of our professors read through the entire series on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons to us students in one of the rooms that had couches and comfy chairs. When you are 19-22, having a chance to just hang out with everyone and not actually do anything is great. Add in that we all liked the story, the Professor had done this for years and so had a fantastic voice for reading, well, it was all a nerd could ask for.

Aye, aye Captain Professor Sir!


In 2001 the SFBC came out with the omnibus edition of the Lord of the Rings. I bought that and the Hobbit at the same time. Why should I pay for 4 books when I could pay for just 2? Small print didn’t mean a thing to my eyes then and being thrifty meant more than anything.

Teensy tiny print



In 2006 I met Miss Librarian at a friend’s wedding (Miss Library and I had been friends online) and we exchanged books. I gave her a copy of the Hobbit.

It was this edition

2 years later we were married and suddenly there were 2 copies of the same book on our book shelves. 2008 was a year for surprises, that is for sure!

Fast forward 3 years to 2011. I was on Goodreads and loving it. I had book friends and was writing reviews left and right. One of my online friends re-read the whole series every year. I wasn’t as much into re-reading then myself, but he inspired me to go through them all. I was simply blown away by how well written the Hobbit was and at how it could still appeal to my mature 30’something self. You’re Mature at 30 and after that you’re just Old and who cares what Old People think.

And now we come to 2019. Devilreads is a bad memory, 30 is just a stage that I grew out of (into a much more Mature stage I must say!) and yet here I am reading the Hobbit again and still loving it.

Bad Memories Indeed

What do you call a book that enthralls a 4 to 5 year old (no matter how precocious), a middleschooler, a highschooler, someone in college, a mid 20’s man, a 30 year old in his prime and then a 40 year old with the wisdom of the ages under his belt? If Classic doesn’t fit, then I don’t know what would. As sagacious as I currently am, I suspect in another 10-15 years that I’ll STILL love this book.

I’d like to take the time to thank Lashaan once again. He’s inspired several of these A History of… posts. The more years I collect, the more memories tag along, except for when I forget them. So it is good to write them down before they disappear 😀

I’m A Winner!

Back in June Powder&Page did a giveaway for some winter writing gloves. Considering how much I’m on the computer outside of work and how long Winters are here in New England, I entered. Not only did I enter, but I swept the field in a blaze of glory. I mowed down my opponents like grass before a scythe and I and ONLY I came away victorious.

Translation: I won 😀

I’d like to thank P&P for her kindness in doing such a giveaway (these gloves are like $50 online) and nothing I say about the product reflects on her in any way. If you don’t follow her, you should go check out her blog to see if what she writes interests you.  All the following pictures are clickable for larger versions. I just made them smaller in the post so I could blab more.

 

First off,  I find it highly ironic that I won these in June and when they came at the end of July we were in the middle of several days of 90+ degree temps. That is 35C for all the rest of you. Sadly, it does mean that I’ll have to wait a couple of months to see how their warming ability actually works.

 

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Second, these come straight from China. They don’t get shipped to the Boutique website you order them from and then shipped to you.  If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say Chairman Mao himself helped with my order.  I could smell “communism” on the packaging. With the potential trade war escalating between China and the US it is something to be aware of. It took a month for me to get these and if things heat up politically, you could be looking at a price jump, a lengthier wait time or both. 

 

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When I opened the packaging, it looked like this. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure at first which end was which.  Turns out the longer end goes on your wrist and the smaller end goes over your fingers. It helped that there was a slit for your thumb.

 

 

 

 

 

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Once I put one on, it all made sense. I’ve found that the lower portion of my hand and pinky finger tend to get colder faster in the winter because of leaning it down on the touchpad of my laptop. This glove should take care of that issue. It also leaves my fingers free so I don’t feel like I’m typing with sausage fingers. Nothing worse than sausage fingers, especially if you don’t have any ketchup to dip them in!

 

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Mrs B kindly took a glamour shot.  Besides keeping my hands warm for typing in the winter, I can see these coming in handy for when I have to go brawling and beating the crap out of all the communist miscreants in our Fair Town.

Of course, the real test will come in 2-3 months when the cold weather starts settling in. I’ll try to remember to do an update post later this year when I can actually test them for their intended use. Unless I’ve shredded them on communist punks of course!

 

bookstooge (Custom)

Sandwich Ratings

I was talking with YouKneek over on her thread at LibraryThing (starting about message 275) and we got sidetracked onto what our ratings would be if they were sandwiches.

I through out a whole range off the top of my head but once I was done I realized, this was a subject worthy of a serious blog post. Food is serious business and so is rating books. And considering that I’m Mister Serious, it all fit together, like a toe in a sock in a steel toe’d boot!

So without further ado, I present My Ratings as Sandwiches!

 

1)  Anchovies and (your favorite) Cheese on Toast 

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This is a picture of ricotta cheese (not my favorite btw) and anchovies on toast. The mere sight turns my stomach!

 

2) Peanutbutter and Jelly

pbj

I ate this from 2000 until almost 2010 everyday for lunch. It was economical, easy to change up (different jelly every week) and I loved crunch peanutbutter. Now however, I will go hungry rather than eat one of these. I burned myself out on them and I’ve never recovered from it.

 

3) Turkey bologna and cheese

Open Face baloney and Cheese Sandwich

I use wheat bread instead of white bread (because I’m not a racist!) but this pretty much looks like a bologna sandwich I’d make. Relatively cheap, not for every occasion but giving my body all the fuel it needs during a work day.

 

4) Toasted tomato sandwich

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Toast, mayo, salt and pepper and then sliced up summer tomatoes. Yummmy!

 

5) Reuben on rye but with turkey bacon instead of sauerkraut

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I don’t have a reuben very often. 2-3 times a year at most but I savor them when I do have them. Something about the rye bread just hits my tastebuds square on.

 

I hope you’re hungry now.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

‘Round Yonder in These Heah Pahts…

…. we dun kut doun them dern trees and then shuut ahh guns so as to celerybrate!

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Dern trees, always growing in them there forests. Nothing but a nuisance!

 

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11 acres of private land surrounded by 70+ acres of conservation land. Shooters paradise.

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For the record, that is a soda can in both pictures. Alcohol and guns should NOT mix

 

 

 

Yep, that is how I spent last Saturday. Pretty much just watched my bro W.C. Bombfunk use a chainsaw (I was there for safety reasons) and then we went to a house of a friend of his to test out his new to him AR-15 rifle.  The baby had just been put down for a nap so we started with our 9mm pistols to give him to time to get fully asleep. Then the 223 ammo came out and the rifle shooting began.  I did a couple of rounds at the 75yard range but Bombfunk went for the 100yard’er. Neither of us hit any targets at our range, but with a new gun, that is no surprise.  What Magic the Gathering cards are to Bookstooge, guns are to Bombfunk. He was grinning like an monkey.

It is good to have family nearby sometimes 🙂

 

bookstooge (Custom)

MTG: Fight & Flight: Dino Power!

Magic_card_backSo I’m working on my third Commander/EDH deck.  One of the recent blocks in Magic the Gathering took place in a world where dinosaurs were a huge part of every day life, for good and bad. Some of those dinosaurs are really, really big and so I wanted to make a deck where I could come out with massively huge creatures and just stomp all over my opponents.  I’ve spent the last month creating this deck in a word document.  Sadly, with our recent car situation (I’ll be talking about THAT bottle of fun’ness in my monthly roundup next week) this deck is going to go on the back burner.

This time around, I decided to add every single card in picture format. I won’t be loading them as individual pictures because otherwise it would take 5minutes for my site to load and that just isn’t fun for anyone.  For each category (in bold) I’ll be showcasing 1 of the cares I think is cool or cool looking and then doing a clickable grouping thing so you can check them all out, or not, as you so desire.

My Good Knight Sirrah deck, while I really like it, just hasn’t performed. I win about 25% of the time with it.  The Get Salted, I’m Exalted, while not competitive, has something closer to a 90% win rate and I don’t play it more than once now as it can be demoralizing to someone else to lose on turn 6 in a game that usually last 30+ turns. This deck I’m just hoping to stomp around with big dinosaurs and have fun killing things whether I win or lose.

There are several main parts of this deck. First and foremost, getting a lot of mana out quickly (with artifacts and sorcery/instants) so as to be able to get the big creatures out quickly, use the Enrage mechanic on half my dino’s to help boost me in various ways and then to use the Planeswalkers and the rest of the sorcery/instant cards to fight outside of combat using my dinos hopefully massive power and sweep away the competition. I’ve tried to make all the cards synergize with as many possible other cards so no matter what I draw I will be good. Only a real play test will tell though.

Without further ado, here is my deck list:

 

Commander:1

Zacama, Primal Calamity

zacama-primal-calamity

We will♪ we will♪STOMP YOU!!!!♪

 

Planeswalkers: 4

Huatli, dinosaur knight

Domri Rade

Samut the tested

Vivien of the Arkbow

 

 

 

 

Creatures: 27

forerunner of the empire

Kinjalli’s Sunwing

Sun Blessed Mount

Bellowing Aegisaur

Burning sun’s avatar

Etali, Primal storm

Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

Imperial Aerosaur

Majestic Heliopterus

Needletooth Raptor

Polyraptor

Raging Swordtooth

Ranging Raptor

Raptor Hatchling

Regal Behemoth

Ripjaw Raptor

Shining Aerosaur

Siegehorn Ceratops

Silverclad Ferocidons

Sky terror

snapping sailback

sun-crested pteradon

sun-crowned hunters

trapjaw tyrant

wayward swordtooth

Zetalpa, Primal Dawn

Ulvenwald Tracker

 

C-zetalpa-primal-dawn

 

 

 

Artifacts: 17

Tower of Fortunes

Sol Ring

boros cluestone

gruul cluestone

selesnya cluestone

boros signet

gruul signet

selesnya signet

commander’s sphere

seer’s sundial

staff of nin

Mindstone

Pillar of Origins

Worn Powerstone

Hedron Archive

Thran Dynamo

Dreamstone Hedron

 

A-tower-of-fortunes

The Power of Scyenze, errrr, Magic(!!) compels you!

 

 

 

Sorceries/Instants: 12

Cultivate

Nissa’s Pilgrimage

Skyshroud Claim

Rampant Growth

Kodama’s Reach

Farseek

Dromoka’s Command

Domri’s Ambush

Band Together

Gravitic Punch

Rabid Bite

Thrash

 

SI-dromoka-s-command

The first rule of Dino Fight Club is: You Always Pick the Fight Option TWICE!

 

 

Lands: 39

Command Tower

Terramorphic Expanse

Evolving Wilds

Myriad Landscape

Taiga

Wooded Foothills

Stomping Ground

Cinder Glade

Fire-lit Thicket

Savanna

Windswept Heath

Temple Garden

Canopy Vista

Wooded Bastion

Krosan Verge

Plateau

Arid Mesa

Sacred Foundry

Naya Panorama

Rugged Prairie

6 Forests

6 Plains

7 Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it. A ton of pictures. Please feel free to make suggestions or comments or to ask questions.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

What’s On My Bookshelf? (Tag)

Norrie tagged me back in December, so I figure I’m doing pretty good to have done this within 3 months. Usually I count on 6, ha!  That being said, I’m always up for showing off my books. Shelfie posts are awesome, but individual covers of real, live books are just scrum-diddly-umptious!

Just to be clear, these are all actual books on my bookshelves. We’re talking genuine rotting tree carcasses here, with chemicals!

 

 

A book or genre I love to read when it’s raining

rain

The Pool of Fire is the final book in the Tripods Trilogy. A great middle grade series that ends on a very dystopian note. Christopher was not a Utopianist. The gloomy ending is best read on a day that the sun is not shining.

 

A book I wish had illustrations

pix

The Rook was supposed to be a standalone but its success convinced O’Malley (well, more than likely his publishers) that a second book in the Checquy Files was in order. I would have liked to have seen some of the monsters described in this book.

 

A book that made me emotional

emotion

When I read this back in 2001, the ending just got me right in the feelz. Haven’t had the courage to re-read it for fear that I’ll just roll my eyes now.

 

 

A book that made me laugh

laugh6

Good old Rincewind. This SFBC omnibus has the first 2 adventures, The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic and then 2 more generic Discworld books. I know most people disagree, but I have always found Rincewind to the funniest stuff that Pratchett wrote. After Rincewind he seemed to get a lot more satirical, biting and bitter.

 

An old book

old1

 

old2

This is the oldest book I have that has a year on it. I’ve got several other Dickens books that appear to be just as old but don’t have any information inside of them beyond stating they are reprintings from the first edition. Nothing worth any money due to their condition but they sure look cool!

 

A steamy book

steamy

The 4th book in the Green Rider series. I’d waited 3-4 years between each book and while it started out as an awesome fantasy series, it really devolved into a romance writer wish fulfillment thing. This book has some sort of dream sex sequence so I was just done.  Considering that Britain (the writer, not the country) has pretty much let this series dribble down into an unfinished  mess, well, I think I made the right decision. It is a series that will never be finished.

 

A romantic book

romance8

The Queen of Romance and probably the ONLY books I’d voluntarily read with that kind of association.

 

 

A magical book

magical

The original Earth Sea trilogy.  While Le Guin has written more in this world, it was of completely different tone and style and never caught my fancy. I did think of putting this in the next category, as I read the first one as a pre-teen. But when I think of “magic” my mind springs to Ged and Tennar.

 

A childhood book

child1

child2

This was my favorite book in 4th grade. Probably a good thing I read an abridged version as I’m not sure I could have handled MacDonald’s wordiness back then.  This was everything a kid could want in a story: a beautiful princess, a brave miner boy, a magical castle, goblins and monsters.

 

A book I got as a gift

gift

The Cygnet Duology is the book that Mrs B gave me when we first met in real life back in ’06 or ’07.  I gave her the Hobbit. Besides both being dedicated Christians, we’re also both readers. Our idea of a good time is sitting next to each other on the couch reading books. I couldn’t ask for more than that!

 

A library book

lib1

lib2

 

Quite a few of my hardcovers are from libraries.  It is one of the reasons I stopped buying used hardcovers on Amazon. The sellers don’t have to list that it is from a library. A used library book has a ton more crap in it than just a regular used book. Not worth the hassle so now I buy it new unless it is impossible.

 

 

And that sums up that tag post. I’d definitely be interested in seeing books from all of your collections. (hint, hint)

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

 

♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Treso)

Ok, it is only Wednesday and I’ve already watched way more Youtube than I ever want to for the rest of my life. I feel like my brain has inhaled whole bottles of spray cheese.

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Poodles are to Dogs what Easy Cheese is to Cheese

Ughh. How do people DO this? I think I’m ready to read just about anything, even a romance! *shudder*

 

Ok, now we are moving on to books immediately surrounding the first movie trilogy, with Luke, Han and Leia taking centerstage, as they should.

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A treso of trilogies. Han Solo Adventures are WAY better than the Han Solo Trilogy

 

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The Han Solo Adventures in individual hardcovers. Written in 1979 and 1980. Awesome baby!

 

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Yoda was BLUE in the novelization. Weird huh?

 

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I call these the Miquels, as they take place in the Middle of the trilogy between the main events

 

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These “Tales” books were good, except for the Bounty Hunter Wars. That was bad.

 

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Quite possibly the worst Star Wars book I ever read.  Tied with The Crystal Star, which will be in another post

Alien reptiles in robot bodies that eat the Force. THAT is the quality of story you got in one of these books. I doubt you have to guess very hard which one. You can’t fake this folks, it really was written about and worked into the now defunct EU canon. This was the beginning of the Wild West Era of Star Wars. Luke smashed moons together, Han flew the galaxy. Leia, well, honestly, she didn’t do a whole lot yet. But don’t worry, her heyday is just around the corner.

 

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