This is a blog devoted to cards I like, deck ideas I have and combos I think are interesting.FF7 Crossover Decks A Song of Ice and Fire Banned Asks!
neraciro asked: Hi Doug. I'm writing a short story at the moment, but it's not going well. I've scrapped what I thought was bad twice now and I'm onto my third effort to write up a proper draft. What advice do you have to offer a person like me? I'm currently torn between the age-old idioms of perseverance is best and knowing when to give up. It just feels like currently I'm beating my head on a stone wall and nothing good's coming out of it.
It sounds like you’re brute-forcing your way through writing and revising in one step. I sympathize. In my experience, that will drive you crazygonuts. Try separating your process into two phases.
In the first phase, take your Inner Editor and stick ‘em in an Oblivion Ring. All thoughts that have to do with evaluating what you’re writing get shelved for now. Your goal in this phase is not to write something amazing—“amazing” is evaluative. “Good enough to satisfy my aesthetic standards” is evaluative. “Non-crapola” is evaluative. All those Inner Editor thoughts get turned off, as best you can. Your goal during this phase is this: FINISH. WRITE WRITE WRITE until you FINISH and type the words THE END. A this point it matters ZERO PERCENT what goes on in your story; you are just hurling clay at the potter’s wheel so that you can craft this sculpture later. This phase is not about quality — it is about finishing. It is Supposed. To. Suck.
THEN put your writing aside for a while. Simmer. Take a walk. Take two walks. Eat something delicious. Pet a fuzzy animal. Refuel.
THEN enter the second phase. Now you’re a different person, in a way. You Naturalize that O-Ring and bring your Inner Editor back in full force. You aren’t criticizing the author of this clay in front of you— you’re using the raw materials they’ve provided you to shape it into something. The something might be almost there, and it might just take a bit of smoothing and spinning to get it to be great. (My rough drafts are not like this, and if yours are, I kind of hate you a little.) Or it might take squashing the whole thing back into a lump of clay to begin to form it into something beautiful again. But I find that every draft d’ crapola has at least one shining hint of a great idea buried in it. Look for that. Look for those moments that move you, even though you wrote it. Look for things that make you giggle all alone at your laptop. Look for stuff that makes you want to say, “Wait. Go back. Zoom and enhance on that last part”—that’s your cruddy draft, and your Inner Editor, telling you when something is working.
When you do both of those phases at the same time, what happens is that the Inner Editor becomes paralyzing. Its voice becomes so loud that it reaches beyond words on the page, all the way to words you haven’t even typed yet. You toss out everything you have before you’ve even whipped up a batch of raw materials. You stop working before you’ve managed to create that tiny gorgeous detail that you were trying to reach. Resist the urge to bring in the critical thoughts too early. Give yourself permission to go to weird and awful places, because just beyond those places are the best ideas and the best lines of dialogue and the best heartstring-plucking imagery you’ll ever have. Keep going. Your breakthrough might be ten thousand words from now, so you have two options: write ten thousand words agonizingly slowly over the next year, criticizing yourself about every line and hating every minute of it, or blast out ten thousand words THIS WEEK, and be basking in the glow of that tiny mote of awesome by Sunday.
To my fellow planeswalking Sherlockians:
I hope everyone who is able to go is looking forward to 221BCon! I will be there with bells on and strapped for spell slinging. I will be bringing at least 2 constructed decks, possibly 3 (though that third won’t be truly what I want it to be; 3 cards are missing and will be replaced with basic lands for now). Anyone who wants to play shouldn’t really have a hard time finding me. I’m a big enough guy that I’ll probably stand out a bit.
I mention the decks only because I am absolutely happy to lend decks for people to play, so long as I get them back. I will at minimum have a Pauper deck with me and a really crappy but kind of hectically fun Modern deck. I may also be bringing the Fight the Hydra and Defeat the Horde event decks from the Theros and BNG game days, if anyone wants to play against those.
That’s not all! To those Sherlockians who want to learn to play Magic:
I will be bringing a couple of pre-built intro decks and will be delighted to teach people how to play! Magic is a fun game. It not only promotes reading and simple mathematics (ok, sometimes not so simple), but fosters social interaction. There’s a real sense of community among players a lot of the time.
See you there!
rommania asked: Alan has Griselbrand in graveyard and casts reanimate. Neither player marks the life total change. Alan then pays to draw 7 cards, both players mark the change. He then does it again and both players mark the change, only now realizing that he shouldn't have been able to draw the second time. What's the ruling? I say it's too broken to fix, failure to maintain game state to both, probably also a GRV to Alan, if not drawing extra cards.
(Assuming we’re at Competitive REL)
We can’t make any partial fixes here, so we either rewind all the way to Reanimate’s resolution (putting 14 random cards from Alan’s hand back on top of his library) or we leave the game as it is. This one is a tough call, but I’m inclined to rewind here. Yes, Alan has a lot of information he shouldn’t have, but both players are responsible for making sure that the game proceeds in a legal fashion, and I’d rather have 7 known cards on top of his library than in his hand. I’m sure plenty of judges would disagree with me, though.
As for infractions, Alan gets a warning for a game rule violation, and his opponent gets a warning for failure to maintain gamestate. (FtMGS is never ever awarded to both players. It’s a non-upgradable warning given to the opponents of players making game play errors who don’t catch those errors in time. We award FtMGS so that we can track it over time and see if any player is “allowing” a lot of sloppy play from their opponents.)
Thanks, Charlotte! This one was bothering me and I was flip-flopping on the ruling a bit (for the record, I did originally suggest rewinding all the way, when discussing this hypothetical with another judge).
I also apparently can’t ask via a side blog.