Saturday, December 21, 2013

Deck of the WEEK - IZZET-SCRY

Could use some advice on this deck build folks.
 Blue / Red Scry / IZZET

 The Theros set appealed to the Greek Mythology geek in me so much. I wanted to make a deck that followed that and was fun to play. Then I met Flamespeaker Adept. Oh yeah, almost had a nerdgasm. So I built this deck around that card. I looked for ways to scry to boost him, and there were plenty of red and blue ways.  I also wanted to capitalize on the instants and sorceries I would be casting to boost Flamespeaker Adept, so I went with IZZET and thought Guttersnipe and Prescient Chimera. While those are the focal points,  I thought putting in the Red God Purphoros  and Young Pyromancer could be interesting as well. 

Still, I found that my biggest issue when deckbuilding is "that I be doin' too much" (my math students say that to me all the time). I guess I try to make a jack of all trades / Batman's utility belt deck that doesn't focus on doing one or two things well.

Check out the link on and let me know what you think. Any advice is welcome.


Friday, December 13, 2013

My FNM Guildpact

My FNM Guildpact

For the past several months now I've been going to FNM (Friday Night Magic). I was always intimidated by the level of competition and multitude of Magic the Gathering deck combinations. Still after I started this blog and the corresponding vlog, I decided to venture a little out of my comfort zone. When I decided I would start attending, the Return to Ravnica block had just started and I'd become nearly obsessed with the guilds... The 10 duel color themes that was the Ravnica and Return to Ravnica theme. This infatuation led me to challenge myself with playing all 10 guilds at Friday Night Magic.

My intent was to write a series of articles chronicling each of my guild decks and how the game went. I feel a little short (got lazy). While I keep notes, I didn't quite manage to write articles corresponding to each of my Ravnica guild deck games.

Fast Forward to now...I've currently played 8 of the 10 guilds. I've been going to Friday Night Magic once or twice a month now. My schedule (or wife) won't allow for me to get there every Friday. I also managed to take a few students from Job Corps  (I'm a math teacher) to FNM with me.  So here is the long overdue commentary on my FNM adventures with the Ravnica guilds...

I also want to preface this by saying I've been playing FNM at a small and at the time relatively new venue. It started having 4 rounds for FNM and has grown to require 5 rounds. I also tried to not spend a lot of money on my decks. I've been pooling resources with friends and students to try and make the best decks without spending a lot.

My first Friday Night Magic I played Gruul.

I actually had not decided to play all ten guilds at this point. As I was (and still am) a rookie, I wanted to go with something kind of simple. Bloodrush, Racor, Fling and Burning Tree Emissary all screamed that to me. This deck had lots of speed. My goal was to attack, bloodrush, and after damage to fling for the win or at flyers. I did not however put the Flinthoof Boar in the deck. At the time it was great...the new hotness but I thought I'd be "net-decking" if I added that so I stepped away from it. I did ok my first time around, went 2wins-2losses. Of course my 2 wins came from the friends that accompanied me ...

Next I played Simic

By now I decided I was going to play all ten guilds. As I was out to have fun more than win, I tried to use the Biovisionary as my win condition while playing evolve. I never did get it to work, but I did go 2wins-2 losses again. It was fun moving multiple counters around. And this time I didn't just beat my companions.

3rd time I played Izzet

Its rather funny as Blue/Red are probably my favorite color combination but this guild just failed to impress me. I really tried to like it too. I liked playing the guild, but had a terrible time trying to find a win condition. One of my students clued me in on the Nivix Cyclops/Fluzcharger/Unblockable combo. It seemed rather cheesy to me, but I wanted to play the guild so I built a deck around it. Let's just say it didn't work for me. I believe I was might have been 1win-4losses...I can't quite remember, I believe I've blocked that out. I did have fun with the Burning Earth enchantment on all the dual land players.

Next I played Dimir

While Blue/Black aren't necessarily my favorite colors, Dimir is my favorite guild. The guild of thieves and assassins...Love it! Unfortunately I had about as much luck with Dimir as I did with Izzet. I didn't have a strong win condition; mostly mill with a few Consuming Abberrations. I had to play this deck then as the Innistrad block was moving out of standard play. This was my last chance to play Invisible Stalkers (what's more Dimir than Invisible Stalkers?). I didn't get a single win, still I had a reasonable amount of fun with this deck.
Next on the list was Boros

This was the first deck I played using cards from the Theors set. Its creature heavy and played into Battalion. I didn't really have an answer for board wipe, but I didn't face any. The deck did ok against amateur players, but more experienced players beat it down. I ended up 3wins-2losses. I ended up miss using Pithing Needle; thought I could use it on a instant/sorcery to stop it from working.
Next on the list was Rakdos

I had a lot of fun with this deck. Its quick and a little mean. Desecration Demon has almost become a staple for any time I play black. Its just mean, cost effective, and arguably one of the best cards in standard in my opinion. This deck is semi quick. Went 3wins-2losses although I almost made it to 4 wins. I had the same issue I always seem to have which is mana. I couldn't draw the second black mana I needed for Hero's Downfall and a Boros Reckoner (after killing 2 others) got me. I played some of my best games with this deck, also I did have a little help on one game that I should've lost though as well. 
To continue, I went with Selesnya next
In truth, I didn't have much of a strategy with this deck. I know I wanted to use the populate mechanic along with the Voice of Resurgence, Fleecemane Lion, and Advent of the Worm I pulled. That was it. There was a little life gain in there as well. I did ok; but when I faced a deck with a definite win condition, I didn't have a snowball's chance in Florida. Still it was kind of fun populating and using the Centaur and Worm tokens. Didn't get a chance to make any soldiers with Precinct Captain though. I went 3wins-2losses.
Next go around was with Orzhov

I had fun with this deck! Sticking with the theme, this deck uses extort and pseudo extort thanks to black devotion and Gray Merchant. The Triad of Fates allows me to pop the Merchant in and out for continued pseudo extort.  The deck worked except my first game was against a deck full of planeswalkers and I got owed. I'm not complaining though, I had a blast! I ended up with 4wins-1loss, got 3rd place. That's a first for me.

I got 2 decks left and I'm open to suggestions...


Friday, November 15, 2013

Freebie Friday 11-15-13

Every other Friday is going to be Blerdwords FREEBIE FRIDAYS! 

This Freebie Friday (11/15/13) we're giving out a copy of the DC Deck-Building Game by Cryptozoic. Its an awesome game! If you like superheroes, you'll like it! Check out the YouTube video connected with the contest if you want to see the game played. Good luck to all!

DC Deck-Building Game by Cryptozoic ($40 value)

Exclusive Martian Manhunter card for DC Deck-Building ($12 value)

Click the link below to enter:

The last Freebie Friday (10/11/13) we gave out some RARE and MYTHIC RARE cards from the Magic the Gathering expansion THEROS. Congratulations to the winners!

Four FOIL cards including the RARE Ember Swallower

WINNER - Kevin Chang

MYTHIC RARE PlanesWalker Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

WINNER - Glenn Wilson

Two Japanese RARE cards, Soldier of the Patheon & Agent of the Fates

WINNER - Ryan Norris

The RARE Prognostic Sphinx
WINNER - Jessica Muro

The RARE Spear of Heliod
WINNER - Michelle Loney

The RARE Whip of Erebos
WINNER - Justine Mcintyre

Friday, October 11, 2013

What cosplay costume do I want to make for COMIC-CON 2014?

 Night Thrasher


They are among us. Hiding in plain sight.


Howdee folks!

Every other Friday is going to be Blerdwords FREEBIE FRIDAYS! 

This Freebie Friday (10/11/13) we're going to take it up a notch and give out some RARE and MYTHIC RARE cards from the latest Magic the Gathering expansion THEROS. Theros is a set that has a Greek Mythology theme. The following cards below are part of the giveaway. Good luck to all!

Four FOIL cards including the RARE Ember Swallower

MYTHIC RARE PlanesWalker Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

Two Japanese RARE cards, Soldier of the Patheon & Agent of the Fates

The RARE Prognostic Sphinx

The RARE Spear of Heliod

The RARE Whip of Erebos

Click the link below to enter:

FREEBIE FRIDAY Rafflecopter giveaway


The last Freebie Friday we gave out M13 Booster Battle Packs. These are a perfect starting point for someone who is interested in trying Magic the Gathering.

Agents of SHIELD First episode Easter Eggs

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Easter Eggs
     Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere aired on September 24th on ABC and the nerd fires have been lit. When this show was announced I was ecstatic! The show has a lot of talented people working on it and such a nice pool of plot devices from the Marvel comic movies as well as comics in general to pull from. I've enjoyed watching all of the episodes so far. The one thing I found I love most about this show are the constant references to comic-book themes and/or scenes from Marvel superhero movies.


     Below is a list of "Easter Eggs" I noticed after watching the premiere episode several times. This list includes spoilers, but honestly, who hasn't seen the first episode? If you see something I missed, please leave a comment; otherwise enjoy....

Did I miss something? Post a comment...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Beware the Batman Show Review

Beware the Batman Cartoon Network animated review

      I love superheroes and a superhero cartoon would have to be pretty bad for me not to watch it. Well this show almost meets the criteria. To be fair, Beware the Batman already has two strikes with me as it replaced one of my favorite animated shows of all time, Young Justice. I know some folks would say, Young Justice is gone and to get over it, but I say then NAY and never even! I got that out, I feel better now, so lets move on.

      The first question I have to ask is did we really need another animated Batman show? After watching several episodes of Beware the Batman, I don't think we needed this one.

      In my mind, and many others I'm sure, Kevin Conroy is the definitive voice of Batman. Well the voice of THIS Batman almost sounds nasal to me. What's worse is there isn't a vocal distinction between Bruce Wayne and Batman. The voice just doesn't excite me.

     Alfred...**sigh**...where do I start. I have always envisioned Alfred as the British gentleman who's looks are deceiving. An innocent looking older man who has more tricks up his sleeve that in Batman's utility belt. And I picture him with hair. Well the Alfred of this show had neither any hair or that innocent look I've come to expect. He looks "leathery" and weathered like a bald Clint Eastwood; when what I'd come to expect is Sean Connery I understand that Alfred's back-story involves a past as a soldier; but that's not what I get from his look or mannerisms. I see a MI6 agent who is one vacation, not retired. I just don't like the guy, and I've always liked Alfred; from the cartoons of the 60's, to the live action 70's, to the animated series of the 90's. and the movies with Micheal Keaton to Christian Bale. 

    If that isn't enough, there's the villains. The 70's live action show had villains I could laugh at. The animated series of the 90's had villains I felt sorry for. This show has villains that I don't care about or care to see. Professor Pyg, Magpie, Humpty Dumpty, Silver Monkey, Anarky, Cyber. NO SPOILERS... But none of those villains make me care or laugh. Batman's villains has always been one of the reasons I've liked him sp much. They have a complexity that's just awesome. The villains from Beware the Batman are simply not interesting. They're have the complexity of a Rubik's cube that's all one color. No matter how you look at it or turn it; there is nothing there. A friend watched the show and thought Magpie was Catwoman redone. while that speaks load of his character and issues, it says to me that Magpie had/has no depth.

   After watching a few episodes with my wife, we both say the computer animation as lackluster. The backgrounds were too dark and stagnate. I know it's Gotham mind you, but there's dark and then there's dark! The animation doesn't look smooth, in fact it looks choppy in some parts and the action got hard to follow in some instances.

    With all this hate that I've dishing out, I do have to say that having Katana as a Robin of sorts is a rather interesting. Not interesting enough I'm afraid. 

      I realize that this is a retelling and a different prospective on the idea of the Batman mythos, but from what I've seen, it's just not a good one.

    C- grade for Beware the Batman

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Once more another cosplay cut

Guess who else I'm not dressing up as... T'Challa the Black Panther

T'Challa is the ruler of the African nation of Wakanda. The ruler also inherits the title of the Black Panther (although it still has to be earned). Wakanda is the main and only source of the metal Vibranium. The thought of outsiders exploiting Wakanda for it's valuable and rare metal, lead to Wakanda closing itself off. T'Challa traveled to the US to learn about other perceived threats to his homeland by joining the Avengers.

T'Challa, like other Black Panthers before him took a mystical herb that grants him Olympic level strength, speed, stamina, and agility and super human senses. This was due to a mystical connection to a Panther entity. Several times this connection was broken and the Black Panther lost his enhanced abilities. Besides his physical abilities, as the ruler of Wakanda, T'Challa has access to an enormous amount of resources; financial and technological. This outfit is made of a Vibranium mesh. Probably his most deadly asset is his mind. T'Challa is a genius that has a Ph.D from Oxford, as well as a skilled hunter, fighter, scientist, and strategist.

He first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 The new Mutants (July 1966), and was created by Stan "the man" Lee and Jack Kirby..

No need to cosplay as the following were done so well:

  Black Panther Black Panther - MegaCon 2013 by insidethemagic, via Flickr

Monday, September 9, 2013

Who else gets kicked from the list of Comic Con 2014 cosplay options? This guy...

Who else gets kicked from the list? This guy...Sunspot aka Reignfire

Roberto "Bobby" de Casta is a Brazilian young man who happens to be a mutant. After his power manifested during a soccer game, he was recruited by Professor Charles Xavier as one of his "New Mutants" Bobby comes from a wealthy family and he inherited membership to the Hellfire club when his father died. Portrayed as a ladies man, Bobby has been always been cocky and headstrong.

Roberto has the ability to absorb solar energy and convert it into physical strength and stamina. When using his powers, Bobby's would be covered in a black aura outlined by various black spots. This was said to be the result of his power's reaction to air and dust particles. Early on, his powers mainly dealt with increased strength. Many times have I read "For all Bobby's strength, he's just as vulnerable as we are" or lines similar to that. Later in his appearances due to the result of a few different story-lines, Roberto could use the solar energy he absorbed to fly and project concussive blasts.

He first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #4 The new Mutants (April 1982), and was created by Chris Claremont  and Bob McCloud.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birthday CJ

Putting superheroes to the side in favor of my little princess to say...

Happy Birthday to Candice Joyette Ferguson

She is four years old today!

Daddy loves you princess!
Photo: Wishing a very Happy Birthday to my little Princess! Mama loves you so much, Honey Bear!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Phineas and Ferb Mission Marvel Easter Eggs

Phineas and Ferb Mission Marvel Easter Eggs
     Since I love Marvel comics and I love Phineas and Ferb, loving Mission Marvel was a no brainer.

     I think the best part of Phineas and Ferb is that my wife and daughter love the show as well. Its awesome "geeking" out as a family and sitting down together and watch an episode. Or after we put the kids to bed, my wife and I watching episodes on demand...DEFINE AWESOME (geeking out with your wife)! This was no different.

     Here is a list of "Easter Eggs" I noticed after watching Mission Marvel for the 4th time (this time I had a notepad). If you see something I missed, please leave a comment; otherwise enjoy....

Did I miss something? A full transcript of the episode is available here at Phineas_and_Ferb:_Mission_Marvel Transcript

Friday, August 2, 2013

Comic Con 2014 and who I'm NOT dressing up as

On my quest to Comic Con 2014, I am NOT going to dress as this guy!

This is Olympic gold medalist Jefferson Pierce, he was born with the meta-gene (DC comics version of mutants). He donned the costume and called himself Black Lightning to battle local thugs that were threatening his neighborhood. Later he joined Batman when he formed the Outsiders and still later he joined the Justice League.

He has the ability to generate and magnify electromagnetism. Black Lightning uses this ability to fire bolts, generate force fields, among other effects. He suppressed this ability for most of his life.

He first appeared in Black Lightning #1 (April 1977), and was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Does the black guy live? Movie reviews...Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim Quick review
     If you needed your Godzilla, Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, or even Power Ranger itch scratched, then Pacific Rim does the trick.
     Monsters and giant robots are the subject for this movie.
     I saw this movie utilizing the D-Box vibration chair. It didn't add anything to the movie. it was like watching the movie while sitting in a broken massage chair that would cut on and off.
Does the black guy live?

A- grade for Pacifc Rim!

Does the black guy live? Movie Reviews This week... LONE RANGER

Lone Ranger movie review

First, I need to say a few things. The Lone Ranger and I have a little history. I've always been a fan of the Lone Ranger, whether it was the cartoons or the 80's movie Legend of the Lone Ranger. There were a few reasons why I wanted to see this film. Sorry, gotta take you through some back story...
I grew up in Flint,Michigan and as a young black boy unfortunately Mother/Father homes weren't the norm. Well I was blessed with one (not saying if you had a single parent home you weren't blessed). And as a family, my father, mother, sister, and I would go to the movies. I remember going to see The Legend of the Lone Ranger as a family. It is one of my fondest memories. Today, parents are so busy either working, or not caring, that family activities seem to be a rarity. Now as an adult, I treasure those times when my family did things together.

My daughters are too young to sit through a movie, but I plan to do things with them when they're older.

Plus, I'm a huge Johnny Depp fan.

Does the black guy live?

The after credit scene was a little funny, but didn't add anything!
C grade for Lone Ranger!

Avengers Assemble Animated Show Review

Avengers Assemble Disney XD animated review

      As much as I love superheroes, this show would have to be pretty bad for me not to watch it. Although I have an issue or two with this show, that is not the case. After watching the first four episodes, there's no reason why I won't be watching every other episode. 
     Avengers Assemble takes up where the Avengers movie left off. We see our six heroes get back together to face all kinds of new threats. And we also have a new member, Sam Wilson aka Falcon.  

      This is the second Avengers cartoon to air on Disney XD channel and frankly I have to say that I liked the first one Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes better. Allow me to explain by doing a little comparison.

      Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes was more comic based as opposed to following the movie. This gave the series a rich history to draw from as well as a bigger cast of characters. We're given Ant-Man and Wasp from the start and we later get the Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, and Vision. Seeing the Masters of Evil, Yellow Jacket, and the Scott Lang Ant-man was cool.  The show was drawn well and had excellent voice acting. As I watched the series, I enjoyed the action as well as the multiple and dangling plotlines.  The Skrull invasion was extremely well done and fun to watch.

     The current series Avengers Assemble is as I said more of a follow up to the Avengers movie. So we get the limited cast of Cap, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, Hulk, Iron-Man and the rookie Falcon. My only real issue with the show is the non serious nature of the show. I don't mind comedy in my action, but I think this show goes a little too far. The third episode starts the team arguing over cookies that Falcon brings to their HQ. After the villian(s) are defeated, Hulk finds a single cookie left and the episode fades out with the Avengers arguing over who gets the last cookie. While that is a little funny, the first show gave me drama, mystery, and intrigue. I tend to only see a multitude of punch lines from the newer series. There is no sense of urgency with the team. Everyone is so cocky that I never feel that the world is in peril or that anything is at stake. Although it's only one issue, it's a pretty big issue.  

    The current series has nice animation and I like Falcon. He comes in as this rookie who is in awe of the Avengers. Falcon is the rookie of the team. He even speaks about geeking out being with them. I like his character. Adrian Pasdar does a good job bringing Iron-Man to life as well. 

    Its still early in the series; it has a solid base but there's still room for improvement. If I didn't have Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes to compare it to, I'd probably wouldn't be so critical of the current series. Only time will tell if Avengers Assemble will last or not.

    B+ grade for Avengers Assembly

Friday, July 5, 2013

The road to Comic Con 2014 continues...

On my quest to Comic Con 2014, I am not going to dress as this guy!

This is Augustus Freeman IV aka Arnus aka ICON
He is an alien a la Kal-El that came to Earth in 1839 and he was raised by African-American slaves. His ship conformed his appearance to look like the first life-form that discovered him. Unlike Superman, his world wasn't destroyed, and he's been stranded on Earth. He's was waiting until Earth's technology could allow him to return home.

Icon has an array of powers that rival those of the Man of Steel. In fact DC comics had a crossover and they fought. Although he is not as strong as Superman, Superman did comment about hard hard Icon hit him.

First Appearance Icon #1 (in Milestone Comics which later was merged into DC) and he was created in part by the late Dwayne McDuffie.

I found these pics online of someone that 
already did a pretty good job with an Icon costume.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Now time for a little shameless self promotion...

I'm trying my hand at vlogging, and I need your vote. Check out my first YouTube episode and vote for me if you like it. Thanks...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Ava

Putting superheroes and fantastical warriors to the side to say...

Happy Birthday to Ava Lee Ferguson

She is one year old today!

Daddy loves you sweetie!

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