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Report by Renee – Escapist Expo Day 3 & 4

So the last two days of the expo where so much of a run around that I did not get to write promptly.  I’m so sorry!  Here is my recap though along with pictures!

Saturday got off to an interesting start.  My first match of the tournament never showed up so I wound up going over and playing Bob Maher instead.  I did not want to waste the time just sitting there on my hands, I wanted to get some practice in and get a good feel for my deck.  Plus he was playing things I had never seen before, which was way awesome.  I won the first round, which was a really nice boost to my confidence, but lost the second, which was fine with me because seeing the mechanics he had going was astounding!  We ran out of time before the next round of the tournament to even out the tie breaker, but it was till way awesome to play against someone of that caliber and have Jon Finkel watch.

As for the actual tournament I had another match where I won in regards to someone not showing up, a lot of people absolutely confused by the various numbers of werewolves I had and the fact that each one had an answer to something.  A few people who when I busted out the Thundermaw Hellkite were like, that isn’t a werewolf!  So?  He messes your day up like my werewolves do…he is just a Were-maw.  However, I did not win any of these matches.  I had this issue of either getting all lands or all creatures and mulliganing myself to five.

It was seriously as if my deck was not really shuffled enough until my last match up, which went nearly perfectly.  Playing against a Delver Deck was cake!  I out aggro’d him to a point of no return.  On top of that, Mondronen Shaman/Tovolar’s Magehunter caused major damage to those decks with the sheer amount of spells they throw down.  Pair that with an Immerwolf and make it unflippable and the result was very damaging.

In the end, I wound up in 39th place out of over 70 people, which for my first tournament did not seem to bad to me.  By the time the tournament was over, though, there was not time to do much else.  We went and hunted down food, which wound up being Bull City Burger.  In between a few matches though I was able to get out real quick and pick up a new play mat(which was need since the tables where damaging my sleeves).  There were only five of these made and Cynthia Sheppard was nice enough to sign it for me!


That evening we also took part in a cubed draft.  That was absolutely insane!  I played with cards that I had either not seen in forever or had never seen before which was just a really cool instance!  I tried to play a blue/red mill deck, but I just wasn’t able to really get the ramp up and going.  I guess that is the downside of cubed.

Did I mention that there were some 5,000 people there on Saturday?  Yeah, next year will be amazing and will need to be held in a bigger place.  Kinda happy that I was stuck in a tournament the whole time.

Sunday/Day 4 was a lot more low key.  We went and shopped a bunch.  I picked up a T-shirt that has a Stormtrooper walking an AT-AT. AT-ST, and AT-TE which is just fantastic!  I also got a set of tie-die dice, a new deck box, Yoda card sleeves, and a Vulpix hat.  I also won a new tabletop game and some new gaming headphones from Plantronics that are bound to be more comfortable then my current ones.

I also got a picture of this guy:


This is David O’Brien, who I have now referred to at the Magic the Gathering Knight.  He has this awesome costume with dice, and chain mail dragons from cards.  He has a white play mat that he then takes with him to cons and such to try and get the artists of Magic to draw him on and sign.  It is a way awesome idea.    It was really neat to see someone so dedicated to the game as well.

I got to watch the start of the finals for the League of Legends tournament, but by the time they would have really gotten started, I needed to be in my D&D Next session.  This was beyond fun!  I got to play as a Hafling Rogue Cook…and I decided to throw salt on a frog that was attacking me.  Take that Frog!

Did I mention that our DM was THE James Wyatt…you know, guys who does a lot of Forgotten Realms stuff, Lead Designer for Next, has worked at Wizards for a long time, etc.  Anyway, his DMing was amazing!  It was incredibly fluid for only having 2 hours and 9 people of varying skill.  He was able to instruct those of us who had little experience with D&D and react quite quickly to those of us who were able read the character sheet and really get all the steps down instantly.  We did not get very far in the campaign, but we had lots of laughs and killed some good creatures.

By the way, I’m enjoying Next a lot more then 4.

The American Classic Arcade Museum was really awesome.  I got to play some games where I don’t even know how people tolerated them back then.  Food Fight…really? OMG I wanted to kick the thing.  However, my love of Dig-Dug lived on and I simply could not resist the bicycle pump.  Trevor had his own obsessions to deal with throughout the day.

Also, won a pair of GameCom 380s from their booth quite accidently!  I took their survey figuring who doesn’t need more girl gamer input and wound up walking away with a pair of super comfy gaming headphones…SWEET DEAL!  Probably going to give them a good run through tonight, and Trev would like their bluetooth ones, so we will certainly see.

But Sunday went by way to fast.  I wish there had been more time, but I’m not sure what we would have done with it.  I think it would have been great it there could have been more events going later into the evening, but with a con only going from 10 am to 6 pm, I feel that I certainly learned a lot, made a lot of great new friends, listened to some good music(go check out D&D Sluggers ;) ), and of course played some awesome games.

Plus, with some free time, a little relaxation happened:

So until next year, keep your decks updated, the character sheets fresh, and remember, GAMING IS LIFE!


(Originally posted here:

Report by Renee – Escapist Expo Day 2

Yesterday was a lot of fun. We sat on a bunch of panels and learned some new stuff, got to hang out with some really cool people and I played a really shitty deck and FNM.

Trevor got a lot of information regarding how to get into freelance writing for games and start working on that process while I have some new stuff I want try game wise. We also met a lot of creators, lead writers, and editors which was just awesome. The process they go through is really neat depending on how they are approaching and what kind of IP they are working on.

We are going to go nab some breakfast before starting the Tournament today so it should be really busy again today. I am going to play the werewolf deck since I got all my Daybreak Rangers I was hoping for. I’ve got photos on G+ and Facebook is coming so keep up there! In the meantime, something that won’t appear there!

Trevor and another member of the Sealed Draft trading before hand.

(Originally posted here:

Report by Renee – Escapist Expo Day 1

I know this is posted a bit late, my apologizes. But here it is non the less, the first part of three. – Nurgleprobe

So we got here last night around 8 pm. Trev and I wasted no time in the getting to no people and suddenly start playing random games. He got sucked into a random game of the PAX deck bulding game while I played a few people in Magic. I had so much fun and I found some really good thing out about my R/G deck which was useful.

Speaking of decks, I promised a B/G exalted deck, didn’t I? Well it has been tweaked and fixed and hopefully will work well now.

4 Duty Bound Dead
4 Tormented Soul
4 Knight of Infamy
3 Deadly Recluse
2 Scorned Villager
4 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Predator Ooze
2 Duskmantle Prowlers
2 Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis

4 Rancor
3 Tragic Slips
2 Ring of Xathrid
1 Mutilate

4 Cathedral Of War
10 Swamps
10 Forest

2 Cower in Fear
2 Mind Rot
2 Distress
2 Murder
3 Naturalize
4 Servant of Nefarox

That is what I have right now.. I’m debating playing this or my Wolves deck, which has also been going through some adjustments. Hoping to get through some more games today and figure out which one works better and go from there. Anyway, off to get badges and our day two!

(Originally posted here:

First Look: Borderlands 2

Since the day Borderlands 2 came out I had a case of the Con Crud, I took off from work and played it with Trev in between naps and doses of dayquil. Yay con crud!

In any case, I feel that Gearbox really out did themselves with this game. Where they were restricted in the first due to money and an industry who isn’t to accommodating to new things anyway, for this one they sem to have really been given full reign. Also, little to no tutorial! YUSH! Although I am guilty of switching back to Borderlands 1 controls. I LIKE FAMILIAR!

I decided to start the game at Axton since everyone else seemed to be going as Zer0 and Trev was determined to do Maya. I happily do not regret my choice. Where I could not get into Roland’s character, I am loving the little tidbits of Axton that we have gotten, I love how he talks to his turret, and so far I’m enjoying the tank type roll.

Not to mention that turret is so much more bad ass then the previous one.

The environments are much more varied and crisp and the people are vastly more interactive. I have been in some cities, deserted towns, bandit camps, ice areas, and desert like areas. It is certainly a change from the all brown out look of the Pandora from Borderlands 1. It is a very nice change. So far I have encountered Nomads, Rakks, Skaggs, Bullymogs, and bandits. One top of three boses. Fast paced game is also fast.

Even farther than all this, I’m loving the background you are getting on all the characters. That was something with 1 I felt we were missing was a real connection to the characters. SPOILER ALERT BELOW



Look! I even put in a big picture to really drive home the point of spoiler!

Too late now, I’m going for it.

Axton has this rather intense backstory where we found out he was going to be killed by firing squad for being a bit of a rouge solider. His commanding officer warns him so that he can go AWOL the night before and warns him to escape to the border planets. She also leaves him her wedding ring, telling him that she never really like diamonds anyway. I felt for him at this moment! This woman that he loved was telling him to leave, presumably because at some level she still loved him as well.

We can end that spoiler now.

But no really…I have a few little qualms with this game, but I’m going to give it time until full review to see if they still sit. Definitely worth the pick up and play, particularly if you have friends to play with either online or sitting next to you.

Now go, have fun, and get you some loot!

I cannot wait for the swath of destruction!

(Originally posted here: )

Article by Ryan – MTG – Can’t Touch This – (A post rotation deck idea)

It doesn’t have the neon colors or Hammer pants, but this deck is gonna be control’s strongest point post rotation. The metagame is full of creatures that hit hard, and they come at you with such ferocity and in such numbers that traditional control decks that burn, kill, and counter run out of answers before they can end the game. So how can you beat these opponents? It’s time to back to control’s roots: Milling your opponent to death. M13 has given us some great weapons to do this with.

Can’t Touch This

Lands (24):
2 Desolate Lighthouse
4 Sulfur Falls
9 Island
1 Glacial Fortress (4 would be better)
8 Plains

You think cards like Nephalia Drownyard (ISD) would be better in this deck, but I believe you need white in order for mass removal, which is incredibly important. Desolate Lighthouse is a great late game card once the game has been shut down, keeping cards in your hand while you’re opponent discards.

Spells (24):
4 Mind Sculpt
4 Devastation Tide
3 Feeling of Dread
3 Sleep
1 Ghostly Flicker
1 Rebuke
3 Thought Scour
4 Think Twice
1 Divine Reckoning



This is where the deck’s true power lies. It may start off kind of slow, but that’s why you have cards like Feeling of Dread in there. Dread will tap those early game creatures, and should keep your life high until you can start casting Sleep and Devastation Tide. Nothing is more frustrating to an aggro play than having to reset their field every other turn. If things get too out of control, you can throw down a Divine Reckoning (though I think that new Return to Ravnica spell that destroys everything is better, but this is cheap!). This deck doesn’t have a lot of creatures, so blasting the battlefield is fine. Once you have your opponent with a bloated hand, unable to cast anything, then you start milling him. Mind Sculpt has great value at two mana, Thought Scour will help you get card advantage early, and the Ghostly Flicker was a recent addition to help with the creature situation . . .

Creatures and Other (12):
2 Dungeon Geists
1 Geralf’s Mindcrusher
3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Fog Bank
1 Deadeye Navigator
2 Jace, Memory Adept

Jace likes to make flour. Cause he’s a miller, he likes to mill . . . he — nevermind.

This deck really doesn’t need that many creatures, but the ones it does have are pretty good. Fog Bank is a great early card on the second turn and will keep non-trample damage from getting through to you while you build up your attack. Snapcaster Mage allows you to continue using your Sleeps or Devastation Tides while you continue to mill your opponent into oblivion. You know that ONE creature you let live with Divine Reckoning? Well, you can use a Dungeon Geist afterwards and tap him for the remainder of the game. Once you get higher up in the mana count and can stall your opponent, throw down the Mindcrusher and Deadeye Navigator, soul bound them, then mill your opponent for 15 cards the next turn. Most of these creatures have great “Enter the battlefield” abilities, so don’t sweat it if you have to scoop them all up because of a Devastation Tide.

2 Rebuke
1 Divine Reckoning
3 Negate
2 Oblivion Rings
2 Increasing Confusion
1 Void Stalker
2 Nevermore
1 Archangel’s Light
1 Curse of Exhaustion

The sideboard is probably the weakest part of this deck. I’m still working on it, and I’m sure there will be some great cards from the Azorius guild in Return to Ravnica that will fit in. Against control, more mill is always good which is why I’ve chosen Increasing Confusion, and Negate is in there for game enders like Bonfire of the Damned. 2 Oblivion Rings should be fine, because you’ll be constantly be picking up your permanents due to the Tide. Nevermore doesn’t see much play, but I think it could be useful in stopping your opponent from using the card you hate most. You can always change the card when you play it again after a Devastation Tide, and Curse of Exhaustion will cause your opponent to discard all of those cards they just picked up because they can only play one the next turn.

Initial play testing of this post rotation deck has been promising. It’s performed well against Token decks, various beatdown decks, and even Esper control. It still needs some tweaking, but with cards like Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict coming out in less than a month, I think this Azorius “Detain” deck has a chance to be a powerful deck. Let me know what you think!

(Originaly posted on: )

Article by Naoki – Mistakes in EDH

So today I played my first EDH match and lost horribly. When I had initially pretested it against an army of generic tokens I had realized at that moment I had made a bad build. And naturally it was proven with my first time how bad I had done. So now to share with you what I had done and hopefully from my mistake you will learn not to do the same.

When I was working on my first EDH deck I was overwhelmed by choices. I wanted to run a five color deck. So naturally I chose Progenitus. Not to say he is a bad commander, but there are more practical ones out there than this big guy. So my biggest suggestion from the start is keep it simple and follow the basics of magic as far as deck construction goes.

Deck construction is quite a bit different in EDH compared to the other formats, but the same logic still applies. When I was working on my deck I had become unfocused. My deck went in one to many directions and thus become extremely inefficient.

I am not deterred though. I may have yet to become skilled in this area of the magic community, but I do have to say this is probably one of the more creative modes of play available to players. If you want more ideas here is a good site to reference: Tappedout.

(Original post here: )

Article by Reithena – Persona 4: Arena: A Deeper Look

I still very much love this game after playing it both with people and a bit more through the story line. The controls are tight and responsive and animation really cool. There is occasionally a little too much talking…where you will have a conversation with someone and then the character has an internal monologue about what just happened. I just kinda sit there and am like, I just heard that, I don’t need to hear it again. But the storyline, at the same time, is really cool since it ties both Persona 3 and Persona 4 more together, beyond what they had done in Persona 4 already.

Playing PvP is really fun, particularly when you have two people who don’t quite know what they are doing. The button mashing that ensues results in some really neat combos along with some missed opportunities. But you see something and then you become determined to master it. Then it never wants to work against the computer! Is that not always the way, though? It was also a little bit more of a social fighting game then I normally see. When you go and play people want to talk about their favorite characters. Not in the way you hear during Street Fighter or Tekken…but in a much deeper way. In most cases, these are characters that you have played hours upon hours of story line with and have a deep vested interest in their lives and personalities. You speak of them more like old friends then characters. And you don’t get into fights over which character has the better move set, but over who has the deeper story and how they interacted with that other persons favorite character. It creates a much different social dynamic that I enjoy to no end.

Now into the single player story mode. I’m not sure what the point of the bookmarks are. I stopped the game one night, went to go pick Yukiko’s story back up…and had to start from scratch. Despite having bookmark 6. I went back to the title screen and looked for what I was missing. Didn’t see anything. Looked in the guide. Nothing. Checked the internet and there are very few discussion on the bookmark method at all. Am I the only person who just doesn’t have the time to sit there and marathon through these thing? Anyone have any tips or is it really a rather useless feature that just allows me to fast forward(not skip) some of the talking?

I did complete Main Character’s story mode, which then unlocked two new characters for me to use. Not sure why I got two characters I did not encounter at all throughout the story, but sure. The biggest disappoint was the lack of a final boss. I’m not sure if I have to clear all the characters to get to that final boss. You see this epic cut scene with Labrys and Shadow Labrys and the character prepares to fight, but then nothing, you just go back to character select. I’ll be following up on this in future posts probably.
Copyright Atlus

Labrys is pretty cool looking…although it maybe my love for blue haired girls talking.

Other than that, it is an awesome game. I played with the extra pictures that were included and the sound effects and while nothing new from a fighting game, it is still nice to see the characters in such great detail. If you are a fan of fighting games like BlazBlue or Guilty Gear pick this up. If you love Atlus, pick this up. If you love complex stories with questions abound, pick this up. If you just want to see your favorite characters in a new light, pick this up as well.

( Originally posted on: