Category Archives: games

[MTG Deck] Azorius Skies

18 Creatures
4 Healer's Hawk
4 Siren Stormtamer
4 Resplendent Angel
2 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
4 Sphinx of Foresight

7 Mods
3 Prying Blade
4 Curious Obsession
16 Spells
4 Opt
4 Depose / Deploy
4 Warrant / Warden
4 Mission Briefing

19 Lands
2 Plains
5 Island
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Azorius Guildgate
2 Remorseful Cleric
4 Negate
4 Kinjalli's Sunwing
2 Sinister Sabotage
3 Deputy of Detention

[MTG Deck] Esper Skies

12 Creatures
4 Pteramander
4 Siren Stormtamer
4 Dimir Spybug

20 Lands
3 Island
4 Watery Grave
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Glacial Fortress
1 Godless Shrine
28 Spells
4 Opt
2 Duress
4 Mission Briefing
4 Thought Erasure
4 Depose // Deploy
4 Discovery // Dispersal
4 Warrant // Warden
2 Sinister Sabotage
2 Duress
4 Negate
3 Consecrate // Consume
3 Deputy of Detention
2 Shalai, Voice of Plenty
1 Nightveil Predator

Esper aggro-control with focus on Surveil and filling graveyard with instants and sorceries. Finishers are Pteramander, Dimir Spybug, Warden–all of which can become dangerous 4/4 or 5/5 flyers; or a bunch of flying Thopter tokens via Deploy.

The spells perform one or more of these:

– [b]surveil[/b] to improve your next draws
– [b]control[/b] ala countermagic, discard, removal
– [b]tempo[/b] to slow down opponent
– [b]protection[/b] via counters (Siren Stormtamer), hexproof
– creature [b]tokens[/b] as finishers

The Azorius split cards Depose // Deploy and Warrant // Warden are amazing. Early they can be tempo, and later they create tokens to finish the game. So they count as creatures, but also fill the grave for Pteramander. Furthermore, they can be flashbacked with Mission Briefing–it’s absolutely sick. Recast Deploy to gain more Thopters and gain huge amounts life; or recast Warden for another 4/4 flying vigilant.

[MTG deck] Singularity

Spells -- 13
2 Eladamri's Call
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Future Sight
2 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Leyline of Singularity
2 Swords to Plowshares

Mana -- 26
1 Black Lotus
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Faerie Conclave
4 Flooded Strand
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Karakas
1 Lumbering Falls
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sol Ring
4 Tropical Island
2 Tundra
Creatures -- 21
1 Artificer's Assistant
1 Birds of Paradise
2 Captain Sisay
1 Cold-Eyed Selkie
1 Edric, Spymaster of Trest
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Empress Galina
1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Nightveil Specter
1 Noble Hierarch
1 Nylea, God of the Hunt
1 Primeval Titan
1 Rhox War Monk
1 Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
1 Sylvan Caryatid
1 Tarmogoyf
1 Thassa, God of the Sea
1 Vendilion Clique
Sideboard -- 15
1 Aura of Silence
1 Aura Shards
1 Azorius Guildmage
1 Eladamri's Call
1 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Kataki, War's Wage
1 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Kruphix, God of Horizons
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker
1 Rafiq of the Many
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Venser, Shaper Savant

I discovered the Leyline of Singularity deck concept when playing Forge. I felt the potential and coolness of this idea, and transformed it into a real powerhouse far different from the original.

Continue reading [MTG deck] Singularity

Shallow Theme Park MMOs

How about these shallow theme parks games with tedious “quest” hubs? Quest my ass, these are nothing but copy/paste list of chores. It’s worst than being a temp worker doing menial jobs from a headhunter office. It feels more like players are oxen being led by the nose, doing these boring menial tasks, mindlessly being stuffed with fodder until you want to vomit.

Quests should feel epic, but these quest-based games have zero sense of epicness. “Go ten feet over there and pick vegetables from my garden.” wow epic quest. “I’m donning my legendary sword and armor…to go farming?” Quests don’t feel adventurous, meaningful any more. You just go from place to place to serve these forgettable NPCs. I did a bunch of quests in so many other MMORPGs, but I can’t tell you the how, what, or even why I did them. Because they told me to, like I’m their damn intern or servant. FFXIV even call them duties. Like it’s my duty as an adventurer to serve these useless NPCs.

This quest grind is more boring and lame than just camping. Which BTW AC2 had a very nice balance between quests and camping. Both types of gameplay are enjoyable in AC2. Really great liberty to play however you like.

Anyway, AC2 quest felt organic, had natural flow. It wasn’t all “do step one, return to me, do step two, return to me or go to next NPC.” Stupid choppy back-and-forth is disorienting, mind-numbing. No, instead, each part of AC2 quests flowed smoothly from step to step. Some steps were more involved. So devs allowed more freedom for players on how they want to pursue their goals.

Open-ended, organic, smoothly flowing, liberating, involved, mindful, purposeful–these are keywords to describe AC2 style of quests.

Suspense in Combat

I’ve tried dozens of MMOs, and still nothing comes close to capture the experience, spirit, and atmosphere of Asheron’s Call 2. Open, seamless world, dropping items onto the environment, unique races and classes, etc.

But the crucial difference for me why those other games don’t hook me: lack of suspense in combat. So many games’ combat is based on trite, mindless, repetitive action. But action by itself doesn’t connect deeply with the player.

What is missing from these games is suspense, which AC 2 somehow was able to evoke. Kind of hard to explain–it has to be experienced personally: a real sense of dread, of impending failure, of “oh so close, please don’t die!”. It’s an experience that cannot be emerged by endless action and quick reflexes. There has to be more than just action; memorable experience (in games, books, movies alike) has to bring about a sequence of strong emotions, like peril, fear, belief, celebration.

Alas, it’s apparently almost impossible to find the same feelings in other MMOs (the many that I’ve tried) as I did in AC2. An essence of human experience that is absent, forgotten; something that cannot be implemented, replicated or replaced with better technology, skill, and flash.

Hierarchy: A Magic Variant

Rarity Matters = ‘Hierarchy’

Consider that 60 cards is same amount as four 15-card booster packs. Then consider the rarity of the cards you’ll get from opening those fresh packs.

With four packs, you get 1 mythic, 3 rares, 12 uncommons, and the rest commons. These new rules similarly restricts deck building by following the same ratios for a minimum 60-card deck. A deck can have any amount of commons and Basic Lands.

Additional rule: no more than three (3) copies of any card except Basic Lands.

Each additional 15 cards in your deck beyond 60 cards grants another 1 rare and 3 uncommons. For each additional 60 cards of your deck size, you may include a mythic instead of a rare.

You can trade from higher rarity for same ratio of lower rarity, or vice versa. That means you can omit 1 mythic for 3 more rares or 12 uncommons. Omit 1 rare to add 3 more uncommons. In reverse, you can trade in 3 uncommons for 1 rare or 12 uncommons for 1 mythic. Likewise, trade 3 rares for 1 mythic. Fill vacancies with commons or basics.

A card’s rarity is based on its latest printing in a core, expansion, or draftable set that are legal for that format. This includes supplemental draftable products like conspiracy and masters.

These rules can be applied to official and unofficial formats. So you can have Hierarchy Standard and Hierarchy Modern, etc.

12 Jungian Archetypes

Mind Body Soul
Intro Innocent Warrior Companion
Freedom Rebel Explorer Jester
Magician Caregiver Lover
Order Sage Creator Ruler

The 12 Common Archetypes were conceived by Carl Jung to describe the common personalities and drives in all people.

This table attempts the fit them into my trinity mind/body/soul RPG system. This chart can help better define the roles and personalities of NPCs in the story.

Continue reading 12 Jungian Archetypes

Sushi Go Party Review

Sushi Go Party Review

Final score:
3.5 / 5
Chaotic party game but lacks long term addiction.



Easily accomodates up to 8 players.

The game is easy to pickup even for children at 9 years old.

Good variety of cards to promote different styles of gameplay and strategies.

Fun theme with pretty cards.


There are some annoyances with the game, but ultimately it lacks an addiction factor that makes you want to keep playing.

Too much shuffling.

Poor quality of cards.

Tedious to swap and organize all the variety of cards.

Lack of crescendo from beginning to end.

Difficult to keep progress of who’s going to win.

RPG Combat — Additional Victory Conditions

RPG Combat — Additional Victory Conditions

It seems just about every RPG combat feels the same and one-dimensional. It’s all about damage, damage, damage. That also means support and non-damage abilities and roles are underplayed and unappreciated. You can see this problem in MMOs where high damage classes can level faster and solo better than support classes.

My suggestion is to provide an additional victory condition besides reducing the enemy’s HP to 0. Let’s call this willpower (WP). You can win a battle by reducing all the enemies’ HP and/or WP to 0.

WP is mainly interacted with typically “support” and non-lethal actions. One method to reduce enemy’s WP is with debuffs (e.g. sleep, stun, charm) and to raise (heal) your WP with buffs. When a character’s WP is reduced to 0, it is removed from combat.

HP and WP can coexist to provide two different paths to victory and to balance the play styles. Whether you like to hack and slash, or you prefer to demoralize and paralyze your enemies.

What do you think about non-damage win condition? Can this work? How do hybrid classes fit in all this?