The long way home

As much as I appreciate my job, I am slowly getting more and more frustrated with where I live. To go to a little event tonight to see some people and have some drinks, I had to travel three hours. An hour more than I actually got to spend at the event.

At least it was Osaka so I could hit up a few card shops and pick up the last pieces I need for Standard this weekend.

Still. It’s frustrating. I know getting a job in a city would “solve” this but also add so many wrinkles and... well, change is scary.

I mean, I’ve been doing this job for eleven years. That’s almost a third of my life.

I feel terrified right now.

Dominaria Standard

Well, there is no Dominaria on Magic Arena. Nor Kaladesh or Aether Revolt. So I'm just sticking to Blue Black... midrange? Kind of. Just playing some bounce main deck to deal with things since there is no siding.

I played my first match of Dominaria Standard on Magic Online. I accidentally had four Dragonskull Summits in my Esper control deck instead of Irrigated Farmlands. I have no idea how I made that mistake, but I am glad it was a random match and not the start of a league.

Thankfully it only mattered once, and I was about to run out of time anyway because I tried trading for the Irrigated Farmlands while playing. That was dumb and part of why I lost 15 Player Points.

My opponent was on UW Midrange. Knight of Grace, History of Benalia, Raff, Shalai, Tefari, Gideon, Lyra. Counterspells to back it up. It was kind of rough. I was able to land a Scarab God eventually game one and take things over, but Teferi was putting in some hard work against me. Game two I just got overran. I probably sideboarded incorrectly. Game three I just didn't have enough time or lands and missed drops until I got the Dragonskull Summit which should have been a Irrigated Farmland, which could have mattered if they didn't have a counter for my Settle the Wreckage. I'll pretend they did, though.

It was kind of fun, but I think I'll take mono red to the PPTQ on Monday. I'll have to grind some matches this weekend to see if that is what I really want to play or if I should just try Esper Control. I just don't have the cash to justify buying two decks on Magic Online. Converting Grixis Energy to Esper Control was easy I just happen to have all the cards for both decks in paper because I play more paper, win more paper and well, spend a little bit more on paper. So we'll see. I’ll have to practice at FNM between the draft rounds. Hopefully I see my son on Saturday, but if for some reason I don’t, I know there’s a casual Standard tournament I can get some reps in.

There are at least four PPTQs I’m attending during Golden Week, so it's time to get down to business. I’m thinking I might like Dominaria Standard, but time will tell.

My Internet sucks

I spent an hour waiting for Magic Arena to download updates.

Luckily during this time I was also constructing Standard decks for next week. Golden Week seems to be packing a lot of tournaments.

But it was slow. So slow. And then I tried streaming. And I dropped 65% frames. Holy shit. Unwatchable, I bet. Not exactly making a good name for myself.

So what do I do? I live in the middle of nowhere. Maybe a landline would be better than the 4G Softbank think I'm using now. Probably. But this apartment was supposed to be a stop-gap between my divorce and the next thing. It's almost three years, though. I don't know when the next thing will be.

I'm afraid there won't be a next thing.

So now I feel more stuck than ever. Stupid Internet only, except it is preventing me from doing something I want, but I am wary about cancelling one plan, starting up another and then moving.

My Internet is slow though...

Nothing to say

I tried streaming tonight, but my heart wasn't in it.

My heart isn't in anything right now. I did enjoy the Dominaria Prerelease weekend, but now that it is over, there are some Standard tournaments coming up but I am completely at a loss what to play so that doesn't feel exciting.

I noticed I haven't worked on EPIC for three weeks.

While I have been doing odd translation jobs here and there, it's not a lot so I should have some time to code. I just... can't.

I don't know if it is because I ran out of ideas for the game, if I'm disheartened by it getting rejected from BitSummit or if deep down I don't want to make it.

I do want to make it. I think. I just have those concerns going on in the back of my head and now I'm worried about those and having trouble focusing? Maybe?

I'm not sure. So I tried streaming. Magic Arena daily quests and plugging away at FF12HD like I promised. But I don't feel like doing much. Damn vacation blues or whatever they call it.

I'm tired. So I've tried exercising more. People say that works. I think they are full of shit. Exercise has never made me feel good. Just bad. Really bad. But everyone says they feel better from it. So either my brain is so fucked and is trying to sabotage things that should make me feel good or people are fucking lying.

And I don't know who to trust anymore.

Two wins

I played in five, yes, five pre-releases of Dominaria.

I played Red Green, probably my least favorite combination. Blue White, quite possibly my favorite although I might have been lacking in power. Two White Blacks which were pretty darn powerful and I honestly forget the third tournament, except I went 2-1 and have a hunch it was also White and Black, although memory is a funny thing. I didn't tweet during that tournament for some reason.

Actually, I went 2-1 in all of them except for the one that was four rounds. I went 2-2 there. So I kind of had a feeling for the format. I think. Most of my matches - barring when I got mana screwed game three of the third tournament and had to mulligan down to four after losing game one - felt good. I made a bit of a mistake my first tournament and spent some creature removal a bit too early, but other than that I was cautious and got the job done.

And sometimes you lose.

I do like this set. I ended up with a pair of Karns and a pair of Tefaris. A Jaya Ballard rounds out the Planeswalkers. I ordered a Tefari before his price jump and two Jayas just in case. Plus she was cheap. Four Phyrexian Scriptures because they were cheap too. They already doubled in price. I also got a Mox Amber because I figured it would be one of those things that either stayed around $20 or jumped up because of Commander and Brawl, and why not have one. I pulled one, so that will be two when my shipment arrives. Not sure if I want to get the third and fourth. That goes for Karn as well, but if the Mox dips down I might grab them just in case. I mean, four Moxes. When was the last time we could do that.

I'll be in a draft this weekend and a sealed PPTQ next Sunday, so that should allow me to grab a few more things, maybe? I'll probably just pull more copies of The Antiquities War. Already up to five, so why wouldn't "randomness" allow me to get more rares I don't need instead of something I might actually play.

I have no idea what the fuck to do about Standard. I should probably just put something together that's fast and red with Goblin Chainwhirlers and Siege-Gang Commanders. Or maybe Red and Black and abuse Torgaar, Famine Incarnate some way. Hell, the card is worded that I could heal myself if I happen to be below ten.

I’m so tired

Goodness, I am getting old. I feel the effects of doing midnight pre-releases more each time. But it’s so much fun. I have already done three pre-releases and there are a few more to go. Then some sealed practice for a PPTQ next Sunday.

No idea where Standard is headed. Interesting times.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

New textbooks this year. In addition to that, fifth and sixth graders need 50 lessons a year instead of 35.

So there have been some changes.

Biggest is that two middle-school teachers are going to elementary schools to teach classes. Of course there have been a ton of problems so far. Lack of organization leads to students coming late to class, meaning the lessons cannot be completed in one class, so several schools are already a bit behind. Plus you have stuff like the inability for the software for the textbook to be installed on the computers (I have no idea why and honestly lack the interest in knowing the exact details) so there is a way to access them via the city's server for the school.

Except for the schools that use a digital classroom for other activities and the English classes where those compters are setup differently and cannot access the city server. So no software for class.

I'm getting by. You don't do a job for eleven years without figuring out a few ways to wing things when you need to.

But it's getting annoying and stressful. I'm sure by July we will be in somewhat of a working order but until these issues get ironed out, it's going to be a bumpy school year.

Sleepy time

I have been so tired. So, so tired. I don't know what it is. Spring? Allergies? Bad sleeping position?

I also know the Dominaria pre-release weekend is going to kick my butt. However I am going to play in a lot of pre-releases because there's a sealed PPTQ coming up and I want to not utterly fail at that. Of course there's the chance of pulling crap, but I want to at least practice.

That and get a collection of stuff and see what I need because I have no idea where Standard is going. Although I think The Scarab God is not going to have the impact or "reign of terror" that everyone once thought.

Although Phyrexian Scriptures sure seems like an interesting card. A turn delayed Damnation. I have trouble seeing that as bad. But we'll see if it slots in anywhere.

But I'm tired. Stil, I have kept up my streaming schedule as best as I can and even started working on my FF12 playthrough I promised. My last save was September 20. Holy shit, how time flies. And the Fiesta is almost upon us. I gotta get working on finishing this playthrough.

Crikies, and I still haven't beaten FF15. Or DQ11.

Well, there's been Magic.

Lost opportunities

I watched Moonrise Kingdom last night for some reason. I don't know why. Maybe I was looking for something to pad my “Watch ten movies this year” “”resolution”” or I wanted to feel sad and empty for some reason.

Well, I didn't know that I would feel that way.

I suppose the film does end “happily”, although there is a sense of… perhaps the personal passage of time. I would never want to have had a childhood like the two main characters. Being orphaned and disliked by peers or living in a “busy” family that only is a family in name only.

The adults in this film are fucked up. And perhaps that is what hits hard.

Or it was one line, or rather a pair of lines in the middle of the film that got me. The main girl says something about how she’d like to be an orphan. After all, all of her favorite characters in books are. The main boy says “I love you, but you have no idea what you are talking about.”

I would never have had the courage to say “I love you.” to a girl at age twelve. Okay, I think I did ask a girl to be my girlfriend around that age but it was kind of a “I have no idea how things work in the world.” and it was an embarrassing mess of a thing, and I honestly feel terrible for doing what I did. But that's another story for another time.

Sadly, I can't say I haven't had “those” thoughts that I know are wrong but the mind warps into some sort of delusion. Like, being an orphan would be “adventurous”. Or having legs that don't work means you could eschew things like exercise or a “normal life” and focus on “what you really want”. The idea that limitations would allow one (i.e. me) to focus on things instead of feeling bad that I am not doing things that anyone could do.

I mean, I’m healthy. I could go hiking every weekend. But I won’t. Because I don't want to. And something in me is scared enough to feel guilt that I don't do these sort of things that I don't want to but would be socially “acceptable” and instead want to do things that are not.

So basically I’m just ashamed of my own wants. That's probably not healthy.

I suppose that is what made me feel so sad after watching the film. There was just that brazen “We will do what we want.” in the children, while the adults had just taken their lumps in life and were living lies. And what lies am I living? What am I not doing because I am afraid of something that possibly doesn't even exist?

I’m healthy. I’m privileged. I’m alive. I should be doing the things I want to. But I’m not. I slept while doing my laundry yesterday instead of playing a game or reading a book or streaming. I slept after dinner instead of doing anything because I am afraid. I have put zero minutes of work into EPIC in the past two weeks - two weeks that were mostly time off, mind you - because I am afraid of something.

Maybe I am afraid of life. Maybe I am afraid of commitment to being something that “might not work out”. Look at my projects, my “podcast”, my “games”, my “streaming”, my “freelance work”, my “teaching job”. Look at how I feel like I have to put quotes around those because I don't feel like they are real things even though I put real work into them.

Maybe I just want pity. Maybe I just want the demon dogs to get shot in the neck.

The crash to end it all

Xenon Valkyrie crashed on me when I got to a boss and switched weapons.

I'm done with this game.

It's nice that the developer was giving out copies to spread their game. That is a cool way of doing it. I know I give mine out for free (basically, tips are possible) because I want people to play my game. The most frustrating feeling I have had as an indie developer is spending hours on a project and feeling like more hours were spent making it than people in the world spent consuming it.

Okay, but this is not to talk about my problems.

I finally got to a boss fight in Xenon Valkyrie with a bit of confidence that I'd do good and the game straight up crashed when I tried to switch to my gun to hit the boss from a distance.

Fuck it. Life's too short. I've got a lot of stuff to do. Like prepare for the Dominaria pre-release weekend.

What did I learn?

I played a lot of Magic over the past few months. I did not qualify for a single PPTQ and I played in a lot of them. I did not make a single top eight, excluding today where they cut to top four.

Sigh.

Even today I noticed I was making some mistakes by playing a bit too hasty. I was nervous round two after losing round one and still managed to win because Hazoret is hard for your opponent to beat when they have to mulligan down to five. Well, it happens.

2-1-2 was my record today, which got me eight. I think I should have been a bit more proactive against the Drake Haven player, although I don't think I sided properly for that. Fiery Cannonade would have been beautiful but I had Sweltering Suns. Anyway, we ran out of time and drew.

I need to slow down. I forgot to play a land one turn and it cost me the game even though I won the match. I need to think about what my opponent has more often. I tapped out to pump a Ballista when that gave them access to freely cast a Torrential Gearhulk. That +1/+1 was not worth it.

But that is progress, and there are more Standard seasons this year and PPTQs to play in. So I’ll keep doing it. Because in the end I am having fun even if I get a bit frustrated from time to time.

Streams of blood

Hung out with my son today. I could have gone to a Legacy tournament, and I kind of really wanted to! But family. And I had a good time with my son.

Except.

Before both lunch and dinner he got nosebleeds. They were long ten-minute pinch the nose and wait ordeals. These kinds of things drive me insane. I mean, I know what to do, but it's wait. And there's nothing I can do but wait, and the boy wants to keep checking to check on his nose so I have to reassure him that holding it for a few minutes will solve the problem but... Sigh. It's stressful.

But that's parenting. It's not all joyful moments. And if he can associate shitty situations like a bloody nose with a caring father, I might have done part of my job.

Shitty interfaces and first impressions: XenonValkyrie

I got a copy of XenonValkyrie from IndieGamerChick on for this #IndieSelect thing going on. I figure if I develop games as an independent developer, I might as well play done by others.

This isn't a full review because I didn't finish the game (and from a first look I don't know if you can but I couldn't beat the first area in my first few tries) but the game sure pissed me off real quick.

First, none of my controllers worked. Yes, I did the whole “close the game, plug in controller, restart game” thing. Maybe if I had a wired Xbox controller it would work since the menus are filled with buttons that look like they come from an Xbox controller. I don't (Actually, I should now that I think about it, but I don't know if it is wired and/or if I have the wired charging thing.) but not working with three different controllers is a bit frustrating. This could be Window’s fault for all I know. There is a reason I gave up on PC gaming for so long.

Anyway, what pissed me off is the game music is loud and it has two options. On or off. Seriously? I know one of my games only has an on/off button, but it is also mobile where players have a bit more flexibility with sound than on a PC, especially with streaming. I guess I could mess with the OBS settings for desktop volume, but then I have to create a unique scene for that game and yada-yada. It's kind of annoying.

Okay, but I found a bug with this setting just by using it. If you turn the music off, it goes off. If you hit escape, your settings are not supposed to be saved, but the music stays off. If you go back in and turn the music on, it doesn't start playing again unless you hit enter to save settings. If you hit escape it stays off.

Now, am I one to talk? My games probably have a handful of bugs I am unaware of. Still, frustrating, especially after the whole controller issue. I altered my keys in settings, but it didn't seem saved except it did until it didn't and I know it sounds confusing and I sure was confused. I thought I changed the keys and hit F1 to save (weird as F1 had not been used prior), but then I played the game and it wasn't working like I thought. Then I reset it, saw my keys had been defaulted back to the original and then set them and then they worked, so I am not entirely sure what happened there. I could have done something dumb. I’m not above blaming myself for mistakes. But it sure felt weird.

Goodness, I haven't even gotten to the game itself and I’m frustrated.

The font they chose is honestly terrible. The W looks like a blob of pixels and some of the other letters are understandable but just… weird. This gets even more confusing as you play because killing an enemy results in a display of +# XP (or EXP? I forget honestly, but it is understandable.) but picking up money does not result in a number appearing above the character’s head like XP and picking up another item just has +# in purple appear, but I have no idea what that is. I think it might be ammo, but since that is a limited resource unlike swinging the sword the character has, I tended to not use it much.

There are three characters to choose from. I tried two of them. Their differences seem to be what extra item they come with. Everyone seems to have a sword, a gun, a special item and grenades. The grenades are weird because you start with three, I’m not sure if you can get them refilled, and there is a timer between using them. I’m not sure why you'd have a timer between grenades unless they wanted to prevent multiples from being on screen at the same time for some reason, but it still feels weird.

One character has a radar, which like the grenades is bound by a timer but seemingly has unlimited uses. What it does I’m not entirely sure since the map seems to display stuff just fine. Maybe it displays more and I didn't notice? I’d play around with it more but one of the characters comes with a timer bomb as their special weapon and that's basically a grenade that gets placed where the character is. And it's unlimited, blows up terrain allowing easy access to other areas of the map so I'm not sure why you wouldn't use this character unless the third one has something interesting that I haven't seen yet. I'll have to try them out.

I may sound like I’m whining, but there are a lot of little “quirks” that just don't make the game that much fun. Or confuse me. There's an enemy that explodes after you kill it. Okay. That's fine. Except sometimes it is after a few seconds and sometimes it instantly explodes. I'm not sure what causes the difference. There are “fake” blocks which feel like certain blocks of the random dungeon just have a hit-box that is larger than it should be. But maybe that’s the programmer in me thinking too much.

Anyway, I’ll keep at it, but first impressions: Yech.

Games I beat in 2018 #5 - Haunt the House: Terrortown

I often see retweets from a Twitter user @IndieGamerChick offering up free games. I decided to take this one.

Maybe I shouldn't have.

Haunt the House isn't a bad game, but it feels like it's for kids. Despite the “Ghost inhabiting random objects to scare people into running away, leaping to their doom or outright killing them.” it's a cutesy game with simple mechanics.

Use the directional arrows to move the ghost around. Haunt things with the S button. Depending on the progress of the “scare-o-meter” on the bottom (if it has an actual name, I missed it) each object can perform different tasks. So, for example, a lamp might just be able to wiggle at first, but scare the people a bit more and you can make the bulb burst, which can scare people more.

I guess? That was the one thing that didn't seem clear to me. Did certain things scare certain people more? I know there were some actions I had to activate once the “scare-o-meter” was high enough to kill special characters, or make them jump to their doom, but otherwise I felt like I was randomly performing actions and hoping the people would run away.

Which I didn't get entirely because if I was doing something scary to the left of a person, they might run left past the haunted object. When in actuality I wanted them to run right so they’d leave the screen.

Each of the human characters has different stages of fright. They seem calm, slightly unnerved, scared and then absolutely terrified. It seems like the “absolutely terrified” state is what gets them to run away, but then again some seemed to run away at lower levels of scared-ness. Maybe it depends on the person, but none of it felt intuitive.

Perhaps there was something to read or something I missed that explains all of this. But it didn't feel intuitive, other than the obvious things like triggering actions to kill certain characters.

High production values, though. I can see a younger kid, well, not too-young what with the death and spooks and all, getting into this as a fun little game to screw around with, unlock all the achievements and replay the stages trying to clear them as fast as possible.

I thought this might be perfect for some people on iPads and other tablets and yup, there is an iOS Version as well as one for Android. So I can see this being a cute little time-waster, but it is not something I would ever have paid money for and cannot recommend unless you are into cute little games to mess around with for a bit.

Catchy tunes, too.

Games I beat in 2018 #4: Minit

Part of developing your own games makes games less fun. Not entirely, but you develop the ability to see behind the curtains. "Oh, they probably did this that way." Or whatever.

And sometimes you wish you had the idea for the game you're playing.

Minit will do that to you if you're a game developer. That doesn't mean you won't have fun. You'll just think "Dammit, why didn't I think of something so simple yet so clever!"

The game runs on a one minute clock. Then you die. You're supposed to die. But what can you do in that one minute? There are several "homes" so you can actually end up venturing quite a distance in the world map. You can also take advantage of this by completing part of an event, running out of time, spwaning at your home and then going to the next part without having to travel back as much.

So it's mechanic also serves as a way of removing backtracking. It's genious.

There are a variety of items to find and equip. Most of them feel standard for RPGs, but of course most of them have a neat little twist.

It only took me an hour and a half to beat, and I had someone in my stream point out something I had missed when I lamented that I was a bit stuck on what to do at the exact moment. I wasn't even actually "stuck" it was more that I didn't realize I could interact with a thing the way I needed to. I'm not sure if that is the game's fault or my obviousness, but I'll lean towards my not thinking hard enough about the part. I should have realized I needed to do something in that area.

If I am being vague it is because the game is short and does benefit from you figuring things out yourself. And there's a lot to figure out. One minute at a time.

Mmm, cliché.

Games I beat in 2018 #3: RosenkreuzStilette

The “word” RosenkreuzStilette has been in my pasteboard a lot over the past 24 hours. I “played” it for a lot more than that.

Games tracking time spent played is terrifying. But that’s another story for another time.

It’s obviously a Mega Man clone, with lots of love and by love I mean scantily clad girls who are magicians and robots but also not really?

I could have paid more attention to the story.

Regardless, it was fun and despite being an immense challenge, I was glad to go through it. The game did offer spots to “grind” life refilling tanks but it was also slow. And help you if you run out of a boss’s weakness. Coming into contact with bosses does massive damage on top of that.

But, it was fun. Borderline trolling the player, but I think it expects you to be a fan of the genre enough to know what to expect and what you’ll get.

Progress

People say that it is said that changing things up can help get out of a rut. So when no match was found for my second round of a Magic Online league, I opened up RosenkreuzStilette and finished the game.

I'm actually surprised I did because the game is fucking hard. It says I spent 180+ hours on it, which is believable since I have had the game running for a few months now, since there is no saving in it and loading from a password doesn't carry over Energy Tanks. Yes, it is a very Mega Man game.

Anyway, 180 hours is not a few months, so I guess it didn't track time when it wasn't in the foreground. I must have left it there a few nights, though. I mean, I mostly played it in-between rounds of Magic Online tournaments.

But it was a fun game, even if I suck hard at the Mega Man series of games and its clones.

I had already completed my Magic Arena grind for the day, and I must say I am going to miss my progress when they reset it, but I am at least having fun with the product. It feels less stressful than Magic Online for some reason? Probably because I am not spending actual money and nothing is “on the line” other than free cards and so on. I like this beta. It has a way to go, but it is fun.

After I finished RosenkreuzStilette, I booted up Minit. This was another nice little refresher. It's a short game, but it was fun. I’ll have to go into detail on both of these games, but I am glad I played them. That makes games number three and four I beat this year. Slower progress than usual, but then again I am on a serious Magic grind. I like that game a lot and want to be good at it. But breaks are healthy. I’m glad I took one.

Another day, another 2-3

You would think I would get better, or at least smarter about PPTQs. I have played in many this season.

I don't feel like I have learned much. Maybe I have and it's just sitting in the back of my brain. But as much as I try to respect different deck types and play a deck that feels versitle, I just don't win. The, and I hate to say "brain dead" because I know these decks take more than that, straightforwardness of Red Deck Wins and God Pharaoh's Gift just seems to trump my variety of things. How many of my three The Scarab Gods did I draw against GPG? None. How many of my Vizier of Many Faces did I draw against red when it just had Hazoret after Hazoret. None.

Now, how much can I actually be complaining because after two losses, I am not in the winner's bracket. So these people are losing too. But I just can't win. I dedicated the majority of this Standard to The Scarab God and... I just don't think it is as good as a card as everyone preaches. It can do some devastating things, and you have to respect it. But "respect" comes in terms of Cast Out or Ixalan's Binding which Grixis cannot handle. Or at least not in my hands. Vraska's Contempts fly around. I don't know how to win.

I don't know. I am playing decks that have topped tournaments. This isn't just me slamming cards I think are good. Maybe those players are lucky. Maybe I am actually making mistakes I am too bad to notice.

It has been a humbling few months of knowing that hard work doesn't necessarily mean anything. I have never gotten a Top 8 in goodness, I don't want to think about how many PPTQs. I don't "deserve" them but I need to approach the upcoming Standard season differently.

A different day

After the divorce, I am still allowed to see my son, but it is kind of hinging on how my ex-wife acts. Sometimes she gives me shit for not spending enough time with him, but then I try to do things and she already has plans that day or he has activities and it's like, I can't drive out forty minutes and then forty minutes back to see him for ten minutes.

I love the boy, but I have to be conscious of money. (I say this as a Magic player which sounds hypocritical. Still, time is sadly money and I have to be conscious of that. I can't just do whatever, whenever.)

Anyway, it sounds like I am trying to get out of spending money on myself when I have a child, bue he does not go without. Anyway, I got a call this morning as I woke up and it was my ex-wife. Somehow the boy thought I was coming over today. I had no problem with this, but without prior arrangements it's just not something that happens. I said yes, she said okay and so I spent the day with the boy.

We did his homework. (Why do six year olds have so much homework? Even when school isn't in session!) We played Chinese Checkers. We ate curry. I bought him a pack of Pokémon cards and then we played a few rounds of it when we got home. We played Othello. Even though he is not allowed to play video games, I am glad we can share my love of gaming in general, and I hope it sticks. I do believe it keeps one sharp and curious.

Then we goofed around a bit, it was time for him to have dinner and bath so I went home. Magic Arena got stuck downloading. (I think they are doing a stress test this weekend?) So I played some RosenkreuzStilette which is such a weird, difficult game.

Not the day I was expecting, but not a bad one. Sadly I got no Magic practice in. Going in to a PPTQ tomorrow with Grixis Midrange. I should probably have given up on it but it is the deck I have worked the most with and will just try my best. This is the last PPTQ before Dominaria hits, and that set should shake things up. So at least I have that to look forward too in terms of Magic.

A good, hard scrub

Two 1-4 Friendly Leagues on Magic Online and a 0-3 Friday Night Magic and I officially don't get this Standard and why Grixis Energy and Blue Black Midrage are considered the "top decks".

I don't get how this is The Scarab God's format. At all. I haven't activated the damn thing more than half the times I've played it.

Red's dead, baby. Or at least I don't see much of it. But I do see lots of God Pharaoh's Gift, Merkfolk, Vampires, Red Green Monsters, Black Green Control, and it feels like the people writing about Standard aren't talking about these decks. Is it just a local meta versus the pro-meta thing?

I'm playing decks that win tournaments. Are people that far ahead of me in the meta? I don't think so because I run into the same people at touraments playing basically the same decks all the time and tweaked. And I make tweaks to go against what I expect, but I just never have the answers that I need and my threats are always answered efficiently.

Merfolk used Unsummon perfectly to make my entire gameplan void tonight, and not drawing one of my three boarded in wipes meant that it was game over. Dinosaurs just ate my graveyard away and swung at me too fast to do anything.

I've read that Glint-Sleeve Siphoner is one of the best cards in the format. I don't think I activated one tonight. Sure don't remember doing it much in the leagues online. Gearhulk and Glimmer has said to be the best combo in Standard. If that's what I'm flashing back with Gearhulk I'm either way too ahead or desperate. That hardly makes it great.

The Scarab God just isn't that good. I mean, if it lives, yeah, it's going to do some work. But it never lives and some game you just can't wait to turn 7 or 9 to drop it and get value or have up Negate protection.

I don't get it. I am either playing this Standard wrong or listening to the wrong people. But I cannot wait for Dominaria to drop and make some changes.