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Monday, July 18, 2011

A rebirth for Magic: The Gathering?

I don't know about you, but my friends and I haven't been playing much Friday Night Magic lately.  It's the summer, I'm not working, so naturally I should be hitting up my local store and playing every chance I get, right?

Maybe when the Angels are pretty again.

Well, no.  Because I just hate the Scars of Mirrodin block.  It took a while for me to come to this realization.  I don't like any of the flavor, the art is meh, the cards haven't excited me too much, the infect mechanic is annoying, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor was haunting Standard pretty much the entire time.  I thought I'd start playing again after he got banned, but here I am. 
I hate you so, so much.  Still.   
"Well, no one's making you play with Scars cards, Leslie," you might say.  True.  But I still have to play against them, and look at them.  Maybe I'm still fed up that no one uses original decks anymore.  I played a tournament recently (the first one in months) and dueled a typical goblin deck, and of course got pummeled because my deck simply wasn't as fast as a goblin deck.  I got asked the usual, "oh, this is your first time, isn't it?" and had to roll my eyes and listen to him tell me what should go in my deck.  All the things he suggested were in fact in my deck, I just never got to it because, y'know, goblin decks get the job done by turn 4 or 5.  I expected as much.  Then he said he was proud of his deck's originality, and I was confused.  He was proud because his deck wasn't one of the "Kuldotha Red" decks all over the internet, because he uses Goblin Chieftains and no artifacts.  Well, good for you, kid.  It's still just a goblin deck.  The rest of the decks of said tournament were Valakut, two Vampires, Birthing Pod (this one felt like it was original, then I went online and there are Birthing Pod decks galore), Kiln Fiend/Chandra's Spitfire burn (this one was pretty original, as far as burn decks go), and I can't remember the other two.  Mine was a white/black lifegain discard combination featuring Sangromancer (one of the few cards I like in Scars). 

I'm not sure if letting me maybe draw a card is enough of a drawback.

You might now be thinking something like, "Okay, Leslie, so you hate unoriginal decks.  We get it.  So what's this rebirth you mentioned in the title?"  Well, Innistrad, of course!  The design team looks awesome, the tagline sounds badass, and there are a lot of interesting mechanics hinted at in the 2012 core set.  Reanimating looks like it's making a comeback, same with auras and enchantments, and the tribal card is for illusion creatures.

Well, that's pretty cool.

I'm really interested to see what kind of decks people come up with.  It's always fun to play in the beginning of a set's release, because no one's found the "Super-awesome-I-always-win" deck yet. 

I should just only play limited, shouldn't I?  :P 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Why X-men 3 makes kittens cry

I was genuinely excited for X-men 3.  Psylocke was going to be in it, as were tons of other mutants who were badass, including Phoenix.  Had I known that they all would have a couple seconds of screentime and not actually DO anything, and that Phoenix would be totally rewritten as a character, I probably would've avoided the movie (as I did Wolverine:  Origins).

Poor kitten. 

As this movie was totally an abomination, let's go over my main annoyance with it:  The Phoenix Force.  Jean Grey as Phoenix has been viewed as either totally badass or totally annoying in the past to True Believers.  Jean Grey is dead, Jeeeeze, let her stay dead.  But there's something about some alien, death-defying phoenix out in space that can randomly possess people that is totally badass.  Why couldn't they put that in the movie?  I'm pretty sure even the girlfriends who were forced to see the movie would've comprehended it.  It would've been way cooler than, "Um, yeah, Jean has this SECOND POWER DEEP IN HER MIND, and uh, yeah, YEAH OGOD ITS AWAKENIIIIINGGG!"  Call it what you want, but a badass alien force that enters your mind and turns you evil sounds way more interesting to me. 

Sigh.  Why did they even hint at a real phoenix force at the end of X2, anyway?  Oh yeah, they changed directors.  At least Wolvie got to take her down like he always does.  Awww.

Would you rather have this?
Or this? 
And, seriously, why fatten the movie up with all these mutants that don't even DO anything?  Sure, okay, do some cameos to make us smile, but . . . not when the whole promise of the trailers and the expectation we have for the WHOLE MOVIE centers around the belief that it will be filled with MUTANTS.  Read:  mutants--not random people running around.  Psylocke was only recognizable because there was a random Asian girl with purple hair.  Hell, maybe she wasn't even Psylocke.  And then there was talk of Dazzler, Gambit, Scarlet Witch, and others, but got canned once Ratner took over the film.  The new mutants who did actually do stuff are Angel and, uh, Quill.  QUILL.  And Callisto, I guess.  Juggernaut, too.  Okay, maybe I'm just mad that Psylocke didn't do anything and there was no sexy Gambit-candy. 
I have purple hair and can teleport to places with no shadows.  Yeah, I'm Psylocke!

Also, stick to one storyline, man, don't put like ten different arcs together.  I found some of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-men in here, Dark Phoenix Saga, and House of M.  That's just what I caught.  Those are all huge stories that on their own would've been great to see on film.  But mashing them all together just felt rushed and confusing and wrong.

This whole movie just makes me a sad panda and makes kittens cry.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this movie, along with the other X films.  I personally enjoyed the first two, but I haven't watched them in years.  I haven't watched Wolverine:  Origins or First Class, but I do want to give First Class a chance.