Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Run, it's a Magic post!

I've been playing more Magic: The Gathering recently. What's nice about Magic is that you can play it on so many levels. You could play in competitive tournaments where the average cost of a sixty card deck is around Php 5000. You could also play casual peasant where all your cards are 2 peso commons. What really captures my interest though, are Limited formats.

One type of Limited is Sealed Deck, where you are restricted to using cards from only a few packs. For example, at the Dissension prerelease, you're given a Tournament Pack from the Ravnica expansion (equivalent to three Ravnica boosters), three boosters of Dissension, and basic lands. Out of this pool of 90 random cards, scattered across all colors, you try to build a 40 card deck, and play opponents who have done the same.

What I like about Limited is the way it levels the pre-game playing field. The biggest problem for tournament-level Constructed formats is the way the most expensive cards dominate the less luxurious decks. On the other hand, for casual "fun" play, it is unusual to find a situation where two players bring decks on the same level of seriousness. In Limited, having similar card pools puts players on the same starting point, which is great; most fun is had out of even matches.

"But", you ask, "wouldn't buying six boosters, per player, every time you play, be really really expensive?" Yeah, so you don't really do that. Instead, you buy a large pile of commons and uncommons when an expansion comes out, shuffle them up, and repack them. Whenever you run out of packs, you just shuffle and repack again. You can play an indefinite amount of Sealed with only the initial investment.

The best pile, of course, has a uniform distribution of each common and each uncommon. I suggest two of each common in a set and one of each uncommon (even the expensive ones). There's no need to use rares; they're either totally dominating or perfectly useless in Limited, so I suspect you're better off without any rares at all.

The second best way to get all those commons and uncommons is to buy a booster box and put the rares in your trade binder. The best way? I'll tell you next week.


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Monday, April 17, 2006


My work PC got fried. (It wasn't me.) There goes my Holy Week commentary on the Gospel of Judas. And now I have to rewrite the rules intro for my Fighting Card Game: Bleach. (Don't ask me why this was on my work PC.)

Remember kids: Jesus saves, and he does backups too.


For those interested, we're scheduling the Splash Island outing on May 20. If you think you're invited, then you probably are.

Unless you've made a blog describing how you want to smash my skull into the pavement. Then you can just go to bloody hell.

I should mention... KKB ito, eh?

In the meantime, I'll shamelessly steal the Wikipedia entry on Huginn and Muninn:

Huginn and Muninn, sometimes Anglicized Hugin and Munin, are a pair of ravens associated with the Norse god Odin. Hugin and Munin travel the world bearing news and information to Odin. Hugin is "thought" and Munin is "memory". They are sent out at dawn to gather information and return in the evening. They perch on the god's shoulders and whisper the news into his ears. It is from these ravens that the kenning 'raven-god' for Odin is derived.

The name Munin has its roots in the Old Norse word for memory.

From Grímnismál:

The whole world wide, every day,
Fly Hugin and Munin;
I worry lest Hugin should fall in flight,
Yet more I fear for Munin.


Monday, April 03, 2006


After a long wait, our beautiful baby daughter has arrived last March 24.

Tesla Muninn Castro Manasan

Baby Tesla was delivered by primary caesarian section due to failure to descend. Initially we tried doing a normal delivery but she was not descending enough to emerge. The water bag had broken the night before, and it was getting dangerous to let her remain inside for much longer. She came out weighing 8 pounds.

She is now ten days old, and it has been a most exciting ten days. It's interesting to note that Chico knows a lot more about baby care than me, seeing as he helped care for his younger brother and sister through their babyhood. The toughest lesson yet for me is learning how to carry the baby.

It's so much fun watching her, waking or sleeping. She has so many cute facial expressions, and she's not really smiling yet. ^_^

Welcome to the world, my baby girl!

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