The Journey So Far…

I realize that I’ve been neglecting this blog, and I still have things that I want to write down for posterity. At this point, my content creation energies are going fully into this other venture, so I have been thinking about what I can do with the blog in the meantime. I can say confidently that at this point in my life, I’m not going to dedicate sufficient time to blogging anymore. I’m fully invested in other forms of content creation, and given my schedule, I can’t do *a lot* with both at the same time. That said, I do want to perhaps use this as a form of self therapy, and also as a way to self-promote at the same time. With that said, this post is completely about my other project: The Possibility Storm.

The last post I made was announcing my new project. At that point, I was using shitty graphics that I made myself, and had just started the corresponding YouTube channel. At this point, I’m over 90 days deep, and I thought I’d share some of the “achievements” I’ve completed to this point. The first thing I’d like to share, is pictured above. I had a friend of a friend who happened to be in one of my early episodes, who also happened to be a graphic artist for his day job, and as a result I was presented with an opportunity to get free graphic design work for the channel. The new logo is fire, and I’m absolutely in love with it. Big thanks to Tallasis who created this for me.

As I said, it’s been just over 3 months since I started the new YouTube channel, and this has already surpassed my expectations, but we’re at nearly 400 subscribers and 1500 watch hours. The channel also has over 10,000 views, and I’m aware of other channels that have been active longer than I that have less views and +\- the same sort of subscriber count. I am well on schedule to make the requirements for partnership at the one year mark. I’m simultaneously proud of this achievement and humbled by the support. To be fair, I have infiltrated the appropriate channels for this growth to be expected. I’ve been very active on Twitter, I’ve been a guest on many a stream of other creators, and I’ve shamelessly shilled whenever the opportunity has arisen. I’m not saying this has been easy, and I know that it’s been work on my part, but I’m very happy with the growth vs. the effort put out. Speaking of support, this has become lucrative in its own right.

I’m not going to pretend like $20+ a month is “raking in the cash” but it’s a good showing for what I’ve done to this point. I’m well on my way to YouTube monetization, and I’m already making enough to cover most “costs” of the production of the show to this point. I of course want to invest into the show as well; getting a better microphone is high on the list, along with perhaps some better lighting and additional cameras for various production facets. I appreciate the support I’ve been shown, and I intend to continue this production and improve it as I go along.

My Twitter presence isn’t where I want it to be, but we’ve managed almost 100 followers and I’m always having conversations with people about MTG amongst other things, and I’ve used the platform to collaborate with many a content creator. It’s still my social media platform of choice, and a great way to interact with the audience.

This project started out as a completely video based feature, but I was also looking to expand in any way possible in order to gain reach and monetization where applicable. As such, I’ve expanded to Twitch in order to live stream recording sessions so that people can either watch the games live, or watch the edited videos later. In some cases the live streams are more entertaining for some, but the quick cut videos are more accessible to get to the end result more readily. We’re pushing the amount of followers to get affiliate status (we’re actually at 30 followers now, despite what that graphic shows), which unlocks the ability to gain subscribers and further monetization efforts. I think between Twitch, YouTube and the Patreon, I should be able to increase production value while simultaneously providing multiple benefits to those who pay into the show.

Another revenue stream I’m looking into is channel branded merchandise. I’ve already had a surprising amount of “I’d buy that if you make it” in this regard, so I’m looking to get these products out as soon as possible. Pictured above is a t-shirt with the awesome logo my buddy made for me. I’m also looking to get logo playmats for MTG made. I’ve looked into several options for mass producing each, and in some cases, we can do batch orders in a Kickstarter fashion, where those who pledge towards the total goal will get a shirt or mat if the goal was made and I’ll make a profit. I’m being completely transparent here, in the sense that I want to create the content, but I’m also open to receiving some cash for the work I’m putting in. In this sense, these are amounts I wish I could have earned for the blogging I’ve done over the last 20+ years. I’m also going to be the first person to rock these t-shirts and have a playmat displayed during streams/videos.

So if you’ve followed me for the past 16 years, I’d sincerely appreciate a follow on social media, the YouTube channel or on Twitch. All of the support helps, even if you’re not contributing monetarily. If you can spare the extra change, the Patreon is at minimum $2/month, and once I hit the 50 follower mark on Twitch, that will open the option for subscriptions there, which are at minimum $5 a pop. For the cost of your morning coffee, once per month, you can help finance the channels I’m producing and I’ll love you for it. You can find all of my content and related socials on Linktree.

Thanks for reading through my shameless self-promotion. I appreciate you all.

Announcing: The Possibility Storm

Well, those 6 months just flew by. Apologies for going silent for so long, but the time has come for me to unveil my latest project.

Why was I gone for so long? What’s to become of this blog? These are questions I aim to answer while simultaneously self-promoting.

In January my father fell ill. He was also caretaker to one of our last remaining elderly relatives. This meant I had to spring into action and figure out what to do with them both. This culminated in moving his entire life from one county to another, along with rearranging my entire life. We have made due, but there was much to do to get to this point. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice to say that it was not a fun experience, and I do not recommend. Over the course of the last month, things had settled down to the point where I could start focusing on something new. I put together the accounts needed to get started with the new project over a month ago, and finally went live about a week ago. Generally positive feedback to this point, and I’m looking to improve. Episode #2 will be live later this week. As for this blog, well it can still be a place where I sporadically post (most likely reverting to the free version and losing out on domain name because that shit isn’t cheap) but it’s more likely that I use it to send more traffic towards my YouTube channel. Perhaps I’ll do some personal style posting again. Time will tell.

So where is it? You can check out the channel here.

What is it? The Possibility Storm is a YouTube channel dedicated to Magic: The Gathering. Currently showcasing quick cut gameplay videos, I intend to later introduce Deck Teck videos and Podcast episodes.

What can we do to help? Subscriptions, shares, likes and comments on the channel will help me grow. There is also a Twitter account that needs more followers. Eventually if the demand and growth are there, I intend to set up a Patreon and provide more perks.

Lastly, I have a Discord set up that’s free to join. In the event the Patreon thing goes forward, I intend to have a dedicated portion of the server for Patrons as one of the perks.

Thank you for your support.

So Long, 2020

Well damn, that was a year, wasn’t it?

Honestly I fell into a funk when it came to blogging, and though I tried to get the ball rolling again last month that didn’t quite work out. There’s still tons of things I could share, but instead I’ve been focused on just doing the things. Experiencing things. I really wish I had more free time and could make a living off of content creation, but it’s probably not in the cards.

I have been pondering Podcast/YouTube things again, but I already know I don’t really have the time to devote to it. I’m honestly not sure how I used to work a full-time job, play a ton of games and produce audio and video content on top of blogging regularly. These days I’m tired when I get home and I don’t want to do anything except play MTG or a game or just sit and drink a beer and watch something on the tube. Some of my friends were very gung-ho on producing video and audio content with an MTG focus, but that too seemed to fall by the wayside. I already know what goes into producing these things, and I can’t claim to have been very good at it. I’d love to do it, and I’d love to improve, but sometimes it’s easier to just sit down and bang some written words out on a keyboard.

I’d love to promise that big things are coming, but I’m not sure. I’m not entirely happy at my job and I have been contemplating a change. If that change happens and manages to align with extra free time that would enable me to do something creative, so be it. If nothing else, I’d love to get back to regular posting, and I think part of that will be easier if I stop trying to over produce things, and just bang out some random bullshit a couple of times a week. Perhaps just getting the wheels turning again will inspire me to do more. I’m not the type to do New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m in a spot where I want to do something. And I’m leaning more towards audio/video. I know I’d likely have to start a whole new branding campaign to even do something like that though, and perhaps that would lead to the shuttering or reduced capacity of this blog. I’m at an impasse.

Whatever the case, I hope you all have a great 2021, and hopefully I’ll have something exciting to share in the future.

So Long, 2020.

TWR: Commander Legends Spoiled

With 2020 being labelled “the year of Commander,” we’ve seen a ton of new options for the format at many steps along the way. We had the official Commander 2020 releases earlier in the year at the same time as Ikoria (which also added some spice to the format), there were new commander decks released with Zendikar Rising, and finally we have arrived at the first-ever draftable booster product dedicated to EDH:

An exciting time, indeed. This product comes with a number of layers as well, which has become par for the course with recent releases. There’s the “standard” booster box, which contains packs of 20 cards with two guaranteed legendary creatures per pack, also notably zero basic land cards. Then there’s the “collector” booster, which contains less packs, costs more money, but comes with a ton of foils (including 3 guaranteed “etched” foils which are a new thing in the set), full-art renditions, and otherwise “premium” cards. Lastly, there were two additional commander precons which follow the same formula as those released with Zendikar Rising. Each contains a new legendary creature which is the face card, and two additional new cards designed specifically for the product, along with a bunch of reprints. The value isn’t really there with these two, while those from Zendikar Rising actually had some valuable reprints. I didn’t buy those, and have no intention on buying these, but let’s take a look anyway.

New Commander Precons:

Reap The Tide:

The first deck was criticized for having a commander that does the same exact thing an existing commander does, while simultaneously being the same color pairing and being more expensive to cast. This is also a mythic rarity, while Tatyova was uncommon and is ultimately better overall. The new cards aren’t great either. The hydra allows you to potentially pump up a commander, but unless it’s an animar deck, this probably isn’t doing a whole lot for you. The kraken on the other had is decent removal, as it has a landfall trigger that goads opponent’s creatures. However, it costs 7 CMC and that’s just too slow. It’s also not an “I win” card so it’s probably not worth your time.

Arm For Battle:

The second precon isn’t exactly exciting either, but I do like the commander better. Boros has had a bunch of commanders that care about equipment, and this guy does the thing in a different way. He’s obviously bred for a voltron strategy, but you can just incidentally included him in an Akiri, Fearless Voyager deck and draw two cards off of a single equipment attached to him due to her ability. He also innately has trample, so beefing him up is in your best interest to clear a path. The new cards are slightly better here too, with the enchantment being decent protection for your commander at instant speed, and the equipment being alright as well. It’s not a huge buff, but it does have a low CMC. It also has a Brash Taunter effect tacked on, so it ends up being pseudo-evasion or a weaker double-strike.

Important Reprints:

Moving on, we have some important reprints that in many cases haven’t seen one in years. Scroll rack, Vampiric Tutor, Staff of Domination, Rings of Brighthearth and Fyndhorn Elves have all been lacking reprints, with the Elves going all the way back to Ice Age! Despite that, the Elves haven’t been expensive to purchase, but seeing them thrown in the common slot means you should get enough of them to fill out your mana dork packages nicely. The others I’ve mentioned here have all crept up in price, so the reprints should bring them back down to reasonable levels. Others have seen reprints but are still expensive — I’m looking at you Mana Drain. Swords to Plowshares gets its first new artwork in many years, and though Generous Gift is only a couple of years old, it’s a white staple and needs to see more play.

Partners:

Next we’re going to take a look at the new partners in the set, and I’ve broken them down into their rarities.

Mythic:

The mythic partners are probably the best in the set (outside of those super sweet etched foils of the original partner commanders — damn I want a Tymna and a Thrasios). Honestly though the only one that really speaks to me is Sakashima. His prior iteration was pretty good as it is, but getting the ability to copy legends and not have the legend rule apply is super spicy. I’m probably going to find a way to use him at some point, but for now I’m waiting til my box arrives to see what I pull. I have seen the new Akroma in action on Game Knights and it was pretty spicy but I just don’t really see it being all that reliable in realistic pods. The planeswalkers here are pretty lame. I do like Kamahl, but only because I have a mono-green stompy deck that would really like to slam him down and get the buffs on every combat.

Rare:

In the rare slot, there’s more of the same. Kodama of the East Tree will likely see some play, and I expect there to be some coin flip decks running Krark. But otherwise I’m not impressed by any of these, nor do I see myself using any of them.

Uncommon:

To be honest, there’s not a lot here either in the uncommon slot. I think these were all mostly created for the draft experience, and though I’m getting a box of the set, I don’t really fancy drafting. I’ve done it a few times and it was never that great of an experience. I prefer limited sealed like you do at pre-release, but oftentimes you just get hosed by the guy who got all the god packs. I’m aware that drafting takes a “certain set of skills” but it’s really just not for me. I’m sure we’ll see some of these floating around but I don’t really see anything I’m very excited about when it comes to partners overall.

New Legendaries:

Outside of the partners, there are still quite a few normal legendary creatures, and they are all multi-colored. It was refreshing to get more multi-colored commanders after initial spoilers looked like we might be getting a bunch of mono-colored stuff like we did with the partners. The real benefit of new partners means that new combinations can be made with the old ones, and in that sense they’re cool, but I really like some traditional 2-3 colored commanders and there are a few here that are worth taking a look at. Of most interest in the community is Obeka, Brute Chronologist, and I must admit I am fairly interested in building my first Grixis deck in high, but have not yet decided for sure if I will. She combos well with the red extra turn spells, which are cheaply costed but come with the downside of losing the game on the next turn. Obeka’s ability stops that lose the game trigger from happening, and as such can take infinite turns quite readily, but she still dies to removal and that can still lose you the game. Archelos, Lagoon Mystic is also turning heads because he has some built in stax effects in good colors for the strategy, but I’m betting most casuals are excited to finally have a legendary turtle for their tribal deck. For me personally, I’m interested in the the Abomination of Llanowar, a literal “elfball” along with Liesa, Shroud of Dusk as a potential Angel tribal build, something I’ve been attempting for a long time but haven’t ever had much success with. Also probably a good place to slot in that new Akroma.

My Chase Cards:

Finally, we get to what I’m really into. And these are the cards that I’m hoping to pull from my box. Jeweled Lotus, Opposition Agent and Hullbreacher are probably the most powerful and desired cards from the set. While these cards will see play in casual pods, I think their true viability comes in high to cEDH level games. Jeweled Lotus can power out mono or two colored commanders quite quickly, and though it’s limited in its use I can’t see a reason not to run it unless your commander is 4+ colors. Opposition Agent literally steals your opponent’s tutor, but you grab their best card from their deck. Then, while its on the table if anyone is dumb enough to tutor you’ll get to do this again. At that point it’s more of a stax piece, but it’s still an amazing card. Ditto Hullbreacher. The Smothering Tithe effect in Blue (did blue even need this??) is amazing, but it’s also similar to a Notion Thief. Creating treasures on opponent’s card draw is good enough, but this guy also just straight up shuts off the draw and gives you treasures. Another amazing stax piece, further fueling the mid-range disruptive meta we’ve been seeing as of late. Otherwise I want the etched voil versions of the above cards (but would be happy with the OG partners as well). Yuriko doesn’t have any alternative art, and though her and my Derevi are both already foil, I really like the new look of these. Ditto that on Zur, with which I ran the original art, then finally splurged to get the judge promo foil artwork, and now it’s even cooler with the etching. There are of course many other cards and reprints in the set that I didn’t discuss here, but these were the major talking points for the set. I was lucky enough to get a box pre-ordered for me for my birthday which recently passed, and the set officially released today so I will be receiving that in the mail soon enough. I can’t wait to slot in some new cards!

Two Months Later…

So. Yeah. It’s been almost two months since my last post. I honestly don’t know where my motivation to write went, and over the first few weeks of my time away, I wasn’t even really thinking about it. That nagging feeling that I have things to say and should write them down has come back around over the last week or so, and though it doesn’t really matter to many, I think it does help my mental state to jot things down, however irrelevant it may be.

Life changes happened a while back. I was let go from one job, and then started another. It included a pay raise, so that’s nice, but it’s also a more strenuous position so I have had less energy to devote to hobbies. I’m also back among the living, in that I no longer work a night shift, and instead work a normal 9-5 with Fridays and Saturdays off. This is a boon to my sleep patterns, but has adjusted my free time. Previously I was able to come home from work, and outside of adult responsibilities, I had the time to blog and watch YouTube and play Magic and play video games. Later I’d do dinner and then head off to bed before getting up early in the morning to work. Being on a new schedule is nice as I get more time at home with the family where I’m actually awake, but I also no longer have the same days off nor does my time off line up with the playgroup and other friends I used to spend my free time with.

As such, my typical work day ends at about 6:30 when I get home, and I usually just hang out before bed. I’ve watched more TV and YouTube than anything, but have played some games here and there. I almost solely play MTG on my days off, as it’s the only time players I know are around. Most of the guys I’ve played with throughout the course of this year are either east coast US or in Europe so they’re off to bed by the time I could play during the week. I suppose I could play with randoms, but I do prefer playing with at least one friend when I get the chance.

So this isn’t to say that I’ve haven’t had things to say, it’s definitely been more of a lack of motivation to sit down and do this. The last post I wrote was about MTG and the first one I want to post beyond this is about spoilers for the next set. I’ve brewed and played a bunch of new decks that I’d like to share as well. I’ve also been playing Apex Legends semi-regularly again, and have some commentary about a bunch of games I haven’t talked about here on the blog. I’m not sure how fast I’ll get around to these things, and honestly I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to do it. I don’t want to get to a point where this feels like work again, I’d prefer to keep it cathartic.

I’m working on a post for Commander Legends, which has been fully spoiled and I have thoughts. I have a bunch of drafts I’m going to try and clean up, as they are still sort of relevant. Also, I should note that I won’t be bothering with my football column this year as it’s already halfway through the season. Anyway, I’ll be back soon with stuff. Hello to those of you still around!