August-24th

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – Corey, Victor
Veto Winner – Paul
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – Victor, James
Have-Not Supplement – Pies

August 24th feeds bring high drama to the Big Brother house. Paul and Victor stage a rift. Because the anti-Paul sentiment is trending off the charts right now in the house the duo did this as a strategy to try to save Victor from certain eviction Thursday night. It’s all going splendidly and with a mighty fervor until they reach the same roadblock that always arises in these fun house-flip situations – frickin’ James. Literally every time we’re at the tipping point of a house flip James turns our waterfall of joyful hope into torrential tears of frustration.

James

Anti-hero… literally

Why must he mess with us so? Partially it’s  because James is looking out for his own game while we’re dead set on saving Paul and Victor’s. Little does James know that not everyone is pulling for him… but why should he care? Of course he should be focused on winning. We’d just rather not see houseguests win simply because they are “in the showmance group” which seems irrelevant to anything interesting. We’re here to be entertained.

Thing is, James doesn’t realize that not everyone in the house will be playing as he expects. Paul has a long talk with Corey and Nicole about how James plays both sides. They talk alone as a duo after the convo with Paul and agree that maybe they shouldn’t go after him because he could be a number for them given that Michelle is clearly siding with Natalie and James. So, depending on how things pan out after Thursday’s live eviction, it may NOT be all over for Paul after all. He’s covering his bases. We’re loving the games he and Victor are playing with the houseguests… You think were manipulative? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, bro.

Victor

Manipulative machinations at work

In better and potentially game-changing news, Thursday will certainly be tons of fun for us feedsters. The live show and eviction will include a houseguest battling back for their personal game revival. But also the HOH challenge will be aired live on the feeds right after. Yay! It’s set to be an endurance competition. With so much at stake this late in the Big Brother game, get set for a long long night of feisty drama and fun-filled suspense as the houseguests hang on and fight to stay in the game. Michelle and Natalie will have to sit out because they’re the former HOHs. So, it’s a dead heat between the revived houseguest along with the remaining four. That’s right! Only four. Either Victor or Corey will go Thursday, depending on Paul and Victor’s machinations and how big of a douche James turns out to be. That means either Victor or Corey will compete along with Nicole, Paul, and James. So, the revived houseguest has a pretty good chance of winning HOH. They’ll know they’re the most likely to be nominated next AND have the adrenaline surge still from fighting their way back into the house. We can’t wait! Game on, bros.

– Katherine Recap

August-23rd

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – Corey, Victor
Veto Winner – Paul
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – Victor, James
Have-Not Supplement – Pies

Special Characters of Season 18 Edition

Right now, August 23rd, the houseguests have been living together for two months – 70 days, actually – and have settled in enough to show us at least two sides to their respective characters. We at Fetchland are using the current lull in action to explore the two extreme sides of each houseguest that remains in the house. Not to suggest that this is all we’ve seen in each of them, quite the contrary. In fact, our interest doesn’t lie in the “true nature” of these characters. We’re not into authenticity, baby. We want entertainment. Thus, we’re exploring the best and worst of them.

Nicorey

Nicorey

Nicole – At her worst she’s clingwrap incarnate; Nicole makes the same mistake she did in season 16 and envelops her game in man juice. It would be no biggie if Nicole didn’t completely lose herself in limerence. She’s still a kid. It’s puppy love. Meanwhile Corey is more like a man and he has had a really long relationship before (9 years) so he’s no puppy. That’s the main reason their showmance is hard to watch. The inequity of Nicole mooning over him with his distant gaze. It’s annoying to anyone who’s ever been in those shoes… And haven’t we all at some point liked someone a heck of a lot more than they liked us? It’s tough to stomach what’s happening to Nicole when she freakin knows better. Get your head in the game, girl!

But it’s not all bad with Nicole. She’s managed to stay off the block for seventy days! That’s no small accomplishment. Also, we’ve heard complaints about her bein’ a snake slithering to end on a bed of lies. Sure. She ratted out Da’vonne to Frank. She’s lied. Sure. That’s the good stuff, baby. It’s keeping her in the house. We just hope she’s also lying when she tells Corey she’d let him win in the end and fall on her sword for him. He’s just a guy. Take the money and run, girl.

Corey

Corey

Corey – just a blank space at his worst… Which sadly is most of the time. He gazes off into nowhere; or says nothing even though words seem to be coming out of his mouth. Even BB seems to be in on the joke of simple simple Corey and his complete lack of distinction. Nothing sets him apart. Showing his “love for Christmas” and dogs and all things frat boy with clips and funny bits tells us that Big Brother thinks it’s pretty funny too. It can be slightly amusing, but we’re not fans of his latest trick (talking up how little he cares about the game, going home, or winning). Either be in it to win it or get out. That’s what you’re there for.

Of course, there is an exception to this, and that’s when his adrenaline pumps. Unfortunately we only got to see this “beastmode side of Corey” during the ultra lightning quick double eviction when he was jolted by the blindside. This makes us wonder if Corey might be more of a player on his own, paranoid and lonely – now THAT’s the condition to play the game. Look how well he did that night after Zakiyah left and he was trembling with his first tremors of actual BB emotion. He won HOH and then Veto! Zip. Zap. We’d like to see more of that Corey and less of the schmoopie kissing and cuddling crap. We gave up that soap opera BS when we were seven… And outgrew it.

Natalie

Jatalie

Natalie – Powerpuff at her best. Even if she keeps insisting on calling “girl power” when she’s, in fact, a grown woman and playing this game entirely for herself, she can be a powerful force. She’s a torpedo princess, the most delightful BB gif of the season by far is her telling Paulie to fuck off. If only she was on her own… That damn shomance is such a damper to Nat Nat’s flame. He’s gotta go.

But we can’t blame James for Natalie at her worst. That’s all on her shoulders. Every season one houseguest balloons in weight (usually a woman) because of lifestyle shifts and stress. It is that nobody really cares out in the world and if they do they’re not talking about anything interesting. This is exactly the prob with Nat’s reaction to her minor weight gain. She’s insecure about it. She’s vocal. It’s gettin whiney. We miss our princess powerpuff.

James

James

James – People pleaser extraordinaire at his worst. We don’t really understand James, we’ll admit it. As far as we can see he’s not playing Big Brother at all. He pleases the house and floats like a butterfly, which would be fine If he also stung like a bee. But he has no sting. How come Bridgette had to come to Natalie’s defense when Paulie was playing douchebag? Where was James? Oh yeah, silent. Remember how America gave him that care package so he could knock out two of the votes to that week’s eviction? Yeah and then he pussyfooted around that decision so many times until finally he just went with the larger numbers – pleasing the house, as always.

At his best James is an excellent boyfriend to Natalie. When she was sick he was patient, caring, and kind. He said and did all the right things. He was a dreamboat. This is the other side to his people pleaser personality. James cares deeply what people think of him. He cares too much, in fact. So, when you’re his sick showmance on a national TV show, it works to your advantage.

Paul

Paul

Paul – the entertainer at his best, Paul makes us so happy with his fun and frolicsome ways. This is a guy who knows how to have a good time and doesn’t care about looking a fool. He also cares little about what people think while maintaining a strong sense of self and that’s mighty refreshing. We see Paul’s entertaining aspects all the time like when he makes joyful frivolity out of his Secret Service penalty. There’s also evidence that he stays strong within himself, like how he distanced himself from Paulie for being a douche even though It was his strongest alliance in the house. That’s integrity, folks. But it was also the right move in the game at that time. Paul’s a natural at BB. He’s got good instincts.

At his worst, Paul talks way too much and all the name dropping and “I can get us into the coolest clubs” stories go far too long. It makes sense given that he’s only twenty three. But in every other way he seems much older, so this is the low point of Paul. Not too bad. We also weren’t big fans of the PeePee alliance, you may recall. But that was Paul trying to save his ass when it was on the line. That’s really just part of the game, annoying though it was.

Victor

Victor

Victor – our hero at his best is a dreamboat with good looks who cooks and cleans. He got Paulie out of the house. He battled back. He puts on funny puppet shows. He’s a great buddy to Paul. We could rave about Victor for another thousand words… but alas it just makes us all the sadder that he’s likely leaving this week. It’s possible he could battle back again (and make BB history) but do we dare to dream of such perfection actually happening? We do not. It’s too upsetting losing him again.

There’s not much to say as far as Victor at his worse. We hear from the other house guests that he eats too much without regard for their dietary needs but we’d be lying if we claimed to care. Yes, his laugh can be kinda annoying but have you seen him dance? He dances too. See? We can’t even get through the “worst stuff about Victor” without slipping into fitVic compliments.

Michelle – the lone wolf is the only player going solo these days… but it may not be by choice. She has so many quirks and, much like James, her best and worst qualities are made of the same stuff. In her BB intro on the very first night of season 18 she was already a character. Her collage of fears and conspiracies were funny stuff in Michelle’s mere 30 second segment. This actually summarizes Michelle well. Annoying, yes. But funny too. Her quirkiness is her best quality in many ways. She makes us laugh more than any other houseguest with unexpected little moments and quips that come out of nowhere.

Michelle at her worst is that same character full of unexpected flights of emotion, she makes everybody laugh or else she’s bursting into tears. It’s the same with her chats and plotting. She’s direct and blunt, a shocker. In the end it can be off putting and may be the reason the house guests don’t connect with her as well as she’d like. Michelle’s gotta work on those social skills. We’re pretty certain that when she re-watches this season she’ll get cracking on them. In fact, she already experienced quite a bit of personal growth through her friendship with Bridgette. Michelle has a long way to grow and we’re happy we got to see her start blossoming into her better self right before our eyes.

It’s a long week this week with all the grumpiness and grousing but we’ll keep you abreast of all the good stuff. So, check back here and on our Twitter @RuiningBB18.

– Katherine Recap

August-22nd

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – Corey, Victor
Veto Winner – Paul
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – Victor, James
Have-Not Supplement – Pies

Victor

Victor talks to feedsters

On August 22nd Victor talks to the feeds while he plays pool and thinks aloud, “Like I said, I have an inkling that I am going home,” (Misses pool shot.) “Dangit, twice in a row! Just like evicted, twice,” and feedsters shake our collective heads in dismay that he’s likely correct. Michelle puts Corey on the block in Paul’s place when he uses the Veto on himself.

Nicole

Does making cookies treat paranoia?

Thus Nicole immediately shifts into game mode; first yapping her lips all afternoon about what a great person Corey is compared to others who, “talk personal,” and “are hurtful,” then she makes cookies. There’s a rule in Season 18, it seems that as soon as you go up on the block you get mad domesticated. Since Nicole’s lost herself to Corey and he’s busy staring at the wall, it seems like she’s taking care of the homestead stuff for him. So, Victor’s cleans up  at the house like Rain Man at the blackjack table and Nicole’s the current in-house Betty Crocker. She’s baking her blues about potentially losing Corey.

Paul

Finally a smile from Paul

Paul seems to have sensed the house shifting around him. So, even though everyone keeps telling him all is well with his game and that Corey’s going home on Thursday, his intuition tells him otherwise. Invariably when things feel awry in the Big Brother house, it’s for a reason. The big bummer for us = Paul doldrums. He talks to us about it in the wee hours of the morning because he took a long daytime nap and can’t sleep. He says he’s pretty sure he’s gettin’ “boned this week” and that Victor will go home. Paul notes that the showmances are obviously working together and he finds Michelle completely unreliable these days. So, now that Vic appears to be leaving, Paul assesses the potential resultant damage. His conclusions include that Michelle’s driving him crazy and he doesn’t understand her. At the same time she’s the one he could most likely beat in a final two situation. Paul describes her as “loose lips, can’t win comps, and destructive,” so he’s trying to figure out what to do next. Should he win HOH? Hope for the care package? Paul’s worried that with Victor gone he’ll be next. Of course, the house doesn’t know about the battle back but Paul mentions that he hopes maybe Vic can come back again somehow. The one time we get to see Paul smile on August 22nd is chatting with Corey. In their conversation Corey tells Paul he’s feeling anxiety and has never felt that way before. Even with this bit of happiness in Paul’s day… it was a tiny smile. We miss our happy Secret Service Paul!

Victor-Corey

On the bench… and the block

Corey, meanwhile tells Paul that Nicole is the ONE to take to the end because she won’t get a single vote. That’s not what Nic thinks Corey’s thinking about her when he says she’s “the one,” though. She thinks he’s smitten. Yeah, smitten with a $500K sure thing. Sometimes an action tells you a lot about a person… In Corey’s case it’s that clapping he did on the heels of Paulie’s tense overclap after the Natalie confrontation. The guy hasn’t got a clue when it comes to social cues. It’s not that there’s anything bad about Corey, per se. He just seems out of it. Literally, like out of the game. So far Corey hasn’t campaigned or even really considered campaigning to save himself this week. All he’s really done is say he doesn’t care and then have a late night/early morning chat about feeling anxiety for the first time in his life. Maybe this anxious feeling means he’ll start playing the game from here forward. The only sign of life we’ve really seen thus far from Corey was during that double eviction when his heart jolted with electricity from the Zakiyah blindside and he cranked out two wins in a row while bleary-eyed and baffled about what was happening. Where am I? How did I get here?  Who are these people?

BB-Bathroom

Paul pouts in hammock = boring conversation

But Baffled though he is, Corey does have one thing right. He tells Paul  that if he takes Nicole to the end, he’ll win it all. Ugh. Please please don’t let that be the story of Season 18. There’s still a month left! Not that we care who wins… but we do care HOW they do it and smoching, cuddling, and napping are not a strategy or game play at all. Either way, Thursday night is around the corner and last hope all wrapped up in the beautiful sad burrito of Victor on the block. If he’s evicted maybe he can come back… truth is anybody coming back could be awesome if it pumps some blood into this dreary ass, anemic household. We need some action up in here!

Katherine Recap

nominations

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – Paul, Victor
Veto Winner – Paul
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – Victor, James
Have-Not Supplement – Pies

Natalie

Natalie wins HOH

On the Big Brother August 21st TV show they start with the Black Box HOH competition. Houseguests have to wait holding a button (harder than it looks, apparently) and then search through goop, feathers, and other gunk for discs to slid on their pole. The show gives us a bit of background from in-the-house before the challenge. Nicole told Natalie that Paulie said that Paul was “coming after James”. Nat immediately runs to tell James that Paul’s after him. This definitely contributes to Natalie’s decision putting him up on the block. Right before the challenge she was already pumped up with “protecting her man” adrenaline. Of course she wins it!

Meech

Meech as she leaves the Black Box

Meech, on the other hand, is first out of the comp, pissy and covered in feathers yet still kinda cute somehow. Houseguests still competing lose shoes in the goop, collect feathers in their mouths, and complain constantly. It all happens in the pitch dark and houseguests lie to each other about how close they are to winning. After the comp ends they count discs out in the open backyard. Corey found the same number as Natalie so they’re tied for first place. Then Natalie ends up winning by four seconds. She’s super excited and immediately slips into a rampant case of big-haired, indecisive HOHitis

Victor

Only the paranoid survive

Of course, after the thrill of winning that HOHitis fever takes hold along with nerves and indecision. Meanwhile Victor and Paul’s (justified) paranoia starts rolling especially when Victor walks in on a whispery Uncle Sam in the HOH bed with Meech and Nat. Nicole also plots and schemes with Natalie, Meech, and James . This explains why they nominate Paul and Victor soon after. It isn’t just that they believe these two are going to win the game but also the gossip about Paul’s lies and manipulating. The “future winner” reason is the smart one to give in the nomination ceremony, though because it’s a convo ender. Victor and Paul are humans, after all, with intuition. So, of course they suspect something’s up and talk about their fears. Still, it’s a shocker (to Paul) when it happens and their buddies nominate them. Victor was lucky enough to find out before nominations when they forewarned him and declared his “pawn” status but he doesn’t have time to tell Paul before the ceremony.

Paul

Paul’s special segment

The Big Brother TV show then diverts from the main story (the game) to do a little bit on Paul’s friendship time and some on Nicole’s clumsiness. Next we see the care package delivery to Meech. She can’t open it at first and shrieks about her epic box-tied-with-a-string struggle. Thus, because Michelle is Co-HOH with Natalie, they do the nomination ceremony together. It’s a big surprise to our favorite  penguin-floaty-clad Secret Service agent. So. Paul says, “Shocking!” and then we know the confrontations are about to begin. Not friendship on all counts.

It was a disappointing day on the August 21st feeds because James, the deciding vote this week, wants the final four to be all showmances. Upon this proclamation, the collective grown of every feedster in the land could be heard coast to coast. Our mourning for actual gameplay in Season 18 begins now. We’re clad in black and feeling blue as F***. But then our travail of tears gets even worse… Corey rambles on forever about how he doesn’t care even the teeniest bit if he gets voted out or wins the game. He’s just like whatever, bro and then Nicole promptly offer to sacrifice her “game” for him. Not that Nicole has much of a game this season but to offer it up on a platter to a guy you met six weeks ago who JUST said he doesn’t care if he wins or loses. This isn’t Big Brother all of a sudden; it’s the Bachelor.

nominations

Secret Service springs into action

Nobody likes seeing Victor go back to jury. HOWEVER keep in mind there’s another battle back and if he gets sent home Thursday FitVic’s a likely winner. Maybe he’ll get another fancy belt too! All we know is that Victor and his sublime friendship with your boy, Paul keep our feeds worth watching. We here at Fetchland prefer fun and games to showmance scenery. Natalie’s great… when she’s playing the game. But when she’s whining to James, though, not so much.

– Katherine Recap

August-20th

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – Paul, Victor
Veto Winner – Paul
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – Victor, James
Have-Not Supplement – Pies

Natalie

Natalie can only decide on more hairspray

On the August 20th Big Brother feeds Natalie’s particular brand of HOHitis carries the unusual symptoms of big hair and enormous indecision. She flip flops back and forth about who her actual target is this week. Luckily the Veto competition follows suit in the afternoon to help nail it down a bit. Initially Nat battles a mental tug of war between Paul and Corey as her ultimate evictees. The only thing she’s certain about is how find she is of Victor and that she’ll be upset if he ends up going home this week. It’s hard to imagine, since he came back the house how Victor could have been such a pariah before and remain so beloved now. Yet he’s somehow the same Puerto Rican sensation. Maybe it’s because when he came back into the house FitVIc came to PLAY the game. Whereas upon first entry Victor really seemed more interested in becoming a soap star or some such media darling nonsense.

PaulPaul wins the Veto and the feeds come back at around seven Big Brother time after four and a half hours of competing. Natalie thus immediately begins her guilt spiral that Victor’s still on the block… and a Have-Not. Lucky for Nat Nat, it doesn’t matter anymore that she can’t decide anything. The decision once Paul pulls himself off the block is wholly in Michelle’s hands.

MeechThus, Victor and Paul talk with Meech about it in the Safari room. When Michelle out Paul up on the block she said he was a liar and a manipulator, given some info she’d accrued in the BB house. So, there’s a funny moment during their conversation when Paul says he doesn’t want to tell her what to do and then proceeds to tell her she should put Corey up on the block in his place. Michelle tells him to, “stop manipulating” and it’s pretty snicker-worthy. She seems to be vacillating between putting up Corey and Nicole. All we know is that we want our Puerto Rican sensation kept safe. Corey on the block would make this more of a certainty, so we’re cheering for that choice right now. We’ll stay abreast of the decision-making progress for you here at Fetchland and on twitter @RuiningBB18.

Katherine Recap

Naya Burn

Two weeks ago I was able to land a Modern PPTQ with a Naya Burn deck, hopefully to set myself up for Pro Tour Dublin. Hopefully this short writeup will help you do the same 🙂

I. Your Cards Largely Cost One

Well, one and two. But almost all your guys cost one, and even your lone three mana spell (Rift Bolt) also costs one. This is extremely important as Modern is a wickedly compressed format… Almost every deck puts its opponent on the back foot (if not the grave) by turn four, so just having cheap one and two mana cards is a legitimate deck feature; and 2)

Imagine you’re a deck that plays three and four mana cards, don’t know what you’re up against, and start off on one (or even two) lands that enter the battlefield tapped… You might play all one spell before the game effectively ends. Naya Burn’s cards are less powerful, less card advantageous, maybe… But it will play four to six of them in the same window (which often will be lethal right there).

II. The Philosophy of Fire is on Overdrive in Modern

Remember the original Philosophy if Fire: Your average card does two damage; your opponent starts on twenty life; you start with seven cards… Ten spells wins the game.

In Modern your average opponent will start on fourteen and your average card does between three and four — not two — damage. Do the math! You will be able to win on as few as four spells and your opening hand, unopposed, will be lethal most of the time!

Combined with the first point — the super affordable costs on your spells [versus the gigantic or profligate costs of many other Modern options] Naya Burn is the most operationally attractive deck in the format.

III. Atarka’s Command Deals Three to Them… But Three to You?!?

Atarka’s Command is a cute, medium-powerful, redundant spell that can also play main-deck spoiler to Kitchen Finks or even a Hail Mary Siege Rhino. Sometimes you counter their Lightning Helix; sometimes you have two Swiftspears down and are living the dream.

However most of the time Atarka’s Command is three damage for two mana (in the running for the least efficient wannabe ‘Bolt in Naya Burn)… While also being the only green card in the deck. The corollary is: If you can ever get Atarka’s Command out of your deck between games, you probably should. The ability to start on sixteen (instead of fourteen, on account of being obligated to find Stomping Ground rather than basic Mounting with the same fetch) is often as valuable for you as it would be for an opponent staring down your hot hand.

Don’t get me wrong, Atarka’s Command is awesome when it’s awesome; but if it’s just Incinerate that can’t hit creatures, any number of your sideboard cards will be more effective, without requiring you to ever search for green (example, siding in Searing Blood and Lightning Helix or Path to Exile and Lightning Helix for the only four green cards in the starting deck).

Second corollary: This is the same reason Wild Nacatl is a suboptimal card choice in this deck; not only is it not particularly synergistic, it forces you to pay additional life a disproportionate amount of the time.

IV. Eidolon of the Great Revel Does Even Damage

Most of the creatures in Naya Burn can deal even or odd damage; Grim Lavamancer attacks for odd but shoots for even; Taylor Swiftspear starts on odd but buffs to even or odd. Eidolon of the Great Revel has both even power and even damage triggers.

Playing against Eidolon of the Great Revel is extremely challenging for most decks. Yes, it can be “dealt with” but almost always at an annoying cost. If it hits one time before it is removed, Eidolon of the Great Revel is already in Boros Charm range. Make no mistake! You really should probably remove it! But a mistake I saw opponents make over and over was around fetchland management. If you’re at seventeen and you take two you’ll go to fifteen. If you are at seventeen and you go to either sixteen or fourteen you’ve essentially let the Naya Burn player draw a card.

Don’t think this matters? I beat more than one opponent saving Monastery Swiftspear and friends with Boros Charm; Eidolons can be saved from death’s door…

V. Your Sideboard Cards Are Flexible and Powerful

One of the main things I learned from Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa in an article way back when is that one-color decks tend to have weak sideboards relative to multicolor decks. As someone who has spent years playing Patrick Sullivan Red Decks in Legacy, the contrast to Naya Burn in Modern is dramatic. This deck has specific answers to Leyline of Sanctity that can serve as card advantageous Time Walks against Phyrexian Unlife or Pentad Prism. It can lethally reverse an all-in Infect player who has Vines of the Vastwood back. It can — unlike almost every other Red Deck in competitive history — even remove big creatures!

You can re-work your deck in sideboard situations into a lock deck (say your Death’s Shadow opponent leaves you with Deflecting Palm with his Thoughtseize and you manage to stabilize at any point); you can go into mono-creature removal (generally with advantages across the board); or even plan for a progressive slow game around a Grim Lavamancer who will never die.

Oddly — and amazingly — the answer to the age old question of “Who’s the Beatdown?” in some games might be “Not me!”

VI. Corollary: Resist the Impulse to Side Out “Weak” One Mana Spells

Just remember that you need to have a critical mass of one mana spells. You will almost always be tempted to side out Lava Spike (the most narrow card in the deck) or Rift Bolt (the hands-down weakest card in the main deck). It will usually be correct to side out “some” of those. However the strength of this deck once you have three mana is to be able to make two plays per turn while the opponent is only making one play. However you can’t make two plays if you have three lands and all your cards cost two. You need some Rift Bolt suspends / Grim Lavamancer activations / Lava Spikes to the jaw or you are going to end up glutted, stuck, and raced.

That said, Path to Exile costs one!

VII. Know Your “Two-for-Ones”

Searing Blaze has two targets! You can’t counter it by sacrificing Insolent Neonate or shooting your own guy with Path to Exile in response. It will usually be right to leave unbroken fetchland(s) on the table to trigger future landfall on the opponent’s turn rather than just trying to “thin your deck” (especially at the cost of life).

Searing Blood only does two to creatures! It is in some sense less narrow than Searing Blaze but is way less effective against medium sized creatures, way less effective against any kind of tricks, and doesn’t deal damage to the opponent unless the opposing creature actually dies. For this reason it is usually not the right move to go all-in on creature removal using Searing Blood against decks with Mutagenic Growth or whose first play is likely to be a Tarmogoyf.

Destructive Revelry only does two! Don’t get me wrong… When this card is on, it is usually the worst possible card for your opponent to see; but it costs twice as much and does less damage than a Lava Spike. Having a card that only does two in your deck actually costs your goldfish math an entire card, on average while slowing you down a full turn. Yeah. Modern is quick, yo.

VIII. Let Goblin Guide be Your Guide

Always remember the Bella Flores reading of Goblin Guide. Goblin Guide is the best because it turns Magic into chess; you know what your opponent is drawing, so you can make the best plays. Card advantage be damned! The game is often compressed enough that the card advantage doesn’t end up mattering at all. However, the information might matter a lot.

In the deciding game of my PPTQ, my Goblin Guide revealed a Skullcrack on top of my opposing burn deck’s stack. That meant he was going to miss his next land drop and was going to draw a Skullcrack. So I played around the Skullcrack. At the end of my next turn, on queue, he played the Skullcrack just to get a burn spell out of his hand; I responded with Lightning Helix, essentially countering the Skullcrack, and putting him three points closer to death.

LOVE
MIKE

Post Script: Today Miles Rodriguez is playing in his first Star City Games Invitational Top 8. He played the same 75 to a 7-1 finish in Modern, with his only loss to the great Brad Nelson. Go Miles!

The list was perfect, no need to change anything. And thanks 🙂

Animal Man #6

comiXology summary:
Buddy Baker must face off against invading Thanagarians looking to conquer Earth! Can Buddy Baker stand up to the winged wonders or will he become the first casualty of war? Grant Morrison’s ANIMAL MAN epic continues!

In the new episode of Top 8 Magic (that comes out next week, actually) BDM and I talk about DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and the Dwayne McDuffie-driven Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited cartoons. Hawkgirl (or Hawkwoman) in some of her various incarnations is a central cast member of all those teevee shows.

That said, the woman swinging the Nth Metal Morningstar at Buddy Baker in this week’s Superficial Saturdays cover is not actually Hawkgirl, rather a Thanagarian soldier name of Kol (not Hol, or “Hall”)… But I doubt the marketing department or cover editor would have minded much character confusion… Any more than they would the shamelessness of that Thanagarian uniform.

You see, Animal Man — though considered the apex of Grant Morrison’s writing career by some critics — was not exactly a hot seller. As good as the story is considered — and as well as it is thought to hold up over two or even three decades now — interiors penciler Chas Truog is widely panned as the weakest artist Morrison was ever paired with on a regular book.

No problem for Superficial Saturdays fans, though! Brian Bolland handled covers for going on three years (this is, of course, not the first time Bolland has been the subject of Superficial Saturdays).

Lots of stuff I love about this one:

  • It’s nakedly eye-catching; Thanagarian uniform and everything else.
  • Bolland’s line work is impeccable, as usual. Check out the delta between foreground and background wings, the precision on the Nth Metal Morningstar spikes, and Buddy’s jacket… especially in contrast to the shadow across his right leg
  • The colors, circa three years before the garish explosion of “computer coloring” onto the industry, is subtle. Not perfect by any means, but subtle. One thing to keep in mind is that with 1980s level of coloring technology a penciler (or penciler / inker like Bolland) had to be way more skilled to look not nearly as good. Bolland accomodates, per usual.

To the surprise of no one, Brian Bolland won 1992’s inaugural Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist, largely due to his work on Animal Man.

LOVE
MIKE

August-19th

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – Paul, Victor
Veto Winner – TBD
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – Victor, James
Have-Not Supplement – TBD

HOH

Meech and Nat discuss nominations

The beginning of August 19th feeds brought America’s care package into Meech’s grateful hands. This wasn’t an ideal scenario exactly because Victor, our hero,  isn’t safe this week… yet. There’s always the Veto, which could be twisted into yet another nickname for Victor if you look at it cockeyed enough. But at least Michelle’s co-HOH ends up bringing lots of excitement to the house with drama, scheming surprises, and even some fighting. Natalie seems genuinely pleased to share the bloody gloves with her buddy Meech and thus they decide to make an unexpected move together.

Nicorey

Nicorey celebrating the nominations

Everyone expects Nat and Michelle to nominate Corey and Nicole and it makes sense, especially after they spend most of August 19th chatting it up with Victor and Paul. Right after Paul and Victor exit the HOH room, though, it’s time for plotting against them – Paul specifically. Michelle and Natalie decide to put up Paul and Victor. They have a few reasons, most of which they never tell the pair after nominations. For instance, Natalie keeps saying she thinks that in the scenario of Nicorey on the block Corey will win Veto and Nicole will end up going home. Nat says she doesn’t want to be responsible for “a girl going home” given that she’s all about girl power. Also, they both believe Paul is a threat and needs to go home. He’s been manipulative, lying, and all-around sketch. So, they forewarn Victor and tell him he’s just a pawn. After noms Nicorey meet in the storage room to celebrate with jumping and hand moves.

Paul

Right after nominations Paul gets feisty

Right after they tell Vic the plan it’s time for nominations. So, Victor has zero time to warn Paul. The resultant fireworks after the ceremony are FUN and end up flipping the house yet again. Paul confronts everybody and keeps saying that they could have just said, “You’re gonna win this game so I’m putting you on the block,” and that would have been fine but they called him a liar. So, now he wants to talk about it. Funny thing is that the whole time Michelle and Natalie were chatting before noms they kept saying they could totally see Paul winning the game.  Then the whole shebang ends up in the late night hours of August 19th with that particular fear brought to fruition. Paul most likely IS going to win it. He talked his way out of his liar liar pants on fire status and flipped this whole thing back into his favor. Many confrontations bring it all out, followed by Paul-brand soft talking and then it’s all friendship all over again.

Paul

Paul puts Nicole on BLAST – Cprey in undies…

Soon after Paul distills the HOHs back down to approve putting Corey and Nicole on blast, he takes that job upon himself. He faces Nicole across the kitchen about lies she’s told. It’s not as funny as the “whole family” confrontation right after the nominations because Paul doesn’t have his floaty on this time. Also, we already pretty much know what’s going to happen because Paul talks about it with Meech and Natalie, along with Victor and James (the silent duo) before the confrontation. One funny element, though, is that clad only in his undies, Corey puts on his patriot unitard costume throughout the tense convo.

Natalie

Contrite Natalie cries apologizing to Paul

So, the Sunday veto competition is crucial for Paul. He’s up all night August 19th “studying” for it all the way until past six in the morning. The guy who always talks about he’s just in the Big Brother house to have fun and for kicks is cramming like his life depends on it. He’s in it to win it, that much is certain. In fact, during the “friendship” talk with Natalie and Meech in the wee hours Natalie felt so badly about nominating him she cries and apologizes to Paul. Meanwhile Victor and James sit by silent and nodding the entire time. By the end of the “friendship” convo Nat and Meech are contrite and determined to backdoor Corey. It’s as if Paul’s already won the whole thing at this point..

Quote of the day:

Paul after nominations talking to Meech and Nat – I’m not here to tell you that you made a bad decision… but you guys did blow it.

– Katherine Recap

August-18th

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Natalie
HOH Nominated – TBD
Veto Winner – TBD
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette #9 Paulie
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – Paul
Have-Nots – TBD
Have-Not Supplement – TBD

Paulie

The Butterfly Effect

The live show of August 18th begins as an exceedingly sad Paulie sits next to Uncle Sam on the block, red-eyed and puffy with an infinite frown. Julie even says in the intro that Paulie has hit “rock bottom” and then they show Paulie crying over the butterfly in the backyard. Next Paulie refuses to make the apple pies. The other houseguests pep talk and prod him to be strong and do the right thing. Make the damn pies, kiddo. Meech is happy because she’s no longer, “the biggest crybaby in the house”. Then Corey’s Paulie pep talk feels a lot like a cutting room takeaway from Hoosiers and BB provides some music in the scene just to let us know how to feel about it. Corey’s speech “works” and Paulie starts campaigning hardcore while waving his tiny pie flag. The funniest part of this section is when he’s campaigning to James who can’t take his eyes off the back and forth of the flag in front of him.

Jury-house

Jurors react to BB videos

In the jury house Da’vonne says her biggest regret is not keeping her mouth shut in the game. Then she’s disappointed to see Zakiyah join her in jury after throwing the HOH. Day then gets seriously righteous about Paulie not using the Veto on Zakiyah, understandably. Bridgette joins them and they’re thrilled to see Michelle’s “goodbye” snake message about Nicole on the BB-provided video. After that the trio chant for Paulie to be the next one evicted.

Paulie

Paulie has a one way ticket to jury

Speaking of which, Paulie’s goodbye speech goes a bit long as he kisses everybody’s BB butts. Corey has a similar farewell message including that Nicole is “the sweetest cuddliest snake”. Then all the houseguest votes evict Paulie. There’s no sympathy vote after all. His ticket opening feels like a heart-pounding adventure crammed into thirty seconds but then it turns out he just has a one way to the jury house, after all. The suspense was fun, though! Julie asks Paulie about his crying while on the nomination block and he says it was all strategy. She then asks him about Zakiyah and he says he “definitely wasn’t playing her” but also seems uninterested in any relationship with Zak outside the house. Michelle says Paulie’s a “poor man’s Derrick” in her farewell video message which is funny because it’s true. Then once Paulie’s gone the houseguests each open their envelopes and Paul has the one way ticket. Though it’s moot now anyway Paul has fun dancing around in his Secret Service suit and pelican floaty. We’re still fans of the man for moments like this. In the end, Julie reveal a new twist, a jury buyback. So, one of the jurors will get back into the house after they battle it out competition-style..

Paul

The Return Ticket holder celebration

After the show on the feeds before the HOH competition there are many re-tellings of Paulie’s campaigning comments. One that keeps coming up is how Paulie advised Michelle AND Natalie to join up with Nicorey so they can put Victor and Paul on the block together as a team. Meech has the most fun of all repeating it. Meanwhile Nicole goes straight to James and tells him to put up Paul and Michelle next to each other rather than putting her on the block – all before anyone has even played in the HOH comp. Then, after a long and apparently messy HOH challenge, Natalie emerges victorious. She’s happy and chatty all night long with her nomination decision still up in the air come morning. We’re excited to see who wins America’s care package to share the HOH by her side. Will it be Victor? Tune in to Fetchland.com and check out our tweets @RuiningBB18 to find out the daily scoop.

Natalie

Natalie is the new HOH!

– Katherine Recap

August-17th

Daily BB House Stats:
HOH – Victor
HOH Nominated – Corey, Paulie
Veto Winner – Victor
Evicted – #1 Jozea #2 Victor #3 Bronte #4 Tiffany #5 Frank #6 Da’vonne #7 Zakiyah #8 Bridgette
Battle Back Winner – Victor
Return Ticket Holder – TBD
Have-Nots – Michelle, Nicole
Have-Not Supplement – Sunflower seeds and corn

Victor

Victor = hero of the day… again

The August 17th TV episode brings Paulie’s game decay and the zings we’ve all been longing to see. It opens with the aftermath of nominations and Paulie telling us he’s headed into full-on beast mode in Diary Room. It’s not just a game to him because he’s a “born and bred competitor. Then there’s the kitchen confrontation between Paulie and Victor when Victor stands strong. “Some plans don’t work out. That one didn’t work out for you,” and Paulie has to suck it up, which just spins his top even harder.

Meech

When Paulie asks if she’ll use Veto on him

After that we see the Veto player pick and Paulie asks Michelle if she would take him off the block if she won. She says, “No,” so, he picks Nicole. This means Meech is the only one who won’t participate in the Veto comp because Natalie hosts and everyone else plays. Paul says after the player pick that he’s going to mess with Paulie so he’s stressed out for the Veto comp. Then we see that other early morning kitchen battle when Paul and Meech put Paulie on blast. He’s proven himself to lose his marbles a bit when he’s under strain so it’s a great strategy before the Veto. Even James gets in on it, confronting Paulie about how he flirted with Natalie even though he’s supposed to be James’s “boy”. Paulie claims in the Diary Room that this just fired him up even more to win the Veto. It’s a sympathetic edit for Paulie, making it seem like he’s being (2016 version) “bullied” as they gang up on him right before the Veto comp.

Zingbot

Zingbot zings

Next we see Zingbot and he zings every houseguest, including calling Victor a Dbag and Paulie a less attractive, less charming, and all around lesser person than Cody. Zingbot says Meech is a vomitcrybaby and blasts Nicole the worst, saying she can never win BB with her lame gameplay. He also calls out Paul’s catchphrases and thus Paul places his Pelican floaty on Zing’s waist. James also takes a Zingbot hit but Nat quickly comforts him. Once done with zinging, Zingbot announces he’s running for President and it’s time for the Veto comp. Nobody will go home empty handed, but only one of them can claim the Power of Veto. It’s that classic game of dirty Santa. You can take another houseguest’s prize just like in dirty Santa. First the houseguests have to “earn electoral votes” using catapults. When Paulie loses he has a hard time keeping his emotions still and even more so when Victor wins and trades his Apple Pie penalty for the Veto. He snarks that he “won’t be baking apple pie,” and then maxi-mopes in the Diary Room.

PaulThe August 17th episode wraps up with all the penalties distributed. It’s cute how Paul’s face lights up when they call him in to do his Secret Service Agent for the first time. Then he makes it look super fun. We believe in living like this, he embraces the cards he’s given and has maximum fun as he can doing it. That’s livin’… and it’s also good times for us to watch. Paulie’s pie penalty is another story as he calls waving the flag, brutal, and tears up while doing it. He’s contrite AF and gets pep talks from everyone… at least at first. As the Veto meeting begins, BB sounds a RED ALERT and Paul enthusiastically checks everyone and then sits down, satisfied and saying, “You can never be too safe”. Then in the Veto meeting Victor says it’s really all between the two of them and he can forgive but not forget, the same thing Paulie said to Victor before his eviction. Of course, Victor doesn’t use the Veto.

Paulie

Paulie stunned into silence… at last

In the end Paulie says he’s hopeful he has the Round Trip ticket. We’ll find out tomorrow night for certain because the way the house is cemented in their decision to evict Paulie isn’t likely going to change in the next twenty four hours. Tune in on Thursday night for the live eviction and to find out once and for all who has that Round Trip ticket. We’ll keep bringing you daily updates on the feeds and TV show here at Fetchland.com as well as tweeting from @RuiningBB18.

– Katherine Recap