The prerelease for the upcoming Magic: the Gathering set, Battle for Zendikar, is right around the corner. This is a very momentous set from a historical Magic perspective because it's the first expert level expansion that will be released in the two-sets-per-block paradigm (as opposed to how it previously worked with three-sets-per-block). It's also a momentous set for me personally because it's a return to the plane of Zendikar, which is where I started my journey into Magic nerd-dom. Additionally, Battle for Zendikar is a momentous set for us Vorthosian creature type historians because it will be just the second set in Magic's history to introduce new creatures with the type Eldrazi.
Although the Eldrazi have plane-shattering storyline significance, they've only appeared (not counting reprints) in Rise of the Eldrazi (abbreviated ROE to distinguish the card set from the historical event). As I mentioned before, that fact is about to change with the release of Battle for Zendikar (BFZ). But one thing that won't change is that ROE will still be the only set to feature Eldrazi Spawn: 0/1 colorless creature tokens, which you can sacrifice for 1 colorless mana. These are being replaced by the significantly more powerful 1/1 Eldrazi Scion tokens, with the same ability. But seeing as we currently have an small sample size of BFZ cards and don't know a lot about Eldrazi Scions, let's look back at the set of old, for background and reference.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
I get this question a lot as I meet more and more people who are interested in baseball. I explain the context about how I was introduced to the sport (at least from a fan's perspective) by my family in the East Bay, and thus I adopted their affiliations. But this answer misses the bigger picture perspective of that question, which is that we're ALL fans of specific teams in order to reduce the wide world of sports down to a manageable size. Most baseball fans don't have the time or energy to keep track of all 30 MLB teams, so they pick one franchise to follow closely and use as a lens through which to view the vast landscape of the sport.
This is probably a similar motivation for a lot of people who play fantasy sports, or at least those who play for something other than the thrill of the competition. Fans who don't have a particular team to root for - or fans whose team is perennially out of contention - can follow the players on their fantasy teams to keep from getting overwhelmed. But for those who don't want to go through the trouble of maintaining a fantasy team throughout the season, yet still want a team to root for, there's always the Fantasy Astrology League.
Since my fantasy team was eliminated from the playoffs last week, I've suddenly got a new found interest in the league featuring one team for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac. I must admit that I've paid little attention to this project for the past four months, which means the teams whose projected starters remained injury- and slump-free had a distinct advantage. But despite my inactivity, we're seeing mostly familiar faces in the final four: three-time champion Libra is joined by fellow playoff regulars Aries and Virgo. The one unexpected participant is Pisces, a team that had never before posted a winning record. Let's take a look at the pieces that contributed to each team's success.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
RGIII is injured... injured bad. In light of this frankly unsurprising news, Kirk Cousins has been named the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins. I'll bet he's never heard this nickname while growing up in suburban Illinois...