Sometimes things just don’t work out. You have that day where you get up, and you’re running late from the get-go. Work is nuts, and you don’t get a lunch break. You need time to pay the bills and balance the checkbook, and that time just isn’t there. You make some calls for help where you can, but there’s no answer.

Today was certainly one of those days.

And so it is, after getting in from helping out with things that aren’t on my priority list but will always get my priority nonetheless, and trying to lay down for some sleep knowing that I need to be up in six hours to do it all over again, only to be too awake with frustration to nod off, that I’m here at 11:39, and I’m probably going to be writing some grouchy stuff.

I haven’t let the grumpy old man out to complain in a bit, folks. I can’t back him down forever, so hang on and enjoy the ride.

-“Defending The Social Contract”. That’s what I’m leaning towards for the new tagline. GenCon is right around the corner, and I need t-shirts and business cards and the new site up and running, and this is a pretty crucial piece.

It’s a hard-line statement. It almost comes off sounding militant. It’s missing that comedic, self -deprecating edge that we do so well around here (or at least I hope we do…)

But we always strive to do just what it says. We’re damn-near more conservative than some of the Rules Committee at times when it comes to how we look at Commander. At the end of the day, we want to enjoy the games we play, and what we write and how we uphold the contract is a strong constant in who we are here.

I think “Defending The Social Contract” is a pretty apt statement. It’ll look good on a t-shirt too. Hopefully I didn’t unconsciously steal this from someone else, which with my luck I probably did.

What do you think? I’m dying to know if this is the right call.

-Speaking of GenCon, it looks like is doing everything they can to ruin my dream of returning with my Prime Speaker Zegana metagame hate deck to take down a field of dirty combo decks and reign supreme over the regular Thursday 11pm Commander Constructed game.

This is mostly because it doesn’t exist anymore.

The three-round constructed events have all been moved to the middle of the day each day, and they’re not “GenCon Championship Qualifiers” anymore, so we’re likely back to playing for a small pack payout. In addition, it seems that they’ve also decided to make sit-and-go four-man Commander events that fire throughout the day that use a modified “points” system to determine winners over just powering out kills.

It seems like someone has been listening. It also means that it takes the wind out of the sails of the event Mr P and I had been trying to get going, since the format is roughly the same and they’re happening all day. Kinda kills the luster of the whole thing.

So I wonder if I’m not going to have anyone to beat up on with this Simic thing I’ve been tuning and foiling out all year after all. And maybe that’s okay.

– So, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014. Pretty fantastic for the most part. This is possibly because of the new cards available a few weeks in advance. It should have been because of the sealed deck mode; sadly, that’s not the case.

It turns out that Wizards of the Coast has devised a way to keep all the savage cheaters from opening sealed pool after sealed pool until they get the bomb deck to head online and wreck any and all comers with. This method is to charge $1.99 per each additional sealed pool you want to open past the initial two you get for buying the game.

I support this as far as online play goes. However, there is absolutely no reason that the online multiplayer and single-player sealed pools couldn’t be kept separate, in order to allow me to keep building decks to my hearts’ content to throw at the CPU. It is insanely frustrating that I can’t do that, and after three days, I’m effectively shut out of playing with the coolest new feature of the game. Talk about killing replay value.

Patch this, WotC. I see the protective measure aspect, but it screams “cash grab” for those of us who just want to play offline.

– I’ve had quite a few people ask me in the past week how I manage to stay on top of all of the Commander content that I put out. I figured I would answer it here.

Currently, on top of a wonderful family and a more-than-full-time job, I have the following things to fit into my extra-curricular schedule and available free time:

-Managing and writing here at GDC a few times a week.
-Editing for
-Occasionally writing for
-Bi-weekly writing of the “Dear Azami” series for
-Working on content generation/development for all three sites.
-Managing a sales account on
-Trying desperately to keep doing card alterations. (Imshan will tell you how successful I am there.)
-Building and maintaining my decks, and trying to get some games in where I can.

All this, plus trying to maintain a semblance of other real-life stuff like normal people do.

So the answer here is, “I don’t sleep, and things get done as best they can.” Which isn’t great, but it’s an answer.

-Consequently, this is also why I am actively recruiting new writers for this site, and why I’d love to luck across someone who’s into marketing and development and would love a new project. Oh, and probably someone who podcasts too. And a website designer. And a pony.

Also, I need to learn how to say “No.” And how to take a vacation at some point. Things to add to the list, right?

-Speaking of new content, I hope you all enjoyed Dave’s new column last Friday. I certainly did, and it’s great to give you all a third day of content each week and a different perspective on the game and the way articles are written around here most of the time. Thanks for coming on board, Dave! Moving forward, Three Cards Deep will be dropping every Friday, so mark your RSS feeds.

-In part because it’s on my New Years Resolution list, in part because Imshan got me all fired up about the format, and in part because I think it might somehow help with how worked up I seem to be getting lately when I play Magic, I’m trying to drag Mr P to Worcester this weekend to play in the Star City Games Legacy Open. I’m pretty sure Mr P is only considering going to placate me, and I’m pretty sure going in to this thing having not played the format in a decade and not play-tested at all is a poor idea. It should make for some good reading for you all next week, however.

-I am literally shaking with anticipation of breaking down the M14 spoilers. This is mostly due to the stuff that has already been spoiled for a month or so, and not at all because of the new Chandra or Gemhide Sliver variant that was officially thrown out there yesterday. Actually, hold that thought…

…nope. It’s not for Bubbling Cauldron or Bogbrew Witch either. Although Garruk 4.0 and Windreader Sphinx look promising. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and spoil the review…

-Pucatrade, you’re killing me. I want so badly to dig on what you’re doing. However, I absolutely need to have a button on the “Send A Card” screen that lets me select a highlighted card, because I can’t double-click from a mobile browser. I am on mobile browsers 90% of the time, which means I can’t take advantage of the dude who wants my Jace, Memory Adept and Inferno Titan, because people not on mobile browsers will snap them up before I can get to a computer.

I can, however, spend a stamp and envelope to send out copies of Opportunity for 17 cents all day long.

Eric…please please PLEASE fix this.

-Pet peeve: When I build a new deck, and someone sees nothing but the general and says something along the lines of, “Oh, you built THAT deck.” Really? Does my track record suggest that I’m going to net deck the most common EDH build of a given general that I can?

I won’t lie…there’s a small, vindictive part of me at wants to ignore the “Deconstructing Kresh” thing I’ve started and just build and keep the initial busted Jarad-Fling version just for spite.

Of course, I took it apart the first time because I got totally sick of that, so I won’t. I’ll just continue to sheepishly shrug when people make those comments. So it goes.

-Okay, folks. The joys of cathartic writing mean that I’ve cooled my jets enough to try to catch a few hours’ sleep before work tomorrow, and that I’ve also managed to put the lid on opening fire on that thing I wanted to rip apart, and that other thing as well, both of which I’d likely regret.

For those of you wondering, here’s to hoping tomorrow sucks worse than today did, and I’ll totally remove the filter tomorrow night at this time. 🙂