Hello and happy Monday, readers.  I hope those of you who got out for the Release events this past weekend had a great time, and managed to get your hands on all of the Avacyn Restored goodies you need to update your old EDH decks and build new ones.
Before we get started, I’d like to welcome any of you browsing over from StarCityGames.  Hope you enjoyed the article over there, and I hope you find something you like here.
For those of you who are already dedicated GDC-ers, I took the reins for Sean McKeown’s ‘Dear Azami’ series today – Head over to StarCityGames to check out the deck that I probably ruined Halfdane build that I put the wrenches to.
Standard business aside, let’s see if I can blow some minds today…
It’s not what you think.  I missed the game and hit my collection.
I’m sitting at my desk right now looking at three things:
  1. Three empty binders
  2. Four empty Fat Pack boxes
  3. A big pile of cash
It adds up to exactly what it looks like.  While most of you were off playing in Avacyn Restored Release events this past weekend, I was meeting with a dealer to liquidate most of my cards.
I know…I probably picked a bad day to toss out this information.  Those of you coming over from StarCityGames are probably wondering why you should read about EDH from someone who looks like they’re getting out of the game, and those of you who regularly read are probably some mixture of surprised and confused right now.
Here’s the thing – I’m not quitting anything.  I’ve still got cards and decks.  And I’m more dedicated than ever to this format, game, and blog, as well as anything else related that I’m involved in.  I’m dropping this information today because I started this blog with the idea that I was going to keep things transparent – If I was feeling something, I’d let you all know.  If I disliked something, I’d let you know why.  (In fact, for the new readers coming over from ‘Dear Azami’, I recommend reading this post I wrote last year, when I actually rip apart ‘Dear Azami’.  Sean is a very good sport, for the record.) 
In short, this thing is a big part of my mission statement in a few different ways. 
(Incidentally, if there’s anyone out there who’s keeping track and can successfully name all of the bands, songs, and albums that I’ve quoted since GDC has been up and running, e-mail me and impress me.  The first person to nail the whole list gets something cool.  And Mr. P, you’re technically ineligible…)
Why did you sell?
Well, there are a number of reasons.  I would be lying if I said that money wasn’t the primary motivator; it turns out that owning a house that is a work in progress and raising a baby is an expensive endeavor.  (Weird, huh?)
However, I wasn’t able to pull the trigger without coming to terms with another very important reason as well.  One thing that was starting to happen was a certain amount of stagnation;  I usually peak around fifteen decks at any given time; less than that and I get an itch to build, and more than that and things tend to blur together as far as style and substance.  I realized that my Kresh deck and my Thraximundar deck were nearly the same build.  I had a zombies tribal list that felt very functionally similar to my angels tribal list.  I had a very limited number of decks that honestly felt inspired and original, and that was starting to wear on me.  Most of my decks were sitting unused in boxes; if I played them once in four months or so, that was setting the ‘frequent’ benchmark.  Scary.
The final straw was the day the Avacyn Restored spoiler hit the internet.  Usually, that’s the day that my mind goes into overdrive, scouring the list and making a massive checklist of cards to pull from my decks, balanced by an equal list of new includes that I needed to get my hands on ASAP.
This time, I realized I was too tired to bother with the process.  And that scared me quite a bit.
What does that mean?
With the various financial burdens that I was facing, and an onset of apathy for the game and format that I love so much (and that, as a primary hobby, consumes most of my waking hours), I decided that the correct play was to hit the ‘reset’ button.  
I was bloated and out of shape.  It was time to shed some excess fat and get back to my fighting weight.  I needed to become reinvigorated. 
And I did.
What’s left?  Where are you going from here?
I’m now the proud owner of two complete decks, and two more in the works-
Somewhat ironically, I decided to keep the one deck that had been giving me the most trouble and felt most like it was falling into a ‘goodstuff’ pattern that was part of my overall problem with the format in general.  However, the color combination and nostalgia factor have led me to stick to my roots and maintain my original General as my flagship deck.  As I noted as well, there’s a bit of a crossover series coming in the next week or two that will be featuring a guest writer, with the goal of figuring out the problems with falling into the ‘goodstuff’ trap, and how to work your way back out.  Intet is going to serve as an ever-changing test bed for new ideas and strategies as things move forward.
This deck was a giant shot in the arm for me.  As I said last week, it got a test drive recently, and was a total blast to play; more importantly, it felt so fresh and new, and equally important, very interactive.  I’m going to be featuring this deck very soon, so stay tuned.
-A pile of green and white lands and components
This is going to be the home for that sweet (but elusive) foil copy of Sigarda, Host of Herons.  (If/when I can source one…I saw about six regular and one foil Gisela at the Prerelease, and only one regular copy of Sigarda.  And I’m still scratching my head at the prices she’s currently commanding…) 
Originally, this was to be a reinvention of my perennially-crappy mono-white Radiant, Archangel deck.  However, this is changing a bit.  In talking with Mr. P about the release of Avacyn Restored, we’ve been lamenting the fact that now everyone and their mother will have a tribal angels deck.  For that reason, I’m taking another direction with her.  Stay tuned.  (Again.)
-A big pile of black cards
The only color that wasn’t represented amongst my keepers when I started to tear down my decks was black.  I resolved to remedy this by re-developing my Kuon, Ogre Ascendant list.  This one will hit sometime after Sigarda, so it’s on a bit of a mental back-burner right now.  I did thoroughly enjoy my creature-less Sisters of Stone Death list, however, and I’m thinking this will be the spiritual successor.
Oh, right…
But this one is in the process of being given away via draft to the contributors of the Sharuum Community Project.
This is how I roll around here, folks.  If you didn’t contribute…see what you missed out on? 
I feel really good today.  I’ve got an article on StarCityGames that really was a blast to write, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.  (Sean, thanks again.  You helped with my reinvigoration in big way here.)  I’ve got a trimmed-down and focused stable of decks (all of which I’m excited to play), and I’m building again. 
I’ve got more to talk about on GDC then ever.  You guys are in for it.  There’s a lot in store coming very soon.    
Things are stronger than they’ve been since I got started, folks.  You guys are all to thank for this.  I somehow missed the milestone of ten-thousand hits for GeneralDamageControl.com last week, and that’s about nine-thousand nine-hundred more than I ever thought I would see.  This is incredible, and I’m so glad that I’ve got such a great group of followers willing to take a ride with me twice a week. 
I can’t wait to hit 100K. 
Rock on-