Goblin giant sparky deck
Clash Royale: A Most Ridiculous Duel!
2016.01.04 08:39 HyperXxX Clash Royale: A Most Ridiculous Duel!
Subreddit for all things Clash Royale, the free mobile strategy game from Supercell.
2023.06.10 19:36 LesserValkyrie I'm starting to get stuck at 6500 Trophies
I am playing Pekka Ram Bridge Spam but I am stuck at 6500~
I tried this deck but god
Everything counters it, valkyrie, e-giant, archers, giant, granma witch, bomb skeleton, firecracker, any sorcerer, etc
They put a hell tower and I'm DONE, they have cards that counter 3 of mines. They sometimes pull of cards I NEVER saw before and counter me. Like the grandma witch, never saw this game played, and now thrice in a row I am using this deck.
Any advices ? Is this deck really god ? Do you have any video or tips to improve with Pekka Ram ?
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2023.06.10 17:30 ivanowastaken royal giant bandit deck suggestions
they are my highest lvl cards, anyone has a good deck with them? tried searching online but nothing good i found
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2023.06.10 16:08 wolfynn Worst META ever? (and why balancing in CR sucks)
Yeah, the typical rant, but wait me for a minute and try to find some logic to the balance changes, next updates: and how it’s all about creating the most toxic metas ever in the game.
Because it’s so easy to see:If you buff (again) Night Witch » you favor Golem decks.
If you buff Healer » you contribute to eGolem and other beatdown (eGiant) to be stronger.
If you buff Skelly Dragons » more Lavahound.
If you buff Ice Wizard » more splashyard.
There was NO need to do this. And sometimes the devs in the game tell us they want to force certain cards again in the META: which means, they intentionally balance to create strong archetypes.
But hey, no worries: wait for the Evolution cards to break completely the meta, and it’ll all be OK.We’ll forget the really bad and unnecessary buffs to annoying cards and decks.
Because we'll have even more toxic cards to care about!
Sorry: but they should fire anyone involved in balancing this game. Totally serious.
I’m not buying Pass Royale or any Shop offers, until the devs start caring about the game balance for REAL, and not forcing this horrible metas to us.
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2023.06.10 16:08 Upper_Ad_8395 Skill Change for '21 Crawford
2023.06.10 16:02 Timely-Elk8291 Trip report: Geezer first-timers--May 8-June 5. Last of 3 parts: Tokyo, Nikko, Kamakura
For independent western travelers, Japan demands more planning than, say, a trip through Europe. But the corresponding rewards are huge. And you absolutely don't need to hire a guide, so long as you do basic homework (which is half the fun of travel, anyway).
This is the last of three reports from our recent four-week journey, covering ten nights in Tokyo, one in Nikko and three in Kamakura.
Tokyo--Nippon Professional Baseball at Tokyo Dome; May Grand Sumo tournament, Hamarikyu garden; Tuna auction
Kamakura--Sunset spectacle at a seaside park
TOKYO, Monday 5/22
For this 7-night leg, we chose Park Hotel Tokyo (the top floors of the Shiodome Media Tower; $208/night with breakfast). The lobby is on the 25th floor, requiring separate elevator rides to reach your room. Access to subways is a mixed bag (Shiodome Station is next door; more useful Shimbashi is a longer walk). There were far more Americans than our other hotels, and the ample breakfast buffet wasn't as fabulous, either (an admittedly high bar). On the other hand, the area teems with great, affordable places to eat. Our room had something we'd never experienced: a fog-free bathroom mirror (the new must-have!). And when we opened the curtains of our 28th floor room in the morning, there was Fuji in all her glory, an unforgettable vista. What more could you want?
TOKYO, Tuesday 5/23
Our first stop on a drizzly day was the Imperial Palace grounds, last of our highly recommended Imperial Household Agency tours. The adjacent East Garden, open to all, is worth seeing, too.
After lunch, we checked out the nearby National Museum of Modern Art. Kudos to management for allowing photography. The highlights room on the top floor is a great survey, and if you're short on time you could skip the rest, unless a special exhibition piques your interest.
We caught a fantastic show about Tokugawa Ieyasu at the private Mitsui Memorial Museum--the best single exhibition we saw. Unfortunately, it closes tomorrow, June 11; but that's a place you might keep an eye on.
TOKYO, Wednesday 5/24
We visited Senso-ji first thing. We liked it so much we went back a few nights later to see it lit up. Either way, it's a must.
Lunch was at Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku, a welcoming place that's been dishing up made-to-order onigiri for almost 70 years. It's a Bib Gourmand. Show up just before 11 am to avoid a wait; otherwise, you'll be given a time to return for a seat.
We went to Tokyo Dome to catch a Yomiuri Giants game, stopping off first at the adjacent, very worthwhile, landscape garden, Koishikawa Korakuen (geezers over 65 half-price!). The game itself was a trip, much like an American football game, with non-stop chants by fans and on-field cheerleaders between innings. Our lower-deck seats, bought in advance from the team's website, cost under $35 each.
TOKYO, Thursday 5/25
Like other great cities, like New York or Paris, Tokyo is made for strolling. On this day, we were flaneurs, with stops along Omotesando, the tree-shaded fashion avenue that calls itself Harajuku Champs-Elysees, and hip Cat Street nearby. The area wakes up slowly, so consider a visit at midday or later.
Lunch was a pure pig-out (pun intended) at Tonkatsu Nanaido. Can't recommend it highly enough; the wait was a tolerable 30 minutes (dinner reservations possible). Try to ignore the health implications of tender pork, fried (extremely lightly) in pure lard. Pure heaven.
TOKYO, Friday 5/26
Meiji Shrine and garden got us going in the morning, and the Meiji Jingu Museum was well worth a stop.
We were somewhat ambivalent about sumo but bought advance tickets to the big May tournament because, well, when might we ever see sumo in person again? It turned out to be the surprise hit of the trip: a spectacle with deep historic roots, more engaging and suspenseful than we imagined. Advance online tickets are gettable; no middleman required.
TOKYO, Saturday 5/27
The Tokyo National Museum lives up to its reputation as the best in the country (at least the best we saw). We made repeated visits and still didn't see it all. And it's free for those of us over 70. One of our favorite items: a 1,500-year-old ceramic sculpture of sumo wrestlers and a judge. The museum's enlightened view toward photography means we'll always have our pictures to remind us of what we saw.
TOKYO, Sunday 5/28
We spent a relaxed Sunday morning at verdant Hamarikyu Gardens, a park that borders Tokyo Bay. The former playground of feudal shoguns is an urban oasis of water features and classic landscape design. You can happily spend a couple hours strolling its paths.
In the afternoon, we checked out Ginza's main drag, closed to vehicle traffic. We wish, though, that we'd known that Akihabara's Chuo-dori is also pedestrianized on Sunday afternoons.
NIKKO, Monday 5/29
We cabbed it to Asakusa Station and caught the Tobu Kegon express to Nikko. Light rain didn't stop us --or hundreds of other umbrella toters--from visiting glorious Toshugo Shrine. Far better, though, was our visit the next day. At 8:30 a.m., the shrine was essentially deserted; crowds started arriving at 9:30. That quiet morning hour was reason enough to have spent the night in Nikko. It also kept us ahead of the crowds at Rinnoji Temple and nearby Taiyuin and Futarasan Shrine, all well worth visiting.
Nikko Station Hotel Classic ($270, including excellent meals) was the most old-school place we stayed (They still put top sheets on the beds). Masking is requested, and at breakfast, guests are asked to don plastic gloves before going through the buffet line. The onsen in the basement was absolutely first-rate, as was our meticulously prepared tofu kaiseki dinner at the hotel restaurant.
TOKYO, Tuesday 5/30
For our third and final Tokyo stop, we chose the Ueno area and weren't disappointed. The well-run and sophisticated Nohga Hotel Ueno Tokyo ($217/night, including breakfast) is on a quiet street just a short walk from Ueno Station and park, with its many attractions.
TOKYO, Wednesday 5/31
We wandered through Yanesen, a traditional neighborhood sometimes described as a hidden gem, and began our end-of-trip shopping on mid-century Yanaka Ginza.
Lunch was at Inshotei, a lovely traditional restaurant in the heart of Ueno Park, booked online before our trip. 3.59 on Tabelog.
TOKYO, Thursday 6/1
Tuna! We initially took a pass on the early morning auction, discouraged by reviews on this sub and elsewhere that dismiss the relatively new Toyosu auction site as vastly inferior to the former one at Tsukiji market. But an old Japan hand persuaded us to give it a try. We're extremely happy we did. We were lucky enough to get tickets to the open-air observation platform and the experience became a trip highlight.
Up and out by cab before 4:30 a.m., we had about half an hour to watch and hear the action directly below us. It may not be Tsukiji, but it's the only Tokyo tuna auction you've got. I say go, especially if you can snag open-air gallery passes.
KAMAKURA, Friday 6/2
There weren't a lot of great choices for lodging in the coastal town of Kamakura (a day trip for Tokyo residents). We needed a quick getaway to Haneda Airport on Monday morning, and Hotel Metropolitan Kamakura, a JR East property, fit the bill. It was pricey ($292 per night with meals) but our room was spacious, even luxurious by Japanese standards, and smack in the middle of the action.
KAMAKURA, Saturday 6/3
I wondered, before leaving home, if we'd get templed-out, like other travelers do. It never happened, though torrential rainfall, spun from the remnants of Typhoon Mawar, tested us at the end. On the plus side, we had the Great Buddha and Hachimangu Shrine completely to ourselves; the downside was soaked clothing and shoes that would take time to dry out (fortunately, we brought extra pairs, and our collapsible umbrellas did the best they could).
By afternoon, the skies cleared and hundreds of surfers rushed to ride the storm-generated surf. We caught the action from the sands of Yuigahama Beach.
KAMAKURA, Sunday 6/4
Early, before other tourists arrived, we checked out Engakuji temple, but were helpless in the face of Sunday crowds at Meigetsuin temple, better known as Hydrangea Temple. The blossoms were exploding after the rain but visitors clogged the pathways. We fled to Kenchoji, totally empty by comparison, and had a final, restorative Zen moment in the peaceful garden behind the main hall.
Last stop of the tour, after one more omakase sushi dinner, was sunset at Inamuragasaki Park. We never expected what we found: a spectacular view of Fuji, the entire mountain outlined against a multi-colored sky, with pounding waves and a few hardcore surfers in the foreground.
It was a concluding surprise in a trip filled with them, a journey that greatly exceeded expectations. Four weeks turned out to be just about right for a couple of geezers. But it left lots of stuff on the cutting room floor, like Nagasaki, which I still want to see, and much more. Next time, maybe.
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2023.06.10 15:26 Shigarui (Un)Popular Opinion
Blizzard should just make the entire campaign optional from the very first created character. I've never been so bored and felt so held back in a game before. If this was my first introduction to Diablo and I didn't know the real game begins after level 50 and after the Story then I'd probably drop it. It is BORING. And it's not even just the story, some people may find it interesting enough to want to tackle the 4 different simultaneous paths you need to take to get a story beat. It's the SLOW talking and walking these NPCs engage in. And not the skippable dialog, I'm wearing that B button out on those, it's the casual conversations they are supposed to be having when you walk up. It's the SLOW trudge through the desert as they drag a camel to 15 different checkpoints so that you can listen to them gripe about leaving a pipe behind. And it's also that everything you do has its next leg of the mission across the map for no damned reason. This map is HUGE, which is pretty cool until you have to walk across it getting in fights along the way to go back to tell someone, who's decided they wanted a change of scenery and traveled to the other side of the map, that "plan A didn't work, what now." I finally just passed Act 3 and can move quicker around the map. I feel like I'm playing that race to get Epona in Ocarina of Time now though. Hammering that R trigger. Even dungeons feel unnecessarily long and arduous. Go find 3 of this bauble to open this door, but you can only carry one back at a time even though you've already cleared the entire dungeon. Be prepared to walk back here again after you drop that first pebble off since you apparently don't have any room in your pockets left because of the 30 sets of armor and 74 bottles of elixir you are carrying somewhere in your giant purse. I actually love finding those Cellar icons only because they are quick and fun and you never know if you'll fight a mob or find 3 treasure goblins chilling before they go out and play tag with the next adventurer. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying this game, as I have every Diablo. But I feel like I was really having fun the first 5 hours as I grew into possible builds and opened up the skill tree. And I know I'm going to have a blast after I knock the rest of these missions out in Act 5 and 6. But the hours in between those targets make this feel so slow and drawn out and artificially elongated. Anyway, just my two cents. I look forward to joining you all in WT3 and 4 soon.
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2023.06.10 13:54 dfibno123 Made infinite with classic JaneJaw, my thoughts and walkthrough. Warning *long!*
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Hi everyone, I’m back again, this time using a Lockjaw deck. Lockjaw has been in and out of the meta multiple times over the last few months with various versions, but the nerf two months(?) ago made him much less popular, though he has made a resurgence recently with a version featuring High Evolutionary. Today though, we’ll be revisiting the classic version, JaneJaw!
After hitting infinity last month I mostly only did daily quests and fooling around, so didn’t get to benefit much from the starting boost some people had this month due to the bug; I started at 73. I promise this write-up will be (slightly) shorter than my usual!
If you’re interested, see my post history for write-ups in previous months featuring DeathWave (RIP), Sera Control, KaZoo, DoomWave. Why JaneJaw?
JaneJaw may feel like a deck that completely relies on luck, and super unreliable, but in truth any experienced card/board gamer will tell you that RNG is only a bad thing if it’s completely unpredictable. If you can manipulate it so that it favours you, then RNG can be a powerful ally.
In my previous guides, I’ve talked through the importance of priority management and how controlling priority control is key to winning games for most decks. This deck relies on a different mechanic: probability control. The deck is weighted towards lockjaw pulling a favourable card most
of the time. The key to climbing is knowing when the odds are your favour and snapping before
Lockjaw pulls. If you wait for Lockjaw to pull well before you snap, your cube rate will likely be negative.
There is also some degree of hand management involved with this deck to manipulate Dracula’s mechanic. Pros:
Strong deck in the current meta as all the meta tech cards (Luke Cage, Enchantress, Rogue) are dead draws against the deck. Shang-Chi is much less popular now, and he’s not really a problem most of the time tbh (more on that later). You also get that sweet adrenaline rush when you pull well. Cons:
Requires quite a few S3 cards. This is also somewhat of a solitaire deck because you run zero ways of interacting with opponent, which may not appeal to some players. The fun comes from taking positive risks and seeing it pay through. Although the odds are in your favour, you can, and will
lose to bad luck. If you tilt easily, this deck is not for you. I recall a game where Lockjaw pulled all 3 rocks from Korg and RockSlide, that was fun. Decklist and choices:
The decklist is pretty flexible to be honest. I basically chose the biggest baddest cards available. 1. Wasp - Standard basic card to trigger Lockjaw for free. 2. Yellowjacket - A lot of JaneJaw decks don’t run this, choosing to run 1-costs like Nightcrawler or M’baku instead. However since the Lockjaw nerf, playing Lockjaw on T6 and triggering it 3 times right away is no longer an option, so instead you are aiming to trigger Lockjaw once per turn, and I found I often did not have the 1 energy to spare after turn 3. Yellowjacket, whilst not great, is unfortunately the only other 0-cost in the game. To be honest though, in the grand scheme of things, since we are pulling cards with 10+ power, -1 or -2 is never really game-changing anyway. 3. Lockjaw/ThoJane Foster - Deck’s namesake. Thor is great 3 cost body when you don’t draw Lockjaw that almost always ends up 10 power. Bonus points if you manage to play Mjollnir several times through location effects or recycling through Lockjaw and Jane Foster. 4. Dracula - Dracula is terrifying and people tend to actively avoid the Dracula lane. Dracula can be awkward to play sometimes, but remember only you know how likely Dracula is going to pull a big card; your opponent lives in fear. 5. Jubilee - Another way to cheat out big cards. Jubilee also allows access into some locations (Death’s domain/Luke’s Bar etc) that you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. 6. Hulk/Magneto/Giganto/Infinaut - Basically the highest power cards around. Some decklists run Dr Doom and Odin. I tried them but I didn’t like it as Odin doesn’t really synergise with much else, and due to nature of the deck you can’t always control the order which cards come out. I feel this deck works better as a tall deck, purely only contesting two lanes, whereas Doom wants to go for a wide strategy, threatening all 3 lanes. 7. Chavez - Improves draw reliability and has a good body that you’re never unhappy to pull. Most importantly she provides valuable decision-making information in the later turns due to her guaranteed draw mechanic. General strategy:
I always skip T1 and T2, I don’t think there are any circumstances which I would play anything before. That means you have two turns of tempo to start catching up on once you start playing on T3. You do this by always playing into the lane that opponent already has stuff in, to directly challenge them. The majority of the time, you will overwhelmingly win the lane Lockjaw is in, so you negate any previous cards they played in.
Thor and Dracula are great to play into Stormed lanes or places like KyIn.
The important thing playing this is always tracking what cards are left in your draw pile, so you can calculate what your odds of pulling well are, and when to not even bother and retreat. Especially on T6, it’s pretty common to only have 1 or 2 cards left in the deck so you know
exactly what Lockjaw is going to pull. Fortunately decks are only 12 cards and it’s pretty easy to keep track after you’re familiar with the deck. If you’re playing on desktop I think there are deck trackers you can use, maybe someone in chat can recommend?
I generally go for the strategy of only contesting two lanes. I often completely abandon the third lane, the only time I go wide is when I’m anticipating Shang-Chi (see counters).
I snap extremely aggressively with this deck, meaning snapping before
the Lockjaw pull. If you snap after, people will just retreat and you only get a cube at a time, which is too slow for any serious rank climbing. One bad pull is fine, and sometimes baits people to snap back. Assess what your odds for the next pull are. A bad pull increases the odds of the next pull being good, so it’s easily possible to recover.
As an easy rule, if you’ve drawn Lockjaw, Wasp and Yellowjacket by T3, SNAP (unless it’s Galactus). Literally the only bad pull possible is Jubilee into the Wasp you just put in (it does happen though!). I usually consider Lockjaw, Wasp and any 4 cost in my hand by T3 as good enough to snap, particularly if I’ve identified my opponent’s deck by then.
On T4, play Dracula if you’ve drawn all your big stuff already, play Jubilee if it’s the opposite. If you have Jane Foster then play Thor as it’s a guaranteed 10 power.
T5, have a think about how Chavez affects your pull before deciding whether or not to play into Lockjaw, as this will likely be the final space in the Lockjaw lane. If you’ve got small cards left in your deck (and you don’t have Jane to pull them out first) then it will be worth playing into it now as Chavez increases the odds slightly of pulling a decent body. If you’ve got all the small cards already, then hold on for another turn so you can get a slightly bigger pull.
On T6, play whichever 6 cost gives you what you need to get the best outcome, you will always have a few options in your hand. Magneto wins games by pulling cards out of opponent’s “won” lanes, but will lose you games if you play it carelessly. Sometimes Chavez is the right thing to play if you need
Dracula to hit something bigger. Don’t ever play Jane Foster T6 unless you want Dracula to cry - this is relevant as not playing into the Lockjaw lane T6 can be the right choice if there is a 50%+ chance of drawing Jane.
I consider myself fairly risk-happy, and in the later turns, I judge anything <50% as poor odds and will retreat; 50-75% playable, and >75% good odds and will snap if I haven’t already. Notable deck counters
Very few to be honest. RNG is your best friend and worst enemy.
Shang-Chi seems like a huge problem with all our giant cards but really isn’t a big deal. Look at it this way: Shang-Chi killing a 6-cost Hulk is a tempo gain, Shang-Chi killing a Hulk cheated out through a 0-cost Wasp is a tempo loss. You only lose to Shang-Chi when you over-commit a lane. So if you’re expecting Shang in the opponent’s deck, then spread your power a little by playing Jaw, Thor, Jubilee in different lanes OR stack Dracula with a big card so they can Shang-Chi the lane and lose anyway unless they commit more cards. I think I only lost two games to Shang-Chi through my climb, I won all the others when Shang-Chi was played. Shang also doesn’t seem that common nowadays as well.
My decklist doesn’t run many ways to go into unplayable locations. Jubilee allows some access but still limited. I didn’t find it a big problem and was generally fine since we only want to contest two lanes anyway.
Subterranea sucks. Thank goodness SD reduced its frequency! Match-ups
This will be much shorter than usual because the deck is pretty even with most decks since it comes down to your draw and pulling most of the time. I’ll just highlight a few more common match-ups.
- Galactus - This is your only truly bad match-up because we can’t interact with them. Thankfully this is such a tediously slow deck to climb with that it’s not insanely common. Still quite a few around though, so keep an eye out for the usual warning signs and retreat if they snap.
- Move - With this month’s season pass and cards, expect the popularity to continue to rise. Move decks are quite predictable in that once Dr Strange and Ghost Spider come out; they can only move LEFT. The right lane is usually a free win, so you only need to commit medium power into it. Then go all in one of the other lanes and you should be able to win. Be wary they can cough up pretty good numbers if they draw correctly but usually involves multiple moves leftward, so middle lane is usually a good lane to contest.
- Sera Control - The only deck that reliably runs Shang-Chi. As mentioned before, play a little wider against this. They don’t have anywhere near the amount of power to contest if they cannot pull off swings through their tech cards.
- Darkhawk - Pretty annoying match-up because of all the rocks but still playable because we are one of the only decks able to draw cards through Jubilee and Jane Foster, so our deck usually ends up pretty thin and Hawk isn’t that big. Just be ready to retreat if pulls are awful.
- High Evolutionary - Match-up is okay because similar to Yellowjacket, the minor power pings don’t matter too much because our cards are just so big anyway. Also Dracula doesn’t care about power reduction. Remember Magneto can pull Cyclops and Thing into unfavourable lanes. Just be cautious T6 about the size of their Hulk when doing your power calculations. If playing against the control version, be mindful of Spider-Man and Prof X locking you out of lanes.
- Leader - Is an interesting candidate in that he’s a 6 cost you could actually play into Lockjaw
- Iron Man - Actually a completely legit substitution for a 6-cost and can offer even more power than an Infinaut sometimes
- Dr Doom/Odin - As discussed earlier, many decks run these but I just don’t like it as it opts to go wide rather than tall. I would consider Doom without Odin as he’s just a vanilla 8 power most of the time and that isn’t good enough.
- Vision - He’s fine I guess. A medium body but his power is in letting you trigger Lockjaw 4 times rather than the usual maximum 3.
- High Evolutionary - A rather different deck that will need multiple card substitutions actually. It’s also piloted a little differently with a slightly lower curve as you need to conserve energy each turn.
- Honestly pretty much any big powered 6 cost can be a substitute if you’re missing cards: Helicarrier, Orka, SHulk are all probably fine.
This was a pretty fun deck to play, although I imagine quite tilting for opponents when it seems like you just luck out in games. I got a ton of “I don’t believe you”s playing this deck when Lockjaw would pull Infinaut. Sometimes Dracula would kill Hulk, when actually my hand was Chavez, Hulk, Giganto and Infinaut so Hulk was actually the second-worst kill, but my opponent doesn’t know that, and just thinks I lucked out! I lost plenty of games too when Dracula would kill Jubilee although there are 4 better other cards in my hand, so although you can do your best to manipulate odds you can still just get screwed by bad luck!
Lockjaw is a really powerful mechanic and many cards around have been adjusted due to his meta-warping power (remember Thanos Quinjet). I wouldn’t be surprised it further changes are made to the good boi himself if he becomes problematic again, so enjoy him while you can!!
2023.06.10 11:19 Silken_Dreams This deck rivals Tear in terms of card advantage now. I love my sparky children
2023.06.10 10:19 Daytman Bored on a Friday night, decided to compile all the themes I could find for cards and their effects
Sorry if this has been done before, I couldn't find anything comprehensive anywhere. I don't have that deep of Marvel knowledge, so I'd love to know any that I missed.
- Not all cards that logically belong on a team/in a group/in a theme necessarily fit that theme
- Many cards have similar effects that don't have a theme to their team, but a theme to their powers
- It can be hard to distinguish if two cards have similar powers because there's a theme going on or not (see the "discarding cards" mess of a grouping)
- Some cards with similar effects can be grouped safely into separate themes
- Some cards actually seem to fit multiple themes
- Some groupings are just duos that are designed to work together
- Some are a stretch but I swear there's a theme there, whether or not I think I see one
Okay, now onto the obvious ones:
- The Guardians of the Galaxy all have different costs but get power if an opponent plays a card in the same location on the same turn. Rocket, Star Lord, Groot, Drax, and Gamora. Mantis, who is sometimes a guardian, draws a card if an opponent plays a card in the same location on the same turn. The Guardians Anti-Heroes have a related effect, and Nebula and Adam Warlock both have effects that bait a player into playing a card in a particular location.
- Shield's cards all revolve around adding random cards to your deck. Agent 13, Maria Hill, Agent Coulson, and Nick Fury all add random cards to your deck. The Quinjet makes the cards that these cards spawn cost 1 energy less. The Helicarrier adds three cards to your hand if it's discarded from your hand.
- Most Spider-Man Villains have risky downsides. Lizard, Electro, Rhino, Black Cat, Mister Negative, Sandman, and Doctor Octopus all have effects that can backfire on the player or limit the player in some way. There are two subgroupings that I would also put in there. The Goblins include Green Goblin and Hobgoblin, and can leave you with a card with a negative power on your side. The Symbiotes include Carnage and Venom, who destroy your other cards but power up from doing so. Knull fits with the Symbiotes in powering up from destroyed cards, but doesn't really have the same risk factor.
- There are a group of Spider-People (for lack of a better term) that all interact with movement. Ghost-Spider, Silk, Miles Morales, and Spider-Man 2099 all either move themselves or move other cards. However, that pesky Kraven powers up whenever a card moves to him, which I believe is meant to be related.
- Black Panther and Friends power up cards on reveal. The girls, Okoye, Nakia, and Shuri all give power to other cards, while Black Panther doubles his own power. The Iron People(?) also focus on powering up, with Rescue powering herself up, Hulkbuster powering another card up, and Iron Man doubling the power at the location. I didn't put these together because they have the same theme, but because Ironheart belongs to both groups and therefore is the link between these two groups having the same general theme of effect.
- The two Captains America, Captain America and Patriot, power up other cards as well. Red Skull does the reverse of Captain America, with the same exact effect but on the other player's cards.
- Sea-People function best if they're the only card in their location. This includes Namor, Attuma, and Orka.
A lot of duos have powers that are complementary:
- Shanna the She-Devil summons one-cost cards, while Ka-Zar buffs one-cost cards.
- Moon Girl duplicates your hand and Devil Dinosaur is buffed by the numbe of cards in your hand.
- Thor throws Mjolnir out in to the deck, while Jane Foster, Mighty Thor's ability summons it back out of the deck.
- Cloak allows cards to move to a location once, while Dagger is buffed by moving.
These are grouped by their powers rather than affiliations:
- Sentinel and Master Mold both add sentinels to someone's hand.
- Deadpool, Wolverine, and Sabretooth (the last two are definitely related, Deadpool isn't as directly related) all have regeneration powers and all come back when destroyed.
- Cosmo, Jean Grey, and Professor X are all telepaths that enforce special rules on locations.
- Korg, Debrii, and Landslide are all rock-related and add rocks to players' hands and the battlefield.
- The Thing, Abomination, and Hulk are all large, (mostly) invulnerable characters with super strength, and all have high costs and high power with no effect. The way they're arranged in a series from 4-6 power makes me thing Thing is meant to be included with the other two more closely related characters.
These are all loose fits and stretches:
- Forge and Mirage are both Native American X-Men who give 2 power to a card (told you they're stretches).
- Mystique and Rogue seem to have some sort of relationship (I'm not too familiar with X-Men) and both have very similar powers around copying ongoing abilities. Super Skrull changes his appearance, somewhat like Mystique, and also copies ongoing effects. Absorbing Man's effect is worded almost exactly like Rogue's except with "on reveal" rather than "ongoing," and both do "absorb." Enchantress also has powers around glamours, but has the effect of removing ongoing effects rather than copying them like the other four in this group.
- The Punisher and Ronan the Accuser both "retribution" and have similar names, and both get power from the number of the opposing player's cards (in the hand or on the field).
- Squirrel Girl and White Tiger are both associated with a particular animal, and both summon those animals into other locations. Shanna the She-Devil also handles animals and summons cards to other locations, but this is probably not related (though Shanna and Squirrel Girl both synergize with Ka-Zar).
- The biggest mess of a category I have is written down as Vampires/Vampire Hunters/Supernatural/Supernatural Hunters/Midnight Sons(???). There's not one of those categories that all of the characters fit into, but all have very similar themes and effects. Morbius, Blade, Dracula, and Hellcow are all vampires, and Morbius powers up from discarded cards while the other three discard cards. Sword Master also hunts supernatural things, is also a blade user like Blade and Dracula, and also discards cards. Ghost Rider and Moon Knight are both on the supernatural, "Midnight Suns" side of the spectrum like many of the others here, the latter discards cards while the former resurrects discarded cards. The actual split is probably that Blade, Dracula, and Hellcow form a Vampire group based around discarding cards and powering up Morbius. The others are likely a coincidence, unless there's a link I'm missing that gets all 7 of them.
- Finally, I think something is up with The Defenders but I can't put my finger on it. Loosely I would say they set up for future moves, with Luke Cage stopping your cards from having their power reduced later in the game, Jessica Jones powering up if you don't play another card in her location, Iron Fist moves your next card, and Daredevil lets you see your opponent's play and react to it. I feel like maybe there's a combo or something that links them all that I'm just too smooth brained to see.
And that's 2 or 3 hours of my Friday night, folks. If you've made it this far, I appreciate it. I've found it fun puzzling these out while I play and if there's one I missed please let me know.
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to MarvelSnap [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 09:12 LightningDragon777 Which cards you hate playing against and why?
I absolutely hate playing against E-Giant, Hog rider and Balloon (+freeze).
E-giant is not countered by 90% of the traditional tank counters and for the remaining 10%, well, they have support units and spells for that.
Hog rider the first play at bridge, hog rider in middle of the other lane's push? Hog rider after a push? How fun to try to defend hog rider 24/7!
Balloon? More like my towers are balloons which pop with the slightest touch...
Edit : Witch + E barb + Mega knight + Wizard + Executioner in a single deck. It is annoying∞
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2023.06.10 08:07 Neo-Noir First Deck, Last Cuts
tl;dr - struggling with final cuts on my [[Grist, the Hunger Tide]] deck, and never played OB before. How many insects is too many insects?
Building a Grist Rites of Spring
deck, and struggling with the final cuts, so I'm curious if anyone familiar with the format (or the commander) can help me ID some pitfalls or traps I may be falling into. Never played a game of Oathbreaker before, so I may be missing some nuts and bolts, as I'm still new-ish to EDH too. Don't pull punches.
Main wincon is to simple uses Grist's +1
, with a heavy tribal theme, to build heavy loyalty, then use her -5
to knock opponents out all at once. In the pursuit of that, I'm playing an early control game, with a mix of Deathtouch tokens, spot removal, an "Oh shit" boardwipe and even a cheeky counterspell in [[Verdant Command]], and a fog effect from [[Obscuring Haze]]. Since those last three are basically one-offs in the deck I'm also running recursion in [[Regrowth]] and [[Dryad's Revival]] to bring them back for second (or third, or fourth) uses as needed.
Secondary wincon is to just overrun with [[Overwhelming Stampede]], [[Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest]], an army of tokens, and a few big beaters like [[Crash of Rhino Beetles]], and a [[Giant Adephage]] or three. But let's be honest if I get that late in the game, I'm a dark horse rebuilding my board-state with the sisters [[Bone Harvest]], [[Footbottom Feast]], [[Gravepurge]].
Thanks again for even just looking. Any feedback is welcome, and a list of things already trimmed down are in the Considering
tab, if you want to see my past mistakes.
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2023.06.10 06:34 Critical_Oil_6001 I was curious about a local legend. Now, what was supposed to be a week-long trip might turn into my eternal nightmare.
I just hope that people see this post, that they might start spreading the news before it’s too late. Something big is coming, something ancient, something older than any of us could have ever imagined. It might be too late. I don’t know what will become of me, of the people I love that I might never see again, by the time you are reading this. But I implore you to listen and take this story seriously, because it could save your life. Or not. I don’t know yet how deep this goes. If it’s true, if what I think is true…God help us. Nothing can save us now.
I’ll start at the beginning, because you need to understand how long this has been happening, and the implications of what is possible now that it’s getting worse. Over winter break, I went to visit my friend from high school, Jackson, in Vermont. He goes to Bennington College, studies Social Sciences with a minor in Linguistics. Smart guy. He used to write my papers for me in English class, and I would pay him back in six packs. That’s always how it was: him, studious and put together, and me itching to get outside. I was constantly on the move, biking through the forests behind my house, trail-running, building a treehouse for my little brothers, you name it. I wanted to get my hands dirty, get into nature. I guess that’s why I opted out of college, and went for camp counselor positions and summer gigs until I secured a conservation job with a park near home. Nature is important to me, and I want to do my part as the generation that has a responsibility to heal the world.
The outside was what called me to Bennington, aside from the fact that I missed my best buddy. I don’t remember when it was first brought to my attention, but I became aware of murmurings of Bennington’s rocky past online about a few months before I was set to visit Jackson. Being an experienced outdoorsman, I wasn’t afraid; on the contrary, I was rather excited to get out there and prove my worth to Jackson and his college buddies, who were far less athletic than I am. Looking back, I’m kicking myself for being so cocky. I can’t believe I ever thought of my best friend in that way.
From what I could see on the internet, Bennington College’s history was a long and often sinister one. There were videos about people vanishing into thin air: a girl wearing a red parka went for a hike alone and was never found, an experienced man leading an outdoor expedition disappeared in the woods, a woman fell into a stream, doubled back to the campsite to change her clothes, but never made it to the site, a man on a bus disappeared from the vehicle at a stop but left all of his luggage, a teenage boy was waiting in his mother’s truck and when she came back, he was mysteriously gone…I wish I could say these stories deterred me from poking my head somewhere where it didn’t belong.
Instead, I only grew more curious. What was going on in this so-called “Bennington Triangle?” I was in a unique position to investigate this phenomenon for myself. Many people hear about strange occurrences and the intrigue piques their interest, but they never have the chance to see it for themselves. But I could. I knew I could hold my own out in the wilderness—it was literally my job! Besides, I was a strong, slightly stubborn young man, built steadily, and I could protect myself well. What could possibly happen to me out in those woods, much less to a group of young college-aged men? The people who went missing most likely made one fatal mistake that cost them their lives, or maybe it was all just a big coincidence. Either way, I was about to find out for myself.
It was halfway through December when I left to meet up with Jackson. I got there on the last day of classes, and Jackson told me he would be busy until later in the day. I assumed he was cramming for a final, and I told him it was no big deal, I would meet up with him and maybe meet some of his buddies later. Besides, I had some plans of my own.
The most famous missing persons case in Bennington went cold, and is still unsolved to this day. The case is a tragic one, and I didn’t want to be insensitive by going around asking for information or throwing around names. Everything I needed, I found online. Paula Welden was the name of the girl in the red parka that went missing. Allegedly, she left campus one day to go on a hike by herself. She left the campus around 3pm and hitchhiked to an entrance to the Long Trail, a trail that runs for almost 300 miles from Massachusetts all the way to the Canadian Border. She wasn’t dressed to be outside for long, but as the story goes, she never made it back from the trail.
There was one sighting of her, however, that particularly interested me. A man reported that he had seen her running around, rather erratically, in the bottom of a gravel pit near the entrance to campus, and I wanted to see if there was anything left of the pit. Because I’m experienced with many different kinds of natural phenomena, I initially wondered if there wasn’t a natural explanation for her distressed behavior. I thought maybe there might be an insect nest or an infestation of small animals at the bottom of the pit that she might have disturbed, so I decided to check it out in my free time.
After the RA checked me in and I tossed my luggage into Jackson’s dorm, I packed a small backpack with essentials: water, sunscreen, energy bars, mini first aid kit, some rope, a utility tool, a flashlight, and a lightweight jacket. Then I headed out towards the pit.
The first thing I noticed was how much smaller the pit seemed. According to the eyewitness description of the incident, Paula was running up and down the side of a deep gravel pit, but what lay in front of me now was something much more shallow. I walked down into the center of what was left of the pit, but I could easily see over the edges. The small, dark fragments of rock crunched and ground together under my hiking boots, and the slowly sinking midday sun bounced off of the remnants of white snow around me. It was an unusually sunny day for winter, and the snow was, curiously, letting up for my visit. But the good luck for me ran out here—there seemed to be nothing to investigate at this location. My hopes of finding any evidence of insect or pest infestation that could have disturbed the girl were dashed, maybe buried several feet underground.
I lingered awhile, kicking at the bits of gravel in the small pit. I watched the small rocks scatter over the rest of the gravel, hitting up against the edge of the pit and rolling back down a few inches. I turned to go, but stopped. Maybe it was a trick of my eye, the sun reflecting harshly off of the snow and glinting in my sunglasses, causing me to not see clearly. I walked to the edge of the pit and kicked some more gravel at the side. The small rocks skipped across the uneven surface of the gravel pile, and scattered up the edge of the pit, farther than gravity should allow them to travel. I kicked more, and it happened again. My heart started beating faster.
I crouched down and picked up a small stone. I rolled it gently across the gravel, softly enough that it started to slow when it reached the incline of the side of the pit. I watched, astounded, as the rock slowly rolled uphill about a foot before coming to a stop. I gave a shout of excitement and jumped to my feet.
As I stood up straight I nearly fell back down. In an instant, my hearing seemed to go and I felt an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia. I spun around, thinking someone must be behind me, messing with me, but the sensation of closeness stayed pressing at my back. I spun around again, searching for an explanation. My head was fuzzy. I heard my footsteps, overwhelmingly loud, and I couldn’t hear anything else, almost as if my range of hearing was limited to my immediate surroundings. Like I was trapped in the pit. As soon as those words flashed through my head, the claustrophobia overwhelmed me, pushing up against the very air around my body. The silence built up inside my ears until all I could hear was my muffled footsteps, my desperate breathing, and the blood rushing faster and faster through my body.
I lunged for the edge, clambering up the side as fast as I could. Instantly upon passing over the edge the sounds of the late afternoon bore down on my ears. I stumbled and covered my ears, the chirping of the birds and rustling leaves almost too loud for me to bear.
It’s not that I was scared. Obviously, I was a little shaken up. As I hastened back towards Jackson’s dorm, I tried to rationalize what had just happened to me. Maybe I hadn’t drank enough water and I simply became dizzy. Maybe it was altitude sickness. Maybe a strange bug had bitten me and I temporarily lost my bearings. Nothing quite made sense. I tried to push it from my mind and focus on having a good first day, because soon I would be meeting Jackson’s college buddies.
When I got back to the dorm, Jackson was waiting for me. Fresh from the shower, his hair was damp and he was putting on a clean t-shirt. Pulling me into a hug, he expressed his excitement over my visit, asked me about my flight, what I thought about the campus—all the preliminary niceties. Internally, I breathed a sigh of relief. Even if he noticed, he didn’t pry and try to ask me about my slightly shaking hands, my pale face, or the vague disconnectedness with which I answered his questions.
That night eased my worries slightly. I ended up meeting Jackson’s group of friends and, together, we ventured into downtown Bennington. We hit a few bars and chilled at some of the many breweries in town. Live music, good company, and many, many beers did wonders on my nerves. By the end of the night, I had completely forgotten all about my encounter in the gravel pit. Jackson’s friends were nice guys, and I was too busy feeling proud about my best friend coming out of his shell in college. When he left, I had my doubts, but it was crystal clear that Jackson was really coming into himself at this school.
The festivities continued for the next few days: the guys were stoked to be done with their final exams and excited to connect with Jackson’s old friend, so we spent our time drinking and hanging out, bumping music and generally having a blast. It was almost enough for me to forget about one of the very reasons I was excited to be in Bennington in the first place.
It’s been a few days since that incident. I had even almost started to feel better about the whole thing. Maybe it was a mistake to poke around in old history, and maybe I should just focus on living my own life and fulfilling my own passions, working to heal nature as best as I can. But now Jackson and his friends want to go on a hike, and I’m starting to feel that same claustrophobia creeping back in. What the hell is out there, and why do I feel like I shouldn’t be messing with it?
Jackson chose the hike, not me. It was like him; he was the researcher, he was the one who looked at details, so he suggested we hike on the Long Trail. It intersected with the Appalachian Trail, and maybe I wasn’t paying attention when Jackson explained this to me, because it didn’t raise any alarms about the missing persons cases. Paula Welden went missing on the Long Trail, sure—but she wasn’t with a group of capable college guys like I was.
We packed some backpacks, crushed a beer or two for celebratory sakes, and set off on the trail. I let myself feel excited as we stomped through the trees, Jackson and his friends decked out in their matching red Bennington shirts from graduation. The hike was long. It was tedious. I don’t know when I first started noticing the weird aspects around us until about an hour in. The others didn’t pay any mind to these things, but I saw them: leaves drifting in the air with no breeze, snowflakes trapped in patches of sunlight, floating but unmoving, and that tree. It was a towering douglas fir, half-dead and reaching for the afternoon sun with bare branches. Each time I looked over my shoulder to check for hikers behind us or glanced ahead to see what awaited us, it was there. At first I assumed my eyes were playing tricks on me. After all, we had been hiking for a few hours.
Only when we stopped for a breather and Jackson pointed at a nearby stream did the weird things become too much for me. We were hiking on an incline, and we were exhausted, but when Jackson knelt beside this stream, it was flowing uphill. By then I was a little panicked. I freaked out, telling them that we needed to head back. Who cares if we hadn’t reached the halfway point yet? Was there even a halfway point? It felt like we had been walking for miles!
One of Jackson’s buddies opened up a map of the trail on his phone, and it was blank. He had service and bars, but the map was just…gone. Shocked with sudden fear, we immediately turned and headed back down the path. The sky darkened within minutes of us retracing our steps. Somehow, night was falling, despite us beginning the hike only a few hours prior. I tried to point it out, pulling Jackson aside when we slowed our pace to pass around a bottle of water. But Jackson was terrified and unfocused, and when I asked him what was wrong, we realized that one member of our five-person group was missing. How had we not noticed?
So, we made a U-turn and headed back up the mountain. Twenty minutes later, we found his torn university shirt. I turned the red fabric over in my hands, panicked and bewildered. When I looked up to scan our surroundings, I saw that same Douglas fir directly to my left. I was shocked, and the rest of the group must have noticed. We looked at each other and saw the panic rising on our faces. What the hell was happening?
I only had one goal at this point: we had to get down the mountain to call for help.
We decided to do our best to follow the trail on the way we came up, but only once daylight broke; it was difficult to make out the trail in the dark cover of the night, so I insisted it would be too dangerous. Someone could fall and get seriously injured, we could all get separated in the dark, or worse. So we did our best to hunker down and build a makeshift shelter to wait out the night, but it wasn’t easy. I can only describe the sounds we heard as otherworldly. Despite the lack of animals in the woods, nature seemed to be alive around us. The clicking of bugs kept me wide awake, but the noises were louder and deeper than I had ever heard. The baying of giant wolves, so close I imagined them coming up directly behind us. The snuffling of something in the underbrush, but from a cavernous creature larger than any moose could ever be.
Where had these animals been in the daytime? Why did it feel like they were surrounding us now?
I don’t know how I ever fell asleep, but when I awoke in the morning, the sun was beating down on us. From the sheen of sweat on my forehead to the dreadful pit in my stomach, I could tell something was horribly wrong.
When I scrambled to my feet and glanced around the area, I realized that only Jackson and I remained at our site. It was us, the clothes on our backs, and the demure amount of leftover supplies in our pockets: keys, gum wrappers, half-eaten power bars, and anything else that was ultimately unhelpful. We had been stranded on the forest floor, us against nature, as if something had swooped in from above and whisked Jackson’s friends under the pitch-black cover of the night.
I frantically took in our surroundings, peering into the bushes and pushing through thorny shrubbery. There were no tracks, no drag marks. Not even broken branches. I told Jackson we had to get out of there, and fast. I knew we needed to find the closest trailhead and book it down the mountain. Jackson ran so fast he nearly chipped a tooth on a steep hill. He was trying to keep up with me since I was faster by a long shot. All that sports stuff in high school paid off in the moment, so I almost felt bad leaving him in the dust. I called back over my shoulder to him every minute or so, making sure he was there.
He stuck with me for the most part. His t-shirt got torn by overhanging branches at one point, leaving a nasty scrape almost as red as the decimated fabric. I found myself struggling to remember if he was wearing that shirt to begin with, back when we started.
Then I decided I was losing it. It was like a fight against nature, Jackson and me against the blaring sun and sloping trail. Eventually, Jackson starts glaring menacingly at the passing scenery, cursing loudly and deliriously at everything surrounding us.
When we stumbled upon a trail marker, we barely had enough energy to celebrate. While we caught our breath, I tried to calm Jackson down. Something told me that cursing out Mother Nature wasn’t the best idea right now. Whatever was sicking the elements on us wouldn’t appreciate the nasty things he was saying about them. But he was terrified, and nothing I said could slap any reason into him. I had to lead us to safety, get us out of here.
Suddenly, I heard a sound in the distance. But unlike everything else we had heard so far, this one was man made. Jackson heard it too, and started yelling about a helicopter. He made a break off to the left, towards the sound, and I bolted after him. Somehow, he burst out into a tiny clearing.
Ripping off his red Bennington shirt, he started calling out and waving it in the air like a rescue flag. He jumped and shouted, but as the helicopter got closer, the unbelievable happened. The clearing started shrinking, tree branches reaching from either side to close the gap and obscure us from the view of the pilot. Jackson screamed in fury, cursing the forest like never before.
Then the chopper must have been lowering down towards the treelike because the wind picked up, blowing in circles around us like the blades were inches from our heads, faster and faster, more violent by the second.
The brush beneath our feet blew up in the air along with the topsoil and dead leaves, obscuring our vision. We could hear each other gasping for breath, trying to keep the debris out of our eyes and coughing. I flung my arms out into the space around me, calling for my best friend and reaching out for his hands. But then I felt something shift. The decaying leaves around me smelled stronger. The wind became more vicious. The earth trembled beneath my feet, and I thought I felt something looming above me, breathing down my neck but also looking straight into my unseeing eyes.
Then it clicked. Jackson's red shirt, the gravel pit, Paula's erratic behavior, the other missing hikers...something was picking these people off, luring them deeper into the woods where they were sure to never be seen again. Did the color red cause whatever it was to literally see red, like a sick, twisted joke? Like a giant bull in front of a matador? What kind of creature could it be? Such a stealthy hunter, a commanding presence that made man tremble at the sensation of its mere aura...I couldn't even think about it without snapping my mind.
Before the flurry of leaves and moist earth settled back onto the ground, I knew Jackson was gone. I knew the chopper hadn’t seen us and that I was on my own now. I tried not to panic as I felt like every hidden eye in the forest was staring me down, sizing me up. I took off blindly, but where to, I didn’t know. After what seemed like hours of desperately sprinting, I saw a pile of rocks in the distance. Shelter, I thought, and decided to rest there for a minute to get my wits back about me.
Then I had an idea. With what little juice I had in my phone and whatever cell service luck would afford me, I knew I had to send out a warning. For some reason, I didn’t think about myself. I didn’t think about dying, disappearing, or whatever had happened to my friends. If the nature around me would be the thing to end my life, so be it. I had decided to dedicate my life to nature long ago: to save it from my fellow man, to preserve its beauty, and to keep it out of the wrong hands, the people that wanted to use its power for evil and to bring about the harm of those around them. I know it sounds ridiculous to be thinking about when my life was at stake, but I knew it was what I needed to do.
From my makeshift hiding spot in the rocks, I began furiously typing my story with what little battery I had left on my phone. When my hands started cramping, I used the voice option. I didn’t care. I just had to get my story out there.
For an hour , I’d been trying to put it all down in words. I couldn't believe my luck, that my battery hadn’t run out yet.
I had almost gone to the end when I felt the same creeping silence begin to close in on me. It was as if the forest was falling silent around me, and that silence was racing in on all sides, but it was different from when I was in the gravel pit. There was more to the sensation this time, not just the sinking, breathless feeling and the loss of hearing.
Somewhere deep within the forest, but at the same time, only miles away, I heard an awful rumbling sound, something I’ve never heard before. Nothing like the helicopter, not even the giant animals I was convinced I had heard in the night. I can't even think of a word to describe it, but it filled me with a frantic kind of dread that I’ve never felt before. I feel it in the ground. My entire body wants to run as fast as I can, but it’s like I’m glued to the ground. I taste metal in my mouth like maybe I bit my cheek or the dirt from the wind or I bit on a rock, I spit and I can’t get it out. I’m going to open an app and copy and paste it so people can know while I still can type I’m shaking so hard they have to know.
And the smell I’m smelling it’s like fruit that’s gone ripe, but it keeps getting more ripe, a sickly sweetness that keeps building mixed with the smell of the richest earth imaginable.
This is happening now, I’m smelling this now and It’s it’s like I’m trapped under the shadow of some thing bigger something that’s taking the shadow away from the trees and I can’t see the shadow of the trees anymore and the ground around me is trembling. It’s like I can hear the trees calling out to whatever it is, that’s walking towards me or flying I can’t tell, everything is stretching and growing out towards me. No behind me above me something is coming. I’m I feel better right I feel better than I have in days or however long I’ve been out here I’m not thirsty anymore. I’m not hungry anymore. I feel fuller stronger smarter. My mind is overloading. I’m thinking of 1 million things like I don’t know if I can speak anymore it’s like, it’s like I’m fruit like I’m a ripening on the vine and this giant wings beating above me and the smell is too much I
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2023.06.10 04:09 UncleCeiling Writing on the Wall, Chapter 16
First Chapter Here
Previous Chapter Here
My other story, Going Native Here
Hey look, a chapter released in a somewhat reasonable timeframe! As always, thank you for reading and let me know what you think!
Faye hadn’t noticed right away that Meechie missed her regular stop. The pair had been standing in relative silence, Faye’s thoughts drifting off to debate whether or not she would go to the next movie night at the Library, and it was several stops before she realized that she hadn’t said goodbye to the Rakiri. It was in a bit of a brain fog that Faye half-turned, figuring she should hurry and say it now before Meechie got too far away, but instead she jerked her head to find the brown-furred woman staring directly at her.
“I am still here,” Meechie said quietly, a small smile causing the fur on her cheeks to bristle.
“You are,” Faye agreed. “I thought I missed seeing you off.”
“I am accompanying you to the library,” the young woman declared. Faye tried not to read too much into vocal cues, especially when she had little-to-no experience with the species in question, but there still seemed to be something nervous in Meechie’s voice. Nervous and pleading.
“I don’t need a bodyguard,” Faye said cautiously. “And I definitely don’t need someone making a decision like that for me.”
That seemed to strike a nerve. Meechie slunk back as if hit, causing some grumbles from the other passengers. The Rakiri took a moment to smooth out the fur on her face with one hand before replying.
“I did not express myself well. I wished to visit a library after work, and as you work at one I thought it would be nice to travel alongside you.” Meechie’s eyes lowered. “I should not have presumed.”
As if on cue, the bus slowed to its next stop and Meechie moved to leave. It would put the furry young woman at a corporate business park near absolutely nothing of interest. Faye shot out a hand and grabbed Meechie by the shoulder. The Rakiri froze mid-step as if turned to stone.
“Don’t!” She tugged gently and Meechie shifted back to Faye’s side. “No need to run off. Sorry. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.”
“I…” Meechie seemed to be glancing everywhere except at Faye. “It’s alright?”
God damn was this poor girl shy. “Yes, you can ride to the library with me. I just wish you had mentioned it earlier; we don’t have a lot of time to talk shop now.” Faye considered Meechie again, clothes that looked brand new and not a speck of grease to be seen. “Is that why you got all dressed up?”
Meechie nodded, still keeping her eyes somewhere to the left of Faye’s face. “I normally go straight home, but it wouldn’t do to soil any of the books.”
“The books and I both appreciate it.” That earned Faye a smile, at least. “What are you looking for? I didn’t take you for much of a reader.”
“I like adventure stories,” Meechie replied.
“Hmm…” Faye tapped a fingertip to her lips as she thought. “Historical? Big battles?”
“The fighting isn’t what’s important.” Meechie stopped, eyes drawn to the motion of Faye’s finger, and she self-consciously brought her hands back down to her sides. “It is more about the people the hero meets on his travels.”
The pronoun threw Faye for a bit of a loop; she was so used to hearing the feminine form used as the general that it stood out. It only took a moment for her to understand. Faye grinned.
stories?” She asked the question in a faux whisper, slightly teasing, and Meechie immediately went wide-eyed. Her freshly-cleaned fur puffed up in what could only be panic. Faye reached over and gave Meechie a couple quick pats on the shoulder before leaning in.
“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”
“...should have what you’re looking for. I’m going to be upstairs at Archives, but the help desk can find what you’re looking for if you get lost. And remember, no judgment.”
Mahnti glanced across the lobby more out of instinct than anything else. Hearing Faye’s voice simply drew his attention, especially considering he didn’t think her shift had started yet. His eyes quickly picked her out as Faye turned away from the entrance and towards the hall that led towards the employee lounge. He also took note of who she had been talking to.
Rakiri weren’t uncommon in University City, but the way this one stood in place, staring at Faye’s back with an unnerving intensity, was setting off alarms all down Mahnti’s rather sizeable spine. He began to make his way on an intercept course towards Faye, trying to imprint the furry girl’s look into his memory just in case. Brand new clothing, still showing the creases of packaging. Not quite the right fit for the woman’s frame, and she moved like she was profoundly uncomfortable in them. Dark brown fur that seemed to puff up as she stared at Faye, then flattened as she noticed Mahnti watching her.
The Senthe flared his hood slightly, emphasizing his size instinctively as he narrowed his eyes. The Rakiri stared at him unblinking for a moment, then turned and wandered off towards the main stacks. It only took another moment for him to catch up to Faye.
“Who was that?”
Faye jerked slightly, then stopped and turned with a small smile decorating her lips. “Good morning to you too.”
“Yeah, yeah, good morning and all that. Was that your bus Rakiri?”
Faye nodded, the smile fading as she picked up on Mahnti’s unease. “Yeah. Why, do you know her?”
“No, nothing like that.” Mahnti sighed. He didn’t want to cause problems, but he also had some serious bad vibes going. “She was just standing there staring at you. It was pretty creepy.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed her doing that a lot. I think it might be a Rakiri thing? Meechie seems to have latched on for whatever reason.” Faye shrugged. “I don’t think she has any friends.”
“I’m not surprised if that’s her way of making them. She seriously looked like she was about to attack you or something.”
“Doesn’t know anybody, trying to figure out how to socialize with people…” Faye shrugged again, adding a lopsided smile. “I can relate. She seems harmless enough, even helped protect me the other day.”
Mahnti slumped a little. “I suppose. I just… be careful, okay? I don’t want to have to frame another dent in a wall.”
He also didn’t want to have to worry about Faye bleeding out in some dark corner somewhere. She could outrun a Shil, but a Rakiri with ill intentions would be a far more dangerous proposition.
“After what happened before, I’m not taking chances.” Faye patted the side of her purse conspiratorially and Mahnti could see the outline of a cylinder. It seemed to be a fair bit larger than the grinshaw spray he carried in a vest pocket, but that could have just been a trick of the bag it was in. Regardless, he felt a little better knowing she had something. It wasn’t until he saw the fear she was tucking down behind her smile that he suddenly realized just how vulnerable Faye must feel.
She was smaller and weaker than a Shil’vati, easy to pick out of a crowd and easier to pick on, and with the way she dressed and styled herself Faye really was priming the pump for trouble. A random attack at her place of work had nearly killed her and, less than a week later, here she was trying to take it in stride. All while knowing that the chance of it happening again was approaching certainty.
“Come on,” Mahnti said quietly. He took one of Faye’s hands and pulled her deeper into the hallway, away from prying eyes and towards the break room. He almost told her that she was safe here, but that was a lie. Nowhere was safe if you stood out, and he knew that better than anyone.
Ib’aest Jamia, chronic layabout and day manager at the Jamia Library, hoped he didn’t look too guilty when Faye’s face poked through his office doorway and interrupted the scandal rag he was reading on his pad. He slipped his pad face-down into his desk drawer in a single smooth motion and slapped on his second-best friendly but not flirtatious smile.
“Hey Ibby.” Faye seemed suddenly nervous herself, glancing around the room as if to ensure that it was just him in his office. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Is it work related?” Faye shook her head in the negative. “Then of course! Come on in and shut the door.”
Faye followed his lead, latching the door and stepping gracefully to the chair he indicated on the other side of his desk. It was odd, watching the way she moved. Too graceful for most women he knew, but still nervous. Faye sometimes seemed to approach the world as if everything was made of glass. Or perhaps that she was.
Ibby looked the girl up and down, trying for a “kind older friend” vibe. The Human was dressed simply in one of the outfits she seemed to have a knack for throwing together. He knew he had seen at least some of it before, the tights and the skirt at least, but the overall effect was new to him. She struck such an odd balance, clearly a woman but throwing off such a distractingly masculine vibe. In this one person Ibby had a real empirical example of the strange dichotomy that made Humanity so interesting. That said, there was really only one reason for a young woman to ask to speak to an older man in private. At least, only one he figured Faye would be up for.
Faye blinked at Ibby, confused for a moment. “Kind of, yeah. I guess you could call it that.”
Ibby ran through the list in his head. Mahnti was the obvious first choice, but the way that pair seemed to be getting along he didn’t think there would be any trouble he’d have to intervene with. Besides, the Senthe had said they weren’t doing the perpendicular poke. At least not yet. Faye also knew Tevor, but Ibby had yet to see anyone aside from Sade who could pull that poor kid out of his shell. Maybe Iora over in Digital Media. Did Faye even know Iora?
“Have you ever been to any fancy dress parties?”
Ibby’s racing mind slammed into a drift, changed gears, and nearly ran headlong into the answer. “You’re going on a date with that reporter!”
“It’s NOT a date. I have gone to great lengths to make that clear to both of us.” Faye’s voice was firm. The girl was apparently a better liar than Ibby thought. “He invited me out to go see a play being performed in English at a fancy theater.” Faye pulled out her pad and showed Ibby a copy of the playbill.
“Ooh, the Icosahedral Garden. That’s a great venue.” Ibby considered. “I assume he’s dragging you out to dinner first?”
“I guess? I didn’t really think that far ahead. I just realized that I have no idea what’s culturally acceptable to wear to an event like this.” Faye blushed prettily. “I don’t want to show up in a ball gown and have it turn out to be more of a spikes and corpse paint thing.”
“Nevermind. Just making a joke.” Faye shrugged, eyes drooping as her expression soured. “It seems like I make a scene no matter where I go. It would be nice to blend in for a change.”
Fat chance of that, Ibby thought. Still, he could be of some help. “What would you say to another shopping excursion? I wouldn’t mind helping you out.”
Faye nodded, relief washing over her. “I would appreciate that. I have an errand to run tonight and plans for tomorrow, but how about the day after? I’m free all day and that will still give me plenty of time before the show.”
“It’s a…” Don’t say date, you idiot. Poor girl is nervous enough as it is. “..plan. Truth be told, it’ll be nice to show you the sights properly. Most of your new friends seem to be more of the indoor sort.”
Faye snorted back a laugh. “Ain’t that the truth.”
Faye tilted her head to one side just to give her eyeroll a running start. The sign hanging above the shop door was written in a rounded style made to emulate the shape of English letters despite being Shil’vati script. Through the window she could see an assortment of Human snacks, assorted tchotchkes that somehow made her feel victimized on behalf of every race and culture involved, and an embarrassingly large amount of soft-core pornography.
"Chad Nova’s Human Emporium" was probably the single cringiest store that Faye had ever seen, and she distinctly remembered hanging out at the mall back when you could get jeans with pockets big enough to hold a CD player. It didn’t help that, while Faye was standing in the mall concourse staring at the store, the clerk inside was staring right back. That girl seemed to consider blinking an afterthought.
After a moment to square her shoulders and pat the side pocket on her purse reassuringly, Faye entered the store. It was a riot of mismatched goods, poorly made display swords and replica firearms tucked alongside “authentic” Polynesian nose flutes and decks of playing cards. After accidentally locking eyes with what she was fairly certain was an Abraham Lincoln body pillow, she decided to simply accept that this was what her species boiled down to.
“Can I help you, miss?” The voice was high and cracked around the edges. Faye turned to look at the clerk, a Shil’vati girl barely out of school with a face still lightly dusted with acne. The girl seemed to be about ten seconds from exploding in excitement.
“Actually, yeah. I was wondering if you do special orders.” Faye pulled out her pad and started tapping at the screen. “I brought some sundries when I moved out here and I don't know what I’m going to do when I run out.”
“Moved, like from Earth?” Make it five seconds.
“Yes, and to answer your next question, yes, I’m a Human. Nobody decided to bleach a Helkam or anything like that.”
Four… three… two…
The Shil girl turned away and ran to the back of the store, sliding to a stop in front of a rather tacky looking beaded curtain hanging next to an “Employees Only” sign. She shoved her head through the beads.
Faye took a moment to collect herself. She glanced around, cataloging the strange array of goods. There were some things that clearly fell into similar themes, like the large snack section or the graphic novels (emphasis on graphic), but much of the place was simply a cacophony of crap. She noticed a stuffed doll of the Statue of Liberty fallen over into a container of brightly colored, thumb-sized plastic crucifixes. All the little Jesuses seemed to be staring in mute, cross-eyed horror at the plushie green giant.
“Oh! It’s you!”
Faye turned away from the plastic Jesusai and saw that the young Shil’vati clerk was now accompanied by another woman. Definitely not old enough to be the clerk’s biological mom, but with how things tended to go with Shil families and how long lifespans could get it wasn’t the most surprising. If the clerk was a Human seventeen, she’d put this new one at twenty three or twenty four.
“Yeah, it’s me,” Faye replied to the stranger with a shrug.
“We saw you on the news, but…” the young woman trailed off, her black and gold eyes focused on the still-fading bruises on Faye’s face.
“Lost a fight,” she said curtly. Anything to move this along. “Some friends of mine recommended this place to get Human snacks, and I figured if you’re getting regular imports you might be able to get me some other stuff.”
“..Ah. Oh! Yes!” The woman blinked, then looked at her daughter. “Can you go grab my order book?” Turning back to Faye, she continued, “What sort of things did you need? We have quite a collection here.”
“You certainly do.” Faye tried to focus on the woman, but her eyes kept getting drawn off to the side. An anime-style wall scroll of a mostly-naked, hugely muscled brown-skinned man was staring at her, and she couldn’t place who it was supposed to be. Bob Sapp maybe?
“Mostly I was thinking about makeup, maybe some comfort food. Stuff you probably don’t stock but I can’t afford to import on my own.”
The young woman nodded, her dark hair bouncing. “I’m sure we can work something out. You’re lucky; most Human stores are part of a chain, but we’re independent. We’re not confined to ordering from just one catalog.”
As if she was just waiting for her cue, the Shil kid arrived and plopped an oversized binder into her mom’s open arms. She placed it on a table and flipped it open with a thump.
It was like someone tried to print the Internet. The woman quickly fingered her way through hard-copy recreations of digital storefronts while Faye groaned inwardly. She liked paper more than most but this just seemed so awkward. An alien luddite.
“My brother-in-law’s cousin-in-law works on Earth at one of those new superconductor factories. They ship a lot of materials here, so I was able to negotiate a good deal to take up their extra mass allotment for cheap.” The woman stopped on a page, then pointed. “Something like this?”
Faye leaned over the book and looked. It was the digital storefront of one of those corner store and pharmacy chains that sells makeup on top of everything else. Not exactly top of the line, but better than the dollar store.
“Perfect.” Faye started noting individual things she’d like and the woman dutifully started marking things down on a scrap of paper. The big items on Faye’s shopping list were more foundation and concealer, but she picked out some blush, lipstick, and eyeliner pencils too; she was leery about trusting Shil makeup in general. It was hard enough to find brands that didn’t make her skin break out into an oily mess without getting alien biochemistry involved.
“We can order whatever you like, but the fewer stores you have to pick from the better. I would hate for our buyer to get pissy because she has to run too many errands on the hot guy planet.” The clerk paused for an eye roll. “Also, keep in mind that these prices aren’t what you’ll pay; there will be an additional convenience fee.”
Faye nodded. “Of course. What are you thinking?”
“Hmm…” The woman looked Faye up and down in a way that suddenly made her feel a lot smaller and more vulnerable. While this stranger wasn’t particularly tall for a Shil, that still made for a five or six inch height difference. “You are pretty cute…”
“Dad said no more cute discounts!” Faye’s attention was drawn to the younger girl, who had been watching the whole exchange from a few steps back. The darkening purple blush on her face matched Faye’s own red one.
“You’re no fun!” The Shil mock glared at her (step?)daughter, then turned back to Faye. “Seriously, though, as long as the mass and volume are small the cost to get this sort of thing here isn’t too bad. Say twenty percent. It'll be more if you want anything big or our buyer has to go to a specialty store, but we can do that too. It will still be a lot cheaper than trying to import anything yourself.”
“Twenty percent isn’t bad.” It was a great deal, honestly. Faye doubted they’d be doing much more than breaking even on her little orders. She closed her eyes for a second, clearing her mind. She could feel the spray canister in her bag, pressing against the inside of her arm. Its presence was reassuring. “Can I add an absolutely no flirting policy to our agreement?”
The woman nodded, suddenly looking abashed. “Sorry, I forgot Human women aren’t normally into other girls. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Whether or not Faye was into girls was irrelevant, but she wasn’t about to get into an argument about it. Instead, she turned a few pages back and forth, adding a few more odds and ends to the list that she hadn’t been able to find in University City. Much of the list consisted of condiments and seasonings that might help make the Shil instant meals Faye had been purchasing a little more palatable.
By the time they were done, Faye had an order totaling a couple hundred credits and a promise that she would have her goods in three to four weeks. Before she left she made a point of stocking up on junk food and picked up a few English-language graphic novels that looked interesting. She rounded out the visit with a couple decks of playing cards. Tomorrow was game night, after all. She should be at least somewhat prepared.
This is a fanfic that takes place in the “Between Worlds” universe (aka Sexy Space Babes), created and owned by u/BlueFishcake
. No ownership of the settings or core concepts is expressed or implied by myself.
This is for fun. Can’t you just have fun?
submitted by UncleCeiling
to Sexyspacebabes [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 01:38 crazytaxi999 Anything good
I just bought this collection any thoughts or value? I have a second post for the rest
submitted by crazytaxi999
to mtg [link] [comments]
2023.06.10 01:04 Hedgehog_5150 Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch8
Credit to u/bluefishcake
for writing the original SSB story and building the sandbox for us to play in.
And a big thanks to the authors and their stories that inspired to get off my ass and put my fingers to keyboard. RandomTinkerer (City Slickers and Hayseeds), Punnynfunny (Denied Operations), CompassWithHat (Top Lasgun), Rhion-618 (Just One Drop), UncleCieling(Going Native), RobotStatic (Far Away), Kazevenikov (The Cryptid Chronicle), Also to the editor # Fan Beta Readers and KLiCkonthat .
As always comments, complaints, and suggestions are welcome.
This is a fair use notice. Any and all aspects of this may be used on and within this subreddit only, with attribution. All other uses are exclusive to the author.
Nanorix took the news from the advocates in stride, better than Linda. They had spent the night mutually venting at the injustice of the situation while putting away bottles of gin. Max sounded almost broken by the news while Nora the optimist in the family, firmly held to the belief that things would work out. Rufus was, well, Rufus. Intuitively compassionate, which is why he was laying in the front seat of the truck with his head on Linda's lap as they drove up to Flagstaff.
Linda was trying to sleep off her hangover, her eyes closed but not asleep. Alila had been honest that the only reason Garquile was not tied up in this was that he had her direct protection as a territorial governess. Tommy did not have that level of security and without it, he was in more danger than Robert. From what Alila had said, elements in the Interior wanted Robert dead, other interested parties wanted him alive because of his potential. The situation was so bad the Planetary Governess had stepped in and ordered the house arrest of six high-ranking members of the Interior and let it be known that if anything happened to young Mr. Pierce they would die publicly.
Neither Alila nor the planetary governess knew why the Interior wanted Robert dead, she did. After she heard that the pod found the children and what was being done to them. Her lieutenant had completely lost it, she rounded everyone operating the orphanage and lined them against the wall, and had them shot. The Interior had come in and had done what they always did, cleaned up the mess, and protected those who were important and connected. Before the interior got there one of the girls found a large data server and they made copies. There were four full copies still on Earth and one that she knew was off-world, and she had one of them. It had been too dangerous to keep at home so she had setup a remote server that would once a week send out a heartbeat signal. There were major safety measures in place to prevent access.
She had managed to go to Flagstaff for brunch about once a month to establish a pattern of behavior. Those trips with Robert and sometimes Tommy had always been good, nothing special just good days. She and Linda would have brunch and she would trigger a download to her server buried under the barn. When they had spoken with Alila, Max, and Nora, Max had commented that if anybody could stack the deck and pull inside straight now was the time to do it. She did not tell Linda why they had to come, just that she needed to come up and check on something.
She and Linda had a quiet brunch on the patio of the restaurant to allow Rufus to join them. As they ate she triggered the data transfer. The data transfer would take at least thirty minutes to complete, so they would have a nice long brunch and talk about anything but the boys, she even took a couple of selfies of the two of them to cover what she was doing. Rufus camped out under the table but never relaxed, she was not sure if he sensed her unease or something else was going on that she could not see.
They stayed and chit-chatted until Linda finished her third cup of coffee. She did not want the third cup but they needed the extra time to let the data transfer complete, and by that time Linda's hangover had started to subside. The drive home was uneventful, but traffic was horrible due to the festival of colors going on, it was the 4th of July after all.
Ishani was tired and hungry but had little interest in eating. She and Ensign Tha'xur had been up half the night working to translate the new equations that Robert had created yesterday, with a new understanding of how the translation needed to work. Thoughts of Robert consumed her mind, and she had to fight the urge to look over and watch him, the singular human male. His name seemed to roll off her tongue, lingering from her dreams the previous night as she drifted off to sleep. Those dreams had been far from innocent, filled with exotic and seductive images of him, even in his baggy exercise clothing.
Returning her attention to her food, Ishani shifted uncomfortably. She would need to change her underclothes if she continued dwelling on him like this. Taking another bite of the fruit, nut, and sauce mixture, she tried to enjoy it, but it did little to distract her from watching him. He moved slowly, almost as if dancing, though she couldn't grasp the purpose behind his movements. Ensign Tha'xur's timely arrival saved her from making an obvious fool of herself by staring at a boy nearly two years her junior. It always felt like she was the only one looking.
Ensign Tha'xur sat down with a tray of food and jokingly said, "Ground control to Crewwoman Vevreix, are you awake?" Ishani returned her gaze to her food and responded, "Yes, ma'am, I am awake, just..." Before she could finish her sentence, Ensign Tha'xur interrupted, "Distracted?"
Signing without looking up and absentmindedly playing with her food, Ishani replied, "Yes, ma'am, horribly. It's just... he's just one boy. I have enough common sense to know that there is no way I should even consider... why couldn't he be old, wrinkled, and fat..."
Ensign Tha'xur completed Ishani's thought, saying, "Instead, he's young, fit, and I would even go as far as to say he's attractive in a very unmasculine way, with that wounded, sad boy aura."
Looking up, Ishani was taken aback and asked, "What do you mean 'you could call him attractive'? Are you blind? I mean, he may be a little short, but other than that, he is..." She trailed off, unable to find the right words.
Smiling and taking a bite of her burrito, Ensign Tha'xur replied, "He is desirable, and deep down, I believe you could take away all his pain and sadness... but please don't go there." Shifting into a serious tone, she continued, "I overheard Cmdr Norroe and Lt Cmdr Ashix talking about him the day we arrived. What caught my attention was Cmdr Norroe mentioning his thousand-yard stare that is measured in miles. There are significant parts of his life that we don't have access to because they've been redacted by the interior."
Ishani looked over at Robert, who appeared to have finished his morning workout and was heading towards the mobile kitchen. She murmured, "No one is ever so lost in the deepest of caves that they cannot be found by the beating of their heart. There is always hope and always a way out."
Ensign Tha'xur wiped her face clean of the red sauce that had dripped from her burrito and commented, "You, Crewwoman, are an optimist."
"With all due respect, ma'am, have you looked?" Ishani responded quizzically.
With a wry smile En. Tha'xur replied smoothly "I am technically a married woman and my husband and kho wives are going to be here in three days. I am hoping that my leave request will be honored, we were supposed to go to Tel Aviv for 14 days." Frowning slightly with the last statement.
Ishani gave an understanding smile "Well, that explains why you are not interested. You know, if you want to get the time off then ask for help. What is the worst he can do to say no?"
En. Tha'xur almost laughed at that, "So what should I do ask him over here for you to ogle him and for me to get a chance to go on leave, I do not think he would like that, being that he is here under guard."
Ishani took another bite of her food, ‘alright girl put up or shut up’ she thought to herself, before standing. "Ma'am if you never ask for help you will never get any." This is not a good idea, turning to find Robert who was looking for an open table to eat at. "Robert, can you join us over here, please?" Blessed Nest mother, that sounded so bad she inwardly cringed.
Robert had gotten his food-laden tray and was looking for an empty place to sit. It felt a little weird not having a personal shadow always with him. The petty officers had told him last night that he would be given some space and an opportunity to interact with the people here. "Go out, mingle, talk to people, that's a winning idea," he thought sarcastically. Yup, everything was normal again. Alone in a room full of people and completely clueless about how to do the most basic of things, like talking to anybody.
Now, the people he could talk to were a problem. Being the only male and the only human, he received looks. The looks could be categorized into three groups: lust, curiosity, and pity. Dealing with lust was easy; he just chose not to care, and thankfully, they were discreet about it for now. Pity, on the other hand, infuriated him because most of the time, it was fake. Whenever someone expressed their sympathy for all the things he had been through, he wanted to scream. At best, it was a polite social convention, and at worst, it was a selfish and internalized burden of guilt that had nothing to do with him.
Just as he spotted an empty table at the far end, somebody called out his name. "Can you join us over here, please?" Shit, it was Ishani, the one person in the whole damned place who had a very unsettling effect on him. She was the only one here who scared the shit out of him. Taking a breath to collect himself, he acknowledged her with a nod and proceeded to join her and the Ensign at their table.
He noticed that when he acknowledged her, she just beamed and got all bubbly. That was the best word for it. Her glowing tattoos seemed to brighten for just a moment before she sat down, leaving him to wonder what those tattoos looked like on the rest of her body. He made it to the table and sat down on autopilot while his mind indulged in a little fantastical daydream, leaving him noticeably flushed and uncomfortable in ways that only men could be.
Setting his tray and bottle of maple syrup down on the table and taking a seat, Robert tried to say thank you, but neither Ishani nor the Ensign had their translators running.
En. Tha'xur noticed him stop trying to use hand speak and realized that they had just messed up a little. "I am sorry, that was rude of us," she said as she tried to get her translation app up and running. Meanwhile, Ishani was no help; she was head down in her food, blushing and trying very hard not to be noticed. "There, we're set."
Robert was relieved when En. Tha'xur got her translation app running, so he wouldn't have to stare at Ishani across the round table from him. He returned his attention to En. Tha'xur. "I was trying to say thank you for asking me to join you, and it's okay. You at least figured it out."
Ishani looked up from her half-eaten food when En. Tha'xur's translator started speaking. Fuck, she thought, this is so embarrassing. Inviting a boy to come over and eat with you only to ignore him when he gets here. Idiot. Turning to face him, her brain failed as she smiled stupidly and took another bite. "Hungry?"
En. Tha'xur couldn't help but cringe. The situation unfolding before she seemed straight out of a cliché "coming of age" story, where a girl meets a boy and the universe seems to pause just for them. It reminded her of the sentimental videos her older brother and his friends would tear up over. Poor Ishani, the other girls around her would roast her mercilessly, yet she remained oblivious to the fact that she was being watched. En. Tha'xur couldn't decide if it was cute or tragic. Determined to intervene and save Ishani from herself, she spoke up, "Robert, the reason Crewwoman Vevreix invited you over is that I need your help."
"Hungry?" Robert was caught off guard by Ishani's question. Did she even understand what she was doing? He found her confusing, and he just wanted to finish his meal quickly and GTFO. En. Tha'xur was speaking, but he had missed what she said. He decided to play dumb and replied, "OK."
En. Tha'xur thought to herself, "This is good." She then explained, "Well, my husband and my three kho wives are going to be arriving on Earth in three days. I had scheduled a 14-day leave, but then I received an emergency assignment here, and I don't know if they will honor my leave request."
Robert had managed to pay enough attention to understand that she needed a favor. He had two basic choices: give a hard no and explain that the advocates wouldn't allow him to help until they gave the go-ahead, or try to answer her questions. His best option was to listen and see if he could offer some hints. "I am quite restricted by what my advocates have told me to do, but I will try to point you in the right direction."
Finally, Ishani managed to gather her thoughts and interjected, "See, I told you, all you need to do is ask."
En. Tha'xur rolled her eyes, silently expressing her frustration towards Ishani. She replied, "Thank you, can you help?"
Talking with his mouth full wasn't polite and attempting to gesture while eating proved to be a challenge. Robert sighed as he reluctantly set down his fork, his stomach growling in protest. "Yes, I will genuinely help you. And if you're wondering why," Robert paused, trying to understand his willingness to assist, "it's because you asked. Now, the big question is, do you even know what you want to ask?"
Ishani eagerly jumped in, unknowingly giving En. Tha'xur some time to formulate a proper question to ask. "Okay, if I can ask one too, please?"
Robert held up one finger as he obeyed the demands of his stomach and shoved a load of runny fried eggs and hash browns in his mouth. "Sure, since you saved me from eating alone." Robert swallowed hard after he finished speaking, realizing he had just unintentionally flirted with her. Thinking inwardly, "Shut up, dumb ass. You are going to get yourself in trouble."
Ishani sputtered like Joe Pesci for just a couple of seconds before getting to her real question. "Ok, ok, ok, ok." Pointing to the work area where the Charger was, she asked, "Why is the car so important? Why did you build it?"
Robert shoveled another load of eggs and hash browns into his mouth. "Why would a human boy on Earth, living in North America, want to build a fast car and one that could fly?" Pausing to inhale the bite of his eggs and hash browns, he continued, "Because it was fun, and it would have been cool to have a hotrod and be the only one to fly. Well, that would be a show-off, a little, and to have a shitload of fun flying around in it."
En. Tha'xur cluelessly responded, "What is a 'hotrod,' and why would a flying car be 'cool'? I guess that means good?"
Robert had to roll his head back before responding, to the idea of attempting to explain custom car and motorcycle cultures. "Humans like to personalize cars and other things as expressions of their personalities and rolling pieces of art in some cases. For a human boy to be able to build a car and go fast is a dream. Hotrods are the result of those builds."
Taking another break to move the French toast in front of him and pour on the maple syrup, he continued, "Back to the first part of your question, 'Why is it important?' Other than a personal attachment to the memories connected to it... it is not, in the grand scheme of things, it was a mistake. A very valuable mistake, it disproved one of my approaches to a bigger challenge."
En. Tha'xur and Crewwoman Vevreix just looked at each other and mouthed the same words, "It was a fucking mistake!!"
Robert tried to hide his smug satisfaction. Nobody ever considered just how much of his work was critical and applied to his big challenge. Ishani looked at Robert as he dug into his French toast. "If that was a mistake, what is the prize?" Robert just smiled and shrugged in response to the question. En. Tha'xur sat dejected, "Well, that did answer one of the big questions. The car is a stepping stone to the bigger thing."
Watching the Ensign sit dejected and look a little lost made Robert feel like a little shit. Flipping the bird to the bureaucratic machine that was the Imperium always felt like a "fuck yes," but trolling a person was different. She had asked him for help, and he had used it to be petty and spiteful. "You don't need to ask right now, and if you loan me your data slate, I will give you a couple of hints," he said, reaching out for the device.
En. Tha'xur handed over the data slate wordlessly. Robert opened a new document and wrote:
"If you have 'The Right Stuff,' you can connect the dots."
"Space-Time Gravity is not the same as Gravity Space-Time."
When he finished, he handed the data slate back to the ensign and returned to his food. En. Tha'xur picked up the data slate, read the hints, and found the first line to be of no use other than some devotional wisdom that would be preached in a temple. However, the second line held interesting possibilities. Grabbing the data slate, Ishani quickly scanned the text and handed it back to En. Tha'xur. "Thank you, I think we can work with this," she said. Turning to En. Tha'xur, she added, "Ma'am, I think we need to work in conference room 2 today. It has the other digital whiteboard, and I think we need the space."
En. Tha'xur picked up the data slate and looked right at Robert. "I don't get the first one. The second one could be applied in a dozen or more places."
Finishing his first piece of French toast, Robert tried to remember the order of the equations to point her in the right direction. "Show me my work from last night, and I will show you the one to work against. Don't try to finish it, just try to understand it."
En. Tha'xur handed the translated copy of Robert's work back to him, and he looked at it with a mixture of fascination and difficulty. It was strange to see his work presented so neatly, but it was also challenging to read. He had to mentally retranslate it to the original version he had written. Working through the problem brought his headache back in full force, making the surroundings too bright and diminishing his appetite. Robert tried to hide his discomfort, squinting his eyes and taking deep breaths.
Concerned, Ishani noticed his strained expression and asked, "Are you alright? You don't look well."
With a weak smile, Robert replied, "I shouldn't have done that. I usually take a couple of days off after my little flying trips. It's like working out too hard and feeling extremely sore the next day, then trying to work out again. Not fun."
En. Tha'xur felt uneasy knowing that Robert was enduring pain to help her. She thought of her father and how he would be disappointed in her. "Are you sure you don't need a doctor?" she asked, genuinely concerned.
"I'll be fine, I just need some sleep," Robert reassured them, pushing his plate of food away. "If either of you wants to finish this, go for it. At the very least, don't waste the bacon."
Ishani reached for the plate and admitted, "I've heard about bacon, but I'm a little afraid to try new foods. I don't want to be disappointed."
En. Tha'xur reached for a piece of bacon, saying, "I love bacon. I'll even taste-test it to make sure it's okay." She smiled at Ishani and took a bite.
Robert observed as En. Tha'xur's eyes widened in shock. Oops, he remembered that he had coated the bacon in maple syrup. However, she didn't spit it out, which was a good sign. His mom loved crispy bacon dipped in maple syrup. Sometimes, she would devour an entire package of bacon if there was maple syrup in the house, and then she would try to conceal the fact that a pound of bacon had disappeared. She would even do her dishes, a chore that was usually Robert's.
En. Tha'xur bit into the bacon, expecting a salty taste but experiencing the combination of sweet and salty. The flavor was incredible. She paused to savor the taste before chewing again. "You have to try this!" she exclaimed.
Ishani, with anticipation in her eyes, sniffed the remaining piece of bacon. "Here goes nothing." She cherished this moment, as it was the closest she had come to tasting her nest mother's nectar. Grabbing the plate, she declared, "I'm finishing this!" and devoured the last piece of French toast without bothering with utensils.
Despite his throbbing headache, Robert couldn't help but smile as he rose from the table. "Enjoy. I need some sleep."
Tommy had to roll his eyes at Valenlina's latest attempt to "improve" his wardrobe with a purple satin shirt with a matching sea green scarf. No matter how many times Valenlina tried to have Tommy dress like a proper male, Tommy always simply said no. Early on in the dating, Valenlina had gotten so frustrated that she also broke up with him, not that she ever told him. Her father and kho mother Tearhart had stepped in and explained that she could not make a human be like a Shil. The Imperium still tried, and the Humans resisted more. There were several semi-celebrities on the data-net that advised Shil’vai women on dating human males and females. The most common rule for dating a human male is not to try and change them to be acceptable in your circle because they will resent you for it. You have attracted a human male for a reason, embrace it.
Their walk through downtown Prescott was a moment the Tommy did not have to think about the meeting tomorrow. Early this morning he and his mother had gotten almost an hour of one on one time with Advocate Roskin and she was able to explain in greater detail what was expected of him tomorrow and how things could go right or wrong. Withholding information was one of the worse things he could do. After the meeting, Valenlina noticed the additional stress in Tommy. It was so bad that physical affection had no effect. There was only one thing other than sex that could distraction, window shopping.
Their window shopping trip started as a serious attempt to make him presentable in Shil’vati society, ow her attempts to help him look more presentable were just something they did to have fun. In many ways, it was closer to foreplay now, as Tommy now attempts to have Valenlina dress like a human girl. Tommy did have one big win, a pair of 4-inch-high heels, he had said they improved the view coming and going. Her big win last year was a shirt and tie set for his tailored charcoal suit, he was finally willing to wear formal attire with a splash color.
Valenlina could see her best effort to pull Tommy out of what his mother called a 'funk' were not working. He was still not willing to talk to her about it, she could understand that he was pissed but his silence bothered her. While he had not pushed her away, he still felt distant. Last year's fireworks had been the warmup act for what had followed. She could never look at Mr. Scott's old Ford pickup without blushing just a little bit.
Tommy smiled with a wicked little smile, "Thinking dirty thoughts again I see." he said holding up a pair of women's cowboy boots in hot pink.
Playfully Valenlina put on her pouty face, "What would you wear with them?"
Taking his turn to think dirty thoughts and hoping to see her turn dark blue Tommy put on his most innocent face, "First this is a girl's color, and they would be for you, but what would I wear if you wanted me to try them on? Nothing?" Emphasizing the last word.
With a facade of indignation, "Why Mr. Sandoval, are you implying that the Governess's daughter would be involved in anything so uncouth as to make a respectable male present himself for inspection with only what the Goddess endowed him with?"
Tommy returned the boots to the display and stepped forward to steal a kiss."My Dear Miss Seskie, you know dammed well that you would take full advantage of that situation."
Returning the kiss, Valenlina smiled. "Yes, Mr. Sandoval I would." She bent down to whisper into his ear. "I think we both need to cool off or we will never make it to the fireworks show."
Tommy took her by the hand." Looks like I'll have to settle for mint chocolate chip ice cream."
Valenlina put on a hurt expression. "You are so cruel."
They left the window shopping and continued walking back to the courthouse square. The roads around the court were closed for three days for Frontier Days and the Festive of Colors. This opened the court square up for a giant art show and sales venue. This was the change for local artisans to show off their wares in the hopes of making one or selling to a noble patron and then getting follow-up commission work. The north side of the courthouse was dedicated to custom motorcycles and the east side was for classic custom cars. The west side, known as "Whiskey Row" is where the food vendors and their destination Jacksons Ice Cream was set up right in front of the Palace Restaurant and Saloon.
Turning the corner to walk up Whiskey Row Tommy could not help but feel he was being watched. Tommy had to keep Valenlina from heading off to go look at this or that. He had to remind her, that ice cream was first or he would have to give her a spanking. Valenlina would always retort with, "Promises, promises".
When they were getting their ice cream Valenlina nudged Tommy and told him to look across the street. Standing in front of a face painting booth was a short portly balding human male with a puggy round face. He wearing a well-made black suit, the only thing missing from the 1930s gangster getup was a fedora hat.
Taking their ice cream and heading off to a wood sculptor's booth Tommy kicked himself mentally for not seeing him earlier, he was the only person wearing a business suit. He should have stood out like a sore thumb, but he just seemed to blend in. The booth was impressive, boasting several pieces commissioned by various members of the nobility. Tommy ate his ice cream and kept an eye on the gangster while Valenlina inspected the various pieces and got sticker shock.
Tommy tried to get Valenlina's attention when the gangster entered the booth and proceeded to the cane rack. By the time Valenlina noticed, the gangster was already paying for the cane he had selected.
When the gangster finished his transaction, he turned to Tommy and Valenlina." Well if it isn't the young man of the hour, Thomas Sandoval. It's a pleasure to meet you. As well as you, Miss Seskie."
Flustered, Tommy stuttered out, "Who the fuck are you? Have you been watching me?"
The man smiled, but it felt unnerving, maybe a little malicious, too., "My name is Mr. Rojo and I watch everybody. It's my calling, but I will admit that you and your brother have piqued my interest. I go through life watching the world go by, I enjoy the shifting mosaic of peoples' lives, and how they interconnect. For example, the car that you and your brother build was a 69 or 70 I could not tell with what is out on the news media.”
Tommy waited to tell this to go pound sand, but he need to talk and tell Mr. Rojo what even he needed, Tommy forgot Valenlina was listening as he spoke.” It is a 69, why is that important?”
The gangster slowly dropped part of his smile as he replied, ”It is not important, it is merely a curiosity just like why not use the Confederate battle flag and why the name Valkirey?”
Eagerly Tommy responded, “The Betsy Ross over the Stars and Bars, because it is more appropriate at this time and the Shil’vati Imperium has no idea what it means, instead of erasing human history maybe the Shil’vati could try learning from it.” almost quoting Sean Connery about goose stopping morons and burning books. “ Now for Valkire over General Lee, that is easy, Valkire’s are sexy and cool. and General Lee would get us in trouble, just like the Stars and Bars.”
The gangster's smile was completely gone, and his expression and tone had changed to serious but neutral almost professorial, “But I have a simple question for you, and I'd greatly appreciate it if you would give me an honest answer, Thomas what is gravity?"
Thomas could not stop himself and replied without hesitation. "Gravity is a higher dimensional construct. When projected from a higher dimension it appears to be a force, but to use it as a dimensional construct the space-time gravity interpretation must be inverted to be the first-dimensional construct so that space-time gravity becomes gravitational space-time with an indeterminate number of dimensional constructs between gravity and space."
The gangster looked surprised, while Valenlina looked utterly confused. "Is that your brother Robert's words or yours?"
Thomas hesitated only slightly before he replied. "Mostly Robert's, I can't dream up the shit he does but once he explains it, I can see it. He uses me as a sounding board." Tommy suddenly realized what he was saying. "Who the fuck are you?"
The gangster took Tommy's hand to shake it. "Mr. Sandoval, I told you I am a watcher and now I get to watch you. Have a glorious life Mr. Sandoval" nodding to Valenlina, "and you too, Miss Seskie."
Tommy watched as the gangster walked out of the booth noting that nobody noticed his passing.
Valenlina had been too engrossed in Mr. Rojo and Tommy's conversation to say or do anything, but now that Mr. Rojo was no longer there she angrily turned to face Tommy."Thomas, you have some explaining to do!"
Tommy would not realize until much later, that the gangster had placed the cane in his has as he left.
First: Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch1 : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Previous: Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch7 : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Extra: Janissary: The Son Of War : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com) Janissary: Vision from Zy'Verila : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
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2023.06.10 00:56 lilwaaagh [H], kruleboyz, ironjawz, 40k orkz, gargants, incarnate, fantasy empire [W], $$, gobbapalooza, fantasy [Loc] PA
kruleboyz - $220
breaka boss on mirebrute troggoth
on sprue -
2x swampcalla shaman
3x killaboss on gnashtoof
3x murknob w belcha banner
40x slittaz https://imgur.com/gallery/2YsuNqc
jawz - $180
megaboss bawla and burk https://imgur.com/gallery/GXPsmBE
40k orks - $120
12 squighog boyz
kommandoz kill team
9 gretchin plus slaver
octarius terrain $50 https://imgur.com/gallery/QJVH2b9
sons - $200
printed duncan shadow garg https://imgur.com/gallery/ouPKDZp
krondspine incarnate $60
vindicare assassin warhammer+ $30 https://imgur.com/gallery/BFXjZ19
empire job lot - $120
celestial hurricanum (half built)
30 swordsmen (no shields)
metal 5th ed griffon (no rider)
kurt helborg (no tail)
30+ misc state troops and militia bodies
will trade super in your favor for any fantasy -
tomb kings, chaos dwarfs, beastmen (metal minotaurs, razorgor, khazrak one eye), goblins (wolves, chariots, artillery)
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2023.06.10 00:08 StringfellowHawkes Her Card
I pulled her card from my lockbox today. I couldn’t bring myself to remove it from its wrapping though. I’ll explain the card in a little while. Even in just that briefest of moments though, the tears became too thick. I so wanted to see her name. Instead I decided to only go back to the memories. They bring enough tears. So I put the card back but need to tell my story of that memory. So thank you for your time in letting me indulge dear Reader. I know your time is precious and I am loquacious of a sort.
The place I used to work at a long, long time ago, Croc’s, was an odd duck. It was a Transformer of sorts. During the day and early evening it was a damn good Mexican restaurant. One of the best in town. Lunch was insane. Dinner was a respite. But on Friday, Saturdays, some Thursdays, and almost every holiday eve, it was… I don’t even have words. Nothing like what went on in those walls had been seen in Denver at the time. We had lines around blocks. The plural is not a mistake. On those nights, Croc’s was THE place to be in Denver. The owners got there before everyone else and had hit a jackpot with the place. The Rockies were starting over at Mile High and moving to LoDo soon. LoDo was booming and we were in the middle of it partying like no tomorrow every night.
But this isn’t about that amazing place, that’s for another day. Nope. This is about her, her son and I. Or rather, about loss and memories. But it all started at Croc’s and you needed to know what a breath of a moment in time we shared there. Not on one of those crazy nights but one lazy Sunday when we were pretty slow.
I mentioned the restaurant was an odd duck. See, it was designed so that from breakfast through dinner and into very early evening, it was a purposeful, full-fledged, extremely popular, and well reviewed dining establishment. But after that, it was designed so we could remove every table, chair, stool and booth. We essentially turned the whole restaurant into a giant dance floor with a bar that spanned half the distance of the long wall topped with massive tequila and booze pyramids. The wells were at either end with a plant potter behind them for storage. It was split level(ish) with a few VIP areas squirreled away. State of the art DJ booth on the south end of the bar. Oh and did I mention we had a 28 foot replica of a Nile croc suspended from the roof named “Hal”.
The owners were a group of friends who had grown up in the business. One of them was from the family that started Senior Frogs and the like down in Mexico. They had all met and worked at some of the hottest places in the state and been to some of the craziest places around the Americas. So when I say no one had seen anything like it, they hadn’t. We had a person that would blow tequila from a custom bong into a partier's mouth from 30 feet away. Our DJ’s were the best in town. We poached the absolute best in talent from every bar in a 4000 mile radius. That movie “Cocktail”? Yeah, that was this place on steroids. Hell, beside myself and 1 or 2 other guys, our security eventually turned into off duty SWAT cops. All these places around Denver and, hell, around the country you see now? Yeah these guys started it right there in LoDo.
It was the paper and crayons we would put on every table though where my memory begins.
There had been other places that had done what we did with the butcher block paper. It went on every table with crayons. It wasn’t the most innovative thing there but it was fun and the patrons enjoyed it. Many great artists out there! And of course the kids loved it. A lot of the folks who lived around there would bring their kids with them for lunch or dinner. I worked a lot of Sunday day shifts because a) everyone was hung over and never wanted to work and b) it was usually a nice bit of quiet after two nights that would make Caligula jealous. Plus the people who did come in were usually pretty cool and just out for a good meal. It was pretty chill after all that joyous chaos.
My section was usually the front lifted area just in front of the potters and a few tables in the middle. I was splitting with the other server that day since it was more dead than usual. A beautiful Colorado day back then. Blue sky with puffy clouds. Perfect temperature with no wind so the front doors to the small little patio were open. You could smell the flowers from across the street. The other server let me know she had sat a couple of people at one of my four tops. Sounded good so I headed out to say hello.
It was customary for us to write our name on the paper when we showed up. It was hokie but everyone loved it. It was our way of saying welcome and have fun! Some servers could do it upside down but I could never get the hang of that.
I headed down the bar toward the front, preoccupied with getting my marker out for the intro. I remember coming around the corner of the potter and just kind of coming to a juddering stop at the top step, tripping and almost falling on my face. Luckily she was a little preoccupied with her son and getting him situated so she missed seeing me make a gobsmacked fool out of myself.
I luckily regained what little balance I could alongside some composure quick enough to walk up and say hi. She said hi and then kind of waited. “Oh yeah dumbass” I said to myself as I told her, or rather flubbed, my name as I wrote it in the corner so they could read it right side up. She giggled a little bit as most people did with my nickname at the time. I hadn’t noticed but her son had been waiting the whole time for that moment. He grabbed his crayon and wrote his name and her name in front of them. “That’s a good name isn’t it?” I asked him. I told him it was the same as mine but the longer version. He was a little surprised by this as I went by “Scooter” back then. It took a second but he quickly realized it was a nickname. He had signed the long version of our name and said that’s what he liked. Right on man, you got it. Damn smart kid. You can tell, ya know?
After that briefest of moments, I shook myself a little and introduced myself for, I think the fourth time now. She tells me her name but it is instantly gone. Not only because of the effect this moment is having on me, but just because I am bad with names on the first go around. I don’t think we heard what either was saying anyway. Our eyes were locked and in that moment, it was all that mattered somehow. I can remember how deeply they shined. Her hair was a little damp and unkempt like someone in a hurry but has that respect for herself. Dark like her eyes but shining from the light outside. A simple blue/light purple and white striped shirt. Slightly damp around the shoulders. Worn jeans. Not the designer type but jeans aged with a good strong life. Blue canvas deck shoes with the white souls if I remember that part right. Maybe black canvas. I saw all this without ever breaking her gaze.
It was as if in the same moment we both realized we were in the same place together but not there alone. A moment later we both found ourselves apologizing for talking over the other. Sheepishly, like teens on their first date. Giggling a bit. Not knowing what was happening but knowing that something most definitely was. I apologized for the awkwardness and I think I cracked a joke or something but neither of us knew what to do. There was a calm panic and, I dare to say, a longing that was unknown?
It was her son who brought us both back to reality. He had asked if we had Coke or Pepsi. I shook myself internally again and told him we had Coke but could find some Pepsi if he really wanted it. Luckily he was not a Pepsi kid. I also told him that, yes, I would be happy to add a cherry to it. This time though when I met his eyes, I looked at myself when I was that age, as I answered that question. I hadn’t noticed it. Like a mirror as they say. Dark brown hair full of cowlicks. Round face with a big smile. Getting that cherry meant the world to him. I remembered that same feeling again through him. It was like looking at a version of myself I only saw in pictures.
At this very second in time I remember being terrified. Not “scared” terrified. It was more like, holy shite is this happening? What is going on? I wanted to turn and run and hide but somehow regained what little composure was left in that split second. I turned back to her and saw that she had just seen what I had seen. I could see wonder, joy, confusion, happiness, peace, thrill, fear and hope that I am sure were being reflected in my own eyes. We both needed a few minutes. We each could see it. It was overwhelming. Again, not a bad overwhelming but one of those moments where you need to put your hands on your knees and take some big, deep breaths.
The whole 3 or 4 minutes were surreal. And I will never forget them. I will fight as hard as I can to hold onto the others I have of both of them.
Somehow I managed to Charlie Chaplin myself away to get their drink order. I believe hers was a Sprite with a lemon. Normally I would go right around the corner of the plant potter and get the sodas from the guns there. Instead I went all the way to the back station. I needed to breathe. It seemed like an hour but I headed back. By this time the son was going to town. He had talent and it showed. It seemed like we had regained ourselves somewhat but the whole meal was kind of like an episode out of a teen comedy. We giggled, laughed, blushed, and did all the other things you would expect to see from two teenagers who discover they like each other. It wasn’t like I was trying to stay with them, or they tried to keep me there. It just kind of happened. I’d start to go away and she would ask me back for something simple. I would bring something I had forgotten in case they needed it. The whole meal went that way.
When they were done and ready to go, I was dreading it. Should I ask her out? She had mentioned she was single. It felt like I should ask her out. Like I said, the whole visit was surreal. There was no ring or even a suntan line of one (Don’t judge me, it was a different time). I wasn’t seeing anyone either. We seemed to get along amazingly, both her and her son. Even my fellow server noticed and was egging me on. It was obvious. Doing something like that with a client back then happened. Not usually in the first 30 seconds but you never know. I made up my mind to walk them out as I had no other tables and see what happened. I took the check to the table. She was packing her bag. I had gotten a refill for his togo cup and handed it to him. He said thank you and said he drew something for me. They had carefully torn it from the paper and he handed it to me. It was the three of us holding hands. How I held the tears then I do not know. I was a different person there at that precise point in time. At this moment those tears are here though.
I bent down to his level and thanked him sincerely. He said he was glad I liked it and he hugged me. I heard her try to stifle her gasp. Thank any or no gods or whoever for him. He let go, grabbed his Mom’s hand and said he was ready to go. As I stood up I could see tears welling in her eyes. He hadn’t done that to another man in, what she said, was a very long time she would tell me in a quiet voice as we started to walk toward the door. That was it. I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t even noticed that when we got to the big double doors, he had grabbed my hand. It just was there.
By this time I do not think either of us really knew what to do or what was going on. I mean, this was an impromptu outing to a place her son had liked because of the paper. It was a cheap and good lunch and then off to wherever for them and another table for me while I rolled silverware in the back or stocked the empty quicks from the previous night. But it seemed like it had been years together but only moments, if that makes sense? I certainly did not know what to do at this point. I think I mumbled what a delight it was to be able to spend time with them and I hoped they had enjoyed themselves or something like that. I honestly could not tell you. By this time she had regained herself somewhat. That girlishness turned into an elegance, beauty and strength that I had not seen before. But those same feelings exchanged in that momentary glance were still there. As was still a bit of moisture along the bottom of her eyes. We made a bit of small talk till he got a bit antsy and wanted to head off.
As we said our goodbyes that day, almost at the same time, we asked our questions. I asked if she would like to come by again soon with her son. His birthday was coming up I think and I could get the guys in back to make him something special. At least I think that was it. Her’s was if it would be ok if they came back soon. You know because the little guy liked drawing and the food. More childish giggling and laughing. And before she left she gave me her card and said to call if I was going to be working again on a Sunday or just whenever. As they walked together, hand in hand down and around the corner, I just stared at them and then the card over and over.
That very card I put back in a safe place tonight.
She was a designer as it turned out. I didn’t pry into her past as it sounded like it wasn’t all that great at times. She came by the restaurant a few more times after that. I then called once or twice to say hi and how they were doing and to let her know to come by. Eventually she asked me out. We spent some time together and it started to get a little more serious. She was a few years older but not by much. She was driven and forthright. Quick witted and compassionate. And such a good Mom with a massive heart. I was young then, somewhat good looking, fairly well paid and worked at the hottest spot in the state. And I had this woman I couldn’t get out of my head. Even my coworkers knew and could see what was going on whenever we were together. Either just the two of us or all three of us. Walking on clouds was an apt statement. At this point I want to point out that while I am no saint whatsoever, I do consider myself a decent person. At least I was back then and for the most part today. Things have changed as they always do but I digress.
Eventually the moment came. The serious date. She had a small but fantastic apartment downtown and wanted to make me dinner for once. I don’t think she was done asking before I said yes. We set a date for later that week. I remember it was a Saturday because me taking a night off from that place, with all its amazing moments each night to the amount of money you walked out with each night to leaving one of the other bouncers with one of the other guys he wasn’t used to, was a pretty big deal. Had to call in favors but everyone just said go. No one there batted an eye. They all seemed to know what a big deal this was somehow.
We set it for a little later in the evening so I could get things in proper working fashion up front of the house and then head over. Any of you who have worked in a restaurant know that smell you get. Kind of need to have worked in that environment to know I guess. So that night, I didn’t have time to head home then come back. So I had a change of clothes and a vanity bag so I could clean up in the back. Wouldn’t be the first time I got sprayed down by the dishwasher but probably a first for this reason. Cleaned up pretty well, freshly shaved and quaffed, walking so far above Cloud 9 I lost track of which one I was on. Headed out to put the work kit and bag in the truck. On the way out a few who knew what had been going on smiled or waved.
And off I went. I was a little late but she said she had expected it given the night of the week. Back then, downtown Denver was different. Colorado was different. I guess everywhere was different back then. But in this instance, I mean in an architectural way. You didn’t have the towers all around LoDo as you do now. From some rooftops you could still watch a sunset over the mountains. Say what you will, even I have to admit that a purple and orange sunset over the mountains is quite possibly the most beautiful natural thing I have seen. It is immense but oh so fleeting. Just like our lives I guess. You could still hear birds and bugs over cars at times. I wouldn’t say it was peaceful but it was at least calm?
She was lucky as her apartment, though smallish, came with a hidden bonus. Her window allowed her to access the roof on the next building. A part of it anyway. But this little slice of hidden wonder allowed a view down Market Street, across Spear, over Auraria and then the mountain view. It was stunning. Like the apartment, the space was just cozy enough for two to enjoy a little rooftop barbeque and dining. She gave me the quick tour and we poured some wine. She was going through the menu as we “headed outside”. The door was a small little window. I remember scratching my head and thinking I may not fit out there. She handled it with the grace of a ballerina and said I could do it. It took a minute or two but I contorted my clumsy self outside. And she was right. It was spectacular.
Not just the view but what she had done with her little corner of peace. She had talked with the building owner who agreed that she could use this space as he didn't even know about it. It was like something out of a commercial today. A nice little seating couch type niche. Well built trellis with some small Christmas lights for effect. A little brick grilling area with a hibachi going. I can still smell it. The table with candles and dinnerware. Decking. I was taken aback. The way it was situated insulated her from the sounds down below. You could hear them but it was almost like distant white noise. It was just peaceful. I remember remarking about this. She said she discovered it by accident when her son thought it might be a good play area.
Dinner was wonderful. The night went on. There wasn’t a sense of time. Just us there in that little part of the universe that was only hers. To this day I do not think I felt that safe before anywhere nor since. Someone was letting me into one of their most sacred spots. Literally and figuratively. I felt privileged. Almost as though I was treading somewhere I shouldn’t be. I think that thought was my downfall however. Don’t worry dear Reader, you will understand all that very soon. We watched that sunset. It was perfect. The right contrast of colors. Just the right amount of clouds to change those colors ever so slightly. A reminder of how something can change for the simplest of reasons.
As night grew darker it started to get cold. The goosebumps we were feeling on each other's skin holding hands and looking at the stars weren’t just from feelings. It was getting cool so we moved inside. After safely dousing the grill and making sure the coals were in their proper place, we cleaned up. Since it was easier, I stayed outside and handed them into the house to her. We figured it would be safer for the dishes. Giggled some more as we came to realize more and more things about each other at the same time. Finally the outside was clear. I stood outside for another minute to take in what was happening. I think that is then that little bit of fear weeded its way in without my realizing it. This was as close to perfect as I could ever dream I thought.
After squeezing back inside, assisted again but ok with that, we cleaned up the dishes and opened another bottle of wine. The inside was just as cozy. At some point she had lit some more candles and had some soft music going. Light jazz if I remember. Not loud at all. Again, there, just outside the periphery. Sitting on the couch I can feel her sitting next to me. We are close. Two people holding each other wanting to believe but not sure if this is real. There was almost a vibration. The constant goosebumps were not because of the cold anymore. Once we were both comfortable and we just talked. For hours and hours. There were the intimate moments but nothing scandalous. A tenuous kiss from one to the other.
We talked about what two people talk about who truly want to know the other. I believe we asked as many honest questions of ourselves as we did of the other. We really, truly, wholly wanted to know each other. And that is what we did. The more we talked the more comfortable we felt. Each of us had our scars that were not easily revealed. Nor did we reveal all of them that night and guarded them well. But we each wanted to know if the other was someone we could trust with those deepest places that we all hide in the darkest parts of our soul.
We talked a little about her son’s father but not in depth. It was easy to see that was one of the scars. We talked about her son. Why she was so astonished that first day. My heart wrenches this very moment dear Reader upon remembering that. Her hopes for him. His likes and his dislikes. Some of the stories parents tell others to embarrass their children later in life. We talked about what futures there could be not for us but for him and his world. He really was an amazing kid and I am sure has grown up to be someone she can be proud of. Time did not exist that night. Feelings and thoughts were exchanged that did not need to be said. We just knew each other that night.
We never did finish the second bottle if memory serves, we talked, laughed and sat together in peaceful comfort and gave no care about anything else. But tomorrow was coming as it always does and we had to leave each other. I remember the closeness as we held each other. The pressure of two bodies at that singular moment in time. That one instant that feels as though it could last through infinity. When two become one and feel the safety, love, compassion, trust and sameness that is rarely, if ever experienced.
Pardon me dear Reader but must ask a moment to compose myself. We are getting close to the end of my tale so also ask for just a bit more of your time. I know how so very precious it is. Thank you for allowing me to continue.
I do not know how long we held each other. To this day I wish it had been so much longer however. I do remember leaving. Working where I did, I was sadly but actively very familiar with many different levels and types of inebriation. That feeling that morning however was something that surpassed all that I had experienced in my life. I had never felt like this. I knew that the sun was starting to come up as I parked my car. I knew that I got through the door, downstairs and then fell asleep. I wasn’t drunk. It was pure. A pure love, happiness, joy and trust I had never felt from someone else. This feeling was so powerful it had knocked me for a loop that I just was not ready for.
I awoke later that day, thankful I didn’t have to work. It was late in the afternoon and I felt like I had been hit by a bus but didn’t care. I believe that the night before we both had excised many things that we had held inside for so long. I could (and can) still remember the whole night if not the words. I felt like one does after you give everything physically possible to something and have nothing left to give. But it felt right. Regardless of the ending, I do believe that, even though brief, that night, two people who had needed to find each other did. I think they needed to know that there was at least one person who understood, even if they hadn’t needed to actually say anything.
Now dear Reader I must ask you to remember that part about fear. Given my early life and life up to that point and to this day, I do find it very hard to trust. So this was something I had to confront. And so I started to. Instead of seeing what she saw in me, I saw the things I thought were ugly. I got scared that those scars would be peeled away and she would be repulsed. And these thoughts and fears grew. We still saw each other and talked for a while after that night. But my fear took over quickly. Before I knew it I had driven her away. There was no maliciousness about it. The thoughts that had ruled my life for so long before her and then after her, to this day, always got to the same thing. If you let her in, she will leave because of who you are. It was idiotic but it was ingrained at this point. I eventually told her I didn’t think it was going to work out. The truth was that I was scared. Scared to let her in. I hated myself for not being honest with her. She would have understood. Probably more than any other.
After that, I went on with my life as a young person does in that atmosphere. I saw her one time after that final talk. She waved as she and her son sat in a section away from mine. I waved back and remembered going out back and beating the hell out of our cooler there. I was so mad at myself then. While the anger passed as life threw one thing at me after another as it does until I find myself here today writing this, the pain of losing her has never healed. Nor do I want it to. That pain also brings memories that I so rarely experience anymore. I buried it for a long, long, long time but recently I find myself thinking about her and her son more and more. What would have been?
For you see dear Reader, that moment was my perfect chance. Not long ago in my life I was diagnosed with cancer. I eventually beat it but it has long since ruined my life. But that is not why I tell this tale. I ask for no sympathy. My life is where I am supposed to be. I have come to peace with that. To an extent I guess anyway. The reason it was my perfect chance is this. I was also diagnosed with a genetic defect which essentially makes me a cancer producer with no natural way to fight it. My mothers father died of colon and pancreatic cancer. My Mother has beaten 5 different bouts of cancer. I have been tested and confirmed. So if I had had a child, I would more than likely have passed that to them. After listening to what my mother watched her father go through. After watching my own Mother fight this monster 5 times and win each time. After all that I was horrified to learn that I could have passed this monster to someone I would have loved with all my heart.
I never married and never had a child. For most of my life I regretted that most of all to the point of shame. I am the last person in my familial lineage that will ever carry my name. My line dies with me. For the longest time that has been a great burden. However, after the geneticist confirmed me and a great deal of internal contemplation, with the aid of hindsight, part of me is glad that I never had a wife and child who would have to go through the horrors I have heard about, watched and gone through first hand and personally. That at least brings me a modicum of inner peace. Do not be fooled ever though. This monster is evil. It takes everything from all but the luckiest.
And I had my moment of perfect chance. Even though I did not know it at the time, I had an opportunity to spend the rest of my life with two someones who I truly believe to this day, loved me. Even if for so very briefly. I gave up the chance to be able to be a husband and care for someone I believe I loved and loved me. I had a chance to be the father I wanted to be without passing on my monster. To see a child grow into their best self. I get angry at times that I did this. Not necessarily my own selfish needs. I am also mad that this person trusted me and I couldn’t do the same in the end. That I let a child down who for his own reasons let me in when he shut others out. That we could have been the family we could have been. And I ran because I was scared. I can never forgive myself for doing that to them. This may sound selfish and perhaps it is but it is my history.
And now dear Reader we come to the end of my tale. Where it all began.
I think you will understand why I put it away instead of taking it out after this. I mentioned that she was a designer. Her card is exquisite. I don’t need to see it to describe it. There is a silver cord ribbon wrapped around a waxed paper tied in a bow. It sparkles silver but is brittle after all the years. I can slide the card out carefully but don’t want to take a chance of damaging it. My hands aren’t the best anymore. The writing on the card is done with a most excellent penmanship in purple over white with black. The backing is white with the black used as border highlighting with purple as the border and main color. There is a bit of sparkle in one of the purples but not a garish amount. Just enough to catch the eye. The back is similar with details of her work at the time as well as some contact information. I don’t know if she did this on all of them, but there was a scent of her perfume that accompanied it for a while. It, like much else, has faded.
We all have a place to keep our most precious items. This one rarely leaves that place for me.
So in the really bad times dear Reader, I try to look at that card. I say try because it is very painful to try to do so. Today was one of those days and I wanted to share it. In the end I couldn’t get past the tears to look at it so returned it to its safety. Not really because of the pain. Believe me, the pain is there in vast amounts. But because of that first moment. I needed to remember what that feeling was like. I needed to remember what it is to look in another's eyes and see the whole universe and all its infinite possibilities. Some regrets, regardless of time, will always follow you. Be honest about that with yourself dear Reader. Today I needed to remember her and him. I needed that acceptance. That peace. That joy, That trust. That love.
This time however I needed to commit this to our history so that perhaps at least one other will read it and maybe it will impact somehow. This is not meant to be a moralistic tale. It is just a tale of love lost. A life that could have been different. I hope, dear Reader, that your life is filled with wonder and love. Do not miss a single chance in your life because of fear. Be cautious but be open. Your world is massive but also miniscule. The chances don’t happen often anymore so grab them and hold onto them when you can. Try to think of all possibilities and look through others' eyes. But most importantly. If you do find your perfect moment, do not let it go dear Reader. It may never come again.
That is the end of my tale. I thank you so much dear Reader. As I have said many times, your time is precious and I have taken enough. Safe journeys to you my friend.
submitted by StringfellowHawkes
to lostlove [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 23:30 Ill-Commission8980 New to limited, need help with BRO quick draft.
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I’ve drafted MOM quick draft 25 times, that is my only experience with limited. So my question is, what do i cut/add here? Is this a decent deck? submitted by Ill-Commission8980 to lrcast [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 23:04 ALITERALWHALE adventuring academy episode
I'm trying to find an adventuring academy episode where Brennan talks about his friend's campaign "goblin world". He describes it as basically a completely uncharted world just full of random stuff, and in it he says he plays a lawful evil giant. I have been looking for so long please help me.
submitted by ALITERALWHALE
to Dimension20 [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 22:04 Profecionallystupid Respect Jason Grace Thread [All] (Long)
Some time ago, I made two posts with some of Percy's best feats. The first one can viewed here
. And the second: here
Now I know that Jason isn't the most liked character in the fandom, but I like him. So I wanted to scale him.
Contents: Strength, speed, reaction speed, skill, durability, actual powers, Tl;dscaling, closing segment.
He was able to throw a club hard enough to knock down a Venti. Even causing it to curve so that it would hit Dylan when he tried to doge:
Jason threw the club. It seemed useless with the winds so strong, but the club flew right at Dylan, even curving when he tried to dodge, and smacked in the head so hard he fell to his knees
The Lost Hero
He was able to deflect a spear hit from a giant:
Jason raised his javelin to block the giant's next strike-a big mistake. Don't fight force with force, a voice chided him-the wolf Lupa, who told him that long ago. He managed to deflect the spear, but it grazed his shoulder, and his arm went numb.
The Lost Hero
The same giant was able to cause the entire mountain to shake just by slamming the butt of said spear into the ground:
Before they could get very far, Enceladus slammed his spear against the ground. The entire mountain shook.
The Lost Hero
Moving onto House of Hades, we see him casually shatter a metal with a kick, firmly putting him into the superhuman category of strength. Not only that, but he managed to stagger and knocked a giant to his knees:
One last time Jason flew at [Clytius], kicking him in the chest, and the giant's breastplate shattered. Clytius staggered backward..He fell to his knees, and the demigods encircled him
House of Hades
He was able to cut through a statue made of metal with help from Piper:
Piper and Jason went to work on Hygeia. They slashed through the statue's knees
Blood of Olympus
We are now done with Jason it the strength department. Obviously, he lacks many feats in this department, especially compared to Percy, but he is definitely stronger than an average human.
He was able to stab a giant:
[Jason] rolled away from the giant's first spear thrust and jabbed Enceladus in the ankle. Jason's javelin managed to pierce the thick dragon hide, and golden ichor-the blood of immortals-trickled down the giant's clawed foot.
The Lost Hero
This might not seem that impressive, but Jason was being slowed down by Gaea. The Giant was being helped by Gaea. Finally, the giant was predicting Jason's attacks:
Enceladus' spear missed him by a millimeter. Jason kept dodging, but the ground stuck to his feet. Gaea was getting stronger, and the giant was getting faster. Enceladus might be slow, but he was not dumb. He began anticipating Jason's moves, and Jason's attacks were only annoying him
The Lost Hero
We see this here again:
Enceladus let him approach, grinning with anticipation. At the last second, Jason faked a strike and rolled between the giant's legs. He came up quickly, thrusting with all his might, ready to stab the giant in the small of his back, but Enceladus anticipated the trick. He stepped aside with too much speed and agility for a giant, as if the earth were helping him move.
The Lost Hero
Reaction/ combat speed. This is where Jason really shines. As he has several impressive feats:
He was able to keep up with Lit. The same guy who was so good, he earned the name Reaper of Men:
The guy was fast. He slashed and sliced, and Jason could barely dodge the strikes, but his mind went into a different mode-analyzing patterns, learning Lit's style, which was all offense, no defense.
The Lost Hero
He can react to giants:
Jason raised his javelin to block the giant's next strike-a big mistake. Don't fight force with force, a voice chided him-the wolf Lupa, who told him that long ago. He managed to deflect the spear, but it grazed his shoulder, and his arm went numb.
The Lost Hero
He scales to Percy in reaction speed and was able to amaze Piper:
[Piper] rolled to the edge of the road and looked back, dazed and horrified, as [Percy and Jason] crossed swords, gold against bronze. Sparks flew. Their blades blurred-strike and parry-and the pavement trembled. The first exchange only took a second, but Piper couldn't believe the speed of their sword fighting.
Mark of Athena
The same guy who I scaled to have reaction speed as fast as 10 milliseconds. And the average human reacts at 250 milliseconds.
He can react to lightning:
Jason called down another lightning strike, but Ephialtes caught it on his spear and deflected the blast, melting a life-size plastic cow. He slammed a stone column out of his way like a stack of building blocks. Percy tried to keep the lake churning. He didn’t want Otis rising to join this fight, but as Ephialtes closed the last few feet, Percy had to switch focus. Jason and he met the giant’s charge. They lunged around Ephialtes, stabbing and slashing in a blur of gold and bronze, but the giant parried every strike. “I will not yield!” Ephialtes roared. “You may have ruined my spectacle, but Gaea will still destroy your world!” Percy lashed out, slicing the giant’s spear in half. Ephialtes wasn’t even fazed. The giant swept low with the blunt end and knocked Percy off his feet. Percy landed hard on his sword arm, and Riptide clattered out of his grip. Mark of Athena
While technically not reacting to lighting, Percy fought a giant who could, so Ephialtes' reaction speed=Percy's. What I'm getting at here is Ephialtes can react to lightning. Percy can keep up with Ephialtes. So Percy=Ephialtes' reaction speed. Jason=Percy reaction speed. Therefore, Jason=Ephialtes' reaction speed.
Too much for you to follow, here:
Jason swung at the first spirit. His blade passed through it and the creature's smoky form disintegrated. The second spirit let loose a bolt of lightning, but Jason's blade absorbed the charge. Jason stepped in-one quick thrust, and the second storm spirit dissolved into gold powder
The Lost Hero
There you go.
He reacts to arrows:
This time Jason's senses were on high alert. He felt the air ripple as an arrow materialized, racing towards Nico's chest.
Jason intercepted it with his sword and deflected it sideways.
House of Hades
Now, Romans use a type of composite bow called a Sagittarii. Composite bows can shoot arrows as a speed of 250 to 370 feet per second (76 to 113 m/s).
Also keep in mind that he is nearsighted. Giving him even less time to react than normal:
"Oh, of course!" Asclepius said. "You're a bit nearsighted! Simple fix."
He opened the drawer, whipped out a prescription pad and an eyeglasses case. He scribbled something on the pad, then handed the glasses and the scrip to Jason.
Blood of Olympus
So all in all, he has some fast reaction speed. Well above human.
Next up, skill.
He can keep up with Lit, a man so deadly, he was named the Reaper of Men:
The guy was fast. He slashed and sliced, and Jason could barely dodge the strikes, but his mind went into a different mode-analyzing patterns, learning Lit's style, which was all offense, no defense.
The Lost Hero
He did all of this:
"I slew the Trojan sea monster," Jason continued. "I toppled the black throne of Kronos, and destroyed the Titan Krios with my own hands. And now I'm going to destroy you, Porphyrion, and feed you to your own wolves."
The Lost Hero
He killed the Trojan sea monster and killed a Titan without a weapon.
He is immune to, or at least, resistant to electricity:
Dylan's form flickered. "That was enough lightning to kill twenty men!"
The Lost Hero
He survived this:
Enceladus let him approach, grinning with anticipation. At the last second, Jason faked a strike and rolled between the giant's legs. He came up quickly, thrusting with all his might, ready to stab the giant in the small of his back, but Enceladus anticipated the trick. He stepped aside with too much speed and agility for a giant, as if the earth were helping him move. He swept his spear sideways and met Jason's javelin-and with a snap like a shotgun blast, the golden weapon shattered.
The explosion was hotter than the giant's breath, blinding Jason with golden light. The force knocked him off his feet and squeezed the breath out of him.
The Lost Hero
While this is an already impressive feat, we have this to make this even more impressive:
The javlin's destruction had released so much energy, it had blasted a perfect cone-shaped pit thirty feet deep, fusing the dirt and rock into a slick, glassy substance.
The lost Hero
He was uncut by plastic shrapnel:
Together, the giants picked up a fake mountain as big as Percy's New York apartment and hurled it at the demigods. Percy and Jason bolted. They dove into the nearest trench and the mountain shattered above them, spraying them with plastic shrapnel.
Mark of Athena
He can tank a hit from a giant trident, although he was in a lot of pain:
Jason managed to avoid the prongs of the trident again, but the giant swung the other end around and smacked him in the chest.
Jason reeled back, stunned and in pain. Polybotes came in for the kill. Just before the trident would have perforated him, Jason's ventus acted on its own. It spiraled sideways, whisking Jason thirty feet across the courtyard.
Powers. This is another place he is impressive in. He has several abilities he can call on in a clutch:
He can correct aim of things he throws:
Jason threw the club. It seemed useless with the winds so strong, but the club flew right at Dylan, even curving when he tried to dodge, and smacked in the head so hard he fell to his knees
The Lost Hero
He can control air pressure:
[Jason] felt a tugging sensation in his gut, and the air pressure dropped so rapidly his ears popped.
The Lost Hero
He can summon Tempest, a horse made of wind and electricity:
Suddenly the air turned cold. Piper's ears popped. About fifty yards away, a miniature cyclone three stories tall tore across the tops of the sunflowers like a scene from The Wizard of Oz. It touched down on the road next to Jason and took the form of a horse-a misty steed with lightning flickering through its body
Mark of Athena
Jason and Percy working together can create a massive storm:
On the deck of the Argo II, Percy and Jason stood together, their swords crossed. Annabeth got a tingle down her spine as she realized the boys were working together as one, summoning the sky and the sea to do their bidding. Water and wind churned together. Waves heaved against the ramparts and lightning flashed. Giant eagles were knocked out of the sky. Wreckage of the flying chariot burned in the water, and Coach Hedge swung a mounted crossbow, taking potshots at the Roman birds as the flew overhead.
The Mark of Athena
Jason can fly and carry people with him:
Jason summoned the wind to carry him and Piper to shore
Mark of Athena
He can cause water to boil and temporarily blind Piper:
BOOM! Lightning stirred the water into a boiling cauldron, steaming and hissing with electricity. Piper blinked the yellow spots out her eyes as the god Achelous wailed and dissolved under beneath the surface
Mark of Athena
He can use wind offensively:
The demigods rolled to either side, and Jason summoned the wind, using the giant's own momentum to shove him into the water
Mark of Athena
He can get angry enough to generate electricity:
the air turned electric-literally, as Jason started throwing off sparks.
Mark of Athena
He can melt iron and cause gold to steam:
Just then, thunder boomed overhead. Lightning flashed, and the bars on the nearest window burst into sizzling, melted stubs of iron.
Jason flew in like Peter Pan, electricity sparking around him and his gold sword steaming.
House of Hades
Jason has the ability to track people who use winds as a method of transport so things like air spirits can't run from him:
Jason couldn't exactly see him, but he'd had enough experience controlling the wind that he could track the angel's path-a warm wisp of red and gold zipping across the street..
House of Hades
He can control the four winds and even construct this out of wind:
[Jason] thrust out his hand. A swirl of dust shot toward the nearest horse. A lasso-a rope of wind, more tightly wound than any tornado-wrapped around the horse's neck. ..In less than a minute he had tethered all four venti. He reined them in, still whining and bucking, but they couldn't break Jason's rope. It felt like flying four kites in a strong wind-hard, yes, but not impossible.
House of Hades
He uses wind defensively:
Jason summoned gusts of wind to last aside javelins and arrows. He deflected a vial of Greek fire right up the throat of a gryphon, which burst into flames and spiraled into the pit.
House of Hades
He can carry others without having to fly himself:
Three dead Romans rose into the air and flew across the chasm. Then three more joined them. Finally Jason flew himself across and his squad began cutting through some very surprised-looking telkhines
House of Hades
He can use a sword or a javelin:
Jason slashed his gladius in a wide arc, vaporizing the nearest suitors; then he vaulted onto the table and jumped over Antinous' head. In midair he willed his bade to extend into a javelin-a trick he'd never tried with this sword-but somehow he knew it would work.
Blood of Olympus
He once more demonstrates his ability to create objects from air and now he can encase himself in air armor:
[Jason] raised his arm and summoned a lasso of wind... He lashed out with his wind rope, searching for strongest, most ornery *ventus in the storm.
He lassoed a nasty patch of storm cloud and pulled it in. "You're serving me today."
Howling in protest, the ventus encircled him. The storm above the ship seemed to lessen just a bit, as if the other venti were thinking Oh, crud. That guy means business.
Jason levitated off the deck, encased in his own miniature tornado. Spinning like a corkscrew, he plunged into the water.
Jason is capable of summoning weird lightning stuff at the bottom of the ocean
. Also worth noting it is still as deadly and didn't shock Percy who was also in the water next to him. On top of that, he can now separate the volts to attack multiple targets instead of just one:
But [Jason] couldn't think of a better option. He thrust up his sword. Immediately the blade glowed red-hot.
A diffuse cloud of yellow light billowed through the depths, like someone had poured liquid neon into the water. The light hit Jason's sword and splayed outward in ten separate tendrils, zapping the basiliks.
Blood of Olympus
He can carry a current throughout his body, holding it for latter:
With a deafening blast, a white-hot bolt arced from the sky, straight through Jason's body as he leaped, wreathed in lightning, at the giant king.
Jason fell on King Porphyrion with such force that the giant crumpled to his knees-blasted with lightning and stabbed in the neck with a golden gladius.
He can blast a 30 foot giant off a clif:
Porphyrion lashed out wildly with his spear, but Jason cut it in half with his gladius. He charged in, jabbing his sword through the giant's breastplate, then summoned the winds and blasted Porphyrion off the edge of the cliff.
Blood of Olympus
Tl;dr and scaling: So Jason is powerful. He is definitely superhuman in al physical states. I am going to say, city level durability. His power level is at mountain level.
Closing segment: Honestly I think he could have been more powerful if we'd seen him in more books. Also I didn't use a Trials of Apollo feats as there I didn't find any. If you see any feats I missed let me know so I can scale them. So what did you think? Did this make you see Jason as more or less powerful than you originally thought? Who else would you like me to scale?
Respect Jason Grace, son of the sky god, Zeus!
submitted by Profecionallystupid
to camphalfblood [link] [comments]
2023.06.09 21:44 VillainTheory X-23- Hero Kit Deep Dive
Are two claws better than three? That is one of the many questions I’ll be attempting to answer as we delve into X-23’s cards! Here I will go over her cards in great detail, try to predict which aspects and archetypes she will like, as well as estimate where she’ll rank in terms of power.
Disclaimer #1: X-23 has just been previewed. I have not played her, this is all simply theoretical and done for fun!
Disclaimer #2: This is my longest deep dive yet! Skip to the conclusion if you want a shorter read! Just read the bullet points at the end for the quickest read.
But let’s cut to the chase. Identity Card - Alter-Ego
X-23 or Laura Kinney as she’s called in alter-ego is, in many ways, much like Wolverine. She has a giant REC of 6 and has a setup ability to put her claws into play. And while yes, she is high damage and has plenty of healing, the similarities really do end there. She functions entirely differently.
So let’s hit the boring stuff. She’s got 10 hp and the standard hand size - 6 in alter-ego, 5 in hero form. Not great, but not bad - distinctly average. She also has the Mutant alter-ego trait and X-Force hero trait as you'd expect.
As mentioned, she has 6 REC and this is by _far_ her best stat. 6 REC is monstrous and shouldn’t be underestimated - she doesn’t automatically heal when starting the turn in her hero form, meaning there’s no opportunity cost for going alter-ego to use it like with Wolverine.
Given how dangerous it can be to drop to low hp in the pursuit of not missing value from a large REC stat, she will like any well-costed increases to her hit points. So far, we haven’t seen an equivalent of Adamantium Skeleton, but you can bet that Endurance, the unannounced but probable Honorary X-Force card, or even Symbiote Suit are all on the menu as potential cards for her deck-building.
Increasing her hp will help her in other ways - but we’ll get to that.
Like Wolvy, she has a setup ability to put her claws in play. Unlike Wolvy, she has a second ability that she can actively use throughout the game. It’s an action to shuffle either the Honey Badger ally or the Sisterly Bond event from her discard pile into her deck and then draw a card. The shuffling of either card is a cost, so you are only able to use it for the sweet card draw if either is in your discard pile.
Unfortunately, it appears X-23 only has one copy of Sisterly Bond and she seems heavily incentivized to keep her signature ally around on the board at all times. Which is to say, her alter-ego ability won’t always be online to use. But it's much better than not having one. ...Like Wolverine.
But let’s get to the good stuff. Setup Ability - Shhnk!
The ability is very simple. Put X-23’s Claws into play. So let’s talk about those.
Her claws have the weapon trait, the permanent keyword, and have a hero action that reads: Exhaust X-23’s Claws and take 2 damage → X-23 gets +2 ATK until the end of the round.
As you can see, suddenly her 6 REC is looking a lot more useful. And she has other sources of healing which we’ll soon cover. She also has multiple sources of readying, and thus you can really start to get excellent value from these. If anyone has ever played Quicksilver with Maximum Velocity, multiple readies with a +2 ATK boost is incredibly good! And she can pull the trigger every turn - as long as she has the hp! Identity Card - Hero Form
Her form is, quite frankly, amazing - and her entire kit has fantastic synergy with it. As do a lot of aspect cards.
She’s another 2 THW, 1 ATK, and 2 DEF hero. The same as Cyclops and Angel - apparently this has become popular! But like both of those heroes, she has a ready source of damage. In this case, the claws we just talked about. By taking 2 damage, suddenly she’s a 2 THW, 3 ATK, and 2 DEF hero.
2 damage might seem steep, but remember those readies I talked about? They’re here. X-23 has an ability called Living Weapon. It’s a response which says after she takes any amount of damage, ready her (Limit once per phase.). So, at the most basic level on our turn, we can always thwart for 2, ready by taking damage from our claws, and then use our basic ATK for 3 damage (or even just another 2 thwarting!).
If she attacks twice, it’s 4 total damage (1 and then 3). If she thwarts twice, it’s 4 threat removal total (2 and 2). She has to take 2 damage to do so, but restoring 2 hit points is generally considered to be roughly
the equivalent of one resource.
Remember Captain America? He's pretty good. By discarding one card (read: one resource), he too can ready to potentially attack twice, thwart twice, or some combination. And he too hits a maximum of 4 damage or threat removal, but even he can’t hit 3 damage and 2 threat removal like this while X-23 can.
What I’m trying to say here is that X-23 is going to be incredibly, incredibly consistent. Notably in solo play but still amazing in multiplayer. Even before you look at your cards in hand, you can basically guarantee defeating any one of most minions or clearing most side schemes. That versatility and output from Turn 1 is rarely talked about from Captain America but I believe it is one of his greatest strengths. Now? One of X-23's.
Lastly, I need to bring attention to the fact that the Living Weapon response, the thing that readies her, is once per phase
. You can defend with her on the villain phase and, should she take a point of damage, she’ll ready straight back up. Nice. Cap can’t do that either.
In short, if you’re being compared to Captain America, you’ve done good. Right now? X-23 is looking very
…But maybe all her other cards are bad? Heh. Signature Ally - Honey Badger
…Who names these characters?! Anyway, Honey Badger is a key weapon in your arsenal. Why? Because she readies you. She’s a 1 THW, 1 ATK, 2 HP ally with a printed cost of 2. She also, curiously, has the X-Men trait. This is weak, but her ability is very strong.
Her Hero Response reads: After Honey Badger takes any amount of damage, ready X-23.
This is very good because X-23 has great stats and we’ve yet to scrape the surface of how high her ATK can really go. If you’ve ever used the Web-Warrior ally of Peter Parker, you know just how good allies that ready you can be. Since consequential damage works for this, the timing will be largely comparable to Peter Parker except she’ll be defeated first before you can use her response if you spend her last hp on an ATK or THW.
With a great ability comes great potential to boost her hp and/or keep her healed. Or even recur her with something like Make the Call, Chance Encounter or Regroup.. See, you are going to want to keep Honey Badger in play as much as you can. Because readying is awesome. And we have other cards that benefit from her sticking around.
By readying you, she effectively has a THW stat of 3 or an ATK stat of 4+. And, since she delivers 1 of either the ATK or THW herself, it’s in some ways able to be split and she can definitely pop Toughs for you. So she’s already a solid ally before you factor in boosting her hp and/or keeping her alive. And all those other cards that synergize with her.
Remember the X-Men trait on her? Every aspect has a Training upgrade that adds hp. Expect to see one or more of these in all her best decks. Maybe a little X-Mansion to heal her, or Game Time, etc. Med Team, Command Team… There are a lot of options. And all of them end in Honey Badger readying you a LOT.
…In short, if your signature ally is being compared to the Web-Warrior version of Peter Parker, you’ve done good.
…But maybe, just maybe, all her other cards are bad? Hehehe…
Let’s check out her events. Claw Mastery
A 1-cost event with the caveat that it’s “max 1 per round”. What does it do? It’s a hero action that says, until the end of the round, X-23 gets +2 attack - and, if Honey Badger is in play, her attacks gain overkill.
This is super good.
If you don’t ready her again, it’s not so hot. But if you do even once? That +2 attack becomes four damage between two attacks. Combine this with her claws’ +2 ATK bonus and she us hitting 5 ATK and is really going to love more ways to ready. If you make a basic ATK, ready, repeat a few times? We’re in Quicksilver territory. And between Leadership shenanigans with Honey Badger, or Protection shenanigans with all its direct readies? You can deal massive damage here.
Battle Fury isn’t quite in the same league, but it’s starting to make sense why it was reprinted with Wolverine now. She’ll love that too.
This is easily one of her best cards, you just need to combo it. And I say it’s one of her best cards before we even discuss the potential overkill it gives you. Note the overkill is for all her attacks, not just her basic ATK. You could drop Into the Fray on a 1 hp minion and, in addition to removing 5 threat, deal 5 overkill damage. Nice. Sisterly Bond
A 0-cost event that is a Hero Interrupt - when Honey Badger thwarts/attacks, add X-23’s matching power to Honey Badger.
So, despite Honey Badger having 1 ATK, if you have just played Claw Mastery and used your Claws? This 0-cost card basically gives her a total of 6 ATK for one use. And even without Claw Mastery, it’s still very good at giving either 3 damage or 2 threat removal for 0-cost.
This is like Leadership’s Teamwork card in reverse, except nobody has to exhaust either. If you boost Honey Badger’s hp and/or heal her, this card is a must-play. And her best builds are almost certainly doing this.
It’s very efficient and super flexible with serious combo potential on top. And remember her alter-ego ability? Once this is in your discard pile (looks like only one copy), you can shuffle it back into your deck.
…This is easily one of her best cards too. Regenerative Longevity
A 1-cost event and an action, meaning it can be used in hero or alter-ego form, that heals you and Honey Badger for a total of 4. It’s reminiscent of Wolverine’s healing card and is one of her two previewed cards to have the Superpower trait.
So, for two resources (1-cost + the card itself), we get 4 healing. This is basically what we should expect for our money for identity healing. However, the ability to heal Honey Badger as well is extra valuable given how ridiculously good Honey Badger is for us.
Is it one of her best cards? You’re going to have to draw it at the right time (after you’ve played Honey Badger), but then? Kinda. Keeping Honey Badger alive and healthy is incredibly valuable. Every hp restored to Honey Badger is another ready, and your readies hit HARD.
Next up? Upgrades and supports. Sisterhood
If all three of her events and her setup ability, her claws, all combo-ing with Honey Badger wasn’t enough of a clue, here’s the final card that cements the theme: Honey Badger is vital and you absolutely desperately want to put her in play and keep her in play.
X-23 is the first hero we’ve ever seen who works so closely with their signature ally. Wong, Mantis, Vivian and maybe even Gambit come close, but not quite like this. Though, to speak of Vision, keep his Hickory Branch Lane card in mind here. This is her version of it.
Sisterhood is a 2-cost support that has an action (alter-ego or hero form) that says to exhaust it, discard an X-23 card from your hand, then search your deck and discard pile for Honey Badger and add her to your hand.
In other words, wherever you are and whatever is happening, you can always find and thus play Honey Badger once Sisterhood is in play. Whoa.
Now, I generally think beefing up Honey Badger’s hp (and, ideally, other stats) is going to be the best move, but recurring her with this? This can be a great option if you lean into it. Notably, in leadership, the Team Training card is going to do huge work here by giving Honey Badger +1 hp every time you play her. This will also combo really well with Danger Room. Just grab her, play her, and use Danger Room to immediately find and put a Training upgrade on her. And repeat as necessary.
This card is basically infinite copies of Make the Calls for your best ally. As long as you have another signature card in hand that you don’t mind swapping for her. Nice.
This card? Easily one of her best - for the right build. Otherwise, it’s probably dead to you if you find Honey Badger first and have built the deck to keep her alive forever. However, even with such builds, this could be pretty valuable to find Honey Badger sooner if you happen to draw this first. Honey Badger is just that
good. Puncture Wound
This upgrade is basically a delayed event and is reminiscent of Nebula’s techniques. Play it, benefit from the passive bonus, wait, and it goes off in the next round.
And I love it.
It’s a 0-cost card that you can only attach to an enemy that X-23 or Honey Badger have attacked this turn. The attached enemy gets -1 ATK. And then, as a forced response that triggers after the player phase begins, you must discard it - but for doing so you deal 3 damage to the attached enemy.
So, first things first - 3 damage for a 0-cost card is great. This is Turn the Tide levels of efficient. The downside is that it's conditional, also like Turn the Tide. Given X-23’s crazy damage, minions are unlikely to survive - you’re mostly putting this on the villain aside from a few edge cases and mostly in multiplayer (Surprise Contender? Dragon? Sleeper? That Future Past guy I forget the name of?). Normal minions won’t live long at all.
But for a hero who hits hard and fast, hitting the villain is going to be something you want a lot of the time, especially in solo where she can definitely melt through their hp. And if you’re focusing down the villain, you don’t want to be putting a ton of resources into your defense. And this is where the -1 ATK comes in useful.
The slight downside, the anti-synergy here, is that if you reduce the damage you take too low while also defending? You won't take any damage and so won't ready back up with your hero ability. It's going to be a fine line to balance that will vary with each scenario.
We believe she has two of these in her kit and they do stack, so for a total of 2 effective resources you can put both of these on the villain, take -2 from any attacks they make, then they take 6 damage. That’s crazy.
What’s even better is when you consider multiplayer. First of all, this is an upgrade. Cyclops is going to be able to Optic Blast off of it. Secondly, every single attack the enemy makes will be affected by that -1 ATK. So you’re really helping to protect the whole table.
The combo I’m most excited for is with Cyclops (again) and Storm, two of the best multiplayer heroes already. If Cyclops attaches Practiced Defense and Storm changes to her Blizzard Weather, you can play one Puncture Wound too and now the villain has -3 ATK for that entire villain phase. Or -4 if you draw into both of these.
But a lot of other characters will love the -1 as well. Spider-Ham might not need the help, but this will help him take lower chunks of damage for efficient toon counter generation. Drax? Now, when he takes attacks, he takes less damage too. The Groot ally? Suddenly it’s surviving a lot longer. The same goes for Spider-UK.
There are probably even more multiplayer combos I have yet to think of. There are a lot of handy little interactions.
What’s also good about this is that it makes “taunt” cards a lot better as well - cards that make the villain attack. Traditionally, cards like Toe to Toe and Bait and Switch haven’t been worth it. Whether they are now is still debatable, but certainly they get better if you can factor in the villain having -1 ATK. And remember the new card with Angel, actually called Taunt? That works great here as well.
There’s theoretically a situation where, in 4-player where everyone has their own copy of all the content, you have X-23, Storm, Cyclops and Drax, all running 3x Taunt or 3x Toe to Toe, with the first three using their -1 ATK abilities to weaken the villain throughout the game while everyone grabs massive value from these cards.
I love this card. Grim Resolve
And now for a traditional upgrade. So traditional, in fact, that it’s basically just Clarity of Purpose. The main difference? Its cost arrow says you must TAKE 1 damage rather than DEAL 1 damage, which is relevant with the new 1.5 rules when it comes to potentially blocking the damage.
If you block damage (let’s say with Energy Barrier) from a cost which says TAKE, then you have not actually taken the damage since you prevented it. But if you block the damage from a cost which says DEAL, the damage was still dealt - you don’t have to take
it to have fulfilled the cost.
(If this is confusing, while I will try to help in the comments, I recommend looking for some youtube talks on it or scouring the pages of the new 1.5 rules reference!)
Like Clarity of Purpose, it’s a 1-cost card which you exhaust to generate a resource. Clarity of Purpose has you also deal
a point of damage to yourself as an extra cost. Grim Resolve has you take
a point of damage as its extra cost.
It’s good! Now, you can pop your Claws to get +2 ATK first before using X-23 at all, then make a big basic ATK, then use Grim Resolve to ready then and make a second one. It gives a lot of flexibility in the timing of when you want to ready with her hero ability.
But it’s also just an ever-so-slightly worse version of Clarity of Purpose. Still, Clarity is a powerful card and X-23 has a lot of healing. You can totally run both, whether to just to find one earlier or even put both into play. Pain Tolerance
Last but not least, we have X-23’s consistent healing card. This upgrade is 2-cost, Superpower traited, and has a Response - meaning it works in both hero and alter-ego form. It says “After you play an X-23 card (including this one), heal 1 damage from your identity.”
Any rules followers will immediately recognize the reminder text being something absent from Sky-Destroyer, another card that triggers upon playing itself, so that is a welcome addition here that should help a lot of players out who otherwise might not realize it. And so we can, in some ways, also consider this to immediately include a 1 hp heal before we even really start using it properly.
So - three effective resources for 1 hp, then 1 hp every time you play one of your signature cards. I can tell you right now that, given how ridiculously good her signature cards are, you are going to want to play them already. And not just that but, as you may have spotted throughout the preview, all X-23’s cards are cheap. So, not only do you want to play them already purely because they’re so darn good
, but you can play a lot of them because they’re so darn cheap
In short, this thing is going to give a TON of healing. Outside of an unlucky hand, this is likely a minimum of 1 and sometimes up to 3 or, if the stars align, 4. And it will likely trend on the higher side if you thin your deck or build for card draw or some kind of recursion (Mutant Education, etc! And her alter-ego ability).
It’s not mind-blowing, but she’ll benefit more from the healing than most heroes will.
And that concludes the signature cards previewed so far - let’s take a quick look through some deck-building options for her. Basic Cards
With the Mutant trait, she’ll love a lot of the X-Men supports. With an X-Men signature ally who is key to her entire deck, she’ll also love the X-Men supports.
X-Mansion? Heal Honey Badger. Danger Room? Beef up Honey Badger who you can easily recur, and thus get multiple uses from Danger Room on just her. Cerebro? Perhaps find her faster.
Weapon-X? Find more signature cards because 1) they are awesome and 2) she will heal the damage from Weapon X with the card drawn thanks to Pain Tolerance. This can also find Honey Badger sometimes.
X-Gene? Maybe. Definitely if you run Mutant Education.
Endurance? 110%. Symbiote Suit? Honestly, she is clearly one of the better characters for it in the entire game.
Professor X is also a stand-out ally. She lacks confuses and doesn’t always want to thwart. The confuses will help her go alter-ego and use her massive REC, cycle cards back, or heal Honey Badger with X-Mansion.
Oh yeah. And Game Time for Honey Badger. That should really speak for itself. Readying yourself through readying and healing an ally? All for 0-cost? Incredibly good.
Perhaps most importantly, the new basic side scheme she brings that rewards the linked cards will be super powerful for her. It’s called Specialized Training, and she really wants the Combat Specialist reward most of all in most decks. I’m not going into great detail on the new cards here but if you haven’t already, please please check these out. +1 ATK and card draw in any aspect is immensely helpful. It has a decent cost to get it, but if you do? It's superb. Aggression Cards
X-23 has a plan. Boost her ATK and ready. Aggression can help with both.
In terms of ATK boosting? In addition to new card “Now I’m Mad”, there is the classic Combat Training and even Fluid Motion. I don’t see her loving Brute Force, but I’m sure there’s a novelty meme build where you boost her ATK to insane levels.
For readying, there is largely only Battle Fury. She doesn’t really need another source of incoming damage, but she loves readying so much I can’t see her not using it. Expect this in a lot of decks.
I also think Hand Cannon has her name written all over it. Certainly, she can get Overkill from her Claw Mastery event, but it’s not consistent every turn. Hand Cannon will boost your ATK further and make sure none of your damage goes to waste.
Skilled Strike definitely fits with what she wants to do. With the Weapon trait on her claws, she can technically use Mean Swing and Fusillade far more reliably than most heroes - but I think she’d rather focus on keeping her hp high to just use her claws directly. Better to block with allies or stun the villain than exhaust her claws for something else, in my opinion.
She will actually possibly like Quick Strike. One of the first heroes to genuinely do so without niche builds?
And let’s not forget Papa Wolverine. Who also, like Honey Badger, wants Attack Training which X-23 110% wants to run here.
And do you know what Skilled Strike, Wolverine, Hand Cannon, Combat Training, Now I’m Mad, and Attack Training all have in common? The physical resource. Drop Kick and Jarnbjorn are both on the table. And I think she’ll like them both.
While you might not want to use all of them, that is potentially a whole deck there that just wrote itself into existence. Just add Sunfire and Psylocke like almost every modern Aggression deck.
She is going to be strong in Aggression and hit very, very hard. With the thwarting to make it very solo-viable (if you don't just speed to victory with huge damage!). Justice Cards
X-23’s plan here is in good hands. She can’t boost her ATK, but what if we, say, gave her Heroic Intuition and just readied her for thwarting? Or split her focus? Perhaps mixed in Making an Entrance to heal? Seems good, right?
Justice also has the best access to confuse. Which means the most reliable access to heal Honey Badger through X-Mansion. And, you know, use her massive REC. And she can find Honey Badger quickly with Chance Encounter if she needs to. One Way or Another? More card draw for her amazing cards, and more healing per turn on Pain Tolerance from those cards. Having a side scheme out to thwart also sets her up well to ready with her claws even if the villain only added a measly 1 to the main scheme. Thwart→Claws→Attack.
Everything here is going to run very smoothly. And she is going to want the cards Psylocke comes with. Something she doesn’t appear to have are any status effects and Upside the Head solves that very efficiently. And with great confuses, comes great ability to use Float Like a Butterfly. With her own ready and Honey Badger’s, she is getting a bunch of damage from it.
Mission Training? That’s Honey Badger’s Justice ticket to Game Time town. That goes in every Justice deck she ever has, surely.
I don’t see any other incredible cards for her here. Just lots of very solid cards that work for most heroes, and will for her too. While it won’t play as fast as Aggression for the most part? With fantastic threat removal here, great access to alter-ego healing, and her innate damage, it’s looking hard for X-23 to actually lose in this aspect. Leadership
Good ol' Leadership. Where do I start? X-23 is the hero who, as mentioned, resolves the most around her signature ally. And Leadership is the ally-centric aspect. I could probably write a whole deep dive on the possible combinations here.
Let’s hit the basics. Danger Room Training to enable Game Time, X-Mansion, and just get more use from Honey Badger? Auto-include.
And if you’re bringing Danger Room Training, why not bring Beast along?
Pixie can grab Honey Badger for you, or Beast or Professor X, or anyone other X-Men should you bring more.
Inspired is great if you go for the voltron angle and keep her alive forever.
Rapid Response? Eh. This actually immediately gets us a ready from Honey Badger when it deals damage to her after reviving her - but it’s not optimal for her here. Regroup is obviously a great option in multiplayer, but when is it not?
Make the Call is going to be particularly exceptional for Honey Badger recursion decks. And is always an S-tier card in general for any ally you need at any time.
The Leadership side scheme we’ve seen so far, Call for Backup, will be another way to find Honey Badger.
Team Training, so Honey Badger gets an extra use every time you recur her? Super good.
Innovation to heal Honey Badger? Why not.
Then there is Command Team to ready Honey Badger and thus yourself. You might even run it with Lead from the Front given that both you and Honey Badger will get a lot of value from it. If Honey Badger attacks twice, and you attack four times, that’s 6 damage before you factor in other allies and potentially more readies from Game Time or anything else.
There is Clarity of Purpose which I’ve already talked about. You could
totally put it on Honey Badger though if you plan to heal her and buff her HP! Is it worth it? Not sure.
And of course Kaluu. As a combo-centric hero, you’ll love it when he grabs you Claw Mastery when you have a bunch of readies lined up in hand. Or vice versa.
Leadership is, at the end of the day, Leadership. It’s incredibly strong on its own and, with all the support for Honey Badger, it’s going to be one of her most popular aspects. Protection
And finally we have Protection. My initial instinct for X-23 was Aggression or Leadership, and I was already wondering if Justice might exceed them for its consistency, but Protection? Protection might just out do them all. At least for solo play.
Picture the scene.
You’ve used your claws and played Claw Mastery. You have 5 ATK. You wink at Drax, knowing you both share the same devastating damage now. It’s time.
Suddenly you use Leading Blow. What Doesn’t Kill Me. Then Counter-Punch.
And let's not overlook the potential with Repurpose.
The sheer amount of readying or cheap damage based on your ATK stat here is incredible. And with Repurpose, you potentially have more than 5 ATK for all those other readies and Sisterly Bond.
Energy Barrier can help you defend the villain attack and ready without taking too much excess damage. Perfect defense? Not here. She wants to ideally defend but still take at least 1 damage. And this, of course, is the best card to combo with Repurpose. And then that brings Electrostatic Armor into the mix for a splash more damage and another Repurpose target.
Protective Training goes straight onto Honey Badger. It’s basically an auto-include like all the other X-Men Training upgrades in the other aspects.
Med Team and provide extremely consistent healing for Honey Badger and can help you in a pinch.
Iron Fist and Tackle are going to help her keep the villain under control and still help her pile on the damage quickly.
But really, I cannot overstate the value of those readies/ways to use her basic ATK. Using X-23, her own ready, the ready from Honey Badger, and let’s say drawing 2 of them alongside Claw Mastery? That’s 25 damage. And all you had to play first was Honey Badger.
More with that Combat Specialty upgrade from the new basic side scheme. More from Repurpose.
She is potentially going to run faster than Quicksilver and hit harder than Drax.
Rush has never looked so good in green. And even if you don’t love rush strategies like me, it’s hard to deny the potential. You can try to go slower, use these tools to clean up the board, and still do extraordinarily well! Conclusion
Overall, X-23 looks amazing. She is basically a fusion of Wolverine and Quicksilver that came out looking like Captain America with a tiny pinch of Drax who really, really likes their version of the Peter Parker basic ally. And if you like any of those heroes, or you’ve ever enjoyed readying a Web-Warrior with Peter, I think you will really like X-23.
At least if you can also enjoy working closely with an ally. Some people don’t like allies, and that’s okay. But, for X-23? She can be good without Honey Badger, I think. If you broke the official rules and removed the ally from the deck, she wouldn’t be the weakest character in the game by far still. But she does lose a lot.
Unrelated to the ally, I will say I am predicting her to be the least popular of the X-Force from a general standpoint. I think many players will just see her as a clone of Wolverine - which is only true in terms of her story, not her gameplay. I also think she is a combo-centric character where it’s hard to see the value of her cards individually/without playing her. But, like Drax, will likely become a fan favourite over time.
For me personally, and this goes beyond the bounds of a hero kit deep dive, I think the biggest strike against her is the card art. It might just be me, and I mean no disrespect to any of the artists or whomever is responsible for the creative decisions, but it doesn’t work for me. We have various greys and blacks on a grey/black background. Her alter-ego art is off-center, her identity card just had a plain brown background.
I like the art for Claw Mastery, Sisterhood and Pain Tolerance. But I do think she has the worst-looking cards of all the heroes from this wave so far, and perhaps the X-Men and Web-WarrioChampion waves too.
But you know if I’m picking on the art as my first and only negative, it’s a very good sign for the rest of her. In terms of fun? I think she’ll score high and pleasantly surprise people.
In terms of power? She has a lot of strengths, but also a couple of weaknesses. But her strengths definitely outweigh the weaknesses by a landslide. So far, I have mostly focused on her strengths. So let’s cover her weaknesses quickly.
Her only true source of resource generation or card draw we have seen so far is Grim Resolve. And it’s a good card! But it’s not quite like those heroes who can draw extra cards every turn, or have a couple of extra double resources, etc! So her economy, while fine, isn’t great. I don't believe her alter-ego ability is reliable enough to contribute much.
Fortunately, it’s partially offset by her low costs and she gains a lot elsewhere in areas many high economy heroes do not.
The biggest obvious weakness is that she has no status cards - but in a game where we are getting an increased amount of steady and stalwart, it’s less of a factor. Likewise, we’re getting more access to status cards in the aspects. The exception to both arguments are Toughs but, as a hero who wants to take damage, they are less desirable for her in many situations compared to the average hero.
Cyclops doesn't have any status cards, nor does Wolverine. They get get by. But it's still worth noting!
And lastly, she is somewhat fragile. She is a 10 hp hero who wants to take damage, just like Wolverine, but Wolverine has two advantages. One, his healing is automatic from Turn 1. And two, he has Adamantium Skeleton in his signature cards - a +4 hp upgrade. Now, she can defend and ready immediately with her hero power, but it’s not guaranteed. Against weaker villains, notably on standard, she might not take enough damage to ready. And against stronger villains, particularly on expert, she might still take a significant amount of damage despite defending and readying.
It is of course a great perk of her ability that she can ready in the villain phase, but putting her in the line of fire when she already wants to take damage on her imminent turn and likely did on the previous turn can surely be rough, especially if you haven’t got her healing upgrade out yet.
But smart deck-building can cover everything. As alluded to, we have a good few status cards accessible in most aspects now. She has access to X-Gene as mentioned earlier as well as things like Weapon X, and we have plenty of “fragile” characters who do very well with a healthy supply of allies or stuns built in - plus her healing when she finds them - plus her epic 6 REC.
Another small weakness is that she’s draw-dependent to a degree. Her stats are great with just the use of Claws, but she’ll have quiet turns and large turns. Drawing Claw Mastery? Her damage goes up a lot. Drawing it with Sisterly Bond or other readies? It spikes. But you’re not going to get all those pieces together all the time, and some turns none at all.
Fortunately, as kind of mentioned, her base output is veeery good. And if you build into Honey Badger, keeping her out and alive means every turn will still be huge.
The final weakness I see is her reliance on her signature ally. With some bad luck, Honey Badger (and Sisterhood) could be hard to find. There are ways to help find her - but again, you also have to find them to find her, and most of them have costs of some kind. It's possible for this to sometimes be difficult.
But that was just a look at what I think are her weaknesses, and I hope I have not hurt your impression of her. The rest of the article is strength after strength - and all in all? She is looking brilliantly powerful. Here’s a quick summary:
- Incredibly high damage
- Super consistent thwarting
- Very low setup
- Very low cost curve
- Mutant traited
- Lots of deep aspect synergy
- …Did I mention incredibly high damage?
- Low-ish economy
- Semi-draw reliant
- Reliant on her signature ally for full power
- No status cards
- Somewhat fragile
And I will say that the "weaknesses" aren’t really that bad while the strengths - particularly the top four - are especially good! She will hit hard, hit fast, find thwarting while she needs it, and have it all basically at her fingertips from early on.
So, where would I rank her overall and next to the other X-Force heroes? Great question. Of all the X-Force heroes, she has been my toughest one to rank. I will also say all five X-Force heroes revealed so far are ones I am predicting to be in the top 20 of what will then be 48 heroes.
For her specifically, I think the scenario is going to make the biggest difference compared to the other few X-Force heroes. She is damage incarnate, and I think tougher scenarios that can slow her down, that prevent her from winning too quickly, could see her notably fall off when she runs out of steam. On the other hand, she’ll glide through low hp villains like a hot knife through butter.
But I do think, with her best builds and some optimization, she will truly be a force to be reckoned with. So I’ll peg her to fall somewhere between the 7th best and 17th best, with my best guess right now specifically being 12th-ish. She hits very hard and can deal with pretty much anything from Turn 1, and I think that versatility is huge. But I also think that, for the most part, she’s fairly honest.
But, since she has so many combos and I've not played her at all with any of them or any approaches to Honey Badger, I really wouldn't put money on this exact placement. Just know she is going to be amazing.
In some ways, despite being so different to Wolverine, they are still very similar. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He too is high damage, low setup and - especially early game - can be a little fragile unless you build otherwise or ignore his claws. And while it will probably depend on the rest of her cards and whatever X-Force support we get, I will end by saying I do think she will be the better of the two. In my opinion? X-23 > Wolverine - for fun and for power! Whew! We got there. Thanks for reading and I’d love to know your thoughts! Am I way off the mark? Do you agree? And is there anything I missed? I am sure there are some great aspect cards I overlooked!
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2023.06.09 20:52 Tsukkatsu How do you think The Old World should handle Subfactions?
The faction list we have for the launch list includes at least three factions that easily could be divided into subfactions that could have their own complete army lists.
Empire covers 4 distinct cultures that should each have own exclusive elite units. The Cult of Uric, Marienberg, Reikland and Talabecland might all field human swordsman, bowmen and knights-- but anything specialized much beyond that would be different for each. They could have each been as distinct from one another as the Bretons or a potential Estalia/Tilea nation would be.
Greenskins are even of a giant umbrella that covers Black Orcs, Savage Orcs, Orcs, Goblins, Forest Goblins and Night Goblins-- at least. I don't know if Trolls, Gnoblars or Hobgoblins get rolled into this. Night Goblins generally only get by with the help of squigs and other goblin types. And any tribe from Southlands, Lustria or Naggarond would only have Savage Orcs and Forest Goblins.
I really kind of feel that I would have liked to see the Empire, by far the most popular faction, I think I would have liked to see it get divided up into 3-4 factions that might share some basic unit model kits. It would also help with the fact that it got the most units across the editions as now they would be assigned to one of the factions.
And I also think Greenskins could have been given more depth if it were at least divided up between "Civilized" Greenskins and "Wild" Greenskins with plenty of room to take allies from the other list, but more of a theme on whether you are living in caves, using armor and war machines and leaving behind wasteland or if you are living in forests, using beasts, magic and poison and leaving behind wilderness.
Since I guess they are ignoring Chaos and and how each of the armies of the Chaos Gods would have a different focus or how the Vampire Counts have various bloodlines that produce their own specialized monsters, I guess they aren't a concern. View Poll
submitted by Tsukkatsu
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