Pledge Allegiance

Tap That MTG Show

We had a lot to say last week on our Tap That MTG video and podcast. There are two videos: one to help you learn about how to use Planeswalkers – since there are so many in the new set. The other is our top 10 reasons why more girls should play Magic! Check the videos out here (and subscribe!)

10 Reasons:

How To:

This week’s show is How To Pre-release – we are sharing what you’ll get at a Pre-release and how to build your Limited deck. Subscribe so that you can get notified when it goes up on Wednesday!

The podcast is here:

Why More Girls Should Play MTG!
How Do Planeswalkers work?

Magic News

The Bad Guy (IMHO)

Spoilers continue to be the hottest topic in Magic The Gathering news (well, for me anyway).

Yesterday, I wandered around my house, exclaiming to my family that the new Nicol Bolas card made me depressed about Magic The Gathering, mostly because he just seems so unbeatable.

How are we, the protectors of the planes, the Ajanis, the Nissas, the Jaces…how are we supposed to save everyone from such a terrible foe??? I moaned and carried on for a while like that…

Then…I saw The Elderspell… my hope was restored! Let’s get that guy!! (Yes, he might get us with that card too…LOL!)

Hope is Restored!

What cards are you excited about in the new set? Which ones scare you?

Magic Card of the Week

Together, we can get him!

Do you ‘pledge allegiance’ to any particular ‘guild’ in Magic The Gathering? I am pretty much loyal to Selesnya most days, but I like to play other colors as well.

I always end up going back to something with green in it – Simic is another favorite of mine. What’s your Guild Allegiance?

It looks like the new set is going to continue (even more so) with this idea of Guilds. It is on Ravnica afterall!

My Magic card of the Week was previewed a few days ago by Lee Shi Tian called Pledge of Unity. This will be absolutely fantastic in my GW-Emmara’s March deck that I shared with you in my first MTG blog post:

As an uncommon card, it will likely be amazing in a limited deck also! Is this a card you would play?

MTG Arena Madness

Singleton play is in Magic The Gathering Arena this week. This is similar to commander, but without the commander and you only have the 60 cards of a standard deck.

Basically, you only have one copy of each card, except for basic lands. To enter, you need 250 coins or 50 gems. Prizing is coins and cards, nothing too fancy, but this is a great way to try an Arena event without much of an investment.

I like to play this event; I don’t usually get farther than the middle of the prize pool, but it’s great to play some fun deck ideas. This weekend, I jumped in with a Vampire Life Thirst deck (named after Nightmare’s Thirst and all the life gain cards in it). See the decklist at the end of this post.

What decks do you build for Singleton? Do you like this format?

MTG Cool Tools

The simple life pad. Too many times, my life counter dice has been bumped when I draw a card. Sometimes, I forget what my life total was.

I try to use a written life pad instead whenever I can. Plus, it’s the rule for competitive Magic, so it’s a good thing to get used to when playing in regular play or even at Friday Night Magic.

This doesn’t have to be fancy – it can just be a slip of paper or notepad. I like the little paper notepads that Lesley at Pandora’s Boox and Tea made – it fits perfectly into a deckbox!

You can also get the simple electronic ones like the digital life pads at Pandora’s:

What do you use to keep track of your life total when playing?

Tournament Rules if you’re interested:

Vampire Life Singleton Deck List

1 Bishop’s Soldier (XLN) 6
11 Plains (RIX) 192
1 Famished Paladin (RIX) 8
1 Martyr of Dusk (RIX) 14
1 Forerunner of the Legion (RIX) 9
1 Paladin of Atonement (RIX) 16
1 Vampire Neonate (M19) 124
11 Swamp (RIX) 194
1 Child of Night (M19) 89
1 Skymarch Bloodletter (XLN) 124
1 Sanctum Seeker (XLN) 120
1 Twilight Prophet (RIX) 88
1 Champion of Dusk (RIX) 64
1 Legion Lieutenant (RIX) 163
1 Call to the Feast (XLN) 219
1 Ajani’s Welcome (M19) 6
1 Leonin Vanguard (M19) 22
1 Moment of Triumph (RIX) 15
1 Dead Weight (GRN) 67
1 Necrotic Wound (GRN) 79
1 Murder (M19) 110
1 Radiant Destiny (RIX) 18
1 Healer’s Hawk (GRN) 14
1 Hunted Witness (GRN) 15
1 Ajani’s Pridemate (M19) 5
1 Daybreak Chaplain (M19) 10
1 Inspiring Cleric (XLN) 16
1 Vampire Sovereign (M19) 125
1 Queen’s Commission (XLN) 29
1 Squire’s Devotion (RIX) 25
1 Elenda, the Dusk Rose (RIX) 157
1 Nightmare’s Thirst (M19) 111
1 Cast Down (DAR) 81
1 Legion’s Landing (XLN) 22
1 Skymarcher Aspirant (RIX) 21
1 Hired Poisoner (GRN) 72
1 Vicious Conquistador (XLN) 128
1 Vicious Rumors (GRN) 89
1 Vindictive Vampire (RNA) 90
1 The Haunt of Hightower (RNA) 273

Dirty Gramma is Back!

Tap That MTG Show

We had so much fun with our first Tap That MTG video and podcast. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here (and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!)

Magic News

The Wolf Pack Arrives!

So many exciting spoilers this week! For me, the biggest was the new Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves card!
I’ll be creating several new Wolf Pack decks of various formats! Whoot! I used to play wolves all the time! There is a new Arlinn, Voice of the Pack to go with it as well. The new  Vivien, Champion of the Wilds will be a must have for my decks too!

Magic Card of the Week

I haven’t heard if Jaya Ballard will be back in The War of the Spark, but I certainly hope so! Last year, I played a deck I called “Dirty Gramma”. It was a fun “burn to your face” red and black deck that featured no creatures, just Jaya Ballard and Chandra, Torch of Defiance.

I’m revisiting my Dirty Gramma deck with some new cards and some old ones I dug up (and got some fun red promos to use!) See the deck list at the bottom of this post!

image from

MTG Arena Madness

The Selesnya fight continues for me on MTG Arena. Slowly grinding my way back up to Platinum since the season changed and I got put back down in Gold again.

An interesting … actually, EXTREMELY annoying deck that I’ve been fighting against on Arena is one that uses Dovin’s Acuity + Mastermind’s Acquisition + Unmoored Ego (Esper Acuity).


It is a really long fight that I am having lots of trouble with.

Here’s an example deck from MTGGoldfish:

Have you played this deck? What are some of the ways you’re using it and/or fighting against it? Do you think it’s a viable deck in real life Standard Meta? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

image from:

MTG Cool Tools

Get this loaded on your phone: and then add it to your icons because you will use it ALL the time! It’s got a very powerful search engine that allows you to drill down to the card that you’re trying to find.

Right now, I use it to quickly see the ongoing War of the Spark preview cards. Images are clear and there are a ton of tech/links to use on each of the cards.

What have you been up to this week in Magic the Gathering? Any favorite cards or decks? I’d love to hear about them! See you next week!

Dirty Gramma Deck List

1 Blood Crypt
3 Cinder Barrens
4 Dragonskull Summit
11 Mountain
2 Swamp
1 Angrath, the Flame-Chained
1 Banefire
4 Burn from Within
1 Chandra, Bold Pyromancer
2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3 Gut Shot
2 Incendiary Flow
2 Jaya Ballard
2 Light Up the Stage
1 Lightning Bolt
3 Lightning Strike
3 Risk Factor
3 Searing Spear
2 Shock
2 Sovereign’s Bite
2 Spark Jolt
1 Unstable Footing
4 Vicious Rumors


2 Cast Down
3 Divest
4 Duress
1 Fanatical Firebrand
2 Fight with Fire
1 Open Fire
2 The Flame of Keld



Mist and the last of the smoke blended together when Eli looked back down into the valley at the manor. Beyond that, the fog completely cloaked the river and what he knew would be the boat house at the crossing. He was grateful to be above the stench of the charred remains of animals that they could not save. Eli shuddered as he wondered if some of the burned flesh smell was from any of the people who lived at the manor. Possibly even the master, if the rumors he’d heard in the night were true.

There was a chill in the air, but Eli’s skin still felt the heat of the fire of the night before. His right hand was burned from when he pulled on the iron closure of the last of the horses’ stalls. It was a wonder the animals hadn’t run him down in their panic to be free of the heat and flames that covered the back of the stables. He touched the gash near his temple. The gelding just missed killing him when he leapt past the gate that Eli was trying to open.

They’d managed to save all of the horses that were in the stable. His father and his brothers were collecting the ones who wandered back to the manor when the flames finally subsided. Eli was sent to the hills to start rounding up those animals who had not returned. As the youngest of the farrier’s sons, he did what he was told.

Eli chewed a piece of bread as he checked over the fourth horse he’d tied to the makeshift corral in his temporary camp. It would likely take a few days to gather up the lost horses. He hoped that the missing ones would smell the others and start coming back together on their own.

He had a little bit of food with him; the kitchen was still intact and one of the maids handed him a bundle as he left. He was on foot – his father didn’t want to spare any of the horses for him. Besides, he would find horses that he could ride if he needed to. That meant that he couldn’t carry much for supplies, but his father didn’t seem to care.

“You’re strong and summer is still with us. You don’t need much.” he’d been told when he asked.

And so Eli climbed up the mountainside on foot, searching for the horses. He was a good tracker; not that his father knew. Eli spent most of his life ignored by his father. His older brothers taught him their family’s farrier trade when they had time and Eli begged them to. His tracking skills came from when he’d been a child and served with the master’s hunting parties. Eli paid attention to what the men were doing and saying. He was quiet and no one ever noticed the boy hovering as they discussed hunting and tracking while he poured their wine.

Eli checked his burned right hand. It didn’t burn as much now that he’d been applying the salve that the master’s wife left with him years ago on one of the hunts. It was almost all gone now. He always carried it with him, just in case. Eli doubted that she remembered that day. He would never forget it.

The other men didn’t notice when the wine-boy tripped over the carelessly discarded coat one of the men had cast aside. When he fell, Eli’s leg brushed against the hot rocks of the cooking fire and burned. But she noticed.

The master’s wife – Eliza – rushed to his side and helped him up and back to her tent. The 16 year old “boy” was taller than she was and he felt silly limping along beside her, feeling every inch of her arm around his waist. His face burned more than his leg did as her soft hands applied the salve to his injury. He prayed that she wouldn’t look up to see his embarrassment pressing against the front of his breeches. Eli gripped the wine flask close to cover himself.

“There. Now keep putting this on for a few days and it will heal well.” Eliza stood up from where she’d been kneeling and offered him some water from the bucket beside them.

Their eyes met as he drank and Eliza quickly looked away from him. Eli guessed that she couldn’t be much older than he was. She always looked sad whenever he glanced her way on the many hunts they’d been on. The master rarely went anywhere without his wife coming along behind him. She’d been with him for a little less than a year, but never did she seem to be a blushing bride.

Many rumors fluttered around the manor about where the master’s wife came from. No one knew the truth and the master did not tell anyone. He’d returned from a journey over the pass with her in his group and claimed only that she was now his wife. The Brute was so close to her side that everyone wondered if she was with the Brute or with the master. The only time anyone saw her was when she came on the hunts with them. Out there, the Brute seemed to leave her alone.

The Brute wasn’t with her last night. Last night, when Eli saw her jump down into the hay wagon. He couldn’t imagine what she was doing, he just knew that he needed to help her.

Even in the darkness, he knew it was her. He knew every curve of her body. He couldn’t see her dark eyes very well, but the outline of her face was unmistakable. Especially to him who had looked her way so many times.

Where was she going? What was happening? Why was she choosing to run? Would she make it to wherever she was going? How could she, with so few supplies? His meager food he’d given her would not take her very far. How could a women survive in this wilderness? The master would surely be out looking for her. The Brute was probably already on the hunt.

Eli chewed harder on another piece of bread and re-wrapped his hand. He knew that it wouldn’t take them long to find her. His jaw clenched…he had to find her first.

See the previous part of the story here:

Photo by Marc Marchal on Unsplash


Fifteen…I really can’t believe it. She is 15 today.


Four years ago, I wrote a love letter to my daughter. Today, I write again.

I am so grateful for you. You teach me something every day…

Patience – I am learning to understand how you do things; not necessarily at the same rate or the way I would do them…lol!

True Beauty – Let’s face it, you are absolutely stunning, but most of all, your true beauty is in your heart because you are always so thoughtful and kind. Often thinking of others first.

Individuality – You’ve never followed the crowd. You go where you want to go, you are who you are. That’s just brilliant, especially for a young woman in this day and age.

Perseverance – I’m always amazed how you never settle for less. Not less from others and certainly not less from yourself. For you, it’s always gotta be 110% or not at all. If your heart is set on it, it happens.

Grace – How do you always manage to look so amazing? It’s the weekend or at a baseball game and you’ve always got it together? Incredible!

Confidence – I never had the kind of confidence you have at your age. It continually amazes me how you believe in yourself. I have learned a lot about confidence from you my darling girl.

Warmth – You have such a warm heart. I hear from people all the time who comment on how you are always so thoughtful and gentle and polite with them. I have a hard time thinking of any time that you have spoken harshly about someone. It’s just not what you do. I still talk about the day in the car after I’d “road raged” when you reminded me that my reaction was cruel. That the person going too slow in front of me may be having a bad day. You always think of them first, don’t you? We could all learn that lesson from you.

Generosity – You work so hard for your money, yet you are the first person to spend it on someone else, even your brothers. Not many teen girls would do that.

Love – That early morning 15 years ago when I held you in my arms; all that long and 11lbs 3oz of you, I was changed. I had a girl now too. I never dreamed that I could have a little girl who would teach me so much. Your beautiful eyes and thick hair stunned me that day – so very, very beautiful. I’d never seen that kind of beauty before. It made your father cry and my heart soar.

mom and girl

Thank you dearest darling girl for coming into our lives. We are forever changed for the better because of you.

You’ll never lose because you lead with your heart.


I will be…


strong DGC

Today, I don’t feel very strong. My CDF’s (Core Desired Feelings) that I just figured out, only a few days ago, seem to be difficult for me to achieve today.

Well, ONE, for sure. I don’t feel strong.

My back is giving me so much pain. Yet, I can’t even allow myself that pain. I feel guilty because so many others are going through worse pain. I feel annoyed because it’s getting in my way of doing what I want to do…

Perhaps that’s the lesson here:

  • I am strong enough to bare the guilt of feeling less than ready for the day.
  • I am strong enough to feel weakness.
  • I am strong enough to allow healing without judgement on the dis-ease.
  • I am strong enough to BE; whatever that may look like. Even if it’s not 100% on.

I will be. I can be…I am.

~this is a post prompted by my Desire Map Journal. Truth & Freedom. Find yours here: 


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