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Zendikar Rising: Best cards for EDH
Hello there, EDH's subreddit did not seem to have a thread for discussing the (overall) best additions to EDH from Magic's newest Zendikar Rising. Apologies if I missed it and there is a thread discussing this exact thing already. --- Thereby: what do you think are the best cards (per colour) for EDH from Zendikar Rising? And: what do you think of the picks in this post - where am I completely off, what did I miss? 'Best' is of course quite a subjective term. Personally, I have focused to optimized play in mind, but anyone - from absolute janklords to cEDH champions - is more than welcome to weigh in. --- Personally, I like to compile lists, so I've included my personal picks of great new EDH cards in Top 5 lists per colour. I'm only looking at the Zendikar Rising main set - so not the handful of new commander cards in the preconstructed decks, nor have I considered the Expeditions, nor have I thought of the List. White 1| [[Archon of Emeria]] - Deafening Silence and part of Thalia 2.0 on one flying boi makes quite the hatebear. 2| [[Sejiri Shelter // Sejiri Glacier]] - another excellent spell-land. Especially mono white and Boros will like the option to protect their key creature for the okay cost of two mana OR have an early land drop, if necessary. 3| [[Ondu Inversion // Ondu Skyruins]] - many of the double-faced land cards are easy includes, but especially this one caught my attention. Especially for more grindy decks with control elements, having the option of either a landdrop or an overcosted boardwipe is quite the suite of options. Not great in decks for which an early tapped land hinders the game plan too much, but I can see this card do work in many different decks nevertheless. 4| [[Angel of Destiny]] - a new way for (mono-)white lifegain decks to close out games! In magical christmasland a mana rock, some early life gain and Lightning Greaves on board can wipe people out as early as turn 4. Not terrible. 5| [[Canyon Jerboa]] - with the likely influx of new landfall decks that include white, this little guy provides quite a potent on-theme way for land matters decks to threaten a win. Blue 1| [[Confounding Conundrum]] - I longed so much for a (non-mass-land destruction) tool against degenerate Gx turboramp decks that are both too prevalent AND too effective in the more casual metas. I feel like I should state the obligatory "this should've been white", but even so I'm happy to slot this in every U(x) deck ever! Update: Me: should the B(x) have been U(x)? Comment section: always have been 2| [[Thieving Skydiver]] - snatching someone's Sol Ring for three? Arcane Signet for four? YES PLEASE 3| [[Charix, the Raging Isle]] - friggin' turbocrab on steriods. Mess with the crabbo, you get the stabbo. And all the other memes. I will be so glad to die by the pincers of this mighty, mighty chitenous madlad. 4| [[Maddening Cacophony]] - for a long time, mill (not selfmill, mind you) has been viewed as a lackluster strategy to try and compete for a win at more powerful tables. With the introduction of the Mill-mander from Jumpstart and now THIS, I think this is changing. 5| [[Ruin Crab]] - so much crustaceous love in Zendikar Rising! I can see this card play a role in both Scapeshifty decks as well as mill decks, and this card being so efficient for just the single blue pip I expect this to do some serious work. Black (updated, moved Feed the Swarm to 5) 1| [[Agadeem's Awakening // Agadeem, the Undercrypt]] - A mass recursion spell instead of a swamp or utility land is going to be a good deal for most mono black and two-colour decks. 2| [[Malakir Rebirth // Malakir Mire]] - this sneaky little card has a lot of potential. Saving your best dude from a boardwipe? Doubling an ETB / dies trigger on demand? Epic combat trick when some thought they traded creatures? For the low cost of one B AND the versatility of ensuring a land drop, this card is quite good. 3| [[Maurading Blightpriest]] - artistocrats decks and soul sisters.dec should consider this maurading blood boi. 4| [[Hagra Mauling // Hagra Broodpit]] - (most times) a Murder OR a bad land (not to confuse with Badland); due to the flexibility (again) I can see many 1 or 2-colours decks liking this card. 5| [[Feed the Swarm]] - I might be complete off here, but instant speed enchantment or creech removal for the measly costs of 2 mana and some life is amazing pretty good, even if it's at sorcery speed in commander. I can imagine BG or BW decks to have better options, but mono black and the other combinations without G and W are going to love this. Red 1| [[Valakut Exploration]] - WotC is really pushing a red variant on Phyrexian Arena. This iteration of said concept is the best one thus far I'd say. Red and Boros decks are more or less going to auto-include this - but even landfall and punisher strategies with access to other colours might consider this. 2| [[Leyline Tyrant]] - Red Omnath that doesn't get bigger but obliterates someone or something when it dies is very scary. I don't think it's as good as Omnath - being a mana more costly mainly - but red should be extremely happy to have this tool regardless. Especially in Neheb this card is extremely dangerous. 3| [[Spitfire Lagac]] - this set has quite a few playable commons! I can see this scaly dude do some work off a Scapeshit or in a Torbran deck. 4| [[Roiling Vortex]] - in somewhat higher powered metas, these types of tools are invaluable. Providing an answer to both lifegain as well as cascade-type strategies is quite excellent in my book. 5| [[Valakut Awakening // Valakut Stoneforge]] - at three mana, instant-speed, this card sits at a very sweet spot for its spell-side. I'd play this in red and Boros decks even without the option of having it enter as a land! Green 1| [[Ancient Greenwarden]] - Crucible of Panharmalandicon is the stupid powerful green Mythic of this set. Couple this with Yarok and really gross things start happening. 2| [[Bala Ged Recovery // Bala Ged Sanctuary]] - Recollect with the alternative of hitting your land drop is an extremely valuable tool to many decks, I think. Way too many players already play Eternal Witness as an overcosted Regrowth (if there's not futher synergy with the Witness), so for these players I consider this card almost as a strict upgrade. 3| [[Roiling Regrowth]] - many decks can use a second Harrow. Especially in landfall decks, I like these way better than Cultivate / Kodama's Reach, so it's nice to have yet another excellent option for ramping. 4| [[Scute Swarm]] - hard to evaluate this card precisely, but (as many other cards in this set) I hypothesize this does stupid stuff with Scapeshift. Mostly definitely better than its previous iteration Scute Mob. 5| [[Turntimber Symbiosis]] - the fact there's little to no downside in running this wins me over for spot 5 here. I think many times this card can whiff quite hard, so it's best to include this mostly in decks that run (a) a lot of creatures and (b) big creatures. Shout-out to [[Lotus Cobra]]. Not a new card, but a reprint everyone should pick up a copy (or four) of. Gold 1| [[Akiri, Fearless Voyager]] - Boros has a commander that draws cards now! Not even impulsive or otherwise restricted draw, but just plain-old draw. Boros Tymna for equipment-shenanigans is going to be quite the playable Boros commander. Finally. 2| [[Linvala, Shield of the Sea Gate]] - Selfless Spirit with the upside of choosing for Hexproof instead of indestructible is worth the extra mana in many decks, I reckon. The party thing of nullifying a nonland permanent for a turn is merely gravy. 3| [[Yasharn, Implacable Earth]] - Everyone respects hate bears, but hate BOARS are nothing to scoff at too, looking at this. Angel of Jubilation with the bonus of netting you two basics and the downside of it not flying makes it very similar in power level, in my mind. A little meta dependent, this piglet can provide ample protection against aristocrats and K'rikk-eque strategies. Edit: I mentioned Linvala where I should've mentioned Angel of Jubilation. Fixed it. 4| [[Zareth San, the Trickster]] - I like that we're getting an alternative to Yuriko. Instead of trying to lower everyone's life-total asap, Zareth will likely play out a longer, more grindy gameplan - with control elements and mill. I'm very curious to see if it's going to play it. 5| [[Murasa Rootgrazer]] - Sakura-Tribe scout for one more that also allows you to bounce your own lands when needed is excellent. Whether you want to ensure another landfall trigger or simply ramp early - I think this guy makes the cut for many land-centric decks. Update: this only bounces basics, alas. Still good in my book though! Colourless 1| The Pathway cycle - They were presented as being - in terms of power level - between shocks and fetches. They are quite a bit LESS powerful than that, obviously, but for the appropriate two-colours decks I think these are a no-brainer to include, and in some three-colours decks they might be good enough - since they DO provide you the choice for whichever colour you need at that moment, with the upside of not coming into play tapped. 2| [[Lithoform Engine]] - I'm not entirely sure where this card is in terms of power level on the spectrum of Mirari to Strionic Resonator to perhaps Rings of Brightheart, but I'm sure people will find many ways to abuse this engine. 3| [[Forsaken Monument]] - Colourless decks rejoice, you have found yet another tool that you cannot ignore from now on on! 4| [[Myriad Construct]] - I can easily see this guy get 15-20 counters by the time it hits the field on turn 6-7. If you run targetted spells aplenty AND can abuse the great amount of tokens Myriad Construct provides, I think this card can be game-ending strong. 5| [[Skyclave Relic]] - a single Darksteel Ingot is for many decks not good enough anymore these days, but having three of these for 6 mana - and the flexibility it provides on top - might make it good enough. I will definitely try it in my Brudiclad deck, that's for sure. If you made it all the way to here, thank you for reading!
I categorized the list of a couple of games in the Epic store into 4 parts - Free games, below $5 games, above $5 but below $10 games, and $14.99 games
So I went through all the list of games in the Epic store during Sale going on, and categorized them into four different parts so it would be easier to take a quick decision on which game to play next. They are listed in alphabetic order per category below. (The $14.99 category is useful if you happen to have a $10 Epic coupon, so you can actually avail the game for $4.99 only! Please note, this list may vary based on the region where you are at, but the bulk of it should be the same. Also this is the list as of today i.e. 24/09/2020.)
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 Sale runs from June 25th to July 9th, 2020. There will be a post each day to focus on Steam's featured deals, and to give people a chance to discuss the many games that will be on sale. Discounts will remain the same throughout the sale, so you don't need to wait for a featured deal to purchase.
Please do not submit individual games as posts during the Steam sale as they will be automatically removed. If there is a great deal you want to share with others on a popular title, please do so in these daily threads or hidden gems thread.
Zendikar Black Card Review: The Phyrexian Scriptures Chapter 1
Welcome to the Phyrexian Scriptures - a comprehensive review series of all things Black. Going forward, I hope to do this for the upcoming sets. These reviews will be based on a more social and casual Commander mindset. I’ve been playing magic since Alara Reborn and the entire time I’ve specialized in black - as such I hope to give you my insights on Magic’s Premier color. First off, a small note about Party - this mechanic is going to be mostly underwhelming in Commander, but double check your decks. More often than not, you will have a handful of most of these creatures around. Don’t try to shoehorn a card just to fit it, but don’t discount it immediately. For a little help, I’ve included below a brief selection of some commonly played Party members. Rogues: Balustrade Spy, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, Gonti Lord of Luxury, Marrow-Gnawer, Marsh Flitter, Ogre Slumlord, Rankle Master of Pranks, Tinybones Trinket Thief, Undercity Informer, Vampire Aristocrat, Zulaport Cutthroat Wizards: Apprentice Necromancer, Blightcaster, Bloodline Necromancer, Bloodtracker, Bone Miser, Coffin Queen, Corpse Connoisseur, Cunning Lethemancer, Dark Confidant, Death Baron, Dire Fleet Ravager, Disciple of Bolas, Endrek Sahr Master Breeder, Fiend of the Shadows, Flesh Carver, Ghoulcaller Gisa, Grim Haruspex, Magus of the Coffers, Magus of the Will, Puppeteer Clique, Undead Augur, Vindictive Lich, Viscera Seer, Yixlid Jailer Clerics: Bishop of the Bloodstained, Custodi Lich, Disciple of Griselbrand, Disciple of the Vault, Doomed Necromancer, Duskfang Mentor, Entomber Exarch, Liliana Heretical Healer, Mikaeus the Unhallowed, Pontiff of Blight, Priest of Forgotten Gods, Shadowborn Apostle, Shepherd of Rot, Twilight Prophet, Vito Thorn of the Dusk Rose, Whisper Blood Liturgist, Withered Wretch, Yawgmoth Thran Physician Warriors: Bloodsoaked Champion, Butcher of Malakir, Champion of Stray Souls, Fleshbag Marauder, Gatekeeper of Malakir, Gutterbones, Kalitas Traitor of Ghet, Merciless Executioner, Reassembling Skeleton, Species Specialist Zendikar Rising Acquisition’s Expert: Single player discard very rarely makes the cut in Commander, this limit of a version can be skipped altogether - just play Burglar Rat. Agadeem’s Awakening: Well, worst case it’s always a land. When you cast this as a spell you are typically going to need it to be cast at least for X = 4 and get at least 3 creatures for this to feel satisfying. Be sure to give a quick scan over the CMCs of your creatures before you add this to a deck. I do want to give this a special callout for K’rrik, Son of Yawgmoth decks where this can suddenly feel a lot more explosive for a small payment of 6 life. I hope to try this out in a couple of decks, but in no way is it a new auto-include anywhere. Blackbloom Rogue: Fills out space in Menace based decks or Rogue tribal, but mostly is unimpressive as a creature. Possibly worth considering in decks that need a critical number of creatures like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, or decks that need early evasive attackers like Rakdos, Lord of Riots. The easier recurrable nature of it as a creature may also let it see play in decks like Meren of Clan Tel Noth or other Raise Dead effects. Blood Beckoning - Speaking of Raise Dead effects, here is a perfectly serviceable option. On rate, and with Kicker can “draw” your best two creatures from your graveyard. Personally I typically prefer return to the Battlefield effects than to hand but if you are in the market you can do worse than this card. Bloodchief’s Thirst - Unkicked this can kill a utility dork, a handful of Commander, or as of this printing 5 planeswalkers including the powerhouse original Tibalt. Kicked it provides another flexible removal spell at a somewhat inefficient rate and most disappointingly Sorcery speed. Most likely skip over this for better options, but it will get the job done in a pinch. Blood Price - I just can’t recommend this over the many better options in black. A short list of some options at CMC 4 or less - Sign in Blood, Night’s Whisper, Read the Bones, Ancient Craving, Ambition’s Cost, Dark Bargain, Foreboding Fruit, Hoarder’s Greed, Succumb to Temptation, Syphon Mind, Village Rites, and Bitter Revelation. Any of these options are better, pick what best suits you and your deck. Coveted Prize - The mana cost reduction is actually quite nice and more cards than you expect will at least make this a slightly easier to cast Diabolic Tutor. Because of that don’t ignore this when deck building if you have some number of Party options in your deck - especially if your commander fits the list. Unless you build around it, never expect to get the full party rider. If somehow you jump through that severe hoop, 1 Black mana for any 4 CMC card is a pretty nice discount. Deadly Alliance - While you get mana reduction again, you need at least 2 Party Members to make this compete with Hero’s Downfall. An option for Pauper decks and suggestive flavor text make this card salvageable but there are better options typically. Demon’s Disciple - A second Plaguecrafter is nice, and Cleric does add to your party building, so that’s nice. All of the Fleshbag Marauder variants have arguments for being used so enjoy another option in that growing list. Drana’s Silencer - At 6 Mana this is just unplayable outside of limited. Even with a full party this at max kills one X/4. Nothing really more to say other than at least it has two relevant creature types. Drana, the Last Bloodchief - A fun ability, but it definitely feels like WotC played it safe with all the clauses. Converting the creature to a vampire and not exiling it at anypoint are both nice bonuses, as is it being an attack trigger and not a combat damage trigger. This version won’t yet replace OG Drana in my heart, but I may give a try in a toolbox deck. Dreadwurm - I have a soft spot for Horrors and this one is interesting for sure. Being able to gain indestructible makes it a fun card, but outside of some deep niches I don’t think this is notable. Expedition Skulker - Space filler for Rogue Tribal and another cheap vampire for Edgar Markov. Overall, nothing remarkable from this card though. Feed the Swarm - On the other hand, this is more impressive than any of us expected. I guess let’s go over the cons first: Sorcery Speed and can only destroy cards opponent’s control. As far as the life loss goes, most enchantments you will want to destroy will be 5 CMC or less. Plus it can always kill a creature in a pinch and is common to boot! All in all, a great card for Black’s first targeted Enchantment destruction. Ghastly Gloomhunter - Nothing much to mention here, other than it is always nice to get more options for Flying Zombies. Lifelink is always a fun option too. Guul Draz Mucklord - Fun flavor text, neat name, moving on. Hagra Constrictor - Menace is an underrated ability for decks that like to attack and this is an easy way to grant it to multiple creatures. Having a natural power and toughness of 0/0 will let this do some tricky interactions as well. Hagra Mauling - Probably the Black Spell Land I’m going to play the most. Having an emergency removal spell packed away just in case is worth the trade of it being a land that comes into play tapped. For the most part don’t expect the cost reduction to come into play, but there are definitely some players with greedy manabases. Highborn Vampire - Vanilla. Meh. Inscription of Ruin - Too little effect for too much mana. Flexibility is nice for other formats, but 7 mana can do so much more. Maybe could be considered if it was an Instant, but as printed I’ll pass. Lithoform Blight - It gets rid of some problematic lands and draws you a card for only 2 mana. And it will add you 1 devotion to Black. No complaints here, this is a pretty solid option for your decks. Malakir Blood-Priest - Another disappointing party mechanic card, but again another cheap vampire. Malakir Rebirth - A safety net for a key creature and a land if you need it. Only costing 1 mana is also quite nice. Not the splashiest card, but nice when you need it. I’ll be adding it to Toshiro Umezawa to test it out myself. Marauding Blight-Priest - Pairs well with Soul Sister effects and in the right decks can bleed your opponents for more than expected. May play a nice roll in the right deck because it is just unassuming enough to dodge a lot of spot removal. Of course the fact that it is hitting each player could cause it to pull aggro your way. Overall, I think it is worth checking out if you have multiple life-gain triggers in your deck. Mind Carver - I’m a fan of equipment that auto-equips on EtB but I don’t think this gets there for our format. Great art on this one though. Mind Drain - Nice Upgraded version of Mind Rot, but still not enough to see play. Nighthawk Scavenger - I have a deep and abiding love of Vampire Nighthawk. This new version is wonderful. While unlikely, it’s power tops out at 9 which is pretty nice for 3 mana. Like the OG Nighthawk and Gifted Aetherborn, this card serves as a great rattlesnake and wears equipment like a champ. A fantastic creature, even if it doesn’t do anything on EtB. Nimana Skitter-Sneak - Nothing to say, just find another card to play. Nimana Skydancer - Not exciting, but it has flash, flying, and is a rogue. Add in a tiny bit of mill ability and this will probably see a little play. This fills in too many gaps to fully ignore, but will almost never make the cut. Nullpriest of Oblivion - I like this card alot. I’ve mentioned cheap vampires for Edgar Markov already, but this one is very playable. This being a Cleric makes me realize that Vampire Tribal decks may be the most common to reliably achieve having a full party as well. Menace and Lifelink can cause some life swings. Casting this for 6 to get the kicker is extremely reasonable. I’m going to enjoy casting this card often. Oblivion’s Hunger - A solid piece of protection for a key creature or a commander, but I figure it will rarely make the cut. Typically a car like Undying Evil or Kaya’s Ghostform will serve you better, but at instant speed I could see the argument. That said, the stock of this card goes up if you have a counter synergy and especially if your commander rocks +1/+1 counters. Pelakka Predation - The positive of this card is after you don’t need it for a land, it can target the haymakers that are left. The negatives are everything else. I still like the art and flavor text so it does have that going for it. Skip this one. Scion of the Swarm - A great payoff for a limited deck, but how often do you want a flying Ajani’s Pridemate at 5 CMC for your commander decks? Scourge of the Skyclaves - By now the synergies with Nethroi, Apex of Death have been well documented. That cool feature aside, this is an interesting one. With the right effects the kicked version of this card can peel a ridiculous amount of life from the table. Unkicked, this is mostly going to enable another unexpected combo. If you know an opponent is playing this card, you know that something is up. Personally this just reminded me to give more stock to Fraying Omnipotence in my deckbuilding. I’d still recommend getting your hands on a copy of this card as I’d rather have the capabilities to get my hands on strange cards like this than miss out on them. I do wish it had flying, but at 2 CMC that would probably be a bit of a stretch. Shadow Stinger - In a rogue deck this is a fun role player, and if you have enough saboteur effects on hand it can play mind games with blocking. Long term, I feel even if you play this card it will most like just be a placeholder for a future upgrade. Shadows’ Verdict - An upgraded Consume the Meek at the cost of losing Instant Speed. In general this will lose out to a standard board wipe like Damnation, Toxic Deluge, or even Crux of Fate. However with the right deck build this may wind up being a one-sided way to erase large swaths of your opponents boards. Don’t forget that this not only exiles, it eats creatures from graveyards as well! Skyclave Shade - Most players are going to skip over this card for Bloodghast as having to cast this from the graveyard is a large detriment. I am also personally upset that this is a shade that lacks the usual ability to pay black mana to pump it. And no, I’m not counting the kicker. This is a great example of the gorgeous art on the Showcase printings of the Landfall cards. Skyclave Shadowcat - Before we begin let me express how happy I am to have a Cat Horror! While there are many sacrifice outlets in the game that have lower or even free activation costs, 2 mana isn’t the worst rate out there, especially as this one gets to keep the counters from the creatures it eats. Finally the last ability can be a great engine, drawing us many cards over the course of the game. Keep an eye out for this card. Soul Shatter - Now this is a very interesting Crackling Doom variant with incredible art. Typically when you cast this you are going to kill what you want dead and get a few other value kills. 3 mana to kill some heavy hitters and/or Ugin’s is going to be a blast. Special shout out to Toshiro Umezawa who can get an extreme amount of value out of this card. Subtle Strike - Reprinted from Kaladesh block, this was a pretty solid combat trick. If you are in the market for those, add it to your list of options. For the most part, this like most combat tricks will stay in the limited formats. Taborax, Hope’s Demise - A nice cheap legendary Demon is a rare thing. Taborax will serve as a nice growing threat in a number of decks, but will obviously shine in the soon-to-be growing number of Cleric tribal decks. For the most part, I feel there are many better options as actual commanders, but feel free to play Taborax in the 99. Thwart the Grave - The base rate of this card is 1 mana more than Rise Again, which is a perfectly fine but absolutely not exciting rate. If your deck has any of the party types (which is more likely than not) this is very close to Ever After and starts to look legitimately playable all with a potential mana reduction as a cherry on top. Another contender for my favorite art in the set as well, I can’t wait to see this one in foil. Vanquish the Weak - An unexciting reprint from Ixalan. Leave this card for limited and embrace the deep card pool of Commander. Zof Consumption - Even the flexibility of this being a land doesn’t make this an exciting option for Commander. Nothing worse paying attention to here as well. Multicolor Black Cards Cleric of Life’s Bond - Another Ajani’s Pridemate variant that can grow itself in Cleric tribal. Low CMC can make it tempting, even if it is mostly just a cheap attacker. Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager - An extremely cheap threat, as base case you get 2 shots at a 3/3 for your 3 mana investment. If your deck wins by attacking (or flinging) this can be a great must answer card. Obviously shines in decks with counter synergy, but at this rate I can see it getting played just for the value. The two bodies can also be useful for sacrifice based strategies as well. Moss Pit Skeleton - While it keeps coming back, more often than not you have better options. If you do play it, I expect this will be cast unkicked far more often than not. Nissa of Shadowed Boughs - The landfall rider on this card is very spicy! With all the ramp in our format, I can easily see this adding multiple Loyalty counters a turn. It’s two abilities are both useful effects but not necessarily must plays. As a result, I’m happy with this Planeswalker. Worth noting, menace on the animated lands makes Nissa more dangerous than she might be expected. The reanimation is a great cost saver, but again not degenerate. Your mileage may vary, but Nissa is primed to be a great addition to toolbox style decks. Orah, Skyclave Hierophant - Scrap Trawler, but for Clerics. An extremely niche card, but a near auto-include in those decks. Play this over Taborax for your Cleric Commander and gain access to white. Not much more to say. Ravager’s Mace - Hard skip on this card. Sure it auto equips and grants menace, but for 3 CMC and no guaranteed power increase this just feels bad. With a full party it can be a big hit, but that’s a very rare occurrence. 4 mana for the equip cost makes this play much more like an aura than I like as well. Soaring Thought-Thief - Wow! This is a fantastic lord for rogues! Flash and flying on a 1/3 body are already great, the low CMC is even better. The mill ability will also fuel the power boost - just be careful of fueling graveyard decks. I do wish the boost was a flat +1/+1 but at a certain point I’m being greedy. Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats - Even without the cost reduction this is a solid card. Rakdos is one of the better color combinations to take advantage of the deathtouch granting ability as it can easily capitalize on making blocking even more costly. The planeswalker killing capabilities are a nice bonus and the 4/4 Flying Haste body is nothing to sneeze at. Zareth San, the Trickster - Zareth here is playing awfully close to Ninja territory without being one. A little limited in only allowing returning Rogues to surprise attack with Zareth, but probably better to be safe with that ability. Stealing a permanent from whoever you hit will lead to some interesting board states. Flash is always nice, though I’m a bit surprised that this creature is so beefy at 4/4. Lands and Artifacts Disclaimer: I only plan to discuss anything in this category that I think will have relevance to Black based decks. Crawling Barrens - Given all the mana we can get off of Cabal Coffers or mana doublers this can be a very large man-land. Well worth considering, especially if you are playing Lord Windgrace or the Gitrog Monster. Lithoform Engine - Doubling down on abilities, spells, and permanents you control makes it hard to go wrong with this card. An obvious future commander staple. Myriad Construct - Even unkicked this is 5 bodies for an aristocrats deck. Once you kick it, this will be a huge creature that turns into a massive swarm. Expect to see this cast quite often. Relic Vial - A sacrifice outlet that turns one creature a turn cycle into a card. Not bad, even if you are paying 2 mana to activate the vial. This card is playable even without the cleric bonus, though if you can trigger that as well enjoy having a spare Zulaport Cutthroat. This is another card to double check your decks creature types over. Skyclave Relic - Darksteel Ingot is slowly falling out of favor as more 2 CMC mana rocks are printed, but it still sees play when you need something Indestructible. This is an Ingot with upside if you kick it. Also could be compared to a slightly slower Gilded Lotus. Well worth testing out. Spare Supplies - I don’t know if there is a Black deck that cares about eggs right now, but if there is, here is a new option. Zendikar Rising Commander Decks Anowan, the Ruin Thief - Another lord for the new Rogue Tribal deck. The PoweToughness boost is solid and makes the mill ability hit harder. If you do hit more than one creature, you still only get to draw one card. I’d probably run Zareth over Anowan as the commander. Whispersteel Dagger - I wish it had the Auto-Equip clause of all of the other equipment from Zendikar Rising, but I’ll make do. Stealing creatures from your opponents graveyards is always fun and this one always for cast triggers and creatures with X in their mana cost. That’s all for now, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading.
Let me preface this by saying that I am by no means an X veteran. I have maybe 100-150hrs on X3TC/AP and maybe 20-25hrs on Rebirth (wasn't my cup of tea). Neither am I a particularly good player. I am also only 28 in game hours into my first game, but it feels like the progression curve for X4 is way off .. it's all too easy. After 28hrs in game I have: currently about 25m cash, hourly income of about 10-15m, a mining/trading fleet of maybe 30ish, two destroyers with 2 frigates and 12 heavy fighter as a side, another 50 fighter fleet being built, another dozen or so utility ships (explorers, manual traders etc) and a lousy ecell factory I don't care much about. And the thing is - it was trivially easy to get to this point. Start game, hop on superhighway, discover 20 sectors, run five missions, buy auto miner, buy five more auto miners, buy manual traders, make millions thanks to the easy new map, buy more of everything, watch money roll in and laugh about how cheap L and XL ships are. The streamlining is appreciated (X games are clunky enough), but the balance seems off. Soo ... I get it, I am only maybe 150m worth and not 10b .. my fleet is only 100 strong and not 1000, but it feels like some of X4 improvements have removed most of the early and mid game challenges. But in these 28hrs on X4 I have accumulated a lot more than I did after a hundred hours in X3TC. And considering how easy X4 makes it to build big fleets it's really weird that fleet management is one of the wonkiest areas of the game; I mean if the intention is to get player quicker to big fleet battles wouldn't you make sure they are polished? Anyhow ... that's my impression, what do you guys think?
Heading into my second weekend and I'm hoping to spend a good few hours in the game. I have 3 medium miners running around soaking up Nvidium, 11mn in the bank and a freighter following my small fighter. I have a few general questions for the veterans:
I'm really interested in getting into auto-trading but would you recommend I upgrade my fighter first so I can engage and not run from everything? (side note: dogfighting is HARD).
Saw a video about minmaxing ships - different factions have different stats on the same ship types apparently. Didn't really matter much; end of the day I'm going to get what looks the coolest in its class size. Am I able to buy every ship I see around me or will I have to board some of them to get them? (The world map seems small and I've been to about 3 or 4 shipyards already; not a lot of choices). If I do then maybe I should start building an army.
From what little I played of Rebirth long ago, I remember frequently docking at stations and messing around picking up things on the deck, and interacting in the bars and stuff. Is all of that gone? I was expecting to have more things to do outside the ship.
The Meld II (16): Nefarious Times Encouraging the Captain to leave his beloved Bridge had not been easy. Nahrl imagined it less trouble teasing an Armoured Clam out of its shell. It had taken much argument by both Gryll and Efor to simply get him to take their concerns seriously. Meanwhile, Nahrl and Jhasq stood on the side of the debate feeling misplaced and surplus to requirements. Still, after much spluttering and fussing the CaptainGek finally followed them down to the Terminus though clearly still agitated by the whole affair. ‘Very irregular.’ The Gek grumbled. ‘I promise nothing. Private OwnerTorrance equipment and business.’ He reminded. ‘You ask a lot eh with little proof? Open access, share confidential data. These things not done.’ ‘Captain, you know us. We are not LiarGek or ThiefGek’ Efor stated. ‘I know you as associates, little enough more. You understand not my place, not my duty. We each have our roles eh. Each our role yes.’ He repeated. ‘This base, all private OwnerTorrance business. I ensure Verbose goes where Traveller wants to go. Keep her in good condition and in profit. Trespass on his business, not my place. Matter of deep security these levels of separation.’ The Captain lectured. ‘Bah! Formalities. Our friend could be in real danger. Please…’ Efor pointed at the device. The Captain gave the FlyGek a less than admiring look but pulled out his Data Pad to, they guessed, link in to the Terminus in a wireless informational manner. ‘Ghuubaaluu, ee,ee,ee, hmmm, truly new gate registered on network, aaiiiiiii but dropped out again.’ ‘Can you re-establish the link Captain, open our way onward?’ Gryll asked. ‘Fluurbaa haa, see, I am trying. Big problem yes, at far end. Aaiiiii, is beyond me GoodPassengers. I call Systems TechGek.’ The Captain tapped some more on his pad, muttering away to himself. Moments later another Gek jogged into the base waving to the Captain. Like most of the crew the new Gek looked to Nahrl almost a GekClone of his superior. Thinking deeper the whole crew possibly closely related members of the same spawning group not as Tor joked due to secret Korvax scientists doing Gek cloning, well Nahrl hoped Tor was joking. Sometimes the Traveller taken by wilder fears and fancies. ‘Aehtis attend this broken network connection eh.’ The Captain ordered sharing his data over with a sweeping gesture of his hand that went from his pad into the empty air beyond. Aehtis saluted more formally than the earlier wave, then scrolled down data on his own device. Soon looking less than happy with what he found there. The latecomer, as the Captain earlier, muttering away to himself. Occasionally glancing up at the Terminus then back to his pad again as he punched and scrolled away at various changing colourful screen options with a stubby finger. ‘Fah! Fah!’ He blurted. ‘Well Aeh?’ The Captain asked. ‘Small moment Most Honoured ElderGek Captain.’ Aehtis replied. Fiddling at the side of his pad he pulled out a tiny plug un-spooling a length of super fine spider-web nanofibre cable to make a direct wired link to a hidden socket in the Terminus, ‘Deeper bandwidth my Captain.’ He explained as he worked on. They waited. The Gek tapping away once more at first in a merrier mood but that soon souring, occasionally pulling outrageous faces, scratching his head and at one point Nahrl was positive briefly poking his tongue out at the machine. The Captain also fidgeted impatiently during the sideshow joining the muttering every so often to make a weird overlapping chorus with his underling. The Foxes noting such actions almost standard with these Modern Gek deep in their natural environment, compared to say Efor. The FlyGek having adapted his habits somewhat to his non Gek colleagues. Though you might think the Gek when at home more relaxed, they actually seemed overflowing at times with either childlike excitement or an odd sort of nervous energy. ‘Bah!’ The TechGek complained shaking its head and rubbing at his brow. ‘Report Gek.’ The Captain demanded. ‘Big system wide failure Captain.’ ‘Pah! That I know.’ His superior complained. ‘Reinstalling firmware software Boss, all remote to far end.’ He showed the Captain an installation and loading bar on his pad presently seemingly hung at 16%. He shook the pad a little as if that might move the process along quicker. Then contrived to look more than a little embarrassed at the impulse whilst under the scrutiny of all concerned. The shaking too obviously a vain motion. A sharp scent leaked out of the fellow that somehow conjured a vision of damp fireworks. ‘Sorry. Sorry. Bah! Often does that at 16. Ummm, ahhh, moving again in a moment, or two ,yes always in a moment or two. Any moment now, moving!’ He shuffled his feet looking uncomfortable again under his Captains fixed impatient stare. Reminding Nahrl of a greedy young Cub when caught stealing food. The whole group amusingly soon gathered around to watch the yellow graphic bar and the blinking 16% as if it was the entirety of their present existence or super entertaining. The Gek tapped the side of his pad lightly glancing sideways at his superior in a sly fashion. The Captain looking briefly upward in turn as if seeking the benediction of greater powers from the Cosmic Depths or possibly further beyond. 17% finally flashed up, ‘Ahaa’ The TechGek squealed in triumph as the figures began to blink forward only to stick again this time at 22 for a spell. ‘Gluubaaluu, this one often does that.’ The TechGek admitted. The Captain sighed. ’Hurry it along Aehtis? If OwnerTorrance has big trouble. Time a factor, yes?’ He questioned looking at the gathered Pentacle minus One for confirmation. Gryll nodded his agreement but wasn’t positive the put upon Tech could do much more about it. ‘Nothing to speed it up this end Captain. Patience only.’ The TechGek confirmed. ‘Bah!’ The Captain retorted looking around the Farm possibly seeking a time killing distraction. Nahrl soon musing that Efor might lately have picked up a few speech mannerisms from this Captain and his Crew as a lot seemed to come down to Bah! Or some incomprehensible spluttering of the moment. What the Geskhan was ‘Ghuubaaluu’? It was no Gek word he had ever heard of and Technically Fox speech a corruption of Ancient Gek as taught by Geskhan ages ago.’ ‘Here we go again.’ The TechGek added merrily showing his pad around with a satisfied flourish and wide open mouthed grin. ‘Rockets now.’ The bar was filling up rapidly, numbers flashing through irregular sequence jumps only for it to firmly ground again this time at 66%. Even Gryll giving the impression he wanted to groan via his stance alone. ‘Sorry, ahhhh TechGek forgets about that one, usually last big pause in this installation process eh.’ The Gek promised, he took a deep breadth. ‘Crops smell good. Where you harvesting, sweet and tangy?’ ‘Never mind the crops. Just get that Spawning Terminus linked again.’ The Captain ordered. ‘Aye in moments. Almost done - First Phase.’ ‘First Phase!’ The Captain repeated angrily. ‘First Phase. After reinitiating, self diagnostics, auto repairs then final verification of functionality... TechGek do quick analysis of old failure log data now, if Captain wishes.’ ‘That data might be most helpful.’ Gryll stated. ‘Fine, make it so.’ The CaptainGek commanded imperiously. New data began to spill onto the pad in various frames and bright colours as the TechGek poked again at options upon his tidy screen. Soon once again making more nonsense Gek noises, that seemed no actual words at all to the Foxes. Certainly no words they or anyone else in the Pentacle minus One could make out. ‘Well Tech?’ ‘Much system memory loss, fragmentation too. Event partial logs only, data incomplete. Big mess.’ ‘I am sure you are doing commendable work with difficult material. Your findings?’ ‘Assume from pattern - best guesses using expertise - within margins of acceptable errors: Terminus struck great big EMP event. Super strong disruptive magnetic field. Clues not just broad mass data damage, nature of fragmentation pattern classic symptomatic too. In addition, Terminus hardened systems Captain know. Terrible disaster deep faults with folks in transit - very bad - so Korvax Scientists design super sturdy. Many, many inner backup systems and protections. Yet planet Terminus take big beating despite all: High end shielding, power surge sinks, multiple system redundancy - all protections overwhelmed - all is most unusual.’ ‘Any idea what would cause such extreme issues?’ Gryll asked. ‘Something seriously anomalous, or perhaps a potent weapon eh? TechGek’s best guess. Certain little normal use do this level EMP damage. No by accident, quite extraordinary results. No damage durable Terminus easily.’ He repeated. ‘A potent weapon such as a big EMP Bomb?’ Gryll asked. ‘Truly big EMP Bomb yaa - Ancient First Spawn City Killer type - maybe - that do this job good. Lethal strong, also - best guess - gate close to epicentre of event, else this resistant - modern tech - not so damaged eh.’ ‘Lethal strong?’ Efor repeated sounding rightly alarmed. ‘Certainly lethal for say Korvax nearby.’ The Gek replied, studying Gryll for a moment. ‘Most bad for any complex machinery. Terminus deeply hardened, super tough. Yet even some small hardware damage not just software corruption if TechGek reads data right.’ ‘Sounds like the Terminus is trashed to me. Guess we fly down.’ Efor stated. ‘No, no, not trashed, temporary off line only. Now software upload reengages self repair nanotech functions. They do that, self repair - within reason. As said many failsafe measures in Terminus. Remember Terminus oft installed far hostile places, long left unsupervised by visiting Techs but still must work - zero error tolerances - so super stable tech you understand? Made to diagnose and fix self. Very durable, very advanced Korvax.’ ‘Lethal strong you said, to a Traveller too?’ Gryll asked. ‘Hmmm, that TechGek not know, can‘t say. Atlas ExoSuit not quite like other exo-suits big mystery. Anomalous people - anomalous systems - many say. Who knows what strange Travellers could or could not survive? Still, big EMP flash hardly good for anyone too reliant on tech. Likely much system shut down, forced to reboot at best, some systems maybe fully damaged needing much repairs.’ ‘How about strong enough to burn out Quantum Communication Links?’ Gryll asked. ‘Those hah, City Killer level EMP - very possibly - maybe among first things to go, those not so hardened against such big surges.’ ‘We need to get down there.’ Efor stated. ‘Yet maybe you should stay up here Gryll under the circumstances. Since we don’t know what caused this freakishly strong EMP and it could happen again.’ ‘No. We all rely on technology to some degree. I want to know what happened to our friend.’ Gryll replied stubbornly. ‘Besides Efor, if the Terminus reboots that would suggest the event is over, whatever caused it probably moving on, its cursed job done.’ ‘Big assumption, whatever caused it might just as easily still be lingering or patrolling around armed and ready to fire off another tech disruptive blast.’ Efor stated. ‘Our Gek friend could be right.’ Nahrl interjected. ‘Why risk yourself Gryll? I should go first, scout the scene out. I am used to working without tech if necessary.’ Nahrl drew out a nasty looking dagger he now carried as a backup weapon and general purpose tool, it was actually of Vy’keen make. The blade super sharp: An off world gift from Torrance but of itself non technological merely an incredibly durable composite material that held a deadly very difficult to dull molecular fine edge. This one a replacement for another weapon Tor had also given him but had fallen into a deep abyss during a Dreamer Cult raid. ‘Us Foxes together then as you may need someone to watch your back.’ Jhasq volunteered. ‘No Jhasq, not this time. You are no scout. I will go first alone, report instantly back. If I don’t, you will know I am also in trouble then you must decide how to more safely follow up.’ ‘Seems a sensible precaution. Nahrl here is our Pentacle Scout after all. Whilst if tech still works down there he will have his multi-tool and his exo-suit as support, whilst if it does not, or he is hit by another EMP strike he can still operate better than most of us.’ Efor suggested thinking about his own cybernetic upgrades. ‘It is his world down there too, so our Fox friend here might better spot anything immediately out of place either best avoided or worth immediate deeper investigation.’ ‘I don’t know about that. That Terminus in the Lost Lands,’ Jhasq reminded, ‘not sited in our - better known - Taran Hinterlands. It could be almost as strange down there as another world.’ Before Jhasq had not thought that too likely, but Nahrl had slowly convinced her it might be so from some fragments of old stories he belatedly dug up from his memory and shared during their meal. Although those only hinted at strangeness rather than providing deeper facts. ‘I am still the Fox for this Job.’ Nahrl insisted. ‘Well I believe he is right.’ Efor agreed. ‘Scouting his profession and he is skilled with or without tech support, none of us better equipped or trained for this one.’ ‘Can we scan the site from Orbit first as a precaution?’ Gryll asked the Captain of the Triple V. ‘We could, but I won’t order it.’ ‘Why not?’ Gryll demanded sharply. ‘Would mean relocating over the mission site. I know enough of this business from OwnerTorrance that he expressly did not want us going there, did not want to draw attention to the deemed Far Side of Hellespae as his new focus. Korvax at the Space Station monitoring. They keep close optics and scanners on many things here including our movements and launches. That I believe is why Tor made an insertion during a judged patrol gap. Leaping out system first then back in but arriving at the far side of the planet to the station, before journeying the long way around under the cover of atmosphere as if a smuggler. Not so easy to spot, not so easy to scan, not so easy to track - perhaps.’ ‘Ah that explains much. Why he had us have a meal. I did not know he was taking all those elaborate precautions, to confuse Convergent spies. He never mentioned all of that to me.’ Efor admitted. ‘I won’t go against the spirit of OwnerTorrance’s standing orders.’ The GekCaptain advised. ‘Not even to possibly save his life?’ Jhasq asked. ‘Not even then. Otherwise, too easy accidentally compromise delicate operations. Many times well aware our Traveller in high risk, high security ventures. We each know place, otherwise risk each other instead not helping but hindering.’ ‘I can understand how that is so.’ Gryll stated. ‘Well I don’t.’ Jhasq complained. ‘Lethal level EMP and our friend relies on life support Suit Systems even if his technology is a little special and peculiar to most.’ She reminded. ‘All this talk too - we should be doing - not talking so much.’ ‘The on planet Terminus Gate not run though reboot cycle yet.’ The Tech reminded. ‘No fully operational until undergone entire recovering self diagnostics, post estimated system repair... Device won’t permit travel until satisfied safely operational within guideline parameters. Those also hardened failsafe measures. Procedures TechGek cannot override.’ Aehtis advised. ‘Approximately how long until I can Terminus?’ Nahrl asked. The Gek punched up a new display and showed a new countdown timer around. ‘Fine. That gives us just enough time to alert the Interns and so on as they may be needed as Surface Support Troops. We should inform the Frigate Commanders as well, will you bring them up to a state of alert Captain. It may be we are overreacting but best be ready for any possibility even some kind of unwelcome clash or standoff with the overseeing Korvax authority.’ The Captain spluttered out a protest at that idea. ‘Not wise, pick a fight with Convergent military.’ ‘Not exactly suggesting picking a fight but we might need to make a withdrawal under the pressure of let’s say a disagreement of philosophy.’ Gryll stated. The Captain pulling a face clearly not liking that idea, but eventually nodded. ‘Will authorise readiness and do what we must but also abide by all current rules imposed by Korvax unless they obviously break faith first. Usually much leeway as Torrance friends, but even the Verbose always operates under some local strictures of regulation. Quite recently Korvax significantly reduce our in system permissions.’ ‘Quite recently. When exactly was that?’ Gryll asked his suspicions suddenly raised. ‘I believe when they first imposed that extra quarantine on the surface site. The Dreamer Peak.’ ‘So not that recent then,’ the Rogue relaxing a bit, ‘as much as about a month ago.’ ‘CaptainGek estimate four and a half weeks.’ ‘Incredible how much can happen in four and a half weeks.’ Nahrl stated. ‘The Convergent wouldn’t attack Torrance would they? Not just for say slipping a little around a few of their quarantine rules? Or would they?’ Jhasq asked. ‘I don’t know. The KVC no ordinary Convergent Korvax folk, no ordinary Korvax Company despite their many fronts though not everyone knows this. They can be harsh enough, but they usually give Tor a lot of operational space especially here. Though maybe Tor stumbled onto something very dodgy going on below, on the other side of the planet. Is weird, all those precautions yet this attack so early in the mission. Though that might just be ill chance. I do wonder.’ Gryll questioned. ‘Torrance claims KVC have spies, agents and spying tech all over - if anyone might learn about this op - they might learn.’ Efor reminded. ‘Hidden microphones, hidden optics and agents maybe even here.’ ‘We sweep often after Vy’keen 8 incident.’ The Captain stated. ‘This all waxing a little paranoid, but I guess it could be the KVC, or even some sort of cursed Blood Cult deal or Atlas knows what else? It is the Lost Lands as you Fox say. Maybe some unexpected local trouble unrelated directly to our business simply something old triggered at his landing site. Possibly even an accident an unexploded bomb - from an earlier conflict - perhaps one dropped by the First Spawn Inquisition in antiquity accidentally set off by Tor.’ ‘Such a bane just happening to be at his landing site - please - that seems equally far fetched.’ Efor stated. ‘Not necessarily, Tor might have picked something anomalous up, landing nearby to investigate, a rogue signal or scanner return or some such. Travellers are very curious people, they like to poke at things and of late he has been doing many salvage operations.’ ‘What? First putting in the Mission Terminus on top of some dodgy signal - not sure I am buying it.’ ‘Could be he landed at the site of one of the Lost Cities. Some say some of them were bombarded from orbit just prior to The Fall.’ Nahrl stated. ‘Still a big coincidence to me, not sure even Tor is that much of a trouble magnet or so unlucky.’ Efor stated. ‘Maybe our Father did this with his machines?’ Nahrl added. ‘Geskhan somehow being involved is always a possibility as well.’ Gryll admitted. ‘Is it just me or does our friend often seem to find big trouble.’ Efor complained. ‘I thought I had a way with calamity, but our Tor can be something else.’ ‘Well it was your idea to go down there Far Side.’ Gryll reminded. ‘Hah! - So now - it is My Operation. Now that it is all Spawned Up and Torrance is off our radar.’ He complained. ‘No one is blaming you Efor, certainly not me. Just saying it was not Tor’s big plan to do this one.’ ‘Bah! So just my bad luck rubbing off on our Traveller friend this time eh?’ ‘Not my point either. History is fated Gek. Whatever has happened down there, has happened. Nothing to do with any fool superstitious style luck be it - good or bad - just Great Machine chance, or maybe some cursed machinations by ill folk.’ Gryll stated. ‘I will return to the Bridge.’ The Captain announced. ‘Better able to coordinate with the Fleet from there - if our fleet is needed.’ Again he looked a bit sick at the idea of a combat action in this system. ‘Please keep me informed of all progress with the recovery of OwnerTorrance. Aehtis that means you too. Unless any other critical ship priorities call you away, I want you to stay right here. I want that Terminus connection constantly monitored and kept functional - even if it is attacked again with more EMP. Should anything else significant occur, I expect to be informed immediately. If OwnerTorrance is in deep trouble down there we must bring him home - yes?’ ‘Aye Captain.’ ‘As you say.’ Gryll agreed. ‘When you go Nahrl you keep linked in full open channel. If it seems sensible to do so call us down as quickly as possible. I don’t want to be stuck up here, if something dodgy is going on down there and You and Tor need reinforcement.’ Gryll stated. ‘Same.’ Efor admitted. ‘Be careful Nahrl.’ Jhasq added. ‘Don’t take any silly risks, remember for a while you will be on your own.’ ‘Don’t worry as Efor said, ‘this is what I do,’ and I am used to working solo.’ ‘I don’t like this plan much.’ Jhasq admitted. ‘You remember that not the hinterland down there Young One.’ She stressed again. ‘I know, but it is still our world.’ the Scout replied. ‘Is it our world though? Was it ever really our world? I begin to doubt. Else was it always really Geskhan’s Planet and us just currently living there. With sleeping machines now returning to life, it all the hegemony of our Maker?’ Jhasq retorted. ‘Geskhan is dead, only a digital copy of our Great Maker remains. It is our world now - for as long as we choose to stay there - I say Spawn Geskhan and all his ancient works. That old Gek had his day, this is our time.’ Nahrl insisted. ‘Like it or not Nahrl we are his Ancient Works too.’ Jhasq reminded. ‘Bah!’ Nahrl barked out copying the Gek mannerism to Jhasq’s amusement despite the tension. ‘I will be back in a moment,’ Gryll promised, ‘want to have that quick word with the Interns.’ He hurried off at a brisk march. ‘Gate ready very soon.’ The TechGek called out to his back. ‘Won’t be long.’ Gryll replied without turning around. ‘Maybe we should contact Bwathan.’ Jhasq noted. ‘I wonder if he should be here. Excluding him possibly a big mistake. He might notice or be able to find things out we cannot. The Tusks have a deep Tech Affinity put in them by Geskhan. Also our specific friend has that link to our Maker.’ ‘A link that possibly makes him an inadvertent spy in our midst. Too great a risk at this time.’ Efor stated. ‘Maybe later when we understand more about what is happening with Geskhan and the KVC. If we ever do.’ ‘Later may be a bit too late, what if we need his help now?’ ‘He might be little assistance if Geskhan proves the problem. In fact, our Tusk friend could be a great deal of extra trouble.’ Efor reminded. ‘Seems the return of our Father is dividing his children up again with suspicions already.’ Jhasq complained. ‘We are just being sensibly cautious. As Torrance might tell you, often wise to be careful around any Gek professing to be a First Spawn Survivor. They can be slippery dangerous - unholy - people.’ Efor stated. ‘Sadly, the KVC can be problematic as well. I know Tor only reluctantly brought them here in part to help keep the Blood Cults out.’ ‘Yet that plan only partly successful.’ Nahrl noted. ‘True enough, yet without the overt Korvax System Overwatch it might be a lot worse. Now we have occasional smuggled in covert operations style Blood Cult penetrations but without the KVC here, whole fleets of those scum might be roaming around in system drawn by spilling intelligence rumours of the Shadow Library find. They have grown plentiful out there - in recent times - falling here from cracks in creation like those maggots forming out of the slime pit in the Grand Warren. It said many First Spawn Survivors now arriving to this timeline. Sadly, they have affinities with Elder Tech - with dark sciences - that now seems to make them prone to dimensional rift transits. Fortunately a lot of these newcomers still fighting among themselves in a brutal doctrinal civil war. That abiding internal conflict, I am positive, - KVC work - agitations overseen in part by Reefee on one side of that new First Spawn split.’ Efor explained. ‘The Clone that took your eye again?’ Jhasq asked. ‘The very same Spawn, that one did a lot of damage here on the Verbose too. I am sure you have heard Torrance mention the tragedy of the Vy’keen 8. I worry that Gek Blood Cult civil war might come here one day. That is trouble none of us need right now. Though I would love a chance to burn them all together, including that GekSpawn Reefee. I don‘t care what Tor thinks, I don’t consider Reefee any better than the rest.’ Efor admitted. ‘You know I am pretty sure our friends had me come here originally in part to take my mind off all of that. Even though at first I hoped to find evidence here proving that Gek still as big a foe as any other Blood Cult Grandmaster. You see he is supposed to be a Reformed First Spawn Clone. Bah! As if they can! Supposed to be trying to reform the rest of his kind as well, even trying to free us all from an old Korvax ill - not many can even think about - but I don’t believe any of it.’ ‘I’ll never believe it. If you ask me there are some people can’t change. Really very few people capable of true reform. Sure, we can all change a little, and we often do but deep down inside not so different. I was recruited by the Cults - as a very young and stupid Gek - but that was not really who I was, so I could turn my back on it all later. However Reefee, Bah! He is just what he is and that is all rotten First Spawn Clone. Yet Tor refuses to always see it that way deep down - he still hopes - he still doubts - he still believes a little deeper. He holds faith in redemption even for the worst. He wants to believe in big second chances. All well and good for some folk yes! Yet others, some others not so much. Some others but play those games, play roles to continue abusing.’ ‘Those that profess to be First Spawn, they play many subtle games - many deceitful roles - yet they are exactly what they are and that is the very worst that the Blood Cults have to offer. Believe me, as once Cult, my good Fox friends, that is Dark Dreamer level nasty.’ ‘You hate them with a passion.’ Jhasq stated. ‘With all my wounded Gek soul.’ Efor confessed. ‘Spawn them all. Tor thinks he hates them too, but with him I feel it is more a philosophic clash of ideology. With me, it is personal. A lifetime of wrongs - I would right - if only I could. Maybe no righting some wrong though - what is done being fate.’ ‘Careful Efor such hate can burn you up like a bad fever.’ Jhasq warned. ‘True. I know that too well.’ Efor admitted. ‘Almost ready now.’ The TechGek said. ’You wish to wait for your Korvax friend to get back?’ ‘No. If it is ready first, I must go. Delayed long enough by this necessary repair.’ Nahrl stated. ‘Can go now.’ Aehtis informed some small moments later. Nahrl did not hesitate, saying not a word more, he stepped through into that seeming flaring tunnel of light and vanished. Being so close to the destination - it proved a short translation - the Fox soon stepping out blinking into a steamy hot bright afternoon. The Fox taking a natural wary crouch to sniff deeply. The very still very close air scenting more tropical than in the hinterlands with a hint of electricity as if after a lightning strike. He could feel an abundance of static raising exposed hairs. The Fox arriving without gloves, a helmet or his tail sheaf on. He quickly spotted Tor’s star ship Hauler, the newly renamed Wings of Heaven. Lately Tor had been flying that one as it had plenty of cargo space and apparently he had been doing a lot of salvage operations and even a little bit of system to system trading. Tor occasionally varying his side activities to stave off boredom. Although when enjoying any particular toil he could stick with the same for a time too. Anyway, the imposingly tall winged Hauler parked a little distance away seeming at first glance unharmed, yet looking deeper Nahrl noted some usual running lights off as if blown. Still, if that was the only damage he would be deeply surprised. Next Nahrl gazed down and back taking in the still active Terminus noting it rested on a simple wooden platform raised but one step above the general ground level. Nearby a cluster of solar panel generators linked into the contraption via interfacing humming batteries. A fairly standard power matrix. There seemed no other substantive base construction nearby. Interesting, to him, that the modern solar panels and batteries not ruined by the EMP either, though no doubt they also had been offline for a time. City Killers - only old style Cities perhaps - with less durable older component parts and systems Nahrl mused. Science and technology having come a long way from Geskhan’s Time. Even if Geskhan might have tapped, in places, some esoteric Elder Tech of a different level altogether that sat firmly apart. Tor’s Base Site rested fairly central, within a deep basin, surrounded by tall sharply vertical cliffs that annoyingly blocked any far distant wider view in every direction. Rearing up as if great rocky prison walls the cliffs seemed to be incarcerating the Fox’s perception. Otherwise occasional trees, bushes and various not so substantial scattered rocks littered the immediate fairly flat landscape. An impressive looking cave entrance however undercut the closet cliff face. The Terminus seeming to be orientated to face that under-dark as if a great glowing blue Cyclops eye peering into ominous underworld gloom. There was no immediate sign of the Traveller. Quickly searching closer for tracks beyond the plinth or other signs of life or activity, Nahrl found a few clean enough footprint impressions he guessed left by Tor as he wandered about his site including to and from his ship. However, he also tellingly came upon some other impressions that looked different. Following some of those he located two other landing sites each marked by engine scorch marks and landing gear indentations. Two other ships with very differing burn and gear characteristics. Although hardly an expert from viewing light visiting traffic Nahrl still easily guessed the imprints from a Scout ship type and a large shuttle. Also carefully studying the site he began to find occasional small scattered fragment of metal and composite casing. Again he was no expert but to him the way those widely distributed perhaps indicating dropping from above. Making him think some sort of air bursting ordnance, maybe the imagined heavy EMP bomb or perhaps even some kind of air detonating EMP missile. He judged it possible therefore someone made a bombing or missile strike at the Base then after the event came in to land. To do what? A few drag marks in the direction of the shuttle possibly suggested a kidnapping, especially with the Traveller apparently missing. Nahrl tried to pick out the scent of his friend but was swamped by the ghost of a Gek stink that made his head swim for a second instead. He felt a primal desire to shout aloud, to call out a great wolf howl to Tor on the off-chance but resisted. The desire seemed imprudent. Not wise, in such a yet unknown location, to so boldly announce himself. Yet he tried repeatedly to link to Tor without success. Whilst during all these examinations Nahrl constantly relaying his findings back to Jhasq, Gryll and Efor via open comms.. With no clear and present seeming danger at least in the depression, not even any animal signs. Those three soon also transmitting down via the Terminus. ‘I agree, from the landing gear a large shuttle and a scout ship.’ Gryll noted whilst viewing one site. ‘Good work.’ ‘It must be a kidnapping. Tor must be alive and they must have taken him. If he was dead he would have been reborn and surely contacted us by now or at least summoned one of his ships to himself.’ Efor stated. ‘Could it be the whole plan was to take him. An EMP strike to ground his ship and disable him in his suit. Perhaps they knew killing our friend would just set him on the Atlas wheel of instant rebirth. That is if this probable Gek snatch operation specifically targeting him.’ Efor added. ‘What cannot be easily killed can be imprisoned or enslaved, my people, the Ancient Korvax discovered that to their great cost under First Spawn dominion.’ Gryll noted. ‘Star ships also confirm this as off world business, so most likely Blood Cult Gek, Gek Smugglers, or Gek Space Pirates or our KVC friends being especially nefarious and double dealing by hiring some Gek Mercenaries.’ ‘Agree those prints also look like Gek to me from their spread and size, so lingering Gek scent and Gek feet.’ Efor stated. ‘Truly Blood Cult Gek, Smuggler Gek or Space Pirate Gek or Gek that are involved in some or all of three of those nefarious activities that now seems a pretty good bet.’ ‘Else the KVC using some Gek Mercenaries as I previously mentioned to cunningly cover their tracks.’ Gryll noted. ‘Got to be less obscure, safer ways they could remove Tor from the game, if the KVC wanted to, my friend.’ Efor suggested. ‘Perhaps true, but the whole point is oft obscuration with KVC business.’ Gryll reminded. ‘Why would they though?’ Efor asked. ‘Possibly to keep him from any future meddling in their activities with Geskhan given his close association and feelings for the Uplifts dwelling here. Though I admit, I am always a bit over suspicious of those Convergent Agents so my estimations here may be a bit suspect.’ Gryll confessed. ‘How are we going to find those ships? I am no use to you there. I can’t track ships on the wind or in the void.’ Nahrl complained. ‘Well lets take detailed measurements of these landing imprints for a start that might help us match the models involved slightly better.’ Gryll suggested. ‘May help with the shuttle configuration a bit, but the scout ship? Those ships landing gear very uniform in configuration over models. They use anti-grav stabilisation to offset wider structural balance disparities unlike lower tech shuttles with simple superstructure load based mounts. Still, even with shuttles, unless this just happens to be a - far less popular model in these parts - we could be looking at a very wide pool of suspects. Pah! Even if say these tracks correspond to any well known registered system traffic. These ones might be fully off the books as criminal trespassers.’ Efor complained. ‘Every bit of data we gather now might help find them later and for now it is all we have to work with, unless scanning around here picks up some other clues. We should check his Hauler too. It might have useful log info. It might have automatically recorded the entire incident via passive security camera and sensor footage.’ ‘Haa, we should be that lucky. How are we going to get access to it anyway? She will be all locked up tight except to Torrance.’ Efor reminded. ‘When I said I was a law abiding Korvax earlier, did I mention that a generality not a universal. I am still a Rogue after all. How do you think I obtained my first star ship?’ ‘You a naughty Korvax.’ Efor stated before grinning open mouthed. ‘We all do what we must to survive.’ ‘If you lot take recordings out here. I will crack open the Wings of Heaven over there.’ Gryll directed. ‘Fair enough.’ Efor replied before getting down to work. ’I would like to scout around a bit further out, in case we are missing something that might be relevant beyond this natural enclosure.’ Nahrl suggested. ‘If you think that is useful go ahead.’ Efor stated. ‘Just wondering why he landed here in this depression. Seems a bit of a poor place to explore out from since all you can see is cliff and to go anywhere means a big jetpack climb.’ ‘Maybe he thought it a good place to be semi concealed, a sort of hill fort in reverse: A Basin Base.’ Efor stated. ‘Very possibly. Yet if so why? Did he see something on the way in he wanted to be hidden from?’ ‘Now that is a good point well raised. You should take a jet up there and have a look around.’ Efor suggested. ‘Interesting it seems hotter here and steamier than your hinterlands.’ Efor also noted.
Finding Yorick- Adventures of a Tryndamere Main Finding Beauty In Pain.
Let me tell you a story. A story of pain and suffering. A story of self-reflection and rebirth. A story of self-actualization. Here I sit- a king upon a golden throne, a Ponce de León beside his fountain of youth. A man who can once and for all put Darius in his place. I come from humble beginnings. As a Tryndamere main, some here might find me just as cancerous as the champion I despise. But lo and behold I was a Trynd main with a problem. A big, red, obnoxious, stat-checking problem. Darius. Every lane against this monster went the exact same way. I would spin with desperation and anguish, hopelessly trying to push my few advantages, and failing miserably over and over again. After losing just one trade or dying just one time, my time on the rift would swiftly end in my defeat. "Oh woe is me!" I would yell each time that disgusting, hideous beast saw the victory screen. I would feel the flame of my teammates' wrath time and time again. "Just get inside his Q!" "Just don't get caught in his full combo!" "How do you die 23 times in ten minutes?" they would yell until alas, I had enough. I began to permaban Darius. But this could not last forever. There were more optimal bans for a toplane Tryndamere, after all... One fateful day, after another brutal loss to a more vitriolic counter, I put down my spinny friend and went on an adventure across the web on the search for a champion with the power to help me defeat this monster. This, my dear Yorick mains, is where I met the Shepherd of Souls, the Lord of the Shovel, the nightmare to towers everywhere. This shovel-wielding tower destroyer was everything I wanted in a champion. ranged poke damage to avoid early allin champions, a barrier to prevent my own death, or ensure another's, an empowered auto attack with healing that gives 1000 stack Nasus a run for his money. "Surely this has to be the one" I thought. "The one to beat the beastly Darius!" And I have never been more right in my life, my friends. It came so simply. Q minions level 1. back off and poke with E level 2-5. and finally, PURGE that horrid, disgusting monster from the rift with the help of Maiden at level 6. game after game, I sent that demon back to the depths he came from, and game after game, began to purge the NA server of every Darius I could find. "Why are you wasting my time with this story?" you may ask. Well, The ends justify the means. I would like to thank Yorick for helping me achieve my dream of brutally destroying filthy Darius players. And I would like to thank you, YorickMains, for your guidance in obliterating that monster into mere atoms. Good luck on the rift you shovel wielding kings, and know that you have one more member in your ranks. (also IBC is highly situational and should not be built every game)
https://preview.redd.it/pj3tagfthj141.jpg?width=800&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6e769f613db974c17c722e48d1767cb7e3cb6150 Note: This entry is an amalgamation of ideas and writing. Lots of it is my own, but some is taken verbatim, or paraphrased from other places. And I didn’t use many quotes or parenthetical citations because this is not meant for publication. Here are my sources: The W.A.S.T.E. Group Reading of CoL49 from 2001.Pynchon Character Names: A Dictionary by Patrick HurleyA Companion to The Crying of Lot 49 by J. Kerry GrantAnnotations from The Crying of Lot 49 wikiShmoop annotationsCourseHero annotationsThe Pynchon in Public Podcast ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hello, Pynchonites -- Willkommen to Reddit’s Crying of Lot 49 Group Read. Gonna kick things off here with the
Plot of Chapter One
Chapter One is mainly about introducing characters. Not much happens by way of plot. Here’s what does happen, though: Time: One summer afternoon in the 60’s - Oedipa Maas comes home a little drunk from a Tupperware party - She has been put in charge of the estate of her ex-boyfriend: Pierce Inverarity. Mr. Inverarity was a wealthy California real estate mogul before dying. - Oedipa recalls memories of her and Pierce’s breakup: The slamming of a door in Mazatlán, sitting outside the library at Cornell University, uncomfortable moments at the orchestra theater, fearful night-time anxiety at the notion that the statue of an American financier that hovered over their bed would someday topple over and crush her. - She goes about her day trying to think back to the actual time of Pierce’s death one year ago, wondering whether anything unusual had happened back then. - It turns out that around that time, Pierce had called around 3 AM in the morning using bizarre voices and seemingly talking nonsense. His last words on the line seem to be said with intent to threaten Oedipa’s husband, Wendell “Mucho” Maas by stating that it’s about time Mucho gets a visitation from “the shadow” - Extensive backstory of Mucho is given, especially concerning his previous occupation as a Used Car Salesman. Through his work in used cars, Mucho used to see all sorts of poor people come in to trade in their cars, and it made him miserable. - As he cleaned out cars, he found the residue of people's lives "like a salad of despair, in a gray dressing of ash, condensed exhaust, dust, body wastes—it made him sick to look, but he had to look" - Mucho arrives home and starts boozing on whiskey sours. - Mucho tells Oedipa about how his boss wants him to change his image as a radio DJ. His boss wants to censor his phone conversations with young women because he sounds too horny. - Oedipa informs Mucho about the fact that she’s been made executrix. - Mucho advises Oedipa to see Roseman (their lawyer) - Oedipa goes to meet Roseman the next morning after having a hard time with her makeup. - She’s really tired because Dr. Hilarius chose that morning to hit Oedipa with a 3 AM phone call. - Dr. Hilarious had given Oedipa some pills, and he asks how they’re working. Oedipa states that she is not going to take them, as she is suspicious of what may be inside them. It turns out they are hallucinogens. Oedipa refuses to take any, and hangs up on him. - Oedipa and Roseman are both sleep-deprived when they meet in an Office. - We learn that Roseman is obsessed with a television trial lawyer named Perry Mason, whom he is both jealous of and wants to undermine. - Oedipa tells Roseman about her being named executrix, and he replies in puzzlement. - The two go to lunch. Roseman tries to play footsy with Oedipa under the table, which she doesn’t notice due to the boots she’s wearing. - Roseman suggests that Oedipa run away with him, and she shuts him down. - Back at the Office, Roseman outlines the overall plan for executing the will. When Oedipa states that she doesn’t want to have to deal with all this, Roseman questions her as to why she isn’t even curious about what she may find out in the process. - Oedipa reflects on the time Pierce took her to Mexico City and she viewed a painting in the museum that made her cry. The girls in the painting are prisoners in a tower, and this is how she feels -- that running away with Pierce to Mexico is akin to the young girls weaving a fantastic tapestry in a hopeless attempt to fill a void. - For Oedipa, "the tower is everywhere" and "the knight of deliverance" could not save her. She also realizes what keeps her in her tower might be "magic, anonymous and malignant." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
– this one comes from a Group Reading held by the Waste mailing list in 2001:
In the first chapter we are introduced to Mrs. Oedipa Maas, who will become in the upcoming month the infatuation of the males in the list (and perhaps the females of that persuasion). We see her stumbling in from a Tupperware party where the hostess has made the fondue far too alcoholic. (perhaps a reaction with the tranquilizers Hilarius is giving her? Or is Pynchon making it clear that this chick gets drunk on virtually nothing? All I know is that fondue can't be that alcoholic). She learns from a letter that she is named executor of the will of a dead ex-boyfriend called Pierce Inverarity, whose assets are hefty but are also extremely tangled. She then gets a mosaic of thoughts ranging from a slammed door in a resort in Mexico, an INVERSE sunrise in Cornell (P's alma mater), a tune from Bartok's, and a bust of Jay Gould that Inverarity owned.(Jay Gould (1836-1892) was a corrupt financier who once messed with the gold market crippling it for years and made a massive return. If Pierce has a bust of Gould it means he is kinda twisted and perhaps even corrupt, or at least wants to convey that image.)(Inverarity: Think Inverse and Moriarty, I believe Dean Moriarty was the character that represented Neal Cassidy in 'On the Road', haven’t read the book since high school, but I know that Pynchon was a big fan of Kerouac. What I remember is that Moriarty was pretty nuts party maniac type, but was very poor. So in this sense, Pierce is the inverse since he is really rich, and the way he parties seems to be more calculated than getting drunk in a ghetto. I do have another theory about names which I will discuss in a later post.) She gets the letter from the firm Warpe, Wistfull, Kubitschek and McMingus (This name has to be addressed) and she will get help from a lawyer called Metzger. (subliminal message: I want to sleep with Oedipa Maas, Boyd Beaver) She goes shopping in Kinneret-Among-The-Pines, prepares dinner and tries to think about the time Inverarity must have named her executor, which is about a year ago. She remembers a prank style phone call where he kept changing characters. We are introduced to Wendell 'Mucho' Maas, her really fragile husband who works as a DJ in KCUF(FUCK spelled backwards, slow poke). Mucho has huge emotional scarring from being a used car salesmen. He discusses problems he has had with Mr. Funch the program director who instructs him that he should change his image from a hip horny DJ to more of a brotherly/fatherly figure (thank you heavenly father for not giving Mucho a Freudian name).Wendell & Oedipa go to sleep, and at 3 am Oedipa gets a call from her psycho-therapist, a Dr. Hilarius, who is conducting an experiment of giving hallucinogens (LSD, shrooms, etc.) to housewives. He has prescribed her tranquilizers which she is not taking, and he claims that he has called because he felt that she needed to talk to him. She hangs up on him, and has trouble sleeping, but still meets up with the family Lawyer, a Mr. Roseman, in the morning. They go for lunch; he makes a move on her (plays footsie with her hard boots, and asks her to run away with him) she kinda shrugs him off, but is intrigued when he suggests that if she takes on the executorship she might unravel everything in. The two pages that follow are some of the most beautiful in modern literature, and if you are using this as cliff notes (damn punks), you should read them. I refuse to say a word on them until I fully understand it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oedipa lives in a fictional region of California called Kinneret-Among-the-Pines. The allusion here is obviously to Yam Kineret (aka Sea of Kinnereth), which is the modern Hebrew name for the Sea of Galilee. The shores of Galilee were the region in which Jesus Christ lived and walked on water, calmed a storm, gave the sermon on the mount, fed lots of people by transforming bread. Also: When Pynchon wrote The Crying of Lot 49, his friend from college named Richard Farina was still alive. He lived in a place called Carmel by the Sea. D’you think there may be elements of Oedipa that could be based on Farina? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Allusions to Joyce
There's a line in Ulysses that bears an odd coincidence to the title: "The lacquey by the door of Dillon's auction rooms shook his handbell twice again and viewed himself in the chalked mirror of the cabinet. Dilly Dedalus, loitering by the curbstone, heard the beats of the bell, the cries of the auctioneer within. Four and nine. Those lovely curtains." (Ulysses, 304) Given that Gravity's Rainbow, written at the same time as CoL49, contains numerous Joyce references (mainly in the character of Sir Stephen Dodson-Truck), it's possible that this is a nod. Also: Joyce wrote another book called Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in which the made-up word Inverarity appears: "The pages of his timeworn Horace never felt cold to the touch even when his ownfingers were cold: they were human pages: and fifty years before they had beenturned by the human fingers of John Duncan Inverarity and by his brother,William Malcolm Inverarity. Yes, those were noble names on the dusky flyleaf .. ." (Viking edition, p. 179). This passage comes toward the beginning of the final chapter, in which we nowsee Stephen as an erudite, albeit slightly arrogant, young man who is about to discuss his theory of aesthetics with the Dean. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: The following section doesn’t only correspond to Chapter One. I’ll cross it out to avoid spoilers.
Lots of Lots
Dictionary definitions:[1.] the whole number or quantity[2.] a lot of, a great amount of[3.] as an adverb: very much[4.] the making of a selection or decision by methods depending on chance[5.] person's fortune or destiny[6.] item, sold at an auction sale[7.] collection of objects of the same kind[8.] plot of landTitle: "The Crying of lot 49" --[6. auction]p. 9: "the lot on the pallid, roaring arterial"[8.]p. 9: "whatever it was about the lot that had stayed"[8.]p. 9: "who'd visited the lot once a week"[8.]p. 9: "the lot being a sponsor"p. 9: "He had believedtoo much in the lotp. 15: "auto lots" --[7. wasted cars]p. 16: "lot" --[8. parking lot]p. 17: "watch (...) movies a lot" --[2.]p. 29: "about to be broken up into lots" --[7. collection]p. 34: "you could've bought lots in the heart of downtown LA" --[8.]p. 48: "a lot of talk" --[2.]p. 54: "parking lot" --[8.]p. 100: "car lot" --[7.]p. 103: "lot of 37 longs" --[2.]p. 106: "might have looked at a lot versions" --[2.]p.121: "as lot 49" --[6.]p.121: "the lot" --[7.]p. 121: "the lot in the auction catalogue" --[6.]p. 127: "to await the crying of lot 49" --[6.]The last words of the book are a repetition of it's title. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patterns with numbers
List of references to the number 3: (Pynchon uses 3 so many times in this novel. Someone told me one time that all the references to 3 are actually references to the letter V. I forgot exactly why that’s the case. The letter V has 3 points – Maybe it’s as simple as that. As for the importance of the letter V in Pynchon, I will refer you to a book he wrote called V.) - The time “3 AM” is specifically mentioned 3 times- Mucho shaves his upper lip every morning 3 times with the grain and 3 times against the grain- Sometimes Mucho sold used cars that had as many as 3 generations of cigarette smoke in the fabric of the seats There may be other phenomena with the re-occurrence of other numbers, but maybe not. One thing I’ll add is that the first word of this first chapter is “One” A few other things to add about 7 and 49: - The number 49 appears in the title. That’s what you get when you multiply 7 by 7. According to, like, symbolic dictionaries and stuff: “7 is the number of the universe,” and if you add 3 plus 4 you get 7. And 3 is the number of Heaven, and 4 is the number of the Earth. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Not sure. Sounds silly, anyway. - The original I Ching works with 49 sticks (there is a fiftieth one but this one is put away) - 1849 the year of the San Francisco Gold Rush - 1949 is the year LSD enters the USA - There are 49 days between Easter and Whitsunday - In Buddhism (specifically the Tibetan kind of Buddhism) there’s a Bardo State. And it’s got 49 days listed as the amount of time it takes to go from one death to one rebirth Also, well, this isn’t gonna mean anything for people that haven’t read past Chapter One, so I’ll mark for spoilers, but: Thomas Pynchon’s family was involved in some lawsuit years ago. It was a case concerning estates and property rights in the legal concept generally known as “The Waste Doctrine”, and its in the books as “Pynchon v. Stearns (the ‘Pynchons’ in this case were direct descendants of this guy named William Pynchon whose establishment of Springfield had grown over, like, 200 years, and somehow this Stearns family (who set up in Salem the same time William Pynchon founded Springfield) wanted to sue them, and anyway for some reason, page 95 of the document citing ‘Pynchon v. Stearns’ , has the ominous heading: “Section 49: Who May Commit Waste.” One more thing: If you were to independently take the square roots of the digits of 49 (Oedipa, a square (lol), going out in search of her roots) you’d get 23, which invokes the entire corpus of the 23-skidoo, Law of Fives mythos from Shea and Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy 2 and 3: Whenever Oedipa is thinking about Pierce the number 2 shows up (200 million dollars in his spare time, 200 birds in the lobby, etc.) But when Oedipa is with Mucho, and a third party comes in the picture we get the number 3 (i.e. the calls in three in the morning from Hilarius, Pierce) . When she is alone with Mucho talking about the DJ thing, Top 200 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
References to Germany
"many references to Germany, German words or German history run through Chapter 1, and indeed the entire novel. Pynchon scholar David Cowart posits that "Pynchon seems to have had a German period, a post-German period, and a neo-Continental or global period. During his German phase he produced his first three novels... His next work, the long-awaited Vineland, represents a new phase in which the almost obsessive attention to German more seems to have faded." Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History (2012), at p. 59. - Bartók Concerto for Orchestra - Five-movement musical work finished in 1943 by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945), after his native exile to the United States in response to the rise of the Nazi party. - Dr. Hilarius – a German psychologist - Gestapo - Kirsch - a clear cherry brandy from Germany - Mazatlán - a large wave of German immigrants arrived in the mid 1800s, developing Mazatlán into a thriving commercial seaport. - Metzger – German word for “butcher” - Rapunzel – fairy tale - Tiger tanks – The German army used Tiger tanks during World War II, notably in the desert of North Africa, where they proved almost invincible. - Warpe - the municipality of Warpe located in the district of Nienburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A textual juxtaposition
---------- She wondered, wondered, shuffling back through a fat deck full of days which seemed (wouldn't she be the first to admit it?) more or less identical, or all pointing the same way like a conjurer's deck, any odd one readily clear to the trained eye. ---------- "I heard that," Pierce said. [...] That phone line could have pointed any direction, been any length. ---------- ^^ These two passages show a clear contrast in Oedipa's view of herself and of Pierce. Her's is all monotony. His is all uncertainty, and possibility. Was he her ticket out of a dead-end life, himself now dead? Were they lovers? Might they have been had he survived? Oedipa needs her opposite, Pierce, if only posthumously, and she will pursue him so. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Factoid from Pynchon scholar John Krafft
Bringing a date out at sunrise was a seduction ruse at Cornell in the fifties. This notion fits in with the idea that the sunrise Oedipa recalls no one seeing can be read as an unrecognized harbinger of what was to come, which includes the sexual revolution. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Assorted notes from The Pynchon in Public Podcast
- Low culture details that seem like they were just thrown into this chapter tend to have deeper meaning. (For example: Perry Mason) - Chapter One’s wonderful observation of cars as extensions of their families. Junk is left in those cars – Waste. Just crap leftover in a used car … and this will tell you something about what Wendell and Oedipa think--All things that we take for granted will come to mean something. - Almost seems like Oedipa as a woman may be held by some power. May be real or may be her imagination. But she’s being held in some way - Roseman playing footsie with her under the table ... she’s insulated so as not to make a fuss. Can the book be read as in Oedipa becoming no longer insulated and starting to make a fuss? - Oedipa’s life mirroring Remedios Varo – she was born in Spain in Catalonia, she was stifled by constraints of conventional existence but felt obliged nonetheless to conform. Fits with Oed in first chapter. She eventually meets a poet that she marries and emigrates to Mexico. Oedipa’s triste with Pierce takes place in Mexico City. - A person’s life being one sort of woven cloth …Where there’s this idea of entropy in which the stuff in the car being one’s leaving behind of life …like you smoke a cigarette and the butt gets stuck in the seat -- Weird entropic leavings of life. And the fabric would be the opposite. Each part comes together cohesively to create something. Or is created from something. - Wendell deals with this compassion about other peoples lives and how they don’t seem to understand how sad it is that they’re trading in this old dented projection of their life for something that is just as futureless. - Oedipa suffers from this issue of ego where everything in her life forms to be part of just her life. Nothing being really left behind. Its all just this big fabric. - Oedipa and Wendell might suffer from opposing issues. Between the two extremes could be Pierce. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boyd Beaver – One critic observes that the character’s name can be “reduced to a woman’s crotch.” Boyd is typically a Scots surname and less common as a given name (One example, though: Boyd Rice.) Given his use of the celebrated Pynchonian kazoo, the vaginal reference may celebrate transgression (as a vulgar body-part name in the Rabelaisian tradition.) A character with the nickname “Beaver” appears in Gravity’s Rainbow. The name bears a resemblance to Zoyd Wheeler, the protagonist of Vineland, though he played the keyboard. Caesar Funch – The folks that view CoL49 as an allegory of the JFK Assassination claim that Caesar evokes the idea of political assassination. In general, it is an appropriate name for a boss. It’s a common enough surname. In gay terminology, Funch is a contraction of fag + lunch, for a brief sex act accomplished at noontime. Doctor Hilarius - Some view this character as a thinly veiled Timothy Leary, but surely Pynchon did not associate Leary with Nazism. Another critic more reasonably suggests that Hilarius “is a bizarre combination of Timothy Leary and Josef Mengele.” But this is not reflected in the name itself, unless we read hilarity as the prankster spirit advocated by Leary. One person argues that Pynchon came across the name in Helen Waddell’s The Wandering Scholars, which we know from the intro to Slow Learner was a central text for him. If Pynchon researched the name, he would have come across several options. Another critic suggests St. Hilarius of Poitiers [more commonly known as a Hilary] and suggests that his connection to the Arian controversy mirrors Dr. Hilarius’s involvement in Nazism’s ideological basis in a different Aryan concern. Another intriguing possibility is Hilarius of Sexten, Tyrolean moral theologian thought to be especially gifted at “applying theoretical principles to the actual facts” – a possible parallel to psychoanalysis – and who, despite limited approval, gained an immense following in Germany and Austria – another possible connection to Nazism. He's referred to as a “shrink” (a shortened form of “headshrinker”, which is '50s slang). The OED cites 'shrink' in this text of 1966, as the first recorded written use of it as a slang term -- Which must be why Pynchon defined it in the text. Pierce Inverarity – The name Pierce Inverarity … is paradoxical in its metaphorical implications. Aside from ‘inverse rarity’ – a misprinted and therefore valuable stamp- and Moriarty, Sherlock Holme’s antagonist, the name puns on ‘inveracity’ and ‘pierce/peers in variety.’ Some critics read pierce as both sexual violence and religious illumination. Also: J.R. Pierce was the author of a popular 1961 book on information theory. Another critic suggests that the name echos that of C.S. Pierce, American founder of semiotics. A critic named Tanner says that the “name itself can suggest either un-truth or in-the-truth.” One could read Pierce as a variant of Peter or petrus, “rock,” as in the rock on which “the profane church of America was built.” It could also be that the name comes from James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, where “Stephen Dedalus’s copy of Horace’s verse was previously owned by ‘John Duncan Inverarity and by his brother, William Malcolm Inverarity.’ Further parallels between the two novels may strengthen this source (I don’t have access to these ideas), but this is definitely intriguing considering the cries of that auctioneer in Ulysses. Oedipa Maas – Clearly the first reference readers see is to the Greek tragic hero and eponymous Freudian psychological complex. The thing is, though, that the relevance to the Oedipus complex cannot be taken as such, since the novel contains no info about Oedipa’s relationship with her parents. One critic argues that the reference is not to Oedipus Rex, but to Oedipus at Colonus, stating that both works “open with a journey and end on a note of religious mysticism”. The obvious reference to the Sophocles plays seems to be that Oedipa is given a riddle to solve. In Afrikaana, maas means “net” or “web” – signifying her ability to connect disparate piece of info or her entrapment in conspiracy. Maas means “loophole” in Dutch – connoting her loss of signifying power and activity. It could also suggest the Dutch word masswerk, meaning “the underside of a tapestry.” This reading could be extended to gloss the name as “woof” or “background threads through which the warp is woven and which forms the hidden part of the tapestry.” One could also suggest the similarity to mass, or “religious ritual,” and the fact that the name Oedipa feminizes Oedipus, thus making the narrative a mock-quest with a heroine rather than a hero. Pynchon sure does a lot of feminizing of words in his books, and executrix is another example. There’s an old German text on entropy by Helmholtz, where Maass designates measure (particularly of disorganization) allowing the name to “be read as reflecting her precarious and ambiguous position with respect to both order and chaos.” The near-likeness "mass" becomes an important word/concept in Gravity's Rainbow and, especially, Against The Day. Mucho calls Oedipa “OED” which is probably a reference to Oxford English Dictionary Wendell “Mucho” Maas – The joke name is clear: it’s a pun on the Spanish for “much more.” Some say Wendell is a reference to Wendell Wilkie (see Pynchon, JFK, and CIA). One critic suggests that Maas refers to the mass media (his job). I’ll have to omit a possible etymology here for Mucho, as it would be a plot spoiler. Here’s a weird one: An essayist reads “Mucho” as “moo-show” (referring to cows) and “Ma-a-(s)” imitating the sound of sheep. Together, this reader sees this as an indication of the “imbecilic gregariousness cultivated in people by the mass media.” Some read “Mucho” as “macho” in reference to the character’s penchant for young girls. Metzger – Metzger is German for “butcher,” as numerous critics have pointed out, although there does not seem to be a clear charactonymic reference to the actions of the character. Perhaps it is a derisive reference to lawyers in general. Butchers in the Middle Ages often doubled as letter carriers. This is a fascinating connection to the novel, although Metzger seems to have no association with (…Spoiler omitted) See: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metzgerpost Roseman – common Jewish name. When he plays footsy with Oedipa under the table, it calls to mind the phrase “Under the Rose” (the name of a short story by Pynchon that was adapted into a chapter of V.) One might want to call him Sub-Rosa Man. The name could be a hint not to trust him. Warpe, Wistful, Kubitschek and McMingus – One critic offers a comic reading and dismisses it as a joke: “an emotionally twisted, yearning, Czech bebopper (Charlie Mingus.)” He does identify the name of Kubitschek as an allusion to “Brazilian social reformer” Juscelino Kubitschek, who served as president from 1956 to 1961. Another critic ties the name of Warpe into the weaving motif in the novel (most prominent in Oedipa’s recounting of the Remedios Varo painting Bordando el Manto Terrestre by glossing the name as warp(e): “One of the two directions of the thread or wool in weaving.” Someone else suggests it is a “warm-up” for later inventions of firm names. Unlikely possibility: "Warpe," could be a reference to the municipality of Warpe located in the district of Nienburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany (would fit well with Germany and Nazism being referenced thoroughly in Chapter 1). --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vocabulary and Annotation
creampuff - In the realm of used cars, a creampuff is a real bargain, a car in splendid condition, and hence, to Mucho, the word seems like a reproach. die Brucke – Probably a reference to the group of Expressionist painters who gathered in Dresden in 1905 under the name Die Brucke (The Bridge) and were known for their use of drugs as a means of inspiration for their art. fondue – melting pot – metaphor for America Fu-Manchu – The creation of Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry Ward), Fu-Manchu first saw light in 1911 along with his Holmes-like adversary, Dennis Nayland Smith. Fu-Manchu was said to be “evil-incarnate” and, according to Rohmer, was “the embodiment of the Yellow Peril.” The Perry Mason television program – The show starred Raymond Burr as an inordinately successful lawyer. TAT Picture – The Thematic Apperception Test developed in 1938 by H.A. Murray requires the subject to interpret a picture by telling a story about what has led up to the particular scene, what is happening in the scene, and what is likely to happen in the future. Tupperware - a brand name of storage containers. Back in the day, women were going to Tupperware parties . These parties are very white, middle class. This beginning reminds of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway in the beginning. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When Dr. Hilarius calls Oedipa at 3 AM, the connection with Pierce’s “Shadow” call is made clear. Why is Hilarius so strongly associated with Pierce? Are we meant to think of Pierce as a kind of psychotherapist? Why does Oedipa have a therapist prescribing her tranquilizers in the first place? Is there any indication in the text that she suffers from anxiety? Why is Germany referenced so often in this chapter? Do you think that Oedipa is completely free at this point? Or is there some malign force that’s pushing her around like a piece on a chessboard? What do you make of the name Oedipa Maas? Which paths could Oedipa have persued that she refused? For example, she could've chosen to participate in the study and take the drugs that Dr. Hilarius offered her. Alternatively, she could have acknowledged Roseman's footsie-playing and chosen to run away with him.
Starter's guide (Page 7 of 16) Probably one of the biggest changes in X-R is trading. In Rebirth there are two forms of trading: direct and indirect. Direct trading Direct trading is done by you (with the Skunk), and is done onboard platforms by talking to people. Auto; HD; High; Low; ... X Rebirth - Trading and Mining Learn about the two types of trading in this trailer for X Rebirth. By Gajan Kulasingham on July 25, 2014 at 1:49PM PDT. Filed under: Pity X Rebirth does not play as previous X games. Not saying it has to do anything with your troubles, but it may be a factor. Imho that is one of the most redeaming features of X:Rebirth that it not plays like X³. I love it that it is more in line with the Original X and X² then with X³. AutoTrader Ver.1.1: v1.1: added type for trade reservation (format change in script command in X Rebirth 4.0) I. Requirement:You need a ship with universal storage capacity. To start the AutoMiner the ship needs at least 10 Scooper and 10 surface drones. X Rebirth New Video – Trading and Mining. By Adam Solo on October 2nd, 2013 10:56 am ... Mining in X Rebirth seems to be mostly about harvesting asteroids and nebulae. You can decide to have a more hands-on approach and select what you want to mine. Or, you can just click on an auto feature, and instruct other ships to mine a resource field ...
X Rebirth - Stations are a major part of X rebirth, building them, trading with them, setting up your own production chains. Here are the basics of how to manage the station once you have built it. Explanation of how the two types of trading in X Rebirth will work, how it makes the game more interesting even if you are only going to play it for the batt... How to create a 3D Terrain with Google Maps and height maps in Photoshop - 3D Map Generator Terrain - Duration: 20:32. Orange Box Ceo 7,659,947 views X Rebirth - Trading is something we will all have to do at some point in X rebirth. Here I show you the basics of how to buy and sell a product. What ships you need, the different menus and what ... X Rebirth 4.1 Basic Trading How-To - Duration: 11:51. Star Trucker 10,537 views. 11:51. X Rebirth - Mining Tutorial - Part 3 - Specialist Ships Are They Worth It - Duration: 10:19.