Saturday, 19 April 2014

Kaleb's Words

Kaleb has been getting on really well with his words recently. He started with a single syllable version of longer words, but is now starting to spread them out into two syllables (like "track" into "track-ta" for tractor). 

He has also started putting two words together. Some of them are animal names and noises, like "cow moo" and "quack duck". A number are various chocolate variants; "choc bar", "choc pot", "choc moo" [Chocolate Milkshake] and "choc cake". Also food related, he does say "cheese please" and "more cheese", as well as the more general "more please". Recently he has started saying "tee tie" [tea time]. 

One of the double words I have taught him is "oh no", which is usually does alongside putting his hands on his cheeks in a mock shocked face. 

Helping out his sister, when she is crying he sometimes lifts up his tshirt and says "bay milk" [baby milk], and of course "bay cry" [baby cry]. This is sometimes followed with "poor bay" [Poor Baby]; repeating me as I sometimes say that after repeating him saying baby cry. 

Kaleb sometimes lets us know if he needs a change as he'll say "change nappy" (he usually does the makatan sign for this at the same time). He has recently had a seemingly uncontrollable urge to wash his hands as he'll point up at the sink saying "wosh hans" [Wash Hands]. 

Last week my mum was visiting and got him settled in bed for the night. In the morning he said a three word sentence for the first time "where nanny gone?". 

Of all the words he's said, the ones I remember the most are when I helped drop him off at nursery after Evelyn was born. I don't normally but was on paternity leave so had the time off. Trying to leave him in his room he said "don't go" in a little upset voice. As usual once we actually left he had a great day at nursery. 

As the weather has been getting nicer recently, we have been going for short walks. When he wants to go for a walk, Kaleb will come over and say "wall ken" [Walk Kenny] - Kenny is the name of his little kangaroo backpack that he wears while walking so he can't get too far away from us. 

While walking, Kaleb will often point at a car and say "car", and if it is moving and drives off, it will often be followed by "car gone". There is a little park near us, Kaleb lets us know what there is there: "swing, slide". 

As we all seem to sit in the same place while eating, Kaleb points out whose chair is whose, even if we aren't sitting in it; "mummy chair, daddy chair, bay chair" [baby chair] - Evelyn's chair being a little bouncy chair she sits in sometimes while we are eating. 

At nursery recently, he was holding a toy car and walked over to another child and said "car share", which was very nice of him. 

He has been repeating number "wan, too, tee, for, fie, sics, nie". Sometimes he will attempt to say seven and eight, and sometimes combines them into one number. I'm not sure whether he understands that these are number or what their significance is yet. 

It is very interesting watching him increase his vocabulary so much so quickly. I'm looking forward to him learning more and more, and hopefully soon he'll say his first four-word sentence. 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

First Attempt at Modern Zoo

Ever since Wild Nacatl was unbanned, I thought it would be fun to build a deck with it. As I drafted ZEN a lot I already had a bunch of fetch lands, which helped a lot. I really want the allied colour fetch lands to be Modern legal as it would help a lot. I have been trying the deck out with no Tarmagoyf as I only have the one, and went to a Modern tournament in St Albans with the deck below. I am trying a bunch of 2-ofs to see which ones I like. 

One Drops
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Kird Ape
4 Loam Lion

These creatures make up the bulk of the aggressive creatures. I had been considering some 2/1's as well, and might try a couple out sometime, but if there are a lot of 1/1's around it makes them less effective, whereas the 2/3 Apes and Cats can be blocked by smaller creatures and still be around. 

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile

Two lots of efficient removal. I loved playing Lightning Bolt when it was legal in Standard. I seem to have gone off red decks in Standard since it rotated out, maybe it just doesn't feel the same (not that I play much Standard). 

2 Rancor - I was trying this one out but never really drew or played it. It was my plan for a bit more reuse in longer games while still being useful early on (attach to a Nacatl and swing for 5...).I might replace one or both of these with something else. 

Two Drops
2 Strangleroot Geist - Fairly Efficient, although I have a couple of effects that give +1/+1 counters, which does work too well with this unless it has died once already. 

2 Stormblood Berserker - I'm still not sure about these. It is cheap for a 3/3 that is really hard to block, especially with the amount of removal I have to mess up combat. 

4 Lightning Helix - A slightly harder to cast Lightning Bolt, but the extra life is nice to offset the mana base...

2 Travel Preparations - I quite liked these, the extra counters is good and I get to use it twice. This is usually for longer games, but if used early on it can help get some extra damage in quickly. 

Three Drops
2 Woolly Thoctar - I thought these worked quite well. These are sort of my Tarmagoyf replacement, although it is always the same size. I had meant to keep track of graveyards for interest, the one or two times I remembered to a Tarmagoyf would only have 3 or 4 power. I'm considering adding another one. 

2 Kitchen Finks - I almost didn't run these as I was worried about having too high a curve, but I can see myself adding in an extra one or two. 

2 Ajani, Caller of the Pride - The +1 ability is quite good for some extra bumps. The -3 is usually for finishing games. I took some of the Cat tokens for the -8 just in case, but can't realistically see myself getting to that point. 

4 Arid Mesa
2 Verdant Catacombs
2 Marsh Flats
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Stomping Ground
3 Temple Garden
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Forest
1 Plains

The Basic Lands are there so I have some insurance against Blood Moon, and so I can fetch something untapped without paying 3 life for it...

I wasn't really sure what to do for a sideboard. Some of the guys on the MTG Google+Community recommended Graftdiggers Cage, so I'll see if I can get hold of some of them. 

4 Destructive Revelry - Hits Artifacts and Enchantments so a nice all-rounder. 
4 Fulminator Mage - I know people play Tron at that store and this was all I could think of at short notice. 
3 Electrickery - Thought it would be something good against Hexproof when overloaded, and also against Bitterblossom Tokens
4 Relic of Progenitus - Again, short notice picking graveyard hate. Graftdiffers cage would probable work better here. 

In the first round my opponent had mana problems both games (first not enough and then too much). It turns out they had switched out some lands for a standard deck so had a really odd mana base. 

In the second round, my opponent was playing a burn deck and due to me fetching shocklands, I lost on their turn three (although it was a close game). I was more conservative with land the next game and got it a lot closer but they killed me in response to a Lightning Helix. 

In the third round, I won against Tron. The second game was getting drawn out as I had awkward mana so couldn't cast some of the cards in my hand - I had about 4 creatures on board but they had a Wurmcoil Engine (and then a second one). I was lucky to top deck a second white source just when I needed it to play Ajani and make a Woolly Thoctar fly for the win. This match was the first time I used my sideboard, but didn't really use any of the cards from it. 

In the final round, I played against another burn deck and kept a "high" curve hand (i.e a couple of three drops and enough land) in the first game not knowing it was a burn deck and lost fairly quickly. I didn't do too much better in the second game. 

Considering it was the first time I played the deck, I think 2-2 wasn't too bad. I had a headache a lot of the time, but I suspect that was more due to tiredness due to the new baby :-) I might tweak the deck a little bit and see if I can play it again sometime. It was fun to play, even if choosing which lands to play and search for and in what order can get somewhat complicated.