The Art of Overwhelming Choice

With the constant stream of media being released, the fact is you’ll never get to watch everything you want to and it’s a bit overwhelming. So how can you deal with having thousands of shows and movies at your fingertips? Well, it all starts with realizing you can’t see everything.

If you work 40 hours a week, like the majority of people, you won’t have time to watch everything you want. That means you can watch 2 movies, 4-5 “hour” long shows, or 8-10 “half-hour” long shows. Now that’s all assuming that you don’t want to do anything else with your time like go out with friends, read a book, or get some exercise.

So, where does that leave us? With too much  to watch and not enough time. With an absurd amount of choice, there needs to be some serious consideration on what to watch; an art to figuring out just what the hell to watch with the limited amount of time in the day. So how do you decide what to watch? Well, that’s the million dollar question.

Some of my friends try to prioritize based on the newest movies and shows. Other people may prioritize based on what’s most likely to be spoiled the soonest. This means shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are must-watch when they premiere or at least within the first 48 hours so that you can chat about them at work that week. It also means that less popular (but still excellent) shows like Orphan Black and Black Sails can wait until entire seasons are aired so they can be binged.

Personally, I try to prioritize movies and shows that I’m both excited to see and that have actors I enjoy. This means I’m always going to be binge watching the Marvel Netflix shows the weekend they come out because I love comics and they’ve all been fantastic so far. It also means that I’m going to continue watching Supernatural until either the actors die or the show does (and honestly, it’s a toss-up at this point which will happen first).

Another way to look at the problem is to determine which TV shows and movies are more “eventually” types. To me, these are the shows and movies that are critically acclaimed but a bit boring. By boring I mean they’re usually a slow burn and take some heavy investment to really appreciate. With the limited time that I have, those are way down on my list. I need the instant gratification of seeing Barry Allen run really fast and stopping the bad guy of the week. I can’t afford to invest large chunks of time to heavy dramas like The Night Of or True Detective, both of which are critically acclaimed. Will I get around to watching them? Eventually.

So what’s the secret to watching everything? Well, that’s the thing. There is no magic time turner that lets you watch every show and movie you want to. You have to prioritize based on your preferences. For me that means watching silly shows over more serious dramas until I can finally clear some time for dramas. For others that means watching all of the award nominated movies and shows. For others still it means rushing to watch the “next big thing” so they can talk about it around the office.

My advice? It’s entertainment. Keep it entertaining and don’t get too worried you won’t see everything. Hell, I still haven’t seen The Wire or The Godfather. I’ll get around to it. Eventually.

Post-GP Boston Musings

Losing fucking sucks. It doesn’t matter what round it is. It doesn’t matter if it’s round 7, round 12, or round 15. Losing sucks.

Okay, now that I got that out of my system (for now), here’s the list I played this past weekend along with Jason Clark (@RealEvilGenius on Twitter) and Scott MacCallum (@MrScottyMac on Twitter). I’m sure others played the list (or something very similar) but I’m specifically listing these other two players because we’ve been working on this deck for over a month in preparation for this GP. And you know what? We all made Day 2. 



So that’s the list we played at the GP. It’s also the list I’d be playing if there was another tournament tomorrow. Every single card performed magnificently for me. Here’s all the decks that we played against along with our records against them

Scapeshift (Blue version) 3-1 (2-0, 2-0, 2-0, 1-2)

Scapeshift (Jund) 1-0 (2-1)

Affinity 0-1 (1-2)

Pod 3-0 (2-0, 2-0, 2-1)

Twin 3-0 (2-0, 2-0, 2-0)

UWR 4-0-1 (1-1-1, 2-0, 2-0, 2-1, 2-0)

Tron (Blue) 1-2 (2-0, 1-2, 0-2) Interesting note, my match was incredibly easy and I think this match up is fine. Jason and Scott got pretty unlucky. They can’t really beat Geist and their only end-game you have to worry about is Ruins + Mind Slaver

Jund 1-2 (2-1, 0-2, 1-2) My loss to this was in a covered feature match where I kept some greedy hands and got super punished. I think the match up is fine as long as you know how to mulligan (I learned this lesson the hard way)

Junk 1-1 (1-2, 2-1) Match up seems fine, very similar to Jund. Don’t play like an idiot and it’s pretty simple. Explosives is a huge swing in this match up.

GB 1-0 (2-0) This is infinitely easier than both Jund and Junk.

Infect 2-1 (2-0, 2-0, 0-2). My loss was in a back-up camera feature match. I lost the game purely due to my misplays, I would have won very easily 2-0 had I not made two mistakes. Basically I misused my mana on one turn in game 1 which snowballed the game out of control and in game 2 I misequenced my removal spells. This match up seems super favorable if you play tight but if you make any mistakes you’re just super dead.

Random decks 10-2. Yeah, so we beat up random decks. Who knew? Counters and Geists (and burn) are terrific.

So that’s a miniature run down of the matches we played. I don’t want to go too in to detail with my individual matches but here are some highlights

– I only lost 2 games when I resolved a 5 drop. One was when Elspeth raced my Keranos and the other was against Scapeshift when I died after tapping out for Batterskull (had to take a risk). I resolved 5 drops in 8 games for the record.

– I played Snapcaster Mage 26 times. 17 times as a Snapcaster Mage and 9 times as an Ambush Viper.

– I only lost 1 game when I cast Geist of Saint Traft and that was on the draw against Affinity. If I was on the play I win the game very easily.

– All 3 of us playing the deck boarded in all of our sideboard cards throughout the tournament. At this time, I wouldn’t change a single card in the 75. 

– The Magma Sprays were strictly better than Pillar of Flames. This is because they have more uses in other match-ups.

– Against Twin, always jam. Turn 3? Play Geist. Or end of turn Clique into Geist. Also, your 5 drops are insane post-board. I know that seems counter-intuitive but they really can’t let you resolve an end of turn Angel so you have a lot of flexibility with your timing for resolving 5 drops.

– Against Scapeshift try to stay above 18 life. It provides you an extra turn against them which is very valuable. Also don’t be afraid to fire up Colonnade to attack. I did it several times against Scapeshift because I was in a position where I was forced to race and it worked very well. Basically, you want to kill them dead as fast as possible. They will beat you going long.

– Pod is an incredibly easy match-up after having played it quite a few times. Twin is also very easy once you figure out how the games typically play out.

Alright, I can’t really think of anything more to say. I’m sure Scotty and Jason will have their tournament reports up soon. I just wanted to get my thoughts out there about the tournament. Although I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, I still didn’t do terrible. 12-3 is a fine record. It just means that I’ll be PTQing all of August. See you guys there!

#TeamGeist OUT!

Pre-GP Boston Thoughts

GP Boston is tomorrow. I have 0 byes. And you know what? I don’t mind that one bit.

A lot of work has gone into the GP that’s taking place tomorrow. I’ve been working a LOT with Scott MacCallum and Jason Clark on the list we’re playing. I’m not going to be posting it here right now; I’ll probably post it after the GP. If you look around enough you can probably find the most updated list give or take 2 cards. #TeamGeist all the way, am I right?

I wanted to put some thoughts to paper (or virtual paper anyways) before tomorrow. Even though I’ve put a lot of effort into this list, I realize that Magic is also a game of luck alongside skill and hard work. If I don’t do well tomorrow? I think I’m okay with that. I don’t want this to be seen as a defeatist attitude but this whole process was a learning experience. Never have I played a deck where the sideboard is so well thought out that I know exactly “Okay, I want to take out this cards against X match up but not against Y variant because Z.” I’ve prepared more for this event than the two Pro Tours I’ve qualified for. That’s not an exaggeration.

Anyways, enough about me. Let’s talk about #TeamGeist.

If you’re playing #TeamGeist tomorrow, please do me a favor and keep track of how many times you play Snapcaster Mage as an Ambush Viper. I want people to tell me after the GP what the count was. I know I’ll be keeping track.

Also, just in general, let me know how you guys do! This deck is my pet deck and I’d love to know how people do with it. Tweet with #TeamGeist all weekend and I’ll be sure to look through the hashtag.

Speaking of #TeamGeist, if you want a Token just ask me, Scotty, or Jason and we should have some extras. Here’s the token for reference


Alright, it’s about midnight and the GP starts in 9 hours. I’ll see you cool cats there. Yeah, I said it. Deal with it. #TeamGeist OUT!