Capitalism through Cards

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So my friend Will and I decided to venture out to buy some Magic cards as a side hobby. However, the catch was we would only spend a very limited amount of money to keep expenses reasonable. After all, card games are not cheap. It can get rather expensive if you want to make competitive decks filled with rare and powerful cards.

It is not unusual for people to shell out hundreds, even thousands of dollars on cards for their vast collections. Will and I wanted to build decks on a budget, focusing instead on trading, winning tournaments and selling the decent cards we attain to work our way up the ladder.

CAPITALISM THROUGH CARDS!
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First Penta …

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I was playing as Fiora, one of my favorite champions, in “League of Legends” last evening. I managed to get my first Pentakill ever.

I have played a lot of LoL in the past few years and never managed to score a Penta until now. The ever-elusive Penta was finally earned, the in-game announcer’s words had a great ring to my ears as I went to print screen the image so I could cherish this personal achievement as a LoL player.

However, when I went to paste the screen image …

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The Right Recipe

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Team composition is very important in “League of Legends.” A well-balanced composition sets up a recipe for success, significantly improving the odds that a team can win with proper execution. Every element for a standard team, whether it is the support or jungler, comes together to serve a purpose.

Being able to judge the strength of your team composition at champ select is an appropriate skill to pick up. Does your team have enough damage? Does your team lack crowd control capabilities? Is your team too squishy? Does your team have a tank?

There are certainly many aspects and components to consider, all of which will be tested as a LoL match carries on. Some games can be made that much easier or more difficult, and this can be based solely on how both teams construct their respective team compositions. It is paramount to treat every champion role as a vital ingredient that determines who can enjoy the taste of victory in the end.

Below are five random things I try to keep in mind when it comes to creating an ideal team composition. In no particular order of significance.

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How Resourceful

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In “League of Legends,” an interesting aspect of the game is how champions with alternative resource systems (basically, anything other than Mana) exist. What this means is, well, some characters in the game basically play by different rules compared to other champions.

At times, this may seem kind of unfair in the sense that these special champions will never have to worry about stuff like going OOM (out of Mana) when their abilities are paid for differently. We all have faced that awkward scenario where you have to manage your Mana carefully against a foe who literally just spams their abilities left and right at their leisure. It creates a lot of strange duels.

Below is a list of how I would rate the resource systems currently available in the game from best to worst, judging strictly in terms of effectiveness.

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Snowballing

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There is a key method when you want to win at “League of Legends,” and this is to snowball.

Snowballing refers to building up your character’s in-game strength to the point where you can overwhelm your opponents. In LoL, this method is accomplished through racking up gold and then using this money to purchase power through items.

All of it is rather linear if you think about it.

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A New League

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So Thresh has been officially added into “League of Legends” as a playable champion. I haven’t played many games as or against Thresh yet, but I do appreciate the direction that LoL’s champions are starting to shift toward more creativity (though power levels are often sketchy upon a new champion’s debut).

For one thing, I believe many of the recent champion additions have added many more options to the table. When I first played LoL, I found many of the champions to be on the plain side, and newer characters at times were underwhelming in terms of “wow factor” to say the least.

Granted, this was because I played the original Dota for four years before shifting over to LoL. Many “crazy” mechanics in LoL are often gimped and nerfed versions of stuff you would come across in Dota, so perhaps this affected my perception on “new” champion kits coming off as stale or rehashed in my book.
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Toward the Top Part 3

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I am nearing a point where I can say I am about ready to attempt climbing the Elo ladder for real in “League of Legends.” There has been a lot of mental preparation as I fine-tune my in-game fundamentals, especially when it comes to playing well in general.

I don’t want to rely on fancy gimmicks or anything of that sort – I just need to win. And a lot. If I win more than I lose, I will naturally acquire a lot more Elo in the long haul. However, I want to be intelligent about my ranked matches.
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Dependable Uncertainty

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Life is full of surprises. “League of Legends” is no different in this regard. Every time you queue up and brace yourself for a match, you never quite know how things will pan out. Sure, in a perfect world, every queue is going to be full of the nicest people possible, every player is competent and everyone will all gel together that it becomes an enjoyable experience no matter what. However, this is why games are not played on paper.

In reality, the only thing you can count on is a dependable thing called uncertainty. No matter how much you want to predict the future, you never will know for sure unless you let things play out. It’s why we take risks as humans to let destiny run its course. It’s the only real way to live, isn’t it?

Toward the Top Part 2

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As you improve in something, you start to see the flaws in others. This has been apparent in “League of Legends” as I have been practicing to elevate my game.

And by flaws, I mean the random “errors” you notice. They can be subtle things like missing last hits, being a step out of position or using an ability incorrectly. At times, I find myself wanting to “correct” someone during a given match of LoL, especially when I see they use one of my “go-to” champs improperly.
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Eat Crow

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I am improving by a lot in “League of Legends.” I can definitely tell with how much better I am playing. In particular, I have added Fiddlesticks, the Harbinger of Doom, toward my personal repertoire of champions. Fiddlesticks is an unusual character in the sense that he is potentially powerful, but he is an uncommon sight because he does require some skill to use properly.

I used to struggle with Fiddlesticks back in the day. I found him tricky and a tad awkward to use. But now that my individual, in-game ability has risen by so much, I now understand how to use his mechanics and champion kit more appropriately. Whether it is in the jungle or playing a mid Fid, it is very fun to make my foes eat lots and lots of crow.

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Lesson Learned

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Last evening while practicing “League of Legends,” I had a series of some very, very AWFUL games. Like, they were dreadfully painful, brimming with frustration. So many things went wrong. Hardly anything went right.

And then, I realized that the particular message below had a lot to do with why the matches felt so out of place.

Be Wary
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Girls and Panzer (Opening 1)

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Nhan-Fiction Note: So this anime is literally about cute schoolgirls who compete in a sport where they fight one another in real tanks (but don’t worry – it’s not violent at all, and no one gets injured or anything). Yeah … only in anime. Nonetheless, I recommend checking it out if you want something out of the norm. >^..^<

English Translation
I just feel my wind
I just feel my shine
The sky is ever cheery

I’ve always known my dreams won’t wait for me
Even though the wind hurts me countless times
I’ll reach out to the sun and feel the resonance of my fingertips
I want to feel the blinking of the sunrays

I always take care of the foundations later
I’ll shed my faur-adult defenses and fly away!

The light streamed through the sky overhead
With a speed that drew me from my sleep
Now it carries along my weak heartbeat
It tells me to be more than I am now
I’ll rise to my feet!

Fantastic 15

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When it comes to “League of Legends,” people always talk about who they “main,” as in who they consider as the characters they specialize in when it comes to champion picks. As I have become better at the game, I can definitely cover a lot more ground as far as the champion roles go. But if I had to narrow down the list for each role down to just three choices, there would certainly be some tough decisions.

Nonetheless, I have managed to create a list of who I think are my main champs for each given role.

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Toward the Top

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To head toward the top of anything is often a long and challenging journey. In “League of Legends,” it is no different. My goal for this third season of LoL is to surpass my current threshold as a player and strive to become even better than what I’ve ever been in a video game before. It’s a reasonable ambition in its own right, considering that I firmly believe in those “rags to riches” stories.

You know … the tales where supposed nobodies rise up and prove to the world that they have what it takes. With enough diligence and willpower, anything is certainly possibly.

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