Get your “knocks” in early during Children’s Week

Children’s week starts April 27th at 11:00 AM*, which means, if you need to complete “School of Hard knocks” for What a long Strange Trip it’s Been, you want to get that done early as possible. I’m going to give a few tips on how to get that done.

You can complete this entire portion on another character. This is important. Max level PvP is generally more of a pain than it is worth. Especially at this point in Warlords. There will be a lot of well-geared PvPers out for the sole purpose of targeting those folks with their orphans out. If you don’t have an alt in the 20-54** range, you might want to roll a DK just for this. It would be worth it.

  • Tip: Use an alt.

Shaman and druids are great because they have mobility. That would be good for capturing flags and running down flag carriers.

I did School of Hard Knocks on 2 other toons, partially because I hate myself, partially because it got easier. Patience and getting it done as early as possible helped.

  • Tip: Get it done early as possible.

The first day, if you can pull it off, will be the best day. I remember in a couple Warsong Gulch matches, the other side actually helped out by dropping the flag and letting people return it. This is most likely to happen the first day, so keep that in mind.

You don’t have to have the best PvP gear to do this, but you should have PvP gear. You should also enchant a little for stamina and speed. I haven’t enchanted yet this expac (still leveling alts)

  • PvP gear and enchants

Bottom line is, it makes your life easier. This is all about that. Switch things up if you are having a hard time. I start with Warsong Gulch, then I go to Eye of the Storm. Those seem to give me the most stress. Arathi Basin is usually not too hard, although everyone will be rushing for the Stables. I find that going for the Mine usually works best. Alterac Valley is the easiest, for me. I always go to the Relief Hut area and get in one of those towers.

  • Tip: Be patient and don’t be afraid to switch things up.

The patience is especially key. Don’t expect to straight shot this. If you are lucky, the gods will be with you. Take breaks, switch up Battlegrounds. Get a friend to run with you, if you can.

Just keep in mind that this is still a game. Getting that Violet Proto drake is a sweet, sweet reward. Good luck and godspeed!


My Paladin, Oxxo, transformed into a human thanks to Blingtron.

Level Ranges for the required Battlegrounds:

  • Warsong Gulch 10-100
  • Arathi Basin 15-100
  • Eye of the Storm 15-100
  • Alterac Valley 20-100

*Check your in-game calendar for start times. They may differ by server/region.

** Level ranges for the needed Battlegrounds are 10-20 now, ideally you would like to use a character below 54 (DKs come in the next bracket 55-60).

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This Week in Blackrock Mountain: Blackwing Lair

Welcome back to This Week in Blackrock Mountain. This week we take a look at the 4th wing: Blackwing Lair. There are 4 bosses in this wing. Should be fun!

The fun starts out with Razorgore the Untamed. His hero power: for 1 mana summon a 0/1 Corrupted Egg.

Razorgore the Untamed

Razoregore the Untamed.

I started out with my mage. After 2 tries, I had to switch to my hunter. After the Egg gets to 4 health it hatches into a 7/3 dragon.

Corrupted Egg

Corrupted Egg. Don’t let it hatch into a Dragon.

Razorgore no more.

Razoregore tamed

Razorgore defeated.

Revenge Reward. This 2 mana spell deals 1 damage to all minions; if you have 12 or less health, deal 3 damage instead.

Revenge Reward


Vaelastrasz the Corrupt. His hero power: for 0 mana, both players draw 2 cards. Shenanigans ahead.

Vaelastrasz The Corrupt (2)

Vaelastrasz the Corrupt.

Started up with my mage deck but had too many high mana cards. Decided to make a rogue deck for this special occasion.

Vaelastrasz the Un-Corrupt

Vaelastrasz defeated.

Flamewaker Reward. The Flamewaker is a 2/4 Mage minion with an interesting ability: After you cast a spell, deal 2 damage randomly split among all enemies.

Flamewaker Reward

Flamewaker reward. I keep wanting to type Flamewalker. I do not know why…

Chromaggus. His hero power: for 0 mana add a Brood Afflicion card to your opponents hand. Hijinks ensue.



The Brood Affliction card is an interesting mechanic. There are at least 4 different ones. This one restores 2 health to your opponent at the start of your turn. It costs 1 mana to play (get rid of) and counts as a spell. Enjoy!

Brood Affliction

Have a Brood Affliction card. It’s free!

I had to switch to my Warlock deck to dispatch Chromaggus. It still felt good though.

Cromaggus defeated

Chromaggus defeated.

Hungry Dragon reward. The Hungry Dragon is a 5/6 minion with a Battlecry: Give your opponent a random 1-cost minion. An interesting card for 4 mana.

Hungry Dragon

Hungry Dragon reward. If you’re hungry and you know it, clap your hands!

Lord Victor Nefarius. His hero power: for 1 mana: Let the games begin!

Lord Victor Nefarius

Lord Victor Nefarius…

There are games aplenty. Nefarius, aptly named–reveals his true nature: 30 armor, infinite mana (capped at 10) and a hero power that adds a random spell of your opponents class for 1 mana.


The real Nefarius.

Thankfully, Ragnaros cheats for us. It’s probably over-the-top. Living Lava is one of several cards he gives you that cost 0 mana. This one is a 6/6 minion with Taunt.

Ragnaros cheats for you

Living Lava. Just one of many free cheat-cards we get from Uncle Rags!

Nefarius cries as he is defeated. It was so easy with Ragnaros’ help–I took no damage.

Nefarius cries

Nefarius defeated.

Fireguard Destroyer Reward. This is a 3/6 Shaman minion with a Battlecry: Gain 1-4 attack. Overload (1).

Fireguard Destroyer

Fireguard Destroyer reward.

Chromaggus Legendary reward. This is a 6/8 Legendary minion with an ability: Whenever you draw a card, put another copy into your hand. Prepare to see this one a lot.

Chromaggus Legendary

Chromaggus Legendary reward.

Clearing Blackwing Lair also unlocks the Warlock and Rogue Class Challenges.

Warlock and Rogue Class Challenges Unlocked

Warlock and Rogue Class Challenges Unlocked.

I took out the Warlock Class challenge without incident. It got pretty crazy at the end, actually. I had my side of the board full for most of the game.

Warlock Class challenge completed

Warlock Class Challenge completed.

Demonwrath reward. Demonwrath is a Warlock spell that deals 2 damage to all non-Demon minions. Sounds neat for 3 mana.

Demonwrath reward

Demonwrath reward.

Rogue Class Challenge was pretty easy too. I’m not 100% but it seemed like I was getting more than 2 of each card. At least Gang UP. Ended up stuffing 6 copies of Van Cleef away for safe keeping. As you can see, the fight only lasted 6 rounds.

Rogue CC defeated

Rogue Class Challenge completed.

Dark Iron Skulker reward. The Dark Iron Skulker is a 4/3 Rogue minion with a Battlecry that does 2 damage to all undamaged enemy minions. Pretty powerful if you ask me. Kind of like a Consecration that leaves behind a 4/3 minion. I got plans for this one.

Dark Iron Skulker reward

Dark Iron Skulker reward.

Four wings down. One wing left to go. See you guys next week for the final installment of This Week in Blackrock Mountain!

Other wings:


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NFL schedule drama: Primetime edition

The NFL released it’s 2015 schedule Tuesday night and there are some really good matchups. In this post, we will take a look at the “prime time” matchups.

Week 1: Steelers at Patriots- Right off the bat we get a treat on Thursday Night football. Brady vs Big Ben. Belichick vs Tomlin. It really doesn’t get much better.

Week 2: Seahawks at Packers- Not really a revenge game, since this one won’t knock anyone out of the playoffs. Still, these two teams have kind of a history now. This time it’s in Aaron’s neighborhood.

Week 6: Patriots at Colts- Andrew Luck taking on the defending champs. Not bad. Plus there is the whole “Colts ratted out the Patriots” angle from last season. This time it’s at Lucas Oil Stadium. Keep your balls properly inflated.

Week 8: Packers at Broncos- Always a good time when two high level teams meet up. Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers are two of the best. Will this be a Super Bowl preview?

Week 9: Bears at Chargers- I highlighted this one on my “Bears edition“. If Rivers and Cutler are both QBing for their respective teams, there is always that to watch. It’s probably not as fiery as it was when they were in the same division.

Week 10: Bills at Jets- Rex Ryan takes his new team back to his old stadium. This clash should take place on Sunday or Monday night, instead we have to put up with it on Thursday night. I’m sure Rex will have his team ready to go.

Week 12: Patriots at Broncos- These have been some of the funnest games to watch over the last 2-3 years. Hopefully the two teams are fully healthy for this bout. The Broncos are without their former coach John Fox, which may or may not be a factor.

Week 13: Colts at Steelers- Luck vs Big Ben. Pagano vs Tomlin. Has all the earmarks of a titanic battle.

Week 16: Steelers at Ravens- This game will likely have playoff implications. No love lost between these two organizations. Tomlin and Harbaugh are two of the best coaches in the league. A great way to end the Sunday Night Football season.

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NFL schedule drama: Chicago Bears edition

Tuesday night the NFL released their 2015 regular season schedule, so I thought I would go over the Bears schedule before I sink my teeth into the national lineup.

Week 1: Packers- Right out of the gate, the Bears draw their most hated rival, the Green Bay Packers. It’s good to get them early, but be careful what you wish for. As long as Aaron Rodgers is in the neighborhood, it’s going to be tough.

Week 3: At Seahawks- This will be a test to see how much they improved. Last year the Bears and Seahawks hooked up in the 3rd preseason game and the results were not pretty. This time it counts in the W/L category.

Week 9: At Chargers- Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers have had a fiery relationship, going back to Jay’s time with Denver. Provided that both QBs are still starting for their respective teams, this should be interesting.

Week 11: Broncos: Head coach John Fox gets a crack at his former team. If Peyton Manning is still playing at a high level, this will be an interesting grudge match.

Week 12: At Packers- The Bears head north to take on their bitter division rival on Thanksgiving night. You have plenty of time to digest that food before anything bad can happen!

Week 13: 49ers- The San Francisco 49ers come to town. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio gets to go against his former team. You know, the one that fired Harbaugh and sent most of the staff packing. This should be a good one.

Week 16: At Buccaneers- Lovie Bowl part 2. Possibly with Jameis Winston at QB. Can’t get much jucier than that.

So there it is, almost half their games have some real good potential for drama. Like anything though, each team’s season doesn’t always work out the way you think it will.

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Chicago mourns the loss of another icon

Douglas John Buffone was not a native to Chicago. He was born in Yatesboro, Pennsylvania. He went to University of Louisville and was drafted by the Chicago Bears, where he played the entirety of his pro football career. It was there that he became the icon he was. It wasn’t for playing football though, like so many former stars, it was the person and his larger than life personality.

Like Harry Caray, Minnie Minoso or even Ernie Banks, Doug Buffone captured the essence of the everyman–the fan. His passion for not only football, but nearly every aspect of life seeped through his pores. I kid you not. I never met the man, but I listened to him intently on 670 AM WSCR The Score radio. When I first started listening he was paired up with Dan Jiggetts, another great human being, and former Chicago Bear. Doug Buffone also did the Chicago Bears post game on The Score alongside longtime Bear Ed O’Bradovich.

A few minutes after a Bears game was all it took to be hooked on a very special feeling. Doug and “OB” (as O’Bradovich was affectionately called) lit into the Bears or on rare occasions, gave praise, their emotions permeated the radio waves. If the Bears stunk, you wanted to listen. If the Bears did well, you also wanted to listen. The duo had tremendous insight and analysis that very few could verbalize. There was also the bone-biting honesty. Come hell or high water, you knew exactly how they felt. They didn’t always agree, and that just led to the magic.

It wasn’t just football though, Doug had a story for every day of the week. He talked about other sports just as passionately. He spoke of his family, going out to the movies and of course there was his “Big Doug” bit where he picked winners of other sports events including football. Most of the time, I would end up with tears in my eyes or my stomach cramping up from laughing.

It especially hurts after having lost one of my own close friends last December. I suppose after that, you become sensitive to such things. On Monday the 20th of April, 2015 everyone lost an uncle. Most of us lost a friend we have never met. His family lost a dear man and family member. Chicago lost another icon. Doug Buffone–you will be missed but you will not be forgotten.

Thanks to the Chicago Bears, Jarrett Payton and John Buffone for sharing your words and pictures via Twitter. Special thanks to WSCR 670 am for sharing all the great memories and making this easier than it should be.

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Taking advantage of the Treasure hunter trait

Warlords of Draenor has been out 6 months now and Garrisons is the main feature of this expansion. I wrote about how to get started with your followers on alliance side. Now I will pass some more advice on to you: Forget all that stuff!

It’s nice to get some followers early, and you never know what traits they will end up with. I’m here to tell you that the Treasure Hunter trait is where it’s at. Especially when you start to get missions for gold. Each follower you send on that mission will double the gold.

Sergeant Crowler Garrison Quartermaster

The Garrison Quartermaster is right outside your level 2 Town Hall.

What’s even cooler is, when you can get a level 2 inn, you can recruit followers who already have this lovely trait, and replace some of the scrubs you might have. In addition to that, visit Sergeant Crowler (alliance side) in your level two Garrison and you can purchase tokens to retrain abilities or traits separately. Why is this important? It let’s you cherry pick abilities or traits before the follower get’s to epic and get’s their second ability. This is especially great for alts who you only plan on running missions with.

It’s also my belief that you should get a good amount (6-10) followers to epic and level 100 before you start leveling their gear. That’s probably another post.

So take advantage of the inn, and get rid of those unwanted abilities and traits with the good Sergeant Crowley. You will be well on your way to stacking treasure hunter traits and lining your pockets with virtual gold!

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10 actors you don’t know, but should

I was a little late to the part on The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Both hit shows produce some very good actors and actresses. Another favorite show, Justifed just ended last Tuesday, that was another source of great acting. Don’t take my word for it, go check it out.

Walton Goggins– The main bad guy in Justified-Boyd Crowder. I didn’t know who he was before I started watching the show. Brilliant, brilliant actor. He made you hate him, then love him, then love to hate him. This will be a recurring theme throughout this list.

Coby Bell– He was on another one of my favorite shows, Burn Notice. He also stars in The Game. I’d love to see him in his own series or a Burn Notice spinoff with Bruce Campbell.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau– Or as you probably know him: Jaime Lannister. This brilliant actor had most of us hating him for the better part of 3 years, then loving him. Sure, part of it was writing, but he has the charm and the chops to pull it off. It’s the actors who bring life to the roles.

Aldis Hodge– He played the quirky computer specialist on the hit show Leverage. He was even in an episode of The Walking Dead. Leverage was a great show. I especially liked how the characters would branch off and do different accents/roles from time to time. It really showcased the cast’s diversity, which was a lot of fun.

Joelle Carter– Another great actor from the hit series, Justified. Joelle played Ava Crowder. Her depth and range were showed week in and week out, especially in the final season. She could light up the screen with a smile or bring you to tears in the blink of an eye.

Peter Dinklage– Okay, you probably know who he is unless you don’t watch Game of Thrones or live in a cave. As Tyrion Lannister, he started out as a real sarcastic and vicious antihero type. Like Jaime Lannister, as the show goes on we see different sides of the man and character. Dinklage has been in other films such as Chronicles of Narnia and on the cable show Nip/Tuck but really shines in HBO’s Game of Thrones. If you haven’t yet, check out the series.

Danai Gurira– Better known as the sword wielding “samurai”, Michonne on the AMC series, The Walking Dead. Danai is a complex lady who brings it every episode on the Walking Dead. Last season we got to see some different sides of her and it was really well done. Can’t wait to see more of her this fall!

Maisie WilliamsРShe plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. Arya has been through a lot on the show, and I am guessing Maisie has paralleled that in some ways. As she has grown up off screen her character is forced to  rapidly grow up on screen. For someone so young, she pulls it off with the grace of a veteran actor.

Chad L. Coleman– Kind of a cross between Danny Glover and Brian Dennehy, this charismatic man is the proverbial “gentle giant”. He played Tyreese on the hit series The Walking Dead and was known for his soft spoken nature. He showed a power and rage at times too. A very complex and rich job, done very well. I look forward to his future projects.

Lennie James– He’s only been on like three episodes of the Walking Dead, but man has he made an impact. As Morgan, we got to see him in episode one, then not again until season 3. We were teased by his presence from the end of season 4 all the way to the end of season 5. It was worth the wait. Lennie James then made an appearance on Talking Dead where we learned he was a Brit! Can’t wait to see where his character goes in season six this fall!

I could go on and on, all these shows, especially The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have a superior collection of talent. I imagine it is a lot like iron sharpening iron week in and week out. If you have not caught one of these series, please, do yourself a favor and check them out. That’s it for now, I hope you enjoyed this list!

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