Brawl of the Week: Top – 2 Standard

This week’s Tavern Brawl is one we have had a few times, in one variation or another. I think it started out with a 3-card deck, then two. It’s usually a “Wild” match, but this time it’s standard rules. Which might be a good thing, because the other way could get nasty.

So, I picked the mage. I didn’t think a whole lot on it. I went with the Mana Wyrm, and Frostbolt. I think ran into probably the best possible combo for my deck: A druid trying to “mill” me. If you don’t know what milling is, it is simply running you out of cards. It’s a slow and painful death, but in the current scheme of things, I am not sure it can be done. Some of the best “mill” cards have been retired.

Anyways, my opponent got out quick. I got my free pack, and here I am talking to you! So get on in there, and have some fun. See what kind of wacky creations you can come up with. I’m sure by early evening there will be some wicked decks being played. See you next week!

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Brawl of the Week: Everybunny Get In Here!

This week’s Tavern Brawl is a clever play on words: Everybunny get in here! It’s a new brawl just in time for…Nobel Garden? Not sure if this is a glitch or what, but I got 2 free cards for logging in. I can’t remember if we had a Noble Garden brawl this year, but I’ll take it.

You get a deck full of random class cards, and every turn a “Noble Garden Egg” appears on your board. The egg has stealth and next round “hatches” into something cool. You also get “Dye” cards that have various buffs on them. I kept 1 dye card then swapped out my other two starting cards. Ended up getting a secret, so that was cool.

My opponent ignored some of my early minions which puzzled me, and also led me to dominate the board throughout the contest. I thank you dear opponent for that.

It seemed like it was pretty even midway through, then I locked them down pretty good. They ran out of cards to play, and conceded. Ah well. That’s how it goes sometimes.

This brawl seems kind of fun. It’s random, but there are the “Dye” cards that let you mix things up. So get on in there and have a blast. Make sure to pick up that free pack on your first win. I will see you next week!

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Is it time for Maddon to go back batting the pitcher 8th?

The Cubs are back to their streaky selves when it comes to offense. I’m not going to throw a lot of numbers at you but over the last 9 games or so, they have scored under 3 runs in each contest. Not surprisingly, they have lost the last 3 games. Joe loves to tinker with his lineup, perhaps it’s time to break out batting the pitcher in the 8th spot. Here’s why:

If he is going to keep Bryant in the 2-hole, more often than not, he will only have 1 runner on at any given time–the lead-off hitter, or maybe the 8th batter, with at least one out. That’s not really optimal. Bryant is a slugger. He hits a lot of doubles, and a lot of homers. That’s wasted potential if you ask me. Either moving him up, or moving the pitcher down would allow him to have more runners on when he comes to bat.

Currently, Bryant is sitting on 12 runs batted in, while Baez, who for a long time was batting 8th, has 26 RBIs. Jason Heyward has 14 RBI’s, and Kyle Schwarber has 17. In fairness, Bryant missed 4 games after he was hit in the head by Colorado. I think the change is simple, even elementary. The more batters in front of you, the greater chance to hit those runners in. Right now, if Maddon keeps Bryant batting second, he’s just not going to have those opportunities–unless he moves the pitcher down.

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Bears 2018 NFL Draft Recap

The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books. The Bears will host a rookie Mini camp in 2 weeks. We will then get our first look at the newest players to join the Bears. Let’s see who they got!

Round one: Roquan Smith, Linebacker: Georgia- If you watched any Georgia games this year there is little doubt you missed this speedy linebacker. He shows up everywhere “on tape”, and on the field. Whether he is making tackles for loss, shutting down running plays, or breaking up pass plays over the middle, this guy is everywhere. A tad undersized, at 6′, 236 lbs, he has room to get a little bigger without losing speed. He has all the intangibles you want, and knows the game inside and out. Solid pick for Ryan Pace and his team. I compare Smith to a player already on the Bears: Danny Trevathon. He may even be a little faster. If that is his “floor” the Bears will have a heck of a player. If he exceeds that, the Bears will have another hall of fame linebacker.

Round two: James Daniels, Center: Iowa- I will be honest, I know nothing about James Daniels. The fact that he is a center is nice, and comes from a program that puts out stud lineman, and well-coached players. The Bears plan is to start him at guard and “cross-train” him at center sounds nice. He may or may not start the season as a starter on the offensive line. Could be a good pick, but the Bears passed up a lot of talent, including: wide receiver Courtland Sutton, Edge rusher Harold Landry, and cornerback Josh Jackson, all which could have helped bigtime.

Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver: Memphis- The Bears traded a 2nd round pick in 2019, and their own 4th round pick from this year (they had 2) to get back into the 2nd round and select Miller. As a wide receiver, Miller is undersized at 5’11, 190 lbs, and is built more like a running back. He has good speed, and does his best work after the catch. He is somewhat in the mold of a Steve Smith type player. Smith however was a little thicker, and was tough as they come. It remains to be seen how Miller will work out, he already has had a couple injuries, including a foot injury that held him out in 2014. Miller also missed the Senior Bowl with a similar injury.

The Bears had no 3rd round pick as they traded it away last year to move up and select Mitch Trubisky.

Fourth Round: Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Linebacker: Western Kentucky- Another player I know nothing about. Joel will probably have to start out on special teams and work his way into the lineup.

Fifth Round: Bilal Nichols, Defensive End: Delaware- Returning theme with this player from Delaware. Bears trying to upgrade the bottom of the roster, and strengthen special teams.

Sixth Round: Kylie Fitts, Edge: Utah- Fitts will no doubt be another player fighting to make the roster on special teams. I had hoped the Bears would have addressed the Edge position earlier in the draft. Perhaps Kylie can be that special player who someday cracks the starting lineup. Let’s hope.

Seventh Round: Javon Wims, Wide Receiver: Georgia- I didn’t know Wims, but I’m sure I have seen him in the two games I watched from Georgia this season. I then watched his highlight reel the Bears had put together and I can say I am genuinely excited for this player, and young man. At 6’3, and 215 lbs, he has NFL size. He also ran in the low 4.5s at the NFL combine. He reminds me a lot of former Bear Cameron Meredith. Wims will be a longshot, but he has size and speed going for him. All he has to do now is work hard and stay healthy.

Like many drafts, you can’t really tell much before players even suit up and take the field. That said, it puzzles me a bit at the amount of talent the Bears seemed to have “left on the table”. Players like Courtland Sutton, Harold Landry, and Josh Jackson. I had also hoped the Bears would be the team who drafted Shaqeum Griffin. I am really excited to see all the new players at training camp in Bourbonnais this summer.

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Brawl of the Week: A Witchy Recipe

This week’s Tavern Brawl is one we have had before: A Witchy Recipe: Chose a class and get one of the new deck “recipes”. If you have never check out deck recipes, they are in your “collection” when you look through your cards.

A deck recipe is a premade deck that follows strategies, and synergies for the current meta. Some examples are “Zoo Lock”, “Tempo Mage”, or “Face Hunter”. I always check out recipes to see how many cards I have (it will tell you), and which ones I need. I strongly recommend checking these out, and trying them. If nothing else, they give you ideas of how to make your own decks.

I went with the mage, because that’s what I do! Actually, I wanted to check out the mage recipe. There is still a lot of RNG but having the recipe at least follows a strategy/synergy, so it takes the sting out.

I got a pretty good start, but as you can see my opponent is playing a mage (and probably the same deck/reicpe) too. Which is totally annoying!

I was able to “out draw” my opponent, and keep some tough cards on the board. Eventually, my opponent saw the writing on the wall, and it spelled “DOOM”. Hahaha.

Seriously though, get in there and try out all the deck recipes. That is what I am going to do. You can get most, if not all your dailies done. Pick up that free pack, and have fun. See you next week!

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Fantasy Impact: 2018 NFL Mock Draft (17-32)

Part two of my NFL Mock draft from a Fantasy Football perspective. Let’s get right into it. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the video posted below. As with (1-16), feel free to enjoy your favorite beverage with it!

(Including this song because I love Gone in 60 seconds, but had NO idea that this song was by Moby. Now you do too!)

17. Chargers: Mike McGlinchey, OL: Notre Dame- The Chargers could go offense or defense. I always like to see offensive teams add offense. Rivers and/or the next QB could always use more protection. They have a decent receiving corps, and a great running back. Maybe they could add a young TE, but maybe in R2 or R3. If they go defense, I could see Hughes or maybe a player like Harold Landry.

18. Seahawks: Nick Chubb, RB: Georgia- They will probably go after a CB like Hughes, but they really could use a solid RB to help take pressure off Russell Wilson. Sony Michel or Guice could be more to their liking.

19. Cowboys: Courtland Sutton, WR: SMU- Cowboys need another solid receiver no matter what happens to Dez (and we now know Dez was released). Sutton is a big target, much like Dez Bryant. Pairing these guys (and we now know that won’t happen) could be quite spectacular. That said, a CB, or Edge rusher could appeal to Dallas as well.

20. Lions: Sony Michel, RB: Georgia- The Lions have not rushed the ball even at an average level in the past 8-10 years. With Matt Patricia as the new sheriff in town, they could easily go for defense. However, Patricia could do more with less at that position, and might want to take a year to really feel out the roster.

21. Bengals: Jaire Alexander, CB: Louisville- Bengals need some help on defense. They could probably go several different areas, including a future QB like Mason Rudolpf. Don’t be surprised.

22. Bills: Kolton Miller, OL: UCLA- If the Bills take a QB with their first pick, and still keep this one, they should probably use it to bolster the offensive line. I believe they even traded their starting left tackle at the start of the new league year. Look for them to get help at RB and WR in later rounds.

23. Patriots: Lamar Jackson, QB: Louisville- I’m kind of having fun with this pick. I know Jackson is going somewhere in round 1. Could be really anywhere from 15 to 32 (trade, not the Eagles taking him). The Patriots need playmakers at the WR position, and could use a backup plan for Gronk. I could see them bolstering the defensive backfield. Wouldn’t it be cool for Belichick to grab a player like Lamar, and hand him over to Josh McDaniels? If anyone could do it, those guys could. He’s drafted athletic QBs in the past.

24. Panthers: Derrius Guice, RB: LSU- I think the panthers need a lot more on offense. Another WR, maybe even Greg Olsen’s future replacement. I’m going with consensus on this one, and that seems like running back. Would not be illogical to add another corner to their backfield if they are going best player available. Perhaps the Steelers, or someone looking for a QB, could trade up here.

25. Titans: Arden Key, Edge: LSU- Key is really raw, but has some explosiveness. He might be a year or two off. Whatever he can give the Titans will be much appreciated. Perhaps they might want to get a little younger at tight end. This would be a great year for it.

26. Saints: Hayden Hurst, TE: South Carolina- I’ll be honest, I had a surprisingly hard time with this pick. I could have taken the easy road and said WR. They need a little speed at that position. I also think they could upgrade their O-line, or LB corps. Maybe a raw edge rusher. Then I thought, tight end would make a lot of damn sense. Especially in a year where there are some good ones. That fact could have them looking in round two, especially if they decide to grab a QB for the future.

27. Falcons: DJ Moore, WR: Maryland- I would like to see a solid #2 emerge across the often injured Julio Jones.

28. Steelers: Mason Rudolph, QB: Oklahoma St.- Either the Steelers take him at 28, or someone else (Browns, Giants, or a team trading up) takes him at the top of round 2. I think this guy will be one of the best quarterbacks coming out of this draft. Who better to sit behind, than one of the top QBs in Ben Roethlisberger? Steelers might have to trade up a few picks to get their man.

29. Jaguars: Mike Hughes, CB: UCF- They add another talented CB to pair with Jalen Ramsey, and suddenly that pass rush gets a little better. They could always add another WR to replace the two they lost in free agency, but the money they gave Marquise Lee, and Donte Moncrief might tell they are done with that position.

30. Vikings: Christian Kirk, WR: Texas A&M- Overall team speed, especially on offense. A luxury for a team that has it all. Could also see them going CB, because their defensive backfield isn’t the youngest.

31. Patriots: Mike Gesicki, TE: Penn State- Personally, I think Gesicki drops too many balls, but I have only seen 2 games he played in. The Patriots are very needy in the pass catching department, having lost 2 WRs in the offseason. Factor in Gronk’s possible retirement, seems like TE or WR is the place they go.

32. Eagles: Dallas Goedert, TE: SDSU- Wouldn’t it be neat if the Eagles had a player named ‘Dallas’? I had a hard time deciding between him and running back Rashaad Penny. Penny shined at the Senior Bowl, and would help the Eagles out on offense. Either player would make a lot of sense to me. I could also see them trade down to a team who might want to grab a falling player ahead of the top few in the next round. This draft is pretty deep top 40-48, and the Eagles are still pretty solid as defending champs.

This was a lot of fun to put together. Hope you all enjoyed some of the madness. We’ll see how it all shakes down in less than a week!

Picks (1-16)

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Brawl of the Week: Idols of Azeroth (again)

This week’s Brawl is one we have had a few times: Idols of Azeroth. You pick a class and it’s filled with the card of the same name. For 1 mana, cast the spell that let’s you “Discover” either a spell or a minion. From there, RNG takes over. At least you can go offense or defense.

So, I picked the Priest, mainly because I had a quest to win a game with a priest. Simple as that. As far as strategy goes, I try to get a couple minions before I go digging for spells.

The battle was fairly one-sided early. I couldn’t really do much to my opponent. I did “dig out” some healy spells, so that was nice. Eventually. I had a couple big hitters, and my opponent “opted” out.

This is a timely brawl for people with limited playing time, and libraries. It evens the playing field vs players who might have opened 100+ packs, and/or crafted several legendaries. So get in there, have some fun and win that free pack. I will see you next week!

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