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Let's talk about the mind tricks and psychological warfare being waged by cheaters, hackers, and RMT vendors in Tarkov, and what we can do about it. This is a long post, but Tarkov is worth it, and a TL;DR is provided at the top.
Edit: There's obviously big money at stake as I started receiving death threats the moment this post hit the front page on hot. Be careful with your personal info and probably best to avoid commenting here if you have doxxable details on your reddit account. Stay safe, it's just a game and not worth it. TL;DR:
Tarkov is a crazy wild game with a bunch of people running around trying to do weird things. Remember that bizarre outcomes are just as likely (if not more) to be happenstance than suspicious behavior. Don't let others gaslight you into thinking every encounter is a hacker or cheater.
Cheat sellers, RMT vendors, and their customers, all want to push the narrative that rule-breaking is far more common than it actually is, and that the game developers are ruining the game so you may as well just hack/cheat yourself to level the playing field. It's great for business as a seller, and it helps rationalize malicious actions as a customer. Spreading paranoia, mass outrage, and undermining the developers are CIA-level tactics to sow chaos and anarchy that benefits bad actors at the cost of everyone else.
The best thing we can do is silence attempts by bad actors and focus on productive, positive discussions in Tarkov and let BSG (who are the only people who can do anything) do their jobs. They spend 65% of their resources on crushing bad actors and their profit margins, so this isn't an issue that's flying under their radar. As a community, the best voice we have against malicious behavior is deafening silence to starve it of attention and free publicity, minimizing the chances that they can sow enough fear and angst to radicalize players to get more customers.
--- First off, the point of this discussion is not to debate how prevalent cheating in Tarkov is. This sub already has more than enough speculation on that topic and as you read further along you'll see that letting fear and paranoia fester is exactly what bad faith agents in Tarkov want. Wherever you have competition, you're going to have cheating. Whether it's Tarkov, Olympic sports, or the stock market. As long as there is competition, there will always be someone who looks to gain an unfair edge, and it doesn't even matter if it's something as mundane and trivial as online chess, there's always going to be that guy who runs their opponents moves into a grandmaster-level AI because their enjoyment comes from that win at any cost. However, despite the fact that bad faith competition exists in nearly every facet of life, it seems like the Tarkov community is far more paralyzed by fear, anger, and suspicion than any other competitive forum. Why is this?
The game design makes it exceedingly difficult to discern bad faith actions from legitimate play. A naked level 1 with a TT pistol can accidentally get a lucky hipfire shot that instantly kills a fully kitted veteran who is highly skilled in the game. The incredibly punishing nature of the game also makes it so that deaths are highly impactful, which makes it difficult to "let go" of trying to figure out what went wrong. All put together, it means that players are forced to simply accept highly punishing deaths without being given any insight or explanation on how they were killed. 20 headshots with an R99 SMG in Apex Legends is incredibly obvious aimbotting. But in Tarkov, the fight is over with just 1, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions with no satisfying answers.
Because the shared raid map system that Tarkov uses, players have a wide variety of objectives that lead to very differing goals, resulting in bizarre interactions where the original intentions of other other players is unclear. Someone who's hiding in a raid to wait for the violence to die down could be stumbled upon by some other person who is completely lost trying to find a quest objective, or wandering around exploring an obscure area trying to find easter eggs. From the vantage point of the hider, it seems suspicious they were hunted down by someone who had no reason to legitimately to hunt in the location that they were. In other words, players will frequently run into other players acting in inexplicable ways that can be easily misattributed to malice when it was just as likely to be happenstance.
The lack of SBMM (skills-based matchmaking) means that all players are drawn from the same pool when forming raids. This means a complete new player to FPS genre entirely could be running face first into the most skilled players in the entire game. When the competition spans the entirety of the skill curve, it's incredibly difficult to know what is going on because player actions are often contrary to expectations of others. Chaos makes it easy to be suspicious about bad faith play because nobody is acting "logically" from each perspective. Naive players may charge in aggressively in silly ways that end up working by sheer luck that more experienced players will assume would only be as a result of unfair information. A very high skill player can take fights that they win with superior mechanics that most would assume you would only engage because of unfair aim.
The point is, this game is designed to breed suspicion, paranoia, and fear. Which is great in one way, because it's what makes it so exciting and fun to play. However, when channeled in the wrong way, is a serious problem because it's exactly what bad faith actors want. Let's think about various actors in Tarkov, and ask the question, "do they want people to believe that rule breaking is more or less prevalent than it actually is?"
CHEAT SELLERS: MORE
Because the narrative is, everyone is cheating, the game is unfair no matter what, every raid you load into has someone that is map-hacking, every fight you take is against someone who is aim-botting. Therefore, you should consider picking up some little helpers yourself to make it fair again, or be a naive idiot that willingly plays at a disadvantage while everyone else is using hacks. The idea that literally cheaters and hackers are infesting every single raid is probably the best possible sales pitch a cheat seller could have. The few instances of cheating leads to fear and paranoia festering, prompting more people on the fringe to consider cheating themselves, leading to more cheating, more fear, more paranoia, more business.
RMT VENDORS: MORE
Because the narrative is, this game is filled with cheaters anyway, half the lobby is people who bought stuff with mom's credit card, and Nikita is setting out to personally reduce your happiness in life and the game is unrewarding and unplayable for a normal legitimate player that doesn't hack or make a full-time job out of Tarkov. Why bother doing all the pointless stupid grinds while you're dying 50 raids in a row to hackers or someone who bought all their gear with their credit card, when you can just buy a few little cheeki Roubles from the side and get to having fun in the game? Negativity and toxicity toward both the existence of other bad faith players, as well as toward the game design itself, is inherently the best possible environment for a thriving RMT system. This is especially perfect for Tarkov because unlike other MMORPGs, it's much more likely that incremental changes will be more brutal rather than having power creep / loot creep / money creep, which fuels despair and more interest in RMT.
CHEAT/RMT USERS: MORE
This one is simple. If they can convince everyone that it's more common than it actually is, the more they can rationalize their own behavior. It's not that bad, everyone else is doing it anyway! Besides, it's not even that big of an advantage, some other cheaters cheat even harder! Some of you may have seen a recent thread where one individual texted "lmao I'm gonna turn off cheats for this group though, cuz these guys play legit." As if playing legit was actually the minority situation for a massively mainstream FPS game. Zzz.
THE AVERAGE PLAYER LIKE YOU AND ME: ?
It is human nature to rationalize defeat. When you face down failure with no explanation on why like in Tarkov, it's tempting to blame cheaters, hackers, etc. Different games often have different ways of rationalizing defeat. In team games like Overwatch or League of Legends, teammate-blaming is common to offload the burden onto random strangers. In solo matchup games like Starcraft II, race balance is often used by players who are frustrated that they lost. What's even more, these other games do an excellent job of explaining where you could have done better, but players will still look for ways to blame someone other than themselves. It's no surprise that in Tarkov, fear and suspicion of bad faith gameplay exists. The problem is, if we allow ourselves to be tempted to err toward the side of suspicion, to blame negative outcomes on the belief in rampant cheaters, hackers, etc., then we are aligning ourselves to the same narrative that bad faith actors like cheat sellers and RMT vendors want to push. We allow ourselves to be corrupted with the idea of "this game is bullshit, everyone else in the game is not playing fairly, why do I even bother trying?" This is a dangerous mindset because it fuels a toxic narrative that "this game is never going to be fair to me, the devs don't care, the game is becoming less and less fun for me, I should just quit if I'm not going to cheat myself." Let me be clear, I'm not saying that toxicity itself will convert an entire playerbase into cheaters. In fact, I think it has a minimal impact at a high level perspective because there just aren't that many people that are willing to traverse to the disreputable ends of the internet and take risks just to gain some internet points. However, even a 1% cheating rate to 3% cheating rate is a 300% proportional magnitude in the profitability of selling cheats or RMT vending. And more importantly, it significantly damages the enjoyment and integrity of the community at large. You can see clear evidence of bad faith actors in this subreddit. There have been several threads in this subreddit just in the past few days that have reached the front page claiming 1) false bans are rampant, Nikita should just let RMT be 2) hello I am bob, I am hacker all day, you should hack too because literally it's everywhere you don't even KNOW, btw PM me for cheap hacks 3) xyz devs are ruining the game, why stop RMT/hacks, just let it go, you're DESTROYING THE GAME, STOP DOING THAT BSG!. I'm not going to say any individual thread (even though many examples have been debunked) are complete bullshit. I'm just going to say that the narrative of these threads is completely aligned with individuals who are lobbying to protect their interests in making a profit out of bad faith play.
What can you do to stop this?
It starts with the self.
When you get an incredibly lucky clutch/kill, remember it for yourself, and use it as a reminder as to how fickle this game can be. Think about how your opponent must be so confused/suspicious about what you got away with.
When you yourself are on the receiving end of that ridiculous death, remind yourself of all the times where you were on the other side. Make your default reaction be "damn, Tarkov is crazy" rather than "I bet that was hacking 100%." Remember how easily flukes can occur, and how easily luck could be conflated with cheating.
Focus on learning and improving in a game where there is endless room to get better, something that is irrelevant to whether some minority of players chooses to play unfairly.
Encourage productive discussions, positive mentalities, and discourageDESTRUCTIVE SPECULATIONand toxic attitudes.
Upvote threads that discuss legitimate aspects of the game, whether it's discussions on strategies, advice on how to get better, or general productive discussions that are within our control as regular players.
Downvote threads that revolve around discussing cheating, hacking, or a bullshit "Reddit expert panel" of trying to speculate whether gameplay footage was legitimate or not, especially when there is a lack of context on user lag/latency, frames, system specs, server issues, date stamps, etc.
Upvote threads that explain technical nuances known to impact Tarkov gameplay, e.g. desync bullets resulting in apparently unkillable players, etc.
Downvote threads that attempt to sow paranoia in masses of players that have nothing to do with anti-cheating efforts. At best, they are attention-seeking threads made by users to profit infamy at the cost of community integrity. At worst, they are propagandized pieces designed to undermine faith in the developers and increase the temptation to use black market cheats/services and perpetuate a death spiral.
Downvote threads that attempt to induct mass outrage against developers. When someone says "they nerfed X, this is bullshit, we should all just RMT now," it could be from legitimate upset players, but keep in mind that it's also perfectly aligned with exactly the type of agenda that bad faith actors have. Remember that the best thing that malicious actors can do is to pit the player base against the developers so they can create a lawless wasteland to do business undisturbed.
BSG has shown an exemplary degree of interaction with this community. Always wait for an official response before jumping to conclusions.
Go try making a thread about cheating/hacking/boosting in Overwatch or Apex Legends and see how much official response you ever get from developers. This subreddit has been gifted with probably one of the best levels of community engagement from devs you could ask for.
When someone tries to hit the front page with a thread like "I've been falsely banned," track that thread carefully and wait 3-4 days for the official response. If it's anything like 90% of the threads we've seen in the past few days, you're going to see the truth hammer get dropped, providing the poster doesn't delete their own threads/accounts when they're exposed to be full of lies.
Upvote threads that make grandiose claims that are worthwhile for an official response. Then mercilessly scrutinize how events unfold, because 99% of the time, it's always liars that are hoping they can incite a riot as "punishment" for the developers interfering with them than anything else. This is a common occurrence in other communities that have high developer interaction like Old School Runescape, where banned players are known to make top-page threads about being falsely banned, before evidence is provided showing that they are completely full of shit and memes ensue when the truth hammer is dropped.
-- BSG spends 65% of its resources fighting cheaters and RMT and is a developer that has shown endless passion and commitment to its install base. As beta players that are trying to help them develop the best possible game, the best voice we have against bad faith actors in the Tarkov community is deafening silence. Starve them of attention, free marketing, free publicity. Demonstrate that just because they can infect one player, that will not tilt the hundreds of legitimate players into letting themselves surrender and be infected themselves.
It's been a while since I made a big post. Lots of people are still messaging me about the energy sector post, especially for the ENPH tip, so I'm here to show my portfolio. I don't own all companies yet, this is partially hypothetical. I'm holding on to a reasonable cash position for a possible new downturn, but I have starting positions in most companies and will DCA. I will try to keep it summarized, as I have done quite a lot of analysis on each of them. I'll draw the main picture and give the most important arguments for my choices, but I'm not expanding too much. If you're interested, you can DM me to talk about them more. Let me start by saying I'm a growth investor. I always look for a combination of growth with a great track record, if possible at a reasonable price. There are exceptions as you will see below, but the main balance stays the same. I'm not a defensive investor, but no aggressive one either. My timeline is 2-5 years at least (due to a possible start of a small business), but I would gladly hold on to these companies 10+ years. TLDR; For you guys not interested in my portfolio, I've added a short list of interesting smaller cap companies at the end, most of them trading at decent values. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES - $AMD This one is becoming a blue chip, but has more than enough growth potential to live up to those high valuations. Preferred by gamers and beating their biggest competitor in the CPU market hard. While AMD and INTC were close competitors at the beginning of the 21st century, INTC took the lead by a lot. Since 2017, they introduced 7nm CPU's and GPU's and they are closing the gap fast. Not only are their chips more performant, they are also cheaper. Market cap $60B vs $261b. Those next generation chips lead them to new partnerships, often beating INTC. Microsoft, a long time Intel customer, began using AMD chips in their Surface laptops. Lenovo using AMD for their new servers. Nvidia started using the chips in their AI products. AMD is also used by Apple's high-end laptops, while Intel (used in the budget range) will probably get replaced by Apple chips made in-house. Apart from laptops, AMD has government contracts to deliver supercomputers in 2021/2023 and they are used in both PS and XBOX consoles, to give a few examples. For the CPU market, AMD is destined to take over, but they're also taking on NVDA for their GPU's. They have been catching up for years and in 2019 they finally made a better performing GPU in the $350-400 price range. There is a possibility to gain GPU market cap since NVDA has been pushing their prices due to the lack of competition. Therefore, with AMD stepping up their game, they need to give up market share or lower their margins. Financial Assets over liabilities are x1.88. Cash to debt ratio well above industry average, debt to EBITDA well below IA. ROE 17.12% and ROIC 28.06%. Earnings were growing fast before Covid (125% in Q3, 78% in Q4). Yes they're overvalued, but with their future outlook, I would always buy below $49. Doubts Now that they are done catching up, the question is, will they outperform in the future. To gain more market share of Nvidia, they need to be better, not equally good. AMD also needs to control the heating better, as it is one of their long term problems. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MASTERCARD - $MA Fintech companies like SQ and PYPL are a great investment. However, a lot of big companies will (and already did) implement online financial services. MA is able to easily work with multiple of those companies and they're using their global presence pretty well, that's why they're my pick for the fintech industry. They launched Mastercard Accelerate last year, implementing those online paying platforms and letting start-ups take advantage of their global presence to grow and transform very fast. Last year they acquired Ethoca (managing e-commerce fraud) and Vyze (platform to connect merchants with multiple renders, giving them the opportunity to get those financial needs for start-ups). MA is basically helping start-ups to grow faster, which will result in more financial transactions in the future. Last but not least, they like to focus on expanding to countries where there isn't much competition yet. They are expanding their exposure to Middle East and Africa, working with local networks and e-commerce platforms. They are in a strong position to capitalize those regions in the future and take on market leader Visa even more. They get compared a lot to Visa, so I'll expand on that subject a bit as well. While V is focussing on performance and speed, MA plays the cyber security card. They are already working on ways to implement cryptocurrency and Mastercard tend to have more growth potential vs stability from market leader Visa. While V is in the lead, MA is more widely used by fintech companies, which shows potential take-over in the future. Next to their credit services, they also own debit service Maestro, which is widely used in Europe. Financial Returns as high as 150% (ROE) and 60% (ROIC). Very large margins and perfectly stable balance sheet. High EPS growth YoY, 53% and 42% in the last two years. Quick ratio 1.87. V has more assets and even bigger margins, however MA wins in returns and cash. In terms of more growth, I like to focus on those last numbers more. Doubts It's a blue chip at a $300B market cap. Their growth potential might be limited, although I see them as one of the better picks between blue chips. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ENPHASE ENERGY - $ENPH I already talked about solar energy in another post, so I'm gonna skip the explanation. As some of you know my choices were ENPH and SEDG, so I'll explain a bit about why I choose ENPH here. Mainly it's because of their financials, so I'll dive that straight away. Quick ratio - 2.35 vs 1.74 ROE - 142.94% vs 21.51% ROIC - 85.51% vs 25.81% Net margin - 25.81% vs 10.28% However I think SEDG balance sheet is a lot better and safer, ENPH is working on their future more efficient. They are paving the way smoothly with bigger margins and return on investments. Although SEDG might be the better pick right now, ENPH will be the better one in a short while. ENPH is also a bit less overvalued and their PEG ratio is lower, which makes them the better pick to get in right now. Diving into the products as well, ENPH just has the better and more efficient product. Their micro inverters are more durable (20 vs 12 years) and give the chance to increase or decrease the amount of solar panels easily, depending on your personal situation. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- GALAPAGOS - $GLPG I'm not a big fan of biotech companies, but these guys have my attention. Not because they're working on Covid vaccines, but because of two reasons. First one is them getting back-up from Gilead Sciences. That's the push they needed to start operating worldwide, increasing their potential market cap. Now that they have the cash from GILD, they can keep on buying interesting divisions and increase their growth. While having almost no long term debt, they are set pretty well with about $4 billion extra in cash. Second, they have multiple medicines in later trial phases, with Filgotinib as their biggest one. They had a setback on those results, but the company is very confident, giving an opportunity to get them at a decent price. I wouldn't be surprised if they partner up with another big pharmaceutical company in the metabolic disease section. Financial High PE (84 vs 44 average), but PEG ratio is 1.2. Quick ratio 9.28. ROIC 75.91% and ROE 7%. Became profitable this year with 16.25% net margin. 38.7% YoY EPS growth. Doubts Like all biotech players, there's a lot depending on medicines getting through phase trials and being commercialized. If Filgotinib will fail, their stock will obviously fall. However since they are backed by a big US giant, they can commercialize the product faster and on a bigger global scale if trials succeed. That's what gives them the advantage in comparison to other biotech companies for me. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- WALT DISNEY - $DIS This one has got me doubting a lot. I've taken them off and put them back on my list multiple times, but eventually I decided to keep them at least 2 years to see how they will evolve into streaming. Biggest advantage they have on their competitors is they basically have a monopoly on kids entertainment. Kids are growing up with electronic devices and content, so they're creating customers at a very young age. That's how Coca Cola used to work. They targeted 14-16 year olds, dumping loads of money into advertising which resulted in life long customers, as people didn't change cola brands often. Disney+ is a big hit and they won't get so much competition from other streaming services as Netflix and Roku will. They have one of the strongest defined brands out there and they know perfectly how to build and maintain their company. It's also still unclear how sports with public will evolve, but it's certain streaming will become even bigger after Covid. Therefore their money-losing ESPN acquisition could even turn into a moneymaker. Financial I can't really say great things about their financials. ROE is 12.67%, above 10% is decent. Assets over liabilities are x1.85 and debt to equity is 0.61. You could apply the saying "too big to fail' here, but that's about it. The bad financials are mainly caused by their big investment to streaming of course and they're working on it hard. They doubled their cash position, increasing their quick ratio from 0.75 to 0.89. Doubts I would say financials are their weak point here. They still have to go through some bad weather this and next year I would say. Them doubling their cash position in Q1 was soothing, as I see it being the biggest issue for the future. It might be better to wait it out and keep an eye on them for next year, but I wanted to take a position already. Not higher than 8% of my portfolio though. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MICROSOFT - $MSFT They don't really an introduction I guess. 2nd biggest player for cloud services with Azure. Naming Satya Nadella as CEO and making the transition from hardware to software in 2014 were the best decisions they could've made. Acquired the government contract with Pentagon, however there's still uncertainty about it. In short, Amazon is claiming they were about to win the contract, but Trump criticizing the company would've lead to calling off the deal. For me, that's probably the main reason why MSFT didn't fly as high as their fellow cloud competitors yet. Financial Assets over liabilities x1.67. ROE and ROIC respectively at 43.82% and 28.88%. Quick ratio of 2.88, 0.65 debt to equity and 1.86 cash to debt. Decent financials, great returns. Talking about blue chips, I would say MSFT is still fairly valued with a PEG ratio just below industry average. Also paying a small dividend. Doubts The Pentagon contract allegations could be pretty negative for the company. They will probably not come back on their decision, cause if they do, MSFT will claim they already made big investments towards them and things will just keep on dragging on. Even without the contract, MSFT should be a 10 year hold while buying on dips. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - $IIPR Haven't read a lot about them here on Reddit, but they're a very decent investment. Basically, they buy properties from cannabis companies and leases them back to the sellers, giving them the cash they need to grow faster and IIPR keeps the long term advantage of renting out those properties. They need to buy about 6-8 properties a year to keep their growth rate going and they already bought 7 this year. They still have a lot of cash ready to take advantage of the crisis. Not only are they 20% undervalued right now, they have a lot more growth potential after that and on top of it, they pay close to 5% dividend. I'm not a big fan of betting on the best cannabis company for the future, but IIPR is a great buy to have exposure in that industry. It doesn't happen very often I come across a company that combines growth potential with a high dividend, but IIPR does. Financial Quick ratio 6.75, cash to debt 2.8 (while REITs have an 0.07 average). Net margins 13% above average. Assets over liabilities x4.88. Annual EPS growing by more than 150% and about 41% in the last quarter before Covid. They just missed Q1 estimates, but it was only an 8% drop from Q4, performing way better than other REITs. Doubts IIPR has held a lot of new investment rounds, diluting shares. Of course extra capital will result in higher growth and will eventually be positive in the long run. There has been a drop in these last few days due to the announcement of selling 1 million more shares soon. I would look at it as an opportunity to get an even better price on them. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- TELADOC HEALTH - $TDOC It's the only company I don't own yet. I can't force myself to invest more than $140 per share for them, although I really like their business model. A lot of people are skipping doctors visits these days, going straight away to get medicines and counting on the advice of pharmacists. A lot of times, there's more examination needed. Not only do I see them succeeding in their field, I see them as an essential part of the automation of the pharmacy industry. It's a useful tool in emergencies, giving advice and deciding how serious the condition is, if (fast) medical care is needed. Teladoc will also play a role in insurance and giving the employers a checking tool. 98.9% of their shares are owned by institutions. Financial In terms of profitability and returns, not great of course. They are estimated to get profitable in 2023. Great balance sheet, assets over liabilities x2.66. Quick ratio 6.14, cash to debt 1.06, debt to equity 0.48. Doubts It's hard to see if a company is well managed before they are profitable. Their moat isn't very narrow, however I feel being one of the first ones gives you a big advantage in this field. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- DRAFTKINGS - $DKNG Gonna keep this one pretty short, there has been enough posts about Donkey Kong. For me, the most important factor for choosing them in this industry is their fantasy sports section. They are widely popular and that division will only get more interesting while online gambling, and especially in-game betting, gets more and more legalized in the US. Although they realized major revenue growth in 2019, they almost doubled their earnings loss. Main reason of course having to develop their platform and system. Good thing is, their technology is highly scalable, meaning they margin will grow massively while expanding in to more states and countries. Not many ratios available yet, so that's about the only financial information I own atm. The only negative I see is their pretty wide moat, so this one should be monitored more closely in the future. But for now, they have the momentum and are one of the most popular choices, great investment. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES - $RTX As many of you know, two great companies (UTC and RTN) merged together in April. While United focussed on aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), Raytheon manufactured weapons, military and commercial electronics. They always delivered advanced technologies and them gaining multiple government contracts in the last decade is confirmation of their performant products. Raytheon will continue to grow their leadership in different segments. Because of their diversity, they seem perfectly in place to grow even more into an aerospace & defense giant. Engines, aerostructures, avionics, sensors, cybersecurity and other software solutions are just a few examples of their working fields. Financial With a PE ratio of 13.58 and PB ratio of 1.41, this is probably the most undervalued stock in my portfolio. Assets over liabilities x1.43. The rest of their financials isn't that great. UTC was carrying a lot of debt, but because of the merger, it will be better balanced as RTN was only carrying $2 billion net debt. If they can decrease their debt and optimize their merger, they are set to be the new number one in defense. Doubts It's still unclear how the merger will work out financially and logistically. In theory, they should be very well armed (pun intended) to take on LMT as market leader. Their exposure to commercial aircrafts is also a big threat, but it's less of an issue because they can make up with their other practices. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- As you can see, I've tried to get the best blue chips with still some growth potential and stable growth companies together. Since a lot of companies already got mentioned on this forum, I'll include a bonus round of interesting companies I came across during my search for the best companies. I didn't include them in my portfolio mainly because I feel the chance of them succeeding and living up to their future potential is more risky than others. For you looking for higher risk, higher reward, check out these companies below.
$INMD. They offer minimally-invasive aesthetic medical products for various procedures, such as liposuction with simultaneous skin tightening, body and face contouring. They are actually the only company in my watchlist that scored maximum on my financial checklist. I love to watch their financials. While we're in an overvalued market, INMD has only 18.73 PE and 0.6 PEG. They certainly got hit by Covid, but I would be very surprised if they don't multiply their market share over the next years.
$SMCI. Based mainly on servers and storage solutions. They are the supplier for cloud computing and AI based companies. They were ranked 18th fastest growing company by Fortune Magazine in 2016, but they still have a long way possible to grow. I see them stagnating a bit for a few years, but they definitely have potential in the long run. Financially very stable, big on cash to make some acquisitions and trading at only 14.84 PE.
$CDLX. Great business model. They basically turn financial transaction data into valuable information for advertising. They show returns as high as 30:1 for advertising spent. Not only is the online payment industry growing fast, but after Covid companies will need to work their advertising budgets even more efficiently. CDLX has momentum and will increase that market cap massively. That future outlook has a price unfortunately and I feel they're too expensive right now.
$OLED. They hold patents on ultra high definition OLED screen technology. There's still a large transition going on from LED to OLED screens. They are estimated to increase their manufacturing with 50% by the end of 2021. Unfortunately most of that growth is already priced in right now. It doesn't take away the longer term potential, but it doesn't make it that sexy of a buy right now.
$OMCL. Omnicell provides pharmacy automation solutions and other tools for healthcare systems. Big on cash, low on debt. They have an interesting business and the automation of healthcare will continue to grow, however they are also trading a bit above value.
$PCOM. A technology company based on e-commerce and services through loyalty programs. Most of their partners are airlines, which explains their difficulties of getting back up since the drop. At the moment it's unsure how this will work out. There will barely be room for bargains or rewards, however while the industry has to build up again, there's an opportunity to take away long time customers from competitors. Although they have enough cash to weather this crisis, they are depending on the industry. At PE below 10 and having a decent cash position, it's worth a gamble.
$APPS. Digital Turbine offers a mobile platform mainly for new apps. They have a very high future revenue forecast of 202.2% over the next 3 years. Big on cash and no debt as well. They already acquired Mobile Posse in March, diversifying their platform. Analysts are putting an average price target of $9.88 on them, giving it a 61% potential return.
$NVMI. They develop and produce process control systems used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, mainly focussing on industrializing X-ray and optical technologies like holographic images. Cash to debt 6.1, debt to equity 0.1, quick ratio 5.75, ROE 12.83% and ROIC 20.26%. Their financials are great. The only thing you could say is they are slightly overvalued, but still a very nice buy in comparison to the overvalued tech industry.
$INS. Active in the fintech sector, they provide tech solutions and processing services. Very similar financials to NVMI. Big on cash, almost no long term debt, great returns (ROE 29.7% / ROIC 85.95%) and steady growing EPS. They are also slightly overvalued, but should easily get back to $45 range after the crisis is over.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So, that's about all I have to share. This will also be my last big post a while. Analyzing stocks has been my main occupation for the last three months, but it's time to work on opening up the hotel and bar again. I hope some of you get something out of this. I'm not a professional so always check again for yourself. I'm gonna hold on to these companies for a while now. Will add some extra capital at the beginning of 2021, so you could expect another big post about my newest findings then. For now, I'm gonna take a break from following the market day in day out and enjoy the weather a bit more. Have a good one!
New deaths by county: 92 Jefferson, 83 Jefferson, 90 Knox, 91 Fayette, 59 Knox
Any Masks enforcement done yet? -- Let me get you the details, I believe there have been steps taken by local health departments in various areas of the state. I think the first time they’re trying to do warnings and education. And that’s ok but we don’t have time in the battle for multiple strikes...It’s good for the business! Having people safe, having people NOT get infected in your business, and having the ability to have even more people out. The more people wearing masks, the fewer people that are infected and the more people that can shop or do business at your facility. It is good business right now to make sure this (Beshear holds up a mask) is working.
What we are seeing across the country is alarming. Not just escalating cases, but devastation. FL hospitals have run out of ICU beds. They are scrambling to change people over. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed.
How close are we having a travel ban? -- I’m having to deal with a couple court cases right now which would make that quite difficult, but I’m watching especially those big states very carefully. Let me say, we shouldn’t have to say, “you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day- including hot spots and the places you go.” We all oughta care and love each other enough to say “I’m not putting myself or my family in that situation and I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kids to daycare, and going to church, after we have exposed ourself in that way”. Let’s be better than that.
Alright everybody, it’s 4 o'clock, and we’re gonna be pretty serious tonight. Let’s remember even as we talk about some very serious threats we face, we need to have faith. Faith that we will get through this and we will get through this together. Today I think I need to say it more than anyone else. We will get through this, we will get through this together. (Andy signs in ASL) Say it with me: We will get through this, we will get through this together.
What we are seeing across the country is alarming. Not just escalating cases, but devastation. FL hospitals have run out of ICU beds. They are scrambling to change people over. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed. This isn’t March, this isn’t April. This spreads fast enough, when you open too early and don’t have the right rules in place. People are going to die that would not have otherwise died. Look at it, it happens. It’s happening now, even at a time where we have the ability to test more and prepare. They aren’t the only ones. AZ and TX, are bringing in refrigerator trucks cause they’re running out of room in the morgue. They had 90+ deaths yesterday, and they’re 1.5x the state of KY. That ought to convince everyone of the seriousness we face and what a critical moment right now is. There is nothing that means we can’t end up like any of those states if we don’t do the right thing. Like KY many other states are following suit with mask mandates. This time in Alabama. Governor Ivey And I are on different ideologies, we probably don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but you know what? We’ve made the same exact decision because this isn’t political. She’s issuing the order similarly to how we did, but they’re seeing an escalation worse than ours at the moment, she said “but we can’t let [her state is Alabama], end up like other states” But today in KY we face, possibly, the gravest threat I’ve seen since we’ve started this. So since we started this, we saw a virus that was, at one point doubling far too fast, we saw a curve that could have overwhelmed our healthcare system but at all times we knew what it would take to stop this virus. Social distancing and now face coverings and we were able to put the types of rules in place to flatten our curve. Imagine if we didn’t do Healthy at Home, where we could be right now! We had to shut down everywhere so it didn’t shut us down like it did Florida before. And it can happen to us again. But today the Attorney General asked a court in Boone County, which is having an all-day hearing and even taking testimony on things like unemployment which wasn’t an issue in the case, but he is asking for every single order to be overturned and to not allow my office or me to put any orders in in the future that would help protect you and everyone else. If we have to later, no ban on travel and the places that are so scary, no rolling back areas that might be spreading it. It’s truly frightening. I know this AG is trying to claim this is not what he is trying to do but these are the words he has asked the court to put into an order: Temporarily enjoined (which means we can’t) from issuing or enforcing any portions of any Executive Order. No Rules. Companies wouldn’t need to sanitize, no hand sanitizer. No masks, just the Wild West. That’s terrifying. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic. And it would mean we would fail. It means people will die. I never thought as a day-to-day as Governor that I would have to deal with life and death issues and I have felt every death that we have had in this virus. And one of the things that keeps me going is I know we would have so many more. I’m sure that I have made some mistakes, I keep thinking of Washington’s farewell address where in his second to last point he admitted he had made some mistakes. But I've done everything I can to protect the people of KY. I lie awake at night almost every night wondering how many people we’re going to lose or if we are going the same direction as other states. This would remove the authority that virtually every other governor is using to battle this virus. There is no question. There would be no rules. You don’t have to sanitize your hands, the virus spreads. That's a basic scientific fact. So if we see more cases, Goldman-Sachs wil say we will lose $10B dollars. And that’s just without masks. Multiply everything else on top of that. I don’t see how we get our kids back to schools if there are zero rules to keep the virus from spreading. And we lose more people. No school, harmed economy, and more death. I don’t want to go back and forth with my own Attorney General but I will fight every day for the lives of Kentuckians. Even if it creates drama I don’t want, even if it takes away time, and it does, I have half my office out today because of it. I’m gonna do what it takes to protect the people of Kentucky. But folks, this is wrong. This is REAL REALLY wrong. Don’t play politics with the lives of people. The request made wants to eliminate the ability to enforce any of the Healthy at Work requirements, any of them. No capacity limits anywhere. Fill up a stadium, full bars. We know how deadly that can be and that’s just plain irresponsible. I want you to know what this would do, would do more than just destroy the economy, cost lives, and keep kids from getting back in school. You know the orders that are included here? Also include expanding workers compensation for workers that have to quarantine as a result of exposure. That means our first responders, active military, and grocery store workers. They wouldn’t get workers comp when they came down with the virus they got for protecting us. Gonna leave them out in the cold. It would also eliminate my waiver of copay, deductible, and cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance. It would charge people for taking these tests. These are the facts, and that’s the truth. And we face this at a time when our cases continue to rise. We have another day with over 400 cases. Today we are reporting 413 cases, bringing our total to 21,083. Know how quickly this can get out of hand? FL had over 77,000 cases in 7 days.
Positive cases today: 413
Probable cases (from full numbers PDF): 965
Total confirmed cases: 21,083
New cases by county (Only reported counties >10 in update): 69x Jefferson, 25x Ohio, 22x Boone, 20x Warren, 17x Kenton, 15x Graves, 12x Fayette, 12x Muhlenberg, 11x Bell, 11x Casey, 11x Madison
Total tests conducted: 507,197. We worked a lot to get there, we’re going to work on expanding our testing even more
Total hospitalized (from full numbers PDF): 2,842
Currently hospitalized: 418 Those healthcare workers that are trying to take care of them? We don’t want to leave them in a hospital where no one has to follow the rules needed to keep them safe. It puts every single one of those workers in jeopardy. To our healthcare workers: I appreciate you and I am going to fight for you. I am going to try to make sure that it is as safe as it can be for you because we appreciate you
Total in ICU (from full numbers PDF): 1,030
Currently in ICU: 92 fighting for their lives.
Positivity rate: 4.38% up about 2% from 2 weeks ago. When it gets over 5% it’s going to be a real concern. Moreover we are seeing more kids test positive every single day. I got a call from the CEO of Norton, they have more pediatric patients right now than they ever had during this virus. I believe 2 are in the ICU. Today we have 13 new kids under 5. 2 of them are 2-months-old. So, these kids are counting on us everyday to do the right thing.
Total recovered (from full numbers PDF): 5,500
New deaths today: 5
Total Deaths: 650, but remember deaths follow cases. All our numbers will tell you that you see, more death. If we have fewer restrictions based on science, in place, and it spreads even more, you know what to expect from that. We’re in the rotunda, and we put up a wreath when the first 200 people died, and I’m looking at it right now. How many more of them must we hang?
New deaths by county: 92 Jefferson, 83 Jefferson, 90 Knox, 91 Fayette, 59 Knox
All losses are a loss for Kentucky. Let’s light those houses up green and let’s ring those bells at 10am. This is a reminder that we are thinking of the Kentuckians we’ve lost, their families, and their communities. It’s the color of compassion and renewal as their souls move from their bodies to a better place.
Racial breakdown of all cases: 77.25% Caucasian, 12.93% Black or African-American, 3.21% Asian, 5.86% Multiracial
Ethnicity breakdown of all cases: 84.27% non-Hispanic and 15.73% Hispanic
Racial breakdown of all deaths: 81.12% Caucasian, 14.94% Black or African-American, 1.48% Asian, 2.46% Multiracial
Ethnicity breakdown of all deaths: 95.87% non-Hispanic and 4.13% Hispanic
Long Term Care Facilities: 51 new residents and 47 new staff positive from yesterday, and 3 more deaths, 7 new facilities. 2,180 residents, 1,150 staff, 414 deaths, 224 facilities.
That’s the tough news. Can I give the hopeful news? I got to do a video yesterday for Dorothy Krause. Here’s Dorothy, I got to wish her a happy 100th birthday! Turning 100 in a non-pandemic situation is a feat. I’m sharing Dorothy’s story today because she also beat COVID-19. She resides at the Forum at Brookside in Louisville Friends and family say she’s a pillar of patience- i can use a little of that; and positive thinking, I could use a little bit of that too, it’s something I think we can all admire. Happy Birthday Dorothy, it’s special, thank you for your fight, for giving us hope, and I hope you have enjoyed these special days.
More good news? We are highlighting some local governments that we communicate with regularly, because they are on the ground doing what it takes to beat this virus. But we know they are hurting. Like our government budgets and their budgets have been devastated, so we set aside $300M CARES ACT funding for local governments. Since last week we have announced $21.4M and today we’re approving $5.5M in CARES ACT Reimbursements for 22 counties in Eastern KY. Every dollar is needed. Boyd County in Ashland where we lost one of our early, younger Kentuckians. Elliott, Fleming, Lee, McCreary, Montgomery, Pike, Rowan, Whitley, and the municipalities of Booneville, Coal run, Hazard , Fleming-neon, Flemingsburg, Lynch, Middlesboro, Mount Sterling, Owensville, Pikesville, Presonsburg, and Stanton. Funding can be used to reimburse payroll expenses for public safety, PPE, cleaning supplies, all those things we asked the government to do in our rules and restrictions. So there are more applications there are in, and we expect more announcements soon. Let me just say this isn’t money given this is money earned- our localities are doing a great job. We need you now more than ever. This is crunch time. This is the time we determine how many people we lose. This is the time we make sure everybody is wearing a mask so we can try to have our old normal, Save our people, Save our economy, Save our possibility of school
Testing sites in Jefferson County and how they are operating relative to their capacities -- We are at capacity at just about every testing site in Jefferson county. (at least the ones that we have a role in). It’s hard to think about that as a good thing because if you can't get a test right now, you really want one. That means people have woken up and realized the situation that we are in because there was a time we weren’t filling all of them. So we are working to expand capacity right now. Providing more kits to the major localities, to make sure we can get more people in and tested. So we are working on it and we expect to see results.
Has there been a reduction in testing sites? -- Statewide, the answer is no. We have 1 fewer Kroger site but that was because it was way under capacity. What we are seeing is specific locations with SIGNIFICANT capacity. Average wait time is picking up. Part of that is it being summer, and the hours are different. But Kroger has added extra hours on. And let me tell ya, they are doing their part for free. This is an incredible service but a great corporate citizen we have workers who have passed out (because it’s so hot) at these sites and they are still coming back to help and protect us. That’s pretty special and you know, they deserve better than a state with no rules or regulations. So make sure we thank you. Thank you to everyone doing the testing. We have Walmart and Walgreens, and a whole bunch of others, thank you, and keep going. I know you saw some capacity that suggested that people wouldn’t come, but they’re coming now, and it benefits all of us
On the mask mandate, is it still in effect? -- Yes. It is in effect. Both through an executive order and an emergency regulation. We have had no ruling to negate it, it is fully in effect and we need you to wear it. Every major health expert. Expert. Has said that if you will wear a mask, fewer people will die, we can keep the economy open, we might be able to get back to school sooner than later, and heck we might even have sports. If we don’t have any rules or regulations, we can kiss all of that goodbye.
What I’m seeing on compliance with the mask mandate? -- I’m actually seeing really good compliance. I'm seeing some situations where folks in retail end up taking grief they should have to. Surely we’re better human beings than to walk into a store and yell at someone that did not put the order in place. To take out our, probably, fear and anxiety of COVID on somebody. And listen, It’s not up to the person in the retail store to decide your constitutional rights, if you want to yell at me go ahead. It comes with the territory. I’m still gonna do what’s right. I’m seeing good compliance overall. What’s going to jump out is where we don’t have compliance and we have the number, the KYSAFER number (1-833-KYSAFER). How we are going to defeat this is really simple: no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service. Some major retailers (Kroger, Walmart, Starbucks) are following our lead and everybody else should too, but you gotta do it in KY. We are doing it because we care about each other’s lives.
There’s an expectation or commentary about JCPS not starting with in-person classes initially? -- First we gotta see overall, what the next couple weeks look like. Very important to see if we can get back to school. The number of us who wear masks and social distance will determine that. Jefferson County given its size poses even more challenges than just about any other district. Very hard to spread out in the bus, because of the deferred maintenance, in the age of the buildings, it’s very hard to spread out kids in the classroom. They face some real significant challenges, and I want to make sure that anywhere that we come back to in-person classes, our teachers, our staff, everybody in that building, including the kids- A lot of people want to talk just about the kids that we are seeing so many more cases in kids now and they want to say rarely do kids suffer grave harm. Everyone of those kids comes into contact with an adult, and we want to make sure that any of those adults do not come to harm. So it appears to me that JCPS is being thoughtful. We allllllll want to get our kids back in school. Lord, do I really want to get our kids back in school. But we got to make sure it’s safe. And I look forward to hearing the conversations at JCPS and when a district makes a decision based on safety, you can bet we’re gonna support them.
Question about UI -- We’re having live calls every day. We've had thousands of calls in today. They are getting a robo answer? Ok folk may still be getting a robo answer because we have everybody processing claims. We want to move back to regional offices, but right now if I moved to do that right now, and everything that would take, it would take a week for that to happen. We’re in the middle of the crisis and we can’t just stop. We have all the people actively making the calls right now. So, if you call in, I’d love it if it means someone picks up everytime. But it would be just as nice if people would pick up when you see this number. Ok, they should be getting live calls here soon. I’m looking for the number for you, but I know it was thousands just today. I’m not satisfied with the performance to date. That’s not the fault of the employees, they’re working REALLY hard on their end. We handled 6,104 calls on the 15th (yesterday).
Any Masks enforcement done yet? -- Let me get you the details, I believe there have been steps taken by local health departments in various areas of the state. I think the first time they’re trying to do warnings and education. And that’s ok but we don’t have time in the battle for multiple strikes. It’s good if someone is not doing it to say, “You have to.” But then we gotta make sure everyone is doing their part. And...It’s good for the business! Having people safe, having people NOT get infected in your business, and having the ability to have even more people out. The more people wearing masks, the fewer people that are infected and the more people that can shop or do business at your facility. It is good business right now to make sure this (Beshear holds up a mask) is working.
How close are we having a travel ban? -- I’m having to deal with a couple court cases right now which would make that quite difficult, but I’m watching especially those big states very carefully. Let me say, we shouldn’t have to say, “you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day- including hot spots and the places you go.” We all oughta care and love each other enough to say “I’m not putting myself or my family in that situation and I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kids to daycare, and going to church, after we have exposed ourself in that way”. Let’s be better than that.
Alright folks, today I’m sorry that we face the threat we do. I cannot imagine how we defeat this virus if we’re not able to have reasonable rules and restrictions in place that help everybody, our people, our businesses, our economy, our schools. And I’m gonna keep fighting. No matter what rulings come out, I’m gonna keep fighting because at the end of the day I feel the weight of life and death. I don’t care what any score is on any decisions. What I care is about how many people we’ve saved and about doing the right thing. I came into this job with so many other things we were thinking about doing. Now I'm the guy that has to help us get through this. This is our war. This is our great conflict. And you can’t take all of our ammunition away and say, “Good luck with the enemy.” It doesn’t work that way. We know what it takes to win. We need the tools to do it. Let’s get it done. Let’s make sure we care more about the people than the letter behind our name. Thank y’all very much. And Happy birthday again, Dorothy.
If you have been laid off/lost your job use the following resources to get help! KY Medicaid: https://healthbenefitexchange.ky.gov (855-459-6328) Benefind: https://benefind.ky.gov (855-306-8959) If you see price gouging report by calling 888-432-9257 If you see a business or person not following the guidelines and putting others at risk call 833-KY-SAFER (833-597-2337) or report it on thewebsite As always our one true source of information should be thehttp://kycovid19.ky.gov/website or the hotline: 800-722-5725 You can find more information on our Wiki! We are also up and running on Discord!
M21 / Jumpstart HOT TAKES + State of The Art of Cube Podcast Announcement
STATE OF THE PODCAST For those of you who listen to The Art of Cube podcast, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in 6+ weeks. This is because I’ve been devoting all my spare time and energy to my start up idea that I started working on in early May. I was actually planning on recording this episode, but it’s really hard for me to block 2-3 consecutive hours at night to record, since that’s prime programming hours for me because that’s when things are most quiet. With an article, I can at least block out 30 minutes at a time to write little by little until I have a finished product. I definitely want to continue the podcast, but the start up is my priority for now, so I’ll be on an indefinite hiatus for a bit. Anyways, let's talk about cards! WHITE Angelic Ascension White Beast Within that trades a cheaper cost for less targets and gifting your creature a 4/4 flyer instead of a vanilla 3/3. While I’m not the biggest fan of Beast Within in cube, it’s actually in a color that lacks removal and while Angelic Ascension is in a color that has all the removal in the world. Not a fan of this card in 1v1, but can be a useful political tool for multiplayer cubes I guess? Basri Ket Revamped Ajani, Caller of the Pride. Ajani starts with more loyalty, but Basri’s +1 grants indestructible until end of turn. Basri can snowball harder than Ajani if you have 3 non-token creatures by turn 3 and then use the -2 ability to double that number on attack step. Unfortunately, Basri suffers the same fate as Ajani in where their value is entirely dependent on you having creatures. The competition is fierce at 3-cmc white, and there are better options for aggro that are also better role players in other archetypes. Basri’s Lieutenant Basri’s Lieutenant is a hybrid of Luminous Broodmoth / Hero of Bladehold. It’s not as great as a midrange engine as Luminous Broodmoth, and not as offensive as Hero of Bladehold, but it’s definitely no slouch in either of those departments, especially since it’s a Persist combo enabler. Basri’s Lieutenant’s floor is essentially a ⅘ vigilance with protection from multicolored that does a mini Thragtusk impression when it dies: that’s pretty impressive for 3W. Stonecoil Serpent has shown me that protection from multicolored means protection from a decent amount of removal spells (in my cube at least), which is a really nice combination with its ability to recur itself. While there’s an insane amount of competition at the 4-cmc slot, as far as creatures goes, I think this competes well with anything not named Palace Jailer / Restoration Angel, and rubs shoulders very well against Hero of Bladehold / Luminous Broodmoth. Seems like a shoe-in if you need more Persist combo / +1+1 matters counters support, but even then Basri’s Lieutenant seems plenty strong on its own. Emiel, the Blessed 4-cmc Eldrazi Displacer that can grant counters. While Emiel doesn’t come with the colorless baggage that Eldrazi Displacer does, it’s important to note that Emiel can only target your own creatures. While Emiel may not seem too hot on its own in higher powered cubes, it’s important to note that it can generate infinite mana with Palinchron type creature. Also seems like a good fit for lower powered cubes that support both blink and +1/+1 counters matters. Daybreak Charger This is a pretty aggressive Blade of the Sixth Pride variant for a common. Reminds me a lot of Viashino Pyromancer. I don’t know too much about Pauper, but I’m assuming this is a decent inclusion if you support aggro in Pauper. Nine Lives I’m THAT guy who plays these types of cards in EDH, although every deck packing Cyclonic Rift makes this a poor choice for EDH / multiplayer in general. However, 1v1 cubes typically don’t have mass sweepers that can remove enchantments. The only commonly played cube cards that I can think of that can even remove Nine Lives at will are Council’s Judgment / Upheaval / Ugin, the Spirit Dragon / some random planeswalker ultimate, maybe. I’d only consider this for cube if you’re playing Solemnity for Persist combos or you’re just THAT guy. Pack Leader Turn all your dogs into pseudo Adanto Vanguards on offense! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many cubeable dogs at the moment, but the attack trigger at least protects itself. What makes Adanto Vanguard annoying is that it gets around most removal spells, which Pack Leader doesn’t, and it also lacks 3rd power. Not a card I’d cube today, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Let me be the first to say that I for one welcome our new dog overlords! Seasoned Hallowblade Speaking of Adanto Vanguards, this is probably its closest imitation? At a baseline, this is a Blade of the Sixth Pride with two relevant creature types in Human and Warrior, is a discard outlet, and can pitch a card to go indestructible when needed. I see this mostly as an aggro card though since decks that want discard outlets will probably have access to better ones, plus white is the least likely color to be played in a graveyard centric deck (in my cube at least). That being said, this has potential to be the second best Blade of the Sixth Pride variant after Adanto Vanguard, rubbing shoulders with Accorder Paladin / Glory-Bound Initiate. BLUE Barrin, Tolarian Archmage Legendary Man-o’-War that with a non-mandatory bounce that hits planeswalkers and can also randomly draw you cards. While being costing 1UU is less desirable than 2U (except for Devotion), the tradeoff is well worth it. Barrin is especially annoying with Karakas since it both has one of the best ETB triggers for a 3-cmc legendary creature and Karakas can trigger Barrin’s draw ability. I have no doubt in my mind that Barrin will be the most cubed card from M21. Ghostly Pilferer A weird Glint-Sleeve Siphoner / Heir of Falkenrath hybrid that randomly draws you a card whenever an opponent casts a spell via flashback / cascade / aftermath / adventure / suspend / cast off top of library effects / etc effects. I’m not the biggest fan of this for tempo decks since the evasion requires you to discard a card and tempo decks typically aren’t big on using the graveyard as a resource, but this is a decent discard outlet for Reanimator / Recurring Nightmare decks. The first draw effect seems to be a poor man’s imitation of a poor man imitating Dark Confidant, which reminds me of a band that’s ripping off a band that rips off Simple Plan since other Dark Confidant effects don’t require mana to draw the extra card. That being said, the second draw ability requires no mana payment on your part, but is entirely dependent on your opponent. This creature is a weird package of a lot of different things. My instincts tell me that its best niche will be in Recurring Nightmare / Reanimator decks, but those decks aren’t exactly hurting for discard outlets. I don’t explicitly support tempo decks, and even if I did this seems to be lower-hanging fruit at first glance. I definitely can be wrong about this card as it does seem like it can be a bit of a sleeper, but even then I don’t think it’ll be GREAT, just merely useful. Definitely cubeable, but I don’t think it’s needed too much in the decks that would even want it. See the Truth Sorcery speed Anticipate that can randomly be an Ancestral Recall via things like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy / Snapcaster Mage / Chandra, Torch of Defiance / Yawgmoth’s Will / etc. Even with those synergies, I’d rather just play other 2-cmc blue cantrips in most scenarios like Impluse / Chart a Course. Putting the cards into your hands instead of drawing the cards to get around Leovold / Narset is cool when it matters. I’d only really consider this for a cube if you’re running storm since it can make the most use out of it, but even then it’s a bit hard to justify the slot in blue assuming you’re powered AND supporting storm. Shacklegeist I like 2/2 flyers with minimal drawbacks since a 1/1 flyer can’t trade with it on its own. If you support blue tempo, this might be one of the better evasive blue 2-drops since it has an extra toughness and can tap down other creatures. I don’t explicitly support blue tempo, meaning the 1-2 cmc aggressive creatures in a UX tempo deck are derived from other colors, so this isn’t for me, but this is a good option if you do explicitly support blue tempo. Stormwing Entity A 3/3 with flying / prowess / ETB scry 2 for 3UU is whatever, but any 1-cmc instant / sorcery can be used as a Dark Ritual for this (and Gitaxian Probe serves as a Black Lotus!) That being said, busting this out on turn 3 isn’t even that great. Seems like a bad Mulldrifter most of the time with less control of the mana cost for less value. Sublime Epiphany Cryptic Command 3.0 that according to Mark Rosewater, has 31 different combinations of options. In terms of options, it essentially has 3 out of 4 Cryptic Command’s modes: counterspell / draw / bounce (although this can only bounce non-land permanents) with Stifle / Clone (only for your creatures) attached to it. This will often be at least a 3-ish for 1 with counter / bounce / draw. The clone effect is really the x-factor for this card, where the sky's the limit in terms of how much value you can achieve. Sublime Epiphany works especially well with Torrential Gearhulk, since it’s both a big instant the Gearhulk can target and it can also clone the Gearhulk, giving you another at flashbacking an instant from your graveyard. Coincidentally, Torrential Gearhulk is probably its biggest competition since they’re both 6 mana instant speed value spells. Personally I like Gearhulk more, but I consider every 6-cmc blue spell not named Upheaval to be interchangeable with each other. In terms of creatures, I don’t like this more than Consecrated Sphinx / Torrential Gearhulk, but I think it competes well with things like AEtherling / Will Kenrith, and I do like it more than Commence the End Game / Frost Titan. Teferi, Master of Time The face of the set, although I’m not too particularly impressed by this Teferi.. On his own, he’s essentially a 4-mana Dack Fayden that can’t steal artifacts. Dack is attractive because he’s an engine that can ramp / Control Magic for just 3 mana. Being able to tick up 2 loyalty every turn cycle is cool, but that -3 costs a lot for very little. I don’t think it stacks well against other 4-cmc cube spells, especially in blue. In terms of decks that want Teferi, he’s too slow in combo decks, doesn’t generate any real value in a control decks, and grindy midrange decks that incorporate graveyard shenanigans have cheaper options. I’d much rather play something like Teferi is definitely cubeable, but unless your cube is huge or you’re really into Rielele, the Everwise shenanigans, I’d rather play other 4-cmc blue value spells like Drawn from Dreams / Deep Analysis. Teferi’s Tutelage Seems decent if you support mill decks. Replacing itself with a cantrip and milling off that cantrip is really nice, and I’m glad they’re designing more marginal cards with cantrips built in. Waker of Waves A decent cantrip that can be its own self-binning reanimator target / late game finisher. This type of creature isn’t new, and compares a lot to Eternal Dragon / Titanoth Rex, and I think it’s important to go over their strengths and weaknesses when talking about these types of creatures. Waker of Waves PROS
Has the best overall cantrip effect
Is in the color that pairs best with Reanimation effects
Giving your opponent’s creatures -1/-0 is a decent crowd control effect
Lacks evasion, making it a poor finisher
Eternal Dragon PROS
Has good evasion
Plainscycling is especially valuable early game to make sure you curve properly
Plainscycling is the least useful cycling ability later in the game
White is arguably the worst color to pair with Reanimator decks since it has access to the least / worst discard outlets
Titanoth Rex PROS
Large body + trample makes it a good finisher
Is a more playable threat in cheat decks compared to the other two
Ability to give a trample counter to a creature is pretty nice
Is the most expensive to hard cast
Arguably the worst cantrip effect of the three
Overall, Waker of Waves is more of a decent cantrip that just so happens to have a creature mode attached to it. In terms of 2-cmc blue cantrips, I don’t like this more than Impulse / Chart a Course, but it’s a decent pick for the #3 slot due to it being modal. I like Eternal Dragon more than most and cubed with it until Modern Horizons power creeped it out, but cards like these are still pretty decent. Not a 360 staple by any stretch, but this whale seems like a decent option for larger cubes. Ormos, Archive Keeper A weird Laboratory Maniac type payoff card that doesn’t even win you the game when you have no library. It at least has decent stats and can win the game on its own, but 6 mana that’s a french vanilla Baneslayer out of the box is pretty underwhelming. Untapping with it is a different story though. Assuming you can discard three cards with different names, this can potentially draw you 10 cards when you untap with it. That being said, you’re technically only up +2 cards for each activation. This is really embarrassing in comparison to Consecrated Sphinx, which draws 2 cards on curve (assuming your opponent doesn’t have instant speed removal), and can really punish your opponent trying to draw more cards. While this may have a niche in Laboratory Maniac type shells, it’s by far the clunkiest piece. It’s not a good sign to me when a card is stuck to a niche, but even then it’s not even particularly good within that niche. Scholar of the Lost Trove More expensive Torrential Gearhulk that can recur instants / sorceries / artifacts. Lacking Torrential Gearhulk’s flash means this can’t be used as a counterspell without something like Sneak Attack / Through the Breach, but being able to hit sorceries and artifacts is a nice upside. My issue with this card is its cost: 7 mana is a lot for most decks and puts this into cheaty face territory. Unfortunately, its ETB trigger isn’t too hot until the late game, which makes this a poor choice for cheaty face type strategies. I won’t be surprised if I see a random Oath of Druids deck in vintage rocking this. It’s definitely a cool card with a powerful ETB trigger, but its cost will probably keep it out of most cubes. BLACK Demonic Embrace On the surface, this is a black Grafted Wargear. Granting flying is huge, and being able to jump start it from the graveyard makes this one of the better combat oriented auras for cube. Pairs well with recursive black creatures to make them even more threatening. If you’re looking for Grafted Wargear #3 (with Heirloom Blade being #2), this is a decent option that puts a nice twist to the effect. Seriously, granting flying is huge. Eliminate For those of you who hang out with me on Discord, you probably knew that I actually called this out way back as a custom designed Smother 2.0 that was sorely needed after last year’s power creep, therefore I’m taking all the credit for this card’s existence ;) Jokes aside, this hits a lot of threatening things, especially if you’re not holding back on planeswalkers / Rabblemasters. While this has much more misses than your typical Terror effect, threats are very diversified these days in the form of creatures / tokens / planeswalkers / manlands / etc, and I think it’s important to diversify your removal as well. I’ve always said that Abrupt Decay’s stock has gone up a lot in value over the past year. While Abrupt Decay can hit artifacts / enchantments, it can’t hit manlands where Eliminate can. I’m not saying to replace your premium Terror effects like Go for the Throat / Heartless Act for this, but I do like this more than something like Fatal Push. Liliana, Waker of the Dead Another year without a good black 4-cmc walker :( Replace the -3 with 0: Make a 2/2 zombie or something, then we’d be talking. Otherwise, I can only see being interested in this if you support The Rack type effects or something. Liliana’s Devotee Seems decent if you support Zombies tribal I guess? Can’t say I like this more than Xathrid Necromancer / Grim Haruspex. Liliana’s Standard Bearer see Liliana’s Devotee Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose Probably one of the better support cards if you support BW lifegain matters since it’s a cheaper Sanguine Blood attached to a creature. Very passable if you’re not supporting lifegain matters. RED Bolt Hound Goblin Chariot with battlecry ain’t bad for an uncommon, but overall it pales in comparison to other Rabblemasters / Phoenix of Ash. Chandra, Heart of Fire Shock every turn is a bit meh for 3RR. If your opponent doesn’t have a removal spell right away, you essentially paid 5 mana for a Staggershock. Her +1 is pretty strong late game if you’re hellbent-ish anyways, but I don't like this Chandra variant compared to other 5-cmc red spells. Chandra’s Incinerator The ultimate Magic Christmasland card. Unlike Stormwing Entity, you’re able to stack the cost reduction by chaining spells / effects. Lightning Bolt / Chain Lightning become Dark Rituals, Incinerate Variants become Pyretic Ritual, Fireblast means you can bust this out on turn 2 (in Legacy / Vintage you can cast two of these on turn 2!). A 6/6 trampler is a good threat, and being able to get double the value out of your noncombat damage sources that could hit your opponent is pretty big game. While this has a lot more value in non-singleton formats since it can just go all out on Rift Bolts / Seal of Fire effects, it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to get this out by turn 4, especially if you do run Rift Bolt / Seal of Fire / Fireblast / Sulfuric Vortex / etc. I’m not too interested in this card, but I think it does have potential if you’re looking for some spicy Magic Christmasland scenarios. Conspicuous Snoop Not great on its own, but it’s the cheapest way to go infinite with Kiki-Jiki, especially with Worldly / Vampiric Tutor. That being said, I don’t think it’s worth running just based on that merit since there’s plenty of 2-3 cmc options and this doesn’t work with Splinter Twin. Heartfire Immolator This is a nice take on Goblin Cratermaker. While it’s not as disruptive since it can’t hit mana rocks, prowess makes it more aggressive and can potentially take out creatures with bigger butts, not to mention its ability can target planeswalkers. There’s a lot of competition in the 2-cmc red creature slot, and while I don’t think this is any better than things like Young Pyromancer / Kari Zev / Earthshaker Khenra / Goblin Cratermaker, I do think it competes well with Robber of the Rich and is better than things like Dire Fleet Daredevil / Abbot of Keral Keep / etc. Soul Sear Decent red removal option to take out bigger creatures / planeswalkers, but seems worse overall than other versatile options like Purphoros’s Intervention / Collective Defiance. Not being able to hit face is always a big downside for red removal. Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner Another better Goblin Chariot with a key 3rd toughness so it doesn’t trade with bears / lions / pikers. Her first ability is cheap and provides a good amount of reach for aggressive decks. Her second ability is a bit narrow, but can refill your hand later in the game. Subira is a pretty good creature with a decent baseline, but I think she compares poorly to any Rabblemaster variant since those snowball pretty hard on their own where Subira does not. Terror of the Peaks Purphoros, God of the Forge + Thunderbreak Regent = Terror of the Peaks? While this card would’ve been awesome 10 years ago, it’s a Baneslayer without haste in a color / slot full of Baneslayers with haste. I’m glad that they’re designing more Baneslayers with a punisher effect for targeting it, hopefully they do that with more cards in the future. If you’re looking for another Purphoros effect, this does that effect very well and is a decent threat on its own, but generally speaking I don’t think this compares to other 5-mana stat monsters like Thundermaw Hellkite variants / Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. Transmogrify Red Polymorph that exiles. With recent printings like Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, Reality Scramble, etc, there’s a good amount of critical mass for a legitimate Polymorph archetype where the only creature cards in your deck are giant fatties and tokens made through spells / planeswalkers. Wtwlf123 has a pretty detailed thread about this archetype’s potential: https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/the-cube-forum/cube-card-and-archetype/817737-the-polymorph-deck. Oath of Druids fits well in the deck also. Personally I think this takes up too many slots / spreads super fatties too thin in smaller cubes that support traditional reanimator / cheaty face type decks, but seems like an interesting option for larger cubes looking for more cheaty face type shenanigans. Lightning Phoenix Poor man’s Phoenix of Ash. This is the first Phoenix we’ve seen that costs 2R instead of 1RR, which is nice. The big issue with this card is that it recurs during the end step, which makes the haste irrelevant when recurring it. Even then, this doesn’t hold a candle to Phoenix of Ash, not to mention the Rabblemaster / Hanweir Garrison variants. Zurzoth, Chaos Rider Speaking of Hanweir Garrison variants, this little devil does a neat impression. Being a 2/3 is always nice so that it doesn’t trade with other 2 powered creatures, as is creating a token with a death trigger that can ping anything for 1 damage. The downfall of this card is a combination of three things: it can only generate one token on attack, the token doesn’t ETB attacking, and the only other commonly cubeable devils are Rakdos Cackler / Hellrider / Mutavault. Zurzoth is essentially a worse Najeela, the Blade Blossom. While Zurzoth creates the better tokens and arguably has better stats, there’s a good amount of cubeable warriors, Najeela can generate more than one token a turn, and her tokens ETB attacking. I wish this card was a bit better, the design with the draw / random discard makes for interesting scenarios. Sethron, Hurloon General Mono red Regisaur Alpha, but with worse stats and a focus on an ever worse tribe (seriously, the only good minotaur I can think of is Gnarled Scarhide). That being said, you can do much worse than 6 power spread over 2 bodies for 3RR. The activated ability ain’t bad either since you’d need 4 creatures to block both minotaurs. Can’t say I’m a big fan of this card today, but the fact that Sethron triggers off any nontoken minotaur means it might have its day in the sun once minotaurs rule all of cube. Immolating Gyre A spells matters one-sided sweeper that hits creatures AND planeswalkers has potential for some serious blowouts. This is very reminiscent of cards with Overload such as Mizzium Mortars / Cyclonic Rift / Winds of Abandon. Not being modal and requiring a critical mass of spells is a bit of a strike to it, but it’s not unreasonable. This can be stronger than Wildfire in the late game, but Wildfire’s power comes in its land destruction and the fact that you can fire it off as soon as you hit 6 mana. Ramping up to Immolating Gyre doesn’t do too much since if you were ramping that fast, you probably weren’t playing too many instants / sorceries at the same time. I feel like Chandra, Awakened Inferno does pretty much everything this wants to do and not being able to fire this off fast makes this less attractive to Wildfire for me. GREEN Elder Gargaroth A new green Baneslayer variant. Vigilance, reach, and trample on a 6/6 is great for both offense and defense. Getting a modal trigger on both attack and defense makes this one of the better true Baneslayer Angels at 5 mana, IMO. As pushed as this card is, it sadly still suffers the same problem as every other Baneslayer in that it fails the Vindicate test, plus it has to compete with other value options / planeswalkers at the same mana cost. While Baneslayers get a lot of flack for “dies to Doom Blade”, they are still inherently cubeable based on their raw power. However, they’re an all or nothing bet where their best case scenarios are still below that of their Mulldrifter rivals. Diversifying your threats / resources is important. To me, there’s no point in putting all your eggs in a single creature when the best possible scenario isn’t even better than a lower risk bet, especially when the worst case scenario is your opponent being able to steal all those eggs in one swoop. While not a true Baneslayer, I’m not even sure this is any better than Verdurous Gearhulk, which gains pseudo-haste by being able to distribute its power to other creatures. Garruk’s Harbinger A beefy Ophidian type creature. Hexproof from black is nice, but I like my Ophidian type creatures to have evasion. Being able to trigger off damage off a creature or a planeswalker is really good design space to explore for these types of effects, hopefully we’ll get more of these in the future. Garruk Unleashed The most aggressive 4-cmc Garruk variant. His pump ability is very reminiscent of Elspeth, Knight-Errant’s pump. Flying is better overall, but trample can be better in situations where your opponent has flying blockers to chump with. The first activation of his -2 ability will leave you with 2-3 loyalty depending on the scenario, which at minimum is exactly what you’d get out of OG Garruk Wildspeaker’s -1. Being able to swing for 6 with your 3/3 beasts that you generate or just turning your mana dorks into 4/4 tramplers is pretty big game for a 4 mana planeswalker. It’s nice that all the 4-cmc Garruk’s bring different things to the table: Wildspeaker ramps, Relentless is removal / can tutor for creatures, and Unleashed is just focused on smashing face. While I don’t like Garruk Unleashed more than Wildspeaker / Relentless, it’s still a very potent cube card, especially if you support green aggro. Probably better than most 4-cmc green creatures, and I do like this Garruk much more than Vivien, Arkbow Ranger since his abilities aren’t entirely dependent on having a board state. This is also a really nice option if you support a 4-power or more theme since most creatures it can boost will at least be a 4/4. Llanowar Visionary Llanowar Elves + Elvish Visionary = we’ve come a long way since Phyrexian Rager. This seems like a decent value card. Card draw + ramp is a match made in heaven, and this is the cheapest form of it (besides Explore, assuming you have additional lands). Let’s see how this compares to other similar green value cards. Llanowar Visionary PROS
Draws a card right out of the box
Easiest to gain incremental value through blink / recursion
Drawing a card is much better later in the game than finding lands
Creature based ramp is easier to disrupt than land / artifact based ramp
Kodama’s Reach / Cultivate PROS
The best on curve in most situations
Fixes your mana
Deadweight late game
Not a creature
Yavimaya Elder PROS
Can give you the most value in one shot
Needs to jump through additional hoops for value, which can mess up how you curve out
Doesn’t actually ramp
Nissa, Vastwood Seer PROS
Strong topdeck late game
Helps you curve out more reliably than Llanowar Visionary since lands are harder to remove than creatures
Creature half doesn’t actually ramp
Sometimes you just want to draw a card instead of searching for a forest, which can make casting / recurring this awkward in the midgame compared to Llanowar Visionary.
Llanowar Visionary having the magical phrase of “enters the battlefield, draw a card” is something you’ll always be happy to have at any point of the game. If you’re looking for a new 3-cmc green creature, this is definitely a good option. Track Down Once Upon a Time, Pauper edition. While I don’t know if this is actually good in Pauper, I think Once Upon a Time is good, but not great in traditional powered / unpowered cubes. While Once Upon a Time digs deeper, is an instant, and is occasionally free, Track Down having Scry 3 means you have more control in what some of your future draws will be. That being said, Once Upon A Time is still the much better card. Allosaurus Shepherd This is essentially a 1/1 with a late game elf tribal pump ability. While being uncounterable / making your other green spells uncounterable, to me it’s never a reason to cube a card. Being uncounterable is more of an icing to a cake. Adding “This spell can’t be countered / your other spells can’t be countered” to a card you’re already on the fence on really won’t push it over the fence for me, where adding hexproof / trample / haste / etc to something can really push its cube viability. This seems neat for Legacy which is littered with blue decks sporting all the free counter magic in the world, but I’m not a fan of this for cube. Neyith of the Dire Hunt This is a neat creature that can force your opponent into awkward combat scenarios and can really punish your opponent for chump blocking. While this isn’t the most powerful green 4 drop, the fact that it can potentially draw you a card that turn you play it means it has some legs to stand on. Its pump ability goes well with its draw ability, since it forces your opponent to block the creature if able, not to mention it can just deal a ton of damage when your opponent CAN”T block. This would’ve been an interesting choice for green if this was printed 2 years ago, but I can see this being an option for lower powered cubes, especially if they support human and / or warriors matters cards. Towering Titan Uhh, why is this a mythic? OTHER Conclave Mentor Winding Constrictor’s Selesnya cousin. More Hardened Scales effects are always nice if you support a +1/+1 counter theme, and gaining at least 2 life when Conclave Mentor dies makes it a decent roadblock vs aggro. Good option if you’re running Hardened Scales, but passable if not. Radha, Heart of Keld More aggressive Courser of Kruphix for Gruul. Being able to play lands from the top of your library is always nice, especially with Fastbond. Speaking of which, I’m not that big of a fan of this card without Fastbond support, and even then I’m not too high on it. Courser of Kruphix is solid because it’s purely designed to grind with its key 4th toughness / incremental life gain. Radha tries to both, but being more fragile makes her a less viable grinder, and she’s not exactly the greatest on offense. Her pump ability is sweet late game, but lack of trample / evasion is huge and can be easily walled by token generators. I also think she compares poorly to not just other Gruul cards for the same cost like Klothys / Domri, but other mono red / green cards that have more focus on either being aggressive / grindy. I can only really see Radha being an attractive option if you really want to push land / Fastbond themes, otherwise I think she’s average at best. Having something like trample or menace over first strike would’ve gone a long way. Mazemind Tome An alternative to Scroll Rack / Treasure Map. Scroll Rack has a very good niche in Cheaty Face type combo decks where you want Oath / Tinker hits back into your library, plus combos well with Land Tax. That being said, not having to pay mana to activate Mazemind Tome to Scry 1 is very nice, and being able to draw a card for only 2 mana is great. While this loses the ramp potential of Treasure Map, being to Scry and curve out at the same time is pretty big game. Overall I think this is better than Treasure Map, having the choice to either Scry for free / straight up draw a card for just 2 mana is more attractive than Treasure Map’s transformation. I also like this more than Scroll Rack assuming you’re not supporting combo decks / Land Tax. Sparkhunter Masticore Protection from planeswalkers is pretty cool, but discarding a card in addition to its mana cost, not so much. Pithing Needle / Sorcerous Spyglass are more effective at shutting down planeswalkers, although Sparkhunter Masticore can technically gun down any amount of planeswalkers given enough time and mana. Being able to go indestructible is nice, but expensive. I do like what this card tries to do, but I do think it’s pretty clunky. Thriving Lands Cycle Build your own ETB tapped lands is a great design and very reminiscent of vivid lands. What’s nice about this cycle is that unlike the vivid lands, these are Pauper legal! While I dont’ know too much about Peasant / Pauper, I do always hear people complain about the mana fixing and breaking rarity just for lands. I’m assuming these will be a welcome addition to Peasant / Pauper cubes, not to mention a solid option for cube builders on a budget. Hot Takes Tier List Time! Criteria is based on the following:
Amount of cubes I think this will see play, particularly in powered / high powered settings
How long they will last in cubes
Cube sizes I expect the cards to penetrate (example: top tier is mainly reserved for cards I think that can penetrate 360 powered cubes)
The order of the cards within tiers doesn’t matter as much as which half of the list they’re on
Barrin, Tolarian Archmage
Teferi, Master of Time
Radha, Heir of Keld
Waker of Waves
Emiel the Blessed
Subira, Tulzidi Carvaneer
Terror of the Peaks
Neviyth of the Dire Hunt
Zuroth, Chaos Rider
Chandra, Heart of Fire
Liliana’s Standard Bearer
Sethron, Hurloon General
See the Truth
Scholar of the Lost Trove
Liliana, Waker of the Dead
Ormos, Archive Keeper
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
It seems that WOTC finally realized that maybe they should tone down the power creep a bit after setting it to 10 with War of the Spark and cranking it up to 11 with Ikoria.
While M21 lacks some threatening bombs for cube, it does contain a lot of good planeswalker interactions which were notably absent from the two sets with the most dominant planeswalkers, War of the Spark and Throne of Eldraine. I feel like the past year’s ratio of threats / answers leaned very heavily towards the threat side, so I’m happy that my favorite takeaways from this set interact well against planeswalkers.
Jumpstart has good reprints, but seems a bit disappointing for cube. Personally I have no interest in adding any Jumpstart card to my cube.
Let me know if there’s a card that I missed and I’ll respond back with the hottest of takes! Also, feel free to join the Online Cube Drafts Discord Group to discuss all things Cube plus use Xmage to host tournaments to draft / play with our own cubes! https://discord.gg/wRVzHQR
Rookie to Road A license in 3 weeks. A newbie's tale
I joined iracing on 5-17-2020. I am not very good, I learned that pretty early. For the first 3 weeks I was a liability on road courses and did fairly well on ovals but could never keep up with leaders with any SoF. I decided to just be safe, learn to get out of the leaders way on blue flags, focus on my lines, let anyone challenging me for 14th place just have it (cause most of the time they would wreck out and I get the place anyway) I read forums, watched videos, joined VRS, and decided that while I wasn't going to win a race for a long time I could focus on seeing improvement each race in SR. I set my goal to get an A license in Oval and Road. https://imgur.com/IwAdltN I am 3 days short of 1 month of racing and today I earned my A road license at 3.49, and I'm one clean race away from A license in Oval at B 3.89. I did very little time trials, it was almost all racing in just about any car I could try (R8, Miata, F1, Skippys, etc). I'm pretty sure I could have done this a week faster, but week 13 is in the middle of this process. It took 52 starts to achieve this with my best finish being 3rd and 6 finishes in the top 5. There really are no wrong ways to have fun and I prefer to try out all sorts of different content each week rather than focus on 1 or 2 series. My thoughts for those also extremely new to iracing, from an extremely newbie perspective:
Focusing on SR has made me a way better driver than anytime I focus on time. It has been really rewarding to see my times improve while staying safe.
Just being safe at 1k iRating means you'll do very well.
At 1k I'm still seeing a lot of crashes and past the D rating and rookie you don't get fast repairs. Avoid these incidents and 9 times out of 10 you'll finish with positive irating just by surviving.
When you get a faster car behind you don't try and get out of the way. Hold your line and just lift off the accelerator on a straight or go easy into a corner. Let them chose how to pass you; not the other way around.
Download an app like RacelapApps. Knowing the SoF and safety rating of those around you is one of the most powerful tools to know who to avoid, who to let pass and who is gonna cause trouble. I'll bet knowing other's SR has saved me a good dozen wrecks by giving a wide birth to a guy with a C 1.3 rating (he gonna crash and take people with him on T1)
If you have the spare income, try and buy a lot of content.
Ok, this one is not for everyone but when I first started I kinda hated the beginner content. I thought the dirt racing starter truck was lame, so I avoided all the dirt content and bought a ton of oval and road. I knew I was going to love road because I drive a 911 in real life and have been on a real track.
What I didn't expect was how much I would love Oval racing. I went into iracing assuming I would end up only doing road but I currently have 53 starts on road and 40 on ovals.
Report people that intentionally wreck
Now that I've been around for a month and had 100 starts I have to say that iracing is special and deserves to be protected. Do your part by submitting a report when someone does something egregiously against the sporting code. Consider it a community service to make the iracing world a little bit better. Sure it takes a few minutes of effort, but iracing seems to take it quite serious and you're making the iracing world a better place.
Have fun your way
I'm still learning just how much content there is in iracing and almost infinite ways to enjoy.
Want to focus on 1 car forever? Go for it
Only ever race dirt ovals? Good for you
Want to do as much diversity as you can? You do you
Never want to race against a person but still want to compete? Time trials are for you!
Never let someone else here or on the forums tell you "Your fun is wrong". This sim is so flexible that however you choose to enjoy it is up to you.
Those are my thoughts on "speed running" SR from rookie to A. TL;DR: I knew I sucked at racing so I focused on SR and became a way better racer as a result. PS: I also lightly stream on twitch - no subs or donations; just for fun. I'm a CFO by trade so we discuss finances and how bad I am at racing. Twitch.tv/boomerracer
What Should a Person Who is Trying to be Good Do in this Case then?
This is effectively a reply to something madscandi said to me in my thread The Definitive Guide to long term football betting . I’m told that if betting multiples on outright markets is as profitable as I say it is then the edge is more likely to be gone than widely accepted . I was also told that I seem to be trying to convert people because all I talk about on here is betting multiples on outright markets. So the aim of this post is to explain that I’m most certainly not trying to convert anyone . I’m more than happy for not one person on here to ever bet multiples on outright markets. And secondly to explain why the day the edge disappears I’d celebrate if I knew about it. Now I realise these are points that are unlikely to be of much interest to most people and that’s why I’ve made clear what I’m going to write about . I will try to be concise but unfortunately in order for me to be convincing I may not be concise. Let’s however try to make this very very easy. I am a very ordinary person . In fact that’s not quite true . I think of myself as a loser. In my mid thirties I had no job no degree no A levels no girlfriend no chance of ever buying a house no car not many friends a bad relationship with my parents and was sharing an overcrowded flat with other losers . That there is a complete loser. On top of that I was about to be diagnosed with a debilitating chronic illness. Then one day in February 1997 I got locked out when no one was in and being broke took shelter in the bookies and within five minutes was very surprised to learn you could bet each way on outright markets in February and that at least one team seemed to be clear value in the place part of their price. 22 years later Im a millionaire. But am I happier ? No. Why ? Apart from my illness it’s because I’m not free . I believe that 100s of millions of people are being conned into believing that betting singles on sports games and matches is the best way to beat the bookies when in fact betting multiples on outright markets is not only easier to profit from but crucially less likely to cause addiction. Now we get to the crux of the matter . What should a good person do in that situation? Or rather a person who is trying very hard to be a good person ? And I believe that it’s clear that I should tell people . Not doing so would be morally wrong and clearly selfish . Not convert people merely inform them. My two best friends dont bet this way although one of them lost his accounts anyway and ones a compulsive gambler . And neither did my father . And nor have I ever tried to convert them . Why would I ? What do I gain ? It’s enough that I told them . However one thing I’ve learned is that, curiously, gambling forums , which you’d have thought would be the most appropriate place to let people know due to things like gamblers already understanding risk, survivorship bias and money management unlike other people, are,incredibly, the worst places to tell people ! Now at this point I should point out that apparently this is because I’m doing it wrong but the thing is if you remember I’m a loser . You don’t get to be living in an overcrowded flat in your thirties with few friends and no girlfriend and no job if you’re the kind of person who knows how to deal with people . And you cannot change a losers mindset . So let’s just move on and accept that I have to tell people my way . And to keep this reasonably short it became obvious to me some time ago that only by acquiring a lot of evidence and then sending it to mathematicians will I finally be free of the need to tell people . Because it will no longer be true. And as a result of not being constantly criticised I hope and expect to be happier. So why then am I posting on Reddit about it. Well the two main reasons are I feel a bit guilty that here is a way for ordinary people to win money from gambling in a non addictive way which normally gets a very bad press and I’m effectively going to destroy it just to make myself happier. I kind of feel that I’m being selfish in not persisting with the odd post on forums . But then every time I post I still get more negativity than anything else . Which brings me to the other reason . Sheer curiosity. I’ve become utterly fascinated by gamblers . And you surely have to admit that this quite possibly a unique situation. I literally cannot give away on forums the easiest way I know to make money!! Incredible. Utterly incredible. And so I’m also going to be sending all my evidence to sociologists all over the world . And in order for sociologists to be interested I feel I should keep trying . I mean it’s not as if I have anything important to do instead . I still have no girlfriend you know and never travel. TL DR Okie dokie so the bottom line is I expect to be happier once it’s no longer true that betting multiples on outright markets is profitable.😀
I've been a Starting 9 listener since the first episode (coming over from Section 10), and I'm pumped that we have this forum now. I originally wrote up this post for /baseball, but it didn't gain a lot of traction. I know that we're just now feeling out what the S9 subreddit will be like, but I felt like this kind of OC post would be more up this crowd's alley. If this breaks the rules or isn't fun, feel free to shoot me down, but given how little we have to work with right now baseball-wise, I figured it was worth it. Baseball, America’s game, has always been synonymous with beer. Many ballparks are still named after beer companies, many teams were founded purely as a way for the townspeople to drink beer, and everyone likes to enjoy a nice brew at the ballpark (depending on the affordability of said brews at your hometown park). Given that we currently have an abundance of time and a dearth of baseball, I bring to you the MLB All-Time Beer Team. My Process: Haphazard and not exhaustive. I tried to select the most beer-y player at each position based on an undisclosed litany of criteria (my incredibly flawed background knowledge). This was not a scientific process, and I welcome any additions to this roster! Player value was not considered, but player prominence was, so there is certainly a correlation (causation?! we'll get to that) between achievement and popular association with beer. Some positions had much more beer association than others, which resulted in more competition that required some snubs at particular roster spots--for example, pitchers and outfielders are overwhelmingly beer-y compared to middle infielders and catchers. I didn't provide honorable mentions--please do in the comments. For each player, I have provided my rationale for their appearance on this list, the strength of their association with beer on a scale of 1-5 cans, and the player’s metaphorical Spirit Beer (it is this final category that I welcome much additional conjecture and debate). Position Players:
1B: Seth Beer
2B: Whit Merrifield
3B: Wade Boggs
SS: Alex Rodriguez
C: Pudge Rodriguez
OF: Bud Weiser
OF: Babe Ruth
OF: Darryl Strawberry
Player by player, here are all of the advanced metrics that went into the formulation of this all-time beer roster. First Base: Seth Beer
Rationale: His inclusion here is self-evident. Minor leaguer Beer became a meme when he was one of the players that the Astros sent over to the DBacks for Zach Greinke last season: “Astros trade Beer for Greinke.” Hardy har har. Beer is a top twenty prospect in the DBacks’ system, but he was a legendary college player at Clemson, winning the college player of the year award as a freshman in 2016. His name immediately includes him on this roster.
Beer Association: Three cans. The name is undeniable, but his beer association appears to be all in the name for the moment.
Spirit Beer: That New Offering From Your Local Microbrewery. They have what is undeniably beer, but, much like 23-year-old Beer, they need some time to figure things out, and their beers are very hit-or-miss, much like Beer and his 20%+ K rate in AA last season.
Second Base: Whit Merrifield
Rationale: Whit Merrifield is one of the most overlooked and underrated players in baseball, which makes his partnership with Boulevard Brewing Company completely unsurprising: BBC is the largest craft beer company in the Midwest, but I bet you didn’t know that (and neither did I). Merrifield has led the league in hits for the past two seasons, but the average fan wouldn’t know him if he threw an empty at them. Hell, in 2018 he led the league in hits and stolen bases, finished with 5+ fWAR, and didn’t get an all star nod. Whit, and BBC (heh heh), represent the overlooked Midwest. His name is also almost literally a kind of beer (Wit).
Beer Association: Two cans. He is a dedicated partner with BBC, but, sadly, both Whit and BBC represent a local campaign.
Spirit Beer: Boulevard Brewing Company’s Unfiltered Whit, of course.
Third Base: Wade Boggs
Rationale: Oh, Wade Boggs (may he rest in peace). Everything that has been said about Wade Boggs and beer has already been said. We don’t know how many beers he actually drank on that legendary cross-country flight, but reports fluctuate between 64 and 107. Boggs has declined to confirm the actual number, but he does confirm that “it was a lot of Miller Lites.”
Beer Association: Emphatic five cans and team captaincy.
Spirit Beer: Miller Lite (of course).
Shortstop: Alex Rodriguez
Rationale: It pains me to include him on this list, but there were very few shortstops associated with beer, and A-Rod was an okay ballplayer. A-Rod recently became the co-owner and chairman of Presidente Beer. According to Forbes, A-Rod says, “The hundreds of Dominican major league players and Latin American players that have played in this country, the first thing they do after a game is have a Presidente.” Hyperbole? Maybe. In any case, A-Rod is a beer advocate.
Beer Association: One can. Buying a beer company does not make you a beer person, but middle infielders tend to not be associated with beer. Get the fuck off my mound.
Spirit Beer: Natty Ice. Potent, ubiquitous, seems like a good idea, they make a lot of money, you get over it as you get older, and everyone hates it.
Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez
Rationale: Pudge is, of course, one of the most legendary catchers of all time. He also partnered with Nine Band Brewing in Texas to endorse his own beer, 13 Gold, named for the thirteen Gold Gloves that he earned over the course of his 21-year career.
Beer Association: One can. Catcher is thin on beer associations.
Spirit Beer: Pabst Blue Ribbon. Much like Pudge, PBR has been consistently at or near the top of the beer food chain forever, and they are decorated (hence the blue ribbon). Also like Pudge, PBR goes in and out of fashion (PEDs, ebbs and flows of his career, etc). Pudge played for seven different MLB teams, and everyone has PBR memories (for better or worse).
Outfield: Bud Weiser
Rationale: Harry Budson “Bud” Weiser played most of his early-1900s career in New York and Pennsylvania leagues, but he did play a few games for the Phillies in 1915 and 1916, going 12-74 in the majors on his way to earning -0.8 WAR. Sheesh. What a name, though. Considering the rest of this lineup, he’s worth a spot.
Beer Association: Two cans. Strong name, weak game.
Spirit Beer: Budweiser. The brand name is strong, but, like Sir Weiser, the beer is below average.
Outfield: Babe Ruth
Rationale: It is an accepted truth that George Herman Ruth was the greatest player of his time while subsisting completely on hot dogs and beer . . . during prohibition and the Great Depression. If you ask him, the Babe actually drank so much beer to support his community: “Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, 'It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.’” He was truly a Depression-era social leader, that George. Plus, he may be a mythical creature.
Beer Association: Five cans. That beer gut is legendary.
Spirit Beer: Sam Adams Boston Lager. They both originated in Boston and both eventually left Boston to produce elsewhere. Ruth was ahead of his time and dominated, much like how Sam Adams was ahead of the craft beer boom. If Ruth were to play today, he would likely not be as dominant as he was in his time, but he did more to grow the game than almost any other player in history. Sam Adams has lost its cache as a “cool” craft beer, but they opened the door for other craft breweries to enter the market.
Outfield: Darryl Strawberry
Rationale: Darryl Strawberry is on the team as a representative from the debaucherous Mets of the eighties. Of course, they weren’t known just for their beer drinking, but Strawberry makes sure to set the record straight: “Beer was the foundation of our alcoholic lifestyle. We hauled around more Bud than the Clydesdales.” Additionally, according to Untappd, Strawberry has nineteen different craft beers named after him. Talk about a legacy.
Beer Association: Four cans. If he wasn’t known more for doing coke and having sex in between innings than he was for drinking beer, this would be a five.
Spirit Beer: Abita Purple Haze. Abita makes offbeat fruity beers that are risky and full of flair, like Darryl Strawberry, but they are undeniably successful.
SP: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey
Rationale: The 2011 Red Sox. Yuck. The chicken-and-beer scandal (which needs no repeating) came as the Sox lost a nine-game division lead by going 7-20 to end the year amidst turmoil. Terry Francona was unjustly shooed out of town, and Bobby Valentine "led" the Red Sox to a 69-win season in 2012 (shudders). Beckett, Lester, and Lackey--three legendary pitchers who all made valuable contributions to the Red Sox at other points in their careers--spearheaded the ugliness. They were all on the 2012 roster before the purge in the offseason of 2013.
Beer Association: Four cans. One cannot talk about the 2011 Red Sox without talking about beer, but their careers are not defined by 2011.
Spirit Beer: Busch. Like this SP threesome, Busch looks great--the mountains on the can!--and makes a lot of money, but who wants a regular Busch? You’ll just get fat and end up with a bad taste in your mouth. If you want to drink trash, you should order a Busch Light, just as we wanted another version of these pitchers.
SP: Aaron Nola
Rationale: Nola partnered with Yuengling, ingratiating himself with the fans of Philadelphia. He donned a butt-ugly Yuengling uniform and declared: “I had my first Yuengling Lager after being drafted by Philadelphia and I haven't looked back. The fact that America's Oldest Brewery is family owned and operated is important to me as I value family over everything." He is a company man, that Nola.
Beer Association: Two cans. Regional favoritism.
Spirit Beer: Narragansett. Nola loves to fish and he sports a sick curveball (“hook”--get it?), so he takes another regional favorite that is forever associated with coastal fishing after being featured in Jaws.
SP: David Wells
Rationale: David Wells is that guy who anti-baseball advocates point to when they argue that baseball players aren’t athletes. Wells may actually have been the most impressive athlete in baseball: He claims to have been “half drunk” when he threw a perfect game in 1998. He claimed to regularly drink 25 beers at a time. He literally mentions beer in the title of his book (who knew that David Wells had a book?). He brags about how he drank beer regularly during his best season. Wells is truly the everyman player.
Beer Association: Three cans for his consistent effort toward being associated with beer.
Spirit Beer: Guinness. David Wells does not look like an athlete, but he was truly an excellent pitcher. People who have never had a Guinness assume that its deep, dark color means that it is bitter and heavy, but Guinness is actually light and refreshing. Plus, the glasses are extra thicc (like Wells), and it is a stout. David Wells is also stout (Get it? Get it??).
RP: Pat Light
Rationale: I love Pat Light. In his one year in the majors (2016), Light was an absolutely horrid major league pitcher, giving up 21 earned runs on 22 hits over only 16.2 innings in seventeen appearances. Since then, he has become a cult figure among a certain crew of Red Sox fans (whaddup whaddup) for his humility and ability to make fun of himself while still following the Red Sox. He’s on this list for two reasons: His name sounds like a beer’s name (Bud Light, Coors Light, you fucking get it), and I would love to get a beer with Pat Light. Plus, he owns a couple bars in Hoboken.
Beer Association: Five cans. Beer name and literally makes a living from beer. Plus he's the man.
Spirit “Beer”: Four Loko. Only do it a few times, all hell breaks loose, and you never forget it (or, you forget everything, as most Red Sox fans have sadly done with Pat Light).
This team turned out to be littered with all-time greats, which tells us one of two things: Either beer is rightfully synonymous with baseball, or we only hear the stories about the good players who drink a lot of beer. Or maybe, just maybe, a lot of beer makes you better at baseball. (All stats are per Fangraphs)
Observation 19 Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. (Because no Commander is safe from our ships being themselves...)
Hello! Aoba here! Coming in hot with another addition to the Bunbunmaru Newspaper! I was able to snatch this from the Commander's office thanks to some inside help. Now, I present to you, the next 50 rules from the list! Make sure to check later publications for more exciting details on this now infamous list! This is Aoba, the fastest reporter around and I will talk to you all later! Rule 0. This list is not to be disclosed to the greater public as that may have very...negative...impacts on our funding. We need money in order to do things girls, so please, act normal not mentally ill. Why is this rule 0? Because this is the rule that comes before all rules.
Your weekly allowance is not to be used purchasing any of the following: gold bars, Plutonium, nudes, body pillows, WMD's, plain white shirts of unknown origin, illegal drugs, poisons of any kind, trap tools, originium, yellow flowers, anyone's soul, BFG's, golden arrows, anything from Siren transports, Element 115, a Holy Grail or copies of Twilight. You are allowed to purchase decorations and items to decorate your dorms as well as clothing and much more. However, any major purchases must be approved by me first!
Atago, you are not a marriage counselor. Neither are you Takao. And no, me and Enterprise do not need counseling. No, Belfast is not trying to ruin our marriage. And no one needs to know who's on top!
York is not the "Grand Master of the Jedi Order" and is henceforth, banned from addressing herself as such. She is also banned from being the Dungeon Master in any DnD style game.
No one is allowed to "infiltrate" any local conventions during home-port visits unless given permission. All Axis ships, in addition, are permanently banned from going anywhere near anime of furry conventions.
When writing a report, more detail is expected than "Date: [CLASSIFIED]. Location: [CLASSIFIED]. Timeline of events: [CLASSIFIED]". Adding random numbers/letters to look like a cipher is also considered poor form. Trust me, we checked.
The Cleveland sisters are now banned from viewing Monty Python and the Holy Grail due to the resulting aftermath. Colombia wouldn't stop asking Cross about swallows. And no, we do not possess the Holy Hand Grenade and Laffey will not bite anyone's head off. Also, Cross cannot read Aramaic. The Black Beast of Argh also does not exist.
"For the God Emperor" is not an acceptable justification for any action. Not even for the Sakura Empire. Also not accepted are "Blood for the Blood God", "Skulls for the Skull Throne", "Because screw Magnus", "Because I am the mother f'ing Emperor" or "Magic pain glove told me to do it.".
For the last time, I do not have a stand. And for the record, everyone can see Mio's Hatotaurus!
Yes, forum trolls are annoying. No, they are not to be used for target practice for live-fire exercises. Or subjects to any form of experiment. Or food.
No one is allowed to lace my birthday cake with aphrodisiac. Again.
Engaging in flame wars is forbidden for the foreseeable future. We had to replace a lot of computers.
The "Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" is not the grounds for staging a fake destress signal to pit many ships against each other in a race to "rescue" me Akashi. Letting off some steam, however is. Roon is also banned from administrating "Free Hugs".
Manjuus are not to be used in any sport or sport-like activities.
Any proposal which includes the phrase "Metric fuck ton!" will be straight out denied. You have still failed to describe what a "Metric fuck" quantifies as Scharnhorst.
No one is allowed inside my closet. Ever. Not even during emergencies Ayanami.
Yes, my brother's nickname is Cross. I gave it to him so he can feel better about the scar on his cheek. While he is open to the many different names you girls call him, the following nicknames are to be discontinued. They are as follows: "Ozzy, Oppy, Oqqy, Obby, Nothing (clever, I'll admit), Selena but flat, Scarface, Big Brother, Little Brother, Precious Child, Pervert (you asked for his help Hamman), Fun-Police, Bloodbag, Personal Slave, Pest, Childhood Best Friend, Loli-magnet, Dexter, Doc Brown, Honorary Member of the Board of Proud Chests, Useless Idiot (he has a name you know, Hipper?), Arch-nemesis, Lap-pillow, Sensei, Fellow Scatman, Noir 2.0, Histoire 2.0 or Inspector Gadget". Yes, I am exempt from this rule as I am twin-sister. Yes, his real name is weird enough. It's best not to question it. My best explanation is that my mom was an Ancient Classics expert and my dad thought it was a joke.
Vampire is no longer allowed to play "Hippocratic Oath Chicken" with any medical staff.
A full minute of silence means "My God what did you do?", not "Keep firing.".
Pranks against new ships or new staff are not funny because they "ran faster than ever before!", Sara.
Attempts to use on-site radio equipment or any other forms of communication to contact the Creator are outright banned. Cross is still trying to decode the responses received.
Cross has a doctorate, but he is not a medical doctor. So please, stop asking him about: bad stomachs, where do babies come from, free hugs, alternative medicine, the healing power of laughter, how to safely use Hamon, can Determination be extracted, how to construct Void Vessels, mushrooms of any sort, where can you find Green Herbs or how to craft Full Restores.
Alabama is no longer allowed to suggest "add more guns" when drafting plans for coastal defense. Or "get a bigger gun".
Despite any evidence to the contrary, Azur Lane is not affiliated with any of the following: The Imperial Armada, Starfleet Command, The Clockwork Armada, Pirates of any sea, Fleet of Retribution, Aperture Science, Rhodes Island, Kingdom of Atlas, Freelancers, Adeptus Mechanicus, Sentients, Alterra Corporation or the Science Team.
The "Reborn Imperial Russian Navy" is a very stupid idea. Avrora still has some PTSD from that event.
Yes, empirical evidence is the foundation of science. Yes, blind faith is the death of reason. No, this does not logically imply that you are ethically obligated to demonstrate the existence of breasts to Cross, Chapayev.
Drugs of any sort are banned indefinitely from here on out. Anyone found with in possession of drugs not prescribed to them by medical professionals will be hosed with cold water and tied to a chair and be the sole audience member to a Sandy concert. I will go that far!
Searching for Atlantis is not a valid reason to leave port. Neither is searching for R'lyeh, heart of the Bermuda Triangle, an empty Miami beach, Roanoke Colony, pirate gold or the Flying Dutchman. Why? Because we're on an archipelago, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In addition, all girls responsible for this rule will be forced to attend a Geography class led by Ranger.
No one is allowed to encourage the creation of fanart of themselves on any image board. Yes, I check your Noodle-search history. Please stop.
The on-site personnel are not to be referred to as any of the following: Red-shirts, Maids-in-training, Cannon-fodder, Grunts, background characters, the Unworthy, Inferior Beings, Free EXP or Test Subjects.
No Akatsuki, we will not form an official Shinobi Clan. Yes, I know Kirishima, you girls bought the uniforms already. You can still use them, and your skills in espionage are quite useful, I just don't want any more ships to suffer near heart-attacks. Or Cross breaking another leg after you girls booby-trapped his room.
There are no security codes for: Bismarck's porcelain-doll collection, a cassette of "Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money", actually good T4 boxes, a copy of "Hollow Knight: Silksong", Steel Ball Run, Kongo's spare headbands, fog machines, Plutia's plushies, Speedwagon's hat, PTcubes, Asacoco, Shoukaku's meme page, Gangnut's special vodka blend, candy trees or Nagato's other tails.
London is banned from trying to use Siren technology to create the Tardis. Yes, we know it has great tactical value and usability, however, you last attempt went very poorly and the base was without power for 2 days.
While humor can be a great way to improve moral, "yo mama" jokes are banned for the foreseeable future, for...obvious reasons...
Bad luck is not contagious Juneau, so please do not lock yourself in your dorm's closet when something unlucky happens.
Akashi is no longer allowed to accept the following as payment for anything: your soul, anyone else's soul, sap from the Great Sakura Tree, Taiho's love juice, memories (real or imagined), first/second/third-born children, LMD, Enterprise's medals, your voice, 7 years of your life, anyone's Stand, time, jewels from some crazy vampire, glimmer, ponies, someone's beautiful legs, Attack Gems or nuclear warheads.
Noshiro is banned from going near the cliff on the west side of the island with the mission of searching for gems or metal ores. The place is also not called the Beach of Beginnings and you may not address yourself as "Bort" in official documents.
As funny as it was Akashi, please refrain from now on to give high-grade weaponry to the Bullins.
No one is allowed to ask Gascogne to divide by 0, find the square-root of a negative number, or find the last digit of pi. She was comatose for 3 days and she still has unpleasant memories from that event.
PR ships are not to be treated as testbeds for new weaponry. They're expensive enough to maintain and receive. Please do not add another 0 to their maintenance cost!
Siren technology is not to be removed from the Research Labs or from other secure environments. They are especially not to be used in pranks of any sort or used for decorations. We're still getting complaints from universities worldwide after a few devises went haywire and caused several atomic-clocks to be off by 1 microsecond.
While massive railguns are definitely an effective means of protecting the base from conventual assault, we currently do not have the means, time or resources to start construction on a few. Also, installing point-defense weapons on sandcastles is, from now on, banned. We do not need another Sand War.
All of the following movies are banned from Movie Night: The Room, the Disney Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Pacific Rim, Pearl Harbor, Signs, The Happening, any M. Night Shyamalan movies, any Transformer movies, any war-propaganda movies, Batman Forever, God's not Dead, Frozen, or Cinderella.
Ark Royal is banned from spotting duty. Or anything else involving observation. No, Ark, this will not impede on your detective work because you are not an official investigator.
There is no position for "Grand Marshal" in the Fleet at this time. I don't even know what that position entails.
York is now banned from reading any Harry Potter books or watching Konosuba. Please York, we do not need another explosion, nor do we need "anti-dementor" defenses.
Please use the standard dockyards for refueling, repair and rearming. My personal room is not an infirmary. Nor is it a lounge, armory, library, café, art studio, lookout station or a shrine. And for the last time, stop making spare keys for my room Akagi!
No one is allowed to use Mirror Seas to send things to the past, present, or to alternate dimensions. I don't think Purifier is keen on returning any items sent.
Duplicates encountered in Mirror Seas are to be shot on sight. They are not to be conversed with or, especially, played games with. Having 1 Saratoga is trouble enough! Seeing multiple Laffeys is also very uncanny.
The sale, ingestion, or use of any bodily fluids from me is strictly banned. I do not want to know how on earth did you manage to get them, put please, for the love of all that is holy, STOP SELLING MY BLOOD! Also, the sale of bodily fluids from other ship-girls is also banned. This includes: hormones, milk, blood, spit, oil or "mind-fluid". In fact, the sale of anything from the body is banned. Permanently.
Graf is not allowed to make, take or organize bets on the end of the world. We're trying to improve humanity's chance for survival Graf, not end it!
A cards grade is the biggest factor in determining the value of a card. Below are is some info and tips on determining a cards grade. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you have done your research and are confident in a cards grade that it will come back from a grading service with that same grade. On a good day you may be surprised and score higher than anticipated, but there will be days when those sub 9 grades come in. The scoring scale is generally: 10-9.5 Gem Mint 9 Mint 8 Near Mint-Mint 7 Near Mint 6 Excellent-Mint 5 Excellent 4 Very Good-Excellent 3 Very Good 2 Good 1.5 Fair 1 Poor You can see examples of each grade level in the links below. The price difference between a 10 and 9.5 can be 10 fold. Condition is paramount in a cards value. This info will be put into the sidebar Determining a cards condition There are 4 main categories for determining the condition of a card Centring Corners Surface Edges —————————————————————— A 10 point system is generally used to score each category. Usually either with .5 scores available or with only whole numbers (e.g. 9.5, 7 etc). There are many factors that can go into each category and they may include: Centring How centred is the image on the card? During the printing and cutting process of making cards it is often that the print and cut is not perfectly centred. The image can be offset left, right, up or down. Or a combination of up and right, down and right, up and left, down and left. It is possible for the centring to be crooked as well but this is extremely uncommon. Using a printed boarder on the card is the easiest way to determine your centring as seen in this guide . However you may not have a border to reference on your card. Using any “land marks” available on the card is your next best bet. This is more difficult but sometimes you have to make do. The measurements on a cards centring will determine its grading score. 50/50 centring is as good as it gets and that’s a 10. Depending on the grader 55/45 can be a 10 or a 9.5. The further from 50/50 centring your card gets the lower the score. A 95/5 (absolutely awful) or a 90/10 (slightly less awful) are your bottom rung centring stats most likely earning you a 1-2 score. The centring of the front and the back of the card are take into consideration so you will want to measure both (be careful any time assessing cards! Don’t place a ruler or another measure device on the surface of the card!). Corners The corners of a card are usually the easiest factor to asses yourself and unfortunately are often the most at risk aspect of your card after it’s been printed. The nature of the points makes them susceptible to being bumped and bent either deforming them or softening them. Graders are looking for 4 sharp and clearly defined corners. They will look at them under a microscope so what may seem perfect to you under a microscope may not look the same under a microscope. To get a Gem Mint 10 score you will need 4 perfect corners. You may still get a 9.5 with very light softening to one corner of the card but the more damaged corners and the more damage to those corner you will obviously get a lower score. Be cautious when loading cards into sleeves and top loaders as this is when corners often take a beating! Surface The surface of the card is of course the largest area of your card. This opens it up to a wide variety of issues. A cards surface can suffer from any of the following: scratches, creases, printing imperfections or blemishes, staining, peeling, whitening, yellowing, bubbling, fingerprints or oils from your skin from being handled too much. Some of these are more noticeable than others but again the surface of the card will be scrutinized under a microscope so not much will get passed the grader. Some issues can be attempted to be cleaned such as stains and finger prints or just plain old dirt but this has the potential to damage the card if not done properly and is not guaranteed to work. A 10 Gem Mint will have to be spotless and with the surface you won’t get away with much and still get a 9.5. Many of the factors can have a heavily weighted negative impact on the surface grade of the card with scratches and creases being the most common offenders. In some cases a printing imperfection may add uniqueness and value to a card but that can be subjective and will still negatively impact a cards grade. Edges Again like the corners the edges are on the front line for taking damage. Either in the pack before sale or after sale when being handled, transported, or loaded into sleeves or top loaders. With the edges of the card you will be looking for sharpness, any whitening on the card, and chipping. Sometimes with a gentle touch some whitening can be removed from edges and corners but it’s not recommend unless you are confident in your ability to do so without further damaging the card. At the risk of sounding repetitive a microscope will be used by grading companies to inspect the edges. Like with the corners and Gem Mint 10 will need 4 sharpe and clean edges, with each damaged edge the grade will drop and the extent of that damage will further lower that score. Autographed cards can add another dimension to the card but the autograph will often earn its own score separate from the score of the card. Summary All four of these factors will be taken into account when grading a card. Some companies will tell you the score for each individual category and some will only tell you the overall combined score. Take a careful look at all 4 factors and use as many guides and references as you can to determine the condition. Condition of a card can have a drastic effect on the dollar value of the card. It’s not uncommon to see a card drop 50% or more in value from a Gem Mint 10 to a 9 or even a 9.5. Below are some resources for helping you can a solid grasp on grading. Sports Card Grading 101: The Definitive Tutorial https://allvintagecards.com/sports-card-grading/#tab-con-26 PSA Grading Standards https://www.psacard.com/resources/gradingstandards PSA Grading vs Beckett Grading vs SGC Grading (Massive Guide and Review) https://goldcardauctions.com/psagrading-or-beckettgrading/ Cardboard Connection Grading Guide https://www.cardboardconnection.com/collecting-101/sports-card-grading-101
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