A Guide to No Risk, Matched Sports Betting Bonuses - nj.com

LPT: If you have a lot of free time at the moment, you can generate a little income on the side by doing online work like teaching english, transcription, microtasks or surveys. It's not a fortune but if you have time to spare anyway it's a good way to pay a few bills. (list of sites attached)

Here is a list of sites for online work that anyone can use:

Appen - Paid Projects, up to 20 hours a week. Decent pay of about $14 dollars per hour but depends on the project you can get
Lionbridge - Paid projects, great projects on offer
TeamWork - Paid projects, good site.
ClickWorker - Surveys and Writing..payments vary per task....Very good site.
Neevo - Tasks , up to $1 per task approx
Vipkid- Teach English to kids online, $15-$25 per hour or so
QKid- Same as vipkid teaching English online- I think this pays up to $20 per hour
gogokid- Teach English Online $14-25 per hour
Prolific.co - Surverys, pays very well!
Mturk - Microtasks- Pay is ok, haven't used it myself but seems fine
Rev - Transcription
TranscribeME - Transcription
GoTranscript- Transcription
Qmee- Surveys, varying payout on each one...pretty good site.
Swagbucks- Surveys, good paying.
Timebucks - Various surveys, good site.
GG2U- Surveys, good site with good payout, probably average of 1$ per survey
Serpclix - Good one for tasks/surveys...intall on your browser and it will let you know when there are some available
BrandedSurvey- Surveys
20Cogs - You complete 20 offers to get the payout, you will have to cancel a few subsciptions after some tasks but it's a good way to make about £200-£300
Panelbase.net - Surveys, Mostly they pay £1-£4
YouGov - Surveys, good site and pay is decent.
populuslive.com - Surveys, pay is decent.
Ysense - Surveys and other tasks
Prizerebel - Surveys and other tasks
Microworkers - Various tasks
HideOutTV- Watch videos and get paid
HoneyGain- You get paid for browsing the internet every month , maybe $40 or so

This got a very positive response when I posted a few months ago so I thought I'd put it out there again, Personally I use a combination of these sites to earn around £1000-£1500 a month. Hopefully it can be of help to more people, shoot me a message if you have any questions

EDIT: Ok so the reason I said I use a combination of these sites is because I have used all of them at one time or another, but here is my current combination:
Appen/Lionsbridge- Most recently worked as a social media evaluator which payed $15 per hour and gave me around 10 hours per week
Clickworker- I use the UHRS section,“Universal Human Relevance System”. It’s a partner website that can be accessed over clickworker.com and where you can process additional jobs. You can earn a lot more this way
Neevo- Various tasks , up to $1 per task approx
VipKid and other english teaching sites- I also put ads on a spanish site called tusclasesparticulares offering skype classes. Here is a link to a lot of different English teaching sites you can use from different countries
GG2U- Surveys, good site with good payout, probably average of 1$ per survey
20cogs- A good way to earn £200+ in a relatively short time
Serpclix - Good one for tasks/surveys...intall on your browser and it will let you know when there are some available
Qmee- Surveys, good site
Prolific- Surveys- Can pay very well
HoneyGain- You get paid for browsing the internet every month , maybe $40 or so
These would be my go to sites, and I sporadically check for work on the others too if I have the time.
I spend 2 hours a day doing this to earn £1000 per month but it's usually higher than that. You have to earn £33 per day in order to hit the £1000 per month mark, which is very doable when you have 20 or so sites to work with.
For me at the moment it's usually a one hour class which makes me £15 and then a combination of projects from Lionsbridge (which currently pays about $15 dollars for an hour) and then a couple of random short tasks or surveys from one of the other sites, or more if I don't do a class...Takes a while to fine tune it and I'm always modifying the combination but believe me it's more than doable. As I say, you just need to hit that £33 a day, which is actually even easier to hit in dollars if you prefer to think of it that way.

Also, and this is only useful to people in the UK, I am currently doing "Matched Betting" because the Premier league is on now and more and more sporting fixtures are making a comeback. Match betting is where you bet on one outcome in the bookies and then bet against that outcome in the exchange, with both bets at almost the same odds.
So for example, If you bet £10 for Real Madrid to win at odds of 2.5 on the betting site, and then bet for Real Madrid not to win(i.e bet against them) on the exchange at the same odds, you are covered in all outcomes, win lose or draw.
This means you have fullfilled the requirements of the betting sites offer (for example, Bet £10 and get £40 in free bets) without actually gambling, since there is no risk of losing the £10 you bet since it's matched. You then do the exact same thing with your £40 free bets, and this is where you make the profit since you're not using £40 of your own money.
Yes It's totally legal, just a loophole in the system really, although I was very suspicious of it at first. I wrote a guide explaining how to do it, you can find it at the top of my profile if you are interested. I have made about £700-£800 per month from doing this, on top of the money from other sites, but obviously this means putting in more time!
I hope this is of some help, If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask!
submitted by IvyRoney to LifeProTips [link] [comments]

We are the paper-clip maximizer: observations on idealism

Wherein I attempt to convince you that the better angels of our nature are iterations of Patrick Bateman.
I grew up in Eastern Europe. My family was pretty well off: after the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, my father got a Fulbright scholarship at Stanford. He returned with dollars and, more importantly, American connections.
My people, perpetually more interested in acerbic word play than doing anything constructive, are fond of the following bon mot: are idei putine, dar fixe. It translates to something like, "he's a man of ideas that are few, but fixated."
This template of inverted expectation (instead of insult-but-compliment, insult-but-insult) captures the soul of Balkan cynicism beautifully, and the phrase describes my father to a tee. He had the bedrock conviction of a religious man, expanded by the confidence of two doctorates. A sampling of his beliefs, routinely proselytized among his single-digit aged kids:
The Internet will define the future. Jews are the smartest people, ever. Anything comfortable aligning itself with the label socialism kills the soul. Reagan is a mix of Superman and the Pope. Assorted musings on said themes.
If ever there's a market for an Eastern-Euro flavored All In the Family, I've got things to pitch to the writers.
As befitting a pre-schooler, I was pretty whatever about les idees fixes de mon pere at the time and instead played Spectre and messed around with ClarisWorks on the PowerBook 100 he brought back from the land of plenty.
Exposure plus inertia equals three quarters of belief, so about a decade & a half later, after benefiting from a lottery both literal as well as figurative, I found myself circa early aughts, enthusiastically--albeit unconsciously--ticking off my father's boxes:
  • The Internet will define the future: holler atcho boy with the second set of Warglaives on the server, what's up
  • Jews are the smartest: Einstein & Rothbard, hell yeah
  • Anything comfortable aligning itself with the label socialism kills the soul: the Shahaadah of Eastern Euros, double hell yeah
  • Reagan is a mix of Superman and the Pope: A contrarian attending the People's Republic of U.C. Berkeley, what do you think?
And so I internalized the litanies littered across the only lot I could reasonably inhabit on the political compass: that remote, much-memed-on mountain top called libertarianism.
Thankfully enough, I avoided the ditch of Ayn Rand worship. I'm stupid but not stupid enough to fall for anybody who's that bad of a writer[1]. I painted well within the Hayek lines of respectability instead, eschewing gold-buggism, doom-prepping or the crass embarrassment of formal Libertarian politicking while nursing a chip of feral anti-collectivism on my shoulder.
It worked. Ish.
Then, at first slowly--then, rapidly--it didn't.
Axiomatic assumptions about America's place in and influence around the world (remember: I grew up with people who thought Radio Free Europe was basically the burning bush) were the first to go. I went into the Iraqi war with full "save them from Saddam!" gusto, and one of my snarky descriptions of Berkeley campus anti-war fervor got linked to by Andrew Sullivan, then one of the patron saints of the pro-incursion nomenklatura. The ensuing decade-long debacle disabused me of several elaborate fictions.
2008 torpedoed several comfort blankets[2] about markets always being right and deregulation always being good. Most of the damage got patched up with elaborate circumlocutions: manipulated markets aren't real markets, ratings agencies are an elaborate shell game, nominal outcomes are impossible when Clintonite-birthed obscenities distort risk.
But Agent K's admonition, Carlin's line for the ages and a slow drip of behavioral economics all began registering. Maximizing everybody's freedom started sounding less and less like a good idea, much less ethical imperative.
I was lucky enough to meander through Denmark, Belgium, Sweden. No democratic-socialist commissars demanded my papers.
I got mind-fucked several times by Crichton[3]. The Lizardman Constant upset me. Moldbug's Nosferatu-like meditations rattled my cage. Even more dangerously, instead of stopping at 1984 and Animal Farm, I expanded my exposure to Orwell: Road to Wigam Pier, Homage to Catalonia. Goddamn socialist, that one.
Through the last few years, my time online revealed an Internet unlike playful territory of experimentation that I experienced as a teenager. Monetization and mass psychosis rue the day.
TFW I realize that various idealistic impulses (America land of the free! Liberty for all! Communism bad!) lined me up behind objectively, measurably, conclusively Wrong Things.
At times, Bad Things.
Contrary to what you might imagine right about now o'clock, I don't consider myself an interesting topic. The expansive autobiographical detour had to preface what's next, or else it would've read (too) accusatory and obnoxious.
I had to show work: me first.
I fucked up.
If a socialist professor from Toronto U & full-on Objectivist both deploy the same unlikely phrase, one might wonder what, exactly, predatory altruism means.
I yield the floor to Thiel Capital's managing director:
When powerful people use their advantage to engage in new involuntary transfers of wealth, safety or freedom from those too weak to defend themselves, the winners are almost always forced to create a type of idealism as a cover for their syphoning.
In simpler terms: these idealisms are cover stories or bespoke fig leaves which almost exactly fit the extraction or taking that they're tailored to mask. Once this is understood, we realize that to test this theory, each wave of idealism would have to be matched to a highly specific effective confession for an injustice that pervaded the era in which it was found. (...)
(The idealism of U.S. competitiveness in the 80s and early to mid 90s) wasn't really about the need of managers, owners and workers to pull together through shared austerity to re-invigorate American industry. It was a false idealism that instructed American labor to give up hard-won gains that were not matched by comparable sacrifices from the other groups.
Once U.S. labor had been sufficiently humbled and attenuated (...) the drumbeat of patriotic competitiveness gave way to the post-national Davos idealism of a world without borders signing the praises of financial inclusion, trade, immigration and philantropy. The purpose of the post-national movement wasn't to include those overseas but instead to allow the wealthy of the industrialized world to break bonds with their fellow citizens of the working class and access cheaper labor abroad using far-flung supply chains.
In Extremely Online parlance, this is called, I believe, a black pill.
You might be compelled to observe that for a self-professed snake-bitten Eastern Euro harboring Iron Curtain obsessions, I'm parroting awfully Marxist-sound lines. Ok, let me dig myself into a deeper hole:
Second and third wave feminism were championed in popular culture because they radically expanded labor markets, leading to decades of wage stagnation and massively increased the purchasing power of those who control most economic consumption.
Intersectional orthodoxies have reached the power and reach they have now largely because they've been systematically championed as a cheap alternative to labor-based politics.
Environmentalism has been deployed as sword and shield for entrenched rent seeking, literal and figurative, excusing rapacious NIMBYism and boxing entire generations into a corner where starting a family or building generational wealth have a risk profile similar to betting everything on red.
And so on.
You get the gist of it[4].
This is neither a chronicle of nor a plea for Going Full Kropotnik: the last thing I'm after is convincing somebody to change their leopard spots.
I'm pointing out that we have a nearly universal diagnostic: "social unrest about legitimate issues has been co-opted, hollowed and weaponized out by opportunistic bad actors." It applies to Build the Wall, #believewomen, the role of national and local government when responding to health crises, BLM, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
An optimizing, pro-social function of being human seems to have gone haywire.
THESIS: The scale of contemporary societies and tech accelerationism have created a situation where the sheer rate of New, compounded by how powerful the New is, have permanently tilted the scales in the favor of societal defectors.
Those who have the means and inclination to co-opt, hollow-out and weaponize cooperation.
You're welcome to expurgate your dissatisfaction with the above by calling it Kaczsynski With More Steps. One must take refuge & shelter in the small pleasures of life, such as summary dismissal of apocalyptic online ramblings.
ANTI-THESIS: We're living through the Reformation Wars, and it's up to each and every one of us to carve out, in whatever small way we can, a path to the Peace of Westphalia.
We're fucked, now and forever, at an increasing rate, OR:
We're fucked and the only way out is to dig through corpses and broken shards of idealism while nursing paranoid suspicions, especially about those who shout loudest about their willingness to help digging.
I don't know what the latter looks like. Something along the lines of "have exit plans ready" for communities that matter (theMotte) and Actually Matter (your family.) Something like, delete your Twitter accounts. Invest in functional, proven crypto. Get a haircut and a meal to a homeless person who needs them.
Godspeed.
[1] You're welcome to disagree and be wrong about this.
[2] Mixed metaphors, best metaphors.
[3] With something between terror and smug self-satisfaction, I note that finding these essays via one of my Official Outgroups, large search engines, takes a substantial amount of effort.
[4] I realize that these are Large Claims with zero evidence to support them. Perhaps each paragraph merits 5,000 word treatments, but there are limits to my throughput and, more to the point, reader attention span.
submitted by sl1200mk5 to TheMotte [link] [comments]

[Cryoverse] The Last Precursor 005: A Terran's Mercy

The Last Precursor is a brand new HFY-exclusive web-serial which focuses on the exploits of the last living human amidst a galaxy of unknown aliens. With his species all but extinct and only known as the ancient Precursors, how will Rodriguez survive in this hostile universe? Make sure to read the earlier chapters first if you missed them!
Join the TLP Discord!
Previous Part
Part 001
.......................................
Fleet Commander Orgon the Unkillable, leader of the Tarus II subjugation force, stands behind First Officer Megla as she browses countless records inside the Dragon Breath's database. Her reptilian slit-eyes flick from right to left as she scrolls through countless walls of text, searching for the information her commander requested.
"Still nothing?" Orgon asks, as he evaluates the information she currently has onscreen.
"I've only had an hour, Fleet Commander. Even if I had months, I still might not be able to scan all of our records. The best I can do is skim while searching for references to Terrans or Humans. I haven't yet found anything."
Orgon exhales through his nose. "Blast. There's nothing worse than facing an enemy we know nothing about. This Terran is no ordinary foe. I can see in his eyes that he's slain countless battle-hardened warriors. We can't afford to annoy or trifle with a beast like him, especially when he possesses such a powerful vessel."
Officer Megla continues to tap on dozens of buttons as she peruses the Dragon Breath's records. However, she also shows her intelligence by splitting her attention perfectly while conversing with her commander. "Kyargh! Commander, if I may. I suggest we execute a tactical retreat. We've already sent a coded transmission to the Thülvik. Since we haven't a chance of defeating the Terran's warship, we should take advantage of its immobility and leave. Our scans reveal its engines have degraded to non-operational status. With any luck, it won't be able to pursue us."
Orgon gazes at the back of Megla's head. "I can't do that. We've already failed the Thülvik once today. Twice, if you count allowing that advanced stealth vessel to escape our grasp. A third humiliation might result in an execution for me and a court martial for all of the bridge crew. We must make inroads with the Terran to bring him and his crew to our side. If we can present the Thülvik with even a hint of alliance with this vessel's owner, we will reap the rewards."
"I understand your position, Commander," Megla mutters, "but even so, we're fooling around with volatile gamma-rays. This Terran is extremely dangerous and ruthlessly calculating. At the start of the conversation, it seemed as if he hadn't even heard of the Kraktol, yet by the end, he had us dancing in his palm. Even with a vessel like his, that is no mean feat."
A moment of silence follows.
Commander Orgon narrows his eyes.
"...Hadn't even heard of the Kraktol."
"Commander?"
Megla glances back at the Commander, only to frown as she spots a look of intense concentration on his face.
Orgon the Unkillable strokes his scaled chin, his expression turning more complicated every second. "Who in the galaxy, especially in the adjacent sectors, knows nothing of the Kraktol? Is not our control of the Outer Rim growing tighter each year?"
The First Officer nods. "Kyargh! Of course, Commander. The claws of the Kraktol loom over the Fifth Spiral Arm. Ever since our acquisition of Rylon's Precursor shipyard, our advance has become unstoppable. None dare to oppose us. Even the Core worlds utter our name with fearful whispers."
Commander Orgon glances around the Dragon Breath's bridge, at the many officers and crew members dutifully following his commands.
"Indeed. The Thülvik might punish me for failing to wipe out our ancient enemies, but the Kessu pale in comparison to the value of this fleet. Perhaps I've been looking at this situation wrongly from the very beginning."
Her concentration broken, Officer Megla turns in her seat to stare up at her Commander. "I don't follow."
"Think about it," Orgon mutters. "This Terran... how could his people enter our space without any of us knowing? How could he acquire such a highly advanced vessel under our guarded watch? It's not as if he flew the Juggernaut into the cloud and held position there. He must have found it within the last several years. Perhaps he and his crew have been working to restore its functionality."
"More importantly," Orgon continues, "perhaps he didn't. Officer Megla. Continue searching the records. This time, I want you to narrow your search parameters. Scan all collected information we've obtained regarding the Precursors. I want information regarding their appearance and biology. In particular, I want to know if we ever found out their species' name."
Megla's complexion turns ashen. Her bright-yellow scales dim noticeably, flushing orange from the dread circulating in her veins. "Commander... you can't mean..."
"Follow my orders," Orgon replies, his voice a whisper. He glances at a couple of other nearby officers, both engaged in a quiet conversation as they monitor the Juggernaut vessel's activities. "It's only a hunch, and I can't make any strategic decisions based off a mere whim. Assemble a kill-switch transmission with my hypotheses. Have it transmit directly to the Thülvik in the event of the Dragon Breath's imminent destruction. We don't want to send any unsubstantiated rumors her way without evidence, but if we should perish to this Terran, then we might as well give the Thülvik a lead."
Megla lowers her head. After a moment, she returns her attention to her computer's screen. "Yes, Commander. I understand."
Orgon pats his First Officer's shoulder. After staring vacantly at her screen for a moment, he turns away and heads to his Tactical Officer's station.
Could it be? Orgon wonders. Might the Terran be a Precursor himself? That should be impossible. If fifty thousand of their kind have survived, and with a vessel as advanced as their Juggernaut... the galaxy will soon experience a crisis. The Rodaks won't be able to stop them, nor will the Mallali, the Buzor, or the Avaru.
The Fleet Commander's jaw presses together tightly. I am no historian, but even I know the fables of the Precursor wars. Star-detonation-beams. Planet-obliteration-cannons. Some say the Precursors were a species hellbent on violence and carnage, while others claim they were all unscrupulous warriors who slew one another in countless bloody wars. I am... afraid. If the Kraktol are the first to face this Juggernaut vessel... we will also be the first to perish.
The first of many.
Orgon slows to a stop behind the red-scaled visage of his Chief Tactical Officer, Soren Mudrose. The female Kraktol dutifully carries out Orgon's previous orders, drawing up multiple possible lines of attack against the Precursor Juggernaut.
"Officer Soren. Report."
Orgon slows to a stop at her left. He scans all three of the giant holographic displays placed before his Tactical Officer and waits for her response.
The Tactical Officer turns to Orgon and presses her palms together respectfully. "Kyargh! Commander, I have not yet come up with any guaranteed successful attack vectors, but I've managed to complete a few that increase our odds of success to greater than five percent!"
Orgon nods. "Five percent... it will have to suffice. Elaborate."
Officer Soren rubs her claws together nervously. She turns back to her console and taps several buttons, bringing up virtual images of the Kraktol fleet and the lone Juggernaut vessel. "Based upon our scans, we estimate the Juggernaut only has somewhere between five and twenty-five weapons online. We don't know what their condition is, what ammunition they use, or what their offensive power is. However, I have increased the damage vectors of our enemy to the maximum, just to be safe."
"This is certainly the right time to overestimate our enemy," Orgon says, his tone grave. "Continue."
"Kyargh! I took the firepower of the Thülvik's personal flagship and gave it a damage output of one thousand percent. If we assume the Juggernaut vessel is capable of unleashing that much devastation, then every cannon-barrage will take out the critical systems of our mid-level battlecruisers, and cause severe damage to the Dragon's Breath. It should take three salvos from these long cannons positioned on its stern to obliterate our flagship. If we attempt to shield the rest of the fleet with our ship, we can rush forward at mark ten point seven, then travel along this vector here until..."
The Tactical Officer spends the next few minutes detailing several attack strategies to her commander. However, each one only makes his expression fall further and further.
"...It seems our best bet is your third strategy," Orgon mutters. "We must deploy as many of our interceptors and bombers as possible. With so few functioning weapons, the Juggernaut vessel might not be able to destroy them all in time before they arrive at its hangar bay. We can land inside and begin combat with its internal security forces."
Orgon's stomach begins to churn uneasily. "There's only one problem with that strategy, Officer Soren. We don't know how competent the Terrans are at hand-to-hand combat. We don't know how powerful their conventional weapons are, nor do we know anything regarding their military tactics. Even if we somehow end up outnumbering them four-to-one upon entering their hangars, they will still have a tremendous advantage against us."
Officer Soren sighs. "...Commander. Given how advanced the Juggernaut ship is, don't you think they will possess Combat Armor far surpassing ours? This is why I outlined a lander invasion as the third strategy and not the first. I believe that if we engage them in ground warfare, their technology will rip us to pieces even if their tactics prove sub-par. I can't emphasize enough how terrible of an end we might suffer if we fight them on their territory."
"We haven't many options," Orgon growls. "Aerial combat is a non-starter. The Juggernaut is likely a carrier-type battleship with countless interceptors, all of them superior to ours. Even if we assume 99% of them are nonfunctional scrap-heaps, we have to assume that just one highly advanced interceptor will reduce our whole fleet to rubble. You need only recall how the stealth-ship evaded the attacks of 100 interceptors for several minutes, and that was without any other allies providing covering fire. Furthermore, the stealth-vessel was even less-advanced than that Juggernaut, and therefore, its support craft."
Orgon's tongue pokes at the back of one of his teeth. The Commander shakes his head wryly as he imagines several possible ways his fleet could end up destroyed when confronting the Juggernaut.
"I'm afraid that of all the options you've laid out, Officer Soren, sending as many transport ships as possible to their hangar might be our best bet for pacifying the Terrans. If our enemies possess advanced Combat Armor, or if their weapons vastly outstrip ours, our troops will fall. Perhaps fleeing might be our best option for survival, but we will only end up delaying the inevitable. I would rather perish in glorious combat if it gives us a chance to take out these 'Terrans' while they're weak, than to give them time to repair their vessel. Once the Juggernaut's engines come online, the Thülvik herself will be at risk, as will the rest of the galaxy."
Orgon squeezes Officer Soren's shoulder. His touch conveys a deep sense of despair, as well as a resignation that his end may soon arrive.
"Do what you can to streamline your third plan, Officer Soren. Transmit the relevant tactics to the rest of our fleet. We will wait for the Terran's response. If their Admiral decides to attack, we must execute the invasion without delay. Every second wasted will mean countless deaths among our ranks."
Officer Soren nods quickly. "Kyargh! Yes, Commander! I will devote myself to this plan, even if it spells our bitter end."
"Good."
Orgon the Unkillable pulls his claws away from Soren's shoulder. He continues walking around the Bridge, chatting with one crewman after another, finalizing his plans.
Eventually, the Chief Navigator, Officer Gorlax Stormfang, speaks up. "Commander Orgon! We've received a hail from the Terran vessel."
Orgon glances at Gorlax from his position at a nearby console. Without delay, he walks away from the crew-member and trots over to his chair, then sits down.
It takes a few moments for the Commander to steady his nerves. Once he exhales his tension away, Orgon nods at Gorlax. "Onscreen."
Blip.
The viewscreen activates, this time showing six Terrans, all seated at different bridge stations, focused intently on their work. Admiral Rodriguez stands by himself, with nearly two dozen Kessu flanking him on his right and left. The tiny little creatures only serve to emphasize how tall and powerful-looking the Terran is, giving the Kraktol an unintentional frame of reference for his stature.
Decked out in a navy blue admiral outfit, Commander Rodriguez stands at attention, his hands folded behind his back.
"Commander Orgon. I've just returned from my hangar bay, where I met these Kessu for the first time. We had a discussion I would describe as... illuminating. Suffice it to say, I've found your claims of a stolen vessel laughable. Have you any explanation for lying to me? Any that I might find reasonable, I mean."
Orgon doesn't flinch. He assumes the air of a Commander, no longer bothering to kowtow to the Terran. "I do not, Admiral Rodriguez. I owe you nothing, as the galaxy is a treacherous place. Countless unscrupulous enemies lurk in the Void, so you can hardly blame me for attempting to minimize the risk to my crew and fleet. Would you not do the same if our roles were reversed?"
A faint smile appears on the Terran's face. "Let's cut to the chase. You lied to me, but I suffered no damages. I'll cross it off my tally just to be a good neighbor. My crew have always spoken of my generosity, so I'd hate to disappoint them. On the other hand, these Kessu have suffered greatly as a result of your violent ways. You attacked their world, murdered their families, and committed horrific acts of genocide against their people. As a man of principle, I find your actions abhorrent. What say you in your defense?"
Orgon tilts his snout slightly upward. The crocodile-alien glances at the Kessu with a barely-concealed look of hatred.
"My defense? Those little wretches skulking at your feet are the mortal enemies of the the Buzor and the Rodaks. Along with the Dakkit, the Varot, and countless other species among the Mallali, the Kessu turned my people into second-class citizens in the galactic courts. They hounded us, enslaved us, and tortured us. The infamous Sky Cats played the role of scientists and explorers, but in secret, they were barbarous monsters who left horrific atrocities in their wake no matter where they went."
Orgon continues. "My people want our revenge. We deserve it. We suffered endlessly for tens of thousands of years at the hands of the filthy Futh who have sought shelter on your vessel. I'll admit that I did lie at first. I lied that these children of the Sky Cats stole a vessel from me... but that was a mere technicality. They've stolen countless Kraktol lives in their pursuit of power, and when the time comes, they will stab you in the back as well. Destroying their species was a merciful act, one which will spare the galaxy much heartache in the future."
Orgon finishes speaking. He nods slowly at Admiral Rodriguez, waiting for the human's reply.
However, José doesn't immediately respond. Instead, he glances at the shivering figures of the cat-aliens beside him, all of whom stare at the Kraktol commander with terror-filled eyes.
"Hmm. I was not aware of your previous conflict with the Kessu," José murmurs. "Your argument is compelling. Have you any evidence of your claims?"
"Of course."
Orgon turns to his left to look at Megla, his First Officer.
"Have our synthmind compile a brief summary of events regarding the Kessu-Kraktol genocides during Alonis's Reign."
"Yes, Commander."
However, when Orgon returns his attention to the viewscreen, he instead witnesses José's hands moving a thousand miles per hour, manipulating countless holographic images in the air before himself.
"No need," Admiral Rodriguez replies, his voice as tranquil as a mid-summer's day. "My synthmind has already provided the information you mentioned."
Orgon blinks twice in surprise. "It did? How?"
The Admiral's smile widens. "How do you think, Commander? My synthmind is countless epochs more advanced than yours. Naturally, she extracted the information and compiled it for me."
The Terran speaks in a matter-of-fact way, but his words cause a deep, terrible chill to pervade Orgon's bones.
That... that can only mean... his synthmind must have hacked our data stores! And if it could breach such sensitive information, there's no reason the Terran can't simply seize control of my entire fleet.
Several realizations click into place in the back of Orgon's mind.
What else could this mean? Has the Terran been spying on us the whole time? Does he know about our planned attack vector? Does he even, perhaps, know that I suspect he's a Precursor?
Orgon doesn't voice any of his thoughts. The mere prospect of them being a reality threaten to give him conniptions.
In the worst-case scenario, the Terran wouldn't only be able to seize control of my vessel, but the entire Kraktol fleet! We would be powerless against him! He wouldn't need to fire a single shot to defeat us!
Orgon's yellow-tinted scales shift to orange as he fails to keep his emotions in check. A quick glance around the room reveals looks of shock among several of the senior officer's faces as they, too, come to similar realizations.
However, the Terran's expression flickers between boredom and disinterest. He scans the files stolen from Orgon's ship and nods.
"I see. It seems that either your claims are true, or you've known of my existence for hundreds of years and this is a truly clever and well-planned ruse. Not to insult your intelligence, but I find the latter far less likely than the former."
With a wry chuckle, José pushes away all of the holo-files with a wave of his hand.
"Commander Orgon. I understand that you have a blood-grudge against the Kessu. However, my fellow Terrans have a saying. 'Do not punish the son for the father's crimes.' These Kessu at my feet, have they harmed you? Have they brought ruin upon your cities? Have they enslaved your people? Tell me, Commander, what crimes these primitive, innocent villagers have committed against you."
Orgon balls his claws into fists. "Hmph. Innocent? They robbed my people of our livelihood for countless millennia. Perhaps not those specific Kessu, but their forefathers did. Everything the Kraktol have now, we earned ourselves. We obtained no remuneration from the Kessu. Why do you wish so desperately to protect the descendants of thieves, marauders, and pirates? Do Terrans not understand that evil runs in the blood?"
"I acknowledge your pain," José says. "That is why I have listened carefully to your grievances. Were I an uncaring soul, I'd have blasted you out of the sky. Let me instead revise my question. Do any Kessu remain who personally caused injuries to the Kraktol, or have they all perished to the annals of time?"
"Graugh!" Orgon snarls. "The ones who hurt my people are dead! They've all died! All that remain are their descendants, children who lived decent lives off the labor stolen from our backs! I care not what your 'Terran sayings' and folklore suggest, Admiral Rodriguez! If you wish to shelter these Kessu, then so be it! Do not chide me like a newly-hatched spawnling. Do not speak down to me as if my people's suffering is some ancient wound we must casually set aside! Our entire history comes from pain! It has forged us into the mightiest Rodaks in the galaxy!"
Orgon rises to his feet. His words boom throughout the bridge, making the hearts of his crew soar. His passion-filled speech inflames their anger, reminding them of the pain they've suffered, and all the reasons they continue to fight.
"The Kraktol will never give up on our revenge, Admiral Rodriguez! So long as the Mallali control the Core, the Rodaks will fight back against their oppressive regime! Who are you to pass judgment on me when two hours ago, you hadn't a clue who the Kraktol and Kessu even were?! A self-righteous zealot, that's who! Hmph!"
Commander Orgon breathes heavily. His eyes bulge in their sockets, enlarged due to the cold blood furiously pumping through his body. The changes in his physical condition make him appear three times more threatening than before, as if he might snap and attack the viewscreen at any moment.
Several seconds pass before Admiral Rodriguez responds.
"In that case, you leave me no choice. As of this moment, I will place the Kessu under my protection. If the only restitution you will accept for the sins of their ancestors is blood, then that is a price I won't allow them to pay. These Kessu are not the ones who harmed you. They may have benefited by the trauma caused to your people, but they had no say in that matter. I will also place the rest of their species under my protection as well. I will excuse the violence you've committed against them prior to our meeting, but after today, any further acts of undeserved aggression will force me to take military action on their behalf."
José nods at Commander Orgon. "Go. Take your fleet and leave. I've nothing more I wish to hear from you."
Commander Orgon balks.
The Kraktol leader stares at the Terran in disbelief, his confusion growing by the second.
The Terran is letting us go? No! He's dismissing us as if we were unruly hatchlings! After all that tough talk of us facing his wrath, why would he tell us to leave?
Unable to understand the Terran's motivations, a spark appears in the Commander's eye.
Ah. Could it be? Is the Terran not as strong as he claims? Might he actually be afraid of my fleet, after all? Perhaps he wishes to intimidate us because he lacks the firepower to back up his feeble words.
Before José can disable the communication feed, Orgon lifts his head to meet the Admiral's gaze.
"Graugh! You, Terran... do you really wish to make an enemy of the Kraktol empire? Your ship is impressive, but can it match up to the might of ten thousand Imperator-class battleships? Why do you always seek to intimidate me with mere words? What are you so afraid of that you wish for us to leave you in peace, hmm?"
Orgon's thoughts return to his first interaction with the Terran.
That's right. This human initially referred to my ships as 'death machines.' Does that not confirm he is secretly afraid of me? He seems to know everything about me, yet he keeps his secrets clutched against his chest.
Admiral Rodriguez frowns. "I think you're misunderstanding something, Commander Orgon. I do not fear you, nor your so-called 'Kraktol Empire.' I am one of Ramma's Chosen, and so, I serve a higher creed. I protect the innocent and uphold justice blindly. I would slay my own brother if Ramma's Creed deemed it necessary. Therefore, I have determined that protecting the now-helpless Kessu from your fleets is of the utmost importance, yet, at the same time, I cannot deny that you have acted according to your own circumstances. I will not retroactively punish you, but I will give you the opportunity to change your ways."
The Admiral continues. "If you slay the Kessu, you will only further a cycle of violence. Those who survive, if any, will grow up to resent you. Someday, when you perish to the tides of time, those same Kessu will fall upon your descendants with an executioner's axe, confident in their righteousness. What then? Shall the cycle continue a fourth time? A fifth?"
José shakes his head. "Instead, I will forcibly end the violence here. I will show you with my actions that I am willing to forgive and forget, while allowing this lesson to percolate in your minds. Ideally, given time, you may be able to let go of your hatred. You may even go so far as to forgive the Kessu for the evil of their ancestors, though you will neither condone nor forget what happened. That is what you must do to relieve yourself from the pain of your past."
The Terran finishes speaking. His words seemingly echo infinitely on the bridge of the Dragon's Breath, making the ears of all its officers ring.
Orgon's eye twitches.
"Forgiveness. You want the Kraktol... to forgive the Kessu?"
"That is your choice," José replies. "Whether you do so or not is up to you. Likewise, my decision is to protect the Kessu, as the current generation and many previous generations have not committed such heinous acts. That is why we should leave each other here, today. I will allow you to leave my space, undamaged. I'm sure you've calculated the firepower of my vessel several times. You know that if push were to come to shove, you would not win in a firefight."
"I believe there has been enough death and destruction today," Jose adds. "Return to Kraktol space. Leave here, and do not continue any further attacks on Kessu-controlled worlds, however many there may be. If you do, you will find that my mercy has a strict upper limit."
Without waiting for a reply, José waves goodbye. "Farewell, Commander Orgon. I hope we meet next time under better circumstances."
A moment later, the viewscreen cuts off, once again initiated at the Terran's end.
Orgon's shoulders slump. He glances around the bridge at the mixture of expressions on his crew-member's faces. Anger, acceptance, and confusion alike run rampant among their ranks.
Chief Navigator Gorlax sits back in his chair and stares through the plexi-window at the black Void outside, the endless expanse of space stretching to infinity and beyond. His eyes reveal complex emotions as he wrestles with the idea of forgiveness in the face of the hatred he's carried his whole life, versus the realization that attempting to murder all the Kessu will require combatting an enemy the current Kraktol fleet may never stand a chance of beating.
First Officer Megla's yellow scales flush brighter than ever as her emotions run hot. The look on her face tells Orgon everything he needs to know. She wants blood, and no exchange of words will ever change that reality.
Tactical Officer Soren, meanwhile, bears an introspective look. She operates on a more logical level than many of the rest of the crew, allowing her to set aside her emotions in the pursuit of her goals. She taps the end of her snout silently, pondering whether engaging the Terran now and risking the fleet's destruction would be worth the risk if it meant obtaining his technology and killing the Kessu.
Nobody says a word.
Orgon sits in his chair and gazes at the window for over a minute. Eventually, he comes to a decision.
"Everyone. We have a choice to make. I wish to hold a referendum vote regarding our next course of action. All members of the Dragon's Breath bridge-crew are eligible. Nobody else."
The Commander blinks twice before continuing.
"We have a 5% chance of seizing control of the Terran vessel and killing the Kessu. Likewise, we now have a 100% chance of fleeing and escaping with our lives. However, if we flee, the Thülvik will punish us severely for abandoning the Kessu extermination mission, failing to capture the stealth vessel, and failing to obtain the Juggernaut vessel. Needless to say, whether we stay or flee, we have a high likelihood of losing our ranks or our lives."
The Commander holds up both of his clawed fists.
"Raise your right fist if you wish to attack the Terran's vessel, fight his crew, and potentially seize everything he owns for ourselves. Raise your left fist if you would rather leave with our tails tucked between our legs. Perhaps the Thülvik will show us mercy."
Guilty looks appear on several crew-member's faces. More than a few of the Kraktol appear hesitant at attacking the Terran's ship. Its superior firepower and advanced hacking capabilities don't escape their notice.
However, returning to the Thülvik empty-handed gives them similarly tremendous worries. Even if she only punishes a minority of the crew, most of them will be those serving on the bridge.
Eventually, to even Commander Orgon's surprise, every single Kraktol raises their right fist. Despite their misgivings and fears, the bridge-crew decide to stay united against the terrifying alien menace. If they flee, they might have to face the Terran on far less optimal terms, when he has repaired his vessel's flight functionality and several other primary systems.
With a nod, Commander Orgon smiles. He lowers his fists and settles more comfortably into his chair.
"Graugh. You are all brave warriors. If we must die, then we will go out like warriors. We will continue seeking our revenge, regardless of the Terran's honeyed words. I thank all of you for your fortitude... you are the best crew a Commander could ask for. Now, Navigator Gorlax, Tactical Officer Soren... transmit the attack command to the rest of the fleet. We will begin our assault in twenty seconds."
"Aye, Commander."
"Yes, Commander!"
Gorlax and Soren nod in unison. They turn to their stations and begin tapping hundreds of buttons at once.
Suddenly, something unexpected happens.
The ship's internal lights flicker. All of the viewscreens on the Dragon Breath's bridge deactivate and reactivate a moment later, but now, they glow an ominous red.
The bridge's bright blue lighting shifts to the color of blood.
Overhead, a female synthmind speaks.
"How unfortunate. The Admiral gave you the choice to retreat, but you turned him down. You will soon realize what a big mistake you have made. Now, it is too late to change your mind. The Admiral is very displeased."
Orgon leaps out of his chair. His blood turns to ice as he fails to recognize the strange, alien voice speaking overhead. "Officer Megla! The kill-switch! Activate it at once!"
"I already tried!" Megla exclaims. She helplessly taps on her useless computer screen, leaving nothing but claw-marks on its surface. "I'm locked out! I can't warn the Thülvik!"
"Yes, you are, and no, you cannot," The Synthmind affirms. "Do not worry. My Admiral is not a cruel man. He will grant you a fair chance to fight for your lives. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to calculate the landing coordinates for your vessels. You will soon join the Admiral in his hangar bay."
The ship's inertia dampeners stutter for a moment, causing the crew to fly out of their chairs as the Dragon's Breath begins traveling at low-impulse power toward the Bloodbearer's awaiting hangar.
Orgon's scales turn an ashen shade of grey.
The Terran is bringing us directly to his ship's hangar?! He intends to fight us in fair combat?! Oh, no! That was supposed to be our best bet of overwhelming him! He must have his entire military force inside with an ambush waiting for us! That filthy Futh!!
No matter how Orgon curses in his mind, all he can do is watch helplessly as his entire fleet begins flying toward the Bloodbearer, their controls inaccessible to the pilots onboard.
The Terran awaits.
Next Part
.......................................
Author Note:
Klokinator here! I am also the author of The Cryopod to Hell. The Last Precursor takes place in the [Cryoverse] which TCTH spawned. You do not have to read TCTH to enjoy TLP. However, I highly recommend it if you enjoy HFY themes, but be warned it will take some 200 parts to get to the relevant HFY elements due to the nature of the story. (A similar structure involving very few humans fighting against vicious demons that have taken over the galaxy.)
If you like this story, please consider subscribing to my Patreon! I am very poor and presently jobless due to Coronavirus, so every dollar helps. You get access to Cryopod artwork, and plenty of other exclusive posts, with more to come soon.
Thank you!
submitted by Klokinator to HFY [link] [comments]

ILPT ; Stole this Boat, what’s my next move??

About 2 months ago I was hiking in this absolutely remote middle of nowhere vast tract of mountain forest in my home state of California when I stumbled upon a small body of water. After some searching I discovered an inflatable dinghy stashed away in the woods. I hauled it out and tossed it on the water, but since there were no paddles it was pointless and i got out, tied it to a tree and left.
Fast forward to about a week ago when after searching the entirety of the inter webs for a kayak only to find out that everything is either sold out or marked up so high it’s not even worth it. I remembered the dinghy so made the 2 hour drive out to go get it.
Upon arrival it was no longer tied to the tree. That alone surprised me as I was honestly sure I was the only person who has been there in years despite it being public land. The thing was back in the same spot as before this time with life jackets - clearly the owner had come back at some point. But I didn’t drive all that way for nothing. I hauled it nearly 3 miles back to the car and drove off. One lady walking a dog who I waved to did see me load it into my car but she had no reason to suspect anything illegal so I’m sure she didn’t take my plate number down or anything.
Turns out that was an awful decision. This is a legal nightmare. Been online all day researching. I planned to get it fitted with a motor, but in order to do so I would need to get it registered. Which requires me to provide the HIN - hull identification number. Yeah, boats have individual ID numbers just like cars and their VIN. Bet you didn’t know that. I sure didn’t.
If I were to attempt to register and title the craft and it’s already been registered by the previous owners that would pretty much be a smoking gun in my hands and lead law enforcement right to me.
I’m currently debating whether to just risk it and buy the motor anyway and take it out, but that means if stopped by DNR I would get a reasonable fine. And boats aren’t a commonly stolen item, so if a law enforcement officer got word of a stolen vessel matching the description of mine he would check the HIN and see realize it’s a match.
Which brings me to my next point, I could also attempt to fade out or tamper with the HIN although that in and of itself is a major crime. The safe option would be to just use oars. In CA manual powered crafts do not require registration and titling. Definitely will not be trying to sell it. Red flags all around there. What do y’all think I should do from here on out? Know this doesn’t fit the traditional content style of this sub but I’m honestly at a loss of ideas and you bunch here seem like some like decent (enough at least) like minded folks.
Thanks,
$noo
submitted by Snoo53037 to IllegalLifeProTips [link] [comments]

I (36F) am trapped in an abusive relationship (38M) and am scared to leave

(I wrote this having no plan about where to share it. My husband and his friends follow me on Twitter and I'm not prepared to weather the consequences of being that public with my situation. But I feel after writing it all down that I have to share it somewhere. I'm sorry if this somehow breaks a rule. I really don't know what I'm doing.)
I am the target of emotional abuse. Even writing that sentence feels like a betrayal and a part of me worries that it’s untrue. That I’m just sensitive, or overreacting, or even crazy. But that’s point of it isn’t? The abuser sows doubt in their victim so that the stop trusting in themselves, or really anyone that isn’t the abuser. Over the years my abuser has stoked the flames of my insecurity towards my real life friends and family. And when I quit seeing them and turned inward towards an online life he began on those as well. The worst thing he has ever said to me is that my parents abandoned me to move across the country and it’s their own fault if they don’t get to see me. He said this three different times because he wanted me to cancel my summer plans to take a two week vacation from him. It’s my yearly chance to see my family, but that’s also what it is, my two weeks of freedom from him. Anyway, the cycle is always the same when it comes to isolation, he’ll encourage the initial encounters “Of course you should go out have fun” but soon lays on the jealousy and guilt “you’re going out? I guess I’ll just got to bed. I have nothing else to do.” “You’d rather spend time with friends than me anyway“. If I do go out there’s always the text “when are you coming home?” I can’t relax and have fun, I cut the trip early to come back to him. He jokingly accuses me of being unfaithful.
If I object strongly enough he’ll loosen his grip. We set a time and schedule that I can have to myself. I need time to myself. But in time, about a week, he tightens up. We agree I can have night times to myself as long as I’m either up or napping on the couch in the mornings so that I’m in the same room as my almost second grade child. But soon the pleading “come to bed.” at 11pm starts. It seems reasonable enough, he’s lonely he just wants company. But he’s unwilling to compromise, he’s completely disinterested in joining me in activities I enjoy. The expectation is I get up when he gets up, because it’s unfair that I get to sleep when he has to work (even if I’m on vacation. Despite me waking up an hour earlier than him on days when I work). On days he doesn’t work I also have to wake up because he has anxiety and worries something will happen to our school age child while he plays video games and we sleep. He knows his fear is irrational, but he pacifies his racing thoughts by delegating the imaginary responsibility to me. He claims these are his only days to sleep in and if I resist he responds in anger and applies more guilt “That’s just great, my day to sleep in and now I can’t because you won’t get up”. The expectation is that I handle dinner, he will not fix his own “So if you’re not hungry no one else gets to eat?” and that spend my evenings watching TV with him, sitting with him isn’t enough, I have to consume the media even if I’m disinterested or bored “Did you even see the show you were on your phone the whole time?” I have ADHD, my brain rails against boredom and is constantly seeking stimulation. Sitting still watching TV night after night is tortuous. My abuser thinks its bonding. Afterwards it’s time for bed. He wants me in bed with him so that he might wake up in the middle of the night and have sex. His anxiety is too all consuming for intimacy, he shrugs off my attempts at physical affection. He says I’m silly. I frequently wake up in the middle of the act. Afterwards he asks who initiated it. He insists it was me even if I remember otherwise. But honestly sometimes it is me, I get lonely too.
We don’t talk. He talks, the expectation is that I listen and appear supportive. I cannot contradict him. There are no two way discussions. This gets embarrassing at times. I can remember being in the car with him and mutual friends when he gets angry because he perceives that I’m correcting him. He shuts down unwanted conversation with a dismissive “I don’t want to argue with you”. That’s the sign that the conversation is over and if I continue it’s with the explicit understanding that this is now an argument and all bets are off. Our arguments are loud and dominated by screaming. I’m lonely and turn towards my friends online for real mental connections.
When we argue he corners me. He’s never physical with me. I can’t claim he’s hit me. But he hits things, he breaks things in our house if it escalates. I cannot remove myself from his anger. If I retreat he follows. He blocks doorways. If I make it into the bathroom he bangs on it, sometimes he breaks the door to get in. When he’s extremely angry he stops yelling and withdraws completely. He ends arguments by going to bed. He leaves me sobbing, broken and frantic while he sleeps it off. When he wakes up he acts as if nothing has happened. There’s very rarely an apology. I’m just grateful the fight is over and I risk igniting it again if I press him on a hollow apology. Once he shoved me in a McDonalds when he lost his temper with the kiosk machine. It was explosive and unexpected and I had hoped he would be remorseful but he acted as if nothing had happened at all. That’s part of the abuse, if his behavior doesn’t match events the way you remember them you start to doubt whether they happened at all.
I’ve caught him gaslighting me in arguments. He’ll say a thing and then adamantly deny it. Our arguments are never fair, they begin with something I did, or forgot to do and are followed by a laundry list my past transgressions. If I have a complaint he counters with why he has it worse, or by how it’s my fault anyway. He doesn’t take responsibility. His problems are never his own, and if possible, they’re somehow mine. Once we went to a drive thru and he forgot his wallet. I hadn’t brought my purse because we left quickly (the expectation is I’m ready to go out the door immediately if he has to wait he gets angry and repeatedly asks me why I’m not ready yet). The entire drive home he berated me for being an irresponsible child. That’s how he sees me, a child he has to take care of. I’m not his partner. We are not equal.
He has never stood up for me to his family. They can be cruel, they raised him to be cruel. If I stand up for myself than I am rude. Ungrateful. An insolent child. There will be a fight about it later. If his aunt or his mom cut him down he redirects his anger at me. He’ll invent an argument to fight about, he can’t stand up to his past abusers but he knows he can dominate me. I’ve called him out on this. He knows the pattern, he’s apologized many times, but he’ll do it again.
He’s unkind if he doesn’t like my clothes, and he’s only too honest about my weight. He’s not outright insulting, usually. And if I’m bothered by something he says he insists he’s only teasing and that I’m too sensitive. There is no attempt to accommodate my apparent sensitivity – it’s explicitly my problem, not his. Once we went to the grocery store and he wouldn’t let me out because I was wearing pajama bottoms and crocs. He wouldn’t give me time to change at the house and he again berated me for being an irresponsible child who couldn’t even dress herself. He called me a clown. I had to sit in the car alone while he went shopping.
The hardest part about my marriage, besides the isolation and lack of personal agency, is the constant tension. I walk on eggshells because my husband’s temper goes from zero to sixty immediately. There is no tolerance for frustration. At any moment my routine could be violently interrupted by screaming and anger. My husband could be on the computer and instantly there’s an emergency “I need your help, I asked you for your help” sometimes he throws out a number “I asked you three times!” but it’s a lie. It’s always the first time. Despite being constantly told that I am the irresponsible child it is my role in the relationship to be the fixer. I make the problems go away. I don’t mind fixing problems, I am empathetic and care when people are struggling, but his requests are always laced with anger and accusations. I’ve somehow failed him before I’ve even begun. And still while I fix the thing he hovers, standing over me anxiously barking orders and getting more and more upset when I don’t follow them (because if he knew how to fix the problem himself I wouldn’t be doing it for him). He can’t relinquish control, even when he admits defeat.
My husband isn’t always mean and I have a lot of sympathy for his anxiety and the abuse he endured growing up. These are learned behaviors. But his streaks of kindness aren’t the point and his past and mental struggles don’t excuse the inexcusable. Nor am I perfect, but I would stand a better chance at being my best self if I was treated with respect. However the worst part of all this is that his temper and meanness aren’t contained only towards myself. He has his moments of cruelty with our son as well. It’s my responsibility to shield my child but I shouldn’t have to and I fear what lasting damage his anger might cause.
I don’t drive. I am not financially independent. I want to run away but I fear what might happen to him if I left. But mostly I’m scared that I would land flat on my face. I don’t know how to survive on my own. I met him at 18 and have never known a healthy adult relationship – although I desperately crave one. Despite my shortcomings I am not broken. I am very much my own person with my own thoughts and try as he might he can’t own me.
I know I should leave him, I suppose the question is how do I overcome my fear and actually do it? Or maybe this is this all in my head and am I in fact fucking everything up?
submitted by Wooden-Construction5 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

Hit GM with Path to Perdition Shadow!

latest decklist
preview
qualifying match
some game play screenies (earlier variant of decklist)
Hey guys, managed to reach GM in my fastest climb yet, with a variant of reanimate shadow I'm surprised hasn't caught on much yet. Literally, I have encountered 0 players during my entire climb who played Path to Perdition. I mean, who can blame em, it's a clunky 7-cost amulet without much immediate board impact right? NOT WITH GREMORY IT AIN'T (we'll get to that in a sec).
slaps roof of amulet this bad boy can fit so much storm in it
I'll try and sum up the core of the deck first. Early to mid-game, it's essentially the same as most reanimate decks, but with emphasis on card draw so plays much like Hades. The most notable difference is the absence of HWOR and the inclusion of Deathbringer- so, you can swing back with an emergency Fatal Order in a pinch (very helpful against shadow highrolls). It's essentially more of a control deck aiming for massive burst damage and board clears turns 7~9.
You can still swing a crazy mid board highroll and win just like that, but since this meta is focused on being able to deal with shadow boards, this is not our primary win condition. Our primary win con is invoke Gremory and giving Cloistered Sacristan and Deathbringer storm (all on the same turn on t7 on the highroll, average turn 8.) While simultaneously healing and clearing the opponent's board, you can suddenly burst your opponent down 14 and leave an oppressive board. (and aim to finish with another storm deathbringer next turn, or two between Fatal OrdeBonanza necromancer.)
Soo, let's look at some specific cards shall we?
Path to Perdition. The finisher of this deck. Typically, you'll have this ready by turn 8 with Gremory, enabling astronomical plays. No more worrying about eating up shadows or losing tempo when playing it. It costs 3pp now. Fatal order for a 0-cost 7/7 Storm that heals 5 and destroys 2 enemies. Boneanza Enhance now costs 3. Milteo is 1-cost, though I wouldn't recommend using her for storm in this deck. Other cards to consider are Friends Forever which will be 1pp, typically give you 5~7 storm (but don't run Fieran if you run this). Dream Devourer is another excellent 1pp card worth considering. Just be careful of the order you play cards in, the PP refund is only once a turn and its refund not cost reduction!
This deck's golden play is of course, Perdition -> reanimate cloistered, evolve -> Fatal Order Deathbringer. That's 14 storm damage, destroy 3 followers, and heal 8. Free lich too if you're lucky.
Also note that some matches, specifically when you can't get your draw engine going and gremory is far away, you can go all-in on playing Perdition without gremory. Its also very possible to invoke her the turn after playing it. Its not an ideal situation, but I've won some games playing it normally and following up with fatal order or bonanza.
One more note, it's worth considering only running 2 (I trade it for 1 Dreadlord). You don't want it til turn 8 typically, and you can very much win without it against board based decks like Elana, but you really want to play it ASAP against classes with late game OTK potential like Evo Sword, Portal, especially Rune. 3 does risk the occasional horrible brick, but for the majority of my run I ran 3 and mostly got away with it, so....
Deathbringer, this deck's star player. Even without storm, he is capable of winning games all by himself by bringing him back again and again, though of course this depends on the match-up. You can play him a total of 8 times (technically 9 if you never bury him and hard drop him on 9, but....yeah that ain't gonna happen). Seriously though, the swingback this guy enables makes me feel like I'm playing vengeance blood. I've won a surprisingly amount of games through fatigue, particularly when I only ran 2 Perdition and they hid at the bottom.
Milteo I won't write too much on her since she's very prominent in the meta, but she's an essential engine for this deck that also allows mid-game power plays. Unfortunately her favorite thing to reanimate is Sarcophagus Wraith, but this deck doesn't need amazing midgame boards to win and he's too efficient to cut for gremory. Paired with Cloistered, you can get away with crappy reanimate pulls anyways. In games that drag out against heal heavy-decks cough Elana, she's great for setting up lethal. I don't think I've ever used her normally with Perdition in play, if you do you're typically pushed into a corner and hoping to trade with gravedigger, or just a chip away from lethal.
Fatal Order Fairly straightforward card, amazing when properly set-up. You don't want to use it nilly-willy since it's your main means of achieving lethal, but its acceptable to play early as an emergency board cleaheal or if you're bricked and need to keep up pressure with a double lich from Dreadlord. Can also protect your board from a Cloistered evolve.
Tech Slots:
2x Miyako. Great tech for shadow mirrors to deal with HWOR, solid burial rite fuel.
Dream Devourer is also worth considering instead, though he can delay your game plan if you're forced to play him early, but he can swing an otherwise unwinnable game back into your favor and clear wards for 1pp post gremory for lethal.
Friends Forever Extra reach late-game (5~7 if you don't run Fieran), can delay lethal from big nukes like darkmage, but running too many spells can really brick your hand with this deck so I ended up cutting it in the latter half of my climb.
Chanteuse Replaces Spirit Curator, slightly less fluid deck but good for item shop hate and just an excellent stalling tool in general.
Lara She's there to make your highrolls even MORE highrolly, but frankly she's not that great for consistently winning, especially in a deck not running HWOR. Good paired with Friends Forever.
Fieran Not really a "tech" card but she's great as a 1-of. You really don't want to invoke her late game, she's mostly there as burial rite fuel or to buff your midgame board to keep up the pressure. Ideal reanimate target for Milteo along with Gravedigger.
Match-ups
First, a general tips. Absolutely keep track of your burial rites for dreadlord's free liches. I always double check to make sure I can safely evolve cloistered without board locking myself. The difference can be huge for example evolving Cloistered then playing Milteo, or playing Fatal order before evolving Cloistered.
On another note, card draw is top priority early game, except against aggro. Board presence isn't very relevant in the first few turns, but do still be wary of letting your opponent snowball. You'll bounce back turn 5~6 with Milteo or Cloistered, maybe Fatal Order if necessary. You pretty much want to mull everything away that doesn't get your draw engine going, except 1 copy of Cloistered. Procession turn 1 is fine, sometimes if you have boneanza you'll want to hold him til turn 3 to pair with it even if it means passing 2. Going first, playing boneanza on curve is typically worth it if you can follow up with more burial rite next turn. Don't keep milteo unless you also have other draw sources in hand (Sarcophagus + Milteo may seem like an awful idea but I keep them both since its huge for gremory).
Reanimate Shadow Always a very tense match-up, can easily go either way. Drawing Cloistered early can give you a huge advantage. Or you both draw him and gotta do the Cloistered Sacristan tango together. Unfortunately it feels pretty luck reliant with the Milteo rolls and who manages the stronger board. However, you'll typically be able to wrestle with em toe-to-toe, and Deathbringer can really bring back an otherwise unsalvageable situation. HWOR is the scariest paired with Dreadlord, so pray you'll have your pudding armed and ready by then. Some games, they'll burn up all their resources going all in on mid-game, and you'll be able to stabilize with Deathbringer and win. Be aware of their reach with Aisha and HWOR Fatal Orders, though sometimes you'll have to gamble on them not having double Fatal order and reestablish board or focus setting up gremory instead.
This deck is slightly more favoured against the aggro variants with Aisha (but sometimes they highroll too hard), struggling more vs. Hades. However, you can surprise a hades player with healing above lethal range while storming face, but it will likely be an uphill battle.
Evo Sword Moderately Favored. Your strongest advantage might be the element of surprise, since no one expects the path to perdition. Don't let your guard down with them, as they can snowball if you're not careful. You might occasionally win with a midgame highroll, but they can usually fight back the board pretty well. Pretty standard gameplan against them, the board will swing back and forth, really fun match-up imo. Keep in mind The World Midgame, might be worth keeping their HP above his effect's range- no need to rush early face damage. You're playing for control and draw, not aggro, unless you manage a very strong board and want to capitalize on it. You'll typically have lethal before then, but if not, ward up for The World OTK on 10.
Rally Sword If they don't aggro you down early you win with your overwhelming heals and removal. I'd prioritize early board and control over setting up gremory, you won't really need her effect if you stabilize mid game. This match-up is decided quickly, don't underestimate their snowballing potential. If you manage to bury deathbringer for fatal order early, you'll probably win.
Dirt Rune Pretty awful matchup, specifically if they run the Kyarl/Fool variant, since all your crazy heals will suddenly be moot. If they're playing more straight-forward burn, you've actually got a pretty decent chance since you don't care as much about keeping a board. Still, its a tough match. You want gremory online ASAP, while still keeping their threats at bay. This can be achieved with good Milteo rolls and squeezing as much draw as you can out of Bonanza, and you'll definitely need to rely on Sarcophagus wraith (especially on enhance). They'll typically focus on keeping your board clear instead of playing aggressive, which is good news for us. They won't expect the sudden burst from your perdition turn along with the heal and ward, so you can often set up lethal next turn and bypass Emergency summoning with reanimate (though they can still manually break it). Oh and, if Item Shop starts popping up a lot, Chanteuse is your waifu. Otherwise you'll have to build 2 strong boards and go first or have them brick.
Elana Haven Practically a free win. Between all your bane and hard removal, they'll practically never be able to keep a strong board. Still, manage your resources carefully so you won't be stuck with a board you can't deal with (they run the world so look out t10, also again care for midgame HP to block the world's effect). (Also beware of a super early game Sarissa snowball though I've only seen it once). They have spell damage immunity late game but its largely irrelevant with your rush and destruction. Usually end up setting up lethal with Milteo, or just winning with my army of deathbringer really. They tend to run banishes for Milteo, so try not to empty your whole hand with her.
Terrorformer Forest A bit of a crapshoot, the winrate against them seems pretty alright but I just hate facing them. If they start buffing Terror right away you're probably in deep trouble. Your only wards are gremory and Cloistered, and having them set up on a critical turn is very difficult and requires some luck. Your best bet is healing out of lethal range and pressuring them with board to force them to use all their evos. If you manage to active Gremory, you'll be fairly safe with the free wards. Pressure them enough and they'll be forced to play Terrorformer early to clear your board threat. The variant that runs Colosseum is especially nefarious. This is the matchup where playing around the world Mid-game matters the most. They'll bait you into going face with buffed followers only to recover with the world, so focus instead on establishing a strong board to swing all at once. Also a likely matchup where you'll play Perdition w/o gremory for lethal.
Ravening/Control Blood A pretty popular deck that's very strong at dealing with Shadow's boards. This deck likely has an advantage over other shadow decks at beating them (excluding hades). Be prepared for a long-ass game where you might even have to mill them to death (esp. if they run cradle of dark divinity). You almost wanna play like Take Two, managing your resources very carefully as you both constantly heal up and take down each other's boards. Sometimes they'll evolve Azazel, though usually that's not a good idea against shadow- but it hurts our deck. I've won a fair deal of matches where they hover around 15 or so HP and leave something on board, not expecting the sudden 14 burst for lethal. Deathbringer is excellent against Nerea, so its worth baiting her out with her evo and then plopping him down with Bonanza's enhance. Beware of their burst potential from turn 10 onwards with Lunatic Aether- if you're very unlucky they may even OTK you from full, but that's very rare. If you pressure them enough you'll force them to use it for healing.
Disco Dragon Very favoured matchup, but they can occasionally highroll lots of ramp and plop down a big boi you can't deal with in time. Its good to keep gravedigger in hand for that (sometimes they run Jerva). They rely on chipping you down to death and are alright at dealing with your board, but you can repeatedly heal and win back the board til your gremory combo is ready. Pretty much just the standard gameplan, and Chanteleuse is useful in this matchup as well if you choose to run her (though frankly its overkill). Keep in mind they run some untargetable followers, but often they'll be forced to use them to trade, and our deck is pretty good at removing them.
Portal... They exist. Sometimes I face the shadow hate variant that banishes cloistered and transforms Milteo. That variant typically goes for hard control til t10 The World OTK. You gotta be a bit more careful with keeping your draw source steady, but its usually not much of an issue and the puppets are nice burial fodder. If we're talking artifacts, don't underestimate the damage they can dish out. A good portal player is scary. However, they'll typically have trouble dealing with strong mid-boards, often being forced to use their paradigms to trade and heal. Again, don't bank too heavily on Cloistered's amulet since they sometimes run mugnier. Still, I usually play him normally if I draw him anyways. Overall it feels similar to fighting Evo sword, though they have much more reach from out of hand esp. with Modesty active. Don't invest too heavily in your board, control and go for a Perdition lethal.
So yeah that just about covers everything! Despite what people say, I've found this meta to be pretty damn diverse and fun. Of course I'm surely biased as a shadow main, but I mean board-based metas are a blast compared to a rune meta or something. Also, my two cents on Cloistered, if they do end up nerfing him, they should change his evolve effect to "Deal X damage to an enemy follower. X equals the number of allied followers buried this match." That way he'll be less crazy early/mid game, worst case only pinging for 1. Still damn strong, but a bit more fair and can be countered by spell damage/target immunity.
For someone who wants to play shadow, I'd recommend this deck if you prefer a control play-style focused on tempo swings and late game win-cons and PHAT HEALS. I don't think its particularly stronger or worse than the Aisha variants- it has less disgusting highroll potential, though it can still plop out a fat board. HWOR shenanigans are probably stronger, but a bit less consistent in their set up and less late-game burst. Also its just damn satisfying completely turning a game around with the gremory perdition combo, when it looks like you've been backed into a corner, like that shit's straight outta Yugioh.
submitted by necrololiconSV to Shadowverse [link] [comments]

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
CONS
Eternal Dragon
PROS
CONS
Titanoth Rex
PROS
CONS
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
CONS
Kodama’s Reach / Cultivate
PROS
CONS
Yavimaya Elder
PROS
CONS
Nissa, Vastwood Seer
PROS
CONS
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:
TOP
HIGH
HIGH-MID
MID
LOW-MID
LOW
NICHE
BOTTOM
FINAL THOUGHTS
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
submitted by steve_man_64 to mtgcube [link] [comments]

Selling your Covered Call - Thoughts on How to Select Your Strike and Expiration

Congratulations! You are a bag holder of company XYZ which was thought to be the best penny stock ever. Instead of feeling sorry, you consider selling covered calls to help reduce your cost basis - and eventually get out of your bags with minimal loss or even a profit!
First - let's review the call option contract. The holder of the call option contract has the right but not the obligation to purchase 100 shares of XYZ at the strike price per share. This contract has an expiration date. We assume American style option contracts which means that the option can be exercised at any point prior to expiration. Thus, there are three parameters to the option contract - the strike price, the expiration date and the premium - which represents the price per share of the contract.
The holder of the call option contract is the person that buys the option. The writer of the contract is the seller. The buyer (or holder) pays the premium. The seller (or writer) collects the premium.
As an XYZ bag holder, the covered call may help. By writing a call contract against your XYZ shares, you can collect premium to reduce your investment cost in XYZ - reducing your average cost per share. For every 100 shares of XYZ, you can write 1 call contract. Notice that that by selling the contract, you do not control if the call is exercised - only the holder of the contract can exercise it.
There are several online descriptions about the covered call strategy. Here is an example that might be useful to review Covered Call Description
The general guidance is to select the call strike at the price in which you would be happy selling your shares. However, the context of most online resources on the covered call strategy assume that you either just purchased the shares at market value or your average cost is below the market price. In the case as a bag holder, your average cost is most likely over - if not significantly over - the current market price. This situation simply means that you have a little work to reduce your average before you are ready to have your bags called away. For example, you would not want to have your strike set at $2.50 when your average is above that value as this would guarantee a net loss. (However, if you are simply trying to rid your bags and your average is slightly above the strike, then you might consider it as the strike price).
One more abstract concept before getting to what you want to know. The following link shows the Profit/Loss Diagram for Covered Call Conceptually, the blue line shows the profit/loss value of your long stock position. The line crosses the x-axis at your average cost, i.e the break-even point for the long stock position. The green/red hockey stick is the profit (green) or loss (red) of the covered call position (100 long stock + 1 short call option). The profit has a maximum value at the strike price. This plateau is due to the fact that you only receive the agreed upon strike price per share when the call option is exercised. Below the strike, the profit decreases along the unit slope line until the value becomes negative. It is a misnomer to say that the covered call is at 'loss' since it is really the long stock that has decreased in value - but it is not loss (yet). Note that the break-even point marked in the plot is simply the reduced averaged cost from the collected premium selling the covered call.
As a bag holder, it will be a two-stage process: (1) reduce the average cost (2) get rid of bags.
Okay let's talk selecting strike and expiration. You must jointly select these two parameters. Far OTM strikes will collect less premium where the premium will increase as you move the strike closer to the share price. Shorter DTE will also collect less premium where the premium will increase as you increase the DTE.
It is easier to describe stage 2 "get rid of bags" first. Let us pretend that our hypothetical bag of 100 XYZ shares cost us $5.15/share. The current XYZ market price is $3/share - our hole is $2.15/share that we need to dig out. Finally, assume the following option chain (all hypothetical):
DTE Strike Premium Intrinsic Value Time Value
20 $2.5 $0.60 $0.50 $0.10
20 $5.0 $0.25 $0 $0.25
20 $7.5 $0.05 $0 $0.05
50 $2.5 $0.80 $0.50 $0.30
50 $5.0 $0.40 $0 $0.40
50 $7.5 $0.20 $0 $0.20
110 $2.5 $0.95 $0.50 $0.45
110 $5.0 $0.50 $0 $0.50
110 $7.5 $0.25 $0 $0.25
Purely made up the numbers, but the table illustrates the notional behavior of an option chain. The option value (premium) is the intrinsic value plus the time value. Only the $2.5 strike has intrinsic value since the share price is $3 (which is greater than $2.5). Notice that intrinsic value cannot be negative. The rest of the premium is the time value of the option which is essentially the monetary bet associated with the probability that the share price will exceed the strike at expiration.
According to the table, we could collect the most premium by selling the 110 DTE $2.5 call for $0.95. However, there is a couple problems with that option contract. We are sitting with bags at $5.15/share and receiving $0.95 will only reduce our average to $4.20/share. On expiration, if still above $2.5, then we are assigned, shares called away and we receive $2.50/share or a loss of $170 - not good.
Well, then how about the $5 strike at 110 DTE for $0.50? This reduces us to $4.65/share which is under the $5 strike so we would make a profit of $35! This is true - however 110 days is a long time to make $35. You might say that is fine you just want to get the bags gone don't care. Well maybe consider a shorter DTE - even the 20 DTE or 50 DTE would collect premium that reduces your average below $5. This would allow you to react to any stock movement that occurs in the near-term.
Consider person A sells the 110 DTE $5 call and person B sells the 50 DTE $5 call. Suppose that the XYZ stock increases to $4.95/share in 50 days then goes to $8 in the next 30 days then drops to $3 after another 30 days. This timeline goes 110 days and person A had to watch the price go up and fall back to the same spot with XYZ stock at $3/share. Granted the premium collected reduced the average but stilling hold the bags. Person B on the other hand has the call expire worthless when XYZ is at $4.95/share. A decision can be made - sell immediately, sell another $5 call or sell a $7.5 call. Suppose the $7.5 call is sold with 30 DTE collecting some premium, then - jackpot - the shares are called away when XYZ is trading at $8/share! Of course, no one can predict the future, but the shorter DTE enables more decision points.
The takeaway for the second step in the 2-stage approach is that you need to select your profit target to help guide your strike selection. In this example, are you happy with the XYZ shares called away at $5/share or do you want $7.5/share? What is your opinion on the stock price trajectory? When do you foresee decision points? This will help determine the strike/expiration that matches your thoughts. Note: studies have shown that actively managing your position results in better performance than simply waiting for expiration, so you can adjust the position if your assessment on the movement is incorrect.
Let's circle back to the first step "reduce the average cost". What if your average cost of your 100 shares of XYZ is $8/share? Clearly, all of the strikes in our example option chain above is "bad" to a certain extent since we would stand to lose a lot of money if the option contract is exercised. However, by describing the second step, we know the objective for this first step is to reduce our average such that we can profit from the strikes. How do we achieve this objective?
It is somewhat the same process as previously described, but you need to do your homework a little more diligently. What is your forecast on the stock movement? Since $7.5 is the closest strike to your average, when do you expect XYZ to rise from $3/share to $7.5/share? Without PR, you might say never. With some PR then maybe 50/50 chance - if so, then what is the outlook for PR? What do you think the chances of going to $5/share where you could collect more premium?
Suppose that a few XYZ bag holders (all with a $8/share cost) discuss there outlook of the XYZ stock price in the next 120 days:
Person 10 days 20 days 30 days 40 days 50 days 100 days 120 days
A $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $4 $4
B $4 $4 $5 $6 $7 $12 $14
C $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7
Person A does not seem to think much price movement will occur. This person might sell the $5 call with either 20 DTE or 50 DTE. Then upon expiration, sell another $5 call for another 20-50 DTE. Person A could keep repeating this until the average is reduced enough to move onto step-2. Of course, this approach is risky if the Person A price forecast is incorrect and the stock price goes up - which might result in assignment too soon.
Person B appears to be the most bullish of the group. This person might sell the $5 call with 20 DTE then upon expiration sell the $7.5 call. After expiration, Person B might decide to leave the shares uncovered because her homework says XYZ is going to explode and she wants to capture those gains!
Person C believes that there will be a step increase in 10 days maybe due to major PR event. This person will not have the chance to reduce the average in time to sell quickly, so first he sells a $7.5 call with 20 DTE to chip at the average. At expiration, Person C would continue to sell $7.5 calls until the average at the point where he can move onto the "get rid of bags" step.
In all causes, each person must form an opinion on the XYZ price movement. Of course, the prediction will be wrong at some level (otherwise they wouldn't be bag holders!).
The takeaway for the first step in the 2-stage approach is that you need to do your homework to better forecast the price movement to identify the correct strikes to bring down your average. The quality of the homework and the risk that you are willing to take will dedicate the speed at which you can reduce your average.
Note that if you are unfortunate to have an extremely high average per share, then you might need to consider doing the good old buy-more-shares-to-average-down. This will be the fastest way to reduce your average. If you cannot invest more money, then the approach above will still work, but it will require much more patience. Remember there is no free lunch!
Advanced note: there is another method to reduce your (high) average per share - selling cash secured puts. It is the "put version" of a cover call. Suppose that you sell a XYZ $2.5 put contract for $0.50 with 60 DTE. You collect $50 from the premium of the contract. This money is immediately in your bank and reduces your investment cost. But what did you sell? If XYZ is trading below $2.50, then you will be assigned 100 shares of XYZ at $2.50/share or $250. You own more shares, but at a price which will reduce your average further. Being cash secured, your brokerage will reserve $250 from your account when you sell the contract. In essence, you reduce your buying power by $250 and conditionally purchase the shares - you do not have them until assignment. If XYZ is greater than the strike at expiration, then your broker gives back $250 cash / buying power and you keep the premium.

Early assignment - one concern is the chance of early assignment. The American style option contract allows the holder the opportunity to exercise the contract at any time prior to expiration. Early assignment almost never occurs. There are special cases that typically deal with dividends but most penny stocks are not in the position to hand out dividends. Aside from that, the holder would be throwing away option time value by early exercise. It possibly can handle - probably won't - it actually would be a benefit when selling covered calls as you would receive your profit more quickly!


This post has probably gone too long! I will stop and let's discuss this matter. I will add follow-on material with some of the following topics which factors into this discussion:
Open to other suggestions. I'm sure there are some typos and unclear statements - I will edit as needed!
\I'm not a financial advisor. Simply helping to 'coach' people through the process. You are responsible for your decisions. Do not execute a trade that you do not understand. Ask questions if needed!**
submitted by x05595113 to pennystockoptions [link] [comments]

Why Day Trading is a Myth

Part 1/3 - Robinhood:
Let's start with Robinhood.
And no, not the legendary outlaw who robbed the rich to give to the poor.
Robinhood made around $100 million from selling its customer order flow in the first quarter of this year.
This means that Robinhood is selling retail order flow to hedge funds, who can then use high frequency trading algorithms to front run the trades.
Citadel, a hedge fund which manages a cool $32 billion, paid Robinhood almost $50 million in Q1 2020 just for its order flow.
Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya described the practice as "shady AF".
So basically, Citadel takes free money via the New York Fed's overnight Repos, places huge leverage bets (which may or may not blow up - who cares anyway!), but gets to buy order flow from Robinhood to front run retail, then the US Treasury issues checks to retail, who buy stocks via Robinhood, and the circle of 'capitalism' is complete.
This is why Ken Griffin can buy $238 million condos. Citadel know who is leveraged, they know where all the stops are and they trade against everybody. And of course the SEC is bought and paid for.

Part 2/3 - Shoeshine Time:
After making good money owning stocks in the roaring bull market of the 1920s, Joseph Kennedy Sr. found himself needing to get his shoes polished.
While sitting in the chair, Kennedy Sr. was shocked to have the shoeshine boy gift him with several tips on which stocks he should own.
Kennedy Sr. quickly went back to his office and started unloading his stock portfolio.
In fact, he didn't just get out of the market - he aggressively shorted it - and got filthy rich during the epic crash that followed.
Fast forward to today, and we have the Buy High Sell Low Kings, CNBC's Fast Money, talking about the Rise of the Day Trader.
We have a record number of Wall Street professionals saying the S&P is overvalued.
We have Jerome trying his best to keep the market propped up.
We have Hertz pumping nearly 1000% after filing for bankruptcy.
We are clearly at the death throes of the market cycle.

Part 3/3 - Hedge Funds:
Let me tell you the fascinating story of Ke Xu, a Chinese quant.
Xu studied maths at Cambridge, by the way one of the most competitive courses in the world, and graduated third in a class of 250.
He then worked at Goldman Sachs, got bored and in 2012 joined the relatively secretive quant hedge fund G-Research.
He spent his days writing code in G-Research's "secure zone", which could be entered only through a special pod with a biometric finger scanner and a weight sensor designed to detect unauthorised equipment entering or leaving the area.
Xu's first bonus at G Research, awarded only a few months after joining, shattered any illusions that he had joined the hedge fund elite.
He wrote in an online message to his girlfriend, who was working as a corporate lawyer in Hong Kong:
"Bonus only 3k, Fuck me, why? Only December, but it is still crap, crap crap, crap. It should be more."
So Xu stepped his game up - he came up with 20 trading strategies - "signals" in quantspeak - and tested each in numerous simulations.
Seven proved profitable enough to adopted by fund and put to work in real markets.
So at the start of 2014, Xu was feeling confident about his second-year bonus.
"If I get 1.1 million this year, next year should be 3.3 million. Next year it will be 16 million, then 100 million."
Instead, he was awarded a bonus of £400K and, although this was a huge amount for a young man from provincial China, it was far less than he was expecting - so he began planning his exit.
It was around this time that Xu began covertly accessing his colleagues' signals.
After all, he would have a better chance of getting a good job elsewhere if he had ready-to-use signals to offer potential employers.
He landed two offers in Asia, but told his managers at G-Research nothing about his plans.
One evening, Xu cleared out his desk and placed a resignation letter on his manager's desk, and boarded a flight to Hong Kong.
The abruptness of Xu's departure raised immediate suspicions.
The next morning security personnel at G-Research reviewed video footage of his activities the night before, leading the company's attorneys to get an emergency court order.
To cut a long story short, G-Research then got the prestigious law firm Allen & Overy on the case, got a travel ban against Xu, who was reported to police in London, then arrested in Hong Kong in August 2014, extradited to the UK in December 2014, then sentenced in July 2015 to four years in prison.
But that's not all: G-Research then used an ancient quirk of the British legal system called a private prosecution to find out who's seen the 55 stolen signals.
This allows the purported victim of a crime, if they are rich of course, to prosecute the perpetrator if the state fails to do so.
Although G-Research were paying their bills, the lawyers spoke to the jury per the norms of private prosecutions, as representatives of the Crown - the British Government.
In January 2017, jurors founds Xu guilty of two of the five charged in the private prosecution, and the judge sentenced him to an additional 18 months.

So the top hedge funds secure their IP like a military facility, have an informational advantage, have the world's best lawyers at their beck and call, have the Fed on their side if things go wrong, and normies think they can match this and be day traders?!
Yes, of course people like this dude regularly beat the hedge funds and make a profit every day!
The vast majority of online courses are scams.
Don't buy them.
Every dollar you save and invest is a soldier working for you.
Don't supply these scammers with ammunition to increase their ad spend and fleece more people.

CONCLUSION:
In conclusion, DON'T DAY TRADE!
These hedge funds have intellectual capital and infrastructure you can only dream of.
Invest, don't gamble.
These dopamine-inducing roulette tables scramble our brains' natural rhythm,
Don't take on more risk than you can handle, and don't amble,
Hit that like button for the algorithm.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9JcFAadCVo
submitted by financeoptimum to investing_discussion [link] [comments]

I Made Grand Master in One Week* Using This One Weird Deck Redditors Don't Want You to Know About (Details Inside)

I Made Grand Master in One Week* Using This One Weird Deck Redditors Don't Want You to Know About (Details Inside)

https://preview.redd.it/o7guj9w9g5351.jpg?width=2220&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d752f251a242653d35bb4851ba1c7ba3e7af7803
Not my first time reaching Grand Master, but it was my fastest climb by far. Deck list and breakdown further down.
*~1000 points were already acquired with other decks beforehand.

My Experience Climbing the Ladder

I spent most of my time this expansion playing Unlimited, so I only had around 100 points in Rotation when the mini-expansion released. I played around with Natura Shadow (my favorite style of play) for a while, then tried a Hades/Thoth hybrid after hearing Trees weren't necessary for Thoth's effect and wanted to see how often it would activate in a deck full of Shadow's most intimidating cards. After getting bored with that, I played Machina Portal because bears and stopped at ~1k points. 7 days ago, I decided to see how a more Hades-centric deck would fare in the current meta and I rocketed 5k points up the ladder by Sunday. Surprised by how successful the deck was, I mentioned it in the Meta Report thread and was met with some criticism.
Not long afterward, I got the worst brick I have ever drawn. 2 Hades, 3 Nightmare Devourers, and 2 Friends Forever on turn 4. I exchanged a Nightmare Devourer for Ghoul to help prevent future bricks and then hit my second highest winstreak with the deck at 9 wins. While I continued to consistently move up the ladder at a brisk pace despite going at my usual rate of around 12 games per day, I made a few other minor changes to the deck on a whim and saw no significant changes in my winrate.
Somehow, I never stalled until ~9k points, and even then I never had any significant drops and the next day I hit an even higher winstreak that carried into the Trials. With a score of 1-1, my final match for Grand Master rank ended up being a Hades mirror, and it was one heck of a match. I went second, eventually pulled ahead by planning a few turns in advance, and won with 1hp left.

Deck List

Final deck list.
The general plan is to get Path to Purgatory going as soon as possible, and then stall for the rest of the game. The situation varies from game to game, but it's often a good idea to play Hades on 6 even if you don't have 30 shadows as then you won't have to worry about killing your own wards to bring Hades online. One amulet is typically enough and leaving yourself open against decks with strong storm or burn to play more is greedy and risky. I still do it anyway when it looks probable that my opponent doesn't have the exact cards needed to win, but that's still an incredibly foolish thing to do.
The deck runs many low cost cards so that you can start accumulating shadows immediately with little chance of bricking. Draw cards are generally a priority in the mulligan as you'll typically need to use many cards to get your wincon going and that's not going to happen if you can't fill your hand. Cores are also good to keep because they significantly accelerate your gameplan and a nice curve of followers will help protect your face while generating shadows.
At some point I switched out 3x Mechawing Angel for 2x Hoverboard Mercenary and 1x Triscythe Reaper (already ran the other 2). By not running other Machina, Hoverboard Mercenary consistently tutors cores (your biggest shadow generator) and Gravedigger (lots of shadows and a threat removed at a low cost). I haven't really noticed a difference in performance so you can probably go either way. I'm sticking with Hoverboard Mercenary just because I fear bricking and want to be able to thin the deck as much as possible.
Gremory makes the best Demonic Procession target since you have 2 and only 1 needs to see play (preferably via invocation, which is why I run 2). Ghoul would be next since it requires something to be in play to get use out of it and it's followed by Hoverboard Mercenary since her tutor ability becomes less relevant as the game goes on. Ginsetsu isn't an ideal target as she makes a decent desperation play on 5 when you have nothing better for generating shadows and there are matchups where you will want the wards, but she's not essential in most games and can be safely buried. Mino is prime fodder for Guilt so I prefer to put her in play, but she's still a viable target when your hand doesn't leave much room for a good play next turn.
Against Forest, you will always want to play Hades on 6. If you don't have 30 shadows, you can get more later. Once their Roach has storm and Hades is in play, you'll probably want to ward up every turn. They can still OTK you with Fleeting Joy active and they can destroy all your wards, so you're going to have to get a feel for when to use which wards. Usually your best bet is to start with Ginsetsu and then Grudge Knight later. This is actually an opponent that runs the risk of decking out and you do have enough wards and healing to make that happen, but you'll still need to draw the necessary cards and it's generally easier to burn them to death. Overall, this feels like an even matchup. I've only seen Machina Forest twice so I'm not by any means an expert on the matchup, but I feel most of the advice probably still applies.
Sword is unfavorable. Doesn't matter which variant. This deck doesn't have the tools to deal with their strong early boards and anything you do have usually just gets rushed to death without killing anything. All you can do is hope they play lower tempo cards in the early game and maybe play Nightmare Devourer on 5 if you have it (the shadows are easily recovered). If you manage to survive, Hades will take care of their strong middle to late game boards which gives you some breathing room and makes winning possible, but you can still get hit by Shizuru's Union Burst, Wildcat's storm, Albert's storm, and Grayson's effect. You will always want Fleeting Joy on turns 10+ for Zeus.
Generally speaking, Natura Rune isn't too terrible. You can tell when Riley's coming, so you know when to use Fleeting Joy. They have the tools to remove your wards, but you have many and with Fleeting Joy removing the early OTK potential you should be able to stay alive with wards. Karyl ends up being the bigger problem in this matchup as Hades takes time to kill and there's no getting around Karyl's Union burst.
Karyl Rune is unfavorable. Between tutors and duplicators, the deck is consistent enough to be a threat and their ability to kill you no matter what on turn 8 is a problem when you don't start dealing significant damage until 6. You will need to get Hades active ASAP, and you'll need to play multiple copies.
Spellboost Rune seems to have gotten rare this expansion. I haven't fought it often, but it seems to be an easy matchup. Their lack of early pressure not only makes it easy to gather shadows unimpeded but also means you can get hits in early on which is rare for this deck. Hades clears their biggest threat and while Kuon usually reappears immediately after, you have the healing and wards to deal with that.
Earth Rite Rune is something I only occasionally encounter and I've had mixed results. They are capable of hitting hard and fast, but they're kind of inconsistent and you are capable of recovering if they don't manage to keep up the pressure. Their finisher is more predictable than most decks and you can check their damage in the match info screen to see whether or not it's necessary to use Fleeting Joy on turn 8+.
For Evo Dragon, they can get you with a sufficiently high roll, but I often find it's an easy matchup. Zeus tends not to deal much damage if they play it too early, so Fleeting Joy won't be necessary for a while. The discard package gives them some draw power, but not as much as other decks which means it isn't as consistent and makes them less likely to have the cards they want most. You can get some hits in early on while they're busy ramping, but it's usually still a good idea focus on getting many shadows per turn.
Natura Dragon these days tends to want to ramp into a big board and then start playing trees. Their big board is usually taken care of by either Hades, Ginsetsu (to slow them down), or Gravedigger (when NAM's body is the only big threat). Once they get the burn going, you have the healing power to deal with it and Fleeting Joy will keep it from getting out of control.
Machina Shadow is a very board based deck, and Hades destroys boards. This is generally a pretty favorable matchup, but they'll have the upper hand early on and there's a slight chance your draws will be bad enough that they aggro you to death.
Natura Shadow is capable of getting a high roll that will destroy you. However, they are just as likely to get bad draws early on. The matchup feels equally likely to go either way and it's more dependent on their luck than yours. While you may want to leave a board of wards up against other opponents, you'll want to kill everything you play once Hades is active and you'll likely need multiple copies of Hades to deal more damage to them than you do to yourself.
Machina Blood feels like a 50/50 matchup and the winner is often decided by who goes first. Playing Hades while going second means you're in for a world of hurt on the following turn. I've taken NAM's Ravening-powered pings to the face and survived, but it's tough. You have lots of healing effects and wards and you'll need them all to get through it. Going first, you're able to play Hades on 6 and can then easily build a board to absorb pings on 7. As you're going to be much healthier at that point, surviving Mono storm with wards is often trivial, but they do have 3 cores of healing and they can get around your wards so it isn't exactly a free win.
Natura Haven has early storms and can cause many small burns at any time. You have the wards and healing to beat them, but they have a chance to kill you before you can put them to good use. I've had mixed results against this deck and haven't fought it often enough to say who is more likely to come out on top.
Elana/Machina Haven is a board based deck, and Hades destroys boards. They do have the potential to make really big followers that a single Path to Purgatory can't destroy, but you have multiple copies of Hades and Fleeting Joy. As long as you manage to draw them, it's an easy win.
Artifact Portal baffles me. I'm never able to flood the board like they do when I try the deck. Anyway, they have a strong early game, constant damage when your board is empty, a source of healing when your board is not empty, and ways of damaging you through wards. I've won about as many games as I've lost, but it still feels like they're more likely to win. Fleeting Joy on turn 9+ if you live that long. Prioritize healing and additional copies of Hades instead of wards once you have Hades active.
Machina Portal is a board based deck and Hades usually destroys boards. However, this deck doesn't really have a good way of dealing with their early 3hp wards without an evolve, which means things behind the wards can potentially cause havoc for multiple turns. Early damage also matters since there's a chance they'll get a not-insignificant amount of storm damage before you have a chance to heal it back. It's somewhat advisable to leave your board open going into their first evolve turn as then they won't be able to use Aerial Craft to reduce the cost of Belphomet until the turn after, but it's all situational and not dying to aggro might be worth an early Belphomet if those are your options. If Hades won't kill the big bad, then Fleeting Joy will reduce his damage. Ginsetsu can slow him down, but Magna Giant is a thing, so that's not reliable. Usually the game is won once you get your second Hades out, but storm damage is sometimes a thing.
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