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Guide: Migrating to Linux in 2020

EDIT: If you like this post enough to give it an award, consider donating to the EFF, FSF, your favorite distro, or maybe helping #TeamTrees instead. Thanks.

Guide: Migrating to Linux in 2020

1. Prelude

This is an updated version of my previous guide "Guide: Migrating to Linux in 2019". We've had some nice changes this year and, although most of the content will be similar to last year's, it's nice to have an updated guide so that user's can feel confident is some what up to date.
If you're interested in seeing how Linux performs in gaming these days, LowSpecGamer uploaded a video on February 21, 2020 that gives a pretty honest review.

2. Getting Started

So, you want to get started in Linux. The most important thing you need to remember is that you're using Linux.
Now that might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often you'll see "Why isn't this easy like in Windows?" or "I just want it to act like my Mac."
While I do understand that it's hard to get used to something you're not familiar with, I promise that, in time, it will be just as comfortable as Windows or macOS.
Curious to see Linux gaming in action before getting your feet wet? PCgamingFreedom has an amazing thread with a huge list of Youtubers that play games on Linux.
Want to checkout the latest news for Linux gaming? Take a trip to GamingOnLinux.

3. The software

Perhaps the biggest hurdle of using Linux is compatibility issues with the software you currently use. Before you get started on your journey, I would highly recommend you do a bit of prep work here.
  • Which software do I commonly use?
    • Get a pen and paper and start writing a list. Include your most played games (and the ones that you are sure that you will want to play in the future) and the software you need for a computer to be your daily driver (Office, Photoshop, etc).
Now that you have a list, let's check. There are four possible outcomes for each item in your list.
  • You will be able to run it natively.
    • This is almost always the best case scenario, since it's the one where you will get all the performance and compatibility without drawbacks.
  • You will be able to run it, but not natively.
    • You'll most often find this with Proprietary software and is the nature of using closed source software. We have a few tricks up our sleeves that we can try and we'll get to those a little later.
  • Cloud Software (SaaS or Software as a Service)
    • Though not ideal, especially in a world where owing your own software is becoming less and less common, a lot of business and professional software can be run "in the cloud". Office 365 is a prime example and allows people like me to work on Linux computers at work since I can still access all the Microsoft Office applications required to interact with my coworkers.
  • You won't be able to run it.
    • This is the big one, the one that will hold you back. Sometimes, and it's not your fault, there is a killer app that you absolutely need in order for your computer to be useful to you. While it would be great if the OSS community provided a good alternative to you, we understand that this is not always the case. There's no shame in this. Thank you for trying.
In order to catalog your list into these four outcomes, you grab the first item on the list. If it's a game, check in SteamDB if the game does have Linux support (Note: Sometimes the game offers Linux support even if it's not listed here or in steam). In 2018, Valve released a compatibility software called Proton that is based on Wine. Check ProtonDB (used to be called Steam Compatibility Reports) to see if your Windows only games run fine under it. If it's software, just check in the official website if there's a Linux version.
If you've done that and there's no Linux support, we go to the next step. Bring up the Wine AppDB and put there the name of your software. Click on the link that fits the most your search (Usually the first link, ignore all the [Bug XXXXX] results) and check the rating of the game. Generally you'll be able to use it if it's not bronze or garbage. If you click in the version of the software, you'll see reports of people who have tried to run it, known bugs and general instructions and steps to follow. For now we're just cataloging the software, so we'll see how to actually install it later. If there's no search results there's still hope. Do a quick google search (probably "NameOfTheSoftware Wine support") and see what happens. If the software you want to use is really small and unknown probably nobody tried it, but just leave it marked as "dubious" or something because you may be able to run it anyways.
If what you want to run shows as garbage in there (and most of the times bronze, you seriously want to read the reports to see what works and what doesn't) you just put it in the "I won't be able to run it" section. Now repeat with each element of the list until you've gone through your list.
There is also a paid for solution called Crossover made by CodeWeavers. CodeWeavers are the same minds behind Valve's Proton so you should expect a pretty good product in general. They have a search feature that you should also use.
I will mention that some games are more problematic then others. For example, League of Legends is notorious for needing custom versions of Wine to get working. Thankfully, it has a dedicated subreddit /leagueoflinux which has the latest news and tends to be very helpful.
You got your list and a general idea of what you can run and what you can't run and at which degree you will be able to use it. If you have something that needs to be run but you can't run, here's a small list of alternatives you can use.
  • Look for an alternative. If it's a game I'd say that you should look for games with similar tags in steam. If it's software use something like alternativeto
  • Use a windows VM. Useful if the software you want to run is not resource intensive (99% of the time games won't like this, so don't use this for games unless you're going to attempt the GPU passthrough option)
  • Dual boot.
  • GPU passthrough. This is hard. You need to met a lot of requirements and invest time, but if you can pull it out you can get the best of both worlds. The Level1Techs forum has been one of the driving forces behind using this technology and has a lot of information on the subject. (You can also check out their Linux Youtube channel)

4. The swap

If you are here, congratulations! You want to get started with Linux and you have all your software narrowed down. In order to get started in the odyssey of Linux, you have to think about what distribution (informally referred to as distro) you want to use. The distribution is just the flavor of Linux you want to use. Just to be clear from the start, pretty much every distribution is equally capable of gaming and running software. The differences between them are:
  • The preinstalled software.
    • Some are more minimalist than others, but all of them can run the same software. With enough patience, you can turn one distribution into another just by installing and removing stuff.
  • The update frequency.
    • Some distros release updated software faster than others. Distros that push out updated software with minimal testing are known as bleeding edge distros or rolling release distros. If you want to be up to date with features, you want a bleeding edge distro, but in exchange for the latest and greatest features you run an increase risk of running into bugs. Stable Release distros usually have to wait longer for updates, but those updates are often heavily vetted before being pushed out.
  • The community.
    • Different distros have different communities. The distros that are perceived to be easier or more user friendly tend to have communities that are quicker to help with easy to follow instructions.
  • The other minor things including default configurations, art, fonts, etc.
Now that I've explained that, I'm going to list off the only two distributions that are supported by Valve. Again, this does not mean that these are the only two distros that will work for gaming!
Distribution Explanation
Ubuntu LTS The latest Ubuntu LTS (20.04 as of this writing). Ubuntu also has a new user friendly community. If you don't know what to choose, pick this one.
Steam OS SteamOS is usually several months behind in software releases and isn't really aimed at being used as a computer. Biggest advantage is that it boots directly into Steam and is made to be a console replacement.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous , there are a huge amount of distros you can try out! While not officially supported by Valve, any modern, up to date, distro will more than likely work for you. Some of the favorites in the comments are:
Distribution Explanation
Solus Solus brings updates to its users by means of a curated rolling release model.
openSUSE Offers both a rolling release (Tumbleweed) and a regular release (Leap) option.
Endeavour Endeavour is an ArchLinux based distro. Uses the offical ArchLinux software repositories.
Manjaro Based on ArchLinux, but uses its own repositories and includes other features like automatic graphic card drivers installation. (Recommended by LTT)
Pop!_OS Pop!_OS is a Linux distribution developed by System76 based on Ubuntu, using the GNOME Desktop Environment. Has a Nvidia and a AMD/Intel image for convenience. (Recommended by LTT)
Linux Mint Offers two versions. "Linux Mint" is based on Ubuntu and "LMDE" is based on Debian.
elementryOS Based on Ubuntu, elementryOS strives to be the extremely user friendly.
Fedora Made by Red Hat, one of largest open source companies, which use the dnf package manager and has a lot of officially supported desktop environments.
Others There are a ton of Linux distros out there. Feel free to browse distrowatch if you're bored.
If you are having trouble deciding, just start with Ubuntu. It's not the flashiest, but you're almost guaranteed to find an answer to your problem if you search "My Problem Ubuntu" in your favorite search engine (make sure to limit the search to only things from the past year). You can always switch later.
Most of them will let you install next to Windows and set up a dual boot automatically. Be careful though, Windows Updates have a bad habit of changing the boot loader and it will look like your Linux OS vanished. REMEMBER TO DO BACKUPS. Things can always go wrong and you don't want to lose anything. It's FOSS has a video on dual booting if you'd like a visual example, but it basically boils down to you clickin an option that says "Install along side Windows".

5. The habit

So, you've installed your distro and you have your computer running Linux. Congratulations! The absolute most important part of becoming a Linux user is to consistently use Linux! The last step is to get all of your software back running so you can use your computer as a daily driver.
A few things first:
This is rather controversial, but you do not be afraid of the terminal. While the terminal is absolutely not required to do your normal day to day activities, you'll often find solutions to your problems require you to enter a few lines into the terminal. This isn't any sort of magic and it's nothing to be fearful of using. The reason for this is because the terminal is, generally, distro agnostic and it's easier to explain one line of code instead of having lots of different pictures showing you what to click in each distro.
Second, use the internet! Everyone starts as a beginner at some point. You might be very comfortable in Windows or macOS now, but at some point you had no idea what you were doing. That's very normal! As you use Linux more and more you'll gain the knowledge and experience needed and eventually it will feel like home. There's absolutely no shame in asking questions!
If you are coming from Windows, you are probably used to search for an .exe and install it by double clicking. Things are way different here. Installing software individually is often discouraged. The reasons for this varies, but security and compatibility are the main reasons. So what do you do in Linux? You use a package manager. Think of it as being similar to the Play store, but instead of random people uploading software to it, everything is maintained by your distribution's software team.
Package managers have a lot of benefits that may not be immediately obvious to new users. The package manager knows what other software is required to work on your system and can manage updating all of the software pieces you have without you manually having to handle it. As I mentioned earlier, since your distribution's software team creates these packages, the chances of installing malware on your system is very slim.
Remember when I said don't be afraid of the terminal? Here's a good example as to why. To install Steam on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or most other distros that derive from Ubuntu, all you have to do is open a terminal and type:
sudo apt install steam 
Video example. And that's it. Steam is installed, from a trusted source and with everything it needs. Do you want to update all the stuff installed in your system?
sudo apt upgrade 
Let's break those two lines down a bit so you know what's going on. sudo stands for "super user do". You can think of this like right clicking and choosing the "Run As Administrator" in Windows. apt is the package manager's name. install is the command to install programs. steam is the steam software. So in English we just said. "Please install the "steam" program as administrator (called root on Linux)."
Now, if you wanted to use the graphical way, I'd have to post pictures from Ubuntu, Mint, etc and they all look slightly different and you have to find their front end in different places. It's just easier this way.
So what do you do if the software you need isn't in your package manager? The next best thing is to add a 3rd party repository to your package manager. As an example, let's add Google Chrome, a popular web browser. UbuntuUpdates.org give the following instructions:
wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add - sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list' sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable 
That looks a bit scary, but it's just adding the security key and repository to your system and then installing Google Chrome. You'll want to use a PPA of your software when possible since it will update with the rest of your system.

6. Windows compatibility

So you can't find a Linux version of that software you want to install? Our last step is to try Wine. Wine is a compatibility layer that tries to translate Window Binaries (.exes) calls into Linux calls. Sometimes this works really well, and other times nothing happens at all.
First, let's install Wine.
sudo apt install wine 
On some systems, installing Wine allows you to double click an .exe and it will try to run just like in Windows, but if not, you'll want to open a terminal and type (credit to whyhahm for suggesting cd to directory before running):
cd /path/to/program; wine file.exe 
Remember to check the ratings and know issues in the wine AppDB so you know what you can expect, and you should be golden. Here's an in-depth guide of wine stuff but again, google and find how stuff works and it works. If you don't understand, please ask! The community is usually happy to help!
There are also some programs that try to help you with Wine. Lutris and PlayOnLinux are popular options.

7. DXVK/D9VK/Gallium Nine

What are DXVK/D9VK/VK9/Gallium Nine? I'll let the projects explain themselves:
DXVK: Vulkan-based D3D11, D3D10, and now D3D9, implementation for Linux / Wine
D9VK: Used to be separate from DXVK, but now they are one project. Kept seperate on this page for searching.
Gallium Nine: Gallium Nine allows to run any Direct3D 9 application with nearly no CPU overhead, which provides a smoother gaming experience and increased FPS. Gallium Nice requires you to be using the Mesa3D driver though, so Nvidia users are out of luck. (Thanks to MicroToast for the clarification)
Okay, but what does that mean?
Direct3D (the graphical part of the DirectX API) is what most Windows game built after ~2000 use. You don't really need to know any technically details about it other than the fact that it's a Windows' only API. For the longest time, one of the biggest bottle necks for gaming on Linux was translating the Direct3D calls to OpenGL (a cross platform graphical API that works on Linux/most other OSes).
All of these projects attempt to translate Direct3D calls to something that Linux understands. As far as I'm aware, the most used one is DXVK.
Using these technologies, you can get huge performance boosts in your games. Here is Starcraft 2 running on d9vk vs regular Wine. You can see that Tuxidermy is getting almost twice the FPS most of the time (and D9VK is still really young). Here is another example, this time with World of Warcraft running regular Wine vs DXVK. In this example, you can see that DXVK is three times the FPS in most cases!
Proton has some support for automatically use these technologies when they're applicable, but you may want to use Lutris for games that aren't officially supported.

8. Troubleshooting

I personally can't spend a lot of time helping people individually. That's where this and other communities come in!
When asking about your problems, remember to give as much info as you can. For example, include what Distro you're on, what you have already tried, any error messages that come up, anything you've changed recently, etc.

9. The end

I, u/PBLKGodofGrunts, put this guide under the WTFPL License. Please attach this license when sharing or modifying this guide. I hope that this is helpful to someone.
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Significant Dualities, in Nature and in Societies

Caution: This article is a long read, and goes in many directions. For the curious mind, it's a lively mindfield to explore and come back again and again. If you prefer poster images, never mind.
Some links occur here mostly because they're interesting, and somehow are part of a duality.
For me, duality means at least two things which are associated somehow, but considered separately are different. We don't need to count above 2, like say 'polyality' because obviously the idea of divergence, or fork, is able to have many 'tines' or separate paths. (See Tuning Fork, below.) We don't have time to cover every possibility, so let's just stick with 2, the most simple case of multiple. (See Rhizome Philosophy for an interesting alternative to this binary association structure. Also the paragraph titled "Association Schemes" in Exploiting the Pyramid.)
We aren't considering pairs of identicals, like dual wheels, two of exactly the same thing, but maybe if there is a small difference, or doubtful meaning between similar things (see dual internal organs under anatomy, below).
Sometimes the association between things is not obvious, in which case we better explain, but most dualities are obviously two tined. Let it go at that.
Tuning Fork, a synchronous dynamic opposition, and also an acoustic device having a dual nature similar to both stringed eg. Piano and other percussion devices (eg. Glockenspiel. See also disambiguation of similar percussion instruments. Tuning forks have the advantage of needing no containment structure because their duality counter-balances the vibrations. All the other devices have a single resonator for each tone.
Dualism (disambiguation index) | wkpd
Fake Word Similarities Dual not confused with duel Dual not confused with do all. (Obvious.)
Duality expressions
flip side
double edged sword
Janus faced
dark side-- bright side
balance equilibrium equation
opposites (word list)
positive-negative (photography))
bilateral symmetry
mirror
images, real vs virtual
paired symbols
yin-yang (principle) yin-yang (history)
Dual Obelisks, ancient Egypt (had different inscriptions on each)
duality as found on tumblr (index)
hypocrisy vs sincerity (philosophical mirror) hypocrisy sincerity sin cere means without wax, not a crackpot idea
Being a Leftist Means never having to Say You’re Sorry title of this essay inspired by a 1970s witticism
dual-process theory of human intelligence
The Balance (disambiguation index) | wkpd, in the physical, a two-sided weight comparator, in the abstract, the equation... possibly the most significant model (3) of reality ever conceived.
Exercising Equations, For Example...
How can things fly, and boats sail upwind?
Bernoulli's two-path model of lift vs Newton's Reaction of air-inertia model of force
Previous link models a lifting surface as a flat-plane and air is deflected in a single direction. Modeling a lifting surface as an arc also works, but no simple reference explaining this is found. So I'm going to do it, very briefly...
Imagine a wing, or sail, is a simple arc, and a small sample of air passing by it is like a stone on a string.. Air has mass, therefore thrusting it around a curve causes a reaction force opposite the center of the curve (aka lift.)
This is an important example because large commercial aircraft wings are complex mechanical devices that change shape depending on speed (scroll down to Flaps). At low speed, the wing simulates an arc, and a sail is made loose to form a larger curve. (Sailing in light airs, reduce tension on halyards, while a tight (more flat) sail configuration is called 'close-hauled').
Binary Thinking, True or False?
What is it? | qra
Binary opposition WARNING: Cultural Marxism, deconstruction
False dilemma, an obstacle to effective negotiation, in which nuances and concessions should be considered, not "take it or leave it" ultimatums
GOOD, BAD, UGLY? 2015 | stnfd
Example: Evolution vs Religious Tradition (Creationism) Purpose or no Purpose, that's the question: Darwinism: Survival without Purpose 2007 Another example from Mark Driscoll
Biblical Christianity requires black-and-white thinking because it is dualistic... Mainstream culture refuses to allow any categories because that would mean making distinctions, which ultimately ends in making value judgments. (which is DISCRIMINATION!) For the record, I am in favor of discrimination, not by race, but by behavior record. Discriminating Evolution from Intelligent Design (the flaws clause) 7 min
Boolean Logic
technical: Bifurcation theory
Binary Options
Nature
Wave–particle duality | wkpd Wave–particle duality (article index) | scidly Light and Sound CGI video, wave-particle duality 25 min
position vs momentum (uncertainty principle)
observer vs object observed (anthropic principle)
Energy-mass duality | wkpd
Mutual-Influence Orbital Oscillation Patterns
Mass Duality vs Time, Effects
Lunacy; tidal lock one side seen, one side hidden
Orbital resonance
Example: Earth-Luna orbit each other; Luna's mass is 0.0123 of earth's. Earth oscillates due to Luna, but radius of orbit is less than Earth's radius, so it's less obvious. See Barycenter. See also NASA, Moon, Luna's orbit, and Libration. https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/24243/what-is-the-difference-between-a-xylophone-a-glockenspiel-marimba-a-xylorimba#24245
Earth Mother Goddess Duo: Gaia/Medea Hypothesis
anatomy
Internal Organ Duals, Why? What are paired organs? (lists) 2018 | qra Symmetry Why do we have two of some organs, but not all? 2014 | stkxchg
Respiratory-Circulatory System Overlap (dual function) Venous Blood forced by thoracic-ambient pressure differential... Heart and lungs are together in the pulmonary cavity, experience simultaneous pressure fluctuations (scroll down to 'Respiratory Pump'), thus fluid influx and egress (air is a fluid). Respiration includes blood circulation, the respiratory and circulatory systems are inextricably linked.
Note that previous articles omit hydrostatic pressure which influences venous circulation (fluid pressure is higher at lower elevations, depending on density; eg. Hg (used in barometers) is 13.534g/cm3, blood is 1.06 g/cm3 (slightly more than water)). When you experience tingling, numbness or swelling due to inactivity, raise the inactive limbs above heart, gravity will help the circulation. Also, dizziness might be due to pressure variations in brain, such as suddenly standing upright after kneeling for awhile. Move more slowly.
Notice that we have only indirect control over heart-rate. We can increase physical activity (especially respiration) voluntarily, then the autonomous nerve system takes care of the rates.
Sex
Origin of Sex
Reproduction, Evolution of
When Did Sex Become Fun? 2016 | spns
A Brief History of Human Sex 2006 | lvsci
Chromosome Duality predicts longevity, reliably Scientists Discover Why women live longer Petrov 8 min
The sex with the reduced sex chromosome dies earlier: a comparison across the tree of life Mar.2020
polarity
electrical
chemical
Polarization (waves) see also Introduction to Polarized Light
magnetic geomagnetic pole
geographic
antipodes
Bi-polar Disorder (mental health)
Dysphoric Mania in Bipolar Disorder (reality IS bipolar, see previous links)
dysphoria is a profound state of unease or a general dissatisfaction with life
split personality, eg. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Euphoria vs Dysphoria
psycho-active stimulants create euphoria 10 BEST LEGAL EUPHORIC HIGH HERBS 2017 See also 4 Most Euphoric Nootropics
What are Nootropics?
What Is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria?
Society
DUO - Animation Short Film (Fr) 2014 - GOBELINS (for some performance artists, life is a matter of trust) 3.5 min
Dual inheritance theory
Moral Duality
Bi-polar Disorder (social inequality), topic continues under heading "Double Standard of Morality" (scroll down)... A simple two-tier arrangement of mucked-up social "order" which originated in prehistoric times, a result of a conquering group, aka "ruling class" which maintains a dominant position (see Dominance as social construct). The privileged class takes advantage in several ways, one of which allows THEM to commit crimes against US without consequence, but the reverse situation is dealt with harshly.
Assuming there is an ecological crisis, Culture Dysphoria 2015
The historic task of cultural change is to resolve throughout the dominant culture the distortions of rationalist human/nature dualisms that deny our ecological embodiment and membership of the global ecological community.
In Reality, trends toward the Cosmopolitan Cluster are profoundly dissatisfying to conservative individuals. The CC issue is a case of 'the melting pot'. see also Cosmopolitan Cluster
The urban rural divide in the US and other complexities of polarization JUL.17,2019 | ToL
Indivi-DUAL
New idea: 'indivi', I'm going to premise means not divided, a singleton, and dual means two. That leads us to... a person is an undivided twosome, let's assume it means mind-body.
What exactly is the duality of human nature? | qra (trick question, see answer by Mike Brant, also good, Marcos Sheldon Padilla (per mind-body), see next link)
More about Mind-Body
UR2 CGPGrey 5 min
Dual Citizenship
list of, a good place to look for spies Editorial: The problem of dual citizenship 2014... “dual citizenship can present a security issue whether to permit access to classified information which affects recruitment, employment and assignments.” -US State Dept. In some cases, dual citizenship could disqualify an applicant for a sensitive position with the CIA or the State Department. (But not so for Israelis?)... List Israeli Dual Citizens in the US. 114th Congress; Bernie Sanders is on it 2016 | SotN
Binary Competition US vs THEM
Right vs Left (politics)
angels and demons 2 Class Social Hierarchy (Social Order Simplified)
Double Standard of Morality
... is a necessary adjunct to an US vs THEM ethic... because conflating US with THEM gives us cognitive dissonance; (social) equality is oblivion
The Dual Code of Morality
CHINA Strategy; moral dualities
Double Standard of Morality A necessary adjunct to US vs THEM ethic
social equality is oblivion
Bite the Hand that FED you; Ferried by kin-dness from Diaspora to Serendip, then They try to sink that "kin"ship
How the Jews Destroyed Germany | rjn
Jewish Declaration of War on Nazi Germany 1933
How The Jews Destroyed America | rjn
Nazi Jews- “Jew's own worst enemy!” 2007 Makow\rense
Cabalist Bankers Funded Hitler Via Wehrmacht Sep.2019 | svmls
Jewish Origins of Communism
For (Moses) Hess, the cardinal sin of the Judaic people was to abandon their heritage, while the cardinal objective of his Communism was to persuade all other people to abandon theirs…
Communism was the means for achieving Judaic supremacy over the gentiles. The gentiles were fated to be reduced to a faceless, deracinated mass. Capitalism was also capable of producing this effect, through free trade and the unfettered financialization of society, in which the management of money becomes a vast business in itself, and where the highest virtue, after obeisance to Judaism, is profit.
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide 2018
ve’ahavta (“love your neighbor as yourself”) admonition to Goyim for regarding their Jewish neighbors; as for the Jews themselves, haba le-horgecha, hashkem le-horgo (“he who comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first” as told in 3 Little Pigs))
(wolf) attempts to trick third pig out of his (brick) house by asking to meet him at various places, but he is outwitted each time (3rd pig rises early, does the suggested task, and saves himself from being eaten)
Juice Dualities Juice, and DNA Melting Plot 1
back pages
A take-down of religious "morality" by a "believer"
To Serve the Greater Good, a Moral Philosophy for today++
Survey of Creativity and Destruction 1 Westciv
Garrett Hardin writes: "The essential characteristic of a tribe is that it should follow a double standard of morality -- one kind of behavior for in-group relations, another for out-group." -Wild Taboo "It is a tragic irony that discrimination has produced a species (homo sapiens) that now proposes to abandon the principle responsible for its rise to greatness."
Survey of Creativity and Destruction 8; Survival is Objective #1 in Evolution
Wild Taboo; Hardin/Masters
Competitive Exclusion Principle In the competition for living space and resources between two species (or two groups that occupy the same ecological niche), one will inevitably and inexorably eliminate the other. “In a finite universe – and the organisms of our world know no other – where the total number of organisms of both kinds cannot exceed a certain number… one species will necessarily replace the other species completely if the two species are “complete competitors, i.e., live the same kind of life.”
Historic Walls: Segregation and Security, defensive duo Disapproval of US.MX Border Barrier Design
Musical Duets (entertainment break from difficult study)
2x(Tico) no Fubá - Duo Siqueira Lima - guitar 4 Hands 3 min (includes brief encore) otra vez... 22x (Tico) Zequinha de Abreu arr. N Kossinskaya guitar quartet 4 min Anabel Montesinos & Marco Tamayo | Mozart, Rondo Alla Turca (w/audience) 3 min
Delibes, Lakmé - Duo des fleurs, Sabine Devieilhe & Marianne Crebassa, 3.8m views since Nov2017 4.5 min
Sun Quan The Emperor (Guzheng & Drum Ver.) 9.6m views since 2015 5 min
MUSA - Chandelier(Sia) & Wrecking Ball Mash - Guzheng and Zhongruan 3.3m views since 2015 3.5 min
Irish Senior Citizen Plays London Mall Piano... Then Magic Occurs; spontaneous Irish duet, Galway and Kerry 582k views since Jun.3.2019 (today is Jun.10) 7 min
Rasputin (Boney M) (viol/cello)- The Ayoub Sisters 3.4 min
A.Montesinos & M.Tamayo-Tres canciones de The Beatles-Stagione Internazionale di Chitarra Classica 9.9 min
Fool on the Hill; She's Leaving Home; Penny Lane;
Crazy - Patsy Cline Cover (Allison Young vocals, Josh Turner Guitar) 8.5k views 3.3 min
Dancing, an exercise in aesthetic, social duality
Grace on Ice Gabriella PAPADAKIS, Guillaume CIZERON, 2016 WC's music: Perfect- Ed Sheeran 4.3 min
A family exercise Derek and Julianne, music: "Unsteady" 2 min
Piano Duet, + 3 couples in traditional form Andrea & Matteo Bocelli, music: "Fall On Me" 2.6 min
Memorabilia (skips emotional intro) Jordan​ and​ ​Lindsay contemporary style, music: “Take Me Home” 1.3 min dance episode ends at 3:00
study notes
https://lorenzo-thinkingoutaloud.blogspot.com/2019/
https://simplicable.com/new/anti-competitive-practices
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=reality+dysphoria&atb=v81-4__&ia=web
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"Of Nen and Zen". A short essay concerning the eastern philosphy and mysticism in hunterxhunter.

Soo.. this has taken a lot longer than anticipated, but I think it is ready.
.
I believe I found something that shines a new light on togashi's nen system(maybe somebody already pointed this out but, maybe not. Either way this will be my own spin on it.) This will take some time to explain and is not the easiest of topics to convey with words, but I'll try my best. So bare with me. It will be worth it I promise.
Oh and by the way, I'm not a native speaker, so there are probably many misspellings and grammar fuckups included. I tried my best with what I've been taught, but yes there probably will be A LOT. :D
If anyone would like to help improve the grammar of this post, please message me.

- The book of changes -

how two makes four

So, I'm really interested in eastern philosophy and mysticism and while researching the four basic elements, I came about a system that goes up and beyond. It's kind of like the binary system actually. It starts with 2 components, light/hard and dark/soft. Those would resemble the dual level represented by 1/0 or yin and yang. They are portrayed as a continuous line **--- for yang(light)**and a discontinuous line - - for yin(dark). It's a bit un intuitive as they are drawn in black, but what can we do. While it doesn't visually fit with light and dark, there is another property included that is portrayed better through the lines and that is --- yang(hard) and - - yin(soft). The space really helps in conveying the soft quality at least. But enough critiquing of ancient peoples work. I really like to believe they wanted to do better, but just couldn't get their hands on that white ink. So let's cut them some slack and move on.
There are many things in nature that share a dual relation like that, to name a few: cold/warm, fast/slow, night/day, male/female and also to heaven(天) and earth(地) as in spatial directions. They're relation might seem opposite at firs,t but only on the conceptual level. In nature its an ever flowing and changing process.



Yin, dark, soft (female) - -
Yang, light, strong (male) ---
https://preview.redd.it/qqc7wzuv8av21.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=d239c1dc11520a33e78c0d7a07cce70d7eb8d388
So, right now we have only 2 distinct states, but if we add another line to the image we are suddenly left with four different states (in mathemathical terms this would be 2^2[ two exponent two] in this case 2\2, the first number being the possible states of the unit and the exponent being the number of units combined.* It's neat to see this, but if you totally loathe math, just ignore it, it's not needed to understand this.)
Anyway, I think these are the ones most people are familiar with: air(wind and sometimes wood), water, fire, earth also called: old yin, young yang, young yin, old yang. They make up a continuous cycle while inheriting and recombining the above properties and are fundamentally described like this:

Wind, (風)

dry, subtle, coldest (male)

Water (水)

most humid, dense, cold (female)

Fire (火)

dry, subtle, warmest (male)

Earth (土)

humid, densest, warm (female)

That's already pretty interesting I'd say, but what I really want to show you goes one step further. If we now add one more line (2^3), what we get are called the "8 trigrams". I first learned about these in German and now upon taking a closer look at the English versions out there, I chose to take the best from both worlds and use what I can.
Also, from here on out I can include the corresponding Unicode symbols (yes, they really are included, but unfortunately pretty small. But it's nice they don't count as images that way, curse you image limit!)

The 8 trigrams


Parents:

☰ Kiën (乾 qián),

the creative, is the force, is strength, is the sky, the father

☷ Kun (坤 kūn) ,

the receptive, is the field, is devotion, is the earth, the mother

Children:

☳ Dshen (震 zhèn),

the thrilling/exciting, is movement, is shaking, is the thunder, the oldest sun

☵ Kan (坎 kǎn),

the abysmal, is danger, is deep water or clouds, the middle son

☶ Gen (艮 gèn),

the solitary, is serenity, is standstill, is the mountain, the youngest son

☴ Sun (巽 xùn),

the gentle yet penetrating, is the wind or wood, the oldest daughter

☲ Li (離 lí),

the adherent, is radiant, is conditioned or bound, is the sun, the flash or the clear flame, the middle daughter

☳ Dui (兌 duì),

the joyful, is happiness, is the lake, the youngest daughter

These archetypal forms of energy or emotion are also in a continuous cycle just like the four elements, having additionally gained complexity and character, they inherit everything from their ancestors. At this stage they take on a more personal form. Atleast the 6 children that is, as the parents are still pretty much yin/yang and are, because of that, "out of the picture". They somehow stand above and influence all six, while not descending into their play.

As you probably have noticed this can be done another time creating now 16 variations, but let's not go there, the really important ones right now are the 6 children. Because, you now what also comes in the package of 6?

Yes, Aura types.
Could it really be possible to match these with our 6 categories of nen? Well I have tried. Tell me what you think:

Btw: This is my first drawing since like 10 years and that was highschool art class, so please spare me. If anyone wants to improve this. please do. :D The color grading is still pretty on point though and I wouldn't change that much about it if I did another one. Also this was born directly out of my inspiration when I found out about this, so it kind of grew on my heart. So shush! :P

- Wheel of emotion -


https://preview.redd.it/xbk15ksis9v21.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=069ead2f6d93e12b7179b8da51e0803d50c28e9d

Note: This is my own system of ordering it. I choose it to match togashi's system and also because I think it's the most fitting when looking at personal energies. Only in this order you can really show the flow of energy visually. The original from the book of changes which is funnily called the "I Ging" (at least in German it is. I think there are different pronunciations out there) includes all 8 trigrams, but leaves out circular motion. (I will add that too as reference) .

So what does that jumble mean?
Basically, one could look at it as an age cycle of energy. from young age "Li" all throughout the maturing process right into old age "Gen". But there are many things happening in between that can be looked at.

To get a better understanding and overview, let us first look the symbols in the corner that represent our previous four basic elements:

alternate symbols

fire > passion, action

water < flow, emotion

air ^ renewal, intelligence

earth v courage, memory


The second part of this attribution comes from the yogic sciences, where there are four pillars of yoga.
Yoga however does not mean "twisting your body". It means unity and is the path of seeking inclusion.
I included them because they are the only 4 sources you can use to enhance your self.

Fire: Karma yoga. The yoga of action. Using your body and your movement to generate energy.
Water: Bhakti yoga. The yoga of emotion. Using your emotion to include something into your self.
Air: Kriya yoga. The yoga of life energy. Bringing change to once own life energies.
AiEarth: Ghana yoga. The yoga of intelligence, Using your mind to penetrate the world and become something more.

This is how they get extracted from the geometric hexagram:
https://preview.redd.it/o3izr2k5bav21.jpg?width=186&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=cecb97951ad379f0aca1bc77b964850a3890765b

There's also another symbol right at the bottom (where gen is), that looks at bit weird.
It's the lesser known fifth element:

Akasha or Aether


It's somewhat mysterious and hard to describe as it is invisible in nature.
It's below and above the other four elements in the way that all of the other elements happen in it. It is:
Space.
No, not the literal space out in the night sky.. whereby it's often used as a visual representation, but what it really points to is the space that's all around us.
There are things in space and there is space. That's akasha.
There are different symbols used to represent it. In nature it corresponds to the universe, plasma or the color purple


https://preview.redd.it/5cq8wv2at9v21.jpg?width=509&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=30c627c1b302ec90ea5a9cf2689086fb13443550

So far we've seen only the main attributition. Here's a more in-depth list of personal traits and correspondences for the four in their pure form. If we look at them in the dynamic spectrum they can mix quite heavily. Aether is not really relevant in that sense, but I think it's important to know its there.
(It's interesting how akasha is not really an element and specialisation is not really a class. But still I fail to see a direct connection. Also the symbol of the hunter association looks very similar.)

https://preview.redd.it/pq0nro4tbav21.png?width=200&format=png&auto=webp&s=b12c84b25d6aee9e7fb8260f790bf6fc4d76a7ed

Elemental correspondences:


The element of fire (choleric)
Positive qualities: vigorousness, zeal, enthusiasm, courage, decisiveness, power of creativity, daring, sedulity...
Negative qualities: quarrelsomeness, irritability, urge to destroy everything, passion, immoderacy, jealousy, voraciousness, vindictiveness, violence, hate, anger, sudden ebullition...
The element of air (sanguine)
Positive qualities: clarity, intelligence, vigilance, care-freedom,diligence, kind-heartedness, swiftness, clarity, lightness, independency, dexterity, optimism
Negative qualities: overly intellectual, lack of perseverance, dishonesty, gossipy, cunningness, garrulousness, inconstancy, touchiness, prodigality...
The element of water (phlegmatic)
Positive qualities: understanding, placidity, mildness, trusting nature, devotion, mercy, forgiveness, modesty, compassion, , pliancy, meditativeness, internalization...
Negative qualities: corruptness, lust, depression, indifference, heartlessness, laziness, indolence, rigidity, lack of daring, lack of concern, unstableness, dejection...
The element of earth (melancholic)
Positive qualities: consistency, conscientiousness, perseverance, punctuality, caution, resistance, responsibility, carefulness, firmness, reliability, sobriety, ambition, respectfulness, matter-of-factness...
Negative qualities: stuffiness, superficiality, laziness, indifference, cumbersomeness, touchiness, lack of conscientiousness, irregularity, timidity, scornfulness...

Somehow they also relate to the four major principles, but I haven't found a way too assign them sufficiently. This is all I got so far:

Technique Main element -> properties Supporting -> properties
Ten Water control of flow, serenity, rest in emotion earth steady, calm, balance, unmoving
Zetsu Earth no outflow, contain, rest, - -
Ren Fire power,strength Wind growing through change, tempering of will (objective)
Hatsu Fire aggression, release, outward projecting, ready, decisive Wind movement, change
While not perfect, there's definitely a tendency to be seen here. Most noticeably that ten and zetsu both employ "female" qualities, while ren and hatsu are dominated by "male" qualities.


While being more subtle, correspondences like that can also be found for each of the trigrams. I haven't found a source for that so I'll list all that I picked up:

Trigram Nature correspondences Properties
Li flame, flash, sun radiant, clear, light, adherent, bound, conditioned, steady
Dshen thunder, quaking, roaring movement, action, agitation, thrill, excitement, loud, rash, energetic, rushing
Dui lake, swamp, spring joy, innocence, open, light hearted, happy-go-lucky, avid, kind
Kan abyss, deep water, gorge playful, versatile, trickster, hidden, danger, knowledge of evil, corrupt
Sun wind, wood, tree soft, balancing, understanding, knowledgeble, intelligent, calculating, penetrating, strict
Gen mountain, rock, stone independent, strong, firm, solely, serene, unmoving, still.

Now that we got ourselves acquainted with the elemental 101 we can go and look deeper into it.

- Relations between children -

(I advise to keep the image of the wheel of emotion open in a sidetab, so it can be looked at while reading the explanation. Otherwise you'll need a very good memory or an avid scrolling finger, But it seems i can post it one more time, so here you go:)

https://preview.redd.it/drvjr4z1s5b31.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e70992e5977a6ca650471474fcef25b4dbd1f57d
The arrows in the middle that form a hexagon display the hierarchy from oldest to youngest child of each gender and also indicate the parents from which they inherit. As you can see male and female alternate with every image. While not a classification on their own they have a subtle impact on all six. However, one can't simple say that dshen is purely male as these "borders" get washed out increasingly through generations (if there ever were any).
The neighboring images are balancing each other, as one seems to always want to reach into the next.
Progressing like: -> li - dschen - dui - kan - sun - gen -> into li again.
There are many interactions seen in this: The stable earth (gen) wanting to become energy (li) -> pure energy becoming excitement (dschen), energeticness wanting to get a taste of colorful emotion (dui) -> the resulting happiness longing to become deeper emotion (kan) -> deepness becoming gentle and intelligent (sun) -> then growing strong and independent (gen) and finally the lonesomeness wanting to become warm again through communion with the outside world (li).
This example is arbitrary and also you can't really set boundaries on this. I just did, so you have a general understanding of the flow that's being portrayed here. The early form of a trigram differs so heavily from its late version, it could be a new classification on it's own. But more on that later. First let's look at some rules in relation to the hunterxhunter system:

Adjacent categories have a 80% learning capability and are always the ones, that are, not of the same age group and also of the opposing gender. Admittedly, it's a bit difficult to see, so here's an example:
specialization/gen (youngest son) 80%-- conjuration/sun( oldest daughter) 100%-- transmutation/kan (middle son) 80%
When the classification that is looked at for adaptibility is conjuration, which is a daughter, then it would mean the most promising categories will be the sons of a different age group. (Okay.. and what does that mean? I don't know, but that's how it is.) And that's also were the natural balancing flow of energy wants to go:
The strictness and composure of conjuration(sun) wanting to become free through the unbound emotional deepness of transmutation(kan) and the burden of the working intelligence wanting to become cool, steady and lonesome through specialization(gen). While there's a definite tendency towards clockwise progression, it's fair to say that change and interaction can be noticed in every direction. For example the gentleness of sun can calm the troubled waves of kan.

2.
Categories of the same gender always have a 60% learning capability.
If the classification look at is again Conjuration/Sun(oldest daughter), then it would be the other both daughters manipulation/Li(middle) and enhancement/duì(young), that can be learned at a 60% rate. They form a triangle and always have a son in between.
same sex=same rate

3.
The polar category is the one that has the same age, but is of a different gender. I sometimes look at it as the archenemy category, because it's so opposing. If we look at conjuration(sun) again our counter would be emission(zhèn). Heavy planning and thinking and perfectionism against well, Leorio.. :D If one wants to wield the other there is bound to be chaos. And maybe that's why its 40% only,
Here are some Nen users that share this connection.

Gon & Pitou
Leorio & Kurapica
Netero & Meruem
Killua & Illumi
Hisoka & Illumi

Here's a chart that brings all aura types into perspective

Aura type Abilities, Talents Tendencies Real world professions (allthough any can be all) Sin
Manipulator influence, control, govern, guide, teach outward, change/love teachers, parents , leaders, politicians, malevolence
Emitter being heard, bringing change, enforcing will outward, justice/ truth speakers, politicians, dancers,singers, police forces wrath
Enhancer physical, simple approach, improving, strenghtening outward, courage/carefre athletes, labourer, dancers egoism
Transmuter bending energy, keeping flow, shifting states, jokes, wearing a mask inward, love/change comedians, trickster, actor, artists, singer, dancer, writer, poets insanity, lust
Conjurer understanding the world and it's rules, living by it and creating something from it -> strategy, science, math, writing, poetry inward, truth/justice investigator, strategists, professors, academics, poets pride
Specialists doing everything alone, special talents who have to be seen, unique inward, carefree/courage people who need nobody yet attract others because of that, types you just can't label. Know'em when you meet'em. indifference

You could look at it for days in this way and find harmonies and disharmonies, it's quite beautiful. For me it has become more than an anime fighting system. Its energy and emotion in the play of life. While you certainly can't just pull out hatsus in real life there are some overlappings with the realm of talents and mastery of the real world. It really makes you wonder. But to spare you from my fascinated rambling, I will now move on unto the next thing I have found.



- And Zen what? -


As I have said before it's possible to add another line to the informational pool to achieve 16 variations(2*2*2). But that's not whats being done by the book of changes. It skips this stage entirely and directly combines two trigrams into one hexagram. If this is done for every possible combination there are suddenly 64 hexagrams. They create a much bigger array of possible states and changes between them, but to be honest that's too much work to show and explain right now. For one, this is no taoist university (I wonder if there really is such a thing) and it also goes beyond of what is useful for our purpose here. If you are really interested, look into that on your own. It's not that it's not worth it, but I don't want to infodump you to death.

I will now look at some specific constellations of the hexagrams that are of direct importance for the hunterverse. First we have the 8(6) "double images". It's obvious that when recombining all of the trigrams, we should also be left with 8 images that are a repetition of themselves. They give some new insight and add on on what we already now. The quality of amplification and repetition shines through in their meaning.

Note: All of the description that will follow are from a collection of sources. "Buch der Wandlungen"(book of changes from Richard Wilhelm). Excerpts used and translated into english by me.
original: https://schuledesrades.org/public/iging/buch/?Q=5/1
Quotes and descriptions from different english sites.
And infoormation and symbols from this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagram_(I_Ching))

But now, let's get started.

離 (lí), "radiance"

Other variations include "the clinging, fire" and "the net". Its inner trigram is ☲ (離 lí) radiance = (火) fire, and its outer trigram is identical.
The origin of the character has its roots in symbols of long-tailed birds such as the peacock or the legendary phoenix
Fire has no definite form, it adheres to things and burns that way. Like water raining from the sky, fire blazes upwards. Everything that is shining in the world is bound to something that it adheres too, only in that way it can shine on. For something to shine endlessly, there surely needs to be tenacity.
The clinging means resting on something. When the waters of the Abysmal flow into the pit, we search for something to cling to." Li is the image of the Clinging Fire, formless except the essence of fuel that keeps it burning.when undergoing drastic changes on the outside the only footing is the reference point of the personal self.
What emerges from any difficult transition is the discovery of that thing which will guide and support you when all else is taken away. This is like a light that is always burning in the darkness. Although events ‘out there’ orchestrate the changes, they merely lead you to cultivate a shift of awareness ‘in here.’


震 (zhèn), "the shaking"

Other variations include "the arousing (shock)" and "thunder". Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☳ (震 zhèn)
This movement is so intense it's frightening. The image is the thunder who burst out from earth and by his quaking causes fright and trembling. While initially dreadful the uproar ensures renewal and success in the future.
It's the oldest sun, who vigorously seizes power. A taking of charge. A new status quo. -
When children ride roller coasters, they discover that allowing fear to have expression is energizing. If only we could always remain joyous in approaching our fears as we move along our dusty road. Unfortunately we grow complacent and seek security and stasis. Anything in nature that becomes stagnant will be re-energized by the unexpected. “Shock brings success. Shock comes – oh oh! Laughing words – ha ha!” Whether hurricanes balance ocean temperatures or tumultuous autumn and spring storms invigorate new growth, nobody can hide from nature’s power to keep all things thriving. The Shocking can symbolize the unexpected things that generate emotion and wake us up.
The feelings arising are quite unfamiliar but refreshingly new. What worked in the past will no longer do. The two words most associated with Zhen is ‘uh oh!’ However, it should be viewed in the same laughing sentiment as children riding a roller coaster. Something is coming that is unexpected but is meant to awaken you to how you hide. Each day we witness the mutability of nature and fail to recognize it in our own life. No matter the event, the pace may quicken and you may suddenly find your heart racing and a smile on your face.


兌 (duì), "the joyous, lake"

Other variations include: "open", "usurpation" and swamp. Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☱ (兌 duì).
The happy mood is contagious, that's why it's prevailing. But joy needs a foundation of stability, so it doesn't degenerate into utter foolishness. Truth and strength need to dwell in the heart, while meekness is for all to see. contrary to intuition joy is not the result of the softness of the topmost line. The property of the soft/dark principal is not joy, but melancholy. The real joy comes through it's inner toughness and strength, which shows itself through the means of softness.
The repititon: The happy mood is contagious, that's why it's prevailing. But Joy needs a foundation of stability, so it doesn't degenerate into utter foolishness. Truth and strength need to dwell in the heart, while meekness is for all to see. -

More often than not it's inner opening rather than the effort or movement to change outer events that has led to joy. Often we feel the opposite of Joy in the form of unhappiness and see it as something negative. Unhappiness is the hunger pain for change so how can it be bad? The saying, “if you never fail, you will always succeed” means that if failure is taken in stride as a prerequisite to success it isn’t really failure. This accepting outlook leads to joyousness on the journey.
“Content in your circumstances and genuine in kindness, you are the expression of the love that renews all things.”
While we can do little to change the events that unfold around us, a change in perspective can magically change everything. Be Joyous in thought and action and celebrate others. Since life is your mirror it will reflect joyousness back to you.


坎 (kǎn), "the abysmal"

Other variations include "Gorge" and "repeated entrapment". Its inner trigram is ☵ (坎 kǎn) and its outer trigram is identical.
Through repitition of danger there is accustoming. Water serves as a good example in these kind of situations. It's always flowing and ever only fills all those gaps that its flowing through. It's not leaving out a single dangerous spot, fears no ledge or fall and is in that way always staying true to itself. If a situation is handled internally, there's a good chance it will sort itself out externally. To fully prevail through danger, there needs to be thoroughness, so that everything that needs to be done, gets done and there is no chance of succumbing to the danger. -

For the benefit of the flowers, we water the thorns too. – Egyptian Proverb

Can one honestly look back and not see the meaning for any of challenges that were had in the past? Going through the danger is necessary to discover who we are, what we really need and what we are capable of accomplishing. There is great power and realizations to be obtained when confronting fear in the deep waters of the unconscious. The dangerous flow of water can lead somewhere beneficial if you just relinquish control and let go of your fear.
Without trusting in the flow of events, many situations can seem threatening, but only in proportion to the disparity that exists between the necessary transition and the fear of going there. When you recognize the things that you cannot change, you discover life's power to lead you. The path is frightening but a commitment to move forward and jump into the flow leaves no option of turning back.


巽 (xùn), "the gentle (the penetrating, wind)"

Other variations include "ground" and "calculations". Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☴ (巽 xùn).
It's image is wind or wood, it's property is gentleness and yet it is penetrating like the wind or the wood with it's roots. In nature it's the wind, which is clearing the clustered clouds and enabling the sun to shine through. For humanity it's the penetrating clarity of righteous judgement, which knocks out all ulterior motives. In society it may be the influence of a powerful figure, who reveals and disperses any and all shady schemings
.
When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze. – Thomas Carlyle

There is gentleness and enormous power associated with the hexagram of penetration. Like the wind blowing over vast periods of time against a mountain, the smallest influence when applied with a steadfast attitude can break down any barrier.


艮 (gèn), "the mountain"

Other variations include "keeping still, "rooted" and "stilling". Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☶ (艮 gèn)
True peace is holding still when it's due and moving forward when the time to move forward has come again. In this way, rest and movement is in balance with time and it's necessities. The image is end and start of all movement. As a symbol it could be the spinal of the human body. In it, all nerves controlling movement join together. If there's a seizing of action for all of these nerves, total standstill of the system will be the consequence.
If now a human becomes this still on the inside, then he may face the uneasy and quarrelsome world. He will not get dragged into the fights and upheaval caused by it's inhabitants and has the necessary calmness needed to comprehend the great rules and workings of the world. He, who is acting from this place of deep rootedness, doesn't make mistakes anymore.
In the book of changes rest is described as a polar state, only achieved through the constant counterbalancing with movement.


So there's that. I would like to continue here, but apparently there's a 40.000 character limit. So the continuation will be in part 2.
And that's also where it really gets interesting.

https://www.reddit.com/HunterXHuntecomments/bixqj0/part_2_of_nen_and_zen_a_short_essay_concerning/

See you there!

submitted by Valiant-Turtle to HunterXHunter [link] [comments]

The book of changes and the flow of the world.

Soo.. this has taken a lot longer than anticipated, but I think it is ready.
.
While the I ging probably is known around here, I tried my best to put all my understanding of into in a neat form, so that anyone can benefit. But this is not only for starters, I go very indepth, too and in the end I will go into a matter, that probably not even a self proclaimed expert will know about.

https://www.reddit.com/HunterXHuntecomments/bixkze/of\_nen\_and\_zen\_a\_short\_essay\_concerning\_the/
If you incidentally have watched the anime "HunterxHunter", read this version instead the link is marked as a spoiler above this. If you havent, just ignore this and move onto the first segment:

- The book of changes -

how two makes four

I'm really interested in eastern philosophy and mysticism and while researching the four basic elements, I came about the I ging, a system that takes all of this on another level. But let's start from the very bottom:
The I ging is kind of like the binary system actually. It starts with 2 components, light/hard and dark/soft. Those would resemble the dual level represented by 1/0 or yin and yang. They are portrayed as a continuous line
--- for yang(light) and a discontinuous line - - for yin(dark). It's a bit unintuitive, as they are drawn in black, but what can we do. While it doesn't visually fit with light and dark, there is another property included, that is portrayed better through the lines and that is --- yang(hard) and - - yin(soft). The space really helps in conveying the soft quality at least. But enough critiquing of ancient peoples work. I really like to believe they wanted to do better, but just couldn't get their hands on that white ink. So let's cut them some slack and move on.
There are many things in nature, that share a dual relation like that, to name a few: cold/warm, fast/slow, night/day, male/female and also to:

heaven(天)

earth(地)


as in spatial directions. They're relation might seem opposing at first, but only on the conceptual level. In nature its an ever flowing and changing process.


https://preview.redd.it/ln1rj22y9ib31.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=d9dc036e1d430e07bf6e07a66ea1e98801d937c0
Yin, dark, soft (female) - -
Yang, light, strong (male) ---

So, right now we have only 2 distinct states, but if we add another line to the image we are suddenly left with four different states (in mathemathical terms this would be 2^2[ two exponent two] in this case 2\2, the first number being the possible states of the unit and the exponent being the number of units combined.* It's neat to see this, but if you totally loathe math, just ignore it, it's not needed to understand this.)
Anyway, I think, these are the ones most people are familiar with: air(wind and sometimes wood), water, fire, earth(soil) also called: old yin, young yang, young yin, old yang. They make up a continuous cycle, while inheriting and recombining the above properties and are fundamentally described like this:

Wind, (風)

dry, subtle, coldest (male)

Water (水)

most humid, dense, cold (female)

Fire (火)

dry, subtle, warmest (male)

Soil (土)

humid, densest, warm (female)

That's already pretty interesting I'd say, but what I really want to show you goes one step further. If we now add one more line (2^3), what we get are called the "8 trigrams". I first learned about these in German and now upon taking a closer look at the English versions out there, I chose to take the best from both worlds and use what I can.
Also, from here on out I can include the corresponding unicode symbols (yes, they really are included, but unfortunately pretty small. But it's nice they don't count as images that way, curse you image limit!)

The 8 trigrams


Parents:

☰ Kiën (乾 qián),

the creative, is the force, is strength, is the sky, the father

☷ Kun (坤 kūn) ,

the receptive, is the field, is devotion, is the earth, the mother

Children:

☳ Dshen (震 zhèn),

the thrilling/exciting, is movement, is shaking, is the thunder, the oldest sun

☵ Kan (坎 kǎn),

the abysmal, is danger, is deep water or clouds, the middle son

☶ Gen (艮 gèn),

the solitary, is serenity, is standstill, is the mountain, the youngest son

☴ Sun (巽 xùn),

the gentle yet penetrating, is the wind or wood, the oldest daughter

☲ Li (離 lí),

the adherent, is radiant, is conditioned or bound, is the sun, the flash or the clear flame, the middle daughter

☳ Dui (兌 duì),

the joyful, is happiness, is the lake, the youngest daughter


These archetypal forms of energy or emotion are also in a continuous cycle, just like the four elements, having additionally gained complexity and character, they inherit everything from their ancestors. At this stage they take on a more personal form. Atleast the 6 children that is, as the parents are still pretty much yin/yang and are, because of that, "out of the picture". They somehow stand above and influence all six, while not descending into their play.

As you probably have noticed this can be done another time creating now 16 variations, but let's not go there, for now the most importan ones are thethe 6 children.

Btw: This is my first drawing since like 10 years and that was highschool art class, so please spare me. If anyone wants to improve this. please do. :D The color grading is still pretty on point though and I wouldn't change that much about it if I did another one. Also this was born directly out of my inspiration when I found out about this, so it kind of grew on my heart. So shush! :P

- Wheel of emotion -



https://preview.redd.it/qkw9sasu9ib31.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b54035b3b6c992392d6239eb82f4693a80848cc9

Note: This is my own system of ordering it. I choose it to match togashi's system also because I think it's the most fitting when looking at personal energies. Only in this order you can really show the flow of energy visually. The original from the book of changes(I ging) includes all 8 trigrams, but denies circular motion. (I will add that too as reference) .

So what does all that jumble mean?
Basically, one could look at it as an age cycle of energy. From young age "Li" all throughout the maturing process right into old age "Gen". But there are many things happening in between that can be looked at.

To get a better understanding and overview, let us first look the symbols in the corner, that represent our previous four basic elements:


https://preview.redd.it/mcz1wwdw9ib31.png?width=2048&format=png&auto=webp&s=1f457bc3cc31d3f91cb127f2dc64a4b5a73442b5

fire > passion, action

water < flow, emotion

air ^ renewal, intelligence

earth v courage, memory


This attribution comes from the yogic sciences, where there are four pillars of yoga.
Yoga however does not mean "twisting your body". It means unity and is the path of seeking inclusion.
I included them because they are the only 4 sources you can use to enhance your self.

Fire: Karma yoga. The yoga of action. Using your body and your movement to generate energy.
Water: Bhakti yoga. The yoga of emotion. Using your emotion to include something into your self.
Air: Kriya yoga. The yoga of life energy. Bringing change to once own life energies.
AiEarth: Ghana yoga. The yoga of intelligence, Using your mind to penetrate the world and become something more.

This is how they get extracted from the geometric hexagram:

There's also another symbol, right at the bottom (where gen is), that looks at bit weird.
It's the lesser known fifth element:

Akasha or Aether



It's somewhat mysterious and hard to describe as it is invisible in nature.
It's below and above the other four elements in the way that all of the other elements happen in it. It is:
Space.
No, not the literal space out in the night sky.. whereby it's often used as a visual representation, but what it really points to is the space that's all around us.
There are things in space and there is space. That's akasha.
There are different symbols used to represent it. In nature it corresponds to the universe, plasma or the color purple


https://preview.redd.it/gzkenhv3aib31.jpg?width=509&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1b8e42ce5c6eeb68cf555cafaf19fc58613e972f

So far we've seen only the main attributition. Here's a more in-depth list of personal traits and correspondences for the four in their pure form. If we look at them in the dynamic spectrum they can mix quite heavily. Aether is not really relevant in that sense, but I think it's important to know its there.
(It's interesting how akasha is not really an element and specialisation is not really a class. But still I fail to see a direct connection. Also the symbol of the hunter association looks very similar.)


Elemental correspondences:


The element of fire (choleric)
Positive qualities: vigorousness, zeal, enthusiasm, courage, decisiveness, power of creativity, daring, sedulity...
Negative qualities: quarrelsomeness, irritability, urge to destroy everything, passion, immoderacy, jealousy, voraciousness, vindictiveness, violence, hate, anger, sudden ebullition...
The element of air (sanguine)
Positive qualities: clarity, intelligence, vigilance, care-freedom,diligence, kind-heartedness, swiftness, clarity, lightness, independency, dexterity, optimism
Negative qualities: overly intellectual, lack of perseverance, dishonesty, gossipy, cunningness, garrulousness, inconstancy, touchiness, prodigality...
The element of water (phlegmatic)
Positive qualities: understanding, placidity, mildness, trusting nature, devotion, mercy, forgiveness, modesty, compassion, , pliancy, meditativeness, internalization...
Negative qualities: corruptness, lust, depression, indifference, heartlessness, laziness, indolence, rigidity, lack of daring, lack of concern, unstableness, dejection...
The element of earth (melancholic)
Positive qualities: consistency, conscientiousness, perseverance, punctuality, caution, resistance, responsibility, carefulness, firmness, reliability, sobriety, ambition, respectfulness, matter-of-factness...
Negative qualities: stuffiness, superficiality, laziness, indifference, cumbersomeness, touchiness, lack of conscientiousness, irregularity, timidity, scornfulness...




While being more subtle, correspondences like that, can also be found for each of the trigrams. I haven't found a source for that so I'll list all that I picked up:

Trigram Nature correspondences Properties
Li flame, flash, sun radiant, clear, light, adherent, bound, conditioned, steady
Dshen thunder, quaking, roaring movement, action, agitation, thrill, excitement, loud, rash, energetic, rushing
Dui lake, swamp, spring joy, innocence, open, light hearted, happy-go-lucky, avid, kind
Kan abyss, deep water, gorge playful, versatile, trickster, hidden, danger, knowledge of evil, corrupt
Sun wind, wood, tree soft, balancing, understanding, knowledgeble, intelligent, calculating, penetrating, strict
Gen mountain, rock, stone independent, strong, firm, solely, serene, unmoving, still.


As I said, because they are more varied and differentiated then the four elements, these signs almost seem too resemble human beings, or atleast certain people come to mind when reading the above properties. Could it be possible to also see them as personality types, by which you can order people?
We'll I've never been a friend of pigeonholing people. You can fall into stereoptyping easily and in that way just loose touch with the ever flowing play, that is reality, but there seems to be some truth to these categories as it feels like they really seem to apply a lot of the time.
So what to do with this predicament?
Maybe we should see those just as general guidelines, as a thread. A reason to look deeper at the person before us, when we notice certain traits. Even the total cliché might suprise with another layer, if we keep looking with an open mind.
So does this mean everyone falls into just one of these categories? As you can already guess after having read so much of the Book of Changes. The answer is: No.

As practical as it may be to have compartments in life. It is advisable to have them as loose and open as possible, or you'll just be stuck opening and closing them all the time.
Someone else might say "What a mess! How can someone live with all those open drawers!" , but hey, It's your own and personal cabinet. Be free, because life doesn't like boundaries.
But don't go all the way and trash your wardrobes and cabinets. You'll definitely need the things you've aquired. Just be open to change your style now and then or you'll become outdated soon. So, let's blow the dust of our files and get back into business!

With the right state of mind the following classifications can be a powerful tool to look at other people. No one will ever be purely one of those, but still you can use it as a starting point.
We may come with a certain package or tendency, but what we make out of it is totally our own thing. Overidentifying ourselves with a certain type and saying: "This is what I am!" is just limiting our freedom and potential. A backpack should help us on our journey and not weigh us down constantly.
So prepare to err, because without exceptions there who would care for a rule.


Classification Trigram Abilities, Talents Tendencies Real world professions (allthough any can be all) Sin
Manipulator Li influence, control, govern, guide, teach outward, change/love teachers, parents , leaders, politicians, possesivenes, malevolence
Emitter Dschen being heard, bringing change, enforcing will outward, justice/ truth speakers, politicians, dancers,singers, police forces wrath
Enhancer Dui physical, simple approach, improving, strenghtening outward, courage/carefre athletes, labourer, dancers egoism
Transmuter Kan bending energy, keeping flow, shifting states, jokes, wearing a mask inward, love/change comedians, trickster, actor, artists, singer, dancer, writer, poets insanity, lust, malevolence
Conjurer Sun understanding the world and it's rules, living by it and creating something from it -> strategy, science, math, writing, poetry inward, truth/justice investigator, strategists, professors, academics, poets pride
Specialists Gen doing everything alone, special talents who have to be seen, unique inward, carefree/courage people who need nobody yet attract others because of that, types you just can't label. Know'em when you meet'em. indifference, arrogance


Now that we know all of the children personally, we can go and try to look into what ties them all togehter.


- Relations between children -


(I advise to keep the image of the wheel of emotion open in a sidetab, so it can be looked at while reading the explanations, otherwise you'll need a very good memory or an avid scrolling finger, ,but it seems I can post it one more time, so here you go:)


https://preview.redd.it/lm8y5kkxbib31.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=89b4af56bcb6988f423e6837a76d5500461ea2e8
The arrows in the middle, that form a hexagon, display the hierarchy from oldest to youngest child of each gender and also give a hint to the parents from which they inherit. If you look closely, you can see male and female alternate with every trigram, because the hexagon consists of an upward female triangle, conjoined with a downward male triangle. While not a classification on their own they have a subtle impact on all six. However, one can't simple say, that dshen is purely male or sun female, as these "borders" get washed out increasingly through generations (if there ever were any). They might get more differentiated, but on the other hand seem to loose definition as either of the two genders.
The neighboring images are balancing each other, as one seems to always want to reach into the next.
Progressing like: -> li - dschen - dui - kan - sun - gen -> into li again.
There are many interactions, that can be seen in this: The stable earth (gen) wanting to become energy (li) -> pure energy becoming excitement (dschen), energeticness wanting to get a taste of colorful emotion (dui) -> the resulting happiness longing to become deeper emotion (kan) -> deepness becoming gentle and intelligent (sun) -> then growing strong and independent (gen) and finally the lonesomeness wanting to become warm again through communion with the outside world (li).
The properties used in this example are arbitrary,also you can't really set boundaries on this. I just did, so you have a general understanding of the flow that's being portrayed here. The early form of a trigram differs so heavily from its late version, it could be a new classification on it's own. But more on that later. First let's look at some other relations between the six children.

If someone has a certain tendency these rules of thumb seem to apply alot of the time. (The percentages are not exact, but I don't think I have even to say this anymore.)

Adjacent categories have a 80% learning capability and are always the ones, that are, not of the same age group and also of the opposing gender. Admittedly, it's a bit difficult to see, so here's an example:
specialization/gen (youngest son) 80%-- conjuration/sun( oldest daughter) 100%-- transmutation/kan (middle son) 80%
When the classification that is looked at for adaptibility is conjuration, which is a daughter, then it would mean the most promising categories will be the sons of a different age group, which are always the nieghbours. (Okay.. and what does that mean? I don't know at all, but that's how it seems to be.) And that's also were the natural balancing flow of energy wants to go:
The strictness and composure of conjuration(sun) wanting to become free through the unbound emotional deepness of transmutation(kan) and the burden of the working intelligence wanting to become cool, steady and lonesome through specialization(gen). While there's a definite tendency towards clockwise progression, it's fair to mention that change and interaction can be noticed in every direction. For example the gentleness of sun can calm the troubled waters of kan.

2.
Categories of the same gender always have a 60% learning capability.
If the classification look at is again conjuration/sun(oldest daughter), then it would be the other both daughters manipulation/li(middle) and enhancement/duì(young), which skills can be learned at a 60% rate. They form a triangle and always have a son in between.
same sex=same rate

3.
The polar category is the one that has the same age, but is of a different gender. I sometimes look at it as the archenemy category, because it's so opposing. If we look at conjuration(sun) again our counter would be emission(zhèn). Heavy planning and thinking and perfectionism against well, untempered hotheadedness.. If one wants to wield the other, there is bound to be chaos. And maybe that's why its 40% only,



You could look at it for days in this way and find harmonies and disharmonies, it's quite beautiful. For me it has become more than just a system. It's energy and emotion in the play of life. It really makes you wonder. But to spare you from my fascinated rambling, I will now move on unto the next thing I have found.



- And Zen what? -


As I have said before it's possible to add another line to the informational pool to achieve 16 variations(2*2*2). But that's not whats being done by the book of changes. It skips this stage entirely and directly combines two trigrams into one hexagram. If this is done for every possible combination there are suddenly 64 hexagrams. They create a much bigger array of possible states and changes between them, but to be honest that's too much work to show and explain right now. For one, this is no taoist university (I wonder if there really is such a thing) and it also goes beyond of what is useful for our purpose here. If you are really interested, look into that on your own. It's not that it's not worth it, but I don't want to infodump you to death.

I will now look at some specific constellations of the hexagrams, that are of direct importance for us. First we have the 8(6) "double images". It's obvious that when recombining all of the trigrams, we should also be left with 8 images that are a repetition of themselves. They give some new insight and add on on what we already now. The quality of amplification and repetition shines through in their meaning.

Note: All of the description that will follow are from a collection of sources. "Buch der Wandlungen"(book of changes from Richard Wilhelm). Excerpts used and translated into english by me.
original: https://schuledesrades.org/public/iging/buch/?Q=5/1
Quotes and descriptions from different english sites.
And infoormation and symbols from this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagram_(I_Ching))

Now, let's get started.

離 (lí), "radiance"

Other variations include "the clinging, fire" and "the net". Its inner trigram is ☲ (離 lí) radiance = (火) fire, and its outer trigram is identical.

The origin of the character has its roots in symbols of long-tailed birds such as the peacock or the legendary phoenix
Fire has no definite form, it adheres to things and burns that way. Like water raining from the sky, fire blazes upwards. Everything that is shining in the world is bound to something that it adheres too, only in that way it can shine on. For something to shine endlessly, there surely needs to be tenacity.
The clinging means resting on something. When the waters of the Abysmal flow into the pit, we search for something to cling to." Li is the image of the Clinging Fire, formless except the essence of fuel that keeps it burning, when undergoing drastic changes on the outside, the only footing is the reference point of the personal self.
What emerges from any difficult transition is the discovery of that thing which will guide and support you, when all else is taken away. This is like a light that is always burning in the darkness. Although events ‘out there’ orchestrate the changes, they merely lead you to cultivate a shift of awareness ‘in here.’


震 (zhèn), "thunder"

Other variations include "the shaking" and "the arousing (shock)". Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☳ (震 zhèn)

This movement is so intense it's frightening. The image is the thunder, who burst out from earth and by his quaking causes fright and trembling. While initially dreadful the uproar ensures renewal and success in the future.
It's the oldest sun, who vigorously seizes power. A taking of charge. A new status quo. -
When children ride roller coasters, they discover that allowing fear to have expression is energizing. If only we could always remain joyous in approaching our fears as we move along our dusty road. Unfortunately we grow complacent and seek security and stasis. Anything in nature that becomes stagnant will be re-energized by the unexpected. “Shock brings success. Shock comes – oh oh! Laughing words – ha ha!” Whether hurricanes balance ocean temperatures or tumultuous autumn and spring storms invigorate new growth, nobody can hide from nature’s power to keep all things thriving. The Shocking can symbolize the unexpected things that generate emotion and wake us up.
The feelings arising are quite unfamiliar but refreshingly new. What worked in the past will no longer do. The two words most associated with Zhen is ‘uh oh!’ However, it should be viewed in the same laughing sentiment as children riding a roller coaster. Something is coming that is unexpected but is meant to awaken you to how you hide. Each day we witness the mutability of nature and fail to recognize it in our own life. No matter the event, the pace may quicken and you may suddenly find your heart racing and a smile on your face.


兌 (duì), "the joyous, lake"

Other variations include: "open", "usurpation" and swamp. Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☱ (兌 duì).

The happy mood is contagious, that's why it's prevailing. But joy needs a foundation of stability, so it doesn't degenerate into utter foolishness. Truth and strength need to dwell in the heart, while meekness is for all to see. contrary to intuition joy is not the result of the softness of the topmost line. The property of the soft/dark principal is not joy, but melancholy. The real joy comes through it's inner toughness and strength, which shows itself through the means of softness.
The repititon: The happy mood is contagious, that's why it's prevailing. But Joy needs a foundation of stability, so it doesn't degenerate into utter foolishness. Truth and strength need to dwell in the heart, while meekness is for all to see. -

More often than not it's inner opening, rather than the effort or movement to change outer events that has led to joy. Often we feel the opposite of joy in the form of unhappiness and see it as something negative. Unhappiness is the hunger pain for change, so how can it be bad? The saying, “if you never fail, you will always succeed” means, that if failure is taken in stride as a prerequisite to success, it isn’t really failure. This accepting outlook leads to joyousness on the journey.
“Content in your circumstances and genuine in kindness, you are the expression of the love that renews all things.”
While we can do little to change the events that unfold around us, a change in perspective can magically change everything. Be joyous in thought and action and celebrate others. Since life is your mirror, it will reflect joyousness back to you.


坎 (kǎn), "the abysmal"

Other variations include "gorge" and "repeated entrapment". Its inner trigram is ☵ (坎 kǎn) and its outer trigram is identical.

Through repitition of danger, there is accustoming. Water serves as a good example in these kind of situations. It's always flowing and ever only fills all those gaps that its flowing through. It's not leaving out a single dangerous spot, fears no ledge or fall and is in that way always staying true to itself. If a situation is handled internally, there's a good chance it will sort itself out externally. To fully prevail through danger, there needs to be thoroughness, so that everything that needs to be done, gets done and there is no chance of succumbing to the danger. -

For the benefit of the flowers, we water the thorns too. – Egyptian Proverb

Can one honestly look back and not see the meaning for any of challenges that were had in the past? Going through the danger is necessary to discover who we are, what we really need and what we are capable of accomplishing. There is great power and realizations to be obtained when confronting fear in the deep waters of the unconscious. The dangerous flow of water can lead somewhere beneficial if you just relinquish control and let go of your fear.
Without trusting in the flow of events, many situations can seem threatening, but only in proportion to the disparity, that exists between the necessary transition and the fear of going there. When you recognize the things that you cannot change, you discover life's power to lead you. The path is frightening, but a commitment to move forward and jump into the flow leaves no option of turning back.


巽 (xùn), "the gentle (the penetrating, wind)"

Other variations include "ground" and "calculations". Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☴ (巽 xùn).

It's image is wind or wood, it's property is gentleness and yet it is penetrating like the wind or the wood with it's roots. In nature it's the wind, which is clearing the clustered clouds and enabling the sun to shine through. For humanity it's the penetrating clarity of righteous judgement, which knocks out all ulterior motives. In society it may be the influence of a powerful figure, who reveals and disperses any and all shady schemings
.
When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze. – Thomas Carlyle

There is gentleness and enormous power associated with the hexagram of penetration. Like the wind blowing over vast periods of time against a mountain, the smallest influence, when applied with a steadfast attitude, can break down any barrier.


艮 (gèn), "the mountain"

Other variations include "keeping still, "rooted" and "stilling". Both its inner and outer trigrams are ☶ (艮 gèn)
True peace is holding still when it's due and moving forward when the time to move forward has come again. In this way, rest and movement is in balance with time and it's necessities. The image is end and start of all movement. As a symbol it could be the spinal of the human body. In it, all nerves controlling movement join together. If there's a seizing of action for all of these nerves, total standstill of the system will be the consequence.
If now a human becomes this still on the inside, then he may face the uneasy and quarrelsome world. He will not get dragged into the fights and upheaval caused by it's inhabitants and has the necessary calmness needed to comprehend the great rules and workings of the world. He, who is acting from this place of deep rootedness, doesn't make mistakes anymore.
In the book of changes, rest is described as a polar state, only achieved through the constant counterbalancing with movement.


So there's that. I would like to continue here, but apparently there's a 40.000 character limit. So the continuation will be in part 2.
https://www.reddit.com/taoism/comments/cfq3en/the_book_of_changes_and_the_flow_of_the_world/

And that's also where it gets even more interesting.

See you there!

submitted by Valiant-Turtle to taoism [link] [comments]

[GUIDE] Playing AMIGA games on the SNES Classic! – TUTORIAL

[GUIDE] Playing AMIGA games on the SNES Classic! – TUTORIAL
Into the Wonderful
[UPDATE 08/06/2018] - PLAYER 2 ACTIVATED! New experimental PUAE core can be found in my release pack HERE. SWOS, SuperCars 2, Lotus 2, Chaos Engine, and many other 2P classics all just got a whole lot better! I've also enabled virtual keyboard support for UAE4ARM which removes one of the big issues with that core.
---------------------------------------------------
VIDEO GUIDES
Before we get into the guide I would like to point out that there are currently two video guides out there to assist you with the process.
u/MDFMKanic video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U27Lp7b1kOU
MDFMKanic aka Kyland K has a video up that goes through this process for his updated core and the updated templates included with his core set. I have updated the guide to reflect some of his suggestions and improvements!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use the method suggested in the video of copying from the root folder of your game when creating your HDF file. It will not work in a lot of cases. Follow the steps in this guide and always copy from the folder where the game.slave file resides.
u/PattonPlays video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmpFvJGlztw
Patton's video is geared to more of a bare basics set-up to get you up and running while Kyland's video assumes a certain level of expertise and familiarity with Hakchi and using cores.
If you find it easier to have a video reference or want to try out alternative approaches to adding the games please check these videos out! Choose whatever combination works best for you. I do recommend you try to go through this guide at least once though to give you more detail and better context around how things work.
---------------------------------------------------

MAIN GUIDE

Intro

Personal thanks to u/MDFMKanic for always being helpful and bringing us the ability to play Amiga games on our mini consoles and to u/Swingflip for helping me develop for the (S)NESC platform. Also a shout-out to the Hakchi Resources team and everyone who contributes to this great community.
This guide is for the WHDLoad method of playing games. Be warned that this process is moderately complex and a chore to set up but it allows your games to run faster and eliminates the need for disk swapping. If you want easy this is not going to work for you but if you're an Amiga lover than it's worth the hassle!
I adapted this guide from the guide found here which focuses on getting P-UAE to run on the NVIDIA Shield. The writer of that guide did post some videos and pictures which really helps with explaining how to use the tools required so please use that for reference if needed.

Initial set-up and BIOS

You will need the following:
  • Hakchi2 CE - I have no idea if any other version of Hakchi will work and even if it does you're not going to get the awesome support, ease of use, or features that Team Shinkansen provides!
  • KMFDManic's Retroarch and P-UAE core - Note that his updates can be experimental in nature but often bring in new features and bug fixes.
    • If you prefer Retroarch Neo and the P-UAE core from Hakchi Resources than those work too. These have a less frequent update cycle and hence generally better stability.
  • Configurable Templates - I’ve created templates for the required WHDLoad and UAE config files in my release pack. The release pack also includes my own experimental core updates and other items that you may find useful.
  • ADF Opus - Software that will allow you to work with disk formats that the Amiga uses.
  • Amiga BIOS - You will need to obtain the following “BIOS” (Amiga Kickstart ROMs) to get this working. All the BIOS can be legitimately obtained from http://www.amigaforever.com/ for $30.
BIOS Re-name it to..... What's it for? SHA-1 Checksum
Kickstart v3.1 rev 40.63 A500-A600-A2000 kick31.rom Running WHDLoad games 3b7f1493b27e212830f989f26ca76c02049f09ca
Kickstart v1.3 rev 34.5 A500-A1000-A2000-CDTV kick34005.A500 Original Chip Set (OCS) games 891e9a547772fe0c6c19b610baf8bc4ea7fcb785
Kickstart v2.04 rev 37.175 A500+ kick37175.A500 Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) games c5839f5cb98a7a8947065c3ed2f14f5f42e334a1
Kickstart v3.1 rev 40.68 A1200 kick40068.A1200 Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) games e21545723fe8374e91342617604f1b3d703094f1
Kickstart v1.2 rev 33.180 A500-A2000 kick33180.A500 Some older OCS games 11f9e62cf299f72184835b7b2a70a16333fc0d88
  • Re-name the “BIOS” exactly as shown in the above table.
  • Move/transfer only the kick31.rom to where your SNES classic’s BIOS are located. There are several methods to do this so consult those guides for more info. I’ll show you where to put the other files in the next step.
(Important: If you're using the Kickstarts from Amiga Forever, please refer to this post.)

Download and configure WHDLoad.hdf

The WHDLoad.hdf file is your hard drive “image” of your Amiga OS. You will need to configure it with Amiga Kickstart BIOS files using the steps outlined below before it can be used to run Amiga games.
To save you some time you can use my WHDLoad.hdf template file that I created using the latest binaries (v18.4 beta). If you’re interested on what WHDLoad is you can learn more at http://www.whdload.de/. It's not necessary to understand the intricacies of WHDLoad but it is phenomenal free software that allows Amiga games and applications to be ran from hard disk and be updated to this very day!
  • If you haven’t already then download and install ADF Opus which will allow you to create and modify HDF files which are essential for this to work.
  • When you open ADF Opus you will see an open window showing your local file-system. Use that to navigate to where your Kickstart ROMs are (kick34005.A500, kick37175.A500 , and kick40068.A1200). Leave this window open.
  • Now click on the file menu and navigate to and open WHDLoad.hdf which will open up a new window showing the contents of WHDLoad.hdf.
  • Navigate the HDF file to the devs > kickstarts folder and then copy all the Kickstart ROMs into this folder via dragging and dropping them from one window to the next.
  • Your WHDLoad.hdf is now configured! The final thing you have to do here is move/transfer it over to your SNES Classic's BIOS folder just like you did with the kick31.rom.
Luckily you only have to do the WHDLoad.hdf configuration once unless a new version of WHDLoad comes out and you want to update to the latest binaries.
Now you have both a fully configured WHDLoad.hdf and your kick31.rom in place it wouldn't be a bad idea to back-up the files like you would any other essential BIOS.

Obtain and prep your game to be used as a HDF file

Next step is to obtain your game in pre-packaged WHDLoad format. You are of course on your own for this one.
  • Once you have your WHDLoad game then unzip it and look for a .slave file. For example if you have the WHDLoad version of Alien Breed it may have a file called AlienBreed.slave
  • Rename the .slave file to exactly game.slave
    • Renaming the file is critical and you will have to do it for every game you have.
  • Make a note of the size of your WHDload game folder, you will need it for the next step.

Create your game as a HDF file

  • Open ADF Opus and navigate to your downloaded WHDLoad folder where your .slave file resides. Click the new button (first button on the left).
  • Name your file to be created making sure to add the .hdf extension e.g. alien_breed.hdf.
  • Select hard file and preset size and use the slider to choose a size that is larger than the size of the WHDLoad game that you've made a note of earlier. (2MB is the minimum size you can choose)
  • Check the "open after creating" checkbox and click "create".
  • Copy all the contents of the WHLoad game folder over to the newly created HDF file by selecting all and then dragging and dropping. Close out the window to save your newly created HDF file.

Creating your UAE config file

Use the templates I've provided as the basis of your UAE config file.
There are two templates that will cover most cases. If your game is an OCS or ECS game use the OCS UAE template, otherwise if your game is an AGA game you will be using the AGA UAE template as your starting point. These templates contain generic settings which I've found to work well for a lot of games. The UAE file is what you would tweak if you have problems running a game or to improve performance.
  • For the OCS/ECS template - if your game is compatible with the ECS chipset change the config setting to ECS to make use of any extra features that gives i.e. chipset=ecs
  • Make a note of where I put in the files. You will obviously need to replace this placeholder after you've added your game in Hakchi.
  • Important step: Where I put GAME.hdf in the template rename this to the name of your game HDF file. Do this step now. The reason why this is important is that it will allow Hakchi to generate a unique ID for the game with it's own folder. A more thorough explanation can be found in Kyland K's video with alternative approaches but this method will suffice for most people.
  • I highly recommend that you re-name your UAE file now to the same name as your HDF file so that you can easily remember what game it's for.
(If you're using the templates from KMFDManic's core set then the general idea here is the same but the details are different so please follow the instructions in his core set)

Add game to Hakchi

Add the UAE config file as a game in Hakchi.
Once you have the Hakchi entry:
  • Right click on your game entry and choose “open in Windows Explorer”. Make note of your game ID as this makes up part of the path to your HDF files.
  • Copy your game HDF file into the just opened folder.
  • Open the UAE file and enter the path to your game HDF file. This path will vary on how you're adding your games. For example I'm using USB HOST with linked export so my game path would look something like this -

hardfile=read-write,32,1,2,512,/media/hakchi2CE/games_snes/CLV-Z-WSQHO/alien_breed.hdf 
If you're using NAND or USB HOST with regular export it would look something like this -
hardfile=read-write,32,1,2,512,/vagames/CLV-Z-WSQHO/alien_breed.hdf 
IMPORTANT: In more recent versions of Hakchi2 CE there is a new option to sync games to NAND called linked sync which is enabled by default. This is a great feature as it allows games to sync to your console quickly as only changes are updated and not your entire game library. However it does change the path for where your games are actually located. Your path will now look like this -
hardfile=read-write,32,1,2,512,/valib/hakchi/games/snes-usa/.storage/CLV-Z-WSQHO/alien_breed.hdf 
Note in the above path you will need to change snes-usa to whatever variant of the classic you have e.g. nes-usa, snes-eur, etc. A big thanks to u/kenh1000 for identifying the linked sync issue and resolving it!
Once you've configured the correct path there's only thing left to do -
  • Save your config file and then sync/export your game.
  • CONGRATULATIONS you're done!
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CONTROLS

  • When playing games the controller works well for joystick-based games and I found that an analog stick works surprisingly well for mouse-based point and click games. You may get different results though based on the controller you're using and associated firmware. One thing to get used to is that many Amiga games only utilized one Joystick button so for many platform games you would push up to jump instead of pushing a button which is the norm for console games.
  • Here's the default controls -

L2 = show/hide status L = mouse speed down (min 1) R = mouse speed up (max 6) SEL = toggle mouse/joy mode STR = show/hide virtual keyboard (vkbd) A = joystick fire 1/mouse 1/vkbd key pressed B = joystick fire 2/mouse 2 
  • Pressing the select button toggles between joystick and mouse (analog) control.
  • You can adjust mouse (analog) speed by pressing L1 or R1 on your controller. There are 6 levels of mouse sensitivity but how well this works varies from game to game.
  • If you have an L2 button on your controller you can press it to show which mode you're in along with the level of mouse sensitivity. You can also map this function to a different button using the Retroarch GUI if you don't have an L2.
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OPTIONAL EXTRAS

ADF files - The Alternative Way

Using WHDLoad and HDF files is the much preferred way to add your games for the aforementioned benefits but there is a simpler way using the Amiga Disk File (ADF) format. If you have your game in ADF format use my specialized templateADF.uae file as a base. The key difference in the UAE template is that instead of using HDF files you reference your ADF files as follows -
 nr_floppies= 
Where is the number of ADF files i.e. floppy disks, your game comes on. You then will add a line for each ADF file in your game starting at floppy0 e.g.
 floppy0= 
Up to a maximum of 4 floppy drives can be emulated, floppy0 to floppy3.
(Personal shout out to Jul Car on the Discord for helping test the ADF template - a true Amiga fan).

USB-Host Tricks

Thanks to u/hilly for this! Once you are familiar with the process or already have a good understanding of what to do then you can employ various ways of streamlining the process even more. If you're using USB-HOST and Linked Export the following is the easiest and fastest way of adding games!
  • Create a folder on your USB drive outside of Hakchi e.g. USB: amiga and use it to store all your Amiga BIOS and WHDLoad games.
  • There will then be a single fixed path to all your files. If you update your UAE templates to point to this fixed path then all you have to do in terms of UAE configuration when adding a game is to add the name of your game's HDF file i.e the last few lines of your UAE will look like this -

kickstart_rom_file=/media/amiga/kick31.rom hardfile=read-write,32,1,2,512,/media/amiga/WHDLoad.hdf hardfile=read-write,32,1,2,512,/media/amiga/GAME_NAME.hdf 
  • When you create your game HDF file you can write it direct to USB:amiga so that when you add your UAE file to Hakchi you're all set and there's no further configuration or copying files required!

WHDLoad Cheats

To make activating cheats easier I've included in my templates a special WHDLoadCheats.hdf file that can be used instead of the regular WHDLoad.hdf.
  • You will need to populate this file with the Kickstart roms and transfer it to the location where your BIOS is located in the same manner you would the regular WHDLoad.hdf.
  • For games where you want to activate these options have them point to WHDLoadCheats.hdf in their UAE config file.
  • When loading your game you will now see a splash screen and what options can be selected.
    • NOTE: You will only see cheats/options if the game supports them and the person who packaged the game included the ability to access them in this way. If you have an older game install you may only see a splash screen and will have to create a custom WHDLoad.hdf to activate any options (see the section below).
  • To select options change your control option to mouse/analog by pressing the select button on your controller and then press the A button. Once you have control you can check the options you want to enable.
  • Once done press the start button on the screen to load the game. Remember to switch back to joystick mode if the game is a joystick based game.

ADVANCED - Activating WHDLoad Options

Don't attempt this until you're confident that you know what's going on and can troubleshoot common issues yourself!
In some cases in order to activate trainers/cheats or other options (you may also see them referred to as ToolTypes) you need to create a custom WHDLoad.hdf for the game to use.
  • To see what options are available consult the ReadMe file in the same folder where you would find the game.slave file in your WHDLoad game. Let's take for an example The New Zealand Story game. It's ReadMe includes the following:
- Tooltypes added;
- Trainers on CUSTOM1 can be combined for multiple trainers:
- CUSTOM1=1 - Infinite Lives
- CUSTOM1=2 - Infinite Oxygen
- CUSTOM1=4 - Enables Levelskip (Help key)
Some of this sounds like it would be good to have! So how do we use these options? Well we need to add them as command line arguments to our WHDLoad.hdf start-up. In order to do this the game needs it's own copy of WHDLoad.hdf so that whatever we change doesn't affect all your Amiga games.
  • Make a copy of your WHDLoad.hdf file and place it in the same folder where your game HDF file is located.
  • Open up your new HDF file in ADF Opus and navigate to the folder named "S". In this folder there will be a file called Startup-Sequence. Drag that file somewhere onto your local system to make an editable copy.
  • Open Startup-Sequence in a suitable text editor and you will see -

Path >NIL: RAM: C: cd dh1: WHDLOAD PRELOAD game.slave 
  • We add our options as command line arguments after the game.slave. So if I wanted infinite lives for The New Zealand Story according to the ReadMe I would add CUSTOM1=1 as follows -

WHDLOAD PRELOAD game.slave CUSTOM1=1 
  • After saving the changes I would use ADF Opus to delete the existing Startup-Sequence in my new WHDLoad.hdf file and then drag and drop in my newly modified Startup-Sequence file.
  • Logically I would then have to change my The New Zealand Story UAE file to point to my new WHDLoad.hdf in my hakchi game folder and not the regular WHDLoad.hdf.
  • Once everything's updated I would run New Zealand Story and have infinite lives!
The two major downfalls to using WHDLoad options are of course needing to have a separate copy of WHDLoad.hdf for each game you'll be adding options for and secondly having to go through this entire process again if you change your mind and decide to add/remove options!
NOTE: In some uncommon cases a game may actually require a custom WHDLoad.hdf in order to actually work and/or save. For the games I've come across that require this I've added UAE templates in my template set that give instructions as to exactly what settings have to be used when creating your custom WHDLoad.hdf for the respective game.
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EXTRA NOTES

Screen Settings

  • Most Amiga games use PAL rather than NTSC and the maximum screen resolution with PAL is 640 x 512 without overscan. I've updated the templates to default to this. Change the settings for gfx_width and gfx_height to get the games looking how you prefer. For example you may need to reduce this to get a better viewport for your game or if you see screen cropping then the game is using overscan so set the resolution to 724 x 566, the max overscan resolution, and adjust from there.
  • Use the Retroarch GUI to set the vertical refresh rate to 50 Hz. As most Amiga games output as PAL this allows for better audio syncing. Also make sure VSync is enabled for smoother scrolling. (Note that these are set by default in MDFMKanic's core set dated 5/21/2018 or later).

Settings > Video > Estimated Screen Framerate > Wait for it to reach 2048 samples > Press A and you will see the Vertical Refresh Rate update > Adjust Vertical Refresh Rate to 50Hz > Scroll down and check Vertical Sync (VSync) is On > Back out to Main Menu > Quick Menu > Configuration Override options > Save Core Overrides > Back out to Main Menu > Quit RetroArch 
  • By default I've set show_leds=true . This shows the drive activity bar at the bottom of the screen and is useful when testing games. Once you know your game works you can turn it off using the Retroarch GUI.

Main Menu > Quick Menu > Options > Leds None 

Observations

  • The settings provided in the UAE templates are to get you off the ground but to fine tune it you will have to play around with things like CPU speed and timing, chipset options, and screen resolutions, to name but a few. See the Known Issues section below for common issues and things you can do to try to fix them. To fine tune things further you can tinker with the P-UAE settings. A reference to the available settings can be found here.
  • Having the latest version of each WHDLoad pre-packaged game you add helps as they include bug fixes and patches that have been included over the years but even then your game may still not work on our SNES minis. To add to that, in rare cases it is only the older version of a game that works well! Don't give up too soon as sometimes a game has very specific requirements or your set-up is incorrect. Do some testing/research/ask for help!
  • The P-UAE core is a work in progress so if it changes this guide may no longer work or some parts may become redundant.
  • Temper your expectations as although a lot of games run well there will be bugs and issues as this is an experimental core. Most emulation is tough but for the Amiga it is especially tough as it was a fully fledged computer with different models, chip sets, game requirements etc. I'm thankful that this is even possible.
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KNOWN ISSUES

  • Saving games is unstable and inconsistent.
    • Save states simply don't work.
    • In-game saves work for some games e.g. Cannon Fodder, however you will need my WHDLoad.hdf template, dated 5/22/2018 or later, which enables game saves to be written to your game HDF file.
    • You can tell when a game is saving as the screen will flash as the OS is called to perform the save routine. Be patient and let the operation finish.
    • If a game has the option to "format a save disk" do not use it it is not necessary and may corrupt your game HDF.
    • Bear in mind that saving may still not work as some games use complex read/write routines or require specific configurations that P-UAE does not currently support.
  • A USB physical keyboard will work but there's a bug that will cause the emulator to lock up if you press a key that is also used as a Retroarch hotkey. Disable the hotkeys in Retroarch if you want to use a real keyboard.
  • If you lose control of the mouse cursor or joystick press the Select button to cycle between inputs to re-activate it. In the case of the mouse cursor you may also need to additionally press the A button to obtain control.
  • Games that have sound distortion/stutter and general poor performance -
    • AGA games are harder to emulate so they will not run as smoothly as OCS/ECS games. I’ve used a very aggressive CPU speed setting in the AGA UAE template to get these to work but if you're still seeing distortion you will need to fine tune.
    • For major sound issues a key setting that you can try adding is gfx_framerate . This setting specifies the rate at which display frames are rendered. In simple terms the more frames you skip the less work the emulator has to do. Having gfx_framerate set between 2 and 5 from my experience yields the best results. For example Aladdin is a very demanding AGA game where you only start getting good audio sync when you set gfx_framerate=3. The trade-off is that the more frames you skip the more graphical glitches you're going to see.
    • Another setting that eases the emulator workload is setting collision_level=none . Collision level detection done by the chipset is not commonly used so having this off eases the burden on the emulator and can boost your game's performance.
    • Outside of AGA games there are demanding OCS /ECS games too e.g. Agony, Lionheart, Second Samurai. These games typically have many copper effects, dual playfields and/or require exact synchronization timing. With the default OCS/ECS templates they will run slow and/or with garbled sound. Similar to AGA games you will have to fine tune these more demanding games on a case by case basis. For example here are my specific settings I added/modified for getting the game Agony to run at decent speed with only minor sound glitches and graphical effects stabilized -

chipset=ocs cpu_type=68000 cpu_speed=2 finegrain_cpu_speed=1024 immediate_blits=true gfx_framerate=2 collision_level=none 
  • For OCS games changing to the faster 68020 (A1200 processor) helps with performance issues in some cases e.g. speeds up polygonal games such as Zeewolf (Thanks to u/mnx78 for this tip!)
  • A lot of times the right balance for playability is going to be based on your own personal preference and tolerance level. That's if the game doesn't crash or freeze first as some games can be inflexible as to what settings they can handle.
  • If you have specific settings working well for you then share the love! It would be great if we as a community can build a repository of templates to cover most cases and to get specific games working well.
This core will be updated in the future to improve performance, default some settings, and make things easier to configure. Have fun as the Amiga has one heck of a varied game library and some absolute classics. Check out the Amiga Hall of Light games database at for game information, box scans, and inspiration.
If you're not familiar with Amiga games or want to refresh your memory then this video series by YouTube user Bransfield is well worth a view -
The 31 Games That Made The Amiga Great - Part 1
The 31 Games That Made The Amiga Great - Part 2
The 31 Games That Made The Amiga Great - Part 3
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Happy experimenting and Amiga Forever!
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...but wait there's more...back to the, back to the, back to the hip hop...

UAE4ARM - Turbo Charged Amiga Emulation

Thanks to u/MDFMKanic and u/Swingflip we now have another option for running Amiga games. UAE4ARM is an Amiga core that is optimized for ARM devices like our SNES Classics. The major advantage of this core is that it has dynamic recompiling, which translates to it's darn fast! Alas it is still very much an experimental core and relative to P-UAE it is lacking options and flexibility.
If you've already set up everything for P-UAE then there's not much additional you need to do -
  • Download the core and install it. At the current time I've only tested the core provided by MDFMKanic in conjunction with his Retroarch Extreme HMOD which is required for his core to work. You can grab them from his releases here.
  • Choose the game you want to run using UAE4ARM. See my UAE4ARM games list in my template set for recommended games to try or choose a game that previously ran very poorly for you on P-UAE. Once chosen, select it in Hakchi and then edit it's command line to change where it says bin/puae or bin/uae to

bin/uae4arm 
  • After syncing or exporting your game go ahead and attempt to load it on your SNES Classic. For the most part your old UAE configuration will still work, if however it does not work use the template I provided - UAE4ARM_template.uae to re-configure your game and try again. The template is set-up for AGA games but can be used for OCS/ECS games too. Downgrading to OCS/ECS settings confers no benefits when using UAE4ARM.
  • Mouse control and virtual keyboard works in a similar fashion to P-UAE.
  • 2nd Joystick button works and defaults to the "X" button on your controller. You can remap this if you wish using the Controls option in the Retroarch menu.
KNOWN ISSUES
  • Crashing tends to happen when you attempt to save game or core overrides. The recommendation is not to use these core functions for now.
  • Screen flickering on games that use the hi-res interlace resolution. If you want the technical detail then it's because a double line renderer hasn't been implemented for interlaced modes. Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a way to switch to low-res which most Amiga games use.
  • Sound crackling/stuttering. Unfortunately it affects ALL games to some degree and unlike P-UAE there's no config tweaking that can be done to make the sound better.
  • Fixed graphical resolution of 650 X 256. There's no apparent way of changing this. Not a major issue but you may get cropping or garbled areas in some games.
The AGA and CPU intensive games that struggled previously now play great with UAE4ARM so it is a viable alternative in these instances. My personal recommendation for now is to continue to use P-UAE for the majority of your games and only option UAE4ARM when you can't get playable results. If you can bare the choppy sound emulation and lack of 2 player support then by all means you should go with UAE4ARM as your primary Amiga core.
With your help and feedback we'll continue to work on making Amiga emulation as perfect as possible on the (S)NESC!
submitted by qclart to miniSNESmods [link] [comments]

BFZ Duels: Where We're At Now, And Where We Could Be Going

When in any format with a limited card pool, we're going to find that eventually some archetypes just have superior power, synergy, or consistency (and typically, some mix of all three) than other archetypes. Before the release of BFZ, you would see a gauntlet of Golgari-based Control, Gruul-based Ramp, Blue-based Tutelage Mill, Mono-red Aggro, and Izzet-based Artifact Aggro. BFZ has brought us a lot of new toys, though, that have either bolstered existing archetypes tremendously (i.e, adding powerful finishers and sweepers to Gruul Ramp), created new archetypes entirely (i.e, Boros-based Allies, Izzet/Rakdos-based Deviod Aggro), or provided minimal support (i.e, Izzet Artifacts). How much has the meta changed?
Realistically? Not too much.
Ramp is still the defining deck type for this format. With the introduction of giant eldrazi creatures like Ulamog and Desolation Twin, this shouldn't be a surprise. Ramp has been added in the form of From Beyond and Nissa's Renewal, and ramp strategies now seem to have 40 starting life with Nissa's Renewal and Jaddi Offspring constantly healing them. However, we did get a large amount of dual lands in this set, namely the enemy paired tango lands (GR, GW, UB, UW, and RB) and a pair of manlands (WB Lifelink and UG Hexproof). With the amount of color fixing available, you can see three-colored, four-colored, and five-colored strategies perform consistently. This has also encouraged many decks to splash into a color for tech cards.
Unfortunately, our aggro players have been left sorely lacking comparatively. Although placing a strong aura like Call of the Moon or Infectious Bloodlust on a T1 Goblin Glory Chaser still can steal games, games are simply lasting longer due to ramp and control strategies having wonderful CMC 1-2 blockers with 3+ toughness and multiple ways to heal. That said, these decks are not dead in the slightest, and still have reach with spells like Exquisite Firecraft to deal those few last points of damage.
So, how do we tend to win in this current meta? There's a few win conditions that decks currently tend to focus on:
Typically, you'll find that a deck will employ multiple strategies to win at a higher tier, and they tend to focus on a single win condition at lower tiers. For example, Gruul Ramp is placed very highly in this current meta. Their primary goal is to ramp out into a big fatty as quick as possible, but they also are capable of removing threats and playing the land destruction and value games. Against decks that try to outrace them early, they have Jaddi Offspring and Gatecreeper Vine as value blockers, and Jaddi Offpsring and Nissa's Renewal to stabilize them. A lower tier deck, such as Mono-red Aggro, is highly one dimensional. It simply wants to count to 20 as quickly as possible, but doesn't like counting to 25 or more. Because Gruul Ramp has a multi-dimensional plan of attack, it's harder to prevent it from winning and easier for it to reach a win condition. Mono-red Aggro, however, only has one win condition, so it's fairly binary to beat it; it's almost like a coin flip: did they draw into early Jaddi and removal? GG, let's try for the next one.
Now, as all tier lists, this shouldn't be something that says, "Hey, you can only play these archetypes." Instead, this is a list that says, "If we had a tournament this week, these are the decks I would prepare to play against." New, successful archetypes come from preparing against expected match-ups. If you don't have answers to Ulamog or early aggression, you might find your deck failing more than succeeding.
S Tier: Gruul Ramp, 4/5 Color Ramp/Control A Tier: Mono-Red Aggro, Sultai Turbo-Fog, Selesnya Ramp, Naya Ramp, Jund Aristocrats, Simic-shell Tempo, Azorius Tempo, Izzet Thopters, Boros-shell Tokens, Selesnya Ramp, Selesnya Tokenfall, Blue-shell Control, Dimir Aristocrats, Mono-red Burn B Tier: Gruul Landfall Monsters, Boros-shell Allies, Bant/Abzan Enchantress C Tier: BW Allies/Vampires, Rakdos Sac, Rakdos Devoid Aggro, Mono-White Aggro, Golgari-shell Elves D Tier: Whatever weird shit that CGB builds that includes the words Reanimator, Devoid, or Ingest. Decks including: Razorfoot Griffin, Accursed Spirit, Goblin Piker, Battlefront Krushok, Sky-Eel School, etc. F Tier: WotC communications about Duels, BFZ being released at the same time as paper BFZ.
*Note: Order in respective tier doesn't matter.
You'll notice that there's an absolute ton of decks in the A tier. This is because there are a lot of decks that accomplish the goals that I showed earlier, all in slightly different ways. S tier decks are just the decks that most people would consider the, "Decks to beat." However, I would not be surprised to see anything in S or A tier to win a relatively large tournament that would be organized by NGA or Reddit. Decks below A tier utilize win conditions that are easily beat, or are just too inconsistent to match with the S/A tier decks.
Below is an explanation of what these decks are, and have some provided decklists. If you're a new player and are looking for decks and considering, "What works well in my favorite color(s)?" then this list is a pretty good place to start. At the same time, this isn't a conclusive list. Just because this is what's common in the current rank 40 meta doesn't mean it's the only things you will ever see or play. However, if you're developing your own deck, this gives you a good start to figure out what you're planning to beat.
Most of these decks are decks that I've edited and/or refined. I have played all of these decks for at least 10 ranked matches, so I'm familiar with most of the mechanics of each. That being said, many of these decks were inspired by CovertGoBlue (several of his decks I didn't even change tbh), and Hakeem of NGA. There were also some select decks that were inspired by other players of NGA, but those two were easily my main influences, so I want to thank them for their ideas.
  • Gruul Ramp is still the boogyman of Duels right now. Jaddi Offshoot, Elvish Visionary, Gatecreeper Vine, and From Beyond provide tons of early blockers that also provide advantage. The deck ramps up quickly into playing big fatties like Ulamog, Monath, and Desolation Twin. Gluing the package all together in removal in the form of red board sweeps, and land destruction+ramp in the form of Mwonvuli Acid-Moss. Moss also hurts decks that splash a color, and can easily cut opposing decks off of a land while advancing their own board state. And it's common, so it can be a four of. It also fetches a forest, rather than a basic forest; that means you can fetch Cinder Glade or Canopy Vista with Acid-Moss. This particular build utilizes a Woodland Bellower package that lets you fetch Reclamation Sage for enchantment hate, or Visionary/Gatecreeper or value, or Jaddi Offshoot to help stabilize. Other builds may elect to run more Visionaries for early game value, Natural Connection for early, instant speed ramp, or dip deeper into red for more reach (Exquisite Firecraft, Chandra's Ignition). There's no single deck that Gruul Ramp really struggles against, because it just has so much redundancy and consistency. Aggro decks need a way to deal with the early blockers that Gruul Ramp runs (burn spells or Reave Souls are common answers), and slower decks need to be able to recover from multiple Mosses resolving and answers to the indestructible Ulamog (common answers are Act of Treason, sacrifice effects, or Angelic Edict).
  • 4 Color Ramp/Control and/or 5 Color Ramp/Control is the new kid on the street. The deck is really putting everything and the kitchen sink into a deck, and then adding as many sweepers are you can shove into your deck in order to actually get there. This deck utilizes the same ramp cards and early game value blockers that Gruul Ramp does, but also has the choice to run cards like Pilgrim's Eye to be able to fetch their other 5 colors. These are typically green based decks (as those help you fix your mana and provides early game board presence), and tend to ramp into Ulamog and Planeswalkers. The primary benefit that this deck has over Gruul Ramp is card advantage. Cards like Brilliant Spectrum let you draw four (!!!) cards and then discard two of the bad ones. Cards like Emeria Shepard also provide extreme amount of card advantage for little to no investment. Although this deck has better card quality and quantity, it also is more inconsistent. For example, if you need to cast your red spell and a Gruul deck Mosses your only red source, you're pretty fucked. That being said, this deck does have an extremely strong late game, and has several ways to get there. The other great strength of this archetype is that you literally have access to almost every card. Because of this, you can alter your deck list to fit an expected meta and have a fairly high success rate.
  • Sultai Turbo Fog is the only deck in these top tier decks that utilizes an alternate win condition: milling their opponent. They do this through the use of Sphinx's Tutelage, and drawing a mass of cards. To sustain themselves, they often use Fog and Fog-like effects (namely Alchemist's Vial) and removal spells to stall until they can kill their opponent. This deck does have some alternate forms, namely adding an extremely minor splash of red (+1 Smoldering Marsh, +1 Mountain, +2 Radiant Flame, +4 Brilliant Spectrum, -1 Forest, -1 Swamp, -1 Island, -3 Telling Time, -1 Nissa, -1 Disperse) to utilize Brilliant Spectrum to draw 4 and mill the opponent for a minimum of 12 cards per Sphinx's active. This particular build is going all-in on the mill strategy; it's less consistent that BUG, but it's more explosive. In general, if you expect this deck to be common in your meta, enchantment hate cards like Angelic Edict, Solemn Offering, and Reclamation Sage do work against this deck.
  • Mono Red Aggro typically finds itself in one of two flavors, either Going Big or Going Wide. Mono-red decks are going on either one of two strategies: threaten the opponent with a T1 Goblin Glory Chaser, T2 Infectious Bloodlust with instant speed burn and buffs, or T1 Foundry Street Denizen, T2 Dragon Fodder and utilize spot removal and Firemantle Mage's Menace effect to create psudeo-unblockable situations (hard to block all your dudes if you're making 2-3 per turn and they only get to make one blocker a turn). In order to deal those last few points of damage, both decks tend to run flyers (Firebird and Dragon) and burn spells that can target your opponent's face.
  • Selesnya Ramp is very similar to the Gruul deck earlier mentioned: make some early blockers with Jaddi Offshoot and Gatecreeper Vine, ramp with Mwonvuli Acid-Moss and Nissa's Renewal, and play big dumb green guys and Eldrazi. This deck, however, is designed to be strong in the ramp mirror match. Unlike Gruul, Selesnya have multiple board wipes, and multiple exile effects to deal with late game creatures and to throw off opponent's tempo. In addition, white lets us run two powerful cards: Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Emeria Shepherd. Gideon does in this deck what you see in all standard decks: make a bunch of 2/2 guys every turn for free, sometimes smash in for 5 damage, and sometimes make an emblem. Emeria Shepherd provides us with recursion only really seen in 4/5 Color Control. Every turn, Emeria Shepherd can put back into play one of our creatures or enchantments that was destroyed earlier in the game; the Shepherd also has a respectable flying body in her own right. This deck does have a higher curve than its Gruul sibling, so it struggles a bit more against extremely proactive strategies, but this deck archetype is a great choice if you want to proactively hate on ramp strategies and expect early game aggro decks to be under represented.
  • Selesnya Landfall is a deck similar to ramp, but it has a tokens back-up plan. By removing some of the deck's upper end creatures (i.e, Desolation Twin, Oran-Rief Hydra, Oblivion Sower, Gaea's Revenge, Plated Crusher, etc) you make room to put in both the green and white Retreat enchantments, which along with From Beyond and Gideon lets you go wide with large tokens. The deck also has quite strong early game blocks, as having a 1/4 Jaddi Offshoot keeps a lot of red aggro's creatures at bay. So, this deck uses some of Selesnya's late game Emeria recursion, and gives itself a fighting chance in the early game.
  • If GR Ramp and GW Ramp are top tier decks, and the mana in this format is good enough to play 5 colors, then Naya Ramp must be great! Well, it is great, but it isn't necessarily better than GR or GW. By splashing two colors into your green ramp deck, you're getting access to early red removal, late white removal, and the big creatures of both colors. The primary issue with splashing red into your GW deck is that Emeria Shepherd really benefits from a mass of plains, so adding another color will likely eat into your number of plains. The issue with white being splashed into your GR deck is that a lot of the cards that you want in red (i.e, Rolling Thunder, Omnath, Chandra's Ignition, etc) are RR costing spells. White also has this issue with Emeria Shepard and Planar Outburst. This double mana requirement does sometimes burst its ugly head, as we have strong enough mana to consistently hit single pip cards, but wanting to have untapped G on T1, GX on T2, RGW or RGB on T3 (for converge), RRXY and GRBW and WWXY on T4, and WWXYZ/RRXYZ on T5 can lead to some mana screw issues. That being said, this is still a strong ramp deck; it's just more susceptible to mana screw.
  • Jund Aristocrats could very easily be called Golgari Aristocrats, splashing for Act of Treason. But, with BFZ's mana, it's quite easy to get that valuable splash that lets this deck get more consistent value and answers to resolved Eldrazi. The name Aristocrats comes from the card cycle from Return to Ravinca that involved sacrificing your own creatures for value, so you could also call this deck Jund Sacrifice or whatever tickles your fancy. This deck intends to outvalue its opponent utilizing Smothering Abomination (which triggers off of all sacrifice effects, not just its own effect) and Nantuko Husk (who tends to just get really big). The rest of your creature base is creatures that create multiple bodies (Despoiler of Souls, Carrier Thrall, Blisterpod) or offer utility (Elvish Visionary, Liliana). Evolutionary Leap was a crazy strong card in Origins, and this is the only top tier deck that abuses its power. This deck can honestly do some crazy shit, and tries to out snowball its opponent in advantage. However, this deck really shouldn't be running Languish or Radiant Flames, because it tries to go so wide, and you'd suffer pretty crazy card disadvantage. So, this isn't a deck I would play if I planned to play in a meta full of decks that go wide, like some types of Mono-red, Thopters, etc. Side note: From Beyond also searches out Smothering Abomination, not just Ulamog.
  • UG tempo decks had a moderate showing in Origins, but they got a lot of the early drops they were begging for with the release of BFZ. Simic Tempo, Temur Tempo, and Bant Tempo all share the same common element: play cheap, efficient threats and cheap, efficient removal. Most of the removal in these decks are spot removal (i.e, Disperse, Clutch of Current, Roil Spout), so the threats you remove from the board are technically never permanently dealt with. However, you don't typically need to permanently deal with their threats, as you tend to bash in for lethal too quickly. The primary weakness of these decks, particularly the three colored variants, is that these are tempo decks that need better mana bases. Too many of these lands (evolving wilds, lumbering falls, guildgates, buddy lands without their buddy, tango lands without 2 basics, etc) come into play tapped, which really hurts these decks' explosiveness. But, at the same time, these lands are required to run in order to consistently hit the spells these decks want to run. In the case of the Simic version, the mana is generally good enough to come into play untapped (excluding Evolving Wilds, but that's to trigger landfall twice in a turn). However, there are not enough powerful, low curve creatures released yet, so we end up having to take mediocre creatures or creatures that are high on the curve (which explains the Guardian of Tazeem and Drowner of Hope). Similar to how ramp decks have only gotten better, these UG-shelled tempo decks will only get better and better with more expansions (unlike specific themed decks, like Allies).
  • If GR and GW ramp are strong, it goes without saying that Mono-Green Ramp is similarly powerful. This deck has more room than its siblings to play with, so it can utilize some powerful cards like Nissa's Revelation and Plated Crusher. This deck does not have the same sweepers that GR and GW offer, so it's a deck that does struggle against strategies that go wide. Mono-Green Ramp does have the flexibility to just have a critical mass of haymakers and throw down win condition after win condition. If an opposing deck can't deal with all of those threats, they tend to fail fairly quickly, but many of the top tier decks have a large amount of removal, so this deck just hasn't seen as much success as GR and GW.
  • Dimir Aristocrats, sometimes referred to as Dimir Husk, is a more linear version of Aristocrats than its Jund cousin. Dimir is going for one thing: a large, unblockable Nantuko Husk. The deck runs a lot of creatures that create multiple bodies when played (Whirler Rogue, Eldrazi Skyspawner, Carrier Thrall) that can be sacrificed to Nantuko Husk, and then that Nantuko Husk can be given unblockable (Whirler Rogue, Rogue's Passage). As an alternate win condition, the deck has several flyers (Eldrazi Skyspawner, Smothering Abomination, thopter tokens) that can close out the game. This deck struggles against one primary thing: instantt speed removal. It doesn't mattter how many creatures you sac to your Nantuko Husk if your opponent just Fiery Impulses it in response, and the deck struggles against value removal (i.e, Twin Bolt killing multiple tokens, board wipes, etc). This particular Aristocrats strategy is much more linear than Jund, but it also is much easier to play. This deck does prey on midrange decks, so that's the sort of meta you want to predict before playing this deck.
  • Mono-Blue, Azorius Control, Dimir Control, Izzet Control, Esper Control, Grixis Control, Jeskai Control, Sultai Control... Even if the colors differ, the decks still all have a very similar goal: to control your opponent through counter and k ill spells, then win through either Planeswalkers, large creatures, or incremental advantage. How they all differ, however, is how they reach that end goal. In general, all of these decks will run blue because itt is the only color that offers counterspells. White is a common color, as it provides instant speed removal and sorcery speed exile effects, along with Gideon. Black is also common because it offers strong kill effects, Ob Nixilis/Read the Bones for card advantage, and recursion with Necromantic Summons. Red is occasionally utilized for early game removal in the form of its burn spells, and does offer some interesting tech like Brutal Explosion. Green is a color that isn't really used, but the example deck utilizes early game blockers and an Evolutionary Leap value engine to help it grind through games. In general, you see UW and UB decks being the most successful, but UBR, UWB, and UWR decks following up. The other color combinations, while having success, are more meta dependent. In general, though, the draw-go style of control does exist in BFZ, but it does require knowledge on the player and the deckbuilder to craft appropriate responses to the current threats of the format.
  • Golgari Control, without question, was the deck to beat in Origins. It had the most efficient removal, the best value cards, and could ramp into strong threats. With the introduction of BFZ, however, decks are either more efficient or have better end games than the classic GB control deck that used to be feared. That being said, old habits die hard. Abzan Control seems to be the best option to revive this classic deck, because it gives us some of the best answers to Ulamog and gives access to Gideon. Jund and Sultai seem possible, but those decks struggle more against a resolved Ulamog and still retain the weaknesses of their GB parent deck. This deck is still playable, but I would not consider it a front runner for a top tier deck.
  • Gruul Monsters is essentially a lower curve Gruul Ramp deck. You can distinguish the two primarily by their card choices: if they're running Kird Chieftain, they're Gruul Monsters. If you're running Ulamog, they're Gruul Ramp. Gruul Monsters, in its current iteration, is trying to beat down its opponent utilizing landfall creatures that can pump to very large sizes. The deck then has a selection of burn spells, flyers, and trample creatures to provide reach. In general, this deck does struggle as it is relatively weak to the common selection of sweepers in the format. This deck, however, does excellent against the aggro decks of the format. It truly does fall into a control>aggro>midrange>aggro sort of rock-paper-scissors issue. The issue for this particular deck is that control is far and away the most represented archetype in this current meta. This deck is by no means awful, it's just extremely average. Average isn't generally the place people want to be.
  • Allies are one of the two pushed flavor archetypes in BFZ, but Eldrazi are far and away the superior side to be on. That being said, allies aren't particularly awful in this game. Boros Allies is the shell that we typically play off of. It gets the strongest allies we have access to (Kor Bladewhirl, Lantern Scout, Firemantle Mage, Gideon) and gives us some means to go wide with tokens (remember: ally procs work on ALL creatures you control, not just allies), and you get an aggro deck that falls somewhere inbetween aggro and midrange. When it goes off, the synergy and explosiveness this deck has is ridiculous. However, with the amount of early game removal and board sweeps that are present in this format, you nearly never see that explosiveness. Naya Allies tries to fix this by adding green to the deck. This allows you to run Veteran Warleader (who is absolutely insane on stalled board states) and Evolutionary Leap (which allows you to respond to removal spells with a, "Draw 1 Ally" for G). The other strategy to make allies run smoother is by splashing black for Mardu Allies. This deck utilizes Kalastria Healer and Drana's Emissary to drain the opponent of life along with the beats of allies. Currently, Allies are in a solid, fun position. However, they're not in a top tier position. However, with Oath of the Gatewatchers around the corner, I'd keep my eye on Ally builds.
  • Izzet Thopters from Origins: play a bunch of creatures that also spawn one or two Thotpers for free, play Chief of the Foundry to buff them, and let yourself get free advantage with Thopter Spy Network. Akoum Firebird and Touch of the Void are the primary contenders for additional Thopter additions, as well as the +0/+1 or +1/+0 colorless lords, but there is some room in this deck for some cute options. Part the Waterveil is extreme value in this deck, and can often be a win condition if it resolves. Even when you're behind on board, you can recoup your losses within two turns using Part. If you're into going wide, hitting someone with flyers, and having some tribal nonsense thrown in, then Izzet Thopters are still a solid choice.
  • Boros Tokens is the definition of going wide. You play cards that either make two or more creatures per card spent, and then you play buffs that affect multiple creatures at once. Something like Kytheon's Tactics seems bad when it reads +2/+1 for 1WW, but it reads much better when it says +12/+6 for 1WW spread across 6 bodies. In general, you're using the same bodies that make thopters in Izzet Artifacts, while having buffs that come from white. You can easily turn this deck into Mardu Tokens by adding black for removal, or Jeskai Tokens by adding blue token generators (Eldrazi Skyspawner, Whirler Rogue) and card draw spells. This deck, similar to Izzet Artifacts, has the advantage of being able to recover post board-sweep. However, because you don't rely on artifacts as much, Boros-shell tokens tends to be able to play more anthem effects. This deck does have issues where it just can't beat T1 Glory Chaser T2 Aura on the draw, but this is one of the decks that currently has the most unexplored potential.
  • Azorius Tempo is similar to the Simic Tempo deck we talked about earlier, and is the bane of all of you guys who play against the AI (because Roil Spout is fun). The creature base in these decks are slightly slower than its green sibling, but the creatures in this deck tend to be flyers. This deck has some more controlling cards, such as Archangel of Tithes, which allows it to play a slightly slower game while retaining the same goals of out tempo-ing their opponent. This deck is also running counterspells, rather than the pump spells that Simic likes to run. So, this deck is a far more reactive deck, rather than a proactive deck. Both of these playstyles are successful in this current meta, so if you're unsuccessful with a Simic flavored tempo, Azorius may be for you.
  • Bant Enchantress is a deck that utilizes enchantment synergies as a means to control their opponent and to provide an endgame win condition. Heliod's Pilgrim is the tutor of the deck, and can grab 6 removal spells from the deck. Herald makes these enchantments cheaper, and provides incidental life gain. The retreats provide sheer advantage, while the remaining 9 enchantments (Roil, From Beyond, and Sigil) provide creatures that can close out the game. This deck struggles because it's a slower deck, and popular decks have a variety of answers for their enchantments. In addition, sometimes you just draw cards that don't actively do anything (i.e, you draw a Retreat, Roil, or Sigil when you needed to draw an answer to an opponent's threat). This deck can be revised to answer specific threats (i.e, add more spot removal with Angelic Edict, add some board sweeps with Planar Outburst, beat thopter decks with Displacement Wave, etc), but that requires almost omnipotent deckbuilding. That being said, if you're into 2HG, this deck is absolutely hilarious to play with a friend who can control the early game.
  • Orzhov Allies/Vampires is a synergy deck that aims to drain your opponent of life and buffer your own. There are several vampires, like Bloodbond Vampire, who get pumped every time you heal. Serene Steward also buffs your creatures whenever you heal. So, this is the Soul Sisters deck of our format. That being said, Soul Sisters isn't particularly good in this format. Spot removal deals with our big vampires and Serene Stewards, and board wipes are common. This is before we even consider that the best ramp decks in the format even run 14 points of life gain, minimum. This is one of those "for fun" decks at the moment. Allies aren't particularly potent, but playing a Boros-shell Ally deck will likely yield you better results than running an Orzhov Ally deck.
  • Rakdos Sac is the most bullshit deck you can run while still being considered 'fair' in the rules of magic. The goal is to steal your opponent's guys, then sacrifice them as the cost for your cards' spells. This deck also runs token producing creatures to sacrifice for those times where you just don't have an opponent's creature to sacrifice, and gets to run Flameshadow Conjuring to duplicate cards like token generators for extra value. The primary issue with this deck is that it tends to get killed by aggro, tempo, and even some midrange decks before its able to play its preferred game, and once it's able to play its preferred game it often struggles against dedicated control decks. Similar to the Enchantress deck types, you just see this deck being outclassed by similar decks.
  • Rakdos Devoid Aggro is the aggro deck of the Eldrazi. This deck does have a higher curve than a Mono-Red or Boros aggro deck, but it has synergy that those two decks do not. Cards like Dust Stalker are absolutely huge for their cost (2BR for a 5/3 haster), and they often buff eachother (i.e, Forerunner of Slaughter is a 3/2 BR that gives other colorless creatures haste for 1). The deck rounds itself off with over 20 points of burn, so this deck certainly has reach. With any aggro deck that relies on synergy, though, we can often see this deck just lose because of well placed spot removal. In addition, this deck sometimes struggles with hitting its mana in the right colors, and being untapped. This is a deck that also has absolutely zero answer to a resolved Ulamog, so if you see one land on the opposing side, you better hope you can burn them for the last points of damage you need.
  • Mono-White Aggro is exactly what you would expect: look at the white cards that cost less than 4, shove them into a deck, and hope to kill your opponent before T5/6. You actually have some solid creatures to do it with. Elite Vanguard and Kytheon give you 4 different one drops that are 2/1s, and then you have at least 12 different 2 drops that are 2/2s. The issue this deck has is closing out the game. That being said, if you're a new player, this isn't an awful deck to start off with. But, if you're not farming AI, then I'd look at building something that isn't colloquially called weenie.
  • Golgari Elves are one of those fun tribal deck that everyone wants to build, and then they find that the support just isn't there anymore. This deck is extremely binary: you either absolutely stomp your opponent, or you just get stomped on. This deck was more successful in the Origins era, but it didn't get the support that other decks did (i.e, ramp decks) and it wasn't strong enough on its own right to endure without much additions (i.e, thopters). This deck isn't necessarily awful, but this also isn't a deck that I would ever even contemplate taking to a serious event.
I hope that explains, particularly to new players, where the current BFZ meta is at. Of course, my opinion is just one of many, and you'll likely find several people disagreeing with some of my thoughts. I do hope to see Duels to continue to evolve throughout the year, and it'll be an interesting experience to be able to go back at 2017 and see just what the dominant threats were a year ago.
Either way, I do hope to become a content creator like CovertGoBlue, Zero Budget Geek, and similar (New Years Resolution? q:). If you're interested in reading more of this sort of stuff, let me know and I'll start posting my playtest results here.
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