Ask Ken, 04/06/2004

There is no way that Jackie Brown is the greatest Tarantino movie ever, it’s not even close! As for my question, which card do you take for the first pick of the first pack: Platinum Angel or Spikeshot Goblin?

P>Hey there, it’s time for another knowledge session from yours truly. I bet you wondered how you got by in life without this column. Well luckily for all you folks out there, you don’t need to worry about that anymore. And with that, I think it’s time for a little Reader Mail! Hey!

I can’t seem to escape the dark cloud that was April 1. Today’s letter comes to us from Michael Chaulk. Michael writes:


What on Earth, there is no way Jackie Brown is better than either Pulp or Dogs. With that, I think your selection is better than Turian’s only because he listed Pulp Fiction so low. Personally I’d list Pulp 1st, Dogs second, From Dusk till Dawn 3rd, and Desperado 4th. Naked Selma seems above average.

I do agree with your assessments on Pulp versus Dogs though.

Question, in a draft there was of notable choice a Spikeshot and Platinum Angel first pack, first pick. I took the spikeshot, but was criticized by my peers for not taking the Angel. I was just wondering what you would have done in the given situation? There was also no other good red cards, 2 decent green cards and some playable artifacts as well.

That’s for the letter Michael. As I am sure you have learned the article was written by Josh Bennett. I want to clear up two things. First, Reservoir Dogs is significantly better than Pulp Fiction. Second, here is my pick order for movies Tarantino was associated with:

1. Dusk ’til Dawn

The ultimate guy movie. Crime, Vampires, Strippers, what the hell else could you ask for? Oh yeah, Cheech Marin triple cast!

2. Kill Bill

When I first saw this, I didn’t fully grasp its mastery. Fun, exciting, sexy, killer dialogue, and anime. Near perfect.

3. Reservoir Dogs

Probably his most intelligent piece. This movie was captivating and funny at all the right times. The soundtrack is second to none.

4. Four Rooms

Elegant in its simplicity. Two thumbs up.

5. Pulp Fiction

Don’t let its placement here fool you, this is a truly great movie. A bit over-hyped, but still a fine film.

6. Jackie Brown

It would seem Quentin can do little wrong. I enjoyed this movie despite it being at the bottom of my list.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s get into your real question. There was a time when I would have told you to slam the Goblin and not look back. Well times they are a-changin’. While the Angel is still not the easiest thing to keep on the table, it is a 4/4 flier and does say”you can’t lose the game.”

There is also something to be said about not committing to a color right away. Add to this the fact that Darksteel slowed the format down quite a bit, and Spikeshot Goblin is not the heir apparent to Sparksmith many thought it was. I think you go ahead and take Angel here.

The source on everything,


That’s all I got for today. I am getting too many demands about Team Limited, so I am going to revisit that topic again tomorrow. G’night everybody!

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Welcome back to Ask Ken. Sorry about that little goof last week, but hey, we get to have fun too. Thanks to my fearless editor Ted Knutson for standing in with his own brand of parody of me. I wrote the first letter, the second was tended by Osyp Lebedowicz. Ted took a valiant stab at it, but now I get to read a little Reader Mail! Hey!

Today’s letter comes to us from Travis Severance of Rochester, NY. T-Bone writes:

Dear Ken,

I was recently reading a match report for the GP in Columbus and came up with a question that I hope you can answer for me. The match between Jordan Berkowitz and Aaron Lipczynski really sparked my curiosity. I noticed that the match was decided by a hideous card called Fists of the Anvil. In your illustrious career of Limited format tournament play, can you think of a worse instance when a pro tour caliber player was knocked out a top eight by an unknown with a card so wretched? And question two, do you think the option to play this card was made due to the player being inexperienced, I mean he had to have a better card right. It seemed Jordan made all the right blocks, so how can an aspiring player prepare himself to prevent an anomaly like this from occurring? Thanks for your time as always.

T-Bone Rochester, NY

Well T-Bone, there are several things to consider. Both players in this feature match are extremely good friends of mine. I spoke to both players, and the actual card Fists of the Anvil was irrelevant. Aaron won on the power of his Tel-Jilad Chosen, Fangren Firstborn, Arc-Slogger draw.

It is also important to note that while Aaron hasn’t established a name for himself yet, he is a very good player. The decision to add the card to his deck was not chosen lightly. It was down to that card and Battlegrowth. He felt that Fists of the Anvil was better for stealing wins, and I tend to agree with him.

That being said, there are probably few more embarrassing ways to be taken out of a tournament. You can’t stop yourself from losing to bad cards, but I highly recommend after you do, that you start yelling at the top of your lungs how bad your opponent is and inform him that if you played one hundred games you’d win ninety-nine. Feel free to offer to put money on it. [The opinions of Mister Krouner are not necessarily those of StarCityGames.com, it’s editor, or the owners of this here site here. Thank you. – Knut]

The source for spinning straw into gold,


That’s all we got for Monday’s chapter. Tune in tomorrow when I clear up some important details about April 1st. G’night everybody!

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