Ask Ken, 06/03/2004

Today’s Ask Ken is handled by the inimitable, unstoppable, untouchable Gary”MF” Talim.

Hello gentle readers. It’s your twelfth-favorite has-been pro here, Gary Talim. When KK asked me to write this week’s Ask Ken, I was filled with many emotions, including apprehension, confusion, and indigestion. After all, asking me to write”ask the pros” is like asking, well, Ken Krouner to write”ask the pros” – I mean, I guess he could technically do it, but isn’t there someone better suited for the job? (Ha! I kid. I kid because I love. And because I’m bitter.) After a while, though, I realized that Ken has simply run out of real pros, with the only remaining options being me, that kid who T8’d a JSS that one time, Dr. Robert Bayardo, and Stinky Pete McGee, who once got top three at a South American Gee Pee. And since Stinky Pete had prior obligations, Ken turned to me. How embarrassing. But, those”pros,” for all their”accomplishments” and”talent” lack something I have in spades: HEART! And a foil Shivan. But mainly heart. So, just like the time I went to the prom with my cousin, I’ll try to make the best of an awkward situation and have some fun, and maybe cop a feel or two.

Here’s today’s question, courtesy of the mysteriously-named”Dom,”

Hi KK,

With the Magic Invitational just recently passed, the Magic world lives in

fear of opening a booster to find Bob Maher’s mugshot staring back at them.

And hey, the rest of us are such a bunch of self-obsessed narcissists we all

wish it was us. Then we all sit around designing our own invitational cards

anyway. So I have to ask: What will your invitational card be when you win

next year ?

And on a related topic: If you could pick any one person besides yourself to

have a Magic card based on them (but *you* get to design it – hehehe) then

who would you pick ?



Hi Dom (-inique?) (-inguez?),

Thanks for writing. Ah, invitational cards. From Darwin Kastle’s Avalanche Riders to Jon Finkel Shadowmage Infiltrator to Brock Parker’s”Eater of Hoagies,” they’re always a hoot. As a fan of wacky cards and even wackier formats (one, two, three packs of Legions?), I’ve always enjoyed following the Invitational. There’s just something about watching Zvi Mowshowitz and Jin Okomoto engaged in an epic three-hour Highlander duel that really hits the spot. Even though the odds makers have set the chances of me being voted in next year or having enough pro points to qualify somewhere between Gandhi winning GP: Orlando and you flying to the moon on a hotdog, a man can dream.

As you pointed out, we gamers are all a bunch of”self-obsessed narcissists” who want nothing more than to look at out own pretty mugs day in and day out. So if I got to design a card, I’d make sure it was playable in both Limited and Constructed, but broken in neither. People often complain that certain cards are obviously only useful for Limited and not Constructed, or vice versa. A card like Goblin Brawler, for example, is a solid man in any draft deck (and makes Fist of the Anvil very playable), but has no business in Type Two or Extended (prove me wrong people, prove me wrong!). Now for high rolling pros like Jeff Cunningham and Brett Shears, men who light their cubans with Arcbound Ravagers while sitting in silk robes by an open fire, this means nothing. But I’m a man of the people, so when little Timmy No-Legs opens my card, I want to make sure he gets full value. So my card would be something like

Red Guy


Creature- Guy

First Strike.

If you have 40 or more cards in your library, Red Guy gains haste and costs 1 less to play.

“Sup brah?”


So it’s basically a Limited/Constructed split card, good but not too good in Limited with the little extra”oomph” needed to make the cut in Constructed. Is this a good idea or just stupid? I really don’t know, but it is interesting, you gotta give me that. In a world full of superstars and heroes, I’ll settle for interesting.

As for the second part of your questions, I was going to make the painfully obvious”Ken Krouner, PT player, Fading: 1 year” joke, but for all of our sakes I won’t. Instead, I’ll highlight one of the lesser known superstars of MTG, Kenny”The Master” Hsuing.

Kenny Hsuing, Tar Baby


Creature- Human Buffoon Legend

Kenny Hsuing, Tar Baby comes into play with 10 Tar counters on it.

Remove a Tar counter from Kenny Hsuing: Cobra spit target creature. (it loses flying until end of turn).



You may not have heard of Kenny, but rest assured, if you’ve ever spoken or heard a word of Magic lingo, you have Kenny to thank, and by thank I mean blame.

Well that’s all for me. Make sure to tune in tomorrow when Ken gets to the bottom of the”Rockshard Elemental and Gratuitous Violence: Just how much damage are we talking here?” controversy.

Thanks for reading. Buh-bye.

-Gary Talim

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