Ask Ken, 07/20/2004

What’s the best place you’ve eaten while at a Magic event? What’s the worst?

Hi, and welcome back to another edition of Ask Ken. I’m your guest host James Lipton*. You likely know me from the Bravo series Inside the Actor’s Studio. I must first praise a true master of our time, Mr. Kenneth Scott Krouner. His musings in these pages have been nothing less than divine. He is the finest writer on this website, in all of Magic, and indeed, the world. When Ken asked me to write this column, it was as if God himself had blessed me with his divine touch as if to say,”you are the chosen one.”

I will do my best to replace Ken for this article, but I think we all realize that it would be like trying to replace Picasso in the painting of a work of art. Today’s question comes to us from a Mr. John Cataldo. John writes:

Dear Mr. Man,

What’s the best place you’ve eaten while at a Magic event? What’s the worst?

-John Cataldo

I would have to say the best place is this bar and grill in Kansas City, KS. I sadly can’t remember the name. It’s a real thing of beauty. They had these veggie burgers that were to die for, and their dipping sauce was out of this world. It was delicious… no, no, it was divine… no, no, there are no words to describe its perfection, so I am forced to make one up. Scrumtralescent. The dipping sauces are Scrumtralescent.

Where is the worst place I have eaten? Well, that one is tougher. I certainly had my share of sub-par dining experiences. Plus one could argue that anytime you eat at McDonald’s it is bad news. I will tell you the most overhyped though. In was Pro Tour: Yokohama, and the Canadian master Gary Wise, who is truly one of the great men to walk this Earth, pointed me in the direction of this Japanese Steak House and insisted that I try this steak. Well, the place wasn’t the greatest for me, but it was good enough to help name the truly blinding brilliant beam of light of a team that was Eugene Harvey, Mike Turian, and Gary Wise Himself.

The source of all of God’s most perfect creations,

James Lipton

I shall conclude this article as Ken does all articles by saying merely,”G’night everybody!”

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*This article was not actually written by James Lipton, it merely satirized him.


Last weekend was exciting. An unexpected guest writer, an Ask Ken with a new format, a new MD5 article. Wow… I’m sorry, where are my manners? I’m your host, Ken Krouner. I have my hand in more and more around Star City Games. First regular column, then a daily column, now I am leading a discussion forum as well. Soon they will be changing the name to Star City Kartin’ Kens. Then my victory will be complete.

Today’s questions come to us from DJ Kirby. DJ writes:

Hey Ken, 2 questions for you today.

1) How much card draw is enough? For sixty-card decks, how much should be card draw (assuming it’s available)? Is there a formula/general rule, or is the only real way to know extensive testing?

2) In your opinion, which Protection for a Color is best? I prefer Pro. Blue myself, as people over in my area tend to like Capsize and Ray of Command far too much.

Thanks for your time!

Well DJ, I don’t think you’ll be happy with me since my answer to both questions is,”it depends.” I will do you the courtesy of not leaving it at that.

Your first question depends on two things. The type of deck it is and the format. Beatdown decks usually use no card drawing unless it is a card like Fire / Ice, Skullclamp, or Thoughtcast. Your card drawing in beatdown decks has to be incredibly efficient, incredibly powerful, or incredibly versatile to make it in. Control decks have a few cards that have powerful effects so you want more card drawing. And Combo decks want to get all their pieces as soon as possible so it plays the most amount of card drawing.

When examining the format you have to look at what card drawing is available. The best card drawing card in Mirrodin Block now that Skullclamp is banned is Night’s Whisper. Serum Visions isn’t even technically card drawing; it’s card selection. The use of card drawing in a deck goes down when the card drawing is bad.

As for your second question, it is entirely metagame dependent. From what you describe, it sounds like you want Pro Blue. When Psychatog was a big deck, Pro Blue and Pro Black were the best. Throughout history, Pro Red has typically been the best. Mono-Red decks have appeared in nearly every metagame and one of the best ways of combating those deck is with Protection from Red creatures.

The source on close calls,


Well it is time for me to come out pleading for questions again. It isn’t that I don’t have any, but I am looking for more interesting ones. Give me something saucy to work with, I promise I won’t let you down. G’night Everybody!

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