Casual Fridays #45: Ode to Omeed

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Regular programming for Casual Fridays has been postponed one week so that we can deal with this timely topic. (Sure, one week old by the time you read this, but it’s not like Omeed put a freshness date on his resignation.) Like many of you, I was dismayed to find out Monday (this…

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Regular programming for Casual Fridays has been postponed one week so that we can deal with this timely topic. (Sure, one week old by the time you read this, but it’s not like Omeed put a freshness date on his resignation.)

Like many of you, I was dismayed to find out Monday (this morning, as I write this) that Omeed Dariani is leaving this warm and toasty homestead of Magic thought to go smarten up the folks at Sideboard. That’s right, Dariani sold out to The Corporate Interests, man. You know the Corporate Interests. Those are the guys who tell Alan Greenspan what to do, man. And as any conspiracy theorist will be happy to point out, the Federal Reserve Chairman has been raising interest rates to make bonds more attractive, which makes stocks less attractive, which makes people look to other risky investments…LIKE COLLECTIBLE CARD GAMES SOLD BY A CERTAIN COMPANY LOCATED IN A STATE WITH A NAME EXACTLY LIKE THE DISTRICT WHERE GREENSPAN WORKS. Coincidence? I think not.

This is as good a time as any to pay tribute to the man, the myth, the miscreant. Through a series of rigorous, analytic questions, of course.


Oh, if only there were room to say. But there isn’t: the bandwidth required to transmit the Prince-inspired graphic that could represent the Editor Formerly Known as Omeed is simply beyond my modem’s capacity. (It looks suspiciously like an infinite number of monkeys tapping away at an infinite number of keyboards, but I would have no idea what that means.) Suffice it to say, Omeed who am.


As Editor-in-Chief of StarCityCCG.com, Omeed has been responsible for decoding my work on a weekly basis. It’s hard for those of you who aren’t part of the process to appreciate this, but perhaps if I gave you a glimpse of an unedited draft of Casual Fridays:


…so anywayz, i think the prophecy avatars ROCK MAN…i mean if u r a black mage, you gotta put four of the black avatar in every deck, cuz it’s so e-z to put creatures in graveyards if yer a black mage…like u can play plague wind on turn 9 and then cast the avatar the next turn FOR ONLY TWO MANA…the white one sux but if u r a white mage u sux anyway and mike long is just a big cheater and they should ban repletish already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!&!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And he just works magic on stuff like that.

It might interest those of you who believe in a free and fair press that Omeed used a light pen on my work. Censorship (a word which has been bastardized to include private corporations acting in their own editorial interest) is not in Omeed’s instincts. Except for that time when I pointed out that

and that time when I was the only one who figured out that , not a single word of mine has been inappropriately deleted from Casual Fridays. I’m grateful for that direct forum to the people.


I think I’ve processed all of Omeed’s nuggets of wisdom into five digestible principles:

* Cards with Yawgmoth in the title are broken as hell, boring beyond belief, and generally destructive to Magic.

* No original flavor text has been good enough since Mirage block.

* Anthony’s articles go at the top of the page. Always, dammit, always.

* If you’ve seen one "Magic is dying" article, you’ve seen them all.

* Hemingway was right: Show the reader the tip of the iceberg. (Then again, Hemingway was wrong: couldn’t the old man have put SOME of the swordfish in the boat?)


Heading straight into the craw of Wizards, even in a role distinct from their design and manufacturing operations, is a risky proposition. There is a chance that somehow, somewhere down the line, someone from WoTC R&D will call Omeed on the phone and ask what he believes to be an innocent question about telecommuting from Virginia, and it will wind up months later being some horrific mechanic in the latest Magic expansion that everyone curses for its impracticality and similarity to cumulative upkeep. Then Mark Rosewater and Jeff Donais will breathe silent sighs of relief as Omeed’s name is added to the pantheon of WoTC Chat Group Lightning Rods, and some of the voltage previously dedicated to them is diverted.

To avoid this fate, I offer Omeed these pieces of advice.

First, you need a new photograph. The one here at StarCityCCG.com has you sporting, I believe, a StarCityCCG.com t-shirt, and that simply won’t do anymore. And that photo in Scrye! What are you there, thirteen years old? No, you need to get yourself a nice (corporate!) suit, conservative tie, white button down shirt, and while you’re at it, cut your hair so you look like a nice boy. Snap off a picture and whamm-o! Instant JFK Jr./George magazine thing going on there. (Just let someone else fly the plane.)

Second, if by some corporate communications quirk you get asked for your feedback on certain cards, remember your roots. None of us back here at StarCityCCG.com like white life gain. I can’t imagine you did either. See what you can do about that.

Third, if you could get the answers to Mark Rosewater Question Mark and quietly post them the same day as the question for about a week, I bet a lot of us would think that would be pretty funny. Plus we’d all win for a while.

Fourth, that whole Fantasy Pro Tour thing at Sideboard gives me a headache. I think it’s the idea of having a fantasy league around a card game based in fantasy, where you can entertain fantasies of winning and getting more cards with fantasy pictures of them. Not saying it shouldn’t happen. Just saying… headache.

Finally, if there’s a staff meeting and someone asks "what card should be banned next?" I have two words for you: Pale Moon. It’s time we stopped banning the GOOD cards and started banning the BAD ones.


Enough about Omeed. He’s dead to us. Let’s look to the future. Who would best fill what’s-his-name’s shoes? Here are some nominations:

* Cathy Nicoloff. PROS: She’s proven talent and Tony Boydell is already planted. CONS: She writes better than I do. (As does Omeed. Let’s SOLVE the problem, folks, not extend it.)

* Mark Rosewater. PROS: Could be bundled with an R&D geek to be named later and negotiated in a trade for Omeed and a foil Mossdog. Rumor has it he’s pretty familiar with dem Magic cards, too. CONS: Asks too many questions. Can you imagine how annoying it will be for Pete and the rest of us to have him bury us in emails like "Hi, Anthony, liked the article, but I won’t post it unless you can answer me: who is the fourth child of the artist who did the artwork of the card four commons away in the Alpha print run of Dark Ritual?"

* A crack team of hamsters. PROS: Won’t edit me too heavily. Also, used to spinning wheels. CONS: may not have enough Magic product to trade for power pellets. Also, tiny paws may not be able to reach the top letters on a keyboard, which are critical to words like "rejected" and "rewrite".

* Bill Clinton: oh, let’s pass this one, too many jokes here.

* Anthony Alongi. PROS: Has a cool Mediterranean surname, just like Dariani. CONS: Would redesign StarCityCCG.com web site into a portal for really cool public policy e-magazines and business news sites. Also, keeps forgetting what expansions Extended and Type II tourneys start and end with.

* Turquoise Alongi. PROS: As a mix of German Shepherd and Border Collie, she could almost certainly outperform her owner. CONS: Would chew and drool on product.

I’m sure Pete has other prospects. At least, I hope he does.

In closing, I urge readers to slink on back to the Featured Article Archive and check out some of Omeed’s past articles — his treatise on literature in Magic, his guidelines for writing about the game, and his various takes on game mechanics — rhystic-ness (someone’s gotta come up with a noun for that), alternate casting costs, etc. — are among my favorites. I’m glad Omeed is still in the Magic writing business and look forward to reading more from him.

Thanks, Omeed.

This entire article should have been the flavor text on Morphling.

Anthony Alongi