Conglomerate Mess

Greetings, Magic players out there in E-Land. It’s time for another addition from your favorite author! (I think Omeed posted something today…) But seriously, if you’re reading this, you’re probably going to read the rest; bonus points for you! "So," you’re asking yourself. "What’s he going to write about today?" That’s a very good question,…

Greetings, Magic players out there in E-Land. It’s time for another addition from your favorite author! (I think Omeed posted something today…) But seriously, if you’re reading this, you’re probably going to read the rest; bonus points for you!

"So," you’re asking yourself. "What’s he going to write about today?" That’s a very good question, my friend … one that I’d very much like to be able to answer. 🙂

Actually, I do have some ideas scrawled on a piece of paper here. I think that today’s article will be a conglomerate one. I hope you can all stand a little bit of randomness in your lives!

Topic #1: My Green Deck

For those of you who are keeping up with the latest Type II tech … go to Star City’s archives and dig out my article about this deck because you probably missed it the first time around. As a matter of fact, I’ll make it easier for you. Just click here for easy access to the deck I wrote about last week: http://www.starcitygames.com/mustread/000404crane.shtml.

There, now that we’re all acquainted with last week’s deck, I’ve decided to give you an update. But first…

We writers face a serious problem: one-sided discussions. We write our articles and diligently ship them off to the presses (er… editors) to be published. All we can do is assume that they’re being read by someone. I once heard it described (and I hope that the original author whose name I have forgotten forgives me for so maiming his words) as yelling into an endless void with no response. And it is so. The only way that we writers can know how to better ourselves is with reader feedback. So, I’m urging all of you silent readers out there to let writers know what you’re thinking. Are they good? Bad? Funny? Too serious? All [good] writers are (should be) open to criticism; and it can only make your reading experience more enjoyable.

So, what brought that plea on? I got four responses to my article about my Rogue(?) Green deck, each offering different advice. I got a couple suggestions of Rhox. That card just doesn’t fit in my deck. For six mana, I’d rather cast Child of Gaea or Thorn Elemental for 2 extra power/toughness for only one more mana. So, after taking suggestions into consideration (and making some tweaks of my own), I have come out with this deck. If you have any suggestions for THIS version, don’t hesitate to speak up.

4 Priest of Titania
2 Llanowar Elves
2 Heart Warden
2 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
1 Vine Trellis
2 Multani’s Acolyte
3 Yavimaya Elder
2 Desert Twister
2 Powder Keg
2 Crop Rotation
3 Pattern of Rebirth
2 Blastoderm
2 Hunted Wumpus
2 Simian Grunts
2 Emperor Crocodile
2 Rushwood Elemental
2 Thorn Elemental
2 Child of Gaea
1 Predator, Flagship
1 Mishra’s Helix
14 Forest
3 Gaea’s Cradle
2 Yavimaya Hollow

Topic #2: How to Make Cheating Okay

(Yeah, the topics DO flow together nicely, don’t they?)

Okay, kiddies, let’s make one thing clear. Cheating is wrong. What I’m going to tell you is NOT cheating, just similar to it. But, make sure you do it right!

So, what am I talking about? It’s a term that I discovered and named all by myself. No doubt, millions of other Magic players do this as well, but I feel pride in the fact that I thought of it solitarily, so I’m going to share it with you anyway. So, what is this magic way in which to cheat? I dub it: Appropriation.

The method is simple: Divide the cards of your deck into lands and nonlands. Then, put out cards into four positions, one card of each copy in each position. (If you have three cards, put them in three positions; if two, skip a space between them; if one, put it anywhere.) Once you have four piles (none of which that are containing any two copies of one card), stack them one on top of the other one. Do the same thing to land (if you have a lot of nonbasic land). Then, think of your ratio of lands to spells. If it’s 2:1, but two cards between every one land. This doesn’t often work out exactly, so you might find yourself going S(pell), S, L(and), S, S, S, L, S, S, S, L, S, S, L, S, S, L.

What does this do for you? It spreads your cards out. You never want to draw two Yawgmoth’s Bargains in your opening hand. This method does a lot to help prevent that. However, there’s one very important part to this method: SHUFFLE! Shuffle WELL! If you don’t, you could very well get caught with a nonrandomized deck and penalized such. Always let your opponent shuffle, so that he can’t raise trouble. You see? I told you this wasn’t cheating. However, it WILL help spread the cards of your deck out.

Topic #3: Character Clarifications

As any of my loyal readers know {wiping tear from eye}, I’m a fan of the Magic storyline. It gives the characters much more depth. Currently, I’m reading Nemesis by Paul B. Thompson. This book takes us to Rath to see what happened after Weatherlight left. There are, I think, some things that should be noted to the public about the characters that have been slighted by the cards.

Greven is quite an intriguing figure. You don’t get to see much of him until this book comes around, but, once he’s freed from the iron grip of Volrath’s control rod, he attains a bit more freedom. But, does he participate in the competition for the position of Evincar? To my disappointment, no. He’s satisfied to be the servant of the Evincar. He says, "I would rather be the blade than the hand that wields it . . . because the victim curses his killer, not the blade that cuts him." Greven il-Vec is wise, but I’d still love to see him as Evincar.

Another surprise is Ertai. He was left on Rath by Gerrard, a fact that he resents. However, things seemed not to have worked out too poorly for him. He’s become a regular in the Stronghold, is receiving treatments for his wounds that make him more powerful physically, mentally, and magically, and is becoming quite "friendly" with the Phyrexian who was created to assign the new Evincar of Rath, Belbe. This self-assured wizard is making quite a nice living (as nice as it gets on Rath), and it pains me to hear constant referrals to Crovax as Evincar, thus showing that Ertai, who IS in the running, will lose.

Speaking of Crovax … what a blundering idiot! Granted, he does absorb the lifeforce of dying people and use it to increase his own power, but can this "man" lead? Can he govern? No, no. Is he a fool? Yes. A powerful fool, yes, but everyone hates him, from Eladamri to Liin Sivi to Ertai to Belbe. This ex-Weatherlight crewmember really gets on my nerves, especially since he has some control over Greven’s spinal implant.

I know that any of you who are particularly updated Magic players are probably thinking, "What a buffoon. He can’t even spell Lin Sivvi." Well, in the book, it’s spelled Liin Sivi; on the card, it’s Lin Sivvi. I don’t know if her name will later be changed or not, but, as for now, there’s a bit of discontinuity here.

And speaking of Lin Sivvi … do you know what drives me mad? People calling her "Lin" as if they’re on a first-name basis. Does it pain you SO much to write "Sivvi?" It’s not all that hard. Liin, the book tells us, means "striking viper." Her REAL name is Sivvi (or Sivi or whatever). So, if you MUST write only one name, I implore you, use Sivvi. "Lin" just sounds uneducated. It’d be like saying "Ascendant" for Ascendant Evincar or "Glorious" for Glorious Anthem. Let’s all maintain about us an air of dignity and intelligence, shall we?

Topic #4: Closing

Well, I’ve dragged on long enough. I hope you’ve all enjoyed (or at least tolerated) this jumble of topics. I promise a more composed article next time. Until then!

Daniel Crane
[email protected]