From Right Field: How To Play Post Office

Since I switched to StarCity (Our Motto: No Matter What Your Rating Is, You’re Better Than at Least One of Our Writers), I have seen a huge increase in my e-mail. I’m pretty sure that it’s mostly due to spam-bots, since these e-mails typically offer genital herbal enhancement (“Be the envy of all your friends!”), dating services (“Meet desperate, usually-single women in your area!”), and easy money (“Yo, Chris, it’s your cousin Vito again. Call me on the safe phone”). Still, I’d better answer ’em.

Once in a while, as a way to get a quick, cheap column out for public consumption, I like to answer some of the representative e-mail that I get. Since I switched to StarCity (Our Motto: No Matter What Your Rating Is, You’re Better Than at Least One of Our Writers), I have seen a huge increase in my e-mail. I’m pretty sure that it’s mostly due to spam-bots since these e-mails typically offer genital herbal enhancement (“Be the envy of all your friends!”), dating services (“Meet desperate, usually-single women in your area!”), and easy money (“Yo, Chris, it’s your cousin Vito again. Call me on the safe phone”).

Do you see any sort of connection among these? Yeah, me, neither.

Dear Chris,

I just want you to know that I played your stupid red/green/black Angry Zombies deck at States, and I didn’t win. I was constantly getting mana hosed or flooded or I didn’t get the spells I needed. How come?


P.S. I think you owe me $20.

Dear Chaffing,

I’m pretty sure that you didn’t win for one simple reason: God hates you. And He hates you because you spend too much time on the internet looking for naked pictures of the Olsen Twins. That’s disgusting! They’re not even eighteen yet. You should at least look for women your own age. I have some nice shots of Jane Seymour, for instance.

However, I do feel bad for you, so I’ve put $20 in the mail. It’s in the form of 50-cent-off coupons for Rice-a-Roni. Kroger doubles them sometimes, so there’s really $40 worth of stuff there. Enjoy!


Dear Chris,

If you could have dinner with a person, living or dead, who would it be?



Dear Illletcha,

I would choose the living person. S/he would be a much better dinner companion. Also, the dead person might attract flies.


Chris, You Pompous Ass,

How can you sit there and write about decks that only cost $17.99 to build?!? Don’t you know that you only get what you pay for?



Dear Rick (the”p” must be silent),

When it comes to Magic (among other things), some of us have other things we must do with our money. In other words, we can’t afford a lot of money for stuff like Magic. Spending two or three hundred dollars for cards for a deck is just out of the question.

Of course, it is indeed true that you get what you pay for. Speaking of which, tell your Mom she still owes me change from my twenty.


Dear Chris,

Why do you hate playing blue so much if, even as you admit that”blue is the color of champions”?


Dear Jar-Jar,

Because blue is boring to play, and I don’t want to have to concentrate on simply staying awake during a match. I have a lot more fun looking around the room at all of the funny people or trying to figure out who farted. People who can figure out who farted and still know exactly which spells to counter and which spells to let go simply amaze me.


P.S. It wasn’t me.

Dear Chris,

Is it true that you once went a whole day without winning a game? I think I’d jump off of a bridge if that happened to me.



Dear Hickey,

I often go weeks and even months without winning a game, let alone a single day. Unfortunately, all of the bridges around here are really high, and I’m afraid of heights. Plus, I can’t swim. If I ever jump, it’s usually just to jump to conclusions. However, after a long losing streak, I will often go to a local bar and try to drown my sorrows in the arms of a beautiful, nameless woman. And her roommate.


Dear Mr. Romeo,

I have just started playing Magic and was wondering if you had any advice for me.




Dear Bungee,

I have several pieces of advice for you and all new players. First, find the best player around and become good friends with him or her. They can teach you a lot. Stroke their egos, saying things like”Man, I wish I was as good as you” and”Holy crap, how do you make those plays?!?” Remember, these people have usually been playing for a few years. Ask them for play tips. Then, ask them if they have any extra cards to give you.

Next, practice a lot. Practice all the time. Ignore your family and non-Magic-playing friends. When you win your first twenty grand on the Pro Tour, you’ll be glad you gave up that chance to marry that girl who’s now in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I mean, $20,000! Think about it. You can almost buy a nice car for that much. And you can have any woman you want just by saying,”I played on the Pro Tour.” They don’t need to know that it wasn’t the PGA Tour with Tiger Woods or the ATP Tour with Andy Roddick – just call it the Pro Tour. Women will melt.

Finally, forget to shower and brush your teeth. This is a very good way to intimidate your opponents and also to get lots of elbow room at crowded events.



You look like an out of work, ’70’s porn star. Shave the ‘stache or grow a beard. A full one. Not one of those ass half-assed goatee-ass things, either. Becky hates those.




Actually, this is the best picture I’ve ever taken. Besides, I don’t think I look like an out-of-work porn star. See that silly grin? I think I look like a happily employed porn star. Then again, is there any other kind?


P.S. I checked your stuff out at http://frigginrizzo.tripod.com/hehdawg/index.html and almost got fired. I was laughing so hard that whiskey was comin’ outta my nose. I hope I can do that trick again.

P.P.S. Didja really play Terror in your States deck? ‘Cause you know it’s not in Standard, right? Course you do. You’re just pulling our leg again, right? I mean, you didn’t really play an illegal deck at States. Right?

Dear Mr. Romeo,

I resent the implication in your last column that God created me as some sort of joke. I have shown that the American dream can come true. I worked hard, made something of myself, and became a governor. I see nothing humorous about that.

Gov. Jesse Ventura


Dear The Body,

How could I be so insensitive? Poland may have Lech Walesa. South Africa may have Nelson Mandela. But America has Jesse Ventura. Only in America can a man who was a professional wrestler work his way up to being a State Governor and then a color commentator for the XFL. Such a person should be considered a national treasure. Please, forgive me.


Dear Mr. Romeo,

I am eight and I just started playing Magic and I like it a lot and someday I wanna be just like you.

Your biggest fan,



Dear Silly,

Now, that’s just sad. No one should wanna be just like me. Or even remotely like me. Except for my tongue. (Ask your Dad. Better yet, ask your Mom.) You should really strive for something better. Possibly crash test dummy. Or head fry cook. You want anything other than my sad life.

By the way, are your Mom and Dad divorced? If so, I’m very sorry. Tell your Mom she’s doing a great job of raising you alone. Also, tell your Mom about my tongue.


Dear Chris,

Will you please let the world know that I invented the Astral Slide / Lightning Rift deck? I know I was the first person to do so since I know that I saw the spoiler first, and roughly six and a half seconds after seeing it, I had a deck proxied up and built. I want credit for that deck. It’s only fair.

Jerry Von Houghlinger-Remlington


Dear Jerky,

If there’s one thing I hate about this game, it’s when someone invents a deck, but others get the glory of playing and winning with it. I mean, you have to be both very smart and work very hard to see that two enchantments in the same set that use cycling might somehow work together – especially when one of them costs nothing to activate. How revolutionary! My question, as someone who strives to build my own decks, too, is this: How did you decide to use other cycling cards in the deck, especially the ones that have a triggered ability when they’re cycled?!? Solar Blast? Slice and Dice? Renewed Faith? I never would have seen it. Ever. Genius. Sheer genius.

Now that I think about it, why couldn’t I do this with the other colors, too? After all, green and black got enchantments that trigger on cycling, Invigorating Boon and Withering Hex, respectively. The Boon puts a +1/+1 counter on a creature, while the Hex is that most desired of all cards, a creature enchantment. And it’s one that takes only sevem cards to kill a Wurm token! Also, there was Telekinetic Bonds in Judgement. So I now hereby lay claim to any and all decks that use Astral Slide and Invigorating Boon and/or Withering Hex and/or Telekinetic Bonds.

Your humble servant,


P.S. Josh Sharp has dibs on all black/white Astral Slide decks with Tainted AEther. If you can’t see why that might be good, look up Tainted AEther again.

Dear Mr. Romeo,

I had an idea for a deck. And I was wondering, could you help me with it?

Thanks in advance,



Dear Studly,

Probably not.


Dear Chris,

Seriously, man, can you help me with this deck? It would be greatly appreciated.



Dear Surly,

Seriously, I can’t help you. Remember, I’m the guy who played mono-white Birds at States. I have suggested Dwarven Shrine decks. I have written about Gurzigost as one of the most powerful creatures in Standard as well as raving about Grave Consequences as anti-Haunting Echoes tech.

So, no, I can’t help you. I can only hurt you.


P.S. At least I’m not totally out of my mind when it comes to powerful cards that no one else seems to notice. I see that Justin Gary won PT Houston after taking my advice that Cognivore is a beating. I guess attacking with a 21/21 flier can be A Good Thing. Justin sent me a very nice”thank you” note, along with a check for $1,000. What a great guy!

Dear Chris,

Since I know that you see yourself as a champion of underdogs, what do you think is the most overlooked creature in Standard right now?



Dear Killah,

I was going to mention Cognivore. But, Justin Gary did all of the talkin’ that needs to be done with that card. Right now, my numero uno choice is Nightmare. (Until Invasion rotated out, she shared this with Lord of Atlantis, but there are no longer enough decent Merfolk to support that deck.) For six, you can have a flying monstrosity that can beat flying wurms all day long. Plus, it’s the color of the best mono-colored decks right now. In fact, I envision a deck like this, which should cost roughly $17.99 to build:


LANDS – 23

21 – Swamp

2 – Cabal Coffers


4 – Crypt Creeper

4 – Wretched Anurid

4 – Rotting Giant

4 – Foul Imp

4 – Faceless Butcher

2 – Nightmare


4 – Duress

4 – Smother

4 – Chainer’s Edict

3 – Howl from Beyond

I started working on this when I was testing a deck with Josh Sharp. He had several of the efficient 3/3 for two-mana creatures out, but only one was going to get through.”Too bad you don’t have Howl from Beyond in there.” We both guffawed at how ludicrous the idea was. Then I abruptly stopped laughing and realized that I’d be toast if he did.

Enter Karl Allen.”Hey, Karl. What are you doing here?”

“Trying to make your article better.”

Meanwhile, Karl had started working on a Suicide Black deck with all of the cheap black critters, lotsa discard, and the same creature control spells.

I took the road less traveled and settled on less hand control, more creatures (including the Butcher, which is creature control), and that Howl. Holy Lon Chaney is that thing good. And don’t even get me started as to how good it is when you have an active Coffers out. Ouch.


Dear Chris,

How do you feel about the mid-term elections?

Cokie Roberts


Dear Cookie Monster,

Normally, I don’t like to talk about politics or sex. I know so much about one that I sound like I’m bragging, while I know so little about the other that I sound like an imbecile. I’ll let you try to figure out which is which.

But since you brought it up, I’m upset at three races. First, why didn’t the fine people of Minnesota elect Hugh Jorgen to the Senate? Doesn’t the Senate need a Hugh Jorgen? And how about Manuel Transmission in Arizona? He could really get things started. Finally, California missed a chance to get Amanda Huggenkiss into the House, and that’s just sad.


As usual, you’ve been a great audience. Please, join me in welcoming our new United Nations ambassador, Warren Piece.

Chris Romeo

[email protected]