Here’s An Image For You

Here’s something for you to stab up your smart-hole: when you think about dying, do you think about it as missing out on a whole bunch of stuff that you would have done, but now won’t get to because you’re corpsified? In a weekend rife with missed opportunities, I’m surprised to have come away with…

Here’s something for you to stab up your smart-hole: when you think about dying, do you think about it as missing out on a whole bunch of stuff that you would have done, but now won’t get to because you’re corpsified?

In a weekend rife with missed opportunities, I’m surprised to have come away with even the minor revelation I received. Never mind the fact that I have material (such as it is), for you, my loyal reader(s), I’m one step further on the path to Magic Enlightenment. Better still, I’m not yet dead. Double stars, everyone wins.

Enlightenment can wait, of course. You’re all about as patient as crack addicts, but I’ll still bother with the pretense of telling a story. Far too many of you are already firing away at the PgDn key, scanning for keywords. For the life of me, I don’t know what it is that triggers the response to plow through an entire article. It sure ain’t snappy banter.

Continuing the ongoing effort to keep my public life public, allow me to keep you abreast of an interesting happening. My beloved employer and I are at a bit of a standoff: They insist on posting a picture of me alongside my articles, while I see this as unwise. Ignoring for the moment the simple fact that I am currently too large to be caputred on film of any description, my countenance is such that it would be at odds with the image I present with my prose.

I suggest this compromise: A stylised "OMC" graphic. Nothing too glitzy, just something to keep up with the Joneses without subjecting the reader to my withering gaze.

I doubt they’ve considered the effect this would have on their business. Really, I do it all for them. But do they listen?

It’s enough to make me reject this article in favour of an alphabetical list of non-food items I have consumed.

Top of the shop: an Atari 2600 paddle. I tried and failed to ingest the standard controller. That’s with cord, naturally.


The most important thing I missed this weekend was my final opportunity to qualify for New York, although, in light of my recent performances I use the word "opportunity" in its most fanciful sense. Theoretically, it was an amazing idea: cram as much of Team Comf into a van as will reasonably fit and make the four-hour drive early Sunday morning to the Rochester qualifier.

Realistically however, my brain balked at the idea of playing Magic for a full day after too long without sleep. I don’t think I have enough confidence after last week’s disaster to play with any sort of handicap, self-imposed or not. Seven rounds means that I’m contractually obligated to drop a match to ill-fortune. That leaves no room for losing to wandering consciousness, droop-eye or narcolepsy.

Five members of the Incomparable Team Comf went in my stead, such is my girth.

Tom Gannon and Sky came ninth and tenth, respectively with Sky’s recent, impossibly bad deck. Our Dance Dance players didn’t fare nearly so well. Sky chooses to view this as conclusive evidence that his deck design is sound. I keep pointing out that proof-by-example is no proof at all, but he shrugs me off in an unnerving parody of me shrugging off his deck ideas. I assume this is entirely accidental; Sky is more crass than poignant.

At any rate, it’s a disheartening end to what seemed to be such a productive season for Team Comf. I must say that without my presence it wasn’t looking good for players of Dance Dance, though that doesn’t say anything positive about my play skill. The deck is pretty tricky to play and even worse plays unintuitively from your average Joe ComboDeck.

It’s like Tom Gannon says: "I love playing Sky’s deck: you don’t have to think. I could play three games simultaneously while carrying on a conversation. Cast a creature, cast a Scroll, smackticus.".

That’s probably unfair to Sky, but whatever.

It is a good way to drive home that old railway spike about minimising the possibility for error. Whether or not you’re going to be at the top of your game, does it make sense to squander your chances by opening the door to mistakes? I can say that the answer is "No" from experience. Painful, bitter experience.

The minor revelation I dangled earlier came about from a conversation Sky and I had about his "Make a dude, attack" style deck. We were talking about ease of use as a factor for deck choice, and he said that a certain Necro/Donate deck was better than Dance Dance precisely because it was easier to play. While I can’t deny that, DDDI brings better counter-countermeasures to the table. It responds favourably to the expected metagame hate.

The problem is that if you don’t throw away a week playing the deck like a demon, you’re liable to do something silly like neglect to cast a second Illusions or something. Who knew?

Still, this is exactly the sort of realization that, had it come earlier, could have favourably affected my play. I share it with you now in a feeble attempt to scrape together my ego.

The other consensus we, as a team, came to was that Force Spike is ridiculously undervalued. I knew from experience how brutal they were, but I’ve finally come up with a bit of justification. In an environment as fast as the recent Extended, you’ll frequently have Force Spike counter something well into turn three. And that’s only for 1 measly mana. It’s such gangbusters.

Of course, this leads me to believe that Daze is similarly brutal, requiring exactly zero mana to bustafazoo your opponent.

Blake "I buy Maxim for the articles, no the pictures, no …" Manders unleashed the new "21" deck on us before our supposed jaunt to Rochester, but we couldn’t refine it beyond alpha stages. The impressive thing was that it was able to stock twelve countermagic in the form of Force Spike, Daze and Force of Will. Since the deck has four mana in play on the third turn, all one needs to do is cast Frantic Seach, and that extra blue mana to Spike is yours. This gives you more than enough ways to maneuver around typical disruption.

Ah well, all this technology can go by the wayside for now. I doubt it will be relevant the next time it’s dragged into the light.

I’ve entered a bit of a Magic void, here. With the end of the Extended season, and nothing on the horizon but regionals, The OMC finds himself strangely without content. So, in an uncharacteristic show of deference, I leave it to you, my all-too-quiet readership. Speak out through the megaphone that is my Hotmail address and tell me what sort of content you want to see here.

It may help you to go through the newly completed archives that Star City has seen fit to furnish. Do you want more Standard advice, playtest diaries, music reviews, poker tips, new-age medicine, pie-losophy, cameos, more cameos, still more cameos? The OMC is at your beck and call, and if you don’t exercise your option, I can guarantee nothing more than mindless babbling and random keystrokes.

Josh Bennett
[email protected]

Maybe it’s just the beer talking, but The OMC thinks you’ve sure got a purty mouth, boy.