I Was Right … Or Was I?

My rabbi’s translation of the prerelease card was a little off – but I’m willing to share the real truth with you.

This week’s article will deal with varying degrees of me being right (and therefore may or may not be unusually short!). We’ll start with something that suggests that I was definitely right. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned in public my suspicion that Jon Finkel is Jewish, but "shalom," the Hebrew word for peace, appears on his shirt worn at the US Nationals. It would appear that I was right!

Unfortunately, my level "rightness" appears to descend from here on out. Here I have an email sent to me by [email protected] in regards to my recent article on the Hebrew prerelease card. Iirion writes:

Hello there,

I’ve read your interesting article about Glory; I’m a bit more updated with Hebrew (considering I live in Israel ;)) So here are a couple of notes:

1) It’s not T’hila, it’s Te’hila. Notice the e.

2) A more accurate translation (I’ll”forget” my Magic rules knowledge here for a second):


Creature – Incarnation (hit’gal’mut is indeed the Hebrew word for Incarnation)

Flying Ability

W2: Creatures that are under your control enjoy the protection of the color you chose, until the end of turn. Use this ability only as an incident, when Glory is in your graveyard.

“Glory have vanished/disappeared; glory was everywhere,” The Scroll of Creation and Source

Several remarks:

  • It’s indeed”under your control."

  • It’s protection of the color you chose, not from the color you chose.

  • You activate the ability”as an incident,” probably the best translation they could find for instant (though I think mi’ya’di is more appropriate).

  • It’s The Scroll of, not Scroll of The.

  • Me’a’yer (the word on the bottom) means illustrator; me’ir means illuminator, and is indeed quite a biblical word that is rarely used today, though there are many people with last name Me’ir.

Hope this makes things clearer,

Can’t wait to see the direct translation of the other cards,

– Iirion/El-ad

So, it would appear that my rabbi’s translation of the card was fairly accurate, though there were a few discrepancies. A thousand thanks to Iirion for sending in a more "updated" translation of the card!

Next: As my usual readers know, I’m a huge control freak (in Magic, that is!). Sure, I enjoy laying the smacketh down upon unsuspecting foes every once in a while – but my real Magic-playing enjoyment comes from having complete and utter control of my opponent, forcing him into submission before I submit him to a rather slow loss. Sure it sounds morbid, but it’s better that I exact such control in Magic rather than real life, eh? My current control deck runs sixteen unconditional counterspells – that is, no Memory Lapse, no Syncopate, no Force Spike, etc. That’s hardcore, if you ask me. With the introduction of Judgment, I intend to put in two Grips of Amnesia as well. Yes, it’s sick, but I love it… And it’s not Pyschatog!

So, I’ve got this well-tested, fine-tuned control deck, but I hadn’t been able to take it to a tournament for months. Last weekend, I finally got that chance again. Now, I’d been removed from the metagame for the most part, and, although I do my share of Magic reading, I wasn’t sure of my local metagame. So, my sideboard was pretty much a shot in the dark, with the last-minute removal of green (which turned out to be a good decision, though probably the only one I made regarding my sideboard for the whole tournament). My point is that I made it out of the tournament with a 5-5 record. Not stellar, but I didn’t bottom out either. I did my job taking out beatdown when I wasn’t manascrewed. My elimination from the Top Eight occurred with an average of a Fact or Fiction choice that came back to haunt me a dozen turns later and my inability to find a replacement solution for what I let slip the first time. (It was a Teferi’s Moat, for those who are interested.)

My control deck didn’t win as I had hoped, but I also got the reassurance that control is still a viable decktype in today’s Standard environment. Once Judgment becomes legal, my Elfhame Palaces go back into the deck, and the beastly Nantuko Monasteries will make the deck, I believe, Tier One. But you don’t have to take my word for it – keep your eyes open in the future.

But, this isn’t a strategy article, so I’ll leave the reasons why control is so good for you to discover – or for another article. As for now, I have one more issue I’d like to address: The Extended rotation.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not one to play Extended. I found the old cards too hard to come by and too much investment in studying the metagame to play competitively. So, I basically left the field alone. Recently, I put together a Secret Force deck just so that I could play with one of my all-time favorite cards: Verdant Force. However, I had no intentions of playing competitive Extended.

But now. Oh, but now! I started playing a few months before Tempest became legal. I enjoyed Empyrial Armor, but Verdant Force developed my opinions about tournament Magic. Now, the new Extended will reflect every set I’ve ever played with. Starting in November, Extended will be like a blast from the past for me! If I tried to play my old "I Want a Verdant Force … Right Now!" deck in Extended, I’d be crushed by Force of Will, Nevinyrral’s Disk, or Swords to Plowshares. But those cards are gone now. Therefore, I’ve put together my green beats deck in addition to three of my other all-time favorite decks (except, of course, Bargain).

So how does this have to do with me being right? Well, I predict that the new Extended format, though ticking off a lot of players, will present a bright new environment allowing new decks to flourish and establish themselves, which is pretty much the allure of Standard. Personally, I think I might actually participate in Extended tournaments, and I believe that a lot of newer players (where "newer" includes players who have joined in the last five years) will do the same. Kudos to Wizards for an excellent rotation policy; I predict brightness in the future as a result!

Thanks to Finkel for wearing a Hebrew shirt, Iirion for fixing up my Glorious translation, Dromar for being Charming, and Wizards for employing a solid Extended rotation system. And, of course, thanks to you for reading yet again!

Daniel Crane

[email protected]