Mirrodin Black: I Got More Beef Than a Wendy’s Triple

Mirrodin Black is similar to Onslaught Blue, in that if you’re drafting it, you want to be one of two total people at the table doing so. There isn’t a whole lot of depth and quality for Black this time around.
Before I get into the coveted Pick Orders, I’d like to provide a brief, general strategy for drafting Black in Mirrodin. Black is a control color; aggressive Black decks are condemned to mediocrity. Try to remove as many threats as possible with one-for-ones and two-for-ones before gaining card superiority in the late game with spells like Skeleton Shard and Moriok Scavenger. Trade creatures early and often to squeeze the most out of your removal. A smattering of hard-to-remove creatures such as Pewter Golem will pick up the pieces.

As for where the beef is at, try twenty-five tongue-in-cheek insults for the OMC (Josh Bennett), and some old-time brotherly love.

Each year, approximately 250,000 Magic strategy writers fall victim to criticism resulting from innocent misunderstandings.

Scary, huh?

Author’s note: if you only care about actual magic content, please press”ctrl+f” and then enter”start strategy portion” now. Thanks. *

This Week’s Guest Appearance: Thomas Rosholm

Evidently, my last article didn’t elicit the anticipated reaction in the gamer populace. I could name probably twenty-four people, total, who enjoyed it. Despite that, morale remains high. Now everyone has to read my articles to see which state I will give the Petey-Pablo-esque shout-out to next. Maybe Maryland! **

Something else went horribly awry with my last article. I think I can pinpoint the exact paragraph where it went wrong. I’ll paste it here for posterity.

34. Dream’s Grip

In one of the many ironies of Magic: the Gathering, an Extended powerhouse (I guess) is chaff in Limited. This is basically a blank card unless you run the ol’ lick-n-stick with Isochron Scepter.

It seems that most people think that this should be above Disarm. Who would have thought there would be such an uproar? They’re both unplayables, people. I don’t care if one of them does happen to make a halfway decent combo with a certain uncommon!

Seriously, though, I think some readers were turned off by the”narrative” portion of the article. I would go into more detail about why I included it in the article if I thought anyone other than Erik Swanson had read it.

Also, the complaints keep coming about the strategy/non-strategy composition. Some people whine about all the nonsense they must wade through to glean my infinite wisdom. (Is that what we’re calling it these days? – Knut) Others realize I have no wisdom and like to laugh with/at me as I valiantly attempt to entertain them, if only for fifteen minutes.

For your convenience, I have omitted the strategy portion of this article.

I remember my halcyon days of Magic strategy writing. Armed with only my experience, my computer, and an extensive understanding of the English language, I would change the world. It seems like only yesterday that I possessed the optimism that a well-written article with decent strategy would be received with open ears and eyes by an admiring audience of critically minded gamers.

Wait. That was yesterday.

There has been a drop-off in language quality and insight, though. I know this because I skimmed my earlier articles. My writing style seems to reflect what I’ve been reading. As you may have guessed, I’m not really the”book type.” The last literary endeavor of any substance that I’ve undertaken was a stack of assorted Dave Barry books. This may have been evident to you in my Capitalizing Non-Proper Nouns For Mock Emphasis technique. Well, friends, there are only two kinds of writers: hacks, and people who won’t admit they’re hacks.

Incidentally, I’m not positive that I like Knutson’s ascendancy as the new StarCityGames.com editor, what with his insistence that I exercise the privilege of coherent thought when I write. I’m sure Ferrett would have been more stringent if he’d had the time, but that doesn’t make me any less bitter that I’m going to have to redouble my efforts at pointless quality now.

Nowthen [sic], I’m not the type who takes criticism well. I’m not just being tongue-in-cheek when I say that I consistently got a check-minus in”Accepts Correction” at St. Mary’s Elementary School of Vermilion, Ohio. Needless to say, over the months that I’ve been writing for Star City, I’ve accumulated a small cadre of detractors. Rather than let these detractors shatter the fragile remnants of my self-esteem, I’m going to call three of them out right here, right now with some pointless, childish insults.

(Those interested in joining the Tater Hatin’ Tim Aten Debatin’, Discriminatin’, and Disseminatin’ Society (That’s THTA3DS for, um, short) should send an e-mail to mixedknuts or [email protected], and we’ll get you signed up with a free printable membership card and everything. – Knut)

I realize that I’ve done something like this before, albeit with a tad more whimsy, in my”Scourge Black, Or Name-Dropping [author name="Jeff Cunningham"]Jeff Cunningham[/author] for Personal Profit” article. Perhaps I’m a hostile person. That’s just how we do it. I got more beef than a Wendy’s Triple, yo. Let’s start with the primary offender.

1. Josh”OMC” Bennett

Josh Bennett hates everyone. His taste in Magic writing is sort of like my brother’s taste in music; namely, everyone sucks except for a critically-acclaimed few. Nothing makes him happier than his presumed superiority over all humankind as he sits in his Ivory Tower in the Winter’s Chill of the northern Tundra.

I could turn the microscope on him and pick apart his writing. I could challenge him to a one-on-one money draft a la Matt Rubin. I could go off on a tangent about how it’s much easier to criticize than, well, pretty much anything.

But what I’ve chosen to do is make a list of twenty-five things that”OMC” might stand for. Here we go:

Odious Mundane Canuck

Only Metes Criticism

“Okay, Mister Cunningham!”

Overrated Magic Columnist

Orchestrates Mass Carnage

Osyp’s Main Chimp

Ostentatious Mangy Curls

Old Miss Cellulite

Obeys Mark’s Commands

Ordinary Meaningless Claptrap

Ornery ManChild

Odd Mean Curmudgeon

Ogles Many Children

Oily Monkey Carcass


Opposes Mainstream Culture

Occasionally Merely Clever

Outrageous Megadeth Concert!

Obviously Moronic Commentary

A Fire Inside

Often Minces Cloves

Orangutan Milk Craver

Big Stupid Idiot

One Miserable Canadian

I would have included”Oblivious to My Charms,” but that violates the formula. His nickname is”OMC,” not”OtMC.” A shame, really.

2. A rant wouldn’t be a rant with only two items, now would it?

3. Mike Aten

Mike, you are fat. So very, very fat.

That was fun. We’ll have to do that again sometime. If there’s anyone else who wants to call down the thunder, you know where to find me. I’d be more than happy to make you famous.

(In spite of the filth and bile, Tombstone references have officially put Tim back in my good graces. – Knut)

Start Strategy Portion

I’d like to give a shoutout to all my homies who are just joining us. Was the rest of my article worth reading? You’ll never know.

Anyway… Mirrodin Black is similar to Onslaught Blue, in that if you’re drafting it, you want to be one of two total people at the table doing so. There isn’t a whole lot of depth and quality for Black this time around.

Before I get into the coveted Pick Orders, I’d like to provide a brief, general strategy for drafting Black in Mirrodin. Black is a control color; aggressive Black decks are condemned to mediocrity. Try to remove as many threats as possible with one-for-ones and two-for-ones before gaining card superiority in the late game with spells like Skeleton Shard and Moriok Scavenger. Trade creatures early and often to squeeze the most out of your removal. A smattering of hard-to-remove creatures such as Pewter Golem will pick up the pieces.

As poor as the color is, because of the significant commitment to Black required to utilize its most powerful spells you’ll often need to play a large majority of Swamps. If I’m drafting Black, I prefer to splash Red for direct damage, artifact removal, and a few quality creatures. If you choose Green to go with your Black, you’ll clearly need to pick up primarily Black creature removal though Green’s artifact destruction and solid men are a welcome addition.

And as always, these pick orders are Gospel, and not general guidelines. Hurr.

1. Betrayal of Flesh

Basically, this card has pure Kicker. It destroys any creature – Platinum Angel, Molder Slug, Reiver Demon, whatever – and if you happen to have the lands to spare, revives a fallen comrade. I couldn’t imagine too many scenarios where you would want to use this solely for its reanimation. In the ideal situation, you’ll play this mid-combat to destroy your opponent’s best creature and ambush one of his attackers with your best creature out of the graveyard. Net result: you’ve traded three lands and a card to kill two opposing creatures and replay one of your own. Not bad, not bad.

2. Skeleton Shard

Likely the second best of its kind, the Skeleton Shard can generate the long term card advantage that Black Mirrodin draft decks thrive on. You can make early sacrifices, even trading two of your creatures for one of your opponent’s, and eventually recoup any losses using the Shard. Naturally, this card gets better with comes-into-play abilities (Solemn Simulacrum), bombs (Pentavus), and creatures with sacrifice effects (Goblin Replica). You obviously have to have a decent number of artifact creatures before you’ll want to play this, but in case you missed the memo, this is Mirrodin. You know, the Artifact block? Back in the days of Tempest, Disturbed Burial was a high pick, and that format was a lot faster than this one.

3. Reiver Demon

I have an overwhelming affinity for monstrous fliers, almost regardless of cost. You get what you pay for with Reiver Demon, though. Sure, it’s expensive, but in many cases it’ll be like a weaker Plague Wind attached to a 6/6 Black flier. It takes care of numerous problem creatures, and thanks to mana Myrs and Talismans, can come out sooner than turn 8.

As long as you build your deck in such a way that allows for there to be a late game, this is a high quality pick. Based on the forum response to one of Eisel’s recent articles regarding this card, I could (and might) write an entire article about this and other mana intensive spells. I will concede, however, that this is nowhere near one of the best rares in the set, nor would I take it over Icy Manipulator, Loxodon Warhammer, Crystal Shard, or Spikeshot Goblin.

4. Promise of Power

This card runs the full gamut of worthless to priceless depending on the game state. In contrast with Betrayal of Flesh, either option of this card is acceptable. God bless your little heart if you ever find yourself in the unlikely position of being able to entwine it. If you’ve been playing the Black attrition war properly, casting this will often spell doom for your opponent. Any time you can afford the loss of 5 life, the card advantage will be insurmountable. If only there were some way in Black, preferably common, to gain that life back… Oh well. If you have enough swamps in your deck, you can play this as a nice 3/3 or 4/4 flier on turn 4 or five. The possibilities are endless! Well, okay, there are only two or three, but they’re very good.

5. Terror

Is Terror worse now than ever before? Yes.

Do you take it over Shatter? No.

Is it still a high quality pick? Of course!

It kills arbitrarily large Green monsters, Skyhunter Cub, Spikeshot Goblin, assorted Hoverguards, and many more for the low, low cost of two mana. At instant speed. And it’s splashable! Granted, there will be a select few decks against which this will remain stranded in your hand… but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

6. Consume Spirit

The premiere Black card of the set, this requires a heavier Swamp commitment than any other card, including Reiver Demon. Consume Spirit is virtually unplayable if you have less than ten Black sources. If you’re close to mono Black, it becomes a traditional x-spell with a not-so-negligible side effect, making it first-pick quality. Nevertheless, you may see it rather late since there will be at most two decks at a table that can adequately support it. The reason I put this behind Terror is the”average of usefulness” principle. In the ideal case, this is much better than Terror since it can kill artifact creatures and go to your opponent’s dome. In practice, this can be very slow, and you will sometimes struggle to get the Black mana necessary to kill a Spikeshot.

7. Barter in Blood

If I were a more intelligent man, I’d probably know how to play this card better. There’s a delicate balance to strike between trying to make this a two-for-one and committing enough threats to the board to keep your opponent from getting suspicious. Sometimes you’ll get a Trolls of Tel-Jilad and a Molder Slug with this while losing nothing of your own (like I did against Hot Karl last night), and sometimes you and your opponent will each sacrifice two Myrs. It’s up to you to optimize it. Ideally, this will find a home in a removal-heavy deck, in which you can kill the lesser threats with Wail of the Nim, Pyrite Spellbomb, and the like and use this to clean up the stragglers.

8. Pewter Golem

In my opinion, this is the perfect threat card for a mono Black or Black/x control deck in draft. Once you untap with this in play, your opponent is in for a world of hurt. Barring equipment, it’s very hard to block or attack into a Pewter Golem effectively. Shatter and Deconstruct will rarely be effective answers for this. It’s not all rose petals and fluffy kitties, though. The Golem is slow, it’s often vulnerable for a turn, and it sucks against flying attackers and first striking blockers. Because of these factors, there’s no reason to play more than two or three of these.

9. Slith Bloodletter

Regeneration is a very powerful ability since most removal – including Solar Tide and Betrayal of Flesh – is insufficient to overcome it. Even so, I have the nagging suspicion that I’m overrating this card. Part of this is because it meets two of my favorite criteria for limited play: good early and good late. If you manage to plop this down on turn two and amass a couple of counters, bouncing and Arresting become the only attractive options for your opponent. In the late game, it stops any non-trampling ground threat cold, and it equips as well as anything. Allow me to reiterate here that if you’ve drafted your Black deck well and have been playing the wond’rous attrition war, this guy will get through for those key first few hits more often than you’d think.

10. Nightmare Lash

This provides a powerful bonus, but you can’t move it around as whimsically as the other pieces of flair, since life is a nonrenewable resource. (Let’s hear it for fifth-grade Social Studies for providing me with that brilliant terminology.) As the game progresses, you’re less likely to be able to afford the loss of life, particularly against tempo-based decks. An opponent bouncing or destroying the equipped creature or Lash can set you back quite a bit. Now that we’ve examined the”ugly,” let’s consider the”optimal.” Turn 3, you play something as trivial as a Yotian Soldier. Play this on turn 4, equip it right away, and swing with your 5/8. It is quite worthwhile from a temporal standpoint to have equipment that costs no mana to equip, but life is a somewhat more precious commodity than mana in a control deck.

11. Leaden Myr

Maybe this is the most important on-color Myr to have. Black decks are slow and need plenty of colored mana; this guy is a step in the right direction in solving both of those problems. This helps toward your artifact count for Nims, too. You’re probably sufficiently convinced of the importance and usefulness of mana Myrs that I won’t need to say too much about Iron Myr and Copper Myr when their turns roll around. Quick poll: Do you pronounce it”Myrrh (murr)” or”meer?” I personally say”meer” unless I’m Nellying it, in which case I’ll sometimes say”I…need…two…mrrrrrr.” (Give…me…two…mrrrrr. – Knut, stomping in his Arr Farce Wuns) And how do you pluralize Myr? Are there any horse socks? Is anybody listening?

12. Relic Bane

I don’t know why it took me so long to come around on this one. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t affect the board, per se. The Bane is actually a pretty high pick since it’s a nearly unstoppable clock. Watch your opponents scramble to Shatter their own Ancient Den or sacrifice their Leonin Scimitar to Krark-Clan Grunt. Where you put this depends on how apt you think your opponent is to have a sacrifice mechanism. If the opponent has a few, like the aforementioned Grunt or an Atog, put it on something more threatening in hopes that they’ll be forced to eliminate it. If you don’t think they can get rid of one of their own artifacts, put it on something that you can effectively ignore, preferably a non-creature. You don’t want to Relic Bane a Loxodon Warhammer or Hematite Golem only to have to Shatter it a turn later.

13. Nim Shrieker

This card is completely dependent on your artifact count. Any fewer than ten, and this is garbage. Plus this has one toughness, so virtually anything kills it. However, this is still a fairly early pick. Is that a testament to the utility of evasion or what? Try to get plenty of Myrs and artifact lands to optimize the Shrieker.

Because you only have so many spell slots in your deck, supplementing cards like this is the role in which the artifact lands shine. Especially if they’re foil. Get it? Okay, look. I’ve been having a very rough week, and I’m on the brink of mental exhaustion. Yesterday, for instance, I spent a solid hour trying to prove to myself that I’m not schizophrenic. The jury’s still out on that one. My point, though, is that I cannot be blamed for the occasional (yeah, laugh it up) lackluster sentence or dorky-pun-that-even-dorks-wouldn’t-find-amusing. Sometimes I just like to toss those in there to show you that I’m as idiotic and inept as the rest of you. (Well, not you… I mean other people).

(Be sure to catch Tim’s masterful performance as Smeagol in the final installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, coming to a theater near you! – Knut)

14. Nim Devourer

Moving right along. The Devourer’s utility depends on your efficacy in clearing a path for it. It’s far too slow to recurse just for the sake of trading with mana Myrs. In the late game, when threats are sparse on both sides, its value increases. It basically becomes what people wish Proteus Staff could be, transforming your Lumengrid Warden or Nim Lasher into a 4/1-or-larger monstrosity. If you accumulate an appreciable amount of Nims, Neurok Hoversail and Slagwurm Armor become quite good, so try to pick up a few. I don’t imagine that this situation will arise too often, though.

15. Flayed Nim

This is sort of like a Relic Bane that can block. It’s a guaranteed two damage per turn, but assuming your opponent has a blocker, it will cost you three mana each time. Couple that with the initial investment of four, and you’re spending quite a bit of mana. That said, this is still an excellent threat for a controllish Black deck. The resilience regeneration gives a creature is significant (even if the ability costs three).

16. Irradiate

It’s sort of expensive, but it is quality instant removal if you have enough artifacts. Sometimes, a mid-combat Irradiate will be enough to take down a creature even if you only control one artifact. Like with the Nim Shrieker, I would consider ten artifacts the bare minimum. Take it higher if you have a solid (fifteen+) artifact count, including a few lands. A lot of the time, I find myself with the decision of whether to play crappy artifact creatures just to up my count enough to make this worthwhile.

17. Moriok Scavenger

In theory, this seems like it would be insane. In practice, I can’t count the number of times this has been either rawdogged or used to return a mana Myr. Even in this worst scenario, it can block all the pro-artifact and occasional Fear creatures and live to tell the tale. If you’ve been trading one-for-one like a good lil’ Black mage, this should elicit some sort of negative reaction out of your opponent. An eye roll, or a muttered”lucksack,” perhaps. This is better in Sealed, which tends to lean closer to the brute strength/card advantage end of the spectrum than the tempo end. It’s better than people give it credit for in draft, and you have a good chance of seeing it late.

18. Woebearer

Believe it or not, you’ll often be able to trigger the Woebearer’s powerful ability. Fear is a sometimes meaningful evasion keyword even in Mega Man Land. In many situations, there aren’t that many creatures on the board. Sometimes an opponent will leave a sole blocker and one well-placed removal spell is all it takes to get the engine running. Why is this so low on the list? Look at the top right corner. Now at the bottom right corner. Repeat as necessary. Basically, there’s a lot of redundancy in Black in mopping up the late game; getting to the late game is the tricky part.

19. Nim Shambler

This is a passable way to make late-game use of excess early-game-type creatures. While it is much faster than the Devourer, it’s smaller and requires other creatures to be in play concurrently to effectively stave off its death. Each turn, your opponent decides whether to take a few damage or trade his worst creature for yours. Not too impressive, but a key component of the dreaded Hoversail/Armor and Nuisance Engine archetypes. If I ever get around to artifacts, I’ll be sure to mention that Nuisance Engine is only worth playing if you have at least two solid interactions involving it within your deck.

20. Dross Harvester

In most cases, the first thing to do when appraising this card is to disregard its casting cost. If you slam this down on turn 3, it’s a glorified Flesh Reaver. In the mid-game or later, it’s a sizeable body that could conceivably net you life. Play it before combat on a turn where your opponent’s best play is to make one or more creature trades. Generally speaking, this card follows the Wretched Anurid rule: If you damage them with it before it damages you, you’re in good shape. It’s a little unwieldy, so I can understand leaving it in the board.

21. Wail of the Nim

This is a card that I usually want exactly one of in my Black decks. It’s sort of a removal spell and sort of a trick. Kill your opponent’s Myrs while sparing your own! Eliminate pesky Tel-Jilad Chosens and Auriok Transfixers! Set up a devastating Barter in Blood! Kill a Fangren Hunter with a Vulshok Berserker… and the Berserker lives to tell the tale! If the exclamation points aren’t doing it for you, I don’t know what it would take to get you excited about this card. One drawback is that you can’t trade this straight up for a 2/3 blocking your 2/1. If you play this before combat damage, regeneration will remove your x/1 from combat; if you play it with damage on the stack, your creature will survive the Wail but die to actual combat damage.

22. Nim Replica

The one on the back end hurts, and its ability is expensive for a small effect. Sometimes you’ll be able to get two of your opponent’s cards with this, and sometimes you’ll have to keep it back on defense because of opposing 1/1s. It’s perfectly acceptable to have one or two Replicas in a typical Black deck, which should be somewhat adept at clearing a path for them. Don’t feel too bad about trading this for an Elf Replica or even an Alpha Myr, though.

23. Vermiculos

I had the privilege of playing this in my most recent Myr Incubator deck. Before you want to play Vermiculos, you want to be pretty sure you can attack for five or more with it every turn. This means plenty of artifacts, and plenty of artifact lands. We’re talking like, seventeen or more here. Even then, it’s still probably going to be susceptible to any damage spell the turn you play it, so use your discretion. There’s no need to take it before sixth even if it would be insane in your deck, since you’ll probably be the only one who could use it.

24. Wall of Blood

I don’t like this since it doesn’t attack and your opponent can play around it. It does sort of read”pay X life: deal X damage to target attacking creature without flying.” Depending on the size of the attacker and how much life you have, this can be quite a hefty sum.

If they have toughness-enhancing equipment like Vulshok Gauntlets or even Leonin Scimitar, you have to spend extra life for each creature. In addition, you can get devastated by Predator’s Strike or various other combat tricks. I never maindeck this card; is this a mistake? If you’ve managed to make it this far, please weigh in on the issue in the forums. Okay, Kai? :B

25. Vault of Whispers

If you have cards that rely on a high artifact count, take this and play as many as you have. If not, pass it. It’s very simple. In the right decks, once it looks like you’ll have enough playables, this moves past the other so-so commons like Nim Replica and Wail. In the deck where I had Vermiculos and Myr Incubator, I was U/B and had three of these and three Seat of the Synod, as well as a Tree of Tales. Good times.

26. Disciple of the Vault

Ahh, yes…onto my favorite part of the article. The utter crap. I’m sure once I’m out of school I’ll have more time to cherish and expand the in-depth strategy portions, but for now, I love the no-brainers. This is decent in very aggressive decks, like certain Red-Black decks. If your opponent is low on life, you’ll likely be able to squeeze the last few out of him with the Disciple. In general, though, 1/1s don’t have too much effect on the board and are easy to remove, so I’m not thrilled to run these.

27. Dross Prowler

As I said with Woebearer, Fear actually does matter sometimes. Not often enough to justify playing a three-mana 2/1, though. It’s a perfectly acceptable 23rd card, but even then, it’s a sure sign that your draft went poorly. It’s probably worth sideboarding in against certain decks (the ones without many artifact creatures, to the layperson).

28. Nim Lasher

Even in the artifact deck, this is still an x/1 for three. It doesn’t even have any semblance of quasi-evasion like the Prowler. You’d have to have a pretty dedicated Armor-sail deck to play this, and that deck probably sucks anyway.

29. Necrogen Spellbomb

Unless your opponent flashes you his hand at an inopportune time, this is a strict off-color cycler. Sure, it temporarily assists your artifact count, but wouldn’t you rather have an artifact that does something?

30. Chimney Imp

It costs roughly two mana too many, and it only hits for one. But hey, it flies. Someday, somewhere, someone will have to run the Chimney Imp. Don’t laugh too hard, since it could be you. Particularly if you live in Kokomo, Indiana and don’t own shoes.

31. Contaminated Bond

This will often result in a two-for-one in the wrong direction. The creature is still there, and it can still trade with your attackers. Hell, it can still attack if the controller can afford the three life. I said last time that cards like Fatespinner (or Fact or Fiction) that force your opponent to make choices are good. There are clearly two categories of”decision” cards, and the Bond is in the”bad” one – the decision isn’t very complicated and it gives your opponent plenty of leeway.

I actually saw this card get sided in during round 14 of Grand Prix: Kansas City. Mauro Bongiovanni expertly brought it in against – you guessed it – Gerry Thompson as a way of nullifying Yotian Soldier and making Leonin Den-Guard a huge hassle to use. I think Mauro won the game where he got his Bond on.

32. Grim Reminder

Because your opponent has to have the same card as you, and because your copy of the card must still be in the deck for this to do anything, there would have to be significant overlap before you sideboard this in. You’d have to be pretty sure your opponent has at least seven or so of the same cards you have. Never maindeck it, please.

33. Necrogen Mists

Too symmetrical, doesn’t affect the board. I don’t think anyone would be tempted to play this card, so there’s no need to go on.

34. Wrench Mind

This also does not affect the board, and it’s probably going to be a 1-for-1. Bonus points if you know why this is likely to only get one of your opponent’s cards.

35. Spoils of the Vault

In the right circumstances, this can save an otherwise unwinnable game! Maybe it would have been winnable if this turd wasn’t in your hand.

And now, before I let you scamper on your merry way, why not take a look at my Top 5 songs of the week? Download them, make fun of them, whatever. As a very special treat, I have recruited Sweden’s own Thomas Rosholm to provide his top five songs of the week as well.

Here’s my list:

5. Hoobastank”Out of Control”– I’m pretty sure this is”bad” from a purely aesthetic standpoint, but it’s a nice pump-up song. I’m going to the concert on Friday, where Joey Bags and I will surely be the oldest people.

4. Nelly Furtado”Powerless”– Most of my friends and associates make fun of me for this one. I guess she’s a little too mainstream to be”cool.” This particular song features the banjo.

(I like it, but most people in the community hate my musical tastes. It doesn’t hurt that Nelly is rather delicious to look upon. – Knut)

3. Finger Eleven”Thousand Mile Wish”– This gets the nod because I just saw them in concert, and they were simply masterful. Get every last one of their songs.

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers”Fortune Faded”– Not nearly as boring as the stuff on By the Way, and it has a catchy guitar riff that reminds me of a Sonic Youth song or something.

1. The Offspring”Hit That”– Rather obnoxious, but hey…that’s one of my favorite song qualities. Plus, it rocks, dude.

There’s no way any of you ingrates is cool enough to like what Rosholm listens to. Is there anyone reading this who can seamlessly transition from Barbie-backpack-wielding tomgirl to knit-cap-adorned street thug and back again? I didn’t figure so.

Here are his current Top 5:

5. Gravy Train!”Double Decker Supreme”

4. Lyrics Born”Stop Complaining”

3. Weakerthans”A New Name for Everything”

2. Atmosphere”Shoes”

1. Chords featuring Timbuktu & Rantoboko”Chillin’ (Like Matt Dillon)”

If you are under eighteen, I assume no responsibility for what your mommy does to you when she hears you listening to some of these.

That’s it for this week, chums. Unless you were included in the special section, you can be sure that I meant you no offense in any way by any part of this article. I love each and every one of my beloved readers. I say this not just because I mean it, which I don’t, but also because I want you to buy my book, if I ever write one.

Tim Aten

a.k.a. The Honourable Kid Tryptophan

a.k.a. A Disgrace to Humanity

still the Scum of the Earth, in Character if not by Title

a.k.a. Soooooo and ThatsGameBoys on MODO

a.k.a. Taeme on the IRC

a.k.a. JahonPelcack on AIM

[email protected]

or call me at 867-5309, extension 5 (ask for Jenny)

Storrs House Room 213

“It used to be that I was too fat to crowdsurf. Now I’m just too old.”

* – (barn)

** – No.