Long and piercing alarms ring throughout the dormitory. Our hero’s eyes open and begin to dart through the darkness, trying to gain his sensibilities. A voice explodes over the loudspeakers.
Headless-Disembodied-Extremely Angry Voice: You tell Nestico to get his ass out of bed and into the theatre right now! It’s time, boys! The sleep deprivation has begun!
Your bald and handsome protagonist sleepily falls off his top bunk and down to the floor, hoping the drop will kill him instantly.
Alas. It doesn’t.
Not Angry or Disembodied Voice: Up and at’em, Markie-Boy. The Doc is calling us.
Mark: Tom, if you don’t go away I’m gonna steal your battery cover and replace it with magnets.
Another lighthearted voice pops up.
I Wish This Voice Had No Head: Would you take him out for dinner first? If you’re going to touch our battery covers, at least make it special first.
With a groan Mark turns over to make sure his companions aren’t just figments of his almost completely faded mind. Maybe they are. Probably they are.
Mark: God…I hate robots.
Tom hugs him.
The other throws a cup of water in his face. Mark springs to his feet.
Mark: CROW WHAT THE F!
Crow: Hey! Language! This is a family-friendly website. I was making sure you were awake.
Mark: I was talking to you.
Crow: I mean…you talk in your sleep. Like that one time you were out cold, but you were still telling us how your friend Jessie and her great, big-
Mark: I GET IT!
The voice booms once again.
Headless-Disembodied-Extremely Angry Voice The Sequel:If I have to say move your butts again, I’ll be replacing the water in the fire sprinklers with acid and then I’m going to light a match, comprende?
Immediately Mark, Crow, and Tom (both of whom are robots if you missed that part about the battery covers) make their way to the main corridor that houses the theatre.
Mark: What do you think it’s gonna be today?
Crow: Sexy Cheetah Women from Planet Q?
Tom: It Came From Beneath the Refrigerator?
Mark: I’m really hoping it’s a nice, romantic Korean dramedy.
Tom and Crow brace themselves for the barrage of insults they’re about to hurl at Mark’s stupid, stupid face when all three of them jump, scared from the booming voice that is no longer disembodied…but instead behind them.
The Doc: WRONG! Gentleme-…gentlemen-and-robots? Gentle-things? NO MATTER! Today, a movie isn’t on the agenda, although you’ll wish it was after I’m done with you three.
Our three partners exchange worried glances.
You see, I’ll be leaving the ship for a few days this coming weekend. Friends of mine have invited me to attend-
Mark: You have friends? Everyone hates you.
Tom slaps Mark on the back approvingly. Crow leaks some oil in a vain attempt to hold in his laughter. The Doc glowers disapprovingly.
The Doc: Oh…I have friends. Friends I have. Have friends do I. I have so many friends that I was voted prom king by every single kid in high school. I was voted “Most Likely to Have Everyone Be His Friend.” So stick that in your banana split and eat it.
Mark mouths the words “banana split” to Crow while shaking his head confusedly.
The Doc: No matter! My friends have invited me to a Magic: The Gathering tournament. I anxiously await the event, but I don’t know what deck to play. Since you three are nerds and completely uncool and unliked by everyone--the complete opposite of me--I figured I’d ask you all what I should battle with.
Crow looks at Mark. Mark looks at Tom. Tom looks at Crow. You look into your own soul to search for the answers. Mark attempts to reason with The Doc.
Mark: That’s great, Doc…and we’d love to help you! We love Magic! But you know…I’m really feeling like a movie today so maybe we could
The Doc: FINE! I’ll cue up Garden State right now and-–
Crow: MAGIC IS SO MUCH FUN LET’S HELP HIM PICK OUT A DECK GUYS!
The trio immediately make their way through the ten doors as the threat of the single worst movie ever made looms over their head. Zach Braff is a genius, but that movie….that freaking movie.
Making their way to their seats, Tom, Mark, and Crow begin to make themselves comfortable as the projector springs to life, and The Doc’s voice begins to explain to them just what will be happening.
The Doc: Today, I’ll be showing you several decks. Some of them are considered “traditional.” Others will be somewhat less “traditional.”
You can almost feel him doing air quotes.
The Doc: First, we will gaze in awe at the majesty of “Mono-Black Devotion;” a deck that kills players with rats, demons, and shady businessmen.
Tom: So a deck full of Bernie Madoffs?
The Doc: BEHOLD!
The screen flickers to life, showing this image that you see below this sentence. I’ll wait for you right here to look at it, then make sure you come back right to this spot.
Crow: Wow. This deck is so much fun.
Tom: Hey, uh…Mark? Cards in hand?
Tom: Cool. Thoughtseize you.
Mark: Oh, well, no problems I guess I’ll just-–
Tom: Thoughtseize you again.
Mark: How many of those does he pl-–
Tom: Duress you, BEEEYATCH.
Mark: I am not even playing Magi-–
The Doc: What? You guys don’t like it?
Crow: It’s not that we don’t like it. It’s just that we’d rather slam our power cords in drawers than play that deck.
Mark: People hate playing against it, too. You shred their hand and they just sit there.
The Doc: So, it will drive them insane?
Mark: Yes, absolutely.
The Doc: PLACE IT AT THE TOP OF THE LIST!
- 4 Ash Zealot
- 4 Rakdos Cackler
- 4 Burning-Tree Emissary
- 4 Legion Loyalist
- 4 Firefist Striker
- 4 Foundry Street Denizen
- 4 Rubblebelt Maaka
- 4 Firedrinker Satyr
- 19 Mountain
The Doc: You kill them quickly! Mono-Red Aggro wants to end the game before it even begins with a swarm of creatures, burn spells, and bloodrush creatures that can pull double-duty!
Crow: He said duty, right? I didn’t miss that?
Tom: So the first two decks you’ve decided to show us are the two most infuriating decks to play against in Standard? Are we clear on this?
The Doc: I live to make people miserable, monkeys. Now give me your thoughts before I extract them from your brain cavities!
Crow: I wish I could do that to women so I could know what they’re thinking…
Mark: Well, considering you’re a doctor…although of what is extremely suspect…I’m guessing you can count to twenty without taking your shoes off, right?
The Doc: …this little piggy went to market, and this little piggy went home--CONTINUE.
Mark: Given that reasoning, I’m sure it’s a fine choice for this weekend. It’s won a bunch of tournaments lately, and people still don’t seem to respect it; they just try to jam their Sphinx’s Revelations and you just kill them instead. Before they can even cast a Supreme Verdict they’re in either burn range or every single creature + Maaka/Titan’s Strength is a huge threat.
Crow: That’s legitimately the first piece of intelligent analysis in this entire article so far.
Tom: I can just imagine if this was on Premium. The comments would be all: “Oh God, why are we paying for this blah blah blah” or “When is this guy going to win something? Why are we reading this?”
Crow and Tom look over at Mark, who shifts anxiously in his seat.
Mark: Can we please move on to the next deck, please?
The Doc obliges.
The Doc: Well, since I cleverly deduced that Red-based Aggro decks are among the best strategies in the game right now and are completely underrated, I figure this deck might be in a great spot for the coming weekend. I read about it in the StarCityGames.com weekly Select Newsletter. It was so unconventional and neat that I simply had to try it.
Tom: Chris VanMeter?
The Doc: No.
Crow: Brad Nelson?
The Doc: No.
Again, Mark uncomfortably shifts in his seat.
Evan Erwin: Hey everybody! Evan Erwin here with some un-freaking-believable news that’s going to rock your socks off–unless you’re wearing sandals--in that case, it’s gonna rock them off, too. Liz Nugent has done it again! You thought Squirrelstorm was cute? Did you love Squirrelforge Mystic? I bet you did because it was so damn adorbs that it made me actually slap my opponent across the face when they split a sleeve cutting my deck.
This month we have a hum-dinger, and that’s “Squirrelamog, the Infinite Cuteness” sleeves and tokens. These adorable little suckers will be available at every Game Night promotional judge meeting every third Friday after an equinox, and you better hurry because supplies are limited. We at SCG are proud as punch of our ability to slap squirrels on everything from Eternal Sqwitness to Squirrelrite Shaman! Chao!
End Commercial Break
Mark: Yes, I did put a commercial break in the middle of my article. Cheap plugs, suckas.
The Doc: Here’s the deck that tickles my fancy!
Mark: Excellent. I get to relive the moment that guy blew me out last week.
The Doc: R/W Burn is a great deck, but why not spice it up with a little splash?
Can you imagine the looks on people’s faces?
Tom: Yeah, and can you imagine the look on my face as I ask you to sign the slip so I can turn it in after my victory?
For the millionth time, Mark squirms in his seat.
Crow: Our old buddy Mark here was the one being asked to sign the slip. The card makes a lot of sense in this deck and has a ton of synergy with Young Pyromancer. Finally, I have an excuse to break out my CVM Elemental tokens.
Tom: Mark, why isn’t your beard as sweet as his?
Mark: I chose a long time ago that I didn’t want to look like Father Time.
Crow: I could see this deck being a good choice if you think there are a lot of Red decks in the room. Your burn doubles as removal against them, and your long game beats theirs with cards like Warleader’s Helix to get you way ahead.
The Doc: So you think this might be a great call?
The Doc: I planned on it.
I saved the best for last.
Mark begins having Flashback of a time when he let the audience pick the deck for him.
The Doc: It has always been my dream to cause people the most suffering, and I think this deck will allow me to achieve those ends.
I don’t want to win.
I just want to make every round go to time while accomplishing nothing. I will take us both down in a blaze of glory, and then offer a handshake after I’ve mentally tortured them. All will suffer. All. Will. Suffer.
Crow: I hope you get paired against the burn deck every round.
The Doc: You bite your tongue.
Tom: We’re robots. We don’t have tongues.
The Doc: Then bite Mark’s tongue instead.
Mark: I think you found your deck, Doc.
The three nod at each other in approval.
The Doc: I am truly pleased with your participation. No floggings tonight!
Everyone In Unison: Hooray!
The Doc: Well, I’m off. I must pack for my trip and start calling up all of my close friends who love and adore me.
His voice trails off as the battered, tortured, and mentally-beaten trio drag themselves back to their quarters. Mark, not being a robot and needing sleep, slinks into his bed for some well-deserved rest. As his eyes begin to finally shut…
Headless-Disembodied-Extremely Angry Voice: I LIED.
NOW YOU MUST ALL HELP ME DECIDE WHAT TO WEAR.
Kill me now.
Crow: Not until your contract with SCG is up, pal. Back to work!