Selecting 10th Edition – Forgotten Ancient and Time Stop!

Mr Knutson is AWOL this week, but he leaves his case in the able hands of Pugg Fuggly. The Mighty Pugg has much to say, and you’d be hard-pressed to ignore his claims. So, who will YOU vote for?

What is up, my snizzles? Neither my homeboy Teddy K. "Papa Bear" Nutson nor my main man Yaw "G-Money" Atog could make it this week, so I’m filling in, for sho’. Naw, instead it looks like I’m all up in against my dawg Ben "The Count of Monte Fisto" Bleiweiss and my daaaaawg Ben "Microscopic Elvis" Goodman. I’m telling you, crackers, this gig is wiggety wiggety whack. Proper.

Um, all right. Enough of this charade. I have a confession to make – I’m not actually very street. I’m barely dirt road. You think we could forget that awful business and move on to the other awful business? I’m speaking, of course, of MagictheGathering.com’s Selecting 10th Edition promotion! This week’s vote is easily the greatest of all Time! The entire Worlds wants to know, ‘what card should I pick?’ Well, Jack Bauer ain’t gonna tell you! When I’m done with you, you’ll be the… something… Forgotten Ancient.

Speaking of which! Forgotten Ancient. If I’m not mistaken, this was the first card we ever made! Yay!

Oh, who am I kidding. The only people that actually created any of it were Mark Rosewater, whoever the hell came up with the mechanic, and Mark Tedin. Yes, I’m a cynical bastard. (So cynical I don’t even count whoever wrote the flavor text.)

But I can overlook the card’s origins because it’s so damn fun! I’ve got to say it; I love this card! Magic: the Gathering has a high turnover rate, so many of you probably weren’t around when the card first debuted. Most of you kids probably never drafted Onslaught-Legions-Scourge, neither. Harumph. OLS is my bread and butter. It’s one of the few formats I’m actually good at! In fact, I’m practically an expert at it. So as a special treat, I’ll let you in on one of the format’s most closely guarded secrets. Cover your baby’s ears! You ready? Here goes. Sparksmith is insane!

Haha! What, you want another game-winning tip? For free?! I could get in a lot of trouble for this. Fine. Timberwatch Elf is also broken! There, now you’ll never lose.

What, you want something relevant to the theme of the article? How dare you, you greedy bastards. I put my blood and sweat into those tips. Okay, you win. You know I’m a dead man, right? Here goes. Forgotten Ancient is a bomb! A huge bowling ball-looking thing with a wick hanging out of it. The wick is also, like, sparking. Boom! We’re talking 4.5 on the Buehler scale. I don’t care what deck you’ve drafted; you first-pick this and you splash it. Well, all right; sometimes you don’t, but that’s why it’s only a 4.5.

Don’t let the printed stats on the card fool you. It’s at least a 1/4. (You’re not actually blocking with it, are you?) Woe betides the poor kid who tries to Carbonize or Solar Blast it. Okay, that kid was me. But I’ve learned my lesson. Ancient is a house. You can’t kill it. You can only do its bidding, and pray for the day it’ll let its guard down and give you that chance to slip out the screen door while it’s waiting for a refill on that iced tea, and make a break for that sweet, sweet freedom. Hurry, now! Forgotten likes a little mint leaf in his.

There’s not much in this world like the feeling you get watching the little guy start out so small and fragile, and slowly start growing, getting bigger and bigger until finally it’s just too big and you’re like "man, that’s huge" and suddenly, release! And it’s back to being small again, and then the dance begins anew. No, man, nothing like it at all. I certainly can’t think of anything.

I was fortunate enough to experience the unadulterated joy of an Ancient in play just the other day, in an OLS draft on the Magic Online beta server. Yes, I’m one of the lucky ones. Jealous much? And can you believe I landed the Ancient third pick? I was in Red/Green (which some fools will tell you isn’t a real OLS archetype), but I would have grabbed it if I were in, like, Blue/Purple. The sad part is I’ve received a passed Ancient at least four times in my career. Tragic, really. For my opponents.

So not only is Forgotten Ancient ridiculously overpowered, it’s ridiculously fun to play with! Remember, your fun is inversely proportional to your opponent’s. I call it the Loxodon Warhammer effect. You guys like that card, right?

I mean, what’s Crucible of Worlds got, anyhow? A Constructed pedigree? Yeah, in Vintage maybe.

Vote Ancient. It’s the You Make the Card card that won’t give you herpes.

Next up is a card that’s got a special place in my heart. I mean, like a different place. My heart’s got room for more than one card! I’m speaking, of course, of Spelljack.

You see – huh? Seriously? Blecch.

I’m speaking, of course, of Time Stop. You see, I once wrote a fairly popular series of articles in which I discussed the previous days’ Champions of Kamigawa preview card. Well, they were popular at the time! Technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today.

And wouldn’t you know it? Time Stop was the subject of one of those articles! Looking back, I can – hahaha! Hohoheehee. God, Pugg! Your articles are a laugh riot!

Can you believe I actually said stuff like "Time Stop belongs in every Blue deck?" "Last Word will find a home in Standard, mark my words?" "Whatever happened to Jonathan Brandis of The Neverending Story II fame?" I knew I was a funny guy, but man.

Perhaps my predictions about the Constructed viability were a touch off-base (see: Bay of Pigs), but my feelings were genuine. Time Stop is an extraordinarily fascinating card, and if it were just five mana cheaper, I dare say it would be broken right down the middle.

What makes it so fascinating? First off, it has the distinction of being the non-creature card with the least amount of rules text! I think! Certainly seems like that’s the case. Isn’t that fun? And yet it does so much! Sure, maybe they cheated by putting all that stuff in the reminder text – stuff that wasn’t necessarily in the rules before Time Stop – and cheaters never win.

Where was I? Time Stop is simultaneously remarkably elegant and complex. It’s versatile, it’s powerful. It can be a Counterspell, a Time Walk, a Fog, or all three! Or two of the aforementioned three.

Time Stop is one of those cards I have the dubious honor of playing exactly one time. It was one of my first Champions drafts, and, considering all the stuff I said about it, of course I had to play it. Yeah, it kind of sat in my hand a lot. And when I finally did get the chance to tap that six, it was nothing more than a rather pricey counterspell. So fine, it’s not really a Limited thing. I don’t exactly want to delegate it to casual-only status, either. It’s a niche card whose niche doesn’t yet exist in Standard. But don’t worry; we’ll fill that hole someday, kid! Someday.

Anyway, none of this even really matters, because the biggest reason you should vote Time Stop over Spelljack is… we already have a Spelljack! It’s called Commandeer, folks. Yes, there are subtle differences, but do we need both? We do not. Do we need subtlety? Like a hole in the head.

Vote Time Stop. It’s the six-mana Blue instant that won’t further destabilize the already tumultuous Middle East.

Yours, etc.
Pugg Fuggly
[email protected]


Bonus Quotes Section!

Finally, some IRC quotes to brighten your day. I know, who still chats on IRC, right? But people still say funny things, and funny things should be enjoyed by all. Sometimes even people who aren’t me! But especially me.

Yes, I’m blatantly ripping off one of Knutson’s gimmicks he does to pad articles. But you know what? Half of you think I’m him anyway.

<mrmanatee> oh pugg_fugg, what won’t you add lol to?
<pugg_fugg> your mom
<RHat> plolgg flolggy
<pugg_fugg> pugg fuggloly
<pugg_fugg> plolulolglolg flolulolglolglollolly
<pugg_fugg> mloly tlolunge hlolurts.

<AFKai> i just came back from 4 life
<AFKai> and 8 cards in library
<AFKai> to win the match
<pugg_fugg> Would’ve been 6 life and 10 cards if you made my changes.

<Yawgatog> So I got hobbit spam
<Yawgatog> were only thirteen of them, twelve dwarves and the hobbit. Where indeed
<Yawgatog> was Thorin? They wondered what evil fate had befallen him, magic or dark
<Yawgatog> monsters; and shuddered as they lay lost in the forest. There they
<Yawgatog> That’s the entire message.
<pugg_fugg> I want to know what happens next!

<obithrawn> hi
<obithrawn> I am playing Momir
<pugg_fugg> Momir? I barely know her.

<pugg_fugg> I think it would be fun to win the socks.
<pugg_fugg> I mean, the ebay auction would be hilarious.

<RHat> do you listen to korpiklaani?
<mrmanatee> no
<mrmanatee> what’re they?
<RHat> singer of finntroll singing with a bunch of Laplanders
<RHat> actual finnish forest metal
<pugg_fugg> You guys like Khairspuge?
<pugg_fugg> Dunderplotz?
<RHat> isn’t it the same guy from kirzoxenschlaufen?
<pugg_fugg> No, he ODed.
<RHat> 🙁
<pugg_fugg> On Mysplicksterbungit.
<pugg_fugg> Nasty drug.

<pugg_fugg> So who’s partying? Anyone?
<pugg_fugg> Anybody, um, want to? ¬_¬
<Yawgatog> No and no.
<pugg_fugg> Party planner pooper.
<TigTigger> I’m watching the game. Does that count?
<pugg_fugg> Is the game Mario Party?

<pugg_fugg> Samms, say something funny for the article.
<psamms> i’m not ACTUALLY funny
<psamms> i’m just mean spirited 🙁
<pugg_fugg> That’s definitely not making it in.

<WonkoSane> not on the front page?
<Yawgatog> :~(
<Yawgatog> It’s right above Feature Friday
<pugg_fugg> That’s only two pages down from where most people stop reading!