Selecting 10th Edition – Loxodon Warhammer!

This week’s Selecting 10th Edition has become more than the face-off between Warhammer and Plate… as Knut licks his Baloth-related wounds, a Ridiculous Hat steps to the… erm… plate, elevating the contest into a Battle of the Bens! Which Ben will be victorious? Read on to find out!

Victory at Sea – No Reason to Stay

This song is very theatrical, which for some people is a turn-off – but we’re not talking Dresden Dolls-level absurdity here. It’s fun and has some great usage of modern piano. I recommend it for people who like stuff that’s off the beaten path, as it were.

You may have noticed by now that I am not Ted Knutson. While this is unfortunately true, Papa Knut asked me to fill in and I can never say no to him. I won’t be able to come up with such gems as “a vote for Baloth is a vote for Penis”, but I’ll certainly try to stand up to that level of wit.

… Awkward.

Instead of hearing Teddy rant about Baloth losing, you get to hear me doing it. Let’s look at the vote margins.

Troll Ascetic 6889 60.7%
Ravenous Baloth 2943 25.9%

Erhnam Djinn 1521 13.4%

Troll Ascetic got four freaking thousand more votes than Baloth. Do you know what that means? Four thousand StarCityGames readers either didn’t vote or turned traitor to Knut. What is wrong with you people? Are you actually listening to Bleiweiss? Believe me, such a thing will only end in tears. Plus, doesn’t he owe us 1,000 words on why Auriok Champion didn’t win*?

I hope you’re all happy with what you’ve brought about. Now instead of just dealing with a worse Loxodon Hierarch (which beatdown decks have been dealing with for a while now with reasonable success), we’re going to have to deal with the undying untargetable nuisance for two years. Remember how annoying Silhana Ledgewalker is in draft? Remember how it’s even more annoying when it gets Cloaked? Welcome to Standard, gents. Only even if you manage to block the Ledgewalker prequel, it still does not die. Awesome. Super. Fantastic. Wunderbar.

Ted was so livid over the loss of Baloth that he could not retain the composure to write this week’s article. I, too, am quite perturbed about the loss of everyone’s favorite beast, but in memory of our dear Kanoot, I must soldier on, never looking back at the mistakes of the past. We must instead save the future from the perils of the present.

Yeah, that made sense. I think.

I’m sure that most of you have seen the vote this week, but let’s rehash it. The cards? Empyrial Plate versus Loxodon Warhammer. Do you remember what these cards do? Let me refresh your memory.

Empyrial Plate
Artifact – Equipment
Blah blah blah, do some stupid stuff about cards in hand that nobody cares about and generally be awful.
Equip – 2

Loxodon Warhammer
Artifact – Equipment
Bash. Freakin’. Face.
Equip – 3

From that side-by-side comparison, it should be obvious which one to vote for, but in case I haven’t persuaded you yet, let’s go in depth.

Empyrial Plate has never really been able to pull its weight in Constructed, while Loxodon Warhammer has made the occasional appearance. The problem with Plate is an obvious one – if you play it early game, you lose massive tempo and make yourself vulnerable to removal, and if you play it late-game, it kinda sucks a lot. Think of it as Jitte that you have to play turn 2 if you want it to work – and then they just save their removal for your attack step, wreck your tempo, wreck you, and win the game. This is what we’re dealing with here. Hell, they can just block with their Troll Ascetic that the voting troglodytes have determined must be in 10th. Doesn’t seem like an optimal outcome of events to me.

On the contrary, Loxodon Warhammer is always good when it’s equipped, no matter what stage of the game you’re in. It’s guaranteed to create an enormous threat, establish huge life swings that will keep you in the game, and if you put it on, say, a Paladin En-Vec, which some very intelligent and very handsome voters championed two weeks ago, a Red deck cannot possibly ever beat you. How’s that for a sideboard card? We’re talking enormous guys bashing with a big freakin’ hammer. You can even put it on your wretched Troll Ascetic and start getting in there for unstoppable lifegaining trampling goodness. Warhammer has a large enough effect that it’s worth the cost, and the built-in evasion it provides is icing on the cake – if the plated guy is blocked, then they lost a guy. Oh no. If the Hammered guy is blocked, you trample over and gain life and kill the guy. You get so much more for your mana that it’s not even worth considering.

Plus, let’s remember who votes at MagictheGathering.com. The casual voters are out in droves, and you can be sure they are not voting for Empyrial Plate. They are voting for big dumb elephants. For once, they’re right.

Let’s take a moment here and do a science experiment. You can try this at home if you want, but make sure you have proper adult supervision. We will need:

1 Hammer
1 Plate

Step 1: Put the Plate on a table.
Step 2: Pick up the Hammer.
Step 3: Swing the Hammer into the Plate.
Step 4: Record the winner of this encounter.

Go try it now. I’ll wait.

As all of you now know, hammer smash plate. If this is how it works in real life, Magic can’t be any different. Vote for a better future. Vote for Loxodon Warhammer.

Knut will probably be back next week, and in the meantime I may write a real article. Or not. I don’t really know yet. See you all later.

Ben Goodman
RidiculousHat just about everywhere

Bonus Music Section

There’s so many good songs that I’ve been listening to that I just can’t wait to talk about them.

The Paper Chase – We Know Where You Sleep
This song is definitely the creepiest I’ve listened to all year, and the lyrics are positively hair-raising, but the off-kilter violin and strange delivery makes it work somehow.

Les Savy Fav – The Sweat Descends
This song rocks ridiculously hard with this trippy background riff that just… is good. That’s all I got.

Ellen Allien and Apparat – Leave Me Alone
Ellen Allien makes insane house music and Apparat makes insane trance music. Put them together and have Apparat try singing over sampled violins and a sick beat and you have yourself a winner.

Vitalic – My Friend Dario
The album this song was on was the best dance album of that year (I think 2004), and this particular song is well worth getting to sample Vitalic’s work – he’s a master of ridiculous beats and guitar breaks.

Jeff Mangum – Gardenhead-Leave Me Alone
Jeff is better known as Neutral Milk Hotel, but this particular version of the song is him performing live at Jittery Joe’s coffee house just by himself with an acoustic guitar. When he does the songs himself instead of with a full band, somehow they get even better than their already masterful forms on In an Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Sunset Rubdown – Stadiums and Shrines II
So remember how “I’ll Believe in Anything” was the best song off of last year’s Wolf Parade album? Well, this is that song only played as a sprawling guitar monolith with less slick production. The result is transcendental.

Sleater-Kinney – Night Light
This song is my favorite song to listen to at night, and if you hear it you’ll understand why – it establishes a feeling of twilight very quickly and is structured perfectly for its purpose. This also is meant as a tribute to Sleater-Kinney, who recently announced their breakup. It’s a damn shame, I say.

Bonus II – A Moment with Psamms ™

psamms: he’s asking for a draw
psamms: looool
psamms: it was an 84
psamms: hsdfhsdfjkhsfkjhahahah
psamms: i am inconceivable amounts of masterful.
psamms: not even i believe it.
psamms: i mean
psamms: lol.
Me: wow.
Me: that was an 84?
psamms: was
Me: and you didn’t even realize it?
psamms: didn’t
Me: and you just got 6 packs?
psamms: did
psamms: IS
psamms: that was a very intelligent conversation.
psamms: i’m glad we had it.

* Ba-zing!