The Daily Shot: Magic Poll Theater 2000

The setting is a darkened movie theatre. After a few seconds of inactivity, soft footsteps are heard, and four people, black figures silhouetted against the blank screen, begin to make their way to the center of a row of seats.

(The setting is a darkened movie theatre. After a few seconds of inactivity, soft footsteps are heard, and four people, black figures silhouetted against the blank screen, begin to make their way to the center of a row of seats. They are all seem to be males, ages 14-24.)

GT:”Okay, this is it.”

(Geordie sits down. Another young man sits down next to Geordie. We cannot make out his features, but we can see that he is wearing a visor, turned sideways, and that his hair is sticking out from his head in all directions, in an unkempt,”spikey” style. The third and fourth members of the group are a somewhat big guy and a somewhat little guy, respectively. They find their seats, and several seconds pass while all that can be heard is the munching of popcorn. Then the visor-wearing, spikey-haired moviegoer seems to grow impatient and speaks up. His voice has the melancholic, perpetually irritated quality that you might expect from someone who is always complaining.)

Spike:“So when is this movie starting?”

GT:“It’s not really a movie; it’s more of a slideshow.”

Spike:“So when is the slideshow starting?”

GT:“In a minute.”

Spike:“I’ll hold you to that.”

(The largest of the four moviegoers speaks. His voice is deep and loud.)

John:“That girl in the lobby was hot.”

Spike:“She’d never have anything to do with you.”

GT:“Guys, a little professionalism. We’ll be starting in mere moments.”

Spike:“You’re lucky we’re even here. The only reason I agreed to be part of this stupid premise was to get that twenty bucks you promised.”

(An excited, youthful voice pipes up.)

Tim:”Shh….it’s starting!”

(A WotC logo appears on screen, accompanied by a hip-hop soundtrack. GT and Tim applaud.)

Spike:“What the hell? Who chose the music for this?”

GT:“I think it was Randy Buehler. What, you don’t like the Ghetto Boyz?”

John:“Gangsta Of Love’ is a fine song…”

Tim:“Who are the ‘Ghetto Boyz’?”

GT:“Never mind; you’re too young to listen to them anyhow.”

(A few seconds pass. John throws a handful of popcorn at the screen.)


GT:”We haven’t even gotten to the first poll yet. Why are you booing the logo?”

John:”Because there’s no room to go rogue anymore, that’s why. Wizards is evil! All the”fun” cards they’ve printed of late are unplayable garbage.”

Spike:”You’re full of it. Magic is a skill testing game – the good players gravitate towards the good cards, and the bad players sit around trying to break Transcendence, like you did.”

John:”That was only for a couple weeks.”

Tim:”Transcendence is dumb. It’s one of those cards where you take twenty seconds to read every line of text and when you’re done, all you have to say for yourself is: ‘Well, there’s 20 seconds of my life I’ll never get back again.”

Spike:”See also: Ice Cauldron. Planeswalker’s Mischief. Any number of others. And I’m surprised to hear that attitude coming from you, Tim… I figured that Transcendence would be right up your alley. You like bad cards, don’t you?”

John:”He likes cool cards. There’s a difference. Me, I’m just bitter because I saw potential in that 6CC pile of horse***t and all it got me was a mediocre record at a bunch of FNM events.”

GT:“John, you can’t say that word on this show.”

John:”What, horse***t?”


John:”Come on, man! I like going rogue – and if there’s a better word to describe what it’s like to plow through five Psychatog decks every night while you’re playing three copies of Nefarious Lich and Transcendence, I’d love to hear it.”

Spike:”You chose your own path, John. If you’re going to go rogue all the time, prepare to have a hard time of it.”

John:“It’s not even necessarily rogue. I want to play something bombastic – over the top. Remember NetherHaups? I loved that deck, until everyone started playing it. It just seems like all the big n’ fun decks, with sex n’ chex n’ big ol’ effex, are gone. Instead you have to play something ‘solid’. I hate that word.”

(The screen switches to a title graphic, written in gold calligraphy.”The Polls Of Randy Buehler.” Three out of the four members of the audience jeer loudly and shower the screen with Milk Duds and popcorn.)

GT:“Now you guys are just being ridiculous.”

Spike:“He thinks green is overpowered.”

John:“He’s part of R&D, all of whom I have an irrational hatred for.”

Tim:“I’m just doing it because they were doing it.”

(The screen darkens momentarily, and then the first poll graphic appears. The text reads “Should the reprint policy be modified to allow Wizards to reprint commons and uncommons from the early basic editions?” The choices are”Yes” and”No.”)

Spike:“Oh, we’re starting with this poll.”

John:“I actually like the idea of them reprinting Clone.”

Spike:“You would, wouldn’t you?”

Tim:“Is Royal Assassin on that list? I love that card.”

GT:“No, Royal Assassin is a rare. Sorry.”

(The screen changes to show a large image of”Basalt Monolith.”)

Spike:“Seven mana on turn four in any color might have a use.”

John:“You’re too narrow in your thinking. Every card has a use.”

Spike:“Yeah, Transcendence is good for wiping my a-”

GT:“Hey! You’ve both been warned once.”

(The screen fades out and in again, and the image has changed to show the green card”Camouflage.”)

John:”K, I’m voting ‘Yes’, right now. Where do I sign?”


Spike:”See, you’re getting your hopes up for nothing. They will never reprint that card.”

Tim:”Why not?”

Spike:”Well, first of all-”

John:”Come on Spike, let the kid have his illusions.”

Spike:”John, it’s a harsh world of Magic out there. He has to learn some day that cards that depend on blocking typically suck in Constructed.”

Tim:”What are you guys talking about? I just want to screw with my friends’ minds.”

Spike:”Rules trouble. General uselessness. These two factors mean that you won’t see Camouflage any time soon, regardless of how this poll turns out.”

Tim:”What? Man, f*** the rules, I want my Camouflage!”

GT:Tim! Where did you learn language like that?”

Tim:“My brother showed me this site called TeamAcademy.com.”


Spike:”That explains a lot.”

(The picture changes again, this time to display three cards: Clone, Consecrate Land, and Copper Tablet.)

Spike:”See, I’m liking this reprint idea. Copper Tablet could be a good aggro card.”

John:”I’m liking Clone, too.”

Tim:”Consecrate Land has a lot of text and it isn’t a creature. I find myself indifferent.”

Spike:”I can already see where this is going. We’re all going to end up voting yes, but for different reasons. I guess the new reprint policy has something for everyone. And Tim, you have a large vocabulary for a 14-year-old.”

Tim:”A large vocabulary, but no Royal Assassin reprint.”

John:”Why do you even care? You don’t play in sanctioned events.”

Tim:”Dude, someone has to stick up for the assassins!”

(The screen blanks out again, and fades in to reveal a series of three cards: Demonic Tutor, Dwarven Demolition Team, and Earthbind.)

GT:”Is that kid only fourteen? Cover his eyes.”

Spike (in little kid voice):”Mommy, mommy! Look at this neat faerie on these cool cards I found!”

Tim:”That card makes me feel all funny.”

John:”If they do reprint Earthbind, they should commission new art from the guy who did Secret Plot.”


John:”Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean, hentai boy.”

GT:”Hentai? I don’t even know what that word means!”

John:”You sir, are a filthy liar.”

(Demonic Tutor and company fade out in the midst of this conversation.)

Spike:”Well hell, we didn’t even get to comment on the cards that time.”

GT:”It’s just as well; none of the three would ever get reprinted anyway.”

Tim:”Can we rewind this presentation to that Earthbind card again?”

(All three others):“No.”

(The next three cards to appear are False Orders, Guardian Angel, and Ice Storm.)

Tim:”Cool, it’s like Stone Rain – but for Green!”

Spike:”Yeah… All they’d accomplish by reprinting Ice Storm would be to piss off collectors.”

Tim:”What do you mean? I want to get Green Stone Rains, and I’m a collector.”

John:”Well Tim, you might be happy, but there are many collectors out there who paid a lot of money to get Ice Storms, and if Ice Storm were to be printed again, they would get quite grouchy.

Spike:”Quite grouchy, like as in ‘homicidal’.”

Tim:”You’re kidding me, right?”


GT:“Those other two cards are crap, so let’s move on.”

(The next three cards appear on screen- Invisibility, Jade Statue, and Juggernaut)

Spike:“I wonder if Juggernaut would even be that good anymore.”

John:”I can’t see any reason not to print it again. Sengir Vampire isn’t as good anymore, but they reprinted that.”

Tim:”Yeah, that kicked ass!”

Spike:”Jade Statue lives through Wrath of God… Could be useful in a control deck or something.”

John:”You’re doing it again.”

Spike:”Doing what?”

John:”With you, it’s like every card has to pull some certain amount of weight before it gets included in a set. That’s just a piss-poor attitude.”

Spike:”No, it’s the right attitude. Do you want sets full of underpowered garbage? Narrow cards everywhere?”

John:”What I want is to have room to be creative and still successful. If you keep cranking the power level so that the choices are obvious, it ruins everything.”

Spike:”It doesn’t ruin everything. And you’re just going to have to deal with it.”


Timmy:”My cat’s breath smells like cat food.”

(The three cards on screen fade out, only to be replaced by the next three in the line – Lance, Living Wall, and Nettling Imp.)

John:”Lovely; the fetus card.”

Spike:”They rotated that sucker out in a hurry. And might I mention that all three of these cards absolutely suck balls?”

GT:”Spike, you cannot say ‘suck balls’ in this column. I can guarantee you The Ferrett is just going to edit it out.”

Spike:”Come on, what is wrong with ‘suck balls’?”

GT:”Take a guess.”

John:”You’re lucky he doesn’t edit this whole column out. This is the dumbest premise ever.”

GT:”John, just shut up and do your job.”

Tim:”What the hell is that thing on Living Wall?”

Spike:”That would be a human baby. It’s growing the wall, which apparently has a womb amongst its many human body parts.

Tim:”Ok, I’m going to blow my groceries now.”

Spike:”If it has a womb, it must be female.”


Spike:”I’m just saying. Even if it doesn’t fill the 4CC slot in my deck, Wizards could reprint it to do my dishes.”

GT:”…Okay, that is just not appropriate.”

Spike:”Come on, like any women read this anyhow.”

GT:”That’s not the point -”

(The three cards fade out.)

John:”We missed the analysis again while you were making politically incorrect jokes.”

Spike:”Sue me.”

(The next three cards to fade in are Psionic Blast, Regrowth, and Resurrection)

John:”I know you guys will probably disagree, but they should reprint Psi-Blast just because it’s cool.”

Spike:”You can wish all you want, it won’t happen. Buehler said as much. Same with Sinkhole, Sol Ring, Demonic Tutor…”

Tim:”Psi-Blast is one of those cards I see in a case at my store and think to myself, ‘$25? I can get an Incinerate for ten cents!”

John:”Reprinting it would piss off the collectors to no end, as well. I have three myself, and they cost me a lot in trade.”

Spike:”Yeah, it would be the end of the world to lose $60 in virtual value on your virtual property.”

John:”Shut up. A man acquires something rare, he wants it to stay rare.”

Tim:”Just buy a Lightning Bolt – it’s better and cheaper.”

John:”Think they’ll reprint Regrowth?”

Spike:”Yeah, why not? I can’t see it doing any harm, and people will be able to get foil ones to fire into their Keeper decks. You know, the ones they get to use once every two months at an eight-man tournament.”

GT:”Spike, the T1 issue is for another column.”

Spike:”I’m just saying, T1 players are polishing brass on the Titanic. The format is declining faster than Tait’s writing ability.”

GT:”Now see, that was just mean.”

Tim:”T1 can’t be dead because all my friends and I play is T1.”

Spike:”Yeah, and with what prize support? You play unsanctioned, and best case scenario the loser buys the winner a Snickers.”

John:”Spike, stop being an ass.”

(The screen fades to black again, and the last two cards appear: Sacrifice and Sinkhole)

John:”This is all moot now, I’ve pretty much made my decision.”


Tim:”Me too.”

GT:”Alright, so…any prediction on how the poll is going to turn out?”

John:”It’s going to be a lopsided ‘Yes’ vote. There’s no downside for any style of player.”

Spike:”Anyone who takes the time to vote will vote ‘Yes’. It’ll probably be close to 100%.”

GT:”How about you, Tim?”

Tim:”Anything that can get us a Clone and Juggernaut with new art and the chance of a foil will get a hearty ‘Yes’ from me and my friends.”

(The screen fades to black again.)

GT:”The results are coming up right here.”

(The first poll graphic appears onscreen, alongside the hip-hop music from the intro. The text reads “Should the reprint policy be modified to allow Wizards to reprint commons and uncommons from the early basic editions?” The choices are”Yes” and”No.” The final results are: YES — 5510 votes / NO — 570 votes.)

Spike:”Just as I suspected.”

John:”I want to know who the 570 guys were who voted ‘no’. They need to go get **** or something.”

GT:”John, there is no way that is going to make it to print. You have to choose your language more carefully.”

John:”Come on man, it’s hard for me to censor myself. Why would you ever vote ‘no’ on the reprint policy? The article made it obvious they’d never actually reprint anything valuable.”

(The final credits begin to roll. All four figures rise from their seats and start to file out of the theatre.)

See you next time on Magic Poll Theatre 2000.

Geordie Tait

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