The Daily Shot: Magic Poll Theater 3000 – 8th Edition Summer, Part II

Tim:”I’m not going to calm down! I’m going to say it loud and proud – screw the people who enjoy playing Ensnaring Bridge and Static Orb!”

(When we last left the theatre, Spike had collapsed to the floor after discovering that the Magic Community at large would rather have Rewind in 8th Edition than Dismiss. After hitting the ground, it was quickly discovered that the grand tradition of sticky movie theatre floors was holding true, and that he’s require some help to get back in his seat. Now though, everyone is back in position, Spike has composed himself, and we’re ready to continue with….)

MAGIC POLL THEATRE 3000 – Selecting 8th Edition.

Tim:”Part two!”

GT:”That’s right.”

(Two cards appear on the screen, both artifacts. On the left is Ensnaring Bridge, while the right side of the screen is dominated by a Static Orb. The two cards are separated by a stylized”Vs.” graphic. The members of the audience seem thoughtful.)


Tim:”All I remember about these two cards is that one of them stops me from attacking, and the other of them stops me from untapping – and as a result, I hate them both. Is there any way we can, you know, kick both of them out of 8th Edition? Take both dragons instead?”

John:”Sorry, Tim.”

(Tim lets out a forlorn sigh.)

Tim:”I’m just going to pick one at random. The thing I hate most about these two cards is the people who play them. Without exception, they laugh at me when I play my Force of Nature.”

Spike:”As well they should.”

Tim (angrily):”Don’t even start. I’m tired of being treated like a second-class citizen just because I like to attack with big creatures instead of ‘manipulating the stack’ or whatever it is that you wannabe Pros do.”

John:”Calm down, Tim.”

(Tim suddenly jumps up from his seat, his youthful voice rising in pitch and volume.)

Tim:”I’m not going to calm down! I’m going to say it loud and proud – screw the people who enjoy playing Ensnaring Bridge and Static Orb!”


Tim:”It’s about time someone stood up for players like me and my friends. The next time someone manipulates the stack near me, I’m going to manipulate my foot right up his a-”

GT: “HEY!”

(Tim falls silent.)

GT:”Let’s try to remain professional here.”

Spike:”Or what? You’re going to take away my bus pass?”


Spike:”Just as I suspected – you’re more impotent than the guys who enforce CoC violations on Magic: Online.”

John:”Tell me about it. Last night a drafter said some stuff to my wife that really wasn’t appropriate. I didn’t know you could use the word ‘enema bag’ that many times in a sentence.”

Spike:”What did you do about it?”

John:”Well, since it’s Magic Online, you can probably guess what I was able to do about it.”

(John and Spike look at each other.)

John and Spike (together):”Nothing.”

(John nods.)

GT:”Guys, I think we should get back to the task at hand.”

John:”Fine. I vote Ensnaring Bridge. Whoop-de-do.”

Spike:”I vote Ensnaring Bridge also. Static Orb really sucks unless you combine it with Opposition or something similar, whereas Ensnaring Bridge almost creates a whole new decktype whenever it’s legal. Now, if they brought back Winter Orb, that’d be something.


(Tim crosses his arms and says nothing. The twin”vote bars” begin to tally, and Ensnaring Bridge outdistances Static Orb in the end.)

John:”I think my vote put Ensnaring Bridge over the top. I figure Spike is happy with either one, Tim hates both – so it’s up to me, and Ensnaring Bridge lets me try out all sorts of janky discard and empty-hand tech.”

Spike (sarcastically):”Yeah, get those Grafted Skullcaps while they’re hot.”

John:”Don’t make me hurt you.”

(The graphic on screen changes to show the next two cards- Noble Purpose on the left, and Orim’s Prayer on the right.)

John:”Hey, two white cards.”

Spike:”You know, my gut instinct was to immediately vote for Orim’s Prayer… But upon further reflecting, Orim’s Prayer is useless without Humility. They printed a green enchantment before that gave every attacking creature -1/-0 and no one gave a damn about it because Humility was gone. Or… Well, maybe because it had GG in the casting cost.”

John:”I like both cards. Orim’s Prayer is cool because you can use Moment’s Peace…”

(Spike rubs his temples with his hands.)

Spike:”Oh God, not the ‘Fog and gain life’ control deck. No one played Respite, no one will play that either.”

John:”How do you know it’s not good until you try? If a guy has three creatures and you have the Prayer and a Peace, that is six life and two turns before he can even do anything to you!”

Spike:”Trust me, it’s awful.”


(Spike groans and raises his voice.)

Spike:”Back to my original point. Orim’s Prayer just isn’t that good without Humility available.”

Tim:”One card stops me from killing. One gains me lots of life while I kill people. I vote Noble Purpose. Spirit Links for all!”

John:”So Spike – you’re not voting for Orim’s Prayer?”

Spike:”No, I am. Noble Purpose is too expensive. Orim’s Prayer is no good right now, but who knows what sort of U/W control cards will come along? Also, it could be a good sideboard card for White against a token deck, if one exists. Stops Goblin Trenches, just as one example. Sorta like Engineered Plague, but not nearly as good.”

John:”You did all that complaining and you’re still voting for Orim’s Prayer? You’re an ass.”

Spike:”Shut up. Which one are you voting for?”

John:”I like both, but I’m going to have to go with Noble Purpose.”

(Spike sighs.)

Spike:”What part of ‘it costs five’ do you not understand?”

John:”What part of ‘we’re racing, I’ll attack and gain ten life’ do you not understand?”

(Spike lets out an exasperated, whistling breath, and throws his hands in the air.)

Spike:”Do what you want, then.”

John:”I will.”

Spike:”Fine then.”

John:”Fine to you, too.”

Spike (crossing his arms and looking away):”You’ll be topdecking many a Noble Purpose.”

John:”Fine with me.”

Spike:”Well… Good for you, then.”

John:”It sure is.”

Tim:”Will you guys please be quiet?”

(Spike and John fall into a guilty silence. Meanwhile, the vote tally starts to go up, and Noble Purpose edges out Orim’s Prayer by a slim margin. Tim pumps his fist.)

Tim:”YESSS! Imagine having four of those out? I could attack with my Force of Nature and gain 32 life! I wouldn’t even have to pay the upkeep.”

Spike:”One card that could possibly be good is sacrificed to make room for another 5CC enchantment. Sad.”

(Spike’s voice turns sarcastic.)

Spike:”Why don’t these clowns reprint Bulwark while they’re at it? I hear that’s real strong in Constructed. How about Heightened Awareness so this idiot over here can make a deck based on it?”

(John does a double take.)

John:”Who are you calling an idiot?”

Spike:”You know you tried it.”

John:”Son, if you talk any more trash to me, you’ll be wearing your ass as a hat.”

Spike:”Oooh, I’m shaking. It’s ‘When Geezers Of Magic Attack! You going to have Noble Purpose in play when you stumble and wheeze your way over here?”

(John leans over and grabs Spike’s arm, twisting it behind his back.)

Spike:”OW! OW! JESUS!”

GT:”Guys! Stop it!”

(John lets go of Spike. Spike rubs his arm gingerly, glaring at John. In the background, two new cards are coming up on screen. On the left are Birds Of Paradise and Vine Trellis, and across the”Vs.” sign, Llanowar Elves and Utopia Tree are featured.)

Tim:”Wow, this is a toughie.”

John:”You can say that again…it looks split right down the middle!”

(Spike groans again.)

Spike:”What is so hard about this? There are three good cards here, and one sucky one. You take the side with the two good ones. Birds Of Paradise + Vine Trellis all the way.”

Tim:”But Birds are impossible to get in my area. I’m voting for the Utopia Tree side – I traded for four of those right quick and I still have ’em.”

Spike:”What? Owning the card shouldn’t influence your decision! The reason that Birds are hard to get is that they are good. Want to venture a guess as to why it was easy for you to get Utopia Trees?”

John:”Actually, Utopia Tree was trading pretty big when it came out.”

Spike:”Yeah, pretty big sh*t.”

GT:”Spike, you are not allowed to say that when the cameras are rolling. StarCity is a family site.”

Spike:”Whatever. All I’m saying is that Birds and Elves are both amazing… So you look at the second card. Vine Trellis can block, Utopia Tree can’t. The choice is clear.”


Tim:”I don’t care about blocking… I’d never block with my Utopia Tree anyhow – it cost me $12!”

(Spike groans and buries his head in his hands.)

Tim:”I vote for Elves and Trees…I have both of those!”

John:”I’m going to go with the Birds/Trellis combo. I like being able to block.”

(Spike nods with approval.)

Spike:”That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. It’s on like neckbone.”

(Both Tim and John turn towards Spike.)

Tim and John (together):”What?”

Spike:”Never mind. I also vote for the Birds and Trellis.”

(The vote begins to tally on-screen… It’s a close one. In the final seconds, the combination of Birds and Vine Trellis wins out by a slim margin.)

Tim:”Arrrgh…I’ll never be able to get four Birds. No one trades them.”

Spike:”Why do you even care? You don’t play Standard…you can use your Utopia Trees in your multiplayer games.”

Tim:”I don’t know… I might buy 8th Edition sometime.”

Spike:”Then wouldn’t you want to pull a Birds, rather than a Utopia Tree, of which you already have four? Think about it.”

(Tim looks thoughtful.)


(John laughs.)

Tim:”Is it too late to change my vote? I thought the whole point of this was to vote on which cards should be more important or something.”

GT:”It’s sorta like that. These cards will shape what we call the ‘Standard environment’.”

Tim:”Oh. And I don’t care about that?”

GT:”Do you ever play in Friday Night Magic?”

Tim:”I did once, but the players were jerks and I lost every round.”

John:”I think you can take that as a ‘no’.”

GT:”Okay, then you don’t care. Just vote for the card you’d rather open if you bought 8th Edition.”

Tim:”Crap, I voted for the wrong thing.”

(Spike clears his throat.)

Spike:”I hate to interrupt you guys, but aren’t we done for now? Look at the screen.”

(The screen has changed to read”Intermission.” The accompanying graphic shows a giant, smiling Randy Buehler, giving the thumbs-up sign.)

Timmy, Johnny, Spike (together):”BOOOOO!”

(Geordie sighs.)

GT:”Some things never change. Join us tomorrow for the next installment of”Magic Poll Theatre.”

(The lights in the theatre go up, and all four moviegoers start to file towards the lobby.)

Geordie Tait

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