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

Timmy, Spike, and Johnny walk into a bar… No. They walk into a movie theater. Where they debate the various merits of 8th Edition’s Summer Voting and get stuck to the floor. Nobody mentions Mr. Babycakes, thankfully, or a fight would have broken out.

(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 centre of a row of seats. They are males.)

GT:“Okay, guys, get settled in…we’re starting up in a few minutes.”

(Welcome back… To Magic Poll Theatre.)

(Geordie sits down and takes a moment to stretch his arms above his head while stifling a yawn. 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, probably between the ages of thirty and forty years old, and a somewhat little guy. The smaller moviegoer seems to be a young kid, maybe twelve or thirteen years old. He is carrying a massive”Big Gulp”-style beverage container in his hands. The big guy cracks his knuckles, and the sound of nitrogen being released from his joints echoes throughout the theatre.)

Spike:”You know, that’ll give you arthritis.”

John:”That’s an old wives’ tail, like stepping on a crack and breaking your mother’s back… Or that myth about R & D being sober more than 25% of the time.”

Spike (tossing hands up defensively):”Hey, it’s your funeral.”

(Spike looks around in a somewhat restless manner. The others seem unconcerned.)

Spike:”G-Money, when are we getting this show on the road?”

GT:”Patience, Spike. They’re still getting the projector set up.”

John:”Take a Valium or something.”

(There is silence for about three seconds, and then Tim takes a large slurp from his beverage, finishing with a satisfying”Aaaah!” to indicate that his youthful palette is suitably refreshed. Spike looks perturbed.)

Spike:”Wow, I’m glad someone is having fun.”

Tim:”I sure am! Free drinks!”

(Spike sighs, then turns to Geordie, who is sitting on his left. When he speaks, his voice is weary and exasperated.)

Spike:”Does he even know why he’s here?”

(Tim looks at Spike with surprise.)

Tim:”Yes, I do! We’re going to go through all the Selecting 8th Edition Polls today.”

GT:”That’s right… And I think we’re about ready to start.”

(The theatre darkens even more, and then the sound system promo comes on. This is quickly followed by the Wizards logo. Three out of the four members of the audience unleash a chorus of boos, and throw popcorn at the screen.)

GT:”Come on guys, you have to be more objective than that when you’re doing these sorts of deals.”

Spike:”More than half of the field in Block is one deck!”

John:”Randy Buehler column last week was a rehash of the same Sideboard coverage I already read!”

Tim:”I was just doing it because they were doing it.”

(The Wizards logo fades out, and is replaced by a colorful, flamboyant title graphic that reads”Spend your summer selecting 8th Edition!”)

John (In a sarcastic, falsetto voice):”It’s what all the cool kids are doing!”

(Now that graphic fades out, and is replaced with the first poll. Crimson Hellkite is on the left, and across the screen, separated by a stylized”Vs.” graphic, is Two-Headed Dragon.)


John (sarcastically):”Decided already, did you?”

Spike:”Do you have a problem with tha…hey….are you alright, Tim?”

(Tim seems to be sitting in his chair in a catatonic state. Every so often, he glances to the left of the screen and back to the right, and then back again.)

GT:”I think this first poll has blown his mind.”

(As if in reply, Tim nods his head.)


(John waves his hand in front of Tim’s face.)

John:”He’s gone bye bye.”

(Spike snaps his fingers.)

Spike:”Tim! Snap out of it.”

(Geordie shrugs.)

GT:”Just give him some time. What did you decide, Spike?”

Spike:”I doubt either one will see any play, so it’s pretty moot… But Two-Headed Dragon costs six and Crimson Hellkite costs nine, and sucks.”

John:”I can’t argue with that. I think the Two-Headed Dragon is cooler anyway. I mean, it’s hard to get a lot of Red mana for that Hellkite ability. Plus, being able to block two creatures is pretty sweet.”

GT:”Yeah, and I lost a game at Ontario Regionals one year because I forgot he could only be blocked by two creatures. My Voice of All could only watch while he hammered me for the win.”

(All three look over at Tim, who is still staring at the screen and mumbling to himself.)

Spike:”Lets just see how it turned out. I’m betting the Two-Headed Dragon takes it because the Tim vote is split between the two, and the vote from the non-morons will put it over the top.”

GT:”Spike, it’s not nice to refer to your fellow players as ‘morons’. Like it or not, players like Timmy the world over are keeping this game alive.”

(Some dramatic music plays, and two vote bars start climbing, one for each card. The Two-Headed Dragon vote bar outdistances the Crimson Hellkite bar; a cymbal clashes, and the words”Winner!” appear next to the Two-Headed Dragon graphic, which then expands to fill the entire screen.)

Spike:”Nice. If people keep making decisions like that, I won’t be forced to hurt anyone.”

Tim:”I’m happy.”

John:”Welcome back, Tim.”

(A new graphic appears on the screen- this time it’s Nekrataal vs. Dark Hatchling.)

Spike:”My vote in on the Electric Ninja.”

GT:”Please, don’t call it that.”

Spike:”Why not?”

GT:”Wakefield used to call it that, and any mention of him makes my stomach turn.”

Spike:”Hey, you’re the one who brought it up.”

(John waves an arm in the direction of the two leftmost seats.)

John:”Settle down, guys. This one is a no-brainer. Equal coolness, and one is cheaper. I vote Nekrataal.”

Tim:”Which one is the Electric Ninja?”


Tim:”I just heard something about one of them being a Ninja of some sort. Any card that is a Ninja gets my vote.”

Spike:”That’s Nekrataal.”

Tim:”Then that gets my vote.”

John:”Apparently R&D should print more Ninja-related cards.”

Announcer, Who Sounds Like Ferrett: “They do. It’s called Legend Of The Five Rings.”

Tim: “Does it have Leviathan?”

(Announcer says nothing awkwardly.)

Tim: “Then it sucks.”

(The screen switches and the vote bar starts going up on both sides. Nekrataal far outdistances Dark Hatching, taking the victory.)

Spike:”Two for two. I’m all up in your area like DJ Ran.”

John:”I don’t know what’s scarier…your attempted hip-hop reference, or the fact that we’ve agreed on both cards so far. Agreeing with you makes me feel dirty.”

Spike:”Don’t make me bust a cap.”

(Everyone groans. This is followed by about two seconds of silence.)


(The screen switches to the next poll: Rewind vs. Dismiss)

John:”Hmm…this is interesting.”

Spike:”Interesting? It’s even more obvious than the other two!”

John:”No, not this time. Think about it – with Rewind, you can counter two spells on turn four. Say your opponent is going to play an end of turn Fact or Fiction, right? You can -”

Spike:”Don’t try to debate strategy with me. Dismiss is better than Rewind. Period. You draw a card. That untapping thing is never good.”

John:”No, just listen. You can do some cool stuff, like -”

(Spike waves his arms around wildly.)

Spike (in a monotone, robot voice):”Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”

Tim:”I don’t really like either one of these, but Rewind is better because it lets me do something I normally can’t. Untap my lands? I can draw a card any old time.”

Spike:”What? You get to untap your lands every turn!”

Tim:”Yeah, but there are tons of spells that let you draw a card, and most of them are no fun. This one is probably the same. Rewind is much cooler. I’m voting for it.”

(Spike buries his head in his hands.)

Spike:”This is not happening. This is not happening. This is not happening.”

(John laughs.)

John:”Face it – you’re done like dinner. Tim will get distracted by the flashy untapping mechanic, and I don’t really care about cantrips. This is the type of card I’d like to try sometime… You could counter something and then still cast a card-drawing spell at end of turn. It’s like Dismiss, but better!”

(Spike shakes his head sadly.)

Spike:”You are sh*t.”


Spike:“He is! It sucks against other control decks, because the lands don’t untap until it resolves. Against aggro, it doesn’t get you that extra card.”

Tim:”I like untapping lands.”

Spike (sarcastically):”Good for you.”

(The vote bars start going up. Dismiss and Rewind are neck and neck.)

Spike (fists clenched):”GO, DISMISS!”

Tim and John:”GO, REWIND!”

(In the final seconds of the tally, Rewind outdistances Dismiss. Spike screams in agony and tumbles out of his chair to the floor. Tim and John share a high five.)

Tim and John (high fiving):”Yessss!”

(Spike’s voice drifts up from the floor.)

Spike:”For the love of God, no….”

(John leans over and looks at the floor where Spike is.)

John:”You know, this is a movie theatre… Once you hit the floor here, you may not ever be able to get up.”

(There is silence for a few seconds, followed by some weak scuffling noises.)

Spike:”You’re right, I’m stuck to the floor.”

(Geordie sighs.)

GT:”Join us tomorrow for the next episode of ‘Magic Poll Theatre 3000’. Come on, guys; let’s get him unstuck.”

Geordie Tait

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