The Daily Shot: Work With Me

I don’t gravitate towards games that are”like work.” You can play Magic: The Gathering as a lark and not have a care in the world. It isn’t the games – it’s me. I make my games like work. Do you?

Welcome back to”The Daily Shot,” where, like Vanilla Ice, we always send word to your mother. Time to wrap up the week – all sorts of stuff is going on, so I’ll be touching on all of it. Why not? It’s not like I have any other pressing engagements.


By the time you read this, it will all likely be over, but you should plow through all the event coverage anyhow – you’ll learn a lot. The competitors seem to have a lot of good ideas as to how to utilize the Wishes in Standard. Some recommended reading by Aaron Forsythe is here.

I especially like the Reprocess play – nice to be able to fetch one from the sideboard and just win, amiright?

That Fickle Gamer Gene

Welcome to my new addiction.

Just kidding. I did, however, take a break from playing Magic this week – I ended up playing about forty hours of Diablo II instead. It was fun, but it quickly came to the realization that I’m not a man who can balance hobbies, and games like Magic and Diablo II and Asheron’s Call are hobbies unto themselves.

You can only be really, really good at one hobby at a time, as far as I’m concerned. Even fighting games have their experts – in Korea, you can walk away from a Virtua Fighter 4 tournament with thousands in cash in your pocket. Having two big hobbies is like having two jobs – it’s possible, but not easy. Did Michael Jordan ever make the PGA Tour?

A friend of a friend saw fit to say that I seemed to gravitate towards”games that are more like work.” While I’m not sure about that, I do tend to approach every game the same way. I get hooked on a game, and once I do, I can’t stand to suck at it so I go on the Internet and find every bit of info I can, and go about improving myself. If I stay in the game long enough, I write about it.

That’s the way it was with Asheron’s Call – where I started off as a neophyte, read everything I could, and eventually I knew the ins and outs of every combat calculation, I knew about things like”slidecasting” and”jump-healing” that weren’t even supposed to be in the game. I knew the stats of every item and the way to obtain them. During the last couple of months of my AC career, I wrote a column for the Darktide News Network, an AC PvP website.

Don’t get bored just yet… I won’t talk about Asheron’s Call much longer. The point I’m trying to make is that I tend to go through the same process of learning and improving with every game I play. As such, I had to laugh when I realized I was doing it with Diablo II. I started out playing blind and a few hours later I was reading FAQ documents and item lists and dissertations with recommended skill point dispersions. It’s the gamer in me.

I don’t gravitate towards games that are”like work.” You can play Magic: The Gathering as a lark and not have a care in the world. It isn’t the games – it’s me. I make my games like work, because that’s the way I like it. I probably have a subconscious desire to find work in the gaming industry.

Heck, it’s not even subconscious anymore. Wizards, hire me!

That’s how I approach games. How do you approach games?

Spelling Bee

I noticed a couple of mistakes yesterday in mails sent to me or sent to other people about me, which were then forwarded.

You goofy readers – here is how to spell my name.



Note that this is similar to the spelling used by Enterprise Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge, except that he doesn’t use the last”E.” As you can plainly see, I am not”Gordie,” nor am I”Georgie.”

Now smile and nod, and we’ll continue.

3CC Creature Suggestions

Looks like a forgot a few candidates for the Top 10 3CC creatures of all time. Numerous people were kind enough to correct my oversights by mailing in to suggest their alternatives.

A couple of readers pointed to Nether Spirit, and maybe I should have at least given this guy an honorable mention. The reason I didn’t is because I tend to think of 3CC creatures as creatures that have casting costs that actually matter. The casting cost is important to all the creatures I mentioned in my article. The casting cost of Nether Spirit is pretty irrelevant (it could cost 7BBBB and still fill basically the same job description) and as such, despite it being a tremendous control creature, one more unique and resilient creatures ever printed, it really doesn’t belong.

Speaking of creatures with irrelevant casting costs, by the far the most-mentioned omission was Squee, Goblin Nabob. The thing about Squee is that he might as well he a spell – he’s not really a creature and his casting cost is totally irrelevant. I chose to discount Squee for the purposes of the column, but if I hadn’t decided to do that, he would have been in the Top 10.

Two other cards mentioned were Paladin En-Vec and the green Ancestral, Yavimaya Elder. The Paladin isn’t that good a card, though he certainly put the stops to a large number of Price-style Sligh decks when he was in Standard. He’s had his day in the sun. Yavimaya Elder was great in a metagame filled with Plow Under and Avalanche Riders and the like, and it’s not every day that a green card can give you three-for-one by itself! Quite a unique little critter.

Finally, there’s one I came up with on my own – if I’m going to disclude cards that are technically creatures but act like spells, I should include cards that aren’t creatures but basically act like them. Chimeric Idol – come on down. Can’t be Wrathed or killed by any Sorcery-speed creature removal effect, with a negligible drawback, this is just a great card that’s probably on the cusp of being one of the ten best ever. Not at the power level of the real broken ones, certainly, but getting there.

On Writing

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

When you tune in to”The Daily Shot,” you’re not always going to get a full-fledged, fifty-page masterpiece. Sometimes you’ll have to be content with me yammering on about nothing much in particular. I hope you’ll forgive me. Some of this stuff is stream of consciousness and some of it is planned in advance.

Sometimes I just write about whatever I may be thinking. Sometimes I’ll be an issue boy. Sometimes I’ll have a tournament report or a decklist for you, and sometimes we’ll have a little fun, like with this week’s episode of”CARDS” (filmed live, as it happens!).

This column is the journal of a Magic player, and just like any”Dear Diary”; sometimes you’ll get the odd aimless entry. It comes with the territory of writing every day. Don’t fret – Ferrett can stick the yammering columns under”Community and Issues” and you can avoid them if you want ^_^. Not that there’s anything wrong with”Community and Issues.” I just figure he’ll put them there because StarCity doesn’t have a “Miscellaneous Crap From Some Knob With A Five-A-Week Gig” section.

To sum up – there are going to be a lot of differences between the work of a guy who writes every day and a guy who writes once/week or once/month, and I don’t think you can really compare the two.

Time To Bail

It’s early, I know…but come on – it’s Friday! I have to get out there and play Magic. I know you do too. I’ll be back next week with another episode of Magic Poll Theatre 2000, a report from a PTQ in London, Ontario (if I go, that is) an analysis of the Standard decks at Worlds (probably not critical in the least – after all, what do I know?), and a couple of other columns that shall remain undisclosed.

Keep reading; I’ll keep writing.

Geordie Tait

[email protected]