The Magic Show #101 – This Week in Magic

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Friday, June 20th – Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to be talking about what’s so Mythic about a rare, what in the world Wizards of the Coast are doing to our beloved prereleases, take a look at Lorwyn Block Constructed, and what Richie Proffitt’s amazing Memorial Tournament has in store. Let’s go!

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to be talking about what’s so Mythic about a rare, what in the world Wizards of the Coast are doing to our beloved prereleases, take a look at Lorwyn Block Constructed, and what Richie Proffitt amazing Memorial Tournament has in store. Let’s go!

Mythic Rares

Mythic rares are up first, and man, what a ridiculous reaction all over the Magic world. Once again, for what I believe is the twelfth time now, Magic is dead or dying or has died or will die when Shards of Alara comes out. I’ve not figured it out quite yet.

As Patrick Chapin noted last week, this is nothing to worry about. The smaller set size still hasn’t sunk in yet, and all rarities are in contrast to their set size at the time. While I’m sure we’ll have a $50 Mythic Rare before too long, remember that we have $50 rares today, in the form of Mutavault and Tarmogoyf. If we can live with em now, I’m sure we can live with this later.

While Mythic sounds a little ridiculous, remember this is just a small concession to what they could’ve added to the rarity divide. Allow me to jog your memory with Yu-Gi-Oh’s current rarity levels. One of these levels is made up. See if you can guess which one:

Super Rare
Ultra Rare
Ultra Mega Rare
Ultimate Rare
Secret Rare
Ghost Rare
Parallel Rare
Gold Rare

Figured it out yet? Yes, unfortunately there is no such thing as ‘Ultra Mega Rare’ in Yu-Gi-Oh yet. That is, yet. That means that there really are “Secret” rares, “Ghost” and “Parallel” rares.
Coming soon: Gangsta Rares. They keep it real, from the streets, yo.

Now with this laundry list of ridiculous rarities, you have to ask yourself: Is Mythic the new Rare, or is Rare the new Super Uncommon? Oh the distinctions.

Prerelease Changes

This past Wednesday MagicTheGathering.com announced a huge change to how Prereleases will be dealt with. This change includes moving Prereleases to just a week before the set hits, where it had previously been two weeks, and also provides Prerelease materials to any store that can run FNM, not just select Tournament Organizers in select venues across the country.

Eventide will be the last of the “big Prereleases” as I suppose they’ll be referred to, which is both a good and bad things, as most changes are.

First, Prereleases will be much more accessible this way. There’s no doubt about it, many players will be rejoicing at the availability of the new set in their local store. This strengthens Wizards of the Coast’s new player initiative, making them travel less to get the same event. It also bolsters local shops who support Magic week in and week out. No argument there.

However, this change does take a lot away from existing Prerelease in terms of both hype and what I feel may be attendance as well. Let’s face it: When you can play the set a week early at your local shop, it’s not quite as cool as road tripping it to the big event that features the cards two weeks early. Two weeks versus one week though… man that’s tough… that’s like Scarlett Johanson versus Jennifer Garner. While Jennifer is cute and all, the hotness is what counts. And two weeks early is definitely more appealing. Er. Yeah.

Rumor Mill junkies the world over have been gnashing their teeth at this announcement, but my guess is that we’ll still get the same early information around the same time, and since they are distributing product to a much higher number of locations, it won’t take as long to see the entire set before the first Prerelease sealed deck is cracked.

So for this one I’ll give the Rumor Mills 1, Wizards of the Coast 0.

Lorwyn Block Party

So Lorwyn block is here and the decks are just as diverse as ever… well, okay, not that diverse, but they’re here and they give us our metagame. Are you ready for the Rock, Paper, Scissors?

Rock is Faeries. Faeries are stupidly good in block constructed, but less than Standard as they are hated out at an even higher rate.
Paper is Kithkin. This deck just demolishes Faeries because it simply deals so much damage and lays so many threats so quickly. The latest innovation for this deck is using Forge[/author]-Tender”]Burrenton [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]-Tender instead of Goldmeadow Harrier in order to beat Quick N’ Toast or Burnt Toast or Buttered Toast or Smothered, Covered, and Buttered Toast with a Side of Grits, coming soon to a PT near you.
It also runs Three Dudes (aka Spectral Procession), which Aaron Forsythe quickly pointed out after the first few PTQs. Yes, I was unduly harsh on it, but my point remains the same: In the mono-colored hybrid cycle, three dudes is not very exciting. At least the blue one sucks too, and that’s something to consider.

Anyway, this change allows it to beat what I consider Scissors, also known as the Elemental deck. Elementals include anything Toast-like and also covers stuff like Smokebraider.dec and Shaman.dec. Essentially these decks use Firespout to win against Kithkin and hopefully destroy a few Bitterblossom tokens, while at the same time running spells like Mind Spring, Horde of Notions, and Commands of all flavors… yes, even the Red one.

All is not lost however, as Merfolk just took home the blue envelope in Nebraska while a Black/Green/Blue Elf deck rocked Columbus, Ohio for the prize. I’m not sure where they fit in our little diagram, maybe they can be Scissors-Rock or Rock-Paper. Yeah…Rock Paper. That sounds awesome.

As I do plan on actually participating in these PTQs coming up, I’ll be sure to let you know my flavor of the week. I can guarantee you that I won’t be picking anything Quick, Buttered, or Toasted, as those decks require this stuff called ‘practice’, which, for a guy who adores the Red and White Weenie decks in all forms, generally goes without.

Richie’s Tournament Blowout

Oh. My. God. Have you seen the most recent prize update for Richie Proffitt Memorial Tournament? It is ridiculous! And I mean that in the most positive way.

It began with Pete offering a Black Lotus and myself offering my prized DCI Judge Demonic Tutor. Soon it blossomed into Wizards providing a full set of every Standard expansion, which then turned into Extended Art Bramblewood Paragons for everybody, followed by a Foil Extended Art Mutavault for those who make the Top 8! Wow! Now that’s what I call hot sex fire right there.

Let’s take a quick look at the current prizes listed for the tournament. If you can’t believe it’s this long, just wait until after Grand Prix: Indianapolis this weekend and check again.

1. Unlimited Black Lotus (HP condition) — donated by StarCityGames.com
2. Judge Foil Demonic Tutor — donated by Evan Erwin
3. complete set of 10th Edition — donated by Wizards of the Coast
4. complete set of Coldsnap — donated by Wizards of the Coast
5. complete set of Time Spiral — donated by Wizards of the Coast
6. complete set of Planar Chaos — donated by Wizards of the Coast
7. complete set of Future Sight — donated by Wizards of the Coast
8. complete set of Lorwyn — donated by Wizards of the Coast
9. complete set of Morningtide — donated by Wizards of the Coast

10. complete set of Shadowmoor — donated by Wizards of the Coast
11. Pro Tour I Collector Set (used, but complete) — donated by Ben Bleiweiss
12. Shadowmoor booster box #1 – donated by Christopher Buck
13 Shadowmoor booster box #2 – donated by Christopher Buck
14. Limited Edition Hypnotic Specter framed lithograph – donated by Pete Hoefling
15. Incinerate (Textless Player Rewards) x 4 – donated by Ashok Chitturi
16. Drawn Together x 4 – donated by Ashok Chitturi
17. Mogg Fanatic (Gateway FOIL) x 4 – donated by Ashok Chitturi
18. FOIL Reveillark – donated by Joshua Claytor
19. FOIL Earwig Squad – donated by Joshua Claytor
20. FOIL Countryside Crusher – donated by Joshua Claytor
21. JUDGE FOIL Ravenous Baloth – donated by Joshua Claytor
22. FOIL Damnation – donated by David Tuell
23. Shadowmoor booster box – donated by Travis Tomblin
24. Revised Tropical Island – donated by Jason Brooks
25. Life Spinner x 2 – donated by Chester E. Hendrix
26. Autographed REBECCA GUAY angel token (only 9 ever made!) – donated by Chester E. Hendrix
27. Altered Helldozer – donated by Chester E. Hendrix
28. Lorwyn booster box – donated by Samuel Vu
29. WOW! WotC has offered to send us eight (yes, 8!) FOIL Extended Art Mutavaults and a substantial quantity of the extended art Bramblewood Paragons. The entire T8 will now be receiving a FOIL extended art Mutavault and everyone who enters will receive an extended art Bramblewood Paragon (while supplies last)
30. Champions of Kamigawa Prerelease banner – donated by James “Daddy Jim” Bailey Sr. and James Bailey Jr.
31. Betrayers of Kamigawa Prerelease banner – donated by James “Daddy Jim” Bailey Sr. and James Bailey Jr.
32. Unglued complete set – donated by James “Daddy Jim” Bailey Sr. and James Bailey Jr.
33. Morningtide Fat Pack – donated by Hypermind (Burlington, NC)
34. Rook Steel Storage Carry Case – donated by Hypermind (Burlington, NC)
35. Magus of the Future Ultra Pro Sleeves – donated by Hypermind (Burlington, NC)
36. Lightning Bolt x 4 (Revised) — donated by Bryan Newton
37. Kird Ape x 4 (Revised) — donated by Bryan Newton
38. Hypnotic Specter x 3 (2 Revised, 1 4th Edition) — donated by Bryan Newton
39. Bad Moon x 1 (Timeshifted) — donated by Bryan Newton
40. Living End x 4 (including 1 foil & 1 foreign) — donated by Ken Du
41. Force of Savagery (autographed by artist Dan Scott) — donated by Ken Du
42. FOIL Vesuva – donated by Eddie Davenport
43. FOIL Dolmen Gate – donated by Eddie Davenport
44. Mana Vault (4th Edition, autographed by artist Mark Tedin) – donated by Eddie Davenport
45. Order of Nectars x 2, Knollspine Invocation, & Mass Calcify — donated by 10 year old Tyler Phelps
46. 24 Morningtide booster packs — donated by Chris & Kat Ingersoll
47. Extended Art Tidings x 4 – donated by Chris & Kat Ingersoll
48. Extended Art Hinder x 4 – donated by Chris & Kat Ingersoll
49. Extended Art Disenchant x 4 – donated by Chris & Kat Ingersoll
50. Extended Art Mana Tithe x 4 – donated by Chris & Kat Ingersoll
51. Extended Art Harmonize x 4 – donated by Chris & Kat Ingersoll
52. FNM FOIL Pendelhaven x 3 – donated by Lawrence Creech
53. FNM FOIL Tendrils of Agony x 2 – donated by Lawrence Creech
54. Onslaught Prerelease FOIL Silent Specter — donated by Brian Spencer
55. Urza’s Legacy Prerelease FOIL Beast of Burden — donated by Brian Spencer
56. Mercadian Masques Prerelease FOIL Overtaker — donated by Brian Spencer
57. Torment Prerelease FOIL LaQuatus’s Champion — donated by Brian Spencer
58. Apocalypse Prerelease FOIL Fungal Shambler — donated by Brian Spencer
59. Scourge FOIL Soul Channeler — donated by Brian Spencer
60. Odyssey Prerelease FOIL Stone Tongue Basilisk — donated by Brian Spencer
61. Shadowmoor Prerelease FOIL Demigod of Revenge — donated by Brian Spencer
62. Urza’s Destiny Prerelease FOIL False Prophet — donated by Brian Spencer
63. Promotional FOIL Stroke of Genius — donated by Brian Spencer
64. Betrayers of Kamigawa Release FOIL Budoka Pupil — donated by Brian Spencer
65. foreign BB Capsize — donated by Brian Spencer
66. Exodus Prerelease Monstrous Hounds — donated by Brian Spencer
67. FOIL Mistblind Clique — donated by Kenny Mayer
68. FOIL foreign Gifts Ungiven — donated by Kenny Mayer
69. Burning Wish (autographed by Scott M. Fischer) — donated by Kenny Mayer
70. FOIL Extended Art Damnation (#1) — donated by Kenny Mayer
71. FOIL Extended Art Damnation (#2) — donated by Kenny Mayer
72. FOIL Extended Art Wrath of God — donated by Kenny Mayer
73. FOIL Lotus Bloom — donated by Kenny Mayer
74. Foreign BB Darksteel Colossus — donated by Kenny Mayer
75. Foreign BB Swords to Plowshares — donated by Kenny Mayer
76. FOIL Oversoul of Dusk — donated by Kenny Mayer

Wow… just… wow. This is nuts. By the day we’re getting Moxes, boxes, tons of foil or hard to find rares, and more being donated all in the name of support and love for our boy Richie. And this is even better than I had hoped.

Matter of fact, this is such a huge outpouring of love and support, what about the idea of holding a yearly tournament? Richie Proffitt ultimately lost his life due to a fight with Diabetes. Diabetes kills millions each year and while this year the funds we raise are going directly to Richie’s family, what if next year we raised money for the American Diabetes Association?

This would give Magic something akin to Child’s Play, the awesome yearly Christmas project run by the guys at Penny Arcade. While we certainly can’t match their scale, I believe we can definitely show the world that Magic players are not all math nerds who only worry about the next foil Mythic rare. Magic is a game of friends, good times, and fantastic experiences, and I try to show that every week. To allow us to do some good with our fun, that sounds like a win-win situation to me.

For all of those in favor, your voices are welcome in the forums and feedback of this episode.

The question now becomes: What to play? With Pro Tour: Hollywood and Regionals defining the format, it’s pretty obvious to me that you simply need to pick a deck and playtest the hell out of it. If you like the rock, play the rock. If you like Merfolk, study the lists and figure out how to win most efficiently. If you’ve succumbed to the dark side, feel free to pick up Faeries. Don’t worry – your red lightsaber will arrive in the mail just before the tournament.

For those who like the wild and wooly get an eyeful of the Zur the Enchanter deck, and for those who like living dangerously can check out Adrian Sullivan absolutely kick-ass red deck that sports a couple of Orcish Librarian, or as I like to call him, the little Divining Top That Could. Remember: Some ‘bad’ cards, like Browbeat and Orcish Librarian, need context and results to stop being ‘bad’. The next time you scoff at a card choice from your opponent, remember that bad cards become good by doing what you need them to do in the deck, not in a vacuum.

Next week I’ll be in sunny Las Vegas due to obligations to my day job. This is also the reason I won’t be attending Grand Prix: Indianapolis, which is definitely unfortunate but I’m sure good times will be had by all regardless. I wish you good luck with those wild and crazy Shadowmoor Sealed decks, and to the fortunate few who get to play Day 2 with its drafting madness. Be sure to think of me when you crack that foil Twilight Shepherd, and be sure to think of Gabriel Nassif when you crack two.

Until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin, tapping the cards… so you don’t have to.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Written while wondering what people think of the extra tidbits and the tournament idea