The Magic Show #3 — Culture, Community, Reaction

This week’s edition of The Magic Show – Magic’s only regular video-based article – takes a look at some of the less tangible aspects of our great game: Culture, Community, and Reaction. What makes up the Magic Culture? What importance should we place on the Community? All this, plus a discussion on some of the coming cards from TIme Spiral. There be spoilers here… you have been warned.


[The following is a transcript of the video above, which you really should check out.]

Hello everybody, welcome to The Magic Show. I’m your host, Evan Erwin. This week I want to speak on three things which mean a lot to Magic players like you and I: Culture, Community and Reaction. Three things that can define a player-base. So let’s get started.

First up is Culture. What is the Magic Culture? Is it the stream of articles and the talking heads on their opinions of Top 8 decks? Is it judging articles based on how well or poorly they did in your opinion. Is it about hanging out with friends and playing, or going to tournaments and doing well?

This week we had some interesting developments in the Magic universe. Primarily, our own Ted Knutson was let go by Wizards of the Coast in a rather abrupt announcement.

However, while Mr. Knutson will have no problems filling the premium shoes of our own StarCityGames, Wizards acquired two different writers to help fill the void both he and the departing Anthony Alongi created: Our own Kelley Digges is coming aboard as quote, “copy editor” unquote (whatever that means, exactly), and The Ferrett is taking the place of Anthony Alongi for the Serious Fun column.

I knew something fishy was going on when Ferrett asked on his blog for people to contact him about a casual playgroup. And now we know why.

Anyway, the Community aspect was that while there were a lot of congratulations going around for Kelley and Ferrett, and some speculation on why Ted was leaving, our own Ken Krouner decided that not really enough people dislike him, so he replied to the article that he was glad Ted was let go from Wizards, after which point everybody jumped on him and digitally smacked him upside the head for his overtly negative comment.

Ken, of course, has the right to his opinion, and I have the right to call him an ass, but where does that leave us? What makes a good community member? Was Ken right or wrong in his glee in Ted’s departure? Would it, or should it, matter to the Magic players by and large?

Does anyone actually care about this drama? I’m not sure. But it makes me think.

Reaction is something that is not only gauged for behavior but also from the new cards we saw hurdling our way this week. Let’s take a look at some notable cards, and their reactions:

Wheel of Fate arrived and nobody had any clue of its power level.

“It’s teh broken!” one shouted, heralding the return of Boros weenie action (and remember what I said about White Weenie’s Tier 2 All-Star status last week?).

Another said, “This is jank. This just says, in four turns, Remand me.” Which, by the way, pretty much cements the fact that Remand is perhaps the most ridiculous spell in Standard. Remand makes Suspend look like the last kid picked for dodgeball. You know what I’m talking about.

Meanwhile, Johnnies of the world had a simultaneous orgasm when they saw Paradox Haze, the first ever true Enchant Player aura (do note that Psychic Possession doesn’t say Enchant Player, it says Enchant Opponent).

Anthony Alongi, in his penultimate MagictheGathering.com article, gave us the yawn-invoking Evangelize, which features buyback of approximately one billion White mana. I’m sure it’s awesome when you do reach that epic billion mark, but until then it will stay strictly casual, per his usual theme.

Magus of the Disk assured that Necropotence would have a built in reset button when and if it ever returned, according to Mr. Flores. He also explained how the Disk and its subsequent power took about five years to finally be understood back in the olden days of Standard, when it was called Type 2, and when tapped creatures dealt no combat damage. Yes, really. Those were the days in which Homedicapped actually meant something.

Mr. Disk is also joined by Mr. Jar and Mr. Mirror, and on Friday we found out Magus of the Scroll is the illegitimate love-child of Dan Paskins. Between the choice of Magus and Grim Lavamancer, Extended Red mages may never actually recover from Time Spiral.

The final Magus is he of the Candelabra, untapping lands with wild abandon. Not that he would be good in Urzatron or anything, but, I suspect the price of Breeding Pools may actually triple when they realize how absurd this Magus really is. I must admit, the final two Magus’s are extremely awesome, bypassing some sort of stellar awesomeness limit that was not previously known. Expect them to be hot, hot stuff at the prerelease.

Speaking of, I have seen nothing that comes close to the hotness of Ancestral Vision, a card which will be warming the pockets of dealers for weeks, until it either takes off or people realize you wait five turns to draw three cards. But with Clockspinning, that’s really just three and a half turns. Or something.

All I know is that it’s ridiculous, and it will be abused. Is it me, or did the Izzet Guildmage just become really, really good? “I likes copying me some of dem dare free spells!”

Ancestral also carries along the fine tradition of name recognition in the Magic Universe. Anything with the words Lotus, Ancestral, Disk, Time, Library, Mox or Djinn gets us all hot under the collar about how broken the old spells used to be. We all warmly remember how powerful those spells are and how fun those must’ve been…and we’re also silently pleased that we didn’t have to actually play Standard when Black Lotus first hit the scene, when Ivory Tower was the mad tech and when Serra Angel actually killed someone in a tournament.

Anyway, that’s all I have for this week. Stay tuned because next week I’ll undoubtedly have something special for the Time Spiral prerelease. Real player reactions, live video, you never know what could happen up in here.

Until then, you’ve been an awesome audience. Thanks for watching.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Written while recovering from surgery. That’s just how I roll.