The Magic Show #70 – Wrapping Up The Invi

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Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re finally ridding ourselves of the Invitational, including my thoughts on the event along with Menendian’s, and an exclusive interview with Devin Low that occurred during Pro Tour Valencia. Let’s go!

Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re finally ridding ourselves of the Invitational, including my thoughts on the event along with Menendian’s, and an exclusive interview with Devin Low that occurred during Pro Tour Valencia. Let’s go!

So we’re back to creating original content, and boy is my mouse tired. Seriously though, this has been an incredibly fun ride these past six weeks or so, gearing up for a Pro Tour, flying to Europe for the first time, playing in the Pro Tour, then playing in the Invitational. What a ride!

I’m gonna mix my reactions with Stephen Menendian in order to save time.

What Does The Invitational Mean To You?

To me, it was an absolute honor. I was incredibly humbled to win the Storyteller vote in the first place, and once I got there it was simply surreal. Talking strategy with Wafo-Tapa. Discussing draft deck choices with Nassif. Going to dinner with Turian, Forsythe, and Rosewater.

It gave me a chance to play with the best and make an impact on Magic culture. I was serious when I said I’m a culture junkie. There simply isn’t anything more culturally rich in Magic than the Invitational. The closest thing to it is the World Championships, but that doesn’t feature a mere 16 players chosen for a variety of reasons.

What it also means to me is that it shows that hard work pays off. As anyone in the writing game can tell you, it’s hard work. Video work is even tougher, but I knew I could make something really special if I really tried hard, and I think I’ve done that. Better yet, I’ve been recognized for it, and that’s important.

I also learned a ton at the Invitational. I mean, you can’t rub shoulders with the best in the world and not come away with something. It’s like in Final Fantasy, when they pit you against a Level 60 Dragon you know you have no shot at defeating, but that you’ll still gain experience from attack. After every loss I heard the Final Fantasy post-combat music, and I relish in my lessons there.

Here’s what Stephen had to say about it in a recent telephone interview. And yes, I know there’s some sort of weird irony that of all the people I didn’t get on tape, it was the guy who I roomed with. Anyway:

“It was a real honor, it was an honor to be asked to participate. To represent the Vintage and Legacy – Eternal communities. But also, it was an honor to represent the United States of America.”

“I never really thought about that until we were there and all of a sudden we were The Americans, you know? It was kinda cool.”

“It didn’t even cross my mind either. Then Aaron Forsythe comes up and says ‘So, this is what American Magic has come to?’ and looks squarely at us.”

Next I asked him about his favorite non-Vintage format of the Invitational:

“I really enjoyed Bring Your Own Standard a lot. The format was so well designed in that you can play with lots of old cards, like Rosewater said, by not requiring everyone to play with all the same cards it makes it really interesting in a way that I don’t think any other format I’ve ever seen does.”

I must agree with the Vintage champ here, Bring Your Own Standard was easily the best format of the bunch, followed closely by Winston Draft. Bring Your Own Standard was even discussed as a possible constructed format for something like PTQs and to that I say Bring It On. You can look at the decks yourself – while Ice Age was the most chosen block, every single block in the history of Magic save Mirrodin was used. That’s all kinds of cool in my opinion, and to begin to strategize on a format like that would definitely be something for your favorite wordsmiths to work on.

So if you haven’t tried Winston draft I urge you to do so, as it was a killer format to play, and as for the Cube Draft, well, let’s just say I’ve had some plans regarding that. Allow me to unveil my new website, cubedrafting.com. This is a place where I list my cube, talk about possible additions to the cube, and link to other cube resources like Tom Lapille’s awesome site.

I’ll be adding more features as time goes on, but for now you can read about what goes into making the cube, how to draft it, and where to find out more information. Feel free to take a look and tell me what you think.

Six Questions With Devin Low

And with no further ado, I wanted to wrap up my entire European experience by bringing you the last of my major content pieces, an interview with Magic Head Developer Devin Low.

Questions asked:

– What do you think about the response to Lorwyn?
– How do you feel about spoilers?
– Is it weird to play formats (i.e. the Future Future League) so far in advance?
– Did you know how good Tarmogoyf was in development?
– Is Tarmogoyf…well, you know…and the importance of Interactivity
– How does one get into design and development?

So that’s it for this week, everybody. I hope you’ve enjoyed the past month of Pro Tour and Invitational coverage, and allow me to thank you once again for that opportunity and the ability to go to Worlds. Yes, that’s right, the Fund Drive has been a resounding success! A HUGE Thank You to everyone who took the time and trouble to give me funds to make it to New York. We’re over the $500 mark now, and that’s good enough to get me there and back.

So until next week, Magic players, when we get back on schedule, this is Evan Erwin, going to the Pro Tour, the Invitational, Worlds, and tapping the cards… so you don’t have to.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Aren’t you glad I stopped now instead of Invitational Vid #37?

Music Credits:

Title — “Out of Line” by The Bravery
Episode Bumper — “Baby Don’t Sweat” by The Cribs
Devin Low Interview — “I Feel It All” by Feist
Post-Interview — “Shh” by Frou Frou