The Magic Show #71 – Back To Business

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Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week’s show is just too scatterbrained to stay on one topic. I haven’t ranted about anything in weeks, and now it’s time to dish. On this week’s episode we go over Standard, Grand Prix: Daytona, the best articles from the past few weeks, the Worlds Championships, an interview with Worth Wollpert (Brand Manager of Magic Digital), and more! Let’s go!

Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week’s show is just too scatterbrained to stay on one topic. I haven’t ranted about anything in weeks, and now it’s time to dish. On this week’s episode we go over Standard, Grand Prix: Daytona, the best articles from the past few weeks, the Worlds Championships, an interview with Worth Wollpert (Brand Manager of Magic Digital), and more! Let’s go!

Standardly Standard

In this week’s first segment we take a look at Standard. Ah yes, good ol’ Standard. How have you been? I’ve been so focused on Extended and wacky Invitational formats that I returned to the ‘States being flooded by new decks.

Now, I know I’m not the only one who didn’t really believe Elves was a winning deck, that it was merely a fluke in the StarCityGames $1,000 Open radar. But no, it’s here and it’s fearsome. I pity the fool who doesn’t respect eight walking, talking Glorious Anthems in one deck.

However, easily the most interesting deck was Kenny Mayer’s Makeshift Command deck. This abuses one of the coolest cards from Lorwyn, Makeshift Mannequin, and a host of tournament-winning synergies such as playing cards that draw other cards (Mulldrifter), cards that win Extended tournaments (Venser, Shaper Savant), the new set’s Remand (Shriekmaw), and cards that are Generally Scary And Tend To Win Games (Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir). Too cool!

However, such a deck isn’t unstoppable. Thanks to our Tier 2 metagame, no deck is “truly” dominating, which allows such awesome decks like Guillaume Wafo-Tapa Mono Blue Control, a.k.a. “Sonic Boom.” It kills with Guile! I mean, do you have any idea how many times I got pwned by high schoolers abusing Guile back in the day in the original Street Fighter 2? It was absurd!

Finally, I think I’ve talked myself to death of Tarmogoyf. Yes, yes, he’s the best creature since blah blah blah. I’ve officially cornered the market on chase rares to gush about. Of course, that doesn’t stop the naysayers from telling us that Cashseize and Tarmogoyf are the end of Magic, but whatever. Chase rares are chase for a reason. They’re Just Better Cards. The expense of playing Magic is well known, quitcha b*tchin. Besides, Morningtide is just around the corner!

Grand Prix: Daytona

So I’ve missed a few Grands Prix but I have to give a few shoutouts to those who did well. First to my boy Tillman Bragg, one hell of a Magic player and nice to see at the top of the standings where he belongs. He whipped me something awful in a recent Lorwyn Grand Prix Trial only to drop before Top 8 to secure his kick ass rating and byes in Daytona. I’m glad they served him well.

Otherwise we have the always-awesome Zac Hill rocking 10th place, P to the Chapin enjoying a healthy 34th position, and our own Kenji “Hey hey you you” Tsumura enjoying a healthy $300 for 23rd place.

It’s always nice to see the best drafting the latest set, and this one was no different. The winner did the very Mike Hron-like maneuver of drafting the color everyone was avoiding — Green — and coupled with the oft-hated White he blazed straight to victory on the back of dual Oblivion Rings and three – count ‘em, three – Cloudcrown Oak. Now that’s what I call playing with Treefolk power.

Good Reads

Man, you miss a few weeks of Magic and suddenly there’s good reads all around. Let’s highlight a few:

Richard Feldman — One Game

Unbelievably good. Another Feldman classic that will make you better at Magic. Call me a fanboy, but it’s just that good. Here’s a quote from the beginning of the article:

“At GP: Columbus I was 8-0-1 coming into Day 2 and paired against Paul Cheon. I knew who he was, and he knew who I was, and we started off with some light banter before shuffling up, getting our game faces on, and starting to battle. As we went through our sideboarding motions after game 1, Paul cocked his head to the side and wondered aloud, “What’s the creature type on Deranged Hermit? Elf, right?” He called a judge over to verify this, then continued sideboarding. Now expecting Engineered Plague, I added in my enchantment removal and shuffled up for game 2.

Paul Cheon did not even play Engineered Plague at that tournament.”

Gotta love it folks. Classic Feldman.

Lastly on the premium side of things, allow me to pimp the one and only Mike Flores, a guy who has given me plenty to make fun of over the past year and yet lands another ass-kicker on us while I’m busying showing you Kenji all drunkified:

Mike Flores — How to Win a PTQ

Here’s a choice quote:

“To the best of my experience, you have Have HAVE to approach the game with the mentality that it is your divine right to win the tournament if it is your goal to win the tournament. I’ve written before about mercy. Mercy is doom to the serious tournament player.”

If you want to learn more about mercy, bringing the best deck, how the best win PTQs, then this is your article. Just awesome stuff.

On the free side, here’s one you shouldn’t have missed:

Inside SCG — The Road Warrior / The Real Deal, by Ben Bleiweiss and Chris Woltereck

You’d best thank your lucky stars that Ben Bleiweiss is around, because he brings some of the freshest, most insightful writing in the game. This time he tackles two incredibly interesting subjects: First, how Future Sight is the best set in ten years to open just for the singles.

But the most interesting revelation came when he highlighted a recent Gamespy interview with Worth Wollpert, former Pro and current Brand Manager of Magic Digital. This means he’s in charge of Magic Online, and he said…

… well, you know. I do have this, ah, show. How about I just give Worth a call and ask him about this myself?


Twelve Questions With Worth Wollpert


1. Can you describe your role in Wizards of the Coast to those who may be unfamiliar?

2. Can you tell me how Master’s Edition has been received?

3. Any news you could share on Master’s Edition 2?

4. Will the hard-and-fast rule of only reissuing cards printed before Mirage still be in effect?

5. Does this mean that Mercadian Masques and Urza’s block will one day be released on Magic Online?

6. I wanted to reference the Gamespy interview you did a few months ago that was quoted recently in Ben Bleiweiss article. You said, quote, “Without getting into specific numbers, North American MTG versus Magic Online, the online game is somewhere between 30% to 50% of the total Magic business.” You said this was taken out of context. Could you clarify that?

7. During the Lorwyn Release Events, drafting was shut down during North American daylight hours and replays were disabled. Will this become a common occurrence to assist in server load until the new version arrives?

8. How is Version 3 coming along? I noticed you updated the Magic Online v3 Blog last Tuesday with lots of project statuses that included the words “Final” and “Complete.” May we be actually using Version 3 before 2008 is over?

10. It was said previously that some features, such as game avatars, would be left for future updates in order to get the new version finished. What features are must-haves for you, that you won’t launch the game without?

11. How important do you consider bots to be in the Magic Online economy, and how important is it to have bots working at the launch of version 3?

12. Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Magic community before we go?

I want to thank Worth for his time this week, and hope that we’ve all learned a little something about Magic Online’s future. I know I feel a lot more positive regarding what may or may not be down the line, and hell, can you imagine Magic Online actually hitting something like 10,000 people at once? What is commonplace for Massive Multiplayer is a wet dream to the average MTGO guy. We’ll see what happens with this in the future.

So that’s another show folks. I’d like to thank you for watching and implore that anyone going to Worlds who would have an extra spot in the floor for a Magic geek, please get in contact with me. Brother needs a place to stay!

So until next time Magic players, when we do this all over again, 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

Music Credits:
Title — “Take It To Fantastic” by Cannonball Jane
Episode Bumper — “Guns of Navarone” by Maritime
GP Daytona — “If Only” by KT Tunstall
Good Reads — “Beanbag Chair” by Yo La Tengo