The Weakest Link

Eight creatures crashed into a stage with nine podiums. A short, aging woman with an acid glare walked down the aisle.

Hunted Wumpus looked around. Moments before, there had been many other creatures milling about the dueling ground known as Regionals. The biggest and baddest dudes from around town had been trash talking just five seconds ago, and now no one remained but the scrubby creatures that rogues played with. Hunted Wumpus, once the jewel of green mages’ eyes, was now accompanied by Staunch Defenders, Rootwater Thief, Balduvian Horde, Delraich, and others like them. The strongest creatures in the environment were gone…


Eight creatures crashed into a stage with nine podiums. Moments ago, they had been preparing to face off to find out which of them was the biggest and baddest. But now, they were in this foreign studio with no idea what was happening.

"Let’s play … The Weakest Link!"

The creatures looked around to find the source of the voice. A short, aging woman with an acid glare walked down the aisle leading to the stage of podiums. When none of the creatures began to play, the woman said, "Come on, you imbecilic lumps of cardboard! Get yourselves to a podium!"

Unable to resist the commanding tone of the woman’s voice, the creatures went to their podiums, one to each. When this was completed, the woman continued. "Well, that took an embarrassingly long time. Blastoderm, I see that you’re not quite so fast without a Fires of Yavimaya nipping at your heels. And Blazing Specter, I thought you had haste!" The creatures hung their heads in shame as the woman insulted them.

"The name of the game, gentlecreatures, is The Weakest Link. Since I’m sure none of you are accustomed to watching NBC during the evenings, I’ll fill you in. You all need to work as a team in order to build up as many mana points as you can by answering questions correctly. However, after each round, you will all vote off the team the one who you believe to be the weakest link. Only one of you will leave with the match points."

"But, my dear lady," Noble Panther interjected, "Might I ask why we’re being subjected to this most ridiculous of acts?"

"Well, I suppose you already did. Or, weren’t you paying attention to your own question? The DCI has hired me out to find out which of you is really the best deck in the field. The DCI has realized that it made a mistake in making such a diverse field, and it wishes to remedy the matter by deciding on one best deck. You all represent the best decks of the current Standard field. From Fires, we have Blastoderm; from Blue-White Control, Blinding Angel. Blue Skies is represented by Troublesome Spirit, and Lin Sivvi is here on behalf of Counter-Rebels. Nether-Go has, surprisingly, put forth Nether Spirit, and, just as creatively, so has NetherHaups. Noble Panther will be playing on behalf of Green-White, and Blazing Specter will make an appearance as the bastion of Machine Head. Let us begin play."

{The creatures, though confused, are bright enough to answer a question when addressed. After the first round, they are asked to vote for the weakest link on the team. The woman reads their votes.}

"Unsurprisingly, Nether Spirit has received eight votes for the weakest link," the woman remarks. "Tell us, Blinding Angel, why did you choose Nether Spirit as the weakest link?"

"Well, he tried to help us, but he’s not too terribly great. He hasn’t gotten us any points – but at least he’s trying!"

"Yes," the woman responded, "and your contribution of zero is greatly appreciated by the team, I’m sure. Blazing Specter, why did you choose Nether Spirit?"

"The &%$@ &%$@er didn’t answer a &%$@ing question right, stupid &%$@#!"

"Unfortunately for you, Mr. Specter, ‘piss off’ wasn’t a suitable answer for any questions, either. Now, to address the true intelligence on the team, I’ll ask Nether Spirit why he voted for himself!"

"Nether!" two Nether Spirits responded. "Nether nether nether nether nether!"

"Point taken… Nether Spirit, you are the weakest link. Good-bye!"

One of the Nether Spirits shrugged and walked offstage. The woman continued, "Now then, for the next round – "

"NETHER!" Nether Spirit shouted as it returned to its podium.


"Seems zombie boy ova ‘ere got a problem wit stayin’ dead," Lin Sivvi said.

"Eloquently put. Nether Spirit, you are the weakest link. GOOD-BYE!" The other Nether Spirit left, only to return to play. "Listen here, you phantasmal nuisance! If you don’t get your illusionary form out of this studio, you’ll find yourself sued faster than companies using the word ‘tap’ in their gaming products!" Again, a Nether Spirit played the disappearing game. The woman pondered for a moment, and said, "Look, Spirits! Offstage! The Pyre Zombie just said that he’s better than you!" Both Nether Spirits ran off of the stage, never to return. The woman nodded, satisfied.

Once offstage, the Spirits were propositioned by a cameraman to remark on the game. Their only response was, "Nether!"

"Now, in Round Two, ten seconds will be subtracted from the clock. We’ll begin with the strongest link from last round, Troublesome Spirit."

{Round Two commences, and once again, votes are cast for the weakest link.}

"With a count of four votes to two, Troublesome Spirit has been voted the weakest link. Blastoderm, why did you choose him?"

"Grr! Every time he answers a question, he makes us lose all of our mana points! It happens every turn! GRAHHH!"

"Troublesome Spirit, you are the weakest link. Good-bye!"

Troublesome Spirit flew offstage, where he said into the camera, "Somebody set us up the questions !! Every time I say, ‘What you say ?" laugh the host only !! Not this show is for great justice . Lin Sivvi has no chance to survive make her time !! Believe I do that will win Noble Panther . CATS wins always ! All your mana are belong to us !!!" Then, he moved his Zig away, maniacally shrieking, "How are you gentlemen !!!"

{After Round Three, votes are once again cast.}

"Well, I applaud you in your Herculean achievement, players. Out of a possible 125,000 mana points… You scored five. Congratulations. However, congratulations are not in order for Lin Sivvi, whose hands have been restrained behind her back because of attempted murder. Quite a bit more feisty with your hands than with your brain, aren’t you?"

"Come ova ‘ere an’ say dat to my face! I show you who da boss is! C’mon. I gotta toten-vec wit your name on it!"

"Charmed, I’m sure. Unfortunately, your barbaric weapon will be escorted out with you, for you have been voted the weakest link. Good-bye!"

As Lin Sivvi walked offstage, Noble Panther whispered, "Good riddance." Lin Sivvi turned to verbally assault the feline, but before she could say anything, Noble Panther gave himself first strike and slashed her cheek.

When Lin Sivvi was put on camera out of the show, she said, "Dirty cat’s gonna get it! I show ‘im ‘oo’s da boss. Udda den dat, dat Blindin’ chic’s gonna go far!"

{Round Four commences, and votes are once again cast.}

"Well, it seems that we have a tie. Noble Panther and Blastoderm seem to think that Blinding Angel needs to go, but she and Blazing Specter are pointing at Blastoderm. Noble Panther, why Blinding Angel?"

"Well, although I find it deplorable, I do believe that Ms. Angel has a personal agenda. She believes that she can control the game with her flying ability and large toughness. She’s allied with the other lofty troublemaker in order to achieve her selfish ends."

"You &%$@ing &%$@#! You think I’d ally with this &%$@&%$@! &%$@! &%$^()%$@&*)@%%$@$*#@&*$@! &%$@!"

"I find it hard to believe that you’re still in the game, Blazing Specter. Your comrades apparently never clean their ears, much to my displeasure. Nevertheless, in the event of a tie, the deciding vote goes to last round’s strongest link, which was Noble Panther. Noble Panther, do you stay with your original vote?"

"I do."

"Blinding Angel, you are the weakest link. Good-bye!"

Blinding Angel offered the following comments offstage, "It really irks me that I got voted off the show. But I so dislike to make others leave. I’d much rather everyone just get along – no fighting!"

{With only three contestants remaining, Round Five finished quickly, and votes were cast.}

"I’m impressed. Out of a possible 125,000 mana points, you earned 370. Which brings your grand total to 618. At least your original momentum hasn’t run out – it hasn’t even started yet!"

"Shut up, &%$@#!" Blazing Specter shouted.

"Well, if it isn’t the annoying buzzing in everyone’s ears. Enjoy speaking up because you won’t be doing much more of it. You are the weakest link. Good-bye!"

{NBC apologizes, but they cannot air the comments Blazing Specter made offstage.}

"Well, we’re down to two contestants: Blastoderm and Noble Panther. The last round is the most nerve-racking and the most important. One of you will walk away with 618 mana points, and one of you will go home with nothing. Which one will it be?"

"I believe I know the answer to that question," Noble Panther interrupted.

"Does the know-it-all prick wish to say something?"

"Indeed, I wish to collect my prize. Apparently, Blastoderm couldn’t stay in the game longer than four rounds. He has faded away."

"I didn’t tell him he was the weakest link! I didn’t even insult him! Curses. Nevertheless, I suppose that, Noble Panther, you are the strongest link. You have won 618 mana points and the title of the Strongest Link in Standard. Congratulations."

"Thank you. I most graciously accept."


Wishful thinking? Possibly. This article was written to give some levity to the grave matter that many make of Regionals. I thought I’d take the event that can make players playtest for hours on end, sucking the fun out of the game, and make some fun out of it. So, it’s not that I think that Blue Skies is better than Nether-Go … just that Green-White is better than anything else. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed. Good luck at Regionals!

Daniel Crane