The Worlds (Attempted) Shortest Magic Article

This is the world’s shortest Magic article. (Barring Nate Clark’s two-character Worlds ’98 report submitted to the Dojo.) (The characters were " : " and " ( ".) (I gather he didn’t do too well.) This is going to be the world’s second shortest article, because I have an end-of-year exhibition for my chosen study…

This is the world’s shortest Magic article.

(Barring Nate Clark’s two-character Worlds ’98 report submitted to the Dojo.)

(The characters were " : " and " ( ".)

(I gather he didn’t do too well.)

This is going to be the world’s second shortest article, because I have an end-of-year exhibition for my chosen study topic in less than two weeks, and my procrastination…

(Which to you, my closest friends, that means playing with my Magical cards.)

…Has caught up with me.

So I’m going to keep this under a thousand words.

(Many of you of course, are now laughing at the futility of my claim of brevity.)

Right, a summary of the things I have done in the last three weeks:

(And therefore, haven’t done for the exhibition.)

I played in two Friday Night Magic IPA drafts, going 3-1 in both.

(And coming away with naught to show for it.)

I probably should have gone 4-0 in both.

(And come away with two foil Quirion Rangers.)

In the first Friday Night Magical, my leading pick was an Exclude, which is not bad. My second pick was another Exclude, and I hear two are quite good. My third pick was quite complimentary to my first two, it was a third Exclude.

(I never said this was a pro caliber draft, even though Latin-American champ and Magic Invitationalist Scott Richards was on the opposite side of the table from me.)

(No, I wasn’t drafting in Uruguay. Scott spends half his time there and the rest here.)

Not to be outdone by my first three Invasion picks…

(Exclude, for those of you with very short memories.)

(By the way, you guys owe me twenty bucks each.)

(Not that I often take advantage of people’s inability to remember that they owe me cash…)

…I opened a Magma Burst in my Planeshift pack. I then accompanied that with a second pick Magma Burst. I joked with an innocent bystander…

(Teammate Martin Stevenson, who is 16 years of age, so I assume therefore that he is innocent, so to speak.)

…That it would be quite funny if I pulled off a second first-pick quality treble.

(Which would be three Magma Bursts to go with my three Excludes.)

Of course, five seconds later we agreed it was, in fact, quite funny, yes.

(And seriously good times for my deck.)

Sure enough, word got around and every man/woman and their dog/chosen-pet were scared of my forty cards oh-so-random.

(No, they actually were. I saw a small terrier trying to hide under a discarded ice cream cone at the mere thought of being in the vicinity of my deck ‘o beatingness.)

(Honest – it was.)

But, due to playing somewhat far too cautiously…

(That makes sense because I say it does.)

… I managed to lose to Scott "Latin-American-tingalings" Richards in the last round.

(My Bruce is clearly in check, though, he outplayed me fair and/or square. No blaming it on manascrew or bad draws for me.)

(Actually, I have a close friend called Bruce, you know.)

(And there’s a new song playing on our local radio stations called "Who Would Call A Kid Bruce Anyway, (The Poor Kid Would Have To Hang His Head In Shame)" too.)

(That Rizzo guy, he’s a man with his finger on the pulse.)

(And another in the air most of the time, it seems…)

Next came the Prerelease. I’m all set to judge all three flights when the TO says,

"You may as well play in the first one."

Ah poo. I wish I’d spent more time looking at the spoiler now.

I start out 4-0.


But then I lose the next two to teammates, Digby and Giles, who both go on to become 1st and 2nd place.

(Not as healthy, but not worryingly unhealthy or anything.)

A memorable play…

(Only memorable because I then went on to win that match, but what did you expect? Memorable because I made my cards levitate two inches above the table and declared they all had flying – yes, even the lands? Sheesh, sometimes you people expect too much of me, you really do.)

…My opponent, the erstwhile Noel Garside…

(Before the round began, I headed for my table knowing whom my opponent was. I looked up and saw Noel still queuing to see the pairings, so I called out his name.)




("No-well, no-well.")

(I began to sing.)

(Sad I know.)

(But sadder still was the fact that Noel joined in and even continued to sing when I stopped, for he knew more than just the words "Noel, noel".)

(Hmmm. Pity poor Noel.)

…Was beating me down with a Savage Firecat, beating me down to 5 even.

I knew I was toast next turn.

(Overcooked toast, badly buttered too.)

When all of a sudden, Noel taps five mana and tries to play Liquid Fire on my Barbarian Lunatic.

"Zero to it, five to you." He says.

I think for about two seconds, maybe more, the exact number of seconds probably isn’t important.

"I’ll sac my Lunatic to do two to your Firecat oh-so Savage."

(Quite glad at this point that Noel hadn’t chosen to Liquid Fire my Millikin instead.)

"You still take five."

"Oh no I don’t."

"Oh yes you do."

(Calm down, Charlie Brown.)

"No y…"


(Who yells judge out loud like that at a prerelease?)

(Oh yeah – Noel does.)

Floor judge Scott Richards comes over to settle the score.

(You see, he was why I was playing in the first flight. Mark Rosewater had kindly informed him that he would personally remove Scott’s legs in South Africa if he used his prior knowledge of the set to take advantage of the first flight at any given prerelease.)

(The Sideboard had sent all invitees a copy of the spoiler and a detailed diagram of how each person’s legs were to be removed in this manner, if they failed to comply with the law of the Rosewater.)

(Speaking of The Sideboard, Managing Editor Monty Ashley sent me an email and immediately I thought "talent scout!" but I was wrong. Mr. Ashley was a touch concerned about something I wrote in my last article entitled, "Pardon Me While I Remove My Pants: Cards To Look For At The Prerelease", which can be found here.)

(But I’ve seen The Ferrett attempts at linking; he once tried to link one of Rizzo’s articles to one of mine and missed like it was archery practice on the high seas. So here is the URL for you all: http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/expandsub.php?Article=1967)

(I was not in any way, shape, form or in any other way possible, trying to convince you to cheat your opponents out of games. Mr Ashley is right, you will get a game/match loss if you are caught trying, because it’s just plain unsportsmanlike. I know for a fact that a judge can’t see every little thing that goes on, so you need to be on the look out too. Don’t get caught by unscrupulous players such as (edited) and (edited) Mc(edited). You have been warned.)

(That Mr. Ashley is a nice guy, once you’re done reading the articles here, like twice, and then have bought your share of singles from Pete Halfling or whatever his name is, then buy some more cards from Pete, and then head over to Monty Ashley’s little website, www.sideboard.com and check it out. Not bad for a first try.)

(Then come back and buy more cards from Pete.)

(You know Monty, it’s not too late to head out talent scouting, if you know what I mean. Wink wink, nudge nudge, harass harass, stalk stalk, I know where you live, fool!)


(Ah yes.)

Scott tells Noel that he has in fact, failed to kill me, and I have succeeded in killing his not-so-Savage Firecat.

Next turn, I play my seventh land and a Roar of the Wurm, etc…

(Hmmm. Pity poor Noel some more.)

One week later, it’s FNM again and this time my draft deck is still silly. Something along the lines of 1 Exclude, 2 Magma Burst, 2 Rushing River and 2 Jilt (with kicker). Oh, and some other cards but who knows. I assume some of them had legs but I can’t be sure.

Anyhoo, sure enough I’m undefeated in the first three rounds, but I lose in the final round to Pete of "beat Pete" fame.

(Not Pete Halfleg of StarCity fame.)

Pete whines throughout the match that I had an easy draft pod and he had all the good players in his. He manages to beat me 2-1 by sideboarding in his three Probes, so he could both strip my hand and find his Crosis.

(Yes Pete, you had the difficult pod…)

(Don’t ask why the Probes weren’t in his main. If I remember correctly, when prompted he just shrugged.)

To redeem myself, I played some solid Magical cards during a couple of Odyssey practice drafts around at Scott’s place.

In the first, I drafted Black/Blue featuring a Ghastly Demise and a Scrivener. Oh, and an Æther Burst. Which is obviously isn’t very good on its own.

(Well, it is. It’s cheap bounce.)

But in the first round, I played Martin Brown-Santirso, who very helpfully I might add, played his Æther Burst first each game.

"Why thank you my good man, I think I’ll go into Scrivener/Æther Burst recursion mode now, if you don’t mind…"

I then beat Allan Barclay by watching him not draw his lands, and then in the second game, making up for it by drawing all of them. And then beat up Scott in the finals by some miracle, which I obviously can’t remember, because I would have told you how if I had.

(And you thought substance was the key to good writing…)

(What do you mean it is?)


We draft again, and this time I draft a Blue/Green deck featuring an Overrun and not featuring the five Wild Mongrels Martin picked up on the opposite side of the table from me.

(Pah! Again, with bells on.)


(That was the bells.)

At least this time we only have time to play one round, and once again I beat Scott handily.

(Well, actually, 2-1 in a close match. But I wanted so badly to write the word”handily”…)

When we’d finished, we found Martin and his brother Julian still playing away. Apparently Martin had decided to not just win with his Wild Mongrels – which is odd, really, but it was his choice in the end I guess.

It’s a good thing we did all this practice, because Scott then went 3-0 in the Rotisserie Draft at the Invitational. We perhaps could have practiced 5 Color a bit more, however, as he went 1-2 in that. Still, he was one game off the finals and not many of us can say that.

Ah <insert random bad word here>.

(Actually, insert rather a few.)

When I started writing this, it was, in fact just under two weeks to my exhibition. But of course, it is now…

(Quick mental calculations…)

(Add four, carry the one, make up a few random numbers…)

…Only seven days away, and I have to have my work in front of the tutors for their approval in three days.

This is clearly not a good thing…

Ah well, that can’t be helped. I’d better go and get started.

(This is not far from the truth.)

(But at least far enough that I’m not totally screwed.)

(Just partially.)

(But I can cope…)

I’ll see you all in just over a week.


Be careful out there.








(Damn! 1,952 words! I’m so bad at this…)