Vote Mike Flores for the Invitational!

This week, Wizards of the Coast are holding their Resident Genius voting ballot for the 2006 Magic Invitational tournament. On the shortlist: one Mike Flores.

Each year, Wizards of the Coast hold an Invitational tournament. An exclusive trip to a far-flung foreign locale, to sling spells with the great and good of the game.

You may have heard of it.

The prize, aside from prestige, is a grand one. Each invitee submits an idea for a workable Magic card, and the winner of the tournament pushes their idea through development and into print. Adorned with their ugly mug, no less.

Thus, Darwin Kastle brought us Avalanche Riders.
Jens Thoren became Solemn Simulacrum.
John Finkel spawned the Shadowmage Infiltrator.
Chris Pikula made the Meddling Mage

… and so on.

I have a few recurring Magic dreams. The first sees me entering a small, musty games store, neglected and run-down, where I find a case of Beta cards in an overlooked cupboard, and I purchase them for peanuts. The second I’ll keep to myself, thank you very much. That’s between me and Akroma. The third dream sees me winning the Invitational, head held high, proudly displaying my Invitational card: a Red/Blue Split card called Slap/Tickle.

Sadly, to qualify for the Invitational, you need skillz. Mad, and (dare I say), l33t skillz. A World Champion here, a Past Master there… I doubt I have the minerals.

However, there is another way: each year, Wizards of the Coast hold a number of weekly ballots, where we, the Great Unwashed, can cast our bones and make our squeaky voices heard. We can choose from a roll-call of famous names, and collectively Make Someone’s Day.

This week, the vote is for Resident Genius. Inexplicably, I have been left off the ballot. It must surely be a clerical error, but I’m a magnanimous chap. However, one of our (very) regular writers has made the grade.

Yup, it’s Mike Flores.

Week in, week out, the guy steps to the crease* and comes out swinging. He’s written countless classic articles, and created tournament warping decks. He got my vote immediately, if only because my name was strangely absent.

Here are some of his highlights. There are many more.

The Philosophy of Fire
Who’s the Beatdown?
Magic: The Intangibles
Critical Mass
Operations Management

So, if you’ve an inkling, head on over to MagicTheGathering.com and cast your vote for Mike. He’s got the pedigree, and there’s no doubt he’s put in the hours.

Oh, and next year? Vote for me.


* “stepping to the crease” is like “stepping to the plate,” but with tea and biscuits.