Yawgatog’s Writing Year in Review

It took a little while, but we finally convinced the purple atog to give writing another chance. As usual (and regardless of topic), his work does not disappoint.

Welcome to 2006 at StarCityGames.com! It seems like I started writing here just three months ago, but time does fly when you’re having fun! I do hope you’re having fun, because I hate writing. Hate, hate, hate! However, I still write because I love you-you and the check I get every so often from StarCityGames.com. All those lovely zeroes…preceded by a decimal point. I guess Mr. Hoefling thinks writing the amount as “1.000000” makes it look bigger. You’re not fooling me, mister! I demand another zero!

Speaking of demanding more money, be sure sign up for a year of Premium membership today! Who knows how long I’ll be on the free side of this site before my cult of personality swells to such a gargantuan size that SCG will be forced to make them pay. They will all pay! Ahahahaha!

Ahem. Uh…

Yes, welcome to 2006. My first item on today’s docket is what I hope to make an annual tradition, should I still be writing at SCG a year from now. Without further ado…

Yawgatog‘s Writing Year in Review

My first article of the new year (2006 for those of you keeping track) seems an appropriate place to look back on my writing of yesteryear. For those of you who are just now joining me, welcome! I hope the following index of my articles from 2005 will help you discover what you missed this past year.

For each article, my darling editor should provide a link to the article and I will provide a brief writer’s commentary and a rating. This rating is the result of several computer-years of computation from a bunch of random numbers I entered into the computer.

Here’s what the ratings mean:

***** (five stars) – This article is among my best. You should definitely read it. What is contained within could save your life.

**** (four asterisks) – While not one of the greatest articles I have ever written, you should still read it. I won’t forgive you if you don’t.

*** (three French hens) – An average article. I don’t write these; all my articles are above average.

** (two turtle doves) – Thanks to the consolidation of creature types, Mistform Ultimus is a Turtle Bird, but will likely never be a Turtle Dove.

* (One with Nothing) – This article was ghostwritten by Shawn Fullerton.

Yawgatog Writing Year in Review, Part Two: The Writing

October 10, 2005

The Gimmick Combine, by “Hark Blowswater”

Rating: *****

Mr. Knutson had been bugging me to write a daily series since I was born. On this day, I finally gave in. I work best when stealing ideas from others, so to fill a week, I decided to parody MagicTheGathering.com.

I selected a daily column to poke fun at based solely on the quality of the clever ideas I had for it. I stated this in the forums here, but I am honor-bound to reiterate: I did not write anything because I didn’t like the writer or his writing; I wrote because I thought it would be funny. Some of the columns I parodied (including this one) are among my favorites. The rest I don’t read regularly, but that’s beside the point.

Back to “The Gimmick Combine”, I’m a bit of a Magic [rules] geek, so upon discovering the new targeting template on Circu, Dimir Lobotomist (“target library”), I immediately came up with a bunch of absurd effects to perform on targeted zones. These ideas, along with a few exaggerated qualities of Mark Rosewater column, form the basis of this article.

Here are some more fun zone-targeting effects:

  • Shuffle target stack.

  • Destroy target graveyard.

  • Draw target library.

  • Target removed-from-the-game zone phases out.

  • This deals 1 damage to target phased-out zone.

  • Tap target in-play zone. (Turn the table 90 degrees sideways.)

  • Target hand can’t be shuffled.

For my slower readers, I…will…explain…some…of…this…article’s…less…obvious…visual…gags. For my faster readers, Iwillexplainsomelessobviousvisualgags. For Zoom (the reverse Flash), yoooouuuu wiiillll becomeabetterherrroooo throughtrageeeeedyyy.

The art from Lightning Bolt, Darkness, and Thran Turbine represent the written sequence of events that followed. This is actually rather obvious, but I don’t overestimate the reading public. Don’t worry; I’m not talking about you. It’s that other guy.

The fake playtest cards are all stickers on top of valuable cards. The folks at R&D just use whatever’s lying around, right? I bet they use stacks of Mana Crypts to balance wobbly tables.

The Sacred cycle is really boring. I hope the fake development team makes it more interesting before it sees fake print. Also, Blue’s card in this cycle protects the most zones because it’s the best color, forever and always.

This article is a true classic.

October 11, 2005

Passing the West Wind, by “Tony Bologna”

Rating: *****

I already used my one allotted Mistform Ultimus reference today, so I’ll just say this article included a lot of animal names. Anthony Alongi has in the past used a system of beasts to describe cards as they relate to multiplayer games (e.g. a snake hisses to keep other players away), so I unleashed a zoo on this one.

As for his co-written novel, it’s a young adult fantasy novel with a title in the form [Character Name] and the [Plot Device], and it was promoted in capital letters at the bottom of Alongi’s column for some time. Half-Blood Prince was still on my mind, so I couldn’t resist the Harry Potter references. Voldemort made me do it.

Add Zephyr (the West Wind) Spirit to tie it all together-bad cards are instant comedy-and voila! This article is a true classic.

October 12, 2005

Exploring Could-Havnica, “Pat Robotta”

Rating: *****

Yessir, Mr. [author name=

This article mainly depicted what would have happened had Ravnica been slightly less subtle and slightly funnier in its mixing of colors. Counting vampires, tree zombies, and knights on fire are all obvious results of their respective color combinations. Hippies for Green/White had already been used by every Magic humor writer everywhere, but I included Attack of the Hippies because of that guy in the lower right of the art. Really, look at him. He’s probably attended every single concert Ravnica’s equivalent of Phish have put on and has possibly dated a few trees.

I didn’t reference Matt Cavotta much here aside from focusing on flavor and including plenty of little pictures to entertain the reader. Since it’s relatively easy to conceptualize and pretty funny when done, I will probably revisit this concept with Guildpact and Dissension. That’s dibs, folks; don’t encroach in my territory or you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of a barnstorm. This article is a true classic.

October 13, 2005

A ROFL Walkthrough, by “Agent Bennie”

Rating: *****

For daily four of five, I focused on Magic Online, using Bennie Smith multiple-segment format to lambaste MTGO. As the saying goes, “We only lambaste the ones we love.” Or was that “flambé”?

MODO detractors note that none of the bugs depicted in the first part of this article were real, though one came close to a real beta bug. Feel free to keep your guesses to yourself. (Hint: It wasn’t the exploding computer one.)

The second part has Smith interviewing a random guy on the free trial server, which was only slightly less informative than an interview with a random guy on the live server. “OnlyShellWillFillYourFord” in the last segment, for those of you not in the MODO know, is a pun on the friendly megaclan “Only Hell Will Fill Your Void.” This article is a true classic.

October 14, 2005

R&D SECRETS VOL. 1, by “Baron Longscythe”

Rating: *****

Having covered most of my “insider” ideas with Blowswater and Robotta, I basically ignored Forsythe’s column completely and instead made this a parody of some Magic telemarketer type whose name I can’t recall.

Each of my previous dailies (except Monday, when I forgot) started with a single large letter. (It’s some sort of typographical device.) This last one starts with an entire sentence of them, as every single letter was worth emphasizing.

As for the content, I really do believe that any fair land is equivalent to a fair two-mana artifact, though the given examples are the only ones I found of this phenomenon. Going by this theory and a card named “Forest”, Moss Diamond sucks. Moss Diamond does suck. Quod erat demonstrandum! Quid pro quo! Pro bono! Sonny Bono! Vis a vis, this article is a true classic.

Mirage Cards That Sound Like Ice Cream Flavors

What a ride that was! I can’t believe I got through the entire year and there’s still space left to fill. Speaking of filling, you’re in for a literal treat. While drafting triple Mirage on Magic Online, I noticed that Reality Ripple would make a pretty good ice cream flavor. In fact, “Triple Mirage” would make a good one, too. A few packs later, Rocky Tar Pit caught my eye. (Ow!) I later went through the entire set looking for the best flavors Mirage has to offer. If your favorite flavor did not make this list, post it in the response thread and I’ll tell you what an awful idea it is.

Ebony Charm

Rich chocolate ice cream mixed with crushed cocoa beans.

Grim Feast

Chilly blood ice cream blended with the body parts of your enemies. Best eaten to the lamentation of their women.

Ivory Charm

Smooth vanilla ice cream mixed with crushed vanilla beans.


Icy cool peppermint ice cream blended with loads of caffeine. Guaranteed to give you the pep you need to finish the eleven hour Magic online premier event that started at 10 pm-that or a heart attack.

Preferred Selection

Ask our ice cream specialist for the flavor of the day!

Prismatic Lace

Vanilla ice cream with swirls of blueberry, strawberry, chocolate, and mint. Tastes like a candy store was shoved down your throat.

Reality Ripple

Chocolate ice cream with swirls of reality. Are you eating reality or is reality eating you? This ice cream is really deep, man.

Rocky Tar Pit

A triple chocolate delight, featuring chocolate ice cream mixed with chocolate chunks and swirls of chocolate syrup.

Seedling Charm

Gnarly green ice cream mixed with crushed green beans. We should have stopped at Ebony and Ivory, but we didn’t!

Savage Twister

Red and green ice cream twisted together in a whirlwind of mystery flavor. Savage.


Peppermint ice cream with candy sprinkles. Previously known as Tooth Decay.

Unfulfilled Desires

This ice cream looks like it would taste good, but it doesn’t.


Tastes like yare.




1) A dictionary of unspeakable evil, covered with the flesh of a thousand tortured linguists, haunted by the soul of one really bad speller.

2) A segment in which I define or clarify terms pertinent to current Magic discourse.



1) This isn’t a word.

2) Seriously, don’t use it.

3)This means you, Mr. Knutson.

See also: photochop, photoshoppery, choppery, romoshop, Robocop



1) This, on the other hand, is a word, but only because this is my column and I say so.

2) A segment at the end of my article in which I write something. It’s a microcosm of an article. See, I can use big words, too!


As you should have heard by now, the current managing editor of StarCityGames.com, Mr. Ted Knutson will be moving on to MagicTheGathering.comer pastures. If you’ve never seen a pre-editing article or you only read Ask the Judge and my articles, you may not appreciate all the work he puts into making this web site the greatest on the Internet after Google and CuteOverload.com.

I think I pester Mr. Knutson more than I praise him, so this week’s Yawgatorial is dedicated in honor of his impressive legacy (and vintage) at this here site here, and to his promising future at that there site there. As my parting words today, I must say that above all, I will miss making pictures of him in a teddy bear costume.