You CAN Play Type I #47: A Memoriam To Beyond Dominia

June 25th: Beyond Dominia finally dies – not with a bang, but with a whimper.
July 8th: Oscar Tan goes bang.

More goofy plays with rules tricks

I pulled another fast laugh with the rules while writing this column. Danny Bright, a.k.a. Mantis from Saskatchewan, hit me up for some practice against SquirrelCraft. I let everything he cast through, waiting for the Squirrel Nest.

Squirrel Nest


Enchant Land

Odyssey uncommon

Enchanted land has”Tap: Put a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token into play.”

When it came, though, I didn’t counter it. I Misdirected it onto my Underground Sea.




Mercadian Masques rare

You may remove a blue card in your hand from the game rather than pay Misdirection’s mana cost. Change the target of target spell with a single target.

He didn’t topdeck Wasteland in time to save him from the Squirrel swarm led by a Mox Monkey. Danny went down laughing amidst complaints about how it felt like 1997 and Political Trickery on Kjeldoran Outpost again.

That was even more hilarious than the time I Misdirected an Empyreal Armor onto my Gorilla Shaman and got my easiest Monkey win ever.

As for last week’s trick, Ricardo Recchia enthusiastically e-mailed his thanks. After reading the column, he found himself with one turn to win, but without enough life to tap his City of Brass for mana. He went Fire, Regrowth, Fire and killed his opponent just before his City of Brass damage resolved.

Glad you had fun, Ricardo!

Also, in other news, I managed to begin toilet training a new Dalmatian. Now, when it needs to go, it barks so you can open the door and let it urinate on the doormat. Big improvement from the living room floor.

Beyond Dominia, in memoriam

As the last column announced, Beyond Dominia finally went down last June 25. One regular even claimed that he was logged on when it happened. He was browsing, and nothing happened when he tried to post his message just five minutes later. BD had bugs before, but the different screen that popped up was unmistakable: www.bdominia.com had finally ceased to exist.

As one of the oldest Magic sites on the Net, BD’s e-zine, humor pages and roleplaying forums atrophied, and the site eventually became known as a small, cozy deckbuilding forum. As Type II progressed, regulars focused on more laid back play and less restrictive formats. By the time I took over as moderator sometime at the end of 1998, roughly, BD was undisputedly the only Type I site in the world.

It was a lot different back in ’97 and ’98, with less people and less traffic. I took over as moderator from Jacob Montanez, a.k.a. Elrohir, who went off to crew a nuclear submarine. My first big step was the initial set of primers (or comprehensive beginner’s guides), and BD’s Type I Mills eventually quadrupled their volume to an average of a hundred active threads a day. The increased volume gave us a higher profile, and the influx of strangers into the tight community changed the character of the site forever.

Oh, we had trouble reconciling the old freewheeling mood with more formality to accommodate strangers and first-time visitors. We had arguments about everything from what constituted a Tier Three Type I deck to the nicknames people could use, and it was all part of the fun. We did spawn a mailing list (www.groups.yahoo.com/group/bdominia) and an IRC channel (#bdchat on EFNet) while growing.

The end was anticlimactic.

Over the last couple of years, the site’s owner, Shadow (a.k.a. Seth Johnson) had basically dumped the management of the entire site on me. When the site went down, we only had two other active moderators left: Raphael Caron, a.k.a. K-Run, and Mike Huggins, a.k.a. Westwycke.

Imagine that I’d practically run the site for almost three years-without receiving a single cent. Then, this Shadow I never met e-mailed me to say he was planning to expand the site and reestablish the e-zine, and he wanted me to solicit and edit articles – again, for nothing.

I politely begged off, fighting the temptation to tell him he was out of his mind. (He never published a single article, incidentally 0 and the remaining primers I had were never uploaded. And despite my suggestions, obsolete ones were never removed, even after Inquest practically copied the one for The Franchise.)

But that shows you what really happened behind BD’s screens, what I really had to put up with; in fact, shortly before Shadow announced the end of BD, he had threatened to siteban both myself and Darren over some trifle.

Several weeks ago, Shadow e-mailed the moderators that he was selling the site, and made it public soon afterwards. We were never made privy to the details, and imagine my shock when I found out – from others – that he was asking for $1,000.

I felt disgusted since he was looking to cash in on the goodwill I’d developed for almost three years, and so was the entire community. What a thing to do to a group that was proud to be a small, free site in a time of Brainburst-ization.

To this day, I have yet to receive a single word of thanks from Shadow, and that was that. (He didn’t get any money, though.)

By the time the announcement was made, everyone acted like BD was a terminal patient just waiting to die. Because spammers were working round the clock, I cut off unregistered users, because Shadow refused to ban the offending IP addresses. Volume dropped by three-fourths, but it did provide a measure of dignity for the corpse.

Several weeks later, the webhost eventually realized the bills weren’t paid, and pulled the plug.

The end.

My philosophy professor once thought out loud that the Net was profane, because it was space that isn’t really there. And yet I can’t shake this feeling, as though a childhood playground was bulldozed away or the puppy you had when you were a toddler finally died of old age.


I don’t want to let the last few bitter months define the forum’s existence.

Many people came and went – and up to BD’s last days, people were always talking about how they missed this or that old visitor. You haven’t tried joining a forum until you’ve seen how pieces of threads can form unique personalities.

Perhaps one of the most memorable was Michael Bower, a.k.a. mikephoen (yes, he nitpicked about the capitalization), a Canadian store owner and #mtgwacky op. He wrote our Type I Trix Primer, and won the first Beyond Dominia Tournament of Champions with his trademark Forbiddian deck, which was later converted into Gary Wise Sydney Invitational deck.

Michael Bower, a.k.a. mikephoen, Champion, First Beyond Dominia Type I Tournament of Champions, 2000

Mana (25)

17 Island

4 Wasteland

1 Strip Mine

1 Mox Sapphire

1 Black Lotus

1 Sol Ring

Counters (17)

4 Counterspell

4 Mana Drain

2 Forbid

4 Force of Will

3 Misdirection

Removal (6)

4 Powder Keg

2 Nevinyrral’s Disk

Creatures (6)

4 Ophidian

2 Morphling

Utility (6)

1 Merchant Scroll

1 Ancestral Recall

1 Time Walk

2 Soothsaying

1 Zuran Orb

But aside from all that, he had a talent for derailing thread topics, yet getting you so engrossed. I had the most trouble because I wasn’t familiar with North American TV shows and dating practices. To poke fun at the habit, I eventually ended short posts with,”Oh, right, Magic. Ancestral Recall is a good card.”

How bad did it get? Typical conversation on Type I control:

By Matt D’Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 – 12:25 am:

No sweat BtW, and she’s not my girlfriend technically. To spare the mill (Rakso would kill me and J.P. would get a good laugh) my long-winded, ideology and profanity laced dissertation entitled”Monogamy: Perfectly Natural or B.S. Societal Constraint?” I will just say she’s a very close friend and we date.


By Azhrei (Azhrei) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 – 12:48 pm:

Nevyn: ROTFLMAO!!! Matt’s a swinger!


By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 – 12:57 pm:

Matt? Mr. creatureless himself? He swings? For how many a turn?


By Matt D’Avanzo, the Sylvan Librarian (Matt) on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 – 02:26 pm:

Rakso–Dear sweet mother of god. If you said that on purpose Rakso you are the man.

It was this sort of familiar inanity some newer visitors branded as elitism (since they couldn’t get a word in), but they always got sucked in if they stuck around.

Mike was immortalized by the”mikephoen Rule of Beyond Dominia”:”Any person who uses a Magic card name for his online name must be a schlong.”

It held to the very end, and the worst spammers in the sites history were”Ihsan,””Master of the Hunt,””Juzam,””Jandor,””Legend,” and”Negator.” The one exception was Javier Vazquez, a.k.a. ORRGG, a Spaniard who worked in Belgium who loved to tinker with all-common aggro decks. I had to stick up for him several times when insensitive kids insulted his broken English. I can’t forget him since he sent me a Necro and a Zoo deck of color photocopy proxies, still on my shelf today.

Some people were actually sad when Trix died, because Darren Di Battista, a.k.a. Azhrei had challenged Mike to a Trix vs. The Franchise duel to prove that control wasn’t dead. Never mind that it was a futile attempt to prove that combo wasn’t overrunning Type I; we just wanted to see who’d win the card someone pledged as the prize!

Keldon Battlewagon


Artifact creature


Prophecy rare

Trample. Keldon Battlewagon can’t block. When Keldon Battlewagon attacks, sacrifice it at end of combat. Tap an untapped creature you control: Keldon Battlewagon gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is the tapped creature’s power.

The two actually sniped at each other for a month, each swearing he’d take it home. Unfortunately, everyone lost interest after the 2000 restrictions.

Yes… Two grown men fighting over a Keldon Battlewagon.

The story of Lord Azmodan

Of course, the most memorable personalities were those who – intentionally or unintentionally – presented themselves as the butt of jokes.

We had this guy named Legend, a.k.a. Edward Paltzik, who kept posting obscenities and death threats (some directed at people on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, one at a black belt who played in the same tourneys) that I had to restrict posting. He was so desperate he actually kept a twenty-four hour vigil: Whenever I reopened the site to the public, the obscenities would be posted in less than five minutes. (It probably wasn’t limited to BD, since www.teamacademy.com once posted his photo.)

Since I was quick to delete garbage, most people missed the mindlessness Legend and his bosom buddy Negator, a.k.a. Yan Margolin, contributed:

Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Here comes Negator—-And he’s got the Celery Sticks for your Carrot Dippers

By Legend on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 – 11:34 pm:

Yep he’s coming



By Negator on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 – 12:03 am:

I am Negator, and soon I will rule you all. I am inevitable, unstoppable.

You can’t comprehend me. You can’t deal with me.

Prepare for the new era of Legend and Negator.

You will all bow before us.

By Legend on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 – 01:26 am:

You tell em Negator!!!!

Launch the missiles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Beyond Dominia: The Type One Magic Mill: Bow before Negator, I am here to support Legend with my army of Prussian mercenaries

By Negator on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 – 12:08 am:

Here I am, Negator. I exist to cease. My armies are ready and growing every moment. I thirst for blood. I’ll wash over your cities like water over a dry place that needs cleaning.

By Kirdape3, the Court Jester of Beatdown (Kirdape3) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 – 12:14 am:

Prussian mercenaries are _EXTREMELY_ overrated. Ask Napoleon how they fared in his Russian campaign. Also ask the British; they hired them for a whole bunch of wars from about 1750-1820.

As for military arms, give me Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar. Twenty-seven ships of the line and six frigates will own you all.

By Gzeiger (Gzeiger) on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 – 12:59 am:

::calls upon Lord Azmodan to put Negator in his place::

(These were taken from fifteen different threads posted within one hour. To keep this wholesome, I refrained from excerpting the fake Legend-Negator dialogues that covered negligees and lubricants.)

Wait… Who’s Lord Azmodan?

The younger, more innocent crop of BD visitors never knew that the new idiots were nothing compared to the originals.

Of all the nonsense I had to put up with as BD moderator, nothing beat this:

Hello My Friend,

I am AZMODAN and I am 26 years old. Ever since I was 10 years old, i have always loved and have been extremely dedicated to Magic: the Gathering. I spent my first 2 years learning ALL the rules of M:tG…I then spent the next 4 years working up new strategies and deck combo’s…When I turned 16, I started entering Regional Tournaments and placed first every time. People sed I should enter in the M:tG National World Championships, known as the DCI, and i very well did. Over the past 10 years, I have organized and played over 138 different decks. I can honestly and truthfully tell u that I have won the DCI Nation World Championship 7 times, and placed 3rd 2 times and 4th 1 time.

I am happy to be back with the Beyond Dominia Community…I currently circulate through 68 different M:tG Webites and can spend only a limited time with each community. I love meeting and making new M:tG friends so please feel free to Email or IM me to chat. I am here to help anybody with any questions concerning decks, rules, strats, types, themes, and anything else that may cross ur mind. I will be with Beyond Dominia from:

April 24, 2000 until May 24, 2000

I will be checking my post to see if anyone has a question or comment periodically. Once again…I can help u with anything and I tend to better ur knowledge w/ Magic and hold life long friendships. Thanks for taking thetime to read this and hope u take advantage of my help!

Lord Azmodan

It was so hilarious that I registered an account, and reprimanded delinquents as”Lord Azmodan.” I even edited all the Azmodan threads, making it look like all replies were singing praise to the glory of Azmodan. Regulars went along, and thoroughly confused newbies with lines like,”You don’t know how Lord Azmodan won the 1984 National World Championships?” Shadow, of course, cried bloody murder, but fun was fun.

I eventually coined a name for the editing: 1984’ing. The Orwellian flavor partially backfired, though, because I got dubbed”Big Brother” with my fictional”Thought Control Machine” since I could erase every offensive sentence.

Hey, it was a dirty job, but someone had to do it. It’s easy for people to blame you for cleaning out the stuff they didn’t have to see – because you did it so well they didn’t see the stuff before it got deleted!

Anyway, it’s too bad that later nuisances didn’t pick up Azmodan’s style: If you’re just going to spam, at least be entertaining.

Memorable braggarts

The most annoying things about BD’s growth: With more people, inevitably came more annoying jerks. The longest running flame war featured someone named Ihsan, a.k.a. Immo, a.k.a. Master of the Hunt (the original alleged man-boy couple imitated by later spammer duos):

By Master of the Hunt & Ihsan on Sunday, September 10, 2000 – 12:32 am:

A few minutes ago, I spoke to Ihsan.

We’ve decided to make an official announcement. Consider this a press

conference of sorts…….I can’t continue..Alright..I’m composed now.

We came to this mill with the intention of, well, attempting to lead the Mill flock out of Magic bondage and into the promised land.

We,….we..(tears again)..we tried to eradicate the ignorance of the Magic

community. And.. I’m afraid we’ve failed.

Indeed, we had a mission.

(snip, snip, snip, skip, skip, skip)

Ihsan and myself noticed that right away and moved in with remarks like the one about attending a great school. We couldn’t care less about that, there are more important things in life. But we knew how immature you were, and how easily a remark like that could get you going. Man, did it work!!! The Mill was buzzing as news of our glorious arrival spread like a brushfire!!!

We do think we are superior to you, but that is only natural, because we are. But we also knew that a lot of the other remarks would get to you, (although most of them are true), some were just designed to take advantage of your infantile level of mental development.

But soon we won’t be sad. Soon we will leave our state of melancholy, and we will laugh. And laugh some more. And laugh until it hurts. We know fools when we see them, and wow, did we see them!!

Well, in conclusion: We feel that we are missionaries that had come to

enlighten you noble savages (some of you not so noble), and that all of you were worthy of redemption (or so we thought).

Well, you chose to continue to practice your ancient religion, and deny our true path to grace.

Well, maybe ignorance is bliss, but I doubt it.

Long live Zoo and Discard!!

Best wishes (not really, but it seems like a nice thing to write),

Ihsan and Master of the Hunt, Divine Agents of Enlightenment

We had another e-mail argument with Shadow because I clamped down on the obnoxious-but-anonymous Ihsan, because the multiple”Ihsan this” and”Ihsan that” flame threads had turned into a forest fire. I don’t think I could’ve been less direct when I hinted he was the product of a defective condom, but the best line was still:

—– Original Message —–

From:”Alex Shvartsman

To:”Oscar Tan

Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2000 3:17 AM

Subject: Ihsan

See my post.  I compared him to Mike Flores.  That oughta hurt 🙂

So many old regulars left BD because of abrasive loudmouths, but you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Once, a guy posted a Land Tax / Scroll Rack deck and said it won 75% against”The Deck” and at least 50% against every other archtype. It was an obvious flame magnet and I had to erase it, so the guy made another post.

(In case you didn’t get it, he claimed he invented a deck with no bad matchups.)

He complained on Beyond Dominia about how Magic Online Trader’s League was a much better site, and name-dropped that he’d reported how badly we’d treated him to MOTL’s owner. That time, Shadow beat me to deleting it and posted his own heated reply. Considering we had MOTL members on BD, I think that one incident contributed to the low regard for MOTL BDers claimed at the time the site died.

Sometimes, like the Azmodan gag, stupidity becomes a fad. The most famous line of 2002 was a claim that Noble Panther decks”The Deck.” No one understood where it came from, but”The Deck” players are now teased to fear Noble Panther. Steve O'Connell, a.k.a. Zherbus immortalized BD’s last joke: www.themanadrain.com/noblepanther.htm.

Noble Panther




Invasion uncommon

1: Noble Panther gains first strike until end of turn.

Sometimes, though, things did turn sour. When I posted Brian Weissman’s 2001 decklist, experienced control players gave objective (albeit strongly worded) criticism. But when less experienced players chimed in, they ended up flaming a regular who lived near and played with Brian. I never saw him post again.

Other times, though, it was just fun to wait for someone to gently shut people up. Once, a guy innocently asked who had the highest Vintage rating on BD, and many people chimed in. Although many replies came from competent players, you have to understand that it’s easy to get a high rating in the abandoned format if there’s only one Ancestral Recall in town – yours.

I chuckled when the thread sputtered to a halt after Robb Williams posted that he was at 1899. (Robb is one of the control players from Neutral Ground, a store in New York where people aren’t missing cards and the control players all have high ratings.)

After all, a stellar Type I rating is as convincing as a Homelands Team Sealed rating.

Inane Magic theories

To clarify, beginners were never unwelcome on BD; Darren and I had been giving deck advice since 1997 (we are so sick of repeating the same things by now). People just fumed at obnoxious beginners who’d post the contents of a Mercadian Masques starter deck and expect you to give a one-page executive report on how to turn it into”The Deck.”

And start flaming when you asked them to read the other threads on the forum first.

But the truly hilarious beginners picked fights on”advanced” topics. We had at least one saying Wasteland was useless in mono blue and Library of Alexandria wasn’t so big a threat. Countless others insisted Arcane Denial was a great counter, that you could play Ball Lightning in a deck with fourteen Mountains, and so on.

Perhaps the most famous was Random-Miser, a.k.a.”Random” Roy Spires, who’d insist for 20 pages that Force of Will was a bad card. (Random-Miser was banned from Beyond Dominia, MTGNews, Wizards.com, and #bdchat on EFNet, but not before the legendary Wizards flame war between him, myself, and Jarrod Bright (a.k.a. Vesuvan) ran to 26 pages. Jarrod got the last word elsewhere when he noted three people were talking about Magic, but only two got paid for it. But you probably win a flame war when you type one phrase for every paragraph or three the other guy does…

The thing about Random-Miser and clones was that they’d repeat their”theories” enough times some beginners actually believed them. Perhaps the most endearing culprit of BD history was Steven Menendian, a.k.a. Smmenen, famous for arguing to this day that Prohibit is better than Powder Keg in mono blue.

I joked that on #bdchat that you could say one sentence criticizing Prohibit, then cut and paste every five minutes to make Steve think you were still talking to him. The highlight of the teasing was when Darren Di Battista a.k.a. Azhrei”reviewed” one of his”essays,” and we kept the priceless IRC log:

<Smmenen> like, I mostly wrote it for myself

<Smmenen> and it was riddled with incomplete sentances and spelling erros

<Smmenen> I had know idea someone would take the time to analyze it

<Negator> You guys are pathetic. Your god Azhairs attacked Smmenen unfairly at TA, and now its a feeding frenzy. You people will turn on your own for attention. Pathetic.

*** Negator was kicked by CF (stand aside)

*** CF sets mode: +b *!*@ACA64E3C.ipt.aol.com

*** Azhrei has joined #bdchat

<Smmenen> speak of the devil

<CF> Negator was just shown to the door.

<Smmenen> Azhrei, I read your TA article and was impressed

<Smmenen> I actuallly laughed a bit

<Azhrei> most people did

<Smmenen> I didn’t take my little post to seriously

<Smmenen> other wise I would have actually ran it thorugh a spell check

<Azhrei> someone emailed me with a special request saying something about it making their eyes bleed

To be sure, Smmenen was a nice guy when you got down to it, but he had the dubious distinction of being the most quoted member of the forum:

<Smmenen> For some inexplicable reason, people here think Prohibit is the worst card since sorrows path

<Smmenen> quite frankly this perception is extremely narrowminded and dangerous

<Smmenen> to say that FoF is just too good is not an argument

<Smmenen> you poeple think you are all bad ass at type one, yet don’t even play type two

<Smmenen> what the hell is a zombie dwarf

<CF> it’s an undead dwarf probably?

<CF> if it freaks you out, play unnatural selection and turn it into a Jellyfish

<Smmenen> Rakso , a) you are NOT funny

<Smmenen> b) you barely no English

<Smmenen> c) your a tool

<Tristal> ROFL

<PsychoCid> LMAO

<Smmenen> Rakso, as a law student, how can it possibly help you to be so exaggerating

<Tristal> Do you even know what lawyers DO?

The Rivalries

Many of the beloved regulars were actually the older and more mature ones (twenty was a bit old on BD, but we had at least three regulars who were in their forties). I mentioned Michael Bower aka mikephoen and Javier Vazquez, a.k.a. ORRGG. Then we had my co-moderator Raphael Caron, a.k.a. K-Run, famous for Deck Parfait and his Digeridoo deck,”Invincible Counter Minotaur.” We had”Nevyn” who once surprised Zvi Mowshowitz with his build of Type I Turboland, and Eric Rogue, a.k.a. Redman, the champion of Zoo. Finally, we had Paul Shriar, a.k.a. Bebe, always relied on to drop an answer to the casual threads.

These older guys and others are familiar to anyone who poked around BD in the last couple of years, but I guess what everyone remembers are the little rivalries that went around.

Many were obviously one-sided, like Matt D’Avanzo against every guy who claimed white weenie was competitive in Type I. Often, the losing parties couldn’t present convincing arguments and cried elitism or condescension. Others were livelier because both sides fought hard but fair, such as Matt and Darren Di Battista against Paul Khuong and his statistical tables on why Land Grant should not be played, and against Chris Flaaten, a.k.a. CF on why Oath is competitive.

(Notice a pattern?)

Perhaps the most amusing (and lopsided) were the battle lines between mono blue and”The Deck” players. The former considered the latter elitist, while the latter considered the former as boring and uncreative.

With mikephoen gone, the blues were eventually championed by Will Ministretta, a.k.a. Yamo, who swore never to say a good thing about”The Deck,” and ended up spamming so many control threads it stopped being funny.

It probably ended when Dana Heitner, a.k.a. Acolytec, told me he wasn’t active in BD anymore because”The Deck” players were arrogant elitists. I asked him to name all the loudmouths on his side of control. He named Yamo, Smmenen, and Legend. He then immediately issued a public apology.

(Sorry, Will… As a”The Deck” player, I just have to rub it in one last time.)

The inter-site issues

BD enjoyed good relations with the other sites in its heyday. We had a lot of Casual Player’s Alliance people on board, for example, and a lot of regulars contribute to Star City to this day. The primers were linked by Cathy Nicoloff’s old Meridian Magic, and Level III Judge Michael Kastberg cameod on BD as well. Mike was quite a character on the Rules Mill. The last time a clueless visitor asked who the heck he was, he just replied that he was the best-looking judge at the last Worlds.

Perhaps the funniest”inter-site” incident was the time The Dojo linked a long BD thread criticizing the Invitational Trix decks as utterly uncreative. We all shut up, though, when Kai Budde – just a guy with a lot of Grand Prix wins at that time, no one special – replied and said the Invitational decks were tight and Necro made any combo broken. A lot of people including Matt D’Avanzo found BD through The Dojo that month, shortly before Trix demolished whatever Academy left the previous year.

But what more recent visitors probably remember are the inter-forum squabbles.

The most well-known was perhaps the sniping directed at MTGNews. I can’t remember where it started, since one of their head mods Daniel McDonald, a.k.a. ElGato, is a friend and correspondent. I do know some BD regulars linked deckbuilding threads on other forums and labeled the links”Humor.” MTGNews Type I probably got its fair share because a lot of the discussions there were offshoots of BD discussions that ended with strange decklists. Plus, there was this one time parts of the BD primers were duplicated on MTGNews – without the original BD authors’ names.

It took a bitter turn after Darren Di Battista made a post saying he was fed up with the declining”signal to noise” ratio on BD and that he’d stop going to the forum for a while. MTGNews moderator Shade2k1 picked that thread to post a bunch of complaints about Beyond Dominia, plus something to the tune of”good riddance, Darren.”

Shadow, the owner himself, sitebanned Shade2k1’s home cable account, to stop the flames generated. The guy resorted to a long thread complaining about BD – on MTGNews. It got pretty funny since some people there accused both sites of anti-Asian racism – both MTGNews owner Ray Yu (a.k.a. DG) and myself have Chinese blood. Unfortunately, too many BDers saw it before Ray closed it.

Shortly after that, another MTGNews moderator who had nothing to do with the mudslinging tried to start an inter-forum tournament, but it didn’t happen because no BDer wanted to have anything to do with MTGNews, especially their Type I team led by Random-Miser.

I can laugh, of course, since many BDers were also MTGNews regulars like Steve O'Connell, a.k.a. Zherbus, Brian Speelpenning, a.k.a. Valdner and Jeremy Buffone, a.k.a. Riverboa11. In fairness, the better insults came from the BD side. The most memorable went:”MTGNews is a great source of rumors, but everything else there should have a surgeon general’s warning on it.”

But if the love-hate relationship with MTGNews was more hilarious than hostile, a real”site war” did erupt with Phyrexia.com, denigrated by BDers as the”armpit of the Magic universe.”

Many claimed that Phyrexia was populated by extremely young posters who couldn’t post in any of the larger forums – that included BD, because I was pretty strict about nonsense posts and Type I decklists that resembled draft decks. Apparently, they resented the BD posting restrictions and discussed plans to spam the living hell out of BD.

BDers found out and a flame war erupted, and I was as guilty of having fun in it, too. Unfortunately, the Phyrexians had two advantages: 1) AOL, which can’t be traced because the IPs keep changing; and 2) a bug in the Discus forum program that erased threads if you entered a certain line of code.

Thus, a certain Joe Lucia, a.k.a. PaC managed to erase a good part of BD’s threads with impunity, until Shadow upgraded the forum program. No real harm was done, however, since the”crisis” attracted many old and new visitors, and I remember John Rizzo sent the most strongly worded words of encouragement. The forum was up to the former level in just a day, showing how tight the community used to be.

(In case you didn’t get the irony… Phyrexians invading Beyond Dominia?)

The funniest part, though, was reading all the e-mail from BDers with their own AOL accounts who confessed to spamming Phyrexia in retaliation. It was terribly juvenile, but I can’t deny those guys gave me one heck of a laugh.

Of course, if anyone asks me if I’d ban AOL access to a forum or IRC channel, I’d definitely say yes.

Type I issues and whining

One time or another, a thorny issue would stop all the banter on BD and redirect the flames at a common foe. Laughing at”All your base are now belong to us” was one, and I just could never take out all the off-topic threads from the Type I Mill.

Most of the memorable threads, though, were issues threads whinier than replies to Mark Rosewater column. The proxy issue was standard, and the first was even entitled,”Proxies in Type I: Democratization or Communism?” The Invitational decks were a seasonal favorite. Heck, Steve Sadin disqualification from the US Nationals was a big issue in Type I circles partly because of talk on BD.

The most intellectually violent, of course, were links to bad Type I articles-especially if the author found the thread. (Of course, we had more links to good articles, but it seemed easier to talk about atrocious articles.)

The most memorable to date is still “Type I sucks” by Matt Smith – which is, in fact, the topic of my very first featured column.

Smith described what he considered a typical Type I game:

“Flip to see who goes first?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Call it in the air.”


“Heads it is, Play or draw?”

“Play….I’ll keep.”

“Me too.”

“Hmm…I’ll cast Mox Ruby and Black Lotus… Mmmkay?”

“I guess…”

“Sack the Lotus for three green, cast Channel for 19?”


“Tap Ruby and Fireball you for 20?”

“DID YOU THINK OF THAT DECK ALL BY YOURSELF? NICE COMBO, YOU CHEESY #$@@!” *Throws cards off the table*”This game sucks.”

I simply rebutted:

Smith’s”ideal player” should have lost when he countered the Fireball.


Because he should have been expecting Kaervek’s Torch, not a Fireball.

(As an aside, he could have given the winner a Misdirection instead of a Force of Will, but this is hardly why the example was poor.)

Smith tried to refute all the criticism hurled against him, but his main argument was that none of the readers understood that he was actually trying to say nice things about Type I. He posted his answers on BD itself, but resorted to a second alias,”Jandor,” when it became obvious he was losing on the intellectual front.

The laughs doubled when I noted that the IPs of Matt Smith and”Jandor” were identical, and there was exactly one other poster siding with Smith in the debate – Smith.

The mikephoen rule wins again.

Incidentally, Smith’s original article began with a memorable note from The Ferrett:

(Note to you tetchy Beyond Dominians – yes, I know. Start writing your counter articles now. Snootchie bootchies! The Ferrett)

There were many other memorable strategy issues that could bring players of all inclinations together, like the Wishes and marquee cards of other expansions, or the unrestriction of cards like Berserk and Black Vise (heaven forbid). The latest was the Type I metagame [author name="Mark Rosewater"]Mark Rosewater[/author] implied in one article.

It’s funny how fickle the”chorus” is, or the players who don’t quite playtest any of the strategies they talk about. By the time my column came out and was linked on BD, practically every beginner had dropped Miracle Gro like a hot potato.

It was strange in its own way, because BD passed away just shortly after that Gro issue ran its course. It seemed like the site waited for a last hurrah of sorts, now that you think about it.

In memoriam

I’m turning 23 soon and am a law student. You might ask why in the world I could spend an afternoon reminiscing about a small Internet forum?

Obviously, there’s simply no place for Type I discussion like Beyond Dominia right now. I definitely improved my own skills by participating in BD far faster than I could just by playing with the groups in my schools. I wouldn’t be writing about strategy had I not refined enough of it over the years in BD.

Still, when people were waiting for the site to finally go offline, I reminded everyone that it was never as much about the forum as it was about the people there. A lot of very special non-Magic things happened along the way, and actual friendships formed such that it was sometimes hard for a stranger to but into a BD discussion. Heck, I remember when Paul Shriar mailed a Rhystic Tutor for my birthday, when Darren Di Battista mailed copies of his favorite Melanie Rawn books just so he could talk to me about the literary Azhrei, and when Chris Flaaten sent a couple of Norweigian metal MP3s.

If you slogged through all the above memories, maybe it is hard to relate if you weren’t there, even for a short visit. Maybe. But maybe you also get the idea that the most memorable thing about it all wasn’t the nitpicking over the 60th“The Deck” slot, but debating whether NIB or Ironman was the better Black Sabbath track or laughing about the latest in Random-Miser tech.

Even when we had to tighten posting restrictions, I still allowed one off-topic thread a year for every regular: You were always free to announce that it’s your birthday. Imagine getting greetings from every time zone! Heck, people actually mailed Raphael Caron Unglued Pegasus tokens for his Parfait deck on his birthdays.

I guess no other anecdote can sum up why I smile at the memory of BD, flames and all.

Oscar Tan

[email protected]

rakso on #BDChat on EFNet

Manila, Philippines

Forum Administrator, Star City Games (http://www.starcitygames.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi)

Featured writer, Star City Games (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/archive.php?Article=Oscar Tan)

Author of the Control Player’s Bible (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bdominia/files/ControlBible.zip)

Type I, Extended and Casual Maintainer, Beyond Dominia (http://www.starcitygames.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=list&forum=DCForumID89&conf=DCConfID19)

Proud member of the Casual Player’s Alliance (http://www.casualplayers.org)

P.S. – You might’ve noticed that I skirted certain controversial issues like the alleged elitism a lot of people hated on Beyond Dominia. Actually, I think I’ll reserve a column on how I tried to balance the interests of the diverse group of people interested in Type I, which was the root of a lot of friction on BD. But we can do that after the forum’s loss has really sunk in.

Anyway I hope Ferrett gets this in time. Summer just ended over here in the equator, and it’s the start of the rainy season. We’ve been having power failures and intermittent power shortages lately, and I think classes are going to be called off on Monday because half the city is flooded.