You’re SUPPOSED To Read This

I just got through reading Friggin’ Rizzo’s article " Mode: On." (I started about six or seven hours ago.) I have one question for my readers: "Am I the only one who stands by Rizzo?" (By no means – ) Rizzo, I don’t know if I’ve ever written you a personal email, but I’ll tell…

I just got through reading Friggin’ Rizzo’s article "Purge Mode: On." (I started about six or seven hours ago.) I have one question for my readers: "Am I the only one who stands by Rizzo?" (By no means – The Ferrett)

Rizzo, I don’t know if I’ve ever written you a personal email, but I’ll tell you that I always enjoy your articles, and I agree with you on most of your opinions. Keep up the good work!

Rizzo touched on what one is "SUPPOSED to do" a lot in his article. This got me to thinking about the stereotypes of the Magic community. Therefore, before I lose my train of thought, I’ve decided to make that the topic of this week’s article. Let’s get started, shall we?


You sit down across from a twelve-year-old kid in a tournament. What’s the first thought that flashes through your mind? "Easy win." It’s very easy to fall into this trap, because most kids don’t have the experience or intelligence required for extremely competitive play. However, say you’re playing Permission and he’s playing Stampy. Anyone who can lay a Forest and play a Pouncing Jaguar (let’s live in the past for just this one article) faster than you can draw twenty counterspells is going to beat you, even if you ARE a lot better than your opponent.

Also, this kid might be a topdecking god, and his best friend is a voodoo shaman who’s watching his back. You know what that means, don’t you? You’re going to be manascrewed while he draws perfect hands. You’re not going to win that game, either.

But aside from things you can’t help, are you still most likely going to win? Yes (unless you’re an eleven-year old reader), because you have the experience that he doesn’t. However, NEVER underestimate your opponent. I know this feeling all too well. Allow me to share a particularly embarrassing moment:

I sit down across from what looks like a ten-year-old boy. When he speaks, he has a thick Russian accent. My friends (who have also happened to play him) have come to refer to him as the Ten-Year-Old Russian Kid. Creative, huh? First of all, let me say that he doesn’t ACT like a ten-year-old. He’s a very mature player, and he knows that business is business. Anyway, on to the story:

He is playing my least favorite deck type (Ponza, for you newcomers to my column). I am playing my Blaze Bargain deck – Soul Feast? Phhf! (I know that it was low of me, but I REALLY wanted to win this tournament. Perhaps this is what I get.) I suffer some land destruction, but, like a true Bargain player, I go off. As I go down to four life, the Ten-Year-Old Russian Kid says, "In response to you drawing, I’ll Shock you twice." Omeed, the head judge of the tournament, walks by and announces to the entire room, "Daniel’s at four with two Shocks on the stack." I don’t know when I’ve glowered in such a way before or since. I pick up my cards (having no Renounce in my hand or on the top three cards) and proceed to lose miserably in Game Two. The good news is that I made Top Eight and was THIS close {holds fingers very close together} to beating a Permission deck. (I cast TWO twenty-point Blazes on turn four. I hate Rewind.)

Moral of the story: Never underestimate your opponent, even if they’re a third of your age.


Most players are shocked to play against a female, and they often treat them as they would a twelve-year old. However, there’s nothing that guys can do that girls can’t, and the girl has quite the advantage of Jedi Mind Tricks. "Oh come on, pleeeeease don’t block that Elvish Herder. {makes pouting lips and touches your hand} It’s just a 1/1." "Oh, very well," you concede. "Yippee skippy!" she yells. "I’ll tap my Cradle: Wild Might, Wild Might, Giant Growth, Symbiosis. Take sixteen."

Never underestimate your opponent. Ever.


Everyone (myself included) seems to group Pros into one group. People generally think of them as sharks in a trade and sticklers for the rules. They’re seen as having no compassion for newbies that only associate with other Pros. Now, not knowing any Pros myself, I can’t validate or disprove this stereotype. However, I can make a fairly educated guess that not all Pros are like this. Perhaps we should try to think of Pros as "really good scrubs." They had to have been beginners sometime, and though most of them might have forgotten those days or refuse to believe that they existed, I’m sure that there are a few who are nice to newer players, giving them a hand with play and with a donation of common cards (of those Pros who have collections and don’t spend their whole lives drafting).


Believe it or not, I think there’s a stereotype of our beloved StarCityGames.com. I’ve heard that some people have called this site the "newbie" site because it doesn’t have a whole line-up of top players’ tournament reports. However, writers such as Friggin’ Rizzo, Anthony Alongi, The Ferrett, Tony Boydell, Israel Marques, and myself are far from newbies. We just don’t tackle the standard issues. Some of us write to entertain, while some inform in unique ways. But, something you’ll notice is that all of the writers I mentioned write in almost every week. In a five-day period, you can pretty much rest assured that you can read some of their work. However, if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll also catch an article from writers such as David Price, Nicholas Labarre, and Trevor Blackwell. Overall, Star City is a site for Magic players, not pros or newbies or weirdoes. There’s always a place for you here, and the Feature Writer section isn’t the limitation of what personalities are available; The Ferrett also generously posts submissions worth reading. So even the Common Player has a say-so in the goings-on of the site.


People who don’t play Magic have, as they have with all groups of society, lumped all Magic players together. Typically, a Magic player is supposed to be a white male that has not yet graduated from college. He has no girlfriend, nor any friends that don’t play Magic. His social life is a joke, and his hygiene is reprehensible (okay, so maybe we put that last one on ourselves…). I have found little to none of these to be true for most players. Unfortunately, we of the Magic community fall into the trap of stereotyping Magic players as well (always excluding the speaker, it seems). The sooner we realized that our chances of entering a tournament to a scene of sex-starved, unwashed, voice-cracking upstarts are slim to nil, the sooner we can start respecting all Magic players for who they are.

Well, there you have five stereotypes of the Magic world. Not a one of them is acceptable, and we should all be painfully aware of each time we’ve implemented them. Although it’s difficult to suppress the human nature to think, "If A does X and B is similar to A, then A must do X," it IS possible to repress acting upon these instincts. Let’s all join hands and sing happy songs as we realize that the Magic community is much like the community at large: filled with diverse people that fit no predetermined bill.

Daniel Crane <—Thankful to John "Friggin" Rizzo for inspiration