Pale is often described by those who know him as "quiet" and "a loner".
Shortly after college he gave up RPGs and wargames. He spent the next nine
years game-free. This proved long enough to marry and start a family.
Finally caving under the pressure of adult life, Pale fell (jumped) off the
wagon and took up Magic.
Extended is my favorite format, so I get very down on myself if I play poorly. The expectations of my performance I hold for Extended far exceed what is reasonable, given my poor preparation habits. This is because I am old, and old people have no time to prepare. Don’t laugh, kids, it will happen to you one day.
Let me put this another way: I suck, but I’m not supposed to suck when I shuffle up Aluren.
Anyone who has read Pale Mage over the years knows one thing: the man is obsessed with Aluren in Extended. Oiso’s Aluren win wrested the pale one from his Magic writing coma and set him straight on a curvy path of deck analysis, complete with a look at the successful Aluren decks over the past few years and Pale’s own PTQ vartiation he will be playing for the rest of the season.
It’s autumn in my part of the world. The new big expansion has been out for a month. The Champs tournaments are behind us. The Limited PTQ season is under way. That can only mean one thing. It’s time for me to write about Aluren.
Pale Mage returns from the land of zombies (you’ll just have to read it) to deliver his take on States, the Standard metagame, and the Magic world in general. If you’ve never read a Pale Mage article, he’s one of the more original writers in the game whose unique style is a welcome addition to the StarCityGames.com family.
So, long story longer a favor was called in and I was compelled to put my level two judging skills to use at a National Qualifier in the tiny nation of Wachovia in Eastern Europe somewhere. I’m not sure exactly where it is, but as long as the pilot knew where we were going, and the taxi man after him, well… why worry? Everyone is somewhere, and as long as I didn’t lose track of myself I wasn’t going to worry about finding myself on a map.
It doesn’t take a genius to guess the best of the Tier Two Rogues will be drawn to playing B/G this year. That’s where you come in, Sol. Only you can help me. If you were to publicly declare B/G dead in Type Two, all of this could be avoided. These people will listen to you, Sol. You’re practically the pope of B/G. Every freakin’ B/G deck ends up being called The Rock. That’s kinda your fault, right? So, the way I see it, you’re responsible for the well being of anyone who chooses to play those colors. They are your flock, as it were. You must save them from themselves.
Myr on crusade. Myr dot deck can’t be good. It just can’t be. Seriously, the other aggressive decks are just faster. Having said that, if someone wanted to find a home for Darksteel Forge this would be it. If this deck ever became good, Affinity would just start packing Furnace Dragon and be done with it.
There are mistakes, and there are… other things. There are errors so horrid the word”mistake” cannot adequately convey the depths of poor judgement required evoking them. These are errors so vast they cannot be fully understood by mortals. These are sublime events. When such monstrosities are identified, one does not call them”mistakes.” There is another word reserved for these tragedies.
Blunders. These things are called blunders. This is what a blunder looks like.
We have a question from the young man in the front row. Oh, you think I’m wrong? Tell you what, kid. Did you bring your deck with you? Great. Come up here for minute. Let me see it. Is your sideboard in here? Good. Let’s see… Chrome Mox… no win condition in the main… Orim’s Chant in the board… Faceless Butcher in the board… kid, you have problems. Where did you find this thing?
A website, eh. I think someone sold you a bill of goods.
Thinking about the coffee is taking my mind off my son, who seems to be coming down with the flu. He was up and down all night coughing and crying. Consequently, so was I. His mother insisted I go play this morning. I’m probably not in the best frame of mind for Magic, but I have been looking forward to this tournament. For the umpteenth time I check my cell phone to make sure it is on in case she calls.
Okay, Randy Buehler said in his article commenting on the most recent bannings that he viewed Oath making the list as a lifetime achievement award. In my experience, achievement is not rewarded with forced retirement. Granted, the card is one hundred percent abuseable and there have been many ways to build a decent deck around it, but I don’t see a need to bench it. Randy also indicated that it never dominated, but that its very existence heavily influenced the environment.
So does the existence of Counterspell. Whoopdee frickin’ doo. Actually, a solid argument could be made that the existence of Psychatog has more influence over the Extended environment than Oath of Druids ever did, and that rat bastard is still legal.
If you’re reading this, then you either really, really like my stuff or you are fairly interested in Aluren. For your sake, I hope it’s the latter. In any case, I’m going to stop taking dictation from the tape recorder and give it to you straight, like a normal writer. I’ve been reading a lot of forum threads on Extended lately. I’ve also been sitting in on conversations in real life and on the net about the format. One thing I’ve noticed is that nobody seems to know anything about Aluren. At least, nobody who’s talking. This has upset me to the point that I’m prepared to write in paragraphs to try and pass on my vast store of infinite knowledge about the slowest (good) combo deck in Extended.
“So you finally lost.”
“Yeah, it was a good run. First match loss in the eighth round is not a bad day. I mean, five, oh, and two is great after seven rounds. That’s top eight in a seven-round PTQ, right?”
“That’s true, man. But you suck. No lies; you really suck at this game, and yet you managed to be in contention for seven rounds. That’s pretty cool.”