Hello Magic Community!
Welcome to Jester’s ReCap, the articles where I break down the latest happenings in the MTG Universe for you in the laziest way possible. Magic: The Gathering is tough to keep up with, it’s always changing, growing, occasionally gaining sentience and wreaking havoc on groups of hapless WOTC interns. So I, a humble steward of your occasional attentions, do my best to give you the quick low-down on Magic, so long as I never have to reread or research anything, or really put very much effort into it. And for months now, this arrangement has worked out fine. It’s the bargain these articles are predicated on. I don’t pretend to be an expert or an authority or even very smart, and in turn, you guys don’t have to take me very seriously.
Unfortunately, there have been some goings on in the MTG Community that aren’t very fun, that demand to be handled with a modicum of severity, which is antithetical to what I do here. I could just ignore it; I ignore unfunny stuff all the time. In this case though, I think people ignoring the problem is not really an option. It contributes to the problem. So real quick, let’s spend a few lines of text reaffirming what you should all already know and then move on the to the jokes. There’s already been over a week of thought pieces about this, and now we’re at the point where we’re reading the reactions to the thought pieces, so if you’re sick of hearing about this, just skip down. I totally get it.
Recently, a Cosplayer named Christine Sprankle gave up something she loved because of assholes—probably not forever, because in the long term I believe good people usually overcome assholes—but even having to step back from something you’re passionate about is too big a cost to pay for a bunch of shitty toxic people stroking their limpy hate-dicks and blaming you for when their rage climax is empty and unfulfilling. I’m not going to go too deep into the weeds here, but here’s what we can all agree on:
Harassment is wrong. Abuse is wrong. When we see something wrong, we have an obligation to try to fix it.
Content Creators are people. Women are people. People have the right to enjoy their hobbies without being targeted by assholes.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.
END OF SELF-INDULGENT SERIOUSNESS
Ahhh, there we go. Back in the wheelhouse. You people don’t come here for seriousness, you come here to watch me hate on a 15-year old computer program. Every two weeks I make poignant, accurate and devastating critique of this wholly flawed version of the game. I strike, with precision, at the very heart of the beast. I let loose a furious assault of figurative language. In my own deluded mind I’m like a monk in a martial arts movie. My graceful, flowing motions belie the incredible power of my form as I lay strike after strike on my bewildered opponent. I see MTGO stumble, disoriented, as I press my attack. It will know the folly of its’ evil ways, or it shall fall to my unstoppable techniques!
Annnnd then the self-righteous ego wears off and I end up buying tickets to draft with at 1AM on a Wednesday. As the PayPal transfer completes, the delusion wears off and I realize I’m not a monk in a Hong Kong action flick. I’m a two-dimensional character in a cheesy Lifetime movie. My strikes are just me furiously beating my fists into MTGO’s unrelenting chest, until I break down weeping and he just holds me in his arms. “Shhh. It’s ok.” MTGO whispers, “Iconic masters is launched now. Shhh.”
Ask Me About Ask Urza
By the time you’re reading this article, Unstable’s release will be just days away. I spent almost all of last article telling you how excited I was for the return of silver-bordered sets, so I won’t dwell on it too much this time. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about AskUrza.com
So, for those of you who don’t have a Vorthos in your life, Urza is sort of the like the Superman of Magic, or maybe the Goku, or Hulk, or…look pick your own fiction alright? Basically, Urza is maybe the most powerful Planeswalker of them all and people have often wanted to see Wizard’s take on the Character as an actual card. Balance being a thing, it looks like they’ve chosen to show us in Unstable. But you can’t model nigh-omnipotence on just 3 or 4 activated abilities, so instead they’ve set up a website, AskUrza.com. A website which will presumably produce random, funny effects when you press the buttons. The actual outcomes don’t go live until after the 8th, but when has a magic player of any stripe allowed an absolute dearth of evidence to stop them from wildly speculating? Here’s what I figure will happen when you hit those sweet, tempting buttons:
- Until end of turn, Urza becomes a 3/3 Human Seer token with activated ability “1U: Target Spell or Permanent becomes the colour of your choice until end of turn.”
- Ask a player not in the game to wink. If they wink with their left eye, you may create an artifact token named Mightstone with “All Attacking Creatures get +1/+0. If they wink with their right eye, you may create an artifact token named Weakstone with “All attacking creatures get -1/-0.”
- Target Opponent becomes a Mishra in addition to their other types. For the rest of the game, you and your opponent must refer to each other exclusively as “Bro”. Each time a player fails to properly address their opponent, they lose 5 life.
- Create a Legendary 4/4 Artifact Creature Token named “Karn (Not the Good One)”.
- Exile All Creatures, Artifacts, Lands, Enchantments and Planeswalkers on the battlefield and all cards in all graveyards and all player’s hands. Then, look at your opponent and say “Whoops.”
- You may put any card with “Urza’s” in the name from outside the game into your hand.
- Target Opponent gets an emblem that says “You Cannot Cast Spells. Sit there and Take it.”
- Destroy Target Plane. All cards with art that represent that plane are exiled.
- Create an artifact token named “Legacy Weapon 2.0” with the activated ability WUBRG: Target Opponent loses the game.
So, the short version here is we were promised a vanilla mythic. In order to make a vanilla mythic feel appropriately special, it’s numbers have to be off the charts. Well, WOTC didn’t mess around with anywhere near the charts. They took the charts and broke them over their knee. There wasn’t enough of the charts left for Ed Gein to make a dish rag. The charts look like they lost an arm wrestling match with a wheat thresher. More than that, though, Infinity Elemental answers a question I’ve had in the back of my mind for awhile now. Namely, did the legalization of marijuana in Washington have any impact on Magic development? Full disclosure, I’m a complete teetotaler, and everything I know about pot is from watching stoner comedy movies and watching my friends enjoy the shit out of Adventure Time. Still, I feel confident in saying: “Yes. Yes, it did.”
Because, while I’m sure some of the fine folks at WOTC occasionally partook of the wacky tobaccy before it was legal, it’s only now that they can smoke basically as much as they want whenever they want that they decided to develop “Scanners.gif the card”. Infinity Elemental lets you figure out what happens when you block infinite damage with infinite squirrel tokens, or when you gain infinite life and then take infinite damage. Or let’s you put Rancor on there and then struggle to figure out “Infinity+2”. It lets you look at the scope of the universe and pit it against itself. It lets you feel connected to the math that not-so-secretly binds every force in the universe. It makes you appreciate certain albums more. It makes you crave Doritos. I’m fairly confident I’m just rehashing cliches now, but maybe I’m just being paranoid.
And that’s it for me. Can you tell I’m pumped for Unstable? I hope you folks all enjoy your drafts. If you like these articles, Please let me know. For me, reader comments are like opening a chase rare in text form.