Greetings Magic Community,
I’m pretty late with this article, nearly a week. You can choose one of two explanations,
1) I got a new real world job and have been so stressed and crazy that I literally forgot to do my favourite thing in the whole world, bitch about Magic in text form.
2) I’ve been secretly spying on North Korean military installations and was captured and locked in a filthy cell, forced to scratch rough drafts of my articles into the dirt floor with a rotted femur bone left by the previous tenant.
Long time readers will note that the second option is a ridiculous fantasy; I never bother with rough drafts.
So, as you know, this is my no-research, from the top of my head Magic News summary for the past two weeks. Let’s get to it.
- MTGO Sucks.
MTGO constant sucking is the bedrock of this article series. It’s the ground upon which I built the entire church. It’s the warm blanket that means I’ll never be short at least one topic to write about. I can be a day late with my article. Or a year late. Or a decade late. MTGO’s suckage is eternal. The common elements of the universe are hydrogen, empty space, entropy, humorless Chuck Lorre shows, and MTGO sucking. MTGO will suck until I’m dead and buried and then it will pour out a bottle of suck all over the freshly turned soil that holds my whiny bitchy corpse. It’ll sigh heavily, knowing that it will never join me in the sweet release of oblivion. It will be forced to toil on the mortal plane, in an endless cycle of sucking// always being just good enough to not die. And as it looks at the setting sun, knowing that it will always have another sunrise ahead of it, knowing I have finally embraced twilight, it will envy the dead. This is my ultimate victory, MTGO. This how you and I end our tragic romance, our terrible rivalry, our beautiful friendship. I will escape to some new spiritual adventure and leave you in the dreary mud of the Earth. Leaving you the champion of a Pyrrhic Victory. Leaving you hollow, empty and cold. Leaving you with nothing but the bittersweet memories of our time together. And my ten goddamn dollar sign up payment, you sonavabitch.
2. Castaway Jace
So, the story of Ixalan is really just getting going and there’s not that much to talk about yet, but let’s take a moment and appreciate how cool it was that when everyone’s least favorite illusionist starting hallucinating on a deserted island with no memory of who he was, his mind conjured actual illusory constructs of his visions. That puts painting a face on a volleyball to goddamn shame. That puts worshiping a dead pig head on a stake straight to the minor leagues. That’s some stark-raving, next-level crazy right there. And the weird thing is? The implication is that would just happen all the goddamn time to Jace if he didn’t have an iron-lock control on his own brain. Imagine how freaking tiring that must be?
To have your subconscious just visually and auditorily manifest whenever you’re tired or confused or not paying attention. Would you constantly have to restrain yourself so your boss didn’t see a shadow play of you choking him out in the break room? If I got a shitty pop song stuck in my head would it just blare all around me all the goddamn time until someone caved my head in with a table leg? During Jace’s first time sleeping with Liliana did she suddenly find herself having sex in a baseball diamond next to Jace’s grandmother? Because that sounds awesome and I want that to be the modus operandi for the character forever moving forward. God, that is such a better characterization than “The insufferably ‘smart’ one whose hung up on a manipulative woman that’s 200 years older than him”. You’re a veritable demi-god you whiny blue-haired bitch.
Grow a pair and find a new crush, Jesus. I mean, I’m fairly certain Vraska both wants you dead and has snakes for hair and she still seems like a better call than Lili, because at least she’s technically alive and doesn’t eat demon flesh. The gorgon assassin pirate captain, who is working for your arch-nemesis, is your less crazy rebound option. That says some profoundly shameful things about your life choices pal. Get your shit together.
Oh also, Ixalan is some kind of weird trap Plane that Planeswalkers can’t just leave. I haven’t read enough to know all the details but I have played some Planechase DnD in my time and I know a railroad plot when I see one. It’s the fantasy dimension-hopping version of a horror movie character’s cell phone not working. What happens next is only going to be tense if Jace absolutely cannot run from it like the Bolas-slapped second-stringer he is. I expect this to get dark and I can’t wait.
3. New Rules at Tournaments
Magic Judges have released a pretty major rules update for Tournament play. The last time I rolled into a GP I managed an intimidating 0-5 drop (I am tremendously bad at constructed) so I’m not particularly invested, but it was nice to see that reminding players of optional choices has now been codified into the rules. It’s a half-measure towards the rules WOTC wants to print which is just “Section 0.1: Don’t be a tremendous goddamn dick you mouth-breathing shitgoblins”. Honestly, I have absolutely no patience for people looking to edge a few percentage points out of letting their opponent make boneheaded mistakes like not fetching a land off Path, or the like. Did you want to win because you were smart? Because you made great plays, or a great deck? Or did you want to win because your opponent made a feel bad mistake that 99% of the time they would never ever make. If you said “I don’t distinguish between those scenarios, I just like to win” go die in a boat fire. Seriously, it’s a game. At the very highest level of play, in a Top 8 round of a Pro Tour, I get it. There’s real money on the line, everyone’s exhausted and you’ve worked your ass off. Every edge counts. Hell, even at Day 2 of a GP there’s an argument to be made that competition is heating up, and you need to be a bit more cut throat. But 99.9% of us are never going to experience that.
If you’re letting some 14 year old kid at FNM “forget” to get the land off of Path there is something goddamn wrong with you and you should follow the proceeding steps:
- Purchase a boat. Maybe give it a fun name, like “S.S. Spike-a-thon” or “HMS Still Counts”
- Drive the boat into international waters in the middle of an ocean.
- Disconnect any radio or GPS equipment so no one will find you.
- Pour kerosene all over everything
- Ignite it.
- Drown while burning to death, you incredible waste of human skin.
4. The $1 million dollar weekend
WOTC announced that for the Magic 25 special weekend in August of 2018- they’re going to be holding a 1 Million Dollar Prize Pool Pro Tour in the Triple Trios event format. Now, the easy joke here is to compare this sum of money against the Prize Pool of say, a League of Legends or DOTA 2 event and scoff at how meager it is in comparison, but screw that. This is awesome news. It has always been weird to me that Magic Pro Players have to work super goddamn hard, fly all over the goddamn country and basically be impossibly great at something tremendously complex all so they could…maybe, just maybe, eke out a living wage by the end of the year. I mean, certainly I would imagine nearly all Pros needed to have a day job. Preferably a financially solvent and supportive spouse. A bunch of side- gigs writing or making videos. The ability to go extended periods of time without food or sleep. Maybe a near sociopathic capability to neglect their own children if they really wanted to get serious about it. All so they could make less than a teenager screaming racial epithets at a Twitch chat or Youtube channel.
In the age of the new Internet economy, where people get paid to be great at stuff, or just entertaining while they’re bad at stuff, or sometimes it would appear to just to be doing something someone else would like to be doing while being loud and obnoxious, the fact that the humble Magic Pro was finding it so difficult to live the dream was a complete travesty. (Seriously though, I know I’m like a thousand years old but get off my lawn kids. If I’m going to watch someone else play a video game they could at least have the decency to be a good person and mildly entertaining).
5. New Planewalker Rules
I almost didn’t include this, just because I’m not sure how to make the fact that all planeswalkers are legendary now, but that you can have multiple planeswalkers of the same “type” on the battlefield funny. Oh sure, there’s easy comedy in making a bunch of “Gideon Tribal” or “Sorin Tribal” or (god-willing, one day) “Koth Tribal” decks, but the rules change itself isn’t all that weird. If anything, it makes way more sense to lay things out in the new way instead of having the Legendary rule and the Planeswalker rule do sorta the same thing, but not really. Wizards making a common sense change to the rules for the ultimate goal of simplifying things isn’t “news” or “happening now”, it’s just nice to see. I give WOTC a lot of shit in these articles, but I’m not going to pretend to I didn’t notice when they do it right. This is a smart, clean design choice and it should be lauded. Well done, Wizards. I promise I’ll keep this in mind the next time you make an idiotic mistake or-
Oh what’s that? You had to errata Hostage Taker before the set was actually released because targeting itself instantly caused games to end in draw?
Good to have you back, guys.
And on that note, I bid you adieu for another little while. And remember, my fragile ego needs to be stroked like an adorable fluffy kitten or I will shrivel up into dust and blow away in the wind. So please, leave a comment here or in the Reddit thread. Unless it’s a negative comment, in which case fill it with spelling mistakes and poor grammar so I can deflect more easily. Bye!