Hello Again Magic Community,

Welcome Back to the Jester’s ReCap, a hazy recounting of Magic’s history in bite-sized two-week increments. I’m going to level with you folks, I bought a house since the last Jester’s ReCap and my attention has not been on the news. Shit might get weird as I try to remember what Magic info I actually took in over the past few weeks. Is it possible that Dominaria’s release changed certain rules in Tw0-Headed Giant? The only thing that seems weirder is that my brain would somehow invent that happening. A quick Google, which I did just to ascertain how screwed I am for the remainder of this article, seems to suggest that actually happened, so be sure to check that out, kids. Also, if you don’t play 2HG at your casual kitchen table Magic nights, fix that. I know being connected to Oath of the Gatewatch has probably tainted the format for some of you, but its’ great. Anyway,  I think I can gather enough accurate info to limp through, so let’s rock. Starting with…

MTGO Sucks

MTGO’s last update had a few important changes to reflect the new rules and I discovered them while tooling around in the Modern Cube. Seems to work ok, no real complaints. But before I got into any draft or actually even really used the program at all, I got a chance to be exceptionally pissed off at MTGO. It was nice. Keeps the relationship fresh, you know? I looked at MTGO across a crowded room and fell in hate all over again. My heart was racing with a brief moment of pure, spicy rage. A kind of rekindling, of the fury in my heart. This time, because MTGO updated it’s desktop icon. “Now Jester,” I absolutely don’t hear any of you saying because all of our communication is text-based and every one of you knows my real name, “isn’t a desktop icon a silly thing to be upset about?”

And yes, it’s a completely silly thing to get upset about. The new icon isn’t even bad, its look is very much in line with most of Wizard’s new marketing. It’s a completely trivial, pointless and purely aesthetic change. Which would be fine, except, you know. The program is still shit. It…it doesn’t work very well. Do I really need to elaborate? I’ve covered this, at length. There’s a terribly long list of cards that don’t work. It’s ugly. It’s slow. Its’ days are completely numbered as Arena begins to close it’s jaws slowly around MTGO’s neck. This is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. This is like selling parasols in Pompeii.  This is giving a last meal to a Crash Test Dummy, except those are supposed to break. Why was the goddamn icon a priority? Who marched into whose office and was like “Hold Everything! Don’t fix Genesis Hydra. Don’t improve system resource allocation.  Don’t make the game free to download. First and foremost, I drew a thing.”  You deserve your oncoming painful death, MTGO. I was going to use a real world analogy of that too, but it might upset folks so let’s go with a nice safe deep cut pop culture reference. So MTGO, you deserve death like the people of Terminia, whom I would absolutely have left to die had I not shared their ultimate fate, because everyone in that game was stupid. I hope you get crushed by the Moon. Yeah, there, no way the internet will have strong opinions about that.

B&R Blank Announcement

So Wizard’s latest B&R announcement was a big fat nothing. Apparently, they are completely satisfied with the standing of all constructed formats. Ok,  fair enough, who am I to judge otherwise? Heads up though, Wizards, when you don’t explain your decision it doesn’t look like smug contentment, so much as maybe like you forgot to actually do your job. You rolled out of bed, looked at the Calendar, saw “B&R DAY: BAN SOMETHING?” scribbled in red ink and quickly typed up the corporate announcement equivalent of “Everything’s cool. Everything fine, we’re all fine here. How are you?”. A reasoned assessment of why you were happy might have gone a long way. Or at least given us a bunch if nitpicks to make.

On the other hand, it’s not like there was a winning play here. The Magic Community, myself included, was geared up to tear into inaction just as much as any move you could possibly have made. It’s funny, I always thought watching Sisyphus push a boulder up a hill forever would be depressing. Or watching Don Quixote tilting at Windmills would be inspiring. Turns out, no, watching someone perform an impossible task has the most in common with watching 45 clowns pour out of a tiny car. One the one hand it is kind of funny and technically very impressive, but on the other hand you just wish it would stop before it infects all your future nightmares. The B&R announcement has become a ritual, based on fearful speculation, complex technical arguments and subjective opinion. And while that’s not exactly a pleasant experience, it’s kind of amazing that this particular fire doesn’t appear to need any fuel to continue burning.  Nothing happened, but there was still a cycle of excitement, anxiety, reveal, complaint, acceptance. A “Circle of Hype”, if you will. Like a beautiful clockwork perpetual motion machine, playing out with genuine precision and requiring no outside input, producing an endless amount of disappointment.

GP Sydney

So there were a couple of fluff pieces written about how Jessica Estephan was Magic’s first female GP winner after her team took down GP Sydney. Most of us probably nodded, said “neat” and moved on with our lives.  A few people were probably quite pleased at this milestone and the growth it illustrates in the game’s player base. A smaller group of people probably felt the pedantic, but not incorrect, need to point out that it was a team event, and we shouldn’t let Jessica’s lack of dick somehow invalidate her teammates contributions to her win. Finally, a very, very small percentage of people were total assholes. If you’re wondering you if fall into this category, I have produced a helpful check list:

  • When you saw that a woman had finally won a GP, did you immediately feel the need to google a picture and see how attractive she is? If so, asshole.
  • Did you make some derisive comment about how the Hollow One deck she played is a really easy to pilot (it’s not), and competition at GP Sydney wasn’t that stiff (it was) and a chimp could have been carried by her team (Chimps eat faces)? If so, asshole.
  • If you got in a big pissy pouty tantrum and kept posting “Nobody cares about this” because you, specifically, didn’t care about it? If so, asshole with bonus self-centered shit poster.

So congrats, Jessica Estephan. Every GP win is a monumental achievement which most people will never experience, and even then most winners don’t get their own footnote in the history books.  I hope we see more from you and your team in the future.

Teferi-ana Jones and the Temple of Math

So Gideon and Liliana rolled up on a pretty neat Dungeons and Dragons adventure that Teferi and his daughter were on. Turns out Urza hid a thing in an ancient, trap-filled puzzle temple. While it sounds like a good team-building exercise for an Office struggling with morale and communication issues, the problem with this particular escape room is it is constantly trying to kill you. (Rather than a normal escape room which just convinces you you want to kill each other.) Teferi is a character I don’t know much about from the old days. I know he’s a former Planeswalker. I know he’s a Time Mage and I know his Commander card is crazy-super-broken.  I didn’t know he was supposed to look like Idris Elba and be genuinely funny. That was a pretty nice surprise. I know Jace has undergone some pretty impressive character reconstruction, but this guy just showed up and I already like him better. With some outside perspective from the goth girl working the counter at Hot Topic who replaced Liliana in the story this week, a little punchy-punchy from Big Gids and Shanna  a friendly ribbing from old college buddy Jhoira and moral support from their teenage sidekick Raff, Teferi manages to get the magic stone that the most powerful Wizard in the history of Wizards didn’t want him to have. Which I’m sure will have no negative consequences at all. When did Urza ever know what the hell he was doing anyway? That guy blew up time.

Some DOM Cards I can’t stop thinking about

Dominaria is here, and there are a few cards that are taking up a lot my mind space.

Not only is this card great, and gross, it’s also super important to the format. But the only reason I mention it here is because it can allow an attacking X/2 creature to trade with its’ own yeast infection. Super disgusting.

Speaking as an aspiring writer — too close to home, Magic. Too close to home. It’s a good thing Zephyr Scribe was pretty playable because my profession of choice tends to get lumped into the “useless garbage” category.

An underwhelming creature which represents both a forgotten, goofy tribe AND a pipe-dream mill strategy? Aw Wizards, I didn’t know you were printing cards just for me! For my next request I would like a Badger that lets me move charge counters around when it attacks, called “Attack Badger”. Then I can tell people “I attack with Charging Badger and Attack Badger move a counter to Charge Charging Badger with my Attacking Attack Badger”. And then I’ll laugh and everyone else will just look at me funny and pity me.

Wizards, you already had to rename Commander. Why do you insist on flirting with lawsuits by the people who own Highlander? Is there anyone who plays this without yelling “I AM EVERYTHING!”.

And that’s it for me this time guys! Soon I’ll be settled into my new home and hopefully more on the ball. If there’s anything I missed, let me know in the comments and I’ll take a crack at giving you a response worthy of your time.  And as always, I only sustain myself from the love in the comments. Without it I dry out like a raisin and start smelling like a corpse.


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