Hello Magic Community,

Welcome back to the Jester’s ReCap, where I hold off on writing this article until the last possible minute because Trick Jarrett says there’s an “announcement day” and then announces nothing worth talking about. Careful Trick, my enemy list is long and I’m really lazy, but I can always make room. There’s a space between “Barista who gets my name wrong” (who the hell is named “Blink?!”) and 90’s Television star Ben Savage (he knows what he did).  Keep it up, buddy see where it gets you.

Trick and Wizard’s Painful Deceit — good band name — aside, there is quite a bit to talk about this week, so I will do my best to power through it so those of you wading through Battlebond spoilers have something to read this week. As always, I don’t do any research or reading so if I missed something important it’s because it just didn’t stay with me.  I’m not actually going to talk Battlebond very much. I’m a big supporter of Two-headed Giant as a kitchen table format. I think it’s fun and I think Battlebond will be great. It’s not super funny on its’ own. I mean, I love watching Magic players bicker like old married couples about strategy and card evaluation but I’m not sure it has long term comedy legs, and also I can already see it on demand in literally any Reddit thread. So on to the other stuff:

MTGO Sucks, But Flashback Drafts Almost Justify It.

Lorwyn drafts were on MTGO this past week, a format I very much enjoy. I don’t know where the community falls on the format, because I was playing Magic the first time around. You assholes all need to lay off Faeries. Standard dominance doesn’t necessarily make it the best draft archetpye, but overall it’s fun. Planeswalkers are at rare, and there are 5 in the set. Tribe synergies help braindead awful players like me find our lanes. There’s lots to like. And this where Magic Online really, really shines. There’s no other way to do this. A Lorwyn draft set in paper would be prohibitively expensive, but because MTGO can run them as phantom events with a very levelled-off prize structure I drafted it like 10 times on 10 bucks. That’s a lot of fun for like, not that much money. It’ll be a loooooong time before Arena can do this, as well. Even when they get drafts, they aren’t likely to jump in to adding all the backdated sets quickly. Imagine if you will, MTGO in a Colosseum and me on throne high above it. I am Caesar and it is the wounded but triumphant gladiator. The thumb is out….and I really, really want to point down. I want it die bloody for the entertainment of the masses. But then, the crowd cheers. FLASHBACK DRAFTS! FLASHBACK DRAFTS! And I hesitate. Am I not a benevolent Emperor? Do I not wish for only the finest bread and circuses for the masses?  Grudgingly, painfully, I give MTGO the limpest-wristed thumbs up since I was awkwardly encouraging my little sister to have fun at prom. I feel bad about it, but it’s simply the reality of the situation. Today, for all it’s flaws, MTGO is a hero of the people. But one day the worm will turn. Arena will plunge its Gladius into MTGO’s neck and I can be done with this annoyance and go back to ruling my own imagination with an iron fist. My imagination, where I am witty and handsome and powerful and I ignore my multitude of personal failings in favour of pleasant self-indulgence. Oh look, here come the Harem Girls. and banana pancakes. Awesome. Where was I?


Great Designer Search : Round 1

Congrats to our finalist in the GDS, you had some terribly interesting and some interestingly terrible submissions and I think that’s all we can ask for. The first round however, was Super Cool. I capitalize for emphasis here as I dig the Tribal Design challenge they were given where the contestants were charged with giving some love to Rogues, Oozes, Shamans, Insects and more.  It just looked like a ton of fun. It’s incredibly self-indulgent of me to use my limited word count here to play along at home, especially on a week with some much going. But screw it, the Mana Base hasn’t fired me yet.  I pick Devils!

I love Devils. Demons get all the attention with their splashy effects and long term planning, but it isn’t right. Devils don’t plan, they just DO. They destroy, they taunt and they break shit. They are the the reddest of red creatures, although thankfully for the nature of the challenge (The Tribe had to be two-colour I believe) they fit into black just fine. Thank you Rakdos Cackler for opening that door. Hellrider is great but these guys don’t get a lot of love. I actually once built a terrible Modern deck built entirely around Vexing Devil and raise dead effects. I called it “Daredevil Season 2: Featuring The Punisher Mechanic”. It was uh… well, the name the was the best part.  So let’s see if I can’t use the existing template to flesh out Devils’ tribe identity.  Not a full 8 designs though — I’m a selfish prick, not a crazy person.

Design 1  –

Devil’s Pitchfork (Common)


Artifact – Equipment

Equipped Creature gets +2/+0. If that creature is a Devil, it must be blocked this turn.

Equip 2

Design 2 – 

Erupt From the Earth (Uncommon)



Destroy Target Land. Create three 1/1 Devils Tokens with “When this creature dies it deals 1 damage to any target”

Design 3

Bedeviled (Rare)


Enchantment  – Aura Curse

Whenever enchanted player takes damage from a Devil you control, they discard a card.

Design 4

Internet “Comedy Writer” – (Mythic Rare)


Creature – Devil Human


When Internet “Comedy Writer” enters the battlefield, feel intense shame at spending this long in a section of your article without telling a single goddamn joke. You get an emblem that says “you are a garbage devil person.”

Bit of bend there, giving a non-planeswalker an emblem but I feel I justified it by being a massive dick.


Card Stock Explained!

Look, Wizards, I get it. I understand that the situation with Card Stock is tricky.  Cards have been warping, but there’s no easy fix and some of it is probably blown a little of proportion by internet assholes like me. But you actually, have the unmitigated gall to send an employee out to write an article saying that you’ve never changed your card stock and printing process in the entire 25 years of Magic and that we are all just imagining it? Holy shit. That is some “alternative facts” bullshit right there. Is that even Gaslighting at that point? But you had a guy march out to the starving lions, covered in barbecue sauce, to steadfastly insist that the menu was converting to vegetarian. I don’t know ANYTHING about card printing. And genuinely, the article written was fascinating. I didn’t know about the neat cores or the french printing facility or anything like that. But don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. The entire Magic Community did not delude itself into warping their own cards into Pilsbury Cardboard Croissants.  If you haven’t changed anything about the card, then Global Warming is scarier than I thought because apparently the toxins in the atmosphere are destroying Magic cards that are left in the open air. That seems…unlikely?  But I do like the idea that certain people become VERY green-minded in the hopes of protecting their Power Nine.


Slimefoot = Best Character

He waved his oily stalk in my direction and I melted like a Frost Giant on Amonkhet. He has no complicated baggage or intricate plans. He has no second-guessing self-conscious teenage bullshit and he wants to be safe, sociable and happy in a place of relative comfort. Also he never speaks. Slimefoot is the greatest character in the history of Magic Lore. That is all.


Announcement Day

I waited.  I did. I was excited. But the announcement on last Friday was exactly what everyone thought it would be, only less. Yes, anyone paying attention to the story knows we were headed back to Ravnica. The fact that the Guilds will still be there does not count as a revelation. Each guild will have a Mechanic?  Yeah, figured that out, thanks Wizards. 3 full of Ravnica? Holy shit guys, I like Ravnica and that seems just really, really boring. Although apparently the third one has something to do with a major shake up they’re not spoiling. The natural assumption is Nicol Bolas showing up, but do any of the guilds side with him on that day? I mean, Dimir maybe? No way Izzet does, I don’t know much but I know Niv-Mizzet doesn’t like competition. That leaves Rakdos… yeah I guess Rakdos is always down for a bloodbath. But that’s all speculation. What I do know is that for “Ravnica again and the same”, I had to have one announcement about the announcement, a 3-day wait and then an actual announcement. For something everyone already knew. That would be like me promising on November 5th that I had a big announcement for after Thanksgiving (American Thanksgiving, we Canucks don’t wait for Turkey) and then sitting my whole family down and being like, “Christmas will be on the 25th this year”. I would be justifiably uninvited from Christmas and possibly hospitalized for being an enormous idiot. My family gatherings get a little intense. (Don’t worry, it’s not so bad to be hospitalized here either, free healthcare). Get it together, WOTC. You can do better, we’ve seen it.


Global Series: Rise of China

It is a simple fact of life that you can no longer survive as a worldwide product without the Chinese Market. It’s too big. It’s too important, and it’s only going to become more so. Hollywood figured this out a few years back, and the Chinese market drives a ton of their decisions now.  This why Marky-Mark was fighting monsters on the Great Wall a while back. Try not to worry too much about the macroeconomics of it, where a censorship-maintained dictatorship now has command of one of the largest blocks of buying power on earth. No good will come of thinking too much about that, because for one it’s depressing and for two if I drag my limited understanding of geopolitics into this article then the real self-humiliation will truly begin. The important thing is, Magic isn’t going to let that market go un-served.  I suspect that the CCG market might be even more crowded in China and so Wizards is releasing a product of blatant pro-China pandering. I mean cards that are only Standard-Legal in China, using Chinese artists, Chinese cultural touchstones and what looks to my uncultured eye as a ridiculously ugly art direction. This is a hearty and blatant slice of pandering, but I don’t mean that as a negative thing. Go where the players want you to go, right WOTC? I mean, can you imagine if Wizards pandered to existing Magic fans that hard?

Well, that’s it for me this time guys. Please leave comments, good or bad. It’s the only way I’ll learn.

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