Hello Magic Community,
Welcome back to the Jester’s ReCap, the place you’ve been coming for terrible Magic News for an entire year! One year of pissing and moaning and occasionally being funny. To celebrate, I broke all my own rules. I went back to all my old articles and found stories that either still are on my mind, or seem to have disappeared completely, to gloat over where I was right and to shame myself for the numerous times I was just plain wrong. We’re going to follow up on those. Before we get to those stories though, let’s do two things.
First, thank you so much. I love doing this. I love Magic. Yes, these articles are sort of about being nourished by negativity and basking in bitterness, but for all my bitching and all my complaining I only get to do this because Magic is awesome, The Mana Base is pretty cool to let me, and because you guys in the community are some the best and most supportive people on the internet. Writing is something I did for years before this, but having people actually read the things I write? Still very new and still very exciting. Ok, so enough sappy crap. Let’s get back to being petty little shits!
Second thing on the agenda, well… you guys know.
MTGO Sucks – Highlight Reel
I promise this whole article won’t be “Clip Show” bullshit, but here’s some of my favourite MTGO bashing from the past year.
“it’s underlying architecture is probably best described as ‘Minoan’.”
“MTGO sucks like the universe expands: constantly, in every direction at once” (As was pointed out, this would actually mean its sucking is accelerating, not a constant. You guys rock.)
“Lazy, arthritic meerkats who spend their paychecks on lottery tickets. That’s the kind of slow I mean. ”
“MTGO’s suckage is like a natural wonder of the modern world. It’s the kind of Sucking that people should always see at least once before they die, like a great landmark.”
“Using MTGO is embarrassing because it proves that I value the ability to fire a draft at any time of day over my own self-respect, my own money, and my own supposed standards. At least heroin addicts can be emulating rock stars.”
“MTGO sucks, it’s ugly and it’s broken and it’s limping to the end of it’s miserable existence. But goddamnit, it’s also OURS.”
“I’m not against MTGO in any way—it’s probably more accurate to say I’m obsessed with it. I’m not the bully, picking on MTGO for being the homeliest kid in school. I’m the creepy stalker hiding in the bushes, sketching MTGO through a window because I think that they’re beautiful underneath it all, and one day they’ll see how I stuck with them through the bad times and love me back. It’s sick and weird and just plain wrong on so many levels, but it really is rooted in love. The kind of love that sometimes results in a skin suit, but love all the same.”
Ok, that’s enough of a trip down memory lane, let’s follow up on a few of last year’s stories.
I’m assuming this is completely dead now, but for those of you who don’t remember, Magic announced they were working on a Mobile MOBA game. Trying to be at the bleeding edge of video gaming from 9 years ago, Wizard’s announced that Planeswalkers were soon to be popping Ults and selling cosmetic skins. I look forward to 2027 when WOTC lets us know they are working on a Magic-themed Battle Royale game. Presumably somewhere they’ll do a Magic-themed rhythm game with a plastic guitar, followed by a sprite-based 16-bit platformer roguelike starring a Veil-Cursed Garruk. Actually — holy shit — can we get that last one? I accidentally like it.
There was a trailer video after a while and supposedly this game is still in development? But they haven’t actually told us anything since February of this year, and this is a company that announced, on three separate occasions this year, that there would be an actual announcement a few weeks later. I’m assuming it’s languishing in development hell somewhere while a South Korean mobile games studio tries to figure out why this loud American guy Hasbro sent over is constantly bitching about “colour pie”.
As you may remember from very late last year, a righteous wave of dedicated players began calling up Local Games Stores, demanding they stop enabling Wizard’s “anti-white, anti-male, SJW” policies. We all know the story from there. Under the immense pressure of these boycotts, Local Game Stores by the hundreds were forced to close their doors forever. Numerous stories of closed businesses and economic collapse peppered gaming news as comics, board games and dice sales plummeted. Hasbro’s profits sank to record lows and corporate executives threw themselves out 10th story windows in shame of their senseless devotion to political correctness and common decency. Women, people of non-white ethnicities and other minorities of all types were forced out the game forever and instead took up hobbies such as field-plowing and housework. The game stores that did survive became milky-white utopias where young men of “razor-sharp” intellect and only marginally questionable hygiene sat around spellslinging with nary a single challenge to self-imposed superiority.
Oh no, wait. They were ignored, and nobody knows if they continued with their stupid boycott. Hasbro made bank all year and doubled-down on their commitment to inclusion. The community decided we’d rather be on the side of good people than screeching manbabies. Presumably they crawled back under their anime body pillows, muttered something about “reverse racism” and sobbed softly into copies of “Incel Quarterly”. I love it when the good guys win.
I Was Right About Vampires, but…..
I bitched like three or four times this year about WOTC Creative’s far too obvious plan to redeem the Vampire tribe into anti-heroes, or at least not blood sucking monsters. And I was right about that, I feel the story really vindicated me. So hey, chalk up a win right? Unfortunately I’m batting one for a thousand. Here’s a quick list of things I was wrong about this year:
- Pirates didn’t end up winning the vote for control of the Golden City. Morally speaking, I feel I was on incredibly solid ground rooting for the murderous sea thieves, but factually the stupid Sun Empire won. Because I don’t deserve to be happy and neither do you.
- I was pretty high on Brawl and figured WOTC had actually nailed this one, but in retrospect I don’t know how much this format has in the way of legs. Gavin Verhey wrote a highly defensive article awhile back claiming that 20% of Magic players who responded to a survey are playing it and that’s…good, somehow? Gavin’s a smart guy, I’m going to just assume he knows 20% isn’t a high number. I dunno. Banning Baral was a good move, but I think I might just be overly optimistic every time I see a new way to play Magic.
- Banning cards for Ramunap Red in Standard ended up being correct. I was harsh on that decision at the time, but since what I know about Standard could maybe fill a thimble halfway it’s no surprise I was way off.
- Jace’s new and improved personality graft was, amazingly, not retconned by the end of Ixalan‘s storyline. He may remain interesting longer than I suspected. I am fully and completely on the S.S. Blue Gorgon. Lilli can have Chad Chunkstud instead.
Short version: I’m a stupid, stupid man. Better stick to ReCapping what already happened and stay the hell out of the prediction game.
Ixalan GeoCache Marketing
As my coveted “dumbest decision” award, The Geocache marketing might seem like an odd choice. But Honestly “Bury our ads in the dirt in the woods” is just so freaking stupid that I still think about it all the time. If you don’t remember, WOTC used some loose word association to connect Pirates, to buried treasure, to geocaching and handed out a bunch of stuff and asked people to…hide it, or something? It would be like if for the next Mission Impossible movie somebody redacted all the marketing material and then mailed it to the CIA and nobody else. Authentic? Sure. But under no definition is that “marketing”.
And that’s basically it. Cards warped. Players cheated. WOTC made monumental mistakes and inspired moves in about equal measure. MTGO continued to suck and Arena continued to stalk it like a hungry animal on a sickly wildebeest. I thanked everybody at the top, but let’s do it one more time because it matters to me. I love you guys. I love doing this and I plan on continuing. Hopefully you plan on continuing to read. Let me know what you thought of the year, positive and negative. What should I shut up about? What should I focus on more? Why do I seem to be sexually attracted to Koth? The suggestion box is open; if you guys have other stuff you’d like to see written by a talentless hack, let me know. I’m always open to new projects and experiments. See you guys in a couple weeks. 💖