Hello Again Magic Community,

Welcome back to the Jester’s ReCap, that thing you click on twice a month with the hope that this time I’ll be funny but usually you just settle for me being hilariously wrong. Being laughed at is just as good as being laughed with, every comedian knows that. For those of you who don’t know the game, here how it works: I look back over the last couple weeks of Magic News so you don’t have to, but I do so without any of that pesky “research” or “facts” or “thoughtful analysis”.  The stories that stay with me are usually ones which get the blood up, so get ready to get angry. Then kinda sad. Then tired. Then angry again, only this time at me.  Oh and before we get started, I have already done all the jokes there are to do about Wizard’s Announcing that they will soon being announcing the announcement date for a future announcement. I’m done beating that dead horse. Someone at Wizards can’t orgasm unless they launch an announcement page, I get it. Not going to go there, ok? Ok. Let’s rock:

MTGO is Devious Evil Wrapped in Shitty .Net Code

You. Sons. Of Bitches. Just when I think I’m out. Just when I have all but abandoned my MTGO account in favour of Arena. That’s when you bastards announce CHAOS DRAFT. The one thing. The best thing. The thing I have wanted since I first installed MTGO.  The one thing Arena cannot reasonably produce and won’t be able to for probably a decade. You monsters.

Picture yourself breaking up with another person. It’s an ugly break-up. They scream and yell and call you horrible names. They accuse you of cheating, or lying, maybe they call the cops or harass you at work. They physically assault you. They try to drain your joint account. Whatever. It goes on for days or weeks but eventually…it seems to calm down. You’ve moved on, and it becomes clear to your crazy ex that you are not just having a fight. They are toxic and you are done with them.

They show up, contrite, on your door step. They are wearing something provocative. They are apologizing. They are holding a pie and possibly a cute mammal of some description. Let’s go with puppy, if you’re a puppy person. What is your instinct in this situation? Do you remember all the good times? Do you take them at their word? Do you really want Chaos Drafting? I mean…Pie? NO!

It’s a TRAP! You know it’s a trap! Stop, think of your self-respect! Think of your personal betterment. Do the smart, mature, responsible thing and—

Oh shit I’m on my second slice of pie and I’m already in love with this dog. Goddamnit. I’m so weak.

You get to live on my PC a little while longer MTGO. This is a respite! Not a reconciliation.

Gee, You Think Nexus of Fate Might Have Been a Mistake?

If you lived on planet Earth these past few weeks and you know what Magic is, you have an opinion of Nexus of Fate. The community was flooded with thought pieces and puff pieces and hot takes and—oh my God—there’s no way I read all of them, but it feels like I read all of them twice. There was the beleaguered WOTC Apologists. There was the slightly confused individuals who were angry but for the wrong reasons (WOTC only did this because they exist to make money you guys, and making money is wrong. I only buy products produced by ascetic anchorites of Saint Benedict who create art for the sublime joy of self-expression).  There were the bewildered people who only sort of pay attention to Magic News and were shocked to find out Buy-A-Box Promos were a thing. There were the contrarians who insisted that Nexus of Fate’s price being roughly equivalent to a Masterpiece Mind Twist was a good thing, somehow, because….well, they’re smarter than you and you just have to trust them.

Most people though, agreed that the minute Nexus has absolutely any buzz about it, it was destined to be skyrocketing in price. Which leads to prospective buy outs. Which leads to more interest. And then, in something I actually find surprising, it found its way into more than one potentially competitive Standard deck. I don’t know if it’s good, because…well, everything’s bad when I’m piloting it, but Turbo Fog is something I love playing. Every match feels like a balancing act on a tightrope. Plus, there’s an Esper Control deck that might even be good. If you thought Nexus was pricey when it only might have been good, you were in for a shock when good players started wanting it.

Then after about 10 days of ceaseless bitching and panicked pieces from all over the Magic Community something a bit weird happened. A WOTC streamer (I think it was Blake Rasmussen, but looking it up would break my rules about caring enough to look it up) announced on Stream that the Build-A-Box promos were actually MORE common than any other individual mythic. It was only slightly more rare than any given card in the rare slot. Maro would later repeat this point on Blogatog, apparently fed up with all the complaints. This was not exactly news, but Wizards had avoided directly discussing print numbers in the past and now they were publicly broadcasting this fact to try and calm us the hell down.

That’s nice. You get that that doesn’t address the problem, right? Like, at all? The problem is not rarity. No card printed in a Standard set is actually so rare that the slip of cardboard can only be obtained by spending $30 on it. That doesn’t exist. You haven’t printed so few of any Standard set since a hard over-correction around Fallen Empires. The secondary market doesn’t run on actual rarity. It runs on demand, which runs on perceived rarity. The fact that you actually printed more of it doesn’t do shit for people, because you don’t make public how much of any of given card gets printed.  You designed the Build-A-Box promo as a way to sell boxes, of course, and the key lie you used to do that was to artificially inflate the perceived rarity of the card. That was the whole marketing idea.  No one was going to buy a box, just to get a card slightly rarer than Nimble Obstructionist. You let some number of us believe that the cards were very rare, in order to boost sales. You do not get to be mad at us, when we freak out over the perceived injustice of a potentially popular card being possibly unavailable to us. You certainly don’t get to ride in on a high horse, and claim “No, we we’re lying the whole time and there’s plenty of the card out there. There, don’t you feel foolish now?”.

No, we don’t feel foolish. We feel fooled, and it’s different.

That isn’t to say that anyone paying attention, from the get-go, would not have done the math and realized how common the actual card was. I think a lot of people already knew the suggestion the card was super hard to get was never true. I think, I even mentioned it in one my articles and I’m like, barely paying attention. My complaint at the time was that they were creating a new rarity slot and that path leads to Yugioh-ish nightmares. But that’s not the point. You manage our perceptions and expectations when it comes to your product. You went out of your way to not correct our perceptions. Don’t blame us when you give us the wrong idea and then we react as though what you presented was accurate.  Do not punish our trust in you.

*Wheeze* *Pant* /Self-indulgent Nerd Rant

Or do. Whatever. You make a Card game, I’m not going to call you up to the Hague.


Coming to Arena Soon! Pauper and…Momir???

Uhh Arena? Are you feeling ok? I get that Pauper is a thing that could, potentially, work on Arena. I mean, you have commons. That much is undeniable. You don’t have very many of the commons that see play in Pauper. Pauper is an eternal format. It’s cool because over the years tons and tons of commons have been printed. But ok, Standard Pauper is a thing I’ll bet. I haven’t checked, but that makes a certain amount of sense to me. Seems dull, but totally doable.

Momir?! How could you possibly? The whole point of Momir is that it pulls a Creature card from ANYWHERE in Magic history.  Weirdo rares and useless trash and cards that kill you on the spot. Cards that have incredibly bizarre interactions with one another and have literally never been on the same battlefield before. You have like, 10 sets on Arena. Of all the things you are capable of doing, this is literally the thing you are weakest at. This isn’t failing to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. This is more like a old school video game boss making his weak points light up like a goddamn Christmas Tree. Goddamnit, maybe I’ll just go back to MTGO!

I don’t mean that.

Magic 64 Bracket Fun Times!

Since apparently I had fewer “jokes” and more “crazed ranting like a lunatic” in the tank this time out, let’s cool down with taking a look at some interesting match-ups in the Magic 64 Bracket. I cannot imagine many people were unaware of this, but basically for some amount of time—nearly two years I think at this point?—A Magic Bracket had been asking the community to vote for cards in head to head match-ups to determine the “Greatest Magic Card of All Time”, but you know, by no particular metric. Which is a complete waste of time because the objective answer is Mountain Goat, followed closely by the Flight with the Zebra Art, you know the one.


But since the philistines of the greater community can’t appreciate what truly makes a card great, let’s look at some of the their match-ups and spew unsolicited opinions.

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker vs. Birds of Paradise – Yes, he’s an immortal Dragon, former God and current Dimension-Hopping Super Genius. He commands legions of magic-resistant undead. He holds sway over like 3 or 4 other Planeswalkers are this point. He decimates whole Planes of existence on a whim. But I know what I’d rather have in my opener.

Grizzly Bears vs. Time Walk – Grizzly Bears made top 64. It beat 91 other cards to get here. It is up against a power nine spell now and I’m not even sure it’s going to lose. I take it all back, Magic Community. I love you like brothers and sisters.

Through the Breach vs. Force of Will – The Ultimate “Suddenly I Win” card goes up against the Ultimate “Suddenly you don’t win” card and whoever wins, I’m sorta pissed about it. I’d prefer neither of these was ever printed, but if one has to win I go with Force of Will. At least Force of Will has inspired a hundred million terrible renditions of the same lazy joke, where a tapped out opponent says “Maybe I have FoW? Ha, Ha.” As a purveyor of lazy and stupid jokes that speaks to me.

Forest vs. Dark Confidant – Bobby’s got a fight on his hands. His actual affect and legendary impact on several formats and the naming conventions of every creature that ever drew you an extra card are incredibly potent arguments for his card being the best ever. Unfortunately he’s up against the Ur-Green card. The potential of all green decks every where to cast stuff. Or one of the fundamental five pillars of the game, I guess, although Island, Plains and Swamp didn’t make it so maybe that argument falls flat. I vote for the guy with power and toughness.

Blood Moon vs. Treachery – Would you rather deny someone fun, or just take their fun away once they have it. It’s like one of those old Buzzfeed quizzes. Which Kind of Prick are You?

Serra Angel vs. Gitrog Monster Easiest pick in the whole bracket. Sure, Gitrog is demonstrably more powerful and cool, but Serra Angel is, at this point, probably the most iconic Magic card ever printed. Gitrog isn’t even our favourite Frog since Yargle got printed. Angel beats face while Gitrog feebly tries to remind us of when we made Hypnotoad jokes about him, instead of our new Frogfriend who we like better.

And that’s it for me this time guys. Be sure to chime in on the Nexus debacle (I know you have opinions, don’t like to me) or the Bracket. Also, should I take MTGO back? I mean, they’re just going to hurt me again right? Guys? I really need your support on this one. I just…I need to be strong.


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