I’ve been a lazy boy about posting. You deal with my kids and try to find the time. Sue me if you’d like – no blood from a stone fool! ZINGO!
But after reading some of the vast amount of virulent hate I have produced by typing on a computer (Don’t applaud just yet) I’ve noticed a trend. I, or someone, makes a suggestion with the intent of sparking a further discussion, or a Brainstorming session (PUNS RULE) only to have some pigeon-brained yokel crop up with “I CANT TYP SO GOD BUTT U ARE RONG 4 SAYEING WUT U SAD AND KNOW I MOK U.”
WARNING: ACTUAL EVIDENCE TO FOLLOW:
Me: [In reference to Garruk Wildspeaker Jund, a list I’ve advocated and piloted in the past, well before Channelfireball Author Jacob Van Lunen posted about it, and was apparently….orally loved by Jund fans on CFB.] JVL, have you considered in your more aggressive designs a Sarkhan Vol?
SOME GUY WHO IS NOT NAMED SCHMETE: LOL, WHAT DOES SARKHAN DO THAT GARRUK DOESN’T?
Me: Actually, I don’t recall them doing the same things, I never saw Sarkhan untap two lands or produce a beast and I never saw Garruk act of treason or Goblin-Lord Anthem something, so like, Nothing I guess, but in the world of stupid questions and observations, Garruk sucks at brainstorming too.
See? Do you see what I mean? That butt-wipe came in crapped all over the party, like he’s the freakin’ expert. (Were we both on a plane, I would’ve considered his expertise on Jund tied to flying, and promptly given him das boot out of the plane, just to see how much he truly knows. Teach him for squashing it.)
By the way, the card in question, Prophetic Flamespeaker, actually straight up sucks. But spoiler alert, Jacob Van Lunen is paid to sell cards, I’m not paid to do anything but point out the obvious. So if you want the original article, it’s here: Well, actually here.
But, back on point, that idiot, and those like him, are the death of brewing and testing. And they make such lame, crap-ass arguments (HE MADE A SWEAR!) as to why you should shut up when you have an idea. Sure, some ideas you’ll have are just hideous, like “HIDEOUS END MIGHT BE PLAYABLE!” and “WURMCOIL ENGINE CLEARLY BELONGS IN BOGLES!” and “NOLAN, YOU TOTALLY CAN PLAY LASHWRITHE IN MONO-BLACK STANDARD CONTROL! IT’S TOO OVERPOWERED NOT TO!”
But, some ideas may not be that terrible: “Maybe Shadow of Doubt IS playable!” “Eidolon of the Great Revel is worth my time!” “Boros Reckoner is an overblown joke outside of Standard and I should quit wasting my time!”
And then someone has an idea that is truly groundbreaking: “Holy crap look what I can do with the Urza lands!” “GORYO’S VENGEANCE LET’S ME TURN TWO A GRISLEBRAND INTO THEIR DOME!” “If I just stop buying bad cards I won’t have bad decks!”
Feeling a bit better about ourselves? Good. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s look at blanket statements that just flat out suck to hear and drain your intelligence.
1) “Well, that card isn’t good enough, it dies to X” – Dies to removal is your argument genius? Well, let’s logically extrapolate the initial argument first. If I stick my Dark Confidant, My Primeval Titan, My Lotus Cobra, My Vendilion Clique, My Snapcaster Mage, My Plague Stinger, My Master of Etherium, etc. And it survives just one little turn, I’m ahead of my opponent, or I’ve got more raw power than my opponent. And because I have developed my card advantage / mana / raw on-board damage, I am ahead in the game. So I’ll have to man up and risk it. Because your logical extension is this: Can’t play creatures that can be doom-bladed, so I’m stuck playing black creatures. But black creatures can die to sweepers and sacrificial removal, so those are out. So I have to play enchantments and artifacts. Oh wait, most colors have a way to kill me or kill the artifact or enchantment, so looks like I’m down to planeswalkers. Oh crap, you can target a planeswalker or just whoop it mid combat. Looks like I’m stuck playing lands. Well, lands tend to die to at least Fulminator Mage or Tectonic Edge, so I’m down to basics. Oh, you can ghost-quarter a basic? Well, crap, those are gone. Time to play Oops! All Spells forever. Oh crap, Force of Will? Well, I guess I have to register this decklist then:
4x Darksteel Citadel
4x Darksteel Relic
52x Basic Land of your Choice.
Well stop the presses you outright genetic failure, looks like my argument of weighing safety over raw power level wins.
2) Uhh, the pros are playing X, so you playing Y means you’re doing it wrong (Especially after you just beat me.)
Oh, this always makes me want to cave in a skull or two. Okay, let’s break down why this argument is typically wrong. You know what stock Merfolk looks like – Mono U. But you notice your meta is really heavy-aggro, and really heavy into Tron. So you get the bright idea that maybe adding a few bolts and decide coupling that with Blood Moon will give you a competitive edge. Maybe it’s Friday Night Magic in, oh, say, Schmidiana Pennsyltucky, where literally nothing matters. You go toe to toe with the best, and it works out you make Top 8, but get wiped. The guy you beat to make top 8 fires off that genius argument. Instead of just calling him a name that will get you in serious hot water, you can just calmly report “Well, idiot, you were playing Tron, and the first three rounds I faced Zoo, Affinity, and Jank Aggro, so it doesn’t seem so stupid, as those cards gave me an edge I didn’t have playing Mono Blue. Oh, and last time I checked, we’re not at Pro-Tour Paris, so cram it.”
Because that’s what it really boils down too. Some people do have pro-builds down to the sleeve, because they could afford it. And some people have weighed their personal tastes and how they view the metagame, and they adjust cards accordingly. Some people think, and some just copy and paste lists into Starcitygames.com‘s decklist builder and start pressing buy. And it’s not your fault you thought about things. Hell, maybe it didn’t work, but you looked at the last three events and made a call. Maybe it cost you a lot. You did fail to call the meta, but you didn’t fail for reaching out and trying; it’s how we got as far as we did as a species.
3) GENERIC DECK BIGOTRY. “JUND IS STUPID EASY TO PILOT.” “TRON IS A DECK SHUFFLER WITH A FAN.” “MERFOLK? Tier two trash.” ” “Affinity is so simple any idiot can top 8 with it.”
Well, Nolan, at least you’re being honest with yourself. Here’s the real answer to that nonsense, whether or not the idiot your engaged with will believe it is up to him. He is allowed to keep his eyes covered is horse pop and horse burgers, but here’s the truth, from my fingers to Inagi’s ears:
“Unfair” decks, like Tron, Affinity, Bogles, RG Stompy, Infect, etc. require a skill check in the opening 7 cards. They are by far the most difficult to pilot because if you don’t mulligan correctly, the deck punishes you with a loss. They also don’t allow you to interact, so the opening grip is more important that literally all but your first land drop. That decides if you can win the game or not. Correct game play isn’t as important, as the deck will shoulder the brunt of that work. Much like finishing a Rubik’s Cube in less than 10 minutes, it’s a labor of love to master the mulligan, as decks like these reward you insanely well for doing so.
“Fair” decks like Merfolk, Jund, Junk, American Control, Even Twin and Pod, (Twin and Pod being called Unfair in error mostly due to haters) require skill checks midgame and at every decision. The opening grip isn’t as important (and frankly, for the most part is forgiving as all get out) and once you’ve established your oppression engine (How you win the game) the deck becomes easier and easier to pilot. The skill checks are how to get there when faced will real game play decisions, and again, all the card draw makes errors a lot less important, but they still do reward tight game play.
The only decks you should openly taunt are designed and played by one person, and
you should do it YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DO IT because you might see him chuck his deck against the wall and throw a hissy fit I N PUBLIC OVER MAGIC THE GATHERING SERIOUSLY WHAT A BABY. IT IS TOTALLY WORTH THE POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT TO MAKE FUN OF THAT ONE PERSON SHOULD THEY REAR THEIR SPOILED, ROTTEN LITTLE HEAD. And no, he doesn’t play Skred. Unless he does now. Then there would be two of ‘em.
4) Douchebag Spectator: Why are you playing X? Y would be better.. (You then untap and continue playing.)
Well, here’s a joke I like to make that some people take seriously. And I mean take it seriously as they actually probe you as to why you’re playing literally ANY card in your library but not playing a certain one. First, this one comes up mid game, and it’s totally:
1) A revelation to your opponent your not doing that, giving them way too much power all at once.
2) A violation of secret information you may not want to have shared.
3) A dick move.
Don’t ever ask that of anyone mid game. Seriously. In fact, if someone would like to ask me that at the next event, under those circumstances, I’m going to personally request the judge reveal everyone’s decklist prior to registering, so I can scoop all my matches to badger out plays and cards not in your hand so that your opponent just wins at information. See how you like it you obnoxious boners. The reason it isn’t in my hand is either a) I haven’t drawn it b) I didn’t own it c) I didn’t want to play it or d) shut your pie hole. Asking that post match is completely acceptable; in fact, it sheds a lot of light and can really help. The flipside to that stupid question is “Bet you wish you had X” where X is something you actually might have but don’t have in your hand. That’s just as bad, and I’m legally required to point out at this junction I own rusty fishing hooks, and I give castration lessons to up and coming Dictators. You figure out what I meant by that.
Well, there you have it: STOP ASKING STUPID QUESTIONS.