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By: Paul Leicht, Paul Emerson Leicht
Jan 30 2014 1:00pm
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(January 28th, 5am) As I got up today (after a mere 5 hours), driven from my sleep by the resolve to finally put words to RTE (Rich Text Editor) and write you an article to read, I learned that one of my personal heros from my childhood has passed away. Not unexpectedly mind you. Pete Seeger at 94, lived longer than many great men get to, probably outliving most of those who instigated his black balling in the 50s and 60s and sadly most of his comrades in arms. You see, Pete was my hero because he did stuff. He made wonderful music, had a wonderful cabin (that required so much upkeep that when we visited even for a party we were put to work by his no-nonsense but fair and caring wife Toshi.) Most importantly he moved us. He also told any children (including myself) nearby to call him "Grandpa."

This article isn't about Pete, though I felt moved to say something since I was so influenced by this man. Long before I ever heard of Dungeons & Dragons (which eventually led me to play M:TG and then M:TGO), he inspired me to imagine and to do. I admit I have not succeeded as admirably as he did at the doing part. I am so much better at the fantasy aspect of life. But he taught me so many little subtle things that still stick with me since the day I met him nearly 40 years ago. So my title is based on Pete's peace song about war that is so emblematic of his life and helped shape my own thinking about songwriting, protesting and the sorrow that is the byproduct of war:

To Pete: Requiescat in Pace, Grandpa.

Sphinx's RevelationVoice of ResurgenceJace, Architect of ThoughtMutavault

So where HAVE all the magic cards gone?

They are right here, everyone: in our imaginations right where they belong. But this touches on a subject that I have been thinking about for so long and have had real trouble articulating until now. The magic divide between those who play M:TG and those who merely want to play but can't because of various factors.

Class war.

Yes that is an ugly word but there it is staring at us. M:TG is not a cheap hobby as hobbies go (Fishing is still cheaper I think). Yeah but how could I use such a politically charged word to describe a divide in a game? The answer is that it is really a privilege to play. And those who have the most privilege do the best in terms of access. Even if you only have a few cards, the inherent alchemy in putting together our own decks is incredible. You would not believe the variety of people who I have met who have played this game. The diversity is astounding. Just in my own neighborhood there were two fellows who though homeless were quite well acquainted with the cards and concepts even if they were no longer following the trends, or had cards to play with.

Recently I was playing in the "Just for fun" room ("juff" from now on) and conversed with a player who was playing a real budget deck versus my much more expensive deck. It was an interesting discussion because I remembered afterward that I was once exactly where this player was: Struggling to find fun in MTGO with a very limited budget. Even if you have the income to buy lots of cards you may not want to. Because card prices fluxuate regularly and what is hot today may be nearly worthless tomorrow. Though now we have sites like mtggoldfish.com which let us track trends to some extent. (Though fair warning, that site alone should not be your only source of information. To have a good idea of what is happening economically on MTGO, also keep reading Pete's 'State of the Program', for example.)

There was a time when I could not play Standard competitively on mtgo because I just didn't have the cards but it was very likely 90% of my opponents were in the same boat as I. In the time since then, many of us, either through affluence, good fortune and, or hard work have attained better collections and now can do so. But we still played standard (in juff). Why? Because there was no pressure and it was a quick magic fix. And we had each other. But the cards, oh the cards...how have they changed!

 

 

Magical Xmasland
Standard used to be defined at the top, by a strict tier system that was hard to develop rogue decks for and suddenly one would stand out, brought to us by a deck maven or pro like Conley Woods, Adrian Sullivan and Mike Flores. Suddenly, those cheap cards we had would be worth a little fortune which we'd cash in on in order to expand our meager collections. For a while there would be joy as the windfall helped us fuel our own next little magical xmasland creations. The mad scientist aspect of the game has expanded quite a bit since then. Planeswalkers are everywhere, where once they were mostly myths that no rogue builder bothered with because they were so linear. But then WOTC R&D started printing stuff like Tibalt, which on the surface is just unplayable but in reality is a real Johnny inspiration. Yes there is that word again: "Psychographics." Darn Maro for putting us in such neat little boxes!

It seems like any good discussion about magic deck design has to include at least a mention of these boxes. In this particular case what I am talking about is the mad scientist approach that AJ_Impy (our new reigning 2013 Tribal Wars champion and legendary host of Freed From the Real) exemplifies. When AJ designs a deck in Tribal Wars (or Standard, or Commander, etc) you know it will do a few things for sure. It will be innovative. And it will destroy you. Yes AJ does not play around. There was a time when AJ and I built on a similar level but he has long surpassed me with his laboratory of crazy designs. And while I have continued to play and design for tribal wars I have mainly shifted my attentions to Standard format. My collection reflects this shift by being much more conducive to building in Standard. Particularly since the ever-rising prices of dual lands caused me to sell off my more expensive lands.

Temple of DeceitTemple of AbandonTemple of TriumphTemple of Mystery

The Price of Progress. 
And this leads back to the topic I started this article idea on. The price of fun playable cards. When I played the aforementioned budget person whom I then conversed with and he spoke of how he planned to someday own the cards in my deck, a thought occurred to me that I had the strongest urge to share with you: There is a very good reason why cards that are fun to build with in standard are no longer cheap. Sure there are always some but if you want to build decks that don't just crumple and that do more than plop down little guys and nibble and burn you need to pay for your mana base.

The mana base is really important and whilst the Shock Lands of Ravnica aren't ridiculously outrageous yet they become so someday and are at least 2-3 tix each so a play set costs probably as much as 100 tix. And then there are the wonderful scry lands (and more to come in Born of the Gods!). Scry lands mean you can keep a 2 land hand because you know that you will have more chances to draw that crucial third/fourth land to fix your next turns with. Sure you can get away with budget ideas like basics + traveler's amulet, lay of the land and ordeal of nylea. Gatecreeper vine lets you get the suboptimal (usually) guild lands but if you are running a Maze's End deck (replete with cheap fog effects) you may actually prefer the 0/2 defender.

There is no denying, however that a complete playset of Temples and Shocklands will lend your decks great strength. And if you play in Juff for any length of time you will notice that many players sport these lands. The costs are higher than you want but lower than they could be. There are still outlier cards in the format that lead the pack but they no longer are in the most interesting and fun decks. Voice of Resurgence is overcosted for its lack of real utility. Sphinx's Revelation is ahead of the pack but it is no big loss to exclude it from most deck builds. The rest of the cost leaders are somewhere between affordable and pricy.

And the reason is simple. There are no more tiers. I took quite a while to realize this simple yet profound reality. The speed of developed technology means decks become good one day and then flop miserably the next. From Pro Tour to GP the archetypes that are "good" change rapidly and ficklely. Sure some are predictable and I can't tell you how many "Mono Devotion" decks I run into right now. I mean if you remember my last article I talked about how much fun Pack Rat and Nightveil Specter are and lo comes Theros and those cards become superstars. So they are out of reach of a larger portion of the player base.

So the prices stay high for a greater number of cards. The revision in the redemption policy has surely impacted the overall prices of post RTR sets as well. The good news is that this means better pricing for players but worse pricing for people selling cards off. Unfortunately the lowering is not drastic enough that every good card is affordable to the person with a limited budget.

To the point: It does not seem very nice or fair that the cards printed today are inaccessible to a large part of the MTGO population. Cards are cheaper online still but the gap between paper and online prices has narrowed considerably in the last 4-5 years. There is of course no respite for the impoverished player except to wait, work, have patience, be lucky, work, look for alternative ways to play and obtain cards and generally put up with the fact that many of the most fun cards to play with in current sets are in fact rares and or mythics.

On the other hand I have encountered many more players willing to play the pricy cards (turn 1 Thoughtseize is for example a very common play these days) and just go with the flow of "this is fun for me" rather than be concerned for the fun of all. And I have adopted a similar attitude since there is no way to adjust my collection without selling off all the expensive and thus "fun" cards that are in print now. I do try and innovate still which means not building the most obvious decks but I have seen many comments on how difficult it is to obtain x or y card.

The one thing that usually stands out for me in the advice I can give people who feel overwhelmed by a deck formed from a superior collection is that they can shape their experience with more control by playing cheaper formats but that seems a poor substitute to being able to explore the full game. One thing that helps is not shying away from all the more noxious forms of the game. Discard, Land Destruction and Counter magic are all viable if less good in general than they used to be.

Land Destruction is particularly hard to play successfully but it is possible. Discard themes can complement some of the recursion inherent in RTR block, and Counter magic has a real base now to be effective, if you learn how to play it. The problem you will then face is, people who also know the style and how to play against it. But each hurdle in its time. First gather your collection and shape it to be what you want and then build. Be not afraid to ask for help. Though I would eschew actual begging. If you run into someone running a powerful and expensive deck it does not hurt anything to ask for tips on how to narrow the gap. They may too feel the inequity should be addressed and may give you cards, advice on deck building and on being a better player. In my humble opinion such gifts should be accepted with humility and as much wisdom as you can muster.

Also do your homework. It is no good to simply hope individual encounters and events will teach you all you need to know. Learn what articles come out each week on sites like Puremtgo.com and which ones suit your needs and read them. All of them. If there are videos find the time to watch them. The MTGO community is expansive and vibrant and is at least as good at disseminating "tech" as any other game community I've ever been involved in.

One resource aside, from this site, is the mother ship's (admittedly horribly arranged) forums. They are vastly underutilized but are important. Go there. Read the casual play posts. Get involved in discussions. Join Player Run Events listed there and earn yourself some credits to spend on improving your game. MTGO is as organic a game as MTG ever was and is much more accessible. But that means you have to spend real time being immersed in it. I loathe hearing how players feel cut off or underequipped to deal with the challenges of the game. I much prefer hearing how someone had a game changing experience that will carry them forward and perhaps be passed on to their own future disciples.

Sorrow's PathDregs of Sorrow

 

A Long Overdue Amends (or two):

Speaking of which, there is a writer on this site whom I had a falling out with. (Well more than one but one person at a time please.) His name is XaosLegend on here and he is the initial forefather of the Heirloom format. While the format was still gaining momentum in the beginning we were brainstorming ways in which to improve it and one thing led to another and on Xaos's suggestion I went off and did some coding. (Which honestly is not something I do enough of these days and can be an emotional rollercoaster for me because it is like treading molasses to remember all that which I once I knew.) When I got stuck, he turned to another person to accomplish what we were talking about but didn't mention it to me and I became irate when I did find out. I said some things. I solved the problem I was stuck on, only to find out it was obsoleted and no longer needed.

All that time felt wasted and I was "put upon" in my own mind. He and I parted ways most acrimoniously and I regret that because despite the petty way in which the deal was done, he is due more respect than I showed. Xaos wherever you are, I was wrong to lose my cool so recklessly and to be so cholaric to you when the mature and righteous thing would have been to let it slide. I don't want or expect a response. (It has been a few years) but I feel that this needed saying publicly.

Another player/writer I had words with on this very site deserves a similar nod. Adam "Boosh" Clayton whom I felt picked mercilessly on one of Cotton Rhetoric's article got under my skin and I responded terribly, thus severing what had been a fairly amicable relationship. All I can say is I am sorry we got into it publicly. I don't regret standing up for Cotton but he is a grown man and had a more apropo response than the one I gave. It would have been better if I practiced more patience and kindness before commenting.

I also thought about the truth in what he said in retaliation. I agree that some people read articles on MTGO only for the tech and support of the hobby. But that isn't my style and while I (think &) hope I attract a more interesting (and interested) audience, this sort of thing isn't for everyone. But that is why Mr Claytor, our beloved Manager has worked hard to add so much talent to our site's roster. For you Adam, I  wish to offer the olive branch since despite the harshness of your own words you remain a good and steady contributor to the site and game and it is hard to be on bad terms with such an enthusiast.

The last maya culpa here is for Kumagoro (Gianluca Aicardi) whose input on this site is phenomenal. I stand by my advice that every author should get someone else to proof their work. But it should have (at least after all these years) been given with more discretion and with more of the love I feel for this man. Kuma has singlehandedly stepped into Blippy's very large psuedo-podcovers.I regret being so blunt in a so embarrassing (to me) manner when what occurred to cause the errors was a mismanagement of time not the lack of erudition I initially seemed to imply. Few players work as hard at playing and spreading the magic love as Kumagoro and he does it in a foreign language to boot. Gianluca, my deepest apologies for being on occasion a thoughtless twit. And thank you for forgiving me so quickly afterward.

So what have I been doing?
Aside from being a fool online? Well the battle against the hoard in my apartment continues. Since last year I believe I have tossed out more than 200 bags of garbage! And the couch that once stood below a huge mount of garbage (and things that were decidedly NOT intended to be garbage) is now clear and ready to be dismantled. (Unfortunately it is an old Castro Convertible that is super heavy but I plan to take some tools to it soon,) Right now I am staring at 18+ bags (Glad Flex bags by the way are absolute garbage and I plan to never buy them again) awaiting for a collection day to go down my five flights to the street below. Thanks to a close family friend, I have had some help with this lately and hope to get more help in the future. I can tell you throwing out years of collected stuff and memorabilia and books and magazines, is a freeing experience. If you have a closet or three that needs emptying I urge you to get on it. Procrastination looks an awful lot like acceptance.

I have also been struggling with issues with my own health and my gf's and overall 2013 was a really difficult time for us. There were some highlights but for the most part it has been tough. I am hoping 2014 will be more productive and fun and less stressful and unfun.

The Uncommons
I recently discovered that the playground of my youth, the Village Chess Shop (world famous for its chess sets) is no more and has been renovated into a new board gaming spot. They changed the name to The Uncommons cafe and only teach chess there during the day now when it is quieter. Apparently they hold FNM draft sessions so I may attend that one of these weeks. Since Neutral Ground closed more than 3 years ago the lower Manhattan area has lacked a good place to game so it is wonderful to see so many people gaming. Even if it is at the expense of my old teenage haunt. Magic is still alive in NYC despite attempts by the real estate market to shut it out.

What on earth have I been playing?
As you may remember (if you have great memories) from my last article I was really getting into Gatecrash. Of that set one card really stands out still for me: Unexpected Results. So many of my successful attempts in juff have been based around this card. Oh and Epic Experiment the old RTR card that everyone loves to try and play at some time if they have any mad scientist in them at all.

 

This deck is evolved from many previous versions and involves interactions between the control elements (Detention Sphere, Supreme Verdict, Merciless Eviction and other silver bullets) and the mechanism of getting enough mana to cast first Unexpected Results typically for something heinous and later on Epic Experiment hopefully for more Unexpected Results castings. Archaeomancer plays a pivotal role normally taken by Eternal Witness in similar modern/legacy decks of the same style. Pack Rat enables Obzedat's Aid (as does Epic Experiment itself) and Elspeth, Sun's Champion is both a finisher and a control element for the late game. A previous version had Burnished Hart which I do like since you can get a turn 4 Elspeth out with it if you get a smooth mana draw. That version also utilized Crypt Ghast which lent the deck some reach if the opponent was unassailable via the red zone. Being able to cost your opponent life is not a terrible thing. However that deck was a little less consistent and the scrying of the temples I deemed more important. I will post that list below for comparison.

 

As you can see this version has no white at all. Instead it relies more heavily on the Epic Experiment and Unexpected Results mechanisms to provide control as well as finishers. Breaking/Entering is one of AJ's suggested innovations and while I did enjoy casting t, I found it was very hit or miss. Blast of Genius is really pretty awesome as an out of the blue finisher if it resolves. 6 cmc makes it prohibitive for counting on control but it does wonders if it hits a player. Rise of the Dark Realms is more for my Timmy sensibilities than for any good purpose. Cyclonic Rift and Far/Away work as replacements (though inferior) to the removal package in the white version. Psychic Intrusion didn't really ring any bells but it has a nice threat aspect and free-casting opponents spells can be very demoralizing.

And then I kept thinking: but really do I need white or black? I mean the core colors should support the combo without those. So I tinkered until I had this list below:

 

Burning-Tree Emissary and Boros Reckoner are ubiquitous as parts of the Mono Red and Mono White decks respectively and you may also see BTE doing yeoman's work in Aggro and Naya builds. What makes them good here is the same quality in those decks of having a hybrid mana cost. Here Ral Zarek applies some pressure since if it goes off the extra turns will likely end the game and if needed it can remove important threats. Fleecemane Lion for example. Mercurial Chemister is an interesting threat as he can provide both card advantage and damage depending on your need.

In fact, with Ral out MC becomes a 4 card drawing engine. (Voyager Satyr) makes an appearance here because of his ability to untap Nykthos, which in turn may fuel a large Experiment. Anger of the Gods can serve to sweep the board but it can also provide a little extra damage to the dome off of a Reckoner. Turn/Burn aids the theme of removal started with Magma Jet and Anger. Mystic Genesis is an oddball one-off here merely to provide the possibility of recursive control. I like surprises for my opponents and it adds one. Of course if they see one they will typically expect more and that is good enough for me usually.

That deck build added another deck idea in the form of this next list:


As you may notice this deck has many elements of the last one but lacks the crucial combo pair. Instead it uses the legendary enchantment artifacts and Trading Post to do fun things with Mercurial Chemister and Prophet of Kruphix. Zhur-Taa Druid adds some needed reach by ping and Simic Manipulator lets you steal opposing armies to do with as you like. Overall I found this deck does not develop the inevitability of other decks so it may not be as fun to play because you will often struggle fiercely against the more obvious contenders.  Other candidates for this deck that were not included but could be really good are Prognostic Sphinx and Aetherling. The Titan is for fun and more in there as a whimsical choice rather being good. Niv is just a big threat and the Primordial can shut down a number of problems late game but since it costs 7 to hard cast it isn't crucial. So any of those could be replaced.

 

Now for something a little different.

Those of you who have read my articles here may be familiar with my love of the Oros () slice of the magic pie. Unfortunately there has been little exciting to talk about in those colors because Blood Artist and Blasphemous Act rotated. Here is something I spun after thinking about a similar deck in that I heard of and then built:



If you are a decent judge of cards there may be several cards in this list that make you scratch your head. Spark Trooper is a 6 point lava axe/life gainer which probably seems out of place. However, it adds a lot of reach with Rescue From the Underworld. Pitchburn Devils is another such edgy card that gains a lot from the recursion threat. Being able to sac it to deal 3 and then get both it and a hasty trooper back the next turn is pretty nice. That was one of the ideas that inspired this particular build. The other is the tokens + Purphoros inevitability. Pack Rat fits this as well is fueling later graveyard recursion and by itself can just take over games. The Captain is my preferred early beats, token maker since it comes down turn 2 (assuming which is often not hard to do for the cost of 2 life. Ajani + a Captain can just end a game too. Ajani otherwise adds the ability turn any of your men into a finisher and the off chance of lots of cats which always appealing to me.

 

Conclusions
It has been a busy and difficult time of life for me as of late and I have had plenty of opportunities to rethink some things. The long distance in time between this article and my last has given me some fresh perspectives on the game and the community. I am glad that I finally got it together enough to write another article and I apologize for the ridiculously long delay. They say a writer writes but most of what I have written has been in song form. I have not had the endurance nor inclination to write anything more than that until recently. Also I have been involved with a variety of other games (Starbound for example, which turned out to be more fun than I expected) so my time for magic has been fractured. My pessimism, concerning the beta did not wane at all during the last year and I was really very upset to see much of what I predicted (at least in my own mind) come to pass for it. I am very glad that WOTC decided to finally bring in help from outside. I have heard some encouraging things about the newest Wide Beta though I have not downloaded it in a long time. I am glad to say for the first time in a while I am feeling optimistic about our chances of getting a better client eventually.

It is my hope that we will be playing a good and vitalized version 4.5 in this time next year. I am also looking forward to Vintage Masters (VMA) if not to play in it or to own many of the cards myself, to see friends delight in the aspect of the game many did not get to play with. I did because I was fortunate but unless they played Duels of the Planeswalkers from microprose (not the current thing posing on Steam as M:TG) they probably never got to tap a Mox, sac a Black Lotus, cast Ancestral, Time Walk then Time Twister, Time Walk again and Regrow the Time Walk for the following turn in a constructed game. Nothing says fun like doing all of that on turn 1. Of course winning is also fun.

After Rambling for long enough I find I must sign off because my fingers have run out of stamina and need refueling. Until next time may your games be magical and your opponents grand. May your wins be epic and your losses endurable.

Magically,
Paul Emerson Leicht aka Winter.Wolf and Telir on MTGO.

12 Comments

Oh man, you're embarrassing by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 01/30/2014 - 18:30
Kumagoro42's picture
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Oh man, you're embarrassing me with such public apologies. :)
Know that, while I still don't appreciate the fact that you didn't just send me an email about that article, since that little incident I never submit anything without re-reading it one more time, which I call "the Winterproof" (the problem with that article was that it didn't get any re-read at all, of course. I can't wait for when it will be updated, so that I can do a massive rewriting).

On the argument of the Class Divide. It exists, and naturally so. There's a part of me that considers sort of preposterous complaining about not being able to fully cultivate a luxury hobby. It's like subscribing to a golf club, then complaining because you don't have the money to buy the best equipment.
Clearly we don't feel that a $10 account amounts to luxury. But it kinda does. To quote the closing line from the most recent State of the Program's price section: "The cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO you can own is $26,550." I bet that's more than a nice set of golf clubs. Granted, you don't need all that. You're probably okay with a tiny fraction of that, depending on your favorite formats. In fact, another part of me thinks that when we start talking about budget issues between budget players, sometimes we lose perspective. Just think of how many good cards a simple movie night can buy. How much did you spend for your cell phone? And so on. It's obviously a matter of priorities, but sometimes we forget that.

Also a matter of priorities is what we want to get from the MTG experience. I strongly believe one can have "fun" without necessarily owning any of the really expensive cards, but it's already hard to define what "fun" is, because that's an entirely subjective concept. It's a mistake to believe that there's one universal definition of fun, as much as it's wrong to think that owning the super-inflated Standard chase cards makes having fun easier. It's usually what those who don't own them are prone to think, because so much of the Internet debate about Magic is based on what the pro players think and do, and that's just a minor part of the game as it is played AND designed. (The elitism inherent in the Magic debate is a concern to me. That's why someone like Cotton Rhetoric teaches you about the real nature of the game as much as your favorite pro.)

And "expensive" is again a rather subjective field. There's a lot of different budget-related levels in this game: for someone the upper barrier might be 20 tix, for someone else 5 tix is already too much, and so on.

I, for one, fully subscribe to mihahitlor's RPG approach. You have to consider MTGO like a MMORPG where your account is your character.
Real money doesn't apply here, you don't use anything from outside the game. Tix is the currency: you earn tix, and with tix you buy cards, thus improving your collection, which makes your character "stronger", i.e. more able to win fights. Which in turn generates other tix.
And what can you do to earn tix? You can find a virtual job, for instance. I have two jobs, I write articles about the game and I host tournaments. Both require work on my part, both earn me tix, not real money (I broke this construct when I sold my collection a few months ago, but that was like resetting my character, in a way). Other people manage bots. That's being a merchant, which also requires work (more than you think) and earn you tix. Someone else is essentially a stock trader. And then there's people who are good enough to play and win prizes in the tournament scene. That requires an "advanced character" to generate a serious income, but every little tix you earn is a step forward. And the game and its crazy economy always find ways to surprise you, sometimes even in a good way: just today I found out that Duplicant promo is 5 cents, when I was expecting to pay several tix apiece and was taken aback at the prospect because I would rarely need a playset of Duplicant, if not for this one specific deck I built.

One thing that surely doesn't earn you tix is complaining about not having tix. Just like it's pretty much impossible to have fun while you're complaining about not having fun. :)

Yeah I don't think by Paul Leicht at Thu, 01/30/2014 - 19:19
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Yeah I don't think complaining helps much (and that sort of sounds like the topic of a song) but when you see others struggling and you want to help, but you can't simply just throw cards at them the answer is to hook them up with the information you just mentioned. The vitual job aspect. Btw Miha is a really smart guy to come up with that RPG model. I guess I wanted to bring it up because it has become a common theme in my discussions with newer players in the last few years. Particularly as I have become accustomed to using the fancy smancy cards I own instead of the traditionally budget options I used to use.

As you said you broke the model by selling off (and I have considered that myself several times but haven't yet) but that also fits in a way. In many RPGs, particularly MMOs good characters can sell for real world money just as game currency turns around through metagame sites (D2/D3 for example) and some people "farm" just so they can have a better account, or as one Gamestop employee put it, so they can pay for the game itself.

In the end M:TG is a luxury in the same sense that Chocolate is. (And may be as or more addictive.) But it is in the same sense enjoyable to a lesser extent on a lower budget, particularly if rationed. But if you eat bad milk chocolate after eating something really good you will know how a M:TG budget player feels when he encounters amazing card interactions he can't afford to engage in. That used to bug me a lot more but I realize that at the baseline most people with access to the internet are already far wealthier than most of the world. That in and of itself perhaps should tell us that if anyone is a class warrior it isn't us.

I am honored by your "Winterproof" expression and will use that myself. I submitted THIS article after 12 hours and did not take the time to really proof it thoroughly (though I did thrice over it.) To my chagrin, I spotted a few typos on the reread just now. My excuse is sleep deprivation. (Boo Paul, boo!).

On that note; *runs off to buy 4x promo duplicants, because*.

Because they're sweet! (I by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 01/30/2014 - 23:07
Kumagoro42's picture

Because they're sweet! (I never liked the old art).
And by the way, speaking of the other side of the coin in matter of surprises: I just compiled the list of the non-super-high-profile cards I miss for the decks I want to rebuild (I ditched a lot of decks, just keeping the best... 161!). I'm pretty sure back in the time I bought Krark-Clan Ironworks for 20 cents or so. Now it's 3.5 tix.
On the other hand, most non-Standard-legal planeswalkers are very cheap these days.

This game is addictive. I remember a discussion you and me had years ago about how everyone quits at some point. But I can now also say that almost everyone comes back at some later point. Once you're in, there's no escape!

Building up a collection step by step is the best thing. When you're used to play decks that are worth a couple dollars (not that they can't win events, most common cards are pretty killers in their simplicity: burn was never an expensive archetype, for instance), the day you can afford, say, a Master of the Wild Hunt, you'll feel great. I'm enjoying my own rebuilding. You get to appreciate all the little milestones again. Now I have one Bayou! It's pretty awesome.
(And yes, people tend to disregard the mana base because lands are boring, but it's a crucial part of any playing collection, especially the fetch lands).

D'aww by Adam_the_Mentat at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 01:39
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I believe the immortal Tom Petty said:
It's time to move on. It's time to get going. What lies ahead I have no way of knowing. But under my feet, yeah, the grass is growing.
So you know forgive and forget or whatever variation therein. I got pretty harsh back there; I'm sorry for our public blowout. It's the one thing I've done on mtgo I am not proud of.
So new year, new year of mtgo.

Paul and I met in a random game and we were cordial enough and entertaining enough to each other to warrant a few game and then we were buddies. We both share creativity and creative pulls and, to tie this around to his article beyond apologies, because we were both very broke mtgo players with limited collections, but now we've collected a substantially better collection.
For my own part nowadays I am very cognizant of my roots and when I encounter a player like that and they confess it to me, I ask them to challenge me again and I play my ridiculous budget and super fun monoblack purraj of urborg deck.
Umm errrhhm I'm not sure how to end this comment. Has anyone else seen the 3D food printer that NASA is helping to fund through grant money? It's the first step in food replicators. C'mon star fleet academy.....

Next Step the Starship by Paul Leicht at Sun, 02/09/2014 - 23:24
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Next Step the Starship Enterprise ;)

I didn't know the they had figured out an edible 3d food source but I am not surprised. I am hoping it tastes better than it sounds.

Very nice to have an article by Bartimäus at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 08:15
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Very nice to have an article from you up - enjoyed it thoroughly. One remark - fishing do not need to but will be much more expensive and if you compare it - my last halibut costed me about 2500€ :-)

Wow! How on earth did it cost by Paul Leicht at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 08:44
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Wow! How on earth did it cost you that much? Lol. I was thinking of fly fishing, not deep sea fishing though. I guess chartering/owning fishing boats would be expensive.

It was indeed the trip to the by Bartimäus at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 10:13
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It was indeed the trip to the Lofoten, the boat and the new penn rod and shimano reel - though my first priority is fly fishing down here in the black forest and can be comparable expensive. To be fair, fishing could be done much much cheaper - as of course would be restricting budget cards and missing Las Vegas GP and things..

Yeah point taken. :) Though I by Paul Leicht at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 10:54
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Yeah point taken. :) Though I expect the trip was an extravagance by any standard. No need for moxen at a standard tourney :p

true- but at least the beast by Bartimäus at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:02
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true- but at least the beast was heavier than me which is something :-)

Good stuff as always Paul. by Leviathan at Fri, 01/31/2014 - 15:56
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5

Good stuff as always Paul.

Thanks Michael. :D One of by Paul Leicht at Sun, 02/09/2014 - 23:25
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Thanks Michael. :D One of these days a Commander list, again. And eventually more art. :)