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By: Paul Leicht, Paul Emerson Leicht
Oct 06 2011 12:28am
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hand drawn dragon by Paul E. Leicht.

Introduction: Winning by Design.
I started writing this after my weekend having fun winning and losing. Something people have told me often and again: Don't predict your failure. Seems to have perhaps sunk in a little. Though I am still pessimistic at times, I rise above and concentrate on winning more often. I am working on removing the tilt behavior that garners me so much negativity. Because negativity feeds on itself like an infinite feedback loop. If you believe you can't win then you likely can not. It is certainly not a good plan to be convinced of your own inferiority, no matter what others say. Instead perhaps it is good to be a little egotistical and say "I CAN do this!" despite obvious evidence to the contrary or even in the face of inevitable board positioning.

Your opponent may ship the game to you inexplicably, especially if you don't fold first. Folding saves you face and dignity and perhaps some frustration and energy. But it also means you can't succeed. I know this is stuff many of you realize already but I knew it too, and still did not act on it. I am I think beginning to do so. Because I am really tired of losing to myself. I want to design my game plan to be a winner and to follow through and succeed. Or if I fail anyway at least go on to the next challenge and not look back at failures as if they signified anything of value. Because they don't.

Classic Casual:
Lately Ive been dabbling in formats I don't normally play. Namely Classic and Standard. Classic just because someone asked me to build casual play test decks to help them and then wandered off and never came back so to avoid having wasted my time Ive been playing in casual Classic queues. So far the deck I like best is a weird combination of five color suspend and birthing pod. Obviously this would never make it in a daily or even a 2man queue but it is fun for just shuffling up and playing against random comers.

Yes this is almost a singleton deck but the key cards have multiples making this something of a toolbox. Here are some of the key cards and their purposes in the deck:

Life from the Loam - For repetitive land recursion tricks. Getting it back also sets up Living Death. I did consider using Cycling lands from Urza's Saga but since I am not also running Seismic Assault I opted to go with duals instead. The fetches do a lot of work in conjunction with this.

Jhoira of the Ghitu - Sets up Wheel of Fate and sometimes False Prophet for the post board wipe. Also there is nothing more fun than suspending a Chronicaler for 2 instead of 4 and getting a card each turn as a result. Especially if you speed it up up with Rift Elemental.

Living Death - The other way to board wipe, this one works in synergy with most of the rest of the deck. The thing to note is your opponents get back their creatures too so timing is very important. Being able to exile their guys with False Prophet is important as the deck runs no graveyard hate. (I expect I would toss in a few Bogs in the sideboard but since sideboarding is frowned upon in the casual room I haven't bothered.)

Birthing Pod - Self explanatory but to summarize: play False Prophet or find with a Phyrexian Metamorphed pod, sac to pod, wiping the board, fetch Karmic Guide, bring back False Prophet. Rinse. Repeat. This of course leads one to question why any of the other stuff is necessary. The answer being that I'm only running two pods and the pods are mainly in there as insurance that Living Death gets fuel and that you can get some big hitters out eventually.

Wheel of Fate - Refills your hand after suspensions, fills the graveyard for Living Death and ruins opponents hands. Not quite Wheel of Fortune this though it fills the same role. The ability to suspend and control when it goes of (even at instant speed) is great. Initially the deck had Fury Charm to help this even more but I found it to be inferior to the next card.

Rift Elemental - Rushes suspended cards and provides some aggro beating if out early. Being a one drop means it usually gets ignored until it is pounding in for 5 or 7 even. And you don't really care if it doesn't stick since it is the least of your threats being more of an enabler.

Had some fun games including one vs a deck running Cunning Wish and Disrupting Shoal where an eventual Avenger of Zendikar stuck and swarmed through with plant tokens for the win. Mostly this deck wins through card advantage and versatility though occasionally it also can just out creature the enemy.

Player Run Events:
A great way to earn tix or credits at bots or stores on Magic Online is to participate in free tourneys run by Players for players and sponsored by MTGOTraders and other stores. The competition is somewhat better than casual gaming in the normal rooms and is not usually on par with Daily or Premiere Events so you can expect to face some money decks and good players but not typically the cream of the crop. Some events even give door prizes and participation prizes. To learn more in general I highly recommend you read the Wizards PRE forums.

Some Player Run Events (Start times are post registration, get there earlier to sign up):

Tribal Apocalypse (Tribal Wars Legacy, Saturdays, 1pm est /join Tribal) - I am a long time regular at the Saturday afternoon Tribal Apocalypse (started by ShardFenix in 2009) but have not been winning much or attending it a lot lately. This week, however, was Endangered Species week (see Winter's article here): Only tribes with members numbering less than 51 online are allowed.

I brought Wurms after testing the deck last month with AJ_Impy and _Kumagoro_ among others. My opponent and I split the first two games and then amidst the 3rd game (which I was favored to win after podding into a massacre Wurm) my opponent asks me what my tribe is and then...Are Wurms endangered?? As it turns out they aren't. I mentioned the question to Blippy_The_Slug who runs this PRE since Flippers_Giraffe took off for parts unknown and he confirmed that indeed they aren't so I conceded. I can't believe I didn't notice that Wurms has 61 members! That number isn't even close to 50. I also can't believe AJ and Kuma didn't correct my poor choice when I mentioned it to them previously. I guess none of us really much expected so many bad cards in one tribe and when I was building the deck I never bothered to count or look up the handy Tribes listing.


Blippy was nice enough to allow me to play round 2 with a different deck so I switched to Sphinges and waited for pairings. Only my next opponent accidentally dropped himself going for dinner instead of playing. So I got the bye. My third round opponent was Winter (KaraZorEl) running Samurai. Unfortunately for Kara, both games I quickly got the Magister Sphinx-Living Death combo for the win. (First game with Buried Alive, second one using Vexing Sphinx to discard it. Their Samurai of the Pale Curtain came out a turn too late to save them.

So I went 2-1 into the money. I will note that Nemesis Paradigm won the whole thing with his Plants (read: mana walls) Drazi deck (again.) I am kicking myself a little for not bringing my own Plants deck in the first place though I am glad Sphinges did so well (thanks in part to the bye). Someday again 3-0.

Saturday Night Madness (Standard format, Saturdays at 6:30pm est /join SNM) - I've been talking standard brews lately with friends Lord Erman (a great rogue thinker) and _Kumagoro_ among others and coming up with semi competitive decks. I am not interested in top tier magic but I do like playing with many of the newer cards and Standard Player Run Events work nicely for this purpose.

Kuma and I brewed a rogue deck for me (thanks again Kuma for the loan of the cards I was missing!) and we joined the Saturday Night Madness tourney run by the apparently tireless Blippy_The_Slug. (He also ran the Tribal Apocalypse the same day in which I also participated. See Above.)

This deck is really about control. This may seem odd since there are no counterspells and no creature theft spells or bounce for that matter. Yet the deck controls via burn and removal. And the proliferate mechanic. Being able to draw and add counters to a Lux Cannon or Jace #1 really rocks. Inferno Titan and Consecrated Sphinx are the top end of the curve with the Phyrexian Ingester in for threats that like to come back. The singular Shrine of Burning Rage turned out to be not so amazing being too slow to effectively count for much but it did provide a threat and insurance in some games. Kuma played Bant Pod (which I also had courtesy of advice by Lord Erman but decided not to run since pod pod seemed a little to liable to hate/disruption.) We faced 2 Bloodchief Ascension decks beating one handily that was running some unusual trigger enablers like Jinx Idol.

We also rolled an Infect pair, with them poisoning my side out while Kuma's deck killed them both with big beaters (Sun Titans and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite). Chandra's Phoenix did yeoman's duty here as did the singleton Inferno Titan eventually. Consecrated Sphinx never saw relevant play. Being able to activate Jace to give your partner a card is just awesome as I'm sure people can surmise but particularly against a discard duo. Gambit pulled it's weight and Volt Charge was better than I expected. We took 2nd place losing a long rough 2nd game vs the double ascension decks run by CluelessFrog and Blizzardj as we could not quite get rid of their enchantments cards in time. I hope they can find another deck once this one is obsoleted. It sure has had a nice run.

The Lady of the MountainRamirez DePietroTobias Andrion

Chaos Elder Dragon Highlander (Sundays, 3:00pm est. /join Chaos) - The next day after lunch I built some pauper commander decks for the fun of it and of the three (The Lady of the Mountain, Ramirez DePietro and Tobias Andrion) First off let me say that building pauper commander is pretty insane because a lot of different strategies come into play that would not be possible in the more degenerate classic pool. Your choices are more limited and the big pauper hitters are significant here where they probably would not be in a normal edh deck. But there are a lot of cards that vie for space and can be great surprises.

Julie has been running this Event for a while now, since Dark Princess has not been on as much due to personal issues. The guys playing this are an interesting mix of Johnny/Timmies/Spikes. They like to win and will run cut-throat goblins but also seem to like challenging builds and flashy plays. There are temperamental players and cool ones too. IE: It is a tourney of Magic Players who enjoy the game and sometimes hate it.

I chose to play the deck first. My first round opponents were running commanders and another Lady. As most of my game was spent hitting F6 and waiting to draw nonlands I was left alone at about 25 life whilst my opponents played to oust each other via shenanigans with auras. FrollicAcid (the other RG player) knocked out BMWarner with his plainswalker with SilvosDerBenny's help via Wildheart Invoker. Unfortunately for Frollic he timed out with an attack on the stack at which point I hit Silvos with a Fireblast for the remaining 2 points of damage needed to do him in. Since we voted previously for a swiss point system that was 5 points for the guy with all lands! :D

CapsizePestilenceCrypt Rats

The next game saw myself and PRE regular, ScionOfJustice facing off against Julie. I switched to my Tobias Andrion Deck sensing that it was the better deck in general (after an abysmal if unexpectedly lucky showing by the Lady deck.) Scion brought Ramirez control and had a truly great deck with lots of ways to make unblockable Shadowmage Infiltrator type dudes for draw advantage. It was clear after a rough start with Julie gaining a lot of life off of Essence Warden and having a beastly advantage that the draw go deck was winning.

Crypt Rats recursion hurt our boards more than once but Julie and I tried to fend off his advances. In the end Scion took Julie out first then me in short order on the strength of two of the most broken commons ever printed: Capsize and Pestilence with a shrouded unblockable Ulamog's Crusher keeping the enchantment in play while causing mass annihilation. Dying second here net me another 3 points which put me in a three way tie for 2nd place. Since the prizes would be the same with or without a 3rd game we opted to not play being tired after the grueling length of the first two.

So all told the weekend was a win if not a complete victory.

Last week I also played in the Chaos EDH (winning the door prize) with the odd restriction of all cards must begin with G, H or I (including the commander so I chose Intet). This led to some pretty crazy plays and while I don't remember all of them offhand, one I do remember was with Julie myself and Sadistek. Sadistek (or was it Kirdan? Both were running goblins decks.) is killing us both and then I draw into Insurrection mana (having held it all game.) So I cast it almost killing both my opponents. Julie untaps and ALSO casts Insurrection thus sealing the deal on both of us. Great play Julie!

Playing with such weird building restrictions put my Johnny/Vorthos/No Idea What Command Helemet on my head which once it gets on there is hard to get off again. So I built a few fun EDH decks involving themes. The first one, 5 colored Zombies is below:

Scion's Dead
a zombie themed deck
1 Zombie Master
1 Undead Warchief
1 Lich Lord of Unx
1 Withered Wretch
1 Vengeful Pharaoh
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Cemetery Reaper
1 Nightscape Master
1 Noxious Ghoul
1 Acidic Slime
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Lord of the Undead
1 Nullmage Shepherd
1 Fleshbag Marauder
1 Ragamuffyn
1 Vengeful Dead
1 Goblin Marshal
1 Primeval Titan
1 Infernal Caretaker
1 Gempalm Polluter
1 Death Baron
1 Jhessian Zombies
1 Corpse Harvester
1 Gravespawn Sovereign
1 Vulturous Zombie
1 Grave Titan
1 Khabal Ghoul
1 Deathbringer Thoctar
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Skinrender
30 cards
Other Spells
1 Living Death
1 Goblin Offensive
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Dralnu's Crusade
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Demonic Collusion
1 Twilight's Call
1 Cruel Revival
1 Liliana Vess
1 Mogg Infestation
1 Syphon Flesh
1 Goblin Trenches
1 Deadapult
1 Conspiracy
1 Necromancer's Covenant
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Zombie Infestation
1 Call to the Grave
1 Birthing Pod
1 Tombstone Stairwell
1 Fracturing Gust
1 Patriarch's Bidding
1 Life's Finale
1 Rise from the Grave
1 Life from the Loam
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Unscythe, Killer of Kings
1 Buried Alive
1 Praetor's Grasp
29 cards
1 Volcanic Island
1 Stomping Ground
1 Plains
1 Temple of the False God
1 Scrubland
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Marsh Flats
1 Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Thawing Glaciers
1 Vivid Crag
1 Plateau
1 Badlands
1 Vivid Grove
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Taiga
6 Swamp
1 Krosan Verge
1 Forest
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Marsh
1 Unholy Grotto
1 Command Tower
1 Mirrodin's Core
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Island
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
2 Mountain
1 Temple Garden
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Watery Grave
1 Darigaaz's Caldera
40 cards

1 Scion of the Ur-Dragon
1 cards

The interactions here are things like Dralnu's Crusade + Goblin Offensive + Deadapult. The commander (Scion of the Ur Dragon) + Conspiracy (Dragons) then + Xenograft (Zombies) and Dralnu's Crusade is pretty funny. Some other fun cards: Tombstone Stairwell which people seem to always forget about and Necromancer's Covenant which sets up Living Death very nicely. Seems Living Death is a running subtheme of this article though I did not plan it that way when I started writing this. Mogg Infestation is a great way to sweep an opponent with an army of monsters. I sort of made this in honor of Halloween coming up (or Samhain if you will) but in reality I just like playing with tribes even in formats that aren't made for them.

Then after a few games where I entertained my opponents on the way to some losses, I came up with Vermin.dec starring Xira Arien below:

Xira's Vermin
Squirrels, Insects, Spiders and Rats!
1 Heartstabber Mosquito
1 Bane of the Living
1 Wirewood Hivemaster
1 Nezumi Graverobber
1 Nantuko Husk
1 Stronghold Rats
1 Throat Slitter
1 Chittering Rats
1 Ant Queen
1 Hellhole Rats
1 Scute Mob
1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
1 Yavimaya Elder
1 Ravenous Rats
1 Phantom Nantuko
1 Nantuko Mentor
1 Duplicant
1 Penumbra Spider
1 Arachnus Spinner
1 Deranged Hermit
1 Eternal Witness
1 Vigor
1 Gobhobbler Rats
1 Needlepeak Spider
1 Oran-Rief Recluse
1 Nullmage Advocate
1 Silklash Spider
1 Sanity Gnawers
1 Gleancrawler
29 cards
Other Spells
1 Savage Twister
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Incendiary Command
1 Expedition Map
1 Acorn Catapult
1 Chatter of the Squirrel
1 Life from the Loam
1 One Dozen Eyes
1 Sylvan Scrying
1 Regrowth
1 Void
1 Primal Command
1 Breath of Darigaaz
1 Burning of Xinye
1 Rolling Earthquake
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Arachnus Web
1 Earthquake
1 Firespout
1 Druid's Call
1 Vigor Mortis
1 Violent Ultimatum
1 Beast Within
1 Harrow
1 Disaster Radius
1 Khalni Heart Expedition
1 Squirrel Nest
1 Chain Reaction
1 Acorn Harvest
1 Living Death
30 cards
1 Stomping Ground
1 Badlands
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Temple of the False God
3 Mountain
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Gruul Turf
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Jund Panorama
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Taiga
1 Diamond Valley
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Gargoyle Castle
1 Slippery Karst
1 Marsh Flats
1 Forgotten Cave
1 Polluted Mire
1 Swarmyard
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Raging Ravine
1 Barren Moor
1 Tranquil Thicket
3 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Golgari Rot Farm
4 Forest
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Reflecting Pool
40 cards

1 Xira Arien
1 cards

This deck is just ugly but cute. Or should I say vicious and cute? Squirrel tokens biting at your toes. Acorns flying at you to give you more tokens. Insects mass wiping the board. Rats nibbling at your hand. Spiders blocking fliers, or perhaps just killing them. Spiders webbing up monsters with recurring auras. After I started writing this I played in another game with some friends and a stranger. My enemies killed each other off letting me alone with my silly squirrel tokens until they were helpless before the hordes. A Leyline of the Void and some subpar drawing was instrumental in sidelining me for a while until the owner of said enchantment was killed off. After that the gloves came off and the teeth came out. Beware the vermin!

Squirrel NestGobhobbler RatsBane of The LivingDeranged HermitAcorn Catapult

Onto more serious issues. (Don't read this section if you are bothered by politics and social upheaval.)

By now I am certain many of you are familiar at least with some vague news stories floating around about some people Occupying Wall Street. I just want to put it out there that while I am not one to join protests anymore I am proud that we live in a society where this is not only possible but enough people consider it a duty that they go despite inconvenience, danger and resistance from those around them. There is a lot of tension in the air lately over wealth vs oppression vs political gain vs excess vs etc... The conflicts go on and on. Red state, Blue state, Green state (starts to sound like our game right?) All states have this in common: We are fortunate to be living in America and at the same time unfortunate to be responsible for being Americans. (For those of you not Americans your responsibilities lie elsewhere but it behooves you too to pay attention to our social struggles just as we (the world) paid attention in the middle east and other places where revolution has recently sparked changes.

I say this not to rile up a political conversation/debate/argument/whatnot (but go ahead if you must just please keep it civil) but because it has been on my mind of late, of how can I as an American Magic Player be a participant in this great game of ours and not pay attention to what is going on outside? Almost at my doorstep in fact. I make no bones about being a Liberal (though no Democrat) but I think no matter our affiliation or viewpoint, MTG players are some of the smartest people in the world. Surely we have something to do to help our nation make it through these upcoming rough seas? What that is I don't know but I am open to suggestions (other than "stfu and sit down.") I am a songwriter and I've written openly about my political views for years. I don't expect to win awards for great artistry in that field (it is a love of mine not a job or career.) But is that enough involvement? It is a question I don't have an answer to. Nor do I expect answers here.

In that general vein, I've also been thinking about Geordie Tait's article on Feminism vs Mysogyny in our sub culture. Though he wrote excessively about this issue (which is not despite arguments to the contrary about Political Correctness) he made some valid points I think. As did Sean Mckeown. As have other magic writers. I don't intend to retread that ground but something I realized when reading about the Occupy Wall Street stuff is that we keep running into one issue across all racial, gender and class conflicts: Privilege. This is the biggest bone of contention. How does privilege affect us as magic players? Do we feel entitled to our fun without regard to those around us? 

Is it OK to talk about raping or murdering or otherwise degrading or humiliating those around us? Not that I see a lot of that online since the ORCs tend to clamp down on any kind of contentious talk in public rooms. But occasionally someone says or does something that makes my ears stand on end. And I know it is far more prevalent in other games than here where many players are mature if still white and male. (I say that because the issues of privilege in this country are often discussed in relation to white male dominance.) Again this is not said to stir up a tempest in a teapot or upset you my dear readers. I am trying to share a real part of my own concerns about how sometimes we alienate our potential allies and friends without even thinking about it. Our words can have great positive or negative effect with very little effort.

There was a player the other day who made a comment: "What is with all the femininity in the chat lately? Why aren't men acting like men any more?" or something to that effect. Real caveman talk and he was pounced on for his horrendous grammar (go pedants!) but the thing that caught my eye was that he laced his statement with tons of homophobic and misogynist buzz words intended to enflame those of us who might be a bit more inclined to disagree with his point of view. That he didn't get what he wanted and instead was nitpicked over his bad typing by various chat smart alecs probably irked him more than his words irked me. Even so I thought how nice that he wasn't echoed with lots of others agreeing with his rather silly sentiment. What on earth does the phrase "Be a man!" mean anyway? Other than as a tribal cry for kinship in an ever stranger land. I guess it means different things to different people but to me it means "I cranky. You not act like me. Act like me. Me not be cranky anymore."

Is this guy expressing privilege with his statement or is he just being a troll? Or is he right to question why people don't sound like him? I don't know.

A PSA about Magic Online Trading.

Be aware that apparently WOTC permabans people for receiving stolen cards whether or not they knew it. This should be considered a warning to those who deal a lot on a personal level with other players. Bots are probably still safe to trade with but this is an issue highlighted recently by the banning of a friend of mine who only knew he traded with someone then couldn't log in. Next came the ban email and his scathing reply which was probably not terribly wise of him. Still the anger is understandable. At the very least a player should be able to ask for and receive a fair hearing. It should not be merely a matter of "You're banned, good bye!" It seems outrageous to deny that though of course it is within their rights since we sign away all of our rights at the login.

That's all for the heavy stuff. Play and enjoy the game.

Paul Emerson Leicht
Winter.Wolf and Telir on Magic Online.
Feel free to drop me a line at if you have comments or just want to say hi.




Great article. Just few by protocol_7 at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 02:03
protocol_7's picture

Great article.

Just few mistakes here and there though.

Thanks and please point them by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 03:25
Paul Leicht's picture

Thanks and please point them out. :) No matter how much one edits there will be a few.

We salute the new and by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 09:26
Kumagoro42's picture

We salute the new and improved Winter Wolf: now with 30% more tolerance to losing. :)
The 2HG tournament has been a lot of fun (I was saying it even before we made it to the final round), hope we can repeat the experience this week.

Great job spreading awareness of the PREs. MTGO players reading this: try and join a PRE asap! It's the best (as in "funnier & safer") way to play competitive Magic online.

I have to correct you here: Nemesis didn't win last week's Tribal Apocaypse. He made 3-0, but just ranked 2nd. At the 1st place we had mihahitlor with his assassins (and that was the 3rd time for him to end first).
Btw, Kara agreed to let me have a little editorial space on the next Tribal Apocalypse reportages, so I will update the world about who's winning, who's gaining positions on the Hall of Fame and how tribes are behaving lately (plus: how Innistrad is changing the numbers on the All Tribes Reference).

Re: the misogyny on MTGO (and many other similar gaming platforms). We have to take into account how the protection of anonymity and the lack of a true social interaction (staring at a monitor is inherently different than meeting people) can amplify everyone's attitude. Most of those violently mysoginistic jerks are just frustrated losers in real life, trying to overcompensate here (or in similar places). All in all, they inspire more pity than rage. The issue is deeper, though, and it's sort of a vicious circle: those jerks feel like they are allowed to speak their frustrations in a loud way because the female component of the user base is either low or, more probably, hidden. And it's hidden because there are too many chauvinist jerks around, so historically it's safer for a girl to hid her gender behind a neuter nickname, and never disclose it to anyone. This prevent the risk of harassment, stupid jokes, or even just unwanted attentions. But again, vicious circle: the attentions to the occasional, lonely disclosed girl are caused by the fact that most of them stay hidden. I don't know how to break this status, but clearly it's not something that happens everywhere on the Internet. We've known from some time already that Internet users are more female than male, and many places are totally female-friendly, if not even female-guided. And no, I'm not talking about female-oriented contents at all. For instance, on the Internet forums about television shows, the female posters are often dominant, fully disclosed, and surely not harassed by anyone. And we're talking even shows that are conceived for a male demographic. The game/videogame scene is probably older than that, and could still be affected by a past, outdated male dominance. I believe WoTC's data are telling us that MTG's female base is consistent, if still in a minority. I think WoTC is doing well creating a game that's enjoyable regardless of your gender. The basic mechanics speak to the non-gender-related parts of the brain. And the visuals lately are more on par to a non-gender-related sensibility. For one, we have great female illustrators working on cards. The times when Rebecca Guay was being fired because her art was "too feminine" are far behind. I mean, we still have hot girls here and there (but some hot boys too!), but for every over-the-top bikini angel there's an Elspeth, who I think speaks about female empowerment in a good way.

Ah thanks for the correction by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 13:19
Paul Leicht's picture

Ah thanks for the correction (and your work keeping track!)

As far as hiding goes both Julie and Dark Princess are quite open about their femininity (As is Sunie_FD of the Frag Dolls, champion of the CCC.) All of these women are heroines to me because they have risen above the problems of gender discrimination and are perceptibly strong competitors if not necessarily any more pros than the rest of us (yet.)

Thanks again for partnering with me in the 2hg. I am looking forward to more victories!

I wish you lived close by me by apaulogy at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 13:49
apaulogy's picture

Every comment that I see you make just gives me more respect for you, Kumagoro (not that you are approval seeking).

I wish you lived near me so we could hang out.

You rock!

Great article Paul. Seeing by ShardFenix at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 10:20
ShardFenix's picture

Great article Paul. Seeing and remembering all the PRE's available really get me wanting to jump into the pool a little more often.

Much thanks and I know people by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 13:14
Paul Leicht's picture

Much thanks and I know people are looking forward to seeing you play again.

For some reason it didnt work by ShardFenix at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 10:20
ShardFenix's picture

For some reason it didnt work on the first message

While I was not in the room by howlett23 at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 10:55
howlett23's picture

with the "caveman" incident, so I don't know the context of his "femininity" complaint, I share a similar point of view. I don't restrict mine to "men being men" so much as it seems to me the whole world, all genders, races, creeds, colors, etc. have gotten to be soft. The definition of soft being the majority of people have forgotten hard work, stong morals, being honest, forthright and having integrity. This has been an apparent decline in our country especially since the late 80's. Evident by the number of frivolous lawsuits(see McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit here) ridiculous laws, labor disputes(see NFL lockout), etc. While I love technology(I am an IT guy) I can't help but think that it has had some causality in this process of turning us into "wimps". The amount of "political correctness" that is forced upon this "free speech" country is stunning. Don Imus, for example, I totally agree that he should no longer be on the airwaves at CBS for his comments, but I don't agree that it should have been a CBS decision to try and appease listeners. He should have been cancelled by the fact that all of us non-racists would stop listening immediately and therefore his ratings would drop and thus be cancelled. I understand that CBS felt they would lose listeners if they kept Imus, but that is the crux of the problem, why hold CBS responsible for something ONE person said in our "freedom of speech" country? Obviously you can get into the "CBS" enabling him blah blah, but look at it today, he's back on the radio after giving a bogus apology, so CBS is the only ones out of anything and they didn't DO anything...I'm sure many of you out there have better examples of this, but this country really is starting to make me ill with all the PCBS that is out there. Sticks and stones people, sticks and stones.

Yeah the Imus incident stank by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 13:13
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Yeah the Imus incident stank all around. The girls from Rutgers seemed to be the only ones who didn't stink up the joint completely and I am a little fuzzy on their response.

The problem is: (and I agree with you about a general softening of 'integrity' at least in the media) Political Correctness while reminiscent of Orwell (double think and not meaning what it sounds like) has at it's core a few ideas which are well intended. That is, how we talk shows how we think. It isn't how we talk that needs changing. It is how we thinking about each other.

Unfortunately words can be harmful. If only because they trigger our emotions and in some of us those buttons are very near the surface. Particularly after those words have been used to oppress and demean for years and years. This isn't about "whining" or "crying" but about letting people know when they are encroaching without automatically taking it to the other extreme of violent response. Extremes tend to be bad for us.

I think where PC goes wrong (really wrong) is trying to enforce "rules" that can't be applied any more than "casual" can be in M:TG. People can get together and agree not to be pigs, racists etc but once you start punishing people for doing so then it becomes fascism. As my grandfathers both said "You can't legislate morality" and they didn't know each other so I assume it was a well known saying in their day. It really is true today as well.

Free Thinking is a core value in my opinion in this country so I agree with you 100% on that issue. If there is going to be change it has to come from within us and be as you say honest and forthright.

I feel the best reason for bringing this up is to wake us up that it is a problem still and still needs work and PC is definitely NOT the answer. That is why I posed it as a question. Because I am not certain aside from asking the questions what the answer is. For me I am working on notifying people who matter to me when they press my buttons not to do it.

As a company, CBS's by walkerdog at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 14:05
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As a company, CBS's management's responsibility is to their owners/shareholders. If their stock price or earnings are threatened because Imus makes idiotic statements, it makes sense to can the man.

It's not PC so much as it's good business. It's not a social issue so much as a corporate issue.

Sure, by howlett23 at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 01:15
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and I understand their move whole problem is that was what was expected. We the people never got a chance to show our disapproval by simply turning the idiot off and making him suffer a "slow death" so to speak. Maybe even more disappointing is that we the people aren't at the point where others feel confident we will make the right decision on things like that, or that we the people truly aren't at the point of making the right decisions. All circles back to my belief that we are losing morality, integrity, work ethic, honesty, etc. etc.

The McDonalds' Coffee Lawsuit by Bugsy at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 14:25
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You are mistaken on the coffee lawsuit being frivolous. The coffee burned the woman so bad that she was in the hospital for 8 days becasue she had 3rd degree burns all over her lap and needed skin grafts.

Unless you think that the 79 year old woman was just being "soft".

I do not think that people by JXClaytor at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 17:37
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I do not think that people think the lawsuit itself was frivolous. McDonalds knew that they were serving it too hot and did it anyways. I believe what it came down to was the absurd amount of awarded money that people found to be frivolous

regeardless... by apaulogy at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 23:00
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That lawsuit specifically set a precedent and made "disclaimer" very real.

It's got nothing to do with her age by howlett23 at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 01:10
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it is COFFEE...a HOT drink. If she was using a knife and cut herself, could she sue Chicago Cutlery for making it too sharp? What about if it cut off a finger? Is it then their fault? This type of thinking is EXACTLY what is wrong with this one wants to accept responsibility for things that are their fault..if the drive thru attendant spilled it on her, totally different story, but the fact is she screwed up by holding it between her legs and spilled it while taking the lid off herself..notice all the "her"'s in that fact..her fault. I like how your article attempts to paint a sympathetic picture "grandmother", "was not driving/moving" and their "bottom line" conclusion??? Ridiculous. On top of that throw in the absolutely stupid amount of money she was awarded and you have one of the worst cases of blind justice ever. It was a bad thing that happened to her, I am not arguing that, but there was NO fault of McD's at all. Oww, I just jammed my finger on the keyboard..I think I'll sue Microsoft for making this ergo board too curvy.

I think part of the reason by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 02:15
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I think part of the reason the outcome was so one-sided and unjust as you say is because of who and what the plaintiff and defendant represented.

In one corner big bad fast food maker McDonalds, a Notorious Corporation with multiple billions of $$$. Jackpot!!!!

And in the other, a poor defenseless Granny who one might say represents all of our little helpless grandparents who are unable to adjust to a mean and ever changing society (Never mind that they were adults when we were busy being reincarnated as bunnies and such.) Emotion ruled that day no doubt.

Even as I hate to see people decide justice based mainly on emotion I can see the point. Corporations represent a greater evil in our society. Soulless entities that seem beyond reproach because of their money and attorneys. A win is a win is a win even though it is a dirty unfair win. So I see both sides. But I think we strayed far from my initial questions.

Is litigation over frivolous stuff related in someway? I know, I know, it's part of the campaign of terror that lawyers have stuck us with LIKE the Political Correctness Laws that keep a boss from openly admiring a secretary's body parts. Never mind that this is the "god given right" of the hegemony of men everywhere.

OK that last bit was a bit of stray sarcastic facetious silliness that escaped the side of my neck. I guess I am saying, I don't miss the good old days of White Male Privilege (even being a white man) and I look forward to when people treat each other like humans not chattel, property, objects, animals, etc.

Is this possible? Is it right? Is it better to be machismo and insular and closed minded? Not that any of us are any of those things but maybe we are supporting those who are by not questioning the status quo? OK that brings us back on topic I think.

The other thing Felorin by walkerdog at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 16:05
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The other thing Felorin missed was that McD'd coffee cups were also known to basically disintegrate once in a while and it was also ignored when complained about.

The injuries the lady suffered also not reasonable for a cup of hot coffee... I've never suffered third-degree burns from spilling hot coffee on my lap.

Coffee Lawsuit by Felorin at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 15:47
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I thought the case was ridiculous too, like most people do, until I heard the actual facts of the case.

Coffeemakers don't usually get coffee hot enough to produce third degree burns. But this wasn't an isolated accident with the machine at one McDonalds - their coffeemakers were set up that way throughout the franchise, at the time, all heating the coffee exceptionally, dangerously hot. Nor were they unaware of it until this woman spilled some on herself.

The prosecution managed to get ahold of & produce in court a series of internal memos about the problem with the coffeemakers and discussing whether to do anything to fix it. What management decided was to analyze two costs: the cost of revamping or replacing all the thousands of coffee machines, and the estimated cost of settling a handful of personal injury lawsuits with cash settlements.

Their analysis showed them that it would likely cost them less money overall to pay off a small number of people that got burned by the overheated coffee. So they decided they would rather take the less expensive route even if it meant a few real human beings would get injured. Maximize profits and all that.

I believe the jury used punitive damages to attempt to send a message to McDonalds & other corporations: "If you decide neglecting safety is ok if it increases profits, we will make injuring employees or customers expensive enough for you that you decide to stop doing it".

Whether that was the right approach or the right amount of cash to achieve it, still I can see the point & it's not a case of someone spilling 100 degree coffee on her lap and being greedy or a wimp, nor is it a case of a company being punished for a problem they didn't even know about till after the fact. They deliberately chose a course of action that they fully expected would lead to a few people getting scalded, and they got called out for it.

'What management decided was by gamemaster32 at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 16:14
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'What management decided was to analyze two costs: the cost of revamping or replacing all the thousands of coffee machines, and the estimated cost of settling a handful of personal injury lawsuits with cash settlement.'

How very Fight Club of them.

I'm always a little wary of by Leviathan at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 01:13
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I'm always a little wary of things posted on a personal injury attorney's website. This is a little less one sided:'s_Restaurants

I would link to the actual case but I can only find it on Westlaw.

2 Things.... :) by BlippyTheSlug at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 12:01
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1) There are no underscores in my name. :)

2) It's Saturday Night "Melee", not "Madness".

Woops and woops again! Thanks by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 12:55
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Woops and woops again! Thanks :)

You're back? by Stu Benedict at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 12:52
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I thought you had "retired" from the game after your medical incident. What happened to bring you back?

We need ... "The Rest of the Story"

: )

No lol. But I was upstate at by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 12:58
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No lol. But I was upstate at my Dad's for over a month sans a computer capable of running Magic Online. Pox marks are pretty much gone except for some on my legs that look like old wounds. Otherwise I'm feeling alright.

I'm sorry if I gave the impression I was never coming back, though at the time it might have seemed that way. I love it up there but had to come back and face some things here (medical appointment for one) in the city. And of course life goes on.

Great article that touches on many things by apaulogy at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 13:47
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You know where I stand on the whole femininity in gaming and trolls issue, etc....

I need to have a work schedule that would allow me to join more PREs...

Good job, Paul.

Thanks all for the fine by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 23:24
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Thanks all for the fine comments. :)

Sigh, the wurm deck seems by PiDave at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 01:05
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Sigh, the wurm deck seems amazing (everything with Novablast Wurm in is amazing to me).

About the misogyny issue: I'm going to quote Kumagoro's thoughts; there's clearly something going on in MTGO that prevents female players to "safely" disclose their identity. Regarding that particular "caveman" incident, you said that he was bashed for his grammar; I hope he was also bashed for the content of his phrase as well.

P.S. It's good to have you back. :)

I love the wurms deck though by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 02:18
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I love the wurms deck though in testing it was miserable much of the time. :)

Thanks and glad to hear your opinion. I sort of subtly took him on until the ORCs intervened. I don't think I crossed any lines but it shut him up anyway. I am not sure if he even got what I was trying to say or even read it.