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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
Apr 24 2014 12:00pm
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I'm in a quandary. I know I have to finish this piece of drivel, and get it off to my editor, before the end of today. But at the same time, I find myself with absolutely nothing that tickles my literary fancy, or stirs my fingers to fly across the keys. Which I find exceedingly strange, because there's all kinds of things I should be excited about.

The paper Journey into Nyx pre-release is starting this weekend. There's events to go to. I have a DCI#. Hmmm. The culmination of the set. The hero's path continues. All kinds of new cards and new mechanics. Meet and greet new players. Promos! Blah blah blah. I can't bring myself to get excited. I may go, I may not. I probably won't.

I've got Ham on Wry III coming up in a week and a half. My very own baby, all grown, loud and proud and struttin' its stuff. Why aren't I screaming, dancing, and getting fan-girl about that all day, every day? I did for the first two events. This one? I don't know, Maynard. It doesn't fill me with the same joy previous events have. I feel like I'm going through the motions, but not really doing anything.

GP Minneapolis is happening the weekend after Ham on Wry. Another Modern GP! Woo hoo! Ouch. I hurt my throat doing that. Same story. Rinse and repeat. I should be excited about this. Very excited. Modern is my favorite format. I eat, sleep, and breathe Modern. This entire article series is about my love for Magic and Modern. So why does my enthusiasm for GP Minn feel forced? Conspiracy, in paper, and Vintage Masters, online, are getting closer and closer. They tell us Conspiracy was designed for multiplayer. I wouldn't know, they haven't told us squat beyond that. Nor what's in Vintage Masters, other than the P9. I should be excited about this, but all I can muster up is whateverMTGO had more crashes. I had more issues with the beta. Another Wide Beta Spotlight. More communication snafus. A year ago, I'd have been screaming from the rooftops. Today? *yawns*

Even writing these things! These articles used to fly from my fingers. I'd sit down, my fingers would start to dance, and I'd have to cut huge swatches away. I know the quality was better then, too. I'm well aware my stuff recently have barely been worth the "paper it's printed on." I'm coasting. I phoned this one in, and you're reading it.

I don't know what to do change this, but change it I must. I'm supposed to write about Magic, not my inner doubts, turmoils, and hallucinations. You don't want to keep on reading narcissistic rambles that have nothing to do with Magic. Well, maybe you do, but this isn't the forum for me to spew them. I see that the flow, the spillage of words from my fingers, can still happen. Even in the midst of whining about not having anything to write about, I see the volume of words coming out. And doing a quick readback, they even seem to have a cohesiveness despite their lackadaisical attitude. So writing, itself, doesn't seem to be the issue. Though I may be fooling myself there.

So let's jump thought trains.

Well! It's questions like these that take me by surprise. I mean, I take it for granted that yes, Abrupt Decay is just that good! In every format it's legal in. Which is currently all of them. And it sees play. In all of them. Abrupt Decay is one of those cards that will remain a staple in non-rotating formats long after its life in Standard has expired.

And that was the short, flip answer I gave.

To which I was kind of flabbergasted. The first thing that came to mind was Liliana of the Veil. Or that pesky Wall of Omens keeping your guy out. Or that Pestermite your opponent is trying to attach Splinter Twin to. Or those Vedalken Shackles holding your Goyf captive. Or your opponents Goyf, Scavenging Ooze, Goblin Guide, or other annoyance. Modern has so many viable targets that are CMC3 or less, it's hard to find an argument not to run Abrupt Decay if you're running . The only deck I can see possibly not including it would be Infect, and even there it's probably in the sideboard.

Another ADD thought train derailment puts us on another track! I saw this, over the weekend as well:

Now this actually has me excited. Since my next "PC" is going to be an Android tablet, I love seeing that the technology is in place to play "on a tablet." I know it's not actually on the tablet, but a remote connection to a winbox somewhere on the network, but still. The end result is the same: one is able to "play MTGO on an Android tablet."

It also got me to thinking: if this is off the shelf for Android, is there a decent remote for Windows? Could I do something like that on my Windows phone? A little research led me to this:

I have used my phone to navigate the client, and successfully conducted a trade. The remote connection is much too laggy for playing. But I, and others, have demonstrated to my satisfaction that I will be able to "play MTGO on a tablet!" Woo hoo! This is something that excites me.


Ham on Wry III ~ The Erik Friborg Celebration Classic

It's that time. Another year has come and gone, and it's time to pull this strange rocket out of the storage shed and take it for a ride once again. What started as a kneejerk response to morbid trolling has turned into an annual celebration of the life and contributions of Erik Friborg. Join me for the third running of Ham on Wry!

Time: Sunday, May 4th 2014 Noon EST/1600 UTC

0800 1200 1700 2000

Format: Constructed Classic, X Rounds Swiss, T8

Players 8-16 17-32 33-64 65-128 129-226 227+
Rounds 4 5 6 7 8 9

Announcements and game chat: /join HAM (v3 client), or channel #HAM (wide beta client)
Registration is open on Gatherling. Decklists are required.
Intentional Draws are allowed.

Players, pairings, and standings for this Event, along with the current Prize Pool, can be seen here.
Note the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet for easy navigation. You can review past events, as well.


One of the many wonderful things that came out the first Ham on Wry was Hammybot. Hammybot was set up three years ago by Heath Newton (and crew) over at MTGO Traders to sell off Erik Friborg's MTGO collection. All of the proceeds from Hammybot are slated to go to Erik's widow and boy-child.

This is the last year Hammybot will be around. After this year's event, Hammybot is scheduled to be paid out and the proceeds sent to Tami and son. 

Prices are discounted to 5% below MTGO Traders list. Hammybot has raised over $6,700, and still has over 25,000 cards left. 

Be sure to check out Hammybot first for all your card needs, and help out a good cause! At the first Ham on Wry event, several players put up cards, boosters, and tickets as personal pledges and bounties. You can use Hammybot to purchase cards for use as pledges or bounties in this year's Ham on Wry for a double dose of good karma!

With this much chum in the waters, I expect a large turnout, with a great many sharks. Erik was no carebear when it came to gameplay. In fact, I'd call him downright cut-throat. I expect a significant percentage of players showing up to not be carebears, either.

Once again, to be clear: there will be sharks. Oh yes, there will be sharks.

Meta Madness

Google Docs is continuing to have issues. What I see on my graph previews does not match what the graphs are showing, and I cannot seem to be able to adjust the scales properly. What you see is as close as I can come.

In the previews, everything is scaled either in increments of 5, or increments of 10, and looks perfectly fine. But in the graph images themselves here on the page, they range all over the place. So forgive the untidiness of the scales. 

Tribal Wars are still gone, gone, gone.


All results. All the time. Bring back Tribal Wars!

The Daily Big Picture


The Premiere Big Picture


Higher Education

Post Graduate

These charts will appear once an archetype has shown 20 4-0 appearances.




High School


Primary School / The Sandbox

The Wall of Voodoo






I have consolidated Death &Taxes, Hate Bears, and UW Vial into one unified archetype/submeta. 













It is so strange referring to a three color deck as "RDW", but here it is. Bump decks started out as , but now regularly run .

Aggro and Burn are both "true" RDW variants, being mono . The main difference between the two is in the creature base. Aggro typically runs twelve to eighteen creatures, while Burn runs ten or less.

White Lightning is RDW Burn splashing for Boros Charm.




I'm using a dividing line of four Snapcaster Mages plus up to four more creatures to indicate Control, and more than eight creatures to signify Midrange. Keep in mind that "Midrange" in this submeta doesn't mean the same thing as it normally does. A Raka Midrange deck is still quite control heavy.







Rock continues to be a force, and continues to make its face known. The basic core of the Modern Rock deck is:

Abrupt Decay
Dark Confidant
Inquisition of Kozilek  /  Thoughtseize
Liliana of the Veil
Scavenging Ooze / Tarmogoyf

Everything else is “accessories”, according to the builder’s preference. Jund and Junk are two appendages of the same beast. Ajundi and Junk'd happen when the appendages slap together. But it’s all the same slavering, rabid swampbeast hybrid that comes tearing into every Modern FNM, every Modern GP, every Modern PTQ, every Modern PT. And usually ends up King of the Hill. That beast is Rock.

























"Dusty" Tron is simply GR/b Tron with three or four All is Dust. "Regular" GR/b Tron runs none, sometimes one, never two.


Breakfast at Urza's (if/when it shows) is an "eggs" style deck that uses Krark-Clan Ironworks and Open the Vaults to generate huge amounts of mana to either hardcast Emmy, deliver a fatal Banefire, or durdle up a fatal storm of Grapeshots.






Random Gibberish

I guess the Spank The Slug segment went over like a lead balloon. I mean the common concept thereof, not the actual lead balloon made by Mythbusters. So I'm going to use this space to throw random gibberish at you. Be it in the form of poetry (most likely), video composition (maybe), rambling pointless stories (also likely). If you want to see something else, ask me. So there. Here we go...

Dead Rabbit

The rabbit lies dead
It's body twisted
Head crushed flat
As I gently pick it up
I feel jagged pieces
Threatening to puncture
Unblemished skin
Crooning softly
I carry it away
To a sunlit spot
Under a pine
Needles and sticks
I use my hands
To brush them away
To clear a place
Warm earth
I sit on the ground
Tear away the skin
Chocolate falls
Into my hand
One mouthful



Overdrive!, which started on July 4th, 2011, is the original Modern format Player-Run Event! In fact, Overdrive! is even older than Modern, having started out as an event in the Overextended format. Overdrive! is a single elimination event: two men enter, one man leaves. Registration is done via Gatherling. You can find more information at the main event thread here.




Overdrive! #128
Players: 11
Champion: Orion121 / Titan Shift
Runner up: ChineseNotebook / Melira Pod
Decklists and results from all Overdrive! events can be found here.  

Orion121 brought a Titan Ramp version of Scapeshift out to play, and won against G Infect, U Tron, Rock, and Melira Pod.

ChineseNotebook took Melira Pod to the dance, winning against BYE, Living End, and Twinless Twin before losing to Titan Shift in the final.



BlippyTheSlug on MTGO

Blog: Read At Your Peril (NSFW!)


RE: The doldrums and other by Paul Leicht at Thu, 04/24/2014 - 19:10
Paul Leicht's picture

RE: The doldrums and other irritants...

Yeah I was a fan boy of the first two Ham on Wry (and donated to support it) but like many things that become rote it seems less exciting this year and I am not a donor, nor do I have plans to play in it. Partially I am somewhat disinterested in MTGO in general because of all the crap that has been thrown at us by WOTC (unapologetically I might add, for the most part.) And partially because I feel that I am done actively grieving for Eric and while I still miss him and wish he had not exited stage left I have trouble rallying zest for a celebration at which he is not in attendance for a game I am not loving as much as I once did. And to be perfectly frank: Classic is even less my cup of tea now than it was 2 years ago, when I had to borrow most of a deck to participate.

I considered what I could bring this year without borrowing and the answer is: Nothing. Were the format Modern I think I have a couple of decent ideas waiting to be executed but Classic is passe for me. (Sorry Whiffy and Co.)

Tribal Wars are by BlippyTheSlug at Thu, 04/24/2014 - 19:20
BlippyTheSlug's picture

Tribal Wars are back.

Well that's something :) by Paul Leicht at Thu, 04/24/2014 - 21:36
Paul Leicht's picture

Well that's something :)