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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
May 01 2014 11:00am
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Silver, Movies, And Bookies

At the beginning of this year, I was reading through the mothership website, as is my wont, and my eyes stumbled across an announcement. In this missive, I was informed that a deal had been struck between WotC, New Zealand Mint, and the government of Niue, to produce Magic: The Gathering coins for the hoi polloi.

One troy ounce of .999 Silver (Au), with a picture of Jace, The Mind Sculptor on one side, and our titular monarch on the other, for $125. Orders just opened up. Since there will be only 5,000 of these coins minted, I'm sure their collectible value will remain as long as Magic exists. Get yours now. 

Uh huh. If I had a hundred and a quarter laying around, I'm sure I could find better things to spend a hundred and twentyfive bucks on. I have a hard enough time maintaining my existence. I wouldn't call it living. 

The flip side, of course, is: just because I'm dirt poor and frugal, doesn't mean everyone else is. I'm sure there's myriads of reasonably well off Magic players that have that kind of throw around cash, and will get one or three.

Go hard, and more power to you.

But I had to question to myself, what the [REDACTED] do coins have to with Magic? I mean, I can see T-shirts, and hoodies, and bling playing accessories, but coins? And Niue? Niue?!?!? Numismatically, these coins will be squat to serious collectors. Niue, like Liechtenstein in Europe, makes a significant portion of its national budget in the "commemorative business", the coin equivalent of those collector plates at your crazy great aunts house.

But the main thing I think of when I think Niue is sketchy websites. You know the ones I mean. Those sites you don't want your mom, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, duckfriend, whoever, to see on your browser. Check out how many are .nu. That's what I think when I think Niue.

Maybe all that's changed. I don't know. I live under a rock.

Anyway, a week later, I read another announcement about WotC and 20th Century Fox being in cahoots about making a Magic: The Gathering movie. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a cynical old person, and generally don't like a lot of the (IMO) crap that comes out of Hollywood these days. Anyway, the announcement said Simon Kinberg was the "Creative Steward". I looked at some of the stuff he's done. Some is ok, a lot is crap. Again, that is only my opinion. 

Movies, to me, make a lot more sense than coins, as far as where to invest my creative marketing dollars. This one is so glaring, I'm shocked it's taken this long to come to an arrangement of some sort. There's already scads of Magic related movies out there by amateurs, LARPers, film students, and others. Fanfiction abounds. This one was a no-brainer, and seems almost a natural progression.

Flash forward a few months. I'm looking through my twitter feed, and see several mentions of online Magic betting. Magic e-bookies. That's right. If your local municipality allows online gambling, starting with PT Atlanta this month, you can now bet on whether LSV, Brian Kibler, or some other player of your choice makes the Top 8 at the PT. Or over/under how many Forests will be played. Oh my! 

The strange thing on this particular one is, I find nothing about it on the mothership. No mention whatsoever. Nada. Which I find curious, because of all these crass commercializations, this one has the possibility to do the most damage. Can online betting on MTG affect the legality of MTGO? Will betting come down to the GP level? The MOCS level? How will this mess up DCI points for online play? Maybe this will have no impact. I don't know. I have no background in finance or law, other than being constantly broke for the past decade, and having been arrested a few times in my youth. I'm also paranoid to some extent. So these kinds of things tend to worry me, despite "it's only a game."

So. Let's jump the rails on this thought train, and bounce over to the polar opposite of crass commercialization. 

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.



In case you've been living under a rock:

Tribal Wars Is Back, Baby!


Meta Madness

The Daily Big Picture


The Premiere Big Picture


Higher Education

Post Graduate




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.










Little Zoo has a mana curve topping out at 2, while Big Zoo's curve tops out at 3 or more (Knight of the Reliquary, Kitchen Finks, Elspeth, Knight-Errant).

Ghor-Clan Rampager is counted as CMC2, not CMC4.


Tribal Flames is also known as Domain Zoo, or sometimes Blue Zoo after Snapcaster Mage.













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...


Just got off the phone
Talking to my oldest boy
It’s his 28th birthday
Happy he’s doing so well
Heartbroken I’m so far away


Homeward Bound

Ten forty four
My feet are sore
My tummy's full
As I take a pull
In the dark
Through the park
Cough and choke
Blow out smoke
Walking home
Tap on phone

Untitled 553

I saw a woman at Sobeys
A redhead in yoga pants
Wearing a jacket that said
“Shut Up And Kiss Me”
I wanted to
But I know what would happen


Wants And Needs

I don’t need Cialis
All I need is the sound of your voice

I don’t need Viagra
All I need is the smell of your hair

I don’t need pornography
All I need is you next to me




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! #129
Players: 16
Champion: 6argamel / Rock
Runner up: Lickitung / U Tron
Decklists and results from all Overdrive! events can be found here.  

6argamel brought Rock to the shindig, and proceeded to kick BR Aggro, Junk Dredge, Jund, and U Tron in the shins to emerge as Overdrive! #129 champion.

Lickitung took U Tron to the dance, winning against Raka Control, Nykthos Wave, and GR Tron, before losing to Rock in the final.



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