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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
May 08 2014 12:00pm
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Ya know, it's weird. Recently, there was a big push by the latest Community Coordinator, Alison, who told us (apparently in a forum post?)  of all the wonderful places to go for the latest scoop on what's up with Magic. It's almost as though wizzos wants to open their channels of communication.

Let me start out by saying Miss Alison is a messenger, she passes along information that is handed her. She interacts with us so the Poobahs don't have to. She does not make decisions that affect us in major ways. So griping at Miss Alison over policy decisions is useless.

Back to the news. The number one source for news, of course, went to the @MagicOnline twitter account. So, in keeping with me, and this article series, keeping our finger on the pulse of what's happening, this feed will now be a regular part of this article series.

I really hope that WotC follows through on this; that this feed could, indeed, be the future of Magic news delivery. But at the same time, the awkwardness of a large and multifacted corporation threading through a single needle eye.

In addition to the Magic: Online feed, I'm also including a feed of other official WotC accounts, and debating a feed of WotC employee accounts. The "other official WotC accounts" has some bearing on what I we do, but I don't know about employee feeds. These are "personal", rather than corporate, accounts, and have little to do with magic, other than the people being employees of WotC. While they have interest, Johns lunch plans, or where Bob is drinking tonight, aren't really news.

These are all publicly available twitter feeds, so I'm not violating anyone's privacy by gathering them here in one spot for your perusal. Like my meta images, these feeds are live, and will update and show different things depending on what's in them when you look.

Back to the communications post. What's interesting, is that the number two spot is...

News and Updates!

It has always boggled my fragile little mind, from day one, way back in June 2010 when I first started MTGO, how this page, and its predecessor (the "What's Happening" page), is not the primary outlet for all information on things Magic.

One would think that a page titled News and Updates would be the end-all-and-be-all of all information pertaining to Magic.

But nooOOoo!

'Nuff said.

She also mentioned the weekly downtime blog on the mothership, but as that is at the community site, I rarely see it. I only end up there if I follow a "blind link" that leads me to that pit; I won't go on my own. (Although I did swallow my pride to post a Ham on Wry III blurb on the forums) So anything posted on that blog will not be seen by me, or hundreds of other people that were driven away from the WotC community site.

Which brings me to the final part of this "what the [REDACTED]?" puzzle. 

The WotC community site has undergone a number of revisions over the years, with each revision driving away users in droves. Anecdotal tales indicate the current community site is a barren wasteland, with very little actually going on anymore. Again, I have to stress I cannot comment on this from personal experience, as I am one of the people that were driven away. Anyway, rumor has it that the forums are dead. Yet this information on how to communicate to, and get information from, WotC was put in the forums. Hello? It may have well been on a Post-It on a random doorway in the Ivory Tower. Perhaps I have it backwards. Maybe it was tweeted first, then put into the forums. 

Miss Alison, I wish you luck in your quixotic quest of unraveling the byzantine and labyrinthian highways, byways, and sideways of WotC communications. I'd like to see you do well in dealing with us, and good luck with the not so nice ones.

I mean this most sincerely. You seem like a very nice person. I have seen those hallowed halls eat many a nice person, leaving only a bitter, shriveled husk. Look at the hallway floors with an alternate light source, you'll see the blood. Non carborundum illigitimi. Have at those windmills, and you go, girl!

 So. On to the other things on my radar.

First off, GP Minneapolis. Dunno, Mange. There's two things that keep running through my brain when I think about GP Minnehaha. This first is the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and her throwing her toque up the air. The other is the Fargo franchise, both the movie and the TV series. These two seemingly dichotomous muses somehow tell me that #GPMinn will have a breakout rogue.

Of course, I say that just before every Modern GP, and I'm always wrong. So take that prediction with a grain of salt. In fact, I'll make it even saltier. I think the "breakout rogue" will be a Storm variant. In fact, I think Storm will be very well represented at this GP, much to the chagrin of WotC.

Simply because the meta is Splinter Twin heavy. Which means the sideboard focus is on Twin hate. Which in turn leaves the meta soft for Storm.

Anyway, I can't really bring myself to whoop and holler about the GP itself, but I kinda sorta know some people (you know who you are, mon twitheads!) who are gonna be there, and hope they do well. I'll be watching the coverage closely to see if I can spy, with my little eye, a twithead on the fly. I'd be tickled pink if one of a number of people show up on coverage. I know odds are long, but ya know what? I'm feeling lucky, punk! To paraphrase and turnabout Dirty Harrys catchphrase.

What else is there? Oh yeah! The Wide Beta spotlight. While I have often been critical (and I believe justifiably so) in the past of the Wide Beta, I do have to give props where props are due. The current build allows me to play Magic Online just as quickly and efficiently as the v3 client. Is it pretty? No. But it does work reasonably well, in the basic sense that it allows me to play MTGO

My biggest complaints about the Wide Beta?

  • Logging me off - When I exit the Wide Beta client, it leaves my account logged on. Other people will see me as being online, while in reality I'm off doing something in the real world.
  • Chat Interface - While the windows being movable/dockable/hideable are wonderful, slash commands, such as /away, or /me, are poorly implemented. For example, I use the /me command very frequently while running events, to distinguish event text from general text.
    Let's use the example /me waves.
    In the v3 client, this comes out as third person in blue text: 4:20 PM BlippyTheSlug waves.
    In the Wide Beta, this comes out with a name stamp, and no color: 4:20 PM BlippyTheSlug: BlippyTheSlug waves.

When you get right down to it, these are minor things. Annoying as all get out for me, but stuff the average (Ha! Like you're average!) player doesn't worry about. While I still prefer the v3 client over the Wide Beta, the Wide Beta does (basically) work. I'll be playing.

So props to WotC for delivering a client that is basically usable. *does a deadpan slow clap*



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...

Breakfast Nook

Will you be my breakfast nook?
Nibble on you while reading a book?
Wet my finger to turn pages
Acting like we’re quarter our ages

I’d write these to you directly
But people would get the wrong idea
So I’ll do it circumspectly
When I tell you I want to hear you scream


Morning Glory

It’s seven thirty on a Tuesday
Time to start my day
Open up the stash tin
Find a little somethin’
Break up the nug on a plate
Grab the one-hitter
It’s clogged

Grab the ramrod, shove it in the throat
Out its butt comes a blob like creosote
Drip the blob onto a paper
(I’ll make a tar baby for smoking later)
Clean off the ramrod, run one more patch through
Lets try this again after the hullabaloo

I feel much better now
The furrow in my brow
Feels much less furrowed now
(Which tangents me right to
Happy Gilmore
Because the next words
Popped into my brain)
How now brown cow

But that’s the risk I take
Using my morning to get baked
Sip a cup of tea
Write bad poetry
Roll another smoke
Tell another joke

So now it’s almost eight AM
Time to get things started
Get my targets, start firing in
Thanks for reading what I farted




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! #130
Players: 14
Champion: qtsmash / U Tron
Runner up: Socanelas / TarmoTwin
Decklists and results from all Overdrive! events can be found here.  

qtsmash brought U Tron to the dance, and danced all over Doubling Season, Time Warp, G Tron, and Tramo Twin to emerge as Overdrive! #130champion.

Lickitung invited TarmoTwin to the party, winning against RDW Burn, UBR Control, and Raka Control, before losing to U Tron in the final.



BlippyTheSlug on MTGO
Blog: Read At Your Peril (NSFW!)


The things that irk me about by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 01:00
Paul Leicht's picture

The things that irk me about the beta client haven't changed since they started with the first wide beta. To me that spells a big NO. I logged on today because I figured giving it a chance is a perennial thing. I was immediately struck by how much the same everything is. Whatever was changed was not in the UI. Truth be told I didn't get as far as playing a game this time. Though I did consider it. I was so annoyed with trying to build a deck in the editor that once I was done I just quit. Did I mention that you can't paste a deck into chat in v4? :/ It doesn't work the way it does in V3.

I agree with your sentiment about how wonderful it is that the client basically works. I wish we lived in a world where it worked even remotely the way it should given the standards of design and technology that are available. I can't say I will be using it if they shut down v3 before doing anything more to improve the experience of it. To me the experience is the whole point. Without that all you have is a bad game that barely works.

Yesterday I had to host a PRE by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 06:25
Kumagoro42's picture

Yesterday I had to host a PRE in the beta. It's basically a nightmare.

Blippy won't be as optimist when he'll have to experience that. Try watch a game: the server won't give you access to some watchable games for mysterious reasons. Try communicate with a player who's playing a game: they're entirely cut out from the unified chat contraption (most of them don't play with the audio on and/or didn't activate the sound effect of the chat and/or those effects don't always work).

Like Blippy said, the codes are worthless now (of course they'll bring them back, but right now, there's no way to differentiate posts in a chat).

Like you said, you can't past anything longer than a single line (this is particularly baffling. You would think a more advanced chat would do that more easily). So there's no way for players to exchange lists in the game. Because why would Magic players want to do that, right?

The most comical thing: to access what in V3 is the Anything Goes room, you have to perform several actions and select the Getting Serious room. When you're done, you end up in a room that's called... Anything Goes.

Sometimes the beta seems specifically designed to alienate V3 users.

I tried running Overdrive! in by BlippyTheSlug at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 09:04
BlippyTheSlug's picture

I tried running Overdrive! in Beta a few months (years?) back. I gave up and switched to v3 before end of Round 1.

I check out the beta chat for the features that I need with each release. And am disappointed each time.

I am ceasing my PREs with the drop of the v3 client. (Unless drastic improvements happen between now and then)

I saw the Legacy Tribal Wars by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 06:32
Kumagoro42's picture

I see the Legacy Tribal Wars filter in the beta. Woot!

So I upload a Legacy Tribal Wars deck. Beta says, "Nope, it's Legacy." I say, "Nope, it's Legacy Tribal Wars. Look, it's one of the formats you give me to choose from." Beta says, "Alright."

I look at the deck. It's filed under the Legacy folder.

I log off.

Wow, I'm blown away. Somehow by Mundisv at Fri, 05/09/2014 - 09:21
Mundisv's picture

Wow, I'm blown away. Somehow I always thought your articles were focused on Modern only and dismissed them. Apparently, not. It was a great read. Thanks!