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By: BlippyTheSlug, Volker Kirstein
May 29 2014 12:00pm
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"A Big 'W'..."

When the message came down through the pipeline that this was to be Worship Week, I was torn. Many of you probably aren't aware that ordained minister is one of multitude of hats I have hanging on my hat rack. My ordination has long since lapsed, but I was clergy at one point in my life. There are so many thoughts that run through my mind with the word "worship", thoughts ranging from the sacred to the profane.

The first thing I imagine would pop into most other peoples mind is the religious connotation: (n."the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity" / v."show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites."). But you're not most people. You're probably thinking of Worship, the card. And the devotion mechanic right alongside. Funny how that works. Too bad.

Well now. This is weird. A directive from the MTGO Overlord himself.

Hail, Satan! *throws popcorn*


Hmm. Let's see. I do, in a sense, worship MTG. The joy I get when a deck comes together, and does what it's supposed to do, and does it well... this joy, for me, does dance in the shadow of the divine. Obviously not to the same extent as when the words come together and pour out in a blinding flash, or stalking the stage, the whole band tight, the crowd electric... but in a much simpler, more calming way. In the groove. Feelin' it. If you've been there, you know what I mean. If you haven't, I can't explain any better because blind man explanation. (You can't explain color to a blind man) But this is true of any endeavor that comes "from the heart", or is "artistic" in nature.

MTG has come a long way since its humble inception twenty years ago. The love and care with which the Poobahs have nurtured Magic through the years shows. Mistakes have been made, sure. But who among us is infallible? I love the game, and so do you. If not love, then at least a deep emotional attachment to it. Or else you wouldn't be reading this drivel. Let's face it, the only reason you're reading this thing is because it's about Magic. The Poobahs are great at making Magic.

I mean, take a look at this:

Conspiracy is looking to be one of the most fun draft environments that has come down the pipe in quite a while. To be sure, there were some fun blocks, but those have all been serious fun. This set looks to be fun fun! Almost like an un-set!. Oh, yeah! This set is definitely piquing my interest.

But could all of this translate into "reverence or adoration" for the MTGO Overlord?


Richard Garfield might be a candidate for deification, and I'm sure some of you reading this do, indeed, revere him in a way bordering on (dare I say it?) worship. Why not? There are people who worship Elvis. I find nothing strange in people adoring Richard Garfield with that same intensity, other than him still being alive. People are weird. Keeping this needle in the ecclesiastical vein, worshipping a Poobah would be akin to worshipping the Pope instead of Jesus, to use a poor analogy.

If you read that paragraph and somehow get "Worth is the pope of MTG", you're wrong.

The dark underbelly of MTG is MTGO. l tolerate the abomination we know as MTGO (pick a version, any version) only because of my deep love for MTG. Sure, I play it, and I love playing it. Because I'm playing Magic. This doesn't mean I like MTGO itself. We all know this 80's looking client we call v3 (soon to be 90's looking Shiny) could be so much better. But, there are no other options. None. 'Nuff said.

So, onward, through the fog!

One of the other responses to my plea for guidance took a different turn.

This shouldn't be too hard to do! After all, I'm a sexist pig, and some of the (IMO) most drop dead sexy women (card art) also happen to be some of the most powerful cards in Modern. How hard can it be to brew a deck around Liliana of the Veil and Eternal Wetness?

In fact, why should I even reinvent the wheel? I'm sure there's one out there already. Lemme check the lists....

Well! That wasn't hard at all.

Death Cloud decks have always been one of my favorite forms of Rock deck, and have been featured in this series many times in the past. We've seen them go 4-0 in the Dailies, win PTQs, and make Day Two in Modern GPs.

The basic game plan remains unchanged: disrupt your opponents hand and mana while ramping up enough lands of your own for a massive Death Cloud to seal the deal.

While Death Cloud is a player, I don't believe it's quick enough, or grindy enough, to be a contender in today's Modern. Yes, it can take an event. But I believe most of these results at the top are due mainly to good matchups and opponent misplays. It's also a fun deck to play, if you're into that play style. 


And Then Some Other Stuff Happened





Meta Madness

Last week I talked a little about what I might be able do with the Premiere results. One of the things I mentioned was possibly building a win/loss type reference, to get a quick overview of matchups.

You can see the first incarnation of this below. For some reason Google Docs doesn't like to display the entire chart, you can see how it cuts off at the bottom and right side. However, you can just click on it to take you to the actual chart on the spreadsheet. To read it, simply choose the deck you want in the 1st column, and read it across to see its record against other archetypes. For example, Jund (reading from left to right) has won against UR Delver, lost to Merfolk, and won against Rock.

Keep in mind only a few events have been dissected thusly so far, so this project is still in its infancy.





Google Docs refuses to show the entire chart in the image, so I have hot-linked the chart image to the actual chart.






Should I differentiate between Jund and Rock? I've been preaching that Jund is "Red Rock" for years, but I do kind of see a need to distinguish between the two here. Another one I'm starting to debate with myself is whether I should include Twinless Twin - which is a based deck that utilizes the Kiki Jiki/Resto Angel combo, but no Splinter Twin - in the Twin category.

As stated, this is still early in the life of this particular project, and who knows where it's gonna go.

The Big Picture



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...

Does This Smell Funny To You?

And so it goes
Another day winding to a close
Trying to make another rose
But nothing new to disclose
So lets just see how it flows
Putting random thoughts into rows
Staring at the page as my brow furrows
Now I'm the one writing prose

So I'll pick another sound
And make the lines go round and round
Really nothing too profound
Because I have nothing to expound
Just another mongrel in the pound
No meaning here to be found
Time to go to ground

The first stanza had eight lines
The second one one less time
Now I have a pattern to my rhymes
Not a good one, but it takes all kinds
Even if nothing but grounds and rinds
Sometimes trash can be just fine

Now I'm forcing it to flow
It doesn't feel right, this not letting go
The structure limits and makes it slow
Thinking hard extinguishes the glow
Feels like work, how apropos

At least now it's only four
It's really starting to be a bore
I don't think it's gonna score
Just more vomit on the floor

The end is in sight
I just might
Finish this blight

Words coming out in choppy pieces
Lying on the page like steaming feces

The end



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! #133
Players: 17
Champion: bobafett501st / Ghostpants
Runner up: ScionOfJustice / Goblins
Decklists and results from all Overdrive! events can be found here.  

boba brought Ghostpants to the party. After a first round BYE, he went on to defeat Dusty Tron, RDW (Aggro), Scapeshift,  and U Tron to emerge as Overdrive! #133 Champion.

ScionOfJustice took Goblins out to dance, and after also starting with a first round BYE, won against the mirror, Nykthos Wave, and Melira Pod before losing to Ghostpants in the final.



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


"I was clergy at one point in by Kumagoro42 at Sun, 06/01/2014 - 23:46
Kumagoro42's picture

"I was clergy at one point in my life"

Can I ask you clergy of what, exactly? You stroke me as an atheist, really, so this notion intrigues me quite a lot. I mean, being ordained implied a certain degree of conviction, even if it's just temporary.

While not an atheist, I don't by BlippyTheSlug at Mon, 06/02/2014 - 08:53
BlippyTheSlug's picture

While not an atheist, I don't fall into the mold of the judeo-christian tradition, either. God and I, we have an understanding: I don't tell Her how to run Creation, and She doesn't tell me how to run my, or anyone elses, life. It works out well.

The Golden Rule, Maynard.

I've never had a congregation, per se. I primarily provided spiritual comfort/advice for inmates, and did weddings/commitment ceremonies. I pursued my ordination expressly for the purpose of being able to visit/help friends in jail "face to face", instead of "through the phone booth". I know how sad, lonely, and dehumanizing jail can be, and any comfort I could bring is welcome. I met some interesting people and new friends in the process.

Agnostic is what I call by Paul Leicht at Mon, 06/02/2014 - 09:11
Paul Leicht's picture

Agnostic is what I call myself but everyone gets to make their own labels. That bit about visiting inmates is very cool. Tough to do I imagine since you have to knuckle under for the benefit of the system and behave under their rules whilst there.

It is an interesting thing that you did weddings and such as that is not what I expected. Nice to be surprised sometimes. :D I am surprised I didn't manage to prise that out of you in our interview. I guess I failed at that lol.