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By: CZML, Cassie Mulholland-London
Oct 29 2014 12:00pm
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Although this is only a single match, I think it's very indicative of how the Jeskai mirror generally tends to play out when both players draw a relatively high density of threats. It should be noted that I was playing a slightly unconventional list: I didn't have Dig Through Time, nor did I have Sarkhan. Instead, I was running Steam Augury, Ashcloud Phoenix, and Stormbreath Dragon. My opponent's list was more conventional.

The Jeskai mirror can certainly become a draw-go game with EOT burn spells, but if either player falls behind and is forced to start tapping mana on their own turn, things go bad quickly. Because of how damage snowballs when players have so many hasty threats and burn spells, getting the first hit in often leads to the second and then the last. Also, as you'll especially see in the first game, the player on the defensive is hurt a lot more by their painlands than the player on the offensive in terms of the effect that losing life has on their position.

Without further ado, here are the games:

Thanks for watching! Comment if  you have any thoughts, and be sure to look out for the next article in my theory series; it's most likely coming out later this week or early next week.


Casper Mulholland


I'm sorry - but this is by Clan Magic Eternal at Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:51
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I'm sorry - but this is ridiculous. One 20 minute round - shown as a replay - is not good enough. If no one else will say it I will - that's just shoddy work.

Show us a few more examples. Give us your deck list.



I have to agree with Zach by ScionOfJustice at Wed, 10/29/2014 - 13:54
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I have to agree with Zach here.

Respectfully disagree by CZML at Wed, 10/29/2014 - 14:34
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I respectfully disagree with you. The quality of the content has nothing to do with the length of the video. These two games were more informative than any other matches I played with the deck, and there are a lot of important things that you can glean from them.

Also, I don't have access to the decklist anymore. It's dated anyway, so it wouldn't be of much use to you. I discuss the salient differences in the article and the video.

Is it shorter than you expected? Yes. Does that make it bad? Not at all. In fact, I offer more in-depth explanation in this video than a lot of people on this site do in entire video series.

If you came here to watch someone play a bunch of matches of Magic, of course you're disappointed. If you came here to learn and get better, you probably shouldn't be.

I appreciate the feedback; it's always welcome. Other video articles will definitely be longer by nature, but that doesn't mean that this one is worse for being shorter.

"In fact, I offer more by MarcosPMA at Wed, 10/29/2014 - 19:56
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"In fact, I offer more in-depth explanation in this video than a lot of people on this site do in entire video series." I can understand defending yourself, but I don't see the need to build yourself up by indirectly attacking other authors.

Even if your decklist is "dated", having it is still useful. It might not see play, but being able to reference it during the video can be handy, especially if one is not intimately familiar with stock lists. Not to mention that everyone learns differently and some are better at interpreting information through one medium than another. That's not to say that you should change your style or anything like that, but rather to realize that here is some value in presenting it.

Regarding your actual video: In Game 1 you say that it might have been a mistake for your opponent to Stoke you rather than let the Goblin token hit you, but the only reason to keep Stoke in hand would be in case you drew a threat, but more than likely it A) has haste and B) opponent doesn't have the mana to stoke you if he attacks (Rabblemaster + 2 lands = 3 mana). In terms of being mana efficient, stoking you is the best play he can make at that spot. He has to end the game as quickly as possible otherwise you will have time to draw burn.

In Game 2 you say that your opponent might have made a mistake by casting Magma Jet during your end step on turn 2, but I don't really see why that is. If he/she needs to find lands, then that's the right play (regardless of whether or not the keep was correct). But if they have lands, you say that might be a mistake because you could play a threat and have it stick. My question is, if they have 3 untapped mana, would you even play a threat? It would seem like a loss of tempo if you play a threat, they kill it and untap and play their own. (You actually state this when they play Rabblemaster on turn 3). At that point, you'd have to use mana on your turn to kill it, and you'd be in the same spot he was in game 1. So why would you say it's a mistake when it feels like you would have done what he did (play a creature into open mana)?

Duly Noted by CZML at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 00:26
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It wasn't my intention to indirectly attack other authors, but rather to call attention to a logical inconsistency with the criticism. Still, I could definitely have chosen my phrasing more precisely to avoid that perception. My apologies to anyone who thought I was criticizing them.

You have valid points about the decklist. If I still had the list I would definitely have presented it.

As far as game 1, I agree with your reasoning. I don't remember why I thought it was a mistake, but I was likely incorrect.

With regards to game 2, you are correct that casting the Jet was definitely the correct play if they needed to find lands. If they had lands already, they should have held the Jet, as they clearly didn't have another 2-mana removal spell for my creature. With regards to playing a threat into untapped mana, I don't think it's ever correct in the Jeskai mirror unless you have the ability to cast another relevant spell in the same turn or you have no other option. So no, I definitely wouldn't have made the same play if the positions were reversed.

Respectfully Casper, your by Paul Leicht at Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:00
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Respectfully Casper, your articles have taken brevity to a new low. I know you have good intent and good ideas but you are delivering articles that feel from my perspective anyway: Rushed, unpolished and lackadaisical. I have refrained from saying anything because as I stated I think you mean well and I hoped for improvement and I don't dislike the bones of your articles for the most part. They just lack a bit of sophistication and meat. The meat missing is what the other guys are mostly objecting to I think.

I don't know that this deserves a * (or even a **) but take the criticism to heart and don't take it as "You suck! Get lost!" because that isn't what it means at all. It just means people have noticed and want you to improve your effort.

Thanks for the feedback by CZML at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 00:08
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I have taken the criticism into consideration, and now that more people have commented and the community seems unanimous I will definitely keep my video articles longer than a single match in the future.

You say "articles" plural. Which other articles in particular caught your attention as being "rough, unpolished, and lackadaisical"?

The last few I've seen. Part by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 01:38
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The last few I've seen. Part of the problem with them was the length of the content and part was a lack of sophistication in presenting it. And I would not bother to even comment about them at all but they are apropos to this conversation, because frankly they are water under the bridge.

There are some good things about a short article: In that they allow readers to get on with their day and find other things to do. But that's not really the goal here. It is certainly good to be brief if you have little to say. But I sense the opposite. Your articles hint at a need to tell us more. But then you don't seem to deliver. Well that's my opinion anyway.

I think you have massive room for improvement and potential to be a great draw to the site. I expect to see good things in the future.

Interesting by CZML at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 02:31
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Your issue with the length is interesting. I don't feel that there is a problem with it; the articles are as long or as short as they need to be to present the content accurately and thoroughly. The reason my articles are concise is that I use my words efficiently and sparingly and that I usually focus on one specific theme or concept. I don't pad an article or add unnecessary words by tacking on peripheral topics or ideas.

What do you mean by "a lack of sophistication" in presenting the content?

Look, if you are comfortable by Paul Leicht at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 06:56
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Look, if you are comfortable with how your articles are presented then don't change a thing.

Personally, I dislike the spartan text and lack of visual style, but that may just be my taste. I don't think you need to "pad" an article (who does that??) or even talk about other topics. I do but that's my signature. I've been doing that since I started writing magic articles 16 years ago. And it seems to work for me. *shrugs* But as I said you don't need to do any of that.

On the other hand, it doesn't hurt to be a little artistic with your text or embellish a cold fact in order to make it more palatable. And it certainly does not hurt anything if you break up the text with images which is really easy to do on puremtgo.

[Surround a card name in () parentheses and you will get an autocard effect, add a pic= before the card name inside those parentheses and you get an image. Though the new sets take time to be ready for autocard which is why sometimes you will see something like (Sidisi, Brood Tyrant). Additionally you can add mana symbols with (mana=WRGUB)]

It would not kill the premise to add deck lists or card images. You put one article out that was just one long wall of text. Looked like it took maybe 30 minutes to type up and spell check.

That is one positive to take away. You do that. Some authors hand their text in without even a thought for the typos that are inevitable.

I've given you as much friendly advice as I think is warranted for now and initially only spoke up to soften the blow of the critics a little. People can be harsh here when they feel someone is just putting out bare minimum exertions. Or in some actual cases trash for credits.

Also I guarantee you that the community is not unanimous on this topic. Different folks/different strokes. Though maybe the vocal majority spoke in unison this time which is rare enough. As they say "when the horse speaks, do a double take. Then listen."

I wish you luck with your future efforts.

Thanks for the feedback by CZML at Thu, 10/30/2014 - 13:20
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Thanks! I really do appreciate the feedback.

All I'll say is that images do not imply more effort than walls of text. The content and style stand alone independent from the visuals. That said, it doesn't mean that my articles couldn't benefit from some visuals.

I'll think about everything that people have said and implement what I feel is relevant.

A Comment to give a more by Paul Leicht at Wed, 10/29/2014 - 20:02
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A Comment to give a more accurate rating.

excellent article/series by bad tina at Fri, 10/31/2014 - 19:06
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i made an account to write this comment. i read this website daily, and maybe i'm bad at reading comments but i have never seen anything this critical of anyone else. this surprised me, because i have been thinking, at least lately, that the perfect game series was the only reason i've been checking this at all lately (other than the hopes of catching the insights of the always informative alex ullman). the articles on magic theory are among the best on the site, and his videos, while brief, are so detailed and informative. they're high quality, his voice and speech are clear, and he goes over a replay to better pace it and reduce dead time, instead of recording a live stream that is often prone to errors or long pauses of thought without explanation.

i guess i understand the "wall of text" criticism, as well as that of brevity (at least in this particular instance). but this is among the more informative text on the site, so maybe we could forgive a lack of artificial embellishment. i'd personally much rather read something clean and organized than the colorful nonsense that slug oozes out every week about tribal.

this is a rather detailed analysis of one of the more important matchups in standard right now. this is immediately applicable to a lot of players on a practical level, and helps inform us all of mana dynamics when you have a lot of play-tapped lands and aggressive early threats. it could, and i would like it to be, longer, and seeing the whole event would be ideal. but again this kind of theoretical detail is awesome in videos like this. i'd love to see more of it.

and i would always rather continue to see excellent content than mediocre content propped by fluffy writing and extreme use of graphics. that's not to say excellent content can't be pretty as well, but rather that this criticism is hilarious given the massively casual nature of the site. here's one dood trying to put out real theory and not 45 previews of the KTK commons for a format relatively few people play. let him play, coach, let him play.

Thanks! by CZML at Sat, 11/01/2014 - 12:42
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I appreciate the appreciation, as well as the recognition of my focus on quality over quantity. Glad to see I have a devoted fan.

I would like to add, though, that there is quite a bit of interesting, quality content on this site, and you should definitely give the other writers another chance. It's a great community, and it wouldn't exist without everyone's contributions.

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep doing what I do. Check back next week for the newest article in my series on Relevance Theory.

I'd like to add some by Procrastination at Sat, 11/01/2014 - 14:47
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I'd like to add some constructive criticism.

For the text heavy pieces, I wouldn't focus so much on the suggestion of images to break up "walls of text", but more on the idea of formatting your articles. (I assume Paul is referring to the same when he mentions 'sophistication'). Using bold, italics, differing font sizes or List Formatting can really help convey your message. Break down text into sections, separate out definition lines, etc. Formatting provides you more control over your words and helps establish a flow for your readers.

When discussing your previous articles, you should provide the hyperlink. It demonstrates consideration for readers, both new and old. Also, easier navigation increases the chances that someone WILL go back and look. A win-win for all parties involved.

In regards to the video pieces, I think this week's was an improvement over the one from two weeks ago because you added an introductory text to it. I will say that when you start yawning in the video, it really killed my own interest in it. I'm not sure if a "re-take" would be too much of an inconvenience, but maybe find a way to apologize for it with some color commentary?

For a new writer, you are trying to sell some big ideas and that's great. Judging by some of the comments here, you obviously believe that the content of your words alone is enough to seal the deal. However, a little bit of "showmanship" could increase that chance even further.

Hoping for some great pieces in the future,

- Gio

Thanks by CZML at Sat, 11/01/2014 - 17:26
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely take all of that into consideration.

I'm actually not that new of a writer...I've been writing for slightly more than three years now. I am obviously new to this site, though.