If you follow the Twitter stream you are usually a day (or three) ahead of the pace at which podcasts and articles can keep you apprised of things. Following Helene Bergeot, Aaron Forsythe and Maro seems like a no-brainer if you want to have your finger firmly on the pulse of the game's future developments and you can usually contribute to informal polling that they do with those accounts. Following Brian David Marshall and Rich Hagon is valuable if you're interested in coverage of major events. It's better to know things about events while those events are still going on; waiting until Monday isn't always the best way to stay plugged in.
Helene Bergeot recently brought the following link to everyone's attention: Outcome of the WTGWC Shuffling Investigation. If you read the mothership religiously, you saw it already, but I prefer to have others sift through that information for me. Maybe that's why I like reddit.com so much.
Here's the gist of the article: the incident I highlighted last week in my Gen Con wrapup was investigated and there will be no further disciplinary action taken.
This came as somewhat of a surprise, especially in light of the excellent analysis by Tom Martell that makes Iramain look quite guilty. Intent is difficult to prove when it's disguised as sloppiness. Also, his opponent always did his due diligence and cut/shuffled his deck when it was presented to him. Shuffling your opponent's deck doesn't mean you don't trust them, it should be a reflex action that you do every time.
If you follow Maro, you will know what a prolific contributor of content he is. He reminded his Twitter followers this weekend that he'd published his annual "State of Design Address. He also included links to past years' addresses. It's a lot of reading, but it's all interesting stuff and well worth the read.
What Manner of Silliness Can One Find on eBay?
Well, I'm glad you asked, rhetorical device. Bored out of my mind and needing a break from the drudgery of listing items for sale in my eBay store, I occasionally type random phrases into the eBay search engine to see what pops up. Occasionally this can lead to great deals ("[card Jace, the Mind Sculptor]Jace the Mind Sculpter[/card]" is a favorite of mine. Three hours left and zero bids, eh? Wonder why.) and occasionally it can lead to big lols.
I was waiting until I had enough of these gems and today is your lucky day.
Whispers of the Amusing
My decision to publish this collection of hilarity was inspired by Quiet Speculation's own Doug Linn who e-mailed me this hilarious eBay auction he encountered.
I wasn't aware I had literally 12 dollars of hidden value just sitting in a pile in my basement waiting to be discovered. I bet I can get $5 for the 200 empty Betrayers of Kamigawa precon boxes I have littering up the joint. Rat's Nest truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
In case of avid QS readers forming an angry mob to drive to Rhode Island and teach this seller a lesson, I opted not to include too much seller info. The going rate for basics is about $2/1000 lands. To see them sold for this much money kind of offends my MTG finance sensibilities. I guess it doesn't hurt to see if I can't sell 200 basics for 10 bucks in my store. I hear that's a huge savings. They go for $12 per 200 on eBay I heard.
I think it's telling that the seller's name isn't "MTGSuperfan." This fake alter onto a basic swamp is the kind of monstrosity only a fan of the Japanimation could love (do you kids still call it that nowadays? I'm so behind the times.) I must commend the talent of the alterist here, though. It takes a lot of skill with Photoshop to make a pair of breasts that big look unappealing. My hat is off.
If that last one didn't make you feel dirty all over, maybe this one will. Someone else's fingerprint grime for free! Talk about value!
This just goes to show if it says "Magic: the Gathering" on it, someone will buy it. No matter how.... used it is.
Enough Awful for One Day. Tell Me about the Toinaments.
This weekend, there were some tournaments.
Now Tell Me of their Significance
They were significant.
A Bunch of Virgins Join the Mile High Club
Denver was home to the Star City Games Open this weekend.
I guess it's the Top 24? It's never clear why the deck in 131st is reported and the deck in 19th isn't.
Winner Michael Lee is a fellow redditor, posting a victory snap on the site today. Congrats, Michael.
G/W Aggro seemed like an odd choice as the list doesn't look terribly powerful at a glance. But its speed and synergy became readily apparent to onlookers as this deck ran an ugly gauntlet of U/W Delver and a surprising amount of Mono-Green Infect to take top honors. [card Melira, Sylvok Outcast]Melira[/card] out of the board shows Lee was prepared for such a contingency.
Also worth noting was a favorite deck of mine, Black Market, piloted by Matthew Pitzer who did so well with the deck that he finished both 8th and 16th.
I collected as many Trading Posts as I could at Gen Con. This card, especially in foil, has nowhere to go but up. Forecasting what a Standard without Black Sun's Zenith will look like, Pitzer jammed four Mutilate. But will a Standard without Pristine Talisman be as good for this deck? Only time will tell. With most of the relevant artifacts set to rotate, the clock may be ticking on this archetype.
Also notably not U/W Delver was Wolf Run White, a Naya-colored ramp deck that doesn't have any trouble hardcasting that [card Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite]Elesh Norn[/card]. What do we say to graveyard hate? Not today!
Three Top 32 B/R Zombies decks to zero U/B Zombies deck make the picture increasingly clear that the best zombies in the block are actually vampires.
Great job, competitors!
Could Joe actually be running Portent instead of Ponder? It looks that way, as Portent is being tested as a way to ruin the meticulous plans of a competitor attempting to stack their own library. Whether thwarting their miracles, shuffling away a Sensei's Divining Top or ordering your own library following a disappointing Brainstorm, Portent actually has a lot of utility, and is a cantrip to boot. It's not just a bad Ponder, folks, this card has legs. I hope to see this tech adopted.
Eight different decks in the Top 8? That's a welcome sight. The format continues to be anyone's game and most matches come down to skill and preparation, making it arguably the healthiest constructed format in the game.
Omniscience continues to impact the meta as Omni-Tell variants outperform their non-all-knowing counterparts. Impervious to Karakas and Gilded Drake, this build is the gold standard for "unfair" decks in Legacy right now.
Grab those Omnisciences, folks! Dealers tried to give me $2 on them all weekend which meant people were selling them at $2 which means not everyone has caught on. If you can get these under $5 in a trade, you'd be silly not to. Let everyone else fight over Thundermaw Hellkite and Liliana of the Dark Realms, the real value in this set is still under everyone's radar.
The GP in Boston-Woostah (That's how they pronounce it, don't look at me) was Limited. Michigan's local hero and Grizzly Adams lookalike contest winner Brain Demars smoked the competition to take down his first GP win, proving he's not just a Vintage guy. The decklists are on the Mothership if you are into that sort of thing.
I Take My Leave of You and Your Faces
If you learn nothing from my articles, retain the most salient elements. There is money to be made from M13, but not where everyone thinks there is; the market is roughly a month behind the Legacy metagame as Humility can still be scooped for $6-$8 in trades and people are willing to come off of Omniscience for $2 cash; and, most importantly, 90 rulebooks are worth more than nothing. So much more.
Take care of yourselves.
@JasonEAlt on Twitter