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Found 10 results

  1. Thanks to @Affinity for MTG for being the latest spotlight! Question: How is everything going? Any plans for the holidays? (if you're into that sort of thing) Answer: Not a whole lot, actually. There is usually some sort of family dinner at my mom's house and I believe I'm not supposed to tell anyone that it comes in a cardboard box because she orders it from a restaurant. Let's keep that on the down low. Q: Favorite holiday food? A: Not specific to winter holidays, but I'm a pumpkin fiend. Not necessarily pumpkin-spice/pumpkin "flavored" things, but baked goods of the pumpkin variety. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin loaf. If it's got pumpkin baked into it, I'm down. Q: Any big plans for New Years Eve? A: Not in the least. I'm boring when it comes to New Years Eve, as it's not something that I've ever seen as important. Unless the goal is to get drunk and do regrettable things, but hey, why wait when you could be doing that all year. Q: How or why did you start playing MTG? A: Well, I actually started buying the cards in the late 90's because I thought they looked cool, and bought them for the art alone. I finally learned the rules with the 7th Edition starter kit (released in 2001), which came with a computer game/instructional program. I started playing against other people during my freshmen year in high school, which was back in 2002 around the time that Onslaught came out. Q: What made you decide to start a YouTube channel? A: It was kind of on a whim, to be honest. I had a screen recorder on my computer and one day I randomly decided to just turn it on while I was playing MTGO. I watched the game back afterwards and thought it seemed simple enough to just start recording for real and commentating on what was happening, so decided to go for it. Little did I know how long it would take to edit down gameplay footage. It has consumed my life! Q: What has surprised you most since creating a YouTube channel? A: The sheer amount of time and effort involved. I'm only uploading 2 videos per week but it's such a huge time sink, way worse than I ever imagined. It's also infinitely gratifying though, so I'm not complaining too much. Q: Any tips for aspiring or new YouTubers? A: Don't worry too much if you think your videos are cringey. Most are. Go to your favorite Youtuber and watch the first video they ever uploaded. It'll be bad, most likely. Just focus on getting better with each video, constantly improve, and if one day you look back and think your videos are bad, awkward, and cringey...well, that just shows how far you've come! Q: Do you have any goals for the channel (schedule, subscriptions, ect.)? A: I think it's important to have goals when doing anything, but right now I don't have any long-terms goals for the channel, I'm just looking at it like a hobby. I'm mostly just interested in showcasing weird budget decks and improving my speaking ability at the moment. Q: You play lots of MTGO on your channel, do you play in paper often? A: I, unfortunately, haven't played a game of paper Magic in about a decade, around the time Shadowmoor was released. There are simply no local game stores near me, so if I want to play in paper I have to travel over an hour to get there. Q: Do you still buy any paper products? A: Before starting a Youtube channel, I would occasionally buy paper products on a whim. Usually the weird products I was curious about. I bought a couple deckbuilder's toolkits, a some booster battle packs when they were first released, etc. Now I buy 3 packs from each new set to open on the channel and sporadic purchases whenever I'm feeling lazy and want to do a quick pack opening, since they require very little editing. Q: How big is your paper collection? A: Not very big for someone who has been playing for 15 years, since I was only playing for 5 years in paper, and I was a broke teenager at that time. I own maybe 5,000-6,000 cards total, though I don't have a solid count at all. Q: Do you enjoy brewing decks? A: Absolutely, it's a compulsion! I have a wordpad file with countless deck concepts, so running out of ideas isn't an issue. My biggest issue is wading through the junk to find the decent ones. Also, brewing gets expensive. Even if you're brewing budget decks, it's not uncommon to sink a bunch of money into a losing deck, or buying tons of cards trying different builds of the same deck. Nevertheless, I absolutely love doing it! Q: Where does your inspiration for a weird budget deck come from? A: I usually just browse cards at random until something picques my interest. I spend a lot of time just browsing cards on sites like Scryfall searching for something to push me in a new direction. Months later I might actually try to build around it. I've been wanting to build Panharmonicon in modern since it first came out and still haven't put much effort into it! Q: Do you have a favorite format? A: It might sound odd coming from a budget brewer, but I love modern. I know competitive modern is extremely expensive, but the competitive level of the Tournament Practice room on MTGO is perfect for brewing fun, cheap, janky decks and still having a chance to win. A lot of people in that room play with the janky/budget decks from the MTG Goldfish channel, which are great decks but I also feel like I have a chance with my own janky builds when matched against them. It's the perfect level of competitiveness for me, with an interesting mix of brews and Tier 1. Q: Wizards just called you and gave you complete control of MTGO, what changes would you make? A: Ha! Pretty much all of it! Well, I actually don't have any complaints about how the game runs when you are in a game. It feels fine in that regard, it just needs a massive audio/visual upgrade. However, the UI outside of games in the Collection/Play Lobby/Trade screens is the most unwieldy, unresponsive, and all-around unpleasant interface I think I've ever experienced. Q: If you could change one thing about MTG, what would it be and why? A: Planesalkers. Hate them. They are the only cards in the game that just feel unfair if you can't afford them. I mean yes, things like Tarmogoyf carry a hefty price tag but it dies to the same creature removal spell that kills a Storm Crow. Planeswalkers warp the power of the game and if you are on the opposite side of the table, with the amount of resources you have to expend to remove one you might as well concede if you don't have any of your own. I'd happily remove them from the game entirely, or print them at rare so they are more widely distributed. Q: Does your dislike of Planeswalkers manifest itself in your Pauper videos and play time? A: If there is ever a pauper-legal Planeswalker we're going to have a problem. The best thing about the Tournament Practice room though is you play against a lot of budget decks, so fortunately I don't come across them a lot and, as such, they don't effect me too much. Q: What is your favorite part of playing MTG? A: Definitely that point when a deck I built starts winning consistently. There is a lot of trial-and-error in deck building but once you hit on something and feel like you having a winning deck on your hands, well that's about the best thing ever. Q: Ever have bad experiences with salty winners or losers? How do you handle it? A: Not too many! Occasionally people get angry on MTGO but it's hard to take it seriously. I don't get offended easily and when people lose it I mostly just find it entertaining. The best thing to do is take a screenshot and post it on social media! Q: Do you have any other hobbies? A: Absolutely! Outside of Magic and I'm avid reader and book enthusiast. I usually read between 50-80 books per year, and own several hundred books. My only regret about starting a Youtube channel is it has ate away at the time I would normally have spent reading. I've gotten faster at editing though so I'm hoping next year will be better in that regard. Q: Top 5 favorite all time books? A: 1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy 2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 3. Among Others by Jo Walton 4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 5. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore Q: Books on your to-read list? A: Well, I own several hundred, and all the unread ones are on my TBR, but I've been wanting to read through Terry Pratchett's books for years, and I've had The Broken Empire trilogy calling my name for ages and I just haven't committed to them yet. Q: How did you feel about the movie adaptation of The Road and the Handmaid's Tale TV series? A: I haven't seen The Handmaid's Tale so I can't speak for it, but I think The Road was a great adaptation. Most film adaptations of books are terrible because it's impossible to capture that amount of depth with a 90-minute movie, but The Road did a great job of it! Still, I always recommend reading the book over seeing the adaptation, especially when it comes to one of the best books in existence!
  2. Thanks to @TheCandyMan for being this months Spotlight! Question: How have you been lately? Any exciting news you'd like to share? Answer: I have been pretty good actually. Nothing too interesting as of late except that Hockey season is back!! My 2 year old has been keeping me busy when I have free time. Q: Which leagues do you follow? Any favorite teams? A: I mostly follow the NHL (Bruins) and College Hockey (UMass Lowell) Q: Any plans for the holidays? (if you're into that sort of thing) A: When is that?... haha seriously I barley plan out the next week. But in years past there is always family gatherings with a lot of food and drink. Q: When and why did you start playing Magic? A: I dont know exactly why, probably because my close friends started and got me into it. I also dont know the year but I know the sets.. Ice Age, 4th Ed. and Urzas Saga/Legacy. Those are the first sets I remember playing with and bought intro packs of. I took a break in there somewhere and came back strong at RoE and have been active in buying cards since. Q: What got you back into the game during RoE? A: A friend of mine went to Pax East and got their starter packs and was interested in the game. Since I had a ton of cards already I was able to teach him and we ended up buying boxes together for a while (which is how I got my Venser!) Q: You have lots of great combo, interaction and deck ideas. Where do they come from? A: My best deck and most favorite is my Venser deck. That was entirely a homebrew just based simply on ETB effects and abusing the +2 of Venser. It started with Venser, Wall of Omens, Sea Gate Oracle, Sunblast Angel, Mimic Vat, Gideon Jura, Clones and cantrips. It added Sun Titan, O-Ring and Stonehorn Dignitary and has been a deck since. I've never seen it pop up as a competitive deck and really the only place I've ever seen Venser played was in Birthing Pod decks. The complexity of Clones and all of the ETB triggers and their interaction has really got me deeper into rules interactions and how specific plays work. I think if anyone picked up that deck it would be a learning curve on how some specific interactions work. Most of the remainder of my decks are tribal and just were born by cards I aquired. The only pre-released I played was the original INN which got me all my double faced cards and birthed my werewolf deck. My ShadowBurn deck is just homage to my older cards which never really see play anymore, I never really liked mono-red, but add Shadow creatures and then its fun. Many of the other combos I have either seen on a stream or read in an article or just saw it in play from my friends or random bulk rare deck attempts. Q What is your favorite format to play? A: In this order: Emperor. (Casual 60 card decks) Star. (Casual 60 card decks) Modern (Venser) (Because I dont have the $$$ for Legacy and dont keep up with Standard) Commander (Eldrazi) Q: If you could get any Legacy deck to play which one would it be? A: I'd have to say Death & Taxes Q: Any reason in particular you don't keep up with Standard? A: Cost.. just too much to buy into standard every year. Also it is so sad to have to almost pillage a deck every rotation. Q: Do you play competitively? A: I did play Standard when Venser was legal morphing the deck based on the Standard set of cards. Yay Caw Blade and Valakut Standard :). But since then really only played Draft as competitive. Q: Any plans to play competitively again? A: Unlikely unless MtG stays around until my son can play it. It would only be drafting until then. That said if a Modern tournament was in my area and I had the time free to go to it, I would give my Venser deck a run. Q: What type of play style is your favorite to play? (aggro, control, midrange ect.) A: I guess control, but I hate playing with counterspells. My Venser deck controls your play without actually countering anything. But that said, I love my Eldrazi EDH deck and I do favor my Werewolf and Zombie casual decks when playing in groups (mostly because Venser gets targeted hard in multiplayer) Q: Love control but hate playing counterspells? A: I love using other means to control the board. O-Ring, Detain, removal.. things like that. I guess I'm just better at determining what needs to be removed rather than what is good to counter. Removal is usually good against anything, counters are not always good. I dont hate people who play counter decks, I just rather tapout to control someone then guess and leave back mana to counter their play. I guess it's a "Anything you can do I can do better / I can do anything better than you" Q: Any cards that you know have potential but haven't unlocked them yet? A: I do try out janky stuff from time to time. I really would love to make Maze's End work competitively but it gets expensive for things like Amulets and PrimeTimes, oh and GSZ is not modern legal.. lol I have also been trying out a variation of Frank Lepore's Faithless Flayer deck combining it with Delver of Secrets until you can reanimate Flayer of the Hatebound and win. I found a Orcish Librarian Q: What are your thoughts on net decking? A: I personally dont like it but I completely understand that people may not have time or money to build a homebrew and test and make it good enough to win prizes. If you are a good game player and looking to play to win an event then netdecking may give you the extra % points you need to just have that better combination of cards to outplay your opponent. I personally just play with the cards I own. That said, I think looking at other decklists and watching online streams of people playing other decks is a huge advantage to the internet. There are so many cards legal in every format that there is bound to have someone playing it and to be able to learn from it. Q: How big is your Magic collection? A: I think its pretty large but I dont really have anyone to compare against. I have 2 created EDH decks about 10 60 card constructed decks. I have bought at least a fat pack of each set since RoE and a couple boxes along the way. I cant wait until my 2 year old is old enough to start playing and just turn it all over to him to see what he can do. Q: Do you have a regular play group or do you play at a local game store or both? A: I have a somewhat regular playgroup. It is mostly my old college roommates. I have gone to a LGS to play draft but I'm not an overly social person so it makes it harder to really break into a LGS group. Q: Have any other hobbies? A: I love gaming. Video games (XBOX), board games, card games, dice games, tabletop games. I'm also a huge hockey fan, NHL, AHL, college hockey, high school, pond whatever. I also love weather.. I work in the field and just have loved all things weather since I was a little boy. Q: What games are you current playing? A: Right now.. Destiny 2 is taking up most of my video game time. But I'm a huge Halo fan and love an occasional sports game to pass the time. As for board games my favorites include anything involving city building or tile laying. Q: Favorite season? A: Winter.. I love snow... cold kills bugs.. and you can always put on more clothes.
  3. Thanks to @AlbyMTG for being this months Spotlight and also to @MTGMTB for helping! If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to Alby's YouTube channel here Question: How have you been lately? Anything fun or interesting you'd like to share? Answer: I've been good. Lots of schoolwork taking up most of my free time right now, but other than that, pretty good. Nothing really too fun or too interesting either. I was at a business competition recently where I took 5th place in the state. Other than that though, basically nothing. Q: What are you studying? A: Since I'm in this special program that allows me to take my classes on a college campus even though I'm still in high school,most of it is general stuff. English classes, basic math classes,and general psychology are among them. I am going to major in Marketing and minor in Management. To help with that, I was able to take a few basic business courses as well like Microeconomics. Q: You mentioned helping recently at your LGS with a Vintage tournament, how did that go? What were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome with them? A: The vintage tournament went well. The store owner is pretty much known for his vintage play and he has trophies in the shop from winning vintage tournaments. He was there, so he pretty much did everything. I helped with things like running the round timers, putting in match results, and selling singles and things to other people who came in during the tournament. One of the best vintage players in the world was there and I got to watch a bit of one of his matches. His name is Brian Kelly and he won the 2015 Vintage Championship and got to play in last year's Vintage Super League which is hosted on the official Magic: The Gathering YouTube channel. For challenges, there really weren't any. Judge calls are usually the hardest thing, but all the judge calls were handled by the store owner. Q: Do you help with tournaments and other events regularly? Do you aspire to do more of that eventually? A: I technically only run the shop once a week, but if I'm there and the owner needs help, then I'll help him with finding cards or helping other customers. I would like to have more hours there. I like working there. I'm fine with making sales, I find it sorting cards to be relaxing, and I get to spend my time with Magic cards which is what I would be doing anyway if I wasn't at work. Q: Do you have any desire to play MTG professionally some day? A: Playing professionally one day would be amazing, but I don't see it ever happening. There are too many other great players in the game already and even though I'm a good player, I still have a lot of work that I still need to put into this game in order to even start thinking about trying to play professionally. Q: How do you decide when to make a video for your YouTube channel and what is your process for planning, recording and editing videos? A: I have a ton of different video ideas that I come up with. I'll have like 3 different ideas everyday. However, your question wanted to know about "when" I choose to make videos, but let's be perfectly honest, my upload schedule is horrible. It is absolutely horrible. I basically choose when to make videos based solely around when I can get free time alone. Back when I used to make gaming videos, my mom walked in on me making a commentary and then proceeded to ask a million questions about what I was doing, what a subscriber was, the privacy settings on YouTube because a child shouldn't be making videos for the internet, etc. So, I choose to only record the audio for my videos when I am alone in the house. Because of this, I don't really get to decide when I make my videos. In terms of planning, I always like to do research before hand just to back up any claims that I will make in the video. In terms of editing, if I don't edit it right away, it usually just sits on my desktop and gets lost in the icons of papers for school and card images (For example: The Aether Revolt limited pack openings that I recorded almost 3 months ago). #AlbyIsABadYouTuber Q: From the moment you sit down and plan a video on average how long does the process take (planning, design, recording, adding voice, editing and so on)? A: For an average video, it probably takes around 2 or 3 hours. Planning is generally 5-10 mins because my videos are usually simple, so they don't require as much planning as what some other YouTubers need for certain videos. Recording is usually another 10-20 mins depending on video length. Editing usually takes me about an hour and a half to two hours based on video length and how many different card names I say in the video. Most of this time is spent making sure that card images come up at the exact second that they are mention and also cutting out any bits of silence that are too long and any occurrence of "um" that doesn't detract from the audio once removed. Sometimes when I speak, "um" will be immediately followed by a word and they are too close together for more to remove the "um" while still trying to make it sound natural. Then I have to render out of the editing software which takes about 15 minutes, upload to YouTube which also takes an additional 20 minutes, and fill out the tags and description for the video which is yet another 15 minutes. As the video is uploading, I use that time to create the thumbnail for the video. The time for this usually depends on how long it takes for me to choose a card to use and then whether or not I can find the full artwork for the card. Some card arts are much easier to find than others. When the thumbnail is made and the video's tags are finished, then the video is finally completed. Q: What format is your favorite? A: Draft is my favorite format. As a high school student without a job, I didn't have the money to build the expensive decks when I first started. That led me to drafting. All players start on an even playing field. It really allows for players to show their skills by noticing subtle synergies, reading signals, evaluating cards, and deck building. I hear a lot of people that don't like drafting and one of the biggest goals I have with my channel is that I want to improve my viewers play in limited formats like draft and sealed. I haven't gotten around to doing a series yet on true drafting tips and how to become a better drafter, but it is definitely something that I'm looking into for over the summer when I have a lot of free time. I went 0-3 in my first draft ever on May 22, 2015. I didn't understand anything and I just took green and white cards because that was the colors of my standard deck at the time. I went home that night and decided that I didn't want to feel like I didn't know what I was doing. I had only been playing for around 6-8 months at the time, but I felt like this could be my thing if I worked for it. Everyone else had their 60 card decks, but I wanted to learn how to master the 40 card deck. I put in the work and did what I wanted to do and declared limited as my area of expertise. On October 22, 2015, 5 months after I had just 0-3'd my first ever draft, I participated in my 3rd draft ever and split a box and a half with my opponent after going 4-0 to make it into the finals. Thus, my conquering of the draft format began. I proceeded to go on a streak from OGW-AER where I didn't have a negative record in over 15+ drafts. That streak has since been ended, but my love for limited formats only grows larger. Q: How long have you been playing MTG and how did you start? A: I have been playing Magic: The Gathering since just after the release of Dragons of Tarkir in terms of sets and the beginning of April 2015 in terms of actual time. I'm basically a newcomer. I'm at exactly 2 years of playing Magic which is crazy to think about. I've come such a long way as both a player and a person over those 2 years. I had first heard of Magic: The Gathering from a babysitter in 2011. He played and showed me the cards he had and they reminded me of the Yugioh cards that I loved playing with a few years before that. I bought a deck builder's toolkit and played Magic with him for about a month during that summer that he babysat me. I then put the cards back in the beck builder's toolkit box and put them on a shelf and completely forgot about them (Also, since it was only a month, I really don't consider that my start). Fast forward to 4 years later. This nerdy kid sits next to me and my friend in my Business Law class because there were no seats left. As the class goes on, it turns out the nerdy kid is actually a really nice, funny guy. One day, he brings in a pack of Magic: The Gathering cards and opens them. He then proceeds to take out a deck box from his bag and place the cards into the deck box. As he was pulling the deck box out of his back, several D20s, D12s, etc. fall out of his bag and I help him pick them up. I told him I had some of those cards that he had just opened, but I didn't know where they were. He tells me to bring them in to school tomorrow. I bring in the cards and he tells me about the place that is only 10 mins away where he plays tournaments with these cards. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I didn't have my license at the time because I was still too young, so he picked me up one Friday and I went to FNM. I learned how to play the game and bought another deck builder's toolkit and I've been back to that store almost every Friday since that day. Q: Do you have a big collection? A: In comparison to most people's collections, no. I haven't been playing long enough to have the enormous quantity that most people have, but it is around 6,000 to 8,000 cards. Q: Any card(s) in your collection that are your favorite? Whether it be because of their value, play ability or nostalgia? A: The first card that comes to mind is Servant of the Scale. I played that card in my first ever standard deck, Green White Counters, and I've had a lot of good memories with the card. The next that come to mind are Gisela, the Broken Blade and Bruna, the Fading Light because they led me to 2 Game Day Champion playmats. In terms of value, I haven't pulled anything that was $100+, but I've pulled a few cards that were around $70 or $80 at the time I pulled them like my masterpiece Oblivion Stone and Foil Gisela, the Broken Blade during the EMN prerelease. Q: When you pull a card like a foil Masterpiece, do you usually trade, sell or keep it? A: I've gotten into the habit of just keeping all of my cards. It isn't the smartest move financially because of the cards loosing value over time, but I like the feeling of knowing that I already own them whenever I want/need them and that they were mine to begin with. Q: Which set or block has been your favorite? A: It is easily Eldritch Moon. It was such a good limited format and as previously stated, you all know my opinions on limited. Emerge was a great mechanic both in flavor and in how it plays. There were a lot of great rares and mythics, but nothing that was just instantly unbeatable. For many of the rares, even if you didn't open a money card, you felt fine because it would still be good for limited. There were a lot of strong commons and uncommons as well so it never really felt like you were short on playables unless you really messed up. Liliana is also my favorite planeswalker, so having her artwork on my champion playmat was the extra icing on the cake for me when it came to this set. Q: You've mentioned in your videos you think Standard is in a good place currently, are there any changes you'd make given the chance to the format? A: There are changes that I'd like to see made, but I think people just complain too much in this community. Everyone I've met is super cool and I love talking to them and exchanging ideas, but for the MTG community as a whole, there is a lot of complaining. One deck does well and people instantly jump to calling it unbeatable. One new card gets spoiled and people instantly jump to saying new things need to be banned because of this card being printed. Maybe, it is just because I was learning to play Magic when Siege Rhino decks were 70+% of the meta and then followed by Collected Company being 70+% of the meta again. This is just what I've been used to in standard my time playing. The biggest changes that I would make would just be printing more staple cards and printing better removal. When i say staple cards and better removal, I don't mean things that would just instantly ruin an entire format. It would be small things like Lightning Bolt, a one mana accelerator like Noble Hierarch or Llanowar Elves, etc. I might even experiment with reprinting true modern staple cards in standard, but then just not supporting them. How good is a Karn Liberated without tron lands/mana ramp in format where we print a bunch of great aggro cards? How good are fetchlands if they could only find you basics? How good is Living End without being able to cascade into it? Still pretty good because it works for the expertise cards in standard right now, but what about the set after that? Some interesting changes like that would be fun to see, but other than those, I think standard is fine. Yes, I'm the only one who thinks it is fine, but I'm ok with that because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and no one opinion is correct over the other. Q: Would you be in favor of un-banning anything in Standard? A: I think that at this point, unbanning the cards that were banned would do be too bad. I'd rather have not seen any of them banned in the first place, but now the damage is done and it would cause too many problems to have them just all unbanned. Q: Any other hobbies outside of MTG? A: Not really. This game has kind of consumed my life. I guess aside from this I'm part of a bowling team that my dad has for his work (we are currently in 1st place, but we find out on Monday is we finish this year in 1st or 2nd), I did a lot of things with Future Business Leaders of America which was the business competition that I had mentioned in my answer to question 1, and I enjoy watching lots of YouTube videos. Other than that, maybe twice a month I'll get to put in a good gaming session of Skyrim, but that is about it. Q: What is your highest bowling score? A: Nothing too impressive. 214. The league that my dad's team bowls in goes off of averages and handicaps so that bad bowlers have a chance against the good ones. My average in the league is a 130. Q: What are your plans for this Summer? A: I currently have none. I'm still debating on some things for the summer. I might get a job because that means I can spend more money on this game. I work at my LGS once a week, but I'd like to get a real job with more hours at some point. If I don't do that, I'll probably end up taking some more college courses during that time. Since I'm only 17 and I'm still technically in high school, I get a very significant discount (75% off each course) on my current college classes and the last point where I'm eligible for the discount would be this summer. I don't think my parents have any vacations or anything like that planned either. Hopefully, with whatever ends up happening, I'll be here on the forums or on YouTube ready to talk about Magic: The Gathering.
  4. A big thanks to @Molimo for being featured in this months Spotlight On! Question: How has your summer been going? Anything going on in your personal life? Answer: Summer has been really warm (for Alaska), but I haven't really made a lot of time outside of Magic and work to do much with it yet. Some friends of mine and I are planning a river float trip that I won at a giveaway for Monday Night Football, and a few of us are trying to get some (pistol) range time in also while it's clear and sunny. I've worked a lot of overtime this summer so far, but I've been turning that into toys I've wanted for a while instead of being responsible with it. I don't have much of a personal life; I work, I play card games, board games, League of Legends, and I go out with friends for dinners, concerts, drinks, etc. Q: How did you get into Magic? A: Shortly after the game was released wide (early sets up to Revised were out, and it was closer to the time of Ice Age and 4th Edition), a bunch of kids at school got into it and I liked a lot of the art, but didn't get the game rules at first (we were playing wrong as kids will until you properly teach them). I picked up a few starter decks though and some boosters, but didn't stay with the game all that long until middle school, when the kids had a lot better grasp of things and a lot more cards had been released. It was this time that Magic really sunk in its hooks and I've been playing at least sporadically since in multiple formats. Q: Understand you're a judge. What was it about judging that made you want to get involved? I'm a level 1 judge as of last month (former roommate and a good friend of mine is the level 2). But I've been a Rules Adviser for a year and a half and one of the guys at the LGS that people have looked to for rulings since I helped get the FNM scene going at a second shop (Bosco's) in Anchorage back in 2010. I got started with actually running the events because the people who were lost interest in the game and didn't really care about the store or the overall health of the Magic community, so they did a poor job of announcing upcoming events and keeping people coming back. I was approached by the shop and a lot of the players to intervene somehow and started taking over to help out. Q: If you could change one rule, what would it be? A: I think the overall rules of the game are in a pretty good place right now and I can't really think of something that needs to be changed. Q: Any negative or positive experiences you've had while making rulings as a judge? A: There's rarely a true positive experience in making rulings, as you're usually telling, or at least confirming to the players, that one player or team is right and the other team is doomed. The negative calls haven't been so bad (yet) for me personally, but I've seen players throw their decks like confetti, get belligerent and have to be removed from the event site because they got too involved in a match against a certain other player, or they take the call personally. Q: What is your favorite part about Magic? A: As I've said in the other article about "Why we love MTG", the people make the experiences for me. Friends got me playing and kept me interested, friends got me to help bring more and more people into the local Magic scene, friends got me into the Judge program to help give back to the people, and friends help to continuously get the cards for decks I want and help pimp out my cube with promos and foils. Q: Which mechanic is your favorite and least favorite? A: My least favorite mechanics are the ones that are pretty much irrelevant, but I still have to answer questions on and know how to make rulings with (banding, phasing, flanking, etc). My favorite mechanic is probably Flash; it's so simple, yet so tricky and makes playing games very different when you know your opponent has it. I love being able to represent many different options and making my opponents guess which one(s) I have. Q: What do you do when you're not playing Magic? Any other hobbies or addictions? A: Outside of Magic, I play drums, League of Legends, board games such as DC Deckbuilder, Ascension, and Catan. I love spending time with my friends and attending live music shows, playing pool or darts, bowling, sitting by a fire, or seeing the sites in Alaska. Q: What do you do for a living? A: I've worked in grocery retail 12 years, currently for Kroger/Fred Meyer as a freight stocker. Before that I was with Albertsons/Safeway in basically the same role, but I was also a department head for about 2 years with Safeway. I currently stock HABA (mostly non-edible Food department items, soap, lotion, vitamins, cough/cold, candy), but I've also worked grocery, dairy, freeze, pricing, receiving, and loss prevention. Q: You get to choose your last meal. What would it be and why? A: My last meal would probably be something fairly simple, yet big and classic in the US; a nice cut of steak (mid-rare to medium), loaded baked potato, Caesar salad, a shot of the oldest Macallan scotch in the area, and some cold hefeweizen, because I just really enjoy everything on this menu.
  5. Thanks to @MTGZuby for being this months Spotlight and for supporting our community! Question: How has everything been going lately? Sounds like you've had a ton of work, is it slowing down? Answer: Everything is going relatively good. My workload has lessened a little bit but it comes in ebbs and flows. Q: You mentioned your new workout schedule a few times on your podcast, still hanging in there? A: Not lately. I've been a big slacker. After getting diagnosed with carpal tunnel in my right hand recently, lifting any kind weights hurts a lot regardless of weight. So it's kind of taken me out of the game. I need to get back on some sort of routine though if it's only cardio. Q: What was the most surprising experience you've had starting and getting your podcast out there? A: I knew getting into it it was going to take work getting it out there and I knew I had to be consistent as well. I think the most surprising aspect was editing the audio part. I didn't realize how much there is to editing audio and luckily the guy who made the intro songs for the podcast is also an audio engineer has taught me a lot. I'm still learning a lot of editing tricks and I'll try them out on each episode or try something new. Maybe that gives my podcast an edge? I hear way too many MTG podcasts out there that have terrible audio quality. Q: Typically about how long does it take to edit an episode for the podcast? A: Depends on the episode. Interview episodes take way less because I like the sound of it being raw and unedited. You're getting the full conversation. There are some MTG podcasts that do interviews and you can tell right away it's edited down and sounds very fake. For my solo episodes it can take me a day or two because I'll try and go through it and cut any long pauses or awkwardness. Q: How has having a MTG podcast changed your outlook on the game and the community as a whole? A: In the beginning of the podcast I felt the need and urge to constantly go to FNM and IQ's and PPTQ"s to ensure I have content to talk about. After coming to the conclusion that I can basically talk about whatever I want with MTG I don't feel that need as much. I still plan on attending bigger events with the game though but don't feel I have to for the sake of the podcast. As far as the community aspect goes there is a divide in the community. Not to go deep into the whole SJW thing but among MTG content creators there is definitely an old boy's club mentality and if you don't spout the WoTC agenda good luck ever getting featured on their website or them even working with you. Too often you see the same people featured over and over again from WoTC when there are other MTG content creators that deserve it just as much if not more. I was ignorant of all this before I started my podcast and when you get deeper into it you really start to notice it. Q: Can definitely relate to you there! Did you ever feel the need to change what you would do normally to try and fit into that club, even if it's maybe subconscious? A: In the beginning yea I felt the need to change and to reflect my show to fit into that club. Now? I'm doing my own thing. I'm doing little MTG skits now and involving my family with it and we're having fun doing it. The audio editing portion of it I'm enjoying immensely. It reminds me of the days I used to shoot movies with friends in high school and college. I'm still going to do what I want to do on my podcast and hope others enjoy it. Q: You recently took a week or two off from your podcast. You mentioned you took time to reflect, are you feeling differently now? A: Yes I am feeling differently now. I am doing the podcast because I want to and I'm doing topics now because I want to talk about them. Too many MTG Podcasts are just about the news of the week or what spoilers are out or what happened at X tournament. I followed suit at first but now I'm trying to pivot away from that and add my own style to it. Sure it's easy to just talk news of the week but it gets boring. Especially when there is a light news week. Q: What are your current favorite topics to cover on the Podcast? A: I don't cover it often but I really enjoyed Episode 4 where I talk about the mental aspects of MTG and REBT (rational emotive behavior therapy) and how that affects you as a player. I want to discuss it more indepth and hope I can get someone like a sports psychologist on one day to talk about it more. Even though it may not have been entertaining but I enjoyed the Lines of Play episode as well. I plan to do another one soon because I always really enjoy hearing what someone may do on this turn and why or why not they made X or Y decision. I feel we don't get that enough. Q: Do people at your local game store know your a podcaster? Do you discuss the same subjects with them? A: Yes most do. I don't talk about it too much. I have had people come up to me and they want to partner up but I decline and say, you can guest on the podcast but they seem put off. Right now I'm working on a little project to feature more local players in my state as well as other game stores in my state just to give them more recognition. Q: Let's say Wizards comes to you and gives you complete control of Magic Online. What would you do with it? A: When you mean total control, like everything? if so, if I don't have a budget to worry about then here is what I would do: I would immediately start planning and looking for the correct talent for programmers/developers and pay them an actual market salary. I would give a deadline of 2 years max that MTGO as we know it will shut down. Basically I would fire any managers/programmers/developers that are not needed and reduce the team down just enough to keep the program working at a bare minimum. If any of the team members were good enough they would join the new team to bring MTGO up to date. Hope that in 2 years we have a solid product. I think at first we just have Standard going and as releases happen and time goes on we introduce modern, then legacy, vintage etc....I would have it be a similar model to Pokemon TCG but still have event tickets to pay for. Q: Which format is your favorite and which would you like to play more of? A: It goes back and forth between Standard and Modern. For Standard it depends on if the meta and the pool of cards are interesting enough. For Modern I really enjoy playing Grixis Delver as it's my favorite Modern deck and could play that all the time. I would definitely like to play more Modern. Q: Do your wife or daughters play MTG? A: My wife used to play but not anymore. My oldest knows how to play but doesn't seem that interested. My youngest knows the bare minimum but enjoys Pokemon TCG more Q: What other games are you currently playing? A: Currently playing Destiny on PS4. Just got to level 28 at the time of writing this. Taking my time with game but it's enjoyable. Playing Pokemon TCG on and off and playing a stupid addicting iOS game called Egg, Inc. Don't download it, it's terribly addicting. Q: Which do you prefer: PC or console gaming? A: For me it depends on the genre. I generally prefer PC gaming but it's so nice to sit on the couch and play a game on the console. Q: Are you burnt out on the politics and presidential election yet? A: Been burnt out. Q: You mentioned before you used to be in competitive fighting, do you miss it? A: I was a competitive Tae Kwon Do fighter. I do miss it but if I were to get back into fighting it would be MMA. I did Tae Kwon Do for a very long time as well as learned Kum-Do (Korean version of Kendo) and Judo. With my schedule it would be nigh impossible to ever get back into fighting. There's a certain thrill to it and it's hard to describe. I would love to learn Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and real traditional Kung Fu as well as Jeet Kun Do. Q: Any plans to travel to a Grand Prix or another MTG event in the near future? A: The farthest I'll travel right now might be Georgia. But in the near future? Just might be going to some PPTQ's and IQ's, nothing too big.
  6. Thanks to @MTGMTB for being this months spotlight! Question: How have you been lately? Answer: Well, I'm sick, but my birthday is on the 17th, so, pretty good. Q: Happy birthday! What illness did you come down with? A: Thanks! I happen to have a sinus infection, which sucks. Q: When did you start playing MTG? A: Back in 2014, right after Khans came out. My friend got me a Magic deck for my birthday, and I got hooked. I really started competing and all during BFZ and Gatewatch. Q: Was it an intro deck? A: Yup. It was the Sultai deck. Q: What archetypes do you enjoy playing the most? A: B/W human tokens is what I ran for a long time, mostly during Shadows and Eldritch. I've always been a fan of Orzhov though. Q: Do you have a big collection? A: *looks at the plastic bin filled with Magic cards* Um... Maybe... Q: What card in your collection is your favorite? A: Actually really tough, since I haven't had a chance to look through for a while. Right now, my favorite card I'm playing is Guardian of Tazeem, but maybe Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts. Q: What formats do you usually play? A: I mostly play Standard, but I might get into Commander with this new set. Q: Do you plan on getting one of the Commander 16 decks? Which one? Do you have any desire to try another format? Why or why not? A: Maybe. People have hinted that they may get me one for my birthday this weekend. Not really. Modern and Legacy are too expensive for me, so I'll probably build more Standard. Q: If you could play any deck in any format, which would it be? A: Maybe Liliana Zombie tokens. (I really like making tokens.) I'd really just like to play with the casual Orzhov token deck I built again, but it got stolen. Q: It got stolen? What happened? A: I don't really know, but I must have left it out on the table at school. It was a lot of fun, and I'm kinda sad it got stolen. Q: If you could change one rule in MTG, what would it be? A: I don't really have anything I'd change. Not that I can think of. Q: Any rule you'd like to add? A: NERF D.VA. Oh, wait, I forgot. Magic. Um. Not really. Q: Do you have any other hobbies? A: I'm a conservative activist, and I love going to Tea Party meetings. I'm a Boy Scout, a gamer, mountain biker, and a gun loving, God fearing half-Hispanic Coloradan Q: If you own a gun, which one is your favorite? A: My family and I own a lot of firearms. Mine would be a Springfield XD-9. Q: What is your stance on medical/casual use of marijuana, being from Colorado? A: It's been proven that marijuana messes your brain up when you're young and smoking it, causing psychological problems. I think Colorado's law of 21 is ok, but I personally don't believe in it. At this point though, the federal government should decriminalize it. More and more states are legalizing it, so people shouldn't have to waste more money on security guards to guard an all-cash business (Like it is in Colorado.) Q: Are you glad the election is over? A: Yeah. Work has finally slowed down, so it's kinda nice. But, at the same time, I won't be getting as big a paycheck. But I also feel like it hasn't really stopped with all the riots and protests. (#MakeAmericaGreatAgain) I feel like they're trying to stop something that's already happened. Pretty much everyone on here has accepted it, but some people in my school haven't accepted it.
  7. Thanks to @BlutEntropy for being this months Spotlight! Question: How have you been doing lately? Any exciting news you'd like to share? Answer: Nothing really I live a boring life, it's all MTG related. Q: Understand you're starting a new YouTube channel. What made you want to start a new one? A: Well I've had three for a while and one focused on MTG mainly but with that channel getting a lot of bad rep from some previous things like low quality it's just smarter to create a new one have hire people to promote it. I've been talking to SeibenLore about a collaboration video about the Ninth layer of Phyrexia to promote the channel. He's up for doing it, just depends on when he's free if we get to do it. Q: Is there a particular subject the new channel will focus on? Competitive play, rules, finance? A: Rules, how to play, lore based decks that are competitive. Kind of early to know the full direction. Q: What got you into MTG? A: MTG got into me, I didn't get into MTG. -Paraphrase from Brian, The professor from TCC Q: How many cards are in your collection? A: Last I counted it's somewhere around 800,000 Q: You have lots of expensive cards in your collection. Which card is your favorite and why? A: My graded 9.0 Alpha Lotus. Because it can buy me a house if I ever find a buyer that I can get cash from. Other than that, Ichorid. It was my waifu when it first came out and it helped me top in a JSS. Now it's the main stay of the greatest arctype ever, Dredge Q: How and when did you acquire the Black Lotus? A: My parents bought out a card store that was going under because I told them to in '96. So besides several uncracked cases of Alpha and Beta in a closet we have a total of 12 Lotuses. The one that is is all mine I bought in 2000 for $160 because it was a HP+/MP- unlimited. I still netted profit on it back then, never sold it and I use it in my vintage deck. Now a days I wouldn't remove it from the sleeve since I'm pretty sure that's the only thing keeping it intact. . Q: How many hours do you test a deck before you deem it ready for play? A: Depends on the format, Modern/Legacy is a few months before I deem it top 8 worthy. Standard I literally bring a giant box of cards to my LGS and make a deck on the fly to play. Q: What deck is your favorite to play? A: Dredge and infect. Q: What is it about these decks you like? A: The just mesh with how my mind works. Q: If you could change any rule in MTG, what would it be and why? A: Well I would and I wouldn't, and that's no land mulligans. I miss it for a lot of reasons but as an old school manaless dredge player it would break dredge again. Q: Do you plan to be a professional player? A: Technically I am one, I just have income issues so I can't attend all the tournaments I'd like. Q: Were you a filthy casual at some point? A: No never, Filthy casuals are console gamers. PC master race. Q: How is the card trading website coming along? What can we do to help? A: The site is mostly set up the only issue is how the site works since you can redeem points and sell points for real life money so I have to at least have $50,000 in the company account to make sure I have enough to pay out points since to get people started we have to give out non-redeemable points. Not to mention some logistics. Honestly I need a better web designer since I am shit and can't afford to pay a good one. If I got one I'd scrap the whole thing and start from fresh since it would be more work to fix it then to make a new one. Q: Which set is your all time favorite to play? A: Apocalypse or Torment for some unknown reason. I just loved the flavor of both, not to mention the about of stores trying to kick me out because I can't pronounce Horror correctly since my primary language is Ebonics. Q: Do you have any pets? A: Nope, probably never will unless I get a wild life permit. Q: Holidays are right around the corner, what are your plans? A: I don't celebrate holidays or birthdays, too capitalist for me.
  8. On a regular basis I'll be asking members to answer 10-15 questions or so and post them in an interview style forum post. This will give everyone a chance to tell us about themselves (if they choose) and for us to all get to know each other better. Thanks to @rainman for being courteous enough to be the first victim errr, interviewee (if you can call it that) Question: How have you been doing lately? Any big events coming up for you personally? Answer: Other than dabbling in the flashback drafts on Magic Online, I've not been playing much lately, real life interfering unfortunately. I've moved with work recently so hoping to find myself a new local scene. I've heard there's some Legacy action in the area and now the first deck is almost ready, I'll be looking to get stuck into a new format Q: What Legacy deck are you putting together? A: Just a playset of goblin guides short of the Burn deck, which is a stepping stone to UR delver, and eventually UBR delver. Making those steps involves some number of dual lands, which is a cost I still don't know if I can take on any time soon. They are cards which, as well as being useful in competitive play in the older formats, are truly iconic of the early era of Magic and for both those reasons I would love to get my hands on some. Knowing me, it's quite likely I'll give in to this urge at some point, but so far I've managed to restrain myself after blowing a load of cash making the foundations of a modern collection Q: How long have you been playing Magic and how did you get into the game? A: I originally started playing in a 1999 I think, not long after Urza's Legacy was released. A few friends started playing and introduced me to the game and we played pretty much every day for the next couple of years, but mostly just for fun, though one of them did play in one Pro Tour in 2000 while he was studying in the US. My first tournament was the Urza's destiny pre-release and I was always a dedicated blue/blue-white control man other than playing a Replenish-Opalescence deck during Urza block/Masques block standard Q: Do you play Magic for fun or for competition? A: If you mean competition as in trying to get involved in the higher levels of play, then there's no way I have enough time to head down that route. I play for fun, but the competitive nature of the game is obviously a big part of that- testing yourself against other people is always enjoyable Q: If you had the time and resources would becoming a professional player be something you would be interested in? A: I can certainly think of worse jobs to do than pro magic player. Your schedule is your own, there's lots of flexibility in where and when to "work", which is awesome. I don't know how I would handle the amount that pure variance would affect my level of success though- it's got to be rough to put in hours and hours of testing before big tournament, get mana screwed in an early round and never have a realistic shot at top 8 right from the start Q: If you could change one thing about Magic, what would it be? A: When I came back to the game last year, I was kind of disappointed to see that some of the traditional elements of the game like counter magic, land destruction, board sweepers had become noticeably weaker. I don't think the game is necessarily worse for it, I can see why some players didn't enjoy being on the wrong end of those things in the past. Evolution over time is natural I guess, but I'd love to at least see Counterspell make it into Modern, then I'd be happy Q: If a new player asked you for one piece of advice, what would it be? A: You won't win every game, so use any losses in a positive way. Getting salty and abusive when you lose doesn't benefit anyone. Yes, sometimes it;s just luck/variance, whatever you want to call it, sometimes you either made a mistake or just got outplayed, try to think about which, and what you could have done differently Q: How big is your Magic collection? A: Bigger than it should be! I gave away all my commons and uncommons, other than a box of Urza's block cards- 3 full sets of all the commons and uncommons from those 3 sets, when I stopped playing in around 2002. Why I kept 3 sets rather than 4 I have no idea. I also kept my binder of rares and a couple of decks I had at the time, which luckily included an Extended version of the Tempest era mono blue Draw-Go, which had my playsets of Wasteland, Force of Will, Port, Brainstorm and various counterspells in. Since coming back I've been mostly picking up Modern stuff, but haven't quite settled on what exactly I want to play since Twin was banned. I'd guess in total it's probably around 6000 cards Q: Any other games you enjoy playing or hobbies? A: I'm not really a big gamer other than Magic, but I have been getting involved with the new Eternal game- for people who've not heard of it, it's sort of Magic meets Hearthstone made by the company that LSV, Chapin and a few other Magic pros are part of Q: In a disaster situation, you're being evacuated and can only grab 3 items as you run out of your door, what are they? A: I'd be lost without my laptop so definitely that, then I guess my 2 binders of rares are the most valuable things in my place so those as well. The insurance could cover the rest Q: What kind of work do you do? A: I'm a doctor, working in the surgical department in Southampton at the minute. Naturally that takes up a lot of time and makes going to tournaments and things like that regularly kind of tricky, but it's usually rewarding work and definitely something I'm proud to be doing Q: Any special talents? A: Er, not sure. No real party tricks or anything liek that, but I've always been good at picking up languages. I used to teach English as a foreign language, mostly overseas, before I started medical school and learned to speak Polish reasonably well while I was living there, as well as bits and pieces of various others, even Estonian Q: Is there any place you'd like to travel to for the first time or to revisit? A: I've been lucky enough to travel a lot in my life so far, always wanted to see Rome, but still haven't managed it, and Canada is definitely on the list of places to visit too. I'm more of a winter holiday kind of guy, rather than sun, beaches etc. I love skiing and snow in general. Q: Do you have any pets? A: No pets at the minute, but not something I'm against in the future. I live by myself and am out at work a lot, but once it's a bit more reasonable to do so, I would love to have a dog again Q: Any breed of dog you prefer? A: We used to have a black Labrador in the family, but he died a few years ago. They're lovely dogs so I'd definitely put them top of the list
  9. Thanks to @JesGolbez for being this months Spotlight! Question: How was your holiday? Answer: Great, but also stressful. The older we get, the harder it is for my wife @Aurian and I to find gifts for people. Having a puppy also makes things a bit harder, since he's the type of dog that doesn't calm down in strange environments... it really is like having a kid Q: Do you have a lot of visits to make or stay home? A: Well, we had the 3 outings, but most of our family lives here around Vancouver, so not much travel Q: Any plans for the New Year Holiday? Answer: A romantic dinner and barely staying awake past midnight. Q: How long have you lived in Canada? A: . I was born and raised here. Yes, I'm one of the few Vancouverites that were actually born here! Q: You have an MTG blog, what made you start writing it? A: I used to be a hockey writer and blogger, but retired in 2008 (wow, has it been that long?). I've always enjoyed writing, but I got burnt out from hockey writing. On the rare occasion I want to write about MTG, at least I have a place to do it. Q: What do you enjoy most about writing a blog? A: I started writing because I had many things to say, but wanted a place to be heard. I had been reading baseball blogs for years, but there wasn't much like that for hockey. I found the major hockey forums to be terrible places for good conversations, and you would be ignored if you weren't part of the clique. Q: You're currently taking a break from MTG, was there anything in particular that made you feel as though you needed time away? A: When you play the game for a long time, you go through these phases. The new set, Kaladesh, hasn't inspired me at all, and the Jacetice League storyline is a big bore. Also, I have thousands of cards here in my office, and it's rather daunting to sort, build decks, tweak decks, do trades, and other tasks. It's so much work just to play Q: How organized is your collection? A: Very organized in many respects, as we have boxes for variety blocks (Ravnica), plus shelves for each of our decks... deckboxes within fat pack boxes... the problem is that I have a huge Holiday gift pack full of unsorted cards and decks I'm working on Q: If you could change anything about the game, what would it be? Can be game play, sets, print runs, pricing ect. A: I would get rid of the mythic rarity and stop printing haymaker "I win the game cards" that came after the started the mythic rarity. Of course, the people in charge have made a successful card game that keeps on growing, so my viewpoint is probably the minority. Q: Approximately how many decks for each format do you have built? A: I have a good 100+ decks, all casual. Of those, 6-7 are EDH, and some are precons. I could probably piece together a very good modern deck, but then I'd have to fish cards from 20 different decks. Q: Do you get competitive when playing? A: Yes, and it will always be something I have to keep in check. Even in casual games, I'd get too wound up. At one prerelease, I got so upset I went outside, kicked a telephone pole, and broke my toe. Oops. Q: Did you make a trip to the hospital or go back in and finish the game? A: Oh, it healed on its own and I just went back inside. It's the hockey player in us Canadians Q: What has been your favorite set that you've played? A: The original Ravnica block and the Lorwyn block are my all-time favourites. It's a shame Lorwyn's lighter shade of fantasy didn't connect well with many players. Both sets had amazing flavour, and didn't need broken cards to be good. Even the original 5 planeswalkers were well balanced. Q: Is there a plane you'd want to see a return set to? A: Lorwyn - I like the light-hearted aspect of the plane as loved the tribes and mechanics. Q: Of all the formats you play, which is your favorite and why? A: 2-on-2 casual. We have a format that is a mix of the original Emperor with some house rules. It's a good way to play your own deck (unlike 2HG, which one partner can dominate) while adding in the multi-player aspect. Q: Where do you normally play casual games? At someones home or at an LGS? A: We used to host once a month, but haven't lately due to our shy/fearful doggie. Otherwise, we have a couple of friends that tend to host regularly. I also have a couple of pals I meet most Wednesday nights for Wing Wednesdays. We sometimes play as well. Q: Do you and @Aurian play MTG together or just with other groups? A: With other groups. we don't play much 1v1 because we know each other decks so well, and we built our decks mainly for multiplayer. Q: Have you ever attended a GP or played competitively? Any plans to ever attend one? A: I attended GP Vancouver once, but mainly for side events. We also attending GP Vegas for Modern Masters 2 and played 2HG (went 2-1 and dropped due to event lag). @Aurian and I played Standard not long after I introduced her to the game, and we each won an FNM or two, but found a casual group and preferred that tremendously. At FNM, or any such event, you play the same deck, have to wait a long time in between rounds, and are surrounded by strange people. I've met people at game stores, and we haven't had many negative experiences, but do prefer the company of people we know. Q: How long did it take Aurian to become a fellow MTG addict? A: Not long at all. The game grabs you and envelopes you before you have a chance to escape! I think she got addicted about a week or two after I got re-addicted.
  10. Thanks to @Aurian for agreeing to be this months Spotlight! Question: What has been going on with you and your life? Answer: I am a female (OMG female mtg player) in my mid thirties, married to @JesGolbez and we just moved to a new place this year, in part because we wanted a dog (our old place allowed no pets whatsoever). Thus, we also just adopted a lab/whippet puppy. On the work side of things, have been working with the same Bank for 13 years, mostly "behind the scenes" admin and management roles, where my deafness doesn't matter as much (email is my best friend). It's funny, I never thought about that as a job path, but they were the only place that didn't discriminate against me and now I am one of their top producing employees ☺️ So life is settled for now and we're enjoying it. Q: Have you experienced a fair share of discrimination? How do you overcome it? A: A fair share of discrimination? A TON growing up for being deaf. That is one reason I am so pleasantly surprised being out and about with the Magic crowd. I'll be the only deaf person in the room. I'm usually the only girl too at many events I go to. But everyone has treated me with respect and helped where they could (usually just making sure I can lip read them). Q: How did you start playing MTG? A: I love fantasy and mythology and when we first started going out, Jes_Golbez saw these Magic packs for sale, and thought I might like this game he used to play as a kid. We bought some packs of Tenth edition and he taught me how to play. Soon we were building decks and even went into playing FNM. During Lorwyn/Shadowmoor I was piloting Fairies or a 5 colour elemental deck. We eventually started accumulating friends who were into Magic and eventually switched to casual gaming. We found Standard got a bit stale after awhile, FNM was all net decks, and we seemed to spend a lot if time just waiting around for the next match. Nowadays the competitive Magic scene for us is mostly pre-release and release events. Q: Did you turn any friends you had before you started playing MTG into fellow addicts or meet people who were already playing? A: No, we didn't get any permanent converts (although Jes_Golbez's younger cousin thought it was cool to play with for awhile). Mostly by having regular casual "Game Days" we encourage locals who might not otherwise play as much to join in and get excited about Magic. Or get the Modern die hards to relax a bit in a casual environment for fun Q Which format is your current favorite? A: Casual is my favourite format because it lets me have fun with deck building. I have about 50+'decks; now the challenge is making fun decks that feel and play differently from my other decks! Casual multiplayer is also really fun because even modern legal decks end up on a more even playing field as other casual decks due to the interactions and chaos of many decks and cards in play. Q: How competitive is your playgroup? Any table flipping moments? A: The playgroup is varied - we have someone who was a tester back when Magic was new, to shiny new players. We have people who bring their current top-tier modern decks to the games to people who happily put together what they crack into casual decks. Myself I build what I consider to be tough but fair decks - I pick a theme and build as best as I possibly can in the theme. I love instants and ways to be unpredictable. I am known as Sneaky Sarah. Table flipping moments? Not so much, although the play groups do tend to try make decks that are fun for all. We don't have too many people who like lock down decks. Q: Being married to another avid MTG player, has it changed your perspective on the game and gaming in general? A: I never knew about Magic before Jes_Golbez came along so I didn't have my opinion on Magic changed, but Magic does have to be the first time I have really enjoyed gaming with strangers. I do enjoy video games but early online experiences soured me against playing there and for the most part I played alone. Magic is social gaming, and the people I have played with over the years have been overall friendly and welcoming (to both a girl and a deaf person). Q: How do you and Jes manage your collection? Do you each have your own or is it together? A: Jes and I have different play styles and deck construction styles so we maintain separate collections of decks. We then each have a binder of cards we want to use in the future, although we'll trade those cards back and forth if one of us is building a deck that really needs the other's card. The rest of the collection is shared and sorted by set, colour, type. Jes_Golbez buys the Magic boxes for us to play with and I buy the video games for us to play with . When new sets get spoiled, we might call dibs on this or that card. We seem to like different cards and tribes so we don't seem to have a huge amount of overlap. Otherwise we negotiate! Q: Which card in your collection is your favorite or most cherished? Is it due to value or nostalgia or something else? A: it's hard to narrow it down to one! People laugh because my most used card seems to be Sakura-Tribe Elder (I love the FNM Art; that one does not look like a turtle!); my five colour elemental deck is nostalgic because it's the evolution of my old FNM standard deck that I still enjoy playing (Fairies wasn't fun to play anymore so that got ripped apart), and one of my favorite cards has to be reveillark - beautiful art, love the tribe and very useful! Q: Which set is your favorite in terms of art and flavor? A: I loved the Lorwyn block because it was my first Magic set and it introduced the Elementals and evoke which I really liked. It had an interesting story and concept as well, and it was cool to have a less human-centric plane. Also up there for flavour has to be Theros - I loved Greek mythology as a kid and seeing the MTG spin on old favourites like Chimera, Cerebus and the gods was fun (although Heliod is a big a$$hole). Q: Do you have any pets? A: We have a lab/whippet mix of 1 year that we adopted 2 months ago. His name is Diego (sorry folks, we just couldn't find a MTG name that fit him that we liked... No Jaces here). He is sweet, can be naughty sometimes, but fortunately doesn't seem interested in snacking on any foil Jace the Mind Sculptors. Q: Are there any places you'd like to travel back to or for the first time? A: I have done a fair amount of travelling; places I'd like to go back to are Hawaii (it really is beautiful and I love love love sunshine), and England (where most of my family is and full of history). I have not seen much of mainland Europe yet so would like to see more of that someday and part of me is curious to see Japan someday. Q: Do you play any other types of games? A: My parents love card games, so we often play Rummy, Wrist, Canasta with them. We play some board games although I find the majority of them just feel slow compared to Magic or video games. That's my other vice... I love RPGs and do most of the researching and video game buying in this household! Q: I understand you're an artist, will you share your work with us? A: Another hobby is my art. If I did not have to worry about making a living, I would be an artist. I draw, paint, and sculpt. Mulldrifter painting: Mulldrifter sculpture (hangs on the wall) Spiketail sculpt! Life total guardians: Tokens.... Card alters... And many more non mtg