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...Affinity for MTG!

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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?


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!

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Pauper is definitely up there with modern, but if I was forced to pick one of the other I think Modern would have to be my choice, just because there are so many more goofy "build-around-me" jank cards out there. :)

Lasraik likes this

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After watching 'The Road' movie I've always wanted to read the book but never have gotten around to picking it up.  

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On 12/28/2017 at 9:43 AM, Lasraik said:

After watching 'The Road' movie I've always wanted to read the book but never have gotten around to picking it up.  

If I remember correctly, it was a fairly quick read, but it's hard to say because I read it during a time when I was putting down about 6-7 books per month.


23 hours ago, AlbyMTG said:

Very nice.  I had a lot of fun when I was chosen to be a previous spotlight, so I'm sure @Affinity for MTG had just as much fun as I did.

I'm always willing to talk about myself! :P

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