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Hack's Eye View: Smells like Team Spirit
By Steven Vesci
Hack’s Eye View: Smells Like Team Spirit
Vasco Da Gama

This is probably old news to most of you, but I have become increasingly interested in reading about Pro Tour New York. As I was still rediscovering the game while it started, I didn’t really know much about it until after the fact. I backread a lot of the coverage on, and I read all of the excellent tournament reports on Mindripper and the Sideboard. Belated hearty congratulations to Potato Nation. *

Reading about this, I realize one thing that is missing from my Magic experience. A team. ** A team can be a wonderful thing. You get to watch them play from the bench in return for initiation wedgies and rigorous practices, never actually getting to play for yourself. Oh, wait, high school flashback. Teams can give you deck ideas, tuning suggestions, reliable playtesters, a multiplayer group, and a sense of community, self-worth, and other warm fuzzy feelings. Not to mention, according to Gary Wise, a hellish amount of emotional stress. Well, my situation is just ever so slightly different than the esteemed Mr. Wise, so I think I can avoid that particular problem. (Next time you have a spare day or so, though, I highly recommend his mammoth PTNY report on the Sideboard.)

So why don’t I just find one? There are plenty floating around for the various online leagues. I’m sure I could weasel my way onto one if I tried. The reason I don’t is what I call the Groucho Marx Paradox. I wouldn’t want to join any team that would have me as a member.

I’m not trying to slight any of these teams. The problem is myself. I am an erratic deckbuilder, a self-proclaimed and self-righteous Hack, and a player only at random times (as in: when I don’t have any work to do at the moment.) What I value in a team would be mostly entertainment value: games, interesting decks, fun decks, amusing stories, opinions, and links to good articles. I would imagine most teams concentrate on more ascetic values such as winning and flaming rival teams. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

So my only resort as I see it is to form a new team, one that focuses on what I’m looking for. Team Hack.

Team Hack members would be dedicated to the following ideals:
-Building their own decks, and sharing them with the team.
-Offering advice for teammates’ decks
-Not copying a teammate’s deck unless you have improved it in some way for everyone.
-Furthering the cause of Magic writing
-World Domination
-Generally being Rogues

Membership in Team Hack would not require anything more than a willingness to commit to and uphold these ideals. The team will mainly function through a web site (, a NewNet IRC room (#hack), and a message forum. The site will contain articles by the members (nonmembers too), decks we’re playing around with, interesting (to us) links, and other random things as I think of them. Attendance will not be taken.

Please understand this is not a team likely to help you get to a Pro Tour. It will, I hope, add some enjoyment to the game. So if this sounds interesting to you, hop on over to the site or drop me a line. If this sounds like a crock to you, tough Kavu. Flames will be ignored, unless I can think of a witty comeback.

Vasco Da Gama
Come visit Team Hack!

*-Wanted to take this opportunity to say that I taught Mike Turian everything he knows…about shelving books. I worked with him for a time as a work-study grunt at the quaint CMU library. Never had the honor of losing to him though, I putz around on Apprentice while he kicks ass in Real Life. But I ate regularly at the “O” he and Car Acrobatic Team practiced at, so some of that magic must have rubbed off on me, right? Wrong. I graduated in May; several months later 4 guys from CMU completely trash a PT. Coincidence? Or did they just escape from the effects of the inverse Magic field I must generate? ***

**-Not THE A-Team, mind you. Just a team, foo’.

***-Isn’t Potato Nation one hell of a team name? Not to mention being a great name for a rock ’n roll band? ****

****-Blatant Dave Barry reference

Read More Articles by Steven Vesci!

 - Wednesday (July 18. 2018)
 - Thursday (May 17, 2018)
 - Tuesday (Aprl. 24, 2018
 - Monday (Apr. 16, 2018)
 - Friday (Apr. 6, 2018)
 - Wednesday (Apr. 4, 2018)
 - Monday (Apr. 2, 2018)
 - Friday (Mar. 23, 2018)
 - Thursday (Feb. 15, 2018)
 - Thursday (Jan 25, 2018)

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