[Author's Note: You'll be happy to know that
there are no references to spatulas in this article. Originally appeared
in the Vault e-zine in March of 1997]
Is Magic Satanic, The Truth about the Pro Tour, the DCI and More!
by Vincent B. Navarino
Q: Dear Quard, my friends are all die-hard Magic players and I want
to start playing too. What do you recommend me picking up to get in the
game? - Jeanne C., Jacksonville Florida
A: Wizards of the Coast recommends you pick up a Starter Deck
and two boosters packs to get started. The Starter comes complete with
a rule book that tries to explain the rules using as much misleading, confusing and erroneous information as possible, in such teeny-tiny, microscopic text that it causes your eyes to implode trying to read it. After luring you into believing that you can play the game for under $20, the secret addictive chemicals WotC laces the card varnish with will have taken hold, forcing you to spend all your spare moola buying boxes and boxes of Magic cards. While the addictive properties of Magic will ensure that you never, ever have money in your wallet again, there is the bonus of knowing that as long you are playing Magic you'll never ever use drugs, pay the rent, buy food or spring for popcorn while on a date (that is if you ever stop playing long enough to go on one.)
Q: I am so sick of the Duelist Convocation! I keep e-mailing
and e-mailing and e-mailing them at email@example.com for months and they never respond! What's the ^%$#@! is going on???? - Jamie,
Monroe New York
A: Simple, as firstname.lastname@example.org is actually the e-mail address of the Pink Pygmy Llama Snuggling Society, a not-for-profit group that specializes in frolicking around vast acreage of farmlands naked with those adorable fuzzy animals in the futile quest to solve infertility problems. At least that's the story I'm sticking with until they return my e-mail (18 messages and counting).
Q: How can one find a DCI person? - Ralph H., Lincoln Nebraska
A: Simple. Drill a hole through a quarter. Using the hole, tie
a long piece of string to it. Travel to WotC's headquarters in Renton,
Washington and drop the quarter (holding the other end of the string).
Run around the corner and look back. The first person making a mad dash
for the quarter is a DCI person. If you jerk quick enough on the string
you just might get your quarter back.
Q: Is Magic really Satanic and can I really lose my soul playing
it? - Ryan Sanders, St. Paul Minnesota
A: There are rumors that when Richard Garfield met with Wizards
and announced his idea for Magic it was first called Mephistopheles: The
Gathering. Some of the first card were originally titled Suck Out Your
Soul (Drain Life), Tear Out Your Heart to Appease the Dark One (Sacrifice)
and Unleash Lucifer (Lord of the Pit). As to the second part of your question, all I can say is that I've been playing Mephistoph...er...Magic since Unlimited and I can't even remember what my soul used to look like.
Q: I was so upset that in Fourth Edition WotC took out most of
the Summon Demon cards and painted over the burning pentagram in Unholy
Strength! Is there any sign that Wizards will censor their art again? - Andrew G., San Jose California
A: Well you'll be happy to know that they put in some demons
with Ice Age (Minion of Leshrac and Minion of Tevesh Szat), added numerous
male reproductive organ imagery in Mirage (Ekundu Cyclops) and now with
the release of Visions they've added copulating monkeys (ala Uktabi Orangutan). I'm also pleased that rumors abound that the next Magic expansion (code named Voyeur) will contain full frontal nudity! Woo-woo! Chugga! Chugga!
Q: I keep hearing everyone talking about card advantage. What is it? - Brian S., Tuxedo New York
A: Uhm, I really can't go too far into this one, but suffice
it to say it's what people have been doing to the Serra Angel and the Elvish
Ranger (female version) and why some people have laminated these cards for their own protection. Next!
Q: It seems all the newsgroups on the net are filled with the
open hostility and juvenile antics from Pro Tour players, PT wannabees,
the judges and spectators. What do you think about this, Quard? - Eric Valeson, Toledo Ohio
A: It's all quite sad to me to see all the "lets see who's got
the wettest diaper and can cry the loudest" goings on in the newsgroups
lately ever since the Pro Tour started, and the only thing I can actually
say is thank god these people do not really represent us Magic players!
Magic is a fun game and when people like this try to take the fun out of
it for us, I say it's time to pretend we're Mr. Club and introduce them
to a little game I like to call "Look at all those pretty baby harp seals."
Q: Why are Magic boosters still coming in 15 card packs? Who
needs all the extra $%#@! commons?! Come one WotC, stop ripping us off
and make 12 card boosters so we can get more rares in a box! Hey Quard,
what do you think about their fleecing us Magic players like this? - Leonna
H., Paterson New Jersey
A: Yes, I agree the time for 15 card boosters is long since passed.
Players should be getting more bang for their buck and increasing the numbers of rares (the suggested 12 card booster packs, 45 total rares/box) would not be too much to ask WotC, but that's not to say they'll ever even remotely consider it. After all, if player's keep buying it and not complaining enough I fail to see how anything will change. So go e-mail WotC customer service at email@example.com and let them know you want more rares in a box (and while you're at it tell them not to even think about pulling that Alliances R6 farce again!)
Q: Why would anyone want to buy that Microprose CD-ROM game when
you can already play Magic on the net? - Ali Baba, Cairo Egypt
A: Good question. Programs like Apprentice will always have something
the Microprose game will apparently never have - all the cards and none
of the bugs. People have been playing Magic on the net for a long time
now and it's real easy. To find programs such as Apprentice, try looking
for it at the following website: www.voicenet.com/~warden/appr(or Dragonstudios.com -Orgg) (or E-League which has the current up to date patches (the links at Dragonstudio are borken ones for the updates) - Spidey)
Q: I hear that Magic: The CD-ROM game when it is released will
have only a tiny fraction of all the Magic cards in it. Will all the upgrades needed to make it up to date come free? - Virginia, Sandusky Ohio
A: Sure Virginia, there really is a... nope, I have to pull a
George Washington here and not tell a lie. When the game is released it
will only have 4th edition plus about 20 others cards in it (that's 398
cards down and only about 3,000 cards to go). If you really think all the
updates will be free, raise your hand. Now look around and count the number
of hands up. Know what you've got? That's right, you've just found out
how many idiots are really out there. WotC and Microprose have just come
up with the first example of a perpetual beta CD-ROM product (it's vapor ware you can actually try to run on your computer). Congrats!
Q: Every time a new expansion comes out, we keep hearing about
the hundreds of pages of background stories that the developers came up
with that the flavor text on the cards is supposed to reference. Yet after
reading almost every card, I'm still clueless as to these "amazing" back
stories. Why is this? - Havok, North Dakota
A: That's because you, like most players out there are avoiding
reading, touching or otherwise acknowledging the presence of cards such
as Sisay's Ring, Lion's Eye Diamond and Aesthir Glider. WotC R&D has
cleverly hidden all the missing pieces to the storylines on cards that
suck so hard they get lip cramps.
Q: I am tired of hearing people whining about how Sisay's Ring
bites. It does not! I'd gladly pay 4 mana for an artifact that gives me
2 mana. What's the problem with these people? - Steve J., Bronx New
A: Tell you what, you give me a $20 and I'll give you back $10
and as long as you're happy and keep accepting this offer I'll agree with
you and call these people stupid.
Q: Hey I hear Beth Morsund is working with Microprose on the Magic: CD-ROM game, so isn't that good news? - Allison, Toronto Ontario
A: Beth Morsund is the best person in the world (as is Tom Wylie)
to help out and I have the utmost respect for both of them, but let's face
it folks, even Sean Connery couldn't save Highlander 2! Right now as it
stands the game will come out with (1) only a very small percentage of
existing Magic cards (meaning they could only get that small number of
cards to work in the game), (2) you won't be able to play on-line as originally intended (3) your 2 week-old baby brother will play a better game than the computer will and (4) there will be so many updates to this game (if it ever comes out) for rules changes, old/new cards, errata and countless other bugs that you'll spend more time waiting for the updates and patching this self-propelled monstrosity than playing it. This game has been delayed for years and for a good reason, it will never ever work properly. I suggest you all save your time and money and buy a friend to play with. Thumbs up to Beth and everyone else for their hard work and efforts, thumbs down to WotC for trying to get us to believe this will ever work and that all the fixes, patches and updates will be free. Boo! Hiss!
(Orgg's second note: Well boy does THIS show it's age. Microprose's Magic:tg came out, and a copy fetches $50 regularly on E-bay. Hmmm...)
Q: Why is it that in the Pro Tour Qualifiers it's the same astronomical amount to enter Constructed vs. Sealed deck play? I mean, aren't all the people who are paying the same price and not getting all those cards getting screwed? - Matthew L., Springfield Illinois
A: Yes they are. And to make it even funnier have you noticed
that with MCI now sponsoring the Pro Tour, the costs to enter have not gone down?
Q: Do you think that if you put 1000 monkeys at 1000 typewriters
for 1000 years that they could come up with a better card than Sea Troll
(or Lion's Eye Diamond or Erosion or [rest of extremely long list snipped]...)?
- David Marshall, Priddis Alberta
A: One would like to think so but I did some checking and sure
enough, Wizards of the Coast did hire those same monkeys in an experiment
to cut costs in their R&D department. However, after the Lion's Eye
Diamond fiasco, all 1000 monkeys were fired by WotC. Sadly though all of
them have been picked up by Microprose to help complete the Magic: The
Gathering CD-ROM game. Yikes!
Note: Are there any Magic related questions you'd like to ask me that
might see print in an upcoming Quard's Corner at the Vault? If so, e-mail
your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was put together for your reading pleasure by Vincent B. Navarino (aka Quard on IRC:#mtg) and his imaginary trained typing ferret, Ferratio. Vincent considers himself quite the humorist and can regularly be spotted late at night on IRC:#mtg(EFNet) tormenting the people there with his rantings. He'd also like to write Magic humor for the Duelist and someday might start submitting his articles to them, but is too afraid of rejection right now after not having a date in 3 years. If you'd like to talk with him please can e-mail him at email@example.com.
All feedback received is welcomed.
Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor
he doesn't like.