[Author's Note: You'll notice here is where
I started raving like a lunatic first and then answering Q&A. Also,
this is the first time Ferratio, my imaginary trained typing ferret had
to take over for me. Originally appeared in the April 1997 issue of
the Vault e-zine]
Quard's Corner: Quard Unplugged
by Vincent Navarino
Hello there and welcome to this month's Quard's Corner, my continuing effort
to spread Magic humor as far as possible, in a vain effort to silence the
voices in my head (or at least get them to change songs).
Ever get tired of all those people that keep saying that the death of
Magic is around the corner? Do you keep seeing their disgruntled tantrums
in public, on the Net and in the mailing lists? Are you sick and tired
of all those nay-saying whining little Neanderthals? Does it seem like
every time you turn around there's someone crying how the game we all love
is dying, on life support or taking a turn for the worse?
Well this month I'm joining them. That's right...I thought it would
be fun to look at recent Magic trends and explain why the end is near.
It allows me to go full-tilt psycho mode and scare a few people into avoiding sending me e-mail. No, I really don't think the end is near but those people look like they're having so much fun I had to try. Although I think there is a downward spiral to Magic lately. Let's start with...
Magic Software: The Horror
Recently Acclaim, with the what-the-hello-were-we-thinking blessing of
Wizards of the Coast, released such a horribly inept and frighteningly
shoddy game (I think it was supposed to be a game) called Battle Mage which
made its debut from the store shelves directly to Earl's Bargain Basement
Bin (2 for $1). Any words used to describe this "game" is one word too
many. Come to think of it, this entire paragraph is waaay too much but
I'm practicing for when I get paid for every word I write like those InQuest
Even after this, I had no idea what was going to happen next.
A few weeks afterward, Microprose released their long-awaited version
of Magic for the PC. Like other Magic fans I was looking forward to being
able to practice playing Type I and II on the computer. I was happy, overjoyed, enthusiastic, excited...and a complete and utter moron.
After learning that after years of programming and preparation, Magic
for the PC was released using only about 7% of all the existing cards,
I started screaming. A lot. I kept screaming. I couldn't stop. Eventually
some nice men came and took me away, letting me wear a cool white jacket
with lots of shiny new buckles. I was given a warm bed to sleep in, got
to talk to a nice lady called Miss Thera Pest and they gave me all the
funny looking Flintstone vitamins I could swallow. I came home a few days
ago and completely forgot what I was going to say next... oh ... sorry.
What the #^@# ##!! was WotC and Microprose thinking??!?!! We spend
friggin *YEARS* waiting for this game and it's not even remotely current?
You can't play Type I; you can't play Type II and did anyone even think
about releasing a game with 4th edition cards mere weeks before 4th edition
was dropped and 5th edition was rotated in? Huh? *push* Yeah, that's right *shove* I'm talking to you!
...Please excuse me, as I just returned from another visit with the
Shiny Buckle People and I'd like to apologize for my unseemly but startlingly correct outburst. They even gave me some of those weird Flintstone chewables to take home with me. *sigh* And I never knew I had a kitten...
Anyways, it seems that WotC and Microprose have come up with the only
perpetual beta product on the market... and for the honor of using it they
expect you to pay like $50 for it. Microprose has also come up with the
nifty idea of continuously updating this piece of running vaporware with
expansion disks for even more $$$$. Neat, huh? And the best part is they
think that if you were stupid enough to buy it in the first place then
you'd be stupid enough to keep paying for updates in a vain effort to get
a whole product, which will never happen. After taking this long for Magic
on the PC to get to where it is (nowhere) there's no way you'll be able
to do what you want to do on it - play with all the Magic cards to date
or at the very least, play and practice Type II.
And they said I was crazy...
Fifth Edition: Madness and Tigers and Bears, Oh My
After great effort and petting the kitty I never knew I had, I pushed back
all the anger, outrage and flat-out disappointment that WotC's dismal software efforts had evoked in me and eagerly awaited 5th Edition. I was on-line just the other day on WotC's website: (www.wizards.com) and grabbed their 5th Edition Card List. I looked for the good news first. They added the beloved Atog, the annoying Blinking Spirit, the cool Deflection, the fine, fine Fallen Angel, the mighty Pox, nasty Necropotence, the neat Wyluli
Wolf and the unpredictable Zur's Weirding. Good so far. Then I looked at
what they took out. Gone were the Whelp, Hypnos, Mishra's Factories, Mahamoti Djinns, Royal Assassin, Sengir Vampire, Serra Angel, Uthden Troll and Will-O-Wisp. WHAT????!!
They castrated 5th Edition! They took out the Serra and gave us a SERAPH???! For the same casting cost I could get an Archangel, you putz! And why the kelp did they leave in the Helm of Chatzuk, Bird Maiden, Pearled Unicorn...and why give us Serpent Generator, Foxfire, Blessed Wine, Homarid Warrior and Arenson's Aura? How did they pick what to add or remove? Did they play Spin the Bottle or toss darts blindfolded?!
I have a distinct feeling that after great sets like Alliances, Mirage
and Visions even most new people will thumb their noses at 5th edition.
Hey, maybe they actually did think this out and this is WotC's covert and
amazingly smart effort to get people to start playing Type I and 1.5. After
all, T2 was originally created to help people learn how to play Magic and
if they avoid 5th edition, they *have* learned. Bwahahahahahahahahaha!
(maniacal laughter continues until Quard is taken again for treatment
by the Shiny Buckle People)
** HI THERE **
This is Ferratio, Quard's imaginary trained typing ferret (who for some
reason he thought was a cat). Well, since Laughing Schizophrenic Boy is
away, I'm going to have to finish Quard's Corner for him with a Q&A
session. Anyone got any questions for me?
Q: Sure Ferratio. Why in Quard's articles does he constantly
make fun of Type II? What is he, one of those ultra-rich Type I Mr. Suitcase
geeks? - David F., Bronx NY
A: No, not at all. He plays all the formats. The reason you don't
see him making cracks about T1 is that there's nothing to say. Everyone
knows and accepts the rules and there's very little whining. In T2 however,
crying towels, ear plugs and a case of Gerber strained peas are mandatory.
Q: I know three ways to stop recursion in Sealed. Ebony Charm,
Dissipate and Null Chamber. Are there more? - Jason, NYC NY
A: Yes, there's Bazaar of Wonders for starters and there's always
throwing your opponent's deck out a window when the judge isn't looking
(or was that throwing your opponent out a... never mind).
Q: Why does WotC keep selling us expansions with 15-cards boosters?
A: Better question is why are you still buying it? Seriously
though, more and more people are complaining about the amount of chaff
in boxes of Magic -- keep telling them how you feel. After enough pressure,
WotC will be forced to put 45 rares in a box (12card packs, 45packs per box).
Q: Personally, it's getting too expensive with the current rate
of expansions WotC is throwing out the door. I have a job, a decent one,
but I do have other expenses as well. I'm sure WotC doesn't care about
my finances, and that's fine. I used to be able to stay on top of it but
with three sets released per year it's getting harder. If I can't stay
on top to compete, I'll have to bail. I wonder if I'm the only one who
feels like this. - Dr. Peter Jackson, Sandusky Ohio
A: Rest assured, you're not the only one who feels that three
expansions/stand-alones per year is too much to keep up with. WotC resurrected this old churn-em-out-fast strategy a while ago and had to slow down due to public outcry. I think they'll be forced to slow down again soon. Remember to drop WotC Customer service a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and make your complaint known so they stop saying they get few calls on the matter.
Q: I won a tourney recently with a deck I copied straight from
a magazine and when people found out, they keep riding me about it. As
I see it, even though it was someone else's deck, it still took some skill
to play it. A person could be given the best deck in the world, but if
he can't play worth a damn, then he will never go anywhere. Give me credit,
I played the deck the way it should have been played and I won! - Kate
L. Dupe, San Jose CA
A: Takes skill to play it right? Puhleeese! That's the same old
tired and pathetically lame excuse you people use every time to cover up
the fact that you're lazy, un-original, pathetic magic players. Take forty
people with the same deck to a local tournament and guess what deck usually
wins? Duh. Go stick your head in a Xerox, Copy Boy!
Q: I was playing in a tournament the other day with my Dragon
deck and I had Zerilan of the Claw in play. I paid the 1RR to bring my
Vaevictis Asmadi in play from my deck but the judge told me I couldn't
do it. What drugs was he on, it clearly says "Summon Elder Dragon Legend."
- Ian Right, Paterson NJ
A: Wizards of the Coast issued errata to all the Elder Dragons
to ensure that they remain totally unplayable. All Elder Dragons have been
ruled to read Summon Legend instead. Rumor has it that if they are ever
reprinted, all artwork will be changed to yellow citrus fruits with wings.
Q: I think Magic is too powerful! There must be some way to slow
it down. - Gregg Freid, NH
A: You'll be happy to know with the release of 5th Edition, Magic
has slowed down so much you now have time to actually watch a snail commit
suicide by slinking over a cliff starting from 50 feet away.
Q: I hate the de-sleeve for any reason policy. What can I do
about it until WotC/DCI suddenly bites a clue? - Diane K., Vermont
A: Simple, do what Quard does. He tapes plastic Glad Bags to
his hands and this way it protects his cards just fine. There is no DCI
policy to date to cover an opponent de-sleeving his hands.
Q: What was your reaction upon reading the 5e list? - Hally,
A: I vomited into my water bowl. Twice. And I can't get fresh
water until Laughing Boy returns from the institute.
** SPECIAL NOTE ** Quard so was upset at all the crummy rares
they put into 5th Edition that he has vowed to return them to WotC after
feeding them to his shredder. If you would like to participate in the "Thanks but No Thanks for These Stupid 5E Rares" program, send any 5th Edition RARE cards that you think sucks lemons to:
Vincent B. Navarino
The Street Where my House Is
Somewhere in New York - USA
All crummy 5E Rare cards received will be passed through Quard's shredder
and at the end of April, these cards will be shipped back to Wizard's of
the Coast in their newly shredded form, along with a very nicely worded
"No Thank You Note." Feel free to enclose in your submissions a little
note explaining why you think the Rares you are sending to be shredded
Are there any Magic related questions you'd like to ask me that might
see print in an upcoming Quard's Corner? If so, e-mail your questions to
me at email@example.com.
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 you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All feedback received is welcomed.
Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor
he doesn't like.