[Author's Note: I sometimes wear a button
that reads: Temporarily Insane; but that's not really important right now.
Originally appeared in the June 1997 issue of the Vault e-zine]
Quard's Corner: Welcome to My Neighborhood
Welcome once again to that corner of Vault that is my own private little
playground; a place where I can show you all a glimpse into my mind without
any interference from the real life Shiny Buckle People. An electronic
wonderland in which an imaginary trained typing ferret named Ferratio helps
me in my mission of Magic jocularity (no that's not that strange dental
floss underwear they make guys wear in gym class) and people such as yourself read every word because you believe that if you didn't I'd come over to your houses for dinner like I threatened to. For all you readers out there that say you'd like to see me write for the Duelist, I thank you. And for all of you who said I make you laugh and that I was quite funny I thank
you also. Oh... and a personal note of thanks goes to a Dr. Earl J. Lindham
of the Weaver Psychiatric Hospital in New Orleans for sending me a one
year supply of Lithium and those two twelve-story mutants called Orderlies
that keep making sure I take them.
Actually that last statement is completely and utterly (no, that's not
where milk from cows come out) false, it's just that for some strange reason
you people out there seem to yuck it up every time I hint that I'm a stark
raving lunatic that's one buckle short of a full straight jacket. *Whew*
Ahhh... thanks Egor for letting go of my arm, I promise I'll be good now.
Before we do the normal Q&A session, there are a few points I'd
like to discuss, kinda general questions from people that keep asking for
1. I have, to my deepest displeasure, still not received any
hate-mail. There was one false attempt sent to me by someone noticing I
wanted hate-mail, but it's just not right unless it's sincere. Perhaps
in an upcoming Quard's Corner I'll stop sprinkling in the truth and make
stuff up ala the National Enquirer (I was a tad peeved about not finding
the face of Elvis on Mars when I visited the planet of my birth last summer).
2. Many thanks go to all the women out there that not only want
me to have a date after three years but expressed a desire to see me naked.
For that, I thank you. Especially the woman who wanted to play unclad Twister with me.
3. I had no idea of what word keeps popping up on all your spell
checkers when you type Ferratio. It's not my fault, I had no clue of this
when I named my imaginary compatriot. Shame on you all and get your minds
out of the ##@#*^& gutters!
4. I have no desire to put up a 5th Edition Sucks website as
some of you suggested. Most of you are already aware of this, so there's
really no need to do so on my part. Also I am proud to announce that my
"Send in Your 5E Sucky Rares" program has gone down in flames; according
to my e-mail and people I talk to, the reason no one's sending in any 5th
is that virtually no one is buying it. I will send the ones given to me
by a disgusted purchaser when he bought a few packs and realized too late
how bad it was.
6. I am not a Zakk-Dorn Slay Beastie from the Andromeda Galaxy
that has arrived here disguised as a black robed red handed figure with
a large fly head seeking world domination, good American beer and a ten-minute chat with the people who don't answer mail at the Dooless Convocation. Everyone knows the easy way to spot a Zakk-Dorn Slay Beastie is their inability to count from one to ten.
5. I cannot help the fact that MITTF's (short for my imaginary
trained typing ferret's) favorite food is kittens covered in Cheese-Wiz.
Besides, it's an imaginary ferret so it stands to reason they're imaginary
kittens covered in imaginary Cheese-Wiz. With that said, I do so hope those
animal rights activists will stop picketing my house. Not to mention the
lawyers who keep calling me that represent the makers of Cheese-Wiz.
And now with all that off my chest, along with a slobbering member of
the weasel family, it's Q&A time.
Q: How exactly are prices for single cards actually arrived at,
Quard? Who decides these ridiculous prices? Do the editors of Scrye and
InQuest throw darts at a dart board, add up their score, and put that as
the cost for a random card? Am I close? -Tim Guillette, Boston, MA
A: Well Tim, most of the magazines actually get those prices
for their guides by getting some stores that sell Magic singles to report
back to them what they charge for their cards. Then all the other stores
read said magazine and charge the same thing, and for some bizarre reason
these mags think this legitimizes the outrageous prices in their guides.
It's like the Duelist having someone who worked for the company that produced that Magic: The Gathering CD-ROM game review the game and trumpet how great it is (which of course we all rest easy knowing that such a thing would never happen!)
Q: Quard, I agree there are really no new deck ideas but what
the hell do you want me to do? Play Merfolk? Maybe a Zombie deck? All the
decks are copied because they win (don't ask me why). Seriously though,
when is WotC gonna get it into their heads to tell the bunnies at R&D
to make new things for new decks? Speaking of bunnies, go bring your imaginary ferret to R&D because ferrets love to eat rabbits! - Jason Dow, Long Island NY
A: The reason why massively copied decks win is not necessarily
that it's a great deck, but rather that so many people are playing it,
it's bound to win tournaments. Let's try an experiment...take any deck
you make up, get 20 friends to play it in the same tournament and keep
doing it - then you'll have the latest deck sensation once the word spreads,
and more people copy it. Oh, and call it the Quard deck so I get the credit
and get silly people to worship my every word. Oh, and as for WotC R&D coming up with new card ideas for decks, they've been doing a pretty fine
job in that area. Now if they stopped creating tremendously overcosted
cards that they call fixed instead of useless and paid attention to the
wording of some of the cards (Impulse, Sands of Time, City of Solitude,
etc.) before they went to print so there'd be less errata, we'd all be
happier. Perhaps I should apply to WotC and ask for a job in their Magic
Quality Control Department to help them in this area? I think I could handle
it. Lastly, Ferratio wants you to know that from his personal experience
bunnies don't taste nearly as good as kittens.
Q: In regards to your "Send in Your 5E Crappy Rares program"...interesting idea you got there, but why just send the crappy rares? There are lots of common and uncommon slots that are filled with junk (Shrink, Dan-Dan, Enervate, Aurochs, Shield Bearer, etc.) All of these wasted slots should be brought to WotC's attention, too. - Ryan H, Internet
A: Well, you're right there Ryan, but when I started to propose
exactly that, several members of the Post Office Militia wielding very
big guns came to my house to dissuade me from such a plan. It seems they
realized all the overtime they'd have to pull if people sent in all the
cards in 5E that bit. Of course, being the quick-witted, defiant and intellectual person that I am, I caved in to their demands after 5 seconds (in which time they only fired off 1,200 rounds of ammo).
Q: I would like to know where you think the "good sportsmanship
line" should be drawn in Magic tournament. I think that we can both agree
that badgering your opponent, insulting them, and trying to distract them
crosses the line, but what about more benign actions? For example, while
in the semifinals of a sealed deck tournament, my opponent became very
irate when I tried to make conversation during the game. I promptly apologized, but I still wonder if I had crossed the line of if he was simply not a talkative person. Oh, yes, one other thing. If my opponent makes an illegal play that affects the outcome of a match at a tourney, and I don't realize it until after the match, what happens? Thanks a bunch. - Eric, Internet
A: Firstly, I think the good sportsmanship line should be drawn
on your opponent's forehead. If he crosses the line, you get to bash him
on said line with a 50 lb. sledge hammer. Secondly, there's nothing wrong
with trying to be a nice guy and have a conversation with a fellow Magic
player. If he has a problem with it, fine; you just sat back and played
the game after that, which is fine too - no harm done. It's all those trash-talking PT wanna be/beens Jedi Mind Tricking fools that are the problem. As to your last question - if you don't catch the mistake until the duel is over the results stand.
Q: What do you think of people that use Baxterian Jedi Mind Tricks
to try to gain an advantage over their opponents in a duel? - Adam, NY
A: I find that I've always had a distinct advantage over playing
against people trying Jedi Mind Tricks since it's obvious they left their
minds at home and mine is still in my head where it belongs.
Q: Is it a good idea to be feeding my cat Mirage fetchlands?
-Tamas Remenyi, Ontario
A: Not really, no. Sadly, Mirage fetch lands have no play or
nutritional value. Rumor has it that WotC's getting so tired of people
complaining about bad cards that all future Magic cards will come laced
with perfume so that they'll be able to honestly say no new Magic cards
stink (they thought of this instead of making sure that there would be
no more Lion's Eye Diamonds). I think they should add Riboflavin.
Q: At what point will the majority of Magic players realize that
Mark Rosewater is a tyrant, who has too much power? -Roby Tachew, NY
A: Mark Rosewater wanted me to tell you that he is not a tyrant
and to prove it he has commanded his followers to let you live. Sorry to
hear about your puppy though...
Q: Hey, (don't let the fact that I'm from AOL disturb you) if
you were a Magic card, what type would you be? A mana source, an interrupt,
an instant, or a sorcery? - Julia, Internet
A: I'd say of all the card types, I'd have to be a mana source,
this way no one could ever stop, interrupt, or explain me. My first answer
was a tad naughty and I would have said I'd like to be a land. Try to figure
Q: I'm just wondering if WotC thinks of us, the players, as stupid.
I'm referring to the fact that ever since Mirage, they printed what flanking, xWalk, etc. is on every card that has it. What?! We can't remember what it does? And even if we didn't, we could always look it up in their "new", "superior", "easier to understand", with "excellent examples" rule book. (Oh.. wait. Never mind. - Luskin, Internet
A: I really have no response to your question as I was laughing
so hard Ferratio had to type my response as well as call 911 to get someone
to put my esophagus back inside my body. The only thing I can say is that
every rule book ever made should only have one page with the following
text in it: "Ask a friend who already knows how play." When all rule books
have errata it's time to go play a nice game of checkers in the park.
Note: Are there any Magic related questions you'd like to ask me that
might see print in an upcoming Quard's Corner in Vault? 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 three 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.