Quard's Corner: Ferratio for President, Attack of the Rabid Bandicoots and the Lemming that Wanted to Lead and Not Follow (I was going to call this article Quard-a-palooza but I like being original)
by Vincent Navarino
Welcome one and all to the place where Magic and humor co-exist without being called Homelands. Hello there and welcome to this month's installment (I'm poor and have to make payments) of... (I'm not going to say it, you'll have to guess where you are). If you're still lost, raise your hand. Look around and count the number of hands. Know what you have? Neither do I; just wanted to see if you'd do it. Now lift both arms and quack like a ducky.
For those of you that are new here, I'm afraid that I must be the bearer of bad news. You are now in a region where a fly-headed, red-clawed self-professed Magic humorist repeatedly succumbs to the ravings of the eight voices in his crowded cranium and forces an imaginary trained typing ferret, named Ferratio, to type everything you see here. The ferret has a craving for kittens dipped in Cheese-Wiz (Velveta gives him gas) and the words insane, stark-raving loony and completely bonkers is frowned upon by the author and Voices #1 through 6 (#7 and 8 are right behind you waiting for you to even *think* of notifying the Shiny Buckle People of my escape. Yes, that's them with the large axes. Put down the phone. Now back away slooowly....)
For those of you who know where you are and did not come here by accident, I can only start by stating that you people are sick; demented and wig me out big time. Yes, I'm still a bit upset at the lack of hate mail and I'm feeling sulky right now... what do I have to do, dress up as a 6' 4" dancing brussel sprout?
I was thumbing through someone's discarded Tempest Storybook and Mirage rulebook the other day and started to think of what might happen if I was hired by WotC to do all their rulebooks. Here's what I came up with (buckle up):
Quard's Approach to a Future Magic Expansion Rulebook
This expansion is tentatively titled "CuttingBack"
[u]Flow of the Game as Explained by the Criminally (Tried but not Convicted) Insane[/u]
Untap: At the beginning of every turn you must play TAPS in reverse. If you fail to do so, you will be drafted to the WotC Highschool band in Seattle Washington, where you will have to mindlessly recite "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the ukulele. With your nose.
Upkeep: We have no idea how to explain this phase to you since it did not appear on pg.4 of the Tempest storybook along with the rest of the things you have to do in a turn and we forgot what Upkeep was. That's alright, just wing it like we do the rules or excuses why cards were pulled from the core set.
Think: This step is optional for some.
Draw: Draw a card from your library. It doesn't have to be that good a rendition but if your opponent cannot tell what it is after three minutes of guessing, you can't cast it. Drawing a horsey, bunny or a conclusion is acceptable but frowned upon by art critics and animal rights activists everywhere. (If you're wondering what animal rights activists have to do with that sentence, you just try drawing a bunny incorrectly next to one of those people...ouchies.)
Laying a Land: Obvious joke avoided, dignity intact. Play a land. You can cover your body with shrubbery to simulate a forest, dunk yourself in mud to be a swamp, wear a Pet Rock on your head to be a mountain, sit in the middle of a kiddie-sized wading pool to be an island or dress up as Herve Villachez in a little white suit to be a plain. (If you didn't get that joke, don't be alarmed. If you start to understand the humor that's when I'd start panicking.) Somehow many tournament players appear to accidentally be dressed up as swamps when attending tourneys. Go figure.
Attack: You may attack with any and all of your creatures, friends or relatives. Projectile weapons are for the weak and grenades can take out too much good furniture. Heavy clubs and long wooden planks are nifty and remember, however that edged weapons can obscure card text with blood splatters.
Defense (It's around DeYard?): When attacked, your opponent may block with some, all or none of his creatures, friends or relatives. Each creature can block a single attacker (unless he brings his Aunt Ida to bear - she can block about four large attackers). Blocking doesn't tap a creature but neither does taking your dog for a walk or watching old Star Trek reruns, so one has to wonder why we even mentioned the blocking doesn't tap thingy in the first place.
Damage Dealing: You have to deal a card to anyone named Damage that's playing against you. If you're not playing against someone that's legally named Damage, then skip this step as it's irrelevant (No, the big grey things with the large ears and long nose is an elephant; it's not the same thing so relax.)
Breathe: This step is mandatory. Unfortunately for some.
Play Creatures: This is the fun part except if you're playing a Vampire. If you cringe at drinking blood you can substitute Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, Fruit Juicy Red Hawaiian Punch or if you're one of those health nuts...(shudder)...V8 vegetable juice. Ugh. You can win brownie points if you have the best costume at a tournament. A side note here, you can use a vacuum cleaner or pretend to be either a black hole or dress up as a giant yellow citrus fruit to play any card that sucks.
Discard (No, ThatCard! No, DesCard! No DatCard!): If you have more cards than you have fingers on one hand, at the end of your turn you must equalize the number of fingers or cards in your hand; the choice is yours.
The Complete Back Story to CuttingBack
It's been twelve bazillion years since Mishra and Urza were last seen in Dominaria. Blah blah blah. The land has changed and several new totally sucky and moronically inept creature races have appeared that thankfully make up, oh, about 85% of this expansion so all of us in R&D could take a break for a few years and work on a real backstory that maybe someone would actually care to remember. The sun in Dominaria is starting to pulse erratically now; that's why all the cards in this edition are a little blurry and appear to be drawn with crayons. Thanks to the kids at Westfield Elementary that did all of the cards for CuttingBack. Due to the sun going nova soon, we won't be needing any artists for the next expansion of CuttingBack, called DownSizing, because everyone knows when a sun goes nova it gets really really dark afterwards and you can't see a thing.
[u]Heroes and Villains[/u]
Lawng Ears: Lawng, a heroic member of the Ra-bete Rebellion, captains the USS Karrot on its mission to crack the defenses of the evil Elm-her Empire and rescue the great General Kwik and his daughter Chalkahlat.
The Karrot: Perhaps the most brilliant ship in the whole Bawnee fleet; a unique legendary artifact. With her tapered bright orange sides and green top, the USS Karrot is a symbol of hope for the nightblind and malnourished people of Karrotin.
General Fuhd: Leader of the Evil Elm-her Empire, Fuhd will not rest until he has Lawng Ears in his sights, stewpot and keychain. Fuhd is so obsessed with Lawng Ears that he has adopted "Kill the Ra-bete" as his personal battle-cry.
Lieutenant Peat Pooh Ma: Peat Pooh Ma is General Fuhd's right hand man and has been tracking Lawng Ears all across Dominaria yelling "Here Bawnee, Bawnee, Bawnee Ra-bete!" incessantly as he eagerly chases his prey across the multiverse.
Incomprehensibility:- some new creature abilities are not meant to be easily used so we jumbled all the letters to all the words that make up the ability on these cards around. This way no matter how bad the card is you won't know it for a few hours at least. Unless you're a fan of 5e, then you'll be most pleased with our latest creation called Johnny the Wonder Stick. It has over 1,000 uses. It's a sword...a bat...a medical probe...
Altered Appearance: this method is also used in various scratch lotteries all across the world. If you think for example, Valkira the Lust Goddess of Lustiness is a totally worthless card, just use a coin and see what happens when you scratch off her armored breastplate. Va-va-va-voom! Not to mention what happens when the ladies see what's under a Giant Kilt Man's kilt.
[u]Some new changes you might notice to the cards in CuttingBack[/u]
Verbosity: all new cards are easily worded, thanks to our experiences with Portal so that there will be no problem figuring out what a card does. Let's take a look at our new Verbosity treatment of a Swamp:
Swamp (A wet low-land region: marsh) Land (The solid part of the surface of the Earth, Dominaria or other planet) Tap (turn card 90 degrees to indicate use): Add (to unite or join so as to increase in size, quantity or scope: append) B (black mana) to your (of our relating to you or yourself) mana (the thing you get when you tap this land) pool (where mana goes in order for you to cast spells).
Since we'll be using the same font we use in all the magic rulebooks that come with starter decks, we had no problems making all the cards easily explained.
[u]A Sample Game [/u]
Bakadolando and Galadangalang are playing. Each has a deck of about 450 Magic cards. Bakadolando and Galadangaland are using M&M's to indicate their life totals (Green for 5, yellows are 1 and blues mark cards of theirs that are played in each other's territories. First Bak and Gal attempt to shuffle their cards using the DCI's official shuffling rules. Gal performs her riffle shuffling to perfection but every time Bak tries this his cards rocket in all directions (the standard 52 Card Pick-up formation) and Gal's eye is poked out from a flying Armored Pegasus. Gal has to go to the hospital for eye surgery and Bak is attempting to learn how to riffle shuffle properly with his non-carpal tunnel injured hand while he fills out his scorecard with the other hand.
[u]Sample Game #2 [/u]
Galadangaland after recovering from eye surgery attempts to find another magic opponent. She goes to the local Magic store and finds a youth named Hidongorimbodo. Hidongorimbodo uses the sharp stick method to keep track of his life (he imbeds sharp sticks into his sister's favorite doll, a Betsie Wetsie). Both players agree not to use the DCI procedures for shuffling and instead just pile sort their cards prior to beginning the game. Hid cannot believe he even sitting next to a girl, let alone playing against one and is slightly distracted during the game as his adolescent imagination runs wild. Gal attacks and one of her Radjan Spirits gets through Hid's defenses. She smiles and says "Take three." Hid's brain accidentally translates "Take three" to "Take me." Hid's hand shoots out to touch Gal's hand and accidentally propels the barbed Betsie Wetsie into Gal's good eye. Galadangaland goes to the hospital as Hid contemplates what might have been if he didn't blind his opponent.
[u]Sample Game #3 [/u]
Galadangaland enters the hotel holding a Pro Tour Qualifier lead by her Seeing-Eye dog, Rusty. A Magic judge is assigned to be her eyes for the duration of the tournament. In the third round she is matched up with a well-known already qualified Pro Tour Player who is a known cheater. Her opponent, out of his element since he has to actually play the game due to the eagle-eyed judgeís presence quickly loses the first game to Galís skillful original deck and masterful play (not to mention the watching judge). With barely a second away from losing the last game to Gal, he asks for her deck to be checked. The judge does so and after her opponent points out to the judge that all of her cards have little raised dots on the back theyíre marked and that Gal is a cheater. Gal explains to the judge that the word stamped on the back says Magic in braille but the Pro Tour Player starts talking to a camera crew and his father starts to threaten a lawsuit. Quickly, even though there is confirmation that the word is indeed Magic written in braille on all her cards, Gal is dismissed from the PTQ for marked cards by the Head of the Tournament Organizers and labeled a cheater. Her Pro Tour opponent threatens legal action on all his future opponents before he loses to them and glides to easily winning the PTQ. (On a good note, Rusty peed on his leg during the match.)
Quiz Section: Now that you have read the 3,357 pages that comprise the Rules Section (and also read the Rules Disclaimer stating that any of the rules you read just now will be denied as being a rule), you are ready to answer these simple questions:
A protection from creature means:
(A) A creature cannot be targeted by a creature, spell or effect.
(B) The creature is immune to the effects of Egg Foo Young.
(C) What the hell is a foo? "Mr. T pity the foo that messed with my creature!"
(D) The card resists old bad animated childrenís shows like Hong Kong Fuey.
Some of the ways you can kill your opponent is:
(A) By reducing his life total to zero or less.
(B) Striking him repeatedly with a croquet mallet.
(C) Running him out of cards.
(D) Pushing him out of a perfectly good airplane, sans chute.
(E) Getting him a job on Star Trek where he wears a red shirt and is assigned to go alone to check out "that cave with all the growling."
An inflatable creature is:
(A) The size of the fish that got away as you keep telling the story.
(B) A creature that can increase its size and/or toughness like Frozen Shade or ugh... a Karplusan Giant.
(C) A professional athlete that takes anaerobic steroids.
(D) What some people have under their beds that they call a girlfriend (that collapses when they pinch that valve on the side of her neck).
(E) Those things you see in New York at the Macyís Thanksgiving Parade.
Big Blue is:
(A) Time Walk, Ancestral Recall and Timetwister.
(B) A huge and powerful computer company that made a really poor operating System called OS/2.
(C) Babe the Blue Ox, Paul Bunyan after he held his breath for 18 hours and a Humpback Whale.
(D) Time Warp, Inspiration and (snicker) Diminishing Returns.
(E) An obese Blues singer.
A Mana Source is:
(A) Probably the worst concept that was ever invented since snow-covered lands.
(B) Dark Ritual, Songs of the Dead, Sacrifice and Burnt Offering.
(C) A land. It says so somewhere in my Mirage starter deck rulebook.
(D) Living proof that we could really care less about the rules of this game making any sense as long as you people keep buying our cards.
(E) The factory where all our land cards are printed.
[u]A Brief Note on House Rules[/u]
If you donít like any of the rules of the game you are free to buy someone elseís game. We havenít swallowed up all the good CCGís out there yet and weíd rather you didnít tarnish our solid and concise rules structure that took us zero effort or even our slightest attention. Weíd rather you looked upon us all as Gods and keep buying whatever we choose to give you. If you think a card or a rule sucks then you obviously are demented, deranged and too smart for us to obtain full access to your wallets and weíd much rather you didnít play the game at all. Itís people like you that made 5th Edition the failure that it is and now we might even have to re-think our further dilution of the main set that was to become 6th Edition (Tentatively titled: Weak Beyond Belief). You people make us sick. We now have to work four days a week...
(Pssst...if any of you WotC Research & Development staffers out there laughed at the four days a week line, please email me and Iíll tell you where you can send the boxes of Tempest and Stronghold)
[u]Past Magic History Quiz [/u]
The following questions are designed to test your knowledge of the history of the game we all know and love.
One of the good points about the creation of 5th Edition is:
(A) The cards suck up dust and dirt like nobodyís business.
(B) By comparison, any new expansion rocks.
(C) Hill Giant finally kicks ass!!!
(D) Finally there was a time where your wallet had time to recover because you didnít buy any Magic cards.
The Reprint Policy was put together to:
(A) Make your black-bordered Vampire Bat collection more valuable.
(B) Protect the retailersí rights to suck the marrow out of their customers.
(C) Protect the customersí rights to pay high prices for good cards now since they donít like to pay 2U more mana to play a Time Walk.
(D) To make us laugh at all the silly people out there that bought our excuse that we were protecting the consumers...haha....rofl....teehee.
The De-sleeve Policy was made to:
(A) Ensure players everywhere had the right to attempt to stop cheaters.
(B) Allow whiny the opportunity to make sure your Moxes were just as valuable as a Lionís Eye Diamond.
(C) Ensure that eventually people would have to buy more cards as theirs wore out
(D) Teach everyone that the person with more money has an advantage over the person that canít keep replacing his cards that wear out. Lifeís not fair, itís time you all learned that and grew up.
A Pro Tour Player is:
(A) A person who won a Pro Tour Qualifier
(B) A person that tears his clothes
(C) A person that constantly whines on the newsgroups how some stupid Judge made a bad call by not letting him manipulate the rules way past the stupidity barrier.
(D) A person that wins by knowing that you canít counter interrupts if itís the third Thursday of the month and itís raining.
Getting Help: If you have any questions about Magic, weíre here to help you. For quick rules questions, call our staff at Customer Service. For accurate replies, email us at email@example.com where we will forward your questions to one of the (giggle) non-existent members of our fictitious Rules Team who would be happy to get back to you as soon as we actually hire them.
And now itís time once again to answer all your burning questions:
Q: I tried to download Oracle and it was in PDF format. I am curious what does .PDF stand for? - Bill T.
A: Please Donít Finish it. Judges who tried to help it already recognize Oracle as a lost cause, causing far more problems than itíd solve. Itís like publishing the Wylie memoirs. Bad idea. Iíve talked to many high level judges and all of them do not want to be recognized as having contributed in any way to such a disaster.
Q: What are your feelings about the De-sleeve rule, Quard? - Dave F.
A: People started talking about the shuffler decks being unsportsmanlike since it will intentionally cause damage to peopleís cards; I feel the same way about the de-sleeve rule as that is what will eventually happen to your cards (worn and damaged) if people make you play without them. There should only be a re-sleeve policy for worn, questionable sleeves and under no circumstances should you be forced to let your cards wear out because your opponent is exercising his right to be a moron.
Q: I am a frustrated Pro Tour judge and volunteer, how can I finally make a decent wage? - John G.
A: You canít. With a million plus dollars being awarded each year at a Pro Tour one would think that there was money being paid to all the judges and volunteers that make such events possible. However, they usually donít get what you could call paid and no one seems to care. Right now as we speak most judges are travelling to China to get arrested for speaking up for human rights. The money theyíd earn in prison making Nike sneakers pays way more than judging or volunteering at a Pro Tour (not to mention the better hours and working conditions).
Q: Do you have scruples? - Eileen B.
A: Sure, theyíre in this jar right here...see? Oh, thatís my two cents...sorry. Now where did those scruples go off to?
Q: Hey Quard, I hear the MTPA actually voted on how to keep track of life totals, whatís next The MTPA coin-flipper? - Jim S.
A: The MTPA Official Coin Flipping Device has three sides on it (Me! Me!! and Me!!!). Their most accurate Membership Counting Device adds 2,000 to the total when they hit the = key.
Q: If WotC doesnít start stopping all the cheaters out there that everyone knows are on the Pro Tour, what would a Pro Tour Playerís kit contain, if there was such a thing? - Brandon J.
A: Pro Tour players kit would have: Crying towel with excuses for losing written all over it, loaded dice, rotary life counter with concealed springs that after its set back one it whips back to the previous life total, and a bunch of "Bethmo said" phony internet messages with the name Wylie crossed off. Seriously though this is not to say that all Pro Tour players are cheaters but as most people that have any clue as to whatís going on at the Pro Tour knows, there are a lot of cheaters out there on the circuit and little or no effort is being made by the DCI to catch such individuals. It is this inaction that will forever tarnish the Pro Tour as long as cheaters are not welcomed by the DCI as they are now.
Q: Hey Quard, do you have any inside information to share with us about that future expansion, Urzaís Saga? - Kyle L.
A: Well, I did manage to sneak a peak at some of the cards but I only remember some of the flavor text such as "My other artifact is an Ornithopter", "Mishra was recently caught whizzing in Urzaís Chalice" and " Hey! Thatís mine - Mishra and Urza as kids."
Q: Hey Quard man, I get a little confused about players and judges at tournaments and wonder if both groups are sincere when they say things like "Sorry" or "Youíre so right about that ruling" could you help us out? - Danny V.
A: Sure, I have been on both sides of the fence and am totally willing to translate for you.
What a Player Says......................................................... What a Player Really Means
Did I draw a card? ................................................................I am a cheater.
Did I lay a land?.................................................................... I am a big fat cheater.
I lost?....................................................................................... My opponent is a cheater.
I thought I had 12 life, sorry.............................................. I think he knows I am a cheater.
Whoa! I managed to topdeck what I needed................ I cheat good!
I didnít manage to topdeck what I needed. ................ I forgot how I marked my Bolts
What a Judge Says.............................................. What a Judge Really Means
I hear you. ..................................................................Why are you talking to me?
I understand................................................................ Tough cookies nimwit.
Iím sorry but the correct rule is............................ What a moron
You canít Terror a White Knight. ..........................I canít believe you dressed yourself without help.
Q: Hey Quard, why arenít you writing for the Duelist? You donít like them? - Jackson C.
A: Whoa there pal, I have nothing but respect for all the Duelist staffers and yes, Iíd like to someday write for them if they wanted me, but I have never applied to them. The reason is simple and a tad bizarre. Iím having a lot of fun doing the Corner here and enjoying all your emails and making you all laugh out loud and occasionally choking with mirth as you attempt to launch carbonated beverages out of your nasal passages. Iím satisfied with what I am doing now doing that voodoo that I do, and if I ever hear from the Duelist that theyíd like me to write some Magic humor for them, then thatíll be just ducky too. There are links to my email address at the top and bottom of this article after all. As my father always told me "If someone wants you son, theyíll know where your address is." Then again, heís the same father that told me the Ultimate Truth was "Never feed a love-sick rhino."
Q: Hey Quard, why do you always take more than a month to post each new Quardís Corner? - Dan
A: Thatís funny, there were always new articles every month. I never said Iíd hand them in on the first of the month now did I? The two before this one were not handed in by the first of the month like I usually do though and I was happy to see that lots of people noticed this. Well, the last one was late because I had a terrible ear infection and the one before that was late because I was kidnapped by a Zakk-Dorn Slay Beastie from the Andromeda Galaxy. The other 12 were on-time because there was nothing good on Voyager (like there ever is?)
Q: Quad, I am 43 years old. Is this too old to start playing Magic? - TXvictor
A: Nope, but apparently itís too old to start getting my name right...
Quote of the Month:
" " - Jeff Donais after losing his voice after talking for 36 hours.
(We hear he was trying to explain Mana Sources at a tournament)
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 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 over 3 years. If you'd like to talk with him please feel free to send him e-mail at email@example.com. All feedback received is welcomed.
Warning: any hate mail will be forwarded to a neighbor he doesn't like.
[Author's Note: It's become perfectly clear at this point that if I waited for someone to come along to usurp my title as a Magic humorist, I'd die of natural causes and never retire to an island paradise surrounded by scantily clad natives. Grrrrr! Originally appeared in the July 1998 issue of the Vault e-zine]