by Nick “Djinn” Bonham
Back again for article numero dos! Lots to discuss so let’s get crackalackin’….
THE M10 CHANGES
Let’s cut right to it, it’s been about a week now and the net has been all a buzz about the new M10 changes. Everyone seems to have an opinion about them and for the most part all of them voice a sour disliking towards them. Despite what most people have said, however, I never got the impression that these players are taking a “sky is falling” attitude towards Magic. Rather most are simply asking “Why?” including me. Most Magic players are very smart and will naturally question these changes especially if there is a doubt about its necessity.
Why do things change? Usually we apply a change if something is wrong or to make something more efficient. If we make that something Magic, then it makes sense for Magic players to grow frustrated. As players, we do not see that there is something so wrong with the game that it requires this kind of change.
We also feel that the changes do not make the game more efficient. I’d like to make it clear that I’m not opposed to change. I am, however, opposed to change for the sake of change itself. Which I feel, most often than not, has a tendency to make things worse instead of better.
But before anyone (including me) makes any broad strokes towards how bad this all is, I encourage you to sit down and play with the new rules. I have played a couple games and the combat is definitely different than what we are used to. All the other changes seem more like housecleaning moves.
Here’s how I feel about each of the changes:
1. Simultaneous Mulligans
This is a good thing, and a very minor thing. With people pile shuffling after every mulligan while the other player sits and watches before even looking at their opening grip to determine if they have to do the same thing…yeah, a lot of actual match play time is burning up. Just mulligan and get it done. This is a fair rule, and I gather most folks don’t have a problem with it.
2. Battlefield / Exile
The biggest argument I’ve heard is that these terminology changes took the game from geeky to GEEKY. You know what? They could have named battlefield “The Twinkleberry Zone” or exile “Oblivion Sector 12”. It still doesn’t change the fact that we play a geeky little game called Magic. If we’re all more than comfortable casting elves and faeries, then using Battlefield and Exile isn’t going to be a big stretch for any of us now will it? It’s just color, that’s all. Move along.
3. Mana Pools emptying / No Mana Burn
This isn’t really a big deal. I don’t ever think in terms of “I better be careful that I don’t take burn!” This change will not alter the way most play the game.
4. Token Ownership
5. Damage no longer uses the stack.
To me it seems that this makes things a bit harder than easier, at least initially. I’m not opposed to learning or mastering something that is difficult, but will other players? On the surface it also seems that the really interesting creatures with activated and sacrificing abilities become a lot less appealing. My guess is that the casual players will be indifferent to this change. So, if this change infuriates the tournament players and the casual players could care less…then why make the change in the first place if it benefits no one?
It’s unknown what kind of affects this will have on the game in the long term. My guess is that they already have some things in store for us that makes use of these new rules in future sets, thus why the changes are coming now. After some practice and repetitions, I think people will begin to get the hang of the changes. Once Lorwyn rotates out and Zendikar moves in, who knows? The game may even be better with these changes.
Right now, I don’t like this change at all. But damnit, let’s give it a chance. It’s hard for me to believe they would intentionally do something that would hurt the game and its best interests. The least we can do would be to give them a chance by playing it their way for a bit before coming to any harsh conclusions.
No splitting damage……EXCEPT…(sigh). This isn’t at all hard to teach a new player…sheesh.
To the casual eye, this will work more like they think that it should. It’s not a huge deal to adapt to this change.
At the end of the day, it’s a change coming down the pipe that we’ll all be adhering to. Try on the pants and see if they fit.
THE LUNQUIST SITUATION
As some of you know, I had written a brief one round report on my experience at GP Sea-Tac between myself and pro Ben Lundquist in my last article. Ben himself was kind enough to offer his own input regarding the situation, and for that I sincerely appreciate his feedback. Sadly, though, I think he took the report more as a personal attack rather than a simple critique with a valuable lesson to be learned (which was the intention). His response reads more like a defensive rebuttal than an objective observation:
“During the match you apologized for playing slow, and I responded by saying I took a little while on the last turns before the game was over. Securing the win was pretty important as I had to shut off any outs you could have. That said, I did take a minute or two longer at that turn in the game than I usually do, but you played incredibly slow the entire game. It is not like I played that bitterblossom on turn 2 either, as I had left you with broken ambitions #2 in your hand and had to play around it until you were going to play the faerie conclave in your hand (leaving you a mana short to counter my bb). As I admit I took a while to secure the W at the end of the game, it took you just as long to decide which lands to play on turn 3, 4 and 5 along with which spells to play the rest of the game. I don’t like being a prick during a match or I else would have complained the whole match too.”
First of all, I do not recall apologizing for anything during our match. I can tell you with confidence that I have never apologized to any opponent regarding the pace of my own play. If I were to apologize for anything it would be for not making the intent of my article clearer. This was not an attack, but a meaningful observation; one that I have learned from, one that hopefully my readers will learn from, and one that will hopefully benefit my game in the future.
You also insinuated that I complained the whole match. That’s not me, amigo. It’s not my style to do that (at least with people I don’t know). To my recollection, the both of us played a very quiet match with little to no conversation at all. At the end of the match we even had a friendly talk in regards to our sideboards. I’m beginning to wonder if you’re thinking about the same match or if you are confusing it for another match you played that day?
Regardless, this wasn’t meant to devolve into an “I said, you said” debacle. Nor was it meant to be viewed as a personal attack. Rarely, if ever, are those constructive. The original intent of the report was that every player should learn to protect themselves, especially in the higher level tournaments. It is sound advice and a lesson that both of us could benefit from. Putting myself in your shoes as a pro, if you truly felt that I was taking too long with my play then a friendly “let’s try to pick up the pace” should have been in order. And if I were to continue to play slow, then calling a judge over to observe the match would be appropriate. I know that I felt this way and yet didn’t do anything about it. Neither of us did. Lesson learned for both of us. As it turns out, Ben won the second game with the quickness and within the match’s time limits so time didn’t really play a part in the outcome of our match. But it’s safe to say that it could have had I won the second game.
Again, I harbor no hard feeling towards Ben (or anyone for that matter). In fact I think that it’s an impossibility for me to harbor any hard feelings towards anyone when it comes to this game. Although I don’t know Ben Lundquist, I’d like to think that I’m a pretty quick and good judge of character: I personally don’t believe that Ben intentionally played slow in our match. But the lesson here is this – regardless if it’s intentional or not, if you feel your opponent is not playing at a reasonable pace it is then up to you to protect yourself and do something about it.
LOOK MOMMY, ITS MR. SLAPPY!
Tired of playing the same ol’ deck at your FNM? Want to rogue it up at the next PTQ Austin? Well then look no further than Mr. Slappy to give you the best bang for your entertainment dollar.
A bedtime story by The Immortal Djinn. Are you all tucked in comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Once upon a time in a distant land filled with magical elves and mystical faeries, there lived a PISSED OFF 10/10 HYDRA THAT DOESNT GIVE A SHIT AND LIVES ONLY TO CREATE ANARCHY, PAIN, AND BLOODSHED!!!! RRRRAAAAWWWWRRRR!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, give this deck a whirl. It’ll make you smile and your opponents cry.
“The Dirty Dime”
Deck by Nick “Djinn” Bonham
4x Noble Hierarch
4x Steward of Valeron
4x Kitchen Finks
4x Wilt-Leaf Liege
4x Cloudgoat Ranger
4x Progenitus (aka – Mr. Slappy)
4x Spectral Procession
4x Dramatic Entrance
4x Windbrisk Heights
4x Treetop Village
4x Wooded Bastion
3x Dauntless Escort
2x Pithing Needle
2x Runed Halo
2x Celestial Purge
4x Guttural Response
The answer to your question is simple—-Because sometimes 10/10 creatures with protection from everything just happen. There’s just something about attacking with three creatures resulting in a 10/10 clock being put into the battlefield for a W and the tap of a land. And how good is Dramatic Entrance??? Mistbind during my upkeep? I have a tiny little response to that.
Thanks for Reading!
(PS – Big ups to Conley, Noah, Psi, and VaultBoy for taking the time to read my nonsense. And even Ben, thanks for chiming in man.)
To read past Djinn & Tonic articles: http://mtgcast.com/?cat=51
To listen to previous Djinn’s Playground podcasts: http://mtgcast.com/?cat=7