April172014
In terms of flavour this has to be my favourite board wipe to date.  Is it actually going to hit the board any time soon?   Probably not (though Karametra seems to argue otherwise).I suspect this will be more of a casual card.  Some use in limited, if you’re lucky.  There is almost certainly someone constructing a deck around it already, but otherwise it’s not actually a great card (even if it IS hard to find a 10/10 for 8 mana, this isn’t even the only one in the block).  If it goes off, though?  Wow.I especially like the fact that it gives you time to react before you lose everything.  Not much time, mind you, but potentially enough to maybe, hopefully, save yourself a bit of trouble.It’s just too bad it doesn’t exile everything; that would be pretty sweet.  I’m giving this card a 2.5/5, but a 5/5 for flavour.

In terms of flavour this has to be my favourite board wipe to date.  Is it actually going to hit the board any time soon?   Probably not (though Karametra seems to argue otherwise).

I suspect this will be more of a casual card.  Some use in limited, if you’re lucky.  There is almost certainly someone constructing a deck around it already, but otherwise it’s not actually a great card (even if it IS hard to find a 10/10 for 8 mana, this isn’t even the only one in the block).  If it goes off, though?  Wow.

I especially like the fact that it gives you time to react before you lose everything.  Not much time, mind you, but potentially enough to maybe, hopefully, save yourself a bit of trouble.

It’s just too bad it doesn’t exile everything; that would be pretty sweet.  I’m giving this card a 2.5/5, but a 5/5 for flavour.

April112014
I’m trying to pace my excitement about Journey Into Nyx, but dang is it hard. I was a big fan of Theros and even found cars in Born of the Gods that I thoroughly enjoy, but JOU is hitting me right where it hurts.A perfect example of that is Iroas.  I mean, this is a really good card.  Basically, this card says “alpha strike 5ever”.  I mean, it forces your opponent to not block or make potentially bad trades, which is awesome.  Then it also guarantees that you will want to keep throwing creatures into the fray.  The part that hurts?  Red/White is not my favoured colour combo.That might have to change, of course.  I could splash green to make myself feel better, then laugh all the way to victory with cards like the new Ajani and Brimaz (why yes, I would like a consistent source of pumps, with the ability to explode into 100 life, along with invincible attacking cats).What I’m saying is it looks like JOU is bringing some very fun cards to the table (and a functional reprint of Furnace of Rath?  YES).  I can’t wait to see what comes out and I really can’t wait to get my hands on these.

I’m trying to pace my excitement about Journey Into Nyx, but dang is it hard. I was a big fan of Theros and even found cars in Born of the Gods that I thoroughly enjoy, but JOU is hitting me right where it hurts.

A perfect example of that is Iroas.  I mean, this is a really good card.  Basically, this card says “alpha strike 5ever”.  I mean, it forces your opponent to not block or make potentially bad trades, which is awesome.  Then it also guarantees that you will want to keep throwing creatures into the fray.  The part that hurts?  Red/White is not my favoured colour combo.

That might have to change, of course.  I could splash green to make myself feel better, then laugh all the way to victory with cards like the new Ajani and Brimaz (why yes, I would like a consistent source of pumps, with the ability to explode into 100 life, along with invincible attacking cats).

What I’m saying is it looks like JOU is bringing some very fun cards to the table (and a functional reprint of Furnace of Rath?  YES).  I can’t wait to see what comes out and I really can’t wait to get my hands on these.

April42014

neraciro asked: Hi Doug. I'm writing a short story at the moment, but it's not going well. I've scrapped what I thought was bad twice now and I'm onto my third effort to write up a proper draft. What advice do you have to offer a person like me? I'm currently torn between the age-old idioms of perseverance is best and knowing when to give up. It just feels like currently I'm beating my head on a stone wall and nothing good's coming out of it.

dougbeyermtg:

It sounds like you’re brute-forcing your way through writing and revising in one step. I sympathize. In my experience, that will drive you crazygonuts. Try separating your process into two phases.

In the first phase, take your Inner Editor and stick ‘em in an Oblivion Ring. All thoughts that have to do with evaluating what you’re writing get shelved for now. Your goal in this phase is not to write something amazing—“amazing” is evaluative. “Good enough to satisfy my aesthetic standards” is evaluative. “Non-crapola” is evaluative. All those Inner Editor thoughts get turned off, as best you can. Your goal during this phase is this: FINISH. WRITE WRITE WRITE until you FINISH and type the words THE END. A this point it matters ZERO PERCENT what goes on in your story; you are just hurling clay at the potter’s wheel so that you can craft this sculpture later. This phase is not about quality — it is about finishing. It is Supposed. To. Suck.

THEN put your writing aside for a while. Simmer. Take a walk. Take two walks. Eat something delicious. Pet a fuzzy animal. Refuel.

THEN enter the second phase. Now you’re a different person, in a way. You Naturalize that O-Ring and bring your Inner Editor back in full force. You aren’t criticizing the author of this clay in front of you— you’re using the raw materials they’ve provided you to shape it into something. The something might be almost there, and it might just take a bit of smoothing and spinning to get it to be great. (My rough drafts are not like this, and if yours are, I kind of hate you a little.) Or it might take squashing the whole thing back into a lump of clay to begin to form it into something beautiful again. But I find that every draft d’ crapola has at least one shining hint of a great idea buried in it. Look for that. Look for those moments that move you, even though you wrote it. Look for things that make you giggle all alone at your laptop. Look for stuff that makes you want to say, “Wait. Go back. Zoom and enhance on that last part”—that’s your cruddy draft, and your Inner Editor, telling you when something is working.

When you do both of those phases at the same time, what happens is that the Inner Editor becomes paralyzing. Its voice becomes so loud that it reaches beyond words on the page, all the way to words you haven’t even typed yet. You toss out everything you have before you’ve even whipped up a batch of raw materials. You stop working before you’ve managed to create that tiny gorgeous detail that you were trying to reach. Resist the urge to bring in the critical thoughts too early. Give yourself permission to go to weird and awful places, because just beyond those places are the best ideas and the best lines of dialogue and the best heartstring-plucking imagery you’ll ever have. Keep going. Your breakthrough might be ten thousand words from now, so you have two options: write ten thousand words agonizingly slowly over the next year, criticizing yourself about every line and hating every minute of it, or blast out ten thousand words THIS WEEK, and be basking in the glow of that tiny mote of awesome by Sunday.

March272014

Hello Sherlockians!

To my fellow planeswalking Sherlockians:

I hope everyone who is able to go is looking forward to 221BCon!  I will be there with bells on and strapped for spell slinging.  I will be bringing at least 2 constructed decks, possibly 3 (though that third won’t be truly what I want it to be; 3 cards are missing and will be replaced with basic lands for now).  Anyone who wants to play shouldn’t really have a hard time finding me.  I’m a big enough guy that I’ll probably stand out a bit.

I mention the decks only because I am absolutely happy to lend decks for people to play, so long as I get them back.  I will at minimum have a Pauper deck with me and a really crappy but kind of hectically fun Modern deck.  I may also be bringing the Fight the Hydra and Defeat the Horde event decks from the Theros and BNG game days, if anyone wants to play against those.


That’s not all!  To those Sherlockians who want to learn to play Magic:

I will be bringing a couple of pre-built intro decks and will be delighted to teach people how to play! Magic is a fun game.  It not only promotes reading and simple mathematics (ok, sometimes not so simple), but fosters social interaction.  There’s a real sense of community among players a lot of the time.


See you there!

March202014
craigrules:

This shirt rocks

I have this shirt and often wear it under my blacks when judging :D (assuming I’m not judging multiple days in a row)

craigrules:

This shirt rocks

I have this shirt and often wear it under my blacks when judging :D (assuming I’m not judging multiple days in a row)

March142014

Finally got to draft with BNG

First off, I think I can safely say now that outside of Modern, draft is my favourite format.  I recently got to draft with BNG and I want to talk about 3 cards I interacted with a lot.

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March122014
Since I’ve been off the grid for a bit, here’s a picture for you.
This was my compensation for 3 events, totaling 2.5 boxes (plus a free pre-release entry).  I know people aren’t super thrilled with BNG, value wise, but this got me some cards I need effectively for free.
I judge because I enjoy it, plus it’s given me an in into the community I would not have had before.  That being said, my wife’s certainly happy I didn’t spend the $250 to buy these.

Since I’ve been off the grid for a bit, here’s a picture for you.

This was my compensation for 3 events, totaling 2.5 boxes (plus a free pre-release entry).  I know people aren’t super thrilled with BNG, value wise, but this got me some cards I need effectively for free.

I judge because I enjoy it, plus it’s given me an in into the community I would not have had before.  That being said, my wife’s certainly happy I didn’t spend the $250 to buy these.

February272014

rommania asked: Alan has Griselbrand in graveyard and casts reanimate. Neither player marks the life total change. Alan then pays to draw 7 cards, both players mark the change. He then does it again and both players mark the change, only now realizing that he shouldn't have been able to draw the second time. What's the ruling? I say it's too broken to fix, failure to maintain game state to both, probably also a GRV to Alan, if not drawing extra cards.

magicjudge:

(Assuming we’re at Competitive REL)

We can’t make any partial fixes here, so we either rewind all the way to Reanimate’s resolution (putting 14 random cards from Alan’s hand back on top of his library) or we leave the game as it is. This one is a tough call, but I’m inclined to rewind here. Yes, Alan has a lot of information he shouldn’t have, but both players are responsible for making sure that the game proceeds in a legal fashion, and I’d rather have 7 known cards on top of his library than in his hand. I’m sure plenty of judges would disagree with me, though.

As for infractions, Alan gets a warning for a game rule violation, and his opponent gets a warning for failure to maintain gamestate. (FtMGS is never ever awarded to both players. It’s a non-upgradable warning given to the opponents of players making game play errors who don’t catch those errors in time. We award FtMGS so that we can track it over time and see if any player is “allowing” a lot of sloppy play from their opponents.)

Thanks, Charlotte! This one was bothering me and I was flip-flopping on the ruling a bit (for the record, I did originally suggest rewinding all the way, when discussing this hypothetical with another judge).

I also apparently can’t ask via a side blog.

February212014
February182014
While I decide whether I want Phenax in my defender deck or not, I wanted to talk about what seems to be a fairly versatile removal card: Fall of the Hammer.[[MORE]]See, here’s where I’m coming from: this has all the potential benefits of using fight as removal, without any of the drawbacks (besides being mono-red).  It’s very interesting to me to see colours bending a bit, as this should probably be a green card (and if it was, it would absolutely replace Pit Fight in my pauper deck).  By far my favourite use of fight type mechanics is to “double block”:Creatures A and B are attacking, neither of which have trampleCreature C (let’s say…Sedge Scorpion) is blockingCreature C blocks Creature A, then you use Fall of the Hammer to have it also damage Creature B (before the combat damage step)  Voila!  You have successfully nullified all the combat damage from both creatures, killing them to boot.Basically, what I’m saying is that with deathtouch this becomes easy removal.  You can also simply overpower a creature, use it to activate lifelink without a drawback, etc.  It has a lot of potential for two mana.  You can also combo it with cards like Act of Treason to use an opponent’s creature to kill one of its (temporarily) former allies.  Sure, there are better removal cards even in-block (like Bile Blight), but I think Fall of the Hammer is better for spot removal while allowing red to play creatures.  As a creature-heavy player, this appeals to me on a level that other spot removal in red just doesn’t always do.  I give it a 3/5.  Note the best card out there, though has some potential.  Not the worst, either.  Nothing really giving it oomph on its own, either; probably not an early draft pick for me, but not one I would totally disregard.

While I decide whether I want Phenax in my defender deck or not, I wanted to talk about what seems to be a fairly versatile removal card: Fall of the Hammer.

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