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The Llanowar Sentinel, Issue 2


All the News That Isn’t

Casual Players Still Confused About Bannings

Contributed by Llanowar Sentinel writer Jason Nisavic

Casual players across the world are scratching their heads about the recent bannings of both Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic.

Allen Hampton, from Cleveland, Ohio, questions the logic. “So, Stoneforge Mystic can let you dig in your deck? For what? Ornithopter? That’s pretty stupid.” When it was pointed out that Ornithopter was not in fact equipment, Hampton became incensed. “I know the damn rules. My cousin taught me how to play, okay? He’s wicked good at Magic. His eighty-seven-card Vizzerdrix deck is unbeatable!” [Editor’s note: During the course of the interview, Hampton also exhibited severe misunderstanding of the “four-of” limit, regenerating sacrificed creatures, and when sorceries could be cast.]

Casual draft player Craig Copley from Portland shares in the confusion. “I don’t see what the big deal is about Jace,” Copley states. “You can’t even attack with him. What a waste of four mana. Boring! In drafts, I don’t even have to think about whether to keep him. Pass!” So what should have been banned instead? “If anything,” Copley says, “they should ban Calcite Snapper. I usually scoop when that bugger hits the table. Broken.” When asked if he would ever compete in a Limited tournament setting, Copley becomes nervous. “I don’t know. Maybe if they allowed takesy-backsies during drafting.”

Sympathy for the tournament community’s frustration that led to the bannings is even less apparent at kitchen tables in Kansas City. Self-identified “casual” player Jeff Stern is angered by news of the bannings. “Look, if those idiots at Wizards are going to punish players just for being successful, then I’m definitely never going to a tournament! I’ll just stay here in the comfort of my own home, obliterating my good friends with my Necropotence deck. I know it’s a good night of Magic if I can literally drink the tears of my opponents.” When informed that Necropotence has also been long banned in Legacy, Stern remains firm. “Nope. Not at my table. Once a card has been printed, you can’t unprint it, can you? Duh. That’s just common sense. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to begin and then immediately win this game. Mountain, Lotus, Channel, Fireball. Good game, dude. Hmm, those are some nice tears you have there.”

Grim Lavamancer Goes to Comedy Club, Brings Down Mood, Still Snags the Chicks

Grim Lavamancer attended a showing of the Last Comic Standing tour with a group of friends last Saturday night when the tour came to Topeka, Kansas. Reports from several in attendance indicate that although he did not laugh at any of the comics’ jokes, sitting in sullen silence for the entire two-hour show, he ended up with six phone numbers from local college co-eds and in fact reportedly took three young women—two of them cheerleaders from Washburn University—home with him.

We caught up with several of the young women who were reported to have been flirting with him before, after, and frequently during the show. Tiffani Rickert, a perky blonde eighteen-year-old, says, “He’s just, so, serious . . . and brooding. You know, dark. I like that. Very Edward Cullen-y.”

The other males in Lavamancer’s group did not appear to like him as much. “He was just a total buzzkill,” says Josh Muldrow, who attends Washburn and rode with Lavamancer on the way to the comedy club. “He didn’t laugh at any jokes. We were right up in the front row, and I tell you what, it was awkward. All of the comics could see him. He just sat there with his hoodie pulled up over his head, looking all pissed off. One of the comics, I don’t remember her name, she kept looking at him like she was wondering why he wasn’t laughing. You could tell it really threw her off her game. She totally bombed. What a dillhole.”

“Fuck that guy,” said another of Lavamancer’s companions who declined to be named. “My girlfriend ended up picking a fight with me and then going home with him and those two sluts from the cheerleading squad. We’ve been dating a two and a half years, man. I was starting to think about proposing when we graduated. Guess that’s over.”

Mr. Lavamancer was unavailable for comment.

BREAKING NEWS: Area Man Still Stuck in EDH Game after Eight Hours

In Fort Chiswell, Virginia, we’re on the scene at Buster’s Comics, where local man Samuel Kirsch has been stuck in a six-player EDH game that has lasted eight hours—and is still going strong. Kirsch, a twenty-six-year-old assistant communications clerk at a local Staples store, says this is the worst EDH experience he’s had so far in the two years he’s been playing EDH.

“I mean, the first hour or two was a lot of fun,” Kirsch says, “but then things kind of reached a stalemate, and now everyone’s afraid to attack anyone else because of course the first person to attack is going to be the one who gets wiped out by everyone else, and . . .” His voice sort of trails off in a sobbing kind of way, and he turns away and pretends to cough. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this,” he says. “Everyone’s playing Eldrazi, so graveyards are just sort of recycling back into libraries every so often, and we’ve Warped Worlds five times . . . or maybe it was six, it’s hard for me to keep track. I haven’t eaten anything in a while, and my blood sugar’s a little low—it’s hard to think clearly.”

Kirsch admits that he hasn’t gone to the restroom in the last five hours, worried that any show of weakness will result in the other five players ganging up on him and taking him out first. “I’ve been peeing in this under the table,” he says, showing us an empty two-liter Mountain Dew bottle. “When I run out of room in this, I guess I’m going to have to break down and make a run for it.”

Kirsch is not optimistic about his chances in the game. “To be honest,” he says, “I stopped caring about four hours ago. Now, it’s just the principle of the thing. I’m not going to be the first one to scoop. Everyone will think I’m a pussy.” So, what are his plans for staying in the game, if not winning? “I’m really at a loss,” he says. “Everyone has such a strong board position that there’s no weak point to attack. Brad over there is at 140 life, no one’s playing a poison deck, we can’t be milled because of the Eldrazi, and—” He breaks off, desperation in his eyes. “I guess if I could somehow sneak this piss bottle back up onto the table, someone might take a drink from it and puke. He’d probably have to leave the game.” He looks around the table, appearing to be trying to figure out how to execute this plan.

When we leave him an hour later, the game has not visibly progressed, with the exception of one player—Tony McCutcheon, the youngest player in the game at sixteen—having left. At about eight hours and forty-five minutes in, McCutcheon fell out of his chair and onto the floor, curled up in a fetal position, shaking his fist at the heavens, shouting, “Sheldon, why hast thou forsaken me? Why?!” The remaining five players carried him outside and left him on a bench, trembling, still in a fetal position, to “get some air,” then returned and resumed their game.

Pro Points Now Redeemable for Cash and Prizes

On Friday, July 29, Wizards of the Coast rolled out its newest program, aimed at enticing casual players into competitive Magic, and encouraging grinders to reach the Pro Tour: the Pro Points Prize Program, in which pro points can be redeemed through WotC for cash and prizes. “This is a fantastic new program we’re all really excited about,” says Larry Ford, who works in the marketing department at Wizards. “I think this is going to be a strong incentive for Magic players to become more active in the competitive community. We have some really great prizes that everyone will want.

“For instance, for fifty pro points, we have a full-length body pillow—with matching pillowcase! For seventy-five points, you can get a set of field binoculars, great for bird-watching. A hundred points, and you can take your pick of an engraved Casio watch, a sterling silver money clip, or a box set of the Lethal Weapon series.” And those are just the smaller prizes. “Get to five hundred pro points,” Ford says, “and you can earn a combination MP3 player and alarm clock—it hooks right up to your iPhone or iPod and plays all your music! And save up a thousand points, and you can choose from an Xbox or PlayStation!”

For those who prefer to receive cash, he says, “there’s a generous exchange rate. For every ten pro points, we’ll give you one dollar. We like to think of this as a way Magic players can save up for retirement—you can’t sling cardboard forever, you know.” We asked about the possibility of extending this program to amateurs—some sort of points-redemption program for ranking points, perhaps?—but he was reluctant to discuss it.

“I can’t divulge any information about programs that are in the works,” Ford says, “even to the extent of confirming whether they exist.” From that, we can only guess that this exciting program might be accessible to the players at FNMs and smaller competitions, although we can’t speculate on when it might become reality.

The Llanowar Sentinel accepts news bulletins from freelance journalists. Send submissions to llanowar@gatheringmagic.com. Pieces will be edited for content and length.

Author’s note: Many of the headlines in this issue and the previous issue were provided by Bryan Prillaman. Although I wrote the “articles,” Bryan deserves credit for contributing his time and humor. — Debbie

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