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CardShark Content - Earl Burbridge (2/12/2002)

Ramblings of a Magic Addict #2: Bullies, the Whistleblower Clause, and Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
, Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
, Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
!

Hi, my name's Earl Burbridge, and I'm a Magic addict.

I was going to spend this week discussing the deck that I'm planning on playing when Odyssey block constructed rolls around, but that plan is scrapped until next week. The night I finished my first column, the news of the new set of DCI suspensions broke, and the topic for my next column was born.

The first I heard of Ryan Fuller and Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
being suspended, I was reading Mise
Mise
MiseSet: Unhinged
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
38
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Name a nonland card, then reveal the top card of your library. If that card is the named card, draw three cards.
tings.com, and I wasn't quite sure if the news was believable. Actually, I thought it was a joke. So, I did some searching, and lo and behold, the tidings were true. We had not one, but two high profile players suspended.

I'm not a pro player. I have never talked Magic with a pro player. The following rant is the observations of a guy who is on the outside, knowing only what is common, public, knowledge.

Let's look at Ryan Fuller's suspension, first. I'd be willing to bet that every one of us knows a player with a reputation like Ryan Fuller's: an intimidator, who goes well over the line. Someone who comes off as a spoiled brat when he loses, and a spoiled brat when he wins. A person who has gotten away with so much, for so long, that he thinks he's untouchable.

There's a difference between Fuller and the run of the mill blow-hard trash talker. Fuller has talent. Yes, he plays slowly, exceedingly so in many cases. Yes, he uses mind games to gain advantages in matches that he should lose. But, I'd be willing to bet that Ryan Fuller could beat ninety-eight percent of us, in a straight up game of Magic, without breaking a sweat. I think that, should Fuller return, subdued by his suspension, he'd be right back on the Tour, and back in the spotlight. Often, all it takes to make a bully back down is for someone to fight back. The DCI fought back, and maybe Fuller will have learned his lesson. I, probably one of the minority, hope that he has.

Now, we move on to Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
, suspended for six months, instead of five years, for tournament fraud. Because of the DCI's whistleblower clause, Maher received a slap on the wrist, instead of a death sentence. My first impression was, ´´Hey, the whistleblower clause worked again.´´ But, after some reflection, I have some misgivings.

There's a difference between the Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
case and the Kenny Crawford case, and it's simple. Maher was a finalist at the World Championships. Crawford, well, was not. I'm getting more and more uneasy with Maher's lesser suspension, because his benefit from the fraudulent tourney reports was much, much, greater than anyone at the DCI could have imagined when they decided that they would give breaks to people who turned themselves in, and helped catch the rest of the people behind a tournament fixing scheme. As a Magic player, and a person who follows the Pro Tour online, I would have loved to have seen the face of the person who Maher first contacted.

So, the DCI was stuck with their own rules, designed to help catch cheaters. They HAD to suspend Maher for only six months. Even though he is, by most reports, a nice guy, he cheated. That cheating helped him in his runner-up run in the World Championships. There HAS to be a punishment that would have fit the crime.

I propose that, in addition to suspension from sanctioned events, a player who is disciplined by the DCI have their ratings reset to 1600, unless their rating is below 1600. That would be a bigger threat than a six month, or one year, suspension to any pro player. It would make the risks of cheating higher than they are now, and it would give all suspensions more bite. A player who truly is on the professional level would be able to win a Qualifier fairly easily, and a player whose rating was inflated beyond recognition thanks to cheating would not. It would be a simple, and effective, way to add some more bite into penalties.

*****

But, now on to something a bit more fun. I played in a ten-person draft this weekend at the store I consider my ´´home´´ store, PC Dungeon in Ames, Iowa. My limited rating stood, going into the tourney, at 1691, with one tourney, where I went 5-2, pending. After a bit of discussion, we decided to have a little bit of fun, and drafted Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
/Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
/Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
.

Yes, I know. It was a janky draft format. But, you know what? 3 Apocalypse
Apocalypse
ApocalypseSet: Tempest
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
L. A. Williams
Text:
Remove all permanents from the game. Discard your hand.
packs was quite entertaining. You never know what draft formats are fun, until you experiment a bit.

I went into the draft thinking that straight black decks would be what the majority of players would want to play, so I did what any self-respecting drafter who THINKS he knows the other players preferences would do. I drafted away from that, and ended up with a red/green deck with a VERY high mana curve. The only important card that I drafted that did NOT make my deck was a Stern Judge
Stern Judge
Stern JudgeSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
16
Artist:
Mike Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Each player loses 1 life for each swamp he or she controls.
, my first overall pick. Oh well, that's the way it goes.

For those of you who care about draft decks, here's what I ended up with.

Green (13)

2: Arrogant Wurm
Arrogant Wurm
Arrogant WurmSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wurm
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Trample. Madness 2G

3: Far Wanderings
Far Wanderings
Far WanderingsSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Text:
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library. Threshold - Instead search your library for three basic land cards and put them into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

5(!): Krosan Constrictor
Krosan Constrictor
Krosan ConstrictorSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake
Rarity:
C
Number:
129
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Swampwalk. T: Target black creature gets -2/-0 until end of turn.

1: Krosan Restorer
Krosan Restorer
Krosan RestorerSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
130
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Untap target land. Threshold - T: Untap up to three target lands.

2: Nantuko Calmer
Nantuko Calmer
Nantuko CalmerSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Druid
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
G, T, Sacrifice Nantuko Calmer: Destroy target enchantment. Threshold - Nantuko Calmer gets +1/+1.


Red (15)

1: Crazed Firecat
Crazed Firecat
Crazed FirecatSet: Torment
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
U
Number:
94
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
When Crazed Firecat comes into play, flip a coin until you lose a flip. Put a +1/+1 counter on Crazed Firecat for each flip you win.

2: Firey Temper
Temper
TemperSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Prevent up to X damage to target creature. For each 1 damage prevented in this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.

1: Flaming Gambit
Flaming Gambit
Flaming GambitSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
98
Text:
Flaming Gambit deals X damage to target player. That player may choose a creature he or she controls and have Flaming Gambit deal that damage to it instead. Flashback XRR

1: Kamahl's Sledge
Kamahl's Sledge
Kamahl's SledgeSet: Torment
Cost:
7
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Text:
Kamahl's Sledge deals 4 damage to target creature. Threshold - Instead Kamahl's Sledge deals 4 damage to that creature and 4 damage to that creature's controller.

1: Pardic Lancer
Pardic Lancer
Pardic LancerSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian
Rarity:
C
Number:
107
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card at random from your hand: Pardic Lancer gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn.

1: Pitchstone Wall
Pitchstone Wall
Pitchstone WallSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wall
Rarity:
U
Number:
110
Power:
2
Toughness:
5
Text:
Whenever you discard a card from your hand, you may sacrifice Pitchstone Wall. If you do, return the discarded card from your graveyard to your hand.

1: Longhorn Firebeast
Longhorn Firebeast
Longhorn FirebeastSet: Torment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
103
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Longhorn Firebeast comes into play, any opponent may have it deal 5 damage to him or her. If a player does, sacrifice Longhorn Firebeast.

3: Petravark
Petravark
PetravarkSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
109
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Petravark comes into play, remove target land from the game. When Petravark leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.

1: Radiate
Radiate
RadiateSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets only a single permanent or player. For each other permanent or player that spell could target, put a copy of the spell onto the stack. Each copy targets a different one of those permanents and players.

2: Sonic Seizure
Sonic Seizure
Sonic SeizureSet: Torment
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
115
Text:
As an additional cost to play Sonic Seizure, discard a card at random from your hand. Sonic Seizure deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

1: Violent Eruption
Violent Eruption
Violent EruptionSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
117
Text:
Violent Eruption deals 4 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players. Madness 1RR


Land (15)

7: Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

8: Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
.

First of all, I often run over forty cards in draft. In retrospect, I would have cut the Radiate
Radiate
RadiateSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets only a single permanent or player. For each other permanent or player that spell could target, put a copy of the spell onto the stack. Each copy targets a different one of those permanents and players.
, which did not EVER do anything good for me. (Although it was involved in my misplay of the night), and maybe the Violent Eruption
Violent Eruption
Violent EruptionSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
117
Text:
Violent Eruption deals 4 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players. Madness 1RR
. The MVPs of the night were the WONDERFUL Firey Temper
Temper
TemperSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Prevent up to X damage to target creature. For each 1 damage prevented in this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
s, which were involved in the play of the night.

Anyways, I shuffled up, preparing to go 0-3 on the night, and go home early. I should know better, the worse I feel about a deck the better I play.

In the first round, I played against a blue-green deck, and I forgot to write down who I played. GREAT way to start, a tournament recap, huh. I learned one thing. It's easy to win a match when your deck is full of removal, and your opponent is running only 10 or so creatures. Creatures are supposed to be good in draft, or so I hear.

After the first round, I'm feeling good. Two wins, no losses, and no trouble at all. Of course, I knew I had drafted a pile, but I was beginning to suspect that everyone had drafted piles of crap. I ran to McDonalds, got a burger that ended up NOT agreeing with me much, and came back to the Dungeon with time to spare for round two, where I faced Chris Anderson.

Chris had fliers, lots of them. It was not looking good for me in the first game. He was sitting at 13, and I was sitting at three, facing down five points of flying damage his next attack. I had four cards in hand, a Constrictor, and the Lance
Lance
LanceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Target creature gains first strike.
r in play. I fought down the tears of joy when I drew a Firey Temper
Temper
TemperSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Prevent up to X damage to target creature. For each 1 damage prevented in this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
.

Me: I attack with the Lance
Lance
LanceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Target creature gains first strike.
r and the Constrictor.

Him: No blocks.

Me: Activate Lance
Lance
LanceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
Target creature gains first strike.
r... (repeat 5 times, the Temper
Temper
TemperSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Prevent up to X damage to target creature. For each 1 damage prevented in this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
being last) Madness temper, targetting you. Effects?

Him: No.

Me: Thirteen damage total.

Him: I guess I should have blocked, huh.

The second game, I just burned him out. A Gambit to the head is a pretty good way to end a match.

So, there I was, sitting pretty at 2-0, with one more swiss match left. And I drew Mike Fitzgerald, the guy at the Dungeon who has handed me more losses than anyone else. I can't remember much of the match, because my note taking was lax, and that aforementioned burger was starting to slosh and gurgle in my stomach, but it was in game three where my biggest mistake of the night happened. In the third game, trailing six to five, I traded places with a version of myself from a reality where Radiate
Radiate
RadiateSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets only a single permanent or player. For each other permanent or player that spell could target, put a copy of the spell onto the stack. Each copy targets a different one of those permanents and players.
behaves like fork. I cast Firey Temper
Temper
TemperSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Prevent up to X damage to target creature. For each 1 damage prevented in this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
, and then Radiate
Radiate
RadiateSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets only a single permanent or player. For each other permanent or player that spell could target, put a copy of the spell onto the stack. Each copy targets a different one of those permanents and players.
, and say ´´I win.´´ I draw strange looks. I switch back from the alternate world. And I end up losing the match, because of the play.

That was okay, though. I still came in at either second or third seed. I didn't play Mike in the semifinals, at least. I played Ow
Ow
OwSet: Unglued
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Whenever any creature damages a player, for each Ow card in play, that player says Ow once or Ow deals 1 damage to him or her.
en, though. Who is a good player, too. I destroy him game one. He destroys me games two and three with a... wait for it... mono-black deck. Full of chokers. I collect my one pack prize, and watch the finals, where Ow
Ow
OwSet: Unglued
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
36
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Whenever any creature damages a player, for each Ow card in play, that player says Ow once or Ow deals 1 damage to him or her.
en beats Mike, establishing that, even with everyone hating black as much as humanly possible, mono-black is THE deck to draft in Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
/Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
/Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
.

But, you're asking, what did I LEARN in that draft. Okay. Firey Temper
Temper
TemperSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
120
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Text:
Prevent up to X damage to target creature. For each 1 damage prevented in this way, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
is good. Radiate
Radiate
RadiateSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
113
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Choose target instant or sorcery spell that targets only a single permanent or player. For each other permanent or player that spell could target, put a copy of the spell onto the stack. Each copy targets a different one of those permanents and players.
is not. Flaming Gambit
Flaming Gambit
Flaming GambitSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
98
Text:
Flaming Gambit deals X damage to target player. That player may choose a creature he or she controls and have Flaming Gambit deal that damage to it instead. Flashback XRR
might be a first pick, if you are in red already. The black chokers are VERY good, good enough to take the weaker black in Odyssey to set yourself up for Torment
Torment
TormentSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
23
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -3/-0.
. Petravark
Petravark
PetravarkSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
109
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Petravark comes into play, remove target land from the game. When Petravark leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.
isn't very good, even though it LOOKS like it might be. And, finally. Pardic Lancer
Pardic Lancer
Pardic LancerSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Barbarian
Rarity:
C
Number:
107
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card at random from your hand: Pardic Lancer gets +1/+0 and gains first strike until end of turn.
's ability, or ANY ability that let's you discard is VERY good if you are in red. As if Wild Mongrel
Wild Mongrel
Wild MongrelSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
C
Number:
283
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Wild Mongrel gets +1/+1 and becomes the color of your choice until end of turn.
wasn't good enough.

Next week, I MIGHT get to that Odyssey Block idea. Or, something MIGHT happen in the Magic world that will scream... ´´TALK ABOUT ME!´´ Until then, keep playing.

Oh no. I just saw the news about APAC and Latin American championships being cancelled... We might be delaying that OBC column, again...


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