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CardShark Content - Marcus Anderson (12/2/2001)

Hello fellow readers! Perhaps this has been a book-marked page for your casual stop along your web surfing for Magic news and information. Maybe this page was casually clicked when buying cards on Card-Shark. I suppose this could be your first time visit. In any case, the site has been going under some dramatic change due to recent events in the magic community. As editor, I will go through some of the reasons for the changes and the plans for the future.

When Card-Shark’s content site emerged, we were saying good-bye to an old friend: the Dojo. The Dojo remains infamous today as it did in years past as being the pinnacle of quality magic news. The Dojo gave the casual player a boost in knowledge and performance in the form of deck lists and metagame conversation. Once viewed as a detriment to the magic community (as many people ranted how “Internet decks” were ruining the game), the Dojo has been responsible for a global improvement in competitive Magic.

With the Dojo’s demise, the Magic community had to look elsewhere. People were surfing all over the net to try to find the best “tech”. No one site ever emerged as the “next Dojo”; even though I may argue that Mindripper and Star City were the top two. In the past half-year, there was no clear-cut site that had everyone book-marking it. That is until Meridian Magic came along…

Meridian Magic had a great philosophy. Instead of providing the best original content, it would link to it! On the Internet, there are many quality articles that deserve attention. Unfortunately, there is a lot of chaff to go through to get to it! The web hounds at Meridian (under the direction of Cathy Nicloff) spent their time gathering links and information so the site would be front-page news for the Magic community. If something happened in the game, the site linked to it.

In the same vein, MTG:News.com was another site concerned with getting the news to the people. Its philosophy of gathering news from users, hosting thread discussion forums, and creating an advanced search engine were great ways to help the player.

Sadly, the Dojo, Meridian Magic, MTG:News, and recently Mindripper have fallen on the one demon that plagues information sites: how do you balance time and money? If you go to any Magic site, you are not paying to read the information on the screen. It does not cost five cents “per click” to view a document. The time and money needed to run a site has to come from somewhere. People who run a content site work very hard to establish it. Yet, it becomes difficult to maintain a level of intensity when the work isn’t turned into instant recognition, satisfaction, or monetary compensation. They lose interest, passion, and the site falls. I say this because it has happened to me.

During last summer, I was thrilled with the game. Under the help of Dave Andrews, Travis Cullum, and Troy Skinner, we tested for the Invasion Block constructed format with devotion. We stumbled across a deck in testing called the “Blue Green Machine”, built by Bill Fleming. We took it to Origins, we did very well, and the content site flourished. The deck got heavy press and even a mention in the Sideboard website. Even though the metagame quickly shifted towards the deck, and splashing a third color was necessary to make the deck survive, the fun continued with Adam Fischer placing top 8 at Gen-Con and at other Grand Prix trials in IBC format.

With IBC over, everyone needed a break. Odyssey limited was in full swing, and the information slowed down considerably. Busy with coaching a high-school team, and self-absorbed is buying a beautiful house, I found myself less passionate about the game. The result is that the content site has never looked emptier. I blame myself, and I apologize for anyone who wasted his or her time looking for new information and finding none.

Upon talking to the Card-Shark team, we have looked at our site to see if we can avoid the pitfalls of Magic: the Burnout
BurnoutSet: Alliances
Mike Raabe
Counter target interrupt spell if it is blue.Draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep.
. We have made some changes and are giving our place a face-lift in the coming weeks to give all of you casual/professional players a present for Christmas.

First off, we have created an advanced search engine. With MTGNews in flux, we adapted some of the best parts of their card-tool to help the Magic community. Since we have a full database for our buying and selling tools, it seemed natural to incorporate it into our program.

Second, we started a “Swimming with Sharks: Metagame analysis” section in dedication to Theoren Martin’s Metegame Madness. The page takes a lot of work to maintain, and we sadly do not have Dave Andrews as a contributor anymore. It is with great personal regret that he will no longer be running the section and writing for us. He is what every magic player should be, and I wish him the best in his Magic endeavors. At this time, veteran magic player Keith Herrick will be updating the SwS page and watching the PTQ scene.

Third, on a personal note, Card-Shark would like to welcome a new player to our team. Jason Huang, from California, is a passionate player and great competitor. We are looking forward to his matches and reports in the near future. He joins our West-coast team, which consists of Johnny Lai and Adam Fischer. Having just passed the bar exam, Johnny is hungry to get back into the Extended season. Adam is riding high in his efforts to qualify for the pro tour. I wouldn’t call making one top eight per month since June a bad record (I wish I was go gifted)! In any event, please read his newest articles discussing Odyssey limited. Even though they are posted after the season, they are a good read and show insight and strategy into making the best of a deck.

Fourth, we are going to change the content site to be less original articles and more link-driven. Glenn Cannon (a level 2 judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan) has formed a great relationship with the Card-Shark crew. He is an amazing guy, and he runs www.eventsbeyondbelief.com in his spare time. His events are run professionally, and he is a great advocate of the game. In the next few weeks, Glenn will be settling in as our web-hound in tracking down quality links that provide the best articles and resources in Magic.

Our content page will have Meridian Magic’s philosophy. We will provide a page that will give you the direction to the articles and decks you crave. When possible, we will also post original content if it meets the high-quality standards that you expect. If there were a place to hang a sign on the page, it would read “Under New Management.”

That is the main reason for doing what we are doing right now. As editor of the original content, I feel that there are amazing places to go already in the Magic community. Trying to carve my own niche in the hardcore world is too difficult and time-consuming. I will still be judging content as we expand into other collectable games and areas while Glenn will be directing traffic to the best content on the net. I am excited about this new direction, as it will minimize burnout and make everyone on the Card-Shark team happier about what we do.

Our philosophy is simple: provide the best tools for the Magic user and maintain a solid business model to support the site. Through your comments, suggestions, and criticisms, we can make this a place for every player. It has been a great ten months; I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

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