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CardShark Content - Matthew Smith (6/19/2002)

Why is it that every time something tragic happens to people they always chant the same mantra?

“God only gives us as much as we can handle.”

Can we really? What happens when we can’t…handle it, that is? How many people float through life everyday not handling it—dreading the thought of going to work, going to school, going home?


What do you find beautiful? Is it a certain painting? Is it a certain person? Is it a certain song? Stop and listen…maybe something else?


What’s your dream? What do you want to do with your life? Do you want your own house? Three kids, white picket fence, and a dog? What if I gave you three wishes, what would you want? Money? Fame?

Think about your life. Shakespeare said the whole world’s a stage, and we, we are merely actors. I wonder…can anything ever be this good? If we’ve been only given one chance to find beauty, or our dreams, or happiness, then what have we done?

What is the American Dream?

Eventually won’t we all just realize that we are who we are? I think Popeye said it best:

“I yam what I yam.”

We can all agree on one thing: we all want happiness. I don’t know one person who says, “I want to be dismal. I wallow in my misery.” Now you may be happy to see other people miserable, but no one wants to live in a state of constant unhappiness. Life’s too short. So where do you find contentment?


This is where I would give you the :-| face if I were in the chat room. That’s my new-age “pat on the back” Bub, cuz I’m not in your shoes…

But I feel for you, kid. I can’t tell you what is beautiful; I can only give you one piece of advice. If you ever know anything in your life, know this:

Beauty is in the simple things.

It is a few things for me. I read something like Slaughter
SlaughterSet: Exodus
Pete Venters
Buyback Pay 4 life. (You may pay 4 life in addition to any other costs when you play this spell. If you do, put it into your hand instead of your graveyard as part of the spell's effect.) Destroy target nonblack creature. That creature cannot be regenerated this turn.
House Five, and I think to myself Damn, all of those people were just flat out massacred in the war. People like you, or me, or your sister or brother. Those people were killed because, for no other reason, they were an easy target. And then, one man writes something about how he dealt with the tragedy. His words are the thoughts of a nation of people. That is beautiful. Staind sings, “So now I’m fucked up because you are.” How true is that? I’ll turn that song up to 17 on the car radio and sing my damn lungs off. That’s beautiful. Last weekend I went camping with my buddy and woke up around 6:30 to let the buzz wear off. I made my way down a rocky hill, and saw a small creek, about two feet deep, with overhanging trees and patches of brush sprouting up around it. The stream gurgled and the ground was covered with a layer of fog and I thought to myself, Damn…this really is beautiful.

Your life is going to change. I don’t care how old you are, or where you’ve been or who you’ve met and I don’t need a fortune cookie. Your life is about to change. Maybe it’ll be for the best, maybe not; most of the time that will be up to you.

I say this because Magic makes a lot of people happy. How do I know? Well, I read about it every day, in over 50 articles. This game brings a small amount of joy to an already joyless world. And it should. After all, games are the raft in the river of life.

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

With everything being said that needs to be said, I suppose it’s time to commence with this week’s Best of the Best.

TOP FIVE –June 2002

5. How Not To Be a Random #1 - The Basics

Matthew Kahl @ brainburst

´´ My question is - why does there have to be a bottom rung at all? Magic is not a difficult game to learn to play well, given time to practice and willingness to lose in order to improve yourself.´´

Once in a while a muse article will pop up. A muse is an artistic inspiration, something that inspires a person to do something. I read this article and it inspired me to write: The Lost Art of Magic. I hoped that my article accomplished what this article does…giving needed information to new players. I thought article gave some good pointers to players new to the game. But if you’re new to the game, do you know what a random is? Ah, lesson number one.

4. The Casual Multi-Player: Winning the Fun Way

Michael LaLonde @ londes

“For years now multiplayer action has been enjoyable. Magic players sit at a table with five or six of their friends and play at the same time, making for a fun and intense game.”

Not a bad little article from Mr. LaLonde at all. He covers the basics of how to play effectively in a multi player game of Magic. Michael explains how he thinks his Test of Endurance
Test of Endurance
Test of EnduranceSet: Judgment
Mike Ploog

At the begining of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.
deck is da bomb in multi, and he does a nice job of explaining why he picked the cards in the deck.

3. Attack of the Quirky Common

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar @ Magic The Gathering

´´ Usually when you think of building a deck around a single card, that card is rare. In fact, I think building around a card almost implies rarity.´´

I like how Mark Rosewater and the gang had their “commons” theme last week. I also liked Jay’s article. Actually, I’ve liked all of his articles. This guy has come up with some of the jankiest looking decks I’ve ever seen. But then again, he’s come up with some decks that seriously rock the house. Putting card combinations together in a way that makes Zvi look silly. I guess, for me, it’s quantity over quality. It really makes you wonder if this guy has overloaded his hard drive with .dec files. Read this article, play peasant magic, commons rule.

2. Frame of Mind: Extended Rotation

Yannis Guerra @ StarCity

´´ Let me tell you something. It's a little secret that Wizards of the Coast has: They need to make money with the game.”

Well, it all happens to be true. I know it’s being talked about a lot lately, but Yannis, I think, puts things on the proverbial table in this article. From my inbox:

“Nice little logic piece, clearly written, and he happens to be
absolutely correct on all counts.”

So Yannis, other people have read what you’ve got on your mind, and they agree. Good Job.

1. Wizards, You’ve Lost Us!

Ron Vitale @ Brainburst

´´ Don’t spend your money on Magic because the excitement and imagination of the game is gone.´´

Wow Ron, strong words. But guess what? This was the best article I read all week. I was really intrigued by some of the ideas Ron presents. The concept of a basic game and an expert game, the idea of using characters we know and love, new win conditions, ADDING ANOTHER COLOR, King Arthur or DragonLance
LanceSet: Revised Edition
Enchant Creature
Rob Alexander
Target creature gains first strike.
…adding only one of these ideas would definitely shake up the game. Even if Ron’s ideas sound far-fetched, it was a good breath of fresh air. Besides, who wouldn’t want a foreign-foil Tasslehoff?


3. Laser Vision, Burning Precision

Jeremy Muir @ StarCity

“I want to be a superhero.”

And so in the first three to four pages of this article I’m told why he wants to be a super hero. Now I’m sure that some people get really pumped up when you start talking about Japanese animation. There are a group of people at Ferris that watch cartoons every week. I am not a fan of anime. I enjoy watching Dragonball Z, but I’m not about to write one fourth of an article about it. I guess I’m just tired of articles that have to be twenty pages long. I know everyone and their brother are trying to be the next Rizzo, and they would like to be longwinded and such, but don’t. If you have a message, say it, briefly. I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to discuss superheroes. Not unless you have Friggin pictures.

2. Look at me, I’m the DCI!

Brent Cross @ Molimo’s Outpost

“Thanks both of you for reading this. And mom, it’s the name of an Unglued card. Sigh…”

I’m not sure if this is an article, or what. From what I’ve surmised, Brent passed his Delphi test and he recommends that more people take the test. It seems to be more of a journal entry than anything else. If Mr. Cross were to make this into an article I would suggest telling the readers what kind of questions to expect, what they have to do, and where they have to go. That would be interesting.

1. G/U Beats

Eric Sorensen @ MTGPlanet

“I've made a few versions of this deck, each time changing or improving it. Past versions I've always tried to get one set of flying creatures in the deck, most often Skywing Aven
Skywing Aven
Skywing AvenSet: Torment
Sub Type:
Bird Soldier
Flying. Discard a card from your hand: Return Skywing Aven to its owner's hand.
, who has proven VERY useful.”

I knew a guy named Eric Sorensen. Tall guy. He could really play basketball. Probably couldn’t write a magic article if he tried. I wonder if this is the same guy. Basically this article is a deck list with a few ideas on sideboarding at the end. My only suggestion could be is to give us more information. While it sounds easy enough, it doesn’t always pan out. I think if you’ve put in enough testing on a deck you should have PLENTY to talk about. To often these days someone will put up a concept deck and not have anything to say about—simply because they don’t know.

Okay, that’s enough for this week. Only three on the bottom, as they are getting harder to find, but that’s a GOOD thing! Sorry
SorrySet: Unglued
Kaja Foglio
Before playing any spell, if a copy of that spell card is in any graveyard, the spell's caster may say Sorry. If he or she does not, any other player may counter the spell by saying Sorry as it is cast.If any player says Sorry at any other time, Sorry deals 2 damage to that player.
about the delay this week, I worked mainly on getting my DnD campaign together and my trading article. Check it out at:


Thanks for reading this week and watch those articles, because someone else is definitely watching them!


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