From The Ass
Decks in Flash
Tomes & Goblins
MTG Fan Articles
Getting the Right Help for
By John Hornberg
I’ve got to rant, (rant moved to bottom by editor ...
so scroll down to read the rant if you wish) ...
Now, here’s the actual article. Sorry for the
shortness of it, I decided to revise my style, and try
something more along the lines of an actual essay, so I
hope you like it.
It’s something many of us do with our decks. We
build them, we play them, and we notice that there’s
just something wrong. There’s just that
undeniable force that everyone seems to play that always
beats you. So, you turn to a friend of your or
someone you trust to help fix your deck. They make
suggestions that seem absolutely implausible, and so
stupid and farfetched that even you know better.
Yet, you trust their judgment and go about it in a
ho-hum fashion. You make the changes, and try it
This seems to be a common
scenario for many of us. We build decks, and play
them, and get help, try them out, decide whether the
changes were for the better or for the worse, and keep
right on with our day. While getting help with a
deck has the potential to be an absolute waste of time,
it still should be approached with an open mind, and
with the willingness to make changes as seen fit,
because it has the potential to improve not just your
deck, but your play skill as well.
I recently went through this with my Stompy deck, and I
can say that it has the potential to be a pain.
Sometimes, you come across a person who thinks they are
better than they really are. This is a potential
hazard because they tend to make bad suggestions, and
can over all wind up hurting your deck more than helping
it. Keeping your deck out of the hands of people
who don’t know what they are talking about should be
paramount when it comes to getting good advice.
Another potential hazard is not necessarily with the
people, but with what they suggest. Many players
tend to suggest that you play four of an extremely
outrageously priced card, namely Urza’s Rage, Rishadan
Port, Shadowmage Infiltrator, and many many others.
The key thing is to remember that they are only
suggesting, even though they may use words terms like,
“you need.....” Plus, there’s always a
worthy, and usually common or uncommon substitute to
every expensive rare card that is just as playable.
You just have to remember to watch out for the hazards.
Still, it’s always good to approach any suggestions
people make with an open mind. Heed their
suggestions sometimes, perhaps it’s for the good. Sometimes
changing from one card to another, or playing four of a
card instead of one or two is something to do.
Perhaps the combo that you’re playing is too slow.
With combo decks, people might suggest to drop it, and
play something else. Often, combo decks tend to be
too slow, and too cumbersome from the fast pace on most
decks in the Type II and Extended environments.
Listen to the suggestions, and keep the possibility of
playing the cards suggested over the combo you’re
playing. They may actually talk some sense.
Keeping your mind open may actually help to improve not
only your deck, but your play skill as well.
You may learn things from help that could make you a
better player. Such little things as learning how
a card works, or how to use a card can change you from a
scrub or a newbie to a decent player. Cards like
Rishadan Port can look deceiving to an inexperienced
player, but explaining how the card works, what you can
and cannot do, and when to use it makes all the
difference. These little things things that are
between the lines in the rule book, and are not told to
you. Another benefit to deck help is that it gets
rid of the training wheels of playing. It helps
you to look at your decks, and figure out it’s
weaknesses, and how to plug them up. That trait
can make all the difference in your drafting and sealed
deck building. All of these benefits outweigh by
far the con’s of getting help.
In conclusion, getting help on deck construction and
help on pre- existing decks can have many benefits, but
many con’s as well. You might be forced to deal
with people who have no idea what they are talking
about, and people who make outrageous suggestions, using
rares that are next to impossible to get. The
pro’s severely outweigh the con’s, because you have
the potential of becoming a better constructed player,
as well as a better draft deck builder and sealed deck
builder. Basically, you loose your training wheels
in the game, and learn to go about everything on your
Having to write articles on the recent events in
Afghanistan for my school’s paper, La Bandera, has
changed my view of the entire situation in the past
few weeks. I use to think that bombing
Afghanistan was a good idea, that making them pay was
smart and that an oppressive regime like the Taliban
deserved a major kick in the ass. Well, my view
has changed over the last few weeks. I feel that
our involvement in Afghanistan should not be bombing
the living day lights out of them, hoping that by
crippling the Taliban we will force them to surrender
Osama bin Laden. We need to be diplomatic, even
though it seems out of the question with the Taliban
telling us no to every demand. We need to be
willing to make a few concessions.
Bombing puts innocent civilians at risk, and merely
stirs the rubble from the Soviet attack on Afghanistan
in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Let’s be smart
about our action, not stupid. Something needs to
be done, but I’m saying that dropping bombs on
Afghanistan is not the smartest action.
This angry rage that is fueling the planes over
Afghanistan is not working for us. There are
people all over the world, from Palestine to right
here in the United States, that are calling for an end
to the bombing. We are loosing support by the
minute, and to keep this up will surely cause many
other nations to stop supporting us.
Thank you for letting me rant. You can
respond to the rant if you want, but it won’t change
how I feel on the matter.