Argothian Treehouse
Andy Van Zandt



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Argothian Treehouse

with Andy Van Zandt

Small Rants (2)

Again, an article of me talking about several random topics (rather than
just one).  If you don't like listening to complaining or opinions, now's
your chance to duck out.

First topic:  Shane Ferran.  Now I don't want to make this a slam against
the guy,  he was friendly enough when I played him this Saturday.  However, 
when he was shuffling my deck, I noticed that he did the overhand
sleeve-shuffle, with the card faces tilted slightly up, and he was staring
at them the entire time.  Perhaps I'm too nice, and I assumed that maybe he
was just a newbie,  and the damage was done anyways, so I didn't say
anything (I did however, watch him to make sure he didn't seem to be overly
specific with his placement of the cards).  I didn't have to mulligan an
abnormal amount (although the third game I two land teased pretty hard, and
still almost pulled it out, if not for my error on the my last turn),  but I
honestly don't think he was cheating.  It was still kind of shady behaviour,
but again, I figured he was a newbie (since I didn't recall having seen him
before).  Then I got home and read this article: and it got
me thinking.

Now again, he was friendly during my game, and so I'm not going to rag on
him for that,  but he apparently has attended events before,  and so he
should know better...  not trying to slam, or do anything really, other than
offer some constructive criticism for him (or anyone else who may need it), 
it's a good idea to be a little mindful of how you behave at a tournament. 
Etiquette,  while not an earth-shattering crime,  is something you should be
mindful of.  When you've already got a couple articles about you on the net,
  perhaps you should consider being a bit less... something.  Unless you're
going for the infamy thing.  -Again-,  so I don't get flamed, I'm not
yelling at the guy, just saying...  I hope the next tourney report he's
included in is a bit more favorable.  He was a nice guy.

Next up-  when your opponent asks you if they've laid a land for the turn,
what's the "right" answer?  This is a discussion I've had with several
people before, and again a couple of weeks ago.  The "right" answer is "yes,
you have", regardless of if you know differently, on the basis that it's
their responsibility to keep track of such things.  Now, even though I know
that it's the "right" answer,  the answer I give is the truth, or I actually
try to ascertain if they have.  This probably could have gone in my ethics
articles.  I'm what I'd like to call a game "purist",  the game should be
played as the game is.  If your opponent errors, yes that's part of the
game.  But attempting to influence the outcome of the game via untruths, or
by representing the game state as something other than what it is, does not
appeal to me.  I think that used to be against the rules, even.  And I also
overheard a conversation about asking your opponent to count their sideboard
when you're about to take lethal damage... hoping they made a mistake and
will get a game loss.  The idea being that the game is often played waiting
for your opponent to make an error that you can exploit with your cards,  so
when they make an error (in sideboarding, or whatever),  you should exploit
that too.

Again, to me, this is incorrect, in part.  You're playing the game.  It has
rules, yes.  If you honestly think your opponent was trying to cheat, then
yes, you should call a judge.  But at the point where your GOAL is to get a
game win based on things outside of actual game-play,  you're not playing
the game,  you're not trying to win based on your skill versus your
opponent's at said game,  you're attempting to play the rules.  It relates
back to what I've said before about cheating;  You are playing a game.  Your
opponent is playing with you.  The game has rules to be followed.  Rules are
what defines the game.  If magic's rules included "everyone goes and hides
while one person closes their eyes and counts to ten",  it's a different
game,  it's hide n' seek.  If one of you is cheating,  they are,  in effect,
playing a different game-  the boundaries set forth for the game, the rules,
are different than those your opponent is using.  Thus even if you win the
match,  you did not win "the game",  because you were both playing something
entirely different.  Like playing hide n' seek on a baseball field, and then
running up and tagging the pitcher while he's on the mound, and claiming
he's it... and that you've won.  I hope that makes sense to some of y'all, 
though it may sound a bit convoluted  ;)

And I'll whip a bit of direct magic helpfullness at y'all for the article- 
last week the Dallas PTQ top 8 included something like 6 red/white decks, a
goblin deck, and a mono-white deck.  There was quite a bit of red/white in
the tourney in general.  This week, in Austin,  there were three goblin
bidding decks (which hardly saw any play the prior week's tourney) in the
top 8,  a couple of zombie decks, and a couple of assorted other decks. 
There was comparitively little red/white in the tourney as a whole,  I
actually think the mono-white control decks outnumbered the red/white.  So
maybe we're starting to establish the "cycle", as it were, of the way the
metagame will begin rotating.  Or maybe it's just a very extreme shift that
me, being a dork, found interesting.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me.


You can reach Andy at:

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