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The Random Meanderings of Scott

by Scott Gerhardt

Ever get writer's block?  You know - when you know you're supposed to pick this awesome subject that everyone is going to want to read and be talking about for the week, and you just can't.  You'll sit there and ponder...and ponder...and ponder.  You go to check your hotmail account for some ideas, only to find that since you haven't seen it in the last 3 months, it got whacked by MSN.  Next you gripe about why did it have to be at the Braves' expense that the Astros win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.  Next, disgusted, you walk over and watch your wife play poker.  At this point, I grow even more disgusted, and I don't know why.  Maybe it's because I just watched her get sucked out on really bad (that's a poker term meaning she mathematically should have won, but the cards were not nice).  Maybe it's because she's playing poker while I'm writing.  Maybe it's because she's good enough to still have money in her account while a series of higher stakes tournaments combined with luck that makes an Albatross look like a lottery winner (if you don't get the reference, go read Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner) have sucked my account bone dry.  Yeah - probably the latter.

So there are a jillion topics swirling in my head, but none I really feel I want to write over.  So, in lieu of writing a full article on any of them (something I reserve the right to do later), I will simply run with a series of meanderings over a bunch of semi-relevant topics.

Topic #1 - One Game System in Tournaments

I dunno what to think on this yet.  I have not played in a major tournament using this format.  I played the Spider-Man Sneak Peak and went 5-0, so I guess I can't hate it based on personal feelings.  So I think about the lack of a sideboard.  Well, no sideboard means games 2 and 3 would have the same deck used as game 1.  Nothing changes, so that tends to lean toward the 1 game system.  It makes the games much shorter, but increases the rounds to decrease the luck factor.  I do like that - can't play the same number of rounds and have it work.  Of course, I am a huge advocate of having a Sideboard in the game, so in the end, I'd like to see this in a 2 of 3 format.  under the current rules, though, I think the extra rounds balances the luck factor.  It changes the metagame, though, allowing decks that might otherwise be not as good, the ones with a high surprise value that often can only win game 1, now ONLY have to win Game 1 - that's a huge plus.

My overall stand on it for now is that I kinda like it, pending further review.

Topic #2 - Are X-Men really that good now?

I guess so, yeah.  UDE decided that Marvel's #1 team kinda got shafted in the first set, and really went out to fix it, adding in such incredible powerhouses as Bamf!, Ultimate Sacrifice, Siege Perilous, Archangel, Angel of Death, and John Proudstar.  I think they might have overcompensated a little and now we might have an X-Men deck that is a little TOO powerful.  Time will tell, but I think the X-Men/Brotherhood team-up deck might be the most powerful in the environment with these nasty additions. 

Topic #3 - What do you think of the foil system in this game?

As a dealer, I have a MAJOR issue with this.  When I bust a box of 24 packs and get 16 non-foil rares, that's a problem.  One of the issues with the fact that you get a foil rare one-in-three is that it really drys up the non-foil rare market quickly.  There are a lot of players that don't like foils.  They sell them at the same price as normal ones - I know, I buy them.  My foil rare inventory is better than my non-rare inventory because players generally want the regulars.  Yes, there are people that like the foils, but they are SO easy to get. 

This is a plea to Upper Deck....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE....fix the colation of foils.  Allow me to make a suggestion for per-box:

4 Rare
8 Uncommon
12 Commons

This is not dramatically different from what you're doing now, but would work awesomely.  Actually, I think I'd REALLY like to see 3/8/13 as a generally basis (I know they would not always appear that way).

Jeff and friends, I know you're avid internet readers and you've got to see this.  Please consider something like this.  Your "foil in every pack" idea is actually a good one - just make the collation of foils not be dead even - it just doesn't make sense.

Topic #4 - What do you think about having First Edition and Unlimited cards?

This is a set-up for me to rant.  It's completely stupid.  Right now, I have an easier time getting First Edition Marvel Origins than Unlimited.  Not that I have a hard time with either.  The concept of doing 1st ed and UL in a non-highly collectible game is really dumb.  It worked with Pokemon because it had a high collector's value, and the 1st ed was really far harder than UL to get.  You had to get it early, or it was gone.

I went to Target the other day and saw 1st Edition boosters in blisters there.  Now, from an unnamed source, I was told that 1st Edition boosters were for hobby outlets and would never be seen in places such as Wal-Mart and Target.  What happened there?

If you're gonna make 1e, make it worth something.  Right now, it's not, and the only thing you've been successful in doing here is really pissing off the collectors and dealers. 


That is going to end my random ramblings for the day.  Next week, we'll see what kinda substance we can build into the brain.

Oh yeah - www.ShuffleAndCut.com for cards - we love your business!

Until next time, keep playing!



Without Victory, there is no survival...


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