I was at a tournament in Harrisburg, PA, a few weeks ago and witnessed one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen done with Magic booster packs.
There were two players at a table, opening booster packs and spreading the cards on the table, face down. For each pack laid out in front of them, the players would take turns selecting cards. One player would flip his chosen card over for everyone to see, while the other quickly ripped his card in half – without looking. They would go back and forth until the “flip” player turned up the rare, or until there were no more cards to select. Then the “rip” player would reveal the damage done, often eliciting loud groans from the growing number of watchers.
They called this game, naturally, “Flip it or Rip it.” I watched them flip and rip about half a box of Return to Ravnica, an incredibly suspenseful sight, considering the possibility of seeing a decimated money mythic like the then-$40 Jace, Architect of Thought.
A week later, I went to GP Washington DC, and decided to have some Flip it or Rip it fun with random players there. I videotaped the shenanigans, and upped the suspense level tenfold by throwing in a Modern Masters pack.
It was pretty fun to see the stressed-out expressions on other players’ faces when I ripped up cards, especially during the Modern Masters pack. Some men like to watch the world burn, I guess.
I’ll be at GP Dallas this weekend trying to finally make a GP Day 2, so if you’re there look for the guys in the purple shirts. Don’t forget to check out the Bad Magic Podcast with new episodes posted every Thursday, and keep checking back here on Mondays for new posts!
Apparently I’ve been doing BadMagicPlayer.com for a year now, and boy, does time fly. What started off as a joke and something to waste time has grown into…well, a slightly larger joke and more of a time waster.
Anyhow, I’m super stoked about Gatecrash and its potential smashing impact on all the formats. But no format will be ravaged more by Gatecrash than SilverBlack Standard. I’ve taken a bit of a break from playing the weekly Saturday evening Magic Online SBS tournaments mostly because of one card’s dominance: Lingering Souls.
Currently, SilverBlack Standard is a format with no real wrath effects and there are few practical ways to deal with an Esper Spirit deck’s ability to make 4-6 spirits incredibly fast and then play one Intangible Virtue or Phantom General for good game. There are plenty of ways to deal with the pumpers, so those aren’t really the issue. Intangible Virtue and Favorable Winds can be disenchanted or countered, and there are plenty of removal and burn cards available to take down Phantom General and Drogskol Captain without a problem. But focusing on the buffers leaves a huge number of flying spirits still on the table that ultimately beat you senseless without any real way to keep them in check. As a result, the card was recently banned for the “official” events online, but there was no indication whether it would stay banned after more sets release.
Enter Gatecrash, a set that brings us enough spirit hosers to let us consider the reintroduction of the token-generator back into the wild.
Lately I’ve been looking for alternative (read: cheap) ways to play Magic Online without having to pay $14 to draft and lose the first round. There are several player-run events on MTGO (called PREs) that offer cheap fun and good, quality Magic. Wizards is kind enough to allow players to run their own tournaments as long as the entry fee is “fair,” and hosts space on their forums for advertising and discussion. Events take place in the MTGO casual play rooms, and there is almost always something going on.
One rising PRE is called SilverBlack. It’s basically a slight upgrade from Pauper (only commons allowed in decks), where decks can consist only of commons and uncommon cards. SilverBlack comes in both Modern and Standard flavors, although the Modern version is more popular. Currently all cards are legal in SilverBlack Standard, and there is a banned list for Modern (mostly the obvious cards – Bloodbraid Elf, the artifact lands, Sensei’s Divining Top, etc.)
Tournaments are organized through Gatherling.com, a simple website that makes it easy for players to find events, register decks, and track results. The site is also a great source for online Pauper and Heirloom (commons, uncommons, and super-cheap rares) tournaments.
Most tournaments are free to enter, and prizes are frequently awarded, depending on whether the events are sponsored. So far I’ve mostly seen store bot credit and foils/promos awarded. But the more popular the events become, the better the prizes will certainly be.
I built a few decks and tried my luck at the weekly Saturday night (10pm Eastern) SilverBlack Standard Event, going 2-1 with a Selesnya Aggro build. I taped my matches (using the MTGO Beta Client, so peep that out as well) and posted them on YouTube so you can see how they went. Add me on MTGO (badmagicplayer), build some SilverBlack Standard decks, and let’s have a good time!
Selesnya Aggro Deck Tech
Round 1 vs. Esper Spirits
Round 2 vs. Selesyna Tokens
Round 3 vs. Esper Tokens
Is M13 drafting dull? Tired of a stale Standard format? Well, I’ve got the solution for you! There’s an “underground” format waiting for you! It has several names, depending on the variation played – the most common being Momir Basic. There’s also Momir/Jhoira Basic, or “MoJho,” and Momir/Jhoira/Stonehewer Basic, or “MoJhoSto.”
The names sound bizarre, and so is the format; but trust me, you’ll have boatloads of fun with this stuff. The format is based on the old Vanguard game variation, and uses the Magic Online versions of Momir Vig (“Mo”), Jhoira of the Ghitu (“Jho”), and Stonehewer Giant (“Sto”) Avatar cards. You can easily pick all of these up from a MTGO vendor bot or from other players – Momir Vig runs about 8 tickets, while Jhoira and Stonehewer each cost less than a ticket.
The MoJhoSto Vanguard cards
The Dark Ascension release events are behind us and there are new booster packs begging to be opened. But why just open a pack, ruffle through the jank, look at the rare, then just toss the pack aside if it sucks, when instead, you can play with every card inside and have a lot of fun?!
A glorious Magic lottery ticket
Below are three different games you can play while you’re cracking those packs. Trust me, these will be 100 times more fun than just opening a pack and looking at what’s inside.
All of these require another person to play, and you can play just for fun or add a bit of gambling by playing for the contents of the packs.
WARNING: All of these games require you to shuffle the contents of packs without knowing what they are, so be careful when doing so in case you pack a Sorin or other money rare.