MTGYou #57 – Trick or Cheat

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In Our Main Phase:

On this episode of the MTGYou Podcast stream we look at a couple of  players recently banned for cheating and we talk about things that scare us while playing MTG.

In the News:

On-going iTunes Contest:

  • Give us 5 star review on iTunes for a chance to win a play mat of your choice from Judge Jeremy’s vast collection (this contest will go ’till the end of the year.)

Video:

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Find our show on YouTube
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Cheating at Magic? You’ve got to be Kidding Me!

This Week in Popculture’s Cube: Cheating at Magic? You’ve got to be Kidding Me!

firepantsHot on the heels of the recent cheating scandals on the Magic circuit, I thought I’d give you my full and unvarnished reaction.

Are you KIDDING me?

Honestly, I mean that – are you kidding me? Set aside the fact that cheating is wrong, and the fact that the cheating was committed at public events where thousands, if not millions, had the opportunity to watch, and let’s focus on this one major issue: these fellows cheated at what is, ostensibly, a game marketed to children.

To the non-Magic-playing Outside World (who, let’s be honest, couldn’t care less), this is the equivalent of an adult cheating at Candyland. It’s an act with little to gain, and you just plain look bad trying.

And of course, we immediately have to ask, what drives these people to do these squalid, petty things? What would possess someone to cheat at Magic, of all things – a game that’s already got enough strategy and trickery built in?

The knee-jerk reaction is to say that there’s something inherently wrong with Magic itself as a game or as a culture that fosters this kind of problem. And, to the casual observer, this could be borne out in the evidence – hardly a GP/PTQ season passes us by that there isn’t at least one or two major cheating scandals by players that we are, supposedly, meant to look up to and emulate. Furthermore, I’m sure that each and every one of us have encountered players who, far from looking at the stiff penalties leveled at these folks and thinking “Boy, I better watch myself and straighten out,” will instead think “Heh, what a dummy – when I cheat, I won’t get caught.”

However, if we’re honest, we all know that cheating is not endemic only to Magic. We see it everywhere. Schools districts nationwide have done it, altering students’ test scores in order to get better funding; most famously, professional sports figures have been caught using banned substances to increase their performance.

Looking at that last examples, while the behavior is reprehensible and outright wrong, we can, perhaps, understand the motivation – these sports figures people have to keep producing strong numbers in their sports so they can make extremely large amounts of money, get their faces on Wheaties’ boxes, and what-have-you. This puts a lot of pressure on them, which undoubtedly drives, at least in part, the cheating impulse.

Which is, I think, what makes these Magic cheating scandals particularly damning. Magic professionals, while they are well-compensated, certainly don’t make millions of dollars. Further, their renown and prestige is limited to an admittedly narrow group of people (I for one, can’t name any more than one or two professional Magic players off the top of my head).

So, given that, why do it? It seems so petty a thing to scam another player just to get, at best, a few thousand dollars, or your name on a trophy. Why go to those lengths? Why got to that kind of risk for so little reward?

It tells me that these people, somewhere inside, have something to prove – either to themselves or to others. But they feel that they can’t do it honestly, they can’t do it with their inborn skill-set. They feel that they themselves aren’t good enough to win.

Which, in the end, simply makes me sad for them.

MTGYou #56 – Kahning You Onto the Meta Bus

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In Our Main Phase:

On this episode of the MTGYou Podcast, we talk about the state of the current meta game. Get on the Meta Bus with us!

In the News:

  • Wizards has announced a new MTG related board game.
  • Possible cheater, Trevor Humphries under investigation.

On-going iTunes Contest:

  • Give us 5 star review on iTunes for a chance to win a play mat of your choice from Judge Jeremy’s vast collection (this contest will go ’till the end of the year.)

Video:

Contact Us:

Please send us comments or questions:

Never Miss an Episode!

Find our show on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMTGYou

Tune in live on Thursday nights about 7:30 pm mountain time
http://www.twitch.tv/mtgyou

Subscribe via iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mtgyou/id720646756?mt=2

Podcast RSS Feed:
http://www.mtgyou.com/category/podcast/feed/

Listen on Stitcher:
http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mtgyou?refid=stpr

Show your support to MTGYou by:

  • Subscribe and Like to us on YouTube
  • Follow us on Twitch
  • Leave a 5 star review on iTunes.
  • Send us your comments and questions: mtgyoupodcast@gmail.com
  • Like us on Facebook!

Missing the Meta Bus

This Week in Popculture’s Cube: Missing the Meta Bus

meta-busThose of you who are careful listeners of the podcast or who follow my writing here know one thing for sure: I love EDH.

It’s a fun format. Challenging. Artistic. Highly conceptual.

When I think about Magic, I think about EDH. When I look at a particular card, I think of how it’ll fit as a singleton in a delightful Commander deck. My mind runs on EDH when it comes to Magic.

And I recently discovered something: that focus on EDH has completely handicapped me. Completely.

I was recently on the podcast again with Daemon and Blades, and the topic was Burn vs. Aggro. Among the discussions during the show were those particular decks in the present meta.

If you didn’t notice, I was… pretty quiet during that part of the show. And there’s a reason for that.

When you work in the world of EDH, you work in the world of antiquity. Maybe, since I have a master’s degree in history and specialized in Ancient History, that’s why EDH appeals to me – you’re delving for ancient things, for hidden logics, for esoteric lore, for combinations that stretch all the way back to Magic’s hoary, antediluvian vastness.
And you don’t necessarily pay attention to any new cards unless they can help a particular deck you’re working on.

I quickly came to realize that – holy moly!!! – I know basically nothing about the good cards in the last couple of sets. I’d forgotten about the combos that work in Journey into Nyx and Khans of Tarkir. Heck, I don’t know ANY combos that work in them.

Part of that, yes, is driven by my EDH addiction. And part of that is driven by the fact that, among the folks I play with, Standard and the current meta isn’t something that’s really hotly pursued. Most of the guys I play against play EDH, they play Modern, etc. They don’t try to keep up with Standard a lot, usually because of the speed, ferocity, and downright dogged cutthroat nature of the format.

Another issue for me is that, flat out, I rarely have the opportunity to play Standard in any organized, competitive way. The nearest Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS) in my neck of the woods is 30 minutes away and, given my schedule, I’m not likely to play at an FNM anytime soon. I’ve actually played at 2 FNMs my entire life, and one of those was by accident.

But I WANT to be current, I want to know what’s going on. Which I one of the reasons I’m grateful to the dudes at TheMTGYou. But that’s also why I’m grateful to the larger Magic community. There’re a lot of us out there, all of us struggling with our own Magic issues.

We each have our dragons to slay when it comes to Magic. I know what mine are. I keep missing the Meta Bus. I don’t pay attention to the things I need to in order to win. I often build sloppy decks.

Let me hear about yours.