I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it*! I know, I know, I know I want you to keep reading despite my absolutely atrocious start to this column! It's not even something about Magic Online that's got be excited either, although it is vaguely related. Oh, not to say that Magic Online isn't exciting either. I mean, a new Standard format that I need to practice for Nationals? That's exciting. Tapping seven mana and discarding a Basic Land to the Momir Vig Avatar and knowing you could hit a Phage the Untouchable? That's exciting too. Not knowing if your opponent is sitting there in their underwear dribbling cheese dip and corn chip crumbs onto their pasty-white bellies? Eh, I guess that's not so exciting ***.
No, the reason I'm so excited is that I get to meet another one of my Magic Online Clanmates this weekend. This may not be much of a feat for some of you, but for me in my cave buried some place deep in the Pacific Islands, with my internet coming through on a flax cable and being displayed on sheepskin stretched over Kauri-tree branch contraption very similar to your computer monitors out there in civilization****, it's super-duper big news and excitement! For someone to undertake the mammoth effort required to venture out to this small and mostly uninhabited isle, just to see me*****, makes me go all rubbery about the eyes and lips, and moisture is expelled from many facial orifices, but I'm not crying because men don't cry!
It's not the first time I've met someone from my clan. The first time was way back before we even had a clan, and we were just a bunch of obnoxious forum trolls. Then I had to wait a couple of years before I got to meet a whole four of them at once at the Pro Tour in Hawaii earlier this year. Sadly, I was there to write and they were all qualified for the Professional Tour, so they could all legitimately claim to be way better than me at actual Magical cards. That said, it was still basically the bestest thing ever getting to hang out with guys who I knew so well from my hanging about on Magic Online. So yeah, that's why I'm so excited that JoINrbs will be visiting me over the weekend.
But what if I don't live up to his expectations? What if I disappoint him in the flesh? What if I'm just this guy, you know? Oh the anticipation. Perhaps it's more of a nervous excitement. Whatever it is, it reminded me that I should banter on a little about clans on Magic Online, and why you should be in one!
For starters, you make friends. Of the five people I have met up with so far, I only knew two of them prior to the Birth of Cymbrogi, but they're all my pals, my compadres, and my Band of Brothers for life****** now, yo. Other than that, you have a group of people you can practice with and discuss deck ideas or draft strategies. Something one of the guys did for us was whip up a web-based database for us to record all of our match results in sanctioned online play. You'd feel pretty daft doing that for just yourself, but for a group it gives us a great snapshot of the metagame at any given moment, which is really quite helpful. So helpful I pretty much consider it the main reason I got to compete at the World Champs last year. [The Cymbrogis aren't all saints, by the way. I beat one in an 8-man tonight, and he called me a sack. I actually lolled. - Craig.]
Speaking of match results, here are this week's Standard Top 8 results. There were nine Top 8 playoffs for a change this week, so that makes 72 possible spots to be taken up by individual decks across all of the Top 8s. The number next to the decks below shows how many times certain archetype took up one of those slots, and the number of (parenthesis) is the number that deck had last week.
8 (5) Blue/Red/Green Urzatron
6 (7) Izzetron (Blue/Red Urzatron Control)
6 (2) Hierarch Control (Green/White/Black Control)
5 (4) Ninja Stompy (Green/Red/Blue Aggro Control)
5 (1) Boros Deck Wins (Red/White Aggro)
5 (0) Green/Blue/White Control
4 (4) Heartbeat (Heartbeat of Spring/Early Harvest Combo)
4 (7) Magnivore (Blue/Red Land Destruction Control)
4 (2) Hand in Hand (Black/White Aggro Control)
3 (0) Gruul Beats (Green/Red Aggro)
3 (2) Zoo (Green/White/Red Aggro)
3 (2) Selesnya Aggro Control (Green/White Aggro Control)
2 (0) Simic Aggro Control (Blue/Green)
2 (2) Blue/Black/White Reanimator
2 (3) GhaziChord (Green/White/Black Aggro Control)
1 (3) Green/Blue Snake Aggro Control
1 (3) Orzhov Husk (Black/White Aggro)
1 (1) Azorius Control (White/Blue)
1 (0) Ghost Dad (Black/White)
1 (0) Rakdos Aggro (Red/Black)
1 (0) Green/White/Black Greater Good Control
1 (0) Azorius Aggro (White/Blue)
1 (0) Blue/Green/White Aggro Control
0 (2) Izzet Control (Blue/Red Control)
0 (3) Four Color Hierarch Control
0 (2) Firemane Control (Blue/White/Red Control)
0 (2) White Weenie
0 (2) Green/White/Blue Glare of Subdual
0 (1) Green/Red Ponza
0 (1) Blue/Black/White Control
0 (1) Green/Black Aggro Control
0 (1) Dimir Control (Blue/Black Control)
0 (1) Owling Mine (Blue/Red Anti-Control)
2 (0) Unknown
So, how do you join or start a clan? Well, I know for a fact that our clan has quite strict and rigorous application process that is practically impervious to penetration by undesirables and noobs alike. But I also know that the sure-fire way to get in is to make friends with as many clan members as possible, because ultimately, they will be the ones voting on your application. Oh, and before you ask, we're completely full up. Whoever set the maximum number of members for a clan at twenty needs a good talking to. However, the same trick probably works for most of the other clans out there. The same is true on Magic Online as is in real life; it's not what you know, it's who you know.
Another option is of course, to start a clan yourself. This doesn't mean you should start spamming the main rooms with “pls join my clan we r leet” and “looking for draft/cyber partners for a clan to rival Cymbrogi for man-on-man action. Studs only please.” My suggestion is find some local players you know in real life, you know, outside of Magic Online, and start a clan with them. The first clan I was in was basically everyone in my city who played and had an account, and while it was little more than a glorified chat window, it seemed to work well and I remember it being particularly good times.
Hokay, I'm running out of time here, so let's move on the prices. The numbers shown, for instance, as 2-4 are the price people are buying the card for, followed by the price people are selling the card for. The prices shown in parenthesis, like this (2-4), are the prices from last week. If a card and its prices have been bolded, it's because there has been a change in price from the week before to help you differentiate those cards from the others that are a little more… static in their movements. Card prices are in Tickets, because that's what most people buy and sell with on Magic Online. Also note that prices can fluctuate based on the time of day as well, depending on just how many people are online selling at the time. Due to my uniquely antipodean location down here in the Pacific and my tendency to hold down a regular nine-to-five job, the prices below end up being more of a general indication of what's going on than an exact science.
Simic Sky Swallower 6-8 (7-8)
Voidslime 5-7 (6-7)
Loxodon Hierarch 3-5 (3-5)
Giant Solifuge 3-5 (3-5)
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV 3-5 (3-5)
Ghost Council of Orzhova 3-4 (4-5)
Burning-Tree Shaman 3-4 (3-5)
Dovescape 1-2 (1-3)
Breeding Pool 14-16 (12-15)
Hallowed Fountain 10-11 (10-12)
Shivan Reef 8-10 (8-10)
Caves of Koilos 8-9 (7-8)
Yavimaya Coast 6-8 (7-9)
Battlefield Forge 5-6 (4-6)
Adarkar Wastes 4-6 (5-7)
Karplusan Forest 4-5 (4-6)
Underground River 4-5 (4-6)
Brushland 4-5 (4-5)
Sulfurous Springs 3-5 (4-6)
Llanowar Wastes 3-5 (4-6)
Steam Vents 8-10 (9-11)
Godless Shrine 8-9 (8-10)
Stomping Ground 7-9 (8-9)
Temple Garden 5-6 (5-7)
Overgrown Tomb 4-6 (5-6)
Sacred Foundry 4-6 (4-6)
Watery Grave 5-6 (5-6)
Blood Crypt 8-9 (8-10)
Prices are still dropping slightly while people try to get rid of their stuff in favor of some new stuff. Hopefully things will solidify as the metagame does, but right now the only solid thing I have eyes for is my pillow. I'll catch you all next week, and I'll be able to tell you how wee JoINrbs's trip to blisterville went.
Until then, sleep well. I know I will…
* Especially now that I have typed it up and sent it off to StarcityGames.com **
** I hate it when people do the “asterisk at the end of the column” thing. They're all ripping off the Ferrett. I'm not ripping of the Ferrett - at least I have the class to go straight to Terry Pratchett, so the Ferrett and I can rip him off together.
*** So yeah, Summer is not a good enough excuse to wear nothing while playing on MTGO or surfening the intermanet. For the sake of the children… please put on some clothes, Craig Stevenson. [Hey, I gotta be me. – Craig]
**** True story.
***** And to visit family and see the beautiful country he was born in and well, maybe it's all about me after all. ;_;
****** Apparently, the word “Cymbrogi” means “a band of brothers,” but we've been told it may also mean “a bunch of men who prefer the company of other men.”