The Year That Wasn’t

Guy on the left? He's from the awesome timeline where these posts were actually published.

Title suggested by @TheSundry.

If you write for a blog, or a blog, or just write, you know that not every post is your best. There are drafts upon drafts that some writers write to finally get that piece up. Coming from a fiction background I don’t write the usual Magic related posts (From my “Interviews” with MaRo, to my scripts, to deeply personal pieces).

You also know that you don’t use every idea you come up with either. Sometimes I don’t get a post done in timely fashion (as the time has passed for it to be relevant), or I don’t like where the post is going and it gets canned. As the sole writer and editor for this blog what I say goes, which can either be a good thing (all the content I want gets posted), or bad (such as non-deadlines).

Quick aside. Here’s something that some of you might not know: I don’t get paid for blogging. As you may have noticed, there’s no ads on this site, no one’s selling anything, nor any card site banners. There’s nothing wrong with that (as I have several blogger friends who do, and it’s perfectly fine), it’s just that I write when I have the time (and Wife, job and life comes first).

I’m not going to give you an end of the year review where I go back and revisit my top articles I posted. Today, you’re going to find out about articles that I didn’t post this year for one reason or another. If one thing had been different, you might have seen one of these posts up on this blog. But it wasn’t, so you get this reality we live in.

This is my Planar Chaos.

Title: After MaRo – Santa Baby
Content: I send MaRo a package. In it is a Santa suit and I ask him to play Santa for a Little Brother I pretend I have and I take him to the Wizards building. The whole thing is a scam to steal the Worldwake spoiler list and book it. I get tasted by the big giant gun the comes out of the top of the building while I hope the kid gets away.
Why it wasn’t published: Ran out of time (being Christmas time and all), and had trouble with the second act (the kid wanting too many things to make it even a little plausible) and wasn’t sure if the twist ending of me in WotC’s dungeon telling it as a flashback would work.
Sample:

INT. – WIZARDS OF THE COAST OFFICES – MORNING

MARO walking into “The Pit,” a WotC employee only area where they design Magic cards, sips his coffee and strolls to his cubicle for the morning. He stops when he sees a large unopened package sitting on his deck. Looking around, he shrugs his shoulders and places his laptop bag on the ground. MONTY ASHLEY, another employee who happens to work on the website comes up to MARO’s cubicle.

MONTY
Hey Mark, I need your article for next week today. The second week of the best of…

MARO cuts his off.

MARO
What do you know about this?

MONTY
The package? I don’t know, I’m not your personal assistant. Don’t forget your article.

MARO nods and MONTY walks away shaking his head. Staring at it for a moment, MARO doesn’t hear when AARON FORSYTHE comes up as well.

AARON
What’s in the box?

MARO
I don’t know. I’m kinda afraid to open it.

AARON sips his coffee.

AARON
Maybe it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.

MARO
(scoffs)
I wish.

AARON
Dude, just open it.

Chance it could published: Cute idea, but not really; the idea fell flat. For those that are wondering, this was the answer to the QotD on Twitter I posted about revealing the end of a 15 year old movie.

Title: Magic Cinema: Reservoir Santas
Content: Another movie parody. This time the movie was Reservoir Dogs’ opening scene. It was going to be how the people at WotC arguments and discussions sometimes takes a turn for the worst. Instead of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” it was going to be the Christmas song “Santa Baby” and how the singer was a gold-digger and the lyrics “Hurry down the chimney tonight” are really suggestive. Really.
Why it wasn’t published: Ran out of time, maybe not the right blog for this type of thing.
Sample: None. It didn’t get past an rough idea and starting to cast the parts. Still unsure of who I was going to be Tareninto’s role (Ken Nagle?)
Chance it could published: Maybe next year, but leaning to not on this site.

Title: Designing Cards After the M10 Changes
Content: Something I want to get back focusing on is the designing cards aspect of this blog, something I don’t feel I do enough of. In this post, it was going to take a look at the new terminology and rule changes and how to design your own cards now. With damage on the stack gone, it made some cards much worse to make, but it makes interesting options for new cards we haven’t seen before.
Why it wasn’t published: Working on other posts (Virgin Pie) and the time had passed once PAX happened.
Sample: Now that this previously unnamed zone now has a name (and the appropriate action on how to get there), it opens up a whole new way for design (remember, elegance is nice). By having rules text for an action you clean up the text box to create whole new ideas:

Something from Nothing – XBBG
Sorcery
Exile up to X cards from an opponent’s graveyard. Put X +1/+1 counters on target creature where X is the number of exiled exiled in this way.

Before this time, you couldn’t do a spell like that without filling up the text box and most likely causing it to be passed over for a place in the set because it might have been too wordy. Now, it could easily see play as an uncommon. Also, see: Delve.

Chance it could published: While it’s not timely, it could still theoretically see print.

Title: What I’ve Created This Month for a Card Creation Contest
Content: Every once in a while I dabble in card creation contents online that some forums do. I actually won the Monthly Card Contest in May on MTGSalvation. Here I was going to go through the rounds and explain what I did to go on to the next round.
Why it wasn’t published: It was back when I was trying to get more time devoted to the blog after being away for a while. I moved onto other things and left this behind.
Sample:

Round 1:
Make a card with affinity for something other than artifacts or a land type. (Feel free to make a card that counts something other than permanents you control, as long as it makes sense.)
Bonus 1: The card is multicolored.
Bonus 2: The card has a converted mana cost of 6 or less.

My entry:Jensara, Burnwood Mistress

Jensara, Burnwood Mistress 3RG
Legendary Creature – Elf Warrior (Rare)
Affinity for elves
Affinity for warriors
When ~ comes into play, draw a card for each Elf you control.
When ~ comes into play, deal 1 damage to target creature or player for each Warrior you control.
2/2

That’s alot of text.  After looking at some of the cards, I wanted to make a more Spike-ish card.  Affinity and low casting cost go against each other.  The reason why affinity is so good it makes big things cheap, so to place it on something small creates the challange.  If you’re having a smaller creature comes into play cheaper, it might be a good idea to make the player wait for it.  Counter-intutive?  Sure, but this is a card that could be played at different times for different effects.

You play Jensara after a Wrath of God, you get to draw a card and ping a player.  On the other hand, if you have emptied your hand with three elf warrior creatures in play, you Opportunity and Lightning Blast.  As MaRo said a couple of weeks ago, players like random effects when they know a little about what’s going to happen (different draw and damage effects each time you play her).

Chance it could published: The next time I enter in a contest, I could chronicle what I’m thinking if that appeals to anyone. Looking back at this, she’d be a pretty awesome EDH General, don’t you think?

Title: Magic Celebrity Commercial – The Other 1%
Content: With Elaine Chase (Head of Brand for Magic (@ElaineChase)) joining the group to meet with the commercial advguys who keep getting it wrong, something different happens; it looks like they’re actually trying to do something right. That is, until the duo shows the PSA they’ve done.
Why it wasn’t published: I was working on it before Kali Anderson won SCG 5K Nashville, and tried to get it out right after but each time it kept getting more sexist and more chauvinistic. I wasn’t happy with it so I shelved it.
Sample:

INT. WIZARDS OF THE COAST MEETING ROOM – MORNING

The trio [Aaron Forsythe, Elaine Chase and Mark Purvis] enter the meeting room and see TIM and CARL finishing setting up their stuff. After a quick introduction of everyone, the Wizards employees sit down as Carl stands and holds up a pack of Magic Cards.

CARL
After doing some research, we discovered that you were missing a very big part of potential customers. It’s funny, because none of your advertisements really focus on this one section of possible players to your game. At the moment, it’s currently about 1% of your customers.

MARK
Vorthos?

CARL
No thanks, I’ve got mine here.

And he holds up a half eaten pack of Mentos.

CARL
(Cont’d)
No no no. This is a completely untapped area that you seem to be missing. May I present to you, the 1%.

With a dramatic wave, he pulls a sheet off of a poster board. The poster board said one word:

WOMEN

Dead silence in the room. No one says anything until Elaine pipes up.

ELAINE
Are you telling me that all of our advertising has been sexist?

TIM
Well, it’s got all this war, and fighting. And when you do have women on the art, they’re always beautiful women angels.

MARK
That’s fantasy! That’s what genre our is.

TIM
And more women are reading fantasy then ever before.

AARON
Take out those Twilight readers.

CARL
Still more.

AARON
And Harry Potter.

TIM
(Beat)
Alright, you got us there. But we learned that women actually play Magic.

ELAINE
(Insulted)
Of course we do.

Chance it could published: If I ever get a joke where it’s not completely sexist, then this goes back to my short list. I’ve got the celebrity already picked out (No suggestions please, I’ve got those jokes set up).

Title: Four Color Magic – No Blue
Content: A continuation of my series of “Four Color Magic” where I take a look at what if there were only four colors in Magic. This time, I take out Blue and give the themes and mechanics to other colors.
Why it wasn’t published: I’ve had to reorganize this one. It’s the second hardest color to take out of Magic. It’s a little hard to do elements when you can’t use Blue for water.
Sample:
Chance it could published: 100% I just didn’t finish it this year. This and the other colors are coming soon.

Sure there were a couple more, but this post has gone on long enough. These just seemed like the most entertaining to write about. I mean, no one wants to hear ab0ut my secret tech to beat Jund or how Stamflogger Boss is going to wreck Legacy, right?

Do I have more article ideas? Of course I do. I didn’t want to give anymore out and let you wait for them. The last one that didn’t make it is to tease you with an image of the next one in the series. Fine, you want another image? This is one that will hopefully appear next week is where I try to explain something that MaRo talked about (what? that never happens):

The spoon and the bowl are metaphors. You figure them out.
My spoon is too big!

Until then, I want to know what your favorite post was of this year. Just curious.

References:

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