The Mana Pool
Join Brian, Mike, Dirk and Chewie as they discuss all things Magic: The Gathering. Since there are plenty of tournament and strategy podcasts out there, we've decided to focus on the fun of the game in all its many forms, from Prereleases to multiplayer free-for-alls to whatever else we can come up with. Give us a listen!
Episode 39 - Back to Basics:  The Basics

This episode kicks off a series we've decided to call Back to Basics. Since Wizards of the Coast is focusing on acquisition this year, we thought it would be nice to spend a few episodes focusing on some of things that would be relevant to newer players, affectionately referred to as “noobs”. For this episode, we've started with the basics. Each of us (except Dirk, who chose his girlfriend and Dark Knight over us for some reason) go over how we started playing Magic back in the day, and all the anecdotal fun that goes along with that.


After covering the beginning, we decided to go over some of the misconceptions we had when we were noobs. That leads to more interesting anecdotes, of course. From there we move into some of the mistakes that we see new players making all the time. And we mean things all new players do, like over-protecting your life total and using combat tricks at inopportune moments. More anecdotes, of course. We have lots of stories to tell. Some of them are interesting, others not so much. Hopefully we'll avoid these later ones.


If you are in fact a newer player, then we would like to offer you a wondrous resource for helping you learn all there is to know about the game. That resource is the Magic Academy, a column on the Magic website written specifically for you. The column assumes you know the basics of how stuff works, and goes from there. It's really good stuff. Even if you're not a noob, you should still check this out. I read every column when they were writing this thing, and I've been playing for years. Here's the link to the entire run on the Magic site:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/academy/home


And of course, we end the episode with a call for topics. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or requests for a topic for the Back to Basics series, then please please please let us know. Our email address is directly below, as is the link to the forum thread for this episode. If you'd like to go straight to Show Ideas on the forums, here's the link to the last page of the thread:

http://cardshark.freeforums.org/show-ideas-t90-105.html


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-39-back-to-basics-the-basics-t203.html
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Direct download: Episode_39_-_Back_to_Basics_-_The_Basics.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:45am EST

Episode 38 - The Eventide Prerelease Ordeal

On this special Prerelease episode of The Mana Pool, we are joined by a special guest. You know him as garthok84 from the forums, and as a matter of fact so do we, but his name is Jason. He was good enough to join us on the show with virtually no warning and no prep time whatsoever, so we appreciate that quite a bit. Everyone give a big thanks to him on the forums for making the episode much more interesting, because without him we'd have been the usual amount of dorky.


We kick the episode off with a bad beats story. No, not a game of Magic. This bad beats story is the series of unfortunate events that happened on the morning of the Prerelease. I told this story to Jason, and a couple judges, and a handful of listeners, at the Prerelease, and they agreed that it is a story that must be shared with the world, so here you go. Hopefully it's so bad that it will make you feel better about yourself. Let's just say old Murphy and his laws were running rampant across my life that morning.


Then of course we have to go into everyone's Eventide Prerelease experience. We nitpick Jason's deck, make fun of Mike's inability to build a 40 card deck on the first try (or even the last try), praise Dirk for his awesomeness, make fun of Brian for using Worm Harvest even though last week he claimed it was one of those cards you probably shouldn't run, and wonder at the sheer number of bombs in my deck (keep listening to see whether or not they actually did me any good). If you want to see the decks we used, they'll be listed in the Eventide Prerelease Deck Lists thread on the forum, found here:

http://cardshark.freeforums.org/eventide-prerelease-deck-lists-t199.html


We finish the episode up with an actual Magic bad beats story from Jason, who recounts the experience of his friend at the Prerelease. It's really short, pretty simple, and so incredibly painful that it warrants its own paragraph in the show notes. I can't even put it here, you just have to listen. Yeah, it's that bad.


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-38-the-eventide-prerelease-ordeal-t202.html
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Direct download: Episode_38_-_The_Eventide_Prerelease_Ordeal.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:15pm EST

Episode 37 - Eventide Previews and the Last Tribal War

Ah, summer. The sun shines brightly, the birds sing sweetly in the trees, and a young dork’s fancy turns to thoughts of the last few Eventide preview cards we’ll be talking about before the big event this weekend. Mike here again, as Chewie insists that the posting of the show goes much faster whenever he doesn’t have to write the show notes himself (it does).


First, we finally conclude tribal “month” with the results from the last of the Onslaught vs. Lorwyn tribal wars matches: Elves. It’s the battle that seemed to interest everyone the most, and the narrative does not disappoint. From there, it’s on to the small handful of intriguing preview cards, as well as a short feature on the recently revealed new creature tokens for Eventide that will be showing up here and there in your booster packs (some creatures have hair!).


We close with an open discussion of special tips and other things to keep in mind when building your sealed deck at the Eventide prerelease event. The fact that Shadowmoor will still be in the mix means that everyone will have an immense number of viable color combinations to choose from, and we’ll all need to have some method of keeping everything sane and orderly.


Now that previews have come to an end, feel even freer to send in your praises, criticisms, questions, and suggestions for the show and its various segments. As a podcast for the more casual side of Magic, we want to know what the people have their minds on and are most interested in talking about. Thanks for helping us make it all the way to Episode 37! Just try not to listen to any more episodes on your way to the parking lot (you need to watch for cars).


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-37-eventide-previews-and-the-last-tribal-war-t197.html
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Direct download: Episode_37_-_Eventide_Previews_and_the_Last_Tribal_War.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:45pm EST

Episode 36 - A Staggering Amount of Eventide Previews

Hey, this is Mike here, filling in for fearless leader Chewie, who is currently busy eating ice cream and playing Rock Band (or watching The Muppet Show; he wasn't very clear on that point).  In this episode, Brian is back above the weather, giving us our customary cadre of dorks.
 
It turned out that the massive weekend info dump to the visual spoiler that we totally didn't expect to happen actually happened, with a total of 18 new Eventide cards having been put up on the site between the evenings of the 3rd and the 8th, including another one of the new cycle of Spirit Avatars (I've taken to calling them "Spaghetti Monsters") and 4(!) of the new cycle of Lieges.
 
So yeah, we have tree-insect-dragon-lich things (sort of), puppy dogs full of bees (not really), Chewie's face (almost), and Will (poor Will).  Follow along at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/eventide/spoiler to see for yourself what all those idiot words mean.
 
Forum thread for this episode:  http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-36-a-staggering-amount-of-eventide-previews-t196.html
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Direct download: Episode_36_-_A_Staggering_Amount_of_Eventide_Previews.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:56pm EST

Episode 35 - Eventide Previews 3 and Then Some

In this episode, we are without Brian, who is feeling under the weather. With the lead rambler missing, you'd think this episode would be shorter, wouldn't you? Shows you what you know, we can all ramble just fine whether we have Brian or not. Sorry for yet another long episode.


But what an episode it is! First off we go over the results of the Onslaught vs. Lorwyn Tribal Wars for Wizards! Mike and I played these games in the morning before we did the Rock Band and Magic featured in the last episode. Wizards! They're slow, they're boring, and they're a bit silly when taken all together. Who won? I'm not going tell you! Give us a listen and find out. It actually wasn't boring to discuss, so hopefully you'll enjoy it.


Then, of course, we had to hit the preview cards. I must say, I'm getting more and more excited about Eventide as they show more and more cards. Every card that had been shown as of Thursday July 3 is discussed here. Technically, that should have been all the cards that have been shown thus far because July 4 is an American holiday, but lo and behold on Friday they revealed another seven cards! On a national holiday! Oh well, we'll grab those next time. For now, we touch on the twelve cards that popped up since the last episode. Thanks for listening and enjoy!


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-35-eventide-previews-3-and-then-some-t195.html
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Direct download: Episode_35_-_Eventide_Previews_3_and_Then_Some.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:13pm EST

Episode 34 - Eventide Previews and Multiplayer Free-For-All Extravaganza 2

In this episode, we take on the nine new Eventide cards that have been previewed on the Magic site since the last episode. Not only the cards in the visual spoiler and the day's articles, but also a few cards that showed up in the Eventide primer video in Monday's Arcana. Tuesday's video had no new cards, but it's a good way to familiarize yourself with Chroma, the new ability word in Eventide. Here are the relevant links.


Eventide Visual Spoiler:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/eventide/spoiler


Eventide Video #1: Hybrid:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/arcana/1622


Eventide Video #2: Chroma:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/arcana/1623



But now for the meat of the episode. The last two game sets of Tribal Month have been pushed back yet again by a momentous gathering of the dorks. This past weekend, your host dorks (that's Mike, Brian, Dirk, and me, Chewie) gathered at my lovely girlfriend's house (she has the most room) to play Magic. We were joined in this gathering by one of our college dorks who is now in grad school way out of town, the oft-mentioned AJ. It was a lot of fun to have AJ playing around the table with us again, even when he won with a Mana Echoes-fueled Fireball out of nowhere in the first game. We were finally able to put our mantra of “Kill AJ” to good use again, since he was actually sitting there with us. Seven games were played, and we took notes to pass the games along with you listeners, since everyone seemed to enjoy the last time we did it.


That was Episode 15 just in case you missed it and enjoy that sort of thing. Thanks everyone for listening, and if you've stumbled upon this episode because of the Eventide previews, feel free to give some of the rest of the episodes a chance. Just excuse the first episode, we didn't quite know what we were doing yet.



Music for this episode: Together Again by The Muppets

You might recognize this, it's the opening song from The Muppets Take Manhattan, played here in honor of having AJ back with us.


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-34-eventide-previews-multiplayer-free-for-all-2-t193.html
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Episode 33 - Eventide Previews and More

In this episode, we give you the result of the Onslaught vs. Lorwyn Goblin Tribal War thing. The captain for the Onslaught deck was the Goblin Warchief, and the Lorwyn deck got the Mad Auntie. Who won? I'm not going tell you. You'll just have to listen. You can find the decklists for these two decks here, eventually:

http://cardshark.freeforums.org/tribal-month-t179.html


Then, Tribal Month gets preempted by the Eventide previews, which have started just a bit early. We'll get back to the various things we wanted to discuss eventually, but as big breaking news, the previews just won't wait. We cover all the officially spoiled cards as of the week before official previews started. Starting from the bottom of the page and going up, we go from Doomgape to Thunderblust. I really wish I was making that up, because it sounds quite silly. Anyway, stay tuned for multiple episodes a week for the preview weeks, where we'll be going over all the cards found there. You can find the full visual spoiler here:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/eventide/spoiler


Then, we decided to go back a bit and cover some news we missed. First off is the announcement of From the Vault: Dragons, a Limited Edition boxed set. It includes 15 foil dragons from the history of Magic, including a new dragon that will appear in Shards of Alara. Of the 15, 6 will have newly commissioned art. Find the full announcement here:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/arcana/1589


And finally, we hit the relatively recent announcement of a second edition of Duel Decks. Last time we had Elves vs. Goblins, but this time we get Jace vs. Chandra. Some of the best control and burn cards from the history of the game will be featured in these ready to play 60 card decks, along with foil alternate-art versions of those mighty planeswalkers, Jace Beleren and Chandra Nalaar. Find the full announcement here:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/arcana/1608


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-33-eventide-previews-and-more-t192.html
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Direct download: Episode_33_-_Eventide_Previews_and_More.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:52pm EST