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 44 - More Multiplayer Mirth and Merriment  In this episode, we cover a fair bit of news. There's a new look on our forums page. There's a new look for the Magic website. There are lots more pictures of your host dorks on our Facebook group, in case you want to know what we have looked like over the years. Here's a hint: We looked like dorks.


There's also the matter of Shards of Alara previews. No, don't worry, the official previews haven't started yet. But they have shown a couple of interesting things. One is the Hellkite Overlord, which we mentioned on the last show. This time, we give you the full rundown of what the card does. If you'd like to follow along, go to Gatherer and look it up. The other interesting bit of info is the unveiling of the Shards of Alara Prerelease and Launch Party card. Just one for both this time, but boy is it amazing. It's a planeswalker. If you'd like to follow along, check it out here:

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/arcana/1660


Then we get into the meat of the episode. Since these episodes seem to be very popular, we like to do them whenever we get a chance. Last weekend, your four host dorks managed to get together to play some Magic. We got in four good games and one horrible waste of time. Don't play Assassin with just four people, okay? Trust us. Each game came complete with ridiculous card interactions that you just won't see anywhere but a multiplayer casual game, and we kept note of all the hilarity so we could bring it to you, our faithful listeners. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing.


Quick aside: For anyone interested in how my fantasy draft went, I got Adrian Peterson, Clinton Portis, Carson Palmer, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Braylon Edwards for my core starters. Aw yeah.



Music for this episode: Swift - To Phoenix by Foot, off their third album A Communication Manual



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-44-more-multiplayer-mirth-and-merriment-t222.html
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Direct download: Episode_44_-_More_Multiplayer_Mirth_and_Merriment.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:54pm EST

Episode 43 - Back to Basics:  Combat Strategies & Tricks This time, we actually stay on task most of the time! We start off by discussing some basic combat strategy. Attacking, blocking, looking ahead in the game, etc etc. Then we move into tricks. We cover some of the different types of tricks, what they do, and how to use them. It's a much more enjoyable episode than last time, I assure you. That's all you get for now because I seem to have hurt my back and can't really sit here long enough to give you more in-depth show notes. Thanks for listening!



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-43-back-to-basics-combat-strategies-tricks-t217.html
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Direct download: Episode_43_-_Back_to_Basics-Combat_Strategies__Tricks.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:37pm EST

Episode 42 - Back to Basics: The Combat Phase In this episode, we go over that most entertaining of phases, the combat phase. We cover all the steps of combat, what each step entails, and what sort of things you can and can't do in each step. In fact, I'm going to let Mike handle this via IM:


“The way I remember it, it started with a general overview of the structure of the turn, then we looked closer at the general structure of combat, then we went through combat very carefully, step-by-step, and spoke in some detail about special abilities that affect certain steps. With the usual amount of anecdoting and pointless rambling sprinkled in there. And Brian giving explanations that take twice as long and make half as much sense =P”


So there you have it, straight from the Rules Guy's mouth. Or fingers, since he typed that. We don't call Brian the Lead Rambler for nothing, and we do love him for it. Of course, if we're going to call out Brian for his rambling, then we should also call out Mike for randomly waxing about pre-Sixth Edition rules and how they didn't make any sense. He does that at least twice in this episode, perhaps more. And while we're at it, we pick on Dirk for not knowing something obvious close to the beginning of this episode. It turns out he's not dumb, he was actually not paying attention because he was trying to find something related to the Shards of Alara discussion we had just prior to recording.  And of course, let's not leave me out of the merrymaking.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make a Facebook page for the show.  Not at all.  Behind the scenes here at The Mana Pool!


Right then, hope everyone enjoys the episode and learns something useful. Or at least remembers something useful. Or at least gets a kick out of a bunch of dorks discussing combat until we're ready to actually fight.  Thanks for listening, and if you know how to start a Facebook page for the show, please let me know.


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-42-back-to-basics-the-combat-phase-t212.html
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Direct download: Episode_42_-_Back_to_Basics-The_Combat_Phase.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm EST

Episode 41 - Back to Basics: The Sealed Deck Process in Action

On this episode of The Mana Pool, we decided to practice what we preach. Last time, we gave you the basics on Sealed. For this episode, we wanted to show you those basics in action. To do this, we've done two things. First, I opened a Sealed pool of cards (a Shadowmoor Tournament Pack and two Eventide Booster Packs) and copied down the contents. I then sent the list to Dirk, Mike, Brian, and myself. Each of us had the following assignment: Build a Sealed Deck out of this pool, write it down, and be prepared to discuss. Amazingly, all four of us did this assignment, and we discussed our four very different decks. Just as a quick preview, there was a black/green deck, a green/white deck, a green/red deck, and a black/white deck. So not only have we talked about building a Sealed deck, but we have shown that there is no absolutely “right” way to build one out of a given pool. You can find the entire Sealed pool and our decklists here:

http://themanapool.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=366568


And you'd think that would have been a good episode, right? Wrong! That wasn't enough for you, our dear listeners. We had to take it a step further. Not only did we build 4 different decks before we recorded, but we also decided to build another one from an entirely different Sealed pool live on the air! I opened up the cards at the beginning of the episode, and during the discussions of the individual decks, I was sorting and typing up this new list. It went out to the dorks, and we went through the entire process of building a deck out of it. There's much discussion, disagreement, explanation, reasoning, despair, and ultimately, harmony. You can find the entire pool and the final decklist in the same post as before, but here's the link again:

http://themanapool.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=366568


Hopefully you found this educational, or enlightening, or at least entertaining. Let us know what you thought, whether you do it on the forums, in the Facebook group, or just in an email, so we'll know if we should do something like this in the future.



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-41-back-to-basics-the-sealed-deck-process-in-action-t209.html
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Direct download: Episode_41_-_Back_to_Basics-_The_Sealed_Deck_Process_in_Action.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:04pm EST

Note:  If you'd rather read this in a more familiar fashion, you can find it in a *.doc file located here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/themanapool/Sealed_Pools_and_Decks.doc

For Episode 41, I opened a Sealed pool of cards, a Shadowmoor Tournament Pack and two Eventide Booster Packs. Each host dork took this Sealed pool and made a Sealed deck. Here is the original card pool.


Land:

Madblind Mountain (U)

Sunken Ruins (R)


White:

Kithkin Shielddare

Kithkin Zealot

Last Breath

Recumbent Bliss

Suture Spirit (U)

Windbrisk Raptor (R)


Blue:

Banishing Knack

Briarberry Cohort

Dream Thief

Ghastly Discovery

Oona's Grace

Prismwake Merrow

Put Away


Black:

Ashling, the Extinguisher (R)

Crowd of Cinders (U)

Disturbing Plot

Gloomlance

Merrow Bonegnawer

Rite of Consumption

Smoldering Butcher

Splitting Headache


Red:

Blookmark Mentor (U)

Bloodshed Fever

Hotheaded Giant

Inescapable Brute

Puncture Bolt

Smash to Smithereens


Green:

Bloom Tender (R)

Devoted Druid

Gleeful Sabotage

Nurturer Initiate

Phosphorescent Feast (U)

Tower Above (U)

Wickerbough Elder

Wildslayer Elves


Artifact:

Antler Skulkin

Chainbreaker

Hoof Skulkin

Lurebound Scarecrow (U)

Shell Skulkin


Black/White Hybrid:

Beckon Apparition

Bloodied Ghost (U)

Edge of the Divinity

Nightsky Mimic

Unmake


Red/White Hybrid:

Duergar Assailant

Duergar Hedge-Mage (U)

Fire at Will


Blue/White Hybrid:

Aethertow

Enchanted Evening (R)

Thoughtweft Gambit (U)

Turn to Mist


Green/White Hybrid:

Barkshell Blessing

Elvish Hexhunter

Safehold Elite

Safewright Quest


Black/Green Hybrid:

Quillspike (U)

Stalker Hag (U)


Blue/Black Hybrid:

Merrow Grimeblotter (U)


Blue/Green Hybrid:

Favor of the Overbeing

Grazing Kelpie

Shorecrasher Mimic

Slippery Bogle


Red/Green Hybrid:

Boggart Ram-Gang (U)

Loamdragger Giant

Morselhoarder

Mudbrawler Raiders

Tattermunge Duo

Tattermunge Witch (U)


Red/Black Hybrid:

Emberstrike Duo

Sootwalkers

Torrent of Souls (U)

Tyrannize (R)


And here are the four decks that came from this endeavor. Note the differences and, even though they're different colors, note the similarities.



Brian's Sealed Deck, by converted mana cost

1 – Merrow Bonegnawer, Nurturer Initiate, Elvish Hexhunter

2 – Bloom Tender, Devoted Druid, Safehold Elite, Disturbing Plot, Gleeful Sabotage, Rite of Consumption

3 – Quillspike, Stalker Hag, Hoof Skulkin, Tower Above, Unmake

4 – Ashling the Extinguisher, Crowd of Cinders, Soldering Butcher, Wickerbough Elder, Wildslayer Elves

5 – Gloomlance, Torrent of Souls

6 – Morselhoarder

7 – Loamdragger Giant

Land:

10x Forest

7x Swamp






Dirk’s Sealed Deck, by color

Lands

9 Plains

7 Forests


Green

Bloom Tender

Tower Above

Wickerbough Elder

Wildslayer Elves


White

Kithkin Shielddare

Last Breath

Recumbent Bliss

Suture Spirit

Windbrisk Raptor


White/Black

Bloodied Ghost

Edge of the Divinity

Unmake


White/Red

Duergar Hedge-Mage

Fire at Will


White/Blue

Æthertow

Turn to Mist


White/Green

Safehold Elite

Safewright Quest


Green/Black

Stalker Hag


Green/Red

Boggart Ram-Gang

Loamdragger Giant

Morselhoarder


Green/Blue

Favor of the Overbeing

Slippery Bogle


Mike's Sealed Deck, by color

Red:

Bloodmark Mentor

Puncture Bolt


Green:

Bloom Tender

Devoted Druid

Gleeful Sabotage

Nurturer Initiate

Tower Above

Wickerbough Elder

Wildslayer Elves


Artifact:

Chainbreaker

Hoof Skulkin

Lurebound Scarecrow


Red/White Hybrid:

Duergar Assailant


Green/White Hybrid:

Barkshell Blessing

Elvish Hexhunter

Safehold Elite


Black/Green Hybrid:

Quillspike


Blue/Green Hybrid:

Grazing Kelpie


Red/Green Hybrid:

Boggart Ram-Gang

Loamdragger Giant

Morselhoarder

Mudbrawler Raiders

Tattermunge Duo

Tattermunge Witch


Red/Black Hybrid:

Sootwalkers


Land:

11 Forest

6 Mountain


Chewie's Sealed Deck, by card type

Creatures

Elvish Hexhunter

Kithkin Zealot

Suture Spirit

Safehold Elite

Nightsky Mimic

Devoted Druid

Quillspike

Bloodied Ghost

Duergar Hedge-Mage

Stalker Hag

Crowd of Cinders

Sootwalkers

Ashling, the Extinguisher

Smoldering Butcher

Windbrisk Raptor


Spells

Safewright Quest

Barkshell Blessing

Beckon Apparition

Last Breath

Fire at Will

Unmake

Recumbent Bliss

Aethertow

Gloomlance

Thoughtweft Gambit


Land

8 Plains

6 Swamp

3 Forest


As a second exercise for this episode, I opened another Sealed pool, again a Shadowmoor Tournament Pack and two Eventide Booster Packs, and we constructed a deck live on the air. Here is that pool.


White

Recumbent Bliss

Cenn's Enlistment

Light from Within

Flickerwisp

Woeleecher

Safehold Sentry


Blue

Consign to Dream

Banishing Knack

Wilderness Hypnotist

Deepchannel Mentor

Faerie Swarm

Put Away

Parapet Watchers

Briarberry Cohort


Black

Corrupt

Blowfly Infestation

Polluted Bonds

Soul Reap

Merrow Bonegnawer

Creakwood Ghoul

Raven's Crime

Smolder Initiate

Aphotic Wisps

Sickle Ripper

Disturbing Plot


Red

Flame Jab

Duergar Cave-Guard

Hotheaded Giant

Smash to Smithereens

Rustrazor Butcher

Blistering Dieflyn

Boggart Arsonists


Green

Savage Conception

Wickerbough Elder

Witherscale Wurm

Drove of Elves

Gloomwidow

Nurturer Initiate

Presence of Gond


White/Blue

Godhead of Awe

Aethertow

Turn to Mist


Blue/Black

River's Grasp

Memory Sluice


Black/Red

Spiteflame Witch

Cultbrand Cinder


Red/Green

Firespout

Loamdragger Giant

Giantbaiting

Mudbrawler Raiders

Morselhoarder


Green/White

Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers

Elvish Hexhunter

Safewright Quest

Safehold Elite

Barkshell Blessing


White/Black

Nip Gwyllion

Unmake

Edge of Divinity


Blue/Red

Noggle Bridgebreaker

Noggle Bandit

Stream Hopper

Mindwrack Liege

Noggle Hedge-Mage


Black/Green

Rendclaw Trow


Green/Blue

Slippery Bogle

Grazing Kelpie

Shorecrasher Mimic

Selkie Hedge-Mage


Artifact

Hook Skulkin

Fang Skulkin

Scrapbasket

Pili-Pala

Wingrattle Scarecrow


Land

Moonring Island




And finally, here is the complete decklist, after much discussion, discord, and decision. Sorted by card type then mana cost.


Land

9 Island

6 Forest

3 Mountain


Creatures

Stream Hopper

Elvish Hexhunter

Pili-Pala

Briarberry Cohort

Safehold Elite

Selkie Hedge-Mage

Noggle Hedge-Mage

Rendclaw Trow

Noggle Bandit

Faerie Swarm

Wickerbough Elder

Noggle Bridgebreaker

Godhead of Awe

Deepchannel Mentor

Mindwrack Liege


Noncreatures

Banishing Knack

Barkshell Blessing

Flame Jab

Consign to Dream

Giantbaiting

Presence of Gond

Firespout

Aethertow

Savage Conception

Category:general -- posted at: 10:54pm EST

Episode 40 - Back to Basics:  Sealed Deck In this episode, in keeping with the recent Prerelease and Launch Parties for Eventide, your host dorks bring you the basics of Sealed Deck play. We cover color selection, creatures, the curve, removal, land counts, and whatever else comes to mind, sprinkled with our own experiences and anecdotes as per usual. Please excuse the horrendous pops that show up for the first 15 seconds or so, but we didn't catch it in time to re-record that part. Stay tuned for the next episode for a follow-up to our Sealed Deck tips.


In other news, there is now a Facebook group for The Mana Pool. We're under Common Interest – Hobbies & Crafts, since I couldn't think of anything else that fit better. Just do a search for The Mana Pool and join up! I'm going to try to make it not just another forums page by doing something different with it, I just don't know what yet.


Music for this episode: The Picard Song by Dark Materia. Engage!

 

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-40-back-to-basics-sealed-deck-t208.html
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Direct download: Episode_40_-_Back_to_Basics_-_Sealed_Deck.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00pm EST