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 110 - There Can Be Only One (or Four)

Brian here once again, telling you about the show so you know what you're getting into. Of course, you never really know what you're getting into here at the Mana Pool until you start to listen.


We start off with the usual rigmarole. As a side note, we love that listeners are sending us more emails than ever. Keep them coming! It provides us great feedback on the things you like (and don't like) about the show, and often your ideas are stolen pilfered graciously adopted by the staff here into topics for the show.


We get into a review of cards that we feel best represent sets. The sets that we cover are all from the early years of our playing together. Our choices sometimes met each other's expectations, but also came as a surprise. Dirk remembers making us pee our pants! Dragons have flying (or they would be Wurms)! Cats opening doors and going "Yo, what you doin?" Chefs popping out of Vials! Wizards R&D makes mistakes! Lands becoming Birds of Paradise! Ascending to Dragon Form! Host catch-phrases like you'd never believe!


So come on in and get to listening, children. Mana Pool Episode 110 is up and ready for your audio experience. Enjoy!



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-110-there-can-be-only-one-or-four-t444.html

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Direct download: Episode_110_-_There_Can_Be_Only_One_or_Four.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57pm EST

Episode 109 - 2009 in Review

And there's The Twelve Dorks of Christmas. Even though there's only four of us. Oh well.


We begin with an Out of the Deck Box from Mike, who has built an Esper-type deck with some old school flava. He wants some feedback on it, so by all means let us know what you think. As always, if you want to see the decklist and offer up some advice or comments, hit the forums. The link is at the bottom of the show notes down there.


Then we take a look back at 2009. Wizards released a lot of stuff for Magic this year. A Core Set, three Expert level expansions, some digital games, and a whole mess of assorted other Magic-related products. We take one last look at all of it, pointing out what we liked, what we didn't like, and generally just giving the whole year a once-over. Let us know what you liked, loathed, and were indifferent about!



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-109-2009-in-review-t441.html

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Direct download: Episode_109_-_2009_in_Review.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:54pm EST

Episode 108 - Show Me Yours

Hello again and welcome to another episode of The Mana Pool! This is Brian, standing in for our oh-so-fearless, ever-so-valient, and so-so-so-overworked leader Chewie.


We've got some good stuff on the menu for you tonight (today, this morning- insert most appropriate here). It's the first episode we recorded of during a new month, but due to a relative lack of Cardshark member promotions, we didn't go over those. Look for those in the next episode. We do, however, go into the mailbag and answer some of your burning questions. What Legendary Creatures would we most like to hang out with? Listen and find out- the answers could (probably will) surprise you!


Kraken Clerics kind of take over for a second. Don't ask.


Then, we cover the results from the recent Magic World Championships. Congratulations to individual champion Andre Coimbra and team champion Team China! Talk abounds about lightsabers, Jund, and DQs (you know we had to go there).


Finally, we get to our topic de jure- trading! We go over individual trading stories, strategies and approaches we've used over the years, how your perspective and individual values figure in, and throw in the word of caution or two to keep things interesting. Whether you've traded once before, make a regular habit of avoiding trading, or trade on a weekly basis, there's bound to be something here that strikes your fancy. Just remember, ripping off little kids is NOT living the dream.


Till next time, this is Brian, writing down the notes... so Chewie doesn't have to!



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-108-show-me-yours-t439.html

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Direct download: Episode_108_-_Show_Me_Yours.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:25pm EST

Episode 107 - Crisis on Infinite Dorks

Hello again, and welcome to The Avant-Card Show. This is Mike, filling in for... Wait, what? I mean The Mana Pool. This is The Mana Pool. You'll understand my confusion soon.


Unfortunately, due to hardware/software issues and scheduling conflicts, we are Dirkless yet again (and unfortunately, due to sleep issues and schoolwork conflicts, our Brian has to leave before the end), but to make up for it we invited some very special guests. Joining us tonight are Christian and Bryan, head honchos of The Avant-Card Show podcast, another wonderful casual-centric program.


So listen in as we discuss the usual quick bit of news, the various colors of our personalities, and give some valuable insight to how we approach the strategies and complications of multiplayer card-gaming. Be sure to stick around for a truly massive heap of off-topic chatter that I'm sure will be an absolute delight. This was another one of those "most fun ever" episodes to record, and we all really want to thank Christian and Bryan for joining us. You can check out their show at www.avantcardshow.com



Music for this episode is Bloody Tears from the Perfect Selection: Dracula Battle album by Naoto Shibata PROJECT. No idea where to find them, but you can start with Wikipedia here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Selection_Dracula_Battle



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-107-crisis-on-infinite-dorks-t438.html

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Direct download: Episode_107_-_Crisis_on_Infinite_Dorks.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:29pm EST

Hey look, it's a new episode! First off, we spend some time responding to listener feedback, as we have a lot of it. You should send us some too! Then we have lots of Magic news to go over. There's some discussion about the new Premium Deck Series: Slivers. The new Grand Prix schedule was released, not that we care terribly much, but we do take a few minutes to make fun of the new alternate art foil Umezawa's Jitte. Then right around here Dirk's computer died, so he was unable to be with us for the rest of the show. Then there's the announcement of the new Deckbuilder's Toolkit, which actually sounds pretty cool. And finally, there's some information about Duels of the Planeswalkers and MTG: Tactics, but not much.

Deckbuilder's Toolkit: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/312

Premium Slivers decklist: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/other/110509a

Then we get to the part everyone's been waiting for - the winners of the Duel Decks Contest! If you were picked as a winner, please email us with your mailing address and we'll see to it that you get your prize. If you want to know who won, keep listening! If you want to know what the winning submissions look like, just hit the forums! Thanks a lot to everyone who entered!

Music for this episode: Weeeeee! by Threebrain

I have no idea where to find it, just search for "gonads and strife” and you'll find it.

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-106-what-contest-t433.html

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Direct download: 106_Episode_106_-_What_Contest_.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:52pm EST

Episode 105 - Alternative Lifestyles

Because winning by knocking your opponent's life total down to zero is SO last season, we're having a fire sale on all the other nifty ways to win. Alternate win conditions for all! We've got Epic Struggles, Darksteel Reactors, Chance Encounters, and Poison. For those workaholics out there, we have a few Coalition Victories, Helix Pinnacles, and even one Barren Glory in the back corner. None of these float your boat (in your Mana Pool, of course)? Then keep browsing, we've got lots more.


And while we're at it, we're also having a fire sale on alternate ways to lose! We've got Pacts, Phage (blinking sold separately), several flavors of Lich, and three types of Final Fortune. If you're sick of Test of Endurance, we can turn your life gain into a loss with Transcendence! And if you act now, we'll even throw in two ways to force the game into a draw, just to thoroughly annoy your opponents. Operators are standing by!



Music for this episode is the Slap Chop Rap by DJ Steve Porter.

Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWRyj5cHIQA

Check out more stuff at http://www.djsteveporter.com



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-105-alternative-lifestyles-t424.html

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Direct download: Episode_105_-_Alternative_Lifestyles.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:56pm EST

In this episode, Mike gets distracted by something early on. But that's not the actual content of the show! Brian and I kick it off by each opening a pack of Zendikar and going through the contents. Then we switch gears and talk about Brian's PTQ experience from a few weekends ago. He did really well. His deck list is in the forum thread for this episode, give it a look and let us know what you think.


And of course, we had to go over the freshly released lists for Duel Decks: Garruk vs. Liliana. Rancor! Mutilate! Beasts! Yay! We go over each list, giving a pretty detailed rundown on how we think each one will work. Then of course we have to pick a winner. Keep listening to find out who we thought might come out ahead this time.



Music for this episode is freakin' great, you should go check it out!

Carl Sagan - A Glorious Dawn ft. Stephen Hawking by John Boswell

Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc

Check out more Symphony of Science: http://www.symphonyofscience.com



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-104-ptq-results-duel-decks-and-olive-oil-t421.html

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Direct download: Episode_104_-_PTQ_Results_Duel_Decks_and_Olive_Oil.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:02pm EST

Here it is, as promised. For hitting our 100th episode, Jungle Rat Rob (Rob Anderson) has worked his audio editing magic again and come up with another great clip compilation! This time it's got so much funny that he couldn't fit it all in one song, so he used three. We have the Superman Main Theme by John Williams, Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian, and Simple Passing by Hammerbox. This also features cameos by Claire (the hot one from the Avant-Card Show), AJ (of "Kill AJ” fame), and our oft-mentioned fan/stalker, Ben (Panahinuva on the forums).


And again, Rob has managed to capture the essence of what makes the show fun. As before, it's light on actual Magic content, but heavy on awesomesauce. He manages to illuminate who we hosts really are and exactly what it is that makes this show worth listening to. There's lots of giggling, guffawing, picking on Chewie, and random nonsense that you've come to expect from us here on The Mana Pool. Thank you so much again for the most excellent tribute Rob, we really really appreciate it. And hopefully, all you listeners out there checking this out will agree!

Direct download: Mana_Pool_2_-_Electric_Boogaloo.mp3
Category:Non-podcast Audio -- posted at: 11:22pm EST

Episode 103 - Standard Rotation: The Faerie Tale is Over

And in this episode, we bid a fond farewell to the Lorwyn/Shadowmoor mega block. We're gonna take a look back at the stuff that is gone from this Standard. All those cards that we loved, hated, despised, thought were nifty, and were beaten by are getting one last look before heading off to Extended Land forever and ever amen.


And then, not to get stuck looking at the past, we forge ahead into the present! We're taking a look ahead at the cards in Zendikar that tickle our various fancies. Whether we're talking about stuff that just looks cool, or potential Standard powerhouses, or stuff we think is just silly, we're gonna cover it.



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-103-standard-rotation-the-faerie-tale-is-over-t419.html

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Direct download: Episode_103_-_Standard_Rotation_The_Faerie_Tale_is_Over.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:23pm EST

Episode 102 - Zendikar Limited Experiences

Hello again, and welcome to The Mana Pool! This is Mike, filling in for Chewie on the show notes while he's busy getting a previous episode uploaded. For those of you who've been anxiously awaiting our customary Prerelease story time episode, this is your lucky day! Not only do we have that, but due to scheduling conflicts and hateful technological mishaps, it took us so long to get this one recorded that we also have Launch Party stories as well. As usual, Chewie and Brian took very good notes, and they have several fine tales of epic plays, bad beats, and very interesting cards. Did I have any good stories for this episode? Yes and no.



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-102-zendikar-limited-experiences-t413.html

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Direct download: Episode_102_-_Zendikar_Limited_Experiences.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:20pm EST

Episode 101 - Late Zendikar Preview 3

Well...better late than never. This is the fabled lost episode 102 of The Mana Pool. Okay, so it's not so much fabled, and it was never really lost. But I do apologize for this episode being so incredibly late. I suddenly found myself working 6 or 7 days' worth of work in a 5 day period, and by the time I got home, I didn't want to do anything at all. But enough of lateness excuses!


I'd also like to apologize for the content of this episode. You see, it's just me, Mike, and my roommate Scott going over some previews. I'm not...entirely sure what happened, but something about this episode just felt off. We did the rest of the previews, and Scott had a few interesting n00b questions for us, but that's about it. I do remember the music, though.



Music for this episode: Whack It by Swift

Check them out at http://www.swift-band.com



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-101-late-zendikar-preview-3-t412.html

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Direct download: Episode_101_-_Late_Zendikar_Preview_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:19pm EST

Episode 100 - No Title Necessary

WE MADE IT! Thanks to everyone who has listened, commented, criticized, and offered feedback, advice, help, and ideas for these hundred episodes. We really appreciate all of you who have stuck with us all this time, all of you who have stuck with us since we joined the MTGCast, and all of you who have just discovered us.


And a special thanks goes out to Eric from St. Louis who is Mr. Suitcase who is thewachman who is one of the hosts of Monday Night Magic. Not only did he send us a congratulatory audio file to put in this episode, he also convinced others to do so too. Thanks to Trevor, Tom, and Kevin from MTGRadio for their support. Thanks to Christian, Bryan, Aaron, Jeff, and Claire over at the Avant-Card Show for being complete ripoffs of us but having a girl so it's okay...I mean for all the ribbing and poking and insulting and general fun we've had since you guys got started. Really, we love you guys. Thanks to the Road Warrior Chris Otwell, not only for the audio file, but for all the work he does behind the scenes each week to keep the MTGCast network running smoothly. And finally, thanks to Noah Whinston, formerly of the Sunday Super Show, for sticking with us since episode 10 (a Morningtide preview episode), even though we're not technically his cup of competitive-style-Magic tea.


What, you want to know what's actually in this episode too? Geez you people are picky! Due to real life getting in everyone's way, our 100th episode extravaganza sort of got scaled back a bit. Then, due to technical difficulties, our first idea kind of got shot down. Brian had the brilliant idea to run through 100 cards that mean something to us for our 100th episode. That's 25 apiece! So we made our lists and went for it. So this episode didn't end up being 100 hours long, we decided to stick with a 30 second time limit for each card, complete with a buzzer of some sort so we'd know when to stop.


Of course, the end of the show sort of disintegrates into a lot of random nonsense involving the questionable music collection of the lead dork. We would like to stress that all of this music is used without permission and is owned by the respective copyright holders or rights owners or whatever. But it's just us being silly, which apparently you listeners enjoy. So I hope you enjoy, and thanks again for everything. We couldn't do this without you guys, so hopefully you'll push us to do another hundred shows!


Find the Avant-Card Show at http://www.avantcardshow.com

Find the rest on the MTGCast, located at http://mtgcast.com



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-100-no-title-necessary-t407.html

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Direct download: Episode_100_-_No_Title_Necessary.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:43pm EST

Episode 99 - Zendikar Preview 2

More Zendikar previews! Join us this episode for lots more Zendikarian goodness, along with a discussion of temporal mechanics and a special guest of sorts. This episode also includes a good 11 minutes of lost footage from the previous episode, including our take on Nissa Revane, Nissa's Chosen, and a somewhat depressing Mike story. There's a brief discussion of the Banned & Restricted List updates in there too.



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-99-zendikar-preview-2-t402.html

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Direct download: Episode_99_-_Zendikar_Preview_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EST

Episode 98 - Zendikar Preview 1

Hey, Mike here. Well, here it is, the episode we all knew had to be coming. Thank goodness that we were all looking forward to it, too! It's the first big episode of Zendikar previews here on the Mana Pool, and we decided to go for a bit of a different structure this time. Rather than just go up the list, Brian had the foresight to group the cards into convenient broader discussion topics, based on mechanics, themes, and/or content. Give us your feedback on how you think it worked out.


But yes, listen in for an episode full of Vampires, Fire, and Arguing on the Internet. And also another Brian with Phasing. We'll try to work on that...



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-98-zendikar-preview-1-t397.html

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Direct download: Episode_98_-_Zendikar_Preview_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:16pm EST

Episode 97 - Land Before Time

DISCLAIMER: In an effort to keep our listeners safe while listening to our show, we have decided to forgo any and all comedy this episode. We here at The Mana Pool are committed to your well-being, and we certainly don't want anything bad to happen to any of you (with only very few exceptions). That being said, we hope you enjoy this funny-free episode of The Mana Pool. Thank you and drive around.


To begin the show, we have a small collection of Zendikar previews. We figured from these cards that land will probably be pretty big in this block, so we decided to take that idea and run with it. Actually, it was Brian's idea, but his head is big enough already. That's probably why he was in and out of the episode all night. Spoiler: He didn't make it all the way to the end.


To start off this land-tastic episode, I take my Land Deck...Out of the Deck Box! It's a deck built around Earth Surge, which is one of the crappiest cards to come out of the Ravnica Block (a tie-in to last week!). But I made it work. As always, for a full decklist, check out the forums. Then we spend a fair amount of time taking a look back at some of our favorite lands. We're talking cycles of lands, weird land, useful land, just whatever you can think of. Except Sorrow's Path. Hit the forums and tell us about some of your favorite lands!


And finally, we end the episode on a bit of a rant, as I pull out the old Chewie's Soapbox from my time doing the Cardshark Member Newsletter back in the day. This rant is about Tazeem, that promotional planar card you could ONLY get by going to the Planechase Release Event. Let us know how you feel about the exclusive promo card.



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-97-land-before-time-t393.html

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Direct download: Episode_97_-_Land_Before_Time.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:56pm EST

Holy crap it's the Mana Pool! Wizards has revealed the last two Planechase decks, so we check out each and every plane on this fabulous tour of the multiverse. Keep an ear out for lots of informational sound-related material - like what being on fire sounds like, and discussions on spheres on the vertical surface that holds up the ceiling. Doosh!


Because we talked about bad mechanics on the last episode, we mentioned Ravnica quite a few times. So Dirk thought we should do a block review of Ravnica as a whole. So we did! We take each of the 10 guilds of Ravnica and go over what their deal is. This includes but is not limited to: their mechanic, their philosophy, their place in the Ravnican society, and a few nifty cards from each one. We really loved Ravnica block.


And a big thank you goes out to all the people who entered the Duel Decks Contest! We're going to get started on that at some point and determine winners...at some point.

Download this episode here: right here!

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-96-reflection-on-ravnica-t391.html

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Direct download: Episode_96_-_Reflection_on_Ravnica.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:02am EST

Episode 95 - Classical Mechanics

On this episode, we've got a cameo by my new roomie Scott. He's one of my best and oldest friends, and he was one of the people I played Magic with back in the days of Homelands when I played the first time. But that's just the intro, there's a lot more where that came from.

First up, there's Planechase. As of this recording, two of the decks had been shown, so of course we have to go over those. We give you an in-depth into each of the planar cards, and we mention the Magic decks as they relate to the planes. There's lots of discussion and the usual bickering.

Dirk came up with a great topic for this episode. We're going to take a look at some of the mechanics of old and tell you about the ones we think are great, and the ones we think are crap. Where do you think Cycling fits in? What about Radiance? Sweep? Ninjutsu? Let's not forget Flashback and Shadow. Hit the forums and let us know what mechanics you really liked or really hated.

And this is the LAST CHANCE to enter the Duel Decks Contest! DON'T FORGET!


Download this episode here: right here!

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-95-classical-mechanics-t388.html!

Duel Decks Contest!: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/duel-decks-contest-t363.html

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Direct download: Episode_95_-_Classical_Mechanics.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:51pm EST

Episode 94 - The Hotness

We are joined this episode by none other than the architect of the Cutie-Pie Deck Challenge herself, Claire! Most excellent! Tasteless innuendo and bad jokes abound. Of course, we have to go over what happened during the Challenge. Spoiler: I WON! We discuss the spoils of victory, the lady's prerogative, and creepy people on the internet.


Then we get underway with the news. First off, there's the new full-art Zendikar lands. Then we have the list of cards in From the Vault: Exiled. And we FINALLY know how Planechase works. Next episode we'll have a few more planar cards and decklists for you, this one was recorded before they showed any of that stuff.


Then, since we took so incredibly long on all the news and whatnot, we decided to skip our previously agreed-upon topic for this episode. We just don't have the time to properly devote to it. Check it out next episode. Instead, we take a request from a listener and take Brian's Jund Wickedness Out of the Deck Box. As always, see this episode's forum post for the full decklist. This one is definitely one to check out, as it has a whole lot going on.


For the record, Claire doesn't just sound hot. She totally is. Like damn.



Music for this episode: Beautiful by Ill Mic. Check them out at http://www.illmic.com



Download this episode here: right here!

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-94-the-hotness-t384.html

Duel Decks Contest!: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/duel-decks-contest-t363.html

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Direct download: Episode_94_-_The_Hotness.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:50pm EST

Episode 93 - It Came...Out of the Deck Box! Hey, Mike here.  Welcome back to another hot summer episode of The Mana Pool!  You don't even have to worry about getting burned if you stay in too long anymore.

Anyway, we were getting a pretty impressive amount of listener input that essentially boiled down to one core issue:  People want more "Out of the Deck Box"!  Lucky for all of you, we came prepared.  Not only is this episode exclusively devoted to the feature, but they're all comparative, as well.  With Chewie, Dirk, and myself in this episode (no Brian, due to various lawyering examinations) we have 3 pairs of decks to compare among the hosts, giving you 6 unique decks to tweak and critique if the Muse so strikes you.  Each deck list, of course, will be available in the forum thread for the episode.


Forum thread for this episode:  http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-93-it-came-out-of-the-deck-box-t383.html
Duel Decks Contest!: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/duel-decks-contest-t363.html
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Direct download: Episode_93_-_It_Came_Out_of_the_Deck_Box.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm EST

Episode 92 - Use Silver for Werewolf Infestation

Let's talk about some stuff, shall we? We FINALLY got to play the first round of post-edit Divine vs. Demonic! Yay! We made a few changes to the decks, trying to bump the Demonic deck into the same league as the Divine one. Listen in to find out if we succeeded or just made it worse.


Wizards announced the Premium Deck Series: Slivers. So we talk about it. At great length. Opinions abound. There's even a little bit of prestidigitation, as we try to figure out what the lone mythic rare might (or even should) be. Wow, I spelled that right on the first try, but screwed up when I wrote “myhtic”.


Then, in an effort to get away from M10 for a little while, we take a step back and look at Alara Reborn. Favorite cards, underrated cards, underused cards, and just cards we think are nifty - we all weigh in on the set as a whole. And you know what? Turns out we liked it.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Time is running out! Enter the contest! The link is right down there!



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-92-use-silver-for-werewolf-infestation-t378.html
Duel Decks Contest: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/duel-decks-contest-t363.html
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Direct download: Episode_92_-_Use_Silver_for_Werewolf_Infestation.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:37pm EST

Episode 91 - M10 Launched

On this episode, we have even more Magic 2010! Don't worry, next week we're gonna ease up off the M10 for a while. But we had to stay with it this time, because there's a Launch discussion to be had! Brian and I attended, along with Jonathan and Logan. It was Logan's first tournament, so we asked him to join us on this episode, not only to tell us how he did, but to give us his perspective on the whole tournament thing.

And then, just to finish up with M10 for a little while, we decided to take a look at the set as a whole. Not just the rares or the previews, not just the mechanics involved, but the whole shebang. We're talking flavor, art, mechanics, love, hate, balls of wax, and whatever else comes to mind.

Then, just to spite our friends over at the Avant-Card Show, we're bringing back Out of the Deck Box. I've picked out a deck that go hurt a little bit by the rules change – the Chuck Deck! Of course, in the time since we recorded this, I've already made several changes, so no promises about the decklist in the forums and the one discussed on this episode actually being the same.


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-91-m10-launched-t373.html
Duel Decks Contest!: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/duel-decks-contest-t363.html
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Direct download: Episode_91_-_M10_Launched.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:06pm EST

Episode 90 - Instructions on Not Attacking Dirk (Multiplayer Combat)

Wow, we've made it up to 90. You believe that? To celebrate this auspicious occasion (not really) we have a whole mess of episode for you. After a somber intro, where we dedicate this episode to a friend who is no longer with us, we go into further detail about the new Duel Decks Contest here on The Mana Pool. You can find the official forum announcement for the contest here:
http://cardshark.freeforums.org/duel-decks-contest-t363.html

There's been a lot of super-neato stuff on the Magic site in the last week, so we go over all of it. The RYZ shoe design contest winners (Wrath and Damn is sweet!), some Magically delicious soda, and a teeny little hint of Planechase. Check out the links to all of those down below.

Then we finally come to the long-awaited topic at hand. We've been meaning to do an episode on multiplayer combat for at least a month or so, but lots of things kept getting in the way. But we've managed to get past all the events and updates and whatnot, and boy was Brian ready for this one. His lawyer side took over, and he categorized all the various important attacks that occur in multiplayer Magic. And I mean all of them. And then we discussed them all, offering anecdotes and examples where applicable. And don't ever attack Dirk. No really. Don't do it. You'll be sorry.

Then I finish us up with a quick recounting of my M10 Prerelease experience. I was with AJ (Kill AJ!), just outside of Washington DC, and the tournament was...let's say interesting. You can hear the full story right here. A teaser: I played black/red (big surprise).


The Planechase product images can be seen here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/234

The Magic-flavored Jones Soda can be seen here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/232

The announcement of the winners for the RYZ shoe design contest can be found here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/233


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-90-instructions-on-not-attacking-dirk-mp-combat-t367.html
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Direct download: Episode_90_-_Instructions_on_Not_Attacking_Dirk_Multiplayer_Combat.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31pm EST

Episode 89 - Magic 2010 Preview 3 This is truly a momentous occasion!  Not only do we have all four of the hosts of The Mana Pool present for this recording, but we also have everyone's favorite guy with a bullseye painted on him, AJ!  We also have Mrs. Kill AJ and The Hot One helping out for a moment in the intro.  You heard it, girls on The Mana Pool!  Even if it was just for a second.

Right then.  Previews!  We've got another full load of M10 previews for you on this episode.  We have everything from spiders whose art actually wasn't changed to legless angels to angels wearing pasties to the white Shock.  You'll hear us rant and drone on and on about the minutiae of each card, as well as the usual nonsensical conversating that you know and love. 


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-89-magic-2010-preview-3-t361.html
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Direct download: Episode_89_-_Magic_2010_Preview_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:06am EST

Episode 88 - Magic 2010 Preview 2 Chewie here.  On this episode you've got me, Brian, and Mike going over a whole crapload of Magic 2010 previews.  There's really not much else to say about this particular episode, you know?  It's a preview episode, after all.  Although we do go over quite a few of the old Lords, so it's like a bit of a history lesson too.

There are, however, a few interesting questions to be answered in here.  Like will the Ant Queen get to finish her smoothie?  And what's up with that guy with the antlers, the cape, and the ZZ Top beard?  What's more terrifying that Jet Li coming at you with a boot to the skull?  And what's up with the lion turning into a soldier, and the insect into a vampire?  Listen in to find out...

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-88-magic-2010-preview-2-t360.html
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Direct download: Episode_88_-_Magic_2010_Preview_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:18am EST

Episode 87 - Magic 2010 Preview 1 Brian here, yet again.  This episode sees the cast of The Mana Pool, with the long-awaited return of Dirk, finally getting to a subject we’ve been approaching for weeks: multiplayer combat!  Hold on to your hardhats, because here we...uh...wait.  Our plans, apparently more fragile than a Faberge Egg, have been broken in half by the launch of the Magic 2010 page on the main Magic website, complete with visual spoiler.  Yay for previews!  

The episode kicks off with a shout-out to the new members on the forums and to the Facebook group.  Welcome all.  Then, we go into some responses on the forums to our last few episodes.  Feedback is always appreciated and actually does help us when we record the shows.  Disagree with us about a point we make, think that Dirk is the funniest man alive, or catch us on a blatant error?  Head to the forums!  We then follow up on some reactions to the Magic 2010 rules changes, including Dirk’s first impressions, and the results of the first games Chewie and I have played under the new rules.  Chewie and Dirk have also been playing Duels of the Planeswalkers recently and briefly share their experiences.

After that, it’s on to Magic 2010 previews!  Join us as we walk down a sort of memory lane with standbys like Serra Angel (now Uncommon!), Clone, and Birds of Paradise.  We’ll also see old faces seeing new life like Black Knight (aww yeah), Ball Lightning, and Lightning Bolt (the one and only).  Finally, since Magic 2010 is the first Core Set since Beta with new cards in it, we have new favorites like Child of Night, new duel lands, and Ant Queen.  Do your exterminators have captains?  They better.

Finally, we’ve got some news.  I’d tell you what it is, but you need to listen to find out.  No cutting in line!  All I’ll say is, oh wait, you have to listen!  Ha.  Finally finally, we quickly hit the recent Banned/Restricted List announcements and Magic shoes.  Not magic shoes (Like Mike), Magic Shoes.  They are NOT guaranteed to make you into a basketball legend.  

Thanks for listening to The Mana Pool as always, and get ready for some goodness in Magic 2010.

LIGHTNING BOLT!


Forum thread for this episode:

http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-87-magic-2010-preview-1-t359.html
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Direct download: Episode_87_-_Magic_2010_Preview_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:27am EST

Hello again, and welcome to episode 86 of the Mana Pool!  Brian here, as your on-duty lifeguard for this episode.  Please make sure that your life vests are securely fastened and your diving boards are locked in their upright positions, because today we’re going to hit the rapids.  We should reiterate that The Mana Pool is not responsible for any lost or damaged items, limbs, or personality traits.


We open up with the usual formalities, including being Dirkless yet again, and shouting out to new members on the forums and the Facebook page.  We are also now on Twitter, so check out the new link at the bottom of these notes and follow us as we go about our (normal?) lives.  We’ve got some updates on Chewie’s upcoming match against the Avant-Card Show podcast, which has changed somewhat.  You can still find them at http://www.avantcardshow.com


At this point we embark on a long rant regarding pro players, casual players, new players, skill levels, stereotypes, and common misconceptions.  This is kind of an offshoot of last week’s thorny topic of the M10 rules changes, more regarding how others have reacted to the changes and what their discussions have said about them as players and theorists.  Regardless of whether you’ve been playing for 20 minutes or 20 years (how’d you manage that, anyway?), you’ll hopefully find this rant/discussion/ramble interesting.


Don’t get caught up here, though, because we’ve got a ways to go.  Allied and enemy color pairings, favorite cards, crazy situations, and untold wit abound.  Duels of the Planeswalkers on your right, rocky patches on your left, and an introduction to our Divine vs. Demonic series straight ahead stand between you and the shore.  Should you reach the end of this expedition, make sure to tip your dorks and come back soon!



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode86-a-truly-astonishing-amount-of-random-magic-musings-t353.html
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Direct download: Episode_86_-_A_Truly_Astonishing_Amount_of_Random_Magic_Musings.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57pm EST

Episode 85 - M10 Rules Update Discussion Hey there, all you Mana Pool listeners!  Brian here, subbing in for Chewie.  He worked 12 hours on the day that we recorded this episode, only to come home and run the recording less than 2 hours later, and he needed a bit of a break.  You’d never guess it from the episode, though, ‘cause we’re all firing on all cylinders for this one.  When I say "we", I don’t mean Dirk, because he’s not going to be with us for this episode and another or so due to computer death problems.  Never fear, as we’ve got a mystery guest host, whose identity is unknown for at least a minute or so into the episode. [Chewie note:  It's Bill, who is kurai_seraphim on the forums].

We cover quite a bit of ground here before we even get into the meaty, juicy topic that the episode covers.  We go over Cardshark member promotions for June, new members on the forums and Facebook [Chewie note:  International, baby!], and the usual routine.  Then, Chewie answers a challenge from the Avant-Card Show Podcast of the utmost importance - nudity is at stake!  No, Chewie will not be naked, we promise.  Maybe.  After that, Duels of the Planeswalkers release information is discussed.  Anybody got a spare $10 (and an Xbox 360)?

Then, we get into the main topic.  This was going to be the next installment in our ongoing multiplayer series, but Wizards forced us to change course with the publication of rules changes accompanying Magic 2010.  These changes are huge and will impact the way you play the game from now on, so love them or hate them, you’d best listen up.  Mulligans are like going to bed?  Creatures getting tired?  The end of Magic?  Tune in to find out what I’m talking about!

Find the Avant-Card Show here: http://www.avantcardshow.com
M10 Rules Update here: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/42a


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-85-m10-rules-update-discussion-t349.html
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Direct download: Episode_85_-_M10_Rules_Update_Discussion.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EST

Episode 84 - Can We Say That? (Multiplayer Deckbuilding) Can we say that?

This time we've got a lot to go over.  We're Dirkless again due to his recent computer problems, but we're joined by my old roommate Corey again, so that evens out.  We've got a mess of feedback to go over first.  Then Brian and I have to tell you about the recent PTQ we attended.  We ran the decks that were being tested in the last episode, just so you know.  No last minute deck swaps for us.

Then we get to the true purpose of this episode.  We're discussing multiplayer deckbuilding.  More specifically, we're going to focus on the differences between building a deck to take on one person and building a deck to handle multiple opponents.  Of course, we sprinkle liberally with our own personal experiences and knowledge.  And there's plenty of giggling, joking, tangential nonsense, and picking on each other, as per usual.  What sort of episode would it be without all that?

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-84-can-we-say-that-multiplayer-deckbuilding-t344.html
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Direct download: Episode_84_-_Can_We_Say_That_Multiplayer_Deckbuilding.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:08am EST

Episode 83 - Testing: An Experiment

This is probably not what you were expecting, is it?  Due to recording time problems, it was either this or no show at all.  And since I know what happens to you rabid Mana Pool fans out there when you don't get your weekly fix, Brian and I came up with a solution.  Let us know if you thought this was good, bad, terrible, stupid, didn't care, greatest thing ever, or whatever you think.  Please give us some feedback here, we're curious.

What you're hearing here is us testing for the PTQ that happened this past weekend.  Some people requested that we try playing a game or more on the air, so we decided to give it a shot, killing two birds with one stone.  Brian's playing a Bant Aggro - Finest Hour deck, and I'm playing a Jund Aggro - Cascade deck.  We'll hit you with how the decks performed at the PTQ next episode, as well as get back to our multiplayer shows. 


Music for this episode: Respect the Blade by Swift
Check out Swift at http://www.swift-band.com


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Direct download: Episode_83_-_Testing_An_Experiment.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:40pm EST

Episode 82 - Back in the Day (Multiplayer Cards)

Prepare yourselves for a wild ride. That's all the warning you get.


This episode, we're taking it back. All the way back to our college days when we would spend many hours of the night, many times a week, playing big round table multiplayer Magic. To help us take it all the way back that far, we have my old roommate Corey joining us for the first time. You may remember hearing about him on previous shows, and now you get to experience him firsthand and find out why he sticks out in our minds.


What we're discussing here today are specific cards in multiplayer. More to the point, we're discussing those cards that we just love to play in multiplayer. Everything from the staples like Syphon Soul and Forgotten Ancient to the finishers like Insurrection and Verdant Force – why we like them and what makes them great for multiplayer. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

We're also going to talk about some of those cards that we just absolutely hate to see on the table across from us. Of course this covers the obvious things like Stasis and Portcullis, but also the more subtly miserable cards like Fatespinner and Telepathy. We'll go over what exactly it is about all these cards that we despise so much.


Of course, along the way we get sidetracked, erupt into fits of laughter, go off on tangents, and pick on each other mercilessly. Like more than usual, I mean. Apparently good old Chuck (one of my nicknames for Corey, Chuck Steak) is a bad influence on us. Or maybe a good influence. Whichever it is, I hope you guys get as big a kick out of listening as we did recording it.


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-82-back-in-the-day-multiplayer-cards-t339.html
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Direct download: Episode_82_-_Back_in_the_Day_Multiplayer_Cards.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:48pm EST

Episode 81 - Would You Like Some Content with Your Technical Difficulties?

This episode was a complete mess, but not for you to listen to. Allow me to explain. First, we are joined by our old friend AJ of "Kill AJ" fame. This leads to our pre-recording conversation becoming a completely random mess that I really wish we could have recorded. Then we have a bit of listener feedback, which we always appreciate. Hint hint!


Then there's some news. The Xbox 360 Live Arcade game, Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers, is coming out soon, and the list of Achievements has been released, so I spend a couple minutes going over that. Then Mike gets all giddy about the latest Rules Update that happened a couple weeks ago, and he goes over the various functional changes from this update. Believe it or not, this is actually interesting enough to pay attention to. To follow along yourself, go here:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/35b&page=2


Then there's this bit of news about Planechase, which sounds like a new Vanguard-ish type of thing. Whatever it may be, we're going over the press release with a fine-tooth comb. Actually it's a shoeshine brush, but whatever. To follow along yourself again, go here:

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/187


Then I have a bit of Magic-playing news about my trip to Newport News, VA for Mother's Day. My cousin took me to a cyber cafe/card-playing location called Cyberwocky where I did lots of trading and was involved in a pickup Emperor game, something that is completely unheard of around here. It was great, so I talk about it.


Then we wanted to hit some of the high points of Alara Reborn, and this is where things started to fall apart. Brian suddenly realized that he had to go. Then Mike suddenly and involuntarily left us. While he was trying to get back, the rest of us soldiered on. He finally returned to us, sans some of his enthusiasm (not a word you'd usually associate with Mike, but he had a big Rules Update to go over this episode), and the episode ended shortly thereafter.


The real problems came when I tried to put this show together. Four and a half minutes of footage were covered in the horrible clicks that I only sort of managed to remove. I love you guys so much that I recorded a quick apology right before that part. Then the freaking edited-completely-except-for-music file decided it didn't want to save properly and I had to do it all over again. And then I had serious troubles getting the music for this episode to include both left and right stereo channels when I copied it over. But I eventually figured it out. As I write this, I should have been in the bed 45 minutes ago, but I wanted it all ready to upload tomorrow before we record the next show. That's how much I love you guys. Sleep is not as important as getting the episode out sometime before we record the next one, you know?



Music for this episode: Slave by Social Outcast u.b.

Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/socialoutcastub



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Episode 80 - Ready for Launch (ARB) Hey there, all you Mike fans!  This is me, filling in on the notes for Chewie this week as a special treat for everyone who missed me (hi, Mom!).  Unfortunately, we're less one Dirk this time, as he had some stuff to take care of and didn't feel like he had anything in particular to contribute to the subject matter of the episode.

Anyway, we kick things off with a special little featurette that might come back if people like it enough.  As we get settled, it's Nature versus Technology as storms begin to rage in the background and threaten our precious electricity.  From there, we get to the Cardshark Member Promotions (featuring everyone's favorite free uncommons), the final chapter of the Jace vs. Chandra evolution, and then we all get to hear about how Brian and Chewie did at the Alara Reborn Launch Party.  Very informative, very entertaining.  Welcome back to The Mana Pool!


Music for this episode: Your Heroes are Dead by Social Outcast u.b.
Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/socialoutcastub


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Direct download: Episode_80_-_Ready_for_Launch_ARB.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:11pm EST

Episode 79 - Alara Reborn Prerelease Spectacular

First off, I just wanted to say sorry for the lateness of this episode. I'm sure you'll hear about why in the next one.


In this Mike-free show, we're here to talk the Alara Reborn Prerelease. We decided that it made more sense to record on a night that Brian could join us, since he was at the Prerelease, so we had to do it on a night Mike was unavailable. Sorry to all the Mike fans out there, he should be back next episode.


So join us for a complete look at how we did. All three of us competed in the Sealed portion. Guess what colors Dirk played! For that matter, guess what all of us played. It actually matches what you would think. Then Dirk and Brian did a draft. Guess what colors Dirk played! I bet you guess wrong! Hit the forums if you haven't already and let us know how you did. And if you want to cheat, you can check out the forum thread for this episode to see all 5 decklists. The link is right down there if you're not already on the forums.


Music for this episode: I Don't Vote Republican by Social Outcast u.b.

Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/socialoutcastub


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Direct download: Episode_79_-_Alara_Reborn_Prerelease_Spectacular.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:13pm EST

Episode 78 - Alara Reborn Preview 3

And the final Alara Reborn Preview is upon us! We are Mikeless in this episode, but that's okay because we have joining us the amazing Jason, also known as garthok84 on the forums, who was the third place winner of our big contest at the beginning of the year. He takes up the slack from Mike's absence and is generally a horrible human being throughout the entire episode. Which is what we look for in a guest host named Jason.

But of course, we have a whole thoctar-load of previews to get through. Which is really hard considering all the random tangents, animal interruptions, challengers appearing, and poisoning of the forum members that are going on. But we eventually get through them all. You know, eventually. It's a seriously funny ride this time around though, so if you can make it through the whole thing, we hope you enjoyed it. Contrary to what you hear me say in this episode, we did not go past two hours. I just thought we did because I can't tell time.

Alara Reborn Visual Spoiler:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/alarareborn/spoiler


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Direct download: Episode_78_-_Alara_Reborn_Preview_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18am EST

Episode 77 - Alara Reborn Preview 2

Hello to all you folks out there in Internet Land! This is Mike, filling in on the notes for Chewie because... uh... because he told me to, really. Welcome to another Alara Reborn preview episode! As usual, Wizards dumped a whole truckload of stuff on us through the main site and other venues since we last sat down to record, so we're just doing a partial update of the official spoiler list as it stands (stay tuned later in the week for the rest).

We are Brian-less this time, as Chewie does not have veto power over Tom, but we were able to get Bill (of kuraiseraphim fame) to join in, with a special silent mystery guest (Warning: episode contains spoilers regarding the identity of the mystery guest). Fire up your audio player of choice and look forward to good burn, awesome names, Chewie only getting B/R cards, solid commons, and the Yeti hitchhiker.

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Direct download: Episode_77_-_Alara_Reborn_Preview_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27pm EST

Episode 76 - Alara Reborn Preview 1 We are again Dirkless this episode, as he is off with his bride gallivanting around our nation's capital. So instead we have Ben, known on the forums as Panahinuva, who was one of our contest winners from a few months ago. Most excellent. Well you know what the deal is. First we have some stuff to go over as usual, shout-outs and whatnot. Be sure to check out the Avant Card podcast, brought to you by Christian, who is SpaceNinja on the forums. Episode 3 is out now, which is very funny. You can find it at www.avantcardshow.com.

And then we jump into the Alara Reborn previews. For those of you following along at home, we start at Unscythe, Killer of Kings and go all the way up the visual spoiler to Jenara, Asura of War. We skip over the couple we've mentioned before of course. If you want to follow along or just check out all the previewed cards, go here:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/alarareborn/spoiler

Wake up Mike. Mike? Helloooo?


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Direct download: Episode_76_-_Alara_Reborn_Preview_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm EST

On this episode, we begin Mikeless, because something stupid happened at work. Then we dive into Brian's Scarecrow Deck, which was requested as an Out of the Deck Box. Here's the list for that.

We Wish We Had A Brain
14: Swamp
4: Cloudpost
2: Temple of the False God
2: Rupture Spire
1: Shimmering Grotto
1: Vesuva
2: Chainbreaker
1: Wingrattle Scarecrow
1: Rattleblaze Scarecrow
3: Watchwing Scarecrow
2: Thornwatch Scarecrow
3: Scuttlemutt
3: Scrapbasket
2: Transguild Courier
2: Bringer of the Black Dawn
1: Scarecrone
1: Painter's Servant
1: Grim Poppet
3: Reaper King
2: Mana Cylix
2: Scarscale Ritual
2: Fate Transfer
1: Dregs of Sorrow
2: Patriarch's Bidding
2: Plunge into Darkness

Then we have to talk about the latest news, which is the release of the Divine vs. Demonic decklists. Just as we get started, we suddenly find ourselves no longer Mikeless! So whole once again, we dive into the two decks and give you our full opinions. Not to spoil too much, but half the hosts have already purchased this product. Just so you know. If you wanna check it out, go here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/33

And then we have some special preview cards. In the latest Player Rewards mailing there was an oversized card from Alara Reborn. On the back of this oversized card are pictures of the the Prerelease card and the Launch card. So we go over all three of them for the benefit of our listeners. Of course, just about 3 hours after we wrapped up recording, the Alara Reborn minisite went live, complete with a massive visual spoiler. I guess that means you know what's going on next week here on the show. If you want to check that out too, it's right here. I have it bookmarked.
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/alarareborn/spoiler

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Direct download: Episode_75_-_Halos_Horns_and_Straw.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:26pm EST

Episode 74 - Gifts, Quitting, and Dragons First off, Brian got sick and died, so we are without his services for this episode. Then there's a bit of Magic news, including Alara Reborn Intro Pack decklists and the announcement of Zendikar. Then there's the feedback we've gotten from people in various places, new members on the Facebook group, and all that good stuff. And Cardshark Member Promotions, because it's a new month.
Zendikar:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/153

Alara Reborn Intro Packs:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/159

And be sure you check out the April Fool's Draft Viewer. Click around and check out the packs. No really. It's well worth it.
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/activity/158

Then we have a very special thank you to send out to Elton Sean, who did something supremely thoughtful for us. We really appreciated it, and so we spend a fair chunk of time talking about it. And that leads us to the next bit of the show. Lots of people playing Magic right now have either quit playing at some point in the past or at least thought really hard about quitting. We discuss those times for each of us: what caused us to think about quitting, and why we ultimately decided against it.

Then it's time for some dragons. There was a request at least a hundred years ago for an Out of the Deck Box featuring Dirk's Dragon Deck. So of course we had to honor that request. Mind you it hasn't been updated in a while, and we even discussed ways to make it better. Here's the entire list.

Dirk's Dragon Deck
1 Vampiric Dragon
3 Ryusei, the Falling Star
4 Kilnmouth Dragon
3 Two-Headed Dragon
3 Dragon Tyrant
2 Bladewing the Risen
3 Bladewing’s Thrall
3 Furnace Whelp
2 Furnace Dragon
1 Rorix Bladewing
1 Homura, Human Ascendant

1 Oversold Cemetery
4 Zombify

1 Tatsumasa, the Dragon’s Fang
3 Eon Hub
2 Cryptic Gateway
3 Quicksilver Amulet

2 Urborg Volcano
9 Mountain
9 Swamp x 9


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Direct download: Episode_74_-_Gifts_Quitting_and_Dragons.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:45pm EST

Episode 73 - Shred Memory

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Music for this episode: Back to the Future (Main Theme) by Alan Silvestri


And finally, there's really nothing much else to say about this episode other than this - what you're hearing is completely correct. Hopefully the name of the episode will make sense once you're done. You know, since we never actually mentioned the card it was named after.

Then we decided to try something a little odd. Brian picked out a few cards that have come out since we all started playing together. We then proceeded to discuss our own personal histories, experiences, and impressions for each of the cards, then went on to discuss some of the potential uses for each card. Even though we just did the Binder Pull last episode, we thought this was different enough to warrant doing. Of course, lots of fun and random tangents go hand in hand with each bit of discussion, so that makes it even more interesting.

Then, because they showed us the Banned & Restricted List update just after we recorded, we have to go over that really quick. Like really quick. And they showed us the packaging for the Alara Reborn Intro Packs, so of course we have to check that out. Nifty stuff.

First off, of course, we have the standard intro stuff. Hosts, the various contact points, new members on the Facebook group, music explanation, etc etc. You know, the usual.

Direct download: Episode_73_-_Shred_Memory.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:24pm EST

Episode 72 - Binder Pull 2

There's a lot going on in this episode. First off, we have lots of Mana Pool news. New members on the forums, new people in the Facebook group, some comments on the MTGCast page, stuff like that. Also, I got a job. Yay employment! There's also that whole bit about From the Vault: Exiled, but we really don't know enough about it to do anything other than read the stuff on the announcement, found here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/148

Then we have two editions of Out of the Deck Box, with two decks that were requested some time ago. First up is Dirk's infamous X Deck, with its way-too-easy-to-assemble infinite mana engine. Then we have Brian's Boros Reloaded deck, which is a highly aggressive take on the RW Ravnica guild, with some new stuff thrown in for good measure. For a complete list of each deck, please check out the forum post for this episode, which you'll find in the links below as usual.

And then there's the meat of the episode, which is our second Binder Pull. We each comb through our rare binders to find cards that are worth talking about. And we're bouncing all over the place, from The Dark all the way up to Kamigawa block. So take a listen, check out some random cards, and be entertained by the ensuing dorky discussion.


Music for this episode: Intro Theme to Mega Man III on the NES. Good stuff. And vaguely appropriate, believe it or not.


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Direct download: Episode_72_-_Binder_Pull_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:54pm EST

Episode 71 - Animal House

Man, this whole show has gone to the dogs. Well, hounds. And it's for the birds. And cats. And even rabbits and slugs and leeches. We're taking a look at the way Magic handles real-world animals. Any creature type that is a real animal, I have taken a look at and figured out how many there are and what, if anything, ties them all together. Since I did this, I'm going to torment my fellow dorks by making them guess what animals are where on the list. It's a lot of fun. So sit tight and check out the entire menagerie. And no, goblins don't count.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, along comes Banding. We recorded this a few weeks ago but haven't had a chance to use it yet, so here it is. Rules Corner with Mike presents Banding! Everything you've ever wanted to know about this horrible yet pretty freakin' useful old mechanic.


Music for this episode: Linger by Ill Mic
Check them out at www.illmic.com

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Direct download: Episode_71_-_Animal_House.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:56pm EST

Episode 70 - Triple Conflux Draft

On this extra-long and woefully non-creatively named episode, we have lots and lots of stuff to go through. First off, there's all the new member promotions on Cardshark. The featured promotion is especially interesting, be sure to check it out. We have new members on the Facebook group, new members on the forums, and a quick message to one of our forum members, involving the words “dude” and “dork”. We have a comment on the hosting site about an article by Kelley Digges, so we have to comment on that. And then there's news involving some of our fellow Magic podcasters. There's a quick apology to Mr. Suitcase for our promo ruining his show. Sorry about that. Then there's an announcement about Avant Card, a new podcast by our very own forum member and big dork spaceninja. You can find that here:
http://www.avantcardshow.com

Then there's Magic news! First off, they showed new cards from the Divine vs. Demonic set last week (they showed more after we recorded this of course). Then we had to go outside our normal area of influence and discuss Pro Tour – Kyoto. I had to highlight two key points in the Top 8. The first involves Gabriel Nassif's called shot against a hopeless board in the quarterfinals. It was awesome. Then I wanted to discuss the best game in the finals, Nassif vs. Luis Scott-Vargas. Game 4 was freakin' epic and really shows why these guys are the pros. Give it a listen, and then if you're interested you can find the Top 8 webcasts archived here:
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/ptkyo09/welcome

Which brings us finally to the meat of the episode. Brian recently did a triple Conflux draft on Magic Online, and we wanted to go step-by-step through his draft and discuss each pick. If you're into drafting at all, this is going to be fun. If you're not into drafting at all, this is going to be educational and entertaining. Hope you enjoy!

And don't forget to pick up a copy of Legacy Publishing's latest best-seller, Michael Shiver's My Life as a Wombat. Available now absolutely nowhere near you!


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Direct download: Episode_70_-_Triple_Conflux_Draft.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:38pm EST

Episode 69 - Get a Life!

In this episode, your four hosts definitely do NOT get lives. Trust me on this.

First up, there's the big news regarding 11th Edition. There isn't going to be one! The next core set will be Magic 2010. It will contain roughly half new cards. Yeah that's right, new cards in a core set. Weird. We'll go over all this and the other assorted bits of news that aren't worth putting in the show notes, as well as give you our opinions on the matter.

Then there's the title of the episode. In this new segment that we've decided to call “An Excellent Bit of Deckbuilding Nonsense”. It'll be another of those segments that shows up for a while, then disappears, then shows up again when someone asks where it went. Sound good? The point of this exercise is to give each of the hosts a deckbuilding idea and turn them loose. This time we decided to go with “Life Gain”. Use life gain for something other than “I just happen to gain some life when I do X”. Dirk's idea was a great basic use for gaining life. Mike made life gain a major focus of the deck's theme. Brian took the concept and turned it completely on its head. And I decided to make life gain the win conditions in the deck. And yes that's supposed to be plural.

If you'd like to take a look at the decks we built, just click on the forum link down below. They'll be there.


Music for this episode: the Metal Mario theme from Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64

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Direct download: Episode_69_-_Get_a_Life.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:28pm EST

Episode 68 - The Reviews are In!

For anyone joining us from the MTGCast, welcome to The Mana Pool! Come on in, the water's fine. For everyone else, welcome back. Please use your assigned locker space for changing into your trunks. Also, please wait until us hosts get out of the locker room, because we definitely don't need to be here to see that.

It's a product review and a set review! But first, we have to read the contest winning story, the one submitted by kurai_seraphim (that's Bill). Featuring Mike as the Lord of Atlantis!

Then we jump back in time for Brian and I to take a comparative look at the new 6 card Conflux boosters that are available at the large retail stores. I bought five of the 6 card boosters and two of the standard 15 card boosters, giving me 30 cards from each type of pack. We'll take a look at the contents of each, then draw some conclusions about which type of booster pack is the better deal.

Fast forward back to the present, and Mike, Dirk, and I take a look at the original five-color gold set, Invasion. We'll take a quick look at the story and the mechanics of the set, but primarily we're just going to be going over some of the more memorable and awesome cards in the set. Hope you enjoy!


Music for this episode: No One Expects the Mana Pool by JungleRatRob
Download it directly here: http://themanapool.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=401796


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Direct download: Episode_68_-_The_Reviews_are_In.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:45am EST

Episode 67 - Potent Potables

Welcome to our random nonsense episode. I'm dying slowly and pitifully, Mike's sleep schedule is being treated like a pinball, Brian's classes are eating into his social activities, and Dirk plays WoW. Not only that, but we're going to attempt to humanize ourselves just a little bit. We're gonna give you a look at your dorky hosts from a different perspective – what we're doing when we're not playing Magic or podcasting about Magic. Are we really big dorks, or are we actually cool people who play Magic? Find out here!


Next up is the contest story that won second place, from Ben Ahrendt. That's Panahinuva on the forums, and the guest host on episode 63. It's a great story, as narrated by our own Brian Baker. We tried to get Ken Follett, but he didn't return our calls. And Don LaFontaine died last year, so he was out. So we went with our third choice, the guy that does the game footage recap commentary on Inside the NFL, but we have no idea who he is. So it was up to Brian, and he performed admirably.


There were some recent changes to the Comprehensive Rules that were posted on the Magic website. Mike wanted to go over a few of the more interesting ones (in theory). He covered Eye for an Eye, Gilded Drake, Guardian Beast, and Sorrow's Path. Turns out they finally made it not completely useless, but still absolutely terrible. You can find the full list here:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/23c&page=1


And then we move into the second round of Jace vs. Chandra games. We made a few changes to each deck and pitted them against each other yet again. After listening to the results, hit the forums and let us know if you have any recommendations for the next round of changes.



Music for this episode is the Main Theme from Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii. Holy crap it's great.



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-67-potent-potables-t294.html

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Direct download: Episode_67_-_Potent_Potables.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:08pm EST

Episode 66 - Conflux Prerelease

It's the Conflux Prerelease Bonanza! Okay, I'm totally not gonna call it that. But in this episode, we all get together and tell you about the Prerelease. Spoiler alert: Mike the did the worst of us all. We also get Bill, winner of the Mana Pool Contest and Kurai_Seraphim on the forums, to join us to tell us how he fared. There's also a brief sidebar on cheating, a bit of discussion about some of the cards in the new set, and even a quick look ahead at Alara Reborn. I mean quick, too. Like just a few seconds. But it's in there! And there are new member promotions on Cardshark (since it's a new month) and new members on the forums to welcome. Yay new people!



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Direct download: Episode_66_-_Conflux_Prerelease.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:26pm EST

Episode 65 - Conflux Previews 4

Alas, we are Dirkless yet again! Luckily (for him), he has a good excuse this time. We are also Mikeless. Is that even a word? Also luckily, he has a good excuse too. I'd hate to have to kill a dork in anger, you know?


Before we got to the show though, Brian and I had to finish a game. Luckily, I was able to summon up a garthok84 from the forums to fight for me. Then he decided to stick around and guest host this episode for us. It's Jason McFarland, guest host extraordinare and third place winner of The Mana Pool Contest!


So yeah, it's more Conflux previews. Nine cards' worth of goodness, in fact. Never mind the random tangent about whether or not narrow cards that work well in block are are good or not. Or the fifteen minute discussion about the last card (arguably the most important, from a tournament perspective). Or the assorted other random nonsense that comes up all the time. Yeah. Thanks for putting up with all our crap. Enjoy the Prerelease!



Conflux Visual Spoiler:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/conflux/spoiler


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-65-conflux-previews-4-t291.html
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Direct download: Episode_65_-_Conflux_Previews_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:55pm EST

Episode 64 - Conflux Previews 3

Brains! No, wait, that's not right.


Previews! After you pay for this episode, you'll get to hear our takes on 13 more Conflux preview cards. Now all you have to do is figure out where to insert the money...


Conflux Visual Spoiler:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/conflux/spoiler



Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-64-conflux-previews-3-t288.html
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Direct download: Episode_64_-_Conflux_Previews_3.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EST

Episode 63 - Conflux Previews 2

In this originally-named episode, we're gonna hit more Conflux previews! But first, we're gonna give you the story that won third place in the contest, submitted by Jason McFarland, who is garthok84 on the forums. It involves my favorite format ever and a terrible, horrible, soul-crushing way to lose. But before that, we've got a promo to play for Mr. Suitcase, a podcast over on the MTGCast. Preceding that, there's a bit of a rules issue that recently came to my attention that we wanted to clear up involving Unearth, in case some of you don't know it. I didn't know it.


Before we get to all that though, we introduce you to Ben Ahrendt who is Panahinuva on the forums and the second place story in the contest, who joins us for this stupidly overpowered preview episode. I mean really, Nicol Bolas and Progenitus in the same episode? You're lucky your iPod can hold this entire episode at all. Holy crap.


If you want to see the answer to the Unearth-Blink issue written out, go here and scroll down awhile. You'll find it eventually.

http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/askwizards/1008


Conflux Visual Spoiler:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/conflux/spoiler


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-63-conflux-previews-2-t287.html

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Direct download: Episode_63_-_Conflux_Previews_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:40pm EST

Episode 62 - Conflux Previews 1

In this episode of The Mana Pool, our heroes bravely withstand a goblin attack to bring you the first round of Conflux previews. There are 17 cards to go over, and they manage to hit every one of them without any major casualties, although Dirk may never walk again. Tune in next week to see which of your hosts learns a valuable lesson. The Mana Pool – Mondays on the WB! No wait, they're not that anymore. Never mind then, their TV show got canceled. You'll just have to get your episodes off the internet like everyone else.


And congratulations to the winners of the First Official Mana Pool Contest (Not an Official Name)! What, you don't know who won? Then you haven't listened to this episode yet!


Music for this episode is Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals by Raymond Scott. Again with the music you might recognize from a misspent youth watching Looney Tunes. Next episode will be something different, I assure you. Probably no music at all actually, so you better enjoy this one.



Forum thread for this episode:http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-62-conflux-previews-1-t286.html
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Direct download: Episode_62_-_Conflux_Previews_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:38am EST

Welcome to the first Mana Pool episode of 2009! We of course have to start off predictably with some Magic-related New Year's resolutions. We all resolve to play more Magic than we have in recent times, so that must be the dork equivalent of “lose weight”. I actually resolve not to lose weight, even though Wii Fit says I'm morbidly obese, but that's neither here nor there.


Then we get into the meat of the episode. We're going to start a deck evolution sort of thing, much like we did with the Clash Deck, except that we're actually going to do this one more than once. But instead of just building a deck and going from there, we're going to change it up a bit. We're going to take two decks and evolve them parallel to each other. And not just any two decks, no no no. We're starting off with the Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra. And boy are these decks a blast to play against each other. We've played some games with them straight out of the box, and we're going to make some changes and get back to you with the results, along with more changes. It'll be a running feature here on the show, at least until Brian gets bored with it.


Music for this episode is Powerhouse by Raymond Scott. It's classic music that was used a lot by Warner Bros for the Looney Tunes. You'll definitely recognize it.


Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-61-checked-on-new-year-s-resolution-t282.html
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Direct download: Episode_61_-_Checked_on_New_Years_Resolution.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm EST