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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT