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 210 - Seedborn Musings

On this episode we're missing Brian, who had a last-minute before-Christmas dinner thing.  So We're joined by Brandon Isleib, better known as the Seedborn Muse over on the Muse Vessel!  Of course, you'll be able to find him over on Gathering Magic on Tuesdays from now on, so maybe you should check that out too.  But since we had a guest host, we decided to make a potpourri episode of random smaller topics that have come up recently.

First off there's a quick discussion of the two cards Banned from Modern.  Then we took a quick look at Avacyn Restored.  We let Brandon cut loose on a topic we recently we recently talked about, keeping casual Magic casual.  Then there was a discussion of creatures with Defender in multiplayer Magic.  We finished up with a nice long discussion about the various mechanics in Future Sight and which of them were our favorites.  That one was a good one.

Big thanks to Brandon for joining us, we had a lot of fun with him!  You guys should definitely go check out his Musings, along with the other two guys over on The Muse Vessel!

Intro and Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – One Shot You Don't Want to Miss by A Light Divided - http://www.facebook.com/ALightDivided or http://www.reverbnation.com/alightdivided

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Direct download: Episode_210_-_Seedborn_Musings.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm EDT

Episode 209 - Dirk and a Half

Hey look, Bill's back!  And since he's here, we begin this episode by talking all about the SCG Invitational we went to last week.  We've got all kindsa stories and people and things.  There are links to the two playmats we talked about a little further down.  And you know you wanna see ;)

Then we have a Magic Mad Lib from Myke Okuhara, which is seriously drop-dead hilarious.  No really.  I might die.  Then we did a real Mad Lib that Brian wrote, because it was there to do.  Just don't get used to this two-Mad-Libs-per-episode thing going on here, okay?

And we finish up with a sizable discussion about the pros and cons of each color, as seen from a gameplay perspective.  We started off with flavor, then realized that's not what the person was asking.  I wish I could remember who asked and where, but them's the breaks, you know?  Hope you enjoy!

Planeswalkers for Equality: http://www.steveargyle.com/?cmd=gallery_ext&art_id=411

Chandra closeup that Mike bought: http://www.steveargyle.com/?cmd=gallery_ext&art_id=368

Intro and Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – Why is the Rum Gone?

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Direct download: Episode_209_-_Dirk_and_a_Half.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31pm EDT

Episode 208 - Like for Bullets

This episode is a little out there.  First off, we're missing Dirk because it's his anniversary.  Because not just anyone can fill in for Dirk, we tracked down two old friends to help us out.  First we got Bill, who is kurai_seraphim on the forums and a recent guest host.  Then we tracked down Ben, who is Panahinuva on the forums, Twitter, and probably everywhere else.

We start off with a couple of listener-submitted Mad Libs, one from Jose Lorenzo de Jesus and one from Austin Abel.  Yeah I know we've done the first one before, shut up.  They're fun.  After that, it's time for a Story Circle.  But not just any Story Circle, this is a holiday special!  We're taking a look at the various holiday special promo cards that Wizards has released the last few years, then we're gonna concoct a Story Circle around one of them!  Trust me, it turned out great.

After that, things got a little unfocused.  We talked about some of the things that are coming up in the near future on TheManaPool.com and discussed our upcoming trip to the SCG Open Invitational in Charlotte.  Just a reminder, Mike's taking on all comers with his High Tide Eldrazi Archenemy deck!  Then we turned our attention to some listener mail and assorted ramblings.  Hope you enjoy!


Intro and Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – They're Taking the Hobbits to Isengard

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Direct download: Episode_208_-_Like_for_Bullets.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:33pm EDT

Episode 207 - Make It Count

We're joined this episode by Tom, formerly of the MTG Radio podcast.  He's always fun to have on the show, so hopefully you'll all enjoy it as much as we did.  We start off with a fair amount of news - new Planechase, Faithless Looting, and the latest WOTC holiday card.  Links to all those are right here:

Follow Tom on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MTGRadio

Planechase 2012
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/848

Faithless Looting
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/847

Yule Ooze
http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/arcana/852


Then we get to the good stuff!  Way back in Episode 69 - Get A Life!, we each took the simple concept of "lifegain" and built a deck around it, completely separate from each other.  Then we compared and contrasted our decks on the show.  We each came up with something vastly different of course.  That episode got a really good response, and we've always meant to do it again.

Well we're finally doing it.  This time, we started with the idea of "counters" and ran with it.  And in case you're wondering, we're not talking Cancel here.  We're talking break out the Crown Royal bag full of dice.  So all five of us built a deck around this loose theme, and the results were again wildly different.  Brian, Mike, and Dirk each focused on one type of counter, while I decided to intentionally not focus on one type.  Tom, with his background as an EDH podcaster, built a Commander deck.  If you'd like to see what the decks looked like, here's where you can go to find them:
http://themanapool.com/the-deck-box/make-itcount-deck-lists/

After that, we have a few good discussions that come from listener mail.  We discuss Magic Online vs. paper Magic.  We discuss some of the possible ways to get rid of your collection once you're done playing.  We even talked about Worlds for a minute.

And finally, if you're going to be at the Star City Games Open Series in Charlotte, NC (you know, the Invitational) then you might just see Chewie and Mike there, along with Bill (you know, from Episode 203 - Medium-Sized Discussions) and at least a few others from the podcasting community, including BigheadJoe, Jack LaCroix, and the crew from Runnin' the Gauntlet.  So come on out and see us in Charlotte on Dec. 10!

Intro and Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – Boil 'Em by EnigmaMonkey

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Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episdoe-207-make-it-count-t739.html
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Direct download: Episode_207_-_Make_It_Count.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:10pm EDT

Episode 206 - Kneel Before Mike (Four Years!)

We really went all out for our 4 year show.  We've got discussions on beating children, Graveborn, panties, laughing thoctars, Horde updates, and the realization that Mike is actually the ruler of all things.  But I'm sure some of you already knew that, you're very clever.  That's why you listen to us!

Actually, we didn't exactly realize that this was our 4 year anniversary show until just before we started.  But luckily, we had chosen a topic that was very much suited for it!  This episode is a whole mess of Out of the Deck Box!  Each of us took one of our favorite decks (or one that listeners have asked about) and go over it.  We're talking casual multiplayer here, so expect a lot of nonsense and fun!

Brian shared his Shared Fate deck at a listener's request.  We are awesome.  Chewie showed off his Primalcrux deck, even though he still needs 2 more Primalcrux.  No seriously, we're pretty great.  Dirk hauled out the aptly named X-Deck because he really doesn't like us at all.  Actually Mike is the awesome one.  And Mike discussed his themeless Black/Red deck, probably because it's one of the few decks he has that still just doesn't have a central idea running through it.  Kneel before Mike!

Stupid thoctars...


Uncle Zod by memorypalace
Intro and Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – The Picard Song by DarkMateria

Be sure to check out all the great stuff on the website! – http://themanapool.com

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Direct download: Episode_206_-_Kneel_Before_Mike_Four_Years.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

Episode 205 - Would Solid Snake Have Shroud?

On this episode of The Mana Pool, we're talking video games!  Reminiscing, really.  But because we're actually a Magic podcast, we're gonna try to bring it back to Magic as often as possible.  What could the different video game genres bring to Magic?  What about the various characters and worlds that video games have given us?  And the question that Brian used to pitch this idea to me: Would Solid Snake have shroud?  I liked it so much I made it the title of this episode!

After that, we attempted to knock out some of the listener emails that have been piling up over the last month.  Rules questions, congratulations on hitting 200 (oops), and assorted other topics come up for discussion, so don't miss it!  You never know, you might learn something.


Intro and Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! Theme
Intro by Tosus - http://dergeek.com
Image by snatx - http://community.wizards.com/snatx/blog/2009/10/19/zendikar_custom_tokens

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Direct download: Episode_205_-_Would_Solid_Snake_Have_Shroud.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:57am EDT

Episode 204 - Hyper Instinct Turbo Third Strike Game of the Year Edition Alpha

It's that time again, where we use Gatherer to find a group of unwitting creatures to beat the crap out of each other for our amusement.  I mean...to compete for fame and glory on the battlefield. And charity! Yeah, that's it. Look, what's the point of being able to summon up creatures from around the multiverse if you can't have a little fun with it?

But yes, starting with one of the lamest creatures in Magic and going from there, we have pitched battles between random creatures.  By pitched battles, of course I mean nerd arguments about who would win (and yet Batman vs. Captain America doesn't come up once...huh).  Eight enter, but only one will come away victorious!  Feel free to join in the nerd arguments on the forums or in the comments, of course.

After that, Brian gives us an in-depth rundown of a draft he did on MTGO that he thought was especially interesting.  And it was, so listen up.  You in the back there!  Pay attention!

Intro (and new Outro!) Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music - Killer Instinct Theme

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Episode 203 - Medium-Sized Discussions

We're joined this week by Bill Bloodworth, who is Kurai_Seraphim on our forums.  Yes that's his real name.  I assure you he's not just an out of control LARPer.  He came down to hit a Sealed PTQ with Chewie and Brian, so we brought him on to tell us how it went and to join in the discussion.

Speaking of discussion, we had a lot of that on this episode.  Listeners send us emails all the time, and sometimes there's something in those emails that just need more attention than a quick email reading will give, so we file them away to discuss later.  Usually we don't actually get around to discussing them later because we're terrible people and miserably forgetful.

Mike made a list of these forgotten discussions and we tackled a few of them this episode.  Was putting Sol Ring in the Commander decks a good thing, or just a marketing ploy?  Should decks be played a certain way, or is it cool that some people play the same deck in a different way?  How might you attempt to control a difference in power levels in a multiplayer play group?  And finally, we take a look at Preordain, Ponder, and Brainstorm and the differences between them.


Intro (and new Outro!) Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Theme from Cheers) by Gary Portnoy - http://garyportnoy.com

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Direct download: Episode_203_-_Medium-Sized_Discussions.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:24pm EDT

Episode 202 - Bringing Back the Binder Pull

On this exciting episode of The Mana Pool we're bringing back a fan favorite segment, the binder pull! We're all just opening up our binders and picking out some cool cards to discuss. Then discussing them. You know.

After that, it's back to the emails! We've got a whole mess of interesting rules questions and little tidbits here and there. There's a short rant from Chewie about pottymouths and professionalism that will probably end up offending someone, but it happens. No harm meant I assure you.

At this point my show notes say "something at the end". It's been long enough since we recorded that I'm not entirely sure what that means. So if you hear something at the end, that's what it meant. And if you don't, then I've got nothing.

Intro (and new Outro!) Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – Trogdor by Strong Bad - http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html

Be sure to check out all the great stuff on the website! – http://themanapool.com

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Direct download: Episode_202_-_Bringing_Back_the_Binder_Pull.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01am EDT

Episode 201 - Armchair Art Critic

This episode is packed!  We start off with our traditional post-rotation discussion.  I'm not sure why we do this, not being Standard players for the most part and being a casual podcast, but we always do and we've always gotten positive feedback about it.  So here it is again!  Did you realize that something besides Squadron Hawk rotated out?  I didn't either!

Keeping with this Standard-centric topic, we then move to a quick discussion about the first couple of SCG Open with the new Standard.  It's amazing what these people are doing nowadays! Oh, and there are new Innistrad Event Decks to discuss.

That sounds like a full show right there, but we're not even close to done yet!  There's a new format that's been making the rounds lately, Horde Magic.  It was introduced to me by SkeetWo, a listener named Justin, when I met him at Curio Cavern in Springfield VA. It was a blast when I played the Horde with him, so I wanted to introduce it to my cohosts. Of course, since we recorded this it's been all over the place, including an article by Stybs on the mothership (where he also mentioned another favorite of the show, Respawn Magic).  Links for those are right here:


Peter Knudson: http://www.quietspeculation.com/2011/09/horde-magic-a-new-way-to-play-magic-and-survive-zombie-invasions/

Adam Styborski: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/sf/165


And that's not even the whole show!  Dirk had the brilliant (no really, no sarcasm at all) idea to talk about art.  Good art, bad art, creepy art, whatever.  And this led to the most fun discussion we've had in a while.  We picked out some stuff that was great, some stuff that was ridiculous, and we finally solved the long-standing mystery of what happened to Baron Sengir's legs.  Hope you guys enjoy it!

----------

Donate to Dustin’s Extra Life page! Help out some sick kids! – http://extra-life.org/participant/vognasty

Intro (and new Outro!) Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music – Aria di Mezzo Carattere (Orchestrated) from Final Fantasy VI by Nobuo Uematsu

Be sure to check out all the great stuff on the website! – http://themanapool.com

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-201-armchair-art-critics-t727.html
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Direct download: Episode_201_-_Armchair_Art_Critics.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT