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!

For episode 222, we are joined by The Many-Named One himself, Eric!  He's here to pick up the slack for Brian, who had no power at home and thus couldn't join us.

But because it's episode 222, we just had to spend a ton of time on everyone's favorite bears! You know, 2/2's for 2!  We're talking about bears of all shapes and sizes.  How the two-drop 2/2 impacts drafts and cubes, the original Alpha bears, the plethora of bears that are Knights.  We even touch on bears that have made an impact on the tournament scene and just which ones we've enjoyed over the years. 

After a while however, we ran out of gas on bears.  And without Brian's rambling, we sort of lost our focus.  We talked a fair bit about video games.  Chewie's playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the FIRST TIME so we had to spend some time there.  Really now.

And what's this talk of an Easter Egg on the site?

Eric's custom RK Post playmats (for the kids!)
http://yfrog.com/a/img736/1020/d11oq.jpg
http://yfrog.com/a/img861/5258/ja5go.jpg


Intro & Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music - The Bare Necessities (from Walt Disney's ''The Jungle Book'') by Phil Harris & Bruce Reitherman

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-222-there-s-bears-outside-t785.html
Check out our archive at http://themanapool.com
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Direct download: Episode_222_-_Theres_Bears_Outside.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:51pm EST

We begin the episode with a listener question (from Bacon!) about our favorite and least favorite cards.  And because of how our answers played into each other, I thought that might be a good one to answer on the air.  Yay Bacon!

That leads (almost) naturally into the rest of the show!  We go from favorite cards to favorite planeswalkers, which leads us to nice roundtable discussion about the 'walkers in general.  Favorites, most powerful in multiplayer and not, how do you play them, when do you put them in a deck, how do you play against them, etc etc.  All kinds of stuff came up, so hopefully you'll find it either interesting or informative.  If nothing else, you can laugh at how Brian's long confusing question caused Mike to completely lose track of the conversation. That was pretty awesome.

Also, I'd like to apologize ahead of time for the nonsense you'll find in the break music and the full nonsense at the end of the episode.  Once the notion took hold in my brain, I just couldn't resist.  For the full list of songs used, check the forum post that goes with this episode, the link is right down there.


Cast a Spell on MS charity Magic tournament - http://www.castaspellonms.org

Intro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break & Outro Music - Planeswalker, Memphis Ranger Medley by Chewie (I got bored)

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-221-planes-walk-this-way-t782.html
Check out our archive at http://themanapool.com
Our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheManaPool
Our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103949524686616854873
Email us at dorks@themanapool.com
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/themanapool
Cardshark Member Promotions: http://www.cardshark.com/Promotions/Member-Promotions.aspx
Subscribe to our RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/themanapool

Direct download: Episode_221_-_PlanesWalk_This_Way.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:01pm EST

Chewie note: Eric wanted his GP Nashville episodes to go up as soon as possible, and Chris Otwell is unavailable to upload casts to the MTGCast Network until Sunday.  So I offered to help a brother out and get his casts out there ASAP for everyone’s listening enjoyment.  Keep an eye out, they’ll be going up as soon as I get them from him!

This episode starts with a conversation with Richard F. Castle, creator of Inside the Deck, a featured documentary-style video cast on Gathering Magic. We talk about his origin and what he does. Check out his blog at www.insidethedeck.com.

Next up is Evan Erwin (@misterorange on Twitter) of Star City Games. We talk about his expanding role in the SCG organization and he reveals that the life tracker in the Star City Mobile App will be getting an overhaul.

Then Sam Black (@SamuelHBlack on Twitter) takes some time to go over his 50 card draft deck with me (yes, you read that right). He answers the question “Can you draft too many Selhoff Occultist?” He certainly has an interesting view on the drafting format.

I end the episode by talking with Ethan Heilicher who has an amazing set of decks put together for battling with his friends. Some might call it a block of blocks. He was featured on the main coverage site. He is the president of RAWG (Rochester Wargamer’s Association & Guild). You can find him and contact him on Twitter as @Pokezel

I'd like to give a special thanks to Chewie for hosting these shows on his site and getting them up (almost) live for me.  And another special thanks goes out to Mana Deprived for hosting my text write-up, which will be going up after the weekend is over!

If you have any specific things you would like to hear on the show, please reach out to me on Twitter!  You can find me as @EricMTGCast there.

Direct download: Mr_Suitcase_Episode_36_-_GP_Nashville_Drafting_with_Sam_Black.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:40pm EST

Chewie note: Eric wanted his GP Nashville episodes to go up as soon as possible, and Chris Otwell is unavailable to upload casts to the MTGCast Network until Sunday.  So I offered to help a brother out and get his casts out there ASAP for everyone’s listening enjoyment.  Keep an eye out, they’ll be going up as soon as I get them from him!

I managed to follow Jon Finkel's draft, watching him pick up an aggressive black-blue deck. I managed to sit down with Jonny Magic after his deck building, and we talked about that as well as several other topics, including what he's doing at a Grand Prix. He gave me an update on the charity that he has been working on lately, Gamers Helping Gamers. Check out the site (which is currently still under construction) and follow @jonnymagic00 on Twitter for updates on when scholarship applications will be available.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Chewie for hosting these shows on his site and getting them up (almost) live for me.  And another special thanks goes out to Mana Deprived for hosting my text write-up, which will be going up after the weekend is over!

If you have any specific things you would like to hear on the show while I'm here in Nashville, please reach out to me on Twitter!  You can find me as @EricMTGCast there.

Direct download: Mr_Suitcase_Episode_35_-_GP_Nashville_-_Drafting_with_Jon_Finkel.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:30pm EST

Chewie note: Eric wanted his GP Nashville episodes to go up as soon as possible, and Chris Otwell is unavailable to upload casts to the MTGCast Network until Sunday.  So I offered to help a brother out and get his casts out there ASAP for everyone’s listening enjoyment.  Keep an eye out, they’ll be going up as soon as I get them from him!

In this episode, I talk about what it takes to run a large 1000+ player Grand Prix with the Head Judge here in Nashville, level 4 judge Jeff Marrow. We also covered how to recover when an event starts to slow down.

Later I run the chats with Zac Hill (@zdch on Twitter), member of Magic R&D and author of the Latest Developments column on Daily MTG. We talk about card design process and how a recent column he wrote influenced how I and others build our cubes.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Chewie for hosting these shows on his site and getting them up (almost) live for me.  And another special thanks goes out to Mana Deprived for hosting my text write-up, which will be going up after the weekend is over!

If you have any specific things you would like to hear on the show while I'm here in Nashville, please reach out to me on Twitter!  You can find me as @EricMTGCast there.

Direct download: Mr_Suitcase_Episode_34_-_GP_Nashville_-_Head_Judge_and_Zac_Hill.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:25am EST

Chewie note: Eric wanted his GP Nashville episodes to go up as soon as possible, and Chris Otwell is unavailable to upload casts to the MTGCast Network until Sunday.  So I offered to help a brother out and get his casts out there ASAP for everyone’s listening enjoyment.  Keep an eye out, they’ll be going up as soon as I get them from him!

I start this episode with a recap of the EDH (Commander) game that I played on site yesterday. Throughout the cast I talk about my struggles and successes in the main event of a 1000 person GP with no byes.

The meat of the show is a talk with Usman Jamil (@UsmanTheRad on Twitter), Reuben Bresler (@MoxReuby on Twitter), and Anthony Avitollo (@antknee42 on Twitter), all great cube experts.  We talk about the introduction of cube drafts on Magic Online, as well as the viability of storm in cube. The discussion definitely shows off our passion for this wonderful format, especially when we talk about how it has been impacted by the thefts at recent GPs.


Check out the sites these guys maintain:
www.incontentionmagic.com
www.idratherbecubing.wordpress.com



I'd like to give a special thanks to Chewie for hosting these shows on his site and getting them up (almost) live for me.  And another special thanks goes out to Mana Deprived for hosting my text write-up, which will be going up after the weekend is over!

If you have any specific things you would like to hear on the show while I'm here in Nashville, please reach out to me on Twitter!  You can find me as @EricMTGCast there.

Direct download: Mr_Suitcase_Episode_33_-_GP_Nashville_-_The_Main_Event_and_Cube_Talk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:29pm EST

Chewie note: Eric wanted his GP Nashville episodes to go up as soon as possible, and Chris Otwell is unavailable to upload casts to the MTGCast Network until Sunday.  So I offered to help a brother out and get his casts out there ASAP for everyone’s listening enjoyment.  Keep an eye out, they’ll be going up as soon as I get them from him!

For my second show from GP Nashville, I sat down for a brief chat with Luis Scott-Vargas himself (@LSV on Twitter).  He gave some of his opinions about the new Grand Prix structure, the amount of teamwork that Team ChannelFireball puts into GP preparation, and the current Sealed Deck format.  (Chewie note: He even tried to get LSV to talk smack about double-faced cards!)

After that, there's some commentary about my sealed pool and performance in Grinder 4.  My friend Tony and I go over my pool again later to see what, if anything, could have been done differently.  If you have any specific things you would like to hear on the show while I'm here in Nashville, please reach out to me on Twitter!  You can find me as @EricMTGCast there.

And I'd like to give a special thanks to Chewie for hosting these shows on his site and getting them up (almost) live for me.  And another special thanks goes out to Mana Deprived for hosting my text write-up, which will be going up after the weekend is over!

Direct download: Mr_Suitcase_Episode_32_-_GP_Nashville_-_LSV_Plus_Sealed_Deck_Analysis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:21am EST

Mr Suitcase #31 - GP Nashville Introductions

Just arrived in Nashville!  Now to introduce the cast of characters for the weekend, including the one and only Usman from the Third Power podcast (@UsmanTheRad on Twitter), and to go over some of the plans for the weekend (spoilers: this includes a grinder and hitting up some artists.  Oh, and the GP itself of course).  If you have any specific things you would like to hear on the show while I'm here in Nashville, please reach out to me on Twitter!  I'm @EricMTGCast there.

And I'd like to give a special thanks to Chewie for hosting these shows on his site and getting them up (almost) live for me.  And another special thanks goes out to Mana Deprived for hosting my text write-up, which will be going up after the weekend is over!

Direct download: Mr_Suitcase_Episode_31_GP_Nashville_Introduction.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:42pm EST

Episode 220 - Confronting the Horde (Live)

It's the long-lost live episode of The Mana Pool!  Well, not "lost" exactly.  More like "we haven't had a hole in recording to fill with this episode" but you know what I mean.  But yeah, this was recorded back in January when we all got together to play at Dirk's house.  We were joined by Ian Shepherd, a kid Dirk knows.  Turns out this kid is the son of the proprietor of Hypermind, a gaming shop not far from Dirk in Burlington, NC.  If you wanna check them out, you should click the link down there!

As for what we did this episode...I'm not going tell you.  Be surprised!

Okay fine, you waited me out.  In case you couldn't tell from the title, we played a couple games of Horde Magic, which we've discussed before, against Brian's monogreen Horde deck.  It was pretty cool, though I think the Horde deck still needs a bit of tweaking.  After we got done with the Horde Magic, we switched over to our normal 60-card casual decks.  To be honest, it's been a long time and I don't remember anything about these games, so I guess we'll be finding out together.  I do know the last game took a fair amount of time, but I don't think it was long in a bad way.  I could be wrong.  Feel free to let us know in the comments or the forums or an email or any of the other ways to get in touch with us if I was wrong.


Check out Hypermind - www.hypermindonline.com

Intro & Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music - When Push Comes to Shove by A Light Divided - http://www.facebook.com/ALightDivided or http://www.reverbnation.com/alightdivided

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-220-confronting-the-horde-live-t776.html
Check out our archive at http://themanapool.com
Our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheManaPool
Our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103949524686616854873
Email us at dorks@themanapool.com
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/themanapool
Cardshark Member Promotions: http://www.cardshark.com/Promotions/Member-Promotions.aspx
Subscribe to our RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/themanapool

Direct download: Episode_220_-_Confronting_the_Horde_Live.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:54pm EST

Episode 219 - Commander Month: The (First?) One with Bennie Smith

Yeah, you read it right - we got Bennie Smith! He writes for Star City Games now, he used to write for DailyMTG, and he's here with us to close out Commander Month!  I'm pretty sure this is what's known as "doing it right".  We spent a while picking his brain and asking all about his Magic history - all you've ever wanted to know about Bennie Smith? Aw yeah.

We got Bennie to help us answer some excellent listener questions, like how to deal with mass removal when you're playing a heavily creature-centric deck.  Tosus asked if he should use EDH to teach new players the game or if that risked scaring them away forever.  And there was the obligatory most over- and under-rated generals question, which we kinda sorta answered mostly. 

Then we moved from there into a Story Circle, with everyone's favorite not-vigilance-giving (Johangilence?) general, Johan!  You can find the complete list for that right below this paragraph so you can follow along at home.  Holy crap I loved the deck we came up with.  As soon as this is done uploading, I'm gonna trade Mike for his.  No really, he's sitting right here behind me!
http://themanapool.com/the-deck-box/storycircle219edh/

Oh, and if you're in or around London or you just enjoy tabletop, role-playing, or war games (or Magic of course) you should go visit Roll of the Dice Online Games (yes, it spells ROTDOG) - ROTDOG.co.uk/blog.

Follow Bennie on Twitter: @blairwitchgreen

Intro & Outro Music – Diamond by Swift – http://www.swift-band.com
Break Music - The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth by I Fight Dragons - http://ifightdragons.com

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-219-cmdr-month-the-1st-one-with-bennie-smith-t774.html
Check out our archive at http://themanapool.com
Join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/TheManaPool
Email us at dorks@themanapool.com
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/themanapool
Cardshark Member Promotions: http://www.cardshark.com/Promotions/Member-Promotions.aspx
Subscribe to our RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/themanapool

Direct download: Episode_213_-_Commander_Month_The_First_One_with_Bennie_Smith.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:07pm EST