top of page

Guess Who's Here? Well, Back. (Hint: It's not Eminem)

Howdy there my fellows, folks, and fiends!

This week has been one of many exciting new beginnings! Well, continuations and revamps of old things, more accurately. You all are, I'm sure, aware of Modern Horizons III's official release yesterday, but also new is my return to Tucson and, thus, Showtime Cards. Most important, however, is that I've gotten my grubby paws onto the login for this website! So, for the foreseeable future you all will be subject to my weekly ramblings in this blog section!

The topic for today's tirade: Stuff I'd like to get going on around this joint, but can't because not enough of you are showing up to be my friends.

First off is drafts. I don't care which set, I just like opening new cards and being able to slap them into a deck no matter how bad they are, because every other deck will have cards just as bad. Unfortunately, I'm a little college goon, so I'm mega poor even after factoring my employment here at Showtime into the equation. Thus, I need y'all to get in here on Fridays and draft so I can live vicariously through your wallets.

So that's why I want y'all to come draft, but what's in it for you? Well, my soon-to-be-friends, you need look no further for answers! I shall now guide you through a far less than comprehensive list of reasons why you should cancel all your Friday plans and dedicate your blood, sweat, time, tears, money, and souls to this format of the card game, specifically at the locale where I work.

1. Cherry Picking, Rare Drafting, and Penny Pinching

I like cards, but only a specific few. I don't like spending lots of money. How do I fuel my desire for cards without selling the rest of my organs? I could open a bunch of packs, but I'm not guaranteed to hit the cards I want until I'm in more debt to WotC than my university. I'll also be left with a bunch of ugly bulk that I lack the deckbrewing skill to effectively utilize. I could buy the singles that I want online, but then I'll have to fork over the full cost of the card because other people recognize its value; Remember the whole "I'm poor and this cardboard addiction doesn't help." thing I mentioned earlier? Drafting, however, only runs me the cost of a three or so packs, and allows me to scrounge through about 24 packs' worth of cards (though yes, some other cards are being nabbed out of them before my claws are released upon them). That is a miniscule downside, however, especially once you remember that I also have a chance of looting through a few extra packs afterwards if I do well enough for prizing.

I have one last advantage which makes my pack-prowling escapades even more profitable, and that is a complete and utter lack of shame. While the responsible drafters pass on a Foil Tarmogoyf for a Burst Lightning that improves their deck, I will happily pluck out that expensive rare, then sell it to fund my next draft. Maybe I'll even recoup the costs of the one in which I'm rare-drafting! What makes it even better is that I'm no pro player, so there are no cameras to document my crimes and no fans to give me flack for it if I was caught! I have set the bar so low that I can do little but surpass it: as long as the other drafters leave the room with their eardrums intact, the other staff congratulate me for my good behavior.

2. It's Easier To Shuffle

We all know that shuffling a commander deck smoothly is a hopeless task, but even your standard 60-card list gives me some trouble. It's not because I have small hands necessarily - they're actually on the medium/large side - I'm just incredibly clumsy. With a 40-card Limited deck, however, even I am infrequent in sending my cards flying out of my hands and into the furthest, darkest crevasses of the store. This is important because the fifteen minutes I usually spend retrieving my cards are reallocated to actual playing of the game!

3. Drafting Shores Up Your Understanding of the Game's Core

Now I know what you're thinking: "Wait a sec, this looks like a legitimate reason. Where's the ghost writer hiding?" To that I say- Come on, do you really think so little of me? After the five whole paragraphs we've known each other? Well, you'll never find where I'm hiding Tony, so you'll just have to believe that I came up with all of this.

I genuinely do believe that drafting has improved my skill at Magic, however. While playing commander I'm always caught up in the complexities of the essays printed on each card, and the convoluted ways in which they interact. When playing formats such as Modern or Pauper(Both of which y'all should come in to start playing so I can study up on those metas while at work), I find myself too worried about what to sideboard in for countering my opponent's deck. In a draft, many of these complexities are stripped away, leaving me to focus on optimizing my use of near-vanilla creatures, when to attack and block, sequencing of spells, etc. Even before the playing of these games, I am taught to respect the value of good stat lines and efficient mana costs, over picking cards with flashy abilities that are too hard to get functioning in a Limited environment. In building my deck, I also learn to better fit my picks to a functioning mana curve, and to allot enough spots to lands and other mana fixing to support my often extravagant and unviable color splashes for random bulk rares that I fancy.

The best part, in my prideful opinion, of learning to optimize deckbuilding strategies through drafts is that you don't need to wait for a new meta to come around or another set to release for a good reason to build a new deck and put your new discoveries to the test. Just show up again next week, and the format necessitates a new bout in deckbuilding!

I started off this article with the intention of listing a few different events I'd like to start running. Instead, I went far too in-depth about drafts relative to how little helpful information I provided. I've used up my weekly capacity of brain-power in writing what came before this, so I'm going to simply list a few other events without much further explanation, and leave it to y'all to bother me in the comments about which you would be interested in, thereby prompting me to write more about how I would go about implementing them.

Second is, as briefly foreshadowed, weekly tournaments of a 60-card Constructed format. I, personally, have given feeble attempts at getting into Modern and Pauper, the latter an attempt that is still ongoing, so I would enjoy those working their way in here for me to learn about passively while on the job, but really I'm not attached enough to either that I would heavily prefer it over Pioneer, Standard, or another format to be the one which occurs weekly, I just think it would be cool to witness a local meta develop alongside the general format meta, and see what our players would be able to brew up in response. I'd like to have this begin as being free entry with prizing starting as either just promo cards and promo packs, or maybe one or two regular packs as prizing to each week's winner, then maybe changing to having an entry cost and more significant prizing when it develops to a more significant stage.

Third, and last of my current ideas is actually one that I'm fully plagiarizing from someone who used to work here at Showtime, but is no longer with us due to becoming a fancy medical professional, Tim.

That idea is a Pre-Constructed Commander Deck League. Entry would be the purchase of a Pre-Constructed Deck that is the one which you will pilot in the league, which would have weekly games with prizing for them. After a set period, perhaps every other week, or every month, you would be allowed to add in upgrades to your deck equal to about ten dollars' value in cards. This would result in decks that power up slowly over time, from pre-con power to being formidable decks, and that the player would implement strategy in carrying out, as they decide between a few smaller upgrades, or a singular bomb that they just hope to draw frequently. The pool of preconstructed decks for this could be either any preconstructed deck from a standard set, or there could be different leagues for each new set, which limits the pool of decks you'll face, but then puts more emphasis on the way in which you upgrade your deck.

Again, all of these things are subject to what you players in them would prefer, as the main reason for my rant is pleading with you to come and be my friend. Please do pester me in the comments about what you would also enjoy us facilitating, or leave a detailed and scathing exposition of every fault and dislikeable trait that I possess!

Selling out and signing off,

James Wroth

Gaming Coordinator, Showtime Cards and Comics

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page