Bill Bloodworth

The Mana Pool!

Bill, aka Kurai Seraphim

Bill managed to dodge the first few waves of Magic popularity and wasn't pulled in until his college roommate Animal bought someone's collection and wanted someone to play with. After wading through a very artifact-heavy series of one-on-one games with Animal, Bill eventually joined a playgroup and met Mana Pool Rules Guru Mike. Always playing with other people's cards through complicated board states, Bill grew into a limited player with an unhealthy love of both sealed and drafting formats. He occasionally guest hosts on the Mana Pool.

Bill's writing style largely draws on narrative elements rather than objective reporting. His first Magic article, Johnny's Quest, showcased his love of janky combo decks that require a lot of pieces to do something awesome. Another article, Compleat My Ride, drew heavy influence from the comedic style of the Valve writers responsible for Team Fortress 2 while illustrating Bill's interest in finding interesting rules interactions between cards that were likely never meant to be run together.

Bill's dork status occasionally wanders beyond the card frame. Outside of Magic, Bill has written articles for Escapist Magazine on the subjects of awesome game glitches and what the flavor of magic systems can offer videogame settings. He's also worked with Japanese animation conventions, staffed a scifi/steampunk convention, and one time he found five dollars.

You can follow him on Twitter as @KuraiSeraphim, but if you're looking for Magic-related posts you're far more likely to find them under his goblin alter-ego @SqueeGoblnNabob.

Role Player

kytheon lion squee

Game Changer

Didn’t expect to see me writing an article, did you? Can’t say I blame you, as that’s not really something I’m known to do. In general, my role in the Magic community is to sit back and fire commentary as others take stances on cards and strategies. This doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions, of course; it just means that I’m usually content to sit by and let others with more experience take on the role of teachers, analysts, and tacticians. It would take something really unusual, interesting, and game changing to fire me up enough to actually commit my thoughts to digital ink.

kytheon gideon

Well, Kytheon managed to pull this off. This Magic Origins mythic rare has the potential to be a format-spanning staple, which is fine and dandy, but that’s not why I’m inspired to write about it. No, great cards are printed all the time and nearly every Planeswalker will be analyzed by people far more experienced with the various formats than I am, so what makes Kytheon so special?

Kytheon is an interesting mix of aggressive creature and board-controlling Planeswalker. The very specific combination of stats, cost, and abilities gives me an opportunity to discuss a critical component of card evaluation that I feel most players must learn if they want to improve. If you find yourself struggling at your local prerelease or having trouble determining which cards are likely to find a home in Standard, then this discussion will hopefully give you a new tool for your toolbox.

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Squee Draft: Squee Tries Thieving Mitts in an M15 Draft

Squee Draft Rogue's Gloves

Squee catapults into an 8-4 for the Magic 2015 Release and takes the blue/white evasion draft archetype out for a spin. Along the way, he gives Rogue’s Gloves a shot, picking it over Divination largely because if it’s going to work anywhere, it’s here. He then leans a bit heavily on Avacyn, dumps a bunch of squids on the ground with no Islands to Islandwalk, and wonders if Military Intelligence would actually work better in this deck.

This was recorded during the release week, so the format was still new enough that a lot of these choices may look pretty dumb with our current format awareness. Squee drafts are about experimentation, so suboptimal picks aren’t uncommon, but keep that context in mind before criticizing the card choices too closely.

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Squee Draft – Breaking in the V4 Client with M15 Boros

Soul of Shandalar

Squee gives the new Magic Online (V4) a spin in the first Squee video in over a year. Given zero experience with the new client, this is also a good representation of how intuitive the client is. As for the actual draft, well, Squee gets to act like a noob, get called a noob when he’s not acting like a noob, noob away mana like it ain’t no thang, and ultimately determine if Boros can get there in an environment overrun with promo cards, spirits, and new client rage.

Note: Somehow or other, the voiceover desynced slightly from the game audio and video. Let’s just     pretend I have Future Sight in play.

Follow Squee on Twitter – @SqueeGoblnNabob

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Squee GTC Launch Sealed: Bombs Away

Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb

Squee fails at preparing for GP Charlotte by opening an absolutely absurd pool of cards that no one should ever see in a large event. You know you’ve got something when Mad Skills stays in the sideboard and Borborygmos isn’t even considered for a slot in the deck. Rather than the typical Squee voice, you’ll instead be treated to the smooth sounds of ambient videogame music in the background throughout each round as things get progressively more absurd. More or less every bomb in the format makes an appearance in the deck or on the other side of the virtual table, so this is your chance to get a top-level view of the format’s high points. Round 3 in particular has an absurd turn of events that you know left someone swearing profusely. Sounds like a Squee Sealed!

 

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Squee AVR Launch Sealed: Angelic Density

Angel of Glory's RiseShe's much nicer than Selenia...

How many angels does it take to make Squee a decent threat in a 16 man event? Squee breaks in Avacyn Restored by entering a 4 round swiss sealed event during the MTGO Launch Party. Like all Sealed Swiss events, this means Squee plays out a full four rounds with the deck he puts together using the contents of six packs of Avacyn Restored. Not to spoil too much, but some of the challenger decks include a flyer-heavy card draw deck and a deck that takes the Soulbond mechanic to terrifying extremes. Armed to the teeth with most of the good non-mythic angels and homo sapiens, Squee will channel his inner lightning helix and summon an aggressive Boros build in pursuit of the coveted (if somewhat absurdly drawn) Avacyn, Angel of Hope avatar, a bunch of packs, and some points for a tournament no one gives a damn about. Stay tuned!

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