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The Mana Pool!
This account is used for any guest dorks who write something for us, but don't necessarily warrant their own account just yet. If you'd like a quick bio, there's one for the author at the end of each article.

Family in the Pool

by Matt Bowlby

I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve been from one side of the country to the other. However, nothing can move me on the inside more than family and friends coming together. When you share your time with someone, it is always worth more than any gift that one can buy. Some friends become family when you spend that valuable time with them. As a listener, I can say that the Mana Pool has become a family.

The Mana Pool passed episode 300 late last year, and I congratulate them. If someone can spend over six years being friends with another, they are family. This is why I enjoy the fact that they post their rare commander games in audio form. It reminds me, as it should all of us, that this game of Magic is not just about tournaments. This game is designed to have fun with those you enjoy spending time with. Honestly, without games like this, I believe so many friendships would fall by the wayside.

It has been said that most men need something to do in order to hang out with their buddies. That is unfortunately how we are wired. Most women are lucky just to be able to sit down and drink coffee and talk. Guys get bored too easy. This is probably why the majority of players of Magic happen to be men. Thank God for the occasional female that shows up at FNM though, it keeps us guys showering. And thanks to all the women who support us and play the game with us. Whether they enjoy it or not, it shows their love. It keeps the communication going. I’m no psychologist, but I’m pretty sure communication is the root of all close friendships and relationships.

My family stays close because of the game of Magic. I may be the root cause of that, spreading my addiction to my brother, but you could never make me regret it. Since I learned how to play in high school, the game spread from me to my bro, to my cousin, to more friends. Then as time passed and I had children, it spread to my kids, my nephews, niece. There are second generation players now! I even played many times against my beautiful fiance’s brother before I knew her. She sure remembered seeing me at the shop when we finally started talking 14 years later.

Saying all that, I’d like to express my thanks to The Mana Pool for being an example of friends that become family. Thanks to the makers of the game for keeping the young and beginners in mind. Thanks for the teachers who use the game as a tool for math and reading. Thanks for the shop owners who remember that the community comes first. Thanks for the judges who are patient and pick up trash. Keep up the good work, all of you. I hope this writing sheds a light on how what one does affects the community. No matter how small or big an action, it is a chain reaction.

Happy New Year to you all.


Matt @stackopancake

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Joseph A’s Edric CMDR Decks Video

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

Chewie note: This video came highly recommended to me by Uriah himself (he’s the guy behind the CMDR Decks channel on Youtube.)  After I watched it and finished rolling on the floor, I recognized the names this guy gave.  He’s been an active member on our forums for quite some time, and I just had to have this video on the site.  After contacting him and Uriah, I got the okay to post it.  Joseph wrote me an intro, and the rest you can see yourself.  Enjoy!


by Joseph A.

Every once in a great while, a voice calls out from the heavens. A voice so serene, yet so terrible; so majestic, yet so devastating; so beautiful, yet so ugly… all you can do is fall to your knees, rapt in the exultant flow of graceful sound that envelops you. You clasp your hands over your ears in an attempt not to shut out the bliss, but to trap a mere piece of it within your head, to hear its reverberation for only a moment longer. This glorious noise, succinct but everlasting, bestows upon you the single most important message you will ever receive, a note so momentous it shall guide the rest of your life by its power.

This deck… is not the product of such an occurrence. Rather, I got tired of my friends bitching that my Sen Triplets deck was too powerful. So, one day I decided to brew up a new concept with only two goals in mind: a) I want to play lands, and b) I want to draw cards. I believe that I have met that goal with my new EDH / Commander deck, “My Hands are Huge! (Edric, Spymaster of Win)”.

One might think that you’d want your deck to do a few other things too, right? Of course not! What does this look like, The Namby Pamby Super Hour featuring Weaksauce McCreedy on xylophone? Hell no it doesn’t! This is a deck with class, with style! This is a deck that don’t give a damn whether it wins or loses, it just wants to do its thing and look sexy doing it.

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Different Shades of Red

Urabrask the Hidden

by Daniel Beach

My favorite thing about Magic: the Gathering is the strategic depth, and the Commander format permits strategies that are not viable anywhere else to have their five minutes of fame. Mono-red, however, has a reputation of being linear and simple; this just isn’t so. Despite not having certain valued abilities ready at their disposal, mono-red decks are still capable of operating in varied and complex ways. This is a point Mike has alluded to a couple times in talking about his Big Red Standard deck, and here I will show it by comparing his mono-red Commander deck to mine.

A couple years ago I built a mono-red Commander deck. The general was Rakka Mar. I built it badly and it failed miserably. But when Mike built Fumiko, I was curious to see if he could get it to work. After The Dorks took a crack at fixing it and Mike put the deck up for listeners’ suggestions, I decided I would take a second crack at a mono-red Commander deck.

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