2,476 reputation
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bio website ellipsix.net
location State College, PA
age 28
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen 1 hour ago

I'm a graduate student in physics doing research in high-energy particle physics. I also have a hobby interest in computer programming.

You can find me on Twitter, or check out my blog and personal website!

For matters not related to Stack Exchange, I can be contacted by email at stack@ellipsix.net.


Nov
28
comment In Magic, when and why did the rules change to check life totals “continuously” instead of at the end of each phase?
I remember reading about this in The Duelist when the 6th edition rules were first introduced, and this was basically the justification they gave in the magazine as well. Unfortunately I don't have the actual issues handy so I can't give a quote.
Nov
28
comment Can a well-timed Twisted Image kill a player using Tree of Redemption?
There is some possibility for a sneaky trick here if you give the Tree +1/+1 first :-P
Nov
28
comment When is “end of turn” in Magic?
@Fadeway: note that the thing that happens at the end of each player's turn is not called "regeneration." That word has a separate, very specific meaning in Magic. (Also, let me emphasize the importance of remembering that the "end step" and "end phase" are different things.)
Nov
27
comment What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
@Alex: that "virtual card advantage" is exactly what card advantage is.
Nov
25
comment What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
I missed this latest comment until now... anyway, I did not cite 4 power, evasion, or resistance to being killed as desirable attributes. They can be useful if your deck can absorb the cost, but they are not necessary. The key is that every one of the finishers in my list generates card advantage, either by trading for multiple removal spells or creatures, or by rendering the opponent's removal dead in hand. (Or, in the case of the sword, by forcing discards)
Nov
7
comment What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
@Alex: fair point... I guess the reason I didn't explain the "what" is that I don't think it's as simple as a checklist of attributes. To be honest, other than generating card advantage, I don't think any of the characteristics Hackworth lists are particularly important. (No offense!) You have to think about the "why" to choose the best finisher for your deck, i.e. think about what characteristics are going to help you out of a jam, and if the creature with those characteristics happens to be a vanilla 2/1, that's fine.
Nov
7
comment What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
(cont.) As I wrote in another answer, control decks need to make the best possible use of every card (including the win conditions) to survive the early game against aggressive decks, where they typically struggle the most.
Nov
7
comment What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
Well, if you define a good finisher as a card that can kill your opponent very quickly and is extremely difficult to deal with, then yes, Progenitus qualifies as one of the best. I guess I'm saying those are not the criteria that make a finisher good for a control deck. Of course a control finisher does not have to be useful in the early game, but all other things being equal, a deck with a finisher that has some use in the early game will do better than a deck with a finisher that doesn't. (cont.)
Nov
7
revised What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
added 287 characters in body
Nov
6
answered What makes an ideal “control finisher”?
Nov
6
comment Running a MTG draft without actually having to buy new boosters for each player every single time?
For what it's worth, print runs do lead to some predictability at the pack level, but you have to have a really good memory to use it, and in any case I can't imagine how losing that predictability would have a negative impact on the draft environment.
Oct
30
revised How do split cards work?
fix title to use the proper term for the cards
Oct
30
suggested suggested edit on How do split cards work?
Oct
26
comment Where can I find Magic: the Gathering puzzles?
@Affe: actually the Duelist continued to publish until just prior to the release of Mercadian Masques, which was several months after 6th edition came out. If I remember correctly, the last 7-ish issues had puzzles that used the 6th edition rules and would still mostly work as designed today. Even prior to that, there were probably quite a few puzzles that weren't "broken" by the 6E rules update.
Oct
25
comment What Is The Optimal Innistrad Sealed Deck From This Card Pool?
Interesting, I always thought you had to return your deck to its original configuration at the start of each round, in any format... but you're right, it's not required in tournaments without decklists. (I'm too used to playing online, I suppose, where your deck is automatically reset at the beginning of each round)
Oct
23
answered Do Ensnaring Bridge and Tortoise Formation work together?
Oct
21
comment How can I tell the difference between early Magic: The Gathering card editions?
Yeah, though Wizards has gotten a lot more consistent in their use of expansion symbols. The vast majority of cards printed since 2001 can be identified by the symbol; there are only a couple of special sets for which you'd need to look at other characteristics of the card (according to Wikipedia).
Oct
20
awarded  Enlightened
Oct
20
awarded  Nice Answer
Oct
20
comment Liege of the Tangle with awakening counter - how does it work?
@ghoppe: let's not forget Giant Fan :-P (actually: also Clockspinning)