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Software engineer and long-time dabbler in mathematics; 11th in the Putnams forever ago but I've long since atrophied.


Mar
18
comment Is it better to start with M13 and splash in RtR and GTC when building a deck?
One note of meta-advice (which could go on many of your posts, which is why it's a comment here rather than an answer): if your interest is to build a deck to be (semi-)competitive with at FNM, at some point you're acutally going to want to switch from buying packs to buying singles. Especially (counter-intuitively) outside of rares, singles make it much more cost-efficient to get the effects and cards you want, essentially without having to worry about which sets you're picking up. The singles market is another thing that's changed drastically (much for the better) since the 'old days'.
Mar
13
comment Why does Wizards of the Coast print terrible MTG cards?
"Imagine if every card in a pack had the same power level" - I think anyone who's cubed can empathize with this agony. :-) Which do you pick: Ancestral, Mox Ruby, Tinker, or Library of Alexandria?
Mar
9
comment Playing Settlers of Catan with a D12 instead of 2D6
@JoeZeng Interestingly, that would lead to exactly the same odds (1 in 6) as in the 2d6 case...
Mar
3
comment What is the term for a stalemate in Checkers?
Small nitpickery: the correct term is 'draw' in Chess and Checkers. 'Stalemate' refers to a particular kind of draw in chess - namely, when a player is unable to move - that's all but impossible to achieve in Checkers.
Feb
26
comment What's actually good against Jund?
@Pablo The problem with 'attacking the mana base' at least vs. Standard Jund is that aside from Ghost Quarter (which seems like it's being underplayed in general right now, admittedly, but does have some issues - especially since most Jund decks still run a couple of basics to blunt its impact), there's no really meaningful land destruction in the format right now. By the time you're casting Demolish on the draw they've already played Arbor Elf/Farseek into Huntmaster/Olivia into Thragtusk.
Feb
26
comment What's actually good against Jund?
@AlexP True enough - but that's generally what the Azorius Charms and Supreme Verdicts are for. The point is that by taking that angle of attack you blank many of Jund's cards - Thragtusk is 'merely' a 5/3 that leaves a 3/3 behind; Abrupt Decay, Victim of Night, etc are near do-nothings (and Dreadbore is often virtally dead); etc.
Feb
25
answered What's actually good against Jund?
Feb
22
comment Multiple blockers with first strike
@ikegami (Nitpicking: that order is chosen during the declare blockers step, well before creatures actually get to do combat damage - see rule 509.2. While it is irrelevant to the question as given, the attacker does still get the choice of how they want to order blockers.)
Feb
21
comment Multiple blockers with first strike
This answer is completely wrong on all counts except that the attacker chooses how to order blockers. It doesn't go 'first strike then normal combat per creature' - all creatures with first strike damage deal their combat damage, and then all creatures without first strike deal theirs. (See rule 510.5) Furthermore, the 6/6 is never a 6/3, despite what Duels of the Planeswalkers tells you - it's a 6/6 with 3 damage on it. (This can matter for effects that check a creature's toughness)
Feb
19
awarded  Enthusiast
Feb
17
comment Can I use a card with “Add one mana of any color to your mana pool” in any Elder Dragon Highlander (EDH) deck?
In addition to the discussion of 'any color' below, I thought I'd point out that color identity only means mana symbols and not necessarily land names - so for instance, Verdant Catacombs is legal for your Animar deck because it doesn't provide black mana, it just has the phrase 'search for a swamp card'...
Feb
17
comment What was the largest flop in board game history?
@thesunneversets Saying that 'Sales did not compare to those of M:tG' isn't a sign that the game didn't meet expectations; it's just a sign that the game wasn't Magic. The game had an expansion, stayed in print for a couple of years and maintained enough of a cult following to get a license rescue - that's much, much more than can be said for most CCGs. Netrunner wasn't even as much of a 'flop' as several Magic sets were.
Feb
13
awarded  magic-the-gathering
Feb
12
comment Does 'shuffle your library' mandate that the cards actually change order?
This would be covered more by the Floor Rules than by the comp. rules - and according to the floor rules, I'm reasonably certain you couldn't use a non-judge proxy to handle the shuffling of your deck. If it's not too impertinent, what prompted this question in the first place? (Insert the standard blurb about 'practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.' here...)
Feb
12
comment If Realmwright is removed from the battlefield, do the changed lands remain dual colored?
The text 'Lands you control are the chosen type in addition to their other types' is the static ability text. It's a static ability 'by default': because it doesn't use the phrase 'when', it isn't a triggered ability; because it doesn't have the colon it's not an activated ability; and abilities that last 'forever' (i.e., that aren't tied to a permanent being in the appropriate zone) are (generally) expressed with emblems now. For more information on how to identify abilities, I suggest reading the rest of section 112 in the comprehensive rules.
Feb
12
answered If Realmwright is removed from the battlefield, do the changed lands remain dual colored?
Feb
5
comment Does Fateful Hour apply in this combat?
+1 now from me!
Feb
1
revised Cribbage pone strategy for hands involving a run and a pair
corrected the analysis
Feb
1
answered Cribbage pone strategy for hands involving a run and a pair
Jan
31
comment What happens when the {X} in Mind Grind *is* zero?
Excellent answer - +1 for the rules quotes.