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


2d
comment What's the best strategy to win a tic-tac-toe variant on a 5x5-board?
O can win faster here: let their turn 3 be (1,3) & (2,3); now X has no squares in the first or second rows and whichever one he puts a piece in, O will win on turn 4 in the other.
2d
comment What's the best strategy to win a tic-tac-toe variant on a 5x5-board?
@Guvante In your example, if O just makes their second move at (1,2) and (1,4) they will win by turn 4.
2d
comment What's the best strategy to win a tic-tac-toe variant on a 5x5-board?
@Guvante X's first move is wholly moot to this solution. O just places his first move(s) on any two squares which do not share a row or column with X's first move, and then his second move on two squares which do share either rows or columns with his first move, and which leave three 'open sides' to the rectangle. X has only had two moves at this point.
2d
comment What's the best strategy to win a tic-tac-toe variant on a 5x5-board?
@Guvante Having X play at O2 is exactly equivalent to playing where this answer puts it. In either case, after their second move O has a rectangle with three fully free 'lines', which is all this argument needs to go through..
Feb
12
comment Does Vorinclex help its controller or its owner?
I think the problem with quotation marks comes down to the fact that the comprehensive rules are (for no good reason I can comprehend) no longer available in text format, so the 'smart' quotes are embedded in the document itself.
Jan
30
comment How can I store all of the cards for my MtG Cube?
FWIW, I presume that when OP mentions 'shoe boxes' they mean the two-row card boxes of comparable dimensions; this is how I've always heard the phrase used.
Jan
24
comment Why Does Magic Use The “Paris Mulligan” Rule?
@doppelgreener I thought that was implicit in the above - one reason (and there are certainly several) is that it's a game-design decision made to balance the power level of different archetypes.
Jan
23
comment Why Does Magic Use The “Paris Mulligan” Rule?
Under Wizards' official no-land/all-land mulligan rules, you only got one mulligan; you couldn't 'legally mulligan over and over'. I can't dig up a copy of the old floor rules ATM, but look at archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/… for confirmation of this.
Jan
13
comment Does Marchesa and a creature with modular work together?
Also, tiny nitpickery: there are ways for Ravager to die that don't trigger Marchesa. For instance, if your opponent puts Spike Cannibal into play and gets to move the +1/+1 counters from Arcbound Ravager onto it, then the game state will 'see' Ravager dying to a state-based effect as a 0/0 creature, and since it died with zero counters on it (those counters having moved), Marchesa's ability won't return it to play at EOT.
Dec
24
comment Is an Enchantment Creature also an Enchanted Creature?
If the OP misquotes a card and I explain to them why their quote is incorrect and how that incorrect quote has led to an incorrect assumption about the behavior of the card, I feel like my answer has served a useful purpose regardless.
Dec
10
comment Can regenerate save a creature from -X/-X effects?
Not relevant, incidentally, but zero toughness hasn't always been an SBA; there was a while where you could attempt to regenerate from zero toughness (and, as you note, die again). IIRC, problems with Clergy of the Holy Nimbus were one of the primary driving causes for the change.
Dec
8
comment When you “sacrifice 3 creatures” as a cost, are they sacrificed one at a time?
The canonical example where you have to be careful about ordering between 602.1f and 602.1g is Wild Cantor and Chord of Calling; since 602.1f says you have to use mana abilities before paying costs, if you sacrifice Wild Cantor to add a mana to your pool then it won't be available to tap as part of the cost for Chord.
Nov
24
comment How are M:TG cards printed in regards to the rarity of each card?
@Zags Here's a Magic 2015 sheet at 11x11: desertbus.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/… . As far as I know they've never used 10x11; even uncut beta sheets are 11x11 ( product-images.highwire.com/1593929/betasheetuncutsold.jpg ). I suspect the article you saw may have been in error.
Nov
24
comment How are M:TG cards printed in regards to the rarity of each card?
Magic sheets - and there are a lot out there; they show up as prizes at conventions and such - are generally 11x11, with 121 cards on them. (You can see this if you do a google image search for 'Magic uncut sheet'). The sheet in that article is specifically the sheet that the oversized Commander generals were printed on; if you look at the size of the images in comparison to the proofer's hands, they're much larger than normal Magic cards.
Nov
16
comment Do Collectible Card Games without shuffling exist?
While this is an interesting discussion (and a sentiment that I agree with), StackExchange is not a discussion site (from boardgames.stackexchange.com/tour : "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.") and this doesn't answer the OP's question.
Nov
16
comment What cards have good potential for a combo with Mayor of Avabruck // Howlpack Alpha?
Note that Master of the Hunt has errata on him so that the tokens he produces are Wolf tokens named Wolves of the Hunt; previously, since they had no specified creature type, their type was the same as their name and they wouldn't have gotten the Alpha's bonus!
Nov
14
comment Sorcery supercedes instant?
I might add a tiny 'you get priority' or the like between 'You cast the sorcery' and 'You pass priority to your opponent' - by the rules of the game, you have priority immediately after casting the sorcery, and someone might read this as saying otherwise. (Though of course the floor rules sort of tweak this a bit)
Nov
7
comment Why would you not move pawn two spaces during first move in chess?
Your magic word is 'Nimzowitsch'. His 'overprotection' is by far not the only approach to chess, but learning about his style and his system will help you to understand the other factors that can be at play in a position.
Oct
30
comment Does a copy of your commander count as your “Commander”?
Tiny nitpickery: Lieutenant isn't a keyword, it's actually an ability word. Think of it as a form of reminder text: the word 'Lieutenant' doesn't carry any rules weight, it just lets you know that something is going on when you control your commander.
Sep
29
comment Statistics on a booster pack (to make my own re-packs)
For what it's worth, if your purpose behind the repacks is to open them to draft with, you should consider building a cube : see starcitygames.com/magic/multiplayer/11755_The_Cube_20.html , for instance. (Some people go to the trouble of 'balancing' their cube packs, but many more folks just shuffle up and let randomness be randomness)