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Lucky Draw
Yesterday I hung out with my friend Dean and we went to the card shop. He bought a bunch of Kamigawa singles he needed for a deck and I bought a Kamigawa fat pack (which is a boxed product containing the set’s novel, a life-counter die, one tourney pack and three booster packs of cards, and two random foil cards). He jokingly suggested that when I open it, I should try my best to make sure I draw either a Cranial Extraction or a Hound of Konda, but not both. Remember this as you read on.

A few weeks previous, I’d opened a booster and was delighted that the rare card was Cranial Extraction. This is currently the most sought-after card for Tournament play and has an after-market value of between $25 and $30, so Dean was understandably envious of my lucky draw. That’s the background to his joke and this story.

We head back to his place for card-playing and -opening fun. I start opening the packs in a leisurely way, not rushing, and Dean is starting to froth with impatience at my nonchalance. My third booster pack reveals a most excellent rare, Yosei, the Morning Star, the second most sought-after Dragon from Kamigawa after Kokusho, the Evening Star. Dean’s phone rings (it’s Val, another avid player of Magic), and I pop open the tourney pack of cards. Already, the fat pack has paid for itself with the after-market value of the cards opened so far.

My first and third rares (you get three in a tourney pack) are Cranial Extraction and Isamaru, Hound of Konda. Dean interrupts his conversation with Val to spit unbelieving expletives at the cards in my hand.

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'course the matter of after-market pricing on the cards is pretty much irrelevant; when was the last time you, y'know, sold one? :)

You're right, the after-market value isn't that important. :-)

Still, for the chase cards and other valuable cards I use after-market prices when I'm trading to make sure that I'm not being ripped off. Beyond rip-off insurance, I don't pay much mind to the price except in simply being thankful that I can play with the card without buying it from a shop or eBay.

Cranial Extraction falls into the latter category. I'll be damned if I don't have fun with such a nice black card! I was already building a Grave Pact / Skeleton Shard deck that it will fit into nicely, too...

Darthmaus drew a foil Chrome Mox once, and deliberated over selling it or trading it. She opted for trading it to sturdy_manakin for some fancy white cards she needed for her White Control sliver deck.

It *is* a nice card :) We should play at some point, y'know?

Though I'd have to buy a lot more cards for that, or play you in Type I.

I'm okay playing Type I, but only because I have a bunch of old cards, not because I can build anything to compete with a typical Type I tourney deck.

I have Apprentice installed on this machine, though I haven't tested its networking ability yet. That might make playing a lot cheaper and easier with the distance. It makes Power Nine decks much, much cheaper. ;-)


Thank you, I completely forgot Apprentice existed. Okay, installed, now I just have to (re)build a deck or five. Then we'll talk :)

I'll bend my thoughts to an online deck or so when I'm not consumed by late-term essayness.

Deck legality? I've got a real-world extended-legal one I'm tuning that I could whip up in Apprentice, and which could also be tweaked into Standard-legal with little work.

Net-decks or no net-decks?

If you're interested in trying out newer cards, I could send you the lists for a bunch of recent preconstructed decks from Kamigawa and Mirrodin and we could do battles of the decently-made-but-not-overly-powerful, which I've found can be fun in a lower-energy way.

...that's all assuming that wine correctly implements the Windows TCP/IP API such that Apprentice-on-Linux can actually connect to your machine, of course.

It occurs to me that you may not be checking your SFU account. Could you?

Done and done.

I check that one regularly, but by "regularly" I mean every couple of days.

Okay, then check it now :) Is there a different address I should be using, instead? I'm just replying to the one you pinged me from, is all.

Nah, it's the one I use for my lj comments email so I do check it regularly enough.

I just have regular days where I don't look at lj or email, but that's usually because I'm busy with something else (like a deadline or a date) that would preclude answering even if I did check. Most days you can bet on getting through—just don't bet a vital organ. :-)

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