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Mind-Boggling Technology – Wafo-Gate and Landstill

The Scandal

I’m sure you all know by now who was responsible for the leaking of New Phyrexia. To me, it felt like a movie with a surprise twist. I was probably not the only one who expected the culprits to be some WotC employees that were unknown to the general public. Some of the last people I would have guessed to be responsible were the Guillaumes and that’s just how it is in the movies. Magic scandals are great; they always keep me on my toes.

The biggest question on my mind is just how long the full spoilers have been handed out to top pros for articles. I would assume this was commonplace for quite some time, but hopefully it will change after these events. Antione Ruel admitted that he received spoilers from WotC in a forum post, but chose to not look at them. I have nothing but the best to say about Antione so I assume that he’s telling the truth about it. The point is that many of the world’s finest have this unfair option of knowing the entire set before it has been spoiled.

There is so little time to adequately prepare for two new formats and getting a one month head start is crucial. Does it really take a rocket scientist to figure out that this creates an unfair advantage? Why would WotC want to make a system for spoilers that ruins the integrity of the professional scene? Saito got banned before worlds and now this corrupt system of information sharing is coming to light. This is terrible advertising for WotC and their current policy has done nothing but create more potential problems. I’m sure everybody wants to get in line to play a game where the current world champion is suspended for three years. This is a complete joke.

How about instead of giving this precious information to players who can use it for their own personal gain, it goes to writers that don’t play on the Pro Tour. Evan Erwin goes to all of the Pro Tours, but coverage is his main goal. People with similar goals in mind should be responsible for such information, not those who can strategically use it to their advantage.

I have heard conspiracy theories about how WotC wants the top names to do better at the Pro Tour for publicity so they get an unfair advantage. This seems a little crazy and it should be left on cable TV. WotC placed a little too much trust in the writers for publications which is mostly their fault.

This feels to me like when Tiger Woods got busted for all of his affairs. It seemed really obvious that it would happen since he is a huge celebrity, but everyone was still shocked. I would hope that WotC saw this as a legitimate outcome as we are all human. It is pretty difficult to playtest for a Pro Tour with the knowledge of an entire set and your partner is left in the dark. Does it seem realistic to not tell your close friend about everything you know? I would think that most people would tell someone as soon as they got the information. Would you want to help out Wafo-Tapa after he basically conceded the World Championship title to you? It seems as if they wanted to bust somebody because it would happen eventually.

Why can’t writers make material about a new card with symmetrical information? Is it really that difficult to hype up a new card without the knowledge of the entire set? It’s not like they talk about new combos within the set because half of the combination will be unknown. The articles are about combinations with old cards and their uses in constructed and limited formats.

I always have the back of the MTGO grinders when I complain about how new set releases are weeks late. The sets will obviously be spoiled by the beta testers even with confidentiality agreements since it’s not like anyone has ever violated a contract. We could instead move the spoiler season to earlier times before a set release. This would begin the beta testing earlier so Magic Online can become relevant quicker. I hate not being able to play real formats after a new set is released and I’m not the only one. The WotC employees obviously have more answers than I do on this subject, but if it can be done that would be nice. (In fact, all I have are questions.)

I would like to blame the Guillaumes for giving themselves this unfair advantage, but WotC is at fault in my opinion. This was just too big of a temptation and the policy should have never been implemented in the first place. I hope to see them back in later years.

Landstill in Legacy

Since we are on the topic of people named Guillaume, I thought I would share my Landstill deck that was based off of a version created by Wafo-Tapa. I figure that by the time this article goes up, there will be many writers voicing their opinions on the scandal. Being the nice guy that I am, there is a second part of the article dedicated to Legacy. Grand Prix Providence is approaching quickly and I love an excuse to talk about something other than Standard. Legacy is one of my favorite formats and I would like to see it on the professional scene way more.

After many tournaments with this deck under my belt, here is the current list.

 

Standstill is probably my favorite card in Legacy and I have been playing them since 2005. You get to play so many insane cards like Brainstorm, Force of Will, and Swords to Plowshares. It’s very easy to control a game when the answers are so efficient. Over the years my list has adopted such hits as Humility that can completely destroy aggro or Show and Tell.

Before I go on to how I sideboard against all of the decks, there needs to be some changes from NPH. The card that is on the minds of the masses is obviously Mental Misstep. Many players have said the card is overrated while others claim it will severely warp the format. I won’t go as far as to avoid playing one-drops in Landstill, but it will be included in this deck. Mental Misstep is a great card, but it shouldn’t be jammed into every deck to protect their one drops. Goblins is greatly harmed by this card because it counters Aether Vial and Goblin Lackey. However, including this card in Goblins would be a misstep.

I think Landstill gains the most from Mental Misstep being in the format because Aether Vial was a tremendous thorn in my side for many years. How cool is it to counter their one drop and then drop a Standstill? I could even play a Sensei’s Divining Top on turn one as well for the complete rub-ins.

Another problem I ran into was playing aginst Sword of Light and Shadow. Last week, I lost in top 8 of a local event at Get Your Game on to G/W disruption. I played Humility and he couldn’t kill it game one, but Sword is just unbeatable. There needs to be some ways to deal with equipment more efficiently. A card like Disenchant could destroy Aether Vial as well as the pesky swords.

Here is the list I would play once NPH is released.

 

The Matchups

The combo matchup is pretty terrible in the first game, but I have a strong percentage against them. There are too many creature removal effects in the maindeck so there aren’t many ways to interact with combo. How could we make such a bad matchup favorable against the likes of storm aficionado- Ari Lax? (It aint easy to get Ari to admit he’s not favored in a matchup.) We could add two-thirds of our sideboard after the first game! Isn’t that what people do these days? Our deck is beyond diluted after game one that it turns into a fish hybrid.

Here is how I would sideboard against storm based combo decks.

IN:

 

OUT:

 

We have many ways to counter their early game hand sculpting spells and rituals. Ethersworn Canonist is obviously the best card for this matchup because they can’t win while it’s in play. The combo player will try their hardest to bounce it with Chain of Vapor, but that card may change due to the existence of Mental Misstep. As of right now, we have many ways to counter the chain, but always play around a two cost bounce spell as well.

If you expect storm players to have Doomsday+Emrakul+Shelldock Isle post board, perhaps it would be a good idea to play Pithing Needle as well. The only problem with the fish plan is that you need to win both games with it. I have won game 1s against storm, but they always involve combo players making glaring play errors. The only way to capitalize on these mistakes is to win with fatesealing because damage is too slow.

Against aggro decks, we can draw an early way to kill creatures and follow it up with a Standstill. The addition of Mental Misstep will greatly improve our game against Aether Vial. Remember that you should almost always hold the Standstill if there is an Aether Vial in play because you will lose the long game. The exception to this rule is if there is a Humility in play and you have more than one Mishra’s Factory. It’s important to keep in mind that the opponent will probably be playing Wasteland so make sure you don’t get locked out by your own Standstill.

Goblins will require you to keep a hand that can deal with Aether Vial or Goblin Lackey. Keeping a hand with just Swords to Plowshares could be fine, but it’s a gamble if they lead with Vial. I would play Engineered Explosives for 1 on the first turn if you know they are playing a vial deck. The Repeal was cut from the maindeck for Mental Misstep because it’s a better way to answer Aether Vial while being better against other decks.

Your game plan should revolve around playing Humility as soon as possible. They cannot beat that card game 1 so just be sure to have Wrath of God or Elspeth to clean up the 1/1s. Mishra’s Factory can stop the creatures as well because they become 2/2s, but Wasteland and Rishadan Port stops that plan most of the time.

Here is how I sideboard against Goblins

IN:

 

OUT:

 

We take out so many blue cards that it’s probably a good idea to go down to three Force of Wills.

I love playing against control decks because there are more lands in this deck than most Legacy decks. The key to most control mirrors are based around making land drops and this deck does that quite well. The key cards against control are Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Sensei’s Divining Top. Mental Misstep is crucial here because we have the ability to stop the opponent from having a top in play. Standstill is less powerful when they have things to do each turn without playing a spell. I added the Jace Beleren in the sideboard to combat opposing control decks. It’s so important to make sure your opponent doesn’t have a Jace in play.

Force of Will should be saved for counter wars that involve Jace, the Mind Sculptor. He can make up for the lost card advantage by using Brainstorm each turn. It’s also game over when you resolve a Jace followed by a Standstill. There are some cases where it’s correct to force a top, but that’s only when they are light on lands or you are way ahead on board.

The sideboarding against control decks such as the mirror or Counterbalance goes a little something like this.
Landstill:

 

OUT:

 

4CC Counterbalance
IN:

 

OUT:

 

GP Providence is coming up within the next month so be sure to book a hotel room right away. From what I have heard, Brown’s graduation ceremony is taking place on the same weekend and hotels are booked solid within a ten mile radius.

I realize this is a very expensive deck and this deck primer was directed at the competitive Legacy player. If you are operating under a budget, I would consider another deck because it won’t work.

If control decks are up your alley, be sure to give this deck a shot. I have played it a lot recently and the addition of Mental Misstep makes it even better.

A Gruesome Encore
I was working on applying for a job at Tatyana’s house. Her computer didn’t have Microsoft Word so I needed her brother’s computer. I go in his room and find a Gruesome Encore ripped in half. Perhaps the other side is saved for a Gruesome Encore.

Thanks for reading!

Kyle

64 thoughts on “Mind-Boggling Technology – Wafo-Gate and Landstill”

  1. Right on! Pros getting access to the set before everyone else is unfair for testing and so on…but also because they can use it to buy large numbers of copies of cards that are going to go up before the masses know. Magic is different than real life investments in that there are little insider trading laws and protection. But what WOTC is doing gives these pros insider trading information that can make just as much money as with real stocks and such.

  2. reading your articles makes me wanna stab myself in the eyes. You’re condescending and arrogant and generally not funny. I’m sure you’re parents love you, so at least you have that., but man magic doesn’t really need you as a representative.

  3. from the article – ‘I would like to blame the Guillaumes for giving themselves this unfair advantage, but WotC is at fault in my opinion.’

    this is the reason why boggemes has no idea. breaking a nondisclosure agreement is the fault of the person who agreed to it – matignon. it is not the fault of wotc!

    if matignon had stuck to his nda, the set would not have been spoiled.

    from the article – ‘Does it seem realistic to not tell your close friend about everything you know? I would think that most people would tell someone as soon as they got the information.’

    boggemes almost admits that he would break a nda and share the info with his close friends.

    as usual this article is another (almost) useless piece of comentary that tries to (in subtle tones) justify the immoral actions of people who broke a trust that was placed upon them.

    however i do agree that godbooks should not be given to active protour players.

  4. Wanna know a secret? It doesn’t matter if they see the spoiler a month early. You can’t get the cards until they get shipped, and by then, the whole spoiler is out and everyone knows what is gonna be good, sleeper cards show up late as sleeper cards, pros don’t magically figure those out you know. And as far as testing goes, that might in a small small way matter, but outside of limited formats everyone, and yes I mean everyone, has more than enough time to test constructed formats. You can act like this is some sort of crazy thing but its not.

    I don’t think its every smart to hand the whole list out, I’m not saying it wasn’t a mistake that was sure to lead to a leak, but I also think that its fine if you can trust the people.

  5. Nice article on LandStill. I just played a similar deck list at the local GP Qualifier and dropped in the finals to a guy who is actually planning on going to Providence. I really liked how the deck performed. It has answers for almost everything and is very resilient. As an old school T1 player this deck is the closest I can get to that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you resolve a Mana Drain.

    Regarding the NPH scandal, I think the Guillaumes are more at fault than you seem to believe. Yes, Wizard’s policy is poor and needs to be revised, but sharing the list was a violation of an agreement and an abuse of confidentiality. If Mattignon didn’t think he could keep the list to himself he never should have signed the agreement with Wizards. Very poor judgment on his part.

  6. Blaming WotC for the actual events (did you?), is laughable.

    But the general policy of giving the sets to Pros is questionable.

  7. So much mad in these few comments.

    I don’t disagree with much that he says. I think the condescension is awesome, why should a writer have to sugar coat what they think?

    @youhavenoidea
    “boggemes almost admits that he would break a nda and share the info with his close friends.”
    Welcome to the real world, where people break laws and share secrets.

  8. The reason Guillaume got spoilers was because he works for a PRINT magazine. Which needs pictures of the cards far in advance of the actual spoiling of the set so they are able to get to the printers. WotC probably had them sign a NDA which he obviously broke. It’s not their fault that Guillaume took advantage of the information that was given to him. He deserves whatever punishment he got.

  9. Did you read any of the comments in Caleb’s article? Thoroughly?

    You wrote an article based on half of the information. You heard what you wanted to hear, not what was actually said.

    IT’S NOT GIVING TO THE PROS, IT IS GIVING TO THE MAGAZINE!

    Those that write for paper publications need access to the set before it releases in order for the Mag to be current when it is finally printed and distributed.

    Furthermore, by your logic, the best deck is already made for NPH. But many decks are being made and speculated over – which one is best? Right here, right now? Don’t know?
    That’s because advanced notice only gives knowledge in a vacuum. That knowledge is pretty stagnant until you see other ideas and the metagame. Decks these days evolve from collective understanding. That a few writer’s get the god book before the rest is not that great of an advantage – it’s some advantage in specific situations, but ‘crucial’? Please. You sound like Chicken Licken.

  10. Fanboy 1: “Yuck yuck derp derp I love Wafo-Tapo/I am French. This is not an advantage… or just a small one at any rate.”
    Random outsider: “Buy why give them any advantage at all?”
    Fanboy 2: “Duh, they write for a printed publication.”
    Random outsider: “So they need the entire godbook? And they also need to share this with all their friends as well?”
    Fanboy 1: “STFU. Don’t try to reason with us! In any case it was mostly Wizards fault.”
    *Fanboy 3 appears*
    Fanboy 3: “Don’t blame WotC! They have never done ANYTHING wrong. Also, I kinda have a man crush on Mike Scrubwater.”
    Everyone else: /facepalm

    Let’s once and for all point out the problems in this case:

    1) WotC lazily shares the entire Godbook with a pro Magic player. Derp derp.
    2) The pro of course shares this information with his group of friends. Derpity derp derp.
    3) The Godbook is finally leaked so much that it becomes available publicly. Deeeeerp.

    Still, who really loses out bar the small sites that look for traffic in the spoiler season? The pros would probably get this information anyway somehow, WotC will not sell less product (unless it is so shockingly bad, that by revealing it early everyone loses interest in it) and the rest of us are probably just happy to get the stupid spoiler season over with.

    Sure, you have 3-4 rabid “what nerds are to to normal people”-nerds, that like to do the spoiler puzzles and speculate 24/7 on the Future Set Speculation board, but it is not like these nutcases are forced to download the pdf file anyway.

  11. Here’s something that didn’t occur to me until a few days after the story broke:

    Any old-timers remember when sanctioned Constructed events didn’t incorporate the new set until the first of the month after it was released? And how anyone with prior knowledge of the set was barred from Limited events for (I think) 3 weeks. That was meant to equalize the playing field, and let people test and pick up cards without pre-order panicking. And of course it wasn’t a problem because Pro Tours weren’t so closely following the release. Now often the cards hit the PT before they hit MTGO.

    That was changed to push everything up and over-hype the short release period. As a result, any little edge becomes huge. A two-week advantage on an 8-week test isn’t so bad, but those same 2-weeks headstart on a 4-week time period is tremendous. I understand why paper magazines need full set lists when information goes obsolete so quickly, and it’s reasonable that they’d want pros to be writing their articles. But WotC needs to recognize their part in creating this every-second-counts environment in the first place.

  12. I tryed playing something very similar to your landstill list but I would be really sad after dropping a standstill when my factory got wastelanded and my opponent played a mutavault. What is the solution in this situation?

  13. The solution is to not play Standstill in a control deck. Standstill is only good if you’ve got a Factory or a planeswalker active. If you’ve got a Factory then you’re soft to an opposing Factory, Mutavault or Wasteland, and if you’ve got an active planeswalker then you’re already winning anyway. Standstill is used to turn a tempo advantage into card advantage, and when your tempo advantage is a fragile 2/2 manland, it’s not going to be as effective as it should be.

  14. @ MO So basically saying that the deck list makes no sense?
    In my list (it was bad) I played factory and keldjoran outpost, so i had more man lands than my opponents did wastelands. It still wasn’t very effective 🙁

  15. “There is so little time to adequately prepare for two new formats and getting a one month head start is crucial. ”
    man, investigate just a little better please..
    The most spoilers are given away only some days before the prerelease.
    The only exception are when someone is writing for a paper print magazine (like matignon did)

  16. I simply cannot agree with you. I didn’t want to enter this discussion at all, but I really want to reiterate a couple of things that have already been discussed at other places:

    1. The policy of giving the godbook of an entire set to a high level pro for purposes of writing is, indeed, QUESTIONABLE. How big of an advantage this is to those receiving the information early will have to be decided on a case by case basis, though. The advantage will likely be the greater the sooner there is an event that the new set is relevant for (e.g. PT Paris). On average, my feeling is that people overestimate this advantage, tough.

    2. “Does it seem realistic to not tell your close friend about everything you know?”. Yes! it does! Disclosing classified information to someone who is not supposed to have access to such information is NOT to be expected in creative content producing industries. Much to the contrary, NDA infringements are serious offenses. As tempting as it might seem to anybody to disclose classified info to “your close friends”, this is simply out of the question in a professional context like this. My girlfriend and I are both working as attorneys for different law firms. There have been countless numbers of times where I would have loved to share an experience with her or get her opinion on a difficult case. However, given that I am under an obligation of secrecy (and her lawfirm coul even be connected to the other side of the case), it is completely normal for us to NOT share most of our work experiences with each other despite the fact that we are in a very close personal relationship. This is called PROFESSIONALISM. Geordie Tait has rightfully pointed this out in a forum post before.

    One issue that could maybe use some more discussion is whether the bans represent a reasonable way of sanctioning what has happened. IMO they do not, because the NDA infringement and subsequent spoling do not in any way harm the integrity of tournament level play. The only thing that might is giving early information to high level participants. That, however, is not what the Guillaumes are being sanctioned for given that this was WotC’s policy. As several commentators have pointed out, the appropriate way of sanctioning the leak would be by legal action – private and/or criminal (Yes, depending on the law applicable it is generally possible that wrongfully disclosing classified information is sanctioned by criminal law. No, I am by no means saying that any criminal laws have actually been broken in this particular case; it seems rather unlikely). Given that such legal action does not seem very attractive (applicable law, difficult choice of forum, collectibility of damages award), I can, however, understand that WotC seeks for some sort of effective “punishment” even though it will hardly compensate them for the damage suffered.

  17. So mostly I liked the article, and agree with a lot of what you’re saying. I’m not sure of an elegant wording to describe it but when systems are built incorrectly and to not cheat is to make yourself a cripple among jackals well, it’s hard to blame individuals for these sorts of things other than the individuals responsible for creating the system. (system = environment created by WOTC’s promotion department)

    Here are the exceptions I take and it’s nothing against you really just the reaction I have when I hear certain suggestions: People like Evan Erwin having control over sensitive spoiler information… I don’t know if you ever followed Evan’s videos closely but the guy is a complete D bag. I wouldn’t trust him with my gym locker combination. He has a video where he opens one pack of WWK and just happens to open a JTMS in utter surprise (which is easy to see as fake) “Wow, so easy to make money cracking packs, and right here at my sponsor’s site you too can buy product to open and make easy money.” lol. The guy would exploit his privilege to whoever would give him anything substantial for doing so, like vendors who want to know what to dump and what to hoard (cough* SCG cough*) Anyhow I think most people that know the show know the guy promotes based on business often in opposition to logic. (“These vampires sure do look good, over here at my sponsor…”) He would basically hype whatever could be presold much higher than aftersold at the expense of viewers and for the benefit of ok ok too long i know, but it has to be said, over and over so he never comes back and or gets further gone.

    I’d also like to say that I somewhat doubt that only a few pros have access to this stuff, knowing these sorts of circles from experience it just seems unlikely that all these buddy buddy top guys wouldn’t scratch a back for the reciprocal as often as possible.

  18. Wow, I find myself agreeing almost 100% with what you say in this article. Also, nice bit on landstill. If it wasn’t for the mock-remark about the cost of the deck, one could almost believe you discovered your egalitarian side reading all this about fairness and how people should not have unfair advantages. But it’s definitely true: it’s a bad thing that probably a non-disclosure agreement was broken with all the financial consequences, but it’s worse that some pros got an unfair advantage b/c it further tears at the credibility of the tournament scene.

  19. @ Theodinson says: May 1, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

    Yes, you can’t trade for cards from NPH, but knowing upcoming combos (namely Deceiver Exarch + Splinter Twin) allows you to trade. We can see how fast the price of Splinter Twin started to rise. Knowing that full month before the release can make someone a large amount of money.

    I do think getting advantage in testing earlier is kinda unfair, but it’s nothing major if person with info doesn’t get to playtest with other people. But the value of trading is tremendous

  20. Most of this article reads like it was written by an angry 11 year old yu gi oh player.

    “This is terrible advertising for WotC and their current policy has done nothing but create more potential problems. I’m sure everybody wants to get in line to play a game where the current world champion is suspended for three years.”

    no one that plays magic or will play magic is going to care enough about this not to play. That is the silliest.

  21. Kyle,

    I like the UWr list, I’ve played a similar list at 2 SCG’s before switching to 4c with Deed and winning a GPT with it. I’m not really big on bringing Counterbalance in against 4c Counterbalance. You don’t have a set of Tops, and your curve isn’t as consistent as other CB decks to hit their cards with CB. I definitely wouldn’t side out Standstill, as your draw 3’s are what put you over the top in this matchup; their decks are a bunch of one for ones plus Jace, and you get to play 4x Ancestral in addition to Jace. You have to be mindful of Clique when casting Standstill against them, but it’s not that difficult.

    Depending on what combo deck you are sitting across, leaving some STP’s in is fine; you don’t want them to stick a Bob or Xantid Swarm. I also like EE against The Epic Storm as it protects from Empty the Warrens, but against ANT and High Tide it obviously doesn’t do enough.

    I am also very excited about Misstep; Aether Vial and other one drops are a huge pain for this deck and now we have this great tool to deal with those cards. It has been very good in testing so far.

  22. I love authors who imply that it is perfectly reasonable and acceptable to perform in an unethical manner. Kudos.

  23. I think you’re missing the point on why they sent the spoiler information early — They’re sending it to a print magazine. Where y’all on the web can read something and write about it in the same night, the magazine folk have to design pages, send proofs to a printer (read: third party company), and mail out the magazine. That takes time. WOTC has an interest in getting as much coverage of the new set as possible, so they willingly release information to the magazines early so the magazines can actually cover the new set. They likely knew the risks when they did it, but chose to do it anyways because magazines like lotus noir are a key part of their marketing strategy. Now, the integrity of the pro tour, another part of their marketing strategy, is in question, and they will have to re-evaluate these decisions, but it’ll all be done from a marketing standpoint. Wizards is a business. Expect them to act like one.

  24. It doesn’t matter that matignon violated his NDA because he had an unfair advantage regardless. He could have just shared the information with Wafo and nothing would have been spoiled, it was the fault of B-Boy that the set was leaked. I would assume that Wafo and Matignon split in big tournaments so he gets an advantage to help team mates perform better. Shouldn’t WOTC have looked at all of the reasons he would violate it before they gave the set to him? Why risk spoiling the entire set by giving it to one of the last people in the world who should have it?
    I never said that I would have violated the NDA if i was in the same position, but WOTC should have taken it into account. As far was the most likely people to violate it, I would say it’s someone on the PT and test with other people. The fact that Lotus Noir is a print publication has nothing to do with getting the spoiler early, it is completely not needed. All they need is the picture of the card that is being spoiled for the article.

    For all of the naysayers about getting information early: If you travel across the globe to compete, Im sure you would be outraged that a select few have an unfair advantage.

    To those who say they can’t buy the cards early: THAT IS NOT THE POINT AT ALL! The fact that you troll me and know little to nothing about what Im talking about is outrageous. They have information regarding the value of cards in past sets due to new interactions. They proxy the cards and test for the block constructed Pro Tour.

  25. veteranmustache

    Now that Kyle Boggemes has finally given his opinion on the matter its settled! Thanks man, the Magic world was waiting with baited breath for this article. This is spot on with your usual mind blowing material. I have no idea how you write for this site. Mananation I could understand, but everyone else who writes for this site is actually legitimate which leaves me to wonder who you’re related to. I really didn’t want to post this but every article you write gets worse and you sound even more unlikable in each one.

  26. @veteranmustache

    I believe he is in a relationship with Osyp’s niece or cousin, or something. I guess that is good enough to be a featured writer.

    @Kyle, joking aside, your articles are getting worse and worse every week, and you sound like, well instead of name calling, I will say like someone I wouldn’t want to be friends with, or even meet.

    You say you need to deal with a Sword, and your solution is a singleton disenchant…yeah, nice tech, the random multipurpose one of… Have you actually figured the odds of drawing said card, in said matchup, in a realistic time frame, even considering all the card draw you have? If you think that is enough, how problematic can that sword really be? I believe this was just one of those articles that you only write because you have to write one every week, and that’s becoming quite common for you.

    You remind me of the famous poet Ed, the Sock- ”When you have nothing good to say, say it often!”

  27. All you kids and your internets these days. Cr4v3m4n and KramlmarK and the only sensible people in this discussion. Many, perhaps all, of you have forgotten the days of old where Scrye and Inquest were the source of all your MTG information. The needed to have the godbook weeks in advance in order to have the mag in print by the time the set was to be released. Back then, Scrye and Inquest were run by actual journalists that liked the game of Magic. With the death of print, any hope of having a successful print magazine would require the likes of Matignon using his “fame” to drive interest in the print article. It is only a coincidence that he is a pro and current World Champion that he was given this information by WOTC earlier than others. Under no pretense should anyone think that WOTC is trying to give him a leg up. I GUARANTEE the NDA he signed likely neutered any ability of his to use this advance information to his advantage. Please stop crying over spilled milk.

  28. Kyle good article. That being said Don’t feed the trolls. You made a good article and there are going to be people who don’t agree and they are fine to do this.

  29. landstill article good.

    inflammatory WOTC bashing article not good.

    honestly, the entire first half of your article was not cohesive, barely comprehensible, and sounded like you were just rambling with mounting frustration.

  30. thanks for actually calling to light the proper injustice. There’s been plenty of mention about how the spoiling of the set was a “criminal act”, but this is the first I’ve seen where the spotlight was pointed in the right direction. This is an obvious unfair advantage but there’s no way wotc has the ability or desire to police itself from making horrible decisions.

  31. “I have heard conspiracy theories about how WotC wants the top names to do better at the Pro Tour for publicity so they get an unfair advantage. This seems a little crazy and it should be left on cable TV.”

    Why?
    Wizards have been trying to make celebrities out of ‘top’ pro players for years, it hasn’t really stuck because of the randomness of mtg – thus, they lack of consistent results for ‘top’ players. This could change that, seems a reasonable theory.

  32. @YouHaveNoIdea

    Yeah, and I will go out in the open and admit 100% that I would have done the exact same thing in Matignon’s place as well: my very livelihood depends on doing well at tournaments, and the chance of being caught is (from the subjective view if I am Matignon at the time) minimal since I am only telling my closest friend(s). What is the NDA to me but a piece of paper? It is absolutely WotC’s fault first and foremost.

    @james

    There is more consistency among the top pros of MTG than most competitive sports. Pros at their peak usually remain at the top for at least a series of tournaments over the year and can stay in the pro scene for up to a decade. All things considered that shows sufficiently the game has enough of a skill element and WotC doesn’t need to risk the inevitability of public outrage via shady attempts to push it further.

  33. To clarify, usually an NDA is issued by YOUR employer against the possibility of you leaking sensitive information to THIRD PARTIES. You have every incentive to adhere to the NDA because your livehood depends first and foremost on the one giving you the cheques, who likewise has the ability to enforce the NDA by destroying your livehood.

    However, in this case Matignon’s adhering to the NDA is actively working against the interests of Matignon’s livelihood, plus the risks of breaking it appeared minimal because he was doing it discretely and because WotC was not directly involved in his management, so it seems hardly surprising that he did so. Of course as it turns out WotC had every capacity of destroying Guillaumex2’s careers anyways which is exactly what a 3 year suspension accomplishes. So it is not even as if Matignon didn’t get what he deserved legally (where as Wafo-Tapa I feel was treated wholly unjustly).

  34. @jonproject
    Completely agree. When I read Wyrath’s comment, I wanted to cry or hit my monitor with a rock.

    Anyways, I think the main question should be : Should Wizards support the paper industry or not.
    THAT is what Wizards need to decide.
    Magazines are not spoiling only 1 card. They reveal the whole spoiler right after the preview date. I remember back in the mid 90’s buying Scrye after each sets to watch all the new cards and read the articles about them. Not to just see one random card spoiled.

  35. Regarding the leak story: Kyle makes a valid point in saying that WOTC should spoil cards to people primarily interested in coverage rather than those interested in leveraging play advantage. Spoiling to people who craft their lives around winning at professional magic is asking them to be far more angelic than many (most?) people actually are, and in this sense I agree that WOTC is at least partially fault.

    It’s an elementary moral principle that one should be held responsible for the predictable consequences of one’s actions. And since the sharing of info between good friends is likely to happen at some point, WOTC should regard the premature spoiling of the set as a predictable consequence (even though there would be no problem in an imaginary world where everybody is perfectly ethical and immune to temptation). Of course it is true that at some level WOTC needs to be able to spoil cards, and perhaps even the godbook, but why increase the likelihood of premature spoiling by sending the godbook to people with higher-than-average incentive to misuse the info? As Kyle says, people like Evan Erwin would be much safer.

    While I don’t think most pros are scoundrels, and perhaps (I don’t really know) most of them are quite ethical, nonetheless an admittedly imperfect analogy comes to mind: if you drive your expensive car to a crime-ridden area, walk away and leave the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked: when the car gets stolen whose fault is it? Well, both yours and the thief. The thief committed a crime, while you were being stupid in not being mindful of the easily predictable consequence of your actions. Even though the thief commits a crime and you do not, you are still both responsible for what happened. It would be entirely fair to say that the thief is being immoral while you are not, but you still bear some measure of responsibility.

    In the above, of course, WOTC = car owner and Matignon/Wafo = thief. As such, I feel Kyle’s concluding statements regarding Matignon/Wafo’s innocence are bizarre. Two separate parties are perfectly capable of sharing culpability, and in this case both WOTC and Matignon et al. share responsibility. While I don’t think WOTC was acting unethically, they nonetheless share some responsibility for reasons stated above. Matignon was also responsible, and additionally he was behaving unethically, because he violated a signed agreement, which amounts to a promise. By any normal standards, breaking a promise is unethical unless some greater moral good is at stake, which clearly isn’t the case here.

  36. Josh, I completely agree, except unlike Matignon Wafo-Tapa did not violate any legal restrictions so if he is not innocent he at least is not as guilty as either Matignon or WotC. If Matignon is the car thief then Wafo is merely the guy who Matignon fenced the stolen car to. By punishing them both in like manner WotC is basically saying that by virtue of playing the game you must keep the benefit of their corporation at heart, which is hardly fair.

  37. people who think attempted murder is a reasonable punishment for internet lingo need to get herped in their derp.

  38. @Vick- By punishing Wafo-Tapa like this, wizards is saying they don’t really want there to be the possibility of paying someone who was responsible for leaking the set, which seems reasonable.

  39. Kyle-
    Did it ever occur to you that he is doing a set review (This is what he was give the godbook for FYI)? Have you attempted to do any research regarding the magazine? If you had simply gone to the magazines homepage you would have been able to see that the most recent issue is about Besieged, which means the issue in question has not been released yet. By this point spoilers are normally over as the pre-release is this weekend so what would be the point in having spoilers in a magazine come out after the set has been released?

    Mull that over for a bit.

  40. youstilldontgetitkyle

    kyle writes: It doesn’t matter that matignon violated his NDA because he had an unfair advantage regardless. He could have just shared the information with Wafo and nothing would have been spoiled, it was the fault of B-Boy that the set was leaked.

    no kyle. it was the initial fault of matignon that the set was spoiled. bboy would not have had access to the set if matignon had not leaked it. sharing the information with wafo was breaking his nda. it was unethical and a breach of confidence.

    the fact that you still dont understand speaks volumes about you kyle. you are the weakest link author on this website. i would rather read lsv writing about what he ate for breakfast than your misguided views of morality and professional ethics.

  41. Receiving stolen goods is a crime and has been so since about the 18th century in Britain. Accepting something you knew you didn’t have rights to doesn’t absolve you of guilt. The parties that directly led to the leak were punished. Wizards rolled the dice on something that they inherently knew was a broken system.

    1. Allowing top players who write for media of any form an advantage no matter how small is bad.
    2. Allowing top players a financial advantage no matter how small is bad.
    3. Allowing your product to be possibly disseminated before you want it to can be bad. (this is more so when the set is bad which they have an incentive to kept it under wraps longer)

    If I leave my house door unlocked and someone comes in to burglarize my home, not only am I at fault but so is the thief. In different ways we are responsible but responsible nonetheless. Wizards at this point should be writing in house reviews of the whole set and sending them to print media provided they want the whole set reviewed at once. This is no different than what pharmaceutical companies do with their press releases on their drugs.

    I honestly hate the spoiler system and would like for no more than 30-40 cards be spoiled and the set kept under wraps until the pre-release date. What’s the point of a pre-release if you know everything anyway. There really isn’t the same kind of excitement or surprise. Bottom line if you love magic or play it competitively, not having the whole set in advance will not stop you from playing and buying cards.

  42. Just to the person that said having a set a month ahead won’t allow you to financially gain, just think about dark depths when Hexmage was printed, or Natural Order when Progenitus was printed. Just because there doesn’t seem to be a combo like that in NPH, having a magic set a month early definitely has that opportunity to insider trade.

    As for the situation, I think as always in a scandal blame should be rightfully spread. I frankly don’t care about who to blame more, who cares about the past, what happened happened. Now it is just about what to change, so doling out punishment (which should be designed to discourage future infractions), increasing controls, and increasing transparency. Being outraged at the advantages and such of pros may have had for years, or whether it was an advantage at all seems unproductive. Even being up-set of the damage it brought to the game and community is a bit point-less, I mean I understand it, there are reasons to be out-raged, but now the focus should be on why it happened (lack of wizards controls and sharing by Guillames) and how to fix it.

  43. I like the landstill deck but doesn’t Landstill just roll over to Merfolk? And isn’t merfolk ussually the most heavily played deck at most legacy tournaments?

  44. @ LimDul pretty sure you should see a relationship therapist. Guillaume x 2 breaking the NDA isn’t the same as sharing with a significant other. Not saying your point is wrong, but your example is horrible and if you don’t take this relationship more seriously I’m going to break up with you.

  45. I agree with all the people pointing out the difference between a print magazine and the internet.

    People don’t seem to understand that all the other writers will probably get 1 card 1 week early (for a normal spoiler period) so the average pro who writes gets no advantage. Pros write because they obviously need more income than they could get from a game that they win less than 70% of the time.

    WotC may now start to wonder whether they should try and support magazines when the risk is clearly greater than the reward but I don’t blame them for not withdrawing their support earlier.

    If this author is going to continue to be the magic equivalent of a radio shock jock maybe Channelfireball should think about distancing themselves from him.

  46. moral of the story………. pick your friends carefully. a little professionalism is wonderful. well work is work and friends are friends, i wouldn’t tell my friends anything about my work if it is classified.
    i bet matignon didn’t even imagine it would be this big. even so all is done and nothing you do or say can change that. at least wizard didn’t bring this matter into the court (well if they did i don’t know about that).

    i think the DCI will ended permanently ban kyle boggemes from every hobby shop in north america if he was given a god book for any upcoming set.

  47. Three things.

    1) Kyle is a really nice guy in person. Seriously. The character bashing in the comments bothers me as a result. I’m willing to accept that he may not be a good enough writer to properly convey his sense of humor/opinions. However, I have never seen him as an elitist.

    2) I don’t think a level 8 pro can reasonably be expected to keep his mouth shut during playtesting if he has inside information. Therefore, Matignon should have **resigned** his position at the magazine to remove himself from the temptation. The blame still lies w/Guillaume.

    3) As seems to be the consensus, WotC still needs to review this policy — I don’t see any reason what-so-ever to provide any media outlet with a god book You’re just playing with fire if you do.

  48. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  49. I can’t believe that there are ppl that just don’t get how much advantage someone can take by having access to spoilers early. Splinter Twin used to cost like.. 0.2 tix in Magic Online.. now it’s 4 tix! This GodBook is really GOD book. How much money can one make with such informations??? Not just at tournments but by speculating, since they playtested with those cards.

    I feel like a fool just by playing magic.

  50. @kyle

    “… it was the fault of B-Boy that the set was leaked.”

    Um, no. First off you’re presenting a fallacy. The fallacy is that you imply that only one of the parties involved can justifiably be deemed “guilty” of some kind of wrongdoing. Why? Answer: You don’t know why; you have no reasoning, just snap-conclusion making. Matignon, along with the other players, are all guilty of “something”, though it should be noted that Matignon was the only one with (presumably) an NDA… but in any case, that’s beside the point.

    Secondly, if it were actually sensible in the first place to blame only a single party for wrongdoing — or for “the primary” wrongdoing — why the hell would you blame the guy who was like 3rd or 4th in line in getting the information, as opposed to the one who got it first, and, more importantly, had total control over whether it “got out” or not?

  51. The question isn’t who’s wrong, but who’s more wrong, and in this case I just want to say it’s pretty crazy that the information leaked because of the 2010 champion Matingion. As this article is emphasizing, and i agree, was that W.O.T.C. is more at fault, (by the way how is bogemmes article condescending and disgusting, I think somebody is going out of their way to be insulted, his article is acceptable, and if you took some time to appreciate it you would see he shares some insight and feelings which is refreshing) so back to wotc, they are simply more at fault because (contract or not)… they shouldn’t have naively given a pro magic player/writer, exclusive information, it’s an advantage however small. As a result It hurts the whole magic community, i dont like to know that a player is given an advantage, legally in fact. Mind you It was stupid for wotc to give the godbook out to begin with.. Writers have imaginations, so let them use em. The champion too, of all people doesn’t need access to new stuff.. Anyways so wotc waved cookies infront of the cookie monster and expected him not to eat one.. Not going to happen. The incentive is to strong, Matingion was wrong, and two wrongs dont make a right.. But hey it was wrong to begin with.. Im not kissing matingion’s arse, wotc should give the info to writers “only” or give the info to a player/writer, and then put them on a contract banning them from playing for a set ammount of time.. That seems fair.

  52. Snake Token Ben

    I’m gonna stand up for Kyle here because I know him IRL. He’s a good guy, a good player, and when it comes to strategy a very good writer. Everyone who is bashing his character, calling him “elitist”, or otherwise making ignorant ad hominems: You are part of the problem. GTFO of my Internet. (Yeah, I wish.)

    I won’t talk about the first bit of the article except to say that, while I agree with most of your points (especially because we talked about it last week), the writing may not have conveyed them in the best way. Eh, it could’ve been better, but plenty of other people have talked about it too, so let’s go to the meat: the Landstill stuff.

    I’ve only ever played UWb Landstill with Wish board, and I was wondering about your thoughts on it. On the downside, you don’t get many slots for Sorcery-speed goodies like Needle and baby Jace. But you get a nice shot of tutoring Silver bullets, especially mid- to late-game.

  53. this isnt the name i chose

    I could be wrong, since i dont actually play legacy, but isnt mana drain a pure upgrade of counterspell? Other than the cost of paper mana drains is there any reason that counterspell is in the list over it?

  54. @above: Mana Drain is banned in legacy and counterspell isn’t. Mana Drain is only legal in vintage, Cube, and Commander/EDH. Kyle (rightly as he is writing about competitive/professional magic) does not make card choices based on cost and rarely based on availability.

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