Keyword abilities: Bands with other legendary creatures
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Started playing Magic: Revised
Magic Accomplishments: Founding member of The Eh Team Podcast, 1-0 in feature matches on the SCG circuit.
The Fifth Degree
1. If you were casting a movie using people currently qualified for the Pro Tour who would you cast for the role of Hero and Villain?
Wow. Hero? I mean the Hero has to be Brian Kibler. Just has to be. I mean have you seen him? He has Hero written all over him. Villain, Owen Turtenwald. Have you heard him talk for longer than 15 minutes in a row?
2. Tell us something which has occurred in your life that people might find surprising.
For my twentieth birthday I got extremely messed up on narcotics. I ended up climbing the water tower in our town. I just had to do something completely irresponsible before I turned twenty.
3. The Zombie Apocalypse is happening now. Which three people in the MTG fellowship do you choose as back up?
For fear of being fired, my three fellow pod casters because together we can accomplish anything.
Heather: No, really.
Gerry Thompson. In that little book he carries around with all his deck lists, I am fully convinced he has is written down how to turn urine into scotch. He would be cool just because he is like the mad genius.
You have to take Tom Martell because of his insane baller status. You would then have the funding and resources to fund anything Gerry came up with.
Heather: Who do you take as the last one?
Let me think…Conley Woods. The man is a giant and could literally kill zombies with his bare fists.
4. What will the world look like in 50 years?
According to the Mayans, dust? I guess the answer is impossible to tell. I believe the world 50 years from now will exceed all of our wildest dreams. The reason for that is that technology has been progressing at a pace of exponentially larger and larger steps in shorter amounts of time as we continue to move forward in the spectrum. I mean, I think our kids will have jobs that we have never thought of inventing yet and you’re asking me 50 years which is like twice that? Completely beyond all measure of comprehension.
5. If you could author a Commandment for the modern world what would it be?
Thou shalt not covet mine wife 😉
Seriously, it’s really just the golden rule. Do unto others.
Question & Answer
Q: Pack 1, Pick 1
A: The Joker/Magneto/Lex Luthor
Q: Tell me what Bachelor Scott was like?
A: [evil laugh] Bachelor Scott was a charming and disarming karaoke host. I roamed from bar to bar, earning my living melting and breaking hearts everywhere I went.
Q: How did your bachelor days come to an end?
A: When I first met Alanna, she was the interest of one of my best friends. Which is okay, because we share a lot. I was looking for a place to live. I was in my friend’s office and she was there because they work together. She said, “I think I have a vacancy in my building. You should come by and we can all hang out.” I was with someone else at the time, so no big deal. I ended up moving in and living across from her for like a year. One day, she complained to me that it was hard for her to find guys who had the “model” looks and didn’t treat ladies like pieces meat. I told her those people out there don’t exist. If you want to quit being lonely, you need to get over yourself. She didn’t like that very much.
Eventually, she started talking to me again and I was doing karaoke hosting again. She went with me to a show one night. If I had a super power it would be consuming large amounts of gin. We were drinking and having a great time. She was talking about how she wanted to get married and settle down and needed to start looking for Mr. Right. So out of the blue I said, “Well, you should marry me.” She looked at me and said, “Okay”. Something about the night just felt different. She was flirting with me a little more than usual it seemed. Normally, when I make a statement like that I expect the Sheldon look of derision with the head shake. I ended the show and as we are driving home I grabbed her hand and held it on the way there. When we got home we kissed. She stayed the night and she has never left since. It’s the old “best friends realize what you are looking for has been across the hall the whole way.”
Q: How did you pick up your first Magic: the Gathering Card?
A: So, I was 15 and I met this new kid at my high school. He had just moved up that year. His name was Desmond. He was all into fantasy and other stuff like my brother (Duncan) and I. My brother and I are pretty tight and so we had a place where we go skiing every weekend–we would go there for Christmas break as well. We had Dez up one year for March break and he brought up this game with these “Magic” cards. It was back in the Revised days. We ended up learning the game that weekend. Or as every new Magic player understands, we “thought” we learned the game that weekend. It was great. We were hooked instantly. It was strategy and variance and just awesome.
We started to introduce more and more people to Magic and we played straight through from Revised until Weatherlight. Around then I moved out from home and we all just stopped playing. I would buy a couple of starters here and there and I taught my significant other to play for a while, but nothing very serious until I really got back into it.
We were all sitting around drunk one night and somebody who I didn’t go to high school with turns around and he is just like, “Hey, you guys remember Magic?” Like, half the guys I played Magic with in high school are in the room and we all lose our shit. We totally flipped. My son is 10 at this time and all I can think is that this is going to be awesome. This has life experience written all over it. It’s like 7:30 on a Sunday and I say “Let’s do it.” We are going out to get some Magic cards and we are going to play tonight. We had the one sober guy pile us all into the car to try to find cards. We ended up finding them at a video store. All they had were boosters of Planar Chaos and Future Sight so there weren’t really many lands to go around. We all just basically bought six packs and did mini-sealed. Since we didn’t have lands we just used cards that weren’t the colors we were playing as the appropriate lands. It was so ghetto. We were hooked from there.
We went back and tried to catch up on all we had missed and I remember the first time I saw Umezawa’s Jitte and the sword cycle. I was like, “They fucking printed that?” I mean, the first time I cast Pernicious Deed at a multiplayer table the whole table lost their shit. It’s just been great and since then the community has just been wonderful.
My Daughter Lily knows what color the best decks are.
Q: How does Magic: the Gathering fit in your home life?
A: My wife is one of the greatest people ever. I wouldn’t have married her if I didn’t find the perfect partner for me. When I started to play Magic again, it started to get a little consuming in terms of time. It was instantly a hobby–one I threw myself into fairly seriously. At first she was okay with this. She thought, “Okay, this is fine. He is going to go play some cards with friends, maybe have them over here. At least it’s not poker. He is not going to lose our mortgage. He’s not out spending that money on hookers and blow. How bad can it be?” She doesn’t play at all. She just isn’t into it. I do have her open all my boxes because she is like King Midas. She knows who Jace is. That is important.
It is also interesting because Magic taught my son to read. My son saw how much fun we were having playing the game. At the time, he was being really stubborn about cleaning up his reading and really dedicating himself to it. He was playing Yu-Gi-Oh! with us beforehand. From that, his math and strategy were off the charts. His logical card strategy was starting to come along but his reading was terrible. I had to tell him what all the cards did, but he had an amazing capacity to remember what they did afterwards. Finally it just got to the point where I told him, “Magic is too complicated. I can’t be telling you what every card does. You need to learn how to read. If you want to play this game with us you have to learn how to read.” As soon as I lay down the law, he went into his room, picked up a book and started to read.
The other reason the family supports it is because I play a lot with my son. The wife loves it because it is something we can connect over together. It is a bonding experience for me and my son. We go out to FNMs together. He came with me to GP Toronto. He is at the right age where he can really start getting things out of it.
I am also very understanding of my place in the community. When the Planeswalker Point debacle hit I wasn’t one of those PWP grinders. I don’t have any real aspirations to do anything fancy with my Magic career. I am here to meet people. I am more about the community than I am the actual game. Family comes first. Always.
My children watching their Daddy on live coverage.
Q: Break down your SCG feature match for us and what it felt like knowing your children were watching?
A: I arrived at SCG: Cincinnati Open (ed: he’s rocking Black/White Tokens) and for the first three rounds I had this splitting headache. My only goal was to focus and make it through those round so I could find something to help with my headache. Round one was the longest match against a female player. She was new to the game and I was a gentleman, obviously, trying not to be a raging prick because my head is hurting. After that round I end up finding Medina and he hooked me up with some Advil so that was sweet.
I get to my second round opponent and he was playing Delver which is a fairly easy match-up for the deck I was slinging. I ended up taking it in two games in like fifteen minutes. I was able to go take a thirty minute nap before round three and once I woke up I was feeling like a thousand bucks.
My third round was against Evan Wagstaff who ended up winning the second draft open that weekend. I took him 2-0 against his Birthing Pod deck. I was feeling really great about my deck and sure enough, Joey calls me for a feature match for round four.
Going into this weekend Dungrove Elder green was really popular again. I figured I was in really good position playing a bunch of tokens that could chump block all day as long as I could contain the Sword of War and Peace. Instead of Doomed Traveler, I ended up playing Gideon’s Lawkeeper, which was great. It ended up being a good card all day. I sat down against a mono-green opponent and I had a pretty good idea what was going on with that deck list and what sort of threats I needed to expect or not. As soon as heard the feature match got called, I phoned home and told my son to watch. He was like, “Okay great Dad, I am going to turn it on and watch.” Then I tweeted it on Twitter so I knew the Twitter legions would be tuning in as well. I had my phone in my pocket on vibrate. I remember sitting down trying not to look nervous as hell. I know we are on camera. The best advice I remember getting about this situation was, “Don’t blink, pretend like you meant to do it.”
I had a pretty good start and I knew I just had to focus and play tight. I wasn’t all that concerned about the matchup as long as I could avoid that Sword of War and Peace. Post-board was going to be a blow out with Mirran Crusader. I thought, just play what you need to do. Game one was over pretty early because I was able to land three Anthems fairly quickly. My deck just brought a lot of damage out of nowhere. I win game one and I am feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket with all the mentions and tweets that are going on. I was 3-0, my son was watching, all my friends and followers on Twitter were cheering me on and knowing I had the world in my corner for this match was just amazing. There was no way I was going to lose.
I continued to play tight. In game two I think I might have missed a lethal strike because I was playing around something I didn’t have to in the end. I ended up killing him next turn anyway. I felt like I played really and that was all that was really important to me. I wanted to play the best Magic I could in that moment. I felt so good afterwards. Went down and sat down in the booth with Joey. I felt like I accomplished what I set out to do. I had wanted a feature match and to hang out in the booth with Joey and I did all that by game four.
I talked to my wife afterwards. She said, “Alex is sitting there with Lilly and they are both glued to your playbook watching every move. He is so proud of you.” She said it like twice. I just welled up. I was so overcome with emotion. In that moment my son knew that I was a hero. In that moment, I was his celebrity and nobody could stop me. It was an unreal feeling.
I ended up keeping a loose hand in round five against Tempered Steel and he ended pulling that one out. Round six I ended up sitting down against Black Wolf Run which was my worst matchup. I decided that it was dinner time and JCal’s beer wasn’t going to drink itself, so I dropped to go hang out with my friends.
Q: Walk me through how you became interested in podcasting and joined the podcasting community.
A: My foray into podcasting actually started with Monday Night Magic. I was freshly reentered in the world of Magic. I was reading all the web sites. And I have a job in sales so I drive around a lot. So I have a lot of time to listen to whatever I want to. So I found these things called podcasts to fill the empty space. Monday Night Magic was around episode 200. Tom was still running the show with Jack and Conley and I just died. They were so funny. They were talking about MTGCast so I logged onto it and just started listening to a few here and there. There was one in particular that really just resonated with me and where I was as a player, my experience and my thought process. It was undoubtedly YoMTGTaps. I picked them up at episode three. I was able to go back and listen to the episodes I missed and from there it was a constant stream of interaction. I was calling into their call-in line where you could leave voicemails. I emailed them all the time and would be back and forth with Joe and Joey. Joey and I have very similar deck tastes so that was a natural resonance. It was funny that I got on twitter because of them. They were talking about how wonderfully immersive the culture is. So I wanted to make sure I got on that train because that was awesome. I mean this is so good. I could talk to Mike Flores? I could talk to the Mike Flores on Twitter and he will reply to me? Mind blown.
I remember distinctly this one day–it was my birthday–and I took the day off work because, well, it’s my damn birthday. I get a phone call from a strange number. So I pick up the phone and a very familiar pair of voices answers the other end of the line: “HELLO HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. I couldn’t believe it, but Joe and Joey had called me and they were recording the podcast live. That was their birthday present to me. I was able to do an episode of YoMTGTaps as a guest.
I did a couple episodes with them after that; a couple of live episodes. That is what got me into podcasting:the relationship I was able to develop with these guys and all the people I was meeting on Twitter. I mean, Sam Stod from InContention was jumping on Twitter and I feel like I got in at just right the time. I will say it was 100% YoMTGTaps fault I got into podcasting in the first place.
Scott and the Yo! Mtg Taps Crew and Kelly Reid
Q: Being on such a popular podcast, do you still find time to listen to any other podcasts? What are the ones you listen to regularly?
A: (Honorable mention to YoMTG who is on hiatus right now)
In no particular order it is:
In Contention. Sam Stod, Kranny and Ruben are fucking awesome. I love those guys to death. So amazing. Looking really forward to hanging out at Kranny’s house for GP Columbus. Totally stoked.
MTG Bridge. I love them. They are singlehandedly responsible for (Scotty began laughing uncontrollably at this point and then was unable to finish this sentence)
MTG Brainstorm/Words of FNM King which can be found on MTGBrainstorm.com. It’s my buddy Tyrone. Huge fan of the show. Never met the guy in public. Sent me some messages and asked me about my decklists. He invited me on his podcast and I thought well, I have a free night so why not. My GOD. I listened to a couple of his shows and I don’t know if you heard me and Jon talking about him but we would really listen to this guy read the fucking phone book. Completely enamored by him. It’s a solo cast and he is such a cool dude. He is a military vet, played football, he’s a father, he is a stay-at-home dad right now. He is teaching his daughters how to play Magic. That guy is fucking unreal. He is one of the greatest human beings, like, as a person that I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.
Commander Cast. Andy is in my local Commander play group and Carlos I also met through there. They are great guys.
Oh and I almost always try to catch Scrubland too. These are all the ones I listen to regularly.
Dezo still showing Scott the ropes in a friendly game of Commander.
Q: What does your Magic Collection look like?
A: So I did have a pretty substantial collection. While I was down in Cincinnati I cashed out a bunch of stuff for an extra 20% in trade to Legit MTG (Editor Note: that’s us!). I still have a really strong Commander collection. I have some really great Commander decks. I go for alters, foils, rarity; that sort of thing. I may have about 50,000 cards still.
There is no single card I would say is the cornerstone of the collection but I do have some alters I am very proud of. Derfington has done a lot of my really sweet alters. I have Marshall from Limited Resources doing a few for me. I have random ones I picked up here and there. I did have two Unlimited Underground Seas but I don’t anymore. So I would definitely say the alters are my prizes.
A: Be yourself. Treat the community and its members with the amount of respect and reverence that you are searching for. You get out what you put into this community. It is very important to remember that every day. Podcasting is not for everyone. Everybody wants to do it and that’s great. If you are the right type of person for it people will listen to you. Don’t get discouraged. It’s not for everybody. That’s fine. It is a lot of fun. If you are doing it for recognition, understand that it may not happen. If you are doing it for fun then who the fuck cares. Do it anyways. It is all about having fun. Get a damn good headset.
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