2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on [[Official]] [DGM] Spoiler Discussion - Limited
    Quote from Sene
    Hint, hint, R&D! Gavin, you're a former mod of this limited forum, pay attention Teach

    I am always paying attention. Smile

    Glad you're having fun talking about the set so far! I think you guys will enjoy this format.
    Posted in: Limited Archives
  • posted a message on The Official SIXTH Annual MTGSalvation Holiday Exchange!
    These turned out fantastic! Good job holding up the tradition, everyone. Smile
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on The MTGSalvation Annual Card Exchange
    Hi there, card exchange faithful!

    It's getting to that time of year where I start to get a bunch of PM's about the Card Exchange coming back, so I wanted to make a notice for everyone wondering. (If you don't know what the MTGSalvation annual card exchange is, you can view last year's here, which also has links to the four years previous to that.)

    For the past five years, this has been one of the highlights of my holiday season. Going to my mailbox and opening up the packages I received that day, savoring each one like a gourmet truffle, has truly been a pleasure.

    However, it is also a major time commitment during one of the busiest seasons. When I started doing this, I was 17, in college, and had the time. Now I have a very busy full time job making Magic cards and so many extra activities on top of that that many days I don't even have the time to open my computer when I get home, let alone orchestrate something like this.

    When I resigned from staff it was hard because it was something I loved, but I knew that I no longer had the time to commit to the site to make it work.

    Similarly, I know that if I tried to do the exchange again this year I would not have the time to commit to make it flourish in the ways I would want it to. Last year did not go as smoothly as I would have liked, and this year I am many more times busy. My schedule should not be what impinges upon you having a great time.

    However! I do believe the card exchange should live on. It's a wonderful, wonderful experience that is one of my favorite things I added to MTGSalvation in the many years I worked here. I've contacted the mods to see if one of them wants to take over, and hopefully one of them will. If one of you users feels like you are enough of a community centerpiece to take it over, talk to the mods about it.

    Thanks for five years of awesome memories, and I hope the card exchange has many more great memories to come!

    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on Former admin Lesurgo receives column on the Mothership!
    Aw, thanks guys! Smile
    Posted in: Special Occasions
  • posted a message on The Fifth Annual MTGSalvation Holiday Exchange!
    I have certainly had mix-ups in the past where cards have arrived all the way up through New Years (and once a card from Russia somehow ended up arriving in March) so a missing package could still arrive. For Galspanic it's a little odd though due to his proximity to me, as these issues have always been from far-traveling (usually international mail) in the past.

    I will keep this thread updated with any additional packages as they arrive. I am holding out hope that the couple of them that are still out there turn up!
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on The Fifth Annual MTGSalvation Holiday Exchange!
    Hi everyone!

    The card exchange was delayed by a few days for a couple reasons (more on that below) but I packaged everything up tonight and put everything domestic out in my (currently very, very stuffed) mailbox! I'll take a trip to the post office to send international mail tomorrow.

    If you're in the US you should hopefully have your package before Sunday! Hurray! And that's a good thing too, because there are a lot of cool things to go around...

    First up, MTGKaioshin - or perhaps we should begin calling him MTGSalvation Santa - graciously sent in a whole stack of altered cards to be distributed throughout envelopes, expecting nothing in return. That means everybody got a little something extra!

    This was one of the highlights of last year for many people, so if you see a few cards in your package signed by "MTGK," they're bonus cards just for you. Awesome!

    And that's not where the bonus fun stops either. Inspired by MTGKaioshin's kindness last year, Rianalnn got in on the fun and drew some absolutely gorgeous acryllic land artwork over several Forests and Mountains. Not everybody has one of these beauties waiting in their package because I was "only" sent a dozen to distribute, but I was given some distribution instructions and some of you lucky fellas will have one staring back from you in your package.

    I was waiting for Rianalnn's package to get here though, and it finally arrived today. I'm sure you can all excuse the delay considering how awesome this bonus is. Smile

    So now that you know about the gobs of bonus extras you can receive, how about we actually look over which cards are going where, shall we?

    Sending -------------- Receiving
    The Muffin Man - cardtransmuter
    sacramento_Tzar - powdered blackblade
    powdered_blackblade - dakmorqueen
    Cardtransmuter - ar_donut
    pet_snake - slavan k guiser
    tyorl - rianalnn
    rianalnn - plaguezombie
    nyundi - aquila noctis
    Johnny 42strom - bone_doc
    wcsae - pstmdrn
    teamsqueak - pet_snake
    slavan k guiser - tyorl
    pstmdrn - johnny42strom
    fluffyn00b - marcumcumlaude
    marcumcumlaude - nyundi
    Aquila noctis - memnarch
    plaguezombie - serafis
    serafis - teamsqueak
    soceos - immortalechoes
    reapinggrin - Eagle
    Eagle - soceos
    immortalechoes - Lesurgo
    Lesurgo - reapinggrin
    dakmorqueen - sacramento tzar
    ar_donut - the muffin man
    memnarch - fluffynoob
    Bone_doc - wcsae
    serrot_29 - ashnak
    ashnak - infectious baloth
    infectous baloth - malacoda
    malacoda - Stardust
    Stardust - Serrot_29

    Excuses for minor typos/uncapitalizations in everyone's usernames. I copied off what you all wrote on your paper. (A system which worked quite well, by the way.)

    I know there are still a couple of you who sent packages but they aren't here yet. I'm sure there will be a couple stragglers I can pair you up with as they arrive. Smile

    There are some great cards out there - good job everybody! These alters look great.

    Let me know if you guys have any questions! May the compulsive checking of mail begin. Smile
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on The Fifth Annual MTGSalvation Holiday Exchange!
    Ah, the first cards of the season have began to roll in! Good work guys! I love this time of year. Smile

    To answer the two most common questions I've received so far:

    -You can send any number of cards. Usually people tend to send 2-5, but I've received as few as one and as many as 100 before.
    -I recommend 2-3 stamps for postage on the SASE. There's little cost to doing so, and it just helps ensure your cards get back to you okay.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, and keep up the awesome work! Smile
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on The Fifth Annual MTGSalvation Holiday Exchange!
    Hello everybody, and happy holidays!

    For 2011, the MTGSalvation Holiday Magic Card Exchange returns for its fifth year! Each year has been bigger and better than the last, and I expect this year to be no different. The last four exchanges can be found here: 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

    What exactly is going on here? Let me explain! (If you've done this before, skip down to the bottom and read the cliff notes for important changes.)

    How the exchange works

    The premise is simple. First, MTGSalvation members from all over the world send me personally altered cards. Then, as Christmas approaches, I randomly send their cards to someone else who participated. It's a fun gift exchange that's always a blast.

    What do I mean by personally altered? Does that you mean you have to be as good as the people over in the official altered art thread? Not at all! What's important is that you personalize your cards. For example, here are just a handful of cards done over the past few years:

    As you can see, there is a lot of variation in what people choose to do. Featured is wide range of artistic talent, from doodles to full-blown alters. Just make it fun. In general, if you wouldn't be happy with receiving it from somebody else, you should alter it until you would be. Smile

    How to Participate

    Participating is easy! Just send me a PM with your address, and I'll send you mine back. All you have to do after that is send me your cards along with a self-addressed and stamped envelope with my address as the return address. After that, just relax and wait for your return package to make its merry way to you. It's that simple!

    All participants must have their cards to me by December 15th. They will be redistributed and sent off over the weekend, and hopefully everybody will have theirs by December 25th. Please remember to budget enough time for your cards to arrive. For reference, I live in Washington state, USA.

    Brand new accounts are excluded to avoid gaming the system. If you try and game the system to get more presents, I will catch you. Please don't do it. It will just result in a sad face for both of us.

    This event is not sponsored or endorsed by Wizards of the Coast in any way. It is purely something done for fun by people who love Magic, and is not for for any financial gain or otherwise.

    Tips and Checklist

    Over the past three years, I've seen a lot of cards come through. Here are some recommendations to help make the holiday exchange fun for everybody!

    • Try and modify cool cards. They don't necessarily have to be rares, but it's great when somebody can play the cards they receive in a deck and then tell the story of how they received them!
    • Stumped for cards to alter? Try sending cards related to your name, avatar, or signature! That way there's a connection between MTGSalvation and the card's you're altering.
    • What you receive is random and a gift from someone else to you. Regardless of how you feel about the quality of cards you received, please be grateful. After all, it's a gift!
    • Part of the fun is ripping open the package when it finally arrives to see what you received. Try not to post the alters you did ahead of time - though vague hints can be fun. Wink
    • Sending items such as letters, notes, or pictures along with your cards to the other person is not only allowed, but encouraged!
    • You might want to take a picture of your cards before you send them so that you can still show them off if the recipient has no way to upload an image.
    • You may submit as few or as many cards as you would like. Take your time and make some great alters!

    New Stuff for This Year (READ THIS!!!)

    Things are going to go down a little differently this year than in years previous. No, none of the actual exchange-y goodness is going to be changed. The end goal will hopefully be the same. But there are a few procedural changes.

    In the past I've laid down rules, and when people have broken them I've waived them off and picked up the slack myself in the holiday spirit. The largest example is that many people forget to send a self-addressed and stamped envelope with their package. (Last year around 1/3 of the participants didn't send one.)

    Things have changed for me a little bit this year. I'm no longer a student with tons of free time, and now I have a 40+ hour a week job. I unfortunately don't have the time to tie up loose ends this time around. I want to add in a few extra bits of information and reminders that will help this all go off smoothly. Please pay close attention so there aren't any problems. Smile

    1. You absolutely must, must, must include a self-addressed and stamped envelope with my return address written on it. If you do not include one, I cannot promise you that you will receive any cards back.

    2. In the past, a couple of people have sent extra large/heavy items. This is great, and often these items are very cool! However, if you're going to do this, please include an extra envelope that is the appropriate size and/or has the right amount of postage on it.

    3. If you are an international participant, please tell me in your PM so we can discuss how international shipping will work out best in your case.

    4. Unlike past years, I'm often too busy to check my PM's and respond every day. To expedite this whole process, if you've participated in either the 2009 or 2010 exchange you don't need to PM me first. My address is still the same as the past two years, so you can just go ahead and send me cards. Exception: International members, please contact me directly so we can talk over shipping.

    5. Along with your cards, please include a slip of paper with your MTGSalvation username. Every year I have had to go on crazy quests to figure out who sent me any given set of cards, and I'm hoping this will prevent that from happening again. Having your address is one layer of protection against this, and I'm hoping this will be a useful enough second layer. Additionally, this helps me identify people who have participated in past years who didn't need to PM me for my address this year.


    1. Send me a PM with your address
    2. Refresh your inbox over and over until I reply with my address (Skip steps 1 and 2 if you live in the USA and participated in 2009 or 2010.)
    3. Alter cards!
    4. Write your MTGSalvation username on a slip of paper.
    5. Send me your cards, your MTGSalvation username, and a self-addressed stamped envelope, with my address as the return address, inside another envelope. Don't forget any of those steps!
    6. Time travel to later in December and check your mail. Enjoy your gift!

    I'm looking forward to receiving your cards! Every year for the past four years this had made the holiday season incredibly special, and I can't wait to seeing what you all come up with again this year! Have fun!

    Please post any questions below. Smile
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on MTGS's Holiday Card Exchange-O-Mania
    To everyone asking: YES! there will be a holiday exchange this year. Grin It's always one of my favorite parts of the holiday season, and I'm definitely running it yet again. It's tradition!

    I've been too busy with my new job recently to rewrite the rules as I wanted to for this year, but expect a thread up about it sometime over the next few days while I'm on Thanksgiving Holiday. In the meantime: get working on those cards! Grin
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on [Limited] - It's Drafty in Here!
    Quote from bateleur
    It's hard to find a single card example because WotC don't do this much, but the Goblins in Lorwyn are the best embodiment of this principle I've seen at Common. Each one advances the deck's gameplan a little, but there's no one card which the opponent is desperate to spot remove after which they will probably win.

    Compare with Merfolk in the same set where Silvergill Dowser just gets killed on sight, but if you don't kill it you just lose.

    Existing examples tend to involve things like comes-into-play triggers, leaves-play triggers, effects which trigger when killing things or hitting the opponent, effects which trigger when you play other things... but it's not the mechanics which matter, it's the principle that the pattern of a single card threat that is usually either answered by 1-for-1 removal or wins is overrepresented in Limited Magic at the moment.

    This is a really good example! I like the idea of trying a Limited format like this out, and so thanks for bringing this up to me. I'll make sure to keep this in mind. Smile
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • posted a message on [Limited] - It's Drafty in Here!
    Thanks for all of the feedback guys! I certainly agree with a lot of what was said. I totally am behind things like having lots of different archetypes (and cards that create archetypes!), most bomb rares at mythic, and a balance between control and beatdown cards.

    I all more into the LaPille camp with "gotcha" cards, but I do agree that some of those cards can exist. I also think there's plenty of room under "gotcha" and more in the line of "instant speed trick" that can be explored. For example, Giant Growth isn't a "gotcha" card. Giant Growth is awesome! If it's coming out of your hand, it's expected that it can happen. It's just when someone constantly misses something they should have known about that it can be an issue.

    I just wanted to touch on a few specific and interesting points I had questions about.

    Quote from bateleur

    2) Cards which are decent but for which outright removing them (or countering them) is not the best solution. Too many Limited games come down to "remove this or lose" and Magic is diverse enough that this need not be the case. In fact in general any opportunity to make Limited less about removal without losing the interactivity would be good.

    Can you provide some examples so I have a more concrete idea of what you mean? Do you mean something in the vein of Reassembling Skeleton, or something else entirely?

    Add to that the awkwardness involved in randomizing graveyard targets (Ghoulraiser and Woodland Sleuth), and you have a set that can be annoying to play, even if it works well in the realm of Magic Online. This might be too specific, but I worry that the creative team is going to continue to explore design space that moves the game in this kind of direction, and I personally don't think it's necessary.

    I don't think this is really creative's fault, it's pretty much all R&D. For what it's worth, I agree with you - common effects that are cumbersome and take time to resolve (as most random effects are) are something I am very against.

    Anyway, I'm curious: I don't think there are any MTGS forum members that are known to be members of R&D, or to have access to them. Are you going to be allowed to still post here once you officially come on with them? I could see potential problems with that.

    I would certainly not expect my posts here to be very common. Smile

    Thanks for all of your responses!
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • posted a message on [Limited] - It's Drafty in Here!
    Thanks guys! Out of curiosity, as frequent limited players whose opinions I respect, what would you like to see changed - either added or removed - in future limited environments? What are some problems you feel exist in modern age Limited formats, and what have we done right that you would like to continue to see?

    This is specifically in reference to the individual cards - sorry, I doubt I'll really be able to do a ton about set size. Smile

    I'd love to hear your feedback!

    (And I know I'm not a clan member, but hopefully you have it in you to excuse the interruption. Wink )
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • posted a message on Congratulations, Gavin/Lesurgo Re: R&D Internship
    Quote from RickCorgan
    Back when designing cards in here (and on MTGNews) was a daily hobby of mine, I used to wonder if any of us Custom Cards regulars would ever make it to R&D. Gavin had always been among the top contenders in my mind, and this notion only grew the more involved he became with the Magic community at large.

    When I read his latest article on StarCity, I was surprised at first - but then it dawned on me that I kinda wasn't. This has been a long time coming.

    Big congratulations on a thoroughly deserved dream come true. Smile

    Rickcorgan! You're still around! Talk about a blast from the past. Smile

    Indeed, I remember all of those days. Designing cards and playing card making games constantly. Those were great times, and they honed my design skills tremendously. I appreciate all of your help and support in that effort! I certainly learned a lot from you.
    Posted in: Special Occasions
  • posted a message on Congratulations, Gavin/Lesurgo Re: R&D Internship
    Thanks everyone! I'm pretty excited about it! I learned a ton from my time here working at MTGSalvation and work I did in the card making forum. I couldn't have done it without you guys. Smile
    Posted in: Special Occasions
  • posted a message on Gavin Verhey Is Starting OverExtended.
    I made a new post over on the site tonight. It's 4,000+ words of me just answering questions, and I talk about many of the things that have been discussed here - like the Dredge Bannings, Masques, and the Modern format - so definitely go check it out. Hopefully it answers most of your questions. If not, feel free to ask. Smile
    Posted in: Magic General
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