December 14, 2010

Unfinished business

Nelson vs. Matignon

I enjoyed some Worlds coverage this past weekend. The top 8 broadcast entertained (despite the overwhelming Jace-iness) as I'd gladly listen to Rich Hagon and Brian David-Marshall narrate a slow day of ice fishing. It was satisfying to see Grave Titan finally claim its obvious place of dominance, dropping meat all over the field.

And then there was all the Player of the Year excitement. Go read the mothership coverage if you want the details but basically Guillaume Matignon's win tied him with Brad Nelson in the standings. The tie will be broken by a single match between them at Pro Tour Paris. Almost three months to plan for and promote a single match! Wizards should be talking to Michael Buffer.

UPDATE: You can now get this design on a shirt. Check it out.

December 02, 2010

Get in the vat.

Get in the vat.
Mimic Vat (original card art by Matt Cavotta here)

Not entirely sure where this image came from. I guess I have a habit of re-casting cards as elements of a wacky teenage comedy. Or maybe I was thinking of Phil Foglio's Ice Age jacuzzi Sulfurous Springs? This much is certain: I drafted a Mimic Vat online a few nights ago and every time the tub got hot I cackled, "Get in the vat!" at the creature I wanted. When a vat party happens across the table you best make with the Shatter.

(Won the draft, B/G infect, Sylvok Replica gone wild in a Mimic Vat, 8 more packs for clan Limited Resources! VAT PARTY!)

November 25, 2010

Turkey Myr

Thanksgiving myr

Inkwell Looter wishes you a happy Thanksgiving, and hopes that your dinner does not have infect. And thanks for all the support with my lil' blog here.

For example: Jim Baker of South Bend, IN went down to GP Nashville and brought along his Inkwell Looter supplies. He played a GP bingo card with his friends and then got it signed by excellent pro card slingers Brad Nelson and Conley Woods. Check it out:

used bingo card

Thanks for sending this, Jim!

November 18, 2010

We like the cards with the cars that go BOOM!

Live fast. Die young.
A survey of goblin hot-rods: Oxidda Daredevil, Boggart Ram-Gang and Goblin War Buggy (original card art by Pete Venters, Dave Allsop and DiTerlizzi).

Tigra, Bunny and I all like the cars that go BOOM. The artists clearly had fun with these card images, but maybe had to ride the brake a bit to keep from turning out full-on Ed "Big Daddy" Roth hot-rods.

And Boggart Ram-Gang is one of my favorite creatures of all time -- the epitome of aggro. Mmm, all of those 3's ... power, toughness, mana of either color who cares, just pay it (or better yet Bloodbraid it) to send a hasty block of muscle hurtling across the red zone. Oh yeah, wither too ... yes. Sweet ride.

Also, if you're one of these sickos playing a Kuldotha Rebirth deck, I once made a trio of rock 'n' roll goblin tokens you should probably get. They're from back when three goblins were a siege-gang but are suitable for any occasion that requires some little, red rockers.

November 12, 2010

Do the robot

Nothing serious, just having some fun with myr. As I've been having fun with Scars limited. Losing a lot, but having fun.

Here's a mana myr hypothetical situation for you:
You're given a Scars of Mirrodin limited pool with two obviously good colors (equal number of playables in each), 3 useless colors (no playables) and a bunch of playable artifacts. You have access to as many of the common mana myr as you want, like basic lands. How many myr and how many land do you play in your deck? I realize that the situation is a little bogus, but I'm still curious to hear what you think.

November 04, 2010

Nice pecs but that shoulder magma could use some work.

Oof, Koth, I mean, don't you Vulshok ever, like, exfoliate? Because those glowing fissures are gonna make me retch if I look too close. Yeah, yeah, I know you're into rock and ore and all that crap but appearances matter if you want people to take you serious -- what's that? You're dropping five loyalty? Mountains do whaat???

Koth emblem

Once his emblem hits the table Koth can planeswalk the hell over to a bangin' pool party on Ravnica he heard about 'cause this duel is done!

aww yeah!

Here's a high-resolution PDF. Print 'n' destroy! And to complete the set, check out the official Looter Elspeth and Venser emblems.

October 27, 2010

Phyrexian fashion invasion

nice clasp
Contagion Clasp (original card art by Anthony Palumbo here)

This card has given me a fearsome bout of Johnny-itis. I badly want for those pincers to hold together an abusive proliferate machine but so far it's amounted to toothless, counter-diddling nonsense. If you have to play me in the next couple of weeks, please understand, it's a sickness. Try to summon a little patience for those of us who must Grindclock + Bloodchief Ascension. Just close your eyes and think of Jace. Victory will be yours shortly.

Oh, and here's what that lil' bastard looks like with a face:

clasp with a face

Speaking of counters, Adam Richards sent me these photos from a Scars of Mirrodin release event at PBKW Comics in Cornelius, NC:

Scars release event Scars release event

That's Jason Hargett (of uncomfortable with his sudden wealth of Phyrexian poison bucks. Thanks for sending the photos, guys!

October 18, 2010

Venser, the Sideburner

You just subtracted eight loyalty from your pretty-boy planeswalker but your opponent barely flinches. What's with this guy? Has he not read Venser? Does he not comprehend the inescapable control cocoon in which he's been so thoroughly wrapped?

No. You need to drop the emblem:

Venser emblem

BOOM! Target opponent just proliferated in his pants.

sojourn on this, sucka

Here's a high-resolution PDF. Don't ultimate Venser without it! And for those late to this whole party, here's an Elspeth emblem for ya too.

October 06, 2010

More like Cute-refax

Chimeric Mass, Fume Spitter and Putrefax (original card art by David Palumbo, Nils Hamm, and Steve Belledin)

This isn't the first time I've noticed a subtext of monstrosity romance in a new set. Or maybe it's just me. Scars of Mirodin certainly has a high percentage of creatures that look like wads of gum rolled in trash. Nothing wrong with that.

This week while I was daydreaming about hot, sloppy, horror-on-horror action I got a package of awesome items from Dan Tharp of Card Kingdom including this bonkers playmat and set of clockwork squirrel tokens by artist Joe Vollan. Check it out:
playmat by Joe Vollan

Squirrel by Joe Vollan
Whaaaaat? Dan, Joe, you guys made my week!

That's all I've got for now, but more Scars fun is on the way. Otherwise, if you want some high-quality, cute-as-hell plant tokens to aid in the avenging of olden Zendikar, those are still quite available.

September 27, 2010

Every Rosewater Has Its Thorn

First of all, congratulations to design chief Mark Rosewater for completing his nearly decade-and-a-half quest to bring poison back to Magic. He must have felt like some kind of badass last weekend as planeswalkers across the land got the toxic beatdown. Kudos!

Unable to leave the Looter Grotto for a pre-release, I had plenty of time to consider the aesthetics of poison delivery. So, if you're not feeling the stock "green swirls" poison counter, I have a couple of options for you. First, straight cash poison:
poison buck
Yeah, homie, you just took damage from one of my bugs, so take the money.
poison buck
Here's what it looks like to be rich and dead:
poison money pile
Here's the poison money PDF for your printing and cutting pleasure. I could only fit six on a page at the proper size, so you're going to have to print two if you actually want to close the deal.

But if you're an infect connoisseur with a flair for the dramatic nothing compares to the relentless ticking of the Inkwell Looter Poison Clock.
poison clock
This is gonna look sweet in that little alcove in the downstairs hallway ...
poison clock
... but should we be concerned about the snake hand?
poison clock
poison clock
And here's the PDF for the clock, with some hastily written instructions included. Even if you can follow the instructions, you really just need to figure out a way to stick a clock hand on a clock face in a way that it rotates nice and smooth.


September 25, 2010

Attention Khalni Gardeners

plant tokens

THESE ARE NOW SOLD OUT, but you can still download and print your own here.

I had these plant tokens done up by a professional printer. Bright color, heavy paper, rounded corners ... the works. They're real nice. I gave a bunch away at GP Portland but have leftovers. So I'm selling them here while the gang is still Khalni gardening and avenging Zendikar.

September 19, 2010

The meta-game

How many will you spot at your next major Magic event?

Magic Grand Prix Bingo

... but seriously, I had a fantastic time at GP Portland, playing cards and meeting people. I was going to write up a comprehensive report laden with wit and misplays but it's a week after the fact and Scars of Mirodin is breathing down my neck and I'm going to let a snide bingo card be the statement.

August 30, 2010

Dream big, little Jace.

little Jace

Even the mightiest of planeswalkers has to start somewhere. Based on Ryan Pancoast's original Mind Control card art.

And in unrelated news, I got a bunch of these plant token business cards printed up real nice:

biz card

August 20, 2010

The worst day skyfishing is better than the best day working

Kor Skyfisher

Kor Skyfisher (original card art by Dan Scott here)

Some days you wake up, look in the mirror and realize that you're down a deep well of late-blooming Kor Skyfisher infatuation.

I've been wanting to post decklists because everyone loves decklists and I love these particular deckslists -- and they both have 4 Kor Skyfisher. I'm sorry. It's a sickness, but I like it.

You know the feeling. Blissed-out comfort with a deck, the nuances that materialize through familiarity, little surges of love each time you cast a faithful old spell. Maybe it's not the most powerful list or the best overall choice, but you know what it takes to pilot it to a win. You've got one-ofs that make no sense to anyone else yet you know in your bones that it's right. And you just like to listen to the engine hum. That's where I'm at in Pauper and Standard. The pauper deck is actually very good against the relevant matchups with a well-tuned sideboard and a lot of maindeck catch-all cards to mop up the randoms. The standard deck, well, it's a tier down, but it's been excellent in the uneven landscape of MTGO's tournament practice room. I know, weak, but hey, that's love!


4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Guardian of the Guildpact
4 Wall of Hope
2 Blind Hunter
1 Dimir House Guard
1 Twisted Abomination
4 Pestilence
4 Castigate
4 Unmake
3 Wrench Mind
1 Grim Harvest
4 Kabira Crossroads
4 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Orzhov Basilica
2 Bojuka Bog
6 Swamp
5 Plains
4 Duress
4 Echoing Decay
3 Prismatic Strands
2 Benevolent Unicorn
2 Leave No Trace


4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Emeria Angel
4 Steppe Lynx
4 Student of Warfare
4 Pilgrim's Eye
2 Sun Titan
1 Baneslayer Angel (exactly how many I own)
4 Oblivion Ring
4 Path to Exile
2 Adventuring Gear
2 Brave the Elements
1 Journey to Nowhere
4 Arid Mesa
4 Marsh Flats
4 Tectonic Edge
2 Gargoyle Castle
10 Plains
Leyline of Sanctity plus a fluctuating bunch of situational removal

August 12, 2010

Let's split!

Just a quick custom ooze token update here. The idea originated with some Comic-con nachos.


Slime photo

Get the printable PDF, make like an ooze and split.

August 04, 2010

... and her sister, Shauna Farman.

Fauna Shaman

Fauna Shaman

Not much to say on this one. When the card was first spoiled my first thought was, "Awesome." My next thought was, "She seems like a classic pet hoarder."

See Steve Prescott's original card art here. Or see a bigger, differently-cropped version at the end of this Mike Flores article.

July 30, 2010

Indestructible gold star

The latest kerosene poured on the community bonfire: emblems. It's a new thingie to clutter up the command zone representing an in-game rules change. The only card that produces an emblem is Elspeth, Knight Errant. But ... what does an emblem look like? An emblem must have a visible, physical representation. What happens the next time I ultimate my Elspeth? Do I add a penny, a peanut, a scrap of paper with emblem scrawled on it, to my command zone? I have no frickin' idea how I will remember that my stuff is indestructible! AAaaaaaahhhh!!!!

Hush. The Looter has it covered:

Elspeth says Nice Job!

You did it, buddy! Thumbs up!

Gold star for ya!

Here's a high-resolution PDF, so that you can print a big, gaudy emblem for all of your Elspeth-maxing needs. And if you ever slap this thing down in a game, please take a photo of your opponent's bewildered expression and send it to me.

Otherwise, I had the opportunity to be breathed upon by 150,000 fellow nerds, popular arts enthusiasts ... at this year's San Diego Comic-con, and particularly enjoyed the Magic panel. Alex Shearer posted an excellent summary (with photos) of the numerous announcements and spoilers. On the qualitative beat, I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the Wizards guys. It should come as no surprise that they love the game but to see their excitement about upcoming products and their obvious concern for the player experience in person reinforced my feeling that this game is in good hands. And I was similarly impressed by the players who asked reasonable questions throughout the audience Q&A, traditionally a brutal, unbearable, awkward component to panel presentations. Shearer noted the support group confessional way that all of the questioners introduced themselves, giving their names and personal Magic histories up front. This was hilarious but also somewhat heart-warming. Everyone there had a lot invested in Magic and great respect for the guys on stage. Except for all of the bored significant others fiddling with their smartphones. And those of us seething with EMBLEM RAGE.

July 20, 2010

Bash Brothers

Bash Brothers
Manic Vandal and War Priest of Thune

I'm highly appreciative that the official MTG style guide now mandates enter-the-battlefield destroy effects be depicted with spiked bats. And like some other Bash Brothers, these two seem to have ingested some powerful, uh, dietary supplements. Can't wait to play some M11 limited with these sluggers.

See the original card art for Manic Vandal by Christopher Moeller and War Priest of Thune by Izzy.

July 15, 2010

My other phylactery is a dirty Econoline van.

If you're seeking a bold t-shirt choice for an upcoming Magic event, allow me to suggest the following design:

Black Mana

Get it here.

July 07, 2010

Keep Magic weird



An Alpha original is back in M11 with new art and flavor text. Good ol' Juggs ... it sets me rolling on a destructive trip down memory lane.

When I started playing, back at the dawn of this game, cards were not readily available. I was lucky enough to purchase the last three starter decks in town and for a while my friends and I cobbled together games with that extremely limited pool. Eventually more cards were printed and I was able to play against a friend with cards of his own. New cards I'd never seen before! In those days there was no visual spoiler. In fact, Magic debuted a couple years before web browsers became widespread. Imagine that! Sure, I tried to trawl UNIX-based message boards for card info, but the card pool beyond my own was essentially mysterious. So I was mentally unprepared when my pal paid 4 to drop a relentless machine that bashed away quarters of my starting life total until there was none left. It was a formative moment, a stark lesson in price, power and tempo. We played the hell out of Juggernaut for years.

When I saw that there was new Juggernaut art I had to turn it into a real moment. Poured a beverage, dimmed the lights in The Looter's Grotto, put on an appopriate playlist (Judas Priest, Turbonegro, Andrew WK, etc), and called up the Magic Arcana with Juggy's new face. After soaking it in for a while I concluded that I don't get what is being depicted and I love that! A pinecone and a VW Bug had a baby in a zombie mosh pit. Weird and awesome!

I have a lot of affection for the art of Alpha. The riot of styles, straight-laced depiction alongside bizarre abstraction, and the seeming lack of overall direction made for a scrappy, memorable experience. After the game's initial success there was an effort to sand off the rough edges and standardize the look. This led to sets with more traditional fantasy art, restricted palettes ... boring. There were still highlights, you know, Mark Tedin never went away, but my memory of those middle years is of muddy, bland card art.

But then someone in charge got it and a beam of hot light parted the gray. That period gave way to the current era of strong art direction married to risky, fun, and weird art. Each new set blows me away. Beautiful painting! Art that tells stories! Humor! But the key for me is: weird. Give me those images that perplex, disturb and stick in my memory. Keep Magic weird!

Thanks to Wizards of the Coast and Mark Hyzer for this crazy, new Juggernaut.

Want the original drawing?

Looters draw but they also discard, so I'm giving away the pen/ink drawing for the Juggernaut piece above. How do you win?

1. Follow me on Twitter.

2. Post a comment below including your Twitter name and some original flavor text to go along with the drawing. Whatever you think goes best with the drawing. Humor is not mandatory but will probably help.

If I like your flavor text suggestion the best I will send you the drawing. Contest ends July 16 at noon PST. Any questions?

Juggy drawing

June 29, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle

Next up in the 0/1 token series:
plant token

I sleeved some up:
plant hand

... but then I had to equip my Trusty Rusty Exacto and go all papercraft on it:

plant cutout
plant cutout

I'm hoping for a strong goat presence in Scars of Mirodin.

Here's a high-resolution PDF file of the plant tokens. Print and enjoy!

June 21, 2010

Didn't see that coming

Seismic Assault
Seismic Assault

I've always been partial to Seismic Assault (along with its ancestor) and am hoping it has a brief surge of relevance in the newly-announced Extended format. Oh, that was quite an announcement, huh? We, the Magic community, gliding along, la-di-da, Archenemy, yay, M11 spoilers, feelin' groovy, tra-la-la BAM! LAVA FIST! And then 24 hours of speculators chain-chugging foul energy drinks while trying to lock up every underpriced Mistbind Clique they could lay hand or mouse on.

Having never really had bandwidth for Extended, I like the change. Previously, if an Extended GP happened in my backyard I would not play in the main event. With the more digestible card pool, I might.

See Greg Staples' original card art here.

June 14, 2010

TT and the Grunts

goblin tokens
"Have you seen them live? Halfway through the gig the lead guitarist disappears and comes back as some kinda freaky stone golem thing! Yes way, man!"

Yeah, I made some custom goblin tokens. Now that's a Siege-Gang that knows how to party!
goblin tokens

UPDATE - Here's a high-resolution PDF to download if you want to print and use these tokens:
3 goblins token PDF
Print 'em up on some nice paper, cut 'em out and game!

June 02, 2010

Piles of lettuce


I didn't want to let all the mythic rage pass unmentioned. Without getting into whether mythic rarity is good or bad, it's clear that people aspiring to compete in Standard now must be a lot more aware of their own personal collections of little, green rectangles.

See Raymond Swanland's original card art here.

May 27, 2010

Don't be an Arrogant Bloodlord

arrogant bloodlord funnies

See the original Arrogant Bloodlord with art by Mike Bierek here.

Arrogant Bloodlord's flavor has amused me, in that "equip Reinforced Bulwark with Warmonger's Chariot" sort of way. So, it's a 4/4 badass knight that dies to a plant token, with the silly flavor text: "I would rather take my own head than be thwarted by a presumptuous wretch with a shield and a dream." He rides around on a big ant. Is "arrogant" the right word for this? Maybe it should be Ludicrous Bloodlord? It's vexing.

Yet ... this odd mish-mash of flavor did remind me of someone. Who, who, who ... and then it hit me: this same guy rage-quitted on me last night in MTGO! So, bravo, Wizards! You've perfectly captured the demented persona of the card-slinging crybaby who believes himself to be superior to all yet constantly loses to perceived bad beats. I love this card.

May 18, 2010

Heartbreaker of Bala Ged

Beastbreaker of Bala Ged
Beastbreaker of Bala Ged

"Helloooo, ladies. Uh huh. Yeah, that's right, these aren't gym muscles. Maybe you've noticed all the broken beasts around here, in Bala Ged? I did that. But I can also be oh-so-gentle."

See Karl Kopinski's original card art here.

May 12, 2010

Oops, you fizzled.

Counterspell. See Mark Poole's original art here.

The original Counterspell art always cracks me up. Not only is this wizard failing to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but he is an absolute fashion emergency. Between the mullet, triple-prong goatee, garish Marvel comics ensemble and egregious over-accesorizing, the statement this art makes is cautionary: "Don't be this schmuck mage who gets his crap countered!"

And I thought of Counterspell because I've been playing a bit of my favorite eternal format, pauper. Here's the list:

4 Mulldrifter
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Calcite Snapper
4 Counterspell
3 Mystical Teachings
2 Soul Manipulation
2 Force Spike
2 Doom Blade
2 Agony Warp
2 Remove Soul
1 Wail of the Nim
1 Into the Roil
1 Grim Harvest
1 Echoing Decay
1 Disfigure
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Capsize
4 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Bojuka Bog
2 Esper Panorama
1 Dimir Aqueduct
10 Island
4 Swamp
1 Plains
3 Duress
3 Vedalken Outlander
2 Benevolent Unicorn
2 Prismatic Strands
2 Echoing Decay
1 Coffin Purge
1 Serrated Arrows
1 Negate

It works well but I'm thinking about an aggro alternative for when I'm not in the mood for an hour-long match.