NEIL MELVILLE Web Site
Evil Pie

A letter to Mark Rosewater, Head of R&D, Magic: the Gathering

I noticed that you left something out of your Blue Week article. The little known fact that Blue is the color of pure evil (pronounced: Pyu-ah Ee-voh). I know, I know... no one color is supposed to be evil. But let me interject before we rehash the arguments that are often brought up in relation to the colors of Black and White. Those other colors ain't got nothin' on Blue.

Blue is all about deception, theft, denial, control, and hogging color pie functionality. Blue excels at direct damage because it stole "Tim" from Red. The biggest over bloated creatures? Not only in Green, my friend. Black is supposed to make calculated sacrifices to advance its causes, but has nothing that compares with the likes of Force of Will. And White only thinks that it is the best at making rules. Blue has been stealing more that creatures for years, and yet maintains its flavor by denying it. Thank goodness for people like you at R&D, who realize this and are trying to do something about it.

So why does this "in-flavor" trickiness lead me to call Blue "Evil"? First of all, look at the player demographics. Does Timmy favor Blue? In his "casual" attempts to find big monsters, he innocently drifts towards green or red or maybe white. Does Johnny favor Blue? Being a Johnny myself, I say, a little. But only because of the cool tricks it can do. And I would never wholly embrace it because it would mean missing out on all the fun that the other colors have to offer. Any good Johnny is more concerned about "fun" and "challenge" than the four letter word: "winning" (okay so it has a few more letters than four). No, we all know who is concerned with "winning"... that would be Spike. The tournament player. The type-1, power-card wielding, no-holds-barred, must-win-at-all-costs, bare-knuckled, combo-enabled, lord-of-all-I-survey. Ask him what the best color is. Why does it win so much? You don't have to answer that, because Iíll tell you: For years, a secret cabal of evil mages has subtly used its mind-control to ensure that blue received more mistakes of mis-flavoring, undercosting, and functionality under-estimation, than any other color.

Yes, if ever there was a dark side to Magic, it is Blue. This evil empire spreads as player after player succumbs to the enticing of its stolen power. And those who eschew the dark path, must live in constant vigilance, lest they be caught unawares in the wily traps of the blue mage. This is the plight of those who must play against it. But their cries have not gone unheard. There is a bright dawn breaking in Dominaria. No more will they cringe when the opponent drops an Island, for there will be a balancing in the multiverse. It is not right that any one color should hold so many in its sway. And all those who complain that Blue's power is waning, are the very same who have sold themselves to it. For these, it is not too late. It is time for all players to rediscover that which is good about Magic, and themselves.

Thank you for indulging my little tirade. I hope that we will all be better for it. Remember: Blue IS Evil. Don't be fooled by the Propaganda.

Neil Melville
Game Good Guy

P.S. I don't really dislike Spike. I am rather fond of him. But his virtues of keen intellect and drive to succeed are what make him particularly susceptible to corruption. His strength is also his weakness, a two-edged sword. For this I both pity him and envy him.

 

Bonus Content: Pictures from Neil's trip to the 2004 Magic invitational, held at E3.


Pictured clockwise from the top: Jon Finkel (in the hat), Jens Thoren - obscurred by Justin Gary's large head, then the back of Brian Kibler's head, Mr. Dirk Baberowski, Kai Budde (where-ever I go, he goes), and Mattias Jorstedt (behind the computer screen).  Photo by Neil Melville.


Neil Melville with Mark Rosewater and Aaron Forsythe.  Photo by Rune Horvik.
But wait, what you see is not the photo, because the Wal-Mart photo lab decided to throw it away when I had the film developed (they did return half of a negative).  I have come to expect that this may happen to the first picture on a roll of film, but this was the third and the FOURTH picture.  You'll just have to take my word for it, or better yet, take a gander at this convincing and lifelike artistic recreation of what this historic moment may have actually looked like.