Wizards Team Player Profiles: Part 2

Posted in Feature on September 10, 2014

By David Whitfield

David works on the Magic community team as a content specialist. He spends his days writing about Magic Online and trying to play too many colors at once in Limited.

September
Aug. 27 - Sept. 24
 
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It's all stone gargoyles; vaulted cathedral ceilings; and gold filigree-covered, high-backed chairs at Wizards HQ. We ask ourselves, "What's the best way to exploit the Community Team's weaknesses, ensuring our victory get to know the Community Team?" Of course! We can gather intel learn about their interests and Magic history with a detailed questionnaire! Heck! The Wizards Team will write up profiles too, as a show of good faith. We have nothing to hide from these community upstarts! With a plan in action, we steeple our fingers and have deep, philosophical talks about the color pie. Watching. Waiting for the 2014 Community Cup.

Keep your eye on the site the next four Wednesdays: August 20, August 27, September 3, and September 10. We'll be featuring player profiles for every player on both team rosters! Once profiles post, links will be added in the profile directory.

The last set of profiles comes out two days before the 2014 Community Cup begins on September 12! The gauntlet of 2014 Community Cup events will run from that Friday until Sunday, September 14. We'll have video coverage of all of the events running on twitch.tv/magic too, so remember to tune in!

Here are the player profiles we're covering today!

Aaron Forsythe

What is your position at Wizards?

Senior director of Magic R&D

When did you start playing Magic?

Between The Dark and Fallen Empires. That's late 1994 by human reckoning.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

Various other board and card games, watching too much baseball, reading books and comics, exploring the great outdoors with my family

What is your favorite format to play and why?

Booster Draft—I like the quick-thinking it requires as well as the full immersion into the plane and environment. For Constructed, Modern and Commander, as I like mashing up newer cards with older ones.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Triskelion, mostly for nostalgic reasons now. It was the right combination of goofy and powerful.

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

Deck full of versatile answers that dispassionately dismantle all the cool things I'm trying to do. So UW control in Standard, and Rock variants in Modern.

What colors do you think best represent you?

Boros, philosophically.

How did you feel when you learned you'd been selected to be on the Wizards Team?

Not surprised, honestly. I'm willing to take my lumps year after year.

What will the Community Team love the most about Wizards HQ?

Seeing the sheer number of passionate people who work to bring Magic to life.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

Reading Tom Ross articles and watching Paul Cheon streams.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

Fellowship of the Ring for movie, Battlestar Galactica for TV show.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Hugh Laurie.

What is your favorite food?

Ice cream. It's a dangerous vice.

If you had a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

"Insane in the Brain," by Cypress Hill.

Which plane would you want to visit on vacation?

Theros. I've always wanted to visit Greece. The hydras and minotaurs would make it even more special.

Ryan Spain

What is your position at Wizards?

Magic Online design manager. My team handles the wide spectrum of Magic Online design needs.

When did you start playing Magic?

Magic commentator Marshall Sutcliffe taught me to play Magic in 1994 (then he fell out of Magic, and I eventually taught him to play Magic well in 2008). We both played off of his 100-card red-green deck. I remember I drew Mijae Djinn and had my first "Whoa!" moment as a Magic player. A couple years ago, Marshall turned that very copy of Mijae Djinn into a life counter for me.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

I'm a music hipster, a sports fan, and I play lots of board games, but my favorite hobby over the last decade has been reading to my two children. We just finished Words of Radiance by avid Magic player Brandon Sanderson, and have moved on to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Sharing stories with my kids is the best thing about any day it's a part of.

What is your favorite format to play and why?

As a cofounder of the Limited Resources podcast, the answer here is pretty obvious: Limited for Life! I love that Limited challenges you to craft your deck from what comes your way, and forces players to go much deeper into the card pool of a given block. Cube drafting is my favorite Limited format. All the fun of drafting, but with a power level that leads to games with incredible haymakers.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

It used to be Warp World, but now it's Genesis Wave, Warp World's spiritual successor. Mulldrifter is my all-time favorite common pack one, pick one for Limited.

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

Mana denial/land destruction. There's a reason land destruction has been toned down over the years. It may not be fun to have your spells countered or discarded, but it's far worse when you can't cast them in the first place.

What colors do you think best represent you?

As a person, I identify strongly with Azorius. As a player, I identify strongly with whatever colors are most likely to win me the draft.

How did you feel when you learned you'd been selected to be on the Wizards Team?

Happy that I haven't gotten myself kicked off the team; this will be my fourth straight year representing Wizards in the Community Cup!

What will the Community Team love the most about Wizards HQ?

The dragon in the lobby, and the endless stream of Magic product we will give them.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

Listening to Limited Resources.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Prisoner.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Moot; it would never be greenlit.

What is your favorite food?

Sushi.

If you had a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

I think Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" is probably the best entrance song in the abstract, but in practice any song that played whenever I entered a room would become an unbearable curse after about a day, so I would pick some album's hidden track that starts with thirty seconds of silence.

Which plane would you want to visit on vacation?

Ravnica. Some awesome sights, the comforts of a big city, and a reasonable chance of survival.

Mike Turian

What is your position at Wizards?

I'm the digital product manager for Magic Online. I run the daily operations of Magic Online, including event planning, working with the team on upcoming product releases, and communications.

When did you start playing Magic?

I started playing Magic during The Dark. I've now played Magic for over half of my life.

What is your favorite format to play and why?

I love drafting! I try to play as fast of a beatdown deck as possible!

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Wasteland has been my favorite card since it came out in Tempest. When I worked in R&D I tried to convince people that we should reprint Wasteland! I love how it lets you play beatdown in Constructed!

What colors do you think best represent you?

Red-white! Boros all of the way! I have a saying: "If you are thinking, you are losing!"

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

Watching the judging of the Ironroot Chef portion of last year's Community Cup. My Goblin Test Pilot deck was a powerhouse of coin-flipping madness! My deck is highlighted around the 8:15 mark of this video.

Worth Wollpert

What is your position at Wizards?

Director of product management—Magic Online.

When did you start playing Magic?

1993.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

Love playing video games (DOTA2, CS:GO mostly right now), playing basketball, watching football. I am also a DJ (mostly hip hop/house/top 40/EDM stuff).

What is your favorite format to play and why?

Rochester Draft—love the skill-testing nature that combines a microcosm of unspoken salesmanship and relationship-building with skillful Limited play and construction that generally defines success in the format.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Probably Goblin Warchief—I made it! Also like One with Nothing a lot too. :)

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

Islands. The archetype of Islands.

What colors do you think best represent you?

Hmm…probably white-blue-black. I like rules, but more than that I like finding ways around rules.

How did you feel when you learned you'd been selected to be on the Wizards Team?

Bad for the Wizards team's chances, since I'm quite bad at Magic now.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

Bad for the Wizards team's chances, since I'm quite bad at Magic now.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

Can't pick just one! Some favorites are Pulp Fiction, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back. Favorite TV show is probably The Wire or Game of Thrones.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

People have told me I look like John Cusack and Paul McCartney at various times.

What is your favorite food?

Probably good BBQ.

If you had a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

Anything by Pearl Jam, Nirvana, or Foo Fighters would be great. Big Vedder and Grohl fan.

Which plane would you want to visit on vacation?

Bant seems like fun. I'm sure there's a nice beach somewhere. Beats getting your face melted off on Jund or eaten by a demon on Grixis.

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