Into the Pit

Posted in Feature on November 22, 2006

By Jake Theis


Howdy! Welcome to the first installment of Into the Pit, my MPR Newsletter exclusive article.

If we haven’t met before, I’m Jake Theis, and I’m happy to be here. Magic has been my passion for more than a dozen years, and if there’s anything I love, it’s talkin’ shop. Ever since I cracked my first Magic Starter Pack, I was hooked. The Veteran Bodyguards were staring at me with their one good eye, and an oh-so spooky Deathlace was nestled up next to a big ole pile of basic lands (though we didn’t call them basic lands at the time).

If you are reading this, you are a Magic Player Rewards member, and I have to say that MPR is my favorite Wizards of the Coast program. I love simplicity. You play; you earn. You can’t beat that! I, like you, was a MPR member for many years, and considered my top MPR moment when I received three Pentavite tokens in the mail. There is nothing like getting a Pentavus on-line! One of my old playing buddies, Eddie Esparza, used to sing “The Pentavus is coming…he is going to smash you…” to the tune of the Vengaboys’ We Like to Party. Needless to say, I robbed poor ole Eddie’s trade binder blind, trading him those Pentavites. Hurray for Mirrodin draft! But, anywaaaaaay…

Writing a column for MPR is a great privilege for me, and I am excited to have a pulpit to air my wild ranting. I am new blood in R&D, and I am sure to have some crazy stories to impart to you. Such as…

Last week, Magic (and other TCGs) Developer Matt Place decided to show us how his brand new remote control helicopter worked…indoors. As the whirlybird took flight, we all began to scramble for cover, and I believe Mike Turian was used as a human shield. The helicopter darted around the air for a good two or three minutes before the rotors clipped the ceiling. A mysterious piece of shrapnel shot off from the carnage behind an enormous pile of Peanut playtest cards. After studying the helicopter for several minutes, we couldn’t determine if the part had come off the vehicle or the ceiling. Then, like any true scientists/pioneers/crazy people, we tried to get the helicopter going again. This is an extremely serious job.

For each installment of Into the Pit, I will bring you tales of the bizarre, old school flashbacks, behind-the-curtain interviews, and/or my caffeine-fueled ramblings. Who knows, maybe you’ll even see a decklist or two… Perhaps, it’s time to dust off my Stuffy Doll-Skred decklist…

Until we chat again, you can contact me at my former correspondence- Please tell me what kind of articles you would like to read. Do you want strategy tips? Interviews? Weird combos? Funny anecdotes? Tell me what you want to explore in Into the Pit.

Until then, take care and be good to each other.

Formerly a member of the Magic: The Gathering Brand team, Jake Theis is currently a Developer in Magic R&D. A native of Joliet, Ill., Jake is a fan of too many games to list here, and is the proud poppa of a Boston Terrier named Elwood.

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