Home > Uncategorized > Ian Shore: Profile of a GDS2 Round 3 Contestant

Ian Shore: Profile of a GDS2 Round 3 Contestant

I love my local game store (Dream Wizards in Rockville, MD for those curious) and the wonderful diversity of players who meander through its admittedly dirty table area. Fellow champions of all things casual rally on Wednesday and Thursday. The competitive types gather on Friday and sometimes Saturday. Everyone piles in for Prerelease Events and Launch Parties.

It’s grand group to be around for sure.

Not too long ago I went to a PTQ, shortly after Magic 2011 was released, and brought some copies of Fauna Shaman and other goodies for trade. My trade with one Ian Shore let him play the deck he wanted – and win the PTQ with it. A trip to Amsterdam later, with networking success if not competitive, he came back to college.  When The Great Designer Search 2 was announced he decided to throw his hat into the ring.

Now on round three he’s still in the running, against 100 others just as determined, and I grabbed him for a brief chat.


Ian Shore

Pensive pose for dramatic effect.


Ian is an interesting guy. We don’t agree on a lot of things, have disparate prisms for card and strategy evaluation, and generally only find “We play Magic.” as our common ground.

Which probably explains why we talk so much whenever we meet up. We have one more feature in common: a desire to grow our understanding through seeing different points of view. I appreciate his sharp values and pointers around the game, particularly Limited, and he appreciates my… something, I guess. I didn’t ask him.

But what’s more important is that he’s a great guy, clean player, loves to see new decks, and play my cube. There’s no way a guy like that is bad.

Ian Shore, The Facts:

  • Twitter: @Kirblar024
  • GDS2 Wiki Page: http://tinyurl.com/Kirblar (updates forthcoming)
  • Picked up Magic in 5th grade, around the time of Revised and Fallen Empires
  • Eric Froehlich was in that same 5th grade class with Ian
  • Only started the PTQ grind this year (Must. Be. Nice.)


A world underway.


One of Ian’s favorite sets is Ravnica: City of Guilds:

  • “Fired on all cylinders” providing “something for everyone”
  • “Every player could build a deck with a theme they liked for FNM. It was like Standard was EDH.”
  • “There was something exciting for every type of player.”

Ian also has strong feeling about cards:

  • Vindicate is “insanely clean and powerful. Black/White is an awkward cost but totally worth it. Imagine: T1 Kird Ape, T2 Vindicate as Stone Rain. Nice.”
  • Jace, the Mind Sculptor is card that “a player can really misuse. Knowing when to Brainstorm or fateseal is skill intensive. Letting players make choices, including potentially bad ones, should be part of the game.”
  • Counterbalance “is obnoxious. Like cascade as a mechanic, players will manipulate their decks.”
  • Sensei’s Divining Top “is something everyone finds fun for themselves. It’s colorless so everyone can use it. It’s unfortunate that is slows the game down.”

Throughout the note scratching there were multiple diversions and card design discussions, as well as a trip for food. When we finally settled back down I asked him for some closing remarks.

“The mechanic that should have been better was suspend. It should have been limited to instant and sorcery cards. Vanishing is limited to permanents. This is a natural division and makes it clear that if there’s an instant or sorcery on the table with counters on it it’s suspended; a permanent with counters probably has vanishing instead of having to read every card to understand the counters on it. It would have really helped clarify things.”

Take Off Every Zig!

I thank Ian for giving me some time (and bouncing many, many ideas off of me).  Here’s to a successful pass into the main event and a follow up interview if (when?) that happens.

And if you, too, are competing I wish you the best of luck!

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