Hawt Pics Inside! (A Hierarchy of Pimp Update)
If you haven’t seen the detailed spreadsheet before let me spell it out in no uncertain terms: I love pimping my cube.
Yes, it’s all commons. But have you checked what a Limited Edition Alpha Sinkhole and premium foil Daze run these days? How about the Judge promotional Lightning Bolt, or even just a premium foil Alara Reborn Qasali Pridemage?
No, my goal isn’t to brag how sick my cube looks. Actually, that’s a lie. My cube looks sick and it’s only getting better. If you hate pimp I take no offense if you leave now; rest assured that more relevant updates will follow.
Otherwise it’s time to strap in, cowboy.
Eric Klug is Fantastic
Eric Klug, of the quite clever klugalters.blogspot.com, is a formerly local player and card painter who moved to Korea to teach (taking fourth in 2010’s Nationals while there) then returned stateside to his home in Ohio. He’s been altering cards a little longer than my most recent run in Magic – at least mid-2009 or so, 2008 if I’m recalling correctly – and has recently turned his epicness up to a solid 11.
The first four alters Eric did for me were:
- A borderless Jenara, Asura of War (for a friend’s Commander deck)
- A textless extended-art Demonic Tutor from Fourth Edition (Commander, obviously)
- A alternate-art Ray of Command (featuring Stewie with a mind control gun)
- A alternate-art False Demise (featuring the comic panel of Superman “dying”)
Three of these I own, and one is still in the cube.
Ray of Command is a wicked four mana “removal” spell, or balance breaking game opener, when played correctly. Rebuying it through Mnemonic Wall is highly amusing. False Demise was an attempt to give blue the ability to rebuy a blocker or to isolate a creature for potential “capture” at a later time.
Only one turned out great in the long run.
Poor choice in a card to alter notwithstanding, I was hooked on Eric taking an otherwise normal card – specifically one without an effective pimp alternative – and transforming it into something amazing. With him getting back stateside I knew I had to jump on the chance to have awesomeness delivered to my cube.
You saw Fire Ambush already, and Staggershock is an epic borderless alter (the perfect kind of card for it, I believe), but the pair of Gandalf the White (Shu Cavalry) and a Rider of Nazgûl (Wei Strike Force) seemed like a good way to cheer up otherwise white-bordered, weird-keyworded creatures.
And the sort-of-mirror pairing that Eric did without instruction is just the type of thing that I love him for. Are these super epic “realistic” level detailed alters? No, but they are excellently serviceable and make these two otherwise odd cards stand out in drafts.
Fire Ambush, however, I can’t gush enough about. This is the work you pay for. This is the work that’s worth it. And, again, a formerly white-bordered functional reprint is turned into an eye-catching reminder that, hey, you might want to consider this “average” card.
It’s, uh, kinda good generally speaking.
You Are Not a Beautiful and Unique Snowflake
While Eric is someone I would consider more than a passing acquaintance yet less than a close friend, I have no shame in admitting he isn’t the only artist to touch my cube.
Hannah Murray, of the also equally cleverly named hannahalters.com, whipped this Hymn to Tourach out in about on hour or so at the first Star City Games Open: Baltimore. While I can wish that she had more time to tune around the words and mana symbols, the fact that the border fell away while maintaining the detailed level of the original artwork in a time crunch speaks volumes about her potential.
In other words: A++ Fast ship! Would buy again!
It Ain’t Easy Being a Pimp
One of the biggest advantages pauper is the ease at which it is to put a deck or cube together. Cards like Sinkhole, and premium foil versions, are not necessary (or even entirely desirable!) for the experience.
But finding ways to amp up the slickness among piles of commons is an increasingly daunting challenge. Here are some of the incremental adjustments that are still to be made:
- Judge promotional Sinkhole
- Alternate-art False Defeat
- Alternate-art Tempest shadow creatures
- Artist signed, premium foil or promotional versions for most of the cube
Whether it’s a pile of chaff still left over from years of drafting, or an attempt to tune pimping on the smallest budget, pauper cubing has room for every level of coolness.
[If you have signed, premium foil, English versions of cards that appear as ‘N’ under the Signed field on the Spoiler tab of my spreadsheet, talk to me! I’m very interested in these small, incremental adjustments to the level of pimp!]