Actually first-first of all, if you don’t want to read some apologetic BS ctrl+f Hundroog and skip ahead to part five of five.
Okay – apology:
It is pretty obvious that I haven’t updated the blog or the Feats of Strength the last month or so; and we have had less gas going on for Season Two than the super exciting season one.
So first I was sick near the end of Season One, and then as we started to get back into the groove I went on vacation; and then when I got back to New York holiday season was in full swing. Also, I guess I had just been burning it at both ends for too long and Flores Rewards was what had to hit the shelf.
So for everyone who has been enthusiastic from the beginning — and who joined up starting Season Two — sorry cats!
I promise that by the middle of January at the latest Flores Rewards is going to be better than ever. So keep those point totals sharpened… Spectacular fireworks will be in everyone’s futures!
And to seal this section off, my own much-belated Re-Run Week submission… The “Shake Shack” challenge, but in the Three Broomsticks, brandishing a mug full of butter beer:
Part 5/5 – “Niche”
All right, the grand finale of our five-part “how to make some better content” blog post series… “Niche.”
Essentially, if you want to establish, grow, and cultivate an audience, I would heartily recommend developing a niche. Figure out what you do better than everybody else, and push that one thing in a unique way.
The reason you should behave in this way is kind of obvious… Even though deck lists and Constructed are inherently stickier and more interesting than Limited and Tournament Reports, there is a wide palette of things that you can talk about that other people aren’t already talking about, or cultivating content in a way that other people aren’t cultivating it.
For example, one of the legs on the stool that I sat Five With Flores on 2-3 years back, on the way to making it the legitimate fan favorite that it has become… Was producing Constructed deck tech videos using Magic Online. I mean today that is almost old hat (even though almost no one does Constructed particularly consistently). But when I started? No one else was doing it.
We’ve come a long way, baby (I hope!)
Pushing a unique kind of content in a unique way allowed me to more quickly build an audience, and believe me — that audience loves themselves a Five With Flores. That lets me get away with writing about comic books, television, Top Chef or whatever; because I have lots of stuff to talk about, and even though most people started showing up originally to check out hot deck lists and Constructed videos… They stay for reading recommendations and vigorous chats RE: Robotech.
This blog is another example of cultivating a unique niche. I mean, who else is in the “do crazy stuff and give away chase Mythics” business? Exactly.
Flores Rewards isn’t huge huge yet, but it has attracted more interested interest, from different sectors than you usually look, than any other kind of project I have ever done before in Magic.
But seriously, think about the new guard of Magic writers. The skilled mages — Brad Nelson and Nick Spagnolo — They approach the game from a particular perspective, and teach players from that very valuable place; in particular think about how Nick, a Jace mage through and through, can teach us to correctly cast Preordain. These players ostensibly produce “regular” Magic strategy for mainstream Magic sites; but it doesn’t take too much scratching to uncover that they do so in a very different way than, say, I do.
Or look at writers like Jonathan Medina or Thea Steele at Star City. Before you finish reading the sentence, you know who I am talking about and what it is they specialize in (Magic finance and Cube, respectively). The identification is immediate. Both writers — who as far as I can tell, came up through Twitter — are at one of the top Magic sites and get paid cash money to share their thoughts. Jonathan is even a Premium writer! Do you think either of them would be a household name today if they focused on draft walk-throughs? Exactly. It’s painfully obvious.
And even before Five With Flores innovated the world of Magic Constructed videos, Evan Erwin innovated Magic video at all… Look at how a trailblazer like Evan — with few unique advantages from the outset besides his considerable passion — was able to create perhaps the most beloved personal brand in the game.
In a word, niche.
If you want to create a brand, if you want to build it and convince your audience over and over again how much they love you — you have to figure out what you do, and do it well, and do it over and over again.
So what is the danger in not cultivating a unique niche?
Nobody remembers second place. And really nobody remembers third place. If you are the fifteenth-best bitchy deck designer putting out Magic Constructed MTGO videos (and on an inconsistent basis, for that matter)… What are the chances you are anybody’s favorite? How about your influence?
Figure out what you do. Hopefully that is something interesting that no one else does, exactly.
Do it with passion. Do it over and over again.
That is the secret. That’s it.
Finally – Don’t scramble your eggs.
Have you ever noticed that Top Decks, Five With Flores / Top Magic, Five With Flores on Twitter / Flores Rewards and the amalgamation of MichaelJ Monday / Flores Friday / Flores at TCGPlayer / or whatever… are all distinctly different voices? What do I do well? Why do so many projects so many different ways?
It’s not just that they are different brands – it’s almost like they are different people. Certainly different niches.
Top Decks is a magazine writer. He isn’t a reporter, exactly, but he doesn’t make the story if you take my meaning. It wasn’t always this way, but I have tried — over the last couple of years — to make Top Decks interesting, but interesting in a way that wasn’t 100% reliant on having me “me” as the persona behind the voice. Don’t forget that before there was a Top Decks there was Swimming With Sharks… And I wasn’t even the original Swimming With Sharks columnist.
Five With Flores on Twitter is… not me. It is entirely possible that he is way better than I am, seeing how many friends and followers he has, but he is, at best, the silly, exaggerated, me. I consider him my connector; it is through him that I met many of you, and he is also the hub of all my other worlds. He links to podcasts, asks questions that drive official Hasbro columns, and really, really likes Flores Rewards.
Five With Flores (the blog) and Top 8 Magic are probably the closest to the “real” me; when I wasn’t a regular columnist at a grown-up website, Five With Flores filled in for that other me, but especially when you factor in Top 8 Magic, this is the aspect of me that is just about expressing myself and having a good time with Magic and life. In sharp contrast to previous incarnations of my online persona, Five With Flores in particular tries to stay positive.
Finally, Flores Rewards is my attempt to undo all the crap I’ve done with earlier versions of my persona. Sorry about all those. He promises it is going to be awesome [again] soon.
So what is it that I do well?
I love Magic, and I think about Magic, and I want to share that love and those thoughts with the world. And even though there was absolutely nothing about me that was special or better than anyone else (at least to start), I was so passionate about sharing those passions with the rest of the world, I managed to convince the best players in the world that I am an elite deck designer, acquire more Twitter followers than all the major Magic feeds put together, spearhead half a dozen new and different (and by now old hat) ways of talking about Magic, and once or twice… even managed to open a door for someone else.
PS – #FloresRewards opportunities one and two (up to 2 points). Use the Share and Enjoy links on this page to share this blog post on Twitter and Facebook… One point each.
1) You can’t really overestimate the power of just being awesome to people, and 2) up to 17 #FloresRewards in this blog post!
It should go without saying that for any publication to build a strong and loyal readership /audience, that publication has to develop unique, high quality, high value content.
In the previous sections of this series, we touched on the kinds of content that a growing Magic website / blog might or might not want to focus on to build such an audience… We did so without coming right out and saying what should have been obvious (the unique, high quality, high value thing).
This time we are going to move from kinds to qualities of that content; make that quality.
The most advantageous thing that a growing Magic website or blog can do in terms of content generation is to make content so good that other sites — presumably bigger, and with established audiences — will link to it. This can come in a number of ways. You can build awesome decks that warrant mention and analysis; you can delve into multimedia, and create videos that other sites will be willing to embed; and here’s a little bit of secret sauce — you can tag in your influencers.
What is an influencer?
Not all audience members are created equal. Of course you want to Cultivate as many as you can, but some of them are worth more traffic because they bring with them more traffic; they can affect the traffic patterns of other potential visitors and influence their future actions; hence, influencers.
Examples of influencers that an aspiring blogger might be able to influence:
Some guy or gal with 10,000+ Twitter followers – What do you think a link from him is worth relative to a “regular” Twitter mention?
Some guy or gal with his or her own more-trafficked blog – When they link to you, you can borrow some of their audience, and make it your own; you might even be able to keep some of those visitors if you do a great job with your content.
It should also go without saying that you should be as unbelievably cool as possible to as many of your audience members as possible… But you should take especial care of your influencers. Especially while you are growing, they are going to be the bread and butter of your future growth.
And how exactly is this going to take place?
You give them something they will link to, of course!
Now beyond the deck list or breaking news item, there are a couple of other kinds of content that you might be able to Cultivate to bait links. Here are some ideas:
Evergreen Awesome Sauce – This would be a piece of content that doesn’t get old. It doesn’t have an expiration date like a deck list. If it is true, it will be true for a long time. A great example would be my blog post How to Cheat on Five With Flores. I wrote that over a year ago and it is still attracting links in from other Magic blogs.
Controversy – If you say something really controversial (presumably in a high value, and intelligent way), you might be able to attract the attention of an influencer who either strongly agrees or disagrees with your position. For example, the first two parts of this series — about Limited content and Tournament Reports — attracted Twitter attention from editorial staff from three different major Magic publications. I was very surprised with both The Ferrett and Teddy Card Game linked to the second piece from Twitter and Facebook.
Continuing Adventures – Give your potential audience something they love, and something to look forward to on an ongoing basis. They will come to expect a kind of content, long for it when it is missing, and talk about it when new installments appear. The early popularity of Jamie Wakefield or David Price as they ground PTQs could fit in this category, as could Jonathan Medina’s Pack to Power series (which itself sparked any number of imitators, which in turn drove more links to Jonathan’s articles).
The Secret Sauce
So what is the Secret Sauce?
Create content that will specifically appeal to your influencers!
People make fun of me for liking anything that mentions me (presumably in a positive light), but honestly, most of us in the blogging / writing / content creation / personal branding silo like to see our names in print
You want a sure-fire route to free traffic, good will from your influencers, and the chance to borrow their bigger audiences?
Make something awesome — really awesome — that a particular influencer will love and be willing to link to. I am officially back in the “making MTGO game play videos” business as of last week, but over the summer while I was mostly focused on improving my play rather than writing my blogs, I did MTGO playtesting with KYT… Which he graciously filmed. I embedded game play videos from our various series on my blogs, TCGPlayer.com articles, and so on, and was responsible for one of KYT’s biggest infusion of unique views.
How did this work?
KYT was cool to me — he showcased my Eldrazi Temples arms locked with Jace, the Mind Sculptor… and he let me look good! This was something that I was obviously willing to share, especially with him investing all the time to edit the work.
In return I was cool to him, and helped bring him loads of eyeballs that he might not have otherwise gotten.
Everyone was cool to everyone else – You guys don’t necessarily see this but this process helped us to Cultivate a relationship that doesn’t just live on http://manadeprived.com (see what I did there?) or whatever site; we actually chat on MTGO and Facebook multiple times per week.
The vehicle was unique, high value, video content that I (and everyone else, ultimately) liked.
Another symbiotic influencer-cultivation relationship might be the one that mutually developed between YT and the Yo! MTG Taps (see what I did there?) guys (Joey and Joe). They will say that they got serious about podcasting because I told them I liked to listen to their stuff over Twitter; that is ridiculous of course (but I will allow them to continue to think their growth was nothing but my approving nods and smiles). I will certainly “admit” to being cool to them over social media even though I had never met them… But the thing is, the vice-versa is also true. Joey and Joe mention me and my projects at least as much as I mention theirs, and anyone who reads this blog knows that they are two of the most vigorous supporters of #FloresRewards.
You know what is awesome about these relationships? They are 100% just based on everyone being cool to everyone else, helping each other out as we all just try to have fun and bring value to the community.
Can you even imagine something cooler than that?
PS – #FloresRewards opportunities one and two (up to 2 points). Use the Share and Enjoy links on this page to share this blog post on Twitter and Facebook… One point each.
PPS – Feat of Strength alert! I’ll probably post something to the Facebook page separately. I am going to be spending the next week in Florida visiting the new Harry Potter theme park, doing Jedi Training with the kids, etc. (yes there will be nonstop pics on Twitter), but that means that the long-rumored Physiology Feat of Strength video will probably be delayed until the week after. So for this week – Rerun Week! Pick your favorite Feat of Strength from Season One (Ice Cream, Hamburger, Celebrity Crush, Hero of Fiction, Suit Up with Bread) and run it back. NEW PICS PLS TKS. But pick whichever one you want, run a new pic at http://bit.ly/FloresRewards and we’ll call it 15 #FloresRewards
PPPS – The best prices on Magic cards on the Internet today are at TCGPlayer.com (for reals!). You can simultaneously support Flores Rewards and Channel Fireball if that is what you want to do, but TCGPlayer’s marketplace includes tons of different vendors so you can shop for the best price on a per-card basis (I just usually choose Channel Fireball because I love LSV, Conley, and Brad); but you can support this effort and get awesome prices at the same time. Check it all out at http://TCGPlayer.com/FloresRewards
We’ll start dishing out Season Two prizes — which will be commensurately awesome to Season One prizes — when I get back from vacation!
Okay, any questions – Put ‘em in the comments below!
2) You can’t pick my Five-part Series (we all know it is awesome).
Vote HERE ON THE BLOG for 3 #FloresRewards
PS Even though this short blog post is basically about how to get 3 #FloresRewards you can get two more (per usual)! Use the Share & Enjoy links, below, to topdeck 1 #FloresRewards point for sharing on Twitter, and 1 #FloresRewards point for sharing on Facebook!
So the first couple of blog posts on this topic were about things that sites should de-emphasize. It’s not that Limited is “bad” (in fact, it is 50% of competitive Magic), or that tournament reports are “bad” (some of them are spectacular)…
But if you want to grow a Magic site and a Magic audience, neither one of those is what you should be focusing on.
You probably know from the pictures that the first thing that we are going to focus on is deck lists.
Frankly, it’s “us” v. “them”
The sign of a terrible marketer is that she wants such and such done a certain way because she likes it that way (or “he” … no reason to be sexist). That is how you get [theoretically] beautiful websites that don’t convert any buyers.
A much better marketer listens to what customers want. Sometimes they actually ask customers (weak - customers lie); but better, by constructing tests and seeing what drives response. Regardless of what they say, customers vote with their wallets. That’s how you get a slew of sales letters — even online — that look like they were composed with a 1970s-era typewriter and a yellow highlighter.
… That — hideous or no — convert lots of customers.
So what does this have to do with deck lists?
Deck lists — especially in contrast to Limited content or Tournament Reports — are focused on the people on the other side of the equation. A customers (or a “reader”) can take the deck list and do with it what he pleases (or “she” … no reason to be sexist). Sure, you can heroically add “Flores…” to the beginning of a deck list name, but beyond that, the deck list ultimately belongs to the reader. The reader gets something.
We call that value.
Contrast that with Limited content. Limited is largely a story. There is essentially no Limited in isolation. Limited is built on either repeated sealed deck play (rarely), or drafting; in a sense, all Limited is kinda like little Tournament Reports, even when it isn’t characterized that way.
Tournament Reports are at their cores narrative. They are stories. They may or may not have much strategic value.
Again, when they have value, Tournament Reports are usually distinguished by being enchanting… That is, the good ones are the products of enchanting minds. A player (writer) who makes a good Tournament Report could have written an enchanting anything.
A great tournament report is the product of work; of having something enchanting pumped into it; process.
By contrast, a good deck list has value in and of itself.
Well when you put it that way, it sounds blatantly obvious!
Just wait until you get to the next two points
Before I leave you, I will just say a little bit about deck lists and their relationship to publishing. Remember, this mini-series is about how to grow a Magic audience and build website content that people like. It is not about what I or any individual person like or think… That would be like a worthless (if ostensibly beautiful) website instead of a hideous (but highly effective) one that looks like a form letter.
Even terrible deck lists drive lots of traffic. Additionally, when you put them in the right place, they drive something else called “controversy” that brings with it lots of traffic (if not good will).
That said, we generally want to publish “good” or at least “worthwhile” deck lists if we want to drive consistent traffic and earn a long-term and loyal audience.
For deck lists to be considered a minimum of worthwhile, they at least have to be different (more on this sometime in the future). When we are looking at variations on archetype decks, they should have some kind of unique functionality, increased speed, what have you. For other decks, even if they don’t perform brilliantly, at a minimum, they should do something different, or force players to think differently. A good example might be Jake Van Lunen’s B/W Allies deck, that doesn’t necessarily win more than, say, a Jace, the Mind Sculptor + Primeval Titan deck, but does different stuff in a different way while still doing stuff.
Good deck lists win. Or at least they win more than the deck lists that are already available.
The best thing — from a deck lists perspective — that a site can bring leaders is a concept called technology. Technology is just a different way of doing things (hopefully better). For example we talk about the epochs of human civilization by the technologies they / we used / use (Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, etc.) … These ages for the most part had similar tools, but used increasingly improved materials.
Up next – Link Bait
PS You can earn up to two #FloresRewards with the “Share and Enjoy” options on this blog post — one each for Facebook and Twitter!
Last time I talked about de-emphasizing Limited content.
Again, I personally enjoy playing Limited (and pretty much everyone but #FloresRewards inventor Osyp Lebedowicz likes playing limited for pleasure more than Constructed). But when challenged with growing a Magic audience — at least given the experiences I had via 15+ years of Magic publishing across basically every major Magic website, in both content creation and editorial positions — Limited draws less than Constructed.
It is in that spirit that I have to say the same thing about Tournament Reports.
This might surprise you because I am one of the founding fathers of the tournament report (mine was this one, fourteen years ago; and a PTQ winner)… But from a publishing standpoint — at least for new sites (or sites looking to grow) — tournament reports should not be a go-to medium.
Back in 1999 I submitted a winning tournament report for the 1999 Ohio Valley Regional Championship; I finished Top 4 with my Hatred deck and was a front page columnist at The Dojo. This was after Who’s the Beatdown, mind you.
I got rejected!
That was the first time I was taught to raise an eyebrow to tournament reports-as-feature content. It was not for the better part of a year, when I published a front page report by Matt Urban (at this point I was editor of The Dojo) that tournament reports started to turn around in terms of validity as front page features.
To be honest at the time we were kind of tight for content, and I needed a feature. Back in those days we had columnists whose names you probably recognise — Hall of Famers like Gary Wise and Zvi Mowshowitz, Jamie Wakefield, David E. Price, and the emerging Anthony Alongi — but as consistent as half my columnists were, the other half, not so much (this is something that all the Magic websites continue to struggle with, by they way). So I bent and published Urban’s submission as a front page feature (by the way it was great).
Today tournament reports are published on essentially every Magic website as front page / feature content; at this point, the single article that any Magic writer has ever been paid THE MOST for (to my knowledge) was a PT-winning tournament report (and a great one).
That said, for every A+, inspiring, tournament report, there are dozens — or more — that bring relatively little value.
Before we get into what’s wrong with tournament reports, let’s focus on the flip-side. What’s right about them?
The best tournament reports are enchanting.
They are like the best Twitter feeds, and the best personal blogs. They give you a window into the happenings of someone else’s real world, and that, in and of itself, can be valuable. Now when the player wins — particularly in Constructed — sports a new strategy, does something that will cause a shift in the metagame, then the tournament report can deliver a great deal of value and help readers predict what will happen next week (if appropriate).
Another kind of tournament report I like — which is closely related to ongoing development articles, week after week, of a single strategy — help readers see something to conclusion; hopefully something they can cheer for. The absolute greatest example of all time was during Urza’s Block Constructed, when Dave Price sent in disappointing report after disappointing report, falling deeper and deeper into Road Warrior hell… But came out in the end, winning the absolute last PTQ in a triumph of Black creatures.
If you’ve never read it, I think it is still BDM’s favorite tournament report: House of Horrors
It’s not like you can miss that line in the middle…
Is your next Dojo article going to be as depressing as last week’s was?
What happens if we don’t get Dave’s amazing payoff? What I wouldn’t love is a stack of unsuccessful tournament reports; and nothing against Dave (because the last one in the line of reports was so very great)… But especially across a format (PTQ, GP, etc.) a stack of not successful tournament reports where the writer — however known — just plays archetype decks brings very little value to readers.
Ultimately, half of what makes a tournament report interesting is how interesting the guy (or lady) writing it is. Really interesting writers can write anything and readers will lap it up eagerly. In situations like these, the medium — tournament report versus any other option — is halfway irrelevant. The person — and the passion injected into the piece — is what makes it worth reading.
Otherwise… What is a reader getting out of it again?
Many tournament reports — my own, at least some of them certainly included — are collections of complaints and bad beat stories with little the reader can take away.
I played a deck I got off the Internet.
I went x-2; here are my sideboarding strategies (just kidding).
Um, I guess here is something halfway interesting that happened at the airport (provided you know who the jokers in my story are).
As with anything, there are good, bad, great, terrible tournament reports. Again, I have nothing against the tournament report in general… Certainly I would love to read all the great ones that I can! It is more an issue that we have too many, and the sites publishing some of them would be better serving their readers with more tech, more multimedia… or even more personality!
Now the sad intersection of Limited + tournament reports… Ugh.
Even harder to be great (but some still are, sure).
PS You can earn up to two #FloresRewards with the “Share and Enjoy” options on this blog post — one each for Facebook and Twitter!
Like I said in yesterday’s Feat of Strength video, I am going to blog about each of the five different points that I wrote down in that little Fantastic Four notebook. The first one is Limited.
As you probably noticed, there is a little (-) next to the word Limited (just as there is one next to the point Tournament Reports); the message for these is going to be the same.
If you want to grow an upcoming Magic site, de-emphasize Limited.
Don’t people love Limited?
Yes, they do in fact love Limited.
They love to play Limited, specifically draft. However they don’t necessarily love Limited Magic content… at least as much as they love commensurate Constructed. If my ~15 or so years in Magic publishing have taught me anything, it is that the audience is primarily interested in deck lists.
This might sound reductive, but it really gives you a window into the mind of the average Magic reader. The average reader wants to be able to come away with discrete, actionable, takeaways. Deck lists — or to a lesser degree highly specific theory that helps them build better decks or make better in-game decisions — fall under this category.
Now everyone loves Limited. In fact I would wager that most players would prefer to play Limited than play Constructed… But even very good Limited content is much less actionable and discrete than Constructed analogues.
Let me switch gears for a moment.
Did you guys catch this yet?
violence Violence VIOLENCE!
I spent hours glued to this (or at least listening and checking back to a hidden Chrome tab) the day this was released.
Two masters with strong tools battling it out, matches-style.
It gave me an insight to how a different (core-MTGO) team prepares for Constructed — and in a substantially different way than we do. I got to see how Brad Nelson approaches sideboarding and follow along with Luis Scott-Vargas’s reasoning behind specific decisions.
It was great!
So much more interesting than most Limited videos.
Am I hating on Limited?
I’m pointing out what people actually like. As soon as this video came out earlier this week, Luis’s readers burst onto the forums with…
“I’ve been waiting for Constructed!”
My understanding of this (and the next four points, actually) comes from various sources, a combination of talking to editors of large Magic sites and my own experience with the back end on The Dojo.
But I suspect that there are still some skeptics out there. Let me approach this from a slightly different direction. There are numerous players who are not currently in the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame who were at one point well regarded columnists on high profile Magic sites. Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Anton isn’t in the Hall of Fame? Steve O’Mahoney-Schwartz?
People simply don’t see the contributions of primarily Limited writers in the same light as Constructed. The only real superstar of Limited writing — ever – was Gary Wise. On balance, Brian Hacker (who was writing hella influential Limited years ahead of the curve) might be the most important and influential theorist in the history of Magic writing — again ever – and he never came close to making it into the Hall of Fame despite a pretty good resume relative to other Year One candidates.
You can probably rattle off half a dozen very well regarded Constructed writers off the top of your head…
… How many Limited writers can you think of who have the same level of influence in the community?
It isn’t about right or wrong or anything else. It’s about interest graded across thousands and thousands of potential readers, perception, and ultimately “reality” (with “reality” measured in visits, visitors, and engagement with your content).
It might feel good to put up a whole mess of Limited content and feel like you are following through on content production, but if you want my advice… De-emphasize it. I’m not saying no Limited content, but there are more than one good sites that I visit that have been over 80% Limited for weeks and weeks running; and while they are putting up content — even “good” content — it isn’t necessarily what their readers want, day in and day out, over and over.
PS You probably noticed there is a link to some great Channel Fireball content in the middle of this blog post. Did you know you can simultaneously buy from Channel Fireball (something I have had great experience with) while at the same time supporting #FloresRewards? Channel Fireball is one of several vendors at the TCGPlayer marketplace. Check out TCGPlayer (and high five #FloresRewards) here:
Please keep our sponsor smiling by shopping for your [upcoming] holiday fantastic creatures and magical spells at http://TCGPlayer.com/FloresRewards (or, you know, if you just want to get awesome deals).
I just wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day for Season One of #FloresRewards and tomorrow we are drawing for the last Scars of Mirrodin dual lands and the Season One grand prize of Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
As a reminder the current Feat of Strength is simply to post a pic of yourself at our Facebook home (http://bit.ly/FloresRewards) in your Halloween costume!
In the vein of some of our previous “highlight” blog posts, I thought I would write up and feature some of my favorite “suit up against savagery” pics from the Savage, Lands Feat of Strength. The task was to suit up with a piece of bread (I personally brandished a waffle in mine), and the #FloresRewards community ran with it brilliantly.
I think that this was actually our best Feat of Strength so far.
I mean if there is one thing I learned, it’s that #FloresRewards fans look good.
Y’all can be a good looking cadre of em effers.
So anyway, here are five or six of my favorite entries; we’ll announce the big winners at the end, as well.
Most of you know that Paul is one of my best friends. I was his best man; I recruited him to write at TCGPlayer; we have teamed on the Pro Tour together. Well, in this case he was if I recall the first entrant into the Savage, Lands Feat of Strength… and his entry set the bar. I guess I was kind of a goofball with my waffle, but Paul got metaphorically clever with his bread. As the first entrant he helped set the tone of other people being clever… and it’s like the man said: a beatdown Benjy really is the best bread in the world.
I love how Billy adhered to the regular-ness of the bread clause… But mixed in the shuffling part of the first part of the Savage, Lands video. It’s almost like a visual pun.
In the WTF category, we have bread noir entry by Yo MTG Taps co-host (and former winner) Joey Pasco. I know I said that the #FloresRewards army is a good looking one, but… did I mention “WTF” yet? Joey really ain’t this good looking. I’ve met him! But like they say, the camera doesn’t lie. So apparently the man who is making a name for himself with Internet radio is actually better looking than the average HBO tv star.
You heard it here first.
In the Star City Internet superstar category, shout outs and high fives to Thea Steele.
I was pretty sure Thea would savage cheat the “I was already dressed up” with some kind of cake loophole… and she did not disappoint. Wedding pictures count! High fives, many congratulations, et cetera, ad infinitum
For five #FloresRewards, give a belated wedding congrats high five to @wmap on Twitter!
… and then we have the best picture in the history of #FloresRewards (or at least that’s what I said at the time):
This one you can click to see full size.
I am just in love with the effort here. It has everything we were looking for. It has suiting up. It has bread.
… and it has story.
Steven weaves together the notion of the bread with the cheating from the beginning of the video. It’s strip poker. It’s savagery. It’s Photoshop at a level that… Well… Better Photoshop than your old buddy YT knows.
love Love LOVE
So especially because I didn’t do a video / Feat of Strength last week, I am just snap-rewarding Steven with one of the remaining Scars of Mirrodin dual land sets. Joey already shotgunned Copperline Gorge and Dexter has Seachrome Coast coming; but Steven, you’ve got your pick of one of the remaining three dual lands.
But we have to give away Magic cards!
One prize isn’t enough!
I ran a drawing with a 25 #FloresRewards threshold, and the other winner is…
Daniel claims to have 95 #FloresRewards… but now he’s got doughnut. Steven… Your precious 131 #FloresRewards are now bagel.
Steven Corrigan won a special #FloresRewards arbitrary dual lands prize on account of having an awesome Feat of Strength picture
Daniel Brenner won a 25-point threshold #FloresRewards drawing for some Darkslick Shores or whatever
Both of them are annihilated to 0 #FloresRewards
The upcoming Feat of Strength is just your Halloween costume pic… Let’s get cracking at http://bit.ly/FloresRewards (aka the Facebook page)
Somebody is going to win a Jace, the Mind Sculptor … Even if you are brand new there are enough #FloresRewards opportunities this month to mise the pitiful 51 #FloresRewards for the Jace, the Mind Sculptor drawing (or if you are Joey Pasco, to Rebuild your once plentiful #FloresRewards coffers)
Speaking of which, you can topdeck five just by congratulating the DarkSteele newlywed on the Twitter.