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2011 Community Cup: The Wizards Team

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The letter L!ast week, we told you the Community Team for the 2011 Community Cup. Today, we tell you the Wizards of the Coast team!


SOM Draft Unified Modern Constructed Unified Standard Constructed
Aaron Forsythe Dave Guskin Dave Humpherys
Chris Kiritz Dwayne St. Arnauld Dave Marsee
Gordon Culp Erik Lauer Ethan Schwager
Mark Rosewater Lee Sharpe Jason Radabaugh
Matt Tabak Max McCall Jon Hickey
Mike Turian Troy Reppas Kelly Digges
Monty Ashley Worth Wollpert Mike Robles
Ryan Spain Zac Hill Tom LaPille

Ah, but who are these people? Obviously they're all incredible people (especially the ones who work on this website) but what if we could get their answers to some basic questions?

Aaron Forsythe

What do you do for Wizards? I'm the Director of Research & Development for Magic.

When did you first start playing Magic? Sometime before Fallen Empires came out—early '94.

What is your favorite card? Triskelion

How will you help defeat the Community Team? By threatening—I mean "motivating"—all my employees to play their hardest.


Chris Kiritz

What do you do for Wizards? I am currently the Business Manager for Magic Online.

When did you first start playing Magic? Started in 1994 and played super casually. Started playing for real with Tempest and Urza's Block and stopped again after Invasion block. Started again with Lorwyn and haven't looked back.

What is your favorite card? I really have a soft spot for Serra Angel, but I still get a kick out of playing ridiculous beaters with Sneak Attack.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? By playing Magic digitally. Also, by helping ensure that they are so dazzled by their experience here that they cannot concentrate on the game. Failing all else, I will have the dev team "fix" the shuffler.


Dave Guskin

What do you do for Wizards? I work in Magic R&D on the Digital team, which includes design and development work for Magic Online, Duels of the Planeswalkers, and other exciting upcoming Digital projects related to Magic!

When did you first start playing Magic? I started playing around Revised/Antiquities and continued playing until around Alliances. I returned to the game around the time of Odyssey block.

What is your favorite card? My favorite card is Etched Oracle, although Deathbringer Thoctar (one of my first designs printed!) is a close second.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? My unique powers of programming (from my previous jobs) and game design give me mastery of the ancient art of Shufflemancy, which will allow me to mana screw all of our Community Team opponents. Suckers! In all honesty, I play FFL Standard internally, so I'm an experienced master at the format.


Dave Humpherys

What do you do for Wizards? Manage the R&D development team

When did you first start playing Magic? Spring break of 1994

What is your favorite card? Control Magic

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Intimidating bling


Dave Marsee

What do you do for Wizards? I'm a UI designer for the new version of Magic Online.

When did you first start playing Magic? October 2009, right after Zendikar was released.

What is your favorite card? For fun: Admonition Angel. I play this land, and your stuff disappears!
For Commander: Glissa, the Traitor. With her as my Commander, there will be guaranteed shenanigans.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Through the power of HUMONGOUS CREATURES!


Dwayne St. Arnauld

What do you do for Wizards? I'm a Test Lead for the new MTGO client.

When did you first start playing Magic? I started playing around The Dark, took a break and came back when Lorwyn came out.

What is your favorite card? My favorite card is Plow Under (says a lot about me, right?)

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Since I still playtest competitive formats in the Tourney Practice room, I think my "game" is still at a high level! The Community is going down!


Erik Lauer

What do you do for Wizards? I am a developer. I was on every development team in standard, and led M11 and Mirrodin Besieged.

When did you first start playing Magic? Beta

What is your favorite card? Necropotence

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Lauer Power!


Ethan Schwager

What do you do for Wizards? Game Support Representative

When did you first start playing Magic? Late 1994 (Fallen Empires)

What is your favorite card? Tawnos's Coffin/Mana Drain

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Ages old strategy: "Play Cards, Win Game"


Gordon Culp

What do you do for Wizards? I direct the Game Systems Design team for the Magic Digital Studio. The studio’s architects, UX Designers, Visual Designers, Tech Analysts and Tech Writers make up the Design Team.

When did you first start playing Magic? I began playing Magic my second day at work in April 1997. I was taught to play with Fifth Edition cradz.

What is your favorite card? My favorite card is still Rhystic Cave. My play group at Wizards took to mocking its effectiveness, and my whole cube ended up wallpapered with them for a short time. I am still plotting my revenge.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? As before, I will lull the Community team into complacency with my mediocrity, then the S-M-R-T members of the Wizards team will defeat them.


Jason Radabuagh

What do you do for Wizards? I am a software developer and I work on Magic: The Gathering Online. Specifically I work on what we call the Content Team, which is responsible for new sets, decks and other content created for your enjoyment. In particular, I work quite a bit with the MTGO rules engine, implementing new cards and fixing bugs.

When did you first start playing Magic? Fourth grade. I remember being super excited trading for my first Sengir Vampire. I played until late Tempest block, then fell out of the game until around Mirrodin, which came out when I was in college. I picked the game back up, and have playing ever since.

What is your favorite card?  I really like recursion, so it is hard to find a card I like more than Reveillark, or maybe Eternal Witness. I am also a big fan of Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, since that is the one card I designed.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Let's just say the MTGO shuffler has been "fixed".


Jon Hickey

What do you do for Wizards? Assistant Brand Manager. I work on marketing and stuff.

When did you first start playing Magic? 1994. I was in 4th grade and played on the cement during recess. It was a simpler time.

What is your favorite card?  Library of Alexandria (My copy is signed by Richard Garfield. He drew birds on it.)

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Honestly, we don't really need help. It's pretty obvious who is going to win.


Kelly Digges

What do you do for Wizards? I am the editor of DailyMTG.com, and it's also my privilege and pleasure to moonlight on design and development teams—so far, for Worldwake, Archenemy, Magic 2012, and [REDACTED].

When did you first start playing Magic? I started playing some time in 1995, when Revised Edition was the latest set. Two friends of mine invited me over to show me this awesome new game they found. There was a Kird Ape, and a Wall of Wood, and a Living Wall... They weren't the most exciting cards, and we barely understood the rules, but I was intrigued enough to buy some cards of my own. My very first pack had a Shivan Dragon in it, and that was that—I was hooked for life.

What is your favorite card? This question is so impossible—you do realize there are more than 11,000 Magic cards, right?—but if I absolutely had to pick just one, it would probably be Rite of Replication (kicked, of course). Something crazy happens every time that card gets cast, whether it's five Hellkite Chargers swinging for the win in Limited, five Vigors watching each other's backs in Commander, or billions of Precursor Golems filling the board in my wildest dreams.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? An elaborate campaign of propaganda and misinformation to turn the public against them. If that fails, beat them at Magic, I guess?


Lee Sharpe

What do you do for Wizards? 'm a data analyst for Wizards of the Coast's digital platforms, with my primary focus on Magic Online. This involves helping to determine what tournament offerings are available for players, including entry fees, prize structures, and other factors. I also work on the event coverage you see on mtgonline.com , Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS), Magic Online Player Rewards (MOPR), and data you see in the Magic Online Newsletter. I also assist R&D with card templating and rules work, and I was on the development team for the Commander product, which is on sale soon!

When did you first start playing Magic? The first set that I ever played with was Revised.

What is your favorite card? I have trouble pinning down a specific card, but when I cube draft, 2-power creatures for 1 mana fill my deck. I have a great love for the Boros aggro decks, so anything that goes in that deck is awesome.

How will you help defeat the Community Cup? First I'll crush everyone in Modern matches. I don't know what deck I'm playing yet, but I'm confident it will be the nuts. After that, I'll head out to karaoke with willing Community Cup players, alongside coverage reporter and karaoke ringer Nate Price. In addition to providing them with a good time, they'll be tired and not in great shape to play Standard on Friday morning. Ask Evan Erwin, he knows what I'm talking about. Wait, the community team doesn't get to read these bios, right?


Mark Rosewater

What do you do for Wizards? I am the Head Designer for Magic.

When did you first start playing Magic? I began playing during Alpha.

What is your favorite card? Maro.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? I plan to lower their morale through careful taunting.


Matt Tabak

What do you do for Wizards? I work in R&D as an editor. I'm also the current Magic Rules Manager. My responsibilities include maintaining the well-oiled machine that is the rulebook. Also, I make sure we're pushing the envelope in responsible, comprehensible ways.

When did you first start playing Magic? It was about four in the afternoon (in June 1995)

What is your favorite card? My Spiny Starfish deck will always hold a dear place in my heart.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? I'm hoping my undefeated record helps. If we need even more help, I'm perfectly willing to change some rules on the fly. Winter Orb's not legal in Modern, is it?


Max McCall

What do you do for Wizards? I'm one of the development interns for Magic R&D. They pay me to draft. It's pretty awesome.

When did you first start playing Magic? Ice Age.

What is your favorite card?  Life from the Loam.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? The current plan is to distract LSV by throwing copies of Gruesome Encore at him every ninety seconds.


Mike Robles

What do you do for Wizards? I'm part of the Community Team! Wait... not the MTGO Community Team... although I am part of that. I'm a Community Manager for Magic: The Gathering! I engage players in conversation on Twitter, Facebook, the Forums, and on my personal Twitter account. Oh, and when I go to conventions, I USUALLY have a ton of free stuff to give away. For some reason that makes me REALLY popular.

When did you first start playing Magic? I actually started playing during Alpha. Why did I get rid of all those cards? I played a lot, my friends and I would buy boxes, sell the rares, and buy more boxes. I quit just after Ice Age, then came back right around the Kamigawa block. I really liked the original Mirrodin block and had an amazing 5 color deck that revolved around Doubling Cube and Door to Nothingness.

What is your favorite card? What?!? That's like asking a parent to choose their favorite child. I don't know if it's just for the pure nostalgia value or not, but I might have to go with the original Counterspell. It's like the guy in the artwork was saying "HA H-awe..."

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Simple. Mind Games. And pure intimidation.


Mike Turian

What do you do for Wizards? I'm the Organized Play Digital Manager. I work on projects such as Wizards Event Reporter and the Store & Event Locator. Being in Organized Play means I get to work with all of our awesome OP offerings such as Friday Night Magic, Pro Play, and Magic Celebration! Before Organized Play I was in Magic R&D where I was the Development lead for sets like Scars of Mirrodin, Worldwake, and Conflux (among others).

When did you first start playing Magic? I started playing Magic during my sophomore year of high school. That was the fall of 1994, 17 years ago!

What is your favorite card?  Wasteland. I love all non-blue Magic cards but I have a special place in my heart for Wasteland!

How will you help defeat the Community Team? I'm pretty good at drafting.


Monty Ashley

What do you do for Wizards? I have a variety of website-related duties, including writing Magic Arcana, the finest Magic column in the world. Just look around you and feel how great this Arcana is. And I didn't even write most of it! Hey, while I've got you here, I want you to know that tomorrow's Arcana is going to be amazing. So watch for that!

When did you first start playing Magic? A week after it debuted at Gen Con, I saw a couple of Alpha starters at the 1993 San Diego Comic Con. It took a few weeks to get my own cards, though, because I had to convince my local game store to start carrying Magic.

What is your favorite card? Either Silhouette (for its art) or Bullwhip (for its incredible power in Rath Cycle draft). Or the Worldwake Plant token. Oh! Actually, it's Fluctuator. Yeah. Definitely that one.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? If the Wizards Team loses, I have the power to change the website to reflect whatever result I want to have happened. That seems like something that could come in handy.


Ryan Spain

What do you do for Wizards? As of this writing I haven't started yet, but ostensibly I've been hired in R&D as a game designer for the Digital team, working primarily on Magic Online. I can neither confirm nor deny the rumors that I was actually hired as a Limited ringer to ensure Wizards victory in this year's Community Cup, but either way, I'm thrilled to be joining the team that makes the best strategy game in the world!

When did you first start playing Magic? In 1995 I played my first game of Magic against Marshall Sutcliffe of the Community team, got sidetracked immediately by an infatuation with another CCG, but came back to Magic heavily in 1996 and have been playing ever since.

What is your favorite card? Warp World! I'm a Limited Spike, but a Constructed Timmy/Johnny, and Warp World is my favorite card for pulling off epic things cleverly. My favorite common pack one, pick one in Draft is probably Mulldrifter.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Having just come from the community side, I know how they think, I can get in their heads--especially Marshall's. Some may question my loyalties having switched sides so recently, but I look forward to proving my allegiance to Wizards of the Coast on the Community Cup battlefield! Marsh, I love you like a little brother, but I'm going to crush you like a little brother, too.


Tom LaPille

What do you do for Wizards? I'm a developer. I help decide what cards should do. I led the development of Masters Edition III, Masters Edition IV, Archenemy, and Magic 2012.

When did you first start playing Magic? Tempest.

What is your favorite card? Grim Lavamancer.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? By going 4-0.


Troy Reppas

What do you do for Wizards? Magic Game Support

When did you first start playing Magic? Invasion Paper Block

What is your favorite card? Healing Salve

How will you help defeat the Community Team? You meant, Crush, Annihilate, and Obliterate them, right? Let's just say they won't know what a Whippoorwill is when we're done with them.


Worth Wollpert

What do you do for Wizards? I am the Magic Studio director and I am in charge of all things related to digital Magic for Wizards.

When did you first start playing Magic? 1993 - half my life ago!

What is your favorite card? Probably most proud of Siege-Gang Commander, a card I designed, but my favorite card is probably Jackal Pap (note the correct spelling here) or Mise!

How will you help defeat the Community Team? Basically I plan to be a giant lucksack and watch as all my opponents mulligan to 2.


Zac Hill

What do you do for Wizards? I'm a designer/developer for Magic R&D. I make the cards!

When did you first start playing Magic? I learned how to play on an airplane when I was 8 years old. Revised was the newest set.

What is your favorite card? As a player? Remand. As a designer? Stormtide Leviathan.

How will you help defeat the Community Team? By striking fear into the hearts of my enemies, and competing with bloodlust in my heart.


So what exactly is the Wizards Team playing for? Well, if the Community Team manages to defeat the Wizards Team, all players who log on to Magic Online anytime on Wednesday, June 15; Thursday, June 16; or Friday, June 17, will be invited to a no-entry-requirement Planeswalker-format Constructed tournament on July 3! All players who play in this four-round, Swiss-pairings event will receive one Magic 2011 booster pack. All players who earn 12 match points by going undefeated will also receive any three Magic Online booster packs of their choice—yes, any three!

If the Wizards Team wins, however, players will not go empty handed; all players who logged in between June 13 and June 17 will receive a Darksteel Relic promotional card with a June 17, 2011 date stamp!

While all new accounts created within the last year have Planeswalker cards, players on older accounts who do not have any Planeswalker cards can contact Game Support to get a free Planeswalker Deck Pack so they can participate in this tournament in the unlikely event the Community Team actually does win.

Good luck, Community. You'll need it!

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