Episode 007: Magic: The Gathering

Our old pal Hugh Sterbakov returns to try to explain one of geekdom’s most intricate tabletop games: Magic: The Gathering. Where did this card game come from? What’s the best way to learn to play? And what do things like “milling” and “top-decking” mean? Having thrown himself into the deep end, Hugh explains it all. We also force Hugh to play You Must Choose, and Chance Fortran, Tech Therapist heads to Saturn.

Hosts: Dan Amrich & Kat Auch
Special Guest: Hugh Sterbakov

Magic Online
Xbox 360: Magic 2014: Duels of the Planeswalkers (also Magic 2013, 2012, MtG 2009/2010, and soon, 2015)
City Under the Moon

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And of course, comment below!

  • Jude Kelley

    Dear Dan & Kat,

    Long time listener here, first time commenter.

    I have become a big fan of Chance Fortran: Tech Therapist. I have noticed that he is usually twelve parsecs away from wherever he is going. I.e. “twelve parsecs later, in the rings of Saturn…” It is well known that in astronomical terms, a parsec is a unit of distance, not time.

    Thus I have concluded that Chance spends a large amount of his time outside of our solar system, given the fact that the average distance from our sun to Pluto is approximately 0.000193925472 Parsecs. What is Chance doing out there? Secret missions? Providing service to remote outposts?

    Star Wars nerds will recall that the measure of twelve parsecs was also used by Han Solo in ANH to describe the prowess of the Millenium Falcon. To quote Han: “It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.” While some might interpret Han’s usage of parsecs as describing an amount of time, true Star Wars nerds know that he was in fact referring to distance. The Kessel run (according to extended universe lore) involves skirting the gravitational field of a black hole cluster known as ‘the Maw’. If your ship is powerful enough (as the Falcon is) you can cut down the distance involved in the Kessel run by short-cutting nearer that gravitational pull.

    My comment reminds me of the theme song for MST3K: “If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes, and other science facts, just repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax.”

    If you want to call to chat about this, I can be reached at the following number: 650-849-1138

    Love the podcast!


    • I have been laughing at this and saying “WHAT?!?!?!” for various reasons for at least the last two solid minutes. AT LEAST!

      • Jude Kelley

        I was just channeling the random conversations Dan and I used to have riding back from band practice. We were like a mobile nerd fusion reactor, radiating high levels of geeky all over the Bay Area.

        By the way, thanks for ‘I Kissed a Nerd’. Gals like you give my people hope.

        • That sounds delightful. I would love to be irradiated with geekness!

          You are SO welcome! I also love all the PSN stuff you guys do. Based on that, and stories I’ve heard from Dan and Kat, you might be one of my favorite people that I’ve never met. Don’t tell Dan. He’ll get jealous.