Ultimately, the role that any player who joins Power 9 Pro will be is an evangelist. In addition to being a part of a team of players that discusses decks, strategy, and card evaluation, you’ll represent Power 9 Pro to the MtG community at large.
What’s an evangelist?
An evangelist is someone who looks to develop recognition of Power 9 Pro as a player-centric company among the MtG player-base. With 14 million active players worldwide (and a LOT more closet-and-used-to-be-players), there are a lot of people that Power 9 Pro needs to touch. Our goal is simple: make life easier and better for players.
While we’re currently looking for three to five more players to join the team, the tasks will vary from player to player.
If you’d like to be considered, you must first meet all these criteria:
Good Attitude: smiles more than frowns. Says, “Good game” or “Thank you” EVEN IF YOU LOSE. Poor sportsmanship is a major turn off. In addition to building Power 9 Pro, we want every player that wears a p9p shirt to encourage players.
Must love MTG — please note that this comes second to a good attitude but that it’s just a smidgen less important. If you’re not a MTG player…well, you should be.
Interested in developing a brand: this means a certain degree of entrepreneurial, self-starter attitude. There’s no monetary risk for our evangelists but the attitude of “making something happen” is certainly needed.
Well spoken, capable writer: Power 9 Pro needs players who can play well and also communicate their ideas effectively and clearly.
Play in tournaments. While you may not be looking to get on the Pro Tour or travel your state for every possible PTQ, you must be a tournament player. Why? Simple: you cannot evangelize very well alone from inside your bedroom.
Active in MtG community: Whether you host tournaments at your home or are active on the forums, we need players who are already aware of the “broader MTG community.”
There is a small stipend that comes to being a member of the Power 9 Pro Team. You cannot live off this job but we expect only a small fraction of full time work. This will not be a major time commitment and will not conflict with school or other jobs. Basically, we want the evangelist role to simply be a subsidized position for activities that MtG players already do: play and discuss MtG.
If this is interesting so far, please email me at James[at]Power9Pro[no-Spam-seriously][dot]com. I’ll follow up with a small test-task to start the evaluation process.
Just this past week, we notified Power 9 Pro customers that we’re launching another series of MtG workshops led by Luis Scott-Vargas. We definitely wanted to keep our blog readers up to date too!
I’m especially excited to have Luis Scott-Vargas on as an instructor/coach with Power 9 Pro. It’s taken a lot of juggling of schedules but we finally figured out all the details just in time for an excellent finish to 2009.
If you don’t know Luis (often endearingly called LSV by the Magic community) from his win at Pro Tour Berlin or numerous top 8′s at multiple GPs and Pro Tour events, you may know him from his “Drafting with LSV” series on YouTube/Channel Fireball. Regardless of how you first heard about LSV, his record is extremely impressive.
His most notable finishes include:
1st – Nationals 2007
1st – GP San Francisco 2007
3rd/4th – GP Philadelphia 2008
1st – Pro Tour Berlin 2008
1st – GP Atlanta 2008
1st – GP Los Angeles 2009
2nd – Pro Tour Kyoto 2009
LSV is a great new addition to the instructor base at Power 9 Pro, where he’ll be able to leverage years of article writing as well as his foray into online video. He’s written content for BlackBoarder and Channel Fireball, conducted interviews with WotC and much more. Power 9 Pro Online Workshops are the next step in LSV’s consistently giving nature that always results in a fostering of the Magic the Gathering community and player base.
There are numerous benefits to the online workshops for players, the most notable of which is summed up by “Learn from the best to be the best.” Truly top-level coaching is hard to come by and here’s your chance to dive deep into relevant discussions on Magic. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about what cards to include when evaluating your sideboard options–whether prep’ing for an FNM or Grand Prix Trial. LSV himself is excited to share his insights into drafting Zendikar. His perspectives from over 1200 matches (not counting MTGO!) will be leveraged for your benefit. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. The last workshop of 2009 is a “Deck Doctor” format which means you can send in your deck for LSV to make a list of adjustments. See how he would adjust the card base for optimum results for your deck. Talk about an unique experience!
Here’s an example clip from our recent workshop series led by Ben Lundquist.
FYI, if you sign up for Power 9 Pro’s (very infrequent) newsletter, we’ll send you a mp3 clip with Ben Lundquist discussing the in’s-and-out’s of the Metagame. This single 2 min clip alone will help you make better choices when it comes to what decks to expect at the next tournament and how to track the best decks in a format. We’re happy to provide this as a small sample of what Power 9 Pro aims to accomplish with our workshops.
As always, we want to hear from you. If you have workshop topic requests, thoughts or concerns, feel free to lets us know in the comments. I can also be followed on twitter where I post updates, commentary and discussions with fellow MtG players.
In case you’ve heard a little about our Pro-Player workshops or caught one of my tweets about them, I thought I’d post a bit more info and a couple of clips to give everyone a better idea of what we’re putting together over here. After all, I’m a player, always looking to improve my game and imagine there are a lot more players like me out there. I have to admit I certainly don’t have all the exposure or practice these master players do, but I know that excellent coaching goes a long way to improving my game…Like I said, it’s always great to win.
Power 9 Pro’s workshops are your chance to get first hand advice and analysis of Magic the Gathering with some of the best players in the world. In addition to real-time streaming, we limit workshop size to 15 people. This gives everyone a chance to ask questions and interact directly with not only the pro instructor but also the rest of the participants. I can personally say that being able to hear and discuss other players’ questions and opinions has led to a number of interesting discussions. No need to be shy but if you prefer to listen and soak in the information, then sit back and relax.
By delivering the workshop over the Internet, everyone can participate regardless of location–your house, office [after hours of course. ;-)], a friend’s place, local shop, or even sandy beach in the tropics. We can always wish! The software connecting everyone is free of charge, guaranteed to be malware free and best-in-industry. After signing up, you will recieve a link with confirmation time and instructions (you just click the link). You can then stream the audio through your computer or dial a toll free number. Simple and convient. All participants will also receive the full video-audio recording for later review. I’ve found this great for reviewing important points. Here are a couple of examples from our most recent workshops with Ben Lundquist.
Our next workshop series will be starting December 8th at 5:30 PST (8:30 EST) with renowned player Luis Scott-Vargas. You can see the full schedule at power9pro.com/workshops/schedule.php .
I’d love to hear your topic requests and any other thoughts you may have, so let us know what you think in the comments. Also, if you sign up for our newsletter, we’ll send you a free mp3 of Ben Lundquist discussing the fluctuations and changes of a Meta-game; great for trying to calculate what deck to play at your next tournament!
Winners were selected based on how close they were able to guess what the product was for or how it related to Magic: the Gathering.
Though we had no “perfect guesses,” there were a number that were so close we couldn’t say they were wrong.
You’ll see from the locations of the winners below, that Magic players from around the world participated in our contest. We’re elated to interact with the Magic community on such a personal level and look forward to hosting more contests.
At the tail-end of April, Power 9 Pro announced that we would soon be releasing a new product. In that announcement, we held a contest where we invited mtg players to guess what our next product would be based on art we created for its release.
After a few delays along the road, Power 9 Pro is ready to introduce the next product we’ve designed specifically to make life easier for Magic: the Gathering players.
The next solution is called “N-Dexers.” Based on the name and the accompanying art, the solution should be fairly clear.
We’re looking to make the organization of our massive card collections easier and more clear. Along those lines, the N-Dexers will also help immensely when it comes to deck construction since you won’t have to rifle through cards looking for a specific card. I find this to be the problem even when my cards are organized alphabetically!
Here’s a breakdown of what see as the benefits of the N-Dexers over existing solutions:
Flexibility in Organization Choices:Rather than tell YOU how to organize your cards, we wanted the solution we provided our fellow Magic players to be flexible. If you currently prefer to organize your cards by creature type or converted mana cost, then we wanted you to be able to do that! Though in all honestly, we see users most likely organizing their collections by card name, set name & color, set name & rarity, or something similar.In order to label the cards, we provide a set of label-stickers for the N-Dexers with each purchase. We’ll also make a printer-ready template available for download so you won’t have to write really small and then not be able to read the cards. We’re big on a comprehensive solutions over here. The printer template will allow each user to fill out the labels how they see best, just print the labels out and stick ‘em to the N-Dexers.
As I alluded to, when we’re constructing decks over here at Power 9 Pro, we frequently find ourselves rifling through cards looking for that single elusive card that we just know we have. It’s frustrating and extremely time consuming. This is the case even when our cards are organized. Rather than perpetuate a bad habit that includes handling our valuable collection pieces over and over again, furthering the chances of a scuff or nicked edge we decided that the N-Dexers had to increase the accessibility of our cards when placed in storage.
The main design solution to this problem was the creation of a ‘tab pattern’ that resembles a filing cabinet. Because we anticipate some players having hundreds of tabs in their boxes, we wanted to make sure that we could quickly scan through a box without having to thumb through each of the tabs. That would defeat the purpose of the N-Dexers in the first place! Our solutions is that each tab is offset from the previous tab.
Moreover, we English-speakers read from right to left and so the offset is from left to right, impacting readability in a truly meaningful way. Check it out!
As you know, Power 9 Pro’s first product is the Dragon’s Egg, the only truly durable CCG-specific bag on the market. What good would a second product be if it didn’t play well with the first product? Not very good in our opinion! One thing we found ourselves doing over and over again is carrying different partial decks with us to tournaments and play sessions so we could lend the cards to our friends. By designing the N-Dexers to fit in the Dragon’s Egg, we can now have a mobile collection with cards and partial decks clearly demarcated from each other.
Longevity of solution:One of Power 9 Pro’s main focuses is providing innovation and value to players. Who has time for poor quality? We sure don’t and we assume each of you doesn’t either!As I mentioned, the N-Dexers come with labels for you to put on the N-Dexer tabs. These labels can be easily removed so you can keep your set updated as collections grow and change over time.The N-Dexers come with a 5 year warranty for any manufacturing defects. However, after a series of complex computations on the half-life of plastics, multiple consultations with chemists and our insurance actuaries, we can safely say the N-Dexers, treated properly, will last close to 1000 years without compromise to functionality.
We are currently offering the N-Dexers in two different quantities: 12-packs and 60-packs. The 12-packs will carry a MSRP of $4.50 and the 60-packs will carry a MSRP of $17.95. If you do the math on the pricing, you’ll notice that the 60-packs are essentially a “buy 4, get a 5th free.”
The N-Dexers are currently being prep’d for distribution. Our release date for the N-Dexers to the public is August 15th. During the next couple of weeks we’re going to be getting our local retailers setup with supplies.
Saving the best for last, we recommend you sign up for our newsletter, as we’ll be notifying all subscribers of a variety of introductory discounts and packages–some of which will include discounts on the Dragon’s Egg. What are you waiting for!? Sign up!
**to all our contest participants: we’ll be contacting those who were accurate enough over the next day to send out your prize.
i thought it would be a good idea to discuss the various reasons for forming power 9 pro. i don’t think the full explanation would do well in a single blog post, and so i’m going to make this a series of posts–making this part one.
before discussing the various allures that entrepreneurial activities have on my personality, priorities and decisions, i thought i might take a step away from that question and first answer the question, “why magic?” it’s in answering this question that will give everyone a short answer of “why power 9 pro?”
aside from magic the gathering being the best game ever created–it’s complexity and nearly-infinite combination of play interactions and mechanics alone should make chess feel ashamed of calling itself a “strategy game”–there’s a lot to magic the gathering that is completely missed by non-players. maybe even new players too. what’s missed?
the game is amazingly developed and designed. it’s in the 4x annually updated and expanded sets that providepart of this depth. obviously without the game designers (and richard garfield + team for alpha/beta/etc), there would be no game.
players enthusiastically [and impatiently] await these new releases
players see that magic the gathering isn’t “just a game” or “just a game for kids.” there’s more to it than that.
the first couple of points are pretty straight-forward so i won’t spend time dissecting them (at this time). number 3 is the most important on that list.
magic the gathering isn’t “just a game” and it’s definitely not a game “just for kids.” in fact as most serious players point out all too quickly, kids can be a gray area for the game. many of the mechanics in magic are intellectually difficult to execute correctly. if even seasoned players, many of which are adults, still make mistakes, then it’s a lot to ask a 10 – 13 year old to figure out.
this isn’t to say that children are unable to play, btw! i don’t want any lip-service about how i’m bashing kids. i’m not. i’m simply trying to make it very clear that magic the gathering is not necessarily even a game for children (as the target market). it’s a very complex game requiring a mature (or nearly-matured) mind to fully exploit. this means that the player base is not full of a bunch of kids. adults really like challenges, and a mtg match can be one of the hardest, most fun to solve. it’s for that reason that tournaments attract players from hundred’s of miles away.
when i was a kid, the general stigma surrounding magic was that it was for kids and for “dorky kids” only. many people i meet as an adult are fairly shocked to learn that i not only play magic now but that i can’t get enough. probably near 50% of these people try to make fun of me right away, asking me if i, “hang out with a bunch of 13 year olds all day.” of course, i can smugly tell them i am hardly the oldest player where i play. it’s nearly unbelievable to the uninitiated that there are [gasp] 30+ people playing and even [shock, horror!] retirees playing. (they have to do something with all that free time).
if the tables are mostly filled with adults (i’ll be REALLY generous and count the 16 to 19 group…and partially generous by lumping the 20 to 22′s in there too), then we can’t treat the market like a bunch of “mushy brained” kids (that was what my dad use to say i was–a mushy brained kid. thanks dad). one of the things i always got the impression of was that magic suppliers didn’t really respect or “get” what the players were all about. we were an enigma to them. and maybe we partially are.
to take a step back and again address the complexity of the game with specific cards rising to dominance and not seeing print again, what we’ve all seen develop are very, very stable markets for our cards. richard garfield wanted that too. (see the video below for some a great interview conducted by the “i came to game” team.) now what’s the big difference between how an adult treats his/her things and a kid? the most obvious is the care a person takes in maintaining the value of that possession. this isn’t to say that all adult players cherish and preserve their cards. that’s just not the case. as in all things, there’s a big range of personalities. but for the most part, i see adult players treating and interacting with cards differently than children. heck, i know a ton of players who treat their cards better than their cars, apartments/houses, and (sadly) bodies/health. moreover, it’s a rare child who can convince his/her parents that the “power 9” cards are the perfect birthday present
that’s actually only part of the issue though. the other important factor is that children act differently than adults. children, for the most part, are not competitive players. and, more importantly, they’re very likely to drop the game as they get older–interests can change dramatically but time & availability changes as well. that being said, i must hear it at least once a month that so-and-so player who wins PTQs, GPTs, etc actually stopped playing for a period only to return (as an adult) as an extremely competitive player.
along these lines, something special happened when the complexity of the game, the rarity/value of cards solidified, coupled with adults dominating the play-field: we have now a unique culture.
interestingly, i’m not entirely convinced that this culture would be as large or as tightly knit were it not for the internet; however, the community of magic players exists and is unique to itself.
with that statement, let me conclude that it’s the blending of these reasons for power 9 pro’s focus within magic. the most iconoclastic, polarizing name within magic refers to a grouping of cards, the power 9. the name of the company seemed obvious after we realized what we were aiming to achieve: a magic-focused company that can address the real player concerns from player perspectives.
now i have answered the question “why magic” and hopefully provided a breif answer to the question “why power 9 pro?” there’s more to being a company though–and i’d like to discuss this with the community so keep an eye out for more updates.
we decided to give everyone a different spin on the dragon’s egg. this is a short video depicting a lone mtg player making her way through the rough city, culminating in a battle between our heroine and the stocking jealous and lustful hoodlum. enjoy.
side note and comment: really, i can’t stop laughing when i watch this. big thanks to my gracious and lovely wife for agreeing to be in this. if everyone likes, we can make a series w/ her staring as the heroine. sounds fun to me!