The Zen of Flores

Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2018 Mike Flores
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Flores presents his student with a d20. “I want you to use this in your next game of Magic,” Flores says.

The student asks, “What is it for?”

Flores replies, “This is a misplay die. Every time you make a misplay, you must increase the number on the die.”

The student asks, “Why does the misplay die start at 1?”

Flores replies, “Because using this die is your first misplay.”

A monk asks Mike Flores, “Does Jund have a beatdown nature?”

Flores replies, “No.”

The monk says, “Many decks with Goblin Guide, Lightning Bolt, and Thoughtseize are beatdown. Why not Jund?”

Flores replies, “Jund does not run One with Nothing.”

Flores, a deck master during the Dojo era (1995-2001), received a university professor who came to inquire about Card Advantage.

Flores was drawing cards. He drew cards until his hand was full, and then kept on drawing.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this hand,” Flores said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Card Advantage unless you first empty your hand?”

A student asks Flores, “How can I learn to cast spells as well as you?”

Flores responds, “Let us play a game of Magic, so that you may begin to learn.”

The student selects a simple burn deck to play against his master. Every turn the student cast a direct damage spell against Flores. Meanwhile, every turn Flores draws a card, thinks for several moments, and then plays an Island and passes the turn.

As the game goes on, the student becomes increasingly convinced that Flores will end the game with some miraculous flurry of spells. But on the last turn of the game, the student casts a Lightning Bolt for Flores’s final three points of life and, after thinking for a moment, Flores says that he has no response.

The student is incensed. “What am I supposed to learn from a game where you did nothing but play Islands every turn,” he exclaims.

Flores responds calmly, “Before you can learn to cast spells, you must learn to play lands.”

One day Chapin came to Flores and asked, “What is true innovation?”

“True innovation”, replied Flores, “is finding 74 cards and adding Gnarled Mass.”

If you want to make your spells work for you, first you must work for your spells.

Before you can win the game against your opponent, you have to win the game against yourself.

“Know your opponent and yourself, and you will not be defeated in one hundred matches, except when you are mana screwed.” -Mike Flores

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter decklist.” -Mike Flores

The student once asked Flores, “Why do we set our clocks forward in the spring only to set them back again in autumn?”

Flores responded, “Daylight Saving Time is a virtual Time Walk.”