Our Card Kingdom family keeps on growing, and this month, we welcomed a new affiliate: The Loregoyfs! Each week, this trio of Magic lore experts – including CK Blog contributor Michelle Rapp – acts out and analyzes the latest installment of the official Magic Story. Come for the Nicol Bolas impressions; stay for the hilarious fake ad breaks!
Since The Loregoyfs are relatively new to Magic content creation, we wanted to give them an opportunity to introduce themselves to our CK community. We sat down with them to talk about their origins as Magic players, their favorite fantasy novels, and what’s next for the show.
Card Kingdom: Let’s start with The Loregoyfs’ origin story. How did the show’s spark ignite?
Justin: Before we started the show several of my friends and I would get together after local tournaments and talk about magic story/flavor, among other things. We would have some really funny conversations and often muse about starting a podcast. Things didn’t start moving until Yosh (one of the founding Loregoyfs) and I went to Sacramento for two back-to-back PPTQ’s. We were discussing the flavor of the meld cards in Eldritch Moon, and after few barreling laughs, we began to seriously consider the idea. At the time, vorthos podcasts were unclaimed territory. We saw the potential, all we needed to do was get started. Yosh and I recruited our other founding members, Michelle and Zach, through our local game store. We all agreed on the episode structure: story recap, ad, then “wildcard” segment. That formula worked better than we could have imagined. AE joined the podcast last November, and we’re thrilled to have him!
Michelle: I was at FNM one afternoon, and was approached by two of my friends (Justin and Yosh) about possibly becoming part of a new podcast focused on Magic Story. I enthusiastically said “yes!” and was incredibly flattered by their invitation! We began work a few weeks later at Yosh’s recording studio, hammering out the finer points of our structure and comedic voice. We all brought our own talents to the forefront for the show, and we’ve managed to keep that going ever since!
CK: When and how did you first discover Magic?
AE: I started playing during the time of Revised in 1994. The first pack I remember buying was Fallen Empires. Young man that I was, I shouted in glee upon opening a Deep Spawn, the Animate Dead target of choice. Only, I mispronounced “homarid” by proudly saying in the card shop, “I got a hemorrhoid!” I embarrassed my friend that day, and close to twenty-five years later on the Loregoyfs, I still embarrass my friends with my pronunciations.
Justin: I saw some friends playing Magic in middle school and was sucked right in. I told my parents about the game and they were concerned about it being witchcraft with casting spells and all. I didn’t see the game again until 2012. I was at a house party where two decks were casually sitting across from each other, beckoning to be played with like idle cats. My housemate, who hadn’t played in years, taught me how to play that night. I remember how difficult the game was to learn – if only there were Rookie Decks back then…
Michelle: The start-up I was working for a few years ago had Magic as an indelible part of its culture, and was played regularly by the LGBTQIA+ group within the company. As someone who had recently come out, I was invited to join the group and learn how to play by my new coworkers and friends. It was a wonderful way to begin learning Magic.
CK: Was Magic’s lore the first thing that attracted you to the game, or was it something you discovered over time?
AE: The excitement of testing new strategies, taking notes, and perfecting the concoction of a deck design appealed to the mad scientists in me. Each deck is an expression of creativity, and over time I’ve found I enjoy high synergy decks with a cohesive theme, which often translates to strong flavor.
Justin: The first thing that attracted me to the game was the art and how some of the card names/art evoked what the card does. For example, the Goblin Grenades in my first Event Deck, “Gleeful Flames,” depicted the sacrificed goblin with explosives in its mouth being hurled through the air like a grenade. Or how you’d flash in an ambush viper to bite an attacking creature your opponent controls. This specific design space continues to fascinate me.
Michelle: Magic’s lore was one of the first things that drew me to the game, right after the color pie. While color theory and analysis has always been my jam, the lore provides a conduit through which the philosophies of the color pie can interact and be exemplified. The various characters and deep storytelling that Magic provides is a great way to help explain and understand not just the philosophy of the game itself, but also the way we interact with the world around us.
CK: What’s your favorite era of Magic storytelling?
AE: At the card level, I loved the time-travel arc of the Khans block. At the story level, Shadows Over Innistrad. “I Am Avacyn” by Doug Beyer is my all-time favorite for the intensity of its voice of madness, and a few other of the stand-alone stories in that block delighted me as well.
Justin: As a somewhat newer Vorthos, I loved Rivals of Ixalan for its depth and character exposition. The story also had an emotional impact on me, which was completely unexpected (thank you Alison Luhrs). I also loved how the Gatewatch story elements came together in Ken Troop’s “Hour of Devastation” (and how over the top Bolas’s character was).
Michelle: Hands down, Ixalan block. Alison Luhrs basically cranked out a novel that dared to use a fun dinosaurs vs. pirates vs. vampires setting to showcase the difficulties of overcoming personal trauma and shame. The compassion, empathy and character development in that arc was bar none some of the best writing I’ve ever seen in my life.
CK: Why did you decide to become a Magic content creator?
AE: I felt that I had something to offer the community, through my writing, which manifests in my cosplay characterization, in creative text, and in the Loregoyf skits, to a silly extent.
Justin: In the beginning there was a hubris element – wanting to be the best vorthos podcast EVAR, get all the listens, and have all the fans – I’m laughing to myself just thinking about it. But I’ve learned that we make our best content when we are having a great time together, not when we’re chasing big elder dragons like fame, fortune, and what not. I’m humbled by the fact that people get a kick out of listening to us and want more.
Michelle: I felt deeply that I could contribute my passion and perspective on the game in a way that was unique, interesting and insightful. I was also very much inspired by Meghan and Maria of Magic the Amateuring, and wanted to follow their example of strong, amazing and intelligent women in the community. Also, it was a great opportunity to crack some really terrible, really nerdy jokes about Magic.
CK: You all seem to be avid readers and writers, and we’re curious about how your literary tastes affect your view of Magic lore. What do you look for in fantasy writing? Which novels or authors have influenced your tastes the most?
AE: The Hobbit for its pacing, Terry Pratchett’s novels for their characters, Oscar Wilde’s plays for their humor, and James Herriot’s animal stories for their story structure.
Justin: I just love magic in its many forms – alchemy (Fullmetal Alchemist), element bending (The Last Airbender), drafting luxin from light (The Lightbringer Series), and good ol’ muttering gobbledygook while wielding a stick (Harry Potter). I’m especially fond of Tammy/Timmy moments in fiction where a character, presumably a good one, is about to lose a big fight, then they cast a YUGE spell or do something so absolutely fantastical I have to put the book down and clean up the puddle of drool I just made. Aside from shock and awe, I love compelling stories with relatable characters.
Michelle: I tend to gravitate toward fantasy that prioritizes two things: an organized, natural system of magic, and deep, well-rounded characters that have a strong moral center. These don’t necessarily have to be in the same novel for me to enjoy them, but understanding the very human psychology and decision process of characters placed in an unnatural, magical setting really captivates me. I’m a huge fan of Terry Pratchett for his cutting humor and wise insights into human nature, but I also adore Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, NK Jemisin, Tamora Pierce, Ellen Kushner, Connie Willis, Anne Lecke, Patricia Briggs, Naomi Novik, Catherine Valente, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and Max Gladstone. You should read all of these people.
CK: You also incorporate a lot of humor into your show. Did you plan on hosting a comedy podcast from the outset, or did that just happen organically?
Justin: Originally the ads were meant to be the dedicated comedy segment of the podcast. But gradually, our summary recaps evolved to be really entertaining, albeit with a generous dose of creative license. We didn’t intend to be a comedy podcast specifically, but my cohosts are especially bright and funny, so we moved in that direction organically.
Michelle: We definitely planned incorporating comedy into our podcast as part of our ads, but given who we are and how our personalities mesh, it was difficult NOT to dissolve into jokes in our other segments. Justin and I in particular love riffing off one another, since we have a similar love of wordplay and campiness (our friends call us the Queens of Tangents). We love the dry, witty humor AE brings to the mix, and together, we just have a grand old time making each other (and hopefully you!) laugh.
CK: What’s next for the Loregoyfs? Any upcoming projects that you’d like our community to know about?
Justin: We’re currently looking into increasing access to our content via YouTube and brainstorming what kinds of unique video content we can start producing. We’re also looking into having guests on the show – I can’t divulge any names at the moment. But we’ve been putting some tentacles out there…
Michelle: We’re hoping to launch our Patreon soon! We’ve been running the show out of pocket for a while, and we’re hoping that this will give our fans the opportunity to interact with us by voting and giving suggestions for our content. We’re also hoping to answer questions and maybe even feature folks on the show! It’ll be grand, of that we’re certain.
If you’d like to help us support The Loregoyfs, be sure to use their affiliate code, cardkingdom.com/loregoyfs, the next time you order from us! You can listen to their show every Monday on Soundcloud and iTunes, and you can follow them on Twitter at @loregoyfs.
“The Loregoyfs” logo image used with permission.