Hello. I am proud to report that I successfully put the names of every 2022-23 active roster Caps player into Urza’s AI, a Magic: The Gathering card generator. For those who don’t know, Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game in which two powerful beings fight each other by summoning creatures or casting spells. For those who don’t know, the Washington Capitals is an organization that exists purely to get Alex Ovechkin to 895 goals.
Anyway, it’s August. There’s no hockey in August. This is all I’ve got. Hashtag summer content.
Each player has a card describing the creature, including how expensive it is to summon him (top right), his attack and block scores (bottom right), what special mechanics he has, and some randomly generated flavor text in italics. Sometimes the art is cool, but usually it’s inscrutable.
Let’s go line by line.
The top line draws all their power from islands. The creatures achieve success through illusion and deceit. So far, this is awesome. Way too much blocking power though.
Alex Ovechkin, Human Advisor, does not have the attack (1) I was hoping for, but his flavor text (“I’d rather die here and die there”) kind of works, especially if you house-rule “die” to “party.”
Evgeny Kuznetsov debuffs his enemy’s offense when he enters play, which is a huge error by the AI engine, who also thinks TJ Oshie‘s first name is Taj. Taj Oshie, who wants the end of the world. That’s not very party vibe at all.
The second line consists of three white creatures, which, yeah, okay, pro ice hockey, no lie detected there.
The flavor text on Anthony Mantha, Human Soldier, speaks volumes of his injury history: “My mind and body have become too heavy for my ability to carry.” Heavy, man.
I like that Dylan Strome‘s attack and block scores scale up with the spells you cast. This player has a lot of upside if used correctly. Much like his flavor text, Connor Brown did indeed sneak up on us, as he was acquired via trade on free-agency day.
A little bit of a grab bag on the third line, especially with Marcus Johansson drawing his power from swamps. Personally, I get forest energy off him. Johansson cannot be blocked, except when he is blocked, which is easily, and either way no one is really afraid of his attack.
Lars Eller as a wizard feels right on, and I like that Conor Sheary gets stronger based on knick-knacks. Not necessarily useful in magic combat or hockey, but it’s cute, and cute should count more than it does.
The fourth line finds some unlikely synergies with blue, black, and white mana sources. Nic Dowd‘s sacrifice move is OP, and Garnet Hathaway‘s art is heavy metal as hell, obviously informed by the player’s advanced stats.
The star of the top pairing is John Carlson, whose block skill ties for best on the team. Absurd. Carlson’s mechanic is convoluted and I have no idea if there’s any strategic advantage in using it.
Look at the dependability on Dmitry Orlov there: just tap him and do one damage. Real workaday, lunch-pail, yeoman stuff from the rogue there. Nick Jensen, meanwhile, is totally broken. When you summon him, you straight-up get to look at the other team’s hand. Totally explains his dWAR stats from last season.
Erik Gustaffson is our first red creature, which I’m not sure we even have the mana for. Real firepower there though, which suggests that maybe pretending to do real analysis based on an AI content generator is silly. Maybe.
Darcy Kuemper is a lizard.
You have now read this entire story.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.