Happy Monday, faithful readers.  My apologies again for the disruption in the regular schedule last week.  I’m happy to report that DJ Jr. is on the mend and starting to actually sleep a bit more through the night.  This is a good thing.  I’m ready to start coming down off of a massive coffee infusion; It’ll be nice to get some proper sleep myself, and my hands have been shaking so much in the past few days that I nearly severed an artery in my leg trying to get my car keys into the ignition this morning.  
Good times! 
It looks like most of you who replied are happy to see the Sharuum Community Project go in a non-standard (read: no combo!) direction for the Esper sphinx powerhouse.  (By the way – thanks to the three of you who e-mailed me directly!  I’m impressed, since I completely neglected to give you an e-mail link.  It won’t happen again…I promise.)
Looking at the results, we have two main design constraints we’ll be working under here:
1)      Artifacts Matter
2)      Aggro
We’re going to be smashing face with big metal things.  I love it. 
Since this is a community project, here’s how we’re going to do things:
-Each of my posts on this deck project will include a set of guidelines; there will be one card image, one mechanic, and one question to go with a card category. 
-A link to my E-mail will be included.  I want responses to the current post guidelines; however you decide to reply is up to you, but you must address all components in some way, and you must suggest five cards that should be ultimately on this list for it to be a valid response.  You can agree (or disagree!) with the cards or the mechanics, as long as you tell me why you feel the way you do.  You can use any or all of the components as talking points.  If they inspire you to suggest something totally different, go with it!
-Why the E-mail requirement?  It’s your entry into the project.  EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTES IS GOING TO RECEIVE SOMETHING IN RETURN.  I want people to have a ball and get involved here, so when we reach the end of this project, everyone who sent me an e-mail and followed the rules is going to get a package in the mail.  I’ll probably keep it on theme, and I’ll certainly keep in mind quantity and quality of contributions while deciding who gets what.  (nudge nudge!)  But everyone is going to get something out of this, guaranteed. 
Let’s get to it.
QUESTION: Should the deck contain any non-artifact creatures?
CARD IMAGE: Mycosynth Golem
Send me an E-mail here, with the subject: “Sharuum Community Project Part #2 – Creatures”.  
I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.  Have fun with this, everyone!
.   .   .   .   .
Last year, I made a reference to there being something in the works regarding GenCon and my extreme distaste with how the EDH constructed even played out last year.  Having just bought my badge for GenCon 2012 and secured the rooms and flights with my partner-in-crime Mr. P, I’m comfortable giving you something more solid-
We’re going to try to run an EDH event at GenCon this year.  
This requires a bit of leg work, so I’m putting out feelers here and over at the official forums.  We have an idea on what we want to do, how and when we’d like the event to unfold, the system we want to utilize to try to remove a majority of the competitive overtones that ruined things last year, and what we’d like to do for prizes.  We’re going to be calling on some big-name vendors to try to secure sponsorship for this event to make it as cool and rewarding as we can.  We’re going to approach some big names to try to get some support, guidance and/or coverage.  We want to make this a project the EDH community will be proud of.  
In essence, we want to prove that it is possible to handle EDH in a positive way at a large event and have the end result be a fun time for everyone involved that stays true to the spirit of the format.  
So our first steps are feelers, and we’d like help.  Once we solidify something, we’ll be submitting the even to GenCon to have it finalized and added to the event listing.  For now, though, we want your feedback.  Hit us up in the comments section here, or over on the official forums.
Here’s a write-up from Mr.P that explains things a bit more:
GOAL: Run a successful EDH event at GenCon where players can play their own preconstructed decks.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR: About 30(?) players participated in last year’s event. Many of them played “casual” decks.  The event was dominated by a smaller group of players who chose to play cutthroat, non-interactive combo or prison decks.
THE PRESUMPTION: At the event last year, it seemed that most of the players had an unsatisfying, frustrating experience; certainly those who did we very vocal about it.  The most commonly stated reasons for lack of satisfaction were the deck choices, which created non-interactive games that were boring for many players.   There were some fears about collusion (“EDH Mafia”), although this issue seemed less prevalent than feared.   There was also feedback that the length of the rounds (three 2-hour rounds) combined with the late start time (11 PM) made the event unattractive.
PRELIMINARY IDEA: Create some sort of structure (“Point system”) that would encourage social, interactive games.  Provide some sort of prize structure that awards everyone for participation, while also rewarding those who accumulated the most points.
With that, I pose these two questions to the community:  
1)      What’s wrong with running competitive (for-prize) EDH events?  If you were at GenCon and experienced the event last year (or in years past), what are your thoughts/feelings?
2)  What would you do differently?  What would you like to see in an event?
Thanks again, everyone.  I’m looking forward to hearing from everyone with a voice here.

EDIT – The discussion on the Official Commander Forums is Here…please take a look and weigh in there if you can.  There are some great ideas floating around.