In Case You Missed It... Week 10/11-10/15 on SCG!
Magic writing took a step up this past week leading up to the deadline for the StarCityGames.com Talent Search. I hope you guys gave us some good ones to show the pros how it's done. ;)
Jeff Cunningham has a modest archive on SCG but every single article he has given us has proven to be a masterpiece of Magic writing – of writing in general really. He graces us with another stunning example of his craft after well losing a bet where he was forced to attend a Grand Prix and write a tournament report… (We can thank Gabe Walls.)
The Grind: Part 1
(Part 1 is
The Grind: Part 2 (Part 2 continues with a brutal and realistic evaluation of Magic's place in the world at large and Jeff asks you to take a look at the big picture – should you keep grinding? Or should you turn your back and walk away while you still can? Is it worth it?)
Ted Knutson continues his “Conversations” series with surprise guest Mark Rosewater after he offered himself up to be interviewed! How generous! There's a lot to be gained by reading MaRo's words of wisdom – how do you design Magic sets? How do you write Magic articles that keep people interested? What did Magic writers do in the past that made them so compelling and memorable? Reading this interview series will
you want to pick up your pen and start scribbling. (Or… open up a word processor and start typing I guess.)
Enjoy this totally free series now!
And just to top off the past week's good writing fest Geordie Tait provided a primer for an oft-overlooked topic in Magic: flavor text and creative content. More than that he highlights some of the worst flavor texts ever printed in Magic and even separates them into different garbage piles – one could say archetypes. Archetypes like the “Cool Story Bro” and “The Horatio Caine.” Enjoy this article for free!
Patrick Chapin has been inspired by some true masters this week after Ted and Mark's look back at the SCG archives and by the return of Jeff Cunningham. He's not the only one either but he churned out an extra article last week for you lovers of the written word. He looks at the gauntlet for Standard you should be testing against and also takes a look at Mono-Black. Is it the nut low or is it finally going to make a stand with Mimic Vat as its flag? Read Innovations – Overtime: Inspired by True Masters
Adrian Sullivan made a splashy appearance at States with an update to an old favorite of his Eminent Domain featuring Wildfire. Standard has a new Wildfire in Destructive Force and some very powerful proactive cards in Volition Reins and planeswalkers. Being a proactive control deck seems to be the way to go in today's Standard and U/R has all the tools.
Sullivan Library – Eminent Domain for Standard
“Blue decks just can't sit around” says Sam Black. No they cannot. Standard doesn't
the answers anymore that allow control decks to lay back and calmly counter remove or draw-go the opponent. Sam Black's thoughtful overview of Standard will help you make some realizations about the kind of format we're truly dealing with and how it's unlike any we've faced before.
Black Magic – Understanding a Battlecruiser: When Control Decks Become the Beatdown
Shaheen Soorani thinks he's got the formula down for building Standard Control decks. He provides three basic steps for how to build any Control deck in Standard and what slots he thinks needs to be filled in doing so. And Preordain? Forget it! Shaheen falls on the other side of the fence of Preordain and explains why he thinks it's unnecessary in your deck.
The Icy Grip – How to Build a Control Deck in Three Easy Steps!
Gerry Thompson has a sordid history with U/R decks. First Swans Demigod of Revenge Pyromancer Ascnesion and now… Frost Titan! Is it fair to say he's the expert resident U/R player in Standard? Also don't miss his crazy fast red deck with Assault Strobe.
One Step Ahead – History of U/R and Strobe Red
Like the rest of the control decks in Standard U/W also has been evolving to meet the demands of the new format. No more sitting back in our La-Z-Boy chairs! Now U/W is on the offensive and incorporating Angels Titans and planeswalkers. Kyle Boggemes's deck even features one of my favorite four-drops Emeria Angel.
The Nose Knows – State of the States
Patrick Chapin revives the old combo deck Pyromancer Ascension and brings his update to the build (after hearing about Michael Flores's initial testing sessions with an Archive Trap version). His version is more like a straight-up control version; judging from the results of StarCityGames.com Standard Open: Nashville Ascension took a few Top 16 slots too. It'll surely be a contender in the upcoming format.
Innovations – Pyromancer Ascension: A Higher Standard
Make sure to also check out his interview with the guys at Yo! MTG Taps!
Check out our Drafting with Series! You can follow these Limited masters pick by pick and follow their explanations of their decisions. Feel free to pick their brains further in the forums.
Raphael Levy writes an in-depth analysis of one of his Scars of Mirrodin Sealed decks. He walks through the win conditions the removal spells the mana fixing and the card advantage. Taking all of that he then sums up the deck's game plan and how it should look to win. Take his lessons with you to learn how to tackle this complex format.
The Pro Perspective – A Take on Scars of Mirrodin Sealed Deck
Brian Kibler had a rough time in Sydney when he started Day 1 at 0-2. Does he battle back? Well by now you should know that yes in fact he
How do you handle that kind of pressure? How do you take a breath and say to yourself “It's time to win.”? One of Kibler's greatest strengths is his ability to put the past in the past and maintain an unwavering level of confidence and willpower. Hopefully this report helps you achieve that.
The Dragonmaster's Lair – GP Sydney Frame by Frame
(And check out the awesome photo gallery at the end!)
Brian DeMars breaks out some Vintage theory! Remember his awesome Snake City Vault deck? Well he's back this week to go into the finer points of how to judge who's the “beatdown” in games of Vintage. If you don't pay attention you'll miss stages 1 and 2 pass right under your nose!
Vintage Avant-Garde – At Least I Know Where I Stand
Jon Medina is working hard to setup his own bot on Magic Online. It sure does seem like a lot of work but he breaks it down into some easy steps with instructive pictures! Read Going Infinite – How to Build a Robot (on MTGO)