2015 is quickly coming to an end, and while I’m always one to enjoy looking back at the path that I’ve traveled, I must say that I am much more excited for 2016 than I have been for New Years in the recent past. That’s not to say that 2015 wasn’t quite the year for me.
In addition to having success in MTG with quite a few Top 8s, an Invitational finals appearance, and even another win under my belt with a G/R deck, I also took a chance and moved back out to Washington State and got engaged to the love of my life.
I hope that 2016 holds some amazing things to come, but here is just a small list of things that I am actively looking forward to:
I know that this is probably the most common New Years resolution, but having struggled with my weight my whole life, it’s something that I always have in the back of my mind. Thankfully, now I have Nicole in my life and she will help be my partner in this journey and will help keep me accountable.
This is something that only I can do though, plain and simple.
With Nicole and I trying to save up to buy a house, it’s just not feasible to have a big wedding and also come up with the money required for a down payment. With that in mind, we are actually going to get legally married on April 7th and plan on having a big celebration once we get into a new house.
I didn’t want to leave anyone out, and while a lot of people prefer a traditional ceremony and would just wait for that to happen, we would like to be married soon-ish and have decided that this is going to be the best route for us. It’s a good thing that I had to buy some suits for something else on this list!
Buying a House
While this is likely going to happen closer to the beginning of 2017, 2016 is going to be the year that we put a lot of effort into buying a house. We’ve already met with realtors and lenders to get on the right path, and while it’ll mean being super frugal so that we can save up enough for a down payment, it’s something that both of us have always wanted to do.
Adulting is freaking hard.
Yep, that’s right. It was mentioned briefly in the sign off from the #SCGPC (which I highly suggest you check out if you haven’t – even though you aren’t going to be completely absent, you will be missed by everyone, Patrick Sullivan), but I will be one of the new faces in the booth for SCGLive doing commentary for The SCG Tour®.
This is something that I have been interested in for quite some time, and I am beyond thrilled that Cedric has decided to give me a shot. I have filled in a few times when I busted out of Opens, but I am looking forward to something a little more structured.
My first show will be #SCGChar the second weekend of Janurary, and I look forward to seeing everyone there!
What does Magic have in store for me in 2016? Well, with doing commentary and The SCG Tour® focusing primarily on the Midwest and the East Coast, there aren’t too many Opens that I’m going to make it out to. It won’t be zero, but it definitely won’t be three or four a month like I was doing back in Roanoke. I will be trying to make it to as many North American Grand Prix as I can, and I will be trying to qualify for the Pro Tour through either Grand Prix or the Regional PTQ.
I will still be producing content on Starcitygames.com and doing my stream, but I will also be doing some other content too. I want to start producing videos on my YouTube channel, and I really like how we can just take a deck through five rounds in a league and put it all together.
The SCG Tour® is poised to be a great program, and I am looking forward to being a part of it. With IQs no longer giving out points, it makes the Open weekends much more important and is going to allow us to really showcase some great players who will likely be traveling around to the event to try and make it back to the #SCGPC at the end of the year, and it’s all going to start this weekend in Cincinnati.
Modern is a great format, and I love that we’re going to be focusing on it more in 2016. With a huge cardpool there are still variations of decks that we haven’t seen, and sometimes a deck just pops up that’s pretty new and catches my eye.
Right now, that’s B/W Eldrazi.
Alright, now there is a lot going on here, but let’s look at the basis of the deck.
Eldrazi Temple is something that’s been out for quite a long time. It was even reprinted in Modern Masters 2015 and downgraded from a rare to uncommon. It taps for <> and can tap for <><> for Eldrazi spells. Now, in Rise of the Eldrazi this was pretty balanced since the cheapest Eldrazi spells were like seven mana.
Eye of Ugin is another card that was reprinted in Modern Masters 2015 that was bumped down in rarity from mythic to just a regular rare. Much like Eldrazi Temple, this is going to reduce our Eldrazi spells by two generic mana.
With Battle for Zendikar, we have plenty more Eldrazi spells that we can cast that aren’t incredibly expensive and they are headlined by these two:
With Relic of Progenitus in the main we get to take advantage of the processor portion of Blight Herder, which is just insane. Making three creatures that can produce has the potential to be backbreaking when we are chaining into more Eldrazi. This is also something that’s happening as early as turn 3 with our Eldrazi Temples and Eye of Ugin.
Yep, remember they both effectively produce two mana each for our Eldrazi spells.
Wasteland Strangler is also an Eldrazi that we can cast on the cheap and remove creatures with the processor ability and it’s all topped off with Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. It’s much worse in Modern than it is in Standard because of Path to Exile, but with Oblivion Sower and Blight Herder coming down so quick, our opponents’ Path to Exile attempts are going to be pretty stretched already.
With everything being colorless (well, Wasteland Strangler is black), why the white? Lingering Souls is insane and we get to cast our own Path to Exile, which also conveniently gives us an exiled card that we can process. White also gives us access to some very powerful sideboard hate cards in Stony Silence and Timely Reinforcements.
A big issue with ramp decks in Modern is a vulnerability to Remand. Tron gets around this with brute force since the Tron lands can produce so much mana that we just cast multiple spells. With Oblivion Sower, Blight Herder, and even Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, we are getting an on-cast effect that we get to just reuse if they Remand the spell.
I really feel like we are just breaking the surface on these Eldrazi strategies in Modern with Eldrazi Temple and Eye of Ugin, and I can’t wait to see how things evolve with Oath of the Gatewatch. We already have Kozilek, the Great Distortion, and that seems like a great fit for this deck. There are also a number of six and seven mana rares that have activated abilities or on-cast abilities that might be playable. The 4-6 mana sweet spot is what we are really looking at because of the Eldrazi Temple/Eye of Ugin number count.
There is also a sweet removal spell that might see some play in Spatial Contortion.
I would love to see some Eldrazi awesomeness pop up this weekend in Columbus. I have a feeling that all of the players in the race for points (even though we’re early in the season) will be battling with tried and true decks that they are familiar with. Burn, Zoo, Twin, Jund, Abzan, Tron, and all the usual suspects will surely be there, but remember… the Eldrazi are coming and they have proven themselves as powerful foes already!