The Worst Magic Article Ever Written

“If you don’t know enough about something to develop an opinion naturally, make one up and defend it to the death.” Check out this fun satirical article from Chas Andres!

You should always have an opinion. Always.

If you don’t know enough about something to develop an opinion naturally, make one up and defend it to the death. Open-mindedness is a sign of weakness, and weakness is the worst. Social situations are like racecars, and you should never leave the driver’s seat. You’re smarter than everyone else, right? Never forget that—and never let your friends and co-workers forget it either.

I write Magic articles on the internet, and you do not. That means that I am right and you are wrong. Instead of having to make up a bunch of opinions about stuff you’ll never truly understand, why not read this article and pretend that everything I’ve written here is your idea? Use my brilliant insights to put down your friends and crush dreams at FNM. It will save you from having to overwork your brain while giving me a false sense of omnipotence—a true win-win.

I’m going to cover a lot of ground, so bear with me. If you give up before the end, it means that you’re not a real man. All of my readers are male, right? I thought so. Don’t worry—we’ll be talking a lot more about man stuff later on.


Standard is the best format because it’s the most popular. All the other formats are garbage. If you play Magic any other way, you are clearly compensating for certain physical inadequacies, and you should feel bad about yourself.

People talk about “building a Standard deck” like it’s something you should only do once in a while. How wrong can you be? You know that tournament results are made publically available, right? You should be playing whatever deck won the biggest event last week no matter what. Having the right cards matters way more than play skill, so you should always play the latest deck even if you aren’t totally comfortable piloting it.

Another good option is to ignore tournament results entirely and write the whole practice off as “netdecking.” If you want to avoid being a netdecker, don’t read any Magic strategy content at all. Just shuffle up 60 cards that you think go well together, ignore the sideboard, and rampage through your FNM. If anyone beats you, it’s only because they were netdecking, which is basically just cheating. You can get the DCI to expunge their victory from the permanent record if you whine at Helene Bergeot for long enough on Twitter.

Regardless of how you choose to build decks, not having access to every card in Standard is shameful and unacceptable. If you can’t afford to buy four copies of every new card, you should quit Magic and pick up a poor people game like patty-cake or old-timey hoop stick. I heard pogs were making a comeback somewhere—maybe that’s more your speed?

The best way to get cards is to crack packs. Buy them one at a time, open them fast, and trade away the cards you don’t need. This strategy is even more effective when you can buy old packs in order to look for cards that have been reprinted because you’ll also get a bunch of great older rares. You might need to go through a couple boxes of Guildpact before completing your set of Quicken, but you’ll be all the more rich for the experience.

If you can’t afford to crack a ton of packs looking for the cards you need, perhaps get a credit card with a higher limit? If you’ve already done that and you still need to pinch pennies, one thing works well is to buy a box from your local store, crack the packs, and buylist the singles back to the store. As long as you open five or six money cards, the top two mythics, and at least one $30 foil, you’ll come out on top.

Of course, there are times when you won’t be able to wait until the newest set hits the street before buying four copies of every card. That’s okay—who can blame you for being excited? As you know, the best time to buy cards is the weekend before the Prerelease because that’s when your excitement will be at its peak. It’s probably worth it to buy a few extra playsets of the new planeswalkers too. You don’t want to miss out on the next Jace!

If you are missing any cards from Standard during the spring before set rotation, pick them up before they leave the format. There’s no telling when they’ll be printed again, so it’s crucial to get them while you can. It’s probably worth getting at least one playset of each rotating set graded at this point as well. Don’t worry about what condition they’re in—people go nuts for graded cards even if they grade out kind of low.


Legacy is a dead format. If you have any Legacy cards, you should trade them for Standard cards as soon as you can. If you have dual lands or other cards on the reserved list, move them extra quickly. Wizards will abolish the reserved list soon (boo!), flooding the market with money cards like Dakkon Blackblade and Carrion Ants.

I expect that next year’s large fall set will be a return to Ice Age with Coldsnaps II-IV. If I’m right, we’re for sure getting Snow duals. Good luck getting $130 for that Tundra when Snow Tundra is like a $5 card bro.

If you do play Legacy, avoid blue at all costs. Force of Will is the most overrated card in the format because it’s straight-up card disadvantage. How can trading two of your spells for one of your opponent’s spells ever be good? Brainstorm is equally poor—you’re drawing those two extra cards over the next two turns anyway, so play a real draw spell like Thassa’s Bounty instead.


No one cares about Modern.


Limited is a terrible format—the worst of all. The only reason I’m even bringing it up is because of how easy it is to cheat. Wizards even acknowledges it—why else would they do deck registration at Sealed GPs? This is part of a tacit understanding between Wizards and players that cheating at lower-level Limited events is both allowed and encouraged. This is known colloquially as the “human element” of the game, and it’s similar to how they drug test in Major League Baseball but doing steroids is normal behavior in Little League. If you’re not cheating, you’re behind the curve.

Limited decks need to contain at least 40 cards. Don’t forget that this is a minimum, not a maximum. If you aren’t going to cheat, you might as well just play with all 45 cards that you draft. You’ll have to add in at least ten lands of each color though or you probably won’t be able to play any of your spells.

Don’t forget that you can use more than four of each card in your decks in Limited formats. I like the 20/20/20 method of deckbuilding: 20 lands, 20 creatures, and 20 spells. For example, all your lands can be Swamps, all your creatures can be Gray Merchants, and all your spells can be Doom Blades. Against other black decks, just side out the Doom Blades and bring in 20 copies of Rend Flesh. Good luck beating that!   


I’m lumping these two formats together because they’re basically the same thing. You can only play one copy each of the good cards in both Commander and Vintage, right? I wouldn’t know—I’ve never played a single game of either one.

Both formats allow you to play every card in the history of Magic, but under no circumstances should you attempt to do this. There are actually only about 30 cards that are playable in Vintage and about 75 that are good in Commander, so all of your decks should be roughly the same. Interactivity is frowned upon by the true aficionados of these formats, as is creativity.

In Vintage, your deck must be able to win on turn one every time or you might as well light it on fire. In Commander, people like longer games so you should attempt to assemble a board state that can lock things down for hours without actually winning. The most fun Commander decks give your opponents the illusion of being able to interact with you, only you get to draw nine cards on everyone else’s turn and blow up the board every few minutes.

These are also great formats for showing off how rich you are. Laugh at anyone who plays a Terramorphic Expanse instead of a foil Japanese Polluted Delta in their Commander deck. If you couldn’t easily trade your deck for a Benz, don’t bother showing up.


Because you’ve already bought all the cards you need for decks, trading should be strictly an adversarial process. The best trade is one where you get to make money AND teach your trade opponent a lesson about having a stupid face and a terrible brain. Here are some tips I like to use to make sure I always come out of a trade on top:

1) When they want to look up card prices on their phone, tell them no.

2) When they ask why not, punch them in the face and steal their phone.

3) When they ask for their phone back, tell them that you’ll only give it back if they agree to owe you a Rumplestilktskin-style favor.

4) The favor is you get all their Magic cards.

An approach that aggressive only works if you’re a real man like me. If you consider yourself more of a wimpy little wuss, I recommend a more psychological strategy. Instead of telling your partner not to look prices up on his phone, scoff at him and tell him he can feel free to waste his time looking up retail pricing all he wants. When he comes back with an offer, summarily reject it and tell him that he knows nothing about trading. Then make a greedier offer and justify it based on the fact that his cards are dirty and will be going down in price soon while your cards were born to a higher caste and see play in all the best decks.

If he attempts to correct you, point to the Top 8 pin on your Top 8 playmat (you can buy both of these things on eBay) and inform him that you are clearly the superior Magic player. If he still rejects the trade—and really, who would at this point?—dog him all night and interrupt his matches with counteroffers. Eventually, he’ll give in, and you’ll get the cards you want.

The Fire

If you don’t have The Fire, you will never win at Magic. I recommend getting yourself some The Fire as soon as you can. It can usually be found in things that are burning down, like houses, cars, etc. Once you acquire it, you can keep your The Fire alive by always giving 110% and sometimes even 120% if you’re having like a really good day.

Speculation & Finance

Magic finance is a great way to make a living. In fact, most people get into Magic for the easy money. If you like having a diverse investment portfolio, Magic is absolutely the way to go. Think about it—if you invest in stocks or bonds, you’ll be putting all your money in a small handful of companies. But there are thousands of different Magic cards to buy!

In twenty years, Magic has never had a market crash. The player base grows by about a third every year, too, which is amazing and totally sustainable. If that trend continues, everyone on Earth will be playing Magic within the century. How cool is that? I can’t wait to teach my grandmother the best way to protect a flipped Delver and what the word “mise” means. Just be aware that most of the game’s growth during the later years of this expansion will be in emerging markets like sub-Saharan Africa, so you should probably invest in Mirage block cards now.

Another investment I really like is Hero’s Downfall. The card went from $5 to $16 in just a month. If you extrapolate those numbers to their logical conclusion, the card should be worth more than every other card in Magic combined by June. I recommend taking out a second mortgage on your house and buying up as many copies as you can.

When picking a good spec target, simply look for the card that has gone up in price the most over the past few weeks. Newton’s Third Law states that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and that applies to prices as well—a card that goes up in price will always continue to rise. You don’t want to miss out on the next Tarmogoyf before it hits $150, do you?

Want to make even more money? Consider a career as a professional grinder. After all, why would Magic exist if there wasn’t a way to make money playing it? During the week, draft fifteen or sixteen hours a day and just sell all the packs you earn. On weekends, travel to GPs and PTQs in the hopes of making it onto the Pro Tour. Once you do, you’re set for life. They don’t call it the gravy train for nothing.


All good Magic strategy articles should include a healthy dose of dating advice. After all, dating is a cold and analytic process just like Magic strategy. The two pursuits couldn’t be more similar, which is why they’re often linked.

Much like when playing a game of Magic, successful dating involves always trying to find the optimal play. Women are basically robots that respond to negative stimuli and magazines with celebrities on the cover, so they’re easy to figure out and control. Most women already wish that they were dating you—they just don’t know it yet. The only way to get them to realize their fate is by constantly badgering them until they give in.

FNM is the best place to pick up women. After all, if they weren’t looking to date a Magic player, why would they have come in the first place? Before playing against a woman, it’s always good to ask her how long she’s been playing and if her boyfriend taught her to play. The answers are always “not very long” and “yes,” but it’s good to know for sure.

Evolution has taught us that women will always dump puny beta men for big strong alphas, so don’t worry if the girl’s boyfriend is right there with her. As long as you prove yourself a worthy catch, she’ll be putty in your arms. Persistence is crucial here—don’t forget it.

Etiquette & Strategy

Never shower. Who do you think you are, a Captain Planet villain? Don’t you realize just how much water it takes to penetrate your body’s massive folds? I’m pretty sure the Aral Sea will be dry within the decade, and it will be entirely your fault.

When sitting down for a match, always make a big scene about who goes first. I recommend asking your opponent if they’d like to compete in a game of skill. If he agrees, ask him to answer to a really hard trivia question—ideally something he could never know, like the name of your first dog. If he doesn’t get it right, you get to go first. If you’d rather keep things more random, buy a giant die or novelty-sized coin and roll/flip the thing onto the table so it crushes your opponent’s deck.

Always riffle shuffle your opponent’s deck for three full minutes before beginning a game. The more violent the shuffle, the better, and counting the seconds out loud seems to help. If he objects to this, it means that he’s cheating, and you should call a judge on him. Judges are basically the traffic cops of Magic, so you should only call them on your opponent when you want to get him kicked out of the store. If your opponent calls a judge on you, it means that he thinks YOU are cheating. Even if he’s right, the best plan is to act super offended and accuse your opponent of being racist. Acting too calm in front of a judge will make you appear guilty.

Good Magic players are almost entirely silent during a game. Ideally, you should be communicating 99% of your thoughts and emotions exclusively through the following two modes of expression:

1) Flicking the cards in your hand rapidly and repeatedly.

2) Asking your opponent “are you done yet?”

Much like a dog’s bark or a cat’s meow, card flicking can have over a thousand different meanings—everything from “aha—I have the perfect spell in my hand to beat you!” to “gadzooks—it appears that you have bested me in combat good sir!” If you don’t know what else to say, flick your cards.

Asking your opponent “are you done yet?” can mean anything from “can I rush you and prevent you from making an optimal play?” to “can I distract you and prevent you from making an optimal play?” If you think your opponent might be about to make an advantageous attack, ask them this question at least twice.

Other than those two things, you should remain as silent as possible. Whenever you play a creature, drop it on the table without comment. With any luck, your opponent won’t realize that you did anything and will attack their smaller creature into your bigger one. Regardless, don’t ever let them read or even touch your cards. Who knows what kind of filth they have on their fingers? In lower-level play, you can often get away with using foreign cards and just making up what they do on the spot. As long as you don’t end up playing that one German exchange student, who’s gonna know?  

Mulligans are for the French. If you’re a red-blooded American, keep your hand no matter what. You mana-weaved before the match, right? As long as your opponent didn’t cheat by shuffling your deck too much, you’ll always draw the right number of lands and spells. If you do get flooded, it means that you’re playing too many lands. Sideboard most of them out for the second game. If you do ever decide to mulligan, always look at the top card of your deck and second guess your decision. Base all future mulligans on the card that you saw.

Most losses won’t be your fault. You’re a far better player than everyone else in your store, so if anyone beats you it’s because they were particularly lucky or you were particularly unlucky. Etiquette demands that you figure this out and make sure your opponent is aware that his victory is both tainted and hollow. Otherwise, how can your opponent ever expect to get better? On the flip side, when you win a game make sure to let your opponent just how far away from winning they were. Revealing your hand and going through each spell you had left is a good start, but why stop there? If the match is over, take a stroll through your library as well.

After a big event, it is crucial to find the nearest Fogo de Chao and consume as much food as possible before slipping into a diabetic coma. Play the Credit Card Game for the bill. (Bribing the waiter with a $20 beforehand is a good way to make sure your card isn’t selected.) After the event, be sure to write up a lengthy tournament report and attempt to get it on as many sites as possible. Don’t forget that the more adjectives you use, the better it will be.

If you can’t attend an event, be sure to watch the stream and use every social media outlet at your disposal to mock and insult the participants. Only big-time Magic players do this, and when people see how witty and edgy you are, they’ll respect you far more as a competitor.

Until next week –

– Chas Andres