AuthorAndy Clautice

Andy doesn't get to play Magic as often or as well as he'd like, but still maintains his rogue bent in Constructed and a critical eye for Limited. He writes about whatever catches his interest, which changes by the week when not by the hour.

SCG Daily – The Big Finish

Is it Friday already? It looks like my time with you is almost up, and so much I didn’t get to talk about! I could probably go one for another entire week or two about everything that Gencon had to offer, but I suppose all good things must come to an end eventually. Before I wrap up, though, let me drop a couple more game recommendations on you, especially for the multiplayer/casual aficionados.

SCG Daily – In the Trenches

One of the games I was most excited to see at Gencon – one of the few I actually knew I’d be looking for in advance – was none other than Your Move Games’ Battleground Fantasy Warfare, a game that co-creator Chad Ellis had talked about during his Daily stint a few weeks prior. Chad’s series had dealt mostly with the story behind the game’s creation, and I was anxious to see the end product. What I ultimately found was an abrupt lesson in the differences between Magic and minis, which left me thinking about how some of those differences could be bridged, and what they meant to me as a gamer.

SCG Daily – Drawing Dead? Not Exactly

As Magic has grown in popularity and dominance in the CCG field, other card games have started comparing themselves to it, which is only to be expected – it’s the big dog, the most mainstream of the genre, and other games should be using it as the measuring stick. Even so, it was still just the king of a kingdom labeled by the public as Dorkland. More recently, though, the surge in poker popularity (especially among our demographic) has given Magic its own publicly-embraced half-brother to latch onto when a player tries to “justify” what he thinks of as a shameful hobby. It’s not like chess anymore; it’s like poker! Like it or not, we’re leaning on poker now; I just never thought poker would lean back.

SCG Daily – Taking Tricks

One of the incredible things about Magic is how much is packed into each card. Almost any other game that includes interactions between cards can be thought of as a derivative of Magic. The only games that beat it to the punch were the 52-card-deck games, and only trick games like Spades, Bridge or Hearts could really be said to have cards “interact;” the rest are just straight up comparisons of value, like in poker or War. Nowadays, Magic covers so much ground that even the trick games can be done with Magic cards, as occurred to me when looking at Avatar Games Enterprises’ Mysticards game.

SCG Daily – The Games of Gen Con

Greetings to you all! As I prepare to take the Daily helm, I have just returned from the multi-day gaming binge known as Gen
Con. For those not lucky enough to attend, gigantic conventions of this nature are an experience all their own, and I recommend
trying it at least once. Today I’ll discuss some of the cool stuff I saw at the World’s Largest Gaming Convention.

To Live Forever or Die Trying

I’ll cut to the chase; although some of you were miffed with my last draft article – which is allowed – I decided to continue on this path. While others with more impressive resumes engaged in the debate of what’s hot and what’s not in the CBS format, I felt that I could still serve a more mundane purpose on the ground, showing what pans out in practice rather than arguing theory.

Walk Like a Savior – The First CBS Draft Walkthrough

As I could not make it to Regionals this year, most of my recent play has been in drafts of the new Champions-Betrayers-Saviors variety. I am liking this format a great deal more than I did CCB – I couldn’t really comment on whether it’s a better format, but I know that I’m far more comfortable with it. That probably has something to do with the frequency of my drafts, which is way up, and as a result I’m in a much better position to comment upon drafts than I was a few months ago. The finer Limited writers on this here site here haven’t been quite as aggressive with the new tech as I was expecting, which is a shame, but I’m more than willing to fill the gap. That’s right, kids – I draft more, and you benefit!

Meeting Maro Halfway

Mark Rosewater argues that the modern glut of keywords is generally positive, and that while Sweep was a dud, so many other worded abilities are still valid. As a vocal critic of this practice, I felt the need to make a few counterpoints, corrections and criticisms of this new article. There are some good points that I agree with, but sometimes the facts that Rosewater presents don’t point to the conclusions he draws.

Saviors of Kamigawa: The New Cards In Review

The last set in a block has always held some surprises that stir the pot: Eternal Witness showed up to help fight Affinity last year, while Goblin Warchief and Eternal Dragon completely overpowered the decks spawned for Pro Tour: Venice. Perhaps the best way to learn about Saviors (and how it might affect both Kamigawa Block and Standard) is to get it straight from the source: official previews. We’ve just had our first full week of official previews at magicthegathering.com, and it’s not too early to at least pretend to understand what these cards are going to mean to Constructed and Limited formats alike.

Adventures in the Motor City, Part 1

I-375 is an odd road. If you’re going to the Marriott Renaissance Center, where Grand Prix: Detroit was held, you don’t so much exit I-375 as it suddenly becomes a street in the middle of the city. There are many differences between a highway and a city street, and one should be prepared for these changes. My friend Jeff, who was driving the car we took from our Motel 6 to the site Saturday morning, was not prepared. As a result, we took the hard right turn at the end of I-375, not at the recommended, leisurely thirty-five miles-per, but at a highway-standard fifty-five to sixty. Some clever readers may already know what’s coming up next.

Green Thumb

In Limited, Green seems to be the odd man out. Red and Black have always offered drafters valuable removal, while White and Blue packed flyers, but Green tended to shuffle its feet and look morosely down on its collection of ground-pounders and mana acceleration. There are exceptions, as when Green suddenly found itself as the new top dog at killing off artifacts right in the middle of the artifact block, but more often it suffers from general anemia in the fields that drafters care about. Even though it was carrying its own weight in triple-Champions draft, it’s certainly fallen back into disfavor for the Champions-Champions-Betrayers environment.

Double Duty: A Look at Singleton

Andy was going to write an article about Standard this week but while researching that he found his attention kept being drug back to the infectiously fun Singleton format on Magic Online. So the week wasn’t a complete loss, he decided to spread the addiction to the StarCityGames.com readership by describing the deck he built and give you some trading guidelines to help you out, should you find yourself bitten by the bug as he was.

Sword Breakers R Us

Before we get going, I have a confession. The preparation for this article didn’t exactly take me where I thought it would. I originally set out to do what many others were also trying: put together a respectable Ninja deck for Kamigawa block. I’d already experimented with a few of them in Standard with pleasant results, so I figured they could work out fairly well in the closer confines of their home block. I wrote up decklists and played games, and the Ninja actually fared pretty well, but I made a discovery (well, more of a realization) that led me down a different path