Daniel Crane's first Magic deck was about 120 cards, control-heavy, and had the amazing Unstable Shapeshifter/Phyrexian Dreadnought combo. Over the next five years, most of Daniel's decks have changed only in card count. One tournament-worthy deck, a binder, and loads of casual decks keep him in the game and provide the fuel for his writing at Star City that has endured for more than three years.
I present to you, dear reader, five U/x control decks, and I ask you to consider them and perhaps comment on them in the forums. I know that they’re not all Tier 1, but each of them has a different intent and focuses on a different area of Blue-style control. Take a look, see what you think, and get to work controlling your games!
Although it was nearly 90 degrees on Saturday, the temperature isn’t what got my blood flowing: It was the 137 competitors coming together for StarCityGames’ Amateur Challenge. Packing a huge variety of decks in one of the most fun and fulfilling formats seen in recent history, these hopefuls converged in a colossal struggle for the coveted Amateur Challenge trophy or, failing ultimate victory, a piece of the fifty-box prize pool.
Usually, I manage to get an article written at least every four months as I have related the Magic storyline to the novels that are released with each set. However, those of you who look forward to my articles to get an update on the storyline without having to purchase and read the Magic novels may have noticed that I haven’t written about The Darksteel Eye or The Fifth Dawn (the books associated with the two most recent expansions). This is not for lack of interest and only partly for lack of time. No, the absence of these articles has been for lack of content.
What a time to come back into the game! Star City Games here in Roanoke, VA has started a series of Sunday tournaments, with each week featuring a different format. This past Sunday was my first opportunity to play in a tournament in a long time, but fortunately I was able to participate despite my lack of Darksteel cards. Last Sunday was Ben Bleiweiss’ Deck Challenge, and it was an absolute blast!
As I’m sure all or most of you are aware, www.MagicTheGathering.com is once again allowing we, the Magic players, to design a Magic card of our very own! What we’ve got so far looks really good; all we’re missing is a flavor text. And as anyone who’s looked in on my”The Real Story Behind…” series knows… I’m a big fan of flavor texts!
It’s that time again! A new expansion, a new set of flavor texts… And a new look at how the flavor texts on the new Mirrodin cards relate to the official backstory! Listen carefully as Daniel tells you what these strange and wondrous quotes actually mean!
The flavor texts of Ice Age are given new substance in the novel The Eternal Ice. However, unlike The Dark’s novelization, the flavor texts from Ice Age serve in a much more environmental capacity than in a storytelling one. For example, Disa, the Restless has a large role to play in the flavor texts of Ice Age, but no place in the novel – and no real impact on the goings-on of the time period. Alternately, Jaya Ballard has many enjoyable quotes from this set and plays a large role in the story, but the two facets of her existence are not interrelated. Therefore, as usual, The Real Story Behind Ice Age will give further insight into the storyline behind the flavor texts….
Since Chaos Magic is the greatest Magic format ever, I easily got eight people ready to rock and roll with a huge game of Chaos that lasted about three hours. (In the end, I managed to get a Masticore and eighty-two mana, kill a player, force two more to concede, and then die to decking, letting me come in second place.) Afterwards, several players were clambering for another Chaos game – but the more experienced players reminded them that there was no way we could play one in the forty minutes left before the store closed. However, the great interest in playing multiplayer showed by many of the Casual Magic regulars got me thinking: Is there a way to make Casual Magic a Chaos format?
Generally, my”Real Story Behind” series deals with the most recent expansion’s storyline and its relation to the flavor texts of the cards. However, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the other books that Wizards of the Coast has released. This first book in the Ice Age Cycle novels takes place during the time between the final battle between Urza and Mishra and the oncoming of the Ice Age – a time dubbed by historians as”The Dark.” It was a time in which the world was becoming colder and darker, yet magic was becoming more understood – and feared.
If you want to know what happened in Scourge the novel but don’t have the time to read the whole book, this is your source for a storyline update unlike any you’re likely to find on the internet – three hundred and ten pages are summed up in just over five thousand words.
Wizards totally dropped the ball on the cards, at least in terms of the storyline. The cards do not do the novel justice. The flavor texts in Legions supported the storyline to some extent, although there was also a great deal of supplementary information not covered in the novels. Even though Scourge doesn’t add anything significant to the Scourge storyline, it certainly does not support the story put forth by J. Robert King. The flavor texts are bland, boring, and weak – especially in the wake of the strong pool of ideas in the novel.
Pete Hoefling has been running StarCityGames.com successfully for years – even before it was a world-class website. He’s made a lot of great decisions and has truly had a positive impact on Magic as a whole. And just this past weekend, Pete started up a new format called”Casual Magic,” and it’s a combination of tournament and casual Magic that has been getting casual players old and new out to play together.
Now that Magic is all about rules, the idea of the planeswalker casting spells has gone out the window. Shouldn’t you be able to Clone a legend – and isn’t it slightly ridiculous to think that anyone can control Yawgmoth’s will? How can you match the reality of the rules up with the story you’re running in your head?