AuthorIain Telfer

I've been playing Magic since a bit after Ice Age came out, and I've quit more times than I can remember. Somehow, I always seem to come back to the game; this time, let's see if I can be a little bit serious about it.

Teen Titans – A Look at Archmage Combo

Sometime before Regionals a friend of mine got very excited about a mono-Blue combo deck that worked post-Darksteel. He referred to as”Teen Titans.” I’m told the deck is well known, and was considered to be a pretty good deck locally, although I don’t know exactly who came up with it or where the deck’s exact origins are. I could probably say something like”The Japanese came up with it” and that would satisfy everyone. The better name for the deck is probably simply”Retract-storm combo.” Here’s how it works…

Bursting With Flavor – Early Thoughts on 5-Color Green in Limited

Every once in a while I get an idea for an article that I assume is going to get me yelled at. Not by my editor, who doesn’t even yell at me when I make fun of him. I mean by my readers. I think I’ve curbed my arrogance a great deal and I’ve tried to be more friendly, but still, there are always those articles drifting in the back of my head. This is one of those articles. This article is on drafting MD5. MmmDeeFive. Say it outloud with me. Mmm Dee Fiiive!

Ban Sheep

Ted Knutson makes the argument that because Skullclamp is nigh universal, it should be banned. Ban Skullclamp! My problem with his argument is threefold…

The Decks of Steve – Part 2

Back when Mirrodin first came out, I threw together a Beasts deck for Steve. It wasn’t a serious deck — even less serious than anything you’ll ever see in here — And Steve hated it. I admit the deck was a little wacky, as I was a touch inexperienced with the new cards. I’ve done a lot of testing and playing of Standard since Mirrodin came out, so I’m a better deck-builder now than I was then.

The Complete Goblin-Bidding Primer: Part One

If you’ve been playing Goblin Bidding for a while or are familiar with it, you will probably not get too much out of this article. I’m only writing this for people like me: People who, for a long time, only played against Bidding or ignored it, only to pick it up more recently for its extremely solid game plan against Mono-White control and the other control decks that had seemingly been the top of the format for a while. So, if you’ve just picked it up recently, or were thinking about picking it up, you’ve come to the right place. Goblin Bidding is one of the rare breed of deck known as Aggro-Combo, so it can be a very interactive and interesting deck to play.

Baloths Are Sneaky?

Whenever a new set comes out, a freakish occurrence spills into the Magic world. Players completely forget everything they knew before the metagame shifted. Or at least, it seems like writers live in that world, and the rest of us sit there wondering what’s going on. People discuss matchups that have already been discussed three or four hundred times before. I haven’t yet seen a name for this phenomenon, but I’m sure we’re all pretty familiar with it. Hopefully, I can avoid that. I am going to talk about a previously known archetype that never pushed above tier 2 in the previous format, but it’s been changed by Darksteel enough that it’s reasonably interesting.

The Decks of Steve

One day, an idea occurred to me. Why don’t I write about the decks my friend Steve ends up playing? They are almost uniformly rogue or less-played ideas that many of StarCityGames’ readers, in my mind, would probably love to comment on. This is a feedback welcome article, and any part of this series that follows will also be open to feedback. Good reader ideas will go into Steve’s decks and then I’ll report back to you on how he does with them.

The Darksteel Trader’s Guide

Back at the start of the year, I wrote an article outlining the mistakes and overhyped cards in Mirrodin. That was only twenty days ago from when I write this, and it’s time to make due on my promise and write a trading preview for Darksteel, as at long last we have the completed spoiler.
Or the almost completed spoiler. The mostly completed spoiler. The”I think there might be two or three cards missing” spoiler. Regardless, this is where I put my neck out on the line and offer up the cards I think you should be looking to trade for.

It’s Like Voltron, Except With Dragons and Angels

A couple weeks back I was putting together Astral Slide and I was considering running Temple of the False God. Oh yes. The Temple of the Four Land Mana Screw. The Temple of the Beating Myself In the Face When Playing Land Destruction. It’s like I played a land and it says nothing on the card! Hoboy! Beatings! So instead, I put in the Cloudposts. It changed my world. It opened my eyes.

It let me cycle a Decree for fifteen power in tiny White men during the end step of a U/W control player’s turn. I was in love. And like all loves, a person just ends up looking for the better and better high. Maybe I mean drugs. I probably mean drugs. So when I glanced at that infamous Kai/Roland Bode article I was sorely tempted. Why bother with Cloudpost when you can have the mighty Urzatron

Cutting Through the Hype With a Butter Knife

Articles – many articles – are written every time a set comes out, but does anyone ever go back and call people up about their trading articles, hot picks, and so on? Hell if I remember – I don’t recall last week very well. I don’t think they do, though. Not often. Hot picks come out and then no one ever makes a comment about them months later, to see how they panned out. What I’m going to find out is,”Where are they now?”

Konfrontin’ Kartin’ Ken and his Krazy Konklusions

I want to talk about how Ken Krouner isn’t right when he says Green is the best color in Mirrodin draft.

One of the things posted recently in response to an Eisel article on Red pick orders was that when you argue with someone, you’re saying they’re”stupid and wrong.” I feel Ken is wrong in his observations – but I don’t feel Ken is the least bit stupid. The man is known for being somewhat unorthodox and at times even a little ahead of the curve; neither of which are attributes I personally find offensive in writing. That being said, I do disagree. And I do bite my thumb at him.

Exploring Zombo.com – A Standard Walk With the Undead

Zombies is basically within the same family of decks as mono-Black Control; they are related and share cards freely. Pure Aggro Zombies exists on one end of the spectrum, and then pure mono-Black control exists on the other. Generally you slide closer to MBC by removing Zombies and putting in more anti-aggro spells, like Barter in Blood or Infest. Between the two decks exists a happy medium, where spells like Persecute and Phyrexian Arena roam freely. The goal of this article is to discuss the cards and the play style of the midrange decks.

Ten Thousand Goldfish Swimming in my Mind’s Desire

Mind’s Desire is not a deck, it’s a twisted demon; a parasite that infects your brain and sucks all the gooey morsels out, leaving you nothing more than a haunted shell of a man. This is the tale of a downward spiral in the tainted, aberrant madness of something far more sinister than Magic or playing solitaire. It is, indeed, a tale of Ten Thousand Goldfish! Mad, insane Goldfish. Actually, at some stage I will give you a pretty good idea where Mind’s Desire sits in regards to strength and speed in Standard… but mostly I’ll just rant and rave like a lunatic. Saddle up!

The Schizophrenic Archetype: U/w and W/u In Mirrodin Draft, And Why You Should Know The Difference

Drafting Mirrodin requires careful consideration to build the best deck. Though you should usually take the best card in your first pick in pack one, decisions get quite interesting from there. For example, there are two archetypes within the Blue and White color combination – both of them attempt to do the same thing, and yet they behave very differently. What are these two decks, and where do their strategies for the win diverge?