AuthorJoe Gagliardi

Biography of Travis Fresh: The JoeyBags Story Hi. Not You. Hi. I enjoy long walks on the beach, Interpol, and silk sheets...wait, that's awful. AKSHually, I'm a limited specialist based in Cleveland, Ohio. I play Magic around three days per week, manning the counter at the local store, meaning that I am exposed to players of various skill all the way from pros and semi-pros down to the children just learning how to play. I myself have qualified for only two Pro Tours, Boston 2003 with my team, How Teamful (19th Place), and Kobe 2004 (has not happened yet). I play around 5-8 drafts per week, and try to find a little time to play Constructed. I'm a fairly serious player, concentrating on the goal of winning rather than on the more casual "having fun" aspect of the game. Overall if I had to use one phrase to describe myself, it would be "a buffoon, yet a threat." And in closing, Thom Yorke is a pretentious jerk, and I'm the Big Ern. I always take what I can.

I Told You: The Real Story of the GFC Freshmaker

I’m not going to bother with foreshadowing. I won the PTQ, got the girl, and saved the day. By that of course I mean, I won the PTQ with the deck that my teammates and I worked on, tweaked, and felt was the best deck since day one, and my preparation was rewarded with a dominating day that included four total game losses on the way to a 9-0-2 record and qualification for Pro Tour: Columbus. If you’re still searching for the best deck in Mirrodin Block Constructed, Joey Bags is here for you. He will tell you about the deck, all the matchups, and why he’s playing Ouphe Vandals in the main.

You Will Pay a Lot for that Muffler!

The slow crawl towards Regionals continues, this week with my current favorite deck, and one that has been dismissed as terrible with the recent metagame shift. The deck of course is one-time powerhouse U/W Control. You know what? The critics are right. I’m here to tell you that while “traditional” U/W control has no real place in the metagame, there is an approach to U/W that will not only be competitive, but might just be the solution that I’ve been searching for to the puzzle that is the Regionals environment.

The Lack of Rogue Decks Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

After careful analysis into what makes the top decks tick, I crafted a decklist that seemed to be strong against the format, generating decent-to-good matchups with all of the other top decks. Balancing the deck was by far the most difficult issue of the bunch, seeing as how having game against both Goblins and Affinity is difficult enough, but throw in Slide and other White-based control decks, and you really have an awful lot to prepare for when deckbuilding.

What The Hell Happened To Me? JoeyBags’ Odyssey

Want to know where Joey Bags disappeared to for the last month? How about his thoughts on the current Extended? Or maybe how he qualified for Pro Tour: Kobe with a”bad Rock deck,” and why he chose to play it? All of this and more is just a click away…

Mirrodin Draft Archetypes: The Road Most Traveled

Mirrodin R/G is the rich, popular, athletic kid in school. It has everything anyone could ever want and more. Giant, high-quality monsters? Check. A preposterous amount of artifact removal? Check. A smattering of creature removal? Check. The best rare and common in the set? Check.

So why would anyone want to play anything other than R/G?

Mirrodin Draft Archetypes: U/B or “Don’t Play This If You Want To Win”

I’ll be honest – I have not had all that much success with this archetype, even with ridiculous card quality in my U/B decks. I’ve had Crystal Shard/Skeleton Shard/Looming Hoverguard/Betrayal of Flesh times two and still lost because the opponent played an artifact that I could not deal with effectively. U/B has lots and lots of synergy available within the archetype’s cardpool, but the lack of any true removal for artifacts cripples the potential of the deck before it even begins. That said, I still think it’s an archetype that the best players can have success with and I’ll tell you why…

Mirrodin Draft Archetypes: R/B

Drafting R/B, as always, is a gamble. You can end up with some of the best decks possible in the format, with a good creature base and plenty of varied removal, or the cards might not be there and the pile in front of you contains multiple Necrogen Spellbombs and other filler. More commonly, an improperly-drafted R/B deck will end up with plenty of removal and no creatures – or, less frequently, plenty of bad creatures and little or no removal. Maintaining a balance between drafting removal first and making sure that you have enough threats can be very tricky.

The R/W Archetype In Mirrodin Draft

My name is Joe Gagliardi and I probably draft more than you. That’s really all I can say that is not misleading in any way about myself. I mean, sure, I had a money finish at a Team Pro Tour (Boston 2003), but I’ve really done nothing special in my years of gaming. However, I play Magic an awful lot, and I think I have a strong grasp on Mirrodin Drafting.

So what am I here to do? Hopefully after reading this, you’ll understand a bit more about the different archetypes in Mirrodin Draft, what cards are better in which archetypes, and why. Plus, I enjoy feedback and discussion, and I hope to inspire some of each. Today I’ll start with what can be a very tricky, but powerful archetype: R/W.