AuthorJohn Matthew Upton

John Matthew is active in the tournament scene around Washington, D.C. He writes mostly Constructed, sprinkled with tournament reports and the odd piece of humor.

SCG Daily – The Battle for Kamigawa Chapter Five: School at Water’s Edge

Once again on his feet, Hashi’s stomach rumbled. Though he no suffered from injuries or fever, he was ravenous, and could barely wait to eat. As if cued, a small woman with white face paint entered his room bearing a tray. Setting it on the one small table in the room she bowed and left. Lifting the cloth, the odor of fresh, hot wantons and vegetable soup wafted up to Hashi’s grateful nose.

SCG Daily – The Battle for Kamigawa Chapter Four: The Fevered Dream

As Hashi fell from the destroyed bridge, the wind ripped the air from his lungs. During his descent he tumbled head over foot; through sheer luck, he impacted the water with his feet pointed straight down. The impact buckled his knees and twisted one of his ankles, knocking the wind out of him. Pressing his way back to the surface, he gulped cold air. The new pack that Fumiko had given him was airtight, and served as a floatation device while he checked himself for injuries.

Food For Thought: The Top Ten Underrated Kamigawa Draft Cards

A recent article on underrated draft cards got me thinking: I felt that although some of the cards Uri Peleg mentioned were spot-on, he left out a large contingent of cards that consistently go late and have a much swingier effect on the game. This isn’t a rebuttal; rather, it’s a complimentary doctrine. These are cards that are generally ignored but have proved to be powerful, and after reading this your pick orders will certainly be rearranged.

Breaking Gifts Ungiven: All Things KCI

With States coming around, I was wracking my brains to come up with something good and rogue to play, in an attempt to start some sort of wacky tradition. However, all my ideas sucked, so I decided to dust off the old Disciple of the Vault that did so well for me last year. I playtested a new build of Krark-Clan Ironworks and it was fun, so I went with it.

Pucker Up, Buttercup – It’s Our Anniversary

John Matthew takes a look back at the year that was through his own eyes, analyzing his successes and failures as a writer, a Magic player, and an all-around swell guy. Here’s a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:

I have been writing for this here site here for exactly one year. Although I won the weekly article contest on my first try, I have swiftly broken the record for most-flamed Feature Writer.

Format Distortion and the Death of Big Mana

Mirrodin Block has seen more than its fair share of format distortion. What I mean by this is that there have been cards and mechanics that bend the format in such a manner that certain archetypes become staples and others become unplayable. It wasn’t bad until Darksteel came out, and with it the death of variety: two cards called Arcbound Ravager and Skullclamp changed Standard forever. The questions I want to examine today are: How will Champions distort Standard, and what impact will that have on the States metagame?

Countdown to States – Skater Die! Exploring Turboland in Champions Standard

While Crucible of Worlds has a home in the Type One community, it has received exactly zero attention in Standard. But with the release of Kamigawa, a whole cycle of guys that let you turn lands into resources has been released, and Crucible allows you to take complete advantage of it. When Crucible is combined with another of the new cards — Azusa, Lost but Seeking, you get a Standard version of Turboland. If you’re interested in playing something besides the usual Mirrodin Block deck for States, you’ve come to the right place!

The Magic Player’s Guide to Dating

For too long the words “Magic Player” have been synonymous with agony and despair when it comes to the dating. Is it your lack of social skills, your unkempt appearance, or your frighteningly bad breath? Do you find talking to women an incomprehensible labyrinth? Well your days of shame are at their long end, my friend. With this easy-to-follow guide that describes women in the terms of Magical cards, you can’t go wrong!

GP: New Jersey – I Played G/R Tooth Before It Was Cool

The basic reports from New Jersey, like decklists and top 8 match results, have been on the Wizards site for a week. No doubt reports have also been trickling in to the esteemed editor of this site and should be up soon, detailing the specifics of Day 2 glory. Unfortunately, this is not one of those articles. Despite grand ambition and an attempt at deck-building genius, I managed to finish 6-2-1 in 132nd place. But isn’t there more to playing cards than ridiculous cash prizes?