AuthorJon Becker

Jon is known as one of Magic's greatest cranks, delivering blistering but correct criticism to writers and players alike. He is also one of only a handful of old-time semi-pros who continue to play the game at a high level, even after becoming a father.

SCG Classic – Tomfidence

This article written by Jon Becker, originally published in 2003, is one that deserves a rereading every year. SCG Classics brings you one of the best articles on improving your Magic game.

The Fallout From Prague: Multiple Choice

Jon doesn’t write often, but when he does you’re guaranteed good times. Today he shares his pre-Prague preconceptions, and explains how he was on the money with some opinions, but off the mark with others. He shares bad beat stories, bemoans the standard of spiders and toilet paper, and beats up the British in charismatic style. I’d take him to task over the last point… but as usual, he’s largely correct.

A Short Retort re: Mirage Blue

Ah, maligned Mirage Blue. No one likes you. Well, no one that writes likes you, apparently. What you have been reading about Mirage Limited recently seems either wrong or misguided and I, against my better judgment, am here to set you straight.

Where Have All The Good Times Gone?

Jon Becker only writes once or twice a year, but when he does it always ends up being one of the best articles you read all month or sometimes all year. This article is no different, as our favorite crank covers spiders vs. elves, a dearth of Jay Schneider articles, a superior Ravnica sealed deck, and soliciting for charity in his usual laugh-out-loud style.


Magic’s greatest crank makes a return today dissecting Magic Online etiquette, the difference between a bad draft and a Nick Eisel draft, and instructs you how to raise your Magic Online rating by an easy 20 points in one simple step. If you’ve never read a Jon Becker article before you are in for a treat, and if you have, how can you not click?

OK, You Got Me. I’m Old and I’m Mean. Or Something.

Magic’s greatest crank succumbs to Flores’s relentless pestering, and finally writes another article! Today, Jon discusses the idea of one correct play, set reviews, pokes fun at Elliot Fertik (again), and goes no holds barred with his opinion of Geordie Tait’s recent theoretical excursions.


I asked my friend Tom Kelleher, who has so much confidence that we call it”Tomfidence” whether when he goes to a PTQ, he expects to Top 8. He said,”Of course, since I expect to win, I would necessarily have to Top 8 first.” And, not infrequently, he does. Three times, on the way to Maryland PTQs, Tom has stated that”since he was winning today, the rest of you must be along for the ride. Though I appreciate the company.” Twice, he won. So what effect does this ridiculous confidence have on your game, and how can you develop it?

How Many People Get It? The Over/Under Is Five.

Becker goes off on his usual mixture of strategy, issues, and flat-out tirades, discussing Wolfgang Eder’s mistakes at Worlds, why good decks don’t have two-ofs in them, the ethics of concessions, a surprise discussion of Mike Flores’ hidden talents – and, of course, the mandatory Jay-bashing!

Blasts From The Past, Part II: Impulse Like Flores

People seemed to generally enjoy the last installment of Blasts from the Past, so here is another trip to yesteryear, with five (well, five and a half) articles ranging from 1997 to 2002 that you probably have not read. Okay, well, if you are an ancient dinosaur like me, or you used to post on Usenet back when your computer had a vacuum tube and the best game machine on earth was an Amiga, you have… But otherwise, these may have slipped under your radar.

Five Blasts From The Past

Ted Knutson recently sparked a pretty robust debate on the”best” writers in Magic’s brief history with his article Love’s Labour Found. One thing that struck me while reading the forum chat on this was that a lot of the newer players have not been exposed to a lot of the historical pieces upon which Flores and others base their conclusion. There is a lot of really good stuff out there that many people will never get to read… Well, maybe they will get to read a little bit.

The Deadly Stilt Man, Part II

I realize that asking players to prepare for two similar things is very unfair. In school, I am sure none of you are forced to take, say, two related classes at the same time. Calculus and Chemistry? Probability and Statistics? That would be crazy! Give me a break.

Poor poor Masters players…

The Deadly Stilt Man

Okay, I promise this will be a short grouse this time. That promise may or may not turn out to be a filthy lie, depending upon how worked up I get…

We Kid Because We Love. And So We Don’t All Go Insane.

Hi, all; Jon Becker here. It seems that my venom bank is full, and it is time for a periodic purge of the online Magic-reading binge I have been on over the past X months. Hopefully, some of you will identify with some of this, and we can have a collective cathartic venting. Let’s take a look at Jay Schneider’s latest deck, Slideshow, which as usual should be good for about two thousand words or so – plus, the Magic Writers’ Separated At Birth Contest!