Thursday, May 20th – I was judging at the National Qualifying tournament in Wisconsin last weekend. I was â€“ but only for the first few rounds. Ingrid and I were part of a six-judge crew, headed by Jason Lemahieu, which was a ridiculous judge staff for a 105-player tournament. Attendance was far below expected, and that was true across the country. Last fall, attendance at The2009s (a.k.a. States) was nuts â€“ what has changed? What went wrong?
Thursday, May 13th – Last weekend, I played in the online Rise of the Eldrazi Prerelease. Between rounds, I skritched the dogs, made lunch and otherwise killed time. I thought about past prereleases and release events. After some quick math, I realized that this was probably my fiftieth set release event. Thatâ€™s a decent excuse to get nostalgic, so come with me while I wander through history.
Friday, May 7th – Recently, a lot of writers, bloggers, podcasters, etc., have been talking about Mythics. Weâ€™ve heard the hype; letâ€™s look at some numbers (and decklists). Letâ€™s also look at the biggest positive effect of Mythics on Magic.
Thursday, April 29th – The folks over at MTGSalvation are talking about a rumored Wizards plan to introduce a new format to deal with reserve list issues. It would be an Eternal format that the company could support by reprinting cards when necessary. The format would include cards from Mercadian Masques forward, and sets would never rotate out. Letâ€™s assume that such a format is created â€“ what would that do to Legacy, and what Metagame might we expect?
Thursday, April 22nd – Last weekend, the Eldrazi finally rose. I managed to play in one prerelease and run another â€“ and I went â€œundefeatedâ€ in both. Good times. Iâ€™ll look at my deck and notable cards I faced. Iâ€™ll also talk about the cards that confused players, and the common rules issues at the prerelease. It will be relevant when you play at your local launch party.
Thursday, April 15th – Rise of the Eldrazi is almost here. Wizards assures us that the format will be slow enough to let us play eleven drops. Really? I looked at my recent matches in both Saga Limited and ZZW drafts. We will be playing 8-15 mana creatures? Just how different is this new set?
Thursday, April 1st – At Pro Tour: Austin, I had some time to talk with Lee Sharpe of WotC about WotCâ€™s â€œMerging Tournamentsâ€ program, and got further details at the Magic Online Community Cup Challenge at Renton. The broad goal of the MT program is to unify the online and paper tournament experience, in the hope of cross-pollinating both. I got this information on the condition that I keep silent until second quarter, 2010, to allow them to complete their installation. Itâ€™s now the second quarter of 2010, so hereâ€™s what I knowâ€¦
Thursday, March 25th – I will be travelling to Orlando for the StarCityGames Open this weekend. In preparation, I have been looking at the Standard and Legacy metagames. We have a lot of data this time around â€“ the SCG events, the GPs, the Pro Tour and more, so letâ€™s start cranking some numbers.
Thursday, March 18th – A few weeks ago, some judges on a podcast â€“ JudgeCast – answered an interesting question about triggers. They were not exactly wrong, but they did not look at the question carefully enough. They missed something â€“ something besides the triggers. Other judges have had a variety of responses, and there may be no official right answer, but some answers are better than others. Intrigued?
Thursday, March 11th – Last week, we had an all-time high in tournament participation. It got me thinking about how Magic has changed since I started playing late last century. We know what Magic is like now â€“ letâ€™s compare that to Magic from a decade ago. In some ways, it was radically different. In other ways â€“ not so much.
Thursday, March 4th – Several players and I got into a long discussion of bribery and collusion last week. People seemed confused â€“ and since these things can get you into serious trouble quickly, thatâ€™s bad. Let look at whatâ€™s illegal, and where the boundaries are.
Thursday, February 25th – For years, we have been discussing power creep â€“ the extent to which power, toughness, potency of spells, etc., have increased over time. The difficulty is in finding a way to measure the effect. But suppose we compare Standard decks played by the same world class players/deckbuilders over timeâ€¦
Friday, February 12th – MTGSalvationâ€™s rumor mill is talking about the new Phyrexia vs. the Coalition duel decks. They have found a photo of the product, and the foils visible through the packaging seem to be Urzaâ€™s Rage and Phyrexian Negator. Reprinting Negator seems to violate the Official Reprint Policy. Must mean Magic is dying, right? Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve always said, right?
Thursday, February 4th – The Extended PTQs are ongoing. I want to look at the decks that are doing well â€“ and those that are changing. Of course, this information is mainly valuable online. In the paper world, Worldwake may shake up the format a bit.