Piemaster, real name Ian Taylor, resides in London, England. Although he has only been playing Magic since Torment, he is an ex Star Trek CCG world number one and so is no stranger to the world of shuffling and dealing seven. Mainly a limited player, he spends most of his time drafting it up on Magic Online, although you may occasionally find him at paper Magic events in London, especially if there's a bar. While not playing Magic he plays soccer, (American) football or anything that can be played over a couple of beers with mates.

The Magic Online CoK Uncommon Print Run

Those with long memories will recall that this time last year, I revealed to you the Mirrodin uncommon print run on Magic Online. I got a bit wordy about it, and sort of made an article around it, but basically the whole thing was an excuse to get the print run out there. Well, after umpteen drafts and a fair amount of help from friends and randoms on Magic Online, I have managed to do the same thing for Champions of Kamigawa.

The Top 10 Metagaming Mistakes

It is a sad fact that many Constructed tournaments are lost before the first round pairings are even up. If you turn up to a Block, Standard, or Extended tournament with a bad deck, all the tight play in the world will probably not help you to the Top 8. In order to be playing the right deck and the right build for a given metagame, you need to avoid making the ten mistakes listed in this article.

Drafting Zebras

Is it possible to create an entire draft archetype out of cards that seemingly have little value by themselves, but pack quite a wallop when combined? Piemaster recently set out to discover the answer to that very question and includes not only a full examination of what cards are important when “drafting zebras”, but also did a draft walkthrough so that you can see both the good and the bad of drafting this new archetype.

First Impressions — The Best Commons in Champions Limited

In this article, I will the tell you what I believe are the best five commons in each color in Champions of Kamigawa. These are the cards that jumped out at me through looking at the spoiler, and impressed me through what I saw at the prerelease, enough to make me believe they will be the premier commons in each given color. If you’re going to draft the new set and don’t really know what cards you should be taking, start with these 25.

What Decks Can Make the Transition to Post-Champions Standard?

There is a fair chance that, come States, you will be playing a deck that you are already playing with, or at least are aware of. The question is what deck will this be? This article will look at all the big decks in the current Standard metagame, and assess whether they can survive the transition to new Standard. If you are looking to get a head start on your testing for States, you’ve come to the right place.

The Magic Online Mirrodin Uncommon Print Runs

If you are one of those people who see signaling as a divine holy art, which should be worshiped and protected, then you will not like this article. However, if you’re like me, and think that you need every helping hand you can get when trying to find your niche on the color wheel, then you may find this article of some use. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s print run time.

The Comprehensive 8th Edition Draft Review: Artifacts

The colorless cards in 8th Edition are a mixed bunch. There are some very good, first-pick quality cards. There are also a large number of awful cards. Here are some points to note about artifacts in the format. Note that I have also included the non-basic lands in this section, for the sake of completeness. Not that there are enough of them to interfere with the flow of the article much.

  • Some artifacts should be picked higher than the equivalent colored card, because they don’t commit you to a color. Phyrexian Hulk for example is a perfectly acceptable first pick, because it is going to make your deck and be a reasonable card regardless of what colors you end up playing.

  • On the other hand, when using artifact creatures, remember that Naturalize and Shatter can rain on your parade just as well as any creature destruction spell. Bear this in mind when setting up gang blocks or alpha strikes.

The Comprehensive 8th Edition Draft Review: White

A lot can be said about White in Eighth Edition because it really is a diverse color. It has bombs, it has filler, it has attack-minded creatures, it has defense-minded creatures, it has good evasion creatures, and it has good ground-based creatures. Like Red, it also has good rares and rubbish rares in roughly equal measure. Here are some things to bear in mind when drafting White.

  • Try to avoid Green as a partner color, but any other color is fine, and even Green can work on occasion if you splash for removal.

  • White has excellent commons. Pacifism and Master Decoy are superb, and following that are a number of common flyers that are all high picks. The fact that Diving Griffin is only the seventh best common in the color is a testament to how deep it is. On the other hand, its uncommons are very uninspiring. Its best uncommon (Chastise) doesn’t compare favorably with any other top four in Red or Blue.

The Comprehensive 8th Edition Draft Review: Red

I like the simplicity of Red. For a lot of cards in this article you will notice very short write ups, simply because there is nothing complicated about the card. Normally it burns something, or it repeatedly turns sideways until either it or your opponent is dead. Not that this is a bad thing of course. The bad thing about Red is that it contains a large number of great cards, but also a large amount of rubbish. Look down the list to Anaba Shaman and see how quickly the quality drops off after that.

The Comprehensive 8th Edition Draft Review: Green

  • 8th Edition Green has very few out and out bombs, but also has fewer unplayable cards than any other color. Even cards appearing in the bottom half a dozen on this list are not awful in the same way that some of the Black and Blue cards have been in the last couple of weeks.

  • I stressed before the importance of drafting more passively in 888 than in other recent formats, but let me stress here that if you are going to force a color, it almost has to be Green. This is for two reasons, first, because it is deeper than any other color (see above), but also because it is far easier to play a three-color deck if you have a Green base. Rampant Growth and Fertile Ground will ease your mana base woes.
  • Color Wheel This, Rosewater! The 8th Edition Blue Review

    As I mentioned in the previous installment, the idea of the base set is to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of each color. This is evident in the Blue in 8th Edition, so much in fact that I can imagine a designer muttering”color wheel this, Rosewater!” as he added yet another awful creature and unplayable rare under the Blue section. Here are particular things to look out for if you want to draft Blue…

    The Comprehensive 8th Edition Draft Review: Black

    Welcome to the first of a series of six articles on 8th Edition drafting. Very little has been written on this topic, even though it is being drafted a hell of a lot on Magic Online right now. Kai Budde wrote a primer for 8th Edition Draft on Sideboard a couple of months ago, but I don’t recall ever seeing a comprehensive guide to draft picks in 8th Edition, so I have taken it upon myself to write one. This article will evaluate every card in the set from a draft perspective as well as giving some general info on each color. We’ll start with Black.

    The Biggest Con In Magic Is The Draft Walkthrough

    Of course, invariably the person who is writing the walkthrough wins the draft, which just serves to make the whole thing look rather contrived. But if people are reading the walkthroughs to learn, then surely it would be far more useful to read about drafts where things didn’t go according to plan. Writing about a draft where everything goes perfectly is like writing a software manual without a troubleshooting guide. You’re basically saying,”This is what should happen; if it doesn’t, then you’re on your own.”

    This is my draft. It didn’t work out. Let me tell you why.

    The Biggest Con In Magic Is The Draft Walkthrough, Part 2: The Actual Play

    Looking at my card pool, it was tricky to build a deck. I had some powerful cards, but not enough and what I had was somewhat lacking in synergy. Basically I had two choices. Firstly, I could play my best twenty-three U/W cards along with seventy land, giving me a deck with decent mana but with some bad cards and capable of very indifferent starts. Alternatively, I could go the U/W/r route and have a deck of mostly powerful cards that lacked synergy, all held together by a shaky mana base….