AuthorRivien Swanson

Rivien Swanson is a casual player and writer who specializes in the more arcane formats available on Magic Online. Whether talking about Tribal Standard, Prismatic, or good old casual constructed in general, Rivien's areticles are guaranteed to be written with a healthy dose of style and humor.

Magic Grab Bag #17 – Time Is Not On My Side

Rivien takes a new look at a fringe Extended strategy today, utilizing two cards that he claims are criminally underused. While the deck won’t make waves on the tournament scene, it’s certainly some food for thought. Sadly, today’s Magic Grab Bag sees Rivien hanging up his metaphorical boots, and moving on to new challenges. I’ll let the man himself reveal why in his final article… good luck, fella! Don’t be a stranger!

Magic Grab Bag #16 – Same As It Ever Was

So… this is the future, eh? This set was pretty well hyped and yet, here I sit, wondering where the majesty is. I was so excited about this set, thinking about all the things that they could with “the future” – the possibilities seemed endless. Instead we get… Keyword City, Population: Ugh.

Magic Grab Bag #15 – Cult of Personality

Rivien takes us through each and every creature from Future Sight, and evaluates them for Tribal Standard play. Are the Humans horrendous? Are the Illusions illustrious? Are the Wizards wonderful? Read on to find out!

Magic Grab Bag #14 – Back to Basics

Right now in Standard, the strongest reasons to play mono-color are either Mono-Green Aggro, or some sort of Gauntlet of Power deck. I’d suggest that Korlash might be a good sign, but on the other hand, Black is the one color who’s always wanted all of your attention. Black has the strongest tendencies towards putting multiple mana symbols on all of its good cards, and borrowing abilities from other colors in order to make itself more self-sufficient.

Magic Grab Bag #13 – Bugging Out

I had an impulse, an urge, an inspiration. I wanted to build around a card, and the first thing in my head was “Well, may as well take land out of the deck editor filter, since I couldn’t really build a deck around a land.”

Or could I?

Magic Grab Bag #12 – Lard

I work six days a week, twelve-hour shifts on Monday through Friday, so all my time for writing ends up being on the weekend… but I show up on Wednesday. What follows is my own little contribution to Fatty Week over at the mothership, but of course it will be showing up a week late by comparison. Oops. Oh, well. Nothing for it, so let’s trudge on along now.

Magic Grab Bag #11 – Bouncier Than Things Best Left Unmentioned

This week I’m coming to you with something I’ve been kicking around with some other writers and friends that I find does pretty well casually. Some people appreciated its mostly budget nature, others like the mechanics of it, some people thought it just looked fun to play (it is), and Talen gets to feel giddy for indirectly inspiring it. So, gentlemen… what is it?

Magic Grab Bag #10 – Exploring Exploring Exploring

We’re going to explore something of a new format this week – one that was new for me, even. It’s not entirely new, but it’s more of a mish-mash of a few other variant formats all tied into one big stew of oddball play. Plus, it ties in with some of the out-loud musing I did at the end of last week’s article (how fortuitous!), so I figured hey, why not? Let’s prep this patient for an exam, shall we?

Magic Grab Bag #9 – Rebellion

Rivien turns his back on the Burning Issue today, instead choosing to bring us up to date with the tribal counts now Planar Chaos is in the mix. So if you’ve been waiting for those extra Kithkins, Cockatrices, or Lammasus to power up your themed deck goodness, now’s the time to check it out! Or, y’know, make a Human deck instead.

Magic Grab Bag #8 – The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

I will be phrasing my Burning Issue in the form of a question, even though I am not on Jeopardy, and I will not give a definite answer once again. Last week, because I was looking for opinions, this week because I’m going to discuss the big, scary unknown. Shall we get started?

Very simply, my question is, “Could Armageddon be making a return in Tenth Edition?”

Magic Grab Bag #7 — Turtle Power

Mono-White Control, an old favorite of some back in the days of Onslaught (though why anyone shunned Goblins back then is beyond me), may now be more than viable in Planar Chaos Standard. Powered by Gauntlet of Power, does this classic “Turtle” archetype have the tools to get the job done in a world dominated by Dralnu du Louvre and Dragonstorm? Read on to find out!

Magic Grab Bag #6 – Whites of Their Eyes

As fantastic as White is as a support color right now – due in large part to being the primary casting cost on Momentary Blink – it does a fairly poor job of being the backbone of decks anymore, and many worry that Damnation is going to be a rather large, if not final, nail in that coffin.

So this week, I propose solutions.

Magic Grab Bag #5 – Invading Judgment

Rivien has a crack at creating a precon deck, and comes up with a spicy mono-Green number capable of creating an army of unstoppable monsters! He also touches upon the cost of older cards on Magic Online, what it means to the online metagame, and urges everyone to make their voices of dissension heard!

Magic Grab Bag #4 – Stairwell to Budget

Does Magic either want or need six colors? It’s not something I think is needed yet, but I think there will eventually be a point at which the inevitable shake-up that such a change would bring would be almost certain to do more good than harm. The game will want this sort of kick someday.

Magic Grab Bag #3 – Deadeye

We’re back, and this time we’re going to do things right. I’m shifting the column around a little bit, and I think this should help in the future. Since I never learned how to shut up, I’m going to start each week with a mini-“issues” piece (or several really mini ones), and then carry on to the decklist. How is this different from the first two Grab Bags? This time, I’m doing it intentionally.