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Insider Trading

If you’re interested in becoming a better player or getting your hands on the latest tech, Insider Trading is not for you. This column is dedicated to the game outside of the game; the one that takes place when you sit down across from another player, flip open your trade binder and get ready to deal.

In his debut column, StarCityGames.com President Pete Hoefling offers a key piece of advice for becoming a more successful trader, taps the StarCityGames.com sales database to reveal which Betrayers of Kamigawa singles are really the most sought after cards of the set and lists twenty-five cards that should be in your trade binder, but probably aren’t.

The (Decks to) Beat Goes On

You are playing in a PTQ this Saturday. It is the first round and you have no idea what anyone is playing. You are playing…let’s say Rock (Swords optional) and your opponent is going first. Your hand has plays for the first three turns of the game and the mana to make them so you keep as did the player across from you. Your opponent leads the game off with a Seat of the Synod and no play.

You draw your card for the turn and contemplate the Cabal Therapy in your hand. What do you name?

Weak Among the Strong: Grand Prix Goblins, Part II

One of the things I think is often lacking in Magic articles is honesty. I’m not talking about people giving inferior lists so they can protect their tech, although that certainly happens. I’m talking about people not being honest enough with themselves to be honest with us about what they did and why. Today I will be fully honest about exactly how well my Goblin deck performed at Grand Prix: Boston, the mistakes I made with it, and the modifications I feel are necessary to make it even more competitive in this crazy environment.

In Search of the Triple Delicious: Betrayers Black for Limited

I never got to assemble Kaldra, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up my other dreams, including all five Hondens in play, using the Green Myojin to toss out the other four, and to a lesser extent, attacking with an 8/12 trampling land. In addition to the Black review, this article contains a large section focusing on my attempts to pummel people with Genju of the Realms in draft.

The Intricacies of U/R in Champions Limited

Fresh off a Top 4 finish at Pro Tour: Nagoya, Murray Evans is here to give you the skinny on how to draft the deck that carried him to another Sunday finish: Blue/Red. In addition to detailing how to draft it in Champions Limited, Murray also gives you updated information on what will be good for the archetype out of Betrayers and tells you whether or not he thinks the deck will still be viable when the new set rotates in.

Betrayers of Kawigawa: Standard Applications

Zvi begins to apply Betrayers of Kamigawa cards to Standard in order to gauge whether any of them will change both the current metagame and the post-banning one that will be coming in March. He also includes a new Red deck in Standard, weighs in on Aaron Forsythe’s announcement from Friday, and gives his opinion on the current Invitational voting.

Ruud Run Amuck – Euro Hijinks in Japan

Though he didn’t post a stellar record at Pro Tour: Nagoya, Ruud managed to bring back some interesting stories and solid strategy from his travels. Whether you are looking for opinions about ninjutsu or salsa dancing with Japanese hotties, this report has a little of everything.

Weak Among the Strong: Who Needs Spells?

We now return to our continuing saga of Chad Ellis, the young…well, the not old…okay fine, he’s really old, former Pro Tour player. Extended season now beckons – the format that took Chad to his first Pro Tour ever. Will he be able to continue his streak by winning GP: Boston? Will he even make Day 2, or will he have to try his luck at the Day 2 PTQ? Read on, and see things from Chad’s own perspective, as he writes both before and after the event.

Betrayers of Kamigawa Limited – I Got Da Blues

I can’t remember a time when Blue wasn’t my favorite color in Magic. I’ve heard a number of top-notch players say it is one of the worst colors in triple Champions draft, and while I believe they have some good arguments to back this statement, I simply cannot agree with it. It could be a matter of personal preference, my extreme dislike for Black, or a number of other things, but I still draft Blue quite often in CCC (on MTGO) and believe it to be one of the top colors in the format. With that in mind, it’s time to look at the impact that Betrayers will have on my beloved color.

10 Extended Decks in 1 Day: The Thirteenth Step

Wrapping up our Extended Mega-Event is none other than Brian David-Marshall. Instead of covering Solitary Confinement as he originally planned, today BDM brings you a staggering array of potential rogue decks that are already making their impact on this Extended season. If you are looking for something off the beaten path (and in some cases way off) to play this weekend, or maybe just trying to survey some of the randomness you might see at your local PTQ, then you must read this article.

The Limit of Interactivity

During 1999’s Extended PTQ season, a mistake by his teammate forced Michael Flores to ask the question “Who’s the Beatdown?” Six years later, another Extended format prompts him to re-examine the strategies he advocated in what may be the greatest single Magic article of all time. The Limit of Interactivity challenges Michael’s own conclusions, and, while it categorizes Extended decks into two distinct groups, this time they aren’t “beatdown” and “control.”

Betrayers of Kamigawa Limited Review – Red and Green

Well, I was gonna start off with a nice review of Betrayers White for Limited but “someone” beat me to the punch. Someone always seems to beat me to the punch, although sometimes someone is someone else. Or something. That notwithstanding, I feel that it’s my civic duty to write a Limited set review. It’s my “area of expertise.” I guess I’ll start with Green and work backwards, tragically overlapping with Eisel in one of the weeks. And since you’re paying for this advice now, as a signup bonus, I’ll toss in Red this week at absolutely no extra charge. You’re actually saving money by purchasing a StarCity premium account. If you have any questions about the math on that, allow me to refer you to my business associate Rodman. He’ll explain everything.