It’s Pro Tour week for Mr. Aten, so what does he do? That’s right, that lazy sack of meat farmed out the entire article to his friends and made them write the review of Betrayers of Kamigawa White. So why should you still be interested in this article? Because Tim has friends with names you might have heard of like Nassif, Parker, Kibler and Krouner, that’s why!
Mike explains his fascination with decks that bear the Dan Paskins Seal of Approval, and offers up a most teched out decklist of the most popular deck this Extended Season. People will be playing this decklist at your local qualifiers, so the only way to get a drop on the competition is to read this article.
The threat is stronger than the execution. I first read this strategic insight during a past life in which I played and studied Chess instead of Magic. Some Chess strategies simply don’t apply to Magic – Chess is a game of perfect information in which identical forces contest with all pieces beginning on the board. Magic involves imperfect information and each draw can radically change the balance of force available to each player. Nevertheless, many strategic truths apply as powerfully to Magic as to Chess… and this may be one of them.
Hi, my name is Ruud Warmenhoven and I have finished in the Top 16 at every Extended pro-level tournament I have ever entered. In all these events I played a weird deck that most people would call rogue and wouldn’t include in their testing. I have been seen casting such hits as Battlefield Scrounger, Constant Mists, Lightning Angel and now Sensei’s Divining Top and won games with them. The story of how I ended up playing the Top at Eindhoven involves the English, a drunken bar fight, and a man named Draco…
Funny things start happening after you get a few drafts under your belt with a new set. New avenues seem available. It’s easy to convince yourself that you are privy to the real tech, that some cards which everyone else thinks are crap are super-playable, and other heavily-hyped cards seem not so good. It’s too early to say whether every strange draft idea I have seen in the CCB format will prove itself worthy. But there are a couple of decks that I have drafted, or seen drafted, that really fascinate me and have proven to be at least playable if not good. This article is dedicated to those new draft ideas including one I like to call… Ninjank!
Today Zvi muses on the best versions of the best decks to come out of the last two Grand Prix weekends, including Tsuyoshi Fujita’s incredible Sneak Attack deck. Still think the deck is a fluke? Here’s a preview of Zvi’s analysis which includes an optimized decklist: “I love this deck. It goldfishes better than any other deck in the format…”
The most interesting matches of my season so far came back to back at last week’s PTQ in Milford. I was playing Aluren, and my first opponent was Jonathan Ward of Team MYR. We were both 3-0 at this point and he begins the game with something like Duress, Birds of Paradise, Cabal Therapy and I assume he’s playing Rock, so I Cabal Therapy him back on Vampiric Tutor. He shows me a hand of Worship, and Academy Rector. What the hell? If your PTQ season has gone at all like mine, I’m sure you’ve had more than a few of these strange moments and can share my pain.
When Ken messaged me last week to tell me he thought he had written one of his best Limited articles ever, I was skeptical. He’s been semi-retired for some time, so I didn’t know what to expect. Friday’s article proved his case however, and part 2 just continues it by delivering the complete common-through-rares pick order for Betrayers in this powerful archetype.
Phil Stanton’s articles are almost impossible to explain in short blurbs, but they always include numbers, they are always about Vintage, and they always give you crucial information about some part of the Vintage metagame. This time Phil takes a look at the different compositions of card types in Vintage Top 8s, including how many land/mana sources each deck runs, the amount of countermagic and disruption seeing play, and how much potential most Vintage decks have to damage themselves. If I haven’t explained that this article is really really cool then I have failed, but don’t let that stop you from reading this article, as it should be an enormous boon to every Vintage deckbuilder that reads it.
Throughout time two draft archetypes have risen above the rest in terms of power and consistency. Those are mono-Black and Blue/White. If you default to one of these archetypes without knowing exactly what is in the set, you can’t go too wrong. Sure it may cause you to pick a Harsh Deceiver earlier than it should be picked, but by following the guidelines of sets past, you should be able to draft a competitive deck. In this article I am going to discuss the drafting of Blue/White in Champions/Champions/Betrayers (CCB)from the commons right up to the rares, with a pick order for every card on the list.
What can you say about Chad Ellis’s fundamentals articles? That Chad Ellis is a respected Magic theorist capable of taking complex concepts and making them simple to understand. That Chad is respected by the best theorists and players in the game. That every time you read a Chad Ellis article, you will learn something and become a better player. If that’s not enough, check out the guest appearance from “The Donald” in this exceptional article.
Real Life intruded on Craig Stevenson’s Sealed Revealed run, but we found a ringer to stand in for him. Today Tim takes two of the card pools Craig posted last week and dissects them, explaining which builds he would consider, discarding the chaff and building the best decks from the tools at hand. The Betrayers of Kamigawa prerelease starts on Magic Online today, and Limited PTQs are just around the corner, so if you are looking for some help in figuring out how to build your deck, Tim Aten’s got your back.
In the quarterfinals of Pro Tour: Nagoya, Terry Soh pulled off one of the more impressive and memorable plays in recent Pro Tour memory, using a stone cold bluff to get Frank Karsten to make a game-losing mistake. In a stunning look at the mental game behind the scenes of the highest levels of Magic, Terry dissects the game situation that led to that awesome play, and shows you both how to set up bluffing situations to exploit your opponents and how to protect yourself against them.
If you’ve read any of Nick’s articles recently, you know that unlike most pros, he hates Black. Well Betrayers of Kamigawa is out now, but were there enough good commons and uncommons to change Nick’s mind, or is Black still so bad that even the totally sweet power of rat ninjas isn’t enough to sway his opinion?