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Two Extended Formats, Two GPs

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 Magic Jerk – Nosce Te Ipsum

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.

Deconstructing U/W in Betrayers Limited Part 2 – The Betrayers Pick Order

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.

Functional Breakdown of Vintage Cards From Dec-Jan

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.

Deconstructing U/W in Betrayers Limited Part 1

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.

Weak Among the Strong: Bluffing, Imperfect Information and the Myth of the Single Correct Play

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.

Sealed Revealed from the Pros

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.

The Anatomy of “The Bluff”

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.

Betrayers of Kamigawa Limited Review – Black

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?

A Closer Look At Slaver in Vintage

Control Slaver is the hottest Vintage deck on the planet, but there’s a huge amount of debate about what the best configuration looks like. Should the deck run the Intuition/Accumulated Knowledge engine? Is it worthwhile to add Black to the deck? What’s the best deck configuration to help you win the mirror match? Does Meandeck really need to use training wheels to win? All of these questions and more are examined inside!

Extended: A Tale of Two Formats

Zvi examines why there are two different Extended formats being played right now, tells you what decks you should and should not be playing, and requests that all of you Rock players out there stop bringing sticks to gun fights. The Mad Scientist also addresses your forum feedback and a variety of community issues all in one fell articulate swoop.

This Fire: Momentum and Inevitability

What does a Darksteel Colossus surrounded by thousands of Agent Smiths have to do with helping you win more at Magic? You’ll have to read the article to find out!

Casual Happy Fun Drafts

Magic’s teenage bad boy checks with some Betrayers strategies he learned after scrubbing out of Pro Tour: Nagoya, details of a no-holds-barred Team Rochester battle between the champions of two continents, and some stories of happy, fun drafts among the pros.

*Warning* Please do not taunt happy, fun draft.

Insider Trading #2

www.digi-cardz.com is one of the world’s largest Magic Online dealers. Earlier this week, I sat down with owners Sonny and Lisa Jones to discuss some of the more common scams used by MTGO rip-off artists and how to avoid them. Protecting yourself is easier than you think, if you know what to watch out for…

Digi-Cardz.com – Every MTGO card in stock!