Monthly archives "September"

7 Articles

BFZ Australian Midnight PreRelease Pools

Hi Everyone! (Hi Dr. Nick)

My sources (reddit) tells me that people are interested in what happens in the future. Well, here in Australia we can bring that to you!


The new deck boxes – They are amazing, they fit standard sized sleeves as well as your whole pool! They have the potential to be flimsy, as mine was breaking at the top hinge even as I slid my pool in.
IMG_3528.resized50pcnt Read More →

The Basics of Competitive Magic

Hi Everyone, My name is Fabian Peck and I am a Level 3 Judge from Melbourne Australia. I have judged many events over the years including numerous PTQs, PPTQs, WMCQs, GPs and occasionally you’ll see my dorky head in the pro tour coverage. I wrote this article to give everyone a better understanding of competitive level events and how they run. This article is pretty simple and aimed at those who know very little of the structure of competitive events. The Gray Merchants will be posting another more math-based breakdown of how to calculate tiebreakers soon. Read More →

Custom Card Creation: A Guide to Playtesting

If I had to name one thing which I believe is undervalued and underused in the mtg custom card community it would be playtesting.
I’ve seen dozens of talented designers create and iterate on great designs for mechanics, duel deck and whole sets. But when asked what playtesting has been done all to often the answer is “very little.” I understand why this is, playtesting is hard, time consuming and it isn’t exciting like creating the next cool card. This is then exacerbated by the difficulties of getting  lots of players together and a lack of step by step resources on how organize these playtests.

In this guide I’m going to run step by step on how to coordinate your own both physical or online playtest sessions so you can improve your custom card designs. Read More →

Battle For Zendikar Card Discussions: Part 1

Battle for Zedikar spoiler season has begun and all of us here at The Gray Merchants are loving it. A ton of exciting cards were shown at PAX and other places over recently so we thought we would share our opinions about them and what predictions we have for them in MtG’s future.

Lets start off with some short introductions:
Reuben: I’m a Timmy/Spike player and custom card creator who loves looking at the subtle ways the limited environments and individual cool cards are designed. Spoiler Season for me always has me looking at what themes and systems are underlying the set as well as how they integrate those with great vorthos flavor.
Molly: I’m a Spike through and through who enjoys aggressively costed, ridiculously powerful cards (who doesn’t!). For me it’s all about the win and whether a card will get me there. I do however really love the flavour that R&D imbues in sets and am super keen for Zendikar since I started playing right after we last visited.
Simon: I’m a Spike who loves limited, with Sealed being my favourite format. The commons and uncommons are the spoilers I look forward to most, and love to see what interactions will come up in draft.
Sean: I’ve been a Spike since I opened my first Guildpact booster many years ago, though that doesn’t mean my mastery of Magic cards is anything to write home about. I’m a great lover of Lightning Bolts, eternal formats and the Jeskai colour combination, and throughout Battle for Zendikar spoiler season I’ll be primarily looking at cards in the context of Modern and Legacy.

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7 Point Highlander – An Introduction

Shortly after moving to Australia I was introduced to the wonderfully deep format of 7 Point Highlander (Hereafter 7PH). Having never heard of this format before, I quickly fell in love with it and now that I’ve learnt a lot more about it, wish to share this with the world.

The premise is simple; 60 card decks with 15 card sideboards with no card appearing more than once other than basic lands or a card that explicitly says it can such as Relentless Rats.
So far it seems like a more competitive version of Commander, but the big difference is in the title. Instead of a Banned list, any card that is legal in Vintage is legal in 7PH with decks not allowed to have any more than 7 points worth of cards between the main and sideboard. Due to the singleton nature and the points restriction, this format is less powerful than either Vintage or Legacy but is more powerful than Modern. Read More →

This Month in Legacy (August 2015)

Hello once again! We’ve had quite a month of Legacy recently, with two major events occurring – the SCG Open in Washington, DC and the Legacy Championship – so we’ve got a lot of data to scour through and a lot of new innovations to look at from those two large tournaments. The SCG Invitational in New Jersey also featured a Legacy component, with some interesting lists from there as well. Not to mention there’s been some interesting pieces of technology on both Magic Online and paper tournaments, per usual. Read More →