Yearly archives "2016"

13 Articles

This Month in Legacy (March / April 2016)

Don’t worry, this is still happening! I’ve been absurdly busy over the past few months though, and haven’t had time to focus on the Legacy articles – but I’ll still aim to get these done on a semi-regular basis, at least! So for this recent article I’ll be covering both March and April and how the metagame progressed over those two months. So lots of content! Enjoy it!

March’s Results

The online metagame in March hummed along with its recent trend of Eldrazi and Miracles at the top. Interestingly, Miracles has still edged out its Eldrazi opposition (seen as a typically unfavourable matchup) with greater 5-0 appearances. Other interesting developments in this month are Shardless and BUG Delver’s strong presence (edging out Grixis, for once), with Abrupt Decay getting a strong nod due to its ability to be a clean answer to the Eldrazi and Miracles lock pieces. Storm variants lack of presence online also shows how Eldrazi has shaken up the metagame significantly, though ultra-fast combo decks like Belcher, who get under lock pieces, have seen a little bit of an uptick. Also interesting is the continuous 5-0s of a certain player on Bant Stoneblade, which we’ll look at later. Read More →

Observations from the Games Laboratory Modern Grand Prix Trial

This weekend past I had the opportunity to watch the final two rounds and Top 8 of Games Laboratory’s GPT in Melbourne. Walking around the tables and talking to the participants there was a diverse field and everyone was having a good time.
With Modern no longer a Pro Tour format, there is not the regular content there once was. Still, the format remains very popular in Melbourne, evidenced by the strong turnout despite two other events running on the same day. Given the abundant enjoyment and enthusiasm in the room, I wanted to give a quick recap of what I observed. Read More →

Blue Black Tezzeret in Modern

Hi there Gray Merchant readers!
I have been playing Blue-Black Tezzeret featuring Thopter-Sword combo in the Modern League and received many questions about the deck. What follows is an introduction to the archetype. I don’t write much these days, so let me know if you found the format useful and please feel welcome to ask any questions in the comments section.
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This Month in Legacy (February 2016)

Welcome once again to This Month in Legacy!

With March just wrapping up I have all of February’s statistics compiled, and with them I have a lot to talk about as the metagame has shifted drastically in the wake of quite a few large tournaments, such as SCG Open Philadelphia, Bazaar of Moxen Madrid and Top’s and MKM’s tournaments in Milan, as well as the appearance of a new Tier 1 strategy! So yes, now is quite an exciting time to be jamming Legacy!

Let’s look at the statistics from both Online and Paper:

The most marked change is the newest competitor in Legacy dethroning Miracles’ presence online, and closely challenging the most dominant archetype in Paper as well. Read More →

How To: Melira – The Ins and Outs of Melira Combo

My preparation for GP Melbourne was a mess. I started with Splinter Twin, then switched to an Abzan Chord deck after the ban, then started casting around for another deck after the Pro Tour when it became clear that my slow, grindy Chord deck was weak to the Eldrazi menace. I looked through the PTOGW lists and settled on Ari Lax’s Melira Combo deck. I’d played with earlier versions of the deck, but found it pretty miserable to play – it’s just a combo deck that has the illusion of being interesting because sometimes you get to attack.

Despite it being, to me, an uninteresting and uninteractive deck, I had resolved to play decks for their power level rather than entertainment value. With one constructed GP a year in Australia, I wanted to give it my best shot, which meant restraining my urge to do something off the wall, and just learn how to play a tried and tested #netdeck. Read More →

On Cheating

I was caught cheating in the main event of Grand Prix Auckland in 2015 against my good friend Matt Rogers. I actually cheated before then too, against Wilfy Horig at a PPTQ. I have been thinking about both occasions a lot recently, as I am coming up to a full 12 months out of the game.

I was a cheater and I accept for a great many of you, I always will be. The point of this article therefore, is not to excuse or justify, or even to ask for forgiveness. We are past that point. Instead, I present my mildly sad story with the hope I can prevent another from doing the same, or if they already are, highlight the inevitable consequences.

I have been told cheating is the worst thing one can do in Magic. But behind the cheating is a person with thoughts and feelings. I do not believe anyone starts out wanting to cheat and I promise you any perceived advantage from doing so is not remotely worth it.

Why did I cheat? To (perhaps) understand, you need to know more about me. Read More →

Modern in March – The Rise and Rise of Dr. Owner

I wrote last time that Modern was looking bleak. Eldrazi were everywhere, and still are. Not just the absurd numbers put up at PTOGW. Fourteen decks across the top 24 GP decks this weekend (3 different GPs). Eleven of the top 16 at a Modern online PTQ. Twenty of the top 32 at the latest SCG Open. Four of the top 8 at a 79-player GPT two weekends ago. When it isn’t winning the event, it’s losing in the finals. This deck has already warped the format. So what do we do about it?

We don’t waste valuable thinking time wishing for bans (The Secret is still a thing, right?). These will happen in due course. But until then, we need to work out how the deck works to work out how to beat it.
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This Month in Legacy (January 2016)

Okay, now we’re finally back on track in terms of our monthly Legacy updates! I hope everyone had a good New Year and…

Welcome to a New Year of Legacy!

Per usual, there’re lots of interesting new things to investigate in January as the Legacy metagame has continued to develop – especially with Oath of the Gatewatch now hitting shelves and a few potential Legacy additions now finding their way into deck lists. The highlight events of this month were the bevy of SCG Classics, per usual, as well as a few large events hosted in Europe – if you want more information about the crazy amount of Legacy action going on in Europe (I’m super jealous), look towards Julian Knab’s guide here! American’s need not fear either though – there’s a variety of new series set up by stores around the country, including Eternal Extravaganza featuring many ‘satellite’ tournaments in the lead up to their tournament throughout the year. Details here about EE, and per usual look to the tournament announcements section on The Source for further details on a variety of tournaments.

So there’s quite a lot of Legacy going on this year – I’m really proud to see Legacy communities around the world step up and fulfil the void that SCG left with its trimming down of Legacy Opens!

Anyway, on to our charts and metagame analysis! Read More →

PT Eldrazi

“In the interest of format diversity, Splinter Twin is banned in Modern.”

Ok, yeah, I know that the Pro Tour over the weekend was about Oath of the Gatewatch, but in reality, it was cards from both trips to Zendikar that made a splash. I’m going to assume that you already know how it panned out. If you need more info, it’s just a click away.

eye of ugin 2

Six of the top eight decks featured Eldrazi, combining Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple with cheap colourless creatures from OGW, and to a lesser extent BFZ. The other two decks were Affinity. The most played non-colourless creature in the top 8 was Simian Spirit Guide. There were more Ghost Quarters than basic lands.

Did the sky fall? Is Modern broken? Do we need emergency bans?

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This Month in Legacy (December 2015)

Hello everyone! I have been very… absent for the past few months, and well… this is the most delayed article ever! I’m one whole month behind! Being on a holiday and in a variety of different countries certainly cuts down ones writing time, but now that I’m back and have quite a bit of time on my hands I’ll be aiming to get through this article and then speedily finish off January’s so everyone can be right up to date. December featured a relatively quiet month for Legacy, with the major tournaments being very scattered (the MKM Series Madrid, Nebraska’s War 3 and Japan’s Eternal Party 2015), along with the usual smattering of SCG Classics and the SCG Player’s Championship with its somewhat inbred metagame that a tournament of only sixteen players creates. Read More →