Breaking Down Pro Tour BFZ

Post-Pro Tour Standard Breakdown

The Pro Tour has come and gone, and we are left with dozens of decklists to copy, video archives to watch, and soon, plenty of analysis of the event. This Pro Tour featured a stacked top 8, and the most anti-climactic match of Magic ever, as 10-time PT Top 8 Competitor Paolo Vitor Damo Da Rosa mulliganed a bunch against 15-time PT Top 8 Competitor John Finkel. The quarter final between Ricky Chin and Ryochi Tamada, on the other hand, is probably the best match of broadcast MTG I have ever seen, and should be at the top of your post-PT viewing list.

It can be found here

Today, however, I want to go through what the PT results mean for Standard. I will try to avoid speculating about how likely different decks are to be picked up, and will instead try to look at some of the numbers and theory behind what did well and why. I’m assuming that you, dear reader, are passingly familiar with the deck lists found here. For what it’s worth, one team broke it for this Pro Tour… but it’s not who you think! Read More →

Custom Card Creation: Dreamscape Crack-a-Pack Stories

I’m currently in the middle a another round of playtesting my custom card set Dreamscape so I thought I’d share with everyone some of the stories and changes behind certain cards, what lessons I learnt from them, and what I’m keeping an eye on right now as I continue to playtest. However I’m also a big fan of limited formats and card evaluation and I know that not everyone cares about the minor design details behind every card so I’m mixing this with another common MtG article format, The Crack-a-Pack. So strap in for a bit on an experiment as I showcase a Dreamscape booster and dissect each card from both a design and limited standpoint.

But first if you not familiar with the cards in Dreamscape then feel free to take a look through the Dreamscape Visual Spoiler, or if your feeling brave you can try evaluating the cards without context first and then see how the full context may change your opinions.

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Pro Tour Prognostics

Ah, those glorious days between the release of a new set and its corresponding Pro Tour. No articles unpicking the intricacies of common match-ups – we still don’t know what the best decks are. No MODO footage of Pro players picking up brand new decks and muddling through them on stream – the new set has only just gone online. In a world overwhelmed with information, there is precious little available about the current Standard format.

Today, I’m going to try to sketch out the limits of the format. What restrictions are imposed upon successful decks? It’s not the mana, as we can happily play four or even five colours off the absurd Fetch and Tango lands (though fewer colours is still faster). Instead, this format is limited by the removal available. Read More →

Playing Modern in Standard

Battle for Zendikar Standard has just begun and it will be interesting to see what this new set will contribute to the standard environment.

Many decks will transition easily into the new format – Abzan aggro, Mono Red, various Dragons decks – which keep many of their important cards. Beyond that, experienced pilots will know how to update them, to keep their deck functionally similar (albeit honed for a new metagame).

My inspiration is not, however, coming from Standard past. Some of the uncommon, and even common, offerings from BFZ have me looking a little further afield. Read More →

This Month in Legacy (September 2015)

Another month of Legacy has gone by and unfortunately it hasn’t been as filled as the previous months in terms of Opens or GPs. We’ve had a few large IQs, per usual, smatterings of tournaments around the globe and a few results from online – but as mentioned last month, Wizards have significantly reduced the results posted for Legacy Premier Events (but will be changing this in the days ahead, so yay, more data!).

Although there haven’t been any tournaments that were overly significant, there have been some format-defining changes that occurred on September 28.

Dig Through Time is banned.
Black Vise is unbanned.

Image Image

Dig Through Time has finally met its end, understandably so after its continued prevalence in almost every blue shell and its crowding out of non-blue strategies (even more so than usual). An interesting unbanning has also occurred. Black Vise has famously looked incredibly laughable on the Legacy ban list considering how powerful the format has become, and its unbanning is very sensible. Although it’s unlikely to affect the format substantially, it’s a nice card to now have in our card pool, and may found some brand-new archetypes.

We’ll discuss the ramifications of Dig’s banning on the format in a moment. However, before that we’ll look at the usual chart showing the highest placing decks of the month in both online and paper. The final memento of the Dig Through Time metagame.

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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 →