Jason’s Archives: Lessons from Origins, Arts and Charts & SCG Columbus Deck Tech

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Greetings, speculators!

I'd love to greet you this week and regale you with tales of how well the trading and selling was at Origins, but those of you who follow me on Twitter know how dire my assessment of the event was in those terms.

Don't get me wrong, the event was fun on its own merits, but the area where the Magic events were going on was a letdown. We expected a Gen-Con analogue, but instead we encountered an event hall that became a ghost town once 0-3 drop o'clock rolled around.

It's hard to be compelled to stay and trade when, after you drop, there is the allure of an exciting gaming convention on the other side of a partition so flimsy you can hear muffled children's laughter and jubilant music, contrasted with the bitter taste of one's own failure as a player coupled with a bleak, empty hall and tables that didn't even have tablecloths (The Yu Gi Oh guys got them, though).

Our thought process was sound, I thought:

  • Gen Con is amazing, Origins is like Gen Con, Jr.
  • Star City events are amazing trade opportunities, superior even to GPs some weekends.
  • Star City Games is the only vendor in the "free" area, so people are likely to trade if the line to sell is too long and they don't want to pay $10 cover to get in to the exhibitor hall to sell to other dealers.

It was not to be, however, as we opted to wait until Sunday to buy the exhibitor hall wristband, and by that time everyone was out of money and their buylists were pretty anemic.

Next time I go to Origins, I'm leaving my binder at home and spending way more time playing Puerto Rico or the gigantic Settlers of Catan game they had set up outside of the hall where the Magic events were, complete with gigantic foam dice and huge cards.

Origins is an amazing time, though, and I recommend it to everyone who loves gaming.

Enough babbling, monkey, just dance for me

I have a lot of good stuff for you this week, so let's get down to it already.

This will make little sense to the colorblind
I almost mistook this for a chart of how a bill becomes a law

Redditor "tastyclown" starts us off this week with a handy chart of the color alignments of recent 2 and 3 color guilds/shards. If this were 3 dimensional, the Z axis could conceivably show the 3 color guilds (ana, raka, dega, etc.) from Apocalypse.

As it is, this is very handy to newer players, especially with the return to Ravnica on the horizon.

Note, 3D life counters are less OP since they can't be pitched to pay for Force of Will
Behold, the second best blue card from Alliances

Redditor "Dagshelagr" made this 3D counter of everyone's favorite Magic meme. I imagine he does commissions.

Attacking with him will cause a lot of unhappy little accidents

Alterist extraordinaire Eric Klug with the reddit tag "Klug_alters" shared his newest piece which he titled "Blob Ross." He is an active redditor and that site is a good place to see all of his newest work.

Some painters take the card names a bit more literally than others

Next up, we have someone who isn't Eric Klug but could be well on his way. Redditor "rjb4200" shares this with us. Hop on reddit and give him a few words of encouragement. This one can be found on the bay.

Something that made me chuckle a few weeks ago when I saw it and didn't have a chance until now to post was this assessment of the rigamarole over Cavern of Souls

A typical outline constructed by "Rules JD" students in their 1L Priority Procedure class

Redditor "extraheretical" brings us this scathing criticism. I couldn't agree more.

Who's got future sight?

In the latest episode of Brainstorm Brewery, posted right here earlier this week, Quiet Speculation's own Corbin Hosler and I got together with Ryan Bushard and our friend Marcel to discuss what M13 might bring us in the future. Like Mad Prophets, we predict the casting costs of Lilliana and Ajani in the new set. We also throw out a bunch of other numbers, including when Ryan says he's rather Lilliana cost 1 and have 0 loyalty than cost 5.

Imagine our surprise when a few days after we recorded the cast, someone took sketchy camera-phone pictures of what is rumored to be the M13 planeswalkers; 4 that we knew and 2 not announced yet.

Picture taken using a Nikon 3900C potato

Redditor "dunchen22" found this picture and shared it with the interwebs. Nice find! It looks like our prediction of 4 mana for Lilliana and 3 for Ajani were oddly prescient. Maybe that will distract from all the things we were wrong about.

Some Original Tech for Origins

If you're going to reanimate a deck everyone assumed was dead, why not reanimate Reanimator? UW Delver was half of the money-winning decks, but there is still something to be gleaned from the field.

Michael Belfatto decided that Solar Flare was the way to go and he battled through an ugly gauntlet where Wild Nacatl has flying and Serra Angel has flash and Momentary Blink and Forbid's buyback is 2 mana and 1 card and can be paid whenever. Slotting Terminus into the existing shell, this deck is all business all the time and shows that a deck with that many Unburial Rites is never truly dead.

Gruul/Naya are no slouches, either. The top 32 contained Naya Pod, RG Wolf Run and in 6th place Evan Wagstaff came loaded for bear with a beastly Naya Aggro list that packed Wolfir Silverheart, Zealous Conscripts and the correct number of Huntmaster of the Fells, Cavern of Souls and Blade Splicer (that number is 4).

And lookit alla dose Zomboes! Not only did a deck that was not Delver win the event, and deck that was not Delver got second, Michael Marlow's B/U Zombies list. If you thought Killing Wave wasn't a card, think again! It's even more efficient than Falkenrath Aristocrat and it can hose your opponent's mana dorks if they can't cough up the life points.

Great job, everyone!

Legacy on Sunday started with a big smile on my face. In between rounds, Todd Anderson came over to where I was trading and managed to pick up some last minute cards he needed for his Legacy deck, one of them being Misdirection.

He laid a pile of cards on the table and on top of the pile was the card Hypergenesis. I knew we were in for an entertaining top 8 announcement. And Todd did not disappoint, taking 4th place with a Hypergenesis list that took full advantage of the fact that the new Planechase cards are playable in Eternal formats. Running 4 Shardless Agent and 2 Maelstrom Wanderer, this deck is cutting edge. I am a big fan and hope this deck takes off. This certainly won't help the already ridiculous price of Shardless Agent.

Winning the event was Eric Rill with a stock-looking RUG Delver list that won my heart by including Mind Harness in the board, which is my preferred method for borrowing Tarmogoyf and Knight of the Reliquary. Cumulative upkeep matters little when there is a 2 point creature swing in your favor and you have a 3 turn clock.

Also notable was a Mono Blue Control deck that took advantage of greedy manabases and punished their players with three maindeck copies of Back to Basics. Pilot Dan Musser also jammed three copies of Devastation Tide, obviously to good effect.

Taking second in the event was Eric Fry with a MUD deck that was true MUD: no Goblin Welder, just an artifact party that brought the pain. Nothing is more satisfying than wiping a board full of Mongeese for 1 colorless off of Steel Hellkite. Nice Shroud, dude.

Way to go, Erics Rill and Fry!

The most unkindest cut of all

Now I must leave you all. Have a great week and join me next week where I'll regale you with tales about road trips and pictures of cats for another exciting installment.

Insiders, check out the QS forums for the Shop Crawl 2012 "bonus material" where I'll run through actual numbers and how you can maximize the potential of your own shop crawl.

Have a great week, everyone!

Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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