menu

More Troll Decks, Please!

Are you a Quiet Speculation member?

If not, now is a perfect time to join up! Our powerful tools, breaking-news analysis, and exclusive Discord channel will make sure you stay up to date and ahead of the curve.

Have you watched Jacob Wilson's "Troll" deck videos? He's done two of them so far, and they're awesome. If you haven't watched, I recommend you do so before reading on. My discussion will be spoiler-heavy and synopsis-light.

I love this series, for so many reasons:

It's Entertaining

Just these two installments have inspired more laughs from me than pretty much all other Magic strategy content combined. Wilson and Alexander Hayne are obviously good friends, and it's cool to get to be privy to some sillier moments from seasoned pros—a pro tour champion and a pro tour finalist, as Hayne playfully needles Wilson in one video.

I cheered out loud when they pulled off a Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded -4 into a lethal Hidetsugu's Second Rite. I roared with laughter every time Hayne referred to bouncing Oboro, Palace in the Sky and replaying it as "a very powerful play." And I loved seeing these guys win matches with cards I've never heard of or seen in play.


It's Educational

Even though Hayne and Wilson are being goofy, we still get to glean insight from their collective play skill and knowledge. Yes, they play a little sloppily at points in these videos. Mistakes happen, but they're also how we learn. One of the big reasons to watch video content is that we can learn from the errors of others rather than making them ourselves.

The other huge benefit of watching content from pros is seeing their thought processes at different points in their games. The conversations between Wilson and Hayne show that they're both sharp players who think ahead and can quickly weigh risks versus rewards. If by watching we can pick up even just a hint of that mindset, we'll come away as better players. It's just a matter of being savvy enough to know when they're having fun and when they're playing to win.

It's Good for Spikes

Sometimes Spikey players need to be reminded that this game is fun. But more important for Spike is this: how do fringe cards become staples? They're tested. Even though many of the sideboard cards in these decks are obviously not up to par, some of them proved to be reasonably powerful in these matchups. The only way to discover sweet tech is to try it out, and to that end, these guys are performing a public service for the tournament-going crowd.

It's Good for Johnnys

Comboing Boil with a bunch of Spreading Seas effects is a Johnny's dream, and here we get to see established decks with a twist. Maybe a pure Johnny would more appreciate a brew from the ground up, but we've got Travis Woo for that. Taking established decks in bold new directions fills a niche in MTG content, which is always nice for the casual viewer.


It's Good for Timmys

Wilson and Hayne haven't yet cheated in huge creatures during this series, but Boiling away someone's mana base or finishing the game with Hidetsugu's Second Rite definitely fills some of the desire to experience awesome plays, as defines the Timmy psychographic. We can only hope that some ridiculously wonky creatures will start making appearances in future installments.


Overall, what Wilson and Hayne are doing here is great for Magic. By combining content that both entertains and educates, appealing to every psychographic in the process, they're providing something different on the MTG content scene. I, for one, hope to see more content like this. What do you think?

Join the conversation

Want Prices?

Browse thousands of prices with the first and most comprehensive MTG Finance tool around.


Trader Tools lists both buylist and retail prices for every MTG card, going back a decade.