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Being unable to play with your cards sucks. No one will dispute this. What is also unequivocally true is that cards need to be banned. Sometimes Wizards makes mistakes while making cards, and the likes of Oko, Thief of Crowns proceed to wreck their havoc. Other times new cards interact with old ones in unexpected […]

The time after a set release or a major ban is always exciting. The format is in flux, the metagame undefined, and everything seems playable. This is even more true right now, thanks to the ban taking away a metagame pillar. This has in turn renewed interest in Modern, bringing an influx of players and […]

Time waits for no man, as they say, and Magic is the same for all players. Good advice will always be good advice, but relevance is relative. By the same token, Magic players need advice that is relevant to formats as they actually exist. And that must be re-evaluated periodically. The second Beginner’s Guide article […]

Back when Opt was spoiled, I wrote “Opting In: Modern Cantrips,” a piece dissecting the intricacies of and nuances between Serum Visions, Sleight of Hand, and other Modern draw-a-cards. Two years and some change later, Modern is all but crawling with cantrips, albeit not even the ones we had access to in 2017. Today, we’ll […]

The London mulligan has been with us now for four months, and players are speaking up on what they think of it. As a lover of the London mulligan and of mulligans in general, I’ve followed this topic with particular interest. One piece that recently caught my attention was Zvi Mowshowitz’s article “Ban the London […]

In terms of data, it seems Modern is at a crossroads. This is the problem I found myself with last week. Half the data said that Hogaak was a busted, dominate deck. The other said that it was successful, but only as a function of its popularity. The narrative coming out of last weekend is that […]

Yesterday, Brian Braun-Duin published “When Playing to Win Is a Loss,” an article detailing the dangers of getting caught up in the competitive spirit. It admonishes angle shooting and makes a case for sportsmanship in a gaming environment. Brian’s thoughts resonated with some of my own, especially as relates to the place of ethics in […]

Finally, it’s time for everyone’s favorite part of the banlist test: the experimental data. After playing 500 matches with GB Elves over several months, I can finally put some data to the speculation about the impact of unbanning Green Sun’s Zenith. I will be revealing the hard numbers and their statistical significance. As always, these […]

There’s an old saw in Standard: play the best deck with the best cards. Standard is about the cardpool’s restrictions and the disparities in card power. Therefore, it makes sense to only play the most powerful cards, or to play as many as can work together. Modern’s far greater size means there are far more options […]

There was much debate a little while back about the Modern bannings. Should Mox Opal get the axe? Is the card selection of Ancient Stirrings too good for Modern? I saw a lot of people making arguments on either side, but I did not see a lot of solid evidence for either case. It was […]

Experienced Magic players stress the importance of testing matchups sideboarded—after all, more than half of all games in a given tournament are played sideboarded. So too must I stress the importance of mastering the main phases, of which there are two per turn! Just a Phase focuses on the nuances of priority and phase manipulation […]

The Modern community is ruthless in its dismissal of new decks. When one hits the scene (and one frequently does), pundits invariably point out instances of tension on paper: these cards can’t possibly work together, the sentiment goes. And yet, the deck placed high enough to draw that attention in the first place. Tension is […]

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