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Beginner’s Guide

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 […]

It’s time, once again, for a return to The Beginner’s Guide to Modern. This my long-running but periodic series where I cover the fundamentals of Modern for those new to the format. Though, as happens with a series that’s four years old at this point, I’ve already covered all the fundamentals and obvious misconceptions long […]

Well, this is rather unfortunate. I was intending to start building a new metagame dataset with SCG Baltimore this week. However, COVID-19 has led to basically everything for the next month being cancelled. Which means I’ll need to rely on online data for the foreseeable future. The problem is there isn’t enough non-League data to […]

The Beginner’s Guide series offers advice to new to Modern players and dispels common myths about the format’s workings. This week, inspired by some consistent misplays I’ve observed, I am going to be tackling Modern’s control decks. There appears to be a perception that they’re something to tread carefully around. But control is just another […]

The Modern PPTQ season begins at the end of July. For consummate grinders like myself, this is a call to break out the tech and start polish decks. It’s also a call to start playtesting, both to understand how my own deck works and to understand how other decks operate. One of the greatest challenges […]

Happy (almost) Independence Day America! For Fireworks Day Eve, I have been inspired to go back to the Beginner’s Guide. Recent spoiler discussions and in-game observations made me realize that I have a lot more Modern basics to cover. I’ve danced around this a few times, but never actually discussed building a Modern sideboard. I’m […]

Welcome back to the Beginner’s Guide. Once again, it is time for some general advice for those making the transition from Standard to Modern. As always, my intention is to provide a foundation for newer players to build on. Once this is established, only then are you ready to talk about all the nuance that aficionados […]

Here we are, the final category of decks! Well, I say category but it is actually categories. You see, there are a number of archetypes that are either rare or derivative of the other ones and so don’t really require separate articles. This is not to deride their value to Modern or their power. It is simply […]

Nearly there! Welcome to the penultimate entry in the deck guides. Next week I’ll finish up with the remaining deck types and we’ll finally be done with all the archetypes of Modern! Then I’ll finally be free to write about other, more topical things again. Ramp decks occupy a weird place in Magic. Arguably the […]

Welcome, once again, to the Beginner’s Guide. My quest to explain the general deck types in Modern is winding down, with only the Ramp and unusual archetypes to come. As you no doubt surmised either through pattern recognition or just reading the title, this week is about the fair combo decks. Hopefully this will not come as […]

Welcome back to the Beginner’s Guide. I’ve had a bad habit of leaving many week-long breaks between these articles. This is unacceptable and I’m going to finish off the deck-type articles over the next few weeks. This is especially important given that the I’m onto the combo decks, which fall into distinct categories that aren’t […]

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