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Theory

Many factors determine creature playability. When a format’s most popular removal spell is damage-based, toughness becomes one key yardstick. In Modern, x/3 creatures that don’t trade with Lightning Bolt at parity, or that can’t fulfill one of a few other roles like casting a spell, are said to fail the Bolt Test. As such, they possess limited use […]

When you talk to players about their Modern decks, most of them can tell you why they like their deck. Perhaps the play patterns fit their style or they have good things to say about the deck’s relative power level. This is good information to have—but identifying a deck’s weaknesses is more important when it […]

As the year, for better or worse depending on your perspective, draws to a close, I find that I have unfinished business. Or rather, I have business I thought was finished but others disagree. Specifically, players just won’t accept that Bloodbraid Elf is not a serious consideration for unbanning. Despite addressing the issue several times, […]

Last week I found myself playing a head’s-up Cube match against my friend Mike. I was handily crushing him (obviously) and our other friend Kevin asked me, “Do you always just draft blue/red?” It’s not my fault! They’re the best cards, after all. Throughout the history of Magic there is some truth to there being […]

Last week I went against my better judgment and wrote about the Modern banlist. The piece seemed to be generally well received, though as one would expect, there were disagreements. Most seemed to be with regard to levels of understanding or differences of philosophy, though there was one commonly expressed sentiment that I felt deserved its […]

Recently, there’s been a lot going on in the world “non Magic-wise.” The Cubs finally overcame the hundred-year curse, South Korea got really weird, and America proved that polling actually is absolutely worthless. If you’ve been too busy staring at supermoons and lamenting the end of society as we know it, fret no more. Everything […]

Modern’s claim to fame is its diversity. I’m not alone in feeling like a notable portion of the format’s card pool is playable, and Wizards themselves push this narrative heavy-handedly. For many players, though, Modern is less about openness than it is about linearity. There are indeed plenty of options—so long as you’re not set on […]

Oath of the Gatewatch significantly changed the face of Modern upon release. Even after the deck that the set spawned was hit by the ban-hammer, the Eldrazi have found a way to claw back to the top of the format. If you checked out the most recent Modern Metagame Breakdown then you no doubt noticed […]

Every spoiler season, you can catch me looking over the new cards and imagining how they line up in Modern. “I wonder if this card could work?” Invariably, I’ll make a bunch of lists and bring them to battle on Cockatrice. I lose. I fix the list. I lose some more. After a full day of […]

Many years ago, Mike Flores wrote an article titled “Who’s the Beatdown?” and the theory contained within this piece has been referenced time and again for nearly two decades. If you want to be successful at competitive Magic, you have to understand how to assign your role in a given matchup. This is no less […]

I see players agonize a lot about what deck they’re supposed to be playing in Modern. I get asked questions pertaining to what’s good in Modern at the moment, though when it comes to the deck registration sheet, the biggest mistake you can make is not being familiar with the strategy you’re bringing to the […]

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