December 23, 2015

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Modern Masters: Modern Playable

When the original Modern Masters was released the closest comparable set was Chronicles - a set similarly designed to increase supply of hard-to-find cards - but one that was so overprinted that its impact was mostly to collapse the price of a few good Legends cards. Modern Masters was better than Chronicles, but the comparison is so lopsided that its virtually worthless. The release of Modern...

December 9, 2015

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Four Tournaments with Esper Control

Back in early November I wrote an article on Esper Control, a deck I had good early success with and that seemed both consistent and effective. I’ve now played the deck in four separate 4-round tournaments putting up a total of 10 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws, hopefully an indication that this is a legitimate tier 2 modern deck. For those curious about the effectiveness of Esper control in...

November 25, 2015

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Modern Charms

There are a lot of ostensibly powerful cards that don’t see play in modern because they are just a shade too slow or too conditional. The ever-present threat of a turn 4 kill keeps spells clustered around 1 and 2 mana, and the need to interact with (or race) fast and unfair decks means even the modern brew will usually lean on cards like to keep itself in the game long enough to do something...

November 4, 2015

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Esper Control in Modern

Control decks are responsible for the most boring, grueling, and frustrating games in magic. Having been on the receiving end of the counterspell-chain more than a few times, I did not expect to ever feel the urge to be on the other side of the exchange. But times change, and I eventually got over having my s and s being ’d and ’d (it took about 15 years), and crossed over to the dark side by...

October 22, 2015

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The Simic Problem

With the cardpool and manabase available in modern, all colour combinations should be equally viable. While the manabase certainly allows any combination of colours to work (up to and including 5-colour tribal flames) the cardpool isn’t quite so accommodating. The blue/green colour pairing in particular - Simic, for those following the Ravnica guilds - leaves a lot to be desired. Hampered by a...

October 7, 2015

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Dollar Pack Draft

Drafting old cards is probably my favourite thing in magic. Unfortunately out-of-print booster packs get more expensive every year, and since nobody in my playgroup wants to pay $60+ for a draft (including me) the best case for drafting old cards is usually a mixed-booster draft with a couple packs from older sets. There are of course budget alternatives: cube is an easy solution, and having...

September 30, 2015

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Modern Allies and Battle for Zendikar

Battle for Zendikar brings a second generation of allies into the modern card pool. While allies has always been a cheap and decent modern deck, and recently put up some good results with , it has always compared unfavourably with similar decks like Merfolk, Zoo, and even Slivers. The next block promises to double the available cards in the tribe, so now is the time to get familiar with the pros...

August 25, 2015

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Theros Block’s Impact on Modern

With the release of Magic Origins, and most players already looking forward to the return of the Eldrazi in Battle for Zendikar, it’s already the dog days of summer for devotees of Theros block. As standard players start purging their collections of rotating staples, modern players can start looking for good deals on playables from Theros, Born of the Gods, and Journey into Nyx. But just how...

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