5 Can’t-Miss Articles

Stax on Stax

First, something for my fellow Legacy lovers. If your interests include land destruction, spell taxes, and slow, grindy games, check out Ali Aintrazi’s article about an exciting Stax list over at TCGPlayer.com. I’m a fan of any deck where Ophiomancer is a legitimate card choice, and I haven’t been able to say that for anything I could play at Competitive REL until now.

Octopus Stompy?

The World Magic Cup stream gave us a peek at surge, a new mechanic in Oath of the Gatewatch, and Andrew Wilson is already brewing with it in his latest article on GatheringMagic! Storm-type decks are always fun to play, and bouncing the board in favor of a huge Octopus token is a pretty great combo finale—plus, it’s probably a little more viable than any of my Quest for Ula’s Temple brews.

Restricting the Banned List

The Modern ban list is still a huge point of discussion in some circles, and Sheridan Lardner is keeping it going strong over on ModernNexus.com. In his article, an Abzan deck featuring a fictitiously-unbanned Stoneforge Mystic is pitted against Affinity, the choices of the decks and the cards themselves are discussed in depth, and the testing is reasonably rigorous. While the results may not be conclusive, they sure are interesting.

High-Level Suggestions

There’s a wide range of opinions about the World Magic Cup structure, and some people think it needs a makeover. Rich Stein published an article on Hipsters of the Coast that details his opinions and suggestions for the WMC and worldwide Magic competitions in general. I love international and team competitions because I think they generate great storylines and exciting games of Magic, so anything we can do to get more of those is fine by me.

Story Circle

Finally, I’ve always loved the Magic storyline, and I’m really excited about the increased focus on a cohesive storyline in the newer sets. If you’ve fallen a little bit behind on the events on Zendikar, catching up can seem daunting. Thankfully, Mel Li’s Battle for Zendikar story summary on the official Magic website this week makes it easy to get back on track just in time for Oath of the Gatewatch!

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Five Must-Read CFB Articles

World Magic Cup Champions: Team Italy!

As you’ve no doubt heard, Andrea Mengucci and the Italian World Magic Cup team were victorious last weekend in Barcelona, and Andrea brought us a fantastic tournament report. Andrea didn’t lose any Standard matches the whole time, and his discussion of his Esper Dragons deck is enlightening.

Annihilating Abzan Aggro

If you’re as tired of playing against Abzan Aggro as I am, you’ll enjoy Owen Turtenwald’s suggestions for how to beat it! Owen has specific cards that you can include in your main decks or sideboards that have applications against Abzan while still being useful in other matchups.

Thumbs Up

I love complicated math, spreadsheets, and flipping coins, and I realize that’s a strange intersection of hobbies, if you can even call them that. That aside, Frank Karsten’s article about Krark’s Thumb and Mana Clash is a really good time, and he even includes a sample deck list. Maybe it’s time to bring my foil Thumbs out of retirement…

Caleb Knows Best

Caleb Durward thinks he knows how to improve Modern: with drastic ban list changes! His ideas might seem a little crazy at first, but he has some solid reasoning to go with them. I haven’t seen a ban list suggestion that is quite this brave while still considering the ripple effects the proposed changes would have. It’s definitely worth a read.

From 0 to 15

Building a sideboard from the ground up is a daunting task, which is why most of us resort to sideboarding guides. If you’re tired of scribbling matchup notes on torn pieces of paper that you can only look at between games anyway, maybe you should let Jacob Wilson teach you how to build a sideboard yourself! I’m quite lazy about sideboards, so this is definitely the article I need, even if I don’t deserve it.

Okay! That’s a wrap on this week. Sound off in the comments about anything you think deserved a feature. I love Magic content, so it’s always nice to see what other people think is great. Feel free to Tweet me your own suggestions for future weeks – I’m @RagingLevine. See you next time!