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Great Magic Writing of the Week, October 27


A staggering amount of Magic content is published each day each day on a plethora of content sites, blogs, podcasts, and discussion forums. No matter how honest an effort you make, it's easy to fall behind and miss incredible articles because there just isn't enough time to read everything.

To that end, we've collected some of the best articles of the week covering a broad range of topics. If you're looking for articles, these are the ones you don't want to miss!

On Magical Costumes

How can you represent your favorite game on Halloween? MJ has a few quick, easy, and cheap costume recommendations for the budget-minded. From Venser to Goblin Diplomats, MJ's got something for everyone; just take a look and pick the costume that's best suited to your interests or share some of your own costume ideas.

GatheringMagic.com: MJ Scott (@moxymtg) - Top 10 Easiest Magic Costumes

Lazy? Not a creative type? Hate costumes and cosplay? No worries, I’ve done the research and high-level analysis for you. I’ve assembled a list of recognizable Magic images that you can replicate in the flesh for Halloween, using little or no time and money. Trust me; it’s easier than you think to bring some Magic flavor to your spooky holiday this year!

On Positivity and Magic

How can Magic make our lives better? Natasha shares her experience with starting a Magic Club, and how it's helped to improve the lives of some of the people she works with. Find out what the power of positive Magic can do for you!

GatheringMagic.com: Natasha Lewis Harrington (@natasha_lh) - Positive Magic, Part 2

Last week, I began talking about positive psychology and its practitioners’ efforts to meaningfully study happiness. This was inspired by my work teaching Magic at a facility for people with severe mental illness. While the program seemed to make a difference in some very concrete ways, such as in helping people make friends and providing motivation to participate in the treatment program, it also seemed to have an intangible effect.

A lot of people who participated in the program just seemed happier. They grew excited when Friday rolled around, like so many of us. They talked passionately among themselves and stopped me in the hallway to tell me about the changes they’d made to their decks.

Now, scientifically, this has no real weight. People who feel better are probably more likely to participate in the Magicprogram—or any program. And, of course, I’m going to be more than a bit biased. One of these days I would love to replicate the program and collect some real data. But it got me thinking: What is this benefit that Magic brings to our lives? We know it. We’ve felt it. But can we understand it?

On Commander 2013

November 1st is quickly approaching, and that means Commander 2013. Commander enthusiast Bennie Smith took this opportunity to share his thoughts on the upcoming product, including favorite new cards, old cards, and an overview of what these preconstructed decks have in store for us. Find out which deck suits you best and start getting ready to build around some of the awesome new Legends coming in just a few days.

StarCityGames.com: Bennie Smith (@blairwitchgreen) - MTGC13: An Overview

Sorry I wasn't here last week... due to some technical difficulties, I wasn't able to get the column done in time to make it up last Friday, so I figured I'd just write what I was planning on doing last week for this week...

But then Wizards of the Coast dropped the bomb last Friday...

Full... Ever-lovin'... Commander 2013... SPOILER?!

I had a fair amount of work to do last Friday before ending my work week, but man my productivity got torpedoed as I poured over the spoiler... not only pondering and digesting the brand new sweetness but being blown away by how many fantastic reprints there were! Finally, my work stalled out, I had to take to Twitter:



On Beating Standard

We've had a few weeks to see Standard play out since Pro Tour Theros, and devotion is the name of the game. Pro Tour Dragon's Maze Champion Craig Wescoe is taking a look at how the metagame is shaping up and how to beat up on the top tier strategies like devotion and Esper Control. What kind of deck does craig think is best suited to beat the metagame? Find out what his Selesnya aggro deck looks like:

TCGPlayer.com: Craig Wescoe (@ Nacatls4Life) - Got There; Didn't Get There

Following Pro Tour Theros and Grand Prix Louisville, the Standard metagame is beginning to take shape. Monoblue Devotion, Monoblack Devotion, Gruul Midrange, and Esper Control are the clear frontrunners of the format and the decks worth paying the most attention to. Today I would like to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each of these decks and also to provide a Selesnya list that is specifically geared to combat these current end bosses of the format. So whatever deck you're interested in playing, the goal for today is to equip you with the knowledge of how to beat the top dogs of the format.

On Building a Hydra

What goes in to building a unique gameplay experience? This week Sam Stoddard is showing us what went into building the Hydra challenge for Theros Gameday; from initial concepts through design and development. Maybe you can take these lessons to heart and build your own casual format a la Horde Magic! So how do you build a fun and dynamic Magic variant? join Sam Stoddard and find out!

DailyMTG.com: Sam Stoddard (@samstod) - Building a Hydra

This is Heroic Week, and I want to talk not about the heroic mechanic, but about being a hero withTheros's branded play campaign—The Hero's Path. We talk a lot about developing the individual cards and sets that come out during the normal Magic cycle, but the development team also works on other projects such as intro packs, sample decks, and new projects like this one.

On Tragedy

Tragedy is a huge part of the Greek mythos, and is something that Theros certainly wasn't going to miss out on. Join Jennifer Clarke Wilkes as she shares the story of a soldier who is disgraced an banished, tried and found wanting. Can he overcome the odds and change his fate, or will he become that which he hates most?

DailyMTG.com: Jennifer Clarke Wilkes - Tragedy

Theros. A land of heroes. Heroes like me. May you never share this glory.

I was once among the favored of Iroas. Serving in the phalanxes of Akros, I stood by my companions on Pharagax Bridge in defense of the polis and marched with them against the marauders of Deathbellow Canyon. We slew many foes. But serving honorably as part of a group was not enough. My heart cried out for the blessing of the God of Victory, and I was determined to prove my bravery to him.

On Standard Junk

The top tables of Standard events may be dominated by devotion, but Jacob van Lunen put up strong results at Pro Tour Theros with a deck that seems to be off the radar for most players. In this article Jacob runs down his deck from the Pro Tour, the changes he's made since then, and how he sees this deck developing as the format moves forward. Is this the deck that can take on all of the devotion variants and come out on top? There's only one way to find out!

ChannelFireball.com: Jacob van Lunen (@JVLTMS) - Junk in Post-Theros Standard

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to travel across the Atlantic to Dublin, Ireland for Pro Tour Theros. I had won a Standard PTQ with Aristocrats and I was excited to prove myself on the game’s biggest stage. Brad Nelson put me in touch with Gerry Thompson and Brian Braun-Duin. BBD and myself were convinced that Obzedat, Ghost Council was the most powerful card in the format. We spent the last few weeks tweaking our Junk deck to perfection.

In the 15th round, I found myself in a win-and-in situation playing for Top 8 of the Pro Tour. A series of unfortunate events unfolded and I ultimately ended up in 29th place. I was aiming for Top 25 at the beginning of the Pro Tour, and going from one game away from Top 8 to not even finishing in the Top 25 was very upsetting to say the least. That being said, I’m proud of myself for making it that far and I feel that I played some of the best Magic of my life on Day 2.

Enough emotional rambling! Let’s talk about my Standard deck!

If you have suggestions for next week's recap you can mention us on Twitter, or share throughout the week in the comments below.

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