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Picks of the Week, 6/21/2015

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Picks of the Week: June 21, 2015

Carlos Gutierrez is an Associate Editor for Gathering Magic, an engineer-in-training, and a Commander and Pauper enthusiast. By day, he works as a STEM educator, but he spends his weekends hitting all his land drops and trying new board games, puzzles, and video games.

You can find all of him sharing Commander craziness, baked goods on Twitter, and complaints about graduate school at @cag5383.

Ironroot Chef: Re-Brewed

Whenever I set out to build decks, I'm looking for mechanical themes. I'm trying to fit gears and cogs together into a grand machine that does something cool sometimes. Flavorful deckbuilding is a completely different beast, and is something that I just haven't been able to get into for myself. That said, there are few things that I appreciate more than seeing the results of a cool deckbuilding restraint and hearing a fun story to go along with it. Consequently, Ironroot Chef is something that I enjoy immensely, and I couldn't be more excited to see an Ironroot Chef contest on Gathering Magic.

The best part? The very first round features a battle of Vorthosian Titans Ant Tessitore and Mike Linnemann. These are the guys who have taught me over the last few years to really appreciate and savor the little bits of art and flavor that I've been glossing over for most of the 16 years I've been playing Magic. I am thrilled beyond words to see the beginning of a regular Ironroot Chef competition, and I absolutely can't wait to see what the secret ingredient is for the first challenge.

Necromantic Origins

Speaking of flavor. Let's talk origins. Last week we got a sneak peek at the origin story of Chandra Nalaar. This week, Uncharted Realms took a look at Liliana Vess. It's a sad story of hubris and mistakes that can't be taken back. It's something that is infinitely relatable; a classic story of reckless mistakes made by a young person who thinks they know better, and the lengths they will go to to achieve a goal. As always, the results are a facsimile of what the protagonist might have hoped for, and lead to far-reaching consequences which quickly spiral out of control.

The origins of these well-loved Magic characters are incredibly well written, and satisfy a very fundamental urge to understand who these characters are and what motivates them to do the things they do. The first two origin stories have been fantastic, and I can't wait to see what the creative team has to say about Gideon, Nissa, and Jace in the coming weeks.


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