2022 sure has been something.
It is easy to complain about things. $250 card booster packs! Foils that still curl despite years of complaints! Rotating non-rotating formats!
However, while constructive criticism can be both useful and cathartic, it's much healthier to take stock in the things that make us happy and that we are thankful for. In the spirit of the season, today I'll be going over the things I am most thankful for this year.
My Son And Family
I have been a stepdad for many years, something I'm very proud of, but it hits a bit different watching your own flesh and blood be born right in front of your eyes. There was a long time in my life I felt I wasn't ready to bring a child into this world, but the stability of my last few years has put me in a position to do just that.
Cassian is now six weeks old, and what a six weeks it has been. He hates sleeping, which has made things challenging, but it's just incredible watching him grow and slowly become aware of the world around him. It hasn't been an easy six weeks, but frankly my wife Nicole has been unbelievable, especially with me traveling multiple times for events. She has probably slept an average of three hours a night for the past six weeks and I have no idea how she is doing it.
I am astoundingly fortunate to have a beautiful family and a beautiful house, and it's all thanks to...
One of my favorite parts of in person events being back is getting to meet all of you. At DreamHack I signed tons of cards and took tons of selfies, and when people ask me if that's a hassle or anything I just laugh at them.
I get to play Magic: the Gathering for a living - I'm my own boss, I get to be creative and make the content I want to make, and I get to share my enjoyment and experience playing Magic with y'all. This wouldn't be possible without every person who reads my articles, watches my streams, watches my videos, and so on. As such, I'm always so happy to meet and chat with each and every one of you, because I know that I wouldn't be where I am in life without y'all. It's a lot of hard work and frankly a lot of pressure knowing that my failure or success is 100% on me, but it's so worth it.
CoolStuffInc.com And My Other Sponsors
Working with CoolStuffInc.com over the last four years has been an absolute pleasure. They're a wonderful company, take very good care of me, and most importantly are just a bunch of really amazing people that are a pleasure to work with and work for.
I've now been out to dinner with CoolStuffInc.com owner Jerry multiple times and it is always a pleasure, Evan Erwin needs no introduction as a pioneer of Magic content back in the day with The Magic Show, Robert is a god damn saint dealing with my sometimes awkward schedule (and for just managing a bunch of Magic players, godspeed), and Rich is a pleasure to work with and I got to finally meet him at DreamHack and do some interview work.
My contract with CoolStuffInc.com is a large part of what got me down the sustainable full-time content path that I am on now, and I am very proud to be part of the team.
I'm also hugely thankful to all my other sponsors, some of whom I've worked with for the better part of a decade and some that are a bit newer, but all are fantastic companies I am proud to represent -Coalesce Apparel & Design, BCW Supplies, Untapped.gg, and Elgato.
Magic is really about the people, which makes it hard to really cover everyone because there's so many awesome folks in the community.
From local friends I always travel to events with, to the friends who live across the world that I only see occasionally, to the many content creators I've met and work with that it feels great to talk shop with, it is incredible to know and work with so many awesome people. One of the best feelings in the world is having a passion and sharing it with others, and it's something I get to do a limitless amount of.
It's hard not to give a special shout out to Eli Kassis, Mike Sigrist, and Jakub Toth, of whom which we really shared a special bond last month at the Magic World Championship. Working together closely with a small group for a grueling month of preparation, only to go battle in the most stressful event I've ever played in my life alongside those people and come out successful is something I will cherish forever.
If this was 2007 or 2011, this might have been a lot closer to the top of the list, but what makes me most thankful is how I have had some of the best results of my very long professional Magic career this year, and it almost feels like an afterthought to all the other wonderful things I've experienced.
For years I chased my first Pro Tour Top 8, the chance to work with a top Magic team, and that big signature finish on the World stage, and this year I accomplished all of them. I went 15-0 at the Neon Dynasty Championship for my first taste of a Pro Tour Top 8, I worked with some of the best minds in the game for both the New Capenna Championship and Worlds, and I just missed finishing in the Top 4 of the most prestigious event of the year, while also making a cool $25,000 for my biggest cash ever as well.
And while all these things are unbelievably wonderful for several reasons, what makes me most content is knowing that even if I had finished in dead last in each of these events, I'd still have a wonderful family and home waiting for me, the best job in the world, and the stability I always lacked during my earlier grinder days.
So, Thank You!
I really am the luckiest guy on Earth.
I don't have any groundbreaking strategy or super sweet decklists today, just a chance and a platform to show my gratitude. Make sure that you take the time to do the same!