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Affinity for Numbers: Of Champions and Criminals


Magic is a game of numbers: sixty cards, 20 life, draw two cards, take 7 damage, and add three counters. There are even more numbers surrounding the game—facts and figures, prices and trivia, they are everywhere. In Affinity for Numbers, I uncover and highlight some of the more interesting numbers in Magic.

0 Creatures

Wizards may not print any good counterspells any longer, but that doesn't mean control is dead in Standard. Seth Manfield won Grand Prix New York with this deck playing zero creatures and a whole lot of removal in this W/B Control deck.

8.91 Points

Seth Manfield was already number one on Magic's top-twenty-five player list before his big win in the Big Apple widened his lead on Owen Turtenwald by nearly 9 points. The two have a significant lead on the rest of the field; third place is Steve Rubin, who is nearly 22 points behind Manfield.

9 Four-Color Decks

Between the Top 32 of Grand Prix New York and the Top 16 of Grand Prix Tokyo, there were nine four-color decks, 19% of those top decks. All nine were Cryptolith Rite/Collected Company decks. The top finish of the group was Louis Deltour, who finished second at Grand Prix New York.

13 Points

Seth Manfield's Grand Prix win also gained him 8 points in the player-of-the-year race and allowed him to go from neck and neck with Turtenwald to the undisputed leader of the pack. It looks to be a two-man race, however, as Turtenwald has a 13-point lead on the number-three player.


Mike Sigrist did not lose during the first fifteen rounds at Grand Prix New York. Naturally, he made the Top 8 as the first seed, and he promptly lost two games to none. Life's funny sometimes. He played G/W Tokens; check it:

19% of Top Decks

Nearly a fifth of the decks that finished in the Top 32 at Grand Prix New York or the Top 16 of Grand Prix Tokyo were Grixis Control decks—tied for second with Four-Color Company and behind G/W Tokens, which made up 27% of the top decks. Kazushige Suzuki piloted this Grixis Control deck to second at Grand Prix Tokyo.

28% of Standard

Do you play Standard? On Magic Online perhaps? Ever see Collected Company? Chances are good that you either play it or face it regularly. 28% of the top decks (5–0 in Magic Online Leagues; Top 8, 16, or 32 of paper events, etc.) play the card. Three of the top four archetypes are centered on it: B/G Aristocrats, Bant Company, and Four-Color Company.

38 Pages

It finally happened. Magic: The Gathering has met Dungeons & Dragons, and the result is a D&D game setting based on the world of Zendikar. That's pretty awesome, and I hope it’s the first of many such crossovers. It should be pretty easy to reskin Ravenloft as Innistrad, for example.

50% Return Trips

Mark Rosewater, lead designer of Magic, confirmed the intent to revisit worlds half the time in last week's Making Magic column. No word yet on when we will return to Tarkir to find the clans wiped out and a world dominated by rhinos. Rhino tribal coming sooooooon!


The jerks who stole $75,000 worth of cards from Pat's Games in Austin, TX back in January were allegedly caught thanks to a tip from CardKingdom.com. The site became suspicious after a second set of super-rare cards, including a Limited Edition Alpha Ancestral Recall, was sold to them. The police tracked down the seller thanks to the return address on the packages. The suspect claimed he was not the burglar. The cards must have just fallen off a truck.

Those are all the numbers I have for you today. If you also have an affinity for numbers, and have one you think I should share, let me know on Twitter @MrVigabool.

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