New Perspectives

A change in direction is often something that culminates after a careful time of planning and meditation. Today we’re announcing a change in this blog’s direction that happened from months of thoughts and experience, and about ten minutes of discussion.

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Zur the Enchanter

When someone says their Commander is Zur the Enchanter, the usual response is everyone else sighs and rolls their eyes. The most popular (and probably most efficient) use for Zur is to suit him up with a ton of powerful Auras and attack for the kill. However, not only is that strategy boring to play against, it’s also just one of a huge number of possibilities for a Zur the Enchanter Commander deck. In this article, I’m going to give a brief overview of several of those possibilities.

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Wild Defiance

When we’re growing our creatures, it doesn’t usually make much sense to lean heavily on “until end of turn” effects. Unless the goal is to kill our opponent immediately with infect creatures, this strategy is often laughed at and simply forgotten by most players. That’s why I’m here to tell you about Wild Defiance.

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Protection

In the family of long-lasting keywords, Protection has a tumultuous relationship with Magic. If Trample and Flying are our favorite siblings and Scry is our adorable younger cousin, then Protection is our uncle who is fun to have around, but he has a bad habit of making strangers uncomfortable at parties. In this article I will explain the basics, as well as the finer details, so that you can play with Protection and know how to handle any edge case the game throws at you.

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Torbran, Thane of Red Fell

I’m a big fan of “chip-away” strategies; deal one damage to opponents enough times, they’ll eventually be dead. It’s a slow strategy most of the time, using our pea shooters to keep the battlefield clear and whittle our opponent’s life away. However, Throne of Eldraine gave us Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, and he turns our pea shooters into artillery cannons that will close out the game in no time.

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Generous Patron

Today on Gemstone Mining, we’re going to take a trip to Valor’s Reach stadium and the world of Battlebond! This set was released with a set of very valuable reprints and a cycle of dual lands that are in high demand, but the other cards in the set fell by the wayside because they weren’t played in any competitive formats. Our gemstone Generous Patron is an Elf Advisor that seems to encourage giving away +1/+1 counters to other players’ creatures, but a more insidious plan is possible if we look a little deeper…

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Reyhan & Tana

Commander 2016 will go down in history as one of the most unique Commander sets to ever be printed; the four-color legends and the partner mechanic were amazing firsts for the format. At one point we planned to write an article for each of the 105 possible pairings of the partners, but that endeavor proved to be unsustainable. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t talk about the more interesting combinations.

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Zones

Magic: the Gathering has a set of rules unlike almost any other game in existence. Its rules have to cover every conceivable interaction between every card, like a piece of software needs to be thoroughly tested to make sure its users can’t exploit a bug in the code. One of the most important rules features for keeping things comprehensible is the concept of “zones.” Zones divide the cards in a game of Magic into several areas which each have their own rules. To understand why this complicated-sounding system actually makes things simpler, we first need to understand what the system is. Let’s dive in!

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Rankle, Master of Pranks

Symmetrical effects used to be everywhere in Magic: the Gathering. However, aside from board wipes they are something we seem to be getting less and less of as time goes on. As I understand it, it’s because newer players don’t understand that an effect on their card might hurt them, or help their opponent. Why would Goblin King buff our opponent’s goblins? Why would Deft Duelist‘s shroud stop me from helping him? These things are off-putting to people who are just learning the game. Every once in a while, though, Wizards prints an interesting symmetrical-effect card (usually at Mythic rarity). Rankle, Master of Pranks is one such card.

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Syr Konrad, the Grim

It’s that time of year again, folks: Time for Pumpkin Spiced Foodstuffs™, jack o’ lanterns, people saying the word “spooky” a little too often… What I’m trying to say is that it’s almost Halloween, and in the spirit of the season today we’re going to look at a pretty spooky new card from Throne of Eldraine: Syr Konrad, the Grim .

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