Monthly Archives: October 2011

[Guest Article] Carlos, Lich Lord

Hey there! My name is Carlos, and I’m pretty excited to be doing a guest piece on Commander for Red Site Wins! I’ve been playing magic for more or less ten years now, and Commander is definitely the most fun I’ve ever had playing the game. If you’ve ever read any of my other articles over on Commandercast or Quiet Speculation, you’ll know that I’m a Johnny and a combo player at heart, and that especially holds true in Commander. The problem is that combo is so easy in this format. There are all kinds of tier one generals and strategies and try to combo off as brutally and efficiently as possible, and that’s not fun. The fun is in finding new and hilarious ways to combo.

So far I’ve published two terribad combo decks: Second Sunrise Zuberas (Tribute to Zhu) and Death Lace Combo (Reap what you Lace). Both were pretty well received by my group the first couple of times that I played them, and then got hated on pretty hard once the gimmick got old. But now I’ve got the itch to build a new bad combo deck, and I’m pretty sure this one is better and more gimmicky than both of the others. Let’s take a look at this week’s combo piece:

Read the rest of this entry

Thran Utopia #31: The Walking Dead Flare

After a few hypothetical decks centered around Chandra the Firebrand, it is time to unleash a real deck, my second deck with Innistrad cards. It is one of the decks that I sort-of previewed a few weeks ago right after Innistrad came out, albeit a bit different from what I did there. Still, it’s good to see good ideas not going to waste. Welcome to the world of the walking dead… flare. Read the rest of this entry

You’re a Designer, Harry! #19 – The Classifieds

Welcome, once again, to the You’re a Designer, Harry!, the column where I write about the process of designing a Magic: The Gathering set where you feedback makes an impact on how the set evolves. Undoubtedly, we’ll run into blunders as well as breakthroughs, and the whole journey is documented here.

Read the rest of this entry

The Commander’s Chair – Possibilities of Innistrad

Innistrad has been out for a few weeks now and so far I have seen very few cards from the set that have had an impact on Commander. We are a little too early into the set to have enough flip cards to create a new themed deck. However, if you were a fan of Vampires and Zombies, Innistrad has given us some great new tools to work with.  Today I am going to be reviewing some of the tribal gems from Innistrad. Read the rest of this entry

Thran Utopia #30: The Triple Chandra

So last week I kinda teased you all with three different Chandra the Firebrand-decks for my friend Rick, as a part of his birthday present. This could only mean one thing for today: three different Chandra decks (I would build if it were up to me)! I even get to tease you throughout the article about what the birthday boy thought of them! Woohoow! Read the rest of this entry

MTG Financial Fundamentals: The Dual Land Dilemma

While everyone knows that the Standard format of Magic: The Gathering is the most popular, the second most popular constructed format is a bit surprising.  It is Legacy (or at least was, the last time I heard the statistic).  Likely, Star City Games is the entity to thank for this.  Their frequent, large tournament structure encourages constant brewing and playing of the evolved format.  While increasing its popularity, the giant Magic retailer is capitalizing big time, ringing the register both on entry fees and, especially, on singles.  The result is a fascinating singles market with cards ranging from pennies to hundreds of dollars.  When “pimp” cards are included (foil, beta, etc.), a deck can be as expensive as a reasonably priced car.  Read the rest of this entry

Thran Utopia #29: Lesson Tree – teh Jab

And while I can’t find the time and effort to start on the Nacatl Sundial-deck I’ve had lying around since M12 I’m continually working on new deck ideas. Last week I gave a few new ideas that entered my brain thanks to Innistrad. Last night, a new take on one of my concepts from last week came to me. I would really like to write about it, but first: Burning Vengeance – if I don’t do this now, I don’t know if I ever will. So lets set our revenge on fire! Read the rest of this entry

You’re a Designer, Harry! #18 – Keepin’ It Classy

A Warrior and a Wizard walk into a bar. They’re here to recruit; and, apparently, this is the best place to do it. They have enough coin for two more members to be added to their party to embark with on their upcoming adventure. However, the pair were faced with a problem.

Read the rest of this entry

MTG Financial Fundamentals: The Myth of Pack to Power

Trading Magic cards is a practice that has been going on since their invention in 1993.  When in its infancy, Magic was just as much about collecting as it was playing.  Before the Pro Tour, card values were driven mostly by casual playability within localized gaming circles.  This is how Craw Wurms became 1$ cards and Shivan Dragons closer to 10$.  The lack of complete information, namely before internet was widely used, was a key driver of this phenomenon.  As a result, trading became about the cards.  I had an extra of a card I didn’t need, and so I would trade that card for something I could immediately place into my deck.

As I have discussed in previous articles, times have changed drastically.  Some traders even took the practice to a whole new level.  By taking a page out of Kyle MacDonald’s book, they decided they could take a single booster pack of Magic: the Gathering cards and through a serious of numerous trades, obtain a piece of the Power 9.  I, too, decided to embark on this arduous journey.  But 40 trades in, I’ve discovered the secret of the endeavor, and this article is inteded to reveal that secret. Read the rest of this entry

L.A. Dreams: Why I won’t be playing PT: Honolulu

There is a good chance I am qualified off Planeswalker points for Pro Tour Honolulu. Currently I am ranked 23rd in the world discounting GP Milan and SCG Nashville. Given that I can expect 10 North americans to be in the top 85, and about 20 non-north americans to be in the top 100 I am guessing being in the top 85 is about 98% likely to mean an invite to the PT. With almost a 200 point lead against anyone beyond 80th I am pretty confident that I will qualify as long as I do well at FNM. So why wouldn’t I play at Pro Tour Honolulu if I did manage to qualify and have my ticket paid for?

Read the rest of this entry