The Story of Elspeth Tirel

Chris Cornejo Magic Story

Elspeth Tirel returns in Streets of New Capenna, and Chris runs down the story she has carved through the overarching plot of MTG. Elspeth Tirel has been in the game since Shards of Alara, and not even death has been able to keep her off the page for too long. Let’s look at how her story has gone in the …

Playing “Bad” Cards in Commander

Chris Cornejo Commander

Building a tuned Commander deck can mean a lot of different things. Some people build for a theme, every card contributing to a grand story that the deck tells in myriad variations. Some build a well-oiled machine, designed to do one thing with ruthless efficiency. Sometimes they figure out some arcane and byzantine Rube-Goldberg machine and just want to see …

Judge’s Tower: APNAP Time!

Chris Cornejo Uncategorized

APNAP (Active Player/Non-Active Player) is one of those little rules things underpinning Magic that serves to hold everything together without drawing too much attention to itself. It’s one of the many bits that lets the game function without becoming a tangled mess of unclear priority passes, garbled timing, and…The Batch. For anyone who played prior to the Sixth Edition rules …

Judge’s Tower: Turn it Up

Chris Cornejo Uncategorized

When it comes to Magic, I fully subscribe to a school of thought that isn’t the most…friendly: Magic is inherently a zero-sum game. In any given game, there’s a certain amount of fun to be had, and I want to make sure that I have the most fun that I can every time I play. I can think of almost …

Judge’s Tower: It’s Just A Phase

Chris Cornejo Commander

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in August 2017, in the lead-up to the release of Commander 2017. It has been updated on July 7, 2020 to reference the newest card with phasing — Teferi, Master of Time — released in Core Set 2021.) Core Set 2021 just released (which, incidentally, you can order here), and players are already …

Judge’s Tower: Playing with Layers, Pt. 2

Chris Cornejo Uncategorized

Once more, with feeling! We’re looking at layers again today, mostly because there’s still a lot of weirdness that goes on with the different layers interacting with one another. Getting the order of operations down can be a little tricky, but it’s worth hammering home. So, to start, a quick review of what the layers are, along with examples of …

Judge’s Tower: Playing with Layers, Pt. 1

Chris Cornejo Uncategorized

Hey everyone! Today, we’re going to dive into a section of the rules that causes a lot of headaches for players and judges alike: layers! Yes, layers – a word that fills people with a cursory knowledge of the Magic rules with an undue amount of dread. There’s a lot to layers, but the concept isn’t as daunting as it …

Bant Spirits at GP Vegas

Chris Cornejo Modern

A couple of weeks ago, the Magic world descended on Las Vegas for a Triple Grand Prix Weekend. I was there, and had a blast playing in the Legacy and Modern GP’s. As an Event Coordinator for Mox Boarding House Seattle, I usually Judge Magic events four or five days a week, but rarely get to play myself – so …

Judge’s Tower: Paying Dues, Pt. 2

Chris Cornejo Uncategorized

Hello again! Last time we climbed the Tower, we went over how a card like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben works in a variety of situations. When I set out to write that article, I was thinking I was going to be able to cover more ground, but as I realized how often I get Judge calls about how Thalia works, …

Judge’s Tower: Paying Dues, Pt. 1

Chris Cornejo Uncategorized

Like any other game or hobby, Magic requires that you pay some dues before you can really get the most out of it. There’s a decently high barrier to entry, as even learning the basic rules of the game can seem daunting when you’re just starting out. But once you’ve put in the time and effort required to really dig into …