The Planeswalker Hall of Fame

Simon Irving Design, Standard

When Autumn Burchett won the first Mythic Championship, they did so with a lone copy of Jace, Cunning Castaway in their sideboard. With that victory, Stupid Sexy Jace became a championship-winning planeswalker, something that many would have found surprising back when Ixalan was first released. As I looked over the decklists, though, a thought occurred to me: Which planeswalker cards …

New Gruul Cards for Standard

Simon Irving Standard

Ravnica Allegiance throws us into the wild, brutal world of the Gruul Clans. With a brand new mechanic and even a planeswalker to evaluate, the set gives aggressive players a smorgasbord of exciting tricks and toys. The old adage that it pays to play aggro at the beginning of a format would seem to bode well for red and green …

Five Tips for Teaching Magic

Simon Irving Strategy

Think back to a time when you didn’t know how to play Magic. Back when you were ignorant to the subtleties of mana curves and card advantage, combat tricks and counterspells. For some of you, that time may have only been a few months ago. Maybe a couple years. Maybe you’re even like me, and you’ve been playing Magic for …

On Burnout and Bolts

Simon Irving Community

All of us know how great it can be to play Magic: The Gathering. The epic countermagic battles, the topdeck wars, the glow of preview season…these are the things that keep us engaged with the game and all it has to offer. It’s easy to look around and see people whose lives have been enriched by playing this great game …

Deck of the Week: Standard B/R Aggro

Simon Irving Standard

Dominaria Standard is still a new and shiny format, open to all kinds of innovation and originality. Early results have shown a massive swing away from the previous Standard metagame, with nary a Scarab God to be found. Without that great bug-headed monstrosity casting its ominous shadow over the battlefields and graveyards of our Standard matches, many new archetypes are …

Deck of the Week: Modern Goblins

Simon Irving Modern

Are you excited about Dominaria? I certainly am! Big set, new cards, old nostalgia. Yet, of all the shiny new toys that Santa Karn is about to deliver to us, there are two reprints that have really piqued my interest – Skirk Prospector and Goblin Warchief. Goblins have long been gnawing at the edges of playability in Modern, and I’m …

Deck of the Week: Return of the Red Deck

Simon Irving Standard

This week’s Banned & Restricted announcement has dramatically reshaped Standard. As Rivals for Ixalan arrives, four widely played cards will be leaving the format. The removal of Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner from the Energy lists was not surprising, but the two bans targeting Mono-Red were considerably more unexpected. Both Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferocidon (RIP, my clever girl) gave …

If Planeswalkers Played Baseball

Simon Irving Community

This week, two great baseball teams – the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers – will face off in the World Series. Now, you may be asking, what does any of this have to do with Magic: the Gathering? Aren’t most gamers not really all that into sports? Well, first of all, there are many of us out there …

Red Mage’s Quarterly: Ixalan

Simon Irving Standard

To call Hour of Devastation Standard a success for the Red Deck would be quite the understatement. Over the past three months, loyal red mages got to see their deck vault into the top tier, culminating in Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa’s convincing win (amidst a Top 8 with six other red aggressive decks). The additions of Earthshaker Khenra, Abrade, …

A Reader’s Guide to Magic Story

Simon Irving Magic Story

The release of Commander 2017 is nearly here, and with these four decks will come a whole slew of new legendary creature cards. While many will rejoice over the new mechanics and color combinations, those of us who have followed the Magic storyline for years will be overjoyed to finally see certain characters on a card for the first time. …