The Art of Hesitation

Tom Anderson Strategy

Magic is a game of gradual mastery. It’s an incredibly complex game, but new players continue to pick it up because they can do so one card at a time. Most of us start with simple decks and use them to master the basic structure of the game before moving on.  That basic structure — the essential decisions and actions …

12 Magic Cards that Defined 2019

Tom Anderson Design, Strategy

2019 has been a massive year, in Magic and in general. So much happens with such intensity that it can be tough to put ourselves in the mindset of even a few months ago! So as we turn the final page on our calendars, let’s reflect on 2019 and count down the cards that defined the year in Magic. JANUARY: …

Gang of Gideons: A Pioneer Deck Tech

Tom Anderson Pioneer

The unexpected announcement of the Pioneer format is shaping up to be a Magic highlight of 2019. We’ve seen a ton of unique decks emerge in the weeks since, many featuring cards and strategies which were banned or crowded out of Modern. As Michael Rapp observed in his metagame update, the Big Three decks right now seem to be Mono-Black, …

In Defense of Three-Mana Planeswalkers

Tom Anderson Design

Oko, Thief of Crowns appeared in 69% of decks at Mythic Championship VI. Simic-based Food was the obvious best deck going into the high-stakes event, so the elite field of competitors were highly incentivized to beat Oko any way they could. (In the end, an unprecedented majority chose to join him instead.) The Oko build of Urza combo is arguably …

How to Play An Aggro Deck

Tom Anderson Strategy

How many ways are there to count to twenty?  Aggressive decks in Magic and similar card games are often characterized as simpler and less skill-intensive than others. The idea is that playing a reactive midrange or control deck forces you to adapt to each opponent. But to excel with aggro is to play predictively – you need to anticipate how …

Mythic Championship VI Metagame Preview

Tom Anderson Standard

The world of competitive Magic moves faster today than it ever has before. Just a few weeks ago, we watched Javier Dominguez win Mythic Championship V against a sea of Golos decks. Since then, we saw Field of the Dead banned, and players have had a much different Standard puzzle to solve. And now we’re rushing headlong into Mythic Championship …

B/R Aristocats Deck Guide

Tom Anderson Standard

Sacrifice Aggro (or “Aristocrats”) is one of those historically cool archetypes of Standard. Almost every set has some sort of card that makes people excited that the deck is coming back! The reality doesn’t always live up to the hype, but the combination of Priest of Forgotten Gods and Judith, the Scourge Diva has been able to do some serious …

Mythic Championship V Recap

Tom Anderson Standard

This weekend saw 68 of the world’s best Magic players put their Standard skills to the test in the most high-stakes arena possible. Mythic Championship V was the definitive test of the early Throne of Eldraine metagame – and with Wizards announcing early B&R changes, it was likely also the final test. Many Standard players were begging for that B&R …

How to Beat Golos in Standard

Tom Anderson Standard

Throne of Eldraine Standard has well and truly arrived, and there are all sorts of fun new cards and mechanics at play. But of course, one card from the previous set threatens to keep the entire plane of Eldraine in its shadow.  The first big Standard tournaments have looked like Romero movies, and left some players just as horrified. With …

Simic Flash Deck Guide

Tom Anderson Standard

Draw-Go decks created one of the original playstyles in Magic – one so fundamental their earliest incarnation was just called “The Deck.” Their most recent incarnation is called Simic Flash, and it has received some significant upgrades from Throne of Eldraine! In a Standard format heavily warped by Teferi, Time Raveler, this is the deck to sleeve up if you …