Thursday, January 31, 2013

Marvelous Modern - Getting into It

By: Dale Pon
Last time I wrote an introduction to Modern, a basic overview and outline. So you may be sitting there thinking “This format sounds interesting and a lot of fun, but it doesn’t rotate, so it’s going to be rather expensive to actually get into”.

In the beginning, Modern requires a decent investment, however over time it works out cheaper than Standard, since in Standard each year you have to invest more when rotation comes round and cards cycle out.

In this article I begin explaining about how I’d recommend getting into Modern.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Marvelous Modern - The Dawn of a new “Eternal” Format

By: Dale Pon

For anyone who doesn’t know who I am, my name is Dale Pon, and I’m just an average Magic player with an avid interest in Modern.  Most of you have probably seen my name on the various Magic Facebook groups since I’ve been on an “academic sabbatical” and have had a fair amount of time to troll/post comments on the

In light of the upcoming Modern PTQ as well as the introduction of Modern FNM’s there is an increased interest in Modern, and when I was asked to write an article introducing Modern I was rather keen, especially since I’ve been trying to convince many Standard players to start playing Modern for a while.

Modern is a very new addition to the constructed formats of Magic, only having been officially designated in August 2011, thus it hasn’t become exceptionally popular yet.  It comprises cards printed in the modern card frame from 8th Edition onwards (including Time shifted cards), but excludes cards only reprinted in special sets such as Duel Decks, Premium Decks and From the Vault sets.  The full list can be found at (Side note: One can use older versions of cards if they are Modern-legal, e.g. one can use an Alpha Lightning Bolt if they really want to).

The main idea of Modern is to bridge the gap of Legacy and Standard, since many Legacy staples (such as Force of Will, Wasteland and the original dual lands) are very expensive and quite difficult to get hold of; while Standard rotates and changes every year.  Thus you have Modern, which is a non-rotating format (i.e. cards that are Modern-legal will always be), and the staples are much easier to get hold, although a few are still rather expensive, such as Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant (but this will hopefully change after the release of Modern Masters later this year).  Contrary to the popular belief of many Standard players, Modern is not a blazingly-fast format in which you lose on Turn 1 or 2 to some degenerate combo.  Since there is a substantially larger card pool than Standard, Combo is viable but usually takes at least until Turn 4 or 5. In addition, there are numerous ways to disrupt or even out race a Combo deck.

There are some people who are apprehensive to get into Modern due to the  regular additions to the banned list, but that is not likely to change significantlynow that the format has somewhat stabilised unless Wizards do something really stupid (like when they printed Mental Misstep) in future sets.

Since Modern is still a young format there is a lot of room for creativity and innovation, even though several decks are emerging as popular choices, such as Jund, Tron, and Affinity.

Ultimately, my goal is to try and promote Modern and get as many Magic players, particularly Standard players, into Modern since the Ravnica dual lands (aka Shocklands) are currently in Standard and are thus easy to get hold of.

In the future I may write more articles about Modern, looking at particular aspects more in-depth; but until then I hope you enjoyed reading.

Principles for building a good Control Deck in Magic.

By: Sanjay Roopnah

I have been playing magic since the release of Urza's Legacy. I used to play quite a bit, but because of this thing called work, I only get to play at prereleases, a weekly draft and maybe FNM. I am a degenerate Control addict and will only play a control deck at constructed tournaments; if I ever play a non control deck, you can safely assume that aliens have abducted me and done 'bad' things to me. My love for control decks is so great that even my draft decks tend to sway towards control. Today, I will give beginners insight on how to build a good blue based control deck.