"Hello, you've reached the winter of our discontent." – Troy Dyer's answering machine, Reality Bites (1994)
I'm of the generation where Reality Bites is relevant for me. The emergence of grunge, MTV, a young Ben Stiller, Violent Femmes covers, and Ethan Hawke was still badass. I think there was even an obscure Tim Burton cameo but I might be getting that confused with Cameron Crowe's Singles. I'm not that old, as in early 40's old (I'm in my "new" 20's), but I am of the tail end of Generation-X. So yeah, Reality Bites was a good movie for me.
I chose this quote because this is how I feel about the current state of Magic: the Gathering. Winter is soon upon us. Thanksgiving is only one week away. Christmas will quickly be here. And I'm super unsatisfied with the current state of Standard in Magic the Gathering.
Current Standard Decks (note: all budget decks, meaning no Mythic rare shenanigans to get me by):
I'm super discontent with Magic right now for a few reasons:
1) as I've mentioned before the Mythic Rare BS that has taken over standard has become ludicrous. It is almost impossible to properly compete without the big Mythic Rares packing your deck, i.e. Jace the Douchesculptor, Titans (you know which ones), Gideon, Vengevine, Mox Opal, etc. Now, it is not impossible to compete. There are a few decks out there that are highly competitive and have proven so in PTQs and MTGO, i.e. Kuldotha Red (which only uses two Mox Opals in the Mythic category) and Boros, which other then Stoneforger Mystics and fetchlands is almost all common and uncommon.
2) I don't really have a chance to play that much anymore. Back home I had my regular playgroup at Westwood College. Granted we played casually but I used those games to tighten my play style (although I always said casual play weakened my skills). Back home, before leaving for Florida (Swans and Phoenix were are already in FL), I played maybe 6 days a week. At school, during off days and sometimes on the weekends. These days I'm lucky if I can even look at my cards let alone play maybe once every few weeks. So my playtime has drastically dropped, and that has obviously affected my love of Magic: the Gathering.
BYE BYE STANDARD. HELLO EVERY OTHER FORMAT. Happy face.
My goal now is to try and find some place to competitively play Legacy if I can and to try and prepare for any upcoming Extended PTQs in the area. Talking with the manager at the Lakeland comic store, he has opened my eyes to possibly playing Casual EDH as well (more on this to come). Lastly, I am very much anticipating the announcement and legalization of the new "Over Extended" format, which will consist of Mercadian Masques block till current.
I'm basically giving up on Standard. I did attend an FNM but realized it just isn't worth it anymore. More on that soon.
Wanting to play Legacy is difficult because having the expensive cards to compete is tough. Thankfully, I really don't need to Buy-In to compete because there are a few decks that I can run with a degree of success. I do have enough of the old cards to compete. Also, one of my best friends let me borrow some cards years ago, mainly Force of Will x 4, so that is already a good jumping point.
I've already discussed a Faerie type MUC build, which I think can work very well. It has a soft lock combo in Counterbalance and Sensei's Divine Top as well as a mix of Wizards and Rip-Tide Laboratory. I may even add a few artifacts like Ratchet Bomb, Vedalken Shackles, and Isochron Scepter hooked up with Academy Ruins. Playing control has been one of my strong suites but the Legacy format is so wide open that I don't know enough of the metagame to properly compete.
Mono-Red Burn or what I'm going to dub "Burn Notice" is basically a deck that needs 7 business spells to win. Bolt, Chain, Incinerate, Bolt, Hellspark, Bolt, Fireblast FTW. If you can get that string of cards by turn 4 you win. The problem with this deck is there are combo decks in Legacy that turn two kill you, lock you out or plain run you over by turn three. Charbelcher, Reanimator, Survival Vengevine or Goblins.
The other option I have is running Ravager Affinity. Affinity is the scourge of Mirrodin Standard and can currently compete with the aggressive decks and combo decks present in Legacy. With a nut draw it can kill turn 3. The sideboard can be good enough to fight Survival decks and combo decks. Cards like Ethersworn Canonist shut down combos, Pithing Needle and Meddling Mage can kill Survival and all the graveyard hate cards are artifacts, namely Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus and the new Nihil Spellbomb. I have been toying around with the idea of throwing the combo of inevitability into the deck: Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek.
The other deck I'm thinking of running for Legacy is White Weenie. There are a SLEW of awesome effective 1-drops and 2-drops (Figure of Destiny, Student of Warfare, Mother of Runes, etc.) for this deck plus insane card advantage (Ranger of Eos and Stoneforger Mystic). Plus it runs the best spot removal in Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile and even one or two Oblivion Ring. My favorite part of this kind of deck is Armageddon. Happy face.
And with Stoneforgers you can rock some of the best equipment, Swords of Fire and Ice, Light and Shadow, Umezawa's Jitte, etc.
With the new Extended, Lorwyn Block and up, I can really shine. Since I played HEAVILY during Lorwyn Standard I pretty much have every card worth running in that block as well as Alara Block, with the exception of Bitterblossom. I'm not sure what will come of the new Extended now that Time Spiral block and 10th Edition has rotated out. My feeling is that the big bad menace of Faeries will be relevant. At the same time card advantage machine that is known as Jund will also be available. Bloodbraiding into a Boggart Ram Gang is amazing. I also think that incarnations of 5-Color Control will also be happening again. I bet some form of Elves will also be happening as well. White Weenie is also going to be money since Kai Budde's version lost almost nothing in the rotation. Some forms of Doran Rock will also be good as well. 3cc 5/5s are very good as well as their buddies 1cc Loam Lions and Treefolk Tutors.
Nextime i'll discuss the travesty that was my last FNM, upcoming EDH, as well as the undertaking I plan on blogging about: writing and deck discussing each deck I ran prior to leaving Chicago. That is 50 decklists I'll be writing about. What up? High five.