Category Archives: Casual Magic

Cook’s Kitchen – Analyzing Gatecrash

Cook’s Kitchen – Analyzing Gatecrash

To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit disappointed with Wizards of the Coast. Gatecrash as a whole doesn’t really impress me at all. If I had to compare it to a recent set it would be very similar to Dark Ascension where there are a few playable cards and some value here and there, but lacks good cards across the board. I believe that Return to Ravnica was great. Despite what some have said, I think it was an above average set. It has value distributed pretty well between its Mythics and Rares, there are tons of playable cards as well as the “Shock-Lands.” Gatecrash’s main appeal to me is the other set of Shock-Lands, outside of that I’m a skeptic.
Continue reading Cook’s Kitchen – Analyzing Gatecrash

Cook’s Kitchen – Disconnected

Cook’s Kitchen – Disconnected

About a month ago my schedule at work changed, my cozy 8:30am-5pm was shifted back an hour for the holidays. This meant getting out of work at six. Did management not know that almost all Magic events start at that time? How inconsiderate! Well… I still have the benefit of Legacy on Thursday nights starting at six thirty. But that’s not the point! I went from playing in four events a week to one or none. I’m going through a big withdrawal. Continue reading Cook’s Kitchen – Disconnected

Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. III)

Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. III)

The final part of the three part series on Teams Legacy! The last few weeks I’ve covered aggro, control, and prison. This week we’re going to go a bit more in depth about my favorite arch-type – combo! I’ve always been a combo player, which is fantastic because combo is just degenerate in this format! Continue reading Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. III)

Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. II)

Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. II)

Last week we began discussing the forgotten format of Teams Legacy and the aggro decks that could be viable. This week we’re going to continue the three part series by talking a bit about the Control and Prison arch-types. Continue reading Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. II)

Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. I)

Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. I)

Back before there was Modern or Legacy there was Type 1.5. Within this Magic format there was a very fun sub-format of Teams 1.5. This format continued after the list split in September 2004, which created Legacy from the separation of the Type 1.5 and Type 1 (Vintage) banned lists. People began quitting the format after the banned list changed. The loss of Mana Drain, Mishra’s Workshop, Bazaar of Baghdad, and Illusionary Mask really upset some players. Many feared that this new “Legacy” would just be a combo format due to all of the fast artifact mana that was unbanned. Many people even played main deck Nullrod. So the teams events drew fewer and fewer players at my local gaming store and they were eventually discontinued. But that’s not what this article is about – this article is about what was fun about the Teams format then and what would be great now! Continue reading Cook’s Kitchen – A Forgotten Format (Pt. I)

Cook’s Kitchen – June 20th Banned & Restricted Update

Cook’s Kitchen – June 20th Banned & Restricted update

 

In case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know – this week was the banned & restricted update for the month of June. There were some cards banned, some unbanned, and decisions that just caused some confusion. My confusion begins with the announcements for Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander: Continue reading Cook’s Kitchen – June 20th Banned & Restricted Update

Trials and Tribal-ations: Mono-Black Vampires

For this article, like all the previous ones I had to make a decision.  I could have written about mono-black zombies, but zombies have been played to death (see what I did there?).  Vampires, while certainly not being an obscure black tribe, at least haven’t had multiple articles written about them this year.  When I was compiling my list of the best and brightest vampires in Magic, I was surprised at how small the tribe is.  Wizards designers surely took this fact into account when they decided to visit the tribe in the Zendikar block, and the Innistrad block just a year later.  There’s still a lot of room in Magic for vampires.  That said, some great ones have been printed both recently and further back in Magic’s history.  Since historically vampires have been likely sprinkled lightly in sets for flavor, their abilities go in a lot of directions.  Black magic has a few inherent qualities.  Black magic is very good at killing things.  Black mana is willing to supply a planeswalker with the resources he or she needs to win, for a price.  You won’t find a black mage practicing dark arts with power drawn from black mana who isn’t willing to pay with his life.  This is the nature of black mana.  Vampires exist here.  Unlike zombies, vampires are well aware of the price for power.  Unlike the black clerics, vampires already have a vast amount of power, and they aren’t about to spend their energy entreating other forces, like groveling at the feet of demons or evil avatars, or raising filthy zombies to do their bidding.  Vampires worship only their own ambitions, and they will do anything necessary to realize them.  In Magic, there are a few things, though, that you can expect vampires to do.  First, a lot of great vampires can fly.  Second, the longer they exist, the more powerful vampires become.  And thirdly, whatever else is going on in the game, you can expect things to be dying around vampires.  This just happens.  If you’re familiar with Interview With a Vampire, you may better understand how hard it is for a vampire to deny his or her nature.  Stuff dies.  Whether the vampire’s ability requires sacrifice, causes a sacrifice, or just straight up kills another creature, being around vampires is a dangerous business.  The main thing that ties all the great vampires together, however, is their efficiency.  With these creatures, you get a lot more utility than you pay for.  First, we’ll make a list tuned for power.  If we want a power list, the first place we look is Vampire Nocturnus.  This guy is a house, obviously.  He’s also managed to stay around $20 despite being printed in M10, and never seeing much competitive play.  Since I’m basically going for more budget decks, let’s leave him out of it.  Next up on the power scale we have Bloodlord of Vaasgoth.  He was just printed last summer, and this card is very cool.  I love getting bonuses for things I would do anyway, and the Bloodlord does just that.  He rewards you for attacking with vampires, then casting vampires in your second main phase. Continue reading Trials and Tribal-ations: Mono-Black Vampires