Open Letter to Wizards of the Coast and Organized Play

Magic: the Gathering is a game that spans the globe. We have players everywhere, and our community is diverse, even if our tournament community does not always reflect that diversity. There are Magic players in every country, and we are often more like family than the people in our families. The recent actions by the President of the United States put that directly at risk. Although people of all political persuasions play Magic, I believe it is still in the best interests of the community and the game for Wizards of the Coast to release a statement of opposition to either Donald Trump or his most detrimental policies. At some point, honor must come before profits. Furthermore, Donald Trump’s recent executive order known as the Muslim Ban is a direct threat to Organized Play and the Pro Tour system. Our community should not stand for these actions, and I would point however in Wizards of the Coast toward the moral responsibility in their conscience to make a statement clarifying their position on this administration. Thank you.

Ars Arcanum Public Data

Hey everyone, just a quick update here.

I wanted to make the data that I’m using for my articles publicly accessible, and I decided that the best way for me to do that is to make a public Google Drive folder, so that anyone with the link can view whatever I drop in there.

Here’s a link to that folder.

I’ve also added a link to the link page on this blog, so that there is always a place to go find that data. Click on the three lines in the upper left corner of the page, go down to links, and then click on the link that says Ars Arcanum Public Data, as featured in the picture below. Thanks so much!

 

j9v8z72

Why You Should Not Play MTGO’s Draft Leagues

5-seaside-railroad-free-wallpapers

You’ve probably seen the latest big news in MTGO’s limited offerings, but in case you haven’t, here’s a link! As tends to happen when WotC makes big announcements, there was a lot of commentary on this decision. To sum it up, on September 7th, both the pack-per-win and 6222 Swiss draft queues will be removed. They will then turn into a pack-per-win and 6222 draft league. Those leagues are drafted simultaneously within a single pod, but the games are then played asynchronously across a pool of players that includes everyone in the league. Some people love this new step, and a lot of pro players seemed to come down on the side of this change, but other people (myself included) were very upset at the removal of Swiss draft queues that maintain the integrity of a single draft pod. As this argument was taking place on Twitter, it became obvious very quickly that this was not the kind of disagreement that translated well into a 140-character medium. The discussion also blew up on Reddit, but again, the up/down vote medium makes it difficult to pull out the most important points of this discussion. Some people asked for me to address my specific concerns regarding cross-pods, or when you play people that drafted with a different set of 8 drafters than you did, but I knew that Twitter would suck for the conversation, so I kind of blew them off, and planned to write a more detailed explanation. It’s a nuanced conversation, and I’m going to try to address as much as I can, while also detailing arguments from both sides.

Read More

Star Trek: Beyond

maxresdefault

Star Trek is weird. It has a big following, but Star Trek’s fandom tends to intertwine more with other nerd cultures than your average fandom. This is because Trekkies love something more than just the in-depth worldbuilding or the fascinating characters or dynamics of an ensemble crew in exciting situations. Being a Trekkie doesn’t just mean that you enjoy discussing story theories endlessly or consuming tons tangential material or cosplaying, though Trekkies do all of these things. I think that the major thread that ties Trekkies together is their love for well-told stories that address difficult issues in thought-provoking ways. They love Star Trek because it is nuanced and morally complex and incredibly relevant to the human experiment as it stands now. Because of this, I’ve been fascinating with the JJ Abrams era Star Trek films, and the way they have experimented with ways to draw in new fans in ways that will allow them to bridge to the Trekkie culture at large, while also giving stories that still try to maintain some element of that core nugget of Trek fandom. Unfortunately, Star Trek Beyond doesn’t even attempt this; it is the most shallow of all the Star Trek films, with the thinnest threads of story holding together a bunch of action sequences.

Read More

History of Creatures in Limited

li195_mis

 

Hey everybody.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on a major project, and in this post I’m going to give you the first look at it.

I’ve been compiling the stats of creatures in Magic limited formats over the past few months, going through every set and carefully cataloging every creature along a variety of metrics. With the release of Eldritch Moon, I’ve completed this catalog, and so I’ve got a bunch of spreadsheets and charts to debut. In this post, I’m going to link to each of the spreadsheets and charts, leaving all the data out in the open. I haven’t written an article about this yet, but I’ll be doing so in the near future; it’s just a massive project with tons of analysis to do, so it might take me a while to put together all the information in a coherent way. In any case, feel free to take a look for yourself, browse through the info, and see what you can see! I’ll be updating this information periodically; with each set release at least, and I plan on adding some other sets as I go along.

Read More

OGW Power Rankings – Week One

 

Welcome back to Limited Power Rankings. I hope that everyone enjoyed their prereleases; I surely enjoyed mine, and I got a lot more practice with Oath of the Gatewatch cards. I enjoyed the set much more with the inclusion of Oath of the Gatewatch than I did with just Battle for Zendikar, so I’m very excited to be digging in to a new format. This week, I’ll be looking at how my ratings have changed as a results of the prerelease, and how that will affect my drafting going forward.

Read More