Magic: The Gathering Creator Richard Garfield Says He Did Not Expect MTG's Success
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MTG Expert and List Writeris a writer and Magic: the Gathering player from Manila, Philippines. When he’s not out grinding Magic tournaments or spending time with family, Nicholas plays Standard and Limited daily on MTG Online
The latest Magic: the Gathering set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths has been out for a couple of weeks now. In that time, players have been treated to a whole array of giant monsters both in Constructed and Limited formats
The Companion mechanic is certainly hogging the spotlight by being completely broken, for better or for worse. But I’m more a fan of the Mutate mechanic and the wacky behemoth-stacks it lets players assemble using multiple creatures that have the alternate cost.
Unfortunately for all the Timmies out there, Mutate hasn’t made much of an impact in Standard, Pioneer, and Modern. That’s probably because Constructed Magic is most often about cheap threats and interaction. In fact, formats won’t often feature many cards more expensive than five mana. And if they do, they likely win the game on the spot or are part of an unstoppable value engine.
Of course, there are a bunch of six-drop creatures that have made their mark on Constructed in the past decade. And yes, most of them can shut the door on the opponent or help you claw back from a losing position.
So, in honor of Ikoria, let’s look at the 11 best 6-mana creatures released in the past 10 years. True to their steep costs, each and every one of them is an absolute blast to play!
Last Tuesday, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) announced an upcoming Magic: the Gathering Banned & Restricted (B&R) list update on Monday, March 9. This update will ban or restrict at least one card in one or more of Magic’s Constructed formats: Standard, Commander Pioneer, Modern, Legacy, Pauper, and Vintage.
This is the first update to the list we’ll get under WotC’s revamped B&R system. Starting this year, instead of announcements scheduled soon after each new Standard set release, Wizards will only announce a ban when new cards are hitting the list. They promised players a week’s notice, and we’re seeing that here.
Cue the many jokes on social media about WotC announcing an announcement. They didn’t even clue us in on which format will see a ban! Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you feel about this issue, this lack of information has provided us with a week of exciting—or tiresome—speculation about Magic’s latest addition to the list of the game’s most broken cards in history.
In this list, I’ll go over the most likely ban scenarios, ordered according to how strongly I feel about the card or cards in question. If you find something you disagree with, as I’m sure people will, feel free to leave a comment on the site or on social media, and I’ll gladly discuss potential bans with you!
Magic: the Gathering’s latest set, Theros Beyond Death (THB), was released last January 24, 2020. While the set’s impact on Constructed has been felt most strongly in Pioneer and Modern, it’s been no slouch in Standard, either.
Over the past month, Magic fans have been treated to tons of high-level Standard featuring THB in the form of the 2020 World Championship and the DreamHack Anaheim 2020 Arena Open. It seems like the new set has unlocked several new strategies and has revitalized old favorites. Standard may be more popular now than it was at any point in 2019.
Combo and ramp enthusiasts in older formats have enjoyed the introduction of Thassa’s Oracle, Underworld Breach, and Dryad of the Ilysian Grove to the eternal card pool. Standard players, on the other hand, get a slew of resilient threats that deliver value turn after turn, as well as powerful and versatile answers the likes of which have been absent for some time.
In this list, we’ll look at the top 11 cards from Theros: Beyond Death that have made the biggest splash in Standard.
Standard with Core Set 2020 is in full-swing before we get to Throne of Eldraine previews in a few weeks. The latest core set turned out to be filled with fun and powerful cards for different archetypes.
We’ve also had ample time to figure out which of the 37 Planeswalkers from War of the Spark are good in constructed formats. With so many ‘Walkers being released at once, it’s very cool that Wizards of the Coast managed to release a good mix of Constructed all-stars and role players.
In this article, I’ll look at the top 10 War of the Spark Planeswalkers that have made a splash in Standard, Modern, Legacy, and Vintage.
Magic the Gathering concluded its first Mythic Championship last month in Cleveland, Ohio, with Autumn Burchett taking the rebranded Pro Tour down with the breakout deck of the tournament and probably of this Standard format-Mono-Blue Tempo.
Coverage of this Mythic Championship was exciting and diverse, with six different decks making the Top 8 and many more archetypes filling out the rest of the standings on Day 2. Standard with Ravnica Allegiance looks to have room for a ton of different creatures and spells to shine.
In this list, let's look at 10 cards that made a huge impact at the Mythic Championship. Some of them took center stage in archetypes that performed well, while others were effective role players in the main decks or sideboards of different lists. Standard players should expect to see a lot of these cards in the weeks to come.
Wizards of the Coast
In my last two articles, I picked out a bunch of sweet cards from Magic: the Gathering’s latest set, Ravnica Allegiance, that I thought would see play in the new Standard format. Since the set dropped, we’ve seen a ton of new archetypes and strategies emerge from Magic Online Competitive League results and the Star City Games Indianapolis Open Weekend held on January 26.
I for one am excited to playtest and tune the different lists built around Hero of Precinct One. I totally slept on this card when I went through the set, but players like Pro Tour Champion Wyatt Darby have shown early on how strong the two drop is when combined with the improved mana and critical mass of multicolored spells that Ravnica Allegiance has given us.
The set hasn’t just contributed a lot of new cards to Standard. It’s also been a blast to draft! It looks so far like all five new guilds are playable, with good mana fixing in Gates and Lockets to splash powerful bombs and removal. The set is also packed with tons of subtle synergies and interactions, both within the guilds and between cards of guilds that share a color, like Simic and Gruul.
In this list, I’ll share some of my favorite interactions and two-card combos that will make playing Ravnica Allegiance Limited more fun and that could give you an edge in your next match. Some of these are interactions that don’t require a lot of effort or luck to put together, while others reward you for building your deck a certain way or adjusting your pick order during the draft.
Wizards of the Coast
Last time, I looked at 14 rare and mythic cards from the new set Ravnica Allegiance that I think will see Standard play. Since that article came out, two sets of decklists that went 5-0 in Magic Online Competitive Standard Leagues have been published.
It looks like I slept on some cards that put up strong showings in the first week of the new format, including Biogenic Ooze and Incubation Druid. It remains to be seen how good the rest of my predictions will look as some archetypes are refined and others make their debut in upcoming premier tournaments. I may be wrong about some cards, but I maintain that Spawn of Mayhem has no place in the top tier of Standard.
Anyway, today I’ll be looking at the unsung heroes of Standard: the commons and uncommons that make decks tick and that support the big splashy bombs and hyper-efficient removal at higher rarities. I’m really glad that Ravnica Allegiance seems to have continued Magic’s recent trend of printing a lot of powerful commons and uncommons. Let’s dive right in!
Wizards of the Coast
In my last article, I looked at the top 10 Magic: the Gathering cards, plus one Honorable Mention, that defined the Standard format after the release of Guilds of Ravnica. I got some great feedback on the list, with friends and readers making strong cases for the inclusion of other cards they felt were format-defining. Their arguments really showed how fun and diverse this Standard has been, with different decks doing well at different times and against different matchups.
Today, I’ll be looking at Magic’s latest set Ravnica Allegiance, which is already out on Magic Arena and Magic Online, and picking out the rares and mythics I think could see play in the new Standard format. If Allegiance is anything like Guilds was, we’ll be seeing a lot of new strategies and decks enter the fray in the coming months, especially with the release of the remaining Shocklands like Hallowed Fountain.
While some of my picks may be obvious Standard bombs, others are sweet cards I hope will be played for their unique designs, splashy effects, and potential for synergy
Wizards of the Coast/ Image: WotC
With the release of the latest Magic: the Gathering set Ravnica Allegiance just around the corner, it’s a good time to take a look back at the cards that defined the Standard format of Guilds of Ravnica.
Guilds of Ravnica came out after the home run of power and flavor that was Dominaria, with core sets making a return with M19 in between. Its introduction to Standard also coincided with the rotation of the Kaladesh and Amonkhet blocks. Top decks like Black/Red Aggro headlined by Goblin Chainwhirler, Heart of Kiran, and Hazoret the Fervent ceased to exist. Control players lost much of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria’s supporting cast, including Glimmer of Genius and Torrential Gearhulk.
Fortunately, Guilds of Ravnica managed to bring a ton of powerful bombs, removal spells, and deck enablers to the Standard party. Several of the cards on this list birthed fun and competitive archetypes and strategies, while others were already staples that continued to see heavy play in the new Standard.
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast introduced huge changes to the competitive Magic: the Gathering scene beginning in 2019. The shake-up is headlined by a whopping $10 million prize pool and by the rollout of MTG Arena as the premier platform for competitive play.
The new Magic Pro League will feature the 32 top-ranking professional players from 2018 duking it out in weekly streamed Arena matches. While the first batch of MPL pros earned their spots after strong 2018 performances, WOTC has promised that challengers can knock these players out of the top 32 as new the season progresses.
With the introduction of the Pro League and with the replacement of the old Pro Tour system with 10 Mythic Championship events split between paper and Arena, 2019 promises to be a year of exciting opportunities for seasoned pros and Arena grinders alike.
This article will take a look at ten players worth following in 2019. This list includes both MPL pros and streamers who may not have been Pro Tour mainstays, but who could take advantage of the shift from paper to MTG Arena.