Eldrazi Winter? Yes, we’re currently in the midst of the epic battle between the Spaghetti Monsters and the Robots, but all is not lost. It turns out that Living End has a pretty good shot against the Devoid menace. Sure, Eldrazi decks can spit out four 2-powered creatures on turn one; but we can use Simian Spirit Guide to cast Living End on turn two, wiping away all those unfairly free threats. The Eldrazi can do bonkers things, and so can Living End.
GPT Top 8 match, turn 1
In preparation for the upcoming Modern Grand Prix in Detroit, I’ve been analyzing all of the likely match-ups. Based on my experience in three recent Grand Prix Trials (10th, 8th, and 2nd after Swiss, respectively) and my relentless practice on MTGO, I have compiled a basic sketch of the format’s most common decks and how Living End should approach them. Included in each deck review is a list of the match-up’s most dangerous cards, and a suggested list of sideboard cards to bring in.
NOTE: These are vague generalizations based on a variety of experiences and discussions. Every game and every deck should be considered independently, and not all decks will have the same cards detailed below. Pay attention to your surroundings and your opponent, and act on your instincts!
The match-ups are listed in alphabetical order, based on the deck’s common name (ex. Affinity, Kiki-Chord, etc.)
In my efforts to develop as a grinder, I am reading Patrick Chapin’s book, Next Level Magic. It’s a 211-page text ondeveloping our Magic fundamentals and improving our play – essentially one of those in-depth “How to Win at Poker” books, but for Magic. I’ve only just stared it, but I’ll definitely be sharing what I learn its application as I experience it.
Next Level Magic, by Patrick Chapin (available through StarCityGames.com)
Chapin prefaces his development plan with a plea for players to first understand where they currently sit with their Magic ability, by making an honest assessment of themselves. Referring to an article by Sam Stoddard, Chapin asks us to create a Fearless Magic Inventory:
The journey begins with you deciding to understand yourself…If you really capture yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses as best as you can possibly observe them, if you resolve to see yourself as you actually are right now, you’ll be taking an enormous stride. Take a Fearless Magic Inventory of yourself.
How do you make a Fearless Magic Inventory? Simple: make a list of the things you secretly know you are doing wrong in Magic. Be honest with yourself. Stop lying to yourself and face reality. Take your ego out of it and admit you don’t do everything perfect, yet.
Essentially, we have to know our starting point if we are to know where we’re going to end up, and making a list of our weaknesses will automatically create a list of development goals. Chapin encourages players to post their Inventory online somewhere so that they can hold themselves accountable better. “Shine a light on them and you will see what it is going to take to overcome them.”
This weakness listing is pretty common for the personal development field and a staple of general psychological counseling, so it should be no surprise that Chapin finds it helpful in improving our Magic game. In staying true to my serious efforts to get better at the game, I’ve created my own Fearless Magic Inventory and posted it below. Several of the items on the list I’ve already improved upon, but I wanted to “shine a light on them” to ensure that I continue to get better instead of falling back to old habits.