Gathering This Week’s Magic 11: May 4 – May 10

SLIVERS!!!! Some new set brewing, finding our feet in block limited, and I’m Too Busy. Read about these quick hits of awesome in this installment of Gathering This Week’s Magic.

So it’s a short one cuz suprrisesssss I was too busy this week. Here are some quick hits for those busier than I.

SCG NJ – Standard: Week One

Slime Time

credit Nofingers on MTGSalvation

Star City Games hosted its Standard Open in New Jersey, where Junk Rites won again, with Jund Insanity taking second.

Here’s winner Chris Vanmeter’s recount of Sliming his way to victory with Junk Rites, his favorite deck of the season.

Metagame Info

Sire of Insanity proved itself as the most important card from Dragon’s Maze week one, although Sin Collector was a sweet one out of the board from Junk Rites. Voice of Resurgence looked OK but didn’t live up to the hype.


Josh Silvestsri breaks down week one of DGM Standard, hyping up Jund, pointing out the validity of Bant Auras thanks to unflinching Courage, and joining the chorus of pros cheering because “Sphinx’s Revelation decks might just be bad now.”

If you prefer the datassss, here’s a bunch of awesome pie charts from regular Mr. Vigabool. Note that Thragtusk is still the most-played card in Standard.

This Weekend’s Tournaments

Three big tournaments keep us entertained this weekend. SCGChar hosts the Standard Open Saturday into Sunday morning with team Sealed Sunday afternoon again.

Check out some Modern at the Grand Prix in Portland, with GPPort steaming starting late Saturday. And keep up with text coverage of the Limited GP in Beijing, featuring Block Sealed and Draft.


Slivers are back in M14. But they aren’t exactly the same. They have evolved. Love it or hate it, here’s Doug Beyer on why they changed the mechanic and the art. The argument basically boils down to making the mechanic all upside and that creative felt they ran out of art-design space for the old, “beak-headed, one-clawed, one-tailed forms.”


People obviously chimed in with their opinions about the changes. Durdling Around covers my feelings on it perfectly.

Learn about Drafting

You may or may not have realized that the shift in the Limited format has a big impact on the relative value of several cards. [If you read last week you got a great idea of how to reevaluate a few mana fixers.] Here are some of the coolest interactions available in the new three-set limited format, courtesy of Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa.

If you prefer a simpler approach, here’s a pro’s take on the best commons in the set from each guild. This review is especially valuable if you are interested in surprising opponents with one of the few aggro decks possible.

Strategy and Theory

Do you opt to play or draw? Does it matter? This data-intensive study analyzed tons of games and concluded that in game ones, you’re 56% to win on the play. In game two you’re only 52% because skilled players are more likely to win game ones and thus more likely to be on the draw game two, nullifying some of the advantage. The advantage in game three is even smaller, just 51% to 49%.


So Modern Masters is coming out soon enough and everyone is pumped that it might help lower the prices of Modern-format staples, as well as be a really fun draft format. However, this MTGFinance piece from LegitMTG contends that far too little Modern Masters will be printed to meet the supply gap between older sets and newer sets.


This Golgari control deck has people talking. Frank Lepore’s playtesting suggests Desecration Demon plus Mutilate and a ton of card draw is pretty sweet.

Travis Woo’s first brew was Living End combo, and he’s bringing it back in Modern. Here’s the article and some rad videos of him running it back.

Design and Development

Take an awesome look into some of the most interesting cards from Dragon’s Maze. Former MTG designer Gregory Marques asks a number of questions about the target audiences for specific cards and considers how they were designed.

At the other end of Design and Development is the summary of the entire block, including color breakdown and a lot of other juicy details thanks to a great infographic from Gathering Magic.

Casual Thoughts

The “Oops, I win,” deck from this Mothership column inspired a bunch of speculation of Deadbridge Chant, the six-mana mythic enchantment from Dragon’s Maze that most pros are calling bulk. Regardless, if you want to wow your kitchen table friends with a Johnny-tastic combo, check it out.

For those readers whose tastes run more digital, here’s an introduction to Momir Basic, the very best casual format on Modo. This format is also a great way to start earning tickets if you’re good at it, but even if not, it’s super fun.

Sorry for the shortness. Hopefully it’s sweet enough to make up for it. Don’t forget to complete your picks for the Pro Tour Facebook app for the upcoming Pro Tour in San Diego, which is Block Constructed.

If you have comments or questions, post below or shoot them to me on my Twitter handle @MdaveCs. GTWM is a work in progress and I’d love ideas of how to evolve it to make it more useful and fun for you.

Thanks for reading
❤ Dave


3 thoughts on “Gathering This Week’s Magic 11: May 4 – May 10

  1. Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.

    I appreciate you spnding some time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both
    reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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