Gathering This Week’s Magic 18: ALL OF JULY and Then Some

So it’s been wayyyyyy too long. That’s right. All of July and the first two weeks of August were radio silence. But it was a great month for M:TG. Spoilers from the fall Commander Precons (!AMPED!) FTV:20 and Theros look awesome courtesy of Comic Con, Extended is officially dead, a giant walked away from #mtgfinance, M14 is shaking up Standard, the new Hall of Fame inductees were announced, and the Magic Champs and World Cup were awesome. Let’s try to catch up.

Special Section: Hello, Hello; Goodbye, Goodbye

Ok the good news first. I started writing for, one of my favorite EDH blogs. Check me out every Friday (such as yesterday).

Next, congrats to 2013 M:TG HoF inductees Luis Scott-Vargas, Ben Stark – the best drafter in the world by many counts – and William “Huey” Jenson.

Next, the bad. is closed because of real life. Nooooooooo!

And finally, Jonathan Medina announced that he was leaving Magic all together, including his burgeoning site, store, and M:TG brand, LegitMTG. A day later, the other half of the site’s heart, Heather Lafferty, said she was leaving Legit for Gathering Magic and taking 20 Tweets with her. The future of the site remains uncertain at best, although this article from the new editor gives a bit of hope.


In case you missed it, here’s all the info out so far about Theros (all the compiled info from San Diego Comic Con in one thread here), FTV:20, and the Commander Precons 2nd Ed (you can find a few spoilers online if you look).

At Champs this weekend, WotC also confirmed that the Modern PTQ season will not begin until next Summer, on June 7 2014, instead of going winter 2013 to Spring 2014, as was planned. That means more time to focus on Standard and longer windows before Modern card prices get astronomical. So if you slept on blue fetches, you may have a bit of a window left.

Tournament Report

This past weekend was the combined Magic World Championships, which pitted 16 of the best players in the world against each other across four formats over two days, and Magic World Cup, in which Shahar Shenhar of Israel won the individual competition piloting UWR Flash in Standard and Modern, while the French team of Raphaël Lévy, Stephane Soubrier, Timothée Simonot, and Yann Guthmann beat the Hungarian team in the finals to bring their country’s first international team trophy home.

The World’s Magic Hall in Lovely Amsterda

Check out this awesome Infographic for more info about the individual event, MTG Champs.

StarCityGames also hosted a tournament last weekend, running its Open Series in Minneapolis. Sean Weihe won the Standard Open on Saturday with Jund, and Kenny Dungar beat ANT in the finals piloting a Goblins list that leaned on hate bears like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.

Metagame Info

Since it’s been so long, the Standard metagame has shifted a bunch. Right after M14, BW humans climbed to the top, but Jund value and auras remained the most popular decks. Then, last weekend saw Jund become even more of a format behemoth, and to nobody’s surprise, Scavenging Ooze is a powerhouse in every format.

So if value decks – UWR Flash and Jund – have got you down, BBD has some words of wisdom. Re-harness the Junk Reanimator monster, return to the old public enemy number one, and run it as a metagame deck.

Tournaments, This Weekend and Next

SCG SLC and GP Warsaw are currently going on, with Star City Games running Standard on both Saturday and Sunday, and some of Europe’s best duking it out in Standard over in Warasaw.

There seem to be no big streams for August 17 to 18, probably due to Gen Con!

Learn about Drafting

This is the kind of limited content I love because it’s concrete. Owen Turtenwald goes through Ben Stark’s M14 draft from Champs pick by pick and discusses when picks were correct or incorrect based on the info Ben had at the time.

Strategy and Theory

Here’s one of my personal favorites, Mike Flores, listing the top 20 best Magic articles of all time. To be fair, he does toot his own horn a bit, listing four of his own articles. But if you want to understand the fundamentals of Magic at a deeper, more explicit level, I highly recommend all of these articles. It’s worth the time to read them.

If you want to jump from your kitchen table to FNM and the high-stakes beyond, check out this piece from ManaDeprived. In episode one he says “you need a deck.” To start, “Just play colors that you are comfortable with and you will quickly learn how to shape your first Standard deck into something that can compete locally.”


The key to MTG finance and trading is timing. writer Cliff Daigle says the secret to effective casual Magic budgeting is patience, which is one half of understanding good timing. If you wait, it will probably go down.


If you were paying attention when Beck/Call was spoiled, you probably got excited about Modern Elves too. I remember thinking Intruder Alarm has become a super sweet enabler. Check out Travis Woo’s approach to the deck in this video.

Design and Development

Nearly every big change in M:TG has been met with cries of falling skies, the end of Magic, and all that. Here are 20 things that didn’t actually kill Magic throughout its history.

Casual Thoughts

Blue that doesn’t have to be mean. Building an EDH deck requires razor-sharp selection, and if you follow the advice in Staple Remover by focusing on blues non-stack related abilities, like flying, landwalk, and tapping, you can create a fun blue deck.

Noal talks about why you should remove Hokori, Decree of Silence, Necrogen Mists, Thieves Auction and friends, and Primal Surge cuz they totally suck.

That’s it. Kinda a weird condensation of six weeks. 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


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