Since it has been over a year since my last update I figured I may as well do something with this thing. I’ve been wanting a place to discuss Magic with just our group. I believe that all our players are well beyond that awkward beginner stage and are ready for actual strategy. I think I have improved at magic considerably over the past two years or so. I contribute most for my improvement from simply reading about magic. I read every (free) article posted on magicthegathering.com, StarCityGames, and Brainburst as well as occasionally browse other sites and message boards. I also like to go back and read old magic articles from times either before I started playing magic or at least before I started reading about it. Through all this reading I have been able to understand parts of the game I didn’t before. A good strategy article may help you think about a part of the game you didn’t think about before and help to improve yourself in that area. At the least it could just help you to understand the game better which will help you both be a better deck builder and a better player. A good deck tech article can help you in ways beyond just seeing a cool deck. Often seeing an interesting deck can inspire you to create a deck of your own based either on something you saw or even just something that seeing the list made you think of. Inspiration for deck building can come just like inspiration for anything else creative. Often just looking at other’s work can help you create your own.
I don’t know how long this use for my Journal I never use will last but do at least have a few other entires for it planned.
This is a list of some of the most important Magic articles past and present that I feel every magic player needs to read at some point. If there are any articles you have read and liked or think are important go ahead and post a link to them.
The Schools of Magic
I’m not really a fan of Rob Hahn and a lot of the stuff here was eventually either outdated or proven false but this was the biggest and most important strategy article of its time. This article defined deck building for years and also defined the “Weissman School of Magic” based around Brian Weissman’s “The Deck” which was basically the first net deck ever. It dominated for years and later inspired the Keeper decks that dominated Vintage for even longer. Even the current 4-color Control arc types are based around concepts first made public by The Deck.
Five Rules For Avoiding Mana-Screw
This is the best article I have found on how to construct a mana base for your deck.
The Philosophy of Fire
This article shows that sligh decks aren’t as easy to build or play as they look on the surface and that there is a real depth to the strategy in playing the Mountains.
Who’s The Beatdown?
Possibly one of the most important magic articles ever written. This is the most referenced magic article in existence. It had a huge impact on Vintage strategy especially.
Tempo And Card Advantage
The content should be obvious from the title. This covers concepts that are very important for a magic player to know.
Virtual Cards in Urza’s Block, a Sub-Category of Card Advantage Theory
This is an important one. EDT takes a look at Virtual card advantage a concept that is still not quite understood well by most players.
The Alongi School of Magic
Alongi is easily the biggest name in multiplayer. This is the best multiplayer article I have found.
Threat Theory, Answer Theory
Another Flores classic.
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Circle?
This article in now generally known as “The Fear” This has wound up to be another one of those often quoted and linked articles much like “Who’s the Beatdown”
Not surprisingly about Mulligans. There is more to a mulligan than just making sure you have enough land. This article covers that kinda stuff.
A more recent Paskins article.
Study and Grow Strong – Tournament Reports
This one doesn’t contain any important theory or strategy but is rather just links to his favorite tournament reports. Most of them are quite an entertaining read.
That certainly is a lot of reading if you wanted to read all of those and no one really has that kinda time but none of these articles are going anywhere soon and the concepts won’t be changing quickly either so you have all the time in the world. I did try to put them in at least some kind of order so the ones near the top may be slightly more important than the lower ones. I would estimate the most important ones to read would be the mana-screw one and the one about multiplayer since we have been playing that a lot more lately. The other would be more helpful for things like type 3.5 and other constructed formats which we haven’t done in a while.
Once again if you have any articles to add to this go ahead and post a link. I want to turn this journal into a place we can talk about magic with people in our play group. I also would like to know if this is something you guys will read of if I would just be doing it for fun (which I might do anyway).