Thursday, January 22, 2015

This week in Magic - FRF Prerelease, changes to the Banned/Restricted list

This weekend featured the Prerelease of Fate Reforged, a set that had some pretty big shoes to fill. It was obvious from the get-go that the next set will be hard pressed to compete with Khans of Tarkir, with its slew of powerful cards for all formats, as well as the friendly-color fetchlands. So far, FRF seems to feature more along the lines of funky combo cards than pure power and it will probably take longer to get a real idea of the influence this set will have on competitive Magic.

The other big change, of course, was the update to the Banned/Restricted lists. With the banning of Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, and Birthing Pod in Modern, and unbanning of Golgari Grave-Troll, this set will surely change the most, but Treasure Cruise was also banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage, so expect plenty of innovation all around!

Unsurprisingly, then, most articles published this week focus on one of these two topics, and we’ve done our best to feature the best of them. Enjoy our selection for this week!

Fate Reforged in Constructed

Adrian Sullivan talks about – well, Red, of course
I’ll be Frank, I thought Adrian will have gotten bored with playing Red by now, but he seems as determined as ever to throw some Wild Slashes to the face! His review is detailed, with a lot of cards one would glance over, but that might actually have a role to play at some point. Another thing I like about this article is that it’s not just all about Mono Red. I severely disagree with his rating of the Shaman, though.

Mark Nestico brings some interesting new Standard decks to the table
The nice thing about Standard right now is the wealth of different decks being played right now. The format, of course, has steadily been slimming down to a smaller number of the best decks, so it’s great that people are still thinking up new brews. Mark talks about his take on UW Control and Mono Green devotion, which both got a few new tools with Fate Reforged. There’s even a funky little GW Aggro deck at the end.

Caleb Durward’s guide to Eternal with Fate Reforged
In the slew of articles regarding the new set, not many articles will focus on the Eternal formats. Caleb goes over the obvious ones and provides some quick decklists, but he doesn’t exactly delve deep to find some more hidden gems.

Fate Reforged in Limited

Luis Scott-Vargas and Marshall Sutcliffe discuss the Commons and Uncommons of Fate Reforged
If you prefer listening to a podcast to reading an article, perhaps during your drive to work – or during work itself – you will enjoy LSV and Marshall discuss the cards in Fate Reforged for Limited. And when I say thorough, I mean thorough! This podcast runs for over five hours, while the Rare and Mythic one runs for another three. I think the podcast would be better if it was a little bit more focused, but it’s an interesting one nonetheless.

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa talks about the facets of Fate Reforged Sealed
The Prerelease weekend may be over, but Sealed is still a relevant format that not many people write about. Is this article relevant for regular Sealed? On the one hand, you don’t get to choose which clan you will be playing, but there is still plenty of useful information here and it’s sure to give you an edge for the upcoming PPTQ/GP/whatever.


Brian David-Marshall sheds light on the Pro teams
One area of Magic coverage I’ve always found lacking is not the game – it’s the players behind it. Sure, BDM and Rich Hagon do their best to hype it up during Pro Tour coverage, but that is pretty much it. This article aims to rectify this and while there are still some improvements to be made, it’s an enjoyable read leading up to the Pro Tour.

David Ochoa makes Top 32 at GP Denver with no preparation David is a brilliant player, but his “I didn’t prepare for this event at all and had a great result” is getting a bit tiresome. What saves this article is his great writing style, which makes for an exciting read even when his insight into the actual deck is kind of limited. We just hope he isn’t going the way of the Paulo and actually starts preparing for tournaments again.

Regional Pro Tour Qualifier system for Pro Tour Milwaukee information
The RPTQ system is back for its second round and WotC has been adamant that they will be working hard to improve on the first round. The difference so far seems to be the format (Fate Reforged Sealed) and the locations of the tournaments, which you can find at the bottom of the article.

Upcoming tournaments

There are no GPs in the upcoming weekend, but you can follow the coverage of the SCG Open in Washington DC on their Twitch channel.

You can also take a look at the Vintage Super League, Season 2 of which starts on Tuesday.

Check out the Super Sunday Series Championship, starting on Saturday!

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