As is usually the case with a big tournament coming up, the Pro players are busy testing and unwilling to write about what they will be playing, so many of this week's articles focus on other topics, such as flavor, or teaching others how to play Magic. We've still managed to put together a nice mix that should provide you all with plenty of entertaining reading!
CompetitiveConley Woods brews up a monster with Soulflayer
Soulflayer seems like the type of card that is just waiting for someone to break it, and if there is one person that is also going to have fun doing it, it's Conley Woods. Chromanticore and a God in the graveyard when you cast the Soulflayers will definitely result in fun times, so it just remains to be seen whether the deck can be consistent enough.
Anthony Lowry discusses two Standard decks
Decks that try to power out an early bomb such as Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, can be very vulnerable and clunky when things don't quite fall into place - perhaps you don't draw your bomb, of the acceleration doesn't quite get you all the way to eight mana. Anthony looks to play around this by merging Ugin into an already powerful GB Constellation shell.
Caleb Durward invites you to try UR Delver
Wait, what? Yes, UR Delver. Sure, the deck took a hude hit with the loos of Treasure Cruise, but it is still a powerful and consistent deck that rewards tight technical skill and a strong understanding of different matchups. Caleb provides an interesting way to combat Siege Rhino, though the Flashfreezes almost definitely belong in the sideboard.
Shuuhei Nakamura features the previous Modern bad guy, Jund
Jund used to be the oppresive deck of Modern, but with the bannings of Bloodbraid Elf and Deathrite Shaman, has fallen to the wayside. Now, with Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time gone, players will need to find new toys to play with - or old ones, for that matter. Jund could be a great choice and Shuuhei explains why that is so.
Picking a better deck with Matt Sperling
Matt is traditionally a very direct and critical author, who also manages to keep his articles amusing - and sometimes, downright hilarious. This article puts a lot of emphasis on theory, as opposed to practice, so it definitely isn't for everyone. He does his best to move away from the sharp nature of his usual writing here, which I think benefits the piece greatly.
OtherFlorian Koch interviews the new member of team CFB - Guillaume Matignon
Guillaume is an old-school player who has had a lot more experience on the Pro Tour than at the Grand Prix scene. He was suspended a few years ago for divulging information about an upcoming Magic set, but he is back now and testing with one of the best teams in the world. Want to learn more about him?
Abe Sergeant gives tips on how to enter Commander on a budget
Starting a deck in a new format can be intimidating and expensive and Commander is no exception. From dual lands to planeswalkers, the format features some of the more powerful and costly cards in Magic, so getting an edge on the competition can often be about picking up the undervalued cards and trading them off at a premium later. Abe has some ideas and though some are suspect, others are solid hits.
Mike Linnemann explores the maps of Dominaria
I'll be the first to admit to have never seen a map of one of the worlds featured in Magic before. Mike's article, however, introduces a wealth of art, story, and renewed sense of exploration that comes from seeing strange and new places spread before you. Dive deep into Terisiare or Jamuraa, explore The Stronghold, or find out where the Durkwood Boars roam.
Natasha Lewis Harrington on how to teach others Magic
Magic is not just a game for grown-ups - I know, shocking, right? It can be a great tool to learn for children, and a nice way for adults to connect with them. Like Matt's article above, Natasha's also focuses on a lot of theory.