Let me start by saying I’m having a really good month. Work is going well, the blog is doing well, my roommate is moving out and my girlfriend is moving in, and in my last 14 matches I’m 13-1! Something happened over the last couple of weeks. I’m reading the meta better, understanding drafts, I even knuckled down and won a prerelease event, something I’m generally terrible at.

It’s all coming together, I’m starting to feel that feeling I had before I quit the game 12 years ago. I’m comfortable in my playstyle. I know the various match-ups and the ones I don’t I’m shoring up. Draft, Sealed, Standard, Modern, Legacy…I’ve been crushing it lately. It feels really good to have that confidence back. I’ve been seriously playing for just over a year again and with four Grand Prix under my belt (Philly, Lisbon, Atlantic City, and Vegas) I feel like I’m back to my old self. I don’t have a secret or anything (though playing a midnight prerelease event as a guy whose job ends most nights at 4am I feel like I had a little advantage) I’m just saying its a good time to be Zac Clark, Durdle Magus.

I’m currently at 574 Planeswalker Points for this season up from last weeks 515. I mean that’s a lot of work in a week. I’ve got until August 11 to make up 186 points for that second bye. I often read how pros are trying to make Silver or Gold or Platinum status (must be nice) but at 1x that breaks down to 62 wins in…not enough time. But there’s the SCG Open in Jersey at the end of the month. Nine rounds of 3x would help, ESPECIALLY if it was for two different tournaments.

I feel competent enough in both standard and legacy to easily pull that off. The real key here is to save a little dough though. Bigger magic tourneys are weekend things. PTQs and such all happen on days where I work to make a living. Each big event is a net loss of a couple hundred dollars for me. I love this hobby and these are fun for me just like going to the beach or a theme park in the summer are to other folks.

I’ve been playing Magic three days a week for the last few months. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday afternoon before work. There are ten more 1x tourneys before August 11. Two each (Monday and Tuesday) have four rounds, and Friday is three. So, I have 35 more rounds of Magic before the season ends. Even if I X-0’d all 35 rounds (impossible with the competition I regularly go up against) that’s only 105 points. Add in 25-ish participation points and I’m still short. Let’s be hopeful, but honest with ourselves. Let’s say I take 25 of those 35 rounds. 75 pts from wins and 25 from participation. Two 3x tourneys or a PTQ should get me close. Basically, I need to make up 86 points I’m not looking to “naturally” earn from my regular MtG schedule…WHY DOESN’T ANYONE RUN PTQs on Wednesdays at 1pm? I’m normally free around then. Sigh.

With that in mind, let me move forward toward the next order of business. M14 means the meta will shift. There are so many things to take into account for this. Firstly, what to get rid of what to keep. There’s gonna be three months of Magic with Innistrad block still in Standard. That gives me like no time to get rid of stuff that won’t be Modern playable after rotation. This is the part of the season that I just play one deck for the next three months and try to speculate on what I’ll play in September.

Hexproof seems like an obvious choice to play from now until September and perhaps into November. Witchstalker is gross, in a very good way. Also doesn’t it look like that infected Boar-thing from the start of Princess Mononoke?

I think that Mono Red has a solid hope of being a beast after Theros. I like Ogre Battledriver for a four drop. Even your one drops are a like more intense with this guy on the board. Chandra’s Phoenix is back, not sure it matters really. I think Burning Earth is going to make things difficult for control.

I still really like American Control. We know the enemy for the most part. Celestial Flare does work vs Hexproof and you have Supreme Verdict. Ætherling is still the best card as far as winning is concerned.

Like I said though, I’m not sure just yet. It’s transition season. I really want to play in the SCG event with some rogue brew but I think I’ll be working.

The next few weeks I have to focus on playing solid Magic. The best games I can play, without giving myself a migraine or making myself feel like hell if I loose a match. 13-1 over 14 matches is good, but I can’t be expected to keep up that pace.

Anyhow, that’s where the world has me at right now. Things look good. I feel good. What about you? How close are you to your next bye?

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