So, it’s the middle of August, core set is underwhelming (at least compared to the last several draft formats) and we’ve got a while until Theros, Commander II, or even From the Vault: Twenty gets released. If you’re like me, that means you’re caught in the middle of a period of MTG doldrums that usually comes at this time each year.


But all is not lost! Being in a slow Magic moment in your life is a great reason to perform some creative destruction. For me, this means going through all of the random decks I’ve been keeping together and scrapping a bunch of them for their parts. Like, say, Adun Oakenshield Warp World! Or a bunch of Tier 2.5 Modern decks that haven’t been playable for a while.


What I am saying is that actual Spring is a terrible time to do your Magic Spring Cleaning; a better moment to go through and reorganize your collection is in August, when the silly season is almost at its zenith. If you’re a dedicated Standard player you’ve got a lot to do to maximize the ridiculous of this moment, but for the rest of us we’re just trying to wait you guys out so that we can finally pick up all your inflated cards when Theros pushes Innistrad block and M13 out of rotation. And the best way to know what you’ve got worth trading away for those things is to take a census of all the cards you have but have been spending their time in under-played EDH decks you have kept together for sentimental reasons.


Personally, I struggle at times with the collecting elements of this game. I am a completionist by nature, and this can lead me to wanting to do things like “have a mono-colored EDH deck in every color” or “keep together every cool deck I’ve ever made.” Invariably the clutter gets pushed back into the collection at the first point I need to clear some room for guests, and then it wallows in relative obscurity among a bunch of other long white boxes, before eventually being forgotten about.

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For example! Back when I was trying to play in that EDH league I maximized the efficiency (read “installed an expensive manabase”) for my Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice EDH deck. The deck was cool, which is why it’s stayed together in a box somewhere: the point was to play a Trostani deck without a lot of token-makers. Instead there are cards like Mimic Vat, Séance, and Soul Foundry to give me tokens of the solid GW creatures that comprise the majority of the deck. Cool idea, fun deck, it can be taken apart now though. Same with my previously mentioned Adun Oakenshield Warp World deck: it’s awesome, but the joy of casting Warp World into almost certain victory, and usually multiple times per turn, is generally not shared by my opponents.


Now, this isn’t to say I am advocating a total meltdown of your decks on hand. I still plan to keep my Glissa, the Traitor deck together because of the relatively few conflicts, fun nature of the deck, and the budget manabase. Similarly, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben escapes the chopping block because it’s always good to have a dueling EDH deck together for those nights when you and a loved one/valued friend only have each other to play, and still want to get a game in. But Ghave, Guru of Spores doesn’t really need to survive this purge; pairing Ghave with Doubling Season isn’t exactly high art, and the deck never quite felt like it got there, if you know what I mean.


My process during these cleanings is a bit messy. I usually strip the relevant cards from the irrelevant cards (which means rares, high value uncommons, and anything I don’t have in large quantities) and pile it together. Eventually that pile of gold will contain most of the pieces you wanted to reclaim; at that point I usually separate it out into color and then sort it into the broader rares boxes and the smaller box for cards that are relevant in Eternal formats. This has the effect of re-concentrating value in a smaller box, but it also means that should something tragic happen to our apartment (like a fire!) we know what to grab to save the bulk of the value in our collection. I’d rather replace Nature’s Claim than Tundra, and I’d straight up rather not replace Time Walk.

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So this is how I am spending my Magic time in the depth of the Summer: playing organizational sub-games and preparing for another season of what I do like to do, namely jam ridiculous new cards together in fun and interesting ways. I would advise you to do the same, reader. There is nothing as refreshing as a good cleanse!

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