It’s been a busy week in the Magic community. The fallout of Pro Tour Theros and it’s massive impact on the Standard format has been the talk of the town all week. Devotion is the new kid on the block and isn’t going anywhere. Meanwhile, Commander 2013 has been completely spoiled and it looks to make a big splash in not only EDH but possibly Legacy as well. Also, two Grand Prix events took place this week in Louisville and Hong Kong featuring the Standard and Theros Limited formats. Last, but not least, Hipsters of the Coast has hit 500 posts and it’s time to get all nostalgic!

Happy Birthday Hipsters

Zac Clark founded Hipsters of the Coast in the late summer of 2012 as an outlet for his musings on the game we all know and love. It wasn’t too long until he invited Li Xu and Matt Jones to help contribute content and edit his work. Fun trivia fact: Before Hunter came on-board as editor in December of 2012, Matt Jones was the editor of this great blog! By the end of the year, Giaco Furino, Jess Stirba, Hunter Slaton, and yours truly were contributing content regularly. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into, as this little Magic blog has grown into something amazing. Zac sums everything up quite nicely in his most recent edition of Developments in Durdling.

Since Zac began the blog we’ve accomplished a lot of great things, but none of it would be possible without you, our dedicated readers and fans. Thanks for making the first year great, and we look forward to another year’s worth of producing great content for you!

Commander 2013 Spoilers

It’s been a great year to be a fan of Magic. Spoiler season for any new MTG set  is like a miniature Christmas for us. New cards with new mechanics and whole new format environments create endless possibilities. A normal year has four main expansions and usually a boxed set featuring one planeswalker or race battling another. This year, in addition to all that, we got spoiler seasons for Commander 2013 and Modern Masters. More excitement for everyone! The spoilers for the latest collection of box sets has not disappointed. You can check out all of the decklists over at DailyMTG. Below, I’ve put together a gallery with some of my favorite spoilers.

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The most interesting of these spoilers is Unexpectedly Absent, the new white instant removal spell. Sam Stoddard talked about the development of Commander 2013 over at DailyMTG. He spoiled this card, which may have interesting impact on the Legacy format. There are limited ways to destroy planeswalkers, like Jace, the Mind Sculptor, in Legacy. Will Unexpectedly Absent be the answer to  JTMS? It will be really exciting to see if it makes an appearance in a month’s time at GP Washington, D.C. which will be the first Legacy event on the Pro Tour since GP Strasbourg back in April.

Not to mention the rest of the exciting cards hitting Commander in a few short weeks. The Temptation mechanic is a really beautiful execution of multiplayer politicking. The new Commanders are all exciting in their own right. Gain two life every turn? Sure. Opponents all lose life when they draw cards? Sign me up. Commander is a metagame that needs to be shaken up periodically, not just added to or subtracted from. I think Commander 2013 will do the trick.

Pro Tour Fallout

Pro Tour Theros was in the books which means it’s time to dissect the results. Here’s your roundup of premiere reviews of the Pro Tour from various MTG sites:

Next up we take a look at some of the tournament reports from the people who were there at the eye of the storm in Dublin:

And rounding things up, here’s some forward-looking pieces from around the community:

  • WotC updates the Top 25 Pro Rankings [DailyMTG]
  • Travis Woo prepares a Devotion to Black deck [Woo Brews]
  • Anthony Lowry puts together a primer on Devotion decks [StarCity Games]
  • Mark Nestico brags about how he was right about Master of Waves [StarCity Games]

Grand Prix Roundup

(7) Shuhei Nakamura looks to move up in the Top 25 rankings following a victory at GP Hong Kong this weekend.

(7) Shuhei Nakamura looks to move up in the Top 25 rankings following a victory at GP Hong Kong this weekend.

Theros limited is a format that is incredibly complex. It’s unfortunate that there’s no video coverage from Hong Kong, but the text coverage was present as usual. Despite an event that was predominantly attended by locals, (16) Martin Juza made the trip and finished in 2nd place for his troubles. He lost to the well known, and seventh-overall ranked player Shuhei Nakamura. Again, it’s a real shame that there was no video coverage for this event. (9) Stanislav Cifka also picked up some pro points finishing 26th overall. All three are looking to move up in the official rankings. (5) Yuuya Watanabe, (23) Shi Tian Lee, and (24) Tzu-Ching Kuo were also in attendance, but did not finish high enough to earn any points.

Team SCG's Brian Braun-Duin took home the trophy at GP Louisville this weekend.

Team SCG’s Brian Braun-Duin took home the trophy at GP Louisville this weekend.

GGs Live covered this Standard event in Louisville, KY this past weekend and SCG writer Brian Braun-Duin took home first place. Top-ranked Ben Stark was not in attendance, but (2) Josh Utter-Leyton picked up a point in 42nd place. (4) Reid Duke stands to make some ground with three points from a 10th place finish. Another big name who may move up is (5) Sam Black, who made huge gains from Pro Tour Theros and picked up a 5th place finish in Louisville, good for four points.

The top-8 decks included five Devotion decks, two blue and three black. Devotion is clearly the defining mechanic of the new post-Theros metagame for Standard. In the finals, Mono-Blue Devotion took on RG-Beats and was victorious. GGs Live has a video archive you can check out, so if you’re interested  in the best Standard gaming, don’t miss out on that.

The Quick Hits

  • Riki Hayashi talks about how he improved his health and how all MTG players should consider their overall health-level [StarCity Games]
  • Battle of the Blocks has a bit of an odd one this week as Odyssey takes on the M10-M14 core sets [StarCity Games]
  • Mike Turian lays out everything you need to know to stay up-to-date on all things MTGO [Daily MTG]
  • Natasha Lewis Harrington highlights the positive power of the game and community of Magic [Positive Magic, Part 1]
  • Jason Alt has an axe to grind with sellers who refund cards they listed too low [Quiet Speculation]

Wallpaper of the Week

Is it just me or is there something very awkward about Thassa’s positioning in her artwork? Her body is clearly moving from right to left, but she’s facing forwards at us. It’s all very strange if you ask me. At any rate, we’re finally done with the Theros gods. I have a feeling next week we may get some Commander 2013 wallpaper artwork.

Grade: B

The Week Ahead

The Pro Tour stops off in Antwerp next weekend for a Modern tournament. Theros did not have much impact on the format as of GP Brisbane just after the set released. But, in the wake of Devotion’s dominance of Standard, will it make an appearance in Modern? We’ll find out next week! What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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