It takes me about six weeks to get bored with a new Limited format. Theros is a fantastic format that I still enjoy, but I have drafted it a lot and fatigue has set in. I’ve played every archetype and every color combination. I know my biases (green is incredibly deep and I loathe playing red unless it’s a splash or paired with white). I’ve won my fair share of events and lost plenty of matches. I’ve made plays that I’m proud of (waiting to cast Voyage’s End until the perfect moment never gets old, and I’ve killed more than a few people with Colossus of Akros) and plays that I’m not so proud of (casting Voyage’s End at the wrong time or forgetting to cast Annul when I needed to).  I’ve lost a lot of T3 Polis Crushers on the splash.

The excitement and novelty have waned, and I think Theros and I need to see other people, at least for a little bit (we’ll still hang out, but a break is in order).


A couple weeks ago I started seeing some of Limited’s cousins from the Constructed clan. Now, Constructed and I are generally not on the best of terms but there’s something about Eternal that gives me goosebumps.

I’ve been jamming Bant Stoneblade in Legacy for a couple weeks now and Brainstorm is just the greatest card ever. I love turning crap cards or excess lands into spells that I want, I love hiding cards from Thoughtseize, and I love shuffling away a Batterskull just to fetch it again with Stoneforge Mystic. I know that Tim and Zac are all about Legace, and I don’t expect to change the focus of my column from Limited, but playing with sixty cards rather than forty has been a lovely change of pace.

I’ve also returned to piloting Li Xu’s (he wrote my favorite column for Hipters, Pondering) UW flash/midrange deck in Modern and it is exactly what I love playing. I get to hold up Mana Leak, Spell Snare, Path to Exile, and eventually Cryptic Command. If I want to cast something, I flash in a Restoration Angel or Snapcaster Mage for more value. The deck can cheese out wins quickly with Geist of Saint Traft or Vendilion Clique or dominate the long game with its supreme card quality and advantage. Unlike Limited, I get to play exactly what I enjoy every time, and that’s a relatively new and delightful sensation.

A Link Between Worlds

I’ve also eschewed card games for my even older love, video games. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Pokémon Y embody some of the best games of my childhood and benefit from twenty years of improvement of in game design. I’ve gone on some pretty big gaming binges lately and can easily gush about how good these games are for a while. I’ll save you time, however, and say that if you played Link to the Past or any of the early generation Pokémon games (and own a 3DS), you should pick ’em up lickedy split (and if you don’t own a 3DS, you should purchase the new Zelda bundle).

Circular Logic

So, what’s the point of me telling you that I’ve been procrastinating? It seems ill-timed, given that GP Toronto is this weekend. The point is simple: I’m refreshed. I’ve spent so much time with Theros that I stopped appreciating its subtleties, that I’ve been drafting decks based on the known tendencies of drafters around me, and that I’ve… well, I’ve taken Theros for granted. Now that we’ve had some time apart, I think our relationship is ready to blossom and that I’m ready to be open (at the draft table) and give all my attention (rather than be on autopilot). It’s time for us to move to the next level. Hope to see you on day two, friends.

—Zachary Barash — Join the livestream!

Magic Online username: Zennith

Zachary Barash has been playing Magic on and off since 1994. He loves Limited and drafts every available format (including several that aren’t entirely meant to be drafted). He’s a proud Cube owner and performer, improvising entire musicals every week with his team, Petting Zoo. Zach has an obsession with Indian food that borders on being unhealthy.

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