Ah, the dreaded fluff piece. Look, I’ve spent most of my day between various levels of hell, including Public Transit Hell and Thanksgiving Eve in Your Mother’s Kitchen During the Year She Offered to Host Hell, and the rest of my week in Complete a Week’s Worth of Work in Two Days Hell, so stuff your face with some turkey (or tofurkey, you weirdos), let the tryptophan kick in and start going down this list in your food coma, saying to yourself, “gee whiz, I am thankful for this stuff.” That might have been an awfully overdramatic rant; I was actually pretty alright with helping my mother cook and getting things done in the office so I can have a five-day weekend wasn’t the worst thing either; I have nothing redeeming to say, though, about public transit on Thanksgiving Eve. Alright, where were we again? Oh, right, the super-cliche top ten things about ________ that you should be thankful for that appear all over newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. during November. Because this is the Eternal column on a Magic blog, we’ll use that to fill in the blank. Here’s my ten, in no particular order:

Flashback Drafts Return to MTGO

Wait, what? This is an Eternal column, and you’re starting off your Thankful list by talking about drafts?! Hold your horses, I’ll get to my point. While the first offering, Innistrad, was relatively unexciting from an Eternal standpoint (don’t get me wrong, amazing draft format, but it JUST rotated, and all of the cards are in high circulation so it isn’t fixing card-availability problems), we got Tempest block this week! Hellooooooooo, Wasteland! With the digital version surpassing $80, this was badly needed. Can we get Mirage block, soon, to address the LED shortage? I want to try Storm one of these days.

Star City Games’ Continued Support for Legacy

This was probably one of my favorite announcements of the year. I know it’s cool to bash these guys because, “z0Mg, they haz 2 high price 4 singlez!” but if you care at all about Legacy, you should be kissing SCG’s feet.

Legacy Grand Prix in New Jersey Next Year (ahhhhhhh!!!)

My favorite format. In my home state (yeah, we’re Brooklyn-based, but I’ll always be a Jersey boy at heart). Cue mini-freakout. I’ve already completely forgotten about my disappointing finish in DC and am crossing off the days on my calendar until we bring the Legacy back to Jersey.

The Success of Eternal Weekend

Nothing but great things to say about how this event was run. A+ job to Nick Coss and all of the vendors involved in putting this weekend together. While I was expecting a high level of enthusiasm and decent turnout for the Legacy portion of the event, I was really surprised by how many people (at least within my twitter feed and IRL sphere) were following the Vintage Championship. It probably also helped that Reid Duke(‘s hair) was in the top four. I only got to attend on Saturday, but I would love to try my hand at Vintage, next year, if I can acquire a deck in that much time. Maybe if I hold off on foiling out my Jaces (without that tacky “20” symbol).

Vintage Masters on MTGO

This goes along the same lines as Flashback Drafts and card availability. This is another huge opportunity for Wizards to take a bite out of the escalating secondary market prices, in the digital realm. The more cards that are readily available, the more people will be playing the format. The more people that play, the more fun it is. I own most Legacy staples in paper, but I would be elated if WotC decided one day to take a dump on the reserved list and start devaluing my collection so more people can play. Unrelated to Legacy, I am also thankful that this will finally give me the chance to explore Vintage (you know, that other format that’s in the name of this product). As I mentioned earlier, it seemed like Eternal Weekend got a lot of new eyes on Vintage, so hopefully those people are just as excited to dive into Vintage Masters as I am!

Jace Unbanned in Modern

My powers of precognition tell me that it’s happening next year. (I am not cryptically hinting that I have insider sources that told me this is happening. I just legitimately believe I have powers of precognition and that this is happening. Also, start using this hashtag a lot so we can get WotC to start listening: #unbanjacein2014.) Aaaaand everything I write about Modern continues to be a joke. On a semi-related side note, next week, you’ll be getting a Modern-centric guest post that actually isn’t a joke!

Perfect Fit Sleeves

This seems like a trivial thing to be thankful for, but I was reminded of it on two recent occasions. The first was a couple of weeks ago while playing some casual Legacy with a few friends and a few beers. We’re it not for my dual layer of protection, I would be the proud owner of a Jace, the Ale Sculptor and my Flooded Strand would have been.. well.. flooded. The other incident occurred earlier this week as I walked home in a light drizzle while my Legacy deck was in my backpack. I was a little concerned for my precious cargo, but my fears were alleviated when I realized that the water would have to travel through my backpack, a fatpack box, my deckbox, and then TWO layers of sleeve. Despite the above examples, I still have people ask me, when I present my deck, why it’s so thick, as if they don’t know perfect fits exist. For fuck’s sake, people, double sleeve your Legacy deck!

Commander (and Planechase)

These casual sets continue to prove to be a great way for Wizards to give Eternal players new toys,while bypassing the constraints of Standard. In the last two years, Legacy was given some really high-impact cards, in Shardless Agent, Baleful Strix, Flusterstorm, True-Name Nemesis, Toxic Deluge, and the format-defining Command Tower, just to name a few. I look forward to brewing with whatever monkey wrench gets thrown into the card pool right before the fall Grand Prix, next year. A part of me does wish they had a mechanism for introducing interesting new cards into Modern, as well, but c’est la vie.

The Return of Alex Bertoncini

Sorry, but I have a soft spot for trolls who manage to do such an entertaining job of it. I mean… look at this!


Someone even drew him into Veteran Explorer!

I don’t condone some of the in-game actions of this guy, but his return has a lot of people’s feathers ruffled, and if I didn’t get a secret enjoyment out of the ruffling of others’ feathers, we’d have to stop calling me “evil Tim.”

Last but not Least…

Yeah, of course I saved the big-picture one for last. That’s how you’re supposed to write these sort of things, I think. I’m most thankful (with regards to Magic, obviously) that I get to play this ridiculous fantasy card game designed for 12-year olds with pieces of cardboard that span two decades. The sheer scope of the format and number of interactions that can occur and the level of threat assessment required to succeed are some of the things that make Legacy so beautiful to me, and when you think about it, it really seems like an ultra-nichey thing that you may be lucky to find five other people in the world that also care, but the 1700-plus people that descended on DC two weeks ago proved that is not the case and I’m so thankful that so many other people also appreciate the beauty of Legacy. To go even bigger, I’m also thankful that my life is in a place where I can afford myself the leisure to play this great game and meet so many great people as a direct result of it. To Wizards, SCG, the greater Legacy community (that likely means you!), thanks for continuing to support the best format of the best game ever.

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