This past Saturday Hipsters of the Coast celebrated its one-year anniverary! Holy shit, that’s nuts! To celebrate, we had a party for all current, former, and one-off Hipsters writers (and significant others of Hipsters) at Breukelen Bier Merchants in our homebase neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

For a while, folks trickled in and got a drink and just caught up—even, in some cases, meeting in person for the first time! And Charles H. got told by a very attractive woman that he looked like “a better-looking Leonardo DiCaprio.” (The same woman also said that we were “the best-looking Magic players she’d ever seen,” which we are thinking of putting right on our homepage. (Most of the better-looking photos in this post are courtesy of Dave McCoy.)


From left to right, Travis (CastHaven), Shawn (Ensnaring Cambridge), Erica, Hunter, and Sam W.


From left to right, Nick Forker, Sean, Zac (Developments in Durdling), and Alex K. (formerly of Only Built 4 Cubin’ Lynx).


Zac and Alex K.


The crew from before + Rich (What We Learned).


Rich and Rob Kofsky, recent GP Toronto day two-er!

Then Dave “I’m Sorry, Dave, I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That” McCoy got everybody seated for our wacky draft—basically, three random-ass packs thrown in a hat and then drafted. Before we did that, though, I said a few words thanking everyone for their hard work over the year, namely:

Most things of this nature—blogs, projects—go on for a couple of months, max, and then trail off. But not Hipsters. Everyone has really pulled together and sacrificed for the sake of something greater, for the sake of a community—and man, it’s been fun. I think we’ve got something special here, and people are starting to recognize it—including our brand-new sponsor, the exciting new Magic marketplace and management platform CastHaven! Jesse Ma, the founder of CastHaven, and CH’s marketing guy, Travis Batzer, were also in attendance, and we had a great time getting to know them better. You’ll also get to know Jesse and CastHaven better in a minute, but first a recap of our draft.


From left to right, Alex Owen, Hugh (Draftasaurus Rex), and Dylan—from whom we are still waiting on part two of his GP Denver recap (get it together, buddy!).


Alex preparing for an alpha strike.


In the foreground, Travis (CastHaven) vs. Zac Clark; in the background, Jesse Ma (CastHaven) vs. Alex K.


Clockwise from left, Dylan, Erica, Shawn, Nick, and Zach B. (Drawing Live).


From left to right, Jesse (CastHaven), Rich, and Monique (Grinding It Out).

As Hugh mentioned yesterday, we had two pods of 10. I ended up drafting a cohesive BW soldiers deck, featuring an awesome Portal copy of Wrath of God and key rare Glory, which I first-picked and which provided some key wins throughout the course of my draft, thanks to its ability to give your team protection from X color for 2W if it’s in your graveyard. Here’s my deck:


Creatures (18)
Icatian Lieutenant
Icatian Infantry
Bog Imp
Surging Sentinels
Tithe Drinker
Silverstorm Samurai
Maze Abomination
Ironfist Crusher
Kor Hookmaster
Holy Justiciar
Angel of Mercy
Spectral Gateguards
Arbalest Elite
Azorius Arrester
Loxodon Anchorite
Paragon of the Amesha
Mercenary Knight

Spells (5)
Wrath of God
Profit // Loss
Douse in Gloom
Arc Trail
Lands (17)
Rakdos Guildgate
Boros Guildgate
Secluded Steppe

Sideboard (4)
Inquisitor’s Snare
Ghostly Possession
Order of the Ebon Hand
Spreading Plague

Looking at this deck again, man, it’s actually pretty good, I think. It’s got a plan, it’s got strong tricks, bombs (Glory and Wrath), and decent sideboard cards. I debated over whether or not to include the Arc Trail and splash, but I figured that A) I had the fixing to do it without taking on much risk, and that in this generally lower-power environment, Arc Trail would prove even more powerful than usual—and it did. Maybe I should have included the Spreading Plague, but man it just made my head hurt to think about how that would work. I often boarded in the Order of the Ebon Hand, as well, whenever I faced an opponent playing white. And Inquisitor’s Snare was also a great option from the board as well.

My MVPs were Mercenary Knight (a 4/4 on turn three in this format is so strong), Glory, Wrath of God, Arc Trail, Withstand and Douse in Gloom (these two were great with all my first-strikers)—and, more generally, just my white-weenie hordes. Curving out was not something that many of my opponents were doing, and when I did it—which was more often than not, as I had a decent curve—it put them on their back foot with a quickness. So, on to the matches!

Round 1—Monique


Nemesis! Not really, I love playing Monique, who pens our “Grinding It Out” column. We had three long games, the details of which sort of escape me, but I won in turns after time was called. 1-0

Round 2—Rich


This was my first time meeting Rich in IRL, so it was dope to play him as well. In one deciding game, Rich made the mistake of asking me, “What does Glory do?” And I had totally forgotten that the card (which of course I’m not familiar with playing) was in my ‘yard. D’oh! Sorry Rich! 2-0

Round 3—Zac


Zac was on the Mirko Vosk plan, and he damn near milled me out in G1, but I was able to race with damage and get there. R2 he didn’t get his mill guy online early enough, and I was able to 3-0 the pod!

Round 4—Hugh

Hugh (right) plus an Owen.

Hugh (right, and victorious!) plus an Owen.

This was our cross-pod finals, as I faced the winner of our other pod, Hugh. He was on RB aggro, which you can read about here, and he accurately read my sight-unseen Wrath in G2, and killed me with a hasty 7/1 Blistering Firecat. Congrats, Hugh! 3-1

By that time everyone had taken their leave and the night was over. But man it was a good time, and I’m already looking forward to Hipsters second-year anniversary.


And now I’m very pleased to introduce you to our sponsor, Jesse from CastHaven:

Say hey, Jesse!

Say hey, Jesse!

Earlier this week I got the chance to interview him about CastHaven, Magic, and what his goals are.

What is CastHaven?

CastHaven is an online platform that takes the pain out of selling cards to local game stores and online retailers by making price comparison and selling to buylists a seamless experience.

Our goal is to build a safe online community and marketplace of players and stores that allows them to buy and sell cards at the lowest fees online and to foster open discussion on all aspects of the game from tournament strategy to the economics of Magic

What prompted you to start CastHaven and how did you come up with the idea?

A few years ago, I came back to Magic, but didn’t want to invest much into it. I found an old box of cards at home and decided to price them out. There was no more Scrye [an old CCG gaming magazine] and I could only use local game stores and online retailers to determine the price of cards.

I wanted liquidity and the only quick option was buylisting. There’s a huge debate whether you get better value from buylisting or selling cards piecemeal to various outlets. After modeling it out, accounting for the time and effort needed, I decided to buylist.

Unfortunately, buylisting is a painful experience (imagine pricing out a few hundred cards by hand into Excel). Typing up long emails or using some horrible reverse store interface on horrifically slow websites was my worst nightmare, compounded by not being able to compare prices across buylists. I thought, “There must be something better”—and so the idea for CastHaven was born.

When did you get into Magic, and what led you to pick up the game?

I got into Magic in 1994–95, about the same time I signed up for my first AOL account and heard “You’ve got mail!” for the first time. I played with my small group of friends and at the local game store. I remember trading for a Royal Assassin and not caring about dual lands much. Magic was and is the perfect storm: cards to play, collect, trade, buy and sell.

What’s your all-time favorite Magic set?

Unlimited. I love the double-beveled border/inside border and the fact there was no tap symbol, it just had the word “tap.”

What’s your all-time favorite Magic card(s)?

When I was much younger, my favorite card was Icy Manipulator with the original artwork. I was so disappointed when it got reprinted with such ugly artwork in Ice Age. When I returned to the game recently, an Unlimited Icy Manipulator was my first purchase—just for my collection, not to play.

What’s your all-time most hated Magic card(s)?

Anything that gives you extra turns. It’s like the “skip” card in Uno. If you skip, I pretty much hate you. Just kidding. Sort of.

If you could make one big change in how Magic operates, what would it be—and does CastHaven have a role to play in that?

I leave the game play up to Wizards, but the secondary market of Magic needs to change. First, transaction costs need to go down. Players and stores should not need to lose 8–15% per transaction. Second, sellers need to receive payment faster. As soon as the cards are checked out, payment should be sent. People shouldn’t need to wait more than 10 business days to get paid. That’s outrageous and CastHaven will change that.

Second, local game stores need to have an online presence that works: fast, easy-to-use buylists. I imagine players buylisting their cards at home, submitting the order to their local game store, heading over to that game store, dropping the order off, and getting paid in cash or credit. It saves players time and it saves stores time. Time saved means more time for playing and more business, which means more fun and money for everyone. Win-win.

What would success in terms of CastHaven mean to you? Where do you want CastHaven to be in one, three, or five years?

Success for CastHaven would be to become the platform players and stores choose to buy, sell, and discuss Magic on, which means building CastHaven into a strong community of players and stores and a comprehensive platform with which to access news, discussions, card tools, and pricing.

In one year, I want to have grown the community to a few thousand users and a seamless marketplace. In three years I want to be a portal that aggregates hundreds of local game stores’  pricing and buylists and all the online news about Magic.

And in five years? I want CastHaven be in every Magic players’ web-browser bookmark bar.

23/17 is a Hipsters of the Coast column focused on Limited play—primarily draft and sealed, but also cubing, 2HG, and anything else we can come up with. The name refers to the “Golden Ratio” of a Limited deck: 23 spells and 17 lands. Follow Hunter at @hrslaton.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.