Normally, I’m averse to making New Years’ resolutions. Come New Years’ Eve, people are obliged to set a list of goals. These goals are rarely realized, since they were made out of obligation, rather than a real desire to change. Consequently, I rarely make resolutions and I never share them.

This year, however, is different. I already have several goals in mind and I want to put them in public to further incentive myself to meet them. I also need help with them, so you, the reader, can assist. I’m happy to give back, regardless of whether you can or do assist me, so feel free to comment below your own resolutions or e-mail me. And now, Zach’s Magic Resolutions for 2014!

1. Write less

The most difficult articles for me to write are short and elegant. I tend to write long sentences, repeat myself, and tackle various topics that may not be related. I do this because I want to make my point clear and I love sharing my ideas. However, these walls of texts can obscure my meaning, rather than elucidate it, and can turn off people who don’t want to read two thousand words on Voyage’s End.

My first goal for 2014 is to eliminate fluff and redundancies in my writing, while still writing every week of the year. I know that you, the readers, are intelligent and trust that you can discern my meaning without my repeating it endlessly.

2. Draft Champions and Alara

I’ve drafted every full block Limited format in Magic, from Mirage to Theros, with two exceptions: Champions of Kamigawa block and Shards of Alara block. (Technically, I’ve never drafted Mercadian Masques block, but I consider Masques block packs on MODO to count towards this endeavor.) This year, I’m going to fix that, and I’ll of course cover it in Flashback Drafts.

3. Playtest my set

My semi-secret project has been the creation of a new set with friend of the site, Justin (who top eighted our Standard Pauper tournament!). Hopefully it’ll be ready to be playtested, drafted, and posted online by early next year. It’s been eating up the time I’d be using to start my next Hipsters tournament, so there’s a limit to the time I can spent designing it, which brings me to…

4. Run a better tournament

The Standard Pauper tournament was phenomenal. I expected to have around thirty players, most of them local friends, and was (and remain) flabbergasted away by the turnout: 152 players from 15 countries all over the world.

I’d like to do better next time—not necessarily in the number of players (though I’d be delighted if we broke our initial record), but in the quality of the event. I’m confident that I can run it by myself again, though I may recruit help to ensure better communication with the players and faster updating of results. I’ll need better event reporting software, as the last one was very buggy and only showed tiebreakers once the event was finished. I’d also like to include coverage of feature matches (which I was unable to do, as I ran the tournament without a working computer).

I challenge myself make our upcoming Standard Proletariat (Silverblack/commons and uncommons tournament) tournament superior to our Standard Pauper tournament. I expect to begin it in January, so you’ll be hearing plenty more about it soon.

5. Qualify for the Community Cup

Every other goal I consider feasible. This one is not. This a long, long shot. I don’t know if I’m even on Wizards’ radar, much less whether I qualify for their criteria. All that I do know is that I love the Magic community and want to do my best to give back to it, for all it’s provided me.

I owe Magic a whole bunch and I want to return the favor. I want to continue fostering excellent communities, encouraging good sportsmanship, broadcasting, writing, and improving myself as a player, teacher, and human being. To that end, I ask you, my beloved readers, what you would have of me. What do you believe Magic should have but does not? What do you know should be written about that is not? What do you feel the world Magic is missing? How can I be of assistance?

I promise to do my best to secure all of these goals (plus my non-Magic ones, which are not appearing in this article). I invite your commentary, your criticism, and your camaraderie. Here’s hoping that I’ll one day have the honor to represent you at the Community Cup!

—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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