I started my article for this week by brainstorming possibilities for a hard control deck in the colors, UB(x). Then, after enough dirty looks from my family, I decided that maybe I should put that off for now and write something that doesn’t require me to have my face buried in Gatherer, looking for that sweet, missing piece of technology that will bring the game concessions rolling in (because I’ve always been a submission specialist; it’s just more gratifying to force my opponent to give up or put them in the sleeper hold, rather than win by pinfall). Besides, I couldn’t just build something! I’d need to take it for a spin on the ol’ MODO (which has been devouring my disposable income at a frightening rate, thanks to the Holiday Cube, but I digress), which would only get me into more trouble with the girlfriend and family. So, with this being the final installment of Hope Eternal for 2013, how about we just go with a year in review. Not good enough? Fine, fine.. tough crowd. Ok, we can take a peek into my crystal ball and scry ahead to see what 2014 holds. And by that, I mean I’m going to spell out some resolutions for this column and myself (from a Magic standpoint, obviously; I’m sure none of you care that I want to go to the gym more or pass the CFA exam that I probably didn’t pass earlier this month). All that said, here’s some quick hits from last year:


– Rise of the Golgari. Late 2012 saw Bayou-based decks gain a wealth of new toys, and they continued to put up strong results.
– Deathblade > Stoneblade: by late spring/early summer, we see traditional Stoneblade fall off the map, to be replaced by the new Deathblade lists. Todd Anderson puts up back-to-back top eights with the archetype. The powerful new Golgari cards have even infiltrated the Stoneblade archetype!
– What do we do about Progenifish?? True-Name Nemesis hits the scene at the end of the year and shows up in top eights, everywhere. The 3/1 menace also helps Owen take the crown at GP DC Chantilly. Oh, and remember how I said traditional Stoneblade was dead? This guy put it back on the map, all by himself (though it was nice to see Josh Ravitz recently championing an Esper Blade list that harkens back to the pre-Deathblade lists).
– Two of the three old pillars stand tall. When I first got into Legacy, there were three very noticeable pillars of the format, and it stayed that way until we got a major shakeup from Return to Ravnica. These pillars were Stoneblade, RUG Delver, and Maverick. I would hardly call Maverick a pillar, anymore, but the other two are still going strong. Will True-Name Nemesis see RUG fall out of favor for UWR? We’ll find out next year.


– Eternal Weekend and Reid Duke raise interest in the format. Perhaps my own Twitter feed is a poor overall sampling, but it seemed like there was a noticeable buzz in the Magic community during the Vintage Championships. There was a lot of chatter going on about Vintage. Maybe it helped that Reid Duke was in the top four. Regardless, it seemed like people that weren’t normally interested in the format were suddenly captivated by the explosive play sequences that were enabled by Power. It also probably helped by how well-run the event was.
– P9 on MODO and Vintage Masters. To follow up on the previous point, with the newfound interest in the format, perhaps Vintage Masters is coming to MODO at the perfect time. Just as more people want to play with the oldest, most powerful cards in the game, WotC finds a way to bring Power to the common folk like you and I (or just I, if you’re not a common folk and are fortunate enough to own Power). Seems like really great timing to me!


– GP Vegas. We witness the largest, craziest GP ever. To everyone that went, I’m super jealous! Ok, so it was not quite Modern. In fact not Modern at all, but we’ll count it, since I believe a really high profile event like this can only help the format. Sure, it was a limited GP, but it was with a set whose main purpose was to increase availability of some Modern-legal cards.
– The Banlist: because how could we not talk about one of the most polarizing topics in Modern? My big question, and it seems that many pros are asking the same thing, is this: will we get Jace back, next year? (Keep my #unbanjacein2014 hashtag alive!) Our founder, Zac, wrote a nice piece on reviewing the banlist, about a month ago, that’s definitely worth a read.

Looking Ahead: Five Resolutions for 2014


Remember back when I reviewed the top Theros cards from an Eternal perspective? Yeah, some of those picks seem pretty silly. Like, REALLY silly. Apparently, a lot of people read that article. I’m a little bit embarrassed. So, to rectify this a bit, I’m putting my money where my mouth is for my future Eternal reviews for new sets:
– For each card that I predict has a 65% or greater chance to see play in Legacy and/or Modern, I will accept “bets” in the comments section against my prediction.
– “Seeing play” will be defined as having a card appear in some number of SCG Open and/or GP top 16 lists prior to the release of the FOLLOWING set.
– When I post the set review article, I will define the threshold for what can be considered “seeing play,” based on the number of SCG Opens and relevant GPs that will occur prior to the release of the following set.
– For each card that has bets against it that I get wrong, I will pick, at random, one correct bet, and award that person a booster from my MODO account (so, yes, you do need MODO to play).
Now, if you look at those predictions from Theros, we’re not actually at Born of the Gods, yet, but I’d likely be paying out a LOT of boosters. Don’t expect that kind of bonanza in the future, as this will force me to be a bit more conservative with my predictions, but it will also make the list a bit more realistic. Don’t worry, though, I’ll try to throw in a few bold guesses to keep things interesting!

Personal Performance

2014 is going to be the year that I get the top eight monkey off my back. I don’t care what format, though Legacy would be nice, I’m going to top eight a PTQ, an Open, a Grand Prix… shit, I think I may even take an IQ (okay, maybe we need to aim a little higher than that, though that’d be a nice baby step along the way). It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s true; I’ve never top eighted any event that had a cut to top eight. This year, we’re talking about playoffs. Oh, I didn’t explicitly mention it, above, but something large like Eternal Weekend or Bazaar of Moxen would also be totally acceptable.

Expanding My Range

This is something that I’ve talked about, before, with regards to how often I play Miracles. I really like what fellow Hipster, Shawn, is doing with Ensnaring Cambridge, where he takes different archetypes in Standard for a two-week test drive. I’d like to do something similar with Legacy, where I switch things up after two small/local events (like Monday Night Legacy, for example). Unlike Shawn, I’m not going to make that the focus of my column, as I do have many other Eternal things that I’d like to write about, but I’ll include small tidbit towards the end of some columns where I review whatever deck I’m currently playing locally. It won’t be a strict two-week rotation, like Shawn, as I won’t always be able to make it to Monday Night Legacy, but a two-event rotation, instead. I may go back and revisit an archetype, but it will NOT be back-to-back weeks, and it will require some kind of tweaking.

Finish My Miracles Primer
Last week, when in released part two (of infinite) of my Miracles primer, there were still many match ups that we’re not addressed. I’m going to be realistic here, nine matchups took about 3,500 words; my normal articles are around 2,000 words. It’s not going to happen overnight. That said, I’d like to target the end of January for finishing matchups, then get it into a neater format and add pictures by the end of February. After that, I’ll just make updates as new cards are released or the meta significantly shifts. Sorry again for the delay on this, but this was my first primer and it ended up being a far larger undertaking than I anticipated.

Continue to Spread My Love for Legacy
I love Legacy. A lot. It’s pretty much my favorite format ever. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows me at all or regularly reads my column. Part of the reason—scratch that, all of the reason—that I show up every week to ramble about this great format is because I want my passion for the format to be infectious. I want to see others fall in love with Legacy the way I have. Watching the Obliterator embrace this format brought me a great deal of joy. Next year, I want to be able to say that I was partially responsible for getting three people who I know, personally, into the format.

That’s a wrap for 2013, thanks for reading, and have a happy new year, all!


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