It’s that not-so-magical time of the year, when the magical happenings in many of our lives fall into a bit of a lull. We’re anxiously sitting between blocks, with the bloom long since fallen off the rose of the most recently visited plane, core set becoming stale/solved, and Standard sitting in the corner like an extremely-bloated lame duck that nobody really wants to spend any money on due to impending rotation. Sure, there will be a couple of high-level events to momentarily distract our attention, but for the most part, this time of the year is pretty much the absolute nadir of excitement. But I’m not here to write about core set (more like snore set!) or talk about how bored I am by “dog days,” (partially because I already used that article title last year). I’ll admit, I was in a bit of a rut, earlier in the week. I was struggling to come up with something to write about. My stream was in the pooper, due to V4’s ability to demolish a computer’s free memory; it was harder to play two Dailies in a night, due to the longer round times; I skipped out on weekend Magic to make time for family and my girlfriend; I missed Monday Night Legacy at my LGS due to noticing at the last minute that a number of cards I had mysteriously vanished; on top of it all, work got busy, making it hard for me to just give myself time to think. I started writing some lame, bullshit piece about a three-week review on the V4, for lack of anything else, and it really just seemed like I was rehashing complaints that everyone already knew about. Then something happened that rekindled my excitement like a shot of adrenaline in the arm. In hindsight, maybe I should’ve just bought some adrenaline shots, because that would’ve probably been cheaper. But whatever, I present to you my cure to the seasonal summer doldrums of Magic!

*cue music*




That’s right, baby, I’m playing with POWER, now! For a long time, this column has been called “Hope Eternal,” but let’s be real, it’s mostly been “Hope Legacy,” with the occasional dash of Modern sprinkled in. Awhile back, I posed a poll to you faithful readers, about the type of decks Legacy decks you’d like to see me pilot on my Twitch stream; one of the popular answers was that I should take the plunge into Vintage. While Vintage is light years cheaper online than in paper, it’s still no small sum of money, so I told everyone that Vintage would be put on hold for a bit, but that I promised to come back to it. The time to return was this past week.
With digital Mox Opals fetching an insane price, I figured it was a good time to part with my pair, since I’m never going to play Affinity—or “Infinity,” as fellow Hipster, Matt Jones likes to call it (who also happened to be the buyer; so thanks, Matt, for helping bring Vintage to the blog)—and this would pay for most of a Lotus, which I hear is a pretty important card if you want to play the format. In reality, most of the pieces of Power are pretty important to the format.. I mean, for fuck’s sake, it’s why they are so highly regarded and referred to as “Power”, right? But still, I figured that I could a really solid tier one deck that gets to play with most of the cards I like to play with, and doesn’t require all the Power. The list I was eyeing was initially eyeing was Temur Delver, but a Google search led me to a forum called “The Mana Drain,” where I found UR Delver. I already owned the requisite Moxen (this list only needs Sapphire and Ruby), so all that was left to splurge on was Ancestral and Time Walk. I’ll acquire the rest of power in due time, but for now, I’m having a blast messing around with this Stephen Menendian list:


Dudes (10)
Delver of Secrets
Young Pyromancer
Trygon Predator

Planeswalkers (33)
Dack Fayden
Force of Will
Spell Pierce
Mental Misstep
Lightning Bolt
Mystical Tutor
Ancestral Recall
Time Walk
Snapcaster Mage
Lands/Mana Sources (17)
Volcanic Island
Tropical Island
Scalding Tarn
Polluted Delta
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Mox Sapphire
Mox Ruby
Black Lotus

Sideboard (15)
Nature's Claim
Grafdigger's Cage
Leyline of the Void
Ingot Chewer

Ok, it’s not Steve’s exact list, who apparently is one of the experts of the format. I cut a Grudge for Dack and Fire/Ice for a fourth Bolt. He mentioned in the thread that he really liked Dack and was playing it as a one-of, but I wasn’t sure what the cut was, so I just figured that cutting a piece of maindeck artifact hate for Dack seemed reasonable. Multiple other people in the thread said that they preferred the fourth Bolt, so I went with their suggestion. At the time, though, I didn’t know who Menendian was, so I might try out his list, now that I realize that I should give a little bit more weight to his opinion. I’ll admit that right now, I am a total n00b at this format, but I’m super excited to go through the learning process. And of course, I’ll be streaming it, thanks to a really awesome and helpful video tutorial by Michael Jacob (pssst, that’s right, my stream is back!), so hopefully you can tune in and watch all my horrible misplays! My record in the format right now is a paltry 2-3, but how could I not be hooked when my first turn was as follows:

Scalding Tarn, fetch Volc

Mox Ruby Black Lotus Ancestral Recall

Sac Lotus for blue

Snapcaster Recall

Bolt to the face!

Seriously, that is awesome! Right now, I’m eyeing the Tuesday and Wednesday Dailies for next week!


Bonus M15 Team Draft Story

I subbed for fellow Hipster (and new SCG writer, congrats!), Jess, to join forces with friends of the blog, Charles (my roomie), and Dana. Remember how I said M15 was getting stale/solved? Well, yeah, I solved it, in one draft, it’s super easy, mmmkay? Just P1P1 Garruk. Then take a bunch of sweet removal and two/three-drop creatures that can block well (big butts or deathtouch). Then just cast Garruk every game. So easy! 😛

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