In September of 2012 the world was a different place. “Call Me Maybe” had just finished a nine-week run as Billboard’s top single. The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was burned down. Apple unveiled the iPhone 5. The NHL began its second lockout in eight years. But, most importantly, a North Brooklyn Magic player registered the domain

It’s Over 1,000!

Last Wednesday, relatively new writer Derek Gallen published the 1,000th article presented on Hipsters of the Coast. This is an incredible milestone. More impressively, it lines up with the two-year anniversary of the founding of the blog, which happened on Friday.

Zac Clark, who currently writes Developments in Durdling on Saturdays, began this blog on September 12th, 2012, with a four-part look at the upcoming format rotation. In the fall of 2012 Zac was a few weeks away from the release of Return to Ravnica. He griped about having to play against too many Delver of Secrets decks and dueled future Hipsters writers Li and Monique in his report.

By the end of 2012, this blog had grown from Zac’s personal playground into a home for members of the Twenty Sided community looking for an outlet to write about Magic. Matt Jones came on in the end of October. Li Xu joined a week later at the start of November. Giaco Furino and yours truly began writing before Thanksgiving and, in December, Hunter Slaton and Jess Stirba rounded out the original cast of Hipsters.

Since those fateful days, 17 featured contributors and several others under the Guest Author flag have written about the game we all love for this very site. Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the highlights from the past 1,000 posts. Before that, I’d like to make a few special acknowledgements:

First, thanks to Zac Clark for creating this blog and giving us a platform to write and express ourselves. None of this would have been possible without Zac’s impetus to create the blog.

Next, thanks to Matt Jones for being everyone’s biggest supporter in the world and providing a constant source of encouragement, inspiration, and positive energy. Also, thanks to his arch-nemesis Hunter Slaton whose determination and editorial experience keeps things running with a modicum of legitimacy.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge Dave McCoy who has been the technical brains behind the website, keeping things actually running and making sure that all the writers have access to things like deck tags, polls, and other bells and whistles.

Finally, I want to thank all of the dedicated readers of our site. Over 20,000 unique visitors come to our site every month and that number is mind-blowing to me. When we set out a few years ago we just wanted to write about Magic. The fact that so many people are interested in what we have to say is incredibly humbling and makes us all ecstatic.

Without further ado, I present my personal Top 5 list from our past 1,000 posts:

Honorable Mention: My Wikipedia Citation

One of my proudest moments as an amateur journalist was being cited as a source on a Wikipedia page. The official page for Conspiracy cites my column reporting on the special Magister of Worth promo which showed up in the Philippines.

5. The Blur of Dragon’s Maze

In the Spring of 2013, Matt was trying to find something interesting to talk about for his “Arting Around” column. Instead of talking about the general art of the recently released Dragon’s Maze, he took every single card in the set and flattened it into a single image in Photoshop. The result was a completely new way to look at a Magic card. While the effect has lost a bit of its novelty, I still look forward to this every three months.

4. Trans, Not Special

Jess Stirba now writes regularly for Star City Games, but early on in her career at Hipsters of the Coast she set the tone for how we approach the subject of sexism and equality in the Magic community. In the wake of Feline Longmore’s victory on the SCG circuit, Jess wrote a powerful piece about discussing the issues of transgendered members of our community. Since then, Hipsters of the Coast has become a place where we foster discussion around these issues and encourage equality in our community.

3. Your Guide to Instant-Speed Magic

At the heart of any good Magic blog is the game itself. Monique began writing for Hipsters in April of last year from the perspective of the relentless tournament grinder. A few months later she touched upon a feature that has since become a mainstay of the Hipsters community. Monique compiled all of the instant-speed effects of Return to Ravnica block, designed as a guide for Limited players to avoid the various tricks of a game with hidden information. Since then our dedicated readers and the community at /r/magictcg have come back every three months for Monique’s updated list (look for her guide for Khans, including the all-important morph cards, in the next few weeks).

2. The Top 100 Magic Players

When I put together a rough list of my top ten or so posts, I had included myself four times. I realized this was a bit too much self-aggrandizing and cut it down to one. Okay, technically two since I gave myself an honorable mention for my Wikipedia citation. While I was very proud of my Modern Hero series and thoroughly enjoyed my Magic Offline opus, the post that put us on the map was when I published a list of the Top 100 Magic players in the world. This began as a piece by Star City Games on the deficiencies of Wizards Pro Tour coverage. I took up the painstaking task of building our own list in June of 2013. Several months later Wizards launched their own Top 25 list. I like to think that we’re partially responsible for giving Wizards a kick in the butt to get it in gear and produce their list.

1. Kings Games Is the Worst

Last, but certainly not least, is Kings Games. Okay, I take that back, Kings Games itself is the actual worst. Matt Jones makes his second appearance on my Top 5 list with his report on the state of one of Brooklyn’s most wretched gaming venues. Anyone who has been to Kings Games can attest that it is an absolute hellhole to play in and features an actual dungeon for a basement. This post exploded on Reddit and sparked a discussion of the worst LGS practices across the community. To date, none of the other 999 posts has come close to striking the same chord with the community that Matt’s rant did.

Pro Tour Update

World Magic Cup Qualifiers

This week was the final weekend of World Magic Cup Qualifier events. Hopefully Wizards will announce the teams sometime this week. If not, I’ll have them for you next week.

Top 25 Rankings

There was a surprising amount of movement in this week’s rankings. With 13 ranked pros in attendance for Grand Prix Salt Lake City, there was bound to be some movement. Instead, a total of 17 players changed position. The big winners were Eric Froehlich and Paul Rietzl who moved up eight and six spots respectively. Shaun McLaren moved up three spots and Josh McClain moved up four spots. A lot of people dropped one-to-three spots as a result. The top six spots remained unchanged however.

Interestingly, a very large gap of nearly 35 points separates the 1st and 25th player. However, the gap from 11th to 25th is less than ten points. This is why there is so much movement in the bottom half of the rankings. What’s also interesting is that we don’t see too many players moving in and out anymore. It would be interesting to see the next five players on the list. We don’t need their point totals, but I’d like to know who is just one decent performance away from cracking this list.

The Quick Hits

  • Marcus Brunstetter shares his personal journey to improve as a Magic player and whether or not he’s “good enough” to take it to the next level [PureMTGO]
  • Carrie Oliver is taking a leave of absence from Channel Fireball while she focuses on her new job and other life matters. Hopefully it is only a temporary absence as the game is in need of more strong female voices [Carrie On]
  • Danny Brown takes a look at some of the card template changes that are part of Khans of Tarkir. One change makes him happy and another makes him cringe [Quiet Speculation]
  • Matt Sperling and Paul Rietzl discuss the finer points of the steaming piles of dog feces that we lovingly know as and MTGO [Sperling Grove]
  • Paul Lesko breaks down Cryptozoic’s response to the Wizards lawsuit over Hex. He thinks this will be a groundbreaking case for the CCG industry and that Cryptozoic has a strong case. I disagree because I don’t think a jury of 12 people could avoid confusion over the differences between Candyland and Clue let alone Hex and Duels of the Planeswalkers [Cardboard Connection]
  • Cedric Phillips sits down with Magic 2015 design lead Billy Moreno about his recent decision to go to Ferguson, MO [Ced Talks]
  • Legion Events announced their new payout structure for judges for Grand Prix tournaments. The basic gist is that Legion is going to compensate judges with enough money for travel and food and then given them some product on top of that as well. The trade-off? They’re going to raise the price of GP entry to $60. As a player I think we’ve all known for a while that the cost of GP’s is going to continue to go up, but it’s refreshing to see that Legion will be putting the money to very good use [Legion Events]

Wallpaper of the Week

This is the artwork that we’ve been looking at for several months now in relation to Khans of Tarkir. I have to admit, I’m kind of bored of it by now. It’s a gorgeous piece of art and really sets the tone for the set. Unfortunately it’s been setting that tone ever since San Diego Comic Con and I was really, really, hoping for something else to ring in the new block.

Grade: B-

The Week Ahead

Khans of Tarkir is finally here. This weekend at prerelease events across the world we get to play with the latest and greatest in three-color wedge technology. I’ll be making an appearance at Twenty Sided Store for the midnight event on Friday night and also on Sunday afternoon. Tune in next week to read all about how I went 8-0 with a sick Mardu deck across the two events and opened a bunch of fetchlands for my trouble.

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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