My Magic career isn’t exactly prominent, but it was certainly storied. Magic granted me the ability to travel the country, meet some incredible people, and ignite the competitor in me for decades to come. It’s pretty wild how it all started with a visit to a local tournament beneath a comic book store, across the street from the Empire State Building. They say the rest is history, but history is always worth looking back to.

Before I reminisce too much, here are 10 cards that shaped my career as a player:

10. Primeval Titan

The very first deck that gave me results was Valakut, from way back in Zendikar. The deck performed almost identically to modern day Scapeshift decks, but with much less streamlined strategies early on in that format. This was the card that landed me my very first cash finish at an event.

9. Bonfire of the Damned

This powerhouse of a card definitely put me in a number of IQ top 8’s, as well as four SCG Open top 32s. To say this card carried me is an understatement, but I’ll never say no to a huge momentum swing like this.

8. Geist of Saint Traft

A long while back, we had a thing going called #teamgeist. It was the advent of a Jeskai tempo deck that I took with me to SCG NJ, way back in 2013. I managed to do very well at this event, as well as cement the archetype for that standard format.

7. Fencing Ace

A while back, I had this little brew called Jeskai Auras. It was during a time where cards like Thundermaw Hellkite, Angel of Serenity, and Obzedat, Ghost Council were all running rampant. I wanted to ignore all of that, and that deck did the trick. It got me to a Super Series top 8, as well as getting multiple people their PTQ wins (with me losing in the finals to one!)

6. Sire of Insanity

Continuing on with brews, this little beast of a deck was one of my favorite decks I’ve ever played. It would later on become the B/R reanimator deck we all know and love today.

5. Kaalia of the Vast

My first foray into Commander began with Kaalia of the Vast. I have a very big love for Dragons, and she was the perfect enabler. She will forever have a place in my heart, and if I were to play Commander again, I think she would be my pick.

4. Chandra, Pyromaster

I tried valiantly to get her in every deck I played. One particular deck that got me and my best friend AJ Kerrigan through multiple events was Jund Aggro, a deck that capitalized on the slow pace of the format at the time, and used Chandra to punch through every bit of damage possible. This deck got AJ top 16 at the largest SCG Open ever(?), an 11-rounder.

3. Omniscience

This particular card single-handedly got me my very first Grand Prix day two. Having shown no fear and jamming this against a Delver deck with a fist full of cards in their hand, and having resolved it. I was shocked, but ecstatic to finally be able to play in the second day of competition at that event

2. Fires of Invention

My semi-recent return to the game involved me immediately falling in love with this card, and taking it to a Regional Qualifier event. This, combined with Teferi, Time Raveler, got me a respectable 3rd place finish, losing to Mike Flores along the way.

1. Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

This card is definitely egregious in its own right. But the Sultai Midrange deck that got me a Modern 5k finals appearance, upon my first time back, was my wakeup call to just play a very strong deck with undisputedly  busted cards. I was always trying to do the best thing, but reinventing the wheel all the time wasn’t something I needed to do. Just polishing the already established one was good enough.

It was incredibly hard to pick just 10 cards, as there are so many memories of so many different cards during my time, but I think these 10 are very iconic to my tenure in both competitive, and casual Magic!

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