Say that 10 times 10 times fast!

And so we come to the final day of the 10th Anniversary Celebration.

My name is Sinistra Black (emphasis on the “Sin”), and as some of you know, I’ve been the Hipsters of the Coast Content Manager, on top of sometimes contributing content, for the past six months. For the last one or two of those months, that means I’ve been out there on social media and all up in your DMs, aggressively soliciting from you—yes, you!—all the glorious Top 10 Lists we’ve been publishing every weekday over the last two weeks, as part of our 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Having been steeped this deep in the Top 10 creep, this project has become near and dear to my heart. I originally planned for this piece to be a bit of a trick-not-treat, listing exclusively Top 10 Lists that didn’t actually exist—with descriptions just detailed enough to make you “believe” the 404 Error they’d link to, and just open-ended enough to let your imagination fill in the gaps.

Unfortunately for my hoof-stomping trickster spirit, we got a lot of really good writing packed into those Top 10 submissions I’ve been pestering everyone for. It would be a waste—and honestly a disrespect to all our wonderful writers, old and new—if I didn’t use this space as a platform for an actual celebration of my top 10 Top 10s of the 10th Anniversary Celebration Top 10s.

Here we go!

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

10. Top 10 Cards That Make People Say “Huh?” When Paper Boomers Insist They Were Actually Good

Let’s start at the top: on Day 1 of the Anniversary Celebration, former Magic: The Gathering card designer Zac Hill helped us kick things off with a nostalgic, though not necessarily “fond” trip down memory lane. His piece looks at cards from his Pro Tour heyday that were once considered “competitive” but look like downright…well, garbage, by the standards of Magic design today.

Over on Zac’s Facebook wall, this led to a heated debate about whether Putrid Imp is still good. (Putrid Imp is still good.) In Week 2 of the event, he also contributed a minimalist, ~elegant~ piece (in the Rosewaterian sense) on the Top 10 Pieces of Flavor Text to Actually Genuinely Internalize.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

9. Top 10 Hipsters of the Coast Headlines From the Future

From the first day of the Anniversary Celebration to the last: published today, right alongside this very list you are reading now, Chief Hipster Rich Stein dabbles in some Future Sight-inspired content planning with a very literal, completely serious list of the 10 best articles we’re going to publish, but haven’t yet. Let me assure you: at least one of these pieces will one day become real—and on that fateful day, I am going to demand that it conform perfectly to Rich’s description of it here, even if I don’t work here anymore.

Rich writes a lot of content for HotC, and this event has been no different. Earlier in the Top 10 series he published my #1, S-tier, most favorite ranked competitive headline of the event, Top 10 Companies That Should Buy Hipsters of the Coast—and just a couple of days ago, for some reason, he also ranked the Top 10 Planeswalkers by Home Run Distance.

That was our second baseball article this event.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

8. Top 10 Reasons to Play Premodern Magic

Despite the fact that I’ve made a soft pact with myself to never again spend (much) money on paper Magic cards “unless I get rich,” regular columnist Travis Norman did an incredible job of introducing me, and I’m sure many of you, to a relatively new format that I for one did not previously know existed.

As someone who was heavily into what Magic was in the few years leading up to the 8ED/Mirrodin card-frame change—and who has always hated collecting cards for rotating formats—Premodern sounds like a good ol’ time that just might get me to uh…I dunno, print up some proxies or something. Have you seen what gold-bordered cards go for these days?!

Honorable Mention: The Premodern piece helped kick off Week 2, but I also want to take a moment here to highlight Travis’s beautiful piece from Week 1 on the profoundly resonant topic of revisiting an old playgroup, gaming space, etc. only to find that it’s not the one you recognize anymore. While not a Top 10, its amber glow of retrospection fit the Anniversary Celebration perfectly in my eyes, and it currently holds the honor of “First HotC Piece to Get a Haunting Turn of Phrase Stuck in My Head.” See if you can guess which one.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

7. Top 10 Kids Meal Toys of All Time

A special moment among the more left-field Top 10s we fielded for this event, TV and comics writer Greg Hahn made his second cameo with us by stirring up elusive early-life memories from the deepest recesses of my primal lizard brain: a list of some of the greatest, and weirdest, fast food pack-in toys ever made. Complete with grainy old low-resolution photos *AND NEW HAT!*

Greg swooped down from the Gothamesque heights of his recent first Batman story (congrats Greg!!) to appear on Hipsters for the first time last week, skewering 10 whole characters from the most profitable IP franchise in history.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

6. Top 10 Cards to Buy to Overpower Your Deck and Ruin Casual Commander Night

Another fresh face in our rogues’ gallery, sci-fi writer and beer-science connoisseur Stephen Braigen slammed this dunk: a biting self(?)-own about how to intentionally become That Assh*le in your casual Commander playgroup. Being myself a sadistic little goblin who can relate with this premise, I naturally scheduled this piece to run opposite Travis’s piece on how to run exactly the opposite.

Stephen’s piece turned out to be a bona fide viral hit, bringing in a ton of new HotC readers from social media and, apparently, even getting featured in spaces like the WordPress app for Android and the Google app. We look forward to seeing what sector of our market he’ll try to piss off next.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

5. Top 10 Pieces of Magic Art on Unplayable Cards

T-Norm is back! In his second appearance on this list, Travis sneaks into the top half with an insightful post about Magic card art, card design be damned. This one got me to stop and pay attention to what was really going on in the art of a bunch of cards I thought I knew pretty well.

Additionally, Travis’s pick for the #1 spot is indisputably correct, and the very end of his piece is currently a frontrunner for my “Funniest HotC Section Header That I Didn’t Write” award. Final tally to be tabulated when Peter Thiel shuts us down.

Honorable Mention: While I’ve got the art lovers’ attention, I also want to direct your attention to Donny Caltrider’s piece on the The Most Important Magic: The Gathering Artworks Since 2012. Donny is our canonical resident art appreciator, and this piece of his ran yesterday. While not a Top 10, it’s very much in the spirit of the event. Like Travis’s piece, Donny has a knack for getting us to dial in on a level of detail we can too easily overlook through a habitual relationship with the cards. Sublime Epiphany sure is cool.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

4. Top 10 Monsters I Loved Before I Understood the Cards

Paired with Travis’s art-focused piece last Friday was this gem from our most decorated monster-lover, Mani Cavalieri of Eyez ‘n Teef, where he takes a nostalgic, necessarily fond trip down memory lane—waxing poetic about the Magic card art and character designs that captivated him before he knew a damn thing about how to play the game.

Having been first exposed to Magic at the tender age of ten, in the fifth grade, my early Magic era hinged on a very different relationship to the cards than I have today. I have treasured memories of rolling around on the carpeted floor, building decks with an eye to how the depictions in their art would physically interact; I was mesmerized by the image of Green Ward spreading across the furry hide of a Shambling Strider, like a sudden skin infection that would startle but prove benevolent. Naturally, I then stacked my deck so that I would draw the Ward right after the Strider, in case any of my friends didn’t catch me pretending to shuffle next time I played.

Personal thanks to Mani for bringing me back to that more innocent time for the game—and a state of mind that’s so, so hard to recapture once you learn how to build deck good. Slivers fucking rule.

3. Top 10 Magic Churches Through Which to Work Out My Real World Feelings About Religion

When I first read the headline of house theologian Jacob Torbeck’s dazzling Top 10 about “Magic Churches,” I assumed it would be an analysis of architectural design in card art depicting physical churches. I should have known better when it comes to the Magic and Meaning guy: in reality, Jacob walks us through a thoughtful reflection on ten of Magic’s depictions of entire fictional faith systems—from the explicitly evil and eugenicist, to inspiring imaginings of what religion could mean in a more just world—and what they might have to tell us about real-world religious institutions.

While not technically grouped under our Tenth Anniversary Top 10 category, this piece of Anniversary Celebration content is structured as a 10-to-1 countdown and literally says “Top 10” at the top of its title, so I had to fudge my (entirely self-imposed) rules for this list just enough to include it. Suffice to say I was blown away.

(Did you know that iconic card art I just linked to was a Seventh Edition original?)

Jacob’s writing speaks for itself; take a few minutes to read this piece and then peruse his deep Magic and Meaning archive.

Number 10 depicted with Hipsters-Logo Purple Sunset for the 0.

2. Top 10 Times Magic’s Multiverse Represented Its Diverse Community

Squeaking into the almost-top spot just under the wire is well known Pro Tour-level Magic Judge Paul Baranay’s first ride on this here boat—another piece that’s debuting right now, today, alongside this one. When Paul reached out to me with the pitch for this topic, I knew instantly that it was going to be something special, so I made sure to pester him in the DMs at the exact, scientifically calibrated, optimal amount about it.

It does not disappoint. Not only does Paul’s piece tackle a topic that’s in perfect harmony with our core values of inclusiveness and social justice advocacy; not only does it get me to notice representation and inclusion efforts in places I hadn’t previously noticed them; but it also got me thinking about areas of representation that I fail to focus on enough. While I expected the piece to highlight a few of the notable moments of Queer, Trans, Nonbinary, and racial inclusion in Magic lore and art—and it does—Paul also goes above and beyond, asking us to think about Magic in terms of disability visibility, diversity of body types, and even alt-text accessibility in content creation.

Even we, the unapologetic SJWs of the Magic infosphere, still have areas such as the latter where we can improve. Many thanks to Paul for delivering a sincere, empathetic piece that gets me thinking about ways Hipsters of the Coast can be better going forward.

1. Top 20 Top 20 Lists of Our 20th Anniversary Top 20 List Metaverse Popup

When I decided to write this Top 10 List for Hipsters of the Coast, I immediately knew #1 would have to be this by turns tearful and joyful celebration of the Top 20 20th Anniversary Celebration Top 20s. To be published for lifetime subscribers only, on Friday, September 12, 2042—the final day of our 16-week open-to-the-public metaverse walkabout—this piece will be written by Disney-Exxon-Hasbro subsidiary Hipsters.GG+’s then-incoming owner and President of Interactive Merchandising, Peter Thiel Compleat.

After achieving genetic and machine perfection through thousands of microsurgeries and decades of virgin-blood transfusions; and acquiring our future parent company Disney-Exxon-Hasbro in the bloody Great Content Harvest of the late 2030s into early 2040s—a time that will be better known among labor units by its non-Party-sanctioned name, “End of the Long Autumn”—Last of the Praetors Thiel will charm and seduce lowly attention units with his trademark (patent then-pending) blend of humor and intimidation, while cheekily running down the 20 most perfect (according to strict Party standards) Top 20 Lists of the Hipsters.GG+ pop-up content citadel, mighty did it stand erect for four fearsome months in the Disney-Exxon-Hasbro Proprietary Content Fields (English-Language) vregion.

Long live Last of the Praetors and President of Interactive Merchandising, the Compleated Thiel!

Peter Thiel, compleat with vampire fangs.

May his Mercy on the World be swift and painless.


Well, there you have it.

Those are my Top 10 Top 10s of you get the joke. Early on I was flirting with doing a lot more alliterative “tip” /  “top” / “10” “humor” but I guess that fell off somewhere. It is currently 12:44 AM Pacific time, as I am the only HotC staffer on the West Coast, which means I’m allowed to get my drafts in super fucking late and it doesn’t make me a hypocrite when I beg writers to get their submissions in earlier.

To 10 times 10 times 10 more wild years of Hipsters of the Coast!

Sinistra, Void Witch has protection from criticism.

Sinistra, Void Witch has protection from criticism.

SINISTRA BLACK (she/her) is a Los Angeles-based writer-director, Transgender Anarchist killjoy, and the dreaded 10th out of 10 doctors.

She publishes media essays and an email newsletter on her homepage, EASY ANSWERSShe can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms, sharing humor, criticism, scorching takes, and 7 more things.

She is available for hire or Spellslingers theorycrafting, but only if you’ve never played Hearthstone.

For more thoroughly correct assessments, check out SLAY THE SPIRE Defines Deck-Builders—For Better and Worse on this here site. If Disney-Exxon-Hasbro is more your thing, try Jessica Jones Season 1 Is Way More Racist Than You Remember and other Marvel reviews linked therein. If neither, comedy reviews maybe? like fine dude.

If you enjoyed this free post from Hipsters, you’re #1 in my book. Also, please share, send it to a friend, and subscribe to EASY ANSWERS for more content from Sin.

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