Monday, December 29, 2014

Ugin and the Non-Basic Lands

To start off the beginning of Spoiler Week, let's start off with our presents from Christmas brought to us by the Mothership.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Modern Red Aggro Budget Deck

Editor's Note: Today, our newest writer gets to show off what he can do. I'd like you to introduce you to Shawn, the new MTGO writer for Monday Morning MTG. He specializes in budget decks and will be our eyes and ears (other than the sound when priority changes during a match, I guess there aren't really any sounds...) on MTGO since he's been known to play for 15 hours straight when he isn't working at his job or serving in the National Guard.

Please welcome Shawn in his first article, a Mono Red budget deck for Modern.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Modern Monday: Announcing Modern Masters 2015

On May 22nd of next year, we'll have the second Modern Masters set released with 249 cards, thirty more than last time. Of course, MSRP went up to $9.99 from $6.99 last time, and a lot of people are understandable upset about that. Booster boxes now have an MSRP of $240 versus $168 from last time. I got mine for about $123 each in 2013, so I'm not too worried about price, just as long as I can grab them for $200. I'll figure something out. Anyway, we have some speculating to do!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Multiplayer Monday: Karn, Silver Golem

Welcome to the first Multiplayer Monday. This used to be titled Commander Mondays, but I'm changing the name so there will be a place for the planned Archenemy and Planechase articles. I also have managed to make most of the other articles have alliterative names and wanted to do the same with this article. Enough about article names and more about this week's Commander deck!

A colorless EDH deck is something I've been wanting to do for some time. Now actually buying the cards would be a huge expense which is something I cannot do right now, but the theory and principles of this deck are sound. Everything colorless with a focus on artifacts and Eldrazi.

Colorless EDH

Before we get to the actual deck, I want to go over exactly what a colorless EDH deck looks like. To date, there have only been six colorless legendary creatures ever printed, and here are the only five legal in EDH (Emrakul is banned in the format):

Karn, Silver Golem  Kozilek, Butcher of Truth  Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Bosh, Iron Golem  Memnarch

Monday, November 17, 2014

Evaluating the Polls

For those of you who either use mobile devices or don't pay attention to anything other than the pages and articles, we've got polls running on the right side of the site.

Normally only one runs at a time and a previous poll is kept around for a short time, but sometimes there are two or more polls running. We've gotten some good results from the polls, especially from the clans from KTK that people were looking forward to, or what people look for when looking up set spoilers.

Of course, I have a favorite poll.

Proxy Magic

First of all, proxies are illegal when playing Magic unless you have a badly damaged card, such as a Power 9 in a tournament and a tournament judge makes a proxy for you. Please do not buy fake cards or proxies for use in official/sanctioned tournaments. However, if you're getting proxies for a cube with different art, card frames, and the like I'm all for.

I make very low end, cheap proxies for my own use in deck testing. The first time I made them was for my first legacy deck because most of the cards are way too expensive to buy and I wanted the feel of the deck. Of course, that was my High Tide deck, which I'll be continuing soon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Modern Monday: Living End

Throughout my time playing Magic, there are very few decks that make me say "I have to play that!" or "If several thousand dollars fall out of the air into my hands, I'm buying the cards to build this!"

There are only three decks before that have made me say this: Legacy High Tide, Legacy Leylines, and Azorius Soul Blade. Sure, there are fun decks, decks where I have all the cards or most of them, or decks where I have what I need to make my own approximate version.

I have a friend I met while playing at LostShade in Harrisonburg, VA who introduced me to a variety of Modern decks, introduced me to some fun looking Legacy decks, and introduced me to Cube. I took away High Tide from his Legacy deck repertoire, and with Modern, I saw this fun little gem.

Being able to throw a ton of huge creatures into the graveyard, kill all of your opponent's creatures and bring all of yours back all on your opponent's turn sounds great. That's what made me love the deck. So here's my version.

Living End

Monday, November 3, 2014

Running with Scissors: Artifacts in Standard

Back in July, I wrote an article called "Blue/Red Artifacts in the M15 Standard." It is currently the most read article on the site with over 4700 views and it grows by an average of 100 views a week and it isn't even standard legal anymore. So today I want to share a couple decks for the newest incarnation of a standard artifact deck. One is a deck shown off during Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir (Hawaii) and one is my own take on the deck based on the cards I have available. So let's get started!

Ornithopter  Darksteel Citadel  Ensoul Artifact

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wacky Wednesdays: Legacy Edition

Welcome back everyone.  As promised at the end of my last article, today I will be discussing a deck that caught my eye back in July.  I was watching a Legacy open, seeing the usual slew of powerful blue spells fly around, when this appeared on camera.  All I can say is, it was beautiful.

Before we begin, I did not create this deck. That credit goes to Chris Wolfmeyer.  I merely witnessed it in action and felt the need to share what I saw.  With that in mind, behold Leylines.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Commander Mondays: Humans Run When the Demons Go to War

Yes, I do know I completely botched the saying from Doctor Who, so let me offer a different quote that better describes the deck you are about to view:

"Man's enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself." -- Lao Tzu

Now do you know what's about to happen? Hint: Humans and Demons. Want another one? Sacrificing finds demons. Give up yet?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Artist of the Week: Karla Ortiz

With spoilers for Commander 2014 starting this week, I figured we could start with an artist who has illustrated two of the five cards spoiled so far...


Monday, October 20, 2014

Casual Modern Formats

I have two favorite stores out of the seven where I have played in tournaments. Don't get me wrong, I've never been to a "bad" store, but I have particular favorites. Of the seven stores, three have closed (two of them were the same store but with different names and managers), so there are four left. Of those four, one of them is a national name (Star City Games), and the other is Games Parlor in Chantilly, VA, which is a great store, but having only played there three or four times, I can't count it as a favorite because it isn't a regular store for me.

That leaves my favorites, one of which is a sponsor of Monday Morning MTG: Red Battle Games. As this is my local store at the moment and it is owned by a couple of my friends, how could it not be my favorite? But today's article is not about Red Battle Games or any tournament there. It's about my other favorite store, LostShade Games & Hobbies.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Artist of the Week: Chase Stone

When choosing a new artist each week, I have to see who I've already featured and figure out popular artists or artists that illustrate popular cards. This is typically planeswalkers, dual lands, popular rares and mythics and we've gone through a lot of them, but not all of them.

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad  Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded  Jace, the Living Guildpact

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bogles Revisited

Last time we looked at Bogles, Jouney into Nyx had been released the previous week. I had also been working on the deck for more than two months to perfect a deck that could work with what I had.

In order to save you time, here's the deck at the end of the previous article:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Artist of the Week: Volkan Baga

This week, we are featuring Volkan Baga, an artist who has illustrated many high profile cards over the past few years.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

Monday, October 6, 2014

Five Color Souls

This deck is a small pet project of mine. I woke up one day (or else couldn't fall asleep) and thought "The Souls should have some great purpose in Standard. They can't be completely useless..." and I feel that with this deck, they actually work out pretty well, but I'm still experimenting...

So here we go, a five color deck in Standard!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Artist of the Week: Terese Nielsen

And we're back! After going on a hiatus for a few weeks, I would like to start back with fan favorite artist Terese Nielsen. It's only fair, especially since we've already featured her brother.

Basandra, Battle Seraph  Sydri, Galvanic Genius

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wacky Wednesday: What is the Wittiest Creature Type?

Welcome back!  I have always been a fan of alternate win conditions in Magic.  As a Johnny, I love creative and different ways to achieve these alternate win conditions as well.  In my last article, I mentioned that I would be jumping into the wacky world of alternate win conditions this week, but before I begin, I must ask you a question.  What is the wittiest creature type in Magic: The Gathering?

If you said Eldrazi, you would be correct!  They earned this title (in my eyes) because of how well their ability to spawn hundreds of themselves works with Battle of Wits.  Behold the Clever Eldrazi.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Artist of the Week: Nils Hamm

During Commander Month, we've been featuring artists who illustrated cards exclusively created for Commander decks.

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Artist of the Week: Brad Rigney

Continuing Commander Month here on Monday Morning MTG, we're continuing the theme of featuring artists who have created art for cards exclusive to Commander products.

Nin, the Pain Artist

Friday, September 5, 2014

Khans of Tarkir Spoiler Week 1 Recap

With the new policy of Wizards of the Coast updating their website at 11 AM Eastern every day, obtaining spoilers from the Mothership has become a difficult thing. We're not available to update spoilers every day as our backup posting time (1 PM Eastern, primary post time is 6 AM) makes it close with two hours to update the spoiler page AND write up a post detailing all the cards, so we're trying something new this set: Doing a weekly recap every Friday at 1 PM. So let's get on with it!

This week has brought us out first look at Khans of Tarkir other than the six cards in Speed vs. Cunning. The highlights? I'm glad you asked...

Fun Fact Fridays: Nephilim

The Nephilim are a five card cycle printed in Guildpact, the second set of the original Ravnica block.

In Christianity and Judaism, a Nephilim is the child of an angel and a human and were also "giants."

Of course in Magic, they are the only four colored creatures ever printed, which is awesome, but they aren't legendary creatures.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Commander Month: Ephara, God of the Polis

Welcome to Commander Month everyone! Every Monday this month, you'll get to see two EDH decks each week, one allied color god and one enemy colored god. Of course, building a deck with the gods of Theros is easy, you might say. Of course, we're not just using any cards we want, we'll be using only cards legal in Standard from Return to Ravnica through M15.

This week, I present to you a deck featuring Ephara, God of the Polis.

Ephara, God of the Polis

Commander Month: Athreos, God of Passage

Welcome to Commander Month, a month dedicated to the greatest format that one can play as a magic player. Today, I will be covering The great god Athreos, who helps the dead of Theros pass to the realm of Erebos, unless of course you know the price to pay. There are some restrictions that we have decided to put upon ourselves when building these decks to help limit the price of these decks and make it easier for any regular FNM player to build. The big rule is that every single card in this deck has to be legal in the Return to Ravnica, M14, Theros, and M15 Standard environment. Now, with great glory, may I present to you a deck devoted to the God of Passage.

Athreos, God of Passage

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Artist of the Week: Michael C. Hayes

This week begins Commander Month here at Monday Morning MTG. As a result of this, we will be featuring artists who have created art for cards printed exclusively for Commander products.

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Set Names

Something you may not know about Magic is that several set names come from cards printed in previous sets or in one case, the same set.

Care to take a guess at what some of them are?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Commander Mondays: Sliver Overlord

As you saw yesterday, we featured the artist Ron Spencer, the artist of Sliver Queen. That was done as a tie-in for today's deck. Although Sliver Queen is not the actual Commander, when I started this deck, it was, but I soon switched to Sliver Overlord. There is a reason for that, and we'll get to it soon.

Sliver Queen  Sliver Legion  Sliver Overlord

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Artist of the Week: Ron Spencer

For our Artist of the Week this week, I decided to make a tie-in with the Commander Mondays article this week (which will be published tomorrow, of course).

There are two cards in particular that most people will recognize. One of which you'll find in tomorrow's article and one of them was a card designed by the Magic community just like Waste Not in M15. Both cards have been printed twice. One card is on the reserved list and its second printing was as a foil oversized card. The other card was printed in an "artifacts matter" set and then again in a core set.

Think you know the two cards? Then read on...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Holiday Promos

Starting in 2006, Wizards of the Coast introduced a series of silver-bordered foil cards given to staff and business partners. Each year's card is different and is and all of them are valuable and relatively expensive. By that, I mean above $60 each or more.

Fruitcake Elemental

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wacky Wednesdays: Infinity Ooze

Greeting readers of the Wacky Wednesdays articles and connoisseurs of weird decks.  As you may (or may not) have noticed, I am not Eric Davey. I am Taylor Walker, the new Wacky Wednesdays Manager for Monday Morning MTG.

For my first article, I will be showing off a combo deck based around my favorite creature: Necrotic Ooze.  Have a look at Infinity Ooze!

Necrotic Ooze

Monday, August 18, 2014

Three Tribal Decks

During this time when we have eight sets in Standard, there are several tribal decks available, one of which that intrigues me is Centaurs, Minotaurs, and also Soldiers. Most of them are more casual, but all of them are Standard legal for at least one more month.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Artist of the Week: Donato Giancola

Over the past three weeks, we've look at Kev Walker, Todd Lockwood, and Anthony S. Waters, three of John Avon's four favorite artists.

Donato Giancola was the fourth and final name on the list, so let's check out his art!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Richard Garfield's Cards

While there are over 380,000 individual cards (Masters Editions and Vintage Masters online are likely included in that count as well) not counting the variety of promos, but there are three cards you might not know about...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Modern Mondays: Improving the Modern Event Deck

While I do enjoy coming up with my own decks and ideas to play for Magic, but the three decks I had ever played for modern were a White/Black token deck, a White/Red burn deck, and a Green/White Bogles deck. What I've found is that my original decks play well, but my best decks have started as event decks that have been vastly improved.

Modern Event Deck - March of the Multitudes

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Artist of the Week: Anthony S. Waters

Over the past two weeks, we've look at Kev Walker and Todd Lockwood, two of John Avon's four favorite artists.

Anthony Waters was the third name on the list, so let's check out his art!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: How to Dress the Vess

Planeswalkers are such a magnificent addition to magic as of Lorwyn. Thanks to man who first spoke the words "planeswalker card," Matt Cavotta, their are currently 48 cards with the Planeswalker card type. When M15 was released we were greeted with 4 brand new Planeswalker cards in; Garruk, Apex Predator, Nissa, Worldwaker, Ajani Steadfast, and Jace, the Living Guildpact. Though there were 2 planewalker cards that were reprints, one was a simple reprint with Chandra, Pyromaster and the other has a bit of a story behind why and how she got in the set. I am of course talking of the card Liliana Vess.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sealed Draft Practice

For those of you who do not know, starting August 14th and ending August 17th in Indianapolis, Indiana is Gen Con 2014. I am lucky enough that I will be attending from Friday - Sunday and will be in many event from Magic: The Gathering to games that are not even close to release. As I was viewing many of the wonderful MTG related events, I came across one very interesting format: Sealed Draft: Chaos Warp Celebrity Event.

An M15 Draft

A couple weeks ago, I participated in a draft for M15. Out of my first pack came a Soul of Ravnica, which any Soul is powerful in Limited, so I definitely grabbed it. Among the other packs, I picked up three rares, one of which was Hornet's Nest. That was the most powerful card to have in this deck, at least until I could get some of the other heavy hitters onto the field.

Hornet Nest

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Artist of the Week: Todd Lockwood

Last week, we looked at Kev Walker's art, one of four artists mentioned by John Avon during his AMA on Reddit. Todd Lockwood is the second name on the list:

Continuing on with this theme, let's take a look at Todd Lockwood's art!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: The Contents of a Booster Pack

As anyone who opens current booster packs knows, there are 15 cards in a booster pack. You get 10 commons, 3 uncommons, a rare or mythic rare, a tip card (not counted in the 15), and a basic land. Alternatively, you could get 9 commons and 1 foil of any rarity instead of 10 commons (foils are 1 for every 67 regular cards.).

In some cases this is different, like with guildgates and the chance at a shockland or Maze's End in place of the basic lands in Dragon's Maze or like in Journey into Nyx there is a very small chance of getting a "God" pack which has 15 mythic rares.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Big News from the San Diego Comic Con

It's that time of year again. We did this last year, and hopefully we can do it for several years more.

This year, we have a ton of new details from From the Vault, Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning, Khans of Tarkir, and even the newly announced Commander 2014 products.

First and foremost, let's look at what promotional Magic product could be purchased from SDCC:

Commander Mondays: Zur the Enchanter

For some reason I like building and playing enchantment decks. Maybe it's because they are easy to play. Maybe it's because I'm used to playing them.

A couple years ago when Commander's Arsenal came out, I had the opportunity to buy one and open it. It had an oversized version of Zur the Enchanter so I had wanted to build a deck for some time, but I wanted the small sized version.

Around the same time, I was buying various older booster packs for openings on YouTube. I bought a single booster pack from Coldsnap because I wanted to and well...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Artist of the Week: Kev Walker

I had been running out of Magic artists to feature each week, but then I read John Avon's AMA on Reddit. He mentioned the four artists that are his favorites.

As a result, I decided that Kev Walker would be the next Artist of the Week.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Symbol Changes

Throughout the twenty-one years of Magic, there have been a few different symbol changes. For instance, the current mana symbols look like this:

When Magic first started, those weren't the mana symbols.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wacky Wednesdays: Five Color Slivers

Today, I'm going to attempt something I've never done before: Build a five-color deck in Standard. It's insane, it's crazy, and it just so happens to be extremely possible. Except for some of the new slivers, I have all of these cards, which is why some cards are reduced to a single copy (because that is all I have). But let's consider how this can be done:

With access to Shocklands, we have dual lands available from the start. With Scrylands, we have mana and the ability to see what is coming next. We have all five colors available through the three cycles of dual lands. So we're ready to build this deck. Let's go!

Godless Shrine  Temple of Epiphany  Llanowar Wastes

Monday, July 21, 2014

Standard: White/Blue Strive

Around the time that Journey into Nyx was released, I developed a new deck that I could use for Game Day, and it is a fairly decent deck. It isn't overly amazing, but it works, and I haven't every heard of a White/Blue Aggro deck. Normally those colors are reserved for control, but let's take a look...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Artist of the Week: Aleksi Briclot

This week, we are featuring a popular Magic artist who has been creating art for the game since October of 2004 when Champions of Kamigawa came out. What card was his art on first? A few hints:

1. Uncommon
2. Enchantment Aura, which at the time was called "Enchant Creature" at one time
3. Costs 3 mana
4. It was also in the Divine vs. Demonic duel deck

Know what it is? Well, let's look...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Ancestral Recall Cycle

Ancestral Recall

A lot of people will know Ancestral Recall as being a member of the "Power Nine," a group of cards that have been deemed the most powerful cards in Magic. They're only legal in Vintage decks and even then, each of the Power Nine is restricted to one per deck.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Modern Mondays: Naya Aggro

Ever since Wild Nacatl was unbanned in Modern, I've been considering building a Naya Aggro deck. Wild Nacatl and Kird Ape are big parts of this idea.

Wild Nacatl  Kird Ape

With all the cards available for this deck and the introduction of a couple more useful cards in M15, this deck should be very strong.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Artist of the Week: Dan Frazier

Looking back at some of the older Magic artists like Christopher Rush, I wanted to find some we don't get to see anymore, like Dan Frazier. You will probably recognize his art because it's really quite popular just like the Black Lotus done by Christopher Rush. Let's take a look...