Fighting the Blues: Leaving the Legacy

“Oh, man! Oh dang!” I gasped. The train to my work was packed and I didn’t even have room to move. I felt several sets of eyes glance at me, probably wondering what this foreign looking individual uttered in the mostly silent commuter train. My mind was busy calculating and didn’t have time to bother. Bitterblossom had been unbanned in Modern, spiking my two copies from a mere $20 to over $60 in a matter of minutes. I had just made over $80.

At first, I was ecstatic. As a person who is the sole bread winner in the family (by choice of my wife and I), I am very shrewd on how much I spend on cards. I learned early on the impossible art of how to keep my personal purse strings in control. Yet, Magic: the Gathering is a great game in which you are able to invest in cards and make some money. Although I am no pro, I have become apt enough at trading and investing to be able to support my hobby without tapping into our family funds. Bitterblossom was fodder for that project. As I was rummaging through ideas of how to use the extra cash, a thought struck me. With this hike in price, I was overjoyed. But how about other people?

Fighting the Blues: An Enchanting Story

I am thrilled. Why? Because Wizards of the Coast cares for us. Yes, they do not simply hang us out to dry, as though Legacy players are mere scavengers rummaging through the meager portions of goodies among dozens of Standard playable cards in a newly revealed set. Oh, sometimes we are simply emaciated. A set is fully spoiled and we find that none of the cards see even marginal play in Legacy. Set after set, we hang our mouths wide open in anticipation for the next Stoneforge Mystic, Snapcaster Mage, or even Swan Song and most times our hope is bitterly betrayed. We slump our shoulders and walk away from the computer wondering why we even looked in the first place. Although possibly not true, we non-blue mages experience this more often than not.

And yet, here we are. The dawn of Born of the Gods brings forth a shining star from the ashes of desolation. It takes up its sword, ready to join the ranks, to fight the good fight, and to bring balance to what was once a desert storm of blue decks. We welcome you to our ranks, oh mighty Spirit. Make way brethren, Spirit of the Labyrinth arises!

Fighting the Blues: Decks for the New Year

So the holidays are here. Did you get your wish? I hope it didn’t include blue. I know, I know. You have been eyeing that Tundra for a long time, glimmering in the protective wooden card display of your local game store. Perhaps it’s on sale, even 20% off now that the crazy shopping season is coming to an end. But do you really want to sacrifice your integrity? You have been known in your local group as the one who fights against the tide. You were the chosen one to wield white. Your heart throbbed when you first encountered the alluring raw power of green back when you first started. Black made you a tiny bit more evil, and a little more sadistic. Not to mention the flavor! I ask again: are you willing to give all of that up so your deck can become “consistent?” Hope your 2014 year doesn’t start with this unfortunate step.

Fighting the Blues: Against the Waves

No Such Thing as Stock

“No way,” my friend shook his head with a hint of sass. “Yes, I’m serious Carl. I really think it would work,” I said, mustering up as much confidence as I could. “It’s not even a goblin! It will dilute my deck.” He wasn’t convinced. “Yes, I know, but the synergy is perfect. I can’t imagine Goblins not running this. You have to trust me.” Any other testing partner might have moved on, playing their usual 75. Being a fantastic friend and an open minded person, he listened. He took one of the cards in his deck and flipped it around displaying the ever-so-familiar back through the warn sleeves. “There. This can be Purphoros. Let’s see what it can do,” he sighed as he started shuffling.

Fighting the Blues: Introducing a New Perspective

When I Used to be Blue

I sigh deeply as I see a Flooded Strand enter the battlefield on the opponent’s first turn. It sits there mocking me; an overpriced un-cracked fetchland. The opponent passes with an unmistakable smirk on his face. Suddenly, the hand of Tarmogoyf, Lightning Helix, and Kird Ape seems not powerful enough to get there. What if he plays a Counterbalance on his second turn? Does he have a Force of Will to diminish my pressure? The dreaded Terminus may be looming on the horizon to null my entire deck of creatures and burn spells. My creatures, which were acquired through much saving and trading, now face an uphill battle as pound for pound, their card strengths don’t match those of the controlling opponent. Speed is the name of the game. If I were to rip one creature after another the game may be still mine. But the possibility of drawing lands makes me nervous. I untap, draw for my turn. Taiga smiles back at me, my fourth land. The hill just got steeper.