More Magic: The Gathering adventures

My adventures in the world of Magic: The Gathering continue.

After participating in my first draft event a week ago, I participated in the first leg of the Standard League season yesterday.

For context: First, there are different formats in Magic: The Gathering, with the most popular being the competitive formats Standard, Pioneer, and Modern and the casual format Commander. The difference between the three competitive formats is what cards are allowed to play (every format has its own list of banned cards):

  • Standard is a rotating set covering the sets from the last three years (up to 12 sets). This means that sets from three years ago leave the format every year in the fall and are illegal to play.
  • Modern is a non-rotating format, including all sets from the eighth edition released in 2003. This makes this format super expensive to play.
  • Pioneer is another non-rotating format, which includes all sets released since 2012, starting from "Return to Ravnica".

There are more formats like Pauper or Legacy, but I don't know anyone playing these (which isn't to say that they aren't popular — because they are — but since I don't have friends playing them, I'm not interested).

As for seasons, the different competitive Magic formats have official seasons, which usually take from one release to the other. And since Murder at Karlov's Manor was released this month, this season will take place until Outlaws Of Thunder Junction releases in April.

The deck I played was something called a Mono-Red Aggro deck. So, I only play red cards and try to kill my opponents before they can set up their game plan. It's a fun, aggressive, and fast-paced deck to play, but it runs out of steam if rounds go on for too long. This is the deck I played:

The next event I'd like to play in is the next leg of the Pioneer League (the first took place last Friday). I've ordered cards to create something called an Azorius Control Deck (Azorius is the alias for decks playing blue- and white-mana cards). It's the exact opposite of the Mono-Red deck. It is slow, you spend your early turns countering everything your opponent does while setting up your game plan to win in the later stages of a match.

This is the deck:

And finally, to be complete: I also play Commander. However, unlike the formats above, Commander is a casual format which has its own ban list, is managed by the community (and not by Wizards of the Coast — to their disliking), and is probably the most popular Magic format. For Commander, I decided to play themed decks based on Universes Beyond. This is why my first deck features Sauron as the commander, and I plan to create a second Commander deck based on the Assassin's Creeds set, releasing in July. (There is also this deck based on Baldur's Gate 3, but I don't think it's good enough. But it looks really cool!)

Here is the Commander deck I play. It's a heavily upgraded Hosts of Mordor preconstructed deck, with a power level of 7, which is what my local playgroup plays:

As you can see, I'm aiming for the bottom of this bottomless rabbit hole!

Magic: The Gathering