Hello everyone, and welcome back to LegitMTG.com. I am Scott Campbell bringing you my second article for this site. After last week’s article about control decks in Modern I thought I would write an introductory piece for you all to get to know me better. Thank you all for the replies to my ask me anything (AMA) request. There were quite a few questions, and I’ll go over a few of them here.
Many of you asked: What were some of the first cards you played?
I’ve been playing Magic: the Gathering since Revised. I had no idea what I was doing (who did?), and was fresh out of high school (insert “YOU’RE OLD” jokes here) so everything was new to me. I collected comic books back then, and before that baseball cards, and was barely scratching the surface at D&D. Magic: the Gathering seemed to be an amalgamation of everything I was interested in at that time.
While I was introduced to it by the various comic book stores I frequented back then I really cut my teeth playing with several co-workers at the time. We just bought Starter decks along with a few boosters, and built from there.
Do any of you remember these? Imagine trying to learn a game now through a rulebook that was 2” x 3”. That’s what we did back in the early to mid-90’s. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, hunched over peering into the rule book to figure out rules for things such as Lifelink, and Trample. I’m still surprised I’m not wearing prescription glasses.
After a while the games would be a free-for-all in a group setting of 6 to 8 people. We would not just play Magic, but various other games including another one you may have heard of called Jyhad.
This was another card game produced by Wizards of the Coast, and centered around Vampire clans all trying to fight for domination. Our group played this quite often, and one night while playing a game the player to my right asked if I wanted to play Magic: the Gathering while we waited for our turns, and of course I obliged. He then played Shahrazad during our first game so we had to start a new game. Our part of the table was a mess,
Believe it or not in those early days I played what would not be known as a Gruul Monsters deck. Again I had no idea what I was doing, but these stats seemed pretty strong for wanting to beat my opponents. It was until the coming of Ice Age that I knew what I wanted to do. I built a blue & white based control deck using cards such as:
- Wrath of God
- Serra Angel
- Mana Short
- Winter Orb
- Icy Manipulator (HEY A REPRINT in Ice Age!)
Again back in this time I was only playing group games so these spells got a lot of mileage. In fact one of the few times I played at a local store (which is no longer around) I was asked to not play this deck again. It was at that time I knew I was an Azorius Mage through and through. I had found my calling.
Many of you asked: What formats do you play?
I mostly play Modern, but I also played Standard a lot up until Khans of Tarkir through Battle for Zendikar Standard. The game became incredibly less fun for me then, and I had already spent a decade playing at the FNM level. I was ready to just play non-rotating formats with the cards I already owned instead of keeping up with everything.
2019 didn’t help with that. Looking at you War of the Spark, Modern Horizons, and Throne of Eldraine.
Beyond Modern I also play Commander when I can, and try to play Legacy when there are local events. I have quite a few decks to play depending on how I’m feeling, and what may be a good gameplay experience in my area. With Modern (and even Commander) I try to play with original pack foils as much as possible, and Legacy I get the oldest printing of a card (that I can afford anyway) and have the artist sign the card. While I could foil out some Legacy decks there are no foil Tundras in existence so I can’t quite do that.
Usually I’ll be playing a fair deck such as Jund in Modern, or Azorius Miracles in Legacy, but I have been known to break out Tron in Modern, or Dredge in Legacy. The decks can be a lot of fun, and provides different ways to play the game which keeps things fresh.
Jason from Twitter asks: What is the most underplayed card in Legacy, and why is it Hymn to Tourach?
This is a great question, and one I have asked myself many times. Jason is perhaps the sole person responsible for introducing me to Legacy as we would usually play matches in-between rounds of Standard. Hymn to Tourach is such a powerful discard spell that I was around when people demanded that the card be banned from Standard (which it eventually was). The problem with this card in Legacy is that there is a tool that many decks use to disrupt it, and it is one of the many mistakes from 2019. That card is Veil of Summer.
Until the veil is lifted sadly I won’t be able to try Punishing Jund in Legacy. Fortunately I have enough to play a four color Loam deck (although I don’t have the blue pieces so I have to stick with the non-blue builds) so that will have to be our route to play grindy Jund-esque midrange decks for the time being. Besides Chalice of the Void will do a lot more work across multiple turns than one Hymn would. Remember when Chalice was a $10 card? That was a long time ago.
Bruce on Twitter asks: What is your favorite G1 Transformer?
Excellent question Bruce! Slam dunk answer?
Yes I am old enough to remember all of the sweet cartoons from the 1980’s. Transformers was my favorite, and I’ll still watch them to this day (a lot of them don’t hold up though). The fact he turned into something that was not a vehicle, or a weapon made him stick out, and he had an instant army at the push of a button. His robotic voice was really what sold it for me though. I loved robots (and still do) from the Shogun Warriors, to the robots on the movie The Black Hole, I have been a fan of robots nearly all my life. Soundwave is my favorite.
In August of last year I started collecting the Masterpiece line from Takara Tomy. They look as authentic to the original cartoon as any toy collectible I have ever seen. I was always bothered that the original Soundwave produced back in the 80’s had yellow eyes instead of red like in the cartoon.
Odd though that I was a fan of a Hasbro fan as a child, and am now buying their product as an adult. Hmm…
Fellow LegitMTG content creator Zuby asks the following questions:
1. Why is Kruphix the best Simic Commander in EDH?
To be honest color pairings I have played the least are Selesnya, and Simic. So while I don’t have a lot of experience with those colors I can tell by reading it that the card is crazy good. It’s literally three cards in one:
- It’s a 4 power creature for 5 mana that’s Indestructible
- It’s Spellbook
- It allows you bank mana
That last ability is key if you have ways to untap mana during other player’s turns. This can be done with artifact mana and Unwinding Clock, or connecting with a creature equipped with Sword of Feast and Famine for example.
It’s a good thing you can’t collect interest on that mana that you bank. Yikes!
- Do you see Modern following the same path as Legacy in a few years?
Yes, and no. Currently with Pioneer being introduced as a format Legacy has been pushed out of nearly any big paper tournaments unless it’s Eternal Weekend (or something similar). Modern has many cards desired by not only players of that format, but also players in Commander so I think it will be the flagship “old man format” for a while.
With that said I do see the design of Modern slipping ever so close to being a Legacy-esque format. Heck even now people are playing Primeval Titan in Legacy (LEGACY!!!). What a world. The fact that the current design of cards from 2019 to now has blurred the lines between Modern and Legacy in such a short time frame has me concerned. I do think there is still enough to keep the formats distinct, but a few more pushes one way or another make blur things even more. When Modern Horizons was released, and Stoneforge Mystic entered Modern for the first time by being removed from the banned list, the differences between the Legacy and Modern versions of Stoneblade were very few.
- Who is your favorite baseball team?
The Cincinnati Reds. I have been a fan from birth, and one would say that thanks to my dad it’s my second language. What has been great over the last few decades is that a farm team for the Reds, the Dayton Dragons, came to my home town so I have been able to see a lot of the current roster of Reds, and their opponents, develop from the minors to the majors.
Joey Votto is my favorite player, and outside of Chris Sabo in my youth is the player I have followed the most. The above image is from my favorite single moment this century with the ballclub as I remember where I was when it happened (sitting on my couch). It was Mother’s Day. but the game was delayed by rain. He went 4 for 5, hitting three home runs, including a walk off grand slam against the visiting Washington Nationals. Have you ever watched a sporting event, and knew something was going to happen? I had that moment watching this game. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t get a bit misty eyed every time I watch this moment. It’s so incredible.
Have you ever seen the movie The Natural? Roy Hobbs built his baseball bat out of the remains of a tree struck by lightning. Joey Votto built his bat from Roy Hobbs. You can watch the clip of his last at bat here.
- How are you coping with staying in with Covid-19?
Honestly? Not well. Nothing serious, but just frustrated a lot. I totally understand the reasons why things are how they are, but I’m not used to working from home. Not having any baseball really sucks, but not being able to visit my parents really hurts. This is the time of year my dad & I talk the most (because of baseball), and now…?
I am concerned about this impact on all of us. From the folks at LegitMTG, to other stores, to kids who were supposed to graduate this year, to what our medical insurance options will be when open enrollment happens at the end of this year, and so on. I know we won’t get back to how things were before this happened because everything has changed. I just hope we all learn from this, and can get back to Gathering as soon as possible. That’s where the real Magic lies after all.
Thanks for the questions Zuby.
Another Jason on Twitter asks: What is your favorite Goblin card?
I am so glad you answered this question. My favorite Goblin, of all Goblins, in ALL of Magic: the Gathering…is…
Reprinted into Standard several times (did you know it was in Dominaria?) this army in a can is sweet. Always a solid play after a board wipe it keeps the pressure on your opponent, and allows you to sacrifice any goblin you have (including Siege-Gang itself) to deal damage. I played a pair of these during the Scars of Mirrodin to Magic 2011 era of Standard when my deck of choice was Jund. Bloodbraid Elf into Blightning was great. Follow that up with this goblin? Good games, and good times.
Whew! That’s a lot. Thank you all so much for the questions, and reading all of this article. I hope you and your family are safe during this time, and are finding ways to stay connected to each other.
We’ll return to the world of Modern to discuss one of the format’s hottest decks.
Until next time…
TAP MORE MANA!!!
Trackback from your site.