Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Article Spotlights

I've been collecting articles I've been finding all over the internet about Magic. Some are old; some are new. But all of them are very interesting, and in my opinion, worth looking at. 

I really enjoy sharing with you the various articles I find. I think immersing yourself in the writing people do for the game is almost a part of playing the game itself. Magic is its own culture, and culture always spreads through the medium of language. So in order to stay on top of this wonderful culture we're all a part of, I think reading a lot is essential. As the internet becomes more widespread, this gets truer for all aspects of life. 

Hopefully I can help reduce the time spent finding all these articles for everyone else. Some of the articles are just referential; some are about Magic theory; some are just fun. 

So without further ado, my list so far. (I recommend opening the links in new tabs by right-clicking. Or whatever Mac users do.)

The first item on the list actually isn't an article. Some pepole are just much better at talking about the game than writing words on paper. Although I'm not saying Patrick Chapin doesn't write good articles; just that, for some reason, listening to him speak about Magic is a much better experience. He clearly knows what he is saying at all times - and so his message comes through very clearly when he speaks. It's obvious he spends an enormous amount of time thinking about the game - in many respects, he reminds me of a math or science professor talking about a subject they're much too familiar with. 

I really enjoy PV's articles. To be perfectly honest, I thought his way of breaking down the word "tempo" and using analogies to music didn't really illuminate anything for me, but his examples really drive his points across. By approaching the question of Tempo from a more practical viewpoint, he puts Magic theory into perspective. This article really helped clear away some bad air for me.

Neale Talbot - A Game of Negotiations
Neale Talbot's explanation of Magic theory also hits up on the fact that the all of Magic's resources can be simplified into a basic substance. Many players realize this part of Magic theory, but some don't. A big part of playing the game, however, is thinking about the trades you are making and what kind of "deals" you are getting when you make trades. Generally you want to make good trades. And if you think about every move in Magic as a negotiation for resources, you can start to really break down whether certain trades are good or bad for you. The real HARD thing to do is realize what resources you have or are gaining - and which ones actually matter in the context of winning. (Sometimes gaining card resources is worse than gaining life resources, for example.)

If you're having a hard time wrapping your head around Worldwake Draft, then this article is a little better at helping you build decks and choose cards. At least, better than going off a point rating system, where it's hard to remember how all the cards relate to each other in terms of power level. Sam Black simplifies the card evaluation process by just grouping all the cards into four groups and dividing them by color and rarity. 

This article was originally written in Spanish, and I used Google Translate to translate it into kind of poor but still understandable English. ("Letter" = "Card") This document was written by high level judges for GP Madrid on the policy on altered cards for tournaments. You might want to give this a look-through if you have cards that have altered art or extended borders or something like that.

This article isn't Premium, so enjoy! It's very relevant to Magic today and the rising card prices - why exactly are particular cards, especially those for Legacy, going up so high? I can't wait for Parts 2 and 3.

A fun article about the rules of Magic. You can test your knowledge of Magic rules and ask yourself the hard questions. And also you can find out that knowing WAY too much about Magic rules is good if you want to work for Wizards on the side.

People try to make their own Magic cards all the time; the biggest way they fuck up is getting the wording wrong. Here are the most common wording mistakes on Magic card design. It's expectedly very long. Impressive job, Eurus.