Matt Plays Magic’s 50th Post Extravaganza!

Hey y’all, and welcome to the party!

Elvish House Party - Matt Plays Magic 50th Post Extravaganza
Come on in!

I’m celebrating Matt Plays Magic‘s 50th post with 50 random facts and observations about the blog, Magic, and life in general. Strap on your party hat and step inside, as I get prepped to write 50 more posts (and then 50 more, and then 50 more, and then 50 more…).

  1. I’ve been playing Magic since roughly 2003. Which makes it 14 years since I bought my first Theme Deck. I’m pretty sure it was this one.
  2. Apples are the best tournament snacks. Not messy, self-contained, easy to throw in a backpack. For a long tournament, I’ll bring an apple, a sandwich, and a water bottle.
  3. Tron players seem to be the biggest sticklers at Modern FNMs. Anecdotal evidence, but it’s been true for me across multiple states.
  4. I think about how the concepts of equity and iteration apply towards life a LOT more since listening to Limited Resources. I don’t even play Limited. I just listen to hear Marshall and Luis chat.
  5. There’s a direct correlation between how good a shop’s Magic scene is and how many windows the shop has. Check it out for yourself. I think you’ll find I’m right.
  6. The blog’s most popular article? 2017’s U/R Delver Deck Tech. Which is exactly the article I’d want to be on top.
    Electrolyze - Matt Plays Magic
  7. Wizards still needs to stop messing around in the Command Zone. Eminence was a better attempt than some in the past, but I still think it’ll turn out to be a mistake.
  8. I always make Storm players finish their combos. Because it just seems right.
  9. Pack Wars are still great. My wife and I battled Amonkhet vs. Kaladesh the other week and got into a heated argument about whether a Grim Strider could be stopped by having his privileges revoked. A good time was had by all.
  10. I very much want to play against the Mono-Black Panharmonicon deck that’s been popping up at Tuesdsay Night Modern. If only to have a wonderful bad beats story when I lose to it.
  11. Infect was a mistake. And the deck’s criminally underplayed in Modern right now.
  12. Fact or Fiction is still the best Magic card, but Lightning Bolt‘s the second best. Expect an article on this in the future.
  13. I sometimes secretly wish Snapcaster Mage had never been printed, so I could try to make Izzet Guildmage work in Modern. But there’s just no reason when Snappy is around.
  14. I once lost a game of Commander to Dying WishSad but true.
  15. Minneapolis is my favorite city I’ve traveled to explicitly to play Magic. But keep in mind that my sample size is extremely small.
  16. Triple Khans of Tarkir is my favorite draft format. I think I’ll always bring at least one Khans pack to every Chaos Draft I do. Morphs and mana-fixing rule.
    Abzan Guide - Matt Plays Magic
  17. The most views the blog’s had in one day is 213. Which is what happens when you share your post on Reddit.
  18. Uncommon is the best rarity. Uncommons hold decks together and provide powerful effects without doing completely zany stuff that new players don’t understand. That’s what makes them the lynchpin of Magic.
  19. There is not very much Standard Pauper content out there. I know because people keep coming to this blog looking for it.
  20. Goblin Charbelcher plus Endless Horizons is the Modern combo that I just want to make work. I’ll break it eventually.
  21. At FNM, if your deck makes tokens, always come with one more token than you think you’ll need. It’ll save you a bunch of time when you discover that, yes, your deck can make THAT MANY tokens.
  22. I made a Modern-legal Pauper Cube. You can find the list here. I’ll probably write about it some day soon. It needs a few updates.
  23. Eight matches is the perfect length for a serious tournament. Nine matches in a day is one too many. Less than eight would honestly be better, but more than eight and I’m guaranteed to have a splitting headache by the end of the day.
  24. How many Commander decks is too many Commander decks? For me, it’s five. I’m considering ditching one in the near future, as I don’t play often enough to merit keeping five decks up to date.
  25. The blog’s least popular articles? It’s a tie between the intro post, the Pack Wars post, a Magic Duels post (which who cares at this point), and the very personal “What the Hell, What the Hell, What the Hell?”. No links here because I’ve accepted their fate (except for Pack Wars, but I’ve already linked that one).
  26. I very badly want to make a Commander deck that can win only via Maze’s End. But I always back off because I’m afraid it’ll get boring too quickly.
    Maze's End - Matt Plays Magic
  27. Always cast at least one “dead” spell into a Chalice of the Void. Because you’ve gotta keep ’em honest.
  28. Blogging is a million times easier than streaming. At least, it is for me. You can sit down with a blog post whenever you want, for however long you want, as long as it goes live on time. Streaming demands a sustained, scheduled time commitment that I’ve found I just can’t keep up with.
  29. At the time of this writing, there are 17,202 printed Magic cards. That is, assuming no card’s name contains the word “Muffin”.
  30. I don’t respect the Red splash in Grixis Death’s Shadow enough. I keep on brewing Esper and straight Blue-Black versions, though I know both are super vulnerable to Chalice of the Void. Kolaghan’s Command is one of the hardest working cards in Modern.
  31. Wurmcoil Engine‘s probably my favorite Creature. Though it’s close between the wurm and Young Pyromancer. Wurmcoil’s German printing pushes it over the edge.
    Wurmspiralmaschine - Matt Plays Magic 50th Post Extravaganza
  32. People who play decks full of foreign cards at tournaments are the worst. Most often, it seems like they do this just to illicit a misplay, not because they want to show off their bling. Again, small sample size, etc. But that’s been my experience.
  33. Tournament reports are hard to write. It’s very easy to write too much about each match, producing a report no one will read. At the same time, if you don’t write the report while the tournament’s fresh in your mind, it’s easy to forget or misremember things. I’ve settled on writing reports within a day or two of the tournament and sticking to 250 words or less per match.
  34. Allies are the best tribe in Magic. Come at me if you disagree.
  35. I had a chance to buy the Divine vs. Demonic Duel Deck while studying abroad in Australia and passed on it. I was more into Heroclix at the time. Still kinda kicking myself over that one.
  36. After Maze’s End, the next two Commander decks I’d build would be Gahiji, Honored One and Numot, the Devastator. But again, I’m currently taking decks apart, not putting them together.
  37. There are five cards with the word “Matt” in their name. Can you guess what they are before clicking this link? (I couldn’t.)
  38. I’ve sleeved up an Australian Highlander deck twice, only to never play it. Australian Highlander is my “Fetch”.
  39. Magic taught me I could fit into a Small t-shirt. They ran out of Mediums at GP Detroit, so I took what I could get. It’s a little tight around the pecs, but otherwise fits pretty well.
  40. Simian Spirit Guide should be banned from Modern. Street Wraith and Mox Opal likely should be too, at some point. All three cards do things that bend fundamental rules of the game.
  41. I am one of those players who traded a fetchland without knowing what it was. But I don’t feel too bad, because the friend I traded it to did the same damn thing.
    Wooded Foothills - Matt Plays Magic
  42. There are zero cards with the word “Ledger” in their name. So I’ll never get that Matt Ledger theme deck going.
  43. Sleep. Before. Tournaments. And always play one or two quick practice games at the start of the day. You want to be well rested and make sure you’ve primed your engine before a real match begins.
  44. We’ve touched on my favorite Instant and my favorite Creature. What are my favorite cards of other types? That would be telling. But I’ll tell you one of them starts with “Decree”.
  45. There is no better feeling than watching an opponent mulligan while you have a Thoughtseize in your hand. Unless you like them, in which case it sucks.
  46. The article I’m most proud of? That’d probably be this “Why I Play Commander” article. I still haven’t found a good way to do something like it again, though I keep trying.
  47. I’m likely to play Legacy for the first time this January. Because it’s a good excuse to travel to Seattle. It’s either Modern side tournaments or Legacy Death’s Shadow for me at the Seattle GP.
  48. I’d really like to listen to Mark Rosewater’s Drive to Work podcast, but I just can’t get past his voice. Which really sucks, because he’s my favorite Magic content producer. Mark’s articles on the Mothership are the absolute best, and if you haven’t read A Whack on the Side of the Head based on his recommendation, you really should.
  49. Glimpse the Unthinkable really needs a reprint. Because people stuck on playing Mill decks deserve to be able to play on a budget. (Edit: Since I originally wrote this article, Glimpse got reprinted! Yay!)
  50. Blogging about Magic gets easier the more you do it. Just like everything else.
    Training Grounds - Matt Plays Magic

And that’s it for the extravaganza! Thanks for coming to the party, and thanks for reading the blog! I hope you’ll stick with it, as I’m not planning on going anywhere.

Next up on Matt Plays Magic, it’s finally time to do a deadly deck tech.



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