My 2020 Magic: The Gathering Resolutions

While I typically set yearly goals for myself, I’ve never gone out of my way to set goals for how I’ll interact with Magic.

However, 2019 was a year of major upheaval for our favorite game, and 2020 seems set to introduce even more changes. With that in mind, I wanted to set myself some 2020 Magic resolutions, to keep my efforts focused and ensure that I continue to enjoy playing, thinking about, and writing about Magic.

Play at My Local Store More

In the last few months, I’ve played Magic at my local store just once. Earlier in the year, I played in my local Tuesday Night Modern tournaments two, three, and sometimes even four times per month. A busy fall and holiday season explains some of my late 2019 gap, as does my now slightly longer commute to my local store. But if I’m being honest, the ability to play online via Arena is the primary reason I’m attending less local game nights.

Which is worrying. And not just for me – I know my local store has been having trouble firing Standard events recently (roughly since Arena came out). There are likely a variety of factors that have contributed to FNM Standard’s decline, and my local store has bounced back by offering Modern and Pauper alongside Draft and Commander on Friday nights. But the fact that the store has had to shift its FNM model away from Magic‘s “base” format is troubling. If Arena begins adding more formats, will local stores have trouble hosting those formats’ events as well?

I highly value having access to a local game store. To show that, I plan to attend more local events in 2020 – even on nights when I’d rather just skip the drive, stay in, and play Arena instead.

Play at Least One MagicFest Main Event

Longtime readers know this blog was founded as a way for me to level up my Magic game and do better in larger tournaments. While the blog’s goals have shifted (in line with my own), I do really want to play in at least one high-stakes tournament next year.

Whether that’s a MagicFest main event, or something a little more local like an NRG series event, I want to make sure to scratch my competitive itch in 2020. The fact that I’m focusing down to one deck per format anyway (see the next resolution) should help me prepare to play my best, as will my resolution to get out to my local shop for Modern (or Pioneer) more regularly. I’m still ironing out exactly when and where I’m planning to play in a larger event, but I’ve got my eye on a few – depending on how the beginning of 2020 shakes out.

Stick to My 2020 Magic Budget

Tomorrow, The 2020 Magic Budget Project starts in full force. The project’s not an attempt to rein in my Magic spending (I don’t actually spend all that much on Magic) so much as an attempt to track my spending – and see what staying current costs in my primary formats.

As a result of the Budget Project, I likely won’t be building many new decks in 2020. I have one or two Commander decks I’d like to let myself build, but I’ll need to play my current decks more before I allow myself to build anything new. I definitely won’t be building anything new in Modern or Pioneer, as keeping up with new Death’s Shadow and Izzet Phoenix cards will surely exhaust my budget for those formats.

I am highly curious to see how much of my 2020 budget goes toward Pioneer, as that number will likely reflect a) the format’s evolution and b) how much I actually play Pioneer. I know my local store has fired some amount of Pioneer events, and I am very ready to reanimate some Arclight Phoenixes. But I don’t think we have a “locked-in” Pioneer night just yet, so it might take a bit of finagling to put Arclight and Treasure Cruise to work.

Keep My Pauper Cube Up to Date

In 2019, I was fairly terrible at keeping my Modern Pauper Cube up to date. In fact, I don’t think I’ve added any new cards since Ixalan block finished in 2018! That means I have to look through all of the following sets (many of which are super powerful) for cards that should be added to the Cube:

  • Dominaria.
  • M19.
  • Guilds of Ravnica.
  • Ravnica Allegiance.
  • War of the Spark.
  • M20.
  • Throne of Eldraine.
  • Modern Horizons (as well as any rarity downshifts from 2018’s Masters sets).

I know there are a bunch of straightforward swaps to be made (fare thee well, Mulch, for Winding Way is here), as well as entire new archetypes to consider (if Arcum’s Astrolabe is banned in Pauper, is that a sign that I just should not add it to the Cube?). I’ll likely be using some of that Magic budget I talked about above to get caught up on the sets I’ve missed. Then, I’ll have to set up a system to review each Modern-legal set as it releases.

My current plan is to set a calendar reminder to review each new set roughly three months after its release. That should be enough time for Limited Resources and Reddit to feed me information on what Commons are worth including. However, if you’re a Cube curator with a better system for evaluating and adding new cards to your Cube throughout the year, let me know how you do it. Because I feel like my proposed system is pretty basic …

Record More Video Content for the Blog

This item is one I’ve been set to do for the last several months, but not quite gotten to. I have a Brawl deck I love, some alone time on Wednesdays (in which my wife is practicing silks), and OBS loaded and ready to record. The only thing I’ve been lacking is the motivation to talk to myself through three to five games of Brawl.

I use my Wednesday Arena time, especially, as a way to wind down and relax after working earlier in the day. And as a mostly introverted individual, a full day of socializing at work is often enough chit-chat to run down my talk batteries.

That said, I do really want to get some video content up on the blog, if only to see I can produce something informative and entertaining. In 2020, I’m planning to produce one to two videos each quarter – most likely focused on Brawl. If that’s something you’d be interested in seeing, please leave your encouragement and feedback below. If I know people are waiting for it, I’m much more likely to record (or even stream) some Brawl content.

I’m hoping these five resolutions will help me not just maintain my current relationship with Magic, but focus on getting better, enjoying my local Magic scene more, and expanding this blog into new horizons. If you’ve got any hopes or resolutions for how your own next year of Magic will go, feel free to leave ’em in the comments below. And until next time, Happy New Year!

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