Finale of Promise Featured Image - Matt Plays Magic

Was Gonna Write a Real Post, But Spent All My Time Playing Izzet Phoenix Instead

I’m in the midst of writing a lengthy post on how to manage Magic‘s bonkers-fast release schedule on a budget. I promise. However, “researching” that post required me to dive back in to Magic Arena, and I have yet to find my way out.

Reader, I’ve fallen in love with the latest version of Izzet Phoenix.

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Smiting Helix Featured Image

It Is Super Weird That Mono-Black Now Has Access to Lightning Helix

But it makes sense when you think it through.

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Niv Mizzet Reborn Featured Raymond Swanland

The All-Ravnica Niv-Mizzet Reborn Commander Deck

In keeping with his character, the latest version of Niv-Mizzet offers near limitless Commander deckbuilding opportunities:

Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Matt Plays Magic

All Niv asks is that you play a large number of exactly two color cards, spread throughout the ten guild combos, in your Commander deck. From there, Niv will do his best to put a bunch of your deck into your hand each time you summon him from the Command Zone.

When faced with so very many possibilities, it can be helpful to remember that (as Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater is so fond of saying) restrictions breed creativity. As I began thinking through restrictions that could help me build a fun-yet-unusual Niv-Mizzet Reborn deck, I almost immediately hit upon one that delighted me.

Ravnica (home of Niv-Mizzet and the guilds) is one of my favorite Magic planes. Niv-Mizzet now represents all of Ravnica in the Magic story, so why not let him do so in Commander as well?

And that’s how I hit upon building an all-Ravnica Niv-Mizzet Commander deck. If the card wasn’t printed in the Ravnica, Return to Ravnica, or Guilds of Ravnica block, you won’t see it in this deck. Instead, you’ll see a deck that boils Ravnica down to its essence – a world of guilds, gates, cooperation, and chaos.

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Prodigious Growth Featured

Some Things Are More Important Than Magic

It’s been a hectic couple months here at Matledge Media. At the end of March, my wife and I flew to the Midwest to visit family for a week. Then, almost immediately in April, I flew back to attend my Grandma’s funeral.

In between those two trips, my wife and I finished apartment hunting. As I’m writing this, we’re in the midst of the moving process. That process has taken longer than expected because, last weekend, I hooked up with some friends in Denver and spent the weekend hiking, drinking quite a few craft beers, and reading the heck out of A Memory Called Empire (which I would recommend; it’s very good).

All of which is to say, Magic has largely taken a backseat to more important things in my life over the past couple months. Because some things are more pressing than keeping up with War of the Spark spoilers or catching coverage of the latest Modern tournament.

And yet …

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Mishras Bauble Header Matt Plays Magic

Dimir Death’s Shadow – Version Two

After recently losing a whole bunch of matches with Modern Storm, I found myself wanting to pilot a Modern deck that I knew inside and out – and that I could actually WIN with. So I sleeved up my “innovative” Blue-Black Death’s Shadow deck … with just a few changes.

Turns out, Death’s Shadow pilots have been working toward even more streamlined versions of the deck while I’ve been dorking around with Storm and Magic Arena. And while I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) incorporate every change I found, some of them seemed like significant upgrades to my Blue-Black brew.

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