No Internet Magic Arena

I Have No Internet, So I Can’t Play Magic

The date is July 28, 2020. And after returning from a three-day camping trip, I have planned to sit down and play some Magic – only to find that I can’t. You see, Comcast has decided (randomly) to cancel my internet. Which means the only methods I still had for playing Magic in the midst of the pandemic are gone.

My internet service should be restored within a couple days. So I will have the ability to play Magic again soon (hopefully, well before you’re reading this). But at nearly any other Magic-playing point in my life, I would not have hesitated to drive to my local game shop and play in a Draft, Modern tournament, or Commander event to scratch my Magic-playing itch. Given two or three days in which to find an event to attend, I would have easily found one I wanted to play in.

But now, I can’t play Magic without internet access. And I’m finding that, given how my day is already dominated by screentime and non-social activities, I’m not really that excited to play Magic Arena, anyway. I have access to Commander play and my playgroup via Tabletop Simulator, but even that is not the same as just sitting down and playing Magic with friends. Staring at a virtual tabletop and talking with people I cannot see, even my best friends, just does not recreate the feeling of slinging cards and bullshit in person. So even the prospect of playing Magic socially, over the internet, just doesn’t excite me.

Which makes me wonder how long it will be until I just don’t play Magic at all? I play Magic because I enjoy building decks. But for the last four months, I have barely considered buying new cards in paper. I play Magic because I enjoy socializing, especially within an established context. But for the last four months, most of my Magic play has consisted of me staring at a screen, alone, in my living room. I play Magic because I enjoy chatting with my friends about the latest cards, decks, bannings, and designs. But as I find myself becoming less interested in playing the game, I find myself less interested in keeping up with the “news” of it all. And so I don’t have as much to say about where Magic is, where it’s going, or even what I want from it.

What Is Magic’s Future?

What I really wonder about though, even more than the fate of my own relationship with Magic, is how common my story is. How many other players have considered just dropping Magic altogether? How will that affect game stores’ futures, when they are finally allowed to host events again? How have Summer 2020’s sets sold, and has Wizards begun adapting their release schedule and product model to account for the fact that, more than likely, this pandemic will continue another year? Is Magic: the Gathering going to survive 2020?

The answer to that last question is likely Yes. I believe Magic will survive the mess that is 2020. I think it is too good of a game for it not to survive. But I know that my relationship with Magic has changed drastically, to the point where I don’t know when I’ll bother buying paper cards again. Or whether I’ll still be playing Magic Arena when Zendikar Rising releases. Or whether you’ll be reading new entries in this blog come 2021. Without its real world benefits, Magic is losing its luster for me. And I really wonder how many other Magic players feel the same.

Arcane Signet Featured Image

Will Historic Brawl Become the Next Commander?

Commander is Magic‘s most popular constructed format for a reason. Or rather, a couple reasons.

Commander decks are fun and easy to build, and fun and easy to play. Most every Magic player owns enough cards to build a Commander deck, even if their deck isn’t optimized or especially competitive. And Commander allows players to play cards that would otherwise have sat idle in their collections (RIP Splinter Twin), within an exciting, engaging singleton format.

Most every selling point Commander has for paper Magic applies to Magic Arena‘s best “secret” format: Historic Brawl. Historic Brawl allows players to use Arena cards they’d otherwise not be able to use, building and playing decks that are as interesting and fun as most any casual Commander deck.

So with Magic Arena‘s audience growing, is Historic Brawl set to become the next Commander? Below, I’ll examine a few reasons I think Historic Brawl could become Magic‘s next big format, as well as a few factors holding Historic Brawl back.

Continue reading “Will Historic Brawl Become the Next Commander?”
Uro Titan of Natures Wrath Featured Image

Updating Niv-Mizzet Reborn for Theros: Beyond Death Brawl

Um … I’m actually not adding any Theros: Beyond Death cards to my Niv-Mizzet Reborn Brawl deck. I guess I’ll see you here again in a couple weeks? Thanks for stopping by?

Niv says it was nice to see you.

Wait, no, okay, wait – I do have an article for you. And it’s a good one, explaining exactly why no Theros: Beyond Death cards are making their way into my Niv-Mizzet Reborn deck.

Continue reading “Updating Niv-Mizzet Reborn for Theros: Beyond Death Brawl”
Magic Throne of Eldraine Brawl Commanders

My Top Throne of Eldraine Season Brawl Commanders

Brawl has finally come to Magic Arena! After a bit of finagling and a fun preview event, Magic‘s newest Wizards-supported format has finally found its way to Magic‘s newest online platform.

If the fun I’ve had playing Standard Singleton events is any indication, I’m going to have a blast playing Brawl on Magic Arena. But first, I have to select my Throne of Eldraine season Brawl Commander – and the Legendary Creatures and Planeswalkers below are at the top of my list.

Continue reading “My Top Throne of Eldraine Season Brawl Commanders”
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.

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