Thursday, January 24, 2013

Let's Make a Team of PTQ Grinders!

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be a member of Gavin Verhey's Team Unknown Stars, which is probably the first "turning point" of how I thought of Magic.  At the time my results were awful (a lot of PTQ T8s, but never won a quarterfinals match), but I was lucky to be accepted thanks to having a lot of friends already on the team who thought I had potential.  While on the team, I still never won a PTQ (that wouldn't be until turning point #2 upon getting back from New Zealand), but my results improved, I played a large part in the design of the UB Mannequin deck, and I got to network with tons of amazing players who ended up "breaking through".  So, since I've been out of Magic for around a year now I'm going to try forming something similar to the old Team Unknown Stars.  Looking for 10-15 people to start and will start as a mailing list/Skype group, but maybe a forum will be in the near future.  The goal is to foster a discussion of the current PTQ format and get members on to the Pro Tour.  TO foster this goal, I'm going to be rather strict about who gets to be a part of this and am requiring an application.  If you're interested in joining fill out the following application (mostly stolen from the old TUS forum) and e-mail me at chrism315 at gmail dot com with the subject "Team Application":

-Your Name and age

-Your Magic accomplishments

-The last three major tournaments you attended and your record at each of them (Major tournaments are considered to be large events such as PTQ's, Regionals, Champs, Nationals, the Pro Tour, and other events on those levels or higher.)

-Why you play competitive Magic

-What your main reasons are for wanting to join the team

-What you think you would bring to the team that makes you stand out above other applicants

-What your strengths as a Magic player are

-What your weakness as a Magic player are

-What the main formats that you play and focus on are

-Which format you think you're most proficient in

-How much modo do you play?  What's your screenname?

-Do you have a blog or write for a site?  If so, link to your work.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Worst of 2012

On the other hand there are tons of articles produced this year that probably shouldn’t exist.  Wes Wise’s Magic 8-Ball article ( is one of the most out-of-place pieces of financial writing ever and I don’t really know what to say about it.  Read it at your own risk.  Ben Bleiweiss’ DKA set review ( was super misleading given his past results and I even wrote a blog post about it ( 
My article, Chasing Kate (, unfortunately also ends up here.  Jesse Mason and Jon Corpora warned me not to publish this and boy, should I have listened.  I don’t really know what to say about this one and it probably would have ended up as my worst article of 2012 had it not been for one very special gem by Jon Agley (, described by none other than Pat Chapin as: