2016 was an intense year. A lot of things happened, some good and some bad. Even for me on a personal level, I had a ridiculous amount of car trouble even until the very last day of the year. I watched a good friend of my get married. I received news that my grandmother passed away. I made day two of my first Grand Prix. I won a PPTQ and attended an RPTQ where I watched a friend queue for the PT and another miss top 8 on breakers. I have been more involved with coverage. I have been given the opportunity to write articles and guest star on the Weekly Ward. So many great things have happened this past year that I honestly can’t even try to reminisce on each and every thing.
I think the most beautiful thing about this game we play isn’t how much we thrive in the competition and victory, but how much we thrive as people at the tournaments. The friendships made at these tournaments are really what keeps me hooked. I love going with a sweet deck and crushing, but so much more than that it’s the community that I enjoy. When I really get to sit down with a new face and make a friend, that is what really makes my trips worth it.
The many people that I have befriended over the past year, as well as the entire time playing Magic, have been amazing. I wouldn’t have enough time or space or memory to be able to sit here and write them all down. If you’ve ever played against me or we hung out during or even after the tournament, this is my shout out to you. You’re the real MVP. You have made my and many other’s lives better simply by showing up and being you. Keep doing that. Keep chasing your dreams, keep crushing at Magic, but most of all keep being yourself and love every second of it.
This is my thank you!
At the time of me writing this article we are a little over a week into the new year! So far it has been pretty quiet. Not too much to report. What you say? The Banned and Restricted announcement came a week early? Oh they are probably banning the new Splinter Twin combo in standard. No? What was banned then? Emrakul? That’s fine, the card was extremely powerful… Oh Smuggler’s Copter too? Yeah, I can see that. Two mana, flying, looter copter? Yeah probably a little too powerful.
But wait there’s more?
What card? Reflector Mage? Really? So when I talk to my great great grandchildren, I get to tell them that Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Stoneforge Mystic, Emrakul, the Promised End, and Reflector Mage all belong in the same category? Tilt.
Actually having thought about it for a little while now I can see where Wizards is coming from with this ban. W/U Flash was a very powerful deck, not unbeatable, but very good. W/U Panharmonicon also takes a small hit from this, which I believe to be a good thing. With Smuggler’s Copter and Emrakul being gone that nerfs the Marvel decks and W/U Flash decks, and really gives B/G the center of attention. If that deck picks up then the natural predator to that is the Panharmonicon deck. Without Emrakul the B/G deck doesn’t have the end game to finish the Panharmonicon combo off. So this deck losing two of its pieces is actually very good for the field. I also believe that we are losing Reflector Mage because of the coming Jeskai combo deck. That card would easily slot into this deck and be a very good part of it. Reflector Mage is extremely powerful even without the combo. I hated Twin in Modern, but I might play this in Standard. Even though it is clearly a worse version, I love doing cheeky things in Standard.
A few modern bans hit the horizon as well, but let’s be honest, in Modern something always gets banned. Wizards willingness to ban cards is a little erratic and I don’t like it. However, from what we have seen, their willingness to unban cards is good. Most of the cards unbanned recently haven’t done anything really. In Golgari Grave-Trolls defense he was just fine until they printed Prized Amalgam, Insolent Neonate, and Catharic Reunion.
One new thing that I am very excited for is Fatal Push.
This card is extremely powerful and might revive a once dead Modern archtype in Sultai. The forgotten Jund deck has really fallen out of favor because the other flavors of the deck seem to have this hyper efficient one mana removal spell. *cough* Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile. *cough* Now Sultai has one as well! Me and a friend of mine have been brewing a bit for the upcoming team event the he will be attending. I am pretty excited to help him out for this. The one wall that we have been running into is that this deck doesn’t have that card when you draw it you can pull ahead or can start to catch back up. Those cards for Jund and Abzan are Kolaghan’s Command and Lingering Souls respectively. These two cards do so many things and have so much impact at every point in a game that it really sells the archtypes. Sultai has things like Ancestral Vision and other draw spells, but late game when you are behind the card doesn’t do much.
Overall I am very excited for 2017. I am hoping to really get things done this year. I am excited to be part of the coverage team for Kirwan’s Game Store on February 4th [PRE-REGISTER HERE] especially with a new Modern format on the horizon. I am excited to get back to South Korea sometime in the near future. I am excited for the things to come in my future. I hope you are as well.
One thing I cannot advocate enough is to set goals for yourself. I’m not talking about saying to yourself that you will lose weight, or practice more for tournaments, or that you will try to be a better person. I mean actual goals. Ones that you will write down on pieces of paper in all the places you frequent everyday so that you will see it, remember it, and apply it. I personally would love to queue for a Pro Tour, that was one of my goals when I was hard at the grind. I am going to write it down because I will take the opportunities when they present themselves but I won’t be in an area nor will I be surrounded by the people that support that grind.
Goals I am setting for myself this year:
Get back to South Korea
Find a real job and consider permanently moving there
Qualify for the Pro Tour
Attend a Grand Prix in a foreign country
Upgrade my MTGO collection and possibly start streaming
Go see a shaman or otherworldly entity to try and remove my vehicle curse
Write another book
Make more friends
Alright some of those last ones are a little cheesy, but still just as important as the rest. Thanks for reading this and all of my other articles. I appreciate all of you guys. Have a great 2017. If you want, feel free to add me on social media and MTGO!
As always, stay humble and stay hungry