Stidjen's Magic

Anything I want to say about Magic

Looking ahead while looking back

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This Sunday I will be participating in a prerelease event after about a year of absence from those. Why am I back, and why am I looking forward to it? Here’s why.


But first, lemme tell you about my new tattoo! That was the last thing I wrote about on this blog (twice, actually), and while I have talked at length about it on my other (Dutch) blog, but not here. Unacceptable! I cry outrage! Anyway, here it is, in all it’s shiny glory:


In short, this tattoo represents all the cool things that Magic gave me, most of all my friends. First I found a lotus mandala, which seemed like a good place to start. I found another image of a skull combined with a mandala, and then I knew what I wanted. The skull doesn’t have a particular meaning to it – unlike my previous tattoo (link in Dutch again), this one is more open to interpretation than my first one. And that’s okay.

My first one symbolizes hope, and this one symbolized friendship. My girlfriend said that my left arm symbolizes hope, and my right arm symbolizes the people I can rely on when I lose hope. Well, girlfriend… Then-girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend. Meh. We just broke up, and playing Magic is a great way for me to relax and take my mind off of things.


I remember having an awesome time at the prereleases I went to, whether it was with friends or alone. But with friends, it’s always more fun. While my usual partners-in-crime Rick and Jeroen are occupied, I will be joined by another partner-in-crime in the shape of Robert. (And maybe even my good ol’ friend Norman, too.) I look forward to a day of reminiscing, having in-jokes, and having a good time together (and kebab afterwards, ofcourse).



Yes, I’m back at a prerelease. I remember going to my shop a few months ago and getting asked by the store owner where I’d been, and that he hadn’t seen me a while. That was nice, and also one of the reasons I want to go back – meeting people I only meet in the shop, and mostly on prerelease events.


I just missed playing in prereleases. The deckbuilding, the anticipation what you’re gonna crack (for me, it’s about trying to beat my Avacyn Restored-record, where I opened Bonfire of the Damned as well as Temporal Mystery and a foil Desolate Lighthouse), the people you play against, and the extra loot you hopefully can take home afterwards. It’s been a while, so I wonder how I’ll manage. As always, I’m hoping for a 4-2 record or better, which guarantees me at least three packs.


Since my friends and I started playing Commander Lite (and stopped playing anything else), the way we look at new sets has changed drastically. Rares and mythics are almost nonexistent, unless they happen to be legendary creatures. In a limited format, rares do exist. But since I have no collection anymore (nor the desire to), I wonder what I will do with the rares I open. On the flip side, there are a lot of commons and uncommons I need for my decks, so I’m happy to have a fun day and reduce my upcoming preorder.


Speaking of which, all those commons and uncommons I need are of course for my Commander Lite decks. And speaking of which, since I’m done talking about the prerelease, I decided to fill you in on the current state of my decks.



My first Commander is still one of my favorites and most powerful ones. It feels like I can almost always answer tough situations, if not directly then via the ridonkulous card advantage of my Commander. Some of the newest inclusions are Qarsi High Priest, Whirler Rogue and Feast on the Fallen.

Possible Battle for Zendikar additions:Blighted Cateract, Forerunner of Slaughter, Herald of Kozilek, Hedron Archive, Vampiric Rites



This one is getting more and more streamlined, but it’s a tough balance. I tried to make the deck powerful enough to function without Riku, but that’s a delicate balance. I started playing more early-game stuff that also works good late-game, like Brainstorm and Preordain. Other recent adds include Isochron Scepter, Ventmaw Dragon and Thunderous Wrath.

Possible Battle for Zendikar additions:Brood Monitor, Hedron Archive, Plated Crusher, Windrider Patrol



Our lithomancer was having trouble dealing with, well, opponents, but after I added a little enchantment recursion subtheme, things started looking up. I also went with a few early creatures that could pick up an equipment and start beating down. Among the newest additions are cards like Seeker of the Way, Consul’s Lieutenant and Suppression Bonds.

Possible Battle for Zendikar additions:Encircling Fissure, Gideon’s Reproach, Hedron Archive, Ondu Rising, Retreat to Emeria, Serene Steward, Stasis Snare



Ah, Bananaboy. For a while this was my best deck, but I started diluting the core essence of the deck. I want as much tutors and ‘choose one’-cards as possible, to give my opponents a bad choice every time I activate Tasigur. New additions are Archaeomancer, Lim-Dûls Vault and Borderland Ranger.

Possible Battle for Zendikar additions:Brood Monitor, Catacomb Sifter, Hedron Archive, Plated Crusher, Retreat to Coralhelm, Retreat to Hagra, Rising Miasma


Our favorite fungal overlord is a deck that has a high curve and can come out swinging once the mana flows. I’m currently looking to up the mana count so that I can cast all my cool cards, like new additions Enduring Scalelord, Patron of the Valiant, and Cytoplast Root-Kin.

Possible Battle for Zendikar additions:Brood Monitor, Catacomb Sifter, Encircling Fissure, Gideon’s Reproach, Hedron Archive, Ondu Rising, Retreat to Emeria, Retreat to Kazandu, Rising Miasma, Serene Steward, Vampiric Rites



After a brief stint with Pia and Kiran Nalaar, I switched to Kurkesh and saw my deck quickly turning on the overdrive. You can’t copy mana abilities, but you can copy untap abilities like those of Voltaic Key, Basalt Monolith and Clock of Omens. There’s a lot of card draw here, as well as some sorcery recursion with Anarchist and Recoup. Sorceries like Rolling Thunder and Jaws of Stone don’t mind being cast twice.

Possible Battle for Zendikar additions: Blighted Gorge, Breaker of Armies, Hedron Archive, Retreat to Valakut, Titan’s Presence

The end!

This is the end of this article! No more explanation marks! And no more words (I’m over 1000 again, sigh).

I’ll see you next time, whenever that may be.

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