This week’s In Development – podcasting! (not that kind)

It’s In Development time again, and this week the topic of choice is a card you may well have expected me to have written about already – Birthing Pod! What does it do? How does it impact the game? What’s the best Birthing Pod deck out there, and how can the Pod (appropriately) lead us down the path to subtle yet inexorable failure?
It’s all in there, along with some deck lists, 75% of which can end the game with one or another variety of infinite combo (including Jonathon Loucks’ craziness from the Seattle Open, which features two takes on arbitrarily large numbers).
So click here to read the article, then join the conversation. Which Pod is best?
Note that The Field Report is being deferred one week as I spent all my free time this week trying to break the commodity chemicals metagame instead of Standard.

This week’s In Development – going into exile (with bonus sideboarding notes)

It’s In Development time again, and this week it’s all about U/W Control.
In post-M12 Standard, U/W Control is a force to be reckoned with once again. This week, I’ve explained the highs and lows of U/W Control, as well as presenting my build for Sea Gate Control – my own peculiar U/W variation.
…and, as requested by Michael Perry over on twitter, here are some basic sideboarding notes for the deck:
Versus Valakut
+2 Flashfreeze
+2 Negate
-3 Wall of Omens
-1 Day of Judgment
Versus U/W and U/B Control (generally include CawBlade variations as well)
+3 Azure Mage
+2 Negate
-3 Wall of Omens
-2 Day of Judgment
Versus Tempered Steel, Vampires, and other creature-based archetypes
+4 Timely Reinforcements
-3 Spell Pierce
-1 Jace, Memory Adept
Versus Splinter Twin
+2 Negate
+4 Dismember
-3 Wall of Omens
-3 Day of Judgment
This covers most of the major metagame territory. Feel free to ask in the comments if you’d like more elaboration on any of the matchups.

This week’s In Development – touched by an angel (naming red)

In Development time has come again, and this week the topic is the aggro-combo deck I’ve been monkeying with for the past week or two.
Yes, we are Trapping large things into play.
Click here to read about my adventures in Summoning, including a discussion of those Trap odds and the true engine of the Trap deck (hint: not its namesake card).

This week’s In Development – an infinite combo and a bonk on the head

In Development time has rolled around again, and I’m setting theory aside to give you an infinite combo stapled to an aggro deck stapled to another aggro deck — all in the same seventy-five cards!
Setting aside the bombast for a bit, this week’s Standard deck won’t save you from the specter of Stoneforge Mystics and their gear, but it will give you a chance to do silly infinite things with Phyrexian Metamorph while you’re swinging with Vengevines and hacking away with Swords (of War, Peace, Feast, and Famine in this case).
It’s been a while since we’ve had a good aggro-combo build in Standard, and it’s fun to play a deck that can attack on so many friends, especially as other decks in the format narrow down and become more focused.
So, check out the article, then comment, mail me, or hit me up on twitter and let me know what you think.

This week’s In Development – to Chancellor or not to Chancellor?

It’s in Development time again!
This week I’m directing my borderline over-intense focus on the question of whether Chancellor of the Tangle is any good at all, staring from the basic question of, “How often do I get one in my opening hand?”
Click here to read the article, and then let me know what you think. Will you be Tangling in Standard starting this weekend?

This week’s In Development – your concepts go where you cannot

We had a local Nationals Qualifier last weekend – two, actually.
Sadly, I couldn’t make it to either one. Work took precedence and I had to let them slide. As you’d expect, it was pretty frustrating.
Although I wasn’t able to play with the deck I’d built and tested for the weekend, it turns out that someone else was.
Click here to read about how my deck got to play in the SCG Standard Open in Charlotte while I spent the weekend cracking down on some science.

This week’s In Development – What 2 life gets you and does to the game

Regular readers of In Development have probably noticed that I’m not one for set reviews. Part of this is that I tend to zone out a little if I try to comment on each and every card in a new set. The rest is that we already have Luis doing the best set reviews around, so there’s no need to waste my time writing a review that will cover less ground than Luis does.
However, when there are new mechanics, I like to talk about those.
In this week’s In Development, I tackle Phyrexian mana – those funky little colored phi symbols that let you pay life rather than mana, should you be so inclined. Phyrexian mana lives in the land of alt costs, and I’m a big fan of those…as well as addressing each new idea that’s queued up to “ruin Magic forever.”
So click here to read the article, then comment, find me on twitter, or email me to let me know what you think.

This week’s In Development – Putting a cap on extraction

It’s in Development time again, and this time around I’m asking a very simple question.
Is this a good card?
No? No.
But why not?
The situational nature of the value of this kind of effect is something players learn eventually as they progress in their skill at Magic, and this week I’ve put together what I hope is a concise explanation about why these cards often don’t do as much as you wish they did, and how this applies to a card from the upcoming New Phyrexia.
Click here to read the article, and then comment, post to twitter, or email me to let me know what you think.

This week’s In Development – She’s big in Barcelona

It’s In Development time again, and this week I get to talk about playing U/B Control featuring this nice lady here.
Well, “featuring” in the sense that it runs two copies of Liliana and six copies of Jace. As always, various iterations of everyone’s favorite blue planeswalker tend to dominate any U/x control build at the moment. Nonetheless, it’s a deck that actually uses Liliana to good effect, so much so that Guillaume Wafo-Tapa cited her as the co-star MVP in his deck next to Precursor Golem.
I cut the Golems, so you can see where my loyalties lie.
Click here to read this week’s In Development, and then talk to me in the comments, via twitter, or email to let me know what you think about U/B Control in today’s Standard.

This week’s In Development – In lieu of Kodamas, Angels

You ever have one of those hazy, busy weeks where you don’t quite notice when the time passes?
Yeah. That’s this week.
Nonetheless, I still got to write about one of my Standard decks of choice this week over at ChannelFireball, and you can read about it by clicking here.
Lately, I’ve been drawn to everyone’s favorite 5/5 angel. In this week’s In Development, you’ll see the product of my fondness for the big lady combined with my appreciation of Magic history as I turn the way-back machine to 2005 in my search for new ways to kill Caw-Blade decks while remaining competitive against everyone else.
As always, click here to read it, and then hit me up on twitter or via email to let me know what you think.