Episode 55 – Blind Ambition

Trying to find our own blind spots is tough.  By definition, we can’t see what we can’t see and so we can often wander, convinced that we just need a little more practice (which is often also true), when maybe we have a revelation and a real level up waiting for us if only we could see it.

Well, if you can’t see your own blind spots, allow us to help a bit by pointing out… Amie’s.  Specifically, for David Ochoa to point out Amie’s and for it to spark a discussion between them and us that was so important, it took us a whole extra week to record it!  There were actually no technical issues at all on my part, just a desire to completely practice this episode at least once to get it juuuuuuust right before bringing it to you.  And here it is!

We mentioned the Fearless Magic Inventory, something that started with Sam Stoddard’s article way back in the ancient times of 2007 and was revived by Graeme McIntyre last year.  Take it, be honest, and see if looking deep into yourself can revel something you’ve been missing!

Episode 54 – Sharing your Spark with Hallie Santo

Hello again everyone!  One of the most magical (yes, I went there) things about our game is the way so many different people from all different backgrounds can play together.  I’ve been able to share a game of Magic with someone who I didn’t share a language with, but we both understood how to tap cards, cast spells, and that Inferno Titan into Wurmcoil Engine was a pretty good play.

But personally, I’m not content with the people we have: I’m constantly wanting more!  More coworkers, more kids, more random people who happen to be nearby when I’m idly shuffling cards to come and join us.  Amie and I talk this week with Hallie Santo, Community Manager for Card Kingdom (my personal LGS) about the fun of teaching others and some tips for doing so.  Have a listen!

Oh, did you need even more of a reason to listen?  How about some brand new Battle Decks from Card Kingdom!  Battle Decks are a great way to get someone who’s learned the game a little deeper in and they’re a lot of fun even for those of us who’ve been around a year or 5.  Listen to the show, tweet at us (@plnswalkerguide) with your tips for teaching new players, and we’ll send you the new ones as soon as they’re available.  Thanks Card Kingdom!

Episode 53 – Would you like to play a game?

Once again, spoiler season is upon us and once again, Magic delivers.  Personally, I always expect that maybe this time I won’t be as excited for the new mechanics, the new art, the Thing That Seems Too Good To Be True But Actually Isn’t, and the Thing That Doesn’t Look That Good Yet But Then OMG This Is Exactly What Was Needed In My Bew 42 land Swans Kiki Jund Affinity deck.  And yet, I’m always excited.  Every time.  That’s why I’m still here.

And, to be 100% serious, is actually Important.  To have something that lets us unplug and unwind.  To give us reasons to go out and meet new people and have new experiences.  To give us all a shared language that’s one of happiness.  So yeah, we get a little political in this one, and a little philosophical too.  Because play and rest and happiness are all just as important as the Big Important Things that might be otherwise occupying our time and minds and hearts.  If you feel like listening to us talk about a game for 90 minutes is a guilty pleasure, let Amie and I remind that there is no such thing and take a well deserved break with us.

Episode 52 – The Price of Progress

This seems obligatory:

I’m sure there’s a ridiculous combo here somewhere, but we don’t mention it on this show at all.  In fact, apart from one passing mention of 42 land Swans, we don’t have anything to say about cards today.  Instead, we decided to look at and around the side of our favorite game that is always there, but often glanced over: the business.  Want to know why Standard is stale, why mistakes are made, why Tournament Organizers exist and why we trust Channel Fireball in 2018?  Its because those dollars are pretty important to the people who not only love the game and want to see it succeed, but whose rent and car payments are dependent on it doing so.  If you believe in seeking first to understand, there’s maybe something here to be enlightened by.  Enjoy!

Oh, and 42 land swans?  IT IS GLORIOUS.

Episode 51 – Something something top 5 esports something

Can we all take a moment to realize that Amie really is living the dream?  Like… the dream.  The one you had as a kid when you realized that ice cream was awesome and it has to come from somewhere and so you were going to be the president of ice cream or the pope of ice cream or at least some kind of Ice Cream Executive and wouldn’t that be amazing?

Well, Amie is that president/pope/executive, so we’re giving her a break this week to do her own brand of delicious magic while I call up Mario so we can talk about ours.  Specifically, about esports, Magic, and how one of these things is not like the other, but would really really like to be.  Also, we both think the Invocations from Amonket look pretty cool and we’re not ashamed to say it.  Enjoy!

Want more thoughts about esports?  Mario recommends an excellent vlog post about watchability in esports, which is totally a word despite the red squiggles that are trying to tell me otherwise.  You can see it here:

Episode 50 – Interactivity and Fairness with Erin Campbell

Well, a bout of laryngitis almost meant that you all didn’t get an episode this week, but fortunately we get by with a little help from our friends.  In this case, our friend is the lovely and talented Erin Campbell, who comes on every 25 episodes (we’ve just discovered) to grace us with her wit, charm, and perspective.  We talk about how incredibly busy Erin’s life is as part of the Magic community, interactivity and fairness in Magic, whatever the hell 150 card Scapeshift is, and the fact that I am not now, nor will I ever be, pregnant with a human child.  Enjoy!

150 card Scapeshift!?! That can’t be real… can it? 

Want more Erin Campbell?  Well, get in line.

The line starts with the Girlfriend Bracket, which you can find over here.

And it continues with Magic Mics, which you can find here.

Episode 49 – MOCS, MM2017, and Cube!

We had one thing to talk about this week.  ONE THING.  And then, well, things happened.  Listen and see what I mean…

The finals of the MOCS (Magic Online Championship Series) was this weekend and a big congratulations to Josh Utter-Leyton for taking the whole thing down.  This is a great event to watch and, if you missed the live show, there are still some replays you can (and should!) see over here:


Also, in case you missed the flood of announcements this last week, Modern Masters 2017 is almost upon us and the flood of value we are forecasting is absolutely incredible.  So many great cards getting reprinted means that the Modern format should be that much more accessible to everyone and we couldn’t be more excited.  If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can check out the visual spoiler for the set over here:


And finally, Cube!  There are a lot of great cube resources, as we mentioned on the show.

Cube Tutor, a great repository of cube lists. 

Cube building advice from Melissa DeTora. 

Cube playing advice from Reid Duke. 

And finally, Nick Nobody’s cube blog, which is some of the most thorough analysis I’ve seen of cube designs.


Episode 48 – What exactly is good anyway?

Amie and I have talked a lot this year about what it’s like for us to work on becoming good Magic players.  This week, we take some time to look at what exactly being ‘good’ might mean.  For us, it certainly goes beyond tournament results and competitive play and reaches into the heart of a kind of mastery of a craft that we both have experienced in other areas of our life.  We talk a fair bit about martial arts, cooking, and philosophy this week, but it all manages to circle back to this question; what does it mean to us to get good at something?  Have a listen and find out!

Episode 47 – Amie and AJ and Brad and Jose

No, it isn’t the title of a Woody Allen movie (…or is it…  No.  No it’s not).  Brad and Jose join Amie and I on this week’s show to get an update from them on learning Magic and getting involved while still playing casually.  It’s easy for competitive players to forget, but most people simply aren’t into the tournament scene, but they’re a huge part of our community and being able to draw more people in is good for everyone.  Hear us talk about learning to play, Magical Taco Tuesdays, and why Battle Decks are just so awesome.

Episode 46 – Tuning up Double Moon Walkers

So yeah there was a Pro Tour this weekend and making infinite cats is less of a thing than many people thought it would be and it turns out that disintegrating things (with or without a license) is actually far more effective than some people thought it would be and seriously people do you really need to be told that?  I’ll happily take the role of the disintegration hipster, vaporizing things long before it was cool and not letting The Man stop me with licensing fees and excessive mana requirements.

But since the Pro Tour failed to capture our attention, we’re chatting tonight about deck tuning with Amie’s latest Modern deck, as well as talking about her play experience with it so far.  She’ll be posting the deck lists soon, but you can hear her commentary RIGHT NOW by clicking here:

As mentioned, hypergeometric calculation is both an incredibly nerdy thing to say and also super useful.  You can use the internet to avoid learning math by clicking here:


Finally, Gavin Verhey’s excellent articles over on the mothership are here too, along with a brief summary of the points he discusses:


  1. The card creates inevitability
  2. The card is a tutor target
  3. The card is an occasionally unwieldy, occasionally high-impact draw
  4. You’re splitting or supplementing
  5. The card is a surprise that can turn the game


  1. The card is extremely situational
  2. The card is uncharastically expensive to cast in your deck
  3. Your deck has the time to find it
  4. You’re splitting or supplementing
  5. You don’t have enough information


  1. You don’t want to draw this card in multiples
  2. The card is expensive to cast for your deck
  3. The card requires setup
  4. The card is best against certain kinds of decks
  5. You’re splitting or supplementing


  1. You need to draw the card early on
  2. The card is good at all stages of the game
  3. The card is inherently very powerful
  4. The card is a combo piece
  5. The card is even better in multiples