Over the past couple years, most of my Magic time has been spent playing pre-constructed Commander decks actually. Other than that, I was building new decks, but with the loss of my regular group (whom I know and trust each individual), I wasn’t really playing too much Magic, and I really wasn’t playing my Commander Cube as much as I was before. As a result, the cards in the cube shifted more and more into decks. Then I needed 400 sleeves for the Commander 2017 decks, and poof! No more cube. I still have the list, both in a Google spreadsheet and on Tapped Out, so I can always re-make it, but I haven’t been overly motivated.

When Conspiracy: Take the Crown was released I got a little motivated. I started trading to get many of the draft and multi-player specific cards from that set as well as from the first Conspiracy. The goal was to remake the cube with those cards included. But, the inspiration began to wear off, and the cards never made it into the cube. The cube sat unused, most of it’s cards now sleeveless.

Then… inspiration struck. Unstable spoilers began. It seemed that with each new card I saw, one of my initial reactions was “that would be so much fun in the cube!” By the time the full set was spoiled, I knew it would be a reality. Time to build a new cube! I got to work planning.


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Shortly after publishing my “Road to Zero” article about PucaTrade, a new update was posted on their blog. You can read it in full here:

The Economy, Common Dues, and Foils For All


As I mentioned in my prior article, PucaTrade has multiple tiers of membership; common, uncommon, and rare. The latter two are paid memberships that provide the users with added benefits over the unpaid common tier, things like reduced promotion fees, names to the top of the lists and so on.

Also as I mentioned, PucaTrade has had a serious problem with their economy over the past couple of years, and they have been actively trying to remove points from the system. According to the article, they have been removing five times as many points as are being added to the system each month. They don’t feel like it is enough. The community isn’t feeling the impact.


Thus they introduce Common user dues.

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My want list sits with just six cards, all planeswalkers, all at 513 points or less. I pop over to PucaTrade’s Discord chat, the #trades-paper category and enter my new hourly plea…

I’m down to my last 782 points! Someone help zero me out! If you have any card on my list I will promote it to 782 points minus the promotion fee!

That was in the morning no too long ago. That afternoon I received a message. “I’ll send you Dovin for 782”. I made the promotion and now my account is at zero points.


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You sit at the table, peeking over the fan of cards in your hand at the faces of your opponents. You scan the battlefield, taking in the various permanents that make up each player’s board. You ask “Cards in hand?” to the other players. You consider all of this information, taking what you know of each opponent’s deck, personality and play-style into consideration. And then you pass the turn.

“Ugh! You took forever and didn’t do anything!” Johnny untaps his land, draws his card and almost immediately re-taps his land, casting a heavy beater. Franklin reacts instantly, looking at George’s board which is packed with creatures and, noting that your board is as empty as his says “looks like you and I are the only ones that will be hit by that thing, can you do anything about it?”

“…Maybe?” is your cautious answer.

“What do you mean maybe?!” Franklin asks, “you either do or you don’t, and that thing can take you out with a couple of hits!” He gestures to his board and empty hand. “I have no answers for it! If you don’t take care of it he’ll take both of us out of the game!”

“Meh, it doesn’t seem like much of a threat to me,” you reply, allowing the creature to resolve.

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All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go
I’m standin’ here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

-John Denver

ghaveThere comes a time in your life where you have to make a decision. It is a ridiculously difficult decision to make, but it has to be done. You’ve been together for years, but you can no longer deny the fact that there may be better options out there. After all, these things change, and through your time together you have both adjusted to the ever-shifting environment.

I’m sorry Ghave, it’s not you, it’s me.

I hope that we can still be friends.

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gp_logoMy friends and I are going to meet up at Grand Prix LA. This will be only my second time back to California (that wasn’t related to a family member passing) since I moved to Washington, so I am excited to get to see my friends and play some Magic! The Grand Prix format is Modern, but we aren’t going to play in the main event, we are going to hang out and spend time together. Of course I’ve been thinking about which Commander decks I want to take, and I’ll start checking the artists that will be in attendance soon so I can be sure I have a good mix of cards to get signed. I’m certain that we will get in a Shadows Over Innistrad draft while there as well. Above and beyond all of that normal Grand Prix stuff I’ve been coming up with new ideas now and then to throw a wrench into the mix! Don’t get me wrong, I love playing Commander with the decks that we’ve all had for years, but I don’t want to “only” play against those decks. I want to try some new things and I want the guys to branch out and try some new things as well.

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