Going back to the drawing board




These are my past records from 1 FNM and 2 attempts at PPTQ respectively.

Mind Rot Mind Rot’s flavor text is what I feel right now.

As a brewer, you always have high hopes to your newly constructed deck. And after plenty of shadow testing and imagining how your would-be opponent’s deck would perform based on your draws, you think you found the equation to break the format. Then you find out there is no synergy. Your deck didn’t have enough lands. Your opponent always seems to have an answer. Your deck is bad in taking mulligan. Add the other three dozen reasons for losing and you end up punting, tilting and dropping your ass off from the event and browse mtgtop8 or mtggoldfish for the latest meta deck.

Failed Inspection

There is no perfect deck without hours of testing.

As a player who never plays meta decks and as someone who does not have all his weekends and weeknights free to play Magic, it’s not easy to develop new brews that can stand on is own. Yes, you may stumble upon a nice 75-list that can 3-0 or 4-0 your local FNM but that’s because most of the players you faced were also playing a more relaxed game, or are testing a different build. The story is different when you join PPTQs where people are seriously eyeing that top 8 and invite, or are not horsing around after paying a huge entry fee only to pilot a mediocre home brew.


Sometimes, you just need to break it apart and begin again.

I piloted a Muldrotha midrange to a top 4 for a PR pass FNM, Top 2 at an FNM with Esper Conjecture, then 0-3-drop using Bant Approach and 3-4 using Sultai Ramp. What I learned from these experiences is that because I keep changing decks every event, I am unable to stress test my decks nor do sanity checks on my lines of play and sideboarding plan. Oftentimes my plays get narrow and sideboard plans are to wide that it misses the target. Overall, part of brewing is able to run the same list over and over until you see the gaps. My prediction is that while you keep playing your brew, you will realize that a similar meta deck list is where your adjustments are taking you until your brew becomes a meta deck. Well I can’t blame you because the pros may have started the process the same way and after playing 500 matches in MTGO, they arrived at the deck list you’re copying from mtggoldfish and mtgtop8.

Wildest Dreams

My wildest dreams is to make it to top 8 with a home brew.

Not to sound depressing but there are silver linings in my career as a brewer. I took down the store championship with a brew, taking down the meta’s top decks prior to Dominaria. UB Scarab God, RB Vehicles, BG Snake, Grixis Energy, Bant Approach, RDW with my Pia’s Revolution + Construct Tribal deck and went 8-1 to bring home the playmat. The feeling of taking down the forma with a home brew feels unlike anything on this planet and the compliments that came with it was overwhelming. Someone actually bought my deck after the event because he wanted to play with it so bad.

Welding Sparks

The fires still burns. I brew because I love Magic.

With that said, I just wanted to air out these insights in case someone out there feels bad or frustrated for not doing well with their brews. Always remember that all the top tier decks started on pad papers and on kitchen tables. Only through practice, suggestions, criticisms and research will your brews show success.

Lifecrafter's Bestiary

Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms. Don’t give up.



PS. Don’t be surprised I can find matching flavor texts for this post. It’s proof I brew with all sorts of cards 🙂

4 thoughts on “Going back to the drawing board

Add yours

  1. Hey Vanson, I hear ya. I really dig your decks and several of them have served me prettt well. Admittedly, the PPTQ’s have always ended up whatever top 8 meta there is for that time frame.
    I have been running a new Grixis Control exploiting the new Nicol Bolas, and it’s been amazing, 12-2 online. I suggest exploring Grixis, that is totally your jam!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. hey, thank you for this honest words. im kitchen table player and playing only my own decks. i use your blog to get some help or new ideas.

    keep it up, best blog for me.


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