It’s been a while since I lost wrote something here and I must admit that the year of the pig has been full of surprises for me, especially in my work. Mostly in my work. It’s keeping me off a lot of Arena streaming and paper testing but I also bring good news so you don’t have to worry.
Since I started this blog, I told myself that I will need to spend a lot of time writing to keep the page fresh and alive. 2 years ago when I started this, my work and personal life gave me all the time in the world. Now I need to face the reality that I cannot write and keep this page going by myself.
I needed a companion, a co-writer who will help me keep the contents flowing. However I also wanted to address this huge clamour for Spike articles. For those unfamiliar with the term, players considered ‘Spike’ are those who play to win. They are the most competitive type of player who would usually rely on tier 1 decks, study the meta really hard, follow the professionals on social media and through their articles, and attack tournaments to seize the top tables. I’m not a spike player (duh), so I got one. His name is Nicholas Price.
I’ll let him introduce himself here 🙂
Hey there! My name is Nicholas Price, and I’m a 27-year old writer and competitive Magic player from Manila, Philippines. I first learned how to play Magic in college during Scars of Mirrodin block. My first Pre-Release was for New Phyrexia.
It was really tough learning the basic rules of the game and how to build decks properly when Infect was a major mechanic, so I was a terrible player for quite some time! But I stuck to it and continued learning the game at my local shop (Alva Computers on Katipunan Avenue, shoutout to Kuya Erick!).
For a long time, my favorite aspect of Magic was the art and lore. What got me hooked on the game forever was the release of Innistrad. Gothic horror and fantasy are two of my favorite genres in literature and gaming, so getting to play with cards featuring Zombies, Vampires, and Curses blew my mind. To this day, I still collect foils from Innistrad and Shadows Over Innistrad blocks.
I took a couple of breaks from the game in the following years to focus on other things, but I eventually returned to Magic in late 2014 during Khans of Tarkir. With the help of my good friend and longtime teammate, I decided to step my game up and start playing competitively. My first big break came in early 2016 when I qualified for my first Regional Pro Tour Qualifier. I traveled to Bangkok that year and finished in the top 16. Since then, I’ve qualified for a total of 7 RPTQs and have had decent success in the local tournament scene.
My favorite card is Consecrated Sphinx. I’m sure that says a lot about what I enjoy doing in Magic!
I’d describe myself as a pretty hardcore Spike. I don’t always try to play the best deck; instead I try to find a Tier 1 or 2 archetype that best fits my playstyle and master it through constant repetition on paper, Magic Online, and more recently Arena. I do prefer playing control, but most of my success has been with midrange or value decks that reward tight technical play, proper sequencing, and grinding out tiny edges.
My friends joke that I don’t play aggressive decks because I’m poor at combat math. It’s true, and that’s something I hope to improve on with time. But for now, I’m staying away from aggro.
I am qualified for the last ever RPTQ under the old Pro Tour qualification, which I will be playing on Magic Online in the first week of March. I am going to be testing and tuning one archetype pretty heavily, and I hope you’ll join me on the journey of mastering that deck and figuring out this amazing Standard format. Stay tuned for my first article in the RPTQ Hero series, and thanks to the Forbidden Alchemist for making this possible! Till next time,
You guys might know Nick perhaps when you played him across the table. I think I have battled him a couple of times and he’s the technical player type that really taps his mana cleanly, calls triggers in an orderly fashion, declares the spells on the stack, etc. so that’s neat. I also know he plays really well so I am glad he has decided to write for the Lab.
I hope by adding more dimensions to the blog, by adding a Spike section for the serious gamers will foster more interactions within the community. Soon we’ll also have a playing judge come on board to talk about a mix of topics ranging from his analysis on prevalent decks, card rulings and game players, as well as how to avoid getting called out by a judge in competitive REL events!
2019 is a year of changes and I think it will be an awesome year for the blog! Stay tuned!