Content warning: This piece mentions child abuse and other traumatic events. Oh, and spoiler warning, obviously.

One night, without anything to do, I absentmindedly opened up Netflix. I immediately sat up in my chair as I saw what the header was. “The Queen’s Gambit”, what looked like a show about a chess prodigy. Immediately, I began recalling memories of long-gone days.

Being called to the stage, as an unknown elementary school kid, to receive the first of many State Champion awards. My friends clap enthusiastically.

The 2004 Missouri Open, my first event playing versus adults as an 11-year old child…


Hello! I linked you this article because you asked me why America is so fucked up.

In the past year or two, I’ve met many people from around the world, mostly because of my activity on the Magic circuit. They often ask Americans why our politics, economy, etc. are so messed up, and have some very inaccurate assumptions about why this is. I’ve explained this multiple times, and I figured that it would be useful to condense many of my explanations and go a little bit more in depth. Often, individual Americans are blamed for the mistakes of our leaders…


Oritart breaks down the state of competitive Organized Play in Magic.

The Promise

1. Reach summoner level 30.

2. Win a World Championship Qualifier.

3. Win the League of Legends World Championship.

The above is the text of one of Riot Games’s League of Legends marketing materials circa early 2012, when the game was just taking off. And honestly, I think one of the most genius marketing concepts I’ve ever seen. When you put it that way, anyone can become World Champion- yes, even you, the person scrolling past this advertisement on your computer! …


I got into Star Trek in mid 2018 (a bit late, I know) because I was bored while recovering from a major medical procedure. At the time, I had an Xbox, and Star Trek Online had just went free-to-play. So I tried it out, but put it back down pretty quickly because I didn’t get most of the references and I figured I’d enjoy it more if I played it after watching all the shows.

In November of that year, STO’s “Lifetime Subscription” went on sale for $200, and I snapped it up, even though I wasn’t actively playing the…


Art: Mardu Runemark | Viktor Titov

I’m going to start off by telling everyone who is reading this article from a Magic-related space that I promise you’re not going to be bored by me just blasting a ton of queer theory at you, so please don’t close the page. Likewise, if you’re seeing this from a queer space, I’m not just going to talk about nerdy bullshit for five pages, so please sit tight. You’ll see where I’m going with this. With that being said:

Yes, this is a Magic blog, but today I’m talking about International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Many Magic players and judges…


This weekend, I’ll be a floor judge at MagicFest Austin, my first major event as a judge after a hiatus of over three months. I really miss the MagicFest circuit and I’m looking forward to the event, so I thought I’d write something, from a judge’s perspective, on playing “cleanly” in Magic.

This article mostly applies for Competitive and Professional REL. If you’re newer to the game, following all these guidelines will likely be quite difficult for you, and these guidelines are practically irrelevant if you’re playing casually (unless you want to train habits into yourself).

Why does it matter?

To be clear, judges…


On November 24, 2019, I had the distinct privilege of participating in the fourth iteration of the Saint Louis Vintage Rotisserie Draft. For those of you unfamiliar, a Vintage Rotisserie Draft is a draft, inspired by fantasy football, where players draft cards one at a time from the entire Vintage-legal card pool in a “snake draft” format. Then players participate in a round-robin event with 40-card decks with their drafted cards.

I strongly believe that Vintage Rotisserie Draft, or VRD for short, is the hardest format in Magic, and not just because I consider myself to be pretty good at…


So this is something that I started thinking about after seeing Zvi’s article on why he doesn’t like the London Mulligan. The TLDR for that article is that its made decks so consistent that the only decks that are good are decks that have a clear vision of what their first few turns need to look like. The corollary to this is that decks that don’t have this clear vision, like archetypes that build a “critical mass” like Legacy/Modern Burn or Modern Storm, or incremental advantage control decks, are less impacted. …

Elaine Cao

I’m a Level 2 Magic judge and trans activist who plays a lot of blue cards. she/her/hers, www.twitter.com/Oritart

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