What’s in a Name?

Abzan vs Junk     I had an interesting experience a little while ago.  I was on Facebook in a discussion about Magic, and happened to mention that I like playing “Junk” (BWG) decks.
     “Don’t you mean Abzan?” came the reply. “Or are you using the old word?”  The operative word here is “OLD.”  I unexpectedly felt myself getting a little peeved. Not because of the question, which I suppose is a valid one. But because of the separation it implies.
     “The old word.” Is Junk as a term “old”?
     With the Khans of Tarkir block, Wizards of the Coast has finally put a name to what we’ve, for years, been referring to as the “enemy color” wedges. We’ve had some rather haphazard names for these tri­color combinations.  Green/White/Black, for instance, for years has been called “Junk.” The name arose, or so the legend has it, because those colors lacked synergy, and the combination of cards in the decks ended up being…well… junky.
     Now, however, it’s been given a name – Abzan, after one of the clans of old Tarkir before the rearranged timeline – and a philosophy, that of outlasting opponents with counters and tokens.  Or take the combination of Red/Blue/White. It was, rather lovingly, referred to by some as American, Patriotism, British and French. Now, however, the combination is “Jeskai,” again after a Tarkir clan.
     This all started during the Shards of Alara block. At that time, the allied color combinations were given names like Esper, Grixis, and Naya – and, whether or not the decks adhere to the philosophies of those shards as denoted in the corresponding sets, those names have stuck for decks using those colors. Naya Zoo, for example, or Esper Control are typical deck archetypes that you’ll see in Modern.  The names have stuck less when it comes to two­color combinations, strangely.  Blue/Red is simply called Blue/Red, not Izzet; Black/White is not Orzhov – unless they are especially heavy on Ravnica flavor. Maybe because these two-­color combinations are so common, the “official” names haven’t stuck so well?
     Will the new Khans brandings of the enemy wedge colors stick for years in the future?  Only time will tell. Already “Abzan Midrange” is a popular strategy in Modern, so we’ll see.  But, in the meantime, I’m still calling G/B/W “Junk.”
     And nothing in the multiverse can stop me.

MTGYou #56 – Kahning You Onto the Meta Bus


In Our Main Phase:

On this episode of the MTGYou Podcast, we talk about the state of the current meta game. Get on the Meta Bus with us!

In the News:

  • Wizards has announced a new MTG related board game.
  • Possible cheater, Trevor Humphries under investigation.

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Villainous Woo-th vs Abzan – Standard

MTGYou Fight Club: Villainous Woo-th vs Abzan – Standard

Link to Travis Woo’s Villainous Woo-th deck list, piloted by Daemon:

Link to Rich’s Abzan deck list:

Read moreVillainous Woo-th vs Abzan – Standard

MTGYou #52 – Judge Jeremy and the Case of the Regional Coordinator


In Our Main Phase:

We have Regional Coordinator Judge Jeremy on the show once again…for the first time. Since the last time we had Judge Jeremy on our podcast he has become the Regional Coordinator for the North West United States. It was good to have him back, and have him answering our questions live streaming in Studio U for the first time.

Read moreMTGYou #52 – Judge Jeremy and the Case of the Regional Coordinator

MTGYou #51 – Khans of Tarkir Rare and Mythic Review

Khans of Tarkir

In Our Main Phase:

We talk about every rare and mythic rare in the the Khans of Tarkir set.

Read moreMTGYou #51 – Khans of Tarkir Rare and Mythic Review