The 30 Day Photo Challenge (in one day)

I read somewhere that if you want to find success as an MtG content creator, having a reliable and continuous flow of content is alpha and omega. People consume bite-size entertainment in a constant flow, and being able to deliver that hit of gratification over time will eventually create a habit and a fanbase. Things are surely different now compared with just ten years ago. Like, WotC has a content creator program and "influencer" is a thing people say.

Predictable flow has never really been a thing here. Maybe in like the 2013-2016 era when we had an update most every Thursday, but even that could be a bit sporadic. Like, October 2015 somehow had nine posts. But we also never had less than two updates in any month since we got going, so I guess we have some predictability in that. On average the blag has been updated every 8.2 days for the last ten years, in case you are counting.

People who manage to do the daily, bite-sized, updates kinda impress me. I don't have enough opinions on Magic to cultivate a Twitter profile, and I lack the luster and panache for Instagram. Though when this blag started Instagram was a niche new thing a year away from having an Android app. Maybe I never really had an option to consider, maybe blagging was to be my lot. 

I did occasionally come across the random picture challenge on the more social of medias though. Like the Magic 30 Day Photo Challenge. 

This is not old school per se, but an eight year old photo challenge isn't exactly fresh either. It felt a bit sad to skip it back in the day (as my internetting of choice didn't include Instagram or similar), but more recently realized that I have a blag and mise well post whatever I want here. And now I want to do a click-baity 30-day photo challenge I missed in 2014 in one sitting. So here comes subjective opinions backed up by a sense of self-importance and pretty pictures. Buckle up mofos.

1. Favorite Color: Blue. It does all the sweet things - copying, stealing, tinkering and countering - all while piecing together strange combos and building incremental advantage. The "color of Magic" offers varied strategies, while also being stupid powerful.

2. Least Favorite Color: I don't really dislike green per say, and the six cards above I've cast more times than I could hope to recollect. But green simply doesn't have as much to offer me as the other colors. Sorcery speed threats and the strongest creatures on the battlefield is not really what I came for.

3. Favorite Card Type: I did come for instants though. Yeah, Magic as a game would suffer much more without lands or creatures, but on a personal note I'm far more likely to play a deck without creatures than a deck without instants.

4. Favorite Creature Type: Thrulls are the tits. I've had at least one Thrull deck sleeved up and ready to go at all given points in the last 25 years.

5. Favorite Format: Tribelander is the format I'm most looking forward to play when we're allowed to meet people again. Runner ups are some mix of different oldschool formats. As sanctioned Magic goes, I have a hard time picking between Vintage and Legacy. And even Modern looks pretty wizard these days, though I've never really tried it.

6. Favorite Deck: Project M.

7. An Awesome Foil: I mostly don't own foils or similar bling. I'm an "ordinary version, first set" kinda guy (with the occasional stylistic exception, like the Pestilence and Demonic Tutor in the Tribelander Witch deck above). So the few foils I do have are mainly cards that only exist in foil, and among them I'd pick Naughty // Nice as an awesome one. It does the lord's work in my drinking cube.

8. Magic Swag: Wrote a full post called Swagic and Deminwalk about these denim jackets, so this got to be around my top as Magic swag goes.

9. Your Guild: When Ravnica came out - and doing these kinda tests was a thing we did - I remember being paired with Izzet. It is possible that old age may be pushing me towards Azorious.

10. First Rare Ever: I believe it was these (Starters had three rares). Not fully sure, as we didn't have checklists and didn't understand rarity, but I know these cards were among the first I could call my own.

11. Favorite Block: Lets go with Mirage. Ice Age is super sweet and all that, but Mirage block is just spectacularly strange and deep. It should be played with the rules of the time though; Floogate/Vanishing should be a combo, Infernal Contract is cooler if you can cast it at 0 life, and Phyrexian Dreadnought gets more than a bit obnoxious in block constructed if you use modern rules.

12. Least Favorite Block: Maybe Kaladesh? Can't think of any card or concept from that block that really excites me, but a lot of things that just feels parasitic or at a bad power level. And the whole "mage punk" art direction isn't for me. But then again, as I thought it looked unexciting, I never really tried playing it much. Maybe it's good, and I'll just never know.

13. Your Commander: It is usually the middle one that gets his hands dirty on the battlefield.

 14. Favorite Basic Land Art: Don't really have a single favorite, but I try to use lands that somewhat matches the deck or format at hand (the only basic I've actively sought out for its art is this swamp for a Tribelander "evil clerics" deck). In Oldschool, my favorite Island is most likely the green one (though I'd never sleeve that card up for e.g. Modern). In Vintage and Legacy my go-to Island is the zoomed-in purple Island from Unlimited (super distinct and easy to find when fetching). In Premodern I like anything from Mirage, though my favorite is probably the greenish thing from Invasion for some reason. In Modern I use Unstable lands.

15. Your Shard/Wedge: Chromium fo shizzle.

16. A Hidden Gem: It feels like whenever I write about an underplayed oldschool card, that card suffer a bit of a price jump. So I'm picking one from the modern era instead. And this card is pretty rad. The kind of card that makes me wanna build random casual decks just to have a home for it.

17. Favorite Non-basic: From Vintage Landstill to Legacy Humility, via Project M and Arcum Dagsson combo, Mishra's Factory keeps delivering good games and hard decisions. Yeah, it is possible that it should be restricted in 93/94, but it's still a sweet card.

18. Favorite Art: This is both personal and mood dependent, but few cards can compare to Drew Tucker's Vertigo. When I'm asked about favorite arts, this one is always in my top five, and frequently in my top one.

19. Favorite Artist: While Drew Tucker certainly has a great portfolio, Magic wouldn't be Magic for me without Mark Tedin. A few others - like Anson Maddocks, Ron Spencer, Douglas Shuler and Chris Rush - are also up there, but the pure Magic of cards like Juzam Djinn, Necropotence and Chaos Orb just can't be beaten.

20. Funniest Art: Blah! I have first strike and haste! Blah! Put me in your deck!
21. I hate pulling... Cards that feel uninspired, linear, and blatantly obvious in their power. Cards that are too much for fully casual decks, but lack the synergy/effectiveness needed for formats like Legacy and Vintage. In particular if they are bland rare cards that are too powerful for my Reject Rare Draft Cube; at that point I have fully no use for them. And extra in particular if they are mid-tier expensive, as I then wont feel comfortable throwing them out or tucking them away with the bulk, but also probably wont bother flipping them.

22. Gatherer Random Card: Wurmweaver Coil. A few years back I picked up a handful of the Ravnica pre-constructed theme decks from a dusty corner in an LGS, and proceeded to match the decks with a friend at the Rotary Pub. Wurmweaver Coil was a rare in the Gruul Wilding theme deck. Pretty interesting card, though extremely clunky. The play was almost always to just sac the Coil for a token after the first attack. I appreciate the flavor in that it can only enchant green creatures, though I don't think it would have been at all overpowered if it also gave the creature trample.

23. An Overrated Card: I want Winter Orb to work, but it never really does. It's a bit too weak for most competitive games, and a bit too annoying for most kitchen table games.

24. Favorite Combo: Guardian Beast and Chaos Orb. Flippin' awesome.

25. Magic Merch: Like Magic-branded non-card stuff? Well, I did recently come across a display of these rad sleeves.

26. Best Flavor Text:
“Expect my visit when the darkness comes. The night I think is best for hiding all.” —Ouallada

27. Favorite Common: Can't think of any common I'd rather sleeve up than a Trinket Mage.

28. Favorite non-PW Mythic: I can think of a lot of commons I'd prefer over any favorite mythics though. But maybe Zedruu? I do have a Zedruu EDH deck, and that gotta count for something. Honorable mention to Griselbrand as Cube and Vintage goes.

29. Favorite Card: Maybe the correct answer is Chaos Orb, Juzam, or Doppelganger. My most nostalgic answer mise well be Clone or Ring of Ma'ruf. And I have some altered cards with almost priceless affection value. But as physical pieces of cardboard goes, few things feels more Magic than Black Lotus. There's something intanglible in the air whenever this card hits the table. If I'll have to get rid of my cards some time in the future, this one is probably the last one I'll sell. And I guess that kinda makes it my favorite card.

30. Favorite Planeswalker: Yeah, not super easy to follow #29. But Jace is pretty sweet. I can cast him turn one with my Black Lotus in Vintage for a start. And him getting unbanned in Modern was one of my main arguments for building a deck in that format.

So there we have it, the 30-day Photo Challenge. It was a pretty fun change of pace. I'd much like to see some more OS characters' takes on similar things, so feel free to drop a link or something if you have tried it yourself. See, we can be social on this media too.


  1. I think the "Who is the best MTG artist" is one of the most debated. Mark Tedin is certainly also one of my favourites, Time Vault is one of my favourite art pieces. Quentin Hoover (Vesuvan Doppelganger, Earthbind, Emerald Dragonfly, Darkpack, Amrou Kithkin) belongs to the top 5 list, as do Jeff A. Menges (Swords to Plowshares, Divine Offering, Black Knight, Bog Wraith, Tracker, Citanul Druid).

    1. For sure, and the sheer variety of art styles in MtG made the sum more than the parts. The early art direction as a whole would suffer without styles like Foglio, rk Post, Richard Kane Ferguson and Drew Tucker, so it is very hard to pick just one favorite :)

  2. Shivan Raptor is a very nostalgic card for me, sweet that you mention it.

    @Mid-tier expensive cards: The way I handle this: Whenever I get such cards, that I don't need, want to play, but are valued at at least some euros, I stick them in a deckbox, and whenever this box is full I travel to a local dealer and convert it to some sweet old cardboard I need.

    1. Haha, yeah, Shivan Raptor has become something of a long running joke among a small group of friends. Just the other day I actually got a postcard with the Shivan Raptor art on it, with the text "Du har inte funderat på att lägga in Shivan Raptor?" ("You haven't considered playing Shivan Raptor?") and nothing else. I have no idea who sent it, but it's up on the fridge now, for me to consider ;)

      Oh, and that's not a bad idea for the mid-tier expensive "unplayable" cards. I think I'll steal that approach, at the very least it should be able to net me some free sleeves or random stuff :)

  3. Hi, I would also choose Mirage as my favourite block. Mainly because of the art and fond memories. Recently I have bought some basic lands a

  4. ..and considered Ice age or Mirage. Mirage won, mainly because of Islands.

    And Trinket mage is simply the best. A few years ago, when brewing decks for legacy, I had very strong passion for this mage and his toolbox.

    As always, great post. Thanks for writing and have a nice day.

    1. Thanks Jirka! Your comments always brighten the day :)

  5. 1:black
    3.Land (nonbasic)
    4: kobolds
    5: 93/94 (Atlantic)
    6: Ub-animate dead, skull of orm
    7: -
    8: my kids made me mana symbol beer coasters made of beads
    9: Golgari
    10: Balance
    11: Ice age
    12: Mirrodin
    13: Xira was the first one I played
    14: one of the beta swamps I guess
    15: Sultai ?(UBG)
    16: Initiates of the Ebon Hand
    17: Desert
    18: Untamed Wilds
    19: Andi Ruusu/Tedin
    20: All the Robert Bliss art cracks me up! Not the phallic aspect but for the "prank"
    21: White rare in draft,
    22: Varchilds war-riders (love it in my mogg maniac, blood artist, Blasphemous act deck)
    23: Wheel of fortune, kinda bad whitout moxes in my experience
    24: see 22
    25: got my first playmat aprox 2 years ago.
    26: “Expect my visit when the darkness comes. The night I think is best for hiding all.” —Ouallada
    27: Maze of ith (not a common but it is on the common sheet)
    28: -
    29: Ancestral Recall (first power own (CE though))
    30: Domri Rade

    1. Oh, those are some really good answers. Would love to see your favorite Skull of Orm reanimate deck for one. And I combining the number 3 answer with the number 17 answer could be a serious conversation starter on Desert (a card I feel I've played way too little in Oldschool).

      I can't disagree with Bliss on #20, e.g. Ekundu Cyclops is easily in my top5 funny art. Just so much hidden (and not-so-hidden) jokes there.

      And congrats on #8, nice kids! :D


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