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By: Salgy, Michael Salgado
Mar 16 2008 12:10am
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I try to stay away from interviewing writers from, but after reading several very entertaining articles by MirrorMage, I just had to sit down and talk to him.  With the release events in full swing, I got to ask him a lot about his expirences in leagues, and Sealed Deck play in general.  Before I get to the interview though, let's take a moment and get to know the man behind the mirror. 

Full Name: Daniel Corradi
Age: 19
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Current Location: Leamington Spa, United Kingdom
Occupation : Student working part-time in a crummy café.
Clan: Full Frontal n00bity/PureMTGO
Other Hobbies: Failing my degree. Writing.

Player rating:

Previous accomplishments:
First place in a Mirage league, third place in a Coldsnap league, Multiple top eights in leagues, First place in a paper Coldsnap prerelease.

Oh, and I once won a draft too!

Favorite Magic Format: Standard
Favorite Card: Beast of Burden
Favorite Magic Set: Champions of Kamigawa

Beast of Burden

MirrorMage is not just going to sit back and play in leagues though.  When he is not drunk drafting or hanging out in the /join puremtgo room (You should check that out!) he is working on his favorite Standard deck.  Daniel is convinced that Kithkin can be a very solid deck in the format, and has been working on it pretty much since Lorwyn came out.  We're gonna talk about that deck here in a minute, but here is the list!

The Little Green White deck that Couldn't
as suggest by MirrorMage
2x Goldmeadow Harrier
4x Goldmeadow Stalwart
4x Knight of Meadowgrain
1x Mystic Enforcer
2x Cloudgoat Ranger
4x Tarmogoyf
4x Wizened Cenn
3x Gaddock Teeg

Other Spells
3x Call of the Herd
3x Mana Tithe
3x Glorious Anthem
3x Oblivion Ring
3x Militia's Pride
8 x Plains
4 x Brushland
3 x Horizon Canopy
3 x Treetop Village
3 x Flagstones of Trokair

Gaddock Teeg

(MS= Milkshake75 MM=MirrorMage)
MS: What made you come up with a Kithkin deck?

MM: A friend of mine is obsessed with Standard, but he's even more obsessed with Dragon Storm. He has all the staples to make virtually any viable Standard deck, but he will play his beloved Dragon Storm to the death. I bugged him to play Leagues, he bugged me to play Standard. Eventually one of us caved and he offered to lend the cards needed for a Standard deck. The conversation then went like this:

Him: Take a look, at this page- it has all the currently competitive standard decks. Doran is very good.

Me: What about this G/W Kithkin deck?

Him: Green Black Elves also wreck the Premiere Event scene a lot. I have the
Thoughtseizes too.

Me: Yeah… I kind of like this Kithkin deck.

Him: Why don't you play a deck that's good?

Me: Because this deck looks fun.

Him: But it won't win.

Me: Yes.

Him: So why are you picking it?

Me: Because it will lose in extravagant fashion! 
(Haha that's pretty funny)

MS: What are its good matchups in events? 

MM: It performs well against Blue control decks.

MS: What are its poor matchups in events? 

MM: Most other decks.

MS: Do you have any general matchup advice for someone who would want to play this deck? 

MM: You don't want advice from me, but I feel like G/W Aggro is a deck that could take the post-Moringtide metagame by surprise. 

MS: What do you think about Morningtide?

MM: I like Morningtide. It's not the greatest format to draft, but it certainly adds a lot to leagues. Before in Lorwyn leagues, Blue and Black were the most powerful colour combinations. It was either a highly aggressive faerie build or a slow Merfolk control build.  Creatures such as Shriekmaw and Silvergill Douser reigned supreme.  Morningtide has changed that.

Now, aggressive style decks are hitting the league "meta-game" hard.  Blue/White Kithkin and Green/Red Warrior Elves seem to be what are consistently getting 5-0. It's a breath of fresh air for sure, but
it's a shame that Merfolk are significantly a weaker tribe to play

MS: What cards can you see in Tide making an impact?

MM: In Standard, easily Mutavault, Borderguard for the WW Kithkin build, and
Bitterblossom for control decks. I don't see Chameleon Colossus or Countryside Crusher making as big of a splash as everyone expected them to do. I also feel this is going to be a good set for sleeper rares.

In leagues, no card is ridiculously overpowered, but I feel that card pools are going to polarize more in terms of power because there are too many strong bombs in Morningtide. For rares you have Chameleon Colossus and Bitterblossom. And uncommons, Bramblewood Paragon and
Oona's Blackguard are ridiculous if you have a good opening hand. Turn two Bramblewood and turn three Gilt-Leaf Ambush Is hard to fight back from if you're on the receiving end.
MS: Anything else you would like to add for the people interested in League games?

MM: Leagues are much better for the inexperienced player in comparison to Premiere Events. For one thing, in a PE, you only have ten minutes to submit a deck, whilst in a league, you can calmly ask your friends and clan mates for sound advice.

The thing that draws me most to leagues is that you can play as many matches as you'd like. Since leagues normally have a balanced playing environment, it's a great way to take a break from studying or work by getting a quick league match in. With so many matches, you can test different builds, and play to your heart's content. Even if you lose, you win in my opinion.

If you don't open "bombs" in a league, focus on these three things:
1) Your curve: If you have the time, look at Noah Weil's draft video article on the Wizards website. He spends a good portion talking about the importance of a curve. His draft didn't focus on the individual's cards power, but how well it fit the overall curve. The same technique can easily be applied to leagues. Using the "sort by converted mana cost" in the Deck Editor window is one of the best tools you have available to you.

2) Card interaction: Bombs help, but card interaction is even better.  In Lorwyn, there's a massive amount of tribal interaction which you can take advantage of. Learning the combinations between cards and the value of changelings is key. You can build a solid deck on the foundation of card interaction without relying on bombs.

3) Mana base: Sometimes, you can spread your deck over many colours if your pool has mana-fixers. I splashed Lash Out
without running Mountains because I had two Shimmering Grottos. If your deck has mana-fixers, you can build a deck that utilizes your pool's best cards.

Here's a Coldsnap league which I used for a third place finish in a four-week league. It has no rares, it relied entirely on card interaction. For the first two weeks, with the exception of Stalking Yeti, this was actually a PDC (All common card) deck: 

There are many resources you can use to help your limited, most have to do with drafts. Sealed is an entirely different beast, so take these articles with a grain of salt.

Sadly, Tiago Chan has stepped down over on StarCityGames, but his drafts are a very good reference for Triple Lorwyn. Noah Weil's archives on are very very good, I consider him the most knowledgeable limited expert on Lorwyn (In fact, "Swimming with Sharks" has plethora of fantastic articles in its archives on topics ranging from signaling to tempo). Nick Eisel is only second to Noah Weil and can be found on StarCityGames. has some walkthroughs with Dutch pros which are free and worth the read. Lastly, doesn't have walkthroughs but an index on how cards are rated in terms of picks by a wide range of players (Print it out and use it as a guide to see which colours are being underdrafted and which cards players pick highly.)

Hope this helps, and keep leagueing!

Wow thank you once again Daniel for so much help and information.  I for one will be playing in more leagues now, due to it's variety of game play and unlimited amount of gaming you can get from the amount you spent.  More bang for your buck.  Well tune in next week folks.


MMage by CutToTheChase at Mon, 03/17/2008 - 14:32
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