Favorite Deck?

 BR Reanimator

Favorite Color (or Color Combo) 

Grixis

Favorite Card?

 Lake of the Dead

Favorite Format? 

Legacy

IRL Occupation?

 Content creator, I could also say English Teacher but I’m not working as a teacher right now

Age?

 33

Erik! Welcome to Glimmers of Genius! I am stoked to have you on the show today! I have been dipping my toes into legacy as of late, and while in search of quality content, I of course stumbled upon your stream. For those of us who don’t know, tell us what a little bit more about what you do and how you came to be where you are at.

Ive played magic for years, returning to the game as an adult around ROE. As I played more and branched out into new formats I found Legacy and made it my goal to make my first deck about 8 years ago. After that, I got into MTGO where I found I could play Legacy regularly. This came around the same time that they banned my Modern deck, Splinter Twin.

Two years ago I moved to Thailand for work. I lived on a University campus where booze is illegal. Between the no booze, no one my age and the incredibly hot weather I ended up spending most of my free time grinding Legacy leagues on Magic Online. It was fun and the additional income was no joke for Thailand. That’s how I ended up being the Legacy leagues trophy leader for so long.

I was sort of putting in my 2 years of University experience that was needed for the jobs I was hoping to pursue, so I didn’t really intend on staying in Thailand longer than 2 years. But at the end of the two years, instead of finding one of those jobs I was originally working toward I decided to quit teaching and give full time content creation a shot.

I actually was offered a very prestigious fellowship with Georgetown University after I had already decided to do this. It made my decision super hard but the fellowship would have put me in a very rural area of Nepal and I was really ready for a break from that life so decided content creation it was.

How did you find yourself in Thailand at that time?

Most university jobs around the world require 2 years of university experience as well as a Masters degree, so I had to find a place to get my 2 years experience and Thailand was the best option.

and you started streaming when you were in Thailand?

I streamed from time to time when I was in Thailand, yes

So, other than the completely egregious banning of Splinter Twin in Modern (mostly Kidding), what is it that keeps you entrenched in Legacy?

I found that cantrips made for the most interesting and interactive games due to removing  a pretty large percentage of the variance we get in Magic. I still enjoy other formats but not nearly as much as Legacy. It’s pretty rare that a match win/loss comes down to flood/screw in Legacy. Also, it was fun working toward my first legacy deck. Now, that format knowledge means that I’ll lose a lot more when I play other formats.

How do you feel like this idea of lower variance translates to a deck like R/B Reanimator or really any deck that doesnt play blue?

Well, the stuff about cantrips and lower variance is what got me hooked on legacy. BR Reanimator was not something I was interested in originally, but due to ultra fast leagues I decided to give it a try because a slightly lower win % than I had with cantrip decks might translate to better EV. Turns out my win % could be as good or better with BR Reanimator, I’ve stuck with the deck because I continue to win with it.

Well, that’s a perfect segue into my next question. do you feel as though cards like Oko and W6 have made the Legacy format unhealthy? Where does the format go from here?

Oko is fine for Legacy, its slow to impact the game and it’s three Mana. Wrenn and Six at two Mana is game breaking and format warping.

I’m pretty sure that the only reason Tarmogoyf has seen such a resurgence in Legacy is because it’s a wall for wrenn and six

The fact that it’s impossible for most decks to come out of a Wasteland lock and that it kills small creatures from the decks that used to be good vs Delver (long time historically the best deck in legacy) is sort of egregious, it took me awhile to come to this opinion too as I’m usually of the opinion of not banning cards.

I have heard this sentiment echoed around the web, and I guess that it leaves me wondering. Legacy is in a weird spot right now, with the power of Wrenn and Six and the release of the Pioneer format. Do you think that the community will be able to maintain excitement for the format to keep it alive for years to come?

I see very little crossover interests Pioneer/Legacy. Legacy players have these $500 Dual Lands and and a collection they have worked on for years. Most of them will have to buy into Pioneer decks if they want to play that format. Pioneer is going to cannibalize Standard (we are seeing it now) and Modern when those formats are not strong. It is cool to have another format for this reason. Formats don’t stay bad for very long because of bans and new sets. Legacy is in this spot now but people will continue to play and eventually Wrenn and Six will be banned if the format can’t shift which is my best guess. I see Legacy staying as exciting as it is now for some years to come until too many people are priced out for Wizards to justify a couple GP’s a year. Then, Legacy will be like Vintage.

So, on the flip side of things, if someone DID want to get into Legacy for the first time, (let’s say a Modern player who is interested in the format), how would you recommend them doing so?

Probably with proxies, slowly trading toward and buying Duals or Cities or LEDs once they get a feel for what deck they enjoy playing the most. If they enjoy fair blue they can start by playing budget friendly like mono blue Delver and buy/trade for Wastelands and Forces first then work toward Duals

Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to ask you a little bit about content creation. Now that you do it full time,  do you have any tips or advice for people trying to do the same?

To be honest I’m still pretty new to content creation and learning a lot myself. I have a long way to go before I can really give much advice. But I can say that what is working for me is setting realistic goals for myself. Goals for followers/income etc that are realistic but if I am not meeting them, I would reevaluate.

(reevaluate my ability to do this full time, that is)

Do you ever face any sort of burnout from playing so much Magic? I know that there are a lot of people who, at least in theory, would love to have Magic be their job, but I am guessing that the reality is much different.

Streaming is very tiring, I still play off stream though, it feels very different to me. Even sometimes right after my stream I’ll play a league. It’s mentally very different for me and I still love playing Magic and Legacy.

So, what’s on the horizon for you now? you have a pretty great stream up and running, you have recently joined TRS, what are the plans for the future?

Hoping to qualify for the pt, do well in GPs etc, so will be traveling for paper Magic. Also, I would love to keep growing the stream of course.

Are you going to be playing other formats? Or mostly just Legacy?

I always enjoy Legacy the most, but will play other formats when there are tournaments worth playing, I went to GP Vegas for modern and Seattle for limited, for instance.

When there is a GP, I do some testing and if I feel like my win % online is reasonable I’ll play them!

I had no byes in Seattle and started out 8-0, didn’t top 8, but cashed the event. Vegas, I had no byes and ended up 5-3 day 1 missing day two but it was fun and losses were all close. Ended up top 8ing a PTQ the next day.

It’s like you’re pretty good at Magic or something.

Well, as we wind this interview down to a closing point, I wanted to just give the floor to you to speak your mind. Unrelated rants are always welcome, any closing pieces of advice, anything goes. It’s up to you!

haha I’m not too good at those open ended speeches, lol…

That’s fair. Why don’t we try this: give one piece of good advice to a Magic player that you learned in the last few years that you wish you had known all along.

I guess the biggest piece of advice I could give is to look for ways to improve instead of looking for excuses. I often joke about getting unlucky as the only reason I lost, but I am always looking for things I could have possibly done differently to improve my chances of winning. This often means looking to others who have more experience than you for advice. I see a lot of Magic players get angry or defensive when misplays are pointed out. People will often stand by their play to the utter end rather than trying to learn how to get better. Magic is super hard and even the most experienced players with the best results are learning the game as they play. There is a large aspect of luck too, so sometimes we lose due to luck but it is important to look for other reasons first, luck and variance is a two way street after all.

Well said my friend! Thank you so much for coming onto Glimmers of Genius! I look forward to watching your streams and reading your writing!

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