I don't know about you, but the moment Wizards of the Coast announced that Godzilla and many other Toho studio monsters would be in the next Magic the Gathering Set, Ikoria, my heart skipped a beat. Seeing all of these monsters appear on paper in my favorite hobby brought out all sorts of memories. Many people probably haven't seen many of these original Godzilla movies, if at all. Being the Japan Hobbyist, I felt that the gospel of Godzilla must be spread so I recruited a fellow foreigner living in Japan who is also a 'Kaiju' enthusiast and we proceeded to "nerd out" about the new monster cards in the plane of Ikoria. If you're interested in learning the history of the Toho monsters, or if you are wondering how close the MTG Ikoria counterparts are to the originals, be sure to listen!
The Pioneer format has exploded in popularity in Japan recently due to the upcoming Magic Fest in Nagoya. GP Nagoya will be the first ever Pioneer GP along with GP Brussels in Belgium. As some of you might know, I started my blog around Avacyn Restored and soon afterwards I began keeping an up to date Japanese to English vocabulary page on my blog, www.thejapanhobbyist.com. If you've been listening to my past podcasts then you know that I posted another episode about basic Magic the Gathering vocabulary you need to know to play MTG in Japan. You can find that episode here. In today's episode I'm joined by a special guest and level one judge in Japan, Taichi Nishizawa. We go over all of the vocabulary from Return to Ravnica block to Theros Beyond Death, and explain how to use the vocabulary while playing a game in Japanese. If you're a Magic player living in Japan, visiting for a Grand Prix or other event, or just want to practice speaking Japanese, give it a listen!
Having lived in Japan for more than 10 years now, I've been all around the country and have met a lot of people playing Magic the Gathering. Doing so has allowed me to get to know all sorts of people in my travels, and while the majority of them have been Japanese players, I've also met quite a few foreigners. Some of the first Americans I met were when I was playing at Grand Prix around Japan. However, not everybody was over here in Japan to work like I was.
Over the years I realized just how many of the foreigners I met and played were actually serving in the military. While many of these players are only in Japan for a few years before shipping out to other parts of the world, they have become good friends of mine. Since moving to the Yokohama area, where there are a handful of military bases, I've come to meet more and more of these service members. That's why I thought it would be a good idea to do a podcast for people serving in the military in Japan, to give them some resources and information so that if they wanted to play MTG while living here, they could do so without worrying.
If you're currently in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, or just know some Magic players in the military that are on their way over to Japan in the near future, be sure to let them know about this episode, as well as the others!
As Ryan gears up for the 13th God of Frontier tournament in Tokyo at Hareruya, He and Kevin talk about how the War of the Spark Frontier metagame has been evolving both online and in paper. They cover how each archetype has changed and what cards to look out for going into a big tournament. This is one of the last metagame episodes we did prior to Pioneer, so you can get a good look at how the decks in the format were updated with almost the same pool we currently have.
Pioneer started off with a bang here in Japan and it's been the talk of the entire Magic the Gathering Community for the past few weeks. It was only natural that we'd do a podcast about it. In this episode Ben and I talk with our good friend Bobby Birmingham about what it's been like to play the new format in Japan since the initial announcement. We talk about the initial reception of Pioneer from players, how the stores in the Tokyo/Yokohama area are changing their tournament schedules, as well as how the new format has affected the prices of cards. We also get a little personal and discuss what we are most excited to play in this new format and what we are brewing. To those of you that stick around until the 30 minute mark, we have a special treat for you.
We hope you enjoy today's show and if you have any suggestions or comments feel free to leave them down below!
(special thanks to Lain Kaplan for use of the beginning and end themes)
Planning on coming to Nagoya for a Magic Fest in the future? Or how about visiting it on the way to a Magic Fest in Shizuoka or Kyoto? If so, this episode is right up your alley. In episode 11 we continue our series on Magic Fest locations and talk about all things Nagoya. We discuss the upcoming event in November 2019, the new event hall, transportation, things you can do around the event both before and after, and all the delicious food you can eat in Nagoya! Check it out to get some ideas for your next MTG trip!
The Pioneer format has its beginnings in the Frontier format, which was started back in 2016 by Hareruya and Big Magic. But how did we get from there to here? Why didn't Frontier take off? What were the highs and lows of the format, and how did the format change from its inception to right before the Pioneer format? If you're interested in learning the history about the predecessor of Pioneer and want to know how the metagames evolved over the months and months of tournaments both in Japan and online, this is a great episode for you. Part 1 covers the first year up until the end of 2017, giving you a look at Frontier's beginnings.
After a few weeks of the M19 metagame in Frontier, there were quite a lot of results to look through and developments to talk about. In this episode we poured over all of the decks that had been showing up in Tokyo at Hareruya's Frontier tournaments, as well as how the online metagame had evolved. A good look at competitive Frontier with some great insights for Historic if you're planning on playing that new format in the future.
If you've lived or played Magic the Gathering in Japan before, then you've probably noticed that events here have always been hit or miss when it comes to trading. The Grand Prix/Magic Fest circuit is no stranger to drama related to trading, and even trading in stores is frowned upon most of the time. So what's a person going to an event to do with their trade binders and boxes? In Episode 10, I once again have Ed Nguyen of the Cartel Aristocrats podcast on to discuss what it's like trading cards in Japan compared to other parts of the world he's traveled to, and how trading has evolved since the laws surrounding how vendors do business was changed. We hope the advice and tips we give you in this episode help you out the next time you go to a big event in Japan!
One of the unique selling points of Frontier is that you get a chance to play with a lot of cards that don't see much, if any play in other formats. The lower power level than Modern, and bigger card pool than standard, put the format in an interesting place. Also in this episode, I join the podcast crew as a permanent member to talk about my experiences overseas in Japan, as well as to connect the two metagames together. Very fun topic that allows you to explore the format more in depth.