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!
We made a lot of claims over the months about how good card X and card Y were when we did our set reviews. But were we right? Did we sometimes get it wrong? In this episode we go over all of the picks from our past set reviews and talked about why some of our choices didn't pan out, while others were underrated. A good discussion on how the Frontier metagame evolved and grew in directions we couldn't predict, and what eventually became staples in the format. A good in depth episode for all of you Pioneer players out there.
After 3 new sets had been added to the Frontier format, it was time to take a look once more at tribal strategies. Quite a few new cards were added in Rivals of Ixalan, M19, and Dominaria so Kevin and I sat down to discuss which of those new cards either added to previous tribal decks or finally made some of them viable. Considering all of these mentioned sets are playable in Historic, this is a great topic to see how each deck would fare without the cards that were only in Frontier.
Frontier is a fast format. There's no shortage of quick creatures at 1 and 2 mana that can bring the pain quickly against an opponent. But how about on the opposite side of the coin? What cards at the top of your curve that cost 5 mana are the best in Frontier? In this episode the crew and a special guest discuss what 5 'drops' make the biggest impact in the format, including the newest set to be added to Frontier, Dominaria. There are a decent amount of cards from Historic legal sets to make it worth listening to if you're getting ready for the new format's launch this fall.
With Dominaria just around the corner, the Rivals of Ixalan metagame wraps up with a number of events online and in paper happening. The hosts talk about the Untap Open online league top 8 results, as well as what happened at a handful of paper tournaments at Hareruya in Tokyo over the last few weeks. Mostly a 'house cleaning' episode as they would say, analyzing results and what cards did well. Good to listen to so you can see which archetypes were powerful and which cards to watch out for in future metagames.
After quite a few large tournaments in Japan, the podcast crew decide to discuss the results and to also compare how Japanese players go about building decks differently than their North American counterparts. The hosts also talk about the upcoming 4th season of the online Frontier league tournament and how it could be affected by the recent results from Japan and the shifting metagame. Today's podcast is a good look at how the format evolved from Ixalan to Rivals of Ixalan in a matter of a few months and how the new cards made a name for themselves in the format.
The Magic the Final Frontier crew wrap up their thoughts on how Rivals of Ixalan will impact Frontier, covering the lands, artifacts, and multicolor cards in part 2. They also go over their top 5 list, explaining why they think their cards will have the biggest impact on the Frontier format. Another great resource for people looking to explore the Historic format more. It's one thing to play something directly from standard, but thanks to Frontier, we know what XLN block work well with Amonkhet and Kaladesh cards as well.