Meet Alex Smith, Commander Specialist

Hello there and welcome to my little slice of Gamer’s Gauntlet. My name is Alexander Smith and I’ve succumbed to my desire to write. It was an easy surrender, after all being kindly asked to write is as close to a green light one gets outside of actual traffic. I’ve been playing at Gamer’s Gauntlet regularly since spring of 2013 and have certainly enjoyed myself. The staff is laid-back and knowledgeable, and the clientele promote a welcoming atmosphere. So if you find yourself in Southeast Michigan, stop in, game, and have some laughs.

Now we arrive at the awkward stage of the article. I justify to you why you should even bother reading and to myself why I should even bother writing.

Some Facts

I’ve played Magic: The Gathering since the spring of 2002, just prior to the release of Judgment.

I’ve read most every article from the USENET dark ages to present on what makes decks tick and how to improve all levels of play.

I’ve maintained three playgroups that have only gone defunct from external causes (i.e. going to college, moving out of dorms and into                           apartments, finishing college).

I’ve maintained a competent deck for over a decade (Astral Slide), which is still a beast at the kitchen table.

I’m currently tutoring a peer on improving his Magic play.

I’m still focused on having fun and improving at this game.

I’m now out of things to crow about, but think the point has been sufficiently established: I know the stuff that only a decade of self-aware play (I know how little I actually know) and lived experience establish but still have the hunger to animate hopefully good writing.

What follows is the content I plan to feature:

Lost but Seeking: The main mode of my writing, articles focusing on EDH and GG’s Commander League. Writings to feature reviews of new sets and dedicated commander products, reports of sweet plays with game commentary, the occasional deep dive for forgotten gems and other lost technology, and other article types of that style.

Deck Techs: A spotlight on interesting decks either because they feature new interactions or new implementations of classic game plans. Alternatively a nuts and bolts review to learn what makes a good deck tick and how we could apply those lessons to our own brewing. I plan to draw from the decks of my peers and reader’s submissions, but may feature some of my own as proven recipes for success.

In the Lab: These types of articles will be either blue-skies brewing or deck doctoring. Recommendations or submissions welcomed and appreciated.

Tolaria North: Just because it’s casual doesn’t mean it’s easy; WotC’s casual-centric article isn’t called “Serious Fun” for the mere joy of an oxymoron. These articles will focus on theory, tactics and strategy, along with the challenges of scaling up to 100 card singleton, to aid all your games along to seriously fun territory.

Allied Strategies: The inevitable opinion pieces on MtG and Commander will be filed here. As players and people: we are at our best and worst as a community. Hopefully my comments bolster the former and avoid the latter.

From Precon to Player: A community involvement project where I take a lowly Commander Preconstructed deck and apply a small budget to it each week to make it more competitive and/or interesting.

Thanks for your time. I hope you are looking forward to reading as much as I am to writing. Feel free to carry on the conversion with me over email or on Twitter.

Until next time,

Alex Smith

@smithwits on Twitter