Gladiator Staples: Part I

Have you ever wondered about which cards are Gladiator staples? Well, today is your lucky day!

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Sultai Pile in the Great Big Gladiator Games

The Great Big Gladiator Games, from the perspective of a top-8 competitor, and a love letter to Torment of Hailfire.

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A First Timer’s Great Big Gladiator Games Tournament Report

The Great Big Gladiator Games have come and gone, and I was glad to have been a part of it. It was my first foray into the competitive side of Gladiator…

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Great Big Gladiator Games Deck Tech: Mono-White Death & Taxes

Decks these days can have so many colors. I’ve even heard rumors of disturbed individuals who will play four or more…

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Brewing a Gladiator Deck in Seven Steps

Building a 100-card singleton deck might be challenging, especially for the first time. I still remember Hi there! Building a 100-card singleton deck might be challenging, especially for the first time. I still remember my first Gladiator deck; it featured some bad cards combined with far too many taplands and went 1-4 in the Gladiator League. Once you know a bit about how to build a deck, it feels like being an artist, tinkering with every detail like it was a piece of a drawing or a song. The art of creating a deck revolves around taking into account both its efficacy and your Magic taste. While “de gustibus non disputandum est”*, there’s much to discuss about making your deck better and that’s what I’ll do in this article.

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The Metagame Loop

The concept of the Metagame in this article specifically relates to the cycle of player decisions and actions leading up to, and during, any given competitive constructed tournament. I refer to this in the article as a single metagame cycle. This cycle is format agnostic. The steps within this cycle may or may not be executed consciously by the players, but all players in a given tournament execute this fundamental gameplay loop.

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What Makes a Healthy Metagame?

What makes a healthy metagame? Just like any organization or society, the answer is one word: Diversity. In Magic, that means deck diversity. Magic: The Gathering is a sprawling game, in the last 27 years it has spawned over 20,000 unique cards, and those cards have translated into diverse strategies that allow players an array of options to win a match against one or more opponents. From the pro-tour to the kitchen table the game carries the promise that “you can win with the cards you’ve bought.” While that statement is a gross simplification of how tournament magic unfolds, I’m going to use it in my definition of what makes the game both engaging, and in particular, fun.

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What Makes Gladiator Unique?

For those of you just beginning your quest for Gladiator greatness on MTG Arena, getting started and finding your footing on the blood-soaked sands might be a little tricky, or even intimidating. What makes Gladiator unique? What’s the easiest way to build a deck? What is the metagame like? How much do I need to spend? What resources are there to help me? In the coming weeks I’ll be writing a series of articles that will help increase your baseline understanding of the format, make informed decisions about card choices, and get started having fun playing the best online format Magic: The Gathering has to offer.

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Welcome to Gladiator: Arena Singleton!

Gladiator is a 100-card singleton format on Arena. It’s less comparable to Commander, and more comparable to Canadian Highlander or Arena Cube Constructed.

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My Experience with Gladiator (So Far)

So, I have been playing gladiator on and off the last 2 weeks, and I have to say; this format is a ton of fun. The number of possibilities right now are endless, and it’s the wild west right now as far as decks go. Now, from the handful of tournaments that have been put on, there are certainly strong strategies; I’ll touch base on that in a bit. But, if you are just challenging people to games, there have been a ton of interesting games.

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What is Gladiator and Why Should I Play?

Gladiator is a 100 card singleton Magic: The Gathering format designed to played on Arena. It allows a player to design a 100 card deck that contains a single copy of any card available on Arena, unless the card text modifies deck building limitations. Gladiator utilizes a ban list that currently has 5 cards on it: Field of the Dead, Natural Order, Nexus of Fate, Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Teferi, Time Raveler. Gladiator is a competitive tournament format that does not utilize sideboards, so companions, commanders, and other cards that allow you to pull cards from “outside of the game” do not work in the format, but may be cast as creatures. Lurrus of the Dream-Den is a powerful card on its own, and is included in many decks for its amazing stats and abilities, but cannot be used as a companion.

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