Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: White

Fear not, good people of Innistrad! Though the night is full of terrors, you are safe here under the protection of the Cathars. Let us all take shelter in the light of Sigarda, as I tell you about the new white cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt…

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: Blue

We return with continued coverage of this spooky Midnight Double Feature! Blue is the color of tricky and haunting spirits and this spook spectacular will make you consider…will the spirits haunt our Gladiator games? Let’s find out!

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: Black

Time to buckle down and review a lot of Zombies!

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: Red

Welcome back to our Innistrad: Midnight Hunt set review! There are a lot of cards to cover in red, so let’s get started!

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: Green

Welcome to the black segment of our Gladiator Innistrad: Midnight Hunt set review! Let’s get to it!

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: Multicolored

Welcome to the multicolored section of our Gladiator Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review! There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s jump right in!

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Review: Colorless & Lands

Welcome back to our Gladiator Innistrad: Midnight Hunt set review! This set is more about scary big creatures and graveyard shenanigans than lands and colorless cards, but I still have some thoughts to share with you.

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: Colorless

Welcome to the colorless segment of our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review! Let’s get to it!

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: Multicolored

Welcome back to our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review! There are a lot of cards to cover in gold, so let’s get started!

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: Green

Welcome to the green segment of our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review! I have way too many cards to discuss, so let’s stop wasting time and just go.

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: Red

Welcome back to our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review! There are a lot of cards to cover in red, so let’s get started!

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: Black

Welcome to the black segment of our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review! Let’s get to it!

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: Blue

Welcome back to our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review! There are a lot of cards to cover in blue, so let’s get started!

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Mono-Red Tempo: Censor Deck Wins

Have you ever looked at Mono-Red Aggro (also known as Red Deck Wins or simply RDW) and thought “Wow, such a powerful, consistent deck – I wonder if I could make it worse”

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Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review: White

Welcome to the white segment of our Gladiator Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set review!

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Dimir Control Deck Tech

Dimir Control deck tech and GBGG & Top 8 recap

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Four Color Blood Deck Tech

A deep dive into the Four Color Blood decklist, card choices, and play patterns.

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The Meta Analysis – The Great Big Gladiator Games

The numbers have been crunched, and Tyreworm is here to share the stats.

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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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The Armory #4: Polymorph Tokens

Greetings Gladiators! Today’s article, the fourth in the series, will demonstrate why artifacts and creatures are overrated, and why you don’t need more than two in your entire deck.

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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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A Comprehensive Study on Witherbloom Command

An in-depth look at an underrated card, its pros and cons, and where it should be seeing play in 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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The Armory #3: Lorehold Control

Welcome students! In today’s class, we’ll study the history of Lorehold Control, a pet deck of your professor. The deck aims to eliminate the opponent’s board presence, accumulate card advantage, and win with big Dragons! Although the matches were played before the release of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the deck list has been updated with the new cards. Can Control decks exist without Islands? Let’s find out!

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The Armory #2: Mono Blue Tempo

Hello Gladiators! Welcome to my second article in The Armory! Today’s article will be about Mono-Blue Tempo, an idea submitted by FreeCats#52240. This deck aims to deploy early evasive threats and protect them with counterspells. It also has many ways to gain card advantage while maintaining pressure on the opponent’s life total. How many flying creatures does it take to be lethal? Let’s find out!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: White

Welcome to the white part of our Gladiator Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! Let’s get to it!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: Blue

Welcome to the blue part of our Gladiator Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! Let’s get to it!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: Black

Welcome back to our Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! Lets check out some of the interesting black cards that have come out, and try to find a home for them.

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: Red

Welcome to the red segment of our Gladiator Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! Let’s get to it!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: Green

Welcome back to our Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! There are a lot of cards to cover in green, so let’s get started!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: Multicolored

Welcome to the multicolored segment of our Gladiator Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! Let’s jump right in!

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Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Set Review: Lands & Colorless

Welcome to the Lands and colorless part of our Gladiator Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set review! Let’s get to it!
tarting with a new cycle of rare lands all of which can become a creature temporarily, enter the battlefield tapped if you control two more other lands and, unlike previous creature lands in the format, generate colored mana. 

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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 Armory #1: Pirate Tribal

Pirate tribal, an idea submitted by Fungustober#71587. These fearsome warriors of the high seas aim to quickly take down their opponents with evasive bodies and efficient removal. The deck also contains a minor artifact sub-theme and tribal synergies. Will the Pirates seize the treasures they desire or meet their fate at the bottom of the stormy sea? Let’s find out!

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Green-Black Aggro Deck Tech

Green-Black Aggro (henceforth referred to as GB Aggro) is a creature-based aggressive deck whose game plan revolves around playing threats resistant to removal while using its own removal and hand disruption to clear the way for those threats. It is slower than the fastest Aggro decks, instead favoring a longer term, more resilient strategy. This gives it more endurance in the face of board wipes than other decks, as well as additional avenues to disrupt Combo and Control lists proactively instead of relying on racing them.

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Blue Red Control Deck Tech

and then develop a threat and protect it. In this article I’ll be going over why I chose to play this deck, the game plan of the deck, my card choices and potential changes to the list.

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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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Snow Mana, Hot or Not?

Thanks to Kaldheim, snow payoff cards entered the format in February 2021. Most of the card pool that cares about snow mana comes from Kaldheim, though Wizards of the Coast has made additions to the snow matters pool through Historic Anthologies. It’s unlikely they will add more snow payoff cards in the near future, but it’s not impossible. Snow lands have many clear upsides and some downsides for playing them. In this article I am going to discuss some of the most played cards that affect or are affected by snow lands and share my opinion about playing them in Gladiator.

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Weekly Meta Analysis – Season 3 Week 7

Week 7 had an interesting set of results, with the usually popular Jeskai Control only having one entry and Boros Aggro having its worst week of results in a while. The variants of Mono-White looked strong, with both Aggro and Death & Taxes putting in a very strong showing, with a combined 14-6 record. Sultai Control was the surprise of the week, putting in several strong results, and showing that control doesn’t always need white to put in a good showing.

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Getting Started

Today, I want to take the next step, and provide a quick and dirty guide on how to get from “I want to try this” to jamming games on the Discord server as quickly as possible. Of course, the easiest way to get a deck together is to go on the Discord, grab a list from a league or weekly tournament, and try it out. However, this may take you a large amount of wild cards, or even worse, gems. If you have the inclination and resources to do that, by all means go for it, and you should be slinging cards in as little as 5 minutes. However, a how-to guide on importing decklists into Arena would be a pretty dry (though mercifully brief) read, so I am presenting this so that you can dive right in with my favorite easy brewing technique. I call it…

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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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State of the Format: July 2020

There’s been a number of huge updates for our beloved format since the last state of the format.
Key items:
Core 2021, Jumpstart, Historic Anthology 3 released into the metagame.
The creation of the Gladiator Council and the banning of Field of the Dead.
Growth of the Gladiator Discord to over 4,000 players.
Creation of the Gladiator Arena League.

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14 June 2020 | Sunday Slam Tournament Report

The 3rd weekly Sunday Slam occurred this Sunday, June 14th. Through 5 rounds, 8 players came to the top 8. Here are their standings.

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05 June 2020 | Tournament Report

By: Dune Brood Tournament Breakdown On June 5th, 28 Gladiators entered the Arena to battle for the title of the G:AS FNM Champion in a 4 rounds Best of 3. The following 8 champions emerged victorious. 4-0 alternate789 on Azorious Control 4-0 telemach0s on Simic Ramp 3-1 Decontest on Sultai Midrange 3-1 Yesterdaze on Mono…

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Gladiator Data Crunch: The Most Played Cards and Colours in the May 2020 Tournaments

With May coming to a close and not much else to do I thought it would be interesting to see how the competitive meta of Gladiator was shaping up. Specifically, what was being played most at the upper echelons of tournaments. So, I grabbed every deck list that made top 8 in a May tournament (a total of 64) and did some crunching. Looking at the 64 deck lists these are the findings that I thought people would find most interesting.

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22 May 2020 | Tournaments Breakdown and Metagame Analysis

On May 22nd two FNM tournaments were conducted in a row. I ran the Eurozone tournament while Prince Phantom hosted the NAzone tournament. Thanks go to all the attendees and the other Tournament Organizers, nashty and Horatius. The following Champions emerged victorious from the Tournament battlegrounds.

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22 May 2020 | Eurozone Tournament Report

May 22nd 2020 Eurozone FNM Tournament Results Rank Player and Deck 1 BraveJRL Bant Control 13 2 Archermaster24#2326 Bant Nexus 13 3 Linija White Weenie 13 4 Swankishdank_0904 Temur Ramp 10 5 wesley147208 Jeskai Control 10 6 cdgentry1#4107 Sultai Reclamation 10 7 Bjaaarn Sultai Lands 10 8 gozmit97 Gruul Stompy 10 9 SeismicLawns Tour de…

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19 May 2020 | North America Tournament Report

Winning Decks 5-0          ItThatBetrayed#34978                  Jund Midrange  5-0         Archermaster24#35487                 Bant Nexus         4-1          Roval#13839                                       Sultai Pod            4-1          Tregelen#08387                                Bant Blink            4-1         MandarinMonkey#52528             Gruul Stompy    4-1          Monowog#14927                             Sultai Reanimator            4-1          cdgentry1#15217                             Jeskai Control    4-1          SirTractor#96603                              Rakdos Aggro     4-1          sveske#27595                                    Abzan Reanimator           4-1          HeWhoHasCake#47171                 Azorius Control 3-2          Denthrass#93410                            …

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15 May 2020 | Eurozone Tournament Report

By Ephara/DuneBrood 16May202 On May 5th 58 Gladiators entered the Arena to battle for the title of the G:AS FNM Champion in a 4 rounds Bo3. The following 8 champions emerged victorious. 4-0 EMG(23637) on Sultai Midrange  4-0 cart4ever on Boros Aggro  4-0 Nickfingertip on Gruul Stompy  3-0-1 catmoozi on Esper Control  3-1 grexar on…

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15 May 2020 | Eurozone Tournament Snapshot

Quick posts to show off today’s winning lists, full tournament report from Ephara will be up tomorrow! GGWP everybody! EMG(23637) Sultai Midrange 4 – 0 cart4ever Boros Aggro 4 – 0 NickFingertip Gruul Stompy 4 – 0 catmoozi Esper Control 3 – 0 – 1 grexar Esper Control 3 – 1 ItThatBetrayed Sultai Lands 3…

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As Gruul as it Gets: May 13th Tournament Meta Breakdown

By Gaspump 14May2020 If you’d asked me how I felt about Gladiator a week ago, I would’ve told you that while I was generally a fan of Russel Crowe’s body of work it wasn’t my favorite movie he’d starred in. Now, with a tournament’s worth of experience under my belt in what I’d handily consider…

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13 May 2020 | North American G:AS Tournament Report

Talk about a tournament! 92 players met on a Wednesday night to do battle, and some surprising things emerged! While the weekend tournaments were dominated by UGX strategies, and midrange value decks seemed to be everywhere, this tournament saw more aggressive strategies attacking the still fluid meta game. Outstanding showing from Gruul decks, and it still appears that green is the most powerful color but other strategies were equally represented in the 4-1 lists. Big tournaments this weekend so sharpen your decks and check your mana bases!

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Bant Counters Deck Tech

By HD_Dabnado 12 May 2020 Bant Counters Decklist I started playing Magic: The Gathering during the gap between M15 and Khans of Tarkir block. It was a unique time for Magic; before the Magic Origins shift began. While I did not play much standard, I was actively interested in standard cards. Back then I played…

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Evaluating the Meta-Game: Why I Play White-Weenies and How Gx Decks are Going to Take Over the Format

By Horatius, 12 May 2020 Gladiator is very new and the best deck is still being debated. In the early days, there is space to improve win rate by analyzing and adapting faster than your opponents to the idiosyncrasies of this singleton format. I went 4-0 and 4-1 in the early tournaments choosing white weenie…

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State of the Format – May 2020

It’s been a period of rapid growth for the Gladiator, which is a testament to both the awesomeness and the accessibility of this new community driven singleton format. Since the creation of the discord server on 22 April 2020 to present (12 May 2020), we’ve grown to 2,200 players active in the discord. There have already been 5 competitive tournaments in which 190 players participated from North American Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. The format is generating interest throughout the wider magic community via word of mouth, streaming, and social media, and it is all because we, the players, are driving the community, whether it be through discussions, deck building, content creation, or just playing.

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09 May 2020 | North American Tournament Report

It’s still pretty early in the format, and the meta game is slowly coalescing, however no truly dominant archetype has emerged. GX decks in both two and three color combinations have a large presence in the metagame, but if you compare the results of the European (early) and North American (late) Tournaments today, you still see aggro decks going undefeated, and diverse strategies from Jeskai Superfriends (below) to The Rock going 3-1. Player diversity is possibly also a factor, as not everyone has been grinding on the platform to have the ability to rapidly switch decks into new archetypes. We’ll continue to track tournament results and see what develops.

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09 May 2020 | Eurozone Tournament Report

By Dunebrood/Ephara 09 May 2020 On May 9th the second set of Saturdays Swisses were hosted by Horatio and myself. 28 players fought in 2 flights of 1×16 player swiss and 1×12 player swiss in 4 rounds Bo3 Gladiator. The following decks presented winning records. Flight 1: 4-0 Darrak on Sulltai Lands 3-1 GoblinMatron on…

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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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02 May 2020 | Saturday Night Swiss Tournament Report

First ever set of Saturday Swisses was played last night. 44 Players joined into 3 flights of gameplay –1×16 player swiss and 2×14 player swisses. The Gladiator format stills seems wide open: a huge array of decks joined the fight covering every archetype and color (…and then some–shoutout to Griff-dog who brought a Dance of the Manse combo deck that went 0-4 but won the entertainment factor of the night).

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Historic Anthology 3 Card List

As cards are announced for Historic Anthology 3 (27 Cards total) they will be linked here. Release date 21 May. Preview Day May 8th.

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Building a Deck With Free Cards

Community member Terenos did all the legwork to assemble decks that use only the cards from New Player Event Challenges! Do you want to get into Gladiator with absolutely NO cost? Start here! Gladiator BlogGladiator Blog is the main account for the unofficial Gladiator Blog. Articles posted by the previous owners of this website will…

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25 April 2020 | Tournament Report

Thanks to all participants for making this an awesome 56 player impromptu tournament! Click on player name to view the decklist, and join the Gladiator Discord for future tournament announcements

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Dealing With Planeswalkers

There are currently 2,857 cards on Magic Arena, and 98 of those are planeswalkers. With only 205 of these game winning bombs made in the 25 year history of the game, in gladiator the density of playable planeswalkers is higher in our format than in any other. With War of the Spark in the format it’s essential to ask when deck building: how does this deck answer planeswalkers?

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Esper Control Deck Tech

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first (hopefully not last) deck tech for Gladiator. I’m gonna do the proper thing, considering we are super early in the format; set up what exactly Gladiator is. The Rules of Gladiator Gladiator is a 100 card singleton format, intended to be played primarily on MTG Arena. Many of…

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24 April 2020 | Gladiator 26 Player Arena Tournament Results

Excellent impromptu tournament, the format still looks wide open!

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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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