Original article here: https://medium.com/@ExplosionPills/the-cards-im-most-excited-about-in-theros-beyond-death-336ef632e7b9

Two other sets have already gone by, so this article is way overdue. I didn’t do a full set analysis of TBD, but I commented on some possible constructed and limited applications for a few cards that stood out to me. I got things right, and plenty wrong, so I’ll go through each of the cards I discussed here and talk about that.

Elspeth Conquers Death

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I was originally pretty excited for this card, but that excitement has waned. Now that this card has become ubiquitous, I can’t stand it anymore. However, I do think that it’s a good card for the meta that is also fair. It gives competitive decks the ability to respond to things that are indestructible. It also punishes opponents for killing whatever you have be it creatures or planeswalkers, although leaving them alive may be a punishment in and of itself. I just think it’s a little too competitive. It’s gotten to the point where players will exile each others’ ECDs. In spite of my prediction, I think that it’s actually turned out to be way more powerful than The Eldest Reborn ever was (and I called it “far inferior” to that card), and that’s mainly because of its I which has the flexibility to remove any threat at all. Getting things back from your own graveyard is usually what you want to be doing anyway. The 3 mana target CMC limitation doesn’t matter in most matchups, although there are a lot of competitive Lurrus decks running around, but hey, one card can’t be good in every situation (except Teferi, Time Raveler). …


Update: August 3, 2020 — Banned Banned Banned!

Wotc announced that 3 of the cards I wrote about in this article have been banned. See their post here: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/august-8-2020-banned-and-restricted-announcement. I find it a bit unusual that they decided to ban cards that were so popular and have been around for so long, but they offer a pretty good explanation in the article: it’s experimental.

  • Teferi, Time Raveler — The protector and destroyer of jank is finally dead. Long live Teferi, Time Raveler! This is a big change since he’s been banned in all Arena constructed formats. …

Magic the Gathering’s newest set has been fully spoiled. I’ve always been interested in doing a card review for a new set, and this is a foray into that. I’m not going to be discussing the entire set … instead I’m just talking about the cards that I’m personally most excited about. I don’t necessarily think that all of these cards are good, although some of them are. This is just a list of cards that I am most excited to play in constructed, and to a smaller degree, in limited.

I’ll be talking about the card in general and my opinions on it from a gameplay and flavor perspective. Then, I’ll dive into where I think this card will be played in both constructed (mostly standard) and limited. …


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This is a bit of a followup to Ben Lesh’s excellent article RxJS: Don’t Unsubscribe. I’m going for a catchy title here that mirrors his. I think you should use takeUntil when you have a good reason to do so, and subscription management is a good reason. Just like Ben says

Well… okay, just don’t unsubscribe quite so much.

I would say, make sure you’re using takeUntil properly for managing your Observables as well. On a related note, you may want to check out Nicholas Jamieson’s article RxJS: Avoiding takeUntil Leaks.

This article will detail some issues I ran into with naive use of takeUntil in an Ionic (Angular) project. Hopefully, this can help some of you avoid these pitfalls up front! This app is an Ionic v3 app, so we’re still using some of the older lifecycle hooks. Ionic v4 recommends using Angular’s built in hooks in some cases. See: https://ionicframework.com/docs/angular/lifecycle


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A Solar Array

As I’m a TypeScript guy, this article will be written with a TypeScript focus, but the code should generally work with the latest versions of JavaScript too.

There are a lot of Array operators in JavaScript. There may be more than you think. I looked at the list, and there were more than I thought. New ones are added often as well, so it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with array operators (or methods) with some regularity.

This article will be a review of what I consider to be the core JavaScript array operators. This is just my opinion, and some of the operators I leave off here may be more valuable to some people, but these are Array operators that I find people are often not aware of even though they are very functionally and semantically powerful. …


React hooks are a relatively new mechanism in the React framework that allow you to manage state and side effects with functions called hooks. This allows you to write some components as functions rather than as classes and still maintain state. Hooks also allow for reusability of logic across multiple components rather than having logic isolated in particular components.

For those who are interested in but still brand new to hooks, you may be curious as to how individual hooks work and when and how you would use particular hooks. …


In its typical sardonic and tongue-in-cheek way, Family Guy mocked Netlfix during its 2017 episode “Saturated Fat Guy.” I won’t post a video since anything I can find is likely to be taken down, but if you’re familiar at all with Family Guy you can imagine what the joke is like. I’ll be examining the portion that says:

… If you love the golden year of movies: 2003, we might have some of what you’re looking for. Netflix streaming! Buffer for 20 minutes, then watch 35 minutes of a movie with Jason Statham.

This makes essentially three claims that I will…


I actually read 41 books and listened to 8 audio books last year. I read 50 books within the last year, starting on January 7th, 2018 and finishing the last book on the 6th of 2019. I had started it on the 31st but decided that New Years celebrations with my new wife and stepson would be more fun than trying to speed-read a book I was relatively interested in for the whole night. I also got married last year. …


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Mostly for fun, I decided to upgrade an old project of mine to current versions of React using React hooks.

This is a fairly simple React app that displays and animates a times table visualization. It’s broken down into fundamentally three components: The app container that maintains the state, the visualization itself, and the controls for manipulating the visualization.

Update: This article was originally written when React hooks were in alpha, hence the following paragraph. …


Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, for those who don’t know, is the sequel to the original The Legend of Zelda video game and the second game in the franchise. I feel a special connection to this game, although I’ve never really thought about or been able to explain why. In this article, I’ll explore some of the archetypes in the sequel which I think offer at least a partial explanation of what draws me to the game.

I should give credit first and say that I watched these videos in preparation of writing this article, and I borrow pretty freely from…

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Andrew Crites

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