Fan Favorite Friday New Year’s Special: You

*spoiler alert

Hello my friends, and happy Friday! I hope the week has been treating you well because you deserve it. I know this time of year can be rough on people, myself included. One thing that I like to take the time to do, especially when the Christmas winter blues hit me hard, is look back at the year I’ve had and think about the things I’m particularly thankful for. So, I hope you don’t mind me mixing it up a little again because this week I’m going to take a look at the Magic-related things that happened this year that I’m particularly grateful for.

First though, let’s talk giveaways! We didn’t get a ton of comments on last week’s article (which is definitely my fault for dropping the ball on sharing it) so I’m bumping the playset of Sol Rings to this week too. But wait, that’s not all! I’ve also snagged a bunch of random packs and will be giving them away randomly to people who do the thing! (There’s at least one UMA pack…)

What’s the thing? Check it:

  • Make sure you like the ABU Games Facebook Page
  • Like the post featuring this article
  • Share that post!
  • Comment on that post or in the comments here and let me know what your favorite thing about 2018 was. It doesn’t have to be Magic related, but obviously that’s cool! If you’re not into happy stuff like that, feel free to give me a content-related suggestion for 2019 and I’ll count that!


Okay, back to the article! 2018 was a weird year for me. I was working at a tutoring center at my old community college during a period of weird behind the scenes upheaval and ended up running the center for a while. At the same time, I had dropped a resume here at ABU on a whim, not expecting to hear back or taking it very seriously. I got a call from my manager Matt for an interview and then was offered the job, starting the next day!

I worked the two jobs for a while. One thing led to another and I quit at the college. The college called me a week later, offering me some pretty tempting numbers to come back. I was in love with my ABU job though, and my manager caught me in tears freaking out (decisions are hard, man). They wanted to keep me, offered me a literal dream, and that’s how I became the Content Production Manager and get to write this article for ya’ll every week!

That was just the beginning of this super weird year! There has been a lot of bad, a lot of strange, and a huge heaping of good! I got to travel around the country playing my favorite card game, I got to meet some wonderful people, and also I just got a short story published (it’s on page ___)! But this is a Magic website, so we’re going to focus on the Magic-related things I’m thankful for (and don’t worry, there’s a card in there to keep on theme).

Autobots, roll out:

Travelling With The Team

You know what was super awesome this year? Getting to travel around with the Team ABU boys to a bunch of Grand Prix events and wave a camera in their faces! GP Sac was my first event where I was working on content, and holy cow was that a trial by fire. I’m stoked for 2019 and having more developed skills for that sort of thing, but I couldn’t have developed those skills without throwing myself in with these weirdos. They’re a hardworking bunch, and I’m stoked that I get to be the guy stalking them with a camera. I love you, Alpha Wolves!

Goblin Cratermaker (and winning a dual!)

Look at that cute cat in the corner.

Surprise – the card I’m most thankful about this year is a goblin! (I know, that’s not surprising at all actually.) Goblin Cratermaker is definitely one of the most influential (eternal formats-wise) goblins to come out in such a long time. I stuck one in my Legacy deck, tried it out, then added another, and then I added a third and won our second event in the Win-A-Dual series!

Look at that handsome fella.

Yep, this entry is mostly a roundabout way for me to talk about being thankful for winning a tournament. I love our local Legacy community, and there’s no way I could have scored a win like that without the support and testing of a lot of really rad folks. There were some crazy intense games that day and it’s one of the best days I’ve ever had playing magic! Huge shout out to everyone who came out! We’ve still got a ton of duals for people to compete for – if you are a Legacy player or thinking of getting into the format you should definitely check out our Win-A-Dual series. Check out the trailer I made:

Seriously though, Cratermaker is definitely one of the biggest things to happen in the paper Magic world that I’m thankful for from this year. Being able to have a decent little body that can also destroy colorless permanents or do two damage to a target creature is so good for my deck! I talk about this guy more in my article about the first Win-A-Dual tournament. My winning deck is only slightly different from the one I ran that day, just swap out the Grenzo for another Cratermaker and add some enchantment hate to the sideboard and you’ve got the new list!

My Coworkers

Ya’ll, I work with some super cool people. Not gonna lie, game stores are as weird of a place as you imagine (in my experience) and our crew is no exception. It’s always been rare for me to feel excited every day when I’m going into work, but I think ABU is as close as I’ll ever be able to get! And it’s thanks to my coworkers. I’ve had an awesome year getting to know all these people.

How many people get to say they work with some of their best friends? I play music with some of them, am always welcome at board game nights, and am never bored when I’m in need of interesting conversation. And all of the people here know their stuff – if I ever have a question about anything gaming related I only have to walk around the building to find an expert on any given Magic, D&D, or board gaming related question.

So whether it’s freestyle rapping in the office while we’re marathon editing content with my main man Dane, talking board games with Lance, bugging the buylist crew, or any of the other awesome interactions I get to have in a given day – I’m thankful for them. This was a cool year when it comes to being surrounded by awesome people.

Look In A Mirror Real Quick

Not to get weird, but you know what was one of the biggest things for me to be thankful for this year? You.

Yep, you! The one reading this article right now! Everyone who reads the articles we put out, everyone who subscribes to and comments on our videos, and everyone who participates in discussions on Facebook (shoutout to the Boise Magic Players group!) – I couldn’t do any of this without your support!

Content production doesn’t mean squat if no one is consuming it, and I’ve been so awed at all the awesome feedback everyone has been giving me locally and on the interwebs. Always feel free to say what’s up when you see me around, I love chatting with people! Or hit me up any time on the social media, I’m always happy to listen to feedback or talk about goblins or whatever.

That being said, let’s talk about

The Future

This is Fan Favorite Friday number 26! That’s so crazy to me. I’m really happy with where I’m at, but I think it’s time to mix it up a bit. I’ve been thinking a lot about where to take this column, and I wanted to ask for your feedback!

I’m not so sure about the vote each week – I love getting input from everyone, but sometimes it feels kind of awkward? My Top 5 black cards article from Black Friday was one of the most popular of the FFFs, how do ya’ll feel about list articles like that? Maybe have a vote for which list instead of which card?

I’ve also contemplated integrating a video component or maybe replacing the article completely with a weekly video in the same vein – how does that float your collective boats?

What other things do you all want to see coming out from ABU Games? I know I personally want to push more board game and tabletop content in 2019 alongside upping our Magic content. Hit me up with what you’re dying to see and I’ll try to make it happen! Feel free to comment here, on Facebook, or hit me up on Twitter or Instagram!

Bring it on 2019, big things are coming!

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Joe Davidson is the Content Production Manager at ABU Games. When he's not playing Modern, Legacy, or following around Team ABU with a camera he's pursuing a BFA in Fiction at Boise State University. He loves Goblins, casting burn spells, and writing about Magic. You can find him on Twitter @MTGJoeD.