Ginbu 401 is a Chinese and sushi restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina. The restaurant is located at 401 Providence Road. Except for Tuesday, lunch and dinner are served Monday through Saturday. Dinner is only offered on Sunday. A full-service dining area provides seating for guests. Ginbu also offers a consistent take-out and delivery service. Orders can be placed by calling the restaurant directly or through Grubhub.
Ginbu's entree menu features many Chinese favorites such as Hunan and Szechuan. Customers can order any of their dishes with chicken, beef, shrimp, scallops, or tofu. Mixed vegetables are also available with some of the options. I enjoy the Mongolian, 401 Spicy, and 401 Sesame.
Beside Chinese cuisine, Ginbu has an extensive sushi menu. There are multiple choices between maki rolls, hand rolls, nigiri sushi, and sushi platters. My wife and I often order multiple sushi rolls for takeout. Our favorite rolls are the 401 Maki, Green Dragon, Firecracker, and Rainbow. Ginbu is one of the best values in town for sushi. I believe the quality and price are hard to beat for a great sushi meal.
Another reason why my wife and I enjoy Ginbu is their friendly staff. Everyone who works at the restaurant is welcoming, helpful, and greets us with a smile. They offer a consistently high service level with takeout orders. I know my takeout order will be exactly what I wanted with no mistakes. I highly encourage others to try Ginbu for takeout. Their service and food quality will meet and exceed your expectations.
Competitive tournaments are held around the world for Magic: The Gathering. The largest tournaments offer cash prizes to top-performing players. Prize pools offered for the main event at Magic Fests range from $35,000 to $65,000. Players spend many hours playtesting to prepare for Magic Fests. Players also need to fill out decklists forms accurately, sleeves are in playable condition, etc. How can players ensure they do not miss a necessary step when preparing for a tournament? What if using a checklist could reduce mistakes and mitigate risk for players without having to improve at playing MTG.
What is a Checklist?
A checklist is a tool used to follow steps for a process, assist with a job, or serve as a reminder. They typically contain a list of steps done in sequential order. A checklist may be used for onboarding a new employee, packing for a vacation, or planning a birthday party.
Benefits of a Checklist
In the book, Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande talks about the importance of checklists in the medical field. As a surgeon, Gawande uses a checklist for each operation. The checklist helps Gawande avoid errors when operating on patients. Gawande mentions simple things like double-checking a patient's name or the anesthesia label can save lives. Humans can make mistakes, even when repeating the same process hundreds of times.
Gawande also mentions that checklists help mitigate risk. He references pilots using checklists before takeoff to ensure the safety of the plane and its passengers. Pilots also use checklists during emergencies to avoid fatal crashes. These checklists are designed to ensure the highest chance of success while flying airplanes.
The third benefit of checklists is that they do not require additional skills to execute. Gawande illustrates this benefit through an interview with an anonymous investor named Cook. Cook used checklists to avoid errors in evaluating a business's financials. The checklists saved Cook from investing in a business that seemed promising but had underlying issues. The issues were found by following a checklist used to examine financial statements. The checklists served as tools for improving potential outcomes without the need for any additional skills (Gawande, 2011).
Applying Checklists to Magic: The Gathering
The steps taken to prepare and play in an MTG tournament are sequential. Checklists could be used to simplify tournament preparation and reduce play mistakes. The following situations could happen to any MTG player.
Written sideboard guides are allowed in MTG. Players can review a piece of paper between games containing sideboard strategies against various archetypes. Players can also use sideboard guides for online tournaments such as the Arena Open or Magic: The Gathering Online Qualifier. A sideboard guide functions as a checklist to help players avoid unnecessary mistakes. The below sideboard guide was used in Standard for Mono Blue Tempo.
Players traveling to Magic Fests or Star City Games Opens can order cards in advance for pickup at the venue. The SCG booth can become busy on Saturday morning as players pick up the remaining cards they need for the main event. This also means that players have to pick a deck days before a tournament begins. Here is a checklist example for ordering cards the weekend before a tournament.
A Checklist for Every Occasion
Checklists can be modified to fit the needs of the user. As processes change and continue to evolve, so should checklists. For example, a sideboard guide will change with deck selection and format evolution.
When creating a checklist, ensure that it is easy to understand and use. Try to keep the contents brief and specific. Think of how to use checklists to mitigate risk, reduce errors, and improve outcomes without any additional skills. Checklists can be a game-changer for the aspiring MTG player.
Gawande, A. (2011). The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. London: Profile Books.
Competitive EDH (cEDH) is a multiplayer format for the Magic: The Gathering card game. The format consists of building Commander decks that are competitive enough to win in the first few turns of a game. Some decks have the capability of winning on their first turn!
The MTG Reserved List features a list of cards that Wizards of the Coast said they would not reprint in future sets or products. This means that the cards on the Reserved List have a finite print run. Reserved List cards played in cEDH can be very expensive to acquire like The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and Timetwister. However, there are a few Reserved List cards used in popular cEDH decks that players can purchase for under $5.00.
Abeyance is a Reserved List rare from the Weatherlight set. This instant is featured in lists for the Heliod, Sun-Crowned cEDH deck. Abeyance acts as a second copy of Silence, but less powerful. It is another tool used to help protect combos; especially, in white-based decks. At under $5.00, this card is an inexpensive option for cEDH decks that want more Silence-type effects.
Altar of Bone
Altar of Bone is a Reserved List rare from the Ice Age set. It is a sorcery speed tutor that allows a player to search their deck for a creature. This card is an inferior version of Eladamri's Call. However, it does provide cEDH decks such as Atla Palani, Nest Tender with additional tutor effects.
Carnival of Souls
Carnival of Souls is a Reserved List rare from Urza's Destiny. This enchantment sees some play in the Yawgmoth, Thran Physician cEDH deck. It can be used for mana acceleration or as a combo piece. It can be used for mana acceleration and as a combo piece. While a niche card, Carnival of Souls is an inexpensive option for cEDH.
This list is short due in part to the nature of the Reserved List. Since Reserved List cards are not reprinted; increased demand for a card can drive prices past $5.00. Also, the rise in popularity of cEDH has push prices higher for Reserved List cards like Gilded Drake and Transmute Artifact. Abeyance, Altar of Bone, and Carnival of Souls are inexpensive Reserved List cards that can make an impactful splash in cEDH.
*The information in this article is of my own knowledge and opinion. It is meant for informational purposes only.*
Magic: The Gathering's Ikoria Lair of Behemoths brought new mechanics to the game. The companion mechanic has turned out to be powerful across constructed formats. Yorion, Sky Nomad is one of ten new companion creatures from Ikoria. As a companion, Yorion requires players to include at least twenty additional cards in their starting deck. Increasing a deck's card count can inadvertently increase the price to build it. Running a 95 card decklist is a 26.7% increase over a normal 75 card decklist. However, a deck's price jump may not always align with the card count increase.
Information for competitive Standard and Pioneer decks featuring Yorion as a companion were collected from MTGGoldfish. Similar competitive archetype decks before Ikoria's release were collected as a comparison. The data referenced in this article can be found here.
Yorion, Sky Nomad in Standard
There are a handful of competitive decks in Standard running Yorion as of May 18th, 2020. The decklists I pulled for comparing costs were Bant Yorion, Jeskai Lukka, Esper Control, 5-Color Yorion, and UW Control. While the overall cost of each deck is one sample and not an average, I believe they are good representations. The average cost for Standard Yorion decks was $421.08. Bant Yorion was the most expensive at $586.37 and UW Control was the least expensive at $308.20.
The decklists pulled from pre-Ikoria were Bant Ramp, Esper Control, Jeskai Fires, UW Control, and 4-Color Superfriends. The average cost for the pre-Ikoria decks was $381.96. Bant Ramp had a high price of $604.77 while UW Control was the least expensive again at $306.14.
The average cost difference between running decks with and without a companion is $39.12. Adding 20 cards to a deck at $1.96 each equals the cost increase of $39.12. This amount is a 10.2% increase over the typical 75 card deck and sideboard. Going one step further, the average price per card with Yorion as a companion was $4.43. The average price per card in a normal deck was $5.09. Essentially, one should expect to spend around $40 more on a Standard deck with Yorion as a companion.
Yorion, Sky Nomad in Pioneer
The competitive Pioneer decks I found were UW Devotion, UW Yorion, Niv to Light Yorion, and Superfriends. Since Superfriends decklists had a wide array of costs, I use two of them as part of the five overall deck choices. The average cost of the Pioneer companion decks was $554.16. Niv to Light Yorion had the highest price at $812.95. Unless a player already owns the cards, it appears fiscally unreasonable to build a Pioneer deck at that price point. The least expensive option among the decks was UW Control at $400.95.
Similar Pioneer archetype decks were played before Ikoria. One exception is that white devotion decks evolved by adding a second color. The average price for Pioneer decks was $464.50. Niv to Light was the highest cost at $632.11. UW Control was also the lowest cost at $389.13. UW Control with and without Yorion was almost the same in cost.
The average cost difference for decks with and without companions was $89.55. This is a 19.3% increase over the average Pioneer deck without Yorion as a companion. The average price per card in a 95 count deck was $5.83. For 75 count decks, the average price per card was $6.19. Players should expect to spend around $90 more to build a Pioneer deck with Yorion as a companion.
Cards Driving Deckbuilding Price Increases
Adding 20 cards to competitive Yorion companion decks is not a small expense. The additional cards average about $2.00 each for Standard and $4.50 each for Pioneer. Players are not always adding inexpensive filler cards to meet Yorion's requirements.
One of the main cost drivers is the necessary increase in land count. Some Yorion decks added around 40% more land cards. Standard Esper Control increased the Fable Passage count from two to four. This was an expensive, yet necessary change for mana fixing. Devotion decks in Pioneer added shock lands to support a second color.
Another reason for the increase in cost comes from different deck strategies. UW Devotion in Pioneer replaces Planeswalkers with creatures. Jeskai Lukka swaps Agent of Treachery and Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast for Sphinx of Foresight, and Cavalier of Flame. These changes raise the price of the deck before adding more lands.
The decklists used in this analysis are a small sample of competitive archetypes. There will be different results when mixing and matching other decklists. Bant in Standard had a price decrease when comparing decklists with and without Yorion. Some decks had minimal price increases with Yorion, while others skyrocketed. One clear cost increase is adding more mana fixing lands to a three or more color deck. There are multiple circumstances where prices can swing up or even down with Yorion as a companion. However, I believe players should anticipate a price increase merely by adding twenty more cards to a deck. Players also should anticipate spending more on non-Standard constructed formats due to higher average costs per card.