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Magic Life Lesson #10: Magical Synergies

Magical Life Lessons are short snippets of wisdom learned from playing Magic: the Gathering. It may be a game, but here you’ll find insights learned from slinging cards that you can apply to the game of life.

Deadly Discovery was arguably the best 2019 Challenger Deck around, and it certainly earned a great number of wins for me. With Throne of Eldraine came a new season, and Deadly Discovery was cast into the annals of history. Graveyard Adventures was a green and black deck I built, and although it had some strong points, it was not nearly as effective as Deadly Discovery. But, with their powers combined, a new deck was forged to take on the current meta. Introducing Undying Pledge:

Undying Pledge

Smitten Swordmaster & Deathless Knight - Magic Life Lesson #10: Magical Synergies
Smitten Swordmaster has two ways to return Deathless Knight from the graveyard.
8 Swamp (ANA) 58
4 Smitten Swordmaster (ELD) 105
4 Leyline Prowler (WAR) 202
2 Blacklance Paragon (ELD) 79
3 Deathless Knight (ELD) 208
2 Edgewall Innkeeper (ELD) 151
2 District Guide (GRN) 128
3 Golgari Findbroker (GRN) 175
4 Murder (M19) 110
1 Syr Konrad, the Grim (ELD) 107
4 Order of Midnight (ELD) 99
10 Forest (ANA) 60
2 Find // Finality (GRN) 225
4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253
1 Charity Extractor (WAR) 81
2 Casualties of War (WAR) 187
4 Temple of Malady (M20) 254

(You can copy and paste the above text to import it into MTG Arena.)

The deck has many synergies, and synergy is really just a fancy way to talk about combined ideas that work better together than on their own. Like in Magic: the Gathering, you can get a lot out of combining ideas to make something new, and that’s Magic Life Lesson #10: Magical Synergies.

Magic Life Lesson #10: Magical Synergies

Swords are cool. Lasers are cool. Laser swords? Now those are even cooler! Bread is a good idea, and so is cutting it. Sliced bread? Best idea since… well, you get where this is going.

Combining ideas is a great way to come up with something new and valuable. That “value” might be obvious, or it might lie in how useful or entertaining something is.

Just look at the Stranger Things franchise. It took concepts from old horror movies and threw in a fair load of nostalgia to make something new and groundbreaking, even though it is squarely rooted in the past. It was so inspiring to me that I ran an eight-session Stranger Things campaign.

Glasses reflecting Stranger Things Logo
Photo credits: Puneeth Shetty

Apply it to Your Life

But how do you apply this principle to your own life? You could create a competitive advantage, a niche market, or find a better way to do something by mixing ideas together and seeing what sticks.

I started releasing free fiction for Valkyrie: Ragnarok as a way to build a following and introduce my setting to roleplayers. It’s an idea combining freemium, blogging, and the concept of the minimal viable product (MVP). Time will tell if the idea floats, but the important thing is that it’s a stronger concept because of the parts it draws inspiration from.

Two are stronger than one!