Happy (semi-early) birthday to us! It was one year ago to the week we made our debut as “Masters of Modern” on Reddit and other social media. It was also one year ago to the week that our readers took a chance on a couple of relatively no-name Magic players and their vision of a Modern site for Modern players. Our name might have quickly changed, but our promise to deliver high-quality, data-driven, Modern-specific content has continued to be the core of our site’s purpose since last year. Some of you played Magic through school as an escape from classes and tests. Here at Modern Nexus, I’m proud to say we will never let you escape the statistics, tables, and evidence-based analyses you have come to expect.
March 16 of 2015 saw us publish our first “Metagame Breakdown” article, and I’d like to hope the ideas of Tier 1, Tier 2, and Magic metagame analysis have never quite been the same. Today, I want to not only thank our readers and community for all your support and participation in the site, but also to give some reflections on where the site has been and where we plan on heading over the next year. This can also be a place for you to drop us some comments about what you want to see more of, less of (so long as that “less of” isn’t statistics!), or what you want us to change.
With that in mind, here are some Long-Term Plans as we forge ahead into our second year of operation.
- Thank the readers
We wouldn’t be here today without our dedicated fans, commentators, audience members, current/former contributors, and overall community. Critics and outright trolls included! All of you have made the site possible, both in big things like reading and little ones like disabling ad-blockers, and I know I speak for our small but committed team when I thank you all for your involvement in Modern Nexus. Over the course of 2016, I want to think of ways to thank our readers and give back to them. This might take the form of more participatory articles such as a “Deck Doctor” series, community contests with snazzy prizes, reader-request articles, and more. Our readers rock and they deserve that explicit recognition.
- Expand the staff
I love our small Nexus team, but I am also aware of the limitations this places on our site growth. Just taking my own writing as an example, a week where I write 2-3 pieces and update all the metagame numbers on a daily basis is a week where I lose hours to test another Stoneforge Mystic vs. Insert-Tiered-Deck-Here article. There’s also significant value in adding new perspectives to the team, particularly those with more tournament involvement than I have. I’m very much on the academic side of Magic and Modern, and although there is value to that in the game as much as in non-gaming spheres, it’s important to maintain a balance. In 2016, I want to work to expand our staff through reaching out to new authors, strategic partnerships, guest appearances, and other arrangements to ensure we’re giving you the latest and greatest in Modern content. I’m hoping you see the first wave of this by summer, but it could well be earlier!
- Post more videos
I’m an old-school writer and analyst more than I am a YouTube man, and I’m much more comfortable in RStudio than I am in Adobe Premiere. That said, I know our readers want to see more video offerings, and I’m aiming to get more of these added in the next six months. There’s a lot of potential around not just conventional deck breakdowns, but also set reviews, event recaps and reports, financial advice, and other Modern topics.
- Add a real deck and metagame database
If we get absolutely nothing else accomplished in 2016, we’re going to a) defeat the Eldrazi, b) get a meaningful unban and not another Golgari Grave-Troll, and c) integrate a proper database into Modern Nexus. I’m a man who’s serious about his spreadsheets, but we’re not reaching our potential when we’re stuck on a Google Sheet with a manually updated Top Decks page. That doesn’t provide the ability to search for decks, filter results, and tailor custom queries to create your own metagame analysis. There are plenty of deck databases on the Magic internet, but none capture the sheer number of Modern decks we do, none conduct the analysis like Nexus offers, and none are as accurate with respect to just Modern alone. I want to bring that to our readership and I’m going to work hard to add it by this time next year.
I’ve also heard murmurs about other ideas in emails and comment sections: a Modern-focused forum, “Legacy/Standard Nexus,” hosting paper or online tournaments, in-person coverage of Modern events, and many more. These proposals and all the other bold suggestions I’ve heard and mused on aren’t necessarily off the table, but I do want to prioritize the four goals above before getting too ambitious.
Keep your eyes open for some more announcements over the next month. Although these more administrative postings (not to mention the work that happens behind the scenes) might cut into the 2500+ word articles you’ve come to expect (eagerly anticipate? dread?) from the Sheridan Monday-Wednesday days, it will be worth it in the end if it means a more robust, informative, and enjoyable Modern Nexus.
Thanks for reading and a big thanks again to all of you for your continued support and reading. I’ll be responding to all of you in the comments, so feel free to take questions, ideas, concerns, worries, and all other feedback there. You can also always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and although I have been inconsistent in responding to emails in the past month, I’ll be back on top of it as we push into this new phase of growth.
Editor in Chief
Sheridan is the former Editor in Chief of Modern Nexus and a current Staff Author. He comes from a background in social science data analysis, database administration, and academia. He has been playing Magic since 1998 and Modern since 2011.