The Sideboard: Hall of Fame Edition

Posted in Arcana on July 10, 2014

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

Voting for the 2014 class of the Hall of Fame has begun, which always gets everyone around the Wizards offices feeling a bit nostalgic.

It just so happens that, as this wave of nostalgia began sweeping the office, we also received a shipment that contained a bunch of these:

For those who aren't aware (or as old as some of us), The Sideboard was one of the first Magic publications, detailing tournament results, providing information on how to find tournaments, and highlighting many of the game's greats, much as does today. It has long since been discontinued, but each one is a treasure trove of Magic history.

So, in celebration of the upcoming Hall of Fame voting for the Class of 2014, we picked out a few of our favorite photos, articles, and decklists from these issues of The Sideboard for a trip down memory lane.

Kicking things off, we have two players who are still quite active today, taken from the November 1998 issue. Jon Finkel and Raphaël Lévy both fell in the semifinals of the 1998 World Championships, but both players would go on to earn Hall of Fame slots in the first and second years of the hall, respectively.

Tomi Hovi was another first-ballot Hall of Famer, inducted with the first class alongside Finkel. He was the first two-time Pro Tour Champion, winning his second at Pro Tour Rome in 1998.

That same issue from January 1999 also listed the year's State Champions. I'm not sure who this Pat Chapin is from Michigan, but I hear he's good.

The Sideboard couldn't get enough of Jon Finkel back in its time, and who could blame it? This might have been Jon's first Pro Tour win, but it wouldn't be his last—nor would it be his last time on the cover of The Sideboard.

Randy Buehler joined the Hall of Fame in 2007 and was one of the most feared players in the Pro Tour, winning Pro Tour Chicago back in 1997. These days, he's still a feared draft player at the coverage draft tables, but he now spends his time at Pro Tours providing video commentary.

But why stop the Buehler train there? Or, rather, the Buehler high-performance automobile. At least, that's the sense you get from this head-to-head pairing with Olle Råde on the cover of The Sideboard from May 1998.

Dirk Baberowski accomplished the truly impressive feat of winning his Pro Tour debut back in 1998, earning this cover and kicking off what would become a Hall of Fame career, culminating in his 2008 selection to the Hall. And it all kicked off with a German in the Windy City...

Darwin Kastle and then-reigning World Champion Jakub Slemr faced off in the Invitational finals, with Kastle earning the right to design Avalanche Riders...and going on to make the Hall of Fame. This one was easily my favorite.

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