We arrive at the boogeyman. Many players, particularly those who play in competitive environments have heard of “layers” and “timestamps” and sometimes throw those terms around loosely. This is the week of “Opalescence and Humility” the week of “Blood Moon and Urborg”. For many, Layers is a very intimidating concept, and layers one through six aren’t critical for the L1 exam. Because of that, we delay layers until later in the syllabus.

For this lesson, we have a couple of recommendations.

First, focus on the procedure of going through the layers. Bring out a pad of paper, and go through some examples, layer by layer, so that your candidates can see how layers are not intrinsically linked to timestamps.

Second, focus on power and toughness, and memorizing the order of the layers. The layers have straightforward and self-explanatory names, so once your candidates have them memorized, and understand the process of applying them, layers become much less intimidating.

Third, don’t focus on the exceptions - the times when we rely on timestamps aren’t incredibly common, but they’re relatively straightforward. Dependencies, on the other hand, while important, are not useful on the L1 exam, and can cause confusion. Evaluate the level of your candidates and present them with these challenges if the group (including yourself) is ready for it.

Finally, if you grasp the concepts, and your candidates are following along, take them along some of the harder examples, such as the one at the end of this lesson’s quiz, or the various permutations of Opalescence and Humility.