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Jaya Ballard Returns
 
The Magic Market Index for Nov 17, 2017
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Just a thought on folks pursuing a "true" metagame. What is the value of some kind of global picture of modern when literally nobody plays in that metagame? Like scg represents usa only so we need to splice in japanese results for a true picture - why? There is nobody playing in a japan-us combo metagame.

    I get that the curated mtgo stuff is low value and zero value for getting percentage shares down, but all I really want to see out of a metagame breakdown is "what decks are doing well right now". Whether gds is 4 percent or 8 percent is moot because that line wil never be relevant for any individual event. "Oh I set my 75 precisely to combat gds at 8 percent but lost because at my tournament it was 5 percent" - is that the scenario here?

    I guess I just find the work sites like goldfish and what modern nexus used to do in terms of presenting a metagame was excellent for what someone can realistically do and what the realistic applications are of knowing a broad metagame picture. The idea its "not good enough" let alone "garbage" really begs the question of what you expect out of a metagame breakdown, and I imagine if you poke at those expectations a bit you'll see their nonsensical.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    I know its just an example but verdict handles empty the warrens. Multiple bridges would be bad but what did you do with your counterspells that they got multiples out? And how many decks actually play bridge? This seems corner case and not a reason to maindeck a sphere.

    The noncreature nonenchantment cards that cause grief are basically planeswalkers like lotv and nahiri. If one of these slips through you have a limited window in which to deal with them so its not going to be "late game detention sphere". Itll be turn five or six detention sphere passing with 2-3 mana up which is a relatively vulnerable place to be as a draw-go deck.

    I mean the card can never be terrible, but it also doesnt really stick to the draw-go script so will create tension that you may rather avoid. Im ok with the tension on runed halo because its such a great card vs valakut and does work vs stuff like grapeshot and eidolon - I dont see the same gamebreaking application of a sphere.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Why would you play dsphere in this deck? Cryptic gets rid of problematic noncreature permanents just fine, not to mention esper charm hits enchantments. Planeswalkers are kinda rough but usually you can negate/knot/cryptic them. Lingering souls is annoying but smart players dont roll all 4 tokens out (verdict) anyways.

    Its that thing where you put sorcery speed stuff in the deck and wind up in awkward situations of tapping low for dsphere and then they resolve something worse while you're tapped down.

    I could get behind cast out, although honestly at that point you maybe just play utter end - not sure how often we will want to cycle away our catch-all (cycling on an unconditional removal spell is kinda derpy) and postboard we often face enchant removal as people prepare for stony rip leyline and halo.

    I like one runed halo main because its so flexible and acts as a silver bullet for g1 vs valakut. If I get more confident in beating valakut g1 id probably move the md halo out too (sorcery speed not ideal)
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Everytime I play a UWx gideons deck I just come crawling back to esper draw-go. I cannot get behind this thing where you have counterspells in hand and tap out / tap low to slam a planeswalker. Or going turn 2 spreading seas with a mana leak in hand hoping it mana screws them out of doing something relevant. Give me the good old draw-go where I can see what my opponent does and react or not, and then draw/deploy threat if needed. I got enough of that "tap out and lose" out of my system when I was playing 1x elspeth suns champion in the main.

    This deck no doubt has a ceiling on how good it can really be, but as someone who doesn't really play a higher level than FNM that is not really a concern to me. It's more important to play a deck I actually enjoy (and this is one of like two so far that I can safely come back to everytime and still enjoy) and try to find the build of that deck that works best for me. Esper is an absolute legitimate 4-0 FNM threat even if its not a 12-0 GP threat and for me that's what I ask of it.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    I cannot imagine resto angel being good with only two snapcasters as targets. Ive been considering angel in general and whether it deserves a shot in some kind of flash deck again, but that deck would need a playset of snaps and ideally some other value target like clique as well.

    Im finding it really hard to judge the value of opt. I have ben running 2 but can say I have never done the snap-opt that I thought would come up. Its very corner case where its not better to be patient and get a snap-knot, snap-path, or snap-cryptic.

    Also musing on whether 1x search for azcanta can let us shave 1x revelation or if it really should just take the 4th think twice or a flex spot. Trading for a think twice seems really painless, but once azcanta flips unless they quarter it it really does a lot of the work that revelation does.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Humans is a little rough yeah. Vial and cavern are always frustrating to play against (merfolk) and freebooter is more obnoxious than cursecatcher for sure. But thalia is the big problem imo. If you dont have the push/path ready to go all our cantrips crawl to a halt and verdict and cryptic get pushed off an entire turn (making it more likely a freebooter snags the verdict before we can use it).

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Quote from Adrithria »


    This is what I settled on for now. Probably gonna start jamming some leagues with the list in the near future. Possibly considering cutting the elspeth for something else, but happy with the rest of the list.


    Not that maindecks change much from list-to-list but that's just about exactly where I'm at right now. -1 think twice +1 shadow of doubt; -1 fatal push -1 WSZ +2 secure the wastes. Although I've almost immediately started waffling on the 2 spell snares because I have had a sequence of bad experiences where they rot in my hand or I'm hellbent ripping lands and finally rip a nonland card and its a goddamn spell snare.

    3 ghost quarters seems ridiculous though. I am on 1 because even with 2 the # of times it keeps me from casting esper charm on curve is infuriating. It sometimes blocks verdict/cryptic on t4 too :S
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Quote from kodieyost »
    I guess that leaves us with relatively no options then.

    Do we continue on the Soldiers plan, or do we audible to a new plan of attack? If so, what direction do we move towards?


    Sorry I may have missed the exact context where there was a reason to be looking at thopter/sword, but from the esper side of things I have never felt like I had a problem with the win conditions. 2x secure or 1x WSZ are fine with 3-4 colonnade and 2-4 snapcaster as backup plans and 0-1 elspeth/gideon. I have never been in a game with esper draw-go where I thought "man I wish I had a different win condition" unless you count the times I tapped low for an elspeth suns champion and lost the game as a result (which is why I then relegated her to the SB).

    To me the deck's problems are mostly related to drawing the wrong cards in the wrong situations. Logic knots vs cavern of souls. Paths and Verdicts vs valakut. too many cantrips too little action vs burn. stuff like that.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    I have played a lot of UB thopter/sword and would advise against trying to jam it into a control deck. The fundamental problem is the # of slots you need for thopter/sword to work and how utterly useless either card is if the combo is not online. A big part of what makes esper draw-go tick is that the win condition takes up 1-2 slots (secure/WSZ) so can't really clog up your hand most of the time. Adding a bunch of thopters, swords, and/or whirs will lead to way more games where your hand has multiple do-nothing cards stuck in it.

    I am sure its possible to build a draw-go whir deck but its probably jeskai and it probably looks very little like esper draw-go in any case.

    And the more general trouble with thopter-sword decks is the mountain of hate you'll face if that's your win condition. Stony silence, ancient grudge, rest in peace, surgical extraction, etc etc. It is a brutal uphill battle g2/g3 trying to get past all the artifact and grave hate that dismantle your combo.

    If thopter/sword is ever good in modern it will be because a deck arises that has 1-2 other solid angles of attack and doesn't actually rely on thopter/sword. We saw this briefly with UW tron decks that included a single copy of each and gifts ungiven to tutor (academy ruins and crucible of worlds being the other pieces of the package iirc). Thing is the cards are so bad on their own that its still not good and most of the time just flat out slower and worse than unburial ritesing an iona.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the October 17, 2017 announcement?
    My guess is they unban BBE and it makes no difference to anything.
    My hope is they unban stoneforge mystic.
    My longshot is they unban dig through time.

    I think they will do something because the meta has been relatively stable for a while now and people are getting over the relief of it not being the linear aggro nuthouse that preceded it (affinity dredge infect burn ds-zoo). I think they will see that having GDS as the only fair deck in the top range of the format isn't great (hello stoneforge, hello BBE). I also think a deck with 16 sol lands alongside undercosted uncounterable threats is goofy as hell but I don't think there's a ban to fix that, we just need more cards that can deal efficiently with tron, temple, cavern, and if we could also hit valakut that'd be nice too. It's getting a little old that your only choice is really to play blood moon or your own non-interactive linear deck if you want to not get crushed by some mix of those lands.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    I feel like people are moving in the same direction I have with Azcanta. It's powerful but awkward in esper. It incentivizes you to reduce your other cantrips since once azcanta is active you don't want any more draw spells, but now you have an engine vulnerable to a relatively unanswerable commonly played trump (ghost quarter/tec edge) not to mention spreading seas, blood moons, abrupt decays, etc. It's also vulnerable to grave hate if you're using it as your primary engine (i.e. over revelation).

    I've been floating on a one-of because I figure it can't do any harm replacing 1 TT for 1 Azcanta. This is also allowing me to keep testing the card to firm up what I think about it. Awkward really is the word here. When it flips and sticks its so good in the deck because we have oodles of mana and almost all of our cards are instant/sorcery so it really does turn the corner quickly and effectively lock the game down (hand full of cryptics and paths etc). The problem is it doesn't always work, so you can't rely on it, so you can't just trim away your other draw spells and "count on" a flipped azcanta as your engine.

    That probably means that despite being amazing when it works its not for this deck because its too much redundancy. Stupid as it sounds you are probably better off just having the think twice in that slot more often than not.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Single rev with search is something I was thinking of as well. Im trying to get a handle on what search's role should be. Once it flips its a fantastic mana sink hitting gas pretty much every time. But it doesnt gain life and it can be ghost quartered. Can it replace the second rev then? I dont know. Right now I think of it as my fourth think twice because the stats line up so well, but tapping out for search on turn 2 can be really bad so it doesnt really plug that part of the curve the same way. It does kind of help with making land drops since we can scry away nonlands and when it flips it gives us a land.

    Ive been liking 2 opt and could see trying the full playset soon for comparison, im just wary of putting too much air in the deck.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Im curious if there is any thought or math in how many black sources you should have for a 25 or 26 land manabase, if the only black spells are 4 charm and 2 push. I currently have 1 swamp, 1 watery grave, 1 godless shrine, 1 drowned catacomb and 1 (conditional) reflecting pool. I do 8 fetches (I see a lot of lists with one marsh flats - not sure about that myself)

    Also wondering about buddy lands in general - I see some people running as many as four. I do one ub and one uw but not for any particular reason. Is there a rationale here on how many to play and which colours? I play reflecting pool to which is sort-of a glacial fortress with some upside. Only time its worse is if my other land is a basic or godless shrine and I wouldnt keep many 2 landers with no blue regardless
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    I mean try it if you like but I see no advantage in that list to being esper over jeskai. If you're trying to be low to the ground being able to bolt/helix/electrolyze the face is worth way more than access to esper charm. You have no X spells so trying to get to late game doesnt benefit you as much.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [XLN] Prerelease experience, overperformers and underperformers
    Most annoying card in the set hands down has to be Territorial Hammerskull.Why is this a common with these stats? Should be a 2/2 at most so that you can more easily kill it with whatever they don't tap. As is it often requires a double block or you just flat out can't kill it. Unless you're already ahead this card is ridiculous (and has dinosaur synergies cause why not right?)

    Most surprising card for me were commune with dinosaurs - I was really happy with ability to fix/find lands when I needed them or nab a body/win condition instead. Felt not that far off of ancient stirrings in modern. Not sure how many you should run, but for one mana its a really low opportunity cost to run a couple as long as you have a few dinos to find.



    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
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