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A Reckoning on Kamigawa
 
The Magic Market Index for Oct 20, 2017
 
The Magic Market Index for Oct 13, 2017
  • posted a message on Is it worth it to play Commander?
    Quote from Bam_Bam_417 »
    Quote from Sergeant_Wolf »
    I've heard that Commander is a casual format, so if that is true, I'd probably be interested in it, as a new player.

    What is Commander all about? And how frequently do decks rotate out?


    EDH is a format where terrible things can and will happen. You will get boardwiped. You will get ganged up on 3-1. You will lose to an infinite combo after you have established a lead in board position. Accepting that these things can happen and enjoying the flow of the game is the best way to play.

    All that being said, I wouldn't stop playing EDH for anything.
    It is the most fun I have had since I started the game back in 2000.


    It's also one of the safest formats in Magic as far as knowing what you buy isn't going to become worthless later. Competitive formats can be a tumultuous ride even in formats like Modern. Commander, if you end up buying a Doubling Season, it's never going to rotate out, get banned, or become worthless due to a meta shift making the deck it slots into ineffective.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    I'm not really sure people will ever get what they want in Modern if they want more interaction. In a format where, in order to compete, there is a need for cards that change the fundamental rules of the game to invalidate certain strategies (Stony Silence, Chalice of the void, Leyline of Sanctity, Blood moon, Rest in peace, etc), is there even room for cards that simply "interact"? Things sort of feel like they have gone into full scale nuclear warfare when it comes to sideboard staples.

    The absolutely best scenario one can hope for in modern is a diverse number of competing decks that can satisfy the majority of players playing the format, and right now it maybe at that point again. The problem I've experienced when playing a bunch of the decks in the format is that if they are linear decks, the ultimate "feel" of the game is almost identical across the different decks (before anyone asks, Xmage and the death of my crappy inkjet printer. Important life lesson: When printing proxies, go Laser Jet. :p )
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from gkourou »
    Quote from ashtonkutcher »
    Quote from purklefluff »


    for real though, diversity brings with it the quality of matches you're talking about. in a narrow metagame you get a narrow range of matches on camera and when playing in a tournament. In a diverse meta, there's more (and different) interactive and interesting decks to see and play against.

    you can find it interesting or not, that's completely subjective and your unassailable opinion, so i respect it. But! diversity is what we want, because that's the undeniable root of bringing all the different archetypes to the table, such as control, combo, aggro, midrange etc.
    It's not even us "parroting diversity," it's the company solely responsible for the literal State of the Meta. Willfully ignoring that the current Modern looks exactly how Wizards has told us for years they strived for it to strikes me as self-serving and ignorant. We're "parroting diversity" because we read their articles, know what they want, and are realistic, no matter our own preferences (although yes, many of us actually do favor diverse metagames, which is why Wizards clings to this goal so steadfastly in the first place: Modern was created in part to sate this player desire, as no other constructed format exists that does so).


    Still, the current Modern format isn't even what it's supposed to be by Wizards own Standards:

    Modern should:

    Be a fun way to play Magic (first, and easy to forget, but very important!)

    Lots of people saying it's super unfun and miserable to play, in official big articles, in here, in reddit, in casual FNM's, or elsewhere.

    Have a diverse top-tier metagame featuring over a dozen archetypes

    The current best decks(Etron, Storm, Titanshift, Affinity and Grixis Shadow) may be different decks, but the strategy is the same. Besides GDS, all of those decks have a common denominator: Kill as fast as possible, before the opponent kills me, ignoring what the opponent is trying to do.
    Having decks like that is a must for the format and healthy. The problem begins when the Tier 1 is being consisted mostly of those decks.

    Not be dominated by fast, non-interactive decks

    We are on the verge of having a format that's being dominated by uninteractive decks again(not turn 3 violators, even if we have one Turn 3, non interactive deck in our rankings- Storm). Having Infect and Twin banned and allowing such a deck to exist in Modern is pure hypocrisy, especially when the deck is super consistent with 12 great cantrips as well.


    Have as small a banned list as possible that accomplishes all the previous goals

    To have such a super strong and uninteractive meta, while cards like Stoneforge Mystic, Bloodbraid Elf and Splinter Twin are rotting in the Banlist with no reason at all, or with minimal reason, seems like a joke. Especially since those kind of cards could make Modern more interactive again.

    So you think that adding those three cards will change the decks used to become more interactive, or do you believe those cards will enable decks that must be answered? Also, does a deck that must be answered really make things more interactive? There are cards like stony silence that don't really interact as much as change the rules of the match, thereby making it less interactive.


    Modern WAS more interactive while Twin was around. It forces you to interact with it or lose. Also, it will be played in control shells. The same goes for the other two cards. Neither SFM nor BBE are going to be played on linear decks. Those decks are experiencing a problem also. Jund and Snap decks are going extinct, meaning the two main police decks of the format. That's why we have 6 linear tier 1 decks out of the 6.


    My own feeling is that modern needs more than Twin, SFM, and BBE getting released into the format to solve the kinds of problems people are actually highlighting in this thread.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Quote from ashtonkutcher »
    Quote from purklefluff »
    Quote from Aegraen »
    The Modern PT is going to suck so bad. Keep on parroting "diversity" uber alles though instead of quality of matches and significance of skill in-game.


    for real though, diversity brings with it the quality of matches you're talking about. in a narrow metagame you get a narrow range of matches on camera and when playing in a tournament. In a diverse meta, there's more (and different) interactive and interesting decks to see and play against.

    you can find it interesting or not, that's completely subjective and your unassailable opinion, so i respect it. But! diversity is what we want, because that's the undeniable root of bringing all the different archetypes to the table, such as control, combo, aggro, midrange etc.
    It's not even us "parroting diversity," it's the company solely responsible for the literal State of the Meta. Willfully ignoring that the current Modern looks exactly how Wizards has told us for years they strived for it to strikes me as self-serving and ignorant. We're "parroting diversity" because we read their articles, know what they want, and are realistic, no matter our own preferences (although yes, many of us actually do favor diverse metagames, which is why Wizards clings to this goal so steadfastly in the first place: Modern was created in part to sate this player desire, as no other constructed format exists that does so).


    Still, the current Modern format isn't even what it's supposed to be by Wizards own Standards:

    Modern should:

    Be a fun way to play Magic (first, and easy to forget, but very important!)

    Lots of people saying it's super unfun and miserable to play, in official big articles, in here, in reddit, in casual FNM's, or elsewhere.

    Have a diverse top-tier metagame featuring over a dozen archetypes

    The current best decks(Etron, Storm, Titanshift, Affinity and Grixis Shadow) may be different decks, but the strategy is the same. Besides GDS, all of those decks have a common denominator: Kill as fast as possible, before the opponent kills me, ignoring what the opponent is trying to do.
    Having decks like that is a must for the format and healthy. The problem begins when the Tier 1 is being consisted mostly of those decks.

    Not be dominated by fast, non-interactive decks

    We are on the verge of having a format that's being dominated by uninteractive decks again(not turn 3 violators, even if we have one Turn 3, non interactive deck in our rankings- Storm). Having Infect and Twin banned and allowing such a deck to exist in Modern is pure hypocrisy, especially when the deck is super consistent with 12 great cantrips as well.


    Have as small a banned list as possible that accomplishes all the previous goals

    To have such a super strong and uninteractive meta, while cards like Stoneforge Mystic, Bloodbraid Elf and Splinter Twin are rotting in the Banlist with no reason at all, or with minimal reason, seems like a joke. Especially since those kind of cards could make Modern more interactive again.


    So you think that adding those three cards will change the decks used to become more interactive, or do you believe those cards will enable decks that must be answered? Also, does a deck that must be answered really make things more interactive? There are cards like stony silence that don't really interact as much as change the rules of the match, thereby making it less interactive.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Modern will always favor the mindset of deflection rather than answering what an opponent is doing because in a match where two players have stakes they are fighting for the intuitive approach is to go for the throat.

    If people want a more Aikido type experience that requires a different mind set than that promoted by the competitive format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from thnkr »
    I've seen a few posts here talking about how the decks in the top 8 had little or no interaction...yet I'm seeing

    In Humans:
    Kitesail Freebooter (interacts with cards in opponent's hand),
    Meddling Mage (interacting with the opponent in the sense that it "Surgicals" all copies of that card unless the opponent can interact)
    Reflector Mage (interacts with the opponent's creatures)
    Thalia, Heretic Cathar (interacts with the opponent's ability to keep tempo)
    Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (same as above)
    Ethersworn Canonist (interacts with opp's tempo, limiting the opp's interaction)
    Fiend Hunter (interacts with the opp's creatures)
    Izzet Staticaster (see above)
    Vithian Renegades (interacts with the opp's artifacts)
    Anafenze, the Foremost (interacts with the opp's ability to utilize the graveyard)

    In Merfolk:
    Harbinger of the Tides (interacts with the opp's creatures)
    Merrow Reejerey (can tap down opp's permanents)
    Kira, Great Glass-Spinner (pre-emptive counter to targeted removal)
    Kopala, Warden of Waves (see above)
    Spreading Seas (interacts by disrupting opp's manabase, neutralizes blockers)
    Dismember (targeted removal probably counts as interaction)
    Grafdigger's Cage (pre-emptive counter to Company)
    Ceremonious Rejection/Dispel/Spell Pierce (are counters no longer interaction?)

    In Counters Company:
    Scavenging Ooze (graveyard interaction)
    Tidehollow Sculler (hand interaction)
    Aven Mindcensor (disrupts the opp's ability to fetch)
    Qasali Pridemage (artifact/enchantment interaction)
    Selfless Spirit (removal-counter with legs)
    Path to Exile (again, is removal no longer interaction?)
    Pharika, God of Affliction (more graveyard interaction)

    In Infect:
    Vines of Vastwood (counters removal)
    Twisted Image (removal/creature interaction)
    Dismember (this card again)
    Blossoming Defense (another card that counters removal)
    Apostle's Blessing (see above)
    Grafdigger's Cage (pre-emptive answer to cards in an opp's library)
    Nature's Claim (artifact/enchantment removal)
    Hurkyll's Recall (artifact tempo interaction)
    Spell Pierce (this card again)

    In Affinity:
    Galvanic Blast (interacts with creatures and life totals)
    Ghirapur AEther Grid (see above)
    Ancient Grudge (artifact removal)
    Dispatch (creature removal)
    Spell Pierce (again)
    Thoughtseize (hand interaction)

    In BW Eldrazi Taxes:
    Tidehollow Sculler (hand interaction)
    Eldrazi Displacer (creature interaction, can also be used on the opp's creatures, or their own for more interaction)
    Flickerwisp (definitely interacts with the battlefield)
    Thought-Knot Seer (hand interaction)
    Wasteland Strangler (removal)
    Both Thalias again....
    Blessed Alliance (removal)
    Path to Exile (removal)

    K, I'm getting tired to writing it all out. But seriously?

    I think the issue here is that people who make these claims have a self-centered approach to what "interaction" should mean. It is not the opponents' responsibility to build a deck so that we can interact how we feel we should be allowed to. We are only as entitled to as much interaction as we've built into our decks. If the opponent doesn't interact how we want them to, then such is life. They're still interacting.

    On that note, I've said this multiple times, and it's disappointing that this basic concept hasn't already been understood as such, but every single competitive deck in existence is built to limit the opponent's ability to interact in a meaningful way. Sometimes that means using "taxing" effects, or cards that punish linear gameplans (Ensnaring Bridge) or characteristics (Blood Moon/Chalice of the Void) that another deck might have, or just working so fast that the opp doesn't get a chance to interact in a meaningful way.

    If we decide to play a linear deck, then we run the risk of losing to a card that punishes us. If we decide to play a deck that gets greedy with the manabase, or with tempo, then we run the risk of losing to cards that punish us. If we decide to play a deck that has no significant disruption or interaction on the first 3-4 turns, then we run the risk of losing to a faster deck.

    But to go straight to hyperbole and say that "there is no interaction" is obstinate, at best.

    Take out the SB cards and redo the list. I'm sure it will be pretty enlightening. Decks are basically trying to goldfish their opponents in game 1. After SB, it gets more complicated than that.


    Well, when a format has no good "defense", than the best defense is to just worry about making the best move you can to win the game. I'm sure interactive decks would make for a more entertaining modern event for viewers, but from the standpoint of an actual game it doesn't really matter quite as much.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    I chalk up a lot of talk about non-interaction towards the sword fighting fallacy. If two people who are good at swordsmanship faced each other down, they aren't aiming for each others swords to have the clang of metal echo through the room: they are aiming at one another and trying to finish the sword match decisively. Directly blocking damages the sword blade so even though it is possible under extreme duress, it's an actively discouraged move in both western and eastern swordsmanship. Instead, deflection is typically used while trying to pull oneself into an advantageous position.

    In MtG that kind of philosophy is showing in a lot of high level play. No one is trying to directly answer threats as much as being proactive and trying to deflect threats. If using Path to exile creates an opening, than they use it to create an opening. Thought-knot Seer advances the board and potentially disarms the opponent of a needed utility card or key creature.

    The only format that I know of that has "direct blocking" kind of interactions is standard, as that is what sorcery speed removal basically is. Most sorcery speed cards in modern that get played are much more potent and game changing than a Walk the Plank.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] The Pirate God
    I think Chart a Course is worth it and especially if there is enough drops to trigger raid. I've liked it when playing lists that had the drops to mitigate the downside.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    So how good IS vraska? I've been sitting here going back and forth on grabbing her for some possible brews and she seems very heavy on the mana cost for the kind of impact she has on the board when she comes in. With Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Sorin they basically came in swinging right away, while Vraska, Relic Seeker feels like she durdles unless someone is using the -3 right away to clear something.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on [Primer] U/G Merfolk
    Quote from NoobPlayer90 »
    My version is budget, but it plays 4x One With The Wind.


    For a budget option that is actually really good right now. The meta has very few ways to deal with fliers and I doubt anyone playing T1 and gearing against UB control decks is going to board Heaven // Earth or Crushing Canopy. It also has very few main deck ways to deal with enchantments and is more heavy one removal, so putting one with the wind on something with hexproof or with Kopala on the field will be pretty nasty. Cartouche of Knowledge is the other option that lets you draw a card for one less power.

    Given the current mana base support I'd probably go UGW over BUG if a third color is desired.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] The Pirate God
    Yeah, I think the Consign // Oblivion direction is more solid than trying to go three color. It's also a lot easier to find than Vraska, Relic Seeker. She seems to be rather popular with a lot of players at the moment for the usual planeswalker reasons. I actually think she is pretty narrow at best and probably will drop hard like a rock later.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    I'm not trolling you Seth, though given how you are quoting the posts so no one sees anything else I posted with the original I'm pretty sure people might actually think so. I think the disconnect is that you're looking at this like it's not a hypothetical scenario and that it is a very likely possibility, where as I'm looking at it as a hypothetical situation and thinking exercise.

    Case in point my prior section here...

    The part highlighted in bold is the part of interest. Really, the only reason I can think of why they haven't banned collected company is that Birthing Pod hits creatures at all CMC, while collected company is limited to 3 and below. The fact that the field isn't 30% Collected Company decks is sort of pointless misdirection because that is just a result, not a reason. It does bring up the question of how they may handle a banning if, for example, they printed something powerful at 3 cmc that pushed Coco over the edge. Do they ban the 3 cmc creature in that case, or would they ban Collected Company itself? My guess is that it all depends on how the people at wizards feel about the two cards. Did the creature go above the acceptable limit like Deathrite Shaman, or is it that they printed a pushed creature and now Collected Company, being the known mistake it was, finally reached a point where it isn't safe to play in modern?


    I'm really sorry if I did give the impression I was trolling you. Bans and unbans are a hot topic for some who really love the format so it can be hard to actually take the subject with levity.

    Also, about this...

    Then this backfires upon itself because it means if they unban something, then they have the supposed information that it's okay. Therefore, no unbanning is insane by your logic. Also, this inherently can't apply to any card that wasn't Modern legal to begin with, as there's no data for it in the format, so you can't defend the banning on that rationale (what data did they have on Stoneforge Mystic in Modern?)


    I posted before this point something that is very relevant to what you are talking about and I think you missed it...

    Unbanning anything seems like a bad idea unless they are saying they made an unpopular banning and think that undoing it will bring people back into playing the game again. I'm way more on board with Bloodbraid Elf making a potentially triumphant return to modern, though if the past proved anything it could just be yet another Golgari Gravetroll situation.

    You could say the point of my post is to point out how ludicrous the idea of unbanning something probably is. They are basically adding new cards to the game every standard set, each one of those cards has the possibility of fitting a role that a banned card may have filled, and undoing a banning on an old card while introducing a new one can be a problem (for example, see Exhibit A: Golgari Grave-troll).


    I don't think wizards is prepared at all with enough information to unban something informatively. I'd really like it if they had some kind of set up via MTGO where they have an unglued / unhinged modern where some cards they are pondering to unban get thrown into the field for people to run around with. Have a weekend or week where Bloodbraid Elf is legal, maybe have another weekend where Birthing Pod is legal. If they have the information from those weekly events then they can start to get a better picture on what is safe or not.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Did you mean to write something else? Putting Deathrite Shaman as one of the most plausible unbannings doesn't make sense. Or are you saying you think Deathrite might get banned in Legacy?


    I'm actually serious about them unbanning DRS, and equally serious about the second part of my statement saying "for the love of all people, don't do it!"
    Why? Every previous unbanning occurred with considerable consensus among the playerbase that it was safe, which isn't true for Deathrite Shaman. Heck, there's recurring discussions that it's broken in Legacy. There is essentially no reason whatsoever to expect an unbanning for the card. Heck, if we were to rank the likelihood of any unban (not necessarily how good an unban would be, just the likelihood), I think I'd legitimately put Deathrite Shaman second to last on the list, with only Skullclamp being less likely.

    The most plausible cards for them to unban are Bloodbraid Elf, Stoneforge Mystic, Jace the Mind Sculptor, and Splinter Twin. I can't see anything other than those getting unbanned in the near future. Not to say any of them will be, just that they're the only plausible candidates right now (maybe also Preordain, but the strength of Death's Shadow and Storm make that less likely than before).

    So why do you think Deathrite Shaman, would have any chance of an unban, particularly ahead of cards like Stoneforge Mystic, Jace, and Splinter Twin that have considerably more support amongst the playerbase to be unbanned?


    Popularity more than anything else. It's definitely not the most likely to get unbanned if the group doing bans and unbans is taking some time to think about what cards could be more dangerous in modern than others, but that isn't necessarily the driving force behind an unban, that is the driving force behind banning something.
    But... there isn't popularity behind an unban for Deathrite Shaman. A quick look at the unbanning poll will demonstrate that. The other cards I listed all have much more support behind an unbanning. Even if you want to say "well, that's just this forum!" (which has in the past repeatedly demonstrated a correlation between cards that get unbanned and cards that there's support in the polls to get unbanned), all the other message boards I've seen have suggested Mystic/BBE/Jace/Twin as unbannings, but pretty much never Deathrite Shaman.

    Look at this forum: When people are talking about unbanning SFM, for example, is there any data in modern to indicate that it is a safe unban or are people mostly just going after an unban because it is a card they desperately want to play with in the format?
    The card never showed itself to be a problem in the format, does not seem to be at a power level problematic for the format, goes into no Tier 1 deck, and I do know some people tested it in the past and said they didn't think it was overpowered, not sure how recently that was though.

    But right now, my feeling is that they should never unban anything because they don't have any way to see how those older cards interact. The only way they can do that is to unban it in modern and then watch to see if some kind of natural disaster just got unleashed on everyone.
    That's an insane attitude. By that logic, everything previously banned would still be banned despite the fact that, GGT aside, they've all been shown to be perfectly fine.

    Why haven't they banned Collected Company still seems like a mystery, though. It is just going to keep "getting better" with time so they should ban it to maintain the precedent set by the Birthing Pod ban.
    The "precedent" they set with the Birthing Pod ban is that if a deck is about 30% of the format, it'll get banned (keeping with previous precedents). Collected Company, last I checked, isn't even 10%.


    There's nothing insane about not unbanning anything given the only evidence that anything is actually safe is from a few people running a few games and them saying that it is safe. Wizards bans cards based on getting gameplay information via MTGO, the Pro Tour (most likely), and possibly other sources. It's not hard to say they probably have more information on what cards should be or shouldn't be banned than any small group or gameplay run. Also, on Birthing Pod, the reasons that were given when looking at the original article are mentioned in the January 19, 2015 article. (Posting it here for easy reference, though)

    Over the past year, Birthing Pod decks have won significantly more Grand Prix than any other Modern decks and compose the largest percentage of the field. Each year, new powerful options are printed, most recently Siege Rhino. Over time, this creates a growing gap between the strength of the Pod deck and other creature decks. Pod won five of the twelve Grand Prix over the past year, including winning the last two. The high percentage of the field playing Pod suppresses decks, especially other creature decks, that have an unfavorable matchup. In the interest of supporting a diverse format, Birthing Pod is banned.


    The part highlighted in bold is the part of interest. Really, the only reason I can think of why they haven't banned collected company is that Birthing Pod hits creatures at all CMC, while collected company is limited to 3 and below. The fact that the field isn't 30% Collected Company decks is sort of pointless misdirection because that is just a result, not a reason. It does bring up the question of how they may handle a banning if, for example, they printed something powerful at 3 cmc that pushed Coco over the edge. Do they ban the 3 cmc creature in that case, or would they ban Collected Company itself? My guess is that it all depends on how the people at wizards feel about the two cards. Did the creature go above the acceptable limit like Deathrite Shaman, or is it that they printed a pushed creature and now Collected Company, being the known mistake it was, finally reached a point where it isn't safe to play in modern?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] The Pirate God
    Quote from patbou »
    You need 9 green sources for optimal Vraska on turn 6, according to https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/frank-analysis-how-many-colored-mana-sources-do-you-need-to-consistently-cast-your-spells/.

    I fear that adding a third color will reduce the number of swamps and islands, and make Drowned Catacomb less good for us. Sultai Energy’s manabase is supported by Attune, Hub and Servant, and they worry more about the early game than the late game...


    Yeah, I was playing around with treasure based cards to see how it panned out when I was planning her inclusion, but it looks like that mechanic may be strictly limited for now outside of a treasures improvise type build. I know I underestimated scions back in BFZ block so I didn't want to overlook treasures.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] The Pirate God
    Quote from SLiK »
    If you're tossing Vraska into the sideboard, how does the landbase look?


    I haven't really had time this weekend to do much on working it in. Holiday stuff is going on and had a lot of shopping to do, unfortunately. I'll try to mess around with it tonight. Since it's a turn 6 play and we aren't really ramping I'm thinking just a few green sources is enough. There really isn't a lot in green we want, anyway, as they didn't get anything really nuts like Maelstrom Pulse or something. I do think we will eventually hit some new removal spell that is superior to Vraska's Contempt, as that is exactly what happened in Kahn's Block if I recall.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
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