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  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    Quote from Darkbrew »
    I find it hard to believe that people think cruise is okay when legacy players agree its too good there. its just right to splash for cruise in any deck

    Well TC, among other very powerful cards, scales depending on the relative power of the format. There is a reason you don't see TC taking over standard.

    I am not saying TC isn't powerful, but rather that the format comparison doesn't work.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    As for JA Combo it is important to note that Delver and Burn are natural predators to the deck. So any hate that gets thrown their way inadvertently makes JA combo stronger. Whether that is enough to make it leap into the meta is debatable, but w/e.

    Also JA, while having no noticeable impact thus far, still breaks the "fundamental turn 4 rule" which was arbitrarily set down some time ago.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    Something else worth remembering. Card draw is generally at its weakest in redundant decks; that is, decks that have a lot of cards that basically do the same thing. In those decks, it doesn't matter so much what you're drawing, so the card draw card is weaker because it could be an immediately useful card rather than something to get you cards. It's why Merfolk doesn't play Serum Visions; the deck is sufficiently redundant that it's better that that Serum Visions be something immediately useful, rather than replacing a threat with a card that will just make you spend extra mana to get a threat. And Burn is possibly the most redundant deck that exists.

    Something like UR Delver gets considerable strength from card draw because it’s actually quite dependent on having certain cards to do its thing; all the spells in the world don’t help you much if you have no Young Pyromancer, Delver, or Monastery Swiftspear. Similarly, without spells, those cards are pretty unimpressive. Burn, however, is basically a bunch of cards with a very similar purpose, diminishing the strength of card draw.

    To be fair I think you have to make the distinction between card draw and card selection/filtering. Reloading your hand with TC is just raw card advantage, whereas Serum Visions is card neutral.

    Not to say that your point is invalid, but rather that you cannot discount the effectiveness of drawing more (of anything) in a deck that is trying to expend its resources as quickly as possible; rather than trying to trade.

    It is yet to be seen whether TC even makes burn decks better. I think it does, because the opportunity cost of splashing non-basics isn't as steep as compared to legacy.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    After playing some more against the decks, I think Monastery Swiftspear is more responsible for the rise of UR Delver and Burn. Treasure Cruise certainly doesn't explain why the Burn lists that aren't even running it are still doing well.

    Treasure Cruise is great, especially in UR Delver, but the extra aggression that Monastery Swiftspear provides (it can easily feel like a Young Pyromancer that costs 1 less mana and has haste) is a huge factor in sealing up games quickly.

    I honestly think that Burn and UR Delver without Monastery Swiftspear would be worse off than Burn and UR Delver without Treasure Cruise. I can't say that Monastery Swiftspear is exactly broken, but I think it's more responsible for those decks dominating the metagame than Treasure Cruise.


    TC happens to shore up the mid-to-late game weakness that Delver and Burn had when they begin to lose steam. However Swiftspear has straight up improved the delver/burn decks as a whole. The threat base was always shady for U/R delver before this.

    TBH Delver would still be a very potent deck choice even if TC was never printed. Which happens to be another mark against TC since its ban would merely make delver a good deck, rather than a dominant one.

    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Wx Death and Taxes
    Quote from Havrekjex »
    I just realized Eidolon of Rhetoric almost completely turns off Monastery Swiftspear. When EoR is out, Swiftspear can't grow larger than what EoR can wall. That plus Eidolon turning off chain cantripping should make it worth considering for the SB.

    It also enhances the power of Vial. The only problem is that the 3-drop slots are quite tight with Splicers, Wisps, and Mindcensors.

    Definitely worth considering. Might actually be more hateful to delver than Spirit of the Labyrinth since Spirit opens you up to being blown out by a Forked Bolt (or other 1 toughness hate). The velocity that cantrips provide is only valuable when you can capitalize on expending your resources efficiently.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    Quote from damagecase »
    Here's a ridiculous idea: what about banning delver? I mean is it possible that it is too good for the format?

    Delver is powerful to be sure, but it carries a high deck building cost. There is a reason the deck is named after the creature. If you are playing Delver of Secrets; then you are committed to a specific strategy.

    IMO banning delver would be a very poor decision.

    Quote from kanoyugoro »
    Except that every time I play against delver, I have yet to see them flip it reliably. There isn't enough topdeck manipulation for that to be a thing. It's often stuck as a 1/1 for multiple turns.

    As long as the deck is built correctly; then it is roughly a coinflip. I have played some nights where it feels like it flips every time. Then there are rare occasions when Serum Visions does double duty.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    Quote from Pistallion »
    What does it even matter if delver has an answer to Batterskull or not?

    It doesn't. If you have time to cast Batterskull in the matchup you are likely winning anyways.

    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    While I don't think SFM should be considered for un-banning (at this point in time); it is important to note that Modern is much more flush with removal than legacy is since it is a more vital form of interaction. As such SFM loses a considerable amount of power when it doesn't get to use its activated ability.

    Also, while I have no proof of this, I do not think that WotC is limiting their potential equipment design space because of SFM in legacy. The problem is more-so that good equipment, by virtue of being colorless, would be nearly ubiquitous in any creature deck. Which is basically all Standard is right now. Not to mention that you would be hard-pressed to create an equipment that could compete with the existing powerhouses; while also competing with the already present hate for them in multiple decks (abrupt decay, manriki, disenchant, tin street hooligan, etc).

    Basically I am saying that the argument that: "they can't unban SFM (in modern) because it would force wotc to limit equipment even further" doesn't make much sense.

    Besides that I just still find it funny that some people still doubt the power of TC. It has instantly been ported to good use in both Legacy AND Vintage; in most cases a 3 or 4-of in tier 1 decks. The only point of contention is that TC's power level scales with the efficiency of the cards around it; which makes the card lose steam as the overall power of the format decreases.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Wx Death and Taxes
    @Cat - Thanks for the report. Always good to hear of success. You wouldn't happen to have a deck list to share would you? I only ask because I see you mention Icatian Javlineers in your MD, which is something I don't see often, and I was wondering where you slotted them. Seems like cool tech against delver. Also Jotun Grunt seems like a beating against these decks trying to fill up their GY's as fast as possible; might give it a spin this coming friday.

    @Pumpkinsword - Yeah I like the positioning of Finks right now. 3 Scavenging Ooze seems excessive considering D&T runs little/no removal that sends creatures to GY's. However I haven't played them before so I will defer to your experience.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    @Magicmilton - The problem is that the TC effect (draw 3 cards) is not something that you can learn to play against or around, because raw card advantage is powerful in the abstract. With no clear target you can only interact with the enabler (the graveyard). Granted there are a few exceptions, and permission/discard will always exist; however history has shown that these are a less than reliable bastion of defense. GY hate isn't infallible, and often times comes at a steep price of detracting from your other defenses in a particular matchup.

    I think what is galling to most people is that TC might have a lower opportunity cost than people originally thought. When you see a completely linear strategy such as burn just jam 4 copies of a card draw spell just for the raw power; then you have to take a closer look. Sort of how people originally thought Goyf would require you jump through hoops to make effective. When rather all you needed to do was play regular magic.

    @JovianHomarid -

    -Yes and no. Powerful cards will always invalidate weaker ones, and archetype integrity is important to uphold. However "unplayable" is very hard to define, with the testament being that we (as players) assign multiple "tier" levels to decks. An equal split of the "metagame pie" is simply not possible, which is why the cyclical nature of formats exist.

    -If it was going in every deck without recourse; then yes a ban should be a consideration. Also I think format "warping" is an overused term. Warping implies drastic and irreparable contortions; when most of the time what is actually happening is just simple evolution.

    -That is a true statement. Cheap/easily assembled decks draw newer players looking to get into the format, as well as veteran players looking to pick up something new. When that deck is also powerful/good it creates a feedback loop as more people play the deck, it continues to produce results, which draw more people to the deck, etc. Add on top of this the fact that the reprinting of fetchlands has driven many newer players to try out modern, and the problem is only exacerbated (assuming you were using Burn as an example).

    -Luck is a thing in magic. When someone with good knowledge of their tier 1.5/2 deck runs good any particular day, they can spike any tournament. This is why you can only look at trends, and why multiple copies of a deck placing at an event is more indicative than the winning deck itself. High metagame percentages should not be proof alone; due reasons such as the one stated above. Card availability, region, average skill of player, netdecking "feedback loop" etc. all play a role. However if over a long enough period of time an obvious trend shows a deck taking too large a share of the "pie" with no room for the format to "ebb" in the other direction, then this should be used as evidence in conjunction with other information for potential bans.

    -Depends on the format. Standard, yes. Modern is more cost prohibitive, and the relative rise in popularity in the format drives players to choose the decks they can play. So no, if a deck is powerful and cheap then it will by nature take larger portion of the field. Should these sorts of decks be punished because of this? I personally don't think so; unless the power level of the deck along with a insanely low skillcap are out of bounds to the point where experience/knowledge/skill are no longer a factor in winning(but this is true of any deck, regardless of price tag).

    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Wx Death and Taxes
    Hmmm Cavern is a good idea. TBH the Tectonic Edge's have been underwhelming (in the few games I have played), so maybe trimming 1 and running 2 caverns could be good value.

    Sheepz, do you have an updated BW list? I see the one on the front page with Pack Rat's and Pontiffs in the SB. Also I wanna check out your manabase to see if it is something I can build with my collection.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on [Primer] Wx Death and Taxes
    I have to agree with Wilier. At this point why not just play melira pod? It is just as good at this utility creature grind, and has the explosiveness to win out of no where. Looks more like Maverick than D&T...just sayin.

    That being said if I am sticking to a mono-white or with a minor green splash; what do you guys think are the most potent cards to beat UR variants (delver and twin) are? My local meta has transformed almost completely into delver, and the rest are playing twin.

    Spirit of Lab, Kor Firewalker, Dryad Militant seem like decent choices, but I was wondering if there was anything higher impact.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    IMO, anything with a clear linear strategy should not be regulated through bans. Burn is the relevant example being talked about. It can be fought (quite easily I might add) with cards readily available in the card pool. Not to say that there aren't exceptions, but generally I would rather have players adapt than Wotc.

    This keeps the metagame more fluid as less powerful decks can exploit weaknesses week to week. For instance burn hate displacing traditional sideboard slots normally allocated for graveyard interaction, or vice versa.

    People have been playing less-than-optimal cards to fight other matchups, so why should burn be the exception? Not to mention that discard and permission are still very valid ways to combat burn game 1. Whether or not TC puts burn strategies over-the-top, allowing it to ignore common forms of interaction (ie. trading resources); is more indicative of the power level of TC than anything else.

    I think losing to burn just leaves a sour taste in most peoples mouths. It is a relatively cheap deck that has no obvious synergies or interactions, and the perceived decision trees required to play the deck are not very complicated. I know that I get pretty salty when I lose to burn, but not because the deck is innately more powerful than what I am doing.

    Granted all of this is outside of MTGO, which has its own isolated meta derived from a skewed and inbred economy. Why NOT play burn when it has acceptable percentages against the field, is cheap (kinda), and allows you to jam more games in the same period of time as other decks.

    Anywho, I see TC being banned in January. The power level of the card is fairly obvious, and while the opportunity cost is non-zero; it surely isn't high enough to be prohibitive. Most (if not all) decks running blue can only become better by running some number of them. I personally don't want it to be, because I play it (and am thus biased); however, it would not surprise nor anger me in the slightest. If wotc wants to raise the power level of the format by combating TC with unbans in other colors; then that is cool too.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on mono black devotion dying?
    it really comes down to how well you can read your local metagame.

    mono-black, while not being the definitive "best deck" that some people thought it would be, doesn't have any really bad matchups.

    how you construct the sideboard is also pretty relevant, since you can skew it pretty heavily towards fighting aggro or the mirror.

    for instance main decking Lifebane Zombie, or Nightveil Specter? how many main deck pack rats? how many doomblades/ultimate price? how many thoughtseizes? etc

    there is plenty of flexibility.

    you can also splash green for abrupt decay and or golgari charm for enchantments (ie. Assemble the Legion), but you sacrifice access to Temple of Deceit.

    the mono black shell in itself is still very powerful, and is one of the few midrange strategies that can go toe-to-toe with esper in the lategame.

    it is also important to be comfortable with your deck. the few percentage points you might get in a certain matchup by playing another deck is easily offset by playing a deck you know how to navigate.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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