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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/08/2018)
    Not surprised, but still a bit disappointed. I was really hoping for an unban of either Stoneforge Mystic or Birthing Pod. Besides being consistency tools, I don't think there is a powerlevel issue anymore at this point in Modern. Especially Birthing Pod is hosed so badly in the current meta that I doubt it could even be successful anymore.

    Let's hope for October 1st.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Although I am neither a Tron- nor a Bant Eldrazi player, I doubt that either of those decks would play SFM. Certainly not Tron, that deck has too few flex spots and dropping Karn or their other big stuff seems like a bad idea. Eldrazi has some more flex spots or bad cards to swap out, but SFM is a 6 card package that doesn't really fit the theme of the deck. It's bad with Cavern of Souls, bad with Ancient Stirrings, bad with Eldrazi Temple...I just don't see it here either. It might happen, but SFM would require major changes in the deck's structure which might weaken the deck's core too much.

    Esper Shadow is already a thing, but SFM without Batterskull seems too weak in that deck to play. If you do play Batterskull Death's Shadow becomes kind of obsolete.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    It seems like cycling is back in Amonkhet. If Wizards decided to put the cycling lands into the set, what do you think this would do with the price of Life from the Loam? Would these lands be good enough in Modern to move Loam's price?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Banlist change for 1/9/2017
    Quote from spidernova »
    Its also kind of worth noting that the fair decks that never or rarely get banned are also the ones that tend to be the most expensive.

    Jund is the most expensive deck by a margin and has been the target for the second most bans after Storm. Birthing Pod was mostly fair (it dropped the combo towards the end) and got banned, and it was a pretty expensive deck as well. I really don't see a bias towards the fair decks, and definately not towards or against deck prices.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Banlist change for 1/9/2017
    For those who can't access the page right now:

    Third, in Modern we banned Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll.

    Gitaxian Probe—Gitaxian Probe increased the number of third-turn kills in a few ways, but particularly by giving perfect information (and a card) to decks that often have to make strategic decisions about going "all-in." This hurt the ability of reactive decks to effectively bluff or for the aggressive deck to miss-sequence their turn. Ultimately, the card did too much for too little cost.

    Golgari Grave-Troll—Dredge, the mechanic and the deck, has a negative impact on Modern by pushing the format too far toward a battle of sideboards. With the printing of Cathartic Reunion and Prized Amalgam, the deck once again became unhealthy for the format. While those cards were discussed, the real offender always has been the dredge mechanic itself.

    Finally, you might have noticed the date for the next Banned and Restricted announcement looks a little soon. And, in fact, it is. In that area, we have a slight, but important, change:

    Banned and Restricted announcements will now be made both on the Monday after Standard-legal set Prereleases and five weeks after a Pro Tour, also on a Monday.

    We're making this change to give us, as well as the player community, greater flexibility in keeping organized play healthy and fun. We recognize that Pro Tour play, which is most directly informed by the announcement timeframe, represents a small fraction of Magic play. The play that is most affected by formats becoming imbalanced is the kind that happens between announcements—Friday Night Magic, Grand Prix, local tournaments, Magic Online events, Pro Tour Qualifying tournaments, or even just friends playing at home adhering to format rules.

    So, in order to best serve the majority of Magic players, we're adding the mid-set window to ensure play experiences at those myriad events are the best they can be.

    We do not expect this to lead to an increase in the number of cards banned or restricted (or unbanned or unrestricted), but the greater flexibility will allow us to address play issues more quickly.

    We're making all of these changes because we believe they will help keep Standard healthy, diverse, and, most importantly, fun. Aether Revolt is packed with new, interesting cards that you'll want to try out in this refreshed, open environment. Get your first look at them this weekend at a Prerelease near you.

    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [AER] - Spoiler Discussion for Modern
    How do those Fuse cards work with Yahenni's ? I can cast both halves through Yahenni's trigger?

    Yes, you can Smile

    (As long as one half has a CMC of 3 or less)
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on State of the Meta Thread. Talk about modern as a whole; Bans, health reprints and more.
    Quote from MrM0nd4y »
    I'd just like to say that killing the banlist discussion thread is probably the best thing the mods have done all year. I'm so glad that monstrosity is dead for good.

    But to be more productive, I'm very interested in this coming ban announcement, since I think it will set a precedent on the part of Wizards. If they ban something from, say, Dredge, when it hasn't put up a ton of results in high level tournaments recently, it implies that they're more interested in the total meta and the "type" of decks in Modern, which could lead to more decks that "don't play Magic" being scrutinized more heavily than "regular" decks.

    If they don't ban anything, then I think it shows that they're more interested in high level events and total tournament placements than a total meta percentage or whether a deck is "plays Magic" or not.

    Either way, I'm very interested to see how much Wizards views the current meta as positive or negative and to see if they make any changes in response.

    I would be very interested in the reactions a Dredge ban would evoke. As you said, Dredge didn't do anything wrong besides being the ugly duckling of the format and often frustrating to play against. I think a large portion of the playerbase would be pleased to see it go, but I also think it would send a troublesome message to a similarly large group. Justifying a ban with "not fun" seems very much arbitrary because you force your own subjective definition of what is fun on everyone. However, many people enjoy playing linear aggressive decks a lot and why should their enjoyment be worth less than that of anyone else?

    What you consider being fun probably comes down to what deck you play and what your deck is good against. I would doubt that the majority of Jund players would deem Tron to be a lot of fun, and Tron players probably don't like Infect, a matchup that is a lot more enjoyable for Jund players. I regularly play Grixis Control on Xmage and I when playing against players piloting their brews I often hear stuff like "Why do you have to kill all my stuff, just let me play my deck!!!", followed by insults. These guys would certainly ban my deck to infinity and beyond. Therefore, basing the ban list on any one's definition of fun Magic is very problematic, it would always discriminate against players that enjoy specific playstyles and would likely lead to these players losing faith and fun in Magic.

    Therefore, if WotC decides to ban Dredge they should be prepared to give very good reasons (attendance, virtual pre T4 wins...). If they say it's just "not fun", then they should at least have the guts to ban it for good, which would mean GGT, Stinkweed Imp and Golgari Thug have to get the axe. I would also expect an apology for ever creating the dredge mechanic in the first place and a garantee that this would be an exceptional ban that does not reflect Wizard's usual ban policy and will not happen again.

    If Twin was a controversial ban, I would expect this to be even more so. If they do have good reasons for the ban they should ban a card that keeps the deck in the format.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from dented42ford »
    My idea of what the Banned List should be is a bit different than what I feel most think it should be. I don't think it should exist merely to "police the brokenness", or to reign in overpowered interactions, or to limit the power level of the format. Instead, I think it should exist to foster a fun, interactive, and most importantly WIDE deck building environment, where a lot of different strategies can exist. That means it shouldn't just keep all the overpowered combos out, merely the ones that are hard to interact with. It shouldn't get rid of all fast mana, merely the fast mana that directly leads to degenerate strategies.

    On that note, I also feel that it should also contain cards which directly counter entire strategies in an non-interactive way. That will become clear below, in my explanations for my bans. In addition, I feel that powerful cards which may enable some degenerate strategies, but are otherwise interesting from a deckbuilding and interaction point of view, should be kept off the list if at all possible.

    Enough of that, here is my list - hopefully my meaning becomes clearer through it. I've hidden them behind Spoiler tags, because I'm afraid it went a bit long. I'm quite sure I am going to receive a lot of flack for these opinions, but thats how such things go - I actually hope to hear some of the disagreements, as I'm sure I've missed some interactions...

    Artifact Lands: I know, I know, it seems crazy - but really, think about the decks that would really play them!!! I don't know how many of you remember the old Extended, prior to the advent of "Super-Standard-Extended" and well before Modern. In a lot of ways it was not too dissimilar to what Modern is now, albeit with around a decade's less worth of cards. The artifact lands were legal in it, and Affinity (which was really AFFINITY still) was a very good, albeit risky, deck in that format. That was before Vault Skirge, and Steel Overseer, and Signal Pest, so the deck was essentially still a Mirrodin Block Constructed deck with Master of Etherium thrown in. The point is that it was just about the same power level as it is now, probably weaker - the Artifact Lands aren't a problem because of Affinity!

    Do you know what decks really benefitted from them? Control/midrange decks that could run Thirst for Knowledege. What is the single biggest problem with U-based control in Modern right now? No, it isn't Counterspell, or the lack thereof. It is the poor state of instant-speed card advantage and selection effects. The legalizing of Seat of the Synod would do a lot to alleviate that problem!

    There is also the neat deckbuilding counterplay that the non-Darksteel Citadel Artifact Lands bring to a format - namely their weakness to spot artifact removal, notably Ancient Grudge. There is a definite drawback to having lands that can be blown up by common sideboard cards! On that note, I don't think the interaction with Mox Opal is nearly as strong as it first appears - any deck interested in running Opal already runs Citadel, and the artifact lands don't really allow for much quicker starts, merely more consistent ones. Opal's drawback is real, as well - something that brings me to the next card...

    Chrome Mox: Also going back to that Extended format, does anyone recall the decks that actually played it? It wasn't the degenerate combo decks! It was mostly control/midrange decks (TFK again), All In Red (to speed in Blood Moon, a card I'll get back to in a sec), and various other decks that needed a tempo boost. The Imprint cost is real, and a big limiter to the overall power level of the card. The only "broken" deck I can think of that really jammed 4 Chrome Mox was DDT (Dark Depths / Thopter-Sword), and the only reason they did was to enable a T1 Dark Confidant! That deck was broken for reasons other than the Mox...

    Basically, the card is unquestionably powerful, but in actual deckbuilding it has real drawbacks. Think about it in the current Ad Nauseum deck, for instance - it would certainly go in the deck, but it would not speed it up (run some realistic hands)! It would likely just displace the Lotus Blooms, adding a little bit of consistency while also leaving them even more vulnerable to Artifact/Enchantment removal than they already are.

    What decks would really play the card? Likely the same midrange/control decks that are interested in the Artifact Lands. Faeries, for instance, would play it to power out T1 Bitterblossom - hardly a backbreaking play, and it would leave them very vulnerable to Abrupt Decay, for instance. It would make that deck much better, but with a drawback - that deck, and those like it, would be able to compete much more readily with the higher-tempo aggro decks in the format, but at the cost of both card advantage and post-board consistency. In other words, it enables more interesting strategies.

    Stoneforge Mystic: I'm not going to go on about it, but T3 Batterskull seems fine to me. It has all the vulnerabilities that strategy has in Legacy, without the advantage of Force of Will to protect it. Kolaghan's Command is a card in the format, and will continue to be, after all! My only worry is that it becomes the "default U strategy", stymieing deck construction by being the most powerful midrange/tempo thing to do. That is a real concern, but it is worth unbanning just to see how it shakes out in an actual metagame.

    Jace, the Mind Sculptor: The only argument I can think of for keeping this card banned is that it becomes the default U finisher. The only real interactive challenge to that is that it is a "tap-out" card, by nature, and most U decks are loath to tap out and lose their counter-war advantage. That may be enough reason to keep it on the list, but personally I'd like to see how it plays out, just like SFM, before jumping to conclusions. After all, JtMS has a lot of similarities to Bitterblossom in actual play - it is a recurring card advantage engine that requires a reactive deck to tap out to utilize. Bitterblossom isn't unsuccessful in Modern because it isn't powerful enough, but because the best strategy for it can't really afford the tempo loss of playing it - and Jace presents a similar conundrum, albeit one that is both more expensive and more powerful.

    Become Immense: I just see this card becoming more and more degenerate as time goes on. I don't think that Infect is the real reason to get rid of it - the next card on the list is what I would ban out of that particular deck - but instead the various "pump to kill super-fast" strategies, most notably Death's Shadow Zoo. The card does too much for too little, and enables too many games that aren't really interactive at all. I feel it should go, just to make building such decks more interesting than currently. The various other pump spells all have their own advantages and disadvantages, and having any "auto-include" tends to dilute the impact of choosing the remaining ones. Once you also consider that it is the only card in those decks that really allows for non-magical-christmas-land T3 kills, it really should go.

    Inkmoth Nexus: I don't personally feel this card is overpowered, per se, but instead that it gives certain aggressive strategies an unfair advantage over reactive ones. Both Artifact Aggro and Infect would be injured by its loss, but hardly "banned out of the format". Right now this manland acts as a "catch-all backup plan" for both decks, giving them a consistency and resiliency that undermines interactivity. If the format is to be WIDER something has to be done to knock those two down a peg, and Inkmoth is the card that they share. It is an insidious little beast, and a very interesting card that I'll be sad to see gone, but I really do believe that it is the key enabler of the two most prominent "OP" linear strategies right now. Removing it would give more opportunity to interact with those decks, and that is all that is needed to stifle their dominance.

    Prized Amalgam: For all the talk about Bloodghast and the dredge mechanic cards in this thread, this is IMHO the real reason for Dredge's meteoric rise. Compare the card to Vengevine, a card that used to be the paragon of free graveyard value - in order to effectively use Vengy, you have to actually cast creature spells. In order to recur Amalgam, you have to, what, play lands? The closest comparison is to Ichorid, which is really the only other truly "free from graveyard" creature with an appreciable attack stat ever printed. I want dredge to be in the format, as I find it an interesting strategy to combat, but the UB Zombie is always going to be a problem, because it has no drawbacks!

    With Prized Amalgam, Inkmoth Nexus, and Become Immense gone, the most powerful linear decks in the format would be knocked way down in power level, but importantly also all still be playable. IMHO, it is important not to just ban whole strategies out of a format - which brings me to my next set of bans, which are all on this list because they effectively do just that...

    Blood Moon: Here is the big one, to me, and I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me on it. I do not think that Blood Moon is too powerful! Quite the contrary, I think that it is a perfectly fine card in a vacuum. The thing is, a format IS NOT A VACUUM!!!

    In my experience, Blood Moon (and certain other cards like it) does not act as to "police the format" as so many like to say. Wasteland does act like that in Legacy/Vintage, but because it is a single-use effect. You can interact with and play around Wasteland - that card leads to interesting decision trees and more interactive games, albeit ones that may be a bit more tedious than optimal (I am not a huge fan of Wasteland, either, just using it as a comparison). Blood Moon, by being a card that just says "No, you can't play the game anymore" when played to its fullest, encourages/enables NON-INTERACTIVE PLAY. If you have a typical multi-color mana base in Modern, and a Blood Moon is played against you, there is a better than even chance that you simply won't have an answer to the card. The worst part about it is that it makes all non-basics Mountains in particular, and R is the color that simply cannot remove enchantments!

    In short, it is a "Griefer" card that only leads to un-fun, un-interactive, and un-WIDE games. The format is weaker by its inclusion, just because there are decks that may be reasonable but will never see play because the card is in it. It leads to certain proactive strategies that are immune to it being better than all others by default (Affinity including it in sideboards, for instance, or Twin's usage of it), while simultaneously suppressing entire classes of potential decks that could prey on those strategies but can't due to a weakness to the card. It also leads to "gotcha" games, where you lose to imposed mana screw - those games are about as fun as games where you get actually mana screwed, and no one enjoys that...

    As I said in the intro, I think the purpose of the Banned List should be to foster a wide, fun, and interactive format. Blood Moon manages to put a dent in all three, and has no appreciable advantage I can see by its inclusion. Anyone who has lost to Tron after dropping a T2 Blood Moon can speak to that! Personally, I feel that "punishment" cards should have an "out", if they are to be fun cards - whether that be being single-use or single target (Wasteland, Ancient Grudge, Pithing Needle), being an easily-dealt-with card type (Creatures, mostly, but also Artifacts to a lesser degree), or having built-in limitations (Ensnaring Bridge, Ghostly Prison), it doesn't matter. Blood Moon doesn't fit that criteria - it disables its own interaction (R can't kill enchantments), it is the single hardest card type to remove, and its only limitation is playing basics and R. Good riddance.

    Choke, Flashfires, Boil: No one really plays these, but they should go for the same reason as Blood Moon: They are uninteresting "griefer" cards, and don't add any depth or complexity to the format. They are boring and spiteful, and have no business being around.

    Chalice of the Void: Same reason as Blood Moon, really, albeit in a far lesser way. The thing is, Modern is always going to be a pretty fast format, leading to the best interactive cards naturally being the cheapest ones. You're not going to play Naturalize if Nature's Claim is available! That also means that the majority of proactive decks (mostly aggressive, but also combo) are going to be riddled with one drops. Like Blood Moon, Chalice can often read "Target Opponent Can't Play The Game". After board, it disables its own removal as well! In the end, it is another "Griefer" card that leads to "Gotcha" games, which are inherently un-fun.

    All that being said, of the griefer cards on this list, Chalice is the most interesting and least offensive. The only reason it rises to the level of problematic to me is my insistence on unbanning Chrome Mox, which is a sequence of plays I hope to never see on T1 ever again! I feel that if you unban the Mox, you must ban the Chalice.

    Stony Silence: Another "griefer" card, Stony Silence basically acts like Blood Moon for artifacts. I have three main issues with this card. One is that it is not nearly as effective against Affinity as it could be, meaning it doesn't really suppress that linear deck effectively. Two is that it disables Artifact Lands, which would keep them from being playable in anything but combo decks as long as it is a common sideboard option. Three is that it fully suppresses any non-aggressive artifact-based deck, as they are immediately shut down by it. Taking those qualities together, all Stony Silence really does is ensure that the only viable artifact-focused decks are Affinity and Lantern, the latter only because it relies on static qualities more than activated abilities.

    The card's mere existence narrows the format, and it is far from the only option to attack such strategies. Removal can be interacted with, counterspells can be played around, and creatures (Kataki, War's Wage) are far easier to deal with than enchantments. Stony Silence is a "NO, STOP PLAYING" card, and those aren't really all that healthy. I think it should go, just so that other artifact decks can exist!

    Rest in Peace: First off, if this were the ONLY graveyard hate card in the format, I'd have no issue with it. It isn't. It is merely the most, shall we say, "final". Much like Stony Silence, Rest In Peace pretty much ensures that the only viable graveyard decks will be aggressive ones. By having both the trigger and the static ability, it manages to completely eliminate the use of the graveyard as a resource - which is fine, in a vacuum, but in reality what it does is punish decks that try to set things up ahead of time in the graveyard. Like Blood Moon, it isn't nearly as effective at fighting against its obvious foil - anyone who has played RiP against Dredge knows it is far from an auto-win, just as Blood Moon isn't an auto-win against Tron.

    But people play RiP to fight Dredge, even though it isn't really that effective, and that has the side effect of suppressing other graveyard decks. Unlike every other option (except Leyline of the Void, which is fine due to its inherent weaknesses), it can't really be played around. You can't bait the crack like with Relic of Progenitus or Nihil Spellbomb, you can't rip it out of the hand proactively like Ravenous Trap, and you can't overload it like Scavenging Ooze or other single-target graveyard removal. It just says "NO". It is by far the least interesting grave hate in the format, mostly because of its finality. It can't be interacted with, other than by being removed, and by then it has already done its damage. Oh, and it really doesn't hurt the most linear graveyard deck!

    Like Stony Silence and Blood Moon, it narrows the format without really giving anything else in return. The format would be better off without any of them, simply because it could be wider without them. They can't be interacted with effectively, they don't do their jobs very well against the most flagrant offenders, and they suppress innovation and interaction. We'd all be better off without them.

    Krark-Clan Ironworks: It is possible that the combination of Chrome Mox and the Artifact Lands could push a KCI strategy into broken territory. I built a few decks with them legal, and watched/read about such lists in "NBL Modern" tournaments, and from what I could tell it isn't really an issue - the weakness to Ancient Grudge and countermagic/discard is real, and the deck is a T3.5 one at best. That being said, it is a card to watch.

    Disciple of the Vault / Myr Enforcer / Cranial Plating: Disciple and Plating were both banned at various points in previous formats with the core Affinity cards, and for a good reason. There is a chance that they'd still be a problem here. I don't see it really happening - Disciple is an "all-in" card that can be played around, and Plating is really no more powerful with the Artifact Lands than it is without (we're talking about 4-6 more artifacts in the deck, at one a turn max), but they are definitely worth watching. It is possible that the "vomit Myr Enforcer" strategy (otherwise known as "All In Affinity") could become good as well, so I included it, but that seems even less likely than the other two cards. IMHO, the only reason people are really scared of these cards is residual memory of getting burned out T4 by block Affinity back in the day - and the deck that would exist in this format would look very different to that one, not to mention that it really didn't happen nearly as consistently as people remember (Atog, anyone?).

    Mox Opal: The last of the "Artifact Land Dangers", I went into this a bit before, but I thought it deserved just a tad more explanation. Yes, it can allow for some truly busted acceleration, but it doesn't do it all that consistently. It does it in an interesting way, and it does it with a serious deckbuilding limitation. The legendary thing - making each Mox beyond the first into a de facto Lotus Petal - is also more of a limitation than it initially appears to be. I don't believe that many "degenerate" decks could really take advantage of the acceleration, with the one exception being KCI (covered above). Affinity is around the same speed with or without Artifact Lands, so KCI is the other big concern. What it could do is enable "big mana" artifact decks - Kuldotha Forgemaster, for instance, or Lodestone Golem, could actually see play with both Mox and the Artifact Lands around. I could also see some Thopter-Sword decks making good use of it, for instance. The thing is, all those decks are T4 decks! They are very powerful, yes, but they are also on par with what the format is otherwise capable of. They also have the same weakness to Ancient Grudge that Affinity does, albeit even more so due to the higher mana investment involved.

    TLDR, I think it is worth the experiment - in all likelihood, KCI would be the card to get the axe, but Mox might be too much, as well. I think the tradeoff is worthwhile, if Mox has to go to keep the Artifact Lands, mainly to give control the TfK option I mentioned above. I'm sure more than a few will disagree, but that is my personal take!

    Karn Liberated: If the format slows down a bit due to the "reigning in" of the linear decks that prey on Tron, then it is possible that the deck could become oppressive. Karn is the card that makes that deck oppressive, mostly because it fits so neatly in with completing Tron T3. Ergo, if Tron becomes dominant, take a look at banning Karn. There are other things they could be doing with their 7, anyway!

    Bloodbraid Elf: This card is fine in power level, but just isn't a "healthy" card. It is too RNG-centric, for one thing, and it also has the tendency to push all GX strategies in the same direction just by being the best source of card advantage they can reliably use. Basically, it is more like Green Sun's Zenith than Deathrite Shaman - the former is kept banned because every G deck runs 4 by default, limiting strategic depth, while the latter is the one and only 1-mana planeswalker ever printed. Personally, I say keep it banned, but that isn't because it is OP!

    Gitaxian Probe: I don't really see this card being a problem - the sorcery speed and life loss drawbacks make it a "fair" card. That being said, it does both limit deck diversity (auto-4-of in U tempo decks and Storm) and enable a problematic mechanic (Delve). If Delver strategies, UB Delve, or Storm become problems, then this should be the card to go. I wouldn't be sad to see it gone - it really is a pretty boring card...

    Ensnaring Bridge: I actually have no beef with Lantern Control, and have had a lot of success with Bridge-based decks in the past. I like the card, and its drawbacks (costing 3, the hand size limitation, being a hatable card type) generally make it fine. That being said, it bears a lot of resemblence to the cards I wanted to ban for limiting the breadth of the format, and if my changes had the desired effect of slowing it down, then there's a chance that Bridge strategies could become oppressive. I don't see that really ever happening (Abrupt Decay says "Hi"), but I thought it was worth mentioning as a "watchable" card.

    Simian Spirit Guide: It is possible that Chrome Mox + Spirit Guide would enable something truly horrific, albeit unlikely due to their inherent conflicts with each other. There's only so much card advantage you can reliably trade for tempo in any given game, after all! If something truly degenerate were to emerge using both, I'd rather see the Ape go, as it is a less interesting, more niche card than the Mox. In other words, you can play Chrome Mox in a control deck for a bit of a tempo boost, but you'd never do that with the mana monkey, so if one has to go, then get rid of Harambe. He only goes in degenerate decks, while the Mox goes in others as well...

    Dig Through Time: This card has never really been given a fair shake in Modern. It is very, very powerful, don't get me wrong, but it isn't Treasure Cruise! The UU cost and one less card is a real drawback, which would keep it out of the linear decks for the most part. I do worry about it in linear non-aggro decks (combo/lock), but that is exactly the type of deck that Modern is sorely lacking, so it may, MAY be worth the risk. To be fair, it is the one card on this list I am least convinced would be "safe", but I think it is worth discussion and exploration.

    Glimpse of Nature: Sort of the same thing as with DTT, I think that the card is undeniably powerful, but also inherently slower than it initially seems. Elves make for a good deck, but in the end they have always had a weakness to certain types of interaction, and Glimpse actually intensifies that weakness in some ways. For instance, Anger of the Gods didn't even exist in the same format as Glimpse Elves, EVER! I think there is a good chance that it is a safe card, but it may also be the type of card that makes Elves the de facto best G creature deck, limiting deck diversity. I'm not afraid of its power level as much as I am introducing another "obvious possible best deck" into the format. Worth consideration, albeit that of the careful kind.

    Splinter Twin: I just had to mention this card, because I just know someone will bring it up. Personally, I'm fine with keeping it banned. Why? Not because it is too powerful, that is for sure. The real reason is that Twin the deck is by default the best tempo-combo deck in the format, simply because it requires so few cards to implement. What is the point in running any other UR combo deck when Twin is just better? There isn't one, and that isn't a good thing. The deck is fine, really, but it is too easy to fit into an obvious shell for my tastes. I'd rather see a format with 2-5 different UX combo-control decks than one with just one, but Twin will always be that one...

    I am sorry to say this but your propositions are absurd and completely inconsistent. First and foremost having "fun" as a ban criteria is dangerous. Fun is inherently subjective and banning because of someone's subjective perception of what is fun is dangerously arbitrary. States have abolished arbitrary jurisdiction for good reason and reinstating that into a game you expect others to have faith in is very narrow minded. But on weg go.

    You basically ban every fast aggro deck to death to make the format slow down, then buff Affinity to unknown levels of broken and carry on unbanning Chrome Mox. That card does a lot but slowing down a format is certainly not one of them. You want to unban it to make midrange etc even with the fast aggro decks which you conventienly just banned out of the format except for Affinity. You also state that Mox would go into basically every midrange, control and tempo deck, which kind of makes this a 56 card format. You seem to not notice or care, but having a card that is obligatory to every deck to compete is format warping and extremely unhealthy. Having Mox in your opening hand is also such a great advantage over others who do not that games often come down to exactly that. Games become more luck based and being on the play with a Mox becomes the most powerful play of Modern.

    Banning cards like Stony Silence also doesn't achieve anything for other artifact decks. When Affinity runs rampant people will play artifact hate and other artifact decks will get to feel that. It doesn't matter if that's Stony Silence, an abundance of Ancient Grudges, Shatterstorm or Creeping Corrosion. Artifact decks will fold to that either way. It's similar with graveyard hate. Dredge is strong, and all graveyard decks will suffer from the hate. If Rest in Peace isn't that good against Dredge people will stop playing it anyway. No need to ban it. Also, being all-in on one strategy is generally a high risk - high reward play. You narrow down the ways you are vulnerable, but if someone packs the right hate you lose. That's why it is important to have multiple ways to win and the reason why decks like Jund aren't easily hated out through sideboard cards.

    You seem to be stuck in the ages of Extended and ignore a lot of what has happened since then. The plans you have for Modern would not lead to the vision you have for it.


    Skullclamp [...] a card you'll note I didn't even bother with explaining why I wouldn't unban

    Good for you! *slow clap*
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    I agree but I also think it's fine to wait a little bit to see how things play out. We don't need new tier decks banned after 3 months while others are allowed to stay forever cough affinity infect and jund.

    To be fair, to date Jund had the most bannings of any deck besides Storm. Infect and Affinity only do busted stuff if you don't interact with them. Both decks push the meta towards interaction, which is definately a good thing. They also help keeping Dredge and Tron in check, which is also nice.

    I agree that banning something from Dredge isn't neccessary yet. While I dislike Dredge a lot and would love it toned down a margin I believe a ban would be wrong at this point. Aether Revolt seems to be a promising set with many new toys for Modern and the metagame might adjust itself at some point.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from izzetmage »
    I predict Bloodghast will be banned if they decide that Dredge is too much. Virtually every Dredge deck, even those before GGT and Amalgam, played it. Even Dredgevine did, and Bloodghast is a nonbo with Vengevine. That's how good it is. It's probably the best card in the deck, even better than Amalgam, despite Dredge only becoming "a deck" when Amalgam was printed.

    I'm operating on the assumption that they will choose to ban the best card in Dredge.

    Why not _____?

    Cathartic Reunion: doesn't make sense. That card is giant counterspell bait and looks totally out of place on the ban list. I mean, say what you will about Preordain looking out of place on the ban list, but two cantrips are as close as you can get to banned in Vintage, so the precedent is there.

    Narcomoeba: it's not actually that strong. You need 4 so that you can mill into one relatively consistently, but 4 gives you the max chance of drawing one in your opener, where it's useless. If you draw a Bloodghast or Amalgam you can pitch it to Looting/Reunion/Conflagrate and still have it be useful. Not so with Narcomoeba.

    Amalgam: This might be a contentious one, since it was what made Dredge "a deck". The reason I don't believe it will be banned is that an Amalgam-less deck is still capable of some ridiculous things with Bridge from Below and Greater Gargadon (sample deck here). Play land, get Bloodghast(s), sac to Gargadon, get Zombie(s), repeat. Bloodghast is the real culprit here.

    Golgari Grave-Troll: This is another contentious one. I feel like a lot of people who think GGT should be banned rationalize it with "dredge is a busted mechanic". But what does that really mean? Have you ever thought hard about that?

    The truth is that dredge is only as busted as the cards that you can mill into. What does the dredge mechanic do? It lets you mill yourself. If dredge didn't exist, could you still mill yourself? Yes, of course - Shriekhorn, Tome Scour and Glimpse the Unthinkable do that, and Hedron Crab is close to a repeatable mill 6 every turn (if a bit squishy). T1 Insolent Neonate, sac, discard Stinkweed Imp, dredge Stinkweed Imp mills just as much as a Tome Scour. In Legacy the "All Spells" deck wins by milling itself and flashing back Dread Return, without a single dredge card. Of course it gets some help from rituals, which are busted in their own way, but my point is that if the payoff for filling your graveyard exists, you don't necessarily need dredge cards to get there.

    Why are the cards that Dredge mills into busted? Because they don't cost mana to cast, trigger or activate. Bloodghast, Narcomoeba and Amalgam are all guilty of this. So is Bridge from Below, and other things that you won't find in Modern, like Dread Return, Ichorid, Nether Shadow and Cabal Therapy. There is a reason it's possible to build a manaless Dredge deck in Legacy: because there is so much stuff that doesn't require mana.

    Do you see anyone complaining about Lingering Souls, Haunted Dead or Scrapheap Scrounger? Of course not. These cards are balanced, despite being potential targets to mill into. Why? Because they cost mana.

    How about some hypothetical counterarguments then?

    "Dredge is busted because it provides too much CA. Mill 6 = 6 extra cards, since your cards work from the graveyard". This one holds some truth to it, because Dredge recovers from mulligans better than perhaps any other deck in the format - all you need to do is hit a good dredge off land + Looting. However I believe the bigger problem is free creatures. Dredge can get back in the game after a mull to 5 because all the relevant creatures ETB at the drop of a hat. If it didn't have any free creatures, it would go T1 loot, T2 loot, T3 Souls/Haunted Dead/Scrapheap Scrounger at best and promptly die. With free creatures, you can have them ETB as early as turn 1 (if you used Neonate to loot into Narcomoeba), or have four guys on turn 3 instead of just two dinky Spirits.

    "They're going to keep printing better creatures that work from the graveyard anyway, might as well ban the dredgers instead". If there were that many good creatures that worked from the graveyard, I could just build a deck with Crab, Shriekhorn, etc and mill into them without dredgers. Problem not solved. Besides, they are also aware that not putting mana costs on activated abilities is dangerous (which, as I mentioned, is the reason dredge payoff cards are busted), so at least give them the benefit of doubt, that they can design balanced graveyard monsters without screwing up Modern.

    TL;DR read the first sentence

    Then again hitting Narcomoeba + Prized Amalgam create the most explosive starts because Narcomoeba comes directly into play and brings the Amalgams with it. I'd say it is the better ban target and is also played in no other deck.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from Remba »
    Quote from Pummeler »
    Quote from Remba »
    Quote from Pummeler »
    Quote from Ayiluss »
    SFM is one of those cards that shouldn't come off and I don't think people suggesting her unban are aware of her power.

    This is exactly the kind of hyperbole that my post was referencing. Yes, SFM is a good card but it is a one off card advantage then it is a 1/2. i am fully aware of "her power" of cheating equipment into play but the only equipment that is even relevant to that discussion is a 4/4 lifelink vigilance which is SMALLER than the green 2 drop tarmogoyf. Seriously, the idea that she is somehow way more powerful than anything this format is already doing is just hyperbole. If the discussion boils down to whether she reduces deck diversity rather than increasing deck diversity then that is a fine discussion but trying to pretend she is over the top powerful is not a profitable discussion because she clearly is not.

    Just from reading your comment I'm guessing you've never played with or against SFM. Sure, it's not quite as broken as in Legacy since you can't tutor for Jitte, but turn-3 Batterskull is a game-winning play in Modern most of the time. Even if they kill SFM before it can be activated, it's still a Steelshaper's Gift that takes out a removal spell. And you can't compare Batterskull to Tarmogoyf - most creatures that are played in Modern are smaller than Tarmogoyf, and this one has two relevant abilities. Now, I don't necessarily think that SFM shouldn't EVER come off, but it's definitely one of the stronger cards on the banned list, and I don't think it should get unbanned right now or for the foreseeable future.

    I have not only played with and against her but i have done some testing with my brother in law in current modern and your statement is at best ignorant and at worst damaging to intelligent discourse.

    I am listing what she actually does as a card and speaking from VERY recent experience decking 2 equipment is a very real cost. Drawing either the sword or the skull requires 5 mana investment to see any benefit and it is actively bad in a number of matchups. Particularly in abzan which is a very tight list with precious few slots to cut you are often in a situation where you need an answer and draw a SFM or equipment, and along with that you regularly would rather have tarmogoyf than SFM when you pull it off the top of the deck. (It is most often better than tarmogoyf on exactly turn 2 but not even always then.)

    Also, she is only as good as the equipment you can get with her. So saying she is not as good in modern where you cannot get jitte is a GROSS understatement jitte is often whoever gets it first wins and that is just not the case for batterskull or swords in modern

    In and of itself, the lack of Jitte makes SFM miles worse. But I'm also accounting for the fact that Legacy has a lot more unfair decks/cards than Modern, which makes Stoneforge into Batterskull or a Sword a much better play than it is in Legacy.

    But you also have to account for the fact that Batterskull is usually the biggest creature on the board in Legacy (except for stray Goyfs) and equipping a TNN with either Jitte or Skull is lights out either way. That makes it a lot stronger in Legacy. In Modern, creatures are often bigger than Skull and there is no TNN to create an invincible threat. Kolaghan's Command is a thing and at least Abzan can't retrieve a destroyed Skull or Sword. SFM becomes a dead draw at that point and the best she could do then is crew a copter. A Goyf with Skull is a beating, but that won't happen until turn 5 anyway and at 5 mana powerful stuff is allowed to happen.

    I honestly think there is already enough stuff being played right now that will easily keep SFM + Skull in check. If you can't answer it you will probably be punished, but then there are many cards like this.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Quote from Pummeler »
    I think the power level of SFM is being greatly overestimated in here. It is a "combo" that requires you to run dead draws. I am not saying she is bad certainly but 2 mana 1/2s had better have good abilities. When other 2 drops of the format being cards like tarmogoyf, Snapcaster, even lesser played cards like young pyromancer all either have MUCH larger stats or VERY powerful abilites. Why should white not also have a powerful 2 drop?

    There is another problem here. Abzan Blade will be the deck that will have a GREAT( i mean, it already has great matchups ) vs all of the fair decks. I have played a lot with Grixis, Jeskai, UR Twin and a with a lot of URx matchups against Abzan and I can confirm this. With SFM, it will probably be suppressing the fair decks.
    Also, Abzan MIdrange was at 19% some months ago(at PT FRF). Can you tell me that with SFM Abzan Midrange won't go at that Birthing Podesque Levels again, but will sustain its place there this time?

    If Abzan is already favoured against all the other fair decks and doesn't suppress them now, why should this change only because fair matchups get better but don't change much against unfair decks? Only the Burn matchup would really improve, but many other decks don't care at all about SFM. Eldrazis are bigger than Skull and play TKS, Dredge ignores it, Infect laughs at it, Tron exiles or destroys it, Scapeshift races it, Suicide Bloo/Zoo punches through it...these decks make up a way bigger portion of the metagame than fair decks and having a good matchup against these decks is far more important than against Abzan. I am not even too certain that Abzan would be the best deck for SFM. Maybe there is a better Jeskai or Esper list with SFM. I would certainly brew a lot with her and not just settle on Abzan.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from mikej »
    I recall Jeff Hoogland making a comment about facing Stoneforge Mystic in Bant Eldrazi. I asked why Bant Eldrazi would want SFM but he never replied.

    Eldrazi doesn't want SFM probably for the same reason Naya Burn doesn't, she either too slow or doesn't have any synergy with the deck. Why spend two turns to have a 4/4 lifelinker where they could of easily had a T2 Thought-Knot Seer or T3 Reality Smasher? Heck, just Eldrazi Displacer alone makes facing any opposing Batterskulls laughable.

    Agreed here. Just because a deck is running white doesn't mean it wants to dilute it's gameplan with at least 6 cards.

    I guess even Eldrazi and Taxes, one of the most white decks in the format wouldn't play her, or they would have to drop their Leonin Arbiters and lose out on their Strip Mines and strictly better Swords to Plowshares. I am really not sure they would do that.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    Quote from die_treppe »
    BBE+AV? Yikes. I know Temur is not a big shard right now, but this may be the chance for them to take over, and in a bad way. If they unban BBE, this combination will be a nightmare for midrange and control decks. Again, this is like going back and making Modern one whole archetype all about only one flavor. I for one, would try and work hard to make something like Temur Moon a big deck. Classic case of homogenization of a diverse format.

    I think you are really overstimating the impact of BBE + AV. In Modern Cascade is pretty much completly random so you have rather low chances of ever living the dream. Besides, blue doesn't play well with Cascade otherwise, counters are just awful and getting a Serum Visions off BBE isn't that impressive, neither is Snapcaster Mage. Goyf is okay, but RUG has a hard time feeding him. The general card quality with CMC < 4 in these colors is just way too low to spawn a good deck or cause even a slight homogenization towards RUG. No, if BBE is unbanned it will go into Jund. Hitting Liliana of the Veil, Kolaghan's Command or a fully fed Goyf is just a lot more impressive than what Temur could offer. AV doesn't change that.

    As an additional note to BBE + AV: Yahenni's Expertise lets you do exactly that, just way better. Wipe the board off small creature and draw 3. No lucky Cascade required, just have AV in hand.

    You are right. Cascade is nowhere near Legacy in terms of consistency. That's what i'm afraid off too. BBE is just too dicey for a format with so much power level.

    A few counterpoints to your arguement: 1)Actually counterspells aren't good right now, and i suspect they won't be until some hard land destruction is printed or Cavern gets banned.
    2)You might miss on the juicy Liliana and Kolaghan's Command, but you gain Ancestral Vison and Blood Moon, Serum Visions, Vendilion Clique, even something like Vedalken Shackles can make good work even if it doens't have an ETB trigger.
    3)You are certainly right that Jund would abuse her too. Ultimately, it doesn't bring anything good for the format. Just more degeneracy and variance.

    To 1)
    Yes, counterspells are bad right now which is certainly a reason to play black over blue.

    To 2)
    The only cards that would excite me from these are AV and Clique. Jund often plays Blood Moon itself, so no point here and Shackles is a dead card if you draw it naturally, especially if you don't go deep into blue. It's also just not good right now. Serum Visions is very mediocre although probably one of the better hits in RUG and Clique is usually a two-of at most. Hitting a second one is also bad. Nothing here that could compensate for what you miss out on for playing blue over black.

    To 3) I completely agree with you here. BBE creates far too much variance and adds even more luck to the game which I don't think helps but is actively bad. I'd keep it banned for this reason alone.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/26/2016 update - No changes!)
    BBE+AV? Yikes. I know Temur is not a big shard right now, but this may be the chance for them to take over, and in a bad way. If they unban BBE, this combination will be a nightmare for midrange and control decks. Again, this is like going back and making Modern one whole archetype all about only one flavor. I for one, would try and work hard to make something like Temur Moon a big deck. Classic case of homogenization of a diverse format.

    I think you are really overstimating the impact of BBE + AV. In Modern Cascade is pretty much completly random so you have rather low chances of ever living the dream. Besides, blue doesn't play well with Cascade otherwise, counters are just awful and getting a Serum Visions off BBE isn't that impressive, neither is Snapcaster Mage. Goyf is okay, but RUG has a hard time feeding him. The general card quality with CMC < 4 in these colors is just way too low to spawn a good deck or cause even a slight homogenization towards RUG. No, if BBE is unbanned it will go into Jund. Hitting Liliana of the Veil, Kolaghan's Command or a fully fed Goyf is just a lot more impressive than what Temur could offer. AV doesn't change that.

    As an additional note to BBE + AV: Yahenni's Expertise lets you do exactly that, just way better. Wipe the board off small creature and draw 3. No lucky Cascade required, just have AV in hand.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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