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Treasure Cruisin' Gifts Storm
 
The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
 
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    While I would agree that there is some misplaced blame here, I can understand where Gredras is coming from. If I were a small business owner, of a LGS, I would also be worried about competitive players coming in and stomping my other regulars and thus encouraging them to just not attend, sticking to the kitchen table instead.

    I do think that there are some other options, as they've already started exploring. For example, working to provide competitive decks for other players who may not be able to afford them themselves. As another person mentioned, they could also start running Pauper events, where those with less funds might stand a better chance.

    But I agree that it would be counter-productive to prohibit these "spikes" from bringing their A-game. There are steps that the individual players that are having a difficult time can do as well. Someone else pointed out that it's not beyond the realm of possibilities to make a straight-up land destruction deck against this metagame. Or, maindecking hate cards. If the community suffers to the degree that attendance is dwindling, then it's much easier to predict the metagame to support the idea of maindecking hate cards.

    I'm sure that there are other options, like contacting Wizards and letting them know that maybe the secondary market does need a bit more help, at a slightly quicker pace. They've already begun the process of reprinting cards to possibly relieve that pressure, but maybe their main distributors need to make their voices heard. Running a profit on a cheaper secondary market is much better than just going out of business, and it's these people that need to let their voices be heard as well. This would at least put everyone on a level playing field.

    But I think we can at least have some sympathy for these people. Having been a person who was tight on funds and getting beat down for years before my current career, and being good friends with a good number of store owners now, I can understand their situation.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    So, assuming the lists as seen on MTGGoldfish, is there a sideboard guide anywhere? The one in the primer is a bit out of date.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    I have not tried this method, though I am aware of it.

    My point is that my opponent used this very same method to get a draw from me, when we would have easily had time on the clock to finish the game and grant me the win. And, apparently, multiple judges (including the head judge) condoned the behavior. Now, if there is something to be done about the quality of judges, and you were to say that the judges at the event were inadequate at being judges, I can accept that. However, if this is allowed to be used against Lantern players, why should this not also be allowed to be used by Lantern players?

    Again, I don't use this method, and I prefer to just play it out.

    EDIT: And no, if I had employed this method in game one, I was guaranteed a win. My opponent made me mill them out completely in game one, and I was milling aggressively.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    @Kleronomas, While I understand you might not like the article crexalbo wrote, your criticism seems a bit harsh, and assumptive. What he's written about has been discussed, and agreed upon, in this very thread and on the subreddit.

    So, first, as for calling it cheating: When I was at SCG Baltimore, my 2nd round opponent used that very same technique against me. They didn't slow play, but I had the lock in game three and the inevitable win. We had a good fifteen minutes on the clock. Yet they made sure to activate all abilities they could, and count every trigger they could, to take up time. The head judge, and multiple judges, were watching our match, as we were the last playing. Again, I'd already gone through their library with a Surgical and knew they had no outs. We ended up going to turns and a draw because of it. I later asked the head judge if I should have called the opponent on slow play (I figured that if it was truly slow play that the head judge would have taken the initiative, which is why I didn't call a judge). The head judge said that what the opponent was doing was legal and well within their rights. My opponent even verbally stated that they were playing for the draw.

    What crexalbo is saying here is that we are also able to take advantage of this. If this is cheating, then there's a lot of screwed up judges in the SCG circuit right now that owe me a win. Note that this was at a large event, so your assumption that what crexalbo's written implies that he's never played at a large event seems only based on your own feelings of superiority. Again, I respect that you have a difference of opinions, I find it difficult not to point out the flaws in your argument. Please at least be respectful to others in your disagreement, eh? Smile

    EDIT: Ugh. Just saw the comments from others on the subreddit. Sometimes humans just keep disappointing.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    I'm afraid I haven't tested postboard against Jund. My Jund opponent left after the first game Frown I agree that postboard seems like it's going to be rough, and I was expecting a very difficult game or two, but didn't get to see how tough since they left. I'm guessing maybe they'd changed their sideboard to anticipate Gx Tron and Jace decks, and had minimal artifact hate, although I can't know for sure. I expected postboard against the Miracles deck to also be difficult, expecting Stony Silence, but didn't get to see that, either. I suppose it is possible that so many people are skimping on the artifact hate due to the anticipated meta shift, though I would have at least expected Stony Silence from them, since it has collateral damage against Gx Tron.

    I don't run Pyrite at all in my list, though I agree that it might be good to find a spot for the 3rd Needle. I have seem to have noticed a downswing in Collected Company and Dredge decks, so maybe it would be safe to swap out the Grafdigger's Cage for it. I don't know for sure, though.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    @Duodenum, I have three videos to upload with the new meta, two Jace decks and a BBE Jund deck. I'll give a quick rundown on how they went for now, hopefully upload the videos to the Youtube channel here in the next 24 hours.

    The first Jace matchup, my opponent was on UB Jace. I was able to win game one through a quick lock. The brainstorming makes me feel panicky every time, hoping they don't draw into something awesome. Game two my opponent brought in graveyard hate, in the form of Leyline of the Void. Not the first time this has happened, people seem to think that bringing in graveyard hate is a good thing to do. They also brought in Surgicals, if I recall correctly. Surgicals were more worrisome, but thanks to lots of discard, my own Leyline of Sanctity, and them having dead Leylines, I was able to win it. There was a turn where they drew a Cryptic on their last blind draw, and it was their only unknown, but I had too many cards for them to be able to Cryptic and bounce. They could try to bounce Needle and get one brainstorm out of Jace, but would have to lucksack and hope that the 2nd and 3rd cards of the brainstorm were good. They could have bounced one Bridge, but I had multiples. They could have tried to bounce a lock piece, but also had duplicates. So, I was fortunate to have built a boardstate in which Cryptic couldn't get there, and slowly whittled their library, being ever careful.

    The match (game - they quit after game one) against BBE Jund felt much easier than regular Jund. Them cutting discard seems to help a huge amount. This allowed me to set up the lock extremely quickly after discarding their Decay. They have to get very lucky with their cascades, which they didn't. It also helps that we have semi-control over their cascades. This means that they have to hold BBE to hope for a good cascade, while we're setting up their top card(s) and controlling their draws, and they have to hope we don't just draw a Thoughtseize to get rid of it.

    The 2nd match (game - again, they quit after game one) against a Jace deck was against a Miracles build. This deck just has a ridiculous amount of dead cards, as they need to focus on not losing to fast aggro decks. That meant a ton of Paths and Terminus. Their clock is super slow, with their only wincons being Entreat the Angels (which we control the miracle of), Celestial Colonnade, and Jace. I was never able to Needle Jace, just didn't draw into it fast enough. They got a ton of brainstorms, but I always made sure that the top card was a dead one and hoped for the best. On their first brainstorm, they were able to find a Detention Sphere, but I was able to dig to a Thoughtseize and get rid of it. We did have a fight over a Cryptic a little while into the game. Near the end, when they had around 12 cards left in library (them drawing two per turn thanks to Jace, plus my very carefully played mill), I was able to resolve a Whir of Invention. They had just flipped a Search for Azcanta into the Sunken Ruin, so they got one activation off of it, searching for a counter, but they didn't find one. I got Needle into play and was about to name Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin and they conceded. EDIT: Near the end of the game, my opponent mentioned that maybe they should have been using Jace to +2 me, but that would have allowed me to have much more control over their draws and mine, and I would have likely been able to Whir for Needle much sooner. Them brainstorming had drawn them a Clique at one point that was able to take a Whir out of my hand when I was stuck on two mana (my opp had used two Field of Ruins on me). If they hadn't, I could have just waited a turn, drawn a land, and Whir'd for Needle and won the game on the spot.

    I'm still very worried about the metagame going forward. While I'm happy with Jund dropping so much discard, I worry about a resurgence in Gx Tron (which seems to have happened, at least on the Cockatrice meta) and nearly every blue deck going forward having a Jace to fight.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Cascade Chainer
    I was thinking mainly focusing on the Research/Development if possible, and pulling sideboard cards like Rest in Peace or something of the sort. I agree that most of the split cards available are underwhelming. I suppose that the idea could probably just be put on the backburner until better cards are printed to break it.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    I can understand that, which is why I mentioned me taking a break from Modern during Eldrazi Winter. I didn't want to buy into or play the deck, so I just took a break. Yet I recognized how dominant it was. My only choices were

    1 - Keep playing what I enjoy, and just accept that I'll lose. Losing, however, is generally not considered fun. So even if I am playing what I would otherwise consider a "fun" deck, I wouldn't have fun.
    2 - Switch over to the obvious more powerful deck.
    3 - Take a break.

    Of course, the data showing the power of Eldrazi during that time wasn't even debatable. So here, you have these same three choices, assuming that your opinion is correct. If I'm not mistaken, though, you have some amount of money on the line, which would seem to eliminate the logic of choosing the first choice. And the current data set is at odds with your opinion, which is quite different from my situation.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    What makes me curious about those claiming that Tron is somehow broken is that these same people are not consistently playing Tron when it seems to be in their best interest. I mean, for me, I do feel that there may be an issue with Jace in the format, but I'm willing to wait for further data to verify this idea, and I don't plan on playing Jace if it does pan out that it's just correct. Playing Eldrazi was just correct during Eldrazi Winter, and I recognized this, but I still didn't play Eldrazi - I actually took a break from Magic during this time.

    Yet, still, these same people making the claim about Gx Tron are doing neither (from what I've observed) - They aren't playing Tron, nor are they taking a break from Magic. This seems to suggest a sort of dissonance.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Restore Balance
    Hi everyone Smile I'm not a player of the deck, but was just thinking about an idea that I thought some of you might find useful.

    By now everyone probably knows that the ruling on split cards has changed, so cascading into split cards to cast one or another half won't work like it used to, since it counts the cumulative cost of both halves now. But what if that could be used to a player's advantage? What if some split cards could be used to control the game, or some utility, in order to avoid being cascaded into while still serving that function? Some cards that came to mind:

    Turn//Burn
    Reduce//Rubble
    Struggle//Survive
    Rough/Tumble

    Research//Development could even be used to pull silver bullets out of the sideboard to reliably cascade into. Depending on how greedy people could be with the manabase, it might just be possible to splash lots of different colors. Just thought I'd put the idea out there.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Cascade Chainer
    Hi Smile

    I was just thinking of how to work the new cascade rules, concerning split cards. We know that cascading into half a split card won't work any more, since the new rules state that it now counts the cumulative cost of the split card. But what if we can use this to our advantage? What if we used cascade cards to make it so we reliably cascade into some specific spell(s) in the deck? The rest of the deck can be split cards used to disrupt the opponent or retain control of the game while setting it all up. Some split cards that I found that might be useful for this include:

    Turn//Burn
    Reduce//Rubble
    Struggle//Survive
    Rough//Tumble

    Depending on how greedy we are with the manabase, we could even splash into non-Temur colors. We could use Research//Development to pick silver bullets out of the sideboard to cascade into as well.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    So, some arguments I've heard for Jace being fair seem to revolve around:

    The bar for tapping four lands during one's main phase to cast a single spell is quite high, often restricted to cards that threaten to win the game immediately.


    True. Well, let's say that we wanted to build a deck with Jace in it. We don't necessarily have to use an existing shell. Who's to say that we can't just start from scratch? So how do we resolve the issue of casting a 4cmc sorcery speed spell and not simply losing afterwards? How would we resolve that problem? Maybe the same way that decks like Grixis Shadow doesn't just have it's Shadow removed after it's played? Of course! Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek exist! They're pretty decent plays for early turn disruption.

    But what if the opponent somehow gets creatures into play, though the disruption, before (or despite) being fatesealed by Jace? Lots of spot removal? Board wipes? Those were also tested in the early stages of Lantern. Turns out there was a better card, Ensnaring Bridge.

    But that nonbo's with Jace's +0 ability, doesn't it? Well, ya, sure. But if a creature is small enough to swing under a Bridge at that point, is it big enough to pose a real threat to Jace before emptying our hand the following turn? Especially after playing out so many low cmc spells on turns one through three? What card exists that could deal with those smaller creatures, allows us to dump our hand, and isn't just dead against control matchups? Oh yeah, Collective Brutality seems good. That also solves the whole "Burn would love a 4cmc sorcery speed spell!". Also seems to have worked really well against Infect, etc. Both of those decks really don't like that 2cmc one.

    But what about decks like Tron? How would you combat that? Are there any blue cards that exist in Modern that would help there? Oh, duh, Spreading Seas. And, while we're at it, why not run Field of Ruins, just in case.

    Okay, so good, so far. So what's more frustrating than fighting through all of that, trying to remove a planeswalker that's fatesealing and ticking up to ultimate? I suppose trying to fight through all of that, trying to remove two planeswalkers ticking up to ultimate. Liliana of the Veil also helps us dump our hand for Bridge. Well that's helpful.

    That's a lot of copies of cards that might be pretty bad topdecks. Hmm...Oh! Search for Azcanta! It's pretty good on curve, too. Let's us filter our draws early game to dig to Bridge/Brutality/Lili/Jace, but is also pretty good late game to dig to more Seas and Ruins to disrupt the opponent's manabase.

    Of course, Wizards probably already thought of all of this when they were considering unbanning Jace.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    Ugh.

    I gave WotC the benefit of the doubt, so many times, that they knew what they were doing. Sure, they messed up with Standard quite a bit lately. But I figured that they assessed the situation, found a logical solution based on data, and implemented it.

    I've been watching/playing games with Jace quite a bit since the announcement. Results? Those not playing Jace getting trounced. Those beating Jace are playing Jace decks.

    There seem to be four main forms of Jace decks at the moment that are doing well. The Temur lists, that include Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch, to cast early Bloodbraid Elves and cascade into threats (or Ancestral Visions), and follow up with Jace. There are the UW lists, that run Spreading Seas and Field of Ruin in addition to countermagic, Detention Spheres, and creature removal, to stabilize into Jace/Gideon. Then there are the UB lists, that combine Jace with massive early discard, Seas, Field of Ruins, Ensnaring Bridge, Search for Azcanta, and Liliana of the Veil.

    This is simply absurd.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Hey ya'll Smile So, this is my second favorite deck, behind Lantern, and I'd seen the talk about reviewing the deck for possible adjustments. I'd been looking at my deck for a while and trying to figure out how to use the same method I used with Lantern for this. Unfortunately, it's quite a bit more complicated with this deck.

    My method for tweaking Lantern was to just take the top cards played in the metagame and find cards which would neutralize as many metagame cards as possible using as few slots as possible in the deck. Thus, cards like Ensnaring Bridge, Pithing Needle, etc., performed well.

    Applying that to this deck doesn't quite work, however. After playing quite a few games, I've found that the gameplan typically boils down to:

    • Hit every land drop every turn
    • Delay or neutralize the opponent's threats
    • Stabilize with a threat that can "turn the corner"
    • Maintain control while our threat(s) finish the game

    I found that many times, I wouldn't even need Tron to win. I just had to hit every land drop, and so long as I was using my life as a resource effectively, I would be able to turn the corner rather well. Hitting Tron was just a bonus most times. I didn't have to counter every spell, or bounce every permanent the opponent had - I just had to do so in a manner that slowed the opponent's clock down to a point where I could establish a controlling gamestate.

    The method for doing this typically relied on Condescend, Repeal, and Remand. Problems with these cards, however, are that in nearly every case, we had to pay more mana to neutralize the opponent's threat than they needed to play it. This meant that we needed to be on the play to effectively do this.
    Although, this is all hypothetical, since I don't have data to verify if being on the play yielded superior winning percentages than being on the draw.

    This is obviously possible to do, as we do have sporadic good results from events. Those results are sporadic, though, so that means there is a problem somewhere. I tried to come up with various hypothesis' for what those problems are. I came up with the following:

    • There may not currently be the tools printed available to push the deck into the top tiers.
    • The deck may be complicated in such a way that proper piloting is too difficult to reliably perform in a typical player's hands.
    • The deck may not have enough numbers playing it to consistently beat the odds at events.
    • There may be tools printed and available for the deck to perform, but they haven't been discovered and/or adopted.

    The first, second, and third potential problems are not, in my opinion, things that any of us have enough control over to solve. Assuming that is true, that leaves us with the last potential problem, and how to address it.

    One solution to get that tempo advantage, since we presumably want to be a land drop ahead of the opponent, seems to already be played in most lists - Gemstone Caverns. However, this is not consistent. I do agree that it's probably best to keep it in the deck, of course, but it means that we will need to find other methods to compensate for this lack of consistency.

    This brings me back to my work with Lantern, in using single cards to neutralize large portions of cards in the metagame. It seems that most Utron lists already run some number of Chalice of the Void. So why are we not running a full playset? I understand that it doesn't work well with our Expedition Maps, but there are other decks that also have this problem and continue to perform fine. I propose that this might work the same for us. With Chalice, our Remands immediately become much better, as we are now nearly guaranteed to come out even on our mana parity with it.

    This does mean that Commit/Memory becomes slightly better as well. Commit is already decent, in helping with uncounterable spells (a la Cavern of Souls), while still acting as a good bounce effect if it's topdecked after a problem permanent has already resolved. However, Memory becomes much better if, when we cast it, the opponent ends up drawing multiple spells that get countered thanks to Chalice.

    There is another way to approach a revision of the deck, in that we analyze the decision trees of decks we expect to face, and then redesign the deck in such a way as to neutralize as many branches as possible. I'd actually started doing that, but found that it was quite a bit of work, and much easier if I had other people to talk with in real time to be sure that I wasn't missing something.

    Anyways, with all of that said, this is the decklist that I'd probably play. Unfortunately, I do have financial responsibilities that prevent me from spending $285 on a playset of Chalice, so all of my testing will be on Cockatrice. I do plan on making a spreadsheet to keep track of deck and card performance, and I'll be sure to share that as work progresses.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    I could see at least testing Jace, for sure. It's not just the abilities that matter here, but that he soaks up damage. Even if we get stuck with an extra card in hand, that means they can attack him for a small amount of damage. That's a small amount of damage that isn't coming at us, in addition to whatever ability we use.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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