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  • posted a message on M11 - Phylactery Lich
    Quote from Juzam_Lover
    Type 1 MonoBlack deck could bin Phyrexian Negators for these monsters.


    So many tools for Black to return to Vintage... I'm quite excited!!

    Completely unplayable in Vintage. Perhaps you should check out what decks receive regular Vintage play before you suggest this.

    Legacy, on the other hand, is a much more viable format for the monster. A lot of people here are trying to be too cute and complicate with Lich, and are forgetting many basic Legacy principles. For instance, Lightning Greaves and Whispersilk Cloak do not see Legacy play with good reason. They do nothing on their own and they equip at Sorcery speed.

    The artifact lands have a similar problem. Enough decks use Wasteland that you cannot reliably slap your counter onto Vault of Whispers. While Darksteel Citadel is a better option, it doesn't produce black, so you are essentially playing a dead or near dead card in the early turns.

    Artifact creatures are also a bad idea. It is pretty foolish to turn Swords into a 2 for 1 exchange, and I would rather avoid that play, given that Swords is one of the most widely played spells in the format.

    So what does that leave Legacy players with? Noncreature utility artifacts. It is here that we will find the best combinations with the Lich. I am specifically looking at the following cards, although some others might be on the list.

    -Chrome Mox: Accelerates the Lich into play, sticks around for subsequent turns.
    -Pithing Needle: Shutting down any number of critical cards (like the Zoo staple Qasali Pridemage), and then following up with a turn 2-3 Lich.
    -Aether Vial: Lich is an aggressively costed creature. Vial is good in an aggro deck. Sounds like a match made in hell.
    -Grindstone: As part of the Painter's Servant combo, Lich could give the deck an alternate win condition AND hold the line against Zoo/Goblins/Merfolk beaters.
    -Thopter Foundry: CounterTop Thopters won the most recent SCG open. Lich does not fit well into that particular build, but he still synergizes well with the low cost win condition.

    Quote from Pyrogoat »
    I can't see this getting played in legacy or extended... It's just an easy two-for one for your opponent... it's not like people aren't prepared to kill artifacts.

    There are basically zero decks in Legacy that play maindecked artifact removal. The exception to this is Zoo with the afore mentioned Pridemage, and a few tier 2 or lower decks that run maindeck Krosan Grip. But outside of these two cards, no other artifact destruction makes the maindeck cut in Legacy. Games 2 and 3 are, of course, a different matter, but you can always board out the Lich's to keep the core of your deck and not open yourself up for the 2-1 trades.

    Quote from Vacrix »
    Come on guys its not that strong. It might see play in some storm man plans or suicide aggro. MBA is pushing your luck unless you play a lot of artifacts.

    Also, STP and PtE haven't gone on vacation. They still eat Lich alive.

    Goyf also dies to Swords and Path, as does Knight of the Reliquary and Terravore. In fact, every creature in Legacy (with a few Reanimator and NO exceptions) dies to Swords and Path.

    As a 5/5 Indestructible, Lich is way, way ahead of the curve at 3 mana. His drawback forces you to use other artifacts, and those that I mentioned in this post are powerful even without the Lich as backup. Lich can kill the average Goyf (average being about 4/5), makes Zoo attacks unfavorable, can slow down Goblins by at least a turn, can chump a Knight forever, can slow down Merfolk by multiple turns, and can double duty as a beater. He's not a new Tarmogoyf, nor even a new Knight of the Reliquary. But he is quite good and definitely is relevant in the format.

    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Over-Extended Preparation Thread
    Quote from fnord
    My problem with this is that this name was already used, for a set. Do you have a list of the other names considered for Legacy?

    Anyway, I like including 6th because it was historically the beginning of modern magic, with the rules change. I do agree that it contains several problematic cards.

    Random name ideas:

    It was not used for a set. It was considered as one possible name for the old Legacy format, but Legacy won out presumably because it was more appropriate for that specific format.

    The name "Heritage" was thrown out on another thread on another forum, but I do not think it is the best name. First of all, it's almost an exact synonym of "Legacy". We want to separate ourselves a little from that format, not enslave ourselves to it.
    Second of all, it sounds a bit old. This is not based off of the exact definition, just a general feeling when I hear the word. It lacks the punch, in my opinion, of Renaissance, as well as the new feeling that the word gives.

    I suggested the possible name Modern on the Wizards thread, and it's not a bad name. My only problem with that one, however, is that it's a little misleading. MM onwards isn't quite modern Magic persay. Modern Magic really has a lot more to do with new card frames, M10 rules changes, rare symbols being colored, and so on, then with the Reserve List abolition.

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Over-Extended Preparation Thread
    Quote from Jimz
    So the cards of note that are in the format ONLY if 6ED makes it in are:
    (the "?" means not sure if it will be important in the format or not)

    Enlightened Tutor
    Ancestral Memories?
    Diminishing Returns?
    Flash - almost certainly banned
    Mystical Tutor - almost certainly banned
    Forbidden Crypt
    Vampiric Tutor - HA!
    Goblin Recruiter
    Tranquil Grove?
    Worldly Tutor
    Ankh of Mishra
    Cursed Totem
    Storm Cauldron (oh wow landfall and Zendikar effect lands)
    Crystal Vein

    Did I miss any?

    On this list, the following cards will almost 100% assuredly be banned in the new format (in some cases, over 100% sure).

    -Flash (Totally degenerate with Protean Hulk, and probably with other creatures. Will definitely be banned if allowed)
    -Vampiric Tutor (Restricted in Vintage, Banned in old Extended, Banned in current Legacy. Sensing a pattern?)
    -Goblin Recruiter (Alongside Goblin Ringleader he's nuts. Alongside Food Chain he's broken. Not needed; Goblins is fine as it is and does not need to be format warping)
    -Mystical Tutor (Just banned in Legacy. If they banned it there due to ANT and Reanimator, they will definitely ban it here for the same reasons)

    That means 4 more cards on the banlist which makes it that much more ugly for prospective players. What about the rest? Well, the following cards are definitely archetype defining and it might be nice to have them:

    Enlightened Tutor
    Worldly Tutor

    A number of strategies need these cards, or are greatly aided by them. That said, the format would not hurt for diversity without their presence, so it might not be worth it to include them at the expense of 4 additional bannings.

    Then there are the sideboard cards:


    These cards all see, or once saw, serious play in sideboards of their day (Chill especially). It would be nice to see them return, but again, far from essential for the format's health and survival.

    The other cards are just not necessary at all, and have either seen minimal play or absolutely no play. Cards in this category include:

    Forbidden Crypt
    Tranquil Grove
    Cursed Totem

    No one uses them, there are better effects available, so no one will lament their absence.

    Some other cards do add power to various decks, but again, not in any meaningful capacity. Those cards include:

    Ancestral Memories (Combo and Storm)
    Diminishing Returns (Combo and Storm)
    Jokulhaups (Red Stax, Big Red)
    Ankh of Mishra (Stax, Sligh)
    Crystal Vein (Artifact-based decks)

    The decks that could use these, however, will be fine without them.

    Overall, the format doesn't really gain much by 6th's inclusion. The only cards that really would help are the ones in the second category above (Doomsday, Worldly Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Armageddon). Everything else either has better replacements or just won't see play.

    My verdict: keep it out and avoid extra cards on the banlist.

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Over-Extended Preparation Thread
    I have been ferociously advocating for this format for months now on this forum and on others (most notably The Source and Wizards). I am pleased to see unified interest in this issue, and am certainly on board with any efforts to get the format up and running, whether through official channels (the rise of Legacy in 2004) or through grassroot means (EDH/5 Color/etc.)

    That said, there are a few things that need to be done before we can really talk about decks. This does not include sending communication to Wizards, at least not yet; we need a stronger base and a better set of ideas before any such movements can be attempted. As to petitions, that's a flat out no; it's one of the least effective democratic tools at our disposal.

    So what needs to be done?

    1. Name the format
    2. Decide on a Banlist

    There are a TON of other practical and economic concerns, but they should not be addressed in this thread. Specifically, I am thinking of the economic reasons for this format's existence, its effect on Legacy, it's effect on Vintage, it's advertisement, it's card staples and prices, etc. None of that belongs here. Those are some big, macro-level considerations, and this is definitely about the nitty-gritty of the format itself.

    Naming the Format
    Why a name? Because "OverExtended" and "Legacy Lite" are terrible names that both slave this format to another one, and do not draw a lot of attention. Legacy, Vintage, Classic; these are good names for previously and currently existent formats. We need a similar name if we are to experience any success.

    The Banlist
    We need our own banlist. It is not enough to just import in another banlist, because it doesn't take cards into consideration. The way to do this is NOT to just wildly speculate about what is broken and what is not broken. It's to build some decks and test out some cards.
    My advice in this capacity is to start with NO banlist at all for testing purposes. Keep Clamp/DotV/Vial/Top and see what happens. Also keep Entomb, Mind's Desire, Dark Ritual, Brainstorm, and a variety of other powerful effects. The objective is to see if a dominant archetype can emerge that is just so powerful that it would require bannings. This is the evidence-based method and it is the best way to make sure the banlist isn't just a bunch of conjecture and speculation.

    "Renaissance": A Proposed Name
    The name that I have taken to for this format is Renaissance. It was a name that was considered for the old Type 1.5 back in 2004, but Legacy beat it out. It's an historic name that indicates what this format is supposed to do. It's a new era of Magic representing a new era of Magic cards (MM onwards). It's an historic middle ground between the Eternal Format of Legacy and the rotating format of Extended, the midpoint between old and new, dark ages and modern; a Renaissance in the historical sense.
    Of course, other names are equally possible, and suggestions definitely should be made.

    Banlist Test Candidates
    We need to see how these banned cards work in a deck. That means testing Affinity with Vial and Clamp and DotV, but also with new additions like Master of Etherium and other innovations. Same goes for other decks (CounterTop with Goyf, Entomb Hulk with Footsteps of the Goryo, Mind's Desire with Dark Ritual, etc.)

    All in all it's a tough undertaking, but it has to be done right and it has to be done methodically. If anyone is interested in messaging me about testing or ideas, feel free to.

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Microsoft Excel Formula Help
    I am trying to make a cell in Microsoft excel reference another cell.

    The tricky part is the cell referenced needs to change along with a random number function. Here is how it SHOULD work:

    1. In the A1 cell I have a =RANDBETWEEN(1,10) function
    2. After running the calculation, let's say I get the number 8 in A1.
    3. In A2, I want to reference the cell B8 in my document, where 8 is the random number I just generated.
    4. For example, If I re-run the program and get 4 in A1 this time, I now want A2 to reference the cell B4. If I get 5 in A1, I want A2 to reference the B2 cell.

    How do I go about doing this? I was thinking something like this: it obviously doesn't work, but this is how I intuitively would write the formula


    So when A1's value changes (random between 1 and 10), the formula would now reference cell BX, where X is the random number.

    Any assistance? Let me know if I have been unclear.

    Posted in: Geeks Corner
  • posted a message on "Over-Extended" - How likely?
    Quote from Eriol
    It's been mentioned before that Wizards probably thinks the older fans do not buy as much product as new and casual players. I can see why WotC official support has been on Standard and Extended, since those formats still sell booster packs (whether bought by players or by vendors who open them to sell singles)

    If WotC replaces Legacy/Vintage with "Overextended," they will have a format where they can reprint cards when they want to, which would likely increase sales.

    Yikes. Another person who suggest that Wizards would replace Legacy with a new format. That would be so incredibly stupid that not even the most ardent hater of Wizards' policy would think that this company could do it, at least if they consider Wizards as a fairly rational agent. While Legacy provides Wizards with less money than Standard, it gives them a huge and loyal base of players who aren't going anywhere. They are not going to alienate these people just to experiment with a new format.

    Now, Vintage is another story (as I have said before). This format might get cut and brought to the land of EDH and independent TO's in favor of a New Eternal Format.

    All of that said, Wizards would certainly gain a lot by making a new format like this. Reprinting cards in premium and FTV sets would drive popularity, and Wizards could make sure that old players are brought back with promises that their old investments will again see the light of day.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on "Over-Extended" - How likely?
    Quote from tamaguna
    This sir, is crap. I am in the process of building a Legacy deck that is costing me a pretty penny, if this happens, I just might have to quite Magic for the second time.:o

    No one need fear that a new format would replace Legacy. As stated before by many people including myself, it is far more likely that it would replace Vintage as an Eternal format. Vintage is about as dead as a DCI-Sanctioned format can get at this point. With a dwindling player base, a lack of serious innovation, and no sanctioned or widely publicized events, even the most optimistic Vintage players must be unhappy.

    Legacy, on the other hand, is an excellent format with widespread participation. Wizards would be committing publicity suicide if it killed the format, or harmed it in any way, to bring in some newfangled "Over Extended" brainchild. Adding insult to injury, they would keep the ailing Vintage format. This would be an incredibly bad idea, and it is one that Wizards is unlikely to make; say what you will about them, but their marketing is pretty sound.

    Legacy is going nowhere. It is the successor to Vintage, the Eternal format where you can play any card that you want, except for those that are too degenerate and abused. It has diverse Tier 1 decks, and its Tier 2 decks are all viable contenders. It has innovative players and inventive deck builders. It has big name tournaments and small town followers. This is the recipe for a robust format, and Wizards is not going to mess with it.

    But the jump from the new Extended to the current Legacy is just too big. 3-4 years of sets leaping to 17 years? That's an intense jump-off point with nothing in between. Moreover, for those that collected and played decks in the interim years between 2008 and 2000, a lot of cards are gathering dust in binders across the world. Lin-Sivvi, Fires of Yavimaya, Astral Slide, Buried Alive, Pernicious Deed, Psychatog, Opposition, Balancing Act, etc; these are strong cards that have not really been obsoleted with time, but just lack the competitive edge in Legacy (with FoW and Wasteland messing things up, for instance).

    A new format gives an alternative to players and investing players between those years. Take a card like Chrome Mox. It's a great card and a powerful accelerator, but nothing in Legacy uses it, and it isn't legal in any other format (Except the dying Vintage format). For people who invested in cards like that, players specifically, they would have a place to call home. At the risk of speculating, this is a large demographic.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on "Over-extended" Potential B/R List
    Over the course of this post, I will craft my vision of the banlist for the new format.

    The consensus is clear: Skullclampgets banned. No real discussion is needed on that, and I am sure Wizards would agree. It was used in every deck that ran creatures, and every deck played with it or played artifact hate against it.

    1. Skullclamp

    So what's next on the hypothetical banlist? Sensei's Divining Top will almost assuredly be banned alongside Clamp. A lot of people do not think that this is the case: either they claim it is not powerful enough to warrant a banning, or that it is less powerful than other spells in the format (like Gush or Dark Ritual for instance). These people overlook the reasons that Wizards gave for banning SDT 2 years ago. These reasons were true then and will be true now:
    (Source: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/ld/2)
    Quote from Latest Developments, September 5 2008 »
    Such a pervasive performance during a single season created a different problem as well: it made tournaments take too much time.

    The constant activating of Divining Top bogs games down, which ultimately leads to an increase in the number of matches that go to time and beyond, which in turn leads to tournaments running much longer than they have historically. Furthermore, the Top encourages players to maximize the number of shuffle effects they play in a deck and the constant shuffling, cutting, presenting to an opponent to repeat the process, and then continuation of a turn exacerbated the situation. In the past the DCI has banned such cards on those grounds alone (Shahrazad is a good example of this, with Land Tax and Thawing Glaciers also having been banned for similar reasons) but in conjunction with the Top’s popularity during the last Extended PTQ season, the decision was to ban the card from the format it was harming.

    Wizards wanted their New Format Over Extended to be a PTQ season, at least if EldraziSpy's post is any indication. Because of this, Top needs to go because of the time problems it creates in tournaments. Coupled with its power alongside CounterTop, and its prevalence in most combo and control decks, and you have a perfect candidate for banning.

    1. Skullclamp
    2. Sensei's Divining Top

    These are the two obvious inclusions. After them, however, it gets a bit tricky. The first candidates for banning are obviously those that are on the current Extended banlist and the current Double Standard banlist. Those cards are:

    a. Hypergenesis (Double Standard)
    b. Sword of the Meek (Double Standard)
    c. Aether Vial (Extended)
    d. Disciple of the Vault (Extended)

    Do these cards deserve banning in Over Extended/Legacy Lite? The answer in all three cases is no.

    Hypergenesis: I normally hate the argument that a card does not need to be banned because other cards stop it. Taken to its extreme, Ancestral Recall deserves to be legal in all formats, because it can easily be countered or even Misdirected. That's obviously a stupid conclusion, but it's one that you can risk with this line of argument.
    But in Hypergenesis's case, it's totally warranted. SO many cards stop this combo deck. Turn 1 Duress or Thoughtseize ruins your day. Daze, Counterspell, Mana Leak, Rune Snag, Negate, Countersquall, and a host of other widely played counter magics ruin your day. Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere completely wreck your plans on the spot. Heck, even getting a Hypergenesis resolved does not flat out guarantee a win. Your creatures are all vulnerable to targeted removal courtesy of Path to Exile and Terminate, and even big bad Emrakul can bite it to a widely-played Oblivion Ring in the control matchup.
    Overall, the deck is not dominant enough to warrant a banning. Thopter Depths was the big name in Extended, not Hypergenesis, and that's arguably where it had the least serious opposition (no Daze, Rishadan Port, etc.) Not enough players run the deck for it to be deemed "format dominating", and it just lacks the consistency of better combo decks like ANT and Depths.

    Sword of the Meek: This definitely needed an Extended banning, because Thopter Depths was everywhere. But does it need an Over Extended banning? The problem with this card is simple; it doesn't completely win the game on its own, resolving it does not put your opponent on a 1 or 2 turn clock, and once it's in play, it's quite vulnerable. It also uses one of the most vulnerable areas of play: the graveyard. One thing that Over Extended will NOT be lacking is graveyard hate: Tormod's Crypt, Leyline of the Void, Relic of Progenitus, Ravenous Trap, and Faerie Macabre will all be around to continue checking GY decks. This includes Dredge, Reanimator strategies, and Sword of the Meek.

    Disciple of the Vault: Disciple was a monster in the old Extended and Standard days from 2004. But even though it is legal alongside Ravager, Vial, and even the new Master of Etherium, Disciple can't seem to win in modern Legacy. One of the problems with Disciple is his vulnerability. In a metagame full of Path to Exile, Lightning Bolt, Terminate, and a variety of other removal spells, the weak little 1/1 runs into a lot of trouble. Few players who have considered the new format think that DotV is a problem. I have tested a number of potential decks in the format (Merfolk, Goblins, Hypergenesis, Depths, Affinity, Zoo, UW Tempo, Tempo Thresh, etc.), and Affinity is just lacking in many regards. DotV does not need to be banned.

    Aether Vial: The big question mark. Ban Vial? Keep Vial? There are arguments on both sides of the fence, and all of these arguments are good ones. Those who want Vial banned see it as format warping. If a deck uses creatures, it also uses Vial. Control decks either counter it on turn 1 or lose. With the loss of FoW, a turn 1 aggro player could drop Vial and be off to the races without fear of countermagic. The biggest argument about the card is that it gives too much "free" mana to be safe. Consider this table. Column 1 shows the number of mana a normal player has on a turn. Column 2 shows the number of counters on a Vial. Column 3 shows the effective mana that a player using Vial has on any given turn.
    1 | 0 | 1
    2 | 1 | 3
    3 | 2 | 5
    4 | 3 | 7
    5 | 4 | 9
    Once you hit turn 3, a player with a Vial has effectively almost doubled his mana over a non-Vial using player. Add in the instant speed use of Vial and its 1 casting cost, and it looks like a serious problem that needs banning, right?
    Let's look at how many Legacy decks use Aether Vial.
    1. Goblins
    2. Merfolk
    3. UW Tempo
    4. Cephalid Breakfast (not a strong deck, sadly)
    5. Faeries (Not a strong deck)
    There are some other tangential entries (some Survival builds), but these are even more tangential than the Cephalid Breakfast and Faeries inclusions on the above list. Overall, the main three decks that use Vial are Goblins, Merfolk, and UW Tempo. Zoo doesn't. Elves doesn't. New Horizons doesn't. A great many "creature-based" decks don't use it, and that is not what the Vial-naysayers would have you think. I agree that more decks would probably end up using it in Over Extended (Soldiers/White Weenie and Affinity come to mind), but is that really so bad?
    Let's consider a world without Aether Vial. What happens to creature-based strategies there? Zoo will still be around, as will decks like Team America that use a handful of hyper-aggressively costed creatures to win (Tarmogoyf, Knight of the Reliquary, Tombstalker, Terravore). But what about the swarm-aggro decks? The tribal decks? The classic aggro decks that are creature heavy? Many of these decks, especially the tribal variety, need Vial to stay competitive. If Wizards wanted to have a future with more tribes than just Faeries, they need to cater to the Fish/Goblins/Soldiers/Zombies/Slivers of the world and keep Vial around.
    Over Extended is about diversity. They want a diverse set of decks, not a stagnant pool like the Extended that just phased out. Vial keeps it this way by encouraging tribal aggro strategies and giving them an edge over control.

    So when all is said and done on these cards, we are left with the banlist:

    1. Skullclamp
    2. Sensei's Divining Top

    There are a lot of other cards that people here, and on other sites, have considered banning. I have even considered a few of these as ban candidates:
    Mind's Desire
    Worldgorger Dragon
    Bridge from Below
    Dark Ritual
    Ad Nauseam
    Living End
    Rishadan Port
    Dark Depths
    Protean Hulk
    In the end, however, a close testing and consideration process will show that none of these cards really merit an initial banning. The format would be so wide open that no one could have the foresight to claim what cards will be extremely dominant. The best thing Wizards can do is to leave the banlist as small as possible and let the players do what they will. Not many cards require bannings, ESPECIALLY modern cards made after Urza's Destiny, when players actually started testing R&D designs.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on "Over-Extended" - How likely?
    Quote from necrogenesis

    This is a valid point, and I noticed some of the mods started acting like they were sure the guy was telling the truth. That's confusing to me, because the mods can view information about the guy that I can't. So they may have some evidence that none of the rest of us can see. That's why I'm not 100% sure either way, and still very willing to admit I might be wrong.

    One of the main pieces of evidence that I think is often overlooked is the quality of the post. Unlike most 1st time posters on this forum, EldraziSpy wrote an unusually clear, lucid, and well-written post. He included a lot more information than most rumormongers would think to add into a fake post: Wizards' motivations, format rules, a proposed PTQ schedule, etc. For reference to those who don't remember, or haven't seen, the post, here it is:

    If this were a normal rumormonger that we encounter on these forums, we would expect something like "NEW FORMAT COMING. Next year. It's gonna happen." Or something vague and poorly written to that effect. EldraziSpy did not do that.

    Still, I can't figure out why the new format wasn't announced Friday, if it were going to be announced at all. It's definitely going to have a Banned list (Skullclamp at least), so Friday would have been the time to update it. I don't think they would wait until Monday or next Friday.

    1. EldraziSpy (who of course might be lying) said that the format would be announced "later this year". That could mean now, but it also could mean October. Given that a new base set comes out in October (Scars), this seems an equally likely announcement date.

    2. If Wizards wanted to prioritize their announcements, then the Extended one would be a logical first step instead of the sweeping Over-Extended possibility. Why announce Double Standard AFTER Over-Extended? Most players would probably be far more excited about the latter, and the former might lose attendance. But if they announce Double Standard first, then the format will have a few more months to take root, which is enough time to establish a base for it if Wizards chooses to stir up the waters again with an Over Extended announcement.

    Quote from Sir McHalls »
    Ktkenshinx do you think an on-line petition for the introduction of Over-Extended would be a stupid thing? Because I know lot of players who would like to play that format but they don't post on forums.

    I have found that online petitions are pretty useless in doing anything. This is especially true if players want a new format this year; if Wizards plans on doing it, they will do so without a petition. If they don't plan on releasing Over Extended this year, then a petition won't change their minds.

    The best way to get Wizards to listen is intelligent letters. When intelligent and dedicated members of the Magic community talk to Wizards, they listen. There are many examples of this, from the contributions of Stephen Menendian to those of Evan Erwin. Wizards cares about its players, especially those that take the time to compose arguments and present evidence and ideas in written form.

    Thus, the best way to get Wizards to listen to Over Extended desires is through letters. If people want to get the format up and running (if not this year then next), voicing this in appropriately researched and written emails is a good way to do that. And of course, forum participation helps a lot.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on "Over-Extended" - How likely?
    Necrogenesis: I understand that you are less sure on the second part of your post, as you said, so I do not mean to be too critical in my assessment of this stance, and all those like it. In the first place, your analysis of Legacy is a good one. It is not dying, not shrinking, and is quite important for the health of Magic as a game for players. Nowhere else can players, as you said, use every card in Magic's history except for the least fun ones (the fatal flaw of Vintage).

    But then there is the rumored New Format...

    Quote from necrogenesis

    To me the largest piece of evidence is the article posted with the B&R update, found here. It states that a new format was discussed but dismissed by WotC. I just don't see any clearer evidence than that.

    This "Evidence" is being taken out of context, and is being used to represent an argument that it actually does not fully support. In the article in question (Pop Quiz with Trick Questions, David-Marshall: link in the post above), DM says the following about "making a new format".

    "According to DCI Program Manager—and regular The Week That Was interview subject—Scott Larabee, there was some talk about creating something they called Double Standard to exist in between Extended and Standard. They quickly realized, however, that something else needed to happen once they looked at the attendance numbers and frequency of Extended events over the past few years.

    "It became clear that instead of creating a third format—Double Standard—let's fix the one we have," said Scott. "One of the things we noticed was that the Extended format was not doing very well. The Pro Tour Qualifier round we run every year in Extended is the lowest attended, it does not do very well on Magic Online, and that when we are not making people play Extended there is less Extended being run than Legacy."

    I have bolded specific parts of the quote that Necrogenesis references in his own post. Looking at these parts, we see exactly what DM is saying, and we see that it is not what some people on this thread would have us believe.

    The "New format" that DM discusses in his article is specifically "Double-Standard". It is not "Over-Extended" or "Legacy Lite", nor does it have any relation whatsoever to these hypothetical formats. DM is specifically focusing on a fix to the current Extended format. While people discussed making a new format to replace or supplement Extended, DM notes that the real problem was just in the format itself. Fix the problem and you fix the format; that's the gist of these quotes.

    So does it have any bearing on Over Extended/Legacy Lite? It seems quite clearly that the answer is no. This quote is entirely focused on Extended and its problems, and all "new format" ideas thrown around were in regards to this format and to "Double Standard". By no means does he exclude Over Extended or any other Legacy-esque formats. In fact, he might be actively encouraging (light) speculation. He criticizes Legacy and its lack of Duals, its overwhelming card pool, and its high transition costs. This does not by any means hint at a new format directly. But it does hint at problems with Legacy, at least problems that Wizards has with the format. And we know that they have problems with this format that makes them no money and takes up a lot of players.

    The primary evidence in support of the new format is a rumor from a member with a single post. The evidence is entirely lopsided against the new format. If I have missed any important details, please inform me.

    Aaron Forsythe, or perhaps Randy Buelher, posted on his twitter page shortly after the rumor was posted "Can't comment on rumors, but any discussion or mail is appreciated." Something to that effect; I cannot remember exactly. But he did not denounce the rumor on the spot. The fact that he responded to it AT ALL (and how often does Wizards acknowledge rumors?) is an important point. At the very least Wizards is considering these rumors. At most, they are spoiling their plans. I am not saying that anyone in this thread, Necrogenesis especially, does not acknowledge the possibility of Wizards' endorsing or making a new format.

    That isn't to say you guys can't make a new format happen. Obviously, this has been generating a lot of buzz recently, and WotC is certainly listening. I don't think there was anything planned, but if people keep talking, it may become a reality.

    To me, this is the bottom line. Even if Wizards did not like the idea of a new format and were madly in love with Legacy (neither of which are true), enough player response might get them to change their minds. Given that a pretty decent number of players on forums have responded positively to the idea, they are definitely listening and reading. The format CAN become a reality with support from players like us. Yes, there are a lot of other players not represented on forums, but Wizards certainly listens to the vocal internet-posters before others.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on [M11]Jace's Ingenuity, Jace's Erasure, etc
    Diminish seems more interesting than the other two. I speculate the following

    U OR 1U
    Target creature becomes 0/1 until end of turn.

    Why the low cost? Humble costs 2, but it causes a creature to lose all abilities. Snakeform costs 3, but it causes a creature to lose all abilities AND it cantrips. Diminish neither cantrips nor causes the target to lose abilities. This makes it a 1 CMC, or perhaps 2 CMC if they feel 1 is too powerful, card.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Rumored Format Discussion
    I have been discussing ideas like Mulldrifter's for some time. Reprinting New-Format staples in FTV/Master's Edition/Intro Packs at a high retail price would make a lot of money for Wizards. Indeed, that's the chief problem with Legacy as so many people have pointed out; no money for Wizards. A new format, on the other hand, would definitely give Wizards some revenue, especially if they were clever and insightful on their reprints. Consulting with good players from past formats and from tournament data, Wizards could determine what cards need reprinting. This would generate profits for Wizards, and keep the new format healthy and strong in its early years (provided that adequate supplies are offered).

    As to the Mind's Desire banning, the card is probably less problematic than Ad Nauseam. If indeed we are using history as our judge, then the clunkier Desire decks of old have very little on the elegant and powerful ANT decks of the present day. The loss of Lion's Eye Diamond is big in the ANT list, but there are certainly substitutes that can be used to pump up Infernal Tutor back to its rightful broken place. My problem with Mind's Desire is more one of history than raw card power. Back in the older Extended, people were still figuring out how to build storm decks. Combo theory has evolved since then, and decklists/banlists have reflected that.

    While the Mind's Desire "Scare" might be somewhat reasonable, the Dredge scare is definitely not. The only tool that players lose against Dredge is FoW against a turn 1 PImp or Tribe (let's not get technical about other lost tools like Tabernacle, Moat, Elephant Grass, Swords, and other tangential answers to Dredge). ALL of the graveyard hate remains. Trinisphere remains. Chalice of the Void, Magus of the Tabernacle, Magus of the Moat, Ghostly Prison, etc. These cards are still here and still would give Dredge players serious problems in games 2 and 3. As a Dredge player myself, there is only so much you can do using Therapy/Grudge to stave off the classic 3x Crypt/2x Ravenous Trap (or some permutation thereof) that any deck can run as graveyard hate.
    Quote from Smokestack »
    Well developed in relation to each other? Yeah, probably. Well developed in relation to the absurd monstrosity that Dredge is? No, I don't believe this is true.

    I am not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying that Dredge is a perfect deck and that these others are only "good decks", and hence well developed in relation to other "good decks" (but not perfect decks)?

    One card that people keep talking around is Aether Vial. Banned or unbanned? Personally, I believe it should remain playable for the health of various aggro archetypes. As I said in an earlier post, Goblins/Fish definitely need the Vial in order to remain viable, and other decks such as Faeries and Elves might benefit from it. That said, Affinity would also benefit from it, and giving Affinity back even 1 of its 2 banned weapons (Disciple being the other one), might be too risky.

    So, thoughts on Aether Vial?

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Rumored Format Discussion
    Quote from flaming infinity
    Just because banning a card might get other cards played again isn't a good reason, though. It's no more rediculous than Wild Nacatl, Kird Ape, Wooly Thoctar, or Leatherback Baloth. Banning it would have to be for the same kind of reason Kird Ape and Juggernaut got banned when they created extended. Its not out there killing people by turn 2-3, it's not generating insurmountable card advantage, it's not wasting tons of time other than the fact that it can block other Tarmogoyfs, it wasn't underprinted and placed on the reserved list, and it's not doing much of anything besides being a bit undercosted. It wouldn't even be worth splashing for if it didn't answer itself.

    Goyf is leaps and bounds better than all of those creatures that you list. The comparison is not even a good one; if Zoo could play 12 Goyf, it would. Sadly, it can't, so it settles for the alternatives. Thoctar and Baloth aren't even on the list of relevant aggro cards in Standard or Legacy.
    I agree that Goyf does not waste time and does not generate card advantage. It is extremely aggressive, however. Far moreso than any other creature ever printed. I disagree with the statement that shocklands + goyf is a stable and safe format. Free lightning bolts are ugly against aggro, and Zoo is a serious contender in this new format; the only cards it loses from Legacy are Chain Lightning and Swords. Given that Chain Lightning is essentially replaced by fetchland-->shockland, they won't be missing it too much.

    I agree with flaming infinity's statement that combo is meant to be strong in an eternal format. It's not as if decks don't have game 2/3 answers awaiting in the sideboard. Mindbreak Trap is nasty against storm, as are both Stifle and Trickbind. Ravenous Trap, Tormod's Crypt, and Relic of Progenitus are powerful answers to graveyard-based combo. Chalice of the Void, Ethersworn Canonist, and Trinisphere are further options that decks have at their disposal. Heck, maindecked Duress and Thoughtseize would be around enough to keep combo in check.

    This does not exactly apply to Mind's Desire. Historically, the card has been laughably powerful and decks using Mind's Desire are able to power through most hate. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for Ad Nauseam. Do these both need banning? Historically, Desire does, but this might be up for debate.

    As to Disciple of the Vault, the only reason I voted for Disciple's banning is because I hope for Aether Vial's unbanning. Unbanned Aether Vial would give aggro decks a nice shot against the Dark Depths/Thopter Foundry decks that will be covering the format (not to mention Faeries, UW Control, etc.). While this might seem contradictory to my earlier points about aggro being TOO powerful, there is a big difference between the enabling Vial and the win-condition Goyf. Besides, only certain decks can use Vial (those with heavy-creature aggro strategies like Goblins, Elves, Fish, and so on). Goyf can get played in EVERYTHING from Rock to Threshold, from Aggro Loam to Team America. Heck; Merfolk runs Goyf in some builds, and I'm just saying, Goyf ain't a fish.

    Entomb is a trickier question. The loss of Reanimate and Exhume is big, even though Death replaces Reanimate quite nicely. But there's no decent replacement for Exhume. The points about Animate Dead and Necromancy are bad ones, because Reanimator just doesn't use these cards. So what's the big fuss about Entomb?

    If I were the DCI, I would be worried about Entomb Hulk. Using some combination of Innocent Blood/Carrion Feeder/Chainer's Edict/etc. and an Entombed/Reanimated Protean Hulk, you have a nasty kill. Not to mention the fully new-format-legal Footsteps of the Goryo. Sound clunky? Test against it. Life-loss doesn't matter when you can win in a single turn.

    That all said, Entomb is not the scariest card on the prospective Banned List. It's no Skullclamp or Sensei's Divining Top.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Rumored Format Discussion
    Unlike in legacy, this new format would have Shocklands. This already gives opponents a free lightning bolt (fetch + shock) at least once per game. Maybe even two free bolts. When coupled with the hyper-aggressively costed Goyf, this is a serious problem for format health. Goyf needs to be removed to avoid this.

    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Rumored Format Discussion
    Quote from mchainmail
    coughPlanar Voidcough

    Using DeckCheck.net, there are 5 pages of decks that ever ran Planar Void in their sideboards in the last few years. Tormod's Crypt was featured in 224 pages of decks, with Leyline at 75 and Relic at 84. I don't think Void is much of an impact compared to the others.

    Quote from Smokestack »
    I'd rather see you arguing why Mind's Desire should be banned.

    TPS would keep Brainstorm, Dark/Cabal Ritual, Merchant Scroll, Gifts, FoF, Ponder, and a variety of other cards. FoW can check it in Vintage, but this is not the case in a new format form MM onwards.

    Quote from Smokestack »

    In essence, a weak deck with a lot of hate will still lose to Dredge, just like a strong deck with no hate. There will inevitably be a moment in the life of the new format when Dredge will be the single most developed deck and other decks will have to play catch up in terms of basic deck design, not the amount of hate they can board.

    I was not implying that Dredge is kept in check only by those cards. Obviously a total pile running 3x Crypt and 2x Trap in the board is not going to be worth consideration. But there are plenty of decks that run yard hate and will run yard hate in a new format, decks that are a lot stronger than you suggest.

    Goblins, Merfolk, Zoo, ThopterDepths, Tempo Thresh, Affinity; these are but a few decks that would be perfectly well developed in the new format. At no point will Dredge be "the single most developed deck" in such a format, even if you just look at those 6 archetypes I listed above.

    Posted in: Speculation
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