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    posted a message on Question to the older players: What is your thoughts when WotC made drastic changes to the game?
    Quote from Pistallion »
    I'm a newer player but I want to make an analogy. So, im a pretty seasoned player of the video game League of Legends. I've been around since basically the beginning and it was the main game I played at the time. Throughout the years the game has went through many drastic changes, and its become a staple of the game that changes happen frequently and drastically. At the end of each season, they overhaul a certain aspect of the game, and everything changes, from what characters are good to the entire meta game.

    I was thinking about the history of the game, and was thinking about if it was similar to Magic. League isnt the game I once played, years ago, and it sometimes makes me sad. The game that I originally played is gone, and this new thing now exists.

    Because I wasnt around in magic during the early days, I was wondering if the same empty feeling occurs with the experience players


    Magic doesn't change the same way you talk about League of Legends changing. What you are talking about with changes every year is more analogous to Standard rotations every year or Modern bannings.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Usability of Morph in Standard
    Quote from twicky_kid »
    You will NEVER get to morph Rattleclaw. The reason it runs Elvish Mystic is the small chance of turn 2 Savage Knuckleblade or courser. The other reason is because when you have that ETB tapped land you can still cast Rattleclaw on turn 2 so your ramping into 4 drops on turn 3 uninterrupted.

    So again there are no 6 drops you care about ramping into with a mystic morph. On top of that you need a LOT of things to go right before that even happens. Like Rattleclaw not getting shot as soon as it is played. Hitting your land drop UNTAPPED.


    There are no 6 drops, but certainly there are 5 drops.

    Actually, I didn't consider comes into play tapped lands. Because if I have 3 lands and 1 comes into play tapped... I could see dropping the t1 dork, t2 rattleclaw face-up with the tap land, and then you still get to 5 mana on turn 3. Technically you are getting just as much mana turn 3 whether you play the tapped land turn 2 (and face up Rattleclaw) or 3 (and face down Rattleclaw). But playing it face-up lessens the blowout potential of a removal spell.


    Even back in Onslaught Morph was a limited mechanic. Willbender was saw play and it wasn't very good either.


    I don't think Willbender saw play. Exalted Angel saw play and somewhat saw play facedown against some matchups. I believe Exalted Angel was in the RW Astral Slide decks and there was some protection against removal with Slide in play playing it face down.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on HELP! I'm too serious and competetive for my friends...what do I do?
    It sounds like your friends are serious casual players. Obviously if you can get them closer to your level that's a good thing to do... but that seems like easier said than done. A few ideas (some of these might've already been mentioned):

    1. Try to get them to play EDH. Commander 2014 is coming out soon. So it's easy enough to start building a deck. EDH is really good about evening the playing field as long as no one is playing a completely busted deck.
    2. There are Dual Decks. It's 2 pre-built decks that I think cost like 50 bux combined and while the power level is nothing like affinity, it's certainly going to be better than your friend's 80 card mill deck.
    3. I think someone mentioned alternate rule set sorts of things like Planechase/Archenemy.
    4. You could make your own house rules designed to even up the game a little bit. You mentioned your friend getting mana screwed, you could play a game where both players have an Abundance in play the whole game. So upkeep, if they really need that 5th land drop, they can keep going till they hit a land.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Usability of Morph in Standard
    Quote from UltraLunch »
    This is wrong. You are not going to play them morphed 10%, or even 1% of the time in constructed. If you are you're not familiar enough with the cards to understand their uses.


    If we're talking about Rattleclaw Mystic only (I've been calling it Shaman this whole time for some reason), I don't see how you can say it's closer to 1% than 10%. Now, I'll admit that I haven't played in a major tournament since Khans rotated in, but I know how to look up deck-lists and see that Rattleclaw is played either in Temur beatdown decks or straight RG beatdown and in addition to that just use a little logic. In the lists I'm seeing, Rattleclaw Mystic is played a lot with Elvish Mystic. So that means any hand with Rattleclaw + Elvish Mystic... you are going to want to morph because you get to morph turn 2. And I can imagine specific starting hands that would favor morphing on turn 3: like 3 lands, Rattleclaw, Caryatid, Stormbreath, Lightning Strike or something like that.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Usability of Morph in Standard
    Quote from twicky_kid »


    Morphing mystic disrupts your 4 drop that you would have accelerated into without the morph. If you do morph to get to your 6 drops there is even more incentive to shoot it. Either you are catching the mystic stalling the 6 drop or you hit the 6 drop you just morphed down. Either way it isn't good for you.

    Sagu Mauler is played for his big body, trample, and hexproof. The card might as well not even have morph on it. Same for rattleclaw as well. These are limited play angles not constructed.


    I agree. But I dispute the logic that either of them might as well not have morph. Certainly you are going to just play them face up the majority of the time, but to act like there won't be significant percentages (say around 10%) of the time where you want to play them face down.

    With Rattleclaw you lose the ability to play your 4 drop on turn 3. But maybe you don't have a 4 drop in your hand. Or maybe you are playing against aggro and you played another 2 CMC card on turn 2... on turn 3 your decision is either play Shaman for 2 or morph it for 3. Obviously against aggro in this scenario being able to block a 1/1 token and survive is relevant (while still leaving open the possibility to unflip it turn 4 and drop something for 6. I could see the majority of times you play him as a morph having more to do with the fact you have the 1 mana open anyway, so might as well play him face down.

    With Sagu Mauler playing him face down means he's an easy target to shoot down. So I actually don't you want to be morphing him turn 4 so that turn 5 you can flip him up so that he'd be in play a turn earlier. Seems like it's too risky just to walk into a removal spell when you don't have to. That being said, there are some matchups where that's a safe proposition. And there are some matchups where you just need dudes on the table. If it's turn 5, playing Shaman face up and Sagu Mauler face down is a play you might have to make if you are trying to stem the tide against aggro.

    This might all be a moot point because Mauler is looking like it's not making the cut in Temur anyways.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Junk cards - do you throw them away?
    Quote from ShadowFenril »


    It's definitely worth it to me. I've already picked up two fetches and a handful of cards I need for EDH by trading rares, commons and uncommons that used to be junk but spiked because of Modern and EDH. :p But then again, as I said, I don't buy a ton of product anymore. I usually buy a box, a fat pack and a handful of boosters from each set while I wait for single prices to settle from prerelease hype. But I have several boxes full of cards from the pre-Lorwyn era when I used to buy a ton of Magic packs. I've long-since traded or sold most of the real value cards, but every now and then I discover some random card is now worth a few bucks so it's fun to "treasure hunt" and dig through the old boxes again just to see what I can find and see if I can dig up some random trade bait.


    I guess it depends on what cards we're talking about. Because there are rares and uncommons (and commons to a lesser extent) that are currently worth under a dollar that I could see jumping up to be worth more in certain situations (EDH, etc). A lot of the time you can kind of tell if a card has potential. But cards that are mostly limited fodder, especially at common... the risk-reward curve doesn't work in your favor with that one. Uncommons and rares are slightly different because they have a tendency to be more flashy cards which generally get some play in EDH.

    And especially if the question is whether or not to throw away junk commons from Khans boosters. Anything you open you would have to wait at least 7 years before you see the supply of said card start to dry up. Treasure Cruise is a common, and it's taking over basically every format in the game, to the point where it's getting serious ban talk... and it's a 50 cent card. Delver of Secrets has been a Legacy and Modern all-star for the past few years. Also a common... and it's a 1 dollar card. And those are cards that dominated formats since their printing. Not cards that didn't see Standard play at all.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Junk cards - do you throw them away?
    Quote from ShadowFenril »
    I don't throw out junk commons/uncommons thanks to random cards suddenly becoming valuable. I've been cashing in on a ton of cards that used to be junk or dirt cheap and are suddenly worth $1-$3. Stuff like Utopia Sprawl (which I've found about 20 copies of), Blackmail, Cerulean Wisps, Chromatic Star, Suppression Field, etc. There are a lot of cards that will obviously never be worth anything, but I don't buy anywhere near as much product as I used to so I don't have to worry too much about bulk cards piling up.


    I throw away junk cards. The best value you are going to get out of a card like Utopia Sprawl is 1-2 dollars, and it's maybe 1 out of thousands of commons that this happens to. Just seems like the 2 dollars you get to save by not having to buy the card isn't worth all the upkeep having to put up with all the potential commons.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Jeskai Ascendancy will/has warp(ed) the standard format completely.
    Is it possible that part of it's success was due to it being a rogue deck that no one was prepared to face? The deck can combo out with Ascendancy, but also aggro you out. But I feel like if the deck becomes more popular, people will figure out how to beat it. This deck reminds me a lot of what the original Aristocrats deck was that won the pro-tour.
    Posted in: Competitive
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    posted a message on Usability of Morph in Standard
    Quote from twicky_kid »
    Rattleclaw Mystic and Sagu Mauler are the only morph cars possible to see constructed play. It has nothing with either of them having morph either.


    Well, Sagu Mauler's morph potentially lets it come into play a turn earlier (you risk it getting hit by removal). Shaman's morph lets it accelerate an extra mana compared to playing it normally (but this would be on turn 4 you get the extra mana normally).
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Does Jeskai Ascendancy Need to be Banned?
    Quote from itachiitachi »
    Some corrections
    Quote from DarkRitual »


    Skullclamp: because it got to the point where Skullclamp was in every deck that T8'd a tournament, even though the format was actually somewhat diverse.
    Arcbound Ravager/Disciple of the Vault/Artifact lands: Because the Affinity deck once Ravager had been printed turned into a resilient combo that went off very fast. Format was largely skewed toward affinity.
    Stoneforge Mystic/Jace the Mind Sculptor: Again, the format was skewed heavily toward a deck that played both of these cards. Like... over 50% of the field. To the point where JTMS was a 100 dollar card. And it really only saw play in the one deck. The only card that has come close to that money value recently was Bonfire of the Damned at 50 dollars, but it was in multiple decks and it rose and fell out of popularity during it's reign in Standard. It's worth noting that in the case of Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, they waited until the two cards were a few months from rotating out anyway, and they waited until they could see a marked decrease in tournament attendence at GPs and other major tournaments.

    Skull clamp was actully only in 66% of top 8 decks lists.
    For comparison Ravanger was 44%.
    As for Jace he was actully in a variety of decks and reached Ravanger levels of top 8 even before jund roatated. Post rotation the decks started to tend towards caw blade decks and reached skull clamp levels of top 8's. After batterskull Jace (mostly caw blade) was 75% of the top 8.

    As for ascendancy prior to this weekend I would have said that this thread was an overreaction. This weekend the deck looked a tier above all the rest of the field. I'm not seeing any point in discussing it till we see what happens in the next few weeks.



    I believe your Ravager numbers. I'm a little confused as to how you came by the Skullclamp numbers. Clearly I didn't look at every T8 list, but I do remember an article that came up after or just before the ban where in the last tournament it was in all the T8 lists. And things like Elf and Nail became viable decks because they basically just piggy-backed on the strength of Skullclamp.

    This is just a guess from me, but I would think that at first the Skullclamp numbers were lower back when the format was Goblins, Affinity and control decks. Then when they figured out how degenerate the card could get you started to see it more. It's also worth mentioning to people that weren't around back then that there wasn't a major tournament every week so the metagame didn't change nearly as quickly as it did now.

    In any case we both agree that for a card to get banned in standard, it has to be really damaging. It can't just be in a deck that makes up 40% of the format.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Does Jeskai Ascendancy Need to be Banned?
    Quote from Mysterons1 »
    It's shocking to see how dead this forum can be. Anyone watching this week's SCG coverage, should know that this card has introduced legacy level power to standard. If that's not an obvious alarm bell for wizards, I don't know what is. Modern is supposed to be a t4 or later format. If heroic ascendancy ticks up in popularity, given how insanely overpowered it is (which anyone who's seen that deck could 1000% guarantee), this cards going to get banned much sooner than later. How soon? I'm unsure.

    Anybody know the precedence on banning time-wise?


    I could see it getting banned in Modern because they are much more aggressive about banning cards. In Standard, they only ban cards if it's just a crazy situation. And even then they'll still wait a couple of months to do so. The only times cards have been banned in Standard since we've switched to the Modern card frame are:

    Skullclamp: because it got to the point where Skullclamp was in every deck that T8'd a tournament, even though the format was actually somewhat diverse.
    Arcbound Ravager/Disciple of the Vault/Artifact lands: Because the Affinity deck once Ravager had been printed turned into a resilient combo that went off very fast. Format was largely skewed toward affinity.
    Stoneforge Mystic/Jace the Mind Sculptor: Again, the format was skewed heavily toward a deck that played both of these cards. Like... over 50% of the field. To the point where JTMS was a 100 dollar card. And it really only saw play in the one deck. The only card that has come close to that money value recently was Bonfire of the Damned at 50 dollars, but it was in multiple decks and it rose and fell out of popularity during it's reign in Standard. It's worth noting that in the case of Stoneforge Mystic and Jace, they waited until the two cards were a few months from rotating out anyway, and they waited until they could see a marked decrease in tournament attendence at GPs and other major tournaments.

    So basically that's what it will take for Ascendency to get banned. The card probably needs to represent a vast majority of the field (which it's not looking like it currently), and it needs to get to the point where people aren't going to tournaments anymore.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Fun in Limited, Relative Power Level, and the State of the Game
    Quote from ravenfez »
    I don't think "unspecified format" makes this meaningless. If you're sitting down at a new table to an entirely unknown draft and see these six cards in your first pack, what's the pick?


    Well, in an actual draft I don't think it's possible that you would see two cards that are that similar in the same pack. Lets pretend that this is a cube draft where both of those cards are in the format. If that is the case, I'm giving the "more powerful" card the edge just because in an unknown environment you always want to have the highest chance of your answer landing. If you pick shock over lightning strike, and there's a ton of x/3s in the format, then you lose some effectiveness there. But that being said it's a vary slim margin.

    However, I'd like to point out that this thought-experiment seems to be a little meaningless. Because if I'm choosing between Lightning Strike and Shock, at the end of the day I'm still getting a quality burn spell so it's hard to complain. I feel like maybe there is a better comparison that might illustrate the point you are trying to make than comparing 1 damage vs 1 extra mana.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Channel Fireball article about protecting yourself at MTG tournaments
    Good article.

    A lot of the ideas seemed pretty obvious ideas. The one that I'd like to reiterate is the one where he talks about keeping track of life totals. At a tournament, it should probably be pen and paper. At FNM I actually use my cell phone's life counter App. And the important thing is every time the life total changes it's a good habit to get into to verbalize it and make sure your opponent marks it down as well. I can't even count the number of times at an FNM where both of us are keeping track of life and one of us forgets to mark down a change in life total for one of the players and the other has to correct him eventually. If you were playing against a less than honest player at a more serious event and forgot to note the loss of life of your opponent playing Thoughtsieze, he could potentially notice an "gain 2 life" against you by not recording the change either.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Usability of Morph in Standard
    At the end of the day, a fully fledged morph deck just isn't going to see play at the highest levels of competition:

    A) Because it's two slow. If you are playing a morph turn 3, you are getting completely outclassed by turn 2 Goblin Rabblemasters that will be able to straight up trade for it while generating multiple Goblin tokens. Even if you are looking to block a 1/2 Prowess (Swiftspear) or 2/2 Prowess (Seeker) creature, there really isn't a good way to profitably block those guys and those creatures cost less.
    B) Not explosive enough. A turn 3 2/2 is going to be smaller than basically all other turn 3 or turn 4 plays. So there isn't really a good way to attack into these creatures.

    Now, there is potentially a way to use morph as a bluffing tool. Rageclaw Shaman and Sagu Mauler who both have morph. On turn 3 or turn 4 morphing one of those guys could force your opponent to make a decision when it comes to removal, since a turn 5 Sagu Mauler unmorphed is tough to deal with. So if your opponent hits it with a burn spell or removal and it turns out to be the Shaman instead of the Mauler, then you win that exchange because you are forcing them to use removal on your mana dork. And also, if you untap with 5 mana, you could actually attack with a 2/2 Rageclaw Shaman morphed and they probably aren't going to block fearing a Mauler flip.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Deck help: My Sultai deck
    Please post decklist threads in Standard Deck Creation
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on So what killed Extended?
    Quote from crimhead »
    Well extended was cool as it was urza block.

    Later on however, it simply turned into standard again, as simply the best decks of the blocks battled it out, which is no fun at all.

    Extended got its big shake up with mirrodin again and then it just died as they shifted the format and without urza block extended was simply dead and bad.


    This. When extended went back to Tempest and Saga, it was a good chunk of the game's history. It was like half way between playing eternal and playing Standard. As time went on, two things happened.

    1. As the cool, old cards rotetaed out, many extended players moved into the newly branded Legacy format.
    2. Extended became a much smaller percent of the games history. Rather than half way between Standard and Eternal, it was just Standard plus a little. Not the idea that made it popular. To make a new format half way between Standard and Eternal, we now need a card pool going back roughly ten years. Enter Modern.


    ^Basically this.

    I don't think Extended died because they switched to 4 year rotations. They would only make such a change as a means to try and revive the format.

    The thing people keep forgetting is that there were far less people playing 7-8 years ago. And more specifically, the change in number of people playing from 20-10 years ago is much smaller compared to 10-0 years ago. And the result is... a lot of the new players didn't have the cardpool to play Extended and so the playerbase just doesn't grow as fast as Standard did.

    And then Modern comes along. People liked that the format didn't rotate, but it also wasn't as expensive an investment as Legacy.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from Cathallex »

    To be fair though rules lawyering has been toxic for a long time now. How many game losses have there been lately from people not revealing morphs at the end of games, worse still people who actively wait until they shuffle up to get the free game, that's against the spirit of the game if you ask me.

    At least people being wary about cheating is at the expense of people with malicious intent.


    There actually aren't THAT many ways that you can just flatout scam a game loss away from people. But I've heard of stories where someone will have a game in the bag and his opponent will try to claim he drew an extra card, or that his life total is lower than it really is. And because the opponent kept good notes and the other guy didn't, a judge will usually side with the opponent. That's why they say you shouldn't rely on your opponent to keep track of life totals.

    In the case of claiming they are cheating via shuffling a weird way. You just aren't going to get punished for it unless there is a lot of evidence you are doing it. They aren't going to just DQ someone just because their opponent said so. And therefore... I don't think people have anything to worry about because no one is actually calling cheater on opponents. I think what most people would do if they suspected an opponent of cheating is they would get a judge to watch the game.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from tchntm43 »
    At the TCG MaxPoint I went to this weekend, it seemed like a lot of people were going the extra mile to make it clear they weren't looking at their opponents' decks while shuffling them. While it's good that cheaters get caught, I am worried that the playing environment may become somewhat toxic as a result, with well-meaning players being afraid of doing something wrong that will lead to accusations of cheating.

    This whole business is just giving me another reason to stick to my decision not to shuffle my opponent's deck. I usually go with a 2-4 stack cut instead. If I don't shuffle my opponent's deck, I don't have to ever worry about doing something wrong in the shuffling process that leads to suspicion. This is on top of my previous reasons (I am clumsy when it comes to shuffling and I don't want to get a warning for accidentally spilling my opponent's deck on the table with cards landing face up, and also I don't want to completely mess up a mash-shuffle and damage my opponent's expensive cards).


    I would argue that what you are talking about is already happening. Rules lawyering is a thing. And that leads people to be extra careful about accidently drawing extra cards or somehow having an illegal deck... or all the little things they could get a game loss over. Something that the majority of people probably wouldn't make a big deal over if they knew it was completely innocent. But occasionally you run into guys that like to use any means necessary to win and because of those guys you have to be on guard.

    I think in the case of the shuffling thing, you have even less to worry about because it's really hard to catch that kind of cheating. It's only been caught on camera IIRC. And I don't think people are going to just openly accuse their opponents of cheating to their face.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from Anteaterking »
    Quote from DarkRitual »

    I don't feel like this could work within a single tournament because of variance. But across multiple tournaments if you have one player forcing mulligans twice as often as is the average... then that should tell you something.

    Honestly though, I think the correct way to handle something like this is to either "enforce" a specific type of shuffling. Maybe at the end of all the shuffling, your opponent MUST cut the deck into two roughly even stacks and then you get the option of which stack you want on top. That should make it virtually impossible for either player to stack either deck.

    And there actually is precedent for them to "enforce" procedure like that. They made the rule about no electronics, or the rules about note taking... or the rule where once you get to the top 8 you have access to everyone's decklist so that people can't gain an advantage by having sat next to a guy by chance one round that you ended up playing in the top 8.


    I don't think this solves it. Let's say I'm playing 20 lands (just for computation sake). Normally, 1/3 of my cards are lands. If you stack my deck to put seven lands on top, when you offer me the cut, either I take the seven land hand OR I reduce my opening hand to being from a set with ~24% lands.


    Well, it certainly lowers the odds of getting the 7 land hand. If someone is able to do this trick seven times, and because of this new rule change the result is you are working with slightly less lands than average... that's pretty good considering what you would've gotten before.

    And I feel the need to point out.... I'm just throwing my idea out there. If there is a better idea that's easy to implement, then that should be what gets used.

    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on What do you guys do with all your extra commons?
    Honestly... the best thing to do IMO is just go through and pick out cards that could potentially be worth anything in the long term and then dump the rest. Usually it's like 2-3 cards per pack. If you draft and play standard enough you'll quickly get an eye for what cards are going to be garbage. If it's a vanilla card like Alabaster Kirin or an effect that has been printed many times like Kill Shot... no use in keeping them around. Sometimes there will be fringe situations where it's useful in standard or EDH for some reason, but those times are rare for cards like Kill Shot and if it does happen, you have to realize that you can still go to basically any LGS and buy said cards for 10 cents.

    Honestly this goes for uncommons and a lot of rares. You would think that EDH would have raised the price dramatically on some of these rares that get a lot of play in these EDH decks, but if you go look at the value of the cards in those decks and a lot of the rares are maybe a few bucks tops. It's stuff like Sylvan Library or Vampiric Tutor that cost a lot of money.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Cheating on camera at SCG Open?
    Quote from jshrwd »
    If large tournaments required competitors to report the number of mulligans they took, it would provide enough data to bubble up people who have a disproportionately high number of mulligans against them (mulligans by their opponent). While that would not be sufficient for guilt, it would be useful in driving potential investigations.


    I don't feel like this could work within a single tournament because of variance. But across multiple tournaments if you have one player forcing mulligans twice as often as is the average... then that should tell you something.

    Honestly though, I think the correct way to handle something like this is to either "enforce" a specific type of shuffling. Maybe at the end of all the shuffling, your opponent MUST cut the deck into two roughly even stacks and then you get the option of which stack you want on top. That should make it virtually impossible for either player to stack either deck.

    And there actually is precedent for them to "enforce" procedure like that. They made the rule about no electronics, or the rules about note taking... or the rule where once you get to the top 8 you have access to everyone's decklist so that people can't gain an advantage by having sat next to a guy by chance one round that you ended up playing in the top 8.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Must read article on Umbrella Revolution, combo, the Pro Tour and MTG 'Journalism'
    Interesting article.

    The deckname thing IMO is a non-issue. Wizards (and SCG for that matter) have had the policy on deck names for a long time. Usually it's just to make decks easier to talk about. Although... even if the political aspect were true, they have every right to change the name in an effort to not make an entire country mad.

    But there is a point to be made about the lack of a good 3rd party news that covers stuff like this. A story like this would've been a cool thing to see during Pro-Tour coverage. They do these kinds of things for major poker tournaments that are televised as well. It's just another way to connect the fans with the players.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [primer] RW control
    Guys, keep it on topic.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Primer: UWR Control
    Rotation talk probably not a good idea in the competitive forum. The best place to talk about rotation is in New Card Discussion or Standard Deck Creation
    Posted in: UW/x Control
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    posted a message on Big Changes Coming - Rosewater Announces the New Standard Structure
    Quote from pr0teus »
    Quote from boomershadow »
    Very not happy with this change. The Standard environment wouldn't get so stale if there weren't 8-9 obviously OP cards (out of a possible 250) that are bound to be staples of Standard decks, and a whole set full of absolute garbage to go with them. A bit more equality in power level throughout the set would allow innovative deck-builders to really make fun decks that would be competitive against Tier 1 decks.

    The reason we want Sphinx's Revelation to go away isn't because it's been around 6 months longer than its welcome, it's because it's so freakin' good that within a two year period no matter what else is in print, there's really just no reason to run ANY other option but that one, and THAT is what makes things stale and also what makes those OP cards so expensive.


    I think this comment really cuts to the heart of the whole issue. A slight flattening of power levels would, in my opinion, go a long way toward keeping standard fresh AND keeping prices on the secondary market in check. This issue has actually come the forefront of my mind very recently, as I've been doing a bit of belated spring cleaning, and have begun to notice how many cards I own that are virtually worthless.

    Keeping with your Sphinx's Revelation example, I, as, primarily, a control player, have felt limited by how absurdly powerful this card is. There have been plenty of instances in which I've wanted to experiment with control brews that don't include blue and white, but, in the end, I always have trouble justifying not including absurdly overpowered cards such as Sphinx's Revelation. Sure, I know that there's nothing keeping me from brewing without these two colors, but I'm sure that most everyone can understand what I'm trying to get at here.

    In short, if Wizards wants to continue getting my money, they need to work on making more of what they print playable. If nothing else, it's just sort of wasteful to print so many cards that will never see the light of day.


    This is faulty logic though. Because no matter how big the card pool gets, there's always going to be the best cards in the format being played. You look over at Modern, a format in which you have like 10 years of blocks legal in... but at the end of the day the best cards for that format are going to get played. Sphinx's Rev, Pack Rat, Elspeth, Domri, Xenagos, Mutavault aren't even really played in Modern because there are cards that are far better.

    I echo what a lot of people are on the board are saying about the lands and the price of standard in general. This was an issue before this change even. And that's just that it's hard to play at a semi-competitive level without being really committed to playing this game money-wise. I got to the point where I was comfortable spending probably 500 dollars a year between FNMs and singles playing Standard and would mostly play the same types of decks and it allowed me to get away with buying fewer staples to build some of these different decks. And it always bothered me that most of the cards I bought would be worth 10% of their current value in a year or two. So it feels like unless you are really into the competitive scene, this is always going to be an issue.

    It's a legit complaint IMO. And the solution is to either invest in Modern (probably costs more money up front, but far less over 3-4 years) or play a format like EDH where you can get away with spending far less money and get potentially as much enjoyment out of it.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Big Changes Coming - Rosewater Announces the New Standard Structure
    I think it's fair criticism to look at this and go "well, we're going to have to spend more money". People have pointed out that the faster rotation will make things cost more. I don't think that's the issue. The issue is when a rotation happens, the metagame drastically changes. And even the cards that don't rotate are effected. Cards like Pack Rat and Desecration Demon were in standard for a year and saw no play, then Theros happens and they are big parts of the format. Boros Reckoner was once a 20 dollar card, now not nearly as impactful. So now every 6 months, the best cards in the format can be come just mediocre and vice versa. I remember during INN-RAV standard I dropped like 400 dollars on all the stuff for a Jund deck, and basically played that deck for the whole year. And I always had a decent shot of winning because that archetype was always oscillating between solid and awesome the entire season. There's no way to really do that with these changes.

    But at the same time, I understand from the profesional play point of view, it kind of sucks when the same 3 decks are basically a big part of the meta for a good 12 months. The format gets figured out after a couple of months, and a new set in April doesn't do enough to fix that.

    So yeah, this move is likely going to be awesome for the people that really like the competitive aspect of the format, probably not so stellar for players that just want to casually play tournaments.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Mono Blue Aggro
    I'll move this to New Card Discussion then
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on So this is really happening...Planeswalkers can be your commander with the upcoming monocolored precons (spoiler, duh!)
    I don't understand the anger at the new planeswalker generals. Is it because they will make the Commander 2014 decks not worth buying?

    I can understand some of the design arguments or the sentiment that these planeswalkers aren't all that interesting (we've only seen one though). But unless you are were planning on buying the decks and are disappointed that they aren't good, then it doesn't really matter. The existence of planeswalker generals in EDH doesn't really have any tangible effect. If they are too good in 1 v 1, they could be banned. And in multiplayer your playgroup determines a lot of what is allowed to be played anyway.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on The Death of Original Deck Names
    Quote from Mild Wongrel »

    I agree that there are great things about the "boring" naming of decks. They make the format more approachable to new players. And sometimes makes it easier to understand. The issue is going to arise if in 10 years, people are like "hey remember that awesome standard deck from back in the day? You know the one called Jund midrange or that other cool one, the GW aggro deck?" I would have no idea what deck they meant. But like I said, most new bland decks in standard these are not going to be remembered in 10 years anyways so I don't think the issue I described will even come up.

    This is not an issue in legacy or vintage as much, but I guess I just miss when new decks were worth giving a cool memorable name to because the deck was cool and memorable.


    First of all, I can't think of any deck in current standard that you would remember 3-4 years down the road. The issue with giving an interesting name to Jund Midrange or UW control or GW aggro is there really isn't anything unique about it that sets it apart from other decks with the same name in previous standard formats.

    The only standard lists that would be worth remembering a few years from now would be named after a card or mechanic. Mono Blue Devotion for example. A unique enough deck compared to other blue aggro decks. But with those decks, once again, the name is a big clue as to what the deck is about. If 3-4 years from now someone is talking about Mono blue devotion, it's highly unlikely that there was another devotion deck from a different standard format. So people aren't going to confuse it with a different standard deck.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on The Death of Original Deck Names
    Quote from Mild Wongrel »
    Quote from DarkRitual »
    I disagree with the notion that all names are just stuff like [color][archetype]. It's actually pretty common to name a deck after a prevelant mechanic. Jund Monsters is named after the monstrosity mechanic. They could've just as easily called it Jund Beatdown. Or Jund Planesalkers could've easily have been called Jund Control. So while it's not a highly original name, there is some room for creativity in naming some of these decks.

    Those are not creative names. They are just Color-Description of the deck. Jund Monsters is no better than Jund Beatdown. Like I said early, I think part of the issue is there has not been a memorable deck even worth given a creative name. Is anyone going to have fond memories of the pile of goodstuff mythic rares that is Jund Monsters in, I dont know, 5 years? I don't think so. Its a super boring, generic deck with nothing of interest about it.


    Ok that's fair that those names aren't creative, but can't you see the issue that is created if we go back making deck names that don't give you any clue of what is in the deck? "Check out this new deck, it's called 'The Hangover 2 staring Bradley Cooper'" "What? What does that do?" "It's a Jund deck with Planewalkers".

    The game has gotten really big over the past few years. You can't have Starcitygames writing articles with the headline "The Hangover took 2 of the top 8 at pro tour Portland" and confuse everyone the first time they hear about the deck.

    It kind of sucks the creativity is lacking, but again... no reason you can't come up with your own names for the decks that you joke about with your LGS, or names for individual cards even.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on The Death of Original Deck Names
    I disagree with the notion that all names are just stuff like [color][archetype]. It's actually pretty common to name a deck after a prevelant mechanic. Jund Monsters is named after the monstrosity mechanic. They could've just as easily called it Jund Beatdown. Or Jund Planesalkers could've easily have been called Jund Control. So while it's not a highly original name, there is some room for creativity in naming some of these decks.

    But the biggest reason is why the majority of people prefer this convention has nothing to do with new players and familiarity. It's simply to avoid confusion. We saw at Pro Tour a deck that was called Jund Planeswalkers get popularized with two decks in the top 8. I didn't see any of the Pro Tour coverage, but if I hear people talk about Jund Planeswalkers... I don't have to ask what kind of deck it is, because the description is in the name. If instead they called it "The Illuminati" or something like that... the first question people are going to ask is "what kind of deck is that?" "it's a Jund deck that plays a bunch of Planeswalkers" "well, let's just call it Jund Planeswalkers and stop wasting peoples time explaining what the name means."

    I think there is something of value in being able to be creative with names. I'm not saying we shouldn't be allowed to have fun. But why can't you let the official name be "Jund Planeswalkers" and then between your friends come up with cool nicknames for the deck to joke about? In professional sports this sort of thing happens all the time. Players have "regular" names, but then in some cases can garner other nicknames over their careers.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on MTG opinions you just don't understand
    Quote from IronPlushy »
    I can't fathom why anyone enjoys EDH. Takes an hour to play, no one knows what any card does, and every 4 turns the field gets wiped. Just seems like it gives people an excuse to jam legacy cards when they can't afford to play legacy.


    It depends on the group you are playing with (assuming we're talking multiplayer). Sometimes you get a group that is much more casual and you'll get more weird token decks or things that are more random like Norin, the Wary. Sometimes you play with a guy that essentially just bought a pre-made commander deck and added a couple of junk rares to make it slightly better.

    And then there are the times where you have a really competitive group. In that case you can build multiple decks and sort of metagame. If everyone is playing removal spells and board wipes, you can counter that with a deck that doesn't rely on creatures to win the game. Or have a deck with graveyard interaction so you could in theory get the same creatures into play multiple times. One group I play with tends to play utility lands like Cabal Coffers and Maze of Ith, so I know that I probably would be best served having some ability to destroy lands in my commander decks.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on B/x Waste Not decks
    I merged the 4-5 waste not threads into one giant thread. I hope no one is confused, but it's probably best to just have one big thread instead of 5 different threads
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Open Discussion on Standard Forum Rules, Policy, and Set-Up
    Quote from ranalger »
    So, I have some competitive deck posts that I really want to make... but I am scared to death of breaking a rule, missing a thread that I should have posted in etc... also, I can't find instructions for how to link to cards anywhere (which is required for the competitive section. Is someone going to throw my account in ChannelFireball jail if a n00b makes some mistakes, or I am just being overly paranoid? BTW, I specifically want to post some analysis on a revamp of post-M15 Bant Walkers - the original did well in sanctioned tourneys, but I am looking for feedback on the revamp, so don't know which forum is appropriate anyway Frown


    Link explaining how to link to cards (aka cardtags or decktags):
    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/standard-type-2/65376-card-deck-tag-and-magic-symbol-explanation-thread

    For the most part it's not as bad you probably think it is. Mostly the only way you get into real trouble on here is by flaming or trolling. Usually for things like not posting a thread in the right place, not using decktags, we'll usually give 0-point warnings for.

    As for discussion of "post M15 Bant Walkers". If there is a thread in either Established or Competitive, that would be a good place. Standard Deck Creation might be a good place as well. In Standard Deck Creation it isn't the end of the world if there's a Bant Walker's thread from a week ago and you post a new thread. I tend to be a lot more okay with multiple threads talking about the same deck as long as there aren't two discussions about it going on literally at the same time. Worst case scenario if you post a thread for a deck and that thread already exists, I'll probably either merge the threads together or lock the newer one and explain that there is already a thread on the topic.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Bant Jalira
    Merged to Jalira threads
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on The Demise of Control. Why do you like block rotation?
    We were doing well talking about control players before, lets keep going and not turn this into a flame war.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on The Demise of Control. Why do you like block rotation?
    Quote from McScoop »

    You sir are nicer than I am. I say the same thing with latent tones of hostility. Why? Because almost every control player I've played against will try to rush me when the clock becomes an issue. Sometimes it's just by projecting anxious energy at me after they pass turn, sometimes it's verbal prompting. I usually just respond in jest with something like, "I hear win conditions are in this season, having a few seems good" or something to that avail. It does sorta grind my gears though.


    I can't really judge on the specific situations you are talking about because I'm not there, but I can understand being in the shoes of any player that is up against time. If they get the feeling you are playing any slower than normal, it's kind of hard to not get antsy about that.

    Me personally, I'm super laid back. I'd probably make a bigger deal about it in a major event, but at an FNM if a game goes to time and I feel like it shouldn't have... oh well. It's an FNM. I'm more concerned about whether or not I made play mistakes and learning from them.

    I can see getting upset at a 10 round event. But usually there are judges available for when games are getting into their last 5 minutes or so.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on What trait bothers you most about an opponent?
    Quote from TrevaFTW »
    Quote from mikej »


    The often vague "spirit of EDH" is one of the reasons I refuse to play that format.



    Pretty much this. Just because my fun is different doesn't mean it's worthless. I hate the stupid politics of EDH.


    It depends on what the rules are. If you want to play a competitive 1000 dollar EDH deck, and your opponents are playing whatever came with the pre-constructed deck... I think there is legit beef there. One of the most important things in multiplayer commander (really this should go for any game where money isn't on the line) is that all the players involved have fun. I've actually dumbed down my deck when I figured out that the group of people I was playing with didn't have all the stuff in their deck to make it much more consistent and powerful.

    But if they are saying you can't play spells that interact with opponents stuff, then that's probably going to far.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Is Nissa's price going up or or down after rotation?
    I don't pay close attention to pricing. But I have noticed a trend when it comes to mythics that have the potential to be cornerstone cards in decks. Those cards tend to be really expensive at first, and then the price slowly normalizes unless the card ends up being a staple that sees play for the 1-2 years its in the format.

    The one thing that is going to make something really expensive is if it's in a deck that is popular (or in a number of popular archetypes even). Let's take Domri Rade for example:

    http://www.mtgprice.com/sets/Gatecrash/Domri_Rade

    If you look back to last year, the card made it's debut as a 20-30 dollar card. Then went down to a 10-15 dollar card presumably as it wasn't seeing play. Then back up to over 25 as Monsters became more and more popular.

    Elspeth:

    http://www.mtgprice.com/sets/Theros/Elspeth,_Sun's_Champion

    Here's a really good example of what would probably happen if Nissa ended up being good. Elspeth started off as a 30 dollar card. Slowly made it's way down to 20 and is kind of holding steady there. It's still seeing play in white midrange decks as well as control, but only as a 1-2 of.

    Liliana of the Veil:

    http://www.mtgprice.com/sets/Innistrad/Liliana_of_the_Veil

    Now this is the situation you are probably afraid of. Started out at 20, and basically never dropped in price. It's now about a 70 dollar card. But the main reason for this is it's relevancy in Modern. Nissa I can tell you now will not have that problem. Usually cards that are cheap and useful in multiple situations tend to spike in price because that's the modern format.

    In short. I think you are safe waiting. Worst case scenario it only drops 5 bucks after 6 months. But the likelihood is that it'll drop to 20 or even lower after a few months.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [Deck] BUG WALKERS
    Moved to Standard Deck Creation as per OP's request
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on The Demise of Control. Why do you like block rotation?
    Quote from Xover »
    I love a Control in a format, and I am a die hard aggro player. Why? because of Variance.

    But the issue with control right now, are the control decks that legitimately play one win condition, and they're object is just to win game one. The Planar Cleansing control deck is the biggest offender of this, and players are too stupid to realize that after your opponent has resolved his 3rd Sphinx's Rev and popped Elixar 2 times, that it might be time to scoop. They will sit there and wait to see the actual win con, when the win has been happening over and over again.

    Control decks that can efficiently close out the game, makes for a really fun format. COntrol decks that make game 1 go to time, are significantly not fun to play against.


    I don't think it's fair to say that the deck's objective is to win game 1 because that implies that they never go the full match and it's impossible for them to win a 2nd/3rd game. Because there are plenty of archetypes that can either beat a control deck in 10 minutes or get to the point where they know they have to concede. Usually the matches that result in 40 minute games would be mono-black devotion or some of the midrange decks that play different forms of card advantage and can in theory go over the top of a control deck playing Sphinx's rev.

    I do agree with the sentiment that those decks can be unfun to play against. But honestly... what I've learned as a magic player over the 13 years I've played this game, you have to play the types of decks that you like playing. And what I mean by that is this: I remember when I first started playing I had some kind of bad Elf deck from Onslaught/Oddessey standard. And I played at a store that had about 12 regulars. Maybe 3 of them were legit players and the rest of us were just in highschool. I noticed a lot of my matches would go the same way. I try to plop out a bunch of dudes, my opponent would stabilize and then I would spend the next 10 turns virtually dead but still in the game. It sucked because I consider that to be a bad way to lose. But that's when I discovered Midrange decks. I could still put pressure on a control opponent with 2 of my cards. And if they tried to hit me with card advantage spells to pull away, I would have my own card advantage engine. Now, I was still a bad player relative to these other guys so I rarely T4'd FNM, but I felt like I was in a lot more of these games than before. And I realize now that every deck I've ever played and liked... it's either full on midrange or it's a beatdown or aggro deck with a way to close out games against control.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on The Demise of Control. Why do you like block rotation?
    Quote from Rage Scoop »


    Are you saying we should McScoop when we know we are beaten to ensure the 3rd game? BTW, that's my MTGO name Smile


    It's not a horrible strategy. For example, if I'm an aggro deck and I'm in topdeck mode and they are at 10 life with 4+ cards and an Elspeth in play... it's going to take them a few turns to kill me and are pretty much 99% chance to win. Sure, you could win that one time and it would be worth sticking around, but there's probably a higher than 1% chance you don't finish the match and at best get a draw by winning game 2.

    Or if I'm BW Midrange, and they've Rev'd for 7 and I don't have any of the usual card advantage cards that I could use to try to catch back up in cards. Usually I'll go a few more turns after that to make sure they didn't completely brick and draw 7 lands. But in that kind of game I have a very low chance at winning as well because they could trade 1 for 1 with all my spells and still remain ahead. And actually... that's a situation where if I'm the control player I might have the Aetherling in hand and could effectively seal the game, but I wouldn't put it past them to draw-go a few turns and and effectively run clock because the game is completely in the bag. It's kind of a shady thing to do, but if they win a 45 minute game 1, then the match is pretty much in the bag. And at any point an opponent can concede to nullify that from working.

    In the same way, you can use a control deck's speed against them. If I win game 1 and we're closing in on time, I'm going to make them beat me. You still have to play at regular speed. You obviously can't stall. But I certainly wouldn't concede in that scenario.

    And as long as we're talking about times to concede... I also concede to avoid giving information about my deck away. I remember one match I was playing Junk Midrange against a control deck. Kept a 2 land, 2 Voice of Resurgence hand. Didn't draw a 3rd land for like 4 turns, my opponent finally goes Verdict, Jace and then had a Mutavault out. I scooped soon after. I actually wasn't completely dead, but all my opponent had seen so far was green and white aggro creatures. We go to game 2 and he boards like I'm a beatdown deck. I win the next two games with stuff like Ajani Mentor and Courser of Kruphix and Underworld Connections while he probably wasn't prepared for a mid-range deck like that.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on The Demise of Control. Why do you like block rotation?
    Quote from teamDFL »
    I hope control takes a hit for one reason - game length. Right now, when I go to an event, I have to set my deck to be strongest against control because I know that if I lose game one, that is often all she wrote. The best I can hope for is a tie because of going to time. It will be nice to know that I am almost guaranteed to get through three matches in the 50 minutes.



    I can agree with this, but a lot of times it's just a matter of realizing when the game has a high probability of going the control players way and not forcing them to take the extra 20 turns to actually kill me.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Because aggro players are baboons. Why do you like block rotation?
    Locking thread because this is obviously a response to the other thread
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on RU Explosive Artifact
    Locking thread seeing as there is already a discussion of this idea happening
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Affinity
    Just want to remind everyone to remain civil. No one is breaking any rules, but the back and forth arguing can sometimes be the first signs of a flame war. Just remember to stick to arguing the point and avoid flaming/trolling.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Reuben Bresler fired from SCG
    Quote from Warden »


    I actually have to agree here. LoL, SC2, etc have a full "show" to watch. SCG at its best doesn't come close. However, there are some caveats to point out:
    1 - Magic has a trillion variables such as the cards within a deck, matchup type, and "the stack". eSports the variables are more contained. Like there are only X units in a videogame, so viewers understand the limits and permutations. Magic has a lot more in scope/volume the viewer needs to learn. Not a bad thing, and certainly makes Magic "deep", but for viewing you have to work to mitigate this. Without it, you speak gibberish. And the appeal of eSports is for casuals/new people to enjoy.


    I don't know if I would agree with that. Each of these games has it's nuances. Starcraft 2 there's the thing about what each unit can attack (air or ground), and what units are good at dealing with others. In LoL I actually caught a few games of that. Each of the individual characters has it's own unique things it can do. I still don't know what any of the characters do but I can watch the game and see them use a move and I'm not to confused about what happened.

    Magic is very complicated from a rules perspective, but as the game plays out it's not hard to follow. In a game if you cast Restoration Angel on Thragtusk after your opponent tries to kill it, there's a lot of complicated things going on there but as a viewer even if you don't know what the stack is, at the very least you see the result of the play and use context clues to think "ok, Restoration Angel was used to save his creature".

    I will say that one of the things that Magic has going against it entertainment wise is the games aren't usually climactic. I would actually say the same about LoL from the few games I've seen, seems like when a team wins it was obvious they would win like 5 minutes ago. Starcraft is usually more dramatic because of the custom of conceding a game that is obviously out of reach. Sometimes you get a one sided game and it takes them a while to leave, but often you see a rush or timing attack or huge final battle at the end and usually if one player wins a battle decidedly, the other guy will usually just concede right there.



    3 - eSports is a big production. Honestly, the production values make it almost like an ESPN for nerdy competitive gaming.


    This is the one big thing that makes me think that they could make it happen with Magic like they do for eSports. Because with eSports, the way they make money is through advertising (and entry fees I guess?). With Magic, specifically SCG Opens, SCG has another revenue stream they can use to help "fund" this production until it can get running on it's own feet. And this revenue stream would be directly effected by putting more money into their events. They sell cards and have a website with articles. So the more popular the game is, the more people potentially buy cards or read articles, and in general the bigger SCG is as a Magic brand.

    It's possible I'm a unique demographic, so maybe it doesn't make financial sense to go bigger with their events because they don't feel like enough people will watch. But all I know is that I would be more into watching SCGs if they put more into the production. Currently I don't have cable TV, I watch A LOT of twitch steams. A lot of said streams are either Starcraft or Magic. And I can tell you if I watch a stream, it's because before I click on it I know what I'm getting into and I don't have to hunt for a specific matchup or a specific player. For example, right now I've watching one of Joe Losset's past streams. He does a lot of Legacy (which I don't even play the format, I'm a Standard player). But if he's streaming an interesting deck, I'll watch.
    Posted in: Submit News
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Spoiler Complete, discussion of M15 allowed outside of New Card Discussion
    I'm a little late with this announcement, but just reminding people that because the spoiler is complete, it's now cool to discuss M15 cards outside of the New Card Discussion forum.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Mono Black Aggro
    Quote from teamDFL »
    Quote from JacketBoi »
    What is the most shaky matchup for you guys? For me, it's mono-blue devotion. It's rare that I play it, buy tis a huge pain when you don't have any removal.


    Jund Monsters is the hardest for me. They ramp into stuff that is hard to deal with using creatures that slow me down (their tempo up, mine down in one step is terrible), they have enough removal that any major threat I get is usually dealt with and their top end is better than mine. And it gets no better after sideboard. You just have to hope they draw slow hands and you draw quick ones.

    Mono-blue has always been pretty easy in my experience. They are so dependent on Master of Waves which you can Thoughtseize, Doom Blade, Ultimate Price, Hero's Downfall or Bile Blight away. Every removal spell we have kills the Master. Frostburn Weird can be a PITA as it provides devotion and is hard to bypass. I have run against mono-blue splashing white for Detention Sphere and that was much harder to handle. The weakness of mono-blue is that if you land a serious threat, they have very limited ways to deal with it. The Detention Sphere addition solves that problem quite nicely for them.

    I do agree that beating mono-blue depends on having removal. It is certainly a matchup that can go very badly if you don't draw a way to deal with the Master.


    It's weird... because my list plays Thrill Kill Assassin, 2 Agents (for now) and 3 Boon of Erebos main and like 6 removal spells. Then Thoughtseize in the side. And mono blue seems like an even matchup for me. Obviously if they go first and curve out then we just lose, but generally they don't and even going first they tend to be on the defensive. I think that's where the removal spells (if we count Boon as a removal spell) and death touch creatures come into play. You can swing your 2/3 death touch into their Nightvale Specters profitably.

    And the same with Jund Monsters. I don't think I've lost a match to that deck so far. And it's for the same reason. Trading a 1B death touch creature for their 2GG Polukranos is a net gain in tempo. If you mass up creatures and then drop the Mogis hammer on them, that's usually the end of the game.

    But the trade off is against UW and Mono black devotion. Fortunately with mono-black game 1 you can over-extend and really Bile Blight is the only thing to worry about. Game 2-3 I've gotten burned by Drown In Sorrow my fair share of times. So you do somewhat have to play it slow, but then thats where Pack Rat can single handedly win games. And with UW I've mentioned the point that some people are moving toward Fiendslayer Paladin in the sideboard, that card is very difficult to beat. Even without that, I think we're still looking at 50/50 because we're slower than mono-red. And if you are playing Pain Seer (or something else) instead of Thrill Kill, and Thoughtseize main instead of Boon of Erebos or more removal, that gives you a better matchup... but again you sacrifice your matchup to mono blue and monsters.

    It's weird how the difference in your Jund Monsters matchup can go from awesome to flaky just by switching out 6-7 cards main deck.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Do you like or dislike the concept of a 'strict' color pie?
    Quote from shinquickman »
    ^Not necessarily. Blue is very capable of being aggressive without looking like another color. Look at Mono-U Devotion as an example. The deck still feels very Blue and it didn't even have to break the color pie. That's what I want for other colors. I want to see a Red-heavy deck that plays for the late game. I want to see a Green/Black deck that's in-your-face and fast instead of graveyard-comboish. Most importantly, I want to see these things in ways that don't turn the color pie on its head.


    What I mean by "blue being the new red" is that switching the colors doesn't mean anything. Because if you want red to be able to play late game, why not just play blue (or another late game color)? Why do we need red to be able to play the late game when we already have a color that does it? You want green black to do something other than be graveyard based... but with 3 other colors and multiple other color combinations, you can go to any of those if you don't want something graveyard based. Do you just want this to happen for the sake of seeing something different?

    Now, perhaps you might be saying that you want red to be able to play the late game, but still do all the things it does now. The issue with that is the less disctinct each of the colors are, the less they matter. If you give black the ability to easily kill enchantments, it gives you less of a reason to play the other colors. If you follow Standard for example, you see this actually play out in the way that Mono black devotion has tried splashing green because of how cards like Detention Sphere can be good against them. If we gave black a destroy target enchantment effect, then they wouldn't need to even splash the color.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Do you like or dislike the concept of a 'strict' color pie?
    Quote from shinquickman »
    I like a rigid color pie. My problem is I don't think WotC is using it too creatively. I would like Standard seasons to not just be RDW, U/x Control, and G/x ramp over and over again. Why not rattle the board a bit from time to time? This also ties into color pairs. Why does G/B almost always involve reanimation shenanigans? Why is U/W so inclined to a control strategy? Instead imagine a whacky season dominated by:

    R/W Control
    U/B Reanimator
    G/B Aggro
    U/R Aggro
    W/G Control

    I think even with a strict color pie, such things are possible, it's just a matter on putting a focus on cards that allow these colors to play off beat. For example, Red is very capable of board control within the color pie; it just needs such cards to be accented.


    That's a fine goal. The issue is when you realize that what you are effectively doing is having the same colors but calling it red instead of blue. If you give blue a Thundermaw Hellkite, then it's just the new red.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Mono Black Aggro
    I've actually been giving Agent of the Fates a try in my build as well. Mostly it was just a filler for when I was initially missing a couple cards for the deck. But 2 of them survived to the final deck. On the positive side, he's a 3/2 body which serves as a removal spell to an extent against a lot of different decks. It swings into Caryatid, Courser, Nightvale Specter, Grey Merchant, Demon, etc. The heroic ability is okay, but the 3/2 deathtouch body is the bigger issue. On the negative side, the 2 toughness matters. It's kind of awkward if it's getting blocked by a Mutavault.

    I'm thinking of cutting it completely though. Might move Lifebane to the main deck. As it is still solid against G/x and not horrible against mono blue (attacks into everything and will at the worst trade with a nightvale specter and is a jace killer against UW.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Mono Black Aggro
    I run 4 Thoughtseize main and 4 Duress in the sideboard and consistently beat control. So often they keep a hand based on having a Verdict and if you strip it out, it is almost a certain win.


    Yeah. It's that age old issue where the issue is whether or not to run it main or sideboard. Because the extra 4 Thoughtseize means you will have to take something out for game 1. Which in theory makes the maindeck weaker. That being said... playing a turn 2 or 3 Thoughtseize and nabbing a Polukranos is about the same as if it was a removal spell or extra creature.

    Edit: I vote for Bile Blight and Ultimate Price as removal. Probably Bile Blight first because it actually hits more creatures than Ultimate Price does in our deck. Courser of Kruphix? Attack + Bile Blight kills it. But it also kills Mutavault and Nightvale Specter. Bile Blight doesn't kill Desecration Demon easily though.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [[Official]] Mono Black Aggro
    I've been playing a version very similar to frac's list. I have Thoughtseize in the sideboard rather than the main, and I'm trying out Boon of Erebos in the past 3 FNMs and 1 SCG IQ and I'm at a solid 75% match win overall (3-1 at each of the FNMs, 4-2 at the IQ). What I like about Boon of Erebos is that all of the green midrange decks have 0/3s and 2/4s that they can play early to slow you down. Mono-blue devotion has 1/4s, etc. It functions like a 1 mana removal spell in those kinds of decks, and it lets you keep attacking. And it's also a plan to help you fight a Pack Rat player that is trying to block with Pack Rat (admittedly doesn't help if he's already winning the race).

    I've had 3 matches against mono-blue and I'm happy with that matchup. Any green midrange deck I feel like I'm favored. Mono-black devotion seems okay. The big problem is U/W/x control matchups. I don't think we're fast enough to go under UW decks, and we do have some ability to be evasive or to use bestow creatures and force two removal spells. Although the problem with Bestow is if you are spending 5 mana to Bestow Herald of Torment, they can just counter that. The worst thing is the few people I've played against playing UW play Fiendslayer Paladin which... the only way I can beat that is by flying over it or using bestow to make a bigger creature. First strike is a pretty big boon to this deck in general.

    I know this isn't the competitive forum, but I still feel like this is a fun deck to play, and you could actually bring it to a serious tournament if you expect it to be light on UW control.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Creating a new format
    Quote from frozenspark »
    I was thinking of ways to make a new, fun and competitive format that doesn't have quite the barriers to entry like Legacy and Modern, and is fun and unpredictable like EDH. For example, I have Bob and Goyf and some other very good cards but not a playset of each, so what am I to do? What do you think about this format:

    60 card deck
    Other than basic lands, only 1 of each card
    Minimum of 20 common/uncommon cards; at least 7 have to be common
    At least 7 cards have to be from the most recent block

    What do you think? It's a mix of standard, legacy, and EDH and some pauper with the common/uncommon requirement.


    Not a bad idea. The first hiccup I see with such a format is you are going to have to get people to agree to build a deck with these rules. I think a potential solution to this problem is instead to have a pool of cards that you have people build decks out of. This pool of cards could probably be just a random pile of cards from drafts you've done recently. So effectively this would be like sealed, but the sealed pool isn't 90 cards... it could be like 200-300 and perhaps combining a bunch of different blocks just to mix things up.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Getting pissed off about how much luck matters. [Yes, unconstructive rant]
    I think it's just one of those things where if you don't want luck to be a part of it, then play a game with less variance. That's all the advice anyone can really give.

    I can certainly understand losing in such a situation, but when you take the statistical approach to the matter you realize that over time if you are a good player... you will have more success than a bad player.

    And something I don't think people realize about luck... it's actually a big part of why the game is as good as it is. For those of us that watch sports, they will probably tell you that one of the best parts of the game is when the improbable happens. It's a similar thing in Magic. You can talk about how you topdecked just the right card to win the game.

    Also, the luck factor makes it MUCH easier to get into the game. Which means that there's more "dead money" in tournaments. Which means when you do eventually win, it will be for more money.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Brian Kibler wrote an article about improving GP magic coverage
    Quote from DarkRitual »
    No reason why they couldn't either stagger the matches so they can see them all live, or do like you were talking about where they commentate the match that was taped before.



    Logistically, that's very difficult to accomodate. The venues where these events are held are rented by the day. Many of the events run until 11:00 p.m. or later, particularly the Legacy Top 8 on Sundays. Staggering the events would draw out the length of the events several hours, when they're already ending at or close to midnight. They've also got to tear down their equipment, pack everything up, and get out of the building before their leased/rented time expires. I can tell you from a legal standpoint, it can be the difference in several hundred/thousand dollars (depending how much they pay to use the various convention sites) if they were to run over time.

    So while I would love to see the entire Top 8, even if it were not broadcast in live time, I can understand why they don't.


    I see your point. There are alternate ways it could be done. The easiest solution would be to just tape everything and have the guys give commentary on each tape.

    Staggering the matches is still possible, but you'd have to eat the cost for renting the space if it comes to that. And because it's a top 8, you don't necessarily need the same venue you were using for the SCG.

    Really, the big problem isn't the venue, it's that you have to hold a legacy tournament and a standard tournament over a weekend. Saturday / Sunday are the only full days you could run a tournament. So it's impossible to have one of the tournaments go effectively two days. If you had 3 days, then it would be simple enough to have the Swiss part of the tournament on the first two days, and then on the 3rd day have both top 8s back to back.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Brian Kibler wrote an article about improving GP magic coverage
    Quote from Sene »

    ChannelFireball hosted a GP earlier this year where they did something like this, and it was really neat. Essentially what they did was film two matches at the same time - one main feature and one second feature. When the main feature was finished, they started the playback on the second. The commentary wasn't done in real time, but since the commentators (and we) hadn't been informed of how the match went, that was fine. This removed almost all dead air between the rounds.


    See, so it's certainly possible.

    Another major thing that really irks me when it comes to these broadcasts is that when it gets down to the top 8, they need to show every match. The last time I watch an SCG, they would only have one match at a time, and if the match ended early they would go to another match and watch the end of it. This is the top 8! Why would I not want to see every game in the top 8?

    No reason why they couldn't either stagger the matches so they can see them all live, or do like you were talking about where they commentate the match that was taped before.

    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Brian Kibler wrote an article about improving GP magic coverage
    I've made many posts on this issue. Kibler is certainly right about just doing the obvious things like making sure people know when the show is on.

    My big thing that I want to see them improve on is to cutting the matches into separate bits and posting them so that someone that doesn't want to wake up at 10 in the morning to catch the very beginning of the tournament can do so.

    And I think that if you do this, you could also have at least 3 sets of coverage teams covering 3 matches each round. Sure, you aren't going to be able to watch each of them live, but that would be the point of posting the replays of each match individually instead of just 1 12 hour long post of the whole tournament. This is something SCG could charge extra for and a lot of people would love to be able to go back and cherry pick matches they want to watch, or watch them all in order, or watch all matches of a specific archetype to try and learn more about how to play it.

    Go to Blizzards website and they do exactly what I'm talking about with Starcraft 2 pro-leagues. Maybe it's a money issue and it isn't worth the risk for SCG to do it right now... but I hope they are aware of what other e-sports leagues are doing and that this is a good way to improve their coverage.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Is FNM worth attending with a sub-optimal (budget) deck?
    It depends on what you want out of the game. I think it's reasonable to not want to invest a lot of money into the game. If that is the case there are ways to play the game and have fun. Usually I like suggesting Commander if cost is an issue as you can put together a solid commander list for really cheap, and the cards never "rotate" out.

    If you are fine with just playing the game without caring about winning, then you can throw together a budget list and probably have some relative success. One advantage to this is that if you are a newcomer to the game, sometimes just watching other people play will make you better at the game. There are plenty of twitch streams of people playing magic or after your round is over watch other games and see what they do. I would consider myself to be an above average player, and most of the reason for this just watching other people play the game and seeing how cards interact.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Mono-Black (and B/x) Aggro
    Went to a Standard IQ. I showed up at the event with this list:



    In hindsight, the Doomblade should've been another Bile Blight, because there aren't too many creatures where you want Doomblade over Bile Blight in my deck (Stormbreath Dragon I guess?). I was looking up other recent versions of Mono-black aggro and there was one list that was basically mono-black devotion, but without the devotion cards. But still played Pack Rat, removal and Thoughtseize. I have been liking the version that plays 12 1 drops with 3 Boon of Erebos (maybe should be 4, but the jury is still out on that). The 2 Agent of Fates was the main thing thats different between my list and the one I linked a bunch of posts ago. I happened to have the card and wanted to try it, so it went in as a 2 of.

    51 people showed up, which meant 6 rounds, cut to top 8.

    Match one against... UWR?
    Game 1 I mull to 6 and he mulls to 5 and he chose to go first. He plays a UW Temple and passes the turn. Ok, so I'm probably against UW/x control. I play a one of my three 1-drops. Figure that if I'm against control, the main thing is to not over extend. I could bestow one of the 1-drops and make Supreme Verdict less effective. Turn 2 he plays a Sacred Foundry. Ok... so he's UW/r control it looks like. I play another dude and pass the turn. Turn 3 he plays a mountain and Rageblood Shaman. I saw the 1RR mana-cost and assumed it was a Prophetic Flamespeaker and that this was some janky tempo deck. I'm not going to lie... I played this guy 2 games and I still don't know what his deck does. It was some spells that could trigger Heroic, Artisan of Forms, some other Minotaurs. I was able to crush the deck with my removal spells and evasion both games.
    1-0 (2-0)

    Match two against UW?
    My opponent gets deck checked before the 2nd round. Recieves a game loss because he registered his deck wrong. So I got a free game 1 win. We go to game 2. Turn 1 he plays a UW Temple and at this point I wanna say it's UW control again... but after last match I'm a little hesitant to make the call. I play a 1 drop and pass. Next turn I play Spitefull Returned, which he Deicides. Ok, so it's looking more and more like UW control. And it became more and more obvious that this was the version without enchantments playing more maindeck removal spells. It hurts a little that some of my creatures are enchantments and that turns on those spells for him. It seemed like he was maindecking 2. It would've been an easy victory but my hand was very removal heavy, so I was playing with 2 dead cards in my hand. I get him down to 3, he plays Sphinx's Rev, then Aetherling and the game ended quickly after that. We go to the final game, I side out my removal and side in disruption. I remember looking at the typical UW sideboard and saw that some people were playing Fiendslayer Paladin to try and combat the new mono-red deck. That card also is really good against me and I was hoping he was playing Archangel of Thune sideboard instead. Sadly that wasn't the case, and turn 3 Fiendslayer happened. Followed by Jace. The sad thing about this game was, there were multiple spots where I could've drawn a bestow creature and blown this game apart. All I could do was poke at Jace with my 2/3 Thrill-Kill Assassin. So I was drawing blanks, but fortunately so was he. I got him all the way down to 3 before he could Rev for 6. I remember the game being back and forth. I forced him to Planar Cleansing the board. And my discard spells were able to make it hard for him to stabilize. He actually got there by chaining a few Sphinx's and draining me down with the Extort from Blind Obedience
    1-1 (3-2)

    At this point I'm a little sad that I technically haven't beaten a real deck. But I would consider that version of UW to be a pretty bad matchup for me so maybe it's not all bad.

    Match three against Blue Devotion
    Game 1 Master of Waves + no Removal = dead
    Game 2 I play a bunch of small creatures. He stabilizes with his 1/4 Frostburns a little. Then I start bestowing and swinging at him with bigger things. He turns that guy into a frog. I eventually draw Herald of Torment and Bestow it. I can either Bestow onto the 3/3 green Frog or the 2/2 Mogis Marauder. I choose the 3/3 frog, and then immediately he proceeds to topdeck Tidebinder Mage and punish me. Fortunately I was way too far ahead to lose the game because of it. I draw removal and win 2 turns later.
    Game 3 I hit him with Marauder swings twice.
    2-1 (5-3)

    Match four against Mono Black Devotion
    Game 1 of this match reminded me of that scene from The Matrix where they try to save Morpheus and they walk in that military building. They walk through the metal detector and it beeps and the guard casually asks "Are you carrying any loose change or.." and then Neo interrupts him by revealing all the guns he's hiding in his jacket. I won the die roll, played a Cackler. He plays Thoughtseize and sees my 4 1 drops (1 of them being Boon of Erebos). The game ends with a concession 2 turns later. Sometimes you just have it.
    Game 2 he plays Pack Rat and Mutavault (et tu, Pack Rat?). I'm very familiar with how good the card is against aggro. And being on the play he could just race me. My deck wasn't fast enough to beat it, and I drew no removal spells.
    Game 3 My opening hand was 3 Swamp, Whip of Erebos, Agent of Fates, Herald of Torment, Hero's Downfall. No 1 or 2 drops, but it has my silver bullet card against mono-black in Whip. I've gotten myself into crazy situations against mono-black devotion before that I was able to pull out because of Whip. But at the same time, the lack of pressure made it a very questionable keep. I looked over to the side and see me from the future trying to give me a signal of some kind. First he held up 1 finger. Then pointed to his head. Then made a grasping motion with both hands. I didn't get what he was trying to tell me. So I kept the hand and played a swamp and said go. He played a swamp and cast Through Seize. Suddenly I realized that in fact that was a horrible keep. He grabs Whip of Erebos, and my hand suddenly becomes horrible. I definitely should've mulled to 6. The game wasn't technically over, but I wasn't putting pressure on him and eventually he just played cards that on average were better than mine. After he won the match we talked about how badly I just messed up.
    2-2 (6-5)

    At this point I'm wanting to drop. My round 4 opponent talks me out of it saying I might sneak into the top 8 if I win out. I had a feeling he was really trying to get me to stay for tiebreaker purposes, but I figured I would lose next round and then I could go.

    Match five against Karttik playing Jund Monsters
    I was matched up against someone that I played against 2 nights ago in a standard tournament at my LGS. He's actually a good player from what I can tell. I beat him in our match at the game store when the prize was 30 dollars in store credit for making the top 4. Despite me beating him in the first round, he also made the top 4 in that tournament.
    So we shuffle up. He wins the die roll and goes first. I play a T1 dude, he follows it up with Sylvan Caryatid. I swing with my 2/1. He doesn't block because he knows about Boon of Erebos. He plays a second Caryatid, and then turn 4 plays a Stormbreath Dragon and swings (misplay?). He gets two swings in with it. Eventually I was able to swing with 5 dudes. He blocks with 1 of his Caryatids, I hit him with Boon of Erebos for the final 2 damage.
    I forgot how I normally sideboard against GR/x decks. I knew that the 2 removal spells and 3 Lifebanes were probably a good place to start, but I didn't know what to take out. I tried taking out Herald of Torment. Figuring that if I"m adding 3 drops I should take out 3 drops and that was the weakest of the ones I had. The 2 Bile Blights left as well.
    Game 2 I keep a hand with 4 Deathtouch creatures (2 Agents, 2 Assassins) and some removal... and 1 land. Risky keep, but deathtouch is really good against their 2/4s and 5/5s and 0/3s. He mulled to 6 and apparently kept a mediocre hand. It had acceleration and Domri. I was able to Heros Downfall that away, but he didn't have gas after that.
    3-2 (8-6)

    Match six against GR Monsters
    Game 1 I lose the die roll. And find myself up against Courser of Kruphix, Domri and 2 Xenagos. Boon of Erebos does a lot of work getting damage on the planeswalkers. I was able to get rid of all the creatures, but then he overloaded Mizzium Mortars, put another 2/2 haste Saytr into play and I just couldn't catch up after that.
    Game 2 I mull a 4 land hand. He mulls as well. My 6 cards were solid. I start out with some dudes and Lifebane Zombie. He starts out with Caryatid and Xenagos. Lifebane reveals 3 Skylashers (the 2/2 flash guys) and 2 more Caryatids (wow what a bad hand). I win shortly after.
    Game 3 was back and forth. He didn't play any of his big card advantage generating spells other than one Courser which was short lived. He hit me with Anger of the Gods. I reloaded and put more pressure with Agent of the Fates and Rackdos Cackler. He stabilized with a hardcast Ghor-Clan Rampager. I had a Bestow creature that would trigger Heroic on Agent and clear his 1 blocker. But the turn before he plays Sessian Tactics making his Rampager and my Agent fight. For a second I thought that the card gave his guy indestructible as well. But when he informed me it didn't I reminded him that Agent of Fates had deathtouch. Ghor-Clan died as well, and he didn't have a follow up to my Bestowed Cackler.
    4-2 (10-7)

    I ended up getting 14th place. Not bad. I'm not exactly a veteran of these competitive REL tournaments, so I consider winning more than I lose to be a positive. But that bad keep in match 4 is going to haunt me for the next few weeks. I think I'm going to put an effort into going to more of these events too. There's another Standard tournament a month from now in Baton Rouge, LA. It would give me an excuse to visit my parents.

    I ended up really liking how this deck played in this kind of environment. I'm not going to claim that it's the best deck in the format, but it has a game plan against a lot of the good decks. I do worry about the UW matchup especially if Fiendslayer Paladin becomes a thing because that's a card I can't beat. If that happens then I'm just going to switch back to my BW midrange deck.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Borborygmos Enraged: The Breaking of the World
    Glacial Chasm is another card I'm missing as well.

    It's not even a money issue. It was a time issue. The stores I have store credit at didn't have those cards, and buying online would mean at least 2 days before getting the cards. I'm actually a little hesitant to make the deck more pro level because the group of people I tend to play with is a lot more casual. So if I show up with a deck that can combo out really consistently and produce powerful board states even without the commander in play... it makes the games less fun.

    I mostly just made the comments I did because literally my deck is Life from the Loam, the and the other cards that put lands from my graveyard into hand. The artifacts that effectively double the damage Borby does (Ring and Bracers), and then some ramp and stuff like Sensei's Top to fill out the deck. I'm playing a lot less creatures than I'm used to playing. And I assumed that because I'm mostly playing ramp spells that the deck would be a lot less consistent and I'd be open to attacks... but that turned out not to be the case.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Getting into Competitive Standard [FNM and potentially events]

    I actually have to disagree with this. I dislike recommending commander based on cost alone, because it's very, very different from standard, in both deck construction and playstyle. For instance, some people just don't like multiplayer, and unfortunately, if you want to play 1v1 commander, things get a lot more costly and competitive.



    The only reason someone wouldn't like commander is because of the lack of competitiveness that comes from the game being played mutliplayer. But that would mean that the hypothetical person is getting into Standard specifically because it scratches that competitive itch, and if that's the case then obviously you should play Standard over Commander.

    The reason I bring it up is because cost is the big hurdle for people getting into Magic and the way Commander handles the cost issue is pretty good. Now, you do bring up a good point in that at the highest level of Commander, you have people playing 5 color decks with infinite combos or 3 color decks that are extremely consistent and can reach a specific board state pretty fast. But there's a level of 1 on 1 a tier below that where someone can build a Prime Speaker Zegana beatdown deck that still plays a lot of the creature tutors, expensive cards in those colors (Skullclamp, Top, Sylvan Library, Venser, etc) and do well against the majority of players you'd find 1 on 1. The biggest issue is that it's much more rare to find a 1 v 1 EDH tournament.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [Primer] BW Midrange
    being torn between 25 and 26 lands really screwed me over last night. i ran 25 lands and lost to flooding.... wtf? i ran 25 because i was worried about flooding with 26. whatever. sometimes you just run bad.

    my list::



    I went 1-2 in the small 3 round tourney.

    Round 1 I lost 1-2 to B/g Devotion. Flooded out Game 3 and he was able to stabilize and take over.
    Round 2 I beat UWR control 2-0. Resolving an Obzedat won me both games with the help of some early disruption.
    Round 3 I lost to Bant Midrange. I had control game 3 but i started flooding and he was able to stabilize and hit a huge sphinx's rev after i drew 5 lands in a row.

    I still really like the deck but I'm going to change it to better deal hexproof decks for the SCG IQ this weekend.


    My list is similar to what you have but I'm playing Underworld Connections and Blood Barons main deck. I find that I'm able to do pretty well againt black devotion decks because of Blood Baron. It's seeing little enough play that most players don't play a full set of Devour Flesh to deal with it. Their only answer is to double block with Mutavault, which you can easily counter that by killing one of the Mutavaults. Sphinx's Rev decks is where you need Underworld Connections. You can put enough pressure on them with your creatures that they have to respect that game-plan. But it's unlikely you will beat them before they stabilize. So the only way to beat them is hand disruption (which you have) and getting some of that card advantage back with Underworld Connections.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Getting into Competitive Standard [FNM and potentially events]
    Quote from UltraLunch »
    Yah but that locks you into playing other peoples' decks for the next season instead of starting to build a card base now so you can experiment with other things to make up your own mind about card choices.

    Buying top tier decks is hands down the most boring way to play magic.


    I would disagree.

    There's a lot of misconceptions about net decking vs building a rogue deck (from both sides).

    One of the arguments against net decking is that it seems like cheating because you didn't have to think of the idea. But after the first month or so of a new format, the metagame gets somewhat figured out and decks don't drastically change and maybe a couple of new decks pop into the meta before getting hated out as everyone adjusts to beat it. So unless you are trying to build one of those flavor of the week decks, you just aren't going to normally win without getting the idea from someone else.

    If we're talking competitive, one thing that tends to happen a lot (or at least it has in this format) is a deck will take the basic premise of a deck that has been successful and try to tweak it. The recent example is mono black devotion trying to add Green for Abrupt Decay to deal with Detention Sphere and Banishing Light, and then seeing UW deck counter this move by taking out those cards and playing stuff like Planar Cleansing. This seems like it's netdecking and it's horrible, but the people that thought of this first and perhaps won a tournament because they found the wrinkle in the metagame are actually thinking about what cards that aren't currently being played that could break a matchup wide open. And those guys I would argue are more inventive and clever than the guy that makes a new brew every week.

    If we're talking FNM level. Then obviously a player can get away with brewing a new deck every week. But then we get into another reason why someone would netdeck compared to building a rogue deck, and it's that netdecking gives you the opportunity to win at the most efficient cost. Let me explain what I mean. I'm not saying build a 50 dollar burn deck. What I mean by efficient is you are building a deck that you know will have a decent chance of winning every match, and so therefore you can probably go the whole rotation period without spending too much and have a competitive deck to play. For example, I had my Obzedats, Boros Reconers, Blood Barons and shock lands from Return to Ravnica. I started Rav/Theros Standard last year playing BWR using the cards above as a base. And morphed that deck over time into BW midrange. And I had to drop money on cards, but I've essentially played the same deck this entire year. So I'm spending much less money than the guy trying to build the next rogue deck that will break the format.

    Edit:

    I'll answer Vaelyn's question as well. It seems like a bunch of users have already given good advice. Because you make the point that you haven't played in a long time, I feel the need to emphasize the cost factor in Standard. It can become really expensive if you want to build a good deck. And then with the way that the format rotates every year, you are basically spending money all the time. Now, if you can afford it, then it isn't an issue. But if you can see cost being a factor... then I strongly recommend getting into Commander. That format is made for players that don't want to dump 200+ dollars a year on cards/tournaments to keep up with Standard. I won't get into the rules of the game because it has it's own subforum and you can find out more there. But sufficed to say that the draw is only one of each card is allowed other than basic lands. And every set is fair game (there is a banned list of course). You can easily spend less than 100 dollars on a deck and it have a decent chance of winning a multiplayer EDH game. And your deck will never "rotate out".

    The big issue is finding a group of people that play Commander. Standard is far more common as usually every store runs a tournament for it. But that's the go-to game for casual players it seems.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on [[Official]] The "Complain About Standard Card Prices" Thread
    I'm going to merge this with "Complain about standard prices" thread.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
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    posted a message on Borborygmos Enraged: The Breaking of the World
    I recently built a Borborygmos deck that was based mostly on the list in the primer. I'm missing a couple of key cards (Gamble, Wheel of Fortune, Crucible of Worlds). But I replaced a lot of those cards for now with just more ramp and random green/red creatures. I thought that the deck would be a lot weaker without a lot of those cards, but it's still a decent multiplayer deck. Took it to an event where about a dozen of us played Commander and all the games I was involved in I either won the game or was in position to win it. Never felt like I was hopelessly outmatched. In one of the games I ramped pretty high, played Borby, and no one really had the removal to deal with it save for an Angel of Serenity. So over the course of a couple of turns I was able to win. The second game, I didn't have as much ramp, but one of the other players was playing Purphoros and drew the attention of the table. And because we were all at 10 life all I basically had to do was play the guy, discard a few lands and play Comet Storm to finish people off. The third game I was able to play Mirri's Guile and then I strung like... 6 cards that shuffle my library (Cultivate, Green Sun's Zenith, etc) and that allowed me to see a good 18 cards of my deck. I found Life of the Loam, played the commander, played Snake Umbra, unfortunately I didn't get to do that for more than a turn so I was just able to do like 18 damage before he got hit with Swords to Plowshares. This was the game I didn't win, because every time I played the commander, he was the #1 target. The third time I played him, I was in position to win had I gotten the opportunity to untap and chain a few Life from the Loams but I died to combat before that could happen.

    I feel like had I had the full list that this guy is using, I would've been much more consistent and I probably would've been in the situation where I can go off in one turn more often. But the list still performed well IMO. For a creature light deck, it can sure pack a punch. One thing that I'm noticing is that when Borby is on the field, it tends to make people not want to attack me. One time someone had the potential to kill me and would only lose 1 creature in the process, but didn't do it because they were afraid I would kill some important creature of their's out of spite. I feel like this is a misplay when I can potentially untap and "combo out" next turn anyway. It's especially weird when they are worried about me discarding a land to kill a creature of theirs and probably aren't considering the fact that I'd rather aim the lands at their face. Maybe that's just how multiplayer dynamics work. In any case, it allows me to have a board with just a 7/6 (half the time tapped from attacking) and not have to worry about defense.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on GP Chicago
    Warning for being too nice!

    Just kidding lol.

    I'm sorry about that, we all make mistakes.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on MonoArtifact
    Archiving thread since it isn't Standard legal
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on SCG Open: Providence
    I started paying attention to standard again during the Cawblade era. I believe since that time, the only period of time where a deck was just crazy dominant was when Delver got popular. And it's been like 2 years since then and we haven't had a deck represent more than 40$ of the field in that time. I don't know if it's Wotc has gotten much better at balancing sets or if the popularity of SCGs and GPs and other pro level tournaments and the access that regular magic players have to results and decklists now. I'm thinking it's a combination of the 2. Because I think we're seeing people react quicker to changing metagames. Banishing Light came out, and it seemed like next week B/g devotion was a deck with Golgari Charm and Abrupt Decay to kill off Banishing Light and Detention Sphere.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on SCG Open: Providence
    Quote from IronPlushy »

    Hmmm 4 complaints about competitive decks and the guy trashing planar cleansing, apparently I wasn't just imagining things and can read unlike the people replying to my post. Like seriously what do you guys want from standard? It's just an endless complaints about literally every aspect of every deck. Ehhhh aggro decks you just turn creatures sideways. Ehhhhh revelation durdle. Ehhhh thoughtseize into pack rat. Ehhhh caryatid into courser. What on god's earth do you want from this game. There were 11 different archetypes in the top 16 and yeah that boils down to 3 different core strategies like every standard open in the past several years. We have aggro, control, and midrange and their hybrids, like seriously wtf do people want? Play a competitive deck if you want to win. If all you do is complain about the metgame you either A. don't play a competitive deck or B. aren't very good at the game. It's not the metagame's fault you can't win, it can only ever be your fault. If the metagame is so predictable, why are you unable to capitalize on it?

    Or, you can stop being such a immature kid. People have the right to critique Standard if they so choose. If you don't like it, then that's your problem.



    I personally think people have a right to critique standard (obviously be nice and respectful about it no matter your opinion). And similarly, people have a right to say "I think the people critiquing standard should pick a competitive deck instead of complaining about the lack of a specific archetype in the metagame". Don't call people bad magic players, or ignorant or whatever.

    Now... there's been a lot of borderline flaming posts, and things seem to start getting heated. I've already given out two cards for earlier posts. I'm usually more lenient than other mods about what I give to a warning for, but after this post and until things cool down in this thread I'm going to be a lot less lenient about what I give a card for.

    You guys can still discuss the topic. But again, just be respectful about it.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on U/G Control Ramp Deck here.
    Seeing as you are new here, I wanted to inform you of a few issues with your post:
    1) You posted a decklist thread in the main Standard Forum, we like for people to post those kinds of threads in Standard Deck Creation
    2) You posted a link to your decklist. We prefer that people use deck tags. It's basically formatting the deck to look like mtgdeckbuilder but they don't have to click a link to see it. That should make it much more likely for someone to comment on the thread and give you advice. I'll edit the deck tag into your post.
    3) Ok, I just looked at the list and most of that isn't Standard


    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Does Standard finally have a diverse meta?
    Quote from Azure Hughes »
    Maybe my local playerbase sucks it harder than a black hole but at one LGS i played a 16 man standard tonight and saw NOTHING but boros burn, red devo and black devo with splash green for abrupt decay. and one guy had 4 color goodstuff.dec (WBGR) as a UW control player its not even worth paying into a tournament right now.

    At the other of my LGS' stores the "midrange" strategy is prevalent, midrange being a fancy word for "screw strategy, i spend more money" these decks come in junk jund and bant but they are all the same, spam planeswalkers and money creatures until you win. its the most mindless deck possible but it wins because its the most expensive, therefore the one WOTC wants to encourage use of.


    You have a point on the "expensive" aspect. But I disagree on "mindless". Any deck can be considered mindless if you make it sound like they don't have to think about what spells they are casting and can literally cast any spells in any order and win games. Sure, if you've stabilized against aggro, the game does kind of turn into "cast kill spell on your creature, go". But the turns that lead up to that point are filled with choices.

    Here are a couple of scenarios that demonstrate the deck not being mindless:

    Situation 1: Say I'm playing a Junk midrange deck against GR monsters. And my hand is some number of cards with 2 removal spells. One being Banishing Light and the other being Doom Blade and my opponent just played Courser of Kruphix. That's a card I have to deal with or it will generate a ton of card advantage for him. But which removal spell should I use? One of the cards can be played at sorcery speed, so you would think the smart idea is to play the Banishing Light first so you have the instant speed trick to use. However, Banishing Light hits Planeswalkers, which this deck usually runs at least Domri Rade, so playing the instant and saving the card that hits everything might be better right? But we're forgetting that GR also might be playing Mutavault and Stormbreath Dragon, which Banishing Light isn't hitting. There isn't a right answer, the correct play is probably going to depend on what else is your hand and what else is in play. Using critical thinking here might help you figure out which might be the slightly better choice because sometimes if you choose wrong and allow them to stick a card that generates card advantage without killing it ASAP, that's the game right there.

    Situation 2: Same decks, Junk Midrange vs GR monsters. But now it's late in the game, you are both in top deck mode. You draw a Hero's Downfall, your opponent plays Courser of Kruphix. And you are about ready to kill it when you see the top card of his library is Domri Rade. You can only kill one of them. And it's a similar situation as the above hypothetical where the issue is allowing your opponent to generate card advantage if you allow one of those cards to stay on the table for too long. This time you don't have a choice, one of them is definitely going to stay, and you have to topdeck an answer for it. So you have to figure out which of these cards has more answers you can topdeck into. Domri can't be hit by a lot of removal spells, but can be hit by creatures. Courser can only be destroyed with removal. But it could get even more complicated than that because maybe some of the creatures you could draw to answer Domri are things that are easily blocked or can be hit by his removal. You could consider Mutavault an answer to Domri, but he could reveal/play a Sylvan Caryatid and block it forever. Again... it's something where there isn't always a right answer and sometimes making the right call is the difference between winning and losing.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on I would like to see more blocks like RTR
    I'm hoping this thread doesn't devolve into "RTR block was bad because of X" because there is already a thread talking about that.

    Having said that. I think there is something to be said for any block, or any standard format in general, where there are multiple playable archetypes. Inn/Rtr standard was remembered as a midrange heavy format. It wasn't literally all the same deck. Between different matchups you'd have a deck that played the role of a control deck trying to grind out card advantage and a deck trying to win before the other guy stabilized. Just because a deck doesn't play counterspells or wraths doesn't mean it can't have control tendencies.

    I think the current standard does a lot of that as well. There were a few months when the top 3 decks made up 80-90% of the metagame, which can make for a boring format if you don't like one of those decks... but recently if you look up what decks are winning tournaments it's a mixed bag. Control is still there, mono black and mono blue devotion is still there, G/x beatdown is there. But now we're seeing burn, the return of 2 and 3 color midrange decks, different flavors of aggro. It feels like you can show up to major tournaments with a lot of different decks and stand a decent shot at winning.




    Posted in: Standard Archives
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    posted a message on Can't figure out where to play Pack Rat.
    So I've been running BW midrange the past couple of months. Here's my list compared to yours:

    Maindeck
    + 1 Demon
    + 4 Pack Rat
    + 1 Elspeth
    + 2 Lifebane Zombie (should be 3, I need to get a 3rd)
    + 1 Blood Baron
    + 1 Doomblade
    + 2 Devour Flesh
    + 2 Read the Bones (trying it out)
    + 4 Mutavault
    26 lands

    -2 Underworld Connections (I like 2 in the main, 1 side)
    -1 Whip
    -1 Obzedat
    -4 Nightvale Specter
    -3 Grey Merchant
    -1 Banishing Light (again, 2 main 1 side)
    -2 Bile Blight (1 main, 1 side)

    Now the first thing I want to say is I don't consider my list to be any better than yours. We're talking about two different FNM metagames. At the end of the day, take what I say with a grain of salt and just keep playing and tweaking things and seeing what works for you. But I'll try to give you my perspective on the deck.

    So now let me talk about the changes. The biggest difference is the lack of Grey Merchants. I think if you are going full mono black, you won't be playing Blood Baron or Obzedat and so you'll have the full 4 Underworld Connections, Specter, a few Lifebanes and the full 4 Pack Rats which should make your Grey Merchants usually a 4 point drain. What you are essentially doing is taking a few Pack Rats or Lifebanes out and replacing them with Blood Barons or Obzedats, so your turn 5 Grey Merchants won't be for as much on average.

    But the main reason I like taking them out is because suddenly you don't have to really worry about having a ton of cards that generate Devotion. The two biggest things I took out were Nightvale Specter and Underworld Connections. Now, Connections is a good card, but it's at it's best against control and mostly a devotion builder against aggro. If your meta is mostly aggro decks, that's one thing I might consider dropping. Nightvale Specter is a similar case. It's best against control and the mirror, although it's solid against aggro. I mostly don't play them just cause I didn't feel like springing for the cards and I haven't regretted that decision.

    Then you have Whip. Again, it's a much better card against control/midrange than aggro. Probably worth it when playing Grey Merchant, but now you have less reason to play it.

    Then the only other noticable differences are the removal spells. It's basically less Bile Blights and more Devour Fleshes. I can't say for sure which is better in your meta. Bile Blight is pretty good against aggro, Devour Flesh I have in the deck against stuff like Blood Baron mostly but it can slow down an aggro rush as well.

    I play 26 lands, the main reason being that the existence of Pack Rat allows you to get to 6 lands and then hold the rest in your hand, and then if the game has sort of stalled out, top decking a pack rat actually turns him into a finisher. Although 25 isn't the worst thing... and you also don't play Mutavault so you won't have to worry about losing lands in combat as often.

    But at the end of the day, the best thing to do is just keep trying new things and figuring out what works and what doesn't. The best skill you can learn as a magic player is to be able to analyze a game and figure out why you lost.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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