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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from motleyslayer »
    been really out of the format the past 6 months, why is dark confidant so high? he's $60 on face to face games. I'm moving mine since I don't use them and at this price, I'll move them for the forces I need

    Wise decision. Bob is being played in some of the 5c Humans lists, so that along with the fact that he wasn't reprinted in MM17 or IMA has boosted his stock at the moment. Unless you need them, I'd definitely sell out of Bob prior to MM25 set spoilers. Bob, Thalia, Karn, & Hierarch are on my short list of cards that may show up in MM25. I sold my last few playsets of Thalia, Bob, & Karn a few days ago; I'll certainly curse myself if Karn is a no-show in MM25, but the Modern market has been sailing through a ****storm of reprints and the best course of action imo is liquidating all high-end staples that I either have extras of or don't plan to use in future decks.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] RG Ponza / Modern Land Destruction
    My list was the standard 21 lands, 4 elf, 4 sprawl, 2 birds, 4 moon, 4 stone rain 2 beast within.
    2 huntmaster
    2 pia and kiran
    2 haz dog
    3 tracker
    3 courser
    1 wurmcoil
    3 stormbae
    1 scooze
    2 chandra

    I cut 2 inferno titan, a primal command and 2 baloths.

    Hazoret the Fervent? I must've missed the memo saying she was a part of the standard Ponza list...
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from AppleRobot »
    The price in UST lands seems to be fluctiating from 0.90-1.5 for non islands in mkm, looks like it's still going to take a while for the prices to settle.
    Quote from Daeyel »
    I feel as Wizards made a mistake on the foil lands. They are way too hard to come by. I'm beginning the long slow process of foiling out all my commander decks, starting with foil full art lands. Problem is, I don't like any of the BFZ or HOU islands, which leaves me the Unhinged island or the Unstable island. I'm not going to pay $70 per island, and honestly, who is? Maybe for Modern, where you run 1 or 2 lands, but really, foil pimping is for commander, and I am hard pressed to see anyone paying that much for these.
    Please do keep your salt away from financial threads, if the lands are priced that way it's because people are willing to pay that amount. I don't see how something commander related belongs in a modern thread.

    Preach. Bitching about supply and demand is almost as pointless as "pimping out" a deck when you're reluctant to spend money. Regardless, there are reports coming in from players/stores who've been opening Unstable boxes where all 36 boosters contain the same foil basic land. Waiting on a live box opening video showing proof before I start claiming it as fact, but it's only been a few days since release, so I'd imagine one will be uploaded sooner than later. I doubt it'd enough to significantly impact the cost of full art foils in the short-term, but if true, it sure as hell will impact the amount of product opened/entering the market.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from thatmarkguy »
    Quote from Joban8 »
    Unstable was released literally two days ago...the prices will undoubtedly drop. Foil prices may vary depending on how common they are, but the non-foils won't get more expensive than they are during release weekend.

    In regards to getting a steamflogger instead of a land, I haven't heard that claim, so not sure about that one. I opened three boosters for *****s n gigs and every pack had the same contents after your commons, uncommons, rare: Full art land, two contraptions, foil token (assuming this slot could also be a foil land).

    The Steamflogger Boss is on the land sheet. People who open a Steamflogger Boss are opening it in the land slot and not opening a land. What I don't know is the probability of a land being 'replaced' with a Steamflogger Boss. But it is definitely, confirmed, nonzero.

    Well that's a bit irritating.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Unstable was released literally two days ago...the prices will undoubtedly drop. Foil prices may vary depending on how common they are, but the non-foils won't get more expensive than they are during release weekend.

    In regards to getting a steamflogger instead of a land, I haven't heard that claim, so not sure about that one. I opened three boosters for *****s n gigs and every pack had the same contents after your commons, uncommons, rare: Full art land, two contraptions, foil token (assuming this slot could also be a foil land).
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    How low do you all think Grove of the Burnwillows from Iconic Masters will go?

    I see copies on ebay as low as $10.99 a piece, where it was closer to $13 a couple of weeks ago. Will it go sub $10 American Dollars? Its not in demand right now and this is how I like to pick up certain cards when they bottom out. Have we reached bottom yet or give it a couple more weeks?

    Considering the fact that boxes continue to drop in value, w/ current lowest BIN eBay price being ~$143, I think Burnwillows will surely continue its downward trajectory. I'd actually keep an eye on the foils to see when they bottom out, because ATM the foil multiplier on IMA copies is only x1.5
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Christine Sprankle and Harassment in the MTG Community
    Quote from itachiitachi »

    I also want to point out the Irony the many of the people who are in the "words hurt" category are the same people who don't bat an eye at calling people nazis, altright, misogynist, racists and other deliberate mischareteraztions.

    ....Right? What planet do you come from where people who are marching in the streets, wielding symbolic torches, and calling for white supremacy aren't neo-Nazis? The "words hurt" folks didn't magically invent the phrase, "alt=right"; that was the handiwork of prominent white supremacist, Richard Spencer, who coined the term to disguise overt-racism, white nationalism, and neo-Nazism.

    It's ***** like this that proves how detrimental the two-party system is to the U.S. Anybody who blindly labels conservatives as Nazis are morons. The same goes for people who blindly label progressives as communists. These are the people who regurgitate everything they hear from FOX News and MSNBC. However, if you sympathize with people who self-identify as a white supremacist/neo-Nazi, how else do you expect to be perceived? If you're caught on-tape conversing with Billy Bush about grabbing women by the genitals, how else should you be perceived? If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck. Or a self-hating Goose...
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Christine Sprankle and Harassment in the MTG Community
    Quote from RxPhantom »
    Jeremy's an irrelevant parody of himself at this point, and I was finished giving him clicks/views a few days ago. He's made his bed, and it won't be long before he's forced to lie in it. Good riddance.

    Agreed. I stumbled upon his channel maybe three years ago when he was doing fat pack opening videos; back then he portrayed himself as a decent human being who was all about the MTG community, going so far as to create an app to bring gamers together. Once that dumpster fire of a project failed, he had a hissy fit and learned he could get more clicks by stirring the ***** pot, flaming WotC and other Youtube personalities. That's when I stopped paying attention to him. I honestly thought he just stopped making videos until this *****storm occurred; after watching/reading his toxic rhetoric in regards to the matter, he's clearly an insecure *****bird who holds grudges and just doubles down on his vile behavior anytime he's criticized.

    If he didn't tyrannize Sprankle, he would've berated someone else, because that's what scumbag trolls do. Either that or he's mentally ill. There's no other explanation for how his behavior could go from mild to fanatical over the span of a few years. Now he's apparently pulling the vicim card saying he's received death threats and hate mail; although I do believe that kind of juvenile behavior is not only pathetic, but criminal, this piece of ***** has to deal with the same heat he's dishing out. Treating others how you'd like to be treated isn't a difficult concept. If someone makes the conscious decision to publicly broadcast provocative vitriol that caters to immature 13 year olds and cretins of the Interwebs, then they better be prepared to reap what they sow. A few pages back somebody mentioned the phrase, "sex sells", which is true, and unfortunately the same can be said about controversial rhetoric. Once this cluster**** subsides, all one can do is ignore the mouth-breather and deny him the attention. Let's just hope Fox News doesn't decide to add him as an anchor.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from Daeyel »
    WotC will have a day of reckoning for putting Iconic Masters in the big box retailers. I've purchased several from Walmart, and i need to explain to my LGS that this is not an indictment of them, I only did so because I get 10% off as an employee (and for the majority, a special 25% off as a one time opportunity). If I hadn't had the discount, I would not have bought any, anywhere.

    But I am a corner case, and LGS losing sales to, of all places, multibillion dollar corporations has to hurt, both the financial and the 'relationship' side. It's hard enough to stay afloat as an LGS, this will have them screaming uo their pipeline, it is very real money taken away from them.

    Expect a backlash from the game stores. I do not know what form it will take, but things have really been hard lately, with the change to prize structure at FNM, Iconic Masters being massively overprinted, and general set fatigue. We've had 2 masters sets in 9 months, and we have another 2 coming in the next 9 months. 4 masters sets in 18 months? Conspiracy, Commander Anthology, regular standard sets, Unstable, FTV (which, from all accounts, flopped hard) the flood is relentless.

    If I didn't know better, I would say WotC is going under. Decipher pulled a similar move when they lost the Star Wars license.

    But I still wonder. If they stopped Masters sets after M25, it would take the market 3 or more years to recover from just Iconic Masters. One can only imagine the damage M25 will do.

    Again, totally agree with the crux of your statement, but I don't think it's fair to point the blame solely at WotC for mass product printings and the like when many of these issues are out of their control. WotC develops and tests the product, but it's ultimately Hasbro who dictates how many units are produced, where they're manufactured, who gets to sell them, etc. I'm sure there are a handful of WotC employees who feel the same way and know that over-saturating the market with products isn't good for the game, but Hasbro calls the shots. WotC is essentially akin to a video game developer working under the umbrella of EA.

    MTG is Hasbro's bread & butter and, if WotC was "going under", Hasbro's market value wouldn't be surging over 5 years. Shareholders expect continuous growth on their investments, but those expectations aren't realistic. With shares hitting an all-time high this year, it seems more likely that Hasbro is demanding that more product be developed and placed on more store shelves to keep investors happy. This is obviously terrible for the health of the game, so let's hope they realize that before it's too late.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from Daeyel »
    The era of investing in Modern is over.

    You can still try it, but remember, we still have Masters 25 in the spring and Eternal Masters in the fall. You don't think Ensnaring Bridge, Crucible of Worlds and Engineered Explosives won't be reprinted?

    No one knows where the chips will fall, but I will say that Zen fetches will be reprinted at least once more, likely in Masters 25.

    The only safe place to put your money is in the three Masterpiece sets, Judge foils and the Reserve List.

    Some enterprising souls have begun to notice the foundation id increasingly being laid for a new format that will likely begin with Origins. Good money being dumped into that in anticipation of that announcement in 2 or 3 years. Cards like Tireless Tracker, Cryptolith Rite, and even Attune With Aether will be in demand.

    But Modern is dead as for investing or flipping. The expansion into Walmart tells me Wizards seriously wants to make Modern cheap for entry - or, they are liquidating all their equity in Modern before announcing a new format - and the 25th anniversary may be as good an opportunity as any. Modern will suffer with a new format being announced, but it will not endure Legacy type dwindling.

    I'm moving my money out of Modern into Masterpieces, RL and new format staples. I'd advise others to do likewise.

    I don't think this is news to anybody. Hasbro/WotC figured out how to profit off non-standard players with MM13 and they've gone loco with the reprints ever since. However, that is in no way an indictment on Modern or any format in particular, rather, it just cements the fact that sitting on expensive cards isn't safe unless they're in a deck or on the RL. If I had to guess, putting "premium" sets into big box stores was most likely more of a corporate decision by Hasbro in order to keep shareholders happy, shareholders who have no idea what the **** Modern is. IMA has as much Modern fodder as it does EDH, Legacy, Vintage, etc. Investing in Modern is certainly dead, but the format is far from it.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] G/W Auras (Bogle)
    Woooooo! Back up to Tier 2! Jam

    Quote from ashtangijimmy »
    Thanks for the great tips for moving forward, I really appreciate it! Could you just give me a quick list of the ideal manabase with that procedure of obtaining said cards? like, do I still keep the 2 wooded foothills if I get the fourth windswept? And it looks like most people play 4 canopys?

    And are there any preferred auras? Or is it all pretty much up to preferance at this point? are people using the white Cartouche?

    Also, saw some people talking about running glistener? Sounds like an awesome game 2 trick! what would you take out for it? A hexproof? spiritdancer? mixture of things?

    When I played before I wasn't super good, this deck is great at running itself, so I didn't really sideboard to play too intelligently, but that's kinda what I'm looking to change now.

    Again, thanks for all the help!

    This is the list I'm currently running; it's more/less representative of the typical Bogles build, however, there are notable exceptions:

    -Kor Spiritdancer: While she can often be an all-star and win games on her own, I generally opt to run only two copies (2:2 split w/ Ledgwalker) as opposed to the full set, because creature removal has only gotten better in Modern.
    -Glistener Elf: Two Elfs in the SB is a tactic I'll play around with every so often. In games 2/3, our opponent typically sides out the majority of targeted removal (sometimes all if you don't show Spiritdancer G1) and threatening w/ infect damage can throw them off balance and gives us another line of play.
    -Unflinching Courage: Although being an OG part of Red Duke's championship deck, and therefore the archetype, I cut them long ago in favor of more 1-2 cmc auras.
    -MB Leylines: This a pure meta call as lately I've encountered a metric ***** ton of decks running LotV, Blessed Alliance, hand disruption, etc. A full suite of Leylines has always been a staple in my SB, but having two in the main has saved my ass in many G1 situations. Chances of having it in an opening hand are obviously diminished G1, but it's a card that I'm often still happy to draw later and hard-cast.
    -Other SB Choices: Dissenter's Deliverance & Krosan Grip are essentially there to combat Chalice. Gaddock Teeg is still my favorite card in the SB and it's surprising how many players continue to get caught off guard by him. A second spirit link is there to sure up Burn and other matchups where life-gain hoses. Spellskite is a "new old addition"; I used to carry two in the SB when Infect was at its peak, but they were cut once Probe was banned. Due to the resurgence of Infect decks running around, I've decided to re-add a singleton to my SB. Some other notable SB options to consider are: Sorcerous Spyglass, various other artifact/enchantment hate (YMMV), Torpor Orb, etc.

    Answers to your questions:
    1. Yes, you'll want to run a minimum of six fetch lands; the cheapest route would be 4x Windswept Heath and then Wooded Foothills. The non-Windswept fetches can basically be anything that fetches G. Canopies used to be a luxury for the deck, but thanks to it getting a reprint in IMA, they can be had for a fraction of what they used to cost and dramatically reduce the deck's overall cost of entry. I personally believe that Canopy has yet to hit its bottom, but I strongly recommend you pick them up sooner than later as you can't run an optimal build without them.

    2. There aren't as many preferred auras as there are mandatory auras (Daybreak, Ethereal Armor, Rancor, & Umbras). These should almost always be ran as full sets, although some folks opt to run lesser amounts of one or both umbras. Personally, I run a play set of each of the aforementioned umbras which accounts for ~20 cards in the deck. After these auras, we typically have ~8-10 flex spots and those can be filled with whatever auras fill a need in your deck/meta. Spirit Link is great against Burn, Keen Sense is a card-draw options for budget builds/builds not running Canopies, Cartouche of Solidarity is fantastic (IMO) as it can't be stolen by a Spellskite and builds up our board with additional attackers, which can be sacked and save our Bogle from edict effects, Gryff's Boon is nice for getting over chump blockers, and Spirit Mantle is a personal favorite of mine that comes in handy during a number of scenarios.

    3. See above re: Glistener. It's definitely a neat trick that can net you some easy wins, but not a strategy that you can re-use every week somewhere like FNM.

    4. Re: Sideboarding - Stay tuned. A few of the active members of this thread are preparing to overhaul the Primer in the coming months in order to provide more relevant & recent information on the archetype. Sideboarding strategy and matchup analysis were two main areas discussed in regards to the updated Primer.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from bradstone »
    Picked up a copy of Horizon Canopy @ 30$ just in case the card ends up rebounding. I've noticed there's a pretty crazy demand for them in buy/sell groups that the supply doesn't seem to be keeping up with. Everyone wants them for 25~ but no one is giving them away for that.

    Picked up a playset on ebay for $100, but only because I play Bogles and I sold my FS canopies once IMA was spoiled. I thought Canopy was going to end up bottoming out ~$15, but that was before I learned IMA product can be purchased at big box stores. I don't mind paying more, so I can play now, but I'm still expecting it to crash in the coming weeks. This is very similar to how Goblin Guide's value shook out following the release of MM17; people were reluctant to sell the $40 card for less than they thought it was worth. Fast forward two months and MM17 copies were $10 a pop b/c it only sees play in Modern burn. IMO, it's a poor time to buy into most IMA reprints until the market settles; foils are the exception as they can often be found cheaper earlier on.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    Quote from VenatorPX2D »
    To introduce something not related to Iconic, does anyone have any idea why the price of Bitterblossom is so high. It feels rather overpriced. Granted that price memory is a thing but the card seems next to no play whatsoever, it's not exactly an EDH all star? Where's the demand coming from to cause it to gain $10 since its reprint?

    If I had to guess, I'd say price memory, iconic Rebecca Guay artwork, along with a limited supply. MM15 was printed more than MM13, but not as heavily as the Masters sets which followed; thus, its first printing in Morningtide & other "real" re-printing being at mythic in MM15 have helped keep it at a stable price. Right now TCGplayer only has ~173 LP/NM copies between both printings.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] RG Ponza / Modern Land Destruction
    Quote from frozencajun »
    Thragtusk is bad. Pia and Kiran are gods.

    You get 3 bodies, 2 of them fly, you can sac artifacts for damage as a mana sink or to control the board and mess with combat maths, and make tracker bigger. You can also block a deaths shadow 3 times.

    It is a decent card but it isn’t that great. Sure you get 4 power spread across 3 bodies, but beings that it will probably be your first threat it dies to most removal ran in the format which mean you paid 4 mana for 2 1/1 flyers with no chance to get in the extra damage because you tapped out. If the stance is you play it later so you have open mana to activate it the for 7 mana we have much better options which costs less.

    The scope is the format. The goal is utility.

    Yes, if your opponent kills it with a removal spell you 'only' have 2 thopters. That is 2 more thopters than a Baloth will leave you.
    It's a skill intensive card with huge utility, hence why the grinders and pros are using it and the 2-2 at fnm guys are still tring to windmill slam wurmcoils and thragtusks, trying to win with a single god tier threat, hoping to chug through.

    Play whatever 4 drops you want, but I highly recomend people who haven't tried it give it a go.

    Somebody should tell that to this scrub who took 1st at a PPTQ, this goofball, or this chump who top 8'd SCG Regionals in Philly....

    I'm a fan of P&K too, but I don't see what's accomplished by squashing discussion of the card with the reasoning essentially being "because everything else is just filthy-casual FNM trash" when recent tournament results suggest otherwise.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Magic products 25% off today at Target???
    Quote from Teysa_Karlov »

    The value in Iconic Masters is way better than MM2 or EM. Stop perpetuating that myth.

    I don't think it's that clear cut. A significant portion of IMA's value is derived from long-overdue reprints which, until the release of IMA, had inflated price-tags due to small initial print runs and a limited market supply. Horizon Canopy, Grove of the Burnwillows, Mana Drain, Ancestral Vision, Mishra's Bauble, Auriok Champion, Flusterstorm, Magus of the Moon, Glimpse the Unthinkable, and the Kamigawa dragons are almost all cards that had values inversely proportional to market supply. Therefore, what initially appears to be a value-laden set really is not once the reprints are injected into the market. Reprints like Aether Vial, Lorwyn-art Thoughtseize, Flusterstorm, & Cryptic Command [i]may[/i] be enough to prop up IMA's value over time, but that's nothing compared to the current EV of MM15, which has staples among the likes of Clique, Karn, Bob, Noble Hierarch, Eldrazi Temple, Goyf, Fulminator, Mox Opal, etc.

    The value of MM15 was a bit disappointing at first, but its EV continues to rise, because it's chalk full of Modern staples. IMA's initial value seems spectacular, but once a fraction of players pick up the formerly price-inflated cards which were necessary to play their fringe Modern decks, there's not much value to be had from IMA. Sure, Mana Drain is a really cool card to have, but something tells me there aren't a ton of players scrambling to pick them up so they can finally play it as a restricted card in their Vintage storm combo build. Maybe if a number of these cards don't see additonal reprints for an extended period of time (or if Soul Sisters takes the Pro Tour by storm...) then IMA will rebound, but I don't think there's enough information available to say one way or another that the set hands down contains more value than MM15 or EM.
    Posted in: Magic General
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