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The Magic Market Index for Jan 12, 2018
 
Treasure Cruisin' Tempered Steel
 
The Magic Market Index for Jan 5, 2018
  • posted a message on Mill combo in standard
    It's certainly on the high side, though not impossible.

    Ironically, the previous infinite combo required 6 mana (instead of just 5) to go off on the same turn. The only real downside that I see with this strategy is that the fish is vulnerable for the turn unless you use a red haste-enabler. This combination may be necessary to dodge that new sorcery-speed "walk the plank"... though this fish tanks through the majority of popular kill spells at the moment.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Mill combo in standard
    UR is probably the direction to go.

    If you wanted to go a bit crazy, though, you could look into UG. A bit of Mana acceleration might help us get that kill on turn 5 as well. Plus, we'd have access to Prowling Serpopard to protect our fish against counterspells and... and... Pfahahahaha! Couldn't type that out with a straight face.

    Might actually be interested in UB, however. If milling is a major theme, throwing in ipnu rivulet with a few deserts and The Scarab God might represent a possible plan B if you can't draw a fish or a combo piece dies.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Mill combo in standard
    This guy makes it work (and rounding up means that it is always an instant win).

    Turn 6 combo that suddenly wins like good old Copy Cat. While the two aren't really comparable (long live copycat!), there are some small pluses here.

    1. This guy ignores Abrade, Fatal Push, Hour of Devastation and many of the more dangerous kill spells from ages past (dismember, Kozilek's Return, etc.). While you have to leave this guy vulnerable for a turn, the big butt is real.
    2. There is no enchantment equivalent for Abrade. The best enchantment destruction that I can think of in standard at the moment is... um... Fragmentize. Comparing Fraying Sanity to Saheeli Rai, the curse has a bit more staying power.
    3. Not needing to force deck into three colors and strain mana base.

    Also, can we agree right now to call this archetype "sanity swallower"? It fits sooo well.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    My view toward the "unblockable" equipment mirrors my view toward enlightened tutor.

    While it seems counterintuitive, it is possible for a "slow" card to fit into the curve of a fast deck without slowing it down.

    When you are facing a deck that spits out chump blockers (like Edgar Markov), you need reusable sources of evasion and mother of runes/rancor/flickering ward/gryff's boon might not be enough. The soup and boots come online around turn 3-4 and help you ignore chump blockers for the rest of the game. Even against midrange decks, these equipment come online when your opponent starts dropping blockers

    Replacing the soup with appeal//authority, however, is worth testing.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on brass man
    Just checked gatherer. The actual ability was changed to be triggered at the beginning of your upkeep to stop that kind of shenanigans.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    I just want to put things into perspective for a moment on the topic of buffs.

    The all-in strategy works very quickly when it isn't stopped. Even if you only attack with a single creature for the whole game, you can win with 4 attacks. The beats in this deck are so good, however, that smaller 1-time buffs give diminished returns. Also, buff spells like mutagenic growth are half as effective as they would be in infect decks (if that even needs saying).

    Above that, however, we have to concern ourselves with prioritizing buff spells. Even if you think that giant growth = lightning bolt, we have a limited number of card slots that we can reasonably spend on buffs and a wide array of better spells worth considering first. Permanent buffs effectively multiply their bonuses with each attack and evasion is generally more important than a straight-up buff (if the opponent has a blocker, giant growth is considerably less useful than emerge unscathed in getting damage through quickly).

    Also, I misspoke regarding titanic growth. I got it confused with phytoburst, which does cut a full turn off of our clock.

    Cards that I would Prioritize above Giant Growth
    1. Rancor (evasion, speeds the clock, hard to kill)
    2. Flickering Ward (Evasion, Protection, hard to kill)
    3. Gryff's Boon (Evasion, hard to kill)
    4. Emerge Unscathed (Evasion x2 and surprise protection for the first use)
    5. Berserk (Evasion and enough extra damage to speed the clock)
    6. Gods Willing (evasion/protection)
    7. Brave the Elements (evasion/protection)
    8. Faith's Shield (evasion/protection and can protect our winter orb or other noncreature permanents)
    9. Apostle's Blessing (evasion/protection and works against artifact decks)
    10. Center Soul (Strictly-worse Emerged unscathed still offers protection and gets us through for 2 attacks)
    11. Bonesplitter (speeds the clock, resists creature kill)
    12. Umezawa's Jitte (Speeds the clock, kills blockers)
    13. Mother of Runes (protection + evasion)
    14. Phytoburst (speeds the clock)
    15. Hot Soup (unblockability, resists creature kill)
    16. Trailblazer's Boots (unblockability, resists creature kill)
    17. Blessings of the Hunt (speeds up the clock)
    18. Revengee of the Hunted (speeds up the clock)
    19. Vines of Vastwood (protection and buff)
    20. Blossoming Defense (protection and buff)

    Even sub-par auras like ordeal of nylea would be able to speed up the clock by a turn with more efficiency than giant growth. While many of those options don't grant a direct power boost, the ability to stay on track with the 5-turn clock is very important and taking out evasion to get a "lightning bolt" seems a bit self-defeating. Not saying that Giant Growth is "bad". Just that this deck has better options.

    Edit: Actually, we might not need Vines of Vastwood or blossoming defense as they do comparatively little. makes some room for phytoburst/center soul/revenge of the hunted/blessings of the hunt.

    Edit: Curious to see what the decklist would look like for a deck with no concept of "plan b". 100% Pure aggression decklist looks like...

    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures (33)
    1 Sacred Cat
    1 Wily Bandar
    1 Glittering Lynx
    1 Scythe Leopard
    1 Steppe Lynx
    1 Loam Lion
    1 Wild Nacatl
    1 Pouncing Jaguar
    1 Jungle Lion
    1 Savannah Lions
    1 Mother of Runes
    1 Ulvenwald Tracker
    2 Oreskos Swiftclaw
    2 Lost Leonin
    2 Blade of the Sixth Pride
    2 Initiate's Companion
    2 Scrounging Bandar
    2 Fleecemane Lion
    2 Adorned Pouncer
    2 Leonin Arbiter
    2 Leonin Relic-warder
    2 Leonin Snarecaster
    2 Metallic Mimic
    2 Leonin Skyhunter
    2 Qasali Pridemage
    2 Imposing Sovereign
    3 Rhonas the Indomitable
    3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
    3 Pride Sovereign
    3 Skyhunter Skirmisher
    3 Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
    3 Elvish Spirit Guide
    5 Arahbo, Roar of the World

    Enchantments (7)
    1 Flickering Ward
    1 Rancor
    1 Gryff's Boon
    1 Hyena Umbra
    1 Spider Umbra
    1 Oppressive Rays
    2 Sylvan Library
    3 Aura Shards

    Instant (12)
    1 Emerge Unscathed
    1 Brave the Elements
    1 Faith's Shield
    1 Apostle's Blessing
    1 Berserk
    1 Natural State
    1 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Path to Exile
    2 Center Soul
    2 Dromoka's Command
    2 Selesnya Charm

    Sorceries (4)
    2 Life's Legacy
    2 Phytoburst
    4 Cataclysm
    4 Armageddon

    Artifacts (7)
    1 Bonesplitter
    1 Hot Soup
    2 Trailblazer's Boots
    2 Swiftfoot Boots
    2 Winter Orb
    2 Umezawa's Jitte
    3 Static Orb

    Lands (36)
    1 Marsh Flats
    1 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Misty Rainforest
    1 Flooded Strand
    1 Wooded Foothills
    1 Windswept Heath
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Savannah
    1 Sunpetal Grove
    1 Fortified Village
    1 Brushland
    1 Razorvine Thicket
    1 Horizon Canopy
    1 Cavern of Souls
    1 Command Tower
    1 City of Brass
    1 Mana Confluence
    1 Gemstone Caverns
    1 Wooded Bastion
    1 Hashep Oasis
    1 Pendelhaven
    8 Plains
    6 Forest






    This deck is built around winning by turn 6 (or, more realistically, turn 7). If you get a good creature, you can win by turn 5. When the circumstances align properly, you can pull out a win on turn 4. Before discussing specific cards at length, I just wanted to go over what lines of play lead to clocks of different length and how buffs fit into this. The following clocks are based on best-case scenarios, though they don't account for support.

    • Drop a 1/1 on turn 1 (other than wild nacatl or loam lion): Win on turn six. A one-time buff of +4 power reduces this to turn 5. A persistent +1 power boost by turn 2 or +2 power boost by turn 3 likewise reduces this to turn 5.
    • Drop a creature with 2 power on turn 1 (or wild nacatl or loam lion): Win on turn five. A one-time buff of +5 power reduces this to turn 4. A persistent +2 power boost by turn 2 reduces this to turn 4.
    • Drop a creature with 2 power on turn 2: Win on turn 6. A one-time buff of +5 power reduces this to turn 4. A persistent +2 power boost by turn 2 reduces this to turn 4.
    • Drop a creature with 3 power on turn 2: Win on turn 6. A one-time buff of +2 power reduces this to turn 5. A persistent +1 power boost by turn 4 reduces this to turn 5.
    Important Note: If you can't draw into any buffs, your leonin arbiter and fleecemane lion will kill your target with equal speed. As such, we are a bit more free in including 2-drop cats that don't break the mana curve.

    Cards Cut Out:
    Mirror Entity: While the plan-B is tempting, getting enough cats and mana to justify its use is somewhat unlikely for this deck. Likewise, any attempt to set up for this card leaves us open to mass destruction.
    Stoneforged Mystic/Survival of the Fittest/Steelshaper's Gift/Green Sun's Zenith/Open the Armory/Worldly Tutor: Removing most of the tutors to focus on what counts. Our artifacts and enchantments are (barely) toolbox-ish enough to warrant keeping Enlightened Tutor (and can fetch auras/equipment to keep us unblocked or to speed up our clock), however.

    Cards Put In
    Imposing Sovereign: While I played around with the idea of putting in Thalia, heretic cathar, it makes more sense to use the cheaper version when your goal is to keep your opponent without blockers for one additional turn..
    Hyena Umbra/Spider Umbra: After doing all of the math, I was surprised to learn that a +1 bonus is enough to speed up the clock in some situations. Plus, protection spells that don't require you to keep untapped mana are very useful (especially as they let you reserve "protection" spells for attacks).
    Phytoburst: Unlike giant growth or vines of vastwood, this card is all but guaranteed to end the game a turn faster no matter what creature you play it on... assuming that the opponent doesn't kill that creature in response.
    Leonin Skyhunter: Should have been using it from the start.
    Lost Leonin: This card gives you a turn 4 win. Even if nothing else in the deck has infect, that sort of speed is hard to refuse.
    Scrounging Bandar:: The oddest new inclusion, though the math checks out. Perfectly capable of giving you the turn 6 win. If you transfer its counters to a 1/1 like wily bandar, you win one turn faster. Not much else to say.


    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    Ring of Kalonia is actually something I considered. I like the growth and evasion, though it would be one of the most expensive buffs in the entire deck.

    Cathedral of war I am torn on. I actually looked at several exalted cards other than the pridemage but an recurring boost needs to grant a +2 bonus to speed up the clock. Plus,the cathedral is pretty bad for mana as it comes out tapped in a fast deck and provides colorless in a two-color deck with a very low curve.

    Titsnic growth can definitely work. Forgot about that card. Just this morning, however, I was thinking of miracle. While using miracle cards in the 99 is always a gamble, both blessings of nature and revenge of the hunted have the potential to speed up the clock for one mana... especially if we are still running mirri's guile and sylvan library.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    Quote from 3drinks ยป
    Like Modern Infect, it's high-risk, high-reward. They either have the answer, or not.


    I guess that I can understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, there's a huge difference between this cat deck and modern infect that impacts the usefulness of Might of Old Krosa. Namely, the clock. In an average infect deck, throwing a Might on a Blighted Agent or Glistener Elf means bringing your opponent several turns closer to death if your gambit pays off.

    For cats, however, that math doesn't quite add up.
    Let's say that we Drop Savannah Lions (or some comparable cat) on turn 1. If our opponent can't kill or block the cat, we win on turn 5 (15 life on turn 2, 10 life on turn 3, 5 life on turn 4, and 0 life on turn 5).

    If we use Rancor or Bonesplitter, the persistent boost of +2 power allows us to win on turn 4 instead (13 Life on turn 2, 6 life on turn 3, and -1 life on turn 4).

    If we get a single bonus from Might of Old Krosa, however, we are still on the same turn 5 clock (11 life on turn 2, 6 life on turn 3, 1 life on turn 4, and -4 life on turn 5). It doesn't kill the opponent even one turn faster without additional support.

    While it is true that the boost gives our opponent less wiggle room and makes it easier for secondary attackers to matter, this deck gets far less utility out of Might than Infect does. For a buff to be worthwhile in this deck, I'd personally think that it needs to be cheap (cutting out the invocation) and must either protect the creature, help damage sneak through, or grant a bonus of at least +5 power.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Responding to weak playgroups
    A good question.

    If you get to talk with a new playgroup before starting a game, you may learn things about a group's playstyle (such as not liking kill spells or finding 6-card infinite combos to be overwhelming) to be indicative of poor players. In many cases, however, the first impressions of power level that you can get from a commander group come from the decks that the group uses (or attempt to use).

    To be clear: I do not mean to offend anyone with the use of "weak" instead of "lower power level". Many factors can fit into card selection and not all decks are built with the same intentions. With that said, discussion of "tiers" among commanders are generally intelligible. Whether you are playing a casual group hug deck or spike down to the core, many players understand that an optimized Riku of Two Reflections or Yisan, the Wanderer Bard deck is a bit more scary than one piloted by Seshiro the Anointed. While there is no guarantee of optimized builds or play styles, a player can "read a book by its cover" to get a general gauge of potential power (especially if every commander is similarly powerful or inefficient).

    I was just curious if players would rather "set the bar" in the name of playing their favorite decks and strategies (which they may have spent years and thousands of dollars assembling), adapt to the local culture of the unknown playgroup (to respect the desired power level of the people who allowed you to join), or work towards some form of compromise in the middle.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Responding to weak playgroups
    I have only recently gained awareness into the depths of the divide between "casual" and "competitive" players in Commander.

    To be clear, this thread is not intended to ask whether the player with stronger decks has any "responsibility" to make sure the group has fun. Likewise, this thread is not about insulting players who go at full force and calling them jerks for doing so. Instead, I'm interested in seeing how players respond to a simple scenario.

    The Scenario:
    • You are travelling to a new LGS to play commander. The group welcomes you in and pulls out their decks to reveal such "thrilling" commanders as Kodama of the South Tree, Skeleton Ship, and Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran.
    • You have no reason to suspect that these commanders were chosen to be ironic or to lull you into a state of security.
    • You do not know these individuals and have no emotional attachment to them beyond whatever courtesy you'd extend to any fellow gamer, though you might end up seeing or playing them again if you don't dismiss them out of hand.
    • This game has no stakes and there is no prize for winning.

    What do you do?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    Not a fan of Might of Old Krosa, surprisingly. Generally, you may want to save your combat tricks until after Arahbo buffs your dude so that your opponent can't just respond with a lightning bolt and 2-1 you.

    I like Vines of Vastwood, Blossoming Defense, and any combination of the white 1 drops that grant protection. The first two can actually act as buff spells, the protection spells can help you slip past blockers, and all of these can blank an opponent's kill spell if they cast one in response to Arahbo's trigger.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Upcoming sets will be Vikings and/or Western
    ...Western-themed, huh? Honestly, I have a hard time imagining that.

    Not because of mechanical considerations, mind you. I can imagine using an inverse-vehicle/pseudo-licid ability for Mounts. I can imagine using tribes of centaurs as native american stand-ins. I can even imagine Wizards bringing back the clash mechanic to represent quick-draw skills on gunslingers.

    What I can't imagine is what Western-world would look like. Most Westerns that I am familiar with deal with the personal stories of one or a few individuals (or a small township at most) and the general aesthetic tends toward small communities surrounded by wilderness. Most magic stories, meanwhile, involve sprawling set-pieces and world-shaking problems. While it might work, you'd have to bend over backwards for a western feel to carry over...

    ...For example, a world that is largely devastated by generic evil force (magic corruption/demons/zombies/etc.) with all of human civilization contained within a network of tiny communities protected by magical barriers (like Amonkhet's Hekma). The only creatures to travel between these communities (to communicate, exchange supplies, etc) are the mounted and well-armed gunslingers of the plane. A single posse of bandits (all of the evil legends required by the set) have been subverted by an evil force from another plane (such as Bolas or a representative who is exchanging advanced firearms for loyal service) to claim an artifact protected by centaurs (who are also at war with the gunslingers) that will either grant control over the generic evil force or destroy the final human settlements.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    My reasoning is that it is possible to play the tutors without setting back your clock because of how cheap they are. If you use rancor/gryff's boon/flickering ward/oppressive rays/natural state/path of exile/swords to plowshares/a 1-drop cat/saving mana for a trick like emerged unscathed on turn 2 (or just drop a 2-drop cat on turn 3), you can still have one mana open for a tutor while still working towards the turn 5-6 win (the difference between a leonin arbiter and a jungle lion may be limited in many games, for example).

    Meanwhile, Collected Company gets you cats that can attack on turn 5 while Ranger of Eos gets you cats that can attack on turn 6... assuming that you get enough mana in a deck with a very low curve and no acceleration. These cards are useful for coming back if all of our cats are killed... but that is kind of the problem. Arahbo, or at least hyper-aggressive Arahbo, doesn't seem equipped to survive into any sort of mid-game or late-game. If your opponent stabilized and start casting bigger creatures, we start losing the race (as we can only buff one cat each round).

    As such, playing cards to help us in the mid-game or late-game seems a bit counter-intuitive to me whereas playing tutors that can slip easily into early-game plays makes sense to me. Am I being a bit too pessimistic here? Does this deck have a chance going for plan b?

    ...and now I'm left wondering if we should invest in elvish spirit guide for the possibility of more resilient starts (2 cats or cat + god's willing mana).

    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    My bad on the divining top. I still get 1-vs-1 mixed up with multiplayer at times. Sweat

    As far as the equipment, I stand behind the boots (which protect your dude and allow you to keep up tempo if your dude dies), the bonesplitter (As casting and equipping on turn 2 can legitimately shave a full turn off of the clock) and either the soup or Trailblazer's Boots for reusable unblockability that doesn't block Arahbo.

    I'm kind of agnostic on the topic of tutors, I'll admit. Of those in the list above, my primary interests are:
    Green Sun's Zenith: basically a creature (even if you pay more for it)
    Survival of the Fittest: REALLY should've been banned but might allow us to grab Mother of Runes, Ulvenwald Tracker, Qasali Pridemage, Leonin Relic-warder, Selfless Spirit, or Heretic Cathar/Imposing Sovereign to slow blockers. While this is not a deck of silver bullets, the ability to grab what few answers we do have is still important.
    Worldly Tutor: While speed and utility are far lower than SotF, I can imagine a surprising number of scenarios in which you would not want to drop a 2-drop on turn 2 with this deck (such as throwing down an aura or saving mana for a trick) and a huge number where you have a free mana by turn 3. In those cases, using your spare mana to ensure that you get a worthwhile draw next turn can be a life-saver.
    Enlightened Tutor: If we end our third turn with a Rancor-loaded kitty and a Winter Orb or Static Orb, we are in a VERY good place. Enlightened tutor helps to make that possible.

    But yeah, we have a bunch of protective cards: Heroic Intervention, Selfless Spirit, Blossoming Defense, Vines of Vastwood, Brave the Elements, Faith's Shield, Gods Willing, Apostle's Blessing all work as protection.

    Honestly, Arahbo feels like a pretty odd deck. It doesn't really want or need more than two creatures on the field at any given point (one that won't have summoning sickness if the other is killed) and wants to win the game by turn 5 or 6 (if I'm reading it's gameplan accurately). For that reason, Collected Company and Ranger of Eos seem a bit odd as inclusions. If you can afford the tempo break to play that spell on turn 4 and NEED that spell, you are in a very bad place. Not saying that those are bad cards for the deck. Just interested in hearing how they would realistically slot into play.

    I don't know, though. Maybe I'm still living in magical-christmas-land. If so, one of you smack some sense into me.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Looking to make the most annoying deck possible
    What if I were to tell you about a deck that trolls all of your opponents to oblivion?
    What if I were to tell you that you can replace the libraries of your opponents with brand new libraries of your design?
    What if this deck could literally transform storm crow into a god before transforming yourself into a dungeon master?
    What if this deck was incredibly cheap to build?

    Go in peace, my friend

    And the original, 5-color version
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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