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The Magic Market Index for Oct 20, 2017
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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from BlueTronFTW »
    You gotta give me more than "would bring other things in its wake." This is why I'm always concerned about bans or unbans short of Eldrazi Winter situations - odds are nobody can accurately predict the full ripple effect.

    This is pretty true. When they announced the Gitaxian Probe ban, people claimed Death’s Shadow was dead and that Infect would be okay.

    Here we are much later and Death’s Shadow had already starting to evolve into a midrange deck and the Zoo-style version still puts up results now and again. Infect on the other hand? Well, Infect has done zilch since then. (Of course, the printing of Fatal Push also helped sway some of that as well).

    I also remember people clamoring about how great the Thopter-Sword combo was going to be, and how it was going to reshape control when Sword of the Meek entered Modern play. These days, people don’t even mess with that card outside of fringe brews because there are better, less fragile win-cons.

    Remember Ancestral Visions and how it would make Jund unplayable? Not so much. A combination of Death's Shadow being the seemingly better midrange deck and Eldrazi hanging out in the format pushed Jund out.

    People (myself included) generally use their own biases to overestimate and underestimate the impact that adding or removing a card from the cardpool will produce. WotC has a track record of being quite conservative with unbans. If we get unbans, I’d probably bet that it’s not going to make a huge impact on the format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from NZB2323 »
    BBE can whiff with a removal spell that doesn't hit or a discard spell when the opponent has no cards in hand. It can also hit a Bob or a thoughtseize against burn.

    Coco can be used to gain infinite life, deal infinite damage, make the opponent lose a bunch of life to win the game, hit 2 removal spells with a big game hunter and a reclamation mage, etc.

    I think BBE is a safe unban, but I’ve always found the argument that BBE can whiff inadequate because the situations in which BBE general whiffs are in situations where you’re already ahead (generally).

    Hitting a Terminate on an empty board sounds like you’ve successfully kept the board clean so that BBE can get in for some clean damage.

    Hitting a Thoughtseize when the opponent has no cards probably means you’ve already ripped apart their hand as it is. Having your opponent hellbent is exactly what a deck like Jund wants.

    Let’s not pretend that Bloodbraid Elf is some kind of weak draft chaff card that’s been sidelined for no reason. It’s true that CoCo can lead to some pretty big swings, but it can also whiff. A deck that uses Bloodbraid Elf will be designed to get the best use out of the cascade trigger, just like a deck running CoCo will be designed to most often hit business.

    BBE is about on par with CoCo. It has a bit more variance, but it can do stuff that’s equally as busted as CoCo. Should it still be on the banlist? Probably not. Is it some kind of innocent martyr that’s junk? No.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Collected Company Elves
    Quote from Psyqo »
    Quote from M4Bear »

    It's a land and a finishing spell all in one. Love the card, especially with push being the "removal card of choice" rather than Path these days.

    I have a quick question here - can't someone cast Fatal Push on the Ormendal creature since his CC is 0? I haven't played with DFC much which is why I'm confused. See here:

    Ormendahl is Indestructible, so Push can target it, but it does nothing to him.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Melkor »
    Quote from NZB2323 »
    Instead of bans, I want answers. Give us some unbans, counterspell, and better SB hate against Eldrazi.

    Answers are too strong for Standard. Not just Counterspell, any answers at all. StP would have been an absolute godsend for Standard the past two or so years, but in a recent article, it was singled out specifically as s card that will not return to the format while the current people work there. The fact that people had to be so excited for Walk the Plank, and Abrade as the best removal in a long time says a lot. D-rev was only in Theros, and Doom Blade was a CORE Set staple, but they have nerfed answers so hard even just since then....while unleashing vehicles and Lovecraftian monsters as threats that did more damage to the game than to Zendikar. Because 'your opponent having an answer to the thing you want to play isn't fun'

    This isn’t true. Look at Collective Brutality, Ceremonious Rejection, Kolaghan’s Command and Fatal Push. We’ve been getting new cards basically every block that have become all-stars in both mainboard and sideboard. It’d be nice if colors other than black got some love though. It does prove that they have the capability of printing cards that are great in Modern, but don’t break Standard in two.

    As far as StP, we already have Path to Exile. If they really want a one mana exile effect in white, they'd probably reprint that before bringing Swords to Plowshares into Standard. And having that AND Swords to Plowshares would be overkill in white for modern.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    Quote from Davidalb »
    Quote from oPoptartz »
    The only cards that you should cut for bolt if you want to play them are the 2 flex slots. Cutting anything more seems a little loose to me. Opt/Sleight vs. Bolt is more of a meta dependent thing and it's only like 2 slots so don't worry about it too much. I'm currently back on the bolt version and it's been fine.

    Also I notice the Shatterstorm in your side. How often are you able to cast the card? I cut anger from my side a while ago because I always hated having to look for double red, but more importantly how consistently are you able to hit 4 mana on 4?
    Edit: Just noticed you also have strands. If you are going to run double red spells then I would recommend adding a second Steam Vents for the situations that the only fetches you draw are Strands.

    Hey! I haven't seen many affinity decks in my lgs, so I haven't actually been able to cast it yet and am considering replacing it for something like rakdos charm. But from my experience with the deck, double red on turn 4 is rough.

    Can you share your version with bolts?
    Yesterday I was thinking about what to cut for opts and bolts and couldn't come to a conclusion. One of my thoughts was going down to 18 lands, leaving one slot.
    The other was kologhan's command, I currently run 2 and I think it's sometimes to slow and awkward when I have two of them in my hand.

    I've actually been running Rakdos Charm in the side for some time now. It's surprisingly good. It doubles as artifact removal and sneaky graveyard removal. Since Nihil Spellbomb is so expected at this point, people often get caught off guard by it. They play right into it thinking that they're in the clear, only to be blown out by instant speed grave removal.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Best Answer For Infect?
    Quote from ikariw »
    Isn't Solemnity the best card to stop infect?

    Solemnity does stop infect, but it's also a rather narrow card that's only effective against Infect, keeping a deck like Abzan company from comboing off.

    It's generally a better idea to place cards in your main deck and sideboard that have the largest number of applications against the most number of decks. For example, Back to Nature stops Bogles cold, but no one runs it. Why? Because it's a less broad application than say, Destructive Revelry, Natural State or Nature's Claim, which all hit problem enchantments and artifacts, or provide an added beneficial effect. (and also because Bogles is a fringe deck that you're not likely to encounter). You're more likely to run into problem artifacts than enchantments, but having a card that takes care of both provides more flexibility.

    The fact that Infect struggles with most targeting removal and it's great against a huge number of other decks, you might as well use those cards instead of Solemnity, which randomly hoses one particular deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Best Answer For Infect?
    Hate to break it to you, but Leeches have never been legal in Modern. The best way to not die to infect is to just take care of the creature that's trying to give them to you in the first place.

    Creature removal also works against a large portion of decks, so it's generally going to be a better strategy to deal with Infect that Melira or casting Chord of Calling for Melira, unless your deck is already built to make use of Chord of Calling.

    A semi-competitive Infect can usually kill you in a single attack phase. Diabolic Tutor is rather slow in trying to counter that. Are you playing casually?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Best Answer For Infect?
    The only card that’s gotten banned from Modern that really did anything to infect is Punishing Fire, so any of the cards listed in that previous thread that you mentioned are probably still fair game to deal with infect.

    Infect isn’t played much these days, but as stated by Melkor, Fatal Push and Path to Exile are the cleanest answers to Infect. They tend to struggle with a high density of targeted removal spells. It’s often best to cast your removal on your own turn, or on their turn, after they’ve already attacked, since it forces them to waste Vines of Vastwood and Blossoming defense purely as defensive and they lose the added damage from those spells.

    Otherwise, any instant speed removal work. Abrupt Decay, Terminate, etc. Pick your poison.

    Discard spells like Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek can also be particularly effective in tearing apart their hand. Chalice of the Void X=1 gives them a pretty rough time as well.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Yeah, Tasigur comes down more consistently on turn 2, but it requires a second card to actively support it the same way that TKS/Smasher do for themselves. Tasigur also puts a real tax on the grave. Accelerated mana with Temple is repeatable and requires simply making your normal land drop. It DOES force you into a colorless matters theme in your deck, but since Oath, that's really not a constraint.

    In the same sense that if you take away Temple, TKS sees little no play, Tasigur/Angler would see much less play without Thought Scour, it's primary enabler. Without that card, Tasigur is definitely not a "turn-2 with open mana and a Stubborn Denial for protection" threat.

    Vendillion Clique is also a poor comparison to TKS. Your opponent trades his most dangerous card, for another random card from his library. TKS makes it incredibly hard to regain the card lost due to it's ETB trigger. That card is gone, unless you have 2 removal spells in hand.

    Again, I don't want to imply that TKS/Smasher in conjunction with Eldrazi Temple is too strong for Modern (because I don't believe it is), but I just think the comparisons people try to make with the Eldrazi/Land interaction to other decks aren't really good ones. I'd much rather be playing a TKS than a Tasigur in most situations or a Smasher instead of an Angler, so this idea that Tasigur, Clique or Angler are a similar type of "bogeyman" is a little silly.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Also, your incessant personal crusade against Eldrazi Temple, which isn't even putting up big results, is definitely getting old.

    I'd like to add that, personally, I have nothing wrong with Eldrazi Temple as long as Eldrazi are all 8+ mana Titans or something big and crazy. The land is all kinds of broken when it's casting massively pushed creatures, that are already insane value for their printed cost, 1-3 turns early. The problem isn't Temple, it's stuff like TKS, Reality Smasher, and all the other low-cost hyper-value Oath Eldrazi creatures being powered out several turns early with incredible reliability. They have been a cancer on the format for nearly two years, and will continue to be so as long as they (and Temple) are legal.

    TKS and Smasher are really strong, yes. They're why I play the deck. But so are cards like Tasigur, Tarmogoyf, etc. Like a wise person on this thread likes to say, if you're not doing something overpowered in Modern, you don't stand a chance.

    Tasigur/Tarmogofy don't protect themselves, which is the primary difference when it comes to comparing these threats. With Tasigur/Goyf, you need to have previously cleared the way with a Thoughtseize before dropping them, or you need to have Stubborn Denial backup.

    TKS and Reality Smasher are threat and protection in a single card. That's why Tasigur/Gofy aren't "snowball" cards as gkourou has been calling them and TKS and Smasher are.

    edit: I want to add that I don't think E-Tron decks are too much for the format, but I think the lack of safety valve cards for this type of strategy puts this archetype at a higher risk for the format. It doesn't necessarily have to be "land hate" that cripples the archetype, but I think more options need to be around to combat these types of strategies.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    I'm not sure that I missed the point, actually, I just didn't comment on the rest of it. I don't think that Standard's current situation is proof that bans don't lead to more bans and decided to comment about that. I think a claim like that needs more context. The ban-mania comment I made was merely addressing a problem that the community has in general. If you propose banning a card from each of the top decks to create a more interesting environment, it's an not attitude that we can ignore, really.

    I see where you're coming from, though, H0lyDiva. The problem I have with this line of thinking, is how do you measure "interesting"? If we hit a card from each of the 5 or so top decks and some of the current Tier 2 decks move up to Tier 1 (which I'm not entirely sure I believe would happen), how can we measure how "interesting" the dynamic is? It's subjective. Everyone is going to have a different opinion. How do you measure "stale"?

    WotC has attendance data, pack sales and survey results to measure how players feel. It might not be perfect, but it's a little less subjective. But us? We just have "feels". Those in and of themselves really don't provide compelling reasons.

    To be honest, I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of the format artificially rotating through periodic bans to keep the format interesting, but it's hard to roll something like that into the format as it stands.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from h0lydiva »
    In any case, the notion that when there are bans there's always a group of players asking for more bans is also instantly destroyed by the reality of this current Standard.

    This assertion lacks context on the Standard bans.

    Bans were highly abnormal in Standard up until the Copter/Emrakul/Mage bans. The format had devolved greatly into an Emrakul format. After that, the further bans devolved into "play Vehicles" because it's the only thing that has a good enough matchup against Saheeli combo, which basically smashes anything else in the format. Then, similarly, Marvel became the problem, where it made little sense to play a deck beside the one that could essentially "just win" out of nowhere by turn 3/4. So, bans, lead to bans, lead to no bans because the format was finally stable and not suppressed by a single, or duo of decks.

    Right now, we have at least 5 "Tier 1" decks, with plenty of lower tier decks breaking into the Top 8 in many events. If banning one, or all of them leads to a more problematic meta, then yes, it will lead to more bans. It's a different climate to apply to Modern. The fact that Standard had multiple rounds of bannings also doesn't prove that "Bans lead to more bans" since it's a rather isolated incident in Magic's history.

    The problem with bans is the raving "ban-mania" that seems to infect the Modern community. Any time a deck top 8's a couple of high-level tournaments, we have people clamoring for a ban on the deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Affinity’s saving grace is that it can be hated out pretty easily. The other decks are designed to be difficult to hate out and have dual win-cons.

    GDS – You can bring in grave hate… only to be torn apart by a Death’s Shadow. You can bring in a Chalice, just to have a Tasigur slip through and have it blown up by K-Command. No matter what piece of hate you bring in, your opponent might just end up hitting the other half of their deck.

    E-Tron – You can bring in Blood Moon, but that’s such a high deckbuilding cost that it’s difficult to even fit that into the sideboard. Also, if you don’t have a strong enough clock to back up the Moon, they’ll just hit their cards eventually anyways (assuming they land a Mind Stone or an Expedition Map). You can bring in big removal and sweepers… only to have them stall the game into a Ulamog or Karn Liberated. You can bring in your Ceremonious Rejection, only to have them land a Cavern of Souls right off the bat.

    TitanShift – Best option against this deck is Flashfreeze. You can bring in spells that stop Scapeshift from going off (Stubborn Denial, Negate, etc.) but sometimes the deck just beats down with a Prime Time. Blood Moon is another option, but it doesn’t stop fast ramping into an early Primeval Titan.

    Storm – Grave hate hurts this deck pretty bad, but it doesn’t completely shut of its ability to put out a win. Creature removal can slow their game down as long as you have a decent clock.

    Affinity? Bring in artifact and creature hate and it turns the matchup into an extreme uphill battle for them, since both types of cards hit pretty much everything in their deck. Etched Champion is their main hope to fight through hate. It’s why I think Affinity, even when it’s the strongest deck in the format, will never really be a problem.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding why Opt is only 1 choice in your list, when Sleight of Hand is 2. Both facilitate 2 separate outcomes. Sleight just provides a more informed choice. Opt is choosing between a known card and an unknown card. Sleight is choosing between 2 known choices.

    In both examples, Card A and B are the top 2 cards of the library.

    Sleight of Hand
    1. A goes into hand. B goes to bottom of library.
    2. Card B goes into hand. Card goes to bottom of library.

    1. Card A goes into hand. Card B is drawn at next draw.
    2. Card A goes to the bottom of library. Card B goes into hand.

    Is my reasoning off here?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow

    Yeah, I agree that Thought Scour is crucial to the deck, particularly because there are plenty of matches where you need turn 2 Tasigur/Angler. That’s THE reason to run it. The fact that it nicely synergizes with Snapcaster and K-Command just makes it a little less useless outside that small window. No one would run it without the delve threats to just fuel Snaps and K-Command.

    I disagree with your assessment that the grave won’t be filled by natural interaction.
    The core list runs these cards:

    [card]4 Thoughtseize
    2 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Serum Visions
    4 Street Wraith
    12 Fetches
    4 Thought Scour

    That’s 30 cards, or half of the deck, that require no actions from your opponent to get cards in the bin. Having 3 Thought Scours instead of 4 still gives you 29 cards that will end up in the bin, so it’s far more likely that you will have SOMETHING to do in your hand, than nothing but sit around and look at a Fatal Push or a Stubborn Denial that you can’t cast because your opponent did nothing that turn. I probably wouldn't keep a hand in the dark that relies completely on casting Fatal Pushes and Stubborn Denial to progress the turns.

    Again, after having said all this, I have since went back to 4 after testing 3, because it smooths out the Gurmag Angler openers. I just disagree with your assertion about how good Thought Scour is. 4 is probably the right amount, but I could see 3 being alright in conjunction with some number of Opts since Opt gives you card selection at the cost of a very slightly increased chance of needing to take a mulligan because you have a Delve threat in hand with no means to quickly rush him out. If Mental Note was legal in modern, I doubt it would be correct to play any copies of it though.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
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