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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
  • posted a message on Uhh I think wizards has a problem on their hand (Ixalan)
    Quote from krishnath »
    Quote from LnGrrrR »
    Just because a company don´t lose money over a leak doesn´t mean it´s okay just to leak everything, especially if it´s illigal to do so. It´s still about respecting companies product and understanding the work and thought put into the products.


    Yeah, and I am not saying any of that is false. The leaker should be punished to the full extent of the law. But that wont restrain me. This isnt someone's private photos, nor is this hurting national security. The reason people are excited to see these cards is because they think WotC has a good product and they want to see it. That isnt the worst problem a company could have.


    Except it diminishes the excitement their customers have regarding intervening products, thus leading directly to reduced sales and a loss of revenue. Revenue that is necessary for WotC to continue producing said products.


    You make that statement like it's fact. That 'fact' was spoonfed to you when WotC went boo-hooing about the godbook leak. Then they went and claimed in hindsight it hurt the sales...of NPH...the set that had free mana, Praetors, the final Sword, modern staples out the yin-yang. You'll have to forgive me if I'm not taking their word for it. The set is good, it sells. It isn't, it doesn't. It really is that simple. You can make up these disaster scenarios where the early knowledge somehow affects buying decisions, but as it was stated, that goes both ways. I've never even understood the concept of waiting unti 2 weeks before a set comes out to spoil it. I can't think of a single comparison to any product in the real world that holds to such a bizarre tenet, and I can't logically conceive of any way that it is superior.

    I mean, I saw the leak yesterday. Cool pirate. New Pithing Needle. I want these products. I better get Ixalan when it comes out. Poof. I just made a buying decision 3 months out same as I would have 2 weeks before. Cards are strong, and I want them. This frothing at the mouth buying hysteria that happens at prerelease is exactly what happens we're not given proper time to analyze the cards. Then you're stuck sitting on a card that SCG jacked to $30.00 based on hype crashing two weeks later to $8 and the sleeper is out of reach.

    Sure, prosecute the leaks if a crime was committed, but I don't feel a lick bad about viewing spoils because I whole-heartedly think their spoiler policy is stupid and the 'hype' they covet so much harms the players with artificial, untested, unrealistic pricing on the secondary market.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on March 13th Bans?
    Quote from thememan »
    Quote from SephX »
    Quote from lajube »
    So you do get the doomsaying then. This is exactly the problem: Answers are more expensive than threats now. When the opposite was true, the game was balanced because of the old problem of "wrong answer for the right threat". But what's it take to answer (4) Aetherworks Marvel? It's not (W) Fragmentize, because they get a free Ulamog and killed 2 lands. The only semi-viable answer out there is Negate, which has the opportunity cost of holding up mana waiting for it to come, so the cost is more than (1U). And then they cast other stuff.

    Same story for every planeswalker. If you don't have creatures ready to smash it dead, the planeswalker generally gains an advantage. A spells deck can only compete if it uses permanents to enhance their power: Dynavolt Tower and Torrential Gearhulk.

    Okay, so everybody plays permanents that gain advantage. Seems like a viable way for magic to be. I think it actually is. Except for the real problem here: The best permanents don't have good answers. Gideon, Marvel, Copy Cat.


    I was referring to the doomsaying that Pithing Needle was too strong for the existing format. I mean, cards like Wrath of God and Doom Blade and Pithing Needle had been around so long by the time Core Sets went bye-bye, I just always assumed they'd be there. Not having them was among the worst decisions R&D has made, besides everything else they've done for 5 blocks now. We just keep consolidating all the power into such a small group of cards, so over and above the caliber of anything else in the set that we just keep shrinking the number of viable deck types. Now that a lot of them are getting shoe-horned into the Mythic rarity slot (Grim Flayer, Gideon, Heart, Marvel, Eldrazi, etc), decks are getting smaller in number and more expensive, to boot. Couple that with it being less fun with each set, it's no wonder attendance and streaming viewership is down. It sucks, plain and simple. No one wants to watch vehicle mirrors anymore than they wanted to watch Collected Company mirrors.


    To be fair, I get the argument for not always wanting 4 cmc Wraths. You can't really make a 4 CMC wrath any better, and it's difficult to justify playing a 5 cmc wrath regardless of text. The reason Fumigate isn't played, for instance, isn't because its bad. It's actually pretty good in a "fair" meta game. It's that we currently are not in a "fair" meta game. We are in a metagame of incredibly sticky threats that dodge most removal already or can go off on their turn if you have to tap out for Fumigate on turn 5.

    Equally, the lack of 4 cmc wraths is not the problem right now, either. It's arguable whether having Wrath of God or Supreme Verdict would actually fix the format at all; so many threats dodge those wraths completely that they really wouldn't work properly.

    That said, the floor for a good 5 cmc wrath is much higher than that for a 4 cmc one, and this is something I don't think they realized. Adding trinket text to a wrath and tacking on a mana does not make a good wrath (End Hostilities/Planar Outburst come to mind).

    I can understand not wanting to have the same exact cards present in the format at all times - but they really need to make sure that the gap being left open by removal these tools can be closed by something. A common example my group references at times is Doom Blade and Delerium Blade: If Doom Blade is keeping something like Delerium Blade difficult to justify playing (Say, a 2 cmc -2/-2 spell that destroys the creature on Delerium), and you use that as justification for removing Doom Blade, then you have to add Delerium Blade to the god damn mix. That's honestly the problem I've had with R&D's philosophy. The argument was that these spells were keeping other, cool spells from existing and yet they didn't print the damn cool cards that these cards were keeping from existing. Then the notion morphed into the ludicrous notion that removal made the format worse, somehow. Had the kept to the original premise of printing cards that are just as strong as the "staples", if not stronger in some contexts, but required a little more intricate deck building, we would have a much better format. That's not what they did, however. We just often get worse versions of fair cards, only now with useless Trinket Text.


    I am totally with you on this. I mean, I hate the format as it is now, I can't imagine how bad it would be if Ruinous Path was actually relevant. Trading sorcery speed from Heroes Downfall in order pick up the option to get a 4/4 if you jack the cost to 7? How titanically slow and plodding would a format have to be that a 1-for-1 with a body at 7 mana is a game-changer? I mean...Nekrataal...?
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on March 13th Bans?
    Quote from lajube »
    So you do get the doomsaying then. This is exactly the problem: Answers are more expensive than threats now. When the opposite was true, the game was balanced because of the old problem of "wrong answer for the right threat". But what's it take to answer (4) Aetherworks Marvel? It's not (W) Fragmentize, because they get a free Ulamog and killed 2 lands. The only semi-viable answer out there is Negate, which has the opportunity cost of holding up mana waiting for it to come, so the cost is more than (1U). And then they cast other stuff.

    Same story for every planeswalker. If you don't have creatures ready to smash it dead, the planeswalker generally gains an advantage. A spells deck can only compete if it uses permanents to enhance their power: Dynavolt Tower and Torrential Gearhulk.

    Okay, so everybody plays permanents that gain advantage. Seems like a viable way for magic to be. I think it actually is. Except for the real problem here: The best permanents don't have good answers. Gideon, Marvel, Copy Cat.


    I was referring to the doomsaying that Pithing Needle was too strong for the existing format. I mean, cards like Wrath of God and Doom Blade and Pithing Needle had been around so long by the time Core Sets went bye-bye, I just always assumed they'd be there. Not having them was among the worst decisions R&D has made, besides everything else they've done for 5 blocks now. We just keep consolidating all the power into such a small group of cards, so over and above the caliber of anything else in the set that we just keep shrinking the number of viable deck types. Now that a lot of them are getting shoe-horned into the Mythic rarity slot (Grim Flayer, Gideon, Heart, Marvel, Eldrazi, etc), decks are getting smaller in number and more expensive, to boot. Couple that with it being less fun with each set, it's no wonder attendance and streaming viewership is down. It sucks, plain and simple. No one wants to watch vehicle mirrors anymore than they wanted to watch Collected Company mirrors.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on March 13th Bans?
    I don't get the doomsaying in this thread. The last, great standard I was a part of was INN/RTR, which was nearly flawless in the sense that perfect mana, high-level threats and answers with near-perfect color balance made any given deck viable on any given day. That's not rose-colored glasses, you can look back at top 8, even top 16's and see crazy variance in the types, builds, and even just 75 in your average netdeck. Cards we've now had deemed 'too powerful' in the new world order like Snapcaster Mage, Abrupt Decay, Thragtusk/Resto, Hellrider, Lili of the Veil, Sphinx's Revelation and Delver of Secrets changed the face of Modern (for better or worse), and we're sitting here talking about Pithing Needle being OP?! Pithing Needle?! The sideboard card that was barely a 2-of and by far your worst, most desperate hate?

    IMO, the biggest problem is this: The $20 rare at the time was Thragtusk. People complained that 5 mana was to little for a 5/3, 5 life, and a 3/3 beast on his way out, plus his synergy with Restoration Angel. He was a natural foil to decks that wanted to burn you down in 5 turns (Naya Blitz, anyone?) In this same format, Victim of Night kept going in and out of mainboards because we were doing math on the three(!) different 2cc instant kill spells and we had to figure out which killed the highest number of varied threats in the format (yes, the math was actually relevant because the meta was so varied).

    The big bad this time around is a 2cc 4/4, flying, vigilant creature that nullifies all sorcery removal, including board wipes, and in a format where it's one of the few things in the air. Now while I agree that's bad, I'd like to point out a creature that I think is the poster child for everything wrong with new design - Elder Deep-Fiend. He's not even that in vogue right now, but he makes my point perfectly. A 5/6 body with flash, with an on-cast (basically uncounterable) effect of tapping down 4 permanents, and the native ability to reduce his casting cost. That's literally the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. It seems like WotC is going to need a smaller font to fit all the freakin' text they're jamming on creatures these days, and he's NOT EVEN THAT GOOD RIGHT NOW. He literally is an uncounterable spell, a huge body, at a cost reduction, all for a base cost that's less than if you cast a spell and play a flash 5/6. And you're going to kill that with mostly sorcery speed removal, a 2-color 3cc instant, or a 3cc flash enchantment?

    I mean, the problem is all around us. If Aetherworks Marvel was Quicksilver Amulet, Emrakul doesn't get banned. If Ruinous Path was Heroes Downfall, Gideon wouldn't be as scary (he really wasn't that relevant before Kaladesh, his price tag was nose-diving until vehicles). If Vehicles wasn't such a plodding disaster on every level, graveyard hate existed, the Cat said target creature, and so on, we'd STILL have Creatures: The Gathering. We're not using spells anymore. Creatures are too pushed for the format they're in, but still not good enough for Modern. Sets are 70% draft garbage that murders trees and the remaining 30% consume all value while the format is solved in 2 weeks and leaves us 3 decks to play.

    I just don't see this as fixable, which is why I've taken a step back from standard until this mess gets sorted out. It may be another 6 months before we even see the next block have a chance to shine if Amounkhet doesn't do enough to dethrone the big-three meta. R&D needs to scrap every mantra of design they think they've picked up about power levels since RTR, and get back to strong, balanced, and most importantly simple cards that do what their colors do best, and leave the rest up to us.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on Pro Tour Aether Revolt/Dublin - Standard - 2/3-5
    Quote from hiitechk »
    I feel that this PT goes to show that Standard is in a healthy place and that the Mardu Vehicles decklist that everyone came to the conclusion that would be the best deck for the tournament. Now that all the data is available to the public, the meta will shift once again with all the other decks taking Vehicle.deks more serious when it comes to tuning their decklists. I don't think there should be any emergency bans after this PT, but I also do feel that Vehicles are right up there with Phyrexian Mana, Dredge, and Delve when it comes to powerful abilities.


    The data shows us 'health'? I'm sorry, but data is cold hard facts and health of the format is one of the most subjective things in the world to measure. What you call health I call absolutely abysmal. We went from a 3-4 deck standard to a 2-3 deck standard in a matter of weeks since the banning. Last week's horrendous showing in Richmond of 1-4 and 6th of the top 8 being Copy Cat and the rest being BG variants spooked the pros into thinking it was going to be one or the other. That thinking positioned Vehicles to dominate, because 3 Shock main plus Heart of Kiran basically nullified the combo portion of Copy Cat and BG can't go threat for threat with Mardu because they stopped running Ishkana. The format is really, really soft to flyers atm and between Gideon and Heart, there was no way to stop the flow of aggression. You basically had to have a Nevinyrral's Disk to keep their side of the field under control with the tools available to BG and Copy Cat. The mass removal and 1-for-1's just weren't cutting it.

    After this weekend, I don't even know what to say. It seemed obvious after last week's tourney that (most likely) the Cat and Winding Constrictor get a ban and we all muddle through figuring the format out until the next set...now I have no idea. Banning Heart of Kiran within 3 weeks of the last ban that also affected the deck is a very sorry statement. Banning the cat just makes Jeskai Control have to play fair, but then BG and Mardu still stomp them. BG losing Constrictor makes them probably move back to Ishkana, which is where they're probably headed anyway. Banning nothing at all basically says they didn't make the problem any better with bannings in the first place, and just let us have this 3-deck format for the next few months and hope attendance doesn't crash like the Hindenburg. It seems like lose-lose for WotC and players at this point. They've made a mess of things and we have to lie in it.

    I mean, if you measure health on a scale of Caw-Blade to Innistrad/RTR, I'd say this is still languishing at a 3 at best like the last survey said. It's not diverse, answers and threats are way out of balance, attendance has dropped, confidence is lost, and we're sitting here talking about ADDING to a standard banlist. By the by, what respect do you think is going to be given to Vehicles when tuning decks? Jeskai was already running Radiant Flames and Fumigate, BG had a fat removal package. What other deck do you see rising up from nowhere to deal with all 3 of these, and what hate are they bringing against Mardu that wasn't already in BG and Copycat that didn't work for them?
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from Tanukimo »
    Quote from Sabertooth »
    im really afraid of wizards criteria, growing more and more over time
    - your deck cannot win "with consistency" before turn 4
    - your deck should be interactive
    - your deck should not be answered only with sideboard
    - your deck should not cause logistical issues
    - your deck should not have big metagame share
    - your deck should not make a color less diverse
    - your deck should not win a lot (the only format where you are cheering for your deck to lose, afraid of bannings)

    basically, play abzan, jund or grixis, or a bad deck or a deck slaughtered by sideboards (like affinity and this deck its not even safe) or be afraid for the rest of your life as a modern player


    That's exactly how I felt after the Twin ban, and I'm beginning to feel that way again.


    As someone that despised the Twin deck, I still don't feel that banning was ever explained very well. It really didn't break any of the format rules, and the explanation they offered was plain weak. A better argument could have been that any blue unbanning would have to pass the 'is it degenerate in Twin?' litmus test, which both Storm and Twin did have a big say in back then. You could even make the argument that it's unlikely we'd have Ancestral Vision right now if it wasn't for the Twin banning, even if they may not have run it. Since JtMS and Preordain/Ponder remain on the list and we've never been given anything close to Opt or Counterspell, any hopes of pruning Twin to make room for control were dead on arrival. So we cycle back to why it was banned, and I still don't see the reason. It didn't do anything except kill a deck type from the format, flush the deck value down the drain, and tick off a lot of people. Sending a message like that to players and having no positive effect is dangerous. You can only do it so many times before people lose faith in the format, especially when these banning come with no warning at all and blindside us.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from SephX »
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from SephX »
    Quote from Lord Seth »

    Asking "if Cloudpost is too strong, why isn't Tron too strong?" is akin to asking "if Deathrite Shaman is too strong, why isn't Noble Hierarch too strong?" In both cases, the answer is obvious: The latter is quite a bit weaker than the former. 12-Post is quite a bit stronger than Urzatron is. It ramps more effectively, it's thwarted less by land destruction, and it staves off aggro better thanks to Glimmerpost gaining life.

    In regards to Eye of Ugin vs. Tron, you ignore the fact that Eye of Ugin starts the ramp (for Eldrazi) on turn 1, whereas Tron can't get any ramp until the third turn (well I guess with a crazy good hand you can get 3 mana off an Urza's Tower on the second turn if you're running Explore, but almost all Tron builds have dropped that card). There's a big difference between a card that instantly gives you 2 mana versus one that can't give you that ramp until the third turn and requires you to assemble two other specific lands.

    Basically, Eye of Ugin and Cloudpost ramp way better than Tron. So wondering why Tron is okay but those aren't is like asking why Time Warp isn't banned when one considers how amazing Time Walk is.


    You literally took what I said, quoted it, then changed the wording and meaning of the quote in your first sentence, and somehow missed the point at the same time. What I was saying with all of those examples is WotC has yet to clearly define what they want this format to look like. They do have a problem with Ramp in the Cloudpost form and the nuisance that Eldrazi was thanks to Eye of Ugin, yet the 'feel-bads' about Tron has been allowed to stay, albeit begrudgingly. Tron can still, even now, clean up in g1, then take g2 before the 3 and 4cc hate cards remove their primary strategy. Now, that's not to say that Tron should be banned, as a matter of fact I'm 100% opposed to banning based on words like 'feeling' and 'dislike' as opposed to 'format-warping', 'stifling', 'difficult to answer' or 'over-represented'.

    I hope I clarified my position better, because that one line was not only taken out of context but you answered a question/argument I never asked.

    But my post does answer your question. 12-Post gets banned because it's too powerful. Tron, which is not anywhere near as powerful, is spared. Trying to claim they have "yet to clearly define what they want this format to look like" (at least in regards to this specific case) is silly because 12-Post got banned because it was too good at what it did. Tron, which is not as powerful, is apparently at an acceptable power level.

    As for the Eldrazi, comparing the single most dominant deck in the format's history with a deck that tends to be in the 3-5% area is just plain silly.

    There are certainly a number of criticisms that one can aim at Wizards of the Coast in regards to their handling of the Modern banned list as well as alleged dissonances in what's banned or what isn't banned, but this is not one of them. There is no disconnect or dissonance or additional need to "define" things in regards to 12-Post and Eldrazi being banned but Tron not being banned. The first two are significantly more powerful than the latter, so it makes perfect sense for them to get bans while Tron doesn't.


    I presented a laundry list of arguments, this was only one among them. So, no, it still doesn't. You disagree with this specific example, that's fine, but the point remains.

    No, it does, because I was responding to that one particular point, not the idea in general. The example was silly and so I responded to it.

    It should not be difficult to understand why 12-Post got banned out of existence (and Eldrazi got a hard nerfing) but Tron was never targeted with a ban (it suffered collateral damage, but it wasn't the reason Eye of Ugin was lost).

    So you get these semi-contradictory statements like 'well, Tron isn't as bad, so that kind of ramp is okay', until something comes along that makes it not okay (like the collateral damage of the Eye banning because of another deck's ridiculousness). So, it's less about why one kind of ramp is okay and another isn't because of power level, because that is very subjective and highly subject to change.

    12-Post being better than Tron is "subjective" in the same way that Ancestral Vision being better than Concentrate is "subjective." There's a few ways you can point to the latter being better than the former, but on the whole the first is clearly substantially better than the second.

    There's no inconsistency or contradiction between Cloudpost and Eye of Ugin getting banned but the Urza lands remaining untouched. They on dramatically different power levels. You mention things can "change" (after all, Eye of Ugin was legal for quite a while) but that "change" was pretty objective in that it came from new cards getting printed that interacted unfavorably with the older cards.


    K, buddy, I've tried to wrangle the conversation back to my actual point like 3 times now and you're just not having it. Thank you for the lesson in understanding how 12-post is more egregious than Tron, still was never my point nor did I put them on the same level, but you managed to sit me down and explain it slowly like 3 times now. You win, just for the sake of not getting derailed any further.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from SephX »
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from SephX »
    Think about what they're saying with Cloudpost banning and Eye of Ugin. Ramp that strong shouldn't be there. So why is tron?

    Asking "if Cloudpost is too strong, why isn't Tron too strong?" is akin to asking "if Deathrite Shaman is too strong, why isn't Noble Hierarch too strong?" In both cases, the answer is obvious: The latter is quite a bit weaker than the former. 12-Post is quite a bit stronger than Urzatron is. It ramps more effectively, it's thwarted less by land destruction, and it staves off aggro better thanks to Glimmerpost gaining life.

    In regards to Eye of Ugin vs. Tron, you ignore the fact that Eye of Ugin starts the ramp (for Eldrazi) on turn 1, whereas Tron can't get any ramp until the third turn (well I guess with a crazy good hand you can get 3 mana off an Urza's Tower on the second turn if you're running Explore, but almost all Tron builds have dropped that card). There's a big difference between a card that instantly gives you 2 mana versus one that can't give you that ramp until the third turn and requires you to assemble two other specific lands.

    Basically, Eye of Ugin and Cloudpost ramp way better than Tron. So wondering why Tron is okay but those aren't is like asking why Time Warp isn't banned when one considers how amazing Time Walk is.


    You literally took what I said, quoted it, then changed the wording and meaning of the quote in your first sentence, and somehow missed the point at the same time. What I was saying with all of those examples is WotC has yet to clearly define what they want this format to look like. They do have a problem with Ramp in the Cloudpost form and the nuisance that Eldrazi was thanks to Eye of Ugin, yet the 'feel-bads' about Tron has been allowed to stay, albeit begrudgingly. Tron can still, even now, clean up in g1, then take g2 before the 3 and 4cc hate cards remove their primary strategy. Now, that's not to say that Tron should be banned, as a matter of fact I'm 100% opposed to banning based on words like 'feeling' and 'dislike' as opposed to 'format-warping', 'stifling', 'difficult to answer' or 'over-represented'.

    I hope I clarified my position better, because that one line was not only taken out of context but you answered a question/argument I never asked.

    But my post does answer your question. 12-Post gets banned because it's too powerful. Tron, which is not anywhere near as powerful, is spared. Trying to claim they have "yet to clearly define what they want this format to look like" (at least in regards to this specific case) is silly because 12-Post got banned because it was too good at what it did. Tron, which is not as powerful, is apparently at an acceptable power level.

    As for the Eldrazi, comparing the single most dominant deck in the format's history with a deck that tends to be in the 3-5% area is just plain silly.

    There are certainly a number of criticisms that one can aim at Wizards of the Coast in regards to their handling of the Modern banned list as well as alleged dissonances in what's banned or what isn't banned, but this is not one of them. There is no disconnect or dissonance or additional need to "define" things in regards to 12-Post and Eldrazi being banned but Tron not being banned. The first two are significantly more powerful than the latter, so it makes perfect sense for them to get bans while Tron doesn't.


    I presented a laundry list of arguments, this was only one among them. So, no, it still doesn't. You disagree with this specific example, that's fine, but the point remains. Since it's inception, Modern has provoked reactive bans to what they thought was an acceptable power level, and then realized it wasn't. Meanwhile, the player base has tended toward 'solving' the format with more and more degenerate, difficult to answer strategies, the same strategies that by and large simply don't work in Legacy. That format has a myriad of better threats and answers, and I would dare day it's far more interactive than Modern, more skill-based, and a lot less of the 'rock, paper, scissors' nature of Modern. This seems to have been no end of trouble for WotC in trying to prune the format when it's just plain missing something. So you get these semi-contradictory statements like 'well, Tron isn't as bad, so that kind of ramp is okay', until something comes along that makes it not okay (like the collateral damage of the Eye banning because of another deck's ridiculousness). So, it's less about why one kind of ramp is okay and another isn't because of power level, because that is very subjective and highly subject to change.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on PRIMER - Boros Human Burn (new tier 1 deck?)
    Quote from cOreGon »
    I have the same question. We'll need some draw filtering to replace Copter. I'm interested in a couple of the new spells, the first that come to mind are Shock and Hungry Flames. I'm actually thinking about MB Chandra, ToD as she provides a relevant pseudo card draw/burn and removal ability, but I'm nervous about the effect on our curve after -3 Copter. I do have to believe Heart of Kiran could be a relevant replacement, though we obviously still lose the loot. I need to take a look through the set again with the lens of additions for the deck, as I've mostly been tinkering with fresh brews.

    Any thoughts anyone?

    Side note/random thought: has anyone tried mono red with our new spells? It can be built to be REALLY strong. Sin Prodder, Bedlam Reveler, Combustible Gearhulk is a gnarly shell. I've been really surprised/impressed with red gearhulk. He can push through a LOT of damage with his ETB trigger, though I've found 3-5 damage to be more normal. I bet you after he burns for 6 your opponent will be letting you draw 3 the next time you cast him. Even when he "fizzles" for just a few damage he's putting spells in the yard for Reveler discounts and pushing you through the deck.

    Sorry for the random thoughts, I figure as were a tribal burn deck we may be interested in other burn/creature plans. That said, I definitely hope to flesh out Boros Humans post rotation/ban!


    At the start of Kaladesh Standard, I immediately tried Boros Vehicles, and my experience was miserable (2-2 in multiple tourneys for 2 straight weeks), the night I called an audible swapped out the dwarves for Humans, I went 5 out of the past 7 weeks undefeated with my build. It became a hybrid of the Mardu Vehicle shell so I could get into Unlicensed Disintegration because I was tired of throwing away matches to Avacyn. Now, with Smuggler's Copter gone, I really wonder if I'm going to continue with it. Losing the Copter didn't hurt much, as much list has so much stupid synergy I often won without seeing one, I'm more concerned with the addition of Yahenni's Expertise and Fatal Push slowing me down on top of losing the effective Copter. So, I'll put up my original list, and the changes I'm going to be using to test it out:



    Right now, I think the only changes I'm making right away are -4 Smuggler's Copter in favor of +2 Heart of Kiran and +2 Cathartic Reuinion. Some mild draw/filter would be a welcome sight and if Heart turns out to be the nuts, great. I'm much more concerned about going all-in to a Yahenni's Expertise on 4 than whether my deck has card filtering. The number of times I've just gone Inventor T1, Thraben and Inventor T2, Thalia's Lieutenant on T3 and just watch my opponent fold to the pressure never required the Copter. And we all know how gross/wonderful it feels to go +2 counters on Thalia's Lieutenant on the Hanweir swinging, and that hasn't changed.

    I don't think burn is the right thing for the deck. Hard removal is where it's at. Clear the way and push forward. Fleetwheel is basically a Ball Lightning that you get to keep and does serious work. I had Harnessed Lightning before and I absolutely hated almost never having enough energy for Avacyn. Once I had Unlicensed Disintegration, I never looked back. Burn and a hard kill spell? 4 more please.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from Lord Seth »
    Quote from SephX »
    Think about what they're saying with Cloudpost banning and Eye of Ugin. Ramp that strong shouldn't be there. So why is tron?

    Asking "if Cloudpost is too strong, why isn't Tron too strong?" is akin to asking "if Deathrite Shaman is too strong, why isn't Noble Hierarch too strong?" In both cases, the answer is obvious: The latter is quite a bit weaker than the former. 12-Post is quite a bit stronger than Urzatron is. It ramps more effectively, it's thwarted less by land destruction, and it staves off aggro better thanks to Glimmerpost gaining life.

    In regards to Eye of Ugin vs. Tron, you ignore the fact that Eye of Ugin starts the ramp (for Eldrazi) on turn 1, whereas Tron can't get any ramp until the third turn (well I guess with a crazy good hand you can get 3 mana off an Urza's Tower on the second turn if you're running Explore, but almost all Tron builds have dropped that card). There's a big difference between a card that instantly gives you 2 mana versus one that can't give you that ramp until the third turn and requires you to assemble two other specific lands.

    Basically, Eye of Ugin and Cloudpost ramp way better than Tron. So wondering why Tron is okay but those aren't is like asking why Time Warp isn't banned when one considers how amazing Time Walk is.


    You literally took what I said, quoted it, then changed the wording and meaning of the quote in your first sentence, and somehow missed the point at the same time. What I was saying with all of those examples is WotC has yet to clearly define what they want this format to look like. They do have a problem with Ramp in the Cloudpost form and the nuisance that Eldrazi was thanks to Eye of Ugin, yet the 'feel-bads' about Tron has been allowed to stay, albeit begrudgingly. Tron can still, even now, clean up in g1, then take g2 before the 3 and 4cc hate cards remove their primary strategy. Now, that's not to say that Tron should be banned, as a matter of fact I'm 100% opposed to banning based on words like 'feeling' and 'dislike' as opposed to 'format-warping', 'stifling', 'difficult to answer' or 'over-represented'.

    I hope I clarified my position better, because that one line was not only taken out of context but you answered a question/argument I never asked.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from Lantern »
    I'd like to start out the thread in a positive direction. Recently Wizards said:

    We're also having a lot of very serious discussions about hate cards and powerful answers. As you have noticed with Fatal Push, we are not totally against printing very powerful answers in Standard, but we need to up that number. The pendulum of threats versus answers has swung too far toward the threats, and that has caused problems with our metagame. Our decision to not print enough answer cards also has shown to be a real problem. Some parts of this were conscious, like pushing story cards and new card types, and some were a result of moving to two-block world and removing the core set where we traditionally put many of the answers to these kinds of cards. We learned a lot from the last three blocks on how the two-block world should work and are incorporating those ideas into future sets. Again, you won't see all the changes immediately, but we are incorporating those learnings into sets you will play with soon.


    A lot of players including myself has been saying this as far back as theros. The answer vs threat count was ramping up more and more, and we've most certainly felt the weight of that since unlike standard, we dont dump our power level once a year.

    I have been very mad at the bans (not the cards banned, but the fact we needed to ban so often in the first place) and I think wizards might finally be realizing using the banlist as a power cap isnt working in the long run.


    I both agree and disagree with your sentiments about banning to contain the power cap. In a lot of ways, I don't think it's gone far enough, while standard kill spells/counter magic has become so conditional it's almost a joke. I'd be willing to bet you could right this second put Spell Snare in Standard and control still would struggle, as every hard card counter is still at a 3 cmc and board wipes are at 5. Modern has the opposite problem. In a field of some of the best answers ever printed, you can't silver bullet the stupid number of ways you can die.

    A lot of more recent design philosophies are to blame for that. Basic 1 cmc cantrips went the way of the dodo, hexproof replaced shroud which reduced risk, and you started getting creatures that came in with a spell effect at half the cost of both combined. You get Eldrazi doing too much, you get sticky 1/1's that refused to die like Inkmoth Nexus, and primarily because of 1 deck, Preordain and Ponder went from fair to broken. It's not just that there aren't enough answers (I agree there isn't), it's also that some of the strategies that exist in Modern just shouldn't be there.

    Think about what they're saying with Cloudpost banning and Eye of Ugin. Ramp that strong shouldn't be there. So why is tron? Look at Blazing Shoal - we can't have Inkmoth Nexus end the game Turn 2, but Turn 4 doesn't still feel ridiculous? Mental Misstep is too good to police Turn 1 plays, but they want a Turn 4 format? Birthing Pod was considered a format staple until they printed a cheap 4/5 trample with Lightning Helix on it, and it was the deck's fault, not the broken creature they made? They've literally banned/unintentionally crippled Storm's ability to go off instead of giving us the cards and just kill the win con. If anything, I think they should have used a broader brush and just said 'we don't want storm, we don't want dredge, we don't want caw blade, we don't want infect, and we don't want turbo-ramp, here's 30 cards you can't have, now go nuts'.

    Modern, as many have said, has an identity crisis from the beginning and the more the format is 'solved' the less fun it seems to be to play it. I already cashed out a couple months back. I had the cards for almost any deck I wanted, but I got tired of skills not meaning as much as what deck is on the other side of the table. Like Legacy, Modern punishes mistakes, but if you're in a bad matchup, it doesn't reward skill for crap.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on B&R Update: Emrakul, Copter, Reflector Mage banned in Standard, Gitaxian Probe, Gravetroll in Modern!
    Wizards threatening to ban cards in standard makes for cheap magic cards. And wards away the hoarders. Have they finally found a solution? We'll see...


    No, you're reading too much into it. Call me cynical, but Emmy took the hit so they don't have to admit the rest of the Eldrazi were stupid broken and Marvel should have been the target. They killed a good rare because it was good, and if Saheeli combo turns out to be the bee's knees, the cat gets banned. They're not going to ban their precious poster children (Planeswalkers) because they sell sets, and cards like Gideon are always going to pop up in that card type. Hoarders gonna hoard, sir. Confidence is shaken, sure, but is Liliana down at all? Nope, still $40? Guess confidence wasn't shaken that much.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on B&R Update: Emrakul, Copter, Reflector Mage banned in Standard, Gitaxian Probe, Gravetroll in Modern!
    It seems like WotC painted themselves into a corner here, and this feels like a knee-jerk reaction to a format that hasn't even been defined yet. For years, they've been printing these big, stupid, splashy creatures with more abilities and keywords than they have any business having (Elder Deep Fiend is the greatest recent example, as it does more things than a creature and a spell separately should cost combined), and meanwhile telling us that Murder is adequate and board wipes need to start at 5. What did they think was going to happen? Spells get the shaft, and creatures get better, control gets pushed out, and combo usually hasn't had a place in years. It's been Creatures: The Gathering for years now.

    But now, after going through the unnecessarily watered down Innistrad, we have a really efficient, solid creature that slots well into decks, gives a loot effect (big deal for red or green, kinda meh by blue's standards) and this is somehow too powerful. It can't compete in Modern, like even as a consideration. It requires a creature on the field to attack with it, basically. It becomes a creature before its attack trigger can go on the stack, thus making it vulnerable before its true power really shines. Yet this was deemed 'too powerful' for standard, and banned before 2 MORE kill spells and 2 more creatures put it in check, including what is probably one of the greatest kill spells ever printed. So we banned a good creature because its good. It's Smuggler's Copter's fault it's good, not Wizard's fault that they won't print Doom Blade and Lightning Strike. Makes sense.

    Reflector Mage just seems dumb. It's so far past its hayday in Standard, I can only imagine it was a lot less the reason they gave (UW Flash is strangling the format...cause it isn't) and a lot more because of the stupid defense it puts up for the 'oops, i win' nature of Saheeli combo. Like Smuggler's Copter, they didn't even give the meta a chance to adjust and try to deal with it.

    Emrakul is just another dumb Eldrazi in a string of dumb, broken Eldrazi we now have to deal with WAY after their welcome has worn off, thanks to the longer rotation schedule. Did he have to go? Well, in a vacuum I'd say yes, if there wasn't Ulamog, Kozilek, Oblivion Sower, etc to continue abusing. Free/greatly reduced bombs never feel fair, but then you kill the enabler, not the creatures. Every one of those Eldrazi mostly sees fringe play atm, not banning Marvel changes that, it doesn't kill the deck. (not that I'm advocating that either, but the message here is so mixed from WotC, basing ban choices on things like 'fairness', 'feeling', or 'usage' and not using words like 'dominating', 'over-represented', 'stifling', or anything else you'd expect from a well-thought banning decision).

    Doing this now and then opening the door that they can ban again after a major tournament doesn't make me confident to buy into Aether Revolt. It doesn't make me confident to continue standard play at any expense to myself. I'm on a Mardu Vehicles build of my own. I have rarely lost with it, and I mean rarely. I lose Copter. It stings, but I can probably be just fine losing it in exchange for Heart of Kiran, but if I was, say, a UW Flash player and just found out my deck got nerfed almost to oblivion, I wouldn't be spending a penny on Saheeli's right now. Confidence is shaken, and not for a good enough reason, in my opinion.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Modest Eternal Masters reprint
    It's kinda weird. Here in Charlotte, you couldn't get 8 guys together for an EMA draft 2 weeks after release, let alone now. Not at any of the 6-7 stores in the greater metro area. I don't get why the sudden 'modest' reprint. But hey, I'm sure somebody is interested in this.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Is Wizards seeing the same Standard as everyone else?
    There's a lot of coulda, shoulda, woulda about CoCo, but I think that's letting WotC off the hook too easy. This isn't a missed OP card, it's perfectly reasonable for what it does, and your entire deck is built around it. If it were broken, it wouldn't take a single Grafdigger's Cage in Modern to shut it down (which it does quite nicely if the CoCo player doesn't immediately have Quasali Pridemage on hand.)

    The problem isn't that CoCo dominates the meta, it's that the meta can't handle something truly powerful. The cards that go into Bant Company are great cards on their own merits, but at instant speed, possibly cheating 6 mana for 4, it breaks the game in half. Add in a set of Dromoka's Command, Negate/Dispel side and you've shored up every answer you need to have. Where is 2cc for 3 damage at instant speed? 2cc kills spells? 1cc hand disruption? Creatures in other colors/strategies that go over or keep the pace with Bant Company? You just don't have it right now.

    The post from WotC isn't oblivious, it's disingenuous. Rather than reporting the facts, learning their lessons, and powering Standard at least to reasonable levels (and get rid of these stupid Eldrazi and other creatures that have become more relevant than spells), they try to paint a picture that isn't happening of a world they want to exist, not the one they live in. I mean, the design of CoCo isn't complicated, it's brilliant. It's the kind of power level and build-around-me you want in the game. But watering down card selection has to be done uniformly, or you get situations where the power gems of a set dwarf everything else by so much that the format becomes stifled and mundane and loaded with mirror matches.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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