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The Magic Market Index for Oct 20, 2017
 
The Magic Market Index for Oct 13, 2017
 
The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Modern is just less marketable for WotC. It stands to reason that the bigger cash cow (Standard) being in a better place than one driven mostly by the secondary market is desirable for WotC. Sure, saying they're sabotaging Modern is a little extreme, but I wouldn't put it past a business to take their time fixing something if it means people start to gravitate towards the sleeker, more tuned product that they make more money off of. I don't think reintroducing Modern to the PT is a conspiracy to actively shrink Modern numbers, I just think if the Modern PT ends up being solved and linear/non-interactive, and if more people start Standard for a breath of fresh air, WotC wouldn't shed many tears.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on untaidake the cloud keeper
    So is this now Mardu Planeswalkers? What does black add other than Urborg? Both playable Lili's are 1BB, so Untaidake doesn't help. You're still relying on yet another Legendary land to make your not good land slightly less bad. This just doesn't seem viable.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the October 17, 2017 announcement?
    Isn't the announcement Tuesday? Shouldn't we let it go until tomorrow?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Quote from 13055 »
    For a field with all that Eldrazi Tron there sure are a ton of them in the top 8 am i right guys? I guess it is unbeatable after all. End sarcasm


    After the Top8 announcement I was literally about to post here, "Remember folks, just because we have a single event with diverse decks doesn't mean Modern is necessarily in a perfect spot." I stopped myself because I thought we'd all realize that. Thanks for showing me I was wrong.

    SCG events are usually pretty meta'd against themselves, where people will come in knowing there's going to be a good amount of the top deck, so we end up with these unusual/bastardized lists at the top which normally wouldn't be representative. *cough cough* Ponza *cough cough*

    Think back to the Living End win. It wasn't because Living End was top tier, it was because everyone showed up without any grave hate.


    Why? He's completely right.

    Jog my memory, was ETron in the last top 8 tournament?

    I recall zero top 8 Etron decks in the triple GP

    Etron is on camera a lot, it's results aren't obscene

    In fact, we've seen Storm, Affinity and Grixis overwhelmingly in the top 8


    Do people really think that only Tier 0 decks make it to top 8s? There were 15 Etron in Day 2, where they then had to compete with the rest of Day 2, which needed to have good ETron matchups to even make it to Day 2. As idSurge says, the decks that make the conversion are the ones that can handle the decks that are the most oppressive. Just because ETron doesn't make an appearance in this top 8 doesn't mean it's largely impacted those decks that did make it.

    Being oppressive is not equivalent to 7 out of 8 Top 8 spots. It means the mere possibility that you might have to face it impacts how the rest of the format behaves. If not for ETron, we wouldn't see the rush to linear decks. ETron de-incentivizes the mid-range decks that could handle those fast, linear decks.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on untaidake the cloud keeper
    The biggest problem is it comes into play tapped.

    The second biggest problem is it's legendary, so you can't conceivably get 4 mana in one turn off two lands. Looking at Tron/Eldrazi, their sol/dynamo lands act as regular lands outside of their special conditions. They don't even CIPT, so you can still get your T1-2 plays out before completing Tron, or use the Temples to get a Chalice on 1 before you power out Smashers/TKS. With Untaidake, you can't even use it to cast anything else, so you're basically time walking yourself to get a Gideon a turn early.

    Everything just seems to be going against Untaidake, unfortunately.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    For a field with all that Eldrazi Tron there sure are a ton of them in the top 8 am i right guys? I guess it is unbeatable after all. End sarcasm


    After the Top8 announcement I was literally about to post here, "Remember folks, just because we have a single event with diverse decks doesn't mean Modern is necessarily in a perfect spot." I stopped myself because I thought we'd all realize that. Thanks for showing me I was wrong.

    SCG events are usually pretty meta'd against themselves, where people will come in knowing there's going to be a good amount of the top deck, so we end up with these unusual/bastardized lists at the top which normally wouldn't be representative. *cough cough* Ponza *cough cough*

    Think back to the Living End win. It wasn't because Living End was top tier, it was because everyone showed up without any grave hate.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Quote from spawnofhastur »
    Let's be entirely honest, WotC has printed a lot of badly thought out cards recently, including Prized Amalgam and Cathartic Reunion, every single Eldrazi under 7 mana, etc.

    Hopefully the former pro players who are working for them now might be able to go "uh guys, this card's going to bust Modern", but I don't think WotC will actually listen.


    I think WoTCs answer to complaints about a card breaking modern revolves around the words "Don't worry, we'll just ban something later", or "just focus on standard." Part of the problem I have with Wizards is that they are being driven by contemporary marketing that focuses on the whole flash in the pan thing. If a set has been out for a month it's already getting stale so they got to go get the next one up on spoilers to get everyone chasing the next shiny thing. Because of this, they don't really spend a lot of time refining the long term strategy for maintaining non-rotating formats like modern. They sort of just hope that if they reprint things and ban a card here and there peoples problems will go away.


    The thing we have to keep in mind is that Wizards is a company. They need to do business. That business is not, for the large part, dependent on Modern. Standard sells packs. Modern is the king of secondary market, and Wizards can't really make a profit off the format. They can get exposure, and retain customers, but you don't open a box of the Standard set because you play Modern.

    Because of this, they spend the vast majority of their resources on Standard - and rightfully so. It takes more attention to craft new environments, to develop and balance sets, to create new worlds, than it does to maintain older, non-rotating formats. You will NEVER have a Wizards that cares more about Modern than Standard. This is a fact.

    I, for one, would love if there was a small council within WotC that sits in on new set development and keeps an eye out for the Prized Amalgams and Eldrazi of the future, so at least, when the next Eldrazi winter looms, there'll have been an internal group saying, "Hey, guys, Eldrazi is probably going to be a strong archetype with double sol lands and these pushed as frick creatures, we're gonna keep an eye on results and be prepared to trim down anything that is too oppressive." This, of course, would be a group not focused on Standard in any way, which is why they probably won't do something like this, at least until Modern becomes a much, much worse place. Modern was always meant to stand more on its own than Standard; Wizards just hoped that meant it would look at the numbers a few times a year, ban something if they really needed to, then go back to focusing on Standard.

    Their recent errors of judgment have shown this isn't working. If Wizards wants Modern to continue to be a supported format, and I really hope they do, then they should accept that consideration for other formats needs to play a part in designing Standard-legal sets. Otherwise, it's just a matter of time before the next broken mechanic, or over-pushed tribe, that takes Modern by storm and sets off years of recuperation, like we've seen the past almost 2 years.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    To be fair, in a world where Prized Amalgam and Cathartic Reunion were reprinted, but GGT stayed banned, I don't think we would have had the problem with Dredge that we had. The unban was basically "Dredge isn't a thing, let's see if we can make this a thing" and then, once Amalgam and Reunion were introduced, Wizards seemed to not realize how silly they would be with Dredge.

    Totally on board with the Eldrazi, though. Those things were in no way designed by anyone who knew Eldrazi Temple was a card.

    Both these errors come from design in isolation of Modern. I don't know if we'll ever get designers who look at Modern a fraction of the time they spend on Standard, but until we do these sorts of things will keep happening. Just hope it doesn't break things. A positive example is Vizier of Remedies, which has breathed life into GW Toolbox Combo, without making it oppressive. Dollars to dimes no one realized the interaction before it shipped. It just happened to not be oppressive.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    We need to be careful about how we throw around subjective statements.

    Players mainboarding graveyard hate, and Tier 2 decks being shifted to Tier 3, does not make a meta bad. It might make it less enjoyable for pilots of those collateral-damage decks, but lower tier decks fluctuate constantly at the whim of what the meta does to adapt to top tier decks. This is normal. For example, if Affinity became Tier 0 somehow and the meta starts running maindeck artifact removal, then Affinity's oppression would be more of an issue than the fact that suddenly Krark-Clan Ironworks decks suddenly got a whole lot worse.

    Infect in that meta was the epitome of fast and linear. You didn't out-linear infect. You interacted with it. Infect promoted mid-range, interactive decks, because they could handle the level of creatures with removal, and present their own threats. Dredge was more heavy-handed, being explosive enough to require some sort of concession in the form of grave hate or early sweepers, and Wizards noted this and banned GGT. Dredge turned out to be too strong, and it got banned for it. It wasn't the graveyard strategies that were relegated to Tier 3 that made the decision, though. I was the holistic health of the format. I think as a thread we need to remember that that health is the most important thing that should be considered when examining bans/unbans.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Ehh, I honestly feel the format is fast (and creature-based) enough for Jace to not be totally oppressive. He's a 4 mana spell in a Turn 4 format, and he isn't protected by 2 free counterspells like he is in Legacy (Force of Will and Daze). He'd likely be played in UW Control, but I don't forsee that being enough to make UW Control top of Tier 1.

    Don't get me wrong, Jace is one of the strongest PWs printed, and in other Modern metas he could run away with things, but I feel like, at least right now, he wouldn't be as dominating as one might think.

    I mean, how many 4 mana spells are played that don't either win that turn or are part of a chain to win that turn? Scapeshift wins, Gifts Ungiven sets up the win. This isn't a format where you can tap out for Jace on T4 and not be scared of just dying on the crack-back.

    All this being said, I think Jace unban, while not the craziest thing in the world, is unlikely, solely because he's a house in Legacy, and that makes him a risky unban, and Wizards historically has been very conservative with their unbans, GGT aside.

    If there had to be a time for Jace to be unbanned, I'd say now would be the safest, as he won't suddenly make slower decks beat the linear, fast decks that dominate the current meta. And once the pendulum inevitably shifts back to mid-rangy, longer game plans, Jace would be there as a part of the landscape that everyone needs to consider when forming archetypes. Maybe it would turn out that Jace becomes too strong in a slower meta, but the only chance Jace has at staying unbanned is to be released into a fast meta, so that he's a known quantity by the time things slow down.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    I don't know if this is the best move. Personally, I would love to have Infect back in the format; it helps prey upon Tron/Scapeshift, it makes Jund/mid-range stronger by presenting a target for them in the format, and I just personally enjoy the "linear but totally interactable" gameplay.

    That being said, unbanning Git Probe is probably not the way Wizards would go about doing it.

    When Probe was banned, it wasn't just Infect that was "abusing" it. This was right around when Aggro Death Shadow was becoming a force, and having an all-upsides card that filled the graveyard, warned you of interaction, lost you life, and replaced itself was honestly bah-roken. So that was one strike against it.

    Also at that time (though my memory might be hazy on this part) Storm was using Pyromancer's Ascension, to great success, alongside a plethora of cantrips that made their rituals super efficient and let them go off pretty easily from low amounts of mana. Strike two.

    Third, Infect was having a non-zero amount of T3 (or fewer!) kills, which breaks the T4 rule of Modern. Having lethal in hand, and being able to, for free, check to see if the coast was clear was a huge thing for the super-linear deck. I'd wager the number of circumstances where Infect can kill T4 or less is relatively the same as pre-ban, but being unable to check before going all in means you wait until you have interaction to back up your kill. This delays the clock by a turn or so, which ultimately isn't terrible for the format as a whole, but it left Infect just a bit too slow to kill routinely against its natural big-mana prey. Add to this the addition of Fatal Push, which makes a third color with one-mana interruption that you need to play around, and you have Infect's current state, which is to say practically unplayed, at least compared to its former glory.

    The casualties of the Probe ban included Grixis Delver, possibly the most fun I've had in Modern, and I was pretty broken up about my pet deck being gutted because of the sins of a few other more unfair abusers of the card.

    Flash forward to now.

    Grixis Death Shadow is a thing, the refined concoction that resulted from the pure-uranium version of Death Shadow Aggro. I feel the deck would love to go down to 52 card main deck again, and even though it seems the playerbase has started to hate ETron more than DS, it could easily swing back if DS rises to prominence again.

    Storm is Tier 1 for the first time in a while, and being able to, like Infect did, scout out the victory would be pretty big. I'm not super caught up on the interactions of Tier 1 decks, so I don't know if Storm being stronger would help or hurt big-mana's prevalence.

    Finally, Infect might be playable again with a Probe unban. You can scout out victories, fuel your Become Immenses, but you'll still have a more hostile meta, filled with GDS, UW Control, and Affinity to Push, Path, or just block your critters. Infect might rise to the challenge, but it also might not.

    So if we unban Probe, we empower Infect, though not definitively to a point where it can claim a seat at the big boy table, but we also give two decks, already at Tier 1 status, a strong tool they would love to have. I don't think that's the kind of unban Wizards would look at right now. If anything, I feel they want to shake up Tier 1, either by removing certain players or by unbanning the tools that would allow for lower tier decks to possibly be powerful enough to stand up to what's happening, like what Emma Handy suggests in her article (linked earlier in this thread, but it's here).
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Thought experiment; how would ETron be impacted by Thought-Knot Seer being banned? Taking away their form of interaction (that can come down T2 and leaves a 4/4 body) would weaken the deck, but would having T3 Reality Smashers and Karns make the deck still top-tier?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »

    Eldrazi Temple ban kills three decks entirely from existence from modern, and makes every eldrazi creature unplayable in the format


    I'm sorry? Is it required for every single supported creature type to be playable in the format?

    How about Pirates? Should we be upset that there isn't a sol land for them? What about Elementals? Cats?

    Eldrazi have been the single most pushed creature type in recent years, I'd argue EVER. They were part of the largest modern era screw-up by development, which gave us a terrible Standard format and Eldrazi winter. Temple was in no way considered when they printed BFZ/OGW. Eldrazi are how they are due to the negligence of Wizards. They were pushed, and those pushed cards got a sol land outside of Standard. The fact that there are multiple "archetypes" around two sets worth of creatures speaks to how ridiculous they were.

    Eldrazi in no way get a free pass. Story-wise, I love 'em. For the integrity of the game? Wizards messed up, and if it takes never seeing Eldrazi be competitive again to set things right, I say that's fine.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from mnesci »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from mnesci »
    when I saw Twin was banned, I was terrified. If they banned that, they could ban anything. I seriously considered the possibility that they would ban Delver. DELVER.

    They effectively did with the banning of Probe. And the choice to ban Probe was extremely strange, subjective, and showed a large bias against cantrips rather than an objective way to hit the targeted decks without killing them entirely or hitting multiple innocent splash damage decks.


    I didn't like the Probe ban. I thought it would be better to ban something more specific to the problem decks, or wait to see the effect of Fatal Push or Dredge being weakened (as you mention). With Shadow becoming big, I think the ban ended up good for the format, but I don't think it was right at the time.

    Delver decks got worse without Probe, but they are still playable. I was shook enough after the Twin ban that I thought they'd ban Delver itself, which is ridiculous given that the card hasn't ever done anything scary. Sure, they can ban anything, but I don't think they are that bad. I like most of the recent bans, and I'd rather they be conservative with unbans than too liberal.

    On the topic of banning Tron, come on. Tron is fine. Tron has never been dominant before. Eldrazi Tron uses Tron's top-end, Midrangey Eldrazi, Ballista, and Chalice. That's extremely different than traditional Tron. It sucks to be on the receiving end of turn 3 Tron into a Karn that dominates the game, but we don't need it banned. It's been fine for years, and nothing has changed for traditional Tron to be busted. If Eldrazi Tron is the problem, deal with that independently of Gx Tron. We need Big Mana, just like we need Aggro, and need Interactive decks. We can't nuke Big Mana and expect the meta to emerge fine.


    My only argument against what you're saying here is that, with the banning of Probe, Wizards showed they were OK with removing some part of the ecosystem of Modern. With Infect all but gone, big-mana decks were allowed to flourish, and I don't think the format "needing" a certain aspect of the meta will stop Wizards from doing anything. Sure, it'd fundamentally change what we see as the meta, but that's happened with pretty much every large ban, ever.

    Not to mention that Tron isn't the only Big Mana out there; we'd still have Scapeshift. Full disclosure, I've never loved Tron, and I think T3 Karn is about as feelsbad as Chalice on 1 in this meta, but I don't have a huge desire to see it banned. Eldrazi is surely the culprit of a lot of the current issues with the meta, and I feel either a Tron or Temple ban would absolutely gut the deck. Whether that'd be best for the format, I'm not sure. A more conservative approach is to ban Chalice, allow the early aggro decks to prey on the ETron side of Big Mana like they're meant to, and ETron loses its number 1 spot. Other gimmicky decks that rely on T1 Chalices and T1/2 Moons will suffer, but again, full disclosure, I wouldn't lose much sleep over that.

    If Wizards feel the need to handle ETron right now, either we see a conservative Chalice ban, or gut ETron with Temple, or say "go play TitanShift" with a Tron ban. I feel Tron is the least likely to be hit, as it does have splash damage to what's been a long standing but never really oppressive archetype.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the October 17, 2017 announcement?
    Oh, were you talking about the post-ban lists? Because yes, those are much less explosive, which was kind of the point of banning Summer Bloom. The fact that it isn't as explosive as before is exactly what the ban was intended to do.

    That's like people goldfishing Dredge right before the GGT unban and thinking "Huh, this isn't really too bad, Wizards could probably get away with unbanning GGT." Of course, Prized Amalgam did a lot for that deck with the unbanning, but post-ban versions of lists will almost always seem inferior to their heyday. Ayer's performance today on Amulet Titan shows the deck can still have some legs in the right field, which is I think a fine place for such a niche deck.
    Posted in: Modern
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