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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
  • posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Hey, all! I'm new to the deck, but have found myself a number of times with a large Saheeli against an opponent with plenty of creature removal; how do we feel about a single artifact wincon in the SB for control matchups, like Battleball or something?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Imminent Doooooooom
    I passed this early last night, but now I've been mulling over its potential in GR beats with a couple Quarry Haulers.. they're only in one pack, but it seems reasonable to snag two. If the deck was largely 2-3 drops with a few combat tricks, I could a lot more potential in it than a deck that's hoping for things to line up naturally.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Trials
    What pierrebai said... G/B Trials aren't worth splashing for. The red Trial, on the other hand, I would splash for, if the cartouche fit my deck.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Modern Masters 2017 Draft Primer
    Yeah, the witch is nearly broken!

    Other thing I'd like to add:

    Take signets... should be obvious, but they go much later than they should.

    Three-color really seems the best. There's so much fixing.

    Don't be afraid to switch gears much later than you would in a non-Master set. I'm often switching as late as pack 2 and finding myself quite comfortable.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Modern Masters 2017 Draft Primer
    From my few games, it seems the format isn't very fast. You do have to have answers to fliers, and there can certainly be some busted turns, but it seems slow enough to support longer-term strategies. Two of my three matches went to time.

    If I expected to get many more drafts under my belt, I would be interested in trying the Arachnus Spinner deck... I misread the card at first, not realizing its ability can be used by ANY spider. Arachnus Webs seem to go fairly late, and even its inability to stay on a 4+ power creature long doesn't matter too much, as they can be searched from your graveyard. 6 mana is not backbreaking at all for a 5/7 reacher.

    Came from a "sealed" draft, and pulled not 1, not 2, but 3 Cackling Counterpart as my rares... Talk about a slap to the face.

    HOW DO I BUILD ANYTHING WITH THOSE AS MY RARES?!

    Well, that certainly beats... from a dollar perspective. Fortunately, the set does not require rares to function at all.

    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Modern Masters 2017 Draft Primer
    Hey, all!
    I wanted to get a little bare-bones assessment of MM17 out today, as I know many of us will be jumping on one of very few attempts to draft it tomorrow. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to complete it, so what follow is a very partial review of the spoiled "set" and what I expect to see in the draft format. Please add as much as you like, and I'll try to finish it up tonight, possibly in editing.



    Modern Masters 2017 Draft Preview
    As with all high-powered draft formats (Cube, Master Sets,) synergy is much, much more important than just having pile.dek. The goals of the allied color pairs and shards are as follows (as near as I can tell.)


    UW Blink
    Focused on support like Momentary Blink and Ghostly Flicker, this color pair wants ETB value. Along with some token makers, there are value creatures for general tempo plays. Try to prioritize white token-generators-on-a-stick (i.e., Splicers) above blue ones, as white's other major archetype will be fighting you for them pretty hard.

    UB Control/Graveyard
    This pair was a little harder for me to evaluate, as nothing jumped out as being broken for the pair. There are ways to get cards into your graveyard in the pair, but only black has Unearth creatures to take advantage of it; while blue does have a few cards with flashback, they're not exactly backbreaking in Limited (or cheap.) Still, the value of holding both a Grisly Spectacle and a Spire Monitor is up there. It seems to really open up with a splash of White, allowing flashback on Unburial Rites, and the out-of-hand casting of Lingering Souls. I expect UB to be more straight-forward; fliers, control (there are many black discard spells) and hopefully a wall or two. Also worth noting, Dinrova Horrors love Ghostly Flicker the most, so if you think you're UB, pick up a flicker and try to wheel a Horror or two (also, UB might be a fine audible if white seems to dry up for this reason.)

    BR Sacrifice
    Traitorous Instinct is a common, as is Vampire Aristocrat. Nuff said? No, of course not, this is a Master Set! There's also plenty of Unearth, and you may even be able to steal a game or two from an opponent unused to staring at your unearth cards in your GY. Falkenrath Noble is a juicy little drainer, too. Grab a sac outlet or two, then go to town on Dragon Fodder and Kathari Bomber. Sacrifice outlets first! There are plenty of dorks to sac, and plenty of payoffs, but if you lack any efficient sac outlets, your deck is going bust.

    RG Tokens
    One of two token archetypes (three, is you count combining them,) RG wants to go wide. Dragon Fodder is a big one, and I expect Fists of Ironwood to be mor at home here. Strength in Numbers may be one of your more important finishers, and Gruul War Chant will be worth a few points on its own. No one will be prepared for Dynacharge game one; also, consider picking up a couple blue fixers for splashing a Teleportal. Snagging a Skirsdag Cultist or Thunderous Wrath for a little late-game reach couldn't hurt, either. Gaea's Anthem will be more important here than GW, as black has a common sweeper for 1/1s.

    GW Populate
    The other premiere token archetype, this one is more focused on populating big tokens. Urbis Protector is your big non-rare pick up, but Call of the Conclave just got common, and that's a fine failsafe. If GW is open, you should be able to get an Intangible Virtue without too much trouble; still, the card is important enough to grab one relatively early, just in case. Token makers first; once you have 7-10 token makers, all those Wake the Reflections that everyone else is laughing at will be insane. Oddly, it seems that this is the deck that wants Giantbaiting, not GR; I'm sure it will do its job in GR, but Populating the 4/4 seems legit. The best body for Fists of Ironwood is clearly Bronzebeak Moa.

    Shardchetypes
    Bant: Splicers (blinkulate). Splicers abound in these colors, and the blink effects from UW coupled with some populate cards should provide some sweet advantage.
    Naya: Tokens, clearly. Sunhome Guildmage is a nice payoff and should come late.
    Grixis: Control/self-mill. I like the UB shards more than the color pair itself, as they seem to have more vision. Grixis offers a good inevitability package with BR removal and UB fliers, and there does seem to be the makings of a sweet graveyard deck there, with plenty of Unearth and Torrent of Souls to power through a lot of damage out of nowhere.
    Esper: Control/grind. If you can get some Unburial Rites, you could go the GY route, but most notably here are Sin Collector, Moroii, or Agent of Masks behind a Wall of Denial. Some Lone Missionaries seem like a good way to last until your inevitablity becomes... um, inevitable. Careful with Gift of Orzhova; y'know, like an aura. That being said, there aren't a crrazy number of common answers to this; Grasp of Phantoms, Aethertow and Grisly Spectacle. Maybe it's poised to be even better here.
    Jund: Sacrifice tokens. Golgari Rotwurm is a fine sacrifice outlet. Golgari Germination will be nasty with Rotwurm/Falkenrath Noble/Unearth. I don't expect GB to be a common archetype, so you may even get passed some Putrefys. I expect it may be hard to buils this properly, but if the pieces fall into place, your board may basically be ":symb:: Opponent loses 2 life, you gain 1 life."


    Common and Uncommon Removal (I might be missing some for now, I'll finish up later, hopefully)
    Common
    W
    Gideon's Lawkeeper
    U
    Crippling Chill
    Grasp of Phantoms
    Mist Raven
    Spell pierce
    B
    Grisly Spectacle
    Bone Splinters
    Cower in Fear
    R
    Chandra's Outrage
    Magma Jet
    G
    Arachnus Web

    UB
    Agony Warp
    BR
    Augur Spree
    UW
    Aethertow
    GR
    Ground Assault




    Uncommon
    W
    Banishing Stroke
    Path to Exile
    Pitfall Trap
    B
    Seal of Doom
    Pyroclasm
    BR
    Terminate
    BG
    Putrefy
    UR
    Izzet Charm



    Pivots (Cards that are better early picks, as they go into different decks)
    White:
    Flickerwisp
    Blade/Master Splicer
    Urbis Protector

    Blue:
    Tandem Lookout
    Wing Splicer

    Black:
    Falkenrath Noble/removal

    Red:
    Bloodrush/removal

    Green:
    Gaea's Anthem/Strength in Numbers? No real great ones here.



    Keystone Cards
    (i.e., you'd better have one of these if you're in this archetype)
    GW Intangible Virtue
    UW Ghostly Flicker, Momentary Blink
    GR Dynacharge, Gruul War Chant
    BR Vampire Aristocrat
    UB Um... Grisly Spectacle? Not sure about this.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Cards I have never put in my deck - AER Edition
    Somebody played Sequestered Stash against me yesterday. It tapped for mana a couple times.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Draft and Dash
    Since the shop doesn't want to use a stick, then the only tool left is the carrot; in other words, prize support. Even if it were a small amount, it would be incentive enough for most to stay, and a small bonus for those who do stay while some leave.

    Otherwise, I dunno, a sign? I mean, since it's presumably a keep draft, it's not like anyone is passing a blood moon (the only card I can think of that's both good value and not very playable in Limited... except Goyf, but, c'mon, no one is passing that.) The fake-drafters would be just as well off buying packs for themselves.

    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on 1st deck box draft in a couple years. Ktk??
    Of those 3, I'd suggest Khans, but I wouldn't suggest Khans block at all... it's a three color format, which can be tricky to draft, and frankly I didn't love it. You do get some fetchlands out of it, but those go for $10-$15 anyway, so I wouldn't warp the experience for them.

    Personally, I'd do Kaladesh. It's a fun format with a number of available strategies, and some good lessons about drafting (i.e., Consulate Skygate.) It also carries good value (masterpieces, fast lands, etc) and won't lose value any time soon. The archetypes are fairly straightforward, too.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] "PWNED!" Plays Thread
    Had Ninth Bridge Patrol and Felidar Guardian out, drew another Guardian. Smile
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Aether Revolt Prerelease Discussion & Over/Underperformers
    It's that time again! Tell us about your prerelease experience: was it fun? Fast? Durdletown? Were there any over- or under- achievers worth mentioning? Did you find any cards from Kaladesh jumped or crashed in power? Is this Assembly-Worker deck a thing?
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on What happened to these forums?
    I think, in part, it is due to a flourishing of videos/podcasts/articles on limited strategy. Time was, forums were one of the only sources available for limited strategy... now you can't throw a bitcoin without hitting 1-3 videos and articles published within the day on the most up-to-date info from the pros.


    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Experimental Aviator
    I had two in my last deck, and it's pretty good. Providing a blocker for small creatures and two evasive power is pretty good for control decks. I didn't have much faith in it, but often, it was the card I wanted to cast, and those thopters did good work. Interacts well with a lot of the set.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Kaladesh Mechanics Discussion
    It should be noted that Fabricate has ever only two modes; either you get the counters, or the Servos. It reads that you can't, for example, use "Fabricate 2" to generate one creature and one counter.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day for 10/13: Engineered Might
    Pretty sweet with Long Road Home.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
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