Does anyone know how RobZDar (Fish) defeated mathguy (WW) last weekend? How did Robert manage to achieve this feat? Did anyone see the match? Curious to know how Robert emerged victorious from this nightmare matchup.
Don't know how many of you still traverse the world of MTGS for 100C news, but big prize announcement:
This coming weekend we're doing the pre-Christmas event, unfortunately I won't make it for the 23rd event due to family obligations and celebration of the holiday.
However big money on the table this next event on 16 DEC:
1st Place: A full playset of Power Nine (VMA) (If you're unfamiliar with vintage this includes Black Lotus, All 5xMoxen, Ancestral Recall, Timetwister, and Time Walk) this is valued likely somewhere around 100 tik, so if vintage isn't your thing you can sell them for a tidy sum.
Door Prize will be a card valued at 30 tiks but not yet disclosed.
Unfortunately I was not able to claim the title again. That would be funny. A pity but it was a really cool event for me where Saskia decided to show off. Second shout-out should go to Falkenrath Aristocrat because Socanelas also found themselves in a similar situation which blocked me from winning, even though it was Doran that made me lose the game in the end.
I had to change my plans after being able to play Saskia on turn 3. My poor opponent took a 8 damage hit on turn 3...
I expected to terribly lose after I didn't deal with Anafenza when I could. But then I drew Lingering Souls realizing that 4 "2/2s" for 5 mana suddenly become lethal. In this game though Falkenrath Aristocrat showed its worth.
Thx lowman02 for your Power. Now I feel a bit silly with 3 sets of Power Nine on my account
Have you actually watched the video? Or read any of my or lowman's articles about 4c Blood? The answer is there.
I'd rather be on my version against lowman's deck while lowman's deck is better in general in CSM. Outside of it I'd rather run my deck.
Checked out that card, and while I do think it has the coolest phoenix art I've seen in a while (other than wing shards, how many barn owl's do you see in MTG art), I think it will be frightfully too slow for the format...if they dialed it down to 3 mana certainly playable, but not even definitively better than Chandra's Phoenix. 10 for the art, because as a lover of the natural world, owls (while shocking simple beasts in regards to their central nervous system which is often erroneously tauted) are pretty bad ass predators.
Since I liked to annoy people with Ashcloud Phoenix I simply had to build a deck featuring this Phoenix (talking about Standard) and it is indeed a powerful card. I thought hey it's another Thunderbreak Regent but no, this one can actually block Rhonas all day! And swing back after it blocks and dies and gets back into play. I can't imagine a singleton deck that wants to run this card though. In the world of Planeswalkers it's usually better to simply run a Planeswalker. You want a card that makes an impact on the board for that cost and this Phoenix simply doesn't do that... It can actually die or be removed from the game with Scavenging Ooze, Deathrite Shaman etc...
LOL, I don't know how you put that dancing wookie in your message, but he's pretty cool. When I think of 4CMC Red drops that bridge well for the value deck I tend to think of Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Fiery Confluence; there are certainly more and some may be better in certain decks. But I think you realistically want to be using this card offensively and gaining value from it when your opponent is forced to block it or remove it to abate a racing situation. I don't think this is a defensive card by the nature of its qualities, and it becomes a lot more dubious when you're trading down, ie loxodon smiter; I think what gives saskia and Falkenrath Aristocrat a leg up is that both hit out of nowhere, one wins the game near instantaneously in a racing situation or a underdeveloped opposing board and the other grinds out games due to evasion and resilience (and it's just great vs PWs). This card does not win races instantaneously, it's a grinding tool, and while it does have both evasion and resilience it's resilience comes at near Bogardan Hammer speed and it can't hit out of nowhere, ie you telegraph your intentions with it. The issue is two fold, one this card does not play a game of hidden information well, and two it's over all comparative card quality vice the cards displayed is lower...three toughness is an issue as is the lack of haste. That said, I think this card will make a big splash in standard, but I think it's time in the limelight will die there...despite my love of the card's art.
A video and report from two CSM events. I was playing 4c Blood in the first one, Red-Green Midrange in the second one to break the stale RDW and WW metagame. Lowman did the same and well you know what happened then^_~. (I submitted this to puremtgo but it is not going to be published there so with a big delay here it is)
I wanted to take the time to share some thoughts on the current 100c format and the future of it. Since the beginning of my odyssey in this wonderful format, it’s always been a quest of mine to build more and better decks, to explore all the options available through the long history of Magic: The Gathering’s past and current design trend. I’ve given many things a try from simple White Weenie Aggro, Midrange of many varieties, Reanimation Combo, RG Ramp, Storm/Doomsday Combo, Red Deck Wins, Elfball Alluren, URMoon, Esper Combo Control, BUGLoam Control, Jeskai Aggro/Control, Grixis Control, and many things in between or wackier.
For me the format is one of creation and exploration; that’s what keeps it fresh for me and gives me a desire to keep coming back to it for more gaming experience. When I first took over as host of the event, I proposed sweeping changes to the format due to strategy dominance of one deck: 4 Color Blood. The format ban list deliberately nerfed the top end power of control decks and the most powerful (but symmetrical) draw engines and tutors were banned weakening combo strategies in the format. This led to a format where generally folks smashed creatures into each other, but any deck that had the most efficient and disruptive creatures were able to win: enter 4 Color Blood. A strategy that is and was dominant in many other forms of highlander to include German Highlander and Canadian Highlander, despite a more permissive ban list, or, the case of the latter, no ban list at all.
The changes we made were initially debated quite hotly, but we adapted and I think found over time that while there were more lopsided matchups, there was also more general health in the overall meta and the good creature decks still did well. At this point in the season we currently have a healthy spread of general archetypes; with 6 control decks winning the tournament (ranging from 5C Scapeshift to simple U/W Control), 8 midrange decks (still heavily 4CB variants, but some R/G midrange and ramp, as well as U based aggro control decks), and 5 aggro decks (WW primarily and one RDW).
These numbers would tell of a healthy meta spread in the format.
However, I think when one measures the rate of presentation (how often each deck or archetype was played) vs rate of winning we’d come to a different determination of how healthy each archetype is. WW is the most represented deck with 600% more presentation than U/W based combo control decks but only four total 1st place finishes vs three 1st place finishes by the U/W lists. And of a large presentation of RDW over the course of this season, it has only grabbed one solitary 1st place finish. Why is that? I would proffer that it’s a by product of the continued strength of midrange and the boon to control of the powerful draw engines in Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, and the most powerful card in the format: Mystical Tutor, sometimes a win condition and sometimes vast tempo and card advantage through use of terminus, or Life from the Loam. However, I again, I do not think that the best way to empower aggressive strategies is to weaken any given one archetype, but to make proactive changes to unban cards that make pure combo decks (storm, academy combo/eggs, reanimator, high tide) more viable.
I know the steady player base, and I appreciate you all, has a healthy distaste for what they assume to be Magic’s dark underbelly: Combo. But let’s make a causal assessment of what good combo decks do in a format. A good combo deck that can goldfish un-interrupted as soon as turn 2 but reliably at turn 4-5 (in the 100 card format) presents a meta solution to the midrange fair decks (like 4CB) and is reliably efficient enough and disruptive enough to get under control decks (beat those dirty Dig Through Time players). What a good 100 card combo deck does not do is beat aggressive decks reliably.
Historically, high tide decks in standard, type II [sic] were held in check not by opposing counter magic, but by dark ritual into phyrexian negator. This deck, similar to what I see as a reliable fishing kill at turn 4 or 5 for combo in 100 card singleton, could unreliably kill on T3 but realistically killed on T4. A turn 1 phyrexian negator against a non-interactive high tide deck followed up further clocks just smashed the mono blue combo deck into oblivion. The “Suicide” Black aggressive deck in turn lost to more midrange solutions or RDW, Sligh [sic] of the time, which in turn lost to the HT, because, believe it or not, RDW fished slower than Black Aggro did, but boy did it ever beat the living snot out of Black Aggro.
My point is, despite the distaste for combo decks, they serve a very important role in maintaining balance in the health of a format. Certainly, there are times when combo has grown to too great a dominance in a format, reference the Memory Jar decks of Combo Winter, but this is also true of all the archetypes; Draw-Go & Forbiddian (control and aggro/control respectively), Hazoret/Ramunap Red (in the recent past for aggro). Most standard formats tend to be defined by three dominant decks that abide the natural strategies provided by the available card pool. Almost every other deck is either bad or predatory in nature toward one or more of the natural strategies in a format. A good example of this would be Theros era constructed standard where there were three dominant devotion decks: Mono Blue Devotion, Mono Black Devotion, and Mono Red Devotion. Each of these decks had one good matchup in the triad, one bad one, and then the mirror. Most other decks played competitively were predatory in nature toward one or more of these strategies, but were not intrinsically the best choice available. An example of this in our own tournament would be my choice to run RG Ramp because it’s really good vs RDW, WW and 4CB, and no one had been playing blue decks, which tend to just beat RG Ramp. This was a deliberate choice to play a predatory deck that was not per se the best deck available, but the best deck given the expectation of what my opponents would play.
My point is, we have a meta that although rife with aggressive decks (likely because they’re cheap cost wise) is very unhealthy for them. I think one cause of this is that we do not have viable and strong combo decks to keep midrange and control (despite the fact that some folks may disagree, the best way to beat combo isn’t by trying to counter all their spells, eventually they overwhelm counter magic [if the combo deck is good and the player, ask @Michelle_Wong how well her mono Blue Sienfeld list did vs me piloting RDW...but that mana efficiency homie ]; the best way to beat combo is to just kill them—fast and consistently).
Another way of looking at RDW is as a combo deck—how well does this deck fair in our meta, despite being one of the most viable natural strategies available—spoiler it’s won twice in the last two seasons (two years). Why is that? I would claim that it primarily lies in the fact that due to the lack of other combo decks, most other builds are able to commit an overwhelming volume of board space to shore up this matchup. Imagine if UW/b combo control didn’t have 8-10 slots available to shore up this bad matchup. What if this deck had to reserve space for cards like Rest In Peace, Stoney Silence, Containment Priest, Flusterstorm, Arcane Laboratory, Mindlock Orb, Stifle, etc. Then turning what is generally a 40% game win rate in game one into a 65% game win rate game two and three is no longer a viable option because the UW/b combo control deck already has too many dead cards in this matchup and can no longer reserve such extensive board space without significant risk or a very keen meta call. This matchup is actually so bad, that in German Highlander, a very similar format to our own, excepting it does not allow sideboards, UW/b decks often main deck Rune of Protection: Red just in case they run into the matchup. Every other time they’re cycling it off at cost of 2 mana and that can't feel great.
I would offer that the only true combo deck that is viable (not buildable, but buildable and capable of repeatable success) given the available card pool is RDW—and because it is solitary in its presentation it just gets hated into the earth and can’t reasonably win. This is actually a true shame because 1. There are many pilots who enjoy playing burn on a regular basis and 2. Ensuring that this archetype is healthy is a good way to grow the format, because it can be built well for a very cheap price tag in a format that boasts some of the most expensive cards on MTGO. So how could we fix this issue?
There are a few key cards that would enable us to continue to balance the meta—I’m not saying the meta is terrible right now—but it could be better—and at the end of the day the more permissive a card pool is, without one deck or archetype achieving natural dominance, the better.
I think the following cards should be unbanned:
Birthing Pod: Included by me for reasons of increased range in the midrange archetype. Currently midrange is either aggro/control or 4C good stuff decks (efficiency over value). Birthing Pod opens up more value based G/x midrange decks that will tend to go over the top of the current format staple midrange decks, these builds will be better in the mirror match, but will tend to have a softer matchup vs. aggressive and control strategies.
Entomb: Included for reasons of increasing the viability of reanimator primarily, which has won only three tournaments in the last two years (2x5C reanimator lists, and 1xHermit Combo list). This also gives a boost to Loam based strategies, which despite vast debate and concern about the power of loam has yet to win a single tournament since its unbanning. This card is also a boon to storm combo decks playing cards like past in flames, etc.
Demonic Tutor: This card increases the viability of combo decks, and gives a boost to most value based or control strategies that can run it. The format is fast enough that the commitment in tempo of two mana during the early to midgame is of significant impact. In some matchups this card will be a life saver, in other matchups it will essentially be a time walk turn for your opponents. Despite it giving perfect selection, it’s a shockingly high variance card to draw given different matchups. (much like 4CB’s defense against Back to Basics or Blood Moon…just cast all of your stuff to kill them before it resolves and kill them with your 1-3 drops [it actually works :P]).
Wheel of Fortune: This card is included as a means of making storm combo and reanimator more viable in the meta, which in turn keep midrange and control in check. But try resolving this thing against a WW or RDW deck while their on 3-4 lands and 1-2 cards and see how that feels...not good man.
Yawgmoth’s Will: This card is often equated to being a boogie man in eternal formats and was dominant in the days of type II, standard with dark ritual and cabal ritual were available as 8 cards in a black deck. That said, I think the card’s history makes it out to be more scary or impactful than it is. I don’t mean to say that this card is not powerful, but it is a high variance/build around card in that it cannot be run in just any deck, it is both mana hungry and card (in the graveyard) hungry. So, it will make storm or graveyard-based decks more viable, but these decks will need to run many cantrips and ritual effects to make it worthwhile, which in and of themselves do absolutely nothing to impact the gamestate.
Oath of Druids: This card gives a strong boost to existing BUGLoam decks and spawns a near creature-less archetype that is both powerful, fragile, and elegant in the format. Acknowledging that this card is very powerful as essentially a 2 mana moat effect, it also spawns a wide design space for existing combo control shells to explore and I think it’s important that we try new things to make the format more inclusive of variation on construction. And here, I’d reference that we unbanned fastbond, the singularly most powerful card we unbanned, and it’s done absolutely zero to change or alter the meta. This card, I think will have higher impact, but will not acquire the fabled turn two oath kill with oath of druids and forbidden orchard more than .5% of the time. Most of the time this creature light deck will be hanging on for dear life cantripping, countering, and hopefully finding a wrath effect just to stay alive.
And that’s all I think we should do currently as far as changes. For some I know my ideas will instill temerity that we’re losing the format, but I ask that you trust my experience with the game and believe me when I say that these inclusions will enable a much wider meta, which in turn will promote greater health—and you know, likely even bring in more players because being able to play the game the way you want is a pretty big sell.
We’ve seen one big change with the last set of unbannings, which in the end has increased the spread of winning archetypes and promoted balance--despite initial resistance. I know we all approached this differently and some of us downright resisted every single recommendation, and that’s perfectly fine, but I think if we’re honest we’ve gotten the format to a better place. It might be more powerful, but it’s also a lot deeper and wider than it used to be.
Let me know what you think folks, voting will go up in two weeks (so I can announce during next week’s event), with an effective date one week after closing of polls (three weeks from now). Additionally if anyone thinks we need to remove a card or cards from the format, then please let me know and I’ll put it in the polls for ban recommendation, but as of right now no one card or cards has been dominant in victorious decks (alright maybe swords to plowshares; it's in the three top decks WW, 4CB, and UW/b). I will link the poll in both MTGS, reddit, and on our Discord for folks to follow and conduct their voting.
Thanks again folks, I appreciate all the support you give the format and enjoy playing with you all.
Can I recommend that the Opening page of this Forum (page 1) be updated to show the Discord link, for those who wish to keep up to date on Discord.
For me, I am not abandoning this forum, and I will use this forum exclusively moving forward, because:
1. Out of respect for MTGOCardMarket, it's important to stay on this forum because Discord gives no credit to Oscar at MTGOCardmarket;
2. I un-installed Discord because I was being spammed at every hour of the day and night from fellow gamers who were in the mood for a game; and
3. I disagree that this forum is a dinosaur. It serves our purposes well in my view.