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Magic Market Index for March 16th 2018
All Sets Are Good: Saviors of Kamigawa
Dominaria Spoiler Digest - Who's Who and What's What from the Release Notes
  • posted a message on Remember when bans in standard were a rare occurrence?
    Turns out when you don't print land destruction, you need to ban utility lands. Whodathunkit.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Hello guys, thoughts on why "blade" variant non existent in modern?
    So if we look at a pretty standard legacy X-blade list, there is a lot of stuff that doesn't exist in modern. First, Stoneforge is banned in the format,so you can't tutor up your equipment and then deploy it at instant speed. This also plays very nice with your counterspells, free or otherwise, and you can afford to wait for your opponent to lose their cool and tap out.
    Second, Jittle is also banned in modern, for good reason. Jitte lets your evasive creature act as a control piece, and can speed up the clock by quite a bit. Swords and Batterskull are nice as well, but Jitte is really the core of the deck.
    Third, Brainstorm/Ponder/preordain are all not in modern, and a control deck needs strong card selection to be able to deal with powerful threats. Serum Visions is alright, but it's not nearly as strong.
    True name also isn't in modern, but I think that evasive creatures like Clique could fill the same slot. Fatal push also seems like it would do horrible things to the deck, decay is bad enough as is.
    There are some other factors too, like swords to plowshares being better than path, and modern just being a format that isn't as low to the ground as legacy.
    But really, its the combination of lack of selection, counterspells, and the nature of modern as a format where proactive decks are just better than reactive ones.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    Quote from Billiondegree »
    Quote from Nyzzeh »
    Of course, how haven't we thought of adapting our decks to etron?! We are such noobs, guys.
    We could have won eldrazi winter PT if we had known of that! Oh well.

    Had Eye of Ugin not been banned, there would have been more and more decks emerge with a good Eldrazi matchup. That just never happened because Eye was banned so quickly

    Oh yeah, a deck that gets to play 8 sol lands and absurdly pushed dudes is going to have bad matchups in a format with no wasteland or free counterspells.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    I think it's a little odd that WOTC seems perfectly fine with pro players breaking the game for Pro Tours, but the rest of us who don't have the time to grind out thousands of games are the ones who are the problem. Good lord, isn't a rotating metagame that rewards people who pick a good counterdeck exactly what they want? We saw the anemic modern version of DnT do really well because Shadow was over present. They are never ever going to get a format where every deck is 10% metashare or less, especially if they don't want to hire any professional number crunchers. I mean, I don't think that this is actually going to change the way bans happen very much, but if wizards is being more this opaque about their metagame data, then bans might feel a lot worse if the decision is based on MTGO data that we cant see.
    Modern is in a pretty good state right now, I would agree, but trying to put blinders on a community that is very invested and enthusiastic? Doesn't seem right to me. It's your job to balance and design the format Wizards, don't blame a networked community of people who are good at game theory and stats for breaking it, or at least hire some of them.

    I'm also little confused about the potential for CnD. Is it the collection of data, or the publication of said data that's problematic? I don't use MODO, and am just wondering here.
    And, I can very much understand something like that being in the TOS for a digital game, but can they do something related for a website that just tracks the paper meta? Is there a TOS equivalent for paper magic as well?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from bizzycola »
    Currently I have the next announcement at

    no ban's
    no unbans

    We have had some pretty diverse Top 8's short of the breakout event for Grixis Shadow, which didn't surprise me at all as I was saying it was the better of the shadow decks while everyone was idiotically talking about if Misra's Bauble was perhaps to good and needing to be looked at.

    We have seen various base W decks performing well with Mono-White hate bears actually looking like a solid deck in the face of spell heavy decks like Grixis Shadow and built in hate against lands matter decks like any flavor of Tron. I think as long as Grixis Shadow and E-Tron continue to be top dogs it should push that deck into the top tables more often, it is a meta-call deck for sure but it isn't as easy for GDS and E-Tron to hate as people like to think.

    Blue is doing better obviously with Grixis Shadow, sure its not the deck most of us blue mages wanted but its the one we got.

    Black is still king and short of WotC printing slews of powerful utility spells to compete with the discard spells that currently exist nothing is going to change that.

    Red has its own deck in burn and is a consistent part timer in various other builds like GDS.

    Green is probably in the least represented status it has been at for long time. Still CoCo decks are a real thing and Scapeshift is still a thing.

    Colorless is the most represented overall with E-Tron and Affinity. I don't see anything changing their status, Affinity does what affinity does and any deck not running white always run the risk of simply having the robots overload your hate early. Tron decks currently are actually Eldrazi decks and don't even need to assemble Tron to deploy their threats ahead of curve so the usual hate against such strategies doesn't even do much.

    Short of something new coming out of the existing card pool or something from a new set injecting a new super problematic deck into the meta-game it looks over all good.

    I don't really care much about the discussion regarding "linear" decks as essentially every deck is in some way linear, you only have 75 cards to win the game with and even Reactive control has a very narrow scope of functions that the deck looks to deploy to at some point win the game. I think the major thing that people really don't like is how fast many of the decks can end the game as the game ending on T4-5 on average doesn't afford much in way of time to attempt to do whatever your deck is designed to do. Only the most pure of combo decks don't care much if at all as to what their opponent is doing and those types of decks don't currently rule the format.

    Shard based Mid-range like Jund/Junk will continue to be bad as long as the 1-2 combo of E-Tron and DS are as good as they are. One is just a better bigger mid-range deck that goes over the shard based ones, and the other is a aggro deck that uses the same tools the mid-range decks would use to disrupt the mid-range decks for the 2-3 turns they need to win the game.

    edit: while i would love for a mid-range/control Blue deck to exist I think Modern is overall to hostel to that type of strategy. 1c.c. targeted discard is by design great against those types of strategies, hurting counterspell based control decks is what Duress was designed to do and we have way better options in TS/IoK and some type of Tap out control seems like the more likely type to ever exist.

    That's the thing about DnT/Hatebears though.It's naturally going to be really strong against death's shadow. DS feels, at least to me, a lot like the delver deck that modern has been lacking, and Dnt is designed to beat delver. I mean, sure you have proactive discard spells instead of reactive countermagic, but the deck does kind of feel similar. In modern, you don't generally have the spell heavy decks that you do in legacy, and the lack of cantrips means that decks play more lands. The more streamlined and tempo based the format, the better the deck gets, especially when you don't have mother of runes, wasteland, port, karakas, recruiter of the guard, or stoneforge to grind out games against fair decks.
    I really do think that a ghost quarter that let the opponent draw a card instead of getting a basic, or a tec edge with an activation cost of 1 or 2 would be very good for modern.
    Granted, I haven't played the deck in modern for quite a while, so things might be different now, but I just cannot see hatebears being consistently tier 1 in modern without strong and reliable mana denial.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Polac94 »
    Hey guys. I'm not a modern player but I follow entusiastically the format. I'd like to ask what do you think about unbanning cards that belong to non-played (or lightly played deck) in order to make a shake-up of the format.
    I'm referring to powerful cards such as Stoneforge, Bloodbraid elf, Deathrite and punishing fire (maybe even Jitte). These are fair cards for midrange/tempo strategies, which aren't oppressive actually. Would they destroy the format?

    Either Jitte or Fire alone kill every aggro deck in the format.
    Deathrite makes jund the undisputed best deck in the format.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Stille_Nacht »
    Honestly I fee like some of the arguments on stoneforge mystic are disingenuous at best.

    1. It's not as fast as the godhands from various decks.
    Things like t3 breach are not comparable and not useful to bring up in the conversation. T3 breach is also faster and more broken than esper charm if it had a -5/-5 option, or a hexproof dark confidant. Comparing a single card to an undisrupted godhand that requires the entire deck be constructed around said godhand is silly.

    2. It doesn't slot directly into any of the current t1 decks
    True enough, and it would certainly be true that stoneforge would create new decks. However, that doesn't mean it's safe. If you banned prized amalgalm, dredge would be tier 3. Does that mean that dread return is ok? Of course not.

    3. Ok but it's not good enough to be broken.
    This is the most complex one to answer. I think people are fixating too much on trying to imagine overwhelming kill turns. That is very much not what stoneforge mystic does. Stoneforge mystic is strong because it is a cheap, efficient win-con, which significantly alleviates deck-building constraints. The ability to include a 7 card package with a 2 drop which wins the game by itself, no matter the actual clock, is extremely significant.

    I realize legacy is not modern, but check out the following:

    Notice that a lot of the creature inclusions are actually very weak when it comes to board presence. There's a lot of random bears and 3 drop hate creatures. Why is this deck good? It doesn't do anything that broken right? Sometimes it blinks a 4 drop with flickerwisp to exile something. How's that better than Eldrazi with eye of ugin, eldrazi temple, ancient tomb, city of traitors, and wasteland in its mana base? Surely ACTUAL CONSISTENT t2 thought-knot is better than t3 batterskull right? How's that better than Burn with Price of Progress and Fireblast? Surely burn having access to 8 damage spells is stronger?

    This entire deck is only good because the Stoneforge package provides enough winning potential for the rest of the deck to be devoted to disruption. You can play cards like phyrexian revoker and thalia, heretic cathar mainboard, the deck was even running 4 vryn wingmare at one point (now it's 1-2). This is what I mean by freeing up deck-building constraints.

    Similarly, if you conceptualize stoneforge as part of UW, you don't say "oh, I'm not racing affinity, so it's bad kappa". You never raced affinity as UW. If you could race affinity as UW, nobody would play anything but UW. Instead, you ask:

    Can UW include more spells because of the stoneforge package's win con?
    Can UW significantly lower its curve because of stoneforge's mana efficiency?
    Can UW get run currently non-viable spell packages because of the turn on which stoneforge stabilizes the board?
    Does the addition of stoneforge patch a significant portion of the weaknesses of a given UW build?
    Do any of these changes make UW too good?

    It is unlikely that stoneforge ever makes a deck unbeatable. The risk we need to think about is the creation of a deck which has a 55% win rate against almost everything. For example, imagine if a UW list found that it could lose a lot of its "survive vs. aggro" stuff like lightning helix and electrolyze because stoneforge is stabilizing the early game and focus on other matchups. Also all of you who don't think stoneforge is good against affinity are trippin. Like, they cast it turn 4 or 5 while holding up removal. It's insanely strong to be able to continue removing/countering things while threatening to poop out a 4/4 lifelinker at instant speed.

    Would it actually be broken? Difficult to say. Its CERTAINLY not "super safe". Unfortunately, I haven't tested anything with stoneforge since before the eldrazi winter.

    What makes DnT so strong has little to do with stoneforge mystic. It has more to do with legacy being a hyper-streamlined format, as well as using a lot of cantrips. Thalia does a lot more in legacy in modern, and you have at least 7 cards that protect her, unlike in modern. Adding an additional colorless to a brainstorm can ruin a deck that plays a very low land count, and uses those cantrips to hit said lands.
    Legacy DnT also has a much, much stronger unfair plan than the modern version does, thanks to vial letting you abuse the living hell out of port and wasteland. I've won far more games off vial+port/wasteland and thalia beats than I have off stoneforge. Heck, generally I don't even feel safe playing the stoneforge unless I can vial it in or protect it with mana disruption or mom, and that sort of gameplan is much weaker in modern.

    Also, I don't know why that list isn't playing recruiter of the guard, but that card is bonkers.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on What's Wrong With Today's Magic?
    I'm of the mind that if "collectors" are buying up sealed product for the reason of monopolizing the supply, that wizards should print the ever living daylight out of that product. Wotc is the one who controls the supply side of things, not the secondary market.
    On the other hand, i'm pretty sure that none of us who care enough about the game to post on an online forum are the target market, or really even the secondary target market for wizards. Didn't some old article or something say that they aimed at the 4th grade comprehension level? Bit hard to find anything on the mothership in it's current state.
    Something else to consider. Wizards can afford to annoy and piss off long time players, they/we are already hooked, and are considerably less likely to quit the game. It really does take a lot to get a long time player to quit out of frustration, like having multiple expensive decks banned in a row, a two deck format, or other drastic flaws in the game.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What's Wrong With Today's Magic?
    Quote from bocephus »
    Quote from teach_the_controvesy »

    People have different opinions on everything. I have no idea where you're drawing the idea that differing views make customer input irrelevant or detrimental - they're exactly the reason companies ask for input in the first place.

    Because there are multiple factions with in th eplayer base, some desires over lap, most dont.

    Usually satisfied players dont complain. The only ones that complain are those upset. Wotc has to decide if those complaining will hurt the profit margin more then changing to the desires of those complaining and pissing off those enjoying at the moment.

    Its not a job I would like to have.

    People assume because they are upset with something, anything.. everyone else has to be too. That just isnt true.

    Not everyone cares about the art work, some people dont care about lore, some people are happy about mythics, some people dont play certain formats,not all players like all formats, not everyone is up in arms over prices, not everyone is upset at the lack of some types of decks in different formats, some people are not upset blue isnt playable in Modern, some people are not upset Legacy is becoming more and more a dead format.... I can keep going.

    So in short, what is 'wrong' with the game to one, is not going to be what is wrong to the next, or the next. And for every person that feels those things are 'wrong' others enjoy them.

    Its a no win situation. Wotc can not please everyone.

    Quote from thecasualoblivion »
    That's a strawman. Path/Push isn't the problem. The problem is things like Tarmogoyf, Scalding Tarn, Blood Moon, and Liliana of the Veil. All four of those cards were reprinted in Modern Masters 2017, and all are still $50+ and have not gone down in price significantly since the reprint.

    I might agree with you if those cards were needed to be competitive in Modern. They are not. You can play green without Goyf, you can play red blue without Tarns, you can play red without Moon, and you can play black without LotV and still top tournaments.

    Affordable is a slippery slope. As its been pointed out people are buying at the prices they are now. Just because you cant or wont pay, doesnt mean the game/cards are not affordable.

    The instant gratification crowd is another issue with the game. Just start playing the game and cry they cant play the top deck because its so expensive. Know how it was done back in the day? You played a lower priced deck, a deck you could 'afford' and play events and save up store credit or trade winnings for the cards you need for that other deck you want to play. Yes some complained here and there, but nothing like we hear now.

    Can't get store credit if you can't win though. And if you're playing a deck with a sub-50% winrate, like most budget decks, you aren't going to be breaking even. And this might be a personal experience thing, but most of the stores around me that offer store credit are quite heavy slanted toward top heavy payouts.
    At least where I play, entry is 6 dollars, and payouts go to a 3-1 or better finish. 3-0 gets 12, 4-0 gets 24. In that sort of setup you need to maintain a pretty high winrate over time, and that naturally slants the payouts toward people with the strictly best version of the deck or cards.
    Even if you are a fantastic player, there are going to be cases where you just lose games because your LOTV has been replaced with a necrogen mists, or you can't afford a 2 mana 4/5.
    I would actually argue that strong cards are even more important when players are skilled.

    And no you don't "need" LoTV, Goyf, Blood moon and the other top 10 most played cards in the format to play modern. If you want to win consistently, which is the most important part of grinding out store credit, you absolutely do. Take any budget deck you can throw together, and then run it though the modern gauntlet, with 10 or so games with every tier 1 or 2 deck. I've done this multiple times with my friends brews.Unless you managed to break the format wide open, which does happen, that deck is going to have a horrendous aggregate winrate, and might not even be high enough to break even on entry fees. It's just a numbers game.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What's Wrong With Today's Magic?
    Quote from JamesPrzytul »
    I believe it's a combination of two things easily correctable. One is planeswalkersby themselves snowball and not easy to remove. --> good against control.

    The other is removal is much weaker than creatures. So I feel when removal improves up to the level of creatures control will exist again.

    Planeswalkers will exist and still be a challenge to remove. I believe they are a net boon to aggressive-anti control strategies. They should be hard to remove as they are iconic. They do help control snowball as well but inherently make creature based aggro strategies a solution.

    What I would propose is removal swings on line with power of creatures.

    The issue with planeswalkers however is they are 1) easier to protect with control 2) easier to snowball with control 3) easier to draw with a control strategy

    What I would propose which wizards has not yet announced (they announced increasing power level of creature removal) is increasing the probability to draw planeswalkers for aggressive strategies above control.


    When this creature comes into play you may search and put this planeswalker type on top of your library.

    When this creature comes into play you may reveal the top five cards of your deck and put a planeswalker into your hand. Put the remaining revealed cards on the bottom of your deck in any order.

    Really I think creature tutors for planeswalkers are the way for aggressive strategies to be on line with control. When control has removal to keep aggressive strategies at bay.

    Furthermore with Planeswalkers being iconic, this will allow the timmy/big creature player to draw and play their new iconic, flashy Nissa/Gideon/Jace more often.

    Are we playing different games? As far as I'm aware, traditional draw-go control is pretty much dead in every big format, and midrange or tempo has taken over it's role. Aggressive strategies don't need help, wizards has been pushing them for years. Control is what needs help to compete with on-cast, undercosted creatures, with way too much value per card.

    It's not a matter of that plainswakers are "easier to draw" It's that control decks see more cards in a game. And further, plainswalkers are 1 card engines, it just makes more sense for value midrange and control decks to play them. An aggro deck doesn't want to tap out on t5 for some value machine, it wants to just kill you there. Walkers are just better in midrange and control decks that draw the game out and hope to win over the long haul, as any single walker will generate value for free. Gee, I wonder why this deck that that aims to win on t9+ is more likely to play 6 mana walkers.
    It's a matter of deck construction, aggro doesn't generally play walkers as a result of that, unless it's a walker that can win the game fast, like gideon, 4 mana elspeth, and a couple otherwise.

    Your proposed walker tutor is also the kind of card that would see play in midrange and control, and not aggro. How much do you think that tutor effect is worth? I would bet that wizards would value it at 2 or 3 mana. Even if you have a 1/1/ or 2/2 body, that's still a 3/4 value drop. Not really where a deck that wants to win on t4-t5 wants to be.

    I mean, i'm leery of 1-card engines in general, and most of those are pretty easy to deal with or remove. Walkers are exactly that, and really hard to deal with, so in my mind, I think they need to be treated with far more caution than wizards has been doing.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What's Wrong With Today's Magic?
    Quote from Lilijuana »
    "The game quickly degenerates when a casual group of players is joined by one or more who play anti-creature (denial) type decks and/or combo."

    "Degenerates" is a horrible term to be applied here. "Changes" is more accurate. Question though, what kind of "casual group of players" are you playing with/against? If you are playing with your friends in a closed group isn't it up to you who gets to sit down and play and who does not? If it's your choice why do the control and combo players bother you?

    If you are talking about wanting to lock control and combo players out of open-to-sign-up-and-play formats like FNM or tournaments that sounds entitled and selfish to me, and the kind of attitude that should never leave the kitchen table, certainly never step foot into a game store where one is likely to encounter players who like to play all different styles and decks.

    Nowhere did I advocate "lock control and combo players out of open-to-sign-up-and-play". You are putting words in my mouth.

    Your pseudosolution "isn't it up to you who gets to sit down and play" is exactly what causes such groups to fall apart. One of the players switches to infinite combo or denial, and the others do not possess the necessary cards to deal with it, so they start avoiding said group (because they can't really kick the player, can they? Doing so would be impolite.)

    The solution is to hand these casual players the tools they need against such infinite combo decks by printing decent combo-stopping removal.
    Jester's Cap should be in every core set (alas, we have no more such thing as core set)

    I've already mentioned non-rares like Krosan Grip.
    If such cards are in Standard, they'll end up in a casual player's deck. But if they aren't available, how are casuals supposed to deal with something their card pool simply doesn't have an answer for?

    If its pure casual, then they literally can go and order 25 cent or less cards online. If they are working from just a casual standard cardpool, how are they running into draw-go control or combo in the first place? And anyone who's taking a teir 1 standard deck to a casual standard table is a horrible person, and should be expelled from the group. That's probably the best feature of small social groups.
    Jester's Cap is the wrong kind of answer, it's super specific. Stuff like counterspell, Doomblade, innocent blood/edicts are what we're talking about for generic universal answers. Jester's cap may stop a combo, but paying 4+2 mana for something that doesn't effect the board state? That's the kind of thing that loses you the game in any format.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What's Wrong With Today's Magic?
    I'm starting to think that pauper is the best example of what wizards thinks that new players would consider unfun. It's a format where the answers are much stronger than the threats, minus a few absurd aggro/combo decks, so it naturally becomes this game of attrition and small advantages. It might be my gaming background speaking, but aren't those kinds of decision dense games just more engaging for the player? I wouldn't want to play a fighting game, where my decisions are limited to just blocking high or low instead of factoring in spacing, zoning, and all sorts of other factors.
    I mean, I've introduced a bunch of people to magic with my pauper gauntlet, and when those people went on to play standard, quite a few of them were wondering where all the strong spells were. I do get that card advantage is much more of a nebulous concept, and harder to keep track of than big dudes on the board, but do "new players" really just prefer a game that has all of the interaction jammed into combat? I find that hard to believe based on my personal experience.
    Also, would it really kill wizards to have some sort of free decent tutorial/glossary/demo that introduces basic to advanced concepts? A digital would be perfect for this sort of thing, and to use the fighting game comparison again, most of the current fighters have pretty good tutorials, and that includes advanced stuff. If they don't want to pay for it, i'm sure the community would be really easy to exploit, just like judges are.I guess wizards is just stuck in the mid/late 90's or something based on MODO.
    Also, I'm pretty sure that MTG has or will very soon reach market saturation, and a lot of this is Hasbro pressure to keep up the insane growth rates.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What's Wrong With Today's Magic?
    Cat ban is good, but wouldn't be needed if decent instant speed removal was a thing in standard. Emergency banning it 2 days after the banlist is really bad for confidence.
    Props on CFB at least for refunding people's purchases.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Wizards' Player Motivation Survey
    Cool, thanks for the survey. Made sure to take advantage of the part at the end to mention instant speed interaction and land destruction. Don't know if it's going to do any good, but it's worth the 5-10 minutes.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Quote from Trazaeth »
    I don't think that maverick is inherently unfair of a deck and it sees legacy play. Also I'm not asking for blue to be tier 0 I am asking it to have the tools necessary. Bant eldrazi plays blue, if serum visions is equal to ancient stirrings why doesn't it play serum?

    Maverick is decent, but it's low tier 2 if you want to be generous.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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