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  • posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from deadmarmon »
    Quote from Wraithpk »
    Quote from Kovo »
    That being said, Discard is important to combat combo and other gofish strategies. So Im not sure what to say. But its interesting to see people completely give a pass to strong discard (which is just proactive permission), and yet think counterspell is too strong.


    Yeah, it's pretty hypocritical. The problem is that too many people get salty about counterspells, and WotC listened to those people and started dumbing them down, but kept making strong removal and discard, which is not really any different than permission. And now we have the mess of current Standard because people started complaining about removal and discard, so WotC dumbed those down too.


    Real question here, just a thought experiment really, but if counterspell was put into modern, would any other counterspell in the format outside of cryptic even remotely make any deck list? Right now, whether we agree with it or not, the current state of counterspell balance in Modern seems fairly good, we have a lot of choices we can use, they include (but are not limited to):

    Mana Leak,
    Cryptic Command,
    Spell Pierce,
    Dispel,
    Remand,
    Countersquall,
    Deprive,
    Spell Snare,
    Disallow?

    These plus some other notables as well, right now we have legitimate choices, lets say in a hypothetical perfectly balanced format with equal parts aggro, midrange, control, combo, and tempo, is 4 x counterspell not simply always the best choice in a vacuum? Honest question since I have been thinking about it but I'm not 100% sure, if that is the case would that not result in massive deck building diversity lost? Is it bad if that happens? Just trying to think things through from Wotc's perspective.


    Here's the problem with that line of thought: "counterspell diversity" is a meaningless concept if none of them see any real play due to being too weak. If Counterspell sees extensive play in blue reactive decks, that's a net gain in diversity, since reactive decks are generally weak right now and do not see extensive play. If you're arguing that pushing out all of those counters reduces diversity in non-reactive decks, my counterargument is that there is already incredible diversity in non-reactive decks, with or without counters. Counterspell would not cause a significant decrease in deck diversity for proactive decks. I don't know if it alone would make reactive decks viable again, but if it did, that's an entire array of archetypes that did not exist before. In a perfectly balanced format, sure, we can look at whether counterspell diversity should matter; however, in a format with very few reactive options, a powerful reactive card does more to open up new archetypes than to stifle diversity.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from Wraithpk »
    Quote from Kovo »
    That being said, Discard is important to combat combo and other gofish strategies. So Im not sure what to say. But its interesting to see people completely give a pass to strong discard (which is just proactive permission), and yet think counterspell is too strong.


    Yeah, it's pretty hypocritical. The problem is that too many people get salty about counterspells, and WotC listened to those people and started dumbing them down, but kept making strong removal and discard, which is not really any different than permission. And now we have the mess of current Standard because people started complaining about removal and discard, so WotC dumbed those down too.


    I think this is a pretty common misconception; "dumbing them down" has nothing to do with power. Counterspell is about the most "dumbed down" version of the effect, but it is clearly more powerful. The problem is not the simplifying of removal and discard; WotC has been depowering answers and powering up threats. This has led to a state of the game where the threats have gotten too good relative to the answers, but this has absolutely nothing to do with simplicity vs. complexity; contrary to popular belief, the simplest version is often the more powerful, all else being equal. I don't think that anyone would argue "destroy target creature" is both more "dumbed down" and more powerful than "destroy target creature with converted mana cost 2 or less." The problem here is not reduction in complexity; it is reduction in the power of answers relative to threats.

    I don't think Counterspell will ever be allowed in standard, but if reactive decks are to have a hope of survival in modern, we need something similar in functionality and power.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    My major issue with Jace is that he makes it difficult for any deck that wants to go past turn 4 to win without being a "jace" deck or a deck that has even more powerful late game options. I think with a Jace unban, you would see the meta shift to decks that can go under Jace (uninteractive hyper-aggro and spell-based combo), and decks like tron that have powerful enough plays to laugh at him. My guess is that the format would turn into a format with 2 types of decks: uninteractive decks and Jace decks. I'm willing to entertain the possibility that I'm wrong (and I kind of hope I am), but this, I think, would be the major concern with bringing him back into the format.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Quote from deadmarmon »
    Quote from c_2ro »
    Modern is generally hostile to purely reactive decks; this is nothing new, it has, aside from a few outlier cases, been that way from the beginning. The reason for this is simple: proactive decks look to play the threats, to "ask the questions," so to speak. Reactive decks want to have all of the answers. But modern's threat diversity is too wide to allow for a deck to be able to effectively react to the entire format. Decks like twin may have played a more reactive gameplan, but their ability to "ask the questions" when the time came, to make the opponent have the answer, is what allowed those decks to thrive. The reason blue sees less play is because it is worse at being proactive than the other colors; Snapcaster Mage and Cryptic Command, some of the most powerful blue spells in the format, are mostly reactive. If blue is to make a resurgence, either blue needs better proactive threats (merfolk being the current deck that seeks to fill that role), or modern needs to shift to allow more reactive decks, which means having a wider variety of generic answers as opposed to powerful but narrow answers.


    Okay fine, but if blue based control decks in modern were all of a sudden much more proactive and threat dense, would they still be control decks by your definition? Would it not just be an aggro or midrange, or perhaps a tempo deck at that point?


    I think you may have misunderstood my point; I wasn't saying what would be necessary for blue based control to be good, just blue in general. I would love to see tempo decks in greater quantities, personally (delver is my favorite deck to play, even in this meta), but I understand that for many people, what they really want is a reactive control deck. Right now, modern is extremely hostile to reactive control, so for blue to be represented in the format, either something needs to happen to allow for reactive control to be playable (e.g. a cheap, unconditional Counterspell), or blue cards need to come into the format that allow blue decks to play a non-control strategy. If the issue is that blue is underrepresented, making blue better at playing the proactive game would be a step towards fixing it; if the issue is that reactive control is underrepresented, then the format needs to change.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Temporary 3/13/2017 banlist update discussion thread ("No Changes")
    Modern is generally hostile to purely reactive decks; this is nothing new, it has, aside from a few outlier cases, been that way from the beginning. The reason for this is simple: proactive decks look to play the threats, to "ask the questions," so to speak. Reactive decks want to have all of the answers. But modern's threat diversity is too wide to allow for a deck to be able to effectively react to the entire format. Decks like twin may have played a more reactive gameplan, but their ability to "ask the questions" when the time came, to make the opponent have the answer, is what allowed those decks to thrive. The reason blue sees less play is because it is worse at being proactive than the other colors; Snapcaster Mage and Cryptic Command, some of the most powerful blue spells in the format, are mostly reactive. If blue is to make a resurgence, either blue needs better proactive threats (merfolk being the current deck that seeks to fill that role), or modern needs to shift to allow more reactive decks, which means having a wider variety of generic answers as opposed to powerful but narrow answers.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    The issue isn't just that reactive blue decks are bad; the issue is that reactive decks in general are poorly positioned. Modern is hostile towards purely reactive decks; historically, the best blue decks have been able to play proactively (see: twin, any form of delver, etc). The reason blue has been falling off is because blue doesn't have as powerful of a proactive plan as other colors do. Blue's best spells are mostly reactive, which makes them mostly bad in modern. Without proactive card filtering and proactive threats (Delver of Secrets just isn't enough anymore), there's no reason to play blue when other colors are better at being proactive. There are 2 ways to bring more blue into the format: 1. give blue better proactive cards, or 2. make the format less hostile to reactive decks. I don't know the exact way to go about implementing either of these options, but I think that is where the focus needs to be.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on UR unblockable
    A few things:
    1. Fetchlands are actually not at all useful in this deck; they don't fix (no ur fetch in standard), and the thinning effect has been widely and statistically discredited. You have no delve spells, so they'd probably be better off as basics.
    2. I agree with the above poster: you are somewhat threat light, and the threats themselves are easy to remove. It may be worthwhile to look for other cheap evasive creatures (Stratus Dancer comes to mind, though Vaporkin is a fine substitute). They don't have to be unblockable to avoid most blockers you will encounter. I'm also a sucker for Spellheart Chimera, though it might be too expensive/slow for this build.
    3. Aqueous Form does very little for you here; your guys are all evasive already, and the scry isn't powerful enough to risk opening yourself up to the 2-for-1 blowouts. If you're looking for cheap card selection, something like Anticipate is probably better.
    4. Hammerhand is much like Aqueous Form; the payout is too low for a deck with little concern about blockers and without something like heroic to benefit from it. I would personally look for some other cheap buff with higher impact or else some form of protection to help against removal.
    For the most part, though, this isn't a bad idea. I might also cut Spite of Mogis for a couple more buff spells, which is the real payoff for going u/r (unblockable threats as opposed to just having a bunch of little ground guys), and as a self admitted izzet mage, I do like this better than mono-R. I don't see anything that pushes the price up, and with a few modifications, this deck could potentially do well for you. Good luck, and happy brewing.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    It was only one person who really thought that, and he also tended to think that red control didn't feel right. I think he just had a weird mindset from primarily seeing blue have inefficient creatures and efficient counterspells/card draw (he was more okay with blue tempo, as long as the creatures weren't too cost efficient). As I said, I disagreed and have been pushing back against this mindset a decent amount, but I gave up on the token generation, preferring to focus on other aspects of the battle first (he tried to get me to cut Welkin Tern and any variants of it for being too aggressive. I mean, come on.) Luckily, it was only the one person who was opposed to the entire blue aggro thing, but it was multiple people who opposed the highly efficient token generators.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    Yeah, my playgroup can be a little weird at times. They generally don't like the idea of blue being able to produce highly efficient aggro creatures on a consistent basis for some reason; I've managed to get them to come around on a fair number, but on certain cards, they just don't budge. I do make an effort to limit the quantity of 2-for-1s, and the lower amounts of fixing present prevent 3 color control decks that got all of them from becoming too omnipresent (they do show up, but they are often forced to pick between fixing and 2-for-1s and so the decks are good, but not oppressive). The issue has not really come up where there are too many efficient answers to threats to allow the threats to be threats. Again, part of this is because I do limit the power and quantity of removal to some extent (very little removal costs less than 2, and most of it that does is conditional). The derms are something I'm not likely to budge on for a while, and I've never had problems where green and white based aggro or midrange are unable to answer controlling decks. I try to maximize interactivity, which is to say that I don't really want to put in any cards where the only thing you can really do is block for a few turns and hope it's enough. This is a personal preference, and I know that many of you may disagree with me for various (probably valid) reasons, but this is one place where my cube just differs from almost any other. I will have to test Keldon Marauders, though. And if I locate a Clone from one of those sets, I will look to pick it up and run it; I can be a bit weird about not running any cards with gold set symbols.
    Overall, I think my cube is at a lower than average power level, which is something I am okay with (it also makes each new set more exciting, as more cards are likely to fit in at the appropriate power level), but there are definitely some improvements that can be made, which is why I decided to ask for advice. So far, I have gotten a lot of really solid recommendations and some new thoughts and ideas to tinker around with. Again, I do really appreciate all of the input, even if I don't end up agreeing with it completely or following all of the recommendations.
    On efficient blue token production: several people in my playgroup do actually hate and refuse to acknowledge Master of Waves. They've been playing since old Mirrodin, and really don't like the power creep in creatures in general. It took a bit of work to get them to stop complaining about the aggressive blue creatures that I currently run; one of them flat out told me that blue shouldn't be allowed to be aggro at all (which I disagreed with; I'm actually trying to line up a couple more aggressive options for blue).
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    @BrownDog: To clarify, I don't own the uncommon printing, nor do I know anyone who might, and I avoid cards that I don't actually own the proper printing for
    @Leelue: On Talrand's Invocation, I played it originally in the list, but I got a lot of complaints about the effect feeling wrong in blue or similar, so I cut it rather than having a huge argument with my playgroup. We haven't really missed it. Summoner is a good choice, though. Redcap is amazing, and I do hope to get it in in the next color rebalancing update; I typically do these every couple months to get the balance right. As for Champion...I get your point, but I feel like paying the echo will never happen, making it just 4 for 6 to face unless they block, which is fine, but not that exciting in my opinion. It may be that I'm wrong, so I may still slip it in for testing at some point down the line.
    @bacchus: Mother of Runes is probably ok, but when I mentioned it to the people I typically play with, they hated the idea. And I have a personal vendetta against hexproof and shroud, which is why I'm so against the 'derms. I'm also starting to limit and remove protection in general except for the conditional/expensive kind (part of my purpose here was to find some good replacements for those kinds). Personal preference on this, I admit I'm biased here, but it's worked for my group so far.
    To Everyone: Thanks for the input and advice. I know it may seem like I'm arguing everything, but I do appreciate your input and recognize that you have more experience than I; I just like to be sure I'm making the best possible decisions through discussion rather than taking anything for granted. So thank you all.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    Ok, you guys have sold me on a lot of these. Now looking to pick up:
    Cloudgoat Ranger
    Custodi Squire
    Harm's Way
    Spectral Procession
    Temporal Isolation (how have I never found this before? This is awesome)
    Faith's Fetters
    Jetting Glasskite (This type of resistance to targeted effects is something my playgroup will be more likely to enjoy)
    Fact or Fiction
    Preordain
    Blood Artist (I love this guy, but I don't own any right now)
    Skinrender
    Darkblast
    Snuff Out
    Stormblood Berserker
    Fire Imp
    Goblin Bombardment
    Arc Trail
    Eternal Witness
    Briarhorn
    Pharika's Mender
    Dreg Mangler
    Jilt
    Dismember (this one may be a bit tricky to classify; I play it as colorless, but I'd rather play it in a black deck generally)
    Serrated Arrows
    I will also be looking for better black 1 drops.
    There are a few notable omissions, and many of them have specific reasons
    Mother of Runes/Calciderm/Blastoderm: As I mentioned above, I hate shroud, and the group I usually play with hates it even more than I do. And most of them have played against Mom before and hated the experience, so I left these off because no one wanted to see them.
    Path/Swords/Bolt: My cube runs a shade slower than I think is typical, and including too many cheap removal spells is something I'm concerned may tip the balance against aggro. My plan is to slowly phase these in a little at a time to try to find the right balance. Also, I have no way to acquire a StP.
    Clone: I try to run only cards printed at uncommon that I own the printing for to avoid complaints, and I have never seen one of the uncommon printings.
    Talrand's Invocation: In the original draft, but several people complained that it "didn't feel right." I tend to take my playgroup's opinions into account as a general rule, so this got the axe.
    Nekrataal: I feel like this might be just too many of this effect, and this seemed like the weakest of them.
    Demonic Tutor: I'm a sucker for variance and luck. Personal preference to avoid tutors.
    Marauders/Champion: To be honest, these just feel like to the face burn spells with legs, which just isn't all that interesting in my opinion. I prefer to use creature slots for creatures, and spell slots for spells, especially in u/r, where those slots are at a premium.
    Rancor: I probably should give it a shot, but I was originally concerned it might be too hard to deal with.
    Ribbons/Boar: I play with a few players who would really get mad at me for putting these in guild slots. I actually had a hard time convincing them of my stance on Souls and Rites (at least partly multicolor), but these are clearly guild cards, as they are pretty much worse than every other option if you're not in multicolor, but my group would fight me on this for a while. I actually have similar concerns about Jilt. I suppose I could try using the part-brid system for these options, though that will require some rebalancing of the sections.
    Murderous Redcap: I don't want to overdo the Nekrataals, and this one fights for hybrid space. If I do end up rebalancing guilds again, this is probably one of the first additions.
    Bloodbraid Elf: My playgroup hates it. Too swingy and powerful.
    Trostani's Summoner: I like the way selesnya plays right now, and I find it hard to make cuts. Pridemage or charm are the obvious choices, but I don't like cutting some of the primary maindeckable enchantment removal, and charm is just so versatile.
    Putrid Leech: My playgroup has an irrational love of Korozda Guildmage. I've been trying to make this change for a month. I'll see if I can slip it into the Dragons of Tarkir update.
    Lands: I do like manlands, and will be looking to find space for them, but it's difficult. Fixing has never been an issue since I added the vivids, though.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    @squirrely: Phyrexian mana cards I count as colorless, as if they're not good enough to be run as colorless, I try to avoid them. It is tricky to maintain the balance, but I've found it to be pretty worthwhile.
    @BrownDog: Some of those cards aren't in due to availability issues (my collection is limited, and I am currently a broke college student, making it hard to purchase many cards). Others, well, I like interactivity, so I kind of have a personal vendetta against hexproof/shroud. I like every card in my cube to have answers to it. I also try to avoid too much protection, especially in the early game, which is why I've been hesitant to pick up a Mother of Runes. I considered Pharika's Mender; my concern is that it might feel to much like just another Gravedigger. How does that actually play out? Also, I'm curious about Serrated Arrows; it doesn't read all that well, does it just play out a lot better in practice? If so, I'll definitely pick up one of them; I usually love cards like that. Grafted Wargear was in the initial draft, but it proved to be a bit too powerful. A lot of those cards are great suggestions, and I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for them. Thanks for the input!
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    Thanks for the reply.
    Curse of Chains: Hadn't noticed this card when I conducted my initial search. Almost certainly a better option.
    On Souls/Rites: I understand the skepticism. I was initially surprised too. But they've actually worked out pretty well in decks that aren't running both black and white. Souls is still 2 flying tokens, which isn't the worst, and rites tends to see play as a value spell with things like Shriekmaw or Mulldrifter, which is alright in a slower deck (it helps that I don't really push fast reanimation). I agree that they are best in orzhov, though, which made classifying them tricky.
    Farseek/Rampant Growth: Fair point. I honestly feel these are both kind of boring and am considering trying to find a more interesting option anyways.
    Flood/Jilt/Black 1 drops: I lump these together because honestly, they all have the issue of I only started playing in Scars of Mirrodin block or so, and so I miss a lot of older cards just because of lack of experience (likely including a lot of better black 1 drops). I do like Viscera Seer, but that's probably more because it's a pet card of mine than because it's a good choice. I do try to support the black sac deck, though.
    Edicts: Barter in Blood plays a lot better than a simple edict, Innocent Blood could probably stand to go, and Tribute to Hunger is kind of a filler card right now until I find something I'd rather put in that slot. Again, I miss a lot of cards due to my limited knowledge of the total card pool, so recommendations are appreciated.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on New Here; Advice Welcomed
    Hello all, I'm relatively new to peasant cubing (started in April) and just found this forum. I'm looking for any helpful feedback and advice on my list: http://www.cubetutor.com/viewcube/12081
    A couple things to note:
    -I use a unique hybrid methodology, where I count split cards as hybrids if either color is happy to play them. Hybrids count as a quarter of each color and half a guild card, the idea being that a deck with both colors is happier to have it than a deck with either.
    -I've seen both Lingering Souls and Unburial Rites used in monocolor lists, so I classified them as "part-brid" where they count as 1/4 of a guild card and 3/4 of a monocolor card. This leaves white and black each down half a card from the other colors, but I like this system better than the alternatives. These were the only cards I found worth using in the "part-brid" section.
    -Lashknife Barrier and Lust for War are both on my watchlist; I just don't own them yet.
    -My guilds are slightly unbalanced; I am still desperately seeking a Spitemare and need a good azorius hybrid option (looking at Silkbind Faerie; anyone have experience with it?)
    -My guild section and artifact section are slightly larger and my fixing section slightly smaller than typical; thus far, this has not led to any major issues and leads to some interesting decisions about splashing or playing a third color, though this is something I am watching
    -Some of my artifacts are weak and will be replaced as soon as possible.
    -Apostle's Blessing is not a white card. This will be fixed as soon as I find a Valorous Stance
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
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