Magic Market Index for Dec 28th, 2018
Magic Market Index for Dec 21st, 2018
Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on RNA Guildkits
    Quote from tronix »
    its plausible, but i dont see it as likely. all those other blocks dont have a second visit yet. ravnica has 3 whole blocks, and a guild system that fits perfectly as a unifying theme.

    that isnt to say that wizards wont be diversifying how they can get reprints out there, because i truly believe we are going to be seeing innovation on that front in the near future.

    Actually I think these decks should actually replace the Duel Decks (I know those are already gone, but just saying...), just release a set of 5 decks a year with 5 decently built decks each representing a faction/plane (mixed, they don't necessarily have to be all related) with some decent reprints and snazzy new art for the face card (like Duel Decks). Unlike Duel Decks, 5 individual decks allow for more mix-and-matching immediately between newer players and while I'm aware that Commander Decks are technically this system, somehow I feel that there's more cohesiveness when they outright do casual 60-card decks instead.

    It's like taking the best aspects of guild kits, duel decks, the bolas archenemy thing/the battle kit thing and commander decks and putting them as a yearly introductory product that has some value to older players (but not enough for us to rush it like sharks and wipe the whole supply like we do with some Commander decks...) and I think it's a winning formula. I'm sure MTG has enough history in its 25 years to run this gauntlet for say, at least 5 years or so and they can theme with Standard Sets if they happen to meet like Ravnica now (not all Duel Decks were thematically on time anyway).
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on What Card Do You Wish You Owned for a Deck?
    As someone trying to stick with foil-only, it'll probably be just a Reserved List card with a foil, like Survival of the Fittest, Gaea's Cradle and Grim Monolith are the ones I immediately thought of, in that order.

    Just as an extra, if I had to choose a nonfoil card instead, I'd probably just go for a Alpha Gauntlet of Might for my Ryusei deck. Yes, I know Timetwister is P9 and powerful, but there's something about playing Gauntlet in a Mono-Red deck that appeals to me more than just throwing a powerful P9 card into utility use if I had to pick 1 nonfoil after all.

    That being said, if we go the absurd mile, if I could wish for Shichifukujin Dragon to play in Ryusei instead of the Gauntlet (or anything above, actually) I definitely would, just the sheer reputation of getting to actually play that card would be worth the any loss of power-level in the deck. I mean everything else above has "inferior/budget" options to go by, but nothing is more unique than getting to play a 1-of card in the entire game.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Ban//Unban
    Quote from Onering »
    Thing is, PbtE isn't just about price, it's about price combined with ubiquity, or rather the idea that the only thing that would restrict the ubiquity of the card would be its astronomical price. Even if Tabernacle, for instance, cost less than $10, it wouldn't be ubiquitous, and you can see that on mtgo. Timetwister is, I think (I haven't checked the price lately) like a $5 card online. Many blue decks don't play it. I'd argue that more should, as it's still really good even if the deck isn't built around wheels as a way to just refill your hand and recycle your gy, though if you need access to your graveyard or your deck doesn't empty its hand then it's not going to do much for you.

    That is why PBtE is "half-botched" to me - it was, bluntly put, applied so badly at the start that it looked like it was solely based on price and now that has locked its reputation along with the RC's, even if the whole criteria was scrapped later on. Price should not have been the factor from the start.

    The one and most unique aspect of the RL is all cards on the list can technically be considered "not possible for it to become ubiquitous" regardless of power or price. Therefore PBtE should have had the first priority of identifying cards that would in normal circumstances become ubiquitous, but it's not actually possible to become so simply due to being on the RL. Needless to say, powerful cards that will become ubiquitous due to said power like the Moxen and Time Walk will make the list instantly, but this would cover cards like the Duals (which would no doubt be ubiquitous if they were cheap unlike Tabernacle) while leaving out cards that aren't so, like Tabernacle/Library and so on...

    As I mentioned before, I cannot blame the RC for not having the foresight (especially when I'm here with all of the hindsight) back then, but PBtE as it was when they implemented was ridiculously a short-sighted criteria they set for the format... arguably the name itself might have blindsided them to mostly thinking about "new players would be frightened to see a $2000 card not banned in the format" rather than "Let's reinforce that this $2000 card is actually not all that useful in the format for most decks and that $200 land may not have be as expensive but is banned because it's ubiquitous but WotC won't ever make enough copies for it be actually so and the rising prices as a result will scare even more players later on."

    That's the problem with the RL cards in the format, generally speaking - cards like Duals should simply be banned not because they are too powerful, but because they are cards that should be ubiquitous but aren't allowed to due to reasons (well, basically just the RL itself) other than price.

    EDIT: To sum it up, in normal circumstances, a "fair" card (power-wise) that is ubiquitous should be free, but that cannot apply to RL cards because the nature of the RL makes it "unfair" for cards on it to even be ubiquitous regardless of its power and over time the nature of the Secondary Market would also cause its price to only go up - that is what I think PBtE should have set its criteria as.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Ban//Unban
    Quote from cryogen »
    Yeah, they would probably lose most of their credibility they have with the community, and quite possibly lose some standing with Wizards.

    They sort of locked themselves in with that decision, in a way. What I really dislike about their current position is that it feels like a halfway-botched job. They selected only a tiny part of Reserved List to fall under the PBtE section back then and as time passed (along with the format's popularity and the general attitudes regarding the RL and Secondary Markets) it becomes more and more paramount to feel that they can never touch anything in the list (be it ban or unban) because it'll be awfully easy to accuse them of market manipulation.

    I mean even a card like Palinchron which we all can agree is pretty much "unfun" and while it doesn't show up all the time enough to be an actual problem, it is the kind of card no one will miss when it's gone, the RC needs to take into account that it's a RL card to begin with, so unless it somehow becomes an actual problem in the format (which ironically the RL does inhibit to some degree), the incentive is for the RC to not ban the card since the risk of wrecking their reputation is greater than erasing the tiny amount of damage the card is inflicting to the format right now.

    There's this weird threshold the RL sets causing reputation to be part of the equation that makes the scenario uncomfortable to me. I'm not accusing the RC of anything and I doubt even they had that far of a foresight when the format just begun, but I really wonder had the PBtE RL cards were not banned from the very start when people weren't as concerned about the RL... how much incentive would there be for the RC now to ban the more problematic cards on said list (especially considering how huge the damage some of them would wreck versus their no doubt significantly higher prices).

    Sometimes I think cards like Thunder Spirit should just carry the sins of the RL and we all should treat the RL as a single unit - as long as 1 card is considered too powerful and must be banned, the whole list dies along with it. As stupid as that sounds, it's also quite true to some degree the RL is sort of an integrity promise that binds all those cards regardless of their individual power levels and while the RC didn't make that promise, the Secondary Market would not let them free of it.

    But with that being said, it's also arguably too late to even try it, since even that decision will be hit by the full force of market manipulation accusations. So basically the only opportunity was the same window the RC had back then when they started the format and while I cannot blame them for not having the foresight (and me now and here having the hindsight), it will remain the half-botched job sore spot of the format to me.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on RNA Guildkits
    Thought that Ruric was Raymond Swanland's work at first but it's still not bad.

    The colors, shading and slight diagonal positioning is good enough to fool at a glance (especially on card-size), although on closer observation Ruric does feel too "clean" across the art and arguably not "jagged" enough. Some people dislike his art for the "edginess" of that, but I feel that those are the factors that make him distinct within the pool of "realistic-style" artists, which is often difficult to do (abstract-style by default generally makes it easier to distinctly identify each artist, so while I definitely still support more diversity across the board, I do appreciate on an extra level the ability to distinctly differentiate yourself within the "realistic-style" segment.)

    He did mention his work for MTG has more or less winded down (The Duel Decks Elvish Archdruid being the last card chronologically released and set-wise his last presence of new art was in Rivals of Ixalan) but hinted there were still a few more unreleased pieces and I'm still waiting for those.

    That being said, I think Ruric Thar holds the "best art compared to original" among the lot and arguably the best art outright among the 5 (although being close to Swanland style does give a lot of bias points). When I saw Teysa I thought it was Narset and that spellcaster-look does not fit her aristocrat position (even when she when casts spells personally I don't think it'd look like that). Zegana's art look like it could have been from Ixalan (or maybe even Shadowmoor) more than it does from Ravnica. Rakdos in a vacuum is fine, but I liked the original's art so well I feel all other depictions were just plain inferior. Isperia does feel too "stuck to the building", but the vibrancy of the colors compared to the RTR print stands out enough I'm considering getting one as a replacement in EDH.

    I don't comment on the values of the decks (and personally don't care since they're nonfoil), but I appreciate that the Guild Kit system generally prioritizes "fun" with less regard to value-penny-pinching and rarity-balance between the decks. They're like the 60-card versions of the Commander decks, arguably done better than the Commander decks themselves, although it's partially biased since Commander by now has "metas" across the worlds to project upon, which inevitably twists expectations.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on What SCG Con Taught Sheldon About Commander And Its Players
    It really baffles me that people keep stating the RC/Sheldon is "in a bubble" and needs to see the world more and "acknowledge the common edh group" and then proceed to cite their own experiences as though those are the experiences of the "common edh group" when there is no statistic behind to prove how many people it is common to in order to validate its position as such, which makes those experiences essentially a bubble in by itself.

    On top of that, the relevance of the whole thing isn't there - it's professionalism that prevents the RC from applying their bubble onto the whole format. Likewise, even if they saw the whole world and actually calculated what the "the most common group" is, the very policy prevents them from catering to it, because the largest, most common group is still simply put, the largest bubble and the policy behind the RC is to allow for the diversity of bubbles, not to identify and cater to the largest bubble of them all.

    One can disagree with the policy, but boy does the pretentiousness that one's own experiences is actually the "common/average one" really rubs me the wrong way, doubly so when people accuse the RC of doing that, when the policy they may or may not agree with actually indicates they do not let their experiences define their decision-making, so what is there for them to be pretentious about if they didn't reinforce their bubble with bans so we have to play it "their way"?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance: Gimme your Top 10's for R, UnC & C + Top 5 for Mythics
    I already did my Commander skim-though in its respective thread in the subforums and I don't bother with other constructed formats at the moment (and am too tired to even try to poke my nose into guessing), so I'll skip through entirely talking about power-levels and potential powerhouses.

    Also going to skip talking at length about overall design - to sum it up it's supposed to be Guilds of Ravnica part 2 anyway, but honestly I'm not sure if it's "more-of-the-sameness", or some the deconstruction of guild culture that makes RNA feel "weaker" than GoR in some degrees. I mentioned in the GoR review thread that the Dimir really skyrocketed because they were too ambiguous in the previous blocks, while Izzet just fell flat in sameness in this third visit. Well, for RNA guilds... I think I'll criticize them individually.

    Azorius - Flavor-wise they're converting to Old-Kaladesh 2.0, which isn't new so it's just there. I had a bit of hope for Addendum since Time Spiral showed it permitted some good powerful cards, but we ended with mostly Limited Chaff, although it wasn't completely out of the left field for me, but I'm still sort of disappointed. At least Lavinia is really powerful card on her own.

    Rakdos - They were always a mess (that's the whole point) and continue to remain to be, but it also carries the same stagnancy Izzet held. Mechanically it was simple as well (actually only Addendum is sort of refreshing in a vaccuum), but I think Rakdos features some of the best novelty toys for EDH.

    Gruul - Maybe I had a bit of too much expectations, but I thought they'd be the "Dimir" of the set, but all I see is pretty much a big mess like the Rakdos, but unlike the Rakdos where it is intended, it's more of they didn't quite convey the internal strife of the guild as well, so all we have is Domri and his herd of boars... and a whole bunch of other clans. That being said I can see Riot being the aggro-powerhouse in Limited, I have personal bias in relation to my own decks in EDH, so I'll refrain from speculating its other constructed potential.

    Orzhov - Entire culture demolition with Kaya usurping, if she doesn't leave post-Bolas I can see Teysa eventually leading into a direct internal conflict (from flavor I think she only disapproves of having undead as leaders, but otherwise conforms to pretty much how the entire guild operates, whereas Kaya is trying to Robin-Hood the guild from inside), but as of status quo it's pretty messy. Afterlife had potential, but as with addendum, they played safe with it, although the nature of the format and ability reckons I shouldn't underestimate it.

    Simic - While everyone's having an identity crisis, guess who already lost it last block and is now winning me over with creature-type combinations instead? I really liked that they established the "Prime Speaker" role as temporary to begin with last block and promptly to show that they moved it over with relative civility. Mechanically, adapt itself is rather lackluster (even with the support), but boy is the +1/+1 general support a lot of toys to play with in EDH.

    Flavor-wise I'd rank Simic > Orzhov > Rakdos > Azorius > Gruul from my expectations. Mechanics, from my full bias of my own EDH decks, it'd be Rakdos > Simic = Gruul > Orzhov > Azorius.

    Now for the fun part - art and flavor text. Just gonna throw a simple like I did last set. Like last set, the art didn't really do it for me on a personal level.

    Honorable mention to the general "chillness" of Orzhov art (Pitiless Pontiff, Seraph of the Scales, Teysa Karlov, Revival). I do appreciate the diversity in the set, but said diversity also made me appreciate what I personally preferred more).

    5) Cult Guildmage - They said the Rakdos are the satire-masters now and this art deploys that the most succinctly.
    4) Mortify - I just like it. Well being in the set reminds me of the one in Guildpact in particular, so there might be some bias...
    3) Titanic Brawl - Pacific Rim...
    2) Bedevil - I Know Seb McKinnon is on a roll and many people enjoy his art and I'm glad for him and for them, but personally I can't really appreciate the abstractness of his art as well or as deeply as others here. But Bedevil does stand out in particular in said factor to me.
    1) Glass of the Guildpact - It's a simple, yet stunning glass window of the ten guilds. What's there not to like?

    As for flavor text...

    Honorable Mentions for fun text - Concordia Pegasus, Humongulus, Catacomb Crocodile, Titanic Brawl

    Mention to Glass of the Guildpact because I want to reply. "A beautiful idea. Poorly executed." Flashbacks to Azor's lawful-stupid alignment.

    5) Clear the Mind - Wiity Dimir text callback award.
    4) Skatewing Spy - Considering my flavor assessment of the set... so meta.
    3) Blood Crypt - It describes its guild like all the lands, but this is in a way a pretty twisted but yet still true & objective statement.
    2) Font of Agonies - I know it's supposed to be twisted in the dark way, but in a vacuum it's a true statement.
    1) Resolute Watchdog - The Goodest of Boys.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    Time for the quick skim-through of the gallery.

    Smothering Tithe - Considering how much my meta loves to draw, this could potentially be the best mana-generator for Alesha.
    Font of Agonies - Not sure if I have enough life payment to justify it yet (have not reviewed my decks recently), but if there is, this is solid repreatable removal.
    Priest of Forgotten Gods - Less of a sac outlet (which the format has way better ones), but the political aspect is pretty intriguing.
    Vindictive Vampire - Probably the worst of the Die-Drain effects and I might have crossed the threshold of those effects, but keeping note it exists.
    Electrodominance - "Quicken" for Ryusei that can apply to permanent spells and adds damage (but no draw) for basically an additional R sounds swell.
    Incubation Druid - Well I never got hold of Bloom Tender for Animar and the foil is ridiculous due to the lack of reprints, so I'll settle.
    Rampage of the Clans - If Fresh Meat was a defensive option for my tokens, this is the same for my artifacts and enchantments in Freyalise (which has no creature cards, so there's a lot of artifacts/enchantments).
    Wilderness Reclamation - Freyalise is a token-stax build and since I couldn't put Seedborn Muse into the deck this is pretty much the next best option.
    Bedevil - Sunforger Package.
    Hydroid Krasis - Palinchron's Wild Hydra Ride is now fully Hydra.
    Judith, the Scourge Diva - Likely replacing Drana in Alesha.
    Lavinia, Azorius Renegade - Honestly, it's just a goodstuff addition to Isperia, but even nowadays you have to be really good to get in on that basis, so...
    Mortify - Kept not running into the foil, which is now finally going to be abundant.
    Nikya of the Old Ways - Did I hear mana-doubler for RG in Animar with essentially no drawback?
    Rhythm of the Wild - This does way too much (counter-protection, optional haste enabler if needed otherwise it enables +1/+1 synergies) in Animar it gets in the few non-creature coveted spots. Haste is such an optional luxury there I think Urabrask is on his way out now...
    Teysa Karlov - If the Die-Drain train didn't hit its threshold with Judith, this halves down the requirement instead.
    Theater of Horrors - "Card Draw" for Alesha.
    Zegana, Utopian Speaker - GU for a 4/4 that replaces itself and grants the Commander trample isn't bad, although it could be considering middling in the myriad of options the deck has to choose from.

    Same "Nothing here is final, chances is I'll pick up way less than indicated since I'm so detached at the moment (and the format is so flexible you can afford to be detached, since they're mostly shiny new toys at best)" clause. I haven't even bothered picking up the GoR/UMA things I want, so that goes to show how far I'm behind schedule.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    I really want to like Captive Audience, but I know I play in the meta that it's going to be literally a waste of 7 mana. Yes I know the target is known only after it ETBs, but eh where I am the blue-control decks tend to draw really well and are more liberal with their countering to include "if it can potentially heavily cripple me, I'll still counter it" stacked with the knowledge they know I'm more likely to target a player with less board-enchantment removal in the deck.

    Font of Agonies though, is something I could totally get behind. Low-cost, flexible card that has little incentive for spot removal.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Jareth, Leonine Titan
    This card is niche, and considering the popularity of reanimation as a theme and a side-tool in many decks, that niche is bluntly made obvious.

    It basically needs blink strategies to shine, so for blink-orientated decks, it definitely is the premier reanimation side-tool of the those decks. If a reanimation-orientated list happens to have a substantial amount of blink cards, then it also rises up the ranks, but notably would likely still fall short of the best general reanimation cards. Then it goes completely downhill from there, since the exile mechanism becomes quite the burden.

    As someone who doesn't really utilize blink strategies, this gets a resounding "meh" from me.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Is it too Early to discuss c19?
    I'm not going to touch on the reprints, since I think it's been pronounced very well already in the thread and I don't really have anything new to offer.

    I've mentioned this idea before and reiterating it likely won't change anything (nor do I expect to see it this year), but can I finally have my Commander's Arsenal featuring the newly created cards of the year alongside the decks? While they're at that, revert the foil changes to the regular decks, so effectively all new cards would have their foil and nonfoil counterparts released effectively in the same time. The discrepancy that each new year adds is already compounding and clearly the Judge Foil pace of 1 per year isn't actually doing anything in scale. The previews don't even excite me anymore because I know they can't be foiled and hence I consider them ineligible (other than the Commanders, but that's only a handful of cards that can easily miss in design to what I would want to use). When they previewed Teferi's Protection in 2017 my immediate reaction was "Oh boy can't wait to accquire the judge foil in 2018 or 2019".

    Sure, the sealed product definitely doesn't include me in its target demographic (even in the few foils I was interested in i went for singles that my LGS opened up from), but it's still painful to see new great designs I simply have no desire to incorporate because of their nonfoil-only status, making preview season ironically making me more apathetic to the product line instead.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Ravnica Art Book -Spoilers
    On the topic of Ravnica's unknown history (which I know isn't covered in the book, but this thread is effectively the current train for the Ravnica storyline/plane discussion):

    My current headcanon is the "Forgotten Gods" are simply the Nephilim and in an even further stretch, the Nephilim are simply evolved surviving Eldrazi Spawns/Scions after the Titans were done rebooting the plane that would become Ravnica. Sure, it's stated the Spawns/Scions die without their parent Titan's presence, but Eldrazi research isn't exactly the most documented of facts. We all know the Nephilim weren't exactly powerhouses compared to the actual powerhouses of Ravnica, which might fall in line since Spawns/Scions were relatively weak and if Eldrazi could really evolve, that process would take eons, so the Nephilim could just be a "teen" equivalent at best (or even just children).

    Or it's just me thinking it's an awesome idea to leave little lore "clues" to imply all natural planes of existence have "remnants" of Eldrazi meddling with them eons ago, all to imply their purpose in the larger multiplanar ecosystem, but never to again bring that to the forefront, because we all can clearly attest that the Eldrazi become outright terrible "characters" (or "plot devices to be used by oldwalkers" if current record is any indicator) when they are brought to the forefront.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Priest of Forgotten Gods
    Quote from Cainsson »
    I wouldn't put my faith in a god that got trounced by Rakdos without him even noticing.

    Why do you think they were forgotten in the first place, otherwise?

    Also, to be fair to Ravnicans, if your interests doesn't lie in line with the any of ten guilds, you basically suffer as a guildless... at that point of refusal to have faith in any of the ten, arguably the Nephilim are the best non-guild entities to have faith in terms of strength.

    It'll be hilarious if they (the Nephilim) were evolved leftover Eldrazi Spawn/Scion after the Titans were done rebooting the plane into the Ravnica though. Ugin did mention that the Eldrazi operate on a very large scale of time cycles, so realistically if (one-in-a-large-statistic) Spawns/Scions could actually survive/evolve without their parent titan, it would be a ridiculously long process that we wouldn't get to see happen on say, Zendikar/Innistrad.

    As sick as we are of the Eldrazi as "antagonists", I think it'll be awesome to see their impact on every natural plane of existence, especially since they're supposed to transcend it. Eldrazi make for way better as backdrop lore than "antagonists" (or more accurately, plot devices moved around by actual antagonists/oldwalkers if Zendikar/Innistrad were any indication).
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Lumbering Battlement
    Quote from Raptorchan »
    This has no room for flavor text but I am pretty sure it was "Get in here nerd, we're going into battle" during the development.

    Actually, considering it's R&D... it could have been "Get in the battlement, nerd, we're gonna try to bring banding back."

    That being said, this is like Addendum (when it was in Time Spiral, that is)... I could see being a mechanic in the future. Maybe we'll finally get our actual mounting mechanic that isn't compulsory (and narrow) like Champion nor as awkward as Vehicles (okay it wasn't that bad, but some game interactions do make it seem awkward from several directions).
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Incubation Druid
    I finally found the budget option for Bloom Tender in Animar...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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