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Magic Market Index for April 20th, 2018
 
Pauper Review: Dominaria
 
The Limited Archetypes of Dominaria
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    If you want utility removal, Ratchet Bomb is your best bet. It's a little slow, but the ability to take out multiple troublesome permanents at once is pretty sweet. You would have to land it under Solemnity, unfortunately, but it works against everything else. If this type of deck become a major part of the metagame, or Ratchet Bomb becomes useless in your meta, you can try Obliterate, but moving over to the RG may be a better meta call because it generate a lot more value and the sideboard is far more versatile.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit and heartless summoning
    Moved to Magic Rulings.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 16/04/2018)
    Why wouldn't you be able to play all of those pieces in a 12-Post deck? Spheres, Stars, Expedition Maps, and the like? That gives even more redundance than what you described. 12-Post is far more resilient because it doesn't need a specific Locus to help recover from land destruction, it just needs a Locus. Post can also get 7 mana by turn three:
    T1 Cloudpost
    T2 Cloudpost
    T3 Glimmerpost

    So not only have you now done the exact same thing that you do with Tron, you've also gained 3 life. Furthermore, 12-Post can recover from disruption so much easier than Tron because it doesn't need a specific piece, it just needs a Locus. Even if it plays a Cloudpost, that's still major boost in mana. And again, this doesn't even factor in the ability to play all the same filtering the Tron plays, on top of being able to just play Glimmerpost and gain a bunch of life to buy time. It can feasibly hit 7 mana just as fast and grow at a much faster rate, and is simply better able to play against hate. Tack on that it can out pace aggro decks, and Vesuva is literally the land they want to draw almost every time they get it and it becomes pretty clear that 12-Post is the superior deck.

    EDIT: Let's also keep in mind that Tron may play a non-Tron land early for the sake of colors. Saying 12-Post can't take a turn off with a tapland or even play a non-Locus land early doesn't hold water.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    I like the idea of magma jet but I can't get away from all the things mindstone can do it draws cards exclerates our mana and in a pinch can be sacked to pnkn for the last two points to burn someone out or kill their last flying blocker to make way for a storm breath. I get that magma jet is is a solid card but mindstone can be extra draw against lantern and can help keep your had full against 8rack. I'm not saying that magma jet is bad but mindstone works so well at helping to drop early threats and draws us a card in the late game. I am always happy to see a mindstone in my opener or most any time. Also I like the 27 mana sources it defiantly helped me pay the monstrous on stormy and have mana to board wipe then recast an eternal scourge which by the way every opponent I have done this to sighs

    The mana acceleration does not do enough. The difference between turn 3 Koth and turn 4 Koth is next to nothing right now. Paying three mana to draw a card just isn't where we want to be, especially when the format is always getting faster. We need to stop our opponent from killing our threats, and trying to get underneath them doesn't work. Mind Stone has its uses, but in terms of finding what we need it might as well not even draw cards. Any experienced Lantern player is going to play around us being able to draw a card with it. They might even Pithing Needle to prevent it. I'd rather have Magma Jet and be able to bluff/burn my opponent than a do-nothing mana rock that will have a marginal impact on the game
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on State of Brawl: Bans, format health, and more!
    Latest B&R update: No changes! You may now resume brawling.
    Posted in: Brawl
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    I've been thinking about Abrade as well. Maybe I'll fit a pair of them in mainboard.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    I do agree that he isn't always what we want to see. What he can do when we're behind is very situational. He can remove or cripple a planeswalker if the board is empty, force some damage through, or eat a couple points of damage. The fact that more lists are moving towards a 3/3 split of Koth and Chandra ToD says something about Chandra's power. I can easily see a version of Skred that doesn't want Koth and would gladly take seeing more cards than a 4/4 beater, especially if you want the game to go long. However, the fact that many people are playing large haymakers like Wurmcoil Engine or even stuff like Obliterate makes Koth the better choice. If you're going big, you want that minus ability more than anything. This doesn't mean he can't be phased out (I can see a lot of reasons why perhaps he should be), but in the most common shell he's a powerhouse. I'm actually rather curious about your list, DarthFrog. I've thought about Kothless Skred in the past but never put a list together. Do you mind sharing it?

    On roughly the same topic, I've gone back to playing Magma Jet over Mind Stone. If GBx is going to be a major part of the metagame, being able to consistently kill their turn 2 creatures is one of the best plays we have. When I first picked up the deck in September, just a few months before the Twin ban, Magma Jet was surprisingly powerful. Additionally, it gives us better game ones against some of our worst matchups. Extra burn against Tron, Ad Nauseam, and Storm is a nice bonus. Plus, it scries, which in my opinion and testing has proven to be surprisingly more beneficial than the card draw. While this may be counterintuitive, let me breakdown Mind Stone and Magma Jet before you write this off.

    Mind Stone is a mana rock, plain and simple. It's great for putting out our four drops on turn two and smooths out our mana. It also gives us the ability to play giant spells, like Wurmcoil Engine, and some more hilarious options like Sundering Titan and Form of the Dragon (I see you oko!). In a pinch, we can cycle it. However, that's all this card does. It only let's us play marginally faster, and if we draw it when it's dead it costs three mana to turn it into something else that may also be dead. Three mana for one card is a terrible rate, and while this only applies when we cannot utilize the mana, if we're playing the full four copies this will come up every few matches. Mind Stone can function as a banked Shock with P&K, but it doesn't also costs two or three mana -- depending on if we tap the sacrificed Stone to pay the mana for the ability -- to punch even deal damage. once you factor in the cost of actually casting Mind Stone, it become four to five mana to deal two damage. That's just terrible at best. Furthermore, the influence that it has on our mulligan decisions is very important. I've found that two-mana hands (hands with only two mana sources) are almost always unkeepable because we really need four mana to come online and need to guarantee ourselves at least three mana without needing to draw another mana source. Two lands plus a Stone is actually fine because it gets us where we want to be while allowing us to cast our removal. Enter Kolaghan's Command. This card sees play in just about every RB deck in the format, and with good reason. That Shatter ability becomes a Stone Rain with extra value stapled on. It can, and has, won games simply because we can be too reliant on a mana rock to get us to three and four mana. Kommand is downright deadly for us if we're jamming Mind Stone, and the fact that they can attack our mana with it makes us needlessly vulnerable to it.

    Magma Jet is also a two mana play, giving us action on an otherwise bare spot on the curve. Instead of being mana acceleration, it gives us yet another answer to early game creatures. because it isn't an additional mana source, we have to chop down the curve a bit; we can't jam our 6+ mana cards. True, it only deals two damage, but when you think about it most of the low-casting cost creatures we decide to hurl a Bolt at don't have three toughness, but rather two or less. We can answer a turn two creature and save our more potent removal for larger creatures. While a two mana Shock is pretty bad, this one comes with scry 2. Scrying allows us to dig for what we need, be it lands, more removal, or extra threats, and while we aren't guaranteed to see what we want in our top two cards, we can help find it by bottoming the chaff. This adds up to three cards (two from scrying, one from our draw step). The general consensus is that a single scry is worth half a card, so this can effectively be considered a card plus a shock. For two mana, we get to kill something and then fix our draw a little bit. That's already great. However, Magma Jet bears one more characteristic that Mind Stone doesn't: It's never a dead draw. While drawing a burn spell may seem irrelevant on certain board states, it always does something. We can pick of a small creature, or in the absence of one use it as a pseudo combat trick and pair it with blocking to answer a larger one. It can at the very least keep an opposing planeswalker off of their ult, or put it below the necessary loyalty needed to use an ability (such as putting Liliana of the Veil to one loyalty, removing the edict ability as an option). We can even just through it at our opponent's face. At the very least, it's two less damage that we need to deal and we get some digging. In our worst matchups, we have to be as aggressive as possible, an aspect Mind Stone in no way helps us in unless we have something to ramp in to. Magma Jet makes those first games better while also finding us what we need. While some players may be concerned about losing their massive top end finishers, Jet removes that necessity by making our draws better in general.

    TLDR:
    • Mind Stone is three mana for one card: Magma Jet is two mana to dig two or three cards deep, depending on if you count your next draw step in addition to dealing damage to something
    • Mind Stone will almost always be dead lategame: Magma Jet can always hit something, even if it's just our opponent's face
    • Mind Stone smooths out our mana: Magma Jet helps us find whatever we need
    • Mind Stone needs other cards to make us faster in our bad matchups: Magma Jet does it one its own and then scries

    Due to all of these reasons, I don't think Mind Stone is anywhere near good enough for our deck at this time. Magma Jet offers so much utility, and frankly I found cutting down the curve made me win more. We don't need Wurmcoil Engines and the like if we can set up better draws. Stormbreath Dragons, Koths (because I'm still playing them), Chandra ToF, and the one-of Hazoret I'm trying have been enough. While it may be a metagame choice, you don't really need Mind Stone against things like Control anyway because our threats are just that good. Plus, you generally start throwing Bolts at the face early when you know you're against Control, so why Magma Jet wouldn't be treated the same way makes no sense.

    EDIT: Here's my current list, for reference
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    Merged with State of the Meta. --CWP
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on State of Brawl: Bans, format health, and more!
    I've had so many brew idea running through my brain these past few days, I'm starting to believe it's all I'm thinking about. This format sounds so insanely fun. I'd be interested in looking at Standard seasons past and seeing what people could come up with. For now, I'll just be brewing decks at a mile a minute
    Posted in: Brawl
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Don't let your opponent respond with Collective Brutality: It's a sorcery!

    Dire Fleet Daredevil seems really situational, and honestly a bit too situational. It feels like a meta call at best and an okay blocker at worst. I'd keep trying it though, perhaps it's better than I'm giving it credit for.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Try not to be passive-aggressive, guys and gals. While you may not mean to, emotion is hard to communicate over the internet. Be sure to think about what you're saying. Communication is the key to success!

    Now back to your regularly scheduled ramp--OH THAT'S A TITAN!!!!
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on Changing how the forums are structured - Looking for community feedback
    I actually have a few opinions (mostly objections) on the classifications proposed here. If anyone personally pilots these decks and disagrees, feel free to correct me. I cannot say I've played all of these decks, but I've played Modern long enough to be able to speak my mind with confidence and knowledge of the format.

    First, Aggro and Tempo should not be grouped together. While I agree that Tempo and Aggro do share similarities, and that Tempo should be grouped with another archetype, I think Midrange and Tempo is the more appropriate grouping. Aggro decks want to dump all of their resources into the ending the game as fast as possible. This is why we typically think of Aggro decks as playing many cards that all share some quality, such as Burn playing as much direct damage as possible, Merfolk playing multiple lords, or Affinity looking to abuse artifact interactions. This isn't always synergy, such as in Merfolk or Affinity's case: it is all of the cards coming together for a cohesive gameplan. Burn and Zoo have little to no synergy in their deck at all, but every card in the deck is looking to drop the opponent's life total as fast as possible. Compare this to Midrange. Midrange decks are looking to disrupt the opponent, either with hand attack, removal, or sometimes even counterspells, and then start playing the best threats possible and grind card advantage. This is why we generally refer to Midrange decks to want to two-for-one the opponent, or at the very least one-for-one with the caveat of winning with a single threat or two because they are of the highest quality. Now let's breakdown Tempo. Tempo decks want to stick a threat on the board and then disrupt their opponent so they cannot remove it. This is why Tempo plays cheap threats and cheap removal/counters. Isn't that just the reverse of Midrange? Putting it simply, Midrange plays disruption and then threats to keep their opponent on the backfoot. Tempo plays their threat first and then disruption to force their opponent on to the backfoot. The two archetypes are very similar when you sit down and analyze them critically. While they are not the same archetype, they are two archetypes built upon being in the middle ground between Aggro and Control. True, they have many differences as well. Midrange typically plays the best cards on each part of the curve, whereas Tempo is typically using precision timing to get the most advantage out of their cards. Tempo also tends to be more aggressive than Midrange. Despite these differences, however, I believe Midrange to be more similar to Tempo than Aggro. Both are generally looking to be disruptive (more on that later), and while Aggro can and sometimes will play disruption, it isn't a core element of the strategy like it is with Tempo and the stereotypical Modern Midrange deck. While the two are certainly different, their gameplans align more closely together than Aggro and Tempo. As such, I believe Death's Shadow, Infect, Delver variants, Faeries, Bant Spirits, and Eternal Command should be ported over with Midrange to make the sections Aggro and Midrange&Tempo. Furthermore, I also believe BW Tokens, Bant Eldrazi, and RUG should also move over with the Tempo decks. Looking at their decklists, it becomes apparent that they do not share the same qualities that most Aggro decks have. They are not trying to end the game as quickly as possible, and they are not dedicating every card in the deck to doing so. When you look at an Aggro decklist, you see that they are built for speed. These three decks are not doing that. While the RUG link here links to Monkey Grow, or Temur Delver, this logic should apply to whatever RUG Midrange deck arises with the BBE and JTMS unbans as well. Bant Eldrazi is certainly not as disruptive as, say, Jund and Abzan. However, it is built to jam threats that are superior to everything else that would be cast at that point in the game. Similarly, Midrange decks want to play the best cards at every spot on the curve. Thus, despite it not following the stereotypical model of hand attack and Dark Confidant, it is trying to win through superior card quality: the defining factor of a Midrange deck. There's a reason people like Todd Stevens and Ben Friedman talk about it being a midrange/ramp deck, not an aggro deck. While these are dated, even modern-day decklists bear little resemblance to an aggro deck, if any at all. As for BW Tokens, this is coming from the personal experience of someone who played it for roughly a year: the deck is wholeheartedly a Midrange deck. No Aggro deck is looking to start playing its creatures on turn three and four and grind card advantage with Lingering Souls and Bitterblossom. We even had discussion in the thread about how it isn't an Aggro deck. In fact, I remember when the current primer went up and me, along with other posters, heavily contested how the primer defined it as an "aggro-swarm deck." It's literally my first post on the primer thread.

    Second, "Big Mana" is mostly comprised of decks that tangentially make large amounts of mana, but ultimately fall into other categories. While making large amounts of mana with ramp is a defining factor of these decks, I do not believe it should be the defining factor for all of them. For example, Mono-Blue Tron is a Tron deck. However, unlike other Tron decks, it wants to play a more traditional Control game. It isn't looking to turbo out Karns. It isn't even seeking to assemble Tron on turn three. It wants to use it's large swaths of mana to cast large artifact creatures and abuse things like Spell Burts or the Mindslaver + Academy Ruins lock. If anything, I believe this deck is far more of a Control deck than a Big Mana deck. If I was a new Modern player looking to read up on Blue Tron, I know I would look under the Control heading. The deck is referred to as a Control deck for a reason, and while it is abusing mana advantage, I don't believe that defines it in the same way that it does for Gx Tron. As such, I believe that Mono-U Tron, along with the similar UW Tron (another deck I have experience with personally and can attest to being a Control deck) should be moved with Control because that is the go-to classification when many people think of them. In a similar vein, I do not believe Titanshift and Amulet Titan belong with Big Mana. Both of these decks are combo decks, and while they also can generate a lot of mana, it isn't necessarily because they need it to cast all of their spells. In Titanshift's case, the only high-CMC card in the deck is Primeval Titan, and while that is a choice ramp target, it isn't looking to abuse all of the mana it has. In reality, the deck wants to abuse having many lands, not having a lot of mana. True, it can use all of its mana with Kessig Wolf Run. But it isn't a deck that primarily wants to cast large threats ahead of the curve. It just wants more lands in play than it should so it can kill with a turn four Scapeshift. It doesn't care about the insane mana ramp it generates so much as that it just has lands in play. Amulet Titan is a deck that realistically could fit into Big Mana, so perhaps I'm just being pedantic with this one. I think that the core aspect of Big Mana is that it wants to always be doing something with the mana advantage that it gets, and is dedicated to utilizing that mana advantage. Unlike Titanshift, Amulet Titan actually does do this a lot of the time. It's constantly digging for lands and playing multiple lands in a single turn. However, I think that the given gameplan of the deck is to assemble a critical mass of lands, Primetime, and Slayer's Stronghold and/or Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion: In other words, a combo that typically ends the game. I think that, given this gameplan, Combo is a better home for it, but like I said before I think I may be off base a little on this one. While I assert that Titanshift belongs in combo, I think Amulet Titan could realistically fall in either but should be in Combo. While I see that I am putting us in the difficult spot of classifying decks that are hybrids of different archetypes, I think there are more proper classifications for them, and I also think that the size of each section should not be a concern for us, so Big Mana only having a few decks in it is a nonissue.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    22 lands feels pretty low, imo. We play a ton of four drops, and need to cast them to win. I've actually been on 24 for a while but I'm about to drop to 23 because I also find myself flooding out a little bit. The truly awkward thing about 22 lands is our mulligan plan: two lands, no mana rock is one of the worst openers. I have never done well when I kept a seven like that. Even being on the draw, it's still pretty bad. I would play 23 at a minimum. You really need to hit your lands drops, and we need to have plenty of mana anyway, so a few extra lands aren't bad.

    I've wondered about Scourge for a while too. I don't know if we should move away from it or not. On one hand, it can be insane against fair decks, which will be the majority of the meta for the next few weeks while everyone jams BBE and JTMS. On the other hand, when it's bad, it's a dumpster fire. It can be one of the least impactful cards in the deck. While the fair decks have plenty of ways to get rid of it, they can never answer it permanently. With the rise of Jund, maybe we go back to Reckoner? I think it's worth trying again.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    For anyone who is currently building Skred, I noticed CoolStuffInc has Scrying Sheets and Snow-Covered Mountains on sale. Even though the basics are only 50 cents off (USD), that adds up pretty fast when you need 20+ of them. Of you still need a few Mountains or your Sheets, you can save some money for things that aren't overpriced basic lands.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    JTMS is never a turn four play. A skilled pilot won't drop him on turn four against 95% of the format, with the exceptions being Ad Nauseam and maybe Storm. If an opponent taps out for him, we're doing great. I would be more concerned with a lategame JTMS if anything because we may have run out of gas and he can just lock down our draw step. In the hands of a skilled control pilot, he's going to be a much bigger problem because they know when to play him, and depending on the board state that might not even matter. All of our threats either have haste or bring more bodies to the party. The exception here is Eternal Scourge, but if they're trying to bounce him they're probably losing anyway.

    Congrats on the finish! Yes, we do just straight lose to Ad Naus unless you dedicate a large portion of your sideboard to it. Goblin Rabblemaster and Molten Rain certainly help, but after that you begin sacrificing other matchups for it if you add too many of these cards or additional cards.
    Posted in: Control
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