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  • posted a message on Mono-blue Tempo
    Thanks for the quick reply. I like the idea of Surge Mare against GB decks as well as random red removal. I know that my friend mentioned that he was not a fan of a full play set of Spell Pierce, so we're going to keep it at 2. In my meta, I think Essence Scatter is a good thing in the main, so we're keeping those. Making adjustments and using some of your advice, I'm going to see if this build will work better:



    Thank you for the advice!
    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on Mono-blue Tempo
    My current deck List:


    Been tweaking this mono blue deck for a friend for quite some time. I haven't played this deck very often (so I don't know what the best builds are), but it's built for a friend who doesn't have time to build a deck. The current meta that we've been encountering is GB Midrange, Izzet Drakes, UB/Grixis Control, and GW/Naya Tokens. I notice that there are a few variations of the deck and I guess I have a few important questions that I wanted advice on please:

    1) Should you Opt or not Opt? I see that the arguments for running it are that it smooths out hands and makes mulligans or keeping 1 land hands with an opt not as bad, as it's a "virtual" land a good portion of the time. I see that the arguments against it are that it's a filler card that does nothing to progress the board state and that it doesn't draw you a card but replaces it. My friend has run into a lot of flooding with the deck and I think Opt can help dig out of a flood or screw (my previous change was adding a 3rd Chart a Course).

    2) Exclusion Mage in the main or board? I've seen that more decks have placed anywhere between 2-4 copies in the board or have 2 copies in the main. I think that the card is good and belongs in the 75 because of the tempo swing against Boros Angels and Mono Green Aggro, but it is a dead card against GB Midrange, and Jeskai Control/UW Control, and it's okay against Mono Red Aggro. If it's not in the main, then what should I add to the main to replace it?

    3) Is Spell Pierce better than Dive Down in the main? Looking at the more recent results of the MOCS and competitive leagues, there has been a trend of 4 Dive Downs and 0 Spell Pierces. I think that a good portion of the time, Spell Pierce functions as a Dive Down. So my question is do we replace all of the Spell Pierces with Dive Downs? We have Negate and Syncopate in the board against control, so I feel that Spell Pierce is the weakest card in the deck at the moment.

    4) Has anyone tried Whisper Agent? I want to try out Whisper Agent because surveil is great and so is flash. It can keep up with the tempo because you can leave up counter mana up and utilize the mana if you don't need to use it. I've heard of some fringe decks running it, but wasn't sure what the consensus was on it.

    As for the questionable main board and side board slots: Amulet of Safekeeping is sorta useful against Burn and token decks as it buys some time with both. Metamorphic Alteration is a card that answers Carnage Tyrant and Niv-Mizzet, Parun, since it doesn't target the tyrant to make a copy and gets around the uncounterable clauses of both. I currently only own 1 Warkite Marauder and I feel that there should be at least 2, thus the Storm Fleet Aerialist is a place holder until I find another one.

    Again, thanks in advance!
    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit
    What is terrible about this product? It's an entry level product for players who never played magic that they can buy at Wal-Mart and Target.

    Can I get free intro decks at Wal-Mart? Can I learn to play Magic anywhere else that isn't a LGS? Do I know even know what a LGS is? If the answer is no to all of these 3 questions, then this product can introduce you to MTG.

    This product is like training wheels. Useful when learning how to play, easily discarded (or assembled into your collection for future use) when you don't need it, and some people can skip it or don't need it. Are training wheels bad for bikes? No, they help people learn how to ride the bike. And for $15, it's not a bad deal to learn how to play. Pokemon and Force of Will charge more for their intro product, and the Force of Will one doesn't come with 2 decks.

    These decks are meant to be played against each other for learning the basics of Magic. Nothing more and nothing less. The decks are preassembled so you can just play straight out of the box and get a taste of Magic. No need to go to a store to learn, no need for someone to explain it to you (and possibly overwhelm you in information), and no need to ask the question "where do I start?".

    Let me tell you a terrible product: Planeswalker decks. Planeswalker decks are terrible. They don't teach you how to play, they don't give you a competitive to play at a local event, they don't give you play sets of rares and mythics. Their planeswalker cards are "watered down" so they don't become powerhouses in constructed formats. And it only comes with 1 deck, so your friend who wants to learn how to play has to buy one as well.

    Where do you start in Magic? Let's say you are a random older kid/young teenager who stumbles upon Magic at your Wal-Mart while grocery shopping with your parents. What product do you buy? Booster packs, Two player booster battle kit, planeswalker deck, challenger decks, "bundle" box, deckbuilder's toolkit, commander preconstructed deck, MJ Holdings "cube of random crap"? With just what on display at Wal-Mart, where would you start? This product is to answer that question. This is the product to start with learning the game.

    It's a good product for someone who's never played Magic before. It doesn't need to be full of financial value, have playsets of cards, be FNM/PPTQ ready out of the box. It's meant to teach the game to people who don't know how to play.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit
    Commander precons have 100 cards in them. It's value will hold due to valuable reprints and unique commanders. It's value is spread throughout 100 cards in the set as well. I don't think comparing this to a Commander deck is the right call. I would compare this to the Challenger Decks or Planeswalker decks because both of those products are for players who are new to certain levels of Standard play. Commander is a totally different beast altogether.

    They have put some value into the product already. Ghalta, Primal Hunger is 7-8 bucks after this announcement. Plus there is another rare from Guilds of Ravnica that hasn't been spoiled yet. So if you take that into account, you're paying for an 8 dollar card, plus 119 other cards worth of minuscule value, plus spindown dice for the other 7 dollars. It's not good value, but this product isn't intended for value, it's intended for new players who want to learn the game.

    Quote from Crypt Rat »
    "DO NOT SHUFFLE"

    Interesting bit with these is that, as packaged, the order of the decks is predetermined, so the first game between the two is guaranteed to be playable with quality starting hands, minimal flooding out, and removal being drawn on time. This level of first-exposure product design is something not present in ANY existing Magic product.

    Anyone complaining about the secondary market value of the contents of this product is completely missing the point of this product and that they are not intended the audience this product is for.

    Specifically: This product is intentionally not designed for people who play Magic. If you are a Magic player, this product is not for you.

    This product is intended to make people who don't know about Magic into players. That's why it's going to be sold at mass market stores where you will find people who don't know about Magic. The 30-card welcome decks are fundamentally not effective at drawing in new players given that you can only reach people who already willingly stumble into a comic book and card shop. Those decks only work on people who are already in the proximity of Magic being played, likely because they're already playing similarly complex games. This new product is trying to grab people who are not in that bubble, people who are not on forums, people who aren't going to a gaming shop. That is how you make players out of non players.


    This 100%. This guy gets it. I don't plan on buying it, but I'm not the audience and neither are most of you on this forum.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit
    Let's say that there was a card that had some sort of significant value (Chandra, Torch of Defiance in the mono red Challenger deck, for this example). Two things happened that upset some subset of players:

    1) The product was not selling for MSRP and was selling out everywhere. The intended design for those challenger decks is to have an FNM playable deck at your LGS for players who want to play but don't have a deck. People were buying them out and selling them for higher values, basically "scalping" these products. WotC kept printing them, but it took some time until I was able to find them for MSRP. Chandra alone was $40, thus making the MSRP of the product just pure value for everyone.

    2) People who bought Chandra, Torch of Defiance were upset that the value of their card starting to lose value. Mono Red aggro was and still is a top tier Standard deck. Imagine buying your copies of this card and immediately it loses its value. Gives players a "feels bad" moment. It also lowers the value of the card in the set that it comes out in. A lot of value that was locked in Kaladesh (besides the Inventions) was in a couple of card, and one of them is losing its value because its printed in a Challenger deck.

    If this product has significantly more value than the MSRP has in it, the product won't reach the intended audience. It will go to scalpers and/or be stripped for the pricey cards, thus becoming harder to find for the intended players.

    This Spellslinger deck is not meant for FNM play. It's meant to teach new players how to play. The mechanics in this product are not as complex as a challenger deck becuase they are both meant for 2 different audiences.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit

    There literally is nobody that knows "nobody" that already plays magic and starts playing magic in paper form.

    The vast majority is introduced by a friend that already plays, or they are multiple people that buy stuff at a store and see other players. In any case of that, you wont use this product for teaching a new player.


    Citation needed. The way you're taught and the way others are taught are 2 different ways. You assume everyone is introduced to Magic in the same way and that it's some sort of "insider's club" where the only way you learn is from someone who already knows the game. Why can't there be people who don't know the game of Magic? There has to be someone out there who doesn't know someone who doesn't know, right? If your theory is true, then this would be a wasted venture for WoTC, but since they created this product, plus with Mark Rosewater even stating that the product is becoming harder for newer players to learn the game due to complexity (New World Order) this doesn't align with what you are inferring.

    But seriously, if it's not for you, don't buy it. If you think this is a waste of money, you should see the Welcome decks at Target and Wal-Mart that they sell for 10 bucks. You only get 2 30 card welcome decks and 2 spindown dice. THAT's a waste of money! The Spellslinger "Duel Deck" is a shining gold nugget over that monstrosity of a product.

    *Also, there is another rare in this deck that's from Guild of Ravnica that hasn't been revealed yet (since one deck has 5 rares and the other has 4 rares, and they make these things symmetrically) so there might be some more value inside these as well. I'm not saying that this is the greatest thing out there, but it's something that needs to exist for people to purchase.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Full Buy-a-Box information (early delivery, and BAB Promo)
    If you guys haven't taken the recent survey by Wizards, I would recommend you to. I have and expressed my concern over the BAB promos.

    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles

    It should be there somewhere. We can complain all we want on here, but if we don't tell them then we are doing nothing about it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit
    How did you stumble onto Magic? (I started playing during Onslaught when a friend showed me Magic at the college lunch room while I was playing Yu-gi-oh. I bought a Yu-gi-oh deck from Target.) Most people learn Magic from other friends or people around them. But how do you get the MTG product out there for FRESH new people, who don't have friends who play MTG? For a new player that has never been to a local gaming store, how do they play Magic? Where will they find product? How are they able to play the game out of the box with a friend for a low price.

    Welcome decks are for stores to get new players hooked to the game. If your game store is just giving 4 or 5 of them away to a single player, then they are doing it wrong. They are to be played with and used for teaching new players.

    How would you describe a "bad" product? One that does not have financial value? One that does not appeal to you? One that does not do what it was intended to do?
    (I personally think Planeswalker decks are bad because a) it provides nothing of financial value for the person and b) it does not help a player to become a better player by giving them a subpar deck that will get "rekt" by a FNM level deck.)

    They use to have beginner decks like these in the past, with a preconstructed way of playing the game to allow players to learn the basic mechanics. It's a necessary product to have for new players. Remember, this is for new players who don't know where to go to by mtg products, other than at Wal-Mart or Target.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit
    Ghalta, Primal Hunger is currently around the 7 dollar amount and going down, but sees play in Standard. Reclamation Sage is a multi-format card that shows up in Modern and EDH. Demanding Dragon is a speculative target to replace Glorybringer in possible red decks after rotation. Llanowar Elves sees play in Elves decks in multiple formats (Standard, Modern, Legacy). Ravenous Chupacabra is a solid creature kill spell that has seen some play in Standard.

    Even though these cards aren't 30+ dollar cards, they are cards that see play and you could possible trade to players for subpar rares or other commons and uncommons. They are cards that see play and are tradable

    This is a product that has been lacking in paper magic for quite awhile. A pre-constructed deck that can introduce players to the game and have a guide to help players learn the game by themselves. They have this on MTG Arena and Pokemon online. It's not the ideal way to learn to play, but it's an option for those who want to learn with a friend who also doesn't know how to play.

    Imagine that you and a friend are new to MTG and you so happen to stumble into a local game store. The amount of products are large and plentiful for new players that they don't know what they are looking for. Where do you start?

    -Does the employee tell you to wait for open house to learn?
    -Does the employee tell you to buy a Commander pre-constructed deck?
    -Does the employee give you a free welcome deck?
    -Does the employee try to sell you the Planeswalker decks?
    -Is the employee even able to tell you how to play Magic?

    All of these answers are possible. This product can be an on ramp for new players to learn. Is this a product for everyone? No. Is it meant for us established players that post about it online? No. There are products out there that aren't meant for everyone, but it doesn't mean that they are bad.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Spellslinger Starter Kit
    I think it's a good intro product for new players who want to learn how to play, but don't have a local game store nearby to play at. It's also affordably costed for newer players ($14.99) and gives players a few decent cards that they can use for future decks or for trade fodder. I think this is a good product all around.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Full Buy-a-Box information (early delivery, and BAB Promo)
    Nexus of Fate is much more rare than WotC will let you believe. Think about it, if you could make a cool $140 selling the promo, rather than issuing these out to people who buy a box, would you do it? I know some stores and people wouldn't, but some do. I seen playsets on ebay before the set was released for $110-120, ready to ship a week before the actual release day. You can't tell me that those were from people who preordered boxes and wanted to get rid of said BAB promo?

    We had a similar incident with Fatal Push FNM promos as well, being sold 2-3 days before they were available as promos. One of the LGS in my area was caught doing this and I believe their WPN status was flagged.

    As I said before, this is a symptom of a bigger problem. Local game stores have a hard time bringing in revenue and selling product when their online competitors outprice them in every way. In a way, I sorta don't blame stores selling promos to keep afloat, especially if the set is mythic heavy in value, if they're trying to keep afloat. By selling promos like that to keep afloat, it's having an opposite intended effect of having players get these promos to sell boxes. IF they don't have the promos on hand, then it becomes a problem of selling boxes without promos. I believe that LGSs can't sell promos until a certain time frame has passed.

    Maybe a solution (if WotC continues to print BaB promos that are not part of the set) is to include the promo INSIDE the box itself. Mass box openers will have copies. Players who want to buy a box will get the copy. Supply is based on sales of boxes, so there's guaranteed value in the box and it would keep the prices of the cards in check due to the influx of cards entering the stores and hands of players. It would keep stores fair and honest by not having the promos on their person to sell. This would have the intended effect for boosting booster box sales for WPN stores, and if LGS owners want to sell the promo, they can because it's part of the set, while not being part of the set at the same time.

    But if this is a concern and "the powers that be" can't do this, maybe reverting back to the original BaB promos might be better. There were some GREAT BaB promos of the past: Birds of Paradise, Surgical Extraction, Goblin Rabblemaster, Supreme Verdict, just to name a few. You can't tell me that they don't know what cards are and aren't going to be played. That's what the Future Future League can look for, right?

    Or make BaB promos in each set be a chase card from a previous set. This would incentivize players to buy older booster packs as well.

    What's the saying that I've heard before: Magic is one of the best games out there, ran by one of the worst companies.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Full Buy-a-Box information (early delivery, and BAB Promo)
    The biggest thing that I see that Mark Rosewater keeps pointing out is the echo chamber theory:

    http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/174024638688/going-forward-well-be-continuing-this

    The long and short of it is he believes that "the powers that be" don't believe that this is a problem currently. He states that it's easy to get caught up in what others believe. However, I don't think that's the case in this situation. As part of his "charity", he takes it upon himself as a spokesperson for WotC and tries to put a spin on it to calm the masses using these quotes:

    "There are many players who like the promotion..."

    "So why are we continuing the promotion? Because it was very successful at doing what it was created to do and was well liked by enough of our audience to justify it..."

    "...we have to weigh all the feedback from all the interested parties as well as look at what it’s doing overall for the business and we came to the conclusion that it was worth continuing."

    I see that he's putting a positive spin on it, but at what cost does this road take us? Does temporary gains from some people outweigh the longevity of the player base? There are plenty of people having problems firing off FNM events as of late. Does this exclusive problem help? Nope, not in the slightest. If they wanted to improve FNM and general MTG attendance, then why did they cut money for FNM and special event promos, while simultaneously increase prices on booster boxes? Why did they cut the Wizard's Direct service for purchasing booster boxes and instead make it "distributor only"? Why are we having issues with poor card quality and curling? It all comes down to the bottom line of profits. There are plenty of videos on youtube discussing these changes and how they are counter intuitive to quotes of "helping the local gaming stores with these exclusive promos".

    To argue that these BAB promos are for support of the stores is ridiculous. It's merely a cheap, temporary piece of tape trying to cover up cost saving methods of increasing profits in their pockets. WotC wants attendance numbers to be up, but aren't willing to spend money to upkeep this. I think they are banking on MTG Arena to usher in a large group of players to boost numbers of "active" players.

    As for the real solution to fix this problem, I know of one that would work. It would reward players who attend FNMs, Standard Showdowns, PPTQs, RPTQs, etc. It would support local game stores, as long as they were willing to follow the guidelines given. Provide more support to the local games store. More promos. More showdown packs. More tangible rewards, such as lapel pins or patches, deck boxes, unique sleeves, whatever. Create an ongoing league to accrue planeswalker points and make planeswalker points matter by instating a reward system where you would trade in your points for certain promos at your LGS that you play at. Invest in your player base. Invest in your stores that promote your game. Show them you care by showering them and us in unique gifts. The logistic are there and it wouldn't be terribly hard to create. However I know that WotC won't do it because it would require them to spend more money than they are wanting to.

    I know that I'm rambling and it's a bit off topic, but the BAB promos are but one symptom of many something much bigger than we should all see: Corporate Greed.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Full Buy-a-Box information (early delivery, and BAB Promo)
    The biggest problem with buy a box promos of the past were the card choices that they used. Let's look at the list of the recent few years:

    Ruinous Path - BFZ*
    Goblin Dark-Dwellers - Oath of the Gatewatch
    Elusive Tormentor - Shadows over Innistrad
    Thalia, Heretic Cathar - Eldritch Moon*
    Skyship Stalker - Kaladesh
    Scrap Trawler - Aether Revolt
    Archfiend of Ifnir - Amonkhet*
    Wildfire Eternal - Hour of Devastation
    Burning Sun's Avatar - Ixalan
    Random Double Face Card - Rivals of Ixalan*

    I would like to say that some of these choices were pretty decent (the ones that I put an asterisk on) from a Standard playable stand point. Hell, I actually understand Burning Sun's Avatar for the person who likes big dumb dinosaur effects. However, there were a few choices which were complete misses, such as Goblin Dark-Dwellers for Oath of the Gatewatch (which doesn't highlight any of the primary themes of the set)and Skyship Stalker (c'mon, we ALL know this is hot garbage outside of draft/sealed, plus doesn't introduce us any of the mechanics of the set) as the biggest culprits of poor choices.

    I know that R&D/FFL/WotC doesn't know what cards are going to be standouts and great standard playables from each set, but I know they have a pulse of the Standard environment and know what cards are going to be somewhat playable. If you want to throw a bone to the local game stores, make the BAB a planeswalker from each set. That would solidify a strong portion of people wanting a box at that point. No one complains about free planeswalkers, even if they're bad!

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Full Buy-a-Box information (early delivery, and BAB Promo)
    This is the slippery slope that many of us has mentioned that would happen when Nexus of Fate was previewed. When you make cards that can ONLY be obtained as a BAB promo and it sees play in a Pro Tour or Grand Prix winning deck lists, then it causes a huge spikes in value and makes standard even harder to enter for newer players. Their solution to increase box sales SHOULD of been making BAB promos a more desirable card that is printed in the set. The last BAB promo that I thought was great was Thalia, Heretic Cathar from Eldritch Moon. I think that should be a good direction for BAB promos: Desirable Rares or Mythics in the set!

    But I think that this stems from a much bigger problem. If WotC needs to create special, new, only obtainable through buying a box on release, cards for BAB promos to sell boxes, then that must mean that the sets aren't selling well due to the booster boxes not being strong or desirable sets. A vast majority of common and uncommon cards in these recent sets are draft chaff. And Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan were one of the worst draft sets that I've personally experienced in awhile.

    I've also heard that WoTC is on damage control on MTGO, adjusting the chances in chests for Nexus of Fate. I think that WotC knows they screwed the pooch on this one and I can't wait to see how they react to the public outcry for this card in the future, but like a lot of things in MTG recently, I only expect some sort of disappointment.

    Thank GOD for eternal formats!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on R/G RampFire help?
    I think if you plan on splashing black, it gives you Torment of Hailfire and Cut // Ribbons for good early spot removal. I find that both of those cards work extremely well. Hope that helps Smile
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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