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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    The Force cycle doesn't do enough. Force of Despair is much better than people are giving it credit for, but most of the decks you need the speed of a free wipe against can just reestablish their board.

    Force of Despair is barely a speedbump for Hogaak, Bloodghast, Vengevine, and Gravecrawler, along with Phoenix. It's hardly a decent safety valve for Hogaak. Force of Vigor might help you stop the combo kill using Altar, but you're 2 for 1ing yourself against a deck that can recur the entire grave against you.

    Against fair-ish creature decks, Force of Despair is a decent safety valve card. As long as at least 2 creatures hit the battlefield, it's an even trade on card resources. It's the dredge problem. It's fine if a deck is resilient to removal, or fast, or has a combo kill… but when it has all three that require different hate pieces, the deck is much harder to keep in check.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Brainstorm is so synonymous with the format (legacy), they can't really touch the card. It would nuke at least half, probably more, decks in the format. I don't think they want to throw that stick of dynamite into the format.

    We're not quite there with Faithless Looting, but I can see Modern becoming the "Looting" format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from The Fluff »
    Quote from tronix »
    just gotta say wizards missed an opportunity with force of despair. could have easily tagged on an exile clause to give it applications against GY creature decks.


    they probably want to keep W the main source of battlefield creature exile effects.

    About Modern Horizons. I'm pleased with it. Plenty new cards to test, and the horizon lands. Glad to have more ninjas, as the tribe badly needs it after 14 years of no new modern playable ninja. Null rod ouphe, so even mono green budget decks have ways to fight tron and harden scales. Liking the new changelings and fairy as well.



    Exile is in black's wheelhouse. Here are just a few off the top of my head.

    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from tronix »
    just gotta say wizards missed an opportunity with force of despair. could have easily tagged on an exile clause to give it applications against GY creature decks.


    Totally agree on this one. I was really expecting some better safety valve cards from Modern Horizons, but all we got are highly situational cards that don't truly address some of the issues in the format. I like the design of Force of Despair, and I even think it's a decent card as it is... but an exile clause would have went a long way on that one.

    My overall feeling about Modern Horizons, as a mostly fair deck player, is that it feels like Christmas... except all of your friends got really cool toys when they opened up their presents and I got a pair of long underwear. Force of Despair? Sort of cool I guess, but most of those creatures I just killed for zero mana are just coming back the next turn. Force of Negation? It's okay, but totally overhyped. Archmage's Charm? Um, neato... a really hard to cast Cancel that sometimes turns into CA when I need it. Seasoned Pyromancer? Again, cool, but nothing that really makes me feel any more equipped to take on linear decks. The Horizon lands are awesome, but they slot right into the linear, unfair decks too, so it doesn't really fee like a win.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm going to continue playing Modern and I think the format is still fine, but I just can't help feel a tinge of disappointment at the whole set.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    I don't find the idea of restricting cards in Modern elegant at all. It just adds to the variance and lopsided nature by allowing some decks to have more busted than average hands. What purpose does that serve in the format? For example, if we restricted Allosaurus Rider, does it help the format to have a deck that sometimes can have a turn 1 kill "oops I win" mode, but has to grind out its wins some other way when it doesn't have the broken opener? I just want to know HOW it's better for the format?

    I think it's fine in Vintage, but the goals of Vintage are different than those of Modern.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from DaveJacinto »
    I was discussing this event with a couple of friends and for some reason I ended up defending the deck. I surely believe it's way too early for a ban but it's a deck that is doing really obnoxious things. It attacks through multiple angles and it's required a considerate amount of hate/interaction to win.
    Regardless, the discussion was that the deck that was in number one on the Challenge was a UW Control with 4 snapcasters and 2 surgicals mainboard. One of my friends reply to that was that if we are mainboarding hate it means that the format is busted. That made me wonder...

    Is the format broken? If we look at legacy... Force of Will is the safety valve of the format, a free spell that interacts with the degenerate stuff that happen in the format. In legacy the stack is where the degenerate decks win from... In modern our stack is the graveyard. Can't we accept that maybe we should just be playing Surgicals main?
    If we really think about it Surgical is 100% analogue to Force of Will in legacy. It's card disadvantage, free, instant speed, costs life, deals with the degenerate stuff that happen in the format while being somewhat mediocre to bad in the fair match ups. It's also a card that we sideboard out in a lot of matches.

    Probably I'll get some bash over this but it's a different point of view. To be honest it eases my mind looking at things this way. My only grief is that surgicals are super expensive (same as force of will) and playing 4 is a big hit in the budget.


    This is where my mind has been going lately.
    People often tout that "Surgicals main is a symptom of an unhealthy format" but I've really been wondering if that's even a reasonable statement. We accept creature "hate" as fine and normal, because most decks feature a heavy creature element. Occasionally, your Path to Exile and Fatal Push cards will be dead, but no one laments about that. We've sort of come to accept that creature removal is just a part of the format. Perhaps we should be just as open to grave hate being "just a part of the format." Maybe that's just where the format needs to go.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    That's not an unreasonable position.

    Hymn is like playing the lottery with your opponent's hand. I really don't want to add more of that into the format, even if it mostly just powers up fair decks. That's just a personal opinion. I'm not really sure if the power level would be too much for the format.

    I actually like having a wide range of land hate available. I'll admit that none of them are a complete slam dunk, which is what I think what most people are hoping for, but it does force players to make some interesting deckbuilding decisions when trying to interact with lands. I do understand the desire for Sinkhole though.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    I do think Wizards has been trying when it comes to land-hate. We got fairly recent additions like Alpine Moon, Field of Ruin, and Damping Sphere, which were all aimed at decks that leverage lands to win. I like where their head is when it comes to cards aimed at taking out lands and I'd rather see them continue going that route instead of letting Sinkhole loose into the format.

    And Hymn? You're a true madman Shocked
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Oh man. Niblis of Frost... you're bringing back some fond memories of limited. With a mitt full of spells, that thing puts the board on lockdown.

    He's probably not good enough though. I want to love him, but I think Tubbybatman is right. You have more resilient options at 4 mana. If you decide to try it out, I'd be interested to see your results though.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    [quote

    Adding consistency to an opener DOES make any deck more aggressive.


    It doesn't. It might change the number of keepable 7 handers you have. It doesn't increase your clock or velocity.

    It's primarly an undercosted beater. Most and foremost. That turns into a big threat if we draw it from the midgame on. It could be good, could be bad, but that's it.


    Is it undercosted? We've had access to 1 mana threats before. Narnam Renegade was tried and is basically always a 2/3 that always trades up AND has psuedo unblockable due to deathtouch. Gnarled Dryad, while it does take a bit of extra work to activate, can also be swinging in as a 3/3 by turn 2. Goblin Guide is also a 2/2 for 1, but we really have no interest in that threat. I think you're overvaluing the 2/1 body.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    I was refuting the fact that Hexdrinker somehow makes the deck more aggressive. The reason I was comparing it to the other threats was more about evaluating how it matches up with currently used threats and partially due to this statement:



    Ehr, I wholehearthedly disagree with this statement. It's the opposite, if any.

    We did the math: Hexdrinker attacks for two on turn two. Only flipped Delver can do better than this. Nimble Mongoose is certainly not better in this aspect (it's way worse, expecially considered the fact we can't play it alongside Hooting Mandrills). Same reasoning for Pteramander.

    What are we talking about?


    It doesn't actually make the deck more aggressive. It may, perhaps, add consistency to an opener, if it is indeed a hearty threat on its own. If anything, it actually plays more into a midrange plan, since the hope with a Hexdrinker is that using its ability creates virtual card advantage by changing your opponent's live cards into dead cards at the cost of lost tempo.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    So, here's how it breaks down of damage from threats. If we assume no blocking, here's what it looks like.

    Hexdrinker (assuming level up to second-tier ASAP):
    T1=0
    T2=2
    T3=6
    T4=10
    T5=14
    T6=18
    T7=22

    Goyf/Mandrills:
    T1=0
    T2=0
    T3=4
    T4=8
    T5=12
    T6=16
    T7=20

    Delver of Secrets (assuming blind flip):
    T1=0
    T2=3
    T3=6
    T4=9
    T5=12
    T6=15
    T7=18
    T8=21


    Really, Hexdrinker is NOT a faster clock than Goyf or Mandrills. Without outside factors, the extra attack phase you get for 2 isn't actually doing anything to speed the clock up. Of course, when you add things like incidental life loss from fetches and bolts, that could account for shaving off a single turn on the clock when comparing it to Mandrills/Goyf.

    However, to make it as fast as a Goyf/Mandrills (T7 kill), you need to invest a total of 4 mana into it, effectively eating 2.5 turns worth of mana. That's 2 turns of not interacting with your opponent's spells. 2 turns of not using spells to maintain board superiority. Hexdinker's potential upside, is that it turns some cards in your opponent's hand into dead cards.

    I'm still not convinced on Hexdrinker. He seems like too much of a mana sink for not enough benefit on his own. He's not really actually a faster clock than the other threats (aside from Delver who's a lower mana investment and has evasion). I'd need to see some concrete numbers and results to become a believer.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Agree with CatParty.

    I'm not sold on Hexdrinker at all. A 2/1 is a "meh" body at best and provides a 10 turn clock. He gets walled by too many things and loses/trades in combat against most threats. He really only becomes a beefy threat after you've invested 3 subsequent mana into him… at sorcery speed. Even then, he basically gets "Protection from Path to Exile and Fatal Push". To really figure out how good he is, you need to ask yourself how often your threats are being picked off by those two spells.

    Part of the reason Temur is an attractive option is because the threats just don't much in the way or resources or babysitting. And RUG Delver is all about precise usage of each of your resources. You need to get the best bang for your buck at each turn and every single mana. Tarmogoyf is usually a 4/5 without really having to try, so he wins combat against most things, he turns on Stubborn Denial and he comes down as a 5 turn clock. Just drop him and keep turning him sideways. Hooting Mandrills requires playing Thought Scour… which is sort of lackluster, but it's a roleplayer.

    The only way I see Hexdrinker being decent is if you go all in on the free countermagic. Even then, I'm just not confident that Force of Negation is enough… and I think there definitely is a limit to how much card disadvantage this deck can facilitate with free counterspell effects.

    I don't think Hexdrinker is what we want. I don't even think it's particularly good in the scope of Modern. I'm certainly ready to eat my words if results prove otherwise!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    The main reason to go RUG over Grixis is the threat suite and sideboard cards. Green just has more options overall and most of them are easier to setup than the black threats. Black has Gurmag Angler and Shadow. Shadow requires a little more setup to be a great threat and makes you play a dangerous game with your life total. Gurmag requires more setup to reliably land on turn 2 (which GDS can do because it plays Baubles/Street Wraith/Thought Scour).

    Goyf just requires you to play Magic and hit 2 mana and he's generally a 3/4 or bigger. Hooting Mandrills is an easier to use Gurmag that has trample. The 4/4 instead of being a 5/5 can be a real hindrance sometimes though.

    I feel like if we went Grixis... we might as well just be switching to a GDS strategy.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    Steam Vents is by far our worst shockland. I'd almost even say it's our worst land period (Basic Swamp is certainly better than it... Island might be a toss up). I'd cut it if there weren't situations where one is absolutely necessary. In our current iteration, I just don't think we want it… even though I want a reason to play the UR Canopy Land soooo bad.

    It lets you control your life total AND you can ditch it to draw a card. Too bad they didn't print a UB one.
    Posted in: Midrange
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