Magic Market Index for Aug 10th, 2018
 
Treasure Cruisin' Modern Big Red
 
Magic Market Index for Aug 3rd, 2018
  • posted a message on Core 2019 General Discussion
    Quote from Goryo »
    The more I think about it, the more this story bothers me. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

    1.) Why doesn't Bolas just extract the information he wants straight from Naiva's mind? Why does he ask her repeatedly for it?

    2.) Why doesn't he just Slave of Bolas her?

    3.) Why does he waste 20 minutes regaling this random girl with his side of the story? What is it to him what this puny human child thinks? If he takes issue with her point of view, he can just kill her when he's done with her.

    4.) And when he does share his story, why does he include ostentatious example of him messing with other people's minds (like Arcades's?) And slaying human sorcerers after he learned what he wanted from them? Oh, she'll trust you now, Bolas.


    I would expect far more competence from Bolas even in his modern, diminished, post-Mending state. But this is him at full power and supposedly full intelligence, the level he's trying to get back to. He's wrecking planes, building zombie armies, trapping planeswalkers, and storming Ravnica all so he can somehow return to being... this? An unconvincing liar who lets himself be baited by a teenager? This entire chapter shouldn't have happened. Realistically, Bolas should have just raided and/or hijacked Naiva's mind, found Yasova and Ugin, and made short work of this whole thing.

    Look, Bolas, you've been in this Evil Genius Overlord business a lot longer than I have, and I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but you don't seem to be making a very good showing of your talents. Are you playing to win or not?


    Don't forget he also beat someone with their own arm per the ixalan story just prior to finding out where Ugin was in the first place...

    The problem with writing characters that are exceptionally clever and smart is that they are bound by both reader and writer. The size of the story and pace also did not help. The story leans far to heavily on his black side when self pride, ego, etc. get in the way of him being an intelligent and ruthless villain. Instead of constantly trying to show him as some grand mastermind and not delivering, just tell us the outcome of him outmanuvering someone else...

    I agree, the story is short and it shouldn't have happened.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Full Buy-a-Box information (early delivery, and BAB Promo)
    Quote from orlouge82 »
    The Buy-a-Box promo is really about supporting LGS's, not as much about pushing box sales. On that front, I would say that Nexus of Fate has been very successful, but it seems that there is no way for the Buy-a-Box promo to make everyone happy, since the promos basically did virtually nothing to move boxes at LGS's for years and years, and making mechanically exclusive cards as BaB promos seems like a sure way to change that (and I'm sure it did). The inevitable tradeoff for that success is players complaining that it's too expensive if they hypothetically wanted to buy it (which, ironically, most players who are complaining have no interest in playing the card).
    I'm not saying that there's nothing wrong with the strength of Nexus of Fate or the BaB promo system in general, but that it isn't as clear cut as many are making it sound.


    Exclusivity should not be a gimmick when your game is built for a competive environment. If it were just to collect the cards, fine - have chase cards. This is the wrong carrot to hang off the stick.

    I personally try and keep a pretty decent stock of modern playables and decks because it's my preferred format. Initiatives like this create artificial barriers to entry on decks in they misjudge a card because of artificial scarcity to pad sales.

    I'm 100% dissastisfied with Nexus of Fate. Either they print it in an upcoming set and it takes a mythic slot from us, they leave it alone and paper tournaments are a crap shoot, or they find a way to get it in the hands of people who don't have hundreds of dollars for every set release to acquire a playset - which hurts the people who paid for the gimmick in the first place.

    There is no elegant solution in my eyes.

    My initial assessment was that the card was fine for edh, but if modern turns didn't want it then it was probably too weak and okay. While I stand behind my initial assessment, I thought control was going to be a much bigger player in standard than it was at the PT. The meta could correct itself.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Quote from MChui »
    Would anyone consider Oketra’s last mercy in the UW vial spirits deck? Assuming upon cast you don’t die to eidolon effect. Resetting life to starting should be game over for burn - plus vial mitigates lands not untapping next turn
    Quote from MChui »
    Would anyone consider Oketra’s last mercy in the UW vial spirits deck? Assuming upon cast you don’t die to eidolon effect. Resetting life to starting should be game over for burn - plus vial mitigates lands not untapping next turn


    I don't think it's strong enough. You open yourself up to sullcrack in response and tempo yourself for a turn without an active vial. Also, it needs to be fired off somewhere between 3-15 life ideally a even higher minimum then that. You'll get a lot more mileage from incremental gains from other cards I think.

    Considering testing blink of an eye as a two of for my meta. As is I can't beat bridge if it resolves before board. Unsure, I'll let you guys know how it does.

    I've been so happy with spell pierce in the main and it rarely gets taken out. Happy with it against all but super heavy creature matches (humans, elves, allies, slivers).
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Core 2019 General Discussion
    I know test of metal is suspect material, but the woman could easily be a bolas clone. I find it hard to reason he would be there personally waiting decades just in case.

    I also wouldn't put it past him to have set up an "alarm" in case Ugin wasn't actually dead.

    I just find it superfluous if he's there himself and unsure why he would just leave if a group of humans (who he can easily mind read) are actively trying to resurrect the one being who can oppose him.

    The whole twist feels like overkill to generate excitement about a pretermined outcome.

    Also, while I love the tarkir parts - I would have liked for more focus on bolas/Ugin in general. The flashbacks can be jarring sometimes because I become so invested in reading on what's going on in tarkir.
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Played another modern event tonight at the LGS for a 4-0 finish. Lots of infect, people are jamming a bunch of test decks. Anyway, neat spell interaction came up. I run two blessed alliance in the side for burn and large ground threats I can't easily deal with, which of course come in against infect because they're amazing.

    There is a window during combat, someone more rules and phase savvy can probably go into more detail about this, that's after damage is dealt to cast spells that can still impact creatures that had attacked and or dealt damage.

    Opponent swung in with a inkmoth nexus and a glistner elf (declare attackers). I blocked the elf (declare blockers) went to damage and ate some infect points and let my dude trade with elf. I then fired off a blessed alliance at end of combat step to kill the nexus. If I fired it off before blocks during thh attackers phase I may not have gotten the trade (as all pump would have just been dumped on the surviving creature). if I fired it off after blocks were declared he would have just sacced the blocked creature. This let me get both dudes off the board and eventually turn the game around as he was forced to set up and protect another threat at that point.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    I bought a playset of celestial kirin when EDM was released and I've yet to see a meta where they would serve me well colt. I typically empty my hand well before I hit the mana to play them in UW vial.

    Thanks for the tournament write up Shawn! Cheers on a solid performance. I agree with you on nebelgast as it just feels so great in so many matches. I tend to view it as standard is looking at goblin chainwhirler - back breaking for certain decks and a passable beater against control. The card feels great when I'm behind and at parity. It's fine when I'm ahead.

    @maartendq I totally understand the meta call. If I was facing down a bevy of control every week I would also change my list.

    I'm glad the deck had such a great show this week. I definately think it's T1 (bant coco or UW vial) and will be meta once more people pick up the deck. This is one I'm glad I moved on early.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Quick modern night (same few people) report, and then my 2c on what has recently been discussed.



    Modern FNM 3-0, discussion of matches in spoiler. was KCI, Blue Moon, and then Infect (UG).

    The KCI game 1, I was on the draw and was able to spellqueller his first KCI. After that I just protected the queen and rode out damage for a turn or two. I had a second queller in hand for the next KCI. Game 2 was 4 rounds I think, as I was able to protect my disruption pieces and had an early game eidolon of rhetoric he had a hard time getting rid of.
    +echoing truth
    +eidolon of rhetoric
    +Hurkyll's recall
    +the two rest in peace
    +kataki
    -4 path to exile
    -1 curious obsession

    Match 2 was blue moon. I don't remember game 1 much. I did fire off a spell pierce on two bloodmoons game 1, which in hindsight I probably should have just let resolve as the only thing it was going to shut me off of was kira although to be fair it would be difficult to hold up spell pierce and deploy threats unless I hit another island or two if I let them resolve. Game 2 he drew a bunch of creatures and I had a grip full of 3 drops with 2 lands out for like 2-3 turns. He didn't present a fast enough clock and eventually the disruption punched through. The images aren't great considering how much interaction the deck runs (Bolts, snaps, cryptics, electrolyze all target) which is why I boarded them out. I kept 1 in so I could copy a protection piece or his snapcaster mage if i needed to hit my negate, spell pierce, or path in game 2 but going down the full 4 is probably fine.
    -3 phantasmal image
    +Nimble Obstructionist
    +negate
    +eidolon of rhetoric

    match 3 was infect, 2-0. Game 1 nebelgast herald just locked down his team. Either my opponent lets the tap down happen to try and run me out of dudes (which increases my clock) or risks tempo plays like quell your spell and tap your dude off the herald trigger. Game 2 he boarded out the glistner elves and brought in invisble stalker!? on the play he goes t2 stalker, t3 wild defiance, and then starting swinging in for like 7-8 damage a turn. I always bring in Eidolon of Rhetoric and it's just so great in this match. This is always a fun match up, as I feel it can go either way and games end up being kind of a puzzle.
    -4 phantasmal image (he can kill it with a pump spell)
    -2 curious obsession (too slow)
    +Eidolon of Rhetoric
    +2 Settle the Wreckage
    +2 Blessed Alliance
    +Negate

    Regarding recent conversations:
    This is going to be a lengthy point, but I feel like making the deck too aggro is a mistake - because there are tribes that just do it better. Bant Spirits nut opener would be land hierarch, land GoST, land COCO into two lords swing for 9 (geist 4, exalted trigger 1, angel trigger 4). Yes you're representing alot of damage next turn, but there is a decent swath of the field that doesn't care about that start or can disrupt it quite handily. Most bant lists are just hyper aggro focused and the only tempo plays you have are maybe a rattlechains to protect a key spirit (which there have been suggestions on trimming), spell queller, and nebelgast herald (which I've seen suggestions to trim entirely). I don't think this is correct, we can't put out a clock like elves, merfolk, humans, allies, etc.

    Mutavault discussions seem to be in the aggro mindset. Often if it's going to be important enough to block, I've already expended cards and mana to build up a lethal board anyway. There are games were it may be okay, but you miss out on ETB triggers that moorland haunt gives, buffs to the mutavault also buff the token, except the token has build in evasion. If you do run mutavault, I think running it without nebelgast herald is a mistake. Herald is what is going to open up those avenues of attack for it to punch through if you want it.

    In regards to trimming nebelgast herald, it's my best card against humans aside from path and worship/settle out of the side. It will also buy you several turns against crap like hollow one if they are off to a slightly slower start, especially if they make you discard your paths or interaction. It's not great against KCI/storm/ad naus - sure. It's great against everything else. It can singlehandedly lock down an ulamog or wormcoil from tron, stop prime time kills from amulet or titanbreach/bloom, taps down mantis riders, tap down mana sources from elves during their upkeep, shuts off reliquary combo if you time it right, and more. There are just so many great targets in every match up but control.

    I'm personally going to run two remorseful cleric in the side in place of RIP and then probably run 4 supreme phantoms for a bit in place of 2 phantasmal image and the curious obsessions. I'm not sure supreme phantom is a card I want 4 of yet, as I like the tempo style of the deck a lot. Making it more aggro isn't where I want to be personally. I just feel like there are other tribes that tout that banner higher.

    While I agree that the deck could use card advantage (what deck doesn't), I don't know that I would be interested in running a spirit cantrip. I've removed elvish visonary entirely from elves (many of the recent lists have cut them) and merfolk has 8 draw spells (silvergill/spreading seas) that give redundancy. I think I'd rather a card draw spirit probably just be another tempo creature or something that locks up the board a bit. Something like a spirit vyrn wingmare would have been fantastic imho.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Moved two spell pierce to the main (UW vial) and I've been impressed. Stomped KCI into the dirt g1 and g2 was a blow out after I brought in the extra hate.

    I wasn't unhappy to see them vs ponza because they helped me develop and protect my land on turns 1-3.

    Felt great against infect.

    Feels great against mardu pyromancer

    Feels great vs control

    Feels great with anything running walkers.

    Just really like it. I'll be jamming it for awhile and make sure it's not just a hot streak.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Quote from Izzbert »
    Hello everyone!

    I intend to get into the Spirits archetype and since I play on a budget, I will stick to UW for the start. A first draft of what my deck will look like:



    What do you guys think of Thalia? I like her in DnT-variations and other creature decks, but I am not sure how bad the lack of synergy will feel. Also the new Lord should help the clock in uninteractive MUs and make combat easier against creatures. I want to test Remorseful Cleric in the maindeck since I am used to midrange-infested metas, where I think the card will shine.

    I would love to hear feedback and opinions. I am used to a Death and Taxes playstyle so my view of this decks strategy might not be completely correct just now - which is something I want to improve!


    Thalia plays very poorly with path and obsession.

    My 2c

    Cons:
    If you're used to the playstyle then it's not the end of the world, but she does make a decent chunk of the deck more expensive (vial, obsession and path gives 11 cards total in your list which is close to 20% of your deck).

    She's also bad in multiples, which means you don't often want to see copies 2-4 unless they jump through hoops. This pushes you up to almost 14 cards, which is nearly a quarter of your deck, that doesn't play favorable with her.

    Her mana denial plays poorly with the ramp of path. While we're often pathing to shave off a turn or two of our opponents clock, she's not getting in often because we're not swinging in with threats alongside her.

    The uptick in humans has led to opponents being more savvy vs playing her. I just ignore her now and strand cards in my opponents hand if they have multiples and only expend removal of it's a x for 1 or she just needs to go so I can do my thing period.

    Pros:

    That being said, I've played her as a 3x and 4x and I've done well in an open meta at my LGS. When you want her and you get wanderer > Thalia > multiple spell quellers she's a monster.

    Against smaller decks, like bant coco or elves she can swing in on the ground very easily while they try and set up.

    You can sideboard out of spells to become more taxing, and impact the numbers above.

    Having vial helps pay the tax while you continue to do your thing with deploying tempo based creatures.

    She can be very punishing to spell heavy land light decks (like UR tempo decks).

    Hope this helps!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] Reanimator
    Quote from Beagle »
    Question: Is Tidespout Tyrant still needed MB (in UB Reanimator)?

    I'm not exactly sure when I'd ever really Entomb for it - when do you want it?


    Dark depths combo / lands to bounce the token from dark depths has been the most common application for me in BR. I use it for resource denial as well to buy myself a handful of turns.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Duress and exposed hand
    This is common practice at the LGSi go to for FNM or weekly events because we're all friends, practice together for the most part, and it facilitates us getting out early. We approach FNM as a practice ground for higher tournaments generally and are less sticky on the rules.

    That being said, anything beyond this level or for an unknown opponent (someone from out of town) I won't do this for. It's on them to record whatever information is provided and I'll take whatever edge I can get in a more competitive setting.

    While I do think it's good sportsmanship, I don't think it's bad manners by any stretch to not offer.

    I'm entirely unsure of the ruling impact on it however, and I know that picking my hand back up is the easiest way to just keep everyone honest and keep a competitive edge if they fail to note what you revealed.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Kat got 27th in the SCG open in Atlanta with Bant. Would be great to get a tournament report as I'm not sure what her other losses were from aside from burn.

    Good show for the deck though. I may need to take bant out for a stretch once supreme phantom drops. I need to also just get another GoST because I only have 2. He plays very well with a lord build.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Sucks she was paired against burn. Was good to watch though. Game 2 she felt firmly in the drivers seat for awhile.

    Played UW vial spirits at my LGS Friday (same as last report but with caverns in the manabase). Quick report below, went 3-1.


    Match 1 was mardu pyromancer. Lost 2-1. I just couldnt stick anything meaningful after having my hand shredded game 1. I don't run enough removal to make the match worthwhile. Game 2 spell queller and some hexproof in response to my key threats let me tempo for the win. G3 I had 3 caverns and both moorland haunts. Cast like 2 guys the whole game.

    Match 2 was jund. 2-1, biggest take away was giving myself a copy of goyf on ththe ground and chipping in for 1-4 every turn just added up with his mana base. nebelgast herald felt great.

    Match 3 was lantern. Game one I have 3 spell queller win hand and see my opponent stirrings for a bridge (which I have no maindexk answer to). She tries an inquisition to clear the way for bridge next turn and I quell that. Next turn I quell the birdge. On t4 she drops land, inquisition me...after revealing another bridge on top for her draw. No way out of that. Match 2/3 I brought in negates, an echoing truth, and took out images/ojutais command. I saved mausoleum wanderer to counter whir of invention and was able to get there.

    Match 4 was humans. Game 1 he mulls to five and I blow up his images with nebelgast heralds (hehehe). Match 2 he has an absurd start with t2 lieutenant, t3 image it, t4 another lieutenant and image that too. Anyway, I had worship t4 and 2-3 dudes out by then, and they can't interact with the enchantment.


    Deck felt great and I think mardu pyromancer just felt like I was on the bad side of variance. Discard seems to hurt me more on this deck than other decks. Dunno if that's actually the case or not but it always feels bad when my 2-3 drops are stripped from me.

    Considering trying ancestral vision down the road. Probably in place of 2 obsessions, one image and one command. At least until the new spirits drop.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Silver Showcase Beta Rochester draft at PT 25th Anniversary
    Quote from idSurge »
    I think you are right there are plenty of Magic players who care about Pros, but its far far harder to get people outside of the game, to care about magic players.

    Like my wife knows who the Steelers are. She knows who the Seahawks are she couldnt tell you who the RB is on both teams.

    We need to look at what people tune into Twitch Streams for. When its a big MTG event? A GP? You dont even get to watch 'your' Pro player. You are watching the decks. You are watching the cards. Thats a good thing, because then I can see game play, and think 'wow that looks fun, I better go buy those cards'.

    There is next to zero promotion of the individual. Next to zero screen time of the individual. I mean hell, I care more about Wedge, after what happened at the last GP, than I do about ANY Pro.

    I'm all for pro play, I'm all for supporting competitive play, however I would argue more people care about 'their' deck, than they do what pro X, Y or Z, is doing at an event. Those who care more about the pro's are already the most entrenched players/fans in the game, and Wizards already has your dollar/attention. Thats the issue.


    While I don't disagree with you, we don't have a mechanic like draft to balance out the "teams" or decks in our case. You can say that mtg rotation is akin to the NFL or similar sports pros retiring. The issue is that all sports teams essentially draft from the same pool of new recruits each year. In magic we're stuck with color pie restrictions.

    If you promote the deck then you promote the strategy of the color(s) and there is a heavily increased scrutiny on a balanced playing field. Following the pro showcases mutileple formats, decks, and an evolving meta.

    I cheer my favorite decks on and boo the undesireables - believe me. I'd be totally content to watch storm lose every game the deck ever played personally, but I do enjoy watching Caleb Scherer on the SCG circuit turn a soft lock into a mediocre loss for his opponent.

    WotC supporting decks also creates a biased atmosphere, like them saying hey standard we're keeping OGW longer! Buuuuut we're forcing a rotation anyway because we're banning several cards. What if the NFL deemed your team drafted too well and needed to have players benched to even the playing field? Screw that.

    I don't know how you take events like this and showcase a deck. Like do you just have a 10 man bracket of each color pair play off in Swiss? Who plays those decks? What if one has much stronger tools than another. Are they balanced? Is it engaging if pairings are random round 1?

    Drafting is a balancing mechanism, similar to sports drafting, where if something (or a group of somethings) is especially potent - you can break it up among several people. at that point following the pro is something that gives the viewer consistency every time they tune in. It evens the playing field and spurs people to crack packs.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Core 2019 General Discussion
    dragon blood - just gonna leave this here.

    At first blush I thought the stories were going to be several hundred years apart and focus on highlights of bolas' conquest, loss of power, and fight to gain it back.

    After thinking about it a bit more, I think the stories may end with the dragon wars or aftermath shortly after and Yasova and the twins making it to Ugin and him pardoning yasova for her part in what happened to tarkir.

    I don't see how they could squeeze in more without forgoing quality and a huge story pace shift in just 5 stories.

    Fixed card tag*
    Posted in: Magic Storyline
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