Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
Magic Market Index for Dec 7th, 2018
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  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hello Shark,

    The banlist is on page 1 of this thread; it does have one error in it; Imperial Seal was banned at the time of the format stopping as a PRE event, but is not listed as banned. That said, it's a fairly minor oversight and I don't think most folks would begrudge you for playing it, at least I wouldn't. When the format closed as a PRE event, we were close to a voting cycle for banning and unbanning cards, there were a few that I know some players expected to vote for to come off of the banlist: Imp Seal, Gifts Ungiven, and Top all come to mind. The ban list is exceedingly close, actually more permissive in 100c (mostly for combo) than German HL, but the biggest difference is the sideboard--from a format variety standpoint what this sort of nerfed was RDW style decks, they didn't often do well in tournament play with sideboard options available and were replaced as the format budget option with WW beatdown decks, which evidently proved harder to totally nerf with a SB. That said, the sample size on that is small, and the format's card pool expanded 2-3 times before closing out; to include a lot of cards that enable much better combo and control decks, so I think we would have seen a re-emergence of RDW in the format if the format had continued to be played competitively.

    I just turned on MTGO for the first time in about 2-3 months...I've got about 2-300 singleton decks sitting around (in varied states of being 100CS, CanHlander, and some German HL...however, I can't promise the latter two formats still have the same ban lists as when I built those decks), so if you want a game hit me up. I'm lowman02 on modo.
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hello Folks, don't know if anyone still haunts this space or not,

    I apologize for the drop in the Chainsaw Massacre. I experienced a significant and unexpected family loss. I'm sorry for the lack of communication to you all, and I apologize if it came or comes as a disrespect to any of you; it was not so intended. I haven't been around MTGO or any of my MTGO based communications platforms for some months, and likely, due to recent personal events, will not be for the foreseeable future. I'm unfortunately not in a position to carry on running the event; although I love you all and love the format, I think I'm going to be on a spell slinging hiatus for sometime, but hopefully not forever.

    I do wish you all the best, and would be honored one day to pick up some cards digital or otherwise and sit across from any of you centurions. Thanks guys and sorry for letting you down, ML you most of all because of your long standing efforts to keep the format alive and your love of it--it's tough to gauge sincerity in written word, especially with the drivel that's available in the wide medium of the internet, but I hope you know I mean that brother (ML), we've butted heads and see things differently pretty often, but at least on my behalf we part as friends and you have my kind regard, with hope that upon our next meeting we can greet each other on friendly terms.

    Take care folks
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hello folks,

    100 card is still going strong, hope for folks that don't partake in the discord, they'll try to make the jump over as I try to circle around and make notifications here as well but a lot of the dialogue happens there first:


    That's a perma invite for anyone still exclusively using MTGS that may be interested in making the jump over.

    We're a bit light on players as of recent, which has been great eV for the folks showing up, last few weeks the least that any player regardless of record walked away with was 5.3 tickets.

    Let your friends know about the event and have them give it a shot, and I also hope some of our long time players can make it back out to support the format and hopefully play some fun games.

    Quick snapshot of the Metagame, based on Tournament Winning Decks:

    White Weenie-11

    Obviously alot of WW wins, but that's mostly due to presentation rate and the relative inexpense of the deck vs its ability to win games. Hope to see you all out next week and have a great week ahead!

    Take care,

    K (lowman02)

    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hey folks,

    Despite some last minute gyrations, we got the CSM off without issue. Thanks to all the players who made it out, and if you didn't please come out next week.

    Congrats to RobZdar on his win with Fish, and Spencerbot15, Maluc, and GoldenLin on their X-1 finishes. All X-1 finishes will be awarded 5.3 tix from our sponser on the MTGOCardMarket bot on MTGO. Rob, you got your prize from me.

    Also, congrats to Yokai on winning the door prize, please catchup with me man, you went afk when the finals started and I didn't get a chance to give you your prize, but anytime I'm on hit me up and I'll get you. Sorry for not being able to provide it when you hit me up a few hours later I was in the middle of recording a cube draft at the time. Either way, your prize is waiting.

    Thanks again guys, and I'll play catchup on making trophies and what not if folks care about flare on Gatherling.

    Take it easy and have a great week.

    K (lowman02)
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket

    If you're going to end the whole event, then reload me as host, think you took me off, I'm busy, but I will run it. I'm not going to let it die. Thanks.

    In other news, 1v1 Commander leagues and Q's are dying off, SpencerBot15 a diehard singleton player, but a lover of eV, is starting a movement on Reddit to petition WoTC for changing the format to 100c, using our current ban list as an example. Who knows how that will end up, but if you're interested follow on Discord or Reddit.

    K (lowman02)
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket

    I've shared no lies or hypocrisy with you; there's a vast difference between these and sharing one's feelings on what is best for the community or what they think is morally right and wrong. If you cannot see the difference between these and feel that any dissension is only on the grounds of attacking your person, then I think you are looking for a fight where one was not intended or there is some hint of truth to my comments and a need for defense against them.

    I considered systematically answering each of your points, but this will be my last post in this thread and I'd like to leave you with one consideration: Are WoTC employee's allowed to compete in tournament magic? No. This is obviously on a grander scale, because the money being talked about can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that is a difference of scale and not ethics; the ethical question is can someone who is already recieving monetary compensation and possessing greater inside information for a specific thing or event, also compete in said specific thing or event for greater monetary compensation. We're talking infentesimals here, like a swing of 1-5tix or maybe none if you go X-2, but the ethical question still remains and the answer would be no, the individual in this situation should not have a conflict of interest inherent in the nature of their arrangement, no matter how formal or informal; this is practiced in most business because like it or not if you're recieving money or giving money that is business.

    The more saliant point is; I want the format to survive and even thrive, so if you're the gentlemen that has and will continue to enable that because I'm busy with life responsibilities right now, and the price is a smaller prize pool, then I can live with that eventhough I don't agree. However, I also understand that whatever these bile filled, back and forth arguements are, are also not the way to show a strong community and grow it. I've not lied to you and only given to you on numerous occasions, with no expectations in return, and for that I'm called a hypocrite and liar...I have done what I've done, in some cases from a position of generousity, and in other cases due to it being what I considered to be the most ethical (ie not keeping prizes as a paid host). None of what I've done has been intended to be selfserving, if it was it surely failed, because it's obviously led to strife and confusion, and come often at greater inconvenience to myself.

    I wish you the best in perserving the community and hope that at some point you can see, I was trying to offer perspective, as you once said long ago, alot of folks won't talk up in forum, and I know I'm not the only one that feels a bit wrong about having a paid host with no non-compete clause and with no disclosure of that fact. I understand others don't share that information, but that doesn't make it correct.

    To the community,

    Good luck guys and keep playing 100c it's the best format in this great game!


    K (lowman02)
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket

    I do not hate you, and I promise I've never sicced another person on you; the drama is something I have no interest in; and yeah I'm a decently sharp fellow, but I never committed resources to help you in some deep seated, maniacal way to make you beholden to me, that's a bit out there...I did it because you are my friend, even if you piss me off regularly, I tell my friends the truth as I believe it whether they like it or not, especially when I think it's a truth that benefits the community. This is very simple: On principle I disagree with the host taking a 1/3 of the prize pool each week, this isn't about you personally, it's how I see the world and what I value. You are free to do whatever you like with it, but I'm not the sort of fellow to sit by if I think something is wrong; I speak my mind especially when I feel someone is taking something away from other people. You can take that or leave it, doesn't matter, it's an opinion piece.

    I give my credits to other players because it helps them build better decks, further explore the format, and enjoy the hobby of magic...it has nothing to do with causing an insurrection. Bandit K is a good dude, he has a limited collection, he loves the format; I wanted to help him out...I've done this for many people including you.

    As for the insurrection, what do I have to gain by opposing your policy, I personally don't take prizes and haven't historically, what would I gain by "attacking" you, qui bono, unless as I say I just don't think what you are doing is right.

    My credibility as a host has no bearing on what I believe to be right morally, nor should what I believe to be right morally compel you to change your actions. However, I think there's enough folks that may disagree with you on this point, and I feel that they should have the truth. Nowhere in the forum does it say that the host get's 1/3 of the sponsored pool, I had no clue that was even the case until I took over the event after paying you for the right to do so...if that was a means to an ends, then I suppose it was to provide more value (eV) to the players of the format, and shake up a stale meta game that was clearly dominated by one deck. Money is a means to all people, if the ends of that are to provide more to all people that sounds like the decent thing to do. I am no saint, but I care about this format and the players of it, I wouldn't waste my time debating it with you otherwise.

    That private email, is one I used pretty exclusively for gaming, with the advent of discord it's fallen into disuse, I have several private and professional emails. I'll try to do better checking them, but in no way did I deliberately ignore you.

    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket

    Brother, if you're going to do something that some folks may not like, then just do it and own it--please don't pardon yourself or appeal to the community in a sense of the travails you have to undergo in both your life and as host of the CSM and how these lend righteousness to your actions--the community isn't your sounding board; they're your friends and, in regards to the format, your responsibility. If you think that taking a portion of the prize pool equal to the what the victor receives each week in the tourney, due to the resources you have to put in, adheres to a sense of equity and fairness then so be it. However, no one wants to listen to groveling, me least of all because I know it for what it is, which is self-blind and unadulterated hypocrisy.

    You say that you did not start this format to make money, and I believe you, but you sure did sell it for money to me for well over 100USD late last year. I've loaned tuned vintage decks to you at well over 400tix in value, so you could grind Gatherling tournaments to support your hobby during times of financial duress. When you had to sell your MTGO collection last year, I accepted your MTGO tickets in exchange for money over paypal to help you avoid unfavorable exchange rates. When you wanted to start playing 100c again, I gave you 30 tickets on MTGO to build a new deck up; with that deck you've won a few tournaments and I've provided you with special prizing of chase cards to help you continue your hobby in this great format. I did this for all folks because I love this format, and I like to help all of those that enjoy playing it, especially if it is challenging for them financially to compete in it.

    That all said, I've paid it forward to you man, I've helped you out a lot of times even if you woke me up at 0100 in the morning to trade you a vintage deck for the next day, and what I'm going to ask you here is important to me: do not take a cut of the sponsored prize pool, leave this to the community. If it helps to think of yourself as the host and me as the producer then do so, I did technically buy the tournament from you (although I did this to help you out financially as much as I did because I wanted to be host). I'm at a point in my life where I have enough going on that I can't make it out every week, just won't happen, so I needed to hand the reins back off, but I would appreciate if you kept on in spirit of the changes that were made during the time I hosted as I think a lot of them did good things for the format and the whole of its player base.

    Thanks man

    K (lowman02)

    PS-if you need help setting up polls, sending the results emails (I can cut and paste this in 5 mins or less) or bouncing racists/bigots/miscreants from the event than let me know, think the last miscreant (banned person) was in 2016 (ScionofJustice...go figure right) and was the only individual banned since the event was setup on gatherling (at least that's what the format editor's history has in it) [and this last one I'm serious on, I'm something of an anti-bully, and if I was honest with myself get kicks out of mentally crushing idiots who indiscriminately spurn others without provocation...maybe that's why I do what I do, who knows]
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    ML and Community,

    The format is healthy right now; it doesn't require change in my opinion, or rather any changes would be unnecessary unless the community wanted to include more cards in the format from the current ban list.

    The cards that would be safe to unban, but aren't necessary to increase the overall viability of different deck archetypes include:

    [Umezawa's Jitte]
    [Sensei's Divining Top]

    I think the rest of the cards can stay on the banlist, and their inclusion would lead to imbalance. The above cards would be fine, but I don't think they make any given archetype more viable, but solely reinforce existing archetypes--which doesn't really strike me as something that needs to be done, unless the community really wants to play with the above cards.

    In regards to taking cards away, I don't see any that are so oppressive that they cannot be beaten or lead to a widely unbalanced metagame, and certainly no one deck has shown itself to be dominant over the wide meta (sure UW/b miracles did pretty well when all the decks were WW lists, but that's indicative of an inbreed metagame and not per se the power of that deck versus a wide sampling of different available decks in the format). Over this half season, we've seen a vast increase in diversity of top winning decks from all varieties of different archetypes, which was, in my opinion, a welcome change from the clearly dominant deck, 4 Color Blood/Midrange, in season 3.

    My recommendation, don't change a thing; the format is great. Referencing back to the historical precedence of the WoTC banlist is a stale arguement as the game has evolved way too much since that was even a maintained product--this format is ours now--we own it, so I could really care less personally what WoTC thought about half a decade ago--it's just not relevant.

    I recommend, we set up a google poll, if you want to take away or add cards to the format and give folks 2 weeks to vote. If you want me to do this then let me know and I can put the cards up that the community either wants to vote on for inclusion or look to bar from the format and send you the link to post in here and I'll put it up on the 100c discord.

    I'll do what I can to reinforce the prize pool with personal pool and as always I don't really care to take winnings from the tournament, but rather just enjoy the opportunity to play a format as diverse and enjoyable as 100 card.

    Take it easy folks,

    K (lowman02)
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket

    Thanks, think you only missed Yawgmoth's Will and Wheel of Fortune. Otherwise it looks accurate. Thanks all Smile
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hey Michelle,

    We'll vote again in 6 months, not trying to be draconian, but I also think it's right to give new cards time to either shine or utterly fail to provide any sense of fairness. Oath specifically was one of the cards that I personally was the most excited about getting in the CSM and the one that I thought objectively would provide the biggest shake up to the format. My own agenda with oath was two fold: 1. Oath in many ways acts as a moat that can also just win you the game, which means it's devilishly good against fast creature based aggressive decks and generally very good versus midrange as well; however, where it falls short is generally in both the control mirror and versus the most aggressive (combo style) RDW archetypes. We unbanned Loam and it actually had very little impact in the meta due to the general speed of decks that folks have chosen to bring (WW is still a very large part of the meta). Oath compliments this natural strategy which offers a deck archetype that is predatory versus a large part of the meta at the cost of being poor in the mirror or against hyper aggressive RDW decks, the latter of which I personally would like to see be more successful in the CSM. So in an effort to strengthen RDW, cap the aggressive power of WW, and support an archetype (loam) that hadn't done as well as I'd hoped, I thought that Oath of Druids was a great add to the format. At least from my position, format's with the deepest strategic variety are always the
    best because it generates many games inside of games.

    The rest of the cards (excepting birthing pod) were demonic tutor, entomb, wheel of fortune, and yawgmoth's will were all a nod to the sick man of the format: combo. Most combo decks currently played in the format are either mid-range creature based combo decks (where the combo compliments a generally good natural strategy) or combo-control (where winning with the combo is an after-thought and doesn't need to be rapidly pursued due to a high volume of interaction). These unbans allow reanimator (a strategy that only won twice in last season) to get a bit more on the map and for storm or other uninteracitve combo decks (aggro-combo [even if they're not damaging you with cantrips, they're damaging you]) to become stronger. These style of decks tend to generate love or hate by MTG pilots (much like PWs). But, for me at least, it's about setting a place at the table for everyone...if someone wants to play aggro, then I want it to be good, if someone wants to play storm, then I want that to be good too. And frankly, despite the fear and loathing that some folks have for hard combo decks, the pilot has opted to walk on a very narrow tight rope, given it may be a short rope, but one slight wind can generally knock them off...T1 duress go...oh runed halo in from the SB sorry about your scapeshift bro!

    Birthing Pod although previously banned, I really thought had to get back in. Value-based midrange strategies have been dead for a while, right now most of our midrange decks play out more like aggro-control decks either literally in the case of Jeskai, or figuratively in the case of 4 Color Blood. So, I think Birthing Pod opens up options for ETB based midrange decks to shine which they really should because they're generally cool decks and of course Sensei loves them.

    Just some thoughts and hope they make sense or help inform my intentions for the format...is it changing yeah, are there going to be cards we personally hate in the format yeah, but what format can't that be said about and heck there's even cards in 100C that I don't care for the gameplay of...but under the premise of inclusivity and increased viability they're all sacrifices I'm willing to make to increase the overall volume of fun that all folks who play can have.

    Take it easy guys Smile
    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hey folks,

    I don't care to utterly vacate this forum...I just don't always have the time to manage all of them and most of the newer players like discord a bit better and I tend to find that it can do more to link people both in real time; I've actually used it to video chat with stsung, and talk to folks from other singleton communities on it a decent bit. That aside decently big news:

    Next week there will be a special prize pool because I came into some random valuable cards.

    First Place will get a Karn, Liberated; 2nd Place if there are finals, or if there are not then randomly selected from all other players than 1st place (ie not a door prize because I don't want to incentivize doing poorly in the event) will be a snapcaster mage.

    Please give discord a shot, and in regards to spamming, I haven't had that issue, but I have my privacy settings turned fairly high. In regards to what I've seen available it's not a bad place to interact with other people who love the format. And, if you so choose to stay here and only here, to appease your obdurate nature's I'll do my best to keep up with MTGS as well.

    All that said, please promote to more friends, yesterday was a smaller event, justifiably so, because it was Easter (in half the world), but there's decent winnings to be had next week and as always great games to be played.

    Thanks team and take it easy.

    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hello slingers of card count 100,

    I wanted to take the time to share some thoughts on the current 100c format and the future of it. Since the beginning of my odyssey in this wonderful format, it’s always been a quest of mine to build more and better decks, to explore all the options available through the long history of Magic: The Gathering’s past and current design trend. I’ve given many things a try from simple White Weenie Aggro, Midrange of many varieties, Reanimation Combo, RG Ramp, Storm/Doomsday Combo, Red Deck Wins, Elfball Alluren, URMoon, Esper Combo Control, BUGLoam Control, Jeskai Aggro/Control, Grixis Control, and many things in between or wackier.

    For me the format is one of creation and exploration; that’s what keeps it fresh for me and gives me a desire to keep coming back to it for more gaming experience. When I first took over as host of the event, I proposed sweeping changes to the format due to strategy dominance of one deck: 4 Color Blood. The format ban list deliberately nerfed the top end power of control decks and the most powerful (but symmetrical) draw engines and tutors were banned weakening combo strategies in the format. This led to a format where generally folks smashed creatures into each other, but any deck that had the most efficient and disruptive creatures were able to win: enter 4 Color Blood. A strategy that is and was dominant in many other forms of highlander to include German Highlander and Canadian Highlander, despite a more permissive ban list, or, the case of the latter, no ban list at all.
    The changes we made were initially debated quite hotly, but we adapted and I think found over time that while there were more lopsided matchups, there was also more general health in the overall meta and the good creature decks still did well. At this point in the season we currently have a healthy spread of general archetypes; with 6 control decks winning the tournament (ranging from 5C Scapeshift to simple U/W Control), 8 midrange decks (still heavily 4CB variants, but some R/G midrange and ramp, as well as U based aggro control decks), and 5 aggro decks (WW primarily and one RDW).
    These numbers would tell of a healthy meta spread in the format.

    However, I think when one measures the rate of presentation (how often each deck or archetype was played) vs rate of winning we’d come to a different determination of how healthy each archetype is. WW is the most represented deck with 600% more presentation than U/W based combo control decks but only four total 1st place finishes vs three 1st place finishes by the U/W lists. And of a large presentation of RDW over the course of this season, it has only grabbed one solitary 1st place finish. Why is that? I would proffer that it’s a by product of the continued strength of midrange and the boon to control of the powerful draw engines in Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, and the most powerful card in the format: Mystical Tutor, sometimes a win condition and sometimes vast tempo and card advantage through use of terminus, or Life from the Loam. However, I again, I do not think that the best way to empower aggressive strategies is to weaken any given one archetype, but to make proactive changes to unban cards that make pure combo decks (storm, academy combo/eggs, reanimator, high tide) more viable.

    I know the steady player base, and I appreciate you all, has a healthy distaste for what they assume to be Magic’s dark underbelly: Combo. But let’s make a causal assessment of what good combo decks do in a format. A good combo deck that can goldfish un-interrupted as soon as turn 2 but reliably at turn 4-5 (in the 100 card format) presents a meta solution to the midrange fair decks (like 4CB) and is reliably efficient enough and disruptive enough to get under control decks (beat those dirty Dig Through Time players). What a good 100 card combo deck does not do is beat aggressive decks reliably.
    Historically, high tide decks in standard, type II [sic] were held in check not by opposing counter magic, but by dark ritual into phyrexian negator. This deck, similar to what I see as a reliable fishing kill at turn 4 or 5 for combo in 100 card singleton, could unreliably kill on T3 but realistically killed on T4. A turn 1 phyrexian negator against a non-interactive high tide deck followed up further clocks just smashed the mono blue combo deck into oblivion. The “Suicide” Black aggressive deck in turn lost to more midrange solutions or RDW, Sligh [sic] of the time, which in turn lost to the HT, because, believe it or not, RDW fished slower than Black Aggro did, but boy did it ever beat the living snot out of Black Aggro.

    My point is, despite the distaste for combo decks, they serve a very important role in maintaining balance in the health of a format. Certainly, there are times when combo has grown to too great a dominance in a format, reference the Memory Jar decks of Combo Winter, but this is also true of all the archetypes; Draw-Go & Forbiddian (control and aggro/control respectively), Hazoret/Ramunap Red (in the recent past for aggro). Most standard formats tend to be defined by three dominant decks that abide the natural strategies provided by the available card pool. Almost every other deck is either bad or predatory in nature toward one or more of the natural strategies in a format. A good example of this would be Theros era constructed standard where there were three dominant devotion decks: Mono Blue Devotion, Mono Black Devotion, and Mono Red Devotion. Each of these decks had one good matchup in the triad, one bad one, and then the mirror. Most other decks played competitively were predatory in nature toward one or more of these strategies, but were not intrinsically the best choice available. An example of this in our own tournament would be my choice to run RG Ramp because it’s really good vs RDW, WW and 4CB, and no one had been playing blue decks, which tend to just beat RG Ramp. This was a deliberate choice to play a predatory deck that was not per se the best deck available, but the best deck given the expectation of what my opponents would play.

    My point is, we have a meta that although rife with aggressive decks (likely because they’re cheap cost wise) is very unhealthy for them. I think one cause of this is that we do not have viable and strong combo decks to keep midrange and control (despite the fact that some folks may disagree, the best way to beat combo isn’t by trying to counter all their spells, eventually they overwhelm counter magic [if the combo deck is good and the player, ask @Michelle_Wong how well her mono Blue Sienfeld list did vs me piloting RDW...but that mana efficiency homie :p ]; the best way to beat combo is to just kill them—fast and consistently).

    Another way of looking at RDW is as a combo deck—how well does this deck fair in our meta, despite being one of the most viable natural strategies available—spoiler it’s won twice in the last two seasons (two years). Why is that? I would claim that it primarily lies in the fact that due to the lack of other combo decks, most other builds are able to commit an overwhelming volume of board space to shore up this matchup. Imagine if UW/b combo control didn’t have 8-10 slots available to shore up this bad matchup. What if this deck had to reserve space for cards like Rest In Peace, Stoney Silence, Containment Priest, Flusterstorm, Arcane Laboratory, Mindlock Orb, Stifle, etc. Then turning what is generally a 40% game win rate in game one into a 65% game win rate game two and three is no longer a viable option because the UW/b combo control deck already has too many dead cards in this matchup and can no longer reserve such extensive board space without significant risk or a very keen meta call. This matchup is actually so bad, that in German Highlander, a very similar format to our own, excepting it does not allow sideboards, UW/b decks often main deck Rune of Protection: Red just in case they run into the matchup. Every other time they’re cycling it off at cost of 2 mana and that can't feel great.

    I would offer that the only true combo deck that is viable (not buildable, but buildable and capable of repeatable success) given the available card pool is RDW—and because it is solitary in its presentation it just gets hated into the earth and can’t reasonably win. This is actually a true shame because 1. There are many pilots who enjoy playing burn on a regular basis and 2. Ensuring that this archetype is healthy is a good way to grow the format, because it can be built well for a very cheap price tag in a format that boasts some of the most expensive cards on MTGO. So how could we fix this issue?
    There are a few key cards that would enable us to continue to balance the meta—I’m not saying the meta is terrible right now—but it could be better—and at the end of the day the more permissive a card pool is, without one deck or archetype achieving natural dominance, the better.

    I think the following cards should be unbanned:

    Birthing Pod: Included by me for reasons of increased range in the midrange archetype. Currently midrange is either aggro/control or 4C good stuff decks (efficiency over value). Birthing Pod opens up more value based G/x midrange decks that will tend to go over the top of the current format staple midrange decks, these builds will be better in the mirror match, but will tend to have a softer matchup vs. aggressive and control strategies.

    Entomb: Included for reasons of increasing the viability of reanimator primarily, which has won only three tournaments in the last two years (2x5C reanimator lists, and 1xHermit Combo list). This also gives a boost to Loam based strategies, which despite vast debate and concern about the power of loam has yet to win a single tournament since its unbanning. This card is also a boon to storm combo decks playing cards like past in flames, etc.

    Demonic Tutor: This card increases the viability of combo decks, and gives a boost to most value based or control strategies that can run it. The format is fast enough that the commitment in tempo of two mana during the early to midgame is of significant impact. In some matchups this card will be a life saver, in other matchups it will essentially be a time walk turn for your opponents. Despite it giving perfect selection, it’s a shockingly high variance card to draw given different matchups. (much like 4CB’s defense against Back to Basics or Blood Moon…just cast all of your stuff to kill them before it resolves and kill them with your 1-3 drops [it actually works :P]).

    Wheel of Fortune: This card is included as a means of making storm combo and reanimator more viable in the meta, which in turn keep midrange and control in check. But try resolving this thing against a WW or RDW deck while their on 3-4 lands and 1-2 cards and see how that feels...not good man.

    Yawgmoth’s Will: This card is often equated to being a boogie man in eternal formats and was dominant in the days of type II, standard with dark ritual and cabal ritual were available as 8 cards in a black deck. That said, I think the card’s history makes it out to be more scary or impactful than it is. I don’t mean to say that this card is not powerful, but it is a high variance/build around card in that it cannot be run in just any deck, it is both mana hungry and card (in the graveyard) hungry. So, it will make storm or graveyard-based decks more viable, but these decks will need to run many cantrips and ritual effects to make it worthwhile, which in and of themselves do absolutely nothing to impact the gamestate.

    Oath of Druids: This card gives a strong boost to existing BUGLoam decks and spawns a near creature-less archetype that is both powerful, fragile, and elegant in the format. Acknowledging that this card is very powerful as essentially a 2 mana moat effect, it also spawns a wide design space for existing combo control shells to explore and I think it’s important that we try new things to make the format more inclusive of variation on construction. And here, I’d reference that we unbanned fastbond, the singularly most powerful card we unbanned, and it’s done absolutely zero to change or alter the meta. This card, I think will have higher impact, but will not acquire the fabled turn two oath kill with oath of druids and forbidden orchard more than .5% of the time. Most of the time this creature light deck will be hanging on for dear life cantripping, countering, and hopefully finding a wrath effect just to stay alive.

    And that’s all I think we should do currently as far as changes. For some I know my ideas will instill temerity that we’re losing the format, but I ask that you trust my experience with the game and believe me when I say that these inclusions will enable a much wider meta, which in turn will promote greater health—and you know, likely even bring in more players because being able to play the game the way you want is a pretty big sell.
    We’ve seen one big change with the last set of unbannings, which in the end has increased the spread of winning archetypes and promoted balance--despite initial resistance. I know we all approached this differently and some of us downright resisted every single recommendation, and that’s perfectly fine, but I think if we’re honest we’ve gotten the format to a better place. It might be more powerful, but it’s also a lot deeper and wider than it used to be.
    Let me know what you think folks, voting will go up in two weeks (so I can announce during next week’s event), with an effective date one week after closing of polls (three weeks from now). Additionally if anyone thinks we need to remove a card or cards from the format, then please let me know and I’ll put it in the polls for ban recommendation, but as of right now no one card or cards has been dominant in victorious decks (alright maybe swords to plowshares; it's in the three top decks WW, 4CB, and UW/b). I will link the poll in both MTGS, reddit, and on our Discord for folks to follow and conduct their voting.

    Thanks again folks, I appreciate all the support you give the format and enjoy playing with you all.

    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket

    LOL, I don't know how you put that dancing wookie in your message, but he's pretty cool. When I think of 4CMC Red drops that bridge well for the value deck I tend to think of Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Fiery Confluence; there are certainly more and some may be better in certain decks. But I think you realistically want to be using this card offensively and gaining value from it when your opponent is forced to block it or remove it to abate a racing situation. I don't think this is a defensive card by the nature of its qualities, and it becomes a lot more dubious when you're trading down, ie loxodon smiter; I think what gives saskia and Falkenrath Aristocrat a leg up is that both hit out of nowhere, one wins the game near instantaneously in a racing situation or a underdeveloped opposing board and the other grinds out games due to evasion and resilience (and it's just great vs PWs). This card does not win races instantaneously, it's a grinding tool, and while it does have both evasion and resilience it's resilience comes at near Bogardan Hammer speed and it can't hit out of nowhere, ie you telegraph your intentions with it. The issue is two fold, one this card does not play a game of hidden information well, and two it's over all comparative card quality vice the cards displayed is lower...three toughness is an issue as is the lack of haste. That said, I think this card will make a big splash in standard, but I think it's time in the limelight will die there...despite my love of the card's art.

    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
  • posted a message on Singleton 100 , every Saturday 4.00 PM EST/EDT presented by MtgoCardmarket
    Hey Michelle,

    Checked out that card, and while I do think it has the coolest phoenix art I've seen in a while (other than wing shards, how many barn owl's do you see in MTG art), I think it will be frightfully too slow for the format...if they dialed it down to 3 mana certainly playable, but not even definitively better than Chandra's Phoenix. 10 for the art, because as a lover of the natural world, owls (while shocking simple beasts in regards to their central nervous system which is often erroneously tauted) are pretty bad ass predators.

    Posted in: Other MTGO Formats
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