Magic Market Index for Dec 28th, 2018
 
Magic Market Index for Dec 21st, 2018
 
Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on Cheap blue removal and strange anti-tron tech
    I've heard folks complain IRL about having to splash black or red for removal and mono-blue not being viable. Sure there's always Angler to entice you to add black to a deck, but I've seen people add black to Deep-Hours Aggro / delver shells just for Disfigure. There's two-three things about this that aren't good.

    1) You're adding a second color to a deck which doesn't necessarily need it, and everything that goes with that, least of all pushing the acquisition price of the deck.

    2) Disfigure, which seems to be the removal of choice in my play area, doesn't deal with Wild Mongrel, and a lot of other things infesting the metagame. Some folks have swapped it out for Dead Weight, and this worked out well for them. So that's something to consider. Sure, Disfigure's an instant, but Dead Weight is way more thorough. Yes, Dead Weight doesn't work with Augur of Bolas, but it does kill stuff properly dead and cripples low-threat density decks allowing you to race more easily.

    3) If you're only doing it for the Disfigure / Dead Weight, try Sea Legs. Instant speed, -2 toughness, one mana, blue. Messess up Mongrels, Delves, Tireless Tribes, Sparksmiths, Priest of Titania, early Slivers, most Infect dudes, whathaveyou. If simply dealing with power for cheap is your thing, there's Sensory Deprivation and Spontaneous Mutation - both much better cards than one would think at first glance, especially vs. low threat density decks, and in particular ones which can't bounce their own dudes (and they do lose cards and tempo if they do bounce them depending on what they bounce with). In the right matchup, especially if dealing with non-flying threats, those two do a good Path to Exile impression.

    Also, bonus Anti-Tron tech:

    4) If your metagame is filled with players who had tron pieces and decided to port them to pauper (seems to be the no.1 reason for so much Delver and Tron in the meta), folks in my area did what we always do when faced with silly nonsense and opened up Mercadian Masques block spoilers to look up silly answers. That block is a goldmine. In case of Tron, and in particular the one which goes for Mnemonic Wall spell-recursion shennanigans, a very silly and effective answer seems to be Blaster Mage. It's a madness outlet which also lets you take care of Mnemonic Walls. It's not that Relic of Progenitus won't help deal with recursion, sure it will, but this also removes a blocker, swings a small bit and helps with your madness shennanigans.

    There, I'm lucky to have a rich metagame and I don't see a lot of experimentation in the format, so I thought I'd share some stuff that we found out works but doesn't seem to be common enough knowledge.

    EDIT:

    5) And another bit of tech that got really popular around here but doesn't seem to be present in popular online lists is Dead // Gone. You do not know how silly red bounce is until you've tried it, and the card has game against Delver, Ninja, all the utility stuff - but also against Angler, Hooting Mandrils, flashed in Wurms, Tireless Tribe and, most importantly, reanimated Ulamog Crusher and pumped up Izzer Blitz guys. It's become a don't-leave-home-without sideboard card in my meta.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    Quote from ed06288 »
    Gush and the cantrips probably should go. Inside out combo would be a side-casualty though.


    Speaking of this, I just put together an Inside Out Combo deck to rent to the guys, but since noone rented it I went to give it a spin. And having this discussion on my mind I decided to try out a bit of a toolbox approach with Dizzy Spell and to try out Fathom Seer. Gush was always a pretty silly card and having the effect actually cost you something (but leave behind a dude!) seemed... more then fine.

    I got second place at an 8-man tourney. Drew the first round vs. Burn, got a 2 - 1 win vs. Affinity and a 2 - 1 vs. Infect. I think the combo is fine enough that you could just go 4 Fathom Seer if, say, Gush is banned. This deck in particular doesn't care about the cost of gushing as long as it puts a lot of cards in its hand, and getting a chump-blocking / edict eating dude to go with your gush is quite easy to appreciate.

    Also, I'm not even sure the deck needs Inside Out as such. A one-mana blue card which swaps power and toughness would be tutorable with Dizzy Spell, which means you could go for all of it, Tireless Tribe and Slip Through Space. And Dizzy Spell actually came in handy vs Infect, while all my million cantrips and digging couldn't find me an Inside Out in my second game vs. Affinity. On the other hand, drawing a card with Inside Out doesn't really matter as when it resolves the Tribe is almost always as pumped as it's going to be. (Even though I did use it to swap p/t on one of my Augurs and kill an infect dude, and once to flip-kill a Thermo-Alchemist).

    Also, if you're not really going for speed, counting that you won't really have all the necessary combo pieces fast enough to profit from the quick kill potential (you do need 4 things - Tribe, swap, unblockable and gush), and go for Merfolk Thaumaturgist as swap effect backup... then Dizzy Spell doubles as proper removal.

    So, um, there seems to be more than one way to build that deck.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    With the Jan. 21st date coming I'd like to see something happen but I think Wizards has ZERO interest in Pauper right now and no incentive to get interested as well.


    This is not true, actually. They did all they could to get certain archetypes into pauper. Madness for example. Their policy on what gets to be uncommon also seems to be taking pauper into account.

    What I'd like them to finally get over with would be to resolve the whole paper and online mess in any way they can. Get everything that was ever common to be playable, and then they could properly sort the format out.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    I agree about the uncounterable creatures.

    What I was complaining about in the previous post wasn't every single overly pushed common or design mistake, there's way too many to ban, ofc. I was trying to explain that Delve specifically is a problem. Because even in format where there's so many above the curve "not-really-commons", Gurmag Angler is still just plain larger and cheaper and raises the bar way too high. I really think the format would be much healthier without him in many ways. There are things avaliable in Pauper which only got pushed out of rather nasty formats by Tarmogoyf, and they're not being played in all-commons because of Angler. I think that really warrants a ban.

    It's also very unlikely they'll print a creature for pauper which can be a viable alternative to Angler. How do you top an unconditional 5/5 for 1? At any rarity, let alone common?
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    I'm not sure it's downgrades from uncommon we need, as those can be hit or miss. A lot of nonsense is caused by cards which never should have been common in the first place being available in a format where a vast majority of things simply can't compete with them. If you downgrade stuff from higher rarities, what you get is just more stuff that gets to be common even if it was never meant to be one, just in this case explicitly.

    Delve creatures, and Gurmag Angler in particular, are causing a lot of harm to the format because they're making a rather large field look tiny. Most of the mechanics which produced above the curve creatures are available in Pauper with just commons. You've got:

    - Madness
    - Affinity
    - Undercosted red attackers w/wo downside
    - Threshold
    - Infect
    - Double Strike (there's a Boros Double Strike build which plays pretty much like Infect)
    - Metalcraft
    - Devotion / Mimics
    - Domain

    And probably stuff I'm overlooking right now, but they're all landmark critters for times and archetypes where mechanics and designs caused even common dudes to be pretty large for the casting cost. OG madness guys were costed as if Madness was a downside, Infect guys were costed as if they didn't effectively have double-strike, Threshold guys used to be Tarmogoyf before there was Tarmogoyf, double-strike guys which are playable were actually designed as uncommons, Metalcraft was meant to be played against similarly undercosted-by-design infect and looks plain broken in a meta where the other guys don't also have effectively double the power and damage which doesn't go away, and some mimics and their support are pretty huge for what you pay for them (and effortlessly played in mono decks). Domain flat out gives you above the curve effects provided you can get domain, and this includes dudes Except some of them don't even need full domain). Those are just examples, I could go into a few more.

    The problem is that all of that still doesn't hold a candle to a 5/5 for one. Or ever for 2. Especially when it doesn't take very much to enable it's cheapness. That card could've been a Mythic. And it would not have been a crap Mythic, either. It's only as cheap as it is because it was a common in a large print run set which got opened a ton. I'm not sure what you could downshift, and how many cards per color would need to be downshifted, in order to get the other dudes to compete with that. Plenty of the guys that fall into the above categories have at one time or another pushed rares out of regular constructed decklists themselves. Some are or were staples in various formats. Many of them are flat out design mistakes and most folks who played them in regular constructed can agree either that those were design mistakes, that their Standard metas were remarkably high-power, and/or that those should not have ever been commons to begin with.

    So what Delver and Angler are doing is not being "exceptional commons", they're pushing around cards and archetypes which were terrifying enough to hold their own against cards from higher rarities. Hooting Mandrils I can get behind because if Arrogant Wurm and Reckless Wurm are now commons, and that's plenty dodgy but at least they give payoffs to an archetype, and Carapace Forger is a thing, then a cheap 4/4 might be ok. They'd make a really good uncommon. But if you try to find comparisons for Gurmag Angler, you're in Tarmogoyf territory. Now try to explain to someone that "pretty much a tarmogoyf" is legal in an all-commons format.

    Sorry for long windedness, in short, I feel like it's nore even possible to match some cards by downshifting, because there's nothing much to downshift which wouldn't either fail to keep the problem in check, or just add to the pile of "how is this a common" nonsense that's kind of piling up.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Possible name of the upcoming set
    Quote from Flamebuster »
    This would be a good time to revisit proliferate if they decide to go planeswalker heavy. It's a great complement to the cards in GRN/RNA too.


    Dear god. I can't tell whether that would be impossibly fun or horribly busted.

    It might even be necessary. As much as planeswalkers can be silly in regular magic, a ton of people play Commander, and in Commander they're really just overcosted mediocre sorceries or enchantments that are too easy to move off the board. They're the sort of Timmy/Vorthos magnet that begs to be played in EDH while simultaneously being somewhat unplayable in EDH. And they get printed at a rarity which is bizzare from the EDH player perspective.

    There just isn't an affordable mechanic that plays well with them other than proliferate, and that was used on way too few cards. It's not likely to be revisited as originaly printed because of how it affects any number of permanents. But if the next set really is the big Planeswalker policy overhaul set we might very likely see more stuff along the lines of Skyship Plunderer .
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on New Judge foils: Rhystic Study and Food Chain
    There go my hopes of that idiotic enchantment finally getting banned in EDH. Oh, well, at least it paints a huge bullseye on anyone who puts it on the board. Flavor text is cool, but the old art and frame are classic, and the expansion symbol always gets folks murmuring about how there actually is plenty of really powerful cards in Masques block...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Gallery Up
    There's some epic flavor text wins here Laughing

    "Who knows what a fish-octopus-crab can do?!"

    "You're only as dead as you feel." Grin

    The flavor for the goblin-kindle thing is hilarious: "Two's a party, three's a felony." In other words, cards which make two goblin tokens with one card are fine, but cards which make three are a smidge too good if unconditional and not costed properly Grin

    There's also the one on one of the vanilla guys which seems to be a description they gave the artist and someone found hilarious Grin

    Too bad most of Domri's / Gruul stuff is overly serious and kinda repetitive. His omionus quote from the previous set (Street Riot it was I think) was really great.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    I know, and I agree - blue really does have too much silly bussiness going on. But there's plenty of cards and silly stuff that does work against blue and has its applications elsewhere. Dead // Gone for example also does a number on RB Reanimator of which a few are floating around, and a resolved Sparksmith, especially in a non-goblin deck, really messess a lot of decks. After taking a good look at Delver and acknowledging that it's nasty bussiness folks retooled red decks to account for it - Firebolts in place of Lightning Bolts, Kris Mages, Sparksmiths, red Martyrs, Squall in green decks, even that silly green thing from Judgement which takes someone's flying off and flashbacks. We've got a rather good Mono White skies/metalcraft thingy with a ton of cheap fliers which gets under Ponza's due to the low curve and challenges Delvers in the air easily. Gruul Aggro and Goblins/RDW seem to go wide fast enough. It's not that everyone beats Delver all the time, it's that one time Delver can do well, but the next time it can crash and burn, and even if it does do well it's not remotely guaranteed to win the thing.

    Oh and we have hilarious mono green infect nonsense going on, too. The guy piloting it decided to go for consistency rather than speed, so he put Llanowar Elves and more Lotus Petals in there to make sure he can chain a tiny bit more expensive pumps, and now he's running Predator's Strike and that one with flashback from Odissey that used to be uncommon. They give trample, and the setup lets him play a 3 mana infect guy on turn 2, and this tends to make him way more dangerous than you'd expect. Having Delver be a "dooooh" must-play choice for people playing pauper kills exploration of that sort, as the routine for new players seems to be a) get Delver / Tron b) don't destroy everyone c) sell deck give up. Delver variants with snow lands being enticing due to what red brings to the table is also a lousy thing because that just adds more money to what you have to pay to get into pauper if you're convinced there's no choice buy to play blue (and Delver decks are already seriously more expensive than pretty much anything else).

    I'd agree that blue having access to stuff that's banned in legacy for good reasons hurts the format a lot and that something ought to be done about it. The way things are now you've got people getting into Pauper only because it's the place where they can play cards they know are broken (and banned) in Legacy, and this helps create a flood of Delver decks. And it also discourages other people from trying to get into it because all they hear about Pauper is that it's "that format where you can play broken legacy cards and blue makes up all the metagame" so it sounds boring AF.


    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    We play a lot of paper pauper with MTGO rules in my local gaming cafe, and the meta is very diverse in terms of aggro decks. What happened over here is that you've got people who've been playing for 20-odd years and they tend to know cards which folks online just don't seem to use. Dead // Gone, for example works rather well against both Delver and Angler - noone online is using it, and over here everyone's got a playset in their sideboard and it helps beat Delver up. We also brewed up plenty of tweaks for decks which otherwise have lousy matchups or fatal flaws - Self Assembler, for example, completely changes the tendency of Mono Black Ponza to run out of threats.

    People fear Goblins more than they do Delver around here, and we've had multiple guys who are decent players but have been playing MTG for only about 5 years or so try to get into pauper by buying up the most cutting edge delver list... and failing to dominate the competition as much as the online lists would suggest. They literally quit the moment it became clear to them that Delver isn't nearly as dominant as they thought, and they sold me (I organize these things) their decks. I rent decks to people who don't have them for 1 E, and folks don't even want to rent delvers, because they're not winning tourneys.

    Similar thing with Tron. Several Modern players tried to get into pauper because they had tron decks in Modern. Didn't work, some did well, others did badly, depends on the tourney. But not one won a tourney yet. Part of it is that they don't put Self-Assemblers in their Trons because those don't seem to be on net deck lists, so they end up having way too low threat density. Last time around a young guy who otherwise won every draft we did in the last several months left the tourney completely spooked because it was the first time he faced G/x Madness in his life and he literally kept repeating "What do I even do against a deck like that?" afterwards despite walking into the place all cocky and sure he was going to beat everyone up with the internet approved Tron list... He really didn't expect to get his ass handed to him by anyone, let alone a deck with no blue in it. He had plenty of reasons to believe he was a great player, and he is, but he literally never faced a Wild Mongrel deck before in his life and it was probably the first time he had to ask himself whether the internet could actually be wrong about something. And it can.

    Another birght and very good young guy changed his deck to include Dead Weight after the last tourney. The prospect of playing vs Wild Mongrel without something that can kill him for sure was just terrifying.

    Last five tourneys the winners were Mono Black Control (not even fully "put together"), Deep Hours Aggro (yes, it's a "Delver" but what won it were Spire Golems in a close 2 - 1 finals vs. Goblins), then it was Elves, then it was Mono Black Ponza (without Chittering Rats in it) and now RG Madness. Notice how only one of the mentioned decks has blue in it (and not one of the others ran even Gitaxian Probe).

    I'm not sure what the deal is with the online meta, but if anything seems dominant from over here it's colors with access to either board wipes (red, black) or decks with access to repeatable removal (Pestilence, Kris Mage, Sparksmith etc.). And even they're not necessarily dominant as privy to stuff that really gives you free wins vs. certain otherwise powerful decks.

    I do agree that Blue could stand to lose something, probably Delver of Secrets, and that everything with Delve and Bojuka Bog probably ought to be banned. Anything with Delve ends up being stupidly undercosted and playable in way too many decks (and flat out better than otherwise fine cards which simply aren't 5/5 or 4/4 trample for 1). And Bojuka Bog shuts down too many things with too little effort and no way around it - without the major delve threats that kind of thing probably wouldn't be necessary.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Persistent Petitioners (Strictly Better MTG Spoiler) - mill common
    Impossibly cool design, Bureaucrats Tribal is a hilarious concept on so many levels.

    As for playability - not necessarily viable in draft unless there's more common bureaucrats you'd play anyway. In EDH the problem is that you're playing vs. 3 people and you're playing what's technically a creature-based deck. Too many wraths and spot removal to keep you under 6. Potential for silly shennanigans in EDH are huge, though.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Captive Audience
    This is the colors which tend to play a lot of ritual and silly mana rocks in Commander, so getting to cast, if not resolve it, is not actually that hard. It's a bit slow because three turns of Commander mean a lot of individual player turns and it doesn't do much immediately, but boy would it be nasty in a stax build...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Mirror March
    I would not discount this for EDH. Red has a ton of rituals and there's silly mana rocks available in that format. And you play those in pretty much any red EDH deck anyway, often in place of lands. This can very easily land on turn 3 (with mana open, even), and that's a setup turn anyway, more often than not.

    Probably not the best ever thing in the world, but as far as just trying it out goes it'll be very easy to pick up a copy and try it out. Good thing it says non-token, as it'd potentially be very silly with Kari Zev. Not to even mention Krenko.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Skewer the Critics (aka Spectacle sorcery Bolt) - The Mana Leek spoiler
    I just had a discussion about this thing with a fellow. He claimed this is an auto-include in pauper burn, in place of Curse of the Pierced Heart. I'm not really sure, I feel like even Pauper Burn has enough Lightning Bolts in it. And Curse is one of those cards that everybody dismissess until they try it and find it's actually really good.

    You've got:

    Lightning Bolt
    Chain Lightning
    Rift Bolt
    Lava Spike

    And you're not very likely to not play:

    Searing Blaze
    and some combination of Fireblast and Shard Volley

    That's plenty as far as straight bolts are concerned. You do need some utility burn, and what pauper burn really, severely lacks is a lifegain prevention burn spell which will be an auto-include once one comes to be, so there'll be even less wriggle room. Curse of the Pierced Heart works really well in terms of providing reach in matchups which would be much more difficult without it. Pauper Burn isn't lacking in raw damage, but it does severely lack in utility, as the kind of burn that provides that gets printed at higher rarities. This thing provides no utility. If anything it's specifically fiddly in a way which makes it potentially worse in matchups Burn already struggles with.

    So if it's not necessarily auto-include in pauper Burn, why'd you instantly cram it into Legacy or Modern burn?

    It's a fine card, don't get me wrong, it's very likely to see standard play and it's surely be the go-to budget option for any burn deck due to availability and likely being cheap as dirt. Folks who're looking to put together a Pauper Burn deck will certainly use it until they can acquire the other staples. Is it actually better than the current staple lineup? I'm not sure anyone can tell.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Drill Bit
    Quote from Leidnix »
    Well as a german the Flavortext is hillarious.

    Boring sounds similar to bohren which is the german word for drilling^^. So for me the card is never "boring" XD


    "Boring" actually means "drilling" in english, too. It's pretty funny because in Croatian we use a simmilar tool related verb to call something a bore - "pilanje" which is "sawing". Being a tool off somehow makes the flavor even funnier to me Grin

    Also, this isn't even bad in the right kind of deck. The kind which wants to avoid a wrath effect, say. The difference between duress and this is that this has the added potential of taking out a bomby finisher if there's no wrath to be picked out. Or, if played quickly, a blocker/stabilizer/catchup. On the upside. The mana difference is pretty dooooh.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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