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Magic Market Index for April 19, 2019
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Horizons Spoiler Discussion
    Savage Swipe looks like it goes right into Stompy. It won't kill Angler... but it will kill just about anything else.

    Martyr's Soul seems like it ought to be quite playable. I can imagine him out on turn 3 with open mana for backup, which is pretty good. Turn one Benevolent Bodyguard, turn 2 two tokens, turn three - rather unkillable big dude + whatever you feel like.

    The new changelings look good - the white one is very likely useful as one more playable which powers up Griffin Rider. As was mentioned, the black one is a rather good roadblock which you can get back with Ghoulcaller's Chant. If the Green one ends up being Colossal Dreadmaw which is also a beast then maybe Wirewood Savage can finally become a thing. Even a 5/6 for 6 would be fine enough, except I'm a bit sceptical as it'd also be an elf. The blue one is likely to just be a Wind Drake, and the red one is likely to be a 3/2 menace guy for 2R, none of which are terribly exciting.

    Headless Specter has the stats that mono-b devotion would love, but mono-b devotion isn't really the kind of deck that goes hellbent easily. Looks like just a nice pile of references, for now. It could make quite a mess if you follow it up with Last Rites, though, and that card's been looking for a deck for a while now.

    Goblin War Party is probably quite playable in Goblinstorm as a few-off. As long as you can ramp, and token goblins can indeed ramp, it's like a silly-but-still-lethal Goblin Bushwhacker. Niche, but not to be discounted.

    And snow lands make me hopeful for actually useful Snow cards. Not sure where the design space for that would be, exactly, but here's hoping that someone spent some time over the years pondering how you make one or two.

    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    Well, there you go.

    Gush , Daze and Gitaxian Probe are banned it seems effective from the 24th.

    This won't achieve all that much. Still, Gush was unnecessary, and any deck that was using it really can use Fathom Seer and be strong enough. Gitaxian Probe is just a design mistake and not all that great in a Burn heavy meta, and Pauper's always liable to have legacy-grade burn around. And Daze was only really played in one deck and did make it a bit too good (read better than it had to be to still be the strongest deck).

    So yeah, some cards which ought to not have been legal anyway aren't legal anymore, Daze is out which is fine, I guess, and not much has changed. Big whoop.

    One thing that they did achieve is that if you want a "gush effect" in your deck and thus run Fathom Seer, you'll have fewer things to always draw with Augur of Bolas and to always flip Delver with, so Augur might be the thing that gets replaced in UB Delver and Tireless Tribe. Tribe never needed Gush per se, anyway, just the effect and it can still kill you same as ever on turn 4 (or earlier if on the draw), which is fine, and Delver still has Angler holding the fort. Unless literally nobody even tries, we haven't seen the last of either of them, but they might not be quite as obnoxious as they have been lately.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on MOCS Championship Spoilers Complete
    Lava Dart is silly good, Prohibit is good to have in any pool, the changelings will be very welcome in Pauper where a few tribes really lack one more playable card to get there. The bear fight card is potentially a pauper staple for Stompy (which is loaded with 2 power guys), the white convoke guy might play well with Quirion Ranger in Selesnya convoke builds as it matches Gurmag Angler for power, and the headless specter has devotion friendly cc and 2 toughness (v. important so your Cuombajj Witches don't ping it off as colatteral). This is good stuff for pauper.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Number of non evergreen abilities revealed
    So it's Time Spiral take 2!?

    Oh, god, yes Grin
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Cards MtG could use and Pauper would appreciate
    I've been around the block, so to speak, and at least some of the posters on these boards know I've got a decent bit of historical perspective ragarding MtG, and some of the stuff I say makes it's way into discussions and articles in other places. So I'd like to use the opportunity to plant an idea in hopes it makes it to more influential folks with more ears to bend.

    I've a feeling it's about that time that MtG needs a bit more color pie exploration. This stuff happens every so often, effects get shuffled around. Sometimes it makes sense flavor wise so it's easy to justify it to folks who don't get design necessities, sometimes it's far less subtle and just needs to be done. Happened with a lot of mechanics, really, and it's rather a good thing that it does happen.


    So here's two suggestions that would likely impact Pauper, can be justified flavor wise and are in line with previous such effect shuffles and expansions:

    Idea 1: Give green limited reanimation. Green's been a getting variety of Raise Dead effects lately ("lately" from the perspective of an Eldrazi) but what it could use is an Unearth. Sure, Unearth itself is one of those what-were-they-smoking crazy strong commons from Saga block, so the green variant would obviously have to be less powerful. For example it could return only a 2cc dude for one G, or even only a mono-green 2cc dude for one G.

    Flavor and color pie wise, Black and Green fiddle with the graveyard anyway, and regrowing / revitalizing things is very easy to immagine in green. You could justify the limited scope and power of such an effect in green because green can easily replace/patch together a small thing, while it couldn't reanimate something huge because getting huge takes growth and all that good green philosophy stuff. Seedlings are dime a dozen, ancient oaks are gone when they topple, I could come up with flavor texts for such green cards for days. It could also make for a nice thing to associate with Dryads to flesh them out (not as a tribe necessarily, but as a motiff).

    Mechanically there's room for several iterations - you can make a weak one cost 2 mana, you could make one of them create a token that's a copy of something small in your yard, whathave you. And the reason for this is that this specific effect would help green keep specific threats / roleplayers on board somewhat through heavy removal, and it would help stompy, and it would certainly help madness decks get Mongrel back after it instantly eats removal. Unearth has the ability to make something cost you more when you cast it then it costs to reanimate it, which helps combat enemy card advantage through redundancy. It'd be strong, sure, but if splashing was easier in Pauper a lot of green decks would be running Unearth for sure and likely will be running it if they ever give us a better common mana base, so actually giving green an Unearth or two might not be a bad idea at all.

    It's a powerful effect, to be sure, and there's plenty of silly strong things that could be done and become routine with even a less powerful green unearth but I believe it'd be quite worth it.

    Idea 2: Give Black a Rampant Growth, but one which can only fetch basic swamps. Black is already running 2-mana card draw wherever it can, mostly to dig for lands, and it's spells and threats are significantly more expensive than anyone else's threats or answers while not necessarily being that much more powerful. Or rather, black needs to spend turns and mana digging for lands anyway, and it also has to survive long enough to get to 5-6 mana for haymakers, which doesn't really work out in practice often engouh. Being able to ramp a land on turn 2 would mean a lot to mono-black.

    It's funny when you think about it - Sign in Blood and Night's Whisper are crazy powerful card draw, likely the most powerful in Pauper and closer to Ancestral Recall than blue ever gets. But black would actually dump them for a rampant growth which fetches a basic swamp into play if it could. It's a bit like how Demonic Tutor somehow always ends up looking for a land Grin

    Flavor-wise both black and green are about growth and spreading around, just for different reasons (to green growth is an end and a purpose unto itself, for black it's a means to an end and a result of being competitive towards anything around it). "Spreading the swamp" or "Spreading Corruption" is very easy to grok as a black thing, and as long as it's really limited in what it can get you (never anything other than a basic swamp) it'd be ok in that respect. And there's even precedent, but it costs 2BB to play, and black really needs to be doing other things with 4 lands in play and can't spend all of its mana on turn 4 (or even turn 3 for that matter) fetching that swamp. It needs one earlier to be able to play it's things while it digs / grinds to it's fifth or sixth land.


    There, if WotC feels like shaking things up a bit, and the power of these effects (especially the first one) is not that big of an issue, those cards would certainly see play. If they're into printing more impactful commons and supporting Pauper, these things would be a godsend.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    Sure, just saying that it could easily be done, IMO. The problem though is that what murders dude strats vs UB delver is Gurmag Angler on board making you sacrifice a non-evasive dude every time you attack, and rather good black removal working on most dudes you can possibly play. All the more reason to actually go liberal on "can't be countered", mind you, because it wouldn't actually be overkill.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    Actually, "this can't be countered" isn't really powerful enough to not be common. The problem is that it confuses people who read it because it's too niche, which is why you don't often see it as common. Otherwise it's a completely irrelevant line of text a lot more often than not. They could print about 3-5 common dudes per set with "can't be countered" and not affect anything, especially since dudes in particular are rarely countered except vs. really counter heavy control decks (more often they're handled with removal).

    They could pretty much make "can't be countered" part of a keyword, like they made haste part of riot, and not price dudes any different than they'd price vanilla dudes. The other part of the keyword would have to be something tangible, so that they could justify putting a confusing but often completely irrelevant line of text on many cards. But it could easily be done.

    I'm not sure it'd actually help against either UB or UR Delver, though.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    I think Gurmag Angler is way more of a problem than Gush, mind you. And by "I think" I'm fairly certain that it can be proven by science, and has been sufficiently explained. And I'd ban Gush even if it wasn't identified as a staple of dominant decks, on principle, as it's a ridiculously broken card. Gurmag Angler is just much worse as far as it's effect on Pauper goes. Without Gurmag Angler around picking up 2 Islands off the board is actually a meaningful tempo-loss. It's not if it only takes you one mana to put down the biggest dude in the format nothing can attack into, nothing can trade with, who can kill the enemy on their own and who, due to the combination of size, color and creature type, takes very little protecting.

    As for Monarch - I think the guys railing at Monarch are very wrong. And again by "I think" I mean that that can also be demostrated to be a fact. Most "monarch" decks actually side monarch cards out if they can't actually protect it, and they often play games 2/3 without monarch enablers. This means that for plenty of matchups they play two third of their games without what these jokers see as the central element. The problem isn't the monarch, it's whatever they're using to shut down dude strats so completely as to ensure they never take a single point of combat damage. I've certainly won plenty of games against Monarch decks by doing the generally trivial feat of dealing combat damage to my opponent. It's a VERY double-edged sword, Monarch, unless something lets you break the combat game so hard that you might as well use a few card-draw spells instead of whatever gives you Monarch.

    So if Gush and Monarch cards are up for review, and actually do get banned, that'll solve nothing. Gush ought to have never been legal, fair enough, but as long as Gurmag Angler is legal UB Delver won't miss a beat, and as long as Prismatic Strands (or whatever's actually the lynchpin of that value pile) are legal neither will Boros / Orzhov Monarch.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on (Rant Alert) Blue is out of control in Pauper
    Here's Ullman pretty much condensing this thread.

    We've sucessfuly contained blue in our local metagame for weeks, but he's succintly put down a problem which is terrible - there's Pauper Horizons coming, there's fine cards in War of the Spark and there might be good ones in the core set and in the upcoming sets, but you just can't design reasonable cards that would deal with certain things.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    We had a 21-man tourney this evening, unfortunately only time for 4 rounds, and it had hilarous rezults:

    1: 12 Izzet Blitz
    2: 12 Rats - me (Rat Colony, Okiba-Gang Shinobi, Unearth, Dirge of Dread, Duress, Wail of the Nim, Disfigure - pretty much all of the mainboard Grin )
    3: 9 UB Delver (lost only to the winner)
    4: 9 Oops, all instants!
    5: 9 Tooth & Scale (lost only to the winner)
    6: 9 Bogles (lost only to the winner)
    7: 6 Affinity (lost to the winner and me)
    8: 6 Rainbow Tron
    9: 6 Tradish Goblins
    10: 6 GW Slivers
    11: 6 Boros Tokens
    12: 6 Heroes of Benalia
    13: 6 Rebels
    14: 5 Turbo Fog (guy was tutoring newbies while they played, otherwise would've placed higher)
    15: 5 GW Slivers (piloted by complete newbie to MtG - only one loss out of 3 rounds. This is usually a better sign a deck is silly than when a veteran takes a tourney with something)
    16: 4 Familiars
    17: 3 Infect
    18: 3 Inside Out Combo
    19: 1 Rogue Tribal (Had awful matchups and was missing a key card - Wail of the Nim. That thing won me a lot of games in many different ways and needs to see more play.)
    20: 1 Mono U Delver (piloted by complete newbie to MtG)
    21: 1 Griffin Tribal (piloted by complete newbie to MtG)

    It would have been hilarous if we had time for the 5th round and I actually won vs. Kiln Fiend, because then Rats would have won. I think I'll try out a list with 2-3 Sinuous Vermin mainboard, otherwise there's a lot of silly strong cards in there. Sideboard is mostly extra copies of 3-offs, a single Crypt Rats, 4x Chainer's Edict. 4x Chittering Rats, 4x Ruthless Invasion.

    I think Ruthless Invasion has a place in GW Slivers lists if not elsewhere, too. Okiba-Gang Shinobi is practically a planeswalker, and Wail of the Nim is silly strong (albeit in the kind of deck it's meant to be played in). These three really ought to see more play.

    There's a serious Rat deck out there and I'm probably close to it, my list just needs tweaking.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    Letely I've not had time to report on the happenings at the Black Cat, but it's been very interesting. The recent flood of Delvers in Pauper challenges looks completely bizzare.

    The last several 16-man events, 4-rounders all, have had the following top 4's:

    1: Affinity
    2: Rakdos Monarch
    3: Tooth & Scale
    4: Tradish Goblins

    1: Deep Hours Aggro
    2: Inside Out Combo
    3: Zombies
    4: Boggles

    1: Dinrova Tron
    2: Esper Familiars
    3: Affinity
    4: WB Pestilence

    1: Tradish Goblins
    2: RG Madness
    3: Esper Familiars
    4: Dinrova Tron

    1: Rainbow Tron
    2: WB Pestilence
    3: Cascade Reanimator
    4: Tooth & Scale

    1: GW Slivers
    2: Boros Monarch
    3: Burn
    4: Elves

    1: Infect
    2: Fangren Tron
    3: Tooth & Scale
    4: Elves

    And it's not like there wasn't a single Delver at the tourney, but this online resurgence is weird. If anything Tron has gotten more popular over here, Elves are always present, Goblins are still widely feared, GW Slivers took a tourney, Infect of all things took a tourney... I saw the latest pauper challenge report and there was barely any green at all in it, while Green seems to be doing quite alright for itself over here.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on War of the Spark spoiler discussion
    Prismite looks like a complete staple for Affinity. The biggest downfall for that deck is the fact that it's forced to run too many colors and will randomly drop matches due to mana screw. This little guy looks like he was made to adress this problem, and is a mana fixer which can also beat face, which is pretty good.

    Gideon's Sacrifice is stronger than it might look, and it's priced to see play. Not sure exactly where you'd play it but it can be silly good.

    Return to Nature does quite a lot and is likely to see play. Or even straight up replace Naturalize in future sets. I wouldn't mind seeing a red staple with graveyard hate tacked on, too.

    Spark Reaper looks like a quality mana sink, it ought to see play somewhere. This sort of thing is more of an uncommon thing, and it also gives life for sacrifices, has fine stats and a relevant creature type. And Unearth friendly cc, too, which is nice when you know it'll eat a bolt as soon as it shows up on the field. Can't be Disfigured, too, nice. Can't say "best pauper common in the set" because there's quite a few nice ones and I don't have the proper perspective yet, but it might as well turn out to be exactly that.

    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
  • posted a message on Unproven Cards To Brew?
    Also, a card that's likely really good in the current Monarch-heavy metagame is Benthic Infiltrator. It dodges a lot of removal, blocks like a boss (even blocks Guardian of the Guildpact of all things) and steals monarch. And beats face with Bonesplitter, obviously. The random milling is not relevant even though it might occasionally snag an important one-of, but that thing needs to find a home, too.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Unproven Cards To Brew?
    - There's got to be a functional deck which uses Energy Tap, either an affinity list with Frogmite, Myr Enforcer and Somber Hoverguard or a mono-blue one with Ninja of the Deep Hours and Spire Golem.

    - Someone ought to figure out the best decklist which uses Exalted, Shadow and Banding in the same deck (Exalted + Shadow for offense and stealing Monarch, Banding and your Exalted guys on defense to prevent attack into you). Key cards are Soltari Visionary , Qasali Pridemage and Mesa Pegasus.

    - Home needs to be found for Entourage of Trest. The deck likely needs Spidersilk Armor and possibly features Penumbra Spider, which is another card that ought to see more play, and it might also be home for Thornweald Archer and / or Deadly Recluse. The best other color to add would be likely either be Black or White, with both adding interesting options.

    - There's likely a functional mono-black aggro list with Agent of Shauku and at least some shadow guys (namely Dauthi Slayer) to both get in for damage and steal monarch. Dauthi Slayer in any black sideboard for boosting devotion, surviving electrickery and stealing Monarch is quality tech all on it's own.

    - There's likely another functional mono-black rats deck which makes use of Wail of the Nim , Skullsnatcher , Chittering Rats, and Rat Colony , if not also Okiba-Gang Shinobi and Sinuous Vermin.

    - There's VERY likely a functional black metalcraft deck out there that just needs someone to put it together properly. Dhund Operative and Salvage Slasher come to mind immediately, backed up by Tooth & Scale, and possibly Night Market Lookout and Springleaf Drum for acceleration.

    - There's very likely a strong UG Madness list that hinges on two things - Wild Mongrel + Cunning Survivor + Whiteout on the one hand, and Land Grant and Delver of Secrets on the other, with Brainstorm in it for shennanigans ("buyback" Whiteout, put it on top with Brainstorm, flip Delver).

    - If mana wasn't an issue, there might be a Pirates / Goblins mashup with a very low mana curve which can play March of the Drowned to recur Nameless Inversion , Fanatical Firebrand and Goblin Trailblazer , play Sparksmith in the main, and combine Goblin Sledder / Mogg Raider with Buccaneer's Bravado. Probably not stronger than a regular goblin build even if mana wasn't an issue, but it'd certainly be grindier and interesting.

    - Some deck, possibly even one of the established archetypes needs to find room for Power Sink. That card's completely nuts, it's just that it got taken out of circulation so long ago that most folks don't know just how nuts it is or that it even exists. I've tried it in Affinity lately and it won me games on it's own (although it is a bit matchup dependent, obviously). No reason it's not a well known format staple, though.

    - Azorius First-Wing , Griffin Rider and Wings of Velis Vel make the core of an incredibly effective Griffin Tribal. The exact best build needs to be determined yet, and experimentation might lead to interesting results. So far we're of the opinoin that Griffin Tribal is missing one playable agressive griffin to be a true contender, but it might be that it could work even with the tools already at our disposal.

    Those are some ideas for cards and archetypes which seem like they ought to be seen more often or figured out how exactly they're put together into effective decklists.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Your Modern Horizons Wish List
    Quote from Upkeep ยป

    Could you explain the synergy of banding and exalted? I don't quite understand.

    It's subtle - if you're piling exalted bonuses on, say, a shadow creature, then most of your other guys, the ones providing the exalted bonus, won't attack. They are, however, not very large and not very good at blocking. Enter banding. You attack with your unblockable shadow guy, and you use banding on defense with the rest of your exalted guys to let them all do damage on defense while minimizing / negating losses.

    If you're GW this kinda means you get to play some really sweet stuff - Qasali Pridemage, Soltari Visionary, Deadly Recluse, Rabid Bite (with either the pumped up shadow dude's power or recluse's deathtouch), and if you can keep your shadow guy safe from burn you can steal monarch from monarch decks somewhat easily.
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
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