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Magic Market Index for April 20th, 2018
 
Pauper Review: Dominaria
 
The Limited Archetypes of Dominaria
  • posted a message on How unforgiving is Modern?
    Quote from motleyslayer »
    I feel that modern can really punish a bad brew or make it hard to work on a brew, since decks are so tuned


    That's true of any competitive format. Like legacy though, modern decks in the top tiers get more time and have more resources to become refined and improved.

    At fnm level you will probably be ok iterating on any number of fringe decks and still have a good shot at competitiveness.

    At a GP main event, it's another story entirely. Bring your most scientific method and your best game-face to these events or crash out early. These are the top of the top for most players.

    If you're playing casually with friends, modern can just be a sensible cutoff point and banlist to use to keep things fun.

    Modern's a pretty good Polymorph. It can be many things to many people, and its versatility is its strength. You can go into modern to 'settle' from standard while still getting that kick out of a changeable format, because of how much it cycles and swings about. One week everyone's complaining about bogles, a few weeks later it's all but forgotten. Meanwhile you can plug away with your favourite deck and enjoy watching other decks fall in and out of favour, tweaking your sideboard as the metagame develops.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Change To The English Card Coating Starting With Dominaria
    yeah it's super interesting that there's been this big issue in terms of card quality, and players in the EU have been completely insulated from the problem.

    tell you what though, each set does have a slightly different printing process, noticeable by the new card smell, type of foiling, even the colours. but the curling thing hasn't been a problem here at all.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on How unforgiving is Modern?
    I'd just like to add to my above rather long post, that modern is definitely a huge amount of fun.

    There's a reason people like "seth, probably better known as saffron olive" pretty much only play modern, and that's because there's so much to do and learn.

    Legacy, while amazing, can't hold a candle to the variety of modern, and that's why I'm still in love with the format and getting taken to school years after building my first modern deck.

    If you have a friendly playgroup who also dabbles in the format, it's a pretty nice place and a fantastic card pool from which to discover and learn new decks and the complexities of magic. Start small and work your way up =)


    Modern games are full of technical play (just look at mishra's bauble!!) . And some decks are definitely harder to pilot than others. Even within an archetype like aggro or control there may be ten or so different decks which operate under this banner and provide different play experiences.

    Maybe it's worth grabbing a few friends together and proxying a bit of a modern gauntlet with a selection of decks you find interesting. Don't over-focus on the idea of something supposedly being the best. In a few weeks something else will hold that mantle. Find something you like and practice practice practice. Then you'll notice opportunities to change and tweak that deck to your personal taste. Go for it! Modern is as much about expression as it is about skill.

    Enjoy it =) modern is intense but it's such a great learning opportunity and fun format I'd be hard pressed to find any excuses to dissuade you from trying it out.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on How unforgiving is Modern?
    So I want to try brewing in modern, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. I'm pretty new, so I don't quite have a grasp on the speed of different formats, but I've heard of some pretty scary things in modern. Like, apparently there's a deck that swings with a 14 power flier (or something like that) on turn 3 with average draw? Yikes.

    If it's that fast a meta, then I'm kinda worried all my johnny combos will just be blitzed down before I get to do anything, and here I thought that this would be a format that allowed more creativity than standard. But a guy at my lgs told me that maybe 1 card a set sees any modern play. That sounds like, REALLY stale.

    So just how high is the power level here compared to standard? Is there any room for rogue decks here? Or will the local modern events just eat me alive if I bring anything less than a tier 1 netdeck?


    honestly, modern is a mix. the power level (and complexity) is a significant cut above standard, but it's definitely not as extreme as you've been led to believe. Modern is almost the home of rogue decks these days. the number of new cards which impact Modern is actually pretty high. What you usually don't see is those new cards outright supplanting the mega pillars of the format such as tarmogoyf. However, the metagame of Modern always swings around a bit after a new set-release as things balance out, and cards such as fatal push, as foretold, hollow one and kitesail freebooter can spawn whole decks out of nowhere or up-end the format entirely for months.

    modern decks on the whole tend to utilise a lot of synergy rather than raw power. this is true for all the major archetypes. even aggro decks often have a synergistic combo-esque element i.e. burning-tree emissary+reckless bushwhacker. the best decks right now are probably as follows, but it changes frequently:

    Humans
    Affinity
    Hollow One
    Jund

    humans and affinity are synergy-based aggro decks that use mostly small creatures (e.g. champion of the parish and vault skirge). Humans overcomes this issue because their creatures are disruptive (e.g. kitesail freebooter) and therefore able to pick apart opposing decks while presenting a fairly quick clock. Affinity overcomes the tiny creature problem (e.g. ornithopter) by playing cards like cranial plating and arcbound ravager.
    Hollow One is a new deck and is a mix of aggro/combo. It's a slow aggro deck, but a couple of synergistic combo elements allow the deck to put down very aggressive starts every few games which boosts its overall win % by a reasonable amount. it's currently quite popular and some have called it the best deck in modern (debatable! but i can see why they'd say it for sure).
    Jund is a slower, midrange deck that plays lots of cheap removal and ways to disrupt an opponent's hand. It leverages this advantage by playing the most efficient cheap threats in magic, such as tarmogoyf. it keeps players in topdeck mode with liliana of the veil and out-advantages opposing topdecks by having man-lands such as raging ravine and card advantage from cards like dark confidant. It recently got a boost from bloodbraid elf, which was banned for a few years and is now legal again. Jund is the only deck on this quick breakdown which favours card power over synergy.
    New decks crop up all the time, and the metagame is always shifting around, so it's the opposite of stale. In fact, this actually freaks some people out:
    - many modern players assume modern is this hugely stable format where decks maintain a roughly equivalent status in the metagame all the time. In fact, decks swing in and out of popularity on a regular basis in predictable cycles, but it doesn't stop a paranoid vocal part of the community from calling for bans like crazed maniacs every time a new deck swims up to the top tier for a month or so. keep an eye out for this, it's both funny and infuriating.

    the modern metagame (to roll with my point above) varies cycles of about a month. most decks in modern float around being visible but rarely win anything outright. That's modern in a nutshell. Expect to see a wide variety of decks when you play, but don't expect them to consistently stay at the top. As soon as one deck does well, everything shifts subtly to beat it, and the cycle continues. What's 'the best' and 'banworthy' right now will be mid-tier reasonableness in a month or two. Rogue or fringe decks put up results all the time, even winning GP level events. in amongst this variation, there are a few stalwart decks which do a great job of always being baseline playable. Abzan/Jund (one of them, at least) is a good example of this. there's always a playable midrange deck, although which one does change over time. Tron and affinity are other examples - never busted, just always there. Lower down the tier-roster we have decks like Merfolk, which while always there and baseline playable is rarely if ever top-tier. decks like that are great for local events and as a rogue contender for some larger tournaments.

    format speed:
    the format of modern is fast, but not really fast in the sense that you've been led to believe. Mainly it's fast in the sense that you always need to have done something meaningful by turn three, to either a) interact with your opponent and stall what they're doing or b) get aggressive.
    what that means isn't perhaps as intense as you suggested in your above post. your disruption could be as little as lightning bolt or an inquisition of kozilek, and that's usually enough to give you a nice start if your gameplan is to lightly disrupt and then beat down your opponent with value creatures such as grim flayer or snapcaster mage. it's rare for decks to outright win on turn three or four, but it does happen if you can't interact with them somehow. mainly though, you'll be seeing aggressive decks (either combo or aggro) winning around turn 5. Most combos in modern rely on creatures in some form, so creature removal tends to be at a premium in the format overall. for instance, devoted druid and vizier of remedies gives you infinite G, which is a popular combo from the last six months or so. hollow one uses burning inquiry to drop an early 4/4 or two. that's a pseudo combo which is also remedied by decent creature removal. I could go on, but you get the idea.
    the best removal spells in modern are these:

    two and three mana options are played far less, but do see occasional play if the deck wants it (i.e. abrupt decay and kolaghan's command both see reasonable play)


    at Modern tournaments, you generally see most opponents rocking something from the top 2 tiers of Modern. That's pretty broad (around 80 decks overall) and you'll certainly see historic/new/rogue/fringe decks with some regularity, but it's generally the norm to see most opponents playing something with a proven record in the format. more competitive players will switch around between what's "tier 1" so keeping an eye on those can give you a hint on what to expect. There's usually some kind of 'new hotness' floating around in modern, and there'll always be a chunk of players building and testing these new decks. keeping abreast of the modern news will keep you prepared for this. on a local level, players often get known for playing a specific deck, so "the storm guy" etc. This is actually a really great part of modern and allows for conversations and a sense of community as people master their archetype or even switch around between different ones.

    there's a few 'controversial' decks in modern. for the most part, these decks are mid-tier reasonable decks that have been floating around for some time and occasionally appear in a top-8 or something. They slide in and out of popularity, and it's great that these decks are able to exist because it allows more people to express themselves through their own playstyle. some people just love to hate them though. Tron is one such deck. On the face of it, it's a completely reasonable ramp deck and plays big colourless cards to take over, from about turn 3-4 depending on the draw (e.g. karn liberated). it's pretty good against the slower disruptive decks, but poor against fast aggro and combo. it does beat up on slower and jankier brews something terrible, so it makes sense that a certain proportion of players would dislike playing against it. Another such deck is lantern control. Lantern is... well it's absolutely miserable to play against, but as a deck it's a fascinating clockwork arrangement of tiny insignificant pieces. it uses lantern of insight and codex shredder to manipulate what their opponent gets to draw, denying them threats and answers and usually just giving them lots of lands. it stops creatures with ensnaring bridge, and wins by milling the opponent out with multiple shredders. it's a slow painful way to lose, but the design of the deck itself is brilliant and inspired.
    keep an eye out for vocal and hateful players who rail on specific strategies. you'd be wise to just ignore them, honestly. play what you want!

    the long and short is that modern is hands down the most diverse format in magic. It rivals and arguably surpasses Legacy in terms of complexity and 'amount of play' to the format (although of course, the character and overall 'feeling' of both formats is quite different). It's Wizards' most popular format in terms of bringing in audiences when large events put up livestreams, it allows you to master a pet deck. If you are honest and logical about how to build for the Modern format, it's also a brewer's haven (although as a large competitive format, it definitely punishes shoddy kitchen-table brewing). You'll frequently see people playing wild and wacky decks you've not seen for years, or ever, and you'll also get plenty of opportunity to play against top tier strategies.
    by quite a few metrics, Modern is currently the most significant competitive format, and it's incredibly rewarding. What it requires from players though (if you want to succeed) is the ability to take a step back and realise you have much to learn. even the most seasoned pro players enter into modern self-assured by their superior magic-playing ability only to get trashed by people who have 1000+ reps with their pet elves deck or whatever. as a result, modern does get somewhat of a bad rep from a certain part of the magic community. usual complaints are "it's too high variance" and "it's too uninteractive". These comments don't look at the big picture and fail to explain how the same modern-invested players consistently do really well in the format, even playing wildly unfavoured decks. What those comments do show rather clearly is that even some of the best magic players in the world can be a bit stumped by modern when they first get into the format. That's a lesson to be humble. Playing Modern and doing so consistently well is a pretty big step-up in terms of developing your magic oeuvre, and it takes reps and time to properly get to grips with such a broad format. It's super fun, engaging, challenging and complex but it's a steep learning curve if you are going to be rocking tournaments and want to be hitting top-8s and stuff.

    oh and if you care about financial aspects, in the long-term modern is cheaper to play than standard (no rotations).


    if i had to give any parting advice, it would be the following:
    - research and familiarise yourself with the broad swathe of top tier decks in modern. this forum is a reasonable place to start, and mtggoldfish.com is another. just googling a deck name is often enough to find decent resources. look at top 32s and Day-2 metagames from recent GPs for an idea of what the format looks like overall (ignore top-8s if you want to understand a metagame, they are a highly variable snapshot and never representative of the larger picture).
    - when starting to play, go for a proven deck of some kind. doesn't have to be tier 1, just something that's seen a reasonable amount of play. There are so many to choose from you'll find something you like. Check out forums and articles on the deck and get to grips with it. from there you'll learn more about the format at large, and some of the considerations which you'd completely miss as a brand new player to the format.
    - don't enter into modern expecting to be able to brew new decks for the format. it just won't work. Learn about the format first, get some games under your belt and a good grasp of what's possible and what isn't. Some decks in modern seem weird and unintuitive, but work because of the nature of Modern (lantern control is an example).
    - try not to skimp on your manabases. most proven decks have very refined and carefully crafted manabases, and it's far more important in Modern than it is in standard to get this bit right. there's a few corners you can cut (you'll find these out the more you research) but overall that's a mistake a lot of players make when transitioning to standard (at least, for a while). worth mentioning - once you've got modern staple lands like fetches and shocks, keep 'em. those guys are not for trade. there is so much overlap in their usage in Modern that nearly every deck wants some number of them. having a decent selection of modern staple lands will negate most of the cost of trading or buying into a new deck as well. so if you stock up on lands, switching around between decks becomes fairly easy (for the most part).
    - have fun, find other modern players and talk/share ideas about the format on the regular. Modern is very much a communal affair and you won't get far playing lone wolf, trying to solve anything in splendid isolation. most of all PLAY. get in the reps. learn and learn some more.

    if you want to improve your competitive edge in constructed, I can't think of a better format.
    take it easy bud.

    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Banned and Restricted Announcement: No Changes
    yeah seems completely expected and fair. nothing to see here I guess =P. Move along.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Quote from purklefluff »
    So Matt Nass won!

    With KCI no less. Haha that's a turn up for the books and a welcome fringe deck to get a decent result. Good for him! Shaheen Soorani put me on the deck a while back and I've loved the mix of grind-ability, maindeck interaction and decent combo that the deck utilises. It's a real old-school magic deck in the way it plays.

    Amulet titan taking second in the finals? Be still my beating heart haha another fringe low tier deck doing well? This is an advert for the "play what you know" mantra of modern. Good stuff!

    Elves!? Sure, just load this top 8 with fun fringe decks haha.

    Bogles =S oof! Bogles is kinda weird and never breaks anything, but two of them in the top 8 indicates that 1) they got lucky with their matchups and 2) there must have been a lot of midrange and affinity at the tournament. OH WAIT THERE WAS

    Burn? We're used to seeing burn


    Overall these are some great results. We know from the stats that this GP was brimming with midrange decks, and that affinity has been on an 'upswing' like it does every couple of months. That's nothing new and actually in terms of meta, this is what everyone keeps saying they want. More interactive magic. And what happens when the majority of your field is packing fatal push and bolt as their removal? Two bogles decks take advantage of this and get through to the top 8 haha.

    You get what you wish for.

    Kci sharing the finals with amulet is just joyous though. What a day for fringe nonsense.


    These aren't good results, in a garbage top 8 of uninteractive trash.


    The GP top 8s have honestly been a mess; while SCG has some some nice looking top 32s and top 8s, the pro's and heavy grinders at the GP's elect to show up with decks that don't interact.

    The Protour had good results, but the GP top 8s this year have been gross. Let's not forget we had several GP top 8s where multiple Tron decks populated the top 8.




    you need to check your biases dude. I'm not going to go deep into this, but you've crossed the line where your comments have become comical hyperbole and it doesn't work anymore.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    Quote from tronix »
    affinity doing well is usually a red flag for me. it tends to do well when other busted stuff is going on meaning decks cant dedicate the appropriate hate. it shines brightest when people arent looking to interact to remind people that its one of the old guard that went toe to toe with the likes DRS jund, twin, TC delver, and pre-ban edrazi without ever eating a ban of its own.


    affinity has been a reliable metagame pendulum since modern began. it swings in and out of popularity because people swing in and out of bringing the right kinds of hate.

    this weekend was mainly midrange. on the face of it, that should be a hostile environment for affinity. turns out people weren't packing their hate.

    it shouldn't be a red flag. if it is, you're thinking too hard
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    So Matt Nass won!

    With KCI no less. Haha that's a turn up for the books and a welcome fringe deck to get a decent result. Good for him! Shaheen Soorani put me on the deck a while back and I've loved the mix of grind-ability, maindeck interaction and decent combo that the deck utilises. It's a real old-school magic deck in the way it plays.

    Amulet titan taking second in the finals? Be still my beating heart haha another fringe low tier deck doing well? This is an advert for the "play what you know" mantra of modern. Good stuff!

    Elves!? Sure, just load this top 8 with fun fringe decks haha.

    Bogles =S oof! Bogles is kinda weird and never breaks anything, but two of them in the top 8 indicates that 1) they got lucky with their matchups and 2) there must have been a lot of midrange and affinity at the tournament. OH WAIT THERE WAS

    Burn? We're used to seeing burn


    Overall these are some great results. We know from the stats that this GP was brimming with midrange decks, and that affinity has been on an 'upswing' like it does every couple of months. That's nothing new and actually in terms of meta, this is what everyone keeps saying they want. More interactive magic. And what happens when the majority of your field is packing fatal push and bolt as their removal? Two bogles decks take advantage of this and get through to the top 8 haha.

    You get what you wish for.

    Kci sharing the finals with amulet is just joyous though. What a day for fringe nonsense.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Ironworks Combo
    matt nass at GP Hartford is on stream, tied 1-1 in game 3 for his win-and-in for top eight, with a 12-2 record.

    not a bad run. fingers crossed. looks like he just got it actually - i'm typing this live as it happens. haha! is it a top 8? he's gonna be on the right number of points, it's gonna come down to breakers if he can assemble the win.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    Quote from idSurge »


    All very true. I still hate it. Grin


    totally reasonable =P
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    Quote from MikePemulis »
    Quote from purklefluff »
    quite enjoyed the "no math alpha" comment from the booth.

    not something i've ever actually done. might give it a go =P


    Agreed. Stuff like that just reminds us this is a game.


    i know, right?

    =D
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    Quote from idSurge »
    There is no combo deck, in modern, that is completely unable to be interacted with like Bogles is, that can kill you as quickly. At least not that I can think of.


    my sets of engineered explosives, ratchet bomb, hibernation, chalice of the void, worship, settle the wreckage, ensnaring bridge, liliana of the veil and a slew of other amazing cards against bogles beg to differ!

    hell, I play Turns and that matchup is about as close to a Bye as it's possible to get in Modern (with my build at least). I think i'm something like 12-0 in matches against bogles with that deck (although it does get noticeably harder if the player is running a significant number of maindeck leyline).

    bogles is an easy deck to prepare for, quite frankly. saying it's "completely unable to be interacted with" is at worst completely misleading and at best really stretching it. It is true, however, that some specific decks aren't great at transitioning into the kinds of pieces that shut bogles down. that's just how matchups work though. Bogles has to be good against something otherwise nobody would play the deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on GP Hartford Discussion
    quite enjoyed the "no math alpha" comment from the booth.

    not something i've ever actually done. might give it a go =P
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 10/02/18)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Play Design is already changing this. Tom Ross is on the team almost entirely as a non-rotating format specialist. Beyond him, the rest of the team will also start checking for non-rotating breakage. DOM was the first set with Play Design input, but it will take until "Archery" until Play Design is with a set from start to finish.

    I thought the PD team (or at least "big changes") were happening as long ago as Hour of Devastation?


    kind of. they announced this stuff around the release of Hour of Devastation, didn't they...?

    however, that set was mostly wrapped up in the can up to a couple of years before its release.

    WotC has been on record a few times saying they work up to about four years ahead of the current releases. That's one of the primary reasons for misjudgments in terms of what's "supposed to be good" in standard based on their Future Future League play.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Yargle, Glutton of Urborg
    Quote from SilverWolf_27 »
    Should have been BG to allow Muraganda petroglyphs in his commander deck...


    I would have preferred UG as it's a spirit frog, but hey.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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