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  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from CatParty »
    Red likes to force through damage, and hate on Blue. I can see Fore of Red making another spell uncounterable and preventing damage prevention. "Target spell cannot be countered this turn. Damage can't be prevented this turn."

    We see this with cards like Exquisite Firecraft, Combust, Inescapable Blaze, etc...
    It would also be a cute way of sort of getting Pyroblast into Modern, since it would basically be a red counterspell against blue counterspells.

    I expect red force will be like Alliance Pyrokinesis and just damage creatures. These cards appear to be designed as safety valves, not aggro or combo enablers, and a damage splitting spell would accomplish this.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from b07 »
    Lots of mentions of UW control as being a prime candidate for FoN, which makes sense, but it is miles worse than FoW at protecting a Walker because you can't cast it for free all the time.

    Consider this:
    UW player taps out for JtMS. Brainstorm
    Opp EoT Lightning Bolt...

    I'm not saying FoN is necessarily bad, but the free part being active only half the time, And only hitting non-creatures, sounds like a sideboard card to me. If anything, FoN might just incentivize more instants being played.

    This is really only a limitation in the fair matchups, where Ux doesn't need that much help and is mostly doing fine. FoN could still be valuable in this scenario if an opponent blows up T4 JTMS and then tries to follow up with any noncreature counterplay.

    This scenario is less of an issue in the unfair matchups, where opponents aren't typically holding up interaction mana, or even playing those spells to begin with. The archetypal example is, again, Gx Tron. You currently can't run out T2 Search into T3 Tron on the draw or you just lose to Karn Liberated while tapped out. Same with T3 Teferi/Narset or T4 JTMS. Tron isn't suddenly evolving back to RG Tron with Bolts to deal with these lines. It's just going to walk into them, which allows Ux players to get on the board in a matchup where they are otherwise always on the backseat and waiting for Tron inevitability. This is very relevant in the URx decks, particularly Jeskai, which have horrible 30-70 MWP matchups against Tron. Even getting that to 40-60 or better is a major advantage for Jeskai players.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from mapccu »
    FoN may be a decent shot in the arm for fish and Fae.

    Both of these decks will likely benefit from FoN, especially Faeries which needs to deploy some of its better threats at sorcery speed, notably BB and JTMS. Merfolk also benefits for the same reason, although to some extent it can get the job done with Vial alone. By contrast, there was no playable Vial equivalent that allows Fae to get BB or JTMS on the table on curve without dropping shields.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Deep Forest Hermit and Reserved List question
    I am super hesitant to touch this topic because I've seen it go poorly in many different online contexts. But at least it's more Modern-specific in that Hermit is Modern-legal, so I'll give it a chance.

    The cleanest answer to this is that Deranged Hermit and Deep Forest Hermit are not functionally identical because they don't have the same abilities. They don't have the same abilities either in the literal sense, in that Vanishing replaces Echo, and in the practical sense, in that Vanishing and Echo present distinct upsides and downsides between one another. Echo requires a 5 mana investment the turn later, but then you keep DH for good. This gives players the option to keep DH on the battlefield, which I know many players exercised back when Urza's block was around. If you don't pay the Echo cost, you lose the DH the turn after you play it. We can envision a scenario where a player wants to Overrun with DH/squirrels on the board but can't because they need to pay DH's Echo cost. Contrast this with Vanishing which allows you two turns of swinging with the 2/2 x4 team, but then you lose DFH no matter how much mana you're willing to invest.

    So no, Wizards has not broken the rules of the policy. Wizards is free to reprint versions of RL cards with changed abilities. They can change colors and even make better versions of cards. Look at *****ty Mirage Canopy Dragon and compare to Hellkite Tyrant. Or Archon of Valor's Reach. Or Roalesk, Apex Hybrid. Unless you're wedded to Mono G or facing a lot of Crushing Canopy or something similar, these other cards are generally just going to be WAY better Canopy Dragons. Or compare garbage Aku Djinn to big man Doom Whisperer. Unless you're playing a strategy that tries to grow opposing creatures, Djinn tribal, facing Baneslayer Angel, or fighting all those Crushing Canopies, Whisperer is also just way better. There are tons of examples where Wizards prints virtually upgraded RL cards or RL reskins with different abilities. This doesn't violate RL policy any more than DH vs. DFH.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from Lectrys »
    Quote from rickster_ »
    Force of negation lets UW players tap out for turn 4 jace vs every deck. Normally if you tap out vs tron or combo you lose, this is no longer the case.

    You still plausibly lose to Gx Tron if you tap out for Jace, the Mind Sculptor and they go for a Turn 4 creature. Jace TMS can bounce Wurmcoil Engine, but Walking Ballista kills him before he can bounce it if Jace TMS goes for the +0, and woe if Gx Tron Magical Christmas Lands 10 mana by Turn 4-5 and hits Jace TMS with an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger you could have countered and not have to suffer 10 damage and 20 exile mill a turn from. Post-board, Thragtusk isn't too pleasant to face.

    That Jace TMS line does look plausible against combo and control, though.

    This can happen, but the lines of T4 Ulamog or T4 Ballista are rarer than the lines that T4 JTMS + FoN beat. Those lines include T4 O-Stone, T4 Ugin, T4 Karn Liberated, and T4 Karn TGC. Something like 98%+ (MTGoldfish stats) of Gx Tron decks are playing 2 Ballista and 2 Ulamog main. Using the same #s, about 100% are also playing 4 Karn Liberated, 2 Ugin, 4 O-Stone, and 2-4 KTGC. If I'm a betting man, I'm betting on T4 JTMS with FoN backup beating 12-14 of their lines and not worried about the 4 that will punish me, especially when the Ulamog line also required the 2nd Tower.

    In G2-G3, the Tron plan changes a bit with more creature-based threats, but the Ux player is still ahead if the counterplay to a T4 JTMS is a Thragtusk. Overall, I'm digging FoN in this matchup.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from pierrebai »
    The card could hilariously become parts of humans or UW spirits SB. It's very weak against those decks, at the very least, and allow them to tap out against combo. It's especially good in spirits since it pack a good amount of blue cards.

    This card could be playable in the Humans SB. It has enough blue cards to take advantage of FoN using the 16+ Legacy FoW rule (4 Meddling, 4 Mantis, 4 Reflector, 4 Image, 0-3 Deputy, 1+ FoN).

    By a similar token, this card will definitely give that same advantage to other Ux creature based strategies. Examples of other decks that will try and may benefit from this card are DS variants, Delver variants, UW Spirits, Merfolk, and others. These decks will benefit from FoN for the same reasons Ux decks will: it gives them counterplay to T1/T2 combo/ramp engines that otherwise can't be addressed, and it allows them to develop board position while countering cards that would stop that advantage.

    That said, I think Ux controlling strategies will benefit more from this card because they currently aren't able to develop their boards at all in most matchups. FoN gives them a totally new play line they couldn't previously use. Decks like Humans and Spirits were already doing this to at least some extent with Meddling Mage, Reflector Mage, Freebooter, Wanderer, GDS with Stubbs backup, and other cards that both advance the board state and stop opposing haymakers. Ux control wasn't able to do this at all until T5 at earliest with Teferi + Logic Knot. Now they can do it as early as T2 and, most importantly, resolve their huge T3 and T4 walkers with the benefit of protection.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Perhaps the best advantage of this card is allowing Ux players to develop a board and not hold up mana. This benefits tempo/fish decks which can deploy threats and protect them or stop haymakers, and it benefits control decks that can play T2 Search or T3 Teferi/Narset without dropping shields.

    Overall, I am very pleased with this card and look forward to playing it.
    Quote from rickster_ »
    Force of negation lets UW players tap out for turn 4 jace vs every deck. Normally if you tap out vs tron or combo you lose, this is no longer the case.

    Going to quote myself and rickster here to again highlight the most important function of this card. It's not just that FoN allows Ux decks to stop T1/T2 plays that would normally have no counterplay, especially on the draw. This is an important function of FoN and one of the reasons it's playable, but it's not the reason the card is so exciting. The reason it's so exciting to me is that it opens up so many more windows where you can tap out for T2 Search, T3 Narset/Teferi, T4 JTMS, etc. and either protect your board presence or stop the opponent from doing something broken.

    Ux decks have a serious problem with traction right now because they need to hold up mana on all their turns to handle opposing stuff at instant speed. This means Ux decks are waiting until T5+ before they can actually get some board presence, and they are always playing on an opponent's initiative. FoN changes this and allows Ux players to get on board and stick something important without dropping shields. Ux decks have previously been unable to do this in Modern, and this is the very reason we don't see FoW-like effects in Standard; tapping out for a walker and still having protection spells is too strong for that format. Now, Ux decks can enjoy this edge, an edge they haven't really had before in Modern. Your only other option was Shoal, which was simply too narrow.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    More MH previews!

    Deep Forest Hermit: Deranged Hermit Elf Druid with Vanishing 3 instead of Echo, only +1/+1 for your squirrels.
    FORCE OF NEGATION: 1UU Instant, If it's not your turn you may exile a blue card from hand rather than pay mana cost. Negate but card is exiled.

    Hermit is a cool throwback, probably not playable. Next.

    FORCE OF NEGATION. So first, FoW is probably out. That's fine. Let's talk about FoN. This is similar to one of the FoW Negate variants I speculated on a few pages ago, and it's definitely a Modern game-changer. The majority of early non-games with broken decks come down to non-creature spells resolving and setting up broken lines. This stops all the major engines of most decks: Vial, Looting, Opal, Stirrings, Scrying, Map, Amulet, etc. Some decks can play around it (Ad Naus winning at instant speed, EoT Goryo's/Breach in other decks). Some decks/cards aren't affected by it (Electromancer/Baral, Prime Time, etc.). But overall, this will be a maindeckable catchall for most Ux strategies. Perhaps the best advantage of this card is allowing Ux players to develop a board and not hold up mana. This benefits tempo/fish decks which can deploy threats and protect them or stop haymakers, and it benefits control decks that can play T2 Search or T3 Teferi/Narset without dropping shields.

    Overall, I am very pleased with this card and look forward to playing it.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from Trazaeth »
    If no counterspell I think it's time to sell my stuff. Prohibit is just ***** by comparison.

    I would discourage you from selling your cards based on the inclusion/exclusion of one possible reprint. Every set introduces new and surprising additions to Modern decks and so many are viable from so many different ends of the archetypal/strategic spectrums. If you prefer Ux Control, there will undoubtedly be strong options for you and other players to consider, whether in MH1 or future sets.

    Goblin Matron is a sweet reprint. Here's hoping for Ringleader next!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from ElectricEye »
    More cards later or is this all for today?

    There are some uncommon previews before the next round, and then some rare previews later.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    12 commons from Modern Horizons!!

    Choking Tethers (reprint)
    Elvish Fury (reprint - buyback is back!)
    Goblin War Party (2R, Sorcery, Choose -Create three 1/1 goblins OR -Creatures get +1/+1 and haste, Entwine 2R)
    Headless Specter (1BB, 2/2 flyer, Hypnotic Specter once Hellbent)
    Imposter of the Sixth Pride (1W 3/1 changeling)
    Lava Dart (sweet reprint - flashback is back!)
    Martyr's Soul (2W, 3/2 spirit, convoke, when enters if you control no tapped lands put two +1/+1 counters)
    PROHIBIT (REPRINT THANK GOD)
    Savage Swipe (BEAR TRIBAL - G, sorcery, target creature gets +2/+2 if power 2. Creature fights target creature)
    Stream of Thought (U, sorcery, target player mills 4, you shuffle up to 4 cards, replicate 2UU)
    Venemous Changeling (2B 1/3 deathtouch changeling)
    Wall of a Thousand Cuts (3WW 3/5 defender, flying, W: attack as if no defender)

    Lava Dart and Prohibit are definitely Modern playable. I do think that Prohibit likely precludes Counterspell, unless there are some Limited considerations to putting Counterspell at another rarity. That's probably a bit disappointing but I'm pumped for the cards. Excited for more cards today!

    EDIT: Images posted by another Reddit user - https://imgur.com/a/7QWHclB
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    12 commons from Modern Horizons!!

    **SPOILERS**

    Choking Tethers (reprint)
    Elvish Fury (reprint - buyback is back!)
    Goblin War Party (2R, Sorcery, Choose -Create three 1/1 goblins OR -Creatures get +1/+1 and haste, Entwine 2R)
    Headless Specter (1BB, 2/2 flyer, Hypnotic Specter once Hellbent)
    Imposter of the Sixth Pride (1W 3/1 changeling)
    Lava Dart (sweet reprint - flashback is back!)
    Martyr's Soul (2W, 3/2 spirit, convoke, when enters if you control no tapped lands put two +1/+1 counters)
    PROHIBIT (REPRINT THANK GOD)
    Savage Swipe (BEAR TRIBAL - G, sorcery, target creature gets +2/+2 if power 2. Creature fights target creature)
    Stream of Thought (U, sorcery, target player mills 4, you shuffle up to 4 cards, replicate 2UU)
    Venemous Changeling (2B 1/3 deathtouch changeling)
    Wall of a Thousand Cuts (3WW 3/5 defender, flying, W: attack as if no defender)

    Lava Dart and Prohibit are definitely Modern playable. I do think that Prohibit likely precludes Counterspell, unless there are some Limited considerations to putting Counterspell at another rarity. That's probably a bit disappointing but I'm pumped for the cards. Excited for more cards today!

    EDIT: Images posted by another Reddit user - https://imgur.com/a/7QWHclB
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Discussion Thread
    Quote from Thenarus »
    First two cards for MH1 since the original announcement:
    Flusterstorm is the new BAB promo (with new art), and a new/fixed version of Astral Slide:

    Astral Drift 2W Enchantment Whenever you cycle Astral Drift or cycle another card while Astral Drift is on the battlefield, you may exile target creature. Return that creature to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step. Cycling 2W
    Not impressed honestly. I mean storm not really an issue. We need broad counters not specific counters.

    Flusterstorm, as the BAB status suggests, is probably not just targeted at Modern players. It's a chase card that will have mass eternal format appeal and is likely included to drive down the price and incentivize other format specialists to buy the product. It's also the best possible reprint outlet. Good Modern safety valve, but probably not super Modern relevant right now. I'm still optimistic for other countermagic options.

    Drift is sweet. We'll need more cycling support to make Drift decks viable, because Drift is dead in a lot of high-profile matches, but it's a great inclusion with strong brewing potential. Net positive for Modern overall.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from Mindstab »
    I hope that almost nobody will use that combo...it is just atrocious. Question also is, if enough people could get their hands on lattice before it exploded in price.

    Not going to directly weigh in on the Karn question because there simply isn't enough data out there, but I will say that Karn highlights the advantage of digital cards and errata. Design and balance mistakes happen all the time in all games, especially Magic, and especially once you move out of Limited/Standard to older formats. In a world where you are stuck with paper cards and the text printed on them, you can't retroactively fix these cards. This applies to both broken cards, e.g. everything that has ever been banned in any format, and very bad cards, e.g. cards that totally miss the mark and don't see play.

    Digital Magic and errata/patches give Wizards an alternate solution to this problem. It allows them to make small/large adjustments to cards in order to make them better or worse, depending on the context. Take Karn, for example. Any of the following adjustments would avoid the Lattice combo, if one's goal is to remove that synergy:

    1. Change to "Activated abilities of nonland artifacts your opponents control can’t be activated."
    2. Change to "-2: You may choose an artifact card you own with converted mana cost 4 or less from outside the game or in exile, reveal that card, and put it into your hand."
    3. Change to "-X: You may choose an artifact card you own with converted mana cost X or less from outside the game or in exile, reveal that card, and put it into your hand."
    4. Change Lattice to "All nonland permanents are artifacts in addition to their other types. All nonland cards that aren’t in play, spells, and nonland permanents are colorless. Players may spend mana as though it were mana of any color."

    This errata/patching approach would improve balance for so many banned cards, underplayed decks, and broken metagames. It's also the model used by all major online games. I believe Wizards will eventually go in this direction, and/or are actively trying to figure out how to do this without creating a huge gap between online and paper Magic. Banning Nexus in BO1 and nowhere else is just the start of this journey, as was the functional Pridemate change.

    Of course, this approach is not without risk. Wizards can become too balance-happy and issue errata for things that simply don't need it based on mass panics or outcry. Imagine if Wizards nerfed Teferi to only untap one land, or Wilderness Reclamation to untap only a few lands, because of MTG Arena complaints. Or increased CoCo's mana cost by 1 at the height of its power. Tweaks like this, and countless others we could speculate on, might assuage a short-term hysteria but would limit long-term feasibility of those cards/decks, especially if Wizards is balancing across formats. After all, if Wizards messed up the design to begin with, they can certainly mess it up again down the road. Additionally, part of the beauty of non-rotating formats is in finding design mistakes and exploiting them for powerful decks, and too much errata would make that challenging. Patching/errata is not a perfect solution by any means, but I do think if done correctly it would really open up Magic play and design space in ways that would benefit players and formats like Modern.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from idSurge »
    I mean that makes sense with Graduation and Finals on the Horizon. Is it different from the previous year or something?


    Yes. 2018 was not nearly as bad/slow as it is right now. Its the format. I mean even looking around at most of the forum, traffic certainly appears way down.

    I would attribute the slowdown to a wide combination of factors including the rise of Discord, increased Reddit traffic, heightened Standard/Arena popularity, increased Arena streaming, entrance into a slower Modern season after the GP stretch, uncertainty about what to play due to MH, the decline of traditional forums like ours (both generally and specifically), and a host of other factors. We have seen posts every few months for literal years that Modern is losing players and/or popularity in an often isolated or small N context. I remember it in basically every metagame from Eldrazi Winter to present. The format is now, and continues to be, largely fine.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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