Magic Market Index for April 19, 2019
 
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Magic Market Index for April 5, 2019
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from Mtgthewary »
    And how often we do this? Yes you can say money is not important, but you can tell this after another ban guys like you and me loosing a lot of money.

    It's an open question as to how many bans have actually resulted in devaluation of card prices over the long run. The banned card certainly loses value with few exceptions, but the overall deck might retain value or increase through natural factors unrelated to the ban. One could easily compare historical price data from the time of the ban to the deck's value today. For instance, here are some May 2015 deck prices:
    http://modernnexus.com/modern-investment-deck-win-rate-to-cost-analysis/

    Amulet Bloom was about $575 in May 2015. Wizards banned Bloom in early 2016. Today, MTGGoldfish lists it in the $790 +/- range. Obviously, other factors have increased card value such as format popularity, scarcity, EDH demand, etc., but overall the parcel of Amulet Bloom cards has increased 35%+ since 2015. I suspected this would also be true for URx Twin cards, notably Tarns and Snapcaster. In fact, a cursory glance does suggest this to be true: UR Twin went for about $1,000 in May 2015 and the same parcel of cards goes for about $1,300 +/- today; here's Sam Pardee's old GP Charlotte UR Twin and some other decks for comparison (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/296690#paper).

    It's definitely possible that if the cards had gone unbanned, the overall deck would have increased in value even more than it increased naturally. It's also possible that there was a short-term loss in value in the 1-2 year timeframe. But at least in the Twin and Bloom cases, banned decks don't appear to lose value over time in the Modern long run.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Outside of the single case of Ramunap Ruins, WOTC has never, ever even mentioned win rates. They have however, cited GP performance, in the form of Top 8 placements and wins, in nearly every ban ever.

    KCI's ban also cited win rates:
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-21-2019-banned-and-restricted-announcement

    "While the primary reasons for banning a card from the Ironworks deck are its raw win rate and high GP Top 8 conversion rate..." (emphasis added)

    This is a recent example of a Modern-specific ban, so it is very important to consider win rates as a factor in ban decisions. It may not be the sole reason for KCI's ban, but it was by Wizards' own article one of the two "primary reasons."
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from Simto »
    I hope Mox Opal doesn't get banned. Colourless decks got two new very good cards in Ugin and Karn that can give them a boost, but I always hope attention is taken off Mox Opal hehe. I just love artifact and eldrazi decks and don't want to see them get a smack in the face.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the colorless decks. Tron and Whir Prison (plus others) are definitely powerful, Tier 1 Modern strategies that do broken things. But they appear to just be some of the many powerful, Tier 1 Modern strategies that do broken things which Wizards wants to encourage in this format. Only one Opal deck has strong performance numbers right now, Whir Prison, and that deck hasn't even hit early-2018 KCI levels yet. Given that KCI took 12 months of sustained overperformance and win-rate dominance to enter the ban crosshairs, I'm pretty confident saying Whir Prison is probably fine at current levels. No other Opal deck is even close to Prison's performance, and even collectively they probably have less metagame share than something like Dredge, GDS, Humans, or Tron individually, to say nothing of Phoenix.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from rcwraspy »
    Quote from Lear_the_cat »
    It's so easy to see on this new decklist rule who likes linear noninteractive games and who doesn't. Smile
    I'm a Jund player and I hate the new decklist rule. I don't like big sweeping changes like London mulligan or this decklist thing when the game is great already and just needs finessing here and there, depending on format.

    Out of curiosity, why do you hate it?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    On the one hand, I hear the potential objections about the new decklist rule reducing the element of surprise and rogue deck factor. Spicy tech can become less effective if opponents start playing around it (although that too can become an advantage; see the infamous Quench factor in Ravnica limited). It's also a real skill to identify an opposing deck over the first 1-3 turns, which definitely favors Modern specialists who are able to pull small edges such as fetching for a basic in the face of a potential Blood Moon, keeping mana up for a combo deck lying in wait, or going all-in on an attack or line believing your opponent has few outs. Similarly, it's an important skill to mulligan/keep hands that are good against the average field.

    On the other hand, I can't imagine that all of those edges collectively lead to more MWP gained or lost for interactive players than the sheer frustration and decisiveness of keeping bad interactive hands against decks where the interaction lines up poorly. This thread has certainly lamented this fact endlessly for years. I remember I posted some Twitter meme, maybe a Turtenwald post, about playing control decks and praying that your narrow answers line up against whatever random crap the opponent was doing; that definitely resonated with at least a few jaded control mages in this thread. This kind of rule reduces non-games due to bad openers and mismatched answers, the net impact of which will likely far exceed the net loss of the rogue factor and deck identification. This is especially true when the rogue factor tends to favor linear, non-interactive decks that play bizarre threats which aren't readily identified or answered.

    For instance, imagine opponent leads T1 Seachrome Coast into SV, going top/bottom. You're on UW Control on the draw. You have the option of going T1 Hallowed Fountain --> SV or T1 Fountain and hold mana for Path. What do you do? You're probably playing against Ad Nausaem or Cheeri0s or some weird As Foretold brew in my experience, and the SV line is an almost guaranteed auto-lose against Cheeri0s, whereas the Path line is a free turn lost to Ad Nauseam. But if you know your opponent's decklist, now you can make an informed decision and we can play a game of Magic, not a game Guess Who where you have only one guess. You're 80%+ to be right if you guess Ad Nauseam, because it's way more common, but if you guess wrong you just lose flat out. That's not a fulfilling game experience by any measure, and it's the kind of non-game that interactive players loathe. We can think of similar examples when trying to evaluate a Storm vs. Izzet Phoenix start and deciding what to hold up and play around.

    Overall, if you're playing predominantly linear decks where an opponent's lines don't really matter, this rule disadvantages your deck and strategy. But if you're playing an interactive deck where you need to line up answers and gameplan against an opposing deck in a varied field, it's a huge advantage. Given that many of Modern's chief complaints focus on non-games, ships passing in the night, weak interactive decks, excessive diversity that is hard to metagame against, etc., this should be an overall boon for the format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Although the London Mulligan is the tournament's big change, my favorite change is actually the newly announced decklist rule:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/bbsqqu/mythic_championship_london_decklists_viewable_by/

    Due to the success of the Twitch decklist overlay, all opponents will now have access to each others' decklists before a game starts. I'm a huge fan of this in a format where knowing your opponent's strategy can only reduce variance and help interactive decks. How many times have interactive players kept seemingly strong opening 7s only to find that their answers line up poorly against an opponent's threats? That's one of the main reasons to not play interactive decks in Modern period, and this new rule is a great administrative way to address the issue.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    CF has Henke's newest MWP analysis up for GP Bilbao. Whir Prison is again at the top of the pile:
    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/bilbao-braggings-the-full-story-of-who-beats-whom-in-modern/

    This is super relevant to WAR evaluation because new Karn is at the least a marginal upgrade to Whir and at the most a significant one. I always bet on cards in New sets that have natural, top-tier homes. Between Whir and Tron and all the fringe stuff, expect new Karn to make a big Modern splash (if you didn't expect it already).
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    Quote from genini2 »

    His minus ability is his greatest value since it allows you a miracle sideboard plan, but how much better is this than just casting a Wurmcoil/Big Karn on turn 3. You have to give up your sideboard, it has to be <4 CMC artifacts and you have to assemble Tron on turn 3 with the ability to cast something which is about a 20% chance to have Tron and being able to cast 7 mana worth of spells on turn 3.

    The -2 ability is really good and actually addresses some of Tron's worst matchups. For instance, Tron can now go T3 Karn into same-turn Bridge for aggro, Trinisphere for combo, Needle/Orb/Cage for different unfair decks, Crucible to stop Field/LD, Spellskite for protection, etc. T3 Karn/Bridge is even stronger with the new London Mulligan rule too, as you can actually take advantage of the fewer cards in your opening hand; Tron already benefited from that rule anyway without this new synergy. This doesn't really affect Tron's SB as they were running some of these cards as bullets anyway: Crucible and Cage, notably. Then it's just a matter of freeing up 1-3 slots for the other bullets.
    His ability to combo with Mycosynth Lattic is perhaps his greatest ability, but they need 10 mana to do it in one turn otherwise hand disruption stops them and then you still have countermagic, Lightning Bolt, creatures already in play. That's not to say they won't run the lattice because given up a SB slot to win the game is worthwhile, but this karn is just too overblown. It doesn't make the matchups where Tron suffers better.

    Again, this is not remotely his best ability or synergy. T3 Karn Liberated was already a virtual scoop phase play against control and midrange in most cases. T3 new Karn into T4 Lattice is backbreaking against those same decks, sure, but Tron already had the backbreaking T3 play anyway with old Karn. Nothing new here. As I've said numerous times, this is just icing. It's not the thing that makes Karn good alone or in Tron. Karn is good because he directly addresses some Tron problems through a T3 Karn into 1-3 CMC artifact line. Emphasizing the Karn into Lattice line as a reason to play Karn is like focusing on Teferi's self-tuck ability as the reason to play Teferi. Yes, bottoming Teferi does win control grinds, but you were probably already winning from burying them in card and mana advantage from the +1 ability. It's the same with Karn. Karn into Lattice will probably mean game over against control and midrange, but Tron was already winning those matchups. Karn into Bridge/3Sphere/Cage/Crucible/etc., however, is a totally new line that gives Tron new edges in matchups that were historically bad. That's why Karn is good. The Lattice cuteness is at best a neat bonus and at worst a distraction.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    I mean technically you can do both bridge and lattice. If its aggro Bridge comes in from Karn. If its Control or Midrange then in comes Lattice.

    Quote from DaveJacinto »
    You can go Turn 3 Karn (7mana) into Turn 4 Karn (4mana)+Lattice... This line of play isn't that difficult to come up... if you play 8Karn + 4 Stirrings it's actually quite easy to pull off. There has been a non-zero amount of times that I've been Turn 3 Karn into Turn 4 Ulamog...

    Against Burn for example, if you lock them out of burn spells they don't have a good way to get rid of the 4mana Karn. It's not unbeatable but it's really strong.

    I'm not saying Karn and Lattice is completely irrelevant. I'm saying that the reason to hype Karn is Karn himself, plus his synergy with bullet artifacts and Bridge. Lattice is icing. People are focusing on this corner case Lattice combo, when it's just a small reason to talk about the card. It would be like evaluating DOM Teferi and hyping him because it will break Esper Control. Yes, Teferi is clearly a good card, but Teferi in Esper is just missing the best synergies of the card. Karn will also be good, but Lattice is a very small reason for that.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    I mean how fast does Tron usually get 10 mana? Yes a 10 mana combo is irrelevant usually but that is because most decks don't get that much mana ever but that is not true for Tron.

    They can go T3 new Karn, T4 Lattice. If left undisrupted, this shuts down an opponent's mana completely. But what does that do for Tron? That seems good against midrange and control, but Tron is already good against midrange and control. It doesn't do anything to stop Burn or Dredge or H1 or HS Affinity or the other aggressive decks that actually cause Tron issues. It's a small edge in an already favorable set of matchups, I.e. totally fair and appropriate for Modern.

    Karn into Bridge is much more relevant. Decks that can leverage this synergy will be very successful. Lattice is a cute distraction that generates hype but won't be a significant reason for Karn's success. You can definitely rebuild the Tron engine to abuse new Karn, but Lattice is one of the less relevant factors in that deck's potential viability.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    Quote from ElectricEye »
    If a ten mana combo starts taking over the format they can always ban, you know, the card that makes ten mana not extremely difficult to assemble.

    Quote from DaveJacinto »
    Quote from The Fluff »
    Quote from spawnofhastur »
    If Karn is real I'm... unhappy.

    He's a one card combo in big mana decks. 4 mana Karn, -2, get Mycosynth Lattice, cast it for 6. Enjoy not having lands! Grin


    turning every land into an artifact land, and Null Rod Karn to shut them down. I wonder how many turns it would take tron to deploy this lockdown?

    Makes me thankful there are no Tron players in the lgs I go to...
    It's 10 mana lockdown. It can be deployed as soon as turn 4. Against an empty board is instant win. The +1 bombimb lands and being Affinity/Hardened Scales/Whir hate is broken. It kills Opals with the +1...

    I think they pushed it a little too much.

    Ignoring all the ways you can answer the combo, INCLUDING Lightning Bolt, it's just really not that scary even on its own. Expensive, two card combos over two turns are totally fine for Modern. Vannifar is another two/"one" card combo over two turns that is equally acceptable, and that one actually wins the game. Lattice doesn't even do that much! Just look at how this lines up against Modern's best decks. It's just another strong, semi-cute line in a format packed with strong lines.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    People here and on Reddit are unsurprisingly over-exaggerating the impact of Karn/Lattice. That combo is more than appropriately powered for Modern. If any element of Karn is relevant at a top-tier level, it's the ability to more reliably get Bridge or other bullets, not Lattice. Lattice is just icing. But again, this is super appropriate combo and card for Modern's high-powered metagame. Doubly so for Teferi.

    Dovin's Veto is a UW uncountable Negate. This will be an instant UWx staple for decks already playing Negate. Liliana's Verdict is Diabolic Edict with not one but two upsides: it dodges Leyline and discards if you have a Lily out. This too will be SB material and may be maindeckable in the right deck and meta.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    In other news, this countdown resetting and the ensuing Twitch reaction is pretty entertaining. At least the panel is also being delayed and we aren't just missing it because of bad tech.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [WAR] War of the Spark Previews: Modern Discussion
    With MH just around the corner, I am actually not looking forward to some of the cards I typically look for in new sets: powerful/generic answers, better card selection, reprints of Modern appropriate cards, etc. I think MH is going to address those issues more directly. Instead, I am looking forward to some Knight of the Reliquary-style versatile answers for a BO1/Standard/Arena world. Charms, commands, modal creatures, etc. will likely be on the menu as preview season continues. Given the fact that WAR has so many walkers, increasing the need to interact with additional permanent types, I think this is a reasonable prediction.

    I would also love to see more 3 and even 2 mana walkers to boost various Modern strategies. A cheap BGx themed walker that attacked the GY would be great. Or a Wx walker that taxed opposing spells. This might be more appropriate for MH, but maybe WAR gives us some bones.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from Earthbound21 »
    Xerox decks remain the problem, despite players loving to play them. There is very little counter play in existence to them. It's no surprise Chalice, Tron, and Amulet decks are rising.

    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/decks-like-deaths-shadow-will-always-become-the-best-deck/

    http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/1360/turbo-xerox-and-monastery-mentor


    That channel fireball article is interesting and I'll finish it later. But I disagree with preordain being unfit for modern play.
    I feel like it is the line that would ensure control decks can hit their land drops while also lowering overall land count, stopping them control decks missing their land drops so they just die.

    You could say but it also allows them to dig for combo pieces but I feel like the gain for decks that beat combo/xerox would be better than for the xerox (faithless looting is probably more powerful than preordain in the current meta).

    On the one hand, I agree that for the most part, non-rotating format metagames will gravitate towards cantrip-heavy Xerox decks. They provide more options and consistency, which generally makes for a stronger deck. This is doubly noticeable in high-level events with top players, who personally want to play the kind of high consistency, low variance, high selection decks enabled by cantrips. I fully expect the MC to be overrun with Phoenix due to this pro preference and the fact that IP is a clear Tier 1 deck, if not the clear best deck.

    On the other hand, this gravitation doesn't fully explain IP's current dominance. GDS never came close to these numbers in the past. Indeed, peak 2017 GDS performance never really exceeded peak Tron or Humans performance in 2018, and only one of those decks (Tron) has any resemblance to a Xerox deck: Stirrings, Sphere, and Star provide a LOT of velocity and selection. Even there, however, it's clearly not true Driver-Deck Xerox. Other factors are driving IP's run aside from simple Xerox gravitation and success.

    I fully believe part of that drive is an echo chamber effect that trumpets IP as a best deck, with many players seeing no reason to disagree and picking it up blindly. They aren't wrong that it's a best deck, but they also are probably overselling the degree that it's the best. Another driving factor hss got to be Arena and Standard, which have pulled many away from Modern. When they return to the format after spending hours/days in Arena land, it's easy to audible to a deck that has such proven success. Add in the deck's inherent power/resilience/consistency, and the Magic community's penchant for alarmism instead of adaptation, and you have a perfect storm of factors leading to a 20%+ deck. This makes IP a different metagame force than GDS, which did not have all these factors at play to the same extent.
    Posted in: Modern
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