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  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]
    Retrospective

    What worked:
    Vote counts/general mod attentiveness
    Activity of the game (in-game and in spectator chat)
    Flavorful, clean role design

    What didn't work:
    Cantrip's role
    Lack of day/night flavor
    Deadline extension requests
    General scumteam composition/Balance

    Want to address general mod issues before I dive into the play of this game.

    First off: Was really happy with my attentiveness as a mod this game, with regards to vote counts and mod questions. Tried to do a vote count nearly every 24 hours, with more sometimes depending on thread activity, and I think that was what really helped the game feel smooth and conclude in around two months (!). I think that's fairly rare among MTGS Specialties and I hope it becomes the norm in the future. I think in this new era of mafia, where real-time interaction is prized, having vote counts every 48 or 72 hours is not going to be good enough for your players. They expect to get mod questions answered immediately (via Discord or PM) and expect vote counts on the regular. I think that if you are active as a mod, your players will reciprocrate it and be active themselves, while if you're sluggish as a mod, there's less incentive to post as a player. Not sure how accurately that tracks, but I wanted this game to be all about the players, so I tried to do everything I could to make their game experience as fun/accomodating as possible.

    One thing that I started to do was lock the game thread during Nights. This was something that I wanted to do because I've been in multiple games where people posted during the Night accidentally and it could be used to potentially confirm their alignment. Not sure how I feel about it because it does basically say to the playerbase "I don't trust you all enough to not accidentially post in the game threat at Night" but I would hate if people used a mistaken Night post to get out of game information about a player's alignment.

    I was quite happy with how active the game was and in particular, how active the spectator chat was. My most favorite memories of MTGS Mafia back in the day was hanging out in spec chat with a bunch of experienced players and listening to their wisdom and observations about the current game-state. I remember I was so obsessed with this stupid game that I read old QuickTopics at lunchtime when I was in high school. (Probably should have been doing literally anything else with my time, but I enjoyed it!) I'm glad that this game's spectator chat was so active, because it meant that people were invested about the outcome of the game and cared about it.

    The last thing that I'd like to touch on is that I thought the general role design was successful for the most part. I think this game perfectly exemplifies the way that good specialties should be designed. IMO, good specialties should be designed in a way where every player gets a role, but each individual role is either narrow or weak. This reduces the inherent swing of Specialties and makes the endgame become more about behavioral analysis and analyzing the validity of claims, rather than it being "this person is scum because [mechanical reason]". If you want to figure out night actions/mechanical logic over behavior, then there are other sites that cater to that. But one of the reasons why MTGS Mafia still continues to this day is because of the emphasis of strong behavioral analysis over anything else, IMO.

    Think my most favorite roles were KittyCupCake's role and osieorb's role on the town side, and Azrael's role on the mafia side. Even though it didn't happen in this game, it would have been fun to see the town react to the public announcing of the Tron lands. I like KCC's role a lot because enabling private communication between any two players just adds more fun to the game. I really enjoyed reading Cantripmancer's and Vaimes's chat up until they died. osie's role I liked because it has so many decision points - when do you use it, and what choices/targets you select, are all choices that can either make the role a simple french vanilla role or a powerful one that impacts the game.

    ----

    As for things that I think could have improved on:

    I think Cantrip's role was kind of a mess and it was the only role in the game that required outside M:tG knowledge, and I should have probably just redesigned it. My goal of the role was to get the Meddling Mage flavor on a mafia role but it was done in a way where 1) the role was just extremely confusing for anyone who isn't familiar with Magic/the Modern metagame and 2) the role either did nothing or it punished the mafia for using their mod-provided falseclaims, as it did here. Imagine if the role randed onto someone like Vaimes, for instance. I do think it's a pretty cool top-down design objectively speaking but the play patterns of the role are just not great.

    The lack of day/night flavor is just purely my fault, but I'm not sure who even reads in-game flavor unless a lot of time was put into it anyways. One thing I am considering if I ever design a mafia game in the future is just pre-writing all of the flavor in advance so I don't have to come up with contrived flavor scenes written from my not-very-creative brain at awkward hours of the day. In my opinion though, I think players appreciate timely EoD lynch scene postings over you spending an extra two hours delaying the flip just so you can write some poorly written fanfiction, so that was what I was going for throughout the mid-end game there.

    At the end of Day 1, the deadline extension requests were interesting to me because some players requested through PM strongly objecting to a deadline extension request. This occured to me that the very act of requesting a deadline extension could be alignment indicative. Moving forward I would probably just tell everyone to PM me their specifications on deadline extensions because then it is purely an out of game thing and not something that could factor into a player's read on someone else. This is something super minor but I wanted to bring it up anyways.

    I talked about game balance a lot in the spectator chat, so if you want some more insight on my design philosophies then you can feel free to read in there. Generally speaking, when designing a complicated game of this caliber, my measure for balance is asking myself "does each side have a chance to win the game" rather than trying to aim for 50/50 perfect balance. The reason for this is because it's essentially impossible to determine perfect balance in a complex game like this one. I think this game was probably 55/45 in favor of the town here because some of the town's roles were more powerful than I were anticipating (Cantrip's role) and I think that the scum's power level should have been evened out a little more. The mafia had one extremely powerful role (Azrael's Tron) and a lot more weaker roles (Grapefruit's delayer, Lastwhisper's Izzet Phoenix role). Think if I upgrade the delayer to a straight roleblocker and probably gave Lastwhisper a trinket ability then it becomes a little closer to 50/50. This was the first time that I concentrated a lot of the mafia's power on having proveable falseclaims as opposed to having strong scum abilities, and I think I missed the mark a little bit there.

    ----

    As for the play: I think that this game had one of the most high-level playerbases I've seen recently in a MTGS game. A fair number of people came out of retirement for this one - KCC, dkings, Megiddo are people I haven't seen play a mafia game in years, and the average player quality was extremely high. Thus, I think that no matter what scumteam this playerbase randed, they were going to have a tough time.

    I think the town were absolutely outplaying the scum during Days 1 and 2. Think scum suffered some activity/thread presence issues during Day 1 - Azrael/tom were low activity, and Lastwhisper was trying to find a footing in the thread after Syrenz replaced out, while I think Grapefruit was on the middling end of the activity spectrum. I think this general lack of thread presence during Day 1 really served to put them on the back foot in the early game. Meanwhile, the town was just on fire - Rhand and dkings in particular were projecting their towniness quite well and had very accurate reads. It's hard to imagine a player as good as Azrael get lynched Day 1, but in a high-caliber playerlist like this one, nobody is really off the table.

    Day 2 was going decently well for the scum since tom was able to hold the entire thread hostage by sitting on his daykill, but Axelrod's last-second case on Grapefruit, plus Grapefruit not claiming optimally resulted in his lynch. From there, scum were really against the wall - Vaimes had a hit counter on Lastwhisper and tom was still under some suspicion with how he utilized his daykill to essentially murder a townie in pure daylight. Plus, Cantrip was essentially cop-checking tom too.

    The fact that they were able to pull off town lynches Days 3 and 4 was nothing short of a miracle, yet they did. I think this was a combination of the following factors:

    - Complacency with already lynching two scum
    - Both of the scum navigating a very narrow tightrope to push suspicion on the other behaviorally suspect townies
    - Vaimes vigging KCC over Last
    - Cantrip not trusting his own results

    It was extremely impressive that tom was able to slink out of the noose for so long and force the game into a lylo situation when the town was massively ahead over the scumteam. Due to tom's daykill and Vaimes's misvig, the town essentially had one less mislynch to work with, so the town only had three total mislynches to work with. Lylo was especially funny, as there were three confirmed town (Sir Chris/Axelrod/shadowlancerx) versus two unknowns (vezok/last) and the town was able to successfully get there.

    Think I have to give Axelrod the Town MVP status and tomsloger the Mafia MVP status, though.

    Axelrod just fit in the archetype of players I like to call "quietly competent". Not always the flashiest player; not always the most loud player; but just very consistently /correct/ and was able to remove himself from the mislynch pool early by catching Grape. He was specifically a very huge boon in lylo as well; putting in nearly all of the work to determine the last scum by himself. I know he had some quibbles about how weak his role was but I thought he was able to use it fantastically in order to trap the last scum in a checkmate position.

    tomsloger, on the other hand, deserves major props to being stone-faced and being able to convince the majority of the town to go along with the Killjoy and osieorb mislynches before finally being felled himself. If lastwhisper was able to convince the town to lynch vez then I would have given the MVP to him. Either way, both of the surviving scum played fantastically and both deserve major props for their play.

    Was also quite impressed by Rhand, dkings, osie (for solving the game despite his mislynch), Lastwhisper, and shadow's performances.

    And that's mostly all I've got. Can expound on different parts of this game if you have a specific question; I love talking about mafia despite not having a whole lot of time to play the game these days.

    Thanks for osieorb, Megiddo, and Lastwhisper for replacing in, and thanks to Bur and Silvercrys for reviewing this monstrosity of a game. I know I designed this game about a year ago, and the review process took around a month or two, then queue limbo caused this game to be put on the backburner for a couple of months - in case you were wondering how long the process is to run a game like this one is.

    And thanks to everyone who played this game, too. I'll probably poke my head back in here when I have a little more free time and play a game or two. Just.. not a fan of Micros since it's not "real mafia" to me, and I think I've reviewed a fair number of games on the queue. Not sure what setup I'll design next but you'll probably know once it goes in signups.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]
    I'll get the writeup for this game done sometime late Thurs/Fri, since there's quite a bit I'd like to get to.

    Thank you everyone for the positive comments; felt like this game was enjoyable to a lot of people despite some rough goings D1.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]
    Cantripmancer - does not use an action
    Killjoy - does not use an action
    Vaimes - targets lastwhisper, puts a hit counter on him
    Rhand - target Grapefruit. GF will gain an extra vote
    Fuwa - does not use an action
    KittyCupCake - target Vaimes and Cantripmancer. They both will gain a permanent neighbor chat.
    beeboy - protects Vaimes (gets delayed)

    Wisp - kills Rhand (succeeds)
    tomsloger - rolecops dkings twice (succeeds, learns that dkings is Jeskai Control, Town Backup)
    Grapefruit - delays beeboy (succeeds)
    Azrael - gifts tom daykill (succeeds)
    Cantripmancer - targets Tom naming Infect (succeeds, learns Tom is not Infect)
    Killjoy -
    Vaimes - targets KCC (succeeds, puts a hit counter on KCC)
    osieorb18 - watches vezokpiraka, docs Vaimes (succeeds)
    KittyCupCake - target KCC and Axelrod. They both will gain a permanent neighbor chat.
    Megiddo - protects Vaimes (will succeed, but will die to protecting Vaimes)

    Wisp - kills Megiddo (succeeds)
    tomsloger - rolecops Vaimes twice (succeeds, learns that Vaimes is Burn, Town Slow Vig)
    Vaimes kills KCC
    Sir Chris tracks KCC
    Cantripmancer targets tomsloger naming Infect (fails)
    vezokpiraka GAINS a doctor ability and docs Axelrod
    KCC targets tomsloger and KCC
    Killjoy asceticizes Cantripmancer (succeeds)

    tomsloger kills Vaimes, succeeds
    Lastwhisper targets tomsloger and grapefruit (succeeds, learns that tom IS aligned with grapefruit)
    Sir Chris tracks shadowlancerx (succeeds, learns that shadow targeted nobody)
    Cantripmancer declares no action
    vezokpiraka motion detectors Tom (succeeds, learns that tom has had an action performed by him or on him)

    tomsloger kills Cantrip (succeeds)
    Lastwhisper does nothing
    Lastwhisper kills Axelrod (succeeds)
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]
    Role PMs:



    Humans

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: Bursting onto the Modern scene with Collins Mullen’s undefeated win at SCG Cincinnati last year, you’ve quickly grown to become one of the most powerful and one of the most popular decks in Modern. And it’s easy to see why - people love their tribal decks, and the Human tribe offers strong disruption against combo decks with the one-two punch of Kitesail Freebooter and Meddling Mage, in addition to other disruptive threats such as Reflector Mage and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Couple this with a blazing-fast clock headlined by threats such as Champion of the Parish and Mantis Rider, and it’s easy to see why you’re one of the best decks in the format today.

    Even though you play with the world’s wonkiest manabase, you win with good old creature combat, so there’s not much about the deck that is unfair. If people just manage to resolve sweepers or point removal at your puny little dudes, then there’s not much you can do to fight back. There are some degenerate decks lying around in this tournament, and you’re here to show them that 37 creatures, 4 copies of Aether Vial, and 19 lands is the way to go.

    Abilities: Meddling Mage (three-shot) - Each Night, you may target a player and name a deck from the MTGGoldfish Modern page (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/modern/full#paper) You will check to see if the player you have targeted has the same name as the deck you named. If you guess correctly, you will be notified of that fact and roleblock that player that Night, preventing them from using any activated abilities. If you guess wrong, you will be notified of that fact as well. You have three shots of this ability.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Dredge

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: Good old Dredge, the mechanic that R&D printed in the OG Ravnica set and has become a scourge in eternal formats ever since.The good old days when Golgari-Grave Troll was unbanned are no longer here, however, and you were relegated to a fringe player in the Modern format until the set Guilds of Ravnica was released. From there, you gained a new friend in the form of the card Creeping Chill, which, over the course of a game, provides a 24-point life swing and gave you not only the speed to close out games that you previously lost against, but the life buffer to protect against something like Burn.

    Now you are a new tier 1 player in the Modern metagame and are ready to pounce on any decks that didn’t come with a couple of copies of Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void in their sideboards. Dredge is just good old-fashioned graveyard solitaire - you're pretty much hoping to do your thing every single turn, and if you care about what your opponent is up to then you are probably going to lose.

    Abilities: Bloodghast - When you die, you will come back as a Tree Stump for the next Day phase. This means that you will not have a vote, but you will still be able to talk. You will permanently vanish once the Day phase is over. Use your time wisely!

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Bant Spirits

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: Previously a fringe player in the Modern metagame (championed by players such as Caleb Durward and Kat Light), you received a huge power buff once Core Set 2019 released and the card Supreme Phantom was released. Supreme Phantom gave you another 2-drop and another lord effect, providing 8 lord effects (Supreme Phantom and Drogskol Captain) in addition to any special copying if Phantasmal Image copied one of your lords. With this, Bant Spirits has grown to become a solid contender deck in the Modern metagame, with its ability to race effectively with multiple lord effects + being able to fly over the competition.

    In addition, you’re a tribe that has disruptive elements, with Mausoleum Wanderer acting as a walking Force Spike and the powerful Spell Queller letting you interact with cards on the stack. Couple that with the natural resiliency of the Spirits with the card Selfless Spirit and Drogskol Captain (giving your Spirits indestructible and hexproof, respectively) means that you can win many tournaments on a good day.

    Abilities:
    Rattlechains - You can’t be targeted by non-killing abilities.
    Drogskol Captain - Once per game, at Night, you may target a player. That player will be unable to be targeted by non-killing abilities as long as you are alive. You will make all non-killing abilities that target that player that Night fail as well.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Jeskai Control

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: While you may not be the most popular control deck at the moment (that honor probably goes to UW Control), you still have legs in the format and can out-control any deck on a good day. The keys to your success can be summed up by two factors:

    One was the printing of Search for Azcanta in Ixalan. That card, only costing two mana, helps you filter your draws in the early game and allows you to make your land drops/find your relevant spells. In the late game, it transforms into Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin, which draws you a relevant spell each turn, and, being a land, is absurdly difficult to interact with unless you are packing some specialized hate such as Field of Ruin. You are prone to making one-for-one trades in the early game, and Search for Azcanta helps you convert those one-for-one trades into a sea of relevant cards late-game.

    The second card is Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. This card essentially costs 3 mana because his +1 ability allows you to untap two lands, and that leaves you with the ability to interact with one-mana cards such as Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile. Teferi is essentially a one-sided Howling Mine that, as a bonus, deals with all sorts of problematic permanents and is a win condition by himself, as well as providing you with extra mana thanks to his +1 ability. Teferi is possibly the most powerful planeswalker of all time, and having him on your side will surely help you get some match wins.

    Abilities: Snapcaster Mage - Once per game, at Night, you may target a dead town player. You will learn all abilities that player has. That Night, if they have any activated abilities during the Night, you can activate their abilities as though they were yours. Please PM me if you have specific questions about how this ability interacts with other abilities in the game.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Jund

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: Make Jund Great Again

    King of midrange in Modern, Jund is simply a collection of the most powerful black, red, and green cards in Modern and the manabase to support it. Previously Jund was unplayable because there was simply no reason to strain the manabase in your BG midrange deck for some measly Lightning Bolts and Kolaghan’s Command, but Bloodbraid Elf was released from the Banned List on February 12, 2018. She has finally make Jund Great Again, for its ability to apply pressure as well as generate card advantage. Jund has also experienced a resurgence because of the new Modern Horizon card Wrenn and Six, which has allowed Jund to have a very cheap planeswalker that can pick off one-toughness threats and draw lands every turn, ensuring that Jund will always be able to hit its land drops.

    The deck is simple - Thoughtseize/Inquisition of Kozilek turn 1 to disrupt your opponent’s gameplan and to figure out exactly what your opponent is cooking with, Dark Confidant on 2 to continuously generate card advantage every turn he sticks on the battlefield, Liliana of the Veil on 3 to provide a valuable edict effect and to reduce the number of resources your opponents have to work with, and finally Bloodbraid Elf on 4 to provide you with a 3/2 haster that gives you extra resources to play around with. Combine that with the best removal spells in Modern - Assassin’s Trophy, Fatal Push, Lightning Bolt - and, as long as your spells line up against your opponent’s, you will beat them into the ground with the most powerful Modern-legal spells Modern has to offer.

    Abilities: Tireless Tracker - Every time the town mislynches a player, if that player was town, you will receive a Clue token. Each Night, you may spend a Clue token to target a player. You will track that player, learning who that player targets at Night.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Burn

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: One of the mainstays of the Modern format, Burn is relatively inexpensive, fairly strong, and pretty easy to pick up and play with. Basically, it’s the “fun police” of the Modern format - if you’re trying to do anything that resembles a lot of durdling, Burn can show up and put you in your place with its Goblin Guides, Lava Spikes, and Searing Blazes. Burn is a highly linear deck that basically tries to make 7 of its cards deal 3 damage to you. If it gets there, then you’re dead. If you can kill them faster than they can deal damage to you, then they’re dead.

    The most powerful thing about this deck is its consistency and clock. Nearly all of Burn’s spells do the same thing, and with most hands you can assemble turn 4 or turn 5 kills even through interaction. Not to mention that Burn recently got some nice upgrades with the advent of the new set, Ravnica Allegiance. The addition of Skewer the Critics and Light Up the Stage has made Burn even more slim and more consistent than ever before. Skewer the Critics is simply another 3 damage for one mana, while Light Up the Stage has given the deck access to some extremely cheap card advantage. Burn is always a powerful, consistent player in the Modern metagame - sleep on it at your own peril.

    Abilities: Lava Spike - Each Night, you can target a player. You will either put a hit counter on that player, or kill that player if they already have a hit counter on them.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Amulet Titan

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: Widely known as one of the most difficult decks in Modern to pilot (and affectionately known as AmuLIT), Amulet Titan used to be one of the most degenerate decks in Modern when the card Summer Bloom was legal. Thankfully, the card has disappeared to the banned list, but that doesn’t change the fact that this deck is still alive and kicking as one of the best big mana decks in Modern.

    The card Amulet of Vigor allows all of the deck’s bouncelands to enter play untapped, which means that you can tap them for two mana immediately and generate extra mana. The deck then tries to cast the card Primeval Titan with all of that extra mana, using Primeval Titan to fetch up two lands - Slayer’s Stronghold and Boros Garrison. Boros Garrison can be used to activate Slayer’s Stronghold, giving the Primeval Titan +2/+0. You then attack with Primeval Titan, finding Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion, which allows you to give your Primeval Titan double strike. 16 damage and four free land drops should be enough to kill your opponent, especially if they took damage earlier in the game due to their own fetchlands and shocklands. In addition, the deck has many ways to recover if the first Primeval Titan gets killed - it is extremely consistent due to playing with the cards Tolaria West, Ancient Stirrings, and Summoner’s Pact. Tolaria West can go grab Summoner’s Pact, which can go grab a Primeval Titan. Ancient Stirrings is simply one of the best cards in Modern and can find an Amulet of Vigor or one of your many bouncelands, or a Walking Ballista - which can also be found with Tolaria West. It is a highly complex, difficult to play deck due to the amount of options you have as well as sequencing your lands, but with correct play it has the potential to be one of the strongest decks in Modern. Two copies of the deck met in the finals of SCG Charlotte, so it is definitely experiencing a resurgence in the Modern metagame.

    Abilities: Amulet of Vigor - Each Night, you can target a player (including yourself). You will grant that player an extra vote the following Day. Once you have targeted a player, you may not target that player again for the rest of the game. This extra vote does not apply during LyLo.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    UW Control

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: A close cousin of Jeskai Control, you’ve been a deck in Modern for years but the tools were never just quite there to find a successful UW Control build in Modern until somewhat recently. The reason why UW Control is now a successful deck in Modern is due to the unbanning of Jace, the Mind Sculptor in Modern. Jace, while not great in Modern, is still completely absurd if you manage to untap with him on an empty battlefield, due to acting as a win condition with his ultimate, card advantage engine with his Brainstorm ability, and a way to affect the battlefield with his bounce ability. While Jace hasn’t had the reign of terror like he has in Standard and Legacy, he works extremely well with your other tool in the toolbox: Terminus.

    With so many decks in Modern being creature-heavy these days, a single Terminus off the top can spell disaster for your opponent, as putting all creatures on the bottom of their owner’s libraries is something that gets around hexproof, indestructible, death triggers, and doesn’t put creatures into their owner’s graveyards - it’s the most ultimate form of board-wipe there is. Being able to cast Terminus at instant speed by casting Opt and drawing it for your turn is also completely absurd, as you’ve just blanked you opponent’s combat phase and it gives you a turn to deploy your Planeswalkers on an empty battlefield. Couple this with an extremely consistent manabase, some of the best spells ever printed (Narset, Parter of Veils, Path to Exile, Ancestral Vision) as well as the addition of Field of Ruin to interact with your opponent’s lands, and it’s easy to see why you’re one of the top control decks in Modern right now.

    Abilities: Cryptic Command (one-shot) - Once per game at Night, you may choose two of these four abilities:
    Choose a player and roleblock them.
    Choose a player. They cannot be killed that Night.
    Choose a player. You will be able to chat with that player in private for the following Day.
    Choose a player. You will watch that player, learning the names of everyone who targets that player.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Titanshift

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: A deck that is relatively easy to play, powerful, and consistent - what’s not to love? Titanshift is a RG ramp deck that utilizes the one-card combo known as Scapeshift to devastate its opponents and win the game. The way the combo works is, with seven lands, you cast the card Scapeshift, sacrificing all of your lands and searching your library for a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and six other Mountains. This will trigger Valakut six times, which means that your opponent will be hit with 18 direct damage directly to the face. While that’s not 20, your opponent will have likely taken some incidental damage off of their own manabase, and every Mountain you play after that will deal 3 damage to the opponent, so it is generally enough.

    The way the deck works is it utilizes a lot of ramp in the early game (coupled with some interaction in Lightning Bolt and Anger of the Gods to ensure it doesn’t lose early) in order to get to that all-important sixth and seventh land. Once Titanshift reaches six mana, it can cast Primeval Titan, a creature that can fetch Valakut itself and spread damage around the battlefield. Swinging in with the Titan nearly always ends the game from there.

    While Titanshift may not be the fastest combo deck, it is consistent, has inevitability in long games, and has a simple gameplan. Good enough for Modern!

    Abilities: Scapeshift - Once per game, during the Day, you may PM the mod to reveal your alignment. The mod will publicly confirm you as the role Titanshift and reveal you as confirmed town.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Hollow One

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: A deck best described as "weaponized variance", Hollow One rose to the forefront of the Modern metagame by Ken Yukuhiro's performance in PT Rivals of Ixalan at the beginning of 2018.

    In a format as wacky and wild as Modern, Hollow One has to probably take the cake as one of the craziest decks of all. The deck relies on cards that literally have the word "random" on them - Burning Inquiry and Goblin Lore - to put a bunch of recursive creatures into the graveyard and to enable cards such as Hollow One - which becomes cheaper the more cards you discard - and Flameblade Adept, which becomes larger the more cards you discard.

    The deck has a lot of inherent randomness associated with it, but it is still remarkably consistent in terms of executing its game plan, which is to play a bunch of 0 mana 4/4s turns 1 and 2. The key with this deck is that the cards Burning Inquiry and Goblin Lore help you because there are often cards that you want to get into your graveyard, while Burning Inquiry could just "randomly" discard all of your opponent's lands from their hand.

    In the words of a wise Brennan DeCandio, "Yes, it's better than Ancestral Recall. Yes, it's better than Black Lotus. Yes it's better than Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Because sometimes it's all those cards all at once for only one mana."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzffGO4H1sk&feature=youtu.be

    Abilities: Burning Inquiry - At the beginning of each Night, if you voted for a town player the previous Day and mislynched them, you will gain a random one-shot ability to use. These abilities include:

    Target a player. You will learn who that player targeted tonight. (Track)
    Target a player. You will learn what deck that player is. (Namecop)
    Target a player. You will learn if any actions were performed on or by a player. (Motion Detector)
    Target a player. You will protect that player, preventing them from being killed tonight. (Doctor)
    Target a player. If that player would be killed tonight, you will die instead. (Bodyguard)

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Affinity

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: You can never keep Affinity down. The deck’s been a constant player in the Modern metagame since the format’s inception, all due to one somewhat innocuous and busted card if you build your deck around it, Mox Opal.

    Mox Opal, if you can enable metalcraft, is a legendary Mox that can tap for one mana of any color. Moxen are some of the most powerful cards in the history of Magic, because they allow you to accelerate your mana development without being encumbered with the “one land per turn” equalizer of the game. And Affinity is the perfect deck to take full advantage of Mox Opal. The deck is blistering fast and explosive, often dumping its entire hand onto the table as early as turns 1 and 2. From there, it can begin to bridge its way towards killing the opponent, with a combination of these three cards: Steel Overseer, Cranial Plating, and Arcbound Ravager.

    Steel Overseer, if it ever untaps, threatens to snowball the game out of proportion by increasing the size and strength of Affinity’s creatures. Cranial Plating, due to the deck being comprised of nearly all artifacts and lands, can represent a power boost of 5 or more and can threaten large chunks of damage every turn it stays on the field. And the most powerful payoff card of them all, Arcbound Ravager, allows the Affinity player to generate kills out of seemingly innocuous board states, by sacrificing all the artifacts to the Ravager and then sacrificing the Ravager itself, to put all of its +1/+1 counters on another creature.

    While you haven’t had the best overall metagame representation share of 2019, your deck is still as blazing fast as always, and you can definitely catch opponents off guard if they didn’t bring enough artifact hate. Never count Affinity out.

    Abilities: Signal Pest - Each Night, you may target two players. You will give a communication line to them, allowing those players to talk to each other whenever they want. You may target yourself with this ability.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.


    Ad Nauseum

    Alignment: Town

    Flavor: Ad Nauseum is one of the strangest and most unique decks in the entire format, but it does a very good job of preying on specific decks - namely, aggro decks that either try to get your life total down to 0 with limited interaction, or control decks that have a lot of interaction but don’t have a clock. Now, these decks may sound like polar opposites, but Ad Nauseum does a fantastic job of attacking both of those decks.

    To examine why, we have to figure out what Ad Nauseum’s gameplan is, in the first place. The goal of the deck is to cast the card Ad Nauseum to draw your entire deck, while having an effect that prevents you from losing the game when you cast Ad Nauseum. These two cards that prevent you from instantly losing the game are Phyrexian Unlife and Angel’s Grace. When you cast Ad Nauseum when either of these two cards are in effect, you will be able to draw your entire deck without any ill repercussions. Once you have your entire deck in your hand, victory is academic.

    You can pitch three copies of Simian Spirit Guide to make three red mana and cast the card Lightning Storm, to which you can then discard lands to while the card is on the stack in order to kill your opponent, or you can cast the card Laboratory Maniac, which states that win the game if you try to draw from an empty library, and draw a card.

    Now, how does this deck prey on decks that are on complete different ends of the metagame? Against the aggro decks, you can land an early Phyrexian Unlife and take advantage of the card giving you 10+ life in order to stabilize and cast a game-winning Ad Nauseum. And against the control decks, you can take advantage of the fact that the card Angel’s Grace cannot be countered, and the fact that Ad Nauseum is an instant. This means that whenever the control player tries to take an action that would allow them to advance the game - say, by casting a planeswalker - you can respond to that by casting Ad Nauseum, and win the game entirely at instant speed. This means that the control player can never tap out, which forces them to play the game on your terms instead of theirs.

    Ad Nauseum can struggle with decks that have a mix of pressure and disruption for its gameplan, but it is a powerful deck nonetheless and demands respect. Look forward to picking up your entire deck of cards and fanning it out in your hand, because you’ll be doing a lot of that when playing this deck.

    Abilities:
    Phyrexian Unlife - You have a one-shot bulletproof vest. The first time you would be killed at Night, instead you aren't.
    Angel's Grace - Once per game, you may target a player at Night. You will prevent them from being killed that Night.. When you use this ability, your bulletproof vest will be inactive for the Night.

    Win Condition: Expunge the tournament room of these degenerate decks.

    Mafia



    Tron

    Alignment: Mafia

    Flavor:

    WOW.
    F***.
    TRON.

    I mean, what else is there to say about your deck? All your deck is designed to do is to assemble the three Urzatron lands - the Power Plant, Mine, and Tower - and to get out the glorious Karnfather out on turn 3, ready to exile a permanent in play or a card in your opponent’s hand. If that isn’t enough, on turn 4, you can slam down another Tower, producing the full 10 mana, in order to play Ulamog and exile two MORE of your opponent’s permanents, as well as put in a nice and casual 10/10 with indestructible into play on turn 4. That’s right - not turn 10, when you’re supposed to cast Ulamog - TURN FRICKIN* 4.

    There’s a lot of Tron hate floating around this tournament and people hate playing against your deck because it feels like they didn’t get to play a real game of Magic, but in the end, only the score-sheet matters, and showing everyone the glory of the Karnfather and the power of the card Ancient Stirrings is what you’re here to do.

    Abilities: Assemble Tron - During phases Day 1, Night 1, and Day 2, you will put a Tron land into play (Urza's Mine, Urza's Tower, Urza's Power Plant). The thread will be publicly notified when a Tron land is put into play. Once you have assembled Tron (gotten one of each Urza's Tower, Urza's Mine, and Urza's Power Plant into play), you may activate any of your abilities once per Day/Night phase. (This means that if you activate one of your abilities during the Day, you cannot activate another one of your abilities aside from the factional nightkill that Night).

    All of your abilities are one-shot.

    Thought-Knot Seer: Might as well take a peek at what’s in their hand, right? Once per game, at Night, you may target a player. You will learn that player's role PM and roleblock them, preventing them from using any activated abilities.
    Wurmcoil Engine: The lifelink and dying into two more 3/3s makes Wurmcoil Engine a perfect stop to any aggressive deck. Once per game, at Night, you may activate this ability. You gain a one-shot bulletproof vest. (The next time you would be killed during the Night, instead you aren't. This bulletproof vest applies the Night you activate it.)
    Karn Liberated: Karn’s wrath is supreme. You may target a player during the Day with Karn's -3 by posting “Daykill PLAYERNAME” in the thread and instantly kill them. This kill happens during the Day and therefore is immune to any tracking effects and bulletproof effects.


    Ancient Stirrings: When you die, you may pick an unused one-shot ability you have currently remaining and target a player. You will give that ability to that player.

    Win Condition: Win the tournament.

    (Please PM me or talk with me if you have any questions about your role or do not understand it. It is without a doubt the most complex role in the game, and I want you to fully understand it before you start playing)


    Izzet Phoenix

    Alignment: Mafia

    Flavor: This deck was recently popularized at the end of 2018, when Ross Merriam, noted SCG Tour player, took this to a first-place finish at SCG Baltimore. This deck's power and popularity spread like wildfire soon after that, and now it's easily in the conversation for one of the best decks in the format. The centerpiece of the deck relies on a recently printed card, Arclight Phoenix, which returns itself from the graveyard to the battlefield if you cast three or more instants or sorceries that turn. That gives the deck access to a recursive hasty threat that can end games out of nowhere.

    In addition, the deck utilized the power of the card Thing in the Ice extremely well. This card is an 0/4 defender that, when you cast four or more instants or sorceries, transforms into a 7/8 beater that bounces all other non-Horror creatures to hand. The power of Thing in the Ice is the reason why this deck has such an excellent matchup against the other creature decks in the format - they cannot recover from the Evacuation-effect that Thing of the Ice offers.

    The final threat that defines Izzet Phoenix is Crackling Drake. In this deck, Crackling Drake is a 11 or 12 power flyer for 4 mana that cantrips when it enters the battlefield and threatens to end the game in one or two hits. In Ross's words, it's "suspend 1: win the game". The suite of threats that Izzet Phoenix presents makes it impossible to fight against all of them on any one axis. Relying on spot removal? Here are recursive Phoenixes. Relying on graveyard hate? Here are some Crackling Drakes which ignore graveyard hate. Couple this in a deck that runs mostly cantrips and you have yourself a deck that is extremely consistent at what it does and does unfair things - a good place to be in the Modern format.

    Abilities:
    Arclight Phoenix - You can't keep a good Phoenix down. You can continue to advise your mafia teammates even after you die in the game.
    Surgical Extraction (one-shot) - Once per game, at Night, you may target a dead player and a living player. You will learn if those two players share the same alignment.
    Aria of Flame - As long as you are alive, the mafia team has daychat.

    Win Condition: Win the tournament.


    Lantern Control

    Alignment: Mafia

    Flavor: This deck actually originated on these very boards - a user named zerodown posted in 2012 about a deck called “Top Control” which ran multiple removal spells along with the full package of mill rocks, including Codex Shredder and Ghoulcaller’s Bell. As time went on, the deck strayed away from these removal spells and more towards the card Ensnaring Bridge, because a single Bridge was able to invalidate countless swathes of creatures by making them unable to be attacked. This deck was then worked on more by Zac Elsik, a noted SCG Tour grinder and pro player, until he got 15th at GP Charlotte. He then refined and tuned the decklist even more, by adding more targeted discard in the form of Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize, as well as adding four copies of one of Modern’s most busted cards, Mox Opal. From there, Zac Elsik made a name for himself by winning GP Oklahoma City in September 2015, thereby placing this deck on the map.

    From there, this deck continued to be a small - but well known - quantity in the format, with people not often picking it up because of the deck’s tendency to make people ragequit (struggling against a Lantern Control player who has all of their lock pieces in play is one of the more unfun things to do in Magic) and due to the fact that the deck is difficult to play - you need to have a good understanding of how every other deck in the metagame operates in order to pilot this deck proficiently. It all came to a head when Luis Salvatto, the 2018 Player of the Year, won Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan with Lantern Control. From there, people called for this deck to be banned due to the unfun nature of the deck, but as quickly as the deck shot up to the top of the metagame, it began to disappear because the Modern metagame shifted and became faster and more linear than ever before.

    However, the deck’s inherent power level cannot be disputed - as with many other broken decks, it runs the full playset of Mox Opal and Ancient Stirrings, and it’s difficult to interact with due to the nature of the deck and the speed at which it is possible to assemble the lock. For example, you can have sideboard cards dedicated to the matchup.. but you can watch the Lantern player assemble the lock and mill all of your sideboard hate away. You can bring in artifact destruction but watch the Lantern player deploy Welding Jars. If the Lantern player can control the contents of your hand with Thoughtseize, control the contents of the battlefield with Ensnaring Bridge, and control the contents of what you draw with Lantern of Insight + any combination of mill rocks, then the deck can absolutely take down a tournament.

    Abilities:
    Lantern of Insight - Each Night, you may target a player twice. (You can pick the same player twice or choose different players). The first time you target a player, put an insight counter on that player. You will learn what that player’s deck is. When you target a player with an insight counter on them, you will learn that player’s role PM.

    Win Condition: Win the tournament.


    Gifts Storm

    Alignment: Mafia

    Flavor: One of the more degenerate combo decks of the format, Gifts Storm is one of the fastest and most consistent combo decks in Modern. While it hasn’t been the most popular deck recently, it still manages to put up results here and there and take down a major tournament. Wizards of the Coast has always stated the Storm mechanic was a mistake. They’ve banned two major Storm enablers in the form of Seething Song and Rite of Flame. And yet, the deck still survives in this current incarnation.

    Essentially, how the deck works is you play a creature that makes your spells cheaper (Goblin Electromancer or Baral, Chief of Compliance) and hope your opponent can’t interact with it. Once you untap with either one of these creatures on the battlefield, then things really start to go off. You can start chaining rituals and cantrips together, in order to generate lots of extra mana with each ritual you cast, and then you can cast Gifts Ungiven, with Past in Flames picked as one of the cards. This allows you to cast Past in Flames regardless of where it ends up - either in the hand or the graveyard - and recast spells from your graveyard until your Storm count hits 20. From there, you can find Grapeshot and instantly kill your opponent. The deck may be weaker now because of the rampant graveyard hate in the metagame, but you’re a fast, consistent combo deck that can prey on specific metagames because you also have access to interaction maindeck and sideboard (Lightning Bolt, Remand, and Repeal).

    Abilities:
    Past in Flames - Twice per game, you may activate this ability and reveal the entirety of all role PMs of players who are dead. You may activate this ability at any time.
    Remand - Each Night, you may target a player. You will delay that player's ability, making it activate on the next Night.

    Win Condition: Win the tournament.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]

    Final Vote Count

    Lastwhisper (3): vezokpiraka, shadowlancerx, Sir Chris
    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper

    Abstain (0):




    You've expertly piloted Hogaak throughout the 14 rounds of this Modern Open, defeating many such inferior strategies in order to get to your current 11-3 record. Sure, there were some decks that proved too difficult for you to overcome - Death's Shadow, Hardened Scales, and Eldrazi Tron managed to get the best of you - but for the most part you've managed to put it together and qualify yourself for a top 8 win-and-in. If you win this last round, you're guaranteed to make Top 8. If you lose, your tournament run is over.

    You sit across from a pleasant chap who wins the die roll and goes turn 1 Search for Tomorrow. "Valakut," you think in your head. "Should be pretty easy." You cast a turn 1 Stitcher's Supplier, milling nothing of value. The sinking feeling in your stomach starts to kick in when your opponent goes turn 2 Relic of Progenitus, a decent graveyard hate card that can slow you down. You draw another card. Faithless Looting, now locked by the Chalice. You grimace and attack for 1, then pass.

    Their Search resolves then they draw their card. "Well, that's a good one," he exclaims, as he drops a Chalice of the Void, a card that was the main reason why you lost against Eldrazi Tron. With the Chalice on 1 and the Relic, you can't mount any action and he drops a Primeval Titan on turn 4 that ends the game swiftly.

    You sideboard in some artifact/enchantment hate for game 2. This helps against their sideboard Leyline of the Void but your meager army gets wiped by an Anger of the Gods on their turn 3. Despite them having a slow start, they manage to stall the game long enough to use Summoner's Pact to find yet another Primeval Titan, and the game ends once again with you taking lethal damage from the volcanic power of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

    As you're packing up and congratulating your opponent on the top 8, your opponent breathes a heavy sigh of relief. "Chalice and Leyline were real good versus Izzet Phoenix, too, in the previous round." Looks like they made a meta call and it paid off.




    The next Day, the very face of Modern was irrevocably changed.



    You slump in your chair as your most favorite Modern deck, Hogaak, was banned. With the Faithless Looting ban, you're out of a playable Modern deck, and it seems like fair decks, like the decks you absolutely demolished yesterday, will get a boost with the unbanning of Stoneforge Mystic. Looks like R&D is committed into changing Modern - for the better.




    Lastwhisper has been lynched.
    Izzet Phoenix, Mafia One-Shot Cop/Daychat Enabler
    Congratulations to the town on their victory!
    Titanshift, Town Innocent Child
    Hollow One, Town RNG Jack-of-all-Trades
    Jund, Town Conditional Tracker
    Spectator Chat
    KCC/Axelrod Chat
    Vaimes/Cantripmancer Chat
    Mafia Chat

    Thanks to everyone for playing, and special thanks to Lastwhisper, Megiddo, and osieorb18 for replacing in!

    Thoughts to come.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]
    FINAL Vote Count 6.5

    Lastwhisper (3): vezokpiraka, shadowlancerx, Sir Chris
    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper

    Abstain (0):

    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    That is a lynch! Stay tuned for lynch scene.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    Vote Count 6.4

    Lastwhisper (2): vezokpiraka, shadowlancerx
    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper

    Abstain (1): Sir Chris

    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    Day 6 will end at 11:59PM EST October 3rd Thursday (today).

    Timer: https://itsalmo.st/modern-mafia-night-6-vwsf

    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    Vote Count 6.3

    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper
    Lastwhisper (1): vezokpiraka


    Abstain (2): shadowlancerx, Sir Chris

    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    Day 6 will end at 11:59PM EST October 3rd Thursday.

    Timer: https://itsalmo.st/modern-mafia-night-6-vwsf

    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    Vote Count 6.3

    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper
    Lastwhisper (1): vezokpiraka


    Abstain (2): shadowlancerx, Sir Chris

    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    Day 6 will end at 11:59PM EST October 3rd Thursday.

    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    Vote Count 6.2

    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper
    Lastwhisper (1): vezokpiraka


    Abstain (2): shadowlancerx, Sir Chris

    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    Day 6 will end at 11:59PM EST October 3rd Thursday.

    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    Vote Count 6.1

    vezokpiraka (1): Lastwhisper
    Lastwhisper (1): vezokpiraka


    Abstain (2): shadowlancerx, Sir Chris

    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    Day 6 will end at 11:59PM EST, Tuesday, October 3rd.

    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    "This is who I really am."

    shadowlancerx puts the card Scapeshift on the stack.

    His Snow-Covered Forests, Stomping Grounds, and Cinder Glades undergo a massive terramorph, shifting right before everyone's eyes. The lands he has on the battlefield quickly become a rupturing volcano and an accompanying Mountain range.

    "Trigger Valakut six times, deal you 18?"



    shadowlancerx reveals himself as Titanshift and is confirmed town.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]







    Axelrod has been killed.
    Dredge, Town Tree Stump

    It is now Day 6.
    With 4 alive, it takes 3 votes to lynch.

    Day 6 will end at 11:59PM EST, Tuesday, October 3rd.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]


    Day 5 Final Vote Count

    tomsloger (4): Axelrod, shadowlancerx, vezokpiraka, Lastwhisper

    Abstain (2): Sir Chris, tomsloger




    tomsloger has been lynched.
    Lantern Control, Mafia Role Cop
    It is now Night 5.

    Night 5 will end on Thursday, September 26th. If every living player in this game PMs me and wishes for the Night to end early, it will end early and Day 6 will begin.

    Please send in Night actions as soon as possible and inform me if you have an optional Night action you do not wish to take.
    Posted in: Mafia
  • posted a message on Modern Mafia - Game Over: Terminus [Town Victory]
    FINAL Vote Count 5.1

    tomsloger (4): Axelrod, shadowlancerx, vezokpiraka, Lastwhisper

    Abstain (2): Sir Chris, tomsloger

    With 6 alive, it takes 4 votes to lynch.

    That is a lynch! Stay tuned for lynch scene.
    Posted in: Mafia
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