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Treasure Cruisin' Gifts Storm
 
The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
 
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    I've been playing the blue version lately, and I figured I could share my thoughts on Archfiend with you guys too. The problem with Archfiend is twofold. 1) Actually casting him is too slow for his ability to be relevant most likely. 2) Putting him into play with Living End also means his ability is likely also irrelevant.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from ElectricEye16 »
    Is it too much to ask for a modern format where Midrange is on top, aggro and control comprise a solid tier 2, and at the bottom are the fringe strategies that are ok in small amounts but make for an awful meta when they rise to the top such as ramp and linear combo decks?

    Or should I just shut up and play standard where the format is almost precisely as I have described above?



    That sounds 100% awful. So yes, it is far to much to ask. Goodstuff.pile is a deck that is impossible to meta game against in a meaningful way. The worse it is, the better the format is. Consider the following: Storm and Jund are built with the same strategy in mind - make your opponents cards as irrelevant as possible. Storm does something that is hard to interact with. Jund Thoughtseizes you into oblivion then goldfishes you with Tarmogoyfs, while they top deck the best cards in the format. Would you rather play against something you can hate on, or something you can't?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the January 15, 2018 announcement?
    Quote from Skitzafreak »
    So this is a really weird suggestion, but it's more because I'd want to see how this works out, more than whether or not it is a balanced decision for Modern as a format.

    Unbanned: Cloudpost
    Banned: Urza's Tower

    Unban the other 'big mana' colourless producer, but get rid of the Urza-Tron set up. Is Cloudpost + Vesuva + Glimmerpost stronger than Urza's Tower + Urza's Power Plant + Urza's Mine? I'm essentially interested


    Yes. The answer is yes.

    Caleb Durward playing the deck
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5LK6jW0T0M&list=PL04lbfeNAaS9GawsdkJlOQwg5wclcw0Cs

    Jesse Hamptons PT Philly build vs Eldrazi Winter Eye of Ugin deck
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMG-kt1uoO0&t=1483s

    Spoiler: It makes Eye of Ugin powered Eldrazi look like child's play.


    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the January 15, 2018 announcement?
    I feel like the ban options are biased. Why can't I vote for Snapcaster Mage or Thoughtseize or Liliana of the Veil? Poll is farce :p
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on U/x Living As Foretold
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    I used to think it was a draw go permission deck too but it’s a combo deck and if you don’t get to as fortold soon enough even a small clock can be too much. Thursday I lost to not being able to deal with a t1 delver and just took 3 every turn. Serum visions is hardly an issue and visions t1 is by far the best play you can start with seeing the next three cards. No fetches helps ensure the cards you bottom stay out of the way too. I’m now only on 4 remand 4 cryptic 1 disallow. Jvp has absolutely won me games these last two days.

    There are tons of card options for this build and the tweaks will be personal preference/meta. I find affinity to not be bad at all. Humans imo is 100% the worst matchup though.


    If it is not a draw go deck, then all of us are violating the first rule of deckbuilding - don't build a worse version of something else. The cascade version is much better a assembling living end.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on U/x Living As Foretold
    Quote from KTROJAN »
    I’m now 5 matches in running 2 jvp and I’ve been very pleased with him. I’ve cut counters and gone to 4 serum vision too. Deck seems to find it’s parts much faster now.


    I believe this to be wrong. The strength of the deck is that it is actually a draw-go permission deck. Diminishing that makes the deck weaker, especially for a combo that isn't actually all that potent, or sometimes irrelevant. If you want turbo Living Ends, I'd play the cascade version. My testing with Visions lead me to dissatisfaction with the card. I would rather hold up mana for a card that matters and then cycle to draw if I want, than not be holding up mana because I drew a Serum Visions.

    Also, Archfiend of Ifnir is exceptionally poor. The problem with Archfiend is threefold. 1) You'd have to tutor black sources to to cast him, in which case Tolaria West has better uses or retool the mana into fetch/shocks, which isn't free, and makes some of the bad matchups worse. 2) Casting him with As Foretold is likely way too slow for his ability to be relevant. 3) You put him into play with Living End, which means his ability is also irrelevant.

    On the note of retooling the mana, I strongly recommend not using River of Tears. I had it in my initial build for a long time, but not making blue on the first turn to suspend Ancestral was too much.

    As the last card I can think of to talk about, Leyline of the Void is exceptionally poor, and having to use 3-4 sideboard slots for such an hit or miss effect is not very promising. There is nothing it does that Faerie Macabre can't do better.

    I 4-0'd the last Modern event with this list:

    I played against Skred (2-1) Ponza (2-0) Jund (2-0) and RG Tron (2-0). Tolaria West was the best card in the deck all night.

    Going forward, I dropping the 4th Mana Leak for the 4th Cryptic, and potentially making the 3-3 split between Street Wraith and Architects to a 4-2 split. However, the life loss is not irrelevant. In the sideboard, I am considering removing Dispel, and going to 3 Faeries. I don't know for what though. I would like to have Chalice back in my build because -

    As far as matchups go, Infect is completely unwinnable. Affinity and Burn are also challenging. Lantern is a joke though Smile
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    The entirety of Hoogland's article is based on the premise of "If A then B" and that is not a correct mode of thought for format balance. Yes, Seething Song is fast mana. Yes Simian Spirit guide is fast mana. Are they the same? No. The ban lists serves to deal with problematic cards and decks, not whole subtypes card effects.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Earthbound21 »
    You can't summoner's pact for Griselbrand. See Summoner's Pact. Tron lets you play Karn on turn 3. Cloudpost lets you play Emrakul the Aeons Torn on turn 4. Big difference. You're not accounting for Vesuva. t1 Cloudpost, t2 Cloudpost, play G signet/talisman/expedition map. t3 Play Vesuva, Scrying/Map for Cloudpost. T4 Emrakul, is not even a difficult line to imagine.

    I wish there was a Pact that searched for any creature, not just Green ones, as not finding Griselbrand is the #1 way the deck loses.

    If someone playing Cloudpost can consistently draw and play the card Cloudpost consistently by turn 2, have all of that other stuff, and find Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn without having games that are Emrakul flooded as well, they certainly deserve to win. Saying that it is "not that hard to imagine" for that scenario is akin to people who say that Tron gets Karn Liberated on turn 3 and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger on turn 4 in 50% of their matches. It just doesn't or wouldn't happen. Cloudpost comes into play tapped, which is a HUGE strike against it. The only reason I personally am not completely sure it's fine is Glimmerpost, which potentially gives it game vs. the (non-Infect) Aggro decks that normally tear these Big Mana strategies apart.

    Hoogland may be a tool. But he is a player who loves Modern more than any other format and it's not close. This is despite a lot of things really not going his way in the format. Look, who ever expected Hoogland to be running GB Tron? for months?


    Breachpost was a real deck in modern at one point. I think Hampton played it at PT Philly? You could look it up. We've also gotten more ridiculous spaghetti monsters since then. Emrakul 2 and Ulamog 2 are both game ending too, and cheaper to cast since the original.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from h0lydiva »
    On a different subject, here's Jeff Hoogland with a "nuclear solution" to Modern. Which obviously is even more impossible than my own "nuclear solution" I discussed time ago.

    But what I found interesting is I asked myself: "Would Modern be more fun and interesting if they went nuclear the way Jeff proposes?"

    And my answer was: "Hell yeah, 1000 times more, like there's 0 doubt"

    http://www.gatheringmagic.com/jeffhoogland-12222017-examining-the-modern-banned-list/


    Hoogland is a tool. He's working on the assumption that the ban list has to have consistency, which just isn't true. The ban list should have offenders on it, not offenders and all things like them. Consider Legacy. Black Lotus is banned for being the fastest of mana, but Dark Ritual is completely fine. We know certain mechanics are ban worthy in Magic, but it's a spectrum, not a definitive line.

    Quote from Skitzafreak »
    Stuff

    You can't summoner's pact for Griselbrand. See Summoner's Pact. Tron lets you play Karn on turn 3. Cloudpost lets you play Emrakul the Aeons Torn on turn 4. Big difference. You're not accounting for Vesuva. t1 Cloudpost, t2 Cloudpost, play G signet/talisman/expedition map. t3 Play Vesuva, Scrying/Map for Cloudpost. T4 Emrakul, is not even a difficult line to imagine.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    So... simply put, 'matchup lottery' or unfavourable matchups exist, but in the grand scheme of things do not matter enough to make a significant impact on results/win percentage over a large sample size of matches.

    Am I right to infer that?



    'Matchup lottery' is not synonymous with unfavorable matchups.

    Assume the next sentence is true: Burn has a bad matchup against Martyr of Sands, but a good matchup against Storm.

    This is not 'matchup lottery'. Matchup lottery is best described as the effect of a very wide and/or varied meta game in relation to a single player's experience with any deck over the course of (or perhaps a single) events. For example: Player A brings Burn to 15 round event, plays against Storm five times, Griselbrand twice, Grixis Shadow once, Lantern three times, one Jund, one Tron, one UW control, and one Affinity. Player B brings Burn to a 15 round event, plays Affinity four times, Scapeshift twice, Storm once, Martyr of Sands six times, Abzan once, Amulet once, and Tron once. Obviously Player B had a worse day. However, we have data to prove that both A and B, over the course of several events, if skilled enough, will have a positive win percentage regardless of what decks they play or what decks they play against.

    Individual deck choice has nothing to do with 'matchup lottery'

    Though your understanding that they do not matter in regards to skill players putting up consistently results over the a period of time, is correct.

    Edit: Sheridan's definition of 'matchup lottery' http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/785096-the-state-of-modern-thread-rules-update-27-10-17?comment=1511
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from Earthbound21 »
    Quote from thnkr »
    Article stuff


    I don't know if this is directed at me or not, as I was the one who brought up garbage articles recently, but this is it really. I have SCG Premium, so I will use Chapin's No Ban article as a jump off point. He posts 10ish decklists he suspects would be good in NBM, without actually digging around the internet for results from NBM tournaments. The result of this is that he misses archetypes in the NBM format, like UWR Pyro Skullclamp and Tezzerator.

    Most pro articles are conjecture. Conjecture does us no good without evidence. For example, https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/what-are-the-safest-cards-to-unban-in-modern/ this article, by Andrea Mengucci, is complete garbage. Including gems such as "...is a fair Magic card that gives life to fair games of Magic that involve attacking and blocking (which is how Magic should be played)" and "..we are witnessing the death of midrange—the death of Jund and Abzan—and with them the death of the format."

    I actually agreed with most of Andrea Mengucci's article, despite having a very different play style and likes.

    I haven't read Patrick Chapin's Premium SCG article, but he doesn't do anything that most other players also do. I hear all the time that no fair deck can beat the 5 flavors of decks that win on turns 1 or 2. What they don't realize is that the fair decks are made to deal with decks like Storm, Eggs, and Elves, etc. Decks like BUG Midrange, UW Miracles, or RW Pyroclamp all have had solid results. But then, nobody really knows what the format will amount to because outside of Moxboardinghouse, it hasn't been played much.


    It's not about whether you agree or disagree, or Mengucci's article specifically. It's about articles like this, where pro players and community figures spew their opinions as facts, whether the topic is bans, unbans, matchups, sideboards, whatever. The presenting of his opinion as fact on something he has given no research on or proof about is perhaps entertaining, but not helpful discourse to the community. The issue is it trickles down into the not pro player sect, where it is also treated as fact. When it is not fact. Its opinion. The bar for these articles is set incredibly low.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from thnkr »
    Article stuff


    I don't know if this is directed at me or not, as I was the one who brought up garbage articles recently, but this is it really. I have SCG Premium, so I will use Chapin's No Ban article as a jump off point. He posts 10ish decklists he suspects would be good in NBM, without actually digging around the internet for results from NBM tournaments. The result of this is that he misses archetypes in the NBM format, like UWR Pyro Skullclamp and Tezzerator.

    Most pro articles are conjecture. Conjecture does us no good without evidence. For example, https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/what-are-the-safest-cards-to-unban-in-modern/ this article, by Andrea Mengucci, is complete garbage. Including gems such as "...is a fair Magic card that gives life to fair games of Magic that involve attacking and blocking (which is how Magic should be played)" and "..we are witnessing the death of midrange—the death of Jund and Abzan—and with them the death of the format."

    There is no factual evidence or data cited anywhere in the article. Just drivel from a guy who has no results in Modern and doesn't play Modern frequently and either feels entitled to an opinion or is told by his boss to write about Modern because CFB needs them site hits. Whether you agree or disagree with these opinions, these kind of articles are not immutable because they are on CFB. These are what we ought rally against.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from getthere »
    People have brought up excellent argument backed up with good stats here and Sheridan has completely pushed them aside to favor his own bias loving view of the game.

    And enough brown nosing. Calling someone handsome and smart shows a huge bias. What are you his undercover wife?

    And the go play another format argument is getting old. No, people want changes and aren't completely happy. The customer is always right.


    Where are these stats? Where are these excellent arguments? A 2015 data set that is no longer relevant?

    You are correct. The customer is always right. That's why Modern is back on the pro tour, that's why we get yearly Masters sets, that's why SCG is 90% Modern these days. Hasbro wants money. The money is in Modern. You are not the only customer.

    Ahem.

    And since we are doing the 'not so subtle personal attack' thing, let me enlighten you, Mr. Internet-Arguer-New/Anonymous-Account-Guy-Who-Might-Also-Be-Ghosting-As-Howwish.

    I am extremely biased towards Sheridan. Sheridan does not have to do this work. Sheridan does not have to share his work. Sheridan is not getting paid to do or share his work. But yet, we have access to it. That is respectable. I respect Sheridan and all the effort he puts into the community. It's extremely time consuming to compile and analyze data. How many other people on the internet are doing this for you and not getting paid for it? Sheridan deserves all the praise we can give him. He is literally a beacon of sound reason and discussion on a forum full of people like you. And if we disagree with his assessment or find his claims to erroneous, he deserves more from us than "You're wrong because I think so" arguments.

    It's called respect, child. Someday you might know it.

    Quote from Howwish »
    anyone who thinks matchup lottery does not have an impact on modern is ignorant beyond belief.
    When a bgx player loses all the time to tron and says: "yea in my experience it's pretty close to unwinnable"
    And then you have poeple like ktk saying it's cuz they suck. I'm pretty sure you can find a ton of "good" players who would agree with the matchup being brutal as hell.(pros say it all the time)
    But are often discredited cuz they need skillz.... C'mon....
    Soo burn and boggles are 50/50?
    Merfolk and affinity are 50/50?


    No one is saying this. See Sheridan's original claim and evidence here: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/785096-the-state-of-modern-thread-rules-update-27-10-17?page=45#c1125

    Or my less math involved summary here: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/785096-the-state-of-modern-thread-rules-update-27-10-17?comment=1490

    Read that. Read it again. Read it a third time. Read it until you understand it. Until you acquire understanding of the evidence and assertion, you aren't adding anything to the discussion and won't be taken seriously.

    Quote from thnkr »
    Holy smokes, this is spot on, Earthbound21.

    I'm afraid it may be slightly off topic, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you note that a good deal of ban talk, matchup analysis, "matchup lottery" claims, etc., seems influenced by articles on CFB, SCG, and their ilk, by people who are presumably authorities on the subject but provide zero data or evidence to back up their claims. More than anything, I feel that conversations about the state of Modern and suggested changes are largely knee-jerk reactions by people whose motives, judging by their methods of providing zero data, is to excuse away their lack of success that they somehow feel entitled to. It's a self-appointed feeling of superiority, which seems to say more about the character of the person than they may care to admit.


    Pro player relevancy and money making are not non-issues in the realm of Modern reputation. If they can't write an article like "Look how awesome I did at X event" but their boss tells them they need to produce Modern content so their website can generate traffic, what do you think they will write about?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    Quote from Earthbound21 »
    Quote from gkourou »
    @ktk, I respect the work you have done. It's excellent. And you were right to calculate the Modern vs Legacy comparison, because people make this particular comparison in here.

    But, truth be told, the right comparison concerning matchup lottery and MWP of top players should always be a "Modern vs Standard" one. I am almost certain that Standard rewards you more as a player and takes more the skill aspect than Modern. Now, I could be wrong, but that's my "complaint" about Modern. I still love it, but I watch tons of friends at the Standard FNM portion having a "50-50 matchup" everywhere with their Temur or Ramunap decks. On the other hand, some times I get paired against Eldra Tron, Big Tron, Dredge, Ad Nauseam, Boggles or some other weird deck build to win vs a Jeskai Control deck and I question all of my life choices at this very moment.

    It's so sad that we have no tools to fight big mana decks, other than "change you deck, play an aggro deck or a Turn 3 deck like Storm to win it instead".

    Still, I highly enjoy Modern and I think it's the best format of all, because of the reasons Shmanka mainly explained in a recent post of his.


    It should not be Modern vs Standard because the two are incomparable. How do you compare a format with 5 decks tops and no combo to a format of 15+ decks with combo? Legacy is by far the better comparison metric to use.


    Technically, you are right. And I don't deny that. I am not even complaining about a matchup lottery in Modern. But the technicalities do not matter here, because PROS and people complain anyway. We have heard so many Standard pros complaining about Modern being a "matchup and sideboard" lottery format and them saying this is the reason they prefer playing Standard instead. Their argument is exactly this, meaning that in Standard you don't get to "draw" your 3 almost unwinnable matchups in a 15 round tournament, which probably means you are eliminated from the competition not based on the in game skill. If you lose in Standard, there is a higher chance you lost, because you were the worst player out of the 2.

    That's why we need to see if this is holding ground.


    Well, two things really. First, Sheridan should really publish his work somewhere where it can garner attention and disprove the nonsense. Second, while it sucks that some pro players have platforms to voice their opinions that paint a negative picture of Modern (Jeff Hoogland, PVD, etc,), their voices are inconsequential because Modern is the biggest draw in viewers and event turnout. They can shat their pants all they want, but they can't argue with the money. Hoogland can spout "Ban Tron! Ban Grapeshot! Ban whatever!" but Modern (via Twitch and Youtube) buys his kids diapers and puts mushy bananas in their mouths.

    The biggest issue you're addressing is the influence or weight these pros have on certain player opinions, which goes back to the first point. If people like Sheridan (or really just Sheridan, because he's smart and handsome and does math and asks good questions) had the same platforms (articles on major MTG websites, Youtube, whatever) to showcase his findings and present his research, I'm certain that both ban mania and all these wild negative perceptions of Modern would diminish in strength. Can you point us to a pro player who has done the research and math to prove Sheridan wrong? Or are they all just scapegoating for their lack of success in Modern?

    We hear things like "I didn't place well in this event because I got paired against Tron while I played Jund. I played Jund because I wanted to be as close to 50/50 as possible" instead of trying to read the meta or "I didn't draw my two of narrow sideboard hoser. I need more sideboard slots." instead of trying to cast a wider net. You can't just assume they have proof to what they say or aren't just making excuses like any other magic player does when they do poorly. Pros that do well in Modern espouse its virtues up and down every chance they get. See Todd Stevens for an example.

    Also, Legacy has many of the same match up problems. The classic example being Miracles vs 12 Post. Completely unwinnable for Miracles. That's how big formats are and that's not inherently bad in and of itself. If anyone wants a format with 5 decks to meta game against, and 40/60 at worst matchups, there is a format for that. That format is currently dwarfed in popularity by Modern, but why does that matter? Play what you want. Not directly at you, GK, but I don't understand why people who want those always 50/50, only a few decks to worry about environments play Modern. If you really want a hamburger, why did you get pizza instead?

    As an aside, I think part of the issue is pro player relevancy. They are aware what articles/streams/events generate the most hits. And if they can't find the same success in Modern they can in Standard, are they even pros? You can be the best naked yodel hula hooper, but if there are only five naked hula hooping yodelers, what good is it? If they aren't relevant either as as top players or a community voice to what the player base wants, they aren't making money. That's why you see so many low quality articles about bans and unbans and bitching about sideboards and lottery matchups. Seriously, Andrea Menagucci's last article about Modern was complete effortless trash. But it was on CFB and he got paid for it. They have to stay relevant in the community eye to make money. If they aren't making money, they have to do something else besides play games for a living. And growing up sucks.

    Do you think Jon Finkel's boss hired him because he is an ace magic player? No. He got hired because he went to college and got job experience in something tangible. What do you suppose PVD's back up plan is if the pro magic thing doesn't work out? Status is at stake for some of them, so they lash out. Part of this negativity stems from either this perceived threat to their pro status or their financial standing.

    Final edit to this post that grew longer than I wanted: You can make the argument that pro players have Wizard's ear and therefore their opinions matter more than yours or mine. And there may or may not be truth to that. Wizards holds the key to a lot of data we don't have. But we know, and Wizards knows, that 800 people show up to random Modern SCG events and GP Vegas is always crazy packed and they know their Youtube and Twitch channels get more hits when Modern content is played. But to think pro player negativity is the only thing Wizards recognizes would be an untruth.

    There, six edits later, I feel I have adequately addressed your concerns. Smile
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from gkourou »
    @ktk, I respect the work you have done. It's excellent. And you were right to calculate the Modern vs Legacy comparison, because people make this particular comparison in here.

    But, truth be told, the right comparison concerning matchup lottery and MWP of top players should always be a "Modern vs Standard" one. I am almost certain that Standard rewards you more as a player and takes more the skill aspect than Modern. Now, I could be wrong, but that's my "complaint" about Modern. I still love it, but I watch tons of friends at the Standard FNM portion having a "50-50 matchup" everywhere with their Temur or Ramunap decks. On the other hand, some times I get paired against Eldra Tron, Big Tron, Dredge, Ad Nauseam, Boggles or some other weird deck build to win vs a Jeskai Control deck and I question all of my life choices at this very moment.

    It's so sad that we have no tools to fight big mana decks, other than "change you deck, play an aggro deck or a Turn 3 deck like Storm to win it instead".

    Still, I highly enjoy Modern and I think it's the best format of all, because of the reasons Shmanka mainly explained in a recent post of his.


    It should not be Modern vs Standard because the two are incomparable. How do you compare a format with 5 decks tops and no combo to a format of 15+ decks with combo? Legacy is by far the better comparison metric to use.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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