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  • posted a message on Top 10 Guilds of Ravnica Cards
    IMO, the Guilds of Ravnica set felt distinctly more powerful than the last several sets, so let's make our own Top 10 Cards lists!

    I'll kick it off with my Top 10 Cards New To Modern:

    1. Assassin's Trophy: It's arguably not even close: this will become one of the premier removal spells of Modern. It hits close to anything at instant speed for cheap, and its drawback is mostly ignorable. It'll surge to a 4-of in maindecks and squeeze out other cards in sideboards. It might even warp other decks into its colours.
    2. Knight of Autumn: Another card for the obvious slam-dunk category, this is a GW Reclamation Sage that you want to board in against aggro. It's also quite maindeckable, as you can make it a 4/3 against control and combo.
    3. Discovery // Dispersal: This gives black something it's never had before: a decent filtering cantrip. It's great at filtering your draws in midrange and combo decks. Shame it doesn't play nice with Bob, though.
    4. Mausoleum Secrets: A powerful tutor if you can build around it, and Death's Shadow decks already build around it. They have the cheap cycler Street Wraith and the 1-cmc threat named Death's Shadow. Their removal is also cheap enough. Cycling- and self-mill-happy decks may also want this card, but it's a tougher call in those builds.
    5. Mission Briefing: I'm sure there are brewers out there who think 4 Snapcaster Mages aren't enough, or who want to recur spells and cheat their costs at the same time, or who need to fuel Pyromancer Ascension fast. This card is mainly for those brewers.
    6. Creeping Chill: It's good in only one deck: Dredge. But sweet sheesh is it good in Dredge! Free reach and life gain is nothing to scoff at there.
    7. Unmoored Ego: It does something no other Memoricide-like card does: it can boot lands. UBx decks tend to have some trouble against big mana decks like Gx Tron, so naming lands can cripple those predators for the rest of the game. And at least there's naming threats if you're too late to name lands.
    8. Experimental Frenzy: In the right decks, this can effectively draw upwards of 3 cards per turn, even though you can't play any more cards in hand until you blow this up. And since this card close to guarantees a land drop every turn, this has an incredible snowball effect the longer it stays on the battlefield. Shame it doesn't play nice with Bob or Ensnaring Bridge, but plenty of midrange and aggro decks play neither...
    9. Citywide Bust: This has a decent chance of being a one-sided enough board wipe for 3 mana (against Hollow One decks, Death's Shadow decks, Eldrazi, the Hardened Scales deck, Goyf, unlucky Humans board states...). This has a shot of seeing sideboard play.
    10. Vraska, Golgari Queen: She does a decent Nahiri, the Harbinger impression--worse card filtering, but significantly better spot removal. I suspect that'll be good enough for Modern.

    There were plenty of honourable mentions this round, such as Ionize, Plaguecrafter, Legion Warboss, Kraul Harpooner, and Tajic, Legion's Edge. What are your Top 10 picks?
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    I tested Experimental Frenzy in Affinity last night, and I must admit I have to eat my words regarding EF's power level. While EF was often flaky in Affinity, giving me only 2 cards in a turn surprisingly often, it was also plenty capable of pumping out 5(!!!) cards in a turn. Unsurprisingly, Affinity was also one of the best decks at making EF do something the turn it ETB (free stuff, mana rocks). As a late-game CA grinder and nigh-finisher, it's definitely up there with Karn, Scion of Urza. (I also must note that I blew up my own EF for the first time last night--it was to get a Galvanic Blast to close out the game.) The massive CA boost is definitely enough to compensate for Remand suddenly becoming a total haymaker against you. (It turns into Counterspell that cantrips.)
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Guilds of Ravnica - afterthoughts, please share your likes & dislikes
    As a Modern player, brewer, and tinkerer, I like this set quite a lot. It's got some of the most Modern-playable cards in a long time.

    Assassin's Trophy is of course the best card--removal that hits dang near anything at instant speed for cheap with a mostly ignorable drawback. Its worst feel-bad moments probably involve killing mana dorks and 1/1 tokens. I predict it'll be a solid 4-of and a sideboard all-star.

    But Assassin's Trophy is boring, and one of the most powerful cards for Modern is Mausoleum Secrets. It can be flaky as all get-out--you almost need to maindeck Slaughter Pact if you play this card, as you won't always have a creature in the yard. Heck, I've generally been so strapped for mana that I tend to tutor for Slaughter Pact even if I have a creature in the yard. And then you almost need to maindeck Street Wraith if you play this card because it's the best creature that cycles for cheap, and then you probably want to bump your cycler count up for more consistency. But it's very powerful in Death's Shadow decks and the fringe As Foretold-Living End. Tutoring for both threats and answers at instant speed is awesome.

    I've mentioned efficiency and power, but the dangerously novel breaker of the colour pie is Discovery // Dispersal. Black has never had a filtering cantrip before to my knowledge, and Discovery is a quasi-Strategic Planning. Bob hates flipping this, but I've had success running this in black non-blue decks such as Mardu Midrange, Abzan Traverse the Ulvenwald, and Grishoalbrand Goryo's Vengeance.

    And the ultimate in role compression is Knight of Autumn. A decent maindeck pick and a very versatile sideboard option, you get a GW Reclamation Sage that can gain you life against aggro or be a 4/3 instead.

    These 4 stick out to me in particular, but the role player list for me includes Ionize (damaging opponents may finally make this 3-mana counterspell playable in a format where all the playable 3-mana counterspells are creatures), Creeping Chill (powerful Dredge payoff card with unreal reach and life gain in multiples), Mission Briefing (though losing Snapcaster Mage's body hurts, the card stacking will at least mitigate the loss), and Beacon Bolt (decent removal in UR, and it can be used twice to boot). Unmoored Ego is a powerful sideboard card against combo with a decent chance of devastating big mana decks by taking away their flagship lands just in time. Vraska, Golgari Queen feels rather like a Nahiri, the Harbinger who's better at killing creatures but worse at filtering cards and closing out games. I'll have to give kudos to Experimental Frenzy for being a deceptively powerful draw engine in testing (in RG Ponza, Affinity, and even RG Eldrazi). If it weren't for his 5 cmc, Ral, Izzet Viceroy would be solidly Modern-playable--he's like a UR Ob Nixilis Reignited who's slightly worse at killing creatures but has the better draw and ult.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on 8 New Promos for Magic Online
    The zombie in the Grafdigger's Cage art is a nice touch--it proves that the Cage works.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    OK, I tested Experimental Frenzy in RG Ponza and RG Eldrazi Stompy. Experimental Frenzy is still safest being played on an empty hand, which clashes with both decks' higher curves. It was better in RG Ponza. In both decks, Experimental Frenzy can indeed effectively draw 3 or even 4 cards per turn, outpacing Outpost Siege. It's basically guaranteed to do so late-game or after a few turns, as you're likely to get a land drop every turn with this out. However, I hit the 3-4-cards-per-turn point later with RG Eldrazi than with RG Ponza. RG Eldrazi plays fewer mana dorks, has a higher curve, and plays at least 1 more land, and its aggro tendencies often means that you'll win the game before you can dump your hand. On the other hand, RG Ponza plays more mana dorks--including the effectively free Utopia Sprawl, plays Tireless Tracker and Chandra, Torch of Defiance so you can easily clear the 2nd or later land card you hit each turn, and has a lower win condition density. I ended up not minding being unable to play cards in hand in both decks. (It was disturbing that, despite several turns of having Experimental Frenzy out, RG Eldrazi still lost to Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in one of my test games.)

    While playing this, I was intensely reminded of Avaricious Dragon, which is also a 4-drop with CA every turn that discourages you from playing it until you go Hellbent. Unlike Experimental Frenzy, it only draws an extra card each turn, but it has a body (being able to block would have been great in testing), and it plays nice with Ensnaring Bridge. And yes, I've seen Avaricious Dragon in Modern Moon Prison.

    Affinity looks like the next most promising deck for Experimental Frenzy--it plays several free spells, has a low curve, and can support 4-drops--but EF is stuck competing with several cards there, such as Thoughtcast (so much cheaper that you can play it on Turn 2), Glint-Nest Crane (pairs a body with a nigh-guaranteed artifact for so much cheaper than 4 mana), and Karn, Scion of Urza (his ability to poop out huge beatsticks, starting the turn he ETB, is too tempting to ignore, and he's probably the most commonly played of the 3 lately). And EF does not play nice with Affinity's manlands.

    In the meantime, Mnemonic Betrayal looks fun, especially against cantrip-heavy decks, but right now the only deck I can see even trying to use it is Jeskai Ascendancy Combo (which still sees fringe play in MTGO). As a Glittering Wish target, it can effectively draw way more cards than the old standby, Scarscale Ritual, and if that deck's mana base can support stuff like Abrupt Decay, it can support this. And Jeskai Ascendancy Combo can ramp like all heck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Mnemonic Betrayal (Somanyinsaneplays preview)
    Why did they make this Sorcery ?

    It would be at least interesting as an instant.

    As it is, you pay a lot for "nothing" and then extra mana to get the spells your opponent already used.

    ----

    This simply NEEDS instant speed to be really interesting.
    As it is, a pretty big stinker card.
    And why doesn't it make the cards free to cast, and why isn't uncounterable, and why doesn't cantrip, and why doesn't it give the creatures and sorceries flash, and why does it have exile itself, and-

    [/sarcasm]

    It exiles itself because, due to rules interactions, Yawgmoth's Will ends up exiling itself. It likely has all those other features (sorcery speed, no mana discounts, no Flash-granting, no cantrip, etc.) to mirror Yawg Win. As you can probably tell from the nickname "Yawg Win", Yawgmoth's Will is such a powerful card that the only power creep they stuck on Mnemonic Betrayal is the mana colour/type converter. (Put it this way: Yawg Win's pale younger brother, Past in Flames, is the linchpin of a Modern UR Storm deck that has weathered several bans and resurged in popularity recently, and PiF is also a persistent tutor target in Legacy Storm decks.)

    Pretty much the only Modern deck I can see this in right now is Jeskai Ascendancy combo as a Glittering Wish target. It's massive temporary card draw in the right match-ups in a deck that can ramp like heck. The Ad Nauseam-Angel's Grace combo deck is in the right colours and can ramp like heck, but it's probably better off reserving that mana bump for its namesake combo cards.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    I don't think Experimental Frenzy is good. Preventing you from playing cards in hand blows big-time, and it's a bigger nonbo with Bob (I'm pointing this out because Aazadan mentioned that this could go into Jund). Midrange decks can't really chain that many spells every turn because they tend to have higher curves, and then half the Moon Prison decks hate this card because it nonbos with Ensnaring Bridge.

    Kraul Harpooner is nifty anti-flier hate and an efficient beater in one card. Seeing as fliers have never been more popular (Spirits, Affinity, UR Wizards, Hardened Scales, decks with Lingering Souls, etc.), and the best fliers all pretty much die to this guy with no Undergrowth, might this see play, even if it's only in mono-green decks?

    Tajic, Legion's Edge mainly looks like a crummier Selfless Spirit--although he'll be the only guy who dies to Bolt while he's out, he dies to dang near any board wipe you Chord of Calling him into in response to the wipe. Haste and Mentor are fun, and the body's efficient enough, but having no evasion and no ability to block fliers is not so fun. I guess Chording (or Vialing) him in response to a Bolt at something else is going to be the biggest blowout he can make.

    Quote from D90Dennis14 »
    Quote from Lectrys »
    Tested Discovery // Dispersal as a 4-of in Abzan Traverse, Mardu Midrange, and GriselShoal Goryo's Vengeance, and it was great in all 3 decks. Mardu definitely feels more consistent now, and it was decent at helping fix Abzan Traverse's mana and hitting Delirium.

    In the meantime, I predict Discovery // Dispersal will not see play in blue decks. Resembling Strategic Planning that much does hurt.

    Do you think it can replace Night's Whisper in black decks ?
    I'm not sure if the extra filtering is better than drawing a second card, but not losing life is a decent upside.

    Given the black decks lately and their love of the graveyard, yes, I predict this will displace Night's Whisper. (That card never saw play in Death's Shadow decks, anyway, and half of them are trying to get Delirium.)
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    Quote from spawnofhastur »
    Quote from Lectrys »
    Tested Discovery // Dispersal as a 4-of in Abzan Traverse, Mardu Midrange, and GriselShoal Goryo's Vengeance, and it was great in all 3 decks. Mardu definitely feels more consistent now, and it was decent at helping fix Abzan Traverse's mana and hitting Delirium.

    In the meantime, I predict Discovery // Dispersal will not see play in blue decks. Resembling Strategic Planning that much does hurt.


    What were your cuts in each of the decks?

    I cut 3 Night's Whisper and a Manamorphose in Grishoalbrand.

    I cut flex slots (1-of Karn, Scion of Urza and Incendiary Flow), then went down to 2 Kolaghan's Command and 6 targeted discard spells in Mardu Midrange. Then I figured that I may as well try Blood Moon despite my bad experiences with it in 3-colour decks (I probably felt brave enough because of the 4 additional dig spells), so I tweaked the mana base and cut a Fatal Push for a Blood Moon. (Because Discovery costs 2 mana, I didn't feel confident about cutting any lands or Faithless Lootings.)

    I think I went down to 2 Lingering Souls, 3 Traverse the Ulvenwald, and 7 spot removal instants, then shaved a Liliana of the Veil in Abzan Traverse. I also replaced as many spot removal spells as I could with Assassin's Trophy, then kept only PtE and Push.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    Tested Discovery // Dispersal as a 4-of in Abzan Traverse, Mardu Midrange, and GriselShoal Goryo's Vengeance, and it was great in all 3 decks. Mardu definitely feels more consistent now, and it was decent at helping fix Abzan Traverse's mana and hitting Delirium.

    In the meantime, I predict Discovery // Dispersal will not see play in blue decks. Resembling Strategic Planning that much does hurt.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    I think I found another deck for Discovery // Dispersal: Mardu Midrange. They already play 4 cheap "cantrips", and I find that Bedlam Reveler sometimes rots in hand for too long. Time to up the cantrip count further with a cantrip that filters!

    In the meantime, Citywide Bust is kinda like what Slaughter the Strong wishes it could be, except it can't do a thing to Abzan Company and can't eliminate any of an Empty the Warrens. Oh well, at least you get to keep all your men and BR Hollow One can't keep any Hollow Ones!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    Yeah, Unmoored Ego looks like a legit sideboard card for UBx decks (Death's Shadow builds, Grixis Midrange/Control, etc.). You notably can't hit yourself and name Eternal Scourge, but you notably can hit LANDS. And yes, you can stop Gx Tron from completing the Tron by naming the one Tron land they don't have on the battlefield on your Turn 3 on the play. You can also name Valakut and turn all their Scapeshifts dead and their Primeval Titans into merely big rampers...or you can be too late to name Valakut and thus name Scapeshift instead. (I guess there's naming basics when you're on a Blood Moon deck, but then you're stuck naming the basic they didn't fetch for in response.) Yes, in this meta, I'm willing to lose the uncounterability of Slaughter Games for this.

    In the meantime, they just handed black close-to-Strategic Planning with Discovery // Dispersal. Which non-blue deck will like it the best? I'll be testing Abzan Traverse Midrange tonight with this card--the self-mill will be dandy in that Delirium-loving deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Discovery / Dispersal
    vs. Dispersal:
    "NOOO!! Not my Emrakul!"

    Not sure how dangerous it is to give black nigh-Strategic Planning, but this one could be fun.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Boros Mythic (in Japanese)
    Quote from Manite »
    So, a Final Fortune that makes your dudes indestructible. I'm guessing the name will be Final Glory.

    Based on my limited knowledge of Japanese (and Chinese), I don't think any part of that name translates to "Final".
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    Might "Lightning of Signal Fire" see play in Blue Moon decks? While it's a sorcery that costs 1UR just to deal damage to target creature equal to the number of instant plus sorcery cards you own in your graveyard and in exile combined, it does have Jump-start, and Blue Moon generally otherwise has a hard time killing stuff that dodges Bolt (so yes, I would be willing to Jump-start this to kill a second fattie).

    In the meantime, this updated build of Dredge has been successful so far for me:

    I've always been a fan of Tome Scour in Dredge--it's probably the best one-shot self-mill for 1 mana in Modern, and I've found that my colour consistency is still high enough. Thus, I felt confident with shaving a land, all 2 flex slots, and a Life from the Loam and going down to all 1-drop enablers.

    Insolent Neonate has been flaking out on me lately, so I switched to 4 Shriekhorn and 2 Neonates.

    Creeping Chill has been great as a 4-of--it feels downright unfair to have a 6-12-point life buffer and opponent doming close to every game. Thus, I switched my rainbow land base to as many painlands as possible, as I've found I have plenty of life and can afford to lose some life points on my mana. Gemstone Mine saccing itself sometimes got annoying, anyway.

    This feels like Dredge got some of its explosiveness back, and your pre-board games with this are generally favourable against Affinity/Humans/Hardened Scales/Grixis Death's Shadow from my latest play-testing. BridgeVine feels more even, and Spirits are decent harassers because of Mausoleum Wanderer and Spell Queller (and then Remorseful Cleric feels like a kick in the teeth).

    Now all I need is Dream Twist with Jump-start instead of Flashback....
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on "Lightning of Signal Fire"
    Given that UR typically has problems killing creatures that dodge Lightning Bolt, this might actually be Modern-playable, especially since this can kill two creatures instead of one, and in Blood Moon decks, I'm generally willing to lose an additional card to kill a second fat creature.

    ...Then again, Spite of Mogis sees basically no play in Modern, so what am I hoping for?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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