The first detention slip

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Dear Mrs. and Mr. Reveler,

You might already be aware of this, but in case Xenagos has neglected to inform you, I am assigning him detention for the rest of this game. The reason is as follows:Xenagos

Xenagos has been acting out in class consistently. It is not that he himself has done too much damage to either other students, his surroundings or myself, but he gets the other students all fired up over nothing. His ability to incite rebellions among the students, while impressive, has led to severe complaints from the other participants in our activities.

I’ve taken it upon myself to discipline Xenagos in order to make sure that he refrains from other outbursts in class and assigned him the usual detention homework. For your information, this week the class is memorizing Homer’s Odyssey, and I’m expecting him to hand in his solution to Zeno’s Dichotomy paradox on Monday at the latest.

Until Xenagos has shown he is capable of interacting with other students without getting them into an inflammatory state, I will not accept him back in my class.

 

All the best,
Dragonlord Ojutai, PhD, MD, JD, MBA, LIM, OMG

 

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Modern Bans: My predictions

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Tonight is the big night (or big day, depending on what side of the Atlantic Ocean you are on), it’s finally time for Modern bans! Avid readers of this blog knows that I don’t really care, because Modern is shit, and I’m not alone in my opinon on this matter. Sean @copain26 Whatson of Commanderin’ fame, has been a vocal opponent to the way Modern has its way with the prices in Magic, and I couldn’t agree more.

However, I do follow the ban list, mostly because it’s funny, but also because there are deals to be made as cards are banned. So here are my uninitiated predictions:

Banned:
Eldrazi Temple / Eye of Ugin – One of these will have to go, but perhaps not both. The Eldrazi deck is way too strong in the metagame right now, and people have even been calling for emergency bans. Official sources have stated that something will be done about the deck, but they don’t want to neuter it entirely, meaning one will likely stay and the other will go. It’s awkward that both of these were included in last year’s Modern Masters edition, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Unbanned:
Stoneforge Mystic – I don’t think this will be too oppressive in Modern. The format is full of removal, and Stoneforge Mystic is slow. Granted, Batterskull on turn three might be too powerful, but generally, I think it can be kept in check by running it over with a billion eldrazis on turn two! The only prohibitive part of this card is its price, which would certainly skyrocket, but that would in turn prompt a large-scale reprint at some point, beneficial for all Magic players!


What do you think of my predictions? Am I totally wrong? Leave a comment!

 

Check out my other stuff! (shameless plug)

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I know I’ve been horrible at updating this month and I wanted to elaborate on the reason for that, since it’s at least two-fold. I want to be clear that writing is a passion to me, and I write because I want to, not really for anybody else. I feel no obligation to the readers of this blog, although I think you guys are awesome for reading, commenting and spreading my stuff.

As has been customary for me since quitting my old job with the Student Union, I have been changing work places every six months. This holds true for the third time in a row, and I’m currently at a new job, in a new position, with lots of work to do. As such, my time is fairly limited as it stands.

Secondly, I have been writing for another online outlet: X1sverige. If you happen to be a Swede like I, you can find my stuff under my tag, Robin Kaas. Currently, there are only a couple of texts up, but my aim is to write a piece a week or so.

This is not a closing post of this blog, nor do I have any plans to discontinue either playing or writing about Magic, but it is a little explanation to the lack of posts in February this year – I am working on a new piece for this blog side-by-side with this, so there you go. Usually, I hate it when I find blogs with only posts about why they don’t post more – so I guess I’m both lazy and a hypocrite.

[OGW] RW land is a fake

oath bannerThe RW folkland I included in my spoilers post yesterday was debunked months ago on Reddit. No idea why it resurfaced now.

It is, as suspected, a fake indeed – which is a shame since I kinda liked it.

My apologies, nonetheless.

[C15] Spoiler-less

city of shakarI just spent the better part of an hour scouring the Rumour Mill on MTGsalvation, trying to find at least a single post that didn’t contain baseless speculation and/or horribly designed cards that will never get printed. I failed. For the last five pages of the thread (I won’t even link it, because MTGS is shit), here’s what’s the hot topic of the day is:

  • How there’s no spoilers.
  • How BG should be an Infect deck.
  • How Commander is not a competitive format.

All three points obviously unimportant topics of discussion. MTGS is literally the cess-pool of the MTG community online. 47 pages of discussion about two (2) spoiled cards – the rest complete garbage.

Yes, I’m bitter – but mostly at WotC not spoiling anything until next Monday.

The path of addiction

One minute you’re thinking “I’ll just build an EDH deck to bring along to tournaments in case there are delays or so” and the next thing you know, you’re out of usable deck boxes capable of storing 100 cards.

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Plastic bag deck box is love, plastic bag deck box is life.

 

Deck Spotlight: Modern RUG Delver

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Story time: A few years back, my friends and I were attending Borås Spelkonvent (BSK, lit. Borås Gaming Convention), a gaming convention with Magic events traditionally focused on the eternal formats. Although I don’t consider Modern to be an eternal format, they had scheduled one on Saturday morning anyway, when there was nothing else to do.

After losing in the quarterfinals to Show and Tell combo with RUG the night before, I was done with Legacy for the evening and my friends and I went to the apartment we had borrowed for the weekend to brew me a Modern deck. With not a lot of cards in our disposal, I decided to play RUG Delver in Modern as well, and this is what we came up with:

4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Steam Vents
2 Breeding Pool
6 Island
2 Forest
1 Mountain

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Young Pyromancer

4 Serum Visions
3 Gitaxian Probe
2 Spell Snare
3 Mana Leak
2 Cryptic Command
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Burst Lightning
1 Izzet Charm
1 Electrolyze
2 Vedalken Shackles

SB:
2 Thrun, the Last Troll
3 Threads of Disloyalty
4 Ancient Grudge
2 Combust
4 Blood Moon

We did do some testing in the very early hours of the morning after I had sleeved the deck up, but the testing was done exclusively against my friend’s UWR control deck, and I concluded that the deck was a) awful against his deck, but b) the deck fared much better with Thrun and Blood Moon in the main deck. I pondered putting them in the main deck, but decided against it in the end.

My matches, in short:

Round 1 – Mono-B Pox, 2-1

Round 2 – Twin, 2-1

Round 3 – 4C Deathrite, 2-0

Round 4 – Tron, 2-1

Round 5 – Pod, ID for 1st place, half a box and a break for some food.

My friend was royally pissed and after the obligatory rounds of high-five, we went and played a real format (Legacy) instead. I didn’t win that tournament. I only won the tournament where I didn’t care about the format, the deck or the prize pool (Theros boosters, which we mini-mastered on site). So why am I even typing this.

It’s not just the bragging, a year or so later a deck called Blue Moon surfaced, meaning it took the rest of the format a year to figure out that Blood Moon is bonkers when everyone is greedy and playing 15+ non-basics in their lists. It was a good time, even if Blue Moon fell off the radar pretty quickly.

Get with the times,  and friends!

The Prince and the Pauper

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In informal terms, different limited environments are sometimes described as being either “prince” or “pauper”, or rather – there’s a scale with one end labeled prince and the other end pauper, and all limited environments can be placed in between. A format leaning towards pauper (through coincidence, this is only tangentially related to the constructed format of the same name) is defined by its commons – there are good threats and good removal at the common level, there might be synergies to be drafted and so on. A format leaning towards “prince” is defined by bomby rares and mythic rares – where these cards that outshine the uncommon and common cards in the format by a large margin, so large that it puts the emphasis on drafting around these powerful rares.

wingmateroc.full3x Khans of Tarkir was, according to some, a pauper format. There’s no denying that there are plenty of powerful rares; High Sentinels of Arashin, Sagu Mauler, and Wingmate Roc are all game-breaking cards that will dominate most any limited board states, but the format also contains a bunch of binder fodder as well as some great commons.

Fate Reforged, on the other hand, was according to many a prince format with very powerful rares and the Fate-Khans-Khans drafts were usually focused on opening something sweet in Fate Reforged and then making sure to draft something that could play your bomb rare. Since this is the opinion of Luis Scott-Vargas and other pros, I’m left with no credentials nor confidence to stand against these titans. I agree.

However, part of the problem of Fate Reforged being full of bomby rares is that it is the first pack to be drafted. If you open a Dromoka, the Eternal in your first pack, there would have to be a right long string of good UR Tempo cards coming for you not to at least splash the Dromoka. The rare dictates the draft too much in this case. But, when Fate Reforged is opened in Dragons-Dragons-Fate drafts, people are already probably locked into a couple of colours. As such, I expect us to see people second- or third-picking Dromoka and friends, unless someone is hate-drafting them.

The problem with the Fate Reforged rares being too powerful might still be there – there’s lots more of Dragons of Tarkir to be seen, specifically commons and uncommons, but they won’t quite dictate our drafts in the future in the same way as they have in Fate-Khans-Khans. Personally, I think some decent unconditional removal in the common or uncommon slots would solve the problem outright.

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Ding dong, the witch is dead!

treasure cruise bannerAfter much anticipation, here’s the total tally for the new Banned and Restricted list:

Standard:
No changes.

Modern:
Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time and Birthing Pod are banned.
Golgari Grave-Troll is no longer banned.

Legacy:
Treasure Cruise is banned.
Worldgorger Dragon is no longer banned.

Vintage:
Treasure Cruise is restricted.
Gifts Ungiven is no longer restricted.

So in total, I was correct about Standard, one card off from Legacy and Modern, and way off on Vintage. I thought Jesaki Ascendancy was up for the chopping block, but apparently breaking the “three-turn kill” rule wasn’t as damning after all. One of the readers also commented on this:

Skärmavbild 2015-01-20 kl. 20.57.40

 

I agree, I had no idea what I was talking about. I didn’t see the DCI banning Birthing Pod, again, I have no idea what I’m talking about – though in my world, knowing what one is talking about when it comes to Modern is akin to being able to recite the Bristol Stool Scale from memory.

Treasure Cruise getting the axe in both Modern and Legacy, as well as Vintage, wasn’t really surprising. It was clearly too good for the faster formats, and really needed to go. I’m glad they kept Dig Through Time in Legacy, since it’s a bit more restrictive and less objectively powerful than its common Dredge brethren.

I’ll post an in-depth view on the winners and losers in the Legacy format due to this ban tomorrow, but for now – what do you think, dear reader? Leave a comment below!

 

Ban season is coming up!

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Fate Reforged is almost upon us, and soon the new B&R announcement will be revealed. Here’s what I think will happen:

Standard:treasurecruise.full
No changes. (still shit)

Modern:
Jeskai Ascendancy is banned.
Treasure Cruise is banned.
Dig Through Time is banned.

Legacy:
Treasure Cruise is banned.

Vintage:
No changes.

Jeskai combo breaks the “turn three rule” of Modern, and the delve spells have been tearing up Modern and Legacy for quite some time. They probably need to go, although it’s a bit sad that the only real Aggro deck in Legacy (UR Delver) will be back to tier two town.

What do you think will happen on Monday? Leave a comment below!