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Lineage 2 Revolution DB
Jaya Ballard Returns
The Magic Market Index for Nov 17, 2017
  • posted a message on Spike, Tournament Grinder - GatheringMagic Spoiler
    Dang, every single Spike I've ever heard of is male (this includes fictional characters who call themselves Spike). Oh well, I guess I'll nickname him/her Toge (Japanese for Spike, seems to be more strongly associated with females--Togemon is female, the Togepi line looks pretty androgynous).

    For not-so-broken but much-easier-to-find cards, I've got eight zillion Treasure Cruises I'm itching to tutor for and cast for cheap. (Note that Treasure Cruise is a Common, is dirt common in paper because it's from KTK block, costs less than a buck in several websites, and is banned in Modern and beyond and restricted in Vintage.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on possible Saint Elenda art?
    That still looks like a poor man's Azorius symbol on her.

    Which is funny, because you'd think the booster pack sphinx would be the most likely to be associated with poor man's Azorius symbols...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on untaidake the cloud keeper
    I found an Aetherworks Marvel deck that had Top 8'd a Modern tournament and tried sneaking an Untaidake into the mana base (note that it can pay for all planeswalkers and the Marvel). Sadly, it still disappointed me, mainly because it doesn't tap for regular mana.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Animar + Ancestral Statue Infinite Combo
    One note: Unless Animar is freaking huge (and your opponent may just be desperate enough to pay 15 life to kill Animar if necessary), it won't dodge Toxic Deluge. That board wipe doesn't target, anyway.
    Posted in: Developing (Legacy)
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    Quote from Equinox2793 »
    Quote from D90Dennis14 »
    I don't think that Field of Ruin is actually better than Tectonic Edge in D&T to complement Ghost Quarter.
    It is bad without Arbiter and is too expensive to activate to be efficient.

    I don't see any deck that would want Jace, it just makes a bad token and dies to anything (like a spirit token) being at 1-loyalty.
    It is probably one of the worst 3-mana PW's ever printed.

    How is it comparable to a spirit token? If your opponent uses a bolt or push on the token then you are already winning. No 3 mana planeswalker can make a token that has power/toughness higher than 0. The only playable modern card that messes with jace/the token is electrolyze. You sound like the people who were calling liliana last hope/grim flayer/collected brutality garbage cards.

    D90Dennis14 means that after Jace, Cunning Castaway ETB, then makes a (2/2) token, he's at 1 loyalty and weak enough to get pegged off by a 1/1 Spirit token (with Flying to get past Jace CC's grounded token). D90Dennis14 doesn't think the token is worth much, possibly to the point of being easily ignored for evaluation purposes.

    With that being said, at least Jace CC is a 3-cmc Walker who can protect himself. That's significantly more than situational peeps like Jace Beleren can claim.

    Also, Equinox2793, I don't get your claim that "No 3 mana planeswalker can make a token that has power/toughness higher than 0". Do you mean that no 3-mana walker can make a token that has toughness higher than 3 (and therefore dodge Bolt) with only its starting loyalty and without targeting a creature (a la Saheeli Rai)? Or do you mean that no other Modern-legal 3-mana walker can make a token that has power higher than 0 with only its starting loyalty and without targeting a creature?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    Even though it was only the prerelease I love Chart a Course. it's such a great card. I can see it being used in Prowess decks. Too bad it's not an instant... but that'll be too strong.

    I've playtested Chart a Course in UR Tempo with Monastery Swiftspear (and possibly friends with Prowess). Chart a Course's quasi-Raid and sorcery speed do not play nice with Prowess. I swapped Take Inventory back into one of the test decks (which kicked out Chart a Course) and froze Chart a Course at 2 copies in the other one.

    I should test Chart a Course in Tribal Zoo, though.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Spike, Competative Player
    I predict Spike's card will be merely par for the course P/T-and-cmc-wise (e.g. 4-cmc black 4/4) but with a swell ability of some sort (e.g. "4: Return target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand"). The flavour text may be something like "Timmy and Johnny don't necessarily see it, but I know how good I am competitively." Spike's card will look deliberately underpowered but actually be pretty good in practice--rather like the cards Spike sees value in first.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Turbo Devoted Vizier Combo (With Traverse the Ulvenwald, Hall of the Bandit Lord...6th Place in MTGO Modern Challenge)
    OK, there's this guy on MTGO called __matsugan, and s/he's been pretty persistent with this Turbo Devoted Vizier Combo deck. It's shown up in 3 MTGO Modern Challenges (it's made it into the Top 32 every time, and yes, it got 6th place the last time) and gone undefeated in 1 MTGO Modern League (you can see recorded proof here):

    After testing the deck on Cockatrice, I don't have that big a clue how __matsugan keeps getting better and better at Top 32-ing MTGO Modern Challenges with it--it basically folds to disruption + removal pre-board (e.g. BGx Midrange, UWR), if Burn kills your first Devoted Druid you are probably screwed, it's stuck racing Affinity and it doesn't seem to make it out alive notably more than half the time, and Eldrazi Tron has surprising amounts of game against it. All the sideboards are clearly anti-Death's Shadow, and only the latest sideboard respects opposing Path to Exile by playing Blood Baron of Vizkopa. OK, so it's consistently faster than Abzan Company and Ad Nauseam from my testing, it has a decent time against RG Valakut, and it can catch UW Control flat-footed surprisingly often, but then Dredge keeps Conflagrateing Devoted Druids without Haste...

    My Cockatrice test version turned into this after several games (subject to change; the sideboard is untested):

    These are card choices that __matsugan and I agree with:
    • 4 Devoted Druid and 4 Vizier of Remedies: The least controversial card choices in this fast combo deck, I hope.
    • 4 Traverse the Ulvenwald: A dang cheap creature and land tutor in the right deck, and this was probably built to be the right deck.
    • 4 Street Wraith and 4 Mishra's Bauble: Necessary to enable Traverse the Ulvenwald.
    • 1 Walking Ballista: We'd rather have our win con kill nonsense like Platinum Emperion and ignore stuff like Ensnaring Bridge.
    • 3-4 Summoner's Pact: It finds Devoted Druid and win cons. Shame it doesn't find Vizier of Remedies, and it's easy to put this deck in a position where it can't pay the next turn's upkeep. I find 4 of them a bit clunky precisely because it doesn't tutor for Vizier of Remedies and the backfire chance is awful, but __matsugan doesn't...and that's where the arguments begin.
    • 1 Duskwatch Recruiter: A way to find your win con that you can Summoner's Pact for is a great idea.
    • 1 Wild Cantor: Because the case where you need all your remaining mana (often from Devoted Druid) to cast Vizier of Remedies will happen surprisingly often. Summoner's Pact for this girl now turns this case into a win.
    • 4 Hall of the Bandit Lord: Giving Devoted Druid Haste enables soooo much. You dodge sorcery-speed removal, make opponents uneasy, make Summoner's Pact sorta playable as a tutor, make Pact of Negation sorta playable as combo protection...
    • 2 Horizon Canopy: Yes, land cantrips make the deck that much more consistent.
    • 4 Oath of Nissa: One of the best cantrips in the deck. It finds both creatures and lands. Like every cantrip-that-finds-specific-cards in this deck, it whiffs somewhat often.
    • 4 Pact of Negation: As much as I wanted Blossoming Defense to work out because it doesn't backfire with a nigh-unpayable upkeep next turn, G really is too much to pay when comboing off.
    • 1-2 Conjurer's Bauble: Sticking discarded or dead win cons back in the deck is fine enough. The fact that it's a colourless artifact cantrip is more important.

    __matsugan and I definitely don't agree about these cards (some of which I've tested and tentatively ditched):
    • Commune with Nature: I still love this card as a 4-of. __matsugan's ditched it entirely in his/her latest list. I don't get it. As often as it whiffs, and as much as it doesn't grab anything but creatures, it's still the best at digging for combo pieces, bar none.
    • Ancient Stirrings: __matsugan's run this up to a 4-of. I hate it and have pared it down to a 1-of. Yes, it finds lands and some cantrips (and a win con), but Mishra's Bauble is such a slowtrip, and you're lucky if you get Horizon Canopy or Conjurer's Bauble with it. ...And even those cantrips don't dig very far.
    • Manamorphose: It's "free", it filters your colours, it's an instant you don't want to sandbag, and you might be able to pay for Pact of Negation or hardcast Street Wraith with it some day...but those days are getting rarer and rarer. I seem to be more tempted than __matsugan is to rip it out entirely.
    • Deadshot Minotaur: Yes, it's one of the closest you can get to Summoner's Pacting for Vizier of Remedies, but a dig-1 cantrip sucks at getting her when you're desperate.
    • Weird Harvest: Does __matsugan not run into Spell Queller or Snapcaster Mage or Vendilion Clique or Aether Vial into hate critters or something? All I can see is this card backfiring on me.
    • Uncage the Menagerie: All the ability to grab both combo pieces and/or win cons, none of the backfiring. It doesn't overload your hand with creatures, but you don't need that many.
    • Eternal Witness: What does __matsugan do with Walking Ballista--hide it in his/her deck? If Walking Ballista gets discarded or played and killed/suicided, you can't rely on finding Conjurer's Bauble and stuffing it back into the deck. I've run into cases where I played Walking Ballista for X = 0 just to enable Delirium fast enough, so I need that Eternal Witness. Besides, E. Wit. is actually a pretty good cantrip during the combo turn in practice (just make her grab an already used cantrip), and you can make her get another combo piece instead if that's how the game goes.
    • Seek the Wilds: A fifth Oath of Nissa that digs one more but costs twice as much is better than a bunch of other options out there. I guess Commune with the Gods and Gather the Pack are in similar camps, but I'd rather not whiff if I'm paying that much, and there are more lands in this deck than enchantments.
    • Grapple with the Past: It's like a love child of Oath of Nissa and Eternal Witness--it's fine at digging for combo pieces, and it precisely brings back dead/discarded ones. Being an an instant you'd rather not sandbag helps for Delirium.
    • Vessel of Nascency: I've tried this before. If it weren't for the fact that it takes 3 mana to crack, I might have kept it in my deck. It comes dang close to never whiffing, and it digs fairly hard.

    Which of these card choices do you approve of? Are there other ways to improve this deck? How does this do so well in the hands of __matsugan in the first place? Do you think __matsugan will ever Top 4 a MTGO Modern Challenge with this deck?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Lets discuss manabases
    Too few fetchlands in your 2-colour mana base and Blood Moon bites you in the butt. (There are also side drawbacks like no gravy with Tireless Tracker, your Knight of the Reliquary not getting fatter, not being able to trigger Landfall on Searing Blaze at instant speed, not enough Delve for Logic Knot, Ramunap Excavator looking worthless...but they're individual 2-colour decks' concerns.)

    At any rate, whenever I build a general goodstuffs 2-colour mana base, I pretty much include only fetchlands, fastlands, on-colour manlands, filter lands, utility lands that produce colourless or single-colour mana, basics, and a shockland or two--not painlands. I often find that the second fetch can be cracked for a basic in 2-colour decks, making them inflict only 1 damage over the course of a game, as opposed to painlands' 2 or more. (Yup, I hated using painlands in Burn before enemy-coloured fastlands were released, although I felt they were a necessary evil because at least they were less painful than the first fetch for a shock. Note that Burn values having each land tap for red mana much more highly than, say, BG Midrange values having each land tap for black mana.)
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    I find attacking with 3 creatures to be significantly harder than getting Threshold in Modern (i.e. Legion's Landing is significantly harder to flip than Search for Azcanta). And even if you can get 3 creatures to attack at once through a removal spell (e.g. Zoo), aggro decks often don't want the massive comparative tempo loss Legion's Landing and its silly 1/1 for 1 mana provides.

    My first guess for the deck that most wants Legion's Landing is Tokens variants.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    Quote from izzetmage »
    Hypothetically, if you had a deck with a low enough curve and 30 noncreature spells, would you refuse to play Dark Confidant in it because doing so would turn on removal?

    Actually, yes. Heck, it's already happened. While Lantern Control used to be a fan of that removal-luring creature called Spellskite and sometimes the card-digging creature called Glint-Nest Crane, the vast majority of Lantern Control decklists nowadays don't contain any creatures at all. Stuff like Abrupt Decay and Kolaghan's Command apparently got rare enough that Lantern Control players said "to heck with creatures, all Spellskite does is eat Path to Exile/Dismember" and dropped creatures altogether. (Lantern Control's highest-cmc maindeck card is 3-4-cmc nowadays, so it has a very Bob-friendly curve.) It's possible that Glint-Nest Crane was dropped partially because of colour-fixing reasons, though.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Flip Lands Ranked
    Here's how I rank the Transform cards in Modern (I don't think any of them will take off in Legacy and beyond because Wasteland is a thing and it tends to keep people off 4 mana):
    1. Search for Azcanta: Hands down the best of the Ixalan Transform cards in Modern. Heck, it may be the best new card in Ixalan for Modern (the new-to-Modern reprint Opt is better, though). Search for Azcanta is easy to transform and produces high-quality CA post-transform. It'll attract Ghost Quarter/Tectonic Edge/Field of Ruins like the dickens, but man, does it turn games around.
    2. Growing Rites of Itlimoc: Collected Company decks are currently in a good position in Modern. Among them, only Elves may be interested in this (the rest only really need to get to 4-6 mana, and they can often put only 3 or fewer creatures on the battlefield at the same time), but that's a bigger audience than the rest of the non-blue Transform cards in the set.
    3. Legion's Landing: If BW Tokens were alive in Modern, they'd be interested in this card. Soul Sisters has fallen off the map for a while, and White Weenie generally doesn't attack with 3 or more creatures in Modern, but this card is cheap and turns into a decent token producer in aggressive enough decks.
    4. Conqueror's Galleon: At least one deck in Modern may be interested in taking this card out for a spin: Eldrazi Tron. It has enough big creatures to drive this Vehicle and transform it, and it has enough mana to make its land side dang good. Maybe Modern has too many aggro and combo decks for this card to gain a foothold, though...
    5. Vance's Blasting Cannons: The land side of this card is pretty overpowered, too, but the front side is yet another Outpost Siege, and that card generally loses out to Chandra, Torch of Defiance nowadays. Oh yeah, transforming this card is pretty hard. That the land side does not play nice with Blood Moon also hurts its chances.
    6. Primal Amulet: ...At least I know a fringe deck in Modern that may want this card, and the flip side produces decent CA. Shame about costing 4 mana and getting bonked by Kolaghan's Command, though...
    7. Arguel's Blood Fast: The front side is decent CA, but the life is surprisingly pricey, a lot of this card's customers would rather play Search for Azcanta because it doesn't suck out their life totals, and then this card still has to compete with Bob (Dark Confidant). The land side can gain your life back when you sac creatures about to be taken down by removal to it, but that side totally sucks.
    8. The rest: Yeah, the rest look unplayable to me. Journeyer's Kite never saw play in Modern, and flipping into a damage-preventing land when you have enough lands already still won't make it OK. Dowsing Dagger doesn't grant enough bonuses as an equipment, and then the aggro decks most likely to transform it don't really need the extra mana. Treasure Map draws cards slower than the equal-cmc Sunset Pyramid does, and the mana bump isn't worth it when it's so late.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    Quote from genini2 »
    Against combo or aggro Search for Azcanta will probably be too slow. Repeatable advantage against a control deck, or a deck like Jund sounds great.

    I did find that Search for Azcanta did have several similarities with Ancestral Vision when I tested it. Both are blue and cheap, but need at least one turn before they start producing CA. Search for Azcanta is vulnerable to permanent destruction (both enchantment and land), but it can sneak around more counter walls because you can resolve it while your opponent is tapped out (while AV is completely telegraphed because it cannot be normally cast), and crucially, it can produce CA the turn after it is played (unlike AV, which only produces CA 4 turns after it is Suspended). Search for Azcanta requires more mana period, though, and it can't hand you lands or creatures for CA. However, once it flips, it digs 4 deep (per shot!) instead of 3 (like AV), and I've found that 2 activations are generally all you need to gain an edge in a match-up if you're playing a midrange/control deck. (You may need only one activation if you're playing a combo deck, but I only recommend this in slower combo decks such as Scapeshift.)
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on {XLN} Ixalan spoiler discussion for Modern
    izzetmage, what do you think about Search for Azcanta's playability in Modern? From my testing so far in blue-splashing midrange/control/combo (e.g. UWR, Scapeshift, even Lantern Control), it's been great once flipped and easy enough to flip as a 1-2-of (although the graveyard "Scry" definitely helps it flip), although yard hate can hit it pretty hard pre-flip, it sucks in multiples, and it can be regarded as having Suspend 1 or more. It looked like the biggest omission in your playables list.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Axis of Mortality
    I don't know why the last phrase of flavour text, "no drink of exquisite crimson without a dying gasp", is so unintentionally funny.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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