Saturday, April 20, 2024

Standard Themes 2024: WU Spirits

 This theme is built mostly from Innistrad Midnight Hunt and Innistrad Crimson Vow. Even though Lunarch Veteran is not a Spirit, it turns into one, and the same is true for some of the other creatures useful for this deck. Also, Lunarch Veteran's lifegain triggers so much life gain that it can boost many other cards, and turbocharge pretty much any deck.

Voice of the Blessed is by far the strongest card in the Spirits deck, and it gets really big on lifegain triggers.

The theme has two legendary creatures that can be used for casual Brawl and Commander builds.

Spirits have a lord: Patrician Geist.

Mirrorhaul Mimic can be used to generate additional Spirits.

Behold the Unspeakable can generate a Spirit token.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

A historic summer of Magic Standard is about to begin

 Once Outlaws of Thunder Junction comes out in a week or so, we will have 12 large sets in Standard. I have been having fun playing an Insidious Roots deck in Arena. My decks usually live in Platinum, but this one made it to Mythic. I have been posting many of the games to my Magic YouTube channel. Here is a link to the playlist:

The dest started at Mythic 85% and after playing many games, I ended at 80%. I made several optimizations along the way, and I am happily surprised at this fluke. I would have been happy with yet another well-tuned Platinum deck for casual play!

Here is the decklist:

4 Insidious Roots (MKM) 208
8 Swamp (LTR) 267
3 Commune with Spirits (NEO) 180
3 Sheoldred, the Apocalypse (DMU) 107
4 Ashnod's Harvester (BRO) 117
3 Glissa Sunslayer (ONE) 202
4 Faerie Dreamthief (WOE) 89
3 Boseiju, Who Endures (NEO) 266
4 Deathcap Glade (VOW) 261
2 Restless Cottage (WOE) 258
4 Underground Mortuary (MKM) 271
3 Forest (LTR) 271
4 Sheoldred's Edict (ONE) 108
2 Vein Ripper (MKM) 110
4 Hero's Downfall (VOW) 120
3 Gix's Command (BRO) 97
2 Junji, the Midnight Sky (NEO) 102

Anyways, about Summer 2024: I have been cracking a booster box of each set, and plan to build a bunch of casual decks focusing on all rotating commons from Midnight Hunt, Crimson Vow, Kamigawa Neo, and New Capenna. I have the commons complete all in a book. Once Outlaws comes out, I plan to start building decks centered around the rotating commons and using as many of the cards from all of these sets as possible.

I hope you are as excited as I am about 12 large sets in Standard.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Falco MTGO Solitarie Test Deck

 I build these decks to understand how cards interact. In order to make this deck work against an opponent, you can substitue 10 or so cards with cards that interact with opponents (destroy creatures, counter spells, and so on). Falco is a lot of fun. Add a bunch of counters, build up mana, and then start casting from the top of your library. Tribute to the World Tree and Satsuki are the first to go to make the deck have more synergy.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

A Standard Cube Begins

 I cracked seven packs (IRL: in real life) of Midnight Hunt and made four decks with the cards. I reconstructed each deck in Arena and am playing them against the bots. It's my way to see how many of the cards play. These three decks are very low-power. As I crack more packs, I will be able to make stronger decks.

The first one is WG.

The second one is BR.

The third one is UG.

The fourth deck is WB

The major pulls from these packs are:

I am sure these three cards will continue to be used as I crack more packs and make more decks. Here are the deck lists. These decks are very low-powered. The game here is to make enough decks with this selection to have all of the cards in at least one deck.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Strixhaven Mystical Archives are a home run

 Yeah! I loooove these cards. I am having a lot of fun collecting them. Including one in every pack of Strixhaven is a stroke of genius, the design is just perfect, and the cards are iconic and playable. What more can we ask?

I have these and most of the others. Out of 63, as of now, I am only missing 15. I had to order many as singles just because I wanted to collect them. Home run, Wizards, home run!

I go through some of these in this video:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Tiered Model is Thriving

 I applaud Wizards for getting players to be in tiers like they do in sports cards. More power to them. The fetchlands have been used to create an artificial environment in which the entry to Modern is through $6 to $10 packs, depending on which set (I am going back all the way to the original Modern Masters) we are talking about. There is nothing wrong with these sets. On the contrary, they are great. The whales can feed on them, and that's great for whales, and even great for everyone because those Wotc profits will trickle down as high production quality for the peasant tier: Standard sets. This is Reaganomics, but for Magic.

There are people who are not whales who buy into these products. Here Wotc has slowly gotten people to adapt to paying a lot more for the same product they were getting 10 years ago. Some came in after the prices went up and don't even know that there was a time when five of the fetchlands were in Standard. The player base has almost no memory, and Wotc is very smart in using this lack of memory to gate keep Modern.

Someone at Wotc did the equation and figured out that there are enough whales for these products and that peasants would go about their business buying Standard packs. I know in my case, beginning with Modern Masters, I began to seek affordable alternatives in other games (Pokemon before the bubble, Yugioh, and Force of Will). For as long as there are very few people like me, Wotc will be fine with the tiered model.

It sucks for me because I was quite the Modern fan boy when it got started. If all of the Modern Masters products had been $4 packs, I would have built a sizable Modern collection. I was planning just that, and then Modern Masters came out. I changed my mind. And this is the crux of the matter: the long term effect of decisions people like me made almost 10 years ago. Do I represent a tiny tiny minority of the player base? Based on the pallets of super expensive products Wotc has issued since Modern Masters, I must be in the smallest of minorities.

I agree with Rudy and MTG Lion that it won't take much for Magic to experience an all-out speculative bubble like the one we have in Pokemon. A couple of high profile YouTubers opening boxes of Legends will do it. I think the conditions are there. It's just a matter of time. Not only that, I think Wizards has a $1000 box ready to be issued once the conditions are right. It is not an IF, it's a WHEN. 

Modern Horizons II will be a home run. There are many whales waiting to feast on this product. We are just waiting for the Pokemon scalpers to add Magic to their portfolio, and when they do, everyone who bought into all of the premium products Wizards has issued recently will make a fortune.

We will likely experience a rotation similar to the one in Pokemon: people who play the game will be priced out and take a break from it as they are replaced by people who only want to invest in the product and don't know and don't care to play the game. I think this is the next phase for Magic. I have my popcorn ready.

Such a missed opportunity for Wizards that I believe will come back to haunt the game. 1,000 whales is better than 100,000 budget players, that's the current equation, and this is a big miss because the value of Magic collections needs the 100,000 budget players who act as ambassadors to the game. The 1,000 anonymous whales are not ambassadors to the game, and the second they see the value of their large holdings go down, they will walk out on the game, whereas the 100,000 budget players will stick with the game through thick and thin.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Late March, 2021

 Umm, that seems like a random date range. It isn't. This is the date range some people found out that the Onslaught fetch lands were going to be in Modern Horizons 2, and this is the date range when all those people went on a buying spree for the Onslaught versions of the cards.

Polluted Delta

Blood-Stained Mire

Ummm, what a coincidence... Well, except it sure does not look like a coincidence that all of these cards doubled in price within the same week and more than a month before we the peasants found out.