Friday, May 30, 2014

A Core Set Cube (M10, M11, M12, M13, M14)

Now that the M15 Core Set is getting a new, even if only slightly modified, frame, the M10, M11, M12, M13, M14 Core Sets can be a really fun cube. There aren't any outrageously expensive cards. On paper, these are the most expensive ones (ones $10 or more):

Akroma's Memorial (M13 10.66)
Baneslayer Angel (M10 13.50, M11 13.22)
Leyline of Sanctity (M11 18.61)
Liliana Vess (M10 10.47, M11 10.38)
Master of the Wild Hunt (M10 16.15)
Primeval Titan (M11 17.03, M12 16.97)
Serra Ascendant (M11 11.88)
Sorin Markov (M12 14.62)
Steel Overseer (M11 11.31)
Time Warp (M10 12.25)
Thundermaw Hellkite (M13 12.97)

I am excluding M14 from this listing of most expensive cards because it has yet to rotate, but Mutavault and Scavenging Ooze will most definitely join this list.

End to end, there are 813 unique cards (four have had a rarity change but are otherwise unchanged). These core sets are great for new players, and the booster packs can still be had for no more than $5 each for M10 and M11, and for $3 for M12, M13, and M14.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

[Modern] Zombies

Finally! I have three three drop Zombie lords (that's all that is available in Modern in mono-black). There is an additional lord in blue-black in the Innistrad block.

I may switch out some of the one or two drops later. This is a reasonable start.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Modern Staples to Born of the Gods

This is a sample of 14,412 cards that exclude basic lands and are from the last few weeks of online tournaments. I did a similar look up in November 2012, and back then the top four creatures were Tarmogoyf, Kitchen Finks, Snapcaster Mage, and Dark Confidant, in that order. Lightning Bolt topped the list back then as well.

Delver of Secrets is still a dominant creature, but not anywhere near as prevalent as back in November 2012.

Geist of Saint Traft (17) is no where near the level of dominance that it used to enjoy back in November 2012. Courser of Kruphix is the highest ranking card from Theros and Born of the Gods (26).

Poor Theros block has so far been mostly a non-entity in Modern. Master of Waves is in the (14) range.

The Scry lands have been used selectively:

Temple of Deceit 1
Temple of Enlightenment 6
Temple of Epiphany 2
Temple of Mystery 1
Temple of Silence 3
Temple of Triumph 3

Liliana of the Veil, Karn Liberated, and Ajani Vengeant are the planeswalkers found in these top ranges. Here are the others.

Ajani Goldmane 1
Garruk Relentless 2
Garruk Wildspeaker 10
Garruk, Primal Hunter 2
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad 1

All of two Thragtusks saw play, and not a single Griselbrand (although the latter is very popular in Legacy, hence the high price).

Monday, May 12, 2014

[Modern] Devotion to Green in Tournament Practice

I don't know how bad this deck will perform in Tournament Practice. I will be happy winning 50 percent of the time with it. It costs considerably less to build than the established decks, even though I do not ever see it becoming established.

Game 1: Won, against a Pyromancer Blue-Red deck.

Game 2: Lost, against a Cryptic Command, Snapcaster Mage, Esper Charm, White Sun's Zenith deck.

Game 3: auto-lose against Tarmogoyf Naya Zoo, Wild Nacatl, Kird Ape, LIghtning Bolt, Lightning Helix, Path to Exile.....a very quick death 0-2 match! And that is why the Goyf is the most expensive creature in Modern!

Game 4: Won 2-1 against a Sakura Tribe Elder, Valakut deck. I lost the first game badly, but I used all of my land destruction from the side board to win the next two games.

Game 5: Won 2-1 against a Batterskull, Liliana of the Veil, Damnation, Thoutghtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek deck. The third game was a 20 turn marathon. I find myself switching in Bramblecrush too often; it is time to main-deck it.

I went 3-2 with the first configuration, which is not bad.

In the new configuration I have 3 Bramblecrush main-decked, and this was just what I needed when I faced a Tron deck in game 6. I won a very decisive 2-0 against this deck.

In game one my opponent was able to triple his Urza lands to drop a Wurmcoil Engine, but Acidic Slime killed it with deathtouch.

My opponent played some counter spells, but I have many creatures in my deck. I was able early on to soulbond a Wolfir Silverheart to activate drawing 8 cards with Garruk.

Here a Cyclonic Rift sends all of my non-land permanents back to my hand, but Nykthos allows me to recover only losing one land that I did not need.

Here is the gg kamikaze with double soulbonded Wolfirs.

Game 2 was even more decisive. My opponent may have realized that I had enough land destruction to win against Tron, and it sure looks like I do judging by this one match. Of course, I need to play this deck many times against Tron. I could have just gotten lucky during this match.

As of May 12
Configuration 1: 3-2
Configuration 2: 1-0

Non-Basic lands online and Vintage Masters

I would like to speculate that the price of all of these lands will increase once Vintage Masters is out online. Here are the current value trends according to mtggoldfish.

Plateau (Mountain Plains) $8 steady
Scrubland (Plains Swamp) $8 to $15 to $10
Badlands (Swamp Mountain) $7 to $15
Taiga (Mountain Forest) $9 to $15
Savannah (Forest Plains) $15 to $25 to $15       

Tropical Island (Forest Island) $15 to $30                       
Bayou (Swamp Forest) $12 to $41   
Underground Sea (Island Swamp) $17 to $42           
Volcanic Island (Island Mountain) $7 to $48
Tundra (Plains Island) $10 to $60

Strip Mine ($2 to $12)
Tolarian Academy ($7 to $20 to $10)
Bazaar of Baghdad ($5 to $18)

June 21 update: all of these cards have gone down in price a lot, but at some point I expect them to stabilize and begin to climb up in value.

June 28 update.

Friday, May 9, 2014

[Standard] Devotion to White shell ahead of Nyx

I looked at Enchantment Creatures, and white seems to have the most balanced selection.

Here is the deck, with a sample game I lost valiantly.

My opponent's deck was very well designed. Use Cyclonic Rift to pull creatures into your opponent's hand, then exiled them from everywhere using Reap Intellect.

Here comes an Elixir of Immortality.

And here I get my remaining creatures exiled... ouch!

Theros Block Tribes

I am disappointed we did not get more Grogons, yet Minotarus and Centaurs are a thing for sure.

Sorry Chimeras!

[Modern] Golgari Grave Titan

Here is yet another Grave Titan deck. This is a super fun deck. Not only does it have a play set of Grave Titan, it has my all-time favorite: Wolfir Silverheart.