Sunday, September 23, 2018

Wizards Direct + Amazon = Success

The 1990s LGS model, by which many LGSs are modeled, is not going to survive the Amazon onslaught. Instead of attacking WOTC for what looks like a very pragmatic, and even forward-thinking move, we should ask LGSs to evolve out of the 'game tables and water bottles' era.

I think WOTC is making the best move they can. Amazon's logistics and willingness to take short term losses for market share have worked well for the company. Why fight a losing battle and defend the outdated LGS model? It's way smarter to have a balanced approach (which is what WOTC is doing) by throwing LGSs a few bones while their ranks thin to the new LGS model (where all of the profit comes from food and entertainment and not from selling packs), and get direct-sale profits out of Amazon.

It sucks for LGSs, true enough. It does. I used to go to bookstores. Now I don't. The new model is at the home tables of casual players. It's no surprise that four-player Commander is such a huge success. I am sure WOTC ran the numbers and realized that the LGSs and even competitive play account for small percents and the lion's share of profits comes out of retail direct to casuals.

Movie theaters have already made this evolution. Now you go to a movie theater and can sit on a gigantic sofa. The new LGS will be an entertainment center, a leisure center, it will have great food, even TVs showing competitive coverage. You can go there once a month and have an experience.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Trostani Selesnya Commander Build (Ravnica I + II)

I picked a solid selection from both blocks for this build.

I can't wait to enrich this deck with three more sets of Ravnica!

Crown of Convergence is very interesting. I am forced to choose between keeping something on top of my deck that I need but is not a creature, therefore cannot buff, such as a land; or a creature that is one or both colors (latter is a +2/+2 buff, which is great).

It's a tokens deck!

Conclave's Blessing can be used to make quite the fat butt on a creature.

Enchanting Privileged Position with Elemental Resonance generate five additional mana every turn.

Here, I only get a +1/+1 buff from Sunspire Griffin.

Here is the great buff from Collective Blessing.

Armada Wurm generates a 5/5 Wurm, and this is exactly the token I need for Populate triggers.

I can keep making 5/5 tokens for 1WG from Trostani.

And on top of the Populate benefit, I can buff +2/+2 in this board state.

And then keep making more 5/5 tokens.

And even more 5/5 tokens.

White/Green for Selesnya ahead of Guilds of Ravnica

And using only creature and non-creature spells that will be Standard legal when Guilds of Ravnica (GRN) comes out in a few weeks.

I am playing several enchantments to trigger Satyr Enchanter, even though I did not get to cast it in this game.

Shalai is great, and so is Skymaster Aspirant. It's relatively easy to get Ascend in a tokens-heacy build.

Even though this is a solid board, it will probably be better to only build to Kicker or only build to enchantments, but not to both in the same deck.

The same goes for Ajani's Pridemate. This deck is not going specifically for incremental mana gain, and that's the deck in which Ajani's Pridemate shines.

Finally an example in which I trigger Satyr Enchanter.

Here is an instance where Druid of Horns to good use.

This deck is just to try out various strategies specific to these two colors. All of these cards are not going in the exact same direction. Benalish Marshall, for example, is not a good fit for multicolor builds. If we get some sort of devotion thing going later in Standard, then this card will be perfect for those builds.

Selesnya in Ravnica II (Return to Ravnica)

Continue with my look at Selesnya, here is another Modern singleton deck, now only with cards from Ravnica II. Maybe it's because I did not play when Ravnica I was in Standard, and I played a ton of Ravnica II when it was in Standard, but I am finding the second installment to make for more enjoyable casual decks.

The Boros white weenies help Selesnya a lot.

Here is a solid finishing board state after casting Advent of the Wurm.

An early game Tablet of the Guilds is a ton of life gain since it is triggered by every spell you cast,

And even though Collective Blessing is a six drop, when on the board, it's quite the pump.

Here is Wild Beastmaster pumping my army.

Another solid winning board state.

This time I enchanted Wild Beastmaster to increase the pump.

Another example of Boros creatures helping a Selesnya build.

Phantom is not a great card, but it does boost tokens...

Here is Selesnya Keyrun as a token creature.

Selesnya in Ravnica I (City of Guilds)

I am looking at the guilds of Ravnica ahead of Guilds of Ravnica. This deck only uses cards from the first Ravnica block.

Utopia Sprawl and Elemental Energy are great for pumping up the mana.

Birds of Paradise also helps with ramping, and is great for when one of your colors is not coming up early enough (besides being a mana dork, period).

Terrarion is great to filter mana early.

Seeds of Strength only boosts until end of turn, instead of with +1/+1 counters, yet it's great to pick where the boost goes.

Here is a simple board that left unhindered, will finish the game for the win.

Here is yet another simple board that will do the same.

Being able to Convoke thanks to a good number of creatures is a great combo with Elemental Resonance.

And Selesnya Guildmage can be pumped multiple times (twice in the example below).