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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Oct 14 2011 10:31am
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Hello and welcome back to another edition of Friday Thoughts!  Midterms for me were last week, and I did fairly well.  With five major tests out of my way I was finally able to buckle down and get some playtesting in for Champs!  (Hate calling them Champs.  I'm still torn on the whole people from out of state can play, because when I started to play magic, it was a true prideful state championship.  I guess I am really old.) I started to kind of work on standard when the top 32 lists came online from the Starcitygames.com Open in Indianapolis. I've always been a sucker for Solar Flare.  I love controlling the board and reanimating creatures.

I started off with AJ Sacher's list and was pretty close to completing it.  I was happy with the results, testing was going well, and I got to know the deck pretty well.  Of course the unthinkable happened.  Liliana of the Veil somehow jumped to seventy dollars per card.  

I was flabbergasted!  How could a non Jace, the Mind Sculptor planeswalker hit that kind of price? I know that there was a run on the card over that weekend due to speculation (Also thanks guys.  Now that everyone is a dealer magic is super expensive to play.  I'll keep playing it but I'd rather eat and feed my son and make sure we are taken care of.  I know hobbies are expensive but if I wanted a super expensive sink for my money I'd start restoring old cars.  This is getting to be ridiculous.  I'm happy for all these people that get to write finance articles, but I'm clearly not in their target audience.  I'm pretty sure I do not need some guy to list a card, tell me what it does and then tell me to buy sell or hold.  I can read the text of the card and make that decision myself.)  but for it to get as high as seventy was very surprising to me.

Without the needed 210 to buy the planeswalker it was back to the drawing board for me.  I decided that I would sell my collection (which at the time was two five row boxes filled to the brim with cards and a monster binder filled with all the rares that I had decided to not use for the new standard.)  Surely I could get enough money to finish up Blue White control right?  Well I even managed to screw that up.  I took time off of testing to make sure my tests were going well and to hang out with my boy (Always the right choice) and never managed to make the trip to Owensboro, Kentucky to get the cards sold.  Turns out that was a great happening as the Starcitygames.com Open Series in Nashville really brought out a cool new deck!

The Red Green Kessig Wolf Run deck took the event by storm and may have been one of the rare "best decks" in the room to actually win the event.  Brian Sondag ran roughshod over the control packed top eight and the "neo-Valakut" deck was the breakout deck of the weekend. I fell in love with the deck as soon as I saw it.  It would also be hard to build since you know I sold my magic and magic online collections a few months ago to purchase a car.  (Miss the cards, do not miss staying at home all day or bumming rides) I took Cassius to daycare, went to class, and finally made the trip to Owensboro to sell the rest of my cards to flip them turn into standard decks.  

I got a little more than three hundred for the cards, and was able to kind of finish the Wolf Run ramp deck through the sale.  Had to borrow some of them, but I should be able to shuffle up a deck Saturday morning and compete.  

I get home sleeve up the deck, make proxies on some cards that I randomly found in my car and go to bed.  

I woke up Tuesday and since then I have played a lot games with the deck.  I made changes to the deck in order to address the mirror match but after getting a feel for it (the mirror) I think I have the answers for it as well.  Here is my decklist for states.  It's of course subject to change (I may also still audible, I'll have those other lists I am considering as well.)  

I am also still considering a list of Solar Flare.  Jonathan Medina wrote about his list on Starcity recently, and I found myself agreeing with him on a lot of things.  Mana Leak may just be a crutch, and with cards like it out of the deck, Snapcaster Mage can be played less as well.  I'm thankfully a friend with a dealer here in Kentucky so borrowing cards for this deck will not be a hard thing to do.  Let's take a look at Medina's list.  

Solar Flare
Jonathan Medina
1 Phantasmal Image
3 Sun Titan
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 Snapcaster Mage

Other Spells
3 Oblivion Ring
2 Dissipate
3 Doom Blade
3 Forbidden Alchemy
3 Think Twice
2 Jace, Memory Adept
3 Liliana of the Veil
2 Day of Judgment
3 Timely Reinforcements
3 Unburial Rites
1 cards
3 Island
2 Plains
2 Swamp
4 Darkslick Shores
2 Drowned Catacomb
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Isolated Chapel
26 cards

Sun Titan

I still question Liliana's place in the deck.  I am not sure she is needed.  I feel like there is a deck for her to be in I'm just not feeling her in Solar Flare.  

I do think Liliana has a place in this deck though, and what better way to start off the Deck of the Week? 

This week's deck is a tight mono black infect list created by smi77y.  He's a fantastic deckbuilder that I feel does not get a ton of credit for his brews.  This list in my testing has proven to be great against Solar Flare and the Wolf Run Ramp deck.  If you have the time to build it before states give it a chance!  It's a ton of fun, and sometimes it's just better to deal ten damage than it is to deal twenty! 

4 Plague Stinger
3 Spellskite
4 Whispering Specter
4 Phyrexian Crusader
2 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
17 cards

Other Spells
3 Victim of Night
1 Doom Blade
3 Trigon of Rage
2 Postmortem Lunge
3 Tezzeret's Gambit
3 Lashwrithe
2 Liliana of the Veil
9 cards
4 Inkmoth Nexus
22 Swamp
26 cards

4 Despise
4 Virulent Wound
3 Surgical Extraction
1 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
3 Black Sun's Zenith
12 cards
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon

News of the Week!  

First on the agenda is the discontinuation of Top Eight pins at Pro Tour Qualifiers.  Great move I believe.  I have more of these pins that I would care to think about, and have lost many more.  I thankfully have a few of them to put in Cassius's box about daddy, but I do not believe these are a huge loss.  Yes PTQ Grinders are out a pin.  Is it really that big of a deal though?  I always thought the goal of a PTQ was to get the invite, not the pin.  Saves WOTC some money and maybe they will put it back into other programs!  Like the money that was saved from Magic Players Rewards that got put back into err, what did that get put back into?  

I'm still a bit bitter about the loss of that program. 

Modern will be a PTQ season in January.  I'll take a break from Magic again during that month.  If I have a hard enough time building standard decks, I'll have an even harder time building decks for Legacy Light (All the great cards of Legacy none of the counter magic that keeps them in check!)

Gerry Thompson is starting up his own video show.  I like the idea of that and if Evan Erwin is helping produce it, it should go over very well.  Good Luck! 

Innistrad Prereleases are on MTGO now!  I played in one went 2-0 with a pretty nice pool and then dropped because I found an apartment to move into with my girlfriend and her daughter.  

There is a Standard Grand Prix this weekend.  It's in Australia!  Seems like a lot of fun, and maybe a resource to mine some great tech before champs.

This feels like a good stopping point for this week's article.  Next week time permitting I'll have a report of my time at champs, and a look inside of the Box of Daddy's stuff that will go to Cassius one day.  Have fun this weekend! 


INN Pool by apaulogy at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:39
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Would have love to see the deck you made.

Must be so rich you can afford 30 tix for entries... :P

Thanks for this

I spent my month's by JXClaytor at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:49
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I spent my month's entertainment budget on a prerelease on mtgo. It does not take much to entertain me :D

Calling Modern "Legacy Light" by Gardevi at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:45
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Calling Modern "Legacy Light" is just completely ignorant. Try the format. They're not similar at all.

If I wanted to play an by JXClaytor at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:49
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If I wanted to play an expensive non rotating format, I'd make the jump into Legacy. I have no desire to play modern because I feel like it's legacy light. You have (had) the robust combos and no way to stop them. Maybe if people play the format after the bannings are in place, but for now no.

"Maybe if people play the by Gardevi at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:51
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"Maybe if people play the format after the bannings are in place, but for now no."
Like, maybe if there were an upcoming PTQ season for the format?

I've already made my decision by JXClaytor at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:52
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I've already made my decision to take off for the ptq season. That's how much I just do not want to play modern. I think the format is a gimmick, it's being forced down our throats, and that there is still a ton of work to the banned and restricted list.

Okay, that's fine. Say that, by Gardevi at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 11:02
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Okay, that's fine. Say that, instead of "it's Legacy Light; it should just be Legacy."

Fair. I'll expand next time. by JXClaytor at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 11:35
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Fair. I'll expand next time. i see your point :D

+9999999999999999999999999999 by country hillbilly at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 11:45
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Modern seems mega awful. No real duals = LEGACY LIGHT

apaulogy's picture

and one can only compete in legacy if they are willing to spend $200 on the manabase alone, $400 for FoWs, and ~$200 for Wastelands...

so a thousand bucks, retail for just this...

While you can get into modern competitively for half that- 8 Rav Duals ~ $150. 4 Goyf -$350


BTW- Just yankin' your chain. Fact is I am just jealous because I want to play a Legacy deck with 4 FoW...

I don't think Modern by howlett23 at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 16:05
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is meant to replace legacy, they are very different. As for the dual land comment:

Watery Grave = 6.75 -- Undeground Sea = 28.00(why God why???)
Breeding Pool = 14.00 -- Tropical Island = 18.00
and that's the closest one(that's any good anyway, as far as what I enjoy playing)

You can't compare MTGO to by char49d at Sat, 10/15/2011 - 16:37
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You can't compare MTGO to Paper, because cards like FOW are much more expensive online, even despite fairly limited demand. Legacy is expensive in either format, but for every cheap card like Candelabra online, you have a Lion's Eye Diamond that is triple the cost.

The Duals could be half that price (and have been) and it doesn't matter since Wasteland and FOW are so expensive.

Not for "every cheap card." by GainsBanding at Tue, 10/18/2011 - 02:15
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Not for "every cheap card." There are only a handful that are more expensive online. Force, LED, Vindicate, Daze, Null Rod, etc. But there are 10,000 cards that are cheaper online.

o come on. Modern is fun. by apaulogy at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 11:10
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Legacy's sky was falling in the initial stages too. Time heals all wounds, except the wounds that leave huge scar tissue.

I agree the ban list needs more work, but the format seems Zoo...I mean fine.

does anyone besides me enjoy by JXClaytor at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 14:05
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does anyone besides me enjoy my teaser texts?

I enjoy the punny ones. by walkerdog at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 14:06
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I enjoy the punny ones.

You can't just tolololololol into Mordor by apaulogy at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 14:20
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I actually love them, sir. I actually commented on the Rebecca Black ref you made on one. Keep them coming. entertainment value is underrated...

For Tyler-

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery

Ouch. It's so electric it by walkerdog at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 16:29
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Ouch. It's so electric it hertz.

Maybe by howlett23 at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 15:58
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if the bet was to eat the steaks...mmm filet...

Open mouth, insert foot by BlippyTheSlug at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 19:09
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I was somewhat enjoying your article (seemed more like a rant at times) until you called Modern "Legacy Lite"; I stopped right there in disgust and had to comment.

You are promoting ignorance. Is an orange an "apple lite"? Both are fruits, but they're not the same. Is black "white lite"? Both are colors but they're not the same. The 2 formats are not even remotely similar, other than being non-rotating. Have you even PLAYED any Modern?

I did not finish the article.

really? I used to like you, by ShardFenix at Sat, 10/15/2011 - 09:55
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really? I used to like you, you were fun but ever since a few months ago all you do know is birch and moan, its obvious here and other places you post. What happened?

Huh? :( by BlippyTheSlug at Sat, 10/15/2011 - 20:55
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Have I really gotten that bad? I like to think I'm a fun guy. (you can sub fungi if you like) I guess I'll have to take a personal inventory and see what's up. I really had no clue I was turning into such a grumpy old man.

After reading your response, I looked back at some of my posts over the past month or so, and you're right. I jump salty at the least provocation. I'm antagonistic. I come across a lot more grumpy and negative than I used to, and I'm not really sure why.

Thank you for holding a mirror to my face. I'm not happy with what I see.

I apologize to those I've cheesed off, and will try to improve my attitude.

Hey it's cool everyone has by ShardFenix at Sun, 10/16/2011 - 12:06
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Hey it's cool everyone has moments but yeah, you used to be the coolest mushroom to joke with. I know one time I got like that but I had swallowed a bunch of food coloring and when the hospital said i was fine i was like wtf because i knew i had dyed a little inside.

A punster is you. by Paul Leicht at Sun, 10/16/2011 - 14:44
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A punster is you.

blippythenub, black is not by greyes3 at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 20:17
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blippythenub, black is not considered a color by a lot of people because of its absence of reflected wavelengths. There is debate to whether or not white and black are technically colors, but in the end it really comes down to how you define the two. Much like how you're probably defining Modern as X and the author is referring to it like Y. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and having spent time playing both formats probably a lot more than you, I would have to agree that the author's "legacy lite" comparison fits perfectly with the point he was trying to convey, and that this ignorance talk of yours is nonsense.

splitting hairs by howlett23 at Fri, 10/14/2011 - 21:45
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Is all you are doing greyes. Black and white color debate? Come on, get real. Is an apple and orange-lite then? Modern and Legacy are NOT similar, unless you lump the fact that they are non-rotating and perhaps they are all Magic the Gathering cards...that must make standard SUPER UPER DUPER classic lite then, right? If that is JXC's opinion, fine, but he is posting this on a public forum. Slanderous comments and negativity only keeps people away and contributes nothing to the game and much like Whiffy's defense of Classic, it's not fair to compare Modern to anything but Modern, it is not over-extended it is not Legacy lite period.

you sir just summarized all by protocol_7 at Sat, 10/15/2011 - 04:28
protocol_7's picture

you sir just summarized all my feelings


greyes3's picture

If you had read my post maybe you'd understand that it's entirely possible for an apple to be an orange-lite, depending on your definitions.

You say Modern and Legacy are NOT similar and then go on to list ways that they are similar. Well done.

If these are the only ones you could come up with maybe you aren't trying hard enough, or don't have enough experience with the formats to reach additional conclusions.

The rest of your post after these points was poorly concluded and gibberish to me.

Well at least you said "to by Paul Leicht at Sat, 10/15/2011 - 21:30
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Well at least you said "to me" this time. Well done. You're learning.

Nice one, bro. by greyes3 at Sat, 10/15/2011 - 22:10
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Nice one, bro.

i by JXClaytor at Sun, 10/16/2011 - 01:07
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played solar flare at states, went 2-2-1 played pretty well, had an unintentional draw in round three, and then got outplayed in round 5. One of my issues with playing magic now is I get tunnel vision and I missed the play that was correct for the play that I thought was safe.

I'll explain it soon enough. I just had a blast playing.

Modern or Legacy Lite? by Fred1160 at Mon, 10/17/2011 - 12:27
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I tend to think of Modern as "Legacy Lite," also.
Ignorance? Nope. I think this way because Modern seems
like it's missing all the cards I would want to build with.
Does Modern have Force of Will? Brainstorm? Real duals? Wasteland?
Modern is kind of like a little brother.
He wants to be cool like big bro, but he's not there yet.

I keep smiling everytime I by Lord Erman at Mon, 10/17/2011 - 12:44
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I keep smiling everytime I read comments like this. Really, why do you keep comparing Modern to Legacy? Or to Extended or even to Overextended? Why in general, people keep comparing this format to almost all the formats out there?!

Modern is Modern and it's a unique format with its own unique dynamics. You may not like it and that's okay, but is it really that hard to understand or to accept that Modern is different? Modern doesn't have any of the power cards Legacy has, because if it had, then it would have been Legacy! In that sense, Standard doesn't have them too so why do people bother playing Standard?!

Modern isn't light-anything. If you want power then play Legacy. If that is not enough, play Classic. If those are too much and Standard is too slow and lacks some power, then Modern is the format. That simple.


PS: Oh and believe it or not, there are people who dislike Legacy because Blue is so powerful there and there are people who hate Blue in general. Incredible I know, but there are people who like to play Zoo or Affinity without being "slaughtered" by Force of Will or Jace or Daze or whatnot.

Keep On Smiling... by Fred1160 at Tue, 10/18/2011 - 10:46
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I smile every time I read comments like Erman's.
Why compare? Because that's what people do in order to tell the
difference between two often dissimilar things! In this case, it is
a comparison of two eternal formats (I did not compare Standard because it
is not an eternal format).
You made my point for me when you mentioned that the power level of Legacy
is higher than that of Modern.
I offered up my opinion: Modern is Legacy Lite. The guy who owns
the store where I do most of my playing has a more extreme opinion:
"Modern was created for the crybabies, the people who cry because
Legacy is too expensive or too powerful or too blue. Any time I talk
about scheduling a Legacy tournament, people start crying and begging for
Modern because they can afford the cards."