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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Aug 21 2009 9:29am
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Editorial Section:
A good idea is a good idea!

As I mentioned above, there are no "Official" MTGO Forums right now.  Being as that is where I generally spend my time that means that this week I've had to frequent other corners of the internet.  One other thing that this means is that the place where I usually muse (or mise) ideas from is drifting aimlessly through the aether.  This means that it's either going to be something taken out of my sleep-deprived psyche (and a quick glance at what I had written just about made me spit water through my nose...) or I had to find muse-level thoughts elsewhere.

There are still quite a few good places to gather ideas from.  One of my current favorites is the insidious Twitter.  Real time information sharing is a great thing.  Twitter has a lot of good things going on, so I checked there first.  Sadly, nothing really jumped out of the screen at me this week.  The next place is 'other' forums.  Namely www.classicquarter.com/forums, www.puremtgo.com/forums and www.mymtgo.com's blogs and forums.  As I was wandering through these places I found something.  A fantastic gem of a post by Under_the_Hammer on the classicquarter forums.  Before I get all the way into it though I have to sheepishly admit that this thought hadn't really crossed my mind, which is a pretty sobering thought.  I need to do a lot more reflective thinking, it seems, as this is a rather logical extension of something a lot of us do every year.  What's that?  Prepare for the Standard rotation.  Heck, even many of us mentally prepare for the Extended rotation.  Case in point: name five cards Extended loses as Zendikar comes into the format?  A: Five fetchlands.  Even I, with little to know knowledge of Extended can rattle off a few cards that are about to rotate. Now to tie this back to UtH's post.  It's been a while since this (http://www.classicquarter.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1205&PID=12307) thread happened, and probably some of you have forgotten about it, but WotC announced that they have every intention of creating an online version of Legacy.  If not now, then soon from now.  Exactly *when* is still up in the air, but it's something that an informed MTGO'er should know is coming.

Anyway, why do I care about this and why am I bringing it up?  Quite frankly I hadn't considered, even remotely, the thought of preparing for MTGO's Legacy format and what that might mean to demand in the MED3 and From the Vault: Exiled sets.  Let's take a quick peak at what this thought process does for Classic players and possibly interested players of a non-Classic eternal format.  To quote Hammer:
"Ignoring Classic and focusing on Legacy only means no need to drop cash on mana drain, Bazaar, Oath of Druids (Exodus) and the FTV-E.  This option allows for the sale of Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Mind's Desire, Earthcraft, Dream Halls, Flash (knock on effect of selling Phyrexian Mauraders etc) (i.e cards banned in legacy)"

Someday, Legacy shall Arrive
In a nutshell, this is the first real statement I've seen where someone has started to discuss changing their collecting paradigm in preparation for the Legacy/Classic split.  I know that some people have talked about what cards will be needed/what won't, but not many of them have taken that next step where they use that split to decide what to buy now.  Probably because we don't know a lot about what exactly Wizard's has in store for the MTGO Formats.  However, if we go off of a couple of assumptions I think we can get ourselves ready for the day it does happen.

Premise #1: WotC will want MTGO Legacy to be pretty much the same power level as Paper Legacy.  Meaning that cards get banned to maintain the format at the level they want it to be.  Of course there will be some discrepancies as we don't have all the cards between Mirage and Invasion yet, nor do we have all the important cards from the Pre-Mirage sets.  This means that there's a lot of powerful cards missing that justify the banning of certain cards.  With different cards there are differences in power for the formats, which of course means that the decisions that will be made to match the formats will probably be strange.

Premise #2: WotC will eventually want Online Legacy to effectively match Paper Legacy.  This means that even if we get a format called "Legacy" it won't match up with paper Legacy for at least the next couple of years since we'll need to get all the full sets between Mirage and Invasion, and we'll need to get the rest of the playable cards from pre-Mirage.  And while there aren't a lot of super necessary old cards, there are still enough of them to need at least one more Master's Edition set to get us there. One thing that irked a lot of players was when MTGO had a format called "Online Extended" since we were missing cards.  Once Extended became IPA forward MTGO and MTGP matched up and has been matched ever since.  The lesson that WotC hopefully learned from this is that if you want to have an online format like a paper format, it needs to match, especially if it shares a name.  Online Extended was far less played than the regular Extended due to paper players not needing it for testing.  The same would happen, although less pronounced, if MTGO's Legacy didn't match closely enough to MTGP's Legacy.

Concerns of Player:
Concern #1: I feel that really only one format will survive online, unless there is some huge, huge, huge influx of Eternal Format players.  This is just a hunch of course, but I really don't think that the Classic community can survive a splintered player base. Not months ago, not now, and not for a good long while.  Not unless there are some major efforts taken by WotC to really build up the eternal player base.  If Legacy comes out, and it gets support from WotC, I suspect that Classic will die an abrupt death.

Concern #2: Price Perception vs Price Reality. I often see people state something along the lines of "I can't wait for Legacy so I don't have to shell out for Classic".  The problem with this line of thinking is that it seems to be a hold-over from Vintage-Legacy instead of realizing that Classic is very very different from Vintage.  For example, in either Classic or Legacy, you're going to want 4x Force of Will.  Also, 4x of each dual.  Instead of 1x of the restricted cards you'll always want 4x of what you can play.  Which translates to not a lot of savings, sadly.

Concern #3: Few other players until then.  Assuming you do take this time to start preparing your Legacy collection instead of Classic that means that you're essentially dropping away from Classic tournaments until you can play Legacy tournaments.  With no actual knowledge of when they'll be or what they'll allow.  That's a huge risk to take on a collection.  Also, you're putting yourself into disadvantageous position for Casual as well.  You can always play your deck in Classic, however it will most likely be a bit weaker than the Classic decks you face.  You also have to figure out what you suspect the Legacy Banned List will contain.  A direct port of Paper, just the restricted Classic cards?  There are a lot of hurdles to get your Legacy deck some direct competition.  Of course they're not impossible to overcome, but there's definitely a lot of stuff to keep in mind as you make these decisions.

Personally, I find the idea of preparing now for Legacy to be very intriguing and something worth considering for anyone who finds Classic to be daunting, either financially or for its power level.  If any time is the time to start preparing for this, that time is now, even if you don't change your habits much at the present time.  It's still very important to be prepared for this upcoming change and act accordingly. 

Card Price Table Discussion:
Not a great week for card prices, of course that shouldn't surprise anyone who's been around for the past few months.  Magic 2010 has been drafted like a baby boomer in the 70's.  Which is to say a lot, and frequently.  The upshot of all this drafting is pretty obvious when you look at this week's numbers.  M10 singles took the largest hits, and very few gainers were to be found.  Mostly some of the new deck's old cards recouped some prices, like Preeminent Captain, Tezzeret the Seeker, etc.  Namely, old cards that have become good with new cards.  Tezzeret on the back of the Open the VaultsTime Sieve combo decks and Captain on the back of Captain of the Watch... which might explain why he's holding his sword like that. 

Anywho, mostly of note this week are the cards that dropped which can be summarized thusly:
"M10 and Classic Speculation"
M10 for the insane drafting and Classic Speculation for the fact that Classic has not grown by leaps and bounds as some thought it would, which has led to the people holding those cards realizing that they won't get more than the top dollar they paid for them, and in fact, many others are selling them cheaper than they bought their extras for.  As more and more people realize this, more and more Classic cards drop. 

Card Price Tables:

Card name: Amount Changed: Percentage Changed This week Last Week
Preeminent Captain 1.75 77.78% 4 2.25
Apocalypse Hydra 1.5 150.00% 2.5 1
Tezzeret the Seeker 1 16.67% 7 6
Vendilion Clique 0.75 33.33% 3 2.25
Boggart Ram-Gang 0.5 55.56% 1.4 0.9
Sen Triplets 0.5 22.22% 2.75 2.25
Goblin Piledriver 0.5 22.22% 2.75 2.25
Progenitus 0.5 14.29% 4 3.5
Master of the Wild Hunt 0.5 14.29% 4 3.5
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker 0.5 10.53% 5.25 4.75
Card name: Amount Changed: Percentage Changed This week Last Week
Apocalypse Hydra 1.5 150.00% 2.5 1
Kaleidostone 0.03 150.00% 0.05 0.02
Marisi's Twinclaws 0.07 140.00% 0.12 0.05
Sygg, River Guide 0.13 108.33% 0.25 0.12
Viashino Slaughtermaster 0.04 100.00% 0.08 0.04
Preeminent Captain 1.75 77.78% 4 2.25
Cancel 0.02 66.67% 0.05 0.03
Crystallization 0.02 66.67% 0.05 0.03
Sanity Gnawers 0.03 60.00% 0.08 0.05
Divination 0.03 60.00% 0.08 0.05
Card name: Amount Changed: Percentage Changed This week Last Week
Force of Will -8 -11.43% 62 70
Ajani Goldmane -1.75 -22.58% 6 7.75
Great Sable Stag -1 -20.00% 4 5
Ajani Goldmane -1 -16.67% 5 6
Jace Beleren -1 -16.67% 5 6
Garruk Wildspeaker -1 -15.38% 5.5 6.5
Vindicate -0.99 -3.03% 31.68 32.67
Elvish Archdruid -0.75 -30.00% 1.75 2.5
Noble Hierarch -0.75 -12.50% 5.25 6
Garruk Wildspeaker -0.75 -10.71% 6.25 7
Card name: Amount Changed: Percentage Changed This week Last Week
Howling Banshee -0.07 -58.33% 0.05 0.12
Dragon Whelp -0.07 -58.33% 0.05 0.12
Borderland Ranger -0.07 -58.33% 0.05 0.12
Countersquall -0.13 -52.00% 0.12 0.25
Serra Angel -0.07 -46.67% 0.08 0.15
Vithian Renegades -0.07 -46.67% 0.08 0.15
Zealous Persecution -0.07 -46.67% 0.08 0.15
Rupture Spire -0.07 -46.67% 0.08 0.15
Celestial Purge -0.1 -40.00% 0.15 0.25
Qasali Pridemage -0.1 -40.00% 0.15 0.25


Card Price Graph Discussions:
There's not a lot to add from this list that wasn't mentioned above.  However I decided to dig into some cards that were past the #10 spots on the decreasing card lists that I felt were interesting movers, namely Doran, the Siege Tower and Windbrisk Heights.  Remember when Windbrisk was a jank rare fetching .2 tickets a piece?  Yeah... those were the days. Doran's been holding steady for a good long while, however it seems as if his time has come.  It will remain to be seen if he will be able to hold his own in Post-Rotation Extended yet, and until then, look for him.

Card Price Graphs:

Tournament Info:
Updates to the Banned and Restricted lists announced:

100 Card Singleton




Tribal Wars (Classic)

My only real "What?" moment of this list is Arboria.  Go ahead, look it up.  In a format that requires you to play at least 20 creatures, how is this thing too broken?  I look forward to reading more details about this utterly perplexing choice.

After the amount of comments and discussion we had after last week's article I really wanted to thank everyone for their participation and their very well thought out discussion items.  It was a great set of comments and I really learned a lot about the way people see the game, the prize structure and the price of singles.  Thanks again!


5 Stars by Jacobs at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 09:51
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I look forward to your articles each and every week. Thanks for continuing to post.

I am waiting for the day you by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 10:00
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I am waiting for the day you become a DBA and provide historical price graphs of every card. As that would be truely amazing. TBH I dont think it would be that hard since the data is provided easily. It just a matter of automating it.

Ya... nice article by xXWarIsPeaceXx (not verified) at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 10:06
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Excellent as always... I have had the same thoughts, but have got caught in no mans land with my thinking... even though I play casual classic, I like to be able to play any/all of the card interactions. Deciding to limit my choices by noy purchasing cards, feels a little bit like going back to extended... I like the limitless options of classic... (other than restrictions obviously)... need good minds to keep speculating so I can keep my thoughts spinning around.

The 70's and Arboria by Effovex at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 10:15
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"Magic 2010 has been drafted like a baby boomer in the 70's."

Wasn't the Vietnam war in the 60s?

"My only real 'What?' moment of this list is Arboria."

Maybe you misread the card? If you didn't play a land or creature, you can't BE attacked. In a format that's all about creatures, it can give a combo player a lot of time to set up I guess. Although it's generally worse than moat, and Moat is legal, so it's still a WTF choice.

Why is Strip Mine banned in 100-card singleton? I thought CoW and LftL were banned in the format, and without recursion I don't see how a singleton mine would warp the format...

Misread? I did indeed misread by hamtastic at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:17
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I did indeed misread (fun to say that phrase), but what it does is actually even more nonsensical to ban.

"Creatures can't attack a player unless that player cast a spell or put a nontoken permanent onto the battlefield during his or her last turn."

So, I play this, and next turn I can be attacked. Now, assuming I don't play any spells or put a non-token creature into play, or even a LAND into the battlefield... I'm un-attack-able?

I really don't see that as being ban worthy.

How is that, in any reasonable way, worse than Wrath of God, Damnation, or Solitary Confinement, or even Moat? Humilty is probably even better than this card, and more disruptive.

All of those cards are so much more damaging to an opposing creature strategy than Arboria ever could dream of being.

Unless I'm missing something crucial here?

I mean, you could, in theory, build a deck around arboria that would punish anyone who couldn't run a Disenchant/Naturalize effect. I get that.

But for that much work, you could build a deck around a much more damaging four CMC card of your choice, all of which are unbanned.

It still just strikes me as a weird ban for the format.

I'm going to address the by AJ_Impy at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 15:57
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I'm going to address the Arboria issue my next article. Bear in mind the restrictions are 'on your own turn'. Now, what do you think a flash-based tribe like faeries, cats or wizards could do with that? Heck, just sit behind it and throw instant-speed burn at your opponent, or channeled, cycled or triggered efects. it's very, very abusable, as much as Moat or Ensnaring Bridge. Trust me on this.

Vietnam War by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:30
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"Wasn't the Vietnam war in the 60s?"

Yes and no? It started in 1956 and ended in 1975. So technically it was in the 60s, but also the 50s and the 70s.

Direct US involvement was from 1962-1975.

70's correct by bubba0077 at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:56
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However, the draft did not start until Dec 1969, so 70's is pretty accurate.

Sorry to divert this discussion further by Effovex at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 14:58
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Are you sure? The wikipedia page on Vietnam war conscription is quite horrible, having no exact dates anywhere, but it does state that Richard Nixon campaigned in 1968 with a platform to stop the draft - which would be kinda weird if the draft started in 1969. I know there was a draft lottery in 1969, but was that really the beginning of the draft?

My (rather vague) knowledge of the vietnam war tells me that the war really escalated during the Johnson administration, and that Nixon started pulling troops in the 70s. I've found a timeline indicating that CORE (a racial equality group) and MLK spoke against the draft in 1966 and 1967, because it allegedly targetted african-americans predominantly. So obviously people were being drafted before the lottery.

I think this page compiles the number of draftees every year - and as you can see, a whole lot more were drafted before 1970 than after.

I stand corrected. How by bubba0077 at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 15:29
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I stand corrected. How exactly did they pick people before the lottery?

I'm not entirely sure by Effovex at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 16:39
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My understanding is that every male of a certain age (the ages vary with time) must register for the draft, and is eligible to be drafted, and if I'm reading this correctly this is still true today. However, certain conditions, like being a student, or (between 1963 and 1965) being married can exempt you from the draft.

Between 1948 and 1973, new recruits were drafted constantly, but until the vietnam war this didn't cause much trouble - despite there being more people drafted in each of 1951, 1952 and 1953 than any given year during the vietnam war.

Since 1973 nobody has gotten drafted, but males of a certain age must still be registered and could get drafted if conscription was reinstated. You can get fined and imprisoned for not being registered, but those are rarely (if ever) enforced, according to wikipedia.

The real problem for not by thomasw_lrd at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 17:06
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The real problem for not registering is lack of federal financial aid for school. This happened to my cousin. He can't afford to go to college since he never registered.

.. by Paul Leicht at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 15:34
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1960s to mid 70s in fact

Here is a hint on by Calavera (not verified) at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 10:47
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Here is a hint on Doran...

There are going to be about 350-500 textless Dorans entering the system on Sunday.... I sold mine off at 10 each as soon as that announcement went up... same thing I did with Mutavault (well I sold my regular mutavaults for 12 each then bought textless versions for 10 each a month later)

These are always fascinating by Shaterri at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:05
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These are always fascinating to read; I don't play Classic (or the looming Legacy) online, but it's interesting to watch the trends anyway. One suggestion: I think the relative movement charts would be a lot more useful with some minimum price cutoff (25c? 50c?) for the considered cards. If you take it as a given that there's at least 2-3c of 'noise' in the system then that noise totally washes out any movement trends for cards under a dime or so. Nobody cares if Viashino Slaughtermaster or Crystallization moved a couple of cents, and honestly having those cards on the list is just polluting the charts and masking useful data. Yes, sometimes you get actual trends (Kaleidostone is undoubtedly rising on the back of Time Sieve's nascent popularity), but I'd guess more often than not there's no meaning to the movement of anything under about a quarter.

Legacy/Classic split by Flippers_Giraffe at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 13:49
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I have no idea how the Legacy/Classic split is going to affect things but is it possible Legacy could be the next duff format like Extended is turning out to be out of paper season.

As a mainly casual player I’d probably stick with Classic (Vintage) as you will be able to play all the cards you own some may be restricted but none banned. I do play Std and block but Extended doesn’t do much for me as a format, what will happen to the format once Mirrodin rotates will it be ruled by faeries?

How far away do we think the split is? Urza’s Saga is due out early next year with the possibility of the power nine in MED4 this time next year and whatever From the Vault sets in between.

In regards to FTV: Exiled will we see Balance and Strip Mine in MED4 it would be the right power level of a set for them, is it worth waiting until then to see how the formats shape out or should we take the risk and buy now?

This post upset me by Anonymous at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 17:08
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This post upset me. Not because of the poster himself but more the topics being addressed.

Extended is a great format to actually play.

1. All deck types are present(aggro, control, and combo) and they have all been well represented at the top levels of play throughout last season.

2. Clearly imbalanced cards are not present. I am sorry eternal players but there are many old cards that are inherently far to powerful. I like following eternal formats but they are too expensive and too degenerate.(I realize affinity borders on this yet is still not well represented.)

3. There is a respectable card pool. One of the things I really dislike about standard is the extremely small card pool. Sure, this can be an advantage to new players etc but 2 blocks is really not a lot. This is compounded by the lorwyn block which has tribal themes which present only a number of viable decks(primarily one).

The feeling of designing your own deck(even through minor modifications) is a rewarding aspect of magic and one unique compared to other games. I don't like the feeling that WOTC has designed my deck. That is how I frequently feel about standard and especially decks like faeries.

The comment about faeries dominating extended really upset me. Firstly because faeries was such a terrible mistake. I can understand the desire to tone down counterspells. But to print cards like spellstutter sprite at the same time is just offensive.

Secondly living through faeries is exactly what standard has been since lorwyn was released. Why is it only going to affect extended? At least extended has a larger card pool to combat the menace. You will notice that at least faeries in extended doesn't even use bitterblossom.

Extended is a great format and faeries is a mistake for magic.

re: ext by hamtastic at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 17:28
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I'm sorry you have been offended by a post, I'm fairly certain that flipper's didn't intend it to be offensive.

I'm going to admit my ignorance of Extended and have to agree that there are a lot of really good things about it as a middle-ground between Classic and Standard.

In fact, I'd bet that this site could use some Extended articles, and it looks like you have the passion and ability to write about them.

Things like good decks, changes, metagames, etc would be awesome to see discussed by someone who loves the format and has a grasp on it.

hmm by Paul Leicht at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 18:15
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As I have written a couple articles based on extended and received little response I haven't as yet ventured back to the topic. I personally love extended and spend most of my time playing it with the exception of trying to play in the seriously broken 100s format recently. Extended has many possible deck archetypes and that is what makes it interesting without being too costly. In casual that is.

Classic is really hard for even a veteran player without a ton of tickets. Force of Will? Duals? Ouch is all I can say to that. But Rav Duals cost between 2 and 6 bucks (Stomping Grounds and the UG being the inexplicably overpriced ones.) And a lot of the other good cards in extended are fairly cheap with the most expensive being things like Reflecting Pool.

As far as playing serious extended tournaments...well from what I understand it is a much narrowed field with few innovations. Id be happy to see myself proved wrong in that but I really don't think I will be. The usual suspects: Elves, Fish, Zoo, etc are par for the course but there is little else that is really competitive. Certainly none of my Desolation Row builds are tournament worthy. Elementals could be interesting as the basis of the deck certainly has some resilience against a wide selection of decks.

hmmm by Paul Leicht at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 18:29
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I don't entirely agree with all of your points. Perhaps because I view things from the casual end of the pool and I see a lot of broken combo and other degenerate deck archetypes in extended. For example, while Affinity may be underrepresented in the serious play arena, it shows up far too often in casual play. Not that it isn't beatable but you have to metagame your deck builds no matter how rogue to be able to take care of some of the worst offenders in Affinity or just consider yourself a bye. The nice thing about casual play is you can just move on if a deck offends you but that isn't really the desired outcome.

To exacerbate the problem most extended casual games never involve a sideboard as they are rarely more than 1 game per opponent. Many people will not join 2 out of 3 match setups unless the time is severely restricted (15 mins for 3 games?). So while serious play avoids Affinity because everyone hates for it in the sideboard, in casual it is rampant. NuAffinity too. (Use of the jank from Ala/Arb that combo well with older affinity, etc.) Faeries on the other hand doesn't even show up. I think I've seen one true fae deck in the last month or so. Elves is very popular in casual and often that is the most netdecky list you will see as it somewhat builds itself.

I also think that while Lorwyn has a lot of obvious hangups it has some interesting cards (look at some of the other articles on this site to see what I mean) that interact with the older extended pool better than within the sterile environment of standard. Not that I hate standard but it gets stale quickly when everyone wants to run janky Swans decks etc.

I agree that Extended is a great format and I second Hammy's remarks that you should post an article with some of your ideas for good extended decks. Give us something to live for :p

Many Apologies by Flippers_Giraffe at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 19:04
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Sorry I didn’t mean to offend the extended players out there, that’s the last thing I wanted to do.

I play most formats and I do have a number of Extended decks, when I was writing an article a few weeks ago that used the extended pool I didn’t feel there was a great many choices to pull from, maybe it’s because I play classic and the range of cards has spoilt me.

As hamtastic says maybe we do need someone to show us what is available in the format. I feel Extended has been neglected from an article point of view, people do touch on decks that can be used in relation to other articles but we don’t have a dedicated writer to show the love for the format that you have.

I admit I don’t have a grasp on the Extended format as I do the other formats it’s probably my weakest to be honest so I shouldn’t really have judged a format I know nothing about.

Many Apologies Flippers_Giraffe

Thanks for all your by Margul (not verified) at Sun, 08/23/2009 - 18:19
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Thanks for all your respectful comments. As a frequent observer of the site I respect the comments of many of you including flipper.

I wasn't really offended but more upset as the previous post said.

There is some truth to the fact that faeries will be bad for extended as well as any format they are legal in. However, standard thrived with huge interest and a smaller card pool. I don't want people to be turned away from an awesome and already struggling format.

I certainly hold nothing against any of you and I hope I did not convey that. The content of the post merely pointed out some realities that saddened me.

Power 9 by Kriterian (not verified) at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 14:01
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Why does "the possibility of the power nine in MED4" keep popping up? I can't imagine them ever releasing those cards and IF they did, they certainly wouldn't give them all out in one set. They'd put one or two in each Master's Edition for the next 10 years and people would buy each set up.

This is a very good by hamtastic at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 14:31
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This is a very good question!

Essentially, even *if* they put a piece of power into a MED set for the next ten years, they'd run out of *other* cards to include in like, two years, maybe three. And that's if they include complete and utter garbage (worse than MED2's garbage, no less).

Which means that, at most, we have two or three more MED sets.

I've heard (unofficially of course) that they don't really even want to go past one more MED set.

Which means that, well, for those who want the power to be on MTGO that MED4 is likely their last bastion of hope.

The interesting thing, if you look at it, is what's left rare wise for MED4?

Duals are done.

A lot of the uber-Powerful cards are done. Bazaar, Drain, etc.

They'll need to have about 10+ cards to drive the sale of a MED4 set, and there's really not that many strong sellers left in the old sets. Dangerlinto has done a ton more correlation and thought than I have on the subject. IIRC, his general consensus is that the even remotely playable cards will be pretty much taken care of by MED4. (Danger, please set me straight if I'm wrong!)

So, to make a short story long, that's why. :)

(Or, in summary: people really want power. The most likely chance to get power is in MED4, based on what is likely to be the last, or almost last, MED set).

Here’s a thought for you by Flippers_Giraffe at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 15:20
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Here’s a thought for you regarding the power nine, if you take away the $ value they have in paper and introduced them into a online set would they still be the same power nine you know in the paper world.

I think the answer is no the set they would be in would be drafted to affinity and as they would be auto restricted even at mythic they would be worth, I don’t know $10 on average for the Moxe’s 15 for Lotus.

People base the cards on what they already know the paper worlds $ value and rarity, online these cards won’t have either of those.

I think MED 4 will be the last in the series as they would struggle for rares to fill further sets.

Pretty Simple, actually by dangerlinto at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 15:10
dangerlinto's picture

You've pretty much got it, but the main point most people miss is that *CARDS THAT WILL BE RESTRICTED ARE POOR AT SELLING A SET*. You essentially have to have 4 good restricted cards for every one good unrestricted card.

To put some math behind it, for MED4 to be as good as MED3 in terms of providing quality tourney rares (which as Hammy pointed out, have proven to be essential to MED set sales along with healthy nostalgia), it would need to have:

Mishra's Workshop (a wash with Bazaar in MED3)
Something for Drain and the 5 duals.

Since the only good cards that are of the caliber of Duals or Drain that are left for MED releases are restricted (sorry Sinkhole, Stasis et all - you aren't duals or Drain), you would need 24 of them! Check the vintage restricted list - there aren't that many left. And that includes P9.

So here are the options

1) Make an MED4 and MED5 (or however many you think there should be) without any reprints and watch sales thin out as the 2nd market prices rise for whatever few good cards you put in there, because there simply aren't enough left to keep the frequency to make opening packs/drafting worth anyone's time.
2) Don't worry about the P9, make MED4 and get done with it.
3) Start reprinting former MED cards (like duals) to stretch out how many more MEDs you can get. You can put P9 in here or not - more duals will always sell the sets.
4) Get all the remaining useful cards into MED4

Option 1 sucks. Even with P9, there aren't enough cards left to make two good sets with what's left.
Option 2 sucks if you want P9 because I really don't see an online exclusive FTV: P9 ever happening.
Option 3 is OK, but only if you are into the reapperance of duals . I personally don't like it as much as option 4.
Option 4 is realistically not going to happen without making all the restricted cards Mythics. Which I've spoken about many times and won't get into here.

There is an article and a good thread on CQ (see the article Too Much is Not Enough). I just don't want to have to reiterate all the points I've made there.

CQ is what exactly? I'd like by Thatic at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 21:04
Thatic's picture

CQ is what exactly? I'd like to see that article.

CQ = www.classicquarter.com by dangerlinto at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 21:56
dangerlinto's picture

Now you know

Arboria favors by JA Headden (not verified) at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 16:24
JA Headden's picture

Arboria favors non-interaqctive decks where your board position is developable from permanents that give you creatures (Vitu-Ghazi, Garruk, Centaur Glade) or other effects, and which do not allow you to make creatures. Your PWs can still be attacked, though. Where in a tribal deck do you not drop lands or play fetch spells to develop some combo with your creatures, if you go that route to "break" it? If anything, this is a moat effect that hurts your opponent, so it seems intuitive to look at it in light of Tribal ... but the hoops you must go through, or rather the things you cannot do, to enable Arboria for you seems overly useless to ban, especially when if you have a position that requires an attack, your opponent can just not play anything and prevent any sort of alpha strike.

Exactly, and well put, by hamtastic at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 17:25
hamtastic's picture

Exactly, and well put, JA!

The amount of work to 'break' Arboria would essentially allow you to 'break' any number of currently unbanned cards. I just don't see it being THAT overpowered compared to the plethora of other build around me cards we have access to.

What the banning of Arboria by AJ_Impy at Fri, 08/21/2009 - 18:52
AJ_Impy's picture

What the banning of Arboria represents is a line in the sand. They were updating every format in relation to the new cards: they still haven't rebalanced the tribal format to deal with the old inconsistencies. Nonetheless, I'd rather they addressed new problems as they emerged than added them to the stockpile.

preeminent captain and apocalypse hydra by dude (not verified) at Sat, 08/22/2009 - 11:44
dude's picture

why are these cards going up so drastically? ive seen no decks on any sites utilizing them

Ham, are the pricelists by Anonymous (not verified) at Sat, 08/22/2009 - 12:29
Anonymous's picture

Ham, are the pricelists you're working from publicly available, or are you working of something Heath provides you? I'd love to have access to that data, because there's tons of useful information I could get off that.

Arboria by Squircifer at Sat, 08/22/2009 - 16:33
Squircifer's picture

I used to play a Thallid deck in real life that used and abused Arboria. The thallids would generate saprolings unhindered, with fungal bloom it was even more saprolings. That with spore flowers to create fog effects when you wanted/needed to play or cast something, it was very effective. And that was without all the newer thallid/fungus cards you have around now. I am not all the familiar with the whole tribal format, so I do not know how competitive thallids would really be, but with Arboria I can see all the fun I would have playing them again in casual.

Is mana drain not banned in by wrongwaygoback (not verified) at Sun, 08/23/2009 - 07:53
wrongwaygoback's picture

Is mana drain not banned in Pauper?

mana drain is rare pauper is by BDirg (not verified) at Sun, 08/23/2009 - 08:29
BDirg's picture

mana drain is rare pauper is commons only so yes it's banned

Ah, my mistake, fooled by the by wrongwaygoback (not verified) at Sun, 08/23/2009 - 19:23
wrongwaygoback's picture

Ah, my mistake, fooled by the little black symbol on the card.

welcome by Paul Leicht at Sun, 08/23/2009 - 23:35
Paul Leicht's picture

to the bad ole days of no rarity indication in the symbols. :p back in the day we had to guess :p or wait for someone to put out a verified spoiler. steve d'angelo I think did most of the early spoilers upto Ice Age.