Menu

Author

8 posts

How To: Melira – The Ins and Outs of Melira Combo

My preparation for GP Melbourne was a mess. I started with Splinter Twin, then switched to an Abzan Chord deck after the ban, then started casting around for another deck after the Pro Tour when it became clear that my slow, grindy Chord deck was weak to the Eldrazi menace. I looked through the PTOGW lists and settled on Ari Lax’s Melira Combo deck. I’d played with earlier versions of the deck, but found it pretty miserable to play – it’s just a combo deck that has the illusion of being interesting because sometimes you get to attack.

Despite it being, to me, an uninteresting and uninteractive deck, I had resolved to play decks for their power level rather than entertainment value. With one constructed GP a year in Australia, I wanted to give it my best shot, which meant restraining my urge to do something off the wall, and just learn how to play a tried and tested #netdeck. Read More →

Modern in March – The Rise and Rise of Dr. Owner

I wrote last time that Modern was looking bleak. Eldrazi were everywhere, and still are. Not just the absurd numbers put up at PTOGW. Fourteen decks across the top 24 GP decks this weekend (3 different GPs). Eleven of the top 16 at a Modern online PTQ. Twenty of the top 32 at the latest SCG Open. Four of the top 8 at a 79-player GPT two weekends ago. When it isn’t winning the event, it’s losing in the finals. This deck has already warped the format. So what do we do about it?

We don’t waste valuable thinking time wishing for bans (The Secret is still a thing, right?). These will happen in due course. But until then, we need to work out how the deck works to work out how to beat it.
Read More →

PT Eldrazi

“In the interest of format diversity, Splinter Twin is banned in Modern.”

Ok, yeah, I know that the Pro Tour over the weekend was about Oath of the Gatewatch, but in reality, it was cards from both trips to Zendikar that made a splash. I’m going to assume that you already know how it panned out. If you need more info, it’s just a click away.

eye of ugin 2

Six of the top eight decks featured Eldrazi, combining Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple with cheap colourless creatures from OGW, and to a lesser extent BFZ. The other two decks were Affinity. The most played non-colourless creature in the top 8 was Simian Spirit Guide. There were more Ghost Quarters than basic lands.

Did the sky fall? Is Modern broken? Do we need emergency bans?

Read More →

Modern Mayhem

The long-awaited banned and restricted update is here! Many of these updates pass unnoticed, but not this one. Modern just lost two decks. Two whole decks. Amulet Bloom. Splinter Twin. Boom. I’m going to try to explore these bans, and some of the ramifications they hold for the format.

A confession first: I had been flailing around looking for a new Modern deck after the banning of my beloved Birthing Pod. I finally decided to bite the bullet and commit to Splinter Twin, spending a lot of time and money on it. Thus, I’m pretty disappointed by this update, but will try to restrain my bitterness from seeping through, though I might be humming My Heart Will Go On as I write.
Read More →

Breaking Down Pro Tour BFZ

Post-Pro Tour Standard Breakdown

The Pro Tour has come and gone, and we are left with dozens of decklists to copy, video archives to watch, and soon, plenty of analysis of the event. This Pro Tour featured a stacked top 8, and the most anti-climactic match of Magic ever, as 10-time PT Top 8 Competitor Paolo Vitor Damo Da Rosa mulliganed a bunch against 15-time PT Top 8 Competitor John Finkel. The quarter final between Ricky Chin and Ryochi Tamada, on the other hand, is probably the best match of broadcast MTG I have ever seen, and should be at the top of your post-PT viewing list.

It can be found here

Today, however, I want to go through what the PT results mean for Standard. I will try to avoid speculating about how likely different decks are to be picked up, and will instead try to look at some of the numbers and theory behind what did well and why. I’m assuming that you, dear reader, are passingly familiar with the deck lists found here. For what it’s worth, one team broke it for this Pro Tour… but it’s not who you think! Read More →

Pro Tour Prognostics

Ah, those glorious days between the release of a new set and its corresponding Pro Tour. No articles unpicking the intricacies of common match-ups – we still don’t know what the best decks are. No MODO footage of Pro players picking up brand new decks and muddling through them on stream – the new set has only just gone online. In a world overwhelmed with information, there is precious little available about the current Standard format.

Today, I’m going to try to sketch out the limits of the format. What restrictions are imposed upon successful decks? It’s not the mana, as we can happily play four or even five colours off the absurd Fetch and Tango lands (though fewer colours is still faster). Instead, this format is limited by the removal available. Read More →

Playing Modern in Standard

Battle for Zendikar Standard has just begun and it will be interesting to see what this new set will contribute to the standard environment.

Many decks will transition easily into the new format – Abzan aggro, Mono Red, various Dragons decks – which keep many of their important cards. Beyond that, experienced pilots will know how to update them, to keep their deck functionally similar (albeit honed for a new metagame).

My inspiration is not, however, coming from Standard past. Some of the uncommon, and even common, offerings from BFZ have me looking a little further afield. Read More →

Introduction to Modern 2015

It was the best of formats, it was the worst of formats. Wizards is trying very hard to create an affordable eternal format, and the product of this experiment is Modern. From its not-quite-eternal card pool to its extensive and shifting ban list, it is a format full of possibility.

With a season of PPTQs and an associated Pro Tour on the horizon, Modern is steadily becoming a relevant format for much of the year. Whilst it will never achieve the popularity of Standard, if you plan on playing the competitive events available in your area, you will find yourself sleeving up a Modern deck sooner than you might think. Read More →