Sunday, October 30, 2016

White Weenie returns! (Pauper)

After a really long absence White Weenie is back in the top 8 of the Pauper metagame!

I had to explore it!

This is the deck list:

Main deck
4 Bonesplitter
4 Elite Vanguard
3 Icatian Javelineers
3 Journey to Nowhere
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Loyal Cathar
4 Mana Tithe
18 Plains
1 Sky Skiff
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Sunlance
4 Thraben Inspector
4 War Falcon

3 Dust to Dust
2 Holy Light
1 Patrician's Scorn
3 Rune of Protection: Red
2 Standard Bearer
1 Sunlance
3 Veteran Armorer

Very aggressive compared to the WW lists of old. I am really sceptical about the Mana Tithes. Well, lets give it a try against the #2 deck in the metagame!

If you want to see more of the deck I will be playing it every Monday on the above youtube channel for another three weeks.

What do you think of White Weenie in Pauper? Is there room? What do you do against the bogeyman - UR Drake? Seems like a terrible matchup!

Commander 2016: mechanics

Normally, I would not write a word about Commander 2016 mechanics, but one of them is totally a breakthrough and it is worth mentioning, even if you are not an EDH player consider it as curiosity.

A partner. It is a fresh new rule to the format and it feels very simple and intuitive to me, sliding in elegantly into the existing Commander framework. A player may for the first time have two commanders if each of them has the partner keyword. There are fifteen legendary creatures wirh partner keyword. What does it mean to have two commanders? First of all, both commanders contribute to the deck's color identity, so if one commander is Blue/Black and the other is Red/White, your deck can include cards from these four colors. However, your two commanders are treated individually for all other Commander rules. If either leaves the battlefield, you can return it to the command zone instead. The additional cost of 2 for every time you've cast a commander from the command zone, applies individually. Combat damage dealt by each commander is similarly tracked individually. If either commander can deal 21 or more combat damage to a single player over the course of the game, that player loses.

and other a bit less spectacular new mechanic is:

Undaunted is a new keyword mechanic appearing on rare noncreature spells. Spells with undaunted cost one generic mana less to cast for each opponent in the game. Therefore, they become more expensive to cast as the game overruns and players are eliminated. But even if it is down to two players, you still get a 1 discount.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Reverting Standard rotation

This week Wizards announced that the twice yearly rotation is making it too difficult for new players to get into the format. Hence, Standard is reverting from the once a year rotation, which was introduced almost two years ago and was suppoused to come live soon, back to the two year rotation. 

We tried something that we thought would be overall better for the environment, but we have come to realize it isn't, based on player feedback. We heard you, and we're willing to change back to the way it was, and back to the way that gave players the most positive experience.

Wizards have studied the data and found that players feel that the faster rotation made Standard less appealing and players don’t like the change. Wizards realized that they had made a mistake, but they fixed it.

Playing Mentor in Vintage for the first time

As a bot owner I have been picking up VMA cards since 2014 and seen them fall steadily for two years. So why not put them to use? Time to get into Vintage.

I have tried Workshop before but after the most recent banning the deck changed completely, turning it once again expensive to get into.

This is the deck I choose to test instead:

Main deck
2 Snapcaster Mage
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Gitaxian Probe
3 Preordain
1 Repeal
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Mana Drain
1 Time Walk
4 Force of Will
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
4 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Library of Alexandria
4 Polluted Delta
2 Tundra
2 Underground Sea
1 Treasure Cruise
3 Mental Misstep
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Mox Sapphire
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
3 Gush
4 Monastery Mentor
1 Dig Through Time

1 Plains
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Disenchant
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Vendilion Clique
4 Meddling Mage
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Notion Thief

Having no idea what I was doing at all I just went to the TP room on MTGO and tried it out. It seemed impossible to find a match in any other room.

I expected to get a real good beating.

I imagined that I would be crushed instantly but that did not happen. In fact, it turned out I was playing way too slowly and I was in danger of losing to the clock (something that rarely happens in Modern but does happen in Pauper sometimes). I also did not expect that the format would be so complicated. I loved every second of it.

Now, if I just could find a primer on this deck and even a sideboard plan, I would be thrilled. If you know of any, give me the links please. Mtgsalvation, my usual source for such material, definitely did not deliver.

There is a free Vintage tournament with real prizes at every Sunday. Check out more here:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Enchantress in Modern

I was looking for a fun, new, casual Modern deck. I looked around on mtgsalvation and found this thread:

I am way to used to the tier 1 threads with excellent primers so I was quite disappointed that the first post was not updated but there was some gold on the later pages.

Then I came upon Saffron Olive excellent budget article:

It convinced me that the deck was indeed worthy of some play.

This was my first attempt at winning against a "real" deck.

Strengthened by this experience and some comments, I came up with this list.

Main deck
8 Forest
4 Plains
4 Temple Garden
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills

1 Greater Auramancy
2 Journey to Nowhere
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Nyx-Fleece Ram
4 Ghostly Prison
4 Oblivion Ring
1 Story Circle
2 Sphere of Safetly
1 Sigil of the Empty Throne
4 Utopia Sprawl
2 Fertile Ground

4 Arbor Elf
4 Courser of Kruphix
4 Eidolon of Blossoms
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

3 Nyx-Fleece Ram
3 Rule of Law
3 Nevermore
3 Story Circle
1 Sphere of Safety
1 Open the Vaults
1 Seal of Primordium

That's 31 enchantments. I should be able to draw some cards.

Emrakul might look odd but it gives me inevitability plus prevents me from decking myself.

The only budget choice I made was to not go buy Leyline of Sanctity which has an obvious spot in the deck. The budget version of Leyline is Ivory Mask.

Stay tuned for an update and you will learn how I did with the deck.

If you have any suggestions for the list, please let me know

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Redemption changes

The ability to redeem digital sets for physical ones has long been one of the pillars of the Magic Online economy. When the program was first launched in the early 2000s it was designed to make players feel more comfortable with investing into digital cards by providing an escape hatch to the world of paper Magic.

Starting with Kaladesh, the redemption period of a set will begin roughly 30 days after the set's release, up until the start of redemption for the next block set (Amonkhet in this case). Wizards provided this handy graphic to demonstrate the new timeline:

This period is significantly shorter than the old timeline, which guaranteed redemption for the Standard lifetime of each set, with a cut-off date of about one year after rotation. This means the redemption period will be reduced from approximately 2.5 years down to 6 months and small sets like Aether Revolt will barely receive a redemption period of three months

The fun fact is Battle for Zendikar is redeemable for 5 months after Kaladesh is no longer redeemable, and Shadows over Innistrad is redeemable nearly a year after Kaladesh goes off. Shadows over Innistrad will be redeemable for a few months after Amonkhet.

Will people rush to redeem sets and as a result Standard singles will reach new heights?

One is more than certain, once the redemption window closes on the Kaladesh block next spring, prices on Kaladesh cards not seeing very strong Standard play will crash hard.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Kaladesh prerelase experience

I played the Kaladesh prerelease. Overall I was very impressed by the format. It seemed like tons of fun. I was poorly prepared and it felt almost like back in the day when I had to read all of the cards.

The new league structure is fantastic. No longer did I need to book six consecutive hours to my wife's despair - no, now I could just play the matches at my convenience. Very neat.

This is the pool I was presented with and the deck building decisions I made. What deck would you have built?

Red Green was very strong. In all the matches I played except the last one, a RG deck won the match. Sadly, however, that deck was not always one.

The first match clearly showed me the power of my deck as I crushed my opponent with RG violence.

In the second match I once again applied brute force and beat my UG Energy opponent to a pulp.

So much violence!

After that it did not go too well. You can see the rest of the matches in the playlist provided below:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Kaladash: impact on Modern format

The most interesting cards from Kaladash that may find home in Modern format:

Fastlands: enemy-color lands are always welcomed in any multicolor deck.

Inventor’s Fair: it suits very well to Lantern Control deck. A tutor for whatever you are missing and a constant lifegain, which gives you more time to set a lock. This card would be totally nuts if it wasn't legendary.

Toolcraft Exemplar: a one-mana three-power creature with first strike may be tested in Affinity deck. It isn't vulnerable to Stony Silence. The only drawback is early white mana. On the other hand, we have Springleaf Drum and Glimmervoid so playing it on turn one might be more common than it seems. While going white, we may include Dispatch mainboard, which is another powerful spell.

Smuggler’s Copter: crew a Memmnite into evasive attacker. The looting ability is significant in a deck that doesn’t require many mana sources and runs out of fuel very shortly.

Voltaic Brawler: a two-mana creature that attacks for four trample damage twice seems to fit to Zoo decks. While these have largely gone out of favor because of Death's Shadow, Voltaic Brawler is another tool for those decks.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance: I have doubts that Chandra will see Modern play, but though four-mana planeswalkers have a way of making their way in, e.g Nahiri, the Harbinger. Chandra seems like a solid four-mana spell for a Primeval Titan deck. It eneables you even a turn four Titan. Not to mention that if you don’t have the Titan, Chandra offers a small amount of draw power to help find it.

Scrapheap Scrounger: this card is tailor-made for Dredge. When you dredge over Scrapheap Scrounger, you get the card that matters in your graveyard and triggers Prized Amalgam. A 3/2 for two is unlikely to just win the game on its own, but it will for sure help you somehow accomplish this task.

Autohority of the Consuls: a sideboard card, that stops Goryo's Vengeance, Through the Breach and Nahiri, the Harbringer.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Smuggler's Copter

In the early new Standard format, Smuggler's Copter looks very good. Is it too good?

A two-mana artifact that can be played by any deck with creatures (and let's face it, Wizards have made sure there are no creatureless decks anymore) that can easily win the game by itself - is that too good?

Are we about to face an 18-month period dominated by a two-drop artifact? That kind of reminds me of the days of Cursed Scroll being a 4-of in every deck in Standard back in the ancient past.

I think it would be unwise to enter a Standard tournament today without sufficient answers for an early Copter. However, this format is filled with answers that helps.

Grasp of Darkness, Harnessed Lightning, Fragmentize, Appetite for the Unnatural, Unlicensed Disintegration, Murder, Stasis Snare, Spatial Contortion, Skywhaler's Shot, Blessed Alliance, Clip Wings, Negate, Ceremonious Rejection, Natural State,  Immolating Glare ...

It seems that Wizards will not make Mirrodin-level mistakes any longer.

If you are playing read you can get fancy with Fiery Temper through the discad trigger to deal with opposing Smuggler's Copters.

The format is still in flux. It will be interesting to see how dominant the Copter becomes.

If you are looking at this from a financial perspective, this is definitely the time to sell any Smuggler's Copter you get your hands on. A rare from a large set will not hold a price of 16 tickets for long, no matter how dominant it is.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

MTGO Library Bot 11.67 - Kaladesh

Yesterday we released ML Bot 11.67. The new bot version supports the new set Kaladesh (KLD).

As usual the official pricelist containing the KLD prices is available in the update process and for download from the Online Control Panel. LITE bots have to update as well.

Happy release events to all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Standard Pauper lives

Despite being removed as a filter, the Stanard Pauper community survives.

You can join the cheapest format on Magic Online at . This site offers two weekly free tournament with free prices supported by bot chains.

How cheap is the format? Well, a playset of all the cards (commons legal in Standard) costs about 2 tickets.

Here is a recent winning deck by the excellent player rrmedio1:


5 Forest
4 Island
1 Mountain
4 Swamp
4 Elvish Visionary
1 Rolling Thunder
2 Pilgrim's Eye
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Unknown Shores
1 Dutiful Attendant
1 Monastery Loremaster
3 Vulturous Aven
4 Reave Soul
2 Ruin Processor
2 Eldrazi Skyspawner
2 Brilliant Spectrum
2 Complete Disregard
3 Oblivion Strike
4 Pulse of Murasa
3 Holdout Settlement
3 Wretched Gryff
3 Primal Druid

1 Duress
3 Negate
1 Rolling Thunder
1 Monastery Loremaster
1 Caustic Caterpillar
1 Ruin Processor
1 Roilmage's Trick
3 Boiling Earth
2 Natural State
1 Drag Under

You can check out news on the format from Standard Pauper blogger Gwyned here:

Monday, October 3, 2016

MTGO Library 10.65

We released ML Bot 10.65. The update contains many fixes regarding one of the most 'delicate' part of handling the MTGO client: the uninstall / install process. 

Uninstall MTGO is sometimes required when MTGO breaks. In these cases you are not able to launch the client (not even manually) and the only way to fix is to reinstall MTGO. This is an easy task for a human but it's complex for a bot because many things can go wrong.
In particular, previous ML Bot versions had problem with non-English operative systems, where the title of the windows can be different from the typical "Application Error" messages that appears in an English-based system.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Treasure Chests

Wizards is going to implement a new prize payout called Treasure Chests that will randomly distribute prize cards when opened. What could you find inside of your Treasure Chest? You are guaranteed one of the following:

  • Curated Cards: Selected by Magic R&D for their desirability on MTGO. (Includes Kaladesh Inventions and the Power Nine)
  • Modern-Set Rares and Mythic Rares: Any regular rare or mythic that appears in a Modern legal set.
  • Play Points: Varying amounts of Play Points. (No minimum/maximums were mentioned)

Most Treasure Chests will also contain two Standard-set commons or uncommons, but those could be replaced at the following ratios:
  • 1 in 4.5 Treasure Chests: one of the common/uncommon slots will be replaced by either a Curated Card or a Modern-set Rare/Mythic.
  • 1 in 239 Treasure Chests: both of the common/uncommon slots will be replaced by either a Curated Card or Modern-set Rare/Mythic.
Treasure Chests will be awarded as prizes for Constructed Leagues, both Friendly and Competitive, or Vintage Daily Events starting at records of (3-x). Friendly Leagues will no longer award packs as a prize. The most likely Treasure Chests will be not tradable.

Link to the Curated Card list: Treasure Chest Card List
In total 635 cards ranging from Rishadan Port to penny cards.