Sunday, January 28, 2018

Masters sets

In the beginning, we had Modern Masters. The idea behind Masters was to reprint some Modern  format iconic staples, which would not appear in any Standard set. Over time, we had three Modern Masters and Wizards realized,  that they have to be very careful about how quickly they reprint cards, because otherwise doing more Modern Masters becomes hard. We, players, must admit that Masters sets are well-developed and give a lot of fun to draft. It was one of the factors why Modern Masters sets and Eternal Masters were financial successes.

Senior Magic Designer Gavin Verhey revealed last week that future Masters sets will be based around specific themes rather than formats. Limiting Masters sets to only reprinting cards from a single format was unnecessarily constraining Wizards ability to reprint cards. Modern, Legacy, and Vintage players all need reprints, and switching to thematic Masters sets will allow Wizards to reprint a much broader range of cards every year.

Iconic Masters was the first of these. Masters 25, coming out in March, is the next thematic set. We will be celebrating the Magic's 25th anniversary. A set with cards from magic's entire history.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Standard after bans

Ramunap Red and Energy decks dominated Standard format. Temur was considered as the best deck, while Ramunap Red as a second, so for a big tournament there was very little room for brewing. No diversity and Wizards took action. Banning two of the most important cards in the blue-green-based energy decks Rogue Refiner and Attune with Aether completely killed Temur and Sultai Energy. It led to ban of Ramunap Ruins and Rampaging Ferocidon. Otherwise, red deck would overwhelm the metagame. There were other cards that could have been banned, but Wizards choice is reasonable. Ramunap Ruins was a fuel to late games, while Rampaging Ferocidon was good card against Temur Energy deck. If Energy is gone, Rampaging Ferocidon is safe ban too. It doesn't hurt other decks much and it weakens old reck deck. Wizards may be also anticipating Rampaging Ferocidon being very powerful against decks that will emerge after the dust settles from the banning, such as tokens or vampire decks.

The question is what decks will be tier1 now. Standard is once again wide open, there is no clear answer. Well-known decks such as White-Blue Approach, and White-Blue Cycling can shine now. But, we need to wait for big tournament to see the true winners of latest bans. Will it be Mardu Vehicles, some kind of control, Black-Red with Chandra and Hazoret, Vampires? Who knows maybe Black-Green Constricor comeback?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

How to draft Rivals of Ixalan?

I'm going to present you the list of cards, starting from the best pick during the draft and ending on the least desirable card. For instance, if you don't have any card from "2nd pick" card pool you look for cards in "3rd pick". Cards not mentioned below shouldn't appear in your deck. Notwithstanding, cards like vanilla creature 2/2 for 2 mana are as well essential in your deck in order to be able to stop early threats of your opponent.

1st pick:
whiteBishop of Binding, Trapjaw Tyrant
blue: -
blackRavenous Chupacabra, Tetzimoc, Primal Death
redRekindling Phoenix, 
green: -
coloress: -
multi: -

2nd pick:
white: -
blue: -
blackChampion of Dusk, Dire Fleet Poisoner, 
redEtali, Primal Storm, 
greenGhalta, Primal Hunger, Tendershoot Dryad,
coloressThe Immortal Sun
multiAzor, the Lawbringer, Elenda, the Dusk Rose, Profane Procession

3rd pick:
whiteBaffling End, Everdawn Champion, Exultant Skymarcher, Famished Paladin, Forerunner of the Legion, Imperial Ceratops, Legion Conquistador, Luminous Bonds, Martyr of Dusk, Paladin of Atonement, Radiant Destiny, Raptor Companion, Skymarcher Aspirant, Slaughter the Strong, Temple Altisaur, Zetalpa, Primal Dawn
blueCrashing Tide, Curious Obsession, Deadeye Rig-Hauler, Kitesail Corsair, Nezahal, Primal Tide, Riverwise Augur, Seafloor Oracle, Silvergill Adept, Siren Reaver, Warkite Marauder, Waterknot.
blackDusk Legion Zealot, Fathom Fleet Boarder, Forerunner of the Coalition, Golden Demise, Impale, Moment of Craving, Oathsworn Vampire, Reaver Ambush, Sadistic Skymarcher, Tomb Robber, Twilight Prophet, Voracious Vampire.
redBombard, Dire Fleet Daredevil, Fanatical Firebrand, Forerunner of the Empire, Form of the Dinosaur, Goblin Trailblazer, Mutiny, Needletooth Raptor, Swaggering Corsair, 
greenCacophodon, Crested Herdcaller, Deeproot Elite, Forerunner of the Heralds, Hardy Veteran, Hunt the Weak, Jadelight Ranger, Jungleborn Pioneer, Path of Discovery, Swift Warden, Thrashing Brontodon, 
coloressCaptain’s Hook, Traveler’s Amulet
multiAngrath, the Flame-Chained, Atzocan Seer, Deadeye Brawler, Dire Fleet Neckbreaker, Huatli, Radiant Champion, Jungle Creeper, Kumena, Tyrant of Orozca, Legion Lieutenant, Merfolk Mistbinder, Protean Raider, Raging Regisaur, Relentless Raptor, Storm Fleet Sprinter, Hadana’s Climb.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rivals of Ixalan: mechanics

Prerelease of Rivals of Ixalan starts on January, 13. This time there are few returning mechanics, such as: enrage, explore, raid, transform and double-faced cards. We will get only one totally new mechanic:

  • Ascend - if you control ten or more permanents, you get the city's blessing for the rest of the game. The city's blessing isn't a permanent or emblem, and nothing can destroy it or otherwise interact with it. When you have the city's blessing, you gain a significant advantage depending on the spell you played. Both permanents and spells can have ascend. If a spell has ascend, you get the city's blessing as part of the spell's resolution if you control ten or more permanents. If a permanent has ascend, you get the city's blessing immediately once you control ten or more permanents: this is a special action that doesn't use the stack and cannot be responded to. Ascend always looks at the current game state, not the past, and all the time checks how many pernaments you have.