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Too Many Cards: What is the best format and why?



I’m going to go with Standard as mine. I actually enjoy it quite a bit for some reason. I think it has to do with the fact that I am comfortable with it more than anything. When I sit down to play a match, within the first couple of turns I have already figured out what my opponent is playing and…

I’d have to say Legacy.

I love how varied the meta can get. Unlike Standard, where there are clear-cut decks that dominate the format, Legacy has so many viable decks that can either do extremely well or extremely bad depending on the location they’re playing in. In some regions, Affinity top-8’s, while in others they barely even make it to top 32.

Sure, there are “decks-to-beat” that are the flavor of the month, but there are so many decks that effectively counter these decks that the meta is blown wide open all over again.

Plus, not having your components rotate out is a definite plus. You can have a deck and hibernate for a bit, and then come back to play again! Can’t do that in standard! :D

I think I prefer Modern, even though I play standard most. Modern has many benefits of Legacy: cards don’t rotate out, it’s a big enough format that many options are viable, DCI recognized degeneration of the format and hedges it in with bannings, and it’s a pretty powerful format. However, Modern excels where Legacy falls short: the cost of entry is noticeably lower, Modern doesn’t suffer from the Reserved List (it’s dual lands are getting reprinted in a month!), and there’s enough change set to set that new decks can emerge with more impact than in Legacy.

I wanted to build a Modern deck around Hymn to Tourach. The only problem is Hymn to Tourach is miles out of Modern, and it’ll stay there as long as merciful gods rule our world. What’s the closest thing to Hymn to Tourach? The Fall side of Rise//Fall comes close, as does Wrench Mind. So I tossed them into a deck, and worked from there. I looked at my colors: Grixis. That means two of the most powerful two-drops ever printed (let alone in the format) are auto-includes. What does Dark Confidant reward you for playing? Cheap spells. And what does Snapcaster Mage reward you for playing? Cheap instants. Who else likes cheap instants? Snapcaster’s best buddy from Standard, Delver of Secrets. Who likes lots of little spells in the graveyard? Grim Lavamancer. Cheap removal in Terminate and Lightning Bolt, permission in Spell Pierce and Mana Leak, and just a hint of filtering in Sleight of Hand filled out the spells. With the finishing touches of fetch lands and shock lands, and a generic sideboard of Fallout, V-Clique, Shattering Spree, Trickbind, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Relic of Progenitus for now while I see more clearly the deck’s weaknesses, and there it is!

Ode to Tourach: Grixis Delver for Modern
3 Verdant Catacombs
3 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Arid Mesa
3 Watery Grave
2 Steam Vents
2 Blood Crypt
1 Island
1 Swamp
1 Mountain

4 Dark Confidant
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Grim Lavamancer

4 Rise~Fall
4 Wrench Mind
4 Mana Leak
2 Spell Pierce
4 Sleight of Hand
3 Lightning Bolt
3 Terminate

2 Volcanic Fallout
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Shattering Spree
3 Trickbind
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Relic of Progenitus


My mono black control deck for Modern. Threw it together, testing it out. Also running Augur of Skulls for more two-mana two-card discard; the delay in discard is worth it for a guy who can attack late game when I’ve got my foe Lili-locked and low on land. Splashing red for artifact hate and a pair of boils in the sideboard, which also houses Surgical Extractions, Pithing Needles, and a pair of Ensnaring Bridges (which turn off a surprising number of threats in this format).



Sure but the same can be said about a lot of other cards that fall into the umbrella of this format.  I mean, they’d have to ban things like Mirrorworks, Mimic Vat, Prototype Portal, etc as they have absolutely retarded synergy with lots of cards from olde formats.

I think the idea was to ban known format monsters to prevent people from just flocking to things like Affinity or Dredge or Thopter-Depths or the like, kind of as they did by banning the two known archetypal problem decks in Extended when they cut it down a year ago. Yes, you’ll still have plenty to do in this new format. But the idea is that you have to go find it. Personally, I’d look to do something with Disciple and a sac engine. Or maybe see what elves or goblins look like. Or what Esper+Mirrodin+New Mirrodin can look like in a format together.



Sword of the Meek is a really random card to have banned in the format…Like, REALLY random.

Banning Sword of the Meek makes sense; it combos with Thopter Foundry to the point where it would dominate the format obscenely. Same with Dark Depths. Banning artifact lands and chrome mox hedges in affinity and other degenerate artifact strategies. Banning the Grave Troll puts a leash on dredge. Banning the Top and Jitte are reasonable, otherwise they’d be in EVERY deck. And they banned Skullclamp, which needs no justification whatsoever.

Fun fact: Aether Vial not banned. Disciple of the Vault not banned. Format looks to be problematic already. :D

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