Given everything that had happened last year, I thought that it would a really busted deck built around Looting to get it banned. Byes also mean having to win fewer games to make Day 2, and in a game where luck is a factor, that’s huge. Red and green cannot adequately replace the power of these cards and they fuel a wide variety of decks. The Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle-based combo deck seems like it would be a bit slow for my anticipated aggro-focused metagame, though it does have access to some nice sweepers. A patch here, an adjustment there, and these decks will be ready to go. I might have survived an extra turn or two with different lines, but it would have taken a lot of lucky draws in a row to actually turn the corner. In order to ensure the metagame doesn’t again revert to a Faithless Looting graveyard deck being dominant, we believe now is the correct time to make this change. The deck can be very fast and can be difficult to meaningfully interact with without specific graveyard hate cards. Two mana to draw four cards is quite something, even if you might not get to keep the cards you want. Commander Cookout Podcast, Ep 211: Commander Legends Review pt. However, that all happened in a past format that is no longer relevant, because it’s time for another Banned and Restricted Announcement! Raven’s Crime 2. The key reason for the Kor Artificer’s banning was due to its ability to tutor for and play Batterskull at instant speed, making for a powerful Turn 3 play. With Stoneforge Mystic becoming legal in the format for the first time, it will now be able to do the same trick with Battlerskull—or any other equipment—in Modern. Banning Looting and Stirrings is far different from banning Splinter Twin or Birthing Pod and other targeted bans of the past. The July 8th B&R Announcement took the banhammer to the lowdown Bridge, and the gateway to Zombie land is closed (for now). The reason why is that it is inherently card disadvantage - you use the card (-1), draw 2 cards (+2) and then discard 2 from your hand (-2). What sets Desperate Ravings apart from every other spell on this list is Flashback. Tron, Hardened Scales Affinity, Amulet Titan and Whir Prison are all decks that are sitting close to the top of the metagame. NOTE: Metagame % is calculated from the unweighted average of all MTGO leagues, paper T8s/T16s, and GP/PT/Open Day 2s in the date range. For most decks, Neonate is going to be the closest replacement for Looting; you’re only cycling through one card, not two, but it can also attack and block, so that has some value. Wizards is keen to move away from a Modern dominated by graveyard strategies, which is one the key reasons for Stoneforge Mystic‘s unbanning. .thumb span { Certainly in red there is nothing remotely close to replace Looting in terms of a one-mana cantrip and the Stirrings decks have some options but nothing truly close. In all my losses I was against favorable matchups, but I mulliganed unkeepable hands into mediocre ones where my opponents were keeping good to great ones. Alright, with that out of the way, let’s see what we’re working with! Looting was the key to the versions that put Phoenix on the map, but Izzet has been moving away from the Arclight Blitz strategy for some time now. They want graveyard decks to go away and a completely new Modern to take shape, which I respect. 1 - Does it Help White? Hollow One However, there’s another trend at play. For most decks, Neonate is going to be the closest replacement for Looting; you’re only cycling through one card, not two, but it can also attack and block, so that has some value. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind discarding cards at random, please consider any of the following Looting alternatives. You have to attack with a creature. That said, it makes up for it by being a cheap way to generate actual card advantage. This may seem petty, but experience has shown that most of the randomness gets cleaned up in the first few rounds, and you mostly hit known decks starting out 2-0, which you can prepare for. As the list is getting thin on reasonable candidates, and seeing that it took multiple bannings to make things okay again, Mystic was unleashed to restore interest in Modern. At the end of the day, Hogaak was both the payoff and the problem, so it had to go. See, variance was entirely against me. Dredge becomes much slower without Faithless Looting which is one of the best, cheapest and fattest Dredge enablers in the format. Gitaxian Probe couldn't really be replaced but it breached what is fair for a free spell to be doing. It’s fair to say that I fell in love with Chart a Course when I started using it in my Simic Delver deck. Basically, Wizards has enough egg on its face over Hogaak. Cookies help us deliver our Services. I think it would still be playable but would at least drop a Tier or two. The same is true of other looters, too, like Magus of the Bazaar or even Smuggler’s Copter; if you can keep them alive for a few turns they’re going to prove their worth. Sometimes you just have to pay two mana for your looting. Instead, Wizards decided to go all-in on slowing Modern down by unleashing Stoneforge Mystic. That said, it's always a good idea to keep your ear to the ground in relation to these developments, if enough people have an issue then there may be merit in the complaint and the stronger the calls for a ban the more likely it is to happen. But turn it will. Most graveyard decks adopted Cathartic Reunion quite some time ago. I think Scapeshift would struggle in this format. The deck slows down, but the plethora of options ensures it will remain a factor in the metagame in almost the same form. For me, this was a normal field that I just crapped out on. Premiere Magic: The Gathering Modern Site, Batt to the Bone: Five Guys and the New Modern. Instead of scrapping the whole thing until a Looting replacement is found these decks just need to adjust away from Looting based gameplans. Burning Inquiry While it did enable a variety of decks, from Hogaak and Dredge, to Hollow One and Phoenix, most of the decks that used it were too good. Faithless Looting }. Today, Wizards of the Coast unbanned Stoneforge Mystic in Magic: the Gathering’s Modern format. Hardened Scales Affinity z-index:1; At least those planeswalkers let you choose which card to discard. But the Modern format has changed dramatically since its inception, when Stoneforge was originally banned, and is a much more powerful format today. Goblin Lore Hardened Scales Affinity Channel Nikachu: Merfolk with Glasspool Mimic and Darkslick Shores! Then it rotates, so great? } Banning Opal would hurt Affinity and the Lantern Control/Whir Prison decks but it's not clear that's really justifiable at this moment in time. That may seem like a high cost to pay in Modern, but there are still a few good options available. This is obviously one of the direct targets of the ban in the current metagame. Then these cards aren’t for you. This Banned and Restricted update looks to revitalize Modern in ways I didn’t think would happen, and I’m excited to see where the format goes from here. Opal is a card that has somehow managed to stay in the format despite a general ethos of banning fast mana in the format. In Detroit, everyone was hitting some form of Eldrazi almost every round. Ancient Stirrings Good riddance and everything, but we all saw it coming. Opal fuels nearly all the artifact-focused decks, with the notable exception of Tron, and works to fix their mana as well as accelerate them. I’m hesitant to go too heavy on them, since they are awful to draw when your hand is empty, but getting three cards deeper into your deck is significant. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Wait, does this mean I need to invent Salvage Slasher Combo, now? Magmatic Insight is here the help you replace those Mountains with new cards, for the low-low cost of only one mana! Then the optimized decklist was found, and the rest is many weeks of head shaking. Stirrings is a very powerful card here as it helps search up the pieces of the puzzle required to lock out the opponent. Nothing outright replaces it because it functions in a wide variety of decks for different reasons, despite being a simple card. This forces a complete revaluation of not only Looting decks, but of Modern itself, which is the intention. I expect Mardu Pyromancer to shift towards Death’s Shadow based on its recent success, playing most of the same cards, and having a very similar strategy. Welcome to Modern, Stoneforge Mystic. But not gone. In this article, I am going to look at the calls for a ban of Faithless Looting and Ancient Stirrings and the potential implications for the Modern format. If it wants to go more towards combo, it can just scrap Phoenix entirely and play more blue cantrips. Banning Looting and Stirrings will likely kill a wide variety of decks, which seems like a shame for the format. top:37px; It might be controversial to call GDS a midrange deck but it's closer to Jund than you may think. Those are far from typical starts. I have no idea if those arguments still hold. Hogaak Summer was not a healthy time for Modern, but everything I experienced says it wasn’t as bad as commentary would suggest. They now trigger when taking an item; Enabled tab-out functionality for several menus while the loot menu is open; Can no longer pickpocket rabbits Tutoring for Death’s Shadow is great and Temur Battle Rage is scary, but without all the cantrips the deck seemed really inconsistent. So now we have looked at what decks stand to lose from a Faithless Looting and Ancient Stirrings ban, let's look at what the format might look like if a ban was put in place. Mardu Pyromancer is a midrange value deck that is somewhat akin to The Rock and Jund decks. Please enable JavaScript to get the best experience from this site. As such, I was starting from a weaker position than I’m used to. It offers a strong battlefield-based strategy, which is different from what Modern has been defined by over the last year, and they hope that Stoneforge Mystic will serve “as an enticing draw for decks to refocus toward the battlefield, creature combat, and card advantage.”, Wizards is well aware of the danger in unbanning a card as powerful as Stoneforge Mystic. .thumb { A former bogeyman of the format. Stoneforge Mystic was first banned when it was in Standard back in June 2011 as it was considered too powerful alongside Jace, the Mind Sculptor. If a format is at relative equilibrium, then an unban of this level could have a destabilizing effect…but since they’re already destabilizing the format, that risk is mitigated, to an extent. I have seen some lists that run Serum Visions and it would be interesting to see whether that could fill the gap. Stirrings is a key player in these decks that enables them to be powerful. There has yet to be a top deck in Modern that people are universally happy with and the reality is that there never will be as people want different things from the format. Without Looting, that’s not possible. Round four was against Humans and I lost in two thanks to awkward hands and triple Thalia’s Lieutenant each game. This randomly discards and could just as likely hit our Cathartic Reunion that we need turn two as it is to put a Stinkweed Imp into the graveyard. Hollow One decks popularized this highly random card, and in the void left by Faithless Looting I expect several other decks will at least try out Burning Inquiry. Hardened Scales Affinity is going to be less attractive with Ancient Stirrings gone and so traditional Affinity will likely rise up again.