3/21/2013 TD: "If You Want to Make An Omelet…"

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This thread is for discussion of the Top Decks article posted on 3/21/2013
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Anyone else see the infamous "F6" situations when people played against Eggs? Or the total tanking of the people watching the coverage when the finals match was about to start (a time mind when numbers should be pretty much the highest) because eggs was one of the decks? Or even see the many nasty remarks about Eggs over the tweets? I do not believe Eggs is too powerful or prevalent. However, I think for the health and future of Modern as a format people want to play I believe Wizards really needs to make people not want to play eggs.
Anyone else see the infamous "F6" situations when people played against Eggs?

Yup; I wished Kibler good luck in "Schrödinger's Match" on his way back from his F6 in his feature match.

Or the total tanking of the people watching the coverage when the finals match was about to start (a time mind when numbers should be pretty much the highest) because eggs was one of the decks? Or even see the many nasty remarks about Eggs over the tweets? I do not believe Eggs is too powerful or prevalent. However, I think for the health and future of Modern as a format people want to play I believe Wizards really needs to make people not want to play eggs.

As much as I love the deck's existence and the challenge of playing it, I agree that it'd probably be for the best if it wasn't top-tier.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Which cards would you ban to reduce the impact of eggs but still leave the building blocks for other creative decks?

I think I'd start with reshape.


Combo decks are a critical component of a healthy metagame.  They are responsible for hunting down mid-range "good-stuff" decks.  

There is also a major differences between second sunrise and pre-ban storm decks: it must set itself up by playing a lot of non-land permenants the turns before it goes off.  

This distinction is important.  With storm decks, only decks playing blue (counter-magic) and black (discard) can interact with it at all.  However, second sunrise decks use artifacts, so decks using red and green can now interact with it also.  White's got enough hate-enchantments that basically says "GG".  If you don't play any colours at all, there's also chalice of the void, engineered explosives... 

Wizards killed enough decks already, stop asking them to kill more.

No, really.  I'm seriously thinking about breaking my wallet for 4 Tarmogoyfs because I anticipate using them.  But if I see 20 copies of it in the top 8 of the next Pro Tour, will they be banned?  If tournament attendence drops because people cannot afford tarmogoyfs, similar to the case with JTMS years ago, will they ban it?  

If you guys whine enough, they might. 
Yes please ban Eggs to death, lest we all get bored to death. I do NOT want to spend my free time sitting there watching another player solve a puzzle. 

Combo decks are not a critical component anymore. Standard shows that. 
Even if you want combo to continue to thrive, unban cards to make decks like Twin or Scapeshift or Through the Breach more powerful or whatever. Just make sure I don't have to play against things like Eggs/Storm/Elves too much. Nerf those decks into oblivion.

I'd have no problems with a Tarmogoyf ban*. Make the format accessible already. The reprinting of the shocks is a good first step. Allied fetch or a reprinting of the enemy fetch would be the next step. Fixing the Goyf problem would be the step after that. 

(Okay I actually have, because it makes people who invested in the format lose their money/time/energy. The Bloodbraid ban was fine because people didn't lose money and could continue to play Jund with minor adjustments.) 

Combo decks are not a critical component anymore. Standard shows that. 



That doesn't really make sense; to me a Standard without combo feels kind of bland and flavorless.

Or is your argument that combo isn't necessary, because control has been powered down enough that combo is no longer needed to keep it in check? 
I'm with sylvanllewelyn here: as mostly an aggro/midrange player, Eggs is not my style of deck, but I think it is valuable for keeping the rest of the metagame balanced, and there are enough tools (hate) for other decks to interact with it too. Eggs is IMO pretty "fair" as far as combo decks go.

If Eggs was nerfed, you would basically remove pure all-in combo decks from Modern; storm was already pre-emptively killed (unjustified, IMO), and Scapeshift is a "survive until you have 7 lands"-deck, that is, a control deck with a combo finish (which is also good to have in a diverse metagame), rather than an all-in combo deck, and likewise Splinter-Twin/Kiki-Jiki-decks and Melira Pods are more akin to mid-range + combo, decks that sometimes win through aggro and disruption (which are again good for a healthy metagame).

It's good to have one fair but competitive pure combo deck in any metagame, IMHO. Without combo, the rest of the decks would be much less varied. I'd guess a good 80% of the field would become mid-range-good-stuff, and even if that is the sort of deck I personally like playing with and against, I prefer a metagame where there is variety and you never know what you'll be facing when sitting down for a game.


Combo decks are not a critical component anymore. Standard shows that.


That doesn't really make sense; to me a Standard without combo feels kind of bland and flavorless.


Or is your argument that combo isn't necessary, because control has been powered down enough that combo is no longer needed to keep it in check?



Good game design includes a Rock-Paper-Scissors metagame where there isn't a best/unbeatable deck.
The old theory used to go that Control-Aggro-Combo used to be that for Magic.


However these last few years Wizards has been slowly nerfing Combo in formats like Standard.
There is still a RPS metagame going on.
This proves that Combo is not necessary for the game in the traditional way people thought it was necessary.


Is Standard bland without combo? That's a personal opinion. Increased attendance seems to suggest the majority prefers the modern take on Standard over the old take.


Combo never was used to keep control in check in the first place so I don't understand your reasoning there.

/lolModern

The failboat that is Modern keeps on sailing on. Ok, so when a gimmick combo deck like Eggs wins an GP and a PT, just how laughable is the Modern format? When Jund dominates the field and the players cry and moan, how serious are the players when it comes to Modern? When their first major introduction of the Modern format at a major event falls face first into the ground with a Top 8 that is nearly all combo and infect, did Wizards utterly fail handling the format? When the ban list was first made in the inception of the format so that familiar decks we were acustomed to seeing from the past were unjustly hated out for without even seeing if they would break the format or not, did Wizards do their due diligence? Did they ever think lets do a test run? before a major tournament perhaps?

Everything they've done in order to make the format "fun" has failed. You don't design to make formats fun, you design to make formats fair, diverse, and balanced. You don't get to have if both ways all the time. Modern could have been interesting, it really could have. But as soon as you saw the first ban list, you knew the only thing they wanted was aggro and mid-range. They did not want combo or control to exist and their mishandlings and mistakes have left them with this. An embarassing attempt to revive what was a dying format in Extended, by using the same means in which they used to destroy Extended. By making Modern and Extended less like Standard they doomed both formats.

Their agenda killed the format before it even began. Wizards never learns.
Whenever combo decks are banned from the format, people whine and complain about how there's never any combo anymore. Whenever combo decks start doing well, people whine and complain about how combo decks are oppressive and need to be banned from the format.
Aggro, combo, and control. I have respect for none of them, because they all focus on having your opponent do nothing. Combo decks might as well be a goldfish game. You aren't showing off to anyone but yourself. As Toby said, "I do NOT want to spend my free time sitting there watching another player solve a puzzle." How very true.

And then there's aggro decks. Half the time I feel like aggro decks belong in tribal legacy, but outside of elves, knights, goblins, zombies and the like, most aggro decks are using whatever creature type they can to swing in for the most damage as quickly as possible. Bloodbraid elf proved that easily enough. It was usually the only elf in the deck. Cascade is just an aggro mechanic, meant to end games as quickly as possible. For all intents and purposes, you might as well play with a 15 card deck. Games don't last long enough to use any more of that. And how sad that is, when, in a game with 13,000 cards, you put 60 of them into a deck, you only see a handful of those 60 every game, and of the ones you do see, you're hoping they are duplicates of your best cards.

And then control. Whether it's the black deck forcing discard till you have nothing left and you're topdecking, or the blue deck throwing counters out at every card you have (and I love counters, I run them, but I also run a monstrously large ~575 card deck, and I don't always know when I'll have a counter). While other decks run things like creature, artifact, enchantment removal, blue does all of the above, before it even hits the battlefield, regardless of what it is, all the while draining you down with their 1/1 or whatever they have.

This is not healthy game design. A healthy game would have both players playing equally proactive and reactively. A healthy game wouldn't support a "Hold my beer while I execute this combo" style of gameplay. It's fun to watch combos string together and find card interactions, but they're about as exciting as any other mundane combos: niv-mizzet and curiousity, sanguine bond and exquisite blood, painter's servant and grindstone, helm of obedience and leyline of the void. These combos remove the gameplay for the opponent. That's not a healthy game of Magic. That's a healthy goldfish game.
So you have a problem with any deck that does anything?  All of these different strategies exist to challange us.  You need to construct a deck that can interact with all of those strategies in order to be competitive.  Playing a 575 card awful deck and then complaning when other people play good decks is just silly.  Why play the game at all?  Stick to Duels of the Planeswalkers if you want everyone to be stuck with bad decks.(I love that game by the way)

When top 8 has 8 completly different decks in it I think that is an extreamly diverse and healthy metagame.  What more can you ask for?  I stopped playing competetive magic because too many times my opponent forgot the point of playing the game.  Or any game for that matter, which is to have fun.  I've played against too many people who complain and whine even when they win.  They look so miserable and stressed and I just wonder "Why do you even play this game if it makes you so angry?"

I am all for being competitive and wanting to win.  But you need to be able to continue to enjoy your self and have fun when you lose or you shouldn't be playing.  You definitly shouldn't be playing if you don't even have fun while your winning.

Sorry for my rant.  Too sum up: I think the metagame is extremly good right now and everyone needs to relax and give me 5 dollars for some reason. 
The problem with Eggs isn't that its non-interactive. As has been said before, there are more ways to profitably interact with the deck than many combos, and while Eggs is good enough to win a tournament, I would never call it oppresive. The problem is something similar to the Divining Top problem; it simply takes a long time to go through the motions of the deck, particularly for inexperienced players (I have seen very fast Eggs play, but "fast" is relative here).

That isn't a problem for tournaments right now. As of now, there aren't tons of people playing Eggs, even if it is powerful. If we suddenly see Eggs become a significant portion of the metagame (whatever Wizards deems that to be), then it becomes a problem as more and more matches drag on. IMO, Wizards should hold off on banning a part of the deck unless that starts happening.
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My deck is pretty competitive and I have it structured quite well. I play a large deck because I like the ratio of specific cards to the overall deck. It's a challenge for me to get my deck working no matter where I start. I play casual classic (not in tournaments, that is), but I still see my fair share of tournament structured decks. And that's okay. My deck isn't awful by any means, nor am I complaining of other decks being "too good." What I am noting is that Magic encourages goldfish style games. Certain cards just lend to that notion as well, notably Stasis type decks. But let's look at the article...

"You might just kill him or her in one shot anyway by attaching Cranial Plating to Inkmoth Nexus!"
". . . the deck is capable of stealing free games with a Blood Moon."

These are two statements that summarize the gist of Magic to me. Cranial plating is a brutally overpowered equipment being thrown onto an equally powerful manland with infect. I've seen 0/1s swing at me for 15+ with a Cranial Plating. It's incredibly satisfying to drop a Shatterstorm against those decks, and artifact lands contribute to much of the problem, but certain equipment are just too good at what they do (jitte, cranial, skull, most swords). Seeing them in play at tournament level is to be expected. Tournaments are where the best of cards come to play. And I love the limited environment more than anything else because of this. In limited, you see and play with all the cards you'd never see in tournaments. Limited IS Magic. It uses all of the resources, if you will, and it sets up fair environments where randomness truly is present.

Mark talked about this in an article the other day:

>>First, we have what R&D calls "repetitive game play." Magic is fun if each game plays out differently. When games follow the same pattern, game after game, it becomes monotonous and less fun. The game solves this problem with the library, an item that is randomized such that the players get their cards in an unknown order, making each game play out differently. (www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...)

I run grixis colors, and my deck is full of library manipulation at every angle. It needs to be at the number of cards I run. But then, there are games where I am at the mercy of what I draw, and if I don't draw what I need to manipulate my hand or next draws, I feel like it's not anyone's fault, that's just how some games play out, and that's okay.
I don't get how Eggs can compete. Is Extirpate illegal? Doesn't that deck auto-lose to Extirpate, which is a 1 mana spell that does stuff against other decks? I'm not really a follower of the format, I'm genuinely curious about that, though.
Honestly, I don't mind combo in general at all, but having to play against eggs is incredibly obnoxious. Watching your opponent combo out for thirty minutes then going to time in the second game is pretty frickin' infuriating, and according to Eggs players I've spoken to apparently part of the basic Eggs strategy. Decks designed to win by manipulating the structure of tournaments to their favor rather than actually interacting with opponents should not be allowed. If my only hope to beat an Eggs deck is to concede the first game as soon as they start to look like they might be comboing off in order to hopefully get a chance to beat it with my sideboard, Eggs is not a fair deck that should continue to exist. Twin and Scapeshift and are fine, because they win within a reasonable timeframe and allow an opponent to sideboard against them. Eggs is not and does not.

I don't get how Eggs can compete. Is Extirpate illegal? Doesn't that deck auto-lose to Extirpate, which is a 1 mana spell that does stuff against other decks? I'm not really a follower of the format, I'm genuinely curious about that, though.



Extirpate is a great sideboard card, but not quite useful enough against most decks to make the mainboard. Eggs tends to not allow any post-sideboard games, and isn't a large enough part of the metagame to warrant mainboard hate. People may start mainboarding it if Eggs becomes more popular, but that may not happen simply because Eggs is one of the rare decks that's as taxing to play as it is to play against.

EDIT: Also, plenty of Eggs decks run both Second Sunrise and Faith's Reward, meaning you have to get rid of both of them to beat Eggs. A single Extirpate will likely severely slow Eggs down, but casting it rather than a threat is also slowing YOU down.

Extirpate is a great sideboard card, but not quite useful enough against most decks to make the mainboard. Eggs tends to not allow any post-sideboard games, and isn't a large enough part of the metagame to warrant mainboard hate. People may start mainboarding it if Eggs becomes more popular, but that may not happen simply because Eggs is one of the rare decks that's as taxing to play as it is to play against.

EDIT: Also, plenty of Eggs decks run both Second Sunrise and Faith's Reward, meaning you have to get rid of both of them to beat Eggs. A single Extirpate will likely severely slow Eggs down, but casting it rather than a threat is also slowing YOU down.


What do you mean they "don't allow" any post-sideboard games? They win every match 1-0? At least half the games it plays are going to be post-sideboard, I'm pretty sure of that. 

You don't have to get rid of both of them, if you Extirpate that list's one Pyrite Spellbomb it literally has no win condition. It has one Blind Obedience in the board which it could conceivably win with against a very slow deck if it finds (baubles returning don't trigger it so it has to get 20 legit spellcasts minus shockland damage and while it has a lot of draw it has no tutor for an enchantment and it is a singleton that has to be in play before they can start draining with it). Maybe that's just an unusual list? 
He probably meant that the deck takes so long to execute the combo that there's no time left for game 2.

L1 Judge


You don't have to get rid of both of them, if you Extirpate that list's one Pyrite Spellbomb it literally has no win condition. It has one Blind Obedience in the board which it could conceivably win with against a very slow deck if it finds (baubles returning don't trigger it so it has to get 20 legit spellcasts minus shockland damage and while it has a lot of draw it has no tutor for an enchantment and it is a singleton that has to be in play before they can start draining with it). Maybe that's just an unusual list? 



I concede the point against this specific list, but plenty of Eggs decks do in fact run additional wincons. I have a friend who ran Krark-Clan Ironworks and a single Banefire, and plenty of lists will mainboard other wincons.

He probably meant that the deck takes so long to execute the combo that there's no time left for game 2.



This. I kind of thought it was obvious, especially considering the rest of my post.

I'm not implying in any way that eggs is unfair dominant or even not hateable. Any ban would not be for power sakes it would simply be for the health of the format in terms of fun to play. Fun to play against and fun to watch. Not to mention the deck is a nightmare on tournament organizers who are already being stretched to the limits with Magic's major rise in popularity causing booms at events like Grand Prix.
Honestly, I don't mind combo in general at all, but having to play against eggs is incredibly obnoxious. Watching your opponent combo out for thirty minutes then going to time in the second game is pretty frickin' infuriating, and according to Eggs players I've spoken to apparently part of the basic Eggs strategy.



What sort of Eggs players are saying that? The deck takes a while to play through, but to say that the deck will usually take so much time that you don't have time to even finish game two is rediculous. Maybe that happens once or twice a tournament (and granted, the fact that this is even possible is a problem), but any player who does this repeatedly over the course of a tournament would certainly get called out by a judge for delay of game, Eggs or no Eggs. 
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I'm not implying in any way that eggs is unfair dominant or even not hateable. Any ban would not be for power sakes it would simply be for the health of the format in terms of fun to play. Fun to play against and fun to watch. Not to mention the deck is a nightmare on tournament organizers who are already being stretched to the limits with Magic's major rise in popularity causing booms at events like Grand Prix.



If they haven't banned High Tide in Legacy, they shouldn't ban Eggs in Modern.
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