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March 9th 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement

It’s not often I feel as though I’ve been blind-sided by a ban announcement. Not since… well, okay, Mox Opal. But usually, I’m pretty good at predicting this stuff!

Not this time #RIPSamLowe #NeverLucky #RIPMoxOpal #RIPOUAT

Surprise!

Let me explain my thoughts regarding these calls, since in hindsight they may seem unwise. A lot of people were not enjoying the new Modern, but I figured that Wizards focus would be centered more on the non-Modern formats, especially because a vocal part of the community was really enjoying Modern. We have had no major Modern tournaments since the banning of Mox Opal,
Oko, Thief of Crowns and Microsoft Lettuce. So really, what gives? Amulet Titan was most likely the best deck, but have you seen how Shaheen Soorani won North Carolina Regionals?

There’s tons of crazy nonsense going on in Modern right now, and lots of it doesn’t involve Once Upon a Time at all. The card is certainly too good, but right back to what I was saying on the QS Cast post-Opal ban, is it even close to the only card that is considerably better than the rest of the format? I think it would take a pretty narrow perspective of the Modern format to view OUAT as a singularly problematic piece, when it isn’t clear if it’s that much better than a lot of the other broken stuff going on there. Why Wizards did not err on the side of letting people play with their cards is beyond me.

As for Pioneer, I genuinely think the winrate they cited for UB Inverter must be skewed somehow. I’ve thought of the deck as being the best for a hot minute now, and I was shocked to see the low winrate. Looking over at Mox Insight’s math, it’s clear that this winrate is reflected in paper Magic as well. I think this is a two-part result of the format being grossly over-prepared for the boogymen in Inverter and Lotus Breach (while underprepared against Spirits, Control, and Mono White), and in pilot error. In the last week I saw a player miss a very clear line to lethal at a WNPQ. I’ll have to play more of it to find out; as I was hesitant to switch off of Lotus Breach before the ban announcement. I’m buying the entirety of Inverter from scratch today.

Honestly, I don’t think the Pioneer metagame is that bad, but I think snagging Dig Through Time really could have given the format some breathing room against these powerful blue strategies. I respect that Wizards is taking their time and handling Pioneer gently though, and we may still see Dig or other cards from the top of this format cut away relatively soon.

Not much to say about Legacy. Sure it’s a little early to be banning something, but I think a lot of people agree that the deck was making the format worse, and at the very least was kicking a few beloved mainstays out to the curb. Not sure if people still play Brawl or Historic, but I sure don’t!

Moving Forward From Here

I’ve already stated how I feel about Pioneer, what with me buying a deck tonight and all, but where do we go with Modern? Well, I basically own the entirety of Shaheen’s deck minus Grinding Station, so I suppose I’ll drop $40 there and sleeve it up. I haven’t started testing Modern yet, so I really don’t know where it’s going to go from here, but I think the financial feeling across both Modern and Pioneer from the community standpoint is one of fear.

Fear was holding the price on Inverter of Truth back at the $4 mark, and I honestly don’t see a reason that this won’t remain the same. It will likely start trending up if it continues to dominate the format, but I’m not expecting a crazy spike or anything. I think with the massive volume of bans over the last few years, coupled with relative economic unrest in the United States, fear is the name of the game in the Magic market these days. Most of my invested money in Magic is in Reserved List stuff and sealed product, and honestly, I want to get out of the reserved list anyway and get into something more stable, like Bitc- oh. Well, then, the stock- huh. The uh… I’ll invest in… uh…


Wrapping Up

Okay, I don’t have a good investment right now. Even WoW Classic gold has been inflating rapidly! Gold selling sites are slashing prices by about 5% every week or so! The U.S. economy is kind of a mess right now and this is above my paygrade… Maybe Ben Friedman knows the move? I’m not sure that this is a good time to be one of the middlemen of Magic finance; such as a speculator or investor. I’m going to buy cards to play with, and continue to build Joslyn’s store up.

I could certainly be wrong though. I’m sure someone’s making money here, I just don’t see the line. Drop me a line with the latest hotness over on Twitter or hit me up if you need someone to tell you to sell! See ya next time gamers!

Post categories: Banning, Free, Legacy, Modern, Pioneer, Strategy


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Sam Lowe

Sam Lowe is a Magic player in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan. He and his girlfriend, Joslyn Lambaria, own and operate the online store Valkyrie Games out of their apartment. He frequents the SCG tour and can usually be found haggling for Collector's Edition cards instead of playing Day 2.

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