Patriot Games

Monday, 20 May 2013

Loading the Silver Bullets...

In case you have not come across the term "Silver Bullet" with regards to card games before I believe an explanation maybe required.  The term Silver Bullet comes from the old Werewolf movies where the only way to kill the wolf man was to shoot him with Silver Bullets.  This makes Silver Bullets a very specific answer to a very specific problem.  This happens in card games all of the time and results in things like Grafdigger's Cage which was supposed to be a silver bullet for Snapcaster Mage/Birthing Pod.

The problem with Silver Bullets is that they tend to be either too good or not good enough.  An example of this is Thragtusk - created as an answer to Snapcaster/Vapor Snag/Unsummon.  It has done such a good job of answering them that no one plays delver in standard and everyone is playing Thragtusk!

WotC have approached their new flagship eternal format of Modern with the Silver Bullet mentality at the forefront in the form of the Ban Hammer.  Following the initial Modern Pro Tour Wizards banned a whole lot of cards in Modern in September 2011, to prevent the turn 2/3 kill scenario of certain decks and the turn 4 Emrakul using 12 post.  Then in December 2011 they banned Wild Nacatl and punishing fire as these were felt to be unbalanced in the format.  We would go on to see more banning in the form of Bloodbraid Elf, Seething Song and Second Sunrise.  Last weekend saw the first Modern GP since Second Sunrise has been banned so Eggs was not on the menu.

The Sun ain't gonna shine anymore.

Magic players abhor  a vacuum and this has made Melira Pod a tier 1 deck and saw 3 of them in the Top 8 of GP Portland.  The question has to be asked if Wizards will now see this as too dominant and  we will see Birthing Pod on the banned list next?

What exactly do you do?  "I combo with Persist!"

One of the other Modern decks of note was Scapeshift - which goes and gets a whole bunch of mountains and kills you with Valakut the molten pinnacle.  Valakut was originally banned in Modern but Wizards decided that as a deck it would be fine.  If Valakut is "fine" I would like them to unban Bitter Blossom and Jace, the Mind Sculptor too.

Die to my mountains of power puny mortal!

Modern is supposed to be the answer to the tricky Eternal format and the Restricted list, but seriously how long do we have to keep paying for the mistakes of Chronicles nearly 20 years ago?  Now, with the imminent release of Modern Masters there is concern as to how much product is actually going to be available in the shops and if there will be any for people to buy.  Also with the 4 cards spoilt so far Tarmagoyf and Dark Confidant are the only ones you actually want to find in a booster and both have been printed as mythic rares.

Patrick's right from now on Bob will be known as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. 

Full spoilers do not start till next Monday for Modern Masters but at £6.29 a booster there has to be some concern over the value of the cards and if they are going to get banned as Bloodbraid Elf has already been despite being in the set.

I can't help but feel that the answer is to get rid of the Restricted list and do a massive print run set of Legacy staples and stick with a format which has had all of its teething troubles already.

I'll be back Friday with another blog and FNM this week is Standard, see you then.


  1. magic is a trading COLLECTIBLE card game.
    it means for collectors, to and not only gamers.

    If wizard do a a massive reprint of all the legacy staple,it will lead to a massive drop price,and obviously a massive drop of players/customers,like chronicles in the past.

    Its not good for their bizness,not good for the retailers bizness to.
    A total commercial suicide is not in their plans.

    So we have to deal with the restricted list for ever,for the greater good of all of us.

  2. even if i would find a complete reprint very sexy :)