All Hail Our New Eldrazi Overlords

In what is literally the least diverse Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour finals ever, Eldrazi take up 6 of 8 slots, with the remaining two filled out by Affinity.

Here’s hoping that the format can adapt to this looming, tentacled presence.

When I read the deck lists and saw some were completely identical I thought it was a glitch on the web site but nope.

They banned cards to try to shake up the format. I don’t think this is what they had in mind although they are probably happy it features a lot of cards from the new set. I think the lesson is that Modern Pro tours are a mistake but when they tried to get rid of them a few years ago everyone complained.

I don’t know if a a Mod would want to add that his is about Magic The Gathering to the subject.

You have to admit that the Eldrazi overrunning everything is highly thematic.

Eye of Ugin looks like the obvious ban hammer target if they do decide to ban something, since it’s gone from giving a 25 percent or less discount on some very expensive cards to giving a 50-100 percent discount on every creature in the deck.

I don’t see how it can. Land destruction/disruption starts at 3 mana (Blood Moon, Fulminator) or slower (Tec Edge). Wraths start at 4 mana (Damnation, Supreme Verdict). Pyroclasm & Anger of the Gods don’t kill these creatures, they are too big. With the Eye/Temple engine going, your Terminates and Go For The Throats cost more than their threats…and they get to lock out your Paths with Chalice.

By the time you have enough mana to play answers, the Eldrazi player has a huge board presence and you’re at 5ish life…and they probably Thought-Knot Seer’d away your answer anyway.

And, the remaining combo decks (outside of Grishoalbrand) are too slow.

Without Eldrazi hate cards, there’s no deck that can consistently beat the advantage Eldrazi decks get from breaking the mana curve.

I’d say the lesson is that R&D needs to start paying a non-zero amount of attention to what the new cards will do to the Modern. As long as they have Modern GPs and PTs, I’d say they are obligated not to break the format.

Agreed…and as a Tron player (primarily), I’d all kinds of pissed that my slow, very disrupt-able deck will take a power-level hit as splash damage from this Eldrazi’s Workshop nonsense. Nice job, Wizards. Real nice.

An article I read a few months ago made an interesting point that a quick and easy way to help fix Modern would be to cut the 8th edition Core set out of the format. A lot of the disruptive cards the format is stuck with came from there. Really the only down side is it breaks the clean “Modern starts with the new card frame” demarcation it currently has which is messy but not impossible to deal with.

I’d like to see them start introducing Planechase/Commander cards into the format. Baleful Strix, Shardless Agent, Toxic Deluge, etc. could all inject a dose of variety into the format. The only really problematic add would be True-Name Nemesis

:confused: I count exactly 4 cards that are only in 8th Edition that get played in Modern, and all 4 are fringey - Boil, Bribery, Choke, and Ensnaring Bridge.

So would Toxic Deluge, it destroys any aggressive deck. Modern was explicitly set up to be more creature-combat oriented than Legacy, and Toxic Deluge would undo that.

That is disgusting.

Ivan Floch, Shuhei Nakamura and Luis Scott-Vargas are literally playing the exact same deck and the same sideboard.
Andrew Brown is running a 4th Eldrazi Obligator while Jiachen Tao’s running a 2nd Ruination Guide, and the sideboards are different.
Patrick Dickmann is running 2 Spellskites and a 4th Glimmervoid while Pascal Maynard’s running 2 Welding Jars and a Mountain, and the sideboards are different.

The Star City Modern Open in Cincinnati last month was the best-attended Open they’ve ever had. I expect the Louisville Modern Open next weekend will be among the worst; who wants to pay $50 to lose to Vintage decks all day? Or pay a thousandish dollars to build a busted deck that’ll be banned soon?

Ensnaring Bridge and Blood Moon were the two problem cards I specifically remember being mentioned.

They must have meant cutting 8th and 9th Editions, then, as Blood Moon is in both. Doing so would also eliminate Defense Grid, Worship, and the Urzatron lands. So, you’d lose the Tron deck & the Lantern Control deck, and people would start running 1-3 basics, just to get off of Path and Ghost Quarter, because there’d be no drawback to running all nonbasics.

I think there’s no point in speculating until at least a couple of modern GPs have happened. What will happen once everyone knows about this deck and is building decks to beat it?

That said, as a very serious limited player but purely an observer when it comes to constructed, I love it when a brand new deck shows up out of nowhere, particularly when it contains cards that were previously though to be limited-only or unplayable.

Drowner of Secrets? Eldrazi Frickin’ Skyspawner? Are you kidding me?

Hey guys, I’ve been out of the meta for a few years…

What kind of drugs is Wizards on to think that making a bunch of 2-5 mana Eldrazi is anything resembling okay with Eye of Ugin? No, seriously, whose idea was that? I think even people who don’t play Magic could point out how bad of an idea that was. Last time diversity was anywhere near this bad that I know of was back when Skullclamp was legal. Yikes.

The coverage team interviewed Ian Duke, lead designer of Oath of the Gatewatch, during the Pro Tour. He said (paraphrasing) that they suspected during development that the new, cheap Eldrazi would be a problem in Modern with Eye of Ugin & Eldrazi Temple, but a) they don’t test new sets for Modern, and b) omitting low-CMC Eldrazi would have conflicted with their goals for the set.

A) is the real problem, as I said above. They have Modern Pro Tours and Modern Grand Prixs, but don’t test what the new cards will do to Modern.

But that’s the best part! If I buy Return to Ravnica packs, it’s because I’m looking for more Izzet to go with my Izzet. Not bothering to make Processors work with Annihilator (by making them exile cards from the graveyard instead of the other way around) or make sure that violating the “Only big Eldrazi are colourless” rule doesn’t break the game takes the fun out of it.

I think the takeaway from this is that Wizards needs to be very very careful about lands that produce more than 1 mana.

When Eye and Temple were printed, the only colorless Eldrazi were 8-15 drops. Making those cards a bit cheaper isn’t really a big deal. But what they should have printed on them was “Eldrazi with converted mana cost 8 or more”.

They got a little cute by thinking “all the cheap eldrazi are colored, so we can make these just apply to the expensive ones”, but rather than actually make them apply only to expensive Eldrazi, they made them apply to a characteristic that happened to be shared by all the expensive Eldrazi printed so far. It’s why Temple of the False God and (barely) the Urzatron aren’t broken. They can’t do absurd things on turns 1 and 2.

Of course, this has the benefit of hindsight. But I expect it will inform design going forward. Make sure that your 2+ mana lands with restrictions are actually restricted to the mid and late game, not just restricted to the mid and late game with cards currently printed.

Ironically(?), when Eye of Ugin was first printed, there were zero Eldrazi creatures (it was an Easter Egg card in Worldwake).

They’ve been failing to learn this lesson for over twenty years at this point. What makes you think they’ll learn it now?

Mishra’s Workshop was considered highly situational or crap for years, but they kept printing awesome artifacts and Workshop is now a phenomenally expensive card.

Even the Ravnica double lands are seeing play in Amulet Bloom and they have some pretty serious drawbacks.

That having been said, the issue with Eye of Ugin is different from multiple-mana producing lands. Eye of Ugin is a cost reducer, which is a passive, non-depleting reducer of mana expenditures, not just a producer of one or two mana. On a turn where someone plays three Eldrazi, the Eye of Ugin effectively “produces” six mana, and is still untapped and can do more. You don’t get that kind of scalability with normal mana sources.


Well, they are getting better at it.

It’s true that Eye is a cost-reducer, but the difference between its reduce-by two effect and just tapping for two is fairly minor in actual play, and is balanced by its legendary status. If you watch the games, there are very few cases where it ends up providing more than 2 mana in a turn. It doesn’t need to.

If it were just Eldrazi Temple copies 5-8, replace the T:1 ability with the search ability, I expect the deck would be about the same power level. It misses out on the absurd multiple-Mimic T1 games, but it still hits the Mimic, Thought-Knot, Smasher curve, and is the same or better in the late game (when you might have 2).