PROTRADER: A New Modern

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By: Travis Allen
@wizardbumpin

Banlist update

This is hands down the most surprising and unprecedented Banned & Restricted list update that Modern has seen since the format began five years ago. (Has it only been five years? It feels so much longer than that.)

Everyone knew part of Eldrazi was going; it was simply a matter of Eye of Ugin or Eldrazi Temple. Frankly I’m surprised they chose Eye. I think it’s the less consistent card and comes with greater drawbacks relative to Temple, a land which carries no penalty aside from making only colorless mana. You can’t turn-two Thought-Knot Seers with Eye, but you sure can with Temple! Whatever. What’s done is done.

No, the Eldrazi ban isn’t surprising. What’s surprising is the unbans of Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek. We haven’t seen a shake up this profound in Modern ever before, and it’s possible that reading between the lines will give us even more information. (Credit to @kirblar024 for initially bringing this to my attention.)

Wizards has typically held changes to Modern’s ban list until just before the Pro Tour, in order to give the top level pros a new format to take a crack at. We all get to watch exciting new decks, and pros have the ability to leverage their deck building and format exploration skills. However, seeing two unbans at this point in the year, and alongside a major ban to boot, may mean that we’re not getting another Modern Pro Tour. Without a Pro Tour to hold changes for, there’s no reason not to fire of the unbans as soon as they’re appropriate. While there was a tremendous outcry at the removal of the Modern Pro Tour initially, that was before they announced the change to the block structure. Now that we know about that change, many of us have walked back our comments about needing a non-Standard Tour. Wizards has listened in the past, and they may have again.

Ok, back on track. Eldrazi gone, Visions and Sword here. Let’s do the Eldrazi real quick.

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12 thoughts on “PROTRADER: A New Modern”

  1. What I’m wondering is if this “unban” announcement means that we will see these two cards reprinted in the next 6 months.

    What are the chances Ancestral Vision and Sword of the Meek get reprinted in either Eternal Masters or Conspiracy? Could you imagine if they showed up in a Commander product? Maybe we will have to wait until MM2017? In any case, I don’t really expect Wizards to unban cards like this unless they are planning on reprinting them. That would just be dumb, right?

    I’ve always thought a successful FTV product would be Artifact based. Maybe something with all the Swords and some of the Commander mana-ramp artifacts. A lot of people would appreciate a chance to get some of those in foil.

    They wouldn’t reprint Sword of the Meek in… Standard… Would they?

    As for Ancestral Vision… I’m still sort of shaking my head at that announcement… Do you think this shows up in Eternal Masters or Conspiracy2? Flavor wise it seems like it would fit in nicely with the “Regicidal” theme going on in Take the Crown. It would be the perfect card to get tournament “spikes” hyped about a more casual set too. Hmmm…. Speculating…

    1. I don’t think unbanning necessarily leads to a reprint. They’re willing to reprint currently banned cards as promos (stone forge mystic) and soon to be banned cards (splinter twin) and we haven’t seen substantial evidence of reprinting happening right after unbannings (golgari grave troll). Though I haven’t “done the math”.

    2. The ban updates were only decided upon in the last month or two. I’m fairly sure the card list for Eternal Masters and Conspiracy were set long before that. Ancestral Vision still has a chance to be in Eternal Masters just because it sees play in Legacy.

      As for Sword of the Meek, I highly doubt it’s in either of those two sets. It combos with Thopter Foundry and not much else. If they did reprint it in Standard, it would not change the Standard format at all, as no one would play it.

  2. Not that it’s a good buy right now, but Night of Souls Betrayal is a player in shutting off thopters.

      1. Yeah, that is a good one for that job and a other token related cards (Lingering Souls, Swiftspear). I guess Night’s tradeoff for hitting everything is the cost.

  3. I have a really stupid question. I have never played with Ancestral Visions before and I keep seeing people say “cast on turn four or five” like Travis did here:

    [Ancestral Vision is going to reward decks that just trade resources at parity until filling back up on turn four or five and then running away with the game]

    Stupid question, but how does it get cast on Turn 4?? When I read the card I see it comes into play with four time counters, and when the last time counter gets removed, you get to cast it. So, Turn 1 I suspend. Turn 2 I remove one counter – it now has 3. Turn 3 remove, now has 2. Turn 4 remove, now has 1. Turn 5 remove the last – I now get to cast it. What rule am I missing? How is this castable on turn 4?

    1. Not that its a great idea for a competitive deck…but Clockspinning and Jhoira’s Time big remove suspend counters.

    2. It’s not, as far as I’m aware. They probably just weren’t familiar enough with the card to remember if it was suspend 3 or 4

  4. Regarding Ancestral Vision, I agree with your point about there not being a ton of value left to sift through in a Grixis colored deck. We’ve seem what expensive cards look like in UBR. So I took your BUG / Sultai idea and ran with it a little ways. I’d like to know what you (or anyone else) think about the potential for these cards being in a new BUG deck for Modern. I apologize if the formatting comes out weird; I’m copying/pasting from my phone.

    Dimir
    Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver: cheap planeswalker that’s fallen substantially since its all-time high
    Dimir Charm: utility/options
    Notion Thief: flash creature to sideboard against the AV mirror

    Simic
    Horizon Chimera: flash this flyer in at the end of your opponent’s turn, then stabilize your life total on T5 when you draw 4 cards (3 from AV, 1 from normal draw)
    Kiora, Master of the Depths: her minus 2 lets you draw 2 additional cards right before you draw 4 on T5
    Kiora, the Crashing Wave: her minus 1 lets you draw an additional card and ramps up your land total in preparation for the 4 cards (hopefully spells) you’ll be drawing on T5
    Nulltread Gargantuan: would let you re-cast Snapcaster on your next turn while providing a big body to deal with
    Simic Charm: utility/options
    Voidslime: gives you a counterspell with more potential targets while you stall for your AV to kick in

    Sultai/BUG
    Sultai Ascendancy: smooths out your draws leading up to AV
    Sultai Charm: utility/options
    Bound // Determined: a good utility spell that hasn’t seen much play since nobody’s really in Simic right now

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