Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stdx2 and Some Other News

There's been a lot going on lately, and I want to try to clue you guys in on some of the latest Magic news -- old news for some of you, I presume, but I want to keep everyone up to speed and on the same page.

First of all, Mulldrifting will have M11 spoilers posted on the midnight of Thursday, June 24. Technically very early on Friday. These spoilers will definitely shake things up and give players something to talk about. Particularly for those interested in Standard right now. But even in general! One card in particular stands out among the pack. NO PEEKING. Not until Thursday night.

Next, I've been doing editing work for Jon Medina on his site, mtgmetagame.com. It's been great working for him, and he's got lots of new content these days, so that's keeping me somewhat busier! I love editing other people's work! (Not my own; that's boring!) I recommend visiting his site and looking at some of the latest articles. Particularly the one about planeswalkers and the one about leveling up in the trading game!

I've been talking and brewing with a lot of Magic players, particularly for New Extended/Double Standard. Everyone is very excited about this format, and I know there are a few whiners out there, but people on the Pro Tour circuit definitely have their heads in the game and are solely concentrating on breaking this new format. I for one am peeing-in-my-pants excited. I feel almost blessed to be alive right now and going to this particular Pro Tour. Not because of the event itself, although that is certainly neat, but because I get to work on a brand new format and puzzle it out with some of the best brains available. :)

I like thinking about metagames and formats and matchups. That's my favorite part of Magic.

In an attempt to squander all my cash moneys, I bought all of Faeries and some other Double Standard staples. This doesn't mean I'm going to play Faeries; I just thought it'd be a wise investment and not regret not having the cards later. I also caved and bought my 4th Jace, TMS. I can only assume his value will rise. As craaazy as that seems, as he is currently around $70.

From now on I think I'll refer to New Extended as Stdx2. I wonder if people will get it. I just want a short, easy abbreviation for it. I also considered Ext.5 but that seems harder to get.

I've noticed people have a lot of ideas on this new format, and a lot of people are making really crazy statements about it. Some people sound like they already have decided on a deck. Others sound like they have the metagame figured out. While a few have claimed to have broken the format.

If people say something that sounds ridiculous to me I'm going to just smile and nod. Smile and nod. Smile and nod.

Formats don't get decided in a day. Or even a week. Or even a month. This format will take from now until minutes before Deck Registration to figure out. (Ok, more like the night before for most people. But there will always be at least one.)

Luckily the format isn't THAT hard to figure out because it's mostly Standard decks with upgrades or Extended decks with downgrades. But there are definitely going to be some new decks that have never been seen before because of the unique card pool.

I am most interested in the position of Faeries - will people fear it? Will people underestimate it? What is it's true position in the metagame?

The other question I ask myself is how MANY red decks are there and which will emerge as the best variations? There are so many options for red decks that it boggles the mind.

I also ask myself: how good is Windbrisk Heights and what percentage of aggro decks will strive to make it work. Which will use it just because it's a good card? Which will eschew it for better options?

And of course, one of the biggest questions: what will the mana of the format look like and how resilient will it be?

I think decks with the best mana will generally prevail over those that don't have good mana. This is why I have serious doubts on the position of decks like 5cc, which were amazing in previous Standard, but may fall short because of the presence of cards like Magus of the Moon and Boom/Bust. Not to mention Anathemancer and Fulminator Mage.

In a battle between the powerhouses of Cryptic Command, Magus of the Moon, Windbrisk Heights, Jace 2.0, and Bloodbraid Elf, which will emerge victorious? I may have left out a few. Will leave it up to the reader to figure them out. :)

So many powerhouses!!! 

For more on Stdx2, I recommend this reading

Patrick Chapin -- Double Your Standard, Double Your Fun
Frank Karsten -- Transition to the New Extended