Frontier Format?

Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation forum

Posted on Dec. 7, 2016, 1:45 p.m. by 00xtremeninja

I know it has been discussed a few times about discussing a new version of modern, and it looks like Frontier is gaining momentum. What is everyone's thoughts on this as becoming a viable format?

For those that don't know, Frontier would start with M15 and go from there to current sets.

The buy in on it would be stupid low right now, but could cause certain cards to jump in price again, looking at you Dig Through Time

Dyll says... #2

Link for Reddit page

It would help if you explained things more

December 7, 2016 1:59 p.m.

HolyFalcon says... #3

I just got on this website for the first time in months because I saw this, I kinda wanna get into it. Seems accessible and cool.

December 7, 2016 2:18 p.m.

griz024 says... #4

Has zero appeal to me personally. It is just such a small card pool that the format is basically old standard decks fighting each other

December 7, 2016 2:32 p.m.

clayperce says... #5

My $0.02:

  • Stores obviously love it, because they can sell cards that have rotated out of Standard but aren't good enough for Modern.
  • Players seem to like it, because it's less expensive than Standard (due to rotation) and Modern (due to rarity). Plus the meta is wide open (at least for now), which is fun.
  • Wizards may not actively push it, but they will certainly not stand in the way (because it keeps people playing who might otherwise quit Magic).

TL;DR: I think it will absolutely become a viable format.

December 7, 2016 2:33 p.m.

clayperce says... #7

I forgot to mention: Corbin Hosler wrote a really good article on the format over at TCGplayer.

December 7, 2016 2:39 p.m.

I don't see a lot of support for Modern and older from my local shops (both in WA and AL) so I doubt this will gain much momentum either. Standard is the most lucrative for both Wizards and card shops so that's why it is supported more in my two areas. There may be one modern or EDH (which I don't like) once a month if any. So idk man, I personally hate Standard because it's a money pit unless you take playing tournaments seriously. I play more on the casual/budget side of mtg. That's my input anyway.

December 7, 2016 2:41 p.m.

clayperce says... #9

Beat by Agunman again!

[Shakes fist in air]

December 7, 2016 2:42 p.m.

TheDevicer says... #10

I would love for this to be a thing. One of the things that turns me off of modern is just how insanely uninteractive games can be. Cards like Blood Moon, Worship, etc. are hosers, plain and simple, and decks like Bogles are a pain to play against even when they're not good. A world that potentially combines the best of standard and modern?

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December 7, 2016 3:04 p.m.

Ryotenchi says... #11

The idea of playing with the most dominant cards of standard, sickens me.. Especially Topdeck rhino.

I guess I should get myself informed, just in case though. Bored as hell anyways.

December 7, 2016 3:19 p.m.

Sloanan says... #12

Idunno, I just feel like within a few years if it ever caught on it'd basically get just as much of a price barrier as Modern. I mean sure your old standard stuff is dirt cheap right now, but what about further on down the road when it gets big tournaments and stuff and everyone & their mother is looking for fetches and such? Or when CoCo or some Jace shell become THE tier one decks. Anyone wanting to play competitively would have to go for those cards and the demand would make 'em just as pricey as some Modern decks.

Plus there's only gonna be like what, four or five T1 decks out there right now? Sure, that'll go up as more cards are released, but that'll be at such a slow rate that I'm just not sure it'll make that much of an impact until like another two or three years.

December 7, 2016 3:27 p.m.

smackjack says... #13

Play modern. If you cant afford it, play Standard. If you cant afford that then play casual or don't play magic. There is no reason to replace a format as established as Modern.

Shifts like this is pretty dangerous for Magic. Alot of players have invested in Modern. Kill it and we will lose faith in the game. Look at the Splinter Twin ban or Birthing Pod ban. Alot of players lost faith in the game and straight up stoped playing. Imagine Frontier gaining grounds and Modern dies, this shift is like Splinter twin ban but applies to ALL modern cards (pre M15). I would quit...

Frontier sound like a cool kitchen table format, but please do not put it as a replacement for Modern. Modern is what it is and it is as strong because of player investment. Don't repulse Magics most hardcore gamers by killing their format.

December 7, 2016 4:13 p.m.

jchudz says... #14

The problem with Frontier is that we'll basically be back to ktk-BFZ standard with 4 color goodstuff decks smashing into eachother since there's no Blood Moon or similar effects to punish greedy manabases. I guess there may be a powerful enough aggro deck by giving atarka red access to rabblemaster.

December 7, 2016 4:20 p.m.

Atony1400 says... #15

if it becomes a thing, I may have to go rebuild my Jeskai deck, then just get some fastlands.....

However, I doubt it will become viable.

December 7, 2016 4:50 p.m.

Atony1400 says... #16

Just in case this becomes a thing, i built this!

December 7, 2016 5:14 p.m.

clayperce says... #17

December 7, 2016 5:25 p.m.

People are really itching to play against Siege Rhino and Rally the Ancestors again, eh?

December 7, 2016 6:21 p.m.

TheDevicer says... #19

December 7, 2016 7:36 p.m.

An Old Frontier:

Wizards successfully increases the player base, Magic is bigger than ever! Packs are flowing and expeditions are being cracked wildly!

Many new players are cocky, unable to adapt, they often don't survive the coming storm, dubbed: "Rotation".

Normally, those who refuse to adapt simply quit, change formats to those such as Modern or Pauper, or get craftier about when to prepare for the ever changing landscape of Standard. This is the natural order.

With a dramatically higher rate of new players, the order was broken. The amount of people that refused to move to the more stable grounds of a non rotating format and refused to adapt was higher than usual, so people yelled put "Give us modern-er!!", this was not a new idea, people always push for more value in their post-standard staples, but it finally had voice in the community.

Shops in Japan hear the cries of new players! Jumping at an eager market they started tournaments, ralked about it online, the potential to hold extra games at FNM and to sell piles of rotated cards was too great.

Where will this bold new format go? Some say it will be modern without the card pool, or standard without the dynamic of change, others believe that it has potential. Me? Well I started a little bit before Modern, and I never played stanadard, I've always preferred more casual feeling, social formats. However I do fear that this new format may just raise the price of others, and with the number of new and old formats filling new and old niches, will the choice be overbearing? How about the countless formats that had promise but died out for countless reasons? How much of this was said back in 2011, when 'eternal' formats surely criticized a non-rotating format without the legacy getting popular online?

December 7, 2016 8:18 p.m.

I know that was pretentious but seriously, "but we wanna use my cards!!!" says the new players, "you can" says the community. I just feel 'Frontier' is ultimately detrimental, too niche and just simply unnecessary.

December 7, 2016 8:21 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #22

December 7, 2016 9:32 p.m.

enpc says... #23

Eh, it seems like a short sighted fix to the cries of "I wanna play post rotation standard cards but don't wanna play modern". Because in 2 years when a bunch of new cards have come out and the pool for Frontier has gotten bigger, when you squint a modern deck and a Frontier deck will look basically the same.

And then there will be more cries for a new format because "Frontier has gotten too expensive as it's vying for a lot of the same cards that modern is".

December 7, 2016 10:43 p.m.

Will it be bigger than Timy Leaders? Cuz' that was a thing once that turned into Legacy lite and everyone stopped playing. Is this the Butt Lite of formats? I think so.

It's fantastic that the barrier of entry is reduced, for now. But I agree with posts above that if it does catch on, demand increases, and so will prices. It's a short term solution, really. I'll play Modern and hope it doesn't die, because I'm kind of pissed that SCG won't be having any Legacy Classics in 2017.

December 8, 2016 1:34 a.m.

Bovine073 says... #25

TheDevicer, Bogles is nowhere even close to being one of the most uninteractive decks in modern. If creature combat exists, the deck is interactive. Ad Nauseam is an uninteractive deck. Infect is an uninteractive deck because most of the time they have unblockable/serious evasion.

There are problematic, older cards in modern. But is it just because their power level is so potentially high or that players are sick of seeing the same decks over and over again? If the latter, then frontier will completely flop. If the former, then it has a chance.

December 8, 2016 2:23 a.m.

griz024 says... #26

Where is the innovation in frontier? From what i have seen, the format is just extended 2.0. Coco vs abzan rhino in a battle to the death!

But seriously, what makes this format fundamentally different modern? What is its "thing?" On a macro level, it appears to be modern with half the fetches and worse shocks

December 8, 2016 9:40 a.m.

clayperce says... #27

Half the fetches, sure. But at far less than half the price (well, for now anyways).

And it's noteworthy that the format was created by Hareruya and BigMagic (rather than by Wizards like Modern or by players like EDH). So fundamentally, the biggest difference is probably that the format allows stores to move more of their just-rotated-out-of Standard inventory than Modern does. :-)

December 8, 2016 10:21 a.m.

griz024 says... #28


Allowing stores to move rotated standard cards does not a sound format make :)

It may just be the worst reason for a format to exist i have ever heard

December 8, 2016 11:58 a.m.

TheDevicer says... #29

My wish is that the format would ban fetches. This would fix the 4 color for stuff problem.

December 8, 2016 2:08 p.m.

smackjack says... #30

What is this format trying to fix?

December 8, 2016 2:16 p.m.

clayperce says... #31

Idk, there's this format that's fundamentally about allowing Wizards to move cards (via reprint sets) without regard for the Reserved List, and it's doing pretty well. ;-)

December 8, 2016 2:32 p.m.

clayperce says... #32

OK, this is a super-cynical view, but still ...

Unless Hareruya and BigMagic are suddenly running charities instead of businesses, I truly think the problem Frontier is trying to fix is nothing more than a huge inventory of recently-rotated-out-of-Standard cards.

The fact that there are some players who like the cost / interactivity / opportunity to brew / chance to play with Goblin Rabblemaster (... Siege Rhino, CoCo, etc) again? That's just a nice bonus.

December 8, 2016 2:46 p.m.

griz024 says... #33

Lmao that is a very valid point, clayperce

December 8, 2016 2:53 p.m.

griz024 says... #34

Lmao that is a very valid point, clayperce

December 8, 2016 2:53 p.m.

Tribals, I just want my tribals

December 8, 2016 3:45 p.m.

00xtremeninja says... #36

just was looking at my LGS facebook page and it seems like they are on board with Frontier too and are hosting an event this weekend for it.

December 8, 2016 4 p.m.

smackjack says... #37

clayperce but we have Modern for that.. Expecting Frontier to be cheaper then Modern is just plain stupid (absolutely no offence) since the cost of Modern is based on its popularity, Frontier will surely end up there if it gains popularity. IF Frontier gains popularity by moving Modern players to the format we will see a huge dip in the Magic player base. I have spent 4-5 years completing my Modern decks. Im all against replacing modern and alot of Magic players are on my side here. Fudge, if modern dies i will go down with the ship..

Can Frontier and Modern exists side by side? Is modern the new legacy? Well... as a legacy player ill say hell no ;)

December 8, 2016 4:19 p.m.

HolyFalcon says... #38

I don't think Frontier should replace Modern at all. I think Frontier should be it's own thing, kept out of the competitive scene and moreso a casual event at FNM and the likes, and least for now. Modern is too heavily played and invested in to be straight up replaced.

December 8, 2016 4:52 p.m.

clayperce says... #39

No offense taken; I totally agree. All the current pros (cost / interactivity / wide-open meta / favorite cards) will get seriously diluted over time.

But I'm increasingly convinced that in the short term, a number of stores are going to jump on the bandwagon, and it's going to surge in popularity, worldwide.

In the long term though, who knows? Will Frontier keep people in Magic who might otherwise leave (e.g., folks who are sick of the recurring cost of Standard, but not able to made the plunge into Modern) and maybe even open up whole new markets? Or will it pull people away from Standard and Modern, diluting the overall player base and ultimately weakening the game? I REALLY hope it's the former, but I just don't know ...

December 8, 2016 5:04 p.m.

smackjack says... #40

clayperce The real problem here is that stores push this format, and if they succeed they will turn off alot of modern players.

"folks who are sick of the recurring cost of Standard, but not able to made the plunge into Modern", well Frontier as a format is a short term fix for the economic problem (which i acknowledge), but how can you fix modern by adding another modern?

Magic cost money, and the only real solution to the economic barrier is really in Wizards hands. Replacing a format because it grew too popular is destructive by its nature. Frontier cant be successful without becoming the one thing you were set out to defeat.

Ill say, if people want to make Modern more accessible then push harder on Wizards to make it more accessible. Don't create an unnecessary format that will shortly become the problem it tries to fix. Make modern more accessible by print instead. E-mail Wizards now, post on MaRos Tumbler, demand more, make your voice heard. Do not replace a problem with another inevitable copy of that problem...

December 8, 2016 5:29 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #41

I think the only comment I'll make on frontier is that the landbase is definitely good enough to support the whole format. That being said there's really nothing to punish greedy land bases (as was mentioned before). Maybe if frontier had more LD available for nonbasics it could work out.

December 8, 2016 5:49 p.m.

clayperce says... #42

I'm loving this conversation, so thanks much!
Here are few more thoughts:

  • "...if they succeed they will turn off alot of modern players": I don't know if that's necessarily true. At a micro-level, my favorite LGS can support Draft, Standard, Modern, and a pod or two of Commander on any given Friday night. I have absolutely no idea if they'd need to add tables if they started Frontier too, or if folks would move form the other tables to the Frontier tables. I would be super-interested in hearing about some real data points though!
  • "... how can you fix modern by adding another modern ... cant be successful without becoming the one thing you were set out to defeat": Tbh, I don't really get your point here. I personally don't think this is remotely about trying to fix Modern. I think it's just about stores trying to unload inventory.
  • "... push harder on Wizards to make [Modern] more accessible": Maybe I'm looking something wrong, but while that would be superb for Players, I don't see how it would solve the stores' problem (literal tons of inventory that is not of any interest to Modern players).
December 8, 2016 6:24 p.m.

Elvish Mystic

That's the reason the format will never be a WotC sanctioned one.

If they are going to make a post modern format, it's gonna be one where they have completely removed all the things that make magic fun, like 1 cmc dorks, decent burn, and decent counterspells.

December 8, 2016 6:44 p.m.

00xtremeninja says... #44

The short term, Frontier would be ultra accessible for people because there has been a ton of product open from M15 and on. So staples would be dirt cheap. With that being said, newer sets continue to be opened at record rates (thank you expeditions and inventions) and in theory should keep prices down.........but JVP has shown that is not always the case.

Stores inventory may not increase that much because standard players will keep their cards that rotate and use those decks in Frontier. So now what? Well the ton of product we have opened will be i guess in theory worth more when people are holding onto their cards and not selling them off.

But people cross play formats a bunch. People who play both modern and standard are going to essentially have Frontier decks because of their time in standard. I can see though where Modern players would worry about their format and investment because of what happened with Legacy and the support for that.

December 8, 2016 6:48 p.m.

enpc says... #45

With regard to the comment about stores trying to push stock - stores will always hold stock of unplayable cards. This is just how the game is. There are currently piles of unplayable modern, legacy/vintage, EDH cards. And as new sets come out, this will grow. Sure, some currently unplayable cards might become more viable in a new format but this still doesn't affect the vast majority of the cards. And with new sets coming out regularly, the pile is ever increasing.

At the end of the day, that's the risk that the stores take by holding large stocks of standard playable cards. But creating a new format is not even going to fix this problem - it's on the stores to manage inventory more effectively. Otherwise this has the stink of "magic card bail out" all over it.

December 8, 2016 7:58 p.m.

HolyFalcon says... #46

@ Epochalyptik @yeaGO should this be made an official Frontier discussion thread, much like the Modern and Standard versions?

December 8, 2016 8:13 p.m.

yeaGO says... #47

its added since yesterday

December 8, 2016 8:24 p.m.

HolyFalcon says... #48

yeaGO oh, didn't notice lol

December 8, 2016 8:52 p.m.


The main issue I can see with the format is that it's not deep enough. The format is born into an essentially solved state with a defacto best deck.

December 10, 2016 5:14 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #50

I'd argue that Delve with the tools from SoI and CoCo variants with access to JVP and other powerful cards could also give rally a run for their money. While that doesn't solve the issue of depth it does mean that rally isn't autobest.

December 10, 2016 8:17 p.m.

This discussion has been closed