My name is Justin, and I work for Escapist Magazine.
Like most folks I've played Magic on and off over the years. It's only been recently that a more competitive fire has been stirring. Moving past routinely getting prizes at FNM, I've Top 8'ed some PTQs and made into money at a few smaller events, it's been a slow climb but I'm enjoying seeing myself progress. I doubt I'll ever see myself on the Pro Tour, but I still like the environment of competitive magic.
Recently I've been trying to branch out from my aggro roots, see what it's like on the other sides and learn how they tick more fully. Playing control, tempo and combo in various formats.
|Avg. deck rating||5.33|
|Favorite formats||Standard,Commander / EDH,Modern|
|Venues||Atomic Empire, Gaming Underground, Event Horizon Games, Game Theory|
|Last activity||12 hours|
At its core Red Deck Wins is about generating virtual card advantage. The basic goal is to kill your opponent while they still have a hand full of expensive cards in hand. It doesn't matter how powerful the cards in their deck are if they never get the chance to cast them. With its cheap casting costs, you simply deploy more cards faster ending the game before your opponent can even cast all theirs. This is often paired with burn spells, to reach for those last few points of damage once your opponent stabilizes the board with their usually more powerful cards.
If you're playing a deck that's ultimately trying to one-for-one with your opponent, then yes you should probably make some room in the sideboard. It just makes the match-up incredibly hard if they suddenly refill their hand.
But no I don't think it's worth dedicating mainboard slots to it. No matter how good these cards are, they are still ultimately only 2-4 cards in the whole deck and they are not a guaranteed win if they resolve. That's just not worth a card out of your maindeck, especially in a metagame as rich as Legacy.
By that logic, Legacy Burn is the best deck in Magic hands down, and it clearly isn't. Hell, if you think Jeskai's 50-60 points of burn is broken, last season's Standard RW Burn deck had upwards of 100 points of burn in it. And that also didn't break the whole format.
The fact that the ruling of being able to hit a hex proof creature with a lightning strike makes it even harder for whatever other meta we have to win.
Speaking as a judge, there is no such ruling. Lightning Strike can't legally target a creature with hexproof.
Personal experience is subjective, numbers aren't. It's not even the most winning deck in standard right now, so complaining about its balance strike me as pretty unnecessary at best. Heck, I got beat by my buddy over the weekend twice at an IQ playing Abzan vs Jeskai. Once in swiss and once in the Top 8. But I'm not crying about it being broken.
My point is simply that there's a huge difference between strong and imbalanced. There are periods of standard were certain decks were so pervasive that card bannings needed to happen in order to settle the metagame. Jeskai is not anywhere close to being that popular or powerful.
Here are the links to the Top 8 decks from those three events if you don't believe me.
If you want to count 500 player SCG events, sure that changes the picture a little, but nothing grinds out the metagame better than big 16 round events like GPs or Pro-Tours stacked with the very best players. Opens are still small enough that you can still potentially dodge bad match-ups. And if you want to discuss SCG wins it should be noted that one of those Jeskai winners was recently banned for cheating, mostly due to folks analyzing the footage from his finals match.
Is Jeskai Tempo good? Sure, it's one of the strong contenders in the format right now, but you're kidding yourself to call it imbalanced. Come back when it's the next Delver, Caw Blade, Affinity, etc.
Yeah it's so imbalanced that Jeskai keeps winning all these GPs and the Pro Tour.
Oh that's right, it didn't.
Of that last 3 major events, Pro Tour Khans, GP LA and GP Stockholm, Jeskai Tempo has won one of them. Hell, it didn't even top 8 GP LA at all. Granted you'll probably find a bunch more in the top 16, but of the 24 top 8 decks represented Jeskai Tempo is 5 of them - it's not even the largest represented deck type, Abzan Midrange is. That GP Stockholm finish you're harping on has 6 other different decks in the Top 8 that had to beat a room of over a 1,000 players that should be roughly 20% Jeskai Tempo if the average is in keeping.
Instead of knee-jerk reactions, try looking at the bigger picture next time.
Eidolon of Rhetoric - Yes, they can't win through this card. If you're really worried about the match-up this is a dedicated hoser.
Waste Not - No, this card does absolutely nothing to stop them from combo-ing. You will have a ton of mana in your pool, a bunch of cards in hand and maybe a few zombies and still just die to their combo. A basic land would almost be better.
gro0ve Effectively yes, the rules essentially ensure you always have the opportunity to respond - though it can sometimes trap you into responding when you might not want to. The key here is that the stack doesn't completely empty once everyone is done. Most folks are short cutting through it, but you're technically passing priority back and forth as each spell is resolving.
He cedes to that and Sultai Charm resolves.
However, the wording here is super important. If your opponent says Sultai Charm resolves then the spell is going off. There's no further chance to respond.
In the future, please use the MTG Q&A section.
Blaze Commando will only trigger the one time.
Blaze Commando's ability triggers each time an instant or sorcery spell you control deals damage (or, put another way, the number of times the word deals appears in its instructions), no matter how much damage is dealt or how many players or permanents are dealt damage. For example, if you cast Punish the Enemy and it deals 3 damage to target player and 3 damage to target creature, Blaze Commando's ability will trigger once and you'll get two Soldier tokens.