A Magical Huffalump Resides Here: Eldrazi: The Fifth Awakening

A Magical Huffalump Resides Here

My name is Ed, I am a programmer. Just another dude with another blog. I like MTG, Open Source (more towards FREE software). I like sports, and eventually I hope to do business and do good for the world in general. This blog is gonna be about Magic The Gathering. Decklists and snippets will be posted here. It may lead somewhere or nowhere, as with all things arcane, that was bloody obvious =)

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Eldrazi: The Fifth Awakening

Oki doki.... I am so slow.....

Anyways I am just going to put it out that I disagree with the argument that a high meta-share somehow means a deck is dominant or broken.

A high meta-share is simply that, many players playing the darn thing.

If you see it for what it is... where does that statement say the deck is broken?

Point is, the high meta share is just a number.

Many anti-eldrazi players use the statistic like it is objective and the gospel truth. And you will usually see the same people making sweeping statements with no OTHER supporting evidence. Usually some other dude will prattle on saying the same things with nothing else to add except regurgitating the same BS.

A statistic by itself is objective. There is no doubt about that. The numbers do not lie. People do. There you go. It is the interpretation of that statistic that is suspect!

Hence I treat arguments that that yell that metashare is high hence eldrazi is bahroken!! And at the same time saying that this is evidence based and objective and data driven/drivel (heh) and yet dismiss counter arguments to be highly suspect.


Believe you me. I think the Eldrazi deck is strong. I do not believe it is unbeatable (in fact if you have been following the whole fiasco, the anti eldrazi team is beginning to see the light too). And I think the interpretation of the high meta-share is a little bit horse-shitty.


If the eldrazi deck is strong.


PROs recomment it.

PROs take down a tournament with a meta-call (chalice+SSG) against what was heavily predicted to be a very low cc turn out.

If you were a reasonable man with the means to get the cards. Would you not play Eldrazi?

That to me alone explains the numbers. And does not really have to do with how strong the deck is.

The STRENGTH of the deck. cannot be accounted for by the Pro Tour Oath. As Chalice+SSG is really a meta call and seriously it was there all the while and is a component that can be fitted in any deck? YMMV of course.

Hence it was in the following Louiseville tournament where we have a truer test of the strength of the deck. Again. The meta-share has more to do with accessability and strength and cost rather than just plain strength/dominance.

And the Eldrazi have proven itself a strong deck. Very strong in fact. But the fact remains. Affinity won :)

Say what you like. But I will say it again. Magic players are adept at group think. We will follow what we see. As long as Team Oath keeps winning, Eldrazi meta share WILL dwindle. That does not speak to me that it is a dominant broken deck. Of course Eldrazi might win GP Detroit. But then ... ANY strong contender can.

The logical flaw here is that a strong deck neccessarily means it is broken. It is a logical flaw if you assume that the current crop are the strongest the cardpool in Modern can field.


Magic is a game of darwinian evolution. The monster that Eldrazi is , when countered will reveal stronger more resilent decks.

I find it funny that the anti Eldrazi crowd seems to think that the current crop of Tier 1 decks must remain untouched.

They say things like only Tier 2 outlier decks can fight Eldrazi. Again I call BS. I see evolution. A new deck slaughters the current decks weak to it, other decks rise, and God forbid the current decks adapt. All this evolution is poo pooed. Boys and girls, it is called a metashift.

I find it insulting. I find it insulting to magic. Sometimes I feel Modern players deserve the format they have. They complain about the bannings, but HOW ELSE can the format be regulated if EVOLUTION is such an abhorrent concept?

I wanted to prove how weak the meta-share argument is :) But I did'nt have the balls to do it. I predicted that the legacy SCG Open Philidelphia will be infested with Eldrazi. And true enough it was =P

I know. I know. Its a stupid prediction. Since everyone kinda thought there was a good chance. I will say it is as stupid as saying the meta-share of Eldrazi will be high :)

It is the same logic.

- Relatively cheap access to Legacy.
- STRONG deck
- Relative EASE of getting the cards (it is mostly a modern port)


Is the deck bahroken?

Well. Again it lost.

Now I seem to be dismissing the strength of the deck but I really am not. It is a fact that despite putting up stupid high meta-share.... it is not winning.


But it is not obliterating every other damn deck into oblivion. Like a TRULY broken dominant deck would.

It is just a STRONG, POPULAR deck.

It is annoying. But it may yet be quelled.

Now seriously if you know me personally you would know that I agree that the deck is VERY strong. What I have a grouse with is the fact that people do not think the deck can be taken down and will eventually be adapted against such that it just becomes another strong deck.


Yet I also resign to the fact that Modern being what it is, will unlikely be given the time and opportunity to adapt. I strongly believe something will be banned. But my reasons for believing so are different.

My reasons are:

1) Modern is the Purgatory for Standard decks
2) Modern's audience are for the Average Joe (I consider myself here too)

1)'s implication is that the power level will be artificially kept low, so that Standard decks rotating can transit easily into Modern. Remember Siege Rhino, Abzan? Pod? Yah, Standard fare, modernized. This implies bannings. Gollops of it. It cannot be any other way. I think it is not pretty but it generally works. It can be hellish on the pocket, but wizards was never concerned about your pocket. Sorry about that bub.

2) Modern's audience, being from standard means that: Midrange is king. Interaction is using creatures and stuff that removes creatures. And more importantly Modern players generally have better things to do, hence we need pick me up decks! We follow news and brewing is a little less of a thing. This means anything new is viewed with suspicion and as much as we hate the ban hammer we wield it with gusto against anything threatening our current deck. In essence, the format must be customed to our overall taste. Midrangey. Not too high powered. Combo is frowned uponed. Again. This implies bannings. Gollops of it. It cannot be any other way. I think it is not pretty but it generally works. It can be hellish on the pocket, but wizards was never concerned about your pocket. Sorry about that bub.

Hence, for the good of the format. Something in Eldrazi will likely get banned, to bring it's power level lower so that it is less disruptive and will not force the meta to adapt to it. Note that adaptation is already hampered/slowed due to earlier bannings.

Oh this is'nt the fifth awakening.... I leave that for later... and it isn't anythng fancy, others have already mentioned/speculated it and you dear ready might already have thought of it!

I really just hope Team Oath continues the good fight! The Eldrazi scourge will not be long, thump/triumph them while you can :) Bring out the best in Modern!

[20160305 01:03]

The fifth Awakening.

About less than 12 hours when the B&R will be announced :)


The fifth awakening is that.

New blood was pumped into Legacy. And possibly Vintage. (probably not...)

But if you have EVER wanted to play legacy. Sling powerful cards.

Eldrazi. However good or bad for modern. Has opened the doors.

Now just because it is good for legacy does not mean it is broken for Modern. Lets just get that out first.

Delver of Secrets, chalice of the void, Monastery Mentor, all Legacy strength, some not making the mark in Modern :p

So lets just keep that FALLACY out. :)

Any ways , the thing that struck out to me was that the Eldrazi land package, together with the Oath Eldrazi, has opened doors to Legacy in a very big way.

Sure if you are not going to netdeck and use the Ancient tombs and City of Traitors, you will be a little slower, but the deck as is in Modern still gives a pretty mean punch :)

So thats the "fifth awakening" :p

Eldrazi has firmly established itself as a possible contender in Legacy.

This is big news. For the longest time, its tough to break into Legacy. But now, literally almost the whole deck has been given to the community.

If you want to forever flounder in the same power level of Modern (which if you have read thus far, you would know that it is neutered and can potentially get neutered further) or lower and forever be involved in Mid ranged slugfests, you would not welcome the Eldrazi.

let me tell you why haters of Eldrazi hate it. It has literally rocked their world :p

Old decks (which were mostly midrange) got DECIMATED.

That sounds bad.

Really bad.

But in its ashes, 2nd Tier decks previously SUPPRESSED by the ex-current decks now have a chance to shine.

And shine they did.

DESPITE repeated dismissal of the success of non-Eldrazi decks in MTGO, the success is undeniable. Just go look at the results on MTGO.

Every alternate week a non-Eldrazi deck is at the top.

I kid you not :)

Sure its not like the Eldrazi were put down or anything. Its not non-Eldrazi decks are dominating. But the FACT is that the meta was in FLUX for all the time between the last major Modern tournament and now.

That meant the Eldrazi were hardly dominating.

If anything the numbers seem to be dwindling.

Now I know some will say that that is due to ppl selling off their Eldrazi.

Again I agree that that will have some impact. But again I call BS on that logic as being the one to explain the phenomenon.

The reason is this:

less ppl playing eldrazi, less ppl win.

Makes total sense :)

So it should also make total sense that

more ppl playing eldrazi, more ppl win

Yet these same Eldrazi haters deny the second phenomenon, but they are really two sides of the same coin. You cannot claim one and deny the other.

These same ppl will claim t thus:

If Eldrazi came in big numbers if they are not dominating they should be very weakly represented in the top 8.

Thats ABSOLUTE hogwash.

Eldrazi is STRONG. Hence if the number of players are ALREADY high naturally it is going to take that percentage. And we see it in the numbers 50% of meta, roughly 50% of top 8.

Now some will then argue, it should'nt EVEN take up 50%.

I will say WHY NOT?

I think this is the difference between a Legacy player and Modern player.

A Modern player will tell you there is only one varient of Modern Eldrazi hence it is one deck, hence 50% is bad

A Legacy player will tell you there is a variety of strains and there is at least 4 decks.

Thats right Eldrazi is an Archtype.

That is not the fifth Awakening :p unfortunately I saw and understood that quite late. Hence I did not write too much about it, but having seen the results of the past few weeks of MTGO, i can safely tell you there are a few decktypes of Eldrazi.

Don't take my word for it, go check it out.

Thing is if all the Eldrazi are the same, then it would actually be EXTREMELY easy to beat them. It is the FACT that R/G Eldrazi can win certain match ups better than U/W Eldrazi that the meta constantly shifts.

I mean mono-red Goblins can actually do well.

What more can I say :)

I think Modern players dismissing the Eldrazi as broken ought to be ashamed of themselves. I do not know how else to put it. Its one thing to have no solution yourself. It is quite another to PROCLAIM there is no solution. Which is what one is saying when one is supporting bans.

Go see MTGO. There are solutions. Sure not all the solutions work. But AHA! its because there are actually a few different decktypes of eldrazi. If you honestly expect your one deck to beat ALL varients of Eldrazi, I am afraid you are living in Magical Christmas land. It is a truth that no one deck defeats all decks and if that is true it gets the BAN. Eldrazi is not that overwhelming single deck.

And if we follow the notion that Eldrazi is an Archetype rather than just one deck, it begins to make more sense why 50% is alot more normal than the haters think (if they do hoho).

  Thats it boys and girls, RnD unleashed an entire deck Archetype upon Modern.

I will talk more about that in the Aftermath post as I actually think it is wonderful work, and I sincerely hope RnD continues to press the envelope and be brave.

If RnD listens to the whining and becomes fearful of printing strong cards, we only have the haters to blame.

Seriously people. decide what kind of magic you want to play. If you have truly decided that Modern's power level drop and Mid rangyness is what you want (actually it is also what I want ;P) then you have reason to hate Eldrazi.

But if you want in roads to Magic's past. If you want to rev up the power and have the chance to one day accumulate the power into Legacy or Vintage. Then DON"T hate the Eldrazi. Tolerate it, BAN it. but understand that it has to be banned because of what Modern is and not because it is broken (and it is'nt) If you hate it, with enough noise, one day ALL we will get is block level power cards in our standard packs. I will quit buying Magic product on that day. I am currently TOLERATING Modern's existence. but if its presence means the weakening of packs into limited rubbish, then one fine day WOTC will get less lunch money :) . Quite a bit less.

Now what do I mean by "tolerate" power surges like the Eldrazi. There is no doubt in my mind that Eldrazi is not broken. What is clear is that Modern is supposed to be a little lower in power (playwise expectations) and Midrange must be king. Tolerate means to understand that. Understand that, that is why it will be banned and not make inane accusations against WOTC that it sucks and why it did not test for Modern. Because seriously not all cards are for Modern, I think its great that one can get Legacy/Vintage cards in standard. If Eldrazi is too powerful, understand that it is only passing through and will get banned. Modern will simply go back to what it was. And thats not a bad thing as I have previously posted. Tolerating means understanding that bans are not necessarily a bad thing. Modern is an artificial format REGULATED and MAINTAINED by bans. Understand that WOTC will maintain Modern such that players will transit easily to it from Standard (hence power levels must be low and ermm Midrange MUST be KING raaarrrr Rhino!!!). So there is really no need to hate Eldrazi emotionally. It will be banned when Midrange goes down, when Combo goes up, its natural for Modern. Thats what I mean by "tolerate". As opposed to acting like kids and pissing on everyone else that sees a challenge to be overcomed and wants to actually play the game.

When I first saw the chalice Eldrazi, I was in love with it :) It plays so much like my Blitz. It is actually an aggro deck that can run Midrange to the ground easily. Combo is now a legitimate threat in the meta as it can race Eldrazi. Eldrazi showed that all aggro thus far were bad jokes (ok that just me being mean :p - but hey those aggro can't consistently beat the crap out of midrange so they suck :p).

The Eldrazi deck reminded me of my Blitz deck in standard ripping Midrange apart. It was a dream come true really since I have always hated that Modern is a Midrange format. but I am also reminded of the players that went "I did'nt get to play magic" (when beaten by my blitz) rather than actually play magic and find a solution. That is what I have to say to the ppl who dismiss Eldrazi as broken. You have been measured and found wanting when faced with the Eldrazi. That is all. :) The Eldrazi were'nt broken, you were broken by the Eldrazi.

I have no doubt that something from Eldrazi will be banned and the deck neutered. Not because the deck is broken such that it is dominating. It CANNOT. because it is not one deck we are seeing, but about 3 or 4 decks in actuality. So the numbers are exaggerated. Plus the fact that the top 8 in MTGO has been in flux like crazy. But because the desired power level for Modern is supposed to be lower and Midrange is supposed to be KING. Like MC Hammer says:"You can't touch that".

[20160404 02:05]

Oh oh, what is the fifth awakening? (in case it was'nt clear, since I ranted alot...)

Eternal awakens!

So drama ya?

Eternal is a cash cow yo! And I bet WOTC is always thinking of how it can monetise it but does'nt really know how.

I will talk about that later in what I think the business is and hence why there is this angle of the Eternal struggle (so corny!!!).

But this fifth awakening is part of that. Eternal awakens!

Eldrazi has opened the doors, c'mon step right in :)

For a long time, probably years now, Modern is like the purgatory of standard decks. With the power level seen in Eldrazi, perhaps Eternal is another transition destination.

Ya roughly thats it :p

I will update if my mind is clearer, now is bed time....

[20160404 02:35]

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