[Official] State of Modern Thread (B&R 07/13/2020)

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Re: Whirza/Urza
This deck was super powerful before the Hogaak ban, and was basically the only clear "winner" of the Hogaak Summer fiasco except for Hogaak itself. It has all the hallmarks of a secret best deck in Modern, notably the ability to switch plans based on the hate it encounters, a deterministic kill, and acceleration to cheat the curve. They also have a relatively high skill ceiling, allowing better players to leverage skills. Ban talk on anything, Urza-related or otherwise, is premature and silly at this stage of format evolution. But if I had to play a deck tomorrow, I'd play Urza decks because they are probably the "best" decks across the board. Any deck that can switch more or less seamlessly between combo kills, midrange grind, and prison slog is excellent.

Re: SFM
Even moreso than with Urza, it's way too early to see how SFM decks will turn out in Modern. As many unban proponents have said for years, the card will likely be just another powerful addition to a number of Modern decks. But unlike with Urza, where we actually have enough data to decree it a "secret best deck" (or not so secret, depending on who you ask), SFM is just way too new to evaluate properly other than to say it's probably just a good card. MTGO clearly shows there's no consensus on building around the card, and it will take months to figure that out. Extreme opinions about the card are likely incorrect. It is neither a bad card nor a broken card.
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Post by stubb » 1 year ago

BUG Vengevine seems to be a thing. Vengevine shell plus Hedron Crab plus the reach of Creeping Chill, one of the most egregiously badly designed cards in recent memory.

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Post by metalmusic_4 » 1 year ago

Here is a link to the deck list. Who needs hogaak. https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/96226

Separate note: I actually think creeping chill is on the modern power level. It sees very little legacy/vintage play unlike thoughtsieze, snapcaster or a huge number of other cards. I think if it were radically broken it would see more play in other eternal formats. It is awkward to deal with and powerful, but I actually like that design.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

metalmusic_4 wrote:
1 year ago
Here is a link to the deck list. Who needs hogaak. https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/96226

Separate note: I actually think creeping chill is on the modern power level. It sees very little legacy/vintage play unlike thoughtsieze, snapcaster or a huge number of other cards. I think if it were radically broken it would see more play in other eternal formats. It is awkward to deal with and powerful, but I actually like that design.
Snapcaster and Thoughtseize rely on other cards to be good (repeating a spell or taking a card), so they scale proportionally in formats with more powerful spells and cards.

Creeping Chill just deals with damage and life gain, which is much more relevant in a format that plays fetch/shock lands at its core. It's not going to be as good in a format where your manabase doesn't routinely put you to 15 or less most of the time. It is not difficult for Dredge to consistently hit 2-3 Chills per game. Which is absurd, considering it costs no mana.

Creeping Chill was my candidate for "Worst designed card in Modern" until they printed 3 mana Teferi.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

metalmusic_4 wrote:
1 year ago
Here is a link to the deck list. Who needs hogaak. https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/96226

Separate note: I actually think creeping chill is on the modern power level. It sees very little legacy/vintage play unlike thoughtsieze, snapcaster or a huge number of other cards. I think if it were radically broken it would see more play in other eternal formats. It is awkward to deal with and powerful, but I actually like that design.
that's a nice looking Vengevine deck. Making use of crabs.
I guess there are still gy decks that are strong after the hog and loot bans.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

The Looting ban was the best thing to happen to Graveyard decks in years because people are no longer running 8-10 hate cards in their 75.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
The Looting ban was the best thing to happen to Graveyard decks in years because people are no longer running 8-10 hate cards in their 75.
That's simply not true. GY decks are demonstrably weaker without FL, and it's not like most of those GY decks were being held down by GY hate anyway. GY decks were rampant throughout 2019 and GY hate was everywhere, including maindecks. Even ignoring the outrageous Hogaak deck, Dredge and Phoenix were either the topmost or two of the top 3-4 best performing 2019 decks pre-Looting ban. Everyone had GY hate and ran it en masse, which didn't stop those decks from being successful.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
The Looting ban was the best thing to happen to Graveyard decks in years because people are no longer running 8-10 hate cards in their 75.
That's simply not true. GY decks are demonstrably weaker without FL, and it's not like most of those GY decks were being held down by GY hate anyway. GY decks were rampant throughout 2019 and GY hate was everywhere, including maindecks. Even ignoring the outrageous Hogaak deck, Dredge and Phoenix were either the topmost or two of the top 3-4 best performing 2019 decks pre-Looting ban. Everyone had GY hate and ran it en masse, which didn't stop those decks from being successful.
Abusing the graveyard is still incredibly powerful, especially when people stop running multiple main deck hate cards and 4 Leylines in the side.

While busted, broken, too-good strategies have been taken down (as they should be), everything else of low-medium-reasonable power just got considerably better. There are still TONS of tools to dump things into the yard that aren't Looting, and now those decks are not facing a united front of hate cards across the format. I expect retuned lists of Creeping Dredge to move right back up to the top, especially while all us dolts are busy building bad Stoneforge decks.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
The Looting ban was the best thing to happen to Graveyard decks in years because people are no longer running 8-10 hate cards in their 75.
That's simply not true. GY decks are demonstrably weaker without FL, and it's not like most of those GY decks were being held down by GY hate anyway. GY decks were rampant throughout 2019 and GY hate was everywhere, including maindecks. Even ignoring the outrageous Hogaak deck, Dredge and Phoenix were either the topmost or two of the top 3-4 best performing 2019 decks pre-Looting ban. Everyone had GY hate and ran it en masse, which didn't stop those decks from being successful.
Abusing the graveyard is still incredibly powerful, especially when people stop running multiple main deck hate cards and 4 Leylines in the side.

While busted, broken, too-good strategies have been taken down (as they should be), everything else of low-medium-reasonable power just got considerably better. There are still TONS of tools to dump things into the yard that aren't Looting, and now those decks are not facing a united front of hate cards across the format. I expect retuned lists of Creeping Dredge to move right back up to the top, especially while all us dolts are busy building bad Stoneforge decks.
Everything in this quoted post is true. GY decks remain good. But none of that justifies the hyperbolic and flatly untrue statement of "The Looting ban was THE BEST thing to happen to Graveyard decks in years." GY decks are still strong and viable, but it's inaccurate to say it was THE BEST thing to happen to such decks in years. That just doesn't make any sense and is the kind of disproportionate, overstated claim we need to be avoiding in discussing Modern.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago

That's simply not true. GY decks are demonstrably weaker without FL, and it's not like most of those GY decks were being held down by GY hate anyway. GY decks were rampant throughout 2019 and GY hate was everywhere, including maindecks. Even ignoring the outrageous Hogaak deck, Dredge and Phoenix were either the topmost or two of the top 3-4 best performing 2019 decks pre-Looting ban. Everyone had GY hate and ran it en masse, which didn't stop those decks from being successful.
Abusing the graveyard is still incredibly powerful, especially when people stop running multiple main deck hate cards and 4 Leylines in the side.

While busted, broken, too-good strategies have been taken down (as they should be), everything else of low-medium-reasonable power just got considerably better. There are still TONS of tools to dump things into the yard that aren't Looting, and now those decks are not facing a united front of hate cards across the format. I expect retuned lists of Creeping Dredge to move right back up to the top, especially while all us dolts are busy building bad Stoneforge decks.
Everything in this quoted post is true. GY decks remain good. But none of that justifies the hyperbolic and flatly untrue statement of "The Looting ban was THE BEST thing to happen to Graveyard decks in years." GY decks are still strong and viable, but it's inaccurate to say it was THE BEST thing to happen to such decks in years. That just doesn't make any sense and is the kind of disproportionate, overstated claim we need to be avoiding in discussing Modern.
What non-Hogaak deck was seeing good success during the peak of GY hate? Phoenix was moving to mono-R Prowess builds and pretty much all other GY strats were totally shut out thanks to the massive wave of main deck and sideboard hate cards. Now that those main deck cards are gone and sideboard cards have greatly subsided, the non-Hogaak GY decks will absolutely rise again. While I have no way to quantify it, it definitely feels that, for graveyard decks, the loss of looting is far, far, far outweighed by the gain of people not running a million GY hate cards. Especially given that there are still dozens of ways for decks to put cards into the yard.
The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
"Kill em quick and hope they brick"?

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Post by Tzoulis » 1 year ago

The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
As I mentioned earlier: Be very fast (Burn, Prowess etc) or play Karn TGC (Tron, E-Tron, Ponza maybe). Also, (Before Urza) I had serious problems with Devoted Druid decks, 1 or 2 Needle effects are useless when they could tutor up several disruption pieces.

These are my worse matchups from my personal experience playing Tezz/Foundry decks.

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
What non-Hogaak deck was seeing good success during the peak of GY hate? Phoenix was moving to mono-R Prowess builds and pretty much all other GY strats were totally shut out thanks to the massive wave of main deck and sideboard hate cards. Now that those main deck cards are gone and sideboard cards have greatly subsided, the non-Hogaak GY decks will absolutely rise again. While I have no way to quantify it, it definitely feels that, for graveyard decks, the loss of looting is far, far, far outweighed by the gain of people not running a million GY hate cards. Especially given that there are still dozens of ways for decks to put cards into the yard.
Again, I agree GY decks are fine and will survive the Looting ban. I even went on record a few weeks ago saying I'd bring a GY deck to that SCG Open, just to capitalize on the lack of GY hate you are pointing to. But it is unsupportable to claim that Looting's ban was the "BEST" thing to happen to GY decks in the entire year. There are many other ways to change that claim to make it true and reasonable, but sticking with that superlative does not cut it. Same for the "far, far, far" qualifier in this post. It's simply not possible that banning a GY deck's main engine across multiple archetypes makes the GY super-archetype better, especially when we have zero early data to suggest it. GY decks appear pretty darn average right now; just another powerful thing one can do in top-tier Modern. Will they survive? Yes. Might they enjoy some contextual improvement if folks don't suspect them and GY hate is skimping? Potentially. But was the Looting ban the "BEST" thing to happen to the deck, resulting in a dearth of hate that "far, far, far outweigh(s)" the ban itself? Absolutely not.

Words matter when we discuss Magic. All topics, really, but let's stick with Modern/Magic for now. I am going to consistently push back against the overly strong, disproportionate claims-making I see here and on other venues. It does not enhance our understanding of the game or format and is frequently wrong. There are many more measured, limited, and critical ways to assess issues without using these kind of superlative terms. Your entire argument with Looting is totally on base; GY decks are not nearly as damaged by the loss of Looting as many think. But to claim the ban was the "best" thing that happened all year is unreasonable and overstated. I know you have offered some great format analyses in the past, but these kinds of soundbite extremes (similar to your response to Fluff's question about Whirza) do not meet that level.
The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
It depends on what deck you are using. G Tron is favored against Urza because it wins in spite of a Bridge lockdown and can generally outgrind the Urza player on all axes with sweepers and over-the-top plays. Burn just wins faster in the early games and benefits from a relative lack of interaction on Burn's best damage dealers (the creatures). Also, the Bolt effects all ignore Bridge once it's down. If you're playing a grindy deck, the key to beating Whirza is to deal with Urza himself, because he will outgrind you, do it through Ouphe/Silence, and can win on the spot if unchecked. Early disruption is only good if you have a clock, which is one reason Jund and UW Control struggle with this deck.

If you're playing a fast deck, avoid decks that are completely shut down by Bridge. If you're playing a slower deck, make sure you are getting ahead and not just trading one-for-one. Whirza has a ton of velocity and value cards, so one-for-one exchanges are losing exchanges for you unless you have something generating regular advantage.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 year ago

cfusionpm wrote:
1 year ago
The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
"Kill em quick and hope they brick"?
Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
As I mentioned earlier: Be very fast (Burn, Prowess etc) or play Karn TGC (Tron, E-Tron, Ponza maybe). Also, (Before Urza) I had serious problems with Devoted Druid decks, 1 or 2 Needle effects are useless when they could tutor up several disruption pieces.

These are my worse matchups from my personal experience playing Tezz/Foundry decks.
ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
The Fluff wrote:
1 year ago
To those who have experience playing against it. How do we beat the Whirza decks?
Is killing Urza and Tezz the right way to stop the deck? thanks for any info. :)
It depends on what deck you are using. G Tron is favored against Urza because it wins in spite of a Bridge lockdown and can generally outgrind the Urza player on all axes with sweepers and over-the-top plays. Burn just wins faster in the early games and benefits from a relative lack of interaction on Burn's best damage dealers (the creatures). Also, the Bolt effects all ignore Bridge once it's down. If you're playing a grindy deck, the key to beating Whirza is to deal with Urza himself, because he will outgrind you, do it through Ouphe/Silence, and can win on the spot if unchecked. Early disruption is only good if you have a clock, which is one reason Jund and UW Control struggle with this deck.

If you're playing a fast deck, avoid decks that are completely shut down by Bridge. If you're playing a slower deck, make sure you are getting ahead and not just trading one-for-one. Whirza has a ton of velocity and value cards, so one-for-one exchanges are losing exchanges for you unless you have something generating regular advantage.
nice, I appreciate all these tips and info. Will remember them. The reason I asked is because some people in my area are building whirza. Better to sit into this matchup with knowledge on what to do, so thanks again. I do have a Burn deck and also a Ponza deck -recently upgraded with pillage-, will try to use them when the Whirza decks start showing up.

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edit: feels like fry is a decent sideboard card right now. It kills stoneforge, urza, small teferi, and narset. And can't be countered by these blue decks.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 year ago
Words matter when we discuss Magic. All topics, really, but let's stick with Modern/Magic for now. I am going to consistently push back against the overly strong, disproportionate claims-making I see here and on other venues. It does not enhance our understanding of the game or format and is frequently wrong. There are many more measured, limited, and critical ways to assess issues without using these kind of superlative terms. Your entire argument with Looting is totally on base; GY decks are not nearly as damaged by the loss of Looting as many think. But to claim the ban was the "best" thing that happened all year is unreasonable and overstated. I know you have offered some great format analyses in the past, but these kinds of soundbite extremes (similar to your response to Fluff's question about Whirza) do not meet that level.
That is a completely fair and valid assessment. I think if everyone here can agree to minimize those kinds exaggerated statements, no matter how right they might feel, we would definitely have more meaningful discussions.

That being said, boring, well articulated, meaningful discussion is often outright ignored, or takes a backseat to the kinds of ridiculous statements and hyperbole that garner attention and provoke response. It is the same philosophy that drives social media algorithms. And whether we like it or not, the things people talk about are the things people want to talk about, and much of what people want to talk about are extreme ideological positions instead of careful well thought-out arguments. For example, a number of times I have spent hours creating and tabulating some kind of statistical analysis paired with moderate amounts of commentary just to have everything completely ignored, mocked, or disregarded. I make one wacky comment about something that is more or less true, but exaggerated, and half a dozen people are now engaging in consistent conversation. While I definitely get swept up in this too, I appreciate your commitment to making sure it's pointed out no matter who is doing it.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

On the flipside cfusionpm, there's been plenty of your post that I stopped reading 5 words in because you make some baseless hyperbolic claim. You make the comparison to clickbait, but people hate clickbait.

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

Ancient Stirrings and Mox Opal have been on WoTC's radar since late last year at the very least. As far as hyperbole goes, Claiming AS and Opal are on borrowed time is not that far out or unfounded.

They stated as much in the KCI ban announcement back in January. https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... nouncement
Bear in mind that this is based on the current state of the metagame, and that Ancient Stirrings and Mox Opal are not being given a free pass in perpetuity. While we have no current plans to take action against these two cards, we'll continue to monitor the health of the environment and the strength of decks that use them. If the metagame reaches a point where we determine these cards are doing more to suppress archetype diversity than enable it, we will certainly revisit this discussion. At this time, we're choosing the surgical ban against Krark-Clan Ironworks itself and avoiding "splash damage" against other archetypes
And in the most recent announcement, they've shown that 'splash damage' is not out of the equation.

For myself at least, it's a question of what's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back - seeing as how these perpetual tier 1 strategies continue to get upgrades.

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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

I believe the assertion you were arguing against is "AS and Opal are on borrowed time" - this just means that people think these 2 cards have the highest potential to be broken in future, not that they are bannable right now. Although there will be people who think along those lines.

And considering how the B&R article at that time also says that AS and Opal were candidates up for consideration alongside KCI, this is hardly a hyperbolic claim.

Rather than hyperbole, there is a slightly irrational but understandable fear regarding the 2 cards. The 2 cards have powered highly consistent tier 1 mainstays for years now, and very rarely has it been a bad idea to sleeve up an AS or Opal deck, even through the most degenerate periods of Modern.

Being tier 1 is not a crime in itself, but as we all know by now, Modern has no sacred cows.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Bearscape wrote:
1 year ago
On the flipside cfusionpm, there's been plenty of your post that I stopped reading 5 words in because you make some baseless hyperbolic claim. You make the comparison to clickbait, but people hate clickbait.
And I'm certainly not the only one to do it, which is exactly why I wrote the comment as I did. But thank you for illustrating the point of ignoring the meaning of a post in order to reply with one's own clickbait hot take.

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Post by Pistallion » 1 year ago

Tzoulis wrote:
1 year ago
Whirza decks are so strong because of Urza, not Opal. The deck existed way before Modern Horizons -I've been playing them since I started playing modern in 2013-2014- and at best was a Tier 2 contender. Urza just gave the deck it's combo finish and it's epic grinding ability (along with Astrolabe and Engineer).

The deck still loses to the same decks it did: Burn, Hyper Aggressive strategies (Mono-R prowess), Tron/Eldrazi (less so) with Karn TGC and Devoted Druid/Chord decks.

Banning opal will not even nerf the deck appreciably, because Urza still exists.
I totally agree. Why is it that Mox Opal is the card that people bring up (especially on Reddit) when it comes to these decks? Opal is not what what makes the Urza deck good. I honestly hope they don't ban Mox Opal. The card lets cool combos exist, and if Urza is the real problem, then just ban Urza.

Right now, though, I think we have enough tools to deal with the deck. I could be wrong, and I think we just need to give more time.

Edit: LOL
Last edited by Pistallion 1 year ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 year ago

Pistallion wrote:
1 year ago
I totally agree. Why is it that Mox Opal is the card that people bring up (especially on Reddit) when it comes to these decks? Opal is not what what makes the Urza deck good. I honestly hope they don't ban Mox Opal. The card lets cool combos exist, and if Urza is the real problem, then just ban Urza.
There are two reasons Opal sees frequent ban mania and targeting. The first is that it's a major source of fast mana in the format, and fast mana/free spells/cost reductions are generally the most broken things in Modern. Multiple Opal starts feel even more unfair and lopsided, resulting in animus towards the card. Ever since I started seriously discussing Modern bans in 2013, we've seen people complain about fast mana inconsistencies between the banlist and cards that are legal; 2019 is sure to continue that. The second reason Opal gets ban scrutiny is because Wizards called it out in the KCI update (this is also true of Stirrings). They literally said they considered banning the card, which led to the community's inference of a "watchlist" where these cards might live. I don't think that's necessarily a bad inference, but it definitely increases ban fears around the card. As of now, Opal isn't doing anything particularly broken and might honestly not even be the most busted part of the Whirza deck. We'll see how that evolves as the format evolves too, but for now, the Opal ban talk is alarmist and premature. The Stirrings ban talk is even worse, as there are only a handful of decks using Stirrings at this time and none are particularly powerful.
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Post by Pistallion » 1 year ago

The power of the Urza deck isn't speed, which is basically all Mox Opal does. Opal in KCI and Urza is a totally different case. A card like Ensaring Bridge is much more of a problem card than Mox Opal, and I find it funny that no one talk about it to the extent of Opal. I like prison decks as much as the next guy, but the true power of the Urza deck is the ability to play a control game when they need to and race when they need to. I guess in that sense, you can argue that Opal should be banned since it increases speed, but I just feel that its hardly better than Mind Stone in the context of the Urza Deck.
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Post by True-Name Nemesis » 1 year ago

This new card ... Once Upon a Time.. seriously?

If anyone ever thought GSZ is gonna make creature combo too good or consistent, this card is WoTC saying "hold my beer"

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Post by Bearscape » 1 year ago

Once upon a time, tron got more consistent

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Post by Pistallion » 1 year ago

I can see it in Amulet too
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