[SCD] Illness in the Ranks

  • #53
    I don't agree. What graveyard-centric decks are big? I don't see Reanimator running around like a boss. I see strategies that use the graveyard, like Snapcaster Mage, but those are the kinds of decks that get advantages from the graveyard without relying on them too heavily. If Reanimator were more commonly played, more GY hate would go into SBs, and then Reanimator would lose, and then fewer people would play it. Snapcaster Mage floating around is not enough to justify cards dedicated to GY hate, though.

    Further, people don't run counterspells as much. Sure, they do a bit, but between Mana Leak rotating and the threat of Cavern of Souls, people run very few counterspells and rely on sweepers, their own creatures, etc. It's not unlike the issue with the graveyard - people use something just enough to keep from incentivizing a playset of Cavern of Souls in every list. Not to mention targeting noncreatures with Negate.

    Same deal with Naturalize and enchantments: if there was really an archetype that relied on enchantments, you'd see way more Naturalizes, and then that archetype would recede into T2 or, more likely, oblivion. Having a few utility enchantments around doesn't really incentivize people to use a lot of Naturalizes, though, when the more relatively pressing need is to respond to zombies, or sweepers, or Thragtusk, or whatever.

    It could work out the same way with tokens, right? All those utility tokens out there keep going along - and you would unreasonably cite those as evidence that this card didn't nerf anything. Except we don't have very many utility tokens; what, Thragtusk here or an Entreat the Angels there? Maybe Huntmaster of the Fells? What people are talking about here is the strategy equilibrium in Standard and a tokens-centric deck: it's less likely now that an actual tokens-centric deck could be long-term T1. What this card won't do, though, will be to change the position of Huntmaster of the Fells or Thragtusk (much like Naturalize and random utility enchantments). People have pet archetypes; they like to hope those pet archetypes can reach T1; they lament when a card hoses their pet archetype. I myself like UW control; I bought cards for UW control before it was good; I was excited when the meta went my way at the beginning of RTR standard. Some people like tokens. This card effectively says to them: nope.

    Or at least you could reasonably take this card and assume so. Maybe tokens has enough responses to still survive; but that's not likely given its already T2-T3 status. Maybe there's going to be something in Friends, though, that revives tokens even more than Innistrad block. I guess we'll see.

    Everything I've just said can be true about standard and it still be true that this card is geared toward Modern. That's fine and all. I just want to point out that it's perfectly reasonable for people to be lamenting tokens if they're tokens fans; I know I would if they hosed UW control.
    Last edited by euknemarchon: 1/21/2013 4:17:25 PM
  • #54
    Good with Turn to Frog and Beast Within in Modern Smile
    Last edited by GFSnl: 3/27/2013 8:52:48 AM
  • #55
    Illness in the ranks is good against Esper Token decks, since Sorin's and Lingering Souls's Token just die and those decks typically do not run pump spells. Outside of that...no.


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  • #56
    Quote from euknemarchon
    Further, people don't run counterspells as much. Sure, they do a bit, but between Mana Leak rotating and the threat of Cavern of Souls, people run very few counterspells and rely on sweepers, their own creatures, etc. It's not unlike the issue with the graveyard - people use something just enough to keep from incentivizing a playset of Cavern of Souls in every list. Not to mention targeting noncreatures with Negate.


    I'd counter (pun intended Wink ) that the lack of counter magic in standard is more a product of poor available spells compared to what was previously available than Cavern of Souls. If mana leak was still available the blue control player would be running it, Cavern of Souls be-damned.
  • #57
    Quote from acdanzig
    I'd counter (pun intended Wink ) that the lack of counter magic in standard is more a product of poor available spells compared to what was previously available than Cavern of Souls. If mana leak was still available the blue control player would be running it, Cavern of Souls be-damned.


    I did say pretty explicitly that Mana Leak rotating was part of it. I don't think it's reasonable to argue that the Mana Leak rotation counts for 100% of why the decks run less counterspells or why Negate was discussed as a strong candidate pretty early on (at least at the beginning of RTR standard when I paid more attention).
  • #58
    Quote from Fblthp
    By that logic, naturalize completely invalidates illness in the ranks. The sky is not falling, this one card does not invalidate an entire strategy.


    It does invalidate an entire strategy. It is THAT good at what it does. It is much better to kill creatures than to pump them up. This is why Lightning Bolt is millions of times better than Giant Growth. This card will singlehandedly prevent token decks from doing ANYTHING at all until they find an answer.

    Naturalize my Counterbalance, I can still use the rest of my deck.

    The exact same argument was said abut Cavern of Souls and counter spells... Hey look, pretty sure they still exist and see play.


    So many things wrong with this analogy:

    1. Cavern of Souls does not prevent win conditions from being used. You don't need to counter any spells in order to win the game with your own cards.

    2. Cavern of Souls is an answer for answers. This card proactively makes every token maker you have in your hand worthless until you draw an anthem or find something to destroy it.

    3. Cavern of Souls has zero retroactive uses on its own. This card is good no matter when you draw it.

    4. Cavern of Souls is conditional. It only prevents counters on creatures of the chosen creature type. This effectively restricts what cards you can realistically expect to run with it and get consistent results. Illness has no such qualms and will unconditionally hose you no matter what.

    5. Cavern of Souls can be used to its effect once every turn. Illness works year-round and on holidays.
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  • #59
    aw yeh thank WOtC for token hate Grin
    and about countering spells, guile likes that, so cavern of souls can be a problem in Modern.
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  • #60
    i woudlve been happier to see this card not exists rather then exist but what can you do right? lol...
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  • #61
    Quote from jokulmorder
    That's the point. If a tokens deck becomes good people will just start running this card and it will become a tier 5 deck because it will be impossible for them to gain any board position without an anthem effect.

    It prevents any token deck from ever being top tier simply by existing. Nobody has to sideboard it for it to invalidate token strategies.


    No one will waste SB space against a single deck, unless that deck have a considerable share of the meta game. A deck only needs 10~15% of the share to be considered tier 1 those days (because the meta is diverse). If tokens have that share of the meta, no one will play it (unless the deck is pretty weak against tokens, which is not the black deck's cases).

    Yes, this might prevent tokens from getting 40%+ share of the meta.
    No, this will not stop tokens from occupying tier 1 positioning (if the deck is destined to do so).

    Theres also the possibility of transformational SB. Remove the 1/1 tokens and intagible virtue, add general GW beatdown cards. That enchantment will suddenly be a dead card in your opponent's hand and you profit.
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  • #62
    Quote from jokulmorder
    It does invalidate an entire strategy. It is THAT good at what it does. It is much better to kill creatures than to pump them up. This is why Lightning Bolt is millions of times better than Giant Growth. This card will singlehandedly prevent token decks from doing ANYTHING at all until they find an answer.

    Naturalize my Counterbalance, I can still use the rest of my deck.



    So many things wrong with this analogy:

    1. Cavern of Souls does not prevent win conditions from being used. You don't need to counter any spells in order to win the game with your own cards.

    2. Cavern of Souls is an answer for answers. This card proactively makes every token maker you have in your hand worthless until you draw an anthem or find something to destroy it.


    Wait a second. This card is an answer. Cavern of Souls is an answer. They're both good in specific matchups against specific cards and useless outside of that specific scenario. This card is proactive in exactly the same way that Cavern of Souls is proactive - in the sense that you play it before the opponent plays any of the card that it answers as a preliminary answer.

    3. Cavern of Souls has zero retroactive uses on its own. This card is good no matter when you draw it.


    If you draw it after all tokens have picked up a +1/+1, it's good but far from game breaking... this card is only a blowout vs tokens if it comes down before the +1/+1. After that it's good but not gamebreaking.

    4. Cavern of Souls is conditional. It only prevents counters on creatures of the chosen creature type. This effectively restricts what cards you can realistically expect to run with it and get consistent results. Illness has no such qualms and will unconditionally hose you no matter what.


    Cavern of Souls is unconditional in a well built deck. It answers all countermagic aimed at your creatures, unless you're playing it in a deck with a bunch of different creature types. It's a little harder to work into a deck, but just as unconditional once you do.

    5. Cavern of Souls can be used to its effect once every turn. Illness works year-round and on holidays.


    If it was once a turn, it'd be virtually identical to how it works now, so this is an odd argument.



    It's a beatdown on token strategies, for sure. It's not the end of the world for them.
  • #63
    Quote from euknemarchon
    I don't agree. What graveyard-centric decks are big?


    The reason why you don't see a ton is because the only really good graveyard based decks are those based around Unburial Rites. Other stuff like heavy flashback decks are nowhere good enough to win a major tournament. Graveyard hate cards are not preventing pros from running those decks.
    Last edited by Monopoman: 1/21/2013 7:54:48 PM

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  • #64
    I think this card has potential. Will it see play? That's dependent. However, if I was going for board -1s, I think I would rather have Curse of Death's Hold. Yes, I understand that this is a 1-drop and is meant to be faster than token dropping, but I'm just saying, from my point of view, that in a varied meta CoDH would see mainstream play before this would. I could be wrong, of course...

    Probably just another card put in the water to spook some players, like every set has nowadays.

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  • #65
    Quote from Drawmeomg
    Wait a second. This card is an answer. Cavern of Souls is an answer. They're both good in specific matchups against specific cards and useless outside of that specific scenario. This card is proactive in exactly the same way that Cavern of Souls is proactive - in the sense that you play it before the opponent plays any of the card that it answers as a preliminary answer.


    Alright i'll concede that.

    If you draw it after all tokens have picked up a +1/+1, it's good but far from game breaking... this card is only a blowout vs tokens if it comes down before the +1/+1. After that it's good but not gamebreaking.


    It costs 1 mana which means any game you have it in your opening hand you should just roflstomp them unless they can counter it or have maindeck enchantment removal. The fact that they need an anthem effect to even have the ability to use their cards is a testament to this card's power as a hoser, not a detriment.

    Cavern of Souls is unconditional in a well built deck. It answers all countermagic aimed at your creatures, unless you're playing it in a deck with a bunch of different creature types. It's a little harder to work into a deck, but just as unconditional once you do.


    No, that is the very definition of conditional. The fact that you have to have a high count of creatures of the same type is an extremely important condition.

    If it was once a turn, it'd be virtually identical to how it works now, so this is an odd argument.


    What do you mean? Are you saying that either Cavern of Souls has an immortal board presence and does not require to tap in order to make use of it? Or that Illness in the Ranks isn't a static ability?

    It's a beatdown on token strategies, for sure. It's not the end of the world for them.


    If it resolves and you don't have an anthem it is pretty much GG as it will give you plenty of time to wipe the floor with them as they are incapable of playing most of the cards in their deck. A turn 1 game ender against an archetype that doesn't require any hoop leaping and isn't dominating any of the existing formats.
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  • #66
    Are people seriously claiming Cavern hoses countermagic more than this hoses tokens? That's hilarious.

    Tokens is a narrower strategy than countermagic, and tokens can generate card advantage versus decks not playing sweepers. It's entirely appropriate for Illness in the Ranks to be stronger vs. token decks than Cavern is against countermagic decks (and this is speaking as someone much more likely to play Lingering Souls than Dissipate). That doesn't mean that this ISN'T stronger.
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  • #67
    Quote from jokulmorder

    No, that is the very definition of conditional. The fact that you have to have a high count of creatures of the same type is an extremely important condition.


    Every card in magic is conditional if we include deck construction constraints. Illness in the Ranks is conditional on you running black. YES, the fact that Cavern requires significant commitment is important in evaluating the card and important in understanding why it didn't bring down Armageddon the way people were predicting before it came out, and yes, Illness in the Ranks fits into a much wider range of decks than Cavern of Souls.

    On the other hand, it hoses a much more specific strategy, and is a dead sideboard card (which is very important) against every other strategy but token swarm decks.

    What has to be true before you're willing to give up 3 or 4 sideboard slots for this card? I'm not throwing Grafdigger's Cage into my sideboard just because it's a 1 mana card that crushes some decks; those decks have to be a huge part of the metagame first, AND Grafdigger's Cage has to be so much better than any available hosers that also shut down other strategies that there's a significant difference in my win rate due to swapping it in for the alternatives.

    What do you mean? Are you saying that either Cavern of Souls has an immortal board presence and does not require to tap in order to make use of it? Or that Illness in the Ranks isn't a static ability?


    If Illness in the Ranks said T: Token creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn, it'd be practically the same card.



    If it resolves and you don't have an anthem it is pretty much GG as it will give you plenty of time to wipe the floor with them as they are incapable of playing most of the cards in their deck. A turn 1 game ender against an archetype that doesn't require any hoop leaping and isn't dominating any of the existing formats.


    If you're in black, you're in game 2 or 3 against a token deck, and token decks are a big enough part of the metagame to be worth dedicating three or four slots of your sideboard specifically to fight - with cards you'd never bring out except against a token swarm - then yes, this card is amazing.

    Those conditions are extremely unlikely to fulfill. This hate is powerful but it's too specific. Put it another way: if token decks are big enough to be worth playing this card but not strong enough to find ways around it, it'll hate them out, decrease their play frequency, deliver wins to decks that don't sideboard this card (instead sideboarding against the decks that have hated tokens out), and it'll quickly become safe to play tokens again, as long as you're not riding a wave of token decks.

    I admit that it will feel crappy that one time someone happens to have it in their sideboard, but unless there's a truly dominant token deck - something I expect to see a large portion of the time and which can't be answered by more general purpose answer cards - I'm going to be looking for a pyroclasm effect that can also help seal wins against other aggro strategies long before I settle on this card.
  • #68
    i'm fine with the card existing, but it should have been 2 or so mana.
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  • #69
    Between this and Blind Obedience, Wizards is showing that they really hate Kikki/Splinter Twin based combo decks.
  • #70
    Quote from Drawmeomg
    Every card in magic is conditional if we include deck construction constraints. Illness in the Ranks is conditional on you running black. YES, the fact that Cavern requires significant commitment is important in evaluating the card and important in understanding why it didn't bring down Armageddon the way people were predicting before it came out, and yes, Illness in the Ranks fits into a much wider range of decks than Cavern of Souls.


    Are you really going to try and equate color requirements to tribal synergy? Plenty of decks will want to be running multiple creature types, those same decks are going to have to either accept the loss on cavern or not run those cards. You can't seriously think this is equivalent to color requirements.

    On the other hand, it hoses a much more specific strategy, and is a dead sideboard card (which is very important) against every other strategy but token swarm decks.


    It doesn't matter. If a token deck is good enough, decks will start to sideboard stuff against them and this is far and away the best card you could possibly sideboard against tokens bar none (i might have to withdraw that statement, but i doubt it).

    What has to be true before you're willing to give up 3 or 4 sideboard slots for this card? I'm not throwing Grafdigger's Cage into my sideboard just because it's a 1 mana card that crushes some decks; those decks have to be a huge part of the metagame first, AND Grafdigger's Cage has to be so much better than any available hosers that also shut down other strategies that there's a significant difference in my win rate due to swapping it in for the alternatives.


    And if a token deck ever becomes a big part of the metagame it will be hated on hardcore style. People have dedicated sideboard slots to specific decks before. If a token deck ever becomes good enough, people will begin to run the hate. It's the same problem dredge faces. It goes through cycles of it being terrible and being good. The problem here is that tokens aren't even competitive and they're being hated out similarly to dredge.

    If Illness in the Ranks said T: Token creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn, it'd be practically the same card.


    There are plenty of ways to work around that. Not to mention that the point was that Cavern of Souls can make only one card dead in your hand that wouldn't otherwise be dead and it can only do it once a turn. You can't work around this card by playing a crappy token maker and then playing a big cool token maker.


    If you're in black, you're in game 2 or 3 against a token deck, and token decks are a big enough part of the metagame to be worth dedicating three or four slots of your sideboard specifically to fight - with cards you'd never bring out except against a token swarm - then yes, this card is amazing.


    And it's TOO amazing for an archetype that was never even allowed to get off the ground. There is a single token based strategy that is competitive in all of magic right now (maybe thoptersword is good in legacy but i haven't played that in a while so i don't know) and it's kiki/twin based combos in modern. There are plenty of other ways to hose that deck without ruining tokens but they did it anyways.

    Those conditions are extremely unlikely to fulfill. This hate is powerful but it's too specific. Put it another way: if token decks are big enough to be worth playing this card but not strong enough to find ways around it, it'll hate them out, decrease their play frequency, deliver wins to decks that don't sideboard this card (instead sideboarding against the decks that have hated tokens out), and it'll quickly become safe to play tokens again, as long as you're not riding a wave of token decks.


    And why is this good? It's not good with dredge as it basically turns into "guess whether or not people think anyone will bring tokens to the tournament". Do you think people want tournaments to be decided on that? If dredge is unexpected it usually plows through people but then gets hated out. No card should so succinctly and effectively hate a non-competitive archetype. This card is about as bad to tokens as Sphere of Law is against red weenie decks. They stopped printing hate that powerful because it basically invalidated a strategy and it wasn't fun to play against.

    I admit that it will feel crappy that one time someone happens to have it in their sideboard, but unless there's a truly dominant token deck - something I expect to see a large portion of the time and which can't be answered by more general purpose answer cards - I'm going to be looking for a pyroclasm effect that can also help seal wins against other aggro strategies long before I settle on this card.


    There will never be a truly dominant token deck because of this card. If one were to ever arise, this card would probably get brought out in force and kill it a tournament or two after it got going.
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  • #71
    So, is the Future Future League playing a bunch of kitchen table decks? Because they certainly know how to kill all of mine... first my Splinterfright deck gets demolished by graveyard hate, now my janky Thraben Doomsayer/Thatcher's Revolt/Goldnight Commander deck gets destroyed. Why WotC, why?

    Then again, it is my fault for selling off my Zombie deck once it became pretty valuable. Grin
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  • #72
    It's funny when hosers like this get such vitriol when I played in a time of..



    These are hosers that complete invalidate entire colors and strategies not just invalidate them in some circumstances. Playing a turn 2 chill against a RDW style deck they might as well scoop under 99.99% of circumstances.

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  • #73
    Obvious irrelevant hoser is obvious.

    I guess it hurts Lingering Souls.

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  • #74
    Quote from Monopoman
    It's funny when hosers like this get such vitriol when I played in a time of..



    These are hosers that complete invalidate entire colors and strategies not just invalidate them in some circumstances. Playing a turn 2 chill against a RDW style deck they might as well scoop under 99.99% of circumstances.

    This.

    My first thought went to those two lovely hatecards: Perish Tsunami. -1/-1 for tokens, oh noes.
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  • #75
    Yeah, this card humps token decks bad, I could see it in SBs from Modern to Standard if Tokens gains any kind of foothold.
  • #76
    This is a good card but it is nowhere near broken, nor does it make any sort of token deck immediately non-viable. It makes them harder to play and keeps them in check, but it doesn't kill them.

    It's also much more narrower than other token hosers in larger formats, and even in Standard.

    Also, because it's funny, this card is near-useless in EDH and way too narrow. It's just funny to me that Standard players fawning over cards which are terrible in Commander, rather than asserting the cliche that goes the other way around.
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  • #77
    I don't think this is going to completely wreck tokens. Yes, it can wipe a field of weenies and can seriously slow down the game, but I thought Junk tokens had beefier creatures? Call of the Conclave makes 3/3's, both Garruks make larger than 1/1s, and with anthem effects it can negate the -1/-1. Plus, since you're in GW I'm sure some kind of enchantment hate(Naturalize or Ray of Revelation) would be in your SB.

    Unlike the graveyard hate that's making my foil Splinterfrights cry in my binder, it's easier to recover from this. GY strategies usually needed a buildup, which could just be removed at anytime, making any possible answers mostly useless.

    This might deter a rush of token decks, but I'm sure they'll still be around.
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