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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
  • posted a message on January 1st is when spoilers start on rivals of ixalan
    Quote from EdgarsRaiders »
    Since this is a small set, I believe it would be one week of spoilers. Correct me if I am wrong though.


    Over the past several years, there have always been two weeks of spoilers for Standard sets. It's supplemental sets that are typically limited to only 1 week of spoilers.

    Could be that they are mixing things up, though?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ultra-pro images
    Something just feels really off about a three-headed dinosaur, mostly because dinosaurs were real animals. It's almost as weird as having a three-headed cat or something. Just feels more strange than frightening.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Booster pack art + FNM foil tokens
    Quote from Etherium Sage »
    Is that Raymond Swanland art for Angrath?


    Very much looks that way!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Booster pack art + FNM foil tokens
    Final one:

    Front:

    Back:
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Booster pack art + FNM foil tokens
    Tokens:
    Token A front:

    Token A back:


    Token B front:

    Token B back:
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Booster pack art + FNM foil tokens
    Source: Mothership

    Looks like we'll be seeing a Jurassic Park-style Dilophosaurus with pop-up frill and poop-spitting action.





    Also, the FNM promo tokens are here, with the notable inclusion of a Saproling!! (See below post)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on U/W Spells
    Huh, I hadn't see that before. It's interesting, but that deck and mine play quite differently.

    Also, just got back from a PPTQ with the deck, and though I didn't do that well, it was mostly because I was getting flooded out and because I made a few play mistakes.

    That being said, the deck completely outclassed a UB control deck being piloted by a tournament grinder, who became visibly frustrated by the games (I ended up 2-0'ing him). In other words, the deck is very powerful when it performs as expected.

    My thoughts are that it needs better filtering options, and probably more removal in the mainboard, so I'm moving the Saheeli's Artistry to the sideboard, along with one Queen's Commission, and putting in 3 Farm // Market, since they performed very well in the games that I sided them in. In addition, I am taking out the Solemnity from the sideboard because, while it was very effective against energy and counter decks, it also hosed my Amulet, and it turns out that the Amulet isn't that good if it never flips. I'm putting two River's Rebuke in their place for the midrange matchups because I've had previous experiences in which that card just blows out a midrange opponent.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on U/W Spells
    Quote from Ronnie328 »
    I've seen versions of this deck using UB instead and Torment of Hailfire. What advantage do you think UW brings over UB?


    I dunno, I've never seen the UB version. But Settle the Wreckage is great against any aggro or midrange deck, as are the token producers.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on U/W Spells
    Quote from Severance328 »
    this deck seems to want baral

    i mean turn 2 baral turn 3 servo exhibiton+queens commision seems good....that might have to become a deck actually....brb


    The first thing I thought of was including Baral alongside everything else, but I ended up cutting him from the list to maximize my instants and sorceries in the list. Plus, it's nice to have a true creatureless deck that can't get looted by The Scarab God.

    Feel free to test out a list with Baral, though. The synergy is definitely there.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on U/W Spells
    So, I threw together this deck last week, thinking it might be fun. I ended up 4-0'ing at FNM with it, only losing games where I got mana screwed.

    I did some additional testing online with it, and, after adjusting the sideboard to better deal with Ramunap Red/aggro in general, it seems like it's legitimately competitive. Best of all, the deck is actually a lot of fun to play, and allows for some insane plays (gaining tons of life, drawing gobs of cards, etc).

    The decklist is below. Basically, the deck exploits interactions between the instants and sorceries you cast, and Primal Amulet/Wellspring, and/or Metallurgic Summonings.




    The token producing sorceries (Servo Exhibition and Queen's Commission) are mostly there to clog the board until you can get your true threats online. Also, if you have enough tokens that you really don't need as blockers, you can swing with them all, and then cast Settle the Wreckage on yourself during the End of Combat phase for some amazing ramping, while also getting in some damage and potentially lifegain (if you swung with any vamps).

    The deck gets really bananas when you start casting X spells, and copying them with Primal Wellspring. I literally gained 156 life at FNM playing against a really grindy energy deck by copying Sanguine Sacrament twice when I had three Amulets out (I copied Saheeli's Artistry twice with my Wellsprings the previous turn), and then I got a 28/28 Construct token on top of it (X spells are also amazing with Metallurgic Summonings). You can also deck yourself quite easily by copying Pull from Tomorrow if you're not careful.

    Speaking of which, even if your opponent somehow exiles all of your Metallurgic Summonings, it's still possible to win through waiting for the opponent to deck him- or herself. Since Sanguine Sacrament just goes to the bottom of your library after it resolves, it's possible to just keep casting the spell over and over again, and then keep drawing it after you are down to just 4 or less cards in your library. Hopefully, by the time that you are down so low, you have enough lands and/or Primal Wellsprings to be gaining 50+ life a turn.

    Saheeli's Artistry may seem like an odd inclusion, but it's in there for a couple of reasons. First, cloning your own Primal Amulets is great because the copies will never flip, leaving you with permanent CMC discounts on your spells. Second, the spell is actually a lot better when casting it for 3UU or 2UU thanks to one or more Amulets. Finally, if you happen to play against any decks running gearhulks, the card essentially reads "copy target gearhulk twice," which can put you miles ahead of your opponent by itself.

    As far as sideboarding goes, I would take out the Saheeli's Artistries and Primal Amulets against Ramunap Red or other aggro decks, instead siding in the 3 Authority of the Consuls and 3 Farm // Market. Authority really helps slow down aggro decks, even if they hose the lifegain with Rampaging Ferocidon, and Farm // Market is tons of value in that it is removal on the front end, and lets you filter through your deck on the back end, and it represents two spells that you can cast for value with Metallurgic Summonings.

    Approaches are nice against control decks as well as token decks whose life totals can skyrocket relatively quickly (as are Authority of the Consuls). Obviously, the Disallows and Negates are for control matchups as well, but Negates are also helpful against any midrange deck running black since they will obviously be siding in Lost Legacy to get rid of your Metallurgic Summonings (in addition to their normal hand disruption package).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Urza Freaking Planeswalker
    Quote from jamis »
    It looks like http://askurza.com/ is online now!

    and it seems like his +1 is a random existing planeswalker's + ability, his -1 is a random - ability, and his ultimate is a random ultimate.


    Yeah, his +1 ability is chosen at random from a pool of all other planeswalker +1 abilities

    His -1 ability is chosen at random from a pool of all other planeswalker -1 abilities.

    His -6 ability is chosen at random from a pool of all other planeswalker ultimate abilities.


    EDIT: It's not all planeswalker abilities in the pool, but maybe 10-12 of them? Ajani has, like, 4 different versions represented, and Jace has 2.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Very Cryptic Command has Multiple (Randomized?) Printings
    Quote from orlouge82 »
    I wish they could do something like this in black-border...

    Among all of the mechanics in this set, two cards with the same name and different rules text ranks behind only manual dexterity and subgames in terms of mechanics that are least likely to see the light of day in future black border products. While I won't deny that the idea is incredibly interesting and unique, such a choice would be, in a word, a nightmare. Here's a list of some of the people such a mechanic would inconvenience/confuse/anger:
    • constructed players
    • limited players
    • new players
    • returning players
    • experienced players
    • vendors
    • collectors
    • judges
    • tournament organizers
    • WoTC itself


    It may be possible to do something more mild, such as having a card with the same name in a set that has only two versions of different rules text. It could make deckbuilding choices a lot more interesting in constructed formats, since you would still only be able to play four copies of that card.

    Probably never going to happen, but the idea is interesting to think about.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Very Cryptic Command has Multiple (Randomized?) Printings
    I wish they could do something like this in black-border...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Very Cryptic Command has Multiple (Randomized?) Printings
    Quote from Raptorchan »
    Four different Amateur Auteurs and Extremely Slow Zombies.


    The flavor text on all versions of Amateur Auteur are all pretty funny!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Great Designer Search 3
    I have absolutely no interest in an internship with Wizards (as I have zero interest in moving to Renton, and any paid positions within the company would likely be well below my pay grade), but I do enjoy creating fun effects for cards, so I may just throw an entry out there for shiggles.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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