"I'm going to kill that later."
"I'm also going to kill that too."
It's awkward that this is a pseudo board wipe that your opponent will start playing around if you reveal it too early. But it IS one-sided and comes with a 6/6. Also you can just kill stuff you put counters on in the mean time. I like that the 1-mana activation might slot in easily during your turns.
It can also just be a 7-mana 6/6 that ETBs to kill a thing. It doesn't even add to the flicker shenanigan deck, but does push you towards wanting a Cabal Coffers and an Urborg.
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Nov 18, 2017Sac outlets that don't cost any mana to activate are strong. This is such a sac outlet that Trinket Mage and Tolaria West can tutor for.Posted in: Custom Card Creation
It would require very specific deck-building needs but I can see this finding a home in commander. Perhaps an Oloro deck that has permanents it wants to die reliably / not be exiled. This is also a way to get rid of drawback enchantments in black-red.
Nov 17, 2017I will point out with respect to some of these enchantment-based answers: if you can, block anyway. They can disenchant your answer after you declare no blockers. This is a particular risk with Temporal Isolation because that gives the creature evasion.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Nov 16, 2017Posted in: The Rumor Mill
I like this interpretation too.
Ronom Unicorn is the best version of this, though cat version does make a bid because cat. I get that the spirits are functionally relevant, but they're unappealing in the vacuum.
Nov 16, 2017I definitely thought of the star-crossed lovers motif, but I think that'd be better used in red to reserve white for Buddy Cop motif.Posted in: Custom Card Creation
Terrance's trigger replacement could certainly be more Un, but I just couldn't think of anything for it. I like the effect replacement part because it changes the original commander's flavor and game play to match what they do as a pair.
I think the problem I have with Jeff as a design is that he's merely added value. I'd be interested to see a tweak on the design to allow Jeff to work the reverse as well. That way you could play him early and use him to cheat out an expensive commander during a board wipe, though that'd end up being more green than anything. And... I guess it'd also end up making the pair of commanders immune to overall removal as one would always be on the battlefield which might be bad for balance reasons.
I think I definitely prefer the play pattern where the Unpartner encourages you to have them both in play at the same time and makes the black-border commander do something it wouldn't typically do.
With respect to a red version of the lovers motif, I'd want this line of text added:
"Whenever Jeff or his partner dies, sacrifice the other."
Maybe the lovers become a combined creature while on the battlefield with a shared text box? Or maybe they become Zada-esque, copying everything that happens to one of them. (even auras / equipment?) It would be amusing if you were required to cast both at the same time.
Nov 16, 2017I feel like this should have been the place for a card that interacts with augments, even if that meant adding a mana cost to the activation. The card already exists multiple times in black-border, so making it relevant in limited feels like it'd have been a better use of space. Though given the difficulties in making augments work in limited, I could understand a steep activation cost here, like 4 or so.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
If any of the cards in the set bother me, it's this one. Crow Storm is a joke that should have been made during Time Spiral but works here. This is just an already existing silver-shifted, black-border card. I hope that this is the only one and exists to gauge feedback for future unsets.
I do understand that limited needs pieces to make it work well and this does at least put niche removal into the main deck. This lets more slots in a booster draft go to contraptions which need multiple picks in order to work. I get that and can accept this as a cost of contraptions existing. Last-pick joke Demystify variant can't fit into a set where 2 slots of every booster are going to be Contraptions.
Nov 16, 2017Posted in: Custom Card Creation
Terrance is a bad influence.
Phage and Terrance, Partners in Crime.
Norin and Terrance, Partners in Crime.
Maralen and Terrance, Partners in Crime.
I like the idea of an uncommander changing the flavor of other commanders by changing how it works. I wasn't sure what to do with the triggered ability replacement so it's basically theft. I feel like there's potential for a couple more designs in this vein like a buddy cop, but I'm not sure what the best execution on it would be.
Nov 16, 2017It's interesting that you can destroy a contraption and then assemble your own. And there are artifact creatures in blue-white, so there are some matchups where this will just be great.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
As an assembler, I like it better than anything we've seen so far assuming you're in the matchup where it's live. If you only draft one quality contraption, I could easily see this being a quality card to pull it out that doesn't drag your deck down any, which means its power level can be reliably high.
I think it's disappointed that augments aren't(?) enchantments because that'd be another big thing to nab.
Nov 14, 2017Crypt Rat posted a message on Spike, Tournament Grinder - GatheringMagic SpoilerPosted in: The Rumor Mill
Yeah, this shouldn't be a surprise. I was expecting her to be a woman since this article.Quote from Tekkactus »Quote from Raptorchan »Never thought Spike is a girl.
I should reconsider my life I guess.
I think it was a pretty obvious move, honestly. Wizards is way more keenly aware of representation that they were in 2004, this was the last piece of the cycle, and Spike is the only archetype with a gender-neutral name. Beyond the actual effect, I fully expected this card as-is.
Quote from Mark Rosewater »I want to talk a little bit about Melvin's name. Recently, I have come to realize that the player psychographics (Timmy, Johnny, and Spike) all having male-gendered names is not ideal for making everyone feel included. If I had to it to do over again, I would have chosen gender-neutral names. The names are a little too engrained in the player vocabulary to change, so I decided to create a companion female version—much like how "John Doe" has "Jane Doe." This would allow people to adapt the psychographics to either gender. Timmy got Tammy, and Johnny got Jenny. Spike is already a nickname—and of the four Spikes I've known in my life, three were female—so I decided Spike was fine left alone. This got me thinking about Vorthos and Melvin. Vorthos is a made-up name, so I decided it didn't have any cultural gendering to it and left it alone. For Melvin, I realized we could just shorten it to "Mel," as Melvin and Melanie both use Mel as a nickname. Since Melvin is probably the least used of all the names, I'm proposing we just shorten it to "Mel." From now on, that's what I'm going to use.
Nov 13, 2017Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Except you typically only play 22-24 of those cards anyway; the rest of your deck is lands. This set will probably have a more flat power level than most so there aren't as many blatantly bad last-picks.Quote from AntiPox »Edit: if every pack has 13 non-contraption cards, that leaves you with 36 cards at the end of a draft instead of the usual 42. That's a pretty big difference.
Games might be slower on average so you can accrue a bit of extra value out of your contraptions or they may have set up contraptions to give you stuff to do when games stall naturally and you start drawing useless lands.
If the smaller pool size were an issue, it would have come up way early and development would have found a solution long before it went to print. I wouldn't worry about it.
As with Conspiracies, it's not yet clear how much of the power in a deck will come from the cards that aren't actually in it. It might just be a higher variance format than normal, and to be honest, I wouldn't find that as surprising since the audience isn't the super spikey crowd. Though as far as draft is concerned, a smaller contraption deck is probably better: you'll more reliably hit the effects you want. They'll act as delayed ETB triggers that sometimes come up again later.
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Jun 15, 2016As I'm not presently able to edit the post, here are some recent changes:Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
•Dromoka's Command replaces Selesnya Charm
•Divine Verdict replaces Radiant's Judgment
These cards ended up sandbagging without good targets and ultimately could only get used against the big top end threats. This generally meant that the midrange 4/4s would rule the game. The change opens up more removal options to the midranged threats.
•Death-Hood Cobra replaces Seeker of Skybreak
•Lace with Moonglove replaces Vines of Vastwood
Dromoka's Command hates on smaller creatures and rewards larger ones, so these changes are there to remove some of the cards that scale with large creatures and provide a bit more strength to the small ones. Lace With Moonglove in particular is excellent at making a random 1/1 relevant.
•Citadel Castellan replaces Qasali Pridemage
With the inclusion of Dromoka's Command, I'm looking to prune some of the enchantment hate as it is a buff to threats, particularly the biggest ones. I want to cut Acidic Slime as well, but not just yet.
•Sickleslicer replaces Oracle of Nectars
This is a better mana sink and is more relevant later. The life was only really meaningful in the 2-player version where it could easily be oppressive.
•Skyhunter Skirmisher replaces Apex Hawks
While the Hawks are a natural mana sink, the double striker scales better with buffs, both own and other. This is a test, but may be reverted if the Vow enchantments prove to be too aggressive on it.
•Obsessive Skinner replaces Gigantomancer
Gigantomancer was a poor payoff for top end. It's very likely that Obsessive Skinner is too strong. Either way, with both of these top end cards becoming efficient cheap spells, I need to be mindful of including more mana sinks or just more large top end creatures.
•Avacyn's Pilgrim replaces Bloomtender (Needed Bloomtender for another deck)
•Canopy Vista replaces Sapseep Forest
•Topplegeist replaces Angelsong
•Banishment Decree replaces Awe Strike
Angelsong was a cute idea as a political tool and a way to punish someone for going all in on a kill but could also be cycled if need be, which was a cute interaction with Mul Daya Channelers. However, this was generally a trap card and just bad. Awe Strike was much the same way, though in a world with more deathtouch, damage prevention spells could theoretically be more potent. I'll have to keep an eye on Test of Faith which will likely help protect big creatures from deathtouch far more than it will be used in a double block something like Terrifying Presence would be a more welcome deathtouch-relevant combat trick since it lets the smaller creature eat the bigger one. Banishment Decree now introduces Mind Control into the deck and is particularly relevant given that it can steal removal auras or large threats.
Oct 7, 2013As an afterthought, I've noticed that the Stacks I've enjoyed the most create interesting and complex board states with cards that offer interesting and meaningful choices to players.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
I also like it when more of the lands players draw are relevant. Either there are things for players to do with more mana. Or the lands turn into spells. Or the lands provide a rare splash color.
I prefer splashes to give bonus options on cards that have already been played, affecting as many cards as possible while still being reasonable cards without the added effect. I will allow few cards that outright require the color and such cards must provide extreme utility in the context of the deck.
Aug 1, 2013Looking a bit closer at the interactions available, I need to add Needlepeak Spider and probably will have to cut Tuktuk. Dragon Egg would probably substitute for Tuktuk, though it pushes the focus away from artifacts (which may or may not be a good thing).Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
If the combat tricks and their increased relevance aren't enough to deal with Tuktuk and it IS cut, I can probably cut Scrap as well.
Keeping Tuktuk in would be similar to keeping Shivan Dragon in core set limited. Sometimes, you just need some players to get free wins. The dragon can be dealt with, but not easily. However, Tuktuk shows up far more often than a draft bomb, is cheaper to cast and has been rather swingy as to whether you could deal with it or not.
Needle Drop and Grifter's Blade only give +1 damage, so in a square stats world, for them to work out, the size spread would preferably be small. Most of the creatures don't have square stats, though, so I'm not sure how this will end up working out. Needle Drop could end up being irrelevant.
Aug 1, 2013As far as 1-drops go, I think Stonewright might work for now. I was tempted on including Dragon Hatchling, but given that the (R/G) lands are going to become forests, Dragon Hatchling would be very inconsistent at both attacking and trading. Were it a 1/1, it would have been in for sure. The deck's top-end toughness at 4+ is not helping it any either.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
Stonewright, while not having flying, is a bit more flexible in how it allows you to trade up.
I still want an evasive creature. I was tempted on Goblin Balloon Brigade, you have to pay mana for the flying. Goblin Fireslinger can't block fliers, so combat tricks don't work on it. I think I'm really going to just have to find space for Needlepeak Spider or Crested Craghorn.
Kird Ape is another possibility, and with 4 forests and Fiery Fall, won't be too inconsistent. However, as a 1/1, it doesn't do ANYTHING unlike Flinthoof Boar.
Tattermunge Duo is a card I looked at a while back, but it seemed too strong then. Without all the instant speed burn, it might be fine, though it's still very hard to block.
Gruul Keyrune was another card I considered, but I'm not sure about. I like that it's a green source that asks you to get another green source, but by itself it's not that impressive. The ramp isn't needed from 3->5. I like the 3/2 body though. Copper Myr was another possibility here, though unlike Guardian Idol, it doesn't trade with anything.
Jul 30, 2013I would also note here that I have tried a lot of different removal options over the course of this deck's life. The original version had Fatal Attraction (which I'm going to try again) and Galvanic Arc.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
Fatal Attraction was not the best top deck which I'm going to be keeping an eye on. However, if it's one of the few good removal spells that remain, it should still be something that you'd want to draw. A new interaction, though is that the new green cards allow the enchantment to be destroyed before your upkeep which can make it harder to kill larger creatures with it.
The first strike on Galvanic Arc made creature size too relevant. You had to play it on something that couldn't be burned in response and then that creature had to be dealt with using removal, which was harder based on its size.
I tried Flame Slash briefly, but it turns out that tempo is a thing. ^^; Requiring 3-5 mana for hard removal is something I look to do now.
Jan 14, 2010Crypt Rat posted a message on The Top 10 Keyword Abilities Ever - #1 and Wrap-UpWhere's Kicker? o.oPosted in: Improbable Things
In any case, Equip wouldn't do that bad in a beauty contest. Compared to the old atrocious artifacts like Runesword, Equip is positively fabulous. It fills the flavor niche that would be vacant without it.
Now, if only problems with Auras could be ironed out...
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