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    posted a message on Eight-and-a-Half-Tails + Strip Mine and other sac-to-target abilities

    You understand correctly.

    Thanks so much!
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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    posted a message on Eight-and-a-Half-Tails + Strip Mine and other sac-to-target abilities
    Eight-and-a-Half-Tails (8.5 Tails) can turn a spell or permanent white and give permanents protection from white. Would it be able to save a land from Strip Mine? By the time 8.5 Tails tried to target Strip Mine, Strip Mine would no longer be on the battlefield due to the sac being part of the cost, and 8.5 Tails can't target activated abilities, so it seems like Strip Mine would be "8.5 Tails-proof." It also seems like the same would be true of any non-white permanent that had a targeted activated ability that required sacrificing said permanent as part of the activation cost. Am I understanding this correctly?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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    posted a message on Are glass canon decks viable in Commander?
    It depends on the deck. I have a friend who built a Melek deck centered around Dragonstorm. It takes a long time for him to set up and go off, but when he does, he usually outright kills one person and puts himself in a very good position to kill a second person. The game isn't just over, though, necessarily, because some well-timed disruption can prevent him from being able to kill multiple people in a turn, so the table often has a chance to wrath the dragons away. Also, in a four player game, he usually can only kill two of his three opponents in one go even under the best circumstances, so the fourth player has a chance to come back if they're still in the game. In my opinion, that deck is a glass cannon strategy but is also fun and interactive because it doesn't just win on the spot when it goes off. If you're going to build a glass cannon deck like that, it's good to hit that sweet spot between powerful and fun or your playgroup will get sick of it really quick.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on The Best and Funnest top tier generals in EDH, Version 2.0
    Best combo generals: Hermit Druid, Sharuum, Arcum, Oona, Niv-Mizzet
    Best aggro generals: Krenko, Kaalia, Animar, Rafiq, Edric
    Funnest generals to play with: Roon, Norin, Krenko, Maelstrom Wanderer, Ruric Thar
    Funnest generals to play against: Zedruu the Greathearted, Pheldagrif, Ruhan, Norin the Wary, Melek
    Best control generals: Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Azami, Arcanis, Teferi, Oona
    Best 1v1 generals: Edric, Zur, Derevi, Geist, Clique
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Competitive]] Roon of the Hidden Realm - Rhino Blink
    Quote from Outcryqq »
    Early on, I had Avenger and Createrhoof in, but the problem is that I don't really have a way to cheat them into play. I picked Armada Wurm because he's much easier to hardcast, and I can still blink him for value. If I were to put in the aforementioned finishers, I'd probably want more ramp, and include some way to cheat them in, maybe Tooth and Nail. Lately this deck has been playing a much more control-type game, but if I feel that a more aggressive strategy is necessary, this will be the first change I'll make. Same thinking about Woodfall Primus.
    Fair enough. I think I actually run less ramp than you and a higher curve. It works for me, though, because the power of my big spells allows me to catch up in the late game even if I fall behind a bit in the early game. This is possible in part because of the environment that I play in. There are so many wraths being cast that the games tend to go longer and having creatures that are very powerful on their own is important since they might only stick around for a turn or two.

    Quote from Outcryqq »
    Regarding Farseek versus Nature's Lore, do you ever find that not being able to get U/W to be a problem? I have a lot of UU and WW cards in my curve, makes me hesitant to get rid of Farseek.
    Mana hasn't been a problem for me, but I'm running more fetches (all the Zendikar fetches, plus Windswept Heath), the pain lands, and no man lands, so my mana base is a bit more stable. In addition, my meta might be slower and grindier than yours, so it might just be that I'm under less pressure to have perfect mana early. I would give Nature's Lore a try, but Farseek might just be better.

    One last thought: If you're going for a more controlling build, Cryptic Command seems perfect. It's extremely powerful in a vacuum, but even more so in a deck with lots of creatures with ETB abilities like this one, since you can use it to bounce your guys and replay them. It definitely seems better than Rewind.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on [[Competitive]] Roon of the Hidden Realm - Rhino Blink
    I like your deck! Here are my thoughts:

    Armada Wurm is efficient, but he's not big and dumb enough to be worth running as a finisher and doesn't provide enough of an advantage to be worth running for value. Avenger of Zendikar and Craterhoof Behemoth are both much better finishers.

    Control Magic seems like an odd choice. If you're going with an enchantment, Treachery is much more powerful, but Sower of Temptation works better with your blink theme.

    Privileged Position is fine, I suppose, and it might be a good metagame call, but I find that blink effects and reanimation spells are usually good enough answers to spot removal, and Privileged Position doesn't protect against wraths, which are more of a problem in my meta anyway. How has it been for you? I would cut it for another value creature if it were me, but maybe it's better in your meta. For example, you could run Lavinia of the Tenth in that spot. I'm not sure why she's not more popular, to be honest. She can completely lock down someone's board in the right situation, and she's almost never a dead draw. The protection from red is randomly relevant as well.

    Woodfall Primus is ridiculously powerful as a value creature. He's expensive, but he always has targets and the persist ability means he is very hard to remove permanently, since you can blink him to "reset" him. I would cut one of the wraths for him. Wrathing is generally not what you want to be doing in this kind of deck anyway, so one wrath should be enough to fall back on.

    As far as non-creature ramp, I think you could do better. I agree with the people who said to replace Farseek with Nature's Lore and Kodama's Reach with Skyshroud Claim. Lands coming into play untapped is really good, and you can always get non-basic forests if you need colors besides green.

    Any particular reason you're not running Scalding Tarn? I saw you were running the rest of the Zendikar fetches, so I was curious.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Choose your 27
    This thread is awesome. Anyhoo:

    x : Karn, Silver Golem - Karn is actually very powerful as a commander, though he can be pretty mean. This would be fun to build.

    Mono:
    white mana : Eight-and-a-Half Tails - Always wanted to build this. White weenie aggro.
    blue mana : Memnarch - Ramp/Combo
    black mana : Maga, Traitor to Mortals - Already have this built. It's silly and fun
    red mana : Krenko, Mob Boss - GOBLINS!!!
    green mana : Ezuri, Renegade Leader - ELVES!!!

    Allied Pair:
    white mana / blue mana : Geist of Saint Traft - Tempo/Voltron
    blue mana / black mana : Grimgrin, Corpse-Born - ZOMBIES!!!
    black mana / red mana : Olivia Voldaren - This is a tough one. Not sure how I'd build this deck. Tymaret would also be fun.
    red mana / green mana : Wort, the Raidmother - Ramp into big, stupid spells
    green mana / white mana : Sigarda, Host of Herons - Good old-fashioned GW beatdown

    Enemy Pair:
    white mana / black mana : Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts? I don't know, none of these seem very good
    blue mana / red mana : Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind - Not too interested in this color combo, TBH
    black mana / green mana : Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord - Dredge!
    red mana / white mana : Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer - Balls to the wall aggro
    green mana / blue mana : Prime Speaker Zegana - Silliness

    Arcs:
    white mana / blue mana / black mana : Oloro, Ageless Ascetic - Lifegain combo (Test of Endurance, Felidar Sovereign, Sanguine Bond/Exquisite Blood, etc.)
    blue mana / black mana / red mana : Nekusar, the Mindrazer - Not too interested in Grixis, but this guy seems fun
    black mana / red mana / green mana : Prossh, Skyraider of Kher - Ramp/combo. I have this built now and it is stupidly powerful
    red mana / green mana / white mana : Uril, the Miststalker - VOLTRON!!!
    green mana / white mana / blue mana : Roon of the Hidden Realm - Blinky blink blink. Grindy value midrange deck. I have this built and it's pretty good

    Wedges:
    white mana / black mana / red mana : Kaalia of the Vast - Really the only option in WBR as far as I'm concerned
    blue mana / red mana / green mana : Riku of the Two Reflections - Roon before there was Roon. Grindy, rampy value deck.
    black mana / green mana / white mana : Karador, Ghost Chieftain - Dredge/grindy value. Ghave would also be pretty awesome.
    red mana / white mana / blue mana : Ruhan of the Fomori - Tempo
    green mana / blue mana / black mana : The Mimeoplasm? - Not too many options in this color combo, but the Mimeoplasm seems fun

    Chromatic:
    green mana / blue mana / red mana / white mana / black mana : Sliver Overlord - SLIVERS!!!
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[JOU]] Keranos, God of Storms
    This card is bad. Not sure why everyone is getting so excited about it. It will not see competitive play. It is NOT comparable to Assemble the Legion or a planeswalker. Assemble the Legion builds up board advantage over several turns and will eventually take over the game by itself, which is why it's good. It is inevitability. Keranos is not. He draws you a little less than half a card each turn (assuming you're running him in a control deck with 26-27 lands) and deals a little more than 1.5 damage (half a Lightning Bolt). On top of that, you don't get to choose which mode you get. Scrying only helps so much. What if you need a bolt to keep from dying and you have a land pocket on top of your deck? You're still screwed. That inconsistency is a big problem. Now compare that to Jace, Sphinx's Revelation, or Assemble the Legion. Those always do the same thing, regardless of what's on top of your deck, and are just more powerful on top of that.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Best G/W/X commander
    All three G/W/X color combos can be fun and/or powerful, depending on the commander and how you build the deck.

    Naya: Probably the weakest overall, but also gives you access to Uril, the Miststalker, who is arguably the most powerful voltron commander in any color combination. I don't think Naya is really worth going for unless you're either playing Uril or building a casual deck, though.

    Junk: Junk has arguably the best removal of any color combo, lots of good combos and engines, and several powerful commanders. Ghave is a top-tier combo general. Karador is awesome as dredge, combo, or just a grindy card advantage deck. Doran is also very good in smaller groups or 1v1 as an aggro general, so keep that in mind.

    Bant: Bant is the quintessential goodstuff color combo, where every card in your deck is very powerful and provides tons of value and you win by just grinding out card and tempo advantage over the course of the game until you're so far ahead that your opponents can't hope to catch up. All of the bant generals lend themselves to this strategy to an extent, with each one focusing on a slightly different approach. Rafiq is an excellent voltron general, and can also do enchantress or control. Derevi works well as an aggro-control or control general. Jenara can do all of the above.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Bant Goodstuff Wincon Suggestions
    Quote from ajprokos
    For Kruphix, I am looking through the guides to find mana sinks....or is basically to be able to hold up counters?
    The reason Prophet of Kruphix is so good is that you basically get another turn for each turn your opponents take. You (player 1) take your turn, playing some creatures or whatever, then pass the turn, untap on player 2's turn, play MORE guys because they have flash, then untap on player 3's turn, etc. etc. As for mana sinks, Roon himself is an awesome mana sink, especially since you get to untap him every turn. Deadeye Navigator is even better, and if you ever get Prophet of Kruphix and Deadeye Navigator out at the same time, you probably just win, assuming you have something for Deadeye to blink. So you play out your hand, or, if you've already done that, you play Roon and just start blinking stuff every turn. The best is when you start blinking a creature that draws you cards and draw into more guys to play on other people's turns. It might not sound that broken, but you're doing this every single turn, not just your turns, and that adds up very quickly to an insurmountable advantage. I'd say the only cards in my Roon deck that are better than Prophet of Kruphix are Deadeye Navigator and Tooth and Nail... and I usually fetch PoK with Tooth and Nail.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Do <Tri-color> Good Stuff.decks work?
    Yes, tricolor goodstuff decks can definitely work, and bant is one of the best color combinations for it. Roon seems to be the go-to bant general of choice for that kind of deck now. Keep in mind that Roon is best as a tempo deck, though, so choose your goodstuff accordingly. I used to think that goodstuff decks were just decks that... well, played good stuff, but that's not the whole story. Goodstuff decks still need a plan, because there's a LOT of cards that qualify as "good" and you can't play all of them.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Bant Goodstuff Wincon Suggestions
    Stoneforge Mystic + swords, Batterskull, and/or Umezawa's Jitte. And, as already mentioned, Craterhoof Behemoth with Avenger of Zendikar (plus Tooth and Nail to fetch them both, obv.)

    Oh, and Prophet of Kruphix. That card is so stupidly broken it's basically a win condition just because of the absurd tempo advantage you get from it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[MCD]] Derevi, Empyrial Tactician vs Roon of the Hidden Realm
    Quote from zer0faults
    Roon is great if you are going to either present enough threats or protect him. He basically acts as another saving blink spell on a stick. I run a heavy blink deck. I don't need Roon on the field, but when I can get him to the field and to stay, its basically impossible at that point to remove him.

    I built my blink deck more as a grind out a victory kind of a deck, it slowly builds up board position and with that resilience while stopping other shenanigans through destroying lands / artifacts / enchantments that have a potential to shift the game to far away from me.
    That's exactly how I built Roon and it's worked out great for me as well. You just play a ton of creatures that are good on their own and REALLY good when blinked, and this allows you to grind people out through sheer card advantage. It's actually a fairly aggressive deck, especially since I run a bunch of broken equipment that can be fetched with Stoneforge Mystic and Stonehewer Giant (swords, jitte, etc.). I've won plenty of games where I never needed to cast Roon. It's not cutthroat competitive, but it can certainly hold its own.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Has your meta ever "surpassed" you?
    People in my meta don't actually build new decks too often, except for me. The two people that I play with the most have had the same decks built for several years and they just constantly refine those decks. Those decks are really pimped out and honed to perfection, though.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[Competitive]] Roon! Its a Rhino!
    I like your deck! I run a similar build, though mine runs slightly more ramp, a higher curve, and more GY hate. A few thoughts, based on my experiences with Roon:
    • In my experience, Elvish Visionary is better than Wall of Blossoms because it can attack while holding equipment. I run both, but if I had to pick just one, Visionary would get the nod.
    • Speaking of equipment, Jitte is absurd and you should definitely run it.
    • Fiend Hunter seems kind of weak, as it's surprisingly difficult to permanently exile things with him. I cut him from my deck after playing a few games with him. I replaced him with Sower of Temptation, which lacks the ability to permanently deal with things but makes for a much bigger tempo swing. I've been meaning to try out Mangara of Corondor, though, which seems like it would fulfill much the same role.
    • You only run 14 instants and sorceries (one of which, GSZ, should not be in the GY, so 13 that are recurrable under normal circumstances), so running Snapcaster AND Archaeomancer AND Mnemonic Wall seems like a bit much. I get that it's super powerful to recur instants and sorceries a bunch of times, but you have so few that it might make sense to cut one of the instant/sorcery recursion creatures.
    • Frost Titan doesn't seem all that great. He's OK, but I think there are more powerful things you could be doing.
    • While he isn't a blink target, Stonehewer Giant is great in a deck that's running a lot of busted equipment like yours is.
    • Lavinia of the Tenth is awesome. She locks down mana artifacts, equipment, tokens, many planeswalkers, and small creatures. I definitely recommend trying her out.
    • Chord of Calling seems like a better Wargate. While you can only get creatures with it, you can cast it at instant speed, which can lead to huge blowouts.
    • Stonecloaker is another good GY hate option. It can also save an important creature (like Prophet of Kruphix) from a wrath if Roon is unavailable. Probably meta-dependant.
    • I notice you don't run any bounce except for Venser. Riftwing Cloudskate is another possibility if you want to expand your options there.
    • Terastodon is another creature in the same vein as Woodfall Primus. Obviously, if Woodfall Primus is too expensive for you then this guy is too, but I just wanted to throw him out there as another option in the "blowing up noncreature permanents" department.
    • Blade Splicer has helped me defend against super aggressive starts from opposing decks and is an OK blink target later on. You run a lower curve than me, so this might not be as much of an issue for you.
    • Armada Wurm is kind of big and dumb, but it gets out of hand pretty quickly if you blink it a couple of times.
    • You didn't mention lands, but Alchemist's Refuge is better in Roon than in most decks, and I found that it is worth the slot in my deck.
    • Any particular reason you're not running Tooth and Nail? It's pretty busted even under the fairest circumstances, and the Magical Christmasland scenarios with it are just bonkers.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on [[DD]] [JVV] Duel Decks: Jace v Vraska
    Quote from Don_Quixote
    I'm not denying that the shrunk-down version that was posted in the arcana is washed out, but the actual artwork is neither flat nor two-dimensional, in my opinion.
    Agree to disagree then. I think the new one looks terrible.
    Quote from Don_Quixote
    I'm...fairly certain that it's the same outfit, actually. The details all match up--the emphasis and style are just different.
    That's the point. The emphasis and style make a huge difference, which is why I dislike the new artwork and like Jace Beleren's and JTMS's artwork.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[DD]] [JVV] Duel Decks: Jace v Vraska
    Quote from Bitsy
    Its sad to see people bashing the artist himself. There are so many worse artists and artworks...
    No one's bashing the artist himself. On the contrary, every post I've seen that addresses the artist at all has basically said "You're awesome, but this particular piece of artwork sucks."

    Quote from Don_Quixote
    I don't know why people keep latching onto the outfit. It's the same one he wears in the Return to Ravnica art--it even fits him in the same way. Moreover, Smokestack has mentioned that there are strict guidelines on planeswalker style and attire, and that he has received corrections on that very front. Those corrections may not have been on this piece, but the fact is that this is the outfit that Wizards of the Coast wants Jace to wear.
    It's not the outfit, it's the depiction of the outfit in this particular artwork. Compare it with, say, the Jace Beleren artwork. The outfit in the Jace Beleren artwork looks very substantial and three dimensional. The outfit in this artwork looks very flat and two dimensional, like a cheap costume.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[DD]] [JVV] Duel Decks: Jace v Vraska
    Quote from Smokestack
    It has nothing to do with phoning in. You have to put two characters together in one piece but they have to work separately. There are also some pretty aggravating compositional restraints.

    There's a reason I don't do comic covers and, given the reaction I see here,I won't be doing any more VS products for the foreseeable future either. Not my cup of tea it seems.
    For what it's worth, I actually really like most of your stuff, including the Elspeth vs. Tezzeret artworks. Elesh Norn is one of my favorite artworks ever. And the Vraska half of the Jace vs. Vraska picture is fine. I really don't like the Jace artwork, but meh, you can't please everyone all the time. That sucks that there are a lot of compositional constraints for vs. deck artworks, though. I can see how that would be aggravating.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[DD]] [JVV] Duel Decks: Jace v Vraska
    To all those people saying that Jace's artwork is perfect because he's a politician now, I disagree. The art is terrible on multiple levels.

    First, the colors are washed out and the textures make it seem like it was done with colored pencils or something. This doesn't feel like a high quality, professional illustration, it feels like a mediocre fan art.

    Second, as someone already mentioned, the artist used "realistic" proportions, giving Jace a large head and midsection, which makes him look very dumpy. Jace's hairstyle (or lack thereof) and uncharacteristically ugly face also add to him looking below average.

    Third, Jace's pose and the composition of the artwork in general is boring. The fact that he's a politician now is no excuse. Artwork depicting politicians can still look cool.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I'm pretty sure that when the person compared Jace's artwork to a politician, he was commenting on how boring and/or ugly Jace looked. The average politician does not make a good model for fantasy artwork, so responding with "Oh well Jace is a politician now" is missing the point.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[DD]] [JVV] Duel Decks: Jace v Vraska
    Yeah, sorry, this Jace art is terrible. Looks very flat, like a bad fan art done in colored pencil. The packaging is equally bad, what with the oversaturated teal coloring and a closeup of the bad artwork. Ugh.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[COMM]] DailyMTG Previews 10/17: Opal Palace, Roon of the Hidden Realm ; Price of Knowledge
    Oh dear sweet god they made a bant blink general. My life is now complete.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Too big to ban?
    I think they've pretty clearly demonstrated that no card is too big to ban. Jace and Stoneforge Mystic were both banned at the height of their power, when they basically were the standard metagame. Same with Survival of the Fittest in legacy.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on How much life would Healing Salve have to gain to be constructed playable?
    I think a ridiculously broken Healing Salve could see play in eternal formats. It would make Tendrils-based storm decks a lot worse and would completely shut down aggro and burn. Storm and aggro are relevant in Vintage, so if this Broken Healing Salve was good enough, it would see play there. And of course it would see play in Legacy and Modern.

    There are decks and win conditions that completely ignore life total, though (Splinter Twin combo, High Tide combo, Blightsteel Colossus, etc.), so you could only push Healing Salve so far before you reached a point of diminishing returns. After a certain point, aggro and burn just become straight up unplayable, and no matter how much more life gain you add to Broken Healing Salve it doesn't matter, because the only decks left don't care about your life total.

    Of course, if aggro and burn got pushed out completely, then people might stop playing Broken Healing Salve altogether, and then someone could time things right and bring back Burn when the metagame was unprepared for it and crush people. Kind of like that few week period a while back when Burn was winning Legacy opens. That would actually be hilarious.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Ashen Rider
    Quote from Lully
    Has anyone pointed out that it is both night and day in the art? That is a pretty cool backdrop for a w/b card.
    I didn't notice it until you pointed it out. I just assumed the background of the arch was "inside," but looking closer it is indeed night. That's pretty cool.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Spear of Heliod (Svenskamagic's preview)
    Seems pretty meh. Not terrible, but not exciting either. Might see play in some sort of white weenie or token deck.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Who is that one creature that you wish was Legendary?
    Doubling Season. Oh my god that would be amazing.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [[THS]] DailyMTG Previews 9/6: Scry lands
    These are terrible. What a disappointment. Frown And taking up 5 rare slots, too. Ugh.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Arbor Colossus
    Quote from SelesnyaNewLife
    I'm going to get a playset of this guy just because of his fantastic striped socks.
    Haha I didn't notice that. What a stylish fellow. Also potentially playable.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] DailyMTG Previews 9/5: Gainsay cycle, Ashiok, Tymaret, Erebos
    Ashiok sucks.

    Against aggro, he is often going to be a 3 mana fog (ie, you're going to play him and they're going to kill him immediately). Worst case scenario they can just ignore him and kill you. Sure, there will be some games where he comes down after you killed one of their guys and played a blocker, and you're able to tick him up and then use him to cast some super powerful creature for free, but that isn't going to happen consistently enough to make him worth the card slot. There will also be a lot of times where you don't hit a creature, or don't hit a relevant creature, or don't hit a creature you can cast with him in time, or they just kill him immediately before you can "cast" a creature off him and they just resume killing you. Way too much can go wrong to make him worth playing when you can just play removal and your own finishers instead. Same thing against midrange.

    Against control, he mills 3 cards a turn, which is way too slow to be relevant. Nephalia Drownyard is playable because it doesn't take up a spell slot in your deck and you can have multiples in play to make for a reasonably fast clock. You can also mill yourself for value. Jace is playable because he mills 10 cards at once, which means you have at most 5 turns to live by the time he comes down. Ashiok doesn't do any of those things.

    In conclusion, Ashiok sucks.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Purphoros' Emissary
    Eh, fine in limited, unplayable in constructed. Hopefully we'll get a playable Bestow card here sometime soon.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Satyr Planeswalker - storyline spoiler
    He will definitely have black as one of his colors. They spent a long time in the panel talking about his lofty ambitions and how he lusts for power. Black for sure. As far as red vs. green, that I'm not sure about. I could see b/r, b/g, or jund and not be surprised with any of them. I think jund would be the coolest, just because it's something they've never done before. He is definitely NOT going to be just r/g, though.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Packaging and five cards
    So Matt Tabak's explanation on Twitter that a bestow card does NOT get countered if the creature it's targeting dies means that the bestow cards can definitely be playable. If the creature they're targeting becomes an illegal target, they just enter play as a creature. The intro pack one is probably not quite at the power level needed to see constructed play, but hopefully at least one or two will be constructed-worthy.

    The bestow cards should make standard pretty interesting. They make wraths a lot worse, since they'll become creatures when the creature they're enchanting dies. It also opens up some interesting decisions for the player who's playing the bestow cards. Do I play it as an aura so I can still have a board presence if they wrath, or am I more worried about having as many bodies as possible (to get past blockers, for instance)?

    I'm excited for the bestow cards.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Thassa Card
    Quote from gereffi
    Magic flavor doesn't always make sense. You're telling me that the fat, 7th edition Eager Cadet can only trade with an Elite Vanguard, but can't kill a Laboratory Maniac? And what's with creatures both killing each other during combat?
    I guess, but there are some flavor things that need to make sense. If you're going to make gods into cards, you better make them huge, powerful, and awesome. My jaw should be hitting the floor with how powerful they are. They're gods, for crying out loud. They need to be Eldrazi-esque in their power level. Instead, we get 5/5s. Not even as big as the titans. Not even as big as green commons. That's just a flavor fail.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Thassa Card
    I get that this a powerful card, but flavor-wise it seems strange that mythic, legendary gods are smaller than a lot of common creatures. Oh, you have a god? Well, my Kindercatch/Scaled Wurm/Alpha Tyrranax is bigger.

    Dopey green creatures should not be able to outrace gods. It would be more appropriate if the gods were comparable in size to the Eldrazi. But they should be able to outrace commons at the very least.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Six (6!) Theros Cards from Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters! (and Full Decklists!)
    Quote from hittheroadjack
    getting pretty tired of wizards constantly making mechanics that just add counters to creatures...
    I've been noticing that too. Scavenge, Unleash, Evolve, Monstrosity, the hydras... plus individual cards like Scavenging Ooze and Archangel of Thune. Ooze I like the design for, but the others seem pretty uninspired mechanically. I think Monstrosity will play better than it looks on paper, but that by itself is indicative of the problem: adding counters to creatures just isn't that exciting, even if it plays well. It certainly isn't exciting enough to take up multiple mechanics in a set like the guild abilities did. It also doesn't help that among all the guild abilities that use +1/+1 counters, there are only a few playable playable cards, and they only see fringe play at best.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] Six (6!) Theros Cards from Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters! (and Full Decklists!)
    Some cool reprints, and those decks actually look super fun to play. Can't wait for this to come out! Also, I'm looking forward to the Regrowth, which has never been printed in a non-promo modern frame before. I'm reserving judgment on Polukranos and Anax and Cymede. Depending on what else is in standard, they could wind up being really good... or poopy.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Why Does WotC Believe that Mana Fixing is "Too Good" Currently?
    WotC has never said that the mana in current Standard is too good.

    Random people on the internet are saying that the mana in standard is too good. People keep saying that WotC said it, but I've never actually seen a source to back this up.

    Most people point to the article on the mothership where it was announced that there would be no dual land cycle in M14 as evidence that WotC thinks the mana in standard is too good, but that's not what the article actually says. Sam Stoddard, the author of the article and a developer in Magic R&D, says that:

    1) The mana in Standard is very good
    2) R&D intentionally made the mana in Standard very good to support the multicolor theme of RTR block
    3) Mana will get worse at rotation

    He never says or implies that the mana in Standard is too good, merely that it is very good and that, come rotation, the pendulum will swing the other way and mana will get worse. In other words, they intended to make the mana as good as it is right now, and are fine with the result. Standard is an ever-changing and evolving format. They don't want the mana to be this good all the time, but they're not unhappy with making it this good some of the time when the format calls for it. Here are a few choice tidbits from that article that support this argument:

    Quote from "Sam Stoddard" »
    Current Standard mana bases are about as strong as we have ever allowed mana to be in Standard. ... By the time Gatecrash was released, we saw a great number of three-color aggro and control decks, and this really afforded players to cast the Return to Ravnica cards they wanted without going too far out of their way. I think this was tremendous boon for Return to Ravnica block.

    Quote from "Sam Stoddard" »
    As Zac Hill mentioned last year, the core duals introduced with M10 wouldn't have been included in M13 except for how well they played with the Ravnica shocklands... . It was very important for us that Return to Ravnica, a block based around multicolor cards, have the Standard support to make said multicolor cards playable.

    Quote from "Sam Stoddard" »
    Everything in Magic is cyclical. I think if you asked most people what the most powerful part of Standard is right now, you would get a lot of different answers—the creatures, the spells, the Planeswalkers. I don't think many people would answer what I believe is the actual answer—the mana. While the mana bases in Standard may not be up to the level of mana bases in Modern or Legacy, they are a fundamental part to many of the top decks right now, and have allowed almost every deck in the format to exist without having to put a whole lot of thought into its mana base.

    While we have no intention of going back to an era where players are unable to cast their spells, we are leaving an era of Standard where mana fixing was overly abundant, and most importantly incredibly easy. The opportunity cost was almost zero, but that was done intentionally to support the Return to Ravnica block.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on [[THS]] God Cards
    Quote from ShakesZX
    It's similar to the rays design on the miracle cards. They added a new piece of border art (probably different for each color) to the frames for the god cards. You can see it on the top half of the frame for the Black God card that was revealed.
    Quote from gheta
    What we're saying is that the area between the black borders and the card art was altered with a space/glitter look. That's more a background to the card than a border.
    Oh, I see. It's just the coloring. I guess that's different. I was mixing up "border" with "card frame," and was looking for a change as drastic as the Mirrodin/8th Edition card frame change. Derp.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[THS]] God Cards
    I seem to be the only one who doesn't see anything different about the "new" border on the God card. Is it just the pattern in the colored part that's different?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on That feeling when you go infinite on turn 1.....
    Quote from Lyciana
    P.S: Thanks to you, I now have to find a Manabond for my Mimeo deck.
    Yeah, how is it that I've never even heard of this card???? It seems disgustingly powerful in any sort of green-based graveyard deck. Just imagine Life from the Loam with a stocked graveyard and this in play.

    On topic: Choosing whether to play your combo pieces if you can't cast and activate Oona in the same turn has always been a tough choice for me. It depends on the situation and what deck(s) I'm playing against. I generally try to play everything on the same turn so that my opponents have as small a window as possible for responding. Depending on the situation, I've run the other combo pieces out and then played Oona the next turn. Once I cast Oona, though, I plan to use her ability that same turn. I never give people the chance to kill her with sorcery speed removal, since wraths are a dime a dozen in EDH.

    I've never played against another Oona combo deck, though. Is that how other people play her as well?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Help Me Build BG 'Counters' Deck
    Ghave, Guru of Spores is your new best friend. There are a bunch of Ghave decks, from combo decks to more token swarm strategies. All of them involve a lot of synergies, though. It sounds like you don't want to go with the more token-centric strategy, but there are plenty of Ghave interactions that are more counter-centric as well.

    Search the forums for Ghave decks. Ghave, like Doubling Season itself, is one of those cards that seems to combo or synergize with EVERYTHING. If that sounds like it would be up your alley, he may be the general for you.

    Another general that would be good with the counter-centric strategy is Kresh the Bloodbraided. Kresh also avoids the whole token thing if that's important to you.

    Finally, I think one of the writers on SCG had a proliferate-themed Vorosh, the Hunter deck, and all of the cards you listed would fit well in that sort of deck.

    EDIT: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave seems right up your alley, too.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Witch Engine + Sac Effects
    Cool, thanks for the info!
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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    posted a message on Witch Engine + Sac Effects
    Witch Engine.

    Can I sacrifice it once its ability is on the stack so that I still get the mana but my opponent does not gain control of it?

    I would like to preemptively point out that Witch Engine's ability is NOT a mana ability:
    Because the ability is targeted, it is not a mana ability. It can only be activated when you have priority, and goes on the stack like other non-mana abilities.


    I ask because some cards have abilities that are countered if the permanent that produces the effect is no longer on the battlefield when the ability resolves (e.g. the exchange part of Gilded Drake), and this card seems weird enough that it might have an interaction like that. In other words, does an opponent have to actually gain control of Witch Engine for the ability to resolve, or will the mana-producing part of the ability resolve even if Witch Engine is no longer on the battlefield to allow the control-changing part of the ability to resolve?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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    posted a message on Just another OP Jarad deck
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but why no Boneyard Wurm, Mortivore, or Lhurgoyf? Do you have enough better threats already without them?

    Also, how good has Creeping Renaissance been, and what card type do you normally choose? I assume most of the time you choose "creature," but are able to put so many creatures back into your hand that you're forced to discard most of them (except the one or two threats you actually wanted) at end of turn, thus keeping your GY stocked?
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from makubexx
    Imagine the price of rares drop by 25-50%.

    The new price will be between 450-700$.

    Even if it's only 700, it will be 200$ less. And it is a good thing.
    Even a 25% decrease in the price of the rares is being VERY generous. All the numbers I've seen, including both of the articles that nerf linked to in the post of his I'm quoting now, have said that the prices on rares will move very little, if at all. Every little bit helps, but Modern Masters won't be dropping decks down into the standard deck price range, at least not because of cheaper rares/mythics.

    Quote from nerf
    The problem with this line of reasoning is that it's based on a flawed premise. Assuming that the goal was to lower prices is not based on anything that they said directly or indirectly. Instead it is based on your (and others') perception that that is what the term accessable means. I personally don't think that that is the case. I believe that the goal was to bring the number of copies of certain cards in existence in line with their counterparts from later sets.
    But, again, there is a strong negative correlation between card availability and price (ie, low availability --> high price, and vice versa), which Wizards knows. And card prices are the thing that most people cite as the barrier of entry to modern, which Wizards also knows. When people talk about how legacy isn't accessible because of card availability, they are usually talking about how legacy is extremely expensive. "Card availability issues" and "high card prices" are basically synonymous. I can't cite a definition somewhere, but that is always how I've heard the terms used, and many, many other people interpret those terms the way I do. I think Wizards can't or won't directly say that they want to affect secondary market prices on cards, but that is very clearly what they're trying to do, and they've all but spelled it out by talking about card availability.

    For what its worth, both of the articles you cite also assume that cost, not availability, is the real barrier to entry of modern, and that Wizards is actively trying to lower the cost of cards. Dr. Jeebus thinks it's the price of the uncommons, not the rares, that's the real problem Modern Masters is meant to solve, but he still clearly thinks it's an issue of cost. And literally the first sentence of the second article is "One of the problems with the Modern format is card prices as a barrier to entry."

    I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this. We've cleared up basically every other disagreement we had, and all our current disagreements really boil down to whether we think Wizards was implying that they wanted to affect card prices when they said they wanted to increase card availability. That's the crux of the disagreement, and everything else follows from it. You seem to have pretty good reasons for thinking the way you do about card availability, since in your experience availability is not necessarily connected to card price. My experience has been different, though; for me, card availability and price have always been connected, and the terms have always been connected as well.

    Quote from nerf
    Hope with me for fetches in m14~
    Oh, I do. I think we'll be disappointed, though. Frown
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from urzassedatives
    So which of those maroon lists run Bob? 0 of them? Oh.
    Which of those maroon lists run Goyf? Zoo? Ok.
    Again, this isn't about Goyf and Bob in particular, it's about expensive modern cards in general, and how Modern Masters isn't going to do much to bring down the prices on them.

    Quote from urzassedatives
    The bulk of the price is coming from fetches, which MM was never going to be able to fix anyway. Flattening prices of commons and uncommons will help as well.
    Fine, let's look at the UWR deck from the top 8, take all the pre-Zendikar uncommons in it, and cut the prices on them in half. This deck runs a significant number of Modern Masters-legal uncommons. Since I used deckstats to calculate the price of the decks, I'll use them to calculate the price of these invidual cards as well.

    4x Lightning Helix: $17.12 total
    3x Path to Exile: $22.62 total
    2x Remand: $21.22 total
    2x Electrolyze: $4.90 total
    1x Isochron Scepter: $5.94
    2x Aven Mindcensor: $16.36 total
    =$88.16 in pre-Zendikar uncommons

    Divided in half, that's $44.08. So, going by our 50% price drop example, you could save about $44.08 on uncommons from that deck from Modern Masters. Saving $44 on uncommons is pretty good, but how much of a difference will that actually make? Subtracted from the original deck price of $889.70, the new price is $845.62. That's still almost two hundred dollars more than the most expensive standard deck.

    I do agree that fetches are a problem, though.

    Quote from urzassedatives
    Also, and this is something people mention ALL THE TIME about legacy, but never modern...you only need buy into the format once. Your deck doesn't rotate like standard. You don't have to keep trading and rotating the cards out of your possession to stay competitive.
    True, but it's the barrier of entry that's the problem, not the barrier-of-after-you've-already-bought-all-the-cards-you-need. You're basically saying that modern is super cheap after you get past the barrier of entry... which is great, but doesn't solve the barrier of entry problem.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from nerf
    Since they have stated that they have talked about MM2 etc, I don't think that will be an issue. If they underprint, they'll make up for it.
    I hope you're right. I didn't realize they had already talked about MM2. Do you have a source for that info?

    Quote from nerf
    I think you and I have a fundamental difference of opinion on what constitutes a significant increase in supply. That's going to make getting us to agree difficult.
    Well, I agree with you that we probably won't agree. Wink

    Quote from nerf
    Actually FTV is a fantastic example of a print run that helps availability w/o hurting prices. There are FTV cards all over my shop (noone there buys off the internet) that people have either purchased from the store or traded for from commander players who bought the product for select cards. Not everyone who has an interest in playing modern will even consider buying cards off the internet. Many of us would rather trade for the cards we need or pick them up at the LGS. My LGS currently doesn't have any stock of modern cards, but I am certain that they will open a box or 2 of MM for singles. My friend who plays modern and I have already traded for every goyf that is in our shop's economy, and I have the only Dark Confidant available to trade currently. I have 2 boxes on preorder and no interest in keeping any goyfs or bobs that I open so those are an increase of the supply at my local shop. The overall increase in product will be an amount that will let more people build the decks they want to build without making the cards themselves cheaper.
    This is a really interesting point, and one I hadn't considered. None of the ~3 shops I attend on a regular basis function like this, which is why I hadn't considered it. In the shops I attend, when a FTV or something comes out, the copies get bought up by people that attend the shop, but it doesn't seem to change much. You'll occasionally see some of the cards in binders, but for the most part, the trade landscape stays pretty much the same. This isn't because people only play or trade standard in the shops, either; it just seems like sets like FTV don't make a big enough impact to change the trading environment significantly. Still, your shop may function differently. I guess we'll have to wait and see whether more shops are like mine or like yours.

    Quote from nerf
    Once again, the cost of building a deck is not the barrier to entry that you think it is. Standard decks cost just as much as modern decks do and their value is 100% guaranteed to go down, but people still play the hell out of standard.
    This is demonstrably false. While some standard decks are more expensive than some modern decks, modern decks are generally more expensive by several hundred dollars. I compared the prices of the top 16 decks of GP Portland and the latest SCG Classic using deckstats.net and compiled the information here. In a nutshell, there were nine different archetypes in both modern and standard. The most expensive standard archetype, Jund, is, on average, less expensive than the majority of the modern archetypes. As in, more than half (five) of the modern archetypes were more expensive than the most expensive standard archetype. In fact, the vast majority of the modern archetypes were more expensive than the vast majority of the standard archetypes. Here's the list of archetypes, by average price (maroon for modern, green for standard):

    1. Domain Zoo: $1,664.69
    2. Gifts: $948.64
    3. Melira Pod: $914.84
    4. UWR: $852.17
    5. WB Tokens: $716.52

    6. Jund: $661.88
    7. UWR: $614.62

    8. Affinity: $547.67
    9. Scapeshift: $544.22

    10. WRB Aggro: $502.30
    11. Bant Hexproof: $488.69
    12. Bant Aggro: $439.96
    13. Reanimator: $431.63
    14. Life and Death (Junk Midrange): $417.10

    15. Storm: $370.81
    16. GW Aggro: $335.89
    17. Living End: $285.09
    18. RG Aggro: $246.11

    See the clump of maroon at the top and the clump of green towards the bottom? That's what I'm talking about. Modern is absolutely more expensive than standard.

    To tie this back in to the topic of the thread, since we've been getting a little side-tracked: modern decks are much more expensive to build, on average, than standard decks, as demonstrated above. This is a barrier of entry to the format. Modern Masters was supposed to help alleviate this problem by increasing the supply of expensive modern cards, thus driving the prices on those cards down. Dark Confidant is an example of an expensive modern card that Wizards would do well to help bring down the price on. Yet by making it mythic, only packaging 24 packs in a box, and printing the set in limited quantities, Wizards is significantly hampering their effort to make cards like Dark Confidant more available, and, by doing so, sabotaging their stated goal of making modern more accessible.

    Quote from nerf
    Again, difference of opinion on what is significant. If 1-3 players per store can suddenly have access to the cards they need through routes that are not the internet, then I would call that significant indeed. Honestly, I fully expect that anything printed below mythic rarity is at a huge risk of dropping quite a bit. Especially any of the currently money uncommons that aren't bumped in rarity.
    See, I think the problem, at least in my shops, is that the players who can afford to buy any significant amount of modern masters product are the ones who can already afford expensive cards and are already playing modern/legacy.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Agreed

    That's why I consider MM an experiment

    That's also why I think MM won't do as much good as WotC might have hoped: they were too conservative (I can understand why) and will adjust it for MM2 (which is inevitable unless Modern just doesn't pick up at all, I don't see that happening)

    What will be interesting to see is how fast WotC comes out with an MM2 (if they do): I know that if I was in charge I would have told WotC "you guys better have a second edition not too far behind if we were too conservative with the print run, I don't want to have to wait 2 years for Modern to be as accessible as we want it to be if MM1 doesn't meet our targets"
    Yeah, seriously haha. Hopefully they learned their lesson about that from the Commander decks.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Isn't it possible that the increased supply will not be able to keep up with increasing demand from players as Modern picks up steam?
    If that happens, then WotC will have failed in their goal of making modern more accessible. In the short term, it would be good that there were more players, but they'd still have the same problem a year from now of not being able to grow the format due to lack of accessibility.

    Quote from nerf
    As far as increasing the supply not making accessibility greater, you are incorrect in that now these cards can be picked up through the booster pack lottery, drafting the set or trading for them from people who have them more often than now.
    Right, except that they're not significantly adding to the supply because of all the reasons that itachiitachi mentioned, which is the problem. Putting the most expensive cards at mythic, packaging 24 packs in a box, and having a limited print run will not add to the supply enough to make those cards more available.

    Quote from nerf
    From previous real world examples. FTV and judge promos increase the supply of cards and never even budge the prices. It is assumed that there are about the same or slightly more of each mythic entering circulation as what you would get from an FTV printing. And it's still useful for the reasons I stated above.
    The FTV series and judge promos are great examples of print runs that are too small to affect prices or the availability of cards. The number of copies of the card entering the market has to be large enough to actually affect the price of that card. For the FTV series and judge foils, it isn't, and if the number of mythics in Modern Masters is comparable to a FTV, then Modern Masters won't affect the price of those cards, either. That actually supports my argument perfectly.

    Quote from nerf
    From WOTC's viewpoint, it should be quite desirable.
    You're missing the point. The intended goal of Modern Masters is to increase the accessibility of modern as a format. The biggest barrier to that is the cost to build a competitive deck. Modern Masters was supposed to help make that barrier smaller. Therefore, if increasing supply doesn't drive down prices, Modern Masters is not achieving its intended goal. So no, increasing supply without decreasing prices is not desirable. As a matter of fact, it is exactly what they do not want to happen.

    Quote from urzassedatives
    The top 16 of GP portland had 4 Goyfs and 0 Dark Confidants. [...] Dark Confidant and Goyf are not staples. They are not barriers to entry into the format, because there are plenty of viable decks that run neither of them, and only one deck that runs both. (only sometimes)

    Quote from nerf
    First of all, as others have pointed out, bob, thoughtseize, and goyf are not barriers to entry into the format. There are plenty of cheaper ways to get in, and they are about to become a whole lot cheaper when the market becomes saturated with what are currently money uncommons.
    Individually, no, those cards are not barriers of entry into the format. Collectively, however, most modern decks take a lot of investment, and cards like that are one of the biggest reasons why. And just because there are a couple of cheap decks doesn't mean that modern is accessible. That's like saying legacy is accessible because you can just build burn. One or two cheap decks does not make an accessible format.

    Quote from nerf
    On the other hand, the increased availability really will make itself felt at the local level even if it does nothing for the retail singles side of things.Also, more copies being available helps keep people from raising prices as the cards become more and more scarce.
    Only if there is a significant increase in supply. Again, the key word here is "significant." You have to increase the supply enough that it will actually make a difference, and for the big money cards, the supply will not increase enough to make a difference, as you yourself pointed out with your FTV example.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from Devil"s Advocate
    So a lot of people are complaining that Bob and Goyf are being moved to mythic (and presumably so will the other money cards be) so their prices will probably not change much... Did any of you actually read the article announcing Modern Masters? It was pretty explicitly stated that the goal was to increase the availability of modern staples without decreasing their prices... So... Yeah... If you were expecting prices to drop, sorry, but that was never the intent.
    This argument again? I don't know where people are getting the notion that increasing the availability of a card will somehow not affect its price. Furthermore, even if it was possible (which it's not), why would that be at all useful to anyone?

    Can you explain to me how significantly increasing availability without decreasing prices is a)possible and b)desirable? Because it seems to me that if you were going to increase availability enough to actually make a difference, then prices would drop. Increasing supply lowers prices. This is like econ 101, so I find it extremely unlikely that WotC didn't take this into account when they stated their desire to make cards more available. And they said they didn't want to crash prices, they didn't say they didn't want to affect them at all.

    As for b), if cards were more available but the same price, how would that be useful to anyone? If there were 20 playsets of Tarmogoyf on Channel Fireball instead of 5 (or however many there are now), but they're still $120, how does that help a player trying to get into the game? It's still just as expensive to buy them as it was before, and thus just as much of a barrier of entry to the format. In other words, if the prices don't change, "increased availability" doesn't mean jack.

    Someone tried to make the argument earlier that increased availability without a price change was possible because people would be drafting the cards and acquiring their copies that way. First of all, if people were actually able to acquire playsets of Goyfs via draft, the price would definitely go down to reflect that. If people were able to get, say, two copies of it, but then had to buy the other two copies, that would mean that they didn't have to buy the full four copies, and prices would go down (though not as much) to reflect that, too. In other words, any significant increase in availability via limited would cause a price drop, and any increase in availability that didn't cause a price drop would not actually be a significant increase in availability. Availability and price are closely related, and if one is affected, the other will be, too.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from jimmyrussles77
    ok so, math isin't my strong point but lets see.

    1 in 8 packs have a mythic.
    3 mythics (on average) per box of MM
    15 mythics in the set.
    1 in 5 boxs will have any given mythic.

    Now i've heard numbers range from 9 to 32 boxs per store, lets find a happy median, assume 18 boxs per store.

    thats 3.25? Of any given mythic per store.

    How many stores will carry this product? Y?

    3.25 x Y = how many of the card is printed and will be on the market.

    Thats alot guys.
    Not really. You have to consider that most stores get multiple playsets of each mythic for normal sets just to sell as singles. This doesn't count copies of the card opened from people who buy sealed product from the store or from people who draft the card and keep it. For this set, assuming your math is right, just over 3 of each mythic will be opened at the store total. That is a tiny amount when you consider that the demand for these cards is extremely high.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from slantdeyevision
    Modern is expensive all around, when some of the rares and uncommons fall in price then you'll see more people with expendable cash to grab their goyfs, bobs, etc... This set regardless of Goyfs price will help more people get into modern... Which is a good thing, I don't think they ever intended to bring the prices down of the money cards... I think they wanted to bring down the prices of all the others so you can have a little more cash to spend on them...
    Fair point. I really hope you're right that making the commons/uncommons more affordable will have a significant impact on the price of decks. I'm worried, though, that the commons/uncommons aren't expensive enough, and won't go down enough, to make that much of a difference. In Jund, for example, you still need 4 Bobs, 4 Goyfs, 4 Lilianas, and 3 Thoughtseizes. That's easily $1000 right there, not even counting the rest of the deck. Is it really going to matter at that point if you save $20 on your playset of Kitchen Finks?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from Kane49
    3 Card spoiled, set not due to be released for a month and your conclusion is:
    THEY HAVE COMPLETELY FAILED THEIR PURPOSE.
    It doesn't matter how many cards have been spoiled. Even if they reprinted literally all of the expensive cards in the set, we already know the size of the booster boxes and print run. It doesn't take a huge leap of logic to come to the conclusion that I did. And the set's being released in two weeks, not a month.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from Krimson Viper
    I see the connection just fine, but people are not understanding that what Wizards is really trying to do here is stop rising prices by giving players the opportunity to open them in packs.
    Ah, I think I see what you're saying now. So you're saying that, rather than increase the supply to lower the prices on the secondary market, WotC is trying to make the cards available via limited so that people don't have to buy the cards on the secondary market? Or don't have to buy as many cards on the secondary market?

    Well, even if that was the case, which it's not, the same rules of scarcity apply. The fact that Dark Confidant is a mythic rare in a limited print run set means they aren't increasing the supply enough to have any tangible effect on the availability of the card, which means that they're failing in their stated goal of making modern more accessible. Either way you look at it, printing modern staples at mythic rare in this limited print run set achieves nothing for the format, and, as people have said, is simply a cash grab.

    Quote from TobyornotToby
    Thus, Wizards wants to fix Modern and line their pockets at the same time.
    Except they're not fixing modern. They're only lining their pockets, because the price of the staples was what needed to be fixed, and this set will have very little effect on the price of those staples. That's why people are complaining: WotC is still going to make a lot of money from Modern Masters even though the set is going to fail at its intended purpose of making modern more accessible, which is frustrating.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from BryanM
    The thing is, Mythic Rares are not a special rarity. They're just rares, that tend to be on the "better" side. Like, say before you'd have 15 good rares on the sheet. These days, 6 of those would be mythic, the other 9 remain at rare.

    The entire point of Mythic is to have a higher percentage of them being "good", so players don't have to play Where's Waldo as much to find The Good Cards.
    I'm not sure if you're just trolling, but this is completely wrong. Wizards has stated on numerous occasions that mythics are not meant to be "better" than rares, and, furthermore, that they aim to make powerful cards at all rarities. Mythics are cards with big, splashy, unusual effects, but that doesn't make the effects "better," necessarily. Goblin Guide, for example, is arguably the most powerful aggressive creature ever printed, but that doesn't mean it should be mythic. It's definitely better as a rare. Likewise, Worldspine Wurm is big and splashy and very "mythic," but that doesn't make it good, and it is certainly a lot worse than a lot of the rares in Return to Ravnica.

    For Modern Masters, though, they did things a bit differently. It appears that the cards with the highest secondary market price are the mythics, hence why Dark Confidant is being printed at mythic.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from urzassedatives
    No, it means more people can play the format.

    Which means that the demand will stay the same.
    Yes, obviously making cards more available means more people can play the format. And the reason that making cards more available allows more people to play the format is because those cards become cheaper to buy.

    I don't understand how you don't see the connection here. Wizards has stated that card availability is a barrier to entry for modern. Yet, if I wanted to and had the money, I could buy all the cards for, say, a modern Jund deck from Internet retailers right now. The cards are all "available" in the sense that you can buy them. The issue is that they are so expensive that people can't afford to buy them. That is what a "card availability issue" is. Making cards more available means that people can buy them more cheaply. It's simple supply and demand: you increase the supply, the price drops. That's the whole point of Modern Masters. It's also extremely basic economics, and should not be a controversial claim in the slightest.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from Krimson Viper
    Please show me where they said they were printing cards to tackle prices, and not quote they said they wanted to tackle card availability.
    But, again, tackling card availability is tackling the price problem. If they say "We want cards to be more readily available to players, so we're printing more of them," what they're essentially saying is "We want the cards to be cheaper, so people can more easily afford them."

    All cards are "available" if you're willing to pay the price. Making a card more available means printing more of it, which makes it less scarce, which lowers the price.

    In a nutshell, making a card more available means making it cheaper by printing more copies of it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Quote from Krimson Viper
    Why are you people angry at Wizards for making sure your prices don't crash when there's a reprint? They explicitly stated that secondary market value was a problem that wasn't going to be addressed in a way to bring it down. It was being addressed in a way for people to have access to these cards, meaning entering draft and buying boxes. At least you know that when you bite the bullet for buying them, you don't lose.

    You pay to play, same as anything.
    Right, except that secondary market value and card access are closely tied. If there is limited access to a card, it will have a higher secondary market value due to scarcity. Conversely, a card will have a lower secondary market value if more people have access to it.

    Modern Masters was supposed to be a way for people to get access to cards that were creating a significant barrier to entry on the format. But by printing those cards at mythic, making the set have a limited print run, and only providing 24 packs in a box, they're not really lowering the barrier to entry at all. Some of the expensive commons and uncommons will probably come down in price a little, but those weren't causing the barrier to entry in the first place.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[MM]] Dark Confidant
    Yeah, I'm not really sure why they feel the need to keep replacing the art on the invitational cards when they reprint them. It's annoying, and it's pretty disrespectful to the invitational winners. It's like they're saying "This isn't your card anymore." At least this artwork isn't as crappy as the new Meddling Mage or Solemn Simulacrum artworks, though. Those were just bad.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[DGM]] DailyMTG Previews 4/19: Ætherling, Blast of Genius etc.
    OK, now imagine that Orcish Librarian was drawn not only cartoonishly, but badly as well, and didn't have a picture of an orcish librarian, but instead some random picture of something completely unrelated. So instead of having an admittedly cartoonish depiction of an orcish librarian, you had a badly drawn cartoonish depiction of something having nothing to do with the card.

    Then you would be approaching the level of bad that Unflinching Courage's artwork is.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on [[DGM]] DailyMTG Previews 4/19: Ætherling, Blast of Genius etc.
    That new Armadillo Cloak has the worst artwork I've seen in 10+ years. It looks like a screenshot from a cutesy PS1 game and the flavor has nothing at all to do with the card. It's a couple of midget cavemen running from a dinosaur. That would, in fact, be the opposite of "unflinching courage," and last I checked, Ravnica was a highly sophisticated city plane, not a prehistoric plane with jungle, dinosaurs, and cavemen. I'm not normally one to complain about artwork, but when it's both crappy and completely unrelated to the card and block it's for, I notice.

    Functionally, the card is good, though. And the new Morphling is sweet and will definitely see play.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Beast Within: Pie or Unpie?
    Beast Within is definitely within green's slice of the color pie, though barely.

    Green has "transform"-themed creature removal, ie changing one creature into another or into multiple other creatures. In the form of an enchantment, it has Lignify. For a one-shot temporary effect, it has Snakeform. For a sac effect, it has Feed the Pack and Korozda Guildmage. And for almost the exact same effect as Beast Within, it has Mercy Killing, which kills a creature and gives tokens to the controller.

    And obviously green has noncreature permanent removal. No debate there.

    Basically, what someone else said: Beast Within is Bramblecrush plus Mercy Killing. Two cards that can be cast entirely with green mana. Explain to me how that is not in green's slice of the color pie.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on Utility nonbasic lands
    Quote from BlackVise
    In all honesty, it depends on the deck
    This. There's really no one-size-fits-all metric for how many colorless non-basics to include in a deck. There are factors that can give you a general idea though:

    - How much fixing are you running? The more fixing you run, the more colorless non-basics you can afford to run (up to a point).

    - How aggressive is your deck? The more aggressive it is, the more you're going to want to make sure you have the correct colors of mana coming into play untapped in the early game, and hence fewer colorless non-basics.

    - How color-intensive are the mana costs of the cards in your deck? If you're running a lot of double, triple, and (possibly) quadruple+ red/green-costing cards, you're going to want more color fixing lands and basics so you can pay the costs on those color-intensive spells rather than colorless utility lands.

    In the end, though, you'll just have to test the deck. Throw a mana base together and see how it plays out.

    EDIT: It also depends on which utility lands would work well in the deck. Maze of Ith is much better in a control or pillowfort deck than in an aggressive deck, for example. In other words, another way to approach the question is asking "What utility lands does this deck even want?"
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on How hard is Mono-Brown Artifacts?
    Karn can be very good. It tends to ramp very quickly, as there is a lot of very powerful artifact ramp and the fact that things like Sol Ring don't produce colored mana is not a hindrance in a colorless deck. Stax seems to be the best overall strategy for Karn, though he is definitely most effective with infinite combos (of which there are many), so I don't know how good the deck would be without them.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on A non-argumentative thread! Top 5...
    In no particular order:

    1. Tooth and Nail
    2. Swords to Plowshares
    3. Sower of Temptation
    4. Cryptic Command
    5. Damnation

    StP and Damnation are there because, despite not being especially "bomby," they're just so darn useful.

    Honorable Mentions: Primeval Titan; Treachery; Venser, Shaper Savant; Doubling Season; Scavenging Ooze
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Mono-black instant spot removals
    Quote from nicoG
    @jetcape15: it depends how you're playing it: the active player got the priority and if he removes all the counter without waiting each seperate effect to resolve , he runs maybe the risk of getting a Swords to Plowshares in respond but he is ok with sudden death.
    Oh for sure, there are a lot of things that deal with Mike and Trike if you're looking at all five colors, but the OP asked for mono-black specifically. But yes, you can exile, tuck, or bounce either of them in response to the last counter being removed from Triskelion.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Mono-black instant spot removals
    Snuff Out and Slaughter Pact are both free. Dismember is very powerful as well.

    Also, you may already know this, but keep in mind that if both Mikaeus and Triskelion are in play, they can go infinite with your removal spell still on the stack. The only window you have to stop the combo with creature removal is killing Mikaeus in response to Triskelion's undying trigger.

    EDIT: So Snuff Out and Slaughter Pact are only useful if you can target Trike without Mike in play. Otherwise, they can just remove the counters in response, and Trike will come back with undying.

    EDIT 2: Actually, Sudden Death would work against Triskelion if you did it in response to them removing the first or second counter. They wouldn't be able to remove counters in response, since Sudden Death has split second, so Triskelion would go the graveyard with at least one +1/+1 counter on it and stay dead.

    Extirpate and Surgical Extraction would also stop the combo if you cast them in response to the undying trigger. They might not be as useful as creature removal, however.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Am I the only one...........
    No, you're not! My roommate has an 5 color allies EDH deck that is awesome. He built it because allies hold a special place in his heart after he day 2ed the pro tour with an allies aggro deck back in Zendikar-Scars standard. Remember Pro Tour Paris? That was the tournament where Caw-Blade debuted, but it was not actually the most successful deck (in terms of win percentage) at the tournament. Nor was Boros, Kuldotha Red, Valakut, or UB control. So what was the most successful deck?

    Allies.

    No, seriously. It was piloted by only one person, and that person (my roommate) went 7-3 in constructed, which was better than all the other archetypes' win percentages because those other decks were piloted by lots of people, some of whom had losing records.

    Anyway, the MVPs in his EDH deck are Living Death, Patriarch's Bidding, Lurking Predators, and Reveillark. I have yet to come across another allies tribal deck, so it's awesome to see that it's getting some love. I don't have his decklist, unfortunately, but it's a pretty casual deck that plays almost all of the allies. He runs Karona as the general.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on The Ultimate EDH control deck?
    I'll second the vote for Oona. My meta is very creature-heavy, which plays to black's strengths (creature removal) and doesn't exploit its weaknesses (lack of efficient removal for other permanent types). If your meta is also creature-heavy, I would definitely recommend Oona or another UB general for a control deck. I find the best control generals are the ones that A) gain you a disgusting amount of card/board/tempo advantage just by being in play (e.g. Damia, GAAIV) or B) act as a finisher (e.g. Oona or any other combo general with blue).

    For a control deck, you want the deck to be geared towards the control elements as much as possible, with the actual finishers being both extremely powerful and taking up as little real estate in the deck as possible. Unlike in standard, a single creature typically isn't powerful enough on its own to be a finisher; it can be killed, exiled, tucked, stolen, cloned, or otherwise dealt with relatively easily. For that reason, infinite combos are the best finishers, which makes generals that are also combo pieces extremely good as control generals. You spend a few card slots in the deck on combo pieces and you have your finisher. You run tutors, which you would run anyway, and in the early game you fetch control cards, whereas in the late game you fetch your combo pieces. The rest of the deck is just lockdown.

    My Oona deck, for example, plays out as a control deck until I have the combo pieces in hand and enough mana to cast them and go off in a single turn with counterspell backup. I (typically) don't have to worry about amassing a superior board position, I just have to hold off my opponent until I can assemble this combo. It's a lot easier to simply keep from dying, make land drops, and then combo off than it is to cast big creatures and try to win through damage.

    TL;DR: Combo generals like Oona work great as control generals as well because you can spend most of the card slots on control cards and a few slots on the combo, which works great as a finisher because it wins you the game on the spot.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Karoo lands; Card Advantage
    Argue all you want, but now we have both LSV and Patrick Chapin on record saying that karoo lands provide card advantage. I think I'm going to trust the guys with multiple pro tour top 8s, thanks. Here's Patrick Chapin's article explaining it: http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/print.php?Article=12353. And no, you can't explain this article away as "Oh, they just didn't understand card advantage back then." They understood it fine. Karoos provide card advantage.

    To summarize Chapin's argument: Karoo lands are like dual lands that come into play tapped, produce one mana, and allow you to search your deck for a land and put it into your hand. To quote the article:

    Quote from Patrick Chapin »
    ...Karoos' real strength is that the land that gets removed from play goes to your hand, not your graveyard. This is akin to "drawing" a land.

    This means your dual land is effectively drawing you a card (which is always a land). To balance things out a bit, Karoos come into play tapped, which may appear to cost you two mana, though it really only costs one because you can use the land you bounce. This is essentially paying one mana to draw and select a card.


    Furthermore, karoo lands providing card advantage is not an obscure or revolutionary concept. Anyone who played back in the original Ravnica should know this already, because there was a lot of discussion about it when people figured it out. It was regarded as common knowledge by the time they rotated out of standard. My, how quickly we forget.

    EDIT: And here is LSV saying that karoo lands provide card advantage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrbsjihikmM. Go to ~19:45 in the video. Here's a transcript, for those who are lazy:

    LSV: And [Ravnica] had the bounce lands. I mean, how amazing were the bounce lands?
    TSG: It was so nice to have mana fixing on a land that was two colors and common.
    LSV: And even more than that, it was card advantage. People didn't realize that at first, and near the end of the format people were first-picking bounce lands and being happy about it. I know I was. In the beginning of the format you'd get them sixth or seventh. People did not realize how insane they were. Playing a deck with like 16 land and like 4 bounce lands meant that you just drew an extra card every game, or two extra cards every game.

    He goes on, but the most relevant stuff about bounce lands being card advantage is right there.
    Posted in: Magic General
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    posted a message on [SCD] Maze of Ith - Overrated?
    Quote from Justice1337
    Uril and Zur are still in White, and white has SFM. Irrelevant besides, because Zur tutors for shroud/Vanishing, while Uril already has hexproof, as does Sigarda if you want to go there. So basically, playing generals where you don't have to answer maze is... better? Point proven.
    Fair enough. I was just pointing out that white is run for reasons besides its equipment tutor package. It's not really relevant to our main discussion about Maze, but I wanted to clarify.

    Quote from Justice1337
    Sure, Acidic Slime is in decks for a lot of reasons, and Maze is only one of those, sure. But a card's quality overall is measured by versatility, adaptability, reuseability, permanence, etc. Slime is played because it answers Maze, and because of these qualities. Sinkhole answers Maze but is not played because it would do little else. Black decks are therefore much worse than they otherwise would be because they need to answer maze, and can't.

    Black has a good tutor package, sure, but consider that you have to tutor for boots every game. Enlightened Tutor = Vampiric for those purposes, and SFM has more recurrability and versatility than Demonic. And besides as you mentioned, defensive abilities generally are better in those colors. So since black has nothing to offer, and its tutor advantage is spent because of Maze and others, black aggro decks are considerably worse because of being forced to answer Maze.

    Theft is theft. It will continue to be a threat to vultron. But there's a host of things that solve it that don't solve maze. Homeward Path and sacrifice, already mentioned, as well as pro-blue, one-shot hexproof effects, etc. So all in all, vultron still has to answer Maze, and it's still substantially worse off for having to do so.

    That's it. They're substantially and intractably worse off because they need to answer Maze. Sure, mono-color will suffer from being mono-color. Skittles will suffer from being skittles. But Maze causes problems for Vultron, and those problems are substantial and intractable.

    ...[I]t does warp the format and keep otherwise good strategies out.
    See, the thing is I agree with basically everything you're saying except the [I]degree[/I] to which voltron decks are worse off because of Maze of Ith. They're definitely worse off, but I just don't think Maze is as significant as you think. Yes, Maze is harder to answer than theft/tuck effects, which consequently makes voltron worse. Yes, mono black has trouble answering it, which is one of mono black voltron's many weaknesses. Yes, a G/x voltron general without hexproof should have versatile answers that can hit Maze of Ith. All that is true. But Maze of Ith is not what is making voltron generals unplayable. I guarantee you that if you banned Maze of Ith today, Skithiryx would remain virtually just as good/bad as he is right now. He might get slightly better, but not much. Same goes for other voltron strategies.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [SCD] Maze of Ith - Overrated?
    Quote from Justice1337
    Maze destroys a lot of decks, absolutely crushes the purpose of them. So many people in the threat so far have reasoned how bad Maze must be because Boots shuts it off. But they're forgetting that the existence of Maze mandates the use of Boots in the first place. Not theft, there are better solutions to that, like sacrifice and Homeward Path. Not removal, spot can be used in response to the equip and sweepers don't care. Not clone - all those effects get by shroud. It's because of Maze that you need to run Boots.
    Greaves/Boots is run in voltron decks because of spot removal and, most importantly, theft. Yes, you can sac in response or hope to get Homeward Path, but it's much easier to be proactive against theft and simply make your glass cannon untargetable instead. There are tons of answers to generals without hexproof/shroud; Maze of Ith is only one of those answers (and not the best one). Voltron strategies are inherently fragile because you're essentially putting all of your eggs in one basket. It's not just Maze that exploits this weakness. Basically, I think you're greatly overestimating Maze of Ith's impact on the format.

    Quote from Justice1337
    Consequently, all the still playable Vultron strategies are in white for equipment tutors, green for Acidic Slime, and are still substantially limited in their options because of Maze. Red's haste is worth less because, hey, you need to play Boots anyway because of Maze.
    The playable voltron generals are in green and white because

    A) Green and white get the biggest creatures, so the G/W generals present a fast enough clock for a voltron strategy to work
    B) G/W creatures get abilities that make them better in combat and at dealing damage (trample, exalted, and flying, to name a few), which is conducive to a voltron strategy, and, most importantly
    C) G/W creatures often get abilities that make them resilient to answers (uncounterability, indestructibility, and hexproof, for example). And yes, hexproof and shroud get around Maze of Ith, which is one of the reasons they are good abilities, but there are a million other cards that they're good against as well.

    White's equipment tutors certainly help many voltron strategies, but Maze of Ith is not the only reason why equipment tutors are good, and if Maze was banned, equipment tutors would still be essential to many voltron strategies. It's also worth noting that some voltron generals, such as Zur, are often fine without equipment, even though they have access to white.

    And obviously having answers to nonland permanents is one of the reasons that green is good in EDH, but people don't run G/x voltron generals solely so they can have answers to Maze of Ith. That's just silly. Also, Strip Mine, Wasteland, and Dust Bowl are cards that every color has access to.

    Quote from Justice1337
    Blight Dragon Vultron is not a serious contender because it can't tutor for boots, and it can't answer Maze on the board (outside of unplayables like Sinkhole).
    Last I checked, black had the best tutor suite of any color. There's a long list of cards in black that can tutor for Greaves/Boots. Also, Skittles Voltron is not limited by Maze of Ith, it's limited by the fact that it runs out of steam before it can kill an entire table. Mono-colored voltron decks are also even more inherently fragile than normal voltron decks, as the weakness of the voltron strategy is compounded by the weakness of only having access to a single color (although obviously there are advantages as well). Skittles Voltron suffers from this weakness. Maze of Ith is only one of many cards that hoses it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Spot Removal - Do PtE and StP belong in every white EDH deck?
    There aren't too many cards that are true auto-includes for me, but both StP and PtE are. I always have those in my white decks, no exceptions. I don't run Condemn for the reasons already stated (too situational, doesn't hit utility guys, can't be cast in response to equipping Greaves, etc.).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [SCD] Maze of Ith - Overrated?
    Unless I'm missing something, Maze of Ith shouldn't save a creature from Condemn. Maze doesn't remove the creature from combat, it just untaps it and prevents damage it would deal/be dealt. The creature would still be an attacking creature and Condemn would still tuck it. Right?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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