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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
 
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Blood Speaker



    This is the kind of card that makes an otherwise rather bad tribal "Something fun to consider". Demon Tribal will, due to the lack of low-curve options and a near-total absence of tribal synergy, never really be a thing on more competitive tables, but in more laid back settings, it can work.
    Sadly, even then this still costs 4 mana AND has you wait a turn to capitalize AND goes back to your hand and not the battlefield. Oh well.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Onslaught



    Sadly not from it's namesake set. Kinda feels more like a blue ability but it makes sense with Red's aggression.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Foil basics at one per case is super freaking scummy..
    Quote from SavannahLion »
    Quote from WizardMN »
    Quote from LouCypher »
    Quote from NGW »
    Quote from LouCypher »
    So you say they should've adjusted the entire way they print cards to allow for more foil basics? As Maro noted, the chance of cracking a foil basic in Unstable is equal to cracking a foil full-art basic in Amonkhet/Hour of Devastation...because there's only 1 of each.


    In this specific case? Yes. Or heck, do it like a normal set would even if there is only one of each basic.


    How is it scummy though? Same chance as always.
    But it's not, right? I'll admit I don't know all the ratios and whatever for foil lands (so the numbers below are just examples to try to illustrate the point), but in Amonkhet, you would still have more of a chance of pulling a foil basic overall. So, if each box had 35 regular basics and 1 foil, and then 1 in 4 of those foils are Full Arts, then we have the 1 in 4 boxes of getting a foil full art which seems to match what we have for Unstable. However, within that, we still got 3 other foil basics of the other arts. Which means we got 4 foils and 140 non-foils total.

    Yes, they only have 5 arts for the basics. But shouldn't we be getting the same ratio? That is, shouldn't we get 140 non-foils and 4 foils out of 4 boxes? I am not sure how we go to 1 foil in 3-4 boxes and think it is the same as what we had.

    I am sure there is something I am missing here, but it seems that the overall number of foil lands went down. Is the suggestion that if we had 4 different arts that we would be getting more foil basics?


    By the same token err... land. The land art for Amonkhet is... how do I say it? Not as beautiful. It's flavorful, I won't argue that. It's just not nearly as good as Unstables. In addition, there is more of a frame on the cards. Not really an apples to oranges comparison, but it's not apples to apples either.

    The Unstable Plains however, is eerily reminiscent of the meadows behind my childhood home. Swap the trees out for pines and put the haze of a mountain in the background and it would be like John Avon was right there last autumn. Unstable Mountain looks pretty damn close to some of the craigs my father used to take me to. Forest looks just like the forest around an old mine my dad used to take me to during Spring and Summer.

    I'm sure the Unstable basic lands are really striking the same kinds of sentiments with other players as well. Something the Amonkhet lands just don't do. Not by a long shot.


    That is a very personal argument though. Your sentiment is something not everyone shares and personally, I think these lands are...well, they're far from bad and the art is pretty good, but that frame makes them look like the background of an iPhone to me. On the other hand, I quite like the story the Amonkhet lands tell though I prefer the Hour ones due to the sun actually being between the horns. So while that kind of argument holds true for you, it doesn't for everyone else.

    As far as the ratio goes; I didn't know about Unhinged having a ratio akin to that of other sets. But this IS still in line with Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation or indeed any SPECIFIC basic land from any random set.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Well. I'm impressed.

    Lawbringer



    For when you really hate Red.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Foil basics at one per case is super freaking scummy..
    Quote from NGW »
    Quote from LouCypher »
    So you say they should've adjusted the entire way they print cards to allow for more foil basics? As Maro noted, the chance of cracking a foil basic in Unstable is equal to cracking a foil full-art basic in Amonkhet/Hour of Devastation...because there's only 1 of each.


    In this specific case? Yes. Or heck, do it like a normal set would even if there is only one of each basic.


    How is it scummy though? Same chance as always.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Foil basics at one per case is super freaking scummy..
    So you say they should've adjusted the entire way they print cards to allow for more foil basics? As Maro noted, the chance of cracking a foil basic in Unstable is equal to cracking a foil full-art basic in Amonkhet/Hour of Devastation...because there's only 1 of each.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Electric Eel



    I know the people in this thread love taking obscure old crappy cards and find a use for them so...Impress me.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Soooo yea that was an unexpected absent time. Sorry about that.

    Banshee of the Dread Choir



    Myriad is an ability I wish they did more with. 5 creatures + 1 artifact = Not enough to do much. As far as the Banshee goes, I have actually quite often been considering it. I don't like single-target hate in this format (Exceptance made for spot removal or counterspells) and the Banshee provides a specter-for-everyone. I have, however, never actually kept it in a deck.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Superior Numbers



    Unlike most Green removal, this doesn't put up one of your own creatures to risk, you just need to have more creatures. This can be handy if you want to get rid of, say, a Peacekeeper or if you want to attack opponent A while making sure opponent B cannot launch a counterattack spearheaded by some random fatty. Green go-wide decks tend to be more about just using brute force though so I've never seen this card.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Most Silver Border Cards are now Legal in Commander until January 15th
    As far as Collector Protector goes: "I play Collector Protector. Then sacrifice my Mindslaver targetting you, then finish it off by using Donate to give you my Collector Protector. Now, I take your turn, pay WWWWWWWW...lessee your binder..."
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Timmy, Power Gamer



    With the news about Silver Border cards being legal for a month and then some, I figured let's put in one myself in here so you all know what you can look forward to.
    Timmy is not on the RC's list of "Stuff to watch out for" unlike his brother Johnny, mostly because his colour doesn't allow him to be AS broken as him. Worth noting that it's also not a cast trigger so while you can cheat out big Eldrazi, the effect is probably better on your Worldspine Wurms and stuff like that. There's plenty of fat in Green that appreciates being Quicksilver Amulet'd in...and with Seedborn Muse and Patron of the Orochi, things can get nutty real fast.
    Side note; one of the guys in my LGS plays an illegal Timmy deck, even by the standards of Un-sets. He plays all colours and only "Giant overcosted cool fatties", but runs it from only forests and Chromatic Lantern, in order to cheat out things like Leviathan. It's hilarious, and folds tremendously if you can keep Timmy out of the game, but he doesn't play it often (in fact, pretty rarely) so it doesn't get stale.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Most Silver Border Cards are now Legal in Commander until January 15th
    So what they're saying is that they're okay with me using Melek, Izzet Paragon to cast a The Countdown is at One from the top of my library, then copy it with an Increasing Vengeance cast from my grave using mana from Primal Wellspring and Pyromancer's Goggles. Gotcha.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Word of Command



    This one goes out to all those players who keep harping about how bad the art is nowadays and who think old-age art can do no wrong.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day - Blood Speaker
    Quote from Onering »
    This could be used with a Life from the Loam loop, but, TBH, there are better things you can do with that.

    Dat templating. (Clue: Cycling is discarding, either to draw something or to tutor something like a basic land or a forest or a sliver.) Yeah, I know, it's probably for new players, but still...


    Yeah, can someone please give me a explanation as to why these cards say "if you cycle or discard"? Other than making it a little bit clearer for newer players, it could have just said "whenever you discard a card" and just leave out the cycling part, right? The cycling part is totally pointless unless someone can please enlighten me.


    They explained it in an article on their website. It is indeed partly to make it easier for newer players, and players who aren't as enfranchised, so as to avoid confusion as whether cycling counts as discarding. Originally, these cards only got the bonus from cycling as they were intended to be cycling enablers, but they were juiced a bit by letting them trigger off any discard to make them less parasitic (They now work with looting and allowed them to create a discard as cost sub theme in the set). They left the reference to cycling both to lessen confusion for new players (as they can look at the card and understand how it works even if they don't understand that cycling counts as discarding), as well as to be a signal during draft that these are cycling support cards and that cycling is a major theme that a deck that can be built around rather than just a "flow" mechanic like a cantrip. Its part of MARO's philosophy that nonfunctional text that makes things more clear is often a good thing. This is borne from the problem in Masques Block where there were a number of new mechanics with no official name, and many players thought that there were no new mechanics because there weren't keywords. Ability words are the biggest change brought about by this (ability words don't have any rules meaning, they are basically flavor text that signals a theme), but other smaller changes were also made, this being one of them.


    Thank you for the clear explanation, it still baffles me why they would think a new player wouldn't be able to understand discarding a card does an effect. That is one of the simpliest terms in any card/board game ever for anyone to understand. Adding cycling as a keyword causes more confusion to new players and long time experienced players such as myself. I disagree with Rosewater's design philosophies such as this, because adding cycling seems very extraneous, redundant and borderline conflicts with the rules in the strictest sense.


    Some folks might see Cycling as an activated ability and thus kind of alike "casting" a spell, which also isn't discarded. Then there's folks who don't speak English natively. So yeah.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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