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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 theme ideas
    @CoolLink - did you try one of the Quest for Ula's Temple lists before heading in this direction? I'm curious how this compares.

    I took a fairly stock Quest list, added a playset of Quicksilver Amulets, and was happy enough (it's still janky, of course - and I'm fairly certain Quest has never come online before eating removal - but Whelming Wave and Scourge of Fleets can make a game of it).

    @metalsgs - I've also had fun with Rat (Pack Rat!), Insect (Hornet Nest + Blasphemous Act!) Human, and Merfolk tribal.

    Also, Prid3 & Bl00m have all those helpful threads by color, complete with deck lists, most of which are quite inexpensive. So it's really whatever catches your attention as, "hey, that would be cool to try."

    Depending on what your group thinks is "fun," you want to think extra hard before including denial strategies (i.e., discard decks with Waste Not...).
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on R/B Spitfire Max Damage Deck
    I like the list! Looks thoughtfully put together.

    Since the Spitfire triggers each time an opponent is dealt damage, I'd want to try something like Earthquake, where even X=1 could give the Spitfire +9 (in a 4 person FFA). And since Earthquake at X=1 would kill the Firebrand Archers, I wonder if Guttersnipe would be a good alternative there (even if it does mess with your curve... hmm). With a Snipe and Spitfire in play and Earthquake for X=1, the deck has done 3 damage to 2 opponents, and maybe killed the 3rd (Earthquake for 1, Guttersnipe for 2, Chandra's Spitfire for 1+18).

    Sizzle could do quite a bit of work as well.

    So that would be my first thought - consider swapping out cards that target one opponent to cards that deal noncombat damage to all opponents.

    Sulfuric Vortex doesn't help with the Spitfire activations, but it 1) means you won't lose to life gain, and 2) can take 4-6 life off each opponent, putting them closer to lethal range for your spells & creatures.

    Edit: you probably already know this, but Blue is abbreviated as U to avoid confusion with Black, so thread title might be UR (Izzet), or, I suppose, Ru (some sites use lower case for the splash). I forget to substitute U instead of B all the time...
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Blendo
    Awesome! That sounds like a T7 win (no ramp in the deck, 6 mana for Twilight's Call + 1 for BA)?

    If you ever need to get even faster, it's been said before, but Purphoros + BA + insects ends games on Turn 4 (T1 enchantment ramp, T2 insect, T3 ... T4 P + BA). That doesn't make for an interactive game, though... so

    I personally removed Purphoros and pivoted to having to swing with the insects to win. Similar deck, but less drain effects and more Beastmaster Ascension, Soulfire Grand Master, and sweepers.

    Two thoughts:

    Speaking of sweepers, is 6x BAs enough to see one reliably in a game? I'm pretty happy with 8 (plus 8 buyback options), particularly since I want to use more than one in a game (and hitting recursion isn't guaranteed).

    FWIW, Swarmyard has some synergy with the insects + sweepers.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Casual FFA Multi-player - Colossal Cinnamon Jawbreaker
    I like the narrower focus - I think this will run much more consistently, and faster.

    Pyroclasm seems like a strong meta call - that devastates Elves.

    Is Eye of Ugin a possibility? That might allow you to run fewer than 8 Colossi and/or add some variety. For example, Steel Hellkite for flyers (or X=1 can kill a lot of Elves), or Myr Battlesphere, or Duplicant for the exile effect.

    I wouldn't mind seeing some Chain Reactions in there and maybe one Star of Extinction (haven't had a chance to resolve it yet... but so looking forward to it).

    I've typically used Vandalblast and/or Viashino Heretic to deal with artifacts (haven't needed instant speed in my meta as infinite combos are rare); the latter chump blocks - and happens to live through Pyroclasm.

    As an EDH player, I'm sure you already know this, but I'd typically take a quick scan at typical decks on EDHREC just to make sure I'm not missing anything obvious in my card choices.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Casual FFA Multi-player - Colossal Cinnamon Jawbreaker
    Great deck name!

    How does this play out when you sleeve it up? Eyeballing the list, with all the ETBT lands, it seems like it would be Turn 4 before your first creature drops - does that work in your group?

    What's the plan for flyers (or is evasion unusual in your group)?

    The color needs are relatively modest (UU, R), but I've tended to avoid 2 color Post decks unless I'm spending a boatload on the manabase.

    I'm not too depressed if I lose my 3 drop creatures - I'd rather play something that does something, than a 0/1 indestructible.

    So my preferences -

    1) I'd stick to one color - pick either U or R
    2) In a Post deck, 4 Expedition Maps is always the right answer (unless you are in G and also have access to Sylvan Scrying and Primeval Titan and such).
    3) If you go U, consider adding a singleton Spell Burst and a few Cyclonic Rifts (and 1-2 Capsize is typically enough)
    4) If you go R, consider a playset of Blasphemous Act - this deck only has 4 board wipes in the last iteration - so you'd get to see 0-1/game, on average
    5) Either case, consider board wipes - Disk is really inexpensive
    6) Either case, consider trading some of the more expensive casting cost creatures for an earlier board presence

    Endbringer is pretty cool card draw and comes with a body. Or, you know, if you stick to UR, Nin, the Pain Artist kinda does everything you'd need in card draw in a deck with a bunch of indestructible creatures like Stuffy Doll.

    I'd probably also replace Arcane Lighthouse with Buried Ruin - particularly if you include more board wipes that don't target, the hexproof thing isn't likely to matter as much.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on B(w) Devotion "Mono Black Devotion W/ a Splash"
    With the caveat that I haven't tried this - either Vraska planeswalker might provide spot removal - and can add to B devotion. I'm not sure those are better than the Spine suggestion from Thijs1301, though. (Sidisi is pretty good for searching for silver bullets.)

    Out of curiosity, what does your opponent play after sticking a Panharmonicon that makes you insta-lose?

    As for recovering from (creature) board wipes - Demigod of Revenge is pretty resilient. (And someday, the cost of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet will come down - the card can help if you retain a presence if you aren't the only player with creatures when that Wrath hits.)
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on B(w) Devotion "Mono Black Devotion W/ a Splash"
    Not at all what you asked, but... Instead of splashing, I toss in Disks or O Stones or AiDs (I know this doesn't deal with most artifacts, but it deals with lots of enchantments) or Gate to Phyrexia.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Mana base for 5-color dragons (or other 5-color nonsense)?
    Quote from Thijs1301 »
    I see your point. Probably even valid.
    Oh, NO, sir. You must have mistaken me for someone else who DOES make valid points.

    I see - could be fun - blockers and something to do in the middle if a Dragon isn't available. Thanks!

    Quote from Thijs1301 »
    From a pure power view it might be worse but I have so much fun playing it.
    Yeah, I don't think this is a super powerful theme (but that's on purpose).

    A million (or three, I forget) years ago, Prid3 suggested Destructive Force + 6/6 dragons + mana rocks + Amulets/Arches. And it worked, but... wasn't socially acceptable.

    I couldn't get the Crux of Fate version to work. Doesn't mean it can't work - just didn't work for me at the time.

    So I'm on current iteration of creature ramp. [I can't stop thinking about how this SHOULD be worse than enchantment ramp + mass removal version also suggested by Xyx - I must have done something wrong.]

    In any case, back to theme: when opponents are on Purphoros, Waste Not, and Lurking Predators, well... the outcome is predictable.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Mana base for 5-color dragons (or other 5-color nonsense)?
    Oh, no, I'm not losing 12 card slots to ramp, I'm losing 16 card slots to ramp! [25 land, 16 ramp/fix, 5 draw/tutor, 15 toolbox threats. Yes, the 61st card is an extra land. I'm trying it out. Don't judge me.]

    The dwagons enter play on turn 3 (sometimes) or 4 (mostly).

    [Actually, I could do that with just 12 slots - Dragon Arch is the worst card in the deck - but it's, like, an Arch. For Draaaaagons. So it clearly needs to stay.]

    I'm having trouble visualizing how less ramp but more card draw and ETBT lands is going to work expeditiously.

    If I have only, say, 6 ramp slots, then best case I'm casting Syphon Mind on Turn 3, then 2nd ramp on Turn 4, then dragon on Turn 5. And that's if I DON'T hit an ETBT land on turns 3-5 and pick up 2 of 6 pieces of ramp (or 1 Skyshroud Claim). Standard case is probably more like Turn 6, but there is also the possibility that I'm casting that dragon on Turn 7 (after the 6th land ETBT on Turn 6). I also have had an open board, so by the time the first dragon is born, I've been smacked often enough that someone can deal with it by just killing me.

    I think what I'm trying to say is: Did you have a decklist in mind?

    I haven't tried Xyx's excellent Wild Growth/Utopia Sprawl/Fertile Ground suggestion - will need to see if I can get the colors consistently. (That's one drawback of a dragon deck where each dragon might require a different combination of 3 colors to cast. I haven't found much use with Dragonspeaker Shaman + ilk - I don't need LESS colorless, so much as I need MORE colored. I could go back up on Lanterns & Quarries and such...)
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Not getting notifications
    Is this working for folks? I have received just one email notification in the last 2 weeks.
    Posted in: Forum Software Feedback and Bug Reports
  • posted a message on Mana base for 5-color dragons (or other 5-color nonsense)?
    I've been trying to get this to "work" for a while.

    I didn't like ETBT lands since it's slow enough as it is - would hate to wait an additional turn for action. Landed on the following - there's probably a better way.

    Ramp/Fixing PackageMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    3 Joraga Treespeaker (or 4)
    4 Birds of Paradise
    4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
    2 Crystal Quarry
    2 Chromatic Lantern
    1 Plains
    1 Swamp
    1 Mountain
    1 Island
    9 Forest (or more)
    4 Dragon Arch (Quicksilver Amulet is better - comes down a turn sooner - but this is on-theme)

    +Check Lands / Exotic Orchards / Unclaimed Territory / Havens (to taste)

    Essentially a Green creature-based ramp package, plus some color fixing.

    Want something like 14 Green lands to have a 90% chance of having one in the opening hand to cast a dork. Mana dorks can fetch missing lands and/or chump in a pinch. Crystal Quarry/Chromatic Lantern fix colors (Crystal Quarry can also slow you down by a turn, but it at least taps for colorless, so it doesn't HAVE to slow you down if you have the colors needed through other means).

    When reprinted, grab a playset of Captain Sisay a copy of the legendary lands (Minamo, Shinka, etc.) and a Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

    I tried Kaalia back in the day before she was $120/playset, but liked being able to hardcast dragons on turn 4 even more - replaced those slots with Captain Sisay and liked the deck a lot more.

    The fatal flaw in this deck is that a single 6/6 dragon LOOKS scary and folks think is THE THREAT (even if a 6/6 with 3 opponents at 20 life each isn't REALLY scary) and so the deck typically flames out quickly (dragon gets Controlled, Pathed, etc.)

    I love to play the deck, but don't think I've ever won a game with it - which might mean you should ignore any of the advice above. Smile
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Geeks 'more likely to be narcissists', study finds
    As quoted from the Independent. (Direct link to the actual study.)
    Those who take part in “geeky events” are more likely to have an “elevated grandiose” level of narcissism, according to a study conducted by the University of Georgia.

    Psychologists examined the personality traits of those who turn to “geek culture”, developing a Geek Culture Engagement Scale and a Geek Identity Scale to help quantify the figures.

    It was found that those who scored highly on both scales were more likely to narcissists.
    For anyone (like me) unfamiliar with grandiose narcisism - Wiki writes:

    Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority—a sustained view of oneself as better than others that causes the narcissist to view others with disdain or as inferior—as well as to a sense of uniqueness: the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.
    What do you think - do you see grandiose narcissism in the MTG community?

    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Question on deck box for a 75 card double sleeved deck
    Legion's boxes are in between the UP 60 and UP 100 in size and work fine. Example:
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on What's a Zubera?
    Thanks for the idea - this looks interesting! I feel like if I was going to play this deck that I would also go 5-color.

    Big Game Hunter might be Dictate of Erebos/Grave Pact for the (almost) same effect (though I saw you were trying to avoid that).

    Lifeline could certainly be abused by this deck - if you didn't think your opponents would do even worse. For one-sided effects, there is also Cauldron of Souls or Twilight Shepherd.

    I don't think Lifeline and Door of Destinies interact the way you hope they might - Door of Destinies gets charge counters only when you cast spells.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Wall Ghostway
    Quote from Pigglebee »
    My own version of this deck (no manifest theme) had a Infinite reflection / mirrorweave theme to turn all the walls nobody cares to touch into the biggest thread on the board and do a massive alpha strike with it

    I wish the Worldspine Wurm put the 3 5/5s into play every time it left the battlefield, instead of only when it dies. I had tried a couple Colossus of Akros in there over Tree of Redemption as big dumb finishers, but I hated that the Monstrous disappeared - I also hated seeing them in the early game.

    The cantrip walls feel like they compete for the same slot as Abzan Beastmaster - I like that they immediately replace themselves.

    I'm definitely going to include an Sterling Grove (the one free copy I have) over an Assault Formation (I had gone up to 4 after I went a couple games without seeing one).
    Posted in: Multiplayer
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