There are 2 ways to build the deck: focus on balance and trying to abuse that or just play a singleton balance as a tutor target for tolaria west.
I've tested both quite a bit and I found the second to be FAR superior. As foretold into balance is nice but to focus on abusing it is too flimsy. The problem mostly is that the cards that make balance better like manarocks and greater gargadon don't with well with as foretold. Secondly you rely very much on a flimsy combo then which can easily be interrupted by counters or discard.
Better is just to play 3 As foretold, 4 ancestral vision, 1 restore balance and 3 tolaria west. Key is to play enough 1 and 2 drop instants so as foretold gives great value outside the suspend spells too. A free suspend spell is nice but it get's really strong when you get a free serum visions, removal, spreading seas and snapcaster mage in the next 2 turns. By keeping the As foretold and suspend card package minimal too the deck isn't too reliant on the combo either, against some decks you just take out as foretold and restore balance. The lists I see here that focus more on restore balance just suck because they rely too much on the As foretold and getting the right balance setup (which is quite hard against burn or decks with lots of graveyard value).
Just not sure which colors you want to be in besides blue. UW, UB, UR and UBR all have their merits. Because of tolaria wests i prefer sticking to 2 colors and I think I like white best as it provides the strongest sideboard. But all the color combinations are possible.
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Apr 14, 2017this card is broken for modern I think.Posted in: New Card Discussion
Sure there have been more cards that cast suspend cards for free or do are good in combo's like the expertise cycle but none of them have been close to this in efficiency really.
The fact that it sais x OR LESS and you can use it each turn really make this pay itself back fast and give huge advantages.
Take some U/W control list in modern, it already wants to play ancestral vision and a singleton restore balance and possibly some lotus blooms are great with it. The normal weakness of the suspend cards that they suck lategame is completely sidestepped by As foretold, if you have them in your opener just suspend, if you draw them later you get instant effect with as foretold.
This package will dominate UW control in modern:
3-4 As Foretold
4 Ancestral vision
1-2 Restore balance
3-4 Tolaria west
This card is much better than Vial in modern because of the suspend interaction. Vial takes much longer to pay off. As foretold into vision or restore balance is instant insane value and you still have the as foretold afterwards. Tolaria west is basically a free tutor to set this up and if you don't draw the as foretold your visions are still fine by themselves.
The value of as foretold afterwards is also pretty huge. Play enough 1 mana cards and you already get 2 mana the next turn out of it, 1 during your turn like a serum visions and 1 during their turn, ie some 1 mana removal. From 2 and onwards it really get's going, you can play anything with counter backup, start casting snapcasters for value etc. Aether vial get's even in mana 1 turn after cast and goes 2 up 2 turns after cast needing a 1 and 2-drop for that. As foretold with two 1 CC spells and two 2 CC spells (not hard in a control deck full of cantrips counters and removal) will be 1 mana down 1 turn after but will be 3 mana up 2 turns after. It overtakes aether vial really fast and if you have it with a suspend card it's bonkers immediately of course as a direct ancestral visions or restore balance is worth ~4 mana i'd say.
The deck doesn't need to be UW either, restore balance is never suspended for W anyway so the package is just blue. Playing 3 or 4 tolaria west makes three color harder to do but not impossible, grixis for example could be good too as it has a ton of 1 and 2 mana instants enabling the as foretold even more and the loop of snapcaster + kolaghan is really strong once you get as foretold with a few ticks up.
I suspect a ban really, this card is just too strong and slides so well into decks which are already fairly good.
Jan 24, 2014Posted in: The Rumor MillQuote from sleeper agent 2.0But unlike all (or almost all) of the other punisher/tribute cards, its modes are both very similar and very powerful for his mana cost. So there is little variance in what you are getting here. In most cases it is "just" a 4/4 trampler for 1RG, which is better than the highly playable Loxodon Smiter. Sure, if they have a 5-toughness blocker untapped, they will let it come in as the haste version and you (maybe) can't attack advantageously, so you got a 3/3 trampler for 3, which is nothing to sneeze at.
And when will your opponent "not really care" about his life total if he's playing against a red/green deck with haste creatures?
Ah missed the trample part, that makes it playable I suppose but still fringe.
And even if you are playing gruul aggro there will be a ton of times when your opponent doesn't care about his life total, for example when they happen to have the more aggressive draw.
Jan 24, 2014In order:Posted in: New Card Discussion
1. Bile Blight (fantastic removal for a huge archetype)
2. Brimaz, King of Orestos (good and obviously pushed card, probably weak archetype it will be in though)
3. Drown in sorrow (sideboard card but very important in that role i assume)
4. Scrylands (most played probably but just minor upgrades)
5. Xenagos, god of revels (powerful effect but I'm doubtful the green and/or red devotion archetypes can get revitalized)
6. Searing Blood (probably sideboard but a searing blaze is pretty good in aggro mirrors)
7. Revoke existance (unexciting but very useful now)
8. Courser of Kruphix (similar to domri for a draw engine that typically has 25 'hits' in your deck but not being useful yet on turn 2/3 when you play it severely hampers it. Still not the worst body, nice green devotion and sort of a card advantage engine with nice interaction with domri and scrylands)
9. Kiora, the crushing wave (terrible color combination right now and a bit weak but maybe fine later on)
Can't come up with a tenth card, there are a bunch of cards that are almost there but none will see serious play I think because they are just not good enough.
The 'inspired' cards are all too slow, having to attack with them first takes too long and springleaf drum is too cute. The 'tribute' cards are also all too weak, your opponent getting to choose is just a huge deal. The phoenix and fanatic are close but for both counts that their weak mode is not even impressive and punisher cards are always a fair bit worse than their weakest option. Thassa's rebuff is interesting but I think it will be too hard for the blue devotion deck to get some devotion and keep mana up.
Coolest card award goes to Whims of fates, very fun card where you can risk it or take the average loss. If only it was at a playable cost..
Jan 24, 2014Seems like a lousy card.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
As with any punisher card, it's worse than it's worst mode.
A 4/4 for 3 is not very exciting but passable however this is worse then that. Whenever your opponent doesn't really care about his life total or can block you end up with a 3/3.
The only saving grace for this would be if it's manacost is so convenient, perhaps within RG devotion, that that makes it playable. I doubt it though
Jan 18, 2014This seems really good.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Not too hard to activate as RG is the easiest color combination to get devotion in and even without it provides an awesome ability for RG. Just dropping this against something controllish you can start beating very hard every next turn with your polukranos and whatnot,
Dec 26, 2013seems a little on the weak side but can't rule it out yet.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
The explore ability is quite good but costing a loyalty and only starting with 2 is harsh. The other ability is a decent protection spell. Overall not very strong but the abilities at least synergize well together, if the coast is clear the explore ability is really strong and against a single target you can neutralize it pretty well. If this had a bit more loyalty it would have been fine I think now it;s a little weak but potentially playable.
Dec 4, 2013The worst color often tends to create fine monocolored decks once the format get's older.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
At first all colors are drafted roughly equal and red sucked. After some point people start to dislike red heavily and take stuff like voyage's end over lightning strike because lightning strike has a much higher chance of not being played because red is so shallow. Sometimes though this goes so far that just one persons ends up playing red and get's an insane deck.
If the format is fresh it's really crucial to know what the weak colors are to avoid them. After it stabilizes those weak colors get interesting again because they are so underdrafted. Any color can make good monocolored decks these way but in theros for example you'll never be monoblue because too many players will be picking it.
Dec 4, 2013Good things about theros: Tricks relatively good compared to removal, makes it fun to play. Relatively deep that there isn't a clear amount of unplayables making there be more interesting picks a bit later down the line. Not really any broken cards either that are just unbeatable. Sealed is not just about bombs for example.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
Bad things: it's a bit bland. except heroic there are hardly any decks relying on synergy and it's just pick goodstuff and any colors can match. Play can also be a bit too tempo driven which makes it a bit of a racing affair too often. Also dislike the ordeal cycle, it's too high reward high risk but for many decks good enough to play so you get games with a blowout on turn 2 either way.
Good but bland set, i'd give it B+.
Dec 4, 2013Rakdos return is the only great card red offers for control, making it a lousy option compared to white. All the other stuff like izzet charm, turn/burn etc. is stuff you wouldn't be running anyway.Posted in: Standard Archives
Anger of the gods and mizzium mortars are both ok but anger misses too much now. When a 1/4 is part of aggro you don't want to be running a card like anger..
Even rakdos return is not that awesome for control as it's just inferior to revelation. Some cases in control mirrors rakdos return will do better but revelations is great against aggro too while rakdos is mediocre there.
Azorius charm, verdict, elspeth, detention sphere and revelation VS anger and rakdos return is what you really come down to when testing it. A ton of mediocre options is not as useful as just a few great ones when deciding on colors. Spot removal plenty in black already. I also believe esper has better mana.. Esper vs azorius is a more relevant choice really.
Dec 2, 2013Forcing an archetype beforehand is a terrible strategy but forcing something based on your first pick or two can be decent.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
There are different standpoints on the whole forcing vs reading signals, some players are meticulous about staying open and go too far with this in my opinion (ben stark for example) while others force too much (many newbies).
For theros in particular it's not very difficult since almost all color combinations work and only a few archetypes are specific and change your card valuation (Wr or Wu heroic most notably). For the rest it's pretty easy to just read a general tier guide and use that to make your first few picks then stick to the colors you got at that point and pretty much force them. Some colors are more easy to force (UG for example) while other colors (red) need to be open more.
In general I think the better the players are at drafting the less important reading signals actually becomes. This is because forcing becomes better if your neighbours read signals and vice versa. For example if the players next to you like to stay open and wait for signals they won't be sending many clear signals themselves and they are more likely to pick up on your signals when you're forcing. If they are bad though they are more likely to force themselves (at least I think bad players are more likely to marry to their first pick and value golds too highly) and you are better off staying more open reading signals. If the players are really bad you can probably force the deepest archetype beforehand because they won't be picking those colors as much as good players would. In theros that is UG for example which is balanced by good players picking U and G more but bad players won't leaving the UG relatively underdrafted.
Anyway long story short, theros is fairly simple to draft. Just glancing at a tier list and just grabbing the best cards first few picks and then filling it out in those colors is a fine strategy especially if you're with decent competition. The whole reading signals thing is way overrated anyway, the variance there is in packs (a pack can have 3 powerful cards all of the same color) and the fact other players stay open too makes it extremely hard to do reliably. Sometimes a color is clearly open but most times no color is clearly open and you're happier if you had just taken more cards on color than stayed open.
Dec 2, 2013Haven't followed the rest but the pick is between battlewise valor and battlewise hoplite. The deck is somewhat favored to RW instead of UW at the moment but I can't really comment on how red was flowing. Looking at these cards I guess the draft is going rather poorly at the moment and the RW deck isn't really coming through which pushed me towards the battlewise hoplite. Hoplite is huge if you end up UW, valor is not the biggest loss if you end up RW anyway.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
Oct 24, 2013you just need stuff to survive the earlygame and deal with an early ordeal or other quick start.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
Ramp, sedge scorpion or removal from your secondary color are great for this. Green almost never tends to be my first picks as it has a lot of decent cards but few of these great cards i really want. I very often end up in green though after starting off with something like a gray merchant, griptide, voyage's end, lightning strike or whatever. The satyr is definately up there as one of green's most important commons, probably second after nessian asp. Tempo and thus acceleration is just huge in this format and garanteeing double mana of one color is just sweet.
Oct 24, 2013Looks a bit slow for a heroic deck. W/G is not really my favorite combination for the heroic deck, the green heroic creatures are bad, staunch-hearted warrior can be 'ok' in this specific type of deck but i much rather have blue or red as second color. They are faster and much better at being aggressive, plus there are great gold WU or WR cards you want in this type of deck.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
Always a bit worrisome such a list though when you run into someone with plenty of last breaths, pharika's cure's etc.
Oct 24, 2013Wonder if P9 will even be worth much online. If they appear enough and vintage isn't popular online they won't be anything special. The price is in no way related to the real P9 except being about the same cards.Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
For the draft itself i can definately imagine many cards being better picks than say a timetwister. Black lotus may not even be an absolute bomb if the removal is good and the creatures are weak, you are 2 for 1ing yourself for tempo afterall. Acceleration is unlikely to do the busted things in limited compared to what it can do in constructed anyway. Ancestral recall is always busted though no matter the format.
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