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  • posted a message on Read this announcement at your own risk (it involves mtg)
    Thank you for sharing! Always nice to see news like this in the WSJ.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Kaldheim Pauper Set Review
    Thank you for reading the review and the feedback! I will take this name optimization suggestion to the group.
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on Kaldheim Pauper Set Review
    Pauper Set Review – Kaldheim

    Hello everyone and welcome to my Pauper Set Review for Kaldheim. I am TheCheshireHat. I have been involved in Magic since Unlimited, and I have been playing Paper Pauper for several years now. I have really enjoyed playing Paper Pauper, and I have found success in both modd’ing top of the line net decks and outright brewing new decks. I am extremely grateful to Pauper for giving me a reason to care about spoiler season beyond the 15 Standard / 2 Modern / Pioneer possibly playable cards.

    One peculiarity of evaluating a new Standard Legal set in the context of an eternal format is that most cards aren’t going be outright playables. How could they be when competing with 25+ years of cards with varying degrees of card development oversight and raw power? No matter what new keyword you tag on, how can the staple five mana kill spell sorceries compete with Chainer’s Edict or Snuff Out? It’s just not happening for most of the cards in the set. As such, I have endeavored in my evaluation to discuss the reasons the spell won’t see play rather than just saying HARD PASS!!!!

    Additionally, a side effect of the development New World Order is Common Power Seep. While rares, mythic rares, and select uncommons have seen their power creep up over the last decade, the focus on simplification and balanced Limited formats has caused the power level of commons to slowly seep away. For the sake of balance, token generating creatures have gotten more expensive, kill spells have become more conditional, and mechanics have become less Eternally relevant. This Common Power Seep often results in commons devolving into lesser versions of their progenitor cards rather than evolving to possibly succeed them or seeing their past functionality being bumped up to uncommon.

    As such, here is the rating tier that I used to evaluate the commons from Kaldheim:

    RATING TEIR

    TIER 1 – INCLUDE IMMEDIATELY

    TIER 2 – TRY OUT

    TIER 3 – KEEP AN EYE ON

    TIER 4 – NOVEL BUT UNIMPRESSIVE

    TIER 5 – FILLER

    REPEATS

    Also, fair warning I will be using the acronyms CMC for Converted mana cost, ETB for Enter the battlefield, and EOT for EOT if you need a refresher (I assume most do not).

    TIER 1 – INCLUDE IMMEDIATELY

    CYCLE OF SNOW COVERED DUAL LANDS – [ETB tapped snow lands with the two basic land types] – Pauper finally gets true dual lands!!!!! While these lands always ETB tapped without gaining you a life, these lands will see immediate play. Particular winners on these new lands include Skred splashers, Tendrils of Corruption type decks that have long wanted a splash color, as well as anyone capable of tutoring up a non-basic Forest or Swamp. These lands should fully complete Pauper’s long running transition into the Land of Snow.

    Valley of Wandering Glow [Snow Land with Valley of Wandering Glow enters the battlefield tapped, As Valley of Wandering Glow enters the battlefield, choose a color, & T: Add a mana of the chosen color.] – As with the other amazingly powerful snow lands in Kaldheim, this snow land should see immediate play. While not thinning out your deck like Evolving Wilds, this snow land allows you to color fix without running any basics of your secondary color (while still keeping your snow count up). Decks that splash red for Skred such as Izzet Faeries and Boros Monarch should now be able to run full snow lands without having to run those two Snow-Covered Mountains that sometimes torpedo an opening hand.

    TIER 2 – TRY OUT

    Battlefield Raptor [W for a 1/2 Bird with Flying, fist strike] This is an extremely powerful one drop. Battle Bird comes out fast on offense as a flying, first striking one drop and strong on defense with two toughness, and it is an excellent target for equipment and auras. Heroic, White Weenie, and UW Flyers are well situated to leverage French vanilla low drops. While lacking an ETB trigger, Battlefield Raptor’s raw power and favorability against swarms of 1/1 faeries makes it worth trying out.

    Bind the Monster [U Enchant Creature Aura with “When Bind the Monster enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature. It deals damage equal to its power. Enchanted creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s untap step.”] – One drop aura lockdown is playable against the correct decks. This is as close to lasting removal that blue gets, so Bind the Monster seems worthy of a few sideboard spots.

    Horizon Seeker [G2 for a 3/2 Human Seeker with “Boast – G1: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.”] – This Boast ability seems extremely powerful in Big Green type decks, and brining this fellow down on turn two off a first turn Arbor Elf sounds fast enough to get multiple boastful swings off this intrepid human. Big Green seems willing to try out new things like its Escape packages, so perhaps players are willing to role the dice on this powerful creature.

    Priest of the Haunted Edge [B1 for an 0/4 Snow Zombie Cleric with “T, Sacrifice Priest of the Haunted Edge: Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of snow lands you control. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.] – Anything similar to Skred should and will be tried out. This is obviously slower on a haste-less creature that can only be activated at sorcery speed, but it combines wonderfully with either Skred or Defile, so natural homes already exist. Additionally, the 0/4 body lacks defender so late game copies could utilize available equipment when they lack a viable target.

    Ravenform [U2 Sorcery with Foretell U & “Exile target artifact or creature. Its controller creates a 1/1 blue Bird creature token with flying.”] – Outright exile removal in blue is something Magic’s richest color did not need, so I fear what Faeries, Tron, and Flicker players will do with this spell. I am sure this will initially see some sideboard spots for recursive creatures and reanimation targets, and we will see from there. Maybe people will run a playset of the Seat of the Synod with this removal spell to make it a modal spell with “Sacrifice a land to generate a 1/1 flyers.” Who knows.

    Skull Raid [B3 for a Sorcery with Foretell B1 & Target opponent discards two cards. If fewer than two cards were discarded this way, you draw cards equal to the difference.] – The Mind Rot descendant Unburden saw fringe play, and this card solves the dead draw problem. While I will eagerly await the version of this spell that costs BB1 rather than B3, I am willing to try out 1-2 copies of this spell in MBC. The sequence T2 Foretell into T3 cast followed by Bojuka Bog sounds lovely.

    Stalwart Valkyrie [W3 for a 3/2 Angel Warrior with Flying & “You may pay W1 and exile a creature card from your graveyard rather than pay this spell’s mana cost.”] With Pauper’s access to Modern banned cards like Faithless Looting, Boros Monarch could reasonably cast this on turn two without sacrificing much card advantage (if any). Low drop 3/2 flyers can be quite formidable, and I am sure someone will give this card a try.

    TIER 3 – KEEP AN EYE ON

    Behold the Multiverse [U3 Instant with Foretell U1 & “Scry 2, then draw two cards.”] – Everything makes Tron better, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this somehow gets its shot to make our lives miserable as well. Tron often has large amounts of useless colorless mana, so the Foretell version of this spell seems like an impressive Scry, Draw Instant.

    Elderfang Disciple [B1 for a 1/1 Elf Cleric with “When Elderfang Disciple enters the battlefield, each opponent discards a card.”} – It’s nice to see this normally Rat type effect on an Elf Cleric. While I can’t recall a deck that needs such a card, ETB card advantage creatures are worth keeping in mind.

    Fearless Pup [R for a 1/1 Wolf with First Strike & “Boast – 2R: Fearless pup gets +2/+0 until end of turn.”] – While I have no idea which deck wants something like this pup, one drop innately first strikers with purely mana based pump abilities do not exist in Pauper and could be fast and impactful. Trading a second point of toughness for First Strike seems worthwhile when comparing against Bold Impaler or Lavastep Raider (since most Electickery’s got replaced by Fiery Cannonades), but the Boast ability may be too expensive for a single use ability. Either way, this card seems powerful enough to keep in mind for rogue brews and kitchen table ideas.

    Feed the Serpent [BB2 Instant with “Exile target creature or planeswalker.”] – While we haven’t yet been subjected to the insanity of a common planeswalker, Feed the Serpent is an improvement on the normally 4 CMC exile Instants while being far more splashable than Unmake. While it may not see play, this should be added somewhere to the legitimate overall removal hierarchy.

    Funeral Longboat [2 for a 3/3 Vehicle with Vigilance & Crew 1] Much like Sky Skiff, low drop Vehicles with low crew costs have great potential. Whether in Boros Flyers or Greenish Stompy, this Vehicle should pack a punch.

    Goldvein Pick [2 for an Equipment with Equip 1 & “Equipped creature gets +1/+1. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, create a Treasure token.”] – This effect isn’t great but repetitive activations off Glint Hawk, Squadron Hawk, or Kor Skyfisher attacks could help power out Flashback effects a little faster.

    Hagi Mob [R4 for a 5/4 Troll Berserker with Boast – 1R: Hagi Mob deals 1 damage to any target.] – While this would normally be too expensive, five power trades with and keeps pace with Gurmag Anglers, four toughness survives Lightning Bolts, and one ping damage per attack clears many of the format’s hurdles. While I doubt this card will replace any format staple, all the right pieces are present to merit further consideration.

    Ice-hide Troll [G2 for a 2/3 Troll Warrior Snow Creature with “{S}{S}: Ice-hide Troll gets +2/+0 and gains indestructible until end of turn and becomes tapped.”] – While not a massive threat right out of the gate, this Ice Troll can hit hard and trade up in the right deck. If the Big Green Ramp / Land Destruction decks switched over to snow lands, this creature could make magnificent use of extra mana. Also, this will be the only potentially large creature that can become indestructible in response to anything. Similar to a one-eyed man being king in the land of the blind, this mostly indestructible creature seems worth keeping an eye on in a format with no innately indestructible creatures.

    Masked Vandal [G1 for a 1/3 Shapeshifter with Changeling & “When Masked Vandal enters the battlefield, you may exile a creature card from your graveyard. If you do, exile target artifact or enchantment an opponent controls.”] – This Changeling at least provides Elves & Slivers with sideboard tech to exile Torture Existence. Seems worth consideration out of the sideboard.

    Mistwalker [U2 for a 1/4 Shapeshifter with Changeling, Flying, & “U1: Mistwalker gets +1/+1 until end of turn.”] – The old Flowstone ability on a blue flyer is worth noting. Being able to turn your impressive 1/4 flying blocker into a 4/1 flying attacker after blockers are declared sounds valuable for a control deck.

    Pilfering Hawk [U1 for a 1/2 Snow Bird with Flying & “{S}, T: Draw a card, then discard a card.”] – Flying snow Merfolk Looter is worth considering in any deck that wants to loot.

    Raise the Draugr [B1 Instant with Choose one: – Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. OR – Return two target creature cards that share a creature type from your graveyard to your hand.] – Upgrading Return from Extinction to Instant speed, Raise the Draugr is well costed recursion for tribal decks capable of splashing black. Whether it appears in Dark Elves or Slivers, there is power in this inexpensive Instant.

    Roots of Wisdom [G1 Sorcery with “Mill three cards, then return a land card or Elf card from your graveyard to your hand. If you can’t, draw a card.”] – Roots of Wisdom is a curious riff on Pauper staples Grapple with the Past and Grisly Salvage that never comes up empty. It has value in dredge and tribal decks which always seem to be tinkering with their options. Also, it notably can recur Nameless Inversion in a hypothetical GB Elves deck.

    Run Ashore [UU4 Instant with Choose one or both: – The owner of target nonland permanent puts it on the top or bottom of their library. OR – Return target nonland permanent to its owner’s hand.] – Mnemonic Wall and the Flicker folks don’t need any additional toys, so I am apprehensive about what ill-effects we could feel from a synergy that Capsizes our creatures to the bottom of our libraries instead of our hands. Seems worth keeping an eye on.

    Starnheim Courser [W2 for a 2/2 Pegasus with Flying & “Artifact and enchantment spells you cast cost 1 less to cast.”] – Familiars see play once it becomes apparent how they break things. I am sure members of my Paper Pauper People playgroup are already scheming how to leverage this Pegasus and make our lives miserable. Beware!

    Tuskeri Firewalker [R2 for a 3/2 Human Berserker with “Boast – 1: Exile the top card of your library. You may play that card this turn.”] – Repeatable card draw sounds like something Izzet Temp or Izzet Blitz might enjoy. In the right build, drawing a an extra card a turn could really set a deck apart.

    If you are still reading at this point, please check out the rest of my Kaldheim Pauper Set Review on SideWalkMages.COM (http://www.sidewalkmages.com/2021/01/24/kaldheim-pauper-set-review/)
    Posted in: Pauper
  • posted a message on [KHM] Weathered Runestone— TaaliaVess preview
    I am so pleased that this card is an uncommon rather than a rare. While definitely a rare caliber effect, it almost always sucks in Limited to pull a Constructed Side Board all star hate card as your pack rare.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Feed the Serpent— The MaverickGal preview
    Is this Tibalt's death?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CMR] Court of Cunning and Amareth, the Lustrous— LoadingReadyRun previews
    Does anyone else think Court of Cunning is Legacy playable? A 3 drop Monarch spell that can be exiled to Force of Will / Negation with serious mill, dredge, and reanimation applications. Heck, a control deck could just mill no one and use it as a blue Phyrexian Arena. Thoughts?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Deliberate— Noah Walker preview
    Bring on the Pauper !
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [ZNR] Ghastly Gloomhunter— PCGamer preview
    Interesting in Limited, particularly with these new ETB Equip weapons.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ikoria Pauper Review
    Quote from Marl Karx »
    I'm most interested in Ram Through personally. Not sure if it functions like trample or not is the big question (ie if opposing target is flickered does excess damage still go through?)


    A lot of people seem to be paying attention to Ram Through. I couldn't really figure out which Trample creature they were trying to pair it with until someone mentioned that the best pairing in Pauper was with Rancor. Bogles has Rancor and Armadillo Cloak to create a massive target for Ram Through. Sounds exciting !
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Ikoria Pauper Review
    IKORIA Pauper Review (Originally on SideWalkMages.com - http://www.sidewalkmages.com/2020/04/12/ikoria-pauper-review/)

    Hello everyone and welcome to my Pauper Set Review for Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths. I am TheCheshireHat. I have been involved in Magic since Unlimited, and I have been playing Paper Pauper for several years now. I have really enjoyed playing Paper Pauper, and I have found success in both modd’ing top of the line net decks and outright brewing new decks. I am extremely grateful to Pauper for giving me a reason to care about spoiler season beyond the 15 Standard / 2 Modern / Pioneer possibly playable cards.

    One peculiarity of evaluating a new Standard Legal set in the context of an eternal format is that most cards aren’t going be outright playables. How could they be when competing with 25+ years of cards with varying degrees of card development oversight and raw power? No matter what new keyword you tag on, how can the staple five mana kill spell sorceries compete with Chainer's Edict or Snuff Out? It’s just not happening for most of the cards in the set. As such, I have endeavored in my evaluation to discuss the reasons the spell won’t see play rather than just saying HARD PASS!!!!

    Additionally, a side effect of the development New World Order is Common Power Seep. While rares, mythic rares, and select uncommons have seen their power creep up over the last decade, the focus on simplification and balanced Limited formats has caused the power level of commons to slowly seep away. For the sake of balance, token generating creatures have gotten more expensive, kill spells have become more conditional, and mechanics have become less Eternally relevant. This Common Power Seep often results in commons devolving into lesser versions of their progenitor cards rather than evolving to possibly succeed them or seeing their past functionality being bumped up to uncommon.

    As such, here is the rating tier that I used to evaluate the commons from Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths:

    RATING TEIR

    TIER 1 – INCLUDE IMMEDIATELY (5)

    TIER 2 – TRY OUT (11)

    TIER 3 – KEEP AN EYE ON (18)

    TIER 4 – PROBABLY NOT PLAYABLE (45) – White (13), Blue (7), Black (7), Red (6), Green (8), Colorless (4)

    REPEATS (32)

    Also, fair warning I will be using the acronyms CMC for Converted mana cost, ETB for Enter the battlefield, and EOT for EOT if you need a refresher (I assume most do not).

    INCLUDE IMMEDIATELY (5)

    Cloudpiercer – In a world where you want your creatures to survive Lightning Bolts / blocking flipped Delvers and equal / trade with Gurmag Anglers, a 5/4 Reacher is the correct size for a big creature. More powerful than any common Bestow card, Cloudpiercer looks well suited to pump 1/1 flying faeries in UR Flyers into turn four attacking 5/4 flyers. While the possibility of getting instantaneously 2-for-1’d with Mutate sounds unpleasant, the threat should be less in Pauper due to lesser instant speed removal options for 4 toughness creatures. The Mutate rummage is nice, but the big body on this creature is the main selling point.

    Dreamtail Heron [U4 3/4 Elemental Bird Creature with Mutate U3 and Whenever this creature mutates, draw a card.] – This is big flying body with a cantrip ETB through its Mutate cost. Turning one of your small faeries or your grounded Augur of Bolas into one of the biggest things in the sky is extremely powerful. With the Mutate cantrip, Dreamtail Heron either replaces itself in your hand or the opponent kills the mutate target which still leaves you with the 3/4 flyer. I think Mono Blue and Dimir decks will be willing to play a singleton copy of this cantrip flyer to add an additional angle of attack.

    Of One Mind [U2 Sorcery with Draw two cards & This costs 2 less to cast if you control a Human creature and a non-Human creature.] While unfortunate as a Sorcery, many decks have enough Humans in their diverse creature pools to support this spell. Blue has Delvers, Oracles, and Archaeomancers. Black has Cuombajj Witches and Thorn(s) of the Black Rose. Red has Ghitu Lavarunners and Thermo-Alchemists. White has Thraben Inspectors and Palace Sentinels. Green has Burning-Tree Emissaries and Skarrgan Pit-Skulks. Anyone with a large enough creature base and access to Blue could find a use for this easy card advantage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see singleton copies of this draw spell in the coming months.

    Spelleater Wolverine [R2 3/2 Wolverine creature with Spelleater Wolverine has double strike as long as there are three or more instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard.] Double strike is a rare occurrence in Pauper. Of the seven creatures with reliable double strike, only five drop Garrison Sergeant has 3 power. Any red deck or deck splashing red should have enough spells to activate this 3 CMC 3 power double striker. The is a powerful creature that could see some supporting play in tempo decks.

    Suffocating Fumes [B2 Instant with Cycling 2 & Creatures your opponents control get -1/-1 until EOT.] One side Instant speed Shrivel with Cycling for an additional mana is absolutely Sideboard playable and possibly mainboard playable. This spell may have to share space with Echoing Decay, but it should still see play even in lower numbers.

    Please feel free to review the rest of the Ikoria Pauper Set Review at http://www.sidewalkmages.com/2020/04/12/ikoria-pauper-review/
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Rakdos Three Hand Aggro
    Relying on Experimental Frenzy and Theater of Horrors to give you a second and third "hand," you can turn the previous Mono Red Experimental Frenzy Aggro into a deck that makes the most of the new Spectacle cards.



    I am considering replacing Fanatical Firebrand with Chamber Sentry but I am unsure if the increase in power is worth the slowness. Thoughts?

    Here is a more Mid-Range Variant for consideration as well:

    Posted in: Standard New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Gallery Up
    Undercity's Embrace looks extremely problematic in the correct deck, such as a Golgari Hexproof Control with Moment of Craving, Vraska's Contempt, Vine Mare, and Carnage Tyrant.

    Spear Spewer is the Spectacle enabler that we needed.

    Ill-Gotten Inheritance looks like an awesome control card but also an interesting Spectacle enabler.

    Final Payment is surprisingly powerful for a common instant.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Fireblade Artist
    Beyond the obvious goofy pairing with Bitterblossom, this seems like the ideal card for Spectacle activation. This card into turn three Spawn of Mayhem whether your opponent has a blocker or not.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Awaken the Erstwhile
    Sounds really interesting with Experimental Frenzy.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Antiquites War
    Who needs a playable Tezzeret when you have this?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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