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All Sets Are Good: Saviors of Kamigawa
Dominaria Spoiler Digest - Who's Who and What's What from the Release Notes
  • posted a message on Hour of Devastation Early Draft Thoughts
    It's early. You're probably just frustrated over early losses and haven't figured out the format yet, but that doesn't mean Hour doesn't add anything good. I've already seen some fun archetypes and synergies, and I still haven't figured out the format yet.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Imminent Doooooooom
    Yeah. As a Leyline on turn 0 this card would be great. Even if it had a significant drawback, like starting your opening hand with 1 fewer card or losing life, I would gladly run this if it could be played turn 0.

    The problem is I think Dirk is overestimating the probabilities that it works as desired, which explains our differences of opinion on viability. Try it out and post results, but my math suggests the cases where it is amazing are rare flukes and the median case is being a dud.

    With 5 each of 1, 2, and 3-drops you've got something like 90% odds on drawing each within a reasonable length (8 turns) game

    Source? Also the problem is that you may have played all of them before you draw this card. What's the probability you draw or still have one of each AFTER you draw this one card? If you play this on 3, your opener needs a 1cc spell (not Bloodlust Inciter/Slither Blade) and TWO bears (because you're going to play one bear on turn 1). What's the probability of having 2 bears AND the 1cc spell (non-attacker) AND Doom AND enough lands by turn 3-4? A lot lower than 90%. And that ignores the cases where you could mathematically do it but it's strategically wrong to play Doom instead of playing a creature or removal that turn.

    If we're talking about getting Doom out past turn 3-4, you won't have most cards left from your opener, so you'll have to topdeck that 1cc, 2cc and 3cc. The chances of seeing at least one of each by turn 8-10 might be high. What about drawing them in the right order? That's a huge factor. In half the cases where you topdeck all three of a 1, 2 and 3 cost after playing Doom, you will draw the 3cc before the 1cc (assuming 5 of each). In half the cases you draw the 2cc before the 1cc. Simple combinatorics suggests there's only a 1/6 chance (3! = 6) that you topdeck these cards in the right order (1 then 2 then 3) once you cast Doom. The other 5/6 of the time you draw them in the wrong order.

    If Doom is out with 1 counter and you draw a 3 drop, do you not play it until you've found a 1cc and 2cc? If so, you're giving up tempo and board presence. If you play everything when you'd normally play it, you'd have to wait until you draw another 3 drop after you've drawn the 1 drop and then the 2 drop. The probability of that is much lower than 90%, because you'll likely need to draw more than one of each before it happens.

    Do the math or try it out and see what happens. There's a good reason LSV and others are writing this card off though.

    They knew Drake Haven would be a potential build-around, but also knew Faith of the Devoted would be bad (which it was).

    I could code up a simulator in Python to estimate the odds...
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Standard Living End
    The purpose of this deck is to use Gate to the Afterlife to put God-Pharaoh's Gift on the battlefield as early as turn 5 and win with free hasty 4/4s. This requires filling the graveyard with creatures very quickly, ideally cycling creatures.

    The following creatures cycle for 1 mana:

    The following creatures cycle for 2 mana and could be worth playing in a dedicated cycling deck:

    There are also these cards that can bin creatures quickly:

    Can this deck work?

    Here's a draft for a UB version, using Bontu's Last Reckoning and Festering Mummy to recover from early attacks.

    Here's a draft UR version using more draw/discard spells and relying less on bad cycling creatures

    Any ideas?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Imminent Doooooooom
    Quote from DirkGently »
    I feel like you didn't read any of my posts.

    I thought it was clear my points stood in spite of them.

    Aggro doesn't want it.

    Also, doom goes pretty well, potentially, INTO an aggro deck. Rather than running a bunch of do-nothing cantrips only in your deck to enable your one rare, you're running the 1-2-3 curve you wanted to run anyway, except now you're getting a sick payoff for it too.

    The curve is right, the tempo is wrong. Aggro doesn't want to have to sandbag a 1 drop, 2 drop and 3 drop in order to make optimal use of this card. It wants to dump its hand as fast as possible, so it may not have those drops left by the time this hits. It may be in topdeck mode. Aggro also needs its higher cost cards to have an immediate effect, not do something in future turns. Aggro needs to finish the game early, not develop incremental card advantage. Aggro would much rather pay 3 to play a creature (increases army size) or Open Fire (kill something now) than tap out for this, which does nothing this turn.

    Consider this. Would aggro want a card that said "2R: If you have 3 cards of CMC 1, 2 and 3 each left in your library, you win the game in 7 turns"? Probably not. Even though it satisfies those conditions and fits the curve, aggro has no interest in the game lasting that long. It would prefer cards that help now. The curve is right, but the tempo is wrong.

    In a control deck, it's a bit more like drake haven, in that cards like crash through are equivalent to bad cyclers. But there's enough cards that go fine into a control deck, either because they're air, or they're removal, or they cycle when you don't need them, or they're generally solid defensive 1-drops, that I don't think it's crazy to end up with 6 1-drops even in a control deck.

    Yes, it's pretty crazy. How often do you end up drafting a control deck with 6 1-drops without intentionally building your whole deck around one card? Most control decks have a higher curve. 0-2 1-drops, which isn't enough for this to trigger consistently.

    Like I said in my other comment, IF you draft to build around this early, it's possible. However, you'd be drafting a deck so radically different from most normal control decks that it would really need Doom in play to be worth using this deck over other decks. The deck would suck without it, because it'd have curve filler instead of cards you'd normally play in control. Even if the filler cantrips or cycles, it costs tempo and mana to dig through your deck instead of interacting with the aggro attackers coming at you. For this deck to be worth building, you'd want more than one Imminent Doom, so that you have one in play often enough to justify building around it. You wouldn't draft a control deck with 6 1-drops without already having Doom. So, like I already said, you'd need to draft 2 Dooms very early to consider going this way. That's a niche case. The rest of the time, the card seems awful.

    This threatens removal of blockers on the next, and all future turns. That's sure to be "pressure".

    No it doesn't. Because most of the time you are not going to topdeck in the following order: 1-drop, 2-drop, 3-drop.

    If you topdeck a 2-drop before the 1-drop, you're going to have to wait until you have a 1-drop to play either of them, which costs you a ton of pressure by holding back cards in aggro. The same with drawing a 3-drop before a 2-drop or drawing lands. On any future turn where you don't topdeck the exact CMC you need, this threatens nothing and creates no pressure, whereas a 3-drop creature at least creates consistent pressure every turn its alive.

    To make this work, you can't rely on topdecks. You'll probably have to sandbag any 1-drop in your opener until Doom hits the field, so that you can guarantee you have a 1cc to start the chain. But that means holding back cards, which is bad in aggro, because you're giving up early game pressure to have some value later on. Even if you sandbag the 1cc, you might not topdeck a 2cc. So what do you do, not play your 2-drop on turn 2 and wait until this is out? Then you lose even more pressure! The problem is that to make Doom work, you have to make play decisions that make the aggro deck worse, losing pressure.

    If you choose not to sandbag, then this threatens nothing on future turns. With 6 1cc in the deck and 1 already cast, you have approx 5/30=1/6 chance of drawing one. That means there's an 83% chance this threatens NOTHING on a future turn and creates 0 pressure. This card will continue to do absolutely nothing until you finally topdeck that 1 drop, which could take a while. Then it does nothing until you topdeck a 2 drop (or you sandbag one in between, losing pressure earlier). Every time you don't topdeck exactly what you need, the card does nothing. You have to draw both a 1-drop and then a 2-drop before it was even worth paying a card and 3 mana (which leaves you neutral on card advantage, but still behind on aggro tempo). Every other time you end in the red.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Imminent Doooooooom
    This card is not meant for Limited. It's for Constructed. Wizards prints rares like that in most sets.

    A deck needs more than 2 1-drops to have a reliable chance of actually getting the first (and therefore any) trigger. Generic midrangey and control decks would likely never get anything out of this card. To reliably get triggers, you need a high enough percentage of 1 and 2 cost cards that you'd be able to cast them in that order even after dropping this turn 3 or later. Sure, some decks satisfy that condition. The problem is that decks that have many 1-drops don't want a 3 cc slow grindy enchantment. They want cards that create immediate pressure. That means that this card doesn't slot into slow grindy decks and it doesn't slot into fast low curve decks. You'd have to build the entire deck around this card to run smoothly, and the deck might be very bad without it, so you'd need at least 2 copies of it in the deck. That means, ideally, opening 2 copies early in pack 1 and then sculpting your entire draft to optimize the triggers. Maybe then it'll be very strong. The other 99% of the time this just doesn't fit into decks.

    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on UR Wildfire Eternal
    Merciless Eternal seems really bad. A discard outlet that costs 2B is just a terrible madness enabler. You'll end up paying MORE than it would cost just to cast the spell normally!

    You could just play some other good creature for RB spells, like Soul-Scar Mage or Guttersnipe.

    Split cards are a great way to abuse Merciless Eternal. Look into split cards where you can play both halves (Fuse or Aftermath)!

    Toil // Trouble should replace Sign in Blood. 2B is an easier cost than BB in a 2-color budget deck, and when you cast it for free off Wildfire then you can cast both halves!

    Other cool effects you can play are Cut // Ribbons, Never // Return, Armed // Dangerous, Turn // Burn, Far // Away. Fuse cards are great to cast for free. Aftermath cards let you trigger Thermo-Alchemist twice off just one card, because you get to cast a spell twice!
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Hour of Devastation Pre-Release Reflection
    4th out of around 80 people.

    I just played generic RB aggro backed by great removal and tricks. I didn't have broken Amonkhet packs and didn't find board states stalled by big butts. I agree Eternalize is slow. I didn't see it used much.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Amonkhet is...disappointing
    blocking, the primary means of interaction between creatures, is just a bad move in too many situations. Take Thriving creatures or most Exert dudes that pump themselves; if two players both curve into an identical creature, the player on the draw will never be able to even trade with their opponents beater, even before considering tricks. An exerted Hooded Brawler will eat a blocking one without trouble, and the same goes for Entanglers, Tah-Crop Elites, Thriving Rhinos, or any number of other cards. This discourages blocking, and stifles interaction.

    Not really. It just discourages blocking with an identical creature, not blocking in general. It means the days of Grizzly Bears running into Grizzly Bears are over. If you want to block, you have to draft creatures that are better at blocking. If you want to attack, you have to draft creatures that are better at attacking.

    Nef-Crop Entangler and Hooded Brawler are just bad blockers. Instead of trying to block Nef-Crop with another Nef-Crop or even Tah-Crop Skirmisher, you can defend against it with Dune Beetle, Essence Scatter, Magma Spray, Splendid Agony, Cartouche of Ambition, Those Who Serve, Ancient Crab, Cartouche of Solidarity on something, Initiate's Companion, Pouncing Cheetah, Impeccable Timing, Festering Mummy, Supernatural Stamina on a blocker, or double blocking to 1-for-1. There are a lot of low-cost solutions at common. You just need to defend against it using one of the solutions, not another Entangler.

    Hooded Brawler is harder to stop early without a trick. But it also can't attack the second time until turn 6 at the earliest, which gives you time to assemble a board. Two 2/3s or 2/4s hold it off well. They might have a trick, but if you have one too then you're coming out at parity. Soulstinger kills and holds off most early ground attackers if used properly. Pitiless Vizier with cycling support singlehandedly kills Brawler without even giving up a card. Sacred Cat blocks Brawler for FOUR turns and leaves you up 2 life. Spidery Grasp on even a bear blows out Brawler and most exert attackers. Or you can Magma Spray/Deem Worthy/Impeccable Timing/Splendid Agony in response to Exert, which shuts down most exert aggro creatures.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Amonkhet is...disappointing
    Quote from JZL_Reloaded »

    As FTW mentions, there are plenty of viable slower decks but them being viable doesn't mean you can afford to play no cards until turn 4.

    I feel like they're out there, but probably not in every pod. There are tons of great aggro cards at common and not so many good controlling cards. Drafting a good deck interested in the long game is going to hinge on opening solid Uncommons and Rares and hoping no-one else at the table is doing the same. Anecdotally, in all of my Amonkhet drafts, I don't think I've been in a seat that could have cobbled together a control deck.

    In any format most decks aren't in EVERY pod. Sure, some archetypes like RW aggro are deep enough in commons that maybe you could go into the draft knowing you're going to force it. For the most part drafting depends on what cards are opened and what other people pick. But I think at least one control deck is open more often than you guys give it credit for. I've 3-0'd with a few good control decks, lost to some good control decks, and watched friends 3-0 with good control decks.

    Here are some control/lategame decks that I've seen do very well.

    UR spells. Not the aggro version with Slither Blades and Nef-Crop Entanglers, but the 11-12 creature deck with Enigma Drake, Cryptic Serpent, counterspells, and other tricks. Enigma Drake is a house and the main signal, but with enough other flyers the deck is still viable without it.

    UB cycling. This deck is best with multiple Shadowstorm Vizier and Ruthless Sniper. Without them, there's less incentive to be a cycling deck, but generic UB control still works. UB's defensive creatures always come around late, so you can prioritize good spells and flyers while still gumming up the ground on curve. It's funny when your Ancient Crab and Dune Beetle and Naga Oracle end up attacking... Get card advantage through Wander in Death and blue card draw.

    GUx ramp. The funniest win condition for this is flying crocodile (Scaled Behemoth+Cartouche of Knowledge), but the deck is happy just ramping into anything with Naga Vitalists and Gift of Paradises, even just 5-drops and 7/7 wurms. This deck has great mana fixing and can greedily splash off-color bombs opened or Aftermath cards passed, which helps increase overall card quality. Approach of the Second Sun is also a thing. This deck can get lategame card advantage with Spring // Mind and Trial of Knowledge + Cartouches. Bounty of Luxa and Oracle's Vault add even more power and often wheel when no one else is GU ramp.

    BW tokens. The deck needs uncommons, but there are interchangeable options. Make tokens with some combination of Oketra's Monument, Stir the Sands, Doomed Dissenter + recursion, Anointed Procession + embalm, Start // Finish, Supply Caravan, Cartouche of Solidarity, Regal Caracal, Oketra the True, Liliana's Mastery, Nest of Scarabs + Soulstingers and Splendid Agony, or even splashing green for Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons. However you get them, you go wide with tokens and gum up the ground. Annointer Priest gains you life to keep you alive. Then you overrun with Trial of Solidarity, In Oketra's Name, or Pursue Glory.

    UW embalm flyers. Not the UW aggro deck with Slither Blades, but a deck that wants to trade off early Unwavering Initates and Labyrinth Guardians and Aven Initiates, then Embalm them later and win through grindy creature advantage. Aven Wind Guide and Angler Drake are amazing but not essential. This deck likes counterspells, removal, card draw, and common flyers.

    GB -1/-1 counters. Hapatra, Vizier of Potions is the main reason to go into this archetype, followed by Decimator Beetle. Shrink/kill opponent's early threats, then beat down with big green creatures. Cartouche of Ambition is 1st pickable in this deck, and Cartouche of Strength works well too. Because of that, the red or blue Trials are worth splashing for and generate great card advantage.

    GRx midrange. Play midrangey beef and trample through with Khenra Charioteer or Rhonas's Monument. The best control builds have the rares Sweltering Suns and/or Heaven // Earth to shut down the aggro decks.

    I probably missed some niche builds too.

    That's a lot of variety for slow decks. You don't just have to go RW aggro, RB aggro, RG aggro, RU aggro, UW aggro, WG aggro, or BW zombie aggro.
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on [[Official]] "PWNED!" Plays Thread
    RU cycling vs RU spells.

    I'm at 13 life. My board:
    Tah-Crop Skirmisher, Trueheart Twins, Nimble-Blade Khenra with Cartouche of Knowledge, Hazoret's Monument, 5 lands.

    He's at 14 life. His board:
    Slither Blade (just attacked), Watchers of the Dead, Nef-Crop Entangler, Naga Oracle, 1/4 Enigma Drake (just cast), Edifice of Authority with 3 bricks, and 5 lands all tapped.

    He had been locking me down with Edifice each turn, but greedily tapped out this turn to cast Tormenting Voice after his Drake (discarding land and making Drake 1/4). Now I have an opening for this precision kill.

    I had been sandbagging these cards for a few turns. I untap, play a 6th land, Decision Paralysis his Oracle and Drake (triggering Prowess), then cast Ahn-Crop Crasher for 2 mana. I attack with everything, exerting Crasher and Twins. A 6/4, 5/5, 5/2, and 4/1 swing at him. He went from having 4 blockers for my 3 creatures to 1 blocker for 4 creatures! He can only block 1 creature and takes exactly 14 damage.

    Bet he regretted not leaving Edifice mana up!
    Posted in: Limited (Sealed, Draft)
  • posted a message on Help with Wolf Deck
    It deals damage as though it were not blocked but it receives damage as though it were blocked.

    2/2 Lone Wolf vs 2/2 Grizzly Bears. Wolf deals 2 damage to opponent as though it was not blocked. Bears deals 2 damage to Wolf. Wolf dies and Bears live. (realistically you would just deal 2 damage to the Bears so they would trade)
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Opinion/Suggestions On My Mono -Green Mana Ramp Deck
    I think you need more/better mana ramp. That's not hard to do on a budget.

    Llanowar Elves/Elvish Mystic are better than Druid of the Cowl and Vine Trellis because they come down a turn earlier and help your mana production faster. If you like Vine Trellis because it can block, then you might prefer Overgrown Battlement or Wall of Roots even more! Battlements makes way more mana in multiples. Wall of Roots can both make mana and block at the same time, while Druid and Vine Trellis will have to tap on your turn for mana and won't be able to block.

    Nature's Lore is great and should stay at 4 copies!

    Elvish Pioneer is not very good in decks like this. You won't always have an extra land in hand to put into play, and even when you do, you could have played that land next turn anyway. It's better to use effects that get new lands out of your deck.

    Since you are monogreen, Nissa's Pilgrimage or Skyshroud Claim are better than Cultivate. You only need Forests. Those cards get you +2 or +3 lands, so they're also better than Explore, which sometimes gives you +0 lands (you don't always draw a 2nd land off the extra card).

    Prey Upon is cheap removal, but you need a creature bigger than opponent's creature first, and there's the risk of yours dying too. Nature's Way is so much better. It's a 1-sided fight that also gives your guy Vigilance and Trample for the turn. Cartouche of Strength buffs your creature before fighting, which makes it easier to be bigger, and it gives Trample too.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Ugly Trolls FIGHT CLUB mono green needs help
    Unfortunately, as you say, Tracker will draw all the opponent's removal because he can't target most of your other guys. There just aren't many reusable Fight engines. Arena is one, though very slow.

    How's Predator Ooze working? Does your meta only play targetted "destroy" removal (like Doom Blade)? Most people I know play removal like Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Temporal Isolation, Dismember, Vapor Snag, Unexpectedly Absent, Ashes to Ashes, Lignify, Snakeform, and so on. Exile, bounce, tuck, -X/-X, preventing damage, Detain, and turning into a useless creature all stop Indestructible creatures but not Hexproof creatures. Would you be better off with another Hexproof creature like Witchstalker? Ooze is also really slow to grow before it's big enough to fight and kill things.

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Help with Wolf Deck
    With Silverfur Partisan you can make a lot of wolf tokens. So far your deck doesn't have many ways to trigger it. But if you use spells like Nature's Way or Rabid Bite or Pit Fight as your removal, then it will also trigger Silverfur to make a wolf token! But those spells are worse than Moonlight Hunt in a wolf deck, so it may not be worth running them.

    Pack Hunt is much better than Bifurcate.

    Master of the Wild Hunt is really good. Can you get any more copies?

    I don't like Lone Wolf post-2002. It used to be really good, but nowadays if a 2/2 is blocked, it's dying right away. So you can only use the ability once. If you use the abililty, you're just doing 2 damage to the opponent for 3 mana and 1 card spent (a 3-mana Shock). There are some cool things you can do with Lone Wolf and buffs, but I think your deck had better wolves before. Witchstalker and Spirit of the Hunt both give you more value for 3 mana.

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Ugly Trolls FIGHT CLUB mono green needs help
    Ulvenwald Tracker lets you fight repeatedly.

    Cartouche of Strength is nice as both a creature buff and fight enabler.

    I agree you need some mana acceleration to get things going. Your magic numbers to cast thing are 3 and 5. That's where most of your action is. Cards like Rampant Growth help you jump from 2 to 4 mana, casting a 4-drop on turn 3. But if 3 is the magic number, you'll still be casting a 3-drop on turn 3. Part of the ramp is wasted. Then Explosive Vegetation jumps you from 4 to 6-7 mana. But you don't really need that much. 3 and 5 are the big targets in your decklist. Instead, I think you want to run ramp cards that jump you from 1 to 3. Examples are Llanowar Elves, Wild Growth, Utopia Sprawl, Arbor Elf. These cards all help you cast a 3-cost card on turn 2, actually speeding your deck up by a turn unlike Rampant Growth. So I would run one of those (e.g. Wild Growth) and supplement it with Skyshroud Claim (to get Forests for the "Forests matter" stuff). That should help your mana better.

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
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