Cavalier of Thorns was spoiled today, and while community reaction to it has mostly been negative, I think the card is actually quite good. In fact, having previously reviewed green's 5-drops, I think Cavalier of Thorns might even be one of the best.
Reach — I'm glad this has reach instead of trample. Ramp decks backpedal a lot, and the 5/6 body combined with reach makes it so that the Cavalier can mitigate pressure that other cards wouldn't be able to. It also isn't important that the Cavalier lacks trample. As a 5-drop, Cavalier of Thorns is a stepping stone. I'm not trying to win the game with it, so I don't care if it can push through damage. What I do care about is whether or not it puts me in a better position the next turn. Trample doesn't do that, but the entire package surrounding Cavalier of Thorns (reach included) does.
ETB, Elvish Rejuvenator — Not a perfect analogy. The land the Cavalier finds comes into play untapped. The remaining cards are also binned instead of being bottomed. Still, the two effects are similar. Having played Elvish Rejuvenator before, I can attest that digging five cards deep is enough to rarely brick with the ability but nothing more. It effectively amounts to getting a random land. With that said, this is still a nice ability to have. Although ramping isn't usually what I want on a 5-drop, it isn't so bad when it's bundled together with the rest of Cavalier's abilities. In the instances where I make it to on turn 3 but not to or , I may have a hand full of bombs and not enough mana to cast them. Or maybe an opponent interacted with me, and I would have had enough mana to cast whatever top end is left in my hand, but now I only have . That will happen sometimes, and in either case Cavalier of Thorns will help.
Dies, Reclaim — Putting a card back on top of my deck is a lot less salient than putting it into my hand, but this effect is still a lot better than what people give it credit for. A smattering of fetchlands ensures that Cavalier of Thorns will always have lands at its disposal if I want to make my land drop next turn. The fact that the Cavalier's second ability mulches also means it sets itself up. When the Cavalier is answered (as it often will be), it can find a replacement threat for me to deploy the next turn. That is an extremely important quality to have, and one that shouldn't be understated. If I'm playing a ramp deck, I don't want to invest all of my mana and all of my turns into casting some sort of payoff card only to then see that payoff card answered to no lasting effect. That could mean losing the game. Cavalier of Thorns makes it so that I can follow it up after it dies, something other 5-drops seldom do.
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Jun 21, 2019 Posted in: Big Mana
Jun 20, 2019Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Ah. I was looking at the Dominaria one. My mistake.Quote from Creedmoor »Are you looking at the one from Gatecrash? Or Return to Ravnica? Can't remember which set it was in. The new one featuring Teferi is gorgeous.
Jun 20, 2019Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Not to cause a fight, but what don't you like about this Syncopate art exactly? Compositionaly, I think it looks spectacular.Quote from Creedmoor »Sorry for opening your eyes to this lol
I remember fighting on the forums back then about that art...
Jun 20, 2019Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Hyperbole aside, I have to agree. I didn't really notice it at first, but the more I look at Wolfkin Bond the less I like it. That pose just seems... awkward? Stilted? I don't know. It just looks really off to me. I think the background, the trees, the buildings, the wind... I think all the negative space looks great. It's just something about the subject that feels... hokey? Magic has some really phenomenal artwork, and this definitely feels like one of its weaker pieces.Quote from pinkmex »that art on the aura is a right-away contender for the worst of the last... 26 years.
Jun 19, 2019Posted in: Big Mana
Yeah, that's Leyline of Abundance's biggest selling point: that it can make 4 mana turn 2, and it doesn't require having exactly Arbor Elf and exactly Utopia Sprawl to do so. Leyline of Abundance comes with a lot of baggage though.Quote from Semoreh »The green leyline is kinda exciting to be honest. This in your opening hand + any dork (apart from arbor elf) gives you 4 manas on turn 2.
1.) Leyline of Abundance doesn't work with Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl, or Overgrowth, and those three cards are some of the best, if not the best, at making mana in Modern. As such, if I want to support Leyline of Abundance, I'll need to play with objectively worse cards. Granted, that may be okay. If the synergy is powerful enough, then there's nothing wrong with playing worse cards; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts after all. I just suspect that this may not be the case with Leyline of Abundance.
2.) There's no way to make Leyline of Abundance redundant. Sure, the games I have it, a 1-drop, and two lands make getting to 4 relatively easy, but I'm not always going to have Leyline of Abundance, and in the games where I don't I'm effectively playing a much worse ramp deck. If there were other cards that could supplement Leyline of Abundance, this wouldn't be so bad, but the next most effective way to reach 4 turn 2 is by playing something like Simian Spirit Guide or Gemstone Caverns, neither of which are very appealing.
3.) Leyline of Abundance is risky. Not only do I need it in my opening hand to be effective, but it also makes me more vulnerable to disruption. In a regular ramp deck, if an opponent Bolts my Bird, that sucks, but at the end of the day it's still a 1-for-1. In a deck with Leyline, when an opponent Bolts my Bird, not only is my Bird dead, but they've also invalidated my Leyline until I manage to stick something. That can turn Bolt into a 2-for-1 or better depending on the circumstances, so not only will I need to play worse cards to support Leyline of Abundance, but the consequences of having these worse cards destroyed are even more disastrous than they would normally be.
Jun 18, 2019You know, I kind of want to go back and elaborate on Veil of Summer because, when I said it was a 2-for-1, that was true, but that doesn't really paint the whole picture. See, there are different kinds of 2-for-1s, and some are more valuable than others. For instance, compare Mind Rot to a card like Wicked Pact. Both will give me card advantage, but Wicked Pact is typically better than Mind Rot since the creatures Wicked Pact destroys are cards that my opponent probably had to spend mana (and therefore turns) developing. With Mind Rot, I get just as many cards, but I don't get the tempo advantage that a card like Wicked Pact creates.Posted in: Big Mana
What's great about Veil of Summer beyond it being a 2-for-1 is that it often protects cards I've already invested mana in. This makes it a whole lot better than, say, the following card:
Jun 18, 2019Oh man, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is the pentacolor commander Mr. Bones has always wanted.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
For the longest time, the only five color legends were these dumb tribal lords like Reaper King and Atogatog. There were a handful of other cards like Cromat and Progenitus that didn't care about tribes, but these were ineffectual if not outright counterproductive as is the case with Child of Alara. Eventually, Wizards printed Ramos, Dragon Engine and Jodah, Archmage Eternal, and these were a step up, but they too left a lot to be desired. Ramos got too big if I cast too many spells, and that incentivized me to just attack players. Jodah encouraged me to fill my deck with expensive cards, and while I could sometimes make use of his mana discounting ability, he was really designed for something else entirely.
But now I have Golos! Oh boy, do I love this card. I was already salivating over Urza's ability to Mind's Desire for one, but for 2 mana more I get to Mind's Desire for three? On my Commander? I'm in heaven! It's like a mini Aminatou's Augury. And the fact that it finds one of my many crucial nonbasics is nothing to slouch at either. Between Academy Ruins, Hall of Heliod's Generosity, and Volrath's Stronghold, that's three alone. Then there's ancillary stuff like Reliquary Tower, Maze of Ith, or even just colorfixing with Command Tower et all. There's so much stuff I can find.
Also, I think it's only fitting that Golos throws back to Solemn Simulacrum which is a card I'm notorious for *****ting on. Because of course the guy who has always sweared against Sad Robot would find his perfect commander in one.
Jun 18, 2019Posted in: Big Mana
This one's not too bad. The fact it can double its size if it ever lacks a fight target means there's always something productive it can do. Still, I think I prefer Ravager Wurm to this. Ravager Wurm is always at least as big as Ravenous Hydra when X equals 4, and Ravager Wurm's ability to destroy lands (and sometimes even planeswalkers) feels a lot safer than making a big trampler when there's nothing to fight. The fact the Hydra scales as well as it having trample kind of makes this an apples to oranges comparison though.Ravenous Hydra seems like a kinda cool way to get some creature removal in a purely Mono-green deck. It is interesting to compare this to Ballista (a little cheaper when dealing with a single creature while still living...obviously can scale like crazy...but far less versatile ). Love that it starts with 1 toughness. What are everyone’s thought?
EDIT: Has anyone seen Veil of Summer? I'm not sure what to make of it yet, but that card looks crazy to me. In the right matchup, it's a 2-for-1 for 1 mana. And it's super versatile too. It protects me, and all of my permanents, and makes my spells uncounterable. It does so much for 1 mana.
One of my concerns with Veil of Summer is that, because my deck is so proactive and reliably uses all of its mana the first two turns of the game, Veil of Summer might lose a lot of its effectiveness since, if I'm always tapping out, I won't have any mana up to stop any errant Thoughtseize or Fatal Push. Anywho, I think it's worth seriously considering as a sideboard card. It still has so much going for it.
Jun 17, 2019Posted in: Big Mana
No, you've got it right. For whatever reason, I neglected to think of that sequence Thank you for pointing that out.Quote from DR1V1R »It seems like you would only need 9 mana and 8 devotion to go infinite. Pay 4GG to cast Wakeroot and then an additional 2 to activate Nykthos. If you have 8 devotion at that point (and since Wakeroot counts as 2, only six other sources), use 5 to activate Wakeroot, 2 to activate the untapped Nykthos, and 1 floats. Rinse repeat. It does seem like a tough ask, but maybe easier than you initially laid out? Or I could be getting it wrong as well.
Regardless, my point still stands. Wakeroot Elemental is a terrible card without Nykthos, and even when I do have Nykthos I still need six more devotion and eight more mana. That's asking way too much from a card that isn't very useful outside of being a combo piece.
Jun 17, 2019Posted in: Big Mana
Correct. My last post only mapped out the lines involving Arbor Elf, Birds of Paradise, Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth, and Llanowar Tribe that get to exactly 7 mana using 6 or fewer cards. I chose to map out lines with those cards specifically because those are the cards that seem the most crucial to play four copies of if I want to make as much mana as possible as quickly as possible. I may humor you and map out the other cards you mentioned later.
You're more generous than I am. To me, Wakeroot Elemental looks completely unplayable. And I'm not talking just about Modern. Wakeroot Elemental looks unplayable in every constructed format as well as probably Limited. It's just that terrible.
Granted, it takes him, a Nykthos, and six other green symbols...but creatures and lands are relative easy to tutor/dig for...and it can be done at instant speed, even if Wakeroot just entered the battlefield. Could make for some very interesting brews. Could also just be a random 1-of to have an “oops I win” ability (and sink for late games when you have a ton of mana”.
I’m going to add one to my current deck just in place of one Primeeval Titan (since it is built to take advantage of infinite mana in some respects) and I’ll let you know how often it comes up.
The crux of the issue is that Wakeroot Elemental is a Craw Wurm. It does nothing the turn it comes into play. It has no combat abilities. It isn't resilient. It is merely a 6 mana 5/5. That's it. In that respect, Wakeroot Elemental is significantly worse than Colossal Dreadmaw. Its only saving grace is its activated ability which isn't even especially useful. If what I want is a pair of big guys, then I ought to play Kalonian Twingrove instead. At least with the Twingrove I don't have to invest another 5 before getting anything valuable. Not to mention I don't lose absolutely everything in the event it's destroyed.
And if I want to make infinite mana with Wakeroot Elemental and Nykthos, that's a tall order too. Not only do I need to have both those cards in tandem, but I also need eight devotion, which is no easy feet, and my vanilla 5/5 needs to make it all the way till my next turn since casting Wakeroot Elemental, activating its ability, and using Nykthos
requires 13 mana total, and there's no way I'm ever going to have that much all in one turn.
EDIT: See posts below.
Jun 16, 2019Posted in: Big Mana
For the sake of thoroughness, I figure I'd map out every line involving Arbor Elf, Birds of Paradise, Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth, and Llanowar Tribe that gets to exactly 7 mana by turn 3 using 6 or fewer cards.
Leading Arbor Elf:
7 mana, 4 cards:Land, Arbor Elf —> Land, Overgrowth
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Arbor Elf —> Land, Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Arbor Elf —> Land, Utopia Sprawl, Utopia Sprawl
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Arbor Elf —> Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl —> Land
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Arbor Elf —> Utopia Sprawl, Utopia Sprawl —> Land
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Arbor Elf —> Land, Llanowar Tribe —> Land
Leading Birds of Paradise:
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Birds of Paradise —> Land, Llanowar Tribe —> Land
7 mana, 6 cards:Land, Birds of Paradise —> Land, Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth —> Land
Leading Utopia Sprawl:
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Utopia Sprawl —> Land, Arbor Elf, Arbor Elf
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Utopia Sprawl —> Land, Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Utopia Sprawl —> Arbor Elf, Arbor Elf —> Land
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Utopia Sprawl —> Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl —> Land
7 mana, 5 cards:Land, Utopia Sprawl —> Land, Llanowar Tribe —> Land
7 mana, 6 cards:Land, Utopia Sprawl —> Land, Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth —> Land
So, the takeaway here is that, if I want to get 7 mana by turn 3, I'll need to have:
- 3 lands, a 1-drop, and Llanowar Tribe
- 2 lands, Arbor Elf, and Overgrowth
- 2 lands, Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl, and one more copy of either Arbor Elf or Utopia Sprawl
Given a 60 card deck containing 21 lands and 4 copies of each of the mentioned cards:
- What is the chance my opening hand will contain at least three lands, at least one copy of either Arbor Elf, Birds of Paradise, or Utopia Sprawl, and at least one copy of Llanowar Tribe? 9.8%
- What is the chance my opening hand will contain at least two lands, at least one copy of Arbor Elf, and at least one copy of Overgrowth? 9.3%
- What is the chance my opening hand will contain exactly two lands, exactly two Arbor Elf, exactly one Utopia Sprawl, and exactly two other cards that are not lands, Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl, Llanowar Tribe, or Overgrowth? 0.3%
- What is the chance my opening hand will contain exactly two lands, exactly one Arbor Elf, exactly two Utopia Sprawl, and exactly two other cards that are not lands, Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl, Llanowar Tribe, or Overgrowth? 0.3%
Jun 16, 2019Posted in: Big Mana
That's an interesting idea. I think the best solution is probably just to jam more fetchlands though.
Jun 15, 2019So, FNM didn't fire at my LGS yesterday because all the Modern players in my area mutinied, and they neglected to give me the memo. Fortunately, another poor sod didn't get the memo either, and I was able to play a few games against him using my new cards. Here's what I learned:Posted in: Big Mana
1.) Ramping has never been easier. I found myself consistently casting 6-drops turn 3, and I found my opponent frequently had to disrupt me if they didn't want to get completely buried on mana.
2.) 7 fetchlands aren't enough to support Vraska. At the moment, I only own 3 Windswept Heath and 4 Wooded Foothills, so I wasn't able to play as many as I would have liked. Yes, Birds of Paradise helps cast Vraska and sometimes so does Utopia Sprawl, but Llanowar Tribe makes it so that I frequently need to rely on having exactly Overgrown Tomb if I want to cast Vraska turn 3. And 7 fetchlands weren't enough to ensure I could do that most of the time. Playing too many basics definitely takes its toll.
3.) I need more and/or different cards to support Karn. Right now, I have Tormod's Crypt, Spellskite, Vivien's Arkbow, Mycosynth Lattice in my sideboard. I found myself really wanting Ensnaring Bridge. I'd also like to give Trinisphere a try.
4.) Woodland Bellower was just okay. I played him nearly every game, and while he was always somewhat helpful, he could only do so much to help me stabilize against an overwhelming board presence. This reminded me just how important I found the Madcap Emperion package to be. I'm going to keep playing with Woodland Bellower to see what happens as it may have just been a bad matchup for the card. Nevertheless, his initial debut didn't impress me.
5.) Tooth and Nail is still crazy. Being able to get to 6 easy also means that I naturally have more mana than I might otherwise have at other stages of the game. I found myself casting Tooth and Nail earlier and with fewer cards, and it was also just as effective as it's always been. I absolutely still want to play Tooth and Nail as the top end of my curve.
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Sep 12, 2017Posted in: Articles
I don't think this is an entitlement thing for most folks. I think folks are just being skeptical about the change and aren't sure if they can trust Curse because they don't understand the imperative for the change.Quote from Ertai Planeswalker »As much as I dislike this change as the next guy, I do want to remind everyone that if you did not pay for anything, you are not entitled to anything.
Everybody who paid for your MTGS account, raise your hands
Sep 11, 2017Posted in: Articles
Would you be willing to elaborate on why this is true? I know that I'm being skeptical here and that the question I'm asking is pretty technical in nature, but I'm failing to see why this is the case. What makes the account merging more secure for users here? Aren't you still just dealing with the same number / types of accounts anyway?
Sep 11, 2017This is... huh? What? I don't understand what's going on here at all.Posted in: Articles
I don't use Twitch. I don't even like Twitch. Why do I have to merge my Salvation account with a Twitch account all of a sudden? Molster says it's because it provides more streamlined account security, faster user support, and an easier log-in process, but this is still baffling to me. Easier log-in process? How much easier could logging in be? My home computer already logs me in automatically. Everywhere else... it's just a simple username/password system. How could that process possibly be made any easier?
Maybe this is a security thing, and admittedly I know absolutely nothing about security, but how does merging Salvation accounts to Twitch accounts make things more secure? And why Twitch of all things? Why now? What's the prerogative for this change? Maybe I'm just being some cranky, old man whose resistant to change regardless if it's for the better or not, but I honestly just don't understand why this even needs to happen. I don't want a Twitch account.
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