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  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    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 5 on turn 3 but not to 6 or 7, 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 5. 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.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on Nightpack Ambusher; Wolfkin Bond - NOT A WOLF Facebook
    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.
    Ah. I was looking at the Dominaria one. My mistake.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Nightpack Ambusher; Wolfkin Bond - NOT A WOLF Facebook
    Quote from Creedmoor »
    Sorry for opening your eyes to this lol


    I remember fighting on the forums back then about that art...
    Not to cause a fight, but what don't you like about this Syncopate art exactly? Compositionaly, I think it looks spectacular.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Nightpack Ambusher; Wolfkin Bond - NOT A WOLF Facebook
    Quote from pinkmex »
    that art on the aura is a right-away contender for the worst of the last... 26 years.
    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.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    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.
    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.

    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.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    You 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.

    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:

    Worse Veil of Summer G
    Instant
    Until end of turn, for the first time this turn, if a blue or black spell an opponent controls targets you, targets a permanent you control, or counters a spell you control, draw two cards.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on Barkhide Troll - Amazonian Twitter
    We've come a long way since Watchwolf.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    Oh man, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim is the pentacolor commander Mr. Bones has always wanted.

    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.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from CurdBros »
    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?
    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.

    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.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on End of an Era
    Yeah, that's one thing I do kind of wish for on the new site: better deck tags.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    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.
    No, you've got it right. For whatever reason, I neglected to think of that sequence Thank you for pointing that out.

    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.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from CurdBros »
    I’m not great with that stuff; but I don’t think that includes the lines taking Kiora, Nykthos, or Garruk into account.
    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.

    Quote from CurdBros »
    So...Wakeroot Elemental is in an infinite combo wih any Nykthos tapping for X=8 or more...If the translation is correct, it untaps ANY land and turns it into a creature with haste...that means you can keep untapping and tapping a Nykthos over and over again.


    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.
    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.

    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.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from CurdBros »
    I have multiple lines to 7-mana by turn 3; and essentially hitting either Karn by turn 3 wins most games.
    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:Granted, there are some exceptions. There are two different six card lines that each get to 7 turn 3 due to the fact that Utopia Sprawl doesn't cost any mana to develop turn 2. There's also an extremely unusual line in Land, Birds of Paradise —> Arbor Elf, Utopia Sprawl —> Land, Overgrowth. That one gets to 8, but it isn't redundant with any of the 7 mana lines either, so I figured it was worth mentioning anyway. Having said all that, aside from these exceptions, if I want to make 7 mana by turn 3 then I'm going to need a hand containing cards from one of the three bullet points above.

    Given a 60 card deck containing 21 lands and 4 copies of each of the mentioned cards:As you might be able to tell from my final two bullets, I've sort of reached my limit in terms of what I know how to calculate via multivariate hypergeometric distribution. I wish I knew how to find the chance of drawing a hand containing exactly some number of one kind of card but which also contains at least some number of another kind of card. Alas, that is beyond my current statistical ability. As it stands, these numbers, while accurate, can be a bit misleading. For example, the first two bullet points don't take into consideration that the extra cards in their hands might overlap with other lines that get to 7 mana by turn 3. As such, I can't tell what the chance of drawing a hand that gets to exactly 7 is. Nevertheless, I hope that what little data I am able to provide still ends up being useful for whoever happens upon it.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from Dos_Rouge »
    it would tighten up the deck, but i'd run manamorphose if you need more ways to get the black you need for turn 3, Vraska.
    That's an interesting idea. I think the best solution is probably just to jam more fetchlands though.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    So, 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:

    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.
    Posted in: Big Mana
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