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  • posted a message on [KHM] Aegar, the Freezing Flame— Levunga preview
    This is... something.

    It's too bad Forbidden Orchard isn't $3 anymore.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Goldvein Pick— Eduardo Sajgalik preview
    In the space of Sword of the Animist and Dowsing Dagger and a direct comparison to Prying Blade.

    Compared to Prying Blade, the numbers are much better since you can move the equipment and stockpile mana without losing mana in the process. The point of toughness is a nice, if small, upgrade. Both and Dowsing Dagger want evasion to make the ramp happen and of all of these, [/card]Dowsing Dagger is the card I prefer the most.

    Sword of the Animist probably has a higher power level than this giving increasingly more mana each turn its in play, but takes a little longer to get going. Treasure tokens have some inherent unique utility by being artifacts though, so budget decks with Goblin Welder or Goblin Engineer will want to take note.

    To fit into the mana rock slot, it will also need a reliable amount of either low mana bodies, evasive bodies, and ideally both in one. Looter il-Kor is a card I fit in a lot of places, but Cartographer's Hawk, Topplegeist or Cavalry Pegasus can be relevant to various other decks. At least at present, cheap evasive bodies are conveniently the same thing white wants to run to reacquire the Monarch from other players, so the pieces of the deck can align in that way.

    Still, for the needs of white decks, I prefer Dowsing Dagger first. It just needs a single hit to get the ramp and it's nearly free to play the turn you cast it when you have an opening to trigger it. Once in play, Thespian's Stage can copy it as more ramp and a few other cards can untap it for extra mana.

    This new card is 15 cents though, so the budget baseline is at least pretty solid for the decks that can play it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Battle for Bretagard and Clarion Spirit— InfiniTokens previews
    The uncommon looks solid, but needs constant and specific fuel to keep going. Spirit tokens are good because they're evasive bodies, so monarch at least helps keep the fuel coming on top of Skullclamp / Mentor of the Meek, though those latter two eat up precious mana which makes it harder to do all the things on top of casting those two spells. It will feel (and be?) bad to have to fire off removal prematurely just to get a token.

    It's important to note that you can play the 2-drop on turn 4 and then another spell right after to get a spirit, making the first spirit easier to get if you play this as a 4- or 5-drop. This may be the better way to play this since it makes the most of the limited cards you have access to.

    So what does it want? Mana rocks like Mind Stone are perfect since they give you back mana to continue casting spells in the same turn. Mind stone and Commander's Sphere specifically let you sacrifice them to draw cards to find more spells. That helps and, especially for monowhite, will be a very common source of ramp. Cartographer's Hawk also fits in this space, both ramping and giving another spell to cast. This also wants your spells to be individually less expensive and able to be played at sorcery speed more often. Seal of Cleansing is perfect for being cheap and being able to be deployed in advance without actually using it. Treasures are also useful since you can convert the temporary mana into permanent spirits when they enable multiple spells in a turn or a better combination of spells.

    How many spirit tokens is worth 2 mana off a creature that's gong to die when the board is wiped? 1? 2? Later on when you can eat the tokens to fuel skullclamp, it's probably decent, but for later in the game, there are going to be more options. Still there will likely be homes where everything lines up. It's likely not building a commander deck around, but decks that already have cards in this space can be combed to optimize for it.

    Steward of Solidarity is a similarly budget option I keep looking back at every now and again as a low mana way to create 'clamp fuel early in the game. It doesn't require any sequencing, scales with untap effects, and generates fuel at a rate that is easier to think about. The bodies lack flying, which means they have more narrow uses, though.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Withercrown— Voxy preview
    This seems like a late draft pick for GB elves vs RU giants given that fighting doesn't work when your creatures are smaller.

    The card itself seems worse than Guard Duty both outright and also in the context of this tribal set.

    But I could be wrong.

    I miss Stab Wound.

    Actually WB angels also probably can pick this up late since it's just going to fly over the 0/4. It seems stronger there, but probably less needed than in elves.

    Basically it's a card that control decks can use on non-utility creatures that aggressive decks won't want unless they're evasive.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Search for Glory— Rodrigo Septién preview
    One step closer to white getting Time of Need.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Invasion of the Giants— Amazonian preview
    Uncommon scry draw that gives you back the mana you spent if your topend is the right tribe / changeling. (and it's ramp in that case) Seems reasonable.

    Lorwyn had giants in white-red, but why were they white at that time? I don't remember but given that they don't like white having big creatures at common, moving giants from white into blue makes a lot of sense even before you consider the frost giant trope.

    Will we see a tribal-oriented jeskai giant for commander?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM Leak] Righteous Valkyrie
    Continual thought: I hate all these pushed finishers for lifegain decks. Life gain isn't something that should be encouraged when excessive amounts of it slows games down or makes creature combat irrelevant.

    Counterpoint 1: If life gain decks have powerful finishers, they can at least kill people off after gaining arbitrary infinite life instead of the game continuing to drag on.

    Counterpoint 2: Life totals don't matter so much in play groups with mill, infect, infinite combos, and voltron. (Though encouraging life gain decks will encourage more of these over time; granted some amount of people are going build life gain decks regardless of the finishers available.)

    Counterpoint 3: White has the worst/fewest finishers in commander compared to the other colors. (Black and red have incidental pinging. Green and blue can go over top with card advantage, overruns, and alternite wincons.) So (especially mono) white decks need more finishers printed :: mono white decks tend to be more lifegain focused than others, especially when you strip out the equipment voltron decks that win via commander damage.

    I get why these exist, but it's still a journey every time I see them.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM Leak] Righteous Valkyrie
    Rite of Replication

    Which is +100 life at minimum, but you start gaining additional +12s for each of the 25 triggers that remain as soon as you hit the threshold.

    And also everything gets +12/+12.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Leak. Vorinclex, Monstrous rider
    Quote from m_pathogen »

    Still, they may very well be setting up for Phyrexian Ragnarok (could there be a more metal concept?)
    This seems extremely on the nose. This makes perfect sense as a follow up whenever we return here after the next return to mirrodin.

    We'll need to find out how Vorinclex got here and whether that happens before or after the story beat hinted at in the trailer, assuming the trailer is anything to go by for what will happen.

    IE: Is the travel from Mirrodin to here something caused by the bifrost blade vs something the phyrexians were cooking up vs Tezzeret's Bridge Body?

    Did Vorinclex travel here before or after the bifrost blade was stolen? (Assuming that the theft implied in the trailer is an event that is happening this set.)

    We know at least one card in the set produces poison counters, which we've only seen from phyrexians since the last time, but we don't yet have solid confirmation that there ARE other phyrexians this set. I think it's likely that there may be less than 5, though alternatively, it would give the vikings monsters to battle. I am doubtful they would introduce us to a new plane in the middle of a war with phyrexians given that they decided to not do that when going back to mirrodin the last time and this time we have Kaldheim and an allusion to 9 other Realms they're connected to. I would expect us to at least visit most of them before Kaldheim is properly invaded.

    Like, the simplest read of the information we have is that Tibalt connected mirrodin to Kaldheim after stealing the blade, but given how early things are, this is still just a hypothesis and for all we know, Vorinclex's arrival happens right as we leave the plane to explore Strixhaven.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [KHM] Leak. Vorinclex, Monstrous rider
    So basically taking the 9 realms of asgard and turning them into the 9 spheres of phyrexia? That's a cool parallel and makes this set/world at least twice as more interesting.

    Tezzeret's Bridge Body was the direction it seemed like they were going to take for making the phyrexians an interplanar threat but bifrost seems way less forced and also allows evacuation of mirrans if Karn is intent on using the Sylex to cleanse Mirrodin, provided Koth will allow that.

    I wasn't all that interested in vikings but this plot development has grabbed my attention and I'm so on board for this story direction. New set release cycle enables exploration of Phyrexians on other worlds in a timely manner in a way the Eldrazi would have been more interesting to explore with had their impact on worlds not been total annihilation / urgent.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Angel Tribal riders
    Quote from rowanalpha »
    Templating aside, I like the core ideas of the cards, though I think the effects probably need to cost more simply because 1 mana angels and changelings do exist.
    I would imagine the standard/limited environments that these are introduced into wouldn't contain those exceptions. A format like modern would have them but I strongly suspect that the low cost angels/changelings that would enable the extra mode would not be competitively viable even together.

    Geist of Saint Traft is the only thing in modern that comes to mind that might want these but Traft is an attacking deck where the removal spell, without access to Traft->Angel, is a control card and even there, Path to Exile already exists as reliable removal. It's not immediately clear to me that the power level on any of these is too high.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Angel Tribal riders
    Quote from rowanalpha »
    Devout Captain will need some templating, since the game doesn't recognize "dies in combat". I think the closest you can get is "When devout captain dies, if it was dealt combat damage this turn, create a 4/4 white angel creature token with flying."
    The intention is not for it to trigger when killed due to combat damage, just death any time during the combat phase. Perhaps this would be more clear with "When Devout Captain dies during combat,..."
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Angel Tribal riders
    Often, white has been getting cards that produce 4/4 angel tokens during cycles of cards where other colors get more interesting effects. Angels do not comparatively scale into commander as well as cards that move cards between zones (removal / tutoring / card draw / recursion), so this only effectively widens the gap between white and other colors.

    Taking a page out of Scroll of Avacyn, I'd like to see some designs that leverage those random angel tokens and scale up themselves if you have one. I'm aiming at designs that are playable on their own but are markedly better with an angel.

    Answered Prayer | 1W
    Instant (U)
    Exile target creature attacking you.
    If you control an angel as you cast this spell, exile target nonland permanent instead.

    Divine Restoration | 1W
    Sorcery (R)
    Return target permanent card with converted mana cost three or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.
    If you control an angel as you cast this spell, instead, for each permanent type, return up to one target permanent card of that type with converted mana cost three or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.

    Devout Captain | 1WW
    Creature — Human Soldier (U)
    This creature enters the battlefield tapped.
    When this creature dies in combat, create a white 4/4 angel token with flying.

    Massaging the removal slot a bit more:
    Answered Prayer | 2W
    Instant (C)
    Destroy target attacking creature.
    If you control an angel as you cast this spell, destroy target nonland permanent instead.

    This is a plausible common for a draft environment with Devout Captain but can also be used on the captain to turn it into an angel, which is cute.

    Divine Punishment | W
    Instant (U)
    Exile target creature that dealt damage this turn.
    If you control an angel as you cast this spell, exile target nonland permanent instead.

    This pushes the base form to require damage be taken (or blocked), which also allows white to leverage lifegain spells to make this card a bit more efficient. As a bonus, it becomes a 1-mana removal spell that catches all permanent types when the angel exists. Being 1 mana is likely of relevance when it comes to hard casting a normal angel and being able to hold this up at the same time.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Completing core set spell cycle
    Quote from ChariSays »
    I actually think that the original version of Sphinx's Riddle was far superior to this. This version is a strictly worse Unsubstantiate, which wasn't exactly a strong card to start.
    You're not wrong that it's stronger, but I think an unsummon variant is better for limited than a counterspell. I could even see it just be a Voyage's End functional reprint, which would be weaker outside of Theros limited anyway.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Completing core set spell cycle
    Sphinx's Riddle | 1U
    Return target creature, instant spell, or sorcery spell to its owner's hand.
    Hydra's Hunger | 4G
    Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature you control. Then it fights up to one other target creature you don't control.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
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