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Magic Market Index for April 20th, 2018
Pauper Review: Dominaria
The Limited Archetypes of Dominaria
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    Quote from 3drinks »
    Like Modern Infect, it's high-risk, high-reward. They either have the answer, or not.

    I guess that I can understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, there's a huge difference between this cat deck and modern infect that impacts the usefulness of Might of Old Krosa. Namely, the clock. In an average infect deck, throwing a Might on a Blighted Agent or Glistener Elf means bringing your opponent several turns closer to death if your gambit pays off.

    For cats, however, that math doesn't quite add up.
    Let's say that we Drop Savannah Lions (or some comparable cat) on turn 1. If our opponent can't kill or block the cat, we win on turn 5 (15 life on turn 2, 10 life on turn 3, 5 life on turn 4, and 0 life on turn 5).

    If we use Rancor or Bonesplitter, the persistent boost of +2 power allows us to win on turn 4 instead (13 Life on turn 2, 6 life on turn 3, and -1 life on turn 4).

    If we get a single bonus from Might of Old Krosa, however, we are still on the same turn 5 clock (11 life on turn 2, 6 life on turn 3, 1 life on turn 4, and -4 life on turn 5). It doesn't kill the opponent even one turn faster without additional support.

    While it is true that the boost gives our opponent less wiggle room and makes it easier for secondary attackers to matter, this deck gets far less utility out of Might than Infect does. For a buff to be worthwhile in this deck, I'd personally think that it needs to be cheap (cutting out the invocation) and must either protect the creature, help damage sneak through, or grant a bonus of at least +5 power.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Responding to weak playgroups
    A good question.

    If you get to talk with a new playgroup before starting a game, you may learn things about a group's playstyle (such as not liking kill spells or finding 6-card infinite combos to be overwhelming) to be indicative of poor players. In many cases, however, the first impressions of power level that you can get from a commander group come from the decks that the group uses (or attempt to use).

    To be clear: I do not mean to offend anyone with the use of "weak" instead of "lower power level". Many factors can fit into card selection and not all decks are built with the same intentions. With that said, discussion of "tiers" among commanders are generally intelligible. Whether you are playing a casual group hug deck or spike down to the core, many players understand that an optimized Riku of Two Reflections or Yisan, the Wanderer Bard deck is a bit more scary than one piloted by Seshiro the Anointed. While there is no guarantee of optimized builds or play styles, a player can "read a book by its cover" to get a general gauge of potential power (especially if every commander is similarly powerful or inefficient).

    I was just curious if players would rather "set the bar" in the name of playing their favorite decks and strategies (which they may have spent years and thousands of dollars assembling), adapt to the local culture of the unknown playgroup (to respect the desired power level of the people who allowed you to join), or work towards some form of compromise in the middle.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Responding to weak playgroups
    I have only recently gained awareness into the depths of the divide between "casual" and "competitive" players in Commander.

    To be clear, this thread is not intended to ask whether the player with stronger decks has any "responsibility" to make sure the group has fun. Likewise, this thread is not about insulting players who go at full force and calling them jerks for doing so. Instead, I'm interested in seeing how players respond to a simple scenario.

    The Scenario:
    • You are travelling to a new LGS to play commander. The group welcomes you in and pulls out their decks to reveal such "thrilling" commanders as Kodama of the South Tree, Skeleton Ship, and Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran.
    • You have no reason to suspect that these commanders were chosen to be ironic or to lull you into a state of security.
    • You do not know these individuals and have no emotional attachment to them beyond whatever courtesy you'd extend to any fellow gamer, though you might end up seeing or playing them again if you don't dismiss them out of hand.
    • This game has no stakes and there is no prize for winning.

    What do you do?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    Not a fan of Might of Old Krosa, surprisingly. Generally, you may want to save your combat tricks until after Arahbo buffs your dude so that your opponent can't just respond with a lightning bolt and 2-1 you.

    I like Vines of Vastwood, Blossoming Defense, and any combination of the white 1 drops that grant protection. The first two can actually act as buff spells, the protection spells can help you slip past blockers, and all of these can blank an opponent's kill spell if they cast one in response to Arahbo's trigger.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Upcoming sets will be Vikings and/or Western
    ...Western-themed, huh? Honestly, I have a hard time imagining that.

    Not because of mechanical considerations, mind you. I can imagine using an inverse-vehicle/pseudo-licid ability for Mounts. I can imagine using tribes of centaurs as native american stand-ins. I can even imagine Wizards bringing back the clash mechanic to represent quick-draw skills on gunslingers.

    What I can't imagine is what Western-world would look like. Most Westerns that I am familiar with deal with the personal stories of one or a few individuals (or a small township at most) and the general aesthetic tends toward small communities surrounded by wilderness. Most magic stories, meanwhile, involve sprawling set-pieces and world-shaking problems. While it might work, you'd have to bend over backwards for a western feel to carry over...

    ...For example, a world that is largely devastated by generic evil force (magic corruption/demons/zombies/etc.) with all of human civilization contained within a network of tiny communities protected by magical barriers (like Amonkhet's Hekma). The only creatures to travel between these communities (to communicate, exchange supplies, etc) are the mounted and well-armed gunslingers of the plane. A single posse of bandits (all of the evil legends required by the set) have been subverted by an evil force from another plane (such as Bolas or a representative who is exchanging advanced firearms for loyal service) to claim an artifact protected by centaurs (who are also at war with the gunslingers) that will either grant control over the generic evil force or destroy the final human settlements.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    My reasoning is that it is possible to play the tutors without setting back your clock because of how cheap they are. If you use rancor/gryff's boon/flickering ward/oppressive rays/natural state/path of exile/swords to plowshares/a 1-drop cat/saving mana for a trick like emerged unscathed on turn 2 (or just drop a 2-drop cat on turn 3), you can still have one mana open for a tutor while still working towards the turn 5-6 win (the difference between a leonin arbiter and a jungle lion may be limited in many games, for example).

    Meanwhile, Collected Company gets you cats that can attack on turn 5 while Ranger of Eos gets you cats that can attack on turn 6... assuming that you get enough mana in a deck with a very low curve and no acceleration. These cards are useful for coming back if all of our cats are killed... but that is kind of the problem. Arahbo, or at least hyper-aggressive Arahbo, doesn't seem equipped to survive into any sort of mid-game or late-game. If your opponent stabilized and start casting bigger creatures, we start losing the race (as we can only buff one cat each round).

    As such, playing cards to help us in the mid-game or late-game seems a bit counter-intuitive to me whereas playing tutors that can slip easily into early-game plays makes sense to me. Am I being a bit too pessimistic here? Does this deck have a chance going for plan b?

    ...and now I'm left wondering if we should invest in elvish spirit guide for the possibility of more resilient starts (2 cats or cat + god's willing mana).

    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    My bad on the divining top. I still get 1-vs-1 mixed up with multiplayer at times. Sweat

    As far as the equipment, I stand behind the boots (which protect your dude and allow you to keep up tempo if your dude dies), the bonesplitter (As casting and equipping on turn 2 can legitimately shave a full turn off of the clock) and either the soup or Trailblazer's Boots for reusable unblockability that doesn't block Arahbo.

    I'm kind of agnostic on the topic of tutors, I'll admit. Of those in the list above, my primary interests are:
    Green Sun's Zenith: basically a creature (even if you pay more for it)
    Survival of the Fittest: REALLY should've been banned but might allow us to grab Mother of Runes, Ulvenwald Tracker, Qasali Pridemage, Leonin Relic-warder, Selfless Spirit, or Heretic Cathar/Imposing Sovereign to slow blockers. While this is not a deck of silver bullets, the ability to grab what few answers we do have is still important.
    Worldly Tutor: While speed and utility are far lower than SotF, I can imagine a surprising number of scenarios in which you would not want to drop a 2-drop on turn 2 with this deck (such as throwing down an aura or saving mana for a trick) and a huge number where you have a free mana by turn 3. In those cases, using your spare mana to ensure that you get a worthwhile draw next turn can be a life-saver.
    Enlightened Tutor: If we end our third turn with a Rancor-loaded kitty and a Winter Orb or Static Orb, we are in a VERY good place. Enlightened tutor helps to make that possible.

    But yeah, we have a bunch of protective cards: Heroic Intervention, Selfless Spirit, Blossoming Defense, Vines of Vastwood, Brave the Elements, Faith's Shield, Gods Willing, Apostle's Blessing all work as protection.

    Honestly, Arahbo feels like a pretty odd deck. It doesn't really want or need more than two creatures on the field at any given point (one that won't have summoning sickness if the other is killed) and wants to win the game by turn 5 or 6 (if I'm reading it's gameplan accurately). For that reason, Collected Company and Ranger of Eos seem a bit odd as inclusions. If you can afford the tempo break to play that spell on turn 4 and NEED that spell, you are in a very bad place. Not saying that those are bad cards for the deck. Just interested in hearing how they would realistically slot into play.

    I don't know, though. Maybe I'm still living in magical-christmas-land. If so, one of you smack some sense into me.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Looking to make the most annoying deck possible
    What if I were to tell you about a deck that trolls all of your opponents to oblivion?
    What if I were to tell you that you can replace the libraries of your opponents with brand new libraries of your design?
    What if this deck could literally transform storm crow into a god before transforming yourself into a dungeon master?
    What if this deck was incredibly cheap to build?

    Go in peace, my friend

    And the original, 5-color version
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    I did notice Greater Good and Momentous Fall (along with Selvala, Heart of the Wild) earlier.

    I fear that Greater Good might be a bit slow for a hyper-aggro build. If we wanted to go in that direction, I'd definitely recommend running the cheaper Fauna Shaman and Survival of the Fittest first as they can fetch toolbox creatures (Mother of Runes, Ulvenwald Tracker, Leonin Relic Warder) and might allow the deck to support Brawn and Genesis for incidental trample and revival.

    Hunter's Insight likewise has a (relatively) high cost for a combat "buff", even if the ceiling is high. Certainly worth experimenting for.

    I support experimenting with Hyena Umbra and Spider Umbra, though I'd recommend only playing them in your postcombat main phase to avoid having an instant-speed abrade or lightning bolt 2-1 you out of nowhere.

    Mirri's Guile and Sylvan Library are perfectly serviceable cards.

    Hmmm... Let me try applying the old 8x8 theory to this deck.
    1. Card Advantage/Control Package (Worldly Tutor, Mirri's Guile, Sylvan Library, Green Sun's Zenith, Life's Legacy, Enlightened Tutor, Sensei's Divining Top, Survival of the Fittest)
    2. Buff Package (Flickering Ward, Gryff's Boon, Rancor, Berserk, Rhonas, Emerge Unscathed, Dromoka's Command, Selesnya Charm)
    3. Minor Stax/Denial Package (Gaddock Teeg, Leonin Arbiter, Mirri, Static Orb, Winter Orb, Cataclysm, Armageddon, Thalia Heretic Cathar)
    4. Answers Package (Aura Shards, Qasali Pridemage, Leonin Relic Warder, Natural State, Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Ulvenwald Tracker, Oppressive Rays)
    5. One-Drop Package (Mother of Runes, Steppe Lynx, Savannah Lions, Jungle Lions, Scythe Leopard, Loam Lion, Wild Nacatl, Pouncing Leopard)
    6. Two-Drop Package (Oreskos Swiftclaw, Initiate's Companion, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Fleecemane Lion, Adorned Pouncer, Metallic Mimic, Leonin Snarecaster, Longtusk Cub)
    7. Equipment Package (Steelshaper's Gift, Stoneforged Mystic, Open the Armory, Umezawa's Jitte, Swiftfoot Boots, Hot Soup, Bonesplitter, Bloodforged Battle-Axe)
    8. Miscellaneous Cats (Wily Bandar, Glittering Lynx, Sacred Cat, Brimaz, Mirror Entity, Pride Sovereign, Arahbo, Skyhunter Skirmisher)

    And that deck would look like this:

    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    Well, I sure derped on the Mtenda Lion. First instinct for a replacement is either selfless Spirit (because it is awesome), Eos Ranger (for double kitty goodness), or eternal witness (which could recover a cat, any combat trick, or a kill spell). Depending on meta, serpopard worth a look.

    My logic for including Skullclamp is two-fold
    1. As this deck is about going big instead of going wide, we have literally no use for Jungle Lion in our hand until our Savannah Lions on the field is killed. Skullclamp allows that card to be transmuted into card advantage.
    2. If things move a turn too slowly and your enemy starts to stabilize, you may have more need for one of the few answers in this deck than you do for its many cheap creatures. In such a scenario, a digging tool like this is your friend.
    With all of that said, you can probably replace the clamp with a sensei's divining top to get the same end effect... and to let you get the benefit at instant speed with any mana you aren't using anyways...

    Running the Gaddock Teeg was more of an impulse pick than anything else. Shuts down most planeswalker, green sun zenith, and most wraths... though many aggro decks don't even notice it. Might want to replace with Song of the Dryads so that the deck has at least one "universal answer" (especially one that can take out aggressive commanders like Zurgo for a while).

    I'll admit that I went with Lost Leonin for the dream that it represents. Hitting two times for the victory (once if you have Arahbo out) is a hilarious prospect. In most cases, though, I admit that the Longtusk Cub is a better choice.

    One other card that I found for the deck (almost by accident) is Triangle of War. While it technically costs 3 mana like ambuscade, the colorless cost and ability to split that cost up might make it worth a shot.

    Edited my list.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on Edgar Markov staples??
    I actually don't agree with some of the choices in the OP

    1. To Start, cards like Sengir Vampire, Bloodbrand Vampire, and Blood Host don't really tend towards tier 1 power (even if they have the potential to build over time).
    2. While I can certainly understand the temptation to use every white vampire available, Bloodcursed Knight isn't a top-grade card. Likewise, I would hold off on Cliffhaven Vampire unless you want to focus HEAVILY on the life-gain angle.
    3. Both Crovax the Cursed and Ascendant Evincar might be worth pulling out as well. The former actively weakens all of your nonblack vampires (such as the mono-white vamps coming in Ixalan or Innistrad's Stromkirk Noble/Falkenrath Gorger, both of which would be killed by the evincar.
    4. Finally, Vampire Nocturnus might be a bit of a liability. While it's one of the few vamp lords, you can only put so many low drops that cost three black mana in a 4-color deck and Necropotence seems more useful than the nocturnus for this purpose... and revealing the top of your library gives away information. For similar mana concerns, you might want to replace Dark Prophecy with Grim Haruspex (even though tokens don't trigger the latter).

    As far as directions for a deck, the vampire tribe is nicely positioned to enter a more Aristocrats theme. Kalastria Highborn (which you noted), Blood Artist, Falkenrath Noble, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Pawn of Ulamog, Viscera Seer, and Bloodghast can all easily fit into a vampire deck, after all.

    From there, you just need a couple of additional sac outlets (Ashnod's Altar, Phyrexian Altar, Goblin Bombardment, and maybe Bloodthrone Vampire for another vampire), some revival (such as Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Oversold Cemetery, Phyrexian Reclamation, Rally the Ancestors, and Reveillark), some boardwipes (wrath of God, Damnation, Chain Reaction, and Blasphemous Acts).

    Other Notable Inclusions you might consider are:
    Purphoros, God of the Forge: 4 damage to each enemy's face (or planeswalker) for each vamp you cast
    Teysa, Orzhov Scion: Turn your vamp tokens into spirit tokens as they die, which you can sack to kill things. Works well with aristocrats.
    Wheel of Fortune: Supports any madness sub-theme while maintaining your constant supply of vampires.
    Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood: Because vampires (and aristocrats in particular) are big on life gain, why not go for the infinite combo. If you want to be more fair (and tribal), replace the first piece with Defiant Bloodlord
    Cathar's Crusade: Costs the same as Dictate of Heliod and lets those vampire tokens do serious work.
    Licia, Sanguine Tribute: If you are already running Skeletal Scrying, Necropotence, Painful Truths, and Night's Whispers, you might get some nice use out of this commander.
    Skullclamp: Hasn't been mentioned yet but pretty obvious.
    Metallic Mimic + Captivating Vampire + Door of Destinies: For tribal support.
    Anger: If you do decide to go with the discard route, this is the easiest way to give all of your dudes haste. Bonus style points if you pack filth with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.
    Vampire Hexmage + Thief of Blood: Utility against superfriends.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on A Turn Zero Mechanic (Anticipation)
    V3 was basically what I was going for, in a nutshell. Considering that Insight does nothing more than negate first-turn advantages (IF your opponent follows highly specific lines of play), I kind of doubt that any additional costs are required if the effects are highly reactive.

    Backdraft 1 mana red mana
    Deal 3 damage to target creature that entered the battlefield this turn.
    Insight (you may cast this spell for 0 mana before your first turn).

    Clever Sabotage 1 mana blue mana
    Counter target noncreature spell unless its owner pays 2 mana .
    Insight (you may cast this spell for 0 mana before your first turn).

    Yeah, that seems to work
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on [Let's Brew] Arahbo, Roar of the World
    One last card that I'm kind of considering is Ulvenwald Tracker.

    The thought of using the tracker to kill a blocker before attacking with a giant cat each round is hilarious. If your opponent can't draw into kill very fast, you win. If your opponent kills your first cat on turn 2, however, you'll be left wishing that you had cast a second cat instead. Even though you can still drop a new cat to get the buff and fight something, losing a turn of tempo like that is... bad.


    As far as equipment... that's a bit up in the air. Swiftfoot Boots, Umezawa's Jitte, and Skullclamp (if you fail to with early and need some draws more than a random 2/1 cat) are all that you really need/want. Maybe consider Hot Soup of all things if you need more unblockability but don't like the shroud that a whispersilk cloak grants.

    If you want to be cute with equipment though, you could always go with Shuko/Grafted Wargear/Sai of the Shinobi/stormrider rig/ronin warclub to automatically upgrade each new kitty you throw onto the field. Likely not the smartest plan, mind you, but cute.
    Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
  • posted a message on A Turn Zero Mechanic (Anticipation)
    At the end of the day, first turn advantage is a pretty big deal. When games rush by too quickly for one extra card to matter and proactive answers hold sway, early advantages can quickly snowball and allow a player to take over a game. Even the few cards that soften this advantage, Force of Will chief among them, often put you at an active card disadvantage in the process.

    I wanted to play around and see if I could make some cards to help absorb this advantage. In the end, I came up with the following mechanic.

    Anticipation- Discard CARDNAME: CARD EFFECT. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Unlike FoW, you don't have to burn an extra card to soften the first turn advantage. Unlike Mental Misstep, however, these cards are much harder to splash in decks without the right colors. The moment you have a single land, after all, Anticipation "turns off". Instead of being a "free" spell (which can cause real problems later in the game), it's a "before-you-can-pay" spell (slowing your enemy down for 1 turn).

    Obviously, the design space presented by Anticipation is INCREDIBLY SMALL. All effects have to be largely reactive to keep the player on the play from using them (and to keep the odd landless deck from spewing them out for the win). Likewise, these effects can only really respond to things that your opponent might do on turn 1. Even so, a small cycle or two of these cards might soak an attack by a goblin guide, blank an Inquisition of Kozilek, blow up somebody's Mox, or perform similar tasks.

    Example cards

    Oracle’s Foresight 1 mana white mana
    Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
    Anticipation- Discard Oracle’s Foresight: Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Weight of Ages 1 mana white mana white mana
    Exile target artifact or enchantment.
    Anticipation- Discard Weight of Ages: Exile target artifact or enchantment with a converted mana cost of 1 or less. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Clever Sabotage 1 mana blue mana
    Counter target spell with a converted mana cost of 3 or less.
    Anticipation- Discard Clever Sabotage: counter target spell with a converted mana cost of 0. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Spatial Redirection 2 mana blue mana blue mana
    Return up to two target nonland permanents to their owners’ hands.
    Anticipation- Discard Spatial Redirection: return target nonland permanent to its owner’s hand. Its owner may draw a card. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Forsaken Existence 3 mana black mana black mana
    Return target permanent card from an opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
    Anticipation- Discard Forsaken Existence: return target permanent card that was put into an opponent’s graveyard this turn onto the battlefield under your control. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Dark Bargain 2 mana black mana black mana
    Exile up to two target cards from target opponent’s graveyard. For each card exiled in this way, create a 2/2 black zombie creature token
    Anticipation- Discard Dark Bargain: exile target card from target opponent’s graveyard. If you do, create a 2/2 black zombie creature token. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Backdraft 1 mana red mana
    Deal 2 damage to each creature that entered the battlefield this turn.
    Anticipation- Discard Backdraft: Deal 1 damage to target creature that entered the battlefield this turn. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Clear Away 1 mana red mana red mana
    Tap up to two target land cards. Those lands don’t untap during their owners’ next untap steps.
    Anticipation- Discard Clear Away: Target land doesn’t untap during its owner’s next untap step. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Living Barricade 1 mana green mana green mana
    Create five 0/1 green plant creature tokens.
    Anticipation- Discard Living Barricade: If any opponent controls one or more creatures, Create a 0/1 green plant creature token. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    Wilf Reclamation 1 mana green mana
    Return target card that was put into your graveyard from anywhere this turn to your hand.
    Anticipation- Discard Ranger’s Cache: Return target card that was put into your graveyard from anywhere this turn on top of your library. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.

    While I know that wizards is unlikely to ever print cards like these, I am still interested in hearing any thoughts you might have on this topic.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
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