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The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
 
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
 
All Sets Are Good: Prophecy
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    Parasitic Might: seems fine. Probably appropriately coated since sometimes it just moves your counters. Sometimes does nothing. I’m a little concerned that having multiples out can be confusing. I think it would be better if instead of moving a counter from each creature, it moved one from target creature instead.

    Revere the Dead
    1B
    Sorcery
    Return target creatur from your graveyard to the battlefield, then sacrifice it.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Double strike question
    Regarding Burse stark, and Odric, the answer is ‘No’. This is because Odric’s ability triggers at the beginning of Combat step (before declare attacks) and Burse’s doesn’t trigger until after he has been decclared as an attacker.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Vs traditional tron is also bring in the Pithing Needle and cut a burn spell (probably helix). Tron wins most of their games vs UWx on the back of either Karn or Ugin, and Pithing needle can shut both down. There’s not much else to cut, although if you don’t want to go down further on your burn I’d trim a Logic Knot since they often have a ton of extra mana.

    I think that it is almost never right to cut visions when boarding, cut a card that’s actually dead opposed to one that helps you find what you need. Along those lines, Logic Knot and cryptic both lose utility against decks that play Cavern like E tron. I’m also not convinced that it’s worth playing Stony and Needle vs E tron. Shutting down Balista and Endbringer (in the case of Needle) is nice, but in either case they still leave behind a problematically large body. Electrolyze also has no place being left in vs E tron. I’m torn on cutting Snare. On one hand it’s only real target is chalice for 1. On the other stopping a chalice for 1 is how we can survive most games.

    As a more general note, I personally dislike Stony Silence in the board right now. The only deck it is truly stellar against is Lantern and that deck isn’t widely played. While good against affinity it doesn’t stop their most problematic card (Champion), and against Tron while it does shut down map and O-Stone, it’s not incredible because it can be removed. Personally I like a mix of Wear//Tear (instant speed and can hit enchantments) and D Sphere (can hit any troublesome permanent) over Stony right now.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    The effect on Replow feels rare rather than uncommon. I like the idea of shuffling the graveyard in first to prevent abuse (either by stacking the top 7 or just to get more cards in the graveyard), but at 6 mana I’m not sure if it’s required.

    Replace
    U
    Instant (Uncommon)
    Change the target of target spell that targets you or a permanent you control to you or another target permanent you control (The new target must still be a legal target.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Ice cave and Possibility storm
    A cards mana cost is a printed characteristic of the card. Cost increases or decreases, or paying an alternative casting cost (such as with possibility storm or for its overload cost) does not change the cards mana cost. Additionally, additional costs, such as kicker, no not change the cards mana cost.

    So to run through the examples you listed:

    If a player casts a Serra Angel off of possibility storm without paying its mana cost, other players can still counter it using ice cave, but they have to pay the full printed mana cost (in this case 3WW).

    If a card with kicker is cast (let’s say Burst Lightning), I’ve Caves let’s you counter the spell by paying R

    Basically, you have to pay whatever is printed in the top right hand corner of the card you want to counter with Ice Cave, no matter what was actually paid to cast the card.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    Call to War is interesting. The initial mode is aggressively costed enough to make it appealing in single player, with an upside that encourages aggression in multiplayer. The one thing I will say is that, as neat as it is, I think it would work more cleanly as an enchantment with the casting from the graveyard replaced with a triggered ability.

    Grave Exchange
    3UB
    Enchantment
    When Grave Exchange enters the battlefield, exile all creature cards from all graveyards.
    Whenever a creature dies, exile it.
    Whenever a player casts a creature spell, exile it, then choose another creature card exiled by Grave Exchange and put it onto the battlefield.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on The Great Designer Search 3
    Time for my short answers:

    2. If you had to make an existing keyword mechanic evergreen, which one would you choose and why?

    Flashback. It is a widely liked mechanic that has a wide range of uses and is very popular. It is not particularly complex and also can be situated as the UB overlap mechanic. Past attempts to give UB a creature focused overlap haven't been particularly successful, so perhaps giving them a spell focused one will work out.

    3. If you had to remove evergreen status from a keyword mechanic that is currently evergreen, which one would you remove and why?

    Trample would be the keyword that I remove. While the mechanic itself serves a purpose (keeping big creatures from being blocked repeatedly by smaller ones), it is fairly complex mechanically and as magic has grown as a game, more and more complex cases relating to trample keep popping up. Also, the mechanic has weird half-flavor, why does being stomped on by a giant elephant hurt less if it has to go over my 0/4 wall first? Finally, less complex evasion mechanics for big green creatures, such as 'can't be blocked by power X or less', are increasingly making trample obsolete by providing alternative technology that does the same thing.

    5. What is Magic's greatest strength and why?

    Magic's greatest strength is the diversity of people that it can appeal to and the number of different ways that players can enjoy the game. Magic can appeal to both casual and competitive players, and provides so many different ways that players can build decks and enjoy the game that it gives it a reach that few other games have.

    6. What is Magic's greatest weakness and why?

    Magic's greatest weakness is related to its strength. With so many different ways to get enjoyment from the game, there can be issues when players who enjoy different aspects of magic meet and try to play together. For example, if a player who plays powerful combo decks in legacy meets with a player who enjoys playing unique tribal decks, neither of them are going to have a good time since each player is not contributing to the game in a way that the other enjoys. Magic has taken steps to alleviate this issue by creating and supporting a wide range of formal play rulesets, but keeping all of the different types of players happy is always going to be a struggle.

    7. What Magic mechanic most deserves a second chance (aka which had the worst first introduction compared to its potential)?

    Empirically the answer is probably meld. The mechanic had a lot going for it when it was first introduced, but was hampered by its low frequency (there are only 3 sets of meld cards), the fact that it was competing for space with a very popular mechanic (transform) and that it was tied to a tribe that had generated widespread negative impressions after its unpopular use in the previous block (Eldrazi in BFZ). Ultimately, it felt that design/development wasn't ready to commit the space that meld needs in a set to shine, and that if given a chance it could drastically outperform it's performance in EMN.

    8. Of all the Magic expansions that you've played with, pick your favorite and then explain the biggest problem with it.

    Of the 'core' expansions, I always felt that it was strange that in Innistrad the two of the colours that care the least about creatures were the ones that had the most incentive to put creatures in their own graveyard. I felt that GB in particular would have benefited from having a stronger graveyard theme.

    9. Of all the Magic expansions that you've played with, pick your least favorite and then explain the best part about it.

    BFZ. Despite all of the issues that the set had, converge was a very interesting mechanic that has a lot of potential. It was extremely misplaced in the format however.

    10. You have the ability to change any one thing about Magic. What do you change and why?

    Mechanically? I would add subtypes to spells similar to what we have for creatures. It would help create a sense of flavor for each spell, and opens up some design space that isn't currently available (by caring about specific spell types, for example you could create a creature that deals a damage to a craeture or player whenever you cast a 'fire' spell).
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    I agree that P&K are best vs grindy decks. It’s also worth noting that P&K are worth boarding in a Bloodmoon decks since you can cast them through blood moon. They can also be good vs infect where the extra flying blockers are nice, and vs affinity since there are times that they will resolve an etched champion at a time when we can’t deny them metalcraft.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    Boethus:
    The moment this turns on (which isn’t hard to do in a dedicated deck), it will instantly win the game vs a lot of decks. Give it hexproof or indestructible (again also not hard to do) and it suddenly wins against most of them. The card seems super problematic and does not encourage fun or interesting play, particularly at its low cost and reasonably sized body.

    Protomorph Primordial
    3UURR
    Creature - Ooze
    ~ ETB with 4 +1/+1 counters on it.
    When ~ becomes a target of a spell, remove a +1/+1 counter from it. If you do, copy that spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.
    When ~ is dealt damage by a creature, remove a +1/+1 counter from ~. If you do, prevent that damage, then create a token that is a copy of the creature that dealt damage to ~.
    0/0
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    By the time that I would have 10 permanents on the battlefield, it will be easier to just cast Time Warp rather than try to protect a 1/1 for a turn with timestream Navigator.

    Admiral’s Orders are interesting, but only really in the tempo build because the upside is only relevant if you’ve attacked, otherwise why not play Disallow or another cancel with upside. It’s also worth noting that outside of control there’s not really a lot of decks that want to be casting spells on your turn, so I’m a little sceptical here.

    Indused Amnesia seems to be too much work for too little gain. Currently the only way we have to get it off the field is with Cryptic, and otherwise it’s just card disadvantage. It’s a lot of mana and a lot of cards to invest in something that’s not a guaranteed payout, especially since we need to draw a way to remove it after it enters the battlefield. It doesn’t seem worth the deckslot.

    Blood Sun shuts off Colonnade and other utility lands while not preventing Tron from generating a ton of mana. It’s maybe an option vs Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, but there are better options if you want to improve your game vs Valakut.

    Dire Fleet Daredevil is bad. It relies on your opponent playing spells that you are happy to cast on your turn. Not having access to your own spells alone is enough to make it unplayable on its own, and making it not have flash is even worse.

    Marauder is fine. It helps Geist of Saint Traft get through, which is relevant, but again not having flash is annoying. It’s also hard to protect, as unlike Snapcaster its a card that actually has to stay around to get value from it. Some builds do play Rattlechains, so I guess it’s a question of whether or not Marauder is a better option than rattlechains.

    All in all, 2 maybes, one card that is better against us than for us, and a few cards that just seem bad.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Went 3-0-1 at a local Modern event on Wednesday (my final round opponent and I ID'd so that we could leave early). Was running running the more control based below list:



    My mainboard is based on a Jeskai control list that did well in an MTGO challenge a few weeks back. The sideboard was something of a scramble since I'm still waiting for a few copies of some cards, the Geists will likely become Pia and Kiran Nalaar, the Stony Silences will become Wear//Tear, and I want to fit an Engineered Explosives in somewhere. I'm also still trying to figure out what I want my sideboard grave hate card to be. I keep flipping between Surgical and Relic, and I'm not sure which I prefer.

    To go over my matchups:

    Round 1 vs Jund Living End (2-0)
    Game one is a nail bitter. My opponent gets off an early living end, although I'm able to clean it up with paths and helixes my life total starts to get low. I manage to stabilize and am able to counter his second living end and kill him with bolts and beats before he can get his third.

    Sideboard: -1 Ajani, -1 Avacyn, -2 Spell Snare, +2 Surgicals, +1 Negate, +1 Azcanta
    I'm concerned about exactly 1 card in this matchup, Living End. Unless I get blown out by a living end I'll eventually win, so I side out Ajani and Avacyn for more ways to answer living ends. Spell snare also comes out since it's dead in the matchup (Jund Living end can't run any CMC 2 spells, although note that the As Foretold build can). I considered brining in Detention Sphere, but decided against it after seeing Beast Within in my opponents maindeck.

    Game two sees my opponent mull to 6 and then miss a third land drop after cycling multiple times. I'm able play Search for Azcantaon turn 2 and then go shields up and my opponent scoops after I counter all of his living ends. The most relevant play I made was playing around my opponent having multiple Simian Spirit Guide in hand when he cast his 2nd living end. Post-game he mentioned that I was correct to do so since he had 2 in hand, and he also shared that he felt that Living End's best chance of winning vs control was to try to go for a T2 living end.

    Round 2 - Eldrazi Tron (2-0)
    I won the die roll and lead with a fetch and was very unhappy to see a tron land on turn 1. Although my opponent had a Matter Reshaper T2 off of Eldrazi Temple, I was able deal with both on T3 using a combination of Field of Ruin and path. Although my opponent soon is playing Thought-Knot Seers, I'm able to hold them off with a mix of Quellers and removal, and eventually win by bolting him to 4 and swinging with Colonnade

    Sideboard: - 1 Clique, -1 Avacyn, -1 Ajani, -2 Electrolyze, -1 Helix, +2 Surgical, + 1 Search, + 2 Detention Sphere, + 1 Blessed Alliance
    In retrospect I boarded poorly here. Clique probably should have stayed in since it is a reasonable clock and does provide some hand distruption, even though it does die to Walking Ballista. I also don't think I should have boarded in the surgicals. Unlike straight UW (I alternate between the two have have just switched back to Jeskai), there isn't a deep land denial package in jeskai which makes the surgicals less useful against tron. Additionally, E tron feels less reliant on its lands than the traditional GX builds, and I think the upside of surgicaling away a tron land or temple isn't worth the card slot. I should have brought in Verdict instead. Additionally, I forgot about Chalice of the Void for X=1 being very good against me, so I should have taken out a bolt instead of a helix to lessen the impact.

    The game started poorly for me. My opponent lead with a tron land and I followed with a Colonnade, only for my opponent to play chalice for X=1, stranding a visions and a surgical in my hand. I'm able to follow up with a Search for Azcanta before my opponent starts chaining Thought-Knot Seers. I'm fortunately able to find a Queller for his second Seer. Even though he kill my queller the next turn, I'm able to answer both seers with a top-decked Detention Sphere, which draws me 2 cards and puts me back into the game. I feed a couple of the spells in my hand to the chalice in order to flip Azcanta, and even though my opponent has Ghost Quarter for it I'm able to get one dig from it to find a Cryptic, which gives me the time to get back into the game.

    Round 3 vs UG Infect (2-1)
    Game 1 was a typical interactive matchup vs Infect. He plays his creatures and I kill them as soon as I can. I quickly deplete his resources and manage to avoid getting blown out. Game was tense but not particularly interesting.

    Sideboard: -1 Ajani, -1 Avacyn, -1 Search, -3 Cryptics, -1 Logic Knot, -1 Clique, + 1 Negate, + 2 Verdict, + 2 D Sphere, + 1 Staticaster, + 1 Blessed Alliance, + 1 Lightning Helix

    Sideboard choices were based around the fact that I turn the corner quickly if I can survive the first few turns. Slow cards like Avacyn and Ajani come out, more answers come in. I brought in Negate since the real danger in their deck is their pump spells, particularly the ones that give some kind of protection (and Become Immense), and Negate is brought in to fight them.

    Game 2 has me keep a slowish hand full of powerful 3 mana answers. T1 has my opponent play a Glistener Elf and follow it up with a second (with mana up). T3 he plays a land, attacks me for 2 poison (putting me at 3) and passes. At this point, in my hand, I have a land that comes into play untapped, a bolt, a Electrolyze, and a D Sphere (and some other cards that aren't relevant). At this point my good lines are as follows: 1: Kill one elf now and attempt to get the other with D Sphere, 2: Kill one elf and attempt to get the other with Electrolyze, 3: Attempt to get a 2 for 1 with D sphere, 4: Attempt a 3 for 1 with Electrolyze. I don't like lines 3 and 4 since if my opponent has any kind of protection spell than a pump spell to back it up, I'm probably dead. I decide to try to kill one elf with bolt EoT, and then try to kill the second with Electrolyze. I make the mistake of trying to kill the second elf on his turn, however, in order to bait a pump spell. My opponent has a second to back it up and I die. In retrospect, I should have just tried to kill the second elf on my own turn with the D-Sphere, because at least that way if I force him to spend a spell protecting it, he then has one fewer pump spell to kill me.

    Game 3 plays out much like game 1. I get a huge tempo boost when I'm able to kill my opponents Inkmoth Nexus when he is on 3 lands, and then am able to play Field of Ruin, which essentially locks down his second nexus. I quickly deplete my opponent's resources through 1-for-1 trading and he concedes.

    Overall, the deck felt good and I was very pleased with my performance, apart from the one misplay in game 2 vs infect. As some thoughts on key cards:

    Spell Snare: Spell snare feels good right now, particularly in this store's metagame. There are a few matchups where its dead, but in most others its one of the better cards in the deck.

    Detention Sphere: The card is an all-star in the board and although it was a last-minute substitution, I'm going to keep it in. The fact that it hits any permanent is great, although the fact that it got me a game winning 4-for-1 vs E-Tron may be colouring my opinion slightly.

    Field of Ruin: The card is great for us. Being able to answer key lands without setting our mana back is clutch. I would play a second in a heartbeat if I could find room (I like Desolate Lighthouse too much and don't want to go up to 25 lands, but cutting the lighthouse may be right).

    Archangel Avacyn: I wanted to test the card after seeing her in a couple of lists, but so far she hasn't come up a lot and I've been consistently boarding her out. I like that she's a flash threat that plays surprisingly well with Queller, but it might just be that she's a dead slot.

    Serum Visions/Opt: I'm torn on which card is better. Visions does a better job of finding what you need, but means that you have to sometimes make tough decisions regarding your lands when playing it. Opt is less powerful, but it is instant speed and helps you get the card you need right away. Opt is also a decent think to Snapcaster Mage back on your opponent's end step. I'm currently happy with my 3/2 split, but might try to find room for a 3rd opt.

    Spell Queller: The 2nd best card in the deck after Snapcaster Mage. I want to try to find room for a 4th, but I'm not convinced that the 4th Queller is better than the 1st Clique. Maybe if I cut Avacyn I'll add in a 4th queller.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [POLL] What cards do you want banned or unbanned in the January 15, 2018 announcement?
    Unbans: Bloodbraid Elf

    Bloodbraid Elf isn’t completely safe, but I think there is a strong argument that it was banned for Deathrite Shaman’s sins. Additionally, while people get caught up in the cards applications in Jund, I also feel that the card could help more traditional RG aggro/zoo builds as a good top-end, especially since the zoo archetype has been missing from the meta for quite some time. Helping Jund is just a nice little bonus, and may make it so that there is a slightly better argument to play Jund over Abzan.

    Bans: None

    I don’t think anything really deserves a ban right now. The metagame is currently in a dynamic state, with no major deck dominating for too long. It will be interesting to see what the PT looks like and how the format evolves after that. Then we have a good opportunity to discuss bans.

    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    My concern with Atanna is that her ability makes her too difficult for decks lacking non-damage based removal to deal with. If you ever make an attack with her into a board that can kill her, you are probably winning this turn, and she is otherwise unkillable in combat. I’d look to either weaken her ability, making it so that creature based decks can answer her, or raise her costs to reflect her durability.

    Raging Rapids
    Land Creature - Elemental
    (This card is blue)
    When Raging Rapids enters the battlefield, you may pay 2UU. If you don’t, exile Raging Rapids, then you may search your library for a basic Island and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. If you do, shuffle your library.
    Prowess
    T: add U to your mana pool.
    3/2
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Salvation's SCCT/OCaaT - Single Card Ideas By YOU!
    EDIT: miscliked post to early

    RE: Ignition Spark

    I’m inherently cautious of Squadron Hawk effects, since in constructed is essentially 1 damage plus draw 3. I think that 1 damage is enough weaker than a 1/1 flier that this is probably fine though. If I was being cautious I would limit this so that it only hits creature and walkers, but it’s probably safe on its own.

    Die Alone
    BB
    Enchantment - Aura Curse
    Rare
    Enchant Creature
    The enchanted creature has ‘This creature is indestructible as long as you control at least one other creature’ and ‘At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice another creature. If you can’t, sacrifice the enchanted creature’.

    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on UW Control

    Um, can't they just sac Codex Shredder to get back the first decay? I agree that a Lil' Gid into Jura could easily do it, but even then they can just wait until they've exiled a Colonnade with Pyxis of Pandemonium (assuming they play it) and sac it to start beating down Jura and end the game that way.


    Pyxis of Pandemoneum doesn’t work the way you seem to think it does. Each player puts all permanents exiled with Pyxis of Pandemoneum that they own into the battlefield, so if they’ve exiled a colonnade and then sac Pyxis, YOU get the colonnade, plus any other permanents youowned that err exiled by the Pyxis.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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