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  • posted a message on Eminence commanders for Rogues, Warriors, Elves, and Elementals
    The thief should maybe have the "spend mana as though it were mana of any type" clause. Although then you're pushing the limit on text space. It could be fun to build around that by needing to include a lot of "mana of any color" sources, though. There's also a definite advantage simply to exiling things facedown, since then players will never be certain what they've lost from their deck.

    Battle cry on all warriors is very abusable. You might try "nontoken warriors" or just "whenever a nontoken warrior you control attacks, creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn." Something along those lines.

    The elf is my favorite of these. Works very well on every level, and avoids being overpowered since elves are usually mana dorks anyways. I will second that it could just be "elf spells" and not "elf creature spells".

    The Stormsire is way busted. Firstly, cascade shouldn't go on anything below 3 CMC because certain cards exist. Second, even without those problem cards, that's still way too much card advantage for free from the command zone where it can never be dealt with, in colors that already include both blue and green. Overall that's a total rework on the eminence ability.

    On a side note for The Stormsire; I get that the X is there for cascade, but it should probably also factor in to its text box in some way so that the card feels more streamlined and intuitive.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on What are your thoughts on black is gonna learn how to remove enchantment
    In terms of flavor I'm 100% for black being able to remove enchantments. If any color knows how to destroy a metaphysical concept given power like 'hope' or 'rancor', it should be black, not green. It follows closely with black's motifs of inflicting insanity or despair.

    I also think that black should be able to take control of (but not destroy) artifacts in place of blue.

    As the most power-hungry color, black should care a lot more about artifacts on the battlefield than blue, with more effects like the Nim or Phylactery Lich that care about greedily hoarding them (while blue is still the go-to color for 'inventing' them, with cards to help search for them, cast them, or put them directly into play as already exist)

    Black should also have the ability to steal artifacts as a result of coveting them. (Which limits their artifact 'removal' competitively since gaining control always costs a lot more than destroying and is almost always sorcery-speed, while you probably won't get much use out of an opponent's non-creature artifact if your deck isn't built around it. This still allows the Naya colors to be better at dealing with artifacts and avoids crowding them out).

    Buuut that's probably just me.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Awful, awful creatures with terrible downsides?
    I second Lord of Tresserhorn, as you could then play the vertical cycle of Flailing Soldier, Flailing Ogre, and Flailing Manticore. He'll also flat-out lose you fewer games for casting him than a Dralnu without counterspell support will.

    There are Hunted Dragon, Hunted Troll, and Hunted Phantasm, all of which I would consider bad cards in commander without a way to exploit the tokens. (but maybe not awful awful)

    Cosmic Larva,
    Drooling Ogre,
    Goldnight Castigator
    Jagged Poppet,
    Mardu Blazebringer,
    and Qal Sisma Behemoth are some good reasons to run red.

    Ogres are apparently rife with badness as well. Raving Oni-Slave also exists.

    Also Worldgorger Dragon and Soulgorger Orgg are really bad.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on I hope Emminence comes back for C19. Roast me :D
    I'd love a version of eminence that is only relevant to deck building.
    "Expertise - If ~ is your commander, your deck may include vampire/atog/aura/trap/arcane/curse/whatever cards of any color identity, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any type to cast them."

    Or something along those lines.

    As for actual eminence. I'm quite fond of the Ur-Dragon and Arahbo. I think Edgar is busted and that aggro being a bad commander archetype doesn't really justify him, and Inalla is completely rediculous. I don't think the issue of eminence is that there is no interaction, but that WotC pushed it a bit too far given that there is no interaction.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why do Magic player's defend the color pie so much?
    Quote from Sephon19 »
    Quote from Anachronity »

    To begin with, colors are prevented from doing certain things for largely flavorful reasons, not balance reasons. Frankly, I don't agree on what the magic design team has decided is the best mechanical way to represent each color's concept. For example I think black should have a lot more interaction with artifacts, as the color that most craves power and wealth, among other changes. But ultimately it's all a question of how you express each color, and what things each color isn't allowed to do so that the other colors are more distinct by comparison.

    The flavor/balance relation is more complex than you make it out to be, and your misunderstanding of this basic property of Magic is part of your problem of understanding how the game is designed - and why, for example, that black isn't able to deal with artifacts.

    The mechanical reason colors are restricted is because of Magic's land based mana system. The colors being restricted pushes you to include more colors when building a deck, but it makes your deck inconsistent and therefore weaker against more focused strategies if you do so. It's the primary reason the game works so well.

    It's true that the basic idea of the five colors and their approaches and wants is based upon five relatively complex outlines of several interacting ideas. White being about structure and red being about freedom, for example. But the thing is, as Mark Rosewater has said a thousand times at this point, flavor can legitimize pretty much anything. Song of the Dryads make intuitive sense, but is a major color break as it undercuts green's basic weakness - being overtly reliant on creatures. The idea that black is greedy and materialistic isn't wrong, but to go from there and believe that black should be a primary interactor with artifacts undercut the mechanical identities of the Jeskai colors, particularly blue. And the colors need to be separated for the game to be mechanically meaningful. The moment you abandon the principles of rigid mechanical division, you might as well just abandon the colors - something other games have done, like Yu Gi Oh, a game that doesn't use colors at all. The moment you stop doing colors the way Magic does, it's no longer Magic, and you might as well play something different. Which is fine, by the way.
    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I'm attempting to establish a very general chronology of how designing the colors might have gone. When I said "To begin with", I meant "Before taking into account everything that exists currently".

    I'm saying that mechanical color division exists and is good, but the exact mechanics that were chosen for each color in the first place were mostly arbitrary, specifically because flavor can be used to justify anything.

    If you can flavorfully justify something then it can work for a given color in a vacuum, so long as each color remains distinct in some way and no one color crowds out the rest. In a world where blue gets direct damage, perhaps it can't draw cards so easily to reinforce its steady, deliberate nature while the obvious connection between red and fire is instead expressed by causing 'fiery' effects to discard cards, in the sense of burning books or embodying loss.

    And from that flavorful choice, they then have to create balance.

    This means that a version of green that has great, non-creature-based card draw can't also have great creatures and also-also good nonspecific removal. Perhaps this new green can't handle enchantments well because it's content to let things be 'as they always have been' (i.e. one of green's conceptual flaws is that it is too 'traditional). But the final takeaway is that if green had been made around good creatureless card draw then it would need to have been balanced very differently as a color than it is now.

    And if you didn't need to worry about pre-existing cards, then you would be free to re-imagine each color anew within each block. But you can't. Because the traits, characteristics, and strengths of each color has already been determined. Those cards already exist. If you try to take a color in a new direction and ignore the old cards, then it will end up having both the strengths of the old cards and the new cards, which will diminish the importance of there being five colors.

    Red never had to have great burn to start with, but it does now for the sole reason that the old great burn exists. It can't be good at something new now that it wasn't good at before or else it will have both and no longer need any other colors.

    But I think that the existing colors can still be bad at something new, because doing so won't upset that mechanical balance. Desert Twister is totally fine because it costs 6 mana. This is blatantly true when they've shown they're willing to print Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, Scour from Existence, or Karn Liberated at only 1 or 2 mana more. Nobody is complaining about The Great Aurora being able to directly remove creatures and planeswalkers or for infringing on red's wheelhouse of destroying all the things because it's almost completely unplayable anyways. They gave black Enslave even though it had never previously had anything of the sort and even though it's outside of what black's colors were previously allowed to do, and nobody cared because it's not worth 4 extra mana (or, by today's standards, 5 extra mana) to steal the thing instead of just killing it.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Why do Magic player's defend the color pie so much?
    The color pie is mainly about flavor. Each color represents immaterial concepts, which the game attempts to express through concrete mechanics. Blue likes forethought; what's more forward-thinking than preventing a problem from ever happening in the first place? Red likes fire, which manifests in game mechanics as direct damage effects.

    To begin with, colors are prevented from doing certain things for largely flavorful reasons, not balance reasons. Frankly, I don't agree on what the magic design team has decided is the best mechanical way to represent each color's concept. For example I think black should have a lot more interaction with artifacts, as the color that most craves power and wealth, among other changes. But ultimately it's all a question of how you express each color, and what things each color isn't allowed to do so that the other colors are more distinct by comparison.

    And from that flavorful choice, they then have to create balance. They want each color to be as distinct competitively as it is thematically; Magic wouldn't be Magic without all five colors being represented. The exact things that each color does are arbitrary, but each color needs to be balanced in accordance to its shortcomings. Therein lies the balance problem. If you suddenly give a color the option to remove one of its shortcomings, that prior cards made were balanced around it having, that color may become too powerful compared to the others and crowd them out, thus ruining the central concept of Magic as a game of five equally-important colors.

    For short-term formats, it doesn't really matter what any given color is or isn't able to do so long as it matches the concept for the color and the cards in that format are balanced around what each color can and can't do. But for eternal formats, you also have to keep in mind every prior card printed as well, or else one of them might allow a color to ignore its intended shortcomings. That's fairly readily seen in red: burn spells are red's thing, and they're scary efficient in modern. So, the logic is that it needs more restrictions than most other colors because of the power and versatility of burn. White gets great creature removal because Swords to Plowshares existed and influenced future card design, even though white in concept seems like it should be bad at efficiently removing just a single creature.

    The simplest way to account for old cards is to be consistent across sets about what colors can and can't do. This means blue gets to do almost everything, because it was the original self-insert color for nerds, and that red is very limited, because very efficient burn spells exist to be abused if red ever gets good card draw.

    Whether they need to be quite so strict as most people say? I don't think so, as long as they maintain the conceptual flavor of each color. It makes sense to me that black should be able to Steal Artifacts, but perhaps they still can't destroy them because they're simply too precious to lose, and so they lack any cheap ways of dealing with artifacts (and often in competitive games you don't benefit as much as they do for just having the artifact). I think red could have a lot more Enchanter's Bane-type effects, as long as they always offer that choice of sacrificing the enchantment and so are made less attractive than a similarly-costed white spell that removes enchantments. 'Off-color' cards should have a cost and power according to the relative difficulty of just splashing another color and using that color's effects instead. If it's done correctly then each color will still retain its flavor and competitive balance would be improved.

    But, I'm not in charge of card design, nor am I the most experienced in professional magic. I would like to say that I would do better than most, but I can't deny that there are people out there with more qualified opinions than mine.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Demon Deck Ideas- New to Commander
    You're not going to get fast demons outside of Kaalia, and she has a bit of a... reputation as being too strong not to kill. If you play with groups outside of your fiance and her brother then I'd avoid her. If you only play with those two then the onus is on you to make sure your deck remains fair since I'm assuming theirs are not particularly competitive.

    I would say your best bet is to run someone else alongside a fair assortment of kill spells to stay in the game until you can start laying some demons down later on.

    I've had positive experiences with both Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath and Kagemaro, First to Suffer, both as control-heavy black decks.

    Ob Nixilis appreciates good removal and good blockers (Wall of Souls, Vampire Nighthawk, Will-o'-the-Wisp, Mischievous Poltergeist), and in return gives you good life management to stay in the game and comes with his own demon buddy/buddies for additional blocking.

    Kagemaro appreciates being run with relatively few creatures, more card advantage spells (Night's Whispers, Read the Bones, Promise of Power), and ways to easily get her back from the graveyard (Animate Dead, Undying Evil, Disentomb, Reaping the Graves, Death Denied). She can be a bit unfun to play against for certain decks though.

    Of course, as a monoblack deck you'll want to run things like Nevinyrral's Disk, Oblivion Stone, Unstable Obelisk, and possibly Scour from Existence just to deal with critical artifacts and enchantments (better options than these also exist, but get into higher price ranges).

    One of the best strategies for midrange, I've found, is to run sweepers for creatures smaller than what you're running. Demon of Dark Schemes, Yahenni's Expertise, Night Incarnate, and Toxic Deluge (that last one is fairly pricey, but very worthwhile) can kill your opponent's things while leaving your own mostly untouched. I've found the sweetspot is usually -3/-3 or 3 damage, as that kills most utility commanders and creatures while most demons have more than 3 toughness.

    Liliana's Contract is probably the best 'demon tribal' card out there, largely for lack of competition. Remember that a demon token counts as a demon named "Demon". Blood Speaker and Bloodthirsty Ogre are the next best.

    Some good demons that aren't too pricey...
    Abhorrent Overlord
    Archfiend of Depravity
    Bloodgift Demon
    Demon of Wailing Agonies
    Desecration Demon (not actually that good, but can be fun)
    Doom Whisperer (~$5)
    Harvester of Souls
    Kagemaro, First to Suffer (if not your commander)
    Kothophed, Soul Hoarder
    Ob Nixilis, the Fallen (~$10)
    Overseer of the Damned (~$4)
    Pestilence Demon
    Reaper from the Abyss
    Seizan, Perverter of Truth?? (iffy, but fun; ~$5)
    Sower of Discord
    Spawn of Mayhem
    Vilis, Broker of Blood
    Westvale Abbey (~$5)
    Rune-Scarred Demon (~$5)

    There are lots of demons out there that like eating (or otherwise sacrificing) creatures smaller than them, such as Demonlord of Ashmouth, Demon of Catastrophes, or Demon of Death's Gate, although they don't play well in a deck that's heavy with other big demons which you don't generally want to sacrifice. If you want to run some zombie token generators then those demons will play nicely with them, and the zombies are also a good way to hold off the early-game legions until you can start playing some big meanies.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on July 18, 2019
    Votes: bravelion83, DiscardUnearth

    Angel Engine 6
    Artifact Creature - Angel Construct (R)
    Flying, vigilance
    W, T: You gain life equal to the life you've lost this turn. (Damage causes loss of life.)
    1B, T: Each opponent loses life equal to the life they lost this turn.
    It is not able to rest, nor falter.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on The Mighty Morphin' Magic Card
    Soul-Light Wombat + Hammer of Bogardan

    Soul-Light Hammer 1WUR
    Soul-Light Hammer deals 3 damage to any target. You gain 3 life and scry 3.
    Whenever you cast an enchantment spell, if Soul-Light Hammer is in your graveyard, you may pay WUR. If you do, return Soul-Light Hammer to its owner's hand.
    Posted in: Custom Card Contests and Games
  • posted a message on Sheldon's Thoughts on infinite combos
    I enjoy any commander game where everyone is playing decks at the same level. Degenerate combo-control is totally fine by me as long as you didn't shrug and say 'sure' to that new kid who asked to join the table because they wanted to test out their precon for the first time. Counterspell wars are honestly awesome as long as everyone can participate. Because, as has been pointed out before, it feels like there's a buildup to it. Every spell counts and every slight grievance against you is a white-knuckle choice of "do I retaliate, or do I let it slide in case I need to stop a win?" Every previous choice matters.

    But if you've allowed someone playing red-green minotaur tribal into that game, you've basically graciously allowed them to waste two to three hours of their life either not understanding why they don't get to have fun or else understanding it perfectly well and being too polite to walk away. It's a similar case for the inverse situation where everyone is having fun with their battlecruiser jank, and then you cut in with a counter-supported combo just before the game could reach its glorious finale.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Scary Stories Thread
    My mother loves old victorian-style houses, and we ended up moving into one in a small town with a very beautiful such house.
    In fact, this house
    (I'm not the current owner, so this isn't a shill or anything. To the contrary I recommend staying away just because it's in a small town in the rust belt, unless you're old and just looking for a quiet place to retire)

    When I was a kid I always hated going into that basement. Apparently the realtors do too, since even though they're trying to sell the house there isn't a single picture of the basement. Even the stairway down is blocked by the fridge in the shot of the kitchen, but you can see the top of the door and frame behind it (the kitchen is about 2/3rds of the way through the images).

    It doesn't help that the stairway down is made of creaky mismatched wood and has no back (the sort where you can imagine a hand reaching through from behind to grab your foot). All the lights were of the dangling light-bulb sort, and the furnace was loud and scary for a kid. But what creeped me out more than anything was the walled-off well just to the right of the staircase. It took up that corner of the basement, and there's an opening in the wall facing the other direction, just high up enough so that, I assume, you could fetch water back in the day but adventurous children couldn't easily fall in.

    But there was never a time I was down there and didn't feel, very strongly, like I was being watched by something within that lightless hole. I always kept the basement door closed and would never ever go down there when I was home alone, no matter how damn badly I wanted my nerf gun from the toy chest. Frown

    Because I was always afraid that something would grab me through the gaps in the stairs and drag me into the deep well, where nobody would ever find me or know what had happened. They'd probably think that I'd been kidnapped or that I ran away instead. I definitely had nightmares of that sort, at least.

    But I'd never actually experienced any instances of malevolent ghosts or strange noises, or heard of anything like that from my slightly-older brother (who was similarly afraid of the basement). Just that strong feeling of unease and of being watched. Being the book-worm that I was I decided in a particularly heavy bout of summer break boredom to investigate at the library, and discovered that the original owners of the house, for whom it was built, had perished in that well.

    You see, the kitchen is directly above the well. You can notice from the image that the floor is made of wooden plank-type bits. The modern architecture is much more cohesive and well supported, but the older flooring was similar in design yet without the same support. The wood had rotted from the humidity of the well beneath, and gave way.

    Now that I'm older and have my bachelor's in physics I find the idea of the supernatural hard to believe. But I remember thinking at the time, even before I learned the well's history, "This isn't a normal feeling. Something is in there." or similar thoughts. But it's hard to remember the feeling now, just my thoughts about it. I do want to go back and visit that house some time, preferably during the day, just to see if I still get that feeling.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Phyrexian Invasion of Ixilan
    Sorry but no, they're invading Ravnica first.

    As we all know, the only singular possible thing that the word 'ichor' can refer to in Magic is the Phyrexian goodjuice. Any evidence to the contrary is wrong and should be shouted down and ignored.
    Noxious Groodion's flavor text clearly states it slurps ichor, and it was printed before Fountain of Ichor. How could it slurp ichor if there wasn't any already there? Ergo, Tezzeret left some Phyrexian body lotion (ichor) on Ravnica in preparation for the coming invasion.
    Posted in: Storyline Speculation
  • posted a message on Swindler's Shanty
    Considering the opponent needs to choose to play along, the default effect of this is...
    Create a Treasure token at the beginning of your end step.

    Which is pretty underwhelming. You might consider having it come into play with two verse counters instead, and change the wording to
    "discard a card with converted mana cost greater than or equal to the number of [...]"

    Also, it might be better as an activated ability with an "any player may activate this ability, but only during your end step." clause (something similar having been used in fairly recent cards). That way anyone can get pulled into the con rather than just the player to your left.
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Kluxion, Eidolon of Vengeance (WBR)
    I second it not having negative P/T; that's just overly complicated and means you need more extraneous wording just to obviate it anyways.

    the association between it being a 4/4 and giving the enchanted creature -4/-4 is already intuitive enough; i.e. that Kluxion is "cursing" the creature. However if you're going to give it deathtouch and haste, it really should also give the enchanted creature deathtouch and haste just for flavor/consistency reasons. It could even give +4/-4 just so it has extra usage; vengeance can also mean allowing an ally to attack with reckless strength!
    Posted in: Custom Card Creation
  • posted a message on Best packs for "Summon the Pack"?
    Legions was all creatures, so there's that. Though I imagine you'd be better off with one of the original Zendikar sets just for the annihilator triggers, in terms of both in-game and out-of-game value.
    Posted in: Magic General
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