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  • posted a message on What's the worst Mark up you've seen?
    27% markup here in the Philippines for single decks, and 14% markup if you buy all 5. Since distribution in my country's really poor (we didn't even get the buy-a-box Rattleclaw Mystic promos for Khans, which is downright criminal), we don't really have much of a choice.

    Last year, you couldn't even buy single C13 decks; you could only buy a complete set of 5. Actually thinking of quitting Magic because of how expensive the CASUAL products are, and for the dropping rewards support. Wizards shipped us KOREAN hero cards for the BNG prerelease, for Christ's sake.
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Speculation about the next block
    It's unlikely, but I do think that a return to Kamigawa would work, considering the following points:

    1. Great flavor but awful execution presents an opportunity to get it right this time, like they attempted with Mirrodin and Ravnica (for at least some of the guild mechanics).

    2. Cross-block synergy with Theros. Kamigawa was the "legends matter" set (which, incidentally, would mesh with a bottom-up design philosophy), and in Theros alone there are 19 legendary cards. It would also present more opportunities to play with the tweaked legend rule.

    3. Warlords of Khanar, while registered, hasn't been officially confirmed as the next set's name.

    Either way, I'm just gonna wait and see what happens. I'd also like to revisit Ulgrotha and Dominaria, myself.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Gatecrash Prerelease Stories
    Finished 4-0 (8 wins, 0 losses) running a ridiculous Orzhov pool.

    8 Extort creatures on a stupidly low curve and evasion up the wazoo let me outrace pretty decent Boros and Gruul aggro decks, plus a lightning-quick Dimir mill deck. Activating both of Vizkopa Guildmage's abilities is quite juicy.

    3rd round in particular was good, with triple flying extortionists triggering off of consecutive casts of Devour Flesh, which in turn made my opponent unable to get any Cipher shenanigans going.

    Closest calls I had both came from Boros decks. One guy sideboarded out red for black. He dropped a Balustrade Spy on me, nullifying all my evasion. A timely Angelic Edict (double Extort) allowed me to swing in with 3 attackers for the win.

    The other close call revolved around my own Balustrade Spy - the opponent got me down to 1 life but couldn't finish me off thanks to Extort. I was grinding him down, but couldn't do it at a comfortable pace. I drop my Spy and end up milling what would have been a game-winning (for him) Molten Primordial.

    Didn't get much in terms of money cards, save for a Breeding Pool and a Stomping Ground. Hoping Crypt Ghast will rise in value; I cracked a foil one in a prize pack. Grin
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [[GTC]] Vizkopa Guildmage
    Quote from Serpos of Urug
    ...Splinter Twin combo was considered ludicrous? By who, exactly? Anyone who considered Splinter Twin/Deceiver Exarch a bad combo was and is a horrible Magic player. That combo is obviously ridiculous.

    Context: Splinter Twin was considered ludicrous when it first came out, i.e. Rise of the Eldrazi. Then people realized how stupid good it was for Standard when Deceiver Exarch came out, a full three sets later in New Phyrexia.

    And even before Exarch came into the picture, there were mixed opinions on Splinter Twin just the same. Deckbrewers were simply looking for a card to support something they thought others undervalued, and Exarch proved them right.

    Quote from Serpos of Urug
    People don't seem to realize that lifegain decks, in general, are not good, and there's nothing in the format right now to indicate to me that that is going to change.

    Pure lifegain, no. Decks that abuse large life swings - i.e. I gain while you lose - are fairly decent tempo decks. Guildmage gives people an option to exploit that, as does the entire Extort mechanic.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Upcoming interaction with Deathpact Angel?
    The card's usefulness increases a little when you consider that outside of exiling it, it takes *at least* two actions/effects (not necessarily cards) to get rid of it.

    In terms of single-effect means of removal, the angel even trumps indestructible creatures. Killing it through -X/-X effects puts the cleric token into play, whereas the indestructible creatures would simply go to the graveyard. The opponent must invest another resource into killing the cleric token before you can use its ability to recur the angel, or risk having to face against a recurred threat.

    While the efficiency of "immortality" mechanic is debatable, it almost certainly impedes the efficiency of answers against the angel. Grin

    TLDR; Whereas indestructible creatures are vulnerable to two removal effects (-X/-X and exile), the angel is vulnerable to just one (exile). Also, the angel requires more effort. Smile
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on MVP of the Prerelease
    Codex Shredder. I'm not even kidding. That sucker helped me break a stalemate in an Azorius mirror match, fetched back one of my two bombs, and even got rid of a game-changing topdeck (opponent groaned when his Trostani's Judgment hit the graveyard).

    I'll admit that last bit was an insane bit of luck, but when your opponents are packing a lot of singletons in their decks, a free mill per turn can get bonkers.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Close This if You Want, Just Need to Get Something off My Chest
    I agree that some of the speculations here might be silly, but at least they're given a chance to air out before being locked. Take the horsemanship in Innistrad one, for example - that was particularly unlikely, but it at least survived more than one page of discussion.

    As for my original (and only) speculation post, it's this: http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=344579. I originally avoided linking to it here because I was worried the moderator might assume I was trying to bypass his lock. Since you asked, however, here it is. Please avoid discussing it here since it was pretty clear that discussion on the matter was unwelcome on this forum. Thanks.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Close This if You Want, Just Need to Get Something off My Chest
    Well, I wasn't expecting my other speculation thread to be closed immediately after I posted it, especially since there have been weaker speculative arguments than the one I presented. I never meant for what I said to be taken as fact, which is precisely why I put it under "speculation". It just seems incredibly abrupt for a forum based on ideas that have yet to materialize.

    I'd just like to point out that one of the counterpoints I was met with, "Sorin's name is Sorin, not Josu", is invalid in the world of fantasy. Volrath's name was Vuel once. Heck, Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. Names change. It isn't, in the moderator's words, "silly" to assume the case may be the same here.

    Do what you will with this thread, too. It just irks me when I'm immediately dismissed as "grasping for straws" in a forum where we're supposedly encouraged to speculate, and even possibly engage in discourse concerning the validity of these prospects.
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Could Liliana be a Markov?
    (Please move this if this isn't the right speculation area)

    Been re-reading the web comics, and there are two things that stood out to me:

    1. Liliana's brother, Josu, became a vampire-like creature after drinking the elixir.

    2. The first mention of "Vess" is when the Raven dude calls her "vessel", and she says "Vess..." (Raven's Eye, part 3)

    Fact #2 has me thinking that maybe we haven't learned Liliana's true surname. "Vess" could just be a title she'd given herself over the course of her exploits. Tie this up with the fact that outside of Bolas, Sorin and Liliana are the two oldest planeswalkers in current storylines, and we can see a possible connection between the two.

    Could Sorin, in fact, be Josu, Liliana's brother? Could Innistrad actually be their home plane? Take note - Josu was the heir to the throne, and Liliana was banished for corrupting his soul. A ruler touched by the void could very well be the source of all the horrors on the plane.

    I've mentioned before that Innistrad could very well be Sorin's home, since the first teaser image for the set shows a vampire-like dead guy in clothing reminiscent of Sorin's. Why couldn't it be Liliana's home, too? Why couldn't she be a Markov?
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on Outrageous Lies About the Last Poster!
    Sonic is currently watching Aurora Illumina play Wii Fit, sans pants. The authorities have been alerted.
    Posted in: Other Forum Games
  • posted a message on [SSC XXII] Clash of Planeswalkers
    Woohoo! Thanks, oh great and powerful judge! I thought Sylvia Plath's Skull was going to win for sure! Anyhoots, I just posted the new prompt for SSC XXIII. Good luck to everyone! Grin
    Posted in: Personal Writing
  • posted a message on [SSC XXIII] Hunger
    I noticed that we've been having a lot of multiverse-oriented themes, so I'd like to make things a little more general this time around. Since I'm still on a hangover from the last SSC's epic bacon sandwich, let's write about hunger. It doesn't have to be actual food-hunger; you can write about desire, wanting, emptiness - anything that evokes hunger.

    I figure that's flexible enough to write tons of stories about. Good luck, everyone! Grin
    Posted in: Personal Writing
  • posted a message on [SSC XXII] Hunter and Prey
    @Jenesis - Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm pretty relieved you found Aldon's character demeaning. I wrote him to be - pardon the pun - a pig, but I was worried I was too subtle. Thank the Lords Above you caught the whole "This guy just compared women to swine" thing!

    I'd also like to add that I'm nothing like Aldon, so it really was a bit of a challenge for me to write him. Grin
    Posted in: Personal Writing
  • posted a message on Outrageous Lies About the Last Poster!
    helpmehelpyou uses his security blanket to wipe after using the toilet. It has never been washed.
    Posted in: Other Forum Games
  • posted a message on [SSC XXII] Hunter and Prey
    @Raikou Rider - As I said in my intro, I chose to do a duel of wits. It's actually a quite subtle one, illustrating that red mages, though often impulsive with their passions, can be sly if they need to be.

    It starts with the chase across planes - Aldon tries to escape a sticky situation the best way he knows how: by walking to another world. Hartuk's too smart for that, though, and knows how to track his prey. He also knows he can't take an argroboar down on his own, and so he forces Aldon to hunt with him (out of vengeance, too). He does this by casting the Curse of Flames on the boy, but makes sure to finish the spell only when he corrals his frightened prey back to Budera.

    After learning of his captor's intentions, Aldon tries to escape. Hartuk proves too quick for him, however, and so the youth realizes he needs to be sneakier about this. He needs to lift the curse. He identifies the elf in the inn as a curse-breaker. If he's spotted talking to the elf, however, Hartuk might think he's up to no good, foiling the plan. He attempts to catch her attention - and throw off Hartuk - by expressly flirting with her.

    Hartuk, on the other hand, realizes that Aldon could attempt another escape while he slept. He serves him the chironen without warning him how powerful the liquor is. Hartuk's plan pays off - Aldon drinks too much and loses consciousness. The orc outwitted the boy once again.

    Unfortunately, he knew nothing of Aldon's tolerance for alcohol. The boy regains consciousness after the orc retires to his quarters, and asks the elf for assistance. At this point, Aldon can escape. He chooses not to, however, out of curiosity for the orc's plan. On a deeper level he won't admit to himself, he also stays out of respect for Hartuk. They've gotten to know each other, and it's apparent from their conversations (“Must you really sample the women from every plane you encounter?” “Must you really sample the swine from each plane you encounter?”) that they're not too different from each other, after all.

    On the day of the hunt, Aldon pretends to still be cursed. Again, he doesn't want to raise any suspicions. He attempts to escape, allows himself to be put in mortal danger, and plays dumb to Hartuk's plan. All the while, though, he's cleverly casting the curse he observed during the chase. Every contact point of the spell - back, chest, arm, ankle - was given a context (searching Hartuk's pack, complaining about ankle pain, etc.). He understood that if he planeswalked, Hartuk could simply hunt him down again. If he wanted to get away, it was absolutely necessary to cast the curse on the orc.

    At the end, Aldon finally reveals the details of his escape after striking Hartuk in the last contact point of the spell - the throat. The orc committed the worst error possible in a duel of wits - underestimating his opponent. The youth outsmarted him this time, but he has the final straw: he's still got Aldon's scent.

    Hope that clarifies things for you. If you think about it, the duel actually takes place throughout the entire story, with each character attempting to outwit the other. Battles of wits don't necessarily have to take place in a single time or setting. This was an exercise in that.

    Also, it's not really necessary to begin a character's speech with a new paragraph. If it works stylistically (i.e. in clever retorts, reactions, etc), it's perfectly fine to have multiple characters speak in the same block of text. You just have to avoid overcrowding the paragraph with voices. Perhaps I didn't pull this off effectively. Oh well. :p

    I read your entry, too. It's pretty good stuff. Good luck! Grin
    Posted in: Personal Writing
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