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  • posted a message on Narset, Parter of Veils Combo Control, (AKA Pitch Blue ) Primer
    I've been messing around with an Esper version, here's the list I'm using right now:


    So far Teferi, Time Raveler has felt good against both creature decks and combo/control decks. Ticking down to deal with permanents and get an extra draw is awesome, but my favorite part about him is getting to Wrath/Day's at instant speed. So far the mana hasn't been too much of a problem running 3 colors, I went up 1 more land to have room for a few more fetches while still keeping the basic count high. I also cut one Geier Reach for a plains which has been nice against field of ruin/path, though I do miss the extra combo piece. Verdict being blue, (and also being 4 cmc) has been great in place of damnation, and obviously it deals with creatures better than Engulf. Haven't tested Dovin's Veto yet, mostly because I'm not sure where I can fit it in.


    If you're going the Teferi way, I think it could be interesting to bring in some black mana and get IoK/Thoughtseize instead of the pitching package. Tef's making these cards useful in the late game too. That'd give you the opportunity to run two snapcasters or Quellers to have a real clock too, allowing you to win with a single day's undoing "discard" without Brokers Smile
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Narset, Parter of Veils Combo Control, (AKA Pitch Blue ) Primer
    Quote from elpokitolama »
    I am currently building two additionnal versions of the narset lock combo: esper Spirit of the Labyrinth prison/miracles, and bant (maybe splash black for thief) turbofog. I will report when both have reached a level worthy of publication. I also think locking the deck in mono blue just for the pitching isn't very rewarding, and Teferi's puzzle box seems to be actually quite insane with Narset/thief: even with an unrefined version of the deck, it kills the opponent very easily.

    I'm also wondering about Engulf the shore's maindeckability.

    I still think Teferi's puzzle box is bad, but I haven't tested it at all. Pros: it locks the opponent out completely with just 1 card in addition to Narset or Thief. Cons: it does basically nothing when you don't have Narset/Thief in play. Day's, Lore Broker and Geier Reach/Mikokoro all do at least a little something when you don't have a Narset/Thief, and they all help you draw into Thief where Puzzle box doesn't if you don't have much in hand, being 4 mana and sorcery speed also sucks.

    That being said, if it is tested and is found to be a viable replacement to Day's/Thief it could save us some slots, (from 11 down to 4+ however many of the old combo pieces we may want to keep for consistency), and cutting cards out of the combo slots will help our interaction suite a ton; so even if it's a slightly worse card when we aren't comboing it, maybe that's ok because the rest of the deck is more efficient anyways with the saved slots.

    On the topic of trying different colors: I am currently attempting to brew an esper list myself, (though not for playing Spirit of the Labyrinth). I'm interested in getting to play Supreme Verdict, Dovin's Veto, Path to Exile and my personal favorite, Teferi, Time Raveler. Other than path, they are all still blue cards so they don't interfere with our pitch plan, (a huge plus for Verdict over Damnation, where Engulf just doesn't feel like enough a lot of the time), and Teferi, Time Raveler is a) another answer to both creatures, which the deck struggles with, and b) can also hit resolved artifacts and enchantments which helps a ton because we don't have a lot that can interact with those if they hit the board, being able to hit Aethervial is great, and also making Void Snare instant speed is sweet. Being able to play Day's at instant speed is great too. Teferi's passive also hurts some opponent's naturally and also makes our lock with Thief instant-proof. The awkward part is the mana base. We need lots of blue sources and still have to splash black for Thief, so playing lots of basics is harder when we need 3 colors, (notably WW to cast verdict), but not playing as many basics hurts our borderposts a ton. So do we cut border posts or just play a few basics and then a ton of fetches to make sure we can always find a basic if we need to play a post. Let me know what you guys think here.



    I disagree on the "do nothing" part of puzzle box: it's an incredibly effective digging engine that will make you go through so many cards you'd be highly unlucky not to hit Narset or Thief or any card you're actually looking for while already disturbing your opponent's gameplan. I wasn't on the box team, but trying it out just for a few games sold it to me!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Rules Tinkering] TEST: Sparked Commander
    Quote from Onering »
    1RU for a sol ring isn't great, but that's not what Dack is in that situation. He's 1RU for a solid ring that also gets rid of an opponents sol ring, and that's a big swing, and then he sticks around with a strong looting ability building up to steal the next one. He also serves a rattlesnake function where just being in the command zone threatens to steal people's rocks. His ult is fairly easy to hit once you have that Mana advantage to protect him, but I'm not sure it would be worth it to run cards to make it worthwhile, so it's usually worthless (though if you get it it can be game winning with a few buyback spells).


    I'm not saying he is not strong, but is it banworthy? Power level wise, he still seems around Aminatou, the fateshifter. I doubt he can really get out of hand easily since none of his abilities can really be abused on their own... If we were talking about a UR general to ban, I think Saheeli, Sublime Artificer is much more dangerous (being a much stronger Sai/Talrand).
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Narset, Parter of Veils Combo Control, (AKA Pitch Blue ) Primer
    I am currently building two additionnal versions of the narset lock combo: esper Spirit of the Labyrinth prison/miracles, and bant (maybe splash black for thief) turbofog. I will report when both have reached a level worthy of publication. I also think locking the deck in mono blue just for the pitching isn't very rewarding, and Teferi's puzzle box seems to be actually quite insane with Narset/thief: even with an unrefined version of the deck, it kills the opponent very easily.

    I'm also wondering about Engulf the shore's maindeckability.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Rules Tinkering] TEST: Sparked Commander
    I completely agree for Ashiok: their biggest shortcoming is that because of the "opponent controls" clause, the ability can't be abused. I'll still add them to the list.

    As for Dack, that power of looting can be impressive, but not really abusable as well: the best use of his -2 would just help his controler to get all of the ol rings around the table, which is cool but sol ring for 1UR is clearly not as impressive as the real sol ring.

    For Tamiyo, I'm not sure yet... But I'll add her nonetheless. The two-cards combo part isn't banworthy, as Teferi shows us: however, the access to a two-cards combo with three colors that are quite good at tutoring is clearly something else.


    I'll try to brew a bunch of lists to try a few walkers on the watchlist. Who would you like to see first? Gideon, champion of Justice and Saheeli, sublime artificer seem to be good points to start with, as they do not require much build around to be really powerful.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [Rules Tinkering] TEST: Sparked Commander
    Hello ladies, gentlemen and homunculi,



    Over the past few weeks, the upcomming release of War of the Spark made a lot of people wondering wether or not Planeswalker should be allowed as commanders. This reignited (pun intended obviously) the discussions in the thread [POLL] Planeswalkers as playable generals, multiplying by five the number of comments under this two years old thread. But what both side always agreed on was the lack of empyrical data and overall testing that was needed for such a groundbreaking thing to happen.

    Lately, the discussion seems to have slowed down as people started agreeing more and more on the pros and cons of allowing planeswalker as generals, as well as some apparently necessary rule changes that would have to take place for that to happen.

    The purpose of this thread is the following: summing up pros and cons that both sides can agree on, proposing rule changes, discussing and editing them so that we can all try to have a standardized approach to the testing so that the Commander Advisory Group (CAG) can have the data they need to take a decision that won't break the format or be only motivated by a fear of breaking the format. Remember, the goal here is not to create another format (praise be to the previously unwritten yet basic law of EDH, rule 0: "Local groups are welcome to modify [the rules] as they see fit. If you’d like an exception to these rules, especially in an unfamiliar environment, please get the approval of the other players before the game begins"), but to help both the CAG and playgroups who would like to have a fun experience while running PW based decks.

    So, without further ado, let's jump into it!

    Pros:
    • Flavor: had the format been created after Lorwyn, it would most likely have had planeswalker legal as commanders from the very beginning. What other reason could there be to play specifically legendary creatures as generals and not any "normal" creatures in a singleton format?
    • Bringing more people to the format. This point is fairly tied to the first one, as many of us probably found their first commander by opening a booster with a flashy creature we couldn't make shine anywhere else. It's even more flagrant now that Planeswalkers are the litteral face of MTG and the core of the flavor (and advertisement) of the game.
    • Diversifying the format even more. Bringing back strategies that fell out of favor years ago (Liliana of the veil as a fairer Braids, cabal minion?), or create brand new ones (I've seen quite a number of people really hyped about Liliana of the dark realms and Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast for example).
    These points mostly care for the future of the format. However, as people against a hasty change saw soon enough, there would be a number of issues that may end up spoiling the fun of many entitled EDH players and eventually drive them away from the format. Here are the most concerning cons I could gather.

    Cons:
    • Planeswalker tend to slow the game down by encouraging value/control based decks and virtually augmenting the life total of their controllers, making it harder for aggro decks to thrive in a format where they already are in minority. And forcing a whole strategy type out of the format for flavor reasons is obviously a no-go.
    • Many planeswalker-based strategies would just end up being races to get to their general's ultimate, many of which are nigh on impossible to remove emblems (the only solution being going full archenemy and killing the emblem's owner). This could create very frustrating games.
    • No matter what arguments people may have about the power level of a certain card (especially using the good old Teferi, temporal archmage comparison which may or may not be valid), there are some planeswalker perfectly fine in the 99 that would be bound to be banned if they were accessible from the command zone. People still like playing planeswalkers in the 99, and the RC philosophy on the banlist is to keep it as short as possible. Having too many broken generals leave entirely the format would be very unpleasant to many. Players' favorites like Venser, the sojourner and Sorin Markov are pretty likely to get banned, and I would be among the first persons to be saddened to sleeve them out because of that.

    Rule changes
    Now that we've seen some of the most important consequences, here are the two other rule changes that have been discussed and that seem to be pre-requisite for a healthy format with Planeswalker as generals:
    • Bringing back the banned-as-a-commander (BAC) banlist. This would allow a lot omre flexibility on the bans without hurting decks that aren't abusing planeswalkers. Due to their flexibility Planeswalker are often always good in the 99 which isn't the case of several banned legendary creatures like Braids for example. Having them outright banned du to one specific combo abusing the command zone would hurt the perennity of the format. This unfortunately may end up creating a longer banlist (hence why the RC dropped it), but the added flexibility seems necessary with Planeswalkers around.
    • Lowering the starting life total to 30. This one will probably be more controversial but has the added bonus of creating faster games while allowing aggressive strategies to be viable again, even if the aggressive player is alone against three other planeswalker commander decks. While this may end up making Najeela, the Blade-Blossom busted (we'll have to keep an eye on her), this is a rule that I've been experiencing with some friends at a casual and experienced level for years now (with or without Planeswalkers). My playgroup's experience can't be generalized for the whole world obviously, but this is an already popular rule change among playgroups which are using Rule 0 so we can hope it will work out as intended.


    Banlist
    Bringing back the BAC banlist obviously means that we'll have to part ways from the current RC banlist (but I'm still going to use it in my first draft). Here is a proposition, please debate it with both theories, decklists and eventual results:

    Banned: Banned as a commander: Watchlist for BAC (heavily debatable):
    I hope that thread managed to catch your interest, and if so I'd be glad to update it with your feedback.

    See you on this plane or another, fellow Planeswalkers!

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [POLL] Planeswalkers as playable generals
    I don't think anybody should diss building around ultimates, I would really build Gideon, champion of justice if I had the chance! What's fun to you may not be fun to other people, I mean look at me, I'm a Jhoira player. What I love most about this format is playing the archenemy of the table, and if possible winning in the flashiest way possible (and what's better for that than annihilating all of your opponents' boards?)! Wink

    On the topic of Legendary creatures design, MaRo confirmed several times that they do not do that. However, he did say that they want legendary creatures to be as cool design as possible so that people can be drawn to the character (or at least feel like the card doesn't betray said character, unlike Emmara Tandris for example which is sad considering she was supposed to be what eventually became Voice of Resurgence). And truth be told, they have been constantly killing it these days, both for creatures and walkers alike. They stopped using the legend rule as a balance tool a long time ago after all, hence cards like Helm of the Host :')

    So while I'm completely for PW as generals... Making them legal in the CZ wouldn't make their design healthier for EDH. But again, that's already the same for legendary creatures so they're pretty much equal on that aspect.

    Finally (still on the talk about balance), I think designing for commander is probably the hardest kind of design there is for one specific reason. Designing for EDH isn't only designing for one format. While Standard, Modern, etc are all pretty much branded as competitive formats, there's sooooo many ways to play commander! It's by far the supported format that has the widest range of player types. Something that is branded "crazy broken" by a casual player can be considered "trash" by a cEDH player and reciprocally... so I think that's why they just choose to go with the approach "does it look cool to most people", which I personally think is fulfilling its purpose. Smile
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [POLL] Planeswalkers as playable generals
    Quote from Buffsam89 »
    2-card combo like Ashiok, Dream Render and Maralen of the Mornsong? Lol. Again, for the same cost as big bad Teferi? Also in the best control colors?

    True, wheels weren’t the only reason, considering it was all in one package. It wouldn’t have been banworthy at all without that line of text, though. So that isn’t a very valid point one way or the other.

    How about Karn, the great creator and Mycosynth Lattice? So, you’re advocating we add more broken combos to the format?

    For every “Well, it’s not as broken as this”, there will be a “you sure about that?” from me. Because, again, nobody is building with these because they aren’t legal.


    Karn would be such an interesting card to build around indeed, that static ability would allow colorless players to finally have a real cEDH option to choose! That combo doesn't win games outright though, especially since it doesn't stop creatures from being turned sideways to kill Karn... or his controller. But while his -2 can't be used for tutoring in EDH though (and colorless is the worst at tutoring anything anyway), be I'm sure there's some nice combos waiting to be found with cards that exiles themselves like Ugin's nexus. Even in the 99, his -2 can be used to bypass the commander tax if you're using a legendary artifact creature...

    But let's not linger in the "is-it-broken-or-not" department: after all you are perfectly right, as much as I'd like to think all planeswalker have already more or less been figured out, nothing would beat the test of time and experience (which is why I'm really happy to see that despite being completely against that, you're still compeltely willing to try it out and see things for yourself).

    However, this leads us to another topic being widely discussed here: the banlist itself.

    Why should we be afraid of banning a few highly problematic walkers? I mean, there's already a handful of banned legendary creatures. And to caricature, we're not banning all legendary creature from being chosen as generals out of fear of them being broken since they're not designed for that purpose... Or else we'd just be playing Highlander! That also brings us to what was EDH at the core: a fun format where you could lead your army and cast your spells as your favorite character. Had the format been created after Lorwyn, walkers would have probably been allowed from the start.

    Banning a few problematic walkers would be better than outright banning all of them from being in the command zone don't you think? As walkers aren't a very common permanent type in decklists, banning one after proof that it would be unbalanced in multiplayer wouldn't have a very high impact (and truth is, I probably hate to see bans as much as you do as I have to switch variants of my decks to play with my friends in multiplayer or French 1v1).

    Anyway, I hope you'll get to the same conclusion as me after playtesting with your friends... and that more importantly, you still get to have fun doing so! Smile
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [POLL] Planeswalkers as playable generals
    I have, but it was actually a a Maralen of the Mornsong deck that was trying to abuse it. And what I mean is that... it's just not that crazy of an effect in EDH. Leovold's wheels aren't the only reason why that card is busted: the access to the best control colors of the format, the second ability always netting value and his very low cmc all combined are what made him so scary. Tasigur was almost as terrifying to me before his ban in the Duel variant of commander for most of these reasons.

    The Teferi argument is obvious though: he's got a easily tutorable one card (two if you count the one rock required to go off) combo that instantly wins the game upon completion. The only ones that comes close to that are most likely Sarkhan, unbroken and Samut, the tested for being able to combo out with Doubling Season (which du to the nature of said ultimates are more fragile than Teferi + Veil) while having access to more colors and having a very good value package.

    I really hope you'll have fun trying these out! Smile
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [POLL] Planeswalkers as playable generals
    Quote from Lithl »
    Quote from elpokitolama »
    I'm quite surprised that Ashiok is sparking such a debate. After all, search deniers have been here for ages already, some of which even allowed to be cast from the comand zone (even though, I have to admit, at a higher cost).
    What search-preventing card is a legendary creature?

    Leonin Arbiter and Aven Mindcensor are the only ones I'm aware of that are even creautres at all.

    The card I was refering to was specifically Ob Nixilis, Unshackled.



    Quote from Dunharrow »
    So, what are the reasons to make planeswalkers legal? Other than for flavour. Are there any walkers that people want to build around without just trying to force the ultimate?

    Daretti, Scrap Savant was interesting because his first two abilities could be built around. I would argue that almost all planeswalkers than can be played as commanders have sub-par ultimates and are really focused on the first two abilities.

    So how many other planeswalkers would be interesting to build around?

    I like playing planeswalkers in the 99, and I would not be a fan of having to ban a bunch of cards to enable very few new decks. So, please tell me what cards would be interesting new decks.


    Here's a nice list of potential very cool buildaround commanders: Elspeth, sun's champion Gideon, champion of justice (I'd love to build a deck around him) Serra the benevolent Jace, architect of thought Jace, cunning castaway Jace, wielder of mysteries Narset, parter of veils Tezzeret the seeker Liliana of the dark realms Liliana of the Veil (pox almost doesn't exist, that'd be a cool new archetype) Liliana, dreadhorde general Sorin Markov Chandra, Flamecaller Chandra, torch of defiance Jaya Ballard (and she would be awesome) Koth of the hammer Sarkhan, Fireblood Garruk Wildspeaker Nissa, Worldwaker Nissa Revane... and that's just a personnal pick of monocolored walkers. Plus, the ban argument doesn't seem right to me, as I don't believe there is a single walker banworthy. I mean, none of them is even remotely close in terms of power to Teferi, Temporal Archmage and he is still alive and kicking after all ! Wink

    I'd say that there would be winners all across the different EDH tables: casual players would get to play with the flashiest cards of their collections, Vorthos fans would be able to create the most flavorful decks, Spikes like me would also get more options to choose from... The meta would just get more diversified, and more people would be drawn to the format. There's no real drawback from that. I also don't understand the part about slowing down games: there's a ton of value-based generals already, yet nobody is complaining about them. I have a few players in my different groups who show up with walkers, and games with them are equally as long as the games without. Just look at video lenghts on YouTube to try to compare, and you'll see that this feeling is based on no concrete evidence :/
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on [POLL] Planeswalkers as playable generals
    I'm quite surprised that Ashiok is sparking such a debate. After all, search deniers have been here for ages already, some of which even allowed to be cast from the comand zone (even though, I have to admit, at a higher cost). White has Leonin Arbiter and Aven Mindcensor, aggressively costed but less efficient while Mindlock Orb was there all along, stupidly easy to get (being an artifact) and easy to cast through the crazy mana acceleration of the format.

    Narset can be good, but clearly not as good as Leovold. Not having access to black hinders her gameplan a lot, but wheels are still fairly common in blue. Also, walkers are weak to aggro-based strategies that can kill them without having to expend ressources that weren't already deployed for other purposes.

    Quote from Onering »
    Quote from Carthage »
    I assume all newly printed commanders will no longer be legal at release, and instead evaluated for how "worthwhile" they are and what they can bring to the format.


    Hey Taleran, this right here is an example of a disingenuous argument, for future reference.

    So, Carthage, I see you are attempting at reductio ad absurdum, but failing miserably at it. The key difference here is that the rules of the format already allow newly printed cards to be allowed as commanders, so they are legal by default. They are, however, evaluated and banned if needed, like Leovold. Planeswalkers as commanders is not currently allowed by the rules unless they have special text allowing them. This means that allowing it necessarily has a higher bar to clear, as it is a change from the status quo. New cards being printed does not count, as in a collectible card game the printing of new cards, and their legality in all formats, is a built in feature of the status quo. It is the established and expected way in which the format grows that is accounted for in the rules. Allowing a new class of cards as commanders, unbanning cards, banning cards, allowing unsets permanently, those are changes to the status quo, and thus must pass a higher threshold when being considered for adoption. The same would be true, by the way, if the RC were to consider disallowing all pws as commanders including the ones with the rules text allowing them to be used as such. PW commanders were something they werent really backing, but they would have had to make a special rule preventing it as the basic rules of the game allow the "can be your commander" rules text to be employed and overrule the rules of the format (similar to ravenous rats).


    That point feels extremely weird as standard-legal sets are clearly not made with EDH in mind. Anyway... when it comes to power level, nothing beats OG Teferi don't you think? His game-winning combo is the easiest to get in the game since Blue has the highest concentration of card selection and artifact tutoring, and it wins on the spot. And he can generate incredible value in grindy games. The more I think about it, the more I'm sure that no matter what the RC says more and more people will just play walkers as their commanders with WotC printing more and more interesting walkers like the last Bolas: after all, this format is a fan made format. Why wouldn't you play an elder dragon planeswalker in your elder dragon highlander game ? Especially as it does not create any kind of imbalance in the game...



    [edit] feeling like I kinda misunderstood the context of the message and what Onering wanted to say... but the rest of my comment still stands on its own.
    [re-edit] uhm, my point on Ashiok isn't that good now that I think about it since that's an unilateral effect. But I still think it isn't that powerful since Ashiok themselve isn't a combo tool nor a very powerful control tool.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Hi there! I haven't played turns in the past two years, and I'm feeling like I should just return to it instead of investing my time in other new decks.

    I've tinkered with several variants (mostly mono U, UR, UR as foretold with restore balance (yeah, that was a wild one) and lastly UG which is the one that I had the most success with), and here's a Allegiance updated version of my last UG build:



    Several remarks: I don't think that'll come as a shock to any of you guys, but TiTi (thing in the Ice) is quite the absurd card. Really helps in most of our bad matchups as well as serving as a very potent win condition. It synergizes a lot with Search for Tomorrow's suspend ability, and as we all know lands matter a lot in this archetype. Talking about lands, Growth Spiral is a pseudo time walk (previously Explore but damn the upgrade feels good): it is equivalent to taking a turn for value, which never feels good for 5 or 7 mana but is really reasonable when we're on turn 2 or 3. As for Walk the Aeons, I guess I'm just and old scrub afraid to miss an extra turn, but sometimes you just need that extra turn to deal the killing blow with TiTi. Also, I'm not really into plating Part the Waterveil + Inkmoth Nexus with the very high amount of Field of Ruins running rampant in the format. I might try that delve one one day. Final remark: this version is better against creature based decks, but not as good against control based builds. Against control, the goal is just to try to continuously outvalue your opponent, playing a bit like U-Tron would.



    Back to the topic I disrupted, yup', that Kefnet looks really sweet! He feels really like a build-around card, maybe I should consider him one day in that ramp-y build of mine... He is not my favorite spoiler of War for Taking Turns though: that new Teferi might be the link a proper turbo fog list with Wilderness Reclamation and Nexus of Fate (like that one we saw in standard fairly recently) needed to exist in modern. If you guys want to try stuff out on Xmage, I definitely would love to help Smile
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from zcowan »
    @Elpokitolama It's funny you mention that because I had been thinking the same thing .. The only problem though is that getting to Nexus of fate as well as keeping Teferi on board seems extremely difficult..
    It would most likely involve cutting down on exhaustions and our card draw effects turning it more into a UW control...

    Not sure that is more efficient.. but it would be sweet if someone brewed up a successful list!


    Gotta work on that. I'm still brewing a weird miracles deck, but that one's next!

    On the Thing in the Ice topic, if anyone's interested here's my good old Titi turbo turns list, still working fairly well:
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Do you guys think we should take a step back to standard and take lessons frol the current taking turns dck that is currently piling up results there?
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Just for the KCI topic: always get your first chalice on 0 against them. They often run Explosives, and Mox Opal is what allows them to go off stupidly efficiently.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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