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  • posted a message on Zendikar Returns Spoiler Discussion.
    Farsight Adept - Interesting symmetrical draw, though as a rule of thumb I don't like giving my opponent cards. Cathodion already gives white access to 3 mana 3/3.

    Grotag Bug-Catcher - Most of red is not going to party well. Neither particularly with white as mostly we have soldiers and knights.

    Might of Murasa - Expensive Giant Growth is ehh. 5 damage late game is quite good. Probably won't play this over the much cheaper Groundswell. Also it compares badly to Titanic Growth which doesn't see any play and Predator's Strike.

    Anticognition - Compares poorly to Essence Scatter and Miscalculation. If you somehow get it live, scry 2 and a hard counter is decent. Seems like it just gets outclassed. Threshold 8 seems a bit far off for most games to reliably come up.

    Makindi Ox - A big(ish) creature in white. Sort of ok, but not that great.

    Cleansing Wildfire - Good at taking out Simic Growth Chamber, Desert and friends. Most common lands don't require answers. The fact that this cantraps is nice.

    Nissa's Zendikon - I think that this is ok.

    Feed the Swarm - Black maindeck answer to Pestilence. Lifeloss gets to be a bit steep and there are enough of premium answers that this really wouldn't find a place in a full draft.

    Angelheart Protector - I'm not sure how the indestructible would play. Might be a bit too do nothing most games.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Double Masters Downshifts
    Quote from Marl Karx »
    I guess I understand why they changed Oubliette but it seems weird to me to randomly make the card into an instant Commander staple.

    The phase out template matches the original wording of the card more accurately than the exile wording. I want to see more phase out wording on white enchantments now; ignoring commander interactions, retriggering etbs feels bad.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Double Masters Downshifts
    Interesting downshifts.

    Abrade - Seems alright. It's probably the most maindeckable piece of red artifact destruction. Still, is having the option to destroy an artifact really better than being able to deal 3 damage to a player?
    Everflowing Chalice - My favourite manarock in other formats. I don't think this is any better than a signet here.
    Conclave Naturalists - Been waiting for a Indrik Stomphowler downshift for a while. Not particularly exciting, but when you gonna destroy stuff it will get the job done well.
    Bone Picker - Requires a little support, but it is cost efficient and the hard cast isn't unreasonable either. Generally something dying is one of the easiest conditions to meet.
    Cast Down - By far the best common of the set. It's the stapliest staple since legendary creatures aren't a thing at common.
    Heartless Pillage - It's a Mind Rot variant. Nothing remarkable.

    Honourable mention: Oubliette - While not technically a downshift it was printed as a common in Arabian Nights so not many people really know about it's existence nor own one for that matter. While more or less being worse than Murder, it can deal with equipments which is something Black can't typically do. Also, worth mentioning that the phasing out wording means Oubliette circumvents command zone nonsense for the people who play that format.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)
    Colossal Dreadmaw - Big stompy creature. Has the eternal problem of dying to hard removal. In general big creatures need an additional effect or to be extremely devastating (Ulamog's Crusher) to be worth it at +6 mana. Trample is a nice keyword to have, but overall Colossal Dreadmaw is going to be too slow or too vulnerable against most of the meta.

    Drowsing Tyrannodon - Slows down non-evasion creatures. Turns to attack fine. Too easily disrupted to be reliable. And requires more hoop jumping than necessary. I prefer Terrain Elemental. Green has already a good selection of 2cmc creatures and isn't in need of any Returned Phalanxes.

    Garruk's Gorehorn - 7 is a lot of power. 3 is not much toughness. Dies too easily to combat and red removal.

    Gnarled Sage - Bitterbow Archers comparison. I see this as primarily a Blue/Green creature. While I am hesitant at considering this, attacking as a vigilance 4/6 is certainly tempting. Could be worth giving a trial, although it could succumb to requiring too much deck building to be practical.

    Hunter's Edge - 4 mana removal is a lot for Green considering the relatively low cost of splashing a colour. I think the cost will be prohibitive more often than not.

    Life Goes On - Sideboard tech for burn. Might be worth it if your deck is built to stabilise. Ultimately, this is card disadvantage and is niche.

    Llanowar Visionary - Excellent padding between early to mid-game. Card draw is similar in strength to land searching. Being a mana-source as well enables playing out much quicker than Civic Wayfinder.

    Ornery Dilophosaur - Idk, deathtouchy. Dies to red removal. Deathtouch is much more efficient on smaller bodies. 4 mana starts competing against Imperiosaur.

    Portcullis Vine - It wall not that well. Mostly there aren't enough other defenders which you would want to mulch.

    Pridemalkin - Too small. Though trample is nice.

    Ranger's Guile - The effort of holding mana for something can be too much at times, especially because of the aforementioned rush decks and tempo decks. Even many of the midrange decks. Occasionally is a blowout. More often than not this is lacklustre.

    Return to Nature - Generally Naturalize with a creature body attached is wanted.

    Run Afoul - Anti-flying tech. Fine but niche. Sideboard cards tend to fall by the wayside unless they are a counter to an important threat.

    Sabertooth Mauler - Grows to be pretty fearsome. Mostly I would prefer creatures which start off big. Untapping is a nice. Costs the same as Festerhide Boar.

    Setessan Training - Too trivial. Maybe could do something with Ancestral Mask.

    Snarespinner - If cheap fliers are a threat, this is a solution. Otherwise far too weak.

    Titanic Growth - Occasional tricks. Mostly for quick kills. Groundswell is preferred over this.

    Track Down - Green Shimmer of Possibilities. Actually much better because of the scry. This is an interesting effect that we haven't had available before, so I'd looking forward to seeing how it will play.

    Trufflesnout - Anti-rush 3cmc creature. Fine at being maindeckable. Helps shore up Searing Blaze matches.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)
    Quote from Marl Karx »
    How is rarity officially assigned to the Mystery Booster playtest cards? Scryfall has them at rare.

    Gatherer has them listed as common which is the official definition of common. I assume it is that way as an elaborate scheme to break our format for anyone who runs Mystery Booster cards and Un-cards.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)

    Bone Pit Brute - Most red decks just want to Fireball when they get to 6 mana. This seems fine at being a game ender. Double red keeps it from being easily splashable.

    Burn Bright - Fine as a second copy of Dynacharge. The white versions of this effect are much stronger.

    Chandra's Magmutt - I think this is solid. Being able to tick away for 1 in a stall is exactly what red wants to do.

    Crash Through - Red decks tend not to be creature centric enough for this.

    Destructive Tampering - Seems fine as an anti-artifact sideboard card.

    Furor of the Bitten - Fine in angry rush. The downside of removal tends to be too much however.

    Goblin Arsonist - Alright fodder. Not good at all otherwise.

    Goblin Wizardry - Seems like a fine addition to Delver of Secrets builds.

    Hobblefiend - Sacrifice outlet in red. I'm not that keen on this, but other people seem to think it's fine.

    Igneous Cur - I prefer Weaselback Redcap. Comparable to Immolating Souleater. Often I'd rather spend the mana for something else most of the time.

    Onakke Ogre - Functional reprint of something. Worse than Brazen Wolves.

    Pitchburn Devils - These can block well. 5 mana is too much.

    Scorching Dragonfire - Searing Spear is better most of the time.

    Shock - Galvanic Blast is strictly better. Generally it's worth spending the extra 1 mana for a Incinerate for better reach.

    Spellgorger Weird - Fine with spells. Grows well and comes out early enough in the game to see some action. Typically draws removal.

    Sure Strike - You want Lightning Strike instead of this.

    Thrill of Possibility - Filters well and plays nicely with instant speed things (namely countermagic).

    Turn to Slag - If equipment were more problematic we'd play this.

    Turret Ogre - Ok 4 drop. Finding enough 4 power or greater creatures can be problematic, especially when they keep dying to removal. The extra effort mostly isn't that worth it unless 4 power or greater gets pushed quite a bit.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)

    Alchemist's Gift - A little too weak. Better than Coat in Venom. I prefer Grotesque Mutation if I'm looking for a black lifelink instant.

    Blood Glutton - 3 toughness puts this in target range for most red removal.

    Caged Zombie - The ability is too costly.

    Crypt Lurker - Could be useful. Mostly I think there will be a lack of adequate fodder. Good sideboard tech against Pacifism. Discarding creatures might be negligible with Font of Return, Wander in Death and Death Denied.

    Deathbloom Thallid - A body in a pinch.

    Duress - Still sees play.

    Fetid Imp - From a lineage of nothing imps.

    Finishing Blow - Overcosted Murder because planeswalkers don't exist at common (excluding Mystery Booster nonsense).

    Gloom Sower - That's a big common. Could be used with Morgue Burst? Probably too susceptible to removal despite being immune to Doom Blade and too slow for rush.

    Grasp of Darkness - Reprint. Double pips make this a sad card. Still alright, though cards such as Victim of Night are much better.

    Infernal Scarring - Err... Kind of weak.

    Liliana's Steward - Interesting take on Raven's Crime. Good with Ghoulcaller's Chant. Probably could find a home in a cube built around taking advantage of this. Otherwise not.

    Masked Blackguard - This is no Ambush Viper.

    Mind Rot - Plenty of better cards than this.

    Rise Again - Not much worth reanimating outside for the aforementioned Spined Megalodon.

    Sanguine Indulgence - Getting the cost reduction is a little difficult. Much too overcosted otherwise.

    Skeleton Archer - More of a sideboard card. Good in some match ups (ones with plenty of targets), Hill Giant in others.

    Village Rites - Cheap and playable.

    Walking Corpse - Definitely not. Need more brains.

    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)
    Core Set 2020 Blue.

    Cancel - There are few strictly betters than this. Dissolve and Counterspell to name a few.

    Capture Sphere - Blue isn't that in need of on-colour removal to warrant this.

    Frantic Inventory - Basically nothing in singleton. Is a bit more interesting when you consider running multiples. Sort of a functional reprint of Accumulated Knowledge. Sort of.

    Frost Breath - Ok, tempo card. Frosty tapping a couple of creatures can be functionally Ashes to Ashes in a streamlined rush deck. Of course the game has to end soon or else tempo is lost.

    Keen Glidemaster - Turns into a fine mana-sink. Mostly is just a forgettable creature.

    Library Larcenist - You have to put in a lot of effort to work. Mostly the body is too small to go to combat.

    Lofty Denial - Much worse than Miscalculate. The catch is going to catch you out more often than not.

    Mistral Singer - Looks like a fine 3 mana flier for when you want one. Stormbound Geist can't block when you want it to, which is why I typically don't consider it outside of comparisons. Likewise with Cloud Spirit. Blocking is kind of an important feature of most creatures. Strictly better than Niblis of Dusk.

    Opt - It's fine. I play Opt. Nothing special. Preordain and friends are much stronger.

    Rain of Revelation - Fine 4 mana draw spell. Holding mana for countermagic is important for many of Blue's play patterns.

    Read the Tides - 6 mana is too much.

    Rewind - Speaking of holding up mana. The upfront 4 mana is often too expensive, although this sees some play.

    Roaming Ghostlight - 5 mana is getting a bit expensive for Mist Raven. Probably would see niche play.

    Rookie Mistake - Tricky. Not sure quite how to evaluate. My intuition says it would be a dead card more often than not.

    Rousing Read - A Cartouche of Knowledge with slightly more filter for an extra mana. Probably fine at being efficient in terms of card-slots. Essential will play as a draw spell that impacts the board. Still is vulnerable to instant-speed removal.

    Spined Megalodon - Big control finisher. More game-ending than Benthic Giant, though less damming than Giant either. Hexproof gets around most decks' solutions to problems. Could be overkill, in which case Striped Riverwinder is better for the early trade-in. Seems like Spined Mealodon will spend time in sideboards. There will be games that you'll never see 7 mana before the game is essentially concluded.

    Teferi's Protege - The looting costs mana. The body isn't that desirable either.

    Tome Anima - Phantom Monster is better in most cases. The hoops make Tome Anima too conditional.

    Vodalian Arcanist - With signets and Mind Stone available, quality mana acceleration isn't too hard to come by. The 1/3 body is nice, but I don't think it outweighs the conditional nature of the mana generated. In any case, this is no Werebear and Blue has much stronger 2 mana plays. Maybe this is playable in the hands of a skilled player, though I foresee Vodalian Arcanist being draft chaff.

    Wall of Runes - It wall. More of a sideboard card, though can be really annoying in some match-ups.

    Wishcoin Crab - Pretty nothing as far as Pauper is concerned.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)
    A review of all Commons from Core Set 2020.

    Alpine Watchdog - A functional reprint of something forgettable. Strictly worse than Topan Freeblade and not up to the standard to current white 2cmc creatures.

    Anointed Chorister - I think that this is probably good enough in the right cube considering Healer's Hawk sees play. The activated ability synergies really well with lifelink and makes this relevant in the mid-to-late-game. As a 1/1 for 1, it's not going to impact the board really at all, although your opponent will have to deal with it at some stage.

    Basri's Acolyte - This is the kind of card we were missing when support was a keyword mechanic. It works well in going wide strategies and lifelink makes for decent races. I suspect where this will be weakest is against removal heavy builds which don't care a whole lot about life leads and tend to keep the board to manageable levels. Still Basri's Acolyte could be comparable to Seraph of Dawn and that's ubiquitously considered a decent card.

    Celestial Enforcer - Overcosted Goldmeadow Harrier with hoops to jump though. 2/3s for 3 are typically too small, although I can see why Wizard's keeps settling for those numbers.

    Concordia Pegasus - Not really worth considering at all unless you need a specific counter to Tattered Haunter (I'm sure there are better options there as well).

    Daybreak Charger - Staple. Basically the best card in the set. Reminds me of Porcelain Legionnaire.

    Defiant Strike - A reprint of the prowess trigger we don't use.

    Dub - Being an Aura makes this very susceptible to single target removal, which there is a lot of in Pauper.

    Faith's Fetters - One of the best white cards. It can deal with almost any problematic permanent and importantly gains you a healthy amount of life. Pretty much all you could want in enchantment based removal.

    Feat of Resistance - This is my second favourite protection spell after Cho-Manno's Blessing. The +1/+1 counter has historically been worth it for me for the 1-mana premium over Gods Willing and Apostle's Blessing.

    Gale Swooper - Seems ok if you are lacking stronger cards.

    Legion's Judgment - 4 power of greater removal clauses tend not to be terribly relevant because most decks are filled with weenies and Pacifism already deals with large creatures.

    Makeshift Battalion - 2 toughness makes this easy to pick off for most decks. The base stats make it on the small side when you aren't able to trigger the ability. I don't imagine that this will get more that one counter in most games.

    Rambunctious Mutt - A decent Disenchant of a stick. Obviously much better with sideboards. It's difficult to tell if this is better or worse than Kor Sanctifiers which is the current Disenchanting creature of choice for White at the moment. With sideboards including both Mutt and Sanctifiers might be correct.

    Revitalize - No, thank you.

    Secure the Scene - There isn't really any reason to justify the cost.

    Staunch Shieldmate - Basically an anti-rush guy. I see this as another sideboard card because there are plenty of matchups where a 1/3 is going to do next to nothing. In saying that, Sea Gate Oracle has seen a lot of play and has the same sized body.

    Swift Response - Strong non-enchantment based removal. There are plenty of cases where your opponent Withdraws
    leaving you Pacifism in the dust and this gets around that. Not so great for the rush white decks (which there are a lot of), but seems fine in more defensive builds. Strictly better than Take Vengeance.

    Valorous Steed - A fine 5cmc creature. Synergies with Ghostly Flicker and provides bodies. I'm not that excited by this, although I'll include it. I'm not sure if I prefer this or Supply-Line Cranes. In any case, Valorous Steed is more at the Supply-Line Cranes level of power than the Custodi Squire end of things.

    Warded Battlements - Not as good as Basilica Guards which is the premier 3cmc defender. 3 toughness isn't going to stop much. My evaluation could be quite off considering I haven't really played any anthem effect in common, so I'll have to keep my eyes open of this one.

    That's White done for now.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Jumpstart Spoilers
    Lightning Visionary - Finally a non-unset Target Minotaur. Red doesn't tend to have that much difficulty triggering prowess. I've been playing Mage-Ring Bully to some success. Apart from the fact that Mage-Ring Bully occasionally goes into combat where it's going to die, I would expect it to be about the same strength as Lightning Visionary negating for Visionary having less toughness.

    Lightning-Core Excavator - A 1 mana artifact creature 0/3 which converts into an expensive Lightning Bolt. I think activated ability is a bit too expensive for us. Most colours have access to some kind of cheap removal. And Green and Blue have strong things do with their mana at every point in the game. It is a disposable artifact for Trusty Retriever, as well as being a cheap artifact for metalcraft's threshold. Cubes with Court Homunculus would want this.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Jumpstart Spoilers
    Hangry Flames - I hadn't thought of the Lash Out/Lunge comparison. Lash Out is strong and is one of the better 3 damage spells. Searing Blaze is top tier and being a worse version of that is still decent. Lunge never worked out me, although the difference between 2 and 3 damage to target creature is huge; it's a whole different weight class. I see Hungry Flames as a better version of Chandra's Outrage, which has been in and out of my cube. I had been playing Outrage because I was looking for more 4 damage spells and this one was the best of the lot excluding Rhystic Lightning and Flame Slash. I might be comparing apples and oranges here, but I prefer Hungry Flames to Chandra's Outrage. 5 combined damage for 3 mana is probably worth it for the mana efficiency.

    Archaeomender - Looks like a the missing piece in the artifact puzzle. I'm trying to work out reasons why artifacts will be in your graveyard in the first place outside of Perilous Myr and Mind Stone.

    Same with Trusty Retriever. Sanctum Gargoyle is already a card, although there are plenty of good enchantments in white. I think most enchantments are Auras so Ironclad Slayer is probably better than Retriever due to cost. That being said Grave Digger still sees fringe play and has a similar effect, although creatures tend to end up in graveyards more frequently.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Jumpstart Spoilers
    The Thriving cycle seems very strong. Much better than any of our current duels. They also easily support off-colour splashes.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on M21 spoiler
    Swift Response - Strictly better than Take Vengeance. Has to compete against Pacifism and Sheer Drop. This is the best version of this kind of effect and is probably good enough to run.

    Sanguine Indulgence - Has potential, although I don't think many decks currently could reliably get the discount.

    Bone Pit Brute - About the strength I'd expect from red's 6cmc club. I think this is better than Chartooth Cougar and Lava Serpent which are two currently playable 6 drops. And is similarly kitted to Bogardan Rager, though I much prefer menace and a bigger body over flash.

    Chandra's Magmutt - Seems better every time I think about it. Ticking out 1 damage when the board gets clogged will get there in the end, and often red is looking for a way to tick someone's life total into lethal range.

    Goblin Wizardry - I initially dismissed this as chaff, then I realised that it makes every non-creature spell worth at least 2 additional points damage. I already run heaps of cheap blue spells so getting multiple prowess triggers won't be that difficult. I'm looking forward to bopping people with a couple of Goblin Wizards. Maybe I'll start looking for room for Empty the Warrens and Gush...
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on M21 spoiler
    Mistral Singer - I don't mind playing Niblis of Dusk and this is more or less strictly better. Extra toughness saves it from Deserts and so forth. Playable though not that exciting.

    Crypt Lurker - I don't have that much that I want to pitch or to sac for this.

    Destructive Tampering - Seems alright, although this does not do a lot when you are behind, which puts it in the class of win more cards. I prefer Ruthless Invasion and Nightbird's Clutches. The former because it can be played off-colour (namely green and white where it is most wanted) and the latter because it is cheap and repeatable.

    Roaming Ghostlight - Somewhere between Mist Raven and Aethersnipe. 5 mana is a bit slow and it is weaker than Mist Raven, but it will play quite nicely alongside the other Man-o'-Wars. I think Roaming Ghostlight is cuttable.

    Daybreak Charger - This and Llanowar Visionary are the two auto-includes of the set. The etb makes this sting.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on M21 spoiler
    Trufflesnout is at least a 3/3 for 3 which is fine for lack of a better 3 drop. Having the option to gain 4 life instead of the counter might actually be good enough to try out because 4 life is really important against burn, and that's where I often found green lacking. I don't mind a 3/3 for 3 in most midrange matchups because hopefully (playing green) my 4 and 5 drops will significantly outclass my opponent.

    I agree that Llanowar Visionary is an auto-include.

    I want to try playing Village Rites. It's aggressively costed (a mana). It's another piece of the sacrifice puzzle. I wonder if we have reached critical mass for the archetype yet to be a little bit more that just a gimmick. And the very least Village Rites is a decent response to a removal spell and allows you to make use of a pacified creature body.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
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