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  • posted a message on Jumpstart 2022 for Peasant Cube
    Conductor of Cacophony - I think you missed this one, Funky. Battle Screech is a menace in limited, and I'm always looking for ways to cut down on the dominance of 1/1 fliers without hating too hard on generic aggro and without including straight-up hate cards . I like this one for those reasons. You can definitely include this in a random deck make combat very awkward for your opponent. In the end of the day it _might_ be too weak, but I want to give it a shot.
    Yes, I did miss it. I remember seeing it at one point but forgot when compiling everything.
    As for Conductor of Cacophony, it's a Pestilence variant on a stick. Or a more limited Crypt Rats that doesn't kill itself. In last year's average peasant cube, only 6-9 people were running Pestilence, and I may be the only person running Crypt Rats because it doesn't even appear on the average cube. It's more open to removal than Pestilence and can only be activated twice without counter support, but it does advance an empty board with a 4/3 body and doesn't have that sacrifice clause.
    I don't know - I find the competition for black 4-drops to be very stiff, so I probably won't test it in my cube, but I'd be curious how it works out for others.


    I've updated the New Art section of the original post with another half-dozen cards.

    And we have a few more new cards, but nothing good.

    Suspicious Shambler - Two zombies in a trench coat may be the best thing about this card. While it can yield three bodies over time, 3B and 4BB are pretty steep costs for a vanilla 4/2 and two 2/2 tokens.

    Deadly Plot - Modal really only in a tribal cube (I have 9 zombies total and wouldn't want to waste this on 1/3 of them), and it's overpriced as just removal.

    Daring Piracy - A token a turn sounds really good, except they don't stick around. For 3 mana, I'd like tokens that stick around.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Jumpstart 2022 for Peasant Cube
    The never-ending spoilers are never-ending, it seems. I didn't see a thread for this set, and I'm not sure how many people are interested, but here we are.

    New Cards:
    Angelic Cub - Strange card that grows when targetted and gains flying with 3+ +1/+1 counters. Could work in a counter deck, but not sure it's worth it.
    Biblioplex Kraken - Scry 3 on a large-ish body that can also become unblockable by bouncing a creature.
    Chains of Custody - Removal and protection on an aura.
    Coalborn Entity - A burn mana-sink. "Target ctreature token, player, or planeswalker" is an interesting group of targets. Wonder why it can't hit non-tokens.
    Creeping Bloodsucker - Built for multiplayer.
    Distinguished Conjurer - 1W for a 1/2 lifegain isn't great, and the flicker ability, while repeatable, is a bit expensive.
    Dutiful Replicator - Not great unless you already have a really nice token, in which case, you could keep flickering it for a pseudo-populate ability. Even then, why not just run a populate card?
    Goblin Researcher - Potential card advantage, providing it survives long enough to attack.
    Hold for Questioning - Investigate stapled onto a Sleep Paralysis variant, that also targets planeswalkers and stops activated abilities.
    Ingenious Leonin - Overcosted pump.
    Launch Mishap - No Escape/Syphon Essence variant that creates a flying Thopter. Not great.
    Magnanimous Magistrate - Counter-based reanimation, but they're a weird counter type and probably only playable with a lot of proliferation. Even then I question it, what with starting at 6 mana.
    Merfolk Pupil - ETB loot that can also happen from the graveyard. Possible use in a reanimator theme.
    Mild-Mannered Librarian - +1/+1 counters and card draw on a 1-drop.
    Ossuary Rats - Would have been overcosted even if it hit the opponent directly.
    Planar Atlas - Mana rock that potentially sets you up to draw a land, but do you really want a land after you've already ramped?
    Plundering Predator - More like Rummaging Dragon.
    Primeval Herald - Baby Prime-Time is not a card I expected to see. Is it any good starting at 4 mana and having only 1 toughness?
    Rampaging Growth - Interesting Rampant Growth/Animate Land variant
    Read the Soul - Modal counterspell or draw, but at 4 mana, it's a lot to hold up.
    Spectral Hunt-Caller - Overcosted pump.
    Synchronous Dismissal - Overcosted bounce outside of tribal.
    Towering Gibbon - Always at least a 4/4 Reach with possibly more power, but no Trample to take advantage of any growth.
    War Instruments - Overcosted tribal anthem.

    I've bolded the few that I think might warrant discussion, but there aren't really any must-run standouts.


    New Art (mostly but not all Anime):
    Aftershock
    Arlinn, Voice of the Pack
    Arrest
    Blood Artist
    Caustic Caterpillar
    Coldsteel Heart
    Dragon Mage
    Drannith Stinger
    Eidolon of Rhetoric
    Elvish Rejuvinator
    Emancipation Angel
    Feast of Blood
    Feast on the Fallen
    Festering Evil
    Fireslinger
    Flicker of Fate
    Ghoul's Feast
    Hydra's Growth
    Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor
    King of the Pride
    Lord of the Accursed
    Magnifying Glass
    Merrow Reejery
    Mirror Image
    Morkrut Banshee
    Nezumi Bone-Reader
    Oathsworn Vampire
    Preordain
    Rapacious Dragon
    Reassembling Skeleton
    Rigging Runner
    Ruin in their Wake
    Sage's Reverie
    Spawning Pit
    Spear Spewer
    Spectral Sailor
    Stitcher's Supplier
    Thrashing Brontodon
    Thrill of Possibility
    Tragic Lesson
    Tragic Slip
    Uktabi Orangutan
    Valorous Stance
    Wakedancer
    Whirler Rogue
    Wizard Mentor

    Not many of these even see play, but there are a couple. It's totally up to personal taste.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [J22] Vampires pack — ChannelFireball preview
    Strange to have Rodolf Duskbringer roll out so closely in the wake of Celestine, the Living Saint. The parallels are so close, and yet the approach is rather different. More expensive, with added cost to what had been a free ability, but it adds black, which is the more prominent reanimator color. Obviously, in a commander deck around Rodolf, you just add Celestine in the 99.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Brothers' War for Peasant Cube
    Quote from Leelue »
    "My point is that how players perceive cards is very connected to how they process what's on it."
    At least from our standpoint, we could give false impressions that there are synergies to be seen that aren't to be found. But from a "how good is this card" standpoint, purely at the power level of things... I'm frustrated. Dealing with humans is so hard for me.
    Yeah, I kind of wish Zephyr Sentinel didn't have the soldier text, so so it was a more straight-forward card. It's plenty powerful without that text, and I hope it doesn't confuse any drafters. But I just added it to my cube anyway.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on Why is Standard format dying?
    I would say the advent of Commander is a big reason.
    People don't like to lose. Standard means competition and losing. It's as simple as that...Losing is (should be) a learning process, and a little explicit instruction on how to keep calm and relax and not worry could work miracles even.
    That makes zero sense. In a Standard duel, you have a 50% chance of winning from the start. You can affect this through card choice, deck construction, and gameplay. But in a typical four player Commander game, you automatically start off worse with only a 25% chance of winning - even less when you go to 6-player. While it is true that this puts less emphasis on winning and more on having fun, it can't possibly be as simple as a bunch of sore losers like you suggest.
    8. Slowness in banning overpowered and "unfun" cards.
    I'd argue that this has a different underlying factor. Commander is slow to ban overpowered and unfun cards, but the massive card pool, the social contract, and the multiplayer politics can all mitigate some of the negatives and allow the format to roll with the punches.
    But Standard is a different beast, with its smaller card pool and more competitive nature, and it needs greater care from WOTC concerning the cards they release. I would argue that the sheer number of cards they've had to ban in recent years is indicative of design /playtesting issues and a refusal to print enough answers.
    If you look at a timeline of Standard bans over the years, 2006-2016 only saw a couple bans total, but then 2017-present shows a ridiculous uptick, blowing away all of the previous years, going all the way back to the creation of Standard in 1995. They've grown careless and greedy, pushing out unbalanced, unanswered, and/or overpowered cards to sell packs, only to ban them after sales have shifted to the newest set. This has damaged the brand and the Standard format because people don't like spending money on something only to be told later they can't play it.
    So, while they may be slow to ban cards, it's a bigger problem that they push out so many cards that need to be banned in the first place.
    2. Magic Arena is pushed by GotC/Hasbro and pushing players into digital.
    3. Product fatigue.
    5. Price of admission to competitive Standard decks.
    9. Price increases for sealed products.
    10. Inflation.
    13. Collector Boosters chasing sales away from Draft booster boxes.
    Agreed on all of these, especially when looked at together. Players have a limited amount of time and money for a hobby. When that money doesn't stretch as far, they can't buy as much. Yet WOTC has pushed out more product than ever before, in too many types of boosters, at too high of prices. WOTC has self-sabotaged with both product fatigue and wallet fatigue.
    I know this thread is largely about the death of Standard, but if WOTC doesn't course correct, the consequences will likely ripple outward to other formats. I used to buy boxes of boosters, but now I only buy singles. When there were only 4-5 Commander precons a year at $30-35 apiece, I would often buy them all; now that they release 19+ precons a year, with prices up to $50 each, it's become rare for me to even buy one. It's just more manageable to buy singles.
    4. Card quality (or lack thereof).
    It's a truth that has reached meme-level, but Magic foils are often Pringles right out of the pack. Other issues include inconsistent ink colors (I've seen copies of the same card pulled from the same box where one was white yet creamy and the other was super yellow) and inconsistent finish (some cards are super slick and smooth while the surface of other cards is rough and almost textured). They need to get it together if they want people to buy with confidence.
    6. Lack of support to LGSs.
    It's almost like WOTC forgets that people need a place to gather and play this game. As much as they've focused on collectors and whales who will hoard cards away, the game lives or dies with the LGS. And WOTC seems determined to cut them out.
    11. Success of Commander.
    I love Commander, and I've played EDH/Commander since 2009. There are many reasons why it has been successful, some of which could be replicated in Standard and others that cannot. One obvious draw - an eternal non-rotating format where you can play your cards forever once you've bought them - would never fit inside the box that is Standard. But maybe WOTC should look at why this format has flourished and try to apply what they learn to promoting other formats. You can build a Commander deck cheaper than a Standard deck and still have a better chance at winning. When I've been to the game store, I often hear strangers ask if people want to play Commander or occasionally Modern or Pioneer, but it's been years since I heard anyone ask if someone wanted to play Standard.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Brothers' War for Peasant Cube
    Quote from A_WasherDryer »
    I remember something like that, but I can't be 100% certain I am not conflating it with other topics he or others have spoken on. I want to say it was a discussion about a Kavu card with kicker, possibly Kavu Titan or Untamed Kavu,and how players "misplayed" the card because they saw the kicker text and undervalued the option to just play it as a 2/2 when they needed a 2/2.
    Thank you! I checked out the Kavu Titan story, and a couple google searches down that rabbit hole, I found what I was looking for. He called it "additive distraction."
    People will focus on the [specific condition], and many will come to the conclusion that there isn't really a deck for this card... But here's the thing: players were excited by the card without the extra line of text... It has a conditional upside. It's just as good as the original and, in a very narrow case, can be even better. My point is that how players perceive cards is very connected to how they process what's on it. -Source
    I've been looking unsuccessfully for this for a couple years, and the conversation about Zephyr Sentinel prompted me to ask.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on The Brothers' War for Peasant Cube
    Quote from Frozen_In_Ice »

    Weakstone's Subjugation > Bubble Snare - Strict upgrade for blue removal, without being overpowered
    I totally missed that card during spoilers and my set review. Definitely an upgrade, as it has three advantages.
    - Adds non-creature artifacts (only affects 7 cards in my cube, most notably Sol Ring or an uncrewed Untethered Express)
    - Less color restrictive (3U rather than 2UU)
    - ETB rather than kicker (saves mana if it's going to be countered, and in a desperate situation, it can be reset on a later, more urgent untapped target with Teferi's Time Twist)
    I'll be making this switch in my cube, as well.
    Quote from Frozen_In_Ice »
    Zephyr Sentinel ...I just wish it didn't mention soldiers, I don't want drafters getting the false impression there's a soldier theme in my cube.
    Random question for everyone - Mark Rosewater some years ago wrote an article about this phenomenon, where extra text on a card adds undesired complexity and distracts from the main use of the card, giving players a false impression or leading them to reject the card even when it otherwise serves their purposes. I've tried off and on to find the article again, or at least to remember what he called the phenomenon, but I haven't had any luck. Any chance anyone remembers this?
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Peasant]] The Peasant Cube Discussion Thread (C/U/)
    Quote from n00b1n8R »
    Convince me that Rona's Vortex is not on average better than Vapor Snag. Yeah sometimes that 1 life is critical but does that come up more often than the 25% chance you're in UB as opposed to any other UX combination?

    How often are people bouncing their own guy?
    I don't run either, so I'm just evaluating at face value. But if I did run one, I think it would be Vapor Snag or even another Unsummon variant like Fading Hope. Both of these can hit the tempo play, removing a blocker or attacker for U. Vapor Snag has the bonus point of damage that usually won't make a difference but can come in clutch occasionally; while it is true this could be detrimental when used on your own creature, it likely would be just as irrelevant against your life total as against your opponent's. But being able to also Rescue one of your own creatures, whether it is dying to removal or combat, is pretty huge, especially in a cube with good ETB effects. I would absolutely use it this way.
    Rona's Vortex trades that flexibility for two other effects. First and least, bouncing a planeswalker. Most planeswalkers in Peasant just tick down, so bouncing an opponent's walker to hand may detrimentally reset their loyalty; I'd rather bounce a blocker and just kill it. Second, you can pay 2UB to remove the target - but we have much more efficient removal available, even in Peasant. Even if the recursion-proof removal is what appeals to you, I don't really see anyone clamoring to play Feed the Serpent. There is something to be said for a flexible card with two modes, but again, the second mode comes with the aforementioned trade-off and only works in the right color combo.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on The Brothers' War for Peasant Cube
    The whole set has been spoiled, and it's been ...interesting. I kinda like the set - I certainly don't hate it like a certain previous set, but it comes with its own problems. First and foremost, the powerstones. Powerstones are fairly garbage in any but the most artifact-heavy cubes ("This mana can't be spent to cast a nonartifact spell"), but they affected the set in a few other ways. Due to the abundance of mana rocks, a lot of artifacts and activated abilities had to be overcosted, making them less good in a cube that isn't saturated with powerstones. That cycle with the 7-mana activated abilities? The mana values for the Unearth and full-size Prototype artifacts? Most of these aren't worth considering outside of this particular limited environment.
    And yet, there are still some exciting cards.
    Anyway, here's what I'm considering:

    Almost Certain
    Zephyr Sentinel - A flash flyer that can rescue a creature or reset an ETB. I only have 11 soldiers, so that may be mostly flavor text, but there are some interesting interactions - I particularly like it with Loyal Sentry.
    Third Path Iconoclast - There's no shortage of Izzet signpost cards; if anything, there are so many that it becomes harder to choose because of the competition.
    Maybe But Unlikely
    Gaea's Gift - A +1/+1 counter and temporary keyword soup lets you protect a creature and possibly even yourself (from flying), or you can use it to punch through some extra damage.
    Combat Thresher - I don't love it, but it can work favorably with blink. I'd certainly feel better blinking it with a repeatable effect (like Soulherder) rather than spending 2 cards (Thresher and a blink) to draw 2 cards.
    Bushwhack - Like VariSami said, modal cards can be very decent.
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [BRO] Mothership 11/04 — Set Complete
    People who run Grenzo, Dungeon Warden as their commander are going to like Swiftgear Drake.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [BRO] Draconic Destiny — Upcomer preview
    Cool card. Not sure I have a deck for it, but I'd like to find one.
    Quote from caulkwrangler »
    This is a hell of a card. Only three mana for all that and a bag of chips effect? I want to play it.
    It's good, but it's not quite Rancor's effect - Rancor comes back even if they Naturalize it, if they exile the creature it was enchanting, or if you sacrifice it. Draconic (and Angelic) Destiny only come back if the creature died.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [BRO] Great Desert Prospector — NGA preview
    From the title, I expected a possible inclusion for my Hazezon Desert landfall deck. The actual card is somewhat disappointing in that context. Then again, I undervalue Powerstones because I don't have many artifact-heavy decks.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [BRO] Mothership 10/31 — 15 Uncommons, 20 Commons, and Regular Basics
    Tocasia's Dig Site will find a home in a lot of graveyard decks.

    Su-Chi Cave Guard is harder to setup for infinite combos than original Su-Chi, due to being double the mana cost, but it's be a fraction of the price financially.

    And Third Path Iconoclast is a second Young Pyromancer for Izzet Commander decks.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [BRO] Tyrant of Kher Ridges — StarCityGames preview
    You'd think mentioning the Kher Ridges would invoke Kobolds, but this one is just someone turning Flametongue Kavu into a firebreathing dragon.
    I mean, neither Scourge of Kher Ridges (the previous damage dragon) nor Roc of Kher Ridges cared a whit about Kobolds.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [BRO] [BRR] Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard and Millstone — World Championship XXVIII Top 4 previews
    Hajar is a bit ridiculous - 2 mana for a 3/3 with an ability. But he'll be a welcome addition to many Jodah, the Unifier decks.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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