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  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Promos and Packaging
    Quote from idSurge »
    Oh I knew the deck he meant, but to claim its Tier 0 would be an odd typo since 1 is on the other end of the keyboard.

    Humans isnt even remotely close to Tier 0.


    Modern events and metagame @ mtgtop8.com
    https://www.mtgtop8.com/format?f=MO

    You are correct that Humans isn't tier 0, I didn't realize Spirits topped that quick. To say it's not close however with that small margin of difference?
    This card could push it up ala Dredge with chill. This doesn't really help a huge amount with the top decks but does so much splash damage incidental hate against the rest of the field that you'd get a lot of MD free rolls by playing Humans. This definitely would increase metashare in the future and just gives a great tool to a deck that didn't need it.

    Scarier thought? Not much downside for Spirits to play this either MD. 😶
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Promos and Packaging
    Quote from NZB2323 »
    Quote from Squall »
    Lavinia is probably the dumbest "you don't get to play magic" cards in a long time. Honestly. Slots MD into the tier 0 deck of modern and it affects:

    Tron
    Burn (rift bolt)
    Infect (mutagenic)
    Mardu (turn 1 looting, turn 2 souls)
    Ad Nauseum (bloom)
    Living End
    Jund (cascade)
    U/x Turns (miracle)
    UWx Control (delve, terminus)
    Phoenix variants (gut shot)
    Hollow One

    This is dumb.


    She doesn’t stop lingering souls from being cast from the GY. You still pay mana for a flashback spell. Also, she doesn’t kill delve or convoke as long as you cast 1 mana also for the spell.
    Someone already answered the souls part I put up. The first ability could potentially stop the others depending on your land count.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Promos and Packaging
    Quote from motleyslayer »
    Quote from Squall »
    Lavinia is probably the dumbest "you don't get to play magic" cards in a long time. Honestly. Slots MD into the tier 0 deck of modern and it affects:

    Tron
    Burn (rift bolt)
    Infect (mutagenic)
    Mardu (turn 1 looting, turn 2 souls)
    Ad Nauseum (bloom)
    Living End
    Jund (cascade)
    U/x Turns (miracle)
    UWx Control (delve, terminus)
    Phoenix variants (gut shot)
    Hollow One

    This is dumb.


    how does she work with cheating in stuff with omniscience though? This card might be a nightmare
    Stops it. You didn't pay mana.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Promos and Packaging
    Lavinia is probably the dumbest "you don't get to play magic" cards in a long time. Honestly. Slots MD into the tier 0 deck of modern and it affects:

    Tron
    Burn (rift bolt)
    Infect (mutagenic)
    Mardu (turn 1 looting, turn 2 souls)
    Ad Nauseum (bloom)
    Living End
    Jund (cascade)
    U/x Turns (miracle)
    UWx Control (delve, terminus)
    Phoenix variants (gut shot)
    Hollow One

    This is dumb.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Guild Mechanics
    Surveil is exactly that. A worse Explore, BUT, it works great in conjunction with the Explore mechanic. I allready have the sultai shell for it so i can't wait to see the cards and feel how they fit together.


    Surveil has the advantage of being able to look at more than one card at once, The terrible person that I am wants to see "Surveil 2 then Draw a card" instant for U to see how quickly it gets banned/restricted


    We better get the obvious Opt version but man... your version would be amazing, reminds me of Buried Alive being the great Threshold enabler.

    Surveil certainly operates on the same spectrum as Explore but certainly has more potential to be much more powerful. I highly doubt we'll see a triple explore card due to clunkiness and being tied to creatures is limiting. It is definitely not a strictly worse version by any means
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Guild Mechanics
    Quote from Spaz350 »
    I think Jump-Start has some legitimate potential. The added cost of discarding a card means that cards with Jump-Start are possibly a little more aggressively costed than your average flashback card, with a little more flexibility than the average retrace card.

    Compare Engulfing Flames and Flame Jab. We could conceivably see a Jump-Start spell as a halfway point between the two, something along the lines of:

    Engulfing Jab R
    Instant
    Deal 1 Damage to any Target.
    Jump-Start

    So, Cheaper than Engulfing Flames to cast a second time, due to the additional cost of discarding a card. At the same time, its still slightly easier to recast than Flame Jab since ANY card can be discarded rather than just a land, although you can only recast it once rather than repeatedly.

    Factoring in the ability to use the discard cost to fill your gy, chain future Jump-Start spells, or enable madness cards, there is conceivably some REAL potential within the mechanic.


    Winner winner, chicken dinner. Flashback should always be overcosted since it's an instant access recast. Retrace was turning your worst dead cards, lands, into repeatable effects i.e. needs to be overcosted.

    I know WotC would want to err on the side of caution here but overcosting is mechanically incorrect; the danger, as always, is in aggressively costing or free.

    Haven't posted in about two years...not surprised that Ravnica is what brought me back. Convoke as always is great, Boros is boring as usual (Radiance WAS overcosted as another poster stated but I liked it), Jump-start will be the juice, Surveil is simple, uninspired and powerful while Undergrwoth is another win for Golgari.

    4/5 ain't bad at all I'd say. Smile
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Essence Extraction
    Quote from Garraca »
    "It's not Doom Blade, so it's a garbage removal spell. 0/10"


    I mean, a slightly better Douse in Gloom/Last Kiss is not anything to get excited about.

    Sorin's Thirst is what I'd take in a standard environment vs aggro over this.

    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Leonin Arbiter payment timing
    From this week's CI, surely this is just a timing misplay?

    Q: I control a Leonin Arbiter; my opponent pays 2 for the Arbiter, then activates a Windswept Heath. Can I respond by flashing Restoration Angel and blinking the Arbiter, to make my opponent have to pay another 2 (or not get to search for a land)?

    A: You can. When the Arbiter leaves and re-enters the battlefield, it becomes, from the game's perspective, an entirely new object with no memory of or relation to the Arbiter that was on the battlefield before. So although your opponent paid for the ability of that Arbiter, your opponent hasn't paid for the ability of the Arbiter that's on the battlefield now, and will need to pay another or not be able to search.

    I don't question the blinking double tax but my understanding was that you could activate something like a fetch, then if it required a payment the game WOULD allow you to activate mana abilities in the middle of the ability resolving to pay for those things. I know there is some other card/ability that references this, it's similar but not quite like Ghostly Prison where you don't have to activate mana abilities prior to announcing attackers. Clarification would be nice.

    So the question is can you activate mana abilities and pay the arbiter's tax 'during' the resolution of the ability?

    P.S. Found another scenario where this would be relevant: Blood Speaker. Once the ability triggers, if you have to pay the 2 in advance, your opponent could then kill Speaker in response to the trigger after you paid the 2, REALLY hosing you. Obviously killing Speaker in response is a good play regardless but if they can get you to waste 2 mana as well, all the better of course.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on BFZ cards used in the Pro Tour top 8
    Quote from Aaron Forsythe »
    Who Loses Out

    The thing about this banning that I feel bad about is that the card in question was much more widely used and enjoyed than cards that have been banned in the past were. Very few people had fun with stuff like Mind over Matter and Memory Jar. But everyone can find a use for Skullclamp. Players at cardshops and kitchen tables around the world are slapping it on everything from Auriok Glaivemaster to Bottle Gnomes to Fallen Angels. And to them the card isn't “broken” or “environment-warping,” but rather only very good and quite fun. I'm sure the card is responsible for making many iffy Friday Night Magic decks into contenders—heck, even a Bird or Dwarf tribal deck can laugh off mass removal with some Skullclamps handy.

    Many people have complained on the boards that their “Black-Green Death Cloud Cemetery” or “White Weenie Equipment” decks were ruined by the banning. And to them I apologize. But the Dark Side will always use power for evil, and while I appreciate your desire to employ Skullclamp somewhat fairly, I still say the card is dumb and had to go. Somewhere—maybe not in your store, or in your town—someone else was using Skullclamp more efficiently and to more devastating effect than you were. I'm sure there were kids using Lotus Petal years ago to put out first-turn Warrior en-Kor, and they were left scratching their heads when the Petal was banned. And maybe, just maybe, a guy somewhere was sacrificing Black Lotuses to power out early War Mammoths, and wondered why in the heck Wizards felt the need to create a Restricted List. There will always be casualties in the crossfire, I suppose. I feel your pain.

    But don't despair. You shouldn't expect us to be perfect—it's not possible for us to be, and it would be really boring if we were. As Magic R&D Director Randy Buehler likes to say, “We're better off pushing cards than making another Homelands.” Part of the excitement of building decks with new cards should be the idea that R&D might have missed something, and you could be the one to rub our faces in it. We don't want people to have the false idea that we have every environment mapped out and solved and we're just watching from above, waiting to see if you all fall in line. It's not like that at all. We have a decent idea of what decks will be good, but we never get it exactly right. We didn't put Wonder in our madness decks, Astral Slide in our cycling decks, or Patriarch's Bidding in our Goblin decks. We never had a tier-1 Tooth and Nail deck or white Urzatron deck. We thought Wizards were a real deck, for crying out loud! And we obviously didn't put Skullclamp in our Affinity decks (until it was too late).


    Quote from Aaron Forsythe »
    The banning of eight cards in Standard (and, to a lesser extent, the restricting of Trinisphere in Vintage) has polarized the game's audience. There are those that simply love what we've done with the place, while others believe us to be insane, dumb, greedy, or some combination of the three. So what happened between December 1st and March 1st?

    Was Standard that bad? Was the format actually not diverse enough, and not solvable enough? Looked at purely analytically, the format probably wasn't that bad. Decks emerged that could beat Affinity. You could play something other than Affinity or Tooth and Nail and have a decent chance to succeed. If the DCI attempted to solve every issue as if it were a complicated math problem, we very well might have done nothing again.

    After all, banning cards is bad, and we only want to ban cards if a format was lopsided enough to warrant action, which Standard may not have been. The best deck only won X% of the time, was beaten by the second-best deck Y% of the time, and decks #3, 4, and 5 were all played in reasonable numbers. If we like the math, no problem. Just like last time.

    But in the past three months R&D and the DCI have been reminded that Magic is not a series of balanced equations, spreadsheets of Top 8 results and data of card frequencies. Magic is a game played by human beings that want to have fun.

    One of the most damning statements that can be made about a game is that it is not fun, and that's exactly what we've been hearing lately about Standard. Sure, ever since Affinity first showed up after the release of Mirrodin (and more so after it was revamped and supercharged with the release of Darksteel), people complained about it. I have plenty of anecdotal evidence in my inbox of people quitting Magic, threatening to quit, or stepping away from Standard for some amount of time because of the dark cloud of Affinity—and believe me, each of those emails made me unhappy—but recently the evidence of the general public's disdain for what the format looks like has gone from anecdotal to measurable. With some of the biggest Standard events of the year—Regionals, Nationals, and Worlds—on the horizon, how many more players could we continue to frustrate and alienate?


    We know what to do if a format is horribly unbalanced, but what do we do when it is equally unfun? As much as I'd like to hire clowns to make balloon animals at every Friday Night Magic, we're stuck using more traditional means of damage control—the Banned and Restricted Lists.

    At this point I hope it is becoming clearer why we did what we did, but I'll keep explaining anyway.

    Going in to our meetings that would ultimately lead to this eight-card ban, we knew the goal was to make a statement. We had to alter the reality of the format, but we also had to let the world know without a doubt that we “slew the dragon” as it were. Affinity had to go away, and everyone that was having doubts about the future of Standard needed to understand it. With that thought, we came to an agreement to ban the five Mirrodin artifact lands.
    Affinity had to go away, and everyone that was having doubts about the future of Standard needed to understand it.

    Those five, we reasoned, would do the job thoroughly—Affinity couldn't exist without its skeleton, right? We knew such a ban would affect other decks, primarily Krark-Clan Ironworks, but that deck was guilty by association as far as we were concerned. If we somehow managed to remove Ravager Affinity from the environment—and just Ravager Affinity—I have little doubt that KCI would have stepped right in to the vacated “public enemy #1” slot, won lots and lots of games way earlier than it had any right to, and still forced players to maindeck multiple copies of Oxidize, March of the Machines, and the like. Sweeping change to the format? Not hardly. So KCI getting a little residual hate was not a sticking point for us.

    The big issue was the one I brought up in December (and I quote): “We like to avoid having to solve problems by banning cards, as that leads to a culture of fear. We certainly don't want people to start believing that all the good cards they own are in the crosshairs of the DCI. With that in mind, can you imagine the weird backlash that would happen if we banned artifact lands? Most players that aren't into the tournament scene would have no idea at all why we did this. Tree of Tales is banned?! It's one of the most powerful cards ever?! Are you kidding me?! While it would certainly solve the problem on the top end, it would alienate and confuse people elsewhere.” Although it may seem hard to believe at the moment, all that stuff is still true. I feel for casual players everywhere who can no longer discard a land to Thirst for Knowledge, and I pity those that will have to explain this event to them—store owners, local TO's, and our poor customer service department. But it came down to risk versus reward, and we have to hope that our casual audience is more resilient than our tournament audience.

    You can't please all of the people all of the time, although heaven knows we try.


    While this information is specifically to the banning of cards in Standard since Urza's, the general approach is very applicable: how WotC looks at Standard environments and how they are developed. Bold is my emphasis in quite a few areas but it should be clear: competitive > casual AS RIGHTLY IT SHOULD.

    That is the literal definition of the Timmy psychographic; it's been touched upon slightly in other BFZ threads but Timmy will play with whatever Dragon/Mermaid/Pokemon/Bigg Stinkin' Monster they like. It doesn't have to be good, it just has to fit into my Kobold/Dwarf/Orc/Thallid deck and I'll play it. Timmies play Stormbreath Dragon, Timmies aren't upset that the card is competitively pushed and used by Spikes; THAT'S the exact overlap on cards you want to have to be successful.

    Now while Spike will play whatever mana/removal/finisher that is the best in the format, just like Timmy will play whatever Angel is the new Big Bad that came out, Spike STOPS GOING TO TOURNAMENTS WHEN THE FORMAT IS BAD. That's what WotC looks at, specifically Standard. Kitchen table magic is always fun, that's how it works, it can't not be by any measureable metric that WotC does. Nothing WotC does can affect how I play at my table, I can unban Skullclamp all I want. They can't force me to do it but they do force Standard players to do it; that's exactly how standard works. When WotC talks about the game not being fun or being boring, they aren't talking about casuals they are talking about Spikes. The competitive scene. The PT dream that they sell to get people to travel to GP's and the like. Magic has exploded casually over the last few years due to the same WoW phenomenon: accessibility to content. WotC says that as well, core sets didn't work in the past as an entry point, it was DoTP and the branding on social media. ACCESS. PRESENCE. Those free mini decks for the newbies to battle with. Event decks to start FNM.

    Don't kid yourselves, WotC is pushing sales to the spikes. Original zen treasures, now expeditions, Fetchalnds in FRF packs, God packs in THS block, Shocks in DGM, wow, what's the common denominator? High rarity tournament staples? Casuals aren't going to chase the BFZ lottery, by definition the money they spend on it would not be enough to do it (since they are....casuals).

    Deny it all you want, the relevancy of BFZ in Standard tournament play is definitely the metric to consider BFZ a winner/loser by. If you want to give WotC the benefit of the doubt that it will take a bit longer to impact, sure, that's fair but stop whiteknighting the situation: public sentiment is not positive on here, other website articles, FNMs and words from the Pros.

    When tourney attendance drops, WotC pays attention. If it's not fun (by how WotC looks at fun up above), it's a fail.
    Posted in: New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on SCG Indy Standard Open -- 10/3-4
    Slightly incorrect; Cranial was quite good in Kamigawa standard but only because it was repeatable and recursive with the gifts engine. Cranial your cranial was often the big decider of a match early on.

    However, for this Standard, yes extraction effects are quite weak, even being one step ahead on curve is not enough.


    I do like that the best Bring to Light brings is summoning rhinos. Nice work BFZ. I didn't expect a completely new archetype with brand new stuff right away at the first tourney but it's clear that you have to have a very strong argument to not play rhino.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Another templating question
    Deglamer
    Unravel the Aether

    Chaos Warp

    Is there a reason the first two have you choose it then it has the separate line of text for what to do? Is there a templating or rules reason it could not be "The owner of target artifact or enchantment shuffles it into his or her library." ? I initially thought it was an issue of making sure you didn't shuffle someone else's library but the Chaos Warp wording gets around that.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Shortcut question
    Ok, I really don't see how in the world you can force someone to put an Underground Sea that is in their deck onto the battlefield; this is a diversion from my previous question but fail to find is specifically in the rules to prevent a player from having to do that because you can never verify since it's a hidden zone.

    Now, in the interest of full disclosure, WotC has moved away from these wordings because of cards like [cards]Gifts Ungiven[/card] when someone has say only 4 cards remaining in their library (which may or may not be unique; this is why they changed the wording on Gifts). That aside, the rule exists because you can't force a player to do something with a hidden zone.

    Based on the rest of your explanation, if I didn't have an Underground Sea as stated, it seems like the game would rewind and a player would be able to get something else like a Swamp or Island, correct? GRV and stuff aside, my concern is that again, shortcuts were defined in the rules to prevent 'gotcha!' moments and if you announce and don't have it and get screwed, that could definitely feel like a gotcha moment. However, you explanation seems to indicate that would not occur.

    P.S. Ack, didn't mean to have it separate in 2 posts like that, whoops.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Shortcut question
    Let me try to be more precise.

    The rule commonly referred to as "fail to find" is the following:
    701.15b If a player is searching a hidden zone for cards with a stated quality, such as a card with a certain card type or color, that player isn’t required to find some or all of those cards even if they’re present in that zone.



    When a player says "Crack a fetch for Underground Sea", that needs to be translated to the terms used by the game rules. By the game rules, the fetchland has only one activated ability - to search for an Island or Swamp and put it onto the battlefield. "Search for a card named Underground Sea" is not an option. Therefore, no matter what the player said, the actual ability they must be activating is the "search for an Island or Swamp" one. When the player says "...for Underground Sea", they are making an assertion about the outcome of the ability. 701.15b is not relevant - all that rule does is to give the player the option to say "I find nothing". The player did not to take that option. They attempted to put an Underground Sea (which doesn't exist) from their library onto the battlefield.

    When a player announces a play, they attempt to lock themselves (and the rest of the game state) into that play. If the play is legal, they are locked in. If the play is not legal, and it is immediately caught, they are forced to rewind. If the play is not legal, and is not caught until later, a judge needs to decide how to handle the situation with minimum damage to the game state.

    In the specific case - if you announced "crack for Underground Sea" and there is one in your deck, you must put that one onto the battlefield. If you announced "crack for Underground Sea" and there isn't one in the deck, it would be rewound to the illegal action and you would be forced to do something else - and depending on REL and other factors, there might be further consequences. Announcing "crack for Underground Sea" when you know you have none in your deck, with the intent of seeing an opponent's reaction, would be Cheating, just like any other intentional illegal action.

    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Players fixing errors themselves
    Quote from Xyx »
    Quote from Squall »
    A single warning means virtually nothing, it' s literally a warning.

    I agree with both your reasoning and this conclusion, but there are plenty of players that might not see it that way.

    Scenario G was not made up. I was observing a game where a player put a creature that got Path to Exiled into his graveyard. I asked "is that in your graveyard or is it exiled?" and he responded by saying "oh, it's exiled, of course" and turning it face-down. Should I have simply issued double GRV instead?


    Myself? Yeah I probably would have. I am going to hopefully be a level 1 judge soon but at my former LGS, I was the Rules Advisor guy and I had a rep for being consistent but fair. I would definitely be 'that judge' seen as pedantic and ruleslawyer-y but hey, rules are rules. If I do the same thing the same way every time, I never have to worry about calling into question someone cheating, in addition, no one could ever say they didn't know how I approached the game and accuse me of not being fair.

    I like rules, rules are good. I like my actions to be as impartial as possible. IMHO, judges should aim to be above reproach as it were. I don't think anyone wants to get a 'cheesy' win by rules-lawyering but players need to understand, it's not them being a rules lawyer, it's the opponent not playing correctly. Period. Again, when you call an opponent on something 'small' like illegal blocks or exiled cards in graveyard, you have no idea if that's a legitimate mistake or the 100th time they've done it, trying to get over an opponent. More importantly, it's not the job of the player to decipher that intent; in many cases it's not the judges either, which is why the rules are the way they are. It wants to take as much power out of that situation that can be misconstrued.

    This is also why we have REL, again another measure to help guide player behavior. Players afraid of ticking up warnings or thinking one warning is an awful Scarlet Letter really shouldn't be playing in tournaments with REL where that is a thing. More importantly, the more we educate on proper play, the less warnings we give, the less interruptions and the more freakin' magic we get to play. Smile
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Shortcut question
    The issue is that the player failed to find though, both in the literal sense and in the hidden zone you can always fail to find sense.

    By saying the player is performing an illegal play, you are saying the player is locked into a choice. Then you say the rules are setup to not lock you into an illegal choice. I'm not understanding what you mean, please clarify. Or maybe I need to be clearer:

    If I 'announce' the type of land I am getting with a fetchland, am I locked into that choice when the opponent passes priority (per the above announcement shortcut rule) OR can I simply find any card that fits the criteria of the action?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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