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    Default Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Can't touch this thread. Unless you're me.
    All art by Uncle Festy. Worship him for his god like art skills.
    Also, he takes requests. Sometimes. Usually he bites your head off if he isn't in the 'art' mood.


    It's the 13th official Magic: the Gathering thread on Giantitp forums!
    This is the place for everything regarding the game - rules questions, your own card creations, decks, reports, rants about recent sets/cards/rules changes, the storyline, favorite cards/colors/sets/characters/pros/articles, the absolute glory/terrible creation that is Elder Dragon Highlander Commander, or any other awesome Magical exploits.
    And definitely don't be shy if you're new to the game or think about starting. We would love to bring more players in, and help you get started!

    If you want, you can post decks and have them placed here in a list similar to the one below! Shoot me a PM if you're interested and I don't have my Ivory Mask.
    The Deck Gallery:
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    Mirrinus' "Norg'
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    Creatures:
    4 Cloud Sprite
    4 Spellstutter Sprite
    4 Pestermite
    3 Thieving Sprite
    3 Latchkey Faerie
    4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
    2 Okiba-Gang Shinobi

    Instants:
    4 Mana Leak
    4 Agony Warp
    3 Rend Flesh
    2 Condescend

    Lands:
    4 Terramorphic Expanse
    7 Swamp
    12 Island

    Sideboard:
    2 Mistblade Shinobi
    3 Echoing Truth
    3 Negate
    3 Remove Soul
    4 Peppersmoke

    The basic strategy is to play evasive creatures with nice CIP abilities, then bounce them with ninja to replay them again, gaining tons of card advantage. Save the instant counters for things you can't handle, like high cost spells that Spellstutter Sprite can't hit, or board-wiping spells. The deck has lots of disruption and can usually play pretty aggressively. Nearly every spell can potentially 2-for-1 the opponent, giving me control of the game thanks to my strong card advantage. It's a very cheap deck to build due to being made entirely of commons, yet I find that it's still a solid deck to play in other casual formats as well. Its biggest weaknesses appear to be board-sweeping spells and pingers, so my sideboard is built to accomidate either of those threats. Peppersmoke handles most pingers and can decimate casual aggro decks. Remove Soul is also good against aggro, while Negate is for control decks that have been popular lately. Echoing Truth is to stop pauper storm decks based on Empty the Warrens, and the Mistblade Shinobi is for keeping midrange creature decks off balance.



    Mirrinus' Pauper Mono White Control
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    Deck: Sarutabaruta (or just call it Pauper Mono-W Control)
    Format: MTGO Pauper Classic

    Creatures
    4 Order of Leitbur
    3 Shade of Trokair
    4 Noble Templar

    Instants
    4 Judge Unworthy
    3 Dawn Charm
    3 Holy Light
    4 Fire at Will
    4 Unmake

    Sorceries
    1 Cenn's Enlistment

    Enchantments
    4 Oblivion Ring
    2 Faith's Fetters

    Lands
    20 Plains
    4 Secluded Steppe

    Sideboard
    4 Circle of Protection: Red
    1 Circle of Protection: Black
    4 Kami of Ancient Law
    1 Holy Light
    1 Cenn's Enlistment
    4 Relic of Progenitus

    (Note: the circles of protection were common when printed in 7th edition, so they're legal for pauper.)

    Anyway, I realized that most decks for pauper are creature-heavy, due to the lack of mass removal. So I built a deck designed to crush aggro strategies. I run a wealth of removal spells, some of which can earn card advantage. My creatures are few, but are versatile and are great both early and late game, oftentimes utilizing my excess mana to the fullest. The Kami of Ancient Law in the sideboard is mostly to switch in against creature-light decks as an early beater, or to replace Holy Light against white decks. I figure that if a deck is playing white, it's likely to be playing white enchantment-based removal like Oblivion Ring or Temporal Isolation, so the Kami would be great at keeping my other creatures clear of these answers.

    What I'm still considering, though, is the removal suite. I like Fire at Will for its potential for card advantage, particularly against weenie swarms like Slivers. Unmake is also great simply for the lack of the attack/blocker clause. The Dawn Charms are there mostly for versatility, as I can usually think of a good use for it. I'm not sure if I should be maindecking the Holy Lights, though. So far, they've only been useful against pinger decks, Empty the Warrens, and certain elf builds. However, given that Storm may be one of the best pauper builds, Holy Light affords me with my best chance of trumping Empty the Warrens. But most of all, I'm debating Judge Unworthy. On one hand, having 8 removal spells that require attacking/blocking is kind of restrictive; on the other hand, it's my cheapest removal spell, and my only removal option for turn 2. The Scry is oftentimes a toss-up; getting rid of excess land is great, but I've had instances where I needed to draw another land, but can't put a land on top of my deck with Scry if I want to kill a creature. I guess Temporal Isolation is a possible substitute, but it's pretty lousy in the Silvers matchup, which is perhaps the most common deck played in the pauper casual room as of late.

    I'm still debating whether Relic of Progenitus should be in the sideboard; perhaps I could use more aggro options to switch in against creature-light decks, even though those tend to be fewer in number for this format.


    Mirrinus' Countersliver
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    Deck: Pauper UW Countersliver
    Format: Extended Pauper

    Creatures:
    4 Azorius First-wing
    4 Bant Sureblade
    4 Deft Duelist
    4 Ethercaste Knight
    4 Esper Stormblade

    Artifacts:
    4 Fieldmist Borderpost

    Enchantments:
    4 Temporal Isolation

    Instants:
    4 Mana Tithe
    4 Mana Leak
    3 Remove Soul
    3 Hindering Light

    Lands:
    4 Terramorphic Expanse
    7 Island
    7 Plains

    Countersliver is a classic and effective Magic deck archetype that seeks to win by playing a few cheap, efficient threats to take the early game lead, then using permission and light removal elements to prevent the late-game from coming as you press your advantage. The archetype is named after the original version, which played Crystalline Sliver as its flagship creature.

    Countersliver is a good example of an effective aggro-control deck. Your creatures are weaker than your opponent's best aggro creatures, and your removal and card advantage suite isn't nearly as strong as a dedicated control player's. What you do have, though, is tempo. You have superior early-game creatures to all but the best aggro decks, and you'll be shaving pieces off your opponent's life very quickly while trying to maintain your board advantage. Countersliver especially likes to prey on slower decks. Compare a Countersliver deck to a normal permission control deck. Against a mid-range deck, both are able to stall for several turns with their counterspells. However, while the permission deck is just buying time to play a big finisher, Countersliver will have a guy in play by turn 2, and attacking the opponent relentlessly while stalling for time. In other words, it has a tangible clock in play, which will likely win before the late-game hits.

    Countersliver is normally weak against fast aggro decks with superior creatures. However, my personal build contains a few elements that help that matchup. First is the high number of first-striking creatures. Bant Sureblade and Deft Duelist make formidable blockers, easily dispatching lots of popular aggro creatures with high power but low toughness. Deft Duelist is also impossible to burn out of the way, making it a particularly impressive defender. Of course, both are also rather nasty on offense as well. Another nice card in the aggro matchup is Ethercaste Knight. 3 toughness means it can handle many early-game opposing creatures with ease, and it can lend power to my offense without ever having to tap. My favorite starting plays with this deck involve Esper Stormblade on turn 2, followed by Ethercaste Knight on turn 3 with one land up for Mana Tithe. I get to swing for 4 points of flying starting on turn 3, which can lead to a turn 7 win. With Ethercaste Knight blocking on the ground and a slew of countermagic and removal, I'm likely to win a damage race with just those two creatures.

    The key to playing this deck is to not overextend with your creatures, and to keep mana open for counters available as often as possible, even if you aren't actually holding a counter. Exalted lets you finish games quickly without having to play many additional creatures. I prefer my fliers for attacking while keeping the first strikers back for defense to win the damage race against aggro. Of course, if you have a clear creature advantage, by all means attack en masse! Just be sure to have countermagic on hand in case they drop a big creature or removal spell. The good thing about this deck is that practically every single spell costs just 2 mana or less (I don't count the borderposts, as I usually pay their alternate cost), which means by turn 4 you can feasibly drop another threat and still have Mana Leak or Remove Soul ready. The deck desperately wants to hit UW by turn 2 (an opening hand that can't do this should be mulliganed), but with 4 Terramorphic Expanses and 4 Borderposts, that shouldn't be too hard to do, at least in my testing thus far.

    If you want a sideboard, I would recommend trying out Steel of the Godhead. Against decks light on removal but heavy on aggro, this card is a total beating that almost ensures victory in the damage race. Just keep in mind that you can't enchant your Azorius First-wings or Deft Duelists. In such a matchups where I'd want Steel of the Godhead, such as against aggressive red decks, I'd probably swap out the griffins for Vedalken Outlander.


    Shas'aia Toriia's Orzhov Control
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    Creatures (13)
    4x Divinity of Pride
    4x Graveborn Muse
    2x Shimian Specter
    3x Oriss, Samite Guardian

    Artifacts (1)
    1x Sword of Light and Shadow

    Instants (4)
    4x Mortify

    Planeswalkers (2)
    2x Liliana Vess

    Sorceries (16)
    4x Demonic Tutor
    4x Vindicate (substituting in a couple Oblivion Rings until I can afford a playset)
    4x Gerrard's Verdict
    2x Wrath of God
    2x Damnation

    Land (24)
    4x Godless Shrine
    4x Fetid Heath
    4x Caves of Koilos
    1x Shizo, Death's Storehouse
    1x Eiganjo Castle
    2x Orzhova, Church of Deals
    3x Flagstones of Trokair
    2x Forbidding Watchtower
    2x Swamp
    1x Plains

    To start off with this deck, you want to either strip their hand away with Gerrard's Veridct or search for something good with Demonic Tutor. Once you have Graveborn muse in play, just start accumalating card advantage. If they try to attack, prevent the damage with Oriss, or block with Forbidding Watchtower. Finish off the game with Liliana Vess or Divinity of Pride. Above all, though, don't be afraid to Wrath often. With 4 wrath effects and 6 tutors, you can always get more.

    Lastly, there is a soft lock in this deck. See if you can find what it is.


    MountainKing's UBR Elemental Shenanigans:
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    Creatures:
    Supreme Exemplar x2
    Mulldrifter x3
    Mournwhelk x3
    Shriekmaw x3
    Spitebellows x3
    Inner-Flame Acolyte x3
    Stingscourger x3

    Artifacts:
    Proteus Staff x3
    Cauldron of Souls x3
    Cloudstone Curio x3
    Armillary Sphere x3

    Sorceries:
    Heat Shimmer x2

    Instants:
    Peel from Reality x2
    Turn to Mist x4

    Lands:
    Basic Swamp x6
    Basic Mountain x7
    Basic Island x7

    Sideboard (aka the Experiment Pile):
    Thrumming Stone
    Coalition Relic
    Cruel Ultimatum x3
    River Kelpie x2
    Heat Shimmer
    Mana Echoes x2
    Dawn of the Dead
    Tar Fiend x2
    Footbottom Feast x3

    The basic premise of the deck is to use the triggered come into play or leaves play effects on creatures, repeatedly, in order to bring about an effective soft lock on the game through denial. This is achieved through taking two keywords abilities (Evoke and Persist)... and breaking them soundly over your knee.

    The core of the deck is the interaction between Cauldron of Souls (the only card in the deck that gives creatures Persist) and Elemental creatures with Evoke alternative casting costs. In response to the Evoke's triggered effect, you tap Cauldron of Souls to give the Evoked creature Persist. It leaves play, then returns to play, causing its triggered come into play ability to go on the stack a second time, for no additional mana cost.

    Example: If I evoke a Mulldrifter for 2U, when it comes into play, I draw two cards. Since I paid the Evoke cost, the triggered effect goes on the stack. I give it Persist via Cauldron of Souls, and when it comes into play a second time, I draw two more cards.

    Example 2: The interaction between Spitebellows and Cauldron of Souls is fundamentally the same, except that the creature's ability triggers when it leaves play, rather than comes into play. However, when Persist brings Spitebellows back into play, it has a zero toughness courtesy of its -1/-1 counter from Persist, sending it cheerfully back to the graveyard a second time, allowing for either 12 damage to be done to one creature, or 6 damage to be done to two separate creatures.

    The typical play of the deck leaves it feeling like its ramping a little slowly. Turns 1-5, you'll probably only have played an Armillary Sphere, Cloudstone Curio, Cauldron of Souls, and land. ***NOTE*** This deck likes its mana, and digging up lands with the Armillary Sphere is crucial.

    Once turn 6 hits, however, you'll be causing some serious hurt, having surprisingly rapid, effective tools at your disposal during your turn. Mournwhelk empties your opponent's hand, Shriekmaw and Spitebellows tear down your opponent's creatures, while Stingscourger stalls out their creatures. Supreme Exemplar is the only huge beater in the deck, though clearing the opposing board, casting a Spitebellows (not Evoking), and then giving it +2/+0 and Haste via Inner-Flame Acolyte (if not +4/+0) can give you a suitable beater as well. Otherwise, your damage comes from lightweight, evasive creatures like Shriekmaw and Mulldrifter.

    This deck isn't especially meant to play against terribly competitive players, but it *can* perform against moderately fast decks. The difference is that it moves slightly slower, and loses out on creatures, because instead of holding on to your Evoke creatures, you'll be playing them in to deal with threats on board. I've got a list of cards that I personally intend to use to tinker with the deck even further, but I'll leave the deck *as is* for the purpose of posting it. I want people to be able to tinker with it, and the deck *does* work well in its current form.

    The deck also has a number of specific weaknesses, none of which should be terribly worried about. It's meant to be a fun deck... for you. It won't be fun for them.


    Maho-Tsukai's The Black Plague, a deck for multiplayer
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    Deck:
    Lands:
    3x Cabal Coffers
    1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    20x Swamp

    Creatures:
    2x Pestilence Demon
    4x Stuffy Doll
    4x Cemetary Gate
    4x Reassembling Skeleton

    Enchantments:
    4x Pestilence
    4x Circle of Affliction

    Sorceries/Instants:
    2x Consume Spirit
    4x Diabolic Tutor
    1x Demonic Tutor
    2x Bubbling Muck
    4x Dark Ritual
    1x Culling the Weak

    Description:
    This is one deck that will make you absolutely hated in multiplayer. It's a mono-black deck that focuses on using the combination of Pestilence + Circle of Affliction (set to Black) to lock down the game by wiping the board every turn and kill your opponent(s) all at the same time.

    This deck acts very similar to the old school W/B decks that pared Pestilence with Circle of Protection: Black and Pro Black creatures like White Knight. However, due to the printing of cards like Reassembling Skeleton, Stuffy Doll and Circle of Affliction white this deck no longer needs white to run properly. Mono Black now has enough cards to emulate the white cards that this kind of deck used to rely on and by using only black you have more mana to pour into your main win condition, pestilence

    As for how the deck should be played, it's really a combination of combo and control, leaning heavily towards combo. As stated before, pestilence is your main wincon, as it can burn all players for damage continually. However, to prevent your own death, circle of affliction(set to black) is used in tandem with pestilence, the one life gained offsetting the burn from pestilence, while burning your opponent more in the process. As a result you goal should be to assemble this combo as soon as possible, using your defensively-minded creatures and removal from pestilence itself and twin consume spirits to stall out while you use your various tutors to assemble all the cards you need.

    The real beauty of this deck, though, is that pestilence also hits all creatures, meaning that each time you burn your opponent your also wiping his board clean of threats, essentially locking down any deck that tries to win with creatures. However, pestilence dies when you have no creatures, so you have to play creatures that can survive the enchantment. Cemetery Gate has protection from black. Reassembling Skeleton can revive himself after pestilence wipes him off the board. Stuffy Doll is indestructible....and as mentioned before all of them are strong defensive walls that can stall for time if you don't have a pestilence in play.

    As for the rest of the cards, most of them are devoted to gaining tons of black mana that can be poured into pestilence. One thing this deck tries to do is maximizing Pestilence by providing lots of ways to gain extra mana to pour into it. Dark Ritual is an old standby that's great for this kind of deck while bubbling muck essentially doubles your mana for a turn. This deck features the infamous all-star of black mana gain, Cabal Coffers which can make ridiculous amounts of mana, and Urborg makes this even more ridiculous. Culling the Weak is like a stronger dark ritual with a drawback....that happens to play well with Reassembling Skeleton.

    Consume Spirit provides a "finisher" as well as a way to pad your life from the times you may have had to use pestilence to wipe the board without a circle of affliction to prevent it's self-burn. It can also double as removal in a pinch, too. Also, if you find that you just need something really big and scary to beat face with, Pestilence demon comes ready to serve you, and can double as pestilence #5-6 too.

    The main thing you should remember in this deck is that while the combo is nice, you should not be a slave to it. If you have a pestilence in play but no circle you should not be afraid to wipe the board and eat some damage yourself. Losing a bit of life to end the thread of a creature hoard coming your way is a worthwhile trade, and one that could save your life in the long run.


    Please include lots of info on how to play the deck so that others can partake in the fun that is whatever deck you have destroyed the Multiverse with or help suggest other cards to increase the awesomeness contained in your 60 (or more) cards.
    Also, it should be noted that this list was maintained by Squark, tgva, and Johnny Blade before Shas and Duos.
    Also, if anyone wants to drop/update any of these decks, let me know.
    Last edited by tgva8889; 2012-07-03 at 08:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Past topics since the first post takes up too much space:



    List of MtG-related websites put together by Johnny Blades and others:
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    The official site. From here you can reach:
    The page for Magic Online, if you want to give it a try. Note that, while you have to pay/trade for cards, there are bots who give them away for free. I don't have any experience with this, but there are people posting in this thread that do.
    The DCI, for organized play.
    Gatherer, WotC's card search.

    magiccards.info, another place to waste lots of time browsing through cards. It doesn't have the user ratings and comments of Gatherer, but lists the prices of several online vendors and, surprisingly, has more card images. The interface is also better in my opinion.

    MTGSalvation. That place has a lot of stuff, including a wiki, a huge forum, and many articles of varying quality. They also spoil all the cards of the next set well in advance, so this is where we'll usually get future cards from.

    StarCityGames - they make you pay for much of their newer content, but what you can get for free is certainly good enough.

    ChannelFireball.com, where you can hear LSV and Conley Woods (among others) discuss Magic. Many articles and draft videos from the pros are posted here for free. You can also buy cards from this website.

    Elder Dragon Highlander, the official page. Always up to date and it has a forum about this popular variant multiplayer format as well. If you want to learn even more about the format, go here!

    Le Bestiaire, an online draft simulator. It gives you some pretty odd ratings sometimes, but at least there is actual feedback.

    Magic Workstation, a program for...a lot of things, including collection management and online play. Supports more TCGs than just Magic. There's a freeware version available.

    Cockatrice, an other program for over-the-web Magic playing for no cost. Also has card images built in. Generally updates pretty frequently.

    TC Decks, where you can see which decks have tournament success. The decks are essentially named by the people who play them, and if you're looking for, say, Legacy decks, you'll soon find out that not all tournaments are really at Pro Tour level, but this is still an invaluable site for anyone who wants to keep up with the tournament scene.

    Magic: the Gathering Source Forums, which is great for people looking into legacy.

    The Mana Drain, more forums, this time for people looking into Vintage.

    Tapped Out, a deck building and critique community. Build any number of decks and put them up for review/critique/comment/display. Or, keep them private. They also have pretty graphic representations of your mana curve, colour costs and colour generation.

    http://www.highlandermagic.info/ The site for German Rules highlander. It's a 100-card singleton format, but the rules are rather different from EDH. They're more in line with the normal rules, and the banlist is made with a more competitive mindset in mind.

    http://deckstats.net/ Calculates mana curve, compares color spread to manabase colors, calculates prices for the deck as well as some other functions. It can handle MWSDeck files and can also save decks pasted into it in the format.

    GITP Magicgroup play-by-post

    Card Design Challenge Thread

    Requested: A short commentary on sorting your deck, by tgva8889:
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    When building a deck, sorting your cards is very important. While the following advice applies mainly to Highlander formats (specifically Commander), you may find it useful in other formats.

    The largest problem I’ve observed in deckbuilding is cutting cards. We all know that you have the best odds when you play the smallest number of cards. The difference may seem small, but every difference matters. When you’re trying to remove cards from your deck, you are trying to find the cards you don’t need. However, if your methods of sorting are inefficient, it’s very hard to see what exactly you “don’t need” in your list. I mean, looking at a random pile of 80 cards, which 20 cards don’t you need? You couldn’t know without knowing some aspect of those cards. Sorting allows you to classify your cards by some useful characteristic, so that you can tell whether or not you do have parts that are in excess of what you need or cards that you actually just don’t need.

    While there are many methods of sorting, I think the first method of sorting everyone is most familiar with is Type Sorting. This is where you sort your deck list by whatever card types you happen to have. The most common is Land, Creatures, and Non-Creatures. While it is a useful rudimentary step, this form of sorting is fundamentally flawed. Most of the time, this doesn’t help you. For example, let’s take two cards that share a type: Sakura-Tribe Elder and Woodfall Primus. Now, obviously these are both Green creatures. But that’s where the similarity ends. One of these cards is a land-accelerator only pretending to be a creature for long enough to block, while the other is a huge 6/6 that eats a permanent. These things are not very similar. However, a sort by Card Type puts these cards in the same classification category. On the other side, Flame Slash and Flametongue Kavu don’t share a card type, but it’s hard to deny you wouldn’t use both to kill creatures given the option. These cards would be in totally different parts of your list, though!

    It is much easier to see a flaw if cards are sorted in a different manner. The manner that I suggest is the Function Sort. Sort all your cards by their intended function in your deck. For example, Sakura-Tribe Elder is a card you play for Mana Acceleration, so I sort it into the Mana Acceleration section. Woodfall Primus ends up in my Kills Non-Creatures secton. Both Flame Slash and Flametongue Kavu end up in my Kills Creatures section. This method allows you to see the cards by the purpose they serve in your deck, rather than by an arbitrary category. (You could sort your Lands this way, too, but I consider “Land” to be a Function, as lands are very special cards.) Some example categories pretty much every deck should be considering:
    • Win Conditions
    • Mana Acceleration/Fixing
    • Card Drawing
    • Library Manipulation
    • Kills Creatures
    • Kills Non-Creatures
    • Kills Lots of Stuff (Wraths)


    Now, you can also condense those categories if you want. For example, “Kills Creatures” and “Kills Non-Creatures” could just be listed as “Kills Stuff” if it’s not really significant that you have a certain spread.

    (I’ll add an example, but this is the bare-bones of the suggestion.)


    Also, please let us know if you want something in the first post added, edited or removed.
    Last edited by tgva8889; 2012-07-01 at 10:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    So, I think I'm going to the M13 Pre-release, but I've never been to one. What should I know about pre-releases so I'm not walking in there blind?

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    So, I think I'm going to the M13 Pre-release, but I've never been to one. What should I know about pre-releases so I'm not walking in there blind?
    You're in luck! The M13 prerelease primer just went up on dailymtg.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Alright, so I make one deck out of my grand total of 75 from the booster packs I'll open (Plus the basic lands I'm assuming you're provided with), and you get to keep all 75 cards once you leave, correct?

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Alright, so I make one deck out of my grand total of 75 from the booster packs I'll open (Plus the basic lands I'm assuming you're provided with), and you get to keep all 75 cards once you leave, correct?
    Yes. Note that the deck you make is 40 cards minimum, not 60.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    Yes. Note that the deck you make is 40 cards minimum, not 60.
    Yeah, I noticed that. Glad that's the case, because I don't think I'd be able to make a decent 60 card deck with 75 random cards.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Hints for you: Making a decent 60-card deck out of 200 random cards is difficult, let alone 84 (6 packs of 15 cards, -6 basic lands)

    Keys to success at the Prerelease (or really any Sealed Deck event):

    1) Set out all your cards sorted by color (with artifacts separate). Then, sort each color first by creatures vs. non-creatures, then by converted mana cost. This will help you look at your colors to decide which one you want to play.
    2) Also take note of any of your really powerful Mythic Rares (these have an orange rarity symbol), Rares, and Uncommons. And Commons, too, but most Commons aren't really powerful unless something is wrong with the format. You'll know if you have a really powerful rare. You want to try really really hard to play as many such powerful cards as possible in your deck.
    3) Try to play 2 colors. Other people may suggest you play more or less, but if you're just learning, stick to 2 colors. It will probably work out better for you as a learning point.
    4) Don't play more than 40 cards. It's almost never worth it.
    5) DON'T put the prerelease foil card into your deck. The judges and people running the event don't like when you do this, and they will tell you so. So don't do it.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    5) DON'T put the prerelease foil card into your deck. The judges and people running the event don't like when you do this, and they will tell you so. So don't do it.
    I'm guessing because it's against the rules due to it not being one of the cards you opened in your packs?

    And if the pre-release Promo is what it seems to be

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    Xathrid Gorgon


    I don't think I'd want it in my deck anyway.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    I'm guessing because it's against the rules due to it not being one of the cards you opened in your packs?

    And if the pre-release Promo is what it seems to be

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    Xathrid Gorgon


    I don't think I'd want it in my deck anyway.
    Correct. And yes, you would; it's slow, but stopping nearly any attacker is good.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    Correct. And yes, you would; it's slow, but stopping nearly any attacker is good.
    I'll keep that in mind for when I'm building my deck (While being sure not to use the pre-release version, only if I open it in a pack).

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    The thing is, naturally, the power level of your cards is going to be a lot lower than in Constructed. Something like Divine Verdict would never see Constructed play, but it's at least playable in Limited, because removal is scarce.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Random thoughts about Infect since it's rotating out of standard soon and at my local FNM it seems to make you "That Guy" with everybody else.
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    After mulling it over a little, I do have one major complaint about Infect, though it's not the same kind that most people have. (Well, two, but that's because I despise cards with Unblockable as an inherent ability anyway, and I'm mostly talking about people I've met at my Local FNM).


    It's hard to use in anything but a dedicated deck, and even then some colors are really bad with it. I mean, there's all of 3 cards with Infect in red, There's only 4 in white, and there's 4 in Blue.

    Now, let's go over to Black and Green. There's 14 cards with infect in green, and 15 in black, plus a few others to give other creatures infect or put creatures into play with infect.

    The only real saving grace for other decks is the artifact cards with infect, but even that won't help much.

    I wouldn't mind so much if other colors got a little something to make it more even, since I think you should reasonably be able to make a Praetor deck with Infect (So, White Elesh Norn deck with creatures with Infect, Red Urubrask, ETC.) but the only ones that's really practical for would be Vorinclex and Sheoldred, and neither of those comes with Infect so it's a bad idea then too.

    I'd have liked something like Wither more, or if they came with Poisonous X so that cards were more easily usable in other deck types besides Infect. I'd like to be able to use Skithiryx or Phyrexian Crusader in a non-infect deck without having Melira out.


    Anybody else have thoughts on mechanics that are going to be rotating out of standard?

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Do you think it's worth putting in Phyrexian Revokers in the sideboard of a UW Delver deck to deal with Venser Control?
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Is Venser Control actually a major problem for UW Delver? I don't really know what's good these days or what plays well against what. If it is... eh, I don't know that Phyrexian Revoker is really good enough to do what you want, but it's worth a try, at least. The real question is what are you sideboarding out?
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    So, the full M13 set has been spoiled.
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    There is one card that immediately cached my interest:

    A 2/2 for 1 at instant speed is nice, but the fact that it can target creatures in any graveyard makes for great utility.
    "So, you wanna reanimate Griselbrand? Nope, I get a 2/2 instead."
    "Undying/persist, eh? Nope, 2/2 zombie for me."
    "Bloodghast/Ichorid? Not today!"

    Love it!

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

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    One thing I noticed was a distinct lack of Birds of Paradise.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

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    Well, there are Birds of Paradise on Ravnica. I'm sure you can wait the 0 seconds it won't be legal in Standard if it returns in Return to Ravnica. Otherwise, I guess you'll have to handle playing some other cards in Standard.

    I really like Vile Rebirth. A lot. It's a great, flavorful option that adds something unique to a Zombie deck of any kind while providing a nice way to counter some of the graveyard shenanigans that might occur. We do lose both Surgical Extraction and Nihil Spellbomb, so it's nice to know that they gave us Vile Rebirth and Tormod's Crypt to provide some graveyard hate options.

    Constructed Sleeper so far: Quirion Dryad. This card is absurd with Snapcaster Mage, and with the coming tide of multicolored cards, Quirion Dryad might prove to be a powerful addition to RtR Standard. I'd keep an eye on this one. Honorable Mention: Slumbering Dragon. I mean, come on, it's actually asleep.

    Also nice to see Silklash Spider once again in a Core set. Silklash Spider is an old favorite of mine, and I can't wait to get the chance to slot it into a few sideboards.

    And now time to go work on my Trading Post deck list.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    It's hard to use in anything but a dedicated deck, and even then some colors are really bad with it. I mean, there's all of 3 cards with Infect in red, There's only 4 in white, and there's 4 in Blue.

    Now, let's go over to Black and Green. There's 14 cards with infect in green, and 15 in black, plus a few others to give other creatures infect or put creatures into play with infect.

    The only real saving grace for other decks is the artifact cards with infect, but even that won't help much.
    White/Black Infect is perfectly playable, as is Red infect. Neither are tournament level (but then again no infect has really turned out to be tournament level) but they work just fine for casual play. Proliferate is what makes them playable. You're not playing 3 red infect cards, you're playing 3 red infect cards, 1 red proliferate, 3 artifact proliferate, and some artifact infect.

    It's shallow, but given how much hate infect has managed to acquire through no fault of its own it's probably for the best that there are so few cards. I would love to see more infect cards hanging around so it would actually be reasonable to play them, but since my infect decks have already been banned by my casual playgroup (despite netting 0 wins...yeah) it's unlikely printing more would have made more people like them.

    And skittles can easily be put in a non-infect deck. He's a 5 cost 4/4 flier with wither and regenerate who only needs to hit your opponent 3 times to win you the game. His damage doesn't stack with your other creatures, but that's a pretty small price to pay for what he does (block Avacyn then regenerate :P)
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Just a small thing tgva, first post says this is the 13th thread when it is the 14th
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    Is Venser Control actually a major problem for UW Delver?
    It is when Stonehorn Dignitary and Venser are in play together and you can't attack at all (despite having a Geist equipped with a Sword) and can't do anything but watch your opponent buff up their Vensers/Tamiyos until they hit their ultimates and become essentially unbeatable.

    To be fair, I didn't exactly lose to it, the game got stopped on time in the middle of the third game, but by that time they had hit me with Venser and Stonehorn Dignitary. I looked at my library and eventually would've gotten an Oblivion Ring, though at that point it might have been impossible to come back. Still, Phyrexian Revoker shuts down the combo and can be used to hurt other planeswalkers also.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Random thoughts about Infect since it's rotating out of standard soon and at my local FNM it seems to make you "That Guy" with everybody else.
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    After mulling it over a little, I do have one major complaint about Infect, though it's not the same kind that most people have. (Well, two, but that's because I despise cards with Unblockable as an inherent ability anyway, and I'm mostly talking about people I've met at my Local FNM).


    It's hard to use in anything but a dedicated deck, and even then some colors are really bad with it. I mean, there's all of 3 cards with Infect in red, There's only 4 in white, and there's 4 in Blue.

    Now, let's go over to Black and Green. There's 14 cards with infect in green, and 15 in black, plus a few others to give other creatures infect or put creatures into play with infect.

    The only real saving grace for other decks is the artifact cards with infect, but even that won't help much.

    I wouldn't mind so much if other colors got a little something to make it more even, since I think you should reasonably be able to make a Praetor deck with Infect (So, White Elesh Norn deck with creatures with Infect, Red Urubrask, ETC.) but the only ones that's really practical for would be Vorinclex and Sheoldred, and neither of those comes with Infect so it's a bad idea then too.

    I'd have liked something like Wither more, or if they came with Poisonous X so that cards were more easily usable in other deck types besides Infect. I'd like to be able to use Skithiryx or Phyrexian Crusader in a non-infect deck without having Melira out.


    Anybody else have thoughts on mechanics that are going to be rotating out of standard?
    I'm surprised people would dislike Infect so much, considering it's not really that competitive.

    Though I'm not sure how much the rotating out of the Scars of Mirrodin block will affect Standard, considering the biggest current decks can probably reasonably adapt. For example, sure, Delver decks lose the Swords, but a lot of them already play Runechanter's Pike instead. Birthing Pod is out, but they can be reconfigured into Ramp decks. The duals are gone, but Return to Ravnica is almost certainly going to have lands to replace them with. Venser Control is obviously going to take a major hit, though.

    I don't think any of the actual mechanics rotating out will make much of a difference. Some individual cards will, though. Birthing Pod decks are on their way out, though to be fair they can be reconfigured into a Ramp deck--heck, if you don't get a Birthing Pod then a Birthing Pod deck essentially is a weakened Ramp deck. Other than that, the other major deck types seem like they'll be able to stick around. Sure, Delver might lose the swords, but half of Delver decks are playing Runechanter's Pike instead anyway (I play Runechanter's Pike mainboard and put the Swords in the sideboard). Though I do wonder what Solar Flare will do now that they've lost Elesh Norn. They might turn to Avacyn. It'll really depend on what Return to Ravnica offers.
    Last edited by Lord Seth; 2012-07-02 at 12:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    It is when Stonehorn Dignitary and Venser are in play together and you can't attack at all (despite having a Geist equipped with a Sword) and can't do anything but watch your opponent buff up their Vensers/Tamiyos until they hit their ultimates and become essentially unbeatable.

    To be fair, I didn't exactly lose to it, the game got stopped on time in the middle of the third game, but by that time they had hit me with Venser and Stonehorn Dignitary. I looked at my library and eventually would've gotten an Oblivion Ring, though at that point it might have been impossible to come back. Still, Phyrexian Revoker shuts down the combo and can be used to hurt other planeswalkers also.I'm surprised people would dislike Infect so much, considering it's not really that competitive.
    Why are you letting them get to that point, though? You have Mana Leaks and other disruption for a reason...

    Though I'm not sure how much the rotating out of the Scars of Mirrodin block will affect Standard, considering the biggest current decks can probably reasonably adapt. For example, sure, Delver decks lose the Swords, but a lot of them already play Runechanter's Pike instead.
    Remember, M12 will be rotating out as well. Delver loses Ponder and Mana Leak, which are huge, as well as Gitaxian Probe. To exist post-rotation, there needs to be another good cheap cantrip, and given the problem's Ponder's caused, I don't see that happening.

    Birthing Pod is out, but they can be reconfigured into Ramp decks. The duals are gone, but Return to Ravnica is almost certainly going to have lands to replace them with. Venser Control is obviously going to take a major hit, though.

    I don't think any of the actual mechanics rotating out will make much of a difference. Some individual cards will, though. Birthing Pod decks are on their way out, though to be fair they can be reconfigured into a Ramp deck--heck, if you don't get a Birthing Pod then a Birthing Pod deck essentially is a weakened Ramp deck.
    No, a Pod deck is a reworked aggro deck with a bit of a midrange plan. (How much depends on the build) Look at the Naya Pod or Zombie Pod decks that've been doing well recently.

    Other than that, the other major deck types seem like they'll be able to stick around. Sure, Delver might lose the swords, but half of Delver decks are playing Runechanter's Pike instead anyway (I play Runechanter's Pike mainboard and put the Swords in the sideboard). Though I do wonder what Solar Flare will do now that they've lost Elesh Norn. They might turn to Avacyn. It'll really depend on what Return to Ravnica offers.
    Last I checked Solar Flare hasn't done well in a while. Even the straight Esper control decks have shifted away from Elesh Norn. Given the weakening/death of Delver, though, there'll be more of a niche for proper control decks to come back in.

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by IthilanorStPete View Post
    Why are you letting them get to that point, though? You have Mana Leaks and other disruption for a reason...
    Because you don't always get enough disruption to stop it and you don't always have the mana to cast Mana Leak. This isn't Legacy, where I can always Force of Will.

    Remember, M12 will be rotating out as well. Delver loses Ponder and Mana Leak, which are huge, as well as Gitaxian Probe. To exist post-rotation, there needs to be another good cheap cantrip, and given the problem's Ponder's caused, I don't see that happening.
    There's a fairly easy Ponder replacement in Magic 2013 (maybe not as good overall, but does still help Delver in terms of the "reorder your library" department). As for another cheap cantrip, there is always Think Twice...or maybe even Fleeting Distraction.

    I think you may be overestimating the importance of Mana Leak. A lot of Delver decks have dropped to three (presumably because of Cavern of Souls). It's not like there aren't new or already-existing counterspells that can take its place.

    No, a Pod deck is a reworked aggro deck with a bit of a midrange plan. (How much depends on the build) Look at the Naya Pod or Zombie Pod decks that've been doing well recently.
    I was trying to say they could be reworked into Ramp/Aggro decks. That is, you don't have to ditch the deck entirely.

    Last I checked Solar Flare hasn't done well in a while.
    How long is "in a while"? It got first place at SCG Worcester, which was less than a month ago. It also got a Top 8 at SCG Indianapolis, which was mid-June.
    Last edited by Lord Seth; 2012-07-02 at 03:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    So, the full M13 set has been spoiled.
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    There is one card that immediately cached my interest:

    A 2/2 for 1 at instant speed is nice, but the fact that it can target creatures in any graveyard makes for great utility.
    "So, you wanna reanimate Griselbrand? Nope, I get a 2/2 instead."
    "Undying/persist, eh? Nope, 2/2 zombie for me."
    "Bloodghast/Ichorid? Not today!"

    Love it!
    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
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    I really like Vile Rebirth. A lot. It's a great, flavorful option that adds something unique to a Zombie deck of any kind while providing a nice way to counter some of the graveyard shenanigans that might occur. We do lose both Surgical Extraction and Nihil Spellbomb, so it's nice to know that they gave us Vile Rebirth and Tormod's Crypt to provide some graveyard hate options.
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    Oh yes, there are just so many things you can do with it. And at worst, it's still a 2/2 for 1 you can probably get out by turn three at the latest with or against the right deck (which is a lot of them). Personally, I think Vile Rebirth is going to be one of the star commons of the set.


    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
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    Also nice to see Silklash Spider once again in a Core set. Silklash Spider is an old favorite of mine, and I can't wait to get the chance to slot it into a few sideboards.
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    I used to use Silklash Spider years and years ago, and it was definitely one of my absolute favorite creatures. Seeing it back makes me incredibly happy just for nostalgia's sake.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Seth View Post
    There's a fairly easy Ponder replacement in Magic 2013 (maybe not as good overall, but does still help Delver in terms of the "reorder your library" department). As for another cheap cantrip, there is always Think Twice...or maybe even Fleeting Distraction.

    I think you may be overestimating the importance of Mana Leak. A lot of Delver decks have dropped to three (presumably because of Cavern of Souls). It's not like there aren't new or already-existing counterspells that can take its place.
    The thing that changes about Delver is the value of Snapcaster Mage and the number of lands you can play. Lists that play 19 lands are going to be very difficult if you replace Probe and Ponder with Index and Fleeting Distraction because not only won't you be able to as reliably find the lands you need, but your overall mana requirements will increase. Replacing Probe with another cantrip also hurts because seeing your opponent's hand in a deck with so many decisions as Delver is actually a significant benefit.

    The replacement is far from easy: Index is just terrible. While I have no illusions that if Delver is the best thing you can do people won't play it, it's a very bad card in most situations. It is, however, better than Ponder if all you want to do is stack your deck. But stacking the top 5 cards of your deck isn't an effect that's usually worth a card.

    Delver also loses access to the variety of spell effects they get out of Phyrexian Mana spells. Specifically losing Dismember and Gut Shot is no small loss. Gut Shot was important for Delver to fight decks reliant on mana creatures and gave Delver something useful to do against Thalia. Dismember gave Delver a way to actually kill larger creatures like Restoration Angel that are now much more of a problem. And these effects went extremely far with access to Snapcaster Mage.

    The deck might still exist, but it will be much weaker than it was before unless Return to Ravnica gives it a gift.
    Last edited by tgva8889; 2012-07-02 at 07:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    The replacement is far from easy: Index is just terrible. While I have no illusions that if Delver is the best thing you can do people won't play it, it's a very bad card in most situations. It is, however, better than Ponder if all you want to do is stack your deck. But stacking the top 5 cards of your deck isn't an effect that's usually worth a card.
    I don't think Index is that bad. But I do think it's probable that people will replace Ponder with Index.

    Delver also loses access to the variety of spell effects they get out of Phyrexian Mana spells. Specifically losing Dismember and Gut Shot is no small loss. Gut Shot was important for Delver to fight decks reliant on mana creatures and gave Delver something useful to do against Thalia. Dismember gave Delver a way to actually kill larger creatures like Restoration Angel that are now much more of a problem. And these effects went extremely far with access to Snapcaster Mage.
    Whoops, I was so busy thinking about Gitaxian Probe that I forgot about the other Phyrexian mana spells. That does make me wonder if it might shift to UB Delver or UR Delver for better creature removal.
    Last edited by Lord Seth; 2012-07-02 at 09:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    I've played with Index. It's pretty bad. For context, imagine if Ponder didn't draw you a card. Index is pretty close to that, except you can't shuffle if the cards you see are absolutely miserable. Instead, you get to see 2 more cards.

    UR will probably be a better choice, since you don't have a good 2-mana Black removal spell unless we get one in RtR. RtR might change the equation, though, since come on it's no spoiler that Return to Ravnica will be a multicolor block.
    Last edited by tgva8889; 2012-07-02 at 10:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    since come on it's no spoiler that Return to Ravnica will be a multicolor block.
    Unless that's what they want us to think, and they're actually making it a monocolor block just to screw with us.

    ----------------

    EDIT: I finally put the cards together for my sacrifice deck and just got done goldfishing a bunch of hands. I like what I'm seeing so far; it's a bit slow the first few turns, but then suddenly picks up and can easily get a ridiculous board presence and/or a ton of damage by around turn five. In fact, on one hand I casted Carrion Feeder and Blood Artist turn three and managed to get four +1/+1 counters and three BA triggers before that turn was finished.

    Over the next day or two I just need to play around with various tweaks to the list and, more importantly, play some actual games (preferably against other people, but I do have two other decks I could play against myself) to see what happens when someone, for instance, starts blocking Bloodghast and/or trying to keep my Feeders and Artists off the board.

    Also, I had an interesting idea: Instead of equipment, what about splashing green for Rancor? With the eight fetches I'm already using, all I'd need is one or two Overgrown Tombs and the Rancors themselves.
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-07-03 at 03:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    MechaKingGhidra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

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    I am VERY disappointed. Phyrexian Hulk doesn't have the classic flavour text.

    It doesn't think. It doesn't feel. It doesn't laugh or cry.
    All it does from dusk till dawn
    Is make the soldiers die.

    I know I'm being a very weird nitpicker here but you don't change something that works so well.

    Sure, I don't play "real" formats, being limited to only massive multiplayer on a very casual level (we let in the Un-cards, for pete's sake!); however, I feel that this is one of those things that people just plain-out shouldn't change and you don't need to be a darn DCI-indulging Magic fan to realize this.


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    Default Re: Magic: The Gathering Thread XIV: Instant Annoying, Just Add Hexproof

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Unless that's what they want us to think, and they're actually making it a monocolor block just to screw with us.
    The Duel Decks for the block are Izzet vs. Golgari. Those two never had any reason to fight in the Ravnica block story. I assume they're fighting now because they're showing up in Return to Ravnica. They never really fought in original Ravnica for really any reason whatsoever. Also the headlining Legend for the Golgari guild in that duel deck doesn't have a card yet.
    It's tgva8889. If you can't spell it correctly, just copypasta it, please.

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