9/24/2009 TD: "A Mana Saved is a Mana Earned"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Minor correction:  you wouldn't have 53 cards left on turn six.  You'd have 46 or 47.


Starting hand: -7


Draw for six turns: -5 or -6


The hypothetical Rampant Growth: -1


60 - 7 - 6 - 1 = 46 (or 47, if not drawing first turn)


So,  7 cards from 47 is like looking at 15% of your deck.

This assumes that there is a viable counterspell in standard. Right now the only counterspell in standard that really seems good is mindbreak trap, but it's not technically a counterspell. Unless Zendikar suprises us with a smoking good counterspell deck it doesn't seem like there's a home for blue counter control, which makes this card much less good.

I actually like this card. I agree that without a good counterspell deck it loses a lot of its charm, though. Still, though, it's a cool effect as a sort of tutor.

"We will all be purified in Wurm. What is good will be used to heal Wurm, or grow Wurm, or to fuel Wurm's path. What is vile will be extruded, and we will be free of it forever." --Prophet of the Cult of Wurm


I actually like this card. I agree that without a good counterspell deck it loses a lot of its charm, though. Still, though, it's a cool effect as a sort of tutor.


I think we can safely believe in the existence of a good counterspell deck sometime in the next two years.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
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Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
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Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...

The biggest problem with this card is that Mike "velocity" Flores is forgetting what actually matters - namely, consistency.


Some decks can really abuse this card - a so-called "midrange" deck can happily maindeck this as a means to hose someone who does run counterspells; even if they don't run counterspells, this still pulls out a 4-6cc creature, even tutoring a bit for the best one in the next several cards.


This isn't a very good card in an aggro deck as a MD card, as every deck that doesn't run counterspells will sneer at your dead card - and even if you DO activate it, all you've done is basically gotten back the tempo you lost. Sure, sometimes you might pull out one of your couple finishers, but oftentimes it will just be a replacement creature of about the same CC as the countered one. Its a fine SB card, though, as a means of gaining tempo.


Cancel and the blue trap are both in standard and are fine counterspells; the problem isn't so much a dearth of good counterspells (though there aren't all that many) as a dearth of decks that counterspells are really good against.


Cancel and the blue trap are both in standard and are fine counterspells; the problem isn't so much a dearth of good counterspells (though there aren't all that many) as a dearth of decks that counterspells are really good against.




The green trap isn´t really impressive if you have to play 6 mana for it. Its not terrible if your deck features enough expensive creatures, but just like you said: only md decks could really use it. If the metagame features nearly no counters the trap shouldn´t be played. Now for the quote: Neither Cancel nor the blue trap are "fine counters". Cancel was never played, and will not see play in a constructed format which features 1 Mana drops with 2/2, 3 power for 2 mana and so on. 


Wotc can reprint cancel a dozen times and it will still not be played -  the card is much to slow and clunky compared to inredible efficent creatures and spells (like Lightningbolt) printed today. The blue trap is a sideboard tech against storm and similar legacy/extended strategies. Yes even with cascade in standard its not worth playing, because the chance that your opponent "only" plays 2 spells in his turn  is much to high (not to mention that he can easily play around the trap).


You see: the problem with this card IS the daerth of playworthy counterspells.


 

... And on the thread on a "decent" green card the blue mages started whining.


... And on the thread on a "decent" green card the blue mages started whining.




 


What are you talking about? Its a decent to good card and a good hoser - it will just not see play because countermagic is much to weak at the moment. If thats whining to you..


Go flame someone else.

Nah, cancel is fine.

Allways funny to see how players look at a card, not designed for standard, and start to complain about the fact that this card won't have much use (in standard).


The problem with the "free" traps is the fact that they doesn't require any color at all. Every deck can use them. This card will be used in sideboards for every creature deck that has problems with counterspells. The fact that this card exist will have an effect on how "blue" mages will play after sideboarding.


The only advantage that a green mage has is the fact that he can play it maindeck, while other decks will play it in sideboard only.


Allways funny to see how players look at a card, not designed for standard, and start to complain about the fact that this card won't have much use (in standard).


The problem with the "free" traps is the fact that they doesn't require any color at all. Every deck can use them. This card will be used in sideboards for every creature deck that has problems with counterspells. The fact that this card exist will have an effect on how "blue" mages will play after sideboarding.


The only advantage that a green mage has is the fact that he can play it maindeck, while other decks will play it in sideboard only.




Good point. Your right, it will not see play in standard but is a powerful hoser in other formats. Not that I am happy about that :o).

Yup, this will be on hand for every casual match I ever play, right alongside Guttural Response.


 


BTW, my GF's favorite color is Blue.


 


It's a good thing she loves me, otherwise she'd prolly kill me for how I treat her in Magic.


 


*chuckles*

the cancel argument is ridiculous because it's a fact that no one plays it competitively. it's not up to conjecture, guys. look at some top 8 deck lists. when you're evaluating the counterspells in a set, don't even bother counting cancel.


i think that rather than printing some ridiculous card and then spending the next 2 blocks poorly trying to right the wrong (hello, faeries) they're doing the opposite and printing some responses BEFORE they start printing the crazy stuff. all this "if your creature was countered" in a land of basically no scary counterspells seems to suggest the good counters are a-comin'. maybe.


That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


did anyone find this odd as a sign off? maybe he doesn't get the connotations or maybe it's deliberate. is he sort of secretly letting us know that this card isn't that great?


the cancel argument is ridiculous because it's a fact that no one plays it competitively. it's not up to conjecture, guys. look at some top 8 deck lists. when you're evaluating the counterspells in a set, don't even bother counting cancel.




So if a deck won with Cancel it would be okay then?

Blue still wins, Cancel is fine.

Competitive play? Meh.

It is strange that the traps don't have a "If you control a Forest" clause, just to keep people from splashing them for free in all colors of deck.  Maybe that just made the wording too complex?


So if a deck won with Cancel it would be okay then?


Blue still wins, Cancel is fine.




i have no issue with cancel, and nothing i said was intended to suggest i thought it shouldn't be printed or should be replaced by counterspell or some more powerful variant.


what i was responding to was the idea that cancel contributed to whether there are enough competitive counterspells in standard to make anti-counterspell cards like this worth playing. i personally like cancel, but that doesn't mean it's competitive, and therefore the loss of competitive counters from lorwyn isn't going to somehow be balanced by cancel being around. when you add up the playable counterspells in standard for any reason you don't count cancel.


It is strange that the traps don't have a "If you control a Forest" clause, just to keep people from splashing them for free in all colors of deck.  Maybe that just made the wording too complex?




You know what else is interesting? Mindbreak Trap, which will see play at least against storm combo and possibly against Cascade decks, is Mythic. The other two traps show here are rare. What's up with that?


Cancel and the blue trap are both in standard and are fine counterspells; the problem isn't so much a dearth of good counterspells (though there aren't all that many) as a dearth of decks that counterspells are really good against.




Except that Cancel is mediocre at best and the blue trap isn't a counterspell. It's esentially a counterspell, but won't allow this one to be played as a trap. Especially considering that card draw is also really poor at this point, counter style control just isn't possible right now. Maybe after worldwake. And that means that this card isn't that good. It might have a place in ramp decks of some kind, but it just isn't that impressive.



It is strange that the traps don't have a "If you control a Forest" clause, just to keep people from splashing them for free in all colors of deck.  Maybe that just made the wording too complex?




You know what else is interesting? Mindbreak Trap, which will see play at least against storm combo and possibly against Cascade decks, is Mythic. The other two traps show here are rare. What's up with that?



No nonblue traps are common, and the effects on these Traps are too big for uncommon. 


More importantly, these showing up too often in Limited is really bad for their own sake...the whole point of traps is that they catch you by surprise.  If too many of them were common or uncommon, you'd be springing traps left and right and Traps as a whole wouldn't be 'splashy' enough.

Summoning Trap is an interesting card, but I don't think it's gonna be playable in Standard, at least until they print a good counterspell that hits creatures. As is, the only card in the format that would ever allow it to be played for free is Essence Scatter. I don't think it'll even be played in tournament ramp decks, as the distinct possibility of paying six mana for not getting the creature you want makes the card not worth it IMO.


Now I'm not sure about Extended, since there are playable counterspells there. Even then, if your goal is to play the trap for free, against a blue deck it stays a conditional card, that may very well not get you a threat of the same quality or better than the one you got countered. The thing is that no extended deck plays both exciting fatties and smaller creatures that one would want to counter.


It could be somewhat different in Legacy, however. The one place I could see this card make a splash in tournaments is in the sideboard of some Legacy deck based at least in part on fatties (reanimator, Natural Order) and that also plays a couple of good utility creatures (Dark Confidant, Qasali Pridemage, Lotus Cobra) that a blue mage would want to counter with Daze, Force of Will, or better yet, Counterbalance. The latter is the main reason why I think Summoning Trap might be worthwile there; you can cast a two-mana critter with the assurance that it's gonna be countered, and then get some milleage out of your trap, that Counterbalance is very unlikely to stop with a CMC of 6. But even then, that's borderline.


Personally, I think I'll do use Summoning Trap, but in a casual multiplayer ramp deck. A good number of players in my group use some counterspells, and I'll enjoy surprising them with it ! Even at six mana, it will be fine in that deck, because of the always 7+ mana cost of my fatties and their quantity. I already play Dramatic Entrance in that deck; Summoning Trap will act as additional copies of it, or might even replace it since I often tend to have the Entrance but not fattie in hand, and digging seven deep most often would get me one.


 

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but this card would make players think twice before countering a creature only by its pressence in the deck... surely less creature will be countered than they would be if this card would not exsist

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