10/1/2009 TD: "Making it Look Easy"

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

"the two-drop redefined how Constructed Magic was played.... You could no longer sit there and do nothing for four turns and expect to be able to win." - mike flores


www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.a...


am i the only person thinking it's weird to see a competitive deck with no two drops OR one drops? and it's not like there's any tricks here either, where you play any of the cards for less than their converted mana cost. the three drops don't get dropped earlier than turn 3. i get why it works but it's just...odd. i do really like that list, though.


"the two-drop redefined how Constructed Magic was played.... You could no longer sit there and do nothing for four turns and expect to be able to win." - mike flores


www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/Article.a...


am i the only person thinking it's weird to see a competitive deck with no two drops OR one drops? and it's not like there's any tricks here either, where you play any of the cards for less than their converted mana cost. the three drops don't get dropped earlier than turn 3. i get why it works but it's just...odd. i do really like that list, though.


And note that even the three drops are completely useless on defense.  It's not until turn four that you'll have a Bloodbraid Elf or Captured Sunlight to help you stay alive.
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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...

Turn one: Marsh Flats, sacrifice Marsh Flats for a Swamp, cycle Architects of Will
Turn two: Swamp, Grim Discovery


Don't let Flores distract you.  This play isn't that amazing.  It's the same as cycling Krosan Tusker, but for one life instead of one mana (in both cases you bin one spell and get a land and a random draw).  That's not to say that Grim Discovery is a bad card, but this play isn't backbreaking, just good (and Tusker is good too).

Aw Mike.  Why'd you say that stuff about Swamps (+ Swamp proxies)...oh well.  Landfall seems like it's going to be a real contender.  We'll see.


-----


Also, I'm all about the curve.  It's VERY weird to see a deck without 1 drops or 2 drops.


Also, I never played Tusker.  Always liked it, but never played it.  What else was available then...?

I think the only reason that deck worked before is you could side in 4x Primal Command and 4x Ajani Vengeant, so between them and BS Angel, you could hopefully fight off Aggro (but it was probably still a shaky matchup). In G1, I'm pretty sure you usually lose to Aggro.


But with Primal Command gone, I don't see a suitable replacement for it.


That, and Lotus Cobra. Definitely play Lotus Cobra, too!


Lotus Cobra, after all, makes everything look powerful and synergistic, ultimately easy.




With respect, you are a tool for mentioning this with such flippancy. The forums have been swarming with complaints about the unfairness of this card being mythic. Breezily implying that it goes into every deck and makes every deck better only underlines the point that this is a key *utility* component. So how about if you are going to bring this up you care to mention why you think its mythic? otherwise, less salt in the wound please.


So how about if you are going to bring this up you care to mention why you think its mythic? otherwise, less salt in the wound please.




Did I miss the part where Flores was brought into R&D and put in charge of rarities?  I went to bed early last night.  Perhaps I missed it.

Aaron Forsythe (the guy who did make that decision) already explained it btw.  He said Mythics are cards that make someone say "wow".  I presume "Holy @%^#! What is that card doing at Mythic!?" counts as a "wow."  I don't like it, but there's your answer, and Mike's job is to talk about competitive cards regardless of rarity.  So don't pick a fight with the guy because you're mad at someone else.  Hell, the 2 decks he talked about don't even use Lotus Cobra.



am i the only person thinking it's weird to see a competitive deck with no two drops OR one drops?




*snort* Heh, "competitive".


Thomas Dodd played Cascade Control to 12th place at a 5k event in Charlotte.  That's the best finish I've heard of for the deck.  I don't know, maybe I missed something big during the same coma I was in when Flores was put in charge of Mythic assignment.  But I'm pretty sure the only reason we're reading about this is because it's Mike's pet deck.


Which is cool, he has a week to fill and this sure beats a retrospective look back at the Faeries decks we've hated for 2 years.  But don't mistake the deck for anything bigger than it is.


(To be fair, none of the meat of this cascade deck is rotating, which raises its profile by comparison.  But then again, it is a 5-color deck about to lose Vivids.)


 


Actually, the point of the article (though this may not have been clear if you don't follow Flores elsewhere) was to say "Landfall is Linear!  Pack your deck with lots!"  In the same way that the cascade deck got better with more focus, so will Landfall decks be they mono-Black Vampire builds or anything else.


 

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

So don't pick a fight with the guy because you're mad at someone else.  Hell, the 2 decks he talked about don't even use Lotus Cobra 


All the more reason to be mad at the flippant way he suggested we use it.


Yeah print it at a proper rarity you losers, and we'll use it. Otherwise, shut up about it, we're already mad enough. In fact, WHY even mention the Cobra when the article had nothing to do with it at all? If the author couldn't see that the last 2 sentences of his article could achieve absolutely nothing but to antagonise the readership, he must be blind or stupid.


And btw if this first deck was "competitve", aggro in Standard must be pathetically slow right now. Oh wait, I forget we have the Cobra to accelerate it. :/

The borderposts don't have any special synergy with landfall. You still only play one land in your turn because the borderpost isn't a land but an artifact. Instead of playing that borderpost, returning a land to your hand and putting it back into play, you could just play a normal swamp. You would still put the same number of lands into play.

my new deck: Bears with Weapons



That, and Lotus Cobra. Definitely play Lotus Cobra, too!


Lotus Cobra, after all, makes everything look powerful and synergistic, ultimately easy.




With respect, you are a tool for mentioning this with such flippancy. The forums have been swarming with complaints about the unfairness of this card being mythic. Breezily implying that it goes into every deck and makes every deck better only underlines the point that this is a key *utility* component. So how about if you are going to bring this up you care to mention why you think its mythic? otherwise, less salt in the wound please.





Dude I think you should aim your hate elsewhere since I'm pretty sure Flores is on your side.  He's saying that Lotus Cobra is awesome and goes in tons of decks - which is probably true, and one of the reasons why you don't think it should be mythic.  He doesn't have anything to do with the rarity cards are released at, he just writes about competitive card applications - take your beef up with R&D.

The Cascade deck is ALL commons and uncommons, except for Baneslayer Angel and Reflecting Pool.


Cool.


The borderposts don't have any special synergy with landfall. You still only play one land in your turn because the borderpost isn't a land but an artifact. Instead of playing that borderpost, returning a land to your hand and putting it back into play, you could just play a normal swamp. You would still put the same number of lands into play.




Yes, but would you have drawn the same number of lands? The point is that you can reuse the lands once you've exhausted your hand of them.

That said, I'm still a bit doubtful on the basis that you don't get any special benefits by replacing lands with Borderposts in your decklist (when you draw a 'post, you'd have gotten a land otherwise, which yields the same number of triggers), and if you just add the posts on top of the lands, you get flooded. The only advantage you get is a flexibility in colors, which would be meaningless in mono-black. I get the feeling there's a better re-landfall ability available to black somewhere.

Did I miss the part where Flores was brought into R&D and put in charge of rarities?  ....Mike's job is to talk about competitive cards regardless of rarity.  So don't pick a fight with the guy because you're mad at someone else.


i agree that flores isn't the source of the problem, but unless he's writing what he wrote as a sarcastic "thanks guys" to wizards, he should be aware of the kind of reaction he might have gotten, deserved or not. it's definitely a sore subject.


Aaron Forsythe (the guy who did make that decision) already explained it btw.  He said Mythics are cards that make someone say "wow".  I presume "Holy @%^#! What is that card doing at Mythic!?" counts as a "wow."  I don't like it, but there's your answer


the problem is that before aaron forsythe made that decision and "explained" it, this guy named mark rosewater (you might have heard of him) said that utility cards (like for instance mana fixers/accelerators) wouldn't be mythics. so the only acceptable explanation that can be given is a convincing argument that cobra isn't utility (so far i'm not convinced) or an apology for misleading us previously with the obvious intention to soften the blow when the changes were announced.



The borderposts don't have any special synergy with landfall. You still only play one land in your turn because the borderpost isn't a land but an artifact. Instead of playing that borderpost, returning a land to your hand and putting it back into play, you could just play a normal swamp. You would still put the same number of lands into play.




Yes, but would you have drawn the same number of lands? The point is that you can reuse the lands once you've exhausted your hand of them.

That said, I'm still a bit doubtful on the basis that you don't get any special benefits by replacing lands with Borderposts in your decklist (when you draw a 'post, you'd have gotten a land otherwise, which yields the same number of triggers), and if you just add the posts on top of the lands, you get flooded. The only advantage you get is a flexibility in colors, which would be meaningless in mono-black. I get the feeling there's a better re-landfall ability available to black somewhere.




The borderposts are there because they function like swamps for landfall purposes, but are also black cards for Nocturnus Vampire to get bigger on. Personally I think you're cutting too many playables and/or slowing down your deck too much for an effect that helps out one card. Better may be using more fetchlands to reshuffle your deck as needed. I mean hell, Terramorphic Expanse works better than the borderposts in this deck! It gets you double landfall triggers, and while the new land CIPT, so do the borderposts. The borderpost being black advantage is approximately equaled by the shuffling (shuffling gives you a 60% chance to make the top card black, while the borderposts improve the 'blackness' of the deck by a bit over 10%).  But maybe I'm missing something.


And yes, the Lotus Cobra thing at the end seemed to carry absolutely no relevance to any other line of thought in the article.


But as I've said in other threads before I got tired of reiterating it: Lotus Cobra is $25; fetchlands are $20; Baneslayer is $30, Tarmagoyf is...a lot. The fetchlands are undeniably more important than the Lotus Cobra, as they are basically a strict improvement over a basic land, whereas Lotus Cobra makes you cut something useful.


Did I miss the part where Flores was brought into R&D and put in charge of rarities?  ....Mike's job is to talk about competitive cards regardless of rarity.  So don't pick a fight with the guy because you're mad at someone else.


i agree that flores isn't the source of the problem, but unless he's writing what he wrote as a sarcastic "thanks guys" to wizards, he should be aware of the kind of reaction he might have gotten, deserved or not. it's definitely a sore subject.



This. He had no reason to bring up the card from an article standpoint, and he should have knwon that this would be the reaction. I am all for not hanging someone when they aren't in charge of some controversial action. All he had to do was not mention it at all and his article would have been every bit as informative. So damn simple. That line should have been self-edited.


As for the article, he spelled out very clearly why I don't like Landfall from a design standpoint. Thanks Mike.


 

And Swans?


Land...land...land...land...land...land...land...land...land...land...land...land...Cascade into RRR enchantment.


the problem is that before aaron forsythe made that decision and "explained" it, this guy named mark rosewater (you might have heard of him) said that utility cards (like for instance mana fixers/accelerators) wouldn't be mythics. so the only acceptable explanation that can be given is a convincing argument that cobra isn't utility (so far i'm not convinced) or an apology for misleading us previously with the obvious intention to soften the blow when the changes were announced.




Yeah, but Mark's backed off that in his latest article and Aaron's his boss anyway.

Look, I'm as annoyed at the chase Mythic approach as anyone.  But flailing out in all directions at anyone who mentions Lotus Cobra in passing does not legitimize the concern.  Make rational arguments focused where they matter, which is not in a Top Decks thread.


And for what it's worth, Mike is actually supporting the complaint by emphasizing how good Lotus Cobra is.  Many people are saying that it has been over-hyped, which is a tacit undermining of the complaints that seems to justify it's Mythic-ness.



The Cascade deck is ALL commons and uncommons, except for Baneslayer Angel and Reflecting Pool.


Cool.




And the entire Sideboard.  But yeah, it's a pretty reasonable deck.  And what's nice is that if you want to play it more casually, you can swap the Blightning/Esper Charm for ANY 3cc cards that you want all the time.

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.


Yeah, but Mark's backed off that in his latest article



no, he didn't. he basically told us that he never said that cards like lotus cobra wouldn't be mythic rares and it's not utility (unlike dual lands, which are). his general attitude was "this is all a big misunderstanding," which unfortunately is not the case.


Make rational arguments focused where they matter, which is not in a Top Decks thread.


i'm not the one who brought up lotus cobra. that person would be mike flores. it's how he SIGNED OFF. and it wasn't particularly necessary to the article to end it that way. if he didn't want a discussion about it he shouldn't have put it on the end of his article. either he intended for people to talk about it or he didn't know what effect it would have because doesn't read any message boards about magic anywhere and doesn't talk to anyone about magic.


and for the record, i didn't bring up lotus cobra on these boards until someone else did, either. i get your point, it's annoying to see the same argument on every thread. i personally got annoyed by seeing the rules changes brought up in every thread for a month, especially to articles that didn't mention the rules changes at all. but if someone ended their article with "oh ps the rules changes are awesome, you guys!" then i understand people posting about them, and if someone posts something i personally want to respond to in a thread, i'm going to respond to it.


Many people are saying that it has been over-hyped, which is a tacit undermining of the complaints that seems to justify it's Mythic-ness.


not to me. if it's good, it's a bad mythic. if it's bad, it's a bad mythic. i don't see its playability making it any more or less mythic. either way it's still a weenie snake with stapled on flavor that makes mana. mediocre mythic rare utility isn't better than highly playable mythic rare utility to me.

  But yeah, it's a pretty reasonable deck.  And what's nice is that if you want to play it more casually, you can swap the Blightning/Esper Charm for ANY 3cc cards that you want all the time.




Actually, I'd leave those... I'd just trade out the Baneslayers for some other reasonable finisher.  Serra Angel might not cut it (maybe Archon of Justice, Battlegrace Angel, ??), but it would be halfway decent even.  With all the other disruption, I think you'd be in really good shape at the casual tables.

The mana base would always be a challenge, but doable. 



The borderposts don't have any special synergy with landfall. You still only play one land in your turn because the borderpost isn't a land but an artifact. Instead of playing that borderpost, returning a land to your hand and putting it back into play, you could just play a normal swamp. You would still put the same number of lands into play.




Yes, but would you have drawn the same number of lands? The point is that you can reuse the lands once you've exhausted your hand of them.

That said, I'm still a bit doubtful on the basis that you don't get any special benefits by replacing lands with Borderposts in your decklist (when you draw a 'post, you'd have gotten a land otherwise, which yields the same number of triggers), and if you just add the posts on top of the lands, you get flooded. The only advantage you get is a flexibility in colors, which would be meaningless in mono-black. I get the feeling there's a better re-landfall ability available to black somewhere.





For Ob Nixlis is its the same reason you play master transmuter or esperzoa along side glassdust hulk, Sanctum Gargoyle etc.  You want to abuse a come-into-play ability.   Mike mentioned the only other card that could do that in grim discovery.  Something tells me that a black landfall deck is best partnered with green however, and that you get better recursion there.

For Vampiris Nocturnis you want more black spells in your deck, and the boarderposts replace swamps with black spells.

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