10/8/2009 TD: "All Your Lands Are Belong to Us"

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


I think there are two kinds of landfall cards, linear ones and modular ones. Bloodghast is modular; you don't really get much benefit by running a lot of landfall enablers in your deck because the ability only matters once per turn. Cards like Surrakar Marauder are the same way. Conversely, cards which give you the bonus many times per turn are linear. Confusing the two is bad.


Grazing Gladeheart - An actually okay if not wonderful card, its biggest flaw is that removal can change its life granting from 4 to 0. Spike Feeder always gives you life; this doesn't. However, this can sometimes give you more life.


This Insect is very "Wild Mongrel-ish." You see it now, don't you?


Frankly, Plated Geopede is not as good as you think it is. It is actually massively worse than Wild Mongrel for a variety of reasons. Beyond the fact that it doesn't enable all sorts of shenanigans, it cannot pump in response to removal nearly as easily, it cannot pump on your opponent's turn nearly as easily (making it much worse on the defensive end) and, worst of all, it is not a 2/2. Wild Mogrel at its worst was a Grizzly Bears; Plated Geopede doesn't even manage that. And that is the real problem with it.


Plated Geopede can be really explosive, but it can also be incredibly useless, unlike Mongrel. A mongrel is always annoying, but a geopede is not.


I've messed around with it a bit, and it suffers from the "I don't have lands" problem. You will have this problem, and it will be a problem. Worse, an aggressive deck (something it really wants to be in) conflicts with its desire for cards like harrow and high land density. It has very negative synergy. The other issue is that you set up for it, and then boom, your geopede gets killed. Not only do you lose your attacker, but you lose your setup cards as well - instead of dealing 7 damage, you deal zero, and basically lose a card to boot. Sure, you're still left with land, but it makes all your remaining creatures that much worse, and the geopede you draw on turn 6 is not a happy geopede. You're often put in a situation where a "real" creature could go the distance, but your 1/1 cannot.


Over the course of writing my preview article, I started to like Baloth Woodcrasher more and more; initially I felt like it was just a Limited card, but Baloth Woodcrasher is a killer. Especailly if you can afford to "save up" lands on Khalni Heart Expedition, you should be able to thread together a kill, a la Nantuko Husk. Then again, this card costs six mana.


This card is worse than Rampaging Baloths, which costs the same amount of mana and is much more resistant to removal. Rampaging Baloths + fetchland requires your opponent to have either great board position or Day of Judgement; this card only requires spot removal, and can even be burned out via a common burn spell on your opponent's turn (or even during your turn, if you tap out to play it).


I hope lots of people take your advice and play this card, because it is bad.


Soul Stair Expedition - The real problem with this card is that it is a terrible topdeck. It is a wonderful turn 1 play, it gives Day of Judgement insurance, it can cause all sorts of problems... but when you draw it on turn 8, it won't do anything relevant for several turns. And that is a problem.


Emeria Angel - An old favorite of whom? Belfry Spirit was never that great of a card. Emeria Angel is better, but dies to pretty much every piece of removal in the format. The best time to play her is on turn 5, and you could instead play a Baneslayer Angel, and I know which one I'd prefer on my team. While she can be nuts if you manage to "combo out" with her (Khalni Heart Expedition + Fetchland the turn you play her, for instance), you are thinking only of the good, not of the bad. A lot of times, she's going to be a 3/3 that puts a 1/1 bird token into play, that effectively costs 5 to cast. That's not a bad card, by any stretch of the imagination. Its not the bee's knees, either, and there needs to be a deck that wants to run her instead of (insert other good creature here), be it Rafiq, Baneslayer, Rhox War Monk, and even everyone's favorite anti-aggro angel. There are quite a number of relatively cheap, good creatures that white has access to, and as such, she has some pretty stiff competition. Maybe some sort of midrange deck will want to run her as an additional, annoying to deal with threat, and she'll be quite good in block.


But seriously, calling Belfry Spirit an "old favorite" is just silly. It was husk food, and it was not even all that great of husk food at that.


I think Roil Elemental will be relegated to sideboard space for the same reasons that I was initially apprehensive about Emeria Angel. Its ability is absolutely bananas, but 3/2 is even smaller than 3/3.


The problem with using him against GW decks is that turn 6, the turn his ability becomes relevant, also happens to be about the turn at which a GW deck has you dead. And an aggro deck will kill you even faster. Sure, elves might suffer horribly at its hands, but if you are worried about Elves, you're probably doing something wrong, and if you are surviving until turn 6 vs elves, chances are, you're running the cards which will actually beat elves.


He'd be brutal against some sort of midrange GW deck, but that deck is currently A) very theoretical and therefore B) not really something to sideboard against. Yeah, maybe it will matter at some point, but putting it that high?


These days the move from a Shock standard to a Lightning Bolt standard has shifted a card like Sunspring Expedition from being worth four cards to being worth not quite three. That said, three cards for one mana smacks of Ancestral Recall, which should tell you how powerful this card can be (albeit not as a main-deck card).


Sunspring Expedition is worse than Grazing Gladeheart, which will absorb a creature or a removal spell in addition to giving you life. Sunspring Expedition won't.


Woot, I survived three burn spells! Oh wait, I'm dead next turn anyway because the card does nothing to affect the board.


This card is not good unless you have some ability to actually exploit lifegain, and I don't think that mythic is exactly playable. And that's the only deck that would be interested.


Anyone else would rather play Fog, which costs the same amount, will save you almost as much life vs aggro, is a surprise, and, perhaps best of all, isn't utterly useless if you draw it on turn 5.


This card is similar to Soul Stair Expedition, but has fewer restrictions attached to it. For the price of one additional mana, you get a down payment on a Council of the Soratami some time in the future. The deal is a good one. You get a card out of your hand. You get to pick when you fire off the Expedition (assuming you've hit your requisite counters). You can therefore play around with managing your hand (there is nothing more annoying than having to discard after you've drawn "too many" cards. Just a good card... Probably just better than sometimes-played Courier's Capsule.


Lest we forget, Time Spiral block gave us Ancestral Vision. And that card was not amazing. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it was better than Ior Ruin Expedition and much more difficult to get rid of, and it was about as bad of a topdeck later on in the game. Possibly worse!


Ior Ruin Expedition is a fine turn 2 play, but it is a horrid turn 5 one, the fate of all such landfall cards and what pushes them towards unplayability. This card is not something you'd want to play... ever. Divination costs 1 more and is better, and Divination is not awe-inspiring.


Lest we forget, Ancestral Visions was something of a niche card, and this is worse. And Ancestral Visions, at least, raised your storm count!


But gravy it is, that you can expect to ladle all over your battlefield given enough land drops. Rampaging Baloths is a classic example of a card that is fine—maybe not "good enough" but fine—with no rules text, but gets better with just a single activation, then better and better as time goes by. Compare it to Broodmate Dragon. With one land drop, Rampaging Baloths trades flying for +2/+2 and trample, but if that land drop is a Verdant Catacombs or some similar, the Baloths starts looking wildly better than the Broodmate. The expense is clearly greater on Rampaging Baloths despite both creatures sharing the same converted mana cost, but that is probably counterbalanced by the fact that it is more likely to be played in a deck full of Rampant Growths, Harrows, and so on.


Thing is, its worth remembering that Broodmate Dragon doesn't require those cards to be good, and is a better topdeck. Moreover, given that you already have out six mana by the time you play Baloths, you are running low on lands in hand, most likely. Yeah, you may well get some extra cards out of it effectively, but it isn't amazing. It is good enough to see marginal play, and it will probably be an annoyance to be reckoned with in block as if you DO pull it out followed by a fetch on turn 7, they need Day of Judgement or great board position, and even as a topdeck it isn't horrible, still actually being a reasonably priced creature.


Eternity Vessel - This card suffers from being a win more card vs aggro. If your life total is so high that this is useful, there are better options. And, perhaps more annoyingly, exalted aggro can kill you from 20 to 0 in one turn anyway, and that's the one you're likeliest to have the highest life total against in the first place. You're better off with a sweeper spell against aggro, as if you're at a high life total you can maintain it and devastate their board and if you are at a low life total Eternity Vessel is useless and sweeper spell #5-8 is not. And GRB aggro runs MD removal for it.


Its a much more interesting card vs control, but control decks are more likely to be able to deal with it. It might be a good sideboard card in some matchups, though.


Josh Ravitz pointed out to me this week how good Bloodghast is in an attrition fight. If your goal is to, say, make the opponent discard cards, Bloodghast undoes a fair chunk of your good work with every landfall. Is one card—one creature—all that significant? Maybe not. It is, after all, just one card. But the fact that the same card (which presumably had been trading with cards) keeps coming back over and over ... Well, it can force someone to re-think how to operate against that one card. Very solid, especially against decks planning to win an attrition fight.


Or really, just any deck at all. Vampires is a strong deck and doesn't have to exploit landfall really at all to use this card.


Khalni Heart Expedition is going to be "just" a great card, like an Explosive Vegetation, but saving up its synergies for landfall triggers will win a large proportion of games, too. It is kind of obvious why this card is good (card advantage), even better than cards like Ior Ruin Expedition (I just wanted to draw lands anyway), and why it should be good for producing fatties, whether they are Rampaging Baloths or something more economical.


Explosive Vegetation was better than this is, and Khalni Heart Expedition suffers largely from an absence of good landfall creatures to combo with. It is also a bit slow and its fetching ability becomes redundant if you DO manage to combo it most of the time, as when you do so you typically have tons of mana already. Not to say it isn't going to be played (a deck trying to ramp up for really nasty stuff will like this card, as it will let them jump rapidly to 7+ mana, what they need to win), but it is nothing more than an interesting Kodama's Reach variant.


The only question is whether this five-drop eventually overtakes the number one spot. Ob Nixilis is almost too good. One well-respected member of the Hall of Fame recently asked if it wasn't already better than Baneslayer Angel in Standard! One way you can tell how much most of us writers like Ob Nixilis, the Fallen is that when any of us run down examples of how exciting a turn we can take, it usually involves destroying someone with a super-sized one of these.


Thing is, Burning Shoal allowed you to win on turn 1, but it usually sucked. Just because a card CAN enable exciting plays doesn't mean it will be any good.


That said, this card is eminently playable, mostly because it is a 6 drop 6/6 which deals 3 to the dome when it comes into play, and sometimes better.


The tragedy of Ob Nixilis is that if you DON"T have a land in your hand for some reason, he is terrible. As a topdeck with an empty hand or post Blightning, he is simply not very good. And that is a real problem, seeing as he likes being in control decks and Blightning is a very good card.


Lotus Cobra - A great card, but not something you can rely on to acellerate you into the stratosphere. If you rely on him to produce mana for you, you will lose very often. If you use him as an efficient creature which sometimes allows you to cast the top of your curve early, or cast two spells in a turn, or kick a burn spell in the early game, then you will be happy with him.


All in all, you have failed to understand what is BAD about landfall. You have stars in your eyes, and don't realize they are lying in the gutter.


What's wrong with landfall? If you try to make the landfall creatures good, you end up putting all your eggs in one basket. If you don't, many of them are pretty bad. I think the best landfall cards are those which don't require you to build around them. Rampaging Baloths, Ob Nixilis, Lotus Cobra, Emeria Angel, and the odd Grazing Gladeheart are what are worthwhile; for most ofthem, its because you don't rely on them, they're decent anyway, and they provide some really nice benefits. In the case of Ob Nixilis, its because he's simply so strong that its worth the occaisional game where he's a 3/3... possibly (Malakir Bloodwitch's ability to beat Baneslayer Angel and immunity to white removal and cards like Rafiq and Rhox War Monk makes her pretty attractive, she costs the same amount of mana, and she is much better if you get Blightninged or topdeck her late). Consistancy matters a lot, and while cards like Plated Geopede seem awesome on the surface, once you play with them a bit you come to realize that they require real sacrifices to make consistant and even then they can still be temperamental and remain bad topdecks.

I enjoyed that post.  Thank you.


 --------------------


WHOA.  Did not notice the Bloodwitch was Protection from White.


Yeesh.

Enjoyable article Mike. Didn't agree with everything, but enjoyed reading it. A few random thoughts...


First of all, I bloody well suggested on these boards that Lotus Cobra's flavour text should be All your mana base are belong to us about a month ago. So Mike, I'm claiming plagiarism here, and an inferior version at that. :oP


Disappointed that you mentioned Lotus Cobra again but not even a sentence to spare about the hate of its rarity. I suppose at least you didn't slap us in the face with an out-of-context drop-in like last week. I don't want to hi-jack the thread for another cobra-hate so I'll just say this: you have made your position clear - the card is ridiculously good, but when it comes to its rarity its a "no comment". I know its not your normal angle, but given the heat in the forums on this, I'm disappointed you let this pass. Would love it if a columnist would man-up on this.


Sunspring Expedition warrants is about as much an ancestral recall as angel's mercy is an instant speed harmonize. Seriously, the card is borderline unplayable.


Eternity vessel is just uber johnny-ness and probably should be seen in that light. Surprised you didn't mention the obvious combo with sanguine blood. Every land becomes a drain life.


 


 


 

Belfry Spirit is one of Flores' favorites from way back - I think he even played it in Bat Man.  You're not going to get a lot of what he writes if you're not reading the back issues...

The problem I have with these cards, is that they are too balanced.  These cards do exciting things when you have a land, and are pretty meh when you don't.  My experience is that these type of cards are typically not played much in constructed.  


Why is Baneslayer Angel that good?  Because she's good on her own.


Why is Arcbound Ravager that good?  Because it's great with all the rest of your deck.


How I look at cards and judge them to be constructed worthwile or not, is as follows:


1.  Are they good on their own?


2.  Are they good in their respective kind of deck?


With 2 I mean that it has to work no matter when you draw it or what the game state is.  Much of these landfall cards I can compare to Megrim.  Great if you can lay it down and can discard a full hand of your opponent.  But it does nothing when you can't discard cards out of the opponent's hand.  A lot of landfall cards are just the same.  When the conditions are there, great, else the cards are just not doing enough to win you the game.


It's like a poster above mentioned, there is no consistency.  To be good constructed cards, they have to be good all of the time.  And that's what's missing in Zendikar.  Landfall, quests and allies are no real constructed abilities.  OK, cards like Lotus Cobra are good.  But why is he good?  Because he's still a 2/1 for 2 mana, which is still playable.  
Grazing Gladeheart is a Gray Ogre.  Yes, he's gaining you some life, but in the meantime I will play creatures who will outclass the Gray Ogre quickly, so the lifegain is negligible.  A good creature could win you more life, just by combatting my creatures.  
Plated Geopede can be good in a fast aggressive red deck.  Outside of the first 4-5 turns this card is terrible, whereas cards like Hellspark Elemental are always as good in this type of deck.
Baloth Woodcrasher is a 4/4 for 6 mana when you have no land.  I know better cards.  An 8/8 trampler for 6 when you have a land?  Oh look, there we have Terra Stomper.
Roil Elemental is a 3/2 flyer for 6 mana.  He dies to every piece of removal that gets played nowadays.  To have an effect out of this card, you need 7 land.  When I have 7 land, I play Cruel Ultimatum.
Rampaging Baloths can be good, but I think that at 6 mana, we can do better things.  Like playing Broodmate Dragon, or Terra Stomper.  OK, he's good with cards like Harrow, but probably you have already played those cards to ramp up to the Baloths.


Etc...  The only landfall cards I see being played, are Bloodghast, Ob Nixilis, Geopede and Lotus Cobra.  Maybe, just maybe.  Because I have seen a lot of decks already, but not many that used these cards.  Baneslayer Angel or Bloodbraid Elf at the contrary... ;)

Fun article, disappointingly dated reference in the title.  Mike needs new material. 

The answer to Eternity Vessel is actually very simple: Vampire Hexmage.  Sac the Hexmage to remove all counters from the Vessel.


 


Too bad the Vessel's ability is voluntary, or else your opponent would be in real trouble.  They would have to destroy their Vessel before they could play a land again.


The answer to Eternity Vessel is actually very simple: Vampire Hexmage.  Sac the Hexmage to remove all counters from the Vessel.





"You may"
Zammm = Batman. Bronies unite. "I'd call you a genius, but I'm in the room."
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58280208 wrote:
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192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
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no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.
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57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
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116498949 wrote:
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...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.



The answer to Eternity Vessel is actually very simple: Vampire Hexmage.  Sac the Hexmage to remove all counters from the Vessel.





"You may"



I know it's a "may", but at least then your opponent wouldn't be resetting their life total every time they dropped a land.

Titanium Dragon pretty much said everything i wanted to say. Well put, sir


This is one of the things i dislike about Flores' articles; he easily slips into this obsessive mode where he tells you all these pet cards of his are the best cards you'll ever play, and only lists situational cases where they perform very well, when it's not really the case. Good constructed cards need to be consistent, as everyone above me has said. I mean, yes, he's right on many of these points, but he always fails to add that conditional clause of, "These are just the card's strong points given optimal performance conditions. I may be wrong, as anyone can be about Standard Constructed; take everything you read with a grain of salt." Ultimately it always feels like i'm having to pick apart fact and good advice from blatant propaganda and disinformation in his articles. No offence intended to Flores, but this has always bugged me, as he is the resident mtg.com writer about tourney-level play.


About Sunspring Expedition, I think it'll make it as a sideboard card. That card does wonders for stalling games until you can get into a better board position, but it's one of those things that are fairly situational. Definitely wouldn't want to topdeck it ;p


Eternity vessel is just uber johnny-ness and probably should be seen in that light. Surprised you didn't mention the obvious combo with sanguine blood. Every land becomes a drain life.




Eternity Vessel is a "Set Life Total" ability, not a "Gain Life" ability, so it doesn't combo with Sanguine Bond.


Eternity Vessel is a "Set Life Total" ability, not a "Gain Life" ability, so it doesn't combo with Sanguine Bond.



Setting life totals causes life gain/loss!!!!!!!!!



Eternity Vessel is a "Set Life Total" ability, not a "Gain Life" ability, so it doesn't combo with Sanguine Bond.



Setting life totals causes life gain/loss!!!!!!!!!




This.


I know it's a "may", but at least then your opponent wouldn't be resetting their life total every time they dropped a land.





Right, I could have sworn you said something to the contrary when I clicked the quote button. Yay for sleep deprivation :D!
Zammm = Batman. Bronies unite. "I'd call you a genius, but I'm in the room."
It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.
Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.

I feel like after we get a chance to play with a little Zendikar, you will see numerous "how to beat Eternity Vessel" articles start to creep up.



might as well start now, right?

acidic slime. bant charm. kor sanctifiers. naturalize. qasali pridemage. vithian renegades. mold shambler. maelstrom pulse. some of these are more playable than others, obviously, but the playable ones are PLAYABLE. i SERIOUSLY doubt eternity vessel is going to be much of a problem.

end article.


The answer to Eternity Vessel is actually very simple: Vampire Hexmage.  Sac the Hexmage to remove all counters from the Vessel.



and that guy too. since the hexmage is also efficient planeswalker removal i am expecting to see it show up in sideboards of many decks and maindeck in a few. i will be surprised if this card doesn't get played.


I feel like after we get a chance to play with a little Zendikar, you will see numerous "how to beat Eternity Vessel" articles start to creep up.



might as well start now, right?

acidic slime. bant charm. kor sanctifiers. naturalize. qasali pridemage. vithian renegades. mold shambler. maelstrom pulse. some of these are more playable than others, obviously, but the playable ones are PLAYABLE. i SERIOUSLY doubt eternity vessel is going to be much of a problem.

end article.


The answer to Eternity Vessel is actually very simple: Vampire Hexmage.  Sac the Hexmage to remove all counters from the Vessel.



and that guy too. since the hexmage is also efficient planeswalker removal i am expecting to see it show up in sideboards of many decks and maindeck in a few. i will be surprised if this card doesn't get played.




Not to mention the hexmage also deals with quests as a nice side-bonus.  It's just a good, all-purpose sideboard card overall.  The 2 power first strike for 2 mana also helps.



Eternity Vessel is a "Set Life Total" ability, not a "Gain Life" ability, so it doesn't combo with Sanguine Bond.



Setting life totals causes life gain/loss!!!!!!!!!





Just a clarification: Only if the setting actually changes the life total.  Setting your life total to 20 when you're already at 20 doesn't cause gain or loss.

 

I think Hexmage Vampire is probably the best card in the set, because it kills Planeswalkers *and* deals with Eternity Vessel.  Obviously Eternity Vessel has a lot of other ways to deal with it, but in Limited (especially Zen Limited) there are far less available.  It's not as good as Platinum Angel usually (in a format lacking lures), but it's a pretty powerful little card.


 

I think Hexmage Vampire is probably the best card in the set, because it kills Planeswalkers *and* deals with Eternity Vessel.  Obviously Eternity Vessel has a lot of other ways to deal with it, but in Limited (especially Zen Limited) there are far less available.  It's not as good as Platinum Angel usually (in a format lacking lures), but it's a pretty powerful little card.


Its not the best card in the set, but it is a very versatile and efficient creature. It is a 2/1 first striker, which already makes it okay, and then it has the ability to mess up a major card type and an important mechanic, as well as messing with a bunch of miscellaneous cards and weaker mechanics involving +1/+1 counters.


I'm not sure why people are saying sideboard, though; he's in the main in my vampires deck, where he belongs, and I'd main him in any aggro deck that can afford his cost. He casually beats a bunch of cards, and playing a planeswalker with him out is just asking to lose it and come out about even (you get an extra card, most likely, but you lose a bunch of tempo, which is dangerous against an aggro deck).


Best cards in the set are clearly the enemy fetches and Day of Judgement. Lotus Cobra, the shock with kicker, Vampire Lacerator... there's a number of other quite strong cards, and if mono-red is good, Vakalut is going to be a beating. But the fetches and DoJ are head and shoulders above the rest. I'm probably forgetting a lot of good cards though.

Well, it was what it could be expected from the site. Of course that Mike Flores can't come up with us and say that the signature mechanic of the just released block is crap and that we should avoid playing it and thus, buying boosters to get it. He would be replaced by another writer on the spot.


It's hard to judge the idea of Landfall because as a keyword, there is a lot of stuff that could be designed from it; but as it was executed, it is rather weak. The problem with the landfall permanents is that you will either topdeck the Landfall cards or the lands, and each of them suck on their own. Retrace was a very potent mechanic, even when the actual cards were criminally overcosted, because after drawing the card, each land could be used the moment it was drawn since the retrace card were already available from the graveyard. Now the landfall creatures ask you to draw them first and early, play them and keep them unharmed on the table by the moment you draw and play the lands. Not drawing them in the appropiate order or a single removal spell and the chain is broken. Bloodghast is the only exception as it is always available in the graveyard for landfall triggers and if it is in play, then it is already performing its number. It is almost a retrace creature, if retrace would have been worded to work with any type of card.

If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited


It's hard to judge the idea of Landfall because as a keyword, there is a lot of stuff that could be designed from it; but as it was executed, it is rather weak. 




I don't know that it's especially weak.  


Premise:  About 10% of the cards in a set should be tourney viable.  (I don't remember who first set that down, but the idea is that your tourney players are going to play with the top 10% of the card pool, so you either design 10% of the cards to be "tourney good", and have a balanced environment, or you design more cards to be good, and watch the tourney players still only play with 10% of the card pool; they just find the most broken of the cards that you printed and play with those).  


There are 26 landfall cards.  So if the above premise is true, you should see about 3 good landfall cards, possibly more if Wizards pushes the mechanic a bit.  


You've got Bloodghast, Lotus Cobra, and Ob Nixilis easily filling those three slots.  And you have some on-the-edge-of-tourney-good stuff like Khalani Heart Expedition, Plated Geopede, Eternity Vessel, and Grazing Gladeheart, any of which could step in and expand the ranks of tourney-viable landfall cards, depending on how the environment shapes up.  


The rest of the landfall cards have had a big impact on limited, and will probably find their way into plenty of casual decks.  


In other words, landfall is right where you'd expect for a balanced, well designed mechanic.  If there were a bunch more "tourney good" landfall cards, it would be a sign that Development hadn't done its job balancing things.


- Patch

i'm a little confused about the eternity vessel thing...it's really playable? this expensive and easily disrupted artifact is going to show up in constructed decklists? when i saw it, i thought "hey that's a fun card for casual that isn't remotely constructed playable whatsoever."

Premise:  About 10% of the cards in a set should be tourney viable.  (I don't remember who first set that down, but the idea is that your tourney players are going to play with the top 10% of the card pool, so you either design 10% of the cards to be "tourney good", and have a balanced environment, or you design more cards to be good, and watch the tourney players still only play with 10% of the card pool; they just find the most broken of the cards that you printed and play with those).  


10% is an arbitrary, made up number. Their goal is to make the set not too much better or worse than those around it; trying too hard to make X% playable will make for a pretty lame set.


As for the 10% figure; let's consider Zendikar, 234 cards. That would mean about 24 are constructed playable. Beyond being obviously too small of a card pool (24 cards makes for VERY few decks; three large sets in the environment, plus two small sets, would be only a little over 100 cards; assuming your average deck uses 15 different cards, you'd only have seven non-overlapping decks, tops, and possibly less). Morever, 10% in what format? If you get 1% for Vintage, you're lucky; if you get 10% for block, block is going to suck.


How many actually are constructed playable in block, standard, extended, legacy, or vintage?


We've got:


Akoum Refuge


Arid Mesa


Baloth Cage Trap


Bloodchief Ascension


Bloodghast


Brave the Elements


Burst Lightning


Cancel


Conqueror's Pledge


Day of Judgement


Devout Lightcaster


Emeria Angel


Gatekeeper of Malakir


Goblin Bushwhacker


Goblin Guide


Goblin Ruinblaster


Graypelt Refuge


Guul Draz Vampire


Harrow


Hideous End


Journey to Nowhere


Jwar Isle Refuge


Kazandu Blademaster


Kazandu Refuge


Kor Aeronaut


Kor Sanctifiers


Lotus Cobra


Luminarch Ascension


Malakir Bloodwitch


Marsh Casualties


Marsh Flats


Mindbreak Trap


Misty Rainforest


Ob Nixilis, the Fallen


Pitfall Trap


Punishing Fire


River Boa


Scalding Tarn


Sejiri Refuge


Sorin Markov


Sphinx of Jwar Isle


Summoning Trap


Vampire Hexmage


Vampire Lacerator


Vampire Nighthawk


Verdant Catacombs


Vines of Vastwood


Warren Instigator


 


Possible:


Archive Trap


Armament Master


Baloth Woodcrasher


Blade of the Bloodchief


Cosi's Trickster


Electropotence


Feast of Blood


Goblin Shortcutter


Grazing Gladeheart


Grim Discovery


Hedron Crab


Hellkite Charger


Into the Roil


Iona, Shield of Emeria


Khalni Gem


Khalni Heart Expedition


Kor Duelist


Kor Outfitter


Kor Skyfisher


Lavaball Trap


Magosi, the Waterveil


Needlebite Trap


Nissa Revane


Nissa's Chosen


Obsidian Fireheart


Oran-Rief Survivalist


Oran-Rief, the Vastwood


Plated Geopede


Primal Bellow


Rampaging Baloths


Sadistic Sacrament


Scute Mob


Soul Stair Expedition


Sphinx of Lost Truths


Steppe Lynx


Surrakar Marauder


Terra Stomper


Trapmaker's Snare


Trusty Machete


Turntimber Ranger


Umara Raptor


Vakalut, the Molten Pinnacle


Welkin Tern


World Queller


Zektar Shrine Expedition


 


That's 48 playables (or roughly 20%) and about as many possibles. Now, admittedly, most of the possibles WON'T be played, and a few of the "playables" won't be played either (or I should say, won't be good; people will TRY to use all of these in touranments, obviously, but will be mostly unsuccessful). But you're still looking at more than 10% which matter for constructed. Sure, they don't all matter for the same formats - the enemy fetches will be played in literally EVERY format, whereas the uncommon dual lands won't see play outside of standard, and possibly block.


Anyway, back to the actual subject:


There are 26 landfall cards.  So if the above premise is true, you should see about 3 good landfall cards, possibly more if Wizards pushes the mechanic a bit.


This is simply incorrect. Beyond the fact that 10% is wrong, its also wrong because the assumption is wrong; not all mechanics are intended to be important in constructed. Landfall can either be linear or modular; it is linear on cards where you gain extra benefit from lots of landfall in a given turn, and modular when its something like Bloodghast (it can be used linearly, as in the Bloodghast-Vampire Aristocrat combo, but I suspect it will be used primarily in a modular fashion, just bringing it back when it is killed, rather than using it in a sacrifice combo). Linear mechanics require a certain number of cards to be viable before they themselves become viable, otherwise even if they themselves are awesome, they may be unplayable in constructed because they lack the support necessary to be good.


Additionally, some mechanics just aren't meant to be used in constructed play, so virtually nothing with it will show up in constructed. Others see heavy constructed play (dredge, for instance, had a rate of about 50%).


Landfall doesn't appear to be especially pushed, but a few cards with the word "landfall" will show up in constructed; at a minimum, Lotus Cobra and Bloodghast, cards which are good even without having to abuse the mechanic, will show up, and Ob Nixilis very likely will as well.


i'm a little confused about the eternity vessel thing...it's really playable? this expensive and easily disrupted artifact is going to show up in constructed decklists? when i saw it, i thought "hey that's a fun card for casual that isn't remotely constructed playable whatsoever."


It isn't playable.

10% is an arbitrary, made up number. Their goal is to make the set not too much better or worse than those around it; trying too hard to make X% playable will make for a pretty lame set.


Unfortunately, I can't find (okay, am too lazy to spend time seriously looking for) the original source, but iirc, that 10% came from an observation of facts; it was not an arbitrary figure. 


Magic design -- and CCG design in general -- has progressed since then, and environments are more diverse nowadays, but the fact remains that tourney players will seek out and play with only the best of the best cards, and that winds up being a relatively small portion of the set.


(I've played several CCGs that tried to ignore this fact and print sets that were full of nothing but "good" cards -- the results were not pretty.)


As for the 10% figure; let's consider Zendikar, 234 cards. That would mean about 24 are constructed playable. Beyond being obviously too small of a card pool (24 cards makes for VERY few decks; three large sets in the environment, plus two small sets, would be only a little over 100 cards; assuming your average deck uses 15 different cards, you'd only have seven non-overlapping decks, tops, and possibly less)


That's not far off being right.  Seven solid gold decks is actually pretty diverse (at least, much more diverse than the bad old days of "the good deck, the deck that beats the good deck, and the deck that beats the deck that beats the good deck").  Expand that 100 cards with cards that are only situationally good (say, only good in a linear deck), and you have a pretty good picture of a healthy Standard environment.


Regardless, even with 20% playable, you'd only expect to see 6 straightforwardly tournament viable landfall cards (with fudge factors, allowing whether the mechanic is pushed or not).  Which was the core of my point -- you can't call a mechanics "bad" just because most of the cards using it aren't going to see play in a Pro Tour. 


(This is part of the reason I prefer Limited, EDH, and straight-up casual -- you just get to use more of your cards in environments that aren't focused on cutthroat duels with just the best cards, though that's neither here nor there.) 


- Patch