11/3/2009 SF: "The 'A' in Teamwork"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Serious Fun, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Allies are just one more mechanic abused by the likes of crystal shard and/or erratic portal.

Ghostway seems like an awesome find for all of these comes onto the battle field triggers. I think I'd like to play Wings of Velis Vel though on any "fighter" type ally though if we are going to bring changelings into this, because the idea of it not only triggering my Oran Rief survialist, but changing that survialist's base power and toughness to 4 until end of turn with the +1/+1 counters on it seems like a really fun move.

obligatory doubling season mention.  soul foundry included in obligatory mention because a kazuul warlord factory makes me laugh and laugh.


I want to see an ally deck that puts hagra diabolist to use.  he's not coming out til late, and black doesn't have much for cheap allies to toss out after the fact, but incremental life loss is something asking to be used.  perhaps black white, for that nice ghostway tech?  toss in some ondu cleric so it really feels like a life drain?


or you could swap red for black in your superheroes deck (would that make it an anti-heroes deck?), lose the lord but gain the non-attack-phase wincon?  when you weren't mana flooded you were kinda just holding down the fort.  "ghostway, my board survives wrath and target player dies" seems good.

This is the happy swamp. Love it. I am red/blue, I think logically and act impulsively.

What about Artificial Evolution.  This card seems to allow all sorts of token producing spells/permanants to fule your allies. 


In addition I have a fun little deck list posted (here) where I use Artificial Evolution on Turntimber Ranger to make him produce 2/2 allies instead of wolves so he continually triggers himslef.


 

I don't think you meant Crumbling Sanctuary in the Villains deck... Probably should be Crumbling Necropolis, since 21 lands is low otherwise.


Although you've challenged me to build an Allies Mill deck now. Crumbling Sanctuary and Altar of Dementia as mill cards that like the +1-counter allies, and Isleback Spawn goes great. Then perhaps Hair-Strung Koto and Seedborn Muse, along with the token-making Turntimber Ranger? Bala Ged Thief and Sea Gate Loremaster provide the discard and card-draw that a mill deck would generally like... hmm...


Also, welcome to Serious Fun, and thanks for a fun take on Allies in your first article

Welcome to the Mothership, entertaining debut article. Loved the creative intro.


I've been having fun with a Standard Tribal-legal Warp World ally deck in Jund colors, using plenty of permanent-based land thinning such as Khalni heart expedition and fetchlands, alongside Trace of Abundance to accelerate into massive game-changing ally swarms.

An amazing article! (hey, that´s an alliteration)


Come on, putting together flavour, casual and budget? Yaaay. MTG is not just about tournaments and 16 000 dollar Lightning Helixes. There are people out there with only a few bucks in their pockets that want to play the game.


So, keep up the good work!

Just realized how insane the combo of Turntimber Ranger and Conspiracy is. The wolf token becomes an ally, so when the ability is triggered, it triggers the ranger again to make another ally-wolf token and another +1/+1 counter... repeat ad infinitum until you have an unstoppable army and a freaking huge elf.

I made a g/w similar to the g/w/r featured in the article, however, I used Second Sunrise instead of Ghostway.


 


Living Death would be fun as well.

Just registered to say welcome to Serious Fun! Nice article, looking forward to more in the future

good article. i enjoyed the heroes/villains concept.


Allies were less like Slivers and more like modular creatures from Darksteel: they liked to see each other but were still okay creatures on their own.


see, i think most slivers are costed aggresively to be better on their own than a lot of modular creatures, and the only allies that are ok on their own are the survivalist, the ranger, the raptor, and the blademaster. the others are all consipuously awful on their own, and the ones i've listed range from barely ok to good so it's not even a powerful list.



Ghostway seems like an awesome find for all of these comes onto the battle field triggers.



and warp world. unfortunately there are better things you can do with both of those cards. i had a ghostway/elementals deck (with other blink effects) and it was normal for me to have like 7 triggers on the stack to deal damage, draw cards, blink a creature, destroy a creature, put a token into play...etc. not unlike a high functioning warp world. and currently some people are running warp world with ob nixilis and lotus cobra. i attempted to build a similar ally deck with warp world, but it ended up being lackluster and i never played it. i'm hoping for some quality allies in worldwake.

Nice job! I enjoyed the read and look forward to more of your articles. I haven't yet looked into the possibilities of allies outside of zendikar but this article certainly begs one to do so!


I have a question about ghostway; after you exile your creatures and they come back, aren't they new copies? Don't they lose any counters they might have acquired previously? I'm just curious. Also, do you get to choose the order in which the creatures return?

Nice article, though the bit at the beginning in italics was a bit long (I skipped it).


Allies are the only thing about Zendikar I like. Landfall comes second, but only if the card already happens to be useful for my existing decks.


 


Nice job! I enjoyed the read and look forward to more of your articles. I haven't yet looked into the possibilities of allies outside of zendikar but this article certainly begs one to do so!


I have a question about ghostway; after you exile your creatures and they come back, aren't they new copies? Don't they lose any counters they might have acquired previously? I'm just curious. Also, do you get to choose the order in which the creatures return?


RE: Ghostway - yes, the allies are new creatures, and yes, they have to start from scratch on their +1/+1 counters again.  However, they all enter the battlefield _simultaneously_; that means they all see each other come into play, and all get the maximum number of triggers.  Three Kazuul Warlords will each trigger three times, and all become 12/12 creatures.
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Congrats Adam!


Great to see someone take their passion and make it real.  I wish you the best.


BTW great find on Allies/Ghostway.  I'm not particularly looking forward to having that be the response to my board-wiper, although if you get out the Eldrazi Monument, I'm kinda shot anyway.  Good stuff!!


JD

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RE: Ghostway - yes, the allies are new creatures, and yes, they have to start from scratch on their +1/+1 counters again.  However, they all enter the battlefield _simultaneously_; that means they all see each other come into play, and all get the maximum number of triggers.  Three Kazuul Warlords will each trigger three times, and all become 12/12 creatures.



Simultaneously?! That's awesome! I figured there was an order that you could line up, but all at the same time? WOW! Thanks for the info man.

Welcome to the mothership, Mr. Styborski.


I must admit I'm amazed how easily you blended into the column. It was your first article, but it had the swagger of a 100th one. Very nice find with Ghostway - and dare I say it - it's Extended legal. This actually makes me want to construct a Changeling/Ally deck for Extended.


Good luck with your next articles.

Manaug.gif | Manawu.gif | Manau.gif | Manaub.gif | Manaur.gif


Welcome to the mothership, Mr. Styborski.


I must admit I'm amazed how easily you blended into the column. It was your first article, but it had the swagger of a 100th one. Very nice find with Ghostway - and dare I say it - it's Extended legal. This actually makes me want to construct a Changeling/Ally deck for Extended.


Good luck with your next articles.




Extended indeed. Changeling should certainly flesh things out a bit. I think I'm going to try to construct one of my own. I like the looks of Minion Reflector (especially with Changeling Berserker) and I'm sure there are other interesting cards yet to be discovered.

Kudos to Adam on a solid first article.  We'll all be looking forward to many more such entertaining reads.


 


As an aside, I'm sad that no one has brought up Ondu Cleric.  That guy (well, usually multiples of him, actually) has saved my skin in draft countless times.  I keep meaning to put him into a Constructed deck, but haven't gotten around to acquiring other good Allies.

Great first article man! I've been testing this deck in the casual mtgo room and its been fun. beastmaster ascention and eldrazi monument in the same deck? SOLD.


It seems a little slow in single player games. But this badboy really shines in 2HG.


Again, nice article. Much appreciated.

Hey editors (or whatever) of magicthegathering.com


I can't seem to send an email to Adam Styborski, it says "Unknown Author." Also, the Serious Fun archive still says Kelly Digges is the current author, just so you know.


 


So, Adam, if you're reading this, here's the email I tried to send you:


Dear Adam Styborski, Regarding your article "The":


Dude. I just got my first Planechase cards today and they. are. AWESOME. I know Kelly Digges wrote, like, one article about it, but Planechase seems right up the alley for "Serious Fun." If you happen to play any Planechase games I'd love to hear your take on it. Good article, by the way! I look forward to reading more from you.


~Gabe

Why wasn't THIS the BOAB article?

(Great job, thought I'm not sure why people were suprised by Ghostway, see Lark, lol.)


Hey editors (or whatever) of magicthegathering.com


I can't seem to send an email to Adam Styborski, it says "Unknown Author." Also, the Serious Fun archive still says Kelly Digges is the current author, just so you know.


 


So, Adam, if you're reading this, here's the email I tried to send you:


Dear Adam Styborski, Regarding your article "The":


Dude. I just got my first Planechase cards today and they. are. AWESOME. I know Kelly Digges wrote, like, one article about it, but Planechase seems right up the alley for "Serious Fun." If you happen to play any Planechase games I'd love to hear your take on it. Good article, by the way! I look forward to reading more from you.


~Gabe




I tried to e-mail as well & got "Unknown Author"

I will just post it here:

Dear Adam Styborski,


 Regarding your article "Worlds Together":


Howdy & Thanks for a great article!


My name is Joseph Corbett & we play MTG @ our local hub The Gatekeeper here in Topeka Kansas.


www.gatekeeperhobbies.net/


You had mentioned something about sharing Plane Chase stories? I recently really started playing MTG. I played MTG briefly during 9th edition but I was too heavily involved in playing VS System competively to afford another game. Thus the super heroes won out. After they canned VS back in Feb 2009 I decided I would try my hand @ MTG but I waited until the next core set came out. Thus I started playing when 2010 came out. I was actually really happy with the rules changes with 2010 as it made the game play a little more like Vs System. Many of my friends that crossed over felt the same way.


I am a family guy now & while I miss playing in competitive tournaments just having casual fun has been a nice change of pace. I have been actively playing Plane Chase format & have since it was released. Thus after reading your article I felt inclined to share our Plane Chase stories with you. Most of our local players have a limited card pool so we primarily play Plane Chase with Pack Wars format. The nice thing about Pack Wars/mini masters VS a constructed deck is that you tend to rely more on the Plane Chase cards itself because there may be several turns that you don't play anything due to your limited card pool. It is also significantly cheaper. I own all the Plane chase cards & we just mix all 42 up in one pile. We have found that it is more Random this way & ensures that there is only one of each Plane Chase in the game. I must say I really like your idea of drafting the Planes themselves. That may be a better way of going about it.


The Last game we played there were 4 of us on Oct 24th. My memory is a little fuzzy about all the details. Naturally it would be after getting my life totals swapped via Cliff side Market. I had 23 life & then ended up with 11 life. I had 10 cards put into my graveyard via Lethe Lake, Being sacked by Serra Sanctum, Having a few turns where all my creatures were sacked by The Fourth Sphere. It became extremely painful when nobody could Plane Chase out of The Fourth Sphere for a few turns. I did manage to get a zombie however! Then luckily I rolled a chaos & hit on Pools of Becoming to hit Fields of Summer, Grixis & Otaria. This net me 10life, allowed me to take an extra turn & put a dude in a graveyard on my field. I ended up choosing Hellfire Mongrel out of one of my opponent’s graveyard because it was late in the game & few of my opponents had any cards. I ended up winning by the nose with a double chaos hit on Naar Isle burning my last opponent for 6. It was fitting because this was the very same opponent that swapped life totals with me & then Planes walked out of Cliff side Market. After burning Dave for 6 I was @ 2 life & he was @ 3 life & there were four counters on Naar Isle by the time his upkeep arrived. This finished off the last of my opponents. It was as if I was in Mortal Kombat!


There was another game I played where I was completely mana screwed while Gold Meadow stayed on the table for 2 or 3 of each of our turns. The result? Everyone had goats but me!  I ended up losing badly to another guy named Joe who ended with his life totals @ 53 due to hitting Fields of Summer’s Chaos roll 4 times in a row. Now that is impressive! The nice thing about Pack Wars is that it enables these sorts of crazy swings in a game because most of your turns you’re rolling the planer die.  I ended up getting decked out that game. It was humbling to say the least.


Leth Lake is the only Plane Chase card I would consider not playing in this format as it tends to end games within a few turns after going off. Since Pack Wars decks only have 41 cards Lethe Lake can be lethal. We have left it in though because we like the randomness.  We have considered adding more cards to our decks to counter this. I think it would be fun if everyone was allowed to shuffle one Planes Walker into their deck. We need to beta that however. I even thought of having 2 boosters for  Pack Wars & adding 5 of each basic land rather than 3. Then you could add 1 of each of these of your choice:


1 Planes Walker


1 Mythic


1 Rare


1 Common


1 Uncommon


That would make for some very random 60 card decks. Again we will have to Beta the format.


As for regular constructed Plane Chase none of my comrades were able to obtain any of the cards thus I have had to supply them. I am really glad to hear they are going to be reprinted. I spent a small fortune @ the pre release. I hope they plan to have another release celebration for Plane Chase though.  Initially I kept all the Plane Chase decks unaltered. The best unaltered Plane Chase deck IMHO is either Metallic Dream or Zombie Empire. It is really hard to say. If Metallic dream deck can get out Darksteel Forge it becomes very hard to beat. However, Zombie Empire is brutal. If Zombie Empire can get thee “Grave Pact” engine working or have enough Zombies to kill with Shepherd of Rot everyone loses save if a Door to Nothingness, Savage Twister or a well played Blaze can shut out the Zombie’s. Since I would loan out my decks & give my friends first choice I always ended up with Strike Force. After losing many times with Strike Force I decided that the deck needed some love.


Here is link to a thread I started in the Casual play forum for Strike Force:


community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


I have yet to play the updated deck in a multiplayer Plane Chase format mostly due to the fact of how much fun Pack Wars is. I have tested this deck a few times against an Elemental Thunder deck & an ultra competitive white weenie deck without Plane Chase cards. Thus far it has done very well.


Here is the list I am working with currently:


 Strike Force Balefire 1.3


 


  • x4 Balefire Liege

     



  • x4 Boros Swiftblade

     



  • x2 Figure of Destiny

     



  • x4 BattleGate Mimic

     



  • x1 Brion Stoutarm

     



  • x3 Skyknight Legionnaire

     



17 creatures


 


  • x2 Rise of the Hobgoblin

     



  • x2 Oblivion Ring 

     



  • x4 Lightning Helix

     



  • x4 Intimidation Bolt

     



  • x1 Waves of Aggression

     



  • x2 Ajani Vengeant

     



  • x2 Honor of the Pure

     



  • x2 Glory of Warfare

     



19 other cards


 


  • x4 Boros Garrison

     



  • x10 Plains

     



  • x10 Mountains

     



24 Lands


 


Well I have yakked enough! Happy Plane Chasing & thanks for bringing the format to the center of attention again.


 


Happy gaming,


 


Joe


 




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