3/10/2010 BoaB: "Hulk Smash!"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
IMO this was actually much better than some of his other columns.  I am not a big fan of mill and I don't play in Extended, that said, I think this deck is cool.  Any deck that can consistently win on turn 2-3 is probably good enough in ext.  What I really liked though is that he introduced us to a new deck, one that he developed himself, rather than simply talking about a deck he saw someone else build.  Also, I am glad that he listened to us, and included the cost of the deck. 
Sadly, this deck doesn't fit in my budget, you know, my real card budget, because the budgetization of this decks are for mtgo...a cardboard fetchland is too expensive and hard to acquire...
Me so sad...i love this decks, i wish i could have them all...
i'm getting really troubled with the building on a budget decks which are really not that budget at all. i know that this has always been an issue, i don't know how to balance competitiveness and budget, but, if we're just going to get competitive decks which are not that budget, might as well rename the whole column. the fetchlands aren't really budget i think, online or not...

plus, i saw a lot of comments that the tix prices were way off the real ones, did jvl answer any of these?
Well you could probably start by cutting all the nonbasics, and that would reduce the price. you could also cut 2 summoners pact for 2 hulks and greatly reduce the price of this deck.
Well you could probably start by cutting all the nonbasics, and that would reduce the price. you could also cut 2 summoners pact for 2 hulks and greatly reduce the price of this deck.




i don't know, but that's the thing, you have a budget deck, but still your cutting cards for price considerations to make it more budget...it just is weird. oh well, competitive magic may just be that pricey, no more budeget competetiveness?
I always say a budget deck for a deck that is less then 100$ (in RL) and maybe 50-60 tics? Really that isn't that much if you plan on using that deck.

also lands are one of the best investments you can ever make in magic for cards, as they can always be useful.
Started to write 2 articles a week on getting ready for GP Toronto were i will be talking about getting ready for sealed. The first one is up so go check it out on PMP post.
I did like that red-blue faeries deck he was playing against.
IMO this was actually much better than some of his other columns.  I am not a big fan of mill and I don't play in Extended, that said, I think this deck is cool.  Any deck that can consistently win on turn 2-3 is probably good enough in ext.  What I really liked though is that he introduced us to a new deck, one that he developed himself, rather than simply talking about a deck he saw someone else build.  Also, I am glad that he listened to us, and included the cost of the deck. 




Sorry to say, this isn't a new deck and he didn't develop it himself. The deck has been played at a few tournaments already with some decent results.
www.mananation.com/hulk-crabs-primer/
Yeah, some kind of coincidence..
With great power comes great responsibility. - Stan Lee Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. - Bertrand Russell MTGO Agent - The place to buy and sell your Magic Online cards
Fetchlands are the kind of card that's just worth getting. If you're serious enough about magic to read articles written about it, there are certain key cards that are just worth having in your collection. People complained about path to exile, but that's one of those ubiquitous cards that you should have a playset of. While it's not the same for fetchlands (there's 5 playsets to grab), do yourself a favor and start trading for them.
"I was shuffling a random pile of cards at a friend's house last week when I saw a copy of Through the Breach"

www.mananation.com/hulk-crabs-primer/
Yeah, some kind of coincidence..



>.<
Path to Exile on Protean Hulk seems awkward. Tongue out
go to the website listed and you will find solid, unwavering proof that Jake did come up with this idea by himself and he didn't rip it off of someone else: Their card choices are better.
I would have killed, literally ended someones life, to NOT have Arrogant Bloodlord riding a giant ant... Good times:
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but where DID the other fork come from?
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Lord_Zed: I was at my friends house when this happened. He's married and his wife was an excellent baker. She had baked a homemade apple pie the night before. I was hungry, and my friend convinced me to try those low carb monster drinks. Before this day, I had never triend energy drinks before. Boy was I in for a treat. When I tried that first monster, I really enjoyed the flavor, but the taste that it left in my mouth wasn't so good. What was my solution? Drink another! before I could finish drinking that 2nd monster, I felt it already kicking in(these drinks were not very far apart, we're talking minutes here) my friend decided that it was a good idea to whip out that fresh pie his wife made the night before. I didn't know what to do, since I felt incredibly invigorated, and at the same time, freaked out by the rush I was feeling, but I was also hungry, and my friend have me an entire plate with a fork and said "help yourself." He extended his saucer to me, and I cut him a piece of the pie and handed it to him, then I looked at the pie, noticed that the pie was in an aluminum holder, and dumped the entire pie onto my plate and started eating it with 2 forks. I don't know where I found that other fork, it probably came from my friend. Anyhow, his wife wasn't happy, and I was already in magical christmas land. 2 days later, I was in my friends bed and I slept for 14 hours. His wife outlawed my from having any of her baked goods for a while(which sucked because I could just show up at there house, steal some sweets, and leave) and said I couldn't have any energy drinks at her house, unless under close watch. My friend, on the other hand, had to take me out to a steak dinner, because apparently I won a bet where I climbed a tree and didn't die.
The great land debate:
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97563441 wrote:
Zendikar had fetchlands, and Worldwake had manlands. What are the new Scars duals called?
61325265 wrote:
Explosive Peanut Lightning lands. Well, that's just what I call them.
61325265 wrote:
58232598 wrote:
i'm just trying to figure out what the point of saying this is. it's just really random.
And so the pot met the kettle.
I had not seen other through the breach/protean hulk decks that used hedron crab. I always credit my sources when I introduce decks that are not original. There are only so many card interactions in Magic.

This week, I happened to write about a deck that someone else also wrote about in the past week. I apoligize to the author(s) that may have originally introduced this concept.

As for the price concerns. This deck is very inexpensive when compared to other competitive decks. I try to make card inclusions as frugally as I can. Most readers prefer that I do not restrict myself to a rigid ticket count or number of rares. I recieve a lot of positive e-mail in regards to the quality of deck I provide to the reader. A few exact copies of my budget lists helped some of my readers finish in the top eight of their respective state championships.

I am most interested in creating the positive experiences that really galvanize one's interest in Magic.

My decks are inexpensive because I play with underappreciated, often undervalued, cards.

Thanks for reading,

Jacob
Rechecked the prices, and he either gets his cards cheap, or the cards he uses oddly jump up in prices over very short period of time.

Protean Hulk, 1.75 tickets each (2 copies) = 3.5 tickets
Through the Breach, 0.12 tickets each (4 copies) = 0.24 tickets
Misty Rainforest, 3 tickets each (4 copies) =12 tickets
Shivan Reef, 0.8 tickets each (4 copies) = 3.2 tickets
Summoner's Pact, 8.5 tickets each (4 copies) = 34 tickets

Total cost of rares: 52.94 tickets (around 10 tix more than the original estimate)


EDIT: Not sure if it's allowed to post non-WotC sites so that's why there's no source, but the MTGO prices seem to be pretty much the same on all the three bigger sites I checked.

Looks like a fun deck, a bit boom or bust which I enjoy and can be done even cheaper in a casual setting. 
Comics Magic #$%! - a sfw blog (at least, there's no nudity!) The blazekite is a simple concept, really - just a vehicular application of dragscoop ionics and electropropulsion magnetronics. Idiot.
Rechecked the prices, and he either gets his cards cheap, or the cards he uses oddly jump up in prices over very short period of time.

Protean Hulk, 1.75 tickets each (2 copies) = 3.5 tickets
Through the Breach, 0.12 tickets each (4 copies) = 0.24 tickets
Misty Rainforest, 3 tickets each (4 copies) =12 tickets
Shivan Reef, 0.8 tickets each (4 copies) = 3.2 tickets
Summoner's Pact, 8.5 tickets each (4 copies) = 34 tickets

Total cost of rares: 52.94 tickets (around 10 tix more than the original estimate)


EDIT: Not sure if it's allowed to post non-WotC sites so that's why there's no source, but the MTGO prices seem to be pretty much the same on all the three bigger sites I checked.


i already had made mention that the instance a deck that seems good gets posted the cards in question will skyrocket. You think this is the first time Through the Breach saw Protean Hulk? no its not. let me remind you guys of bubble Hulk. www.deckcheck.net/deck.php?id=14804

Last time through the Breach and Protean Hulk were found in a deck they skyrocketed, it so happens that now there is an interaction with Dryad Arbor and Hedron crab. 

actually i liked bubble hulk because it also used Footsteps of the goryo for when a player made you discard the hulk. 
This deck is actually very cheap. First of all - it's Extended. Second, if you still don't have your fetches then it means you probably don't play a lot of tournament Magic anyway. The only really expensive cards here are the Pacts, but they are pretty essential to setting up the combo.

Anyway, a great idea for a deck.
Manaug.gif | Manawu.gif | Manau.gif | Manaub.gif | Manaur.gif
Maybe I'm missing something, but the Protean Hydra theoretically puts 4 x Hedron Crab and 4 x Dryad Arbor onto the battlefield. If the Protean Hydra's rules are anything like Warp World, wouldn't all creatures enter the battlefield at the same time? If that's true, then the Hedron Crab's Landfall ability wouldn't trigger, because it wasn't on the battlefield at the time the Dryad Arbor's hit the battlefield. Combo Breaker?
Path to Exile on Protean Hulk seems awkward. Tongue out



Thats what I was thinking.  As soon I realized that the Hulk had to survive to the end of the turn, I thought.... gee, a well placed Path puts you out of the game.

Fun deck, though.  And at only 45 tix, it seems VERY inexpesnive for Extended.  Like someone said, a third of that is your mana base.  And mana-bases's are always expensive.  They could be swapped out.  Plus they are almost always usable in every other deck, anyway.
Being budget isn't just about playing cheap decks, it's also about budgetting your resources. That being said, with the current price of the new fetchlands, there's absolutely no excuse for not picking up a playset of each. If you only allow yourself $30/30 tickets a month or something like that, then just go 2 months without making a new deck, play with some old ones.

I know that's not very fun, and there's the whole "I'd rather spend my money on a deck that I can actually play than just some expensive lands." Well guess what: you're going to use these lands FOREVER. Basically. If you play legacy, you will use them forever in just about every deck. In extended, you'll use them for a very long time also in just about every deck. Hell, you'll even be able to use them in standard for another year and a half IN JUST ABOUT EVERY DECK.

I cannot emphasize this enough, it's genuinely the best way you can possibly budget your resources. Even old budget authors used to encourage their readers to pick up the staple dual lands (like the Ravinca duals). Well these will be used just as much, AND THEY COST ABOUT A THIRD OF WHAT THE RAV DUALS DID WHEN THEY WERE IN STANDARD. I'm sorry, but caps are necessary here to really put the point across that the current online prices for the new fetches are ABSUREDLY low compared to the value of the cards. Thank all those Zendikar drafters and pick some up, NOW.

Aside: I'm sorry, I know in paper magic this is all irrelevant because the fetches cost much more.
I saw the listed price of Misty Rainforest as ~3 tickets on MTGO and I almost fainted.
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royk's Tradesroyk's Deck Dump

Yet another deck I look forward to playing with!  I already ordered the cards. 

It was a neat deck, but done before. I liked that he played three matches of it against people and not "friends" that make illegal plays and forget to attack when there are no blockers on the board, etc.



50 dollars for Extended seems a decent price. But I have no clue where he is getting some of his prices. Clearly those prices are for online magic only.  
Clearly those prices are for online magic only.  



They are since the currency is in tix. Still, they're cheap prices even for online magic.
I show up every Wednesday to read BoaB - and every week it is great. Jacob, thank you for writing thought-provoking articles about competitive off-beat decks.

I imagine there are a lot of other people like me that enjoy the articles, but don't post in the forum because we don't have anything to complain about.
 It's not terribly interesting hearing reports on combo decks like this, since they're so non-interactive with their opponent.

These basically break down into
  • opponent cast some stuff and attacked with things

  • I put my pieces of the combo together


followed by 'I went off' or 'they killed me first'.  There's not even any hate he's got to be careful to play around - the most interactive thing that happened in 3 matches was a Hulk getting taken out of his hand or some chump blocking.

And I'll point out that the Hulk smashes nothing in any of these games.
I imagine there are a lot of other people like me that enjoy the articles, but don't post in the forum because we don't have anything to complain about.


This. A bazillion times. At least there are fewer trolls today.

By the way, I liked the deck.
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57817638 wrote:
I like storm crow because I really like crows in real life, as an animal, and the card isn't terribly stupid, but packs a good deal of nostalgia and also a chunck of the game's history. So it's perhaps one of the cards I have most affection to, but not because "lol storm crow is bad hurr hurr durr".
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56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
Maybe I'm missing something, but the Protean Hydra theoretically puts 4 x Hedron Crab and 4 x Dryad Arbor onto the battlefield. If the Protean Hydra's rules are anything like Warp World, wouldn't all creatures enter the battlefield at the same time? If that's true, then the Hedron Crab's Landfall ability wouldn't trigger, because it wasn't on the battlefield at the time the Dryad Arbor's hit the battlefield. Combo Breaker?

The combo works.  All the creatures enter the battlefield at the same time, then the game checks to see what abilities should trigger.

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, "When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . ." or "Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . ." Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.
I imagine there are a lot of other people like me that enjoy the articles, but don't post in the forum because we don't have anything to complain about.


This. A bazillion times. At least there are fewer trolls today.

By the way, I liked the deck.




Yep yep.
Very nice article.  I don't worry so much about non-budget mana bases as 4x Baneslayers and friends...  If I don't have the lands, I can sub in some other random duals or play basics.  Building on a Budget is the reason I read magicthegathering.com, good job Jacob.
I imagine there are a lot of other people like me that enjoy the articles, but don't post in the forum because we don't have anything to complain about.


This. A bazillion times. At least there are fewer trolls today.

By the way, I liked the deck.




Yep yep.


This is my sentiment as well.
Path to Exile on Protean Hulk seems awkward.


Even more awkward is countering their ritual-fueled Through the Breach after Summoner's Pact. Cool
Maybe I'm missing something, but the Protean Hydra theoretically puts 4 x Hedron Crab and 4 x Dryad Arbor onto the battlefield. If the Protean Hydra's rules are anything like Warp World, wouldn't all creatures enter the battlefield at the same time? If that's true, then the Hedron Crab's Landfall ability wouldn't trigger, because it wasn't on the battlefield at the time the Dryad Arbor's hit the battlefield. Combo Breaker?

The combo works.  All the creatures enter the battlefield at the same time, then the game checks to see what abilities should trigger.

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, "When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . ." or "Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . ." Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.



I have the same question as the original poster. The rule quoted here doesn't resolve this ambiguity. Allow me to restate the problem with the following exercise:

Lets say, through some means, 3 Halimar Excavator are placed into play at the same time (and that they are the only relevant permanents we control, no other ally cards). There are a number of different effects which we can use to accomplish this: Warp World, Marshal's Anthem, Protean Hulk, or many more.

How many cards are milled in total?
A: 9
B: 14
C: 27
D: ?

For A, we're assuming each ally triggers only upon itself entering play, and but counts the total number of allies in play for its effect (3). That gives us 3+3+3 cards milled, or 9. In this case, the ally cards "other ally" trigger does not occur at all in this interaction.

For B, we're assuming each ally triggers not only on itself, but again triggers when the next ally is placed on the battlefield. If we name the 3 allies x, y, and z respectively, we get: 1 (x triggers x) + 2 (y triggers y) + 2 (y triggers x) + 3 (z triggers z) + 3 (z triggers y) + 3 (z triggers x). This adds up to a total of 14 cards milled. In this case, even though the permanents are said to enter the battlefield simultaneously, an explicit ordering is needed to determine the outcome of the triggered effects.

For C, we're assuming each ally triggers on itself, and each other ally that entered play, and furthermore that the number of allies for each trigger is also the total number of allies. That is: 3 (x triggers x) + 3 (y triggers x) + 3 (z triggers x) + 3 (y triggers y) + 3 (x triggers y) + 3 (z triggers y) + 3 (z triggers z) + 3 (x triggers z) + 3 (y triggers z). The final result 27. In this case, no specific order is implied and all permanents enter play simultaneously. When triggers are checked, they trigger on themselves and each other ally with the total number of allies. The number of triggers that occur is the square of the number of ally cards that entered play.

For D, you came up with another result than I did.

For A, the combo featured in this deck with Hedron Crabs is not accurate and the total milled cards is 0. For B, the combo is valid as long as the order of permanents is correct. For C, the combo is valid with no ordering of permanents required at all.

Which do you think is the correct result?
Do your results vary depending on the spell used to place the ally cards onto the battlefield?

I had not seen other through the breach/protean hulk decks that used hedron crab. I always credit my sources when I introduce decks that are not original. There are only so many card interactions in Magic.

This week, I happened to write about a deck that someone else also wrote about in the past week. I apoligize to the author(s) that may have originally introduced this concept.

As for the price concerns. This deck is very inexpensive when compared to other competitive decks. I try to make card inclusions as frugally as I can. Most readers prefer that I do not restrict myself to a rigid ticket count or number of rares. I recieve a lot of positive e-mail in regards to the quality of deck I provide to the reader. A few exact copies of my budget lists helped some of my readers finish in the top eight of their respective state championships.

I am most interested in creating the positive experiences that really galvanize one's interest in Magic.

My decks are inexpensive because I play with underappreciated, often undervalued, cards.

Thanks for reading,

Jacob



Jacob, I quoted the whole post because I agree with the whole post.

Everyone, please read this post 5 times over so we don't hear the same things week in and WEAK out.

Jacob, please keep up the good work.
Maybe I'm missing something, but the Protean Hydra theoretically puts 4 x Hedron Crab and 4 x Dryad Arbor onto the battlefield. If the Protean Hydra's rules are anything like Warp World, wouldn't all creatures enter the battlefield at the same time? If that's true, then the Hedron Crab's Landfall ability wouldn't trigger, because it wasn't on the battlefield at the time the Dryad Arbor's hit the battlefield. Combo Breaker?

The combo works.  All the creatures enter the battlefield at the same time, then the game checks to see what abilities should trigger.

603.6a Enters-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent enters the battlefield. These are written, "When [this object] enters the battlefield, . . ." or "Whenever a [type] enters the battlefield, . . ." Each time an event puts one or more permanents onto the battlefield, all permanents on the battlefield (including the newcomers) are checked for any enters-the-battlefield triggers that match the event.



I have the same question as the original poster. The rule quoted here doesn't resolve this ambiguity. Allow me to restate the problem with the following exercise:

Lets say, through some means, 3 Halimar Excavator are placed into play at the same time (and that they are the only relevant permanents we control, no other ally cards). There are a number of different effects which we can use to accomplish this: Warp World, Marshal's Anthem, Protean Hulk, or many more.

How many cards are milled in total?
A: 9
B: 14
C: 27
D: ?

For A, we're assuming each ally triggers only upon itself entering play, and but counts the total number of allies in play for its effect (3). That gives us 3+3+3 cards milled, or 9. In this case, the ally cards "other ally" trigger does not occur at all in this interaction.

For B, we're assuming each ally triggers not only on itself, but again triggers when the next ally is placed on the battlefield. If we name the 3 allies x, y, and z respectively, we get: 1 (x triggers x) + 2 (y triggers y) + 2 (y triggers x) + 3 (z triggers z) + 3 (z triggers y) + 3 (z triggers x). This adds up to a total of 14 cards milled. In this case, even though the permanents are said to enter the battlefield simultaneously, an explicit ordering is needed to determine the outcome of the triggered effects.

For C, we're assuming each ally triggers on itself, and each other ally that entered play, and furthermore that the number of allies for each trigger is also the total number of allies. That is: 3 (x triggers x) + 3 (y triggers x) + 3 (z triggers x) + 3 (y triggers y) + 3 (x triggers y) + 3 (z triggers y) + 3 (z triggers z) + 3 (x triggers z) + 3 (y triggers z). The final result 27. In this case, no specific order is implied and all permanents enter play simultaneously. When triggers are checked, they trigger on themselves and each other ally with the total number of allies. The number of triggers that occur is the square of the number of ally cards that entered play.

For D, you came up with another result than I did.

For A, the combo featured in this deck with Hedron Crabs is not accurate and the total milled cards is 0. For B, the combo is valid as long as the order of permanents is correct. For C, the combo is valid with no ordering of permanents required at all.

Which do you think is the correct result?
Do your results vary depending on the spell used to place the ally cards onto the battlefield?




If mulitple cards are placed on the battlefield at once all the triggers are checked at the same time.  For example if you have a Halimar excavator in play and you cast a kicked Rite of Replication on it then you get 35 total triggers.  5 from the original excavator seeing the other five hit play and 6 from each copy since they all entered at once.

Also, very nice deck.  The only off-putting part is summoner's pact though i think the -2 pact +2 hulks plan would be sufficient in a casual setting.  I have realy enjoyed the past couple weeks of combo decks.  Luckily i have the Misty Rainforest's already since i bought them for a UGb Ally combo deck, which clocked in probably under 30 tix.  But it can win turn 4 or 5 easily so its alright.

I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
Very nice article.  I don't worry so much about non-budget mana bases as 4x Baneslayers and friends...  If I don't have the lands, I can sub in some other random duals or play basics.  Building on a Budget is the reason I read magicthegathering.com, good job Jacob.



Hear, hear!  Jacob, you're the reason I read magithegathering.com!

Also, I know my own casual play habits well enough to know when I will sacrifice some deck quality to cut out the more expensive non-essentials from these tournament-worthy decks.  I want to read about these innovative new decks.  I don't buy and build every single one.  Readers can save up a bit for the ones they really want.

Jacob, I want you to keep playing with the best versions you can devise.  I want to see how something runs optimally!  However, a suggestion or two every article about what $ might be cut without ruining the deck might help tone down the criticisms here.

Thanks again!