7/30/2010 LD: "Titanic Trouble"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
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I liked the monk titan mockup *laugh*

Seriously, though, I agree that you not knowing precisely how strong each is is a good thing. As long as you know enough to put upper and lower bounds on the strength of each... besides, the strength is going to vary event to event, playgroup to playgroup, like it always does. It's one of the things that makes Magic great. :J

I like the Titans, both their flavor and their gameplay is interesting, and I like the fact that having a bunch of strong cards in the same set helps keep singles prices at least partly in check.  I'm not really thrilled that Standard is still largely dominated by $50+ cards, but it's not like M11 could have done anything about Jace.


I'm looking forward to trying to fit my prerelease Sun Titans into my Teysa, Orzhov Scion multiplayer deck.  Practically everything in the deck costs 3, so it should be a great fit.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
I hate polls that don't have an "I don't know/no opinion" option.  I picked "It's okay", having no idea and thus figuring that so-so was a good guess.

My first look didn't cause me to notice that Primeval Titan could get nonbasics; I now find myself wanting to fetch Urza Lands and things with him.  Since mana acceleration is of limited value on a 6-mana beatstick, I'd like to play him with a card that Sneak Attacks from your hand.  Unfortunately, I don't think there is such a card.  You could use Flash and just get his trigger once, which is probably good enough, but I don't want to settle for that; I want to pay 4 or 5 mana, preferably in red, and cast a spell which gets all four Cloudposts in my deck onto the table.

Deathtouch on Grave Titan makes me happy, because it means if you give him trample he'll be able to roll through large numbers of blockers.  I also like the idea of putting out Concerted Effort so his Zombies become deadly too.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Deathtouch on Grave Titan makes me happy, because it means if you give him trample he'll be able to roll through large numbers of blockers.  I also like the idea of putting out Concerted Effort so his Zombies become deadly too.

Run him with Death Baron and Reassembling Skeleton for early defense?
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...

I like the Titans because you made an effort to have them all be pretty playable.  We've seen far too many cycles where one was good so you were content to have the rest suck.

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

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

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

I hate polls that don't have an "I don't know/no opinion" option.  I picked "It's okay", having no idea and thus figuring that so-so was a good guess.

My first look didn't cause me to notice that Primeval Titan could get nonbasics; I now find myself wanting to fetch Urza Lands and things with him.  Since mana acceleration is of limited value on a 6-mana beatstick, I'd like to play him with a card that Sneak Attacks from your hand.  Unfortunately, I don't think there is such a card.  You could use Flash and just get his trigger once, which is probably good enough, but I don't want to settle for that; I want to pay 4 or 5 mana, preferably in red, and cast a spell which gets all four Cloudposts in my deck onto the table.

Deathtouch on Grave Titan makes me happy, because it means if you give him trample he'll be able to roll through large numbers of blockers.  I also like the idea of putting out Concerted Effort so his Zombies become deadly too.



Are you talking about stuff like dramatic entrance, and summoning trap or am I way off?

If it was put into play attacking then only it's comes into play ability would go off so ideally you could use some kind of elvish piper effect at the end of the opponents turn and then when you attack with it on your turn you have the 4th cloudpost
Don't be too smart to have fun
My first look didn't cause me to notice that Primeval Titan could get nonbasics; I now find myself wanting to fetch Urza Lands and things with him.  Since mana acceleration is of limited value on a 6-mana beatstick, I'd like to play him with a card that Sneak Attacks from your hand.  Unfortunately, I don't think there is such a card.  You could use Flash and just get his trigger once, which is probably good enough, but I don't want to settle for that; I want to pay 4 or 5 mana, preferably in red, and cast a spell which gets all four Cloudposts in my deck onto the table.


Try Dramatic Entrance. It is not red, but it costs only .

Deathtouch on Grave Titan makes me happy, because it means if you give him trample he'll be able to roll through large numbers of blockers.  I also like the idea of putting out Concerted Effort so his Zombies become deadly too.


Concerted Effort won't copy deathtouch to your creatures. On the other hand, add white creatures with double strike and flying and your zombie army will be pretty impressive.

During a Sealed Deck game, I discovered an amusing combo of Sun Titan and Quag Sickness. I could even bring the Quag Sickness onto the battlefield enchanting a creature with shroud. Sometimes I used the enters-the-battlefield trigger of Sun Titan to fetch Terramorphic Expanse first, in order to increase the number of Swamps for the Quag Sickness.


Deathtouch on a 6/6 looks and feels weird, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it actually has been useful. After all, the Eldrazi are in standard.

There's a reason that tutoring for land that allows nonbasic land is rare: it's extremely good. Even if you just get fetchlands, that thins out your deck twice as fast. Standard right now has 18 lands with enters-the-battlefield triggers, six lands that animate themselves (seven if you count Gargoyle Castle), and about a dozen more with other abilities beyond just mana. If I owned more than one copy of Primeval Titan I'd make a deck based on it just for the fun of it.
My first look didn't cause me to notice that Primeval Titan could get nonbasics; I now find myself wanting to fetch Urza Lands and things with him.  Since mana acceleration is of limited value on a 6-mana beatstick, I'd like to play him with a card that Sneak Attacks from your hand.  Unfortunately, I don't think there is such a card.  You could use Flash and just get his trigger once, which is probably good enough, but I don't want to settle for that; I want to pay 4 or 5 mana, preferably in red, and cast a spell which gets all four Cloudposts in my deck onto the table.



Through the Breach sounds like the card for you.

What an informative article.  What's best about it is that you told the stories of the Titans in your own words rather than dumping a bunch of Multiverse comments on us and leaving it to us to make sense of them. >_>  Also, you did a great job with Grave Titan because I had thought the art was painted to match the mechanic!

My only nitpick is that, if I recall correctly, only the red Giants in the Lorwyn block were "stumbling oafs"; the white Giants, such as Arbiter of Knollridge, were lofty and wise (cf. your third paragraph).
Frost Titan has surprised me.

I thought it was the worst by far, but he has been a super star in URG D-Force.   
Finally, a column that focuses on constructed play and development for constructed formats. That's an improvement.

The titan cycle is overall awesome and far better for mythic rarity (that is, if mythic has to exist) than random two drops that make mana. My biggest gripe with it is why the ability triggers on they coming to play rather than being cast. The Eldrazi had just shown that triggers on the stack weren't really complicated and had the upside of being good against blue so the Titans look like a step backwards, especially when  the set contains Mana Leak too.

 The first version destroyed noncreature permanents, which was crushing because that actually meant lands.



Although the final version of Primeval Titans is excellent, it is a little disappointing that you still have a problem with lands being destroyed. C'mon since when is destroying a single land on turn 5 - 6 too powerful? Ironically enough, control benefits from this fear because the only permanents it usually keeps on the board are lands (and planeswalkers now, whose hate is equally hard to find nowadays) so you are denying midrange from one of the few angles of attack it has against it. Do you really want that to happen?

For the record, I have always thought the red one is the worst. Three damage is almost irrelevant in a world where creatures have about three or more thoughness on average, and firebreathing has the "it needs to get to untap to work" problem. A better triggered ability would have been destroying a nonbasic land with haste as the keyword.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
Although the final version of Primeval Titans is excellent, it is a little disappointing that you still have a problem with lands being destroyed. C'mon since when is destroying a single land on turn 5 - 6 too powerful?


The issue isn't destroying one land; it's destroying one land every turn.
On the weekly vote, I chose "Good" because while I like the diversity, this is by far the most expensive standard has ever been, and it just got more expensive by adding 5 more constructed defining mythics.  I thought the "Titanic Trouble" in the title referred to the trouble of adding 5 more super-powerful, super-costly rares to standard.

I have lost all interest in standard since M10, and my interest has only decreased.  With every single deck now, you would make it better by adding 2-4 mythics, you know, if you have that kind of cash laying around.

I know that they added mythics so they could print less cards but still move product, but this has gotten soul-crushing.  Every deck runs 4 Vengevines and at least 2 titans, and usually 2 Mind Sculptor.  Thats a bare minimum $200 per deck.  Legacy is cheaper than standard, and investing in a Vintage deck would cost less than playing standard for a rotation.
Although the final version of Primeval Titans is excellent, it is a little disappointing that you still have a problem with lands being destroyed. C'mon since when is destroying a single land on turn 5 - 6 too powerful?


The issue isn't destroying one land; it's destroying one land every turn.



It's been done before dwarven blastminer and it's not like he was overpowered or anything. Plus hating out nonbasics is wonderful for players like myself who don't want to go spend 100+ for a mana base (though this may be counterproductive for wizards who is trying to increase sales). The big issue is that R & D is afraid of LD the same way they've been afraid of counterspells. Permission and LD are the two most annoying decks to play against if you're Timmy (and most of us are). Also with the two most recent blocks encouraging players to play with non basic lands they didn't want to print something that would discourage that.
Don't be too smart to have fun
I thought quite highly of Frost Titan, and I suspected that it was stronger than Grave Titan and Inferno Titan.


lolwut
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That's what I love about posting on these forums. Everyone's an expert(except for me).
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really no need to be so bitchy.
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@Edacade: Awright kid you go on ahead and do your thing and don't let anyone tell you different y'hear
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City of Asymmetrical Beings Land :T:, sacrifice a creature: Destroy target creature with the same converted mana cost as the sacrificed creature.
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57864098 wrote:
Might I just interject that making this a meme is the worst idea in magic in my opinion. It is too overpowered. It encourages cheating it in play. Essentially 99/100 times it is cheated in play instead of hardcast. Not only that, but you essentially win when it comes into play.
74943291 wrote:
82512575 wrote:
74943291 wrote:
Make five-color hybrid tribal instant with buyback, kicker, cycling, card draw, token production, a steal effect, alternate casting cost and landfall that embodies the love that your mom and I share.
I think you just killed all chances of my card being elegant. Ardency :1mana::symwu::symbr: Tribal Instant - Soldier You may have target opponent gain control of 3 permanents you control rather than pay ~'s mana cost. As an additional cost to cast ~, choose two creatures you control, and sacrifice the rest. If you control a soldier, you can't sacrifice permanents this turn. Landfall - If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, instead choose 4 creatures. Kicker You get an emblem with "As long as you control both chosen creatures, they have protection from everything." If ~ was kicked, creatures you control get +1/+1 for each creature card in your graveyard until end of turn. Cycling :2mana: When you cycle ~, put two 2/2 Soldier creatures onto the battlefield. Would this EVER fit on a card?~
Aside from a few wording mishaps (should say "each chosen creature" because it's not necessarily two) this is nice. Very simple and elegant. I like the alternate cost a lot, and the kicker goes nicely with the sacrifice. However, the cycling seems a bit powerful (4 power and a card for 3? Cycling is supposed be bad. 8/10 EDIT: Just looked up "ardency". Lol.
58347268 wrote:
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I'm immortalized too as long as no one deletes this post!
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Since when am I "many"?
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Ahem.
58021268 wrote:
Vivisect Sorcery As an additional cost to cast Vivisect, sacrifice a creature. Draw three cards. "For the sake of humanity," the surgeon whispered. The knife had never felt heavier in his hand.
I don't think a world that sacrifices so much would want to stop the making of children .
Vivisect =/= vasectomy
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I read over two hundred webcomics on a regular basis. "Terrible" doesn't even begin to describe me.
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58347268 wrote:
batman is a jerk in all of my dreams
mafia is fun so play it
"I'm glad we had the discipline to avoid making the puzzle any easier." - from the article

I agree wholeheartedly. Several cards apparently fail this test - Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Knight of the Relinquary, Jace the Mind Sculptor, and Vengevine. The Bolt already borders on irritation by showing up too often, but is excusable since it's just a dollar common. The rare and mythic auto-includes are the ones that drove me away from competitve Standard.

Therefore, I approve of the power level of the Titans (Grave might still be a bit over the top though), Nantuko Shade, among other rares / mythics that are powerful enough to be considered seriously in constructed, but does not lend themselves to be obvious inclusions like Cryptic Command did or Bloodbraid Elf do, in their respective colors. If the future sets are as carefully designed as M11, who knows, I might be investing in Magic once again! Investing as in for the fun, not for making profit, of course.
I thought quite highly of Frost Titan, and I suspected that it was stronger thanGrave Titan and Inferno Titan.

Lolwut CityofAs



My thoughts exactly, how can it be, that the development department (or at least some members of it) is (/are) incapable of evaluating the powerlevel of their own cards correctly?

I must be honest; considering that it was also Mr. LaPille who told the story that a card like Mulldrifter is overpowerd (since it saw much play) - and completely ignores the fact that Lightning Bolt shows up in ANY kind of red deck (sometimes 32 of them in a single Top 8), and claiming it was fine to reprint - I believe this is just a smart ass remark, trying to mask the fact that Wotc was absolutely aware of the matter. They printed 2 of the titans with crushing constructed playvalue, while the rest will mostly not be able to make the cut.

@morticianjohn

There´s a huge difference between a 1/1 creatures which needs to be tapped and an additional 3 mana payed, to destroy a single (non-basic) land, and a massive 6/6 creatures which dominates the board while destroying your lands without any kind of further costs behind its casting costs.
Are you talking about stuff like dramatic entrance, and summoning trap or am I way off?



Summoning Trap could work if you liked the odds of hitting its alternate cost (particularly hilarious idea - when opponent plays countermagic, toss out Summoning Trap and Summoner's Pact, fetch Primeval Titan, and have his ability fetch something like 2x Hickory Woodlot so you can pay the Pact off next turn - ooh, better yet, one Woodlot and one City of Traitors, since as long as the Titan lives you'll never need to "play" another land). I wouldn't bother with Dramatic Entrance or Through the Breach since it's only a one-turn speedup, even if that one turn does theoretically mean turn 3 off a couple Llanowar Elves; not worth burning a card for that little of a difference. On the other hand, something like Corpse Dance would be delicious.

Concerted Effort - Gah, that's right, Ravnica is old.  Cards of this sort always look stupid a few years later because their "all abilities" shtick goes right out the window with the latest rules update or new keywords...Death-Mask Duplicant, Concerted Effort, Cairn Wanderer, and probably others.  Wizards needs to make these things forward-compatible by introducing a "primary keywords" category, which would exclude things like echo, defender, scry and multikicker, but include the usual suspects of trample, flying, first strike, banding (er, maybe not that last, though I sure wish it was), protection, landwalk, plus later arrivals like haste, vigilance, lifelink/deathtouch and so on, and then when a later ability comes along that might not be evergreen but has the "je ne sais quois", such as Shadowmoor's Wither and possibly Persist, the new ability gets added to the "primary keywords" list, and cards printed to fill this role would now be able to gain abilities that hadn't existed when they saw print.  I think this is a very good thing; the fact that Death-Mask Duplicant can't even gain vigilance is downright embarrassing today.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Frost Titan has surprised me.

I thought it was the worst by far, but he has been a super star in URG D-Force.   





I really don't see why people say that one is better than the others. Essentially they are all the same creature. When you are swinging with a 6/6, the specific things that happen around you become arbitrary. If you are swinging with a 6/6, why is your opponent not dying? Everything else is overkill.
The blue one, I suppose, is the one of choice due to the difficulty of removing him with point removal. I guess.

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Disregard women acquire chase rares.
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97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
If you only swing once or it dies before attacking, the different abilities for each become extremely relevant. Judged specifically by that criteria, Frost Titan is the weakest.

Frost Titan has surprised me.

I thought it was the worst by far, but he has been a super star in URG D-Force.



I really don't see why people say that one is better than the others. Essentially they are all the same creature. When you are swinging with a 6/6, the specific things that happen around you become arbitrary. If you are swinging with a 6/6, why is your opponent not dying? Everything else is overkill. The blue one, I suppose, is the one of choice due to the difficulty of removing him with point removal. I guess.



The game has been moving more and more away from that being true.  These days, while perhaps two games out of three are still put away early due to crushing tempo or insurmountable card advantage, an increasing number of games see both players fielding huge monsters which actually have to duke it out.  Maybe it's the higher life total of a format like EDH or Archenemy, maybe it's solid lifegain and relatively weak removal, maybe the board is gummed up with tokens - for whatever reason, big awesome plays are a lot more common than they used to be, and I for one love that.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
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