9/30/2010 TD: "The Ins and Outs of Scars Standard"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks Article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
"What is really important is that RDW keeps Searing Blaze, which should be one of the most powerful cards in the upcoming format (Precursor Golem, anyone?). But what about the threats proper?"

Well ... ok so you did what Searing Blaze does you did 3 damage to one of the golems and 3 damage to the player. Guess what theres still 2 other golems you got to deal with now. Since there are two targets for searing blaze there is no coping to be done. If you chandra's outraged or lightning bolted it though ... bingo you've got one target, so coping will be done.
Its a good article Mike, but I am afraid that in this mythicated standard all I can see is the following...

Mythic Conscription

Used to run Elspeth 1.0 and Jace 2.0, will probably now run Jace 2.0 and Primeval Titan.

White-Blue Control

Still running Jace 2.0 and Gideon Jura, with Baneslayer Angel to taste, now will probably now add Elspeth Tirel and Venser, the Sojourner.

Dredge-uh-Vine

Still runs 4 x Vengevine, but now has new ways to make this card good.

Red Deck Wins

Used to be free of golden tickets, will now have Koth of the Hammer

Mana Ramp

A deck built around the ridiculousness of Primeval Titan. Still.

White Weenie

Previous incarnation played Elspeth 1.0. Amazingly no mention of the "three weenies per turn" Elspeth 2.0, but I wonder how long that will last.

Naya

Four vengevine once again...

Artifact

No mention of this archetype, but I suppose the article was focused on existing archetypes so that's not a criticism. However, if this archetype develops you can bet that it will run the final contender for golden ticket status, Mox Opal.


As I say, I thought it was a good article, but can't help but feel depressed at ever-growing prevalence of the Golden Tickets.
"What is really important is that RDW keeps Searing Blaze, which should be one of the most powerful cards in the upcoming format (Precursor Golem, anyone?). But what about the threats proper?"

Well ... ok so you did what Searing Blaze does you did 3 damage to one of the golems and 3 damage to the player. Guess what theres still 2 other golems you got to deal with now. Since there are two targets for searing blaze there is no coping to be done. If you chandra's outraged or lightning bolted it though ... bingo you've got one target, so coping will be done.


Maybe, maybe not. Searing Blaze has more than one target, but only one of them is a Golem. So I don't know if Searing Blaze would get copied or not. If Precursor Golem is supposed to copy spells that target Golems only if those spells have single targets, it would have been clearer to say "Whenever a player casts an instant or sorcery spell with a single target that targets a Golem..." Maybe it doesn't say that because it takes up too much space, maybe it doesn't say that because R&D felt that the current phrasing was clear enough (which I think would be incorrect), or maybe it doesn't say that because that's not what the card is intended to do. Has anyone seen a ruling on this? The FAQ for this card doesn't say.

Either way though, it seems very premature for Flores to assume that Precursor Golem will be really common in Standard. It's a good card just because it's ahead of the curve in terms of P/T, but its drawback is steep. Even if Searing Blaze doesn't kill all the copies, Doom Blade, Revoke Existence, Lightning Bolt and any other single-target removal spell does. It'll get played here and there, but it doesn't look like a golden ticket to me.
"What is really important is that RDW keeps Searing Blaze, which should be one of the most powerful cards in the upcoming format (Precursor Golem, anyone?). But what about the threats proper?"

Well ... ok so you did what Searing Blaze does you did 3 damage to one of the golems and 3 damage to the player. Guess what theres still 2 other golems you got to deal with now. Since there are two targets for searing blaze there is no coping to be done. If you chandra's outraged or lightning bolted it though ... bingo you've got one target, so coping will be done.


Maybe, maybe not. Searing Blaze has more than one target, but only one of them is a Golem. So I don't know if Searing Blaze would get copied or not. If Precursor Golem is supposed to copy spells that target Golems only if those spells have single targets, it would have been clearer to say "Whenever a player casts an instant or sorcery spell with a single target that targets a Golem..." Maybe it doesn't say that because it takes up too much space, maybe it doesn't say that because R&D felt that the current phrasing was clear enough (which I think would be incorrect), or maybe it doesn't say that because that's not what the card is intended to do. Has anyone seen a ruling on this? The FAQ for this card doesn't say.

As a Rules Advisor who roams Rules Q&A forums every day, I've seen that issue about Precursor Golem answered and discussed aplenty already. I can tell you that it is indeed one of the biggest and funniest Flores blunders I've ever seen : Searing Blaze cannot trigger Precursor Golem's ability. Some have ventured that the Golem's wording is ambiguous, but it's not. It's just that what makes it unambiguous is a simple, small four-letter word that people can't seem to wrap their heads around : 'only'. The wording is not "targets a single golem", it's "targets only a single golem", as in "targets a single golem and doesn't target anything else".

Either way though, it seems very premature for Flores to assume that Precursor Golem will be really common in Standard. It's a good card just because it's ahead of the curve in terms of P/T, but its drawback is steep. Even if Searing Blaze doesn't kill all the copies, Doom Blade, Revoke Existence, Lightning Bolt and any other single-target removal spell does. It'll get played here and there, but it doesn't look like a golden ticket to me.

While I agree it's not a Golden Ticket, if you ask me, I'd say the Golem is undervalued at the moment. People give way too much importance to its drawback. I am confident that a deck that can exploit its artifactness and its 3-creatures-for-a-card aspect, say, a deck with Tempered Steel, will emerge. The Steel makes it impervious to Lightning Bolt, leaving Doom Blade as the only widely played point removal spell that kills all three golems. White's current targeted creature removal, Condemn and Journey to Nowhere, are obviously not very efficient against it, except if you attack into Condem with all of your Golems at once.
Magic The Gathering DCI Lvl 1 Judge Don't hesitate to post rules question in the Rules Q&A forum for me and other competent advisors to answer : http://community.wizards.com/go/forum/view/75842/134778/Rules_Q38A
I think Koth is going to make red decks insane.  Burn the crap out of your opponent for 3 turns, drop Koth, turn 5, drop a mountain, kick in the second ability and drop Kozilek.  Even if they counter the Eldrazi, you draw 4...

Getting some artifacts in there might make Kuldotha Phoenix playable as well, helping you get back some of your lost haste.
What about running precursor with twisted image?  Draw 3 cards for U at instant speed is pretty cool.  But it's utility outside of that is suspect.  Kills wall of omens and birds of paradise though.
Considering this is supposed to be an article about Mirrodin standard it would have been nice to see at least one original decklist for the new standard.  All but one of the lists are for old standard with, frankly, a very small amount of discussion on them.
Mike doesn't put original decklists here.  It's not his job description.  Check his blog at fivewithflores.com, or his column at magic.tcgplayer.com if that's what you're hoping for.

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.

Mike would have been better off saying Mythic is Dead and the only two decks that survive are U/W control and Green Ramp. U/W control has no slots for Vensor and Elspeth 2.0 doesn't fit the deck.

Flores knows better than to post this drivel, and everyone who cares about his article should too. Someone in editing (who plays the game) should really read this stuff before they let it on the MTG.com site.

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