10/01/2010 TWTW: "Scars, Standard, and Sealed for 5K"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's The Week That Was, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
That first picture seems strange for some reason.
Since when do FNM promos use the same set symbol as Wal-Mart promos?
Can I ask why BDM thought anyone would want the new Rift Bolt for when Extended Pro Tour Qualifiers roll around?  Did he miss the fact that Time Spiral block has now left the format?
I haven't had a chance to play with Scars yet, but I'd have gone Rw for Angel, Hippogriph, and probably the two Sunspear Shikari as well.  I'd cut Semblance Anvil, which seems terrible (spending 2 cards to accelerate some of my cards by 2 just doesn't seem very good in limited), the Ichorclaw Myr, the Wall of Tanglecord, and (maybe) the Chrome Steed for the two equip-bears.  Steed is good and all, and cutting it may be incorrect, but by the time you've got metalcraft active, hopefully you'll have one of your two equipment online, at which point the equip-bears are better.

Actually, probably I keep the Steed and just play one Shirari.  In which case I might keep the wall and cut the other Shikari as well.  But I'm definitely playing my two white bombs.
Because you have 16 mountians for 7 red cards,  I can guarantee you will never be color screwed.  Why not play 10 mountains and 6 plains and play the angel? I would play the seven red cards you are already playing, add the angel, and cut several of the artifacts that do nothing, such as semblance anvil, wall of tanglechord, and ichorclaw myr.  This makes room for the angel and two Vulshok replicas.  If you don't like the replicas, add a couple of the better white cards and go 8/8 plains mountains. 
Sunspear Shikari is so strong with Barbed Battlegear or Strata Scythe. I would definitely play white/red with this pool. That Scrapdiver Serpent in blue looks pretty strong too, but white and red have so much more to offer.
I probably would've gone with a mono white deck with the artifacts and not used red. This isn't to say that red is bad because your red pool looks heavy on control. However, I'm not a control player and would've tried to be super aggressive with white creatures, equipment, and metalcraft. Your pool has quite a bit of life gain (Sunspear Shikari, Razor Hippogriff, even Golden Urn if you needed) and I don't think would've been easy to deal with if it got rolling. However, my deck would probably be weak to red's destroy artifact and burn spells. Still, I can't help but love the amount of early game presence your white cards have, along with high powered equipment.
I'd cut Semblance Anvil, which seems terrible (spending 2 cards to accelerate some of my cards by 2 just doesn't seem very good in limited)



I think it would be a mistake to remove the Semblance Anvil.  If you remove an artifact creature (maybe Leaden Myr) with Semblance Anvil, then all of the artifacts and all of the creatures would come out faster.  You could play Hoard-Smelter Dragon on turn four and all the two mana artifacts can be played for free.  Just removing one of the artifacts would accelerate quite a number of things out.  There is a chance that Semblance Anvil can be destroyed and all that it did was remove one of your cards from the game, but I think it could be worth it if you manage to play out a bunch of cards.  That is just my opinion and I could be wrong.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Semblance Anvil seems like an unnecessary risk when every man and his dog is going to be running artifact hate.

Red has seven cards that are either straight up removal or can function as removal, and a creature that is almost bomblike with equipment. I don't see any way I wouldn't run red.

White has six creatures, four with evasion, that are very playable with equipment / artifacts, including one bomb and one "two-for-one".

You have five playable equipment cards.

Sorry, what was the question again?



I'm tempted to put in auriok edgewright. The questionmark for me is that cost when it may only be a 2/2 bear if I don't get to metalcraft.

Shenanigans

Embersmith in play: shield - hawk - shield for 2 points of damage from
Turn 1 Hawk with the shield.
Lifestaff on the replica for a lightning helix to the dome.
Battlegear on either the shikari or the trainee
Tumble magnet + clasp to keep a creature tapped down
Tumble magnet + angel
shield + battelgear on the gaveleer: 9/3 trample vigilance on turn 5
Hawk + clasp for double removal
Red is obviously the strongest color, with multiple remocal spells and a dragon.  There's also Strata Scythe, which rewards you A LOT for playing only one color.  Even so, I would have been inclined to splash white for the Hippogryph and Angel.  Either of them can end a game by itself, particularly with the equipment here. 
That would be probably 5 plains.  It's a shame there are no Gold Myr in the pool.  Playing any early drops in white would require a more even land balance which powers down our scythe, a true bomb.  Glint Hawk, while strong, does not belong here.
I'm skeptical about the Trigon of Infestation.
Red is obviously the strongest color, with multiple remocal spells and a dragon.  There's also Strata Scythe, which rewards you A LOT for playing only one color.  Even so, I would have been inclined to splash white for the Hippogryph and Angel.  Either of them can end a game by itself, particularly with the equipment here. 
That would be probably 5 plains.  It's a shame there are no Gold Myr in the pool.  Playing any early drops in white would require a more even land balance which powers down our scythe, a true bomb.  Glint Hawk, while strong, does not belong here.
I'm skeptical about the Trigon of Infestation.





I agree with your comments about red and the trigon, but have to disagree about the hawk.

wild griffin is a solid limited card, and with two main-deck artifacts that benefit from being bounced, and two playable equipments costing , not to mention embersmith, I think its worth going 9-7 mountains-plains and running the hawks.
Here's my build:

//White// (4)
2 Glint Hawk
1 Razor Hippogriff
1 Sunblast Angel

//Red// (7)
1 Bloodshot Trainee
1 Embersmith
2 Galvanic Blast
1 Hoard-Smelter Dragon
1 Oxidda Scrapmelter
1 Turn to Slag

//Artifact// (13)
1 Barbed Battlegear
1 Chrome Steed
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Horizon Spellbomb
2 Necrogen Censer
2 Rust Tick
1 Saberclaw Golem
1 Strata Scythe
1 Tumble Magnet
2 Vulshok Replica

//Land// (16)
9 Mountain
7 Plains

Tumble Magnet + Glint Hawk is amazing. Necrogen Censer + Glint Hawk is fine.

Ultimately, it's just a much stronger build than mono-red.
Here's my build...



Playing all 4 mana Myr perhaps not necessary, but playing none of them is unacceptable.  They accelerate out your big threats and help with metalcraft.  You should never cut them before, for example, Chrome Steed.

... and with two main-deck artifacts that benefit from being bounced, and two playable equipments costing ...



The bouncing artifacts is cute, but not powerful enough that I'd include Glint Hawk just for it.  Accorder's Shield is competing with Echo Circlet to be the worst equipment in the set.  Even with Glint Hawk, I don't want to be playing it.
Here's my build...



Playing all 4 mana Myr perhaps not necessary, but playing none of them is unacceptable.  They accelerate out your big threats and help with metalcraft.  You should never cut them before, for example, Chrome Steed.

... and with two main-deck artifacts that benefit from being bounced, and two playable equipments costing ...



The bouncing artifacts is cute, but not powerful enough that I'd include Glint Hawk just for it.  Accorder's Shield is competing with Echo Circlet to be the worst equipment in the set.  Even with Glint Hawk, I don't want to be playing it.

I disagree. I think you have enough control elements to naturally get into your bombs. You have 0 on-color Myr, which are clearly an autoinclude as they help your mana base and can allow you to cut your land count to some extent. Chrome Steed, when metal craft is active, is a game changer in this format at 4 toughness. I think you overestimate the effect of the off-color Myr.

If the Myr were on-color I would totally agree with you. However, since they're not, you essentially still have to run the same land base you would without them and that will lead to flooding more often than with my build. You have 16 spells with <=3 CMC, 3 with 4 CMC, 3 with 5 CMC, and 2 with 6 CMC.

Agreed on the equipment however.
I see no reason that this pool should end as a mono red deck.
 
Optimizing Strata Sythe is not important enough to rob the deck of additional options, and it can always be sideboarded if your opponent shares a color with you.

Semblance anvil is unessecary given the deck's curve. The best thing you could imprint on it is wall of tangle chord, but the advantage would be minimal since you need to lose a card to it, and the deck has FOUR mana producing myr. There is no doubt in my mind that it is taking the spot of a better card here.

I would have added white. Remove the anvil and chrome steed, and add sunblast angel and Razor hippogriff.  I would trade a conditional four mana 4/4, for a 4 mana 3/3 flying with a reccurence ability ANY day. I mean, even ghalma's warden is better than chroe steed here. And the possibility of bringing back contagion clasp or myr galvanizer is too good to pass. Especially since the myr is played 1 turn earlier.

With that, the deck loses cards that may have no impact, and gains a 2nd bomb that can give you the game on the spot. And unlike the dragon it has the advantage of crippling your opponent even if they remove it as soon as it hits the table. Plus, who doesn't want a flying gravedigger?

I would also consider trading wall of tangle chord for Vulshok replica, as most fliyers in the set have 3 toughness or less. And it's 3 damage when no blockers are around.



10  Mountain
6    Plains
16 lands


1  Bloodshot Trainee
1  Sunblast Angel
1  Copper Myr
1  Embersmith
1  Hoard-Smelter Dragon
1  Ichorclaw Myr
2  Leaden Myr
1  Myr Galvanizer
1  Oxidda Scrapmelter
2  Rust Tick
1  Silver Myr
1  Wall of Tanglecord
14 creatures
1  Barbed Battlegear
1  Contagion Clasp
2  Galvanic Blast
1  Razor hippogriff
1  Strata Scythe
1  Trigon of Infestation
1  Trigon of Thought
1  Tumble Magnet
1  Turn to Slag
10 other spells


That is all.

Anyone disagree/ have improvements?
 
Seriously, what is up with FNM promos? Rift Bolt is a great card and all, but as it is being announced, it is already only legal in Legacy and Vintage. As it was, it seemed like all the FNM promos were things legal in Extended or about to rotate to Extended. I didn't quite agree with that, and I definitely think this is a worse idea.

I suppose if there is any reasoning behind this, it's to try to promote play in older formats by people who are primarily only playing Standard, but I don't think it actually accomplishes that goal, and it only serves to confuse newer players that they get this shiny new card that they can only get at FNM, but oh wait, they can't use it at FNM.

It's not like these cards are trying to be the absolute most relevant tournament cards, so I don't see a reason why Wizards can't just plan on an FNM card, say a year in advance, right when a set is released (or possibly even before release), then have the FNM promo where players can actually use it in Standard for the next year. 
Can I ask why BDM thought anyone would want the new Rift Bolt for when Extended Pro Tour Qualifiers roll around?  Did he miss the fact that Time Spiral block has now left the format?

Rift Bolt does see play in Legacy.  

At least it's not cloudpost.
I suppose if there is any reasoning behind this, it's to try to promote play in older formats by people who are primarily only playing Standard, but I don't think it actually accomplishes that goal, and it only serves to confuse newer players that they get this shiny new card that they can only get at FNM, but oh wait, they can't use it at FNM.



This is an excellent point.

The "Intro Packs" were heavily criticised for not providing a Standard-legal 60-card deck that they could take to FNM. Wizards made a big deal out of the fact that from M11 onwards the Intro Packs were going to be 60-card decks so that they could be taken to FNM. That's great, but someone needs to pass this philosophy on to whoever picks the FNM promo cards!

Am I saying all FNM cards should be Standard legal? Well, maybe. But they should certainly be picked more carefully than this one. Ok, it maybe sees some Legacy play, but announcing this card on the exact day that it rotates out of Extended seems to be almost giving the finger to the people who didn't like the change to the Extended rotation.
"Personally, I believe $50 is the roof that someone will pay for a Standard card, Mythic or otherwise." - Ben Bleiweiss, StarCity Games ----------------------------------------------------------
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