06/02/2011 TD: "Providence Nine"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Brian Eleyet's Hive Mind Combo
Now the even more busted / exciting / humiliating combo is to cast Hive Mind. Once Hive Mind is on the battlefield, Eleyet could cast one of any number of Pacts—say, Summoner's PactHive Mindwill make a copy of the Pact for the opponent, and if he or she can't pay the cost when the upkeep rolls around... That's it! Second-turn kill (potentially).


How on earth do you get Hive Mind out on turn 1 or 2 to get Summoner's Pact to kill by then?

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred: Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature. Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself? Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill. Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it. Him: You can't do that. Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

From the looks of it, it's turn 1 city or tomb to grim monolith then turn two blue souce  for the hive mind then kill. Man how many turn two kills does legacy have?
You can also use show and tell for the hive mind.
Hey look! Its ANOTHER Jace deck.
another great, different, and tournament-winning Standard deck that you can run...

What, another one? My goodness, standard is just awash with diversity.

I liked your run-down of legacy, with your usual nerdy (in a positive way) and encyclopedic, if sometimes a little off-target, commentary but please leave the nuanced spin to Rosewater, because frankly he's better at it. Having seen Jace creep into more than a third of the legacy decks you listed (including the winner) and then switched back to standard and a deck running titans, vengevine and JtMS I am not suddenly deflected by your choice of vocabulary to think that the standard format isn't being stifled by a few overpowered cards.

...that you might not have seen before

I've seen 4 x Jace, the Mind Sculptor before.

A pity, because the deck has merit, but its difficult not to roll one's eyes to heaven when the deck runs four $125 cards just to make it more consistent.
This article taught me two things:

1) Legacy is quite diverse, although Force of Will goes in every deck.

2) Stoneforge Mystic is ridiculously overpowered.  No, wait, I already knew that.
The fact that most Legacy decks are filled with Standard cards says sad things about the state of current Standard. Mythic Rares have finally unleashed the beast that is power creep. Jace, Batterskull and Phyrexian Obliterator simply obsolete half of Magic.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Most people consider Brainstorm the best card in Legacy. Force of Will is a concession to the fact that Legacy is a tempo-oriented format. There are a lot of games where you don't want to cast Force, but you always want to be casting Brainstorm.

Zoo has never played Wasteland.

Almost half of the winning legacy deck's 75 were from this rotation of standard or the last. I'm really conflicted about the state of Magic right now. It's nice to be able to buy current cards that compete with older, hard to find cards in terms of power level, but something just seems off when you have the entire 15 (or so??) year history of magic to choose from and 50% of your deck is from the last year. At the same time, it seems Magic sales and tournament attendence are quite healthy right now, so getting things "back on track" (whatever that means) might not be something Wizards is interested in. I guess maybe there is a ceiling in power level that they've hopefully reached, given the current chokehold on standard that overpowered cards are demonstrating.

A while back, Maro (I think) posted an article addressing the power creep in creatures, basically saying it was by design and creatures were always intended to be the focus of magic. I still don't understand that. Even a 1/1 creature, if unanswered, will win you the game. The fact that they are permanents that can play offense and defense has always been what made them flexibly important and powerful in a game of magic. All creatures, save defenders, are automatically win conditions. Supercharging them to the point where you have a Serra Angel (once a powerhouse in magic) contrasted with a Baneslayer Angel and looking unplayable is just sad.

Almost half of the winning legacy deck's 75 were from this rotation of standard or the last. I'm really conflicted about the state of Magic right now. It's nice to be able to buy current cards that compete with older, hard to find cards in terms of power level, but something just seems off when you have the entire 15 (or so??) year history of magic to choose from and 50% of your deck is from the last year. At the same time, it seems Magic sales and tournament attendence are quite healthy right now, so getting things "back on track" (whatever that means) might not be something Wizards is interested in. I guess maybe there is a ceiling in power level that they've hopefully reached, given the current chokehold on standard that overpowered cards are demonstrating.

A while back, Maro (I think) posted an article addressing the power creep in creatures, basically saying it was by design and creatures were always intended to be the focus of magic. I still don't understand that. Even a 1/1 creature, if unanswered, will win you the game. The fact that they are permanents that can play offense and defense has always been what made them flexibly important and powerful in a game of magic. All creatures, save defenders, are automatically win conditions. Supercharging them to the point where you have a Serra Angel (once a powerhouse in magic) contrasted with a Baneslayer Angel and looking unplayable is just sad.



Cards like Force of Nature and Cosmic Horror used to have such drawbacks for the exact same reason. They were huge, they were wincons, so they were very powerful right? In actual play, no. While I agree BSA/Titans seem like 'too much', the creature-centric philosophy did pay off; they matter more now than they used to do.
So 4 Jaces, 4 Fauna Shaman and 4 Vengevines is a rogue deck now?
So 4 Jaces, 4 Fauna Shaman and 4 Vengevines is a rogue deck now?





Not just a rogue deck. It's another rogue deck.
Most people consider Brainstorm the best card in Legacy. Force of Will is a concession to the fact that Legacy is a tempo-oriented format. There are a lot of games where you don't want to cast Force, but you always want to be casting Brainstorm.


Mental misstep is starting to be considered better than force, because it doesn't 2-for-1 you and still stops most of the degenerate plays on turn 1.

But yeah, Brainstorm is definitely better than Force. Hell, there's matches where I side out Force (2 for 1ing yourself in a control mirror is a bad idea). Brainstorm never comes out of your deck.
Zoo has never played Wasteland.


There's Zoo builds that have run 4 wastelands, and a singular wasteland was popular for a time.
So 4 Jaces, 4 Fauna Shaman and 4 Vengevines is a rogue deck now?


In Legacy, yes. Ever since Survival rotated, nobody really played Fauna Shaman or Vengevine.

The printing of Mental Misstep has slowed down Legacy as a format though. Before you saw the occasional 1 or 2 Jaces. Now Legacy has gotten slow enough that many decks are running 2~3, and some 4.


Oh hey Mike transitioned to talk about Standard at some point.

Everything that isn't Cawblade or have Splinter Twin in it is rogue.



The turn 2 kill on Hivemind: Turn 1: Island
Turn 2: Ancient Tomb/City of Traitors -> Show and Tell -> Hive Mind -> some kind of pact.

Most of that is gravy though, as you're usually dead at the "Show and Tell" part without a force.
Though I would never put it in a deck, the thought of playing Word of Command against the pact deck amuses me greatly.

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.