06/10/2011 TWTW: "The Queen Bee"

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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.

It's a good thing this overcosted garbage is quarantined to the Commander decks.






... wait, what?  Colorless repeatable Brand?  Dude!
Sky Swallower hooooooooo!

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Brooding Saurian for everyone!  Now the question is, how many ways to reanimate or steal your opponents creatures do you have to be running in a deck before this card is no longer a good inclusion?
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...
Meh, I mean, it hates on Blue and I'm always for that but I guess I have to cut Enslave from my list and my reanimation is even more limited to my own stuff?
Meh, I mean, it hates on Blue and I'm always for that but I guess I have to cut Enslave from my list and my reanimation is even more limited to my own stuff?



Why? Because everyone will be running Explorer's Map when not in Green so as to always grab this land alone? Not everyone in colors that steal do so, you know. For its own sake, this land works better, taking a slot away from a land that can tap for color, when you have to deal with cards like Gilded Drake and Chromeshell Crab, in other words when it's in your own interest to get stuff back frequently.

Added:

I should note that players that have cards like Hunted Dragon and Forbidden Orchard should like this card, as it will favor them making the most of a "negative", thus gaining all benefit out of so-called "drawbacks."
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
I should note that players that have cards like Hunted Dragon and Forbidden Orchard should like this card, as it will favor them making the most of a "negative", thus gaining all benefit out of so-called "drawbacks."


That doesn't work anymore.  The owner of a token is now the player under whose control it entered the battlefield.
I should note that players that have cards like Hunted Dragon and Forbidden Orchard should like this card, as it will favor them making the most of a "negative", thus gaining all benefit out of so-called "drawbacks."

That doesn't work anymore.  The owner of a token is now the player under whose control it entered the battlefield.

Yep. Your best hope for building around it is probably something like Sleeper Agent or Gilded Drake in order to get a cheap 3/3, or Phyrexian Infiltrator combined with a sacrifice outlet.
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...
Great! I designed that Queen Bee card for the Great Designer Search 2. That final card is actually pretty close to the one I have on my updated file on my computer, the only difference being that mine is 3/3 and puts 3 bee tokens. I'll reflect the changes accordingly on my custom set so that they work the same. You don't know how happy I'm right now for having preorder the Commander decks. Laughing
Sky Swallower hooooooooo!


I like the way you think.  
Meh, I mean, it hates on Blue and I'm always for that but I guess I have to cut Enslave from my list and my reanimation is even more limited to my own stuff?



Why? Because everyone will be running Explorer's Map when not in Green so as to always grab this land alone? Not everyone in colors that steal do so, you know. For its own sake, this land works better, taking a slot away from a land that can tap for color, when you have to deal with cards like Gilded Drake and Chromeshell Crab, in other words when it's in your own interest to get stuff back frequently.

Added:

I should note that players that have cards like Hunted Dragon and Forbidden Orchard should like this card, as it will favor them making the most of a "negative", thus gaining all benefit out of so-called "drawbacks."


Some of us play in competitive metas.
So, this might be a bit noobish...

But with cards like Enslave or Mind Control that enchant a creature, what happens when you tap Homeward Path for its ability? Which card effect takes precidence?
So, this might be a bit noobish...

But with cards like Enslave or Mind Control that enchant a creature, what happens when you tap Homeward Path for its ability? Which card effect takes precidence?



When you have two effects that counteract one another the one with the most recent timestamp is the deciding factor.  So if someone control magics your creature and after that you tap the Homeward Path for its ability, the creature will return to its original owner.  If, after you have used the Homeward Path someone plays another creature stealing spell (say mind control) on the same creature then they will get the creature.  Of course this tactic is really not terribly effective unless they can blow up the land before your next untap occurs. 

Note that blowing up the land will not rescind its creature branding.  If someone control magics a creature, and then you take it back with the land, and then they blow up your land.  You end up with your creature even though the land is no longer in play, its effect does not depend on it still being on the board.

Great! I designed that Queen Bee card for the Great Designer Search 2. That final card is actually pretty close to the one I have on my updated file on my computer, the only difference being that mine is 3/3 and puts 3 bee tokens. I'll reflect the changes accordingly on my custom set so that they work the same. You don't know how happy I'm right now for having preorder the Commander decks. Laughing



Dude that is awesome!  I have an Azusa, Lost but Seeking deck that Hornet Queen is going straight into; Cloudstone Curio Ho!

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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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."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.


When you have two effects that counteract one another the one with the most recent timestamp is the deciding factor.  So if someone control magics your creature and after that you tap the Homeward Path for its ability, the creature will return to its original owner.  If, after you have used the Homeward Path someone plays another creature stealing spell (say mind control) on the same creature then they will get the creature.  Of course this tactic is really not terribly effective unless they can blow up the land before your next untap occurs. 

Note that blowing up the land will not rescind its creature branding.  If someone control magics a creature, and then you take it back with the land, and then they blow up your land.  You end up with your creature even though the land is no longer in play, its effect does not depend on it still being on the board.


That makes sense and is how I expected it to work, but then another question I have is why do Aura's effects end (like Mind Control) when it is destroyed while other effects such as Act of Treason are not reliant on a permanent? Is this a rule inherent with Aura's where their effects are reversed when they leave play or that all of their abilities have a "persistent"-ness that disappears upon destruction? The "persistent"-ness of an aura was what caused this question to be raised in my mind in the first place, but I guess I don't REALLY know the rules that make aura's work.

This may also be getting a bit too detailed for this specific chat.

That makes sense and is how I expected it to work, but then another question I have is why do Aura's effects end (like Mind Control) when it is destroyed while other effects such as Act of Treason are not reliant on a permanent? Is this a rule inherent with Aura's where their effects are reversed when they leave play or that all of their abilities have a "persistent"-ness that disappears upon destruction? The "persistent"-ness of an aura was what caused this question to be raised in my mind in the first place, but I guess I don't REALLY know the rules that make aura's work.

This may also be getting a bit too detailed for this specific chat.


Detailed questions are okay when it's brought up in the context of the article.  Which you legitimately do here.
Auras:
In the most general scenarios (which do apply here and to the majority of cases) a permanent's static abilities will only apply as long as that permanent is on the battlefield (unless the card itself says otherwise).  If the permanent is removed from the battle field it's not so much that it's abilities are reversed, but that they simply cease applying.  Look at it this way:
Let's say you have an oven mitt on.  An oven mitt is a permanent, it exists in reality for an extended duration until it deteriorates or is destroyed.  In MTG terms it gives your hand Protection From High Temperatures.  With it on you can reach into the oven and safely pull out that dinner that's been baking at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit and you won't be burned.  If you take off that oven mitt, you will be burned.  Taking off the oven mitt doesn't change anything about you (the original permanent being 'enchanted' or 'equipped' in this case), it merely returns your hand to it's original state.

Instants and sorceries:
An instant or sorcery spell typically describes an action (or in the case of Act of Treason, a state of mind) not an object.  There are many many different kinds of effects and it's very difficult to characterize them as a whole, but for your case the spell's effect lasts as long as long as the spell says it does.  The card Act of Treason says that this ability lasts until the beginning of the next end step, so that's how long it would last.  On the other hand, some instant and sorcery spells don't have a defined duration, such as Govern the Guildless.  In this case you will retain control of the creature indefinitely until someone else does something that changes its controller ( or if the card changes zones...but that's a different story).

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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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."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

Both preview cards are really horrible.

The first one - sorry DrJones - doesn't really solve any problem of green. It doesn't matter what creatures WotC prints in green in regard of that issue. Green lacks of some solid force to threaten your opponent and even more, it can't control the game/board.

The hornets die horribly to any Scattershot Archer and most other cards, green usually uses against flying creatures. So I would have hoped for some great sorcery that might threaten an opponent. Or maybe an enchantment with "creatures you control have deathtouch".

The second card is the typical... destroying deck themes with one card, since in most cases it won't be used as a deck-defining combo-card. A sacrifice cost for the second ability would have made much more sense and wouldn't kill certain strategies completely.