6/27/2011 Feature: "The Many Heads of Magic 2012"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
ummmm...ok cool i can get behind this guy.
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
Man, does this set have a lot of mythic rare slots taken up by cards I don't give a crap about. 
Photobucket My Trade Thread: The_Fringer's Mercantile Plane (Updated: 1/13/11)
Dunno about Standard, but this guy looks to be a bomb in Limited and "Commander". He will serve admirably under Ghave, methinks.
Man, does this set have a lot of mythic rare slots taken up by cards I don't give a crap about. 


^this
What a short article...
Side from being on the short side, the article was still ok.

Very cool card. While it's not the best, it's hard for me to not love a card that gets that big that fast. So, how exactly would a creature like that move around?
So I guess Hydras are positioned to become green's new iconic creature type? This thing is nuts.
My casual Protean Hydra deck has a new star... okay I didn't think to make one before, but now.. why not
It's like a new Fungusaur, but actually works! Love the flavor of this guy, disappointed it's a mythic (Protean Hydra started out as a mythic as well... 1 year later in Magic 2011 he was back as a rare, which seemed right). This card will be bonkers in limited if not dealt with immediately. I guess Protean Hydra is out now; he's been really fun in standard with the green leyline and enchantments.
I'm not a huge fan of this hydra or any of the hydras from recent sets. I'm primarily a constructed player, and when i look at the cards of a new set i'm immediately looking for what cards will be good in constructed formats. Is this creature powerful? Yeah, i'd say it is. playing it with x=3, it has trample in two turns. However, this creature is extremely fragile. It lacks shroud or hexproof, meaning there are any number of ways to deal with it in any of the constructed formats. Basically, its unplayable in tournament decks.

From a limited perspective, i think its an auto-first pick. In draft, this is a game winner, but that's because the draft environment of M12 likely will have a lot less removal than say standard.
this is awesome
I'm not a huge fan of this hydra or any of the hydras from recent sets. I'm primarily a constructed player, and when i look at the cards of a new set i'm immediately looking for what cards will be good in constructed formats. Is this creature powerful? Yeah, i'd say it is. playing it with x=3, it has trample in two turns. However, this creature is extremely fragile. It lacks shroud or hexproof, meaning there are any number of ways to deal with it in any of the constructed formats. Basically, its unplayable in tournament decks.

From a limited perspective, i think its an auto-first pick. In draft, this is a game winner, but that's because the draft environment of M12 likely will have a lot less removal than say standard.




I hear you on "expensive" creatures that aren't invincible or don't instantly create card advantage. But I think you're taking the "removal exists" angle a bit far. Baneslayer Angel cost five mana and didn't have hexproof or shroud, and it was still good in Constructed. Just sayin'. :-)

Plus, Primordial Hydra has flexibility. Sneak it in on turn 3; round out the top of your curve; or topdeck it late, say, with seven lands in play, for 10 trample next turn.

PS: I liked this article. Short and to the point. 

PPS: The top-down design I'd've liked to see of a hydra getting out of control is if it doubled every turn, but damaging it "cut off a head" (using the old hydra standby mechanic). That would give your opponent a shot of whittling it down to slow it down, even if they couldn't kill it right away. But this "all in" version probably reads and plays better.
Protean Hydra is a Hydra. This, as cool as it is, is not a true Hydra (just like Feral Hydra isn't). This is a green Solarion.

Also, what's up with designers writing ridiculously short feature articles? We had the same thing with Commander.
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.
This grows way too fast to be interesting for me. In a Casual or Limited game it needs killing before it grows and I doubt it will ever be playable in competitive Constructed.

Still, I expect it will appeal to the same people who loved Hamletback Goliath. And at least WotC made it Mythic, so it won't ruin too many Limited games.
Love the flavor of this guy, disappointed it's a mythic (Protean Hydra started out as a mythic as well... 1 year later in Magic 2011 he was back as a rare, which seemed right).



My thoughts exactly, but this one is actually bonkers, so it's more fitting =) 
Doubling Season's new best friend. MaRo must be having wet dreams about this.
Crazy mad card. The cost should be high enough to ensure it's not as irritating as Scute Mob. Hopefully.

Very short article bothers me somewhat. I'd have liked to hear a couple more paragraphs about what the team's aims were for M12.
my casual silly Rosheen Meanderer EDH deck thanks you.
Very short article. Nice card. The thing with Hydras and it's walls of text, is the "Comes in play with X +1/+1 counters". Does they really need it?

Another thing: Dear R&D. Sengir Vampire, Protean Hydra... Magic NEEDS provoke, or a provoke-like mechanic. Is that complicated to do Provoke(this creature can attack other creatures directly). It could work the same way you attack an opponent or a planeswalkers.
Protean Hydra is a Hydra. This, as cool as it is, is not a true Hydra (just like Feral Hydra isn't). This is a green Solarion.



Let's see how many hydras are "true hydras", then:


Balduvian Hydra: true hydra


Phytohydra: true hydra


Protean Hydra: true hydra


Ancient Hydra: not true


Apocalypse Hydra: not true


Feral Hydra: not true


Hydra Omnivore: not true


Khalni Hydra: not true


Molten Hydra: not true


Spitting Hydra: not true


Clockwork Hydra: ?true?


Phyrexian Hydra: ?not true?


Progenitus: ?true?


Rock Hydra: ?true?


Sprouting Phytohydra: ?not true?


Ulasht, the Hate Seed: ?not true?

[<o>]
Meh, it's a hydra.  Like all hydras, it looks cool, but is basically unplayable in any constructed format.  The card it reminds me of the most is Scute Mob, except much worse.  People didn't play Scute Mob extensively (although it was powerful and made some appearances) so I don't expect this to see constructed play.  In limited it will obviously be very good.  If not destroyed, it should generally win in two swings, if you have paid enough mana for it.  E.g. play it out for 6 mana, with 4 counters.  By the time you can attack with it, it has 8 counters.  Then the next turn, it has 16 counters and trample.  Pretty cool, but ultimately just another hydra. 
Protean Hydra is a Hydra. This, as cool as it is, is not a true Hydra (just like Feral Hydra isn't). This is a green Solarion.



Let's see how many hydras are "true hydras", then:


Balduvian Hydra: true hydra


Phytohydra: true hydra


Protean Hydra: true hydra


Ancient Hydra: not true


Apocalypse Hydra: not true


Feral Hydra: not true


Hydra Omnivore: not true


Khalni Hydra: not true


Molten Hydra: not true


Spitting Hydra: not true


Clockwork Hydra: ?true?


Phyrexian Hydra: ?not true?


Progenitus: ?true?


Rock Hydra: ?true?


Sprouting Phytohydra: ?not true?


Ulasht, the Hate Seed: ?not true?




I would say Clockwork Hydra, Phyrexian Hydra (which is a Hydra without regrowth), Rock Hydra and Sprouting Phytohydra (it has the "damage me and I spread" feel) are real Hydras, Progenitus and Ulasht are not. Hydra Omnivore has a bit of the feel because it's like all the different heads are attacking different players.

Wizards is really just looking for an iconic green creature. We have Dragons, Angels, Demons and Sphinxes and green needs one as well, preferably not one limited by the Hydra regrowth thing. So I get it, honestly. I just like Protean Hydra better.
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.
Very cool card. While it's not the best, it's hard for me to not love a card that gets that big that fast. So, how exactly would a creature like that move around?


I believe the standard punchline is, "Any way it wants."

Interesting article, looking forward to more M12 news.

Frankly Protean Hydra was too balanced. Heads doubled, but only on one upkeep so you got two turns to get all the heads knocked off. I think it would probably be a safe card at uncommon even.

I think the OOTS.Hydra would be perfect. Start with Protean Hydra and add Shrou o Hexproof. That way you have to use a Lure and fight it to the death in dingle combat. For Balance I would add the OOTS rule that when it has 13 heads (counters) it explodes (from a heart attack) and does 13 damage divides among any number of creatures. That way it can't go infinite, but gives green some direct damage.
I'm not sure I am impressed with this...

I mean, turn 2 3 cmc for 1 is a bad exchange... even if by turn 6 it's 16/16. I don't think it'll last that long. And playing it at any other time loses the advantage that this creature is suppose to have, time. I mean, sure, playing it on turn 8, you can probably get a 10/10 out the gate, but by turn 4 you are playing Titans.

This card has the potential to be awesome over time, but if Magic teaches us anything, Time is not on anyone's side. This card is strictly worse than any hydra before it. I know the team feels good about it, but honestly, I think reprinting Feral Hydra would have been better for them.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
I'm not sure I am impressed with this...

I mean, turn 2 3 cmc for 1 is a bad exchange... even if by turn 6 it's 16/16. I don't think it'll last that long. And playing it at any other time loses the advantage that this creature is suppose to have, time. I mean, sure, playing it on turn 8, you can probably get a 10/10 out the gate, but by turn 4 you are playing Titans.

This card has the potential to be awesome over time, but if Magic teaches us anything, Time is not on anyone's side. This card is strictly worse than any hydra before it. I know the team feels good about it, but honestly, I think reprinting Feral Hydra would have been better for them.



This is not what strictly worse means.  Squire is strictly worse than stoneforge mystic, because there's no situation where you could possibly play squire over mystic.  Make sense?  Strictly worse means absolutely worse, no matter what.
Ghave, meet your hottie with the naughty counter body.
It's my sig in a box! -RP Jesus
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I... need a filing cabinet. -Quagmire I think I saw Emrakul in a cartoon with Japanese schoolgirls once. It didn't end well. -Qmark Edit: Couldn't find a cookie, so here's an octopus. Enjoy. -Zigeif777
57718868 wrote:
58844013 wrote:
grandma pumps the threat she ramps.
If you believe in Jesus and love him and aren't afraid to admit it, put this in your sig. Jun 30, 2010 -- 1:35AM, S1AL wrote: Playing a bad deck in order to be original is like using crappy tools to build something. Not only does it look bad in the end, but nobody really thinks that you're cool for being unwilling to do things the way a professional would.
Look at the card. Now back to Jace. Now back to that card, now back to Jace! Sadly, it isn't Jace, but if it stopped being a junk rare and became relevant, it could act like it's Jace. Crack some Worldwake. What do you have? You have a Jace, the card you wish this card could be like. Look again. THE CARD IS NOW A $75 BILL. Anything possible when you play Magic with Jace and not junk rares.
I'm not sure I am impressed with this...

I mean, turn 2 3 cmc for 1 is a bad exchange... even if by turn 6 it's 16/16. I don't think it'll last that long. And playing it at any other time loses the advantage that this creature is suppose to have, time. I mean, sure, playing it on turn 8, you can probably get a 10/10 out the gate, but by turn 4 you are playing Titans.

This card has the potential to be awesome over time, but if Magic teaches us anything, Time is not on anyone's side. This card is strictly worse than any hydra before it. I know the team feels good about it, but honestly, I think reprinting Feral Hydra would have been better for them.



Feral Hydra is pretty much always worse than this guy. It has one counter more than this guy, but the turn afterward, it almost always has less, except if other players are paying mana to pump it.
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.
@Numdiar

Yes. We agree on the definition of strictly. I see this as absolutely worse in every way.

In what way is this better than the other hydras? Okay, on turn 3, it swings for larger than it started. However, the ideal turn to play it is on turn 2, after you played your elf on turn 1. Any other time playing it nets you a loss in power. If you play it on turn 3, you'll be behind by 2 power when you swing. If you play it on turn 4, you'll be behind by 6. Wait till turn 6, you've lost 30 power to swing with.

(Okay, so it's more like 0, 2, and 20, but the point is if you are paying out your full mana pool on turn 3 to cast this, you've wasted a turn.)

The other hydras are bad because they are a fireball that can't swing until the second turn, and are countered by so much under the sun. This is worse because of the Time Issue that is inherit with the card. Every turn you do *NOT* play this card, you lose out on the potential damage this card should be doing, assuming it lives long enough to do anything at all.

No other hydra has this issue. They come out, they start at whatever size, they get bigger over time, but they don't lose potential over time. *This* card does. That makes it worse in my eyes. Not only does it have the same problem every hydra or large trampler does, it carries with it a time constraint. You simply don't want to cast this on turn 4 or later in Constructed. It'll be a waste of time.

Sure, this card is a bomb in limited, but in limited, games tend to go long anyway. Still, if you haven't played this by turn 5, it's going to be unlikely to swing a game for you.

It's just a horrible card, compounded by it's own mathematics.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
@Numdiar

Yes. We agree on the definition of strictly. I see this as absolutely worse in every way.

In what way is this better than the other hydras? Okay, on turn 3, it swings for larger than it started. However, the ideal turn to play it is on turn 2, after you played your elf on turn 1. Any other time playing it nets you a loss in power. If you play it on turn 3, you'll be behind by 2 power when you swing. If you play it on turn 4, you'll be behind by 6. Wait till turn 6, you've lost 30 power to swing with.

The other hydras are bad because they are a fireball that can't swing until the second turn, and are countered by so much under the sun. This is worse because of the Time Issue that is inherit with the card. Every turn you do *NOT* play this card, you lose out on the potential damage this card should be doing, assuming it lives long enough to do anything at all.

No other hydra has this issue. They come out, they start at whatever size, they get bigger over time, but they don't lose potential over time. *This* card does. That makes it worse in my eyes. Not only does it have the same problem every hydra or large trampler does, it carries with it a time constraint. You simply don't want to cast this on turn 4 or later in Constructed. It'll be a waste of time.

Sure, this card is a bomb in limited, but in limited, games tend to go long anyway. Still, if you haven't played this by turn 5, it's going to be unlikely to swing a game for you.

It's just a horrible card, componded by it's own mathmatics.



The fact that it's better when played earlier doesn't mean it compares poorly to the other Hydras. If you wait one measly turn, it's better or at least as good as Feral Hydra, the card which you said was better.

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.
I'm not sure I am impressed with this...

I mean, turn 2 3 cmc for 1 is a bad exchange... even if by turn 6 it's 16/16. I don't think it'll last that long. And playing it at any other time loses the advantage that this creature is suppose to have, time. I mean, sure, playing it on turn 8, you can probably get a 10/10 out the gate, but by turn 4 you are playing Titans.

This card has the potential to be awesome over time, but if Magic teaches us anything, Time is not on anyone's side. This card is strictly worse than any hydra before it. I know the team feels good about it, but honestly, I think reprinting Feral Hydra would have been better for them.



This is not what strictly worse means.  Squire is strictly worse than stoneforge mystic, because there's no situation where you could possibly play squire over mystic.  Make sense?  Strictly worse means absolutely worse, no matter what.

Ahem... i think you mean "usually striclty worse" Muraganda Petroglyphs  Laughing
Man, does this set have a lot of mythic rare slots taken up by cards I don't give a crap about. 



If it's a card you don't like, you should be happy that it's Mythic, since that reduces the chances you will pull one.  So:  you're welcome.
Am I the only one who loves the art? 
Am I the only one who loves the art? 


No

IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2b5wr5.jpg)

Am I the only one who loves the art? 


No


Seconding, it's probably one of my favorite bits of green art.


While i agree that the art is good, I can't help but think that this hydra is sitting above the same patch of trees as Primeval Titan
"Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties." - catowner
Art's okay. Nothing really exciting, but it's okay.

Edit: It's not like I don't acknowledge the amount of time and effort given to the piece. I think that it's very good on a technical standpoint. Composition wise, however, it's not horribly exciting. It's a lot of snakes biting thin air. It's very static in that regard. It is adequate for the job it needs to fill, but doesn't add to a sense of story that can be accomplished in Magic Cards.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/0a90721d221e50e5755af156c179fe51.jpg?v=90000)
There is nothing in this set that excites me. I see nothing inovative, creative, or interesting. Personally, I consider it yet another failure. Wizards should do us all a favor and NEVER let this guy lead anything again. Is this to be the upcoming year of wasted cardboard? I think I will pass on doing anything beyond trading for what I need. I cannot see wasting money on something I do not want.
Am I the only one who loves the art? 

That is the problem. This piece of trash is a Mythic. That means if you do open it, you feel like you could have had more fun just flushing that money down the toilet. At least then you got the show from watching it swirl the bowl.
This piece of trash is a Mythic. That means if you do open it, you feel like you could have had more fun just flushing that money down the toilet. At least then you got the show from watching it swirl the bowl.

Soooo...

Bad Mythic: "Aw man!  I just wasted four bucks!" or "Looks like I'll pass this to the raredrafter"
Good Mythic:  "Dammit!  Now I gotta blow $400 on a playset of these, or lose?" and/or "Ban [that good mythic]!!"


Mythics were a great idea, huh?