06/28/2011 LI: "Illusions of Grandeur"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

First reaction:

Seriously?! That's the preview card with a title like *that*?!

Second reaction:

This will be awesome for my really bad mono-blue aggro deck in Standard!!! =D 
Stop using "IMO" in sentences that aren't opinion. If you don't think a deck will ever be tier 1, that's great - but it's not an opinion. It's a prediction of the future. I identify as neither male nor female. You may refer to me with either gender pronoun or the singular they, whichever suits you best. ^_^ Re: Dismember
97543238 wrote:
Everybody knows that having your awesome creatures killed before they can do anything is frustrating, but the Red mage in me doesn't seem to understand why it's so bad when his creatures spontaneously combust into Flame Javelins and make his opponent discard something at the same time.
Currently Working On: Self-Mill (Standard)
It looks like blue got an entire tribal deck out of this core set and I'm loving it.  The preview card certainly will have implications in constructed and illusions may be a very powerful, but risky, draft archetype.
seems like wizards is really establishing a good base for a blue illusion tribe

i just wish there were more creative rares like this for other tribes too, like goblins T.T
What can we do with twelve clones in Standard simultaneously?
Hello Grand Architect Illusion deck.
The hell? Was that Shock I saw? Oh no, oh please no. The one burn spell I thought was NEVER coming back. I think I'll go find a sad little corner and cry. While cradling my Lightning Bolts.

Other than that, Grand Architect Illusion deck sounds obscene. We haven't had mono blue aggro in a late format in quite a while. 
"Catch!"
Is there any reason that Lord of the Unreal gives hexproof instead of shroud, other than that they wanted to show off the new keyword? Is it relevant and useful that I can kill my own creatures? Isn't that the sort of complexity for it's own sake MaRo's supposed to be protecting us from?

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.

Because people will want to put lord of the unreal in their casual illusion decks where not all the illusions have the skulking ability, eg Krovikan Mist
Because people will want to put lord of the unreal in their casual illusion decks where not all the illusions have the skulking ability, eg Krovikan Mist


And if Duels 2012 isn't lying, Krovikan Mist will be in M12.
Because people will want to put lord of the unreal in their casual illusion decks where not all the illusions have the skulking ability, eg Krovikan Mist


And if Duels 2012 isn't lying, Krovikan Mist will be in M12.




That would be cool.
That would be cool.


Not only cool but possibly the fastest blue aggro deck in Standard ever. With an ideal draw you would be dealing 20+ damage in four turns, most of it flying and without the skulking drawback.
Drafting blue/red aggro indeed seems to be good option to go while drafting. Also I will be interested in  seeing how good a illusion tribal deck will actually be.

Also I just checked the M12 image Gallery and I was a little surprised to see a new Jace there! I don't know about constructed (Although I think he will be better then Jace Beleren in not allowing your opponent to draw with his + ability.) But if you are lucky enough to have him in any 40 card format he seems to be able to mill an opponent on his own, let alone with some support.
I like the idea of making Phantasmal Image copy the Lord of the Unreal itself. It'll give itself the bonus, both in P/T and in hexproofness!
I like the idea of making Phantasmal Image copy the Lord of the Unreal itself. It'll give itself the bonus, both in P/T and in hexproofness!



^
this

Illusions seem to be getting stronger with this set.  It ought to be interesting to see if illusions can make it in constructed.

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I like the idea of making Phantasmal Image copy the Lord of the Unreal itself. It'll give itself the bonus, both in P/T and in hexproofness!


 I think that's actually the best way to use the Lord of the Unreal, because it gets around Lord of the Unreal's drawback--that it itself isn't hexproof. Then you can simply let the original get burned or removed, while keeping your now-nigh-untouchable and still just as effective illusion copy! Very fitting for the Lord of the Unreal to make a copy of himself more powerful than the original!
One thing I don't get about Illusions is their flavor. If something like a Giant Growth can kill an Illusion (because it's not really there), how can the Illusion kill other things? How can an illusionary bear kill Gideon??? Gideon can fight off hoards of horrifyingly tangible flesh destroying Phyrexians.. yet succumbs to the illusion of a bear??? Seems like WotC should have simply used something like "Creature - Conjured Bear" or "Creature - Conjured Dragon" to remedy this. The Lord could then read "Conjured creatures have hexproof". This seems easy enough for new players to understand. It also helps keep a consitent flavor: Blue Mages are masters of the mind but brittle in battle. Their energy can conjur up ferocious beasts, but their fights are better fought elsewhere. These conjured beasts are primarily for distraction purposes and the Blue Mage should not put too much effort in keeping them alive; they're disposable (hence they die if they become targeted).

But I digress.. even if they are just illusions, they're still pretty neat..
Let's say you had Lord of the Unreal on the field, and at the same time had a mirror entity. Its ability reads "X: All creatures you control become X/X and gain all creature types." If you paid 0, would they die, or would the +1/+1 from Lord of the Unreal make them all 1/1 and hexproof first? If it's the latter, you can make any creature hexproof for free, if you are willing to leave them at 1/1 for the turn.
Let's say you had Lord of the Unreal on the field, and at the same time had a mirror entity. Its ability reads "X: All creatures you control become X/X and gain all creature types." If you paid 0, would they die, or would the +1/+1 from Lord of the Unreal make them all 1/1 and hexproof first? If it's the latter, you can make any creature hexproof for free, if you are willing to leave them at 1/1 for the turn.



The lord of the Unreal's ability is a static ability.  It is always active while the card is in play.  If you turned all your creatures into 0/0s then the Lord's ability would immediately be applied.  There would not be any point that state based effects are checked between the creatures becoming 0/0 and the Lord's static ability modifying power and toughness. 
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
One thing I don't get about Illusions is their flavor. If something like a Giant Growth can kill an Illusion (because it's not really there), how can the Illusion kill other things? How can an illusionary bear kill Gideon??? Gideon can fight off hoards of horrifyingly tangible flesh destroying Phyrexians.. yet succumbs to the illusion of a bear???




The flavor is that if you are attacked by an illusion creature the only way to find out it is an illusion is by targeting it with some form of magic; this will then pass right trough the illusion or something and will cause the illusion to disappear. However if you don't do this the illusion will be just as real as any normal creature and damage you just as well. The reason behind this is (I believe) that as most blue magic they attack your mind, and if you believe strongly enough that you are being hurt you will be. Basically the reverse of the placebo effect I guess. 


 

Let's say you had Lord of the Unreal on the field, and at the same time had a mirror entity. Its ability reads "X: All creatures you control become X/X and gain all creature types." If you paid 0, would they die, or would the +1/+1 from Lord of the Unreal make them all 1/1 and hexproof first? If it's the latter, you can make any creature hexproof for free, if you are willing to leave them at 1/1 for the turn.




In this case Lord of the Unreal would indeed give them +1/+1 and hexproof, however mirror entity would still make all your creatures 0/0 since:
1 it is a creature you control not your opponent so hexproof doesn't help
2 even if the lord would give them shroud instead of hexproof (shroud prevents a creature from being targeted by spells or abilities from any player) mirror entity does not target your creatures (his ability doesn't say target ..... anywhere) therefore it would still make them 0/0
 
note: first your lord and your mirror entity become 0/0 and because of having 0 toughness they die, then all your other illusion will die because they will no longer receive the +1/+1 bonus from the Lord, and thus also become 0/0 and die for the same reason. 

At least this is the way I understand the rules; if I am wrong please feel free to correct me.


Edit: missed your post there Greenbuster but if I am reading it correctly, we are in agreement right?

I just realized that the mirror entity also gives everything changeling and therefore everything is also an illusion thus everything lives because of the +1/+1 bonus of the Lord of the Unreal. would be a bit much to edit this out of my previous post so I figured I would just put in another post. Sorry about the chaos but I hope I didn't confuse people to much Embarassed


Let's say you had Lord of the Unreal on the field, and at the same time had a mirror entity. Its ability reads "X: All creatures you control become X/X and gain all creature types." If you paid 0, would they die, or would the +1/+1 from Lord of the Unreal make them all 1/1 and hexproof first? If it's the latter, you can make any creature hexproof for free, if you are willing to leave them at 1/1 for the turn.




In this case Lord of the Unreal would indeed give them +1/+1 and hexproof, however mirror entity would still make all your creatures 0/0 since:
1 it is a creature you control not your opponent so hexproof doesn't help
2 even if the lord would give them shroud instead of hexproof (shroud prevents a creature from being targeted by spells or abilities from any player) mirror entity does not target your creatures (his ability doesn't say target ..... anywhere) therefore it would still make them 0/0
 
note: first your lord and your mirror entity become 0/0 and because of having 0 toughness they die, then all your other illusion will die because they will no longer receive the +1/+1 bonus from the Lord, and thus also become 0/0 and die for the same reason. 

At least this is the way I understand the rules; if I am wrong please feel free to correct me.


Edit: missed your post there Greenbuster but if I am reading it correctly, we are in agreement right?




Not quite.  Mirror Entity's effect sets power and toughness and gives creatures every single type.  Lord of the Unreal's ability modifies power and toughness of creatures of a certain type (illusions).  Power and toughness modifying effects follow a layer system that tells how each is applied.

Here is a short version that is found on the Gatherer page for Mirror Entity:

You apply power/toughness changing effects in a series of sublayers in the following order:
(a) effects from characteristic-defining abilities;
(b) effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value;
(c) effects that modify power and/or toughness but don't set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value;
(d) changes from counters;
(e) effects that switch a creature's power and toughness.

This card's effect is always applied in (b), which means that effects applied in sublayer (c), (d), or (e) will not be overwritten; they will be applied to the new value.

As stated in the information, Mirror Entity's effect is in layer B.  I believe that Lord of the Unreal's effect is applied in layer C and is therefore not overridden.

If this is true then Mirror Entity turns all of your creatures into 0/0s with all creature types (including Illusion) then Lord of the Unreal (who is also a 0/0 Illusion at this time applies his static ability and gives all your illusions (including himself) +1/+1 and Hexproof.  In the end, all your creatures become 1/1 with all creature types (including illusion).

If Lord of the Unreal's ability is considered a characteristic defining ability which applies in layer A (which I don't believe it is), then your creatures become 0/0s and die because the Lord's ability would have been overridden.  I don't believe this is the case.

IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)


Let's say you had Lord of the Unreal on the field, and at the same time had a mirror entity. Its ability reads "X: All creatures you control become X/X and gain all creature types." If you paid 0, would they die, or would the +1/+1 from Lord of the Unreal make them all 1/1 and hexproof first? If it's the latter, you can make any creature hexproof for free, if you are willing to leave them at 1/1 for the turn.




In this case Lord of the Unreal would indeed give them +1/+1 and hexproof, however mirror entity would still make all your creatures 0/0 since:
1 it is a creature you control not your opponent so hexproof doesn't help
2 even if the lord would give them shroud instead of hexproof (shroud prevents a creature from being targeted by spells or abilities from any player) mirror entity does not target your creatures (his ability doesn't say target ..... anywhere) therefore it would still make them 0/0
 
note: first your lord and your mirror entity become 0/0 and because of having 0 toughness they die, then all your other illusion will die because they will no longer receive the +1/+1 bonus from the Lord, and thus also become 0/0 and die for the same reason. 

At least this is the way I understand the rules; if I am wrong please feel free to correct me.


Edit: missed your post there Greenbuster but if I am reading it correctly, we are in agreement right?




Not quite.  Mirror Entity's effect sets power and toughness and gives creatures every single type.  Lord of the Unreal's ability modifies power and toughness of creatures of a certain type (illusions).  Power and toughness modifying effects follow a layer system that tells how each is applied.

Here is a short version that is found on the Gatherer page for Mirror Entity:

You apply power/toughness changing effects in a series of sublayers in the following order:
(a) effects from characteristic-defining abilities;
(b) effects that set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value;
(c) effects that modify power and/or toughness but don't set power and/or toughness to a specific number or value;
(d) changes from counters;
(e) effects that switch a creature's power and toughness.

This card's effect is always applied in (b), which means that effects applied in sublayer (c), (d), or (e) will not be overwritten; they will be applied to the new value.

As stated in the information, Mirror Entity's effect is in layer B.  I believe that Lord of the Unreal's effect is applied in layer C and is therefore not overridden.

If this is true then Mirror Entity turns all of your creatures into 0/0s with all creature types (including Illusion) then Lord of the Unreal (who is also a 0/0 Illusion at this time applies his static ability and gives all your illusions (including himself) +1/+1 and Hexproof.  In the end, all your creatures become 1/1 with all creature types (including illusion).

If Lord of the Unreal's ability is considered a characteristic defining ability which applies in layer A (which I don't believe it is), then your creatures become 0/0s and die because the Lord's ability would have been overridden.  I don't believe this is the case.




I believe you are right, I forgot about the fact that Mirror Entity grants all creaturetypes thus making all your creatures illusions. (as I mentioned in my last post) But also: sometimes it is indeed helpful to check the official rules stuff about the layers you just mentioned, although I usually try to do it on a bit more of an intuitive level.

In the game Duels 2012... The blue Illusion deck is easily the best. Between those incredible Bears, Lords, and Mists... throw in some bounce and the game is already over.

The 5/5 Dragon is too risky and rather pointless.

The new Illusion Clone is insane to say the least.

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


If Lord of the Unreal's ability is considered a characteristic defining ability which applies in layer A (which I don't believe it is), then your creatures become 0/0s and die because the Lord's ability would have been overridden.  I don't believe this is the case.



characteristic defining abilities are only the P/T printed on the card for creatures and for tokens the P/T the effect that created them sets it to be.
Though I am a big fan of Illusions and was welcoming the new additions I am a little worried.

Because... well traditionally Blue was the slow but controlling color, playing an agressive weenie strategy with this color seems strange. It feels very Green then, even with the drawbacks on the cheap creatures.

Which brings me to another point: every color now has access to agressive one, two, and three drops in it's own color and has the additional access to the phyrexian mana cards. So you can basically play the same deck in any color you'd like. Doesn't this kinda negate the whole point of the color pie?

Though I am a big fan of Illusions and was welcoming the new additions I am a little worried.

Because... well traditionally Blue was the slow but controlling color, playing an agressive weenie strategy with this color seems strange. It feels very Green then, even with the drawbacks on the cheap creatures.

Which brings me to another point: every color now has access to agressive one, two, and three drops in it's own color and has the additional access to the phyrexian mana cards. So you can basically play the same deck in any color you'd like. Doesn't this kinda negate the whole point of the color pie?




No. And if you think so, you're a suspicious [censored]!
"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)
Although technically, supportteam is correct:

Blue is not traditionally supposed to get efficient weenies of any stripe. These weenies seem a lot like White weenies, and that smacks much of bleed. Maro likes to think bleed is okay, but this is a whole archetype that's bleeding here. Supportteam is incorrect that this feels Green; rather, it is to White and Black I sense these types of creatures should go, especially the latter: they seem very similar to, if not directly torn from, Black's skulkers and suicide builds. I am already concepting a Bloodthirst Vampires curve with what's been shown, and it looks to be a brutal crank up to four. I'm not sure that's healthy. The moment the Lord drops, all of the "anything that targets is removal" argument that favors using the drawback becomes moot. You can't just Trap the Lord to kill the illusions -- only YOU will be able to kill them.

Color bleed in the archetypal sense has been going on a while, with White getting countermagic in the guise of "taxing" (despite being worded "counter target"), Blue getting efficient weenies, Black getting a lot of casual lifegain, Red getting permanent destruction, and Green getting fliers. It used to be you had to dip to get the effect you needed, for it was usually in one other color for that effect.

This is reminding me even more that the Core Set needs multicolor, and badly. There, you can have the effect in the color, granted to cast it with that color also. This means the bleed doesn't occur, and players learn that color pairing gets you the effects in certain colors.

[Legal Disclaimer: the "cards" written below may be used without attribution by any member of Wizards of the Coast to create a card or any associated product in connection with Magic: the Gathering. These are included only to illustrate a point, and I am including spoiler tags to preclude anyone reading this from being forced to see them.]

Show
Vault Spider
Creature - Spider
1/3
Flash
Reach
When [CARDNAME] enters the battlefield, it deals 3 damage to target attacking creature with flying.


It also teaches players what both colors share, instead of having to find an interesting mix, and just deciding it needs to go into just one color:

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Blinkers
Instant
Exile target permanent you control, then return it to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.
"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)
Alas, Krovikan Mists is not going to be in M12. A careful reading of the revealed cards shows Jace's Erasure as 60/249 and Levitation as 61/249. That leaves no room for Krovikan Mists, sadly. The same type of thing can also be used to prove that Flametongue Kavu isn't in the set.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Alas, Krovikan Mists is not going to be in M12. A careful reading of the revealed cards shows Jace's Erasure as 60/249 and Levitation as 61/249. That leaves no room for Krovikan Mists, sadly. The same type of thing can also be used to prove that Flametongue Kavu isn't in the set.

So some of the cards in Duels 2012 with the M12 tag attached are just a tease? I don't want to believe it, but your logic sadly is impeccable. (unless they are now arranging sets by card type)
Alas, Krovikan Mists is not going to be in M12. A careful reading of the revealed cards shows Jace's Erasure as 60/249 and Levitation as 61/249. That leaves no room for Krovikan Mists, sadly. The same type of thing can also be used to prove that Flametongue Kavu isn't in the set.

So some of the cards in Duels 2012 with the M12 tag attached are just a tease? I don't want to believe it, but your logic sadly is impeccable. (unless they are now arranging sets by card type)


I haven't seen any with an 'M12' tag. I have only seen lots with 'D12' for Duels 2012. They just added the cards they thought would result in good gameplay.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I haven't seen any with an 'M12' tag. I have only seen lots with 'D12' for Duels 2012. They just added the cards they thought would result in good gameplay.

Indeed - my bad. I didn't even notice Mox Sapphire in Karn's deck until now.Embarassed

Sorry for the fuzz.
Because people will want to put lord of the unreal in their casual illusion decks where not all the illusions have the skulking ability, eg Krovikan Mist




Yes, and I'd like to Aura Finesse my Zendikons between lands, but "someone might combo this with something, sometime" isn't a reason they add complexity to cards these days. (To say nothing of why an illusion deck would want to include auras and equipment when they kill most of your creature anyway.). Clearly the context of the card is the die-from-targeting illusions, and as such the use of hexproof over shroud really just seems goofy. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if this Lord gave some new/more casual player thought the impression that Illusions don't die from your own targeting.

No, if I had to guess I'd predict that the entire word "shroud" was purged from the set to avoid confusion with hexproof. A little searching would probably help me confirm or disprove this, but I guess we'll see.

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.

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