11/03/2011 FtL: "Prehistoric"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's From the Lab, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I fail to see how "Prehistoric" wouldn't instantly become "The best vintage decks of 2002".
I actually have a deck which is very similar to the first deck you built, though I use CITP and sacrifice abilities (Spore Frog, Hunting Moa and Symbiotic Elf are the best cards) and Elvish Soultiller instead of Nantuko Tracer. I can't believe you missed the Soultiller (though, to be honest, I can't believe I missed the Tracer).
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.
@Qmark: Presumably, like Modern, Prehistoric has a banlist.

On topic, I'd say Anger is better of a choice than Fervor, since you still have to cast the fervor somehow, and that's assuming they don't have counterspell/ enchantment removal. Of course, they could be packing graveyard removal, but at least you don't waste 3 mana with Anger.

As for the ixidor deck, I used to do this with Donate, Backslide and Break Open and a pair of isochron scepters. Sometimes Mirrodin doesn't seem right in "modern."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Weaver of Lies can't target other Weaver of Lies. "...turn any number of creatures with morph OTHER THAN WEAVER OF LIES face down". The wording implies that not only can it not target itself, but any other card that has the name Weaver of Lies. This would break the infinite combo of the inception deck and thus the whole deck almost entirely minus the decent average power of the creatures. 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Weaver of Lies can't target other Weaver of Lies. "...turn any number of creatures with morph OTHER THAN WEAVER OF LIES face down". The wording implies that not only can it not target itself, but any other card that has the name Weaver of Lies. This would break the infinite combo of the inception deck and thus the whole deck almost entirely minus the decent average power of the creatures. 



Edit:

201.4. Text that refers to the object it's on by name means just that particular object and not any other objects with that name, regardless of any name changes caused by game effects.
Thanks for clearing that up MtFrostM
On topic, I'd say Anger is better of a choice than Fervor

Anger isn't legal in Prehistoric.

Edit: Neither is Chromeshell Crab in Noel's last deck, if my assumption of having never been printed in modern cardframe was correct.
On topic, I'd say Anger is better of a choice than Fervor

Anger isn't legal in Prehistoric.

Edit: Neither is Chromeshell Crab in Noel's last deck, if my assumption of having never been printed in modern cardframe was correct.


Presumably that's "Never in an actual set". Otherwise you lose way too many cards to various side products made over the past few years.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)

The Nantuko Tracer-Verdant Succession combo isn't very original. I'm pretty sure I remember reading about it on magicthegathering.com back when Judgment was recently released.


It's fun to have all the old-face cards inline in this article. It's a subtle demonstration of the contrast Noel is highlighting.


It also makes me realise how pretty Krosan Restorer is. I remember her as a combo piece, but I'd never twigged to her as a really attractively drawn lady before.

Verdant Succession demands Vigor!



Not when your wincon is ghitu fire or a bunch of 1/1's.

If you are going to go infinite with Squirrel Nest do it right:

Intruder Alarm, Squirrel Nest and Life (Life\Death) or anything that makes all your lands into creatures. Infinite mana and squirrels. For fun throw in some Tims (inifinite damage), Cephalid Looters (dig for Tims and Orbs, or just mill your opponent [be careful not to give them something to ruin your fun]), Altar of Dementia (actual milling) and Dispersing Orbs (to bounce Platinum Angel with Shield of Kaldra, Worship with a hexproof creature, or other anti-win cards). And if you want a 2 card combo just go with Intruder Alarm and Kazandu Tuskcaller.
If you are going to go infinite with Squirrel Nest do it right:

Intruder Alarm, Squirrel Nest and Life (Life\Death) or anything that makes all your lands into creatures. Infinite mana and squirrels. For fun throw in some Tims (inifinite damage), Cephalid Looters (dig for Tims and Orbs, or just mill your opponent [be careful not to give them something to ruin your fun]), Altar of Dementia (actual milling) and Dispersing Orbs (to bounce Platinum Angel with Shield of Kaldra, Worship with a hexproof creature, or other anti-win cards). And if you want a 2 card combo just go with Intruder Alarm and Kazandu Tuskcaller.



It seems all those combos are simply worse than Squirrel Nest + Earthcraft.

But no matter what you've arbitrarily chosen as the "right" way to combo with Squirrel Nest, it's beside the point. The whole purpose of "Psychic Squirrels" was to abuse Telekinetic Bonds.


It seems all those combos are simply worse than Squirrel Nest + Earthcraft.

But no matter what you've arbitrarily chosen as the "right" way to combo with Squirrel Nest, it's beside the point. The whole purpose of "Psychic Squirrels" was to abuse Telekinetic Bonds.




With the earthcraft combo you need to have a way to used the tapped squirrels otherwise they are worthless (Goblin Bombardment or Altar of Dementia would work). I like the ability some of the cards I listed have to deal with different scenarios that can come up. Options are good.

"Psychic Squirrels" just feels to ... clunky. It's a 4 card combo and you have to have threshold. One of the problems with the deck is that it isn't infinite like he claims, it is limited to the number of cards in your deck. You have to discard a card everytime you activate the combo.

It just seems like to many thing could go wrong while you are basically milling yourself to get squirrels. Sandstorm, Evacuation, etc.

Don't get me wrong it is a good idea, it just needs tweaking. Add in Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to shuffle your library and graveyard. Of course that would ruin the pre-8th edition idea.
Attacking with a billion squirrel tokens the turn following their creation usually works, as the two pieces of the combo are pretty quick to cast. If the opponent kills the tokens, you can still make more and demand another board wipe. Adding a third card can make the kill instantaneous, but it's not critical. If you do go the extra mile, that puts the combo right up there with the others mentioned in regards to total number of pieces.

Anyway, I'm not trying to say that I think Psychic Squirrels isn't clunky -- it's probably only going to work in the most casual of kitchen tables. I'm saying that while there are a lot better things to be done with Earthcraft, there's little much else that can be done with Telekinetic Bonds. If you take out the Bonds you could make a stronger deck, but you would lose the spirit of the challenge.
Don't get me wrong it is a good idea, it just needs tweaking. Add in Emrakul, the Aeons Torn to shuffle your library and graveyard. Of course that would ruin the pre-8th edition idea.



Gaea's Blessing sort of qualifies... it was time shifted in Time Spiral, but still has the old frame...

I would love to see your original list for this morph deck Noel.

Man, I'm having so much fun with these. Thanks for the visions, Wizards and Noel!


Successful Trace
Many planeswalkers with an affinity for green mana heed what they hear as the call of nature's balance. Some feel commanded to beat back the encroachments of civilization upon the beleaguered innocence of Gaea's great work. They wage a never-ending guerrilla war of grim resistance against civilized invaders from beneath the eaves of wood and crag and stalk urban travelers in merciless hunts from the deepest shadows of the wilderness. Others believe the universe to already be in balance and that their responsibility is simply to maintain the status quo, letting neither village nor vale overwhelm the other in their equally righteous and selfish pursuits of growth. Still others see nature as the aggressor and devote their lives to helping sentient races carve out sustainable footholds in some of the most hostile environments in the multiverse.


This planeswalker, for example, spends his life traveling from plane to plane, searching for new realms, yet untouched, to which to bring a balancing caress of agriculture and settlement. In his wake he summons small communities of pioneering grange homesteaders and diligent farmhands to occupy the empty woodlands and the spare hillcountries of the planes he finds.


Integrating a brand new trophic level into an alien ecosystem, whole cloth, is no easy task. But this planeswalker has already dedicated lifetimes to his sacred mission and has learned secrets about the balance struck between growth, death and rebirth that many others would consider abominable, yet that he knows are often necessary. A cupped handful of blood, taken in the proper rite, can fertilize a dozen saplings, which can then give root to an entire blossoming orchard, which can, in turn, feed a whole thriving village, which can raise a powerful, young druid who can perform the rite of fertility and whose successors can, eventually, when the planeswalker returns once more, guide their people on the journey to another plane to begin the cycle anew.


Psychic Squirrels
Planeswalkers, by nature, are curious and driven to discovery; they couldn't survive their gift otherwise. But some have obsessions that make even other planeswalkers look askance. This enchantress, for example, is driven by an overwhelming compulsion to investigate the relationship between the warming climate of her current home, a young-growth forest in the rocky shadows of a receding glacier, and the intense bursts of mana which occasionally flare from the jumbled terrain around her.


She is assisted in her work by the dominant sentient species in the area, a breed of arboreal mammals which would remind the planeswalker of nothing so much as anthropomorphic squirrels if squirrels had only existed on any of the planes that she had ever visited before. An independent, druidic order loosely weaves together the society of the squirrel tribes and this planeswalker's fervor for the natural beauty and inherent power of the wide glacial valley has affected the order such that its druids have become her most committed devotees. The druids perceive the planeswalker as something between a monomaniacal, yet deeply insightful, high-priestess and an inscrutable, yet mostly benevolent, nature goddess. The planeswalker perceives the squirrels as uniquely skilled at the manipulation of the mana overflowing the banks of the rivers and the boughs of the trees of their woodland home.


They have also been very helpful to the planeswalker's work by revealing to her something of the limited telekinesis that their people possess. Building off of the curious telekinetic bonds that the druids form with the world around them and drawing upon her own natural gifts at enchantment, the planeswalker has created a functional, if still unrefined, enchantment to grant herself a limited form of telekinesis with which she, too, can practice the art. Energized by her compulsive need to discover and empowered by her growing telekinetic skills, she continues to delve ever more deeply into the mysteries of the mana flares which first drew her to her boreal home for this turn of the ages.


Dream Is Collapsing (Modified Version)
Although many planeswalkers are revered as masters and teachers of unrivaled power by lesser mages, even the wisest, most erudite sages of the multiverse had to gain their knowledge somewhere. More often than might be expected, that happens to be at the side of sparkless, yet still singularly gifted, wizards.


This planeswalker has spent the last couple of decades studying in the remote island home of a brilliant mage whose mastery over the complicated art of transfiguration allows him to seemingly resculpt reality at will. His power is exceptional to a degree which most planeswalkers would envy as the hungry wolf envies the lamb.


This planeswalker has been collaborating with him on a combinatorial method of summoning living beings involving supraplanar pneumanætheric transference followed by material transfiguration of the physical manifestation of the æthereal rift. In short, they have discovered a way to trap inside a magically-shaped, clay vessel the energies of the transplanar portal through which a summoned creature passes. This vessel is animated by those energies and imbued with the essence or soul of the creature being summoned. They can then transfigure the magically animated vessel, which is usually shaped into a spider-like form that is particularly adept at receiving and trapping ætheric energy, into the original form of the creature being summoned or, at times, into something similar but slightly elaborated upon.


They have discovered that this gives them two potential benefits. In many cases it makes the summoning process cheaper in terms of the amount of mana needed to be channeled at any one time, if not necessarily in terms of the ultimate quantities of mana required. In addition, summoning only the spiritual energies of a creature, instead of its entire physical form, often simplifies some of the most complicated and potentially dangerous aspects of conjuring living beings. By then transfiguring, or morphing, the clay shell (admittedly an extremely complicated process itself, some might say more even complicated than simply conjuring the creature would be), they can make small modifications to the final form of the creature which can, occasionally, permit it powers or abilities which it otherwise would have lacked through a traditional summoning.


Feeling comfortable with the fundamental precepts of their new discipline, the two wizards have now turned to even more avant-garde experiments. The mortal wizard is quite taken with the idea of the transfiguration of living beings back into one of their clay vessels, a more difficult proposition than it sounds. The planeswalker, however, rather exasperated with the banality of his colleague's interests, is more interested in the curious chronokenonic effect that results from the interaction of a certain goblin species with the magical clay of their vessels during the transfiguration process. The local weft of time and space around the vessel is warped radically whenever morphed into one of these goblins and the planeswalker sees very promising uses for this unique property. He always eagerly keeps his colleague appraised of his latest findings, or at least he does whenever he finally shows back up on the island again after one of his sudden, long disappearances.