12/08/2011 FtL: "List-o-Mania"

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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 don't think Garruk, the Veil-Cursed is allowed to be played in that Commander deck.

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I'm torn between being happy that I was mentioned in FtL two weeks in a row and being upset that one of Noel's favorite things about New Phyrexia is "a direct griefing vision".
I don't think Garruk, the Veil-Cursed is allowed to be played in that Commander deck.


Garruk, the Veil-Cursed's color identity is green, as shown by his mana cost and lack of other color symbols in his text. He is allowed to be in that deck, last I checked, anyway. The fact that he becomes black afterward has no affect on deck building, as it is a mono green card at all times, except when the permanent itself flips transforms.

Also,

Yo Dawg, I heard you like lists, so we put lists in your lists so you can list while you list.



Listception
MTG Rules Advisor Autocarding helps a lot -> [c]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/c] = Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas "But keep in mind when the internet dies with the electrical system in 2012, you can still play paper magic, while digital cards will have gone the way of the dodo. In the post apocalyptic world, magic cards will be our currency!" - Samot, explaining to someone the ramifications of switching to MTGO!
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I don't think Garruk, the Veil-Cursed is allowed to be played in that Commander deck.


Garruk, the Veil-Cursed's color identity is green



Actually his color identity is green black, here's the relevant rule;

903.4c The back face of a double-faced card (see rule 711) is included when determining a card's color identity.
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The Story of My Love
79035425 wrote:
BURSTING WITH VIGOR!
Trolljuju wiped the sweat from his brow as he continued his slow trudge up the snowy mountain. The wind was strong and fiercely cold, but he pressed against it. Juju knew Beast Engine was somewhere at the peak, waiting for him. But this was not a matter of confronting the forces of nature themselves; that had been accomplished long before, and was now too easy to maintain the manly man's interest. Today, Beast Engine was here waiting for a friend. Trolljuju's mind drifted from his appointment to thoughts of Beast Engine's manliness. The only man in history to punch the fossilized remains of a dinosaur back to life just to punch it to death again. The man who deflected bullets with his pectoral muscles during his daily assassination attempts. The man who cured cancer with a serum made from pure crystalized virility. The man who burst with vigor. Not just a man but a Man- the manliest of all men. A god of masculinity in physical form. Trolljuju's heart fluttered at the memory of him and lightened his steps as he pressed on. Suddenly, he was shaken from his reverie by a deep, powerful rumble in the mountain that shook him to his core. Instinctively, he threw himself to the ground just before the slope ahead of him exploded in a fiery wall of light and heat. So great was the force that the entire upper section of the mountain was vaproized. It scorched Juju's coat, then rose on the air to drift far away, a plume of white-hot ash. When Trolljuju lifted his head to see what was left behind, he beheld a wide, perfectly flat stone plateau, and in the distance he could see a muscular figure, his foot still held up from the kick. There was no doubt it was Beast Engine. As soon as the ground beneath him cooled, Juju cast his heavy pack aside and ran. As the figure grew with closeness, he could see Beast Engine was nude, as was expected. The snow that fell near him turned to a thin wall of steam, looking to Trolljuju's eyes like a barrier. Engine was too strong, too manly to occupy the same space as the ordinary universe. He lived in a world all his own. But fortunately for Juju, it was only an illusion. He ran at full speed into Engine, who caught him with both arms and effortlessly twirled with him, resting with Juju dipped low to the ground in Engine's arms. "Beast Engine, my love," Trolljuju breathed, sturck with awe at Engine's masculine beauty despite the familiarity of his face. Engine just smiled, radiating from every inch of him with incredible strength, yet gentle warmth. "It's been so long, Juju. I've missed you." "Forgive me. I lost contact with you while you were boxing with Death to win back and consume the soul of Theodore Roosevelt. But now I'm here..." Juju lifted one tentative hand to Engine's face, but he pulled away. "You know I cannot give you what you seek. Were we to make love, your body would be destroyed by the force." "I know, of course I would," Juju responded, tears in his eyes. "May I have, at least, one kiss?" "Very well. For you, my friend." Slowly, gingerly, they came closer. But the moment their lips met, a flood of unbridled manliness rushed into Trolljuju, body and soul, and every cell in his body exploded. Beast Engine fell to his knees, and in his grief, he wept. The tears that fell from his face burned deep into the rock beneath him. But slowly, his sorrow turned to conviction. He beat the crap out of Death once. He could do it again.
Yikes! There was a shocking moment for me in that article, and it didn't come from Innistrad.

When I scrolled down the M12 list, I caught a glimpse of "no way he's back!!"


But it was only



and not

I love Sundial of the Infinite for it's complete weird effect. I so loved what Noel deCordova did in ruminated.
I take issue with Blightsteel Colossus being in any top ten list ever, aside from perhaps a top ten list of cards that shouldn't have been printed.
I too am slightly disturbed by the comment about the "direct griefing vision." I really don't think Wizards had this in mind. They don't set out to make cards that scream, "Play me if you want to lose all your friends." That's a bit dramatic, but the point is relevant. If you're cheating Blightsteel out into play (with obviously more ways to do this in non-standard formats), for instance, with the sole purpose of ending a game early and jumping up and down saying "I beat you all!" then I don't think Wizards is on your side of embracing the game. I'm a big proponent of decks being enjoyable for everyone involved. So is that really what New Phyrexia is about? Griefing opponents?

My understanding of griefing is pretty straight-forward: making your opponents dread playing against you. It's like playing Leyline of the Void in opening hand and then dropping a Helm of Obedience. It ends the game immediately. Sure, the cards interact really well with each other, but griefing is all about making your opponent unable to respond, unable to play, unable to enjoy any part of the game. That's not what Magic ought to be about.
As long as you win shortly after and can start a new game, then i don't see the big problem with "griefing"... the long and grindy victories are by far the worst for an opponent and friend. 
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As long as you win shortly after and can start a new game, then i don't see the big problem with "griefing"... the long and grindy victories are by far the worst for an opponent and friend. 

Yeah.
"Oops I win! Another game?" is far less tedious than "you just sit there while I win twenty turns from now."

Did anyone else notice that Noel said Rage Extractor was the only card with the Phyrexian mana symbol in its text and then proceded to use in the next deck Norn's Annex, another card with the Phyrexian mana symbol in its text?


Also, what happened to the contest? 

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This is the kind of article I read this column for! Please feel free to make this a mainstay for the end of the year!
Did anyone else notice that Noel said Rage Extractor was the only card with the Phyrexian mana symbol in its text and then proceded to use in the next deck Norn's Annex, another card with the Phyrexian mana symbol in its text?
 


I think he meant "uncolored" phyrexian mana symbol.
I don't think Garruk, the Veil-Cursed is allowed to be played in that Commander deck.


Garruk, the Veil-Cursed's color identity is green



Actually his color identity is green black, here's the relevant rule; 903.4c The back face of a double-faced card (see rule 711) is included when determining a card's color identity.


Oh, wasn't aware of that. Last time I asked, I was told it was as I had wrongfully stated. Thanks for catching that for me.

MTG Rules Advisor Autocarding helps a lot -> [c]Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas[/c] = Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas "But keep in mind when the internet dies with the electrical system in 2012, you can still play paper magic, while digital cards will have gone the way of the dodo. In the post apocalyptic world, magic cards will be our currency!" - Samot, explaining to someone the ramifications of switching to MTGO!
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
Oh, wasn't aware of that. Last time I asked, I was told it was as I had wrongfully stated. Thanks for catching that for me.

Uh oh, guys, did Garruk just get Mtenda Lion'd?

New Phyrexia was explicitly stated on this site to have a "griefer" vision. Cards like Norn's Annex, Praetor's Grasp and all the lifeloss riders are meant to make life unpleasant for the opponent. Given all of which, and given that I make it a big priority to try to make my decks lead to games that are as fun as possible for both players, I'm surprised I like New Phyrexia as much as I do. I guess perhaps they just didn't really make it particularly griefer-y. (Certainly not as much as, say, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir in combination with more or less anything ever.)


On a different note: "nucking futs"? On a family site? Really, Kelly.

I guess perhaps they just didn't really make it particularly griefer-y.

Half-assed griefing isn't griefing at all.

I never noticed the Melira/Persist interaction before; it's very appropriate and makes me wish the Mirrans had gotten Persist in NP.
Phyrexian Metamorph does NOT obsolete Sculpting Steel, though it does do so to Clone (ignoring the fact that Clone can't be Shattered and Sculpting Steel cant' be Pyroblasted).  Sculpting Steel costs 3 mana; Metamorph costs 3 mana and 2 life (unless you can pay blue and wait a turn).  The ability to copy a nonartifact creature is worth that extra cost, but it IS an extra cost.  Decks that mostly want to copy artifacts are probably still better off with Sculpting Steel.
I despise converted-mana-cost-matters mechanics for being impossible to justify in flavor, and so it puzzles me to see Noel liking them, as he's usually pretty Vorthos for a Johnny.  But both of the cards he cites (Birthing Pod and Mindshrieker) are quite excellent in spite of their flavor dubiousness.
Chaos Warp is utterly wasted on Commander; I can't wait for it to become a real card.  Riku, Nin and Animar would also be nice to have as normal releases.  However Ruhan is an utter abomination in duels; he really should have been designed differently.  I think making him have P/T equal to twice the number of players in the game or something would have been far preferable; in a duel he'd be a 4/4 for 4 mana in three colors that normally don't get such, but that's pretty reasonable by comparison to Lightning Angel.  In 3-player he'd be a little smaller than he is now, in 4-player he'd be a little bigger, and in giant games he'd get utterly nuts but would be hilariously unpredictable, exactly as he should be.  (Meanwhile given that the Riku commander deck is supposed to break things, I'm terribly disappointed it didn't have the name "Broken Mirrors", or any name for that matter.)
When I worked on M12 I was utterly delighted upon first reading Warstorm Surge; the art description specifically said it was on Valla and I got a huge kick out of that fact.  Since Future Sight and Planechase came out, Magic has really felt to me as though it has a real setting unto itself, instead of just a bunch of individual settings that cross over with each other.  Seeing all these planes out there which haven't had a whole block dedicated to them, but someday could, really thrills me and I am always hoping they'll move more in this direction with some future release.  Hunter's Insight is also a personal favorite, being far and away my choice out of all the cards that got my writing in both sets.
I still maintain that Infinity Tree shouldn't exist just because there's no proper way of tracking its effect outside of MTGO.  Permanent effects should always have counters or Auras or something associated with them; the game really shouldn't require anyone to remember anything other than whose turn it is.  I always have this fear that I'm going to end up playing an important game, then have a fire drill or something where the building gets evacuated and when we go back to the game we can't figure out what something was because we don't remember some info that the game requires us to.  Unrealistic, perhaps, but I still feel that the game should avoid this at all costs.
In the Maniac deck, I don't know why Spoils of the Vault might be preferable to Ad Nauseum.  When you can't lose the game, Ad Nauseum just says "Draw your deck", while Spoils says "Exile your entire deck unless you accidentally name a card which was actually in your deck" (not that it should ever be hard to name "Black Lotus" or "Chaos Confetti" or something that you couldn't possibly have, but still).  The only advantage I see to Spoils is that it's cheap, and I guess that's enough if you want to win ASAP, but me I'd always rather play Ad Nauseum in this deck.  I might actually cast it straight if I didn't have the Maniac in play or an Angel's Grace to cast, whereas I don't know if I would ever cast Spoils under any circumstances (if I could stack my deck I would have better ways of drawing a card, and otherwise it's just far too dangerous).
So is that really what New Phyrexia is about? Griefing opponents?


Not quite, but it's close enough to call, kinda depending on how you define griefing.  As one of the FT writers for NP I was privy to some of what they were trying to do, as well as to what they actually did.  This set was meant to pay off the flavor of Phyrexia's conquest, and so it was meant to create a somewhat uncomfortable experience, one that's not entirely fun, for the same reason that a horror movie director doesn't want people to be entirely happy while watching his movie.  It's meant to have some aspects that the experiencer enjoys, but some of those aspects specifically require that other aspects NOT be enjoyable.  NP is certainly not supposed to make you wish you'd never sat down to play, but it is intended to make you squirm a little.  The cards are crueler than they would normally be for the same reason they were low-key and pleasant in Lorwyn (I am not speaking of planeswalkers or Cryptic Command here of course, as usual "if your theme's not at common it's not your theme" applies).  The set is intended to create an experience, and in this one the experience is meant to be a feeling of "uh oh, I'm in serious trouble here".  When your planeswalker warps into NP, he's intentionally stepping into a place where serious danger exists, and when you sit down to play against someone running an NP deck, you're intentionally exposing yourself to the risk of being griefed.  But there are many reasons you might face that risk, even if it's almost a certainty.
This is the kind of article I read this column for! Please feel free to make this a mainstay for the end of the year!


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As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
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