04/19/2012 TD: "End of the Line"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.

The first card you've drawn on your opponent's turn is (no surprise here) ye olde Terminus.


You miracle it for [one white mana] and set your opponent to shaking a fist at you like a grumpy old man and you are a playful (if mischievous) tyke who just put a baseball through the old man's back window.

Except you can't play it on your opponent's turn without help; it's a Sorcery.

Except you can't play it on your opponent's turn without help; it's a Sorcery.

Yes, you can.  It's part of the Miracle gimmick.

@colvincd
You're wrong about that. From the article on Avacyn Restored mechanics:
"As you draw an instant or sorcery with miracle, if it's the first card you've drawn this turn, you can immediately reveal it. When you do so, you may cast it for its miracle cost. It doesn't matter whether it's an instant or sorcery; if you choose to cast it, you do so right away, even if it's at a time (such as your draw step) when you couldn't normally cast it."

www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...
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Oops, guess I better go read the rules.
        Except you can't play it on your opponent's turn without help; it's a Sorcery.

LoL, if that were the case topdecking most miracle spells during your Draw Phase would be useless. 

This is interesting.  Generally, sweeper effects a case where timing really matters.


With a timewalk, it's great when I have attackers or land drops, but worst case it's free cycling.  When dealing 5 damage to the face, decks that do that are fine whenever it comes.


But a sweeper is not something you can cast "whenever".  However, in past environments with fewer creatures and an abundance of Wraths, they're often promoted to the role of a single-target removal.  And I think that's what they're trying to sculpt here.   Mike's probably right on the 5-8 slots, but definite potential.

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.

Oops, guess I better go read the rules.


Don't feel bad.  Madness was similarly confusing back when it came out.

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.

Prediction: Thought Scour will be a popular card in Miracle decks.  One mana, instant speed drawing is good with Miracle and as a bonus, the effect is great against Ponder in the mirror match.

This is interesting.  Generally, sweeper effects a case where timing really matters.


With a timewalk, it's great when I have attackers or land drops, but worst case it's free cycling.  When dealing 5 damage to the face, decks that do that are fine whenever it comes.


But a sweeper is not something you can cast "whenever".  However, in past environments with fewer creatures and an abundance of Wraths, they're often promoted to the role of a single-target removal.  And I think that's what they're trying to sculpt here.   Mike's probably right on the 5-8 slots, but definite potential.




Yeah, this is exactly why I like this card. It's not an auto-miracle like most of the other miracles.

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.
Geh.  The more miracle cards I see, the more I'm starting to hate the mechanic.  This mechanic does nothing fair.  Players are probably going to be abusing it with instant speed card draw (the UR land in particular seems like a powerful option, since it also lets you trade in any unwanted miracles in your hand), but even if they don't, it just makes a game of Magic more like a coin flip.  It's way too swingy, either amazingly good when you miracle it or amazingly bad when you don't.

I want to play Magic, Wizards, not roulette.  Please get with the program.
Geh.  The more miracle cards I see, the more I'm starting to hate the mechanic.  This mechanic does nothing fair.  Players are probably going to be abusing it with instant speed card draw (the UR land in particular seems like a powerful option, since it also lets you trade in any unwanted miracles in your hand), but even if they don't, it just makes a game of Magic more like a coin flip.  It's way too swingy, either amazingly good when you miracle it or amazingly bad when you don't.

I want to play Magic, Wizards, not roulette.  Please get with the program.


well i already hated miracle when i saw Temporal Mastery, but this does not make me happy at all. Their balance in the miracle cost is totally ruining tempered steel decks or kuldotha red like decks. But in a completely random way, no one knows whats going to happen because someone can hit the jackpot. 
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I do not enjoy the miracle mechanic as well. This terminus card is (randomly) extremely undercosted and makes fast aggro decks completely unplayable against a control player with a bit of luck. Don't forget that the odds can be bent a lot by playing a lot of instant card drawing spells like think twice, so you have 2 first draws during both turns. Having a random Timewalk effect was bad enough, but this basically just kills decks that rely on speed and have to overextend to be competative.

Apart from maybe casual play or multiplayer, I don't see how a very random mechanic can be "fun". MTG is already random enough with the mana screw / flood element and the possibility to topdeck even normal spells. This certainly is a step away from the skill-based element of the game.
While so far this block was awesome to play with and the gothic horror theme was awesome, Avacyn restored seems to be a letdown. The set isn't even out yet and im not looking forward to playing standard with it for an entire season.
I'm liking the miracle mechanic until now, it helps create situations in the game that wouldn't happen until later on, like turn 6 or 7, which is awesome in a casual game sometimes. I'm pretty sure we'll see a lot of those cards in tournaments.
I read this thread as "oh woe is me. It's not fair to aggressive red decks. The game is broken." As a player who goes against usually two to three red decks each FNM and loses most matches due to speed, I say, 'my heart pours purple koolaid for you."
with only the effect of the card i almost correctly guessed the rest of the card (my guess was 4WW mana cost and 1W miracle)
I read this thread as "oh woe is me. It's not fair to aggressive red decks. The game is broken." As a player who goes against usually two to three red decks each FNM and loses most matches due to speed, I say, 'my heart pours purple koolaid for you."



Aggressive red decks dont care too much if your threats are removed, as long as you have enough burn to finish your opponents off. It is more the non-monored decks I am worried about. Potentially powerful general answer cards like Terminus might seem ok to you, but it kills variety in creature  based decks. Even worse: you have to build your deck around the the idea that your opponent can potentially draw this off the top. That chance element doesn't sit well with me, I prefer a skill based game over a luck based one.

Anyways, we have to wait and see if it actually gets played a lot, as it might not even be good enough. Someone with better math skills can probably figure out how reliably a control based deck can draw this when needed.
This card seems especially brutal against the token decks. You can Green Sun's Zenith out a Thrun again...not so much those Lingering Souls dudes.

Oops, guess I better go read the rules.


This is excellent advice for anybody going to the prerelease. :P
I read this thread as "oh woe is me. It's not fair to aggressive red decks. The game is broken." As a player who goes against usually two to three red decks each FNM and loses most matches due to speed, I say, 'my heart pours purple koolaid for you."

It's a lot more amusing when you realize that, not too long ago, everyone was complaining that Wizards of the Coast "only ever pushes aggro strategies" and wanted to make Magic "all about turning dudes sideways".
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I read this thread as "oh woe is me. It's not fair to aggressive red decks. The game is broken." As a player who goes against usually two to three red decks each FNM and loses most matches due to speed, I say, 'my heart pours purple koolaid for you."



Aggressive red decks dont care too much if your threats are removed, as long as you have enough burn to finish your opponents off. It is more the non-monored decks I am worried about. Potentially powerful general answer cards like Terminus might seem ok to you, but it kills variety in creature  based decks. Even worse: you have to build your deck around the the idea that your opponent can potentially draw this off the top. That chance element doesn't sit well with me, I prefer a skill based game over a luck based one.

Anyways, we have to wait and see if it actually gets played a lot, as it might not even be good enough. Someone with better math skills can probably figure out how reliably a control based deck can draw this when needed.



A contol deck won't draw this any more often than it would a regular Wrath; how often they'll be able to miracle it depends on how much card draw they have, whether it's instant speed or sorcery, whether it's draw-one or draw many, etc.  It takes more than good math skills to figure those odds--it requires a bunch of assumptions that may or may not be validated in a few months.  How often you'll want to miracle it is another question altogether.

That being said, I'm somewhat certain (given what I've seen of the set so far) that a control deck not trying to abuse the miracle mechanic wouldn't want this card, except perhaps as Wraths 5-6, although if there's enough good instant-speed card draw then that changes (I haven't seen anything new beyond the UR land, but that could easily change).  Your average control deck isn't that interested in draw-one effects, only rarely wants to Wrath before turn four anyway, and most control decks don't mind waiting an extra turn to cast their big finisher.  This changes a little if aggressive decks backed up by countermagic are a big part of the metagame, so this might well see play out of the sideboard or even main if Delver continues to be the deck to beat, but I'm pretty certain that's an exception rather than the rule.

Scrubs, however, will be blinded by the potential upside, play this card when they probable shouldn't, and randomly beat better players with better decks.  Not often enough to improve their overall record, of course.  Just often enough to be incredibly frustrating when they rip this off the top and get to cast it through my wall of Mana Leaks.  Grumble, grumble.

I read this thread as "oh woe is me. It's not fair to aggressive red decks. The game is broken." As a player who goes against usually two to three red decks each FNM and loses most matches due to speed, I say, 'my heart pours purple koolaid for you."

It's a lot more amusing when you realize that, not too long ago, everyone was complaining that Wizards of the Coast "only ever pushes aggro strategies" and wanted to make Magic "all about turning dudes sideways".



I'd just like to point out that one can both hate Wizards pushing aggro strategies and hate stupid swingy, varience-increasing mechanics.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  Besides, I'm fairly convinced that it's actually better for the aggressive red deck if their opponents are running this card over an actual Wrath.  If I'm playing aggro red, I'd much rather my opponent miracle-Wrath on turns 1 or 2 than actual-Wrath on turn 4 under most circumstances, not to mention that seeing this card in the opening hand should be nearly equivalent to a mulligan against a fast red deck.
I'd just like to point out that one can both hate Wizards pushing aggro strategies and hate stupid swingy, varience-increasing mechanics.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

I know, and I agree. They've pushed creatures too far, and I hate Miracle. However, the irony is that people complain when aggro is the "only strategy", and there's "no way to beat it". Then along comes a way to beat it, and everyone complains that it's hosing aggro. That's all I meant.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I'd just like to point out that one can both hate Wizards pushing aggro strategies and hate stupid swingy, varience-increasing mechanics.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

I know, and I agree. They've pushed creatures too far, and I hate Miracle. However, the irony is that people complain when aggro is the "only strategy", and there's "no way to beat it". Then along comes a way to beat it, and everyone complains that it's hosing aggro. That's all I meant.



Ah, okay, we're in agreement, then.  Mostly at least.  The thing is, I really don't see Terminus actually being that good against aggro.  It's great when Miracled against aggro-control (i.e., fish, i.e., cheap creatures backed up by counterspells), in the sense that you'd want to miracle it pretty much every turn of the game, assuming they've played a 1-drop on turn 1.

But if the opponent drops a turn 1 Fireslinger or turn 1 Lavamancer, miracling this turn 2 is probably just worse than drawing a good-old-fashioned 4-mana Wrath.  You'll still miracle it if you draw it, because waiting until turn six just isn't an option, but you'd probably rather have the Wrath in this case.  I can see playing a couple of these over a couple of Wraths, because then the chance of randomly mulling to six and the chance of dead-drawing a couple of these in a row is significantly reduced, but any control deck that thinks it'll jam four of these to improve its game against aggro is probably in for a rude awakening.  It's even worse against non-red aggro decks (again, apart from fish), because the early damage you take just isn't that significant when they don't have burn to seal the deal post-Wrath.
I don't like the interaction with instant speed draw. I'd much rather it was only the first card on your own turn.

Otherwise I like miracle. Yes it's a random mechanic. But sometimes random can be fun. Temporal Mastery is definitely the one I like least, because it's so much more automatic than End of the Line, which still requires some thought. 
I don't like the interaction with instant speed draw. I'd much rather it was only the first card on your own turn.

Otherwise I like miracle. Yes it's a random mechanic. But sometimes random can be fun. Temporal Mastery is definitely the one I like least, because it's so much more automatic than End of the Line, which still requires some thought. 


i agree on the random is fun part, but not in a way miracle does:
Grip of Chaos is fun, coz after you land it, it makes everything random without totally trowing the game around*, running in a miracle Temporal Mastery is totally trowing the game around, when you were in a race for example, you will be winning after the Temp Mast. Even if you were (far) behind.
With Grip of Chaos, not so sure.
So random is fun when it is just random, when it is going to be incredible powerfull or completely useless (like miracle, very undercosted miracle cost versus quit overcosted 'normal' cost) it is just no fun.

 
*Grip of Chaos sure trows the game around in a way that the game looks different after it, but not in a way that an unwinnable postion is going to be the winner for sure.
Personally I love the card.  It's fun for casual and also good enough for constructed.  I think it's being vastly underrated as well.  Even as a 5-6 DoJ in a control deck, specifically to beat things like Thrun and avoid sending creatures to the gy, it's fine.  But the miracle aspect of it is being very underrated. The point is not merely that you can cast it early, or get around mana leak.  The point is that you can cost it for W at a time when you normally be paying 2WW AND play something else the same turn.  Imagine playing against a creature deck, drawing this, and playing something like Sorin or Tamiyo on the same turn, or even just casting it for miracle and keeping counter mana up.  There's no way the opponent recovers from this sequence.  Even a modicum of manipulation like Ponder helps immensely in getting the miracle to work.  It's just very fun and very solid. 
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