07/10/2012 RC: "I Challenge You!"

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

I keep asking myself the same question about all the decks I just saw, "Why not just kill the opponent?"
I do not think that deck is nearly consistent enough to stick a Battle of Wits. And it definitely won't be post-rotation.

Now you might say "Well, the deck can win without the Battle." To which I reply: "Yes, it could. And you could be a lot more consistent about it if you cut down to 60 cards and lose the Battle. Not to mention the shuffling gets much easier." So seriously, why play Battle of Wits?
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So seriously, why play Battle of Wits?


Because it's fun! And actually winning with Battle of Wits feels graeat. I think it is a matter of person, some people just enjoy some things that might look stupid or useless to others... doesnt mean they cant try playing with them. Personally, I'd rather lose 9 games out of 10 with a deck I like rather than win 10 out of 10 with one I do not.

That is an amazing use of Distant Memories! I missed out on the scars block completely, and one Mirrodin Besieged booster pack is all I experienced from it. And you guessed it, I opened a Distant Memories and was kind of gutted at how bad it was (probably the worst rare in the set). But the use in a battle of wits deck is ingenous and I really liked it!

Also, Gavin, I'd include a full set of Elixir of Immortality in the deck. If you're against a mill deck or if you play your mind unbound and it gets too many counters, it'd create situations where you just win upon drawing it. 5 life for a slow control deck isnt too bad either. Even better if you also go the trinket mage route.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
So seriously, why play Battle of Wits?


Because it's fun! And actually winning with Battle of Wits feels graeat. I think it is a matter of person, some people just enjoy some things that might look stupid or useless to others... doesnt mean they cant try playing with them. Personally, I'd rather lose 9 games out of 10 with a deck I like rather than win 10 out of 10 with one I do not.

I hear you. I do enjoy playing different types of decks, and would rather have fun than win all the time. However, Battle of Wits turns me off for a few reasons:

1) The shuffling. Seriously, this is the biggest reason I dislike the card.
2) It's a combo card that has to be played in an inconsistent deck. Combo decks really want consistency.
3) It asks for a lot of tutoring to work. Which means, you guessed it, shuffling. Lots of shuffling.
4) The more cards I have to put in a deck, the more expensive the deck. Also, sleeves.
5) All the time it takes shuffling actually lessens your opponent's fun. I very much dislike playing when my opponent is not having fun.

But okay. Some people do like it. I shouldn't have complained, since the card (and the article) weren't made for me. Sorry everyone, didn't mean to hate. It's a cool card; live the dream. Just remember: Shuffle responsibly!
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After Gavin mentioned Distant Memories' downside of thinning the deck of a battle my first thought was, does it have to? Just by looking at your deck your opponent can guess the shannanigans you're trying to pull (and should know after the first game). They know they can't let you have battle so they will give you the three cards. Wouldn't it be better to just grab a nonessential card?
After Gavin mentioned Distant Memories' downside of thinning the deck of a battle my first thought was, does it have to? Just by looking at your deck your opponent can guess the shannanigans you're trying to pull (and should know after the first game). They know they can't let you have battle so they will give you the three cards. Wouldn't it be better to just grab a nonessential card?


From the official rulings of Distant Memories:
6/1/2011 The card is exiled face up. Each opponent will know what the card is when deciding whether to have you put it in your hand.


So if you do that, they'll just give you the card and you'd end up having spent 4 mana to draw a card you don't even need.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
I think it looks fun, but there' s a couple of obvious small mistakes.  You forgot about murder, and you certainly wouldn't run ever Victim of Night instead, but that's obviously just an oversight.

You should never, ever use distant memories to grab battle of wits.  That's just bad advice because it's a poor exchange for drawing three.  Use it to grab a tutor which will still absolutely gurantee it gets exciled anyway whithout thinning out the battle of wits, or grab some monster smash bomb card that can represent a separate win condition.  That way you're happy if they let you keep it and happy if they don't.
Nice to finally be an honorable mention. I love you Bolas!

But Grabbing a Battle with distant memories is suicide. As Gavin Said, everything is a singleton so you practically just exiled your only battle. Grab a tutor instead.

And please, please, please make this budget column a regular thing. Without boab, there needs to be a little bit of budget on magic.com, wizards seemed to be admiting competitive decks needed to be uber-expensive.

Edit:Oops, while I was tweaking my own numbers, seems I left of a few cards by accident. For those out there wondering, It should be the fourth Blacksz and another Tezzeret.
Yeah, I have to say, Battle looks a lot weaker than it did last time around when we had Brainspoil, Gifts Ungiven, Enduring Ideal, and way better draw spells. (Not that it was especially good last time either, but it was a lot closer.)

Here's hoping for some good tutors in RTR I guess. The fact that they repeated BoW when they did makes me wonder if transmute is coming back, but this suggests it's unlikely.
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Shouldn't the Faith's Reward deck have Silverskin Armor or Liquimetal Coating? That way you can make Archaeomancer an artifact so you can sac-and-return the Faith's Reward any number of times even if you don't find a Phyrexian Metamorph. 
Yeah, I have to say, Battle looks a lot weaker than it did last time around when we had Brainspoil, Gifts Ungiven, Enduring Ideal, and way better draw spells. (Not that it was especially good last time either, but it was a lot closer.)

Here's hoping for some good tutors in RTR I guess. The fact that they repeated BoW when they did makes me wonder if transmute is coming back, but this suggests it's unlikely.

Dimir. In Return to ravnica. I highly doubt they will not return transmute there if they return the other guild mechanics. They might make all new ones though.

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

On Distant Memories: I agree that there are situations where Memoriesing for a Tutor is better. When the game is firmly under control, I would do so.

However, if you Memories for a tutor it will probably take three more turns to win the game. On turn four, sometimes you will just want to draw three cards so you can fend off an assault and you won't have the time to fool around with Memories for tutor, tutor for Battle, Battle.

It doesn't really reduce your odds that badly. If you take a Battle out of your deck instead of a tutor, then that same card slot is occupied by a tutor later on. While it reduces the number of Battles, it doesn't reduce the number of ways to find Battle. Considering most often I just want the guaranteed three cards (remember: we're just a control deck) searching for Battle is often correct.

Of course, the bottom line is make the best play for the situation you're in and for what you predict your opponent will do. That's always the right choice.  

I think it looks fun, but there' s a couple of obvious small mistakes.  You forgot about murder, and you certainly wouldn't run ever Victim of Night instead, but that's obviously just an oversight.



To clarify, this actually wasn't an oversight. I chose Victim because I wanted additional cards that could kill a creature on turn two. I did look at Murder, but surviving the early game is crucial for this deck and one mana makes a gigantic difference.
Do I still get the 200 Gavin points even if I could win quicker some other way, but I have the game so firmly under control at the moment that I choose to restart it?

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

But Grabbing a Battle with distant memories is suicide. As Gavin Said, everything is a singleton so you practically just exiled your only battle. Grab a tutor instead.



More like you practically just exiled 1/4 of your only Battle, if we're following the singleton analogy (which we shouldn't). I like the idea of choosing a tutor instead, BUT any tutor you draw is going to turn into a BoW anyway so I wouldn't say you come out too far ahead or behind either way. The nice part about a tutor getting exiled instead is that those things eat up an extra turn before you can stick BoW.

I tested out a Standard BoW deck this weekend online, and it's just SO FUN to stick one and win with it. Mine wasn't as fully developed as Gavin's, but even given that it did halfway decent. There wre times where I just didn't draw what I needed and ran on fumes til I died, but that experience is not unique to this deck.

It IS sad to be losing Diabolic Tutor in just a few months though, that thing was just huge in testing.
Dimir. In Return to ravnica. I highly doubt they will not return transmute there if they return the other guild mechanics. They might make all new ones though.



Given MaRo's comments about transmute, I would set its odds of returning at roughly zero.
I think it looks fun, but there' s a couple of obvious small mistakes.  You forgot about murder, and you certainly wouldn't run ever Victim of Night instead, but that's obviously just an oversight.



To clarify, this actually wasn't an oversight. I chose Victim because I wanted additional cards that could kill a creature on turn two. I did look at Murder, but surviving the early game is crucial for this deck and one mana makes a gigantic difference.

Gavin is right. During Zendikar, I played a Bloodchief Ascension deck that tried out both Hideous End and Doom Blade, and I can definitely say that the third mana is a humongous drawback. Even though Hideous End helped get my win condition online, I still found myself wanting Doom Blade almost every time. Murder's ability to hit Black creatures just isn't worth costing more. Or, in this case, the fact that Victim of Night doesn't hit those three tribes, but Murder does, still isn't enough to sway it in Murder's favor.
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Do I still get the 200 Gavin points even if I could win quicker some other way, but I have the game so firmly under control at the moment that I choose to restart it?

you will win the instant the game restarts, unless you die turn one.
What's in question is if you have BoW and Karn in hand, and no semblance of a threat from the opponent. You could play BoW with win to follow next turn, or you could play Karn (6), exile something random from someone's hand (10), exile BoW from your hand (14), then restart the game and win on the first upkeep of the restart, but 3 turns down the road in the original game when just playing Battle is win in 1.
Dimir. In Return to ravnica. I highly doubt they will not return transmute there if they return the other guild mechanics. They might make all new ones though.

House Dimir more than likely no longer exists (though that's what they wanted us to think the first time too) and there's absolutely no chance that they will bring back ten mechanics.
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