9/6/2012 TD: "It Also Speaks for Itself"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I am loving the golgari spoilers thus far. This card seems nuts in EVERY format
hmmm... I think it will be a 3-of in jund, with terminate as a 1-of for flexibility, unless of course said deck has been looking for terminate 5-8, This will defenitly be a staple in every format that its leagal in (hello pauper!) my only problem, its a rare, why does it seem like they are printing way too much removal cards at rare in this set 
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There seems to be a pattern of rares previewed being tournament quality utility cards. This is the type of thing that should be uncommon, but was made rare purely because of constructed playability. Wizards still offically claims they don't do this.
 "Is it so hard to imagine opening on a Watery Grave or Breeding Pool, starting on seventeen for your Delver of Secrets, then flipping up an Abrupt Decay to reveal an Insectile Aberration to start turn two?" 

Am I missing something or is this either a really stupid mistake or rather a Freudian slip? In my eyes you would be just at 18 Life like with every shockland after that opening.
There seems to be a pattern of rares previewed being tournament quality utility cards. This is the type of thing that should be uncommon, but was made rare purely because of constructed playability. Wizards still offically claims they don't do this.

They claim they don't do this for Mythics. They've been doing this with Rares for a while; see Entomb, Vampyric Tutor, Thoughtseize...

I don't like it either, but Wizards seems determined to make this set carry a lot of value, and a good way to do that is to make sure there is a high secondary market demand for rare cards.
 "Is it so hard to imagine opening on a Watery Grave or Breeding Pool, starting on seventeen for your Delver of Secrets, then flipping up an Abrupt Decay to reveal an Insectile Aberration to start turn two?" 

Am I missing something or is this either a really stupid mistake or rather a Freudian slip? In my eyes you would be just at 18 Life like with every shockland after that opening.


He apparently fetched the shockland. It's a common play in eternal formats. That's not "Freudian", that's just scatterbrained. Or maybe even not, because he was talking about eternal formats throughout this article.
Nice card, but every time I see an extra line being taken up by "by spells or abilities" on an uncounterable spell, I wince.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

This is at least three cards in this set alone (and we haven't seen most of the set) with "Cannot be countered". That's a bit much.
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So... we know about Top-Down Design. I reckon we need a category of Cash-Down Design.

As Flores says, and its one of the rare occasions where I agree with him wholeheartedly, this would be amazing even without the "no soup for you" clause. You take smother, lose the regen clause, add green and gain the nonland noncreature bit. Seems like the sort of alchemy we have seen before. That would be fine held as an uncommon. Alternatively you take putrefy, lose the regen, narrow it to sub-4CC, but widen it to include planeswalkers and enchantments, . To be honest, the PW thing isn't all that relevant - there are exactly four (five if you include flipped garruk) in all of magic that qualify, one of which is so far stone-cold unplayable, and inevitably value has already been gained by the controller even with one activation. So I would have to say that adding enchantments is probably not worth losing everything above 3CC, so I'd have to agree that a 'refund' is justified. All in all, you can start with an existing uncommon and get to this.

But let's be honest, this is must-have utility, and when Wizards sniffs a chase card there's always the specter of "how can we make this rare [or mythic]". They've added the no soup clause, and not added any more to the mana cost. Still not exactly hitting any levels of complexity or limited-spoilingness that needs this to be rare, but its enough words-on-box to get you there. Plus, of course, there's the appearance of a cycle here. Either way, ker-ching.

I think its a great card, but add it to the cards like thoughtseize which irritate for being £15 instead of £1.50. I don't begrudge Wizards their business, but when the process of determining a card's rarity is overtaken by commercial concerns I'd appreciate a little honesty about it.
There seems to be a pattern of rares previewed being tournament quality utility cards. This is the type of thing that should be uncommon, but was made rare purely because of constructed playability. Wizards still offically claims they don't do this.



This is at least three cards in this set alone (and we haven't seen most of the set) with "Cannot be countered". That's a bit much.



This card is really close to be an uncommon, but the main reason this card is rare is that's part of a rare cycle of uncounterables. Furthermore, if it was uncommon wouldn't have the anti-counterable clause.

We've seen this one (Golgari), we've seen Slaughter Games (Rakdos), and we've seen the format defining, crazed Wrath-y Supreme Verdict (Azorius). So, waiting for the Selesnya and Izzet ones.

Well, I hope Wizards is not doing what we all think they're doing.
Dammit, that's another chase rare in my colours... I know I should be happy that B/G is getting some sick toys, but I already gave up on my original B/U favouritism because I can't be spending silly money on Snapcaster, I don't want B/G to go the same way =[

Also, @Highwayman - Nailed it. Couldn't agree more. This reeks of trumped up rarity and we all know that if this is online for less then a tenner from day one it's a bargain, which is crap, because Lotleth Troll is probably going to be straight into that market as well. Here's hoping I get lucky at those pre-release and sealed events, cause forget that.
I want to be Cultured.
This card is really close to be an uncommon, but the main reason this card is rare is that's part of a rare cycle of uncounterables. Furthermore, if it was uncommon wouldn't have the anti-counterable clause.

We've seen this one (Golgari), we've seen Slaughter Games (Rakdos), and we've seen the format defining, crazed Wrath-y Supreme Verdict (Azorius). So, waiting for the Selesnya and Izzet ones.

Well, I hope Wizards is not doing what we all think they're doing.


A cycle? That's a relief. I had been thinking that there were a lot of "cannot be countered" spells, but if it's a cycle, at least there's a reason for it. Well, even five is a lot, but at least it's only five, at least it's only one per guild...

okay, so assuming it is a cycle; can somebody tell me why Supreme Verdict reads "can't be countered" while Abrupt Decay and Slaughter Games read "can't be countered by spells or abilities"?

Because if there is a functional difference I can't think of it, and why put more words on a card then strictly necessary?

Edit: ow wait, is it because Supreme Verdict doesn't require a target so there is no way the rules of the game can counter it because of an illegal target or something like that? 

You know, I don't mind rare removal spells every so often -- that's been happening since Vindicate -- but isn't having both this and Dreadbore in the same set a bit much?

okay, so assuming it is a cycle; can somebody tell me why Supreme Verdict reads "can't be countered" while Abrupt Decay and Slaughter Games read "can't be countered by spells or abilities"?

Because if there is a functional difference I can't think of it, and why put more words on a card then strictly necessary?

Edit: ow wait, is it because Supreme Verdict doesn't require a target so there is no way the rules of the game can counter it because of an illegal target or something like that? 




99.9% sure that is the reason, yes.
You know, I don't mind rare removal spells every so often -- that's been happening since Vindicate -- but isn't having both this and Dreadbore in the same set a bit much?



But Dreadbore kills Planeswalkers! Don't you see how relevant that is!? /Sarcasm.
I want to be Cultured.


Very strong card. Rather irritating that it's rare, like Maelstrom Pulse and Vindicate, when you can get the same effect at uncommon if you pay a bunch more mana (Desert Twister, Necrotic Sliver).


Absolutely terrifying to consider this with Snapcaster Mage. Just yikes.


Amusingly, it can hit the back side of any DFC, even one costing 4 or more, because the night sides have no mana cost and zero CMC. Take that, Ravager of the Fells or Garruk, the Veil-Cursed!


(And yes, I assume Mike was assuming he fetched his Watery Grave with a Flooded Strand. And yes, "by spells or abilities" is so that it can still be countered by the rules of the game if its target becomes illegal. Even though those same rules say that wouldn't actually make any difference unless you have Multani's Presence out because a spell can't take any actions on an illegal target.)

There seems to be a pattern of rares previewed being tournament quality utility cards. This is the type of thing that should be uncommon, but was made rare purely because of constructed playability. Wizards still offically claims they don't do this.



But New World Order! Mythics are the new rare, rares are uncommons, uncommons are commons, and commons aren't allowed to have too many words, that might be too COMPLEX! Adding a line of text (that frequently won't be relevant) to an uncommon effect? Better make that rare, those are some extra words there.
the most overpowered removal ever printed? 
legacy...not sure how it changes as most decks play B+U instead of B+G

modern...this is definitely a big card
suddenly jund and doran are that much stronger...so good at shutting down any fast delver/tarmo/snapcast/faerie action
BGU delver/snapcaster? oh god thats a **** fest
other decks that play B+G like aggroloam and deathcloud are also upgraded

standard...definitely a staple, mana base might be funky though

okay, so assuming it is a cycle; can somebody tell me why Supreme Verdict reads "can't be countered" while Abrupt Decay and Slaughter Games read "can't be countered by spells or abilities"?

Because if there is a functional difference I can't think of it, and why put more words on a card then strictly necessary?

Edit: ow wait, is it because Supreme Verdict doesn't require a target so there is no way the rules of the game can counter it because of an illegal target or something like that? 




Yes, the targeting makes a difference. Expanding on what alextfish wrote, say you play Abrupt Decay targeting my Delver of Secrets, and in response I play Faith's Shield targeting Delver to give it protection from black. Delver becomes an illegal target for Abrubt Decay, so Abrupt Decay is countered (ie, by the game state, not by a spell or ability). Same thing with Slaughter Games. If I'm at 5 life and you play Slaughter Games on me, and I respond with Faith's Shield naming black, Slaughter Games will be countered.

Since Supreme Verdict doesn't have to deal with legal targets, it doesn't need the extra reminder "...by spells or abilities."

Yeah, it's tedious and ugly having the extra words, but it's a big help for a lot of players.

For the rarity issue, I'm pretty sure the power level of Abrubt Decay and Dreadbore in Limited is a big factor for their rarity. Abrubt Decay is a power house, and no one wants to open up a cool Planeswalker and have it get hosed by a utility uncommon every other match.
Wizards, make something that doesn't get better with blue. and get rid of the philosophy that "if a red/green/black/white can do it, blue should do it better'
^^^ yeah, that.

I am willing to give Wizards the benefit of the doubt on this one and assume that having an uncounterable removal spell at uncommon, even with the casting cost proviso would do mean things to limited. I for one am much happier knowing that the spell isn't going to be all over the dang place when I draft.
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So much cant be counterd bs, thanks for screwing control again.
I miss the old days.
This is at least three cards in this set alone (and we haven't seen most of the set) with "Cannot be countered". That's a bit much.



Four rares now, one so far for four of five guilds. I suspect a cycle and more countermagic in this format than has been present in a while.

Abrupt Decay - Golgari
Loxodon Smiter - Selesnya
Slaughter Games - Rakdos
Supreme Verdict - Azorius
Counterflux - Izzet

2, 3, 3, 4, and 4, these are all almost certainly designed aggressively, pushed for inclusion in Modern anti-control or for midrange.
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Nice card, but every time I see an extra line being taken up by "by spells or abilities" on an uncounterable spell, I wince.


Welcome...

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I feel the same way, and it seems to be more and more common. Not that I walk around countering everything, and not that I even know anyone that does walk around countering everything, but at this rate I feel as if countermagic may die out. Why counter something when this card will just kill it anyway? (If it is 3 mana or less, of course)

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58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.