10/18/2012 TD: "Double Take"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I honestly can't see anyone playing Underworld Connections in a format where Phyrexian Arena is available.
Ugh, Thragtusks everywhere ... and Giest of Saint Traft everywhere else. I don't mind the Giest at all, but Thragtusk is an abomination to the game. I mean unless you can counter it, just what are you supposed to do against it? I feel like I'm going to have to hold on to my syncopates now through the early game just to wait for Thragtusks now, and that's only if they don't CoS Beast, which isn't as uncommon as people think. Other than Thragtusk at least the archetypes are looking a bit more dynamic this time around. Got aggro, midrange, combo/reanimator, and control all on the table, but lets see how long that lasts.
This is Top Decks, not Building on a Budget. Price of cards does not matter here.
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Zombies is just worse aggro than the aggro decks shown in this article, so, as expected, not playing white in this format is simply impossible, whether you're playing aggro, control, or combo.

As always since M11, I guess. (-.-)
Pillar of Flame is a superb anti-Zombies tool, taking the advantages away from Gravecrawler,Geralf's Messenger, and even Return to Ravnica's Lotleth Troll;



Late, but how so for Lotleth Troll?  I'm pretty sure that when they changed the rules ages ago (6th edition ages ago), you needed an explicit anti-regen clause a la Disintegrate for this to work. 
Pillar of Flame is a superb anti-Zombies tool, taking the advantages away from Gravecrawler,Geralf's Messenger, and even Return to Ravnica's Lotleth Troll;



Late, but how so for Lotleth Troll?  I'm pretty sure that when they changed the rules ages ago (6th edition ages ago), you needed an explicit anti-regen clause a la Disintegrate for this to work. 



You are right.  Rule 616.1 goes over the interaction of multiple replacement/prevention effects.  Basically, the controller of the object being affected chooses which replacement effects to apply.  Any others do nothing.  In this instance, Lotleth Troll would attempt to regenerate and Pillar of Flame would try to exile the troll when it dies.  When it dies, the player controlling Lotleth Troll would decide which replacement effect to apply.

What is slightly confusing to me is this.

616.1e Once the chosen effect has been applied, this process is repeated (taking into account only
replacement or prevention effects that would now be applicable) until there are no more left to
apply

I have run into situations where people have been saying that you need to put the abilities on the stack in such a way as to have the desired outcome.  I'm not sure if the rule above modifies that.

So either "applying" means to have it go on the stack and resolve and then throw out the other one since it does nothing.  Or "applying" means put one replacement effect on the stack then put the other on the stack and then they resolve in LIFO order (as I have been taught).

Either way, regeneration is going to be chosen either at the expense of, or put on the stack after, the Pillar of Flame exiling causing the Troll to stay on the field. 

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Choosing what effects to apply doesn't use the stack in any way. You just pick which of competing replacement effects you want to use, and the other doesn't apply. 

Pillar of Flame definitely sucks against Lotleth Troll. Even if you find them tapped out for it on turn 2, they aren't doing that unless they have 2 creatures to discard (for 0 mana) to make it 4/3 in response. 
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