Let's talk dimir GM

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The GM's in RTR have all been of a quality where you happily include them in your deck, with some even reaching allstar status.

What do you think about the Duskmantle GM?

UB 2/2
1UB: whenever a card is put into opponent's graveyard from anywhere this turn, that player loses 1 life.
2UB: mill 2 cards

It may be hard without seeing the common mill cards that will be available. But maybe the life-loss ability will be good in normal play?
Cast an instant-sorcery - lose a life. Creature dies - lose a life. It's just 1 activation to last a whole turn, not bad in that respect. Also, am I correct in thinking that 2 activations will double the effect?
I think the life loss ablity is quite bad. If this guy gets any play it will be for the mill win-con.
I'll HAPPILY pay 3 mana so every turn an opponent casts a spell, for each spell, they lose a life. Or for each creature I remove from combat or my removal.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

I think the life loss ablity is quite bad. If this guy gets any play it will be for the mill win-con.


I think it's the opposite actually. The mill ability will never get used, but the life loss ability will be relevent.

If you have three open mana you can almost guaranteed make them lose a life or more per turn. Creatures trade in combat, or they chump block, or they cast a combat trick, or any other instant or sorcery on their turn, all equal loss of life.

To me it seems the mill is an afterthought and this guy will be used as more of a pinger. 
It looks like it has a lot of potential power. Whether it delivers will depend a lot on context. I would be surprised if it wasn't better than Nivix Guildmage was in RTR.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
Being someone who hasn't drafted any set besides Return to Ravnica, the Duskmantle Guildmage does strike me as a card quite different from most other Guildmages in that how good it is is largely dependant on how good the rest of your deck is....or how focused your deck is, more so than Nivix, Vitu-Ghazi, Rix Maadi, New Praav or Korozda (all of which have at least one ability that's almost certain to be used or abused in more or less any in-color limited deck).

The second, expensive 2 card mill seems....well....extremely mana-intensive, to the point that it would only be used given NO other options or if your opponents are already close to being milled to death (or you need cards in their graveyard to target). The first ability though... if you already have a half-hearted or decent mill deck, that can deal out bunches of damage during your turn. While you won't see the card in Gatecrash, a simple Mind Sculpt becomes a 7 damage burn for 2 mana, or 5 if you count the activation of the GM in the first place. Some of the other Dimir cards we've seen also provide decent mill.

Or, even besides that, as other people have pointed out, trading creatures on the battlefield or even your opponent just playing Instants/Sorceries suddenly becomes beneficial to you. All things considered, that could be devestating enough to leave the card as one of the best uncommons to pick up in Limited.... As long as you build a deck to suit it.

Otherwise, if you're already struggling for mill cards or playables in general, or are playing a 4 or 5 color deck, this is one of the least useful guildmages by a long way, since its effects don't support themselves, if you will.
Came for the flavor, stayed for the game. (10/4/2013: Discovered that I suppose I most closely resemble a Vorthos player, right after my odd obsession with making hyper-budget but effective decks and right before being a Johnny)
On the second ability as "pure mill": Can you say you have never activated a lone Doorkeeper in RTR? I can't. And this is more effective than that by a fair margin.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
I would definitely run this card. Functionally, both ability's a relevant, and its an excellent mana sink. This card could end up swinging the game in you favor even of you behind. You can push an opponent who has board advantage into a defensive posture if you get some good damage in. An opponent in the red will not attack youif you can activate his first one or two times and mass block a couple big creatures just to sick them into the yard, and if they don't so anything you can just eat their deck turn after turn.

And since blues already shown some decent evasion in that 0/1 flying evolve dude, I see this strategy being very viable.
On the second ability as "pure mill": Can you say you have never activated a lone Doorkeeper in RTR? I can't. And this is more effective than that by a fair margin.


To be fair, if you're trying to mill your opponent out, you'd much rather have an 0/4 than a 2/2.

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

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139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
On the second ability as "pure mill": Can you say you have never activated a lone Doorkeeper in RTR? I can't. And this is more effective than that by a fair margin.


To be fair, if you're trying to mill your opponent out, you'd much rather have an 0/4 than a 2/2.



Granted. But you'd also rather be milling at least twice as fast as Doorkeeper does.
Preparing for the M14 Prerelease - New article up! IN THE TANK - my very own blog for rambling about Magic!
Mill is an attrition strategy, not a racing one.  Locking down the board is more important than the speed at which you mill them.

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
Mill is an attrition strategy, not a racing one.  Locking down the board is more important than the speed at which you mill them.


This depends on the mill deck.
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57193048 wrote:
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56663526 wrote:
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56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Mill is an attrition strategy, not a racing one.  Locking down the board is more important than the speed at which you mill them.


This depends on the mill deck.


Ok, let me revise my statement:
Good mill decks employ an attrition strategy, not a racing one, in which locking down the board is more important than the speed at which you mill them. 

Why does everyone think I'm phantom lancer? QFT:

Show
139359831 wrote:
I hope all this helps you to see things in a greater light—and understand that Magic: the Gathering was really created by extraterrestials using Richard Garfield as a medium. The game itself reflects the socio-psycho realtivity between living beings, and the science that takes precedence over them—to define reality for them all (like telekinesis, weather, scientific reaction, phenomenon, ingenuity, how the brain works, etc.). I'd also bet there is an entity floating thousands of miles above us, looking down on the current state of game, shaking its fist like... "Wtf are you doing?! You're getting it all screwed up!". Awkward—to be evolved, and yet still subject to the ladder that is the concepts of the game. In this case, misconception, corruption, and deception. With the realities of each color becoming distorted (through oblivious designers), leading the game to reflect a false state of reality that warps the understanding that other people have about those things. For example, people thinking that white could be anything except pure good. This shouldn't be too far off though, I mean...Magic is designed based on reality after all, so that entity (those entities) should be subject to those things. Anyways, I guess when you're busy doing space stuff you can't always be around to ensure quality control. It's no wonder they choose Garfield, they're so much alike; that's exactly what happened to him and Magic.
166199665 wrote:
omg snortng so much febbdelicious /intocixated in rl
On the second ability as "pure mill": Can you say you have never activated a lone Doorkeeper in RTR? I can't. And this is more effective than that by a fair margin.



I considered that, but.... I think on balance you'll activate this Guildmage's mill effect very, very rarely. For one thing, the mana cost is one higher for the ability and the guildmage is more color intensive than Doorkeeper. In addition, I think if you have mana with nothing else to do (which is when Doorkeeper will most commonly be activated at the end of an opponent's turn, if they did never that was worth you responding with an instant or you had nothing to respond with), I think that mana would USUALLY be better spent using his damage ability in response to your opponent playing any instant/sorcery.

Of course, if they don't, then a mill at the end of turn as a mana sink, obviously, but not nearly as much impact as the first effect in my opinion. 
Came for the flavor, stayed for the game. (10/4/2013: Discovered that I suppose I most closely resemble a Vorthos player, right after my odd obsession with making hyper-budget but effective decks and right before being a Johnny)
Until we see some commons that are better millers than the doorkeeper (and there very well could be, but until we see them...) I wouldn't consider the second ability to be useful at this point. Not on its own.
Mill is an attrition strategy, not a racing one.  Locking down the board is more important than the speed at which you mill them.


This depends on the mill deck.


Ok, let me revise my statement:
Good mill decks employ an attrition strategy, not a racing one, in which locking down the board is more important than the speed at which you mill them. 



Painter's Servant+Grindstone.

It's happened in cube.
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My sig was so awesome it broke Browsers, [url= http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29455423/For_some_reason...]I had to remove it.[/url] Support Magic Fiction! Or Bolas will eat you
57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
We try to maintain the illusion that Magic cards are written in English.
56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]