[GTC-ICD] Undercity Plague

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Undercity Plague |
Sorcery
Target player loses 1 life, discards a card, then sacrifices a permanent.
Cipher

Source: Mothership.
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this card... is beautiful.

the card itself isn't really nice if it was 6 mana, but add cipher... 


very slow though...
Now that's what I want to Cipher onto a Tormented Soul! Take me now!
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Undercity Plague |
Sorcery
Target player loses 1 life, discards a card, then sacrifices a permanent.
Cipher

Source: Mothership.

Pretty cool. Simply too expensive though.
Repeatable 1-sided Smallpox? Seems like a fun card for limited and casual formats.
i was wondering what pure black cipher would look like.  if anything, it's awesome.

is it just me, or does it seem to fit better into orzhov's game plan?
Bastardized, 3x the cost, repeatable Smallpox isn't that good.
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It's fine, sincei it's cipherable... heck, without cipher this would be a 2 or 4 CMC worth card already.  Damn you legacy kids =/

This feels more like an uncommon though than a rare. Doesn't feel powerful enough, too slow.
Way too expensive.

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Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.

3,000th post: September 5, 2010 4,000th post: March 24, 2012

Winner of the YMTC Ravnica War of the Guilds contest as guild Dimir.

Snapcaster Mage is the best card of all time. How do you deal?

Dies to removal; dies to Syncopate. Unplayable jank. But passable.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.


If they were instants then you would be able to count on getting them twice somewhat reliably, since you could put them on an already-unblocked creature.  But we've only seen sorceries, which makes it very hard to connect with a creature unless you're already winning on board position.  In Dimir colors, if you're winning on board position you should already have control of the game enough to not need it.

Also, not Barter in Blood because it's sac any permanent, not a creature.
Much like the copy spell: great in a slow mana bombing format like EDH, simply too costly for it's usefulness. Although a 2 for 1 (the first time), and the promise of similar strapped onto a unblockable hexproof body is very tempting, but it's just begging for that Supreme Verdict. Cipher (for the most part) suffers the fate of graft and other such effects: good abilities end up costing too much to be playable. There are of course exceptions.
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If you aren't an incompetent hack, when you cast this it's going to be 6 mana target player discards two cards, sacs two permanents, and loses two life.  Then if they can't deal with the critter, they are going to lose the game shortly.  It might be slightly overcosted, but it's a dangerous and extremely powerful effect.
a onesided repeatable Smallpox, nice

6 mana is steep, though
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Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.


If they were instants then you would be able to count on getting them twice somewhat reliably, since you could put them on an already-unblocked creature.  But we've only seen sorceries, which makes it very hard to connect with a creature unless you're already winning on board position.  In Dimir colors, if you're winning on board position you should already have control of the game enough to not need it.

Also, not Barter in Blood because it's sac any permanent, not a creature.



The reason I said "Creature" is because it is likely to be the easiest thing for your opponent to sac; the possibility for artifacts is also there, but creatures will be more readily saccable given the heavy tokens theme.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.


If they were instants then you would be able to count on getting them twice somewhat reliably, since you could put them on an already-unblocked creature.  But we've only seen sorceries, which makes it very hard to connect with a creature unless you're already winning on board position.  In Dimir colors, if you're winning on board position you should already have control of the game enough to not need it.



Except those colors currently have three unblockable creatures, one of which dodges targeted removal with another dodging sorcery removal (but costing mana to activate, furthering the mana cost). So like sperry said this ciphered onto Invisible Stalker means 2 discards, 2 life, and 2 sacrifices (basically making a 4 for 1). That said Stalker will be a lighting rod for sweepers.
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Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.


If they were instants then you would be able to count on getting them twice somewhat reliably, since you could put them on an already-unblocked creature.  But we've only seen sorceries, which makes it very hard to connect with a creature unless you're already winning on board position.  In Dimir colors, if you're winning on board position you should already have control of the game enough to not need it.

Also, not Barter in Blood because it's sac any permanent, not a creature.



The reason I said "Creature" is because it is likely to be the easiest thing for your opponent to sac; the possibility for artifacts is also there, but creatures will be more readily saccable given the heavy tokens theme.


I think lands are the most common permanents so maybe they'd be the most likely to be sacced. But it's too situational to say that this card is most likely going to get a creature. It totally depends on what you're playing against. 
This can easily turn around a limited game, which is what I feel this was designed for.  Being able to cast this, then connect with any form of evasion during your attack phase (and effectively getting to cast this twice for only 6 mana) is pretty bonkers there.  Discard 2 cards, lose 2 life, sac 2 permanents is pretty much going to save your life if you're on the down.

It doesn't seem very useful anywhere else, takes *barely* too long for constructed (5 mana would be much more viable), and doesn't *quite* do enough for commander viability.

But limited and casual, this will shine.

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Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.


If they were instants then you would be able to count on getting them twice somewhat reliably, since you could put them on an already-unblocked creature.  But we've only seen sorceries, which makes it very hard to connect with a creature unless you're already winning on board position.  In Dimir colors, if you're winning on board position you should already have control of the game enough to not need it.



Except those colors currently have three unblockable creatures, one of which dodges targeted removal with another dodging sorcery removal (but costing mana to activate, furthering the mana cost). So like sperry said this ciphered onto Invisible Stalker means 2 discards, 2 life, and 2 sacrifices (basically making a 4 for 1). That said Stalker will be a lighting rod for sweepers.


Of those three, the Keyrune is the one that will be playable in Standard.  Tormented Soul is just bad and Stalker, while harder to kill, is still not good on his own.  None of the Cipher cards we've seen so far are good enough to make Stalker worth it, and adding the extra two mana to activate the Keyrune (plus the effective third mana of attacking with it) before casting puts the mediocre Cipher cards well out of range.
a pretty awesome effect to have repeatable, the 6 mana cost is the only major hurtle to overcome. If it does get online its going to hose.

                                                                                                                                                                                        <----- Loser.

This can easily turn around a limited game, which is what I feel this was designed for.  Being able to cast this, then connect with any form of evasion during your attack phase (and effectively getting to cast this twice for only 6 mana) is pretty bonkers there.  Discard 2 cards, lose 2 life, sac 2 permanents is pretty much going to save your life if you're on the down.

It doesn't seem very useful anywhere else, takes *barely* too long for constructed (5 mana would be much more viable), and doesn't *quite* do enough for commander viability.

But limited and casual, this will shine.


I'm not even sure it's that great in Limited.  By the time you have 6 mana, you need the opponent to have cards in hand worth hitting, but not have extra bad cards to throw away.  You need them to have few enough permanents that they have to sac something relevant - at that point in the game there's very often an insignificant 1 or 2-drop sitting around doing nothing.  You need to have something with evasion, which is generally not plentiful in U/B. 
And most importantly, you need to not have something better to do with 6 mana.
I love the idea... should have been 5 mana... I would have pushed for 4 with it being rare... but that's just for edh playability.

3DH4LIF3

I'm curious if development actually nerfed this and other Cipher cause specifically because of Invisible Stalker.

Last time I was casually playing with Shimian Specter I wished Rain of Tears and Fulminator Mage where Standard legal. Announcing spells like this while Craterize is the earliest LD spell of the format is just rubbing salt on the wound.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
I'm not even sure it's that great in Limited.  By the time you have 6 mana, you need the opponent to have cards in hand worth hitting, but not have extra bad cards to throw away.  You need them to have few enough permanents that they have to sac something relevant - at that point in the game there's very often an insignificant 1 or 2-drop sitting around doing nothing.  You need to have something with evasion, which is generally not plentiful in U/B. 
And most importantly, you need to not have something better to do with 6 mana.


1. You don't need all of that, you just need a couple of them to hit good things...there's two discards and two sacs, so odds are better you're hitting something good in *addition* to the chumps that will get thrown away.  For this to not work out in your favor, you're counting on them to have 4 things that are so bad they can throw them away without worry (if that's the case, then you're probably casting this as a win more, not as a turn around) (also, this is the set without Selesnya's token chumps).  You realize this is basically Annihilator 2 on the turn it's cast, plus two discard, plus two life lost?  Yes, there will be the extreme cases where that actually has negligible results, but I think that's going to be far fewer than the cases where this turns the game around for you.

2. You're not really serious about U/B lacking evasion, right?  Hell, U/B have so much evasion, even their mana fixing artifact has evasion.

3. Lastly, this is mono-black, and nothing is preventing you from building a different deck than U/B.  Build it into Orzhov and Extort with it a few times while you're at it.

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1. You don't need all of that, you just need a couple of them to hit good things...there's two discards and two sacs, so odds are better you're hitting something good in *addition* to the chumps that will get thrown away.  For this to not work out in your favor, you're counting on them to have 4 things that are so bad they can throw them away without worry (if that's the case, then you're probably casting this as a win more, not as a turn around) (also, this is the set without Selesnya's token chumps).  You realize this is basically Annihilator 2 on the turn it's cast, plus two discard, plus two life lost?  Yes, there will be the extreme cases where that actually has negligible results, but I think that's going to be far fewer than the cases where this turns the game around for you.


You're still going into it assuming you automatically get the second cast.  There is one discard and one sacrifice (of any permanent, not necessarily a creature) for six mana, not two of each.  You get nothing extra until you start hitting with creatures, which is not as easy as it sounds.  People might let damage sneak through regularly, but the second you add in triggers like this that will stop short.  Sure the opponent is less likely to have removal in Limited, but they're much more likely to have blockers and you have less removal to force your way through. 

2. You're not really serious about U/B lacking evasion, right?  Hell, U/B have so much evasion, even their mana fixing artifact has evasion.

3. Lastly, this is mono-black, and nothing is preventing you from building a different deck than U/B.  Build it into Orzhov and Extort with it a few times while you're at it.


Black every once in a while gets a playable flying creature, but most often at uncommon or rare.  Blue does better, but the only decks that can really depend on having an evasive creature out when they need one are going to be solidly UW.  It could potentially come together given that the set makes a blue-black-white "wedge," but I wouldn't count on it.
Putting this on a Keyrune means it costs 8 mana (9 if you want to attack the same turn).  That makes it not even worth thinking about.
You're still going into it assuming you automatically get the second cast.


I'm not really trying to assume you'll get the second cast; I'm just assuming that it's more likely you will than you won't.

Putting this on a Keyrune means it costs 8 mana (9 if you want to attack the same turn).  That makes it not even worth thinking about.


I was more being facetious about the amount of evasion the U/B color pair gets; but regardless, I don't see why 9 mana in a limited game is out of the question.  It just makes another way to win with it.

We may disagree here, but I really think this will be a very, very good limited card.  It's not Pack Rat, sure; but I think it will shine.

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This card isn't very good. With that said, it would probably be too good at 5 mana. That's not to say that there won't be a place where this card shows up, but it is obviously not going to be one of the great cards from the set.
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Sorry, but i'm the only one here thinking this card is AWESOME???

Dimir is slow, especially with cypher, becoming stronger every turn (As long as your Invis Stalker with 3 spells on it doesn't die.) 6 mana is not the largest gap to overcome.
It DOES however slow your opponent down considerably, casting a second one is Game-win. What is the cheapest Cypher until now? 3 mana for the Tap one right? This card is Great.
I'm surprised they pushed it this hard considering it can be repeatable land destruction (if the opp has nothing else to sac).

Do it enough times and you've got the ultimate of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker.
Kinda expensive, but totally worth it if you can get the Cipher off. Especially on an unblockable creature.
This or the clone will be the best Cipher spell.
Except those colors currently have three unblockable creatures



No, no. It's okay. Latch Seeker and Soulsworn Spirit understand that they don't count. They'll just go cry in a corner, alone and unloved.
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Except those colors currently have three unblockable creatures



No, no. It's okay. Latch Seeker and Soulsworn Spirit understand that they don't count. They'll just go cry in a corner, alone and unloved.



How do you think Harbor Bandit feels? Just because it's an activated ability doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings...
6 mana for this... not sure how i feel about it.
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.



the potential of cipher just drives up the prices these days eh?



The potential of Cipher is that you get the ability off TWICE for the cost, then potentially every turn thereafter. This card is Mind Rot, 1-sided Barter in Blood, and 2 life lost, for 6 mana.


If they were instants then you would be able to count on getting them twice somewhat reliably, since you could put them on an already-unblocked creature.  But we've only seen sorceries, which makes it very hard to connect with a creature unless you're already winning on board position.  In Dimir colors, if you're winning on board position you should already have control of the game enough to not need it.

Also, not Barter in Blood because it's sac any permanent, not a creature.


Invisible Stalker all day. Blame him for bad cypher cards.
57170298 wrote:
Borrowing the East Wind (P3) - Haha, it's like Hurricane but for horsemanship? That makes hilariously little sense. "Oh man, the wind is so much worse up on this horse."
57044478 wrote:
Jon Finkel can win a Magic tournament with a ham sandwich. That doesn't mean ham sandwiches are now the metagame breaker.
97820278 wrote:
Koth: I'm the first viable red planeswalker. Who are you? Tibalt: I'm a two-mana red planeswalker. Koth: I'm the last viable red planeswalker.
This is a powerhouse in limited.
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.


we have seen 5 cipher spells IIRC. 3 of them are rare. Both the mono ones cost 6, the rare BU one costs 4 and the uncommon BU one too. The common costs 2. Maybe there is a pattern to it, I really dont think the next cipher spell will cost more the 5.

 
I play for fun
This is a powerhouse in limited.
Please tell me all Dimir cards aren't overcosted nonsense.


we have seen 5 cipher spells IIRC. 3 of them are rare. Both the mono ones cost 6, the rare BU one costs 4 and the uncommon BU one too. The common costs 2. Maybe there is a pattern to it, I really dont think the next cipher spell will cost more the 5.

 


I think it is because most Dimir cards have a controlling effect, and having them cheap and repeatable sets up a softlock rather easily. If you have a Nightveil Specter out not only does Hands of Binding help it connect, but it also helps ensure you can keep on hitting while also cutting down on retribution. Also best case scenario has you getting a cipher card's effect twice the turn you cast it, which is another factor. Also Invisible Stalker, Dimir Keyrune, and Tormented Soul are big factors.

Nightveil Specter
(Rare) -
Creature - Specter
Flying
When Nightveil Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top card of his or her library.
You may play cards exiled with Nightveil Specter.
2/3

Hands of Binding (Common) -
Sorcery
Tap target creature an opponent controls. That creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.)
57170298 wrote:
Borrowing the East Wind (P3) - Haha, it's like Hurricane but for horsemanship? That makes hilariously little sense. "Oh man, the wind is so much worse up on this horse."
57044478 wrote:
Jon Finkel can win a Magic tournament with a ham sandwich. That doesn't mean ham sandwiches are now the metagame breaker.
97820278 wrote:
Koth: I'm the first viable red planeswalker. Who are you? Tibalt: I'm a two-mana red planeswalker. Koth: I'm the last viable red planeswalker.
I'm curious if development actually nerfed this and other Cipher cause specifically because of Invisible Stalker.


More likely, they made sure there will be enough good sweepers and Pyroclasm effects around to make stalker less oppressive.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
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