1/10/2013 TD: "Get Big"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks article, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.

It's big benefit is making itself big fast, then making big mana late game.  It's not really so much for the acceleration, because it's behind the curve from the start.  Growing it is a little trickier than you make it out to be, and it looks like a "win more" card to me.  Ultimately, 2/3 or better for 2 is still pretty good.  Tarmogoyf did fine for itself in the two mana slot, but it doesn't require a deck filled with creatures to be respectable.

"You can make the argument that Gyre Sage doesn't "grow" as easily or consistently as Quirion Dryad, but let's put this in a different context: Gyre Sage gets big simply by doing the stuff you would want to do anyway."

Uh... No. In MiracleGro, Dryad grew by countering your opponent's spells and by card advantage and selection. Gyre Sage asks you to overcommit to the table, as it only keeps growing as you get more and more creatures and open yourself more and more to a Supreme Verdict; MiracleGro never asked its pilot to do so.

It's more like a weird hybrid of Tarmogoyf, Viridian Joiner, and/or Werebear for me.
It won't grow half as fast as Quirion Dryad. And the fact that it doesn't really help you overcome a mana screw is also an important issue.

Still, I like the card, though I'm unsure as to where I'm going to use it.
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She doesn't have to be that big to ramp my Biovisionary-Infinte Reflection, (if only I had an Initiate of the Ebon Hand for blue).  In my groups social free-for-all games, I look forward to having her evolve (and make it easier) every turn that I cast a roaring primadox'ed Prime Speaker Zegana, eventually fueling a Biomass Mutation.
Increasing Savagery!

But yeah, this is just Viridian Joiner It has a built-in way to grow, that'll be great in Limited, but is the classic example of encouraging overextension in Constructed.
"You can make the argument that Gyre Sage doesn't "grow" as easily or consistently as Quirion Dryad, but let's put this in a different context: Gyre Sage gets big simply by doing the stuff you would want to do anyway."

Uh... No. In MiracleGro, Dryad grew by countering your opponent's spells and by card advantage and selection. Gyre Sage asks you to overcommit to the table, as it only keeps growing as you get more and more creatures and open yourself more and more to a Supreme Verdict; MiracleGro never asked its pilot to do so.

It's more like a weird hybrid of Tarmogoyf, Viridian Joiner, and/or Werebear for me.




Nothing about the card asks you to overcommit.  Obviously it gets better the more creatures (bigger than it) you play.


Given the context of the proposed deck that the card would be in....a midrange green deck...you're ALREADY GOING to play big creatures was his point.  Why not get the bonus effect of growing a the card for a creature you were already going to play...who will also then effectively read "reduce the cost of all spells/creatures you control by x, where x is the number of counters on Card".


You are right in that these are NOT the same creature.  The dryad would grow much bigger much easier....but was much less useful as a late-game draw (without all the spells to grow it) where as this card can still be useful as a mana engine.  If the dryad grows 1 time....a 2/2 isn't worth much of anything late game.  This card with 1 evolve is now a 2/3 that taps for G.

I think this card will definately see constructed play.  I've been away from Magic for years....but BoP was a staple in almost ANY green deck back in the original Mirrodin/Champions era.  BoP was awesome since it would splash any color for you, and flew in case you wanted to use it as a beater....but was ultimately a 0/1 useless body that never tapped for more than 1 mana late game.  This card has the potential to be soooo much more.

I'll take 4 please.       
Comparison between the two cards seems extremely forced.
Nothing about the card asks you to overcommit.  Obviously it gets better the more creatures (bigger than it) you play.

Given the context of the proposed deck that the card would be in....a midrange green deck...you're ALREADY GOING to play big creatures was his point.  Why not get the bonus effect of growing a the card for a creature you were already going to play...who will also then effectively read "reduce the cost of all spells/creatures you control by x, where x is the number of counters on Card".

Gyre Sage does indeed ask you to overcommit.  The problem is that Gyre Sage needs you to have all your creatures in play at the same time.  It's not enough just to have big creatures in your deck; you actually need to play them, one after another, while Gyre Sage is still on the battlefield.  Without having to worry about Gyre Sage, you could play a big creature, wait for your opponent to deal with it (possibly using a board sweeper), then play another big creature, and so on.

And adding X mana to your mana pool is definitely not the same thing as reducing the cost of all of your spells by X.
I think there's a big difference between growing a creature with Brainstorm and Gush and Force of Will and growing one with creatures.  Comparing an old seven year plus dual lands Extended to Standard is also strained.  (I don't think Miracle Gro would have worked in a hypothetical format that used Breeding Pool instead of Tropical Island.)

I still think the creature will be nice, and I'd love to put that mana into Sphinx's Revelation and Bonfire of the Damned.  But the kind of deck that has these big spells also has fewer creatures, and probably wants the less fragile ramp of Farseek or Chromatic Lantern.
Increasing Savagery!

But yeah, this is just Viridian Joiner It has a built-in way to grow, that'll be great in Limited, but is the classic example of encouraging overextension in Constructed.



I honestly thought "Oh look, Ghave has a new friend." But a lot of green Simic cards are like that.
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Did Flores even notice Evolve is a keyword? The whole Quirion Dryad comparison only works somewhat because of Gyre Sages evolving capacity, and that is a trait shared by any and all Evolvers.

I'm not convinced about this being better than dryad either. Dryads beauty is how it can grow in all kinds of decks. This one only grows in a dedicated creature deck, and only with a clear curve in P/Ts.
You won't stack ten +1 counters on her; 2 is plenty good in this format, where everything tops out at 5 or 6.
Comparison between the two cards seems extremely forced.



Agreed. I'm surprised he didn't compare it to Priest of Titania: it's more similar to the Elf than the Dryad, and I'd say it's a better version of the priest (and a subpar version of the Dryad).   

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Nothing about the card asks you to overcommit.  Obviously it gets better the more creatures (bigger than it) you play.

Given the context of the proposed deck that the card would be in....a midrange green deck...you're ALREADY GOING to play big creatures was his point.  Why not get the bonus effect of growing a the card for a creature you were already going to play...who will also then effectively read "reduce the cost of all spells/creatures you control by x, where x is the number of counters on Card".

Gyre Sage does indeed ask you to overcommit.  The problem is that Gyre Sage needs you to have all your creatures in play at the same time.  It's not enough just to have big creatures in your deck; you actually need to play them, one after another, while Gyre Sage is still on the battlefield.  Without having to worry about Gyre Sage, you could play a big creature, wait for your opponent to deal with it (possibly using a board sweeper), then play another big creature, and so on.

And adding X mana to your mana pool is definitely not the same thing as reducing the cost of all of your spells by X.



I think that's crazy.  In a deck no doubt full of 4/4 5/5 and up creatures, there's no burning pressure to playing ALL your creatures all at once to get a 4/5.  There just isn't.  You'd play with the same tempo you normally would, but you simply replace a farseek with this creature.  

No one is going to waste a terror (or whatever kill spell is around these days) on your 1/2 because he could be an issue later on.  If someone drops a wrath....then you were going to lose whatever you were anyways.  Its simply replacing a non-creature spell, and doing double duty and a mid-size creature AND mana booster later in the game.

And no, adding X to your mana pool isn't the exact same as reducing the cost of your creatures.  But throw in the tap symbol to denote that its only once per turn barring tricks, and yeah....it pretty much IS that. 
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