2/1/2013 LD: "Rapid Hybrid-ization"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave . . . spells were underestimated in Magic's early years, and now you underestimate dual lands. Severely underestimate them. Maybe after this five-and-a-half color format we're about to have winds down, you'll finally see what a big mistake the shocklands were, and we won't have to endure them a third time. 
Just reprint Blood Moon.  Bant Control suddenly looks a lot less threatening.
The 2nd and third combo captions are wrong. It should say Duskmantle Guildmage and Jace, Memory Adept / Vizkopa Guildmage and Exquisite Blood.

I also really like the Reckoner's design. It seems like a nonbo at first, but then you realize it's the best thing about it.

I have been thinking of a monoblack deck for standard, but there are just so many things you are cold to. And without Sphere of the Suns and the wellspring package that the previous standard had, I feel monoblack is too slow now.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave . . . spells were underestimated in Magic's early years, and now you underestimate dual lands. Severely underestimate them. Maybe after this five-and-a-half color format we're about to have winds down, you'll finally see what a big mistake the shocklands were, and we won't have to endure them a third time. 



They're going to print some hate in whatever next fall's set is going to be. That's generally how it goes: you can have fun with your toys for a year, then some hate is printed so that the meta doesn't get stale.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave . . . spells were underestimated in Magic's early years, and now you underestimate dual lands. Severely underestimate them. Maybe after this five-and-a-half color format we're about to have winds down, you'll finally see what a big mistake the shocklands were, and we won't have to endure them a third time. 



They're going to print some hate in whatever next fall's set is going to be. That's generally how it goes: you can have fun with your toys for a year, then some hate is printed so that the meta doesn't get stale.


Except when the graveyard is involved, cause they printed Grafdigger's Cage right after Innistrad, so fun strategies like self mill and Burning Vengeance withered way too soon.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave . . . spells were underestimated in Magic's early years, and now you underestimate dual lands. Severely underestimate them. Maybe after this five-and-a-half color format we're about to have winds down, you'll finally see what a big mistake the shocklands were, and we won't have to endure them a third time. 



They're going to print some hate in whatever next fall's set is going to be. That's generally how it goes: you can have fun with your toys for a year, then some hate is printed so that the meta doesn't get stale.


Except when the graveyard is involved, cause they printed Grafdigger's Cage right after Innistrad, so fun strategies like self mill and Burning Vengeance withered way too soon.



Sometimes they do it quicker, yes (the green shatterstorm was also in Besieged, I think). On the other hand, I think it would be a bit mean to put hate in Gatecrash so that only the first five guilds would get to play around freely with their shocklands. And with Dragon's Maze having a very strong nonbasic theme, I doubt that hate will get printed there.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
If your opponent wants to kill it, he or she has to block it with extra creatures or else you can just first strike one or more creatures away. If your opponent blocks it with enough things, then you simply don't give it first strike and your opponent takes a ton of damage.



So let me get this straight...

If your opponent wants to kill it, they have to block with something that can kill it. But if that happens, you might activate First Strike and kill one of his guys instead. But if he blocks with a ton, then you can just not give it First Strike and have it deal a "ton" of damage to him...

That seems like an incredibly roundabout way to do a potential 4 or so damage to your opponent. You know what else can do that? Boros Charm. You know what else can kill creatures smaller than itself? Almost everything.

Nope, this is still an awfully designed card with a counterproductive second ability. Give him the ability to block two creatures, make him unblockable by less than two creatures, something. With this, all you have is a 3/3 for 3 coloured mana that will get through every turn unless it becomes a problem. It's bad.
If your opponent wants to kill it, he or she has to block it with extra creatures or else you can just first strike one or more creatures away. If your opponent blocks it with enough things, then you simply don't give it first strike and your opponent takes a ton of damage.



So let me get this straight...

If your opponent wants to kill it, they have to block with something that can kill it. But if that happens, you might activate First Strike and kill one of his guys instead. But if he blocks with a ton, then you can just not give it First Strike and have it deal a "ton" of damage to him...

That seems like an incredibly roundabout way to do a potential 4 or so damage to your opponent. You know what else can do that? Boros Charm. You know what else can kill creatures smaller than itself? Almost everything.

Nope, this is still an awfully designed card with a counterproductive second ability. Give him the ability to block two creatures, make him unblockable by less than two creatures, something. With this, all you have is a 3/3 for 3 coloured mana that will get through every turn unless it becomes a problem. It's bad.



If your opponent blocks it with three 2/2's, it's best not to give it first strike. If he blocks it with two 2/2's, it is (or can be) best to give it first strike. The possibility of first strike gives it a nice extra ability that you can use strategically. I like it. It may not be the best card, but it doesn't have to be. It's an interesting one.


76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
If your opponent blocks it with three 2/2's, it's best not to give it first strike. If he blocks it with two 2/2's, it is (or can be) best to give it first strike. The possibility of first strike gives it a nice extra ability that you can use strategically. I like it. It may not be the best card, but it doesn't have to be. It's an interesting one.



It might have been interesting with a high power and low toughness (E.g. 4/2), but as-is, it's easier to just not block it or kill it with a spell. If it was a genuine threat, I could see it, but as a 3/3, it's just kinda meh.

EDIT: Maybe if it was a 2/2 with activated Double Strike instead?
If your opponent blocks it with three 2/2's, it's best not to give it first strike. If he blocks it with two 2/2's, it is (or can be) best to give it first strike. The possibility of first strike gives it a nice extra ability that you can use strategically. I like it. It may not be the best card, but it doesn't have to be. It's an interesting one.



It might have been interesting with a high power and low toughness (E.g. 4/2), but as-is, it's easier to just not block it or kill it with a spell. If it was a genuine threat, I could see it, but as a 3/3, it's just kinda meh.

EDIT: Maybe if it was a 2/2 with activated Double Strike instead?



I like this as a 4/4 for 4 with the same first strike ability. The problem with the 2/2 double striker is that a 3/3 (or even a 2/3) still kills it easily), whereas the 3/3 version is very poorly positioned against 3/4's and 4/4's. If it's a 2/2 then it's awful once RtR and Gatecrash start being drafted together, as 3/3 was a key p/t in RtR.  The 4/2...might be better. I'm not sure. It still feels like you don't have to block it with too much. Also, the first strike ability basically becomes a no-brainer.

I'm not really sure which one is more fun, though. I'd have to play with both.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
lol at the power creep from Tephraderm to Spitemare to Boros Reckoner

i think btw that when a block is designed for 2 colour decks (guilds) and the previous block is a non-multi colour design (or let it be allied 2 colour, like zombies and werewolfs), somewhere someone failed if there are lots of 3+ colour strategies. 
I like this as a 4/4 for 4 with the same first strike ability. The problem with the 2/2 double striker is that a 3/3 (or even a 2/3) still kills it easily), whereas the 3/3 version is very poorly positioned against 3/4's and 4/4's. If it's a 2/2 then it's awful once RtR and Gatecrash start being drafted together, as 3/3 was a key p/t in RtR.  The 4/2...might be better. I'm not sure. It still feels like you don't have to block it with too much. Also, the first strike ability basically becomes a no-brainer.

I'm not really sure which one is more fun, though. I'd have to play with both.



Well, it just doesn't do a whole lot as it is right now, in my opinion. The opponent doesn't need to block it. If he wants to get rid of it, that's not terribly hard either since it's not very big and has no protection of any sort.
I like this as a 4/4 for 4 with the same first strike ability. The problem with the 2/2 double striker is that a 3/3 (or even a 2/3) still kills it easily), whereas the 3/3 version is very poorly positioned against 3/4's and 4/4's. If it's a 2/2 then it's awful once RtR and Gatecrash start being drafted together, as 3/3 was a key p/t in RtR.  The 4/2...might be better. I'm not sure. It still feels like you don't have to block it with too much. Also, the first strike ability basically becomes a no-brainer.

I'm not really sure which one is more fun, though. I'd have to play with both.



Well, it just doesn't do a whole lot as it is right now, in my opinion. The opponent doesn't need to block it. If he wants to get rid of it, that's not terribly hard either since it's not very big and has no protection of any sort.



It's a 3/3. It's a 7-turn clock. It kills fairly quickly, especially in a deck with as much reach as a Boros deck. It's not going to be a Constructed powerhouse, but I think it'll be very good in Limited and casual circles. Black is the only colour that can reliably remove it without still suffering from the triggered ability. And if your opponent does have a removal spell, he's still trading a two- or three-mana spell for your creature, and if he's red, he's coming off worse for it too. And sure, its stats are not the most impressive, but both red and white are pretty good at combat tricks anyway, so there are lots of options there.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
I like this as a 4/4 for 4 with the same first strike ability. The problem with the 2/2 double striker is that a 3/3 (or even a 2/3) still kills it easily), whereas the 3/3 version is very poorly positioned against 3/4's and 4/4's. If it's a 2/2 then it's awful once RtR and Gatecrash start being drafted together, as 3/3 was a key p/t in RtR.  The 4/2...might be better. I'm not sure. It still feels like you don't have to block it with too much. Also, the first strike ability basically becomes a no-brainer.

I'm not really sure which one is more fun, though. I'd have to play with both.



Well, it just doesn't do a whole lot as it is right now, in my opinion. The opponent doesn't need to block it. If he wants to get rid of it, that's not terribly hard either since it's not very big and has no protection of any sort.



It's a 3/3. It's a 7-turn clock. It kills fairly quickly, especially in a deck with as much reach as a Boros deck. It's not going to be a Constructed powerhouse, but I think it'll be very good in Limited and casual circles. Black is the only colour that can reliably remove it without still suffering from the triggered ability. And if your opponent does have a removal spell, he's still trading a two- or three-mana spell for your creature, and if he's red, he's coming off worse for it too. And sure, its stats are not the most impressive, but both red and white are pretty good at combat tricks anyway, so there are lots of options there.


Or if you do go three-color, let it block, then play a card with bloodrush on your opponent's creature. Sure, incredibly situational, but it'd be hilarious to manage to do it for the win.
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I like this as a 4/4 for 4 with the same first strike ability. The problem with the 2/2 double striker is that a 3/3 (or even a 2/3) still kills it easily), whereas the 3/3 version is very poorly positioned against 3/4's and 4/4's. If it's a 2/2 then it's awful once RtR and Gatecrash start being drafted together, as 3/3 was a key p/t in RtR.  The 4/2...might be better. I'm not sure. It still feels like you don't have to block it with too much. Also, the first strike ability basically becomes a no-brainer.

I'm not really sure which one is more fun, though. I'd have to play with both.



Well, it just doesn't do a whole lot as it is right now, in my opinion. The opponent doesn't need to block it. If he wants to get rid of it, that's not terribly hard either since it's not very big and has no protection of any sort.



It's a 3/3. It's a 7-turn clock. It kills fairly quickly, especially in a deck with as much reach as a Boros deck. It's not going to be a Constructed powerhouse, but I think it'll be very good in Limited and casual circles. Black is the only colour that can reliably remove it without still suffering from the triggered ability. And if your opponent does have a removal spell, he's still trading a two- or three-mana spell for your creature, and if he's red, he's coming off worse for it too. And sure, its stats are not the most impressive, but both red and white are pretty good at combat tricks anyway, so there are lots of options there.


Or if you do go three-color, let it block, then play a card with bloodrush on your opponent's creature. Sure, incredibly situational, but it'd be hilarious to manage to do it for the win.



The 5/1 mono-red bloodrusher is pretty much made for that situation.

76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
I like that they planned tools to push for fewer colors, but I think the hybrid cards are an awful place to do that. By definition, hybrid should be played by more decks. A blue/black hybrid card can be played in white-blue, blue-black, blue-red, black-red, monoblue, monoblack, etc. If it has too many hybrid symbols, it can only be played in blue-black, monoblue and monoblack (okay, when the manabases are crazy, you can splash or whatever, but it's harder).

But you know what restricts a lot already? Gold. If you don't want people splashing, use many colored symbols. I hate when the line of gold and hybrid is blurred (and people often think of hybrids as gold cards, especially with the guild watermark and everything). Demigod of Revenge and friends was fun because it was one cycle in a block with other hybrid cards, the exception. With only three hybrid cards per color pair, I think it's irresponsible to put that many hybrid intensive cards.

Boros Reckoner could have cost , and it wouldn't be played except in Boros because part of why it's good is that you can ensure it lands on turn three. The same with Nightveil Specter if it cost . And it's not like you are trying to push monowhite decks using the Reckoner or monoblue decks using the already-awkward-with-few-colors Specter.

Then you would have had slots to put on hybrid cards that are actually exciting by any deck that played either color. Something to think about.
The article suggests that there aren't many answers to Empty The Warrens.  In actuality, Sandstorm, Echoing Truth, Electrickery, Echoing Decay, Holy Light, etc. all precipitate an immediate concession from a storm player, and Crypt Rats ain't too shabby either.  Also, the article claims that Delver has the best match-up against Storm, but in actuality, the Black discard deck has the best match-up.  I've played the Black discard deck for years, my win percentage is something like 90% against Storm, and if I had my way, neither Empty The Warrens nor Grapeshot would have been banned.  I'm not opposed to picking-up auto-wins against a deck that apparently WotC thinks I should be auto-losing to.  The fact that the storm decks were at best #3 in terms of popularity (behind Delver and U/X Post), and the TPPS version had a win percentage right close to 50%, tells me that it wasn't a deck that needed nerfing.

The fact that the top 2 decks were completely untouched by the bannings suggests that the format is about to become more warped, not more diverse.  It's a little fishy that WotC hasn't banned anything from the top 2 decks, even though they play many overpowered cards (Gush, Daze, Cloudpost, etc.).

I agree with the banning of Invigorate.  Banning Invigorate doesn't entirely dismantle the Infect deck the way that banning Empty The Warrens removed the Storm deck from the format completely.  Invigorate is a major offender in degenerate crushings.  It is almost akin to a red burn spell that deals 8 damage for 0 mana, that can also be used to protect a win condition from cards like Disfigure or Lightning Bolt, again for 0 mana.
If your opponent blocks it with three 2/2's, it's best not to give it first strike. If he blocks it with two 2/2's, it is (or can be) best to give it first strike. The possibility of first strike gives it a nice extra ability that you can use strategically. I like it. It may not be the best card, but it doesn't have to be. It's an interesting one.



It might have been interesting with a high power and low toughness (E.g. 4/2), but as-is, it's easier to just not block it or kill it with a spell. If it was a genuine threat, I could see it, but as a 3/3, it's just kinda meh.

EDIT: Maybe if it was a 2/2 with activated Double Strike instead?

ur forgetting about a little ability called bloodrush
Having faced the Reckoner twice today, I can with some certainty say that it's a pretty good card. The first strike made for some really difficult decisions. It stops a lot of creatures dead in their tracks. I actually lost a game specifically to its reckoning ability. Sometimes, Panic is just better than Mugging.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.