3/6/2013 Feature: "Shuffling Sorin, Torturing with Tibalt"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "Shuffling Sorin, Torturing with Tibalt", which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Correction! Tibalt's deck is not the first duel deck to not match its namesake's colors: Ajani's duel deck is RGW compared to his card's RW. And I suppose you could count Urza's Rage being the flagship mythic for the Coalition deck, but the Coalition itself is five-color so I think that gets a pass.

And there is a reference to Grim Lavamancer that seems from context to actually refer to Lavaborn Muse. (Though Grim Lavamancer would have been pretty sweet in Tibalt's deck, too!)

These decks look like a lot of fun, and quite balanced. Good new art and some pretty sweet reprints, too. I'll be picking up a copy.

I am disappointed that Punishing Fire didn't end up in Tibalt's list... I can't think of a more perfect card, mechanically and thematically, especially for this opponent.
Wow, Sulfuric Vortex partially negates 6 cards in the Sorin Deck, and Sorin only has one card that can directly combat it.
I am disappointed that Punishing Fire didn't end up in Tibalt's list... I can't think of a more perfect card, mechanically and thematically, especially for this opponent.



Probably because it was already in Knights vs. Dragons with alternate art and everything.

The new flavour text for Mortify may be one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever seen. It's not funny, it's not even funny in a Werebear, so good it's bad way. It's just awful. Not even original or anything, considering how old the "bad case of X" joke is, and how much better it's been done by others. Who wrote that?
Very disappointed in the deck list. There are an awful lot of cards here that don't seem at all right in their respective decks. And yes, the flavor text on Mortify is horrendously bad.

Cards like Rakdos Carnarium, Devil's Play, Gang of Devils, Mad Prophet etc. scream flavor for Tibalt. But then there are the cards like Reassembling Skeleton, Shambling Remains, Coal Stoker, and Corpse Connoisseur that seem to serve no purpose other than to try to 'negate' the drawback of a random discard (and in the case of Coal Stoker, well, I'm not even sure what it's doing).

Bump in the Night? Awesome! But then we have Flame Javelin and Flame Slash that don't really feel right. And as mentioned, Sulfuric Vortex. Sure, it's one card with no tutors in the deck, but once you get it out, Sorin only has one card to get rid of it.

Sorin's deck is a bit more on the ball with its flavor, but it's got some weird stuff going on as well. Phantom General? Mesmeric Fiend? Mausoleum Guard? There are better cards out there to put into a white/black vampire deck.


The new flavour text for Mortify may be one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever seen. It's not funny, it's not even funny in a Werebear, so good it's bad way. It's just awful. Not even original or anything, considering how old the "bad case of X" joke is, and how much better it's been done by others. Who wrote that?



Actually, I thought it was pretty funny.  Better than Werebear certainly.  Anyway, just saying.  

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That mortify flavor text is the worst thing to ever happen.

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Okay, so both of Tibalt's new art cards actually feature Tibalt. Neither one of Sorin's cards include him, other than for the ridiculously forced flavor text of Mortify referring to him. And Death Grasp, though the art is really cool and the flavor text good, looks like the art should go on a red black card! Why isn't Sorin the one doing the grasp as opposed to some random chick? Really??

Other than that, cool looking decks with good cards that look fun to play. My complaints are overall fairly small.
Okay, so both of Tibalt's new art cards actually feature Tibalt. Neither one of Sorin's cards include him, other than for the ridiculously forced flavor text of Mortify referring to him. And Death Grasp, though the art is really cool and the flavor text good, looks like the art should go on a red black card! Why isn't Sorin the one doing the grasp as opposed to some random chick? Really??

If Sorin were to actually fight Tibalt, the fight would be over in approximately three seconds. And two of those seconds would be spent standing over Tibalt's corpse making terrible jokes a la Mortify's new flavor text.

After all, Sorin is thousands of years old, and thus has accrued a lot of tricks and incredible power. Tibalt is newly-awakened, and still trying to figure out his powers. There hasn't been a less-balanced fight since Nicol Bolas decided to hunt down a rabbit for dinner.

So, in order to avoid shattering the suspension of disbelief, Sorin can't be depicted actually fighting. Which means his new cards can't depict him. The random chick on Death Grasp must be his stand-in, the one doing the actual fighting, to give Tibalt a chance.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Okay, so both of Tibalt's new art cards actually feature Tibalt. Neither one of Sorin's cards include him, other than for the ridiculously forced flavor text of Mortify referring to him. And Death Grasp, though the art is really cool and the flavor text good, looks like the art should go on a red black card! Why isn't Sorin the one doing the grasp as opposed to some random chick? Really??

If Sorin were to actually fight Tibalt, the fight would be over in approximately three seconds. And two of those seconds would be spent standing over Tibalt's corpse making terrible jokes a la Mortify's new flavor text.

After all, Sorin is thousands of years old, and thus has accrued a lot of tricks and incredible power. Tibalt is newly-awakened, and still trying to figure out his powers. There hasn't been a less-balanced fight since Nicol Bolas decided to hunt down a rabbit for dinner.

So, in order to avoid shattering the suspension of disbelief, Sorin can't be depicted actually fighting. Which means his new cards can't depict him. The random chick on Death Grasp must be his stand-in, the one doing the actual fighting, to give Tibalt a chance.

That's a satisfactory explanation, thanks! I'd still like some new art with Sorin in it, but then again I guess he already got his Zendikar and M12 cards. Ah well.
Why the heck doesn't Tibatl's deck have madness cards in it? Play up that random discard part of the deck:  Fiery Temper, Dark Withering,  Violent Eruption, etc.

"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

Why the heck doesn't Tibatl's deck have madness cards in it? Play up that random discard part of the deck:  Fiery Temper, Dark Withering,  Violent Eruption, etc.



Yes, I was especially wondering about Fiery Temper. It's a good card, it seems to fit Mr. Random-Murder-Torture-Devil fine flavourfully and it wants to be discarded, so... Why? Attempting to make the deck less reliant on having Tibalt out or something? I dunno. Just seems odd.
To evaluate these kind of decks I always use the nifty sample hand generator. I tried Tibalt for at least 20 times, and there were no hands I really wanted to keep.

Sorin on the other hand was at least sometimes ok, but the power level and synergy of these decks seem to be severely lacking.

I know, they are aimed at the kitchen table, but I'd still expect some kind of game plan when I look at my opening hand.
Why the heck doesn't Tibatl's deck have madness cards in it? Play up that random discard part of the deck:  Fiery Temper, Dark Withering,  Violent Eruption, etc.



That would be great, and Madness works a lot like a discarded Miracle, so it would make some sense...

I bet the reason they went with Unearth is because mechanically it is more like Flashback – something that people would play in the Innistrad block (and in these decks), so it makes the transition from Sorin v Tibalt as their first exposure to MtG to Standard more fluid... The only issue with that of course is that Flashback isn't on creatures, so they'd be missing that when they go to standard... but they do have Undying, which serves a similar purpose...

I'm mixed about these decks. Flavor-wise for fitting into the Innistrad block I feel like they missed a great deal. If this were really a fight that Sorin and Tibalt had during that time, Sorin would have some difficulty getting any Vampires on his side since the vampires of Innistrad hate him. You could argue that none of his vampires are from the Innistrad plane, so he's summoning them from elsewhere, and of course Sorin, Lord of Innistrad puts vampire tokens out there (with Innistrad style dress)... I dunno there's just a lot of mixed messages flavor-wise. I do like that he uses a fair amount of humans, which makes more sense to the narrative of Innistrad and his motivations there. 

The one part of flavor that does bug me with this vs deck is the new art for Death Grasp. It didn't even have to be related to Sorin – more that it would make more sense for it to have Innistrad-based art with creatures from that plane instead of wherever the heck that mage and soldier are supposed to be from. 

In the end, I know Wizards have to walk a line with this product. They are meant to appeal to the kitchen table and new players by offering pre-constructed decks that help introduce them to MtG and the mechanics therein... And they are also meant to re-issue some old cards with new art and other older cards that may be somewhat difficult to find for veteran players that may want to put them in a deck for another format... So that duality is probably why they don't have more cards that are relevant to Innistrad or Standard... but it's still makes for some weirdness in these Duel Decks.

I'll be getting this one because I like Innistrad so much, but will probably avoid most other Duel Decks... Although Domri Rade has a good chance of being in the next Planeswalker one which certainly is appealing... 
the decklists causes me sadness.
Frown
nuff said
As a casual player the decks look fun and the new art for browbeat is pretty awesome. I'm sure I'll be picking up a copy for my birthday.
As a casual player the decks look fun and the new art for browbeat is pretty awesome. I'm sure I'll be picking up a copy for my birthday.



I'll be picking one up for my birthday too! The 14th! Happy Birthday to you sir!

And yes, the new art for Browbeat is awesome. It certainly helps to make Tibalt feel more like an imposing force. I do hope they continue some kind of story with Tibalt down the road and feature him in another set or at least in a "Return to Innistrad"... he's got a great look and cool flavor that I'd like to see developed more (and with some new abilities).

Maybe he can replace Chandra in Magic 2015..? No..? Yeah, I didn't think they'd eschew her either.
Tibalt definitely needs another planeswalker card and we've already got at least four Chandras so I'd like to see that.
Remember when demons were removed from Magic because of concerns over outrage from religious parents? Now they have a duel deck, which are often sold at large retailers like Walmart right next to the Pokemon and Yugioh cards, with a red guy with horns and a goatee on the cover. My, how times have changed!
Remember when demons were removed from Magic because of concerns over outrage from religious parents? Now they have a duel deck, which are often sold at large retailers like Walmart right next to the Pokemon and Yugioh cards, with a red guy with horns and a goatee on the cover. My, how times have changed!



Eh. Since then, Harry Potter and Twilight have made fantasy more acceptable / given outrage-prone parents something bigger to boycott. 

"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

I like a lot of the cards in Sorin's deck. I'll have to spend a little more time going over the tibalt list to actually get the flow of whats going on. I really like the idea of Tibalt so I'd like to see an idea of how to base a deck around him. As it was said in the article, I like the idea of "tightening the screws" and leaving your opponent with very few options.
Very stoked that cards like Death's Grasp and Unmake are in here. Probably will still grab the cards as singles but I think it's a fine product for new players looking to buy something and get down to dueling.

EDH decks I play:

 

Prossh: http://community.wizards.com/forum/commander-edh/threads/4101381

 

Derevi: http://community.wizards.com/forum/commander-edh/threads/4115936

 

Kaalia (the beats)

 

Zur (disgusting combo)

 

Damia (Bug Elf deck)

 

Numot (Stax)

 

Griselbrand (French)

 

Ghave (Uber combo)

 

Muzzio (Oops, Blightsteel)

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