8/6/2009 TD: "The Age-Old Debate"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Top Decks, which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Mike, I'd love to see you write something sometime somewhere (perhaps a certain 5wf, as it can't really fit in Top Decks here) about that last paragraph.

More specifically, how tapping out (or pants-down control, as I've called it since - I believe I stole that line off you) for a Dragon was perfectly viable in the first block where Magic slowed down enough that Dragons were viable.

However, over time, dudes have gotten better and better - funny how those Dragons at the top end were also the vanguard of that, huh? it sure as hell trickled down - and tapping out, even at five, for something that, to be quite honest, doesn't rival Morphling but comes damn close, is no longer acceptable. Again.

Interesting how it was cheap spells making tapping out unviable, then it was viable, then cheap creatures. Any comment on that? I'm probably not being as clear as I could be, but I think I'm being rather more Floresian in my writing style than I normally am. I keep missing the period key and hitting hyphen instead ;)

love ya mike
I think the key point with playing Baneslayer Angel is the protection from dragons ability which is sure to be relevant in a metagame where Broodmate Dragon is going to be commonly played; a metagame where 5-color control is the deck to beat. In a metagame where 5-color control is going to be much less popular I'd probably stick with the dragons all of the way.

I also like the idea of using the all instants package of Bogardan Hellkites and/or Cloudthreshers as well but as has been said it would depend on the metagame.

Anyway a great article today.

This guy sides with Baneslayer.

So does Anathemancer and Puppeteer Clique
The majority, beyond their—as a group—primary stance regarding point elimination, noted that they would just do what Shuhei Nakamura says to do . . .

Yeah, Spike is really the smart psychographic.

While I don't claim to understand the intricacies of standard, I do like the corner case of Runed Halo.

Runed Halo can potentially counter all copies of Baneslayer Angel on turn 2. The tokens produced by Broodmate Dragon have a generic name, so can still damage a player wearing a single Halo. However with Cryptic Commands and Esper Charms, I doubt this would ever matter.
I think Bogardan Hellkite is just too expensive to play the role of mid-size tap-out doorstop. Broodmate Dragon is still better, because there's almost nothing better than blanking your opponent's removal spell and STILL having a 4/4 flier. Angel beats Dragons, but Dragons beat everything else.

P.S. What the twitterites have to say is not news and is not even a reasonable survey, in the same way that when CNN anchors read their email inbox on air it's not news.
even if Broodmate Dragon doesn't go down to just one removal spell, two Flame Javelins can take it out, clearing the path for whatever mischief is already afoot on the battlefield.

That's a pretty weak argument. How often will you run into double javelin, and how does baneslayer fare better against 8 damage done to it?
It's really quite simple.

Is just an efficient 5/5 flyer with some other abilities that don't do very much. Oh and it dies to removal.

All also die to removal, but each bring along other things that need removing.

It doesn't matter how efficient, evasive, or lifelinky Banslayer happens to be, when it's five-mana cost becomes a liability the second it's Doombladed or Deathmarked for only one or two mana. It's just gone, and so is that five mana. Those other guys may also be dead, but they left some friends behind who also need dealt with.

(Naturally, this only means all of Zendikar's removal will be Dragon or Vampire Tribal spells.)
It's really quite simple. etc.

having seen a blinding mage hold down a baneslayer for an entire game at the release, allowing the mage's controller to eventually win, i have to agree with you here. making more creatures or gaining some other type of card advantage pushes all those cards ahead of the angel in terms of pure strategic value. in that situation with most of those others, you could be attacking with your other creatures, and with the rest you could at least sac for some kind of effect and then reap the rewards. with the baneslayer, you have the option of being sad.
I think Bogardan Hellkite is just too expensive to play the role of mid-size tap-out doorstop.

But Bogardan Hellkite doesn't require you to tap out on your turn...
Yeah, Spike is really the smart psychographic.

Listening to people that are better than you is intelligent. The other typical stance of shunning popular (aka powerful) cards because "I'm original like that" is not intelligent as long as you intend to win.

I have to agree with Flores, it's not that simple. Baneslayer Angel is powerful, it needs consideration, which is having.

In the first week with M10, 5CC was already one of the decks with more copies in top8s, but only 2 (15%) had Baneslayer Angel. Both of them fell in the quarterfinals, and ironically the one that didn't have a one-off Angel also had Broodmate Dragon. 62% of the top8 5CC decks had between 1 and 3 Dragons, the most common value being 2. 71% of the 5CC decks that made top4 had them.

In the second week (week before last), the number of 5CC decks with Angel more than doubled into 38%. However nearly half the decks with Angel had just one and/or mixed it with one or two Dragons. In addition, everybody mostly went up one Dragon (Range and Mode from 1-3 & 2 to 2-3 & 3). The decks with Bogardan Hellkites played as one-offs dropped from 4 to 2.

Dragon has had more influence in top8s, but the Angel is timidly there too. The Hellkites seems more like a dropped experiment.
I would have to say that I am on the side of Broodmate Dragon because when you cast this spell it produces two permanents, one of which is a token. Anytime you trade a token for an opponent's card, I'd say you were ahead of the exchange. In terms of power, although Baneslayer Angel hits for five and gains five, the eight damage represented by Broodmate Dragon presents a faster clock. Although it costs one more mana, I'd feel safer tapping out at six knowing that I have made two permanents that my opponent can't Wrath of God. He has to use more mana than usual (Hallowed Burial) to deal with my threats which limits the amount of stuff that he can do during his turn. I'd say that's a strategic victory right there.
With big sorceries this big

I see what you did there
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