11/8/2013 LD: "The M Files: Theros"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Mark Globus looks a lot like Ethan :P. Also I love the title of Zack of "Magic Talking Head"

Yeah cool keep 'm coming!

Opaline Unicorn still does look really bad. When it was a 0/1, was it 2 mana? Because even as a 1/2 for {3}, it's strictly worse than Alloy Myr which was strictly worse than Scuttlemutt. I'd be happy to have a common reprint of Alloy Myr, or a 1/3 Alloy Myr, but 1/2 is just sadface. Especially as the art is so lovely and it'd be great to be able to play it in casual decks without being ashamed. As it is, I really can't do that.


Also, it's good to see the cycle of rare prot-colour creatures confirmed as a cycle... if only it was complete

But anyway, yep, this is an awesome series, and I'm always glad to see this kind of unique behind-the-scenes insight. Moar!

Sam is making Cobblebrute sad. Catacomb Slug doesn't get sole credit for finishing the 1-6 table; Cobblebrute wins too in a tie.

Opaline Unicorn isn't just disappointing stats.  It's also actively bad in limited.  The format is so tightly wound, with respect to tempo, that you literally cannot afford to spend three mana on something that is a terrible blocker.  Voyaging Satyr already serves the role of a (MUCH better) accelerator, and is backed up by Ordeal of Nylea and Karametras's Acolyte, and even Satyr Hedonist, long before you'd ever want to run Unicorn.  And if you want to splash, Unknown Shores takes up a land slot in your deck, goes late, is invulnerable to removal, can be used to same turn you play it, and is FREE to play.  There is no scenario where 1 power makes enough of a difference to justify running this, in this format, unless you're playing mtgo and afk'd your way through the draft portion.


You might say "Oh, well, I wanted to ramp into something and I wasn't green."  But that doesn't come close to holding up, because Opaline Unicorn is the only option for that, which means if your deck is planning to ramp, you're either playing multiples of a fragile, negative-board-presence card in order to make your deck work, or else you don't have enough ramp to support your plan at all.  In other words, ramp is not viable outside green, and isn't an avenue for Unicorn to find playability.


In short: this card is a trap.  It does not, as the article puts it, receive undeserved ire because it looks bad.  It's a card designed to fill a role that it is incapable of filling, both because there are much better options that would take its slot, and because even if there weren't, it's too easy to kill, as a 3-drop, for that role to be effectively filled.


I'm not saying the card should have been better than it is.  There is adequate fixing and acceleration in the set as it stands.  But let's not pretend that card is anything other than a piece of complete garbage in this format.  You guys could have replaced it with a token or a basic land or something, and by its absence, it would have only improved the decks of people who are now attempting to make Unicorn work.  Even better, you could have used the slot to design a useful artifact for the U/R scry deck (which, as a rule, never comes together, since the uncommon Flamespeaker Adept is not enough to make it more than an inconsistent joke deck).

I understand the point of some functional reprints, like when flavour demands it (eg. Sorin's Thirst becomes Pharika's Cure), but I don't quite understand why Shimmering Grotto had to be changed to Unknown Shores, especially when Shimmering Grotto is already in the Core Set. The idea and look of a grotto seem pretty Grecian to me ... why not just reprint it in Theros and leave it out of M14? Is it just so both sets can have access to colour fixing in Limited? Or, is it solely for EDH consideration?

Theros does a lot of mana stepping betwen monstousity and bestow


The grotto steps mana count in the other direction so would be used to cast cheap nstants like gods willing


I often throw the unicorn out later if my hand is stepping throw the turns

but it's gotten me a missing color more tha once

and it slew Soldier of the Pantheon