Forums
Guides
Features
Media
Zelda Wiki
Patreon
    General Card Games Thread
    • I don't like to get too much into the future set/storyline speculation but I do think a time jump is looooong overdue (it's been 11 years! time jumps used to happen every 2-3 years!) and assuming we're actually tying up the gatewatch story with the spring 2019 set as promised then we can have a jump either immediately after that or after the summer 2019 core set.

      There's a little epilogue work to do - patching things up with Nissa and Chandra, letting everyone with an outstanding grudge against a Theros God get together an fuck things up in Nyx, watching Karn attempt to deal with New Phyrexia and fail spectacularly as usual, maybe (please) getting some closure for Garruk. This could all be done in Core 2020, or not.

      The first Lorwyn block was immediately after the last time skip which leaves two interesting possibilities: ending there - as a cool down after so much Bolas stuff for so long - or going back to start the next story there yet again after the skip.

      *shrug*

      The giants deck is tough for sure. The giants themselves were designed for limited as roleplayers in kithkin, goblin, and elemental decks as much as anything else, which is why you have about as many giants with synergies outside their tribe (ex, ex) as within it. You could make giants work as a big red deck if you were willing to add things like Mindstone, Chandra torch of defiance, Maybe even blood moon (not sure where your local meta is right now wrt non-basic lands), and a bunch of small controlly red spells but then you lose all the flavour.

      What about a build strictly for multiplayer? You don't have to worry about getting aggro'd out so much and there are a lot of interesting political effects (Boldwyr intimidator influences combat for the whole table, Spinerock Knoll can pay you off for other's combat) and group-hug effects (Arbiter of Knollridge heals everyone, Favor of the Mighty helps out your fellow big dudes, Boldwyr Heavyweights make super interesting boards with 4 players) to play with in giants or nearby to giants (like, I think you can definitely justify an Austere Command or two).
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • Oh yeah, girl's looking goooood for 113

      She's meant to be a limited bomb in Orzhov and play with the spirit making ability, ofc, and I'll love her in that context.

      We'll see about constructed though. It's an interesting design. Tactically speaking, most cards that successfully synergize with other creatures' death triggers do so by actually sacrificing the triggering creature; with this Teysa there's always a lag between her hitting the field and the payoff and that's a lag that your opponent is certainly going to be able to exploit. Strategically it's a very grindy, midrange style ability at a time when more and more standard is being played as best-of-one and the stock of grindy, midrange style abilities is low.

      On top of all that, if you're not using the token ability then Midnight Reaper probably fills the slot this would fill more efficiently and Vraksa, Golgari Queen fills it with more general utility.

      If there *is* a deck that uses the token ability, probably in conjuction with Slimefoot the Stowaway, I'll definitely play the shit out of it though.

      On the EDH side it's obviously insane support for commanders that already play in the "tokens as cannonfodder" space. Ghave, Guru of Spores probably wants this more than anything, and I'll definitely run her in league with her younger self. I'm not sure she has enough utility to fill the commander slot on her own.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • So we met up for commander finally. It was supposed to be a four-way battle (3 with our own decks, the 4th piloting a friend's deck) but it ended up just being my friend and I. We did a match with 30 life instead of 40.

      I played against my friend's Oloro deck. We were perfectly balanced. Of our four decks - Traft, Aurelia, Oloro, and Arcum Dagsson (piloted by my friend who would not have known the combos) - the two we used seemed the most oriented towards a long drawn out game. I was worried.

      We agreed to French mulligan to speed up the game. I hadn't played this deck before and wanted to work with it as-is as a test. I kept. Two Islands, Spell Queller, Geist Snatch, Supreme Phantom, Rattlechains, Essence Flux.

      He had a turn 1 Serra Ascendant, which in commander instantly gave him a 1 mana 6/6 with flying. Luckily I had Spell Queller and just enough mana to take it out before losing flat-out.


      We both got our draw engines out early, within the first couple of turns. I searched out Bygone Bishop with Drift of Phantasms and he had Greed. Drift of Phantasms was great this game. My earlier draw had been a Corrupted Grafstone, so Drift not only worked as a searcher but also a way to activate the aforementioned card.
      He got out a High Priest of Penance to hold the board hostage which could get rid of my Queller if it was blocked and get his Ascendant back. Luckily all my creatures had flying so he couldn't get rid of it himself through blocking.
      He also got out Blind Obedience to ping me for life every so often and gain some more life.

      I knew I had to end this fast, and since he was gaining life so often I thought the best way to do it was through commander damage.
      I get Traft out (I opt for battle-stance Traft =p ) and prepare to go on the offensive.
      Between Supreme Phantom and an Always Watching I got earlier out my Spirits are pretty strong.
      He gets out a Serra Avatar which I prepare to chump block.
      I had been attacking every so often with my flying spirits the turns before to keep his life total manageable but he was still hovering consistently at around 20-30. At one point my Opponent uses Spinal Embrace on my Spell Queller, but I flashed in Rattlechains (pro Fairie move)

      I begin attacking with Traft. I know he's going to block him with High Priest of Penance so I blink him away with Essence Flux during the declare blockers phase, so I still got an angel to apply pressure without having to worry about any of my stuff being blocked.
      I had done a ton of damage at this point so I no longer had to worry about Serra Ascendant coming back strong. Traft was now a 5/5 thanks to Essence Flux so I didn't have to worry about him dying (or w/e. He's a ghost anyway) in combat and he had Hexproof so even if Priest of Penance did die at some point he'd be safe.

      After I had done a huge dent he tried summoning a Crested Sunmare. I tried negating with Geist Snatch but he countered that with Countersquall.

      In the end though, he wasn't able to survive another round of attacks from me.


      I'm VERY happy with my first match with this deck. In singleplayer it can hold its own because its CVC is low enough to make plays every turn, and in multiplayer the deck I suspect the deck is slow enough to avoid being the focus of attacks before I can get out a solid field.
      I was able to get out enough fliers early-game to win me the match. Their low mana cost worked great. The deck was meant to stall until I could get out traft suited up with Auras but I definitely underestimated standalone spirits attacking with flying. It's like a weenie deck.


      My Traft deck, for reference

      (The Forbidding Spirit is an upcoming addition. It's currently a Mindshrieker)


      Me, smiting your ass like you're Demon Lord Withengar.



      My endgame field (it looks like the very last thing I did was summon that awesome-looking Latch Seeker. It entered tapped because of Blind Obedience.) The pile with Eerie Interlude is my hand.

      -----

      Other thoughts:
      -Other card which were on the field but didn't really factor in: The Sol Ring on my side of the field got played late never had a chance to tap it for mana and I had a Geist of the Archives. I was too drunk to remember to scry but it died valiantly blocking something. My opponent had an Underworld Coinsmith and a Loxodon Warhammer he was about to equip to Serra Avatar (he realized before he equipped it that his life was too low to make Serra avatar strong so it kinda just sat there).
      -Eternal Dragon is fun. I only used its Plainscycling this match but can see it's other ability being a good utility in longer/ multiplayer matches.
      -Corrupted Grafstone felt more exciting/ rewarding to play over a dual land.
      -The blink cards in my deck are gonna be fun combat tricks in addition to protection.
      -Clue tokens are great in this deck. I usually have some mana to spare at the end of my turn since my CVC is so low. The tokens keep up momentum.
      -I love hamming it up when playing. This deck (format?) was perfect for that. I liked playing my "supportive" spirits (which actually ended up as aggressive spirits this game), and 'searching the field for clues' with Investigate. It was goofy and fun.

      The post was edited 8 times, last by EmptyStar ().

    • Super glad you had a good time ES. 1v1 commander can really go either way, with a fun streamlined experience or the impression that neither player built a deck for the situation at hand and everything is super clunky. Nice that you got a lot more of the former, hope you get the multiplayer experience soon!

      (Also, I'm kinda loathe to say it but FYI the "spell" referenced in Spell Qualler's rules text needs to be a spell on the stack, not a resolved permanent. Once a creature spell resolves it's not a spell anymore)

      ---

      Some interesting days in the world of card games.

      Artifact is having it's worst day ever. Yesterday was also its worst day ever. Tomorrow almost certainly will be too. The game seems non-salvageable:



      I never picked it up personally, despite having every intention to do so, and whatever went wrong that seems to be a piece of it. The DotA crowd wasn't convinced right from the beginning, and Valve never got them on board. The card gaming crowd just... let it go by. I guess you have to give WotC and Blizzard some credit for planning the Arena and HS schedules to run solid interference.

      Speaking of schedules, Ravnica Allegiance releases on Arena tomorrow. I'm reallllly torn about how to approach the expansion. I haven't played any Best Of One in months, opting to enjoy various iterations of Golgari rock and expecting to move into Jund when RNA made three color manabases possible. It's becoming increasingly clear, though, that BO3 is going to get zero real support in Arena going forward and I should be looking to get into the mildly broken BO1 metagame if I want to get anywhere ladder-wise. Jund, unfortunately, has zero chance to compete in that environment.

      I think the compromise might be to play Rhythm of the Wild Gruul in BO1 and slot the RG duels into my current rock decks (along with Gruul Spellbreaker and the new Hero's Downfall) for BO3.

      The other option is just to give up on BO3 and play turbofog in BO1, including the new Wilderness Reclamation. That's probably my best chance for success, all things considered, although it's not likely to be nearly so much fun

      *shrug*
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • Yknow I fully would've picked up artifact if it didn't have an initial cost. All card games have some kind of startup cost, but mtg has starter decks in your local card shop and arena and such is free, hearthstone gives you a bunch of packs for free and the entire basic set of like 50 cards with every account, I imagine others are similar. Duelyst gives free packs and a basic set too iirc. Shadowverse afaik has a crazy good f2p model.

      I've watched videos and it seems like i need to play it to really understand it, and i'm not willing to pay £20 for a new card game when i already play others :/
    • First weekend with Ravnica Allegiance on Arena is in the books.

      This was one of the last major challenges to Arena as a platform: it's the first major release of new cards since the program "took off" and so the first real chance for F2P players to see how well they can keep up with scheduled metagame shakeups. It's not the ultimate test - that'll be when cards rotate *out* later in the year - but it is an important one.

      I played pretty much continuously from GRN's release through to Thursday. I don't think I dropped a daily quest - maybe one or two when things got really busy IRL - but that only required me to play a couple hours every three days. I never felt like I was grinding past the point of my own enjoyment. My economic management strategy along the way was pretty straightforward:

      1) I bought nothing but GRN packs (drafting as often as possible) with the gold I made. I didn't want to dilute my collection with rares that would rotate quickly or commons and uncommons that wouldn't contribute to vault progress.

      2) Pauper aside, I invested in exactly two decks - one for BO1 and one for BO3. For my BO3 deck I chose something that I thought would have legs going into RNA standard and for my BO1 deck I chose something that required me to spend no rare wildcards (which meant that it either had to share a manbase with my BO3 deck or be monocolor; I went for former but if I had to do it all again I would do the latter).

      3) I had both decks exactly where I wanted them by early December and at that point I began exclusively saving everything I earned for this weekend. The decks I had were enough to coast past the finish line for GRN, despite some lat metagame shifts. Two weeks of Pauper event probably helped on that accord and I hope we can trust WotC for similar events in the future.

      All in all, I came into this weekend with 19,500 gold, 2500 gems, 11 rare wildcards, and 6 mythic wildcards ready to spend. Judging by various reddit comments this was about average, maybe a little below, for players that actually bothered to prepare for the new set. I jumped into Sealed right away, put together a pretty sweet WU flyers deck and went 7-2. Used the winnings to jump into another and opened an arguably better Simic deck but couldn't parlay it into a third event. Just bought another 6 packs.

      So 24 packs from gems, another 20 from gold, and then 3 more today from the standard Sunday quest.

      I bought up to a complete Gruul manabase, 4x Gruul Spellbreaker, and 4x Growth-Chamber Guardian. I opened two Domri which was lucky and great. Picked up all of RNAs critical commons and uncommons no sweat. I put together the skeletons of new BO1 and new BO3 decks which are probably 90% of the way to where I'd have them on day three of a new season if I was spending infinite dollars.

      When the meta settles after the pro tour I don't imagine I'll need more than two weeks to get both of these decks into finalized forms to ride out the season... which'll put me about a full month ahead of my rate of progress in the last standard season.

      All-in-all, a really nice data-point for the overall state of the F2P game on Arena I think. In the short-term I can still see that getting into the game is tough and there's probably three months of struggle involved before you "stabilize" and can start saving gold and gems (and that's especially bad if you're learning to play magic at the same time you're learning your way around the economy). This still isn't anywhere close to Gwent levels of generous. In the long-term, though, all signs put to it being incredibly easy for an F2P player to stay competitive through releases and rotations as long as they play smart.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Foo ().

    • I haven't mentioned Force of Will much here recently, but a certain new card has been a contentious topic recently, and I'm wondering whether anybody here can see exactly why.



      Context:
      • Master Rune is a card type which defines the card as playable in the rune deck (an extra deck of five singleton cards available from the start of the game), and the Master subtype is specifically restricted to one master rune per rune deck. There is no restriction in the main deck aside from the normal playset rules.
      • Hanzo//Hanzo, Chief of the Kouga is a specific J/ruler card.
      • Other rulers have gotten their own discounted Master Runes, usually resulting in a payable cost of 1-2.
      And as a refresher:
      • J/ruler≈ MtG Commander
      • Quickcast= MtG Flash (or on a chant, Instant)
      • Resonator= MtG creature
      • Chant= MtG Sorcery or Instant
      • And damage and life are generally 200 times that of MtG, with stat intervals of 100.
    • Soo... compare Deflecting Palm, Shining Shoal.

      My first intinct is that it's a color-pie break. This is either a red-white or mono-white effect in what I tend to think of as FoW's equivalent to MTG's blue... but I don't see that causing controversy outside of a small design-minded circle.

      If it's a wording issue - and the way you phrased the question leads me to believe it is :P - then I can see two possibilities.

      The use of the "instead" and "prevent" together is odd. It certainly seems like the card could have been templated without one or the other as:

      "If target resonator would deal damage this turn prevent it, then ~ deals 800 damage to that resonator"

      Or

      "If target resonator would deal damage this turn, then ~ deals 800 damage to that resonator instead"

      I don't see that as abusable, though I could be missing some rules corner cases. The second option is the lack of the "next" rider that exists on the mtg version of the card. If my opponent casts something like Flames of the Raze-Boar do I prevent the first damage and replace it with damage to my opponent's face and then prevent the second damage and do another 500? If so there might be some cute combo there but I can't possibly see it busted.

      Is the card actually broken? That would really surprise me. Each mode is a fair 2 mana effect - in constructed the top half is basically Gideon's Reproach and the bottom half something like Sovereign's Bite. Both of those are fringe playable two drops in your average mtg standard which would make this modal version strong at 3 but very underwhelming at 4.

      At one mana (plus deck building restrictions) it's super efficient, definitely, but it's also narrow. Decks looking for answers kinda want this against aggro, but not at all against midrange and can probably opt for something more universal. Aggro probably really wants this in the aggro mirror, but it gets worse as the opposing deck becomes more reactive and its absolutely dead against a control deck that is't using damage-based removal. I would imagine an RPS scenario where Hanzo aggro > Other aggro > Control > Hanzo aggro which isn't all to unhealthy a meta.

      *shrug*
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 6 times, last by Foo ().

    • It's not a color pie thing; while the effect would perhaps fit better in another attribute - my instinct says Fire - Wind also gets burn effects in FoW (just not as many or as strong. The one time it did got banned).

      You certainly picked up on the likely more obvious issue of the two issues it does have though - it is trying to replace damage twice, first by preventing, then by itself doing damage. The card got an errata in all languages regarding this issue, making it have the following text instead:

      Choose one - If target resonator would deal damage this turn, this card deals 800 damage to that resonator instead; or if target chant spell would deal damage this turn, this card deals 500 damage to your opponent instead.

      After that errata it no longer had the prevention replacement effect, as - with what you guessed, a rules corner case - in the original version the card would attempt to replace the damage with prevention, then attempt to replace it with different damage, and you can't replace nothing with something. "If it would deal damage" only applies if it does deal damage, and after the prevention it isn't. As written originally, the card only functioned as intended in the presence of a card with the effect "damage cannot be prevented".

      As for a theoretical interaction with Flames of the Raze-Boar, this actually hits very close on why it got a second errata - the effect as written above would resolve it as Flames' first damage being replaced with face damage, then replacing Flames' second damage with damage to face for each thing it would have hit. Notable is that the chant Table Flip attempts to replace the damage of however doesn't need to be a chant an opponent played; the card Sandstorm being in the same deck (or rune deck) of the player with Table Flip was an issue apparent to most players before they realized double replacement was an issue.

      As such, Table Flip got a second errata:

      Choose one - If target resonator would deal damage this turn, this card deals 800 damage to that resonator instead; or if target chant spell with a single target would deal damage this turn, this card deals 500 damage to your opponent instead.

      Now Sandstorm isn't even a valid target, although chants with effects like Flames of the Raze-Boar would be (which we do have, although I can't think of any which are competitive). This change is because of how damage is calculated in FoW: If an effect damages multiple things, then each damage is its own packet, and triggers automatic abilities/is replaced by replacement effects separately. Interestingly, this second errata is only the second time in FoW's history that a card has been changed from its original design function. (the other being three years ago, with switching a strong ruler ability from once every turn to once on each of your own turns)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sabbo ().

    • Nifty.

      Yeah the combo with sandstorm wouldn't work in MTG because on earthquake for example the damage is all dealt in a single instance. It'd work with Flames of the Raze-Boar specifically because the instances of damage are separated with a "do this, then do this" which is relatively rare wording. Maybe only 20 cards in magic's history split damage like this? Less?

      It is impressive that FoW has so little functional eratta, and that this is such a big deal accordingly. I think there are four cards in standard right now that have errata? Hostage Taker (notice the word "another" in the Oracle text and not on the card), Teferi ("up to" in the Oracle text, not on the card), Invert ("until end of turn" not on the card. Seriously wotc?), and Ajani's pridemate (the "may" in the card text just dissapeared from the oracle text this week actually).
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • I may need to clarify what I meant by "changed from its original design function". I'm not meaning simply a case of the printed text isn't what the ability is meant to do, but rather that what the ability is meant to do had changed due to the original being overpowered but this not being discovered until at least when it was spoiled. Errata of the other sort can be found in quite a few places, such as Karmic Reversal being clarified to be "this turn", or Sand Dragon, which is meant to have not only the race "Dragon", but also "Sand".

      The number of cards in FoW with errata of any sort right now in New Frontiers in English is ten, with two of them being double sided cards with issues on both sides (both are rulers with the wrong race on both sides), which includes one with changed design (Table Flip), six which correct the function of the card to be as originally designed (including incorrect race/s), and three which were just typos ("Bird of the Lost Aisles" would be a weird name :P). Table Flip's first errata would have fit in the category of "correct the card to be as originally designed", for instance.


    • Thanks for the clearing that up about Spell Queller, Foo!
      That makes sense. I remember back when I was first throwing the deck together I remember being confused about how exiling sorceries and stuff worked (maybe I asked about it here?), but that makes perfect sense! So after a permanent resolves it ceases being a spell basically, right?
      Thanks for the correction, I feel like I will finally have a handle on that card for next time!

      Here's what I was up against in that match, he just rediscovered his old tappedout page and added it.
      He mentioned after we played that he wanted to get some more creatures for it and I suggested Zendikar vampires, so he may be upgrading it soon. He also got some Ixalan vampires for it too.

      I really look forward to playing my deck in multiplayer, yeah!

      I was psyching myself up to use the deck in weeks prior listening to the Penny Dreadful soundtrack to get myself in the right RP headspace. =p
      Playing the deck and feeling the fantasy really got into Innistrad. I ended up looking through the two blocks to try and 'spirit-up' the deck a tiny bit more (which ended up just being minor changes, Dissipate replaced Cancel and Sleep Paralysis replaced Imprisoned in the Moon. The first is near identical and the latter is a step down that I'm ok with making for the sake of flavor), and I forgot how cool the world was. If my friend didn't already have a really efficient Werewolf deck I would be really tempted to make one myself. The Vampire playstyle isn't really my thing either so I don't think I'm making any Innistrad decks anytime soon, but I'm glad i have Spirits on lockdown.
      I don't think I'll make any sizable changes to the deck in the foreseeable future, but maybe around Halloween or the inevitable return to Innistrad in a few years I'll look into making sideboard for it. Entreat the Angels seems like a fun card but not something I'd ever main.

      Just well nothing else on Innistrad jumps out at me, I'm still knee-deep in Lorwyn.

      Maybe I'll read the parts of the Innistrad story I missed the first time idk.
    • Innistrad as it was envisioned between 2012 and 2014 is probably my favourite plane. The layering of more traditional gothic horror elements over the generally far-more-sinister and Lovecraftian horror represented by Sorrin and Avacyn, was, I think, incredibly well done.

      Nephalia has my all-time fav mtg aesthetic



      And stories like The Lunarch's Journal, while not exactly literary masterpieces, get closer to existential horror then anything WotC ever managed with the Eldrazi.

      (And this is because Planeswalkers, and especially Oldwalkers, are way closer to the lovecraftian cosmic horror ideal than the Eldrazi are, for all they lack tentacles. Chars like Bolas and Nahiri are usually forces from outside the world acting on a scale that makes the average human totally insignificant, and watching them throw away a few million lives on a *purposeful* whim would definitely be way more ego-destroying then coming up against Emrakul and co who are - at the end of the day - just natural disasters; weird looking hurricanes)

      ((This is also why the back half of the Amonkhet story, with Bolas and Bolas' plots in action and being viewed through mortal eyes, is the best thing WotC creative has don in the past 6 or 7 years))

      Shadows era Innistrad is hit or miss. Sacrifice is a some pretty solid writing though. And Thalia remains best girl through it all.

      ---

      First week of RNA standard has been a blast. Growth-Chamber Guardian is the most fun and interesting card I've played in constructed in years, and Theater of Horros is just a riot. I do feel like Jund is still one good Planeswalker away from being tier 1 - right now the best options are Karn and Vivian and they both tend to flood you out with lands in this kind of deck - but I'm gonna play it all season in both BO1 and BO3 anyway.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Foo ().

    • I'll share my thoughts on Innistrad on the next go! I'm not in the proper mindset to get into it. =p

      I've been watching the LotR trilogy on in the background the past few weeks so I got all into working more on Lorwyn stuff.

      First, I discovered the playtest button on Tappedout. That's a big help for helping conceptualizing decks.

      Treefolk are done (I got an urge to do it after watching the Ents in Two Towers lol). I love the result.

      • Wall of Roots in general and Treefolk Harbinger being able to search out Murmuring Bosk are really fun ramps. Harbinger in general seems great, being able to tutor out basically any card in the deck (even Nameless Inversion).
      • I love Doran. He's a great payoff and wincon but isn't too easy to get out. He requires two dual lands out so he can't just be immediately be searched out with Harbinger on turn 3.
      • I love the overall concept of the deck. It's all defense and passive. Until it's not. I has a lot of powerful cards that sit around unthreateningly until other components come along then it's pretty much unstoppable. Very fun and flavorful!
      I totally love the idea of making Giants more of a muliplayer deck, though will admit it's very difficult getting a group of 4 together. It will be something to shoot for. Thanks for the suggestion!
      I ended up looking into old Lorwyn draft strategies for some inspiration and discovered Elvish Handservant . It was a great card in limited because it was a 1 drop that benefited from both the player's and opponent's Changelings, which were pretty dominant given the tribal theme of the sets. I thought I could take that idea and run with it
      R/W wasn't working for me, so I kept the core skeleton and adapted it to R/G.

      This is where I left off on RW, and this is the newest iteration. In ~Green~.

      • Elvish Handservant single-handily renewed my faith in Giants. It balanced out my curve issues; it's a good early drop that gets big and helps bridge into later drops, which the deck needed. Changelings are my main early game plays so Handservant fits in perfectly.
      • The R/G deck completely drops the Warrior subtheme in favor of "smaller creatures that can get stronger" (the Changelings, Handservant), which doesn't seem as invasive as the Warrior theme and acts as a better transition into the bigger giants later in the game.
      • The green allows for a touch more ramp which I chose to add in the form of Valleymaker, which also acts as a mana fix for the few green cards I have in case they get stuck in my hand. The original deck already had Pyretic Ritual but I upped that to 4 because a turn two Stinkdrinker Daredevil is really fun when it happens.
      • Another card I upped to 4 was Giant's Ire. Once its cost is reduced it's really efficient in the deck. You know I love Peppersmoke, and having a cantrip in this deck seemed really necessary for keeping up momentum. It's easy to benefit from early if I have a Stinkdrinker and Changeling out. Plus it helps activate Spinerock Knoll a little bit easier.
      • With a more solid gameplan in the opening turns, I feel more confident in being able to reliably get out Stinkdrinker Daredevil.
      The deck seems more cohesive to me now. The ealrygame is elegant and fits together perfectly: Handservents into Changelings to get big early, then into Blindspot Giant which has utility from the Changelings. Those forces can hold me through to getting out my big Giants. Stinkdrinker Daredevil, Pyretic Ritual, and Giant's Ire help me maintain momentum.
      In all of my Lorwyn decks before this one I think you can tell that I didn't really opt for consistency. I definitely liked to highlight a wider variety of cards, which I feel is more fun and better keeps in the spirit of what I want to accomplish- portraying the plane and its cool creatures. With this deck though I feel like it really needed to be consistent at its core just to keep up. I love that its my own unique spin on Giants though.

      Gonna continue thinking of ways to make it a RW multiplayer alternative next!

      Two Questions about the deck:
      1. What triggers first, Elvish Handservant or Stormcloud Shaman? Say I only have a 1/1 Elvish Handservant on the field, and then play Stormcloud Shaman. Does Handservant die or does he get the +1/1 counter first, saving him? Do I get to pick what happens first?
      2. I just want to make sure I have cost reduction down (ha, pun)! I know that they only reduce generic mana, not colored. So first, they stack, correct? So with two Daredevils on the field, my Giants cost 4 less generic mana? Second, what happens if their cost reduction exceeds the cost of the colorless mana? For example, with one Stinkdrinker Daredevil on the field and I want to play Fire-Belly Changeling, I would only need to pay one red mana? Or would the cost reduction not apply because '1 can't be reduced by 2'?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by EmptyStar ().

    • The Treefolk deck looks sweet! The Harbinger + Doran + Murmuring Bosk synergy is incredibly good, for sure. It was the core of one of the top decks of the Extended format just before it died and was replaced by Modern in 2011 (you can see some Pro Tour lists here).

      Giants is p cool too. Seems a ton more focused for sure.

      What triggers first, Elvish Handservant or Stormcloud Shaman? Say I only have a 1/1 Elvish Handservant on the field, and then play Stormcloud Shaman. Does Handservant die or does he get the +1/1 counter first, saving him? Do I get to pick what happens first?

      Well, this is a pretty straightforward case because the two abilities trigger in response to different events. The Handservant triggers when a giant spell is cast and the Shaman when it enters the battlefield.

      So in this case:
      1) Shaman is cast and goes on the (empty) stack
      2) Shaman's casting trigger the handservant
      3) Handservant's ability goes on the stack on top of shaman
      4) Handservant's ability resolves and it becomes a 2/2
      5) Shaman resolves and enters the battlefield as a permanent
      6) Shaman's ETB triggers and goes on the (empty) stack
      7) Shaman's ability resolves and deals 1 damage to the 2/2 handservant, which survives.

      The cast trigger on handservent is interesting. It means you get the +1/+1 counter even if the giant spell in question is countered and the giant is never created. It also means that if an effect creates a giant token or lets you put a giant card directly onto the battlefield you won't get any +1/+1s. These sorts of "on Cast" triggers are relatively rare.

      Let's say handservant instead read "whenever a giant enters the battlefield you may ...". How would that work? Well assuming you're casting Shaman on your turn:

      1) Shaman is cast and goes on the (empty) stack
      2) Shaman resolves and enters the battlefield as a permanent
      3) Before anyone gains priority, Shaman's ETB triggers
      4) Before anyone gains priority, Handservant's ETB triggers.
      5) The active player (you) would now gain priority, but the active player owns multiple abilities that want to go on the stack
      6) The active player orders the abilities as they choose. Probably with Shaman's ability on the bottom and Handservant's on top
      7) Handservant's ability resolves and it becomes a 2/2
      8) Shaman's ability resolves and deals 1 damage to the 2/2 handservant, which survives.

      What if you were casting Shaman on your turn and the *other* player owned this modified handservant?

      1) Shaman is cast and goes on the (empty) stack
      2) Shaman resolves and enters the battlefield as a permanent
      3) Before anyone gains priority, Shaman's ETB triggers
      4) Before anyone gains priority, Handservant's ETB triggers.
      5) The active player (you) would now gain priority, but the active player owns an ability that wants to go on the stack (Shaman's) so it does
      6) The active player (you) would now gain priority, but the nonactive player owns an ability that wants to go on the stack (Handservant's) so it does
      7) Handservant's ability resolves and it becomes a 2/2
      8) Shaman's ability resolves and deals 1 damage to the 2/2 handservant, which survives.

      Now the fun one. What if you were casting Shaman on an opponents turn because it had gained flash somehow, and your opponent owned this modified handservant?

      1) Shaman is cast and goes on the (empty) stack
      2) Shaman resolves and enters the battlefield as a permanent
      3) Before anyone gains priority, Shaman's ETB triggers
      4) Before anyone gains priority, Handservant's ETB triggers.
      5) The active player (oppoennt) would now gain priority, but the active player owns an ability that wants to go on the stack (Handservant's) so it does
      6) The active player (opponent) would now gain priority, but the nonactive player owns an ability that wants to go on the stack (Shaman's) so it does
      7) Shaman's ability resolves and deals 1 damage to the 1/1 handservant, which dies.
      8) Handservant's ability fizzles

      More on APNAP

      I just want to make sure I have cost reduction down (ha, pun)! I know that they only reduce generic mana, not colored. So first, they stack, correct? So with two Daredevils on the field, my Giants cost 4 less generic mana? Second, what happens if their cost reduction exceeds the cost of the colorless mana? For example, with one Stinkdrinker Daredevil on the field and I want to play Fire-Belly Changeling, I would only need to pay one red mana? Or would the cost reduction not apply because '1 can't be reduced by 2'?

      I think you've got it. The abilities do indeed stack - two daredevils reduce costs by (4) total - and if a cost would be reduced below zero it is instead reduced to 0 so the changeling would cost (R).

      Fun fact: the rules for determining costs of spells after these sort of effects are applied has a special dispensation for a single card - Trinisphere. AFAIK this is one of only two cases where rules exist that apply to only a single card.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • Very excited about this development!!
      =)

      -Thanks for the help on understanding those rule tidbits Foo!

      -I hope to have the remaining 4 tribal decks done by the beginning of April. I'll be heading to a reception of a Tolkien exhibition on April 4th which would be a nice culmination of the past few months of building some Middle-Earth-inspired decks =)

      -I'm moving onto Merfolk and Elementals next. Merfolk are gonna be mill oriented and the Elementals will be 5 color (slightly more Izzet/ Grixis aligned) focused on Greater Elementals with Incandescent Soulstoke and Smokebraider instead of mono-red Flamekin aggro. It is probably gonna end up similar to my friend's Elemental deck I played against earlier in the thread, with less focus on Red and more focus on Evoke.
      I want all of the decks to be unique (mechanically and visually) and these two seem to be the most unconventional in terms of playstyle. Can't wait!

      -I made a quick change to my Elf deck. I took out Dark Heart of the Wood if only because it was a little *too* Golgari in flavor. I also thought more about how the card would be absolutely dead outside of Maralen's strategy (which I view as a cool diversion for the deck, not its main win condition). I'm looking into either Oracle of Nectars or Luminescent Rain. Thoughts on either? Both seem better for the tribal theme. Luminescent Rain seems better as an instant and can be used immediately with Maralen, but Oracle of Nectars seems more useful overall to the deck.

      -The main reason I felt like the original Giant deck failed was because it would bottleneck once it hit 3 mana. Taurean Mauler, Blind Spot Giant, Obsidian Battle Axe, and Stinkdrinker Daredevil would all compete for the spot. Daredevil is necessary to play the giants early, the Axe needs to be on the field BEFORE they make it out, and the Taurean Mauler/ Blind Spot Giant needs to make it out because I need a stable creature while I wait to get the others out. Plus the Axe would make it out after Fire-Belly Changeling which would've been a great target for it. It was wonky. Now the order of things seems correct.

      Boring Art musings:
      Display Spoiler



      With Treefolks, I initially had the alt art Doran but one of the last things I did while building the deck was switching to the original. At first I thought he was too goofy and weird in the classic art. But that's what I like about it now. He's kinda cute. The newer art didn't fit in with the rest of the deck. He has red eyes for some reason. I want my Treefolk to be contemplative. Not menacing.

      The new Giant I got for one of the deck's foils was a big contributor to why I made the change over to green. Elvish Handservant was the mechanical reason, but this was the artistic one. It's beautiful. I mean technically it's from Origins and is inferred to be from Theros I guess--- but it reads as a Lorwyn Giant as far as I'm concerned. The time of day is all dusky and not-quite-night. He's from Lorwyn. Come on.
      Aesthetically, I love the new look of the new Giant deck with the new earthy tones and landscapes. It feels more cohesive visually. I'm using this forest from an old duel deck and this forest from Theros. A lot of the Giants I ended up using have green in their art and it looks great with the new lands.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by EmptyStar ().

    • I'm looking into either Oracle of Nectars or Luminescent Rain.

      In a vacuum, Oracle is a much better card to be sure.

      Breaking that down
      Spells that don't do anything but gain you some amount of life when they resolve are among the worst in Magic, at least when it come to a maindeck. Most opposing strategies you'll run into don't actually care about your life total all that much. Combo decks can often overcome arbitrarily high life total when their combo goes off, control decks can deal loads of damage at leisure after they've taken over the game or - worse case scenario - just mill you out, and midrange decks will just shift gears and kill you with a PW ultimate of some sort if slowly dealing damage looks untenable.

      A card that does nothing that gains life when it resolves not only fails to save you from these avenues of attack, it actively helps these game plans. By sacrificing tempo to generate life your giving the control and combo decks room to breath and time to stabilize. By playing a card which doesn't affect the board you're helping the midrange deck to win its war of attrition.

      The *only* time a "gain some life" card is playable is against a deck that's parlaying all of its tempo advantages and card advantages into direct damage to your face - a burn deck - because gain life cards tend to be more efficient than cards dealing direct damage and so you gaining life is also you gaining tempo.

      "New players overvalue life gain" is a pretty standard observation in Magic, and while it's possible to take this lesson the wrong way and think lifegain is meaningless entirely (it isn't) it's still something worth keeping in mind when looking at something like Luminescent Rain
      .

      In this case, I think you've got to actually break down the cases where you want the cards. What's going on when you stick a Malaren on a board of 3+ elves? Either:

      (a) Your opponent is going to use their turn's Malaren trigger to search up a mass removal spell and clear all the elves off the board so rain is terrible.
      (b) Your opponent is going to use their turn's Malaren trigger to find a kill spell for Malaren herself so that you can't proceed to (c) and so rain can't be fetched

      Or

      (c) Your going to find a spell like Dwynen of Shaman of the Pack which, combined with your large board and the fact that your opponent can't answer Malaren and is about to have taken 6 from her triggers, ends the game. You don't want rain.

      Oracle has much better synergy with all your other cards and works in the far more interesting scenarios when you stick Malaren on an empty board and don't just win if your opponent can't find an immediate answer.

      ---

      Feels like I hit a wall with Arena; I didn't play all week, picked it up today and didn't last fifteen minutes before shutting er down.

      Lots of reasons for this I think. One is that the macro-challenge of the game - building a long-term competitive collection from scratch - is over for me. The only place left to go goals wise is grinding to either a high limited or constructed rank and that's impossible for two big reasons. First I have no where near the time or mental energy to devote to a game that I did the last time I successfully pushed for a Grand Master rank and second connection issues in our current place cost me multiple games a day which is meaningless in the economic grind but completely untenable in a grind to maximize rank.

      Two is that I'm generally disappointed in RNA standard. I'll put a lot of the blame on myself here for spending months getting hyped up for something that was in no way guaranteed to appear, but at the same time I don't think it's unfair to say that this format is just a less elegant rehash of what we just had with GRN. In December, at the height of spoiler season I said

      [T]he number of possible decks that start off 4x merfolk branchwalker 4x jadelight ranger that'll be theoretically viable with RNA is insane.Golgari and Gruul approaches with elves+Carnage Tyrant, Merfolk tempo (now with adapt), Gruul or Naya Zoo, Jund or Temur or Sultai midrange.

      And this turned out to be entirely untrue because Hydroid Krasis turned out to be so, so, so much better than anything else you could ever want to pair with the explore package. In GRN, with much much worse mana, the question of how to build the top end of the golgari midrange deck was an incredibly interesting one, with new considerations to be made weekly-if-not-daily. Now there's a dynamic spell that gains life, draws cards, blocks phoenixes, ends games, laughs at countermaguc and fills every slot on the curve: so much for an interesting open question.

      Three is the transition away from any sort of consumable media related to pro magic in anticipation of the move to covering Arena matches first and foremost (coverage of GPs "magicfests" has been dropped already even though the first stream of a pro level Arena is still well over a month away). It's incredibly difficult right now to keep a finger on the pulse of the metagame except in very broad strokes. It's very difficult to find entertainment and inspiration in other people playing magic. It's just difficult, in general, to be a fan of pro magic and probably will be for another solid couple of months.

      Might pick Arena back up then.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Foo ().