Forums
Guides
Features
Media
Zelda Wiki
Patreon
    General Card Games Thread
    • Lots o' EDH going on in my life right now, with the kids at school seeking out multiple weekly play sessions. Having a lot of fun. Students recently built Muldrotha, Narset, Xenagos and Numot and apparently we're seeing Riku next week. Hard for this old guy to keep up.

      WAR Limited

      I had the day off while boxes had to work today, so I drafted a bunch in between chores :P

      First of all, it looks like MTGA has tweaked the entry fee and payouts for the BO1 draft format since last I look in, which is awesome. It legitimately feels like I could have more than half my games as a f2p player be limited games, which is all I've ever wanted from a digital card game. I don't have a huge amount of interest in WAR standard, but if I can just jam drafts and play the occasional constructed game against you guys than I'm all in.

      Second, I like this draft format quite a bit. A few weeks ago I said

      Designing top-down from a theme or setting has proven hard enough: designing story set-piece by story set-piece is kind of ridiculously ambitious. Obviously we don't know if it worked yet buy it'll be pretty ridiculously impressive if it does.

      And I'm certainly willing to say at this point that WAR *works*. It's not perfect by any means - certain mythic rares invalidate games, white is underpowered (perhaps severely so), aggro is a little too weak, and the complexity level of the average boardstate probably makes this a bad intro point for newcomers - but it's certainly fundamentally fun and, given everything WotC was trying to accomplish, that's pretty sweet.

      My first ranked draft I played base-blue superfriends with this result:



      Which just really, really felt like the set delivering on all its promises.

      Current talk is that Arena bots are undervaluing blue (which was already almost certainly the best colour in the set in a vacuum) and probably red as well and my experience today reflects that. Hope we get all human drafts soon :/

      Magic as E-sport

      After a series of record breaking broadcasts WotC streamed mythic championship II from London on twitch at the end of April and attracted an audience of ~20k, which is pre-Arena numbers. The tournament format was Modern, which is non-Arena supported, but given the needle didn't move at all despite the previous record setting movements its easy to conclude that Arena isn't advancing the magic brand in general. Just the arena related parts of it.

      Every few days since there's been a piece of news either showing that WotC is deemphasizing paper results and the game's paper history or confirming that it's right to do so. At the current rate I would honestly be surprised if we saw more than three non-standard paper events ever officially broadcast by WotC again.

      This isn't a wrong decision. Broadly speaking, paper magic is a shitty spectator sport. I might find it weirdly lovable, but pretty clearly no more than 40,000 people world wide had ever been concurrently following the pro magic scene in paper at point in the last 20 years. Arena promises to do a heck of a lot better and if it delivers then that's awesome.

      But if Arena doesn't last - if the game's initial shininess wears down and potential players like Keith are turned away in too-large numbers by an imperfect experience - then Magic is in trouble long term.
      ~~~
      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
    • Let's do a draft!

      Keith and I are talking magic on Discord far more frequently now, which leaves less content for forums. Figured this would be interesting though. Just finished my fourth ranked draft on Arena, my 7th in the format overall. It was a pretty interesting draft, so maybe we can talk about it? PLay along if you want.

      Pack 1 Pick 1


      Woof, I think maybe the four most powerful cards in this pack are red?

      If we were 100% committed to taking a non-red card here it would probably have to be Divine Arrow. There are enough counters running around that I don't like Dovin's Veto until I'm *definitely* in UW and Sorrin's Thirst is both a weaker removal spell and an over commitment to black. I'm glad I don't have to take arrow - I don't like white in WAR - but it wouldn't be an absolute tragedy.

      Dreadhorde Twins is alright and, I think, particularly good against inexperienced opponents. There's so much to keep track of on the average WAR board state, and we're all failing to notice static abilities all the time. Even pros have mentioned casting draw spells into Narset or lifegain into Tibalt. If your opponent doesn't notice the trample on your zombie army you can clear PWs and sneak in damage that you really don't deserve. Still, I don't think this holds a candle to any of the other three cards.

      Jaya's greeting is probably the best red common; just classic burn, always welcome. It's a very small commitment and in my experience can easily be splashed in (for example) a BG deck. Would be happy to land here.

      Solar Blaze is a more powerful effect, obviously, but far more a commitment. You can't play it in aggro decks, and most white decks are aggro decks, so if I take this I'm committing to something like RXw control. Really don't think I need to commit to that yet.

      Saheeli is the least-committing card in the pack, given her hybrid mana cost. She'll be far less consistent than Jaya's Greeting - sometimes amazing, sometimes terrible - and I think averages out somewhere half a point behind. Her big saving grace is that the UR "all spells" deck is rumoured under-drafted by the Arena bots, so she should pay out more often than she would IRL.

      I waffle on this one for a while as I open MSPaint, but I ultimately pick Saheeli.


      Pack 1 Pick 2


      This is a much weaker pack than the last, with only one standout card.

      Note right away that the rare and three uncommons are still in the pack; the player passing to us has taken a common. I'm not sure if there's any common in the set better than Evolution Sage, but the bots obviously think there is. My instinct is to assume they've taken one of the powerful black removal spells - Ob Nixilis' Cruelty or Spark Harvest. Could also be Jaya's greeting. I'm going to tentatively assume I'm being passed to by a black drafter.

      Our pick is easy. Evolution Sage is the best green uncommon easily. It will pair with Saheeli in either UG or RG, and leaves us open to draft a base green deck full of manafixing and proliferable bombs.


      Pack 1 Pick 3


      Bond of Flourishing is a pretty great card, but it's a nonbo with Saheeli (Bond wants a lot of permanents, Saheeli wants a lot of non-permanents). Combined with the evolution sage we just saw and the abundance of green cards in this pack it's starting to convince me that green might be open. If we'd taken Jaya's Greeting back in pack one I think we'd take bond now and be ready to settle into red/green. As things stand, I want to keep the option for blue-including spell-driven deck open.

      The blue and black instants and sorceries in here are all fine-ish. None of them would be an exciting third pick but I think Toll of the Invasion and Totally Lost in particular are totally defensible as guaranteed 1-for-1s that are going to have upside in the spells-matter deck.

      Heartfire, though, has the same things going for it, plus combat trick potential, plus the ability to go the face and end games. Happy to pick it up here.


      Pack 1 Pick 4


      Dreadmawlkin sneaking through is odd. It's one of the better black uncommons, casting doubt on the theory that I'm being fed by a balck drafter. This pack is missing a rare and two commons, and coming to us from a guy who's already foregone the premium green uncommon (and not for a rare) and a heartfire (and not for an uncommon or a first pickable rare). Weird signals, and that doesn't help me decide what to do next.

      Centaur Nurturer is a safe pick. We can grab it and full commit to play green and we can *probably* splash everything else we have some, at the very least, far no matter what else happens. It's not exactly powerful though. And if we do decide that we're playing green goodstuff we can certainly find other centaurs later so we lose nothing except certainty by passing it.

      Thunderhead Drake is probably the most powerful card in the pack. It combos well with evolution sage AND Shaeeli. You can transform your Shaeeli tokens into drakes, put +1/+1 counters on them with the drake ability, and then the counters stick around when the transformation ends. I almost certainly should have picked drake, and would have had I thought things through. I didn't :/

      I took Contentious Plan. A 100% servicable card which also combos with both my PW and whatever plan sage might put me on in obvious ways. I don't feel too bad about taking this over drake. It's a solid pick up. Just... less powerful than drake with no real upside over it.


      Pack 1 Pick 5


      Not a bad pack here.

      Three very similar cards here in Contentious Plan, Honour the God Pharaoh, and Guild Globe. Then we have three serviceable creatures in Invader, Visionary, and the Spider. I think this was probably the closest call in the draft.

      I think we can eliminate Invader right away. If we're going to play a sacrifice-based red deck we want both Invader and Honour, but Honour goes in decks that Invader does not. I think Honour strictly dominates, if we end up taking a red card.

      Similarly, I think we can eliminate the Guild Globe in favour of Plan. If our mana was a little more stretched, maybe, but the advantages of instant speed and the proliferate clause.

      What about Plan vs. Honour? In general I think I like plan a little better, but Honour has a lot going for it right now. Every other card we've drafted pairs well with an amass token - we can sac it to Heartfire or proliferate it for days. We already have the first plan, let's mix it up with Honour.

      The spider and the visionary are both similar to the Nurturer in the last pack. They're safe. They don't combo with anything we're doing but we *will* play them if we end up in the right colours, so if we give up on the dream of a synergy-based deck right now then we can be reasonably happy picking one of these up. I think the spider is the better of the two, but not by much.

      I'm not ready to pack it in on a cool deck yet though. I take Honour the God Pharaoh


      Rest of Pack 1


      All right, we can't hedge any further here. We have exactly three options and each will commit us.

      We can take the Centaur and set up in green. I'm vary wary of this at this point. We just passed bonds -> spider -> spider. Anyone reading our signals should feel that green is open and we're not doing ourselves any favours setting up to compete in pack 2.

      We can take Hellion and be red-based sacrifice - this *seems* to be flowing fairly well given we just saw Honour and Invader, but I still don't know about those first few signals - or we can take strix and go all in on spells. I really wish we'd seen a little more consistency from our passer. As it is I lean on the "knowledge" that the bots are currently undervaluing the spells deck and take Sky Theater Strix

      I then take six blue spells in a row:

      P7: Wall of Ruins
      P8: Kasmina Transmutation
      P9: Spellkeeper Weird
      P10: Lazotep Plating
      P11: Teferi's Time Twister
      P12: Lazotep Plating
      ((P13/14: Trash))

      Nothing spectacular, but certainly enough to convince me that it's correct for me to be in blue.
      Should I have more green cards and fewer red cards? Possibly. I think evolution sange -> bond -> spider -> spider was a really strong signal from our passer. Still, we pushed most of that signal on to our passee and hopefully that means we can coordinate through pack 2 and we can pick up a lot of good blue stuff.

      Spoiler:
      Display Spoiler
      It does.


      Pack 2 Pick 1


      Oh... hey Chandra.


      Pack 2 Pick 2


      Dodging a bullet here with Ral's Outburst. This is a pretty mediocre pack.


      Pack 2 Pick 3


      This, on the other hand, is pretty awesome. Our new passer has taken a common from this pack leaving behind four cards we would be pretty happy to have. Clearly we've signalled well. We take a second Ral's Outburst of course, but let's note that we should pay careful attention to what comes around for pick 11 - that will be our second time seeing this pack and we should be able to identify how many other blue and/or red drafters there are.

      It turns out that when P11 gets here contentious plan and honour have been removed, and we get to pick up Totally Lost. This is really strong confirmation that we're good in base blue.


      Rest Pack 2
      There weren't any decisions after this. We went:

      P4: No Escape
      P5: Narset!!!
      P6: Honor the GP
      P7: Bolt Bend
      P8: Bolt Bend
      P9: Nahiri's Stoneblades
      P10: Nahiri's Stoneblades
      P11: Totally Lost

      A pretty bad pack overall. We've getting red and blue spells, but we're missing on payoffs like Spellgorger Weird and Burning Prophet. My read is that these guys just aren't being opened, but that could be a bad justification on my part. I'm now relatively certain that had we taken the green cards back in pack one we'd be in better shape. We'd still have powerful blue pick-ups like Narset and Chandra would be splashable. Hopefully we can recover in pack 3


      Pack 3 Pick 1


      Or not.

      *sigh*

      If we'd been on the green plan we could've taken Gideon here and worked on splashing our two bomb planeswalkers.

      Anyway, now the interesting question - do we take him anyway.
      I think this is actually a pretty easy yes. I want one of No Escape or Crush Dissent and I don't particularly care which. If I take one now then the other blue drafter will take the other and I'll have nothing left to me for pick 9.

      I *could* theoretically take Chandra's Pyrohelix and the then whatever counterspell comes back to me, but I haven't found helix to be great. I'm not sure it would make the cut, and it's certainly not worth forgoing a mythic.

      I take Gideon.

      Pick 9 ends up being:
      Display Spoiler
      No Escape, so that worked


      Pack 3 Pick 2


      No need to money draft here; I already have my 4 Citadel.

      Kiora mocks us for not playing large UG creatures as we weakly take Relentless Advance.


      Rest of Pack 3
      I never really make another decision. We see an Aven Eternal in pack 3 and a second Heartfire in pack 4 and snap both up, following that up with:

      P5: Flux Channeler
      P6: Relentless Advance
      P7: Augur of Bolas
      P8: Crush Dissent
      P9: No Escape

      Again, quality blue cards that prove we're in the right lane, but not the big pay-offs we were hoping for in a spells-matter deck. We've landed in UR control and we're going to be very reliant on our PWs to make it all work.

      Final deck:



      Played the first game against BG aristocrats. We heartfired their sac engines early and they didn't stick around for long after that. 1-0! Update tomorrow.
      ~~~
      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
    • Ended 5-3, which I think was better than the deck deserved.

      I did play one absolutely excellent game against GW.
      He lead on Kronch Rangler, Rising Populace, and Makeshift Batallion. I was trying to set up for Saheeli behind a Strix and a 1/1 zombie army.

      He attacks with all three and four mana up into my four mana and hand of Lazotep Plating and Heartfire.

      I figure I need to kill the Populace now in combat. Nothing I have on the board can deal with the Battalion so the Heartfire has to point in that direction. But if the Battalion dies before combat damage than Populace will be a 3/3 and I'll need to cast Lazotep plating as well to boost my strix to the point it can get the kill. That's pretty shitty rate - my 2 spells, 4 mana, strix and army token for his two creatures - so I instead decide I'm going to block the Kronch fairly with the zombie token and block Populace with strix then throw away the Lazotep Plating to kill the populace.

      This is a better rate - my 1 spell, 2 mana, strix and army token for his two creatures - but it's not ideal it leaves his Battalion on the board and me without sac fodder for my heartfire.

      I make the blocks and my opponent plays a Divine Arrow on my zombie army. It quickly becomes clear he really, really values the Kronch. Of course from my perspective this is incredible. I was going to throw away the Plating anyway but now I can fairly use it to protect my token.

      After I put the plating on the stack my opponent hits the zombie army with another divine arrow!!! (Like I said, really valuing the Kronch) and now I get to play the Heartfire, saccing the the army, killing the batallion and putting my strix on 3 power so it can trade with the populace.

      So I went from considering
      2 spells, 4 mana, strix and army token for his two creatures
      To getting
      2 spells, 4 mana, strix and an army token for his 2 spells, 4 mana, and two creatures

      Felt pretty good, and my opponent was a good sport about it giving me an appreciative emote. I went on to establish a little more board presence against the Kronch as my opponent tried to recover from going down to one card and then cast my Saheeli...

      And they instantly responded with Viven. Viv was brutal, bringing in Wardscale Crocodile and Teyo's Lightshield to buff the Kronch to the point where it could crash in and remove my Saheeli.

      I managed to Outburst away the Viv after her second -2 and then spent a few turns using removal and counters to stabalize the board. When the dust settled I had a Chandra fresh on an empty board and 12 cards left in my library. They had 20 life.

      I played an Aven Eternal with six turns left to play, assuming I move Chandra into ultimate range. The zombie token wasn't getting through on the ground given my opponent's enduring light shields. Six turns of two points of flying damage plus seven damage from Chandra's ultimate is, you'll notice, 19 of my opponents 20 life points. I knew I didn't have any other fliers, my four direct damage spells were all used up, and the chances of building up a zombie army to the point where it could get through the lightshields looks bad.

      With three cards left in the library I found the Spellkeeper Weird to buy back a Heartfire and finish off my opponent activating Chandra's ultimate to exile a single island ;)

      Def my favourite game in WAR so far, and huge props to my opponent.
      ~~~
      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
    • Week full of new 'walker driven formats.

      Arena gave us a new spin on Momir this week where you smash a standard 60 card Momir Basic deck together with a stack of all the WAR walkers.

      I liked the format, didn't love it. Certainly it was a step up from Arena's previous implementations of Momir which were ruined by Zacama being too likely and too powerful a hit at cmc 9.

      This time around the big issue was clunky mana. Casting costs on the rare and mythic walkers are intense; in a deck playing equal numbers ofeach basic it's going to take 15 land drops on average to play Jace or Bolas fairly and 10 to play something like Nissa, Sarkhan, or Lilianna fairly. The advantage bought being doing unfair things with mana was absolutely huge and I found that in general:

      The games where one player either matched the right lands to the right walkers in their opener or curved into Jiang or similar were dumb and lopsided. I ended one game with 8 walkers on board but it didn't manage to feel "epic" or anything.
      And
      The games where neither player got a "make your PWs work" draw were about as lame as the previous Momir implementations. They were often decided by going first or else one of the players doing dumb things (like mulling or casting an ashiok or hualti or karn, all of whom do nothing in the format; lotsa feel bad opportunities for players not familiar with the format)
      But
      The remaining quarter or so games where both players got to do interesting things were pretty great!

      I still really don't understand why Momir uses only standard legal cards when Amonkhet and Kaladesh are both already coded up and ready to go for Arena. Amonkhet being excluded from this story-driven format is especially weird, because unlike Ixalan or Dominaria it's an active battleground (and its people active combatants) in the War of the Spark.

      ---

      In paper Oathbreaker is taking the local scene by storm. It's proving to be a pretty perfect multiplayer format for my in-school club, as both 3 and 4-player games seem to take very close to 50 minutes and fit in a lunch hour. I've put together mono-white prison centered around Modern Magic's Only Actual Quality Hero using bullshit as my signature spell. The goal is to build to a quick ultimate behind a perfect defense and then nuke the board in as many ways as possible. Managed it today with Fall of the Thran... and then died immediately.

      Def excited to play this out, even if it only stays in fad through June ^^
      ~~~
      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 ().

    • My, it's been a while since my last post in here. :)

      I still play Fire Emblem Cipher, primarily online, but last October I picked up Dragon Ball Super as well. I play it online via Lackey too, but I also went so far as to recreate one of my favorite decks Zamasu IRL. And it wasn't as prohibitively expensive as it would be for Fire Emblem Cipher!

      If anybody wants to give either of them a go on Lackey, hit me up, okay?
    • Weekly Check In :P

      This was the second week of the WAR story event on Arena, with pauper (!!) as the free entry format. I probably averaged 12-15 games a day across the week, playing pretty much the same UB control deck I posted back in December. Pauper is just too good and Devious Cover Up is just too much fun a magic card.

      But let's talk about this fucking thing:



      This card was absolutely everywhere this week and I just. don't. get. it.

      I get that the card was OK-ish in Ravnica Allegiance draft. I get the appeal of a card that is (a) near impossible to remove, (b) eventually kills the opponent, and (c) stems the bleeding a little against grindy decks (but not enough to beat aggro on its own). But... like... cold-water snapper is a card in this format. An even-harder to remove card that kills the opponent much faster and shuts down opposing attacks must more effectively.

      Every possible argument that should lead you to play Inheritance over Snapper should then lead you to play fucking Banehound over Inheritance. It just weirds me out that inheritance was so, sooo ubiquitous in the event.

      But hey, I'll take the wins.

      This week's event is singleton, which is cool but I'm not nearly as excited about it as I was about pauper. Most interesting singleton lists aren't much cheaper than standard lists and I can't really afford to invest. I have the pretty stock "put one of every green and blue merfolk in Ixalan in a deck" fish list which I'm sure half the players will be on and I could play to 15 wins, but that seems boring. Think I'll try three or four colour superfriends.
      ~~~
      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 ().

    • This week's MTG Arena event was singleton. As I predicted above I put a lot less time in to it then I did with pauper: had all the rewards but late Saturday and didn't play throughout the week. I ended up on 4-colour super friends proliferate:



      Singleton is a format that rewards very broad synergies. Linear combo decks and linear aggro decks lose too much consistency replacing the second, third, and fourth copies of key cards with alternatives that are generally much, much worse. In the old days of limited design, where you might have an archetype that extends across three different sets meant to be drafted together, you could pick a limited archetype which would easily come with several dozen relevant cards. Now that doesn't really work; there's only a single two-set drafting block in standard right now, never mind a three.

      The closest thing to support coming out of limited architecture are the vampires and merfolk from Ixalan. Both tribes got two sets of cards in the Ixalan block and then (unlike pirates and dinos) both have shown up in at least two other sets since. Both also have the benefit of being generally accessible to new and f2p players as they're viable two color decks with many cards drawn from the starting collection.

      If you're not playing tribal, I think you've kinda got to play four or five color. On the mana side, two colour decks become much more likely to hit mana snags - you only get to play two rare 2-color lands instead of 8 - but the 4 and 5 color decks don't suffer in the same way - 5 color decks can play 1 of each of the 10 shocklands and 10 checklands in standard right now and come away with basically the same base it would have in standard. Likewise if you're playing mono-W or mono-R aggro in singleton you're scraping the bottom of the bucket for commons and uncommons to full out your curve but if you play 5c then you can just jam every midrange bomb in existence. All decks end up in about the same place consistency wise and power level becomes key.

      The net effect is that expensive decks with expensive mana bases dominate the possible play choices. This is all well and good if you're fully invested in MTGA and own a copy of every card, but if you're not a whale it's just never going to be reasonable to buy in to a format like this that only lasts a week. That means most people are playing suboptimal decks and that often leads to suboptimally fun games.

      Or at least that was my experience.

      On to "counters matter" for the last week, which is kind of funny since I just played proliferate although I guarantee whatever I end up building for this event won't look much like what I just played. Honestly I'm not sure I don't just play my standard deck here?
      ~~~
      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 started out with a pretty low opinion of this week's MTGA event.

      (The event was labeled "counters". Both players started out with an emblem which would auto-proliferate each of your permanents EOT and then, if that didn't actually accomplish anything, amass 1)

      My original complaint with the format was that everything that's currently good in standard was also going to be good here, given than counters are just ubiquitous amongst top standard decks right now. Any of the blue-white based planeswalker decks, the green-black based explore decks, the NIssa decks, or the red-white mentor based decks were already set up to make full use of the emblem and no Simic Ascendancy brew was going to rise up and challenge them.

      It took far too long to dawn on me that this was entirely unfair given my criticism of last week's format. If we're going to play a week long constructed format and involve rare and mythic cards then it's only ever going to be equitable to the freemium players IF normal standard decks (or close variations on them) are the best deck. In the end there are only three options:

      a) A format with no cost-based barrier to entry
      b) A format which encourages all new decks, which is gate-kept by the cost of those decks
      c) A format which will let you use the cards you own anyway in different ways

      Given that we can't have (a) I think (c) is way better than (b).

      By the time I figured that out the format was actually getting really good. People had largely abandoned their goofy Simic and amass-based brews in favour of standard decks and regular standard games + the emblem are a lot of fun. Big boards with a lot of interesting strategic play. Eventually, it became clear that you wanted your deck to be able to do something hyper-impressive in the cases where both players ended up with 60+ power on board and even a Command the Dreadhoard wasn't gonna be big game.



      Nice.

      I went back to Citadel of Bolas combo, which I'd been playing the first few days of the format before Command the Dreadhorde really broke out, and worked pretty hard on it all week. Here's where I landed



      The 13 cards on the left plus two more Citadel were my board.

      By the end this felt like a Gwent deck, with a lot of weird intricacies through and through. The goal is to always be able to draw and play your whole deck if you untap with citadel, even from 4 or 5 life, and in general that's doable. You can't run cards like Cleansing Nova or Command the Dreadhorde in the main because they because they drain too much life or actively hinder going off when they show up on top of the library, but they're also both incredibly key to some MUs so you need to be able to pull them in from somewhere hence the Mastermind's Acquistion plan. Once you're playing Mastermind you can do all sorts of other fun things with it and have game against basically any scenario. Lands are the most likely thing to stop a combo, so we replace as many as we can with 4x open the gates, 8x cantrips (which also net 1 life plaid during the combo), and 4x Gift (which also rap *and* are life-neutral during the combo).

      Overall, I had a ton of fun with this and will probably keep playing it in standard for the season. Almost as sad to see this event end as I was for pauper.

      On to block for week 5, which I'm guessing is going to be pretty dominated by 2-color dekcs leveraging guild themes. I'm excitedly dusting off my Growth-Chamber Guardians.
      ~~~
      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
    • Auto-proliferate is certainly interesting. While I certainly can't speak for its interactions in standard or modern mtg (or any other format), it sounds like it would encourage thinking about cards that don't get used as much (although I expect outright trash is still trash). I am curious about a couple of things though:

      - Does proliferate stack?
      - What is amass?
      - And regarding that Vivien Reid card, is that second ability "Destroy target [artifact], [enchantment], or [creature with flying]", or "Destroy target [artifact, enchantment, or creature] with flying"? It reads like latter to me, but I think would only make sense if it functioned as the former.
    • Each instance of proliferate effects each type of counter on each card so:

      If I start with a 1/1 Ugin's Conjurant and proliferate twice it will be a 3/3

      If I cast a Courage in Crisis on a 5 loyalty Gideon Blackblade he comes out with 2 +1/+1 counters and 6 loyalty

      ---

      Amass is the core ability for blue/black and black/red in War of the Spark limited. It represents the "dreadhorde", the army of zombies being brought from Amonkhet to Ravnica to fight the War. When you "amass X" without an army on the board you create a 0/0 token to represent the army and then put X +1/+1 counters on it. When you amass X with an army on the board you just add x +1/+1 counters to the army.

      There's a zombie army on one side or the other in the last three gameplay screenshots I've posted ^^^. Amass i s pretty ubiquitous right now.

      ---

      Viv destroy any artifact, any enchantment, or a (creature with flying).
      ~~~
      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
    • (Somewhat trivial, but once-best-in-the-world Kai Budde flew in to Vegas this weekend to play in an Arena tournament and is making a solid run at it. Watching a 40 year old German dad in a comfy sweater squint his way through a glitzy modern esports event is just... amazing entertainment.)
      ~~~
      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 ().