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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Bill Bisco: Isometric Imp wrote:
For that BfZ Black/White Lifegain deck:

I'm used to cheap white/black weenie. I just get the feeling that that deck is so slow. That cat will hardly ever give you a win condition in that Black/White Deck. You would really need an instant or sorcery Card that was something like http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=158747 Dawnglow fusion to be able to get close to the amount of life desired.

Healing Hands just seems very slow to me. You'll be unlikely to cast another spell after spending 3 mana until very late in the game.


The late game life output of the deck can be insane. The Bloodbond Vampire alone gets a +1/+1 token every time you gain life and with Sorin or an Abzan Battle Priest she just has lifelink all the time. Which means that not only can she be very big and gain life for you equal to her bigness, but that doing that makes her even bigger and causes next turn's life gain to be larger still. You're going to get way more life from Lifelink than you would ever hope for from one-offs like Feed the Clan.

The early game life gains are pretty small. A Kalastria Healer gives you one life when he comes into play and another life when the Zulaport Cutthroat comes into play, and then the Zulaport Cutthroat gives you a life for each of those assholes leaving play later on. That's not a lot. But the goal of those life gains is to trigger the "on life gain" triggers on the Blood Bond Vampire and the Serene Steward. Drana's Emissary gives you 1 life a turn, but that's a trigger on the Cleric or the Shaman every turn if need be. All the actual incrementing of your life total has to do is keep you alive long enough for your creatures to grow to unmanageable size. You're just trying to outlast the Landfall rush.

As far as Healing Hands, what you're doing is paying 3 mana for a cantrip that triggers the Shaman or the Cleric. So for 4 mana and zero cards you drop a +1/+1 token on a creature of your choice. Or for 3 mana and no cards you make the Bloodbond Vampire +1/+1. The fact that you gain 4 life out of the deal is almost incidental. You're just buying a turn or maybe only half a turn against the landfall deck, but you're trying to run them out of lands and make your own creatures big enough to fight back.

-Frank
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ok you know what let's talk about decks that are good.

Red Deck Wins
realistically this is the deck you're going to end up playing because you're on a budget and fetchlands are stupid expensive due to speculators. Red Deck Wins(or Sligh) as an archetype is old enough to vote so most of what can be said about it has already been said. But for those who are new too it here's the basics. Like all good aggro decks mono red is all about dem curves. Every game you want to cast a 1 mana creature, then cast a 2 mana creature then cast a 3 mana creature. This way you can get a bunch of damage out while you're opponent is still getting off the ground. You also play a bunch of burn spells initially these spells go to opposing creatures to clear the way for your guys but come late game the can get those last few points of damage in.

Old Sligh played somthing like 23 lands 10 1cc Creatures 8 2cc Creatues 4 3cc Creatures and 2 4cc creatures and 17 burn spells. More modern red decks will often slice the top off that curve in order to fit in more burn spells and play fewer lands.


Zurgo and Swiftspear are the best of the litter but Swiftspear may under perform if you're light on non creature spells. Zurgo is legendary so he's bad in multiples but he's good in every version of this deck. So the toss up is between the Berserker or the Glory Chaser. The Goblin is a better turn 1 play but it sucks hard if you have to play it into a congested board. Lightning Berserker is much better as a late game topdeck were it can put on it's best Vishano Sandstalker impression

These are our agressive 2 drops. Abbot and War-Name are conditionally 3/2(or more in the case of the Abbot) but once again one is a better late game draw and the other is better to curve into. Abbot is sort of underwhelming as a turn 2 play though. Dragon fodder isn't a creature so it triggers prowess and the fact that it makes 2 bodies rather than 1 makes it more resilient against removal (of course those 1/1 have trouble atacking into blockers. The Stonewaker is less exiting on turn 2 but it makes excess lands into live draws.

Scab-Clan Berserker has haste and that really matters in this kind of deck this is a card that shines in the control matchup as it's hard for them to aviod taking at least 4 damage from it. Hordeling Outburst is just a bigger Dragon Fodder. Chandra is fragile but the upside if you can untap with her is ridiculously high. Goblin Heelcutter is technically a 4 mana spell but you'er mostly playing it for it's dash cost. It gets your small creatures through their big dumb creatures and doges sweepers like a champ.


You probally don't want any 4 drops but if you do you want one of these. Both are 4 power for 4 mana and still provide value if they eat a removal spell.

Now we come to the problem with mono red though, the current standard is light on good burn spells.

Both of these are 4of in your deck no matter what but that's just straight up not enough good burn spells so you want some of these

Titans strength is 3 damage for 1 mana when times are good and sometimes it's pseudo removal, it's not a burn spell but it'll do in lean times such as these. Roast is good a killing blockers (including Seige Rhino) but it can't ever go to the dome. Arc Trail is just below the curve on the scale of burn.

So here a sample list
22 Mountain

19 Creatures
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Zurgo Bell-Striker
2 Lightning Berserker
2 Goblin Glory Chaser
4 Abbot of Keral Keep
3 War Name Aspirant
1 Goblin Heelcuter

19 Spells
4 Wild Slash
2 Titan's Strength
4 Dragon Fodder
1 Roast
3 Hordeling Outburst
4 Exquisite Firecraft
1 Trumpet Blast
The big question for this deck is "how good is Trumpet Blast". It seems great if you can cast the turn after you dropped a token making spell so you might want more copies. Plays like
Turn 1 Mountain Swiftspear swing for 1
Turn 2 Mountain Dragon Fodder swing for 2
Turn 3 Mountain Trumpet Blast swring for 10
seem nice but how does the card play outside magical Christmas land


Last edited by Lord Mistborn on Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:23 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
I was pretty sure I knew what "cast" meant as opposed to "successfully cast" or "comes into play" or "resolves" or whatever. And one of the things about Battle For Zendikar is that I have no idea what the designers of that set think those words mean.


Well, it's understandable. Proportionally speaking, the time you first sat down to learn the rules is hardly a much more recent occasion than the time you first sat down to understand written language, at this point. But the devs aren't so oblique, by habit; they write down what they mean in a very deliberate and programmatically clear fashion.

Would you appreciate being put on the same page?

"Casting" is an act which involves personally and deliberately producing a spell card from somewhere and actualizing it. Not only is Zada's effect one that is distinct from your personal agency (which is, perhaps, an intuitive distinction?) but, on the more technical front, it is one that spontaneously creates the copies already in the stack, instead of moving them there from another zone.

"Successfully cast" is an obsolete term. Broadly, it meant that the spell had made it past the interrupt stage (during which, for example, it could be countered) and into the batch (where it would wait in line to resolve). With the advent of the stack, spells remain subject to ex-interrupts like Counterspell right up until they resolve, so the state which was once described by the term "successfully cast" has ceased to exist as a meaningful distinction.

"Comes into play" is not a preferred term. It describes a relationship that a card has with the (also superseded) "in-play zone." The epistemology of "in-play" being a location instead of an attribute is not well communicated in the original nomenclature; the "in-play zone" has since been re-termed the "battlefield," and it's usually pretty obvious when a card is entering the battlefield because it's also usually pretty clear if it was somewhere else before (stack, graveyard, or, in the case of tokens, inexistence), and when it stopped being there.

I can't imagine you don't know what "Resolved" means. A resolved spell's effects have transpired and it has, through that process, been removed from the stack.


Quote:
The prerelease period is over tomorrow and we still haven't gotten a straight answer as to what happens when you pay the awaken cost for a spell and it gets countered.


By the time you posted this, they'd released official rules which made the interaction pretty incontrovertible. I really wouldn't blame you for looking at this shit and not recognizing all the function calls:

MTG Comprehensive Rules, Sept. 26th, 2015 wrote:
702.112a Awaken appears on some instants and sorceries. It represents two abilities: a static ability that functions while the spell with awaken is on the stack and a spell ability. “Awaken N — [cost]” means “You may pay [cost] rather than pay this spell’s mana cost as you cast this spell” and “If this spell’s awaken cost was paid, put N +1/+1 counters on target land you control. That land becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste. It’s still a land.” Paying a spell’s awaken cost follows the rules for paying alternative costs in rules 601.2b and 601.2f–h


...but it's awfully clear to the community at large, particularly granting the similarities to the Kicker mechanic, which has been on the books for fifteen years.


Last edited by Eikre on Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lord Mistborn wrote:
Red Deck Wins


I'm disdainful of Goblin Glory Chasers.

-First turn he lands and does nothing. Second turn he may attack. Only three turns into playing him are you seeing his upside.
-The base chance of getting that renown counter is okay, I guess, but the incidental chance of getting it swings hard with whether you were already enjoying an advantage or not. In this, he is more of a "win harder" guy than a "added consistency" guy.
-Menace, conversely, adds nothing but consistency. But, employing it is a conditional opportunity nested in the conditional opportunity that you need to provide Renown in the first place.

Nah. Not a feel-good card.

Lightning Berserker on the other hand can slip right outta your hand at any time, for outnumbering and 'zactitude, plus he's firebreathing! No contest. Sign me up for four of him, zero of the other guy.

Abbot is fucking incredible. He's a cantrip. A very red, ephemeral kind of cantrip, but who cares? This is a deck archetype where all your spells are meant to double up and your hand blows out in like three turns; the Abbot puts on the extra gas. And even if you really need to drop him turn 2, you still have the consolation that he's attack-ready for the Prowess you're inevitably triggin' on turn 3. Feelgoods forever.

I am biased in favor of trigger-pings, so I'm obviously gonna sing Chandra's praises. Every card in your deck hits her trigger, so it's really not difficult to enact the gambit which takes her critical on turn 4.

I can't decide if I'm as big on Hordeling Outburst as you. I'd rather be activating Prowess with a burn spell, and I'd rather be three-dropping with a discrete creature. Fulfilling both functions at once isn't good value if it's half-assed both ways.

Thunderbreak Regent is a good sideboard. Important to note that he has 4 power, which enables Ferocious. Dr. and Dr. Nalaar, though, I cannot see myself ever deliberately switching in.

Lemme bring up a few cards that you have undoubtedly seen, but which deserve entry in the discussion:



Only pointing this out because, at this stage in the rotation, there are probably a shitload of other RDW and this looks like a viable sweeper. Stapling yourself back together in the second half of a ten-turn game is strange for RDW, but if it's a mirror match, and you're the one moving the show...



The one-mana burn alternatives to the one you picked out. They're both conditional Shock-turned-Lightning Bolt. I think I like Collateral Damage the most, because it's not uncommon to slate a couple creatures for death just to occupy some blockers; once they've splashed but before they die, they're an untapped resource. Also, you have a Legendary one-drop; if you get a second one in your hand, why not have something to sac the duplicate for?



Haste and flying 2/2 with an upshot. Not to be overlooked if you're leaning more into reach/evasion.



I mean, since you're already looking at Trumpet Blast and token producers. Doesn't look like a winning strategy.



I dunno, I think it fits the curve better than Arc Lightning. Might be that the numbers on the creatures that people ~actually use~ make 3 damage for 3 a much better deal.



Yeah if you've got 4/*s bangin around for whatever reason then obviously you wanna drop this thing on them. Apparently, the fast deck currently in vogue makes extensive use of this card, but it also splashes a forest and a shitload of fetchlands to fill up a graveyard and Delve for some miscellaneous green necessities. Half the competitive scene is netdecking that shit so I don't really feel like reviewing it here.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eikre, thank you for that pedantic and in no way helpful rant. The bottom line is this:



If I cast Clutch of Currents and I have Goblinslide in play, and Clutch of Currents gets countered, I can still pay for my extra goblin. Because I "cast" the spell even though it got countered. If I cast Clutch of Currents and pay the extra mana, and it gets countered, do I get the awakened land? I cast the fucking spell, and it's the same fucking wording. But I've seen judges rule both ways.

Whoever finalized the BfZ card wordings needs to be fired. This is fucked.

Anyway, on Red Deck Wins. Again, sign me up for Lightning Berserker and not for Goblin Glory Chaser. I'm big into Hordeling Outburst, and i think Impact Tremors is a solid addition to that. The other addition is:


The "pile of bullshit goblins" deck loses hardest when its opponent can bring out a modest amount of mid-range blockers. By giving all your creatures Exalted 1, you can force your opponent to chump block and build up forces faster than your opponent even after your opponent has brought out creatures to stabilize.

I'm not a fan of Collateral Damage. Fiery Impulse or Wild Slash do much more for me in my pants. The Abbot is super awesome, but he's an expensive card. Almost twice the cost of a Siege Rhino.

As far as four drops for the Red Deck, I think the Avaricious Dragon doesn't get enough respect.



When you play your four drop, it should normally be the last card in your hand. So the drawback pretty much doesn't matter. Meanwhile you get a 4/4 with evasion and double card draws until your opponent gets rid of it.

-Frank
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karpik777
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
If I cast Clutch of Currents and pay the extra mana, and it gets countered, do I get the awakened land? I cast the fucking spell, and it's the same fucking wording. But I've seen judges rule both ways.

I believe you shouldn't - the additional cost modifies the effect of Clutch, and since it got countered, the effect doesn't happen. Goblinslide works as a completely separate effect, merely triggered by the casting.
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maglag
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Man, creature power creep has come a long way. I still remember the time when you had to pay pure drawbacks to get a 4/4 for 4 mana, but nowadays people are discussing between 4/4 fliers for 4 mana with extras.

I once played a Red Deck Wins and it won so many games at our local shop that the dual/fetch land kids started to maindeck circle of protection:red. Good times. It really shines when your local meta has heavily shifted towards slower deck that sacrifice lots of life.


Last edited by maglag on Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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name_here
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

karpik777 wrote:
FrankTrollman wrote:
If I cast Clutch of Currents and pay the extra mana, and it gets countered, do I get the awakened land? I cast the fucking spell, and it's the same fucking wording. But I've seen judges rule both ways.

I believe you shouldn't - the additional cost modifies the effect of Clutch, and since it got countered, the effect doesn't happen. Goblinslide works as a completely separate effect, merely triggered by the casting.


Concur; it's an effect of the card and the counter rule is as follows:
Quote:
701.5a To counter a spell or ability means to cancel it, removing it from the stack. It doesn’t resolve
and none of its effects occur. A countered spell is put into its owner’s graveyard


It doesn't undo the casting itself, but the counter resolves and removes the card from the stack before any of its effects resolve.
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schpeelah
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wasn't there a rule that effects are processed in the order they are printed on the card, and if any of the card's effects are countered or otherwise prevented the subsequent ones do not occur either?
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name_here
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Checking the rules, yes they resolve in the order printed, though "destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated" and similar constitute one step, but if an instant or sorcery leaves the stack after it starts to resolve the remaining effects continue to resolve fully. Counterspells will in general preempt the card entirely, removing it from the stack before it starts to resolve, but after it has been cast and all costs (including kicker or awaken costs) have been paid.
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DSMatticus wrote:
It's not just that everything you say is stupid, but that they are Gordian knots of stupid that leave me completely bewildered as to where to even begin. After hearing you speak Alexander the Great would stab you and triumphantly declare the puzzle solved.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The whole "when cast" nomenclature clusterfuck is all over BfZ.




It doesn't do that when it comes into play if it was cast from your hand, it does that "when cast." Leading a lot of people to assume that the twin token is uncounterable. There is absolutely no excuse for the wording here to be so damn sloppy.

I genuinely don't know what the intention here was, things triggering on casting and on resolution is a whole different ballgame.

-Frank
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RadiantPhoenix
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
The whole "when cast" nomenclature clusterfuck is all over BfZ.




It doesn't do that when it comes into play if it was cast from your hand, it does that "when cast." Leading a lot of people to assume that the twin token is uncounterable. There is absolutely no excuse for the wording here to be so damn sloppy.

I genuinely don't know what the intention here was, things triggering on casting and on resolution is a whole different ballgame.

-Frank

The twin token can't be countered in standard, but it can be countered in eternal formats with Stifle, Trickbind, or Voidslime. It's a triggered ability.

"When", "whenever", and, "at the beginning of," are words that indicate triggered abilities, which are separate from their source in a similar manner to activated abilities (which are denoted with a colon).

EDIT: Clarity.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Eikre, thank you for that pedantic and in no way helpful rant.


While I'm certain you don't require some schmuck to parse out the rules for you, when you indicated a list of terms and say you didn't know what they meant, it wasn't difficult to read into it an implied request.

If you found it patronizing then I apologize. I anticipate people lurking the topic reading it, too, and wanted to include some historical context, etc, because that's usually the kind of thing that I'm pleased to read when I'm the lurker.


Quote:
If I cast Clutch of Currents and I have Goblinslide in play, and Clutch of Currents gets countered, I can still pay for my extra goblin. Because I "cast" the spell even though it got countered. If I cast Clutch of Currents and pay the extra mana, and it gets countered, do I get the awakened land? I cast the fucking spell, and it's the same fucking wording.


Yeah except it's not the same. The passage you're looking at on Clutch of Currents is reminder text. It's explicitly non-authoritative. Its purpose was only to get you playing with the card without front-loading a trip to the rulebook. It is written in italics, just like flavor text, and the association is deliberate; both have precisely zero standing in this rules dispute.

A spell being cast for Awaken makes a direct function call to a 210 page document, wherein the active component of the keyword is defined as a spell ability, not a triggered effect. Among other things, the rules lets you actually cast the spell for its alternative cost (which, if it was a triggered effect, would be an exercise left to the reader; you'd need to find external mechanics for increasing the cost of your own spells, which may or may not even exist in BfZ), and it rolls the benefits of doing so into the same effect as whatever else the card was doing, thus putting it under the purview of a counterspell.

Your contention may be that, authoritative or not, the reminder text should be a more exact representation of what's going on. That it should say something like:

(You may play [this spell] for [cost]. If you choose to play [this spell] for [this cost], then it gains an additional effect, which reads: "Place N +1/+1 counters on target land you control and it becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste. It's still a land.)

I merit your viewpoint, but the Magic devs are on the record for more than a decade now insisting that the thing which shuts down player comprehension more often than anything is sprawling verbosity, not colloquial ambiguity. Since they're the ones sitting behind one-way mirrors and watching while people fail to play their game correctly, I'm gonna extend them the benefit of the doubt. The diction on this one may very well have been a deliberate choice following empirical research.

And it wouldn't especially surprise me. I suspect that, for most people, the principle governing Counterspell is "Point at a card being cast. None of its good stuff happens." Eventually, they run into one of many cards like Goblinslide and must learn that the principle is more like "Point at a card being cast. None of the good stuff written on the card happens." But the idea that an Awaken effect shouldn't be countered, due to the fact that it says "If you cast this, a thing will happen!" is, to most people, dismissed out of hand. Every card says "If you cast this, a thing will happen!" If you cast Clutch of Currents for U instead of 4U, a thing still happens. Clearly, Counterspells are meant to deny the benefits of a spell being cast, otherwise what's the fucking point?

The release notes for BfZ, which serve, essentially, as an FAQ, do specifically point out how the Eldrazi when-cast triggered ability spins off into its own thing, but no such advisory exists for Awaken. Exceptio confirmat regulam, and all that.


Quote:
Fiery Impulse or Wild Slash do much more for me in my pants. The Abbot is super awesome, but he's an expensive card. Almost twice the cost of a Siege Rhino.


Worth mentioning that Fiery Impulse only affects creatures.

What's your calculus on the Abbot? On average, you'll drop him and another 2-drop, and that's the same as the Rhino. A third of the time, you'll just get a land out of him and he's half the price. I suspect there's something you know that I don't.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm. Actually...

(You may cast this card for [cost] to also put three +1/+1 counters on target land you control; it becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste. It's still a land.)

Yeah that would be the same number of words and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I concede; clearly the editor could have done a lot better.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Abbot works better the lower your mana curve is. Obviously, you should cast him before you play a land for the turn, because even just drawing and playing a mountain is still better than a kick in the teeth and keeps your hand full so you can keep casting on curve later in the game.

The Abbot is, all things said, really good. Here's worth playing as a 2 drop when your opponent has nothing out, because 2 damage plus leaving a threat on the board is nothing to sneeze at (even though the extra card definitely just gets exiled in that situation). And if you top deck him you get anything at all and also get to top deck the next card. He works less well if you're planning on having 4 drops anywhere in the deck, and he works less well if you have more combat tricks and burn because those become a lot less surprising when they are face up in exile during the main phase.

The standard Atarka Red version of Red Deck Wins seems to run a bit over 1/3 1-drops. That means that the ideal time to play the Abbot is either turn 3 or turn 4. If the bonus draw is a land you play it and then one of the 1-drops in your hand, and if the bonus card is a 1-drop you play a land from your hand and then the 1-drop. But if you draw the Abbot later, he's still strong. I don't see him working all that well in a Red Deck that wants a lot of 3-drops like Hordeling Outburst and Flamewake Phoenix for the same reason that Red Decks don't play Berserker's Onslaught.


It's not that this isn't awesome. It's like a Temur Battle Rage on every creature you ever attack with for the rest of the game. It's that if you can afford a 5 mana card you have already failed to kill your opponent.



I guess the way to think of the Abbot is that he's like a Hangarback Walker for a low mana curve version of Red Deck Wins. There is no turn and no amount of lands you can have that you won't be glad to draw an Abbot. Hell, even if you're stalling out with just 2 lands in play, you'll still be happy to play the Abbot because even if he doesn't fish a mountain he still brings you one turn closer to the land you need.

When I said it was an expensive card, I meant about the actual cost to get people to give them to you. Star City is out of stock on those fuckers at nine dollars a card. A play set of Abbots is definitely going to make your Red Deck better, but it probably costs more than the rest of the deck.

Speaking of things that tie up your mana to keep your hand full - I was really impressed with the Akoum Stonewaker in booster draft. That guy really dominates the field without you even casting spells. Won me several games basically just with him and some lands. A swing for 5 on turn 3 is barely acceptable, but when you've only cast one spell so far in the game, that's actually pretty boss. Standard is a faster format of course, but I have often thought that Red Decks could benefit from being a bit more keen on consistency and break through potential. And the Stonewaker really delivers on that front by putting pressure on your opponent without actually taking cards out of your hand.

-Frank
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
The whole "when cast" nomenclature clusterfuck is all over BfZ.




It doesn't do that when it comes into play if it was cast from your hand, it does that "when cast." Leading a lot of people to assume that the twin token is uncounterable. There is absolutely no excuse for the wording here to be so damn sloppy.

I genuinely don't know what the intention here was, things triggering on casting and on resolution is a whole different ballgame.

-Frank

The idea is that if your giant monster gets countered you still get something, the original Eldrazi Titans all had a "when cast" trigger. It all makes perfect sense if you have working knowledge of Magic's "language". Awaken says if you pay the extra cost you add additional text to your spell so obviously you don't get that text if the spell doesn't resolve. Desolation Twin or (Goblinslide for that matter) on the other hand are both triggered abilities that happen when something gets put on the stack.

It's pretty similar to this, imagine you play a Nekkratal

and I immediately bolt the Nekrataal when it comes into play. You still get his kill a guy ability because it already went on the stack before I cast the bolt and it doesn't just vanish because the thing that put the trigger on the stack isn't around anymore. Countering a Desolation Twin is just like killing Nekraatal right after he hits the board. The triggered ability to make a 10/10 already went on the stack and it stays on the stack even if the thing made it is stopped.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

LordMistborn wrote:
The idea is that if your giant monster gets countered you still get something, the original Eldrazi Titans all had a "when cast" trigger. It all makes perfect sense if you have working knowledge of Magic's "language".


No. Shut up.

There are two spells. One of them says:

Quote:
When you cast...


And the other says:

Quote:
If you cast...


Those are almost literally exactly the same. Now, you can make the argument that "When" is a special word which denotes a triggered ability and "If" is not. But you fucking have got to admit that this is a needlessly confusing wording even if you believe that you have successfully parsed it.

As Eikre reluctantly conceded, writing this in an unambiguous way that didn't look almost exactly like other cards in the set that function completely oppositely would require zero additional words. Kicker isn't written in a way that's unclear, but Awaken is.

I seriously timed out of a game at the pre-release because the people next to me were having an argument about what happens when an Awaken spell gets countered and no one could show an unambiguous answer. You still fucking can't, because while the powers what is have deigned to give us a ruling on what happens if a colorless sorcery gets Devoid line edited out of its text while it is being cast (fuck all, not that I am certain that this is a thing that can actually happen), there still isn't a ruling on countering fucking Awakened spells.

It was literally the first question I had when I looked at this set, and I have seen actual judges rule both ways. Because it's written in a way that's really unclear for no damn reason and they haven't even put up an official clarification on the matter.

-Frank
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Red_Rob
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
LordMistborn wrote:
The idea is that if your giant monster gets countered you still get something, the original Eldrazi Titans all had a "when cast" trigger. It all makes perfect sense if you have working knowledge of Magic's "language".


No. Shut up.

There are two spells. One of them says:

Quote:
When you cast...


And the other says:

Quote:
If you cast...


Those are almost literally exactly the same.


Those might be "almost literally exactly the same" in natural language, however they are quite different from a Magic rules standpoint.

The full text of the first ability is "When you cast [this spell] do [X]". In Magic, this is a Triggered ability, identified by the use of certain words:

Magic Rules wrote:
A triggered ability can be identified by the words "when," "whenever," or "at", which will usually be found at the start of the ability. The phrase that contains one of those words lists the conditions (the trigger event or trigger state) where the ability will trigger. When it does, the ability goes on the stack (unless it's a mana ability), and responses can be played.


Triggered abilities add another effect to the stack at the time they are triggered and must be countered separately. Therefore, it's clear that the twin token (as an example) is added to the stack when the spell is declared and must be dealt with separately.

The full text of the second ability comes after the text of the spell and reads "If you cast this spell for [X], also put [Y] +1/+1 counters etc. etc." This is an addendum to the effect of the spell, which only occurs on resolution. So, the full effect of the spell reads "Return target creature to it's owner's hand. If you cast this spell for [X] also put [Y] +1/+1 counters on target land you control etc. etc." When read like this it is pretty clear that both effects only occur on resolution of the spell and are really a single long effect.

I think the design team just assumed a greater level of rules knowledge on the part of the player base than they should have. I agree having both next to each other could be confusing for players who aren't really up on the timing rules. Once you actually look at them with some rules knowledge it is pretty clear how they are both supposed to work.

But the issue is how many players really have this level of rules knowledge. Looking at Battle for Zendikar I have to say there are a surprising number of these complex rules issues compared to other recent sets. Cards with a colour that also have no colour? Moving cards to Exile and then moving cards from Exile to Graveyards to gain abilities? Magic has recently gone on a big simplifaction push to attract new players, exemplified by the principles of New World Order that Maro introduced a few years ago. Common cards were supposed to be simple and straightforward, complex rules interactions were supposed to be minimised and weird timing issues and zone changes were to be kept away from newer players. This whole set seems to fly in the face of that with common cards like this one.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There is precedent for special words.

For example, "target": Because Council's Judgement does not use the word target, it can exile something with hexproof or protection from white, while Banishing Light can't, because it does use the word target.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The problem with the claim that if you know enough about Magic you can easily parse the Awaken cards is that it is false. The word "If" has very specific meanings under very specific circumstances in Magic language, and if it appears anywhere else it specifically means whatever it would naturally mean in English. Which is a problem, because when you begin a paragraph with the word "If" and describe an event, you are actually using English to describe a triggered conditional.


We all agree that's a triggered effect, right?

-Frank
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"When" is a special word in Magic, but "if" is not.

Since Abundance does not use “when”, “whenever”, or “at [some time]”, it is not a triggered ability.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Looking at the rules, it is a static ability with a replacement effect.

Quote:
Effects that use the word “instead” are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the
word “instead” to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, this isn't a hill to die on, guys. Frank's right that the resemblance which Awaken's reminder text has with other, functionally-dissimilar text in the same set is baffling. Arguments predicated on the reader's familiarity with game nomenclature are weak action; this is a passage targeted at neophytes. Its purpose is to demystify.

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FYI, if anybody needs further evidence to end these disputes at FNM or whatever, this FAQ says "When the spell resolves, in addition to the first effect of the spell, the land you chose as the target will become a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste that's still a land." It also asserts that Awaken will establish a(nother) target for the spell, which ends up causing some spells to fizzle, and others not to; this, itself, is proof of the ability's nature.


RadiantPhoenix wrote:
"When" is a special word in Magic, but "if" is not.


"If" actually has a glossary entry, believe it or not. Separate thing, though. Only used in intervening clauses to establish further conditions for a triggered ability, never to establish a triggered ability itself.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So anyway, a card I actually wanted to talk about making decks with is this weirdo:



In its purest conception, this is a dude that begs to be a four-of in a deck with 56 mountains. Then you just mulligan one into your opening hand and topdeck Shock for the rest of all time.

Finding other cards to advance that mission, without just switching into a different deck, is actually kind of challenging. Most people posting MoltenVortex.dec online include clutches of the two "discard another card; draw two cards" spells currently in red, and I have no idea why because that's almost a strictly card-neutral strategy that just spends a turn of mana for no particular reason.

You could spend many dollars to add 4 treasure cruises for incidental card draw, plus literally all of the mountain fetchlands just so that you can get an extra discard off the back of the one or two lands you actually play. You could also add creatures, very sparingly, for some repeatable damage, and depend on all your shocks to completely preclude any blocking. I hesitate to say what creature that should be. Probably a one-drop with consistency, like Zurgo.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eikre wrote:
So anyway, a card I actually wanted to talk about making decks with is this weirdo:



In its purest conception, this is a dude that begs to be a four-of in a deck with 56 mountains. Then you just mulligan one into your opening hand and topdeck Shock for the rest of all time.

Finding other cards to advance that mission, without just switching into a different deck, is actually kind of challenging. Most people posting MoltenVortex.dec online include clutches of the two "discard another card; draw two cards" spells currently in red, and I have no idea why because that's almost a strictly card-neutral strategy that just spends a turn of mana for no particular reason.

You could spend many dollars to add 4 treasure cruises for incidental card draw, plus literally all of the mountain fetchlands just so that you can get an extra discard off the back of the one or two lands you actually play. You could also add creatures, very sparingly, for some repeatable damage, and depend on all your shocks to completely preclude any blocking. I hesitate to say what creature that should be. Probably a one-drop with consistency, like Zurgo.

What's your plan for this guy:



It looks like you're going to be spending three cards to kill it, and then three more cards to race the life swing. On top of the fact that you're going to mulligan to 5 on a lot of games to get your card, so you're often going to be down another two cards.
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