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Eikre
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ugh, screw that guy. They should have just printed him in the lands slot in Khans boosters, he's just as fucking obligatory.

This isn't necessarily a good answer, but this is a gimmick deck and there's no doubt about it. It's for fukkin around at FNM and pushing 2-1s on the best of days. The win state is your opponent's befuddlement. A "good" decklist should improve the basic strategy without replacing it, even if pretty much every other win condition is strictly better.

Naturally, if you'd like to pontificate about Molten Vortex's place in a real deck, I welcome that, too.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The basic molten vortex win needs to spend 11 total mana and discard 10 total cards to win. If you are on the draw you can get that exactly on turn 6 after drawing 1 molten vortex and 12 mountains playing 2 land for mana. If you spend any less land for mana you won't have enough mana for a turn 6 kill. If you play more than 2 lands, are on the play, muligan, or draw any card that isn't a mountain, you won't have enough cards to discard.

Getting more mana is easy. Play a third land and you have four spare mana. Play a fourth and you have seven. The cards issue is rougher. Anything you do like be on the play or muligan or draw a non mountain card adds an entire turn to your kill condition.

The obvious means to improve reliability are to trade mana for card draws. Playing a third land and a pilgrim's eye will be mana positive and card neutral if you can get through with the flyer twice. If you play a Cinder Glade as your third land you could play one of those green cards that puts lands in your hand.

Fetch lands are garbage because they don't count as mountains when discarded. But the battle lands work and you can run secure the wastes and painful truths for more card draw.

Of course, if your opponent plays a kalastria healer or something, you might as well scoop. Any real life gain on the other side of the table and you'll stall out. And you can't afford interaction, so if you're opponent can get to their win condition unopposed in 6 turns or less tou lose.

-frank
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The fetchlands don't need to count as mountains when you're pitching them for Vortex. It'll eat any land you want. This is the fun part about Molten Vortex: It handles mana fixing in reverse. Don't be efficient about your lands, pack them ALL in! Worry about which ones are actually useful later, we're just gonna set the rest of them on fire.

That said, I was only going to include the fetches to smooth a splash into blue and turn "I play a land" into "I play a land, and also get a free card in the graveyard". It's all just for Treasure Cruise. You could theoretically get one out on turn 3 and then win on turn 5... Except I made a critical oversight: there aren't actually enemy fetches/battles in standard. Whoops.

You can pilot a red/blue strategy anyway, and it's actually a lot more amusing because you're obliged to lay off all the cards that show up in all the top 8s. Here's a decklist off the top of my head:

4 Vortex
4 Day's Undoing
4 Shivan Reefs
? Tormenting Voice
? R/U Taplands (First a clutch of Swiftwater Cliffs, followed by Mystic Monastery and Frontier Bivouac)
? Mountains

On a perfect day, you play land/Molten Vortex, land/vortex for 2, tapland/vort2, land/vort1/Day's Undoing. Your opponent opens round 5 with an empty graveyard and 10 damage. On the other hand, he also has an eight card hand. If, for some fucking reason, he has still done nothing to answer or kill you, you can play another land and 'zacly him for a T5 win.

I need to go back and review all the cards in standard instead of just building from memory, but this deck, as it stands, is un/commons, a garbage rare, and Day's Undoing, which goes for twelve bucks a clutch. A person have some fun with this. The statistical tune-up is relatively simple, it only includes the basics:

1) the desirable ratio of mountains to taplands
2) if any number of Tormenting Voices could ever smooth anything out, or if they'll always just get in the way (I suspect the latter)
3) what your hit/stick responses should be during the mulligan period

EDIT: obviously it's super easy and not terribly monetarily expensive to splash into green with this shit, you take Frontier Bivouac over the other taplands and and replace 5 of your mountains with Wooded Foothills and a single Cinder Glade. So, like you said before, exploring Green for land-specific card draw is extremely attractive and that's where I'm looking first.


Last edited by Eikre on Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The minimum turn 6 kill only plays two lands and barely gets the mana and cards it needs to do its thing. If you want to play any spells, not only are you going to have to draw a card that isn't a vortexable land, but you're also going to have to play a land (or more) instead of vortexing it to get the mana to cast it in the first place.

So when you play Seek The Horizon, you don't actually pull ahead on cards. You have to play a land on turn 3 and on turn 4 and you play Seek the Horizon itself. And that's 3 cards. And it puts 3 vortexable cards into your hand. So you're still on schedule for a turn 6 kill with no cards remaining in hand.



What you gain is that you're ahead on the mana curve. You played a land on turn 3 and 4 instead of saving them to Vortex, so the total man you see in the game is 18 instead of 11. You have to spend 4 to do a Seek the Horizon, but you're still 3 mana ahead even so. That means that you can potentially draw your Molten Vortex later and still win on time. Specifically, if you draw it on turn 2 or 3, you still burn your opponent out on the target turn. That increases your chances of drawing the Vortex in time to win the game by nearly 15%. That's not nothing.

Anyway, every land you play costs you one card against your final victory condition and provides one less mana than the land before it. Let's consider it in chart format:

Kill Turn 5
Lands PlayedAvailable ManaDraws Needed
2-21
312
433
544


Kill Turn 6
Lands PlayedAvailable ManaDraws Needed
200
341
472
593
6105


Kill Turn 7
Lands PlayedAvailable ManaDraws Needed
22-1
370
4111
5142
6163


Obviously, a turn 5 win with two lands in play just isn't possible without something stupid like a Lotus or Ancestral Recall. Turn 5 is just barely possible with a turn 4 Day's Undoing on 4 or 5 lands or a turn 5 Treasure Cruise on 3 lands. Probably never going to happen without the Day's Undoing because you need to draw only land with the Treasure Cruise, which is unlikely if your deck has things like Treasure Cruise in it. I really like the Day's Undoing, since you could actually burn someone out after you muliganed to 5 on the play.

Tapped lands will hurt you a lot here, since you reduce your total mana output by 1 for every one you play. You can fetch for blue, you do it like this:


That incidentally will give you one of the better draw cards for your position:



Three mana gets you 1 extra card. but it's also Scry 2, so it juices your hand towards land. The big problem is that the Sunken Hollow doesn't produce red mana at all, so while it helps you spend black or blue or colorless for your card hunting bullshit (and you are right that you can vortex extras away), it doesn't power the vortex directly. And ultimately you are going to need to spend 11 total red mana on the vortexing. There's also a red/blue pain land (Shivan Coast), but remember that it's not a basic so it turns the sunken hollow into a tap land before turn 4.

-Frank
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Another possibility of course is to not use Vortex as your win condition and just use it as rider damage/removal in an otherwise standard red/green megamorph shell.









When your mana dorks trigger tutor effects, this is good.

With Trail of Mystery running, you can spend 4 mana to morph and flip a storm singer, tutor for a mountain and haste attack for 4 whilst bringing back your Deathmist Raptor. If you have Molten Vortex at the same time, that mountain is actually a Burst Lightning.

-Frank
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, after my go at the Day's Undoing list up there, I did a lot of similar math and came to the same conclusions as you about how card draw broadens the margin of error.

It came as a surprise, for me, that the card you cited- Seek the Horizon- is actually the only direct place-in-hand green land fetch in the format and since I'm already in blue for Day's Undoing and can easily drop in Treasure Cruises if Undoing isn't enough, it turns out that Green's card draw isn't as attractive as I thought it might be.



I found out that red actually does have a cheap card-positive draw, in the form of Humble Defector. He's fiddly, but cool, and clearly demands a partner card like Refocus to increase his value, or something to let you kill him for free, or both, as with Vampiric Rites. This is all tangential to the current discussion, but remind me to think about making a red/black sacrifice deck later.

The idea of running Bloodstained Mires and a Sunken Hollow for emergency blue mana did not evade my consideration, but if Hollow ever went a turn without paying for something, then, in that game, it wouldn't actually be doing me any better than a tapland. Expanding into black isn't as tidy as green because of the goddamned wedges, but you're right that it's pretty attractive. Read the Bones is really good, and since we're running three colors now, Painful Truths can step up and deliver similar results. I think you're right that having eyes on up to four cards with Bones irons out a lot more inconsistency than the conditionally draw-three from Truths, but I'd have to do a lot of mulligan math to say for certain. Or you could run both, pull outta blue entirely, and maybe pack something like Murderous Cut to make some incidental use of the graveyard.



I actually find it very attractive that the card draw strategy has us putting more lands on the board; it's not actually off-theme with Molten Vortex, in my opinion. The most striking feature of a deck like this is its absurd land-to-spell ratio, and one of the incidental benefits of that feature is how flat your mana curve stays, way out to turn five and beyond. What if we played a land on every turn, allocated our early damage towards keeping important creatures off the table, and then played lots of card draw to keep the engine going until our opponent stalled out? Maybe a strategy to sideboard into.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blighted Cataract is a non-starter for a deck trying to make Molten Vortex its win condition. You need six other mana sources to make it go, which means that it only gives you a card on turn seven. And you're otherwise tapped out on turn 7, so you don't get an extra card you can discard for burn until turn 8. If turn 8 happens, you've lost the game. Maybe Esper Dragons wouldn't have killed you yet, but by turn 8 a green deck could beat you down even if they hadn't drawn their real creatures just by attacking with their mana dorks.

You know, it occurs to me that I haven't seen nearly enough people using Humble Defector in Jeskai. Jeskai Ascendancy untaps his ass before his transfer resolves when you cast an instant, allowing you to multi-tap him for a shit tonne of cards. Jeskai Cantrips has so many good cards to use and only play difficulty keeps it from kicking everyone's head in. Anyway...

I really do like the Megamorph version better. Trail of Mystery plus Molten Vortex lets you keep your hand full while swinging in with mid-range creatures from the early game, keeping a flat mana curve, and then burning your opponent out as soon as the game gets close. That seems really solid. And it helps that if you don't get your Molten Vortex or your Trail of Mystery, your megamorph mid-range creatures are actually still pretty good. I'd make it Temur, because you're getting blue mana off the mandatory Rattleclaw Mystics anyway and also you can throw in a Secret Plans or two.



Throw in Ainok Survivalist for enchantment/artifact removal. Throw in Wildcall or a Hooded Hydra for your late-game punch, and you've got a deck that doesn't need to Molten Vortex to win. But still can Molten Vortex to win.

When you go all-in on the morph strategy, you can do some pretty crazy shit. Temur Chargers aren't all that great, but with Trail of Mystery in play they can turn into 5/3 creatures and give trample to another creature without actually spending any mana. Which means that you can tap out and still pull shenanigans. With enough face down possibilities, you can really put your opponent on the back foot. At least, if you can survive the first four turns as you pick up speed. You are definitely behind in tempo until your lands come online.

-Frank
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I was depicting Cataract more as... An illustration than as a genuine notion for inclusion.

By the way, Duels of the Planeswalkers '13, '14, and '15 are on sale on Steam for another hour or so. Thought I would mention, since this is nominally the Vidja Gaems forum.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I maintain that this card is freakin' terrifying, and the fact it's not a fundamental game-changer is equally freakin' fascinating.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

More terrifying than these?


There have been some scary 6-mana creatures printed over the years, what do you think makes the Scalelord notable?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Red_Rob wrote:
More terrifying than these?


There have been some scary 6-mana creatures printed over the years, what do you think makes the Scalelord notable?

The fact that it becomes infinitely large with two of them and a +1/+1 counter on any creature.

But... you've got two six-drops in play at that point, and they still die to wraths and Murderous Cut or Valorous Stance, and can be chumped by 1/1 flyers.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Winning the game is a binary state that happens when you deal however little damage to your opponent that they have in life. Infinity engines are a myth; there are only victory engines, a subset of which produce -20 points of completely useless horseshit.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eh, I've seen people generate arbitrarily high life totals, forcing their opponent to either generate an arbitrarily high damage amount or go for some other win condition like decking. I don't think that sort of thing flies in most tournaments, but in EDH or similar it can be an actual thing.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Infinity engines mean you win automatically regardless of present conditions if you trigger them, so they work even if your opponent has blockers (well, for this one you also need a source of trample) and against any life total.

Regardless, two six-mana creatures is really too pricey for tournament play as I understand it. It's hard to get enough mana and rather likely your opponent will get rid of one of them.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Honestly, too bad it says "you may put +1/+1 counters" instead of you "do."

It would be funny to declare that the game is a draw because it can't progress because you have two scalelords on the field.

Not really of course, because I don't think the game is worse for having a 6 mana creature that wins you the game if you get two of them and one other card on the field.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are life gain decks that can put up some serious gaining of life, and against those opponents it is important to be able to put more hurt on than just 20 damage. If you don't have some kind of growth engine going, some builder combo deck can stall you all the way out if you don't put them down before it comes online. And +1/+1 token decks are among the best for damage growth to push through that kind of nonsense.

True story: I was playing against a Sultai lifegain deck and they gained 39 life in a single turn, and then I killed him the very next turn. Like this:



My opponent went up to 52 life in a turn, and then I swung back for 61 and the game was over. But you'll note that all of the cards involved in that (including the Merciless Executioner that I used to crack the Hangarback open) came onto the battlefield for 3 mana or less.

Hardened Scales decks are totally a thing, and I think the Green/Black version is under played compared to the Green/White version. But the whole point of that deck is to have all of your stuff be a little bit better than what your opponent has. If your opponent can bowl you over before you get your shit together, it doesn't matter how big a thing you would have brought onto the field. Your opponent is going to hit the first big thing you put on the table with an Abzan Charm and then play a Siege Rhino on turn 4 or 5. If you intend to play a "really big thing" on turn 8, you've failed.

The Hardened Scales deck uses creatures that give out tokens rather than creatures that make token production even more awesome.


Both the Hydra and the Fortress get really exciting with the Falconer and Hardened Scales in play, but the Hydra is played and the Fortress is not, because the Hydra doesn't need any of the other pieces to be in-play and not dead to do its thing.

If a Hardened Scales G/W deck was going to play a big expensive Dragon, it would play Dromoka:



Because Dromoka gets plenty big enough to kill your opponent even if she's the only creature you have on the board, she powers your Hardened Scales directly, and she costs only 5 mana instead of 6. Remember: if your opponent isn't doing anything to stop you, you can probably just kill them on turn 6 by attacking with whatever you happen to have in play. You have to assume that your opponent is going to be fighting and killing your stuff, so everything needs to synergize and stand on its own.

-Frank
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I just slapped together a colorless deck with shitloads of colorless Eldrazi and Ulamog.

My mana base?

Urzatron (complete set)
Cloudpost x4
Glimmerpost x4
Eldrazi Temple x2
Eye of Ugin


I have 4 Ivory Towers, 4 Venser's Journals, 2 Shield of the Ages, 4 Urza's Armors, and similar life gain/defense artifacts to bide my time.
Yes, I'm using Shield of the Ages.
Sol Rings and Thran Dynamos help me boost yet more mana.
Everything else is Eldrazi.

... And it works.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
it works


No it doesn't; even with a universally-illegal grip of Sol Rings and modern-banned Cloudposts, you lose to decent Standard decks with distressing regularity.

Also, while Shield of the Ages is a terrifically shitty card, I'm more puzzled by Ivory Tower in a deck with zero card-draw. The land you play every turn offsets your card-per-turn income, so when you go first, you can play no more than one real card- the Ivory Tower itself- before you fail to hit its threshold. You should have observed this in about five minutes of testing.

But the lifegain and damage prevention in general is weak action. Either your mana snaps together and you accelerate directly into having enough to play the game-ending threats, or it does not, and you sit around picking up a life-point (maybe two) per turn while your opponent just relentlessly mangles your flaccid, unblocked dick. The games where you curve into a 30-mana turn and dump it all into Shield of Ages are the games where you were not winning because, instead of another Eldrazi, you chose to include a Shield of Ages.

Also, the deal with Tron and Loci are that they do almost nothing to complement each other. If you draw a hand with a pair of Urza lands and a Cloudpost, you cry, because one of those cards could have been a land tutor and then you'd be looking at a winning hand instead of a manabase inferior to three islands.

Choose one or the other and replace your entire defensive suite with cheap cards that accelerate your win condition. The only actually good way to do this is to pick up at least one color, but if you want to stick with the colorless gimmick, then you can at the very least start with Expedition Map.
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Ravengm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

sigma999 wrote:
I just slapped together a colorless deck with shitloads of colorless Eldrazi and Ulamog.

My mana base?

Urzatron (complete set)
Cloudpost x4
Glimmerpost x4
Eldrazi Temple x2
Eye of Ugin


I have 4 Ivory Towers, 4 Venser's Journals, 2 Shield of the Ages, 4 Urza's Armors, and similar life gain/defense artifacts to bide my time.
Yes, I'm using Shield of the Ages.
Sol Rings and Thran Dynamos help me boost yet more mana.
Everything else is Eldrazi.

... And it works.


What, no Vesuva? Or Thespian's Stage? Tongue
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have Thespian's stage.

As for "it works", I playtested it against a few decks and a few people, not a competitive environment (or Frank's Mardu beast)
I know it sucks. But I can pump out 8-9 mana by turn 4-5 on a good draw.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A week ago they leaked this thing:



The immediate observation is the engine it forms with:



Just slam down your favorite of:

or and ask if you win.

Wedge colors, too, if a few months with that theme still on the table matters to you.

EDIT: G/W turn 4 combo wombo:

Turn 1: Altar of the Brood
Turn 2: Rattleclaw Mystic
Turn 3: Frontier Siege - Khans
Turn 4: Eldrazi Displacer, Brood Monitor, Fuck You.

This thing will also be in the options box:



I love cheap cantrips. This one smooths the combo if you didn't get it flat out, and incidentally smooths mana if you wanna kick Gideon, Ally of Zendikar in for alternate win conditions. Dude has a weird interaction with Eldrazi Displacer because he can turn into a creature. Theoretically, you could play his Oath card, which kicks planeswalkers an extra loyalty point when they enter the field, then turn him into a 5/5, attack, bounce him with Displacer, immediately get him back fresh with 5 loyalty and has_used_ability=no, use his -4 to get Glorious Anthem as an emblem, and do it all over again on every subsequent turn.

I'm feelin' it.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So Khans rotates next week. That means that when the new Sorin vs. Dagon cards release, you won't be able to make any wonky Khans + Shadows combos work in Standard. In Modern, go nuts. I don't really play Modern, but the new set seems to make Jeskai Ascendancy pseudo-Storm be a thing.



So here's how it works: on turn 1 you drop a total of 3 Ornithopters, Birds of Paradise and Delver of Secrets. Turn 2 you drop the Cryptolith Rite, which turns all three of your bullshit creatures into Birds of Paradise whether they already were or not. Then you use them to pay for Jeskai Ascendancy. You have now tapped out and have put 7 cards into play, leaving you with a hand size of 1 or 2.

Now shit gets crazy. You play a Gitaxian Probe, drawing two cards and discarding one and untapping all three mana dorks. Also you give +1/+1 until end of turn to all three dorks. You tap all three mana dorks for mana, play an Anticipate for two mana, letting you see 4 cards and keep 1 of them and also save a mana and your prowess counter goes up to 3 and your mana dorks are untapped again. You tap all three of them to play a Divination, drawing three cards and discarding one, and untapping everything again. And your prowess counter goes up to 3...

With the perfect draw, you can draw and play your entire deck on turn 2. More realistically, you can probably trigger Jeskai Ascendancy enough times in a turn to ultra-kill your opponent on turn 3 or 4.

Also for Modern, I think the Investigation cards might work for Affinity. Clues are artifacts that you can sacrifice to Arcbound Ravagers or Kark Clan Ironworks in addition to sacrificing them to spend mana for cards. I am not sure about that one, because I never played Affinity. But the Investigation cards are non-artifacts that also put multiple artifacts in play, which really seems like it could be a thing Affinity to could use to take people by surprise.

As far as Standard goes, the thing I'm excited about are the Silverfur Partisans.





That combo gives you +2/+2 on all your Wolves and also gives you two extra 2/2 Wolves for each Wolf you already have and you draw a card for every creature. That's quite an ultra kill on turn five (turn one or two play a werewolf, turn 3 play the partisan, turn 4 play Zada, turn five shoulder to shoulder to draw three cards and make 4 extra wolves, then play Expedite to give them all Haste and draw seven cards and swing for twenty and if you don't win, discard down to seven because you have eleven cards in your hand).

Most people are poking at Red/Black Madness Aggro, Blue/Black Zombie Control, White/Blue Spirits, White/Green Humans Weenies, or Red/Green Werewolf Midrange, but I think the set looks good for Naya Cantrips.

-Frank
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Lord Mistborn
Duke


Joined: 12 Aug 2012
Posts: 1352

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
So Khans rotates next week. That means that when the new Sorin vs. Dagon cards release, you won't be able to make any wonky Khans + Shadows combos work in Standard. In Modern, go nuts. I don't really play Modern, but the new set seems to make Jeskai Ascendancy pseudo-Storm be a thing.

Modern sucks right now because the eldrazi deck is stupid broken, but that deck is getting banned next month. Regardless if you want to kill people by playing a bunch of spells (which you should if you don't want to play eldrazi) you can seriously just play actual storm.

The issue with Ascendancy is that you have one card you absolutely have to stick in order for your deck to work. Storm on the other hand has two different engine cards and can potentially go off even if neither of those cards are in play. Plus you're a virtually creatureless deck facing down a meta where the deck to beat is big dump creatures.


In storm drawing just one of these cards initially is often enough
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FrankTrollman
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, the Eldrazi modern situation is just bad. For those of you who don't know, there was an Eldrazi set long ago based on really big dumb expensive creatures and mana ramp that was heug like xbox controllers. It was so long ago that that meme was current. Most of that shit doesn't matter, but the key issue is that they made some Land that brings out Eldrazi faster in exchange for being limited in other ways. And no one gave a shit because the Eldrazi were big and dumb and if you were actually casting them with mana from lands you were some kind of idiot. And then the last block came out with new decent Eldrazi creatures that are competitively priced at all cost levels. So if you're in a format that allows the lands from the old Eldrazi set and creatures from the new Eldrazi set you can play aggro mid-range creatures on turn two by "playing a land" and then "playing another land." This is not exactly a fragile or risky combo and that deck is busted. It is widely believed that at least one of the lands is going to be banned at the next cycle, because fucking obviously.

Anyway, WotC's bullheaded refusal to put keywords on spells is starting to piss me off. It was annoying that United Front couldn't get converge from your Beastcallers or your Ally Encampments, but the resolution was simply that you did not play United Front and moved on with your life. It was flavor fail that Gideon, Ally of Zendikar could't be paid for with an Ally Encampment, but Gideon is so good that no one gives a shit. But then along comes Shadows, and it doubles down on Zombie tribal. And then we get to the Diregraf Colossus.

It's a big construct made out of a bunch of zombies in a cage and that is awesome. Itrewards you for playing zombies, which is reasonable. But it's total fail. It has a starting power and toughness based on the number of zombies in your graveyard when you cast it, and it gives you a bonus zombie token every time you cast a zombie spell. Problem? Almost none of the spells in the zombie deck are "zombie spells". I don't just mean that you have spells that answer threats or fuck with your card draws that don't have the zombie tag, fucking NONE of your spells have the zombie tag. Shamble Back, Gisa's Bidding, From Under the Floorboards, and Rise From the Tides all make zombies, but they are all Sorceries and do not possess the zombie tag while being cast or in the graveyard. What creatures you do have, even the ones which put zombies into play, are not zombies either for the most part. Ghoulcaller Assistants are Human Rogues and Liliana is a Human Cleric. Probably the only cards that actually have the zombie tag in a way that Diregraf Colossus can see them in the whole deck are some Fleshbag Marauders. Maybe Sidisi if you want to tutor up your Rise From the Tides finisher.

That is a deck that is more than half zombie by weight, but the Diregraf Colossus only recognizes like three cards because WotC can't get their heads out of their asses as regards tribal tags for spells.

-Frank
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Eikre
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Joined: 03 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Their position is that people don't understand how an elf card can result in not a elf, but I think that's a learned folkway.

I will say, though, that the company of (super)types and sub-types in the same field on the card does make an implication that works against them. When a card says "Sorcery" or "Instant," that's an ironclad definition that tells you something about the card that is completely independent of board state. When a card says "Zombie" or "Arcane," though, it doesn't mean jack shit until a specific card-bound ability somewhere refers to one of those words. I can see why people (being soft-headed and heuristical, as people are) might begin to parse "Creature - Zombie" into "Creature - No, SERIOUSLY, it's a fucking creature, don't you fucking forget it."

There's kind of a history of them trying to un-muddle the situation by moving mechanics out of the subtypes completely (by offloading the mechanics for "Wall" and "Legend" to the "Defender" ability and "Legendary" supertype), and "Tribal" was meant to specifically disclaim that the subtype you were looking at was not attached to a creature, and yes, that is allowed... except, when you do that, then a player may assume (by implication) that it was necessary to use Tribal to make an exception to a general rule about creature types that doesn't actually exist. It's not intuitive that its real mechanical function is to do nothing so that a subtype can, itself, continue to do nothing.

But, you know what? Doesn't fucking matter. They should start incorporating more abstract subtypes like "arcane" and start slapping them all over shit. Like, all the guilds of Ravnica and all the houses of Tarkir could have been subtypes that were equally applicable to any sorcery, enchantment, artifact, creature, or otherwise; anything with their watermark, basically. Wizards can start demonstrating, in every single set, that subypes are nonspecific to creature cards, and they don't need it to be a "thing" like the Tribal keyword was.
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