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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So this weekend I did a couple of Innistrad prereleases, coming 4th in one with a Vampire deck and first in the other with a Werewolf deck. That means it is Draft Season, and it's time to talk about Limited Archetypes for the new set.

First of all, Shadows over Innistrad Draft is a two color format. Period. You are not going to splash for a third color to make some janky thing awesome, you are not going to spurge out with color fixing to get some three color shenanigans on. There aren't even any three color cards or bonuses to be had. You figure out what two colors you're in, and you start drafting towards your archetype. And the faster you figure that shit out, the less dead cards you'll have at the end.

Secondly, the synergy in this set is very high. Like, probably more than Zendikar high. It is not enough to simply draft "good stuff" in your colors, you want to draft shit that works with the thing your colors are trying to do. In fact, synergy is so extreme in this set that some player is probably going to draft a Ravenous Bloodseeker third-pick and be right to do so.

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And the third thing we have to talk about is the flippy cards. A bunch of cards have a face on both sides, to the point where most packs have one. When those cards enter the draft and when they leave the draft is public knowledge. This means that when people draft into some archetypes, it may not stay secret all that long. Most importantly, every Werewolf is a flippy card. So if someone is playing Red/Green Werewolves, everyone at the table is going to know about it very soon. And if you're playing one of the other archetypes that likes a few Werewolves (mostly Green/White Humans and Blue/Red Prowess), people are still going to know right away (like, when you draft a Red Werewolf and then pass a Green Werewolf or vice versa). This super ironic, considering the limited information of what other players are playing in the game actually called "Werewolf."

Now, let's talk about the special mechanics of the set:

Delirium

I don't understand the flavor here. I treat people with delirium all the damn time, and it's nothing like this. Delirium in the real world is a temporary increase in confusion. So you'd think the game mechanics would be some sort of thing that would come and go making things "go crazy" for a while. What it actually is in the game, is a power-up status that you get at some point into the game and then keep forever. So that's a flavor fail. Mechanically you either "have delirium" or you don't, and you have it if four or more different types of cards are in your graveyard. The types are Creatures, Artifacts, Enchantments, Sorceries, Instants, and Lands, which means that you need to get 4 out of 6 of the types into your graveyard to get the powerups. Instants and Sorceries play themselves into the graveyard, Creatures die easily, and getting the other types into your graveyard requires planning.

The benefits of Delirium are completely fucking random. Most spells don't give a rat's ass whether you have Delirium, and the ones that do get benefits that range from "who cares?" to "holy shit!?" It is entirely possible to draft a deck that doesn't care whether it has Delirium, and it is equally possible to draft a deck that wants Delirium and isn't going to get it. Making a deck that cares about getting Delirium and also gets it when it matters takes a bit of doing.

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There are various ways to make yourself discard cards, but this is generally not a good means to activate Delirium. Self-mill, on the other hand, is pretty decent. Mostly, activating Delirium involves picking up some of the enchantments and artifacts that sacrifice themselves and also playing a few more instants and sorceries than you normally would.

Madness!
Blue, Red, and Black have a mechanic called Madness. Cards which have Madness have an alternate cost where you can play them if and when they get discarded. Madness therefore requires two things to function: firstly a card that has a Madness cost, and secondly an effect that makes you discard a card so that the madness cost can be paid.

Some Madness cards have madness costs that are lower than their normal costs, and the more of them you have the more discard outlets are prized. In effect, being told to discard a card is ramp if you have a card in your hand with a madness discount. Many Madness cards are card types that normally can't be played during combat or your opponent's turn (Creatures, Sorceries, or Enchantments), which means that if you have instant speed discard outlets, you can give those cards Flash. Still other Madness cards don't do any of that shit, and some Madness cards even cost more mana to Madness than they do to cast normally - but remember that discarding is often a "cost" of something, and "paying" that cost by playing a Madness card is just like getting the benefit for free. So for example, if you have an effect that lets you rummage or loot ("paying for" a card draw with a discard), having a Madness card in your hand to play turns that effect into straight card advantage.

This means that Madness is a critical mass type thing. If you can get enough Madness cards and enough self-Discard effects, you're going to see some big turns. But if you only get one or the other, or not enough of either to see both at the same time, it's all so much blank text. But it also means that if you're in Black/Red Vampires, Black/Blue Zombies, or Blue/Red Prowess, you should seriously consider cards that discard cards out of your hand even if they do so at a shitty exchange rate.

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Werewolves

Green and Red have Werewolves. These showed up in the last Innistrad, but now they are awesome instead of being a bunch of coasters and the Huntmaster. Each Werewolf comes into play as a human werewolf, and if a turn goes by without either player casting any spells, they flip over into non-human werewolves during the next upkeep. Once on the werewolf side, they flip back into humans during the next upkeep if a player plays two spells in a turn.

The important thing here is that while most werewolves in the old set were under-curve as humans and over curve as monsters, in this set almost all of the Werewolves are on curve as humans, and then over-curve as monsters. That makes almost all of them playable even if you don't have any of the werewolf tribal bullshit.

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Skulk

Skulk is the new combat power that mostly lives in Black and Blue. It's a form of Evasion where a creature cannot be blocked by creatures that have higher power than they have. Skulk + pumping is thus pretty fucking awesome and basically unbeatable without double blocking or combat tricks on the other side.

A head's up: Skulk is much better on creatures who have a Toughness higher than their power than it is on creatures that go the other way.

Color Identity

There are lots of cards that have a face that doesn't cost any mana. You bring a card out one way and it flips over and the reverse side doesn't have a mana cost, but it still has a color. These things have a little colored dot that tells you what color they are supposed to be. Which is the same color as the giant colored border, and people are absolutely not confused as to what color these flippy cards are. The important thing is that there a number of cards that produce things from another color that people think are supposed to go into that color combination - but there's no reason to do it that way. You are still making decks based on what kinds of mana things cost, not on what color identity shit has - this ain't Commander.

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Investigate

Many cards in White, Green, and Blue have the tag "Investigate." That puts a non-creature artifact token into play called a clue. It does absolutely nothing but you can spend 2 mana to sacrifice a clue and draw a card. At its most basic level, every card with Investigate is basically a cantrip that has an additional cost that you can choose to pay later.

There are also cards, mostly in Green, that do a thing whenever you sacrifice a clue. Note that they do not require you to sacrifice them for their own 2 mana card draw ability, so you can sacrifice them to other stuff and still get those rider effects if that's what you're doing.

Investigate is super interesting in constructed because there are decks like Modern Affinity and Standard Thopters that are quite happy to have a giant pile of artifacts lying about, and the prospect of casting spells that simply leave extra useless artifacts in play is quite interesting. In this format, there are only a couple of cards that give you any real benefit for leaving clues in piles, mostly it's just buying cantrips on layaway. But any deck with Green might have cards in its list that would prefer you to crack open clues later rather than earlier.

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----

OK, let's start the Archetypes.

Allied Colors: Tribal

The allied colors on the wheel have creatures that share designators and spells that care about creatures with those designators. To a first approximation, drafting all the cards that mention your color combination's tribal affiliation and then making a deck is a pretty good strategy. You can squeeze a bit more synergy out of it by figuring out what your tribe can do and then working around it, and you should. But you can probably go 2-2 even without.

Black/Red Vampires

Black/Red is heavy on the Vampire Tribal and heavy on the Madness. Once you know that you're bringing the Wrath of Falkenrath, you should draft every Madness card you see in Red or Black and every Vampire that comes around, even the shitty ones. Also, you should invest in some discard outlets. Fortunately, a lot of cards in the set are two of those things at the same time.

This deck is aggressive as fuck. The goal is to play cheap high power creatures on curve and bludgeon your opponent to death before they get to do whatever the fuck it is that they are trying to do.


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Green/Red Werewolves

Werewolves are mostly aggressively costed as humans. So you can pretty much just make a creature deck with a bunch of on-curve thugs and smack your opponent around with them. And if you ever run out of gas, all your werewolves flip and then you can try to push through the enemy line with bigger, badder monsters.

There are a few Werewolf tribal shenanigans, and you'll want them. But mostly you just want all the Werewolves you can get. There are also a lot of Wolves, and Werewolf tribal boosters usually trigger off regular wolves as well. So you aren't quite committed to drafting only flippy cards and showing every other player what you're up to. But um... you really are showing everyone what you're doing. You're gonna draft every Werewolf that comes your way, and everyone will know who's drafting Werewolves. It's a strong archetype, so I can easily see it being overdrafted, but you'll know right away and be able to jump off into something else.

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Green/White Humans

Green and White have a bunch of creature cards that are humans and a bunch of ways to trigger off of humans coming into play and/or dying. Your basic concept is that you play bears (Creatures that are about 2/2 for 2 mana) with upside and also have a few things that collect +1/+1 tokens. Conceptually, you throw down dome soldiers and shit and charge into combat, and if that isn't enough to take down your opponent you overwhelm everything with an Unruly Mob.

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Remember that Werewolves come into play as Humans, which means that they trigger effects that care whether Humans come into play and can benefit from Human tribal boosters while in human form. So Green/White Humans also has a Werewolf minor suit all the time.

Blue/White Spirits

I honestly think this deck has too many moving parts. There are spirits that let you flash your spirits and spirits that let you bounce your spirits and spirits that give you clues for playing spirits and spirits that tap your opponents' shit when they come into play,and if you actually got all that shit you'd have a value engine that also tapped down your opponent's stuff. But you aren't getting all those pieces in your deck, let alone actually rolling all that shit into play. The combo pieces don't do enough if you only have a couple and you end up having to run some mediocre off-archetype creatures because it's Draft and what the fuck did you think was going to happen?

Practically speaking, what White/Blue spirits is all about is the fact that there is very little in the way of flight in this set, and White/Blue Spirits has most of it. With some tap-down and removal you can limit what your opponent can throw at you on the ground while you peck them to death with tiny bullshit in the air. It's a thing.

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Black/Blue Zombies

This is a weird deck, because most of the pieces that seem like they'd fit in it actually don't. A bunch of the cards care a lot about Instants and Sorceries, while a lot of the cards care about Zombie Creature Cards, and there are Instants and Sorceries that make Zombies but aren't actually Zombie Creature Cards at any point that the supposed combo pieces try to check for these things. Sigh.

Some of the blue zombies do exciting shit involving Discarding to do recursion. And that actually encourages you to get yourself a Vamprie subsuit. Some of the Black zombies care about Zombie creature cards, which encourages you to pass on the Madness spells for more pokemon. It's all very confused, and you can easily end up drafting a deck with a lot of Nombos.

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Cross Colored Archetypes

Where the allied color archetypes mostly revolve around grabbing a tribe and running with it, the cross colored archetypes... don't. You still need to reach for synergy here, because otherwise a tightly drafted synergy deck is going to kick your face in. But here your synergy is going to be helpful mechanics rather than simple tribalism.

Blue/Red Prowess

Probably the most focused and coherent of the cross-color archetypes, Blue/Red Prowess is hard core but also easy to fuck up in drafting. You pick up creatures that benefit from you casting non-creature spells, and you pick up spells. Once you have Prowess on the table, those weird blue cards that durdle around filtering your deck become card neutral combat tricks and that's really good. However you still need to draft enough creatures that you aren't left with a pile of bullshit that can't field an actual army.

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Prowess can end up with a madness, vampires, werewolves, or zombies subtheme, because those things are in Red and/or Blue. Werewolves are interesting in a Prowess deck, because it isn't weird for a deck with a lot of instants and flashable enchantments to pass a turn and flip their werewolves. One of their basic prowess creatures actually is a Vampire, and benefits from any vampire tribal bullshit you happen to have. And of course, any non-creature madness spells you can madness out also trigger Prowess. So that's a thing.

Red/White Aggro

Many cross-color combinations have a special cross-color enchantment that you will be able to draft if you are in those colors because fucking no one else wants them. For Red/White, you have Nahiri's Machinations.

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This lets you attack with creatures that have a high power to toughness ratio and not have to trade them. That's really good. But you'll note that sending one powerful fragile creature over the wall each turn is kinda the opposite strategy from having a town gossip. Even Avacyn encourages you to have creatures with Toughness 4+ and works better in White/Blue (note: you will still draft Avacyn, because she is nuts). So you don't much rely on cards that say they are Red and White so much as the cards that have Red and White mana symbols on them. You're going to be a lot happier with Blood Mad Vampires than you are with crazy Lunarchs.

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Green/Black Delirium

You probably are only going to draft Green/Black if you open the Hypno Toad.

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But if you were going to draft Green/Black for any other reason it would be because you got some really nice Delirium effects and wanted to self mill yourself with Zombie Crows. Some of the Delirium effects are really impressive in Green and Black, and the two of them have about the best means to self mill to make that happen. You can even pack some of the Groundskeepers and shit to get value out of the cards lying around in your graveyard. But if you do open the Hypno Toad, you're all-in on Green/Black right away.

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While an incredible Green/Black deck can be made, the pieces won't exist to draft at every table. So practically speaking this is probably the archetype you are least likely to draft.

Black/White Good Stuff

There isn't a lot of synergy to be had in Black and White. There are cards and Tokens that are White and Black, but you don't care. Both the Westvale Cult Leader and the Wayward Disciple are more at home in a White/Green deck. The Black/White Enchantment gives all your creatures Skulk and gives you a mass pump, which is nuts because it makes it basically impossible foryour opponent to kill your stuff by blocking it one for one. Prioritize creatures with toughness higher than their Power, but even creatures with even stats can be amazing.

You're not drafting White/Black because you got passed Behind the Scenes, you're drafting it because you opened Sorin or got passed a White Bomb just after opening a Black bomb or vice versa.

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Blue/Green Clues

I'm not really sure why you'd end up being in Blue/Green Clues. Altered Ego is nice, and it can win you some games, but it's not exactly the kind of bomb rare that would make you say "Gosh, I guess I'm playing Blue/Green Clues now." Probably you drafted some decent Blue or Green spells and then you got passed a pack where the best card was Ongoing Investigation.

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Anyway, once the engine starts going, it's pretty intense. The deck can generate more than one clue per turn, and gain life, creatures, and cards for cracking them. Has a lot of moving parts though, and you're going to want creatures that will keep you alive.

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-Frank


Last edited by FrankTrollman on Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So... Standard. The fucking fetch lands are gone, and so are Siege Rhino, Mantis Rider, and Rally the Ancestors. The 4-color money decks are out of the picture, which means we are back to a 2 color format where people play a lot of basic lands. This also means that decks will be a lot more diverse, because no one can run Mantis Rider and Crackling Doom in the same deck.

So let's talk about some decks: Vampires, Cryptoleap, Black Enchantments Matter, and Displacer. Each of these is two colors.

Vampires

Vampires are Black/White in Zendikar where they also aren't ever going to be a tier 1 deck. There just isn't the tribal support. For fuck's sake, Khalitas isn't even an Ally, and Drana's Chosen is an overpriced piece of shit. But in Innistrad, Vampires are Black/Red, and they bring the noise.

So let's talk about the elephant in the room: your Nut Draws.

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OK, that sequence is insane. If your opponent is durdling around for the first two turns, you could pass to turn three with three bodies on the table and them with half their life gone. Add some burn or another haste body or removal or fucking anything and you could very plausibly push through a turn 4 win.

But how likely is that? You need 3 lands, at least one 1-drop, one of your 2 mana free discard outlets, and an Incorrigible Youths in your first 9 cards. That is 6 of 9 of your cards spoken for, and while you have 22 copies of "Land" you have only 8 copies of your first and second turn spell and only 4 copies of your 3rd turn spell. Just for starters, you only have a 48.7% of drawing the Youths by turn 3. The other conditions aren't fucking you as much, but you're all told looking at maybe one game in four where you can actually deliver the turn three tiger uppercut of Vampires. And if your opponent has an Ultimate Price sitting around, it doesn't even land.

What this means is that the ultra-rush, while possible and definitely a thing that will win you games, is not a thing that you can base your entire strategy around. Realistically, you are going to go in for the longer, grindier game often enough that you have to win those if you want to win your 2 out of 3.

So the big question is whether you have 18 other cards in addition to the three move killer opening (4-ofs for all five cards that can be a part of it), or whether you are going to replace some of that haymaker with cards that have a bit more staying power. Regardless of which way you go, you're a Madness deck front and center, which means that you're looking for Madness Outlets, Madness Cards, and Resilience.

Madness Outlets

A Madness Outlet is a card that allows you to discard a card. Since you intend to play cards that are discarded, the less mana it costs on the turn of the discard the better. Most effects that force a discard give you something for it (cards like Mind Rot which only make "target player" discard a card can be used for Madness, but are really intended to be used on your opponent), so obviously the more you get for discarding, the better. And finally, a Madness card can be played whenever a discard would happen, so you can arrange discards to trigger at instant speed that is strictly superior to happening at proscribed times. And finally, repeatability: some madness outlets will only let you discard a single card, which means that you need a new outlet for each Madness card you want to play. Others can be used over and over again, which makes them much better.

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Madness Cards

So you have the ability to discard cards. Without Madness cards to play while doing that, that's hammering a nail into your foot. There actually aren't that many Madness cards in the set, so your payload cards are going to be pretty similar in every deck.

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Non-Madness Cards
Weirdly, you are going to want a few cards that don't discard or do cool things when they are discarded. That's a dangerous game, since of course if you don't draw discard outlets a lot of your madness cards aren't good and if you don't draw madness cards you can't use your discard outlets except in the "fair" way, and who wants to do that?

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Deck Lists

Fast and Furious
    Lands 23
    10 Mountains
    9 Swamps
    4 Foreboding Ruins

    Creatures 25
    4 Insolent Neonate
    4 Falkenrath Gorger
    4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
    4 Heir of Falkenrath
    4 Incorrigible Youths
    2 Bloodmad Vampire
    2 Sin Prodder
    1 Voldaren Duelist

    Spells 12
    4 Alms From the Vein
    4 Fiery Temper
    1 Avacyn's Judgement
    1 Gisa's Bidding
    1 Sinister Concoction
    1 Lightning Axe


So as far as curve goes, you're clunky if you don't get an Heir of Falkenrath or a Ravenous Bloodseeker in the opening hand or at least by turn 2. The Sin Prodders force your opponent to punish at 1.5 damage per turn, which is like your evasive 3/2 getting an extra hit in every other turn. Good for taking you from a near victory to a victory. The fast and furious deck doesn't bother with Zendikar lands because they are so committed to curving out on turns 1-3.

Super Friends
    Lands 23
    8 Mountains
    7 Swamps
    4 Foreboding Ruins
    4 Smouldering Marsh

    Creatures 21
    2 Insolent Neonate
    4 Asylum Visitor
    4 Heir of Falkenrath
    3 Bloodmad Vampire
    2 Incorrigible Youths
    2 Sin Prodder
    1 Liliana, Heretical Healer
    1 Olivia
    1 Drana

    Spells 17
    4 Alms From the Vein
    4 Fiery Temper
    3 Call the Bloodlines
    1 Stensia Masquerade
    1 From Under the Floorboards
    1 Chandra Flamecaller
    1 Avacyn's Judgement
    1 Sinister Concoction
    1 Lightning Axe


The Superfriends would do 1.64 damage with the punishment if your opponent milled every card. Realistically you're not going to get the big 5-6 damage payouts because your opponent is going to hand you cards like From Under the Floorboards. And hey, free cards.




What's clear in both of these decks is that there isn't a lot of room. You need a big discard engine and you need a big pile of madness fuel to put into it, and that's most of your deck accounted for. Like the Hardened Scales decks of last rotation, there aren't even a lot of slots available to sideboard with. The superfriends deck is going to have Twins of Maurer Estate in the sideboard, but I'm not sure what the Fast deck is going to be willing to cut to even have a sideboard. Possibly some specific removal cards for ugly matchups.

Another thing to note is just how bad the Zendikar block was in terms of power level. One of the versions of the deck uses two cards from Battle for Zendikar and one of them is a fucking land. And it only uses one card from Oath of the Gatewatch. That's horrible.

Anyway, next time, we'll talk about Green/White CryptoLeap. Here's a preview of where we're going with that:

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-Frank
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For R/B madness I'm pretty sure that you'd want to prioritize being a better aggro deck over being a better madness deck. You want to play something more like this

23 lands
11 Mountains
8 Swamps
4 Foreboding Ruins

23 Creatures
4 Insolent Neonates
4 Falkenrath Gorger
4 Heir of Falkenrath
4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
3 Olivia, Mobilized for War
4 Incorrigible Youths

14 spells
3 Lighting Axe
2 Murderous Compulsion
4 Fiery Temper
4 Exquisite Firecraft
1 Avacyn's Judgment

You play like a pretty standard red aggro deck you play some guys and use you burn spells first to kill their dudes and then to burn off those last few points. I'm betting the more dedicated madness decks in competitive are going to be u/r or u/b and have Jace.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you're going all in for aggro, Murderous Compulsion is a blank card. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great. And the prospect of having Jace madness it out during an opponent's attack and then flip and flash it back sounds like a blowout of epic proportions. But it only kills tapped creatures. Your kill spells in aggro are to remove potential blockers so you can continue to smash face. That makes Murderous Compulsion worthless to you. You give up Madness for Ultimate Price or you go even farther and pay the extra mana for Ruinous Path or To The Slaughter.

As for Exquisite Firecraft, I'm just not convinced that it's particularly good. I'd usually want something bigger or cheaper. Avacyn's Judgement is both of those things if it needs to be, but I'd still rather slap down a Blood Mad Vampire most of the time.

-Frank
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maglag
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pretty good analysis Frank, just wanted to point something:

FrankTrollman wrote:



That's a lot of cost and shenanigans for something that still dies to Languish. The madness outlet is repeatable, but it costs 4 mana to make, 1 mana to use, and 3 mana to reset and you can only do it once per round of turns. And if you don't reset it, it doesn't do any damage to your opponent (still makes a good blocker though). All in all, I am unconvinced. The upside is pretty high, and it's easy to imagine this unblockably doing 4-8 damage while enabling an Alms From the Vein to close out a game where your opponent was at 11. Treat it like it was a 6 drop, because you'd really like to play it, flip it, and madness in the same turn. Which means that the Elusive Tormentor is competing directly against Chandra and the Avaricious Dragon. In most cases, the comparison doesn't come off well. Definitely matchups where this will be the best card in your deck though. Sideboard?


The Insidous Mist specifically can't block besides being unblockable. So if you can't reset it, it is pretty much useless.
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Actually, our blood banking system is set up exactly the way you'd want it to be if you were a secret vampire conspiracy.


Last edited by maglag on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, I should have said it blocks well once. You can flip to mist after blocking and before combat. But to reset you need to attack, and pay 3 mana. A decen5 finisher, but expensive and clunky for ordinary use.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Insidious Mist has the an interesting quality of eliciting a bunch of combat-trick arithmetic from your opponent. If you have him on the board with a Ravenous Bloodseeker and there's a Senseless Rage in your hand, you've got some real options after blockers get declared.

I don't know if there are enough Madness tricks to make that a generally worthwhile thing, right now, but I'd stay tuned during the next set.

EDIT: Also, when a card transforms, it gets to retain attachments. So you can actually plan to just leave this guy as a 4/4 for a while and frontload him with whatever auras or counters from Stensia Masquerade you can get, serene in the confidence that you can just keep that fucktrain going even when you flip him into a fizzle.


Last edited by Eikre on Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are already more madness tricks than you can fit in your deck. The issue right now is that R/B madness is pulling in two directions. The incorrigible youths want you to have free discard outlets and curve out. The call the bloodlines wants you to get card draw and play cards for value. Ultimately, I think the second version is the one that has legs. Getting Asylum Visitor card draws for life and then spending those cards to make 1/1 lifelink vampire knights at instant speed sounds great to me. And getting to play cheap madness cards as riders on that sounds good as well.

I think Vampire Aggro maybe doesn't have enough cards. I think vampire weeny value has plenty of cards.

-Frank
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Went to a draft tonight after not playing on a table for a couple years, and not playing in a Standard environment for probably about a decade. Had some experience with SOI through Magic Duels, and looked at this thread a bit before going, but basically I went in just knowing that I needed to focus on 2 colors and the new mechanics.

I got last place, but I at least won a few matches, which is an improvement from the last time I played in a tourney (I suck at deck building). Can I get some feedback on what I put together?

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


What I notice from how things went is the following-
-Creeping Dread's big use was as chaff when I needed to discard something.
-Sanitarium Skeleton didn't get played at all.
-Ghostly Wings was nice to have, but mostly just for making my Thing from the Ice hit a little bit harder once transformed and save it from removal.
-Actual Madness cards would have been nice.
-I probably needed more land.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Can I get some feedback on what I put together?


Sure.

Lands
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Creatures
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Spells
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Curve
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Basically your deck's goal is to churn through its deck to either flip a Thing in the Ice or lay down a Rise From the Tides army. As such, you want more things to keep you alive and more lands. Having a lot of clues makes combat tricks and counterspells better because your opponent doesn't know whether you're saving mana for them and you have a mana sink available to profit from when they end up not being required. So having clue generators in the deck seems solid.

-Frank
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, someone at the tourney mentioned the 17-18 mana thing. I was never much of a competitive player back when I played more heavily, and I dropped out of really following the game for close to a decade, if not longer, so I was going by the really, really old guideline of 1/3 of the deck being land. I was never much up on drafting strategy or really much of anything with tournament play.

I did pick up some cards for red/black vampires tonight while I was at the store, and I think I'm going to try out the modern tourney tomorrow. Might bring my red/black vampire deck to give it a try too, since trying it on Magic Duels will require aggressively grinding through games and buying boosters (or buying gold for boosters, but what with my just having lost a job, that seems less than ideal).

I don't have my draft cards on me at the moment, but I did wind up with only three cards that weren't black, blue or Choked Estuary. I'm pretty sure I could have made better build choices with what I did draft.

Thanks.


Edit:
Ok, so here's what I drafted-
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


Last edited by Prak on Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Schleiermacher
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Speaking of R/B Vampires - I bought the preconstructed deck and found it to be both fun and relatively high quality, so I decided to put one together, so I'll have a somewhat competitive standard-legal deck again.
I don't entirely have the cards to build the decks you've suggested, and in a deck that sees so few cards per game I'm not fond of quite as many one- and two-offs as you're using, aggro needs consistency.

With those things in mind, I need to cut a card from my first-draft decklist -which one would you suggest and why?

Land (23)
11 Swamps
12 Mountains (I don't have any standard-legal R/B duals. I'll try to get some.)

Creatures (23)
3 Insolent Neonate
4 Ravenous Bloodseeker
4 Heir of Falkenrath
4 Asylum Visitor
4 Bloodmad Vampire
4 Incorrigible Youths

Spells (15)
2 Sinister Concoction
3 Call the Bloodline
4 Alms of the Vein
4 Fiery Temper
2 Stensia Masquerade

The Masquerades are dead in multiples, but it's a card I really want and if I get the second one I can always pitch it, so I don't mind playing two.
I'm not running any Falkenrath Gorgers because the only creature of mine it helps is any Heir of Falkenrath that doesn't show up on curve, but I do have two if you think it's worth making room just for a 2/1 one-drop.

As far as a sideboard - I don't really have a metagame to sideboard for, nor cards to make a "real", competitive sideboard, but 15 cards I could see myself wanting in the deck depending on matchup:

2 Markov Dreadknight (You rag on him a lot, and I agree he's absolutely too slow to maindeck, but against the right opponent he wins games.)
2 Malevolent Whispers (Not more, I agree, since it's so costly -but when this works it's a blowout.)
3 Twins of Maurer Estate (Go in for Incorrigible Youths vs. other aggro)
2 Sinister Concoction (When you need non-damage removal -probably go in for Alms of the Vein)
2 Macabre Waltz (You don't want more because you don't want to have targets or mana for more.)
4 Tormenting Voice (The card advantage on these and the Waltzes is ferocious, but the way they take you out of pure aggro and into a more Madness mid-rangey strategy, I'm not sure what they come in for.)

One more question: Why is there a random one-off Voldaren Duelist in your aggro decklist? I'm guessing it's because he removes a blocker and gives you an opportunity to go for the kill if he hits the table around turn 5 in the right circumstances, but that seems a bit too random to be worth all the other times you'll draw him. Is he good for some reason I don't get?


Last edited by Schleiermacher on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh, I went to a Modern tournament the other day, too. I brought a "Sliver" deck, which was really more of a Poison deck that happens to use slivers.

Silly me, I thought I would be the most hated player with two of the most hated mechanics in Magic. No, there I found out the big new thing in Modern is Thopter Foundry. Specifically, Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


If you're not expecting that combo, there's really nothing you can do about it. So my BRG Sliver deck needs to at least sideboard white or blue as an answer to it.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Too bad Vision Charm isn't modern legal. It was super-secret "target player checks the rulebook and then gets really angry" tech when Stoneforge -> Batterskull was still a thing in legacy.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm not sure what the Stoneforge/Batterskull combo is, or why Vision Charm would be particularly infuriating. I take it there's some deeper implication of phasing that I'd have to check the actual rulebook for, and I can't be arsed.

Here's my sub $10 aggro vampire deck. Tapped Out is a nice site.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stoneforge Mystic lets you cheat equipment into play. Batterskull is a 4/4 vigilance lifelink creature that is technically equipment that attaches to a 0/0 creature when it comes into play. Vision Charm uses a bullshit old rule called Phasing that is exactly like removing an artifact from play and then bringing back in except that it technically doesn't leave or enter the battlefield at all.

So your 0/0 body dies when the equipment phases out and you don't get it back when it phases in. Now, when it comes back Batterskull can bounce itself and you can use the Mystic to cheat it back in, but the old Stone Forge Mystic decks could shoestring out their bullshit on 2 lands and might not be able to afford that. And in any case, we are now talking a several turn delay and the possibility that the other player might just play something bigger and go over the top.

Stoneforge Mystic shenanigans are banned in Modern, so it is a moot point.

-Frank
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, no, I get the interaction. It just doesn't raise to "hot tech" or whatever, in my mind. Just "that's cute."

Anyway, I found a nice answer to hordes of thopters if I can't manage to actually torpedo the Foundry/Sword combo- Tel-Jilad Chosen+Lure+Baleful Eidolon. I mean, all it really does is clear the field of thopters on my turn, but still.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On review, I was mistaken about the card in question, it's the SAPPHIRE Charm what does it. You want to make the germ phase out, because:

Quote:
702.25k Phased-out tokens cease to exist as a state-based action. See rule 704.5d.

and
Quote:
702.25f When a permanent phases out, any Auras, Equipment, or Fortifications attached to that permanent phase out at the same time. This alternate way of phasing out is known as phasing out “indirectly.” An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out indirectly won’t phase in by itself, but instead phases in along with the permanent it’s attached to.


So when you phase a token, it's as good as exiling everything that's attached. Except, your opponent probably thinks that some portion of the package is coming back, or perhaps not even leaving the field in the first place. So, he stands a much better chance at letting your spell go through unchallenged and may wait until the beginning of his next turn to find out the extent to which he fucked up. Then if you pull it off, the equipment is technically still in play, so its owner is obliged to just leave it right there on the table as a testament to his shame.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Anyway, I found a nice answer to hordes of thopters if I can't manage to actually torpedo the Foundry/Sword combo- Tel-Jilad Chosen+Lure+Baleful Eidolon. I mean, all it really does is clear the field of thopters on my turn, but still.


It's a three-card, ten-mana combo. You're kidding, right? I mean, I don't actually know. I am pretty sure I'm being kid on, here, but I'm not certain. Am I the fool or are you?

Relic of Progenitus will keep the Sword out of the graveyard and Pithing Needle will simply shut down Thopter Foundry; both hit the table at 1 mana and are otherwise extremely versatile hate cards. Black lobotomizing spells are similarly effective, particularly Extirpate, a megauncounterable one-mana instant that you can open-palm slap onto the table to exile every Sword in their deck the moment one hits the graveyard. Then you've got got Illness in the Ranks to eliminate every thopter except the one that has the Sword and an extensive suite of Green artifact hate. If you've got white mana, you can even have a sliver with it.

Or just nut-draw directly into Virulent and Shadow slivers and ram ten poison counters directly down your opponent's dickhole regardless of lifetotal or blockers. Whatever.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eikre wrote:
On review, I was mistaken about the card in question, it's the SAPPHIRE Charm what does it. You want to make the germ phase out, because:

Quote:
702.25k Phased-out tokens cease to exist as a state-based action. See rule 704.5d.

and
Quote:
702.25f When a permanent phases out, any Auras, Equipment, or Fortifications attached to that permanent phase out at the same time. This alternate way of phasing out is known as phasing out “indirectly.” An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out indirectly won’t phase in by itself, but instead phases in along with the permanent it’s attached to.


So when you phase a token, it's as good as exiling everything that's attached. Except, your opponent probably thinks that some portion of the package is coming back, or perhaps not even leaving the field in the first place. So, he stands a much better chance at letting your spell go through unchallenged and may wait until the beginning of his next turn to find out the extent to which he fucked up. Then if you pull it off, the equipment is technically still in play, so its owner is obliged to just leave it right there on the table as a testament to his shame.


Ah, now I see. Nice.

Eikre wrote:
Prak wrote:
Anyway, I found a nice answer to hordes of thopters if I can't manage to actually torpedo the Foundry/Sword combo- Tel-Jilad Chosen+Lure+Baleful Eidolon. I mean, all it really does is clear the field of thopters on my turn, but still.


It's a three-card, ten-mana combo. You're kidding, right? I mean, I don't actually know. I am pretty sure I'm being kid on, here, but I'm not certain. Am I the fool or are you?

Relic of Progenitus will keep the Sword out of the graveyard and Pithing Needle will simply shut down Thopter Foundry; both hit the table at 1 mana and are otherwise extremely versatile hate cards. Black lobotomizing spells are similarly effective, particularly Extirpate, a megauncounterable one-mana instant that you can open-palm slap onto the table to exile every Sword in their deck the moment one hits the graveyard. Then you've got got Illness in the Ranks to eliminate every thopter except the one that has the Sword and an extensive suite of Green artifact hate. If you've got white mana, you can even have a sliver with it.

Or just nut-draw directly into Virulent and Shadow slivers and ram ten poison counters directly down your opponent's dickhole regardless of lifetotal or blockers. Whatever.

Oh, it's not anything huge. But it's cards I have, and it's a back up. This is the first version of the deck, this is the rebuild with blue and white instead of red so I can have more cheap creatures and some evasion. I can sideboard in Harmonic Sliver, Annul, and Ascendant Evincar to deal with Thopter Foundry.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The revised version you hosted does not have public permissions. Regardless, Ascendant Evincar will also kill, like, all of your creatures. How is that better than ordering a clutch of Illness in the Ranks for two dollars?
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Again, it's a card I have.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Eikre wrote:
order a clutch of Illness in the Ranks for two dollars

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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, fair, and it's uncommon, so it's not like it'll cost a ton. Also surprisingly low-mana cost.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah. I really like cards with itty-bitty mana costs on an effect which is ostensibly quite specific but, actually, highly applicable. The other three solutions I mentioned are great examples of the same sorta thing.
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