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[MTG] Ixalan
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, I know, but this deck would only be viable in kitchen table magic, which is looser
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, Drafting Ixalan. There are 101 Commons, and each pack has 10 Commons. There are 8 people in a pod, and three packs each, so on average each Common appears just under 2.4 times at each table. That makes cards like Legion Conquistador "usually pretty bad." The average number of each Uncommon is pretty low - there are 72 Uncommons opened at each table and 80 different Uncommons, so the average number of each Uncommon is 0.9. There are 24 Rares opened, and on average 2.5 of them will be Mythics - meaning that the chances of any particular Rare being opened at the table is almost exactly 1 in 3, while the chance of any particular Mythic being opened at the table is even closer to exactly 1 in 5.

Which brings us to the questions that really matter, how likely is it that an archetype can exist?

The first thing we note is that unlike Hour of Devastation, removal is weak and hard to find. Rather than having several premium removal options at common in every fucking color, the common removal is crap like Unfriendly Fire and Contract Killing. You will take your five mana sorcery speed removal spells, and you will fucking like them. Contract Killing is going to get first picked a distressing amount of the time, even though it wouldn't have been a card you'd wipe your ass with in Hour of Devastation.

The second thing is that 1 and 2 cost creatures are kind of scarce. Let's go by the Commons and Uncommons of 1 and 2 cost creatures by color:
    Green: 4 Common; 4 Uncommon
    Red: 4 Common; 4 Uncommon
    Black: 5 Common; 4 Uncommon
    Blue: 3 Common; 3 Uncommon
    White: 5 Common; 3 Uncommon


It's also relevant to note that the Red/Black and Red/White gold cards are 2 cost, hyper aggro creatures so while Black/White is the most aggressive pair, Red/Black and Red/White are not far behind. On average there will be 11.9 1-and 2 cost common Black creatures at the table, so you should be able to make an aggressive deck even when someone else is trying to do the same thing. On average there are only 7.1 low-cost Blue Common creatures, and one third of those are 0/3 Trilobytes, so a Blue Aggro deck might not come together even if you are the only blue drafter at the table.

Between Treasures and more traditional ramp spells, getting to 8 mana seems very plausible. Green has a 6/6 Trample for 6 and a 9/9 for 8 at Common. So if you want to go the Ramp strategy, you are pretty much guaranteed to have appropriate targets. More generally, there are 2+ 5-drops at common in every single color, so you don't have to prioritize drafting any of them (except Contract Killing, you have to prioritize that).

Anyway, the next thing to consider is how easy it is to get these tribes off the ground. Let's consider how many cards are easily draftable for each two-color tribal pair:

    Blue/Green Merfolk: 9 Common; 7 Uncommon
    Green/White Dinosaurs: 9 Common; 7 Uncommon
    Green/Red Dinosaurs: 9 Common; 7 Uncommon
    Red/White Dinosaurs: 8 Common; 7 Uncommon
    Red/Black Pirates: 9 Common; 8 Uncommon
    Red/Blue Pirates: 8 Common; 9 Uncommon
    Black/Blue Pirates: 9 Common; 8 Uncommon
    Black/White Vampires:9 Common; 8 Uncommon


That's not counting any of the "payoff" cards like Otepec Huntmaster for Red Dinosaurs, so clearly you can run any of the tribal decks as long as no one is drafting the exact same one to your right and you're willing to run 3 and 4 cost cards with your favorite tribe.

My picks for the best common for each color:







Not very exciting, I know. Basically, kinda bad removal is the highest demand card in every color except Blue. I expect a lot of board stalls, so Storm Sculptor is going to win a lot of games even when you aren't specifically playing Blue/Green Merfolk.
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pounce looks good due to instant speed. If you can get a cheap Dinosaur out early, it's guaranteed to kill at least something aggro on the turn it comes out.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, between Pounce and New Horizons I expect competition for a solid green base to be fierce. If you get lucky and scrape together a couple Horizons and a Drover then suddenly off-color removal becomes way more splashable.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pounce would be the best green common in a lot of sets. You can use it as a Green Doom Blade most of the time. And the fact that it's instant speed means that you can use it to counter combat tricks and even gang up on the few creatures too big to kill with it normally. But the existence of Enrage makes Pounce much better than it would be in most other sets. The fact that you can get value out of your creatures being damaged makes the fight aspect an actual advantage over merely dealing damage to an enemy creature. Which means it will often be better than Doom Blade. Other Green Commons aren't particularly close. If you get a 3rd pick Pounce, Green is open in your seat.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I won the midnight pre-release over here with a Green/White beat down deck. Initial thoughts:

  • Mana curve is more important than tribal affinities. I had a couple of vampire payoffs, and those were real good, but I didn't feel silly about the random humans and dinosaurs in my deck. Those performed quite well.
  • Most creatures have power and toughness between 1 and 3. Legion's Judgement can languish in your hand and the only reason I don't suggest relegating it to the sideboard is how important it is to deal with any 4/4s your opponent has.
  • Removal is hard to come by, and sweepers essentially do not exist. A lot goes on during combat steps and combat tricks and on-board pumps are very very good.
  • Ripjaw Raptor is exactly as busted as it looks. Holy shit.
  • Because most of the cards have small stat lines, it's very easy for rando 2/2s and 3/2s to trade up. This means that getting a curve full of bears is extremely important. Not only can you easily just start stealing eggs and running away with the game with a 2/1 Haste or whatever, but those cards stay relevant in the late game. Every 2/2 is the coveted "good early, good late" kind of card, and a 2/2 with any ability at all is a precious commodity.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I feel like the most fun card to draft is Snapping Sailback. The flavor is great, it feels like a dick move as you slam it on the table and it lives in a format where 4/4 commons don't exist outside of green so people have to ramp or pull a counter from Explore to play something that won't just make it grow. I mean, yeah, people can see the silly thing coming, but only blue and red can really do much about it without something dying, so who even gives a shit?
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just got 2nd place at a prerelease with U/W skies. This was my first prerelease in person, which was a lot of fun. Conclusions: removal is still good, fliers are still good. Got a sweet Conquerer's Galleon as a promo card, but I didn't play it (Crew 4 is tough).

I was sort of expecting a slow format, so my deck was heavy on higher-CMC cards. That worked very well except against a rakdos aggro deck. Had a tight game 1 and then they just goldfished game 2 while I was stuck on mana.

Quote:
I mean, yeah, people can see the silly thing coming, but only blue and red can really do much about it without something dying, so who even gives a shit?


Well every color except blue has long-term creature removal at common. Green seems to struggle sometimes against the big dinos if it doesn't have a good board presence. But if you're playing against someone who can't remove Sailback, you're probably playing against some G/U deck that can put counters on creatures and race or block you.

All that said, I never once saw a sailback today so maybe I'm all kinds of wrong.
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
I feel like the most fun card to draft is Snapping Sailback. The flavor is great, it feels like a dick move as you slam it on the table and it lives in a format where 4/4 commons don't exist outside of green so people have to ramp or pull a counter from Explore to play something that won't just make it grow. I mean, yeah, people can see the silly thing coming, but only blue and red can really do much about it without something dying, so who even gives a shit?


I agree, it is a good card. Green needs shit like Pounce and Snapping Sailback in a format that rewards blue more than anything else.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

To be clear, I ain't saying Sailback is the best. It's not evasive, it lacks haste and it doesn't have a killer ETB effect, so it's certainly not a set defining bomb that demands you splash green. I just think that it's both fun and super playable in draft because most colors are stuck with sorcery speed removal at common. So the fact that the stupid thing is super telegraphed is mostly just funny as opposed to truly crippling. Call it "win more" if you want, but having a Sailback hop out and eat a bear as your opponent's aggro deck runs out of gas is super satisfying.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For the record, I ended up doing two drafts. The first one I came in third with a GW deck stuck somewhere between ramp & midrange where I stomped the absolute hell out of people (literally; I had 2 Savage Stomps to go with my Sailback & Dreadmaws) except for the guy who ran U&B pirates and splashed a Vraska and the guy with two Monstrosaurs. Second draft I came first with a U/B Pirates deck that felt weaker and didn't win that many more matches but was way more consistent--it was sirens/fliers & Explore flavored rather than Raiding & Treasures, so I had a bunch of Lookouts with Cutlasses getting rezzed by 3 copies of March of the Drowned. I've never been particularly good with bounce cards & tempo decks but it's remarkable how far that and a few fliers can go when the rest of your deck rigs itself to always draw gas.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So I looked at prices, and Carnage Tyrant is almost $30. There's no way that's going to be sustained, right? It's more than the planeswalkers in the set.

I'm looking into budget decks for XLN standard. UB flying pirates seems like a good option, I think. The good black removal is expensive (in $$), but Duress is cheap. I'm also tempted to make a janky bogles merfolk deck with something like jade guardian and cartouches. I'll just pray I never ever see a Doomfall.

Any ideas?
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Leress
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

...You Lost Me wrote:
So I looked at prices, and Carnage Tyrant is almost $30. There's no way that's going to be sustained, right? It's more than the planeswalkers in the set.

I'm looking into budget decks for XLN standard. UB flying pirates seems like a good option, I think. The good black removal is expensive (in $$), but Duress is cheap. I'm also tempted to make a janky bogles merfolk deck with something like jade guardian and cartouches. I'll just pray I never ever see a Doomfall.

Any ideas?


MTGgoldfish some starting points for the tribal decks.

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/brewing-ixalan-tribes
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

...You Lost Me wrote:
So I looked at prices, and Carnage Tyrant is almost $30. There's no way that's going to be sustained, right? It's more than the planeswalkers in the set.


I genuinely don't understand why people are jacking off to Carnage Tyrant. People must be thinking of magical christmas land scenarios where the board is empty and their opponent has nothing but spot removal.

Meanwhile, make a list of all the threats people play or might play in Standard that cost at least three mana, and ask yourself which ones Carnage Tyrant can block and kill and also is able to attack profitably when there are two of them untapped on the other side of the field. The newly reduced list is now:

  • Captain Storm if she hasn't made enough tokens yet.
  • Arguably the Crasher (Carnage Tyrant trades for two crashers and 3 damage to the face on the attack, YMMV).
  • Mavren Fein if he hasn't made enough tokens yet.


That's it. One people realize how disappointing Carnage Tyrant is when your opponent double blocks or plays Dusk to Dawn and how few threats it can actually block, that price is going to drop like a rock. There's already a Tier 1 Green deck in Standard, and it has access to an 8/8 Trampler for 5 mana with an ETB upside that synergizes with Snek and often it just doesn't even bother playing it because 8/8 Tramplers for 5 mana just aren't good enough. People jizzing themselves over 7/6 Tramplers for 6 mana just don't understand how big the midrange creatures on the other side of the board are going to be or how threatening enemy creatures with evasion are.

Like seriously best case scenario is that you attack into two Rogue Refiners and you do 3 damage and your opponent is up 4 energy and a card.


Quote:
I'm looking into budget decks for XLN standard. UB flying pirates seems like a good option, I think. The good black removal is expensive (in $$), but Duress is cheap. I'm also tempted to make a janky bogles merfolk deck with something like jade guardian and cartouches. I'll just pray I never ever see a Doomfall.

Any ideas?


The first thing I'm gonna make is Sultai Energy with a few Dinosaurs in it. But the next thing I'm gonna make is Black/White Vampires. The centerpieces for Black/White Vampires are Oketra's Monument and Dusk to Dawn. The Dusk to Dawns are barely more expensive than the Gifted Aetherborns.

-Frank
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Why is fvcking Storm Sculptor up there with first pickable removal spells, it's not even that good. The power common for blue is obviously Run Aground, bonce to library is an effect to respect. Trust me on this as someone who won more than my share of games off the back of Vedalken Dismisser back.

My first impressions. Cards with explore are very good pick then highly. Having early early plays is important as always. Jade Guardian is higher pick then you'd think because the voltron can be assembled pretty easily. I drafted pretty poorly but the 2x Jade Guardian 2x One with the Wind package ended up being enough.
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JonSetanta
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lord Mistborn wrote:

My first impressions. Cards with explore are very good pick then highly. Having early early plays is important as always. Jade Guardian is higher pick then you'd think because the voltron can be assembled pretty easily. I drafted pretty poorly but the 2x Jade Guardian 2x One with the Wind package ended up being enough.


That enchantment is damned good.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lord Mistborn wrote:
Why is fvcking Storm Sculptor up there with first pickable removal spells, it's not even that good. The power common for blue is obviously Run Aground, bonce to library is an effect to respect. Trust me on this as someone who won more than my share of games off the back of Vedalken Dismisser back.


Blue's mix of commons is kinda funky. Run Aground is the single most powerful but after 2 or 3 of them I'm definitely looking to grab more Siren Lookouts, Watertraps, Pirates/Cutlasses and Sculptors instead, and roughly in that order. Sirens are great en masse, the Watertrap makes you feel the cleverest when the tap pushes through lethal and the Sculptor is cool as a raid enabler that might get you something cool on a redeploy but is fundamentally kind of a durdle.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Even Blue sits around and stares at board stalls pretty frequently, and every color but red has a good defensive answer to enemy flying men. A 3/2 Unblockable is not only the perfect Raid enabler, it's also just a solid clock. Most decks find it pretty difficult to attack into a Whiptail or an Armasaur, being able to get in every turn for 3 is big noise.

But yes, One With The Wind is absolutely nuts. There's very little removal in he set and no Amonkhet style "replacement level removal." One With The Wind on a Viscious Conquistador is basically game much of the time. And it's pretty hard to get 2-for-1ed out of the deal, because your opponent is probably going to take a buttload of damage and then spend two cards killing it if they manage to stop it at all.

-Frank
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Lokey
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Curious to know if individual creature buffs could ever be a thing in constructed. Deck slots are pretty important after all, it'd really have to be something like target creature becomes an eldrazi titan and it still probably wouldn't be good enough to see play.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lokey wrote:
Curious to know if individual creature buffs could ever be a thing in constructed. Deck slots are pretty important after all, it'd really have to be something like target creature becomes an eldrazi titan and it still probably wouldn't be good enough to see play.


Boggles is a deck in Modern and Enchantress is a deck in Legacy. Caw Blade dominated its time in Standard. Vehicles was pretty good until rotation.

When you play a card that is a single-target buff, you lose two cards when your opponent kills that target. That's a big problem. Boggles is based on buffing hexproof dudes that many decks cannot kill. Enchantress is based on drawing extra cards for playing enchantments. Equipment and Vehicles stay on the board when the host creature dies. All of those have proven to be successful means to deny your opponent card advantage while still reaping the benefits of single-target buffs.

-Frank
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Buff Auras are in a sense the most combo-y of combo pieces since they don't even pretend to accomplish anything without a target. So they're fundamentally fiddly and as Frank said nothing sucks worse than havin someone kick the legs out from underneath your shiny new Megazord. So Rancor ended up as a gold standard creature enchantment because it cut out most of the bullshit associated with the card type and let you get out there and race without giving up a shit ton of card advantage in the process. It was basically Equipment before Equipment was cool.

Other famous buff archetypes would be cards like Curiosity and Empyrial Armor. Curiosity succeeded by being cheap enough that you could staple it onto some cheap flyer and start generating cards while putting a clock on your opponent. Empyrial Armor was on the other end of the spectrum and succeeded by being a pretty stupid card that could flat out take over games just like a proper combo piece if unanswered--you could have an evasive critter swinging for 6 on turn 3 and while that wasn't always enough in Constructed it was absolutely bullshit flavored bullshit in Limited formats of the day, which is probably why the silly thing didn't get reprinted.

Anyway, other than One with the Wind I'm not overly impressed with the current crop of Ixalan buffs but I still think it's the sort of environment where a good one could really see a lot of play. There's already a healthy number of hexproof and evasive creatures running around out there waiting to be digivolved and Explore is super common and helps you draw enough cards to get away with running a few more pure tempo plays than usual.
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So remember when I called out Deeproot Champion as a card to watch for? Well SaffronOlive agreed with me and actually brewed up a Temur Miracle Grow deck. It may not even be the second best Temur tempo list in the format but it's pretty cool.

I ran a couple games with a similar list online (almost the same except no Botanical Sanctum) it went pretty well. I've always been a fan of decks that use cantrips to run fewer lands and your spells matter creatures turn Attune and Opt into realer cards. Deeproot Champion is pretty brutal if you're casting 2 spells a turn which is pretty doable and so is Enigma Drake. If one of those creatures stick you're generally favored to win. The real standout is Chart a Course people should be playing with this card more.
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...You Lost Me
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think Deeproot has been underwhelming so far. The big card from this set is Hostage Taker it seems, which I feel dumb for not guessing ahead of time. Who would have thought that broad removal, a body, and an extra spell were good for 4 only mana?

Also, despite seeing basically 0 play in the meta, Carnage Tyrant is still $20. I don't think my hopes of casual dino tribal will ever play out.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hostage Taker was definitely my pick for best card of the new set. It was so insane they had to errata it before the set even came out. And even the post-errata version I described in the first post as Cast Out with upside and more upside.

Carnage Tyrant is pretty much a sideboard card against Blue/X Control. If someone pulls out Grixis or Jeskai Control and you slam down Carnage Tyrant you've probably just won the game and there's very little they can do about it. Against midrange and energy decks, the Carnage Tyrant is pretty lame. He's basically just a 7/6 creature that needs to be double blocked. So you double block him and then he's dead and that's the end of it. I don't understand why Carnage Tyrant is so expensive. While I lost a match in my last FNM because I hadn't brought any sideboard cards for the control matchup, there was also only one Control player at the store. My chances of running into him as only like 1 in 6. And the very next match he went up against Green Dinos that maindecked Carnage Tyrant that just ate him for breakfast.

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maglag
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Last time I checked, one of your cards forcing your opponent to spend two cards to deal with it is a good deal, in particular when it threatens a 3 turn clock by itself if they fail to deal with it. Roflstomping control decks is extra value on top.
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