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Craig H

Magic: the Gathering

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Every single time I have made a sideboard for a deck with red, I put in one Alpine Moon, even though I basically never use it.

I just assume, someday, one time, it will become a 200 IQ play.

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Alpine Moon is the most bootleg Blood Moon ever. It's the most recent example I think of when I think R&D is completely uninspired and uncreative. Just one shitty "functional reprint" after another. 

Just reprint Blood Moon. It's not like I even have a stake in a reprint since I already own about 6 of them and a reprint would just drive their value down further. 

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I want to play an Izzet deck that is just Blood Moons and Back to Basics.

I've built a Vaevictus Asmadi, the Dire EDH deck that im very excited to play this weekend. All permanents so ill never miss my trigger (no Primal Surge combo) but Im going to try something Im really not good at: Politics.

Going to talk to the table about what gets blown up, see who wants to make some deals and not get smacked by a huge dragon. 

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I am kinda surprised none of those are mono-white which I think plays pretty well in Pauper as far as the Arena sets go.

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13 hours ago, FireThunder said:

We had our first pauper MCQ this last weekend, won by Bogles... because of course it was. But the top eight was filled with eight different decks, which is really cool.

https://www.channelfireball.com/pauper-mcq-top-8-decklists/

When I played Pauper on Magic Online, I'd always play Tron or Delver. Nice to see that those decklists are still the same. 

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I spent quite a few wildcards on the current meta Gatekeer Ram/Colossus deck and honestly, I feel pretty ripped off. It's just a more RNG (opening hand is waaaaaaaaaay too important), generally much less flexible version of Izzet Drakes (which is fine in best of 3 but in best of 1 honestly Mono Blue is better than even that). Not really worth what I dumped into it, in my opinion. Very showy deck that I don't see where the numbers really add up to justifying it. When it comes off it's unstoppable but you are standing there with your dick swinging in the wind 80% of the time. It feels super uncomfortable to me, so far.

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My pauper jam was usually mono-black control. It's not nearly as strong as it used to be on Magic Online and the top performing version is significantly different than the one I played. Instead of playing utility creatures like Chittering Rats and Gary, this version is full of card draw, removal, and 12 life drain effects (Corrupt, Tendrils of Corruption, and Consume Spirit).

When I was playing Gates, I found that I have to get a Guild Summit on the field early. Otherwise, I think it runs out of gas too soon and not even a huge Hydroid Krasis might be able to catch you back up in time. And as cool as Ram and Colossus are, they are extremely susceptible to removal, mostly because there isn't much of a choice to be had by your opponent. "Hmm, should I hold on to this Cast Down or kill the 7/7 trample creature with vigilance? How about this Contempt for the Colossus?"

I've been splitting time between Sultai and Jeff Hoogland's Temur Domri deck. It's essentially the green of Sultai/Golgari with a splash of red for three copies of Domri, Chaos Bringer and two copies of Ravager Wurm and a splash of blue for everybody's favorite jellyfish hydra beast. Ravager Wurm can be ridiculous when it hits (and it has one of the best animations in the game) and Domri can draw you more creatures and then give them riot.

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I have been playing Gates more, and it certainly has some high end value. Like I said in my initial thoughts, when it does come off it's completely unstoppable which is the impression I had playing against it before.  Every creature in the deck is a Godzilla except for the Gateway Angel, and that thing can pop off for ridiculous life. But I do still feel that there are games you really can't win if the land draw is a bad colour. EG. you start with two Gates Ablaze in your hand but no red mana it's basically dead card space, and if that happens against any sort of red, white, or red/white spammy deck, you're dead. In a sense, I think it's kind of a brainless deck in that games very much play themselves and you actually have very little to decide, which isn't a bad thing for daily goal hitting. A lot of games really feel like you are just playing by yourself vs. the card draw as opposed to caring what the opponent is up to. I can't really say it's a favourite to play, but I feel a lot less awkward with it after some more games. I still think that just for my own enjoyment I prefer Izzet Drakes, which is a similar concept, less crazy creatures but a lot more instant board control. Head to head between those decks though, Gates plays really well because if you get a big Ram off, good luck to Drakes keeping up.

Removal is annoying but if you play best of 3, I cannot imagine a good reason not to run 4 Dive Downs in the sideboard. That is a game-swinging card that really, really fucks with black cards like Veraska's Contempt especially. Ixilan's Binding is in my opinion the grossest card to come up against, since you only have 3 big creature types and it can straight up block you from playing any at all, and so I also have Invoke the Divine (destroy target artifact or enchantment, gain 4 life) in the sideboard which is a straight 1 for 1 reaction to how bad that card is to play against on my part.

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Ranked Limited shouldn't be anything except the newest set. No tournaments are going to do anything like Dominaria draft when it's been out a year, so why is ladder Rivals of Ixalan draft?

... and no, I'm not salty that I lost to a close game to Tetzimoc.

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Tired: The next expansion is gong to have over 30 new plainswalkers

Wired: Running The Immortal Sun in every single deck

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Tired: The next expansion is gong to have over 30 new plainswalkers

Ha! Suck it, white mages!

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All of these Planeswalkers are fucking dumb. They need to just kill them all off. I'm sure that's their brilliant idea that this will be the set where Bolas kills all the Planeswalkers, except for the fact that all of these fuckers will be hanging around until rotation.

Also, they can barely print 3 to 4 of these dudes per set without one of them being broken and now they're going to make 30 of them? Lol ok

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It's really a shame that they made some of them so busted (Hi Teferi, and Vraska isn't much better to be honest) that no one even plays some of the weaker ones at all. Like, that Warrior Poet white/red woman is actually a perfectly fine card that would be a great power level to aim for, but the high end shit is so totally busted that there's absolutely no chance you ever see her in the meta.

Also, I have now played a billion games in Arena, and I have seen a Planeswalker's third "dump like 7 or 8 points into it" power go off exactly one time.

Vivien Reid feels, to me, like a card that is probably about as strong as is possibly reasonable without being just dumb. I expect she won't even be in the top 5 planeswalkers after that set. I mean, I don't see how she can be if they are dedicating themselves to building that many of them, because it would render the exercise pointless.

I keep feeling like there should be a really cool token spam deck you can do with Dovin, Grand Arbiter, but it always seems to be one turn away from actually coming off. And being a blue/white planeswalker that isn't Teferi, his power might as well be being invisible.

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Posted (edited)

I've been doing more drafts since they went back to Ravnica Allegiance for ranked (thankfully). In amidst all the Simic decks I've drafted, I had a pretty sweet Azorius deck with a Dovin that I opened in pack two. I got to use his ultimate a few times and... well, the least I can say is Dig Through Time in limited formats is dumb as hell. The rest of the deck was removal and flying creatures, so that helped build up his loyalty quickly enough.

And I've seen pros testing him in builds like esper control and Hero of Precinct One decks. But his biggest weakness is that he's not Teferi. But when Teferi is starting to get played in eternal formats, it's a sign of how ridiculous the card is.

Kaya is another planeswalker that isn't broken at first glance but can fill a really solid role. I picked up my first 5-0 in a league with esper control and she helped me stabilize again aggro decks after I swept the board. Again, however, I'm playing 1-2 Kaya in that deck and the full 4 Teferi.

Edited by FireThunder

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The draft mode in Arena definitely feels a little odd at first since it's not a true draft vs other players, but since you earn back some gems from playing them at least the value isn't that bad. I bought that $14.99 discount pack with 3500 gems and some of the alternate art cards. It's not a thing I've done a lot so I'm probably still making some draft-specific strategy errors. I did pull a Nicol Bolas, the Ravager in the last one I did today, so that's cool.

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Just want to say that I played for maybe 5 years from the middle of high school through to early college, was never all that good of a player, sold off all my cards at some point, and don't anticipate ever actually getting back into it... but I LOVE reading about it and seeing what all the new cards do.  Like this would probably be in my top 5 threads on the forum.

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No lie, during my hiatus I kept up with the cards that were being printed. As cool as I thought they were, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with the Eldrazi (... yet).

So... War of the Spark is looking sick as hell. Ignoring the leaked Nicol Bolas that's floating around... how about another bah-roken Teferi? How about an uncounterable Negate for Azorius? How about a bunch of new mass removal spells? How about the return of proliferate? Even the underpowered planeswallkers that we knew would be printed at uncommon seem like they could be roleplayers in certain decks. I'm a big fan of the new Kaya that lets you target hexproof targets.

This set is going to flip the game on it's head in so many formats.

 

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Sounds fucking awful and I am doubling down on saying Immortal Sun is the only card that will benefit. The good news is the Ravnican Gates deck farts out mana so I can accommodate it easily.

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So many new Plainswalkers...

 

I won't pull a fucking one, even in drafts.

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My word, there are some really pushed creatures in this new set. Take for example, the boar god:

 

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What in the fuck?!

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I am not that bothered by that. "Just don't exile me" typically has landed outside the top tier since I have started playing Arena. Obviously there are some sick combos there. Demanding Dragon comes instantly to mind. I love big creature decks, but there are a ton of hard counters to them.

Nothing about that bothers me nearly as much as, like... Skewer the Critics or Wizard's Lightning, both of which are utterly embarrassing tire fires. Mono-red is fairly often winning games on damage on turn 4. Come the fuck on.

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People are already hyping the Boar God for Legacy/Vintage with names like "Sow and Tell" or "Sneak and Sow" and talking about dropping massive Eldrazi for free... I just want it to get to a decent budget price so I can grab a few copies for EDH decks!

I actually think Kaya's Ghostform will be the most busted card in the set. Dropping this on a Teferi or Karn is backbreaking not to mention just sticking it on one of the better uncommon PWs in this set (Dovin, Samut SAHEELI!!) just gives an amazing level of protection. Also if you remove the loyalty counters from your PW to activate them it still counts as dying (going to the gyard from the battlefield) so you can potentially activate some PWs twice in a turn!

kayasghostform1.jpg

That said, I'm more hyped on all the sweet zombie token 'lords' for my Varina EDH list - 

eternalskylord1.jpgvizierofthescorpion.jpggleamingoverseer.jpg

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