Magic: The Gathering C/D

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just did my first AVN draft yesterday, as expected it was really fun, and maybe the most complex draft format yet.

first pick was Vexing Devil (which I thought kind of sucked in draft, but it's worth $15 so I'm not passing it) and was able to go mono-red. dunno how much detail I want to go into here but it really feels like there is so much synergy with the Red humans here. Thatcher Revolt is the deck's bread and butter - kind of terrible on its own, but it interacts with SO MUCH in this set. I managed a turn 4 kill with two of them, which I've never done in a draft before.

drafting a fast deck seems like a good strategy - flicker is slow and soulbound is very susceptible to removal. put a premium on 1 and 2 drops (trust me. there aren't many).

guess it's Honker Burger tonight...#fml (frogbs), Monday, 7 May 2012 14:11 (seven years ago) link

okay, here's another observation - this is one of the most removal-lite draft sets I've ever seen. very little "straight" removal at common. I sorted by commons and found everything that can deal with a creature - it's not pretty

Defang - kinda crappy, essentially just reduces a creature's power to 0, but doesn't stop any abilities and can be flickered away
Righteous Blow - great card, but it only does 2 damage

Mist Raven - great card but it only bounces
Crippling Chill - only stalls a creature for a turn
Peel from Reality - more bounce, kinda have to build around cards like this
Spectral Prison - this one actually seems okay, but would need to be sided out a lot

Bone Splinters - this is the ONLY common that actually says "destroy target creature" on it, so it's very good, even if it's card disadvantage
Death Wind - can kill anything, but you almost always pay more for it than the creature you're destroying
Ghoulflesh - sideboard at best
Undead Executioner - pseudo-removal, definitely good but -2/-2 doesn't take care of the good soulbounders, plus it takes some work

Guise of Fire - sideboard at best
Pillar of Flame - good, but only works on small guys
Thunderbolt - only kills flyers


So yeah, there are plenty of playables there, but few of the removal spells actually give you mana advantage or card advantage, and of the decent ones, only two are instants! (Righteous Blow and Death Wind)

frogbs, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 13:38 (seven years ago) link

i think you're really selling Mist Raven and Crippling Chill short, those seem like great cards. Chill stalls a creature for 2 turns, not 1, since you use it on your opponent's turn before they can attack with it, and it's a freeroll card-wise which is always more powerful than it looks/feels. it played very strong for me at the prerelease.

also, Ghoulflesh and Guise of Fire are perfectly maindeckable. -1/-1 removal has been playable in formats with far more removal options than this one

the lack of instant removal is obviously intentional to make sure that the soulbond guys are good and aren't just constantly setting you up to get blown out

ciderpress, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 22:31 (seven years ago) link

err meant peel, not raven

ciderpress, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 22:32 (seven years ago) link

raven is the best common in the set though i'm pretty sure

ciderpress, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 22:37 (seven years ago) link

agreed, but that 2/4 lifelink angel is a very close second. Raven just has more synergy w/ everything.

Crippling Chill okay, the problem is it doesn't really help much vs. Soulbound (since there are usually two scary creatures out) nor Humans (as they will often have a bunch of critters). Feeling of Dread would be way better. But it does seem very good vs. Angels and the Black "loner" architype. And Peel is one of the best commons in the set, I know that - didn't mean to sell that one short, it's obviously great in this format. But I'm not convinced on the -1 toughness effects - Guise of Fire I like a little better since you can get a few other minor uses out of it, these cards *are* maindeckable but IMO they'd get cut fast if I had too many playables.

Basically it seems like the lack of instant removal is making the Soulbounders a little too good, especially the green +X/+X guys. I don't think this is a problem, just keep in mind that A) Druid's Familiar is really a windmill slam first pick, and B) instant removal is at a premium, and hell I think Peel from Reality may even be first pickable.

frogbs, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 23:40 (seven years ago) link

is human frailty an uncommon?

ive maindecked guise of fire in two sealed tournaments and not really regretted it, its good as early removal and really anything you can use to disrupt soulbond is v v worthwhile

Lamp, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 23:48 (seven years ago) link

it only disrupts Wingcrafter, the Lookout, and the Peddler though. IMO the +1/+1 guy is the one you have to worry about (in common at least)

Human Frality is uncommon, but super maindeckable

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:44 (seven years ago) link

well i meant 'disrupt' in the sense of forcing them into bad trades or 2 for 1s that will break up bonded pairs and not just using it as straight removal

i feel like there are a lot of really good commons and uncommons in this set and a lot of kinda terrible rares (in limited). should be fun to draft

Lamp, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 01:07 (seven years ago) link

wait till you randomly lose to a Bonfire of the Damned, that'll change your mind

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 01:31 (seven years ago) link

someone passed me Entreat the Angels at FNM last week, which is a $20 card on top of being an insane bomb. was pretty clear from the other good stuff he passed me that he was pretty much oblivious so i felt kinda bad but if you don't even know enough to know what the chase cards in the set are then i dunno

ciderpress, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:25 (seven years ago) link

yeah i've had that happen with a Snapcaster, I had to tell the guy "hey uhhh, back up, this thing is worth money" (I'd feel like shit otherwise)
one of the great things about the first couple weeks of a set's release is that some people really just don't read all the cards, I got an Ulvenwald Tracker Pack 1 as a 7th pick, which is insane, the guy's even better than Daybreak Ranger

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:34 (seven years ago) link

someone passed me Entreat the Angels at FNM last week

i would feel so bad but also so good about this

haha i pulled a vexing devil in my sealed pool last saturday and was really surprised to find out it was worth decent money for some reason i thought it was still like a $4 rare...

i was really bummed though cuz i left the cards i wasnt playing with behind on the table after a match and by the time i realized what had happened someone had scooped them up :// nothing supervaluable but it sucked nonetheless

Lamp, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:44 (seven years ago) link

xp yeah i love the few weeks between the set release and when the top players start putting up their draft videos, at which point everyone suddenly starts drafting much better

ciderpress, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 13:41 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

I haven't played since Ice Age, but downloaded the Magic 2013 Duel of the Planeswalkers for ipad and it's slowly coming back to me, even though the cards are all new. Has anyone else tried the app? Or are you all physical cards only? I haven't paid to unlock it yet but would do so if there were people that played.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 23 June 2012 01:03 (seven years ago) link

wow there is an ipad app? how much is it

I would be into that and also would play with you 4 sure

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 02:31 (seven years ago) link

Free to try out and I think $10 to unlock all the decks, campaign and multiplayer stuff.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 23 June 2012 02:57 (seven years ago) link

I am currently dl'ing it, taking forever but I imagine it's huge. how many decks are all the decks? is there single player?

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 03:00 (seven years ago) link

there is a single player campaign, and you can play against any of the decks you've unlocked. I think there are 15 or do decks.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 23 June 2012 03:04 (seven years ago) link

that's interesting. how well does the computer play?

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 03:05 (seven years ago) link

I've only played the intro section and I win most of the time. They seem to play their cards well, but the shuffle can be cruel.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 23 June 2012 03:24 (seven years ago) link

I like this.

I'd prob prefer a version w/ less sparkles but I think the 'unlock cards/decks/etc' actually seems like a pretty good way to go about an ipad game. I'll def drop 10 bucks on it. you can hit me up whenever. do you know if you can play with internet randos too?

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 04:05 (seven years ago) link

no idea. I haven't dropped the $10 yet. My next couple of days are crazy, but I'll pick it up the beginning of the week. Game Center ID is EZSnappin.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 23 June 2012 04:09 (seven years ago) link

alright this is the first time I've given money to wotc since uh....1998

the AI is far from perfect, I'd prefer the game w/ fewer sparkly flourishes + if they kept all the turn phases + more decks, obvs. but this is def wayyy beyond yr average ipad game and well worth $10.

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 22:16 (seven years ago) link

how's multiplayer?

Mordy, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:14 (seven years ago) link

I just played one w/ a stranger (won, obv). it's pretty good, I think. it allows you to connect to a random person or someone you know. no chat feature but the game played well and quickly.

overall I think this is a great app. the not-insignificant drawback is the limited supply of decks / the limits to deckbuilding and the fact that most of the decks are pretty straightforward and creature heavy. some of the more interesting dynamics of the game aren't around w/ the cards available...makes it easier for the app to do most of the gameplay work for you (w/r/t tapping, life, drawing, etc.). sometimes the fact that it's so automatic can make it hard to do something more nuanced, tho.

as far as playing a random game of magic w/ a stranger or decent-AI, it def works well and looks good.

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:26 (seven years ago) link

maybe i'll get this. how does it feel re: touch interaction? do you tap cards w/ finger to tap them, or do you actually do turning motion on screen? also, is it a stress to read the cards or does stuff look pretty big (w/out cluttering screen)? cause that program we used (i forget what it's called) was such a pain to try and read what every card did.

Mordy, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:29 (seven years ago) link

you can easily make a card bigger by clicking on it. you rarely tap stuff yourself, it taps mana for you, you're mostly just dragging stuff across or onto the playing field. I've never been in a situation where it'd matter what lands get tapped (almost all the decks are single color) but I'm curious if it knows enough to give you options.

one problem is there's no 'go back' feature if you accidentally tap the wrong thing, which can happen w/ a pretty fastpaced game. but as far as ipad-ness goes, the game works really well.

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:37 (seven years ago) link

tell me how it works when you unlock a dual mana deck! i think i'd be really frustrated if it chose for you which color mana u wanna tap for uncolored costs

Mordy, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:45 (seven years ago) link

iirc there is only one. but you can dl the free version and play around to get a feel for what the $10 game is. I think they have constructed the game sorta-purposely so that the frustrating moments are less likely to arrive to begin with.

iatee, Saturday, 23 June 2012 23:50 (seven years ago) link

in the PC version you can hold ctrl or something to bring up a list of options for how to tap mana. not sure if/how that's replicated on the ipad but the option might be in there somewhere

ciderpress, Sunday, 24 June 2012 00:56 (seven years ago) link

I actually unlocked the dual color deck and it seemed to sorta assume the obvious choice when the situation came up. but w/ only one dual color deck it's not really a big issue.

iatee, Sunday, 24 June 2012 02:23 (seven years ago) link

like did it take into account what cards you had in your hand? or did a situation not come up where you had an instant u may have wanted to save mana for?

Mordy, Sunday, 24 June 2012 02:28 (seven years ago) link

didn't come up

but again I think they've sorta done that on purpose w/ the card selection

iatee, Sunday, 24 June 2012 04:13 (seven years ago) link

I just really wish they'd remake Shandalar but that seems like such a longshot

frogbs, Sunday, 24 June 2012 06:13 (seven years ago) link

the thing that's come closest to scratching my shandalar itch is magarena - the AI is *really good* and with the right cube there's an amazing feeling of "all bombs all the time" and every card is joyously unfamiliar if you haven't played since 2001 or whatever.

but still shandalar o man that game was just so amazing. let's quit our jobs and remake shandalar guys.

Gravel Puzzleworth, Sunday, 24 June 2012 11:05 (seven years ago) link

wait by shandalar you mean the 1997 microprose game right?

iatee, Sunday, 24 June 2012 13:44 (seven years ago) link

that would be pretty ipadable come to think of it

iatee, Sunday, 24 June 2012 13:45 (seven years ago) link

the AI in that game was really weird - it generally understood how to attack and block and when to play instants, but it would also randomly Giant Growth your creatures so it would die faster.

frogbs, Sunday, 24 June 2012 16:51 (seven years ago) link

yeah I remember that. the AI in this isn't perfect, but it's pretty good all things considered. like it sometimes misses the higher level thinking moves but doesn't do anything completely inexplicable.

iatee, Sunday, 24 June 2012 17:56 (seven years ago) link

i guess i'll have to give this thing a try then. i'm already getting big into Magic Online - the "draft anytime" thing really is neat, and I'm doing well enough in AVR that I don't have to redeposit, so to speak

frogbs, Monday, 25 June 2012 14:50 (seven years ago) link

yeah i play on Magic Online a bit - my favorite thing about it is that they can randomly bring back old draft formats that are long out of print in paper. they've got Invasion block drafts up right now which was a great format that i would never have gotten to play again otherwise

ciderpress, Monday, 25 June 2012 16:58 (seven years ago) link

what's your name on there?

i dig MTGO (its easy once you get past the state-of-1998 interface they got), and yes that is exactly what i love about it. plus the cube randomly coming and going is pretty nice. also it's so easy to unload everything you don't need; you don't really get taken advantage of the way you do in real life

frogbs, Monday, 25 June 2012 18:24 (seven years ago) link

my name on there is 'smh'

also i hope you've discovered the momir basic format, the real #1 reason to own a mtgo account

ciderpress, Monday, 25 June 2012 18:39 (seven years ago) link

the avatar is ridiculously expensive (like 15 tix!), but yes it's definitely the second coolest thing (after the drafting). I don't have one yet but my buddy has it so I'm pretty familiar with it. Sucks getting Phage at 7 though :(

frogbs, Monday, 25 June 2012 18:43 (seven years ago) link

theres a momir event deck in the actual store for 10 tix, unless they took it out? anyway its well worth 10 bucks, the format is great and its something that can't really be replicated in paper magic

ciderpress, Monday, 25 June 2012 18:55 (seven years ago) link

once you spend $10 for MTG Online, can you play it and enjoy it w/out dropping an additional $300?

Mordy, Monday, 25 June 2012 19:49 (seven years ago) link

depends what you want to do. I started w/ 50 tix which seemed steep but I've managed to wring some 20+ drafts out of that, and I still have like 20 tickets, 6 packs, and a bunch of cards to unload. if you want to do Standard it's fine, most cards are like 30-50% of their paper value, so it's not a huge investment. of course chase mythics are worth about the same as they are in real life (sadly)

frogbs, Monday, 25 June 2012 20:15 (seven years ago) link

i would play the fuck out of an MTG LCG

Mordy, Monday, 25 June 2012 20:20 (seven years ago) link

but fuck CCG's tbh

Mordy, Monday, 25 June 2012 20:20 (seven years ago) link

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