Magic: The Gathering C/D

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so my latest sealed pool has a Quartzwood Crusher and Jengantha. obviously my deck is better if I start with the Jengantha in my hand every game but it means I can't play a bomb rare that's in my colors. laaaame

frogbs, Sunday, 10 May 2020 01:00 (one month ago) link

god Lutri is so busted in Limited, it's like starting with 9 cards in your hand every game. just a whole new level of broken

frogbs, Monday, 11 May 2020 20:43 (one month ago) link

Lutri is obv worth the usually minuscule tradeoff of not playing duplicates, but I did have a RW cycling deck that I had to severely weaken when I picked up Lutri in pack 3, to the point where I'm not sure I even should have

Vinnie, Monday, 11 May 2020 23:26 (one month ago) link

I've played most of the Companions in draft but never managed to make a Lurrus deck until today. I am used to passing him but today I was going RW cycling and only had the 2-mana payoffs when I saw him in pack 2 - only card I had to cut was a Marmoset. I even ended up splashing an Ominous Seas but never got to make an 8/8. One of the best and most fun decks I've had this format

Vinnie, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 04:48 (one month ago) link

Companion creates some super awkward deckbuilding decisions in Limited, like wtf am I supposed to do with this

wound up using Jegantha as a companion and just having to sideline two bomb rares

frogbs, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 14:19 (one month ago) link

Yeah you've mentioned that a couple times and I think most people also hate those kinds of Sophie's choice decisions in deckbuilding that Companions cause more than usual, but I stupidly enjoy them

Vinnie, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 16:03 (one month ago) link

starting with a bomb in your hand is worth having 3 in your deck is the way I see it

funny you mention Ominous Seas - maybe not first pick worthy but way better in this format that I would have expected. for one, there's a ton of card draw, even beyond the cycling stuff. with 3 Fire Prophecies and a Facet Reader, plus some cycling cards, if I play it Turn 2 it looms large right away. secondly, the games in this format tend to be pretty long. thirdly, it has cycling itself, which I actually didn't know until I actually played it

frogbs, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 17:02 (one month ago) link

Yeah I think that's about right, most are worth greatly altering your draft for. In addition to getting it guaranteed every game, you can also plan your gameplay well, e.g. ensuring you reserve a good spell to copy with Lutri, or as I just did, trading off your creatures before you drop Lurrus

If it didn't have cycling, I'm not sure Seas would be playable but yes, it has strongly performed. I played against a deck which only played AFAICT three Seas and then all cyclers and draw spells, maybe one removal spell. They made a total of 5 8/8s before I lost

Vinnie, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 23:53 (one month ago) link

yea Lutri + a card like Rockslide or Mutual Destruction is just game over a lot of the time

Lurrus is the one I'm not sure if I could make work as a Companion (unless I p1p1'd it) but holy shit is it an obnoxious card in combination with Dead Weight & Sleeper Dart. the fact that they gave it Lifelink as well is just lol

the more I play this format the more I realize that being Human is a significant downside, not being able to ramp into your mutate dudes or get the counter from those uncommon keyword lords seems to come into play a lot. otoh the presence of Mutate makes stuff like Durable Coilbug way more playable, I'm wondering if stuff like the 2/4 2G Vigilance dude is better than it looks

frogbs, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 14:55 (one month ago) link

also I just listened to a podcast arguing that Companion is the worst mechanic of all time, as it hits a bad mechanic Bingo - all 10 cards are being played, several are likely to be banned, it breaks a fundamental rule of the game, & they're non-interactive, since you can't make your opponent discard them and many of them provide an immediate benefit so removal doesn't really help. it definitely warps Limited, even though they're all rares - I'd really like to see the MTGO stats on how often a deck with a Companion beats one without, I know from my own personal results that my win percentage is like, 20 points higher when I've got one. and that's in a format where Companion's downside is pretty significant.

frogbs, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 17:08 (one month ago) link

it also might produce the first card(s) banned in vintage for power level reasons as restricting doesn't work on a mechanic that bypasses the library

ciderpress, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 20:46 (one month ago) link

I thought the same re: Lurrus in limited, frogbs, but now that I've made the deck and played against a couple of Lurrus decks, it's definitely strong enough given the right set of cards. In addition to the two commons you mentioned, Springjaw Trap is also excellent. Just draft a few of the many cards that let you return a creature from the GY to keep Lurrus around and it's an extremely consistent strategy. I don't play much Constructed but I'm already getting a little bored of them in Limited so I can imagine how boring it must be in Constructed

Not much payoff for Humans, is there? I made a double Sanctuary Lockdown deck once, and I like having a couple early Humans if I have Of One Mind. Otherwise, non-Humans all the way. Most decks want Mosscoat Goriak over Alert Heedbonder, I believe

Vinnie, Thursday, 14 May 2020 00:04 (one month ago) link

Yeah that would be crazy to see a Vintage ban. Chaos Orb and Shahrazad need company

Vinnie, Thursday, 14 May 2020 00:06 (one month ago) link

Not much payoff for Humans, is there? I made a double Sanctuary Lockdown deck once

lol I actually have never seen this card before.

frogbs, Thursday, 14 May 2020 01:09 (one month ago) link

okay after 11 straight match losses I think I am finally done with this format

just sick of constantly getting bodyslammed by bomb rares and decks that perfectly mutate curve out, having to play against the same stupid companions every single game, playing game after game where I either draw 2 lands or 12.

seriously I think I've gone 2-7 and 3-6 in every friendly sealed outside of the ones where I go 5-1 and get swept in round 3, I have never had a run like this in any format

frogbs, Friday, 15 May 2020 18:52 (one month ago) link

lol make that 13 straight matches, 18 straight games

my deck actually isn't that bad, I have all the same bombs as everyone else, they just immediately get killed

frogbs, Friday, 15 May 2020 19:10 (one month ago) link

You're talking about sealed or draft? I haven't played sealed this format but it seems like you're gonna run into Companions way more than with draft, and sealed is always more weighted towards seeing bombs

Though I feel you about the losing streak. My first five or six Ikoria drafts were poor, including a couple 0-3s, and I was tempted to write off the format but I still found the cards fun so I kept playing and losing. then I watched Ben Stark on Twitch and saw that RW basically HAS to be cycling, UR HAS to be spells-matter, etc. Format is very non-intuitive, a lot of cards that look good are not and vice versa. I went on a string of 7-x drafts after that

Vinnie, Saturday, 16 May 2020 00:06 (one month ago) link

Sealed and yeah I think with 6 packs and 10 companions you basically open one half the time. Whether you can make a deck with one is another thing

I'd be curious what exactly I'm missing here. I'm wondering if this is just one of those formats where Draft plays much better than Sealed, since basically all the best decks in Sealeds are 4/5-color bomb heavy mutate madness, unless you're lucky enough to get a good W/B human build. I seem to be forced into bad W/R/G decks a lot. I'm not sure if I'm just bad or unlucky. Would be curious what's better/worse than it looks

Farfinder is the obvious 'better than it looks' one, I think the "you can mutate this" factor is pretty huge with this card, since you can curve into all the good 4 CMC mutate guys and then the fact that it's 1/1 doesn't matter, whereas the vigilance definitely does. plus smoothing your mana is good, especially since the format is slow. Durable Coilbug also seems pretty good for a bear.

as far as trap cards...some of the mutate commons that don't provide immediate card advantage seem to be pretty bad. Vulpkeet & Cloudpiercer in particular. Everyone seems to play those cards but I avoid them when I can. I think people misplay Mutate a lot, I'm seeing them use it on a 3/3 when just playing the creature itself would put them in a better position. again, that's why Farfinder is so much better than it looks

frogbs, Saturday, 16 May 2020 01:39 (one month ago) link

sealed is the format with the most bad beats, that's not really specific to this set..

ciderpress, Saturday, 16 May 2020 02:22 (one month ago) link

Ikoria is the set I’ve drafted the least since coming back to Magic (exclusively on mtgo) a few years ago. I’ve not enjoyed it - although I don’t know whether that’s because of outside factors with everything going on, or because of the set itself. I don’t like the cycling deck being a thing, and I don’t like companion as a mechanic in limited.

AlanSmithee, Saturday, 16 May 2020 03:06 (one month ago) link

it seems like an unusually divisive one

ciderpress, Saturday, 16 May 2020 03:47 (one month ago) link

Hard to give a full list of what was better/worse than I thought, but the format is almost entirely a synergy format so the card values vary wildly based on what you're making. Checkpoint Officer, for example, would usually be a first pick in a regular RW format but RW cycling plays a very low land count and would prefer Drannith Healer. One-mana cycling cards have overperformed, cheap BG creatures that can be mutated on to have overperformed (Almighty Brushwagg, Boot Nipper, Durable Coilbug). White mutate is hard to put together so cards like Vulpakeet and even Cubwarden go down in value unless you happened to pick up a lot of non-Humans already. The expensive non-BG cyclers like Avian Oddity and Sanctuary Smasher have underperformed. Even Dead Weight and Pacifism have underperformed - sometimes they don't have good targets

Vinnie, Saturday, 16 May 2020 05:13 (one month ago) link

yeah I'm on board with pretty much all of that, though IMO the problem with Checkpoint Officer lies more in the fact that it costs 2 to activate instead of 1. Dead Weight & Pacifism still solid picks but yeah they don't exactly swing games. the Mutate guys essentially having haste makes sorcery speed removal less good.

sealed is the format with the most bad beats, that's not really specific to this set..

I've missed a few sets but there does seem to be an abnormally high number of bomb rares in this set, and since you can easily play 3+ colors in Sealed most deck have like 4 bombs in them. meanwhile I seem to open pools with 3 Triomes in them a lot. every match is just a slog, it's almost like Cube where crazy shit just comes out of nowhere. I am so sick of seeing that fucking gorilla every other matchup. also I seem to just be on a bad run of luck, I feel like my opponents get a free game every match when I can't draw my 3rd land or just get flooded with the one color I don't have. which I get is part of the game but lol not for the people I've been playing against

frogbs, Sunday, 17 May 2020 03:13 (one month ago) link

As soon as I wrote that, I realized that me calling it a first pick is too strong because usually W gets a one-mana activation tapper and Officer costing two to tap makes a big difference. Even at two mana I would expect it to be good in RW most formats, and here I'm unhappy if I have to play it. To that extent that for a while I missed that it's actually pretty good in BW

Another reason Pacifism is worse than usual is that it's sometimes the opponent still wants to Mutate everything onto one creature, and it doesn't really matter if it can't attack or block

Vinnie, Sunday, 17 May 2020 06:40 (one month ago) link

lol yeah I've definitely lost games to a creature I had locked down with a Capture Sphere, that Auspicious Starrix card is just insane sometimes. really fun to play with though.

speaking of tappers Frondland Felidar is such a stupid card, Vigilance + tapping is dumb by itself but when you got a whole army of them its not even a game anymore, you're on the Opposition level of "not fun to win with, really not fun to play against"

anyway I have gone on a bit of a winning streak since posting I was done with the format. then started 3-0 in a Sealed and ended 3-6. this format is so streaky. I'm not quitting until I live the dream of Cycling a Yidaro into play. I know I can do it

frogbs, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 20:31 (one month ago) link

I don't mind Felidar that much, but I also haven't played against it a ton. GW is the color combo I encounter the least, and even then I've rarely seen the opponent have more than one vigilance creature. But that could be a sealed/draft difference. Obv still a strong card

Zenith Flare is my bogeyman of the format. Stupidly good for an uncommon

Vinnie, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 00:05 (one month ago) link

there are a few commons in G/W with it, plus Farfinder & a few uncommon lords. plus the companion that gives a bunch of types +1/+1 and vigilance, I see those two together sometimes

from what I've seen the difference between sealed & draft is that draft decks are more focused & on theme while the best sealed decks are 3-5 colors and play 4+ bomb rares plus a bunch of big mutate dudes. B/W humans is hard to do (since you can't stockpile Whisper Squads), the cycling decks tend to spin their wheels a lot and generally suck. U/R spells is pretty good.

frogbs, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 01:44 (one month ago) link

btw I'm really starting to appreciate Forbidden Friendship - gives you a Mutate target, something for the Human triggers, a spell for Sprite Dragon, Mutual Destruction fodder....

frogbs, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 20:53 (one month ago) link

And sets up Of One Mind single-handedly, and it's a creature that helps Spelleater Wolverine. Yeah overall way overperformed for a sorcery speed Raise the Alarm

Vinnie, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 23:39 (one month ago) link

it's called dragon fodder

ciderpress, Thursday, 21 May 2020 01:34 (one month ago) link

lmao they just used the June 1st B/R update to change how companion works

now you can't cast it automatically, you instead have to pay 3 to put it in your hand

pretty crazy, I can't remember them ever errata'ing an entire mechanic like this. maybe when they changed the Urzas Saga 'free' spells to read "you actually have to cast it to untap the lands" but even that was more like "yeah obviously that's how this was *supposed* to work" instead of "whoops this is too good, let's straight up nerf it"

frogbs, Monday, 1 June 2020 17:44 (one month ago) link

looking at the banned cards, not sure what the issue with Agent of Treachery is (I don't play Standard) but Fires of Invention seems remarkably dumb, like Urza's-level "whats the worst that can happen" thinking

frogbs, Monday, 1 June 2020 17:51 (one month ago) link

it's not a broken card really, just an unpleasant effect to have at the center of the format. think of it as being like the reflector mage ban i guess

ciderpress, Monday, 1 June 2020 21:42 (one month ago) link

yeah idk what kind of mana accel there is but I can see a card like that effectively making a bunch of 4-6 CMC cards unplayable. the fact that killing the creature doesn't give you your permanent back seems like an important pretty safety valve to get rid of

frogbs, Monday, 1 June 2020 21:58 (one month ago) link

it's being cheated out on turn 4 or 5 (and then blinked for another steal via your yorion which is always available to follow it up every game)

ciderpress, Monday, 1 June 2020 22:25 (one month ago) link

yes I am proud of myself

frogbs, Wednesday, 3 June 2020 04:21 (one month ago) link

A frog and 4 otters

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 3 June 2020 04:28 (one month ago) link

I thought Lukka would get a ban. The Lukka/Omen of the Sun combo seems like it will work with something else, if it's not Agent of Treachery. Agent was a good ban though, it's become really unfun to play against. Companion change is really strange, like the kind of nerfing that Hearthstone does to individual cards

Vinnie, Wednesday, 3 June 2020 06:00 (one month ago) link

This seems like overkill to me but what do I know:

pomenitul, Thursday, 11 June 2020 16:59 (four weeks ago) link

yeah that's just a kneejerk marketing dept response that no one was asking for

ciderpress, Thursday, 11 June 2020 17:05 (four weeks ago) link

I mean if you really want to go down that route MTG itself can easily be construed as racist.

pomenitul, Thursday, 11 June 2020 17:06 (four weeks ago) link

playing an irl game of magic tonight (you're allowed to hang with up to 6 people where I live)

Rik Waller-Bridge (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 11 June 2020 20:17 (four weeks ago) link

supposedly the 1488 thing was just a weird coincidence, as they were indexed in alphabetical order

frogbs, Thursday, 11 June 2020 20:30 (four weeks ago) link

fwiw WoTC has kind of a checkered history with race issues, particularly when it comes to their hiring practices. its been sort of an open secret for a while.

frogbs, Thursday, 11 June 2020 20:31 (four weeks ago) link


Rik Waller-Bridge (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 11 June 2020 20:34 (four weeks ago) link

I was pretty shocked to see some of these, and I think there's nothing wrong with throwing them out, even if it is a bit of an empty gesture.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 11 June 2020 22:29 (four weeks ago) link

Weird to see these cards dredged up again after 25 years. I was definitely not old enough to understand what was going on on Invoke Prejudice (which I think I own a copy of somewhere)

Vinnie, Friday, 12 June 2020 00:57 (three weeks ago) link

banning a bunch of cards that nobody has played with in a decade is pretty fucking weird, it is practically by definition performative activism since nobody would ever think of these cards otherwise and now they're gonna sit on a ban list forever.

frogbs, Friday, 12 June 2020 01:25 (three weeks ago) link

anyway I have not played a game of paper Magic in about a year but I had a dream last night that I was a Pro Tour player and every time I won a game I'd scoop up my cards, look my opponent in the eye and say "abracadabra"

frogbs, Friday, 12 June 2020 02:48 (three weeks ago) link

that's a strong bit

ciderpress, Friday, 12 June 2020 02:55 (three weeks ago) link

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