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A Reckoning on Kamigawa
 
The Magic Market Index for Oct 20, 2017
 
The Magic Market Index for Oct 13, 2017
  • posted a message on P1P1 Discussion: Post your packs!
    I feel my cube's power level is already very high, adding power to it just feels warped to me. Balance / Upheaval / Recurring Nightmare / Natural Order / Sulfuric Vortex / Umezawa's Jitte / Skullclamp / etc are all bonkers cards, but there's an opportunity cost and a certain level of commitment in order to achieve the payoff.

    Mark Rosewater wrote in an article about how a lot of people ragged on him about not making the level up ability be activated at instant speed. One of the things he said in this article is probably most important thing I've taken away from Mark's column:

    "Games are about making interesting decisions. Games are about mentally challenging yourself and finding solutions in the midst of obstacles. What makes games fun is the restrictions. I often talk in Making Magic about how "restrictions breed creativity." Well, it turns out that restrictions also breed good game play."

    Take Black Lotus for example: there's absolutely zero risk / opportunity cost in drafting it and slotting it into your deck. It's all payoff with zero risk which is rather poor game design. It makes me feel like I'm playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at one of those all you can play arcades where you pay a flat fee and everything is set to free play (I live 20 minutes away from the largest arcade in North America, The Galloping Ghost in the Chicago suburbs). Since the machine is set to free play, I can literally just mash my way through the game like a maniac without repercussion because I'll eventually get through the game as long as I have infinite lives. A fighting game like Street Fighter is a different story: no matter how many lives I have, I still need to meet a certain skill threshold and make choices if I actually want to beat the game.

    I don't hate powered cube, but the added groans far outweighed the any additional satisfying "ahh"s that playing with power gave me. I'm still going to keep it around to break out occasionally on xMage, but I don't want it to be my bread and butter. I will say though that I do like how playing with power unleashes the full potential of certain cards like Monastery Mentor / Young Pyromancer / draw 7s.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Anyways, regarding yesterday's pack: Strip Mine / JVP / Opposition are all great. I personally would probably go Gaea's Cradle just because I love building around it. I can also see myself going Opposition because that's one build-around card I need to get more experience with.

    Pack of the day: what's your P1P1?


    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [HOU] [CUBE] Adorned Pouncer
    Adorned Pouncer has been performing pretty well lately. The cat fits both in a straight ahead aggro and midrange strategies. Being able to clamp it for value early game and eternalize it later as a threat has proven quite useful, and be double strike is absurd with equipment / Rancor / Knight-Errant +1 buff / etc.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on P1P1 Discussion: Post your packs!
    Quote from Salmo »
    Power isn't for everyone. For every time my opponent lotuses me out, I have my own sweet games, and then in reality most games aren't like that. I don't get how it really ruins the draft experience since it's like typically 2 picks at most in an 8 man that are automatic and the rest of the time you're doing what you would in any other draft, but I'm sure that'll be a situation where we agree to disagree since arguing experiences is pointless. After years of playing with powered cubes, it seems like you're either suffering from a small sample size or it's just not for you in which case to each one's own.

    ------

    Strip Mine because it's as powerful as anything else while being colorless, then opposition/jace.


    Ruins the early picks for me, and those early picks carry the most weight for me.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Keep Revoker and Spyglass.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on P1P1 Discussion: Post your packs!
    Been experimenting a lot with a powered version of my cube over the past week and prioritizing moxen higher during drafts. Can't say much if it affected my W/L ratio, but I can say for certain that power overall bores the hell out of me during the draft. I thought using my cube over the MTGO vintage cube would help, but power removes more from the draft / game experience than it adds to it, IMO.

    I might experiment with a powered cube excluding Black Lotus / Sol Ring / Mana Crypt / Mana Vault and see how that goes to find a nice middle ground between power / unpowered. I don't mind moxen in game play, but I don't think I was able to groan louder every time my opponent had the Black Lotus start and I didn't. At least in Vintage I have a chance to play my own Lotus or have a much higher percentage to counter it with either FoW, Chalice at 0, Null Rod, Phyrexian Revoker, etc.

    Anyways, end rant. Pack of the day, what's your P1P1?

    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Land Tax
    I only count lands and moxen towards my mana sources. I usually won't count mana rocks / elves / etc. Maybe I'll cut a land if I have an abundance of rocks / elves though.

    I count Gaea's Cradle / Tolarian Academy as spells while deck building. Just throwing that out there, I'm curious what everybody else counts it as.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Random Cube Card of the Day Thread
    Read the Bones is solid and is definitely one of the better black draw spells. However, Black has access to the best tutors in the game and can get is draws / extra tutors from other colors, so RTB isn’t very necessary unless your cube is lower powered and / or huge.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Land Tax
    What I’m saying is that I don’t count Land Tax as X color mana source the same way you would as a fetchland.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Land Tax
    Land Tax doesn't affect the way I build my manabase like how Terramorphic Expanse / Evolving Wilds / Rampant Growth would. Expanse / Wilds always work, Land Tax trigger is not guaranteed. Sometimes I don't need X basic for a splash, but will probably include one anyways if I have a fetch for it. With Land Tax I'll just continue business as usual.

    Land Tax is a card advantage engine, don’t rely on it to fix your deck’s mana.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Land Tax
    Quote from Salmo »
    Quote from steve_man »
    Quote from B8R »
    I was curious how people treated this card in relation to manabases and color requirements. When deckbuilding with Land Tax and trying to calculate the color requirements to cast your spells, how much is Land Tax worth?


    A single white mana, just like every other 1-cmc white spell.


    To expand on this: land tax is at its best early in the game, so you need to make sure every time land tax is in you opener that you can play it if you have a sufficient amount of lands. I wouldn't splash it for that reason, and I imagine that's more what B8R meant.


    I've splashed for Land Tax many times. My minimum for a splash is usually 4 sources of whatever color, but for Land Tax I'll make sure I'm at least 5-6.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Land Tax
    Quote from B8R »
    I was curious how people treated this card in relation to manabases and color requirements. When deckbuilding with Land Tax and trying to calculate the color requirements to cast your spells, how much is Land Tax worth?


    A single white mana, just like every other 1-cmc white spell.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [XLN][CUBE] Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin
    I’ve been trying to shove Search for Azcanta is every blue archetype I can. It’s not alwaya correct, but it never hurts.

    4-Color URBW Balance Upheaval Wildfire Ramp


    I was skeptical about running SoA here since I had zero graveyard synergies. Card filtering is always strong, but the Rampant Growth effect was very useful in a ramp deck like this, especially post-Wildfire. I only had one creature in the deck so the Impulse effect was very powerful, it definitely won me a game when I had to dig for Wildfire.

    UG Eternal Recall Upheaval Survival


    I had all the Regrowth effects to abuse Ancestral Recall as much as possible, so Search for Azcanta could have definitely done some work. It didn’t make the maindeck though since I already had Ancestral Recall / Oath of Nissa / Sylvan Library / Survival of the Fittest / Fauna Shaman / UG Nissa, so card draw / selection wasn’t a problem. Dig Through Time didn’t make the cut either since I only had 2 non-permanents in the deck which makes it hard to fuel delve.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Claws > Blade > Sword = Axe > Hammer

    Paradise > Pool
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.


    Beast Within > Primal Command

    Empyrial Archangel > Maelstrom Wanderer as a Natural Order target, Maelstrom Wanderer is better if you actually plan on casting it.

    Crawler > Mimic
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on P1P1 Discussion: Post your packs!
    Quote from Salmo »
    If it's not easy for you, it's probably more a lack of experience with a powered cube vs anything else, as I imagine most would windmill slam the moxen like I would. I think you're underrating moxen, especially as p1p1 material. Moxen are kinda above typical mana acceleration, like other power is, since what you get for what you pay is huge.

    It plays well with all those cards mentioned above if any wheeled--like the smokestack, which you can bet money on wheeling, and the wildfire which is pretty likely to wheel too--along with having a ton of other synergies with other types of decks, along with being free mana acceleration. If you were to take just about any opening hand with the right amount of lands/spells and replaced one of those lands with a moxen, it would be *noticeably* better, like night and day.

    I guess the major point is: why am I taking an archetype enabler over literal power in cube for p1p1, when there are a million powerful archetype/direction cards that are massively improved when I have the explosive-play inducing moxen? When I inevitably get passed what is being open, I'll be so much more happy to have the 'powered' version of that archetype with the mox already in tow vs an unpowered version. I'll also never have a dead first pick, which is less noticeable overall in cube, but *is* noticeable when you're always playing the moxen but you might not end up playing the Burning/etc since the moxen goes everywhere and not only that plays extremely well in those places. When you take the moxen and wheel the Burning, you feel great; when you don't but you go into the open deck and you have the moxen anyways, you still feel great.

    On top of that, you can't really afford to pass other players in a pod power if your goal is to win, since them having power in their hands makes winning that much tougher for your. Inversely, any time someone passes you power or you open additional pieces, the power exponentially builds off each other. Having 2-3 pieces of power is a lot better than having 1, since there are so many more hands that can have busted starts and you have the real ceiling of having something like Mox Mox and five other cards, which is a tough hand to beat.

    It's easy to discredit power because of it's lacking late-game application of them being pretty much just land at that point, but that's a mistake that your opponents will punish you for more so than not.


    I’m drawing a lot of parallels from Vintage and my own experience so far with Powered Cubes:

    - I’ll typically P1P1 a moxen in weaker packs, but I don’t always play every Mox that I draft. Of Course I’ll always play it if it’s on color.

    - In P3P1 scenarios, I generally won’t take a Mox if there’s an important piece I need from that pack. Depending on the scenario, I might take the mox I if it’s on color.

    - Many Vintage decks only play on color moxen in their decks, and it’s possible to succeed / go far with a tuned unpowered list. I’ve definitely heard of high-caliber players forsaking Black Lotus in some decks because they want more permanent mana sources that aren’t easily disrupted.

    - Mox Diamond / Chrome are just as explosive as any other moxen. Yes, there are costs associated with it, but the tempo advantage is far from unbeatable. I’m not saying Chrome / Diamond is equal or greater than OG moxen, but they still create similar scenarios. I’m much more afraid of Sol Ring level ramp.

    I don’t think Mox Pearl is NOT the correct choice, but I can totally see myself going Garruk / Wildfire / Smokestack. As of right now I like Garruk in this pack.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
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