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  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    I agree that Green five drops are a dense competitive slot -- largely for lack of good green 6 drops and also I think because 5CC is a sweet spot for any green ramp deck that is hitting its ramp spells on curve for the first two turns. The other two "Baneslayers" I run in this slot are Kalonian Hydra and Verdurous Gearhulk -- the latter of which isn't necessarily a BSA. I probably could make Hydra the cut as well, but I don't know that Slime has enough high value targets to merit its continued inclusion in my cube. Similarly, Stoneforge Mystic was cut from my cube for lack of targets.

    Couple other things I am pondering is cutting Dryad Militant. Green is a ramp color and white has better 2/1's and it definitely shouldn't take up a guild slot.

    Also wondering how critical the redundancy is with Armageddon and Ravages of War, I currently run Catastrophe instead both for value and because I like the flexibility of it. I don't think Armageddon is too unfair, but I'm not sure I want to double up on it, especially at $100.00 for the cheapest version (I don't proxy).
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Acidic Slime vs. Elder Gargaroth

    Feel like this is a classic Baneslayer vs. Mulldrifter matchup only maybe even a stronger example of this paradigm than the cards that have come to represent it because these two cards share a cost and one is guaranteed up-front value (Naturalize+) and then a good defensive body. The other is no up-front value, but asks "do you have it" to your opponent, much like BSA. Personally, I think BSA style creatures play a major role in cube and I lean towards the Gargaroth, but I'm curious to hear your takes.

    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Final Fantasy IX Inspired Set
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm always amazed by how this project continues to attract new people -- its a testament to Final Fantasy IX's lasting appeal.

    @Sovereign Please feel free to incorporate some of my designs in your own project. I may add to this at some point, just haven't had the time for a while.

    I spent a couple hours today retweaking the Black Waltz cycle and related cards. There are several goals I tried to accomplish here:
    A) Make the cards abilities reflective of their character within the game.
    B) Have a mixture of parasitism and non-parasitism -- that is, have the Waltzes interact with one another, but still be viable without this synergy. I also wanted to create synergies with other non-waltz black mages.
    C) Adjust types and names per the feedback received.

    Black Waltz I 1B
    Legendary Creature - Wizard Construct (U)
    When Black Waltz I enters the battlefield you may search your library for a card named Waltzing Wavecrasher and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library afterwards.

    Notes: At first I contemplated making the Black Waltzes into a vertical cycle (common, uncommon, and rare) but I ultimately decided that both 1 and 2 should be uncommon instead -- especially because I wanted them all to be legendary and legendary commons isn't something I wanted to introduce. I have the Waltzes scaling in power and cost with respect to their names (BW1 is a 1/1 for 1B, BW2 is a 2/2 for 2B, BW3, is a 3/3 for 3B). I also agree with the feedback that Wizard Construct is way better typing than Wizard Robot. Waltzing Wavecrasher is the new name for our friend, Sealion from FF9.

    Waltzing Wavecrasher 1UU
    Creature - Cat Fish (C)
    If you control a Wizard Construct, creatures blocking or blocked by Waltzing Wavecrasher get -2/-0.

    Notes: Waltzing Wavecrasher (Sealion)is a cat fish....get it? This is a decent stand-alone creature, but when paired with a Black Waltz or any other Wizard construct, it becomes a combat nightmare. I chose the power reduction mechanic as a blue-friendly way to represent the healing/protection provided by Black Waltz I.

    Black Waltz II 2B
    Legendary Creature - Wizard Construct (U)
    As long as you control another Wizard construct Black Waltz II gains deathtouch. If you control another legendary wizard construct Black Waltz II can’t be blocked.

    Notes: Black Waltz II is simultaneously narrowly parasitic with the other Black Waltzes and also more broadly parasitic with other wizard constructs. It is improved by the latter, but greatly improved by the former.

    Black Waltz III 3B
    Legendary Creature - Wizard Construct (R)
    Sacrifice a creature: Black Waltz III gets: +1/+1 until end of turn. If the sacrificed creature was a legendary wizard construct Black Waltz III gains deathtouch and indestructible until end of turn.
    5B: Return Black Waltz III from your graveyard to the battlefield. You lose 3 life.

    Notes: Lots of things packed into this card. It's rare as the most powerful of the trio. It has a Fallen Angel mechanic that works with any creature, but is best in combination with the other Waltz's which can make BW III into an indestructible, creature killing machine. Lastly, it recurs later in the game, but a little bit damaged hence the life loss.

    Also wanted to make a couple non-legendary common black mages to support this theme. I named them Dalian ~ to indicate their origins in the factory under Dali.

    Dalian Prototype B
    Creature - Wizard Construct (C)
    When Dalian Prototype attacks, defending player loses 1 life.

    Dalian Deathmage 2BB
    Creature - Wizard Construct (C)
    When Dalian Deathmage attacks defending player loses 2 life.
    Sacrifice a creature: Dalian Deathmage gains indestructible until end of turn.

    Notes: Both are at common for story and gameplay reasons. I thought the direct lifeloss mechanic was a good way to represent the destruction the mages wrought. The sacrifice mechanic for Deathmage shows parallels with Black Waltz 3.

    Lastly I retooled Zaghnol into the following.

    Huntsman's Bane 2RG
    Creature - Beast (C)
    1R: Huntsman’s Bane deals 1 damage to itself and gains +1/+0 until end of turn.

    Notes: Per the feedback here and in the vein of what WOTC did with the Godzilla crossover, I wanted more evocative fantasy names that still allow players to easily catch the reference. Similar to what I did with Sealion I made Zaghnol into Huntsman's Bane, a reference to the Festival of the Hunt. I also wanted to incorporate the electrocute ability used by the Zaghnol in FF9 to power itself up. The activated ability is my MTG translation of this ability.
    Posted in: Custom Set Creation and Discussion
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Magic 2021 (M21) cards for the cube!
    Realistically, Pilferer is almost never going to go unblocked if you don't use the ability and against most board states a 2/1 would be lucky to trade and that is assuming you cast this on turn 2. Needing to discard a card I can only replace if I pay 2 is a drawback that outweighs having two evasive power for me. The other ability is largely, though not entirely, flavor text.

    The dig at the anti-Baneslayer type creature crowd was not for you. Many Reddit posters have coalesced around the idea that BSA and its like are just bad cards. Although, I do think the vindicate test is a part of the flawed rationale against cards like these. There is too much reliance on that one metric. It's like when hypergeometric cube design caught fire with cube designers and certain people were like run 12 cantrips in your 360! (Hyperbole, but not by much). Nothing is wrong with the vindicate test or hypergeometric cube design, but people sometimes are a little too fixated on these ideas to the exclusion of good cards.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Magic 2021 (M21) cards for the cube!
    Ah. Didn't realize phasing doesn't actually involve changing zones. It's one mechanic I've never played with or against. That makes it less bad against opposing creatures with ETB's, so that is one pro.

    Completely agree that the Baneslayer type creature hate that is all the rage among many cube designers right now is unwarranted. Midrange creatures continue to get better and bait/force removal that once could have been held for endgame threats and even cubes with the most dense removal suites don't consistently have answers to every threat. Value when removed is an important metric, but I find it is only a little bit more important of a metric for evaluation than value when it sticks. Sometimes the latter is enough and in this case it definitely is. Green 5 drop creatures are a stacked slot and with this replacing Ooze, I think it will be difficult to see another Green five drop good enough to cube for a while -- maybe they should focus on a different slot (like 3 drop creatures, 6 drop creatures, or any instant/sorceries that are cubeable would be nice).
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Magic 2021 (M21) cards for the cube!
    I got excited when I remembered it was about the time when you do this write-up and here it is! =D

    Initial thoughts

    Surprised you're so low on Teferi, I don't think it is great, but mono-blue PW's drop off quite a bit after JTMS. I wish the phasing ability could hit your own creatures for blink functionality. As is, this is very temporary protection for your looting engine. I really like Mu Yanling and Will Kenrith, I think for me it is between Jace Beleren and this. Tough choice. It is a narrow card drawing engine vs. a more flexible, but sometimes ineffective PW.

    Terror of the Peaks has one too many IF's for me, If they don't have removal, If you have another creature, If that creature is big enough to matter. I love Purphoros decks and I think despite the increased flexibility in targeting, this is worse coming down later, and being less resilient to removal. Purphoros sets up so many insane follow-up turns with any army-in-a-box card that it conveniently curves right into.

    I believe Gargaroth is the most underrated card on this list. Have trouble squaring that Acidic Slime still deserves a slot over this - particularly in unpowered lists (powered is different although we have gotten much better utility creatures lower on the curve so maybe even there). Also, green decks will often have this creature out by turn 3. Again, maybe a distinction between powered and unpowered as I don't run fast mana so Baneslayer is less often ramped into.

    Tome does a really awful Treasure Map impression which is already on the cusp for medium sized lists. I think all but the largest of cubes should forego it.

    Heartfire Immolator competes for the worst red two drop in my cube against Bloodrage Brawler. Which would you choose?

    Eliminate is probably the most overrated card on this list (That or Transmorgify). You trade far too many targets for the ability to hit a minutia of PW's. GFTT, Ultimate Price, and Heartless Act are still the way to go for removal. Especially when the 3CC slot has Murderous Rider and Hero's Downfall already.

    No interest in Pilferer, why pay for a loot I can get free with existing options? It does a lot, but it isn't particularly good at anything. I don't think the flexibility here is particularly valuable.

    The lieutenant is a good card in a slot full of great ones. Hallowblade is solid and will replace Stoneforge Mystic for my cube.

    Barrin is the best card here. I've needed some better 1-3CC options for Blue and this is a great start.

    Thanks for the read.

    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [M21] Finishing Blow— Goodgame preview
    I'm aware limited exists. It's the primary format I play (Cube and Draft). I still think they should modify the effect -- even a you lose 2 life clause if power is a concern or a neutral clause.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [M21] Finishing Blow— Goodgame preview
    Not thrilled with seeing completely identical effects at different costs with shifted rarities without any balancing justification. This is exactly the same as Hero's Downfall except 2CC higher and now common. Sometimes effects are adjusted for balancing purposes like Lightning Bolt to Lightning Strike or Counterspell to Cancel, but even with Bolt we have this garbage...Open Fire. At least Fateful End varies the effect and so should this card. They could have stapled on it's controller loses 2 life or something and this would not have been an issue.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Print This Wizards (so I can put it in my cube)
    I would like to see a hate cycle that counteracts some of the most common value plays in cube and magic in general.

    Thief of Blessings 1W
    Creature - Human Rogue (R)
    The next time this turn a creature entering the battlefield under an opponent's control would cause an ability to trigger, instead that ability triggers as though the creature entered the battlefield under your control.

    Thief of Talent 1B
    Creature - Snake Rogue (R)
    Thief of Talent gains all static abilities of creatures that enter the battlefield this turn. Other creatures your opponents control lose those abilities so long as Thief of Talent is on the battlefield.

    Thief of Resistance 1R
    Creature - Devil Rogue (R)
    If a creature would enter the battlefield under your opponents control this turn, only that creature may block creatures you control during your next combat phase.

    Thief of the Ranks 1G
    Creature - Elf Rogue (R)
    If a creature token would enter the battlefield under your opponents control this turn, instead it does not and you may put a +1/+1 counter on Thief of the Ranks.

    Thief of Opposition 1U
    Creature - Merfolk Rogue (R)
    If a creature would enter the battlefield under your opponents control this turn. You may pay its converted mana cost. If you do, gain control of that creature.

    Posted in: The Cube Forum
  • posted a message on [M21][CUBE] Seasoned Hallowblade
    Would be nice to get white a bit deeper into reanimator without abandoning white weenie aggro. I'm probably going to cut Stoneforge Mystic. I don't run swords so she is lacking for targets.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [M21][CUBE] Elder Gargaroth
    Primeval Titan's value varies quite a bit on your land suite and supported archetypes. For many cubes Primeval Titan is worse than Honored Hydra. Also, except for with Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary or Natural Order, Titan will never come out on turn 3, but this will. T1, T2 mana dorks (a very common line of play for green) means this can resolve on turn 3. Baneslayer Angel doesn't come out on turn 3.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [M21][CUBE] Elder Gargaroth
    Saw someone talking about cutting Primeval Titan for this in a Reddit thread which is kind of a spicy idea. Same p/t, both have trample, a ramping 6 drop isn't often doing more than thinning my deck so I can draw more non-land spells (although certain utility lands work well with PrimeTime). This can draw, create bodies, or gain life, play offense and defense and costs less. I actually like several five drops more than the Titan as is so maybe...?
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [M21][CUBE] Elder Gargaroth
    I think the cube community as a whole places a little too much emphasis on value when removed and not enough emphasis on value when it survives. The latter is more common than the former. I frequently see people dismiss Baneslayer Angel, Lyra Dawnbringer, and other BSA type creatures and then I run a draft and these creatures continue to determine games. The next thing I hear is that these cards must be working in my cube because my removal package isn't strong enough -- this isn't true either and I'll drop my list for you to decide.


    That said, the green 5 drop slot is a tough, tough, tough slot to get into. I will probably at least test this one in place of either Kalonian Hydra, Thragtusk or Acidic Slime. Triggering on attack rather than damage is great, triggering on the block while having reach and vigilance makes it an insanely good blocker as well, and the diversity of options to choose when this attacks or blocks is extremely relevant. Going to have to get some play in with this one to see if it generates enough value on average to outclass the other options. My guess is that it's average case scenario is better than acidic slime and comparable to Thragtusk or Kalonian Hydra.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [CUBE][IKO][C20] Includes and Testing Thread
    What did you ultimately decide to do with companions for your cube?

    1) Running them with the rules update.
    2) Run them as written.
    3) Cut them.
    4) Wasn't running them to begin with.

    I find myself genuinely torn. With the new rules, not one of these is cubeable in my opinion and I would've really liked to have Lurrus and Lutri as written. I'm not sure if you're truly instituting house rules when you're playing a card as written, but then again you would be because you would have to remind drafters familiar with the companion rule change that your cube doesn't abide by the rule change - definitely impacts the pick order for those cards. I'm leaning towards cutting them because running them with the new rules means playing bad cards, and running them as written means carving out special rules for cards setting a precedent I don't want to set.

    This set goes from average to somewhat poor for cube without these. I think only Vivien, Heartless Act, Luminous Broodmoth, and Shark Typhoon and maybe Fiend Artisan make it in.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
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