Posted on April 24, 2020, 2:36 p.m. by TheCardPool
Artifact Creature - Sphinx
Players play with the top card of their libraries revealed.
You may play the top card of any player’s library.
, : Each player puts the top card of their library into their graveyard.
In general, as cool as it is, I've found stealing other players' stuff to not be a winning strategy in games, but something like this could change my mind. Thoughts? Is this balanced? Would you play it?
I like it. I'd play it in my Aminatou, the Fateshifter EDH. It's got decent attack, great defense, would synergize very well with the top deck theme. For my build anyway it would make a nice alt general for playing less aggressively (as I'd lose the ability to abuse Detention Sphere and the like.)
April 24, 2020 2:56 p.m.
maxon thanks! Glad you enjoy it. I was a bit worried about it being perceived as overpowered but I actually think I landed pretty well on it in the end. The biggest considerations were not giving it a mana-fixing ability like Daxos of Meletis to cast the stolen cards (as I figured that would be potentially busted) and making the milling ability a tap as opposed to just a generic mana activation like Syr Konrad, the Grim. Either I think would have made this too strong.
April 24, 2020 3:01 p.m. Edited.
Funkydiscogod hmm I honestly hadn't considered that, but it's true: unless someone were to get really lucky, they'd have to already have an answer in their hand or you could just keep stealing them off the top. In that case, what would balance this a bit more in your view? Would adding a mana ability to see and steal the top cards of other people's decks be a good idea? Or maybe an attack trigger where it only works on the person you attacked?
April 24, 2020 4:08 p.m. Edited.
I highly disagree with Funkydiscogod; Lantern Control needs 16x of that effect in deck and like 3-4 on field to really shut down a game, and those are free to activate. With the tap cost, you’re making the player draw every other card if they’re good. Maybe every 3rd card if you can cast their removal on top.
At 6 mana I think it’s totally reasonable!
April 24, 2020 6:42 p.m.
abby315 thanks for the added perspective! In fairness I can see how the Lantern-like ability could be somewhat oppressive, but I think the mana investment here, especially in maybe playing some other people’s cards, mitigates it.
April 25, 2020 8:17 a.m.
Funkydiscogod: The top card of your deck is always random. You can mill one removal spell and, given the color restriction, possibly cast one, and the third card could still be a removal spell. That's why Lantern Control hasn't established a true lock until you have 3-4 of the mill effects on the field, and why many Modern players will still play out the match, because it's never deterministic.
Not only is this only one mill effect, but you're not taking into account that the creature can't mill immediately and so is susceptible to removal for an entire turn sequence; that it costs 6 mana and is vulnerable to counterspells and also just dying before you cast it; and that you have to pay mana to tap it, so you may not have the mana to continue casting or manipulating the top of the opponent's library. I frankly don't this this card is even good outside of EDH/multiplayer games, but I do think it's cool.
How broken do you think Codex Shredder is? It's 1-mana, free to use, and people still barely play that deck in Modern.
April 25, 2020 2:25 p.m. Edited.
abby315 your point about EDH is well-taken. I'm pretty much an EDH player myself so most cards I design only have that format in mind. While I can see how this could be possibly overpowered in Standard, I don't think it's competitive enough for Modern and EDH has so many cards and options that I didn't really see it as an issue there.
April 25, 2020 4:19 p.m.
I immediately also went to the knowledge part of this card; getting to know your opponents' every draw is powerful (PS: I didn't notice at first it said each player plays with top card revealed, that does put a slight damper on the knowledge advantage). While you could just play Telepathy and know their hand, this card is also an evasive attacker and blocker that is moderately hard to kill. Because you can play cards off the top of the library and not just cast, you can also use it to choke people out of land drops by playing their lands - and since the activation is generic mana you can at the very least always use those lands for something.
I'm not sure if it's overpowered as Funkydiscogod claims, as it is a 6 CMC, but it is definitely powerful.