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Lets imagine some scenarios with this one card:
- It is turn 1, you strategize Summon the Legion.
- Turn 2, you can afford the strategize cost, since it is W, then it gets its second counter. With your Plains for the turn, you strategize another Summon the Legion.
- Next turn, you have to pay WWW to keep strategizing both cards. You cannot, so you choose to cast both. You remove a total of three time counters.
- Casting those spells means you get 2*(X+1), where X is 3 time counters removed. So, you get 8 2/2 tokens on turn 3.
May 22, 2020 2:10 a.m.
The text can be cleaned up a lot to make the card less clunky.
Summon the Legion
Strategize — (You may pay its strategize cost and exile it from your hand with a time counter on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, you may pay this spell’s strategize cost for each time counter on it, then put another time counter on it. Otherwise, remove all counters to cast it without paying its mana cost.)
Create X+1 2/2 white and black Soldier artifact creature token, where X is the number of time counters you removed this turn.
Now, there are some problems with the mechanic - when you cast this card, it will have 0 time counters, since you just moved it from exile to the stack to cast it. Contrary to suspend, it wants to have counters to it when it is cast, which is not possible.
So I modified the spell in several ways:
- Removed the cumbersome 'rather than casting' thing, which is not necessary.
- There was no clause what happened when you choose to add a counter but not to pay. Now, reminder text is better.
- Brought it a slight buff - you first pay for each counter, then put another on it, making the first few payments easier. This is a severe change, and depending on other cards, may be too much.
- However, this did not solve the issue of the missing time counters.
- So, I changed the card text as well to X+1 tokens, which makes it clear how many tokens you get, but the biggest change is the X clause.
- X is now total time counters you removed this turn. I am not 100% sure it does work this way but it makes the card magnitudes more interesting to play by working better with suspend and itself.
- In the single set, if you cast several strategize spells in the same turn, all of them will get a larger bonus.
- In the grander scheme of things, this works with any card that uses time counters, so things like suspend actually buff the strategize cards.
I think this makes the card and mechanic clearer and makes it a bit more powerful and more strategic.
May 22, 2020 1:57 a.m. Edited.
Dredge4life magwaaf it is in fact legal, but commons do not have the payoffs to pair with Dark Ritual or good enough commons to mitigate the card disadvantage. Since pretty much all storm cards are banned, and the classic Hypnotic Specter or Necropotence are not commons, Dark Ritual does not need to be banned. The most powerful thing you can do is probably turn 1 swamp + Dark Ritual + Dark Ritual, delving both to bring out Gurmag Angler.
In a similar vein, artifact lands Seat of the Synod are legal in Pauper, with the only Affinity-related banning in Pauper, while they were banned in their Standard and were on the initial banlist for Modern and will never come off it, you would think they are too powerful for pauper.
May 21, 2020 2:25 a.m. Edited.
DarkHero - even if they are a 5/5 vanilla creature for 5 mana, like Jegantha is in most cases, you can play it in monogreen Tron for no deckbuilding cost. So, why not?
If the deckbuilding cost is minimal, why would you not do it? If the deckbuilding cost to include a companion is high, should even be playing the deck and not another deck that gets a free card?
The real deckbuilding cost is that other decks are strangled out.
Lurrus is a 3/2 lifelink, which a respectable body, akin to a Kitchen Finks that gets another card for basically. In Vintage, you could go Black Lotus, Lurrus, recast lotus. In modern, it basically asks the question "Have you played a Mishra's Bauble this game? If so, would like to cast a Rogue Refiner with lifelink?"
Lets also talk about mechanics being banned for less than 90% dominance.
Affinity - 7 cards banned in Standard (Arcbound Ravager, Disciple of the Vault and the 5 artifact lands) - none of them were related to the mechanic, but all of them were banned because of the Affinity mechanic. The five artifact lands were also on the first Modern banlist.
Dredge - Golgari Grave-Troll still holds the honor of the only unbanned card in Modern that was re-banned. Still a menace in Vintage, because not casting cards to win is super good.
Phyrexian mana - continues to see bans till last year, with Gitaxian Probe being banned.
The reason why not all cards with these broken mechanics were banned in the respective formats they broke was that once you ban the good ones, the mechanic stops being oppressive. However, the difference with companion is that while affinity, phyrexian mana and dredge have few powerful cards and many weak ones. Nobody is clamoring for the ban of Magmatic Sinkhole, because its effect is not comparable with Treasure Cruise.
However, there are only 10 companions, they are all rares and they all stat'ed to be competitive.
Since Lurrus was banned in Vintage, several Vintage just switched to Lutri, since the singleton restriction is just not that severe in Vintage. If Lutri is banned, Yorion will replace it. Requiring to play 80 cards is hardly a restriction since you have access to the entire card pool. If Yorion is banned, they will switch to Jegantha, as the most powerful restricted cards have only one mana symbol.
I think that if the only available companion costed , had no deck-building restriction, and was a vanilla 2/2 creature, I would still play it, as there is no downside to doing so.
May 20, 2020 10:09 a.m.
Guys, I am sorry, I had taken a completely unaanounced hiatus from T/O and have not been able to follow through with the judging in any reasonable time frame. I will provide the feedback to everybody in the previous round as soon as possible, meanwhile, the new word seems to be great and I will consider how to reconcile the situation in the meantime.
May 20, 2020 5:29 a.m.
If Pauper is any consideration, the best common is Gurmag Angler, closely followed by Chainer's Edict. 1 mana 5/5s are the best! Pestilence and Dark Ritual are not good in the format are played in fringe decks.
My personal favorite black common is Tortured Existence.
May 20, 2020 5:24 a.m.
Flooremoji - I cannot understand the point - how can you say that companions are simultaneously taking every format over, transforming every format into a "play a companion or GTFO" ("Companions have taken over the meta, yes: But they haven't destroyed it. Even if 9/10 top decks have to play a companion, there are still 10 top decks").
Cards have been banned for much less 90%+ meta dominance.
Additionally, it is completely fair to compare this to other mechanics - heck, some have even compared this to the Extra deck in Yu-gi-oh and that is not that far off. Dredge is the start of the "graveyard-as-an-extra-hand" mechanics, phyrexian mana shatters the fundamental color wheel, etc. Game-breaking mechanics that became ubiquitous over multiple formats are worth comparing to the newest one.
" they will either stick around and we will adapt, or they will get banned/changed in a way that most players will be able to accept them." - given that they are already banned in several formats, most/all of them will be at some point.
Companions changed every format. There is no format where they are legal to play that is untouched by them. If a new card that comes out has to banned in a format like Vintage where there is no banlist basically, you done effed up.
May 20, 2020 5:19 a.m.
Companion is turning out to be a bad mechanic - looking at any MTG content site, most decks right now list three things as their naming convention - colors, archetype and companion. "Lurrus Grixis Death's Shadow", "Zirda Jeskai Cycling", etc.
Literally no mechanic has been so ubiquitous to change that. No mechanic should be. I do not think the mechanic should exist as is and Wizards have stated that they are willing to change how companion mechanic works if necessary.
Additionally, I would like to complain about Ikoria as a set - outside of companion and maybe the trilands, nothing in that set is actually good. If you exclude companions, the set has contributed almost nothing to formats in Magic.
Finally, I think Sam Black has managed back in the beginning of April to summarize all of the gripes of this issue:
May 20, 2020 2:38 a.m.
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