My name is Justin, and I work for Escapist Magazine.
Like most folks I've played Magic on and off over the years. It's only been recently that a more competitive fire has been stirring. Moving past routinely getting prizes at FNM, I've Top 8'ed some PTQs and made into money at a few smaller events, it's been a slow climb but I'm enjoying seeing myself progress. I doubt I'll ever see myself on the Pro Tour, but I still like the environment of competitive magic.
Recently I've been trying to branch out from my aggro roots, see what it's like on the other sides and learn how they tick more fully. Playing control, tempo and combo in various formats.
|Avg. deck rating||5.33|
|Favorite formats||Standard,Commander / EDH,Modern|
|Venues||Atomic Empire, Gaming Underground, Event Horizon Games, Game Theory|
|Last activity||5 hours|
Your opponent is incorrect. Persist triggers like any other ability, it doesn't happen immediately without using the stack. Your opponent will sacrifice Glen Elendra Archmage as part of the cost to put the ability on the stack. Presist will then trigger and be added to the stack above that. Once you're finally given priority then Stifle is cast targeting the ability. If everyone passes then the stack starts to resolve.
Stifle resolves countering the ability.
Persist resolves putting Glen Elendra Archmage back in play with a -1/-1.
Because the stack only resolves when both players pass over it, your opponent does have the opportunity to activate Glen Elendra Archmage again if they so choose.
Lightning Bolt resolves, if they didn't activate a second time.
Yes. The chances that your one Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth will mess up the colors you need on board is much higher than the chances that your one Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth will be relevant for letting you tap a Mana Confluence or fetch without taking damage.
Your effectively cutting a colored source to gain some life. It would be equivalent to running a Radiant Fountain in your deck.
Additional stuff worth considering - Ghitu Encampment , Tormented Hero , Vampire Lacerator , Goblin Deathraiders , Goblin Wardriver , Keldon Marauders , Ruthless Cullblade , Spike Jester , Skinbrand Goblin , Varchild's War-Riders , Archetype of Aggression , Ashenmoor Gouger , Countryside Crusher , Goblin Rabblemaster , Lifebane Zombie , Moriok Replica , Obsidian Battle-Axe , Aysen Crusader , Beetleback Chief , Jeska, Warrior Adept , Ogre Battledriver , Paragon of Fierce Defiance and Paragon of Open Graves .
There's no ideal aggro deck with some expected curve of creature numbers at predesignated slots. Even in the realm of beatdown there are many different flavors. Like sligh decks that will often employ basically nothing by one drops or Naya is often know for going to little higher up the curve.
In general you just want a good curve overall, trending more towards the low end, so that you can deploy the maximum amount of threats each turn. Your average aggro deck is also going to be closer to 30 creatures than it is to 20. Three color aggro decks are typically on the clunkier side of things.
As for Mardu vs Naya, a lot of that will probably depend more on how the format shakes out. My gut makes me think that Mardu probably has better support and a deeper pool of cards to pull from.
While the card is certainly seeing play, which ultimately drives the demand. Nissa, Worldwaker , and to the smaller extent cards like Goblin Rabblemaster , are the market trying to equalize out the sets value to the pack value. If there's literal no value in a pack of M15 then less packs get opened, when less packs get opened cards that would normally be worth a smaller amount get inflated. I would expect Nissa, Worldwaker to see a a very similar pricing curve as something like Voice of Resurgence .
Apoptosis The way I see it, I think all those examples fall under my clause about incidental versus dependent. Though perhaps incidental was a poor choice of word. What I was getting at was that Restoration Angel , Thragtusk or the cards in your deck are all fine Magic cards on their own when played on an empty board or top decked. That they happen to synergies on some level is just gravy.
To use an theoretical example for this Mardu deck. I think it would be the difference between having Purphoros, God of the Forge and Mardu Ascendancy over say Goblin Rabblemaster and Butcher of the Horde . The former two do absolutely nothing on their own while the later enjoy having synergy along with just being decent enough cards by themselves as well. With midrange being pulled in a bunch of different directions I think it's prudent to look for power first and then let any synergy and favorable interactions split the decisions on cards.
Also, I think it's possible to make a super-synergistic decks as well, the recent constellation decks are a good example, but I'd argue that those are almost more akin to combo decks than midrange - they just get lumped into midrange because they are slower.
Often times there's design or development reasons for it as well. Lightning Strike was a functional reprint from Searing Spear before it, but the story goes that the card Lightning Strike original was got deemed to be too powerful. So rather than change it at last minute, which has historical lead to cards the likes of Tarmogoyf and Umezawa's Jitte , they went with something they knew wasn't going to upset the balance of either limited or constructed.
Just to play devil's advocate to the great advice already given. One of the upsides of seeking out foils however is that it's a better investment if you're ever considering selling the cards again down the line. Foils, in general, tend to hold value better. Even if a card falls out of favor in a list, the foil price might not swing as rapidly. For instance, both the regular and foil version of Knight of the Reliquary have lost about $3 off their price over the last few months, but $3 off $23 is a big difference from $3 off $8. Just something to keep in mind.