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Said on New Alara...

#1

Point A is fair. Most standard decks are running some 4-cmc creatures, but the key difference is their deck is not reliant on those creatures to function properly. It’s not that you have high-cmc creatures, even that you have a disproportionately large amount of them, that makes this mechanic weak. It’s that you need them. The difference is whether your decks ends the game with these creatures or starts its game when these creatures are played.


“Wanted [the soulbond] to be a restrictive pairing” is not what I want at all. I was suggesting that creatures who pair with specific types of creatures is ground worth exploring. I think, in fact, that most of them will just be plain ‘ol Soulbond.


Also, point of order, Caretaker plays into very different space than exploit. In fact, this comparison highlights a problem I didn’t notice at first.

Sacrificing creatures is classic Sultai- stronger than caretaker because it puts cards into the graveyard. But is boincing your creatures classic Naya? No. Bouncing anything is blue, and bouncing your things is usually Bant (or some combo of colors therein. This mechanic actually breaks the color pie...


I suppose you’re right about the power level of Soulbond- which invalidates my power level argument. So what do I have to whine about now?

I guess it was never the power level, but more the restrictiveness of power 5 or greater that bugged me. For it to work, your deck has to be really linear, just pay-into and payoff. Linear decks are fun to play for a little while, but doing the same thing over and over isn’t fun for long. That is the burden of a mechanic that tells you how to play it.

With Soulbond, however, there’s a lot of varying things you can do. Play it in Voltron, go wide with a ton of different soulbonders, use one you like and build around it, there are a lot of options. It’s much more open-ended than power 5 or greater. That makes it more fun to play, and infinitely less parasitic than the above.


The bond between gargantuan and worshipper is what separates Naya from Jund. It’s the order that stops the circle of live from becoming ravenous predation.

Also, here is my source on the Naya being least popular thing.

June 19, 2019 1:27 p.m.

I don’t know how to feel about Golos. The card is super sweet but I’m just not sure what to do with it.

June 18, 2019 10:55 p.m.

PhotogenicParasympathetic

Me: Scout tribal, that’s cute, that’s funny.

Me: scryfall searches for scouts

THERE ARE 140 SCOUTS!?

June 18, 2019 12:41 p.m.

Said on New Alara...

#4

That’s fair- I suppose I didn’t do a great job of explaining. Soulbond has a very similar flavor, in this case, to Caretaker. It emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between worshiper and worshipped. As a result, on many of the cards, the pairing creature will get less of a benefit than the creature it’s paired with.

So the natural next question is “if not for flavor, why Soulbond rather than Caretaker?” The reason is sort of a two-part answer. First-off, it’s too similar to old Naya. But more importantly, it doubles down on what made Naya the least popular shard- that is, that “power 5 or greater” is really tough to secure because most creatures in that range cost four or more mana, which basically disqualifies it from most competitive environments. It’s just too slow to be functional.

Soulbond, comparatively, is very versatile, in terms of design space and in terms of playability. I can design a card for casual Commander, competitive modern, two-headed giant, whatever.


In the end, though, it may also come down to this: if I have to choose between reprinting a beloved mechanic and printing a tweaked version of a disliked mechanic, which is the more rational choice?

June 17, 2019 8:06 p.m.

Rienne, Angel of Rebirth makes my Niv-Mizzet Reborn muscles twitch. But it also looks like it’s gonna be super fun in commander.

June 17, 2019 11:45 a.m.

Said on New Alara...

#6

1) I, too, am NOT with the text formatting (or, rather, lack of any formatting ability) on tappedout. It sucks.

2) Okay. Let’s go through these mechanics one by one, because while I’m not sold on any yet, I really appreciate you taking the time for this massive comment, and for me to not address most of it would be a disservice.

Caretaker: This might need some adjustment because as is, the mechanic is extremely weak. Not only does it lean much harder into the lack of versatility (that is, the requirement that you be casting massive creatures) that made Naya the least favorite shard in the first place, but it also returns your creatures to your hand. That’s loss of card advantage. I can see a lot of times where you have to hold up your biggest threat because you just need blockers on the ground.

However- the flavor of this mechanic makes me think of another, which might actually be really neat: Soulbond. We’ll... get into that later?

Gargantuan: I love pushing into new design space- expanding on mechanics that came before. That’s why I love the idea of new cards with Soulbond, Haunt, Ferocious. They’re such nonlinear mechanics with so much untapped potential. And while I love how you’re exploring new stuff to do with it, Gargantuan is exactly what Naya’s mechanic was in the first set, just as an ETB trigger in this instance. It’s a fun, and very open-ended idea, but it is exactly what Naya did before- that is, “power 5 or greater” stuff.

Beast Tribal: I’m already on it, just not on such a wide scale. I’m 150% bent on putting a beast tribal card on Naya. You’ve set me thinking on what beast tribal needs, though, and I appreciate that.

Now, Soulbond. If you’re not familiar, Soulbond is worded like this:

Soulbond (You may pair this creature with another unpaired creature when either enters the battlefield. They remain paired for as long as you control both of them.)

Since Avacyn Restored, we have not seen one Soulbond creature. Why? Here’s what Mark Rosewater had to say on the Storm Scale (if you don’t know what the storm scale is, I suggest you check it out. it rates the likelihood of mechanics to return):

Soulbond's biggest strike against is it's a complex mechanic. Many players like it, though. and if you can follow what's going on, it has good gameplay. I really don't know if this mechanic will ever return, but its popularity makes me think there's a chance.

So you see where I’m going with this? If X is paired with a creature with power Y or less, ...

Maybe some will be normal Soulbond, some will care about power/toughness, maybe one or two will care about beasts.

Thank you, Tzefick. Your mechanics were solid works in progress but they got me where I needed to be. I’m dropping Metalcraft and slotting Soulbond in.

June 17, 2019 11:37 a.m.

Said on Themes for Next ......

#7

I was going to bring up the whole pump spell = ritual thing but I felt like I’d talked too much already.

June 17, 2019 2:33 a.m.

Said on Themes for Next ......

#8

That, Funkydiscogod, is because Sakiko 1) was printed in the vastly overlooked Kamigawa set. 2) is 6 mana. 3) is a 3/3 for 6 mana- meaning she dies to anything stronger than a Shock .

Mark of Sakiko is a 2-mana enchantment right? So what would it cost to put that enchantment on a LOT of creatures? How would you adequately cost them? That ability was strong enough to cost 2 mana without the body, would a 3-mana 2/2 be appropriate? Cuz that’s a pathetic body and will be blocked into oblivion. But, any larger and the casual circles would just be Pillage mirror matches. A 3/3 for 3 that generates mana when it damages a player? Competitive? No. But in circles with a lower average power level this would rule the world.

June 16, 2019 9:55 p.m.

Said on Themes for Next ......

#9

Problems with that are... numerous, gupp7.

Frozen: This one isn’t mechanically hard to grasp but it would need some sort of counter. It also may create a bit of snow confusion- especially if the two mechanics appear in the same set. The biggest problem with this, however, is how oppressive and unpleasant this mechanic feels. What screams fun more than having your permanents taken out of commission in a punishingly permanent fashion? Literally anything, short of lantern control.

Toughness Matters: Oh boy. First of all, the competitive crowd would NOT be happy with that. It would probably go over even worse than power-based mechanics. In fact, let’s take a look at power-based mechanics as a comparison. What was the least popular of Alara’s shards? Naya. Ferocious is at a 6 on the storm scale, even though the development team is fine with it and it plays well, it was wildly unpopular. Formidable is a 9 for the same reason. I can’t imagine toughness would fare better.

Glamour: This seems derivative of Heroic, but more capacity to be broken and it’s been done a lot more. There are a ton of creatures that copy spells, and none of them make anyone think “this should be a keyword”. I don’t know that anyone thinks it should. So what if the fae interacted with instants and sorceries in a different way. Maybe some of them only copy spells cast by you, maybe some copy spells cast by opponents, or spells of a given color, maybe one bounces itself when targeted, or draws you a card? What I’m saying is there’s more to be explored with this mechanic, but as is it doesn’t feel like it needs to be a keyword. It feels like one creature, not an entire faction.

Pillage: Dear sweet, merciful God, this would be broken. SO broken. Just use raid, for fuck’s sake, don’t turn all your creatures into Neheb, the Eternal ! There’s a reason he’s 5 mana and a mythic rare legendary creature!! So you can’t have more than 1 and won’t get him in draft, is why! The amount of mana this ability would generate is legitimately bat-shit crazy. And bat-shit crazy amounts of mana often leads to doing things that shouldn’t be done until many, many turns down the line. If I deal 4 damage with a Pillage creature on turn 4, I can play Ulamog's Crusher . Do you understand how crazy that is?? These creatures would have to be so weak for their mana cost that they would be unplayable if they were to be balanced. No thank you.

Wyrmkin: So this is literally just a narrower version of Enrage. Was it intended that way? Because if so, no one’s gonna play it. Enrage is already not a particularly strong mechanic, you do NOT need to water it down more.

June 16, 2019 8:26 p.m.

Said on Angles blood pact...

#10

This looks like a super flavorful Regna, the Redeemer + Krav, the Unredeemed commander. Also yes, I know, I’m the worst but Angel not Angle (see the deck title)

June 14, 2019 11:31 a.m.

Said on Omnath Cruel Gruul...

#11

That is fair, Frisbee. Good points.

June 13, 2019 4:33 p.m.

Said on Omnath Cruel Gruul...

#12

Hey idk if you know this and are playing her anyway just cuz she’s kind of a bomb card, but Chandra, Flamecaller ’s elementals don’t die. They’re exiled on the end step.

June 13, 2019 3:41 p.m.

Said on Ping pong artist...

#13

If someone asked me to describe my permission deck’s worst nightmare, this is the list I would show them. Well built, sir.

June 13, 2019 9:20 a.m.

Said on Weeb noises...

#14

If you make this a Yuriko commander deck and play a bunch of ninjas alongside cards with an “enters the battlefield” ability, you can recur their ETB triggers if they can attack unblocked.

Assuming you don’t want to do that (I’ve heard your opinions on commander) you could play a few Changeling Outcast , a few Cunning Evasion , and definitely 4 Ninja of the Deep Hours ! Card draw for days! Smoke Shroud is pretty strong for things remaining on the battlefield. Door of Destinies , Kindred Discovery , and Vanquisher's Banner are all very solid for creatures you’re casting over and over.

June 13, 2019 9:17 a.m.

Said on Early look at ......

#15

You’re all wrong. Dylan and Last_Laugh, there is a place mythic Chandra is gonna shine. Two-headed giant.

Two-headed giant is a casual format, and mythic Chandra is a casual card. She’s slow. It’s true. But with the shared life total, her +1 is actually going to be dealing 2 damage per turn, and with the format’s relative speed (compared to Commander, where she’ll be basically useless) more and smaller creatures means her -2 is relevant. And what the -2 won’t hit, the -X will surely take down.

Now what 2-headed giant deck? I... don’t really know. Perhaps red friends, top of the curve after Sarkhan the Masterless ? Mardu or Rakdos or Jund aristocrats? Who knows man.

June 12, 2019 2:08 a.m.

Said on Early look at ......

#16

Dylan I really like mythic Chandra, but I’d agree rare is certainly the most competitive.

June 11, 2019 6:46 p.m.

Said on Early look at ......

#17

My only stipulation is that they do this with other planeswalkers down the line- whether that be one per core set or in cycles like they used to do with core set walkers.

June 11, 2019 4:11 p.m.

Said on Early look at ......

#18

Actually, I... kinda like this. Hear me out! Don’t whip out the torches and pitchforks yet- I definitely see the follies of this creative decision as well. But.

I actually like this better than the way it was done in Origins, for two reasons.

1) Flip conditions weren’t necessarily flavorfully accurate. All of them kinda made sense, but none of them were like “oh, I can see that character’s evolution through these mechanics!” This shows us three different points in the character’s history. I would say that’s more interesting and more telling of the characters than just flipping into an older version of them.

2) This is a chandra you’re likely to get as a new player. It’s unclear whether WAR has changed walkers to multi-rarity for good, but I doubt it. However, if just the core sets every year have uncommon walkers, then new players can see these interesting characters, play with them, and perhaps most importantly, know what the hell a planeswalker is and how they function. This is going to be very exciting for the newbies. I should know, I’m teaching four little kiddos how to play right now! They love planeswalkers, cuz planeswalkers are cool. And having an uncommon one of their favorite guy? They would love that.

June 11, 2019 2:32 p.m.

That is, Mana Severance , GooseLordinator.

And if you want to keep running Preordain and being all “fair” and stuff, you’d still be best off, I think, with either Thought Scour or Mission Briefing .

June 11, 2019 1:17 a.m.

Wait, people aren’t playing Nature's Lore and Farseek ?? I play a lot of Cultivate/Kodama’s Reach but I still play the other two.

June 10, 2019 3:44 p.m.

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