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I actually prefer today’s mulligan rule to Partial Paris. It forces you to build your deck knowing you cannot easily engineer a more perfect hand, making deckbuilding decisions just a touch more complex. It forces you to weigh the odds of mulligans - do you keep a hand of powerful early plays but light on lands? A heavy land hand, with a couple early plays and a win con? It’s not simply a matter of looking at each card and deciding whether you are likely to get something better than that specific card.

I will take added complexity in deckbuilding and a more complex opening hand decision over explosive early plays any day.

January 15, 2019 6 p.m.

Said on How is trample ......


Indestructible does not change anything. Trample does not care if the blocker would actually die, only that what would be a lethal amount is assigned. Same goes for Protection or other damage prevention effects.

January 15, 2019 noon

Said on How is trample ......


You are correct. In fact, there are very fringe reasons why an attacker might not want trample damage to carry over. One example I can think of: in a multiplayer game, Player A has a strong pillowfort (i.e. set of cards preventing them from being attacked) and 20 life. Player B has a Stuffy Doll linked to Player A. Player C has a 20/20 and is the attacking player. Player C can assign all the damage to Player B's Stuffy Doll , taking out Player A.

Or perhaps it is the case they have some sort of mirror effect, where you take damage when you deal damage to them, but you still want to attack and clear some of their creatures. Or it could be the case you presented--in order to have damage trample over, you have to assign lethal to all blocking creatures--here, it is better to assign everything to Vigor, even if it means foregoing some damage to the opponent's life total.

Or, perhaps Banding is in play. Banding allows the defending player to assign the attacking creatures blocked by the creature with banding's combat damage. so, if Player A's 1/1 with Banding blocks Player B's 20/20 with Trample, Player A can assign those 20 points of damage to the 1/1, such that none Trample over--Banding is a hard counter to Trample. (Promise not to nerd out over Banding broken).

Anyway, in general players will always have damage trample over, but it's worth knowing that is not a mandatory effect, just for those super rare situations where it is worth using.

January 15, 2019 11:17 a.m.

Said on How is trample ......


Anyway regardless of where Vigor is in the order (because damage is assigned simultaneously), each non-Vigor creature that blocked would still have their toughness worth of damage prevented and that amount of +1/+1 counters placed on them?

Not necessarily. They will have however much damage is assigned to them prevented and +1/+1 counters received.

You always have the option of assigning more than lethal damage.

So, your opponent could assign 33 damage to Vigor 's 6/6 body, and 0 to all the other blocking creatures. That would kill Vigor and prevent anyone else from receiving counters.

January 15, 2019 11 a.m.

crstisalie and SynergyBuild:

For fun, I often run EDH decks against decks from other formats. The EDH deck thinks it's playing an EDH game--it has 40 life, card in command zone, 100 card singleton, etc. The other deck, be it Modern, Legacy, etc. thinks its playing in its format, complete with a puny 20 life.

Matching relative power levels (tier 1 legacy vs. tier 1 commander), its surprisingly even in aggressive games. Extra life helps offset the consistency provided in 60 card, 4-of decks. 60-card Control decks tend to have an edge (hooray for multiple Force of Will s!), though their finishers might not be powerful enough to punch through 40 damage. Combo decks are vastly superior in 60 card, where you can reliably assemble them due to multiple copies of the combo pieces and best draw spells. Ultimately, Commander needs additional boons, such as twice the starting life total, to be competitive against 60-card constructed.

That's all to say, I agree with SynergyBuild - the appeal of Commander, or any singleton format, is that it is a tad more janky than other formats. You are much more reliant on what cards you draw, and can't reasonably expect to get that one card you desperately need. That means you have to constantly be thinking and adjusting on the fly, which makes for some fun games.

Part of what sets cEDH apart from casual EDH is a quest to minimize the jank, be it through expensive, efficient tutors or vicious card-draw packages.

January 15, 2019 10:53 a.m.

Said on How is trample ......


The two key rules here are that combat damage is dealt simultaneously (rule 510.2) and that the attacking player gets to choose how attacking creatures assign combat damage (rule 510.1) (caveat: Banding changes how Rule 510.1 works, but, unless you are interested in that disfavoured keyword, I'll refrain from nerding out over Banding).

Was each blocking creature supposed to take the full 33?

When assigning combat damage, you assign the total points of power for that creature (rule 510.1a)--so, the Taunting Elf will assign a total of 33 damage between blocking creatures.

How does trample effect this overall equation compared to if there was no trample?

Trample only applies if the Taunting Elf is able to deal the equivalent of lethal damage to each creature blocking it.

Here, let's say there is only 10/10, as well as Vigor (a 6/6) on the field. Though 10 damage will not kill the 10/10 due to Vigor 's prevention of damage effect, the Taunting Elf would still be allowed to assign 10 damage to the 10/10, 6 to the 6/6, and 17 to the defending player, as all blocking creatures received what would normally be damage.

Interesting related note, Deathtouch makes 1 single point of damage count for trample purposes. If the Taunting Elf had trample and deathtouch, it could assign 1 point to the 10/10, 1 point to the 6/6, and 31 points to defending player.

Can any creatures take no damage because the amount of toughness before them more than covered the damage?

Yes. Your opponent will get to decide which creatures take damage. If we have Vigor (6/6), then a 10/10, an 11/11, and a 12/12, they can divide the damage however they choose.

Generally, they should assign 6 damage to Vigor , killing it--the more "damage" they would assign to the other creatures, the more counters those other creatures would receive.

Would each blocking creature still deal full damage to Taunting Elf?

Yes. Blocking creatures deal damage simultaneously with attacking creatures.

all creatures that took damage got a number of +1/+1 counters equal to their toughness.

Not quite true. Vigor prevents other creatures from taking damage. In your hypothetical, the only creature that takes damage is Vigor itself, and Vigor 's ability does not allow it to get the counters.

January 15, 2019 10:35 a.m.


The library has no intrinsic value on its own. It has the potential for value, but, until actualised, that is all cards in the linrary are. Barring certain situations, you do not know I’d that top card is your 10th land or a much-needed Path to Exile .

Compare to other resources. Life is a more commonly attacked resource, frequently used with shocks/fetches to improve one’s mana. Cards on the battlefield and cards on the stack are realised or soon-to-be-realised. Cards in-hand are known quantities, ready for immediate use. Cards in the graveyard are also known and there is (barring some really old cards) no limit on where you can take cards from.

The library sits there. It provides no relevant information on its own. Yes, it might have the card you want next, but only the Fates know. Until those cards are put into another zone, be it your hand, graveyard, battlefield, or stack, they are little more than statistical probabilities.

To attack the library is to attack these statistical probabilities, not a resources your opponent is using or can swiftly use.

You are not actually denying them either cards or mana - you are denying them an unknown. Yes, you might mill away the card they need; you might also mill away a bunch of useless cards, moving their bomb to the next draw.

To add another problem Petitioners face in Modern, that I previously failed to mention: Meddling Mage . Meddling Mage is commonly played in Humans, itself a common deck. This is not a card you can easily sideboard against, particularly since you have 25 potential dead cards in your proposed deck.

You say “Forget about Glimpse the Unthinkable ” and that mono-Blue will be “much faster”, but you have offered no evidence in support of said claim.

To the contrary, I have offered a deck with a potential turn 4 victory. I have presented, currently unanswered, difficulties with control-based mill.

By all means, I would be happy to be proven wrong. In case the long-winded analysis has not said it for me, I love mill, and would like to see it be viable. Fraying Sanity helped a lot, but it is still a bit too fragile.

Also, contrary to your statement:

I said Persistent Petitioners would make Mill "viable" not competitive - there is a big difference.

You actually said it would be viable in every format, “especially Modern”, evidencing a belief mill was more than simply viable. You went on to say mill would “shine” in a follow-up post. Without actual evidence, you claimed the new mill deck would be faster than the “lame” current one, which would put it a turn-three victory. That would be downright fantastic and possibly competitive for a Modern deck, if it worked.

So, pardon me if I think your backpeddling is a misrepresentation of your previous posts.

With regards to price, it is going up for the same reason Shadowborn Apostle is decently priced. Casual players love cards like this, but they need 20 to 40 copies (depending on format). As such, even if there is a small quantity of buyers, each is ordering 4 to 10, people’s worth of playsets. Supply is low, demand, in terms of quantity of cards, is high, and prices increase as a result.

January 15, 2019 9:04 a.m.

Rabid_Wombat - Modern Mill is a burn deck, you're just burning their library, rather than their life total. Let's look at how a typical mill game plays out, and you will see how, despite not attacking life, it is an aggro playstyle, rather than control:

Turn 1: Land + Hedron Crab Turn 2: Land + Glimpse the Unthinkable + Hedron Crab trigger for 13 mill for turn. Turn 3: Land + Fraying Sanity + Hedron Crab trigger + Fraying Sanity trigger for 6 mill for turn; 19 total. Turn 4: Land + Breaking + Mind Sculpt + Hedron Crab trigger + Fraying Sanity trigger for 36 mill for turn, 55 mill total, and a victory on next draw once you factor in an opening hand.

To pull off this turn 4 win consistently, your deck is going to be running 4x Hedron crabs, 4x Fraying Sanity ; 20x "burn" spells ( Glimpse the Unthinkable , Mind Funeral , Breaking / Entering ; Mind Sculpt and Archive Trap ), 8x draw spells ( Thought Scour and Visions of Beyond ). That leaves you 20 coloured lands and 4x Field of Ruin (to force Archive Trap ), making a round 60.

Persistent Petitioners is worse than every single card on that list. There is no room for four copies, let alone more. As such, it will make no difference in mill's Modern viability.

But wait, you say, what about mill as a control deck?

Control's goal is to attack valuable resources, leaving you in a better position for victory. The library, which mill attacks, is not a valuable resource--until actualized, those are just hidden cards with no intrinsic value. There is little synergy between these two strategies, leaving mill-control a vastly inferior option to mill-burn. 60 "life" is a lot more than 20, making it far more likely that you run out of control resources before your opponent runs out of cards.

Even in such a deck, you would still not want Persistent Petitioners , as it would detract from your absolutely necessary control cards and high-value mill cards.

With regards to Ensnaring Bridge , Darkshadow327 accurately surmised my point. The only benefit Petitioners provide to mill is a mid-sized blocker. Ensnaring Bridge is far better against aggressive creature-based decks, making it superior to Petitioners for defence.

Just like in a burn deck, you do not want to mainboard Ensnaring Bridge --it's only really useful against hyper aggressive decks that risk overwhelming you before you can finish milling. Against slower decks, those three mana would be better spent going for a faster kill.

The reason mill doesn't shine in Modern is because, as much as it pains me to say this, it is a bad archetype. It's burn, but you're attacking a 60-life resource, rather than a 20-life one. Further, your "burn" spells can only attack an opponent, whereas Lightning Bolt can take out an enemy in a pinch. With regards to your point about mitigation of burn vs. mitigation of mill, many decks do not run lifegain, and a good burn deck

Darkshadow327 - one correction to your post, you can mill for 12 the turn you've fielded four copies of Petitioners. As there is no symbol in the mill-12 ability, summoning sickness does not apply.

January 15, 2019 1:36 a.m.

Rabid_Wombat - I disagree that Persistent Petitioners will make a splash in Modern. A well-tuned mill deck can already end the game on turn 3-4 through powerful mill cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable . Persistent Petitioners might shore up one of mill’s weaknesses, lack of board presence, but a sideboarded Ensnaring Bridge is better than a large number of mediocre blockers.

I always like to compare mill to burn since both play similar to one another.

Would a 1/3 that read “you can have as many copies; tap four of these to deal 5 damage to target player” make a big splash? I think not. It is vastly less efficient than Lightning Bolt and friends, and sideboarding Ensnaring Bridge

January 14, 2019 9:31 p.m.

You are correct. Cards that prevent casting based on CMC look to CMC while on the stack.

January 14, 2019 9:09 p.m.

It would seem I did--thanks for pointing this out. I suppose it's now my turn to say "please don't think less of me"!

January 14, 2019 4:55 p.m.

Said on Scary G's Legion...


While not released yet, Thought Collapse will be an improvement over Cancel .

Buried Alive allows you to "tutor" three creatures to your graveyard.

Reanimate , Animate Dead , and Dance of the Dead all allow you to take advantage of cards in either your own graveyard or your opponents'.

January 14, 2019 3:42 p.m.

Though this question has been answered, I wanted to make one correction to Gidgetimer's follow-up response on the off-chance anyone is reading this thread in the future. To clarify, it is not a substantive change to the answer to the question itself, but rather the dicta regarding cards with variable CMCs.

There are actually two times a converted mana cost on a card can change. The first is spells with in the cost, such as those Gidgetimer mentioned. The second is split cards. These could be cards with Aftermath , cards with fuse , or generic split cards .

While in any zone other than the stack (Library, hand, graveyard, exile, and ante--there are no split cards that can be on the battlefield or in the command zone), the CMC is equal to the total casting cost of the card. Using our three above-linked options: Appeal / Authority would have a CMC of 3 when in non-stack zones; Alive / Well would have a CMC of 5; and Assault / Battery would have a CMC of 5.

When on the stack, the CMC is equal to the total cost of the sides being cast. For Armed / Dangerous , this will be either 1 or 2, depending on which portion is being cast. For Assault / Battery , his will be either 1 or 4, depending on the side being cast.

It gets a bit funky with Fuse, as there are multiple options. Alive / Well will have a CMC of four if only Alive is cast, a CMC of 1 if only Well is cast, and a CMC of 5 if both halves are fused together.

Anyway, sorry to post on a closed thread--I just wanted to make sure all the information was available.

January 14, 2019 3:05 p.m.

If you are looking for a card to keep it from dying, you can use a spell that pumps its toughness, such as Giant Growth . This will ensure the Crawler has 3 toughness when it would otherwise be a 0/0.

Like Kogarashi’s suggestion of tucking Crawler away, you would have to proactively pump crawler before Manabound resolves.

January 14, 2019 12:46 p.m.

Scattered Groves is pretty bad in Modern. The possibility of cycling it is not worth the risk you have to have a land enter the battlefield tapped. I would recommend Temple Garden , as it is both a fantastic land and relatively inexpensive due to a recent reprint.

RedmundR2's suggestions are all very good. I would recommend four copies of Path to Exile ; four of a mana dork (term for creature that produces mana), and 2 copies of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx . Beyond your mana dorks, I would not invest too heavily in Green, as that is going to weaken your devotion.

Wall of Omens is a decent little 2 drop, which replaces itself in your hand and provides a decent blocker in the early game.

You're still going to have some problems, as Angels are not the strongest tribe in Modern, but a stronger removal package, some early blockers, and some ramp will certainty help.

January 14, 2019 12:08 p.m.

Legacy is not really my forte, but I'll bite since you have not received a response yet.

Legacy is brutally fast, and GAAIV comes down a bit too late to make a difference. Though he both taxes and ramps, four mana means you needed to accelerate him onto the board, wasting precious time and cards in-hand.

Compare to a very successful Legacy deck--Death and Taxes. D&T seeks to drop powerful denial pieces early, such as the two-mana Thalia, Guardian of Thraben , and inexpensive threats, such as Stoneforge Mystic into Batterskull . Cards like Aether Vial are critical, allowing one to flood the board with these high-value, low-cost creatures, free from the threat of Force of Will .

GAAIV does not fit well into this strategy. It costs too much for Aether Vial , and there's no significant other ramp.

That said, if you have a decklist, I'd be curious what you are running, and would be happy to take a look.

Also, you should always run 60 cards. There's never a great reason to run 65, as that just decreases your odds of getting your necessary cards.

January 14, 2019 10:36 a.m.

DemonDragonJ and ZendikariWol:

With regard to Knight of the Last Breath, I think it is fine how it is costed. As both FSims81 and Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor, you have to take into account the needs of Limited, not just Constructed. I think I have seen both of you ask "why is X costed Y" a couple times, and the answer is almost always "limited."

Let's break this card's cost down:

  1. Limited needs some powerful cards at uncommon. Cards that, when you are drafting, you have a reasonable chance of seeing, and can anticipate with your picks. These cards should be highly costed, as it will prevent anyone from drafting the card if it is not necessary to their deck, as well as limiting their effectiveness if someone happens to get multiple copies.

  2. Limited games often result in stalled boards. This card single handedly can break a stalled board. You can leave creatures open for blocking, then sacrifice your creatures on your endstep to get evasive fliers. A 1/1 with flying is pretty boring in Constructed; in Limited, however, flying is at a premium, and you can slowly chip out a victory through a large number of small fliers.

  3. Simic, Azorius, and Orzhov all have the potential to be slow, control-based guilds. I expect a number of stalled games, and thus a stallbreaker becomes particularly useful.

  4. You can sacrifice your non-evasive creatures with Afterlife, and just get a whole hoard of flying creatures, quickly turning the tide of the battle.

  5. As mentioned above, even if this card is removed, you still get 3 evasive bodies out of it, putting your opponent on a clock.

I would hazard a guess that Wizards, in playtesting, tried out a couple different costs for Knight's mana cost and ability cost, and, through extreme amount of testing, determined the final values.

Anyway, I will likely be playing Orzhov at prerelease, and I will be quite satisfied if I have a Knight in my deck.

January 11, 2019 3:34 p.m.

Rzepkanut - I think the most notable part of that flavour text is not what it says, but what it does not. Liliana is also on Ravnica, but Bolas seems to be keeping her allegiance a closely guarded secret.

Further, Tezzeret not being mentioned is curious. I suspect this means Tezzeret is not on Ravnica, and thus might escape whatever fate befalls Bolas. He is a pretty popular bad guy, so it makes sense to keep him readily available.

January 11, 2019 1:08 a.m.

Having it be for a fixed in the graveyard would be a nightmare. Turn 1, discard Golgari Grave-Troll, turn 2, Dredge 6 and pay a couple times for a significant number of tokens.

January 10, 2019 7:52 p.m.

SynergyBuild - While every past planeswalker has been printed at Rare (barring those in Lorwyn, which predate Mythic Rare), that does not preclude Wizards from making walkers at different rarities in a future set. If Wizards wanted to heavily push planeswalkers, there is nothing to stop them from printing a number of rare planeswalkers (or common for that matter, but I think that would get old pretty quickly).

I don't expect that to happen, and think a large influx of new walkers could be problematic for Standard, and might get old pretty quickly in Limited. However, I will also not be surprised if this set is a planeswalkers matter set, as we have seen with all other permanent types.

January 10, 2019 2:01 p.m.


240 Card Modern Battle of Wits

Modern cdkime


Mr. Smith Goes to Ravnica

Modern cdkime


Pinball Wizard - Karona, False God EDH

Commander / EDH cdkime


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