Why Does TotP Not Trigger From Itself When SoV Does?

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Posted on July 31, 2020, 11:44 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

I was very happy when WotC printed Terror of the Peaks in Core Set 2021, because it was a creature version of Warstorm Surge, meaning that it was far easier to abuse (most notably with Rite of Replication), although I was slightly displeased that its triggered ability does not trigger from itself entering the battlefield, especially considering that the triggered ability of Scourge of Valkas does trigger from itself entering the battlefield, so I am wondering why there is a difference in those two abilities.

My best guess is that the reason for which TotP does not trigger from itself is because it triggers from any creature, whereas SoV triggers only from dragons. What does everyone else say about that?

my guess is that it would just be that much more busted if it ETB'd with an extra 5 damage.

August 1, 2020 12:48 a.m.

LordBlackblade says... #3

Too much guaranteed value if Terror of the Peaks saw itself. Terror of the Peaks would be a 5/4 flyer plus guaranteed 5 damage on ETB. Meanwhile, Scourge of Valkas is a 4/4 flyer plus guaranteed 1 damage on ETB, which is a much more reasonable rate in a vacuum.

August 1, 2020 12:56 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #4

Also, scourge should theoretically be stronger, since it's mana cost is harder, however it deals less damage (unless you spent more red mana into it, which is a fair argument), is easier to remove, triggers on less creatures, and also doesn't trigger as much overall, and most likely would deal less damage per trigger.

The fact is Terror of the Peaks honestly doesn't need anything else, and adding any more could push it too high.

August 1, 2020 1:01 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #5

Omniscience_is_life, LordBlackblade, SynergyBuild, all of those are great arguments, but, if a player casts Rite of Replication and pays the kicker cost, Scourge of Valkas will actually deal more damage (180) than will Terror of the Peaks (125), even if TotP did trigger from itself entering the battlefield (150); or is the difference negligible at that point, since that much damage is usually sufficient to win the majority of games?

August 1, 2020 9:06 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #6

One other thing that annoys me is that both Scourge of Valkas and Warstorm Surge cause each creature to deal damage, but Terror of the Peaks causes only itself to deal damage; do you think that that was a deliberate choice by WotC, or merely a coincidence? Usually, that will not matter, except when the other creatures have deathtouch or lifelink, which I feel is a major omission by WotC.

August 1, 2020 9:09 a.m.

MagicMarc says... #7

Having the Terror of the Peaks be the source of damage is actually superior to the other cards you mention. For constructed deck building it has much more powerful applications than the other cards. TOTP only cares about the power of the next creature being > than opponent's life total when it ETB to produce lethal damage. Scourge needs x times a specific creature type > than opponent's life total to be lethal. Much weaker in application than TOTP. The surge applies 0 damage by itself while the TOTP can be a win condition by itself.

Even though it has a body, making it more vulnerable than the surge, Terror of the Peaks is still a much stronger play if it resolves.

August 1, 2020 12:08 p.m.

also, if a player casts an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with Scourge of Valkas out, they're dealing 15 less damage than if they had a Terror of the Peaks instead. It's just a way more versatile card, overall. And, I can assure you that every detail practically every card is on purpose, it isn't really fair to ask if this was a deliberate choice by WotC.

August 1, 2020 12:56 p.m.

LordBlackblade says... #9

DemonDragonJ: I think you’re focusing too much on the ceiling and what-ifs when you’re evaluating these cards. I feel it’s more important to look at the floor, as that is what you’ll get when that card is played at a minimum. By raising that floor too much (for instance if Terror of the Peaks saw itself) you potentially risk raising the ceiling to the point where you make a card that breaks the meta-game.

August 1, 2020 1:15 p.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #10

MagicMarc, Omniscience_is_life, I replaced a copy of Warstorm Surge with Terror of the Peaks in my Riku of Two Reflections EDH deck, because Riku can copy the terror. That deck also contains Winged Coatl, which, with the surge, would allow me to target and destroy any creature, a strategy that will not work with the terror; drawing both cards at the same time is unlikely, but it sill is very unfortunate that the dragon does not allow such tactics.

August 1, 2020 1:45 p.m.

DemonDragonJ that is unfortunate, but you can always just Pongify or Beast Within something instead, no combos needed

August 1, 2020 2 p.m.

plakjekaas says... #12

Just put a Basilisk Collar on your Terror of the Peaks and go nuts, that way you don't need to play other deathtouchers any more.

August 2, 2020 5:26 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #13

plakjekaas, yes, that is a great strategy, but I would need to draw both cards within several turns of each other in order to execute it.

August 2, 2020 8:27 a.m.

Tzefick says... #14

Chiming in a bit late, but the fact that Terror of the Peaks deals damage from itself, makes it possible to grant it abilities that further improves an already good ability.

Grafted Exoskeleton being a fan-favorite to be nasty at a table. The aforementioned Basilisk Collar is pretty good as well.

You could grant it Curiosity and get draws when pinging people's face.

Like LordBlackblade says, you seem to focus too much on a specific set of combos rather than the broad application between ToTP and Scourge of Valkas or Warstorm Surge when evaluating the two.

If you compare ToTP to SoV and consider anthem effects like say Crucible of Fire, then ToTP will see the increased stats but SoV wont. Of the two I think ToTP is definitely the stronger card overall. The fact that SoV in a combo shell is more effective is actually a good thing, because it means SoV has occasions where it can outshine ToTP, instead of ToTP just being a strictly better SoV.

August 7, 2020 9:54 a.m.

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