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Said on UB: LOTR...


Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor - Personally, I would have liked to see less lazy design. A lot of these feel like they were ripped right from this site’s Card Creation Thread, made by someone who had a decent understanding of the character, but a really good challenge they wanted to post, so they slapdashed together a card so they could rush to post the thing they actually wanted.

Take Tom Bombadil’s card. He isn’t really a Saga focused character - he knows a lot, to be sure, but he has decidedly separated himself from the world and its stories, beyond the small plot of land he patrols.

More importantly, we do not know what he is - Tolkien intentionally did not want to ruin the sense of wonder and mystery. But we do know one thing - the only time Tolkien really chimed in on that demands was when someone implied he might be a God, and Tolkien said that interpretation was incorrect. Wizards, of course, went with the only wrong answer on the card’s subtype.

It’s things like that which make me think this set was designed by some really ardent fans, but mostly a lot of casual fantasy nerds who have read the books once or twice and enjoyed them, but mostly just wanted to get their jobs done.

Abaques - You are slightly incorrect on your Balrog facts - the writings which indicate entire hosts of Balrog exist also post-date the margin note which says the number probably fell between three and seven. That note was found in one of Tolkien’s drafts which never became part of his published canon, while descriptions of balrog armies can be found in the later-written Silmarillion.

The reality is that there is no great answer on how many there might have been. The Silmarillion might have been both part of the published canon and the last word on their number, but it is an intentionally inaccurate book. Tolkien purposefully set out to make a full mythology - and as anyone who has studied Greek mythology knows, every single work contains their own interpretations on myth. Trying to count the Balrog’s number is like asking “How many Greek gods were there?” You just cannot really know, as different sources will give you different answers.

It also is irrelevant to the Legendary question. Durin’s Bane is legendary because he is a figure of Legend. Gothmog (the Balrog) would be as well (if a card could be made for him - we will not see one). Any of the others, be it five or five hundred, likely would not - their names were lost to history and, much as every Angel is not Legendary, every Maiar would not be either (Maiar operate in a space akin to angels in Tolkien’s lore, with the Valar acting in a space of archangels).

June 3, 2023 10:07 a.m.

Said on UB: LOTR...


I’ll be honest, as a major LotR fan, I think the flavour has been mediocre at best. A lot of the cards feel lazy - “hobbits like food, we’ll just do good mechanics”; “this person does combat, let’s staple some combat on it”; “this person travels a lot, so let’s go with a mediocre landfall ability.” Not to mention the incredibly ignorant typing on Bombadil.

There are a few standouts which do a good job meshing mechanics and the source material, but, on the whole, it feels like a Magic set where they slapped some LotR names on regular Magic cards.

Mechanically, super not thrilled with the Ring - that kind of outside the game mechanic (like Dungeons and Attractions) leads to poor gameplay and annoyances to opponents.

That said, the flavour on non-creatures has been pretty decent, and the art has been fantastic.

June 1, 2023 11:14 p.m.

Said on Starting a 5e …...


With those stats, the world can be your oyster - you can play whatever you want to play, including something like Monk or Eldritch Knight Fighter, which really want three stats (most classes only care about one or two).

Even something mono-stated like Wizard benefits from those skills - you could go heavy into Int, while still getting Con and Dex for your armor, HP, and concentration saves. Plus, everything else still increases survival because those stats might be used to save from debilitating effects.

All told, just choose something that you want to play - everything can find some use for those numbers.

May 31, 2023 6:18 p.m. Edited.

The deck description looks real bad - it is poorly written and frequently provides unhelpful commentary.

Like with most all AI writings, we are at a stage where I expect folks might start using it for these purposes (though I think for something like deck descriptions, it will not become the norm anytime soon), but AI tech is not sufficiently competent that it can sound like an intelligent human.

May 31, 2023 12:38 p.m.

Said on D20 solo play …...


This thread was moved to a more appropriate forum (auto-generated comment)

May 27, 2023 9:47 p.m.

Said on Cube idea, good …...


Only from analysis, but I feel fairly confident in that analysis. Consider:

  • The average ante card is likely to hit a land 42.5% of the time (17/40 - a fairly standard land base in Limited). Of those, you’re very likely to hit a basic land - which you could have gotten out of the basic box anyway.

  • Even in a colourless heavy meta, your odds of hitting a colourless are going to be pretty low. The odds you hit a colourless card which also improves your strategy or also debilitates your opponent’s deck are pretty low (and the odds of debilitating your opponents deck being worthwhile for you - meaning you hit the card in game one or two - are even lower).

The odds just are not on the side of Ante being fun, and that’s before we look at the cards themselves:

  • Amulet of Quoz either turns the game into a literal coin flip or is just exiling a single card from the top of an opponent’s library. Either it is a troll card if it resolves which can cause issues with folks twiddling their thumbs waiting for rounds to end or it is a mediocre mill card someone spent 6 mana for.

  • Bronze Tablet - maybe playable. Maybe. It is a ten mana theft piece that allows your opponents to take something back from you. That means for it to be playable, you must be in the position where you can play a 6-mana artifact, and activate it (either that turn or by surviving a turn), have something on your opponent’s side worth taking, have nothing on your side better than what you would take, and be in a position where your opponent won’t just take back what you stole. There’s a lot of things that must go right to make the card playable.

  • Contract from Below - Arguably the most powerful card ever printed in the entire game, this has no place in your cube. It’s just too good, especially in 40 card decks. Every time it is played, it is likely to be the game decider all by itself.

  • Darkpact - interacts badly with the math above. Odds are nothing will be worth claiming from ante, making this a three mana card just sitting about doing nothing in your hand.

  • Demonic Attorney - Really bad card with the above math. You’re spending 3 mana to very likely get something completely useless to you into ante.

  • Jeweled Bird - One mana for something that can only recover a card you likely can afford to lose. It would feel great if you got unlucky with what you ante, but otherwise it is almost always going to be a dead card.

  • Rebirth - Awful, awful card for limited. This stretches out games and can interfere with the timing of rounds.

  • Tempest Efreet - Again, the math is bad for this card, particularly since you’re going into an unknown zone and your opponent goes into the choice with perfect knowledge of their risk.

  • Timmerian Fiends - In an artifacts matters cube where there is heavy artifact recursion, this might be playable. Still, it requires a very specific set of circumstances for someone to draft into and make it worthwhile.

I should probably add the caveat that some players might find it fun, even if the math makes it very, very clear that the Ante cards are all traps (excepting Contract, which, again, is just too darn good).

May 22, 2023 4:09 p.m.

Said on Balaam__...


I do not handle any of the mechanical side of things - you might want to post on the bugs thread in the Tappedout forum and see if anyone there can help you.

May 21, 2023 9:32 p.m.

MTG Decks

Pinball Wizard - Karona, False God EDH

Commander / EDH Caerwyn


240 Card Modern Battle of Wits

Modern Caerwyn


Mr. Smith Goes to Ravnica

Modern Caerwyn


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