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I think the wording however should be "Do the following X times: ..."
Mechanically speaking, the card is interesting in multiplayer formats because you can do a lot of trading. However the gameplay side has me saying; Commander games already take a long time, there's no need to extend it by convoluting agreements of trading permanents arounds.
Mostly you would just snatch combo pieces from the combo deck and trade them for big beaters from the beater deck, so the combo deck is neutered because another player has their piece and the beater deck cannot utilize it and their beater got stolen.
From a power perspective after the aforementioned fix, you steal your first nonland permanent on 5 CMC, two on 7 and 3 on 9. If we compare it to say Agent of Treachery and Blatant Thievery , then the first nonland permanent is a bit cheap, the second is pretty on par, considering you can target the same player, and the third starts getting a little expensive from a quantity perspective. Quality however still means this has a place that makes it different from the two others.
To be completely honest I think it needs +1 on the CMC, as it is a mass stealing spell. So .
April 9, 2021 10:34 a.m.
enpc I wasn't in disagreement with the point you were making, only questioning the means to achieve it. And as you can see I agreed that the card needs some limits to be feasibly printed.
April 9, 2021 5:48 a.m.
enpc What a snarky reply :)
If you're using tutors I think you can find better ways to win than this.
I might be slightly tainted by Commander's singleton format where you can max have 3x 1 CMC changelings and up to 9x 2 CMC changelings. And within Grixis that accounts 4x of the 2 CMCs and all 3x 1 CMCs. Also lowkey forgot that Modern Horizons and apparently also Kaldheim made a few new cheaper changelings. The originals from Lorwyn were generally a lot more costly.
Overall it would seem easier to just play Arcane Adaptation , Maskwood Nexus , Conspiracy , or Xenograft along with some token generators to overcome the mana reduction aspect. Even with max reduction we're still looking at spending 7 mana in a single turn, all of them colored.
As for my own view on the card: It is an interesting idea, to cheat the planeswalker limitations akin to The Chain Veil . However it would seem that in certain control decks, even in Commander, it could gather too much upside, especially in a single turn.
I know the general rule is that when two planeswalkers are sitting comfortably on the field, that player is generally winning. I would rue the day you see two planeswalkers on the field, then slap down a third and this, pump them full of loyalty counters and ult three planeswalkers, either for a direct win or to lock down the game into arch enemy mode.
I would like to see more restraint on this.
We already have The Elderspell to amass loyalty counters on a planeswalker to rush their ultimate. The problem is that it primarily relies on your enemy also playing planeswalkers to be a feel good spell.
Perhaps you could change the active ability to a triggered ability?
"Whenever an opponent casts a spell you may pay 2 life. If you do, put a loyalty counter on a planeswalker you control."
That would give the opponent a say in how many times it can be utilized. If they choose not to cast anything, they are not advancing their own board state.
Perhaps you could put in a counter on the ability:
"Pay 4 life: Put a loyalty counter on target planeswalker you control, unless an opponent pays 4 life."
Then it becomes a battle of life totals. The payment from the opponent could be mana or a greater life amount than your payment.
You could utilize counters to limit it. Put a triggered ability on it that puts counters on it, and you remove one counter along with a life payment to put a loyalty counter on a planeswalker. Then there's a cap you have to work towards.
It also makes the card less of an immediate problem, because it HAS to take time to build up.
You can play around with balancing the mana cost accordingly to reflect that it is not an immediate possible game ender.
As it is, I think it has too high a ceiling and could make do with a little restraint.
April 9, 2021 5 a.m.
enpc Bunch of cheap changelings you say? Hmm, tell me when you find 'em :)
April 8, 2021 12:56 p.m.
wallisface It's a restriction in the 99 so he wont just be in every deck for being a colorless exile-machine that also has a hindrance toward enemy mana rocks.
It's true you can still run him as your Commander and have your 99 be almost exclusively mono green ramp, just to get him out on the field. However in his current iteration he would slow down colored mana rocks and start blasting a singular permanent/spell every round. That's not in itself a very game winning strategy, so it falls flat if that's all you do. The effects are still very powerful, but not by itself a win condition.
If you remove the tap requirement from the active ability, your mana count is the restriction on how many permanents/spells you can exile per round. Throw in a Seedborn Muse and no one likes you anymore. It's not a very fun experience when he can sit in the Command zone.
I see that you rectified in your later comments to show that there needs to be a limit on the exile ability. The simplest solution to allow him both be in combat and use his ability could be to grant Ugin Vigilance, so he can attack freely and be ready to blast something - while also having the option of just staying back to blast something. I think it would be a mistake (or rather a nerf) to tie it with an attack condition. That would remove the ability to reactively exile a spell on the stack or a nonland permanent on the board - especially on an opponent's turn.
As for how people deal with Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger : it takes two permanents out when cast and that's pretty much the end of it, until something makes it possible for the owner to cast it again - which generally only happens when it is exiled itself while being a Commander or if it is played in the 99 of a self-bouncing deckshell. Ugin's exile as an active ability has a much higher ceiling and it can hit spells. So if not kept in check Ugin could just dominate the board singlehandedly. Also there's still a significant difference between 8 and 10 mana in a single burst.
I think I read MagicMarc's comment on turning any land into Wastes and didn't see that you only had it hit nonbasic lands. Anyhow a Blood Moon effect would be more manageable, but I honestly don't know if Ugin needs the boost. Also Blood Moon is symmetrical - whereas Ugin doesn't even hit your lands, and wouldn't much care either way with his chromatic mana ability anyhow.
And like plakjekaas mentions, colorless can acquire similar ramp potential as green, but in magical Christmas land, they can acquire it MUCH faster.
Turn 1: Ancient Tomb into Mana Vault into Mana Crypt into Sol Ring into Grim Monolith into Ugin. All on turn 1. Turn 2 you can cast Unwinding Clock to just make your opponents scoop even faster. Granted, wallisface's version that can gatling gun exile nonland permanents does not exile spells, so there is a chance to deal with Ugin if you somehow get the appropriate mana in basic lands to cast a board wipe or Diabolic Edict - as colored mana rocks will just be wiped with Ugin before you get to untap. The Ugin player does kinda need a way to increase Ugin's power to hit 21 Commander damage faster, but from there it's just a grinding battle. If the opponents manage to deal with Ugin, he'll likely just come right back the following turn.
I don't think this is a good goal for creating new cards. Not everything has to be cEDH worthy. The card as it is in the OP is strong but not dominating, and I think that's fair. Switching the nonland permanents opponents controls tap for colorless to a one-sided, colorless Blood Moon is probably acceptable. Making Ugin fully colorless will only make the card more problematic for Commander as everyone can suddenly include a Legacy Weapon + Ertai, Wizard Adept on a protected body.
March 28, 2021 9:58 a.m.
Kulrath Knight says hello.
On another note: I think the card should either be as it is, high CMC with repeated wipe and no drawbacks.
-- Or --
You could make it an active with the same drawbacks as Pestilence - you have to feed it to keep it around (creatures on the field) and it will also damage everyone (incl. players), so your life total can be a containing measure. You are unlikely to activate it if you're low on life, thus it has counter play options available to all colors. Since it applies -1/-1 counters I would say that just is not enough for the activation and it would have to be at minimum.
It could be considered to use -1/-1 until end of turn instead - ala Dead of Winter . It bypasses indestructibility, protections, and it allows you to utilize it defensively rather than just to kill. The activation could then be a for -X/-X until end of turn.
March 26, 2021 7:39 a.m.
This has an uneven effect between singular Commanders and Partner Commanders and I don't think we should give Partner Commanders any more reason to use them.
I would suggest to limit it to a single Commander.
However I feel like this effect is not worth it and could very easily backfire.
Figure a 4 player table and you cast this on a board with no Commanders on it.
All 4 players put their singular Commander on the table. You paid 6 mana to get out your Commander, which can be a mana advantage. However you give most other players a lot more mana advantage out of this (depending on their Commander's cost). As a compensation you get to draw 2 for each, netting you 6 cards. However you also have to lose 2 life per Commander put on the field, costing you 8 life.
I suppose it is better utilized as a catch-up kinda deal, so if the big scary Commanders are already on the field, you can cast this to get a mana advantage on your own Commander (and not increasing their Commander tax) and perhaps another less scary Commander is put out that nets you some cards to replace the card itself and you lose some token life. Eh, I'm kinda warming up to it, even though I still think the effect is a bit narrow.
In most cases I would still prefer to use Netherborn Altar over this.
March 26, 2021 7:11 a.m.
One thing to note about the activation cost: It changes the picture in Commander.
As a Commander Ugin becomes 5 colors. Similarly, Ugin can only be played in a 5-color deck. This is a restriction to not allow mono green to just ramp the dude out and start blasting.
I also think it is bad for the format to allow an 8 cost creature that can sit in the Command Zone (and for most formats be able to be cheated out for cheap), to flat out disable colored mana for your opponents - so that's a no to the turn lands into Wastes .
Similarly a repeatable exile effect that is relatively cheap ( Utter End costs 4 and this is just an active ability) would be too powerful. Legacy Weapon is our closest comparison, which is a 7 mana artifact that can only exile permanents - and it refuses to be completely destroyed.
I think there has been struck a pretty good balance between powerful and useful.