SynergyBuild says... #1

xD, I agree! You take care m8!

February 11, 2020 9:24 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #2

  1. Double jeopardy is fairly complicated - you can actually be brought into a criminal court for the same issue under a number of exception. The most common is that the jury was hung, neither making an acquittal or guilty finding, but there are some other oddities as well. For example, if one is found not guilty of crime A, he can be tried on the very same facts and circumstances for crime B, provided crime A and crime B each have an element that is different from one another. Like any area of constitutional law, jeopardy is a legal quagmire of 300 years of cases trying to interpret a rather vague 1/5th of a sentence.

  2. It’s not that double jeopardy applies differently to civil and criminal cases, as your post seemed to imply, but double jeopardy does not apply to civil cases in the slightest (you are never in “jeopardy”). It is entirely possible that Person A can sue person B; then person C can sue person B over the same facts at some point in the future. There are limitations on A suing B a second time over the same facts, but that’s an estoppel issue not a jeopardy one.

  3. Civil and Criminal cases are often tried in the same court with the same set of judges, so saying “you can be brought into different courts” isn’t spot on. More accurate would be “you can have both a civil and criminal case on the same issues.”

  4. You are not acquitted in a civil case. There’s a judgment and you either prevail or you don’t. In complex cases, both parties might prevail on different issues.

  5. Damages are not generally needed to prosecute a crime, though the DA is likely not going to waste its time and money over a relatively minor crime with no damages. Damages mostly go toward meeting one’s burden of proof (it’s a lot easier to show a crime occurred if there is a tangible result) or toward the level of a crime/sentencing (an extremely vicious crime with high damage is going to be tried for a more serious offence and result in longer sentencing).

February 6, 2020 9:34 a.m.

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Said on The Korvold Monster...

#1

Gitrog combo layering with landsmatter and also dockside temur layering. I'm a big fan of Orcish Lumberjack and glad to see it having a great home here enabling turn 2 Korvolds easily. Also a big fan of all the sacrifice effects on the lands. Underworld Breach is nice tech, same with Cindervines. Big fan of a lot of things I'm seeing here

I would recommend peeking at Life/Death, as it fits as more reanimation for faster comboing with creatures like Gitrog or even your commander if you don't want to pay its cost with tax, but can also give massive late game fuel for Korvold by saccing lands through your creature sac outlets, pretty much as a second Squandered Resources.

Have you considered Hulk? With that many reanimation and sac outlets it can effectively serve as layering for hitting Dockside + Sabertooth or even Gitrog + Putrid Imp.

My last card to peek would be Need for Speed. It allows you to attack same turn as casting Korvold to potentially kill a player outright with commander damage. Also allows you to kill with Glint-Horn Buccaneer after you infinite mana and draw your deck, which would be helpful as another line to get a player who has hexproof or shroud against Mayhem Devil. The haste also helps your mana dorks by allowing you to storm off with Korvold draws if you are in a board position to dig. Also makes Fauna Shaman much more live

Very nice work!

February 27, 2020 5:23 p.m.

GhostChieftain Thanks for the input, the exact kind of comment I was looking for. I'm envious you play in such a mature meta, as the "scoop to stop" is the reason I haven't investigated slotting this combo myself. Have a Korvold list? I'm certainly interested in taking a peek.

dbpunk The reason I talk about scooping with this combo is because a scoop can turn this combo into a nonbo depending on the timing. Compare to a classic combo Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Village Bell-Ringer. Even if one player scoops as you're resolving the combo, you're still going to wipe the table. With the Dockside loop, the # of artifacts and enchantments may drop below the amount you need to perform the loop. While you did cause a player to concede, its a moot point if you are forced to pass and one of the other two players is able to win instead.

While I agree that Flash Hulk should not be the standard to gauge combos against, there are still a fairly large amount of combos that lead to guaranteed wins no matter the board position of your opponents or their ability to scoop at any time.

February 26, 2020 11:54 p.m.

Good afternoon to all the lovely folks of TappedOut (except the guy who advocates playing Doomsday and passing). On today's thread, lets discuss Dockside Extortionist loops.

As some of you may be aware, the combo of Dockside Extortionist is used alongside Temur Sabertooth to generate infinite mana, usually in 4 or 5 color shells with a commander as an outlet for winning. The gist of the loop is to create 5 Treasure tokens from Dockside, then use 4 of the tokens to bounce and replay Dockside from the Sabertooth.

This combo has been covered in a few places before, but I keep seeing it! So lets dive into why I personally think this combo should be avoided.

1. Players can scoop

The single biggest reason not to run this combo for winning.

  • 104.3a A player can concede the game at any time. A player who concedes leaves the game immediately. That player loses the game.

Conceding is an action that doesn't use the stack, and can immediately stop your combo from executing. Imagine a scenario in which you have 3 opponents, with 5 artifacts/enchantments split among them with a 2/2/1 split (so two opponents have 2 and one opponent has 1). With Sabertooth on the board, you play Dockside to start your loop. An opponent who is knowledgeable of the combo with 2 artifacts/enchantments decides to scoop. Now, instead of winning, your combo is going to be mana negative and no longer works.

But Dingus isn't that unsportsmanlike?

Ethics aside, scooping at will is an action other players can take. Relying on your opponents to act in good faith is a losing strategy. Also consider that there are quite a large number of spiteful players, a problem exacerbated by losing. I can think of more than one game I've seen someone revel in their role of playing Kingmaker (deciding who wins after they lose)

2. Dockside relies on opponent's board state

Relying on your opponent's having a certain board state to execute your combo makes it much more fragile. Even if you're holding both A + B of your combo, having to wait until your opponent's assemble a certain board state means you may end up losing with both pieces available for use.

Also: artifact/enchantment removal in response to the trigger is another vulnerability for this combo. Seeing 5 qualified permanents on the board and having one or two removed puts you under the threshold.

3. Treasure tokens require a tap and activation, and an ETB to be created

Much more minor than the other points, but still a reason. ETB tapped cards see play, especially Root Maze Blind Obedience and Manglehorn. There are a handful of other ones too, like Kismet which are more niche. There are also cards that stop artifact activations, namely Stony Silence and Null Rod but also Karn, the Great Creator. The effects that turn off ETB triggers, namely Hushbringer Hushwing Gryff and Torpor Orb all stop this combo as well.

Counterpoint: Both pieces have high enough independent quality to be worth running

Dockside Extortionist is treated for the most part like a red ritual. Temur Sabertooth has lots of application for resetting valuable ETB effects or saving creatures from removal. A large argument for running this combo is that many decks would want to run both of these cards anyways, and slot efficiency is saved by relying on it for a combo.

I acknowledge this, but wholeheartedly believe that Dockside is much weaker than people realize. Most importantly, the two biggest decks to consider in the EDH meta currently are skewed more towards creatures than artifacts in terms of mana ramp. While these decks do indeed pack artifacts and enchantments, they aren't as prevalent as creatures. Furthermore, the biggest combos in the format currently with Flash Hulk and Fish Consultation don't run artifacts or enchantments, and are cost effective enough where the pilot doesn't need to build a massive rock board state to execute the combo.

Discussion

Do you consider this to be a viable combo for winning? Despite my opinion, I'm certainly interested in gathering more information or perspectives on the combo.

February 26, 2020 5:01 p.m.

Yeah if we reeeeeeeeally want to dive into it

  • 613 Interaction of Continuous Effects
  • 613.1. The values of an object’s characteristics are determined by starting with the actual object. For a card, that means the values of the characteristics printed on that card. For a token or a copy of a spell or card, that means the values of the characteristics defined by the effect that created it. Then all applicable continuous effects are applied in a series of layers in the following order:
  • 613.1a Layer 1: Copy effects are applied. See rule 706, “Copying Objects.”
  • 613.1b Layer 2: Control-changing effects are applied.
  • 613.1c Layer 3: Text-changing effects are applied. See rule 612, “Text-Changing Effects.”
  • 613.1d Layer 4: Type-changing effects are applied. These include effects that change an object’s card type, subtype, and/or supertype.
  • 613.1e Layer 5: Color-changing effects are applied.
  • 613.1f Layer 6: Ability-adding effects, ability-removing effects, and effects that say an object can’t have an ability are applied.
  • 613.1g Layer 7: Power- and/or toughness-changing effects are applied.

Specifically

Both effects are handling indestructible, which is handled at layer 6

  • 613.1f Layer 6: Ability-adding effects, ability-removing effects, and effects that say an object can’t have an ability are applied.

And the further relevant rules

  • 613.6. Within a layer or sublayer, determining which order effects are applied in is usually done using a timestamp system. An effect with an earlier timestamp is applied before an effect with a later timestamp.
  • 613.6a A continuous effect generated by a static ability has the same timestamp as the object the static ability is on, or the timestamp of the effect that created the ability, whichever is later.
  • 613.6b A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability receives a timestamp at the time it’s created.
  • 613.6c An object receives a timestamp at the time it enters a zone.
  • 613.6d An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification receives a new timestamp at the time it becomes attached to an object or player.
  • 613.6e A permanent receives a new timestamp at the time it turns face up or face down.
  • 613.6f A double-faced permanent receives a new timestamp at the time it transforms.
  • 613.6g A face-up plane card, phenomenon card, or scheme card receives a timestamp at the time it’s turned face up.
  • 613.6h A face-up vanguard card receives a timestamp at the beginning of the game.
  • 613.6i A conspiracy card receives a timestamp at the beginning of the game. If it’s face down, it receives a new timestamp at the time it turns face up.
  • 613.6j If two or more objects would receive a timestamp simultaneously, such as by entering a zone simultaneously or becoming attached simultaneously, the active player determines their relative timestamp order at that time.

FURTHER specifically

  • 613.6d An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification receives a new timestamp at the time it becomes attached to an object or player.

  • 613.6b A continuous effect generated by the resolution of a spell or ability receives a timestamp at the time it’s created.

And one more rule to clarify it all

  • 613.8. One continuous effect can override another. Sometimes the results of one effect determine whether another effect applies or what another effect does.
  • Example: Two effects are affecting the same creature: one from an Aura that says “Enchanted creature has flying” and one from an Aura that says “Enchanted creature loses flying.” Neither of these depends on the other, since nothing changes what they affect or what they’re doing to it. Applying them in timestamp order means the one that was generated last “wins.” The same process would be followed, and the same result reached, if either of the effects had a duration (such as “Target creature loses flying until end of turn”) or came from a non-Aura source (such as “All creatures lose flying”).
  • Example: One effect reads, “White creatures get +1/+1,” and another reads, “Enchanted creature is white.” The enchanted creature gets +1/+1 from the first effect, regardless of its previous color.

Tying it all together

Granting indestructible from Darksteel Plate is happening on Layer 6. Removing indestructible from Shadowspear is also happening on Layer 6. The static ability of Indestructible is granted to the creature with a timestamp of when the equipment was equipped. The timestamp of the removal of the static ability Indestructible is granted when the ability of Shadowspear is activated. If the Darksteel Plate was already equipped before the Shadowspear activation, Indestructible will be removed from the permanent. If you are able to equip the Plate AFTER the activation (say from something like Brass Squire), then Indestructible will be granted to the creature. Do note that your opponent could then simply activate Shadowspear again to apply a more recent timestamp and remove the Indestructible.

TL;DR

Most recently done thingy is correct. If you equip after the shadowspear active, you have indestructible. If you activate shadowspear after equip, you don't have indestructible.

February 26, 2020 4:59 p.m.

Howdy partner. We have an entire section of the website dedicated to rules interaction questions. In the future please utilize this section of tappedout for rules questions.

https://tappedout.net/mtg-questions/

Let's look at the rules. You can gloss over this part, but I linked the entire static abilities section for your convenience.

  • 604 Handling Static Abilities
  • 604.1. Static abilities do something all the time rather than being activated or triggered. They are written as statements, and they’re simply true.
  • 604.2. Static abilities create continuous effects, some of which are prevention effects or replacement effects. These effects are active as long as the permanent with the ability remains on the battlefield and has the ability, or as long as the object with the ability remains in the appropriate zone, as described in rule 113.6.
  • 604.3. Some static abilities are characteristic-defining abilities. A characteristic-defining ability conveys information about an object’s characteristics that would normally be found elsewhere on that object (such as in its mana cost, type line, or power/toughness box) or overrides information found elsewhere on that object. Characteristic-defining abilities function in all zones. They also function outside the game.
  • 604.3a A static ability is a characteristic-defining ability if it meets the following criteria: (1) It defines an object’s colors, subtypes, power, or toughness; (2) it is printed on the card it affects, it was granted to the token it affects by the effect that created the token, or it was acquired by the object it affects as the result of a copy effect or text-changing effect; (3) it does not directly affect the characteristics of any other objects; (4) it is not an ability that an object grants to itself; and (5) it does not set the values of such characteristics only if certain conditions are met.
  • 604.4. Many Auras, Equipment, and Fortifications have static abilities that modify the object they’re attached to, but those abilities don’t target that object. If an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification is moved to a different object, the ability stops applying to the original object and starts modifying the new one.
  • 604.5. Some static abilities apply while a spell is on the stack. These are often abilities that refer to countering the spell. Also, abilities that say “As an additional cost to cast . . . ,” “You may pay [cost] rather than pay [this object]’s mana cost,” and “You may cast [this object] without paying its mana cost” work while a spell is on the stack.
  • 604.6. Some static abilities apply while a card is in any zone that you could cast or play it from (usually your hand). These are limited to those that read, “You may [cast/play] [this card] . . . ,” “You can’t [cast/play] [this card] . . . ,” and “[Cast/Play] [this card] only . . . .”
  • 604.7. Unlike spells and other kinds of abilities, static abilities can’t use an object’s last known information for purposes of determining how their effects are applied.

The rule that most interests us is:

  • 604.4. Many Auras, Equipment, and Fortifications have static abilities that modify the object they’re attached to, but those abilities don’t target that object. If an Aura, Equipment, or Fortification is moved to a different object, the ability stops applying to the original object and starts modifying the new one.

Particularly, look at

Many Auras, Equipment, and Fortifications have static abilities that modify the object they’re attached to

The Darksteel Plate is granting the static ability of indestructible to the creature it is equipped to. Notice on the wording for Darksteel that it says "Equipped creature has indestructible". Indestructible is a static ability granted to the creature object.

When an opponent activates Shadowspear, your Plate will lose indestructible, and the creature it is equipped to will also lose indestructible.

February 26, 2020 4:14 p.m.

Said on Petition To Ban ......

#8

I agree, I'm not stuck up on which one gets the ban, as either one will solve the problem. While I'd prefer Hulk over Flash, getting rid of Flash still solves the problem.

February 24, 2020 11:49 p.m.

Scytec Please forgive me if my earlier message came off rougher than intended. I meant no disrespect, especially regarding knowledge about the RC. It is unfortunate that the RC is the way it is, but its a fact of life.

I firmly believe that between Flash and Protean Hulk, the problem is Hulk. Flash sees no competitive play outside the context of Hulk because it then becomes a 3 card combo with Rector, meaning it has lower efficiency than any of the other playable 2 card combos in the format.

As far as what percentage of the meta is Hulk decks, its hard to say. There aren't regular competitive tournaments beyond shop level for EDH, so its hard to find reliable statistics. There are online tournaments on platforms like Cockatrice, but that information isn't as useful because they aren't paper lists. Going by a rough estimate, if you put 15 fully powered no budget cEDH players in a room, I would wager at least one of them is on Flash Hulk, maybe two or even sometimes three. With a format like Vintage we can pull actual results from tournament winning decks and say "Oh look Ravager Shops is currently 15% of all tourny winning decks", but EDH is not as enfranchised with statistics in this regard. Plus, not every shop that hosts a commander night is going to have a 100% competitive field, or even a single player with a 100% fully powered deck. I am fortunate enough to live and play on the West Coast, which is a magic hotbed, and I regularly run into this deck if I go at my LGS.

As far as what we can do, its mostly out of our hands. The single best thing that could happen for the format would be for Wizards to directly assume control and enforce a banlist like they do with every other format. Gathering signatures on a petition could certainly be worthwhile, and I won't discredit the efforts of the poster, but a grassroots groundswell for every single banning doesn't sound efficient in time or energy. Having competent leaders helm the format would solve many of the problems, or even splitting the format could help, although I myself am against that idea.

griffstick Thank you for the compliment. My posts read like small books but I try to keep them as on topic as I can. I agree that bans for meta dominant cards can shake up formats in a healthy way, and I specifically believe that while the meta has adapted to handle Flash Hulk + Consultation Combo decently well, the meta has warped around those two combos specifically, and shut off many other interesting decks due to their inefficiency in comparison.

February 24, 2020 12:44 a.m.

dbpunk

"Tbh I dont play cedh much"

Yeah dog we know. If you did, you'd be onboard with one of these cards getting banned

"However, I also think that banning a card just because it combos well with another card or two isnt really good enough reason for a banning"

There are plenty of 2 card combos that directly lead to winning that nobody is requesting a ban on. The specific problem with Flash Hulk is that it is easy to assemble, extremely cheap to use, and hard to interact with outside of counterspells or very specific stax pieces like Cursed Totem or Linvala, Keeper of Silence. The flash hulk player can sandbag their combo until getting either a counterspell or a Chain of Vapor effect to handle counterspells/stax pieces. The combo sits neatly in hand until it fires, meaning you don't get the chance to remove a piece to stop it from executing correctly. After the Hulk trigger resolves, the Flash Hulk player selects a handful of creatures that specifically allow them to hold priority until all their needed triggers to win are stacked, meaning you must attack abilities on the stack in order to stop the combo at this point. This combo can fire entirely at instant speed, meaning you can wait until a counter-war breaks out on the stack to slip your own combo on top, or simply try to win in response to someone else winning. Its a very powerful combo and currently nothing is close to it in consistency or difficulty to handle for the competitive scene.

Combos are fine. Combos that are extremely hard to interact with outside of playing blue and always holding a counterspell are not fine. Compare to a combo like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Village Bell-Ringer. You can remove one of the two pieces in response to the other being cast, that alone means every color can handle the combo. You can play any number of stop combat effects like Fog. You can even get blowouts with a card like Rakdos Charm. Any combat inhibitors like Solitary Confinement or Ghostly Prison also cause grief for this combo. Now compare to Flash Hulk. You need blue and you need counterspells or Stifle. Really narrows down deckbuilding choices about how to handle the combo.

Raging_Squiggle Iona, Shield of Emeria is banned because Painter's Servant was unbanned, not due to griefing casuals. It also did see play in competitive decks prior to its banning, especially in midrange decks that had both white and black, and it was a common reanimation target because it completely hoses out blue players or can lock a player if they're on a mono color combo like Godo or Sidisi. Swinging for 7 is non-trivial, even in combo heavy cEDH. If the board is locked or heavily slowed, especially if you have other hatebears, bleeding out the fastest combo deck or the Ad Nauseam/Necropotence player wins games.

Scytec While its arguable that Thassa's Oracle pushed Hulk past the tipping point, Hulk was already the deck to beat in cEDH. Just the fact there were 3 different hulk lists with the same commander for doing literally the exact same thing speaks to how stale the meta became due to Hulk's unbanning. Whoopdeedoo so the hulk mechanism is Sacred Guide instead of Nomads + Cephalid, really revolutionary design. All that this printing has done is show that any new creature printed with an alternate wincon or ability to mill the library is exacerbated by the existing problem of Flash Hulk. The deck was boring to play against or pilot before Oracle, and it is still boring afterwards. Once again, the problem is Hulk's ability to pull jank ass 4 card combos from your deck from a single card. Flash speeds it up and handles the dying aspect of the Hulk trigger, but the problem is 100% totally Protean Hulk's 6 CMC of tutoring power off a single card.

Flash Hulk definitely isn't 40% of the meta, but it is an ever-present threat and restricts deckbuilding because you have to account for that combo. I highly doubt the RC is waiting because they are collecting data, they have made it very well known how they ban cards and how they prioritize casual players over competitive players. Sheldon wasn't even aware of Dramatic Scepter combo until about 2 years ago, and the RC is almost entirely casual players with a chip on their shoulder about efficiency in their format. Them pushing rule 0 so heavily makes it even more absurd they don't ban from the top-down like literally every other single format. If a casual playgroup didn't like a ban, they could ignore it, meanwhile anyone who plays in tournaments or at their LGS is 100% bound to the RC's whimsical nonsensical bans.

February 23, 2020 4:46 p.m.

Said on Soaring Lifegain...

#16

Should really consider mainboard Selfless Spirit. You only have 3x of a card in the 2 mana slot, and Selfless Spirit is going to stabilize your board against wipes. You can pretty easily cut 1x Elspeth and 1x Lyra and 1x Gisela and 1x Angelic Accord, which are all nice cards but you really don't want to see 2 of them in your opening hand

February 23, 2020 4:14 p.m.

mcervato Spamming your own list on every single Wort list is just about the single worst way to get clicks. You haven't given any good feedback on the list, or the other lists you posted on. I would downvote your list if I could, and ban you from posting if I could. Eat shit and don't spam lists like that.

gvbarroso Very enjoyable list mate. Biggest problem I see is the lack of spells you would want to copy. Once you land Painter's Servant and can counter anything with REB, you aren't really getting value from copying it. Other downside is the high CMC of Wort. If I have Tormenting Voice or similar in my hand, am I supposed to sandbag until 6 cmc before drawing to improve card quality?

While I can understand not running Boreal Druid, I disagree with it. I also think you could find a slot for Elvish Archdruid, which is more expensive than Priest of Titania and less chance of landing it turn 2, but that mana is very helpful, especially if Wort is removed and you are paying commander tax on top of the already steep 6 CMC.

Have you considered a Bonus Round package? Especially with an addition of Past in Flames you could have quite the potent ability to dig thru your deck. Becomes more bonkers if you add rituals

Not a fan of Goblin Engineer here. I know you use it to find PS, but your artifact density is so low, how many uses are you getting out of it? Even if you tutor to GY its more likely than not you just won't have another artifact to perform the swap.

February 22, 2020 9:20 p.m.

This same type of thread has been kicking around online pretty much since Thassa's Oracle was spoiled

Flash

  • Lets you get ETB and LTB triggers from any creature for
  • Instant Speed

Protean Hulk

  • Lets you tutor for 6 different cards, or 5 different cards, or 4 different cards, or 3 different cards, or 2 different cards, or 1 card
  • Able to create loops from the creatures you pull by utilizing cards like Phyrexian Delver Body Snatcher and Body Double
  • Expensive to cast but easy to reanimate or cheat into play

My opinion

Yeah banning either one helps a lot, but nobody plays Flash -> Rector seriously, and even if they did it isn't more or less broken than many other combos. Flash for Rector usually means you're pulling Omniscience. Since Yawgmoth's Bargain is banned in the format, you don't really have a good easy line with Rector that doesn't involve more cards in hand. If you Flash -> Omniscience, your combo is actually a 3 card combo as now you have to have an outlet card. Also consider how absurdly low quality Omniscience is outside of comboing, and how having it in your hand makes your combo brick out completely. I know people like to say this is the reason to get Flash over Hulk, but it will see 0 play if Hulk is banned and flash isn't.

Also consider the usefulness of Rector and Flash casually. Rector is a dead draw outside of combo and so is Flash. Hulk decks don't run enough ETB or LTB effects to make casually popping a flash worthwhile, same for enchantments as other outs for Rector. Also consider the commanders. Resolving Flash -> Rector doesn't do much with Thrasios + Tymna. You can't nab an enchantment to give infinite Thrasios activations and draw thru.

I think people really underestimate Hulk for some reason. Every single combo with creatures can be put in the context of flash hulk. Any new speed cards or cheat into play exacerbate the problem. Flash certainly can be problematic for future printings, but realistically Flash combos with one card in a busted way. Hulk has so many different combo options available its pretty ridiculous.

P.S. Tack on Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact if you're seriously requesting RC intervention.

February 22, 2020 3:17 p.m.

Lol @ this thread. I'm all for free speech and roasting clowns, but you have to post good content if you want to do that ToolisMaynard, and your posts are not good content.

Shout out to SynergyBuild for his previous and continued work in playable budget builds of good decks.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO USE PROXIES

Ask the people you're playing with if you can use proxies. If not, don't.

Ask your regular playgroup to have everybody build a proxy deck. Proxy up those $4000 decks and have some bonkers games.

PSA There is absolutely 0 difference between proxying Sol Ring and Timetwister. The act of proxying is the same, regardless of the card.

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February 20, 2020 8:28 p.m.

Jinchonrei The reason these two combos in particular are receiving much attention is because they've become better and easier. They are hard to interact with. Hate pieces that stop them are solved by Chain of Vapor or Winds of Rebuke or Assassin's Trophy or Abrupt Decay or any number of other cheap efficient removal pieces. The best option for handling them is counterspells, which limits the decks that are able to hack it at a competitive table. Its a deck you must be aware of when building and slotting your deck. If you can't handle the hulk, you have to be able to race the hulk. This limits the meta. The problem isn't infinite combos. There are plenty of nice and nasty combos available in the format. The problem is that these two combos in particular are so fast, so brutal, and so hard to stop that it is significantly warping the meta game around them. The printing of Thassa's Oracle collapsed Consult lines from Consult + Labman + Draw to simply Oracle then Consult, saving mana and opening more angles for comboing as you are now on a 2 card combo for discretely winning as opposed to a 3 card combo with a higher mana cost. The consult lines are now faster than they were before, and much safer to execute as you aren't afraid of labman being removed in response to the draw or being forced to draw in response to playing labman. Similarly, Hulk lines gained significantly in that you have winning lines you can stack entirely by holding priority after receiving your Hulk creatures. You also have protection piles available to use in certain circumstances where your meta is open enough to allow Dread Return. Wishing for more hate pieces isn't really going to alleviate the problem, but more cards like Angel's Grace is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Angel's Grace is usually slotted exclusively in the context of Ad Nauseam, so whatever new cards similar to AG come need to be flexible, cheap to cast, and have value for playing independently outside of a combo or simply stopping Hulk. This is why Counterspell is the go-to method for policing Flash or Demonic Consultation. They stop the wins, but they are also useful against every almost other spell a player can play. AG is a dead draw except if you're holding Ad Naus, someone is about to win, or you are about to lose.

February 18, 2020 2:34 a.m.

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