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  • posted a message on Vraska Planeswalker Deck
    I agree that the decks suffer from a lack of cohesion. The Liliana deck that was mentioned is half sacrifice and half Zombie-tribal, with sprinklings of Vampires. Pick a direction and go for it - either Zombie Tribal, sacrifice and graveyard shenanigans, or drain and gain. If these things WERE to overlap (for example, a zombie that used life as a resource for an effect), it would make sense for the strategies to be married to some extent.

    You've heard how oil and water don't mix? Neither do distinct, separate strategies in a deck. That's what side decks are for - to make good the shortcomings of your deck after you play with it.
    Exactly, first thing I teach people on how to build a deck is to pick a strategy and build your deck to match. I don't care what strategy or how likely it is to take first, Magic isn't always about that. But decks need focus to function. This includes limited and causal decks.Walker decks lack this.

    Second thing I teach is manna curve. Walker decks lack this as well. Even bad cards can win if they curve well. Look at the early sligh decks early in MTG history. Ironclaw Orcs Actually seen play back in the day as a curve filler at the pro tour. It doesn't get much worse than those things. But they fit the strategy of the deck and the curve needed. Walker decks as I have shown don't curve out. They are poor in making sure you have a meaningful play turns two though five.

    It would cost Wizards nothing to fix walker decks. Add more staples at common and uncommon new players need. Why isn't there a play set of murders in the deck? It would be valuable to get newbies easy access to these cards, and cost Wizards nothing, and doesn't hurt LGS at all cards under a dollar don't make stores much after labor and everything. Build the decks with one strategy, not three or four like the example deck above. And lastly make sure the deck curves out. These decks shouldn't be decks that out power an opponent with case cards, but they should be able to capitalize if an opponent's deck trips out the gate. And most importantly they should curve out more often not.

    For new players it is important they see examples of how a deck should work. These are not that. Walker decks are exactly the kind of decks that are the opposite of how to build a deck. Weaker cards, not clear strategy, no curve, no clear upgrades, and lacks proper instructions on how to play, how exactly are these decks helping new players? Well I two murder are better then none, and newbies always need lands. That is something, but come on they deserve better. And I am not talking printing a competitive deck, just one that is better than the free decks Wizards puts out. They are paying for these decks after all.

    And yes I have seen worse decks, but the bar shouldn't be lets make decks on par with what the greenest MTG players could build. The bar needs to be let's show them how to build a deck by example and let them grow from there.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Vraska Planeswalker Deck
    Quote from Impossible »
    1. They can literally do both of these. There is nothing stopping them from creating a mostly functional deck with reasonable paths for improvement while also putting the exact same shiny foil planeswalker on the front of it along with that planeswalker's exact same search card and their same support creature. I haven't seen anyone asking for these decks to be tuned FNM ready decks from the start. There's nothing wrong with the deck containing it's share of not so great cards. As I've been saying, there should still be room for improvement in these decks. The problem is that the decks (historically) are almost completely those types of cards that are borderline useless anywhere but the kitchen table. This is why people don't like these decks. Because handing potential new players a bundle of cards that aren't going to serve them very well, and the company knows this, for a fairly substantial few to a lot of such potential new players, is simply scummy and we know WOTC can do better than this.
    As far as I am aware, the decklists for GRN Planeswalker decks haven't been released yet so instead I'll pull one of the M19 ones:
    I'm not going to argue there aren't some... questionable... inclusions (seriously, what is that singleton Sovereign's Bite doing in there) but by and large the deck isn't terrible. Obviously it could be made better but it's certainly not the worst deck I've ever seen. Hell, I think Demon of Catastrophes is going to be an actual Standard player once Kaladesh and friends rotate. Gravewaker is a card I didn't even know existed but it seems pretty sweet for EDH. Like, when I went to look these up I was expecting this deck to be a lot worse than it actually is, the way ya'll are talking about them. Without actually adding any new cards but only increasing the copies of cards already in the deck, I think I could scrape together an FNM playable Mono-black aggro deck. Will it beat Tier 1 decks? Probably not. But it would certainly be able to put up some wins. So I'm not really seeing the complaint that the deck doesn't give you a blueprint to make a decent deck.
    2. I literally never said that's what they should do but it's funny that you mention that because the majority of these decks actually are boring vanillas and french vanillas with a couple of planeswalker support cards.
    You're right, it was more a shot at this line by scoed:
    Quote from scoed »
    Honestly I could build a better single expansion all common deck. In fact I build such decks fairly often.

    3. This feels like a flawed statement. It isn't a stretch or unreasonable assumption to suppose that there is a lot of overlap between people who don't know much about Magic but are also trying to learn how to play. Those two things are literal requirements towards being someone who is beginning to be interested in something new. Not withstanding the fact that hedging your marketing bets almost entirely on someone happening to see one of your products in a supermarket when your actual marketing towards anyone not already in the game is nearly abysmal is pretty silly, refer to my first point on how making your product look exciting and enticing and actually delivering a rewarding play experience with a workable deck aren't at all mutually exclusive.
    There is a significant difference between a person who has made a conscious effort to engage with the game, either by asking a friend to teach them to play or by seeking out a place to learn like an LGS, and a person who has maybe heard the name Magic: the Gathering but has never really given it a thought before seeing a product display at a big box store. Someone seeking out the game is already a win as far as WotC is concerned because they know the best way to learn is to have other people teach you, so the person that sought the game out is already most of the way toward being a player. Planeswalker decks are mostly a way to spark (bam, puns!) that initial engagement by making someone who otherwise wouldn't play the game stop, pick up the box and say "Hey, what's this? It looks interesting." That's what WotC is after here.
    The bit about Welcome Decks is pretty telling, honestly. Players who are looking for a gateway into Magic are the players who are most likely to buy a planeswalker deck and these decks are basically all they have to go for because WOTC doesn't have any other beginner's product for someone trying to learn the game. Except Welcome Decks. Which are only available at an LGS but more importantly are free. And you're right Welcome Decks are full of way more workable cards than Planeswalker decks. When you mentioned them I went to look for one of mine and found my white one from Magic Origins. This thing had Grasp of the Hieromancer, Aegis Angel and Serra Angel in it. These aren't going to be taking tables by storm or breaking formats but they're decent cards. Grasp and Aegis Angel are generally decent cards and to this day Serra Angel wouldn't be the worst card for a new player to drop because it's still simply an okay card for its cmc. Again, no one is saying that some new hot standard card should be in these. At least I'm not. The bad part about this is, Welcome Decks are free. Planeswalker decks are $15. Two booter packs aside, it costs WOTC the same amount to print somewhat decent cards that players could potentially use later and grow in the game with as it does to print jank. So why are the free decks just as good if not better for new players, in your own words more or less, as the $15 decks?
    The Welcome Deck thing is mostly a personal hang up of mine. I basically never recommend new players buy anything without playing the game first. If I'm physically at my LGS, I've got time to sit down and play some Welcome Deck games and teach them the rules to see if they like it. No reason for me to suggest they spend a bunch of money just for them to end up not liking the game.

    For what they are (free!) the Welcome Decks are fine, but for how much flak people give Planeswalker decks for being draft chaff... damn Welcome Decks are draft chaff. I remember using a blue one once to teach someone how to play and I had like 2 Ancient Crabs in a 30 card deck. That player still plays by the way, despite the fact I kept yelling "ARG! CRAB BATTLE!" whenever my crabs did anything.

    Putting aside that silly tangent and moving on to the matter of the cost, Welcome Decks are super cheap (for example, no real packaging and they all come in those little paper deck boxes) and are basically gifts from WotC to LGSs to help support them. WotC needs LGSs, so it is in their interest to provide demo decks to make it easier for LGSs to grow a community. The same cannot be said for big box stores, where the Planeswalker decks are primarily aimed at. Also, the Planeswalker decks come with 2 booster packs, which make up roughly half the cost if you value them at MSRP.
    Lets look at that deck you posted. Lets skip the rares and the plainwalker OK. I will concede that most of the time they are playable. In fact my issue isn't mostly with most of the cards themselves. It is how the decks are built. Seven cards costing 5 or more manna, zero ramp, only 10 cards costing two or less manna, you can't win with that curve. Lets actually break down that curve.

    Cost/number
    1/2
    2/10 But two will not usually be able to be gainfully played on turn two do to lack of one drops.
    3/7
    4/8
    5/5
    6/1
    7/1

    Note there is zero ways to ramp, few way to regain lost tempo once behind, and very little in the way of card advantage. Some of the cards are notably off theme. Card quality issues aside these decks are extremely poorly built.

    On top of this, these decks are USELESS to any not knowing how to play and not with anyone there to teach them. It does not come with an instruction book on how to play. The piece of scrape paper they put in is not enough of explanation on the rules to even began to play the game. This product will NOT help the people who just bought it to try the game without going beyond just buying a couple of decks and trying play them.

    I am not crying the cards are draft chaff. My complaint is they are weaker then most draft decks because poor card on average quality parred with bad curve with cards horribly out of place make for a bad starter investment.

    Look I am now saying these need to be competitive. In fact having case cards in them would be in fact a bad idea in my opinion. But is is really to much to ask to add a few more staple commons and commons every new player needs, keep the curve reasonable, and keep the cards on theme for the deck? I don't think so. That is my issue with plainwalker decks. I don't think they are doing new players any favors by forcing horrid deck design on top of a lot of under powered cards. They just aren't.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Vraska Planeswalker Deck
    Quote from Manite »
    Quote from Azurhawk »
    Tbh while I know these products are intended for new players, the first advice I'd give a new player would always be "don't buy these".
    Which is a little bit sad.


    And why would you do that?
    Because they will not help a new player as a whole. The cards are jank and have no play ability against anything other than other plainswalker decks. The decks are poorly built. They don't provide a good launching point. Honestly I could build a better single expansion all common deck. In fact I build such decks fairly often.

    When I see a new player I teach them with the free decks wizard provides and if they like the game I help them build a deck out of draft leftovers. These decks would retail for less than those plainswalker decks had the bought the cards as singles, but are better decks, with better cards. Yes they will still lose a lot but at least CAN win as the deck is at least built right with a good curve. And upgrading is easier as the deck has a better base.

    I have taught over thirty people how to play in in my life. Most still playing to this day. My advice on these products is to avoid most of them. Play the starter deck I give them. Update ones collection though draft, prereleases and singles. Well and Commander decks as they often have good value and are playable out of the box if they want to start playing commander.

    I would never suggest anyone buy a painswalker deck outside of collectors wanting to own them for completeness sake. They are just a bad product. Poorly built, poor card quality, and poor value. There is no upside for them to start the game with these weak decks that aren't a real upgrade to the free decks wizards gives newbies. I am with Azurhawk, my advice to new players is not to buy those decks. They aren't a good starting point. They don't demonstrate how to build a good deck. They are needlessly bad and aren't a good product for anyone really.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Mothership Spoilers 09-04
    Arboretum Elemental Is going to be a beast in limited. It will be relatively easy to cast it on turn 4 or 5 with a solid curve and 7/5 hexproof creatures are extremely hard to answer. in limited as most board wipes are rare, it can't be targeted with removal and it is hard to trade with effectively and efficiently in combat. I am not looking forward to seeing it game after game in draft, though the thought of playing it makes me smile.

    In constructed it isn't as good as board wipes are much more common, green stompy has plenty of cheap creatures that can trade up with it and counters are more effective as a strategy. Still I could see it finding a home is some token builds. It isn't likely to be worth a spot but it is worth exploring. Early 7/5 hexproof creatures can cause issues for decks not able to deal with it. A common limited bomb to be sure.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Over Asked Question...But: Can't Decide on Tribe
    It is true that an Inalla deck usually loses to an unanswered Torpor orb but that is why you pack some artifact removal. Plus wizards have more than 2 unlimited combos, mine has 5 main ones. Plus it has won a few games through going wide and countering the stuff that it just couldn't handle. I am not knocking the power of the other tribes but wizards has more to it then ETB effects. They can easily play counter control winning through attrition if the combos are made off line. It just takes a while.
    Quote from nekorin »
    Would prefer Vampires or Jombies other than the overused wizards by Inalla. Inalla functions primarily on ETB effects, and if that is shut down the entire deck loses much of its win conditions. Wizards tribe doesn't have really much other angles besides draw wins via Azami+Labcon / counter magic heavy via the prodigies. This is the reason why I dropped Inalla after playing 3 games with her, every game is the same approach, stall out until I can get the either one of the combo (Wanderwine or Bloodline Necromancer) to go off. Opponent drops a Torpor orb and that's it. Other opponents will help protect that orb cuz it is the one card that will keep 1 player almost out of the game and they don't really need to worry much about the Inalla player since Inalla is neutered totally with that card.

    Vampires and Zombies on the other hand, present different more ways to win within the tribe itself. From the small combos like Grey Merchant + Rites, to bigger recursion engines involving blood artist, viscera seer. Going these 2 tribes will present more angles to approach the game than wizard based Inalla.

    Inalla is just too one directional.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Over Asked Question...But: Can't Decide on Tribe
    Inalla, Archmage Ritualist and a bunch of wizards gets my vote. I have such a deck and it is great fun. It is flexible and can just win out of nowhere. She can be very disruptive with the constant bounce effects and counters. And she has a huge effect on the game in the command zone.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Multiplayer commander deck.
    I rarely have issues keeping cards in hand, and I seen another deck on this site that has a graveyard theme with Inalla that looks interesting, it just isn't a direction I am interested in going. There has been a surge in graveyard decks in my meta lately and the hate is coming out in response. Just not interested in joining that mess more than my deck already does. But it is deffenatly an interesting idea to look at later.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Poll on what MTGS feels is the most disliked Archetypes
    Quote from Boros_Blendo »
    Quote from Taleran »
    I question what people determine as tied to a wincon

    Often if you have a card like Armageddon in your hand and you have the best board it is strategically sound play to use it then.
    Oops, just noticed you replied to me. I think that a valid wincon for LD is up for interpretation by everyone, but I would have to agree on your specific example. That would be a valid use. Most of the time, I don't see people using land destruction that strategically. But either way, one can argue (as I honestly do) that MLD is so asymmetrically overpowered to other locks, it might as well be a scoop condition and move to the next game. The only way to stop it is to run lots of counters or build a deck to specifically recover from it. People don't like to be forced to make such narrow plans just to play a game. So why use it? You can, but doesn't mean you should? It's not a like a pillow fort that can be shredded, or a combo that can be stopped with spot removal. There is literally no recovery from it in any time that is worth trying to. That's how I see it anyway.

    I mean, I'm not going to cry about it or rant and rave in the game, but I'm not going to sit there while the whole table gets ground into the dirt and pretend I'm OK with it. Even worse, if someone plays that, and doesn't win smartly (as in durdling) and drags the game out, they'd better be packing heat next game because I'm going to come after them. Now, if they do win smartly after casting that, I'll accept it as a valid dick move (but still a dick move) and just move on. I can add that to my deck, I don't, but I accept others can if that gets them their kicks and giggles.
    Have you ever tried holding on to a land or three in your hand? That with a low curve and a few mana rocks and your off to the races after MLD. It is called strategic preparedness and it is no different then holding up instant removal for a combo. I get the first time being caught unawares isn't pretty, but after the first time if it screws you game plan it's your bad play and it is on you. I have won many of games after my opponent wiped the lands from the field, with exactly this strategy. Try it next time you faced a LD deck.

    Of course I played in metas that LD decks was common. People newer to the game just don't know how to deal with LD since they nerfed the strategy in standard play years ago.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Poll on what MTGS feels is the most disliked Archetypes
    I honestly like a healthy balanced meta with all kinds of decks and strategies. Stax, group hug, and chaos requires you to think outside of the norm for your deck and adapt, and that is good. Control is my favorite kind of deck to play, and I love playing against it. Trying to read a control player and answer their answers is a blast in my opinion. Agro keeps thing honest and punish slow stops and over costed nonsense. And ramp/reanimator is the norm in commander. What's to hate? And while overpowered combo decks for their meta aren't fun, but combo forces you to pack answers and that is good.

    The real problem isn't with a particular deck strategy it is with an unbalanced power level. I play at more than one LGS, and I play at home with friends and the power level is way different with these different metas. If I take my more competitive decks to my home play group of mostly poor and new players, it doesn't matter which style I play no one will have fun as the winner is determined at the start. If I play the precons I play at home, at the most competitive LGS I play at, I won't have fun as I would be dead to start. Power level is more important that deck strategy in regards to the fun in the game in my not so humble opinion.

    I voted for the record fo combo. It is the least interactive and interaction is what I love about Magic. Plus some combos are so slow and durdle quite a while before they win. I think combo is needed in the meta but in my opinion it is the least fun to play against and with. For the record I do play a few different combo decks myself.

    I will never understand all the whining about deck types. In an ideal world there would be decks of all types in a meta forcing adaption and thought. If any one type of deck becomes to common play becomes boring. Bring on stax, MLD, chaos, group hug, control, aggro, combo, ramp, reanimation, tempo, pillow fort, synergy decks, good stuff, and any off the way deck some mad deck builder can build. AS long as the power levels are somewhat balanced things should be fun.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Limited Resources Spoilers - Storm Fleet Aerialist, Storm Fleet Arsonist, Favorable Winds Reprint
    Quote from JovianHomarid »
    Strictly better storm crow!
    That is simply not possible. Storm Crow is the second most powerful card in magic behind Island! Why is Storm Crow so busted and powerful? Well because of Storm Crow of course. It is that simple. Storm Crow rules!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Three More Reprints - Tolarian Community College Spoiler
    I assume Opt will be at uncommon, if not rare - that's a lot of value for 1 mana.
    Opt is a common in Ixalan. There will be plenty to go around.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Multiplayer commander deck.
    I do not know how I overlooked Sunken Ruins. I even own a copy. Thanks. It will make its way into my deck. Cascade Bluffs and the non-shock, non-original duals are already in the deck.

    The problem with running Flood Plain, Bad River, Rocky Tar Pit and Mountain Valley with the non-shock, non-original duals is takes two turns to get at the mana early game when it is most needed. If you aren't fetching duals I prefer Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse, as I own them. Well I do own a copies of Bad River and Rocky Tar Pit but in my opinion when I fetched a dual two turns was far to long to wait to use it most of the time, so I took them out. I am thinking about buying Blood Crypt, Steam Vents and Watery Grave. If I do I will revisit the tapped fetches.

    Again thanks for the ideas.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Multiplayer commander deck.
    It does.

    Shadowmage Infiltrator does some real work in the deck often drawing me 5 or more card before a sweeper kills it. No one uses removal to kill it as its damage is so minor and it never "combos off" like many of my creatures. My other, on paper better, draw creatures tend to die a whole lot as every piece of removal heads their way, and there's plenty of targeted removal in my metta.

    My metta is also heavy on large creatures with multiple vulton style decks running around. Separatist Voidmage has saved me many of games by after the first time using a creature like the separatist to "capsize" there one touch death machine to their hand they look elsewhere while I have mana up.

    And Lich Lord of Unx with Voidmage Prodigy often forms a soft lock on my most dangerous win from nowhere opponents. Plus he works really well with Galecaster Colossus, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Nin, the Pain Artist, Patron Wizard, Riptide Director, Information Dealer, Patron Wizardand a cast Inalla, Archmage Ritualist. Can you honestly ask more out of a three mana creature?

    You are probably right about Riptide Director. I will think about its slot in my deck. It tends to die before I ever use it, even once, and it does cost a lot to do its thing. My deck could find better things to do with its mana. Like sack a Lich Lord of Unx created zombie wizard to Voidmage Prodigy counter something that could cause me issues.

    Here is what I really like about your deck that is missing in mine, Volrath's Stronghold. I will have to find a home for it. And you are right about Trinket mage and Trophy mage. I will likely find a home for them as well. I will think a bit about what to cut.

    OK new deck list up. Added several targets for Trinket mage to find. Also added a way to win minus going infinite in Docent of Perfection and when it comes out I am going to add Vanquisher's Banner as with Riptide Director out I am in need of another way to draw a few extra cards. There are a few small changes here in there as well.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Multiplayer commander deck.
    You have a point on Hailfire and disk. I will edit it a bit. They where there only because I like them. They are gone now.

    What wizards do you find iffy?
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Multiplayer commander deck.
    Thanks, it is something I didn't think of. Now what to take out.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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