You Can’t Always Get What You Want: The Lack of a Decktype

Oh no, my Angels!

Rosterbation is a term that I learned from the great Seattle Mariner’s blog USSMariner (couldn’t find it’s true origin). When talking about dream lineups and rotations and trading players the term gets thrown around a lot in comments and forums (as well as the verb “Stop Rosterbating”). The ability to make the dream roster using whatever players there are in the game is something that passes through the mind of almost any sports fan and engages in great conversations. It’s not a bad thing, and in fact can be a healthy from time to time.

Magic has it’s own semi-related term: “Magical Christmasland” as coined by Brian David-Marshall (@Top8Games) (or Michael Jacob). It presents what the best situation is to get the most explosive opening hand draw. If your deck worked exactly like this every time it would be unstoppable. Of course, with Magic there is randomization and the very real possibility that you may never get a hand like that. When players are looking at new cards for the first time, it’s always the Magical Christmasland situation that gets people up in arms about how good a card actually is. It’s the hope that drives people to play those decks for the one time it does work.

Rosterbation is about what you would love to have but can’t get for a set of something while Magical Christmasland is the order that you would prefer it to be. There is cross-over in both areas: In baseball you want your lead-off guys to get on and your 3 & 4 hitters to drive them home (Magical Christmasland).

Today I’m going to talk about the other side: rosterbation for Magic. No, it’s not about acquiring cards that you need to build a deck, but having access to the cards needed to build it. Confused? Well answer me this: can you build a reanimator deck in Standard at this current time: (SHA, CON, REB, M10, ZEN, WWK)?

Continue reading “You Can’t Always Get What You Want: The Lack of a Decktype”

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Too Rare or Not Too Rare, That is the Question

Alas poor Darksteel, I knew him Horatio...

As we begin the second block with the Mythic Rarity included into the game of Magic, it’s time to take a look and see how’s it been so far and how’s it going into Zendikar block. It’s been a source of controversy and a source of tension between developers and players.

MaRo first announced the Mythic rarity June 02, 2008. What most players remember is this quote:

This now leads us to the next question: How are cards split between rare and mythic rare? Or more to the point, what kind of cards are going to become mythic rares? We want the flavor of mythic rare to be something that feels very special and unique. Generally speaking we expect that to mean cards like Planeswalkers, most legends, and epic-feeling creatures and spells. They will not just be a list of each set’s most powerful tournament-level cards.

And from Aaron Forsythe’s Twitter account in the past few weeks here:

My definition of mythic rare: cards that are jaw-dropping to some part of the audience.

And here:

The mythic definition should be broad, not “planeswalkers + cards that aren’t very good.”

By taking these two definitions (Epic-feeling creatures/spells, non-staples/most powerful tournament, jaw-dropping), let’s take a look back at what’s been printed so far and how they fair to these definitions. But to make one more definition of our own: What is a staple card? Cards that are staples can be used in a variety of decks, not a very narrow deck that is very good. Staple cards include: Cryptic Command, Tarmogoyf, Bitterblossom, Reflecting Pool. Non-staple cards are Mistblind Clique, Doran the Siege Tower, Arcbound Ravager. Continue reading “Too Rare or Not Too Rare, That is the Question”

Virign Pie – M10 Edition – Rares

M10 RareAh, that little gold symbol. You get one, maybe if you’re lucky a foil one as well, in each pack. They can beĀ  the best of times, they can be the worst. That one card can determine what colors you play in draft. You may open 10 of a certain one and can’t pull any of the one you really want.

Rares are interesting: they’re the cards that you want the most yet get the least, hence representing that they’re rare. In terms of price range in the second market they can range from 50 cents to 20 bucks for a new rare opening out of the pack.

But which ones were right for the color? Again, these are new rares printed this is core set. If you haven’t been paying attention the past few posts, well then I can’t save you. You can check them out below.

Black

Sanguine BloodSanguine Blood – 3BB
Enchantment
Whenever you gain life, target opponent loses that much life.

This would’ve even made a great White/Black Gold card, but it is perfect in Black. Thanks to some lifelink creatures as well as some black drain life spells, you do a vampire effect: you gain stronger while your opponent gets weaker. This is an interesting twist on the lifelink concept but it gets you more bang for you buck if you do that way. Example: one of my EDH decks has Sygg, River Cuttthroat as my general, with Subversion and Sanguine Blood. I tend to draw cards while gaining like and making my opponent’s lose it; very very black.

Also Ran –
Cemetery Reaper for being a great way to “zombify” your opponent’s creatures and making your Thriller army. Continue reading “Virign Pie – M10 Edition – Rares”

Virgin Pie – M10 Edition – Uncommons

M10 UncommonYesterday was commons and today we go up in the rarity scale to uncommons (as seen by the title). There are some interesting choices here in silver land as I believe one of the best cards in the set will be shown here today. One color was completely hard to choose since there was so many new good choices. I really like what Wizards did here in this Core Set identifying the colors, much better than previous Core Sets.

Remember, these cards are one that haven’t been printed before since this is the first Core Set with new printed cards. I’m also not looking at functional reprints (bye bye Act of Treason) nor cards that changed rarity (welcome back Serra Angel). As the name suggests, this is “virgin” pie, something I’m sure that most gamers are familiar with (Ugly stereotype, I know it is but the jokes write themselves).

Black

Rise from the GraveRise from the Grave – 4B
Sorcery
Put target creature card in a graveyard into the battlefield under your control. That creature is a black Zombie in addition to its other colors and types.

While it does cost more than Zombify, I believe it’s a better one. If you brushed over the card due to it’s casting cost, please note that it does say “in a graveyard.” As we learned in Fight Club it’s company policy never to imply ownership…, it’s always a, not your. As a Black mage you should be able to take control of your opponent’s graveyard. Also, the fact that it now turns the creature into zombie (which would’ve made more sense on Zombify) is perfect flavor for Black.

Also Ran –
Howling Banshee for paying life for a good flying creature (bonus that it hurts your opponents as well). Continue reading “Virgin Pie – M10 Edition – Uncommons”

Virgin Pie – M10 Edition – Commons

M10 - CommonBy now M10 has been released and hopefully you’ve been playing with it for a few weeks now. This will be a different type of set review as I won’t look at cards that you should be playing, but cards that should be printed due to the Color Pie. Sometimes they’ll be a little over-costed or not powerful enough to see serious play, but they’re great examples of what the colors should be.

As you know by now, Wizards printed new cards in a Core Set since Alpha. This, by very definition, are virgin cards. I am not going to look at functional reprints of cards (Runeclaw Bears, Essence Scatter) nor am I looking at Mythics (every color got at least 1 new Mythic card and we may save it for next year).

Today we look at the commons from M10. There are some very good first timers here as Wizards wanted to get back to more of a fantasy route. I believe they hit it out of the park. Without further ado, let’s look at the cards.

Black

sign in bloodSign in Blood – BB
Sorcery
Target player draws two cards and loses 2 life.

Black is the color for getting whatever it wants for a price. As various cards in the past have shown, Black is always comfortable with paying life to draw cards. While I was campaigning to have Night’s Whisper in a Core Set, this is not good if not better in various situations. Not only can you draw a card, but you have a teammate draw or even an opponent if you want them to lose life or deck themselves. I am really surprised this card is common, but it is really that good and fits black perfectly.

Also Ran –
Soul Bleed for making a creature deal damage to its controller (very Black), and Child of Night for getting the Vampire flavor just right (sucking someone’s life blood and taking it as your own). Continue reading “Virgin Pie – M10 Edition – Commons”