When he realized that his plan of playing Pokï¿½mon to meet kids' cute older sisters wasn't working, John Liu finally embraced the darker side and went over to Magic. John sees Magic as a way to relax and unwind, and as such, has tended to avoid the cutthroat tourney scene in favor of the fun and relaxed casual/multiplayer environment. Starting at Odyssey, John quickly realized that the larger the card pool, the more fun the possibilities could be. He's still trying to find a way to break Sorrow's Path in a 5-player game, wasting the days away in the Bay Area, California.
Looking for cool new card interactions in the new set? Well, John’s read Bennie Smith’s article and come up with a heaping helping of fresh new Betrayer-ready combos! How about a combo that provides an infinitely-large creature, or infinite life, or infinite life loss, or infinite mana, all by swapping a single kill card….
Humility + Walls Â— Because “Defender” is an ability, Walls under Humility can now attack. It’s not earth shattering, but this is a new thing. Note that Humble works similarly, except that it drops your wall to 0/1. Like I said, it’s not much of a combo, but because Humility has more uses than Rolling Stones, a deck built around this combo might use walls to set up, and then once Humility is down, use a global sweeper of some sort to clear out opposing creatures. Yes, yes, it’s a pathetic deck, but hey, there’s nothing quite like saying”I won by swinging with walls under Humility.”
Ah, Fifth Dawn is here, and I have finally decided to return myself to writing. How could I resist? Crystal Quarry will finally see some real casual use, no longer fueling the one-in-a-million Sliver Queen, since no one really uses Cromat. The Sunburst mechanic will see to that. Amongst the dozens of set reviews there, I want to cover the odds and ends of these cards – play quirks, rules interests, and of course, the multiplayer and casual aspects of the best new ideas from R&D.
Artifacts – arguably the hardest cards to design – are plentiful in this set, and there are tons of new and innovative ones just waiting to be broken. This set, however, had so many artifacts, I’ve split them into two categories: Color-enhanced and color-independent. The latter kind is included here; the former will be in the next and final installation. Once again, I’m not going to waste my time with ho-hum or obvious cards, so here we go!
Luminous Angel’s immediate comparison is to Verdant Force, which is larger, got you tokens more often, had no immediate method of evasion and cost one more mana. In the end though, there’s a reason that Verdant Force has been labeled the best fatty ever printed. One key difference is that the Angel does not give you something to sacrifice should a sorcery-speed Edict be cast, such as the new Barter in Blood (which wouldn’t save a lone Verdant Force anyway) or Innocent Blood, or Chainer’s Edict. The spirits, sadly, don’t come fast enough.
When Torment came out, Hypnox was the card that caught my eye as something to try to make usable. Then the ruling came that Clone, when cast copying a Hypnox, would indeed take away an opponent’s hand. That was just begging for someone to put it all together. Now, Reanimator decks in multiplayer have to be as speedy as possible to contend with the greater number of threats. Unlike a duel, decks in multiplayer need to last longer and have a long-term plan. This deck has both raw power and a late game.
What can you do when everything in a particular set has been released already? 8th Edition, just like every base set before it, is a way to mess with Standard and release old cards for newer players to”catch up,” as it were. But that’s probably the best way to approach this set – to get acquainted old cards and obtain the ones you wanted to get so badly. Along with this reason, most of the commons and uncommons are pretty standard… So this article’s only going to go over the rares, and show you what sorts of cool casual decks you can build around ’em.
Okay, I’m sure that Brandon Moore means well – and that I’m sure that in his mind, he really thinks that his 101 Top Multiplayer cards work well. And you know what? They do! But to call these the best of the best is very misleading – and so let me go through his choices, card-by-card, to show you what I think are the best of the best for multiplayer…
The goal of the deck is to get enough mana to cast Insurrection and Day of the Dragons in the same turn. Win or lose, people are impressed by this deck – or at least, the sheer audacity of running a four-color deck based around a fifteen-mana combo. It has no real creature removal, no counters, no disruption… Just pure, solid, combo-assembling fun.
I’ve expressed my disdain for the weakening of blue overall. I agree very much with the sentiment that the other colors should be brought up to Blue’s former power levels. But instead, the masses bitched and whined. I don’t know if it was a result of public outcry, or an internal decision by Wizards, or (most likely) a combination of the two, but the people got what they wanted. Half of the You Make The Card mechanics were blue hosers. The question is, who are these people?
Okay, now, quick poll – how many of you shudder at the suggestion of lifegain as a deck theme? For good reason, lifegain has been ignored as a winning mechanic. Lifegain usually just keeps you from losing, and it has been said before:”Not losing” is very, very different from winning. But why is lifegain bad… And can you ever make effective use of it?
Morality and ethics debates aside, there’s only one conscionable way to behave – and that’s properly. Unlike the debate on a casual banned list, ethics and morals are pretty one-sided and black and white… And I think it’s about time I listed the basics of ethical behavior for you all.