Talen Lee is a dedicated casual player who is often at a loss for nice things to say about himself. Owning a long-standing interest in the theory of the game since his inception, he nonetheless is quite happy to say 'Rar' when he turns his creatures sideways. Talen hasn't yet been arrested for stabbing forum-dwellers in the neck with a fork.
Run for the hills, ye little children. Oh, grab your skirts and start for the border, little ankles flying a-everywhich way, some jackass has given me a table on which to stand, and there will be hollering. Maro has done it now â€“ the fool has gone and printed cards, and that means people will look at them and then they’ll form opinions on them. New sets, new sets, new sets.
When it comes to having things to complain about, few things can awake the interest of a Green mage like creature lists. Embarking once more unto the breach, Talen Lee guides us through speckled places in Magicâ€™s recent-ish history, and opens that colossal can of worms that comes from trying to name names.
Talen Lee, never one to use one word where four thousand will do, escapes from his handler and returns to the keyboard long enough to try and come up with something interesting to say, touching on a handful of topics along the way. Oh, and thereâ€™s yet more talk about Evan Erwin. Oo, Drama.
[Editor’s Note – Chris Romeo is having a week off… he’ll be back next Thursday!]
Today, we’re talking about rares, more significantly “bad rares.” And that discussion has two sides; the side of the corporate shills who have no higher or grander goal than saving you the undue burden of money, and the whining ninnies of the casual crowd who have no idea how the world works. Breaking it down, it runs something like this…
Talen’s column has moved from Thursday to Tuesday, and this has caused a little upheaval in the Lee household. Today’s offering is a selection of seemingly random thoughts and rants on a number of Magical subjects. Prismatic, R&D, Magic novels, Mike Flores, crap rares… Talen reveals all.
I’ve been looking at Prismatic again lately, as right now, all the standard decks I want to play are brutally expensive or just lack room for all the stuff I want. I want to recycle Armageddons and race my Jotun Grunts with my Life From The Loams and my Cycling Lands and I need a win condition so we’ll splash Black for Teneb and now I need some more draw and… anyway. One thing that has happened is that I’ve read some more writers talking about Prismatic… and almost universally, they say something that summarizes as: You’ll need your Green slots for mana fixing. Seriously… where have these people been?
Players in this Standard environment are trying to metagame without obvious foils; besting the big three still leave you with potentially gaping holes in your armor, to some less-popular but nonetheless playable deck. It’s like skirmish, where everyone has a gun and regardless of how good the person who shot you is, if they shot you, you’ve still lost.
Imperiosaur doesn’t mandate single-color play, any more than Terramorphic Expanse demands five-color. People need to wean themselves off the Ravnica duals, because they not only won’t be around forever, but, god willing, we will never have cards this good again. God, I am sick of seeing three- and four-color control lists that reduce the color pie into this homogenous, $5,000 slush.
One of the core problems with Future Sight, going in, is that “the future” isn’t just a vague theme, it’s a stupid theme. The future is unbound, featuring possibility all over the place… and they’re going to print cards that supposedly fit from these potential futures that offer us both a view of the future mechanically, and that give us a view of the future with flavor as well?
Today, we’re going to talk about Fatties. We’re going to look over historically good fatties, a hall of fame of real king-hitters, those heavyweights and the few rare super-heavyweights. To qualify for this discussion, it’s not enough to be played. Once upon a time, Zvi said a spell that cost five mana or more, “had better win me the game right there.” This quote is trotted out many, many times by better players than you or I, and these players are almost universally wrong to mention it.
This article is just about art, flavor text, and color. Seriously. If you want to read about mechanics, or casual decks, or the like, this isn’t for you, sorry. If you want the rant… well, it’s coming. But for now, we must make do with what we have. At the time of this writing, Future Sight was fully spoilered yesterday. This means I’m writing three weeks in advance — and that means that Future Sight is probably purchase-and-play legal right now. So it’s only five more articles from here before I can play with the cards myself. What better time, I suppose, to spout off angrily about things that matter the least in the game to the tournament scene?
Talen, it seems, is no fan of Future Sight. In the first of three separate set review articles, he questions the mechanics that make up the meat of the set, and asks the developers why certain cards appeared in certain spaces. Vocal and outspoken as usual… do you agree with his assessment?
We have a lot of ground to cover, and I’m actually trying to be as brief as I can be this week. Right now, I’m looking at it in the unedited form, at seven pages, and realize that, just maybe, brief isn’t happening. I’ll talk about Future Sight next week, and then fatties (and Green fatties specifically) the week after that, I promise. But I have to finish this up, and I can take you along with me along the way to the final point, and you can play the forum game of “give it a better name than I did.”
Talen continues his budget deck evolution with a spin around MTGO, cutting card here, adding cards there… are his changes up to the task? Does he improve his win ratio, or does he flounder in a sea of his own misery? The answers are a mere click away!
I looked at the cards I have in my MTGO collection and realized that my simple goal of acquiring four of each common of a set for a bargain price — usually 3-4 tickets — was a good policy, but actually not very doable in real life. Real life players do not necessarily have draft tables to chase, don’t have bots that will spit out cards at a 32/1 rate. These are the players who buy a few boosters, crack them, and gleefully build a collection in the exact opposite way in which you eat a gobstopper.