The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Del » 15 Mar 2014, 20:29

My local store does an event where half the players get the one deck, and the other half get the other. It was a massacre across the board for Vraska on a scale not seen since Elves vs Goblins. I think it was something absurd like 80% match win percentage.

The Vraska foiling certainly looks super sweet, especially with those eyes.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Kapol » 15 Mar 2014, 20:36

Do you mean that Vraska swept the board, or Jace did? I'm honestly just curious and want to make sure I'm not interpreting it wrong.

And I meant, as clarification the way she's shadowed makes he look much more menacing. It really helps the 'assassin' vibe.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Volafortis » 16 Mar 2014, 11:28

If Jace has an opener with bounce and threats, Jace wins. If not, he loses. What hand Jace keeps seems to be the important factor, though. His deck has far more interaction. I actually played Jace one game, ulti'd him with 1 extra loyalty, stole my opponents Vraska, and cast my own Spelltwine to cast my opponent's Grisly Spectacle on his biggest threat (I had been chumping a Reaper of the Wilds, and he had tapped out trying to prevent Jace from ultimating) and cast my own Jace's Ingenuity to draw three more cards and reload my grip. Then I blew up his other big threat with Vraska (a pretty big Wight of Precinct Six) I had blockers to keep my planeswalkers alive, and ultimately killed him with a couple fliers doing the beatdown.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby phlip » 16 Mar 2014, 17:27

So, interesting ethics question that came up at FNM...

On the table next to me, an older established player (who can be kinda a dick at times) is playing against a new player who doesn't 100% follow everything that's going on, as is often the case for new players. New Player casts Curse of the Swine, but misunderstands/misremembers the card, and thinks it's one of those devotion cards, not one with an X casting cost... so he only taps two mana for it. And he doesn't explicitly name any targets, thinking that his devotion is high enough that obviously he's just going to target all his opponent's things. So, according to strict literal interpretation of the rules, he has legally cast the spell for X=0 with no targets.

Now, I didn't get a close look at the board state (except to confirm that, yes, there were only 2 islands tapped), I was in the middle of my own game at the time... but Established Player insists he was way behind, and "had" to hold him to it, not let him take it back. Established Player then goes on to win the game, and the match.

As unofficial pseudojudge, all I can say is that since he only paid UU and didn't name any targets, the assumption is he's casting it for 0, and that this is legal... so it has to stand, unless his opponent is gracious enough to say otherwise. But internally I'm thinking "gee, what a dick move".

I mean, if this was competitive, sure, be a stickler for the rules all day, but this was FNM...
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Duckay » 16 Mar 2014, 17:36

I'm of two minds. I have a history of letting people get away with taking back things that they did wrong, even when I'm sure that they know better. I'm trying to break myself of this habit in general, because it just means that people walk all over me. Besides... letting you "take back" mistakes in a tournament (even "just" FNM) means that you have little incentive to learn how to do it properly. On the other hand, if it's so obviously a mistake made by a brand new player, there's a lot of room for leeway.

I don't know, maybe I'm also a dick.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Kapol » 16 Mar 2014, 17:37

That's... a hard question. It really, REALLY depends on the casualness of the event. I would want to say that, at a regular REL event, that the game is reversed to pre-casting. But from a strictly rules-enforcement level, even at a regular level, that's likely not supposed to happen.

If I were the judge based on the way you made it sound, I would actually be against the more established player for trying to take advantage of a new player at a casual event. But in the end, I would likely have to go with the fact he did cast the spell that way, and (at least attempt to) politely remind the younger player to make sure he reads the cards to be sure of what they do, just to be safe, and to feel free to call me over if he has questions.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby korvys » 16 Mar 2014, 20:57

This is an example of what I've heard refered to as "Failure to Agree on Reality"

As far as the player is concerned, he played the spell targeting all of the opponents creatures. Then he paid 2 mana for it, which is a Game Rule Violation (though he didn't realise it at the time, and it's not penalised at Regular).

As far as the opponent is concerned, the player played the spell with X = 0, and paid for it. A reasonable assumption, as that is the only legal way for him to play that spell with that mana.

The whole thing would be cleared up if either player spoke up (either "... targeting all your guys" or "X = 0?") so whatever I ruled, I would be trying to espouse the benefits of communication.

The question is whether we should be trying to protect the player's intent, or the opponent's assumptions. At Regular, I tend to lean on the former. It saves on the feel-bad moments when a new player is trying to something within his power, but doesn't quite know the rules well enough to accomplish it.

At Competitive, I'd probably rule the same way, but certainly wouldn't be surprised to hear of judges who disagree.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Duckay » 16 Mar 2014, 21:17

I don't know. I understand giving a new player leeway at a casual event and your argument there, korvys. I don't understand applying that same logic to competitive REL. If I got that ruling at competitive REL, I would appeal. (Actually, anyone who knows me knows that in practice I would accept the ruling and then stew about it afterwards.) Maybe, though, that's because I see it as a matter of a new player screwing up and whether it's appropriate for the more seasoned player to let them fix the mistake, not about who is objectively right. Am I missing something?

ETA: Actually, I see a point here. Particularly at competitive REL, I'm not sure it is a matter of player's intent vs. opponent's assumptions - with the situation as described, it is player's intent vs. player's actions, in my opinion. Given that there's countless other things you can get warnings for in competitive REL, I'm very surprised that you would still be on the side of intent rather than actions.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby korvys » 16 Mar 2014, 22:07

You may be right, Duckay, and I'm probably going to think on it a bit more.

However, if you were the opponent, and you were at a competitive event, your best course of action would be to confirm that x = 0, and when they disagree, call a judge, resulting in them getting a GRV for not paying for their spell correctly, without revealing your intent to react (or not). Never mind, I'm going to think about this some more.

Communication resolves pretty much every issue like this.

At a competitive event, incidentally, I would also be speaking to the player who cast the spell to determine if I thought they were cheating.

If you did get something like this happening, I really do recommend you appeal though. This sort of issue isn't cut and dry, and I wouldn't be surprised if the head judge were to overrule me.

If you're interested in this sort of discussion, you should have a look at this: http://blogs.magicjudges.org/knowledgep ... e-details/
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Duckay » 16 Mar 2014, 22:13

I don't disagree with you that communication is really important. But really, communication doesn't fix this. They already tried to cast the spell so in this hypothetical, if I then ask them what they had intended to do, the play has already been made and a judge still needs to be called to resolve the issue, right? Or am I misunderstanding the "if someone makes a mistake or has an issue, call a judge, don't try to fix it yourselves" announcement that gets made at competitive REL events?

(Specifically talking about competitive REL here. I know that at casual events like the one in the original story it's a bit of a different situation.)

ETA: Also, thanks a lot for linking me there. Now I'm going to be reading rulings all afternoon. :P
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby phlip » 16 Mar 2014, 22:21

For Competitive REL, I'm reminded of a Judgecast episode a while back that had a long digression about a case from a GP or something, where a player rips Bonfire of the Damned, miracle-casts it for 1R, doesn't verbally declare X=1, but just says "Bonfire your dudes" (the opponent had a number of 1-toughness creatures)... without realising that there was a Thalia in play. And the discussion was whether he was to be held to having cast it for X=0, or accepted as casting it for X=1 and getting a GRV for not paying the additional cost. And there was a lot of discussion and disagreement, but the consensus tended to lie on the former option - they didn't declare X, and the tournament shortcut says X is whatever is left in your mana pool, which was nothing, so X=0. Even if it's reasonably clear the player's intent was to cast it with X=1, that's not what they actually did, by the rules of the game, and what they did was legal, so play on, and remind the players to be more careful and communicate more clearly.

I view it as the same as any other case where the actions you perform are different to what you probably wanted to do... like casting Divine Deflection targeting your own creature, or casting a creature with flash "in response to" a wrath (when you meant to cast it afterward, but say it wrong)... that's obviously not what you meant, but if you're going to misplay, it's not the judge's job to stop you.

But that's at competitive... at regular, I feel the culture should be a lot more forgiving... but I think it's still not the judge's job to stop misplays from happening, but players should be willing to let their opponents take things back if they feel it's appropriate... which is a feeling that will vary from person to person, and from game to game, depending on the situation (I'll be a lot more forgiving in the first round against the new guy than in the finals against another veteran with prizes on the line, for instance).
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby korvys » 16 Mar 2014, 22:38

phlip: The link I provided actually covers that exact scenario (only Devils Play, not Bonfire), and the consensus (after much argument, including multiple level 4 and 5 judges) was... it's your call. This is one of those things that fall into the corners of the rules. (A lot of the arguments there involved if the "X is all the mana in your pool" shortcut was counted before or after cost increases).

This is a bit different, as there is no defined shortcut around this.

Upon further concideration, I think I was wrong. At competitive, if they cast the spell, paid 2, and didn't announce any tagets, then X = 0.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby phlip » 16 Mar 2014, 22:57

korvys wrote:phlip: The link I provided actually covers that exact scenario (only Devils Play, not Bonfire), and the consensus (after much argument, including multiple level 4 and 5 judges) was... it's your call.

Very interesting, thanks for pointing it out! And I think the Judgecast episode I referenced (jump forward to about 1 hour 7 minutes) ended with about the same conclusion... most of the hosts agreed that the spell had to stand as technically cast, ultimately it's up to the judge on the floor (and then the head judge, if appealed) to make a ruling, and there's arguments for either way.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Phosphatide » 17 Mar 2014, 08:58

As someone who's played multiple youngin's in FNM drafts, I'm on the side of "teaching and hand holding but not to the point where I'll end up just telling them how to win against me". A good example is me constantly telling a kid that I played against that he can't just play a Prowler's Helm and immediately equip it to his creature because there's also an equip cost. For his benefit I am making sure he remembers to read the cards, and naturally for my benefit it's so I don't get wrecked by some random unblockable (which I eventually did way later when he threw it onto an Arbor Colossus). Speaking of which, I was also preventing him from playing that Arbor Colossus for a few turns because I had to remind him the mana cost is GGG and he only had two forests. Poor kid, I would've been less annoyed by him than I was at the time if we didn't almost go to time and end in a draw because of how long it took him to basically announce everything he was doing (cute but aaaa).

Regarding Curse of the Swine for 0 when the player didn't mean to, I would be the guy who would let the kid tap out his mana properly to make X be whatever number he intended. It's clear that he misinterpreted the card, so here I am to tell him how it actually works and to give him the opportunity to fix the mistake. Unless this is G3 or something and I really wanted that FNM promo, I guess, in which case I might be the jerk and force the kid to keep the X=0 and maybe buy him a booster to say sorry because I'll feel bad.

Of course, when we get into Competitive/Professional REL, we expect players to actually know the cards they're playing with and to use them correctly. So I would definitely expect the X=0 ruling in that situation, since this is just "didn't read the cards right" rather than "missed a game rule change thanks to Thalia" or something.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Duckay » 17 Mar 2014, 16:40

While in this specific situation I would probably do the same thing, I still wonder how far it ought to go. I've vented here before about people realising they've done something wrong, and taking it back and how I feel that's bad play.

Or, I guess, how long do you keep correcting a player before you have to tell them that their mistakes will stand?
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby WickedBoy6 » 17 Mar 2014, 17:04

Opinion needed: What's the best precon Commander deck IYO? I played against two Eternal Bargain decks, and they rocked my Bosh deck hardcore. Evasive Maneuvers deck looks nice - I mean, come on, Bird Wizard! - and I've always been a fan of UBR, ever since I originally ran a Nicol Bolas deck back in the late 90's. However, Power Hungry and Nature of the Beast look simply aggro. So, what should I pick up as a compliment to my Bosh Commander?
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Jamfalcon » 17 Mar 2014, 18:05

Assuming we're just talking about the 2013 series, Power Hungry is a ton of fun without any modifications, and the cards almost all contribute to the main theme of sacrifice interactions. I really like it.

As for the others, I like a lot of the cards in the Mind Seize, but they don't really come together in a great way without some work. I haven't played the others, but those I know that have really like Eternal Bargain and Evasive Maneuvers. Nobody seems too keen on Nature of the Beast; it's a bit underwhelming compared to the rest, not nearly as many big creatures as the design looks like it needs.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Phosphatide » 17 Mar 2014, 22:10

Mind Seize makes for incredible games of Commander. One game I watched had someone try the deck for the first time and ask the owner of the deck (he was borrowing) how to play it. The answer he got was "Just case Jeleva as many times as possible, don't worry about winning" and boy that was fun to watch. He tried his best to find ways to kill Jeleva just to cast her again like tempting opponents to finally block and trade.

But otherwise, if you want decks that are good at winning, roll with Power Hungry and Eternal Bargain I believe. I know someone who did a minor change to Power Hungry that used the tokens generated into card draw, and went through almost half his deck in a single turn. Eternal Bargain on the other hand is just incredible at the stalling game and actually has ways to win and not just gain life forever (though it does seem like the latter anyway).

Then again, I haven't seen Bird Wizard Deck That Doesn't Need a Name and Nature of the Beast enough, but neither of them seem as potent as the other three decks.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Jamfalcon » 17 Mar 2014, 22:32

Phosphatide wrote:Mind Seize makes for incredible games of Commander. One game I watched had someone try the deck for the first time and ask the owner of the deck (he was borrowing) how to play it. The answer he got was "Just case Jeleva as many times as possible, don't worry about winning" and boy that was fun to watch. He tried his best to find ways to kill Jeleva just to cast her again like tempting opponents to finally block and trade.

Oh, absolutely, I own it and it's a blast (that's exactly how I play it, too), but it seems a bit unfocused. Too few big, expensive spells, and the weird half focus on Nekusar and his making everyone draw mechanic. It's kind of like they squished the two (really fun) decks concepts together and made one interesting, but inconsistent one.

Now that I've split it into two, however? Love playing both of them. But I feel like Power Hungry (the other one I own) is going to be playable for a lot longer without getting stale. :)

And that's ignoring the difficult of buying Mind Seize at a good price these days. Super glad I preordered.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby Kapol » 17 Mar 2014, 22:43

I personally like the bant deck. It's the one I've been modding the most for fun times. I've modded a bit (for example, throw Prophet of Kruphix in if you end of getting it, cause lololol), but I still like the bare bones of it.

But what it really comes down to is your preference of colors.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby CrazyMax46 » 18 Mar 2014, 17:02

I cashed out today. Sold my cards for around $100. It took me a couple of weeks to realize I just wasn't having fun and with an upcoming move out of country I could use the money.

Plus the players at my local shop are dicks.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby WickedBoy6 » 18 Mar 2014, 19:25

I ended up picking up Evasive Maneuvers and Eternal Bargain. I picked up the Bant one because that was the only one the card shop hd, but I went to another one that had Grixis. They also had Nature of the Beast, and while Red/Green is an old fave of mine, what I've read hasn't been positive. Still wanna grab Power Hungry, because Jund.

CrazyMax46 wrote:I cashed out today. Sold my cards for around $100. It took me a couple of weeks to realize I just wasn't having fun and with an upcoming move out of country I could use the money.

Plus the players at my local shop are dicks.


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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby tamaness » 18 Mar 2014, 19:37

Nature of the Beast needs some help. It's competitive against the other precons on its own, but it's a little underpowered otherwise.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby ArchieO » 19 Mar 2014, 02:27

The problem with the pre-cons is that they are trying to focus on two separate generals in the same deck and so it is entirely possible to play one general while only drawing cards that are built for synergy with another. The decks are fine and play fairly well but this is what stops them being truly competitive.

Also as a side note I am super pissed about the way Wizards handled True-Name Nemesis, as someone who plays almost all my commander online the prices for cards from any other deck than mind seize are grossly over inflated due to the fact that very few people bought the other decks.
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Re: The General Magic: The Gathering Thread

Postby phlip » 19 Mar 2014, 20:50

Looking through assorted old stuff, and came up with this random trivia question: of the 292 cards printed in Beta, how many have not received any errata? That is, their original printed text matches their current oracle wording.
Click to Expand
Zero. Every single one has had some form of errata.

For some it's just some minor wording (eg Death Ward has a different verb mood, Giant Growth has "gains" instead of "gets"), for some it's just updated terminology (Grizzly Bears is now "Creature - Bear" instead of "Summon Bear", Obsianus Golem is now "Artifact Creature - Golem" instead of just "Artifact Creature")... but everything is different.

From the types alone, every creature (ex Summon), noncreature Artifact (ex Mono/Poly/Continuous Artifact), Aura (ex Enchant Creature/Land/etc) and Interrupt is different. And Artifact Creatures now have a creature subtype, which they didn't before. All the lands in the set now have subtypes, while they were originally just "Land" and had explicit mana abilities. That leaves just global Enchantments and Instants, and every single one has different Oracle text to its original printed text.

[edit] I'm dumb, and somehow forgot that sorceries exist. A more correct answer is:
Click to Expand
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