TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Discuss our latest podcast about Magic: The Gathering.
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TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby Graham » 09 Jan 2016, 13:06

TTC returns this week with James, Cameron and Alex looking at Oath of the Gatewatch cards through the eyes of Highlander, Standard and Limited.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby theycallmejokke » 10 Jan 2016, 06:19

I hadn't thought about using General Tazri as a five color Commander in EDH, I sorter what to try that out now, to TappedOut.net! :D
Talking about five colors I also really want to make a super friends deck with the four Oath cards.
All in all Oath of the Gatewatch (or Goatwatch as I think it's now called on this forum?) looks to be really fun.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby fantôme » 10 Jan 2016, 08:30

Somehow not a single goat in the set though. But I guess we can still "send a message" by attacking with Nissa's plant tokens.

Great episode though guys, the new-cards-from-different-format-perspective ones are always enjoyable and interesting.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby Bergie » 10 Jan 2016, 09:17

Not sure if it is a crazy audio thing, but I find it shocking that once again I'm having issues hearing Cameron relative to the other two (especially James). This is quite a feat considering he has the microphone physically strapped to his head. Alex was also a bit low.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby BenMarc » 10 Jan 2016, 23:34

Remorseless Punishment is actually considerably worse because it gives your opponent so many options. Your opponent has a choice of ten different ways of resolving it. Most other punisher cards only have two modes, so you can manipulate the outcome by casting them when your opponent can't or won't choose one of the two modes, forcing them into the other. Remorseless Punishment gives your opponent five times as many options, vastly increasing the number of ways they can avoid any meaningful losses.

Just as charms and commands get better the more variety of choices they give you, punisher cards get worse the more variety of choices they give your opponent.

Also, I had a mono-punisher deck. It was awful. It literally never won, even against the most casual decks, because nothing ever went the way I wanted. Because that's what punisher cards do: fail to go the way you want.

The best part of Inverter of Truth is that he's turning the clouds into Kozilek wastes.

Clearly, the key to good red 'walkers is for them to kinda-sorta pretend to be creatures for their +1.

Nissa could have literally nothing for her second and third abilities, and I'd still want her for my Rhys the Redeemed deck. Buffing your whole team as a -2 is just gravy. Deadly, powerful, delicious gravy.

Really, Stoneforge Masterwork is best compared with anthems/lords. Both increase the power you have on board by one for each of your creatures. Masterwork just puts it all on one dude instead of spreading it out.

Dammit Alex, that was the solar flare gesture. Krillin just raises his hand over his head for Kiensan. I'm not even a DBZ fan, and I know that. For shame. *waggles finger*
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby Lord Chrusher » 12 Jan 2016, 09:24

Bergie wrote:Not sure if it is a crazy audio thing, but I find it shocking that once again I'm having issues hearing Cameron relative to the other two (especially James). This is quite a feat considering he has the microphone physically strapped to his head. Alex was also a bit low.


Yeah, once I turned my volume up enough to hear Cam, James was too loud.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby Goblin_Ski_Patrol » 13 Jan 2016, 07:45

I understand you guys aren't super into standard, but I would do a little research before saying things like "siege rhino doesn't see as much play." He's in about 25-30% of standard decks at the moment, so yes, he absolutely needs to be factored in when evaluating cards for standard. Does that make Chandra bad or unplayable in other formats? No, but it certainly is a factor, and since standard is the most popular format, it's what people are going to talk about.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby fantôme » 13 Jan 2016, 09:00

Regarding Remorseless Punishment, I'm not mathematically-inclined enough to know whether it makes more sense to evaluate the card as ten possible outcomes or as four possible outcomes twice, but the latter seems to indicate a more powerful card than the former. Of course, the power of the card is going to be dependant on the boardstate, so either way I think it is fair to evaluate the card within a particular deck, ie. As a finisher for control decks. (In which instance I quite like the card).

Regarding The Rhinoceros, perhaps it was meant locally - I don't follow professional magic, but certainly from personal experience I haven't seen nearly as much of the guy since when I began playing standard. Fair point nonetheless.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby BenMarc » 14 Jan 2016, 00:28

fantôme wrote:Regarding Remorseless Punishment, I'm not mathematically-inclined enough to know whether it makes more sense to evaluate the card as ten possible outcomes or as four possible outcomes twice, but the latter seems to indicate a more powerful card than the former.

Ten outcomes is more accurate. "Four twice" fails to convey the fact that your opponent has full control over the combination they get.

You need to read Remorseless Punishment as
"Your opponent chooses one:
-Lose ten life
-Lose five life and discard two cards
-Lose five life and sacrifice a creature
-Lose five life and sacrifice a planeswalker
-discard four cards
-discard two cards and sacrifice a creature
-discard two cards and sacrifice a planeswalker
-sacrifice two creatures
-sacrifice a creature and sacrifice a planeswalker
-sacrifice two planeswalkers"
because that is exactly the choice your opponent is given.

fantôme wrote:Of course, the power of the card is going to be dependant on the boardstate, so either way I think it is fair to evaluate the card within a particular deck, ie. As a finisher for control decks. (In which instance I quite like the card).

People all over the interwebs keep saying that Remorseless Punishment makes a good control finisher, seemingly forgetting that it can only actually kill people when they are out of cards in hand, have nothing on board, and have ten or less life. If your opponent has anything to sac or discard, then obviously they're going to do that, rather than just lose. And if you've already removed your opponent's entire hand and battlefield, then just about any old creature will work as a finisher. After all, your opponent doesn't have any blockers on board or removal in hand to deal with it.

Also, control decks thrive on reliably taking away their opponent's options. A card that is unreliable because it gives your opponent options is the exact opposite of what a control deck wants.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby fantôme » 14 Jan 2016, 01:12

Being more of a glass half-full kind of guy, to me Remorseless Punishment has the versatility to deal with cards/creatures/planeswalkers - whatever your opponent has remaining. If your deck has been doing well enough that there is nothing remaining to deal with, then Remorseless Punishment hits for 10. Or it can do one of each. All for five mana.

I could be wrong, maybe the glass is half empty and then (being a punisher card) your opponent gets to drink the last of it, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby OneirosGolem » 14 Jan 2016, 21:16

The interesting thing to me about Remorseless Punishment is just the "repeat this process" line. Since generally, your opponent won't select the same option the second time, even if they can. A 5 card hand can usually drop 2 without hurting too much, but dropping 4 forces them to all-in on one card. Going from 15 to 10 life isn't scary, but dropping to 5 can put you at much greater risk. Sacrificing your worst creature is often doable, but getting rid of two is likely to cost you something you really like.

Unfortunately, what it ultimately boils down to is your opponent gaining the ability to spread the card's cost over multiple resource pools. So instead of black getting to use discard / life loss / creature sacrifice as an alternate cost to cheat out a card, your opponent gets to use them to ameliorate the pain.

I'm rambling more than is actually helpful so there's only one more sentence. I think it's a fascinating card design, but I also suspect that the raw power isn't there to overcome the flexibility it offers your opponent.
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Re: TTC 113 - Oath of the Gatewatch Preview

Postby BenMarc » 15 Jan 2016, 20:01

fantôme wrote:Being more of a glass half-full kind of guy, to me Remorseless Punishment has the versatility to deal with cards/creatures/planeswalkers - whatever your opponent has remaining. If your deck has been doing well enough that there is nothing remaining to deal with, then Remorseless Punishment hits for 10. Or it can do one of each. All for five mana.


Optimism is fine, but only when tempered with realistic expectations. You mustn't let your hopes lead you to ignore the facts. And the facts are not Remorseless Punishment's favor.

The fact is, out of all the punisher cards ever printed, only three have ever seen any amount of play beyond the kitchen table (and I'm probably being too generous to Browbeat). And Browbeat, Vexing Devil, and Fanatic of Xenagos have various qualities in common that Remorseless Punishment lacks. All three are cheap red aggro cards. All three can be played in decks that minimize the actual choice that your opponent gets. In a burn deck, those three cards off of Browbeat are just going to be used for more damage anyway, so your opponent's choice is to risk more damage in exchange for forcing you to pay more mana. Vexing Devil, when played early, lets your opponent choose to take 4 right off the bat, or take four damage because they have no way of profitably blocking a 4/3 that early in the game. So you just play Vexing Devil in a deck that wants to win before turn four or so. And Fanatic of Xenagos gives your opponent a choice between giving you an efficiently costed beater or an efficiently costed beater, making the punisher aspect a non-choice.

Meanwhile, Remorseless Punishment gives your opponent ten vastly disparate choices, so the only way to ensure an outcome is if you've basically already won. Winmore cards rarely make it in constructed, especially in control decks. Plus, costing five mana means you have to commit most, if not all, of your mana for the turn on a spell that might not even do anything of significance.

And FYI, a punisher card is not versatile. If it was versatile, it could be used as a solution to many different problems. Instead it gives your opponent many ways to avoid letting you solve the problem.
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