Sunday, April 23, 2017

How to draft Amonkhet?

I'm going to present you the list of cards, starting from the best pick during the draft and ending on the least desirable card. For instance, if you don't have any card from "2nd pick" card pool you look for cards in "3rd pick". Cards not mentioned below shouldn't rather appear in your deck.

1st pick:
black: Archfiend of Ifnir, Liliana, Death’s Majesty.
red: Glorybringer, Hazoret the Heart-Piercer Manticore.
white: Angel of Sanctions, Gideon of the Trials, Oketra the True, Regal Caracal.
blue: Curator of Mysteries, Glyph Keeper, Vizier of Many Faces,
green: -
multi: Samut, Voice of Dissent, Cut/Ribbons,
artifact: -

2nd pick:
black: Cruel Reality, Liliana’s Mastery, Never to Return.
red: Deem Worthy, Hazoret the Fervent, Sweltering Suns.
white: Cast Out, Glory-Bound Initiate, Dusk/Dawn.
blue: Angler Drake.
green: Champion of Rhonas, Channeler Initiate, Honored Hydra, Rhonas the Indomitable, Vizier of the Menagerie.
multi: Aven Wind Guide, Bounty of the Luxa, Decimator Beetle, Merciless Javelineer, Neheb, the Worthy, Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun, Weaver of Currents, Rags/Riches, Heaven/Earth.
artifact: Edifice of Authority.

3rd pick:
black: Baleful Ammit, Bone Picker, Bontu the Glorified, Cartouche of Ambition, Dread Wanderer, Final Reward, Gravedigger, Horror of the Broken Lands, Lord of the Accursed, Pitiless Vizier, Plague Belcher, Soulstinger, Splendid Agony, Stir the Sands, Trial of Ambition, Unburden, Wasteland Scorpion.
red: Ahn-Crop Crasher, Bloodrage Brawler, Combat Celebrant, Desert Cerodon, Electrify, Emberhorn Minotaur, Limits of Solidarity, Magma Spray, Minotaur Sureshot, Pathmaker Initiate, Thresher Lizard, Trial of Zeal, Insult/Injury.
white: Aven Mindcensor, Compulsory Rest, Devoted Crop-Mate, Djeru’s Resolve, Fan Bearer, Gust Walker, Oketra’s Attendant, Rhet-Crop Spearmaster, Sacred Cat, Tah-Crop Elite, Those Who Serve, Trueheart Duelist, Unwavering Initiate, Vizier of Deferment, Winged Shepherd.
blue: Aven Initiate, Cartouche of Knowledge, Censor, Drake Haven, Essence Scatter, Floodwaters, Galestrike, Hieroglyphic Illumination, Kefnet the Mindful, Labyrinth Guardian, Lay Claim, Pull from Tomorrow, River Serpent, Shimmerscale Drake, Trial of Knowledge, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, Commit/Memory.
green: Bitterblade Warrior, Cartouche of Strength, Crocodile of the Crossing, Defiant Greatmaw, Exemplar of Strength, Greater Sandwurm, Naga Vitalist, Prowling Serpopard, Quarry Hauler, Scaled Behemoth, Shefet Monitor, Synchronized Strike, Watchful Naga, Mouth/Feed.
multi: Ahn-Crop Champion, Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, Honored Crop-Captain, Khenra Charioteer, Nissa, Steward of Elements, Shadowstorm Vizier, Wayward Servant, Start/Finish, Destined/Lead, Prepare/Fight.
artifact: Oracle’s Vault.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Functional rules change

Starting with Amonkhet, the converted mana cost of split or aftermath cards will be amended. To ilustrate what exacly is changing let's take Wear/Tear card as a example. Soon, the converted mana cost of this card will be 3 if it is not on stack. Wear on the stack will have converted mana cost of 2 and Tear on the stack will have converted mana cost of 1.

What impact this change brings into Magic I can think of now:
- Wear/Tear is no longer a 1 and 2 CMC card (depending what you need), but it will always be 3 when revealed with Counterbalance.
- You can't imprint Fire/Ice with Isochron Scepter
- Cards enabling you to cast spell with converted mana cost less than X for free takes a hit (Cascade mechanic, Expertise cards and many, many more). You were able to cast either Research or Development using triggered ability of Goblin Dark-Dwellers.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Master brewer jphsnake returns with a Mono Red Burning-Tree brew for Pauper

After seeing my attempts to make Burning-Tree Emissary work in Pauper, master brewer jphsnake (from the Pauper Gauntlet and King of the Nerds) sat down and thought hard about Burning-Tree Emissary. This is what he came up with (he did not give me a sideboard so that is all me).

Main deck
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Goblin Cohort
3 Goblin Heelcutter
4 Jackal Familiar
4 Mogg Conscripts
4 Mudbrawler Cohort
4 Valley Dasher
4 Lightning Bolt
18 Mountain
3 Goblin Freerunner

4 Pyroblast
4 Electrickery
4 Smelt
3 Smash to Smithereens

I played two matches with the deck and it was very strong!

Jphsnake has brewed at least 16 Freed from the Real decks so it was only fitting that the first match was against a very sweet Freed from the Real brew.

Next match was against a Jund Delve deck.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Amonkhet: mechanics

Amonkhet set is on the way, hence it is high time to introduce mechanics:

  • Exert is an ability that appears only on creatures. You make the decision whether or not to Exert the creature when you declare attackers. If you choose not to Exert the creature attacks as normal. If you do Exert, you get a bonus, but the creature does not untap during your next untap step.
  • Embalm is an ability that can only be activated if the creature is in the graveyard. When activated, the card is exiled and creates a token copy of itself. This creature token is a copy of the embalmed creature, except that it is a zombie in addition to its other creature types and monocolored.
  • Cycling is a returning ability, which allows a player to pay a cost that includes discarding the card. When the activated ability resolves, that player draws a card.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Burning-Tree Naya in Pauper

Dan Gelinas has worked further on his Naya Burning-Tree Emissary deck and I have played it.

Deck list
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Kird Ape
3 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Kor Skyfisher
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Manamorphose
4 Abundant Growth
4 Nylea's Presence
4 Tribal Flames
15 Forest
4 Ash Barrens
2 Mountain
1 Plains

3 Pyroblast
2 Hydroblast
2 Electrickery
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Standard Bearer
1 Circle of Protection: Green
2 Relic of Progenitus?

Sideboard plan
Murasa Tron: no changes
Kuldotha Boros: -3 Bushwhackers +2 Electrickery +1 Hydroblast
Angler Delver: -1 Bushwhacker +1 Relic
Burn: -3 Bushwhacker -1 Tribal Flames +2 Hydroblasts +2 Standard Bearers
Affinity: -3 Bushwhackers -1 Tribal Flames +1 Hydroblast +3 Ancient Grudge
Bogles: -3 Bushwhackers +2 Standard Bearers +1 COP: Green
Elves: -2 Bushwhackers +2 Electrickery
Mono Blue Delver: -3 Bushwhackers -2 Tribal Flames +2 Pyroblasts +2 Electrickery +1 Ancient Grudge
Stompy: -3 Bushwhackers +2 Standard Bearers +1 COP: Green
Dimir Control: -2 Bushwhackers +2 Relics
UR Delver: -3 Bushwhackers -2 Tribal Flames +2 Pyroblasts +2 Hydroblasts +1 Electrickery
UR Puzzle Control: -4 Tribal Flames +2 Pyroblasts +2 Hydroblasts
Izzet Blitz: -3 Bushwhackers -1 Tribal Flames +2 Standard Bearers +2 Hydroblasts
Mono Black Control: -2 Bushwhackers +2 Relics?

Some tips from Dan

Normal Domain Zoo typically plays islands, swamps, 5/5s, Bolts and sometimes Brainstorms whereas I run more forests, Manamorphose and Bushwhackers. In testing I have found the average consistency much higher without the normal Domain cards. The Naya build more reliably has the mana it needs to cast 2-3 good spells T2-3 than normal Domain. Normal Domain may perform better in the late game (turn ~7 on) so that's an easy advantage for the more conventional build. Personally I wanted to maximize explosive starts with BTE. Cutting the 5/5s is bad when you need to hold the ground against affinity or to trade with Anglers. They may still have a place in the deck but were cut for lands and for Manamorphose both of which give the deck much needed consistency in the early game when it is supposed to shine. The general plan against affinity is to get them low and burn them on turn 4-5 with a couple of Tribal Flames. We can use Ancient Grudge and Hydroblast to counter combo kills and slow them down enough to maybe accomplish this, however I can agree that it's not a great plan and maybe that the 5/5s are worth it. I would probably cut Bushwhackers for 5/5/s if further testing bears this out. Bushwhackers can be more effective at capitalizing on BTE than the 5/5/s in matchups against opponents like MBC or Teachings that can just kill your 5/5 with one spell but the cost/benefits in this case are not clear to me so I still like Bushwhacker for now.

Favourable Matchups: Murasa Tron, Kuldotha Boros, Angler Delver, Burn Bad Matchups: Affinity, Bogles, Elves So-so Matchups: Mono Blue Delver, Stompy, Dimir Control, UR Delver, UR Control, Izzet Blitz, Mono Black Control

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Burning-Tree Emissary in Pauper

A couple of weeks back I looked at MM3 downshifted cards for Pauper. I found only two to my liking; Augur of Bolas and Burning-Tree Emissary. Burning-Tree has shown up in three 5-0 decks so far, Magma Jet in two and Augur of Bolas is missing in action.

Well, maybe its still too early? Lets be positive and make this work.

I gave two of the three 5-0 lists with Burning-Tree Emissary a go.

Dan Gelinas, a viewer on my youtube channel, had this input as well:

4 Wild Nacatl 4 Kird Ape 3 Goblin Bushwhacker 4 Squadron Hawk 3 Kor Skyfisher 4 Burning-Tree Emissary 4 Manamorphose 4 Abundant Growth 4 Nylea's Presence 4 Tribal Flames 19 Forest 2 Mountain 1 Plains 3 Pyroblast 2 Hydroblast 2 Electrickery 3 Ancient Grudge 2 Standard Bearer 1 Circle of Protection: Green 2 Relic of Progenitus

Notice how he has no come-into-play-tapped lands, which I think is a really good idea if you wan't to make Burning-Tree work.

The original article: