Sunday, April 30, 2017

An Amonkhet draft

Binkabi drafts triple Amonkhet

The draft itself.

The first match

The second match

The third match

Some general tips on the format:

Amonkhet: impact on Modern format

Some cards from Amonkhet that may find a home in Modern format.

As Foretold - generates a lot of mana and value, but it is slow. Nonetheless, some control deck may find it very useful, especially to cast immiedately Ancestral Vision or Restore Balance for free. Frankly, it will be the only use of this card or none.

Censor - a counterspell that can be cycled away for something else in a longer game. This card is efficient in early game, but the truth is that opponent only needs to wait one turn to play around Censor. It looses value much quicker than Mana Leak. However, cycling effect makes a difference and in my opinion this card may be a 2-off.

Manglehorn - this card will replace Reclamation Sage. A new tool for Chord of Calling. Kismet effect is a good answer against Affinity, Thoper combo or Eggs.

Gideon of the Trials - if it sees play it will be Ad Nauseam deck. Emblem you can't lose the game + Ad Nauseam = profit. Gideon is an alternate win condition. Worth noting is that the +1 is very good against decks that only have one threat at a time, yes I'm looking at you Infect.

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.