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I want to talk about Aetherspouts for a second. It’s an unassuming card from M15.
3UU, instant, for each attacking creature its owner puts it on the top or bottom of his or her library.
I was fiddling around with a cobbled-together Sultai control deck and threw Aetherspouts in as a one-of. I was actually pretty impressed with it’s performance. When I had my friend play it against me, I was playing white aggro, and I thought about how much my clock got messed up by this card. Every creature I put on top was basically one step closer to resetting the game because I would have to re-draw and re-cast whatever I had played so far. However, if I put too much on the bottom, I could end up with not enough gas to close the game. It was quite a dilemma. I ended up having to attack with only one or two creatures at a time so I wouldn’t get blown out, but that by itself was hard on my tempo.
I won’t say the card is amazing or that you should buy up a playset while they’re at $0.60 (although really why not?), but I might test with it some more in the future. I know a few games against white aggro isn’t a good sample, but I’m curious about the card’s potential. Especially with delve returning and making destroy effects a potential liability.
I must be crazy for wanting to do this, but I feel it a challenge seeing as everyone I know says it can’t be a thing after it loses Rev and Verdict.
Sure, it loses some powerful cards, but there has almost always been a UW control presence. It loses some things, but that just means it needs to adapt.
It has what it needs in standard after rotation, the only thing it needs now is a way to sustain.
I’ll accept this challenge greatly.
I’m sure UW Control will be fine. You’ve still got a bunch of good tools for control. I’m temptrd to play it just because I like the art on Dissolve and Divination, haha.
Magic: the Gathering - Khans of Tarkir
Another post up at at the MTG Realm blog summarising all the new Khans of Tarkir spoilers and previews including that very kewl Trailer :
One card were impressed with is Howl of the Horde which promises to deliver some huge damage.
You’re going to need to sacrifice two more artifacts for those additional copies of Shrapnel Blast. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that is how it works.
That’s what I thought too. Still, Darksteel Citadel and Ornithopter are in Standard for a while, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
EDIT: I did a little digging and it looks like you don’t pay any additional costs for the copy. Here’s an article about Twincast, which does the same thing, and it even mentions Shrapnel Blast in the article.
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With the announcement of the Onslaught allied fetchlands (Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills, and Windswept Heath), there has been a lot of confusion among players who haven’t played with fetchlands about why they are so popular. I’d like to offer a quick guide to fetchlands for reference to hopefully cut down on the number of individual explanations that are required. Please note that the bulk of this discussion is relevant to formats other than Standard. They will still have an impact on Standard, but their significance to other formats is far greater. The main point is that if people seem way too excited about fetchlands, there are legitimate reasons for it.
Deck Thinning (or Lack Thereof)
First, there will be many who cite the lands’ ability to “thin the deck,” or reduce the number of land cards in the deck to increase the chance of drawing a non-lands. It seems like common sense – if there are fewer lands in the deck, then you’re less likely to draw a land card. However, I have recently been introduced to what appears to be a thorough statistical analysis of the effect of fetchlands on deck thinning, and the results of that analysis suggest that the deck thinning effect is minimal. The fetchlands are still good for the reasons I’m about to discuss, but I will no longer cite significant deck thinning as one of those reasons, as scientific data doesn’t support the claim. If anyone has any research to the contrary, please let me know.
Interacting with Non-Basic Lands
Despite their dubious effect on deck thinning, the fetchlands are still quite good. The reason is mostly relevant in eternal formats such as Modern, and it is the way they interact with non-basic lands that have basic land subtypes – the original duals like Volcanic Island and the shocklands like Hallowed Fountain being the most notable examples. The fetchlands don’t specify basic lands, so anything that says Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, or Forest in the type line is fair game. They also don’t specify that the lands enter the battlefield tapped, meaning that you can still use your shockland the turn you fetch it.
What this means in reality is that every fetchland in your deck is an extra copy of any dual land that it can fetch. If you have four Hallowed Fountain and four Flooded Strand, then you essentially have eight Hallowed Fountain, because any Strand you draw can get you a Fountain. In a mono-color deck this isn’t important and you probably shouldn’t be running fetches, but in decks that have two or more colors this can be extremely important. Three color decks in particular make good use of the fetchlands because they require a lot of mana fixing from non-basic lands to be the most effective. Consider a deck like UWR (or Jeskai) Delver. This deck needs to be able to make blue mana on turn one every time, but also have the option of UR for Izzet Charm, RW for Lightning Helix, or possibly UW for Path to Exile + Serum Visions, all on turn two. Fetchlands make this much easier to accomplish.
Fetchlands vs Painlands
You may wonder why a fetchland would be preferable to something like a painland such as the ones reprinted in M15, and the reason is that a painland still only makes two kinds of colored mana. If you draw a painland that makes two of your three colors, you’re still restricted to whatever mana it makes that turn, so you’re out of luck if you need your third color. If you draw a fetchland in two of your three colors you can still access your third color because you can fetch a dual that has it. If you don’t need your third color, they give you the option of a basic land so you don’t have to lose 1 life every time you need that mana.
“Graveyard Matters” Cards
A secondary and more specific function is that they put a land in the graveyard, which matters for cards like Deathrite Shaman in Legacy and Tarmogoyf in Legacy and Modern. This function isn’t unique to fetchlands, but it is a benefit added to your mana fixing if you’re running those cards. It will also be relevant with the renewal of the delve mechanic in Standard.
Cost Barrier to Entry
As a result of this effect on mana fixing, the fetchlands are in high demand in the eternal formats. The lack of reprints creates a low supply, and thus the nature of supply and demand leads them to being quite pricey. This creates a prohibitive cost barrier to entry for many players. There are of course decks such as Affinity that don’t use any fetchlands at all, and it is possible to get by with other lands such as the painlands, but ultimately the most efficient multicolor decks are going to run fetchlands.
The fact that they’re being reprinted means we now have the chance to open them in $4 booster packs as opposed to shelling out $40-$90 apiece. The boost in circulation will also drop the singles price down as it did for other staples such as Thoughtseize (~$30 for Lorwyn, $17 for Theros) and Chord of Calling (~$20 for Ravnica, $10 for M15). We may also see a drop in price for the Zendikar fetchlands as the demand for them should decrease slightly with fewer decks running off-color lands. For example, decks that don’t specifically run both blue and green won’t really need Misty Rainforest anymore because they’ll have Polluted Delta and Flooded Strand for blue and Wooded Foothills and Windswept Heath for green.
This reduction in barrier to entry is a huge, huge boost to support in Modern at the very least and also Legacy to some extent, and it means a great deal to a lot of players who have been wanting to get into high-tier Modern competition but couldn’t afford it.
This post is getting pretty long, and I think I’ve covered the key points, so I’m going to wrap it up. Hopefully this serves as a basic reference guide for why fetchlands are worth being excited about. If anyone has any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reply or reblog. Thanks for reading!
Anonymous said: What are your opinions on these newish fetch lands that are coming out in khans of Tarkir? What are the advantages and disadvantages to them in your opinion?
Let me start off by saying that I am by no means a professional player (I’m barely involved in competitive play.) I haven’t been playing Magic long enough to play with fetchlands before, so I’ve never seen the benefits firsthand, but the Magic community is absolutely in love with them, so there’s gotta be something going for them. As far as advantages go, you get to grab a land that you need (which thins out your deck, in turn, helping you avoid drawing mana you don’t need mid and late range) and it comes in untapped, which is the main advantage over things like Evolving Wilds. The obvious disadvantage is the paying 1 life part, but that’s hardly a disadvantage. Life total, like cards in your deck, is a helpful resource, and you shouldn’t shy away from utilizing it. Other than that, the only disadvantage is the restrictive price. Even these reprints are 20-plus dollars on StarCity already.
Hope that was a good answer, and thanks for the question!
The important thing about fetchlands is how they interact with duals that have basic land subtypes, such as shocklands and the original duals. Every fetchland in your deck is essentially an extra copy of each dual that it can grab for you, which is important for decks that require a lot of flexible mana.
Narset, Enlightened Master (I’m damn glad I waited)
Here we have basically the next Zur the Enchanter who enchants. This card is incredibly powerful, especially in this format. Now, ignore the fact that she will permanently exile creatures and lands off the top of your library and focus on the sheer power she will give you. A free time stretch is too much to deal with, and all she has to do is attack? This is awesome! Pay kickers without the original CMC, copy spells pretty much for free, shuffle your library any time you feel with things like Archangels light (not shown) so that you never mill.
Let’s also talk about the fact that she will put enchantments and planeswalkers straight into play without having to make you pay for the (Sorry, no Bolas) which can be a huge advantage. Get two turns and a Venser onto the field, you’re almost guaranteed that you can pop his ultimate whenever you want.
Next let’s talk about evasion. 6 CMC for a 3/2 (even with hexproof) leaves Narset a huge and easy target. To activate her ability you do have to attack so let’s take her out of combat upon her ability resolving. We can do this with Reconnaissance or a Sundial of the Infinite (not shown) but the Recon is much more recommended. This nifty little shi.. er card, is easy to get at a CMC of one, can be pulled onto the field by our commander and pulls any of your creatures you don’t want out of combat FOR FREE. So, attack all you want with her. She’ll never die.
Let’s talk about creatures in this deck. Firstly, yes, they are necessary. We can also make m very effective for when they do get out. Firstly, let’s talk about scrying. If you throw a prognostic sphinx in this bad boy, you will exile a hell of a lot less creatures permanently. (or at least the ones you REALLYYYYY want to keep) Also, you can use wonderful cards like misthollow griffin, who doesn’t give a single f*ck about being in exile.
The other thing about creatures in this deck is that they will really have to pull their weight for when they do get out. If you put a lot of pricey draw spells, niv mizzle the fire mizzle (niv mizzet) will do a lot if you get him out. Need a lot of sorceries cast right as you attack? try a hypersonic dragon. Just remember that no creature should be the sole star of this deck aside from Narset.
That’s all for now! Have fun with your damn fetch lands.
I didn’t know about Reconnaissance. I’ll have to pick one up for Kaalia.
Take this one with a grain of salt since I couldn’t find a source, but as a card it seems legit enough.
Looks like Khans might be shaping up to be Zendikar 2: Everyone is Concerned.
Edit: Nevermind, looks like it’s real! Awesome!
Looks like Lord of Innistrad got … revamped.
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