Global Series JY&MY + New Legend Rule

I came across Stormcloud Spirit (4/4 flying for 3UU) and its strange extension symbol. I discovered that special edition and figured it would be cool to have a few cards from an obscure set like this one as long as the update isn't adding too many blue cards in proportion, too many cards overall, or too stupidly strong cards. So I reviewed it and I think that the 5 cards that make the cut will be a good addition overall. Stormcloud Spirit is on par with the power level of the list. Heavenly Qilin is the best addition, it is the Trained Condor (which didn't make it in my list) I always wanted. 2/2 instead of 2/1 makes it better and that+ being white instead of blue is exactly what I dreamed of. The problem with Trained Condor is that its ability is fundamentally made for the offense and provides its value only when you can attack with two of your creatures, which isn't something that easy in multiplayer. Cards that are really turned towards the offensive become really bad when you can't attack. Being able to advantageously block 1/1s (and 1/Xs), including flying 1/1s, is the tiny help that it needed to cross the line and be included. Dragon's Presence is a clone of Sandblast. Another white removal goes in the right direction. Cleansing Presence may seem a bit low but I value highly removals that can also be reach. Similar cards weren't in because they didn't exist, not because it would be too bad. Earthshaking Si is the one I hesitated a lot about. At first I figured it was just under the limit because the 5/5 trample creatures for 6 that are in are also morph/gigamorph. They are good as morph but they were also good as 6 mana creatures. I also have added some 5/5 for 6 with an occasionnal upside that seemed good enough. With this in mind, and because I will anyway soon do a lot of updates and test decreasing the power level requirements, I decided to add it along with Moss Kami and Giant Warthog. OTHERS : Feral Krushok should have been in earlier as a 5/4 for 5. I noticed that while reviewing all sets. Garbage Elemental is slightly questionable at least for some of the four versions I chose and Cube Tutor doesn't have all of them. But I like the idea of having this unique "4-of" that is four different cards. Versions I chose are : A: Frenzy 2 (Whenever this creature attacks and isn't blocked, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.) Garbage Elemental can't be blocked by wordy creatures. (A creature is wordy if it has four or more lines of rules text.) 2/4 Both better and weaker than the 3/3 for 5 unblockable "cycle" I dismissed, but overall I think it's good enough. C: Battle cry When Garbage Elemental enters the battlefield, roll two six-sided dice. Create a number of 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens equal to the difference between those results. 3/2 Maybe the weakest in this multiplayer format where attacking is harder (best version in cube I guess). But it's still ok and this way I have a playset. D: Cascade When Garbage Elemental enters the battlefield, roll a six-sided die. Garbage Elemental deals damage equal to the result to target opponent. 3/3 Probably the best version, I certainly missed it when I reviewed it F: Last strike (This creature deals combat damage after creatures without last strike.) Battalion — Whenever Garbage Elemental and at least two other creatures attack, target creature can't block this turn. 6/5 Battalion is hard to use and it's dangerous. But the body should do some good work blocking, and even if it dies on an attack + a burn spell it's ok. War Behemoth in and Witness of the Ages out : I didn't have an occasion to test all the latest morphs and other additions, but as I said already Witness of the Ages is very weak and was included more as a way to test how low I can get. But I just can't imagine it being good and War Behemoth seems superior (and ups the white count). I prefer to do the change now. NEW LEGEND RULE Legends are very rare in the list and it's a label that doesn't change anything. I have been thinking for a long time about finding an additionnal rule that would make sense of that mention on cards. The thing is I don't want to make them particularly stronger, especially cards like Zhang Fei, Fierce Warrior / Lu Xun, Scholar General that are already quite good or the blue Honden which could be the best card of the pile since I removed My First Tome. I think I found one that doesn't make them too strong, that is flavorful, and that will create new interesting plays and considerations : "You can play your legendary cards from your exile zone" So it won't happen often but it will have some impact when it does. You can now consider exiling your legend in response to removal with cards like Swords to Plowshares, Unmake etc... Instant grave hate cards that cantrip which were a bit low value now become better. It's unlikely to assemble the combo but now Phyrexian Furnace and Scrabbling Claws have quite a high potential. I really love the flavor of "The return of the Legend", and not just because Napoleon Bonaparte came back from exile. At this stage, except for the additions from this summer that haven't been tested (mostly Garbage Elementals, weakest morphs, weakest removals added, and fogs) all the cards have been tested a lot and are pretty safe. Since I will next do huge updates by lowering my requirements for inclusions + reviewing every set, below is a link to an archive of the current 1982 card list. It might be useful to someone who wants to select only among experienced cards (and 1982 happens to be my year of birth). Examples of "long been there weakest cards" : Reality Strobe, Graverobber Spider, Fatal Blow, Ishan's Shade (to complete the cycle of one expensive card per color with triple of the same mana),Witch's Mist, Penumbra Spider, Spell Snare, Exile into Darkness, Measure of Wickedness (for fun), Undying Beast (for fun).
Stormcloud SpiritHeavenly QilinDragon's PresenceCleansing ScreechEarthshaking SiMoss KamiGiant WarthogFeral KrushokGarbage ElementalGarbage ElementalGarbage ElementalGarbage ElementalWar BehemothWitness of the Ages

New errata on the Karn vanguard (edit: + Maraxus)

Karn's new text : As long as you don't control an artifact creature, creatures you play gain the artifact type as they enter the battlefield until they leave the battlefield. Your artifacts have 'indestructible'. Players adapted. With the old errata using Legacy Weapon (which I unlisted from the sideboard) opponents were too tough with the Karn player in the early-mid game. Current text may change slightly if needed, but in theory I am proud of the flavor, the originality and the power level of this one. Another vanguard with increased defensiveness (it's mainly that) also means Lyna rises in value. Maraxus : +2/+0 instead of +1/+0 to creatures I errated so many of the original vanguards that I think it's worth adjusting Maraxus to multiplayer games. The original was ok and underrated but I am afraid it won't be enough + it compares badly to Mishra's vanguard in a format with big creatures. +2/+0 rather than +1/+1 because it's also a good thing that opponents are as able to destroy evasion creatures as they are now. It will also be more important to know how to sequence your creatures with Maraxus since they are less robust.I could have also chosen +X/+0 where X is the number of opponents but in 4-5 players free for all games everybody would slam their removals at Maraxus' dangerous creatures. Since I will test MTGO vanguards I don't change the rules, but if I were to draft only original vanguards for a free for all game, I would reduce the total number of draftable cards by one, so that the last player to pick has no choice. That's a logical consequence of all these erratas. If your players don't like the squee vanguard that lets you look at opponents' hands, then just remove/replace it. RULES RECAP FOR VANGUARD The vanguard cards edited by wizards of the coasts in the 90s have an ideal power level to go with the domain pile and it is a very fun variant that makes it (even more) impossible to become bored by the format. I like using the vanguard avatars a lot but if you don't know the domain pile format well, you should probably at least play a few games in the format before using them. Basis: Each player has his own vanguard, becoming one planeswalker of the good old storyline. We like to play a vanguard avatar game after each free-for-all normal game. The idea is to incite people to stay alive as long as possible even if the first place becomes out of reach. By reaching a higher rank in the normal game, you have more choices when drafting vanguard cards. Inciting people to finish second or third instead of finishing last avoids kamikaze behaviors that would twist unfairly the outcome of the game. From a roleplaying point of view, it's a bit like if the normal game was the battle of the planeswalkers when they were young. After several years they meet again as confirmed planeswalkers with innate powers, fighting to death this time. -After a free-for-all game at 3 players: Vanguard cards are shuffled and you select four cards at random. Each player then drafts his avatar for the next game from these four Vanguards in the previous ranking order. So winner chooses between 4 vanguards, second from the 3 left and the first to die in the previous game chooses between the last 2. When every player drafted his personnal avatar you can reveal them all. -After a free-for-all at 4 players, vanguard 2vs2: At 4 players prefer 2vs2 for shorter games and free-for-all for longer games. You play face to face with your teammate and share 35 life points (apply both life bonuses or life handicaps from your team of Vangard avatars) The winner of the previous free-for-all game gets 6 random cards to choose his vanguard avatar from while the player who finished second in the previous free-for-all game gets 5 OTHER random cards to choose his vanguard avatar from. They will be on the same team and can discuss their choices but not exchange cards. They will play vs the team of the two remaining players. After they picked their avatars, the 3rd and 4th player from the previous game pick 5 new random cards from the Vanguard pile. Both choose their avatar from this common pool of 5 cards. So they are punished by having less choice, but to compensate this disadvantage in the game, they know the vanguard avatars the team of winners chose while the winners didn't know anything about theirs. It's a bit like if the previous winners were well known champions with known techniques while the challengers aren't. It's worth noting that using these rules, you will see 16 vanguard avatars per game (6+5+5) while the total number of different vanguards is 32 (I don't reshuffle the first 16 for the second game to vary what we see). 2 vs 2 is the only vanguard variant where vanguards will be shown before all vanguards are chosen. -After a free-for-all at 4 players, vanguard free-for-all: The winner of the previous normal (no vanguard avatar) game chooses his vanguard among 6 and then has to "burn" another vanguard of his choice (probably the one that would be the most problematic for him). The second to choose takes the remaining vanguards + one additionnal new vanguard at random. He makes his choice and burns again one of the vanguards. Repeat until everyone has his vanguard. This way the losers have some luck potential to compensate their initial drawback and the winner can take a pretty strong avatar even if its nemesis is in the initial pack. Of course he can be unlucky after picking but that's fair odds I'd say. Remember that the selected vanguards are only revealed when everyone is done with drafting its vanguard avatar. -I never tested vanguards for duels or pentacle, but if each player gets 3 random Vanguards and picks one of them things should be balanced. You could also use total randomness if players want to play with vanguards for the first game of the day. If you do so, you should probably allow exchanges of avatars before players take their starting hand. When playing with Vanguards, after picking an avatar, all players declare how many spells and lands they will have before drawing the first card of their starting hand. This way Titania is relevant and Gerrard slightly less problematic in the very beginning. Don't forget the left figure also determines the maximum size of your hand, so Gerrard isn't that broken. RECAP OF ERRATAS FOR THE ORIGINAL VANGUARDS (explanations a few pages back) Eladamri: use the gatherer text (0: The next 1 damage that would be dealt to a creature of your choice you control this turn is dealt to you instead.) Oracle : original text + play this ability only before the damage step Squee : you can look at an opponent's hand anytime (original text is fine for 2vs2) Multani : +0/+X instead of +X/+0 Volrath : this avatar creates a new library called Volrath's library. Only the player with the Volrath avatar can draw or reveal from Volrath's library. Volrath's library is always face-up and is empty at the beginning of the game. Whenever a creature is put into your graveyard from play, you may put this creature on top of Volrath's library. Lyna : when a creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may choose to give it shadow until it leaves the battlefield. Mirri: original text + Exaltation (written on Mirri so it triggers only once)+ Your attacking creatures have First Strike Takara : +0 life instead of -8 Ashnod : life total = 13xnumber of opponents instead of -8 Titania : +4 cards instead of +2 Karn: As long as you don't control an artifact creature, creatures you play gain the artifact type as they enter the battlefield until they leave the battlefield. Your artifacts have 'indestructible'.
Legacy Weapon

Exploring new borders 5 : removals edition

The black cards count has been falling behind and all the recent big additions made the removal ratio significantly lower now. So I will lower my requirements for removals and if some are too weak in games I will remove them. Assassin's Strike, Gloomlance, Plague Spores, Sip of Hemlock, Spiteful Blow, Flesh to Dust : are all expensive universal removals that have a bonus (or are instant) to justify their inclusion, not much more to say. I like that the removals that also destroy a land let you either be diplomatic, or attack more one player who is ahead. They could even protect you from landwalkers. Assassin's Blade, Saltblast, Lash of the Whip : borderline outs that now fit the standards I suppose Bala Ged Scorpion : there are a lot of walls and I guess a few more creatures worth being a target. Crookclaw Transmuter has done some work killing 0/Xs but rarely survived with his 1 toughness. I think the card will be better than one would think Befoul, Stream of Acid : before the change, removal spells with a 2BB cost had to be instant or universal. I like that Stream of Acid can kill Knight of the Kitchen Sink (A) Broken Visage : uncommon in Master's Edition II. It's quite restraining and one of the most likely to be removed after test, but it has potential and flavor. I think I tested it long ago but I didn't have the aether cycling rule which is quite convenient with situationnal five mana spells Chime of Night : dissuasion is sometimes stronger than raw power in multiplayer formats. That + cheapness compensate its drawbacks I guess Corpsehatch : it could have been in earlier, any token that can chump has risen in value with the evolution of the domain pile Daraja Griffin : unlike Dark Betrayal the 2/2 flying body should make it useful often enough and dissuasion is valuable in the format. It will complement the removals that can't deal with black creatures Death's Caress : the "check the creature type" part is annoying but other than that it will be fine under the new requirements Death Bomb and Launch Party : being instant means you can wait for a good sacrifice if it's not too hard to keep four mana open. Also with the decrease in proportion of mass removals for small creatures we have more food for sacrifice now. I don't like that Death Bomb isn't universal but I'd rather test it Divine Verdict and Neck Snap : it's hard to keep 4 mana open with no additionnal value in best case scenarios, but I have to find enough new removals Essence Vortex : it should work often enough on fatties to be good +I think dilemmas are fun Flesh Allergy : a variance spell but we have more small bodies to spare now. This one and Broken Visage are the least likely to stay Harsh Sustenance : typically the kind of card I avoided before. But now more creatures stay on the battlefield and there is the aether cycling rule. It still demands caution as removal but that should be ok and it could be a strong reach spell Heartstabber Mosquito : a bit expensive but two cards in one and I need more removals Liturgy of Blood : could have been there earlier Murderous Spoils and Dark Withering are a bit weak as their upside is unlikely, but when they will matter it will be fun Premature Burial : I think it's much better than Cradle to Grave since you can topdeck it and you don't have to keep mana open Public Execution : instant, has a cool effect, is universal and needs only one black. It's expensive but it wasn't far from being included before Scour from Existence : it was too expensive when I tested it. But it wasn't tested in a real game and slow cards shine more in real games Terashi's Verdict : I think there are way enough landwalk, horsemanship and flying creatures in its range for it to be good Throat Slitter : I didn't like ninjutsu when I reviewed all the cards back in the day, but since then I increased a lot the proportion of creatures with evasion
Assassin's StrikeGloomlancePlague SporesSip of HemlockSpiteful BlowFlesh to DustAssassin's BladeSaltblastLash of the WhipBala Ged ScorpionBefoulStream of AcidBroken VisageChime of NightCorpsehatchDaraja GriffinDeath's CaressDeath BombLaunch PartyDivine VerdictNeck SnapEssence VortexFlesh AllergyHarsh SustenanceHeartstabber MosquitoLiturgy of BloodMurderous SpoilsDark WitheringPremature BurialPublic ExecutionScour from ExistenceTerashi's VerdictThroat Slitter

Exploring new borders 4 + removing the best card

Mostly I complete two cycles (Sojourners and Trigons), add the two mana fogs earlier than expected, and I looked back at expensive spells that create tokens since I now evaluate both tokens and expensive spells higher. I also looked back at arcane spells because I like rare interactions (three creatures are triggered and there were three splice cards, four now). In : Bant Sojourners : 1/1 cantrip creatures for 3 mana have been ok. You can't blink/bounce the cycling ability but the instant effect + the option of playing the body compensate that I guess Grixis Sojourners : the weakest trigger but the body is almost enough by itself and I am not against including the last playable graveyard removal (from what I remember after that it can only be four mana or no cantrip) Esper Sojourners : I think I was too focused on the tapping part and underrated the untap potential Trigon of Thought : given the experience with Jayemdae Tome this is an easy inclusion Trigon of Rage : back when I evaluated all the cards I severely tried to limit the amount of bad topdecks when you have no board. But we have more small creatures on boards now so it should be good enough to complete the cycle Trigon of Mending : I think it's a good card, better than a few life gain spells that are already in. Respite, Winds of Qal Sisma, Batwing Brume, Dawn Charm, Lull and Angelsong are included without waiting after some thoughts. Blunt the Assault also gets in (3G) because it's a spell on its own even without the fog part. Soulless Revival, Wildwood Rebirth, Evolution Charm : I didn't put many of these effects at two mana, only Resourceful Return and the buyback one. Others like Cemetery Recruitment are too unlikely to provide value. But I think I really underrated the instant ones since it is better for planification and concealment when you can't play the spell and the creature in the same turn. Also keeping mana open is respected in this format. The sorcery Morgue Theft has a very expensive flashback cost, which is why I didn't put it in before. But that additionnal value is still way more likely than others so I will try this one Ambassador Oak : it compares to 4/4s for 4 I play and it is probably better than weaker bodies that produce tokens when they die like Symbiotic elf and Nearheath Chaplain Benthicore : 7 mana is less expensive now and the ability is strong Blaze Commando : at 5 mana the creatures shouldn't be too fragile. But since we play with more lands in general now, we are more likely to be able to keep 1R open when we play it (and there are lots of burn spells) Citanul Woodreaders : 4GG is a bit rough, which is why it wasn't in before. But it's also a useful body that shouldn't trigger any removal spell (guaranteed by the experience I have with Teroh's Faithful) Durable Handicraft : a unique card hard to evaluate, I'll give it a chance since I want to keep the enchantment proportion high enough Guardian of Cloverdell : expensive but it's really like two cards in one (not even counting the life gain) Heed the Mists : I am more willing to gamble for fun now and the curve is significantly higher than when I reviewed all the cards Joyous Respite : I completely forgot this card. It's far from being the best life gain spell, but since Angel's Mercy is mostly there because of the lobbying of my players, I will gladly put this one in instead Leonin Bola : due to the decrease in proportion of mass removals for small creatures you have more of these on the battlefield. Having lots of small bodies should give full value to this equipment Murmurs from Beyond : weaker than a draw two but instant arcane and like with Fact or Fiction there are times when your opponent has to help you versus third party. Nearheath Chaplain : still seems too fragile, but if I can loot it or use the lifelink it will be good. Worth a try Quiet Purity and Demystify : Quiet Purity is an arcane that is easy to include and it's hard to justify skipping those when Erase is in. I removed a lot of "Destroy all enchantments" effects so it is ok to put these two in. Sea God's Revenge : violent, feels a lot like the discard three cards spells I banned. This addition of another "bounce multiple creatures" effect triggered me into including more fogs. Screeching Drake : I always looked down on one-time looting because it's not card advantage. But because I use the aether cycling rule often I now realize I was probably underestimating it. A 2/2 flying body attached is decent at four mana Shaman of Spring and Striped Bears : for a long time I saw them as expensive cards not bringing much to the game. But I knew the day would come they would enter the list. There are many 1/1 tokens now and 4 mana is less expensive given the game is a bit slower Spiritual Guardian : clone of Staunch Defenders. It was rare in Portal but uncommon in a special Magic Arena edition. Accepted Stormfront Riders : I considered this card many many times. It's dangerous but unique and it has great potential. This time I will try it. Swallowing Plague : a bit low, but I need removals and it's both a life gain and an arcane so I push it in Symbiotic Beast : given the recent experience with Mausoleum Guard and the value of numerous bodies it's probably a good card. The first time I evaluated it I probably made the mistake to compare it to Sprouting Thrinax (you shouldn't compare to the best card in the same category + mana costs are evaluated a bit differently in this format) Symbiotic Elf : a bit skeptical since the tokens are less valuable than for Mausoleum Guard but worth a try Gutless Ghoul : I checked if there was a snow-creature that doesn't use snow lands that I could reevaluate since I only have one in the list currently. This one has potential. I probably dismissed it because the aether cyling rule didn't exist and it's bad with no board. Boards are more filled with creatures now. Grim Flowering : in your starting hand it's weak for sure. But even if you only have 2 creatures in your graveyard you can play it for value instead of aether cycling it. Out : My First Tome : I have considered it the best card in the list for many years (artifact removals are rarer than enchantment removals). I think the card is a bit too strong (like Symbol Status would be) + a bit too annoying to play (like the strong Gotcha Un-cards would be). We don't follow the official text to avoid slowing down the game too much, we just reveal the card with a quote and don't reveal the same one again and I don't like that. It's not that horrible in games so it's not an easy out, but I feel like the games will be better without it so I "ban" it. Angel's Mercy : my players insisted on having it some time ago and I didn't like it much. I am happy to replace it with Joyous Respite and Blunt the Assault
Bant SojournersGrixis SojournersEsper SojournersTrigon of ThoughtTrigon of RageTrigon of MendingRespiteWinds of Qal SismaBatwing BrumeDawn CharmLullAngelsongBlunt the AssaultSoulless RevivalWildwood RebirthEvolution CharmMorgue TheftAmbassador OakBenthicoreBlaze CommandoCitanul WoodreadersDurable HandicraftGuardian of CloverdellHeed the MistsJoyous RespiteLeonin BolaMurmurs from BeyondNearheath ChaplainQuiet PurityDemystifySea God's RevengeScreeching DrakeShaman of SpringStriped BearsSpiritual GuardianStormfront RidersSwallowing PlagueSymbiotic BeastSymbiotic ElfGutless GhoulGrim FloweringMy First TomeAngel's Mercy

MTGO vanguards

I didn't think I would, but I took some time to print some MTGO Vanguard avatars and I will try most of them. Using abilities with randomness could be pretty annoying so I skipped the most restraining ones. Higure can just reveal from the unknown top of the library. Flametongue Kavru, Eight-and-a-Half-Tails, Frenetic Efreet and Hermit Druid will always function with a six-sided die. I will remove those who slow the game too much and if they are all ok I may try to add Arcanis the Omnipotent and Akroma Angel of Wrath who are possibly too strong in addition to being unpractical. I also modified four of the MTGO vanguard avatars so that they are more adapted to the format. Royal Assassin is probably unplayable in free-for-all so I don't list it. Complete list of MTGO vanguard avatars is here : But for a better presentation and printing I would use this : First (large) selection is : Arcbound Overseer Ashling the Extinguisher Ashling the Pilgrim Chronatog Dauntless Escort Diamond Faerie (I don't use snow-covered lands so the ability will work with mana from basic lands) Eight-and-a-Half-Tails Erhnam Djinn Etched Oracle Fallen Angel Figure of Destiny Flametongue Kavu Frenetic Efreet (it may not be too horrible to handle. I will play it with two boards on each half in front of me. In the middle of these the Frenetic Efreet card will either lean towards left or right and switch at each upkeep) Grinning Demon (looks the weakest by far, but dissuasion works well in the format so I will give it a chance) Haakon Stromgald Scourge Heartwood Storyteller Hell's Cartetaker Hermit Druid Higure the Still Wind Ink-Eyes Servant of Oni Jaya Ballard Loxodon Hierarch Lyzolda the Blood Witch Maralen of the Mornsong Maro Mayael the Anima Mirri the Cursed Mirror Entity Orcish Squatters Phage the Untouchable Platinum Angel Prodigal Sorcerer Raksha Golden Cub Reaper King Rith the Awakener Rumbling Slum Sakashima the Impostor Serra Angel Sisters of Stone Death Squee, Goblin Nabob Stalking Tiger Stuffy Doll Teysa, Orzhov Scion Tradewind Rider Two-Headed Giant of Foryis +the ones with a text modification : Goblin Warchief : attacking creatures you control get +1/+0 FOR EACH ATTACKING CREATURE. If it's too strong it will be "for each other attacking creature" or I will drop the vanguard entirely Master of the Wild Hunt : "1GG : Put a green token on the battlefield that is a 2/2 wolf" Given the sliver queen is already strong in the format I prefer to limit its power. Making wolves only is more flavorful and gets rid of the annoying randomness factor. I also changed the cost from 2G to 1GG. Morinfen : No text. The +30 is its only power. Viridian Zealot : 2, sacrifice a creature : destroy target artifact or enchantment I simply removed the last part about tutoring the same creature. 15,5% of the cards are artifacts or enchantments so it seems ok. I expect other players to spend time to aether cycle almost all their artifacts and enchantments. Note to myself : it's worth considring using land cards like Diamond Valley and Maze of Ith for created or errated vanguards.

1   2   3   4   5   next   last