Blight Night

Why purchase this set when we can play it online for free? What better time to play an online-only set than when we are all indefinitely homebound? Enter Lorwyn-Shadowmoor, Magic's original realm of fairy tales. Officially released as two separate "blocks," Lorwyn and Shadowmoor were two phases of the same plane--day and night, respectively. Here they have been combined into one of my favorite "planar sets," and I am glad we have the opportunity to try it out together. PREPARATION Sorry this does have some homework for everyone, but it will be a good investment for any future online sessions: 1. Download and setup Cockatrice: 2. Open Cockatrice and register for the Rooster Ranges server 3. Build a 30-card sealed deck using four 15-card packs. ( Save the deck here on CubeTutor and download a text version to your computer. As an alternative to step #3, you may select any deck built in 2020 from the decks page: SESSION OUTLINE 1. We will convene on Zoom. Jeremy will provide a link. 2. After catching up, we will break up into pairs using Zoom's breakout rooms or a backup system (e.g., Skype). Pairs will play best-of-3 matches on Cockatrice. 3. If you have extra time in your match, Ryan will be supplying preconstructed Pauper decks you can try out against each other. (He doesn't know this yet. Fingers crossed.) 4. Once everyone has played everyone else, we will reconvene to determine the winner. You get 1 point for every game you win and 1 point for every match won by a deck you built. These are just the most recent ideas based on one-on-one discussions with some of you. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Some Tweaks

I considered overhauling this to be a 4-player microsealed league format but decided to hold off for now. However, as I revisited the set's structure and themes, I did come across some upgrades that can hopefully strengthen it even without an overhaul.
Hillcomber Giant > Ballynock TrapperMine Excavation > Triclopean SightGoldenglow Moth > Springjack KnightBanishing Knack > Broken AmbitionsDewdrop Spy > Dream ThiefWeed Strangle > Weed-Pruner PoplarHurly-Burly > Roar of the CrowdDeglamer > Elvish HandservantLace with Moonglove > Gilt-Leaf AmbushBog-Strider Ash > Cloudcrown OakWildslayer Elves > Reins of the VinesteedTilling Treefolk > Crabapple CohortOrchard Warden > Jagged-Scar Archers

Summary of Recent Changes

I've made a few dozen swaps, hoping to give support to some of the archetypes that haven't made a showing yet without taking anything away from the ones that have. The changes are summarized below. ALLIED ARCHETYPES I mostly left WU Merfolk, BR Goblins, and GW Elves alone, as these have all had success in the past. I made a minor addition to UB Faeries and realized upon further investigation that there are fewer incentives for this deck than I thought. The only way it works as a unique deck unto itself is probably to fully adopt the draw-go subtheme that's lurking in this color pair. The most significant change was to try positioning Elementals as the RG deck. I have a feeling this archetype will always gravitate toward monored, so I left in the incentives for Warriors, which are mostly in Red and Green. If Elementals doesn't work here, hopefully some mashup of Giants, Warriors, and/or Elves does. ENEMY PAIRS Apart from a few minor tweaks, I mostly left these alone, with the exception of WB. I think I'd been expecting too much from Pyrrhic Revival and had included a few cards that tried to make that card better. I replaced those cards with ones that stand on their own a little better and clearly work best in this color pair. Hopefully that provides enough support to keep trying decks in it; whether any of them work is another story. MONOCOLOR TRIBAL ARCHETYPES I merged the floundering "shard" themes from the previous build with the nascent monocolor themes, hoping that the two combined could provide an extra suite of archetypes, one for each color. I slightly boosted Black Rogues and pumped up Green Treefolk. Lacking payoffs in other colors, Giants are presumably Red, but as I noted above, I have a feeling Elementals could end up being the monored tribe of choice, and Giants might combine with Warriors to cover RG.

Warriors Return

I'd been thinking I'd get rid of incentives for both Warriors and Shamans, since there just weren't enough to make these decks stand on their own. However, a Warriors subtheme can help boost Giants a bit and creates another bridge between Red and Green in the likely event that the Elementals deck doesn't really pan out as the driving theme for those two colors.
Rage Forger > Brighthearth BanneretHeap Doll > Obsidian Battle-Axe

Artifacts --> Evoke

Few of these artifacts have seen a lot of play, so I'm swapping them for creatures with Evoke abilities to help push the Elementals archetype in its new direction.
Springleaf Drum > DawnflukeAltar Golem > NevermakerPili-Pala > MournwhelkThornbite Staff > Inner-Flame AcolyteObsidian Battle-Axe > Walker of the Grove

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