Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor

@gkraigher

One last thought on this:

ZD is a permanent with a static effect. The best proof I can find that the functionality of ZD today is not a power level errata is the comprehensive rules. If ZD oracle text was exactly as it is on the card it would function the way it does today, not the way you would like it to.
The card text, "If Zodiac Dragon is put into your graveyard, you may return Zodiac Dragon to your hand" is a static ability that creates a replacement effect. From the comprehensive rules:

604.2. Static abilities create continuous effects, some of which are prevention effects or replacement
effects. These effects are active as long as the permanent with the ability remains on the battlefield
and has the ability, or as long as the object with the ability remains in the appropriate zone, as
described in rule 112.6. (emphasis added is mine)

112.6. Abilities of an instant or sorcery spell usually function only while that object is on the stack.
Abilities of all other objects usually function only while that object is on the battlefield. The
exceptions are as follows: 112.6b An ability that states which zones it functions in functions only from those zones.

Basically regardless of why the card was errata'd or what its original intended ability was, this is not a power level errata. This is simply how the rules of the game work. The card doesn't say it functions in any particular zone so the exception listed as 112.6b does not apply. This leaves us with the default of 604.2

You could still argue that you want a functional errata to restore original functionality - but you have yet to prove original functionality. But I don't think there is any argument that can made that it was changed because of power level.

Believe me, I would love to have fun abusing ZD if it were changed. I just don't think the basis for the change you want exists. 😞

@ChubbyRain said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@cutlex I feel this view on Shops is outdated. The deck has become much more aggressive and resilient. Instead of operating as a prison deck, it's become perhaps the most power aggro-tempo deck of all time. Running more mana sources doesn't necessarily overcome the Tempo generated by Thorns and Wastelands. Running singleton removal doesn't matter if you are locked into removing one threat a turn while they've dumped their hand on turn 2. The best deck I've found against Shops has been Drain Tendrils and I'm literally playing Chrome Mox because I felt I needed the extra Mox to overcome the tempo swing. Oh, and I don't bother with the one-for-one strategy. Just Tinker them or chain Hurkyl's into PO. Steel Sabotage is more to bounce their Metamorph on my Blightsteel than it is an effective hate card in the matchup.

This is an interesting perspective. I've been thinking about opening up a thread on the topic, but I've been worried about how healthy it would end up.

@cutlex I would be very interesting in discussing and I think the strategy element would be beneficial to the community as a whole. As for how healthy it ends up, can it really get any worse? Maybe if you include a paragraph asking people not to discuss possible restrictions, it might stay on track? I don't know, but I feel if we get to the point where people don't make threads on interesting topics of discussion because of fear that those threads will derail into a B&R flame war, that's the end of The Mana Drain.

@gkraigher said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Smmenen

"For more than two years, we fought to get this corrected. Although the letter that Rich and I wrote pleading to remove power-level errata ultimately changed policy, Wizards failed to correct the power level errata that was left intact on Time Vault. When I spoke with Richard Garfield at 2008 Nationals, I was able to get the evidence needed to correct this, told Wizards, and the mistake was corrected in short order."

This is the article that years ago sparked my desire to crusade and champion Zodiac Dragons reversion back to its original intent. The card doesn't do today what it was intended to do in design.

Join me Steven. You also have a lot of influence on these things!

Bring Zodiac Dragon to Vintage!

VintageGreg, I love you like the intoxicated brother who lives in Detroit I never knew but I can't understand why Zodiac Dragon is the trench you want to die in. Unless you have like 1,000 in your secret stash. I am all for cards to be used as the creator intended, I would have gone to war for Winter Orb for days on end. I think there are just other older cards ahead in the line, most notably Serendib Djinn. How the xerox turned B&R death battle turned power level errata left turn in this thread happened is confusing, maybe we need a "Card that you feel should be restored: Make your case" thread.

This is really fascinating how the brothers' war is a permanent state in Magic even after both Urza and Mishra are gone. Adepts of Urza prefer a Swiss army knife approach aka Turbo Xerox, while adepts of Mishra are focused on a single goal and simplicity.

The flavor text on Mishra's Workshop is timeless: "Though he eventually came to despise Tocasia, Mishra listened well to her lessons on clarity of purpose. Unlike his brother, he focused his mind on a single goal."

@Chronatog said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

This is really fascinating how the brothers' war is a permanent state in Magic even after both Urza and Mishra are gone. Adepts of Urza prefer a Swiss army knife approach aka Turbo Xerox, while adepts of Mishra are focused on a single goal and simplicity.

So how does Turbo Xerox have the characteristics of a Swiss Army knife?

@desolutionist said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Chronatog said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

This is really fascinating how the brothers' war is a permanent state in Magic even after both Urza and Mishra are gone. Adepts of Urza prefer a Swiss army knife approach aka Turbo Xerox, while adepts of Mishra are focused on a single goal and simplicity.
So how does Turbo Xerox have the characteristics of a Swiss Army knife?

There are only a few situational cards - Monastery Mentor to win, By Force to clean up, Swords to Plowshares to remove creatures, Force of Will to counter etc. The rest are either tutors - Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Snapcaster Mage, fetch lands, etc or deck manipulation spells - Ancestral Recall, Brainstorm, Preordain, Ponder, Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, Merchant Scroll, Dack Fayden, etc. So the goal of the deck is to adjust on the fly to the current match and use only tools necessary in each situation. The same is with a Swiss army knife - it has many blades and tools, but you use each of them based on a specific situation and need. Hope I answered your question.

@Chronatog

Yeah I suppose I just looked at TX differently than what you described. Where can I find more information about this Urza vs. Mishra theory? I have never read about this before.

@desolutionist said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Chronatog

Yeah I suppose I just looked at TX differently than what you described. Where can I find more information about this Urza vs. Mishra theory? I have never read about this before.

I never read any specific articles about this "theory" because for me this is the grand story of the Magic world itself - a story about Urza and Mishra. All old sets are evolving around this story. There were books, of course. Perhaps, you will like these - Artifacts Cycle. And here is some brief summary - Storylines.

@Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

Turn 1 - workshop, sol ring sphere, sphere. Turn 2 - any land into fleetwheel cruiser. It cost 6 mana sure, but its done on turn 2 with 2 land drops.

You can't cast two spheres with just Workshop and Sol Ring.
Workshop, tap +3
Cast Sol Ring -1 = 2
Tap Sol Ring +2 = 4
Cast Sphere/Thorn -2 = 2
Cast Thor- no it costs 3 now.

If you are going Shop, Mox, Sol Ring, Sphere, Sphere, Cruiser - what threats does that leave you with when the automobile is uncrewed? And if they have Misstep, Force, or MBT?

What you are describing is also possible with a few decks, not just with Spheres, even if less consistently. I mean i don't disagree, the deck is powerful, but you can't have Sol Ring or Crypt every opener.

@cutlex said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

The moment Wizards prints artifact removal that circumvents tax effects, Shops becomes a manageable card (and by extension archetype) again. Cycling, Channel or a new keyword is all it takes. One new green or red card and we're fine again.

These cards already exist. Steel sabotage is a card. So is Ancient Grudge. Spell Pierce Hurkyl's Recall By Force etc. etc. This is without getting into the hosers that you can play if you run an actual manabase instead of a greedy pile.

@jhport12
Have to agree with cutlex here. What would be gained by a cycler? As awesome as that sounds, seriously, what would be the cost a nearly-uncounterable artifact-destruction cantrip? Most likely 4 mana, honestly. You've got Slice in Twain and even though it's an uncommon, printing a better version that has some kind of primary effect with this as backup but with nearly uncounterable? I don't see this happening. And 4 mana is not where you want to be. If it were 3 mana, how does that compare to casting Grudge at 3-4 mana, or Ingot Chewer which still costs 3 when there are 2 Spheres (not Thorns) down? @ChubbyRain is also right though, that 1-for-1 removal is not really where you want to be either, but some of us are not playing Tinker and Colossus.

If you are looking for anti-shop card, having it uncounterable is not really necessary and would only make it more costy. You need it to be sphere-proof. Cycling is interesting as it could be added on about any kind of card. I would suggest to put it on a low cost card with a strong effect in a weak color to improve a deck currently under the radar.

Lands are also sphere-proof ....

last edited by albarkhane

@albarkhane said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

If you are looking for anti-shop card, having it uncounterable is not really necessary and would only make it more costy. You need it to be sphere-proof.

I'm not meaning to add "Can't be countered", just meaning that activated abilities are not commonly/easily interacted with. It could be Revoker'ed though.
However, being nearly uncounterable has many other implications. Do other artifacts deserve to face such a card? The real problem is the cos still in my opinion. A card that removes something unaffected by spheres and counterspells and draws you a card, is very unlikely to receive an effective cost.

Lands are also sphere-proof ....

Same with cost though. Is it supposed to be able to be activated for just 3 mana? 2? Meaning it's the 3rd or 4th land drop (and effectively costs as much since you're not getting mana out of it). Would such a card be created without coming in untapped and being vulnerable to wastelands?

Would rather see Invigorate and/or Snuff Out wordings. Also allows the card be countered and not draw a replacement.

@Sovarius said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@albarkhane said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

If you are looking for anti-shop card, having it uncounterable is not really necessary and would only make it more costy. You need it to be sphere-proof.

I'm not meaning to add "Can't be countered", just meaning that activated abilities are not commonly/easily interacted with. It could be Revoker'ed though.
However, being nearly uncounterable has many other implications. Do other artifacts deserve to face such a card? The real problem is the cos still in my opinion. A card that removes something unaffected by spheres and counterspells and draws you a card, is very unlikely to receive an effective cost.

Lands are also sphere-proof ....

Same with cost though. Is it supposed to be able to be activated for just 3 mana? 2? Meaning it's the 3rd or 4th land drop (and effectively costs as much since you're not getting mana out of it). Would such a card be created without coming in untapped and being vulnerable to wastelands?

Would rather see Invigorate and/or Snuff Out wordings. Also allows the card be countered and not draw a replacement.

I disagree. R&D doesn't give a crap about spells that get around spheres and counterspells to remove artifacts. Those are vintage issues, not standard issues. If they are going to print a card like this a) it won't be for a few years yet as we just had cycling in a set and the next years worth of sets are under development and probably wont have cycling. b) if they made card like this for us vintage players they would recognize that cost is important. Having it be

Artifificers downfall 1GG destroy 2 artifacts G, discard this card: When you cycle this card destroy target artifact - that would have no bearing on standard unless it was a really artifact heavy set. They may throw us a bone if they can work it into a set w/out unbalancing standard. Which can be done by putting it in a non-artifactcentric set.

@Khahan Your supposed card is, quite frankly, god damn OP. 1 mana instant speed uncounterable destruction that draws a card? It will never happen. And your card idea has implications for not only standard, but also modern and legacy as well.
And i do think they care about printing uncounterable spells, which is why they do it pretty much never and have already said Split Second was (i'm paraphrasing here) dumb.
In the combined sets of Amonkhet and Hour of Devastion, there are a total of 6 cycling abilities with 'spells' attached and they are mostly pretty bad and pricey. And again, something like this has some bs splash damage against decks that are not shops, like PO, Tezzerator, Stax, Eldrazi Taxes/Hatebears, even Landstill and Oath. Some littler things like Welder, Painter, or 2 Card Monte. Seems absolutely absurd vs Stoneforge decks in Legacy and Affinity in Modern.

I could, though, see a much higher chance of like a 5 mana creature that Channels for maybe 2 mana though.

@Sovarius said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Khahan Your supposed card is, quite frankly, god damn OP. 1 mana instant speed uncounterable destruction that draws a card? It will never happen. And your card idea has implications for not only standard, but also modern and legacy as well.
And i do think they care about printing uncounterable spells, which is why they do it pretty much never and have already said Split Second was (i'm paraphrasing here) dumb.
In the combined sets of Amonkhet and Hour of Devastion, there are a total of 6 cycling abilities with 'spells' attached and they are mostly pretty bad and pricey. And again, something like this has some bs splash damage against decks that are not shops, like PO, Tezzerator, Stax, Eldrazi Taxes/Hatebears, even Landstill and Oath. Some littler things like Welder, Painter, or 2 Card Monte. Seems absolutely absurd vs Stoneforge decks in Legacy and Affinity in Modern.

I could, though, see a much higher chance of like a 5 mana creature that Channels for maybe 2 mana though.

So they could just as easily do something like the basic land cycles that have an affect in lieu of drawing the card. Cycle for G to destroy target artifact instead of drawing a card when you cycle. They've demonstrated in the past that cycling can take many different forms.

@Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

So they could just as easily do something like the basic land cycles that have an affect in lieu of drawing the card. Cycle for G to destroy target artifact instead of drawing a card when you cycle. They've demonstrated in the past that cycling can take many different forms.

So, Channel?

https://scryfall.com/search?q=(o%3AChannel+o%3A—)&status=302

@hierarchnoble said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

So they could just as easily do something like the basic land cycles that have an affect in lieu of drawing the card. Cycle for G to destroy target artifact instead of drawing a card when you cycle. They've demonstrated in the past that cycling can take many different forms.

So, Channel?

https://scryfall.com/search?q=(o%3AChannel+o%3A—)&status=302

Yeah, I guess so.

@cutlex

I don't think it is accurate to imply that the only reason Shops is dominant is because people don't play enough land or use hate cards. That isn't the issue. Also, it is unwise to assume anyone who complains is playing for the blue mirror. I play Oath mostly, and with 18 lands, and while that has many blue cards I wouldn't consider it in the same category as Mentor and PO Tinker/Storm decks.

Every spell you mentioned fails the "Can I pay for this on Turn 1 with a tax effect out?" text. Shops has 10 tax effects plus some still run Tanglewire (a quasi-tax effect).

I love Shops for putting it to cantrip decks, Storm decks and PO decks, but it has gotten to the point that the archetype can really lock an opponent out of the game regardless of what they are playing. I have died to Shops many times with multiple artifact hate in my hand because of tax effects.

This is why I have always suggested that a tax-evading card should be red/green (probably green) and not blue-white--it shouldn't slot too easily into a blue-white Mentor deck. Red might be too close to Jeskai Mentor, and thus Green is the appropriate home.

That said, Mentor decks definitely seem to be packing Ingot Chewers in far greater numbers than they used to. I think the meta has totally evolved in this situation and Shops is still strong.

@Sovarius said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@jhport12
Have to agree with cutlex here. What would be gained by a cycler? As awesome as that sounds, seriously, what would be the cost a nearly-uncounterable artifact-destruction cantrip? Most likely 4 mana, honestly. You've got Slice in Twain and even though it's an uncommon, printing a better version that has some kind of primary effect with this as backup but with nearly uncounterable? I don't see this happening. And 4 mana is not where you want to be. If it were 3 mana, how does that compare to casting Grudge at 3-4 mana, or Ingot Chewer which still costs 3 when there are 2 Spheres (not Thorns) down? @ChubbyRain is also right though, that 1-for-1 removal is not really where you want to be either, but some of us are not playing Tinker and Colossus.

Uh, why on earth would it cost 4 mana? I assume you have also heard of the Channel keyword and the Bloodrush keyword? I'm not sure you understand the goal here.

The goal is a cheap 1-2 (really 1) mana spell that can be cast through tax effects (including Trinisphere). Just like "can't be countered" or "split-second" is a thing, it wouldn't be hard for "can't be taxed" to be a thing. Although, I believe the use of Channel, Cycling or Bloodrush are far more artful methods.

1-for-1 removal that handles a tax effect would allow for an Ancient Grudge card to more consistently matter. I honestly wouldn't care about this issue at all if Shops was a slower deck or it only had 6 tax effects.

However, I am personally tired of all the restrictions--restricting Sphere or Thorn would be more ridiculous than restricting Chalice and Lodestone were. New cards, particularly answer cards, could negate the entire issue.

A new card or two that negatively impact cantrip/card-draw decks might reduce the need to continue restricting cantrips. People have noted that Preordain is better than Ponder in some respects. I kind of see their argument, but either way WotC has printed a dozen+ blue cantrips over the years, so it's almost moot.

The current state of Magic card design appears to be such that the blue deck with the most compact win condition and the deck with the most effective counter to blue card draw/selection will be the top decks.

If it weren't for massive graveyard hate that was printed a few years ago, Dredge/Oath might be more in the conversation. Frankly, the blatant intent behind the printings of Cage, Priest and Rest in Peace establish a pretty clear precedent for Wizards printing new cards that actually tackle Eternal problems.

@jhport12

Some of what you are asking for, something that can deal with a sphere cast on turn one when you are on the draw, allready exists.

Natures claim (or framentize) plus a spirit guide lets you kill a sphere, through a sphere while on the draw since the spirt guides work as sphere proof lotus petals.

it does leave you down a card though. But this is similar to how forcing a spell on the draw leaves you down a card. The difference of course being that a 5 mana counter is over costed but not terrible and a 3 mana vanilla 2/2 is truely aweful. But it provides another way of solving the problem besides channels or cycling triggers. If you had a spirit guide effect that wasn't totally embarrassing on the other side it could help.

Fairy Spirt Guide 2U
Creature - fairy spirit
Remove this from the game from your hand add U to your pool, use this mana only to play additional costs.
Flash flying
When this comes into play counter target activated ability
1/1

Or some equivalent in green.

That said, I'm not sure brainstorming new printings to solve our problems is productive. The DCI doesn't do printings on demand, it never had and probably never will. Wotc thinks about eternal formats, but they don't look at third party cards for legal reasons. What the DCI does is restrict cards and unrestrict cards. Any solution needs to take one of those two angles or come from deck building innovation. But innovation is hard and unreliable, hence the focus on DCI policy.

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