Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor

@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.

I'm certainly not the first person to mention it, but I always thought having card(s) with cycling and, when it is cycled, destroy target X permanent type would be a great way to get around resistor effects. Would also be a great way to get around most counterspells as well.

@jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@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.

I don't mean to sound condescending, so please try to avoid taking it this way, but were you playing during the Lodestone era? The decks right now have a similar clock, but are way less prison oriented than in that era; the lock pieces just aren't killing you anymore (Revoker excluded, I guess, but the 2/1 is much less threatening than a 5/3). Shop decks of old were running 20+ prison effects and were still beatable.

So what has changed? Is the "vommit effect" mentioned by @ChubbyRain wherein the shop player empties their hand in the first 2/3 turns an impossible tempo shift to recover from? Are the number of threats being deployed impossible to deal with with current deck building trends? From your perspective, how is Oath of Druids not able to keep up? I am very curious about your thoughts.

EDIT:
@jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

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.

The main issue I raise with this is that now you are literally negating the mana denial strategy. Why would an opponent care about anything you're doing if they are holding their "remove whatever threat I want at any point" cards and can proceed with their normal gameplan? I can appreciate the frustration of being locked out of a game of magic (because I spent years focusing entirely on that goal with Stax), but right now it seems like some of the stronger Mentor lists are already focusing on building mana and using 1for1 removal to deal with any real threats a Shop player can produce. Spheres are annoying, but they can't kill you. Channel-Shatter would upset this dynamic by offering incredible flexibility for almost no opportunity cost.

last edited by cutlex

@cutlex said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

The main issue I raise with this is that now you are literally negating the mana denial strategy. Why would an opponent care about anything you're doing if they are holding their "remove whatever threat I want at any point" cards and can proceed with their normal gameplan? I can appreciate the frustration of being locked out of a game of magic (because I spent years focusing entirely on that goal with Stax), but right now it seems like some of the stronger Mentor lists are already focusing on building mana and using 1for1 removal to deal with any real threats a Shop player can produce. Spheres are annoying, but they can't kill you. Channel-Shatter would upset this dynamic by offering incredible flexibility for almost no opportunity cost.

Its not 'negating' a strategy. Its countering a strategy. Just like the mana denial strategy negates another strategy. Its something that's been able to be dealt with at acceptable levels until recently. But now with basically 1/3 of the shops deck being related to mana denial (10 sphere, 5 strip effects 4 revokers) and a more aggressive clock (ravager, fleetwheel, ballista) its gotten to the point that the opponent being denied mana needs better, more efficient answers to compete.

@Khahan said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@cutlex said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

The main issue I raise with this is that now you are literally negating the mana denial strategy. Why would an opponent care about anything you're doing if they are holding their "remove whatever threat I want at any point" cards and can proceed with their normal gameplan? I can appreciate the frustration of being locked out of a game of magic (because I spent years focusing entirely on that goal with Stax), but right now it seems like some of the stronger Mentor lists are already focusing on building mana and using 1for1 removal to deal with any real threats a Shop player can produce. Spheres are annoying, but they can't kill you. Channel-Shatter would upset this dynamic by offering incredible flexibility for almost no opportunity cost.

Its not 'negating' a strategy. Its countering a strategy. Just like the mana denial strategy negates another strategy. Its something that's been able to be dealt with at acceptable levels until recently. But now with basically 1/3 of the shops deck being related to mana denial (10 sphere, 5 strip effects 4 revokers) and a more aggressive clock (ravager, fleetwheel, ballista) its gotten to the point that the opponent being denied mana needs better, more efficient answers to compete.

Thank you for making this point for me. If we can have Cage, Priest and Rest in Peace come out to counter Dredge/Oath, we can do the same for: 1) artifact tax effects, and 2) blue cantrips/card draw.

You also raise a good point that I was being too narrow in describing the prison effect of Shops. I neglected Wasteland, Strip Mine, and Revoker.

Here is what I believe:

  1. The current best build of Shops is Aggro-Prison, but it doesn't have much of a long game.
  2. It has gotten too powerful relative to the meta.
  3. An untaxable (but still Revokable) artifact-removal spell wouldn't destroy the archetype in the slightest. In fact, you can still Shop, Mox, Revoker (on the Cycling/Channel/Bloodrush ability), and Sphere on Turn 1.
  4. Such spell should be Green for color balance (or maybe Red, but that makes it easier for Jeskai Mentor to use, so I don't like that).
  5. Such a spell might encourage greater diversity of Shops builds.
  6. Such a spell might allow for one (or both) of Lodestone and Chalice to be unrestricted.
  7. Unrestricted Chalice would put a greater check on cantrip Blue and PO decks.

More broadly, my personal desires for Vintage are as follows:

  1. Greater viability of a greater number of archetypes--particularly in Black, Red and Green-based archetypes. I care about color balance.
  2. No deck (or "Pillar") is more than 25% of the field, and it has a Tier-2 or higher deck that destroys it (i.e. Dredge for Shops before Ballista and Ravager made that harder).
  3. More thoughtful, polite discussion in Facebook groups, TMD and other social media and less personal attacks, so that we can manage to look slightly less ridiculous. Especially considering that most of us are (I assume) older than the average Magic player.

@Khahan No, cycling means you draw a card. This is why i said i could a card with Channel for 2 mana.

There are several ways to design anti artifact cards that work under Spheres. The hard part is balancing them right. Channel is probably easier than cycling as you don't get to draw a card in the process.

Here are my takes for cards that we might see in future supplementary packs:

Channcelor 2G

Cip destroy target artifact.
Channel G - Destroy target artifact.
2/2

Cycling Spree 3RR

Sorcery
Destroy all artifacts.

Cycling RR
Whenever you cycle, pay x. Destroy x target artifacts.

@jhport12 said in Turbo Xerox and Monastery Mentor:

@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.

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.

Implying i don't understand the point (when i clearly do) is not helping anything.

Explain why this would ever be printed at like 2 mana? 2 mana instant speed 1-for-1 removal that cantrips? That's berserk... It affects other formats too.

"Can't be taxed" makes no sense in any magic lexicon and isn't happening. It would be an activated ability or alternate casting cost. Cycling, Channel, Faerie Macabre style, Invigorate style... these all make sense. Except for it being a reasonably costed cycling effect.

I agree with the rest of your points, very salient and digestible material. But

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.

Strictly curious and not trying to 'win' an argument; what exactly do you want? Mental Misstep was printed recently. Too bad it pitches to FoW and is actually berserk in TX decks anyway. Then came Spirit of the Labyrinth at a cool 2 mana and scary power. He's cool, but is also hit by Wear/Tear, Fragmentize, and Disenchant in addition to the standard Plow. Then came Leovold, and he's awesome, but Mentor is just a better creature, so barring Brainstorm/Jace, it doesn't necessarily matter you cast a blank U instant. Unfortunately i think right now, on average, you prefer to be playing Mentor and fight Leovold, than be playing Leovold and fight Mentor. Chains and Hymn have always existed but eh. (That said, i am playing Leovold at EW so whatever).

Maybe 2cmc creature that might say at the end of each turn, each opponent who drew two or more cards must discard a card. But, sort of tired of 2cmc creatures than have nutter effects.

  1. New Cards

It's easy to print cards that eschew taxing without much creative effort. It would be preferable if Wizards printed cards that were conscious of the taxing problem. The main issue with that right now is that this has been the best argument since 2010. No one has any faith left that this will happen or patience for that matter. This is doubly confounding because they now have a specific venue for printing Eternal legal cards that have no effect on Standard or Modern (Conspiracy, Commander). The fact they have refused to utilize this has been a repeated slap in the face for those of us that believed issues regarding Standard and Modern were the biggest practical barriers to effective printings.

  1. Workshop Itself

It's an act of extreme generosity that Mishra's Workshop is unrestricted despite being so over the line in every objective metric. The corollary to keeping it around is that more of the toys end up having to be regulated. If there are complaints about a restricted list with Lodestone Golem, Thorn, Revoker, and Chalice, we should wonder "would we rather unrestrict two or three of those and restrict Mishra's Workshops?" I would hope the answer would be no.

last edited by brianpk80

Also, @Smmenen, I regret I was tied up with other obligations and didn't have an opportunity to address your last response. It seems we have a clear understanding of each others' positions.

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