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big upgrade on eidolon of rhetoric/big thalia

It's a good card, but not a strict upgrade. The extra power and added evasion is better than eidolon, but the 3 toughness puts it in bolt range. The flying and "rule of law" effect is a boost over thalia 2.0, but the loss of first strike and +1 power and the fact that creatures don't enter tapped makes this much worse in aggro matches. I'd rather Thalia 2.0 vs humans all day than this, for example.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

Wow, this is a great card! I'm really looking forward to testing this and see how it fits into various hatebear shells and if it can take some of the slots of Thalia 2.0 and Deafening Silence.

Though I gotta say that from a design perspective, I'm not a big fan of this card. The two effects don't really make that much sense together and it seems a bit lazy to just jam two already known effects onto one card. Why not make the first ability something like "Lands can't enter the battlefield from anywhere other than players' hands" - or if they really wanted to use effects we already know, the Ankh of Mishra effect would fit better here.

last edited by Griselbrother

@thewhitedragon69 said in [ZRN] Archon of Emeria:

It's a good card, but not a strict upgrade. The extra power and added evasion is better than eidolon, but the 3 toughness puts it in bolt range. The flying and "rule of law" effect is a boost over thalia 2.0, but the loss of first strike and +1 power and the fact that creatures don't enter tapped makes this much worse in aggro matches. I'd rather Thalia 2.0 vs humans all day than this, for example.

Also not a human is a big hit for a deck that uses cavern of souls.

I've been testing this card a bit in my GWB Knight Human Shell and I can tell you that it not being a human is NOT a big deal. I also like to run 3 Grand Abolisher in my list and that helps resolve this bomb. This card is absurd. It does so many things in modern Vintage. PM me if you'd like to see what I've been doing with it.

Best,

Storm

@stormanimagus I always enjoy your lists. I don't see this as an upgrade to thalia 2.0, but a great compliment to it. It IS an upgrade to eidolon outside of eating it to bolt.

It's absolutely an upgrade to Thalia 2.0 because it combines the best ability from Thalia 2.0 with the Eidolon ability. They tacked on Flyer so you could actually grind your opponent's life total down while they sit on nigh zero board development. Trust me, this card is light years past a Thalia 2.0. Not being a Human is not that big a deal for the upside you are getting. I also run 3 Grand Abolisher in my lists so it is still often uncounterable (teehee).

It is probably better in the more human lists amusingly. The little bit of testing that I have done on it says that is is not great for white eldrazi as not being able to be cast off cavern actually stresses the deck’s mana base. Solid card overall but for eldrazi human mixes I think it may be best to stick to only two types.

My list plays 21 colorless sources(counting caverns and 4 of the moxen) so if you play less your result may be different.

last edited by Botvinik

@stormanimagus The first strike and creatures entering tapped have always been big upsides to thalia to me. Killing vengevines and making them enter tapped (in addition to Hogaak enablers entering tapped) adds valuable time. It speeds your clock too, since their blocker will always be unable to block the turn played.

Vs humans, for example, Thalia 2.0 seems better than eidolon/archon. In general, I'm sure archon is broader, but it's not a strict upgrade in all cases.

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

How about Vengevines never entering the battlefield in the first place because your opponent is limited to 1 spell per turn lol? I think it isn't even close. This card trumps Thalia 2.0 in every way that matters to me in Vintage at the moment. Hogaak-Vine isn't the only list you need to worry about anyway. This card is far more deadly vs. any Breach Deck, for example.

@stormanimagus Against creatureless decks, mentor decks, etc., this guy is far better than Thalia - but in that case, Eidolon alone is clearly better than thalia. I'm just saying Thalia 2.0 isn't completely worse than archon in all matchups. I like them together, not one over the other, in lots of cases.

To me, a strict upgrade is something like a 2U sorcery getting reprinted as a 2U instant with the exact same text. These cards have some tradeoffs if you pick one over the other.

I understand what you're saying, but the maindeckability of this card is far better because it still does things vs. the Bazaar decks while being leaps and bounds better vs. blue.

Dragon is correct under the standard definition of strictly better you must have all of the same upsides with either additional purely positive abilities or better stats. For example if tomorrow they printed a Thalia guardian of Thraben that did not have first strike but was a 7/7 it would not be strictly better. It would be vastly better yes but strictly better is like ancestral vs jace’s ingenuity not like necropotence v greed.

Guys, I don't care about the semantics here and I don't care about "strictly better" vs. not. The point is this:

This card is leaps and bounds above Thalia 2.0 in almost EVERY practical setting that matters in modern Vintage. I have been running it on MTGO to multiple 4-1 finishes already in leagues and this card is a terror for basically every deck. Thalia 2.0 being a Human and thus easier to run in Eldrazi is just a design constraint and that deck could adapt to run this guy simply by cutting Cavern of Souls. This guy is so much better in so many ways.

  1. Vs. PO he actually has text. Thalia 2.0 is almost a dud vs. that deck.
  2. Vs. Doomsday he actually has text and stops the Consult + Thassa Kill. Huuuuge deal. Note that Dark Ritual is a pointless card with Archon in play and Thalia 2.0 does next to NOTHING vs. a Ritual deck and actual nothing vs. the card Dark Ritual.
  3. Even in the matchup where you claim Thalia 2.0 is better, Hollow Vine, I actually think the Archon is equally good or better because she prevents the condition from happening where Vengevine would even trigger. Vengevine says you have to cast 2 creature spells in the same turn. That is pretty hard when you only allowed 1 spell turn. I can understand that if you are specifically an Eldrazi deck facing Hollow-Vine you might want Thalia 2.0 because YOU are the aggro and want to tap down their blockers, but this is just one matchup and I think the meta is far more diverse than that.
  4. This card is just insane vs. any blue deck. Having fetches come into play tapped while also preventing Underworld Breach + Lotus Shenanigans is total gas.

I'm not trying to crap all over Thalia 2.0 and stomp on its grave, but I just want to point out that I really think this card dethrones Thalia 2.0 in almost every way that matters in modern Vintage.

-Storm

@stormanimagus said in [ZRN] Archon of Emeria:

Guys, I don't care about the semantics here and I don't care about "strictly better" vs. not. The point is this:

This card is leaps and bounds above Thalia 2.0 in almost EVERY practical setting that matters in modern Vintage. I have been running it on MTGO to multiple 4-1 finishes already in leagues and this card is a terror for basically every deck. Thalia 2.0 being a Human and thus easier to run in Eldrazi is just a design constraint and that deck could adapt to run this guy simply by cutting Cavern of Souls. This guy is so much better in so many ways.

  1. Vs. PO he actually has text. Thalia 2.0 is almost a dud vs. that deck.
  2. Vs. Doomsday he actually has text and stops the Consult + Thassa Kill. Huuuuge deal. Note that Dark Ritual is a pointless card with Archon in play and Thalia 2.0 does next to NOTHING vs. a Ritual deck and actual nothing vs. the card Dark Ritual.
  3. Even in the matchup where you claim Thalia 2.0 is better, Hollow Vine, I actually think the Archon is equally good or better because she prevents the condition from happening where Vengevine would even trigger. Vengevine says you have to cast 2 creature spells in the same turn. That is pretty hard when you only allowed 1 spell turn. I can understand that if you are specifically an Eldrazi deck facing Hollow-Vine you might want Thalia 2.0 because YOU are the aggro and want to tap down their blockers, but this is just one matchup and I think the meta is far more diverse than that.
  4. This card is just insane vs. any blue deck. Having fetches come into play tapped while also preventing Underworld Breach + Lotus Shenanigans is total gas.

I'm not trying to crap all over Thalia 2.0 and stomp on its grave, but I just want to point out that I really think this card dethrones Thalia 2.0 in almost every way that matters in modern Vintage.

-Storm

Ok you said a number of things some good some suspicious.

  1. running more white in eldrazi might be worth it to play archon but the deck will never cut caverns. That card is completely core to how the deck functions in blue matchups, I would literally rather cut wastelands.

  2. good identification of the vengvine corner case. I expected when I read the deck name to have to explain how I am the beatdown and then get into a long debate. You knowing that and acknowledging that factor is very nice.

  3. the ability to tap creatures is also very relevant in shops matchups where it can quite easily keep them off balance long enough for you to get to smasher mana and end the game or to draw one of the kitakis in the post board games.

Outside the specific decks humans and eldrazi I agree it is a lot better, however in those decks type matters a LOT. The other thing to consider is Thalia 2.0 see almost no play outside those exact decks as far as I am aware. So while in a vacuum the card is certainly a stronger effect it is still questionable wether it is correct for it to see much play. Also adding more white sources to eldrazi may be the best plan but it is far from a forgone conclusion and you can pry my caverns from my cold dead hands.

last edited by Botvinik

Oddly enough, I run 3 Archon in my Human Based Cavern deck. The difference is I'm not Eldrazi so I have the ability to just run Fetches + Duals as my Manabase outside of Caverns. Then I use the Caverns (often naming Human) to cast Thalia, Bob, Mayor or Knight of the Reliquary OOOOORRRR. . . Grand Abolisher. I run 3 copies of Abolisher. The Abolisher then makes my Archons uncounterable anyway. In a pinch I just set my second Cavern to Archon and call it a day. I'm on a totally different type of list that can abuse the crap out of the Archon. Archon + Deafening Silence is like 7 Rule of Law effects. It's disgusting and definitely a critical mass of that type of effect to blow people out. That + 3 Abolisher means I often have opponents limited to 1 spell per turn cycle. That is just devastating for so many strategies. So, for MY particular builds this card is a no brainer, and I think he's going to see play for years to come.

Also, in grindy games, the evasion on Archon really matters because you can slowly ping a player to death while they are under mana + spell casting stress.

@stormanimagus

I will yield to your humans knowlege in regard to that deck (I have never actually played humans) but I will have to do a lot of testing before I am ready to say it’s better in eldrazi.

I would probably also have to fundamentally redesign my mana base.

last edited by Botvinik

oh, I don't think it's better in Eldrazi. Again, being the aggro means that Thalia 2.0 is very important. It's not just the "your opponents dudes come into play tapped" that matters. It's the brute force approach of Eldrazi that would rather have a 3/2 than a 2/3 regardless of Evasion. Eldrazi is all about doming for 20 juuuust before the opponent recovers. It's actually more analogous to my old 5-C Humans lists that ran like 28 creatures and ran Mantis Rider. That list also just wanted to dome for 20 quickly with a minimal number or true lock pieces.

It seems like a good top end to the curve in hatebears. I'm still not sure hatebears as an archetype is that good until Wizards decides to print some 1 drops that are actually worth playing (outside of deathrite and aggro cards).

I've been 4-1-ing leagues on MTGO with a Knight Hatebear list. Between Wasteland, Deafening Silence, DRS, Once Upon a Time and Force of Vigor, the deck has plenty of good turn 1 plays that don't even require a mox. That's been my experience.

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