A new form of terra nova with vehicles. Lands and ghosts driving vehicles. Who needs Batterskull? Pffft.

There was always a tension between cards like Crucible, Smokestack and (to a far lesser degree) Batterskull with the number of Sphere effects that you played. The heavy concentration of Sphere effects in nearly all Shop decks is one of the reasons why Staff of Nin didn't see more play. The card is borderline unplayable at six, and is significantly worse at seven, eight, or nine mana.

I admit that I was tricked at first by a casual glance at all of these cards; I did not initially consider that Thorn of Amethyst would hit every single one of them. That, combined with needing creatures in play, makes the cost of playing and activating these cards significantly more onerous.

A few of these cards would have seen a lot of play in 2008 (and before), when Shops typically ran either Spheres or Thorns, but never both. Today, because of the added tax of all the Spheres, I sincerely doubt that any of these vehicles are going to be good enough to influence the metagame. In order to fully take advantage of these cards, you'd have to run virtually no Spheres. That's beyond dangerous for the deck with one Chalice, one Lodestone, and not much disruption for decks like Mentor.

I'm all for being proven wrong, but that's how I feel.

last edited by Prospero

I'm really happy with all of these cards seeing print. My knee jerk reaction is that the only one that had haste and can attack without a crew is playable. But all of them have their own intrigues.

At the very least it opens up design. Which is a beautiful thing. I don't know if I can make a deck that makes these cards shine. But I'm glad they exist

The only one of these that seems marginally playable in anything "vintage-looking" is Smuggler's Copter. I doubt it's functional with the loss of lodestone, but Tiny robots could run this, as that deck eschews spheres for a speedy clock. I can see this attacking for a lot on turns two and three with a cranial plating and a memnite pilot.

Also just want to note that the crew mechanic gets hit by Null Rod, if that hasn't been discussed before.

last edited by BillCopes

Upon further review, the Skysovereign is a mighty impressive magic card that will see play.

It does things that colorless decks have never really had access to, specifically:

It's a playable removal spell.
It's a recurring removal spell.
It gives a bonus to your creatures power/toughness.
It gives some creatures haste.
It wins the war in the sky.

last edited by gkraigher

Yeah, Kevin and I compared Sky Sovereign extensively to Trike in our podcast recording last week. Card is really good. Surprised its got no buzz here.

It feels like the utility of being able to move damage to any number of targets with Trike, plus the synergy it has with ravager still make it a more impressive card for shops.

Does Sky Sovereign replace Umezawa's Jitte in lists which can support equipment? Without the ability to support equipment one can't support vehicles. Both require creatures but Sky Sovereign requires a minimum power of 3 which means that a single Mishra's Factory or as single Phyrexian Revoker is not enough. Triskelion also dodges Thorn of Amethyst. In summary, it could require some modification to current lists in order to be viable.

last edited by Aaron Patten

Trike dodges Thorn, but this costs one less than Trike, so it's a pretty balanced trade off. Also, this deals much more damage and more quickly than Trike under many conditions. Trike dealing three damage to destroy a creature on the table makes it a 1/1. Whereas this Bolts something, and then does 9 damage the next turn (if you can crew it).

@Water0 said:

Get to the choppah!

The Copter really stands out to me; it's cheap, has flying, a good body, lets you loot, and only crews for 1! You can jam your thopter tokens in there from Hangarback Walker. I think this has a fairly decent shot of at least making it into testing. Really impressive card in general (imo).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbIGuLXCziU

@Prospero said:

I admit that I was tricked at first by a casual glance at all of these cards; I did not initially consider that Thorn of Amethyst would hit every single one of them. That, combined with needing creatures in play, makes the cost of playing and activating these cards significantly more onerous.

I agree with Nick, I feel like the most important factor of evaluating Vehicles is that they get their cost increased by Thorn/Thalia effects, which doesn't seem like where you want to be with a creature-combat card in the metagame right now. It's going to be real rare that a Skysovereign costs less than a Triskelion or a Duplicant. The effect is very good but I'm not sure if it's the best use of 6-8 mana right now.

Obviously new effects are hard to evaluate, and if vehicles end up being very easy to crew they might be fine.

@Brass-Man said:

It's going to be real rare that a Skysovereign costs less than a Triskelion or a Duplicant.

Really? In any game without Thorn effects, but any other Sphere, Skysovereign will cost less than Trike

And with a Thorn effect they cost the same.

Its going to be more rare that Skysovereign will cost more than Trike. You'd need two Thorn effects in play at the same time.

I expect Skysovereign to see a good deal of play.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen said:

@Brass-Man said:

It's going to be real rare that a Skysovereign costs less than a Triskelion or a Duplicant.

Really? In any game without Thorn effects, but any other Sphere, Skysovereign will cost less than Trike

And with a Thorn effect they cost the same.

Its going to be more rare that Skysovereign will cost more than Trike. You'd need two Thorn effects in play at the same time.

I expect Skysovereign to see a good deal of play.

I am anxious to try Skysoverign , I proxied an entire shops deck so I might be able to do so sooner than the mtgo release. It seems good to me, but I admit I'm not the ultimate authority on Workshops.

When the opportunity cost of playing a card is Triskelion, it is probably both very good and mostly meaningless.

@Brass-Man This is why I'm hopeful for Smuggler's Copter and Fleetwheel Cruiser. 1 and 2 are very low power requirements to get a substantial upgrade to your creature.

@Water0 said:

@Brass-Man This is why I'm hopeful for Smuggler's Copter and Fleetwheel Cruiser. 1 and 2 are very low power requirements to get a substantial upgrade to your creature.

Yea but 2 cards for a 3/3 flyer isn't exactly a bargain either, and in a lot of cases that is not what you are committing, it some cases that is exactly what you are committing. Fleetwheel seems to have what it takes to make play test since it can function without another creature on the table for one turn, but I cannot see something that is basically an equipment card upgrade being so desirable.

In honesty, this card is comparable to Spidersilk Net if your are just trying to stop a Trygon from coming in, except net is better under spheres than this is.

@wappla said:

When the opportunity cost of playing a card is Triskelion, it is probably both very good and mostly meaningless.

Why is It meaningless?

@Smmenen
It is mostly meaningless because it's likely a marginal upgrade on the most expensive card in the deck. No well formed plan for a Workshop matchup revolves around beating specifically Triskelion because Triskelion is not what you are losing to.

As an anecdotal illustration, the last time I was in a position to lose to specifically Triskelion, I had to find a preventative answer. I had the distinct displeasure of having Vendilion Clique in my deck, but Clique was good enough to prevent a topdecked Triskelion from beating me on the spot. When Vendilion Clique is an answer, the question can't be that relevant.

My point is that it doesn't matter what expensive card Shops is relying on to win the game in that spot as long as Shops is playing the best possible card. While I'm far from convinced that Skysovereign is that best possible card, I'm pretty sure I don't really care. Then again, I'm the one playing 4 Lightning Bolts and zero Plows in a format full of 4/4 and 5/5 Eldrazi. And loving it...

edit: to phrase it a different way, if your plan for Workshops depends on the difference between Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, and Triskelion, you didn't have a good plan to begin with.

last edited by wappla

@wappla I agree. And actually, I'd wager that over time the Trike would be proven to be a little better, since it can administer direct, burn type damage immediately. Basically it does damage in a different way, which is useful. That and Trike being operable without needing another creature, seem to me to give the Trike the edge. Even though it does less damage over time assuming both are active.

@wappla said:

@Smmenen
It is mostly meaningless because it's likely a marginal upgrade on the most expensive card in the deck. No well formed plan for a Workshop matchup revolves around beating specifically Triskelion because Triskelion is not what you are losing to.

As an anecdotal illustration, the last time I was in a position to lose to specifically Triskelion, I had to find a preventative answer. I had the distinct displeasure of having Vendilion Clique in my deck, but Clique was good enough to prevent a topdecked Triskelion from beating me on the spot. When Vendilion Clique is an answer, the question can't be that relevant.

My point is that it doesn't matter what expensive card Shops is relying on to win the game in that spot as long as Shops is playing the best possible card. While I'm far from convinced that Skysovereign is that best possible card, I'm pretty sure I don't really care. Then again, I'm the one playing 4 Lightning Bolts and zero Plows in a format full of 4/4 and 5/5 Eldrazi. And loving it...

edit: to phrase it a different way, if your plan for Workshops depends on the difference between Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, and Triskelion, you didn't have a good plan to begin with.

This assumes, as your previous post, that the debate is whether to run Trike or Sky Sovereign. We could see Shop decks emerge that use both, while maxing out on one. For example, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 4 Trike/1 Consul deck place in a Top 8 in the near future. The fact that Shop decks already in many cases run 4 Trikes suggests the possibility they'd run 5, or more, if they could. Trike is one of the best cards you can play against Gush tokens.

That could make a significant difference to the analysis as you've laid it out, let alone your opportunity cost observation. We've seen many games in 2016 Vintage where the critical turn in the Gush v. Workshop matchup is when the Gush pilot barely sneaks a token generator onto the table, and the Workshop player either has the Trike or they don't. If they don't, the Gush pilots wins. If they do, the Shop player wins.

Most Gush strategies don't have preventative answers, like Clique, to Trike, aside from Force. Some run Cabal Therapy, but not most. Instead, they rely on good timing, superior consistency, and after the fact removal. Upping the Trike count could conceivably tip the balance even further in favor of Shop pilots.

last edited by Smmenen
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