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Why is this card good?

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Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:12 pm

I almost always ask myself when I see 'What makes this card good?' For some cards, it's very obvious, but others take me awhile to understand. Whenever I do see someone I know that plays Magic I always ask them 'Is X good and why?', but I usually ask myself that a week before I even see the person, so I hold onto that question until I bump into them again. So I made this thread so people (mostly me, since I am a noob) can ask why a certain card (or even deck) is good. Some people can see why a card is good right away, I know I am NOT that person for many reasons, but I am always willing to look deeper into the issue and figure out why it is.

So I am going to start off with this card.



I get why this is good. R for a 1/1 that lets you play Goblins (or Tribal Goblin spells) for free when it hits the player. That's awesome, you can drop more Goblins and blah-blah-blah. But what deck are you running this with that makes it THAT good? And why is this better then this:



Rather then risking an attack, you can just tap this guy and get a Goblin in. Plus, you can untap this guy and do it again. Why is the Lacky better?

I am going to guess it has something with making the Lacky ping your opponent with a Bow or the like and then untap this guy and do essentially what the Wiz does, so does that just mean that the Lacky is good because it is so cheap and it deals damage while you summon Goblins?

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Slyphidine on Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:25 pm

A couple reasons why Lackey is far superior to the Wizard

1.) Mana cost to Power Ratio. The Lackey is a 1/1 for 1, which is about par for the course. I would expect to beat down for 1 or 2 the turn after playing a 1 drop (think Noble Hierarch, Goblin Guide, Akrasan Squire, etc). The Goblin Wizard is a 1/1 for 4 mana with an ability that does nothing until turn 5. If I've already used all the goblins in my hand, then I get to have spent 4 mana to attack for 1 damage.

2.) Tempo Boost. If the Lackey gets through on turn 2, you get a massive tempo boost. What that basically means is that you are several turns ahead of your opponent in board position. So if I have a Siege-Gang Commander in hand, at the end of my second turn I have 2 lands in play and 5 creatures, each of whom can Shock an opponent or a creature. That means your opponent better have answers FAST. On the other hand, getting a free guy on turn 5 means your opponent has already had the chance to build up their board, so you're not getting nearly as much tempo out of it.

3.) Role of the deck. Goblins is designed to win as quickly as possible. Turn 4 is when you want to be dealing the last point of damage, not playing a 4 drop that does not immediately affect the board. Compare Goblin Wizard to the other common 4 drop in Goblins: Goblin Ringleader attacks for 2 (at least) that turn and refills your hand with goblins. Lackey on the other hand comes out turn 1 and powers out your other guys (uncounterably too). Of course it has to connect, but that's why you're playing red.

http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=32009

This deck recently won a Legacy event. You can see the curve is ultra low, and the goal is just to get as many goblins out as fast as possible and run you over with them by turn 4 or 5. Read the first game of the finals and you'll see, it's designed to turn your opponent into a speed bump.

http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/19085.html
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:54 pm

Slyphidine wrote:A couple reasons why Lackey is far superior to the Wizard

1.) Mana cost to Power Ratio. The Lackey is a 1/1 for 1, which is about par for the course. I would expect to beat down for 1 or 2 the turn after playing a 1 drop (think Noble Hierarch, Goblin Guide, Akrasan Squire, etc). The Goblin Wizard is a 1/1 for 4 mana with an ability that does nothing until turn 5. If I've already used all the goblins in my hand, then I get to have spent 4 mana to attack for 1 damage.

2.) Tempo Boost. If the Lackey gets through on turn 2, you get a massive tempo boost. What that basically means is that you are several turns ahead of your opponent in board position. So if I have a Siege-Gang Commander in hand, at the end of my second turn I have 2 lands in play and 5 creatures, each of whom can Shock an opponent or a creature. That means your opponent better have answers FAST. On the other hand, getting a free guy on turn 5 means your opponent has already had the chance to build up their board, so you're not getting nearly as much tempo out of it.

Thanks, this is all still new to me which is weird seeing as I have been around for several years ... Just very casually and mostly buying packs and boxes and then trolling around.

3.) Role of the deck. Goblins is designed to win as quickly as possible. Turn 4 is when you want to be dealing the last point of damage, not playing a 4 drop that does not immediately affect the board. Compare Goblin Wizard to the other common 4 drop in Goblins: Goblin Ringleader attacks for 2 (at least) that turn and refills your hand with goblins. Lackey on the other hand comes out turn 1 and powers out your other guys (uncounterably too). Of course it has to connect, but that's why you're playing red.

http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=32009

This deck recently won a Legacy event. You can see the curve is ultra low, and the goal is just to get as many goblins out as fast as possible and run you over with them by turn 4 or 5. Read the first game of the finals and you'll see, it's designed to turn your opponent into a speed bump.

http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/19085.html

Oh my ... I forgot how awesome goblins are ... The first deck I bought was the goblin deck from Scourge and I only bought it because the person I bought it from said that there were dragons in the deck (obviously a lie ... Meh ... Clickslither ... w/e) and I feel in love with how idiotic and dangerous they were. Then I kinda lost touch once Mirrodin rolled around and I never really looked back at it.

I can see now how a Lacky is better. Even if you had a way to tap the Wiz right away, the Lacky is far superior as long as he get through, and you aren't looking for Lacky late game, you want Lacky yesturday so you can drop a Matron and tutor out a Goblin which you drop turn 2 ... Very VERY awesome. Almost makes me want to play professionally ... If I had the time and money ... Maybe ...

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  dark burn on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:12 pm

I have that entire goblin deck built already. I can bring it and you can mess with it some to see its power and fun gameplay. Goblins are a ton of fun to play.

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:16 pm

Not so much why it is good, but why is this card on the reserved list?



From what I can assume about the reserve list, it is a list of cards Wiz will never reprint or even make a functional reprint of. (by that I mean make it a different color or something, but everything else is exactly the same)

Okay, 5 for a 3/5 with Trample and built in Firebreathing. Okay ... so I don't see what's going on here ...

It might be the fact that you need this out to make it work and ONLY this.



So is it on the list because it has the 'Depend' quality to it? or is there something else I am missing?

Also, notice the flavor text and the R for Pro-Red on the Keeper. Remind you of anything?

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Uniclonus on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:03 am

At one point, the Reserved List consisted of a list of Rares from a large batch of sets. Stuff that wasn't going to be reprinted in order to preserve their value. Despite some changes to the list (mainly due to them realizing the relative pointlessness of it), there's still a lot of weird old things on the list that have virtually no value that needs to be preserved.

Or something like that.

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  MidniteEffort on Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:57 am

don't get me started on the Reserved List. there were some recent "changes" that were unsettling and plain wrong. i agree with this guy:

The Magic Show #181 - The Reserve List & Scars of Mirrodin

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  dark burn on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:39 pm

Steve, we have already have tons of examples of where reprints devalue the cards printed. It has already been proven! All you have to do is look at the purple Timeshifted cards and see how many of them have lost value after they were reprinted. Just look at Akroma!!

The only reason I can justify spending money on these cards is because I know the prices are fairly stable, and I will be able to get out most of what I put in. I look at magic as the stock market. Different stocks do different things. Cards like power and the dual lands are like stock in gold. You know that the amount of gold is extremely limited, and we have no way of making more, so the price is fairly steady. Newer cards are like quick investments, buy low sell high, and try to speculate what will be expensive and what will be crap. If I couldnt rely on steady prices of older cards, Id sell out now and not even have a collection.

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:56 pm

MidniteEffort wrote:don't get me started on the Reserved List. there were some recent "changes" that were unsettling and plain wrong. i agree with this guy:

The Magic Show #181 - The Reserve List & Scars of Mirrodin

I will need to start watching The Magic Show. I completely agree with the host and he really explained to me what the reserved list is and what it is there for. Why are dual lands (a staple in legacy and a HUGE card to have in any other format that allows them) on the list? Wizard is smart enough not to go back and make a reprint of Mana Drain, so why isn't Mana Drain on the list? I am sure there are more examples other then Mana Drain, but that is a good point. If it's a fear of prices dropping, I can't see that being an issue either. Alpha and Beta cards are still very limited in print, hence the reason why dual lands from Alpha and Beta are more then double that from the same dual land in revised and unlimited. A from the vaults with the original dual lands would be AMAZING, it will help players get their hands on cards that they need to play in legacy (or other formats) without having to go bankrupt. I'd say even go as far as reprinting the moxes and black lotus. Of course, they would still be banned and restricted, but players who like playing Big Deck, have a Cube, or just want to build a deck for fun will be able to get their hands on these cards and the reprinting of these cards will not drive down the price of any Black Lotus. And before you try and say how it will ruin the price, look at Balance. Reprinted in from the vault and it's value hasn't dropped down a penny. I am glad for you if you have an Alpha Black Lotus, you're one lucky SOB for having one, but reprinting it 17 years later into a playing environment where it is largely banned or restricted will not deface you having that card or lower it's value. Sure, people can now get a Black Lotus easier then you did when you had to sell your soul to the Devil to get one, but the same could be said for a lot of things. Birds of Paradise, Channel, Berserk, Demonic Tutor, hell even Bad Moon (60$ in Alpha, was time shifted). People didn't complain then, so why would or should anyone complain now?

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:02 pm

dark burn wrote:Steve, we have already have tons of examples of where reprints devalue the cards printed. It has already been proven! All you have to do is look at the purple Timeshifted cards and see how many of them have lost value after they were reprinted. Just look at Akroma!!

Akroma was in Legions which was released in 2003. Time Spiral was released in 2006. We aren't talking about a 3 year gap, we are talking a 17 year gap. Older cards still have value because they are less copies of them.

If you went and got ever Chimney Imp ever printed, kept one, and burned all the reset, the price of Chimeny Imp just went up. There were more Akroma's in print then dual lands from Alpha and Beta; hence why Revised, with a larger printing, dual lands prices are so low. Does having a Revised Tundra really make it any different then an Alpha or Beta Tundra? Of course not, a card is a card. People will point out the fact that it's not as expensive and you can't sell it for as much as the older Tundra, but does spending all that extra money on an Alpha Tundra really make you a better player? Of course not. A card is a card, if it's an old card it is worth more money; doesn't increase how great of a player it makes you.

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:29 pm

Okay, here is one I have been wondering about for awhile.



Cool a 3/4 flier for 3. I can get why it is good in that right, but isn't there anything better? I can understand that it is cheap and the 2 in it's cost makes it easier to cast as compared to a 3 drop for CCC, but the CCC drops seem better anyway. I'd prefer Wormfang Drake to this thing. The drake basically has 'Champion a creature', so you remove something cheap with a good 'comes into play' ability (Elvish Visionary) and swing with the drake a bunch till it dies or w/e and then the champ'd creature comes back and goes off again. Pinging yourself per turn doesn't sound like a good idea ... That 1 life could make or break the game for you in some cases.

So why is this good?

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Slyphidine on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:46 am

Life is a resource that is quite expendible in Magic. In fact, it's one of the easiest to deal with, as there's no consequence to having low life until you get to zero. Compare it to cards in hand or cards in play. If you have no cards in hand, or no cards in play, you're in pretty bad position. The reason the fetchlands are so good is because they not only fix mana, but they also thin your deck. You can think of adding 4 fetchlands to your deck as starting the game at 16 life and playing with a 56 card deck. The odds of getting to your good cards rather than another land are marginally higher, at no cost to your board position.

So in your comparison to Wormfang Drake, one card is conditional (Wormfang Drake can only be played if you control another creature, essentially costing you 2 cards; the Drake and the other creature) while the other isn't (feel free to cast your Serendib Efreet regardless of what's in play). Also, one gives your opponent the option to 2-for-1 you (in response to your Drake, I kill the other creature) and again, one stands fine on its own.

Don't worry about losing one life per turn. It doesn't matter until you get to zero, and playing an "unfairly costed" card in the meantime will insure that your opponent gets to zero first. In fact, some of the best cards in the game trade life for card advantage (Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain, Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper, Swords to Plowshares [technically not card advantage]). Sure, I'll go to 10 and draw 10 more cards than you. I'm probably going to win that game.
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  intrinsic on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:34 am

Zuty wrote:Okay, here is one I have been wondering about for awhile.


~Zuty

Its not really played anymore in constructed formats, proving that, anymore, its not really a bomb like it used to be.
It has a history as one of the earliest nasty flying threats out there. It was unboltable and you could have it out turn 2 or sooner on occasion.

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:41 pm

Ah, I see. I can see how losing life to have a slight advantage is a good thing then (as you pointed out with the lands and Necro) and how it isn't a big deal since you can rush much faster.

Going back to the Lackey for a sec, which one is better the Lacky or this guy:



Sure you have to wait another turn, which could make it more difficult to get through, but since he has Double his ability triggers twice. So by turn two (or if you can find a way to get him out faster, I am sure there is) you have this guy down, next turn swing for 2 and slap down two goblins.

Also, in a deck running Lacky or Warren Instigator do you splash any Blue to make them unblockable or run Hearth Charm's or something like that when you are faced with a fast deck that will make it tough for you to get to your opponents life in early turns? Since both are under 2 power it's easy to find cheap unblockable spells (Writ of Passage or Hearth Charm) and if you are running duals you can do first turn Lacky then second turn forecast him unblockable with Writ then slap down a free Warren Instigator and/or Matron. Then just keep up the Forecast as you grab an army.

At least, that is what I would do. But I am just weird like that.

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Slyphidine on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:41 pm

Red has a great card to make your creature unblockable by a creature with toughness 3 or less. It's called Lightning Bolt and it works like a charm.

Consensus seems to be with the Lackey. He's cheaper (thus faster), and who cares if you're getting 2 goblins out versus 1. All you need is 1 free creature per turn most times.
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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:57 pm

Slyphidine wrote:Consensus seems to be with the Lackey. He's cheaper (thus faster), and who cares if you're getting 2 goblins out versus 1. All you need is 1 free creature per turn most times.

Can't argue with that. You can get both out turn one tho.

Gemstone Caverns + Land + Simian Spirit Guide (or Simian Spirit Guide x2 + Land)

BTW, how often used is the Spirit Guide? (Either the monkey or the elf) Seem like a great way to speed out stuff.

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  antknee42 on Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:07 pm

Just because you can play it on turn one doesn't mean the hoops you have to jump through to do it make it worth it.

Gemstone Caverns is WAY too conditional to play in an aggressive deck like Goblins. You have to be on the play, AND have it in hand, AND you have to lose a card in order for it to be good. Oh, and you have to have it in your deck, meaning you might draw it when you really need a red mana instead. ESG/SSG are not goblins, and therefore ruin the flow of the entire deck.

Lackey is better because it is faster with less investment, which gives you a better chance of being able to answer a blocker on your second turn (bolt, gempalm incinerator, etc).

Also, if Serendib were legal today it would be in a TON of decks, most notably the Bant/Mythic deck. Imagine:

T1: Noble Hierarch
T2: Serendib
T3: Attack for 4, unless you draw something absurd like Rafiq, then attack for 10.

The 4 toughness is the magical number as well, since it dodges Lightning Bolt. It would also see play in Extended, as a foil to all of the 3/3s and 2/3 that Zoo runs. The only reason it isn't played in constructed formats is that it is only legal in ONE format, and it actually is in a deck there as well...but card availability is a problem for the deck in question, Faerie Stompy. Here is a sample list (which isn't optimal, but let's see):

4 City of Traitors
4 Ancient Tomb
9 Island
1 Seat of the Synod
4 Chrome Mox

4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Serendib Efreet
4 Sea Drake
3 Trinket Mage
3 Sower of Temptation
3 Mulldrifter

4 Chalice of the Void
4 Sword of Fire and Ice
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Pithing Needle
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Tormod's Crypt
4 Force of Will


This deck is capable of super-fast aggressive starts, thanks to the 2-mana lands and untap abuse with Cloud of Faeries. Note that Sea Drake doesn't need to be sacrificed if you can't return 2 lands, so turn 1 4/3 fliers are not too unusual. Some good draws:

t1 2 mana land, chalice for 1
t2 island, big flier
t3 land, cloud of faeries, untap gaining one mana, equipment-equip attack with flier

t1 mox, city/tomb, Sea Drake/Serendib
t2 land, chalice for 1/2
t3 equipment-equip, or Sower/Mulldrifter, or trinket mage for answer

I think the deck needs more counterspell-ish elements, but I have never owned a Sea Drake, so shrug.

-AA

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Re: Why is this card good?

Post  Zuty on Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:47 am

Not really why is this card good, but why do older cards that read 'When this deals damage gain life' not have errata to have Lifelink? Is it because that ability and Lifelink would stack? (I know multiple instances of Lifelink do not stack)



Would that result result in 8 life gain when she deals damage from attacking?

What if you had this in play:



Do you now gain 12 life?

What if I use this on my own angel:



Am I now up to 16?

What about if I forecast this twice?



24 life gain?

What if this is enchanted on the angel 4 times:



Am I know up to 40 life gain?

~Zuty
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Re: Why is this card good?

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