All three episodes are now available for download over at IWantMyMTG.com! Go get ’em!
If you haven’t yet heard, the following is a card rumored to be in Rise of the Eldrazi (unconfirmed; rarity unknown):
What makes this better than Cancel?
1) You can play it on turn 2.
2) You can play it late-game effectively as “Counterspell.”
In the first example, playing it on turn 2, you’re now behind; yes, you traded with their 2- or 3-drop, but now on turn 3 you need another counter to deal with their 3- or 4-drop, which is likely better than whatever card they played on turn 2. So do you play ANOTHER Deprive (assuming you have it)?
Honestly, I don’t even think this is worth playing on turn 2.
Let’s say you don’t play it on turn 2, but you hit your first three land drops and then want to counter something. What’s better in this situation? Cancel or Deprive? Cancel, obviously. Deprive leaves you with 1 mana open which will likely go unused. In the meantime, now you’re set back a turn and you’ve likely wasted any advantage that Deprive provided you.
So, okay, late game then. This is where Deprive is at its strongest. But when is it really going to be that much better than Cancel? Really only when you’re returning something like Halimar Depths, as far as I can tell. It allows you to tap all but 2 land, unlike Cancel, but is that really such a huge deal?
For the moment, I’m going to predict that if Deprive sees play in Standard decks akin to UW Chapin Control, it’s going to be in numbers less than 4, as its early game drawback just seems like too much for a deck whose strengths lie in getting to Stage 3. However, I can see it being a possible staple in some sort of UG deck that can recover from the tempo loss using the myriad of mana accelerants available in Standard.
the launch of our Official Website, IWantMyMTG.com!
From now on, all episodes of the Yo! MTG Taps! podcast will be appearing on IWantMyMTG.com, supplemented by event coverage, videos, photos, tournament reports, musings, decklists, and any show news.
Speaking of show news, Yo! MTG Taps! is now being featured on TheStarkingtonPost.com! We want to thank Bill Stark for the fantastic opportunity, as well as welcome any new listeners to the podcast. We’d love to hear from you!
And don’t worry, Island fans, AffinityForIslands is staying exactly where it is!
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the (unlikely) banning of Bloodbraid Elf from Standard. While I don’t think I need to explain the perspective of those calling for said banning, those opposed seem to collectively feel that the card “is not too strong,” is “beatable,” and that “if you don’t play the card, you don’t get a vote” (that last part can be attributed to Patrick Chapin).
As you may be aware, Bigheadjoe and I have mentioned a petition to ban BBE on our podcast, Yo! MTG Taps! However, despite our annoyance at the prevalence of Jund decks, this petition was created as a combination joke-meets-social-experiment; we weren’t actually serious, nor did we expect it to get anywhere.
Nevertheless, I do have something to say on the subject.
Primarily, what does it mean to say a card is “too strong?” Does “too strong” = “unbeatable”? “Extremely difficult to beat?” If so, I do not feel that BBE is too strong.
But if “too strong” means “clearly the best single card in the format, to the point where it is the centerpiece of over 30% of tournament decks,” then yes, absolutely, Bloodbraid Elf is too strong. (and don’t tell me it’s not the centerpiece to the Jund deck, because if you feel that way, you’re fooling yourself.)
The problem with Bloodbraid Elf is not that it is unbeatable. The problem is, anything that reduces variety in the game to this degree makes the game much less fun. I don’t know if that qualifies Bloodbraid Elf as “ban-worthy,” but there is clearly a problem with the presence of this card in the format. Personally, I just don’t think the problem is big enough for Wizards to do anything about it (beyond possible cascade hosers in Rise of the Eldrazi or M11; see also: Great Sable Stag > Faeries/5CC).
I’d like to close with some quotes by LSV on today’s MagicTV, which is what inspired this post:
“I think the biggest mistakes are cards that, overall, make less fun than they create.” (2m10s)
“Bloodbraid Elf has certainly lessened my enjoyment of the game, and many other players too that I’ve talked to…I wish they hadn’t printed Bloodbraid Elf.” (3m06s)
For those of you that haven’t seen the latest planeswalker to be spoiled from Rise of the Eldrazi:
I’m more excited about Gideon than any other card from Rise that I’ve seen spoiled so far. On turn five, you can use him as removal to take out whatever creature your opponent just used to attack you. Or, using his first ability you can stall, and unless your opponent is able to do 8 damage in one swing (or swing + burn), he’s pretty safe (in that way, he reminds me quite a bit of good old Veteran Bodyguard). In a deck like UW control, which keeps the board relatively clear, you can +2 him even when your opponent has no creatures, just to boost his loyalty a bit so that you can use the 2nd ability more often, or to keep him further out of range of attacking creatures coming his way. With something like Wall of Denial, he basically ends up being the Icy+Assassin combo of old (I force your creature to attack, I block with Wall, neither die; next turn I use Gideon to destroy your tapped creature).
And here’s a cool rules interaction to exploit: If your opponent has an Eldrazi in play, you can +2 Gideon, and when the Eldrazi attacks, sacrifice Gideon to the Annihilator trigger. Since the attack was declared at Gideon, the Eldrazi will deal no damage to you on that attack, even though Gideon is gone. Not game-breaking by any means, but it does save you from that Eldrazi for a turn.
His last ability (his “ultimate”) is really exciting. Just like the manlands, he’s safe from Day of Judgment, but—unlike the manlands—costs 0 mana to activate, so you can still keep counter mana up. You can effectively Wrath your opponent’s side of the board and then swing in unimpeded.
The more I think about Gideon and consider the possibilities, the more I like him. He’s a noncreature win condition that can fit right into UW Control alongside Jace. He’s already pre-selling on eBay for $20+, and I fully expect his price to rise in the coming months.
Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 15 – Shot Down is now available for download!
Check it out over on MTGCast!
Joey & Bigheadjoe go over some of the recent news regarding the Reserved List, Rise of the Eldrazi spoilers, and both GP Kuala Lumpur & GP Yokohama.
GP Kuala Lumpur – Standard – “Ding, Dong, Jund Is Dead In Kuala Lumpur”
GP Yokohama – Extended
Clash of the titans – Katsuhiro Mori (Thopter Depths) vs Masashiro Kuroda (Hypergenesis)
NEW SEGMENT – PRO TOUR FLASHBACK!
Masashiro Kuroda’s PT Kobe ’04 win.
Mythic – Zvi’s Deck Tech from PT San Diego
PATRICK CHAPIN’S NEXT LEVEL MAGIC – Now shipping!
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