Magic: The Gathering |OT| Core Set 2020 - Red Head Wins

Oct 28, 2017
4,376
What? You're crazy! Why do you say this?
It does nothing the turn it comes into play. After that, it draws you a card once a turn at the cost of life. It takes a full two turns around the table just to break even with multiple other black draw spells. You need 3+ turns to draw more cards, and that still has to balance against the fact that the other black draw spells give you the cards immediately and here you must wait many turns to get them. Sign in Blood is a much better card and I'd never run Phyrexian Arena over it. Oh, and Phyrexian Arena can be destroyed (which is relevant when evaluating versus an instant/sorcery).
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,560
716
It does nothing the turn it comes into play. After that, it draws you a card once a turn at the cost of life. It takes a full two turns around the table just to break even with multiple other black draw spells. You need 3+ turns to draw more cards, and that still has to balance against the fact that the other black draw spells give you the cards immediately and here you must wait many turns to get them. Sign in Blood is a much better card and I'd never run Phyrexian Arena over it. Oh, and Phyrexian Arena can be destroyed (which is relevant when evaluating versus an instant/sorcery).
It's always served me well in our battlecruiser 1-2 hour games haha I can see your argument if you're playing in a high power or competitive game though
 

Schreckstoff

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,740
Yeah I'm not a fan of phyrexian arena myself, needs to stick 2 turns to even be a divination. Makes sense with a devotion or enchantress theme or if you're trying to combo it with solitary confinement stuff like that. As a card advantage engine I dislike it.
Nah cause they're running it too and laughing about it

I played a game with a friend and he had both Rhystic and Smothering Tithe out and I had Tithe and it was a lot of fun
if everyone on the table likes it that's fine here people groan myself included and I make a point of sometimes irrationally targeting those cards or if I can't, the player that has them.
 
Feb 16, 2018
866
didn't know about this

looks like some crowdsourced + aggregated data about win rates:

the site is a bit buggy, but you can basically see a bunch of different builds per deck archetype and what peoples' records were
it also seems to provide a probability distribution of the metagame as a whole, but idk how accurate that part will be
 

A_Dang

Member
Oct 27, 2017
117
Western New York
My totally unqualified thoughts on Commander based on my small playgroup:
Cyclonic Rift is in blue (-), does not have a clear parallel in power level in other colors (-), is an instant (-), is in almost every deck that can play it (-), does not have answers (-), and does not always serve to close the game (-)...With that said I don't think it needs to be banned or even that there is something wrong with the power level, it just needs answers in more colors and maybe even better board wipes in other colors. Also, as mentioned: board wipes that just serve as a reset and don't close out the game are the main point of frustration. Cyclonic Rift gets an especially bad wrap because of how ubiquitous it is, but the reality is that many other board wipes create the same reset board state that is undesirable.

I like the idea of Unified Commander Damage, it cleans up the rules nicely. In my play group we actually deal with commander damage frequently, and I'm continually surprised by how often I hear people talk about how irrelevant it is (we are not in a cEDH group). One of the most recent games I played in I won with commander damage, I also run an Atraxa deck that has a reputation in my group for winning via commander damage. Cleaning the rules up sounds great, but you'd certainly have to raise the damage total to 31 or something. I want to test out the rule, but have seen a ton of hate for the idea...

I do not understand why people want to amend the color identity rule to allow hybrid mana to be included in decks that only have one of the two colors in the mana cost. My understanding is that the cards exist with hybrid mana because they function in a design space that either is between both colors, or incorporates design space of both colors. Isn't one reasons for the color identity rule to keep decks flavorfuly on color? If you allow hybrid mana, why not allow split cards that have one side on color? What about cards that don't have the off color pip in the mana cost, but has it in the rules text for an effect (and not reminder text)?

Wish effects are tricky. Non-sanctioned events allow you to get a card you own, but sanctioned events limit that to your "sideboard." Introducing sideboards to commander does not make much sense to me. When do you sideboard? Do you sit down at the table and all discuss the deck you are playing and then sideboard in your hate/answers? Do you sideboard in between games? What happens if people jump out between games? It's a headache in terms of logistics. What is the harm of having a plain read of the card and just allow people to grab a card they own (with in immediate accessibility)...and not introduce the concept of a sideboard? I know that functionally (for those decks) they would develop a "sideboard" tool box of usual cards they go and grab, but it keeps the game at large from having to deal with the concept and requirements of sideboards.

I've heard people talk about (on the Command Zone Summit episodes) restricting conceding to "Sorcery Speed." I love this idea for multiplayer commander games. I know that I've pulled the jerk-move of conceding right after someone swings in on me just to leave them exposed for someone else to swoop in and kill them. It's not a nice thing to do.

Non-Commander question:
I'm setting up a draft event for my casual commander group, none of us draft more than five or six times a year. Should we draft Core Set 202 or Modern Horizons? Most people in the group go into a draft event hoping to pull value to recoup the cost of drafting and hoping to get some fun cards to potentially put in their decks. That makes me lean toward Horizons. Why not go big on the potential of pulls...
But...most of us are terrible at drafting...and I can't imagine we'd do well with the complicated draft environment. Which makes me lean toward 2020...
Any input would be appreciated on this!
 

Ultron

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
778
Non-Commander question:
I'm setting up a draft event for my casual commander group, none of us draft more than five or six times a year. Should we draft Core Set 202 or Modern Horizons? Most people in the group go into a draft event hoping to pull value to recoup the cost of drafting and hoping to get some fun cards to potentially put in their decks. That makes me lean toward Horizons. Why not go big on the potential of pulls...
But...most of us are terrible at drafting...and I can't imagine we'd do well with the complicated draft environment. Which makes me lean toward 2020...
Any input would be appreciated on this!
In a casual event among friends I don't think I'd worry that much about "not being good at drafting" ruining a Horizons draft for you. The mechanics/complexity should be fine if you're all Commanders players, you might just not end up with the best possible decks. But that's fine! You're there to have fun, not to build a crushing 3-0 deck list. The only real concern I'd have is with the cost, but split among people that becomes more manageable.
 

A_Dang

Member
Oct 27, 2017
117
Western New York
In a casual event among friends I don't think I'd worry that much about "not being good at drafting" ruining a Horizons draft for you
My worry comes from people wanting to be able to draft synergistic decks that function well vs. ability to spot those synergies in the complex environment. I know we can all have a good amount of fun opening packs and putting piles together to play with, but people will want to have functioning decks that “do something.”

I still do lean toward Horizons because people will like the spice, and potential bombs/value they open. I think that will outweigh the feeling of “it was fun seeing the cards by my deck didn’t do anything.”
 

Buttzerker

Powerhouse Protector
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,232
People bitch about 3feri, but nissa it's miles ahead stronger than him.
The reason is Nissa might be stronger but she is narrower. Basically only fits in Gruul Midrange or Elementals. T3feri fits in basically anything, including one of the Nissa decks, which means people have to deal with him more often. A slightly weaker card is still going to be more frustrating if you see it 3 times as often.

Nissa also at least has a high risk element to it which is that a board wipe can deprive you of lands if you don't use her carefully. Teferi is 0 risk.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,376
My totally unqualified thoughts on Commander based on my small playgroup:
Cyclonic Rift is in blue (-), does not have a clear parallel in power level in other colors (-), is an instant (-), is in almost every deck that can play it (-), does not have answers (-), and does not always serve to close the game (-)...With that said I don't think it needs to be banned or even that there is something wrong with the power level, it just needs answers in more colors and maybe even better board wipes in other colors. Also, as mentioned: board wipes that just serve as a reset and don't close out the game are the main point of frustration. Cyclonic Rift gets an especially bad wrap because of how ubiquitous it is, but the reality is that many other board wipes create the same reset board state that is undesirable.
I do think giving more ways for players to recover or avoid a board wipe would be fantastic. Board wipes all too often are just reset buttons - for most of them that's literally their only function - and that can drag the game out. It harms aggro but doesn't prevent combo and aggro is already the weakest archetype. It could definitely use some help.

I like the idea of Unified Commander Damage, it cleans up the rules nicely. In my play group we actually deal with commander damage frequently, and I'm continually surprised by how often I hear people talk about how irrelevant it is (we are not in a cEDH group). One of the most recent games I played in I won with commander damage, I also run an Atraxa deck that has a reputation in my group for winning via commander damage. Cleaning the rules up sounds great, but you'd certainly have to raise the damage total to 31 or something. I want to test out the rule, but have seen a ton of hate for the idea...
I'd be down for this simply because it's easier to keep track of.

I do not understand why people want to amend the color identity rule to allow hybrid mana to be included in decks that only have one of the two colors in the mana cost. My understanding is that the cards exist with hybrid mana because they function in a design space that either is between both colors, or incorporates design space of both colors. Isn't one reasons for the color identity rule to keep decks flavorfuly on color? If you allow hybrid mana, why not allow split cards that have one side on color? What about cards that don't have the off color pip in the mana cost, but has it in the rules text for an effect (and not reminder text)?
Hybrid cards aren't a middle ground -- that's what gold cards are. They're designed to be cards where it could be a mono-colored card of either of the colors. That's why many call for them to be legal. They don't expand the abilities of what the color could normally do (in theory).

I've heard people talk about (on the Command Zone Summit episodes) restricting conceding to "Sorcery Speed." I love this idea for multiplayer commander games. I know that I've pulled the jerk-move of conceding right after someone swings in on me just to leave them exposed for someone else to swoop in and kill them. It's not a nice thing to do.
I think it'd be nice to have this rule but I also don't think it's necessarily a major issue. I don't get screwed by this very often and usually the rest of the table is honorable enough to let effects that would have happened (like lifelink) go off.

Non-Commander question:
I'm setting up a draft event for my casual commander group, none of us draft more than five or six times a year. Should we draft Core Set 202 or Modern Horizons? Most people in the group go into a draft event hoping to pull value to recoup the cost of drafting and hoping to get some fun cards to potentially put in their decks. That makes me lean toward Horizons. Why not go big on the potential of pulls...
But...most of us are terrible at drafting...and I can't imagine we'd do well with the complicated draft environment. Which makes me lean toward 2020...
Any input would be appreciated on this!
As long as everyone understands what the archetypes are at a basic level, Modern Horizons is a really fun draft. That said, it's more expensive and, for the money, probably not better value. There's a lot of really bad cards in Modern Horizons. I'd also think that, if your group is not 8 players, the balance might be thrown off too much which isn't as much an issue in M20 as it's got five archetypes instead of 10.

M20 was pretty fun in sealed and had some depth. I'd probably recommend that if you're drafting soon as possible. Cards from the set are worth a lot in the short term so anyone who wants to sell them quickly can probably make good money.
 

Firemind

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,292
Hybrid cards aren't a middle ground -- that's what gold cards are. They're designed to be cards where it could be a mono-colored card of either of the colors. That's why many call for them to be legal. They don't expand the abilities of what the color could normally do (in theory).
The problem is that (which The Command Zone pointed out) you have to explain to players that a card like Beseech the Queen is okay in a non-black deck and Deathrite Shaman is not okay if you're not playing both colours. It creates confusion, especially in an Eternal format that keeps growing.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,560
716
My totally unqualified thoughts on Commander based on my small playgroup:
Cyclonic Rift is in blue (-), does not have a clear parallel in power level in other colors (-), is an instant (-), is in almost every deck that can play it (-), does not have answers (-), and does not always serve to close the game (-)...With that said I don't think it needs to be banned or even that there is something wrong with the power level, it just needs answers in more colors and maybe even better board wipes in other colors. Also, as mentioned: board wipes that just serve as a reset and don't close out the game are the main point of frustration. Cyclonic Rift gets an especially bad wrap because of how ubiquitous it is, but the reality is that many other board wipes create the same reset board state that is undesirable.
I disagree that it's comparable to other similar cards, even if it seems that way. The biggest difference, and it's a big one, is that it doesn't hit the player who plays it. This is the main reason it's a problem and other actual reset buttons like Planar Cleansing or Evacuation aren't. If you wipe the board except for yours you better damn sure have a plan to win, especially after an hour or so of play. Often times the player who casts it continues to durdle around while everyone attempts to rebuild. It's just a bad feeling for everyone. It creates some really uniquely unfun situations that other wraths/wipes/mass bounce do not.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,376
The problem is that (which The Command Zone pointed out) you have to explain to players that a card like Beseech the Queen is okay in a non-black deck and Deathrite Shaman is not okay if you're not playing both colours. It creates confusion, especially in an Eternal format that keeps growing.
That sounds like an incredibly niche issue that’s already present on mono-colored cards with other colored abilities. I don’t believe that allowing hybrid cards makes it any more difficult to understand.
 

Firemind

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,292
They talked about that in the podcast. I suggest you watch that. Colour identity is another part of commander that seperates it from other formats.
 

A_Dang

Member
Oct 27, 2017
117
Western New York
Hybrid cards aren't a middle ground -- that's what gold cards are. They're designed to be cards where it could be a mono-colored card of either of the colors. That's why many call for them to be legal. They don't expand the abilities of what the color could normally do (in theory).
Thanks for clarifying that point for me. I still have difficulty with the idea that the effect of a hybrid mana spell could reside solely in either of the colors present...why don't those colors have the effect well represented? People should not need the hybrid mana cards because the already have plenty of other cards the produce the desired result. All the discussion I've seen on the topic is about how some hybrid cards would help different colors by giving them access to effects not immediately accessible.

As long as everyone understands what the archetypes are at a basic level, Modern Horizons is a really fun draft. That said, it's more expensive and, for the money, probably not better value. There's a lot of really bad cards in Modern Horizons. I'd also think that, if your group is not 8 players, the balance might be thrown off too much which isn't as much an issue in M20 as it's got five archetypes instead of 10.

M20 was pretty fun in sealed and had some depth. I'd probably recommend that if you're drafting soon as possible. Cards from the set are worth a lot in the short term so anyone who wants to sell them quickly can probably make good money.
Thanks for the info! A few people in the group do try to flip cards, so that short-term value proposition is a good thing to keep in mind! We should have 8 players, and I've opened the conversation up to those players as well.

Everything I've heard is that Modern Horizons is as close to getting a Time-Spiral 2 as we may ever have. I was in-between stints of playing MTG when Time-Spiral came out, and I really wish I got to experience a draft of the format...I don't want to miss out on the closest thing I may get to it!

I disagree that it's comparable to other similar cards, even if it seems that way. The biggest difference, and it's a big one, is that it doesn't hit the player who plays it. This is the main reason it's a problem and other actual reset buttons like Planar Cleansing or Evacuation aren't. If you wipe the board except for yours you better damn sure have a plan to win, especially after an hour or so of play. Often times the player who casts it continues to durdle around while everyone attempts to rebuild. It's just a bad feeling for everyone. It creates some really uniquely unfun situations that other wraths/wipes/mass bounce do not.
I'm tracking with you. I guess my play group is just too casual or not good enough at building decks to close a game out after playing Cyclonic Rift. I think its a rarity for us to have someone close the game out within a turn or two of casting it. I know I'm super guilty of that.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,376
Thanks for clarifying that point for me. I still have difficulty with the idea that the effect of a hybrid mana spell could reside solely in either of the colors present...why don't those colors have the effect well represented? People should not need the hybrid mana cards because the already have plenty of other cards the produce the desired result. All the discussion I've seen on the topic is about how some hybrid cards would help different colors by giving them access to effects not immediately accessible.
Hybrid cards are printed because they're fun and so that decks that care about the colors can play those. They're useful for draft as well, allowing one card to suit two different colors. I don't want to promise there's not a hybrid card that slipped through the cracks, but pretty much every hybrid card should be doing something that a mono-colored card in those colors could do. Of course, that doesn't mean that there is a mono-colored card that does exactly that, which is why people want them to be available for play.
 

A_Dang

Member
Oct 27, 2017
117
Western New York
Hybrid cards are printed because they're fun and so that decks that care about the colors can play those. They're useful for draft as well, allowing one card to suit two different colors. I don't want to promise there's not a hybrid card that slipped through the cracks, but pretty much every hybrid card should be doing something that a mono-colored card in those colors could do. Of course, that doesn't mean that there is a mono-colored card that does exactly that, which is why people want them to be available for play.
I just never did enough research to get a good understanding of what hybrid spells were supposed to do design wise. I think I'm getting it now, though I still think commander players want them to be legal for either color just for those edge cases where it gives them utility they wouldn't otherwise have, places where the color identity is maybe fudged a little bit. I just don't get the argument for them being legal otherwise.

Super helpful article from Shadowmoor era. The chart, in particular, was super helpful!
 
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SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,109

* Protection will mainly be on sideboard cards now, with the exception of one shot effects like Gods Willing.
* If Leyline of Sanctity didn't work out in Play Design, they would have printed Leyline of Rule of Law.
* There was some back and forth on whether auras that deal combat damage based on toughness should just boost toughness or both power and toughness. They went with the former.
* Bishop of Wings was designed to combo with Divine Visitation and Arcane Adaptation.
* They call out Atemsis as a card SaffronOlive would like.
* Portal of Sanctuary bounces auras to make sure it doesn't hate on Pacifism effects too much.
* They really didn't want to reprint Sea Sprite.
* The protection creatures were originally just French vanilla (meaning just evergreen abilities), but they wanted more flexibility to hurt particular deck types.
 
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SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,109
New art book coming


Though it seems like a lot of it will be Magic Origins art
 

bunbun777

Member
Oct 29, 2017
990
Nw
I bought the pass but I already played every day so it's very good value for me. Besides the cosmetics, you get 20 packs, gems, and 5000 gold which ends up costing 6 to 10 dollars if you subtract the gems you get back.
 

aidan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
969
It only seems to make sense to buy the pass once you've already reached a level where the goods gained meets or exceeds the monetary value. Buying it before that seems... fraught.
 

Won

Member
Oct 27, 2017
358
I had gems and I like myself some bling, so I gave it a swirl, but like with most passes, the level of commitment to get full value out of your purchase is quite absurd.
 

Clay

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,239
Not unless I manage to make it to at least Lvl 90, and even then this whole pass business is pretty dubious imo.
Exactly where I'm at. I don't care about cosmetics and I mostly play Limited, so its value is pretty suspect for me.

I usually only play Constructed to hit my daily goals in order to get god for Ranked Drafts but I've been having a ton of fun with the UW Flyers deck. It's pretty absurd how easy it is to pull off a quick turn 4 or 5 win. There's some really fun plays too, I've already had a bunch of matches where I cast Sephara with her alternate cost, have my opponent spend their turn casting removal on her, and then win the next turn with Rally of Wings.

I'm currently using this decklist by Strictly Better MTG. I'm thinking of replacing all the Pteramanders with Faerie Miscreants, it seems nearly impossible to Adapt Pteramander (you nearly always either win or get blown with something like Ritual of Soot before you cast enough of your few spells) so I think potentially drawing another card or two would be better, even if that also happens rarely.
 

lee n

Member
Oct 26, 2017
44
Not unless I manage to make it to at least Lvl 90, and even then this whole pass business is pretty dubious imo.
The break even for the pass seems to be level 43. Quoting someone from Reddit who did the math:

"PSA: The break-even for spending 3400 Gems on the pass is roughly level 43: Level 43 = 5k Gold + 9 Packs + 800 Gems = 750 Gems (Ranked Draft) + 1800 Gems + 800 Gems = 3350 Gems."
 
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SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,109
Oh, before Saturday I should get my guess about the fall set in. We were already considering a DnD themed set, but I'll go a step further. While the main set is a Magic specific setting, each booster pack will contain a silver bordered card that leans more into DnD, including with particular characters as legendary creatures. The silver bordered cards will be legal for Limited, but not Constructed. The cards will be designed to work on Arena, and as such will be more about dice rolling and such than high fives.