So like, what’s actually wrong with Craterhoof?

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Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

Recently we had a thread going about people's least favorite cards, we've also had several discussions around alt-win cons (ex. Maze's End), hosers (Ruination), and oops I win cards. I largely agree with the popular opinion on these topics but I've never understood why many people hate Craterhoof Behemoth so I figured I'd get all my thoughts on this card out in the open and see what other people think.

I'm going to list all the reasons I think Craterhoof Behemoth is fine, but I'm not here to convince anybody that I'm right, I just want y'all to understand where I'm coming from so that you guys can explain this to me better.

So the popular attitude towards Craterhoof Behemoth is that the card is an "oops, I win card" similar to cards like Expropriate, Torment of Hailfire, and Exsanguinate but I think the cards I just listed are all much more unfair than Craterhoof Behemoth.

The thing about Exsanguinate is that the only things that matter are: the life total of the opponent with the highest life total, and the amount of Mana you have (and if your opponents have countermagic, but that's true for just about any wincon)

Craterhoof Behemoth actually requires a decent amount of setup, if everyone at the table is at 40 life and has 0 blockers, you'll need 10 1/1s to kill the entire table. I'm not saying that's particularly difficult for a token deck, but you can hardly let the token player untapped with 10+ tokens on an empty board and then say their win came "out of nowhere."

Sometimes I think people that say Craterhoof Behemoth is an "oops I win" card should pilot decks with Craterhoof Behemoth more often. Sure sometimes it's just topdeck Craterhoof Behemoth → win or Green Sun's Zenith for Craterhoof Behemoth → win. But more often it sits in my hand for a long time as I set up my board for the perfect alpha strike, then before I can cast it, someone wipes and I have to rebuild, then I have a window but the blue player suspiciously left mana open, and sure enough, Cyclonic Rift and it's a real challenge to thread the needle and fit the alpha strike in. So Craterhoof Behemoth wins rarely come out of nowhere. I think if you're surprised when someone wins off of Craterhoof Behemoth, your threat assessment is probably the culprit.

It's also reasonable to expect your opponents to have interaction for Craterhoof Behemoth:

Counterspells (duh)

Flashed in blockers or pump effects can make the damage coming towards you less than lethal.

Propaganda type effects

Glacial Chasm

Fogs This one is an increasingly relevant one I've found. It used to be that the most common fog cards were Constant Mists and Spore Frog, both of these are lights out blows against Craterhoof Behemoth, but nowadays, they are even worse, people are now playing fogs that turn your hoof against you Arachnogenesis, Jaheira's Respite, Comeuppance, and Inkshield. It used to be that getting your Craterhoof Behemoth fogged meant you didn't win. Now, it often means you lose.

Board Wipes can keep you from hoofing in the first place and instant speed wipes like Cyclonic Rift are backbreaking.

even a single removal spell in response to the Craterhoof Behemoth's ETB is often enough to ruin his combat math.

So I it's not like Torment of Hailfire where it's counter or die. Every color has options against behemoth

I also think it's pretty reasonable for opponents to play around Craterhoof Behemoth either by targeting players that are in a position to win with Craterhoof Behemoth or wiping the board before that can happen, I remember when people were talking about Ruination a couple people argued that you can play around it by playing basics, but most people seemed to think it was unreasonable to expect people to play basics to play around one, niche card at the expense of a good mana base. Craterhoof, however, isn't niche, nor is it the only card you have to be worried about if a player has a developed board. A Craterhoof Behemoth lookalike such as Overrun, or any other card that can profit from a large amounts of permanents such as Regal Force or Altar of Dementia are all other reasons you should be digging for a wipe or targeting that player.

In other words, it's unreasonable to expect players to get suspicious every time they see a red player playing on basics, it's not, however, unreasonable to expect players to keep a close eye on opponents with a large board state.

In conclusion, if a Craterhoof Behemoth alpha strike felt like it came out of nowhere most likely you either A) are playing a significantly weaker deck than the Craterhoof Behemoth player B) are playing a deck that's too linear to interact with your opponents win cons, or C) have poor threat assessment when it comes to green creature decks.

Obviously I'm not saying Craterhoof Behemoth isn't good, It is VERY good, hands down best mass pump spell out there and the best wincon for most green creature decks. Unlike many players, however, I wouldn't go so far as to call it unfair, or bad for the format (heck any card that encourages people to go to the red zone with non-infinite amounts of damage is a good thing in my book)

I dunno, obviously fun is subjective, and whatever y'all say I'm not taking Craterhoof Behemoth out of my Emiel the Blessed deck (which is the only hoof deck have at the moment). But I'd like to try to understand where those of you who dislike Craterhoof Behemoth are coming from.
Last edited by Dunadain 1 week ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 week ago

It's maligned because as far as aggro wincons go, its threshold for lethality is surprisingly low and it is the best in class at its job.

I got nothing against the hoof though. It's victory through combat, which is glorious and sacred. So go ahead and hoof me, baby. Hoof me harder.
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Post by void_nothing » 1 week ago

While I don't have that much against Craterhoof Behemoth, the fact is there are more ways to cheat out creatures than pretty much every other card type, which is a big part of why there's a perception of unfairness.
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Post by kirkusjones » 1 week ago

TheAmericanSpirit wrote:
1 week ago
It's maligned because as far as aggro wincons go, its threshold for lethality is surprisingly low and it is the best in class at its job.

I got nothing against the hoof though. It's victory through combat, which is glorious and sacred. So go ahead and hoof me, baby. Hoof me harder.

After thinking over your combat purist stance the other day, I asked some of my friends if they'd rather face down a boardstate of Eldrazi or get Aetherflux'd out of the game. One friend responded: "laser me, daddy." I'm sure he'd agree with getting hoof'd hard, too.

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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 week ago

@kirkusjones I think the laser is quicker, but it means they're a laser deck and they will laser you again. Eldrazi man might not be so lucky or so quick in the future. Send over the spaghetti monsters!
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Post by void_nothing » 1 week ago

Lord, we might need a bonk emoji at this point. Also, not going to modtext: these gags are funny but keep 'em on the side of SFW, folks!
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 1 week ago

void_nothing wrote:
1 week ago
Lord, we might need a bonk emoji at this point. Also, not going to modtext: these gags are funny but keep 'em on the side of SFW, folks!
Aye, aye, Cap! Batten down the innuendos! We're in PG waters now, boys!
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Post by Dunharrow » 1 week ago

In your example you say 10 1/1s and a hoof can kill 3 people. You do understand that 8 mana creature (which is often cheated into play) just generated some 116 damage (I think, quick maths). I don't really see this as an argument for fairness...

My issue with Hoof is my issue with any game-ending spell. If we are neck and neck, no spell should instantly win the game (my opinion). As far as game ending spells go, it's not the biggest offender, but it is the easiest to tutor, easiest to deploy, etc.

And you are not wrong - threat assessment is a big part of it. You should see the hoof coming, or the big X spell in a black deck with Cabal Coffers out... all of these things.
But just because you see it coming doesn't mean there is much to do about it.
And just because you see it coming doesn't mean it is fun.
The whole game could be complex, full of tough decisions, and then your opponent gets to 8 mana and you either have an answer or the game is over.
Super unsatisfying way to end the game
and I say that as the person being hoofed or the person paying hoof. It's boring.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 week ago

I am one of those who has a lot of issue with Craterhoof so I suppose I should break down my issues with it then I guess I can talk about the others you mentioned and why I don't have half as much of an issue with them.
  • Tutors - Green probably has more playable creature tutors than any of the other colors really have. Its true that black has a lot of tutors and there are even white tutors for legendary / walkers but as a whole I am talking about how playable and number of tutors green just has more playable tutors than most colors do for other types. The fact that craterhoof is on a creature is a large part of the issue.
  • Ramp - Green is the best color at ramping and I think that is also important when looking at these big game ending wincons. It means that green can get up to the mana to cast them faster on average. Its true that Cabal Coffers and friends can still make a lot of mana but if you look at the speed at which it takes to get setup with that in mono black vs green's consistancy to ramp a bit green can get to the 8 mana mark a lot faster than you will get to doing crazy 20+ mana Exsanguinate or blue casting Expropriate.
  • Interaction Options - The fact that craterhoof triggers as an ETB is really rough. I am not going to say that there aren't things outside of counterspells that interact with it or that can trip it up but I think its valid to say that the cards that do stop it well tend to be effects that as a whole don't get played as much on average. If you have a fog and get to drop it on a craterhoof it feels great but those cards generally are dead cards all game waiting for that moment which is a large part of why they don't see much play because while you ready yourself to stop that play someone might just combo off or play aristocrats instead.
In general craterhoof is very accessible for green decks while getting up to mana to get it into play comes faster and the options to interact with it once you pull the trigger are very narrow. Its very hard to counter play someone who has a strong deck built to make creatures and tutor craterhoof as well crafted decks can threaten to do it about every other turn in some situations.
  • Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate on the other hand require a LOT of mana to close out games and they can be vulnerable to opponents having gained life not to mention they are harder to get to hand and when you draw them early they can be extremely dead cards that do nothing. Decks that tend to play these cards usually have a lot of emphasis on ramping but that can also leave them somewhat exposed to a setup time for opponents to hit them while they try to get their mana set up.
  • Expropriate - Well extra turns are just kind of rude and the fact that any and every outcome from it is positive is rough. Most players can win a game with 2+ extra turns and too many players refuse to allow someone to steal from them and so I would argue that the problem with expropriate is that everyone doesn't just suck it up and allow the theft more often. Its a rude card but I actually think it has a lot more counter play as far as it winning the game outright I don't think that is very accurate and good players can mitigate it quite a bit. The issue is when everyone gives the opponent extra turns because 9 mana 4 turns is too good but I think its probably less outright game winning than it usually gets hyped as.
Craterhoof happens sooner and more consistently with a lot less room for counter play that aren't outright counterspells. Don't get me wrong those other spells can totally end the game too I just think that Craterhoof is more impactful and more omnipresent in the types of decks it fits in than the others you mentioned. Look at the other overrun effects that exist and in most cases its hard to argue that the next best overrun effect is even half as efficient at ending games. Beastmaster Ascension and Triumph of the Hordes are probably the next best overruns but neither of them are on a creature plus in most cases where they do end up working out Craterhoof would slam dunk the door on them twice over.

But I also think that the argument of how busted Craterhoof is completely moot as long as Thassa's Oracle is a legal card I can't even really get mad about Hoof being a thing. I died on T3 to Oracle this weekend. Craterhoof is a miserable end to a fair game of magic where as Thassa's Oracle shouldn't have ever been printed.
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Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

Dunharrow wrote:
1 week ago
In your example you say 10 1/1s and a hoof can kill 3 people. You do understand that 8 mana creature (which is often cheated into play) just generated some 116 damage (I think, quick maths). I don't really see this as an argument for fairness...

My issue with Hoof is my issue with any game-ending spell. If we are neck and neck, no spell should instantly win the game (my opinion). As far as game ending spells go, it's not the biggest offender, but it is the easiest to tutor, easiest to deploy, etc.

And you are not wrong - threat assessment is a big part of it. You should see the hoof coming, or the big X spell in a black deck with Cabal Coffers out... all of these things.
But just because you see it coming doesn't mean there is much to do about it.
And just because you see it coming doesn't mean it is fun.
The whole game could be complex, full of tough decisions, and then your opponent gets to 8 mana and you either have an answer or the game is over.
Super unsatisfying way to end the game
and I say that as the person being hoofed or the person paying hoof. It's boring.
That description of Craterhoof Behemoth is rather misleading, as it require a bunch of set up to be 116 damage, on an empty board it's 6 damage for 8 mana.

I could describe Craterhoof Behemoth as a 11 card combo that deals lethal but non-infinite damage and now the card sounds unplayable.

of course, neither of our descriptions of Craterhoof Behemoth are fair and the actual card is a lot more nuanced.

I've heard plenty of people say no one spell should win the game from an empty board (and I agree with that opinion) but this is the first time someone's told me there can be no spells that win the game when you have a developed board state. Do you also hate Overrun? What about Plague Wind? When the board is gummed up people are going to be looking for the cards to break through, I don't see a problem with that.

You're the second person to mention cheating Craterhoof Behemoth into play but I almost always see it hard casted. Where are you guys seeing it cheated in to play. I know Tooth and Nail + Avenger of Zendikar + Craterhoof Behemoth is a common combo, but the issue here is Tooth and Nail, heck those aren't even the best cards to get with Tooth and Nail when there are actual infinite combos that you could tutor for (Besides can it really be called cheating it into play when your paying MORE mana than the creature actually costs?). And I wouldn't even think of using Craterhoof Behemoth as a reanimation target, their are simply so many better ones. I don't know, you guys playing in metas with a bunch of Elvish Pipers or something?

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Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
1 week ago
I am one of those who has a lot of issue with Craterhoof so I suppose I should break down my issues with it then I guess I can talk about the others you mentioned and why I don't have half as much of an issue with them.
  • Tutors - Green probably has more playable creature tutors than any of the other colors really have. Its true that black has a lot of tutors and there are even white tutors for legendary / walkers but as a whole I am talking about how playable and number of tutors green just has more playable tutors than most colors do for other types. The fact that craterhoof is on a creature is a large part of the issue.
  • Ramp - Green is the best color at ramping and I think that is also important when looking at these big game ending wincons. It means that green can get up to the mana to cast them faster on average. Its true that Cabal Coffers and friends can still make a lot of mana but if you look at the speed at which it takes to get setup with that in mono black vs green's consistancy to ramp a bit green can get to the 8 mana mark a lot faster than you will get to doing crazy 20+ mana Exsanguinate or blue casting Expropriate.
  • Interaction Options - The fact that craterhoof triggers as an ETB is really rough. I am not going to say that there aren't things outside of counterspells that interact with it or that can trip it up but I think its valid to say that the cards that do stop it well tend to be effects that as a whole don't get played as much on average. If you have a fog and get to drop it on a craterhoof it feels great but those cards generally are dead cards all game waiting for that moment which is a large part of why they don't see much play because while you ready yourself to stop that play someone might just combo off or play aristocrats instead.
In general craterhoof is very accessible for green decks while getting up to mana to get it into play comes faster and the options to interact with it once you pull the trigger are very narrow. Its very hard to counter play someone who has a strong deck built to make creatures and tutor craterhoof as well crafted decks can threaten to do it about every other turn in some situations.
  • Torment of Hailfire and Exsanguinate on the other hand require a LOT of mana to close out games and they can be vulnerable to opponents having gained life not to mention they are harder to get to hand and when you draw them early they can be extremely dead cards that do nothing. Decks that tend to play these cards usually have a lot of emphasis on ramping but that can also leave them somewhat exposed to a setup time for opponents to hit them while they try to get their mana set up.
  • Expropriate - Well extra turns are just kind of rude and the fact that any and every outcome from it is positive is rough. Most players can win a game with 2+ extra turns and too many players refuse to allow someone to steal from them and so I would argue that the problem with expropriate is that everyone doesn't just suck it up and allow the theft more often. Its a rude card but I actually think it has a lot more counter play as far as it winning the game outright I don't think that is very accurate and good players can mitigate it quite a bit. The issue is when everyone gives the opponent extra turns because 9 mana 4 turns is too good but I think its probably less outright game winning than it usually gets hyped as.
Craterhoof happens sooner and more consistently with a lot less room for counter play that aren't outright counterspells. Don't get me wrong those other spells can totally end the game too I just think that Craterhoof is more impactful and more omnipresent in the types of decks it fits in than the others you mentioned. Look at the other overrun effects that exist and in most cases its hard to argue that the next best overrun effect is even half as efficient at ending games. Beastmaster Ascension and Triumph of the Hordes are probably the next best overruns but neither of them are on a creature plus in most cases where they do end up working out Craterhoof would slam dunk the door on them twice over.

But I also think that the argument of how busted Craterhoof is completely moot as long as Thassa's Oracle is a legal card I can't even really get mad about Hoof being a thing. I died on T3 to Oracle this weekend. Craterhoof is a miserable end to a fair game of magic where as Thassa's Oracle shouldn't have ever been printed.
This all makes sense to me I guess. I play very interactive decks so maybe that's why I hate Exsanguinate more than Craterhoof Behemoth, Craterhoof Behemoth rarely takes games off of me when I wasn't already losing, but one Exsanguinate when I wasn't holding up a counterspell and it doesn't matter how well I was controlling the board, I'm dead.

Also yeah, we can bond together over our hatred of Thassa's Oracle.

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Post by Crazy Monkey » 1 week ago

I think my opinion on hoof is just that it doesn't matter what the other creatures are. It's so far better than all other Overrun effects that it gets old. I just enjoy the variety of Pathbreaker Ibex other Nylea's Colossus cards more. Any deck that makes many creatures can run the hoof well, only some can make use of its alternatives.

There are definitely arguments that it's too narrow an interaction window, but I don't think that those hold up. Even spot removal and going to 12 life works. I more think that the hoof is just so "best-in-class" so as to be boring. It's nowhere near Thassa's Oracle or Expropriate for uninteresting wincons in my opinion.
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Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

I'll reiterate what others have said - the fact that it's so much stronger than any other overrun effect for commander, plus is significantly easier to tutor in green, makes it a very common pick and thus a fairly boring way to lose.

But yeah, compared to stuff that wins on the stack, it's not nearly as bad. Lots more setup required and interaction available. It would be pretty far down my list of cards I'd want to see banned.
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Post by Hermes_ » 1 week ago

void_nothing wrote:
1 week ago
Lord, we might need a bonk emoji at this point. Also, not going to modtext: these gags are funny but keep 'em on the side of SFW, folks!
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Post by materpillar » 1 week ago

Dunadain wrote:
1 week ago
Sometimes I think people that say Craterhoof Behemoth is an "oops I win" card should pilot decks with Craterhoof Behemoth more often. Sure sometimes it's just topdeck Craterhoof Behemoth → win or Green Sun's Zenith for Craterhoof Behemoth → win. But more often it sits in my hand for a long time as I set up my board for the perfect alpha strike, then before I can cast it, someone wipes and I have to rebuild, then I have a window but the blue player suspiciously left mana open, and sure enough, Cyclonic Rift and it's a real challenge to thread the needle and fit the alpha strike in. So Craterhoof Behemoth wins rarely come out of nowhere. I think if you're surprised when someone wins off of Craterhoof Behemoth, your threat assessment is probably the culprit.
I'm going to be honest with you, I have single-handedly lost to Craterhoof Behemoth more than any other card in EDH by a significant margin. I can assure you that the problem is with Craterhoof Behemoth not my threat assessment. The issues with Craterhoof Behemoth is that it looks like a fair combat damage card, whereas in practice it is much closer to Expropriate.

I tend to play with significantly more casual folks, where part of the game is not interacting with your opponent. Everyone is doing things, but they're much more value/durdly than streamlined game ending murder machines. You can let people do whatever they want for a few turns without it mattering. Craterhoof Behemoth takes durdly fun large nonthreatening boardstates and turns them into immediate lethal. A pile of cute value creatures combining to eek out some card advantage? Now everyone is dead. Unlike what you said, there is an extremely narrow band of answers for hoof outside of counterspells.

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Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

materpillar wrote:
1 week ago
Dunadain wrote:
1 week ago
Sometimes I think people that say Craterhoof Behemoth is an "oops I win" card should pilot decks with Craterhoof Behemoth more often. Sure sometimes it's just topdeck Craterhoof Behemoth → win or Green Sun's Zenith for Craterhoof Behemoth → win. But more often it sits in my hand for a long time as I set up my board for the perfect alpha strike, then before I can cast it, someone wipes and I have to rebuild, then I have a window but the blue player suspiciously left mana open, and sure enough, Cyclonic Rift and it's a real challenge to thread the needle and fit the alpha strike in. So Craterhoof Behemoth wins rarely come out of nowhere. I think if you're surprised when someone wins off of Craterhoof Behemoth, your threat assessment is probably the culprit.
I'm going to be honest with you, I have single-handedly lost to Craterhoof Behemoth more than any other card in EDH by a significant margin. I can assure you that the problem is with Craterhoof Behemoth not my threat assessment. The issues with Craterhoof Behemoth is that it looks like a fair combat damage card, whereas in practice it is much closer to Expropriate.

I tend to play with significantly more casual folks, where part of the game is not interacting with your opponent. Everyone is doing things, but they're much more value/durdly than streamlined game ending murder machines. You can let people do whatever they want for a few turns without it mattering. Craterhoof Behemoth takes durdly fun large nonthreatening boardstates and turns them into immediate lethal. A pile of cute value creatures combining to eek out some card advantage? Now everyone is dead. Unlike what you said, there is an extremely narrow band of answers for hoof outside of counterspells.
So which is it? You say it has nothing to do with threat assessment and then admit that you ignored the deck with a sizeable board presence.

Though your meta sounds nice, if my meta was a bunch of players just doing durdly stuff maybe I'd see a bigger problem with Craterhoof Behemoth.

Though interacting with your opponents being looked down upon might keep me away.

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Post by Legend » 1 week ago

Craterhoof has a tendency to show up in low-powered games (where it doesn't belong) because players grossly underestimate its actual power level because it looks like a casual fatty; when in reality it's an optimal finisher. Which pisses casual players off.
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Post by Treamayne » 1 week ago

Dunadain wrote:
1 week ago
You're the second person to mention cheating Craterhoof Behemoth into play but I almost always see it hard casted. Where are you guys seeing it cheated in to play.
I can't remember when I have ever seen Craterhoof Behemoth hardcast. Mosswort Bridge is probably number 1 (or at least tied with TnN); Defense of the Heart, Sneak Attack, Cream of the Crop + Impromptu Raid, Sensei's Divining Top + Lurking Predators, Lurking Predators + any flicker effect, etc are all far more common in my experience than just a straight up X creatures, hardcast Hoof.

Also, I think one of the biggest problems with Hoof is its simple ubiquitousness. Like Cyclonic Rift in blue - it seems the threshold for many players including it in their deck is:
I'm playing Green
I have creatures

That said, I do have 1 deck with Craterhoof Behemoth - Gahiji, Honored One Beast Tribal (the only deck I feel it is on theme to slot) - and while I do have Lurking Predators in that deck (theme), I don't have a way to reliably get Hoof to be on top when an opponent would cast a spell on my turn to trigger it; so when Hoof was the predator that was Lurking, he invariable triggers on an opponent's turn and I also removed all flicker effects when I added Hoof.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

Its just a boring way to win for me. I don't even think of it as beats. Its the Thoracle of beats. Get your ETB win, or get so far ahead as to be near enough to it.

I won't give anyone %$#% for playing it, games have to end, but I've no interest in playing it myself. And I play beats decks too, still don't wanna hoof.
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Post by Hermes_ » 1 week ago

I honestly think there's a floor to build a creature/ lite non-creature version of commander based on everyone's comments, but then green would be the top deck lol
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Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

Treamayne wrote:
1 week ago
Dunadain wrote:
1 week ago
You're the second person to mention cheating Craterhoof Behemoth into play but I almost always see it hard casted. Where are you guys seeing it cheated in to play.
I can't remember when I have ever seen Craterhoof Behemoth hardcast. Mosswort Bridge is probably number 1 (or at least tied with TnN); Defense of the Heart, Sneak Attack, Cream of the Crop + Impromptu Raid, Sensei's Divining Top + Lurking Predators, Lurking Predators + any flicker effect, etc are all far more common in my experience than just a straight up X creatures, hardcast Hoof.
Huh, that's interesting, maybe my meta's just weird.

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Post by Mookie » 1 week ago

I don't particularly mind a hardcast Craterhoof Behemoth from hand. If I ever get salty about it, it's usually off a tutor (Survival of the Fittest / Tooth and Nail / Natural Order / etc), and I think that says more about the tutor than it does about Craterhoof. IMO, 'tutor for Craterhoof' isn't that different from 'tutor for the other combo piece', and I'm generally not a fan of easy two-card combos.

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Post by NZB2323 » 1 week ago

I guess it depends on the power level. At a competitive table, he's more than fair and there are cards that are more powerful. In a casual battlecruiser table, he can be overpowered. There are answers, from board wipes to countering him, to an Opposition Agent against someone trying to tutor for him.

I've never been salty about losing to him in commander, but I was salty about losing to him in standard. Abzan reanimator could cheat him out with Unburial Rites, ramp into Unburial Rites with Farseek, Avacyn's Pilgrim, and Arbor Elf, they didn't even need Unburial Rites in hand to cast it, if they cast from their hand they could flash it back, you could play a Supreme Verdict to wipe their board, but with Thragtusk they'd still have a guy on the field and they could flash in Restoration Angel on your end step. Speaking of Thragtusk/Restoration Angel, good luck with any aggro or spot removal. Yeah, they printed Boros Reckoner as an answer to Thragtusk, but Boros Reckoner sure didn't answer Craterhoof.

You could play Rest in Peace, but they have an uncounterable answer in Abrupt Decay, and they could just hardcast Craterhoof Behemoth for the win. Control also had Detention Sphere, which isn't great when your opponent has Abrupt Decay. You could play counterspells, but the best counterspell in standard was Mana Leak which they can ramp out of, and even if you counter Craterhoof he can be reanimated, and if you counter an Unburial Rites from the hand it can be flashed back. And the deck had plenty of card draw with Mulch and Grisly Salvage.

Reanimator was so oppressive that they decided to print Scavenging Ooze, because Rest in Peace and Deathrite Shaman weren't good enough, and back then they didn't really ban cards from standard.
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Post by materpillar » 1 week ago

Dunadain wrote:
1 week ago
So which is it? You say it has nothing to do with threat assessment and then admit that you ignored the deck with a sizeable board presence.

Though your meta sounds nice, if my meta was a bunch of players just doing durdly stuff maybe I'd see a bigger problem with Craterhoof Behemoth.

Though interacting with your opponents being looked down upon might keep me away.
If you're playing at closer to a pre-con level slogfest, then mid game everyone is at 20 or so life. Everyone has a pile of Mulldrifters and Wood Elves sitting around. If you waste spot removal on those cards you'll fall way way behind people doing random simic value engines. If you want to keep boards down below Craterhoof Behemoth lethal levels you'd have to be wrathing every handful of turns. If you're constantly keeping the board squeaky clean then you're going to become the political archenemy almost immediately and get focused out every game. Playing around Craterhoof Behemoth that might or might not be in your opponents' decks will cause your overall winrate to plummet by virtue of pissing off the table.

That's not saying "people hate it when you interact". That's saying people enjoy playing creatures and attacking with them. If you constantly murder everyone's creatures repeatedly all the time. People are gonna get annoyed. People try to win and you kill their stuff. That's perfectly fine. People build and obscene value engine and you disrupt it. Cool cool. You wrath their commander for the third time because someone else cast Hornet Queen and now has hoof lethal and you're gonna start getting hated on.

Craterhoof Behemoth absolutely obliterates the floor on what a lethal board looks like when everyone is trying to beat each other to death with generic timmy creatures. Lethality for the whole table with saprolings and hoof is 10 saprolings. Lethality for the whole table with saprolings and Overrun is 30 saprolings. 20 saprolings with Beastmaster Ascension. The difference in how you have to play and build your decks if you're worried about 10 creatures presenting lethal and 20 creatures is pretty massive. Obviously, that's the bare minimum to lethal a whole table who aren't doing anything which isn't how magic works.

What usually happens is you're deep in the game. Everyone is only at 20 health because everyone has been chunking each other with wurms and dragons. There's been political maneuvering to keep one player from growing too powerful. Everyone has a couple of large dinosaurs and some support creatures. Then Craterhoof Behemoth resolves and you stare down at your hand of Beast Within and Assassin's Trophy that you've deftly managed to slow roll by getting other people to burn removal on threats so you don't have to and realize you're %$#% dead and the game ends with the wet fart that is a Craterhoof Behemoth resolution.

So yeah. That's roughly my experience with the hoof. I'm sure it's effectiveness falls off a cliff when it gets compared to streamlined combo decks. I'm sure it's not remotely as strong when you have a dedicated wrath deck at the table. But while Craterhoof Behemoth looks like a fun fair, damage creature it's play patterns are much closer to an infinite combo card.

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Post by Ruiner » 1 week ago

I've never had a problem with Craterhoof, but my usual playgroup runs a healthy amount of interaction. It definitely wins games but I've witnessed plenty of times the Craterhoof player does their math, goes for the win, and one player has enough removal and blockers to survive, or a Teferi's Protection, Evacuation, or fog effects, and then the Craterhoof player gets the crackback or a board wipe. Or maybe no one has an answer because we let the Craterhoof player build up a viable board state, they win, and we get to play a new game, no big deal.

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