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RattingRots
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Post by RattingRots » 2 years ago

bravelion83 wrote:
2 years ago
marioguy3 - I like the card but it's just a functional reprint of Gelatinous Genesis, and "functional" only because the creature type of the tokens is different, otherwise it would just be a straight up reprint.
I'm guessing he just didn't realize it was already a card.

I forgot about Gelatinous Genesis when I saw his card at first.
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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

Gonna reply in here because I think a reply of this length is what the Discussion thread is for. :grin:
Krishnath wrote:
2 years ago
Rithaniel: Kloam is broken. A nearly free Hymn to Tourach on all your opponents on the first turn basically guarantees that you'll win since you get to choose what to get rid of from your hand, while your opponents don't. It would quickly get banned in all formats it would ever matter in.
Thank you for the feedback. I was hoping the card would spark some conversation. I actually edited the design about four times, into it's current form, so I've thought about it, and I'm inclined to disagree with your assessment.

In the event that you get the effect to go off, you have to sacrifice three cards from your hand to get two cards from your opponent's hand, which actually puts you in a losing position. Sure, you get to choose what you discard and your opponent doesn't, but that's just to balance the fact that you're starting with one fewer card in hand than your opponent. It's random, after all, so you can't say for sure if you'll be able to claim advantage from the effect. It's more likely than if your opponents were choosing the cards, but still not ensured.

This design actually came up as a result of judging in the MCC. I started actually calculating the probability that a particular card would be in your opening hand. If you have a sixty card deck and four copies of the card, then the probability of at least one being in your first seven card hand is about 40% (I wrote 39% in my judgings, but I was being sloppy and rounded down when I should have rounded up. Also, in EDH, you'd have a 7% chance). So, my conclusion was that an effect would need to be considerable in order to be worth making that 40% gamble. Most printed cards with "opening hand" effects are satisfying for this kind of gamble, but I kind of disagree with the idea of having their "cost" be that they are overpriced. However, what other kind of cost could you pay before the game even begins? Pay life if cheap, so that's no good. What about giving up cards from your hand?

Now, I should mention other numbers. The probability of drawing two other black cards as well as Kloam is more complex than just drawing Kloam. I still don't know what the real numbers are, but some naive calculation gives me that you could expect a 95% chance if you have nothing but lands and black cards and 55% if you're two color with about an even split between black and a second color. Chances of drawing Kloam with other numbers of copies: With three copies you have 32% chance. With two copies, you have 22% chance. With one copy, you have 12% chance. So, all together, your chance of getting Kloam's effect in a game are (after heavy rounding):

Four copies: 38% in monoblack. 22% in two color.
Three copies: 30% in monoblack. 18% in two color.
Two copies: 20% in monoblack. 12% in two color.
One copy: 11% in monoblack. 7% in two color.

So, the only chance to see the effect in more than one out of three games is if you're dedicated to it: playing monoblack with four copies of the card. Also, the chances of getting a second Kloam to go off is much lower. Something around 4% even if you have four copies in a monoblack deck. Meanwhile, you have a curve with a upper end dedicated to four six-mana spots, which isn't necessarily bad, but it also isn't necessarily a good thing to have, either. Other decks are going to have more aggressive creatures at those spots than a 4/4 flier.

Perhaps it should have been less impactful, giving up two cards in exchange for one discarded at random, perhaps. Though, I was in the mood to design a "swingy" card yesterday. Sometimes you just want to make something that makes people say, "Hold up a second, what?"
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

There is a reason why Hymn got banned for a long time, you removing three cards from your hand (of your choice) for a free Hymn against all your opponents does not balance it in the slightest as it can severely manascrew all your opponents while you 1) don't get manascrewed, and 2) can easily compensate for the cost via deckbuilding options. It is not a balanced card.
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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

"In the slightest" you say? So there is no change in balance at all? Then I suppose giving up four cards from your hand would also not change the balance? What about five? Six? If you were to discard your entire starting hand in order to get a no-mana "discard two cards at random" effect, would you finally say that perhaps you are on the losing side of that interaction?

Perhaps there is a number of cards you could exile, between 3 and 7, for which you think would be a fair cost for this effect. Or does the fact that you haven't provided such a number imply that you don't think the number exists?
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

You are missing the point entirely. At the cost you have given it, it is not balanced. It is more powerful than the interaction that got the Hymn banned in the first place. That of T1: Swamp, Dark Ritual, Hymn. Main difference is that you are hitting *all* your opponents, and they can't counter or respond to it any way as it happens BEFORE the game starts. It is quite literally an uncounterable and unstoppable Hymn to Tourach that hits all your opponents for a cost that is very, very, easy to get around in black. For it to be balanced you'd need to nerf it so hard that it would be literally unplayable. Maybe if it only hit one card at random (and exiled one card from your hand in addition to the Demon) I could see it be balanced, but as it is, there is no way in Hades that it could be considered even remotely balanced.
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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

Don't worry, I do understand your point. You feel the advantage gained from the discard is too high. You also seem to believe that the card can't ever be balanced while hitting two cards, either, and that's the point where we disagree. I actually think giving up three nonland cards from your starting hand is an acceptable price. You feel, with very strong vehemence, that three cards is not enough.

We might compare things to other cards with similar effects, instead of focusing solely on Hymn to Tourach. I know you feel that the similarity to Hymn is damning, but there are other angles from which to analyze things. For example, there is the similar Unmask, which gives a stronger discard (you choose as opposed to random) but only for a single card. Had I gone for the "two cards for one" route, I would have likely made the discard like this, where you choose a card. Alternatively, we can talk about Delirium Skeins, which is completely symmetric and costs mana, but also does not get played (competitively) in any format.
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

You are still not getting my point. It is extremely easy for black to build their deck around the "drawback" of the card, allowing the black deck to bounce back from the drawback very, very easily. While the opponents don't have that opportunity. There is no defense against the card. *None*. It can't be stopped in any way, ever, because the effect hits before the game even begins. I use Hymn because that is what the effect is. A Hymn to Tourach that hits all players, and can't be stopped in any way. At least the first turn Hymn can be stopped with the likes of Force of Will and other pitch counters. This has no such weakness. If your opponent starts with this in hand, you are screwed, and not in a fun way. Delirium Skeins isn't played because it hits the caster harder than their opponents, four for three. And the discard isn't random. It's not even comparable to what your card is: A FREE HYMN TO TOURACH THAT HITS ALL OPPONENTS BEFORE THE GAME STARTS. The drawback is a nonissue for black, because it has access to so much card advantage that it rivals blue. Free spells are so rare because they are incredibly hard to balance, they are either borderline broken (Like Force) or end up so nerfed they are nearly unplayable (nearly every pitch spell since Mirage block). What you have created is a more powerful version of a card so powerful that it was the second common card to ever get banned (before High Tide even, and that card is bonkers broken), that you get to play for what is essentially free (because the drawback is a non-issue for black), in a way that can in no way be responded to. The card is broken as is, and there is no way to argue around that fact.
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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

So, you also say that the effect is concerning because black can mitigate the drawback because of potential card advantage from other sources. My counterpoint to this is that green is very good at generating mana faster than other colors, but we don't argue that green spells should cost more than non-green spells. In fact, as we know, green creatures tend to cost less than non-green creatures. So, just because black might be able to generate more card advantage does not mean that black costs centered around card disadvantage should incur more disadvantage than they otherwise would.

You also bring up the issue that this cannot be reacted to. I will mention that only blue (or maybe white) can actually stop spells from being played. This is an advantage that blue has over the other colors, and so Kloam would have an advantage over other discard spells, yes. It can be effective against players who might otherwise have a defense.

Keep in mind that the card is still a gamble. You will only see it in maybe one out of three games you play. That's the entire game we're considering, and you haven't convinced me that you would even necessarily win that one game where you do see it. Further, you could play two Hymn to Tourach in a game, and you won't use two Kloams in a game. You have a 4% of getting that hand, max. If you do manage to get off two Kloam effects, you're down to one card in your hand and your opponents each have three, which, I don't care what your deck is capable of, is a game you're not winning. So, if this must be compared to Hymn, then make note that it's a Hymn that you can only have one copy of in your deck.

Imagine if the design were reverse. Each opponent discards three cards and you discard two cards at random. I think that would be the overpowered card. I would personally rather be hit by an effect that makes me discard two cards at random than an effect which makes me choose and discard three cards. It's a close comparison, but in the former you have more of a chance of coming back from the setback.
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

Rithaniel wrote:
2 years ago
So, you also say that the effect is concerning because black can mitigate the drawback because of potential card advantage from other sources. My counterpoint to this is that green is very good at generating mana faster than other colors, but we don't argue that green spells should cost more than non-green spells. In fact, as we know, green creatures tend to cost less than non-green creatures. So, just because black might be able to generate more card advantage does not mean that black costs centered around card disadvantage should incur more disadvantage than they otherwise would.

You also bring up the issue that this cannot be reacted to. I will mention that only blue (or maybe white) can actually stop spells from being played. This is an advantage that blue has over the other colors, and so Kloam would have an advantage over other discard spells, yes. It can be effective against players who might otherwise have a defense.

Keep in mind that the card is still a gamble. You will only see it in maybe one out of three games you play. That's the entire game we're considering, and you haven't convinced me that you would even necessarily win that one game where you do see it. Further, you could play two Hymn to Tourach in a game, and you won't use two Kloams in a game. You have a 4% of getting that hand, max. If you do manage to get off two Kloam effects, you're down to one card in your hand and your opponents each have three, which, I don't care what your deck is capable of, is a game you're not winning. So, if this must be compared to Hymn, then make note that it's a Hymn that you can only have one copy of in your deck.

Imagine if the design were reverse. Each opponent discards three cards and you discard two cards at random. I think that would be the overpowered card. I would personally rather be hit by an effect that makes me discard two cards at random than an effect which makes me choose and discard three cards. It's a close comparison, but in the former you have more of a chance of coming back from the setback.
No, I am saying the drawback is a non-issue and the effect in itself is BROKEN, because it is a free, uncounterable, uninteractable Hymn to Tourach, that hits all your opponents before the game even starts. The card is broken.
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Post by slimytrout » 2 years ago

Just chiming in briefly here to support Krishnath. Imagine if this card existed:

Paean to Tourach 0
Sorcery
As an additional cost to cast this spell, exile two black cards from your hand.
Target player discards two cards at random.

That would be busted, right? There's a very strong chance that your opponent kept a hand with only a couple of lands or a couple of spells, so even hitting one of them on Turn 1 could be devastating. And Kloam is better than that, since it can't be countered or discarded *and* it comes with a reasonable body in the late game.

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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

slimytrout wrote:
2 years ago
Just chiming in briefly here to support Krishnath. Imagine if this card existed:

Paean to Tourach 0
Sorcery
As an additional cost to cast this spell, exile two black cards from your hand.
Target player discards two cards at random.

That would be busted, right? There's a very strong chance that your opponent kept a hand with only a couple of lands or a couple of spells, so even hitting one of them on Turn 1 could be devastating. And Kloam is better than that, since it can't be countered or discarded *and* it comes with a reasonable body in the late game.
Well, this is certainly more helpful. Rephrasing the idea in a different skin is a good approach. I would agree: a card like this would raise some eyebrows.

I think there are other distinctions between Kloam and Paean, which are worth bringing up, though. For example, if you have a single Peaen, you could draw it later on and get the benefit. Not so with Kloam, as it exclusively happens on the first turn. There are many things to consider.

I would also mention that Kloam doesn't get the body as an *and* effect, but instead as an *or* effect. That was one of the ideas in the design.
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Post by slimytrout » 2 years ago

Glad I could help! And you're definitely right that Kloam isn't strictly better than Paean -- like if you're on the draw and you have to pick one to be the top card of your deck -- but I think on balance Kloam is better and Paean is already a card that wotc would be unlikely to print both for being unfun and for being busted.

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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

So, if you were to try and design a card like Kloam, with an opening-hand discard effect, how would you personally put it together?

Same question to Krishnath, but I don't know whether he'd be open to the thought.
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Post by slimytrout » 2 years ago

I don't think it's an easy task, because of the following constraints:

*You don't want to force players to reveal their hands turn 0 - makes for a not very exciting game.
*Random discard is pretty unfun, mostly because of the potential to hit lands.
*You don't want to allow it to happen without other black/swamp cards in hand.
*Giving your opponents a choice just makes it like mulliganing again.

That being said, my best effort is:

If ~ is in your opening hand, you may reveal it and exile a Swamp from your hand. If you do, each opponent discards a card at random. If that card is a land card, they may discard another card at random, then return a land card from their graveyard to their hand.

Obviously wordy, but I think it manages to dodge the worst-case scenarios. Thoughts?

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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

Hmmm, the land card recursion is an interesting work-around to avoid revealing hands. I like it, as it's a new kind of discard. I think it would actually be worded as:

"If a land card is discarded this way, return it to its owner's hand and repeat this process."

Also, sacrificing a land to get a nonland is a clever design.

I still like the idea of exiling Kloam itself, to make it a choice of whether you want to keep Kloam for the legendary creature, or use the opening-hand effect.
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

Rithaniel wrote:
2 years ago
So, if you were to try and design a card like Kloam, with an opening-hand discard effect, how would you personally put it together?

Same question to Krishnath, but I don't know whether he'd be open to the thought.
I'd reduce the effect to only hit *one* card (with a decrease in cost to only exiling one card from your hand, of course), and I wouldn't make the discard random. That way your opponents don't get FUBAR'ed to such an extent that they are effectively locked out of the game. It'll still hurt, but it doesn't stop you from competing.

The problem with ability as it were, is threefold: 1) it's effectively free. 2) It hits two cards at random from each opponent. and 3) It can't be interacted with in any way because it happens before the game starts.
By only hitting one card, and your opponents get to chose what they get rid off, then it will still give you an advantage without making it impossible for your opponents to play the game. And it would still be incredibly powerful.
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Post by marioguy3 » 2 years ago

If I were to design this type of card, my idea would be to go a route similar in the flavor of Vendilion Clique, except that it would be each opponent.

"If (cardname) is in your opening hand, you may reveal it and exile it. If you do, each opponent exiles a card from their hand at random, then draws a card."

It could catch your opponents off guard holding an end game card in hand early, but still minimizes (slightly) the potential for completely out of nowhere mana screw compared to some other designs.

Also, the idea to have a land returned to its owner's hand if discarded is a cool idea. However, the process would be repeated infinitely if the opponent had kept an all land hand (noteworthy in cases of a player using mulligans multiple times)
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Post by slimytrout » 2 years ago

Krishnath: I actually think that card would be borderline unplayable, at least in 1v1 (I don't really play enough multiplayer to know if snagging a card from each opponent is worth two of your own cards). Under the new rules, you can basically think of it as adding 2 to your mulligan just to force your opponent to add 1 to their mulligan (also their card goes to the graveyard, unless you turned it into exile). And while some decks are better equipped to deal with the London Mulligan than others, it's hard for me to picture a deck that would be willing to (unreliably) start on 5 cards just to make the opponent start on 6.

marioguy3: that would be an interesting idea that's certainly cleaner than mine although also higher variance (it runs the risk of hurting more if you hit their only land, but could also help them if you turn a dud into a good card). The reason I went with my design as opposed to the revised version rithaniel suggested is precisely that infinite loop potential, and also the fact that even if it wasn't infinite (which does require a weird starting hand), it could still take a long time to resolve: if they have five lands two spells, it wouldn't be far-fetched to go through 10 or more random selections.

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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

Ah, I didn't think about the potential for an infinite loop. Yeah, just doing it twice would be preferable.

Also, yeah, if you're going down two cards in order to get one card out of the opponent's hand, you at least need to have the chance that a valuable card is discarded. One of my edits to the original card just had the opponent discard two cards, but then, later, I added the words "at random" after I thought about that.

I suppose I like marioguy3's design. It's even softer than 2 cards for 1 card: discarding Kloam for a "soft mulligan" on the opponents.

I think it's pretty clear that I'm not gonna get any votes this round. Though, if nothing else, I'm glad to get some discussion on the mechanics and how people approach them.
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

slimytrout wrote:
2 years ago
Krishnath: I actually think that card would be borderline unplayable, at least in 1v1 (I don't really play enough multiplayer to know if snagging a card from each opponent is worth two of your own cards). Under the new rules, you can basically think of it as adding 2 to your mulligan just to force your opponent to add 1 to their mulligan (also their card goes to the graveyard, unless you turned it into exile). And while some decks are better equipped to deal with the London Mulligan than others, it's hard for me to picture a deck that would be willing to (unreliably) start on 5 cards just to make the opponent start on 6.

marioguy3: that would be an interesting idea that's certainly cleaner than mine although also higher variance (it runs the risk of hurting more if you hit their only land, but could also help them if you turn a dud into a good card). The reason I went with my design as opposed to the revised version rithaniel suggested is precisely that infinite loop potential, and also the fact that even if it wasn't infinite (which does require a weird starting hand), it could still take a long time to resolve: if they have five lands two spells, it wouldn't be far-fetched to go through 10 or more random selections.
That is the problem with "free effects" such as this, they are either broken beyond belief because the effect is way to powerful to be what is essentially free (such as the effect of cards that have been or are banned), or so weak that they are nearly unplayable. It is nearly impossible to find a middle ground.

Just take the first official ones as an example, the Alliances pitch spells. One is so incredibly powerful that it has nearly gotten banned multiple times (Force of Will), or so incredibly weak that none of them are played (Green, black, and white). The only one that is moderately balanced is the red one (Pyrokinesis), and that is because it is very hard to mess up direct damage in red, and it is rarely played these days.

A more recent example would be the Chancellor cycle from New Phyrexia. They had a free effect if you had them on your hand when the game started, but they are almost all so bad that nobody plays them anymore, and nearly no one did when they in Standard either. The only one of them that was even remotely playable is Chancellor of the Spires, and that is only in mill decks.

There is a reason why WotC has mostly moved away from random discard, because it makes for unfun gameplay. Anyone who thinks that it isn't bad has never lost a game to being hit with Hymn to Tourach on turn 1. And Rithaniel's card is way, way, way more powerful than a Hymn to Tourach on turn 1.
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Post by slimytrout » 2 years ago

I don't really disagree with you, and as I said above, I think designing a balanced turn-zero discard card is a difficult (if not impossible) task, for exactly the reasons you outlined. (Although I don't think you're quite right about the Chancellors: Tangle is a crucial ingredient of Neoform decks in modern, and I've seen Annex get played as well, although I don't remember where off the top of my head).

The cards that I and marioguy3 proposed could either be broken or terrible -- at least for my card, I would put the chances of it being an appropriate power level at well below even odds. I was only disagreeing with your statement that your version "would still be incredibly powerful" -- I'm 90% sure that the version that you proposed wouldn't be playable (admittedly the other 10% is that some deck would find a way to abuse it to an absurd extent, but see above).

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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

Krishnath wrote:
2 years ago
A more recent example would be the Chancellor cycle from New Phyrexia. They had a free effect if you had them on your hand when the game started, but they are almost all so bad that nobody plays them anymore, and nearly no one did when they in Standard either. The only one of them that was even remotely playable is Chancellor of the Spires, and that is only in mill decks.
I actually tried to make a deck with Chancellor of the Tangle work at one point.

It didn't,
Krishnath wrote:
2 years ago
There is a reason why WotC has mostly moved away from random discard, because it makes for unfun gameplay. Anyone who thinks that it isn't bad has never lost a game to being hit with Hymn to Tourach on turn 1. And Rithaniel's card is way, way, way more powerful than a Hymn to Tourach on turn 1.
I think you're being hyperbolic, or at least very uncharitable. A card that makes you discard four cards at random would be "way" more powerful. However, apparently something with almost the same effect is enough to earn three "way" modifiers, even though it's arguable that paying is often easier than discarding three cards.
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

Rithaniel wrote:
2 years ago
Krishnath wrote:
2 years ago
A more recent example would be the Chancellor cycle from New Phyrexia. They had a free effect if you had them on your hand when the game started, but they are almost all so bad that nobody plays them anymore, and nearly no one did when they in Standard either. The only one of them that was even remotely playable is Chancellor of the Spires, and that is only in mill decks.
I actually tried to make a deck with Chancellor of the Tangle work at one point.

It didn't,
Krishnath wrote:
2 years ago
There is a reason why WotC has mostly moved away from random discard, because it makes for unfun gameplay. Anyone who thinks that it isn't bad has never lost a game to being hit with Hymn to Tourach on turn 1. And Rithaniel's card is way, way, way more powerful than a Hymn to Tourach on turn 1.
I think you're being hyperbolic, or at least very uncharitable. A card that makes you discard four cards at random would be "way" more powerful. However, apparently something with almost the same effect is enough to earn three "way" modifiers, even though it's arguable that paying is often easier than discarding three cards.
It is way more powerful because it is essentially free, drops before turn one, hits all your opponents, and can't be interacted with in any way. Once you have it in your opening hand there is no way for your opponents to avoid the effect. Hymn at least can be countered.
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Post by Rithaniel » 2 years ago

"Drops before turn one" and "can't be interacted with" are the same complaint, listed twice. No one would have been interacting with it anyways, except blue. As stated before, this can potentially be a small advantage.

"Hits all your opponents." Not an issue. It's there to make the card remotely useful in multiplayer. Compare diabolic edict to liliana's triumph.

The only sticking point is that it's "essentially" free, which I'm willing to concede. Though I still make the distinction that it isn't free.
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"Why are numbers beautiful? It's like asking why is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is."
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“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”
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Post by Krishnath » 2 years ago

Rithaniel wrote:
2 years ago
"Drops before turn one" and "can't be interacted with" are the same complaint, listed twice. No one would have been interacting with it anyways, except blue. As stated before, this can potentially be a small advantage.

"Hits all your opponents." Not an issue. It's there to make the card remotely useful in multiplayer. Compare diabolic edict to liliana's triumph.

The only sticking point is that it's "essentially" free, which I'm willing to concede. Though I still make the distinction that it isn't free.
And yet, you still don't get it. It is a free Hymn to Tourach that CAN NOT BE STOPPED. Hymn to Tourach, a card that is so good that it was banned for years in Vintage and Legacy because it basically destroyed all opposition and forced *EVERYONE* to play Force of Will or get completely destroyed. Not only do you take a broken card, you actively made it better and free. You don't fix an already broken card by breaking it further.
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