[mtgnexus] Random Card of the Day - Grim Harvest

Sharpened
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Post by Sharpened » 1 year ago

I think Disdainful Stroke is the only one of those that's remotely playable, and very different from the other 3.

Think of it this way -
All of these cards are singular answers. They are reactive spells that create a 1 for 1 trade. So why are you running cards that create a 1 for 1 trade in a multiplayer format? (edit - since it was likely unclear - this is a rhetorical question that I answer in the next paragraph, not a statement indicating that you shouldn't run 1 for 1 trades)

All the heavily played cards that trade 1 for 1, are cards that can answer a game changing threat/effect. If you counter a wrath effect that was going to kill a bunch of creatures, that's no longer really a 1 for 1 trade. If you destroy a single artifact that was going to draw your opponents a ton of cards. If you counter or kill a creature that was going to win the game... etc.

The answers you play have to either answer multiple things, or MAJOR game defining threats.
Disdainful Stroke does that. There are better counterspells, but it hits a large number of spells that you want to answer.

The other 3 generally don't. There are times that they do, but there are more flexible answers that you can run instead that are only slightly less efficient. There's too much that they can't answer. There's too often that what they do answer is not worth a card to answer. Mana efficiency is important, but particularly in this format, it's not so important that you would want to run these very narrow cards.
Last edited by Sharpened 1 year ago, edited 1 time in total.

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3drinks
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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

Sharpened wrote:
1 year ago
I think Disdainful Stroke is the only one of those that's remotely playable, and very different from the other 3.

Think of it this way -
All of these cards are singular answers. They are reactive spells that create a 1 for 1 trade. So why are you running cards that create a 1 for 1 trade in a multiplayer format?

All the heavily played cards that trade 1 for 1, are cards that can answer a game changing threat/effect. If you counter a wrath effect that was going to kill a bunch of creatures, that's no longer really a 1 for 1 trade. If you destroy a single artifact that was going to draw your opponents a ton of cards. If you counter or kill a creature that was going to win the game... etc.

The answers you play have to either answer multiple things, or MAJOR game defining threats.
Disdainful Stroke does that. There are better counterspells, but it hits a large number of spells that you want to answer.

The other 3 generally don't. There are times that they do, but there are more flexible answers that you can run instead that are only slightly less efficient. There's too much that they can't answer. There's too often that what they do answer is not worth a card to answer. Mana efficiency is important, but particularly in this format, it's not so important that you would want to run these very narrow cards.
Because decks still need to have answers despite it being multiplayer. If you rely on 4-6cmc sweepers (that are usually sorcery speed) to solve every problem you run into, your curve becomes a jumbled mess resembling nothing but a greasy bowl of overcooked french fries. "Spot removal is bad" is a false equivalency that should be thrown away. That leads to you losing games you otherwise would have won, and if more people dropped this idiotic mindset, they'd see fewer games end around three card combos involving multiple six drops!

"Man, that Lab Man keeps owning me! Broken, so OP, it's not fair!"
...have you tried running Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, or a dang Shred Memory when they try to Dread Return it?

Smh. Removal matters. Mana curves matter. These are the basic principles that every player should learn before building a deck. Any deck. Any format. These principles don't stop mattering just because there's more players in the game. In fact they're more important with that many more players and game ending threats and scenarios.

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Post by Sharpened » 1 year ago

I never said spot removal is bad. I said spot removal has to remove something that's powerful enough to demand removal.

If your example of a card that needs to be removed (Laboraty Maniac) cannot be removed/answered by any of the cards that you are defending, perhaps your missing something.

Isolate removes almost nothing that matters. Swords to Plowshares or Nature's Claim tend to remove anything you'd want to remove with Isolate, but also a whole lot more.

Mental Misstep and Spell Snare - Again, they suffer from a limited selection of game changing effects. The best things that they can target (among heavily played cards) is opponents answers. Countering your opponents Swords to Plowshares or Negate seem higher impact than almost everything else they can hit. They are good in that limited role, but that's a limited role. A more versatile card that, while costing more, is still mana efficient is probably a better choice during deckbuilding.

Isolate is not good spot removal in any format. Mental Misstep and Spell Snare are excellent cards, that are probably too limited in scope and have more useful alternatives in a format as broad as Commander is.

I agree with you that spot removal and mana efficiency are extremely import concepts that people should consider when evaluating cards and building decks. But they aren't the only concepts that matter, and they aren't enough to justify running bad cards like Isolate (unless you want to run bad cards, because it's your deck and have fun however you like).

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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

Misstep gets better every year as the downward pressure on curves makes decks more and more efficient. I'm close to playing it in some non-cedh decks. Popping a sol ring or exploration is almost as good as having your own and can win a game on its own if it cripples someone. Best used where there's not going to be hurt feelings though.

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Post by Dunharrow » 1 year ago

3drinks wrote:
1 year ago
Dunharrow wrote:
1 year ago
I mean, these are 4 different cards
Misstep is one of those interesting cards that is very playable in cEDH and absolutely awful in all other commander. Spell Snare operates in similar ground, but with slightly more use in 75% metas than misstep. I don't think I would play Isolate in any commander deck ever - It kills a mana dork fine but doesn't protect you from Swords to Plowshares or Nature's Claim.
Disdainful stroke is generally great... there are better counters in commander but I think this is better than anything that costs more than 2 mana.
Like, Isolate hits sol rings, needles, skullclamps, mana vaults, and a lot of other quite potent 1 drops, regardless of colour or card type. I'd argue that's totally playable and currently very under valued. Hmm, I think I'm gonna suggest that to edhrec for their weekly challenge the stats segment, actually. Though, I'd have liked it to read more like "Exile target nonland permanent with cmc 1 or less", but that's just personal preference so it can hit crypt and various moxen.

I just think there is better. Misstep can at least counter other spells. Isolate only deals with permanents that cost 1 mana. Is it better at blowing up sol ring, needle, skullclamp and mana vault than Fragmentize or Nature's claim? Those cards to me are much better removal spells in my opinion. They hit crypt, and moxen and things like sylvan library, etc. Isolates only advantage in my mind is that it hits mana dorks.

I mean, I guess you're right, it is acceptable in cEDH, but I just think it is too narrow for the 4 and 5 color decks people are playing which have access to much more powerful spells. When you have Bolt, Swords, push, decay, 1 CMC disenchants, etc.... like, where are you fitting in Isolate?

And in non-cEDH commander, I just think it too narrow.
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Post by Sinis » 1 year ago

pokken wrote:
1 year ago
Misstep gets better every year as the downward pressure on curves makes decks more and more efficient. I'm close to playing it in some non-cedh decks. Popping a sol ring or exploration is almost as good as having your own and can win a game on its own if it cripples someone. Best used where there's not going to be hurt feelings though.
A lot of people in my groups ended up playing Vandalblast for kind of the same reasons. Fast mana is good, and R to trip someone up is worth it. It helps that Vandalblast's failcase (when you play it later in the game) is not bad, or at least better than Mental Misstep's; one-sided Shatterstorm for 4R is completely reasonable.

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Post by onering » 1 year ago

This is really 4 cards that are only semi related. Each could have their own discussion day. Especially Disdainful Stroke, which in lower power metas counters most things. It's basically a catch all hard counter for big threats. It hits most finishers, many combo pieces, and lots of mass answers. It's a counter with restrictions, but it's hardly narrow.

Mental Misstep hits some important spells that make a difference early game, but is really better in cEDH where the cmcs are lower and games can be won by countering a Sol Ring or vamp tutor. In other metas, its too narrow.

The same is true for isolate, except worse because it isn't free, it doesn't hit instants and sorceries, and that Sol Ring it kills still got to tap for Mana.

Spell Snare is more interesting than it appears, as 2cmc is pretty important. It counters cyclonic rift, demonic tutor, mana drain, counter spell, Snapcaster, winter orb, numerous hate bears, nunerous combo pieces, Stony silence, RiP, important removal spells, just lots of stuff. I'd say it's meta dependant, but it counters a lot of must counter things and only having to hold up 1 mana is big, so depending on what your facing its worth a look.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 1 year ago

Very meta-dependent. The more competitive your meta, the lower your mana curves will go.
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Post by Cyberium » 1 year ago

All I remember is that I purchased Mental Misstep for 60 cards decks, and they got banned almost immediately. Never used in EDH before.

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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

These are all pretty narrow cards.

Mental Misstep is banned in most 60-card formats - it hits large percentages of commonly played cards and produces a tempo advantage, plus you can play it in any deck and violate the color pie. Those traits aren't true in EDH - there are a lot fewer one mana plays, the tempo advantage is significantly less impactful in multiplayer, and you can only play it in blue decks. There are certainly still good targets for it - Sol Ring, Swan Song, Swords to Plowshares, etc. But it will be a dead card a large percentage of the time.

Spell Snare looks a bit better in comparison - people play a lot more two-mana spells than one-mana ones. It counters Cyclonic Rift, which is often relevant. You don't get the value of playing it when you're tapped out, but holding open one mana isn't that bad. Still pretty niche though.

Disdainful Stroke is playable, but there are a lot of two mana counterspells I'd play over it - Counterspell, Negate... maybe Logic Knot. Hitting big things is important, but at this point it starts to be hard to generalize - depending on how fast your meta is, a deck could conceivably be mostly spells that are 3 mana or less. Better in a battlecruiser meta though.

I don't think I've ever seen Isolate played. It's really narrow - even narrower than Mental Misstep, since it only hits permanents. You'd need a really specific plan for it, and even then I would favor a more flexible spell like Swords to Plowshares. I suppose there is only one other white card capable of neutralizing a turn 1 Sol Ring on the draw (Fragmentize, ignoring pitch cards like Abolish), so it has that going for it, I guess?

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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019; Smokestack. And, I suppose Descent Into Madness is pretty similar, albeit clearly inferior.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

By itself I don't think it's a problem for the fun factor at the table, but with other stax effects it is just not fun and I would rather only face it in cEDH. I love it in cube though!
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Post by Dunharrow » 1 year ago

Why do you keep posting other cards with the card of the day? Smokestack is an amazing card, but I can't play it in my 18 decks. It is too slow for cEDH, and too unfun for anything else. Still, I fondly remember the time I had Sun Titan and Reveillark out with Smokestack on 4.... I would grow my board every turn and my opponents rapidly had nothing left.

Descent into madness is so much weaker. Never seen it played.
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Post by 3drinks » 1 year ago

Dunharrow wrote:
1 year ago
Why do you keep posting other cards with the card of the day? Smokestack is an amazing card, but I can't play it in my 18 decks. It is too slow for cEDH, and too unfun for anything else. Still, I fondly remember the time I had Sun Titan and Reveillark out with Smokestack on 4.... I would grow my board every turn and my opponents rapidly had nothing left.

Descent into madness is so much weaker. Never seen it played.
Because I have an idetic memory for functional clones of cards and when I see one, my mind first goes to find the others for discussion's sake.
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Post by Sinis » 1 year ago

3drinks wrote:
1 year ago
Tuesday, November 5th, 2019; Smokestack. And, I suppose Descent Into Madness is pretty similar, albeit clearly inferior.
Descent into Madness + Assemble the Legion is supposedly a good way to make everyone suffer.

I like Smokestack, and should probably pick up a copy sometime.

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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

smokestack is undeniably pretty good, but you're not gonna make a lot of friends you want with it in your deck, :)

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Post by RedCheese » 1 year ago

Its "fun" in Mazirek decks.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 1 year ago

Ah yes, Stax. The trick is to balance what I call "bars" and "weights". Bars are cards that restrict players. Weights are cards that break the symmetry (as in weights on a scale), either by hurting opponents (such as Blood Artist) or by helping you (such as Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest). But you have to include a lot of bars, including hatebears that you can be pretty sure you'll see something like that (like screwing over the ramp player with Aven Mindcensor or Stranglehold).
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Post by Mookie » 1 year ago

I played a memorable game once against a Mazirek deck that had an active Smokestack for ~5 turns, but weren't able to play their commander. I was on Brago, and had Twilight Shepherd out. Sacrificed it and a couple of other cheap things to Smokestack each turn, then reset Persist by blinking it with Brago. One of the very few times Smokestack has ever worked in my favor, since it wiped out the third player at the table, and Mazirek eventually ran out of expendable permanents, while my board state actually advanced.

As for the card itself... it's a bit slow to get going, but it's a powerful effect. Making your opponents sacrifice multiple permanents per turn is going to be pretty nasty, although it does depend on how much expendable fodder you can produce - usually tokens, stuff like Salvaging Station and Sun Titan to recur things works too. Hits your opponents first (assuming you stack the triggers properly), so it isn't as symmetric as it may first seem. Obviously nastier the earlier you can get it down - T1 Sol Ring, T2 Smokestack, T3 Bitterblossom is going to win most games.

I'm not as big of a fan of Descent into Madness, which is sort of a fixed version of Smokestack - it hits everyone at the same time (so it's actually symmetric), it exiles (which means it has significantly less synergy with recursion), and it always increments (which makes it harder to keep around indefinitely). Still possible to abuse with a commander like Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, but significantly harder.

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Post by onering » 1 year ago

Again, similar cards that play in the same design space, but different on several levels. On a meta level about the thread, Im not sure how I feel about this. Yesterday the cards were significantly different to the point that they really should not have been posted together. At most mental and spell Snare, because the differences centered around phyrexian Mana and the cmc they hosed, while the other two were very different cards. Today it's a little better, but they still have significant differences that make them play very differently in practice, or at least allow them to be played very differently. I think people bringing up cards in comparison is fine, but the random card of the day should really focus on just the card and functional reprints (or cards that are nearly identical).

Not much to add on Smokestack, so I'll focus on how it differs from descent. It is colorless and 1 Mana cheaper, it sacrifices, you get to order the triggers so you can sacrifice before putting on a counter (letting you sacrifice fewer things), your opponents get hit first. It can be abused with death triggers and cards you can return to the battlefield to break synergy. It's vulnerable to artifact destruction.

Descent is an enchantment, which is slightly harder to remove, and it exiles and hits hands as well as permanents. The tricks that break synergy with stax don't work here, and it takes longer to wipe boards because opponents can discard. It hits everyone at the same time, your upkeep, and you can't mess with stacking the triggers. It's usually weaker that stax Bec of these, but not in all decks. It's a steady source of cards in exile, which gets around your opponents recursion, and you can break the synergy by just drawing cards, so it fits better in a draw heavy deck. It also works well with things that care about exile, like the eldrazi processors, which can lead to a unique deck.

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Post by Hermes_ » 1 year ago

I can haz stax? I thought baout getting this but i'm not a stax player and I jsut couldn't see myself doing it
Sinis wrote:
1 year ago
3drinks wrote:
1 year ago
Tuesday, November 5th, 2019; Smokestack. And, I suppose Descent Into Madness is pretty similar, albeit clearly inferior.
Descent into Madness + Assemble the Legion is supposedly a good way to make everyone suffer.

how?
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Post by void_nothing » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
how?
I'm not saying you should want to do this, but you can make it so that the Assemble the Legion trigger resolve first such that you can just exile your Soldier tokens rather than anything else, thus basically exempting you from the punishment of Descent.
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Post by Sinis » 1 year ago

Hermes_ wrote:
1 year ago
I can haz stax? I thought baout getting this but i'm not a stax player and I jsut couldn't see myself doing it
Sinis wrote:
1 year ago
3drinks wrote:
1 year ago
Tuesday, November 5th, 2019; Smokestack. And, I suppose Descent Into Madness is pretty similar, albeit clearly inferior.
Descent into Madness + Assemble the Legion is supposedly a good way to make everyone suffer.

how?
Pretty much what [mention]void_nothing[/mention] wrote. You make an increasing number of tokens every turn that get obliterated by the increasing demand of Descent Into Madness. Everyone else, presumably, cannot keep up the pace.

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Post by Dunharrow » 1 year ago

3drinks wrote:
1 year ago
Dunharrow wrote:
1 year ago
Why do you keep posting other cards with the card of the day? Smokestack is an amazing card, but I can't play it in my 18 decks. It is too slow for cEDH, and too unfun for anything else. Still, I fondly remember the time I had Sun Titan and Reveillark out with Smokestack on 4.... I would grow my board every turn and my opponents rapidly had nothing left.

Descent into madness is so much weaker. Never seen it played.
Because I have an idetic memory for functional clones of cards and when I see one, my mind first goes to find the others for discussion's sake.
But not an eidetic memory for spelling?
Sorry, couldn't resist. Just a joke. Don't mean to correct your spelling, I just found it funny.f

My point is that these are not functional clones. They are very different, as were the cards yesterday. Instead of talking about the card of the day, we are talking about how it is not the same as the other card. I think it is find to bring up other similar cards, but that it shouldn't be a 'shared' card of the day. If it were a functional reprint, fine, but this is not the same as Merciless Executioner and Fleshbag Marauder.

I personally would prefer that you be more conservative about highlighting cards that have similar space, and instead just mention them in your comment. But that's just me (and OneRing apparently.... Hmmm, maybe this is a Lord of the Rings conspiracy).
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Post by gilrad » 1 year ago

I'd actually call Descent the Stacks effect you would want to use if you don't want the stigma of Stacks. Being able to exile cards in hand allows the card to still fulfill its role (slowly eat away at player resources) without skirting too close to the unfun side of stacks (leaving everyone with three lands and topdecking for six turns before they can cast a spell).

Only problem is it's slow as all get out. Though I guess for a more precon-scale power level it is about right.

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