[mtgnexus] Random Card of the Day - Ghave, Guru of Spores

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3drinks
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

I was surprised when I saw it, and I don't think I've come against it in any games. At first I stared dumbstruck at it but then the more I tried to cry "OP!" the more I realized just how fair it is. It still costs a card so you're not getting a free creature from the deck. You still pay mana to dig, and can only select one that was </= the amount paid so it is still possible to whiff. And it's not casting the cards so it doesn't net you eldrazi triggers.

All of that together allowed me to realize "wow, this is the epitome of a very fair, and also very strong card". I like it. Two thumbs up from me.
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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 2 years ago

Definitely good if your deck has a decent number of creatures.
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Post by Sharpened » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
I was surprised when I saw it, and I don't think I've come against it in any games. At first I stared dumbstruck at it but then the more I tried to cry "OP!" the more I realized just how fair it is. It still costs a card so you're not getting a free creature from the deck. You still pay mana to dig, and can only select one that was </= the amount paid so it is still possible to whiff. And it's not casting the cards so it doesn't net you eldrazi triggers.

All of that together allowed me to realize "wow, this is the epitome of a very fair, and also very strong card". I like it. Two thumbs up from me.
Is it a strong card?

I've never been particularly wow-ed by it. As you said, it doesn't generate card advantage or lets you save on mana costs, and it can miss. In fact, you are more likely to overpay to make sure you don't miss. Sure, turning excess drawn lands into gas can be good, but you are already spending a card before you do that first, so you really have to generate value by doing so. Even with something like Squee, Goblin Nabob, you are really only using this if you have nothing of value in your hand, because it doesn't function well on leftover mana and needs real investment.

I think this card is a trap. It looks nice. But the payoffs are low and the costs, in terms of the choices it pushes you towards both in play and in deckbuilding, are not insignificant. I suspect that if you replaced it in a deck with a basic forest, you'd be improving the deck more often than not.

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Post by Sinis » 2 years ago

Sharpened wrote:
2 years ago
Is it a strong card?
I think so, but, I think you're understating the benefits. It is definitely better than a basic Forest. You are correct in that you lose a card to the Arkbow, and then you have to discard to activate, so you're two cards down and you're only getting one back.

I think you're wrong about it not being all that good, though. First, the same logic applies to Scroll Rack. You never recover the card you spend for Scroll Rack itself. Yet Scroll Rack is known to be a good card™ and is highly played both in decks that really benefit from its mechanics (like Rashmi, Eternities Crafter) and decks that just want to be able to dig a bunch of cards deep for cheap.

Second, I think you're just discounting the idea that converting lands into something new (at instant speed) is not good. Even if you significantly overpay for something like Eternal Witness, it was still better than a land, right? At some point, if you're not getting a good creature from Arkbow, it's because you're playing an undesirable creature.

Third, let's not pretend that recursion isn't a thing. It's very easy to recoup Arkbow expenditures with cards that dig lands out of the graveyard into hand or the battlefield (Life from the Loam, Crucible of Worlds).

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Post by Sharpened » 2 years ago

When you talk about Scroll Rack, the key word you used is "cheap". Scroll Rack isn't eating all your mana every time you activate it. Scroll Rack can improve your card quality while you do other stuff, and it also doesn't require you to leap before you look.

Look, there are situations where it's a positive effect. And you can certainly build in ways to minimize it's drawbacks. But to gain what?

"I want to be able to fire off a creature at instant speed. I don't know which one, but YOLO!"

Would you buy a pack of magic cards if you paid an amount of your choosing in advance, but only got to keep the cards you opened if you paid for more than the cards sell for as singles? Seems like a horrible deal. But that's the Vivien's Arkbow deal.

If I have action in hand, this card is not getting activated. It doesn't function on leftover mana. I'm not using this instead of casting a quality creature in the hopes of getting something at instant speed. You are paying the same for probably less with a good chance of failure. So this card is only worth anything when you have nothing good to do, BUT STILL HAVE RESOURCES to throw into it. As far as cards to have when you run out of action, there are tons of better options than this.

Recursion to make this good is the equivalent of overpaying for something, but being fine with it because you make so much money. Sure, you can afford it, but you can get more if you spend your excessive amount of money in a way thats not foolish.

This card is not good. It just looks so much better than it is.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

Vivien's Arkbow strikes me as the sort of card that implies your deck has untapped potential to work with. If you're routinely sinking tons of mana into this, I'm pretty sure you'd get more consistent performance if you just ran more draw to keep yourself topped up.

That said, this thing did work in one of those sealed Brawl episodes Quest for the Janklord did. Which is not that surprising - the decks were built from sealed pools.
 
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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

I don't think I've ever seen Vivien's Arkbow in action. It seems... sort of underwhelming. Best-case scenario, assuming you pay exactly (X) mana to flash out an (X)-cost creature... is pretty fair. I guess it bypasses casting cost restrictions (ex: Myr Superion) and most countermagic, but it's still just a higher-variance Yeva, Nature's Herald / Vedalken Orrery. This is especially true for small activations - I wouldn't expect this to be consistent until I'm activating it for 5 or so (although the exact number depends on your curve and creature density) - the worst case scenario of whiffing entirely is pretty bad. At which point in time I would ask why I'm not using that mana for something that actually generates card advantage.

It does seem like the card could be useful if you have a lot of recursion / graveyard synergies - Life from the Loam, Sanitarium Skeleton, Squee, Goblin Nabob, etc. Meren of Clan Nel Toth and Glissa, the Traitor both seem like they may be interested, as does Muldrotha, the Gravetide. Alternatively: madness cards or topdeck manipulation. I wouldn't play it without some way to generate value from the discard though - the flash alone isn't worth enough.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019; Volcanic Offering

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Post by Serenade » 2 years ago

Instant speed [most] creature and land removal, potentially sniping four things you want gone? Love it. I need more copies. Only one of this cycle I use.
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Post by Sinis » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
Wednesday, September 11th, 2019; Volcanic Offering
A solid value card; even if you're the archenemy and your partner in crime chooses the same targets you do, you still torch a creature and a land at instant speed.

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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

Volcanic Offering is pretty respectable. Five mana is a bit pricy for a removal spell, but a four-for-one is pretty good at any rate (even if you don't control all the targets). Seven damage is enough to kill most creatures, and killing nonbasic lands is often useful - especially if you care about things like Maze of Ith or Glacial Chasm.

The main downsides of Offering are when the table is allied against you, at which point you may only be able to deal with two things, instead of four. But even then, it can't hit your own stuff, and you're guaranteed to get the two targets you most care about, so it's superior to Council's Judgment in that scenario.

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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 2 years ago

Really good card advantage.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Thursday, September 12th, 2019; Rhox War Monk

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
Thursday, September 12th, 2019; Rhox War Monk

I always liked pancake rhino. Not everything needs to be a seven drop bomb, often you just need a piece to grease the wheels. This does nicely what with lifelink and above average stats for the cost. Pretty good at carrying equipments too.
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Post by Serenade » 2 years ago

My buddies and I got back into MTG during Alara. Good memories. Always glad to see rhinos.
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Post by rujasu » 2 years ago

I see War Monk as too vanilla for EDH these days, but if you're building a Bant deck out of cards you have lying around, or just really want to play with rhinos, this is a fine filler card.

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Post by Mookie » 2 years ago

Rhox War Monk is somewhat above the curve, but it is ultimately a french vanilla creature. If you just care about the lifegain, I'd go with something like Soul Warden. If you want a cheap beater, go with Ajani's Pridemate or Serra Ascendant.

I think the rhino becomes more interesting when you specifically care about its multicolor aspect. Ramos, Dragon Engine, Knight of New Alara, and Civic Saber are all cards that work well with it. There aren't many options for Rhino (or Monk) tribal, but Roon of the Hidden Realm rhino tribal sounds amazing. No Siege Rhino though.

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 2 years ago

I like War Monk as a card. I don't like it enough to stick it into an EDH list, though I should maybe reconsider it. I mostly like creatures along these lines as early defenders, where they're cheap enough to come down and deter chip attacks with some kind of upside. War Monk has the issue of falling off as a deterrent later in the game, unlike something like Vampire Nighthawk or Deadly Recluse. I'm not convinced that it carries equipment/other buffs well enough to make up for that, especially when it's likely to have some trouble attacking profitably without help.
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Post by hyalopterouslemur » 2 years ago

rujasu wrote:
2 years ago
I see War Monk as too vanilla for EDH these days, but if you're building a Bant deck out of cards you have lying around, or just really want to play with rhinos, this is a fine filler card.
It has potential if you're using cards that benefit from your lifegain, but most lifegain decks have at least some black for blood bond and Divinity of Pride, as well as whatever degree of Necropotence variants (and Reanimate and...) you're willing to run.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Friday, September 13th, 2019; Treasure Keeper

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

It's part of my group's Marchesa robots. He usually just flips signets and stuff. In terms of vaguely similar effects, the table's in trouble when he starts looping Clone Shell.

Such a cute deck concept though.
 
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Post by kateodonnell » 2 years ago

I used to run Treasure Keeper in my Breya, Etherium Shaper deck, Sometimes it won me the game which is why I kept it for so long, but most of the time it was pretty bad.

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Post by Toshi » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
Treasure Keeper
If only it were instead of , it would slot right into Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle. If you would hit a historic card you could get it right back...

Not going to happen, unfortunately.

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Post by plushpenguin » 2 years ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 years ago
It's part of my group's Marchesa robots. He usually just flips signets and stuff. In terms of vaguely similar effects, the table's in trouble when he starts looping Clone Shell.

Such a cute deck concept though.
Used to run it myself, but I cut it once better and more explosive options existed.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

His build is like a derpier, more casual take on yours. He doesn't run Time Sieve as he finds it boring, for example. He is jamming Extruder quite proudly though :P
 
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