Monarchs in Vintage



  • http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/conspiracy-take-crown-mechanics-2016-08-15

    WOTC introduced a new mechanic in this new conspiracy set called Monarch. Basically only one person can be the Monarch at a time, and it hot potatos its way back and forth. At the end of a Monarchs turn you draw a card.

    alt textalt text

    There is no mention that I can find so far that this ability is not multiplayer exclusive or that Monarch cards will be banned in eternal formats. The ability to become monarch is also back breakingly powerful to decks that do not win on the ground.

    Has anyone heard otherwise? If legal in vintage there is potential for this to be a real game changer.



  • I'm intrigued but unconvinced. If a creature gives you The Monarch, you keep it if they deal with the creature but you also risk giving it to the opponent if they have creatures (i.e. mentor/delver/anything in Vintage).

    The ability to become monarch is also back breakingly powerful to decks that do not win on the ground.

    An extra card each turn that cannot be interacted with except by creature combat is pretty spicy, but it seems like a slightly different version of what Library of Alexandria already does. The restrictions are different, but the result is the same. I can certainly imagine games where this is indeed back breaking.

    However... we have yet to see any cards that make you the monarch for cheap. Marchesa does a pretty fair impression of that Rakdos Witch legend who saw play for a few minutes as anti-Jace tech, but it's not clear she's playable today.

    Let's say they slap this on a Bob-like creature.

    Bob the Builder
    1B
    2/1
    When this enters the battlefield, you become the Monarch. Lose life like Bob when you draw a card off of the Monarch ability.

    On the one hand, they can't stop you from drawing if they have a bolt. On the other hand, you're vulnerable to Notion Thief, and more importantly, Creatures Not Named Notion Thief. Getting your crown stolen is pretty bad game.

    It ultimately feels like a high-risk, high-reward mechanic, which is good for Vintage. If we see cheap enablers, then I think we start talking seriously.



  • Assuming this is legal, the card that worries me is the 1-2 mana blue card they could easily reveal that says:

    Sorcery: You become the Monarch.

    Speculation of course, but I would argue Marchesa is already fringe playable in a 5cc humans list. Against any list that does not play bodies, or any list looking to win all at once like Dredge, an early monarch can be back breaking. I mean I think you could justify fast mana-ing Marchesa out because the longer she is on the board and the longer you control the crown the more powerful the effect becomes.

    What is scary is that once someone has the crown it is always a factor in the game. There is no removing it because its an emblem level item. That feels fundamentally very swingy and impactful to the game on a whole.



  • There's no reason to think this mechanic wouldn't be legal in any eternal format. There's a couple other cards that have been spoiled so far but none that look particularly interesting.

    My first thought is to compare Monarch to Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Being the monarch is pretty much the exact opposite - you're rewarded for not being hit instead of hitting. Being the monarch certainly has more risk involved. You're probably playing a fairly defensive deck, so if they hit you and steal the crown, it may be difficult to take back.

    I'm thinking starting somewhere like 4 Dark Confidant, 4 Swords to Plowshares, 4 Lightning Bolt, and some number of either Moat or Glacial Chasm. edit: Maybe Ghostly Prison?



  • Keep in mind Monarch takes place on the end step. Which means even if it trades back and forth every turn the person who actively plays it gets the advantage first. It is almost like a fixed howling mine in that regard, though it has more variance to be better or worse.



  • FYI - these will be legal in Vintage as tweeted by Matt Tabak https://twitter.com/TabakRules/status/765218877038964736



  • Cool, another card (edit: ability as Marchesa is probably not good by herself behind a Moat and would be hard to cast in a Blue deck) that is better behind a Moat!



  • I look forward to welcoming our new overlords.

    In seriousness though, this excites me a bit. It further pushes the limits of creatures in formats where this is legal, and it really does have strong potential. Basically every creature with power 1 or greater now has the ability to steal the crown or really steal it back.

    An early monarch can also be really solid for keeper or just plain Jane tempo decks.

    I'll wait till more stuff that puts the monarch into effect get spoiled though because right now I don't think Marchesa is quite enough by herself to get us there.



  • Is the exchanging of the crown a non-optional event? I couldn't imagine a situation where you would not want the crown (notion thief in play aside..) but just curious. There is currently no way to interact with emblems (right?) , and the way the article from wizards reads there will not be a way for there to no longer be a monarch once the effect begins.

    It's definitely an interesting mechanic, and as long as there are cost effective ways to get the effect into play in vintage I expect it to see some play. This, plus library, plus Bob, plus gush is card advantage to the max.



  • I think this is a great mechanic, but I don't Marchesa in particular seeing play -- first, there's the extremely awkward three-color mana cost, and second, 3/3 haste deathtouch is just not that exciting in a world of endless Monk and Elemental chump blockers.

    Now if they print a cheap blue sorcery or flying creature that makes you monarch, we'll be in business.



  • @p3temangus said:

    Is the exchanging of the crown a non-optional event? I couldn't imagine a situation where you would not want the crown (notion thief in play aside..) but just curious. There is currently no way to interact with emblems (right?) , and the way the article from wizards reads there will not be a way for there to no longer be a monarch once the effect begins.

    It's definitely an interesting mechanic, and as long as there are cost effective ways to get the effect into play in vintage I expect it to see some play. This, plus library, plus Bob, plus gush is card advantage to the max.

    Assuming the triggered ability on the Monarch works like all other triggered abilities, it is mandatory.



  • @p3temangus said:

    Is the exchanging of the crown a non-optional event? I couldn't imagine a situation where you would not want the crown (notion thief in play aside..)

    Chains of Mephistopheles says hello

    @evouga said:

    I think this is a great mechanic, but I don't Marchesa in particular seeing play -- first, there's the extremely awkward three-color mana cost, and second, 3/3 haste deathtouch is just not that exciting in a world of endless Monk and Elemental chump blockers.

    Now if they print a cheap blue sorcery or flying creature that makes you monarch, we'll be in business.

    So far we have a 3B 1/3 creature with deathtouch that gives you the hot potato (and we should continue to call it that) when it CITP. I reasonably do not expect we will see another creature cheaper than that what will give you the potato, unless it has some horrific drawback. I don't think a sorcery is out of the realm of possibility, considering the premium draft formats put on creatures and how this mechanic interacts with them. A sorcery in draft would probably be bad enough to not be played.

    I think a sorcery would wind up being broken in vintage though, especially in blue. If it costs 2 or less we may very well see the whole format start revolving around the meta game of potato passing. It would almost be reminicent of old turbo fog or phyrexian arena decks, where your just hardcore drawing and playing whatever to prevent the advantage from every going away.



  • Calling it the "hot potato" implies you DONT want to hold onto it, though.

    I vote for "hat."


  • Administrators

    I'm on board with what feels like the consensus in this thread. Monarch seems very powerful/useful ... but no cards spoiled yet seem to give it to you for a reasonable cost.

    I don't think it's super hard to build a deck that keeps Monarch once you get it - there are tons of great creature-handling spells whose primary drawbacks are completely mitigated by drawing an extra card each turn, and these aren't bad cards to have now anyway.

    It feels like they're costing this at +3 mana over what the card would have to cost in vintage otherwise? I don't know if we'll see this on a card we can use.



  • I think anything, and I mean literally anything, that puts in into play for CMC 2 merits serious consideration. Black seems like the color that would get some sorcery that was BB Pay 2 life: get the thing.

    @MaximumCDawg said:

    Calling it the "hot potato" implies you DONT want to hold onto it, though.

    I vote for "hat."

    So the dude who designed this mechanic is James Hata, a dude who I know very well. I used to play UFS with him and we were on the world championship team the first year of the game.

    I remember in UFS there was a card from the Penny Arcade set called The Watch, which ties back into the comics about Gabe and Tycho fighting over a watch. The watch card had a very similar effect where it gets traded back and forth because of combat. When Mike and Jerry from Penny arcade designed a card in M15 it was this:

    alt text

    All I'm saying is perhaps the watch is better.



  • alt text

    This is probably the easiest way to become monarch that we'e seen so far. In a deck that wants to become monarch, are Marchesa's other abilities relevant enough to justify the more difficult casting cost?



  • Let's wait until we see something at less than 4 mana with this effect, plz.



  • What's up with the weird change of 221 cards from 220 on the product page website?

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/announcing-conspiracy-2

    Also, apparently, this set comes up this month. I assume it's legal in Vintage upon release, unless there are conspiracy cards, which would probably be banned.



  • @Smmenen said:

    What's up with the weird change of 221 cards from 220 on the product page website?

    http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/announcing-conspiracy-2

    Also, apparently, this set comes up this month. I assume it's legal in Vintage upon release, unless there are conspiracy cards, which would probably be banned.

    Brago was murdered by Kaya, so his card is not in the set anymore (I'm not joking).



  • @fsecco The reveal of this set was amazing and anyone who didn't read the announcements at the time need to go back and read em



  • I just want them to spoil a 4 CMC artifact that makes you the monarch.


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