(Free podcast) SMIP 61: Aether Revolt Preview Show: The Hope of Ghirapur


  • TMD Supporter

    It is my privilege and honor to unveil to the world this Vintage dynamo: Hope of Ghirapur in a very special podcast Kevin and I recorded not long ago.

    To listen to this, click this link:

    http://www.eternalcentral.com/?p=8815

    If you simply can't wait, scroll down to the see the card, but I encourage you to listen for our unveiling :)

    Thoughts? Reactions? Let us know what we missed, or whether you disagree with our assessment.



  • You guys forgot lesson #1 of competitive Magic: most cards are bad

    This seems viable for combo, and might sometimes beat out Defense Grid in the anti-countermagic slot. You make a pretty compelling case that this isn't going to happen, however.

    I think you guys are hugely overvaluing the disruption effect. Full-blown Silence and even Orim's Chant aren't seeing any play and they don't have summoning sickness or the ability to be shattered/plowed/bolted and they restrict creature spells.



  • Whatever happens to this card in future, the cast was a really fun way to reveal it and I thought a lot of the discussion was great - something we're used to from your guys' set reviews.

    I share @ajfirecracker's concern that summoning sickness felt like it was often glossed over. Nonetheless, I'm more optimistic than him that the card could find a place in eternal Magic, perhaps Vintage.

    One scenario you guys didn't mention might be some sort of Stoneforge deck that takes advantage of the evasion to carry equipment. And could even recur the Thopter with Sword of Light and Shadow. This probably sounds more viable in Legacy, though we'very seen Stoneforge pop up in Vintage from time to time.

    Either way, I'm glad WOTC recognised all your hard work with a fun card to spoil that provided plenty of discussion. Good stuff!


  • TMD Supporter

    It's a colorless Xantid Swarm for the most part, except you can't use it more than once. Still I suppose that if you're doing it right you shouldn't need to use Xantid Swarm more than once anyway. It's a neat card and I can't wait to listen to the show.



  • After listening to the podcast, I think that this is a really interesting card, and I agree that it's playable in most archetypes, but I'm inclined to think that few of them will actually play it. It reads like "I have one turn to win unmolested" plus "I'm not going to die next turn except by combat damage", simplifying a lot. While they are both nice effects, abeyance (which is a cantrip) does not see play at all. Of course it's not the same effect, but I'm afraid lots of times you will be more confortable with a flusterstorm than with Hope (specially since you have to sacrifice it proactively, and there will be matches lost after having it attacking and no sacrificing it).

    I'd say it will be played, seems great in a deck aimed to win in few turns, but not so much for slower decks



  • @Islandswamp said in (Free podcast) SMIP 61: Aether Revolt Preview Show: The Hope of Ghirapur:

    It's a colorless Xantid Swarm for the most part, except you can't use it more than once. Still I suppose that if you're doing it right you shouldn't need to use Xantid Swarm more than once anyway. It's a neat card and I can't wait to listen to the show.

    Grid is pretty close to a colorless Xantid Swarm that can't be Misstepped/Sworded/Bolted/Blocked(!)

    If your opponent just flips a Delver your disruption card doesn't work anymore. That seems like a big deal.



  • @ajfirecracker Isn't this card better than Chant and Silence though? This is until your next turn... those are this just "this turn". Also Goblin welder?



  • @Topical_Island said in (Free podcast) SMIP 61: Aether Revolt Preview Show: The Hope of Ghirapur:

    @ajfirecracker Isn't this card better than Chant and Silence though? This is until your next turn... those are this just "this turn". Also Goblin welder?

    It has some advantages and some disadvantages. The point I'm making is that to take either phase in isolation - just this turn or just next turn - you should rate this lower than a Silence. Only if both matter is this better, in general.



  • I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but the recent deck construction shift to include Null Rod and Stony Silence makes this card have a less hopeful future.


  • TMD Supporter

    We talk about that (and Misstep) in the podcast.

    Text from the article:

    Although aptly named to represent a critical part of the story in Aether Revolt, resolving this creature in Vintage will inspire more despair and fear than hope. Although most obviously comparable to Xantid Swarm, a creature that, when triggered, prevents the opponent from countering any threat you may subsequently cast, Hope of Ghirapur is so much more powerful than those green insects.

    Unlike Xantid Swarm, which only “shuts off” the opponent on your turn, this Legendary Thopter prevents your opponent from casting any non-creature spells on their turn as well. When used with recursion such as Auriok Salvagers or Goblin Welder, this may be the closest thing in Vintage to a one-mana Mindslaver or Scepter-Chant lock. The only window of opportunity for the opponent to disrupt it is between your upkeep and combat step. And, when tutored with cards like Trinket Mage, or more creatively, Artificer’s Intuition, this is a threat that can be reliably iterated even before it can be recurred.

    In this episode, Kevin and I carefully explore the design spaces opened in Vintage by this wondrous little marvel, and identify applications both mainstream and speculative. Welcome to Vintage little thopter. Let the fun begin!

    I personally believe this creature will see play. It has too many useful applications. Recursion w/ Welder or Salvagers is one possibility, but its autoinclude in Tiny Robots, and useful elsewhere. Being colorless makes it much better than Swarm in combo sbs like DPS as well.

    The pattern of play: t1 play, t2 activation matcghes well if not Misstepped against Gush decks, which dont get their draw engine online until t3, and is even better when played with Cavern.



    1. Spend time and energy establishing 1-mana "Minislaver"

    2. Get behind on board/tempo because you spent energy recurring a single 1/1

    3. Successfully assemble Minislaver

    4. Lose the game because you're behind on board and Minislaver does nothing about that

    Is there something I'm missing as to why that's not the most likely sequence of events? Even just playing Monastery Mentor and playing instants on the Hope player's upkeep is often going to win



  • This card is pretty awful.


  • TMD Supporter

    Well, it's better overall than Xantid Swarm, which is the floor, but has a much higher ceiling.



  • @Smmenen said in (Free podcast) SMIP 61: Aether Revolt Preview Show: The Hope of Ghirapur:

    Well, it's better overall than Xantid Swarm, which is the floor, but has a much higher ceiling.

    Xantid Swarm doesn't have to go unblocked and if it does can trigger multiple times. I'm inclined to agree Hope is better by virtue of its lax color requirement, but it's not a clear upgrade to Xantid Swarm by any stretch of the imagination.



  • @ajfirecracker Am I understanding you to say that you think this is worse than Silence?



  • @Topical_Island said in (Free podcast) SMIP 61: Aether Revolt Preview Show: The Hope of Ghirapur:

    @ajfirecracker Am I understanding you to say that you think this is worse than Silence?

    Except for color requirement, basically yes

    I think Artifact Silence is way better than Artifact Suspend 1 dies-to-anything blocked-by-fliers Silence and a half

    Colorless Xantid Swarm might see play but I think Minislaver will not be a successful strategy


  • TMD Supporter

    That's too binary, and underestimates the hybrid nature of Vintage deck construction. That's like saying someone can only use Fire/Ice in either the Fire or Ice mode. It's easily conceivable that someone uses this as both a Xantid Swarm for other threats as well as a recurring combo (Scepter Chant soft lock) threat in other situations. I could easily see someone building a Bomberman deck in paper Vintage that plays one or more of these somewhere in the 75.

    Turning off a player for 1.5 turns is hugely different from turning them off for just a single turn. The way that Gush decks generate tokens is by playing spells on their turn. If they can't play spells on their turn, there are very few instants they would play on your turn to ramp up tokens that isn't targeting this creature for removal. Brainstorm and Dig are restricted. Gush is rarely optimally played on an opponents turn. And countermagic is shut off. Probe/Preordain/planeswalkers, and Cruise are all sorceries.



  • How often is Wear and Tear cast for both halves?

    Silence has the same flexibility as Hope. You can use it as a bad Time Walk. You can use it as a super Duress. You can use it as a "hard lock" in the lategame with the help of specific recursion tools. It lacks the specific synergies that Hope has, and the ability to hit multiple "modes" at once, but it has all the flexibility.

    So, now you have a new thing that does almost all of those roles worse than Silence (which already sees no play) and the new thing is allegedly a busted staple for years to come. I have a hard time imagining what deck could plausibly play this and values the combination of effects above and beyond their individual elements. Storm decks, for example, which use this as a 1-shot colorless Xantid Swarm, are not going to be focused on disrupting the opponent's next turn in a usually-modest way. There may be some corner cases with this and Hurkyll's Recall, but it's just not why they're putting it in the deck.

    Let's place a bet on it. I am willing to bet $50 (fifty USD) on even odds that no deck will emerge as a metagame force (defined as Top 8 in 2 or more 32+ player events in a 3-month period, starting on the date the bet is accepted and ending 90 days later or March 31 2017, whichever comes first) which contains 2+ Hope and either Goblin Welder or Auriok Salvagers, and not counting finishes piloted by Stephen Menendian, Kevin Cron, or if some third individual wants to take the bet that player (the reason being that I could easily fulfill the bet with e.g. Dredge at the cost of 2 sideboard slots)

    If I were doing a SMIP-style card prediction on the number of Top 8s I would put it at something like 3-4, but those would all be combo players trying it out as a colorless Xantid Swarm. I am quite confident that the number of players who will succeed with the Minislaver plan is zero, and am willing to put my money where my mouth is on that.



  • I agree that this card isn't the end-all and be-all Xantid Swarm, but I can see it slotted in trinket mage control decks (whether Bomberman or Blue Moon) as a way to ensure your opening for a combo kill in car d, or opens window to resolve a haymaker like Blood Moon in Blue Moon decks. I think Bomberman is better positioned to use this card but Blue moon needs this effect more, as it lost 3 chalices during that restriction and has needs something to fill the void. I think it is a very narrow card with very narrow applications.

    The challenge for Bomberman that want to use this card is operating through the increase of null rod effects being played as a reaction to Paradoxical Outcome. An increase in disenchant effects or bounce effects is definitely warranted, but more may be needed depending on your local meta. I don't see this card elevating Bomberman past Outcome, but it may be enough to break even with Gush. Using Hope to resolve a Dack would allow the Bomberman list to get a great card advantage engine online that is synergistic with its kill engine, a lot gained from a single slot. My guess is that you'd want to rely on permanent based draw engines to resolve (Jace/Dack) because chaining Thirst into another drawn Thirst puts you back at square one in the counter war, and isn't impactful enough to justify running Hope.

    This I feel would be the best case scenario.



  • Finished the podcast while organizing all the recycling for pickup. Goodbye, last renmants of refuse from the holiday season...

    Anyway, I was struck by one big glaring hole in your analysis. Namely, that creature decks are perhaps at an all time high (certainly a local maximum) in the Vintage metagame. We have shops, eldrazi, white weenie, mentor, and various flavors of each. While Hope certainly shuts down Mentor pretty handily, it does not stop other creature decks from developing a creature-based game plan. In 2000, I'm sure that stopping your opponent from casting non-creature spells would be a Mindslaver or a Time Walk, but we're living in a world where your opponent can still drop a Thalia or TKS under the Hope.

    That's not to say the effect is not still incredibly disruptive. Your opponent cannot back up their creature with countermagic, for example. I still think you're spot on that this card goes right into the toolbox. No doubt. But, if you're going to compare this guy to Time Walk or Mindslaver, it's really a big oversight to not bring up the creature exception. There will absolutely be matches where you have to sideboard Hope out.


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