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Samantha: “Matt, the deck lost to Merfolk.”
Matt: “I don’t build decks to beat Merfolk. In any format.”

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posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

All good points, everyone.

If the card cost 2W, Beast Within would be better in most scenarios but the cost reduction is enormous in practice making it something I'll have to test in Oath of Druids decks that use white.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more


How so?

They seem very different to me.

Regarding this card, bear in mind, no one would play a card called Fire that deals 2 damage to up to two targets nor would they play a card that calls Ice that taps a permanent and draws a card. But Fire/Ice is a longtime player in the format because of its versatility.

This card here is similar by having multiple modes and additional ones are added when piloting Oath of Druids, those being specifically "trigger Oath of Druids" and "turn imperiled Dack into Angel that protects me from the Spirit tokens I had to create."

The extra modes are what made Beast Within an MVP in Oath of Druids while I probably wouldn't run it in any other deck. This card is an upgrade in several respects (particularly CMC) but not without a few factors working against it. I think overall, it's better.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I think the best home would be in Oath of Druids which is uniquely soft to planeswalkers compared to decks that can run creatures. That's where I would run Beast Within, which serves so many purposes. By and large, I'd consider this card in upgrade in that slot.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more


There's rarely such thing as being 100% optimal in practice. One optimal card is suboptimal based on match-up, game state, and vice versa. The shell one would have to use to support this thing would have to be fairly novel which gives a nontrivial advantage to the person who has all of the interactions stored in muscle memory while the opponent is improvising under pressure. The individual components would would have their own different sets of pros and cons. Somehow melding this with Bazaar allows obscene draw that itself can't be countered.

Like I said, overall, I think the end result would be a list that isn't as good as one built using the most generally efficient cards. But it's not hard to envision someone doing relatively well with a deck that includes this.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

It's definitely playable. That doesn't mean it will or should be played but it has multiple modes at a low CMC all of which are moderate to high impact. It's similar to cheaper Beast Within with few more restrictions on targeting but with the upside that when you use it on your own permanent (in resp to removal perhaps) you get a much better threat. I've won many games with the end of turn Beast token.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

I agree with Andy. Its normal use is the kind of thing we see approximated by often-played cards and the normal mode can help you synthesize the kind of set-up required for the Draw 3.

It has potential. It doesn't require pairing with any independently bad cards and its cost is low enough that it doesn't need cumbersome gymnastics.

posted in Single-Card Discussion read more

It's not a strong card but it's not outright unplayable. By that I mean you can probably devise a shell and after a lot of careful refinement you'd have something that would be only slightly worse than other Vintage decks.

Matt's experience with Archive is valuable and echoed my own, though of course he can always benefit from being more amicable.

I enjoy the new card threads and seeing the bursts of excitement, even if initial assessments are overestimations or underestimations. People should speak freely, openly, and without judgment on such a relatively casual topic.


posted in Vintage Community read more

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:


You've lost sight of the forest for the trees.

The issue here is the swiftness with which a card was banned in Vintage, based, I believe, on an over-solicitousness to the most-frequent MTGO players.

I started expressing my concerns on this topic nearly three years ago, including with this article here.

In that article, I wrote, with growing unease, about how the change in the format is being experienced, and how it underlies widening cleavages between segments of the player base regarding B&R policy. The article is brief (for me) and worth revisting in its entirety.

These are all legitimate concerns and I agree, they are worth revisiting. Of course I understand they were integral to your overall position here and mine is not that far off from yours.

Nor is that to say that no other motives or intents could be present in juxtaposing his tweets. It is, of course, always possible to do one thing for multiple reasons, as is called "mixed motives" in law. But you do not credit this motive at all. [] To be clear, one could more reasonably argue that my averred purpose was the primary purpose, but I had a secondary, or subsidiary motive among the list of 9 above. But you have foreclosed that possibility in your own posts.

I appreciate what, at long last, appears to be a tacit confession. I figured it was implicit that having a motivation to shade someone as well as one to make a valid point are not mutually exclusive. Certainly on a final exam, we would articulate every seemingly mundane and self-evident morsel of thought to demonstrate actual knowledge but outside of that context, I assume an understanding on your part that doesn't require me to insult your intelligence. This can be received as a compliment, but it certainly should not be misconstrued as me waiving (lol) an argument that's self-evidently part of the original one.

To be clear, I believe your concern about the celerity of B&R action is real and something worth discussing. I also think that the flow of the thread gave you an opportunity to sneak in a catty jab at Matt that was impulsive and not particularly calculated or diabolical. I don't believe this is a severe offense; you're not a bad person and you're not on trial. Again, it's all water under the bridge. I enjoyed this exercise but there is nothing more to say on this topic! ❤

But my point remains: law provides workable definitions tested over generations that can provide clarity, guidance and structure to debates such as this. Does not mean we should always apply them, but they can be of use.

It can. I may be more pessimistic but my experience has led me to believe law is often a Rorschach test where normative actors see what they want to see (and even pretend to see for argument's sake). That's certainly true for Con Law (that stands for Constitutional Law, peanut gallery, not laws about fraud!). 😄 But certainly there are parts that are as close to unambiguous as we can hope given the limits of language. A drinking age of 21 is clean and straightforward for instance.

Oh, I absolutely do remember, but I disagree that that was the saddest November. You are referring to the November of 2004, but the saddest November was that of 2016.

What much of the country experienced in 2016 hit me in 2004. I'm sure you can appreciate how much closer I was to its impact cough cough, ballot box Constitutional Amendments fueling turnout The first shocking disillusionment is the hardest. Numbness mitigates subsequent ones. I'm very bothered by attempts to rehabilitate figures from that era.

@tittliewinks22 said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

The word juxtapose is being used entierly too much in this thread about kitties.

That's Stephen's fault. 😄

@serracollector said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

So for anyone still following this BANNED AND RESTRICTED announcement, Lurrus was banned, just wanted to make sure people who click this link can see what actually happened with B and R. Your welcome!

Oh no, did we vacuum the oxygen out of the thread? Wait, wait, don't answer.

posted in Vintage Community read more

Khahan, I love Paper Magic. I wish I could go to more events. It was more accessible when I lived 20 minutes away from The Player's Guild and before I had a few things pop up in the past few years that made regular travel out of state on the weekends not as possible to do regularly as I'd prefer. It has nothing to do with the caliber of events; as far as I can tell they've all been great. I still consider myself an IRL Paper Player first, despite enjoying MTGO quite a bit.

posted in Vintage Community read more

@smmenen said in B&R Announcement - May 18, 2020:

You and Matt claim that I misrepresented his position by posting the first tweet doesn't even make sense on its face. The second tweet in the same image dispels any illusions that I was attempting to demonstrate a contradiction with anything in this thread.

It was your truncation of his thread that gave an inaccurate portrayal of his position, hence the misrepresentation. Juxtaposing those two statements together made him appear fickle and inconsistent.

That's because the second tweet in the same image was consistent with his position in this thread.

There was nothing wrong with the second tweet.

So, here you are claiming not that I misrepresented his position, but that I was trying to "make him look bad"? How exactly? By suggesting a contradiction? I thought I already answered that charge before: the juxtaposition of the two tweets demonstrate not a contradiction, but a 10 day change of opinion, based upon intervening experiences.

Again, the overall effect made him look volatile and ridiculous. It was reminiscent of an attack ad.

Like most pseudo-controversies on The Mana Drain, the analysis does not actually call for legal skills.

No, it doesn't call for it, but it does help from time to time. Law provide clarity and well-worn guidance. Law has established workable definitions and elements that can be applied to adduce evidence or draw conclusions that might support one claim over another.

Matt claims I misrepresented his views. In law, a "misrepresentation" is a "false statement of a material fact."

No, there is no universal and ubiquitous definition of misrepresentation in "law." There may be one in some edition of Restatement of Torts. Some jurisdictions may decline to use it. It's used in Contract Law in ways that are not identical to Torts. It shows up in multiple additional areas of law, random subsections of statutes, international law, and of course then must be defined in any number of languages which opens the quest for precision up to any further number of adulterating factors.

Additionally, a misrepresentation is not simply a lie or a false statement of fact as one would find in defamation. A true statement of material fact can be presented in a manner that misrepresents its truth in context. For instance, "Bette said 'I ate my children' " is technically true because Bette did use those words when stating "I deny that I ate my children." But the former statement conveys something close to contradictory to what the full statement actually conveys. Hence, her statement was misrepresented.

Applied here, it is more likely that participants in this thread used the term misrepresentation as it is understood colloquially rather than legally, even setting aside the lack of a universal term definition. That means there was no shying from engaging with your technical analysis; I simply found it inapposite as I believe I've communicated previously.

If he or you wish to accuse me of something else, I would certain consider that accusation on its merits, but let's be as clear as possible about what it is we are accusing me of. Because if my "crime" is something else, then don't label me as misrepresenting his views. Call it for what it is.

You are not being accused of any crime or being sued.

My point was far more important than Matt's comparatively trivial tweets. I was arguing that DCI policy should be more balanced, and that a swift banning was too fast. Matt's tweet was buried in the middle of this much larger point. You seem to think that the main purpose of my post was to jab Matt. Quite the contrary. The purpose was to argue against a swift banning, and Matt's tweets nicely illustrated some of the premises to my argument.

I don't believe you're unable to understand how positioning two contradictory statements by one person next to each other is unflattering. Surely you remember a certain someone who "voted for" the war "before I voted against it" and how damaging that clip was. Saddest November of all time.