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51740 No. 51740 ID: af10de

Turn 1 Thread - http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/395339.html

Character: Erica
Gender: Female
Age: 19
Color: Blue
Current Life: 9
Max Life: 11
Spells/Cycle: 3
Land Cap: 10

Erica needs a deck built for duels.

You are limited to common and uncommon blue cards from the Mercadian Masques and Invasion Blocks, as well as Magic Core Sets 2010 and forward. Select wisely, as Erica only gets five different spells (four castings of each) to start with.

Feel free to use Gatherer (gatherer.wizards.com) or www.magiccards.info to discuss your picks. Any questions about the combat system or the game in general are also to be asked here.
Expand all images
No. 51742 ID: 7d7f79

What does it take to get spells from other sets and higher rarities, and will we be able to multicolour?
No. 51744 ID: 7d7f79

Oh... and artifacts?
No. 51745 ID: b6edd6

How does discarding work?
(A question I was planning on asking in character: What happens to mages who try to break the rules by bringing non-summoned allies or running away or something?)
No. 51746 ID: 7e3704

Are we meant to build a deck that works in actual magic play? Because we're going to need far more than ten lands...
No. 51747 ID: 7d7f79

I've just looked through Masques block, found these standard/meh spells to use. So far low on flying, needs finisher and more counter.

4x counterspell
4x saprazzan heir
4x stinging barrier

??? Sidebar:
2x energy flux
4x saprazzan legate
4x submerge
No. 51748 ID: af10de

As you gain experience, you will gain access to other colors and artifacts. (the latter is likely easier to get than the former) For now it's just blue commons and uncommons.

Discard spells remove one casting of a spell from your pool, chosen at random unless the effect allows the caster to pick the spell to remove. (duress being the easy comparison)

You don't need to build a deck so much as choose spells to be able to cast. Duels are very close to zero-variance, as you can cast whatever spell(s) are in your pool so long as you have mana to do so.
No. 51750 ID: 137988

Mind Control might be good as a control spell.


We probably want the standard Counterspell


Master Thief seems like it might save us a lot of pain, while still being a 2/2


Then we need some more creatures we can throw around. I suggest Phantasmal bear


And Phantasmal Dragon


This is all assuming we can't have any artifacts yet, but even so, I don't feel we need anything yet. We have so few cards, I feel two spells dedicated to control, one is half and half (The thief), and two spells for cheap power.

Alternatively, if you want a spell more fitting to the character, you could get Faerie Squadron

No. 51751 ID: 431fa8

A lot of useful blue cards, like Index or Fact or Fiction, don't seem to mesh terribly well with the quest mechanics- if I understand correctly, we've got our entire deck available at once so there's not a lot of point in any kind of deck-rearranging mechanics, nor in any cards that let you draw and then discard.

If we work with Nicole long enough to learn some black magic, Stormscape Familiar gets shortlisted for spells to learn, I think. Not now, though.

As for thoughts on our deck, I'd propose the following:
Rhystic Study
Spiketail Hatchling
Indentured Djinn OR Faerie Squadron

It would be fairly ridiculous to not have Counterspell when it's available.

Rhystic Study could be an excellent booster that would let us counter enemy actions much more effectively.

Spiketail Hatchling is relatively inexpensive, evasive, and acts as a counter if we need it.

Indentured Djinn's drawback seems nowhere near as serious in this format as in normal Magic, so it might well be worth playing. This is particularly true if we have a Rhystic Study (or two) out. Faerie Squadron could work as a primary critter if we don't want to go with the Djinn.

Unsummon lets us deal with creature-based threats that we've been forced to let hit the table. Hopefully there won't be too many non-creature threats that we encounter.
No. 51752 ID: 137988

Sprazzan Heir is a rare. No rares, remember?
No. 51753 ID: 99c568

here's a page that displays all blue cards you allow: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?action=advanced&set=|[%22Invasion%22]|[%22Mercadian%20Masques%22]|

counterspell is a must. diplomatic immuntiy is good against black opponents, so I suggest having that around. Maritime Guard for cheap cannon fodder, Belltower Sphinx or Wall of Frost are pretty cool too... shit, I suck at blue.
No. 51754 ID: 7d7f79

No. 51755 ID: fa9f7e

We CAN use rares, they're just harder to implement because they need a lot of people to agree on them, iirc.
No. 51756 ID: 431fa8

All right, I don't see a lot of unity in our opinions here, so let's think about our spells in more general terms.

Our only realistic option for a win condition, looking at the available cards, is through creatures beating our enemies down. So the whole deck ultimately needs to support getting our big creatures into play and keeping them there while avoiding getting killed before we do so.

That means, to me, that we need 1 large creature for beating the enemy, and everything else needs to be oriented towards keeping the field clear and enemy threats neutralized so that our critter can do their job.

Does this logic make sense to everyone else? If so, our questions become:
-What is our chosen win condition creature?
-What is the most effective way to support them?

For that, >>361551 contains my initial suggestions.
No. 51758 ID: fa9f7e

Hm. Good for roaming, but if we ever settle down and make a fortress, I suggest Door to Nothingness/another instawin card.

Also, we could probably just get a gun and kill enemy mages/fliers that way if we remember to aim for the center of mass. And if use "realistic" combat, many smaller creatures might be better for flanking or some such instead of one large creature. We could also see if any two creatures could synchronize.
No. 51759 ID: 137988

The first post specifically says only commons and uncommons.

Not a bad idea, but we want some backup creatures in case the ones we have get borked.

As I said before, Mind Control and Master Thief are extremely useful and can turn the tides if something gets out of hand. Not to mention Master Thief gives us an extra creature to use.
No. 51760 ID: 7d7f79

Mind Control -- 5 mana is in the range of what a finisher should cost. Too expensive for what it does unless we know the opponent has a lot of really expensive creatures and playing them is all they do.

Counterspell -- Always.

Master Thief -- Sidebar, but it would be hilarious to steal a fat artifact with this.

Phantasmal Bear -- Good eye.

Phantasmal Dragon -- Too fragile for how expensive it is.

Faerie Squadron -- Not bad.

Yeah... I'm not terribly sure what drawing cards does for us. Define pool, is that our hand? If our pool is our hand does drawing cards only let us play more spells per turn?

Rhystic Study -- We need to know about the difference, or lack of one, between pool and hand to know if this is useful.

Spiketail Hatchling -- This is a 2 mana version of flux that has to be cast as a sorcery, but I suppose we should keep it until we find better supplemental suppression within the range.

Indentured Djinn -- If drawing cards is halfway meaningless or if we have our ally with us and the opponent is only one caster this could work. Generally I'm scared of handing opponents free draw unless I know they want to have no cards in their hand for some reason.

Diplomatic Immunity -- We get twenty cards, you want to spend some on protecting what from what exactly? I wouldn't even put this in sidebar.
Maritime Guard -- Decent blocking, but we still have no finish.
Belltower Sphinx -- This might finally be a finish of sorts if we can make the enemy plink it. Where's lure when you need it?
Frost Wall -- Also decent blocking, but I chose stinging barrier for its ability to ping weenies with abilities and ?/1 chumps. That's a red thing to do but it's excellent trolling that's also sometimes important.
No. 51761 ID: fa9f7e

Oh, was thinking of http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/395339.html#395996

which was somewhat ambiguous. Thanks for the correction.
No. 51762 ID: 7d7f79

The way blue usually wins is by taking hits while waiting for the enemy to throw out their win conditions and then countering them. Once that is done their finisher comes out and they beat the enemy silly.
Blue creatures are generally weak for their cost, so blue finishers sometimes aren't creatures.
Accordingly a blue player always has untapped mana and cards in their hands to threaten their opponents with a counterspell even if they don't actually have one in their hand.
Blue often uses artifacts to pull off terrible tricks though, like one I've used with isochron sceptres imprinted with spells that shove their hand back into their library. Blue tends to be the colour with the most support for using artifacts, green has the most support for turning artifacts into mulch.
No. 51764 ID: 6f9630

Unsummon and counterspell should be used. Those two have been Blue's mainstay for a long time and if we can use them, we should use them. However,since we have Nemesis cards in here, part of Masques block, we should use Seal of Removal instead of Unsummon.

Faerie Squadron is a solid 1/1 for U with a pretty decent kicker, but I was thinking Cloud Sprite, with Stinging Barrier to cover ourselves. If you want a larger CloudSprite, you could go with Stronghold Zeppelin.

Also, we need to consider either a big creature or a creature that can consistently deal damage. Either Air Elemental or Phantom Warrior.

So here are my recommendations

Seal of Removal
Cloud Sprite/ Faerie Squadron
Phantom Warrior
Air Elemental

I would like to put Stinging Barrier in but its just too expensive to play.
No. 51765 ID: 137988

The only thing I have to say is that mind control is a 2 for 1. You not only get rid of one of their creatures, but now they have to deal with it as well. They lose two spells, you use one. I know it's kinda a finisher, but we have 10 mana to throw around per turn (If I understand this right) so I think it is pretty efficient use of mana.
No. 51766 ID: 431fa8

I know how blue usually plays in standard Magic, I'm thinking about how we need to adapt that to these circumstances. Looking through the cards that we have available, I don't see any finisher other than a creature, and none of our creature options are great.

Mind control is too expensive, and Master Thief is quality but niche for its cost. With only five spells, I don't think I'd pick either.

I'd definitely go with Phantasmal Bear over Phantom Warrior. A 2/2 one-drop is too valuable to pass up.

Good call on Seal of Removal, though. I'll back it.

I want Spiketail Hatchling because I'm quite nervous about only fielding four counterspells against an enemy with far more threats than that. We won't be able to counter that much as things stand, so mixing a counter into a creature seems a good solution- and a flying creature that's fairly inexpensive, so much the better.

Reading over this I'm thinking:
Seal of Removal
Phantasmal Bear
Spiketail Hatchling
Faerie Squadron

I'm considering replacing Faerie Squadron with Stinging Barrier, which is pricey but gives us the option of turning mana that we saved for counterspells into damage at the end of our opponent's turn. That's always good. Losing the option of a 3/3 flyer isn't great, but the ping ability might be more valuable depending upon the enemy composition.
No. 51767 ID: 7d7f79

Unsummon is actually a fairly good spell against an opponent using creatures that have particularly annoying casting costs like damage and sacrifices, but I usually try to prepare for an opponent who uses less headache-inducing finishers than that.
Also, it's generally useless against red burn or X-weenie decks.
No. 51769 ID: 7d7f79

Your deck list either lists stinging barrier or faerie squadron as the finisher then. These both seem a touch small.

I'm going to suggest the terribly silly possibility of putting in 2x seahunter and looking for the biggest Merfolk cards we can find that don't kick our ass when swapped in by these dudes. Someone else please look up if there's any merfolk to use for this? The saprizzan outriggers don't do it for me so it's not in Mercadia block. I've gotta cook supper.
No. 51770 ID: 431fa8

Seahunter's a rare; we can't use it.

You're right that those are small, though. Thinking about it, if we're using it for purposes of a finisher Faerie Squadron is strictly worse than Air Elemental, so we might as well use the latter. Would that work for you?
No. 51776 ID: 7d7f79


Blue without rares is like black without dark ritual!
Calming down then... I'm thinking actually replacing either the spiketail or the seal of removal with the air elemental and putting the squadron versus stinging barrier to a playtest and/or vote. We get 20 cards and with 4 counterspell we've already spent 20% of our total on instant control spells. With no Force of Will or other really cool control choices that might be all we need, but I'm willing to agree on 40% being fine. 60% of our cards being control seems... a touch... excessive.

On second thought, stinging barrier costs 4, the faeries cost 1 or 4. Stinging barrier is something really cool for the way blue plays but it probably is a touch too expensive.

4x Air Elemental
4x Counterspell
4x Faerie Squadron
4x Phantasmal Bear
4x Spiketail Hatchling

At standard mana rates that would leave us with a 30 card deck, 10 islands (floating in the air?) for mana.
No. 51778 ID: 6f9630

Btw, Faerie Squadron is U or 3UU, for 1/1 or 3/3 flyer
No. 51780 ID: 431fa8

Faerie Squadron seems redundant- since we can cast any spells out of our deck, Phantasmal Bear is almost strictly better than an unkicked version (U for 1/1) and Air Elemental strictly better than a kicked version (3UU for 3/3 flying). When would we ever choose to cast it?

I'd go with Stinging Barrier over it, if only because at least Stinging Barrier is a 4-drop. I'd rather keep our mana curve as low as possible, though, so another 1 or 2 cost spell would be better in my eyes. Seal of Removal was good for that.
No. 51781 ID: af10de

The cards in the pool effectively make up your hand. Cards that would refer to the number of cards in your hand are based on the percentage of cards you have left in the pool rounded to the nearest 7th (so at most you'd have a 7 card hand)

From the Turn 1 Thread:
Spells that only draw cards do not count towards the cap, and allow for an additional spell to be cast that turn cycle for each card drawn. (if Erica casts Divination as her first spell of the turn cycle, which draws 2 cards, she'll be able to play 5 more spells this cycle).

Spells that do something and then draw a card DO count towards the spells per turn cycle cap, but also allow one more spell for that cycle per card drawn. (If Erica casts Merchant of Secrets as her first spell of the turn cycle, she will be able to cast 3 more spells.)

For Rhystic Study, every spell an opponent casts would allow the opponent to pay 1, and if they don't then Erica gets another spell use that turn cycle.

Barring major objections in the next 12 hours, I will lock in [COUNTERSPELL] and [PHANTASMAL BEAR] in as Erica's first two picks.
No. 51783 ID: 137988

Cool, excellent choices.

Back to the discussion. How about we use Aether Adept instead of the Seal of Removal. It gives us another creature that they have to deal with.
No. 51785 ID: 431fa8

It's a 3-drop so it eats up a fair bit of mana we might want for counterspells, it can only be activated as a sorcery, and it bounces itself if there are no other available targets so it risks being unusable against an opponent with no creatures. I'm not a fan.

Based on this description of Rhystic Study, I'm thinking that it would only really become relevant in the late game when people have enough mana to throw around significant numbers of spells at once. If there's a lot of mana on the field and we have a lot of counterspells in-hand we would want it, but that's just not going to happen since it looks like the bulk of our deck will be creatures at the moment.

I find myself absurdly tempted to try and combo it with Jace's Erasure and some other cards to try for a mill victory condition, but that would be ridiculous given our constraints here.
No. 51786 ID: 7d7f79

Let me do further looking, and swearing.

I'd feel safer with cancel or mana leak in our hand instead of spiketail.
No. 51787 ID: 7d7f79

Opponent casts one spell, we get four draws (extra casts) and they get 16 mills to graveyard. Sounds pretty gassy, but that would take absurdly many turns to set up.
Rhystic all nighter is BUU, Jacey's bookburning is BU. To get half of the full implementation (opponent casts spell we get 2 casts and opponent mills 4) it would cost 10 mana, which assuming normal mana curve takes, oh, let's say a minimum of six turns if we don't bother defending ourselves with summons or budgeting more than one counterspell threat per turn.
It would be a funny way to piss off another player if we had a mana engine but no.
No. 51788 ID: 431fa8

We don't even need Rhystic Study, actually- looking at this, as long as we throw in a Brainstorm decking them is a viable win condition against opponents of our deck size:

Turn 1- Phantasmal Bear
Turn 2- Jace's Erasure
Turn 3- Phantasmal Bear, Jace's Erasure
Turn 4- Jace's Erasure, Jace's Erasure
Turn 5- Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm brings us the win.

Reliable five-turn win, though I did say this was a ridiculous idea. The bears can probably delay our loss long enough for the mill to take them out. That said, a red straight burn deck can take us out even quicker than this thanks to our low life total.
No. 51792 ID: 7d7f79

Yeah... I know why flux is still a good card to have around, and I also know why I really want less unreliable counterspell than unsummon and spiketail hatchling.
No. 51793 ID: 6f9630

Counterspell and Bear are in. Very good. Now we have three slots to fill. Our land cap is 10, so we have up to 10 U mana a cycle and we can cast 3 spells a cycle. One cycle is from our untap step to the next untap step, i.e. our turn and the opponent's turn. (Is this correct? I'm not sure)

With these limitations, the best bounce spell is Seal of Removal, as we can hold that 'unsummon' and use it for no spell/cycle cost.

Also, Shroud and Hexproof will be insanely useful as your opponents cannot do anything to creatures with those attributes. Maybe we should consider Aven Fleetwing?

I'd like to use Identured Djinn. It's cheap, strong and has flying, but giving the opponent 3 extra casts for that cycle scares me, especially if we have bears in play.

Also, I'm a bit wary about Spiketail Hatchling. It's ability seems weak and situational.


Seal of Removal
Aven Fleetwing


Air Elemental
Identured Djinn
Spiketail Hatchling
Stinging Barrier
No. 51795 ID: 431fa8

>Our land cap is 10, so we have up to 10 U mana a cycle and we can cast 3 spells a cycle. One cycle is from our untap step to the next untap step, i.e. our turn and the opponent's turn. (Is this correct? I'm not sure)

Wait wait wait.

Are you saying that we start out with all our land on the table and able to be tapped? That is, there is no need whatsoever to mind our mana curve, just come up with the three best possible spells a round?

That's insane and completely changes the priorities we need to have in place here.
No. 51796 ID: 6f9630

If mill does defeat an opponent it could work. But a good mental exercise nonetheless
No. 51797 ID: 6f9630

I think it means that there is no "one land a turn" rule.
No. 51802 ID: 7d7f79

The mana base was not explicitly stated, which means until we get a clarification we assume standard one land play per turn unless we were green land-whores or something.
If instead we start with ten islands in play... we don't want the bears anymore, do we?

Proposals for other three cards (assuming traditional mana base style):

Mana Leak / Cancel
Air Elemental
?????? Stinging Barrier, or a better suggestion
No. 51807 ID: 99c568



Wall of Frost. same mana cost, way better defense.
No. 51808 ID: af10de
File 133544743969.png - (266.04KB , 966x739 , Untitled2.png )

I should have clarified this. You are still restricted to playing one land per turn as the game normally dictates, you just can have up to 10 islands in play without consequence.

A turn cycle is from you start of your untap step to the start of your next untap step. So yes, it's your turn plus your opponent's turn.

Milling an opponent out does not outright kill them, but does incapacitate them similarly to being reduced to 0 life. Think of it as breaking their mind as opposed to their body.
As an aside, being given 10 poison counters or being hit by a "lose the game" effect has a similar result - incapacitated and perhaps on the brink of death, but the ability doesn't outright kill them.

Decklist updated.
No. 51816 ID: 7d7f79

Wanted stinging barrier for the specific ability to ping the enemy caster or weaklings with direct damage that doesn't take a spellcasting to use and is good for using up our leftover mana at the end of the opponent's turn.
Frost wall is a better defense but sometimes one direct damage makes all the difference, especially if it has no cost besides the initial unit play y'know?
No. 51825 ID: 7d7f79

Charm, since there's no reason to be worried about getting landfat or something can we have more than ten islands? You know, in case of land destruction or something.
No. 51826 ID: 431fa8

The problem with Wall of Frost is that it never does anything to win us the game, and is only decent against creatures. Stinging Barrier might be weaker in terms of defensive ability, but it's got a useful ability that is a potential, if suboptimal, win condition. With only five cards available that firmly tips the scales in its favor, I'd say.

After some consideration, I'm thinking that Indentured Djinn is very much worth using. Because of the way that this game is structured, a draw is a transient benefit- it lasts only a single round. That means that the "enemy draws three" downside doesn't actually give card advantage since all cards are effectively in hand anyway; unless they've got tons of mana to use right then they won't be able to take advantage. And because Indentured Djinn is a three-drop, they almost certainly won't have the mana available to take advantage.

Spiketail Hatchling still seems a great choice to me; it's basically like keeping a Daze at the ready all the time and giving us a 1/1 flyer to boot. Why wouldn't we want that? More counters is better, and with only a few card slots available versatility is priceless.

For our final three, then, I'd propose:
Stinging Barrier
Indentured Djinn
Spiketail Hatchling

Given how the mechanics work, it would always be to our advantage to have more islands- it would make us basically immune to mill and discard effects. That's probably not a good thing for game mechanics, so limiting our available lands (apparently to half our spells, in this case) makes good sense.
No. 51828 ID: af10de

Yes, you actually have access to an arbitary large number of islands, but only ten of them can be out (on the battlefield, in a sense) before starting to exhaust your supply. Land Destruction spells don't outright destroy the mana source as much as break the connection, which then has to be reforged in the form of playing your land for the turn.

Corollary to the above, discard/mill only counts spells at your disposal. In this sense, every 3 spells counts as one card in your hand for effects like sudden impact, teferi's puzzle box, etc.
No. 51837 ID: 7d7f79

We wouldn't want our copy of Force Spike to be chump-pinged. The fact that it is a 1/1 flying critter is exactly why I don't like it: There are too many red, black, green, artifact and even some blue ways to ping either all targets or an arbitrary target for 1+ damage, or creature manipulation tricks like lure, to make them worth much less than a copy of Force Spike that costs double mana. That's why I want either Mana Leak or Cancel instead, even though those both suck.
Also, Force Spike only needs the foe to reserve one extra mana to be nullified. It's just not that strong. It's situationally useful but not that strong, and being tied to a fragile creature that has to be cast for 2 mana first and then still being a sacrifice ability tells me no way.
No. 51839 ID: 431fa8

If our enemy is putzing about killing our 1/1 creature with their spells, then one might argue it's already served its purpose of stopping them from doing something actually useful with those cards/mana. And it can chump-block if we need something for that, which no Force Spike is going to do for us.

Having the Spiketail Hatchling out effectively slows down the enemy's game by one turn because of that reserve-one-mana-or-fail situation. Considering that with Indentured Djinn we're looking at three-dropping a 4/4 flyer, I'd say that one turn might be all we need to seal in a win most of the time.
No. 51840 ID: 7d7f79

With these altered draw mechanics the only colour I'd be worried about handing draw to is red with all their cheap blast spells, but having a flying 4/4 for 3 mana is too good to worry about that unless the draw mechanics change.

Indentured Djinn
Mana Leak / Cancel
Stinging Barrier / ??? We run out of spells and things to do with our mana too easily if it stalemates.
No. 51841 ID: 7d7f79

Okay, try to sell me on it. Show me a game order where we're casting that spiketail and it does something good for us. The way I see it that's an opportunity cost from playing our bears or the djinn, or casting mana leak that would flat out eliminate an opponent's medium threat we don't want.
No. 51845 ID: 7d7f79

The stanard game order I am seeing is this:
Turn one: Bears
Turn two: hold 2
Turn three: Bears and hold 2
Turn four: Bears x2 and hold 2
Turn five: Djinn and hold 2
Turn six: Stinging Barrier and hold 2
....We've probably won or lost by here.
No. 51847 ID: 431fa8

You know what, sure. That's pretty much what I was looking at, except that I'd swap out the first hold 2 for a Spiketail, which would let them get out a doubled one-drop but would keep a second counter threat available to us in later turns as they accumulated more mana. Whether that's a good move or not is dependent heavily enough on the enemy deck composition that I'm inclined to say screw it, going with Mana Leak won't make much of a difference.
No. 51851 ID: 6f9630

I like your style, but with drawing cards being turned to number of spells cast, it's better to turn your turn 3 into

Turn 3: Djinn

as the worst thing the opponent can do is cast 3 more spells, which is difficult with 3-4 mana. If that happens we can keep the bears for defence.

If we go for this

Phanstasmal Bear
Mana Leak
Identured Djinn
Seal of Removal

This means that

Turn 1: Bear
Turn 2: Bear + Seal, or hold for counter
Turn 3: Djinn
Turn 4: Seal/Bear if we need anti-creatures ; Djinn if we're feel that we need to take the game out quick ; or hold for counter
Turn 5: By this time, we can counter anything they throw at us. Don't forget 3 spells a cycle, meaning Seal of Removal can be sacrificed when we're at the limit
No. 51855 ID: 7d7f79

Hmmm... the things I don't like about your choices, which are almost the same as mine I know, is that:
#1, I don't like assuming my opponent will be using creatures worth unsummoning since if they're using weenies or no creatures at all unsummon is pretty useless (I don't know about the limitations in this format but I've run lots of blue, red and black decks with few to no creatures);
#2, eight creatures total could easily get us stomped by any normal green deck or any deck with token generators
#3, 4 2/2s with a special fragility and 4 4/4s might not have enough finishing power if we both keep escalating with lots of creatures. Honestly, I don't like stinging barrier for this either.
No. 51866 ID: 591523

I think you're worrying too much. Erica will surely learn new spells, and we can add/change to her repertoire. So we will be able to handle more situations when we get to those stronger opponents.

Since it sounds like all these other people are gaining magic at the same time as us, it is likely that they're at around the same power level. I doubt their strategy is going to be anything too complex. Just like ours isn't.
No. 51882 ID: 7d7f79

Huh... so another question for Charm: Memory Lapse is strictly less powerful than regular counterspell in this format?

You're likely right. Also, with foes limited to lower end cards most opponents will be trying to use creatures for defense and/or finisher and in that case seal of removal makes sense to have since it might let us pull a green style beats victory.
I'm willing to support Taffer's deck list in >>361651 for now, but I really want to replace mana leak with mana drain and seal of removal with something cooler.
No. 51890 ID: 431fa8

All right, I'll back this as well. Let's get this show on the road.

Poor Spiketail Hatchling.
No. 51892 ID: 7d7f79

If we get the chance the one thing I want to replace seal of removal with might be disruptive pitmage, and then after that perhaps we can replace mana leak with lullmage mentor.
I mean we need that one just because of the name, he's in it for the lulz.
No. 52019 ID: af10de

Counterspell - LOCKED
Phanstasmal Bear - LOCKED
Mana Leak
Identured Djinn
Seal of Removal

Is this the starting spell list you want? If there are any objections or changes, please make them within the next 24 hours. If no one objects, I will lock in these selections and start Turn 2.
No. 52020 ID: 431fa8

That's not the list we want so much as the unhappy medium we've come to. No more changes, no more debate; let's get this show on the road.
No. 52034 ID: 7d7f79

>>361819 >>361820
What he said. Deck building without rares and old cards sucks, I want my mana drain.
No. 52068 ID: 7d7f79

Huh... that was shorter than I was expecting for a quest chapter, but it was the time that it took for her to go from falling through the looking glass to being ready to try this shit.
We taking bets and odds on black mage backstabbing us because she lost control of her demons and they decided we look tasty?
No. 52088 ID: af10de
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spells have been locked in. Turn 2 is up here: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/406304.html

Good Luck!
No. 52106 ID: 49d4d7

Hmm, I just thought of something, Erica has Alexi, Zephyr Mage's "summoning address", can she summon her in a battle even though she's a rare legend? We'll may or may not use Alexi later but the knowledge that we have a rare legendary creature is heartening.
No. 52121 ID: 7d7f79

I'm going to guess that we haven't done it enough times yet to do it under battle stress conditions. If we keep doing it she might help us make up the difference....
No. 52131 ID: b6edd6

Does mana use have an effect when we are not in combat?
No. 52136 ID: 282251

I would still suggest against trying to summon Alexi in a stressful(battle) situation until we have more experience in magic. Lest we get a dismal failure.
No. 52247 ID: af10de
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During her study time with everybody's favorite zephyr mage, Erica took notes on a number of things. She now has in-character knowledge about the game as it applies in this quest. (life totals, spell pool, land and spell caps, combat math, etc.)

She also knows about the color wheel, ally and enemy color combinations, and took brief notes on what everything does (the latter of which is especially helpful to those who are unfamiliar with Magic.)
Here's what she wrote:

>White: Uses plains, the color of life, purity, and order. Has soldiers and angels as common summons. Have plenty of magic to both create equality, and gain an advantage from said "equality". Their disdain for chaos makes them amiable to most blue mages, although they can be overzealous - WWII nazi-ism would be white (and not just because of the skin color)

>Blue: Best. Magic. Ever. Uses Islands, the colors of Order, Intellect, and Deception. Birds and Merfolk are common summons. We can also shoot down magic and do so much crap it's not even funny. We're just awesome like that. :p

>Black: Uses Swamps. The color of deception, death, and destruction. Zombies and Demons are the most archetypical summons. Can kill almost anything that gets in their way if they need to. Their willingness to get ahead no matter what it takes makes a good partner for blue. Nicole is good at what she does, and won't backstab me in the foreseeable future. Should be a nice partnership.

>Red: Uses Mountains. The color of destruction, fire, and instinct. Goblins and dragons are common summons. Doesn't think much (if ever), and that doesn't sit well with most blue mages, myself included. Able to burn the everloving shit out of most things, but rolls over to anything they can't burn the everloving shit out of.

>Green: Uses Forests. The color of Instinct, nature, and life. Elves and beasts are common summons, as well as most any other giant creature you can think of. Tends to think with the wrong head, which annoys me (and other blue mages) to no end. still can pose massive problems to the unprepared.
>Note to self: always have something waiting in case angry green mage shows up.

Mages are not necessarily limited to a single color. Here's some ideas for future paths, with Erica's notes provided below:

>Blue/White - Auramancer, tinkerer of the world to make both magical enchantments to further make physics cry, or magical doo-dads that can do other cool stuff.

>Blue/Black - Nullmage, shutting people up before they can even get going. I could basically make sure that nothing anyone tried to set against me ever got off the ground, but I'd be left with almost nothing to counterattack with.

>Blue/Red - Scholar, learning how the universe works so I can make it cry in the corner with physics. Red is dangerous enough and it's brain dead - imagine how much scarier it'd be if they were smart!

>Blue/Green - The (mad?) Scientist, adding biology to things that are crying in the corner due to magic. Darwin always talked about survival of the fittest - who's to say I can't do the same with summons?

There are a few other notes, so if there are questions that you want to ask that she'd have good reason to know, feel free to ask in this thread.
No. 52275 ID: 3734f6

aww wow, I can't tell which one will be the best combo because they are all so awesome sounding.
Especially your hilarious descriptions of them
No. 52287 ID: b6edd6

I think it is worth noting that the quest's setup seems to favor multi-colored decks significantly more than the card game does, as you don't have the mismatch problems that can happen with a random hand.
No. 52297 ID: f091f2

I'm a personal fan of Blue/Green. Smash things with large green creatures, and blue spells to protect them and screw with your opponents.

But I'm assuming we aren't actually choosing now. Still, an interesting thing to think about. And a very nice twist on the notes, based on how Alexi would view it.
No. 52306 ID: 6d6017

I like the sound of that blue/red.
No. 52313 ID: 431fa8

I've always thought that artifacts went well with blue. Sad that we apparently haven't learned about those yet.
No. 52319 ID: 68ff50

Charm will be doing his level best to keep the Isochron Sceptre out of our hands because that could pretty nearly mean, "Blue wins," in combination with enough mana... which it could quickly get if the imprinted spells were mana drain. Four counterspells per turn that maybe pay for themselves and don't count against the format spellcasting limit? YES PLEASE!
No. 52320 ID: 68ff50

Also: How does Survival of the Fittest work in this format anyway? Is it a free casting per turn for a creature that we get by discarding a creature spell? If so it really works better with something really cool for creature milling like Squee.
The real reason to go blue-green is to increase land play per turn, but that's risky and possibly low-payback if we're limited to ten land.
No. 52322 ID: af10de

Thanks, I do try to keep this both informative and funny. I find a combination of them works well.
The no-stick is able to be dealt with, but not easily or cleanly. It might appear in the late game, but don't get your hopes up until then. Other, less broken artifacts should be a bit simpler to get and manipulate.

Tutor effects will cast a spell without paying its mana cost on the caster's the following turn, but the card will be chosen at random from legal targets in the caster's colors. In this sense, survival would be 1G and discarding a card to get a random creature next turn. It might be able to bail you out of a jam, or it might just be another grizzly bear. It's luck.

In other news, you all have a decision to make! What core set spell (from M10, M11, or M12) should Erica add to her arsenal? You aren't limited to common/uncommon this time, but that will affect how many castings she has available.
No. 52323 ID: 431fa8

How does Leyline of Anticipation work in the game's mechanics? Would we always start with it in play, since it would effectively be in our "opening hand"? If so, I'd say it's definitely worth taking. Even getting it out for free some of the time would massively strengthen our position when that happens.

Redirect would be a fine option- having both it and Counterspell available would let us counter most of the time and redirect spells to benefit us occasionally.

Those are the only two that really jump out at me.
No. 52324 ID: 68ff50


This card is why we should be incredibly scared of non-basic green in this format: A set of four will let them play five land a turn, starting the first turn if with one mana left over for casting other things... as long as they can cast 4+ spells a turn anyway.

There are plenty of other green versions of it, like this one:
No. 52325 ID: 7e314f

Can she get Jace?
No. 52329 ID: 68ff50

Lord of the Unreal would be situationally good to have, but potentially hard to protect and rare.

Clone could be even better if the opponent pulls out something scary, but also rare.

Stormtide Leviathan would make a pretty good fat-lady, but the leyline would be cooler if it works as advertised.

Water Servant could be useful beef, but it's just not that cool.

Phantom Warrior would be interesting meat for battlefield tactics that would be resistant to certain opponent tricks, but eh.

Serpent of the Endless Sea could be very cool if we ever get something to transform opponent land type to an island. But not yet.

Sphinx Ambassador is potentially hilarious but too greedy.

Telepathy could be an excellent idea.

Time Warp could also be awesome.

Twincast would be a very funny thing to use with Time Warp.

I'm gonna go with my initial emphatic yes on the Leyline of Anticipation though, unless it's gimped.
No. 52330 ID: af10de

She could get Jace Beleren or Jace Memory Adept, but since they're both mythic rares she'd be limited to a single copy of either - not too great in and of itself. If that's what you'd like, feel free to go for it.

Remember, the planeswalker cards are representative of fellow walkers for whom you're calling in favors. They don't get destroyed so much as they walk away when they run out of loyalty. (through whatever means they do so)
No. 52331 ID: af10de

Leylines as a whole do NOT have the "start the game with it in play" rule, but to compensate they're treated as if they were uncommon (meaning you'd be able to have three in your pool)

Apologies for not having seen that when I posted last.
No. 52332 ID: 6d6017

there aren't really any good rare blues in those sets. get fireball and a few red lands.
No. 52335 ID: 68ff50


2012 artifacts that might be useful:
Adaptive Automaton, Manalith, Elixir of Immortality, (Quicksilver Amulet--later), Solemn Simulacrum, Throne of Empires

2011 artifacts that might be useful: Jinxed Idol (hilarious thing to do to someone with expensive or no creatures), Steel Overseer

2010 artifacts that might be useful: Darksteel Colossus (we can't cast it yet), Ornithopter
No. 52336 ID: 431fa8

Urgh. That moves it from excellent to mediocre. Are you sure you can't model that mechanic in some other fashion? Making it uncommon does all of jack to improve playability. Having SOME way to start out with it in play, even if it's a low probability or involves paying a cost or meeting some story requirement, would be much appreciated.

I could go for Lord of the Unreal since we've already got an illusion that we're planning to use heavily. We could combine that with Phantasmal Image next time we get a spell, perhaps, and get some serious illusion on.

Telepathy attracts me just because there are so ridiculously many options for what people might be able to throw at us and my paranoid side demands more information... but the practical matter of "is this worth the mana cost?" seems rather dubious.

Time Warp... I'm not opposed. I'd rather build up the low end of our mana curve before going for the really big stuff, though.

He did specify a color limitation explicitly:
>Erica gains a single blue spell from one of the most 3 recent core sets to add to her combat pool.
Blue only.
No. 52337 ID: 68ff50

In green:

2010: Awakener Druid, Birds of Paradise, Elvish Archdruid, Elvish Piper, Garruk Wildspeaker, Giant Growth, Llanowar Elves, Master of the Wild Hunt

2011: Primal Cocoon

2012: Primeval Titan?, Skinshifter, Vastwood Gorger?
No. 52340 ID: 68ff50

>In other news, you all have a decision to make! What core set spell (from M10, M11, or M12) should Erica add to her arsenal? You aren't limited to common/uncommon this time, but that will affect how many castings she has available.

I don't see a colour limitation there, although you're right that it is possibly implied.

Also, we have no high end stuff. Our curve is two 1s, two 2s and a 3 in hand. A high end thing to play would be nice for later stalemates.
No. 52341 ID: 68ff50

Jace Memory Adept would be very good for decking people. If Leyline stays useless I think this is probably our best choice.
No. 52342 ID: 431fa8

The restriction to blue was cited in the main quest thread at >>/quest/408904, not here. That was what I was quoting- sorry, should have linked it.

On the topic of stalemates- I'm not sure that we can manage them. The lack of a functional draw mechanic means that we feel rather vulnerable to quickly burning through our stock of countermagic, at least to me. If we don't win relatively quickly the enemy could simply attrition us out of counters and then have an open field. That might just be paranoia on my part, though, since we haven't run a battle in this system yet.

I'm not a fan of planeswalker cards in terms of the flavor inherent in them- to me, calling on Jace would be a major story element that would effectively come out of nowhere right now. Planeswalker cards are supposed to represent other planeswalker contacts helping you out, right? How would we get a Jace card without actually meeting Jace? We should be getting a Nicole card.

That's hardly a mechanical objection, though.
No. 52343 ID: 96e0ea

Well, a big creature like Harbor Serpent (we can use him, we're only have islands as our mana base), Stormtide Leviathan or even Frost Titan would be nice, I just don't see us using them that often. Our max life being 12 means that we'll probably be pitted against at worst someone with max 16 life, and we have the means of locking them down quickly.

So my vote is Lord of the Unreal. We're probably going to use those bears all day erry day, so something that helps them helps us.
No. 52345 ID: 68ff50

We're about to go to sleep, you honestly think we aren't about to have some pretty trippy dreams? I wouldn't be surprised if he and Alexi have already passed notes about us since two new planeswalkers, at least one of whom seeming to be friendly, would be headline-level news.
And awww fuh... no cool cards for us. :(

Stormtide Leviathan would be a really good thing to turn Serpent of the Endless Sea into a non-wall. It also would be good to have for when we multicolour to guarantee we have full blue mana possibilities.
No. 52347 ID: 68ff50

I don't like Lord of the Unreal that much because it's most useful to protect a bunch of one-drops we'll likely use as sacrifices anyway. Yes, they're pretty potent one drops and this halfway removes their *particular* vulnerability, but they're still 2/2 critters. They have no special abilities and can be killed by most normal means once they're hexproof. Also, if LoUie, another mostly-vanilla 2/2, kacks it they get those vulnerabilities back anyway. Plus hexproof does not protect them from going boom if we ever cast unstable mutation or anything else enchantment on them. If we were to get Adaptive Automaton and add illusion to his creature types our bears would go poof.
Cheap one drop is cheap one drop, don't invest too much in da bears. We need card draw or mana base or more creatures that hit more than we need to partially fix a flaw in a one-drop card. We'd be better off with those water servants.
No. 52349 ID: 431fa8

I don't see Lord of the Unreal as a booster for the Bears so much as I see it as a step on the path to going full-on illusion tribal.

That said, I'm inclined toward Redirect if Leyline is being nerfed to crap. Do you have specific objections to it? Most enemy decks are likely have at least some targeted spells worth hitting with it, although I'll admit that Redirect only works when we have Counterspell/Mana Leak as another open option. Fortunately, we do.
No. 52350 ID: 68ff50

Excuse me, if I'm reading correctly here I was specifically wrong about the bonuses from Adaptive Automaton, but the bears still are lacking in flexibility to use with other spells and abilities that do target things.

No. 52351 ID: 68ff50

It is potentially very powerful, and potentially useless, depending on the opponent. As it is we could stand beefing up against either red/black burn or green/white stompy. This helps with one of the two mostly. One case I'm thinking is a green player casts giant growth, and we only have bears out. That would be a cause for much cursing because we really don't want them to get it on their own guy and we really don't want to blast our own critter with a targetted boost spell that would just make it go pop. It's also a one-drop spell so we don't really want to spend a counterspell on it because they can do so much more with the rest of their mana we may want to wait to see what else there is to counterspell.
No. 52352 ID: 09e5bf

Would Rite of Replication be a decent choice?
No. 52354 ID: 431fa8

Hrm. What I'm hearing is that you think it's too conditional to use right now, because we don't have a solid enough base to add things that might be dead cards. Valid objections.

Thoughts on Phantasmal Image? It strikes me as cheap, fairly reliably decent and potentially very powerful.

Choices are limited to the Magic 2012, Magic 2011, and Magic 2010 sets for this spell. Rite of Replication isn't available.
No. 52355 ID: 68ff50

Fragile, any ability that targets them in any way at all makes it go pop. Something that changes its colour, something that taps it, anything. That's worth living with in a 2/2 one-drop.
For B/U to get it in a 4/4 that may be worth living with also, but we continue to get more vulnerable to chump-removal, miscellaneous abilities and red or black burn even as we get more guns to use against everybody if we pick it. I'm watching a 4-strength hurricane wipe out everything if the green player tricks us into using it on our genie.
Let me go over the options again to see if there's anything else I've missed that's worth it. Jace Memory Adept is something I specifically like because he can give us more casts when we need it or go right for milling opponent spells into nothing, but he is much more expensive and may not manage to be played because of that.
No. 52356 ID: 68ff50

Calculating probabilities for whether or not the Leyline would be in a standard opening hand or its first mulligan: 45% chance in a standard 40/20 deck in the first hand, 67% within first two drawn hands.
A potential rule for whether or not it would start in play would be flip a coin. Am I reading your thinking here correctly that you are using this variant format specifically to get rid of chance that would cause chance-dictated can't-win situations? Are you also specifically trying to get rid of these cards because you don't want to build decks with them for NPCs and work out how they'd use them as well? Please help sort out the reasoning behind this decision so that we can run this more smoothly in future.
Also, if you are having trouble running truly open choices from entire setlists you may want to consider instead sourcing us spells from shortlists specific to the teacher/situation they would be gained from, to cut down on trying to manage unintended interactions.
No. 52359 ID: b6edd6

Does this quest take place at present date, and are things basically the same as in reality (aside from the mages that just showed up or other hidden magic)?
For instance, if Erica goes public as a mage before anyone else, can she claim the million dollars from http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html ?
And if she really get on the bad side of the government, does she have to worry about predator drones or carpet bombing?
No. 52390 ID: 68ff50

At this point I'm considering Tome Scour. Can we have word on how large decks will get eventually or is that too much of a spoiler?

Unless we get word that Leyline of Anticipation becomes non-useless I think I'm holding my nose and voting for the Phantasmal Image. But I don't like this: I'd rather hold this round's draft pick for a better field of prospects if we can do that.
If we're continuing to bend rules around can we have another set of Mana Leak or Phantasmal Bears perhaps?
No. 52395 ID: af10de

I didn't single-handedly come up with this system, I'll admit that right out. We as a group felt that the ability to have any of the leylines just popped out for no cost made things too back-breaking for those not suited to deal with them, and adding that much of a random element is just begging to get killed at the worst possible moment.

More or less, yeah. The year in Erica's world is 2014, and she could make a claim if she wanted to go public with that sort of thing. On the opposite end of the scale, she'd have to worry less about predator drones and more about Agent Smith wannabes in unmarked black vans.

No mage can have more than 48 spells in a casting pool. This is a hard cap, not even a god-like being such as Nicol Bolas or Yawgmoth can exceed that. Since mill and discard spells won't touch lands, this should give you a rough estimate of how much mill will do.
No. 52397 ID: 3734f6
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Fuck walking. Lets get this spell.

So, how do we learn a new spell?

No. 52399 ID: 68ff50

Okay, yeah, I can see it. It's a low-popularity mechanic, and even though most of the things the leylines do is small it's a small thing that costs deck slots instead of mana like it normally would. The green "no dispelling creature summons" one basically ruins most of what blue can do against most green players too, so you could justify it by saying, "The leylines aren't balanced against each other and generally wreck the game so we're restricting the part of them that makes them particularly game breaking." That's a conscious and considered decision to say no leylines, which I can work with.
This goes for all "opening hand" abilities like Gemstone Caverns and the chancellor cards, yes?

How about library arrangement things like "scry" and such; do you know how to handle that mechanic yet? They're not exactly tutors but cards with such abilities being useless suddenly makes a large chunk of what blue does useless. On one hand this is a good thing because it's a complicated mechanic for managing the randomness of shuffled cards which we don't have in this format. On the other... poof, lots of cards lose their meaning.

Also, please confirm it's a no-go on extra bears/leak or saving the pick for a later choice.
No. 52400 ID: 68ff50

What? That card is terrible, and not within the specified choice limits. It would be nice for Erica to be able to cast it outside of combat reliably but without something stupendously huge like darksteel colossus or bigger to use it with that card's a terrible waste of mana.
No. 52401 ID: af10de

In order: chancellors I haven't made a decision on but will likely be the same. They won't come up for a bit though.

Scry and other library manipulation spells work similar to tutor spells, but a bit differently. When you scry, at the beginning of your next turn you will get a single casting of a spell chosen at random with the same mana cost (including colors) of the scry spell. You will have to pay that card's mana cost if you cast it, but you can use it at any time. (compare to tutors, which force you to cast a random spell next turn, but do so for free)
I hope that makes sense. If it's still vague I can try to make a more visible example.

No, you won't be able to get extra castings of the bear or mana leak. I will let you guys save the pick for another time if that's what you think would be best. Note that if you guys come to an agreement on a spell while Erica is in a duel, she won't get the spell until the duel's conclusion.
No. 52402 ID: 68ff50

About the example: Please do, I'm trying to work it out in my head and I'm seeing us paying twice to cast a spell next turn that we could cast this turn for less instead.

For everyone else: Can we get a roll-call on votes now that we know Leylines are right out of the running (without a mana engine or something)?

The choices, in the order of how good I think they are: Hold the draft pick, take Phantasmal Image, Jace Memory Adept.
I think these are bad choices, from bad to worse: Time Warp, Lord of Unreal, Telepathy, Redirect, Twincast, ?Mind Control?
No. 52407 ID: 3734f6

I was not talking about the combat card choice.
I was talking about out of combat spell casting.
No. 52408 ID: 96e0ea

Leylines is out. With what we have right now, it shouldn't even be considered.

>Holding the draft pick
Makes sense. M10,11,12 for blue is large creatures, illusion/merfolk tribal, a few counters and Jace. None of which fit well in our deck.

>Phantasmal Image
Not a bad choice, I figure its for copying bear or enemy creatures as we don't want to copy genie. We could go for Illusionary Servant to subtitute for Genie later if we're going full illusion.

I'd rather not get him right now without an in-character reason to meet him. But it might not be too hard to meet him on the planes, Jace is very curious and new planeswalkers may attract his attention.

>Time Warp
Too slow. For later.

>Lord Of the Unreal
If we go Illusion tribal, we need him

Not really that useful, we have counters to what the enemy plays.

>Redirect, Twincast
Blue doesn't really need twincast unless you're talking about Tolarian Academy/Stroke of Genius shenanigans. Redirect is slightly better but why not counter.

Nice but with Phantasmal Image, we should be fine.

I'd be satisfied if we went for one of these three; Holding the pick, Lord of the Unreal or Phanstasmal Image.
No. 52409 ID: 68ff50

If you're considering trying to get cards for pulling engine and quasi-engine tricks we should talk about Ornithopter: 0 cost 0/2 with flying, uncommon.

No. 52410 ID: 68ff50

Scratch that, artifact, not available.
(Apologies, messed up password so I don't know how to delete it.)
No. 52411 ID: 431fa8

What exactly would holding the pick do in this context?

Anyway, I'd be satisfied with either Lord of the Unreal or Phanstasmal Image, leaning toward the latter as it feels much more flexible to me.
No. 52412 ID: 68ff50

Apologies, I failed to cast telepathy and read your mind to know you were talking about out of combat magic casting. I'll try to be a more diligent psychic in future, and focus less on the issue at hand we've been asked to make a decision about when that's called for.

We haven't discussed out of combat spellcasting, so far Charm has rolled dice for it and apparently we have been rolling well to use these spells that we don't know mostly.
Teleport would be pretty useful out of combat, agreed. Lots of other blue spells would be also, like telepathy, flight, invisibility... those are just the shortlist but I'm sure we can go digging in the blue colour for all sorts of cool things. We should try it.
No. 52413 ID: 3734f6

It's alright, you will get it eventually.
No harm done.
I like your ideas too.
No. 52417 ID: 68ff50

We die against our first red mage. They need four cheap spells to do it, which are easy to get. Someone else check how badly we are chumped by the other colours?

Shock -R
Lightning Bolt -R
Bloodcrazed Goblin -R
Jackal Familiar -R
No. 52423 ID: 3734f6

what about proxies?

Create a fictional man, call jack (for now, find a nationality appropriate name later), via illusion. This jack is an honest to goodness real life wizard. And he will prove it to a few specific people... Talented but not too wealthy people. They will be rich when he gives them things like winning lottery tickets and locations of hidden treasure and such. They get the "fame" and fortune, in exchange the slowly funnel Jack some of it over time (as per our agreement).

Feed them some spiel about jack being from a small village in india or africa or something (no documentation, so sad) and get them to use their new-found wealth to arrange his legal immigration and naturalization. (creating jobs in USA servers as grounds for receiving a L2 immigrant visa which leads to green-card and naturalization).

The jobs jack creates is that he will operate a company that provides assorted services to those rich people at very large price. (as per "his" secret agreement with them).

Then we can "work" for jack amongst many other employees. High enough in the chain for our presence to be explainable, low enough to avoid notice.
If need be we can make our own fake identity, assume the identity of another employee, pretend to be the american wife of his little brother, or whatever.
No. 52424 ID: 431fa8

Yeah, the less-than-20-life thing favors red VERY strongly simply because of burn spells. I don't think any of the other colors could hit us as hard.
No. 52426 ID: 68ff50

Have you not noticed that the personality of our protagonist is just not type-A money and power hungry? She is thinking more along the lines of escaping this world than ruling it. It's not guaranteed but I think she's going to be going planeswalking sooner rather than later. The lottery thing is perfect for that because it lets her get as much as she needs to get by with some on top for emergencies, which gives her no lasting job commitment or management responsibility if she goes poof into another world for a few years. I think that if she had a car, five figures in the bank and a compounding investment somewhere safe like Switzerland she wouldn't be interested in more since magic is more interesting to her anyway.
No. 52433 ID: 3734f6

The problem is in getting 5 figures without getting more.
And honestly, what I described is simpler and easier and less work then... well, work.

People are talking about her getting a new 9-5 job... this will not end well and is just a waste of our time that should be focused on magic.

The proxy plan is because people are freaking out about "oh my god if we win the lottery we will be "famous" (their words) and then other planes walkers will find us easily and kill us". (wha?)

What I want is a simple single "hit it big" thing ourselves, put the money in the bank, and then just focus on getting better at magic as a full time job until we start hopping dimensions
No. 52436 ID: b6edd6

You know, I kind of like the idea of an illusion proxy, but we can do that with a lot less trouble by just making an illusion then turning invisible.

I also think we should stay in this plane, as it is likely going to need some help with all the new mages popping up, and we don't have anything better to do elsewhere.
No. 52445 ID: 3734f6

Question... do we have a living family? Friends?
Because those kinda make you want to stick to a certain plane of existence.
No. 52450 ID: 68ff50

Read the first thread, it's really not that long and it will answer that question and many more: Short answer: She is a loner that just lost her job.

No. 52451 ID: 68ff50


>Better to go for steadily winning many lesser prizes in enough different places that it's hard to put together what's going on until we're ready to make money by investing.
Okay, that is a workable plan that doesn't involve anything directly illegal. We all on board with it?

That's not freaking out about winning the lottery as long as we don't win prizes big enough to get our name in the paper. A five hundred dollar prize a day from scratch'n'win should take us at most an hour or two to find if we're good enough at clairvoyance and would be plenty for any reasonable lifestyle. Make it a bunch of lesser prizes if we want to make it easier to dodge taxes and tax paperwork. This is far quicker and far less trouble than shell corporations and networking with rich people to get more money than Erica needs, and probably more than she wants.
No. 52458 ID: 68ff50

For laughs:

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=5858 Enchantment for 1G that lets you tap it for X mana where X is the number of islands your opponent controls.

Play Stormtide Leviathan, laugh. Good part to build an engine with too if you can untap the enchantment repeatably somehow.
No. 52459 ID: 3ce5b2

Alter reality and Llawan, Cephalid Empress.
We'd need two rares though.
No. 52464 ID: 68ff50

If you were going to do that wouldn't Swirl the Mists or Sleight of Mind be better? Besides, it still doesn't do much against red heat or other parts of black and such.
No. 52465 ID: 68ff50

I'm really not sure I get your tutor mechanic either, if you could give me an example of the use of Index and Merchant Scroll that would help.
No. 52478 ID: 2e48b9

Two problems with that mana thingy. The enchantment doesn't tap, and the oracle text specifically says you can only use it once per one of your turns.
No. 52485 ID: 68ff50

I just thought of something, it might actually be really good to take Tome Scour. Consider: if any player has 28 cards or less by the time they've drawn a full hand and drawn one card all it takes is four castings of that spell to deck them. If they have more than that either our Djinn would be enough to finish the job up to 40+ or we need to start scratching our heads over how card draw became strictly a positive thing in this format.
No. 52523 ID: af10de

When Erica casts Merchant Scroll, at the beginning of the next turn she'll get a blue instant with a mana cost of 1U, chosen at random. That spell does not count against her spells per turn cycle cap, but she's forced to deal with the spell regardless of whether it's good or not for you at that time.

With Index, at the beginning of her next turn, Erica will be given one random sorcery that costs U. She can now cast that spell whenever she wants during this combat, but it will count against her spell per cycle cap.

Tutors give you free stuff, but library manipulation allows you great options on when to use what you find. It's a trade off.
No. 52536 ID: 431fa8

So... in either case, we're spending mana to get a completely random spell that either has a good chance of fizzling/harming us (tutor) or which we will have to pay for again in order to cast (scrying). In neither case do we gain reliable access to spells which would actually help us win the battle; we just pull up completely random results, correct?

If that is the case then I'd evaluate both mechanics as such a huge gamble as to be essentially worthless, and pass them up in favor of things that will reliably better our position with our limited available resources.
No. 52538 ID: 68ff50

I honestly can't think of when either of those would be useful, but I likely didn't understand what you meant.

Let's start with the tutor. Let me make sure I've got this right: You spend a library slot, a casting slot and mana this turn to get a random spell next turn, costing another library slot, which is randomly chosen from spells of its tutor type with the same mana cost? Where's the free? It looks like you're paying the same mana plus an extra card and an extra turn to get one random spell of cost and tutor-type limited specifications, whether you want it or not. This sounds terrible. Plus, with merchant scroll in particular... well... most blue instants require a particular target and/or circumstance to do anything at all. So if it were to fetch Cancel, the only thing in the agreed player deck that costs BU right now, it would be a completely wasted/stupid thing too. I must be missing something here.

Also, this does not give a very good answer to the question of why you would ever want to use library manipulation spells either. Why pay a library slot now, and mana, and a turn casting limit to have to pay ANOTHER library slot, casting slot... and it's not clear if you mean you pay the mana for the second card too... to get a random spell from your library costing the same as the rearrange card that you already have? If we were to add Index to our deck right now the only spell it could fetch would be... itself. I must be missing something here.

Am I guessing right and with both of these cases you're limited to cards in your deck? If so I guess it's not totally random but for one thing there's no guarantee it wouldn't just fetch another tutor or rearrange. I still don't see why you would ever want to spend two cards to get one cheap spell that you can have just as easily by casting it directly. Without a reason to cast these spells you've just made blue lots weaker because their ability to rearrange libraries and use card draw to get what they need is a lot of what they were good at. If those cards don't do a thing that's useful then blue's card list just shrank by a whole lot.
Another issue is cards like Brainstorm, which can be interpreted as a form of limited tutor, library rearrangement and card draw. How do we figure out what it actually does in this format?
What I understood of your descriptions don't seem to make sense and it's very likely I misunderstood what's going on in both of them. With that said, tutors specifically were implemented to be something you could use and pay for to remove randomness and provide a little bit of specific card-draw. The main good thing about this variant format is that it eliminates top decking skills from the equation of who wins and how. If you turn tutors and rearrangers into cards that put randomness of card availability back into the game that's silly: Balancing this may take more than zero effort but it makes more sense to let tutors be copies of spells in the player's library that they want to have more of, and library arrangement... uh... I don't know... something else that's actually useful and doesn't ruin the good thing about your format. Maybe graveyard return, maybe subtracting from opponent casting per turn, something that isn't random is the really important part.
No. 52541 ID: 71d68e

I think certain types of cards should simply be ditched from this format, since they don't make nearly as much sense in it. There're still plenty of other cards. Cards like tutors and a fair number of library/draw manipulation ones such as Index, for example. Likewise, some of the hand manipulation cards wouldn't work nearly as much.

On the other hand, milling becomes more potentially useful since it outright removes options from an opponent and does so better than standard discard cards (since 'hand' sizes are far larger, so you need more card removal).
No. 52545 ID: 3734f6

five hundred a day is too little. It is too much work to do it every day and it WILL raise suspicion when the same person keeps on winning. Recall there are people trying to cheat in a mundane manner (like employees of lotteries) and systems in place to catch them.

First, it is critical to know what the lottery is. The lottery is the only form of legal gambling in many countries, the lottery is owned by the government and is used to supplement tax income.

It is usually NOT an option to remain annonymous when accepting a winning.
However, as it turns out some places allow it. My research turned out:

That Kansas is one of those states that allow anonymous winning.

Furthermore, in other states you can maintain anonymity if multiple people form a lottery club (trust fund or other investment vehicle) and that vehicle then fills out lottery tickets. We would have to share the winnings though and if we don't do it for a while it will look suspicious as hell, so lets just stick with winning in kansas.
No. 52553 ID: 68ff50

Alternative possibility: Win one larger five-digit prize. Not newspaper worthy, don't have to keep doing it, just have to get our tax return paperwork together early. Play ten tickets just to make sure it isn't that suspicious we won on one of them. Put 10k in a secured bond or interest bearing certificate, most of the rest in a Swiss bank account, and triple what we need for the next month in two local bank accounts. Calculate and set aside what we need to pay tax with. One or two days work spread over a week or two, all done for a very long while.
No. 52555 ID: 68ff50

Augury Owl, Cryptic Annelid and Unblinking Bleb say that your proposal may be harder to balance than you think, and those are just creature spells with scry. Turning it instead into, "Remove target opponent's next X casting opportunities," where X is number of cards arranged means that instead there's actually a good reason to play some of these arrangement cards. Perhaps that's too good but that requires investigation and playtesting, I think that one of the things that has going for it in balance is that it does not graveyard their spell or waste their mana. Another would be that it's not played on a specific spell their opponent wants to play, so if you were to scry two and they only wanted to play one spell that turn then it didn't do anything. Those limitations mean it's okay for it to be more effective than a counterspell in limited ways.
If that still seems too good then how about target opponent has to pay X mana before they can cast further spells? No, that's too powerful....
I don't know, help me come up with and shoot down ideas here.
No. 54479 ID: 68ff50

Format issue causing card: Treasure Hunt.
This would deck out a player if we have a decking mechanic attached to card draw, or else make them able to play every spell they have in a turn.
No. 54490 ID: 68ff50

Hmmm. The reason to use a weird hand-size and draw mechanic thing with this format, instead of cards just being unspecific cards from the deck, is so that all those draw and discard cards (mostly in blue) aren't strictly bad things. Normally they are used to deal with being spellfat or landfat at a kind of crappy price that's still sometimes worth it if you don't have what you need.
Maybe it's better to just take the forced discard off those cards and go back to a more normal hand size/card play mechanic? This wouldn't fix the problems with tutors and library arrangement yet but it would make Veiled Crocodile non-useless, amongst many other cards broken by this non-standard handling of hand size. It would also turn card draw back into the double-edged sword it's supposed to be.

Next problem is tutors and library arrangement. I'm thinking make library arrangement into opponent milling. Too powerful? I'm balancing against Tome Scour here which mills five for one mana.
Tutors can... hmm. I have to look up what they do in more detail, I'll start working on those. Remove a specific spell from opponent's library is probably not right but let's see.
No. 54493 ID: 68ff50

Trying to redesign Magic variants isn't my favourite passtime. If I'm getting no help I'm giving up.
No. 54496 ID: 71d68e

So, what, are you proposing that we go back to having a standard hand and draw phase, but basically be able to draw any card we want from our library? That'd certainly fix a lot of those niggling issues.

Which leaves spells that mess with the library in general (tutors and library rearrangement). Suggestion: library rearrangement can make cards temporarily unavailable for drawing or reverse that. Advantage compared to milling is that with library rearrangement you can pick what becomes unavailable whereas with milling you likely wouldn't get to pick what they lose.

Tutors are pretty close to a lost cause, but I'll think about it.
No. 54498 ID: 71d68e

Further proposal: cards affected by library rearrangement become available again at a rate of one card per turn. The owner picks which card.
No. 54517 ID: 68ff50

Yes, my idea was to bring it back to working almost like normal Magic, except instead of drawing actual cards you're dealt seven uses at the beginning and draw a new use each turn (subject to normal modifications by card effects), which act like normal cards for hand size and things like that. For spells that look at what's in your hand or things like that it would be your hand-count's number of cards that haven't been taken out of your hand/library set yet.
Still existing problem: Red gets to blast with all four of its lightning before the end of the third turn. As long as life stays below normal this is a cheap and easy win without some kind of life gain, damage redirect, damage prevention, counterspell, forced discard against red. or SOMETHING to keep the other walker alive. Even with standard life totals this is alarming. Perhaps this is a good thing in disguise because white life gain used to be someting I always laughed at.
The biggest issue with that is the draw and discard mechanic cards, those would be flat out negative. My proposed solution for that would be to just make the discard part happen at the option of the caster/controller/user of the effect. I figure this should work since none of them are as good as the P9 instant Ancestral Recall anyway, although there's a list of them that are iffy:
-The thing that bothers me most about this adjustment is that it makes cycling into an easily obtained and reusable card draw method without the normal cost associated with it... unless you take the discard as a casting cost and therefore unskippable. That's probably what happens but this is already getting a bit complicated.
-Another possible issue is the *mill hand to find better cards* mechanic from things like Drastic Revelation, Shattered Perception, Tolarian Winds and I think others as well. I don't know how much adjustment they would need or how to adjust them.
-Compulsion should probably lose the discard part of its first option and the mana cost of its second option to be balanced with this because... it sucks! Lose the discard for Mental Discipline as well.
-Merfolk looter, Thought Courier and others like that suddenly become tap for 1 draw, but they're not all blue so it isn't totally unfair. Plus blue needs something to make up for having 2-cost spells that say no be its big thing.
-Draw and reveal if it isn't X for Sindbad and certain others I guess fixes that card as being specific when it's drawn? For Sindbad itself I'd just let it be draw one but other draw and reveals do crazy things like Treasure Hunt. That one in particular is puzzling me about how to handle it.
-Cephalid Broker, Bazaar of Baghdad, Frantic Search, Magus of the Bazaar seem a bit too good without the discard but perhaps livable. With draw back to the double-edged sword it's supposed to be they help players that use them deck themselves.
-Magus of the Jar and Memory Jar probably shouldn't change at all, they're all about decking out an opponent in a really annoying way that risks giving red their last lightning they need or something.
-Trade Routes? I dunno. It's a weird old enchantment whose main purpose seems to be bouncing back land. I have to look up if it'll let you recover land from the graveyard to know how good it is in standard format even.
-Wheel of Fate, Wheel of Fortune and Windfall shouldn't change I think.
-Control of the Court and Goblin Lore are draw 4 discard 3 for converted 2... that's alarming without the discard. Take out the discard and these sorceries are looking roughly as good as Ancestral Recall. Should we just let red have it and bite our nails more when facing a red player? Change them instead to draw 1?

About your library arrangement proposal >>364296 and >>364298
You're talking about individual specific cards instead of "Counterspell" or "Mana Leak" right? Sounds complicated to me; that's effectively a temporary exile and exile return mechanic. It also would require a player to know what they're exiling somehow which implies spy on their whole hand/library. Not a fan of that implication or the complexity of exile and return.

My concept of tutors being something you cast to become a duplicate of some other card in your hand/library was an idea that I got by looking at Copy Artifact. I mean that spell actually does something comparable to what a tutor does and it does it for somewhere in the range of costs of what tutors cost. You'd reveal this token-copy spellcard as normal for tutors I'd figure. Someone tell me how easily abused it is though.

Geth's Grimoire + Jace's Erasure + make them discard one card in any way you like = !!!
Illusions of Grandeur + Donate = troll win
No. 54520 ID: 68ff50

Another implication: Would Telepathy fix opponent hands as specific cards?
No. 54530 ID: af10de

I see that my tutor/library manip ruling has sparked quite a debate about this system. I'll agree that it isn't perfect, but I'm not going to go fiddling around with stuff like this willy-nilly. I'll try to address the points that I can.

That's a well-made point, and even though it doesn't affect things right now, I think that it needs an overhaul. Here's what I will be doing now. This is final unless it gets changed at a later date, so whining about it won't do anything.

Tutor spells combine the best aspects of the previous tutor and library manipulation mechanics. When erica casts a tutor spell, she'll receive a spell at random with the same CONVERTED mana cost as the tutor that she cast. She can cast that spell without paying its mana cost at any time during that duel, but that spell will count against her spells per turn. This way, she doesn't have to pay double for a spell, and she can save it until it's beneficial for her to use it.

Spells that manipulate your library order will now add one casting of a spell in your pool, with slight weight being given to spells that have been discarded/milled.

Treasure Hunt always draws you only one spell, plus however many lands are on top of your library. So it'll basically read "draw a card" since the lands you get aren't contributing to you getting access to more spells other than being taken out of the way.

Telepathy would reveal X spells to you, where X is their hand size. (determined by the process in >>361581)
No. 54535 ID: 68ff50

I'm not suggesting you change things without due consideration. I am suggesting that the reworking of the way card draw works has significant issues:

#1: Card draw is also part of decking out in the original system. Draw 20 should exhaust someone's library or nearly so, not be a strictly positive thing. Draw any should put you however many steps closer to decking out than an opponent playing the same deck size. It's a risk with a defined chance of something that will help you and a guaranteed certain problem. The cards of MTG were designed and balance-judged with the understanding that it would be a risk.

#2: Card draw persists between rounds in the original system; if you draw a card and don't play it or discard it then it stays in your hand. So draw three this turn and you use two should leave you one more than you started with.
In order to avoid carrying over insane numbers of "castings" and still provide a limit you avoid this and give a flat default limit that an be enhanced with the greatly reworked replacement for card draw each round. But it doesn't work out right: Card draw becomes something weak and strictly positive instead of more powerful and risky. Consider Howling Mine and its possibility as a form of attack if you have graveyard return and your opponent doesn't. If you get this working all you need is to survive their attacks on your life and they die instead of you, which is a balance shift from the normal problem of trying to kill them before they kill you. It provides support for using healing/lifesteal to survive unit attacks until something else gets your opponent for all of the colours.

#3: Draw is part of the oversize hand discard mechanic, and the oversize hand discard mechanic exists to disallow people from having infinite deck access without severe problems and costs. Your format gives them infinite deck access in their hand except for a casting per turn mechanic that is far enough away from the way Magic usually works that it causes headaches.

My proposal is to dial that back one step to something closer to the way Magic generally works with the same cool feature that randomness of card draw doesn't screw up everybody. If you and your group can address the issues I have identified in a better way I would be very interested. Both my proposal and your current system still have the turn-three Lightning runthrough problem as well, which should be addressed somehow. In normal 40/20 decks the odds of even seeing three out of four lightning within the first three turns is something I can calculate, but far less than 100%. You need me to refresh on my high school probability and remember how to calculate that?
No. 54537 ID: cb0cc3

I have to say, turning the hand into a "number of available casts" mechanic makes a LOT of mechanics more sane than the originally presented system. Both discard and draw can actually function again, for one thing, just by changing the number of available casts.

Draw as mill can function by making you lose if your available casts exceed your remaining spells+lands. Likewise, available casts over seven can negate spells at random from your available spells at the end of your turn to simulate the hand size limit.

We could avoid the "spam a single spell to win" difficulty by implementing a cooldown scheme between castings of the same spell, which tutor/scry mechanics could reduce or eliminate.
No. 54549 ID: 68ff50

I'm seeing problems with your casting limit idea. Telling a red player they can see that lightning, taste it, smell it, and touch it without being allowed to cast it by some outside-of-normal rule mechanic is... iffy. Consider that if red starts with three lightnings, a fireball, a critter of some kind and two mountains in hand in the normal game that was most of a win unless the other player has some dirty trick, Force of Will, enough Force Spikes or something.
More generally that risks confusing and upsetting the standard beats versus cool situation.
-Red is usually the beats... the player trying to do everything they can to stop the other player from winning by killing them first.
-Blue is usually the cool because most times all they have to do is stop the other player from initiating their victory condition (big fatass monster or enchantment or whatever) and then pull out what they've got to win.
Your mechanic risks telling blue that they can't cast a second counterspell in a row even though they have to or die, for example.
No. 54553 ID: cb0cc3

But that's very similar to how things are in normal Magic. If you've got five cards in hand and three more counterspells in your deck, you can still be SOL if none of those counterspells are amongst the five cards. It gives up a little potential for casting the same spell repeatedly, but you still have access to a wider variety of spells than you normally would because you can use your casting slots for any of your deck's spells.

If you want to be sure that you've got the spell that you need, stack spells with similar functions to avoid cooldown problems- just like in normal Magic you stack spells with similar functions so that you're more likely to draw more of them and have them available when you want them.
No. 54555 ID: 68ff50

Hmmm. You've led me to the obvious point that I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too with perfect spell access except for that red guy who will use it to win.
Perhaps the real reason I'm looking at this from a blue perspective and alarmed about it is there's no Force Spike, Force of Will or anything else we can use to ding off repeated Lightning to the face: Red easily has the cards to potentially blast 20+ damage in 8 cards + 8 mana within the the initial pick five from recent core and expansions. That lets them finish out a turn 4 win in normal and a turn 3 win in 16 life or less if they aren't somehow stopped. If they do run out of blast cards or use them up on defensive removal or something they didn't have critters out for those rounds anyway.
I'm probably also unduly alarmed because red isn't supposed to win with 12 damage, or even 16 damage. They're supposed to win with no less than 20.
No. 54558 ID: cb0cc3

Yeah, with less than 20 life fast decks take the advantage. But I'm really not sure how that would change unless we drastically shift away from the current game mechanics. I remember there was an M:TG computer game where you ran around and built your deck out of antes from beating NPCs with their decks, and leveled up your life from the battles, and it basically suffered from exactly this problem. Most enemies were all but trivial to beat if you just rushed as quickly as possible.
No. 54589 ID: 68ff50

The Shandalar game was trivial to beat for a lot of reasons. One was because none of the computer players had enough brains to really know what to play when, or a good set of rules to fake it. The biggest reason it was easy to beat was because it put few limits on the player deck beyond your maximum of four to a type and 30 card minimum. There was no restricted one-to-a-deck card rarity or anything.
Eventually I beat it silly using a thirty card deck with 4xblack lotus, 4xtimetwister, 4xancetral recall, 4xmox jet, 4xmox sapphire, 4xdark ritual, 4xlife drain and 2xhurkyl's recall. This was a fairly reliable first turn win and a demonstration of the power of over half of the P9.
Seriously, experience playing Shandalar introduces a number of details of how to play Magic but it does not teach you about how the game generally works against sane human opponents with reasonably constructed decks or reasonable choice limits. Magic is not supposed to have no-response win on the first turn, they work very hard at preventing that even in legacy, er, vintage is what they call that now?
No. 54669 ID: 96e0ea

Now, I'm not here to choose the new card that we're gonna be using as there's been much debate about it. I'm here to try to guess our new "black" best friend's magic spells.

And I'm guessing from M10,11,12 that Nicole gonna be using undead creatures, more specifically vampires, zombies and probably Black Knight. What two blocks she gets I won't guess, just no point in it.
No. 54690 ID: 68ff50

Nicole probably got our starter deck list choice options as well, five from Mercadian Masques and Invasion as well as 2010-2012. Possibly also the extra pick from 2010-2012.
No. 55026 ID: af10de

Seeing as there's not been any real consensus, I'm shelving the pick until you get another card choice, or earlier if you all agree on something.

I also apologize again for leaving you all hanging as long as I did. Real life happens, unfortunately, and when it does I have to deal with it before dealing with imaginary magical girls. I hope you all understand.
Because I'm a vindictive bastard, I'll tell you: Nicole is still sitting at "level 1", so she hasn't got a bonus pick yet. Her starting sets are the 3 core sets, plus kamigawa and ravnica blocks (a somewhat modern analog to your options - a generally weak block that had a few good cards but little that was extraordinary, followed by a very well-received multicolor block that sold like crazy.)
No. 55027 ID: 431fa8

>Seeing as there's not been any real consensus
There was fairly real consensus that by nuking the effectiveness of tutors, library manipulation, and card draw, a huge chunk of blue's cards are reduced to crap and more crap. There was general consensus that nuking has indeed occurred. Also that no other color can reasonably expect to beat an intelligent red player in this system. Just sayin'.

On what card to choose, I feel reasonably confident saying that either "hold the pick until we can choose from a set that isn't mostly crap" or Phantasmal Image were our unhappy mediums.
No. 55034 ID: 68ff50

I don't know about consensus about the format being busted: I was doing most of the talking and not many people were saying much about it.
No. 56195 ID: 92c81e

Honestly, I feel the quest would be fine without the system being so rigid. Just wing the spells to act as you think they should act, and do whatever you want to make the quest interesting.
No. 56209 ID: 7472ad

I think the point of a more rigid system is that it provides a much more solid framework for developing tactics while avoiding having to rely on author fiat too much to keep the players from breaking the game. What a lot of even the common cards do according to the fluff is ridiculously broken in a freeform system. Would turn the quest into a game of "Do I have a contingency/enough mana to not die/be mindraped/exiled"

On the subject of balance, I think it'll mostly even out in the end, but two mechanics I think will have to be looked at are deck and graveyard control. The first is almost useless, the second probably too powerful with returning cards to the deck being synonmous with returning them to your hand.
No. 56220 ID: 7472ad

I know you're getting a lot of unasked for advice regarding the mechanics, but I gave it some thought and had an idea for making deck control suck less without, to me anyway, any big overhauls. Instead of having full access to your deck to start, begin with access to one of every card, and on draw(renamed pick to avoid confusion) phase pick another to gain access to. Draw keyword grants access randomly to what's still in your deck, tutor works more or less as normal, and scry would only really work with the draw keyword.

This makes deck control weaker than in normal magic, but it will be an option to reduce the turns on your win condition. Moreso, it leaves the stability of the current system pretty intact while forcing the early win condition decks to choose between rushdown and the longgame, because with the current rules and access, once you have the card selection you can just have both. All colors can do that with set access, but red and green have that earlier with no drawbacks later on.
No. 84352 ID: 86cf84

Welcome to the revival of cute girls doing cute magician things. I'm still the same dumbass from before, but we're doing things a little different now.

Veronica has the following traits:
>Black Magician Girl - Veronica is able to wield the magic of the swamps and cast black spells.
>Concerted Caution - Veronica's reserved nature will exclude spells randomly chosen by the DM that require a life payment or losing life as part of the spell's effect(Ex: Thoughtseize, Reckless Spite)
>Maiden of the Blind Eternities - Veronica, after gazing into the truth of the multiverse, has gained otherworldly insight about interplanar theory and how the many universes can interact with each other.
>Mana Flood - Veronica's mind has the tendency to go off on a tangent that needs to be reined in on occasion when standing in a powerful source of black mana. She remains totally cognizant of her surroundings and can act as normal in this state (for certain values of normal).

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves or ask lore questions. I'll try to answer as best I can without spoilers.
No. 84353 ID: ebc77d

Okay, due to Veronica's status, I think she'd be more amenable to summoning these creatures.

-Black Knight
Knight, Soldier

Zombie, Skeleton, Spirit


-Abandoned Supermarket mana source
Vermin like rats and bats
No. 84364 ID: f839a9

I'm amused two of us asked after a dis thread in quick succession.

>Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves or ask lore questions
Could I ask what Maggie's sub-specialization in blue is? (Like 'Roni ended up a Knight / Mortician). I don't know if that would be too big a spoiler into her character or motivation that we could leverage, but I'm curious about the flavor you set up for other colors. Because honestly, the fluff for black was pretty damn cool.

I'd think once we're thinking strait and have secured the ara, experimenting with summons and negotiating loyalty would be our next priority. I see no problems with that list.

...and I like that the black knight comes with protection from white. That sounds like something useful to have waiting in reserve. You know we're going to run into some meddling holy force, eventually.

>Maggie's motivation
Thinking about this: she was scared away by the realization that her power was running away from her, and by a close brush with her own mortality. While Roni may understand that way of thinking, I think it's going to have a hard time getting through to her directly. She's focused on caution and control even while running headlong into this, and her natural affinity was for black, and a natural order of death (mortician), and a certain callousness towards doing what needs to be done (knight).

Put that all together and I think you've got someone who's not going to be concerned about their own recklessness, nor overly worried about her own mortality (even if she's in no rush to die). If and when Mags tries to talk her friend into not going to deep, I don't think her reasoning is going to stick very well.

Which I think is going to make for an interesting problem, if we intend to find some way to use her as an ally.
No. 84421 ID: 86cf84

Here were Margaret's sub-class choices:
>[]Elementalist - The winds and waves are at your command and obey your every whim. Some folk believe wielders of blue magic are frail and infirm academics who can't actually do combat. With a little planning, showing those fools up is a trifling matter.

>[X]Scholar - Magic is finicky. The rules obeyed by this stuff we don't know are vaguely defined, and just when you think you know it all, something rapes everything you thought you knew. That said, knowledge is power, and few can match your knowledge in matters of the arcane.

>[]Illusionist - Whoever said "seeing is believing" can shove it. A strength of blue magic is the ability to fool the senses. Whether it's summoning a protector, calling a veil of invisibility, or altering one's appearance, what you see is very rarely what you get.

>Put that all together and I think you've got someone who's not going to be concerned about their own recklessness, nor overly worried about her own mortality (even if she's in no rush to die). If and when Mags tries to talk her friend into not going to deep, I don't think her reasoning is going to stick very well.

This is a pretty astute analysis of the two's interactions. I remember a line from FE8 when thinking about Veronica's logic: "I don't pick fights I can't win" - she's very sure of herself because she doesn't run into things without the most information that can be gathered - and when she decides to fight, it's on her terms.
No. 84426 ID: f839a9

>and just when you think you know it all, something rapes everything you thought you knew
...ouch. She went right for the "magic is gonna fuck you over somehow" option right from the start.

Still, an ally whose whole shtick is knowledge is would be a good resource to have, especially getting started, and especially if we ever doubt what our employer is telling us. If and when we get her on board with that.

>"I don't pick fights I can't win"
Another potentially interesting complication, since we signed up to basically be a magical mercenary. Not sure we get to pick all our fights...

>black market
>this is a major long term investment
Part of the reason I'm not thrilled by the idea, right now. Figuring out how to be a sorceress, getting our magic going, that's a major long term investment. Not sure another one is really worth it when that's still in play.
No. 84438 ID: 874468

Apologies, but I went looking through the enchantments of Black for something that can burn through an excess of black magic that's worth having. I was thinking we'd rather have an enchantment of some kind than a minion in place, since *any* kind of minion at all we leave in the old store is either 'a suspicious character' or 'a dangerous infestation' that could call down official attention.
No. 84439 ID: f839a9

Oh, I suppose that's not bad logic. If we dump excess mana into it and it operates itself (or if we're functionally converting mana to revenue) that's two birds with one stone.

I guess how useful it would be would depend on how autonomous said market would be, and whether or not it was a big timesink.
No. 84447 ID: 874468

Looking at the card Black Market, it's a converted-cost five enchantment that gives you free mana in proportion to the number of folks who've died. Basically it's step one of a two to five turn drain life for infinity in conventional Magic, and I suggested it partially out of whimsy.
No. 84529 ID: 86cf84

It's not a horrible idea, admittedly. But Black Market a rare spell (not easily accessible to a beginning mage), an enchantment (uncommon for black magic), and gives Veronica bursts of free mana (which in this place is the LAST thing she needs). It's important to remember that black market is a mana source, not a mana sink.

Also remember that when this was printed, mana burn was a thing. Unless you had something to do with all the mana you were getting every turn, you'd risk taking significant amounts of damage. While mana burn no longer exists (and a big reason of why black market is a $13 card now) it's still not something Roni will especially want. An actual black market on the other hand might be a bit more up her alley, but there's the question of what she'd sell.

I'll leave that to you all.
No. 84575 ID: a19cbe

>a rare spell (not easily accessible to a beginning mage), an enchantment (uncommon for black magic)
Out of curiosity, how do game mechanics like that translate to the quest? Does rarity mean the spell has prerequisites before we could access it? (Requires research or a book, being taught, components, a ritual?). If black magic doesn't tend towards enchantment, does that mean Roni just wouldn't come up with it on her own? That there would be a high chance of failure, or the spell blowing up in our face?
No. 84593 ID: 86cf84

Generally speaking, the more rare and a spell is, the more likely Roni will need specialized teaching or research to cast it, as opposed to randomly dropping it. Something like Dark Confidant will require Veronica to display extreme competence and awareness of the risks she takes by having Bob giving her stuff, while demonic tutor (an uncommon spell, but a very old and very good one!) would require communing with a demon of some form. Spell failures will almost always result in just wasting mana as opposed to having much in the way of dangerous consequences (obviously high-power spells can have other setbacks if things go poorly).

It's entirely possible for Roni to be casting enchantments, it's just not as common in black as it is in other colors (blue and white especially).
No. 84778 ID: 86cf84

It's contract negotiation time!

Anon has already brought up some concerns which I'll address currently. The contract is in fairly plain wording and written in English.

The contract writer assumes whoever is taking this contract is not a lawyer and will treat them as such. This contract is written to be easily understood by everyone involved so there's no misunderstanding. If you try abusing loopholes, we can do it too, and we've much more experience at it. Don't try it.

>Exit Criteria
If you want out and we can't convince you otherwise, you can leave. If you continuously fuck up missions that should be well within your ability, we can fire you. In these cases, we will take back the spells you started with, unless you have other spells of similar power and rarity you're willing to trade. You aren't banned from trying to re-learn those spells, but don't be a dick about it.

>Right of Refusal
If you think there will be a conflict of interest for a mission we assign you, speak up before you start. Depending on the conflict, we may or may not have someone else do that job. If you think a mission is impossible, do what you can and we'll take it from there.

Seriously? You actually like school? You know the basics by now, if you want to learn more that's on you to find someone you can ask for it.

If you get hurt on the job, we'll heal you as best we can so you're as you were before you got hurt. If you're only mostly dead,(and there's a reasonable expectation you can be revived) we'll do everything viable to get you back. If you're completely dead, that's that. We won't resurrect you, and if you knew what it does you'd beg us not to try.
If you die in our service (we hope you don't, it's supposedly unpleasant) then all payments you're due to receive will be sent to a person you indicate, or your nearest living relatives. (by lineage, not distance)

We have arbiters that can be summoned. They do this shit for a living, ask them about it.

>What else do you want to know?
No. 84780 ID: 88960e

Pff great tone.

That they won't revive us if we're completely dead seems like it might leave the door open for a lot of fates worse than death open to exploit, but if we're meant to trust intent and not exact wording, I'll take it.

That we don't get more than one lesson with Bob is disappointing, but not entirely unexpected. On the job training programs are notoriously unreliable.

Having an equal vote in a mediator was probably reaching, but if they're summoning outsiders for it, that's better than in house HR.

>give up the spells you started with
So every spell currently on our list? Or none, since we didn't know any when we met. Or just the ones our employer paid for through Bob's lesson?

Biggest concern here is we seem to have accidentally summoned some kind of powerful permanent artifact sword, and I want to know if they have a claim on that (frankly, we don't have anything else to offer in place of that).
No. 84797 ID: 86cf84

This would likely be a thing for arbitration when/if it happens, but they expect the return of 3 summons and 3 spells. (or equal value for it)
The sword you keep regardless, because it's not actually a spell you can cast. You do lose access to spells you cast through the sword, but the actual thing isn't something they can lay claim to.

I'll hold this open until Friday for any other concerns. If there are none, I'll post new thread on saturday.
No. 84799 ID: 487455

Honestly, the whole cancellation fee thing seems a little weird to begin with (I mean, if you worked for a military, say, it makes sense if you're asked to return the weapons or equipment they issued you when you leave. But they didn't issue us any spells or summons- we sought out knowledge and/or experimented!), but I suppose they want a return in power for awakening us (which they can't take back) if they lose our services. And obviously, a means to discourage us from leaving.

If we continue to gain spells at a reasonable rate, and don't run into something intolerable forcing us to quit before at least our first few missions, sacrificing 3 spells and summons of our choice isn't too arduous a price to pay. (Especially if arbitration allows us to argue the price down). Their not having a claim on the sword is the biggest issue down.

That's pretty much everything I can think to check, barring obvious fuck you clauses Roni may find reading the whole document through. Didn't ask about vacations or sick days, but I assume they're smart enough not to send sick people on dangerous missions (or just heal them), and I'd assume time off could be negotiated depending on the circumstances.

So yeah, I think we're good, up until the point they decide to do something stupid like sending us on suicide missions, or giving us stupid evil assignments.

Would you like this signed in ink or blood, hairball?
No. 84806 ID: 761017

I would like to ask for a stipulation that allows for guarantee of return to present in case of time shenanigans.

Rules of universe be damned, magic is magic, and causality is a right, not a privilege!
No. 84810 ID: 86cf84

>Vacation/Sick Days
You're guaranteed a minimum 2 full days off between the end of one mission and the start of the next. We reserve the right to call you in early if and only if something really bad comes up. ("Really Bad" is going to be at least a multi-dimensional threat. This is just a contingency, we really hope it never comes into play) If you need longer after a mission, give us a good reason and we'll work something out.

>Causality Loops
We won't fix time bullshit, because we refuse to mess with it on general principle. If you mess up the time stream, that's on you.
No. 84811 ID: 487455

Assuming "we refuse to mess with time bullshit" includes, by extension, not deliberately sending your employees into situations to mess with time bullshit (wormhole fetch quest! Attack the time wizard!) that's probably sufficient.
No. 84843 ID: 86cf84

We do not deal with time travel. It never ends well. (or begins well, it's hard to tell with time travel.)
Technically any interplanar job is going to involve what is basically a "wormhole fetch quest" as you put it. But we arent going to abandon you in some fucked up plane with no possible way out. That's a very easy way to get people wanting to kill you, and that's not beneficial for us.
No. 84905 ID: 86cf84

And Turn 2 has begun >>/quest/591035

Good luck!
No. 84981 ID: 86cf84

As promised, here is Veronica's mission Dossier, as prepared by Management.


Good luck~
No. 85497 ID: 8b533b

Some thoughts.

We were told we could use magic openly, in this plane. However, we turned the entire course of that fight by summoning two creatures, and I'm not sure anyone else was even casting. We've only been at this a day or two- if any of the other attackers or defenders had mana to draw on, you'd think they could have easily made a contribution of that scale.

Suggests casters, while known and accepted, might be somewhat uncommon or rare. Sarah seems to hold an officer's rank in her guild's command structure, but I'm guessing most of the grunts under her command and on the other side were normals. I wonder if that means our display of power might mean we accidentally drew more attention than we wanted to ourself?
No. 85506 ID: e3aff6

That brings up the question of whether this setting all mages in this setting work like the land-powered creature-summoning plane-hopping planeswalkers or whether other mages (such as you might summon or encounter native to a plane) function differently. If they all work like planeswalkers than mage summons are significantly more powerful than their card stats, since they could potentially summon their own minions, (or maybe if they are powerful relative to their cost even copies of themselves?!).
No. 85552 ID: 8b533b

Yeah, intelligent summons are definitely more valuable than the alternative. So far for us because they can teach us things. So far we've got a sword tutor, counter assassin consultant, and magic lessons.

Which actually gives us a cheap way to dodge some of the costs of quitting, if and when we do. Let them have the spells Elena taught us- but keep Elena. She can always reteach us, at a later date. (Even if she's eventually going to start charging in some manner).

You're right that chain summoning would get crazy overpowered, right quick. I'd like to assume that there's something that balances or prevents that but... we'll see. (Might just be balanced by the fact that truly powerful casters don't cooperate as summons very often?).
No. 85648 ID: cdea65

I take it that we may have a chance to get black common and uncommon creatures and spells from Ravnica and RTR blocks when we are doing the bodyguarding job on the plane. Of course the job comes first, but if we get some free time afterwards, we might want to walk the streets and markets.
No. 85837 ID: 8b533b

Any chance we could get the full flavor for Sarah's trait? From her trigger speech, Devout Aspirant likely ties to faith and determination and getting the job done, but it's nice to know.

I'm assuming it's a white trait, although I'm not sure if she's white, or if she's been doing this long enough to be dual colored (white / blue would fit with her assumed guild, and with the color of dialog).
No. 85895 ID: 630d3c

Yeah. School happened, but let's not worry about that. my personal life shouldn't be a barrier to you all enjoying the quest. I'll answer your questions at least.

You're correct - most spellcasters know one, maybe two spells. Part of that has to do with being self-taught, part of it has to do with the plane itself, and there's also the relevant Powers That Be governing certain things.

You do not have the ability to planeswalk. It might be possible that you have the spark required, but if you do it's not active. Thankfully, Management does have that ability and is using it to shuffle agents around.
As for others, your normal "creature" won't have magic they an use. Magically inclined creatures on the other hand will know a few spells pursuant to their color. The easiest way to identify this is looking for a casting class in the typeline. (Cleric, Wizard, Shaman, Druid, and Spellshaper are the biggest ones. There may be others.)

This falls under the umbrella of "dick move" as far as Management is concerned. You certainly could do this, and there's technically nothing stopping you. But you never know if you might need them later, and if there's bad blood between you and them...don't expect them to lend a hand.

I'll be sure to address this, because there are plenty of places where you could pick up a new trick or two - if you're willing to accept the prices. Gold is...usually accepted.

>High Trait: Devout Aspirant - Blessed is she who fights in the name of the Lord. When things aren't going your way, be it fatigue, injury, poison or even just rotten luck; even a short reminder of your unbreakable faith is enough to boost your resolve. Be aware this blessing is not irrevocable, and calling on such help must be part of a higher calling.

Sarah has been with the Company for almost two and a half years. she has near-mastery over white magic and a firm understanding of blue magic. While she's still in the middle tier as far as agents are concerned, the girl has proven herself exceptionally competent, if not a bit quick to judge others. (gee, you noticed?)
No. 85897 ID: 8b533b

>Yeah. School happened
No worries, life happens to the best of us. Glad to see this isn't left for dead though!

>spellcaster limitations
If that's true generally, and not just in Ravenica, it strikes me that's really what management did in awakening us. Bypassed the planer and/or PtB restrictions for us.

>dick move
Awful touchy these lawyer types with their fuzzy hellspawn are.

I suppose the alternative solution would be to simply have accumulated enough spells by the time we leave that there are ones we don't mind parting with. Or... not leave. (I kind of hope they don't inevitably do something that forces us to turn away from them. I'd rather just have someone to hand us quests than have to wage war, again. I'm fine working for casual affable evil so long as it stays that way. Heck, the paladin is).

Now there's a handy trait for someone expected to operate on her own for long periods of time.

Although really, it's the experienced and competent bits that worry me. Management sending completely green reinforcements either suggests they're not taking her seriously, or that they really couldn't scramble anyone else any faster. Either of which could blow up in our face.

And I can live with judgey. I'm pretty sure there's enough compatibility between their philosophies for respect, even. Assuming we're past the worst of the black is bad thing, we keep her alive, and we get a chance to talk about more than immediate problems at some point.
No. 88977 ID: a18f15

Welp, the thread's in the graveyard.

Rest well, and collect black mana.
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