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9:12 AM
I've tried asking on tabakrules which is active so I'll keep an eye on that
 
9:29 AM
Ars Technica revealed Cruel Reality, Amonkhet's second revealed Story Spotlight card after Renewed Faith.
I am expecting we'll find out the Gods of Amonkhet are just giant Artifact Creatures crafted by Nicol Bolas and Tezzeret made to delude the populace.
 
 
4 hours later…
1:59 PM
@doppelgreener I don't think they are artifacts. I do think they were likely created by Bolas when he was an old-walker though.
Also if that is the second one it doesn't look like it is going to take Gideon very long to become disillusioned with Amonkhet and its gods
 
2:20 PM
@diego Oh yeah, fair enough, because they don't have Artifact types right now...
@diego That two-set story pace! If this were a three-set block we'd have the whole first set devoted to how great it is, and stuff like this would only come out in the second set.
 
@doppelgreener Or it would be the very last scene of the first set. Overall I like the 2-set structure when it comes to the story.
 
@diego Me too.
 
The only block I can think of (that is semi-recent) that I don't think the 2-set structure would work well with (story wise) is Scars of Mirrodin.
 
@diego What's your thoughts around that? How'd that story progress such that 2-set wouldn't fit well?
 
From what I've heard the novel that went with those sets was kinda terrible, but the sets going from a 20/80 mix of Phrexian/Mirrodin, to 50/50 in Mirrodin Beseiged, to 80/20 in New Phyrexia was pretty cool. And I don't think it would have worked as well going from 20/80 to 80/20
I also think it will have some issues when we return to Ravnica again, since fitting 10 guilds into 2 sets seems like it will be difficult (especially if they get all new mechanics again)
Those however are exceptions and over all the 2-set structure seems to be working much better.
 
2:42 PM
I think it's likely we'll see 4-set story structures carried out over two blocks for scenarios like that, much like we'd have two-movie miniseries.
 
@doppelgreener Very possibly, they already did something like that with Lorwyn/Shadowmoor
 
@diego Yeah, exactly! :)
 
And now that they are doing rotation every year rather than every 6 months it will actually workout better since they won't have half the story rotating out of Standard while the other half is still in.
 
for a new Ravnica set, we could see something like:

BLOCK 1
1. 3 guilds' cards, big problematic event happens
2. 4 guilds' cards, event is resolved but with unresolved fallout
BLOCK 2
3. 3 guilds' cards, plus 1 new faction is introduced that this block is based around. new issues arise because of the unresolved fallout and a new disaster rises. cards released for other guilds amend their mechanics to show how they're changing under this new circumstance.
4. the new disaster is dealt with. no new guilds or factions appear; the cards released further the already-established themes.
 
@doppelgreener That is possible, and there have already been hints of another faction, the Guildless who from what I remember tend not to be treated that well by the guilds
 
3:15 PM
Oooh. That sounds quite ripe for story.
In Return to Ravnica, the Gateless (mtg.gamepedia.com/Guildless) committed some acts of mob violence upon the guilds (Renounce the Guilds), and then the Boros cracked down and attacked a whole lot of them, prompting some Boros angels to defect to the Gateless to defend them because they felt this was unjust (Guardian of the Gateless).
Further, there is the Cult of Yore which worships the Nephilim and romanticizes the times before the Guildpact and believes in their return. (That might have occurred in the original Ravnica block, I am not sure.)
 
@doppelgreener The Nephilim did go on a rampage during the first Ravnica block. I think they were all destroyed, but I'm not sure
 
 
1 hour later…
4:22 PM
How do I search for questions that have "you" in quotes?
Trying to find the question about what "you" means on a card
Or at least that will do for what I needed. We have quite as few answers that quote the "you" rule
Woohoo! 10k rep on Board and Card Games.
 
@Rainbolt Congratulations!
 
Thanks!
Still a whopping 90 answers away from a gold mtg badge
 
 
1 hour later…
@doppelgreener That will be a nice change. I understand we are following the Gatewatch (and I don't mind that), but I feel like they have been taking up too many of the limited PW slots
 
I agree
I'm keen on seeing Garruk come back in whatever form he'll be in, and on seeing Elspeth return.
 
@doppelgreener I would like to see what Garruk is up to as well. Though the one I really want back is Koth.
(Mostly because Scars was one of my favorite blocks and I want to know what happens next, not because I care that much about him)
 
The current popular story theory on Reddit is that Gideon will participate in the trials, finish them, and die (to a God's spear, for narrative symmetry), then Returned!Elspeth will take his place in the Gatewatch
One one hand, I'd be surprised if they were willing to kill off a member of the Gatewatch, but on the other hand, they did kill off Elspeth
 
@murgatroid99 They did, though it was on a plane where death doesn't work normally (and it looks like we are on another one, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone dies here too)
 
5:59 PM
Most of that theory is pretty sound. The card is "Gideon of the Trials", so he probably does participate in the trials. And if someone passes the trials, they are supposed to be killed by Hazoret's spear
 
@murgatroid99 Though I imagine that most of the trial goers don't have an indestructible aura
 
That's true. But we all know what happened the last time Gideon activated his indestructible aura to stop a God's spear from killing him
 
@murgatroid99 But does Hazoret know?
 
@doppelgreener huh?
 
@murgatroid99 Here's an alternate story: Gideon's perspective of the plane turns to horror and dread, and he sees the trials as a farce and these gods to be unworthy of his worship. He decides to complete the trials anyway, and then at Hazoret's altar, surrounded by aristocrats and priests, Gideon faces Hazoret's spear -- and activates his aura.
Hazoret's attempt to kill Gideon instead results in the destruction of his own altar, much of the ruling class, and cripples Hazoret himself.
Gideon strides down from the rubble, meets Liliana, and makes plans to blow this popsicle stand.
Then Nicol Bolas arrives: HELLO, CHUMS. I SEE YOU'RE TRYING TO WRECK MY WORLD, AND DON'T MUCH APPRECIATE THAT.
 
6:15 PM
The problem is that we're not starting at a point where Gideon loves the gods and thinks the trials are a good thing
 
Cue cliffhanger to the Hour of Destruction.
@murgatroid99 Oh, is that so? I thought we were!
 
You'd need to much character arc to get from Gideon now to Gideon who thinks what's going on in this world is reasonable back to Gideon who thinks everything is bad
@doppelgreener Did you read the story?
 
@murgatroid99 I did not.
 
Gideon's whole character arc in the last story was him struggling with the contrast between what he knows of Bolas and what he sees from Oketra, and also struggling with the idea of trusting a God at all after his experiences on Theros
Oketra is portrayed as basically a relatively positive embodiment of white mana: order, cooperation, etc.
But the Gatewatch is still aware that everything there was created by Bolas, and should not be taken at face value
 
I see, that's pretty cool
Liliana seems to be getting treated pretty well for being a necromancer herself, haha
 
7:09 PM
Do we know yet how Exert works with the stack, namely which parts of it actually get put on the stack?
 
@JonTheMon The 'When you do [...]' part is the triggered ability that would go on the stack
The 'You may exert ~ as it attacks' is a decision made when attackers are declared that doesn't use the stack.
 
Thanks. I was wondering if it was one of those "pay as it resolves" type abilities
 
@JonTheMon No, since there isn't actually anything you are paying.
 
7:37 PM
@doppelgreener Their standard MO is using zombies as laborers. She's basically right at home there
 
This [new card](mythicspoiler.com/akh/cards/cartoucheofknowledge.html) appears to be a strictly better Stratus Walk. When Stratus Walk was a card a lot of creatures you would stick it on had Heroic, so you would get the bonus sometimes but not all the time. Plus your flying guy can block non-flying guys with the new card.
Hmmm... not sure what I did to my formatting there
Oh, I know what happened
 
@Rainbolt I wouldn't say strictly better, since the cantrip on Stratus Walk can matter
 
[Links are broken](google.com) when there is a card tag in the same message
@diego The new card has a cantrip too
 
@Rainbolt Oh... In other news I totally know how to read words :)
 
Also, I think the new 4/4 Sphinx is going to be played in standard.
In the last standard where everyone got to play four colors with fetches and duals and having a 4/4 Anafenza on turn 3 was totally normal, I'd say that the Sphinx was too slow. But it seems good in the weaker format.
 
7:49 PM
@Rainbolt I can see that. Do you think it would show up with the demon to get all the value from discarding?
 
I could see that
I think all it would take to make a deck like that viable is some kind of counterspell and removal that also has cycle, and costs 2-3 each.
So you can survive and have something to cycle
Or a sphere of safety type effect that is blue or black
 
@Rainbolt It is a little expensive (and requires a third color), but there is Cast Out
@Rainbolt I doubt that will happen, since that has never been a black effect, and they moved it out of blue a while ago
 
@Rainbolt One benefit of stratus walk was you could cantrip w/o creatures, and you were able to clear blockers from your ground pounders
 
@JonTheMon How do you cantrip without creatures?
 
@Rainbolt I think the idea is use it on your opponent's creatures when you don't have any
 
7:59 PM
Oh I see
Huh... that is a neat trick
I wonder if I ever did that when I was playing Heroic. I know I put ordeals on my opponent's stuff before
 
It didn't come up very often for me b/c I was running GW heroic instead of UW, but I did try the UW version
 
8:32 PM
I'm (sort of) looking forward to seeing people using Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons with cards like Flourishing Defences and Blowfly Infestation and Nest of Scarabs and Archfiend of Ifnir.
Get things, shrink enemies, get more things.
 
A fun interaction in EDH is going to be Nest of Scarabs + Black Sun's Zenith
 
Don't forget your Necroskitter
 
.... [starts taking notes for new EDH deck.]
 
And possibly Melira, Sylvok Outcast is you want to avoid your things getting killed by BSZ and other mass -1/-1 counter cards
 
And yeah, basically anything with Wither. But not Infect, because at my local groups, the moment I play a creature with infect, everyone will be unified under the common banner of destroying me ASAP.
 
8:36 PM
Carnifex Demon is also pretty good with -1/-1 counters
 
(moderately unified. mostly. while stabbing each other a bit. but mostly stabbing at me.)
@diego Hmm. And I can load that up a bit with the new "put three -1/-1 counters on a creature you control" cards.
 
That is what Triumph of the Hordes is for. If you kill them all they don't get a chance to backstab you
@doppelgreener Yep, though the ones of those that look good already have a way to get rid of their counters
 
@diego LOL. Yeah. If I have an infect deck I need to have one that would seal the deal ASAP.
@diego yeah, and actually benefit from having counters put on them.
 
I have a Glissa deck that usually wins with poison counters, but it uses Ichor Rats as its only infect creature (and possibly Inkmoth Nexus I don't remember for sure) and lots of proliferate
 
ARGH! Everlasting Torment is red! I was all excited for a moment. ;_; Time to add the BG color identity filter.
Witherscale Wurm, Tower Above, Rednclaw Trow, and Noxious Hatchling look like the only other BG Wither cards I'd seriously consider, with Necroskitter being a definite yes.
Juvenile Gloomwidow could be good.
 
8:45 PM
With the wurm I would include Viridian Longbow so it can clear counters at will (I'd probably include it anyway, but the Wurm makes it more useful)
 
Wow, I just came across Quietus Spike and Scytheclaw. Note to self: put in a deck one day.
 
@doppelgreener That is such a fun card I have one in my Ashling deck
Also Hex Parasite would be good for eating counters you don't want on your own creatures (or counters you don't want on your opponent's, it's flexible like that)
various proliferate cards would also be pretty good
 
9:21 PM
Here's the current draft: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/vizier-of-snakes/

It's only at 30 (nonland) cards, since I'm not as familiar with the -1/-1 counter sets. This is my first one during the time I've played. Thanks a lot for the suggestions.
 
9:33 PM
I'll leave this one for now since Amonkhet will add more options.
 
 
2 hours later…
11:57 PM
@doppelgreener And it looks like this is going to have more things that care about them than previous sets did
I would probably add a slight reanimated subtheme, because with things like BSZ and Carnifex Demon you are liable to kill your own things on a semi regular basis
 

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