My 5 Cents on… WUBR Partner Configurations

In honor of finally having “official” 4-color options, I’ve decided to give my pre-playtest opinions on the new 4-color Partner configurations.  I’ll start with how I think they work together and give them a score on Compatibility from 1(least) to 4 (most) with only one “4” being awarded, and a score on how likely I’d be to build them as a pair (1 = no, 2=unlikely, 3=possibly, 4=yes) with no gaurantees.

Note that additional card choices/deck context could improve compatibility, but I’m not going to go too deeply into that, though I may mention brief ideas.

The Non-green “theme” is “Artifacts”,  My current xG Tag-Team deck is Zedruu/Syg “Alt Wins“.

The Boss

636129887922246560
Would I play: 4, Since they didn’t want to give me a UR Artifacts Matter commander for this pile of “Thopters Matter’ cards I’ve had ready since Origins, I’ll happily add in a bit of white and black and just use this beauty. Definitely my favorite of the “true” 4-color commanders..

The Built-Ins

636128992911461602+636131750721891591
= Both play well with artifacts, and Silas IS an artifact.
Compatibility: 4
Would I build: 3, it’s a kind of obvious build, though maybe I’d limit myself to only trinkets…

636128992911461602+636128993995333186
= Double Strike on Silas means two triggers, which is good if you have mana to cast both things you target. I wish Silas looked at any graveyard
Compatibility: 3
Would I build: 1

The Friendlies

636130739090770249+636129091629442413
= no real compatibility other than Ishai’s casting cost is actually nice with Vial Smasher.
Compatibility: 1
Would I play: 2 , If I had a non-artifact plan for these colors. They could swap with Zedruu/Sygg okay.

The Cross-Overs

636130866468742594 + 636130754472179654
= No real connection, except Ravos buffs everyone .
Compatibility: 1
Would I build: 1

636130866468742594+636129882931440582
= Both involve the words “life” and “draw cards”.  You get a bonus card if you hit for combat damage.
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 2 I could maybe see them replacing Zedruu/Sygg

636129007540401186636130754472179654
=  Ravos Buffs Kraum, which is cool, and they both fly, so evasion?
Compatibility: 2
Would I play: 1

636129007540401186+636129882931440582
= They both involve drawing cards. Kraum’s evasion means maybe a Tymna trigger.
Compatibility: 2.
Would I build: 1.

My 5 Cents on… WUBG Partner Configurations

In honor of finally having “official” 4-color options, I’ve decided to give my pre-playtest opinions on the new 4-color Partner configurations.  I’ll start with how I think they work together and give them a score on Compatibility from 1(least) to 4 (most) with only one “4” being awarded, and a score on how likely I’d be to build them as a pair (1 = no, 2=unlikely, 3=possibly, 4=yes) with no guarantees.

Note that additional card choices/deck context could improve compatibility, but I’m not going to go too deeply into that, though I may mention brief ideas.

The Non-red “theme” is “Growth”, which means a headache of +1/+1 counters.  My current xG tag-team theme is “Legendary Colors” with Zur and Sisay.

The Boss

636128996408820966
Would I play: 4, because I’ll probably build all of the “True” 4 colors, and this one is really good, but WHY DID THE 4-COLOR ANGEL HAVE TO BE THESE COLORS!

The Built-Ins

636130739090770249+636131657170741618
= Ishai, might get bigger so Ikra might let you gain some more life.
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 1

636130739090770249+636129747427400381
= Both play with +1/+1 counters, and if Ishai has a counter on it, at least you won’t have earned it for naught if she goes to the Command Zone.
Compatibility: 4 but only because they fit more with the “growth” theme than Sidar/Silas.
Would I build: 3 , They’ll be the Built-in party ticket for Election.dec.

The Friendlies

636129003306466806+636128992911461602
= Sure, Silas Renn can be harder to block.
Compatibility: 3
Would I play: 3 , but only because they will be Running Mates  on the Friendly ticket for Election.dec!

The Cross-Overs

636132853087696128636130754472179654
= No real interaction, other than Thrasios being card filtering, then again Ravos automatically works with any other creature (which is why he is the winner of best Partner).
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 1

636132853087696128+636129882931440582
= They both involve drawing cards, but not much overlap other than that.
Compatibility: 1
Would I build: 3, I think this is the X-over party ticket for Election.dec for ballot box manipulation and door-to-door canvassing.

636129959850879459636130754472179654
=  Kydele might help cast another Ravos.
Compatibility: 2
Would I play: 2.  They are dark-horse candidates for being on the Election.dec ticket.

636129959850879459+636129882931440582
= If you can get through for some damage, Kydele is activated.
Compatibility: 3.
Would I build: 3, it might be nice to make an Agro deck with these… of course Melee is mostly a red ability, and that’s how I’d want to build the deck… or Blade of Selves and the old commander creatures that have the that ability

My 5 Cents on… WURG Partner Configurations

In honor of finally having “official” 4-color options, I’ve decided to give my pre-playtest opinions on the new 4-color Partner configurations.  I’ll start with how I think they work together and give them a score on Compatibility from 1(least) to 4 (most) with only one “4” being awarded, and a score on how likely I’d be to build them as a pair (1 = no, 2=unlikely, 3=possibly, 4=yes) with no gaurantees.

Note that additional card choices/deck context could improve compatibility, but I’m not going to go too deeply into that, though I may mention brief ideas.

The Non-Black “theme” is “Group Hug”, though thankfully the deck isn’t too hugg-y.  The current theme of my 4-color Tag Team is “Angels,” so not a lot of help here

The Bosses

636130726426042363
Would I play?: 3, but only because I’m sure I’ll build a ‘true’ 4 color deck with each of these generals.

The Built-Ins

636129003306466806+636130866468742594
= Sidar encourages your opponents to attack, and to attack someone other than you, which triggers Ludevic for them.
Compatibility: 4 (but only because there must be a “4”)
Would I build: 2 (Maybe a pillow-fort with spell protection)

636129003306466806+636129007540401186
= Both are on “theme”. Sidar encourages your opponents to play multiple cheap creatures in a turn, maybe?
Compatibility: 3
Would I build: 1

 

The Friendlies

636130739090770249+636129879238151429
= no real interaction.
Compatibility: 1
Would I play: 1 (even with flying, I wouldn’t give this to the angel deck)

The Cross-Overs

636132853087696128 + 636131750721891591
= Maybe you draw another artifact?
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 1

636132853087696128+636128993995333186
= Maybe you draw something worth beefing up? .
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 1

636129959850879459636131750721891591
= Artifacts cost colorless mana.
Compatibility: 2 
Would I play: 2.

636129959850879459+636128993995333186
= Kydele can help you cast a big creature for Bruse to Buff.
Compatibility: 2.
Would I build: 2. This is the only combo that I would maybe put at the helm of the Angel deck.

My 5 Cents on… WBRG Partner Configurations

In honor of finally having “official” 4-color options, I’ve decided to give my pre-playtest opinions on the new 4-color Partner configurations.  I’ll start with how I think they work together and give them a score on Compatibility from 1(least) to 4 (most) with only one “4” awarded, and a score on how likely I’d be to build them as a pair (1 = no, 2=unlikely, 3=possibly, 4=yes) with no guarantees.

Note that additional card choices/deck context could improve compatibility, but I’m not going to go too deeply into that, though I may mention brief ideas.

The Non-blue “theme” is “ATTACK”.  My current non-blue tag-team is “Token Sacrifices” with Kresh and Hazezon.

The Boss

636129888629565339
Would I build: 2, I mean, probably a “3” but I don’t like having a commander that totally singles out one player. She might be fun in a “Curse” deck though, so yeah, okay, “3”.

The Built-Ins

636129879238151429+636130754472179654
= Buff a trampler, get more opportunities at Saprolings that are Buff. Seems Good.
Compatibility: 4
Would I build: 4  This is very likely to replace Kresh/Hazezon in my current Tag-Team.

636129879238151429+636129882931440582
= More things to attack with, means more things might get through.
Compatibility: 3
Would I build: 3 I don’t know if it would be much different than TanaRavos

The Friendlies

636129091629442413+636129003306466806
= You’re playing small creatures, so Maybe that means you have mana for big other spells?
Compatibility: 1
Would I play: 1

The Cross-Overs

636131750721891591 + 636131657170741618
= Akiri doesn’t get more toughness.
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 1

636131750721891591+636129747427400381
= Putting Counters on Akiri seems decent.
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 2

636128993995333186 + 636131657170741618
=  Bruse targetting Ikra means 14-28 life. That’s crazy.
Compatibility: 3 
Would I play: 4. These two will probably get their own deck.

636128993995333186+636129747427400381
= Reyhan will make things bigger, and bigger things with Double Strike is good.
Compatibility: 2.
Would I build: 2.

My 5 Cents on… UBRG Partner Configurations

In honor of finally having “official” 4-color options, I’ve decided to give my pre-playtest opinions on the new 4-color Partner configurations.  I’ll start with how I think they work together and give them a score on Compatibility from 1(least) to 4 (most) with only one “4” being awarded, and a score on how likely I’d be to build them as a pair (1 = no, 2=unlikely, 3=possibly, 4=yes) with no gaurantees.

Note that additional card choices/deck context could improve compatibility, but I’m not going to go too deeply into that, though I may mention brief ideas.

The Non-white “theme” is “Chaos”, though thankfully the deck isn’t full of a ton of standard red chaos cards.  My current xW Tag-Team is obviously Zombies (Jarad/Thraximundar), so there’s not a lot of help here.

The Boss

636131593420922628
Would I play: 3, becasue I’ll probably build all of the “True” 4 colors.

The Built-Ins

636129091629442413+636129959850879459
= If you have non-spell means of drawing additional cards, Kydele could fuel a big first spell. If your mana is right, Kydele ensures at least 4 damage the turn after playing Vial.
Compatibility: 4
Would I build: 3

636129091629442413+636132853087696128
= Thrasios gives you a better chance at drawing a big spell, or being able to play it (except for the high cost of his scry ability).  Vial’s randomness might also be a drawback.  Maybe play with some top-deck manipulation?
Compatibility: 3
Would I build: 4 (though I probably don’t need another Top-deck manipulation deck)

The Friendlies

636129879238151429+636128992911461602
= If you attack with both of them, maybe they have to choose which one to block?
Compatibility: 2
Would I play: 3 , but only with ways to give them banding!

The Cross-Overs

636131657170741618 + 636130866468742594
= They both benefit you for dealing combat damage, Ikra builds your life total, while Ludevic encourages others’ life total to go down.
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 1

636131657170741618+636129007540401186
= Kraum is aggressive, so maybe it triggers Ikra more easily.
Compatibility: 2
Would I build: 2

636129747427400381 + 636129007540401186
=  Without context or other cards, no real interaction.
Compatibility: 1
Would I play: 4.  Context is King: Kraum’s Zombie-ness, and Reyhan’s “stuff-dying” means they’re  very strong candidates to take-over for Jarad/Thrax, who also play with Skullbriar, who LOVES Reyhan..

636129747427400381+636130866468742594
= Another one that requires more cards to make any context.
Compatibility: 1.
Would I build: 1.

My 5 Cents on… Partner.

  1.  I’ve been using “Tag Team” generals to create my 4-color decks (which have not been featured here, since I couldn’t get enough people to let me play them) for quite a few years.   Partner is pretty close to that, except for the fact that they can both be in play at the same time. So that’s pretty cool. I was definitely not expecting this to be their solution though.
  2. I feel just a tiny bit slighted that they didn’t come up with more “true 4-color” or “4-color Identity” cards.  I know DFCs are expensive to print, so that’s excusable, but it didn’t seem like the Fate Reforged style “activation color’ generals would have been that tough to design.
  3. Partner is neat, though, because it means that there are lots of combination options, and not just for forming new 4-color decks.  I hope they continue to print Partner cards in the future.  Also, it’s incentive to buy all of the decks to maximize combinations.
  4. Partner and Soulbond would be cool. Partner and Meld would be super cool.
  5. Brothers Yamazaki should be errata-ed to have partner.

My 5-Cents On… Jace,

My 5-Cents On… Jace, and the Planeswalkers in general

Jace Batman President of Ravnica

Disclaimer:  I think that the Magic Creative team does excellent work, and a lot of it. In no way is this a criticism on their abilities.

  1. I think Jace is a boring character (despite efforts to make us care about him like his Origins story), so he as a protagonist is really hard to get behind for storytelling purposes.
  2. I think Jace is boring on Purpose:  Jace really seems like he’s the Bella Swan of Magic.  Bland and Every(white)mannish so that anyone (or at least the stereotypical Magic Player that Wizkids is trying to expand beyond) could say, “Jace is just like me.”
  3. I think Jace is meant to be a Wish-fullfilment, sorta Marty-Stu, -ish character. Why does Jace need to be the President of Ravnica, AND Innistrad’s Sherlock Holmes, AND a founding member and mental Batman of the (my apologies to Maro, who I do respect, but respectfully disagree with in this instance) Jace-tice League?  Because the player can then pretend that that’s them.  Good pyschology and marketing, bad for storytelling.
  4. I think it’s unfortunate that Jace is pushed because “Research says he’s the most Popular…”   I think that a decent part of why Jace is “the Most Popular” is because he’s been made to be high profile and the most seen. Jace is popular because of his prevalence, not the other way around.
  5. I don’t dislike Jace because he’s popular, or because of his cards or his popularity alone. This is something Maro tends to throw back at Jace non-enthusiasts: <paraphrased> “some people just like to hate on things because they are popular>.  I don’t like Jace because I don’t think he’s a good or interesting character.  It’s also not about his cards (I’d actually LIKE to see some Jace cards that are more Illusion based rather than: Standard Value Control Engines).

Granted some of this bitterness stems from two main events.

A.  The utterly crushing disappointment of the ending of the Return to Ravnica block storyline.

  • Returning to one of the most excellently built worlds in fantasy gaming? — Great!.
  • Catching up with the awesome characters on that setting?  —GREAT! (I mean, I’d have no complaints with Teysa being the face of magic).
  • There’s a secret mystery hidden at the end of a mystical maze and it’s so awesome and amazing that it’s even got Niv-Mizzet exited? — I. AM. STOKED!… what is it going to be? is it a PW spark? some sort of cosmic power to defeat Bolas? is a Bolas trap? I am so excited.
  • There’s going to be a super Olympics to see which guild gets the prize, AND IT’S COMPETITORS ARE ALL AWESOME LEGENDARY CREATURES FROM THE GUILDS.—-OMFG1!@#$@#$@!#$@$ MIND IS BLOWNTHISISTHEGREATESTSTORYEVERWHATISITGOINGTOBEAAAAAHHHHHHH******
  • THE PRIZE IS!!!!!!: …. non-Ravnican Jace is now the President of Ravnica?  fuuuuuu……….

B: Having Innistrad 2, a set I wasn’t excited for at first, be a really awesome pseudo-victorian mystery set, but having Jace be the Sherlock Holmes instead of a cool Innistradi Legendary Creature.

How to fix the problem:

  1. Do something to make Jace actually interesting:  was I the only one that picked up on some non-izzet chemistry with a certain izzet-allied plansewalker?  That would be a bold character choice for a “flagship” character.
  2. Don’t just jam Jace into every Protagonist Role. Granted, he’s not the only face character, and they have been making Gideon into a bit of the Muscle Batman, or having other characters share the spotlight, but really it seems like Jace is the Main Main character.
  3. Bring Back Gerrard…nah, he was only slightly less boring, while being the least interesting member of his team.