Monthly Archives: September 2017

THE MANA DORK – Ixalan FAQ

by September 27, 2017

THE MANA DORK – Ixalan FAQ!

Ixalan FAQ The Mana Dork

Ixalan is here! Dinosaurs, pirates, vampires, merfolk, strong narrow answers, excellent graveyard hate, Opt in Modern, “Gaea’s Cradle” in Modern—it’s everything we want!
(… you have no idea how hard it was not to just submit 800 words of roaring and stomping around for this article… )

ixalan faq gishath sun's avatar

Now, for the past few sets, what I’ve done is run down the mechanics and a couple of suggested synergies for Sealed play, to help prep you for the Pre-Releases.
But there’s lots of places online that do that better than I ever could—you’ve got Luis Scott-Vargas’s Limited reviews for ChannelFireball (white, blue, black, red, green, gold/artifacts/lands), you’ve got the usual prep articles put up by Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and _____________, and so much more.
So instead, what I’m going to do is answer some questions in advance. We’re going to do an Ixalan FAQ here on the Mana Dork, and hopefully save you some precious time.
So! To the Ixalan FAQ!

ixalan faq admiral beckett brass

Admiral Beckett Brass—Note than when her second ability triggers, all it cares about is that Admiral Beckett Brass is on the battlefield during your end step and that, at some point, an opponent took combat damage from at least three different Pirate creatures. So you can cast the Admiral during your second main phase and get the trigger—even if the other three Pirates are dead.

Arguel’s Blood Fast—The transformation is a “may” ability. You can keep the Greed/Erebos effect around if you want. And frankly, I would. Two mana and two life for a card at instant speed? Yes, please!

Bellowing Aegisaur (Ravenous Daggertooth, Sun-Crowned Hunters)—Because of the way triggered abilities work, anything that would cause a Dinosaur to die or you to lose the game as a result of combat damage will happen before these abilities could save you. It’s ironic, really. These Dinosaurs can’t save each other, or themselves. My prequel memes fail me, I guess. [Editor’s side note, with two Bellowing Aegisaurs and a Walking Balista you do have an infinite combo in your hands ;)]

Bloodcrazed Paladin—Since tokens do go to the graveyard before they vanish, this guy will count tokens that died this turn along with non-token creatures still in the yard. Don’t miss out on those extra few counters!

Conqueror’s Galleon // Conqueror’s Foothold—Two things about this bad boy. First, if it dies in combat, it won’t transform. Second, it transforms the same way the planeswalkers did in Magic Origins—by exiling itself and then returning transformed. This means it comes back untapped. Govern your Foothold accordingly.

ixalan faq deadeye plunderers

Deadeye Plunderers—Remember that damage stays marked on a creature until end of turn. If you block with these scallywags and then sacrifice Treasure tokens for mana, their toughness goes down—and they might die!

Fathom Fleet Captain—It’s a triggered ability, not an activated ability. Because of the way triggered abilities work, you can only do this once per combat (as awesome as it would be to just summon as many Pirates as you have mana!).

Hostage TakerFUNCTIONAL ERRATA—The printed card looks like it can infinitely flicker itself. However, it has received functional errata. The first sentence now reads: When Hostage Taker enters the battlefield, exile another target creature or artifact until Hostage Taker leaves the battlefield.

Kitesail Freebooter—Note that if this is destroyed or exiled before its ETB ability resolves, the opponent will reveal their hand, but exile nothing.

Makeshift Munitions—No, you can’t sacrifice a Treasure to pay for both the mana cost AND the “Sacrifice an artifact or creature” cost. I know, it’s a pain. I sure wanted to.

ixalan faq rowdy crew

Rowdy Crew—I see it all the time with Brainstorm, so I’m going to call it out here on the Ixalan FAQ, too: you can’t cast an instant-speed spell you draw off of Rowdy Crew before you have to discard. The drawing and the discarding are all part of the same ability, and nothing can happen in between (as much as we might want it to).

Shapers’ Sanctuary—FYI, because of how the stack works, if you draw a counterspell thanks to the Sanctuary’s ability and the thing targeting your creature is a spell (for example, Walk the Plank), you can counter it with your counterspell before it hits your creature!

Spell Swindle—Most of the time, when we look at a spell with X in the cost, X is considered to be 0. But when a card with an X-cost is on the stack, X is whatever the opponent paid for it. So Spell Swindle will count the X-value of the spell on the stack, along with its CMC, when you’re figuring out how many Treasure tokens you get.

Tilonalli’s Skinshifter—Because of how triggered abilities and declaring attacks work, Tilonalli’s Skinshifter won’t copy another creature in time to copy its attack trigger as well. Among other things, this means that unfortunately, you can’t instantly mill an opponent by swinging with both Tilonalli’s Skinshifter and Fleet Swallower. (But man, that would be sweet. Remind me to build a deck with Fleet Swallower and Fraying Sanity… )

ixalan faq deeproot waters

STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP

Hope you enjoyed the Ixalan FAQ and are ready for release weekend! We have drafts on Friday at noon & 3:30 pm, on Saturday at noon & 4:00 pm, and on Sunday at 2:00 pm! We also have Sealed going on Friday at 6:30 pm!

… but remember, there’s still events happening even if you aren’t interested in Pirates vs. Dinosaurs Magic action! This Saturday is our Legendary Game Night and Sunday is the Netrunner Monthly!

See you at the store!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular STOMP ROAR STOMP STOMP BITE GNASH STOMP. STOMP ROAR ROOOOAAAAARRRRRRRR STOMP STOMP STOMP his column about all things Magic!

Magic Legacy Bi-Monthly – November

by September 17, 2017

Registration/ Check-in: 11:00 am
Player Metting: 11:50am
Parings Announced: 11:55am
First Round: 12:00 pm
Entry Fee: $20 (cash) or $22.60 (debit/credit card)

Prizing: 100% of entries fees are paid out in store credit as follows:

First Place: 50%
Second Place: 25%
Third/Fourth Place: 12.5% each

Event will start on time regardless of number of players present.
Players can enter into the event late, taking a loss for any rounds they enter late.

Planeswalker Rule Change – Judgement Day

by September 24, 2017

Recently, Wizards announced that there was a big change coming with Ixalan that changes the planeswalker rule. Before going into this change, I’m going to briefly cover the history of how planeswalker rule has worked historically.

planeswalker rule tapping cardboard

For all of these examples, Player A will have a Gideon, Martial Paragon on the battlefield. In the beginning, there could only be one copy of each different kind of planeswalker on the field at one time and if another came in, they both blew up. If player B cast Gideon of the Trials, both Gideons exploded as a state-based action. There were no survivors.

planeswalker rule change ex1

Then, the planeswalker rule was updated so that each player got to control one copy of each type of planeswalker, regardless of what their opponent had. Now, that Gideon of the Trials got to live across the board from the Gideon, Martial Paragon, but player A would not be able to have both a Gideon, Martial Paragon and a Gideon of the Trials themselves.

planeswalker rule change ex2

So how will the planeswalker rule change with Ixalan? The rule is changing to be exactly like the “Legend rule”, insofar as a player may only have one copy of a Legendary card of each name. In fact, all Planeswalkers will have the “Legendary” supertype from Ixalan forward. This means that player A can have both Gideon, Martial Paragon and Gideon of the Trials active at the same time because they have different names.

planeswalker rule change 3

Now that we’ve gotten the technical bits out of the way, let’s talk about what this actually means for players on the ground. This change is going to impact different formats in different ways. Limited formats aren’t really going to be too affected by this change as having multiple copies of different planeswalkers is pretty rare (chaos drafts excluded). Constructed formats are going to be a different story.

Modern is most likely going to see a lot of what I’m calling “double-Lili Jund” or Jund decks that run both Liliana of the Veil and Liliana, the Last Hope because they are both high-value three-mana planeswalkers. Legacy will definitely see more players running Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Jace, the Mind Sculptor side-by-side for maximum control. There may also be some decks in both formats that play Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and Tezzeret the Seeker together for artifact shenanigans. However the biggest impact will be the increase in power of “superfriends” Commander decks as they will be able to have an even bigger board presence with many more planeswalkers.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t mention Standard as being effected by this change and that’s because I’m not entirely sure if it will have a major impact on the format. Once Ixalan drops, we’re going to have 19 planeswalkers but how many see consistent play? I can pick maybe 4 (Chandra, Torch of Defiance; Nicol Bolas, God-Pharoah; Liliana, Death’s Majesty in reanimator decks; and maybe Gideon of the Trials) and none of them have the same type as another so there won’t be any danger of abuse of the new rules.

I also think this heralds a really positive change for Standard going forward. Some people may not see it, but Wizards’ R&D department has been pretty good about making sure that nothing is too abusable and/or broken in Standard (save for the stuff they made when they thought rotation was going to change the first time) and I think this rule change is going to force more diversity. I, for one, am pretty dang tired of always seeing members of the Gatewatch pop up every 2-3 sets (which is partially why we currently have 3 Gideons, 3 Chandras, and 5 Nissas in Standard). This change will mean that Wizards has to be more careful about which planeswalkers they use in order to properly space them out across the sets. It will also mean that they will probably get more creative with their designs of planeswalkers so that they are not always doing the same shtick every time to prevent any possible overlap in power.

There are a lot of doomsayers out there right now saying that this will be the “death of Magic” or it’s at least the event horizon of its downfall, but I really can’t see that happening. Will some environments be different because of this change? Definitely, but the metagame will just have to adapt to meet it (get your foil Liliana’s Defeats right now folks). Will someone come up with some broken combo? Maybe in casual or Commander, but that’s not going to warp anything irreversibly or destroy a format. If you look at this critically, this change is good for the health of Magic, R&D, and the future of the game.