News and RumorsMODO Gets Powered Cube 12/19/12

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MODO Gets Powered Cube 12/19/12

Post #1 by Thrillho » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:57 pm

The powered cube includes the original Power 9 (5 Moxen, Black Lotus, Time Walk, Timetwister, and Ancestral Recall), Commander and Vintage staples (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault), and previously absent mana fixing (Ravnica Block Signets), as well as "every other card that R&D is horrified of made the list."

Events start on Magic Online December 19.

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From DailyMTG:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/a ... ature/223b
What would you take from this pack?




Click to see all cards

(I'd take Ancestral Recall, personally, but a brief poll of the Pit indicates opinions are
fairly evenly split among Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, and Library of Alexandria.)

The most broken cards in history are coming to Magic Online with the new Magic Online Cube: Holiday 2012!


If you're new to Cube, here's the general idea: A Cube is a selection of a few hundred Magic cards. Typically, the cards in the Cube have a theme of being powerful Constructed cards from across the history of Magic. You divide those cards into fifteen-card "booster packs" and draft them as you would a regular set. However, unlike a regular set, there is only one of each card; you'll never have multiples of anything.

The Magic community is totally awesome. The best parts of my day are reading forums where people talk about their Magic experiences and learning what sorts of games they want, what they're enjoying, and what they want R&D to do more of.

In particular, there are a bunch of forum discussions dedicated to the Magic Online Cube. There are two common threads throughout those
discussion: (a) why isn't there more mana fixing in the Cube and (b) jeez, where is the Power Nine?

Briefly, there's not a ton of mana fixing because too much mana fixing tends to make every deck at the table the same sort of three-color midrange deck that just wants to gain raw resource advantages via long, boring attrition fights. And there wasn't power before because we didn't think the time was right to bring the Power Nine to Magic Online.

Even though the ability to collect the Power Nine in Magic Online isn't currently available, we thought it would be nice to let players experience the most powerful cards in Magic in the context of... the most powerful cards in Magic.

The addition of the Power Nine caused the power level of the entire Cube to shift upwards dramatically. In one playtest, I was looking to draw a land on turn one so I'd be able to play Griselbrand on turn one. I missed, so I could only use Black Lotus to power out Liliana of the Veil on the first turn and set up an Animate
Dead for Griselbrand on the second.

So what is the real impact of adding power to the Cube?

Black Lotus | Art by Christopher RushAncestral Recall | Art by Mark Poole

Obviously, Black Lotus and Ancestral Recall are going to kick things up a notch, but it's not very fun to take an unpowered Cube, add a bunch of Moxen, and call it a day. You end up with a Cube where the best cards are wildly more powerful than the second-best cards, even if the second-best cards are stuff like Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It's not very fun to play against Black Lotus if you don't have any busted cards yourself.

A lot of these new additions to the Magic Online Cube are so powerful that it's just correct to take them in a draft, independent of context. People play off-color Moxen in Vintage, after all, and Ancestral Recall and Time Walk are always worth splashing. So we added more than just the power. Mana Drain, Mind Twist, Tolarian Academy, and basically every other card that R&D is horrified of made the list,
and we started looking for new ways to keep the power level somewhat flat.




In the unpowered Magic Online Cube, we chose not to include the Ravnica-block two-mana lands. When you play Dimir Aqueduct, for example, you get ahead a card in exchange for a minute tempo loss. The risk-reward tradeoffs for two-mana lands are more attractive than we would like. It's often correct to take two-mana lands before solidifying your color choices because of the raw card advantage they offer. However, once you have a bunch of two-mana lands in your deck, you're going to naturally look to take more gold cards and push the color fixing that you've gotten for free with your card-advantage-producing land. The result tends to be multiple drafters with many-colored midrange decks looking to grind out as much value as possible. The game play of those decks gets stale rather quickly, and so we avoided the two-mana lands to try to make Cube decks less homogenous. Now, though, we're comfortable including these powerful
lands because they help raise the overall Cube power level such that it's not all concentrated in the Power Nine.

(An aside: one argument in favor of playing with two-mana lands in an unpowered Cube is that if you manage to punish the two-mana land player with land destruction, you get a huge advantage. My response has always been that it's not very fun to have such binary play patterns with two-mana lands. Either you kill the land and get way ahead, or you don't and you're way behind. Either way, it's not very satisfying.)

We included the Ravnica-block Signets alongside the Power Nine as well. The Signets take away some of the incentives to play green and tend to lead drafters toward similar kinds of three- or four-color midrange decks I was talking about earlier... but once some people in your draft have access to artifact mana that is totally busted, it's nice to have some level of artifact mana there for everyone.




The other big impact from the influx of powerful cards is a hit to
one- and two-color aggressive decks. Most of the powerful additions to the Cube produce degenerate amounts of mana and propel slower controlling decks into the late game, where their most powerful spells can shine. Most aggressive decks want the game to remain in the early stages for as long as possible, using cards like Tangle Wire or Rishadan Port to stunt opposing mana development. Unfortunately for the beatdown decks, there are a lot more Mana Vault variants than Strip Mine variants.

We have done what we can to enable the beatdown decks. The Ice Age pain lands help smooth the mana of aggressive decks while not being very attractive for slower decks that have to manage their life total more carefully, and we've tried to enable a lot of ways to answer powerful artifacts with value. Even so, we think that midrange decks will be somewhat more powerful in this version of the Magic Online Cube and that hyper-focused aggressive decks will be somewhat behind. In a lot of ways, we're experimenting here to
see what people enjoy the most—there have been a lot of requests for more mana fixing and more powerful cards in the Magic Online Cube, and we're trying to deliver on those wishes as much as possible.

Games with power can get pretty wild. Outrageous plays can happen when you start combining Black Lotus with Time Walk and various Planeswalkers. We think it's important that the Cube is fun to play with and draft over and over again—unlike Magic sets, the Cube is largely fixed and unchanging—and we're hoping that the higher variance from the power doesn't drive people away from the Cube.

This special Holiday Cube will only be available from December 19 until January 2, and you can check out the full details here. Please, let us know what you think of the new Cube and if you're having more fun playing with the power in this Cube than the normal Magic Online Cube. We are always listening, and we're always looking for ways to make Magic more fun.

Max McCall (m_mccall)


New Black Lotus Art:
Available Online Only | Art by Chris Rahn



The Power Nine on Magic Online

Working on the Magic Online business team, I often get asked, "When are the Power Nine coming to Magic Online?" I can now definitively answer December 19, 2012, with the Magic Online Cube!

Unfortunately, that isn't the answer to the question players are really asking, which is, "When will players be able to build decks with the Power Nine?" That answer is a bit more complicated.

Magic Online is still exploring what the best way to release the Power Nine might be, and while we have some very interesting ideas, none of them are "the one!" Some may feel we are being overly cautions, but this decision is more complex than it seems on the surface and certainly not one we are taking lightly.

We need to make sure all of our internal teams are on board with how we bring the Power Nine to Magic Online. We also need to come up with a plan we think our players will like. Ultimately, we want players
to have more access to these cards than they might in paper, but we also want to ensure that the cards maintain their status as Magic royalty.

In the digital age, there is a fine line between collectable and commonplace, and we need to be very careful with our distribution. We want the cards to be accessible, but not ordinary, and to this end, we are not going to rush to a decision. We will continue to tweak the various ideas we already have or examine new ideas as we design them, and when we find the plan that makes the most sense for us and our players, we will bring the Power Nine to Magic Online.

For us, this means more brainstorming, meetings, and planning. For you, the players, it means that we ask for a little more patience. That said, with Magic's 20th anniversary on the horizon, I can't think of a better way to celebrate than letting our fans collect—and build decks with—these amazing cards before the end of 2013.

Thanks and have fun,
Chris Kiritz
Magic Online Business Manager"[/
quote]
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Post #2 by ( G_R ) » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:08 pm

Magic Online is still exploring what the best way to release the Power Nine might be, and while we have some very interesting ideas, none of them are "the one!" Some may feel we are being overly cautions, but this decision is more complex than it seems on the surface and certainly not one we are taking lightly.


At least they say there's hope. Still, the P9 will ruin casual, unless Classic remains Power-less and Vintage is "born" online. :|

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Post #3 by Thrillho » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:08 pm

http://www.gatheringmagic.com/adam-styb ... ic-online/

Full list of what's going in vs. out (minus 2 White cards?) on Seds' hub.

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Post #4 by imopen2 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:40 am

I think sol ring is being highly undervalued in that poll (not that it really matters). My picks would go Recall, Lotus, Sol Ring. I think library is being overvalued here as the continued advantage of the ring and the moxen are imo more important than the chance to draw a few extra cards in the game. I rarely end up with a bunch of turns to be durdling around drawing cards with a full hand in cube
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Post #5 by imopen2 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:54 am

and now that i've looked at the full list of additions and cuts here is my opinion:

black lost a lot of it's speed, white lost some of its protection but is mostly fine, green actually lost a lot of its mana fixing but retains a lot of power cards (genesis, SoF etc), red didn't lose a whole lot but it wasn't that good anyways, blue is the winner of the colors imo losing a lot of counters but gaining recall, time walk, drain etc. it's obvious that wizards wants to push the artifact strat more in this cube (which is good because it sucked in the last cube) and they succeeded. metal worker is an amazingly powerful card (with a nut draw you could cast a colossus on turn 3), and tolarian academy is another powerful effect in addition to the moxen, lotus, signets, vault, and ring that all add extra speed to the easiest cube archetype there is.
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Post #6 by Checkbox » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:26 pm

Sol Ring is the pick, not even close.
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Post #7 by Checkbox » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:55 pm

Also, this means I might finally give MODO cube a try.
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Post #8 by poggydude » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:59 pm

how is sol ring better than crypt?

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Post #9 by Thrillho » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:18 pm

poggydude » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:59 am wrote:how is sol ring better than crypt?

you don't lose to coin flips in a format where you only have 20 life instead of 40.
Ancestral Recall is the obvious pick though by several furlongs. It's a splashable card that is the best in the game in a format where you're building a deck and not just picking the most powerful card in a void. There are many colorless accelerants (albeit not as powerful as Sol Ring and the rest of that stacked pack) in this new Cube and no card that compares to Instant: Draw 3 cards for essentially any color.

You also have to assume you're either wheeling another colorless accelerant or a blue card from that pack.

Recall is snap first pick for that OP.

Edit: You are guaranteed to wheel a colorless accelerant
in some form and may have Timetwister or Mana Drain wheel (it is unlikely Mana Drain will wheel, but it's also not impossible).

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Post #10 by Checkbox » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:43 pm

I think I'd still pick sol ring and let the rest of the table fight over the blue stuff. Sol ring goes in literally every deck, where even recall can be left out of mono red.
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Post #11 by poggydude » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:24 am

i definitely am on the bandwagon for recall, i just like crypt more than ring

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Post #12 by Checkbox » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:11 am

The 1 mana doesn't make that much of a difference at that point, whereas the 1 damage per turn can actually be relevant depending on the deck you are throwing Crypt in. Ring goes in every deck and doesn't give any fucks.
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Post #13 by poggydude » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:50 am

that 1 mana gets relevant enough imo. i guess i dont prefer crypt to ring, im more just surprised that ring was being mentioned a lot but not crypt

also it is 1.5 damage a turn learn2expectedvalue :)

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Post #14 by Checkbox » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:21 pm

Nevermind, I thought it was Mana Vault for a second. Yeah, Crypt is better compared to Ring than I thought, but ring still >> Crypt.
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Post #15 by Thrillho » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:31 pm

ancient tomb has wheeled before. what is an ancient tomb with variance getting you?

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Post #16 by Checkbox » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:29 pm

I don't understand the words you strung together in that question.
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Post #17 by imopen2 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:51 pm

Checkbox » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:29 pm wrote:I don't understand the words you strung together in that question.


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Post #18 by imopen2 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:52 pm

the crypt is great, no doubt, but the ring is better. over the course of a game that will probably take at least 8 turns and probably closer to 11, you have possibly killed yourself with the crypt. it is an instant include if you get the crypt but i take the ring over it every time
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Post #19 by poggydude » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:22 am

Thrillho » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:31 pm wrote:ancient tomb has wheeled before. what is an ancient tomb with variance getting you?

crypt is closer to mishras workshop than ancient tomb

it gives you three mana turn 1 not 2
it is banned in legacy
it is not a valid comparison

with that said i see why youd want ring not crypt, im just surprised it hasnt gotten a mention, that card is the nut in more than just edh

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Post #20 by Checkbox » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:57 am

oh, thats what he was saying
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Post #21 by Thrillho » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:00 pm

poggydude » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:22 pm wrote:
Thrillho » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:31 pm wrote:ancient tomb has wheeled before. what is an ancient tomb with variance getting you?

crypt is closer to mishras workshop than ancient tomb

it gives you three mana turn 1 not 2
it is banned in legacy
it is not a valid comparison

with that said i see why youd want ring not crypt, im just surprised it hasnt gotten a mention, that card is the nut in more than just edh

banned status in legacy has stone nothing to do with cube. yawgmoth's will isn't a card in the wizard's cube and that card is banned in legacy and restricted in vintage.

you take 1.5
damage a turn every turn (on average) versus 2 damage only when you need to.

this is not EDH/vintage where i storm kill you turn 1 (unless i misread the current list and most of the storm kill cards are all still in). this is also not EDH where random 3 damage is incredibly relevant.

i'm not saying it is a bad card, i'm saying there are many reasons i would not take this card and that it is not as good as you are playing it up to be for your own reasons and other "not valid" reasons.

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Post #22 by imopen2 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:35 pm

in reality the pack will not end up like this. the choice will be more like jace vs crypt or nicol bolas vs a mox
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Post #23 by Checkbox » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:43 pm

obv
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Post #24 by poggydude » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:10 pm

Thrillho » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:00 pm wrote:
poggydude » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:22 pm wrote:
Thrillho » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:31 pm wrote:ancient tomb has wheeled before. what is an ancient tomb with variance getting you?

crypt is closer to mishras workshop than ancient tomb

it gives you three mana turn 1 not 2
it is banned in legacy
it is not a valid comparison

with that said i see why youd want ring not crypt, im just surprised it hasnt gotten a mention, that card is the nut in more than just edh

banned status in legacy
has stone nothing to do with cube. yawgmoth's will isn't a card in the wizard's cube and that card is banned in legacy and restricted in vintage.

you take 1.5 damage a turn every turn (on average) versus 2 damage only when you need to.

this is not EDH/vintage where i storm kill you turn 1 (unless i misread the current list and most of the storm kill cards are all still in). this is also not EDH where random 3 damage is incredibly relevant.

i'm not saying it is a bad card, i'm saying there are many reasons i would not take this card and that it is not as good as you are playing it up to be for your own reasons and other "not valid" reasons.

i mean im pretty sure it is a moot argument because we are both smart enough to realize the obvious pick is a call.
there are enough times where crypt has outshined sol ring for me that i was just expecting it to get recognition. /shrug

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Post #25 by Checkbox » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:36 pm

The sorted list and discussion thread are up over in the cube forum:

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=260&p=12981#p12981
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whisper words of wisdom


Thrillho » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:27 am wrote:let it be known that my official decree as administrator of this site is that the grimmace's dick is 16" long.

Kaitscralt » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:41 am wrote:it's not cheating if you hand her the jizz afterwards

imopen2 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:55 pm wrote:Get the hairbrush out of your ear and put it in your ass where it belongs, then try again



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