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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Spoiled on twitch today

Selesnya - Convoke

Boros - Mentor - Whenever this creature attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on an attacking creature with less power

Dimir - Surveil - Scry, but use graveyard instead of bottom of library

Izzet - Jump-Start - Flashback, but discard a card as an additional cost to flashback. Possibly the flashback cost is always the same as the original cost?

Golgari - Undergrowth - Ability word for abilities that count the number of creatures in your graveyard


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:28 pm 
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Convoke is a fine mechanic. Hopefully they push it enough that some reach Standard play but not too much. Funny we get this as Improvise leaves.

Mentor seems boring as hell. But if you think I won't take the opportunity for my 1-drops to get power boosts as I move up the curve, you're dead wrong. Especially since I'm a pretty heavy Monored player.


Surveil is an ability that I foresee getting at least one great in Modern card, maybe more. And probably a six or seven drop that people go "This would've been amazing at four" about for years.

Jump-Start seems like a boring mix of Flashback and Retrace but maybe the cards end up being fun and/or good enough that it doesn't matter.

Undergrowth isn't what I was hoping for but it will hopefully work. Too bad it's kinda a non-bo with Scavenge as those creatures want to leave the battlefield. I foresee a card at like 1BG with "Destroy target nonland permanent if it's CMC is beneath your Undergrowth".


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:40 pm 
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That's not how mentor works!
I suppose Surveil will push scry out of the block entirely. They'd look weird next to each other.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:02 pm 
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Please say surveil can be used on your opponents

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Nope


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:38 pm 
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I am totally fine with surveil not working on opponents' stuff. Fateseal is an unfun mechanic. In large doses it just kills the game. Granted, putting it into the graveyard at least gives some opponents a way to bring it back.

Surveil sets up both Jumpstart and undergrowth quite nicely. Mind, it's a supporting mechanic by nature. It exists to set other things up. Convoke and Mentor don't really have any interaction.

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*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:48 pm 
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These are kinda underwhelming.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:18 am 
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Convoke is always satisfying to play with.

Mentor sounds cool. It reminds me of evolve.

Surveil should be interesting. I wonder what sort of synergies the Dimir will have for putting cards in your graveyard.

I like Jump-Start. Yes, it's "worse flashback", but that just means it'll be cheaper. Sounds like it'll be less like "I might flash this back later in the game," and more like, "I can jump-start this as soon as it's useful," since jump-starting costs the same amount of mana as casting it.

Undergrowth is a little boring, but it's certainly very Golgari, and it could be fun to play with.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:42 am 
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Once you mentor a creature, you might not be able to mentor it again since it is now bigger. So mentor wants you to have lots of small creatures, same as convoke.

Between convoke and undergrowth, I guess it just gives a backup plan if your creatures get killed.

Between mentor and jump-start, spells can pump creatures so they're big enough to use their mentor ability, or stop enemies from blocking so mentors don't die. I agree that there's not as much synergy as Dimir has with the guilds that share its colors


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:38 am 
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Surveil feels more golgari than dimir, I wonder if it was a late inclusion, I'm not sure that it fits a controlling/milling deck that much, compared to just having access to scry.

Also if mentor really doesn't target it could appear on a card like hero of bladehold.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:46 am 
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Surveil to me fits Dimir as another flexible mechanic that can fit a lot of different paths, like transmute.

I really like mentor (aka buddy cop movie mechanic) and jump-start (aka you become the spellshaper). A lot of response I've seen so far is that they are weak mechanics, which they are in a vacuum. But I don't think mechanics need to be strong on their face and always better than previous mechanics. Mechanics should serve to build the set, not the other way around.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:05 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Jumpstart kinda solves the problem of costing flashback spells since those always had "Draw a card" as a hidden text. So they don't need to make the flashback cost of Jumpstart Shock 5R or something just because of the card advantage, which should even make matches more dynamic. It kinda feels underwhelming because it is not as splashy as replicate or overload were. The same can be said more or less for undergrowth.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:37 pm 
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You know what, yeah, it's unfair to just say "Oh this is a worse version of this older mechanic". Making the mechanic itself 'weaker' can (not always but can) add more depth and let it be pushed harder now that it lacks some inherent strength.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:15 pm 
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okay so real thoughts:
Convoke: I like Populate better, but I understand that it has limited and demanding design space.
Mentor: Doesn't really give me the Boros feel, kind of dull, but okay from a gameplay perspective.
Dimir: Dimir already has Transmute, I don't like that they keep getting consistency tools that should ideally be spread among more colors. Cipher was more gameplay oriented and gave them a real identity, even if the mechanic was worse on face value.
Jump-Start: Outside of disliking the name, including the hyphen, I think it's solid. I like how it chains into itself. Not entirely sure how it plays into Izzet since re-using spells instead of trying out new ones seems contrary to their ideals?
Undergrowth: Really underwhelming, but I guess it fits their identity fairly well.

that said I hope they give Haunt another real go in the next set instead of their stupid "extra etb trigger" they used first, Haunt didn't need to be so lame.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:21 am 
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One advantage Jump-start has over flashback from a design perspective is that it is less likely to be forgotten about. If you cast a spell on turn 2 and it has a flashback cost of 6 it may be completely buried and forgotten by the time it is relevant again.

In a deck with Jump-start it is going to be harder to play some random expensive cards because lands 6 and 7 are likely to be discarded. This is the first izzet mechanic that doesn't want you to have extra mana.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:43 am 
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I never considered that. Good catch.

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CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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