• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

We're all just here for the deep Urza lore - Talking about Magic: The Gathering!

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
i am legit debating whether i can afford to get ten sets of the bob ross lands to actually have a playset
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I believe those codes are only good through December 14th, so don't sleep on them if you want them.
 

Tangent

(she/her)
I've been trying to get a skeleton of my pet-project cube built on tappedout.net. The more specifically cube-oriented sites people have posted links to might be a better place if I actualy get this into a playable state, but so far the visual editor on tappedout has been helpful.

The current draft is up at: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/multiplayer-mini-cube/?cb=1607146982

The cards there are organized into the Jumpstart-style packs (minus their basic lands). For now I'm trying to build packs with a clear flavor identity, and then trying my best to find mechanics that work within that flavor.
  • Black/Blue is a rogues/mill pack mostly using the cards from Zendikar Rising (I might pivot this to ninjas if mill doesn't work out for balance)
  • Black/White is vampires/clerics/lifegain
  • Black is zombie tribal, and mostly copy-pastes the Liliana pack from real Jumpstart
  • Green/Black makes saproling tokens and then sacrifices them for value, with the archetype mostly coming from Dominaria draft (IIRC)
  • Green/Red is dinosaur tribal and focuses on the Enrage keyword (creatures that provide value when they take damage)
  • Green is a loose beasts pack, copy-pasting the Garruk pack from real Jumpstart
  • Red/Black is pirate tribal with sub-themes of taking control of opposing creatures and also sacrificing them
  • Red/Blue is a spells/wizards archetype, mostly cribbing from ZNR
  • Red is a dragon pack that is adapted from the real Jumpstart dragon packs (my wife likes dragons so I had to pick them over goblins)
  • Blue-Green is a ramp and sea creatures cribing a bit from one of the ZNR precons
  • Blue-White is a flying tribal pack (I might try to push it more specifically to thopters to make artifacts-matter possible)
  • Blue is a basically just a copy-past of the Teferi pack from Jumpstart; needs some attention
  • White/Green is a +1/+1 counter theme, mostly taken from M21 (I might push this toward a cat tribal sub-theme)
  • White/Red is an equipment-matters/warrior pack, cribbing from the other ZNR precon (I suspect I don't have enough equipment cards to actually make it work)
  • Mono-white is angels (not exciting, but I like angel in MtG)
For now I'm sticking with the idea of one planeswalker in each pack (matching its colors), which was actually kind of helpful since it limits the space of available archectypes a bit. I might drop them later since there are often better-suited cards for those multicolor slots.

I'm definitely not done iterating on this since some of the packs are thematically weak and/or just crib directly from Jumpstart, and I'm worried that the archetypes don't overlap enough to make for interesting drafts. Rather than keep iterating in a vacuum, I'm hoping that some feedback from more experienced players could help identify the places where I'm way off base.

(One note there is that I'm primarily thinking of this as a cube for casual 4-player multiplayer, so I'm mostly interested in balancing for the setting instead of 1v1)

Edit: I’ve already spotted at least one serious problem, since I had the three-color Ghave in a two-color green/black pack.
 
Last edited:

Tangent

(she/her)
(I know I'm double-posting here, but this is unrelated to the preceding post)

Since I'm relatively new to MtG I only recently found out that I went and did just about the most cliche thing for a new player. Most of you will probably already know one or more newbies that did the same thing, but I'll go ahead and share my sad story.

My initial plunge coincided with the start of the COVID-related lockdowns, and like many I engaged in some "retail therapy" as a way to cope. Among those unwise purchases was one of the Double Masters VIP packs, from which I pulled an extended-art Kaalia of the Vast. I read the card and realized it was an easy recipe for a Commander deck, and went about putting one together.

The result is that I have the most bog-standard new-player Timmy deck possible, and even just playing it with family members I immediately ran into the (well-known, I later found out) problem that Kaalia is really hard to build and play in a way that is fun for everybody involved. If the opponents don't know what to expect, Kaalia might cheat out some fatty early and create a big threat, but you instantly become the archenemy and get swatted down. From then on people just counter or bolt Kaalia as soon as you try to cast her. It's the counter-intuitive thing where the deck is "too strong" so you lose every game.

I could try to tech out the deck to protect Kaalia better or implement a backup plan for cheating out the creatures, but it seems like that would only be digger deeper into "unfun" territory. The sad bit is that I had originally thought Mardu colors would be a good idea, because I was intentionally avoiding the two "best" colors.

The deck really appeals to the Timmy in me (my real name *is* Tim after all), but I'm realizing that it is likely to sit on a shelf forever. If anybody has advice on how I could repurpose all these angels and dragons and demons into other shells that are more fun to play against, I'd be interested to hear. Alternatively, if people have advice for better commanders to pick that are fun to play with/against, I'd welcome advice (bonus points for using Mardu colors so I can use the same mana base).

(Sadly, my second EDH deck effort also turns out to be a complete cliche: I went and built a mono-black "Liliana tribal" deck. Apparently I am just That Guy.)
 

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Old Kaalia is a pretty archenemy commander. If you want to play her, you have to resign yourself to having a giant target on your back the whole game. You could turn down the power of the deck by using the less good Kaalia. That's probably the fastest fix.

Otherwise, do you have more of one type of the three than the other, or is there a tribe you prefer? We could probably offer some tribal deck suggestions based on that.
 

Tangent

(she/her)
My deck leans a bit more heavily the angels than the other tribes, so that's probably the right direction for me to go. The two Kaalias seem to be the only on-flavor Mardu commanders for angels, so it might mean dropping down to Boros or mono-white.

I included he Bruna and Gisela meld cards just because the concept is neat, so if I went mono-white angels I might try to argue Rule 0 for them as partners.

The other big option I can see that lets me re-use a fair number of the cards is to pivot toward doing an underpowered but flavorful Innistrad deck that focuses on double-sided and meld cards. I could use Avacyn, the Purifier as a Boros commander there and I doubt anybody would complain about the power level. Then I could add Hanweir, the Writhing Township and other nonsense like that. Is there by any chance a flavorful and fun Innistrad commander in Mardu colors?

(Aside: Eldritch Moon seems like it was basically Bloodborne in MtG and I'm all about that.)
 

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Edgar Markov is THE go to for Innistrad Mardu commanders, but he's all about the vampires, powerful enough that everyone will hate you, and super expensive to boot. If you wanted to stick with the Angel theme you could try Tariel.

There are surprisingly few Mardu Commanders out there. I was sure this would be a bigger pool to choose from.
 

Tangent

(she/her)
I agree that Edgar Markov doesn't look like a step in the right direction if I'm trying to avoid painting a target on my back. Either Tariel or Kaalia, Zenith Seeker seem to be the better flavor fits for my pile of angels without risking being the archenemy.

I'm not wedded to the Mardu colors (although my wallet might complain). I think the bigger issue is that I need to fight my natural tendency toward cliche deck ideas that don't leave a lot of interesting choices during brewing. I looked at ninja tribal and then realized that there isn't a ton of variety in how to build that deck either.

Meanwhile, my wife's dinosaur deck with Atla Palani is a ton of fun to play with/against even if it is also a "cheat out big creatures" deck like Kaalia. I guess the randomness makes a big difference.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
There's lots of ways to go with Mardu, if that's the colour combination you want to stick to. Tymna/Vial-Smasher can scale pretty competitive, as can Queen Marchesa. If you're looking for a reanimator strategy, you could go with Tariel, or a more specialized reanimator deck with Alesha. Mathas has a rather unique ability that could lend himself to a group hug (or group slug) deck. Syr Gwyn or Zurgo are good voltron Commanders. The recent Commander Legends partners have opened up a lot of strategies, so it's kind of the wild west when it comes to those. If you're curious about Mardu decks, EDHREC keeps a running tally of each commander and the various strategies that go along with them.
 
The Bob Ross lands are great because if you tell someone with zero familiarity with Magic: The Gathering to paint a swamp for a magic card there won't be a fucking skeleton emerging from it
 

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
Man, if you want to be hated off a table even more than you are with kaalia, go with Edgar Markov.
 

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
Or this...

 

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Kaldheim is out on MTGO and MTGA now and the arena version seems pretty stable. Anybody else crack into it today? I did a pair of sealed pools. The first was a red black berserker deck that basically built itself- lots of good removal, lots of berserkers, both red black sagas, etc. Did pretty well with that one then washed out early with a sultan snow deck that just didn’t quite come together.

On a mechanical level fortell is an amazing mind gaming mechanic. If your opponent is holding a card in hand, you can make them discard, or hope they’re sandbagging a land, but a fortold card is always action and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Seems pretty fun so far. I’m looking forward to doing a draft when I get the chance this weekend.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
I've done two drafts, one ok green-blue with a Koma, and one very good blue-black foretell deck.

I am thrilled to have a new limited set. IMO Zendikar got stale in limited over a month ago, and I'm enjoying the new mechanics so far!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I did one draft yesterday (7-2, though I hadn't drafted all month so it was still in brone/silver rank) with a blue/red deck that splashed green for The Bears of Littjara. I had three Mistwalkers and the artifact shapeshifter that gets a +1/+1 counter when you play a creature of your chosen type, and The Bears of Littjara did serious work every time it hit the board, even with just one shapeshifter on the battlefield (once with none).

I had also first-picked Dragonkin Berserker, and while I only got to play it in one game, it was played on curve and I don't think I had to play another card all game. If you're able to boast with that thing even once, you're so far ahead.

Foretell really expands how many lines of play are available to you at any given time, which is pretty wild. I do wonder how it will feel when a little more time has gone by and we're all more familiar with the set, but for now it still feels like 4D chess.
 

SabreCat

Sabe, Inattentive Type
(they/them)
Büge mentioned Spelltable in another thread, which has only exacerbated my cravings for some paper Magicking. Thing is, I don't have a really extensive collection (you can flip through what I've got here, it's mostly pickups from Limited and a small number of Commander precons), and I don't have a single card from any set since Theros Be Determined. How do people break into something like Commander even at a casual level? Maybe set a budget and grab as many staple-y, top-played cards as will fit from something like EDHREC?
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
The Commander preconstructed decks are designed to be a decent springboard into the format. They typically seed the decks with a few legendaries that could support their own deck theme. Starting with a precon and modifying it to suit your tastes is probably the most penny-conscious way to get into Commander. Tomer Abramovici, over on MTGGoldfish.com, has a whole article series on budget builds and precon upgrades.
 

Tangent

(she/her)
I would second the MTGGoldfish articles on how to expand the precons. I like that they consider different budgets.

On the Kaldheim drafting front:

Despite me saying in earlier posts that I want to build a cube to draft with friends, I have no practical experience with drafting/limited (a byproduct of picking up this hobby during the pandemic is that I've never been to a prerelease event or draft at an LGS).

I decided to try to take the plunge and start the practical learning process with KHM on MTGA and... wow... I'm getting curb-stomped pretty badly. I've gone 1-3 most times, with a personal best of a 3-3 record and a sobering 0-3 yesterday. To be clear, I'm enjoying the process; it would just be a bit more enjoyable if I could work toward improving my W-L numbers.

My deck construction, sequencing, etc. could all use plenty of work (I went 1-3 in sealed when I tried it, so I'm not a stellar player by any measure). That said, I think my biggest issues are around the draft itself. I find myself panicking because of the timer and scrambling to try and evaluate picks or identify what colors are open.
 
Kaldheim draft is pretty challenging. I've drafted every new set on arena at least a bit for a while, but I've managed 5 wins once, and ended up with 0 to 2 wins several times w/ Kaldheim. It's a relatively complicated set with a lot of powerful stuff you can just...lose to. You should try drafting with bots when that comes out, since you get unlimited time for picks. It makes the whole process a lot more leisurely.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I decided to try to take the plunge and start the practical learning process with KHM on MTGA and... wow... I'm getting curb-stomped pretty badly. I've gone 1-3 most times, with a personal best of a 3-3 record and a sobering 0-3 yesterday. To be clear, I'm enjoying the process; it would just be a bit more enjoyable if I could work toward improving my W-L numbers.

My deck construction, sequencing, etc. could all use plenty of work (I went 1-3 in sealed when I tried it, so I'm not a stellar player by any measure). That said, I think my biggest issues are around the draft itself. I find myself panicking because of the timer and scrambling to try and evaluate picks or identify what colors are open.

I second the recommendation to do bot drafts if you're having trouble with the timer, especially with Kaldheim. I've done a handful of drafts now, only the first one went to 7 wins. I had a 5 win draft today with a deck I thought I was going to go 0-3 with, and in between I had some decks I thought were great but never made it past 3 wins. Most died at 1 or 2. The format is very, very tough, especially if you're still trying to learn to draft in the first place.

I don't know if you've already done a bunch of Zendikar Rising drafts, but it looks like that's the current quick draft (aka bot draft) format until the 12th. I liked that format a lot -- the archetypes are pretty clear, and once you're comfortable you can branch out into some more subtle deckbuilding approaches. Maybe try starting there instead of with Kaldheim?

Also, I don't know if you're interested in this sort of thing, but I've been copiloting drafts sometimes with a friend and that's been hugely helpful for both of us. A lot of the time we'll see something the other missed. I'm not an amazing limited player by any means but I'd be down to draft with you if you want.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I've been copiloting drafts sometimes with a friend and that's been hugely helpful for both of us.
Seconded. This is the only way I draft these days. We're more effective *and* it's more fun, since it turns it into a social event.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
This all reminds me, we should do another TT draft again one of these days. That was really fun!
 

SabreCat

Sabe, Inattentive Type
(they/them)
I dunno why I shy away from upgrading precons straight up. Maybe it's that I don't like the commanders (at least the ones I have so far), or that I prefer the joy of building a thing with my own theme rather than hewing to someone else's.

Anyway I put together a couple of decklists, pretty low on the power scale but that's OK for now. The "how to build a commander deck" article I worked from recommended including at least one game-winning combo in case you get stalled out on playing fair, so I ordered a few cards to make that possible. Once those show up... well, probably I'll just play versus with my wife, though maybe I'll figure out Spelltable and find some people to join in with, eventually!
 

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
I'm having good times in Historic lately but this game takes the cake for ridiculous end states.



Lost game 3 and the match to timeout cause I blew my match timer putting counters on everything.
 
Top