Friday, August 12, 2016

Not Lost but Totally Forgotten - The 3 Most Neglected Mythics of PT EMN

Missed the post after the last Pro Tour? Heavy Salami has you covered - check out the last list (which is actually still relevant) by clicking on this text!

This was most definitely NOT neglected.
Sup nerdles, it's Dan the Salami man here to talk about cards that need some love.

Oh boy, Pro Tour weekend. What a fun time for us neckbeard mages. Three exciting days of intense competition during inconvenient time zones (for me) to see who can both play Magic the best and flick the cards in their hand the fastest. It was a doozy, with plenty of cool decks, slick plays and notable events such as that one guy winning like 400 awards and getting second. Way to go, guy with the extremely distinct part in your hair.

But for a majority of players, the Pro Tour isn't something actively watched to see high-level Magic be played, or to follow the stories and careers of the players. Most players are just interested in what sick new decks are popping up, and what bomb-diggity expensive cards are going to be the bane of Standard.

Quite a few cards from Eldritch Moon made a splash. Elder Deep-Fried showed up in force, using four of its eight arms to tap down four permanents turn after turn, while the other four extended their middle fingers. Ishkanah, Grafwidow had at least a thousand spider babby throughout the tournament, Grim Flayer rearranged a lot of cards, and Liliana ultimated way  more than anyone expected. And of course, Emrakul, the Promised End made good on her promise. I'm pretty sure there was more coverage of players taking control of other players' turns than there was of regular Magic.

"Yeah, you should -3 your Ob Nixilis on your Kalitas. That is the correct play."
I mean damn, even Shaman of the Forgotten Ways, some dumb goober from Dragons of Tarkir, showed up in not one, not two, but three  entire 75 card lists in the top 8. Even my favorite fishlady, Kiora, was in the sideboard of one! Truly a unique Pro Tour, and players brought a variety of spiffy cards to the table.

But they didn't bring all of them. Like that one kid on the high school basketball team who is really tall so his parents made him play but he's not particularly athletic, many new and exciting cards ended up just sitting on the bench. There's nothing wrong with these cards - in fact, a lot of them are stupidly strong, and could be doing some real busted things, but they didn't see any play. What gives?

We're gonna take a look at three cards that everyone (or, well, I) thought  were going to be super good, but ended up being cardboard poop. Now I'm not saying that these cards are actually bad. In fact, I'm sure decks will emerge - pun intended - with at least one of these cards in them, and they'll end up seeing their time in the spotlight. Due to the current meta or current pool of cards, they haven't been given a chance to shine, but they are definitely worth keeping your eye on. So let's check it out.

Coming up in third, the losing-est of the losers:

More like Descend upon Tier 2.
This one was super shocking to me. Between Avacyn making everything indestructible at instant speed, and the ever looming threat of Selfless Spirit - or god forbid, Selfless Spirit at instant speed off of Collected Company - I figured "Destroy" effects wouldn't be as good. There are also a lot of powerful new cards that get outside of Languish range, such as Emrakul, Elder Deep-Friend, and Ishkanah, along with the old staples of Dragonlord Atarka and World Breaker. Plenty of biggun's. Yet even with all these big booties, Languish was the boardwipe of choice for the B/W Control deck in the top 8 that eventually won the tournament.

Descent has one thing going against it - six mana cost. That is a lot. Boardwipes need to be able to come down early so the control player doesn't get stomped by little dudes, and if they come later, they better offer huge upside. Well, this hits one of those checkboxes. Exile is not at all irrelevant with how many Graveyard/Delirium strategies there are, and the possibility of leaving behind a 4/4 flier for yourself is the hotness.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see this card pop up as a one or two-of in some lists from here on out. Recurring Ishkanah with Liliana or Grapple With the Past was a pretty common play, and being able to shut that down could be huge. It wouldn't take all that much to turn Delirium on by the time you're ready to cast this. A deck with this spell could play Evolving Wilds, will definitely play an instant and sorcery, possibly a critter, or just mill with Liliana, so the 4/4 flier is likely. If you're looking for a way to get an edge over a Delirium deck, consider running one or two of these main or sideboard, and you can finally be rid of that spider for good.


Landing in second, not even able to be the best of the worst:

"Oh no, the Boarror!"
The pig (these pigs?) look ready to fuck shit up. Call it Cratersnout Baconhemoth - he's a huge, tromply, non-Kosher dude who pumps your team for a game ending swing. There were even plenty of Emerge strategies floating around, which is the kind of shell this porker wants. Then why didn't we see him trample his way to victory last weekend?

Obviously Decimator plays best with a board full of critters. If you happened to catch many of the games, that wasn't the plan for any of the Emerge decks. They controlled the board until they could land Emrakul, or string together multiple Elder Deep-Fucks to lock out an opponent, so Decimator would have amounted to a 7/7 trample haste, which is no joke, but not as good as Emrakul.

Decimator needs a deck like Elves to be competitive in. Honestly, a list that floods the board with Thornbow Archers, Elvish Visionaries, and then casts a Shaman of the Pack to drain for a bunch would be a great home for this little piggie. Alert! Dream scenario coming up. Assume the opponent is in a coma or something:

Chip them for three or four the first few turns with Thornbow, cast Shaman of the Pack to drain for another four or five, to have them somewhere around 10-12 life, and then Emerge the Boarror to pump all your midgets and swing. Seems OK. Even though we lose a lot of the strong Elves from Magic Origins at rotation, I think we're one Elvish Mystic away from living the dream, so keep an eye on this guy if a low-to-the-ground green deck shows up. Maybe even some of those budget mono-Green Werewolves stompy decks I've seen floating around could use this effectively as their finisher?

We had the highest hopes, and she managed to fail most spectacularly:

I'm still not convinced this art isn't just a screen-cap from an Anime.
If, during spoiler season, someone told me that there would only be one copy of Gisela out of every Pro Tour deck that got six or more wins, I would have called them a dumb idiot. A 4/3 flying first strike lifelink for only four mana? That's insane! How is that not the best card in Standard? When I was initially brewing decks for the new season, Gisela was a huge concern for me, and I made sure every deck had a way to deal with this beast. Yet here we are. She is nowhere to be seen. Womp womp.

Turns out, another Mythic from Eldritch Moon has already rendered Gisela entirely obsolete.

"Good luck playing low-toughness fliers, assholes." - Spiderlady
Ishkanah blocks Gisela and doesn't even care. Whatever, just gonna eat this angel. Even if the Gisela player manages to deal with the big momma, the three spiderbabby give three turns worth of chump blocks to find an answer for Gisela. On top of that, she dies to Languish easily, Liliana's +1 makes her a joke, and basically every kill spell in the format deals with her without any problems. There is upside, though.

"I just need to never go outside again" - Innistrad Resident
That shit will fuck you up. That is way scary. The only list I could find running a Gisela was this dope Naya Legendary list, in which Thalia's Lancers helped to find Bruna, the other chunk of Brisela. The payoff is obviously big and tentacular, so I can see the appeal. I just fear that Gisela herself is too easily dealt with to be much of a force for quite a while. Trust me, I'm surprised. I even gave her the 2nd highest rating in my articles evaluating the Eldritch Moon Mythics (Part 1 and Part 2). Just like every other white woman in my life, Gisela has got my hopes way up to only crush them a few weeks later.


That's it! Normally I'd do the top five forgotten Mythics, but since my list from the last Pro Tour is still relevant, fuck it. Also it's Free Donut Friday at work, so I've got some donuts to smash. Post rotation it'll be a whole new game (jk it's still Magic), and a new bunch of cards will be here to let us down. I personally can't wait to see what new and creative ways Red will fail to compete with White and Green, so I look forward to it.

Until next time, buddy.

Was there another Mythic so forgotten that even I forgot it? Think one of these actually saw a lot of play and I'm just a big fat dumb dumb? Know what game I should play on the PC next? I just beat Mystical Ninja on my N64 emulator and now I'm open to suggestions. Whatever the purpose, shout out to us by leaving a comment below, or using the email form on the right! You can also find us on the Twatter @Heavy_Salami, or look out for our articles on the awesome!

1 comment:

  1. Obviously being a fallen angel is a tragedy of Homeric proportions, but to also be a *bad* fallen angel? You sold out and all you got was this lousy T-shirt.