Friday, March 31, 2017

Amonkhet Predictions

Neckbird, Lord of the basement dwellers

Hoo boy it has been a long time since we had something up. I was thinking it was the beginning of March but it was actually February. Oh how time flies when you've been drunk for 2 months straight. Just don't tell my bosses "But if you were really drunk for two months straight I'm sure they knew." Oh they definitely knew but I don't need anyone taking their side.

We've been gone for so long because standard has been fairly uninspiring lately. Any time Dan or I have an idea for a silly deck we end up not doing anything with it because we know it just won't compete with Mardu Vehicles or Cat Combo. Normally our silly decks can be somewhat competitive but in the current standard, unless were playing against other homebrew decks we just can't compete.

Also, I'm not gonna lie, I've been super lazy lately. I have a couple ideas for articles that I just haven't felt like writing yet. Every time I have a minute of free time I usually just spend it getting furious as I try to climb the ladder in competitive Overwatch. No matter how bad it gets I just keep coming back to her because it can only get better right? Wrong. It's a trash game and I'm a trash player so now I'm running back to Magic in hopes that she can forgive me and take me back in her warm, safe embrace.

With all that out of the way I wanted to write this because this is my favorite feature we do. With some spoilers have being released this week and official spoilers starting next week, I wanted to put out the Heavy Salami predictions so that when were write we can sell our psychic abilities to the police and get our own TV show where we use Magic cards like tarot cards and we find peoples lost animals and predict the weather in cities that start with the letter "P". "Well what's the weather like?" There's a 90% chance of it being shitty with a possibility of scattered sadness. Next week it looks like disappointment and regret.

I wanted to do a prediction on what the Masterpieces would consist of but since those are already spoiled, it's a bit hard to do. I will say that I did predict that Counterspell and Wrath of God would be printed and that the cards would look Egyptian. With that as an intro to my predictive capabilities let's go to the things we don't know yet.

It Will be a Shard Block

We already know that Nicol Bolas is Grixis colors and we got his spell Dark Intimations in Aether Revolt giving us a preview of Grixis as well. Each shard will also have an associated "clan" of sorts that will fit into Egyptian themes with corresponding mechanics.

Grixis - Zombie/Mummy - This wedge will probably have graveyard shenanigans as we can expect from blue, black, and red. To differentiate mummies from just straight up zombies they will probably have something to do with creating a weaker token to fit in the flavor of "preserving the organs."

Jund - Scarabs - Jund will be super annoying bug tokens with some sort of poison mechanic that isn't poison. Like venom, or toxin, or bad-ness. If you get hit by X number of creatures with "bad-ness" in a single combat you lose the game. You know, like you were swarmed with scarabs and died. But weaker than poison because it doesn't stay with you. I mean think about. I can fight off one scarab and live, but like 100? Or maybe even 5? That sounds pretty rough.

Esper - Sorcerers/Wizards - Yes wizards are somewhat of a basic creature type in the world of Magic, but think more of the Egypt "sorcerers" who used illusions and card tricks to pretend they had magic so the pharaohs wouldn't kick them off the top of the pyramid. They'll have some ability that'll block a creature without actually blocking like "during combat on your opponents turn target creature becomes block because he's so spooked by your illusion magic and the pharaoh lets you live another day."

Naya - Cat people - We already know there's gonna be cat people from the spoiled booster art. That's what Naya will be filled with. Cat people gladiators. It will have some new aggro mechanic that helps the common cat rise up against the oppressors. It will be the opposite of Esper and be something like "when this creature attacks, target creature an opponent controls also attacks your opponent because only together can we break free from the chains of the dragon pharaoh.

Bant - Anubis's - Anubi? Anubiseses? I don't know what the plural is of Anubis, but that's what Bant will be. They'll be the gladiator sorcerers that are really running the show in Amonkhet. No I'm not biased because Bant is my favorite three color combination, that's just the way it is. The Anubis clan will be all about relics and heiroglyphs mostly dealing with enchantments and auras but in a new way. Vague enough for you? Good me too.

Gideon is Super Gonna Die

I mean think about it, it would be most appropriate that the guy who's "indestructible" is the first to go. Plus with Wizard's wanting to keep a super team of five, it's about time they cycled someone out and brought in a new friendly face we can hangout with for a while. Nicol Bolas will probably eat him or sacrifice him to a god, or eat him and declare himself god. On the note of new friends...

Elspeth is Coming Back

Elspeth died sure, but on a plane with a bunch of gods. Where are the planeswalkers now? On a plane with gods you say? Well Elspeth used her super planeswalker abilities to negotiate with a Theros god to be revived in another world in exchange for leaving Theros because all of the gods are sick of planeswalkers since planeswalkers are stronger than the Theros gods. So it's a win-win for everybody. I guess except for Gideon. It's cool, he'll come back way down the line as a black planeswalker when Liliana gets bored and leaves when she decides to go do her own thing.

We're Getting Either a BG or BR Planeswalker

In standard we obviously have a planeswalker for each mono-color but we also have a planeswalker for every combination of two colors except for black/red and black green. We have Kiora, Sorin, Arlin Kord, Dovin Baan, Saheeli, Nahiri, Ajani, and Tezzeret. We will probably get something like:

The face of fear in Amonkhet

Bugzzy would obviously be Jund and his mission is to make his scarab babies cover your body. Swarm is the name of the mechanic I made up earlier that allows you to win the game if X number of scarabs do combat damage to a player in a single combat. Bugzzy either lets you swarm your opponent or he gets all beefy from your scarab sacrifice. Is he balanced? Who knows. Is he flavorful? Again, I don't know, I've never had scarabs. Scabies on the other hand, I've had that. I've had lots of that.

When you're a cat pharaoh, the world is your litter box

You would think Cleocatra to be Naya because she is a cat, but she ascended beyond the foolishness of cat gladiators or catiators if you will. She is now queen pharaoh and joined grixis using her cat magic to summon her army of mummies to squash anyone in her way. Also because she is pharaoh she can have all the catnip and naps she wants and if the pharaoh wants to knock your glass wares on the ground, then she will.

Some Other Cards We Can Expect to See:

Overcompensation For Mardu Vehicles

This is what Heart of Kiran looks like on drugs

Mardu Vehicles is strong. Real strong. We need some real good artifact removal and sometimes when you go too far in one direction you over correct in the other. Copter got banned because Wizard's was nice enough to realize that a reality where Copter and Heart of Kiran are in the same standard together means that there would have only been one type of deck in Standard. The banning was unfortunate, but maybe they'll decide to un-ban it when they give us this fresh "Kills Mardu Vehicles" card.

Something That Accidentally Makes Cat Combo Better

Maybe if we stand still no one will notice

Wizards play tests and looks at what might happen with the release of new sets. Sometimes simple cards get overlooked and just make silly things happen to the standard meta. With Mardu Vehicles being so prominent it's pretty safe to bet that a card slips through the cracks and accidentally makes cat combo better. If will either be something to help you get the pieces you need, or just an alternate way to combo out, but it's coming like an Egyptian train. "What's an Egyptian train?" I'm pretty sure it's just a bunch of pyramids chained together...

A Card Creates a New Powerful Deck

If you don't understand the art, go play Kirby Super Star
Along the same lines as the card mentioned above, there will be a card that synergizes perfectly with something else in print and creates a different standard deck now that Mardu Vehicles was been shut down by over correction. As soon as spoilers start officially, someone will look at this card and go "Oh if I pair it with this other card I just instantly win, perfect." And that's just the way it goes sometimes. At least we'll be oppressed by a new deck for three months.

A Flavorful Board Wipe That is Almost Standard Playable

The real joke here is red players thinking they could ever get a board wipe
My other pick for this card name was Sandstorm but I felt like that would be a white card. Amonkhet seems like a really neat and flavorful world so we're bound to get something like a worse Fumigate in a different color. Red seems like it would be neat, but it will probably either end up in black or we'll get a soft board wipe in blue. Green will just get more things to feed the snek deck. No removal needed outside Walking Ballista.

New Mechanics

Wizard's has been great with the flavor of the last couple of sets and they aren't going to quit anytime soon. We'll definitely be getting some sort of mummy mechanic having to do with bringing things back and preserving their organs. Or maybe we just get some mechanic about worshiping cats, which isn't too hard to believe because some people are already worshiping a cat combo. Something like the above card would be neat, because you're essentially putting your pharaoh in a tomb but then they come back as a mummy/zombie but you can still have a new/same pharaoh on board. I'm sure if this were ever printed, this would be the thing in Amonkhet that fuels a ridiculous new Standard interaction but hey, I'm not R&D...yet...

I give Wizard's a hard time about all of the things I expect to be printed in upcoming sets, but for any Wizard's employees who ends up accidentally finding this just know that according to my psychic abilities I can see a not too distant future where Standard is super. Wizard's changed a lot in a short period of time. They went from three set blocks to two set blocks while simultaneously dropping core sets. They also fairly recently decided to have Standard be four blocks long rather than the initially decided three blocks. All of this together is going to take some experimenting and some work to get a Standard where we are seeing four or five different decks placing in major events. Each block that has come out has been great and things are only going to get better. In the meantime, I'm going to hide behind the internet and make jokes about Standard at Wizard's expense with my 1000% accurate predictions. But just know Wizard's my wallet may not love you, but I sure do, and I know that even greater things are to come.

And readers, please know. We may disappear from time to time but we are never truly gone. We will bring you new articles from time to time and we are hoping to get more consistent with our salami streaming. We like to throw things around on twitter so check us out @Heavy_Salami and if you don't hear from us for while, know that our salami will always be in your hearts.

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  1. 10/10 would salami again

  2. GOD DAMNIT! Y'all motherfuckers are wrong. Ain't gonna be no shard block!

    1. Ay we're just here to talk about how there's totes a shard theme around Grixis in HOU. I think that counts. If it doesn't count, I'm moving my goalposts until it totally counts haha

  3. Oh yeah, 12 column inches of rock hard salami. Just what I need to get my week started.

    They just spoiled the allied dual lands (they CYCLE) so it's definitely shardy. As for fixing vehicles/cats, I never remember how far ahead of time they print sets. It seems that fixing the cat combo requires instant-speed interactions, which I'd imagine has a heavy impact on the set. As for vehicles, hopefully Amonkhet is hostile to artifacts for theme reasons so they had that built in.