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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 1:36 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-12 3:20 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Aggro_zombies wrote:
In order to abuse this when you're the one casting it, you'd have to have a Norn or some other Anthem effect (or Urabrask) in play, in which case I somehow doubt anyone else is going to chip in


..That's pretty much what I said. I was discussing situations in which I would pay mana into the spell if an opponent cast it. I would never cast it myself. It's a pretty terrible card.

herodotusjr wrote:
Pooled Wisdom U
Sorcery
Join Forces-- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Each player draws X cards, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

That's... really bad. Short of a situation in which one of my opponents has a win on the board, I would NEVER pay mana into this. There's a 90% chance that whoever is casting it is playing a combo deck. Nor would I cast it myself.

herodotusjr wrote:
Suicide Pact BBB
Sorcery
Join Forces-- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Each player chooses X creatures he or she controls and sacrifices the rest, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

That's pretty much the worst card I've ever seen.

herodotusjr wrote:
Arms Race RR
Sorcery
Join Forces-- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Then choose one: Arms Race deals X damage to all creatures; or Arms Race deals X damage to all players, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

Okay, that one's playable as a red wrath effect, if you're not playing white or black.

herodotusjr wrote:
Shared Burden GG
Sorcery
Join Forces-- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Each player puts X +1/+1 counters distributed as he/she chooses on any number of creatures he/she controls, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

Just bad.


Let me try.

Shared Disdain 2B
Sorcery
Join Forces -- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Then each player reveals their library. Starting with you, each player chooses X cards revealed this way and exiles them, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

Goodbye combo pieces. Goodbye mass LD. See ya next game Time Stretch.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 1:42 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-13 2:13 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Memphis, TN
Alliance of Arms has potential as a defensive card. If somebody's winning with giant ground pounders or an Eldrazi, giving everyone blockers is neat, especially since everyone except the one guy is incentivized to contribute.

It would be sweet to cast this when you have a Vicious Shadows.

If you have a lot of life (or a Soul Warden), Carnival of Souls plus Alliance of Arms turns every point of X into B per player. For example, 4W becomes twenty black mana in a five player game.

And the Suture Priest combo isn't just cute. It's an Exsanguinate (that doesn't drain your allies if you're playing Star.)


Good Job!
W
Sorcery
Join Forces - Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Then each player high fives another player a number of times equal to the total amount of mana paid this way.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 1:59 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-03 10:07 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Milwaukee, WI
kaldare wrote:

herodotusjr wrote:
Suicide Pact BBB
Sorcery
Join Forces-- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Each player chooses X creatures he or she controls and sacrifices the rest, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

That's pretty much the worst card I've ever seen.


Ouch, man. These are admittedly pretty bad, but "worst card you've ever seen"? Pretty sure Magosi, the Waterveil and Sorrow's Path would like to have a word with you. At the very least this card doesn't actually HURT you when you play it.

Kaldare wrote:
Let me try.

Shared Disdain 2B
Sorcery
Join Forces -- Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Then each player reveals their library. Starting with you, each player chooses X cards revealed this way and exiles them, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.

Goodbye combo pieces. Goodbye mass LD. See ya next game Time Stretch.


This would take FOREVER to resolve, even if we assume that people would want to pay mana into it. Sick of just searching your own deck for the cards you want? Now you can search EVERYONE's deck at the same time! My Complexity-Scoop reflex (for cards like Thieves' Auction) is tensing just THINKING about it.

Aggro_zombies wrote:
It's inherently flawed in the same way that Howling Mine and its ilk are inherently flawed - your opponents benefit first. And since there's more of them than you, any amount of mana you pay into the spell ends up contributing far more to hurting you than helping. For example, if someone casts your "Pooled Wisdom" above in a four-player game, every 1 I pay nets me one card and my opponents a combined three cards. That means I can pay 1 to face a full turn cycle's worth of fresh cards now, which hardly seems worth it unless I'm about to win and just want the style points. Any setup you could create to make these one-sided will either be obvious, or one of those, "Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me" kind of things.


This is a good point-- but even so people do play Howling Mine effects (admittedly usually only when they can make them asymmetical). I dunno. I see what this ability word is supposed to do, but I don't have the creative acumen myself to make it worth playing. I would hope that WotC is better at this than I am.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 2:27 pm 

Joined: 2009-Feb-09 4:00 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
herodotusjr wrote:
Aggro_zombies wrote:
It's inherently flawed in the same way that Howling Mine and its ilk are inherently flawed - your opponents benefit first. And since there's more of them than you, any amount of mana you pay into the spell ends up contributing far more to hurting you than helping. For example, if someone casts your "Pooled Wisdom" above in a four-player game, every 1 I pay nets me one card and my opponents a combined three cards. That means I can pay 1 to face a full turn cycle's worth of fresh cards now, which hardly seems worth it unless I'm about to win and just want the style points. Any setup you could create to make these one-sided will either be obvious, or one of those, "Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me" kind of things.


This is a good point-- but even so people do play Howling Mine effects (admittedly usually only when they can make them asymmetical). I dunno. I see what this ability word is supposed to do, but I don't have the creative acumen myself to make it worth playing. I would hope that WotC is better at this than I am.

Well, this mechanic is the most obviously For-Timmies thing since having a large power and toughness, but it really, really suffers from people being able to pay zero and still get the effect. If you had to actually pay mana to get in on it, it would be far more interesting because there would actually be some strategic element to it. Meh. It's not even good in Two-Headed Giant because the other teams can mooch off of your investments, but as someone said earlier, it could be good in Emperor and other limited-range formats where you can contain the number of people contributing/getting stuff for free.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 2:30 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-12 3:20 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
herodotusjr wrote:
Pretty sure Magosi, the Waterveil and Sorrow's Path would like to have a word with you.


Hey... I acually play Magosi... It lets me skip turns in the midgame when I have nothing to do, and get extra ones later when I need them. I've also taken infinite turns with it before. Used a Control Magiced Karn to animate an opponent's Rings of Brighthearth and then used Rite of Replication on it.
10U, T, Remove a counter, Return to my hand: Get 6 extra turns after this one. :twisted:

As for Sorrow's Path, Bazaar Trader baby! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 3:57 pm 

Joined: 2009-Aug-03 8:55 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I once had a great Magosi combo In Big Box, but didn't realize it until after the game. Opponent had about 15 damage headed my way...

Suspended Riftwing Cloudskate with 1 counter
Magosi
Delaying Shield

I should have skipped a turn and taken two turns of damage, during upkeep stacked Delaying Shield and then Cloudskate, Cloudskate could bounce Delaying Sheild.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 5:31 pm 

Joined: 2011-Jan-03 4:23 pm
Age: Drake
...Or you could play it with no intention of breaking it (when did "cannot be abused" become synonymous with "unplayable"? I thought Commander was supposed to be free of the cutthroat impulse! And no, I don't see how the only way to defeat the vicious is to become more vicious. I can't trace the logic at all...Where is it written that the weak cannot defeat the strong?). Instead, you use this when a player several turns after you (e.g. you're player 1, they're player 4) has very few or creatures, AND you, player 2, and player 3 could assemble enough mana for 2 and 3 to cut down 4. (Remember the name of the ability. You're supposed to be joining forces AGAINST someone else, right?) Assuming 4 has 5 life and no indestructibles, and you have enough mana along with 2 and 3 to pull this off...

Step 1: Wrath of God (if only to make this example easy)
Step 2: Cast Alliance of Arms. If you only have two extra mana (two tokens each player), look for a way to convince 2 and/or 3 to supply three additional mana.
Step 3: 2 sends their tokens in to self-destruct against 4's tokens. (Ideally, 2 will have a creature they can cast, with or without haste, so THEY don't suddenly look supremely tempting for you and 3 to attack)
Step 4: 3 attacks 4 with their own tokens. Since 4 doesn't have anything left...

I will own that Death by Dragons could do better in this regard, but we need to start SOMEWHERE. And at least remember that between games, there's always the option of backroom deals (e.g. "I supply at least this much help when you next cast Alliance of Arms, if you do X, Y, and Z against player 3, and W against player 4"...). Granted, I'm mostly remembering from how things went with Pirates of the Cursed Seas...


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 7:42 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Skyknight wrote:
...Or you could play it with no intention of breaking it (when did "cannot be abused" become synonymous with "unplayable"? I thought Commander was supposed to be free of the cutthroat impulse!


You are absolutely right about that, but in this specific case, I feel this line of reasoning doesn't work.

Take any random "staple" of the format... say Body Double. Now, you can certainly abuse Body Double with some Reveillark shenanigans, but even if you don't try to break Body Double in half, it's still a solid, highly playable card.

Alliance of Arms, on the other hand, is essentially a GROUP HUG card, meaning it is symmetrical. Symmetrical cards like this can easily backfire on the caster, so negating the symmetry is just part of the fun and strategy of utilizing a card like this.

Trying to make Alliance of Arms less of a "group hug" turd is not cutthroat by any means. SOME cards stand well enough on their own to be playable without "abusing" or "breaking" them, while other cards are NOT just simply "good enough". It is my belief that Alliance of Arms is one of those cards that needs help to be worth a slot.

I love the idea of pairing it with Elesh Norn or Massacre Wurm - both seem like really fun plays - but I would not consider those plays to be cut-throat or vicious even among the most laid-back casual group.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 11:26 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Sep-03 3:46 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Germany
This card will have its uses I think, it is not totally bad.

In a Jor Kadeen or Agus Kos deck, you will most of the time have the pump effects to make your tokens overpower the other player's. And these decks really want to have a bunch of tokens.
And if you can give your tokens a pump of +0/+2 or more (Archangel of Strife? you choose Peace, each other chooses War...), you can kill all other players tokens with a Pyroclasm effect, or Echoing Decay or the like.

And there are many other cards already listed, like Soul Warden, Suture Priest or the like, that make these card bad for your opponents to supply to. But if no one jumps in cause of the Soul Warden or whatever, at the least, you get X 1/1 guys for WX.
Your opponents will get them too, sure, but in a deck that plays Alliance of Arms, you will have enough ways to support it somehow.

Other cards that come to my mind would be Vish Kal, Urza's Armor, Thunder Staff, Netherborn Phalanx and of course Doubling Season
(and I can more and more see DS be in the BWG Deck, now that we know Alliances of Arms. The deck will already have a token-themed Commander in Ghave (I know it is not confirmed til now, but what are the odds that he will not produce saprolings?) and DS is an expensive Commander staple).


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-04 12:22 am 

Joined: 2009-Aug-27 11:08 am
Age: Hatchling
Joz wrote:
I like it!

I'm not just a douchebag spike player,



Yes because all spikes are d-bags, thank you for the generalization, I suppose it'll be ok for me to assume all timmys and vorthos' suck at magic. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-04 1:26 am 

Joined: 2011-Jun-04 1:23 am
Age: Hatchling
Man I love this card. In my soldier deck it's awesome. With the Soul Sisters/Suture Priest its awesome. Followed with a Massacre Wurm it's awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-04 2:18 am 
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Joined: 2008-Nov-08 5:27 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Canberra
herodotusjr wrote:
Interesting. I don't know if it's any GOOD, but it is at least interesting.

My thoughts exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-04 7:23 am 

Joined: 2011-Apr-18 7:20 am
Age: Hatchling
I could definitely make use of this in my Darien deck...


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-04 11:25 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-02 8:35 pm
Age: Hatchling
Everybody who doesn't invest mana into this is a target for the 2-3 people who just did. This is called weeding out people who play counter magic. And if this does get countered, you ruined the possibility of having a nice card resolve. All about weeding out player who don't want to play nice.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-04 12:48 pm 
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Joined: 2011-May-04 9:09 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Saskatchewan
Though seeing this card combined with say...City of Solitude where players cannot even use mana-activated abilities. That would draw some really quick hate. I do consider it unlikely that you will see the above mentioned in any of those decks, sadly.


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