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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-23 2:40 pm 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Drrakus wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks it looks like a 'win more' kind of card? It looks like it can absolutely will win the game IF the person using it either has a favorable board state or managed to set up to take advantage of it's reusable tutoring.

This is exactly what I was thinking tbh. I highly doubt he's going to make too much of a splash on the actual competitive scene. Maybe Meren will use him but he honestly requires too many resources in any deck that isn't reanimating him. He's also a pretty terrible combo general, with Dark Mike or Sidisi being able to outrun him, just in regards to monoblack alone.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-23 8:37 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Why are competitive metas a concern? What about just dropping him behind a Grave Titan or other token producer/utility creatures? My concern with this guy is that the criteria of "having some life to spare and a few chump creatures" is trivially easy to achieve.


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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-24 5:42 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
I have a hard time imagining that this.will be banned, but I can see how this could be problematic in a casual environment.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-24 5:59 am 
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Location: Oakland, CA
cryogen wrote:
Why are competitive metas a concern? What about just dropping him behind a Grave Titan or other token producer/utility creatures? My concern with this guy is that the criteria of "having some life to spare and a few chump creatures" is trivially easy to achieve.

I don't think Razaketh is a bad card. I stand by my prediction that cutthroat decks are likely to ignore it for the most part, but you have a good point that whatever cutthroat decks are going to do is not as relevant to "is this a threat to the health of the format" as what casual decks might do with it. Will it be a problem in a casual meta?

Because it can't be abused by Rite of Replication or recurring several times per turn with something like Chainer, Dementia Master, I don't think it falls into the Primeval Titan category of cards that ruin casual metas. On the other hand, Prophet of Kruphix was determined by the Rules Committee to have the same negative effect, and it doesn't have any EtB/LtB effects either, so maybe Razaketh will be like that?

Another thing to note is that on the spectrum of cutthroat-to-casual, the more casual your deck is the less powerful tutoring for one or more cards will be. If you're super cutthroat, tutoring for one card is very good and tutoring for two will drastically increase your chance of winning within a few turns. If you're a little more casual, it will probably get you the answers you need most plus something to put yourself a little ahead. If you're super casual, it will probably mean you get to add a few more permanents to the board to further your Chris Rallis theme.

I haven't heard of Rune-Scarred Demon being a problem in any casual playgroups. While Razaketh is probably stronger when not abusing multiple recursions or clonings, I don't expect it to fall into the Prophet category of problem cards, for casual groups as well as more cutthroat. If it were to become a problem, wouldn't Rune-Scarred have been one of those cards that devolves games into "who can copy / recur Rune-Scarred the most"?


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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-24 6:57 am 
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Thing is, 6-9 mana creatures all have to be compared to one another, because they tend to occupy the same number of limited slots. What needs to be observed about Raza, is that he needs to be supported by the rest of the deck to be efficient. You need cards that matter enough to tutor for, but combos that you can wait an entire turn for, because of the prohibitive 8 mana cost. You need resilient bodies to increase the likelyhood of him coming down and activating immediately. You need a sufficiently reliable manabase to utilize an 8 drop, and/or a sufficient amount of Reanimator and discard effects to get him out on the cheap.

That combined opportunity cost is fairly high- and when compared to Griselbrand, the only thing Griselbrand ever needed was a manabase, or sufficient reanimation/discard redundancy.

How about the other 6+ drops though? How does Razaketh compare to the Spirit Dragons, the Titans, the Primordials, the Souls, the Gearhulks etc.? Imo, he falls short without a large number of slots dedicated to utilizing him, as opposed to Sidisi, Undead Vizier- and THAT is where he should be evaluated. The standard bearers for 6+ drops tend to impact the board immediately, or accelerate resource production, while Razaketh consumes one resource to create another- which certainly isn't bad, but has a higher opportunity cost than just dropping Grave Titan, Sepulchral Primordial, or Sheoldred, Whispering One.

No matter where you fall on the casual/competitive model, that distinction rings. Raza plays a particular role very well when a fatty, a tutor and a sac outlet are all wanted in a single slot.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-24 4:14 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
cryogen wrote:
Why are competitive metas a concern? What about just dropping him behind a Grave Titan or other token producer/utility creatures? My concern with this guy is that the criteria of "having some life to spare and a few chump creatures" is trivially easy to achieve.
Then what? Tutoring up pieces you could have gotten cheaper off tutors as people have described? Sure its value-town tutoring up in response to a boardwipe, but do we see a lot of degnerate stuff here they cant just get of cheaper cards?

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No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-25 2:50 pm 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
MRHblue wrote:
cryogen wrote:
Why are competitive metas a concern? What about just dropping him behind a Grave Titan or other token producer/utility creatures? My concern with this guy is that the criteria of "having some life to spare and a few chump creatures" is trivially easy to achieve.
Then what? Tutoring up pieces you could have gotten cheaper off tutors as people have described? Sure its value-town tutoring up in response to a boardwipe, but do we see a lot of degnerate stuff here they cant just get of cheaper cards?


I dunno... find something to make all of my stuff indestructible in response to a board wipe? Find a counterspell? There are very few plays someone can make that can stop this once it's active if the player knows what he is doing.

There are 0 tutors in the game that are instant speed to your hand that find ANY card with no restrictions. The "closest" option will get you the 3rd best option to hand (barring politics) and is currently already on the banned list. There's also no real cost here so "cheaper" is a misnomer. The sorcery speed multiple card tutors are also irrelevant as they are sorcery speed. They might grab a combo or some precautionary protection but you're still paying full price for them and it's not instant. This will be cheated into play for essentially no cost with plenty of available mana up to cast whatever else is tutored up.

"This needs a board state". How about victimize with Abhorrent Overlord or Avenger of Zendikar? Mass token production is effortless if it's what you're after. Even an early bitterblossom or spawning pit will lead to plenty of trash to sac when you're ready to play this. Perhaps just a Mindslicer in play to be the first sacrificial lamb. The possibilities are endless and the setup costs are minimal.

Not saying it will be banned (and certainly not preemptively) but it's most definitely on the same level power wise as Griselbrand even if it fills a different role. It's certainly changed the way I'm thinking of building decks knowing it exists.


Last edited by Epsilon on 2017-Jun-26 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-26 4:22 am 
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Joined: 2010-Oct-26 5:52 am
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Mr Degradation wrote:
Gath Immortal wrote:

The primary issue here, is that metas that casual tend to not include anything as involved as mass sacrifice strategies, reanimator etc.

Also, what do you consider a "casual" playgroup? That kind of metric makes a rather large number of cards "ruin casual playgroups" from every set in Magic's past. Even in casual groups, I've found that the group just enjoys playing cards with teeth.


I'm confused by this, because I view building around a theme and doing derpy things with said theme as the essence of casual play.

As far as what I consider casual, the people I play with semi-regularly usually take a theme, like say U/R pingers and make it as optimal as possible without crossing the "infinite combo easy mode/douchebag MLD" line. Other than that I'm not really sure what you are looking for.

I've said it before, I really don't understand what game you are playing. I'm not saying this to be dismissive, I'm saying it because I can't wrap my head around what your meta looks like when everyone around me including those people who play in a way I dislike (I.E. far more competitively) looks at Raz and facepalms at the fact that it exists.

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Maluko wrote:
We need a clear set of objective rules so that everybody always knows what to expect, and how to prepare for it. As of now, I think I spend more time arguing with players about the format than I do playing fun and interactive games of Commander. And last time I read, this was not the format's purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-26 6:23 am 
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Gath Immortal wrote:
I've said it before, I really don't understand what game you are playing. I'm not saying this to be dismissive, I'm saying it because I can't wrap my head around what your meta looks like when everyone around me including those people who play in a way I dislike (I.E. far more competitively) looks at Raz and facepalms at the fact that it exists.


After a while, the way I perform card evaluation came to involve an angle of pessimism A card needs to be evaluated top to bottom, bottom to top, baseline to potential, and potential to baseline. Raz is a card with a wicked high potential, a wicked low baseline, and it seldom has a mode in between. In typical play, it's less impactful than a Titan or Primordial because it's average EV, or even it's baseline can account cold, where the card is just functionally hand rot. Even in EDH, a functional deck can only contain so many slots for high end mana costs, and Raz's low bassline makes it specific to decks that need the overlapping features it provides, as opposed to just fitting comfortably into any generic shell.

In Demon tribal, it's often just the worst card to draw- but in a battlecruiser Meren deck, it could fill a cool role. Casual playgroups tend to eschew the sort of Meren decks that this could be a distinguishing card in, and in a more streamlined meta, it's likely just worse in Meren than several other existing cards.

The types of people I play with range from "Winter Orb is fair" to "Let's not play Part the Waterveil"- and my own play and building has to adjust accordingly for the sensibility of each group. In a tuned meta, Raza is difficult to angle and go off with, in battlecruiser meta, it's hot trash to go over with other fatties that swing a higher baseline of power. It's utility is very specific, but it's made to look like Griselbrand to excite the playerbase. Pain Seer is a fine Magic: The Gathering card, but it was poorly evaluated by many players because the design is meant to evoke a point of reference in Dark Confidant. Seer works in many strategies, but is far more specific to the strategy than good ol' Bob.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-26 1:15 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Epsilon wrote:
Epsilon wrote:
This wins the moment it hits the field... guess I need more blue decks.

Tutoring the exact card(s) you need at instant speed for an irrelevant cost seems pretty good. Combo or not, this card sticking is game over or you're doing it wrong.

Diabolic Revelation tutors 3 cards for the same cost and requires no other investment.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-26 2:11 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
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And the cost is not irrelevant. It costs mana (not much, but a non-zero amount) and another creature. That is not irrelevant especially if you're searching up more than one card in a single turn. Paying six mana and having to sacrifice three creatures to do it is a pretty big dent in resources available to actually use those cards in the same turn.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-26 4:22 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
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Viperion wrote:
And the cost is not irrelevant. It costs mana (not much, but a non-zero amount) . . . Paying six mana . . .

Are you talking about Razaketh? The activation costs life, not mana.


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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-26 7:23 pm 
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Derp... well ok that makes him a lot better, for sure. Still, it's not completely irrelevant. 6 life and three creatures is still a significant cost.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-27 1:12 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
6 life and 3 dudes is sometimes a significant cost. Not always.

A deck running this guy could easily make those costs meaningless.

Edit: My one-time-only plan with this guy... Su-Chi + Nim Deathmantle + 2 life gain off creatures entering/exiting battlefield.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOU] Razaketh, the Foul Blooded
AgePosted: 2017-Jun-27 12:18 pm 
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Razaketh's cost is a relatively small one that can be overcome, but treating it like it's nearly irrelevant is basically a joke, especially compared to Griselbrand. Creatures in play can be interacted with either before he comes into play or in response to it. It's far easier to kill off a few creatures than it is to drop someone to six life. Griselbrand is also more powerful as a general for the above reason and others. Raza has to take his cost much more seriously into account when deckbuilding. He needs to either include cards specifically whose role is to provide fodder, or he needs to swap out some of his cards for less efficient creature-based ones. This is in comparison to Griselbrand, who doesn't have to worry about that problem and as a result will have a higher much overall card quality. This also is relevant to how games play out. Griselbrand can run a bunch of ramp spells and make it out somewhere betweeen T2 and T5 and go to work immediately from there. If Raza tries the same thing, he'll most likely be a turn or two behind due to either using slow mana dorks, finding space to get his creature generators in play early, or playing them after he's cast. The nature of mass draw vs tutors also will tend to favor Gris's chances to actually have the mana to play the spells he wants, as well as giving him more options if plans start to go south. And speaking of tutors... we are talking about black right? If Gris doesn't find the specific card he's looking for he's almost certainly going to find a way to search for it anyway.

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