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 Post subject: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 5:40 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Mar-31 8:25 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Zealand
I'm tempted to run Tooth and Nail in my Surrak Dragonclaw list (replacing Birthing Pod).

I always try to ride a fine line between power and fun and don't really want to do anything broken with it.

I mainly want it to fetch combinations like:

Ixidron + Crater Hellion

Prime Speaker Zegana + anything

Xenagos, God of Revels + anything

The only issue is, I can use it to fetch Eternal Witness + Progenitor Mimic/Species Gorger/Temur Sabertooth.

Not a instant win by any means, but that combination starts pushing boundaries for me.

I could replace Witness with Den Protector or Regrowth maybe as a compromise... but Witness is a fairly synergistic card...

Basically Tooth and Nail is on theme with the list (Monsters) helps me deal with situations my creature heavy list struggles to cope with (E.g. Ixidron is great when I need to nail a indestructible/hexproof creature, but terrible when someone has a bunch of 1/1 tokens out. Crater Hellion fixes that problem (and vice versa)). It's also good at rebuilding my board state after a board and filling my hand back up to keep the aggro pressure going, but it's a groan card.

Follow up question since why not, the decklist forum is so darn quiet.

Stonebrow, Krosan Hero

On the fence about including him as well. It seems like a no-brainer with Surrak, but at the same time I find:

1) Surrak doesn't have trample himself, boo (though Skarrg, the Rage Pits & Kessig Wolf Run can fix this at no opportunity cost to running them).

2) I feel I'd need about 2 additional creatures on the battlefield above Surrak + Stonebrow to really feel great about it, and 4+ creatures on the board is fairly rare I find unless I am closing a game out already.

3) He's basically a slightly less dependent Thunderfoot Baloth, but Thunderfoot Baloth at least grants Surrak trample as well.

4) Tooth and Nail into Stonebrow + Thunderfoot seems awesome, but still so dependent on Surrak.

5) Assuming limited choice, is he better then say Moonveil Dragon?

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-29 6:31 pm 

Joined: 2009-Oct-28 10:55 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I think the trouble with T&N is that if you follow the "build casually, play optimally" philosophy, there's almost no way you can cast T&N without doing something broken.

Sure, you could hold back and get something shitty. Some people feel like it's condescending when you play things badly and you know better. I know that I don't like it.

TL;DR: if your deck can already do really powerful things, T&N can only do really powerful things (and usually the same, repetitive "too powerful" combinations). I don't think it plays as fun as it seems it would.


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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 12:07 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Spekter wrote:
Sure, you could hold back and get something shitty. Some people feel like it's condescending when you play things badly and you know better. I know that I don't like it.

This. If you are going to cast T&N, you should be getting whatever your deck has that is best for the situation. Turning E-Witness into Den Protector is an easy "build casually" change you can change to make T&N into a powerful value card instead of a combo-like game plan.

The rest of the things you mentioned are quite powerful, but definitely fine for 9 mana. You should note that Primespeaker Zegana won't see the other creature coming in from T&N since they're entering simultaneously and she is an "as this enters" replacement rather than a "when this enters" trigger.


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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 1:28 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Spekter wrote:
I think the trouble with T&N is that if you follow the "build casually, play optimally" philosophy, there's almost no way you can cast T&N without doing something broken.
I disagree. If you're doing truly broken things with T&N then you probably aren't ACTUALLY building casually at all. I DO feel like, the descision to include T&N should absolutely impact the deckbuilding choices in the rest of the deck.

For example, I'm perfectly fine running Avenger of Zendikar, Craterhoof Behemoth and Tooth and Nail, individually, in EDH decks. And I'm perfectly fine running any combination of TWO of these cards in the same deck. But I will NOT run all three together in the same deck anymore because everybody and their mom has seen/made that same play a dozen times. It's old, and it's no longer fun, even for the person winning.

And as far as getting E-Wit and something else, I don't really see the problem there, either. That's actually a really slow, easy to disrupt win condition, that should be perfectly fair in even casual EDH circles. I mean, you're basically getting one extra fatty over (likely) two turns? How is that unfair unless you're getting ridiculously overpowered things like Avenger/Behemoth or infinite combos a la Kiki Jiki?

Here are a few of the worst T&N pairs I've seen in recent games:
Consecrated Sphinx + Jace's Archivist (was a HILARIOUS game, and this play somehow didn't win)
Avacyn + Archetype of Endurance (one of the most common pairs we see these days, but for some reason the immediate Merciless Eviction right after is damn near as common!)
Gruul Ragebeast + Vigor (one of my own personal favs)
Kiki Jiki + Anything (no combos, just value - I'm a fan of Ragebeast here, too, so long as there's a 1/1 or something for Kiki to fight and not die too)
Elesh Norn + Massacre Wurm (BRUTAL - this one was borderline, as it caused quite a bit of salt when it happened, but the pair didn't even survive a full turn cycle and only one player died - the token player who was stomping the whole table into mud up until that point)

And, yes, I've seen plenty of games where someone with blue in their deck gets E. Wit and a fatty, then the next turn, gets clone + a fatty (cloning E. Wit) and so on, basically allowing them to cast T&N every turn until they run out of ways to clone E. Wit... still beatable even in a casual group.

EDIT: Honestly, I'm almost positive that if you tracked every T&N cast in my group over a year's time, the Top 5 most common T&N'ed creatures wouldn't even be threats. I'm pretty sure the top 3 creatures fetched up are Duplicant, Acidic Slime (or Stomphowler), and Consecrated Sphinx (or any other "I need to draw cards very badly" option). In short, I'd estimate that the % of times T&N is used reactionarily to find answers to other threats is well over 50%.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 1:40 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
thaumaturge wrote:
And, yes, I've seen plenty of games where someone with blue in their deck gets E. Wit and a fatty, then the next turn, gets clone + a fatty (cloning E. Wit) and so on, basically allowing them to cast T&N every turn until they run out of ways to clone E. Wit... still beatable even in a casual group.

A real blue mage chains Diluvian Primordial and every clone in their deck off of an opponent's T&N.

EDIT: Chancellor of the Spires, not the Primordial.


Last edited by JJackson on 2015-Mar-30 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 1:43 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
thaumaturge wrote:
And, yes, I've seen plenty of games where someone with blue in their deck gets E. Wit and a fatty, then the next turn, gets clone + a fatty (cloning E. Wit) and so on, basically allowing them to cast T&N every turn until they run out of ways to clone E. Wit... still beatable even in a casual group.

A real blue mage chains Diluvian Primordial and every clone in their deck off of an opponent's T&N.
LOL, yeah, or they wait for a Rite of Replication to show up in an opponent's 'yard!

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 1:45 am 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
thaumaturge wrote:
And, yes, I've seen plenty of games where someone with blue in their deck gets E. Wit and a fatty, then the next turn, gets clone + a fatty (cloning E. Wit) and so on, basically allowing them to cast T&N every turn until they run out of ways to clone E. Wit... still beatable even in a casual group.

A real blue mage chains Diluvian Primordial and every clone in their deck off of an opponent's T&N.


Why would you think of this? How can I not do it?


...Oh right, no one I usually play uses T&N. Problem solved.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 2:36 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Diluvian Primordial exiles the spell you steal on resolution. You'd only get to do this trick once for each physical copy of T&N.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 2:41 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Sorry, it is Chancellor of the Spires that this works with. That one just casts the spell, putting it right back into the gy when it is done.


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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 7:56 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
GoodbyeWorld wrote:


If you have single creatures you know you will want (a second creature wouldn't matter what it was) then why not just go run Natural Order, Green Sun's Zenith or Primal Command instead?

No need to even tempt yourself with Combo T&N, just leave it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 8:41 am 
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Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
thaumaturge wrote:
Gruul Ragebeast + Vigor (one of my own personal favs)


Ooh, this is great. I used to love Vigor + Scourge of Kher Ridges.


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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 8:43 am 

Joined: 2011-Apr-07 11:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Dualcaster mage works better eps in a UR deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 11:31 am 
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Joined: 2009-Mar-31 8:25 pm
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Location: New Zealand
So the consensus seems fairly on the nay side, but a good argument by thaumaturge for yay.

Quote:
If you have single creatures you know you will want (a second creature wouldn't matter what it was) then why not just go run Natural Order, Green Sun's Zenith or Primal Command instead?

No need to even tempt yourself with Combo T&N, just leave it out.


Simply put? 2 is better then 1, and the act of getting two creatures out simultaneously sometimes allows me to do things with creatures that I'd need a instant and sorcery for.

Sucks about the Prime Speaker part not working >_>. That sorta tilts towards nay ish.

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-30 8:20 pm 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
GoodbyeWorld wrote:
So the consensus seems fairly on the nay side, but a good argument by thaumaturge for yay.

Quote:
If you have single creatures you know you will want (a second creature wouldn't matter what it was) then why not just go run Natural Order, Green Sun's Zenith or Primal Command instead?

No need to even tempt yourself with Combo T&N, just leave it out.


Simply put? 2 is better then 1, and the act of getting two creatures out simultaneously sometimes allows me to do things with creatures that I'd need a instant and sorcery for.

Sucks about the Prime Speaker part not working >_>. That sorta tilts towards nay ish.


I'd say "yay" if you can show that any mix of two creatures is not a game-winning combo. (I'd include stuff like Living Death in your deck with E-Wit as a target as a game-winning combo.)

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 Post subject: Re: Tooth and Nail used fairly, yay or nay?
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-31 1:41 am 
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Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
GoodbyeWorld wrote:
So the consensus seems fairly on the nay side, but a good argument by thaumaturge for yay.

Quote:
If you have single creatures you know you will want (a second creature wouldn't matter what it was) then why not just go run Natural Order, Green Sun's Zenith or Primal Command instead?

No need to even tempt yourself with Combo T&N, just leave it out.


Simply put? 2 is better then 1, and the act of getting two creatures out simultaneously sometimes allows me to do things with creatures that I'd need a instant and sorcery for.

Sucks about the Prime Speaker part not working >_>. That sorta tilts towards nay ish.


Sorry, this doesn't really sound as if you're planning to use T&N for fun, but you are playing it for it's power level.If you ask if it's okay to play it if it fits thematically, I'll just say "sure, why not". But although "monsters" is a broad theme, I fail to see how Xenagos or Prime Speaker fits in here. I don't feel Ixidron plus Crater Helion scores high on the fun scale, but I think it's possible to play T&N without fetching broken stuff. But you'd have to cut anything that has some remote synergy. In your case, your deck might be better with Eternal Witness and without Tooth and Nail...

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