Eater of Days

Discussion in 'Single Card Strategies' started by Mikeymike, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    While very true, it would also be quite easy to boost him in power over the 10 threshold (say Bonesplitter) or run a decklist that can deal an extra 2 direct damage very easily.

    I guess what I'm trying to get at, there are plenty of ways to make him work in casual.
  2. Rooser Thread Necromancer

    Okay, before this goes any further, I just want you guys to know that I'm not trying to be arrogant or pushy. This is just a friendly conversation, right?

    And stepping back from this conversation, I think this is just an intellectual disagreement, and by that I mean, none of us are really right, we just have different approaches to the game. I can totally see how this is a cool card for some of you.

    So rather than argue that Eater is bad, I'd rather just explain to you guys why I personally don't like it.

    I'm a Johhny/Spike, according to the test on Wizards' site. I'm not a Johnny in that I'm not too big on combo-decks, (Not to say they don't have their place in my heart), and I'm not a Spike in that I'm not ultra competetive, and I don't only care about winning. I'm a Spike in that what interests me most about magic is the mental challenge - high-level strategy is very important to me, as is knowing how to build the best deck I can. But I'm a Johnny in that I want to win in the most creative way possible. These two forces pull at each other in different ways. I frequent local tourneys, but I always go with a rogue deck. I play lots of casual magic, but my casual deck often sacrifices flavor for efficiency.

    So my first criteria for liking a card is whether or not it is a competitive card. Eater of Days is not tourney viable, if only because its potentially a huge liability. I understand that that doesn't matter to most of you, and to an extent it doesn't matter to me. It only matters to me in that I appreciate all cards that are tourney viable, but I don't necessarily shun the ones that aren't. So the Spike in me sees little value in Eater, but that doesn't mean the Johnny can't.

    But flavor-wise, Eater is a Timmy card, not a Johnny card. That doesn't mean I don't think the card is cool, but my goofball casual decks tend to aim for something more creative than, "I smash you with big thingy."

    Still, that doesn't mean that I have absolutely no urge to try to find a use for the card, but that urge tends to come from my Spike side, not my Johnny side. I look at Eater and think, "How can I abuse this," not, "Wouldn't this be a fun way to kill somebody." In my opinion, its not a fun way to kill somebody, at least not any more. We've all seen death-by-giant-beatstick before.

    Yes you can combo Eater with Bonesplitter, Fireshrieker, and Lightning Greaves, but that's 4 cards and 13 mana. For 4 cards and less mana I can give you a much more interesting combo. Note that I said "interesting" not "better." For 4 cards and 13 mana I could probably give you a much more efficient combo too, but that's not the point. The point is that clunky inefficent combos should, in my opinion, do something more creative than just power up a big monster.

    But that doesn't mean I'm not willing to try and build a deck involving Eater of Days, its just that Eater has to appeal to my Spike side. The allure of Eater of Days, for me, lies not in simply winning with the card, but in using him in a competetive deck.

    So, from a Spike's point of view, what makes this card alluring? Is it the 9/8 flying trample? Not exactly.

    Randy Beuler said something about two kinds of cards that get restricted. The first kind are those whose effects are simply too good, no matter how much they cost. I think they put Dream Halls and Mind Over Matter in this category. Is a 9/8 flying trample broken in itself? No, it seems like the type of creature that should be allowed to exist. The other type of card that gets restricted is the undercosted type. Ancestral Recall, for example. There's nothing broken about drawing three cards, there's just something broken about doing it for only one mana.

    What makes Eater of Days abusable is it's low casting cost.

    So, from a Spike's point of view, there are two important facets to this card:

    1) Eater of Days is a liability, therefore it does not make a good primary kill condition. Eater of Days is better as a back-up plan, (That's why I made the comparison to Platinum Angel ealier).
    2) Eater of Days' strength lies in its low casting cost.

    Therefore, I would want to build a deck that respected both of these premises, and I think that is hard to do and still build a decent deck. Support cards for the Eater need to be useful without the Eater.

    Taken individually, most of the support cards you guys have mentioned can be very useful with and Eater of Days, however throwing them all in the samedeck seems silly.

    The most efficient and most universally useful support cards are Lightning Greaves and Stifle, and looking at it again, I will admit that you can probably build a decent deck with those, but it still just doesn't quite cut the mustard for me.

    Consider Stifle + Eater. This is essentially a better costed Big Furry Monster.

    But is the Stifle really useful without Eater. As a disruption card, yes, Stifle is certainly useful, but if you need to keep one in hand for a combo, you are esentially turning it into dead card. It's only your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Stifle that aren't dead cards. Plus, because Stifle counts as disruption, you run the risk of not having anything to disrupt.

    Plus, all Stifle really does is remove the liability from Eater, it doesn't make it a better card. Eater will still be suseptible to creature control. Sure, when it dies you won't have to live through handing your opponent a Time Stretch, but you've lost more card advantage, losing the use of both your Eater and your Stifle.

    Plus, you open yourself up to being disrupted by a counterspell. Sure, the Eater can be countered too, but when it is, you don't lose two turns. With Stifle, the player who has counters but little creature control can ruin your day by countering the Stifle - an option they didn't have before.

    Also, by comboing with Stifle you are essentialy rasing the total mana cost by one blue, which, clock-wise, only buys you back one of your lost turns, not both of them. Paying four mana and two turns means you attack on round 7. Paying five mana and no turns means you attack on round 6. It's better, yes, but is it really worth the card disadvantage and increased suseptibility to disruption?

    Lightning Greaves is much more reliable than Stifle, but it doesn't do much about givng your opponent two free turns, (athough haste pretty much buys you back an extra turn). Instant speed removal can still slip in before the Greaves attach, meaning that in many scenarios, you're just as screwed with the Greaves as you are without them.

    And finally, the best way to integrate all of your ideas into a competetive deck would be to play an affintiy-esque type deck, in which case Lodestone Myr is a much better play at 4 mana.

    Anyway, I'm way too long-winded. My point isn't that Eater isn't fun and potentially useful, just that it doesn't fit my taste and style of play. I hope what I wrote here will help you have fun with a card that I just can't bring myself to use.
  3. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Can't wait for the sequel Rooser!...:D :p

    "Do you have a publisher son?... Let's talk marketing strategy..."
  4. Rooser Thread Necromancer

    Yeah, yeah, I know I over think things...
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I hope you didn't time-out when you wrote that :)

    I agree that we seem to be looking at it from different perspectives. Except for your statement that all cards are tourney viable (where besides the obvious examples of the more expensive reprints of older cards, you just have plain better cards for what they do out there), I can see how you would look at it.

    The thing about this guy is that he IS so big, that one way to abuse him, at least in casual play, is trying to take out as many opponents as you can, which is why I mentioned the Pandemonium/Furnace combo. It might even work in Extended where those cards are legal, but from a Type 2 point of view, you're probably going to have to work a lot harder to get him to work.

    I guess "abusing" pretty much equates to "killing someone"; otherwise, why are you using it? To sac it to Greater Good to draw more cards 'cause of its power and cheap casting cost?

    Oh, I'm babbling now so I'd better stop. Like you said, it appeals to some of us and not you, just like all Magic cards have their appeal to certain people, so we can leave it at that :)
  6. train The Wildcard!!!...

    I don't think it's that much harder in standard...

    Red/Blue could easily get him out, and stifle his ability...

    Blue/Green could even do it...

    green has mana producers, and red has seething song at the least... fast mana and stifle could be very deadly...

    even if they get rid of it - you could always trash for treasure a Cathodions... it's all the tools you need... and stifle the ability then...

    There's lots of strengths - especially with the creature diamonds... - the myrs...

    "all it takes is effort son..."
    "we don't have any paw..."
    "Is my boot effort enough for you?!..."
  7. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    That was a fun read Rooser. I never have any qualms with someone rambling...except for train cuz he's sooo blasé :D

    But a question for you (Rooser), what happens to the Eater's classification if it does in fact make it into a viable deck, like say Stax or Squee-finement?

    Liabilities often get inversed in the game of Magic, so I personally feel that if you can swap losing a turn into a good thing somehow (or ignore it), then losing 2 turns should be twice as good...and you get a 9/8 flying trampler for 4 to boot. That is where the Johnny in me gets all kinds of worked up (not in the fetish way :eek: ) when he sees a card like this.
  8. Rooser Thread Necromancer

    All I can say is if you can prove me wrong, have at it!

    I just have no interest in the card, however, even if a good use IS found for it.

    And I'll concede right now that he's probably good in a Stax deck, though I imagine truly effective Stax decks are really expesnsive, non-casual T1 decks, no?
  9. Reverend Love New Member

    ...are you sure this is a casual site? :D
  10. Nightstalkers Creature — Nightstalker

    I dress casually while here... don't make me go back to wearing a uniform!

    Oh, and why not play around with the cards before you start condemning them to the bargain bin? I'd take any and all of the Eater of Day's you get Rooser for $1 if you'd let me :D

    But then, thats only me :rolleyes:

    Nightstalker Habuki
  11. train The Wildcard!!!...

    It is a casual community... with members that play in tourneys... so there is room for discussion about sanctioned/tourney play because it is all dealing with Magic...

    I play both casual and tourney, though not as much tourney anymore... judging mainly...

    It still is neat to be able to take casual or tourney ideas, and turn them into the other's play style...;) :cool:
  12. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Nah, I agree, too. I'd pay a buck a pop for those suckers, providing I can't get any in trades or in my fat pack or whatnot.

    Folks are gonna say they are crap, but they forget how these will dominate in casual games. Just as Platinum Angel does.
  13. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Platinum Angel does not dominate i casual - it gets swordsed...
  14. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    Yes, by old timers like us. But for the masses of casual games I have seen, it can be a major pain in the butt. Even online it can ruin the fun for many a casual deck. But then again, on MTGO it usually gets fed to Soul FOundry and photocopied a hideous number of times.

    I play with removal in some decks, but not all--and that's because I like to use the card slots for themes, and not having to spend slots on all sorts of removal "just in case" like a tourney player has to.
  15. Rooser Thread Necromancer

    All "casual" means is that, unlike the people on the pro tour, you are willing to throw an extra element into your strategy: Flavor.

    "Casual" doesn't mean you are forbidden to learn about game theory and high level strategy, it just means you are willing to builda less competetive deck in the name of fun.

    Eater of Days does not seem fun to me. The card name and art and concept just seem too melodramatic and high-powered - it reminds me of the over-romanticized Invasion block - which I like to call the "Block of Bad Taste." Just a big giant epic sci-fantasy orgasm. Eater of Days is the stuff nerdy 13-year old boys think up.

    Flavor-wise its about as mature and thoughtful as a cheap Star Wars spinoff.
  16. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Rooser, I can't say I agree with that last post, but I did find it highly entertaining.

    "Block of Bad Taste" - :D Still laughing!
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Use Shatter!

    In fact, that would be quite amusing for that deck to face an Isocron Scepter deck that had imprinted Shatter :)

    Although I guess then you'd Shatter the Foundry, but if you really wanted to have fun you could keep Shattering the photocopies :)
  18. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    My point isn't that as casual players, we are forbidden from playing well. My point is say I want to use my Rabid Wombat deck. Wombat, enchant creatures, and maybe some other stuff. So I gotta pack removal. Okay, Naturalize is an easy 4 slots. Now creature removal. Little harder, but let's say I run...Desert Twister? Direct damage? Do I pack Unyaro Bee Sting? Land problems? So I track down that old Alpha/Ice Age land removal?

    My point is that in tourney decks, they take the metagame into account and pull the "just in case" cards into duty in order to overcome the metagame.

    For casual, you have some flavor to your stuff. Should you really be required to devote 16 or so card slots to "what if"? Or 8? Or even 4? Sure, a smart player tries to make excuses for the what ifs, justifying them.

    "Hey, Naturalize is a Wombat. Rabies is a natural disease, too. Yeah...this is in theme."

    Should every goblin deck be forced to play with shatter to get around that stupid angel? What happens when they come up against Dawn Elemental + Worship?

    "Tough luck, Timmy. Shoulda splashed another color for enchantment or creature removal. Or you shoulda been running Disk or Fissure. You suck for not metagaming enough."

    I try to stick in a few what ifs here and there, but it gets ridiculous when you absolutely need them just because of the recently in-print cards. Has there been a card out there in the past ten years that said ourtight "opponent cannot win, unless they pack removal for this card"? Not until recently.

    Eater of Days is nowhere near as problematic as Plat Angel, but it can still be a casual player's nightmare if they like theme decks.

    "Yo Dog deck, you have two turns to kill this, then two more turns before you die, because I'm gonna lay this 9/8 on my turn one and then give it an equipment when I attack. You better have used more than 8 card slots just for this, or you might not draw your removal."

    I just hope I run into a player dumb enough to Soul Foundry an Eater of Days. I know I'll see it out there somewhere someday, and it will be a laugh riot. Lemme know if any of you see such silliness. Also make sure to watch if said silly player actually USES the foundry once they make that mistake imprint.
  19. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Honestly SeFRo, I think it depends on the way your group does things. In my group Platinum Angel isn't a problem, it is just a good creature that needs to be addressed. Being that it is both an artifact and a creature, there are very few decks that do not have the means to handle it. And since it doesn't actually make my opponent win, I know I can usually hold off on my Naturalize/Terminate until I'm about to take them below zero life. Which works b/c with the Angel out people can sometimes get complacent with their life total.
  20. Reverend Love New Member

    Agreed. Too many opponents for Platnium Angel to game breaking with my group. Combo is VERY common so Naturalizes and Disenchants are EXTREMELY abundant.

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