Hall of Shame Vote: Mirage

Discussion in 'CPA Voting Forum' started by BigBlue, Dec 30, 2008.


Which of these Mirage cards is no real oasis?

Poll closed Jan 7, 2009.
Emberwilde Caliph 0 vote(s) 0.0%
Hall of Gemstone 4 vote(s) 66.7%
Malignant Growth 1 vote(s) 16.7%
Warping Wurm 1 vote(s) 16.7%
  1. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Polls close in 8 days (since New Years is in here)
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    It's "Emberwilde" and not "Emberwild."
  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, it looks like the Caliph "wins." I still thing that Malignant Growth is orders of magnitude worse.
  4. BigBlue Magic Jones

    I sort of agreed w/ you until I thought of Stasis... I could see it working real well w/ Stasis & Chronatog - I usually had trouble skipping my turns as they'd eventually catch up... This gives them a time limit and is an alternative to Vise etc.
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    How does Malignant Growth combo with Stasis and Chronatog? You have to take turns in order to add counters to it. In order to be equal to Black Vise (aside from requiring two different types of colored mana and costing five times as much to play), you have to take three turns after playing it, which means you need to pay the upkeep three times as well as paying the upkeep for Stasis three times, requiring at least six more mana and more turns than Vise would.

    That's not "real well." Maybe it's fake well. The only way you'd be able to set that up is if you already completely controlled the game or if your opponent was doing absolutely nothing to stop you. In that case, four Pandemoniums and a Fervor will make Emberwilde Caliph kill your opponent as soon as it comes out. Throw in an Opalescence and it works for Melting too.
  6. Ransac CPA Trash Man


    Ransac, cpa trash man
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    With the cards available at the time, all you need is Spirit Link and the Caliph is doable. It makes it three colors, but again, that shouldn't be too hard with the cards available back then. I don't think the Caliph is "Hall of Shame" worthy... :(
  8. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Spidey - Caliph w/ Spirit Link would be a push... For every damage dealt I'd gain 1 and lose a life. for 2 cards, 3 colors and 5 mana, I'd rather have an Air Elemental w/o the trample - or a Juggernaut for equal colorless mana.

    OS - You can choose not to skip a turn or two to pay the upkeep and get a couple counters... w/ Stasis the cards become useless draws + pain. You don't really need the chronatog, just a bit of mana or any of the other useful ways to pay for stasis... You could also use MG in a Winter Orb deck to good effect. It isn't that bad a card when combined w/ limiting resources.
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Yeah, but then you'd be playing blue or have a Bolt-range creature. If you want to play red/green/white and use the advantage of those colors, then all I'm saying is that the Caliph's ability is negatable.

    Obviously it's not optimal. But I just think there are even worse cards to make workarounds with.
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well yeah. The idea isn't that the Caliph is a good card. It's that it's not that incredibly bad. I kind of disagree with Spidey on it not necessarily being "Hall of Shame" worthy. If it were in a different set, it could very easily be the worst card for that set. But this is Mirage.

    I think you've set up something of a double standard here. When Spidey points out that one card cancels out the drawback, you talk about how you'd rather have a Juggernaut, which is an awesome card.

    But then in order to say that Malignant Growth isn't as bad, you need to invoke a big setup with Stasis and lots of mana to pay upkeeps. So by your line of reasoning, "I'd rather than Black Vise" dismisses that. Of course Juggernaut is better than Emberwilde Caliph. And of course Black Vise is better than Malignant Growth. That's not the point. It doesn't matter how many cards are better. It's about how bad these cards are.

    So what do you do? Pay 3UG to put down Malignant Growth, next turn pay 1 for the upkeep, put down Stasis, then next turn pay 2 for Malignant Growth and U for Stasis?

    Let's say you have a hard lock with Stasis. For example: Stasis, Kismet, and Chronatog against a tapped out opponent. In that case, Malignant Growth will win the game. Fair enough. But you know what else will win the game? NOTHING. Your opponent will deck himself. The best part about this is that it doesn't require another card, it doesn't require 3UG, it doesn't require mana to pay the upkeep for Malignant Growth and turns to pay at least one upkeep for it as well as blue mana to pay for the upkeep on Stasis. And your opponent is just as dead. In this scenario, Malignant Growth is worse than nothing.

    And if you only have a soft lock, your opponent will either draw what he needed to kill you faster (because you're letting him draw more cards), or die because he couldn't stop you anyway. Either way, Malignant Growth is pretty much useless. But I'm sure there are scenarios in which Malignant Growth could really matter. Like if your opponent had a low life total. The damage from Growth could finish him off before he breaks the soft lock. In this case, Malignant Growth could actually be better than nothing...

    ...and worse than Emberwilde Caliph, which would kill this hypothetical weakened opponent in two attacks by itself.

    Malignant Growth with Winter Orb? Since only one of your lands will be untapping each turn and you already tapped six of them before you started doing damage, you'd fail to pay the upkeep in short order. The effect would be to tap yourself out, deal maybe a little bit of damage, and give your opponent a few free draws.
  11. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Heh, of course, you and six other voters :) But all I'm saying is that while I can think of one card to negate the Caliph's disadvantage and turn it into an otherwise awesome creature (4 mana for a 4/4 flying trample guy!), it's hard to turn, say, my nomination ;) into a decent card. Yeah, it might hose multicolor decks as you pointed out (and actually a foil for the Caliph deck), but it's still more situational and it still restricts you as the deck builder to a certain way of building (at least the way I see it). Spirit Link is useful no matter what (well, as long as you or your opponent has creatures).

    And I meant red/blue/white earlier, not red/green/white....
  12. BigBlue Magic Jones

    I guess my point is that Malignant growth has symbiosis w/ enough cards that it isn't the worst card in the set. Like most cards, it isn't the centerpiece to a deck, but it could be a good role player.

    Emberwild Caliph on the other hand, is neither a centerpiece or a good role player - you have to work around it to make it even playable. Yeah, it wasn't necessarily fair to bring Juggernaut into the equation... (I was going after a 4CC creature which had to attack every turn). But how about I bring another nominee into the equation, I'd rather have a Warping Wurm than an Emberwilde Caliph. It is another role player in a deck, you pay 4 and let it sit around growing for free, then for an upkeep of 4, you get a decent creature. the Worm isn't great, but it isn't horrible either.

    Every card has at least one thing that negates it - but, rather than worry about it pulling a kill card, embrace that it takes a card from your opponent to deal w/ it... That's sort of the point. You have to hope that eventually your opponent will run out of (or fail to draw) ways to deal w/ your cards. Swords to Plowshares deals with just about every creature (sans those w/ shroud or pro white), does that make every creature horrible? No. Just as Disenchant doesn't make every Enchantment and Artifact horrible.
  13. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    <shrug> If you're playing red to begin with, you're playing burn. So presumably you're putting out little red guys to knock down your opponent and playing burn to clear the path. Playing blue means you've got counterspell and Unsummon ability, also to clear the path. So really, drawing the Caliph shouldn't be THAT big of a problem. You should already be ahead in life to deal with it. And if not, then you simply don't cast it (or use it as a desperation blocker). Yeah, it's not the centerpiece, that's true. But like the Wurm, it's neither great nor horrible. Certainly not Hall of Shame.
  14. BigBlue Magic Jones

    But since it has to attack every turn, it isn't a blocker (well except for 1 turn), then it's 4 life lost every turn and hopefully 4 damage to your opponent. And if you block w/ him you'd lose 4 more life just for blocking.

    But, since it's a point for point life loss, it hurts you at least as much as it hurts your opponent (any chump flying blocker is going to absorb damage away from the opponent that you still take - as a loss of life so you can't prevent it).

    There's only 1 other spell which costs 2UR (Tibor and Lumia) - It's not a great (decent, not great) card either, but would work much better in a UR deck than the Caliph.
  15. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Oh, didn't see that it had to attack every turn.

    Still a minor point - again, red and blue should be able to take care of any potential "chump" blockers.
  16. BigBlue Magic Jones

    <shrug> I guess...

    I just think he's worse than any of the other nominees...

    Stacked up against other hall of shame cards, he's probably towards the bottom of the pile (meaning he's not so bad)... But for Mirage he's horrible. I would never include him in a deck. I could see myself using any of the other nominations.

    I really would like to do a build a deck around the cards in the halls of fame/shame as an exercise... For each card in the hall of fame, you'd have to include a card in the hall of Shame...
  17. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You mean, synergy, right? I don't see how it has synergy with anything more than the Caliph has synergy with Spirit Link or Pandemonium or Altar of Dementia or whatever. It's even useful by itself. Cards that hurt both you and your opponent have a long history of use in aggressive decks. Juzam Djinn, Carnophage, Hatred, Flame Rift, Flesh Reaver, etc. Emberwilde Caliph is just a rather crappy one that requires two different colors and is overcosted. It will still be a major threat against any opponent at low life. In order to do the same for Malignant Growth, you have to give examples of other cards that are already good by themselves in a scenario where tons of cards, including Emberwilde Caliph, would be better.

    I fully agree. Warping Wurm just isn't that bad. The Caliph is worse.

    Giving your opponent card draws while you pay for them makes a card not only bad, but the worst card in the game. Your opponent doesn't need Disenchant to deal with it either. All he needs is for you to run out of mana to pay the cumulative upkeep.

    Malignant Growth combines multiple details that usually make for a bad card...

    -Multicolored requirement
    -Cumulative upkeep
    -Lets your opponent draw cards
  18. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Well, but in the case of Malignant Growth, Upkeep isn't a bad thing since you can let it go whenever you want. My point isn't that it's optimal - because it obviously isn't...

    But, put into a mana control deck, it would be useful... There are times you *want* your opponent to draw cards so you can either deck them or do something else to them (Storm Seeker for example).

    I am not ignorant to the fact that you normally don't want to allow/promote card disadvantage...

    Yes, I meant synergy...

    Again, my point was, I could see myself trying to use Malignant Growth... but I'd never use Emberwilde Caliph... which was why to me it's a worse card. Maybe in actual play I'd find it was too bad a card for practical use... And maybe I'm missing out not using the caliph... But the promise of a 4/4 Flying Trample for 4 was shattered when you read the drawbacks (life loss, and never a blocker). Your opponent gets some lifegain when you think you have them and he's a liability I'd need to use a second card to eliminate. With Malignant Growth, if I lost part of the lock, I'd simply not pay the upkeep and it's gone - it has a self destruct method.

    As far as playing drawback cards in decks, I do. I weigh the drawback and if it's not too great I've got no problem using a card like Serendib Efreet, Serendib Djinn, Juzam Djinn, etc... Bear in mind I've never seen either of those djinni IRL, I get them in sealed on the Shandalar game though, and love them there.
  19. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That's not exactly accurate though. You can't just let it go whenever you want. You HAVE to let it go when you run out of mana to pay the upkeep, which will happen fairly quickly unless you have a lot of mana to invest. Being able to let your really crappy enchantment die by not paying its cumulative upkeep doesn't strike me as an advantage.

    But this is a terrible way to do it. The amount of mana you spend per card you make your opponent draw is prohibitive. The only way you'd deck the opponent is if his library was already down really low, in which case simply stalling would work.

    Mana denial strategies tend to operate either by removal or by producing some sort of strong lock. In the former case, making the opponent draw cards would typically be bad, because you're giving him more resources to replace the ones you removed. And you're hampering your own ability to play additional removal or threats because you're paying mana to give the opponent this card advantage. In the latter case, you basically already won, but I guess you could choose to use the worst card in the game to finish things.

    You have a very good imagination. :p

    Remember Flesh Reaver? It's like that, only really bad. Still way better than Malignant Growth.

    Juzam Djinn rules in Shandalar. I mean, I wouldn't use Emberwilde Caliph there either (but I always do the same thing, which is build up a bunch of Dark Rituals and Contract from Belows and just Drain Life everything to death on the first turn).

    I hate to bring this up, because I'm biased toward constructed and feel like a hall of shame should be about that. I didn't like the "City in a Bottle and Rukh Egg beats everything in Arabian Night draft or sealed deck" argument. But in a Mirage draft, if I were already going with blue/red for some reason, I would, albeit hesitantly, draft Emberwilde Caliph and maybe even put it in my deck. Conversely, if I woke up all of the sudden, finding myself in a Mirage draft with a blue/green mana denial strategy that I'd apparently been drafting, I wouldn't pick Malignant Growth unless everything else in the pack was out of color, and even then, I might pick something else if it looked cool.
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    See, I'm the opposite of BigBlue - I can see myself using the Caliph and not the Growth :)

    But I agree that I look to the Hall as more towards Constructed than a limited-type format. 'Cause there can be cards that suck in Constructed but great in Limited and vice versa. Probably a Hall Of Shame worthy card would be one that would suck in ANY format, that's for sure...

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