RB Reanimator Cheese

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Terentius, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Terentius The Instigator

    Pretty fast, powerful, straightforward... hell, the deck's almost lazy. It's one of my cheesier ones for sure. Started because my new player-friend (same one from last thread) liked the brutality of the Tibalt duel deck. We tried to tweak it, messed it up, so I dismantled it and made something else with Tibalt. Problem is, the game's usually over before he comes out.

    Creatures: 22
    1x Avatar of Discord
    4x Demigod of Revenge
    4x Flayer of the Hatebound
    4x Hellspark Elemental
    2x Vexing Devil
    3x Sheoldred, the Whispering One
    2x Lord of the Void
    2x Griselbrand

    Instants/Sorceries/Enchantments: 19
    4x Exhume
    4x Faithless Looting
    2x Tormenting Voice
    2x Diabolic Servitude
    3x Lightning Axe
    3x Chaos Warp
    1x Zombify

    Lands: 19
    2x Rakdos Carnarium
    1x Temple of Malice
    8x Swamp
    8x Mountain

    -------------------------
    60 cards


    I've never landed Demigod of Revenge's effect from hardcasting it, so I might consider dropping it. Replacements? Any other thoughts?
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Cheese is relative. I think Entombing Griselbrand and then Exhuming him is cheesy. Dropping Haakon into your graveyard with Avatar of Discord could be fun too (I haven't actually tried it—just seems like it'd be fun), but sure doesn't seem as cheesy. But the question is, how cheesy do you want cheesy to be? No wait, that doesn't make any sense? How far down the cheesyhole do you want to go? No, that just sounds weird...

    Entomb is ridiculous, but you probably don't want to spend $60 for a few pieces of cardboard if you don't already have them. There are other cheesy options. Most notably Buried Alive...

    Buried Alive on Karmic Guide, Pestermite, and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. Reanimate Karmic Guide, have Karmic Guide bring Kiki-Jiki back. Tap Kiki-Jiki to make a copy of Karmic Guide, have copy of Karmic Guide bring back Pestermite, have Pestermite untap Kiki Jiki, tap Kiki-Jiki to make a copy of Pestermite, have copy of Pestermite untap Kiki-Jiki, tap Kiki-Jiki to make a copy of Pestermite, rinse, repeat, kill everything with hasty copies of Pestermite. This also works with Sky Hussar, if you prefer a swarm of humans to a swarm of faeries.

    Buried Alive on Saffi Eriksdotter, Crypt Champion, and Caller of the Claw. Reanimate Crypt Champion bringing back Saffi, sac Saffi targeting Crypt Champion, have Crypt Champion bring Saffi back again, sac Saffi targeting Crypt Champion, rinse, repeat, switch Crypt Champion to bring back Caller of the Claw, call in the bears.

    Buried Alive on Necrotic Ooze, Triskelion, and Phyrexian Devourer. Reanimate Necrotic Ooze, activate Phyrexian Devourer's ability on it to gain counters, activate Triskelion's ability on it to turn those counters into damage, rinse, repeat. This requires sufficient cards in your library to do enough damage for the kill, but it is direct damage and no combat shenanigans can stop it.

    Buried Alive on Sutured Ghoul, Death's Shadow, and Death's Shadow. Not quite as impressive as the others, but you can use Exhume and have a 26/26 Sutured Ghoul.

    Buried Alive on Demigod of Revenge, Demigod of Revenge, and Demigod of Revenge. Bring one of them back, and have the other two hop on for the ride. Not strictly lethal right away, but it's 15 flying, hasty damage and the creatures stick around for further stomping if your opponent can't stop them.

    Buried Alive on Bloodghast, Bloodghast, and Bloodghast. Drop a land and admire the value.

    Well, I don't usually see black/red reanimator, so it's pretty cool. I'm not too crazy about Tibalt, really, but I've also never tried him. I don't like his +1, and the whole point of using him rests on that.

    If you want to stick with black/red, Balthor the Defiled could create a pretty powerful effect for you, but might be overkill. My first thought on seeing the proportions of your list is that you might want to shift one way or another, either emphasizing reanimation effects and using big creatures to take advantage of that or using cards that can easily be hardcast, but using some reanimation to keep the beats coming.
  3. Terentius The Instigator

    I was going to say Sheoldred was about as good as Griselbrand, but then I saw Lifelink. If you think discarding Haakon with Av Disc is fun, try doing it on the first turn with Dark Ritual!

    Your Johnny is showing! That's some impressive card/combo knowledge. Though, I believe Demigod of Revenge only triggers when you cast him. And I would use Bloodghast, but he's expensive and I have none.

    No one's crazy about Tibalt, except maybe his card art. This is one of the only decks I can see him working in, and he's not even a secondary component; just flavor, really. Did I mention I have a thing for flavor and themes?

    Well the point was to make a viable Tibalt deck, but I guess the direction of the deck is just fast, reliable damage, closer to the second direction you suggested. I've never had a bad hand with this deck, and I'm not sure it's possible to. My creatures that aren't primary reanimation targets: Vexing Devil, Hellspark Elemental, Avatar of Discord, and Haakon, can do a ton of work by themselves, though I often stop playing them once I can Exhume something good so I am not forced to use Exhume later when my opponents can benefit. Sheoldred is the usually the first to be reanimated because it has the highest return on investment, then Flayer.

    Also,

    +1 Wild Guess
    -1 Akoum Refuge
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Decked out Reanimator decks also use Griselbrand because if the opponent does have an early removal spell that can take him out, it's still possible to respond by paying life to draw cards that can reanimate him again or bring out other threats. He's just crazy. Then again, so is Entomb. Absolute cheese.

    Sheoldred is pretty powerful too. She is cheese too. I'd happily use her as a reanimation target. Actually, I might hesitate to, if my opponents aren't forewarned about how much cheese is being served. Sheoldred is a whole wheel of cheese. And Griselbrand is a Cheshire mammoth cheese.

    Yeah, I got carried away with typing "Buried Alive X, Y, and Z" followed by "reanimate X." Demigod of Revenge does have to be cast, but still works nicely with Buried Alive, which was what I'd meant to say initially before I got carried away. The ideal situation with Demigod of Revenge would probably be to Buried Alive three of them, tutor up the fourth, then cast it and get all four. I haven't actually seen that done, but Demigod of Revenge works nicely as a sort of alternate plan. I forget the specifics of the deck I saw using it, but it would be comparable to your using Buried Alive to grab Sheoldred, while also getting two copies of Demigod of Revenge. Sheoldred would be Plan A, but if it turned out not to be enough, a Demigod of Revenge could be cast to bring back the other two, for some big flying damage suddenly coming in for the kill as Plan B. I saw it work once. Not the most amazing thing, but it's decent.

    Then again, you're packing four copies of Demigod of revenge and it hasn't been working. Buried Alive could make it more likely to work for you. Or you could just cut it. If your other options are working so well for you, it might be better to optimize them than to keep cards in that aren't pulling their weight. I could see either way being viable.

    Ah, depends on circumstances. Bloodghast is a $5 card, or thereabouts. Roughly twice what it'd cost to buy Demigod of Revenge. But you already have the Demigods, so they don't actually cost you anything. I know there are cards I own that I wouldn't be able to just go out and buy playsets of if I needed them and didn't already have them, so I know what that's like.

    Yeah. Wow. I just realized that after having insanely good planeswalkers in Innistrad and a solid one in Dark Ascension that the Avacyn Restored planeswalkers are both duds by comparison. How'd that play out with the duel decks? I have Elspeth vs. Tezzeret and at least Tezzeret is pretty good and has some powerful artifacts to utilize against Elspeth, Uberknight of the All-My-Stuff-Is-Indestructible-Forever. Sorin 2.0 has good abilities and great synergy with creatures? Costing two mana doesn't make up for that unless you actually do something with it...

    Oh well, nice job getting some mileage out of the worst planeswalker in the block.

    Well, if it's already working, you might not want to change too much anyway.

    Oh, I just remembered another card that seems like it would fit in here. You try Murderous Redcap?
  5. Terentius The Instigator

    Ah yeah, Griselbrand's draw ability would be really useful. Especially since this deck will weep against heavy creature exile. My primary playgroup doesn't play with much removal, and it shows when I build my decks. I could also just run one or two Buried Alive.

    I see now that stronger reanimator decks rely on sort of tutoring the reanimation targets by pulling them straight from their library into their graveyard. Mine is less particular, just working with whatever comes into my hand that I discard with Faithless Looting/Wild Guess, and those spells increase draw power greatly. Every creature is good, so it doesn't matter much. Anyway, the main reason I haven't been able to hit Demigod's ability is because the games with this deck end so quickly. And I just remembered I have a Lord of the Void...

    I mean I have money to buy him, but besides the fact that I'd more want to stick him in Sorin's duel deck, even though I bought most of the cards as singles for this deck, I find it's price point relative to power is pretty good. MTG Doctor has the average price at about $90, the low at about $30. It's really a personal boundary I impose on how much I can justify spending on cards.

    Tibalt was bad, but Hellspark Elemental and Hellrider carried his deck.

    Fits the theme, but spending a reanimation spell to get 3 damage is relatively low ROI, and casting him is even worse.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yeah, in my experience, most decent Reanimator decks bulldoze decks that don't have removal of some sort.

    And that's a totally valid strategy. It used to be more prevalent, especially back before Entomb was printed. In part, Dredge might have driven out this flavor of Reanimator, because when you're dumping cards into your graveyard and working with whatever shows up, you might as well do so as rapidly as possible.

    Yeah, I was assuming that you wouldn't be trying to hardcast Lord of the Void, though...


    $90? We're talking about Bloodghast, right? I don't know what MTG Doctor is, but Bloodghast isn't that much. Not even close. The average price on magiccards.info is around $6, but some of the stores listed are selling it (especially for copies that are worn) for under $5 and the average is brought up by the stores that always price stuff higher for some reason. Card Kingdom has them for $5.19 with mint ones at $6.49. The highest price I'm seeing for mint foils is $16.

    I wouldn't tell someone else how much or how little should be spent on pieces of cardboard, because it's not my business. I've played with people that weren't willing to buy singles for more than a few dollars, ever and I've played with people that bought full playsets of all Revised dual lands Power 9 cards. Just saying that a playset of Bloodghasts could be had for $20 or so, and I think MTG Doctor, whatever it is, might need to have its medical license revoked...
  7. Terentius The Instigator

    MTG Doctor is an Android deckbuilder app, even though as a card database it's far inferior to MTG Familiar. That $90 was the average price the app gave for my whole deck currently, without Bloodghast. And about $14 of it is from the two Vexing Devils that I had bought before. I'm willing to spend more on a card if it absolutely makes the deck, though as I'm typing this I can't think of a single I've purchased for more than $12 or so.

    Edit: I bought two Gaea's Cradle back in the day for $20-$30. Last I checked they were $120 or so... they're not essential to any of my current decks, so I could sell them, but meh.
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Ah. I totally misunderstood that, then. I don't usually pay attention to how much a whole deck costs because I'm not enough of a baller to buy entire decks from scratch.

    I used to have one back when it was probably worth $5 or something, and I probably traded it for cards that suck.

    Gaea's Cradle is pretty amazing with elves, if you're into that.
  9. Terentius The Instigator

    -1 Avatar of Discord
    +1 Sheoldred
    +1 Lord of the Void

    +1 Faithless Looting - I learned it's really good if I can hit this on the first turn setting up an Exhume, so I'll trade it for Wild Guess
    -1 Wild Guess
    +3 Lightning Axe - Awesome
    -1 Diabolic Servitude

    -1 Tibalt

    -1 Swamp
    -1 Mountain

    I considered trading out Demigod of Revenge for more utility and creature bombs, but Demigod is a bomb himself, and can alleviate hard choices when using draw then discard spells if I get a bad draw. I do still want to run Buried Alive, so I may revisit this at some point.
  10. Terentius The Instigator

    -2 Haakon - moving to a different deck
    +1 Hellspark
    +1 Visara the Dreadful - a small bomb in-color I got for cheap, though I'm wondering more why my reanimation-only creatures need to be in-color...

    -3 Dark Ritual - I use this card as a crutch too often, and this deck doesn't really need it
    +1 Lightning Axe
    +1 Buried Alive

    +1 Mountain
  11. Terentius The Instigator

    -2 Avatar of Discord
    +1 Sheoldred, the Whispering One
    +1 Lord of the Void
    +2 Griselbrand - I yell "GRISELBRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!!!!!!" every time I get this out
    -1 Visara the Dreadful

    -1 Buried Alive - It has its perks, but too often I find myself wanting to play other cards in my hand instead. Though I think I removed this before I got Griselbrand; seeking out his Lifelink could be beneficial...
    +3 Chaos Warp - Red enchantment removal! Tried Nevinyrral's disk; didn't like it.
    -2 Wild Guess
    +2 Tormenting Voice - Strictly better
    -1 Diabolic Servitude
    +1 Zombify

    -2 Tibalt - Tibalt was the worst card in the deck by such a large margin that he was forced out, even though he was the original reason for the deck's creation. Fear not, however, as he was moved to the Madness deck I described in another thread. Things are better for him there.

    -2 Akoum Refuge
    +1 Temple of Malice
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I like how they clearly designed Chaos Warp as a red tuck option for Commander, but then the RC killed that with the tuck rule. Still works as counter-hate and such for your deck. And you can't really go wrong with more Griselbrand and Sheoldred. Buried Alive is iffy here. You're already able to find discard outlets and you're running multiple copies of the big creature you want to bring back. Buried Alive is really at its best when it's an enabler for a one-shot kill with Reanimate, and you're not running any of those. Still, it's effectively the poor man's Entomb that also gives you two backups in case the original Entomb target turns out to be stopped. But you want it to be fast...

    Dark Ritual makes everything faster. I think it's become something of a forgotten aspect of black decks. Back when Dark Ritual was still being printed, it was taken for granted that the card went into any black deck because it accelerates everything and faster is better. The only black decks that wouldn't use it were weird ones that made it unfeasible (Nether Void and such) and multicolor decks that just couldn't afford it on account of their other colors. Otherwise, conventional wisdom was to just use Dark Ritual. What changed? Well, the card's been out of Standard since before many players were born, and of course it's not being drafted either. The next big formats that I see are Modern (Dark Ritual misses the cutoff and doesn't exist in the format) and Commander (a 100-card singleton format with a heavy multicolor focus, so Dark Ritual might fit into some decks, but it's not ubiquitous). Of course, Dark Ritual is in Legacy, but Legacy is increasingly relegated, and the only competitive Legacy decks heavy enough in black mana for Dark Ritual to work are storm decks, reanimator, and Pox, and those decks are highly specialized. Black has a similar issue in Vintage, showing up in storm combo but nowhere else. The result is that the traditional use of Dark Ritual as a universal speed boost for black decks is a dirty little secret of casual Magic. That's why you're thinking of Dark Ritual as a "crutch." You don't want to rely on it. But back when Dark Ritual was a played card in popular formats, no one saw it as a crutch. It was just a part of what black did. Black decks gonna black. It was so prevalent that players coined "MBC" as a designation for black decks that weren't out to kill you with lightning speed. "Monoblack" was so associated with speed that there was no such term as "black aggro" or anything like that. So the minority of black decks that were actually control decks got their own name. People later misunderstood this and started making up silly names like "MUC" for blue control, but blue decks were generally control decks all along, so that missed the point. Fast black decks were so popular that playing black as control instead was a novelty, and got its own name because of that. But even the black control decks were using Dark Ritual, because it let them make big plays to set up taking over the board. No one back then thought of Dark Ritual as a crutch. It's something that people only say nowadays because the card left the cultural zeitgeist. It's not a crutch. It's rocket fuel and you should use it. If there are individual cards that only really work with Dark Ritual to power them out, then yeah, maybe those shouldn't be included in your deck. But the only time that Dark Ritual isn't beneficial is when you have a hand full of red cards, and your deck has enough black to make it worthwhile.

    I thought that it had come up in this thread, but looking back I don't see it discussed. How about Sire of Insanity? Seems like you have a few ways to take advantage of its ability in this deck, and most opponents just get hurt by it...
  13. Terentius The Instigator

    We'll have to agree to disagree then, because if there's a card you have to include in every black deck you make outside of competitive play, then I'd say it is a crutch (though all that means is I think you lack style/imagination). Besides, since this deck's best opening play is T1 Faithless Looting, T2 Exhume Sheoldred, I can go without it. I run a set of old card frame Dark Rituals in my BW Discard deck, and another modern card frame set in my RB Pain Discard deck, and in those decks it actually is critical.

    This card's new to me. I'd consider swapping it with Avatar of Discord, but I'm partial to that card just because of how bad it is. Maybe I could drop another land and run both.
  14. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Either I've hit a nerve or you didn't realize how this reads when you wrote it. "And when I say that you use a crutch, all that means is that I think you lack style and imagination. You see, my good man, the root of our disagreement simply lies in the fact that you are an uncivilized brute. A lout. Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

    What gives?

    Hey, you want to build a deck without Dark Ritual, go for it. Of course it's possible to build Reanimator decks without it. People have already done it in formats where Dark Ritual isn't legal. I didn't mean to imply that you personally don't understand how Dark Ritual works or any such thing when I wrote that about Dark Ritual. Was that how it came across? I was more bemoaning its virtual disappearance from the game (it's my favorite card).

    A bit weird to call it a crutch, though. Crutches don't make things faster. :confused:
  15. Terentius The Instigator

    Well, you changed and added to the words I used, but I guess I used the wrong words in the first place. What I meant was "...if there's a card someone uses in every black deck he or she makes outside of competitively play, then I'd say it is a crutch. This doesn't suit me personally, because I find it lacks style/imagination."

    I stand by the crutch part. I like Dark Ritual too, but I'd probably poke fun at someone in my playgroup who never played without the card. It's like in the other thread where I was looking for something other than Rancor; Rancor is so good it can be put into any green aggro deck. I only use it in my Enchantment deck both because it's a sweet aura and it keeps coming back after removal, for easy money with Enchantress's Presence. For style, I use its (much lamer) cycle-sibling Brilliant Halo.

    ...Don't they though? But I did mean crutch as in something one needs to lean on because they can't support himself or herself, rather than a tool used for hobbling around. It can be both a crutch and rocket fuel.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    So, the part where I actually quoted you, which uses the quote function on this message board and contains a "Terentius said" tag, contains only your words, verbatim. I didn't change anything. Following that, as part of my commentary, I used quotation marks around part of what I said. I didn't pull it as a quote, give it its own line, or note any attribution. I thought it was pretty clear that this wasn't intended to be read as me quoting you, especially in light of the fact that I'd already done just that. But maybe what seems clear to me doesn't actually come out that way...

    What I was trying to do there was use exaggeration to convey that you said something that seemed rude, but rather than clarifying the issue, correcting it, or even disputing what I said, you doubled down on the rudeness.

    People don't like to be told that they're using a crutch, particularly when they do not think that they are. Now, I didn't think that you were actually trying to insult anyone (you even specifically said that you thought you were using a card as a crutch, not that anyone else was) and I still don't. But I don't agree with that term. I don't consider any card to be a crutch. Still, I didn't think that you meant it to be antagonizing to anyone, so I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt and point out the merits of this particular card.

    And then you explained your use of the word "crutch" as "all that means is I think you lack style/imagination." Oh. Is that all? Because, you see, that's not better. People don't like to be told that they lack style/imagination. The apparently lost meaning of my exaggerating paraphrase of your statement is that this is doubling down on rudeness. You said something that seemed rude and I wanted to believe that it wasn't meant that way, then you clarified that you meant something else, still rude. I still want to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but you're not making it easy.

    My natural inclination here is to use hyperbole to show the issue here, but I see that it didn't work well last time, so I won't do that. Instead, I'll give you an example from something else. I knew a guy a while back who was vegetarian and very passionate about it, spouting that meat was murder and other such things. Other people didn't like to be called murderers and took offense at this. He made some claim that while he didn't mean that other people eating meat were murderers, meat was murder for him. No one bought it. No one ever buys that sort of thing, not really.

    If you say that a certain thing isn't your style, then you're appealing to a matter of personal preference, and no one could seriously take issue with that. But if you say that a certain thing comes down to a lack of style, then you're opening up a can of worms regarding the lack of style you're imputing to others. Throwing a "personally" in there doesn't change that.

    Yeah, really making it hard to give you the benefit of the doubt here. But really, I'm not even offended, just annoyed. And I should explain why. I have reservations about doing so, because it seems too derailing in a thread that is for a deck I actually rather like, but I've already gone yammering this far, so I might as well see it through...

    A lot of people play this game. Many pride themselves on their imagination. Some even professionally rely on being imaginative. But how that comes out in Magic varies from person to person. Some people prefer building their own decks that offer something new and unique. Some people prefer to refine existing decks and optimize them for an environment. Some people prefer to express themselves more in gameplay than in deck design. Some people express themselves through art. Some people like to build decks around a theme, caring more about flavor than about what the deck actually does. Some people really like a certain card or type of deck, and prefer exploring the space therein. Some people don't express their imagination or style in Magic at all, using other outlets to do that and simply playing Magic to unwind or perhaps to socialize with friends. There's nothing wrong with any of these. I'd think everyone should know that. And yet, I see players claim a lack of style/creativity/imagination/ingenuity/wit/etc. in others over some particular detail, whether it's netdecking, only playing a certain color, only playing certain formats, playing with certain cards, playing combo decks, playing control decks, playing aggro decks, playing with expensive cards, playing with other people's cards, or just not playing the game in what is perceived to be the right way. There's no call for any of that. The Magic community can be big and wide open for all kinds of different forms of expression and contribution to the game...

    ...except for financial speculators. You know, those guys who try to play Wall Street with Magic products/cards and end up making everything more expensive for everyone else? I have some choice words for those people (the words are actually just my fists).

    Hey, as rants go, that one wasn't even too long!

    That's crazy talk, Terentius. You're saying crazy things now. Rocket-powered turbo crutches? That's crazy. Who would do that? Only a crazy person, that's for sure.
  17. Terentius The Instigator

    It is what it is. What's your goal here, exactly? Are you trying to get me to recant my statement that Dark Ritual is a crutch for people who can't make a black deck without it? I won't. Are you trying to get me to not poke at those people? For people in my playgroup, I won't, and I don't do it to others. Yeah, it may be somewhat rude, but by nature so is every other disagreement. It's really in jest anyway.

    I didn't get all bent out of shape when you told me this:
    Saying Telepathy is a bad card is kind of implying that players who use it are bad and should be using other cards that are not bad. And I understand why you feel that way and even your reasoning, and agree to disagree, because to me, Telepathy has merit. And style!

    In any case, if someone is offended by a comment about a Magic card, that person may be overly-sensitive.
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    To be nicer. Yeah, that's sounds weird, but there's context. In my time at the CPA, too many of the times that I've tried to make points or refute points others made that I thought were spurious, instead of sparking a lively discussion, all it did was cause everything to devolve into aimless bickering over my perceived pedantry. Entertaining as some people might find that, I'm endeavoring to do better. By its nature as an internet message board, this place provides a perfect record of what people have said (up until posts are edited or deleted, but there's not too much of that, usually). For me, this makes it tempting to break everything up into individual claims and dissect them in the manner of an academic debate, perhaps in part because I had some training in doing just that. It leads to a sort of barrage of facts and counterclaims and really doesn't serve any purpose that I'd seriously contend has merit. As though I'm going to analyze what was said, then regurgitate it and expect people to see things in the way that I see them. So I don't want to do that. OK, maybe I do want to do it a little bit, but certainly not in the casual decks subforum!

    No, I shouldn't expect that you would. Instead...

    Could you do me a favor? No, really. Won't take long. Look back at what you said and think about what you had in mind when you said it. Try to disregard any subsequent discussion. You, Terentius, roughly two years ago, said...

    Of course it's not reasonable to expect that you could perfectly encapsulate your own mindset from two years ago. But looking back and trying to think of what you had in mind...

    Wasn't the bit about Dark Ritual really just focused on how you didn't like your own use of the card in this particular deck? You wanted to free up the slots to focus on a different approach. Something like that? Maybe? I think so. I could be wrong! I can't read your mind. It's the impression I get, but I'm asking you because obviously you'd know better than I would.

    Now, as a side note, I don't consider any Magic card to be a crutch. I did mention that briefly in one of my posts and never elaborated on it. But it's not important. An interesting topic, maybe, but we could start another thread about that if you're interested. Otherwise, I'm content to drop it. If I'm going out of my way to pick on people's word choice then I'm being pedantic. My comment (the one in post #12) was really more about your choice to remove Dark Ritual. It was about the card, not the word "crutch." I consider Dark Ritual to generally be a smart inclusion in reanimator-style decks. Some of the scariest plays in this sort of deck are first turn Ritual into Entomb + Exhume and first turn Ritual into Buried Alive to set up a game-breaking second turn. That doesn't mean any such deck must use the card or the deck is bad! I was just trying to make that point. And when I'm discussing Magic cards, especially casual decks, I have a habit of touching on topics that cards remind me of. So I went on a tangent about Dark Ritual an its position in the game overall, but that wasn't meant to denigrate you or your deck design choices. I was just sort of spitballing. Like I said, I do it a lot. But sometimes, as in this case, it's not very clear and it's easy for people who didn't know I was spitballing (everyone but me) to read into it and assume that everything I said was meant to make some sort of compelling case. The only relevant thing I was saying about Dark Ritual in my post was that it made sense as a card in this sort of deck (giving a tempo boost). If I'd just said that, you'd probably have simply disagreed or pointed out that you wanted not to use it here more for stylistic reasons, for the sake of variety or whatever (same reason for not using Rancor in your beasts deck, I think?). But because I threw in that irrelevant commentary without making it clear why I was doing so, it turned into a situation in which we were arguing at cross purposes, both talking about different things and thinking that the other was probably talking about the thing we each were talking about. My mistake. And because of that, over the course of a few posts, we've both moved away from what was actually said.

    I think that in your original post about cutting Dark Ritual, all you had in mind was that you wanted to take the deck in a different direction, perhaps that you felt you were overusing the card in general or just that you had other cards you wanted to use here instead. But now we've got you saying, "Dark Ritual is a crutch for people who can't make a black deck without it." This brings to mind a pretty extreme situation. Like, these hypothetical players might go to a local game store and play Sealed, open a pool with an awesome black deck, but refuse to play black because they can't without Dark Ritual. I don't actually know anyone like that. Do you? I can't definitely state that you do not, but it really seems dubious. So if, two years ago, you really did know these strange "can't ever play black under any circumstances without Dark Ritual" people and you had them in mind when you cut Dark Ritual from his deck, then that's one thing. It'd be weird, but I can't rule it out. What I find more likely, correct me if I'm wrong, is that you really just meant the whole "crutch" thing as a personal choice. And in that case, apparently provoked by my confusing rhetoric, you've now contrived a group of Magic players out of whole cloth and are insisting that I can't get you to recant your statement that you made up about these imaginary people just now. All that would make us both seem pretty silly, but that's what it's looking like from where I'm sitting...

    I'm having trouble actually parsing this, but it seems like you're asking if I'd say your should not engage in friendly banter or something. Of course I'm not saying that. I actually have no idea where that comes from, but some of the stuff I said was probably also confusing, so I'll assume it was my fault for giving some such impression. To be clear, no, of course I don't object to friendly banter and such.

    Hm, perhaps you didn't get bent out of shape, but you're bringing it up out of nowhere, so you got something. Two points on this bit...

    1. I've known some players who pride themselves on building decks from bad cards. They take it as a sort of challenge, and some of the decks I've seen them come up with have actually been clever and even good. Those decks won't be sweeping Legacy tournaments or anything like that, but taking a bad card and building around it to create a deck that works is an accomplishment. Because of this, the idea that players are themselves bad for using bad cards never occurred to me. I had no such implication in mind when I wrote that.
    2. I don't think that I should have said that part anyway. I think that post was also like two years ago? I get why I'd call Telepathy a bad card and I believe that we both understood the issues I was getting at when I called it that, but it's something that I don't think I should do. Perhaps I've changed my mind. It's not that I'd no longer call any card a bad card, but I'd now hesitate to apply that label to Telepathy. Not that the card has become better, but my perspective on these things has evolved somewhat. Another tangent, but the concise point is that I don't think that I should have said precisely what I said there.


    Sure. Considering that there was a point in my previous post in which I stated that I was annoyed, not offended, and then went on to explain why, and considering that I still think that was one of the things I actually explained pretty well, this seems like a rather dubious remark.
  19. Terentius The Instigator

    It probably seems like we're missing each other's arguments because you bring up so many different points in each post and I don't respond to all of them.

    Yes, the "crutch" comment in Post 10 was originally made about myself and my own preferences.

    Because of your exposition in Post 12, specifically the part about "It's not a crutch, it's rocket fuel", I extended the "crutch" comment to others. These others are a hypothetical group, as I do not have specifics on who all falls into it, but it does exist, as I know players who do fall into it. So the group is not imaginary, but probably doesn't exist outside of Constructed formats.
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    What is it that you think that means, though? It seems to me that if one card can be a crutch, then any card could be a crutch. Even for the worst cards in the game, it's possible to construct decks that rely on those cards. This is a zero-sum game.

    Confusing. You say it's hypothetical, then in the same sentence you say that it isn't. Something can't be both hypothetical and not hypothetical. That's a logical contradiction.

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