Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

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Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby graft » Wed May 15, 2013 5:47 pm

Welcome back to another edition of Noble Notables, the column where we discuss MtG cards from new sets that will either make a splash in Noble or a splash in the toilet. In this edition we will review the cards from Dragon's Maze from the perspective of a Noble player. There are also 3 contests buried within this article for those who would like to build some custom Noble decks, so keep your eyes peeled.

As usual, I won't assign a numeric value to the cards because you deserve the chance to judge them based on their merits. We start with the...

Commons (a.k.a. Cannon fodder, cogs, grunts, peons. These guys get the dirty work done.)


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Deputy of Acquittals

She slices, she dices, she does it all! This card is the double-shiz with a fried egg on top. Turning off your opponent's removal is huge, especially when you get to repeat an enters-the-battlefield trigger from something like Sea Gate Oracle or permanently exile a dude with Fiend Hunter. Even if you aren't doing that, a surprise blocker or beater is nothing to scoff at!


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Hidden Strings

In general, cipher requires too many moving pieces to be playable outside of casual decks. However, if you consider that this card can provide you with four mana with each cipher if you untap two Simic Growth Chambers (or even more if you start adding Wild Growth-effects), I get the feeling that someone might want to break this to power out a turn four Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker or some other nonsense.

CHALLENGE #1: Build a deck that takes advantage of Hidden Strings. You do not need to include four copies of Hidden Strings but it should be central to your gameplan. Submit your deck in the comments below by 11:59 PM Central Time on May 30. On May 31 I will select one deck that most creatively crafts a consistent/powerful gameplan using Hidden Strings. The winner will receive a mystery prize that is smaller than a breadbox and far less valuable than a Tarmogoyf (i.e. the prize will be Magic cards).

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Nivix Cyclops

I just want to make a point about this guy. He is nowhere near the power level of even Kiln Fiend. With cards like Kiln Fiend or Wee Dragonauts, you get to cast your instants during the attack step. Not so with Nivix Cyclops, because he still has defender! He turns your Lightning Bolts into Volcanic Hammers, and that makes tiny kittens cry. Still, this will probably represent Kiln Fiends/Wee Dragonauts 9-12 in that deck.


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Pilfered Plans

Divination is as Divination does </Forrest Gump>. Is Divination good enough anymore? I tend to doubt it, but it can assist with the mill kill or the self-mill plan so I expect it to see marginal play.


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Rubblebelt Maaka

There's a joke in here somewhere about a Hill Giant using Giant Growth, but the ladies still didn't care. Actually, I like this card quite a bit and I think he deserves some love. Six-eyed cats should be a thing.


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Tithe Drinker

I've already integrated this card into my Maralen of the Mornsong deck, and it is marvelous. Child of Night with a bonus is pretty saucy in my book. She is able to trade profitably with early aggressive creatures, and threatens huge value over the long game.


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Ubul Sar Gatekeepers

4 mana is a lot to ask, but removal that leaves a guy behind has always been good. Just ask Gatekeeper of Malakir. This is the best Gatekeeper in the cycle. The others have merits, but this is the only one that is even marginally playable outside of limited.


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Uncovered Clues

This card seems boss, even though the sorcery speed hurts it quite a bit. Still, it seems like an excellent card for digging for answers in control, or more likely it will be used for helping Storm decks dig for more gas.


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Zhur-Taa Druid

Ramping from 2 to 4 mana is generally much worse than ramping from 1 to 3. I want to like this guy, but I have to see a saucy list or two before I'm sold. There is an infinite damage combo with this guy, Orochi Leafcaller, and Freed From the Real/Pemmin's Aura if you like ambitious combos.


Uncommons (a.k.a. Your Lieutenant. Your secret weapon. Your backup plan.)

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Armed/Dangerous

Armed/Dangerous, Ambush Viper, Nightshade Peddler, Kessig Recluse, Deadly Spider, Greater Basilisk, Vithian Stinger, Prodigal Pyromancer... Oh, hi there. What am I doing, you ask? Building my Red-Green Ulvenwald Tracker deck. This card is also insane in the Kiln Fiend deck we mentioned earlier.


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Blast of Genius

In a world of Goblin Electromancers, I would like to think that this card could be viable since it does a lot of things well despite it's steep cost. I think this card could actually be *good* if you were using Arcane Melee as your Noble.


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Bronzebeak Moa

I look forward to getting pummelled by this guy in both Limited and Standard. It will be the most adorable pummelling I ever receive. There's no shortage of token producers at common, anything from Raise the Alarm to Attended Knight to Presence of Gond will make these fancy-pants birds apply the hurt.


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Carnage Gladiator

This guy puts serious pressure on the opponent for a reasonable price. Everyone jokes about "blocking? In CONSTRUCTED?! HERP DERP DAT NEVER HAPPENS!!". Those people are dead wrong. Blocking is how midrange/control players stabilize against aggro. This guy is awesome.

CHALLENGE #2: Build a deck that takes advantage of Carnage Gladiator. You do not need to include four copies of Carnage Gladiator but it should be central to your gameplan. Submit your deck in the comments below by 11:59 PM Central Time on May 30. On May 31 I will select one deck that most creatively crafts a consistent/powerful gameplan using Carnage Gladiator. The winner will receive a mystery prize that is smaller than a breadbox and far less valuable than a Tarmogoyf (i.e. the prize will be Magic cards).

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Down/Dirty

In a format where Hymn to Tourach is legal, a card has to do a lot to justify paying an additional two mana for a worse effect. Thankfully, the flexibility of tacking on the Regrowth-esque Dirty might actually make this thing playable. Grabbing your Noble from the bin can swing a game back in your favor. I'm on the fence, but I think this card could be worth the uncommon slot if you're tired of using Eternal Witness.


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Far/Away

Quite clearly a powerful card, but the biggest knock against it is that either side can only deal with creatures. There are plenty of Noble decks that don't run any creatures and will make this card look embarassing. Excellent at times, garbage at others.


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Goblin Test Pilot

This guy is absolutely terrible and I can't wait to play with him. Probably my favorite bad card ever. I suppose you can do things like give him protection or shroud or extra toughness to help him survive if he shocks himself, but I want to play him onto a high-pressure board, activate his ability and have him fry himself, then lose spectacularly.


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Gruul War Chant

An awesome take on the classic Goblin War Drums, and hits a good spot on an aggressive gruul curve. This is a good card for people who like to beat face and chew bubblegum but are unable to locate said bubblegum.


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Rot Farm Skeleton

As a graveyard enabler, this guy is pretty cool. Obviously this is an attempt at a more reasonable version of dredge, so he won't ever be as overpowered as those cards, but I still enjoy a good Reassembling Skeleton.


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Sin Collector

This is a hard sell to take up an uncommon slot, but I think the effect is powerful enough to be worth it. Is it better than Tidehollow Sculler? A little, yes, but it's also much more narrow. Hrm.


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Spike Jester

They don't come much more aggressive than this. I prefer Strangleroot Geist for my uncommon aggression (don't submit this text to the cops please), but Rakdos colors really love a crazed goblin.


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Trostani's Summoner

This is an absolute bomb given all of the populate and flicker effects printed recently. Seven mana is a lot to ask, but she brings a lot to the table to compensate. When I Cloudshift this during your attack phase and cackle endlessly, I give you the right to punch me (not in the fragile bits).


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Turn/Burn

Why hello there, you spicy devil. This card does so much for both red and blue, it’s phenomenal. Red struggles with removing creatures too big for bolts, and blue struggles with actually removing creatures. In an aggressive deck you can use this to attack into large blockers. In a slow deck you can stall and gain card advantage. Dis a good card.


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Warleader's Helix

Question: Do you play standard? If yes, do you play midrange or control? If also yes, pick up two or three of these. Otherwise leave them be. They are going to be good in Standard with the preponderance of 4-toughness creatures, but anywhere else you will still prefer Lightning Helix.


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Warped Physique

I think you'll stick with your Agony Warps. This is a fine card but you can do better for uncommon.



Noble (a.k.a. The Big Bad. The Boss Man. The Fat Lady.)

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Aetherling

Fun fact: this guy has infinite buttbreathing. Thank Conley Woods for that lexical gem. Aetherling dodges anything that doesn't have split second, which is effectively everything. Argent Sphinx hasn't been a popular choice for Noble, so this guy might never see play, but he does seem much easier to build around.


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Beck/Call

Some number of entrepreneuring folks broke Glimpse of Nature in this format. Can they do it again? I'm not sure but I can't wait to see the result. Stay tuned.


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Blood Baron of Vizkopa

I have a personal distaste for "protection from x" in a casual format, but there's no doubt that this guy is solid, and I would prefer to be sitting across from the BW Baron than a Batterskull.


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Blood Scrivener

This guy is actually really solid in a low curve deck. Draw out their removal before you play him and win. Duress! Inquisition of Kozilek! Hymn to Tourach! Commit suicide with Vampire Lacerator!


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Deadbridge Chant

This is a very powerful effect in the right deck, as reanimating something like Pelakka Wurm each turn is just impossible for some decks to beat. But the skeptics are right to be skeptical -- six mana is too much for something that sits there while your soft body gets squished into paste.


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Exava, the Blood Witch

She scares me in a Lorena Bobbit kind of way. Her ability basically reads "creatures you control have haste" so long as you build your deck carefully. It isn't all that exciting to me, but if you find a way to play multiple guys a turn, she will end games quickly. I suppose you could dump her on turn 2 with a Dark Ritual and follow up with all of your unleash dudes. Does that excite anybody?


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Lavinia of the Tenth

I expect to see an annoying flicker (barely know her) deck highlighting this card, Stonehorn Dignitary, Cloudshift, Momentary Blink, Ghostly Flicker, Mistmeadow Witch, Archaeomancer, etc. AND I WILL RAGE.


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Master of Cruelties

This is exactly the type of card that I expect to see as a Noble. Powerful, unique, and not expected to see serious competetive play. It is perfect. In Noble, there are so damn many ways to make him lethal, it's bonkers. Gut Shot, Vithian Stinger, Mogg Fanatic, etc. Give him haste against an empty board and watch your opponent weep.


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Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker

Roughly equivalent to Nemesis of Reason, there isn't a whole lot of reason to go with Mirko since his trigger requires him to connect with your opponent. However, his creature type could be semi-relevant and I expect him to see play solely because people love mill strategies.


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Possibility Storm

Blue-Red Brainstorm-Eldrazi-Cloudpost could be a thing. Step 1, draw a big guy. Step 2, brainstorm him back on top (Brainstorm has to be your only instant). Step 3, cast Ornithopter. Step 4, Profit. Notice the lack of a ??? Step. Actually this card is just plain bad, but would be a ton of fun for multiplayer.


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Progenitor Mimic

I love the idea of copying something with Undying or Penumbra Spider, or anything with a good enters-the-battlefield ability like Acidic Slime. The problem with Followed Footsteps was that if you had the better creature, you were either already winning or getting 2-for-1'ed by trying to cast Footsteps on your guy and getting blown out in response. If you enchanted your opponent's creature, well, you were probably getting beat down by playing a 5-mana enchantment that doesn't do anything until your next turn. With this glorious bastard you can copy anything you want and not fear the 2-for-1. Really, really good stuff.

CHALLENGE #3: Build a deck that takes advantage of Progenitor Mimic. You do not need to include four copies of Progenitor Mimic but it should be central to your gameplan. Submit your deck in the comments below by 11:59 PM Central Time on May 30. On May 31 I will select one deck that most creatively crafts a consistent/powerful gameplan using Progenitor Mimic. The winner will receive a mystery prize that is smaller than a breadbox and far less valuable than a Tarmogoyf (i.e. the prize will be Magic cards).

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Ral Zarek

This guy is quite powerful, and Wizards did a great job incorporating Izzet flavor (tastes like burning). In Standard you can untap your Gilded Lotuses (Lotii?), in Noble you'll have access to things like Khalni Gem, Dreamstone Hedron, Ur-Golem's Eye, Sisay's Ring, Worn Powerstone, Izzet Boilerworks, and the like. You can probably make RUG work if you want to go all in with things like Fertile Ground, Utopia Sprawl, and Wild Growth. Of course you can untap other stuffs like pingers and looters too. I've spent a good amount of time comparing him to Ajani Vengeant, and while Ajani is generally better, the comparison is apt and they are different enough that they both will see play.


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Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

This guy is just absurd. Wizards has been favoring creatures for quite some time now and the power level of this guy is through the roof. You better hope you have the counterspell ready for this guy, because otherwise, ouch.


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Savageborn Hydra

This is probably my favorite card in the set, and it gets mentioned on that merit alone. It's not significantly better than any of the other Hydra variants. Heck, it is even worse than some. But sometimes you just want to make a giant beatstick even more giant-er. And this guy scratches that itch. Twice even. Really, really hard.


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Sire of Insanity

This is a solid Madness/Hellbent enabler, if you are inclined to these effects. It's very slow, so you'll need to shape your gameplan accordingly. In Standard, I'm going to run this guy with Voice of Resurgence to either force my opponent to give me free Voice tokens or get crushed by a 6/4.


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Varolz, the Scar-Striped

I'm not going to label this guy as overpowered or anything of that nature, but he is very good. Black and green have enough undying/persist cards that his regen will be very difficult to overcome with creatures or destroy-effects.


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Vorel of the Hull Clade

People who know me know that Gilder Bairn is one of my favorite cards. This guy does a lot of the same things, but is much more "fair", in the sense that making Vorel go infinite is much harder to do.


Conclusion:

Best Common: Tithe Drinker
Best Uncommon: Turn/Burn
Best Noble: Master of Cruelties


That's all I have for this round of Noble Notables, I'll see you at the next set release! Until then, thanks for reading, and let me know if you have anything you'd like me to cover. Careful readers will have noticed that I have three contests mentioned above (hint: there is one for each rarity). If you would like to enter, choose one or more of the challenges and submit your decklist in the comments below. I highly recommend using TappedOut to build your deck, then just submit the link below. I will choose one winner for each challenge based on the quality, creativity, and overall power of the submissions. Good luck to everyone!
"Just think how strong I'll be if my arms don't tear off!"
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Re: Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby Demonwalker » Wed May 15, 2013 10:27 pm

Quick question on the challenges, If I were to build a deck using both Progenitor Mimic and Hidden Strings, Will that deck only count for one challenge or will it count for both?
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Re: Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby graft » Thu May 16, 2013 9:33 am

Demonwalker wrote:Quick question on the challenges, If I were to build a deck using both Progenitor Mimic and Hidden Strings, Will that deck only count for one challenge or will it count for both?


You can submit the same decklist for both, and if it creatively makes use of both cards it could potentially win both challenges.
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Re: Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby shadowsike » Thu May 23, 2013 10:50 pm

This is my entree for both Hidden Strings and Progenitor Mimic. http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/mimic-nobles/.
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Re: Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby Demonwalker » Fri May 24, 2013 8:29 pm

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Re: Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby Rahienn » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:13 am

For some reason I thought the deadline was midnight the 1st. I'm silly, and a few hours late. Hope these still count!

Hidden Strings: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/slap-and-tap/

Carnage Gladiator: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/stabby-27-05-13-1/

Progenitor Mimic: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/creatures-i-have-trees/

I tried some new play-styles I'm not used to. T'was fun though :)
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Re: Noble Notables - Dragon's Maze Edition

Postby graft » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:49 pm

Hi guys, apologies for the long delay in my response, I simply haven't been able to find any free time lately. BUT. It's finally time to announce the winners. EVERYONE IS A WINNER. HOORAY!

Progenitor Mimic - Winner: Demonwalker for his wurm-infested entry Try and Mimic This. Pelakka Wurm and Progenitor Mimic make for an unstoppable stabilization machine that will crush you if you can't deal with them immediately. Even copying an Assault Zeppelid each turn will put the hurt on quickly. I hope you don't like playing blue, because Enclave Elite will be knocking your block off if you do.

Carnage Gladiator - Winner: Rahienn for his inevitability engine called Stabby. I also love forcing opponents to make impossible choices. Do I chump with one creature per turn and hope to race? Or do I triple-block with the team and hope he doesn't have removal (protip: they always have removal)? I love the idea of using Inside Out in conjunction with Master of Cruelties. Your opponent double- or triple-blocks him, you Inside Out your Master to make a miniature Plague Wind.

Hidden Strings - Winner: shadowsike for his secretly-a-combo deck Mimic Nobles deck, featuring Spikeshot Goblin, Hidden Strings, and pump spells to burn your opponent out. With a Spikeshot Goblin in play, you can main phase your pump spells, burn your opponent with Spikeshot Goblin's ability, untap Spikeshot Goblin with Hidden Strings and tap your opponent's blocker, cipher Hidden Strings onto Spikeshot Goblin, attack for another chunk of life, untap Goblin and some land, then burn your opponent to death with Goblin again. Yikes!


Winners -- send me a PM on this site to claim your prize. Please include your name, mailing address, and tell me what your favorite common of all time is. I'll send each winner a prize to-be-determined, (partially) based on your favorite common!

Thanks as always for reading and sticking with me through this busy time. Hopefully I can keep doing this for upcoming sets, but if I can't, thanks for keeping Noble going!
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