Ask Wizards: Twitter Edition

Posted in Arcana on February 23, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

You have questions about Magic: The Gathering or Wizards of the Coast. We have answers. This time, we're featuring questions that came in via our Twitter feed (we're @dailymtg). If you have a question, feel free to ask it there or send it, along with your name and location, to us via this email form. The best place to go for rules questions is the Rules Q&A Forum.

And remember that the complete Ask Wizards archive. is always available, featuring years of questions that have already been asked and answered!

February 17, 2009

Q: What is your favorite win condition and what card do you love to use to get there?
–@martates, Twitter

A: From Magic R&D (and associates):

Mark Rosewater: Poison. : )

Steve Warner: Unlimited turns, Walk the Aeons. Note : Typically didn’t need a kill condition, once you get unlimited turns most people quit. : )

Kenneth Nagle: I like killing my opponent with an attack from a single fatty taking their life total from starting to zero in one attack.

My favorite card to do this with is Mossbridge Troll. Runner up is Godo, Bandit Warlord.

Tom LaPille: My favorite card to win games with is Urza’s Factory. I enjoy decks that have lists that are aesthetically pleasing to me, and one of my favorite ways for a decklist to be beautiful is for a control deck to spend little to no slots on ways to win. Lands that let them win the game allow for decks like that. I had tons of fun playing with Mystical Teachings decks in Time Spiral block constructed, and despite the single Bogardan Hellkite that I played as a concession to time limits, most of my game wins came from swarms of Urza's Factory tokens. This was totally awesome.

Jay Schneider: The Cheese Stands Alone! It doesn’t use any other cards!

Scott Larabee: In Elder Dragon Highlander, my favorite win condition is "kill all the players at the table on the same turn". The card to get there is Serra Avatar.

I achieved the following in a 4-player EDH game at Pro Tour-Kuala Lumpur with my Brion Stoutarm deck on turn 8:

In Play:
Rings of Brighthearth
Brion Stoutarm
8 lands

The play:
Play Sneak Attack
Tap Mountain for R, activate Sneak Attack put Serra Avatar into play
Attack player 1 with Serra Avatar – lethal damage
Tap Mountain for , Activate Brion Stoutarm sacrificing Serra Avatar targeting player 2 – lethal damage
Tap 2 lands for Rings of Brighthearth copying Brion Stoutarm effect targeting player 3 – lethal damage


Mark Globus: My favorite is Battle of Wits; I played it in a PTQ years ago to the semifinals and had a blast.

Peter Knudson: Form of the Dragon!

To me, nothing is a cooler, more evocative card than Form of the Dragon. What can be better than transforming yourself into a dragon, and breathing fire on your opponent? Nothing, that’s what!

With a hefty mana cost, becoming a dragon is no easy feat. My favorite play in standard at the time was to go third turn Seething Song, into another Seething Song, and then busting out a Form. Liked my enemies well-done.

Greg Marques: Brion Stoutarm, throwing phyrexian processor tokens at people’s faces for 20 to 40 damage.


Titania's Song + Aladdin's Lamp

Mike Turan: Progenitus! I use mana!

February 17, 2009

Q: What are some favorite FFL decks of yours from old formats (previous Standards, etc) that never existed in the real meta?
–@blackleader, Twitter

A: From Mons Johnson, Magic R&D:

One deck that most of R&D thought was going to prove tier 1 was the white-blue flying agro after the release of Time Spiral. Serra Avenger / Pride of the Clouds / Psionic Blast / cheap flyers formed the core of the deck. It was built in several different versions, some splashing red for Lightning Angel & Incinerate, some focusing on earlier beats via Glorious Anthem. I was always a fan of Lightning Angel, so I was a little disappointed that the deck never showed up.

Braid of Fire

Another deck that I liked that never showed was Braid of Fire + Storage Lands + large spells. Here’s an old sketch of a deck:

4 Braid of Fire 4 Radha, Heir to Kelf 4 Lash Out 4 Incinerate 4 Incandescent Soulstoke 2 Timbermare 4 Birarhorn 2 Akroma, Angel of Fury 4 Welkin Searcher 4 Bogardan Hellkite

The interaction between Braid of Fire & Fungal Reaches is quite powerful. Running 8-10 storage lands meant that you could cast Braid of Fire without worrying about mana burn & you always had some use for the mana even with no cards in hand. This elemental subtheme version wasn’t exactly that good, but the engine itself seemed very powerful. I was expecting some clever deckbuilder to show up with a Braid of Fire + big spell deck that hit the metagame sideways with an unexpected deck. Oh, and if you are wondering what Lumbering Bounty & Welkin Searcher are, they were some sort of Flash elemental creatures…

February 17, 2009

Q: What was the impact that caused Progenitus? And can Mayael control him?
–@MatiasGMG, Twitter

A: From Doug Beyer, Magic Creative Team:

Progenitus is an ancient, hugely powerful hydra-being that the Naya elves worshipped as a terrestrial god. As elvish legend goes, Progenitus was a five-headed force of destruction long ago, a source of constant catastrophe in the world. Unless he was stopped, he would destroy the elves and everything around them -- but when Alara broke into five planes, the elf Cylia faced down the hydra god, and defeated him. As the legend goes, as Naya broke away from the rest of Alara, two of Progenitus's heads, the black head and the blue head, withered away, and the hydra was doomed to slumber under Naya's soil for many years.

As the Conflux brought the shards back together, black and blue mana have again returned to Naya. All five colors of mana seeped back into the Valley of the Ancients, restoring Progenitus's wounds -- and causing him to awaken again, bringing his awe-inspiring power back with him.

Mayael, as the Anima, has a special role in elvish culture on Naya. She's one of a long line of prophets, charged with interpreting the will of the mighty Progenitus through signs she sees in Naya's natural environment -- she was the voice of the hydra god while he slept. However, now that Progenitus has awakened and Naya has collided with other shards, Mayael finds herself in a strange position. She's certainly not in control of the hydra-being -- Progenitus has no master -- but she must figure out how to coexist alongside this mythic figure of the elves' religion. Today the role of the Anima must adapt, changing from one of prophet and interpreter to one of emissary and -- perhaps -- warlord.

For more on Progenitus, see this preview article by Jenna Helland!

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