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[MtG] Magic General Chat Thread

Yo! Master

"Delicious"
RPGnet Member
Validated User
One of the issues of PWs for high-end tournament decks is that they are somewhat of a tempo loss for the kind of immediate effect they provide for their mana cost.
 

DareDaemon

The Daemon who Dares
Validated User
Yup, which is why pretty much every planeswalker that gets included in top end competitive decks has some way of protecting itself to increase the odds it stays around. Of the ones that hit top 8 there they are as follows.

Ajani's -2 lets you return a creature from your graveyard to play, thereby creating a blocker.
Karn's -2 creatures an artifact creature token, thereby creating a blocker.
Teferi's +1 draws a card and untaps two lands at the end of your turn, thereby allowing you to keep open a counterspell for the opponent's turn after you play him.
Teferi's -3 puts a nonland permanent into its owner's library 3rd from the top, thereby removing something that could threaten him.
Ral's -3 does damage to target creature equal to instants+sorceries in your graveyard/exile, thereby removing something that could threaten him.

Vraska and Vivian likewise have -3s that remove threats.

Any planeswalker that doesn't have something like that is extremely difficult to justify including in a deck meant to win tournaments. And part of why Teferi is so strong is that ability to cast him on curve, draw a card and still have a cheap counterspell open as an uptick. Also because land untap effects are really strong in an environment where Search for Azcanta and similar effects exists.
 

Catfish

Abominable Caftan
Validated User
I think we're underselling the power of the card type by a fair amount here. Teferi is why UW, Esper, and (previously) Jeskai decks exist in the current format. Standard control is another name for decks that try to resolve Teferi. In a more low-profile way, Vivien Reid has been the engine that's allowed midrange decks to compete. She's why midrange hasn't strayed from green, and why the strategy has leaned so heavily heavily towards playing creatures over spells.

Planeswalkers say "if I stay alive you're ahead, and you're going to get even further ahead every turn". Very few enchantments work that way. That doesn't mean your average planeswalker is tournament playable. But most Standard seasons are defined by powerful planeswalkers.
 

cmcdonald

Registered User
Validated User
I think we're underselling the power of the card type by a fair amount here. Teferi is why UW, Esper, and (previously) Jeskai decks exist in the current format. Standard control is another name for decks that try to resolve Teferi. In a more low-profile way, Vivien Reid has been the engine that's allowed midrange decks to compete. She's why midrange hasn't strayed from green, and why the strategy has leaned so heavily heavily towards playing creatures over spells.

Planeswalkers say "if I stay alive you're ahead, and you're going to get even further ahead every turn". Very few enchantments work that way. That doesn't mean your average planeswalker is tournament playable. But most Standard seasons are defined by powerful planeswalkers.
Planeswalkers as a type don't 'say' anything. It totally depends on their abilities. e.g. Tibalt doesn't really get you further ahead every turn. Every set they produce a couple very underpowered planeswalkers (for the planeswalker decks)/ In order to create 36 new planeswalkers, I suspect we're going to see some fairly large variations from the typical planeswalker ability patterns.
 

AliasiSudonomo

Trying to be a bird
Validated User
I do suspect we're going to see a lot more Kaya, Orzhov Usurper planeswalkers than Teferi, Hero of Dominaria ones in War of the Spark. Kaya is a perfectly coherent design, and absolutely crushes it when you need what she provides, but she's the first mainly-sideboard planeswalker we've had in awhile.
 

Krzyzewski Man

Registered User
Validated User
Let me hit Gatherer. I'm checking the planeswalkers (minus the intentionally powered down ones or the ones never legal for Standard), and counting how many were at least a decent hit in Standard, and how many weren't.

My extremely unscientific survey: 60 were hits, 31 weren't. That's a pretty damn high hit rate - in fact, I'd say that no other card type is even 50/50 as far as being Constructed worthy, even at the Mythic Rare level. And a lot of those 60 were total build-arounds that made whole archetypes possible.
 

AliasiSudonomo

Trying to be a bird
Validated User
Let me hit Gatherer. I'm checking the planeswalkers (minus the intentionally powered down ones or the ones never legal for Standard), and counting how many were at least a decent hit in Standard, and how many weren't.

My extremely unscientific survey: 60 were hits, 31 weren't. That's a pretty damn high hit rate - in fact, I'd say that no other card type is even 50/50 as far as being Constructed worthy, even at the Mythic Rare level. And a lot of those 60 were total build-arounds that made whole archetypes possible.
That is extremely unscientific, since what actually matters is what gets played. Of recent walkers... you really only have two or three.
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
Just for added data, Standard bans since the Planeswalker card type was introduced in Lorwyn:
* JTMS and Stoneforge Mystic in 2011.
* Emrakul the Promised End, Smuggler's Copter, Felidar Guardian, Aetherworks Marvel and Reflector Mage in 2017.
* Rogue Refiner, Rampaging Ferocidon, Attune with Aether and Ramunap Ruins in 2018.
* Nexus of Fate this year (in Arena only).

So that's six creatures, two artifacts, one instant, one sorcery, one planeswalker and one land, with one of those creatures being chosen due to a broken combo with a specific planeswalker. I believe JTMS is also the only planeswalker to ever be banned in the non-rotating formats.

A lot of planeswalkers are certainly strong, but they don't generally seem to be strong enough to require Wizards to deploy the nuclear option; indeed, if we're going by number of times a card type was key to breaking Standard, then creatures are the most overpowered thing in Magic.
 

Yo! Master

"Delicious"
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The discussion started because of this:
I've never been sure planeswalker cards were good for the game, so I'm wary of this many new ones being added at once.
I don't believe anyone is saying that PWs are not strong cards (even if not all of them end-up as competitive Standard staples), just that they are not the be all & end all.
 

SpaceNinja

Registered User
Validated User
Planeswalkers are okay as long as you don't leave them unchecked. They are, in most cases, win-more cards so they're fine as they are. Teferi might be a bit annoying, but other than that I have no complaints about any currently in Standard.
 
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