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 Post subject: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 8:56 pm 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2006-May-09 4:17 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Calgary, AB
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Join Forces was hinted at in the achievement card for the Commander release parties (I'll be attending one in Calgary... check out your local scene to see if there's one near you) and this is the prototype for the new mechanic which I will be shaking tings up.

(I considered doing a slow reveal on this one or forcing people to collaborate to assemble the pieces of the card image since that's what this card is about... but I figured you guys have waited long enough :) )

Alliance of Arms is tricky... most multiplayer strategies are. At first, I wasn't sure how good it will be but then I realized there are two different ways to break the card's symmetry. Doing so with other cards, like Overrun, Rhys the Redeemed, or Concerted Effort, is fairly straight forward.

But things get far more interesting when you consider it in light of other *players*. In the simplest incarnation, an ally (temporary or permanent) can attack a shared enemy, forcing them to block and trade. That leaves the caster with a horde to beat down with. Of course, the ally may not want to commit all their forces... so things get interesting.

In fact, there are tought choices to be made with the card even before we get to attacking. As an opponent, do I want to spend mana on the spell at all? Presumably the caster has ways of making it asymmetric... but I get to attack with them first. Or, in light of other players, do I? Also, because the "additional" mana which constitutes X isn't spent until the spell resolves, it's quite a nice threat in a counter-heavy environment. It's a one-mana spell which could be game breaking.

Alliance of Arms, and other Join Forces cards, aren't straight forward but then that's the beauty of good multiplayer games... the complexity. For those that can master them, these cards may prove to be Commander powerhouses.

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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:10 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
This is less exciting than, say, one of the new generals or Sol Ring, but it is a cool, well-designed card. I can say I like this card, but I don't think I'd play it. I WILL be playing all 5 decks for at least 10 games each, to get a feel for the decks "as published" but once I open the door to modifying the decks to suit my needs and tastes, this will likely be one of the first cards I cut.

Also, I'm just gonna call it right now: this card is in the "Political Puppets" deck.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:18 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-08 9:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Really, really good with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, general or no, as it gives you an army of 3/3s with any color mana, with only one white needed to kick it off.

Also really good in a black/white deck, followed up by Zealous Persecution or Orzhov Pontiff after they've spent all their mana making more soldiers for you.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:25 pm 

Joined: 2010-Feb-02 6:45 pm
Age: Wyvern
I'm having difficulty imagining ways to make this card less interesting or playable. Seeing this as the first example of this mechanic does not make me want to see the rest of the cycle. :facepalm:


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:35 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I like it!

I'm not just a douchebag spike player, I love big ass armies AND helping out my enemies (its more of a challenge that way.)


And plus, in my playgroup, I'm the one with GOP, AND Doubling Cube AND Sun in my decks.

But I just tore apart my white EDH deck :(

hmm...

I will find a way to play this in constructed 60- however ^_^


but it should've been an instant :P


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:37 pm 

Joined: 2009-Aug-03 8:55 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Reading people poo-poo this card makes me think they don't realize half of the strategy of EDH is getting other people to do the work for you.

I will pay 1W, while everyone else contributes 4+ mana. Then all it takes is a stupid card like Thunderstaff, Farsight mask or No Mercy and everyone else is eating one another up.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:38 pm 

Joined: 2011-Jun-02 9:36 pm
Age: Egg
Location: Arizona, USA
Massacre Wurm says hello in any appropriately-colored deck.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:55 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-10 12:07 pm
Age: Wyvern
I don't understand why this is a rare... >_>

That said, I do think people riding it off as worthless are missing the point - also missing a lot of possible interactions (Massacre Worm and Elesh Norn were good examples). I'd love to run this sort of thing in a group-hug deck (ie Phelddagrif), so it allows everyone to do what they'd like with the tokens.

Plus, this can potentially help churn through counterspell-ridden turn cycles by providing something for the control player to sink their mana into, or else waste spells countering. It could definitely have potential in the right situation.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 9:59 pm 

Joined: 2010-Feb-02 6:45 pm
Age: Wyvern
If your playgroup is smart enough to tie their own shoes, they aren't going to walk into a Massacre Wurm follow-up to this.

Also, there are far, far better token generators (in-color, even) for Elesh Norn.

The card is just bad. And that's disappointing.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 10:02 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Toshimo wrote:
The card is just bad. And that's disappointing.


You are just wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 10:11 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-18 1:01 pm
Age: Hatchling
I like it, the mechanic is cool.
Lets hope honor of the pure is in the deck that has this


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 10:40 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Apr-13 2:53 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Milwaukee, WI
This will most likely find a place in my Teysa deck. Seems like a great card to play just before Decree of Pain. Also, drop in Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar just after casting this and thank your opponents for the free mana. :P

Of course, I'll probably have to take it out after the first time I use it because no one is going to fall for that twice, but it will be silly the first time I do (same reason I'm going to run Mental Misstep in my Niv-Mizzet deck until I get to counter someone's turn 1 Sol Ring, then it's coming right out).


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 10:51 pm 
EDH Rules Committee
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO
I wonder whether we will see exclusively symmetrical effects like this (card draw, life loss, creature sac, etc.) or whether we'll see some aggressive "gang up" versions like:

Gang Violence - RR
Sorcery
Join Forces - Starting with you, each player may pay any amount of mana. Gang Violence deals X damage to target player, where X is the total amount of mana paid this way.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-02 11:01 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Mar-24 12:14 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
Altik_0 wrote:
I don't understand why this is a rare...

The rarity on all of these new cards is basically arbitrary and has no meaning (outside of Pauper and Peasant formats); every card other than basic land appears at most once in each deck. The new cards are designed specifically to be the kind of cards they want to exist but can't usually justify putting in a regular expansion, so that means they are unlikely to ever be reprinted. Hence, if one of the new cards appears only in one of the five decks and is "rare," and another appears also in only one deck and is "uncommon," well, that's inconsistent.
Genomancer wrote:
Also, because the "additional" mana which constitutes X isn't spent until the spell resolves, it's quite a nice threat in a counter-heavy environment.

This is pretty cool.

I really wish it said "Each player who paid mana puts . . ." just to encourage everyone to spend at least 1 mana on it, but then that would make it less cool with Suture Priest.


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 Post subject: Re: June 3rd Preview (3/8): Alliance of Arms - Join Forces
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-03 12:51 am 

Joined: 2011-Jun-03 12:46 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: Sweden
I dont see whats so great about this. It's just a Liege of the Hollows effect.

I doubt it will see much play.


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