Let's walk this back for a second because a vintage horizons set is a fever dream to begin with.
Wotc does not care about vintage. The cost benefit analysis for it is grim and of course they are not going to pour money into that when they can make things for the format that makes them money, commander, the reason we are discussing the lotus in the first place.
Now commander does care about the reserve list, but not in the same way that vintage does. Commander cares about the true duals, cradle, maybe workshops and bazaar though if they became a problem they would probably just ban them. Yea it is possible we see a mox though I think it would be in line with mox amber. What i dont think we will see are ancestral, timewalk, time vault.
None of these are a backdoor to fixing nor circumventing the reserve list. Printing a commander only Cradle does not make actual cradle less desirable. Printing 20 variants of cradle ruins rhe format long before it fixes it.
You control the card which the replacement effects affect, so you choose.
EDIT: Evouga cited the more complicated path to that conclusion. It's quite clear in 616.1:
616.1. If two or more replacement and/or prevention effects are attempting to modify the way an event affects an object or player, the affected object’s controller (or its owner if it has no controller) or the affected player chooses one to apply, following the steps listed below. If two or more players have to make these choices at the same time, choices are made in APNAP order (see rule 101.4).
So this has a powerful effect, similar to Arbiter, but for 1 more mana and you get Flash and a stronger penalty. Is that worth it? How much difference is there in how much play we see in similar cards? Notion Thief versus other cheaper cards that prevent card draw, for example?
All of the Court cards seem really, really strong in a hard control shell. They each provide card advantage and a win condition that usually requires nothing more than sitting back and protecting it.
Imagine you drop Moat and you have the Black or Blue Courts out. You can just sit back behind a wall of countermagic and win. The Blue one, in particular, is 3 mana for a 4, maybe 5 turn clock. Is this enough to bring some kind of old-school UW Control back? Can Weismann live again? 🙂
This is at least slightly more Omnathy because it would be more impactful in this deck to replace him with a blank card then it would have been in the Lutri deck. If that is meaningful information is questionable but it is more omanth centric data.
Necro warning ignored as we are necromancers in this thread.
I finally tried a build out in a league, quick report:
1-2 against various Oath Storm (had no idea this was that popular)
1-0 against PW control
0-1 against turn 1 Goblin Lackey all 3 games + infinite Rav traps.
Rough deck design:
4 Prized Amalgam
4 Golagari Brownscale
4 Creeping Chill
Bunch of other dredgers
Bunch of pitch spells
The gain life and sustain damage for a totally manaless Dredge deck was really crazy. I grinding a win out through a Griselbrand once, even post activation just as an example of the grind factor. The Goblin deck basically needed Krenko mob boss to put me away even with their infinite rav trap. Gaining 20+ life a game is just really crazy, and having an army of 3 power creatures recur every turn can overhelm most opponents.
I missed the burst damage from no Dread Return to kill the Storm component of the Oath decks. I missed Hollow One to block Goblin Lackey.
@Stormanimagus Hushbringer is an amazing card I have never seen before, nice find. Were the Aspirants better than Mayor or Mikaeus? I seen the synergy with the Bogbonders, but besides that, I was just wondering how often they lead to a win vs loss in extra damage output.
Thanks for the responses! I can see why this planeswalker may not make the cut except for as a fringe card drawing spell. I admit that when I saw it, I was thinking about all the other great 3 mana Planeswalkers, not realizing that this Jace might as well just be a Jace Beleren.
I feel like this could still be an option along side Jace Beleren for hitting islands in a Stasis deck, but that’s pretty far from the mainstream competitive metagame.
I don't think you can make that list viable in the current meta. FOV is too prominent and too good against the whole of the list, even with punisher burn. My only thought is maybe if you play more direct damage in that list in the form of Bolt, maybe even something like goblin guide or swiftspear to go under your opponent so that the life loss to remove this thing with FOV matters.
What red would really need is some sort of 1 mana counter against FOV to protect this, but I don't ever see that happening. If it did I think my stock in that list would skyrocket.
@maximumcdawg so far all the lands that have a spell on the front enter tapped. i would expect this to continue to be the case, possibly excepting a colorless spell/land. waiting a turn cycle seems like something belcher and oops would not like to do.
edit: unless oops will run an off-color land that enters untapped. 1 is free, i guess0_1599091679225_78e71fbf-9806-4476-88a6-62f77de0488b-image.png
@protoaddict i think if you don't have mana floating you will always need a draw2 to both get into a pile and win that turn with it, while with mana floating a draw 1, even a sensei's top, suffices. that said, putting fathom seer in your deck is likely worse than putting a 2-3 mana tutor that finds gush from your deck for that role in almost all cases.
The routine is Force of Will your first threat, bolt your second, do some cantrips, find either another removal like plow or snap/dread. Then a turn later fetch sanctuary and continue the slaughter. Infinite removal.
That routine needs to be interrupted, it is criminal behavior. I am busting my brains for a while now in finding ways / lines of play but I don't see it. It used to be just snapcaster that represented a double removal on your lovebears. Nowadays they just sweep your board with a combination of counter magic, removal and recurring effects. The plan to "play another threat they can't remove them all" is in my opinion no longer valid. Why would you say that doesn't do anything, it is cheap enough to be played prior to your 'cards that do something'. Shepherd does disrupt, it disrupts their counter magic that is suppose to counter your threats that stop their bombs. Again, it used to be a thing to maximize your disruption by playing only stuff like teeg, thalia, priest, ... and then have all these effects stacked on top of each other to overload opponents, sadly I do not think this approach works anymore, Xerox decks are too strong, they easily dismantle that now.
I am not saying Shepherd is a fix to all this, it should probably have 'hexproof' printed on it as well and then ... maybe (probably still not enough). I do believe the card does deserve at least some testing, we need to find out what 8 'cavern of souls' effects can do.
What is more is that I came to this conclusions 5 years ago and dropped the more redundant and straightforward Human lists. Even back then it was hard (but not impossible) to get a foothold on the game. I started brewing with Human lists that ran all the power and cut on the amount of creatures but still kept enough to do similar 'aggro' things. Dack and Sensei Top enabled deck manipulation (and Dack was also disruption to mana, tinker so it worked well). Tutors got your silver bullets like Karakas, Hurkyl's recall or Decay, or a well timed recall/strip mine. In such a deck I could see Shepherd work. Dack probably needs to go and Oko can take it's place. Top replaced by Sylvan and Ouphe sounds interesting too.
What's the "killer app" that makes you want to run Spirits over Merfolk? Lord of Atlantis is a much better value-per-mana than the spirit lords we've mentioned, and you can run 8 of them. Pilferer has a neat effect but I feel like it requires enough weird support cards that you wouldn't want it in a tribal deck even if there was a tribal deck.
Right now I think:
Mausoleum wanderer is leagues above curse catcher
Rattlechains is probably better than most merfolk options though I don't think there is a direct parallel. It protects your stuff in a deck you want to protect your stuff in and plays at the speed you want to play.
Kitaki is a known quantity and is still strong when it lands
Spell Queller is a very playable and efficient counter creature, against something that merfolk do not have
Eidolon of Rhetoric and Spirit of the Labyrinth have a known and powerful stax effects
I'm not saying the deck is the end all be all or anything, just that it's getting more and more pieces that seem like they are totaling up to something. All of the abilities listed here are vintage relevant effects.