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I like the way that you 'translate' what the quill does, it's a good way to analyse how the game works, but you have to be very carefull that you do not lose anything in that translation.

In this case the card has several stages that needs translation.
First of, the card initially costs 1B and let's you learn.

If it's countered it does not learn, but it only cost you 2 mana to lose it, imagine if it cost 4 outright and got countered, that would really hurt.

In case it isn't countered it may then be destroyed, but then it has already been usefull by replacing itself with a wish effect. At that point you have payed for a non-random draw, a draw where you were in control of what was drawn. Compared to an ordinary draw, this is extremely powerfull. Look at the meta, do you often meet decks with learn? Watch some pro youtubers, are they using learn in their games?

Next stage of the cards effect is equipping, your opponent may destroy it at several times during the game, so the trick is to know when they gain the optimal advantage of doing so.

The optimal time is when your equipped creature is blocked by another creature. By destroying the quill at that point they can have their creature kill yours.

This brings us into a lot of smaller scenarios where you must evaluate how much it costs your opponent to destroy the quill, and the probabilities of them doing it.

If they can't destroy the quill itself it suddenly become a longterm lifegain effect. Do you see any decks in arena that win often in arena by just gaining life? If you do it's good.

If they can destroy the quill, the next question will be if they have any fliers. If you equip the quill on a flier, they must have a flier themselves to get an optimal advantage out of the card. If they have no flier they only unboost your creature and cuts of your lifelink.

If they have a flier and it's a flier that is 1 toughness smaller than your attacking creature, then they will be able to perform the most advantage giving way of destroying your quill. By blocking your creature will die when the equipment is gone and damage is dealt.

That raises new questions, like can you remove their creature in response with some removal, so they gain nothing. Can they counter your removal?

If your head is spinning at this point of my ramblings, then think about how your opponents brain will have to walk through all of this within minutes after the quill is played. Their brain will aim ad the most advantageous play, but we've sort of been through that and know how things are going to play out.

You opponent will either be spending brainpower on remembering what lesson you drew, or they will be caught unaware when you play the card. Confront the past, contain the outbreak and pest summoning represent different sorts of threats to your opponent, so if any of these three cards will affect their decktype, their brain will use energy to remind them of the danger.

So you see, not only does the quill forward your gameplan by giving you a wish draw, it also exhaustes your opponents mental energies while you only need to spend a second or two when casting it or when they destroy it.
Do you know of any games where you lost because you were mentally fatigued ?

At the moment I'm carefully watching cgb/covertgoblue to see to what extend he and others are using learn/lesson because I was actually in the middle of researching wishboarding when new "wishes" were suddenly spoiled. I went from analysing 5 cards to suddenly having 20 more cards enter my study.

I planed to track down all uses of the 5 most recent wishes (one of them being "coax from the blind eternities"),
But instead I just have to pay attention to the next three months to study the effect of wishboarding.

My goal is to find the perfect quantities of how many slots in the sideboard should be there to support wishes in general (like "fae of wishes") and how many cards should be kept as ordinary sideboard cards.

The arrival of learn/lessons couldn't be better for my study, which is sort of why I had the quill in mind :)

Translating a card like you did is a fine mental art, one that I use myself, but it's vital that you never let anything get lost in the translation. Sure it makes it hard to analyse individual cards, but if you use an actual pen and notebook you only need to analyse the card a few times before you have it's secrets written on paper.

Oh, and before I lose track. Mono white lifegain wins a lot by lifegain, and some new witherbloom deckdesigns are going to focus heavily on draining life.

Sorry for wall of texting you :D

Ps. If you like wall of texts, read my newest wall "deckbuilding and storytelling"

Posted an hour ago in reply to #641837 on Really Bat Deck


Poet's pen for boosting the bats and to learn more.
(Flying lifegain has always been good)

They may be out of flavour, but the pest lessons might work well by having both eyetwitch and poets pen to fetch them, as well as blex to boost them.

Most people use the decktag: arena
At the moment I'm all over the place, but it's used by others as well :)

Posted 17 hours ago as a comment on Really Bat Deck


The paint analogy is rather known in cartoons. Someone is painting the floor, then suddenly realise they end up in a corner with no way out but either walk over the fresh paint or by settling in the corner and waiting. I somehow think there is a limit to the number of mental constructs a civilisation can maintain before collapsing. Since science is still out on how major civilisations collapsed in the past it's possible that it collapsed that way.

I'm working on an article on how to abuse the overall mental construction that players unconsciously build together, and I'll post it within this weekend, it's based on my growing study of mental structures.

Sometimes philosophy produces some great stuff, and modern science is based on concepts produced by philosophy.
One interesting aspect is that a couple of Greek philosophers have had similar ideas on structures, but at some point this way of thinking got burried by religious wars.

I think it was edward Blake that later stated "I must build a structure or be enslaved by another mans" so I'm actually far from being the first. I have the advantage of viewing it through some very modern eyes, having read through Richard Dawkins "the selfish gene" as a young student, and following the evolution of memes through persons like susan blackmore. (I now believe the meme-plex is another intentionally constructed thing developed by people who wants to blame memes for their irresponsible actions, creating a new "the devil made me do it" blame-sink.

I'm honoured by having this conversation with a philosophy teacher, and I recognize that I very much AM a part of the problem, by default, being a human.

I have had a past of being a conspiracy believer, and at a time I believed that koalas were actually aliens in control of the earth. But having darwinistic beliefs and learning about memes (as in "viruses of the mind" rather than the "fun picture, fun text" variant) actually brought me out of it. From there I started taking an interest in how and why I got captured in a mentally virtual world.

I think recognizing that we are not tool users but are actually structure users was how I cracked it.
I'm in the process of gaining the data, and writing about how we build up the structures in the first place.

Like I said I'm writing up how to abuse the way we construct a metagame, and I'll write when it's done.

Posted yesterday at 16:25 in reply to #641378 on Temur


Ok, got some better ideas now...
Spellskite to protect the reviving creatures.
Æther vial to cast the creatures cheaper and faster.
My guess is that your unearth is there for lurrus, they could be replaced by 2 spellskites.
You could cut a moon and a skelemental to get 2 æther vial in there.

Posted Friday at 00:03 in reply to #641816 on Elementals: modern


How about the learn burnspell ?
With dreadhorde arcanist you suddenly gain 2 cards each attack, if you side enough lessons. Since you draw when attacking you even get a way to deal with blockers before blocking even happens.

Forget it. It isn't an instant.

Posted Thursday at 20:52 as a comment on Elementals: modern


There are 10 learns and 9 lessons that are common, and there's something for every color.
Then there's also the fact that you get to play a few of the uncommons as well.
I think it will come to all formats where people know drawing is powerfull.

Heh, that could be a silver quill motto:
"Drawing is powerful!"

Poet's pen is bound to be playable.

Posted Thursday at 19:01 in reply to #641774 on Pauper Tortured Existence V.7


Out of interest, how much do you guys see sideboards adopt "wishes" with the new learn/lesson mechanic ?
I'm intending to keep track of how wishboards will shake up modern, but none of the "pro's" seem to think it's going to be a thing in modern.

On the other end, wotc has released info that parts of the sideboard in best of 1 matches is restricted from having lessons, meaning that they seem to think that decks with a full sideboard of lessons will become relevant and they have restricted the amount played beforehand from lessons learned within the R&D.

I evaluate that any mechanic that gives you a free draw is going to be powerfull, so what do you guys think is playable in pauper, and do you want it ?

I'm going to try to find the perfect proportion of lessons and ordinary sideboard myself by experiments and surveying modern.

If there's any combo in pauper that generates infinite blue mana, then fractal summoning and pop quiz will be quite a hit I think.

Posted Thursday at 16:55 in reply to #641774 on Pauper Tortured Existence V.7


You should try out stream of thought.
Search for the decktag: wdm mill guide
Then click on the "deck" with the cardname.

I've listed several reasons why the card is good, especially in a deck that can go infinite mana.
It serves both as a way to kill as well as a way to search for your combo and protect it.

Posted Thursday at 04:53 as a comment on attempt at "budget" storm


I've always loved the art of nemesis of reason.
At first you think it's something strange flying over the landscape.
Then you realize it seems to be rising from the water.
Then you figure out that the foremost leg at the bottom indicates that it's been rising for a while already.
The added thought that it's been willing to tear it's own limb bloody to crawl out of the water is somehow numbing. And then you see what it's about to crawl through...

Posted Wednesday at 21:51 as a comment on Mill


I guess must have missed triumph of the hordes when I looked :)

Posted Wednesday at 21:42 in reply to #640192 on trying something new


I'm a bit baffled by their statement to be honest, since none of the current wishes have been causing trouble so far.
I'm also a bit baffled that none of the article writers are in awe of the wishes.

Granted they do not seem overpowered on the surface
(Pun intended)

But I think they will create some alternate versions of certain decks.
(I totally see boros burn as one of the most likely decks) and I will still attempt to put the learn creatures of black, blue and red into my grixis build (I'm currently stalling that to test out a speedy version of my paperstrip evolution method)

The fact that wotc is implementing the rule indicates that the learn-wishes are going to be everywhere.

Posted Wednesday at 04:56 in reply to #641780 on Bant control


So, what do you think about the sideboard split in arena ?
Or are you mostly best of three.

Posted Wednesday at 03:09 as a comment on Bant control


Most who know me, love when I say chaotic stupid :)
I used to be lawfull good, I'm transiting through neutral good and the aim is chaotic good.

I've always meant chaotic was really just another word for selfish, because when I've had the pleasure of playing chaotic neutral, I really go with the chaos part.

Neutral in ad&d is defined as wanting to restore the balance between good and evil all the time, so being neutral, no good deed must go unpunished, sort of like, "oh, we saved the world? Then let's torch the capital city".

Posted Tuesday at 21:04 in reply to #641378 on Temur


I am very much the heroic type :)
Being the hero and doing the good deed is some of the deepest core values of my psyche.
But I grew up being a knowledge sponge and saw so much cruelty in the world and I sort of adapted the "dark hero" mentality. I became wickeddarkman quite early in life, based on the character darkman.

When magic start spreading as a game, I immediately took it upon myself to create tools that new players could use to beat the high ranking players, and I had a ton of projects to make all of this possible.

The concept of helping the underdog defeat the rich and corrupt is pretty basic in my psyche.

I am of the oppinion that those in power won't give it up easily, so there has to be a clash, and it will be cruel.
We have to ruin the painted floor or remain status quo.

All of this was imprinted on me through my youth via the comics of marvel and DC.
I both love and hate what I've become, and because I'm asperger I tend to collect a lot of knowledge before I act, which had been one of the reasons why I've let countless people step me down in the dirt all my life, basically to keep track of how far they will take their selfishness.

I frequently run lots of honesty tests to see if people are to be trusted, and the harsh reality is that truly honest people are around 1% of the population. Selfishness is that deeply rooted in our genes.

I've got an insane amount of articles listed where I cover a lot of discoveries I've observed within magic.

Magic is very much a game designed to appeal to mental constructors.
The intent of the game was to see what humans were capeable of building.
It was a surprise however that it also appealed to another group of humans.
Copycats or mimics.

Nature is lazy, so when brilliant minds create genious mental constructs, then lesser minds capeable of seeing something good in them doesn't need to understand them, they just need to support them.
But when some of these less intelligent try to tweak the structures to gain more of an advantage, then the number of bad things that will result from it isn't a thing they can mentally grasp. From there the mental construct built by the brilliant gets handled by less and less smart beings who all try to tweak it, so suddenly the construct has a thousand deviant forms and very few can see how it may be fixed again.

The original creator might want to fix it, but a hundred idiots have hijacked it, and all of them are gaining something from the lessened construct.

It is an uphill battle, but becoming aware that we are burying ourselves is of the essence.
We may not need to stop progress, but we do need to make it clear that hijacking concepts and tweaking them to our own end will only end up destroying us.

We live in a world where brilliant minds are hired by rich stupid people who pay money to get more structures to bind the smartest into slavery. I can see the need. If I was dumb but had the ability to win someone smart, I'd do it in an instance, because that's clever.

But it's what will kill us in the end.
Dumb leaders with power is just dumb.

Posted Tuesday at 09:50 in reply to #641378 on Temur


Are you sure you can pay that much attention alfred ?

Also forgot to answer the thanos question above.
Thanos is an inspiration, but the bond villain from moonraker is pretty evil in comparison.
I've told alfred how I plan to create two separated groups, one group containing the selfish and one group containing the nice people. I would do this because I foresee that we might encounter hostile life in space, so keeping the traits of selfishness around could become a necessity.

In function it would pretty much be heaven and hell.

Posted 12 April 2021 at 05:09 in reply to #641378 on Temur


I think the timing is right for simplification, and it's been done before and some tribal communities still does.
It's a matter of presenting it the right way.
We've only become a complex species to beat nature and ourself, and that's not really necessary anymore.

I'm not going to wage war on all mental structures, as some are truly useful, like language, even though language all to quickly became a weapon. But it's clear to everyone that a lot of structures only serve a variety of elite groups.
Most only enforce these structures in the hope of ending up on the top.

Our current future is getting pretty dark, as capitalism has won the overall war as an ism.

We are going to face some insane types of economies, one I've chosen to call "the negative attention economy"
Theres the attention economy where money is earned by getting our attention.

The negative attention economy thrives on your lack of attention. Since we are human beings we can only focus at a limited number of things, so this economy is branching out around us in as wide a web as possible. If you don't pay attention, you will be milked for your money. Choose the wrong offer in 1 out of a thousand and you are legally robbed. Go to the supermarket, on odd weeks your favorite energy drink cost 10. On even weeks it costs 15. If you are not aware of this and buy 1 each day, you pay the average price. If you only shop once a week there is 50% chance that you always pay 15.

The negative attention economy is spreading, because it's a success. Money roll in because we can't keep track of it all. This means that it's unlikely to stop, and any company can choose to join in.
It's the basis of coupons. You get them, but if you forget to cash in, too bad.

The tax systems of many governments are doing the same. Forget to fill out more and more forms and you got to pay more tax.

None of these organisations are going to pull the brakes, because if they don't become exploiters, then someone else will.

Without anyone crying for a halt in the complexity of systems, what do you think will happen?
That they get ashamed of themselves and stop it ?

Nah, it's the future, and even the rich are being robbed now.
In the past having money in the bank made you more rich because the bank used your money to invest.
Now with ai ruling the stockmarket banks have changed the setup and are now demanding money for their services, and the lower classes pay the most as usual.

We are facing raw capitalism these days. Soon megacorps will start fighting for real and the consequences will be the worst crisis ever. It's why big corps are investing in autonomous weaponry, just google what Amazon and Google itself is developing.

Ai is also being built to gain the upper hand.
Once ai gets involved in the negative attention economy, then things will really spin out of control.

If you want examples, just start paying attention to arena in magic. It's basically a money sink that makes you feel clever. At the moment people are playing against each other, but think what happens at the ai level. We are training ai to be better at the most complex game in the world. The algorithm will be able to be turned on other types of problem solving, and at the moment megacorps are having an ai race against each other.

Trust me, we need to slow down...

Posted 12 April 2021 at 00:41 in reply to #641378 on Temur


I've got two endgame scenarios, both unlikely to happen :)

I was once prophecised to become a tyrant war leader, not that I believe in such things, but I would go for a worldwide cruelty before benevolence option, utterly recreating our world to fix it, but with extreme collateral damage.

My second aim is a strategy of worldsimplification. If enough people agree that we are having to many loose human structures on the loose, it will not help to develope more. There would also be the need to take out binding structures that enslave us in general, and we got an extreme amount of them. The creed will be enlightenment through less complications. I'm actually working on decoding the viking view of the world through the past language.
Vikings met from far and a way to rob and plunder and besieged enemies. Their downfall became greed.
But they were capeable at taking out what could be seen as controlling megacorps back then, and many of their mental traits and techniques should be doable for small groups wanting less complications in their lives.

I googled Taylor to begin with, and learned that he was within the philosophical range. Though I do see similarities in my thoughts and his, in the "language animal" I view him as a constructor. He has a tendency to build more structures.
I did focus on the "language animal" to start with, so I forgot about the horizon. I tried to see a Ted talk with him, but he was too dry for me at that day, but he is definitely someone I might end up reading, just to be better prepared against what he's building.

Ironically I've been a builder myself for my whole life, through roleplaying. I've built systems that control my roleplaying world down to a degree that my world maps behave like playing a game of sim city. Natural disasters, dimensional terrain swaps keeping track of how the cities responds to new spells and an evolving world. I've gone insanely largescale at that, just to see the players reactions to a changing game world. I've always kept my constructions in my game world, not wanting to change the world at that time. But ever since my awareness that the true wrongs in the world are mental constructors trying to gain an edge, I've been plotting how to bring it all crashing down. Awareness is the first part of it, and here we are :)

Posted 11 April 2021 at 12:00 in reply to #641378 on Temur


So we have three different definitions of morals present, but there might be some overlaps.

1: personal morals, seen as a selfmade value system, that a person can use to estimate what they find more valuable.

2: overlapping morals, seen as a value system that is superimposed on you by what group pressure finds more valuable.

3: natural morals, a value system that by some scientists is based in genetics and is inherited. Some mutants are born with deviant natural morals (deviant compared to what is common)

Is this a working model for both of you ?

Posted 10 April 2021 at 21:18 in reply to #641378 on Temur


You may not have/follow morals, but you are likely to stay "within the lines" and NOT strangle your teachers at leisure. (At least not in public space)

Based on that, you will at least have learned about the morals, and even though they might not make much sense to you, some morals must be weirder than others.

Have you ever had a favorite among morals?
Either because it's silly or because you see it as an advantage (there must be a favorite)

I remember reading about one religion that had evolved a turbo christening, because in cases of emergency those within the religion would try to save the souls of others in case anything went wrong. Basically it was performed in haste, so their ritual of christening became pretty simple, you basically splashed water on someone and said you christened them, and that would make them part of your religion by default. It lead to a series of complications. Usually the turbo christening was performed to save the Souls of children so they wouldn't end up in hell, but because this religion did not tolerate that someone of another religion would raise a child from their religion, they would start separating children from their parents if a child was lucky enough to survive the event that caused the turbo christening.

I got a Muslim friend, and some radical muslims have a habit of killing muslims converting to christianity, so he was shocked to learn that I had the power to turbo christen him with a splash of water and a simple phrase.

It's one of my favourites :)

Posted 10 April 2021 at 00:43 in reply to #641378 on Temur


In the goblin matchups plague engineer the creature, might be less awesome than engineered plague, the enchantment.
I'm currently testing out magus of the moon vs blood moon, and the funny thing is that blood moon wins out, because it's harder to remove on the average. The same might be true with your plague setup.

Posted 09 April 2021 at 19:11 as a comment on blue black devotion legacy


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