Deck Database

Tribe: Devil
60 Maindeck cards and 0 Sideboard
Legacy Tribal Wars: Underdog · Devil Aggro
 1st by Bandit Keith in Tribal Apocalypse 9.30 (3-0)
MAINDECK (60 Cards)
24 Creatures
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel

4 Hellrider

4 Impetuous Devils

4 Rakdos Cackler

4 Sin Prodder

4 Vexing Devil

15 Spells
4 Lightning Bolt

4 Searing Blaze

4 Shrine of Burning Rage

3 Pyrokinesis

21 Lands
13 Mountain

4 Bloodstained Mire

4 Sunbaked Canyon


R1:  Win 2 - 0vs.  AJ_Impy  Sweet dreams are made of these 
R2:  Win 2 - 0vs.  Socanelas  R Berserker 
R3:  Win 2 - 1vs.  Nagarjuna  Timmies Hydras 
Total:  39
  x 12
  x 12
  x 4
  x 8
  x 3
Avg CMC: 2.51
Trying out Devils again, after replacing my beloved Fireblast and Price of Progress. Not expecting to do well with the build since it feels like a significant downgrade, but I just wanted to try it out anyway for fun. Note, I haven't lamented my banned beloved cards, as proof that I'm able to receive what I dish, for the sake of balance. Guys, I'm affected by bans too.

It is nice to talk about the balance of a format in a civil way. Some responsive thoughts with regards to the recent analysis of Elves / Gaea's Cradle:

1. Aggregate data to show a winrate may not be the best measure. For example, a 2-1 deck running Cradles may have won the 2 matches where Cradle was drawn, and the only lost match was the one where it wasn't drawn. I'd like to point out that Cloudpost pre-Ugin ban was similar - an article was talking about how its winrate was not high enough to warrant any concern (or even that nerfing 'post was essentially nerfing the player who likes to play it - but to that I say, is Aether Vial not a nerf on me then?), and yet Cloudpost got (correctly) nerfed 1-2 weeks later in an emergency ban. I remember being confused and asking why the change of heart. It is unfortunate that talking about balance issues has cost me social equity, but being vocal about the Turn 3 Ugin menace makes me feel a sense of vindication and validation. Is this the dark side of being passionate?

2. The article separates Gaea's Cradle from the tribe of Elves distinctly. It is true - Gaea's Cradle outside of the Elves shell is undoubtedly much more innocent and innocuous, but what about Gaea's Cradle IN elves? I point to a precedent - Glimpse of Nature, a card already on the banlist. This is also an innocuous card outside of Elves, but within Elves, it is broken as can be. Similar with Gaea's Cradle. Cards cannot be evaluated in a vacuum, and must be associated with shells that can use the cards in overpowered ways. (Is recently ax'd 8-mana Ugin broken outside of Cloudpost or Tron? Probably not.)

It is true that Elves and Gaea's Cradle haven't been played lately much so we haven't thought about it, so it is not a rampant menace in the meta by any means, but after seeing its raw power last week - Elves winning even through a Canonist by playing 2 Cradles and giving their creatures 2x Ezuri activations in one turn and killing me around Turn 4 (and a Turn 3 the previous game, without hate) - perhaps its time we did think about it. I know that Worldspine Wurm, as long as it's been released, was only placed on a Tribe-only restriction list until recently, after it was discovered that it was a good target for an off-tribe grab with Natural Order. We can only deal with issues as they are encountered.

3. I dispel the myth that balance talk has anything to do with winning or losing. Let's be gentlemen and move on from such a pernicious thought. I was vocal about balance issues even after winning (and I am also receptive to when others talk about the balance issues of the cards I use too). And, come on guys, I've lost to tribes even like Rhinos - yes, Rhinos - , but I never called for a ban on Rhinos or anything like that. So the real genesis of all this, which the article did not address or talk about the proper context, is the recent banning of cards that punish non-basics like Price of Progress, and Wasteland. Since their recent ban, non-basics have become relatively stronger, hence my interest in re-evaluating some of Magic's strongest non-basics, like Gaea's Cradle and Cloudpost - obviously a known problematic card already - now that there are fewer options to punish them. Certainly other options exist, like Field of Ruin, but they are obviously much slower, and arguably a significant downgrade. In short, it seems counter-productive to have a format with a card like Cradle without something like a Wasteland, but even that might be too slow.

Is there a solution, like what is done for certain creatures, like Plague Carrier, as a tribe-only restriction? i.e. to allow the Cradle, just not in Elves, a tribe already very strong and pushed over the edge by it? Even if a card itself is innocuous (though Cradle really isn't), Magic has a history of cards getting the ax simply because of the existence of other cards that can be used strongly in conjunction with it. Just ask Splinter Twin.

Agree with me. Disagree with me. But at least read my remarks and evaluate them based on merit, impartially. Don't shoot the harmless messenger. Thanks for reading, fellow Tribal'ers.