Readers of magicthegathering.com,
This is my first live video. I've done two previous narrated videos on StarCityGames.com, but putting up a bunch of timed slides is very different from filming people live and then splicing them together.
What you see here is my friend Josh and myself discussing the most interesting cards in Morningtide from a multiplayer perspective. I think you'll find it entertaining, but it's also a first effort. Be gentle, since I've learned a lot about video production in the meantime.
I'll entertain all suggestions for improvements in future videos later on. But for now? YouTubes are Go!
FERRETT: I'm Ferrett, I'm the author of Serious Fun, and this is our first video.
JOSH: I'm Josh. It's my job to come to Ferrett's house on Tuesday nights and beat him at cards.
FERRETT: This is my #1 pick for the best card in multiplayer.
JOSH: I would call it #2, just because of "No protection."
FERRETT: Right. But the thing is, it fills what I call the "Soul Warden slot"—something you lay down early, and expect to get some (temporary) benefit from it. And your opponents are gonna kill it. But you will get the benefit from it in the meantime—in this case, you get a big attacker whenever you want it.
JOSH: Taurean Mauler is an excellent three-mana card. And a lot of people are comparing it to Countryside Crusher, which is also a Giant Warrior with an extra point of power and toughness.
FERRETT: Countryside Crusher locks you out of mana after a certain point, and I'm not really thrilled about that. People have been talking about how the Crusher will get infinite, but you're stuck at whatever land you had the moment you cast it. If you have a couple of lands in your hand, you can dole that out... But frankly, in multiplayer, you really wanna get up to six or seven land as fast as you can to start throwing down the big spells.
JOSH: Especially if you're playing Giants. In multiplayer, you're always hungry for mana, so this is more of a dueling card.
FERRETT: Yeah. If you wanna combine it with something tricksy like Life from the Loam, or lay it on turn seven as opposed to turn three, it might be good, but...
JOSH: Planar Birth.
FERRETT: In the meantime, I could be wrong, but I think it'll be good in multiplayer, but not as good as it's gonna be in duels.
Reach of Branches
FERRETT: You know the best thing about Reach of Branches? The thing that I didn't even realize?
FERRETT: Instant. Yeah, I'd mentally chalked it up as a sorcery. And I'm like, "Holy crap, you can just whip that out any time?"
JOSH: Yeah. Get it back any time you play a Forest.
FERRETT: Right. But for all that, it doesn't fall on our top five list in either case because it's just too much mana. I mean, it's really great, you can recycle it, and a lot of multiplayer games come down to attrition... But at five mana, you're either casting that or you're doing something else.
JOSH: It's a nice card to include in a deck. It's not a bad card. You can recover after any board-clearer, and it's nice that you can buy it back by laying a Forest. But ultimately, it's not really either going to make your strategy or break your strategy.
FERRETT: This is my #5 pick. I like it because it's aggressive. For four mana, you get a 3/5 and you can cheat all sorts of things into play.
JOSH: All sorts of Treefolk Shaman things.
FERRETT: Hey, but you know what? They're so extravagantly overpriced that generally, cheating them into play is a good idea.
JOSH: It's a nice perk. But you're in green. You're going to be able to get a lot of mana, play out a lot of land-fetching cards, mana-producing cards, and just play those guys. I'd rather be cheating out Dragons, Angels, that sort of thing.
FERRETT: Well, if you want, get sneaky with Conspiracy.
JOSH: Good point.
FERRETT: This is my #3 pick. I'd say it's a fantastically strong card.
JOSH: I'd say #4. Somebody wrote a pretty good article on it.
FERRETT: Right. And you know, strangely enough, I agree with that guy 100%. He was phenomenal.
FERRETT: I think Wizards should pay him more money.
FERRETT: This is your #5 card, and I have become increasingly convinced that it's only because it's called "Earwig Squad."
JOSH: Well, I will admit that that's a factor. (Earwig!) It reminds me of that madness feeling, of playing out a little guy, a little rogue, getting your attack in, BAM! For three mana, you can really screw up somebody's strategy for three cards.
FERRETT: And you can Jester's Cap.
JOSH: Exactly. Plus, 5/3 Goblin. Straight up, it's a 5/3 Goblin. I like to beat down.
FERRETT: I'm not opposed to it. I think it gives a lot of strength to the Goblins deck now, because one of the big problems with Goblins is that it comes out early, blazes really fast, and then sort of dies out. Whereas this can actually sort of screw up somebody's deck to stop them from interfering, and gives you a little beef to beat down people quicker.
FERRETT: I really like the idea of this card. But you know what?
JOSH: You really like the idea of reaching across the table and just taking your opponents' lands.
FERRETT: SCOOP! Yeah, I do. And you know what? I dream about that nightly, and it's only gonna happen in my dreams. Because frankly, if you have seven guys out and you're not winning... you know, you got some other problems.
JOSH: It's just too many for what this does. I mean, it's an awesome feat. You've stolen somebody's land. That's amazing! Now you still have three other guys...
JOSH: ...with land...
JOSH: ...that I guess you could take, assuming you survive the next few untaps.
FERRETT: And the thing is, all those Druids? I've looked them up. They get you more land. I really like the concept. I really dream of this happening, but I don't know when it's actually going to happen.
JOSH: Kind of like you beating me.
FERRETT: Oh, don't even start.
FERRETT: Reveillark. Or Reveillark. Or Reveillarque.
JOSH: Reveillarque. The eggs of larger cards.
FERRETT: Or ReveillARRRRR! Like it's a pirate card.
JOSH: Ooo! Good one.
FERRETT: Despite the fact that I have no idea how to pronounce it, this is my #4 card for the set. Because I really like the idea that you have a 4/3 flier that brings stuff back. It's great protection against Wrath of God, it's attractively priced, and it's a good beater in the air even if they never do kill it.
JOSH: If it was in another color that didn't have very similar tools, I would be completely with you. It's not top 5 for me, but it's still a card I know I'm gonna play. If it could get back guys of more than two power...
FERRETT: Right. The thing you have to remember is, it's good for Standard-legal decks. So if you're playing Standard-legal multiplayer, bump this one up a bit.
FERRETT: Two words, folks: Intruder. Alarm. And then you add in Drowner of Secrets, and hey! It's a deck. I don't think you have to put a whole lot of thought into this.
JOSH: Infinite. Milling.
FERRETT: Right. And then your friends will go "HEY!" and kill you every time you have land or show an Intruder Alarm or anything for the rest of the night.
JOSH: Or Merfolk... yeah.
FERRETT: It's definitely a good card, I like the idea of it. Especially if you combine it with Grimoire Thief, you have a whole bunch of possibilities...
FERRETT: And it's not particularly fun.
JOSH: Merfolk Combo.
FERRETT: You can do it. Certainly it's good, it's powerful because of that, but I'm not sure how I feel about it.
JOSH: Merfolk Combo. Don't do it.
FERRETT: Again, I would say this is number six on my list, but it's number three on yours.
JOSH: I think for me, because I am more of a control player....
FERRETT (laughs): More of a control player.
JOSH: Well, you're pretty much of a control player yourself....
FERRETT: No, no, no. I mean, when have you ever played anything remotely resembling aggro?
JOSH: ...I like to play control. And I like to gain ten life at once, and make giants. I enjoy every element of this card, other than the fact that it is a sorcery. But ten life is generally two turns' worth of being attacked. So if you're using one main phase, you're still coming out ahead and generally surviving to get an extra draw. It's nothing to laugh at. Also, you can get a 5/5 Giant Warrior out of the deal, which makes it pretty sweet.
FERRETT: Right. And I actually like the fact that it's not so strong that people are gonna freak out.
JOSH: And the other thing is that you can set it up easily by attacking someone, making sure they're going to be low on life so that you'll have more than then after the ten, guaranteeing you get your guy.
FERRETT: Rustic Clachan. Which, according to the Internet, is how you pronounce it. [Actually, according to another part of the Internet, it's "kla-KAWN." –T.F.]
JOSH: Okay, well, the Internet never lies.
FERRETT: I was surprised when you chose this one, honestly.
JOSH: Well, what I really like about this is that it's the combat trick land. It doesn't really take up as much of a slot in terms of your deck construction, but later on in a board position-based deck—you know, an aggro deck or a midrange deck—you can play it out as a combat trick. And I like the fact that it can affect the power that you have on the board immediately when you draw it. I think that's a very interesting step in land technology.
FERRETT: Whereas I look at it and go, "Wow, it's a combat trick, and it's overpriced." But it does count as a land, so maybe it's better than I think.
FERRETT: If you've been paying attention, you will note that we haven't mentioned it, but it is the elephant in the room. It's also every other creature type in the room. That would be Chameleon Colossus.
JOSH: I'm glad that they finally printed a good Sliver.
FERRETT: And it is an awesome Sliver. It's his #1 card, it's my #2 card, it's an incredibly potent card for multiplayer. The really nice thing about it is that particularly in multiplayer games, you get to the end game, you have a ton of mana, what do you do with it? In this case, you make it into a 16/16 or a 32/32, doesn't matter.
JOSH: What I like so much about that is that it's a 32/32 with protection from black.
JOSH: Mortify is not going to come out of there, Dark Banishing, Rend Flesh, what have you... It's not just going to knock that out from under you. Then, red has to scale its attack as you scale its toughness. That's almost impossible.
FERRETT: The only downside to this is that it doesn't have trample, but... If only someone would put a Loxodon Warhammer on this thing....
JOSH: Maybe a Horned Sliver.
FERRETT: But if they put that Loxy Warhammer on there, I bet they could gain like four digits of life.
JOSH: Primal Rage.
FERRETT: You're really pushing it.
Special "You Got To The Bottom" Notes!
What would I have done differently if I knew then what I knew now?
- Film against a white backdrop. The cream-colored walls of the basement make us look washed out. Next time, I'll hang a sheet or something.
- Leave space for video elements. It didn't occur to me until the edit that I'd want to fade in cards we were discussing, and there wasn't enough space between Josh and me to properly put them in. So they're off to the side, awkwardly. Next time, I'll work on composition.
- Do takes from different angles. There are a couple of "Max Headroom" edits here because we did several takes spliced together, but they were all from the same spot. Ideally, I'll set the camera in different places to give a more vibrant feel, and perhaps some closeups.
- Watch my body language a little more closely. As the first-time director on camera, I was a little nervous about the camera and whether it was working, so I wasn't quite sure where to look. As a default? At the camera, punkie.
- Watch my language. I am, apparently, trying to set the record for most "You knows" said in a video. But hey.
- Do more takes. We did three, which took a surprisingly long time considering that we had to hash out notes beforehand. But more video == more options.
That said, I am happy with most of it—I think the banter between Josh and me comes off well, and we got our essential points in. (I'd like to have spent a little more time discussing my "Soul Warden theory," wherein you lay down a cheap, growing threat that's a win/win. Either your opponents pop it and you don't care, since that wasn't your main threat and they now have one less piece of removal for your late-game Dragons and Angels, or they don't pop it and they have a serious problem to deal with. Either way...) But you know, it's all learning, my friends.