Linkpost: A Comprehensive Review of Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths

If Magic: The Gathering is relevant to your interests, enjoy it at CoolStuffInc.

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4 Responses to Linkpost: A Comprehensive Review of Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths

  1. sniffnoy says:

    Minor note on black, Dark Bargain (which you gave one star) is actually also a reprint.

  2. hnau says:

    I did enjoy it!

    I agree that companions are scary. They’re really exciting to casual deckbuilders like me, though, so I hope you’re wrong about the bans. If the mechanic was fundamentally unbalanced I’d imagine that playtesting would have discovered it.

    The best case I can make for them being OK is that the deckbuilding cost is fairly significant in most cases. Say it reduces the quality of your nonland cards by 10-20%, which I think is a conservative estimate for almost all of them. In the average game you’d easily cast 5-10 of them, so in terms of card advantage it’s close to a wash. The main advantage is having a pre-tutored synergy piece, which only really matters for decks that rely on the synergy. So I’d argue that decks without that synergy won’t stretch to accommodate the companions just for the mediocre bodies. Even in a control deck it’s not clear that a 3/2 for 3 that just eats otherwise dead removal is worth compromising on the wincons.

    If I had to guess, I’d predict that Keruga will get banned in Standard for the reasons you describe, and at most one other companion. Conditional on that, the rest will see some play but be less than 60% of the post-ban metagame.

    • TheZvi says:

      As a two-week casual format they’re a great idea Please do enjoy them. But I expect them to get old really, really fast. I had one in limited and faced one in one of the games I’m already kinda sick of it.

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