M21 Set Review – White and Blue

Hello friends, and welcome to The Winning Agenda’s M21 set review for Magic: the Gathering.

Jesse Marshall is a long-time limited fanatic, and he’s put his card evaluation shoes on to take a walk through the timebending streets of M21.

Check out a video discussion between Jess Horig and Jesse Marshall on our Facebook live page (www.facebook.com/thewinningagenda) from 2pm Australian Eastern Standard TIme on Sunday 28 June 2020.  That video discussion will also be streamed live on Twitch (twitch.tv/thewinningagenda) and available on YouTube if you can’t tune in live.

Without further ado … M21!

Core Set 2021 Spoilers M21 Teferi Banner New

M21 Set Review

Card grading scale 

5.0 – I will always play this and build around it.  The most powerful cards that warp games and formats or give repeated, powerful advantages.  Some will be nigh-unbeatable planeswalkers, efficient board wipes with upside or bombs that are super-difficult to remove (Vivien, Monsters’ Advocate or Ashiok, Nightmare Muse).

4.5 – This will always make the deck, and will absolutely warp the game if it resolves, but it can be answered. It may be a self-contained high-powered card that doesn’t otherwise impact the board but can dominate the game itself, or replaces itself with another card (or more) but may not beat out the opponent’s board (Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath or Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast or Embercleave)

4.0 – A bomb or a powerful answer that gives more than a one-for-one. Some less powerful board sweepers might be here, or bombs that are powerful and have some impact when they hit the table, (Lurrus of the Dream Den or Snapcaster Mage).

3.5 – An answer that I will always play that is unconditional, but may still be a one-for-one (Blood Curdle), a two-for-one or better that requires some work, or a bomb that has negligible impact when it enters the battlefield but can dominate games (Obosh, the Preypiercer, Trail of Crumbs or Bastion of Remembrance).  Some super-efficient creatures or archetype-defining cards might also get this rating.

3.0 – A staple in most decks of its colour (Cavern Whisperer, Frost Lynx, General’s Enforcer), solid piece of removal (Flame Spill, Dire Tactics or), efficient beater or strong creature that has no impact when it enters the battlefield or is relatively easily answered (Setessan Champion), or an excellent combat trick.

2.5 – An archetype staple for a popular and powerful archetype in its colour that is still good outside of the archetype or without too much work (Bushmeat Poacher), a decent piece of removal with some relevant conditions or restrictions (Charge of the Forever Beast or Divine Arrow), or a relatively efficient creature that I’m always going to be happy to play on colour or a very good combat trick.

2.0 – A narrow but powerful archetype staple, a decent creature that doesn’t get me too excited but I’ll usually play on colour (Glimmerbell, Pious Wayfarer, Boot Nipper), a piece of decent but situational or temporary removal (Heliod’s Punishment) or decent combat trick.

1.5 – Generic filler that I’m reasonably happy to play most of the time (Mosscoat Goriak or Forbidden Friendship), situational removal or removal that asks for a 2-for-1 or some setup (Heartfire, Mutual Destruction).

1.0 – Filler that I am less happy to play but will sometimes make the deck, decent sideboard cards, or highly situational removal I’m unlikely to play most of the time.

0.5 Rarely playable except in very specific decks.

0.0 Unplayable in limited most of the time.

White

Alpine Watchdog1.5

Glory Seeker (and Fresh Volunteers for those Masques enthusiasts) was never terribly exciting.  Adding keywords to the White 2/2 for 2 has increased their playability in limited significantly, but at the same time creatures in general have increased in power significantly.

This is a downgrade on Herald of Dromoka, and vigilance is probably not as strong as Bishop’s Soldier’s and Mesa Unicorn’s lifelink, but it’s likely to hit the table in a fair number of white decks as a beater on curve with an always-relevant keyword.

Angelic Ascension2.0

Spending two cards to get a 4/4 flyer, or needing to assemble a token to sacrifice to this, is a lot to ask. Removing their best threat but giving them what will be close to, if not better than that threat in the form of a giant flying beatstick feels pretty poor.

If you have a lot of tokens that you’re able to reliably throw to this, then maybe it makes the cut, but I’ll leave the ascending to others most of the time.

EDIT: I underrated this initially, it should be a 2.0.

Anointed Chorister1.5

Lifelink is one of the more powerful keywords, even on smaller creatures.  Any one drop that has the ability to scale up in the lategame (see Almighty Brushwagg) often turns out better than it seems, particularly where it has a relevant keyword ability.

It can be more valuable to have a creature that can battle your opponent’s board more favourably than a 1/1 in the first few turns.  That being said, Core Set formats sometimes devolve to topdeck wars, where the ability to level up in the midgame when you have a dead draw, and utilise excess mana, does come into its own.

This is on the borderline of falling to a 1 because of the activation cost – 5 mana makes it so much less likely you’ll be able to use it twice in a turn.

Aven Gagglemaster3.5

Air Elemental is usually a strong card in core set formats, and although this loses a point of toughness (which is unfortunate because it can meet an untimely demise at the hands of Scorching Dragonfire), the ability to bash for 4 in the air and stabilise your position in the race by gaining at least 2 life is strong enough to consistently make the deck.

It’s a credible threat that can close out the game in a few turns on its own and battles reasonably well with opposing weenies.

Baneslayer Angel – 4.5 

A true limited bomb.  Baneslayer is playing in a different ballpark since its release in M10 and M11 because creatures as a whole have improved substantially.  However, it remains a premier threat that opponents must answer immediately lest they fall further and further behind.  Any day you untap with Baneslayer in play is a good day.

Basri Ket4.0

Basri’s +1 is solid, and even better on vigilance creatures where you get the power on the attack and you get a beefier blocker to defend Basri.  It can also help force some damage through later in the game (or at least turn a trade into a chump block for your opponent).  That’s decent and reasonably flexible.

His -2 gives you some potential to get 1-2 additional soldiers without too much effort, and if you are ahead on the board, it can do so without exposing Basri too much on the backswing.  This ability is very tempo dependent but can lead to some blowouts.

If you can play a steadier game with Basri and get him up to his -6, you are very short odds to win the game.  The combination of the +1 ability’s general utility, the scaling power on the -2, and the strong -6 make Basri a very good deal for 3 mana.

The main downside is that Basri does nothing on an empty board.  This isn’t irrelevant, as you want your planeswalkers to do something if you’re behind, and it holds Basri back from a higher rating here.

Basri’s Acolyte – 3.5

White decks will want to take advantage of a decent curve in most formats, and this is no exception.  The counters will go nicely on a Concordia Pegasus, Alpine Watchdog, Daybreak Charger, or any number of other commons in the 2 and 3 drop slot.  Lifelink is always nice, and this is a decent medium-sized body to carry it.

Lifelink also has the added bonus of synergising with Griffin Aerie, one of the better card advantage engines in white below rare.

Basri’s Lieutenant – 4.0

It may seem odd to rate the Lieutenant the same as Big Bas himself, but this creature is good at all stages of the game, whether you’re ahead or behind, and whether you’re engaged in a massive board stall or you’re racing.

Importantly, the Lieutenant can put the counter on itself, and its death ability also triggers of itself. That means playing this on an empty board gets you at worse a 4 mana 4/5 vigilance with protection from gold spells, and a 2/2 vigilance when it dies.

That is super-efficient, and if it can dish around the +1/+1 counter love to another relevant creature the turn it lands, or if you can leverage multiple death triggers (either with the Acolyte or with the Solidarity that’s up next), this can have a monstrous impact on the game.

Basri’s Solidarity – 2.0

It can be awkward having cards like this in your deck because if you’ve got an empty board you’ve got yourself a stone cold brick, and with one creature it’s very mediocre.  With two creatures it’s decent, but effectively just a flashed back Travel Preparations.

Counters and exact power and toughness do matter a bit more here (getting your Basri’s Acolyte up to 3 power can turn on your Griffin Aerie, for example), but there is still a danger your card is a bit mediocre unless you’re in a board stall or you’re way ahead.  Sorcery speed stops any combat shenanigans and means that you’re always looking for offensive value or synergies here.

Celestial Enforcer – 1.5

The stats on this aren’t too bad (it’s no Mindless Null).  Although its tap ability is both expensive and situational, it will be available a reasonable amount of the time given that white has 2 fliers at common and a handful at uncommon.

This will make the deck sometimes, but I’ll rarely be excited about it.  It’ll fill a spot on the curve, sometimes tap something relevant, and generally brawl reasonably effectively in the early game.

Concordia Pegasus2.0

This creature generally sits around the 1.5 range for me in most core sets, but this time it just gets the bump up to 2.0 because of the number of +1/+1 counters flying around.

Having a 2 drop flyer that can reasonably consistently get bigger without spending a whole card thanks to Basri’s Acolyte at common means that if you have 2-3 of each in your deck, you’re staring at a pretty efficient beatdown core.

Containment Priest – 1.5

Most of the time this is Alpine Watchdog but with a less relevant keyword ability.  Flashing in your 2/2 may just snag a better creature by surprise blocking, but then you could just be playing something better than this and presenting your own threat.

This might make it to fill out a curve in a beatdown deck but it’s not exciting.

Daybreak Charger – 2.0

We seem to be getting a Leonin of the Lost Pride card in most sets now, and I’m generally not a huge fan of 3/1 beaters.  However, this one can give Concordia Pegasus or another beater a relevant power boost the turn it lands, and if it gets a +1/+1 counter or two, the power starts to look a lot more scary.

This may be bordering on falling to a 1.5 as well, but like Concordia Pegasus, If I’m playing a white beatdown deck and I’ve got a couple of Basri’s Acolyte, I’ll be happy to slot a couple of these as well.

Defiant Strike – 1.0

The fact that this doesn’t usually save your creature makes it pretty mediocre.  There’s no heroic shenanigans or other payoffs for targeting creatures here, and this feels flat off the bat.

Dub0.5

Auras that do nothing to offset the inherent 2-for-1 potential they hand to your opponent are usually questionable.  This seems out of step with what you want to be doing in this format in white, and this particular Dominarian reprint doesn’t get a rise out of me.

Faith’s Fetters3.5

Faith’s Fetters is the archetypal removal with upside. It beats out Pacifism because although it costs 2 mana extra, the lifegain and the ability to shut down activated abilities are absolutely worth the premium.  I’ve always had faith in this card, and in this format it feels like white will be very happy to lay down early beaters and then Fetters an opposing blocker.

Falconer Adept – 2.5

These sorts of creatures can go wrong at 4 mana, but the ability to spit out creature tokens, let along flyers, is not to be trifled with.  If you can get even one or two attacks in with this card, it’s been a strong play that synergises very well with white’s +1/+1 counter and flyers matter subthemes.

It can be worse than Daysquad Marshal if it’s killed straight away, and its stats aren’t super impressive on their own, but the fact the tokens fly and the potential to create multiple tokens takes this from a 2 to a 2.5.

Feat of Resistance2.0

Although I’m usually a bit resistant to this sort of card, and it’ll often be the last card cut in my draft decks, this one has more of a chance of seeing play because the pump sticks around and the protection gives you a real shot at winning combat or dodging removal.  This is like a hybrid Unlikely Aid and Unexpected Fangs, in that it saves your creature and gives you an ongoing boost.  That’s better than it looks at first blush, and I’m sure will lead to many a blowout.

Gale Swooper3.0

Assault Griffin with upside?  Yes please!  This compares favourably to most previous white and blue flyers for 4 at common.  The ability can push through a key attacker without warning.  This feels like a Dream Heron or Vulpikeet where you get to lift your best creature into the air, if only for a turn, but you don’t risk any kind of tempo or value loss because you get a separate 3/2 flyer as well.

Glorious Anthem – 3.0

The fact that this old favourite does nothing on its own does hold it back from a higher rating, but the effect remains extremely potent. This doesn’t require any tribal commitment and all your creatures will soon be singing from the same hymn sheet.  Its permanence and reach gives you the potential to build up imposing board positions quickly.  If you can pair it with any kind of token generation, you’re in business, but it’ll often be good enough with straight up creature cards.

Griffin Aerie – 2.5

These kinds of combo or value enchantments often turn out to be stronger than they seem.  This one takes a little more work than a Bastion of Remembrance or a Primal Empathy, but I think it’ll still be strong.  It pumps out very relevant creatures and has a reasonably easy requirement to fulfil.

Even if you trade a 3-power lifelinker for a similar-sized creature, you now get a 2/2 flyer out of it.

You will want a decent bunch of lifelinkers in your deck, but if you can pull it off, this can run away with games.

Idol of Endurance – 0.5

This is slow, has sequencing issues and is very expensive for what it does.

Early game it’s just awful, because you can’t slam it down until you have the relevant cards in your bin.  Lategame, it pumps out one of your smaller creatures per turn at a 2-mana premium.

Given the sequencing issues and the fact that you need to sculpt your deck a bit to take advantage of this, it feels like you’re going to either end up holding it in hand frustratedly and wishing it was anything else, or bring back a chump blocker every turn if you draw it later and you’re facing down bigger threats.

Legion’s Judgment – 2.5

Costing one less than Blade Banish and Smite the Monstrous is great, but losing instant (compared to Smite) and the ability to exile (compared with Banish) does temper that slightly.  Sorcery speed is a little less of an issue than in Ikoria, where a significant chunk of the giant beaters had psuedo-haste because of mutate.

Still, the 4-power restriction is real, and it means that this misses a lot of dangerous creatures in the set.  I wouldn’t play more than 2 of these ever in the maindeck, and I’d be reluctant to play more than 1.

Light of Promise – 1.5

There are a few synergies in the set that can see this become a significant power boost, so I won’t write it off entirely. It feels a little bit like Stormwild Capridor, but it has a few relevant downsides.  It has inherent 2-for-1 issues, doesn’t dodge opposing removal, and requires very specific cards to trigger, which you may not want to play normally.

Still, the ability to present a +3/+3 threat at instant speed by bluffing Revitalize (which cantrips for good measure) means that this can be hard for your opponent to interact with in combat if it’s on a vigilant creature, for example.

If you’re discerning about when you play it, and if you can get something out of it on the same turn, it can be a decent threat, but it is a risky play that can see you get brutally crushed by removal.

Makeshift Battalion – 1.0

This can be decent, but its ability does ask you to be quite far ahead and it’s often just a 3/2 for 3.

If you’re risking one of your other attackers when you trigger this, you’re not necessarily coming out ahead, so you have to think carefully about doing so.  Having flyers like Concordia Pegasus who can attack without risking their lives more often improves thing.

The fact that it wants things in play before it and then delays its impact for a whole additional turn can make for some awkward sequencing and tempo.  I don’t love it, but I’ll put one in my deck if the curve demands it.

Mangara, the Diplomat4.0

Mangara controls the board and demands payment from your opponent whenever they attack with multiple cards, or paly more than one spell a turn. This replaces itself almost all of the time unless it’s answered swiftly, and it’s got decent stats to boot. In a lot of games, this will savage your opponent’s tempo or force them to sequence plays awkwardly.  If they ignore Mangara, it will probably give you a significant card advantage.

Mangara does so many things that it’s easy to overlook the first word in their text box.  Lifelink helps with all of the lifegain matters cards, and the additional relevance of lifelink in this format pushes this up from a 3.5 to a 4.

Nine Lives 0.0

This is too narrow to see much play, because you need it to land at the exact right point in the game with the game evenly poised.

It’s worse than a fog because it doesn’t actually prevent the damage, and if they attack with enough sources (even over two turns) you’ll watch all nine of those lives get ticked off in quick succession.

It’s also sorcery speed, so you can’t ambush them with it and they have full information before they declare attackers.

You need to be vulnerable to an alpha strike, but able to kill your opponent on the backswing, and they need to be willing to essentially commit harakiri by attacking into this nonetheless.

I can’t envision a use for this that doesn’t involve Donate or Harmless Offering.

Pack Leader – 3.5

This is an extremely strong effect for 2 mana.  Your Alpine Watchdogs become extremely efficient, and your Selfless Saviours get bigger and allow this to attack with impunity so that you can protect the rest of the doggo squad.

There are enough dogs seeded throughout the common sheet that this should have plenty of canine company to lead you to a strong board position whenever it comes down.

Rambunctious Mutt – 2.5

I’ve always felt as though Magic has been good for my vocabulary, and this is a great example of why. Exuberant muttering aside, this one fits nicely into the upper end of a white deck’s curve.

The fact that this hits both artifacts and enchantments when it’s cast is nice.  It’s also notable that this effect is better on a 5-drop than it is on, say, a 2 drop like Leonin Relic-Warder, because you’re less likely to have that awkward tension between wanting to use your mana on-curve and wanting to get value out of your ETB trigger.

This is the kind of card that I want my Thraben Purebloods to be – it loses a toughness but gains significant upside in the ability to 2-for-1, particularly in a format with a relevant uncommon enchantment cycle.

Like with most 5-drops, I’m not going to go nuts on these, but I’ll be happy to have 1 copy in most white decks.

Revitalize – 1.5

If history tells us anything, it’s that straight up cantrips are usually a little better than they look.  This one is effectively a 2-mana cycle with a small but potentially meaningful effect, and is not going to fizzle from lack of legal target like some cantripping combat tricks.

You’re generally going to be wanting more action out of your cards than this, especially at 2 mana, but if you’re looking for consistency, 2 mana cyclers can be okay.  If you can get more out of the life gain through Griffin Aerie or Light of Promise, you’re going to want to play this for sure.

Runed Halo0.5

You can play this to give yourself protection from the best creature on their board, but it really is a mediocre removal spell since it allows them to continue to block and interact on the board.

You might side this in if you see multiples of a particular threat or play it main deck if you’re super short on removal and have lots of flyers, but I’d generally avoid playing this if possible.

Sanctum of Tranquil Light – 1.5

These are very difficult to evaluate, but let’s break it down as simply as possible.  This starts as a 1 mana tapper that doesn’t die to creature removal, but the ability costs 5 (it reduces its own cost).  If you have 2 other shrines in play, it costs 3 to tap a creature and you can do it multiple times a turn.

The fact that the other shrines have passive abilities, except Sanctum of Shattered Heights whose ability only costs 1, means that if you can pair this with one or two shrines of different colours, the others wont fight for your mana.

Seasoned Hallowblade – 2.0

In most decks, Daybreak Charger will do more than this at common.  If you’re in black/white reanimate, this can give you some sweet value by killing their blocker and getting your reanimate target in the bin.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty mediocre 3/1 that can use excess lands to save itself in combat sometimes.

Secure the Scene – 3.5

The premier piece of white removal, this hits all nonland permanents, meaning you can snipe their best creature, Planeswalker, shrine or even a Chromatic Orrery to really rub it in.

The 1/1 can be annoying, but shouldn’t be too much of a problem most of the time,

Selfless Savior1.5

This isn’t the one drop of my dreams.  It may be selfless, but like Dauntless Bodyguard before it, I’d rather take a good card rather than a mediocre card to save my good card.

That being said, this doesn’t have the awkward sequencing issues that the Bodyguard had.  It’s not as strong as Alseid of Life’s Bounty, which had lifelink and triggered constellation, but it does have synergy with the doggos, so can sometimes find a place.

Siege Striker2.5

This pseudo-exalted double striker feels a little deceptive to me.  I worry how often I’ll want this to besiege my opponent’s face, only to find that I have one or two other creatures in play and I can’t actually afford to tap my whole board to get behind a single attacker.  If the path is clear for this and you have a full board, you’re winning anyway.

Speaker of the Heavens2.5

The usual use case for this is pretty good.  1 mana for a 1/1 vigilance lifelinker.  Okay, I’ll play that a reasonable amount of the time.  In a colour with a +1/+1 counter subtheme, even better.  The activated ability won’t go off super often unless you have a lot of support, but when it does, it’s ridiculous.  I’d be happy to pick this early pack 1, or slot it into most white decks.

Staunch Shieldmate0.5

Old staunchy paunchy does block reasonably well for 1 mana, but vanilla creatures that have no hope of actually contributing to me winning the game unless the board is basically empty aren’t terribly exciting.

Swift Response2.5

These are often more awkward than they seem simply because they can’t help you clear out blockers if you’re on the beatdown.  Still, the ability to kill their best creature at instant speed (before the attack lands) is a big deal, and I’ll usually be happy to play one or two, particularly if I am playing Celestial Enforcer and I expect to be able to use its ability.

Tempered Veteran – 2.0

This is close to a 2.5, but I think it would need just one more efficient common source of +1/+1 counters to get there.

Basri’s Acolyte clearly works wonders with this card, but aside from that and Feat of Resistance, there aren’t heaps of attractive options that you’re going to see regularly to turn this on.

The fact that it has the ability to put counters on the board is good, but 6 mana is a lot.  Compare that with the Ikoria mentors, which contributed a counter for free when they entered the battlefield, and they were still far from exciting.  In the midgame, tapping out to slightly upgrade one of your creatures doesn’t feel amazing.

If you think you can reliably use the first ability, it’s good, but otherwise I’d rather take something a little higher on the raw power scale.

Valorous Steed 2.5

Creating two vigilant creatures for 5 mana is a very efficient deal.  There’s not much to say here, other than that white doesn’t usually get a single 5/5 for 5 mana (I’m looking at you, Thraben Purebloods), let alone 5 power and toughness split across two bodies, both with vigilance.

Vryn Wingmare1.0

There isn’t much creature-based removal here that could let you go full-Umori and slam this with impunity.  That being the case, this is an inefficient (worse than Wind Drake) flyer that you might play if you were desperate for flyers, noting that it might hose you on a key turn or lose you some tempo by squeezing your mana.

Warded Battlements – 1.5

A pseudo-anthem that also blocks is a very interesting proposition.  This works a treat with Concordia Pegasus, and I could see U/W skies decks loving this in the midgame as they race their opponent’s ground game. Even in other archetypes, upgrading all of your other creatures without needing to attack itself (a la Perimeter Sergeant) makes this more flexible and likely to impact the game for longer.

 

TOP 5 WHITE COMMONS AND UNCOMMONS IN LIMITED

  1. Faith’s Fetters
  2. Secure the Scene
  3. Aven Gagglemaster
  4. Basri’s Acolyte
  5. Gale Swooper

Blue

Barrin, Tolarian Archmage2.0

This is usually a more mana-intensive Man O’ War.  You’re going to struggle to consistently trigger the draw a card ability.  It’s fine, but not great and I wouldn’t go out of my way to accommodate the more difficult casting cost if mana is a bit shaky.

Cancel – 0.5

Counterspells like Cancel are always a risk in limited because of sequencing issues and how bad they are off the top.  If you have a lot of bounce, it gets slightly better.  I’ll leave these out of my deck 9 times out of 10.

Capture Sphere3.0

Capture Sphere gets a 3 rather than a 3.5 because it doesn’t answer passive, triggered or activated abilities that don’t require tapping.

It’s solid removal and you’ll always want some in your blue decks, but it does have its weaknesses compared with more definitive answers.

Discontinuity 0.5

The cheaper mode can save a creature from being killed on your turn, save you from a combat trick when you’re on the attack and various other corner cases.  The six mana mode can, if you’re lucky, counter a pre-combat main phase spell and deprive your opponent of a combat phase.

The problem is, combat isn’t always relevant, and when it is, they may not play a spell precombat, meaning you risk paying 6 for Fog or Cancel.

Enthralling Hold2.0

It may seem enthralling to be able to take your opponent’s best creature, but what if you have to let them bash you with it first?  What if you actually want to bash them, and their gigantic monster is standing in the way, stubbornly staring you down?

I’d hold my horses before picking this up too early and think carefully about whether there might be a better option

Frantic Inventory – 2.0

If you’re the only one on them, this gets very good very quickly.  2 mana cycling isn’t too bad as a worst case, and once you start accumulating multiple, it gives you the chance to gain some serious card advantage.

It pairs well with card draw matters cards like Gnarled Sage, as well.

Frost Breath 1.0

If you’re on a strong tempo and prowess gameplan, this can be good enough, but the card disadvantage is fatal to its chances of making it into some decks.

Instant speed means you can deprive them of two attacks and one block or vice versa, giving this some additional flexibility, but I think it will get cut more often than not.

Ghostly Pilferer3.0

The synergy between the first and third abilities means that you can pay 2 to cycle any card in your hand and guarantee yourself 2 damage.

If you are able to clear the way for this to attack, it does a pretty good Ophidian impression.  That’s a very nice package for something that’s very efficiently costed for a blue creature.  I’d be stoked to pilfer one of these for any blue deck.

Jeskai Elder– 2.0

The base stats on this just aren’t exciting enough to make this worth prioritising more highly than a middle of the road pick.  The low power and inability to force its way through without backup also makes the loot ability mediocre.  It will feel good when it’s in a well-balanced prowess deck on curve, but otherwise it will stall out a bit too often.

Keen Glidemaster – 2.0

I had to do a double take on this card because I was as excited about it as it appears to be about itself (judging from its artwork). Decent stats and a very relevant ability make this strong in almost all colour combinations.  It can target itself to peck away at your opponent when you’re flush with mana but light on plays later in the game, and if you’ve got a big ground beater that you can lift over their board it’ll put in some serious work.

Library Larcenist1.0

The stats on this hold it back a bit, because if it was a 2/2 I could get more excited about both the damage and the card if I work hard enough to get it through unblocked.  As it is, it’ll take work and deliver a middling payoff if it attacks and doesn’t die.  I’d rather a Thieving Otter most of time but I would play this sometimes and not be too sad about it.

Lofty Denial – 0.5

2 mana conditional counters usually need to be a bit better than this to make the deck. Despite its lofty ambitions, this does a reasonably poor Mana Leak impression, and Mana Leak isn’t one that I’m ever that keen to play in limited.

Miscast – 0.5

This is too narrow and too conditional to make it.  Swing and a miss(cast).

Mistral Singer – 3.0

Wind Drake is always decent, and Wind Drake with prowess is a slam dunk.

If U/x prowess is a good deck, this will be a huge part of carrying it to victory.

Opt – 2.0

In most formats I’d give Opt a 1, but with a prowess subtheme it gets a lot better. I’ll play this most of the time in blue as long as I have a couple of Prowess creatures, because the incidental +1/+1 is worth the 1 mana most of the time.

Pursued Whale – 4.0

Aside from the fantastic Moby Dick reference, this can absolutely monster your opponent’s board if their Pirate leads their whole team to their doom. 7 mana is a lot, but it does have some resilience to removal from its passive, and its enormous 8 toughness means it dodges a lot of damage-based removal as well.

Rain of Revelation – 2.0

This is slowish at 4 mana, but it is instant speed and can give you some decent card advantage.  I think it’ll slot into the more aggressive skies decks better as something to hand some long-game reach.  It synergises with the U/B reanimate strategy as well and is generally a pretty serviceable way to trigger prowess and accumulate some card advantage.

Read the Tides – 1.5

I’m no tidereader, but this hardly seems swell.  Sea God’s Scorn was okay, but this is significantly worse on the bounce and very expensive for a draw three.  Choice is nice, so this may play better than it seems, but I’m not sure it has quite enough impact for its cost.

Rewind – 1.0

In a prowess deck with Rain of Revelation, Capture Sphere and other good plays on your opponent’s turn, this can be flexible and powerful enough.  If it’s just going to be an expensive Cancel for you most of the time, though, best to leave this one at home.

Riddleform – 2.0

It can be tough to form an opinion on cards like this, but in a finely tuned prowess deck, I can see this doing some work.  It compares reasonably well to Reptilian Reflection and can be a decent beater if you can reliably trigger it. The scry is a nice bonus, and one that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Roaming Ghostlight – 3.5

This Mist Raven variant is a vital piece of blue’s power in this set.

The ability to put a serious evasive threat on the board and bounce their best creature (with only a small restriction) is very, very good for 5 mana.

Rookie Mistake – 2.0

This is a solid combat trick, at 1 mana, that can also save your creature from damage-based removal. You need to honour this when your opponent has one mana up, and almost every blue deck will be happy to play one of these.

This gets a slight bump up in ratings because of prowess and the fact that you will usually be happy to play it at the same point in the turn when you want prowess triggers (after your opponent has committed to combat and you want to mess with their math).

Rousing Read – 3.0

I was expecting to be enthralled by this after reading its title, and it didn’t let me down.  If you can play this when your opponent is tapped out and you’re safe from removal, it replaces itself due to its ETB trigger, and you give a permanent +1/+1 and flying to one of your beaters.  That’s a pretty good deal for 3 mana, and it can see this doing a ton of work.

Sanctum of Calm Waters – 1.5

This is an optional ability so you’re not going to deck yourself with it so long as you’re careful.  Itcan get out of hand for your opponent very quickly if you have one or two other shrines, and it pairs really nicely with the black or red shrines in particular.

This gives tempo decks so much extra gas, and is another way to get some value from your reanimate spells in U/B or trigger your Gnarled Sages pre-combat to give them vigilance.

The one thing that holds it back is that you really need another shrine in play to upgrade it from an expensive Merfolk Looter to actual card advantage.

See the Truth – 0.5

Sorcery speed Anticipate?  No, thanks!

Shacklegeist3.0

There are a lot of strong 2 mana 2/2 rares in this set, and this is no exception.  It flies, beats down well and allows you to control the board if you have some other spirits hanging around.   It doesn’t go so well on defence on its own, but the tapping ability means that it at least has some defensive potential.

Shipwreck Dowser 3.5

Archaeomancer with better power and toughness and prowess means this is a mean card.  It may cost 1 mana more, but wow do you get some value for that mana!

This is a very strong early pick and can set you up very well to utilise all sorts of spells more consistently and to greater advantage. It rewards you twice, intrinsically, for playing more instants and sorceries, and it has reasonable stats as well.  This is a phenomenal card.

Spined Megalodon – 2.0

This is mega powerful when it hits the board, but in most decks I’d be worried that my back would already have been broken by the time this hits the battlefield.  In some prowess decks with Frost Breaths and Roaming Ghostlights to bounce their threats, you might feel more confident of getting to the point in the game where you can just slam this.

I’m not sure its impact is still enough to justify its cost and the opportunity cost of having it in your deck even in that best-case scenario, but it might just be good enough as a finisher.

Stormwing Entity – 4.0

This is exceedingly easy to cast for its cheaper mode, and its stats are beastly at 2 mana.  It doesn’t have flash, meaning you can’t pair it with Rewind so well, but there are enough cheap spells like Opt that you can rely on hitting this on turn 3 or 4 regularly.

Getting a scry to assist your tempo and a strong flying threat will really set you up.  This is a build-around that rewards you for playing into blue’s strengths in the set.

Sublime Epiphany – 4.0

What this card does may sound a bit like Opportunity at this mana cost, but really it can do so much more because it impacts on the board immediately.  If you do get to counter their threat, bounce something else, copy your own creature and draw, you’ve got 4 cards worth of value plus crucial tempo.

Even if you don’t get to counter something but you copy one of your tapped creatures and block favourably, bounce their best creature and draw a card, that’s very good for 6 mana.  It’s not so good when your board is empty, but its ceiling is so high that I’d be looking to build around this if I saw it early.

Teferi, Master of Time – 4.0

We’ve never seen a planeswalker that can be activated twice in a turn cycle.  Teferi promises big things, and whilst his abilities may not scream raw power, the fact that you get two does increase its overall power significantly.

I’d almost always play Teferi, but there will be some times when you just loot, phase out a creature and then Teferi bites the dust.  That’s not an amazing deal for 4 mana, but with this much potential upside, I’m willing to take that worst-case scenario.

Teferi’s Ageless Insight – 3.0

It doesn’t take too much to get this working with Opt, Frantic Inventory and looters like Teferi’s Protégé, Jeskai Elder or Sanctum of Calm Waters waiting in the wings. As long as you’ve got a solid curve and some good tempo plays, this can get you enough value to win a lot of games of Magic.

Teferi’s Protégé – 2.5

A solid body and a relevant activated ability. This battles well with a lot of the 1 and 2 drops in the set, and can play well in a more controlling or aggro-control deck. Versatile and reasonably efficient.

Teferi’s Tutelage – 2.5

Depending on how much you can leverage its ability, it can be a strong closer.  Milling them for 2x the number of Frantic Inventories in your bin can be nice if you’ve picked up a bunch, but you’ll need to make sure you don’t go nuts and lose to damage in the meantime.  So long as you have a sensible curve and regular gameplan, this can just give you an alternate win condition that doesn’t ask too much of you.

Tide Skimmer – 3.0

A fantastic reward for playing flyers that synergises really well with the best blue threats in the set and blocks respectably the turn it lands as well.  It demands an answer and just slots into any blue deck that wants to beat down. This could be a 3.5 depending on how fast the format ends up being.

Tolarian Kraken – 2.5

This is slow, but it can really influence combat in a big way on your turn without much effort by getting rid of important blockers.  If you have some instant speed card draw like Opt, it can also tap down their attackers.

Its stats aren’t super exciting, but it can help to gum up the ground whilst your flyers go to work on your opponent’s life total.

Tome Anima2.0

You do need to sometimes be careful of 4 drop 3/3s that don’t impact the board at all.  However, if you have a reasonable chance of regularly triggering its evasion on your turn without too much effort, it can be a very good threat.

Unsubstantiate – 1.5

This will probably see play as an expensive Unsummon more often than not because of Prowess and blue’s general lack of removal.

The ability to also Remand a removal spell is a nice additional mode to have.

Vodalian Arcanist – 1.5

A serviceable blocker that helps with mana on occasion but isn’t particularly strong at combat or utility.

Waker of Waves 2.5

Its activated ability works nicely in U/B if you can find a way to reanimate it, and it’s available to use at instant speed.

It is expensive to cast, but it has a significant impact on the board and is hard to remove.  Don’t underestimate the -1/-0, which turns combat math strongly in your favour and turns off one-power deathtouchers like Fetid Imp.

It’s not a first pick, but it’s certainly a decent option that is at its best in U/G when you can ramp into it or U/B when you can reanimate it using its activated ability.

Wall of Runes – 0.5

With all that blue has going for it in this set, we can do better than ol’ Runey.

Wishcoin Crab – 0.5

Anyone else’s brain see Wisconsin Crab when they skim read this? I don’t really know what Wisconsin’s like, having never been, but this crab sure is boring.

TOP 5 BLUE COMMONS AND UNCOMMONS IN LIMITED

  1. Roaming Ghostlight
  2. Shipwreck Dowser
  3. Mistral Singer
  4. Rousing Read
  5. Keen Glidemaster
M21 Set Review – White and Blue

The Winning Agenda Episode 151 – Throne of Eldraine Unboxing feat. Uprising Spoiler

Episode 151 is live!

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View first card in image form (DreamNet)

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After a hiatus of some time, Jess and Jesse are back to discuss everything of note in the world of competitive Netrunner.

On our agenda:

  • Year in Review! Jess and Jesse mention what they’ve been up to over the past little bit, including some Twilight Struggle, two World Championships, and a whole lot of Snake Draft.
  • Uprising Spoilers! Morgan of NISEI was kind enough to give us two powerful cards – one crisp and tasty hardware and one best friend of a genderless void. Both cards are unique replacements for rotating effects, and we look at the historical context that these cards have been designed in, as well as which other old and new cards might be especially well suited to work with them.
  • Throne of Eldraine discussion! As a bit of a change, Jess and Jesse talk about their second favourite game and how playing new things might help your Netrunner game improve.
The Winning Agenda Episode 151 – Throne of Eldraine Unboxing feat. Uprising Spoiler

The Winning Agenda interviews Morgan B White

The Winning Agenda interviews Morgan B White, NISEI developer

Hi all! You may remember The Winning Agenda, the premier Netrunner competitive podcast between 2014 and 2018. If you do, welcome back, and if you don’t, welcome! With the death and subsequent revival of Netrunner under a new organisation, NISEI, there’s a lot to discuss. Today, Wilfy interviews Morgan B White, NISEI developer – you may know them as @anzekay on Twitter or Stimslack.

Hi Morgan! Thanks for being with us today. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about how long you’ve been playing and how you got into Netrunner?

Hey Wilfy, thanks for arranging this! I’m a late-20s freelance Game Designer and writer living in Perth, Western Australia. I started studying computer science at the start of 2018 as well, so most of what I do currently is study!

I’ve been playing Netrunner since early 2014, if I remember right it was just before Honor & Profit was released. At the first PAX Australia in mid 2013 there was some sort of Netrunner demo happening in the tabletop area, but I didn’t actually try it myself. Rather it was a friend of mine who asked me if I’d heard of it after the con was over, as he’d given it a try and liked it immensely (and even bought the core set on the spot).

I was curious, so after getting home from Melbourne I had a look online and found out that Quintin Smith, of Shut Up and Sit Down, was a big fan (and I in turn was a big fan of SUSD’s work). I listened to the episode of Terminal 7 that Quinns was on, and while most of what they were talking about didn’t make any sense to me I knew I had to get this game.

I ended up buying a copy of the core set and What Lies Ahead, the very first datapack, off an acquaintance who never used it anymore, and we played a game together at the store where the exchange happened. It was, if I remember, hilariously bad and we screwed up every rule imaginable. But it was great. I played a bunch more with some friends and even my Dad, but didn’t manage to get any of the others into the game.

 

When and where did you first go to a tournament and start exploring the competitive side of the game? Does anything stand out from that time as piquing your interest?

 

After playing a bunch with the aforementioned folks, I found out another friend of mine, Coan, already had a bunch of Netrunner and was keen to play some games. We hung out a few times and played a bunch, which was great as I hadn’t seen half the cards he had (I fondly remember the first time he pulled out Jinteki: Replicating Perfection) but I still kinda just wanted to play more. Facebook seemed to be the ideal place for discovering a Netrunner community, so that’s where I went. Sure enough there was a little Facebook group for Netrunner in Perth and Western Australia, so I joined that and found out they ran a league event at a game store across town every Monday night.

Usually I’m pretty shy when it comes to going to events or places where I don’t know anyone, so I talked Coan into coming with me. I think there were about 12-16 other people there the first night we want, and I had an absolute blast despite losing most of my games. I went home that evening and ordered every single datapack I didn’t have, along with C&C, and started going every night I could, and I’ve been going to just about every event, casual, semi-competitive or competitive that I possibly can.

How were you feeling when you had heard that FFG was discontinuing the game and NISEI was taking it up as an entirely fan project?

Surprised, mostly, since FFG had just released a revised edition of the core set and the community was picking back up again worldwide after the drop of activity around the Mumbad cycle. But I’m familiar enough with the industry to know that these things happen all the time, and there was little to be done. I intended to keep playing with my local community until I was the only person showing up. With how many others here expressed the same sentiment I imagine I would’ve been playing Netrunner in Perth until I died or move away, haha!

NISEI was something I was only vaguely aware of to begin with. I saw the posts on facebook and some talk in various slacks or discords about it, but I figured until they started doing anything there wasn’t much to look at, and kinda just forgot about the whole thing. It seemed like a noble effort, but I didn’t really want to build up any personal expectations.

What made you want to apply to the NISEI team, and why did you pick a game development role to focus on? I know a lot of people in the community have had experience creating their own Netrunner fan sets, new formats or MWLs, or entirely new games. Had you done any of that in the past?

A friend of mine linked me to the NISEI applications stuff one evening, and I looked at it and wasn’t really sure about throwing my hat into the ring. I’m not an especially confident person when it comes to my own capabilities, and I felt pretty busy with study, looking for contract work, and my own projects at the time. Another dev friend of mine straight up just told me to do it, though, so I thought about it for a few more days and ended up applying within the last 48 hours! I actually applied for Design and Creative (writing specifically) as well as Development.

I wasn’t entirely sure what the Design/Dev role split was about, since that’s not something I’ve encountered in video game development before, but I assumed it was an effort to lower individual department workload on a fan project. Writing because, well, writing is probably my first love, really, and Narrative Design is what I yearn most to do these days. Not too much of that in a competitive card game though, outside of Terminal Directive, I’ll admit!

I’m pretty happy with the Development role, though, and if I’d known then what I know now about the team’s specific duties I likely would’ve just applied for Development alone.

Obviously I have a bit of previous game dev experience, but nothing in terms of physical games (let alone a card game), so all my prior work was digital stuff. I’d done some little random ideas of a new set before, but it was minor, mostly just a flip ID runner and their associated rig and support cards, all based on the idea of making a Caissa 2.0 cycle that was playable and cross-faction!

NISEI has had a very good opportunity to forge their own path in terms of how they want to structure the rules, release structure, formats, and even individual cards themselves. How did that opportunity for drastic change affect your perspective on the task at hand? Do you think you were more aggressive or more conservative in your design and development work because it was a time of such great upheaval?

To some degree I wasn’t worried terribly much about the community upheaval that was going on. I just wanted to test our own limits and capabilities and ensure the first set we released wasn’t riddled with problem cards or boring ideas. I was definitely more conservative when it came to power levels, and I figured that it was much more likely that our efforts would be hurt by releasing a bunch of cards we’d then have to turn around and hit with the MWL, compared to releasing a set of weird and interesting but slightly underpowered cards.

 

I definitely think a lot of cards have been rated by the community lower in power level than they should have been, but it’s hard to properly contextualise how cards would be received in the real world when all our playtesting was with the second half of Ashes as well! I firmly believe that some cards in Downfall that the community originally panned will be much, much, more playable once Uprising has been released.

Probably the largest complication for Downfall’s development was just sheer logistics. We were putting a lot of stuff together from the ground up, and the Creative team in particular really did a stellar job not only getting art for all 65 cards but also making our new card frames, layouts, and everything else from the ground up. Similarly the Rules team was in the process of overhauling the entire ruleset for the game, another monumental task. Now that we’ve sorted out a lot of that stuff, we’re in a much better position for future sets.

As Downfall was the first set that NISEI released, I think a lot of people were waiting with bated breath to see how NISEI’s first development offering would turn out. What perspective did you personally take coming into Downfall from a development perspective? Were certain cards designed as a reaction to the meta at the time, or was there a more holistic view taken about shaping a format that would be fun in the future?

So, I definitely outlined a bunch of this in the Development article I wrote for Downfall’s spoiler season, which you can find at this link, but there’s some other things that come to mind here. A lot of the set was originally conceived to fit into two distinct areas of play. One area of the set was created to support the new ID of each faction within the Ashes cycle, and another area was created to support IDs that haven’t been frequently used in competitive play, or under-represented strategies in general. Some of the factions had more issues with the latter part than others. In particular, Anarch had a troubled time in both design and dev as we struggled to make cards that were playable but not instantly easy to slot into the existing Anarch powerhouse of archetypes.

To some degree a decent numbers of cards were definitely responses to pre-Downfall meta particulars. Whistleblower and Direct Access were both intended to be alternatives for Employee Strike and Film Critic, their reduced power level allowing for them to keep off the MWL, although I think we might have made Whistleblower a bit too user-unfriendly than I may have liked, in hindsight.

But personally? I really wanted to push out a set that promoted some unusual styles of play or that supported archetypes that have been long dead. I very much wanted it to be a bunch of cards that got the community excited for the future, even if it wasn’t overall a really potent set. Definitely some mistakes happened or some problems slipped through the cracks because of my outlook there, but I don’t regret taking that approach for Downfall. The future sets will be (and are) getting a much less restrained treatment from me, though.

Take us through a bit of the playtesting and refinement process for you – what elements did you use to assess cards and how they would be played, especially from a competitive perspective?

The reality of Development is that it’s not the most glamorous of roles! A lot of game design is about communication and iteration, especially of systems and issues that are very difficult to understand from a player point of view. We have to interact with every other department on the team, to glean information on intentions for various card designs, names, purposes, themes, you name it! Our Playtest team is also under Development’s purview, and we get feedback from them constantly as they test cards. We’re kinda just gathering lots of information and data and then distilling it down to conclusions we can base the next iteration of a card on.

I’d say there’s 4 different elements I focus on for each card.

Design intent: the original conceit and purpose for the card. We try and adhere to that where possible, even when drastically changing a card, but sometimes a card’s original purpose or intent become untenable and we either scrap the card entirely or offer a replacement for its slot in the set.

Theme: the story or character the card is based on. To some degree this doesn’t come up til later in development for some cards, as the Creative team decides just what they want some of the more generic cards to be about. But for the more top-down designs we keep the feelings evoked by a card in mind the whole way through development. There’s actually a card in Uprising that I’ve become exceptionally attached to recently, to the point that I’m part way through writing some short fiction specifically about that card!

Playtest data: the distillation of the test data we get from our playtesters actually trying out the cards. This is probably where the bulk of our information comes from. It’s really easy for us to sit around in Slack and discuss what we think a card should do or how strong it should be, etc, but ultimately past a certain point that effort is irrelevant and wasteful compared to just playing with the cards.

Existing context: this is concerns regarding the current meta, or the meta we’re seeing develop in playtest, or other projections we have for future metas. A really good example of this would be some of the biggest problem cards we’re working on at the moment, cards for a fairly popular playstyle. Trying to figure out strong future definitions for certain sorts of cards is a very valuable and important thing, but it needs to be done with the context of how those cards are likely to be played now, not just in a year’s time, otherwise we risk printing cards that are far too strong, or just really bad or excessively niche.

This is probably the hardest thing to actually focus on, as it’s a fairly dispassionate and nebulous element of the development process, compared to the three previous ones that all involve people who are invested in these cards on both an intellectual and emotional level. Cold logic can be a real buzzkill, I suppose. This is probably the area where I had to be restrained during Downfall’s development, as I was being more conservative with the power level of cards, and so thinking about their role in a purely competitive meta wasn’t as high a priority for me then as it is now for Uprising and future sets.

What’s your favourite Runner and favourite Corp card in Downfall, and why? Personally, my favourite Runner card is Khusyuk because I love making elements of the game matter that don’t normally matter (see my champion card for an example of that) and my favourite Corp card is Daily Quest because it enables a type of play that I like where you do nothing until your opponent eventually gets bored and concedes!

Oh this is a hard one. I love all my children as much as the others! Khusyuk is definitely up there, because it’s such a strange card that demands thought not just in play but also in deckbuilding, but I think Flip Switch might have to be my personal favourite. It’s such a sleek design, even if it does have 3 different functions on it, and it promotes aggressive and faster paced play, which is exactly how I like to play Criminal the most.

Daily Quest is absolutely a card that slipped through my vision a bit (honestly most of the NBN cards did), it may have ended up being slightly stronger than I would’ve liked. My personal favourite is Fully Operational, as it’s a card we really pushed towards promoting the older style of HB, with multiple iced servers for your Campaigns as well as scoring. I don’t think it’s super strong right now, but I am hoping that as the meta shifts over time it’ll come into its full potential. Especially if we print more cards that support that archetype! Trebuchet is a close second, because I really wanted to print an illicit ice that was worth playing. I kinda regret not making all of its numbers be part of a formula to calculate the max range of a trebuchet though…

 

Thanks for answering my questions Morgan! Congratulations on your successful release, everyone seems to love it. To our readers, thanks so much for tuning in, and please let me know if you’d like to see more Netrunner content!

Wilfy is a non-binary Netrunner enthusiast from Melbourne and the 2017 Netrunner World Champion. They like board games, cute animals, and tournaments. You can find them at @chaosjuggler on Twitter where they mostly retweet Dril.

The Winning Agenda interviews Morgan B White

Episode 150 – All good things…

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On our agenda:

  • It’s been more than just fun, and it’s been more than just a game. We are so, so grateful for the community, our listeners and supporters, tournaments, travel, testing, decklists, tournament snackfoods, technical difficulties, 150+ Skype linkups, wonderful guests, and lifelong friends.  This game has been a part of all of our lives for the better part of 6 years, and now the ride, at least the official FFG-endorsed ride, is over.
  • We reflect on the life of Android: Netrunner and the past 3 and a half years of TWA!  Brian Holland, Hollis Eacho, Wilfy Horig and Jesse Marshall sit down to discuss it all and what the game and the podcast have meant to them.
  • It’s an emotional farewell from us, replete with nostalgia, camaraderie, a plethora of shoutouts, feedback and emails from our listeners, and a good dose of gratitude to Patreon supporters, listeners, and the whole Netrunner community.
  • Thank you to each and every one of you who’ve joined us at any stage on this journey.  The podcast and the game are things we will treasure forever, and you have all helped us create memories we will never forget.

Peace and love

Wilfy, Jesse, Hollis and Brian (The TWA Crew)

thewinningagenda@gmail.com

@winningagenda

PS – This isn’t the end of everything! NISEI, a community-driven continuation of Android:Netrunner has been launched! Check it out here https://stimhack.com/introducing-nisei-a-fan-organization-dedicated-to-continuing-netrunner/

Episode 150 – All good things…

Episode 149 – Kitara Cycle Review

 

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On our agenda:

  • Jesse and Wilfy sit down and pore over the Kitara Cycle to pick out some favourite cards and discuss the overall themes.
  • Each faction gets a close examination, and Jesse and Wilfy talk about which cards they are most excited about working with and including in their decks.
  • There’s plenty of power spread across the factions, and lots of little gems that have been largely overlooked.
  • Let us know what you think of our ratings, and whether we missed any of your favourite Kitara cards!
  • We’re only one episode away from our 150th, and we’ve had a few listeners contact us with favourite TWA moments and shoutouts for us to read out.  You’ve only got a short time left to get your submissions in for us to read out next episode!

As always, get in touch!

Email: thewinningagenda@gmail.com

Facebook: The Winning Agenda

Twitter: @winningagenda

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thewinningagenda

Episode 149 – Kitara Cycle Review

Episode 148 – Ch-ch-ch-ch-changeeeeees (Feat. Exclusive Screambear Interview)

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On our agenda:

  • We’ve spoken about lots of topics over the course of the past 148 episodes, including some controversial topics, or things that we would like to see changed in the game.
  • This week, we revisit some of our previous discussions to check in and see where they got us!
  • With the recent advent of sideboards in A Game of Thrones, another competitive FFG card game, we discuss whether it might be worth revisiting them in Android: Netrunner
  • We did a lot of advocacy for the Weyland Consortium back in 2015.  Where did that get us? Have things improved for our dark green friends?
  • Tournament structure, floor rules and judging are all things that FFG has made significant changes to over the years.  How are we looking these days?
  • We interview everyone’s favourite Netrunner antagonist, Screambear, for the first time in audio form.  Long-time listeners will recall our previous text-only interview with the loudest ursus of all (https://thewinningagenda.com/2015/02/28/an-interview-with-screambear/)

As always, get in touch!

Email: thewinningagenda@gmail.com

Facebook: The Winning Agenda

Twitter: @winningagenda

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thewinningagenda

 

Episode 148 – Ch-ch-ch-ch-changeeeeees (Feat. Exclusive Screambear Interview)

Episode 147 – Council of the Crest (Runner)

Episode 147 – Council of the Crest (Runner)

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  • Will Exer be the new Medium? Or even the new R&D Interface?  Will we be slotting it?
  • Are we excited about denying credits again in Crim? Probably!
  • Is Wilfy a White Hat?  Whatever the answer, we’re pretty sure Sunny is!  How good is it to see some new minifaction love?!

As always, get in touch!

Email: thewinningagenda@gmail.com

Facebook: The Winning Agenda

Twitter: @winningagenda

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thewinningagenda

Episode 147 – Council of the Crest (Runner)

Episode 146 – New MWL! Read All About It!

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On our agenda:

  • The Boggfather has spoken, and with his latest decree etched into the stone tablet that is the FFG website, Jesse and Wilfy discuss the new removed and restricted list!
  • Will Rumor Mill cause havoc for corps, will CI survive the loss of Violet Level Clearance, and will Hayley’s economy still function without Tapwrm?
  • Let us know what you think about the MWL and our predictions, and how your meta is shaking out with the new MWL!

As always, get in touch!

Email: thewinningagenda@gmail.com

Facebook: The Winning Agenda

Twitter: @winningagenda

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thewinningagenda

Episode 146 – New MWL! Read All About It!

Episode 145 – Sovereign Sight + Blast Zone

(For some reason, this episode didn’t publish on time. Here you are!)

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On our agenda:

  • Due to popular demand, our intros are back! Woo hoo! Thanks Spags!
  • We debut the Blast Zone, an innovative concept which we came up with all on our own!
  • The panel runs through all of the hacktivist-type cards in the pack, relishing the chance to discuss fresh cardboard toys for the first time in months!
  • With our 150th fast approaching, let us know your favourite memories of TWA and what you want us to mention on this special episode 🙂

As always get in touch

Email: thewinningagenda@gmail.com

Facebook: The Winning Agenda

Twitter: @winningagenda

Patreon: www.patreon.com/thewinningagenda

Episode 145 – Sovereign Sight + Blast Zone

Episode 144 – Testing for Worlds and Future of the MWL

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On our agenda:

  • Wilfy and Jesse chat about the Team TWA Worlds 2017 testing process, starting from the beginning and going all the way through to the end – the main event.
  • How should you decide what decks to put in your gauntlet?  How many people do you need in your testing group?  How do you develop your gauntlet as your testing progresses?
  • The panel talks about the MWL, evaluating how each removed and restricted card went at Worlds, and what changes might be made in the future.
  • We are asking all of our wonderful listeners to send in their favourite TWA moment, TWA episode, thing about TWA, thing that you miss or thing that you’ve glad we’ve changed, for our 150th episode extravaganza.  We’ll be having lots of special guests and planning a fun trip down memory lane, and we want you to get involved! You can send your entries by email, tweet, Facebook message or carrier pigeon!

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Episode 144 – Testing for Worlds and Future of the MWL