Mage Ring Woes

So the full spoiler for Magic Origins just dropped and I’m a little sad about one of the lands in the set. Namely:

en_tiOYYQh6s8It feels like a huge flavor miss to have a land based on a system of rings that channel mana being such a slow and ponderous storage system. Why couldn’t it have been this?

RevisedRing

But Trevor! That card looks a lot like this one!

Image.ashxOkay sure, Cloudpost is a broken card, but Glimmerpost, Thespian’s Stage, and Vesuva contribute to that and even with the latter two at it’s disposal, this tweak to Mage Rings is hardly on par with the Locus-based land of yesteryear.

Let’s look at how these altered rings compete with 12-Post (assuming you can always play a land that would increase the count).

Mage Rings 12-Post
Turn One
  • Max Mana: 1
  • 1 Mage Ring Network
  • Max Mana: 0
  • 1 Cloudpost
Turn Two
  • Max Mana: 0
  • Add 1 Storage counter
  • 2 Mage Ring Network
  • Max Mana: 3 (1*2L + 1)
  • +2 life
  • 1 Cloudpost, 1 Glimmerpost
Turn Three
  • Max Mana: 3 (1SC x 3)
  • 2 Storage Counters
  • 3 Mage Ring Network
  • Max Mana: 4 (1*3L + 1)
  • 2 Cloudpost, 1 Glimmerpost
Turn Four
  • Max Mana: 2 (2)
  • 4 Storage Counters
  • 4 Mage Ring Network
  • Max Mana: 9 (2*4L + 1)
  • 3 Cloudpost, 1 Glimmerpost
Turn Five (The Emrakul Point)
  • Max Mana: 16 (3SC x 5 + 1)
  • 1 Storage Counter
  • 4 Mage Ring Network, 1 Vesuva (MRN)
  • Max Mana: 16 (3*5L + 1)
  • 4 Cloudpost, 1 Glimmerpost
Turn Six
  • Max Mana: 6 (1SC X 6)
  • 4 Storage Counters
  • 4 Mage Ring Network, 2 Vesuva (MRN)
  • Max Mana: 30 (24L + 2)
  • +6 life
  • 4 Cloudpost, 2 Glimmerpost
Turn Seven
  • Max Mana: 28 (4SC x 7)
  • 2 Storage Counters
  • 4 Mage Ring Network, 3 Vesuva (MRN)
  • Max Mana: 31 (4*7L + 3)
  • +7 life
  • 4 Cloudpost, 3 Glimmerpost
Turn Eight
  • Max Mana: 16 (2SC x 8)
  • 5 Storage Counters
  • 4 Mage Ring Network, 4 Vesuva (MRN)
  • Max Mana: 35 (4*8L + 4)
  • +8 life
  • 4 Cloudpost, 4 Glimmerpost
Turn Nine
  • Max Mana: 37 (1SC x 7) – 2 + (4SC x 8)
  • 2 Storage Counters
  • 4 Mage Ring Network, 4 Vesuva (MRN), 1 Thespian’s Stage (MRN)
  • Max Mana: 40 (4*9L + 4)
  • +9 life
  • 4 Cloudpost, 4 Glimmerpost, 1 Vesuva (GP)

I could go on, doing the math for making Thespian’s Stages into Cloudposts and Mage Ring Networks, but the pattern is evident. Every other turn, or there about, the Mage Ring Network would provide a boost of mana rivaling Cloudpost and friends.

However, that’s all you’re doing.

To keep up with 12-Post, each turn all your lands are either tapped to make mana or to put a storage counter on them. There’s also the real truth is that Glimmerpost is gaining a non-incidental amount of life whenever it or Vesuva enter the battlefield. So yes, in an Eternal Environment, the Mage Ring Network I proposed produces just about as much mana as 12-post every other turn, but that’s assuming five of the 12 cards you see in the first five turns are 4 Network and 1 Vesuva.

Without Vesuva, in Standard specifically, the Network is limited to 16 mana maximum every other turn. And I’ll admit that’s a lot of mana, but against some of the aggro decks in the format right now, playing four lands and then potentially casting Emrakul is a quick way to get to game two. I plan on doing more testing to see if my feeling is still correct–that the Network imitating Cloudpost would be inferior in every way–so keep an eye on this space.

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About Trevor Gulley

Trevor Gulley is a writer, cartoonist, and gamer. He works full time in the IT industry and judges Magic most weekends.

Posted on 07/03/2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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