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Columna Rex   5/18/2004 3:12:43 AM
B.F.M......ooooohhhh yeah

Last Modified: 5/18/2004 3:13:22 AM     


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TerrysAlt   9/11/2004 11:31:29 AM
[Altar of Dementia]
Um, if you somehow manage to resolve the BFM, why do you need this to win? Don't 99/99 monsters tend to do that by themselves?

I tend to think most creatures are better off in play than being thrown away to mill a few cards from the opponent.

Last Modified: 5/19/2006 9:50:17 PM     


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omnipotentchild   9/27/2004 2:26:36 AM
This dude above me has obviously never heard of Coat of Arms Buy or Hold the Line Buy. Freaking awesome 2 mana artifact - even w/o extra cards, it is good for putting a tighter clock on an opponent, expecially if you sac stuff like Sundering Titan Buy or any of kamigawa's dragons repeatidly; can anyone say "Dawnbringer"?

Last Modified: 9/27/2004 2:30:05 AM     


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TerrysAlt   9/29/2004 10:23:12 AM
"This dude above me has obviously never heard of Coat of Arms or Hold the Line."

I've heard of them. I just don't think they make the card any less crap. If you have enough creatures to make Coat of Arms useful why not just attack? You keep the creatures and don't waste deck slots on this crap.

Hold the Line is a cute trick but altar+creatures+hold the line is a combo that is less effective than just creatures.

"Freaking awesome 2 mana artifact - even w/o extra cards, it is good for putting a tighter clock on an opponent, expecially if you sac stuff like Sundering Titan or any of kamigawa's dragons repeatidly; can anyone say "Dawnbringer"? "

If you can reanimate Reya, resolve an altar and fill the grave with the relavent cards before the opponent kicks your face in, I daresay you should stop playing against braindead monkeys.

Last Modified: 9/29/2004 10:28:23 AM     


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Markstorm   10/24/2004 3:38:14 AM
Um... Kaldratron?

Last Modified: 10/24/2004 3:38:31 AM     


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Jingizu   11/11/2004 11:00:54 PM
What about a useless Ancient Ooze of about 50/50, big because you have a few big green creatures out, but they don't have trample yet. Sacrifice the ooze to the altar and you're done.

Last Modified: 11/11/2004 11:02:04 PM     


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TerrysAlt   11/13/2004 9:28:16 PM
If you have 57 mana worth of creatures (to get a 50/50 Ancient Ooze), why is your opponent still alive?

Last Modified: 11/13/2004 9:31:00 PM     


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Zorn   1/20/2005 3:14:10 PM
Actually, what one can do, is use all those strong creatures that have hampering side effects, like Albino Troll Buy, and Ceremonial Guard Buy. Or, find some way to create decently strong creature tokens with Riptide Replicator Buy. You can go complete defense the whole battle yet manage to hurt the opponent a bit at a time...

Last Modified: 1/20/2005 3:18:32 PM     


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TerrysAlt   1/20/2005 5:34:04 PM
Or you could use good creatures and no altar. The advantage of this plan is that all your creatures aren't rendered useless because you couldn't resolve an altar.

Last Modified: 1/20/2005 5:38:09 PM     


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Zorn   1/24/2005 12:00:26 PM
I suppose really, we should hold this card against other library destruction spells like Brain Freeze Buy, Tower of Murmurs Buy, and Ambassador Laquatus Buy.

Different libraries have different strategies to win with. There is the theme of controlling the field and slowly wearing the enemy down with sources such as Faerie Conclave Buy (a mainly blue tactic). There is the strategy of hitting the enemy hard with fewer creatures whose path has been cleared (arguably green). There is the strategy of overwhelming your opponent with so many different kinds of spells that he cant react properly to all of them (a mainly red and sometimes white strategy). And of course there is the infamous, make your life miserable library that forces you into submission which ensure you have no spells in hand to play (those damned black libraries).

Altar of Dementia is a spell that "mills" away the opponents library. However it does so through the unconventional method of requesting creatures to sacrifice; creatures that some could argue are better alive than dead.

So what we have to do is determine whether Altar of Dementia is viable in a library whose theme in to slowly decay the enemies library and force him into determining whether he should go on or quite right there.

Lets face it, we cant compare apples and oranges. A creature hungry spell like Altar of Dementia doesn't belong in a library which is trying to win with creatures who damage the opponent.

Lets see where this goes from here...

Last Modified: 1/24/2005 12:12:33 PM     


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TerrysAlt   1/28/2005 6:18:04 AM
I'm unclear as to what your point is. Are you claiming that you should build your deck around it by filling your library with creatures whose sole purpose is to be sacrificed to the altar?

The problem there is that

a)You are considering that all these creatures are more useful as milling spells than as actual creatures. This suggests to me that the creatures can't be too good.

b)You are completely screwed over if you can't get the altar into play.

All in all, I don't see trading a useful resource for the destruction of a useless resource as a particularly great premise to build a deck around.

Last Modified: 1/28/2005 6:33:30 AM     


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Zorn   3/25/2005 3:51:08 AM
Okay then, it's settled. It isn't feasible to construct a library with creatures whos sole purpose is to be sacrificed with only one spell like the altar. You would be depending too much on 4 copies of the same card to win in a 60 card (hopefully no more than that) deck.

In fact, as far as depending on an permanent to mill your oppoenent is concerned, Millstone Buy or Grindstone Buy is much more practical simply because they only rely on themselves and some available mana.

I would probably conclude, that an Altar would be good as a side board card if you use a creature themed library when facing against creature control opponents. That way when they force you to destroy you creatures with lets say, Wrath of God Buy or Mutilate Buy, you'll have a certain grim satisfaction after milling away several of the opponents cards. A somewhat win-win satisfaction. Or, for combat purposes, you can use a blocking creature which might perish in combat to sacrifice after blocking and putting damage on the stack to kill off the opponents creature and still put yours to good use as it dies.

I guess that altar is really just something to help make the opponent despair as he see's key spells being put into the graveyard while the opponent keeps replacing his creatures.

Practical deck idea? Maybe not... Good for the resourceful mage? Oh yes.

Last Modified: 3/25/2005 4:03:43 AM     


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Compass Ghost   3/25/2005 7:00:45 PM
You people just aren't looking at this card from the correct angle. You don't need to have a deck full of expendable creatures to make this card a game-winner. Instead, you need a deck that can use two or three cards in concert to create infinite creatures or, at the very least, fifty or sixty of them.

Squirrel Nest Buy + Earthcraft Buy + Altar of Dementia Buy is an excellent third turn Extended combo. If the infinite attacking squirrels don't kill your opponent, the loss of their deck will.

A better combo is Helm of Awakening Buy + Altar of Dementia Buy + Myr Retriever Buy. It requires two Retrievers to function, but with a Dark Ritual Buy this is a first turn kill.

Both of the above combos are mono-colored, which is extremely rare for any infinite combo. In a deck that's made for it, Altar of Dementia Buy outshines both Brain Freeze Buy and Ambassador Laquatus Buy for one simple reason: it's colorless.

Last Modified: 3/25/2005 7:09:55 PM     


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TerrysAlt   3/25/2005 7:28:23 PM
"A better combo is Helm of Awakening + Altar Of Dementia + Myr Retriever."

Dude, that combo is 4 cards. You are never going to find all 4 combo pieces against any competant opponent before they completely mow you down.

Last Modified: 3/25/2005 7:29:40 PM     


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Zorn   3/26/2005 1:49:35 AM
Ghost, wait a second... How is the "Squirrel Nest" combo a third turn kill in Extended? Earthcraft is banned in Extended... Plus, any other method that could initiate the combo on turn three would not be legal anyway. So that isn't even a valid strategy. Not for Extended anyway.

And how is the "Myr Retriever" combo a first turn kill? At least, not with the given spells. You would need two copies of the Helm in play so the retrievers are free.

Just trying to understand if the combo's are valid or not for the given formats.

Terry, I disagree in one sense. Many strong decks are combo based. They will pretty much try as fast as possible to set off their kill ignoring vertually all the opponents activities because the longer it will take, the less of a chance they have to win. So if he is facing anouther combo deck, it probably would become a race to see who could set off their combo first.

But of course since we are talking about a viable combo that is practical and has a realistic chance to win many times, I will agree that the above two mentioned ideas are not feasible.

Hey, we aren't talking "Prosperous Bloom" which WILL kill by turn 4 at most if all goes well. And remember how miserably vulnerable that library is too.

The Altar is a cute card, but lets face it; it's sideboard material at most usefull for turning your already doomed creatures into an at most irritable milling tool.

Last Modified: 3/26/2005 2:18:50 AM     



The comments and opinions expressed here are those of Essential Magic users and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Essential Magic itself. Essential Magic cannot be held liable for physical or emotional damage or losses caused by any of the comments expressed in these open forums.
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