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Life versus damage thought experiment


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Zoom



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Life versus damage thought experiment Reply with quote

Hypothetical card:

(R/W)

Instant

Choose one:
Gain X life or deal 3 damage to target creature.



For what value of X (if any) does this card become as good as lightning bolt? Ignore the fact that it is a little easier to cast than bolt due to hybrid, and that it gives white a really cheap removal. I'm just curious about what others think is the point where the life gain is as powerful as the burn.
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leaf_dragon



Joined: 10 May 2009
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well lets compare it

Lightning Helix WR

Instant

~ deals 3 damage to target creature or player
and you gain 3 life


Lightning Bolt R

Instant

~ deals 3 damage to target creature or player



Healing Salve W

Instant

Choose one-Target Player gains 3 life or prevent the next 3
damage to target creature or player this turn

so if its only creature then this should work



Startling Procedure W/R


Instant

Choose One-Target Player gains 3 life or
Startling Procedure deals 3 damage to target creature
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Ggerg



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 632

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DoomBring3r wrote:
Hrm sorry but from those suggestions, Helix would still be a lot better...

Something like, prevents the next 3 dmg that would be dealt to a player/creature and you gain 1 life for each dmg prevented and deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

That would be cool.


so... agony warp?
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boeda



Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is, if you are defending and draw a bolt you have the possibility to take out an attacker with toughness 3. So lets say its a 3/3 and within 2 turns it saved you 6 life for -R-.

If you compare a lightning bolt to for example a double healing salve (-W-: gain 6 life) I would prefer the bolt simply because its versatility.

To my opinion you need to gain 7 or even 8 life out of 1 mana to be equally goog as a lightning bolt.
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Zoom



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 142

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my wording wasn't clear. The card costs r/w hybrid, and it is modal. When you cast it you choose either gain X life, or do 3 damage to target creature. I'm not trying to design a card, I was just daydreaming about damage vs lifegain and wondering when lifegain becomes as good as damage. So for X=20, this card is better than bolt most of the time since a gain of 20 life is usually better than 3 to the opponent's dome. At X=3, this card is inferior to bolt. So for what X is it just as good as bolt 90% of the time?
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Morpheus2222



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simply the way to solve this experiment is life usually doesnt change board position however damage or loss of life can change board position dramatically.

Even if you have someway of getting Infinite life it would be better to cause infinite damage.
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Daffie999



Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoom wrote:
I think my wording wasn't clear. The card costs r/w hybrid, and it is modal. When you cast it you choose either gain X life, or do 3 damage to target creature. I'm not trying to design a card, I was just daydreaming about damage vs lifegain and wondering when lifegain becomes as good as damage. So for X=20, this card is better than bolt most of the time since a gain of 20 life is usually better than 3 to the opponent's dome. At X=3, this card is inferior to bolt. So for what X is it just as good as bolt 90% of the time?
That question is completely dependent on the decks being played and the situation. There certainly could be times when a single life gain would give you the win where 3 damage wouldn't. To actually put a value on X when you don't specify the format or meta isn't realistic.
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dv8r



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to be perfectly honest, I think that for a card like that will either NEVER be better than lightning bolt (what use is gaining 20 life in an aggro beatdown deck) or it wouldn't require a high life gain at all to be playable, simply because you would play your deck with the intent of using it to deal damage to a creature 90% of the time, and even "gain 3 life" would make it MUCH better than bolt

if you were comparing say:

R: deal 3 damage to target player, I think a similar card for W which gained life would have to either gain something ridiculous like 15 life to be playable md, or maybe W: gain 6 out of the sb
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tcook589



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well since nourish is 6, I doubt it'd be much higher unless at sorcery speed.
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Sleeyp



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tcook589 wrote:
well since nourish is 6, I doubt it'd be much higher unless at sorcery speed.


*woosh*
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Haro
Level 3 Judge


Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tcook589 wrote:
well since nourish is 6, I doubt it'd be much higher unless at sorcery speed.

I would agree with this statement so I would say the bare minimum would be at least 4 life but if you really want it to be used as life gain over removal, I would think 5 life would be best.
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Sleeyp



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haro wrote:
tcook589 wrote:
well since nourish is 6, I doubt it'd be much higher unless at sorcery speed.

I would agree with this statement so I would say the bare minimum would be at least 4 life but if you really want it to be used as life gain over removal, I would think 5 life would be best.


ok... you both are missing the point so I will spell it out.

His question was not to analyze what the upper limit of life gain a card deemed publishable by WotC would be. His question was to consider the transcendent theme of life gain vs. damage across all realms of Magic and at what point (value of X), said card would become equivalently valuable to a card that does 3 damage.

dv8r has it spot on and to the OP, your question should be, "what separate card reading, "gain X life" would be more valuable than another separate card reading, "deal 3 damage"?
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R3wind



Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 1386

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree that 4 life would be the key. Also you would need to write a clause that allows you to gain life from this spell in spite of thinks like Everlasting Torment.

"; or gain 4 life. Spells or effects can not prevent this life gain." Also this could work.

Sacred Fire

R/W
Instant

"Choose one. Sacred Fire gains Split Second and Sacred Fire deals 3 damage to target attacking or blocking creature. Gain 4 life Spells and effects can not prevent this life gain."

This card has a lot more flavor and is way more playable. This shows reds wild side and it's hate for control. Also this shows white emboldened by red. One other thing that it shows is white cirumventing reds distain for white. To balance the card you would need to add the "attacking or blocking" to the card. If you add R/W to the cost you could remove this from the card and change it to this.


Sacred Fire

R/W R/W
Instant

"Sacred Fire has Spilt Second if you spent R to play this spell.
Choose one. Sacred Fire deals 3 damage to target creature. Gain 4 life Spells and effects can not prevent this life gain if you spent W to play this spell.."

I feel like this is even more playable even at 2 mana. I also wanted to add "If you spent W to play Sacred Fire, Sacred Fire becomes White while on the stack" That would make it cost 1 more and be a rules nightmare.
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boeda



Joined: 21 Dec 2007
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay this is it:

"Ajani's Reach"

W/R
instant

If you paid R Ajani's Reach deals 3 damage to target creature or player; If you paid W you gain 7 life.

Converge W/R, W/R, W/R: Ajani's Reach can not be countered.
(Pay the converge cost in addition to the casting cost).
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dv8r



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

boeda: the card you describe is ridiculously overpowered, it's strictly better than bolt
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