Earthcraft got nerfed. Good and bad parts IMO


#1

I actually kind of like the nerf. For one, it’s a good hit to those hard ramping decks that dont feel too good to play against. For other, it actually fits the flavour of the card better, IMO, for what that is worhth. But the thing is, earthcraft was not an enabler just for BG ramps, but for 4 color decks aswell.

I know green has a ton of ramp and that paired with other colors it can get very oppressing (BG ramp/whales), but earthcraft is almost the only card left that encourages playes to play decks with more than two colors. Three Whishes was already nerfed to the point where is not worth running other that for how fun it can be. And Ulani is a legendary, so no too consistent, and is not strong enough to carry the weight on his own.
4 color deck were already not viable, and now, with earthcraft gone, they are basically a joke. It’s not even gonna be fun playing them anymore, because of how clunky they’ll feel seeing that you cant make your lands fast enough.

If you want to make lands you’ll have to double neutral and earthcraft one of them, making earthcraft effectively a “make a prairine and draw a card” for 2f. And if you need to +1 or draw even more, you cant advance your lands and have to transform an already existing prairine.
A fair nerf for hard ramp decks that want to get to 8 land by turn 4-5 but, again, but a very big blow to 4 color decks, that will end up having their hand filled with cards they cant play because they cant make enough lands on time.

I just hope next expansion bring support for 4 color decks because since oversky, with all the multicolor creatures added, they are, by far, some of the most fun decks out there. But after this couple nerfs, they are not in a good spot.

Also, afterthought, the devs said:
“Green is meant to have the most powerful land ramp in the game, but we’d like to see more diversity in the ramp cards players choose to include in their decks.”
If you wanna see other ramps cards played, make them good.

  • Wild Growth gives you the same value as the power wheel (1faeria -> 1Forest) with the benefit that you get to make more than one forest a turn, but the downside that it’s random (random as in 1/3 times you dont loose) and you have to spend a card. Never worth it.

  • Seed of Paradise is similar. You get to choose the color, and after collecting it only costed 1f, but you have to get the card early (ver early) for it to work. And it still is a 1f -> 1F, having to spend a card, and on a limited location and time-frame. And that, considering it survives. I’d say not worth it.

  • Seed Sower… same boat. You may get a body, but the forest is still random (and, again, not the “could be fun” random) and you are playing a 6f 4/6 when you could be playing a 6f 7/7 (so you end up paying about 2f in stats for 1F). Yep, not worth it.

If you want more variety on that ramp cards played, make it so that those cards are a bit more viable.

idk, im not a designer, just a player, so i probably speak from a place of ignorace regarding a lot of angles, but maybe it could be made so that ramp (being a feature almost green-exclusive) requires more green to be played. More land requirements, so that is not to strong early game (and thus, not too oppressive) but it gets better mid-late game. You could make eathcraft a 2faeria, 2Forests, 1Wild (or even 2f, 2F, 2W) so that you cant spam it early game, but it becomes available after several turns, and you need to actually commit to land development berfore playing it.
That way, ramp decks would be encouraged to run diferent types of ramp, because a weak early game ramp (like Seed of Paradise, or even Wild Growth) would allow them to play the strong ramp earlier. You can play your good card a bit faster, but you have to run and play bad cards first.


#2

Why not run seed of paradise?

I had a 4 colors deck before the patch who performed decently well in the 10-5 ranks, IIRC it ran only 1 earthcraft and 1 three wishes.

The main wincon of the deck was insane value from rakoan chieftain, especially along frog tosser, but also on their own and along reveller and windsoldier. I don’t know if it’s still viable with only one whale, but land ramping with earthcraft was definitely not a critical part of the deck.

For ramping, the deck mainly ran one elemental of each color, dream keepers to maximize the chances to draw them as well as ulani and one or two biomancer and lore thiefs to make your hand bigger. It also ran 3 path to paradise, for synergy with many of the cards present, like frog tosser.

Besides land ramp and wincon, the cards used are very flexible like octopus and sky yak, which are very resilient and leaves you a lot of choice for your land order, so that you only need one land to play any card in your hand.


#3

The problem with SoP is that is not flexible at all. You get it early game? it’s ok, not as good as EC, but still decent. You get it mid or late game and it’s one of the most useless cards out there. Being that you can only make the land near a well (yours probably, the opponent’s is likely to be too risky) you dont get much too choose and you dont get the land effect immediatly so it cant be used to quickly press an advantge or surprise the opponent. It doesnt even work as a flying collector on the opposite side, as it transforms after the first colection.

The deck you describe there sounds awesome, though. I’ll probably try something similar, now that mine probably wont work (after EC and sky yak nerf)


#4

Also, ramp cards are very hard to balance, because of granularity. Earthcraft got from OP to bad with only a 0.5 value nerf. If you make wild growth/seed of paradise or seed sower 1f cheaper, they might go from bad to OP (although probably not as OP as old earthcraft).

Also there value is very dependant on what you ramp to. Wild growth was very playable in skywhale rush (a very lame joke setup which would have been top tier without R and Y rush). The nerf of skywhale hit green growth only card quite hard, since thyrian Golem and feed is the only thing to green ramp to now, and are not as important to get early.


#5

Seed of paradise still is a collector, and a body that procs gift of the Rakoa and even can receive free buffs, like the chieftain’s one, or salamander’s (I don’t run em, but I can see them being useful)

Usually, against anything but rush, you can leave one of the bottom tile near your orb empty, and against rush you can go to one side. It can’t double collect if it transforms, but it can set up a land for your tosser to double collect later on. Still, I would not run 3 of them.

Path to paradise on the other hand, is an awesome ramping tool if a good portion of your deck is based around it. It feels really great to toss 6hp red creatures turn 4-5.

Also, if you try a setup similar to the one I describe, I might have confused 2 setups, I’m not sure I run both one of each elementals and 3 path to paradise in the single same setup, it sounds like too much. Still, both ideas are valuable and worth experimenting with.


#6

Yeah, the granularity thing is absolutely true. Also, im not sure is earthcraft is bad now. It’s still a 2f draw + advance land. The second part is worse, but it’s still flexible and relatively powerful. That’s why i kind of like the nerf. What i dislike is that 4color decks are running out of support, nerf after nerf, more as a side effect, casualties.
And wild growth was played on that super-skywhale-golem-ramp when it was 2 forests (the very fast ramp “balanced” the randomness. You dont care about where the forests as much as the fact that you get 2 forests closer to dropping a golem). I dont think it was played after the nerf (maybe it was and im just wrong…)


#7

i always forget about path to paradise. ill probably emperiment a bit more with it, now that earthcraft is not better almost every time
thx


#8

With the EC nerf i think they might aswell make EC a neutral card. Green doesnt usually overwrite lands and they usually want to advance lands i think, but for example combat red overwrites lands a lot (neutral to axe grinder spot then mountain it.). I would run EC in a red deck i think but in green its kinda out of place now. They would have to redo the art tho lol.