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1  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Title: 5-0 (last round split) with Oath at Gencon Vintage for Prizes and Byes on: August 12, 2015, 08:46:41 pm
I was also curious as to you having Rebuild and basic Forest in your main deck? There hasn't been an Oath of Druids build that has top 8'ed with that combination in the maindeck pretty much ever, and given your self described inexperience with vintage and the card Oath of Druids I wonder why you made that choice?
I expected a lot of MUD. I saw an MTGO list on mtgt8 running Rebuild. The maindeck Forest was my own addition.

I explicitly asked you if you were pre-boarding against me and you told me you weren't. So I had no choice to deal with it but given that I had defeated you the prior day with Triple Crucible Shops, you could see how I found it strange to see you moving a couple of cards to your main from your sideboard prior to our match. The fact that we didn't have deck lists was also frustrating as there was obviously no way to know.
Was taking out Reb and Pyro from the previous match.

On one hand I'm thankful for getting to play 3, 5 round vintage events. On the other hand feeding a competitive REL event with what amounted to FNM level enforcement is awkward. I was playing to win. Things like my opponents stumbling into my chalices, or wanting take backs becomes really tough to adjudicate under the casual REL. Casual is from what I understand and REL to allow players to continue learning, and to prevent 'feel bads'. When playing shops I general want my opponents to 'feel bad'  Wink
Ya, I was expecting competitive REL too. I printed decklists ahead of time only to find out that they were unnecessary.
2  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Title: 5-0 (last round split) with Oath at Gencon Vintage for Prizes and Byes on: August 07, 2015, 11:03:48 pm
Well, the author actually didn't know how Oath worked either, and while not being malicious asked a judge at Gencon to help him. The judge ruled that in some yet undefined period in his upkeep he could tap an Orchard give his creature less opponent (or opponent with less creatures) a Spirit and thus trigger his Oath.
Indeed, I was not familiar with the current Oracle text of Oath. A different judge clarified it for me in a later match (that opp having more creatures is part of the targeting requirements). Both these matches were on a previous day.
3  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Title: 5-0 (last round split) with Oath at Gencon Vintage for Prizes and Byes on: August 04, 2015, 04:07:00 pm
It didn't seem like you were too hindered by it, but have you found Chalice to be a problem for the deck at all? If so, have you considered Stifle?
I wouldn't say that Chalice (at 0) is any more of a problem for this deck than it is for other blue-based Fow/Vault/Yawg decks in Vintage. If anything, it is less of a problem, because Oath only costs 2 mana and the deck runs 17 lands. Chalice at 2 can be annoying, but the S&T backup plan helps to mitigate it, and post-board you have 4x Claim and 2x Abrupt Decay (though I never saw Chalice for 2). I don't think the deck has room for as conditional a card as Stifle, which often sits in hand and requires extra mana open.
4  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Title: 5-0 (last round split) with Oath at Gencon Vintage for Prizes and Byes on: August 03, 2015, 07:49:50 pm
I’ve been out of the Magic loop for a number of years and was looking forward to playing Vintage at Gencon. I usually like to play Storm combo but there had been a great deal of MUD lately so it seemed like a bad idea. Because there had been a lot of MUD as well as creature decks like Delver and Mentor, I decided to play Oath. I started with Rich Shay’s Oath list ( ) and made a few changes, basically cutting 2x Flusterstorm, 1 Dig Through Time and 1 Misdirection for 1 Ponder and 1 Rebuild and 2 land (Volcanic and Forest). In the sb I ran more Dredge hate and a couple REBs. Here’s the list:

4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
4 Preordain
2 Thoughtseize
1 Misdirection
1 Rebuild

4 Oath of Druids
3 Show and Tell
3 Griselbrand
1 Time Vault
1 Voltaic Key
1 Memory’s Journey

1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
1 Time Walk
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

4 Forbidden Orchard
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Island
1 Forest
5 Mox
1 Mana Crypt
1 Black Lotus

4 Leyline of the Void
1 Pithing Needle
1 Nihil Spellbomb
4 Nature’s Claim
1 Sol Ring
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
2 Abrupt Decay

I played in 5 tournaments over the course of three days so my memory is not as clear as I would like. I welcome any corrections or details from my opponents if you happen to read this.

I think there were 28 players or so. The tourney is five rounds of Swiss (no cut). 4-1 gets tickets as prizes and 5-0 gets tickets and byes at Vintage Champs.

Match 1: Dair with Snapcaster Control Deck[?]

G1: I don’t remember this game very well. I eventually Oathed up Griselbrand and won.

G2: I drew 3 Oaths within the first couple turns of the game. He Spell Pierces the first one, Fows the second one, and for the 3rd one he Snapcasters his Spell Pierce—I Fow the Pierce and my 3rd Oath resolves. On his turn he kills his Snapcaster with the 2B pay X life –X/-X sorcery, to prevent me from Oathing. But on my next turn I Demonic Tutor for Orchard. On his turn he casts Dig Through Time into Grafdigger’s Cage, but I’ve been holding Abrupt Decay from the start. I Decay his Cage and Oath into Grisel for the win.

Match 2: Shawn with Planeswalker Control[?]

G1: He plays first and lays down Academy, Ruby, and Sapphire and passes. On my turn I play land, Mana Crypt, Mox, Vault, Key (holding Vampiric Tutor which I could use for Rebuild to bounce Mana Crypt if necessary). He has no answer and scoops.

G2: If I recall correctly, I mulled to 5 and lost in short order.

G3: He mulls to 5. On his T1 he casts Lotus and Ancestrals himself. I Fow his Ancestral; he Fows my Fow and his Ancestral resolves. Then he casts Preordain, Preordain, plays Volanic Island, casts Ponder, and passes. It seems grim for me. Eventually he resolves Dig Through Time and gets Jace into play. For his first Jace activation he fateseals me and puts REB on the bottom. Luckily for me, I then topdeck Oath and resolve it. On his turn he Jacestorms but doesn’t find an answer. On my turn I oath up Griesel and activate it, then cast Yawg Will. He Fows it but I Misdirect his Fow and he scoops.

Match 3: Justin with Storm Combo

G1: I play first, T1 fetch Underground Sea and Thoughtseize him. He has Lotus Petal, Mystical Tutor, Preordain, Dark Ritual, and lands. I consider taking Preordain or Mystical, his only business spells, but I don’t have a quick follow-up threat. I take the Dark Ritual to try to bottleneck his fast mana. I am holding Oath. His Preordain is useful and I am slow and have little gas. He ends up casting Mystical-->Yawg Will-->Probe-->into a Yawg with Lotus and Dark Rit, so he easily casts Tendrils for the Win. Unfortunately for me I did not have Misstep.

G2: Unfortunately I don’t recall the details. I think that I shipped back a hand of 7 which had only mana, 2x Fow, and misstep, into an OK 6-er. I had a fairly early Oath and he didn’t do very much—perhaps no business. I win with Grisel.

G3: A very long game. We have a war of attrition. He probes me and then he gets early Defense Grid down but doesn’t have a quick follow-up. By the time he goes for it I have drawn into 2xFow and have 3 lands untapped. He Mysticals for Yawg Will and casts it; I tap 3 and Fow his Yawg Will, pitching the second Fow so I can hold on to my Show and Tell. After this he beats me down for 7 or so turns with 1 Spirit token. Eventually my hand is Fow, Time Walk, Misstep, and Show and Tell, at which point he casts the 5 mana sorcery which tutors a card and gives him BBB with Spell Mastery. I think for a little bit because I am unsure whether to Fow the tutor or to wait to counter the spell he gets. I eventually decide to err on the side of caution and Fow the tutor, pitching Walk. I draw Griselbrand and Show and Tell it into play (I actually could have hardcast it because I had a lot of lands, but I was low life so didn’t want to give him extra Spirit tokens). I think we are low on time at this point, but Grisel wins it.

M4: Sean with GWU aggro

G1: He plays first. On his T1 he plays a land and passes. My T1 I Thoughtseize him and take his Containment Priest, leaving him holding Green Sun’s Zenith, Plains, Tundra, STP. I get Oath into play on my T2 but think I might be screwed because of Green Sun’s for Containment Priest on his T3. He does not have another Priest in the deck, however, so he casts GSZ for Qasali Pridemage buts lacks the mana to activate. I trigger Oath on my turn and win with Griselbrand. [edit: as pointed out in a reply, I forgot GSZ could only fetch green creatures.]

G2: He starts beating me down with a Containment Priest. I get an Oath into play and at the end of his turn I Abrupt Decay his Priest, but he just flashes in another one. I die to beats.

G3: He gets Meddling Mage on Oath and starts beating me down with the Mage. I play Time Vault but have no other business. On his T4 he casts a 3 mana 2/2 elf creature which lets him draw cards when a creature he controls deals combat damage to me. I consider Fowing it because I had been thinking about skipping a turn to Time Vault so I could take a double turn later—which obviously would not be a good idea if he has that creature. I decide not to Fow. After the creature resolves he casts Stony Silence, which I Fow. On my turn I lucksack out and topdeck Voltaic Key; we are near time and he scoops.

M5: Paul Mastriano with MUD

Before the match, we agree to split the prizes regardless of the outcome. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend Eternal Weekend, so I ask the judge if we can split the prizes such that Paul receives the byes, and I the tickets—but the judge says that while we can agree to split the tickets, the byes go to the winner.

G1: I play land and Mox Jet before I get buried under Spheres. I can’t do much and die to Lodestone Golem and Factory beats in short order. Very quick game.

G2: I think I had T1 Orchard, Mana Crypt, Oath. Oath into Griselbrand and win in short order. I believe I cast Nature’s Claim on his Trinisphere.

G3: He plays first and on his T1 plays Mishra’s Factory, Lotus, Lodestone, Chalice for 0. I think he had mulled to 6. After getting beaten down to 8 I am able to Nature’s Claim his Lodestone Golem. On my T4 I play Oath of Druids off 4 land through his Sphere and Thorn, giving him a second Spirit token. I fetched so I’m now at 7. On his turn he swings for 4 with Mishra’s and the two spirits, putting me to 3. I oath up Griselbrand and pass. He cannot attack into Grisel, so passes back. On my turn I swing, dropping him to 17 and raising me to 10. After attacking I mess up horribly by activating Grisel to draw. I basically had a massive brain fart and was thinking for some reason that I could pass again at 3 and be safe like I did last turn—I forgot that because I’d attacked I couldn’t block with Grisel, so he would be able to swing back for 4 and kill me. I immediately realize my massive punt after I resolve the Grisel draw. I am holding Vault+Key but cannot play them because he has Sphere and Thorn in play and I only have 6 mana on the board. Fortunately I drew Pithing Needle so I Pithing Needle on Mishra’s Factory, then pass. He swings with the 2 Spirits, dropping me to one. On my turn I can attack with Grisel again. I probably deserve to lose for punting, but the game is mine at this point. Paul asks me to scoop to him so that he can get the byes for Eternal Weekend. We have agreed to split the tickets anyway and the byes are useless to me, so I scoop.

Notes: The deck is surprisingly not as broken as one might expect, in the respect that Griselbrand in play doesn’t usually allow you to win instantly. A lot of games I had to win simply by beating down with Griselbrand. Usually you just try to set up a Time Walk after Oathing up Grisel, and ride her to victory.

Props to my opponents for being such good sports in the face of some ridiculous draws on my part. I certainly didn't play as well as I could, but that's to be expected given that I did no testing and haven't played Vintage in years. This tourney and Gencon were a blast.
5  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Deck Discussion] Noxious Revival/Intuition Engine on: June 18, 2011, 07:26:58 pm
This is probably the source you're referring to:

Chaining AKs with Noxious Revival seems cute, but it's likely win-more.  In most situations that you're able to pull off Intution/Ak (whether it be against control or against Workshop), you're probably already winning.  I can see Revival's strength in Intuition piles, but in that case I don't think it warrants more than 2 copies.

I think the best direction to take this deck is likely by adding 2-3 copies of Goblin Welder, and an additional Voltaic Key.  With active Welder and any artifact in play, you can Intuition for Vault/Key/Key to go infinite (and if you have more artifacts, it helps protect your combo from artifact destruction).  Welder can then also serve as a win condition in case your others get removed.  Furthermore, Welder will help you out in the Workshop match, which is likely to be difficult for any blue deck running an engine as mana and spell-hungry as Intuition/AK (even with the Ancient Grudges).

And also a little sidenote, I found it quite funny that regrowth was nowhere in the list.  I for one think that while 4 Revival is allowed that regrowth should come off the restricted list, but that is for another discussion and time.
You're correct that we ought to avoid B/R discussions, but I would like to address the comparison to Regrowth.  There's clearly a big difference between putting a card directly into your hand, and putting it on top of your library.  The former maintains card parity and allows you to use the card immediately, while the latter nets you -1 card and requires either another draw spell or draw step to access the card.  This the same reason that Burning Wish is so much more powerful than Personal Tutor.  I honestly think this deck should run the single Regrowth before adding copies of Noxious Revival.  You're right that Revival can be better in some situations when when you cast Intuition at opponent's EOT (allowing you to pay 2 life and a draw step where Regrowth costs 2 mana), but Regrowth is better the vast majority of the time.
6  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Gitaxian Long on: June 14, 2011, 08:09:56 pm
I think Necro is too good to cut even if you stick with the Personal Tutor/Dday plan--it's one of the few bombs that you can leverage a win out of without needing other cards or resources.

That said, have you considered running some number of Enlightened Tutor?  If you need mana it gets Lotus or if you need business it gets Necro.
7  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Nauseating your Opponent: today's ANT on: September 28, 2010, 11:36:29 am
I'd like to know what the ANT players think about Mox Opal.  Do you think it could complement your artifact mana, or perhaps even replace a few of the Chomes and/or Diamond?  Surely someone has to see potential.  I'm hoping that it enhances the deck and not just increases goldfishing results.
Opal is far too conditional to be good in ANT, especially since you don't even run all the off-colour moxes.  I would run extra Mox Diamonds instead of Opal, since I think most of the time you're more likely to have a land in hand than 2 other artifacts on the field.  Personally, however, I don't see how you need more than 4 Chrome+Jet+Lotus+Petal, as long as your average CMC is reasonable.

8  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Ritual Based Combo in Today's Metagame on: August 21, 2010, 03:41:52 pm
@ Soly:
Does your list have a decent game against MUD?
9  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Nauseating your Opponent: today's ANT on: August 13, 2010, 03:45:02 pm
Your new list looks a lot better to me.  I wouldn't cut the 4th Ad Naus, though.  You need to maintain your speed and threat denisity.  1.15 should be fine for average CMC (and keep in mind that when you resolve 1 Ad Naus, a max of 3 are left in the deck).
10  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Nauseating your Opponent: today's ANT on: August 10, 2010, 07:28:22 pm
I proxied/sleeved up a hybrid list between the one posted here and what Sperling used on deckcheck.

What does a person do with this hand, on the play g1 vs. unknown.

polluted delta, ponder, brainstorm, imperial seal, black lotus, necropotence, ad nauseam

I opened up with that hand and have been somewhat mystified.
This hand offers a lot of options.  Let's start by considering the end goals of possible lines of play:

1)Turn 1 Necro
2)Turn 1 Ad Naus
3)Turn 2 protected Necro
4)Turn 2 (un)protected Ad Naus

These are the options with this hand, although the line of play for each will branch off depending on what your opponent does.  I haven't included turn 3 plans because that far into the game there are too many unknown variables to address, such as what your opponent does and future draws.

1) is perhaps the most obvious.  Cast Lotus.  If it resolves, cast Necro.  If Lotus is countered, play the fetch and crack it to Seal for Ritual to cast Necro next turn.  If Necro is countered, cast Ponder set up for Ad Naus.

2) is the most aggressive.  Lead with Lotus.  If it resolves, cast Ponder looking for Ritual/Vault/Crypt to play Ad Naus on turn 1.  If the Ad Naus is countered, next turn Brainstorm or Seal depending on what you topdeck, looking to resolve Necro.  If Lotus is countered, seal for Rit to cast Necro next turn. 

3) is the most conservative.  Seal for Duress/Seize, then on turn 2 play Duress/Seize+Lotus-->Necro.

4) depends a lot on what you draw.  turn 1 Seal for Ritual.  Turn 2 cast Brainstorm hoping for land+Duress or PON to protect Lotus->Rit->Ad Naus.  If you don't hit it, bait with Lotus.  If Lotus is countered and you hit a land, play Ritual->Necro.
Alternatively, you could cast Ponder on turn 1 hoping to find what you need to set up for turn 2.

The "See how it goes" options:

5) Rather than planning with a goal in mind you could just go turn 1 Ponder and base what you do on what you see.  I would not Brainstorm on turn 1 because it seems like a waste--Ponder shows you the same number of cards and can let you shuffle, while t1 Brainstorm will only let you filter 1 card.  It's more profitable to Brainstorm on your second turn digging deeper to hopefully get what you need (any black land will allow you to shuffle with Seal).

6) Play Delta, and possibly the Lotus, and pass.  Then on turn 2, cast Brainstorm.  This is slower and less aggressive, but allows you to react to what your opponent is playing.  If they lead with Duress/Seize, for example, you can Brainstorm in response.  It also allows you to hide what you're playing, perhaps bluffing Pierce/Drain for whatever your opponent does.

These are the possible lines of play that jump out at me. 

In general, against an unknown opponent I tend to assume Control, since it's the most commonly played deck in my meta.  So assuming a control opponent, I would go with option 1) for the fast Necro.

If I feared a shop player, I would go with option 2) to try for a first turn kill, since that's the easiest way to win the game.

But since in your scenario the opponent is unknown, I would lean towards option 6), since it gives me a lot more information before I have to commit to a line of play.  It also opens up a lot of sick possible Brainstorms where I can play t2 Ad Naus or protected Necro.
11  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Nauseating your Opponent: today's ANT on: August 10, 2010, 06:24:20 pm
i'm not saying it frequently looses with Necro out, I'm saying it's not synergistic with Necro.
If Necro wins you the game most of the time you resolve it, it belongs in the deck, regardless of lack of synergy.  It doesn't matter that Ad Naus is better--you run 4.  I'd probably run 6 Ad Naus if I could, but I can't.

What do you base your land number on in shop matchups? Why is 13-15 so much better than 12?
Because unless you go off turn 1 on the play, you pretty much need 3 land drops to break their lock, and the extra basics make a huge difference in developing your board so you can bounce and combo.  I tested the Shop match extensively, albeit pre-Golem, and I always sided in 2 basics to go up to 14 land.  Even so, sometimes I found myself lacking land, despite running Bobs to help draw it.

I would not run Rebuild, because it costs too much mana, especially when facing down Spheres.  Post-board against Shops, I would want 15 land and at least 3 Hurks.  Alternatively, you could go for the Serenity board, which seems decent although I haven't tested it.

I don't agree that the deck wants 8 duress effects
Here's where I disagree.  Against Control/Oath/Fish/Combo, you want turn 1 Duress almost every game.  Even against Workshop decks, Duress/Seize isn't horrible when you fetch a swamp to lead with one on the play (and Pact is even worse against them).  I love opening hands with Duress/Seize.
12  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Nauseating your Opponent: today's ANT on: August 10, 2010, 03:47:33 pm
You actually want 4 Ad Naus AND Necro to maximize threat density.  Although it doesn't have the greatest synergy with Ad Naus, Necro is still too good to pass up.  In my testing, aggressive Necro (~13) almost always got there the next turn, and it's probably even more effective in a build with 4 Chain (I was running 1 Chain, 1 Hurks in the pre-Golem meta).  If you like to play more conservatively, nothing stops you from going turn 1 Necro for 5ish to set up Ad Naus the next turn.  It's also an awesome tutor target against control when you don't have the mana to cast Ad Naus.

Diamond might be slightly better than Chrome after resolving Ad Naus (although I'm not sure because often I don't draw a single land), but Chrome is much better than Diamond in helping to cast Ad Naus in the first place.  Many hands with no land and Chrome are keepable on the play, where Diamond would result in an auto-mull.  The only problem I had with Chrome was sometimes not having extra blue cards to imprint on it, but with the addition of Preordain to the deck this should be less of an issue.

12 Land is what I was running before Golem was printed, so I'm quite confident that it's too little in the current meta.  You really want 15 lands against Workshop decks.  I think 13-14 is correct maindeck, with 1-2 more basics in the board.

I'll give you a bunch of reasons Thoughtseize is better than Pact:
1) Thoughtseize is better against Workshop and Fish decks. Pact does nothing to stop the most dangerous threats like Golem, Sphere, Null Rod, Ethersworn Canonist, etc.
2) Even against control, Thoughtseize has the ability to protect against both counters AND discard.  I've won a lot of games on the play by taking out my opponent's Duress.
3) Thoughtseize can "protect" other spells such as Necro, Twister, Tutors, Ancestral, etc, while Pact only protects Ad Naus or lethal Will. Thoughtseize is simply an all-around good card, while Pact is highly conditional because it's only useful when you're already holding the win (and your opponent has a counter)--otherwise it just sits in your hand.
4) Thoughtseize gives you information about your opponent's hand and deck.
5) It actually disrupts your opponent, which can often be relevant in stopping an early Vault/Key or Oath.
6) Thoughtseize doesn't randomly lose you the game against double counter.
7) Thoughtseize is generally better at helping to build extra storm
7) Thoughtseize doesn't force you to go all-in on Ad Naus if you hit bad flips.

I tested both extensively and Thoughtseize was much better.

I would probably want more Hurkyl's instead of Chains, because Chalice at 1 is devastating.

I'm curious as to how your testing against MUD has been going.  I've practically given up on being able to consistently beat MUD decks with Storm combo (even running Fow and 3 Hurks).
13  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Deck Analysis and Discussion - Blue Based Control] The CHaPuZaS Solution on: July 23, 2010, 01:09:43 am
Most times is in the graveyard, as it has been tutored with Intuition effects, or dredged with Life from the Loam.
With Intuition, wouldn't your opponent usually just put the Roar into your hand, since the 7cc is so hard to cast?
14  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Looking for advice, Confidant Tendrils on: July 19, 2010, 05:15:38 pm
Well by security I mean you're less likely to remove all the copies of Tendrils when you cast Demonic Consultation.  You can run Demonic Consultation with only 2 copies of Tendrils, it's just riskier.

Since those 2 cards are Cabal Rituals, you might want to keep them in and just go +1 Consult, +1 Tendrils, +1 Hurkyl's (if you're still at 57 with the Sol Ring already in).
15  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Doomsday 2010 on: July 19, 2010, 04:53:29 pm
The reason I favor the Shelldock plan is that it is less vulnerable to Null Rod + Golem. With those two cards on the table, you are much more likely to resolve DD than AN. Additionally, your wincon after that costs U, and is unaffected by either Rod or Sphere effects.
1) Cards cast with Shelldock do cost more due to Sphere effects.

2) I think that you're overstating the ability of the Dday/Shelldock win to play through hate.  Is Doomsday easier to cast through Spheres than Ad Naus?  Of course, but that doesn't mean it's easy to do so.  Any BBB sorcery speed spell is going to be difficult to cast against a Workshop deck.  Furthermore, it's not just Spheres that you have to worry about; Tangle Wire and Smokestack can ruin your day just as easily, or their beaters can race you (Workshop decks tend to run a lot of permanents, so you can't rely on Annihilator 6 to Obliterate them)--not to mention the fact that most Workshop decks run 4x Wasteland+Strip Mine for your Isle.  IMO, the advantage of the Shelldock kill is that it's an uncounterable (although slower) win against Control, not that it's a good plan B against Shop decks.

The best plan against Shop decks is to bounce their board and then kill them in a single turn (if you can cast a BBB sorcery main phase, you should be able to cast a 1U/2U instant at their EOT).
16  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Doomsday 2010 on: July 19, 2010, 12:18:52 am
I must be overlooking something, can I get a little assistance:

if you go

turn X- sea, rit, doomsday-pass (shelldock on top)

turn X+1- draw&play shelldock, activate using sea. 

Dont you get emrakul and 1 turn to swing with him at that point?  So it just takes 2 turns, not 3 to get him into play?  A comment on when the actual win takes place-if this guy swings, I would venture that you will win, and it takes 1 doomsday turn, and 1 shelldock isle turn right?

This sounds like something that would fit into a heavy control shell and then just squeek a doomsday through.
This doesn't work; Shelldock comes into play tapped so you either need to pass a second time or play something (e.g. Cloud of Faeries) to untap it)
17  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Looking for advice, Confidant Tendrils on: July 19, 2010, 12:16:18 am
I wouldn't run Cabal Therapy, especially without other discard spells to cast first so that you know what to name.  In order for it to be better than Duress/Thoughtseize (on its own) you either need to luck out on hitting a blind call, & also have Confidant in play to flash it back (or you get lucky and hit 2x of a card, but this isn't that common).

I think you definitely need to run Sol Ring to help in casting your higher mana bombs, and you should probably run Demonic Consultation because it's an insane tutor in this kind of deck (though I'd also want to add a 3rd Tendrils for extra security, but this works well with the Bob beats+mini tendrils plan anyway).

If there's going to be any presence of MUD/Lodestone decks, you probably want at least 2 more Hurkyl's Recall maindeck (this will also help boost your blue count for FOW).

So, to sum up:
-2 Cabal Therapy
+1 Sol Ring
+1 Demonic Consultation
+1 Tendrils of Agony
+2 Hurkyl's Recall (if expecting Workshop; otherwise +2 Duress/Thougthseize for Tezz/Oath/Combo).
18  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Doomsday 2010 on: July 18, 2010, 12:05:44 pm
Force of Will isn't good enough in this deck. Without Gush and Brainstorm unrestricted, you're relying mostly on Sensei's Divining Top fueled by Lion's Eye Diamond and pass the turn piles to get you there. If you run SDT you don't get to run enough blue to support Force of Will. If you don't run SDT, you risk moving from pile to steaming pile.
I agree with pretty much everything emidln said, but I'd like to highlight this point in particular.  If you're not running FOW, and if you're using Doomsday(BBB)+1U+Sensei to win the turn you cast Doomsday, you might as well play ANT.  The sole advantage Doomsday has is the ability to win at low life totals with its main engine, but this will usually only matter against Aggro decks.
19  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Doomsday 2010 on: July 16, 2010, 12:04:46 am
Faster, sure. How are the stacks less consistent than "Flip cards and hope I don't die before hitting critical mass"? If you're casting Doomsday in the first place, you should win, barring shenanigans on the opponent's part.
You answered your own question.  When you resolve Ad Naus, there is very little your opponent can do to kill you or stop you from winning before you Tendrils them out.  In testing I won literally 95% of the time I resolved Ad Naus at 15 or more life.  It's very unlikely that you die before reaching lethal, and often if you have to pass you can simply Duress them and win with Will or Jar the next turn.  Of course there are times when you are unlucky but it's the same deal with Necro, Bargain, Mind's Desire, and Draw 7s--you are playing combo, after all, and there's going to be some variance in your Storm engines.

Even though there's no variance in Doomsday piles, however, I don't think resolving Doomsday allows you to win as consistently as resolving Ad Naus does.  There are many more things that can go wrong, so it ends up being much riskier.

When you resolve Ad Nauseam, you should win, barring shenanigans on the deck's part.  And I'm much more afraid of losing to my opponent than losing to my deck.
20  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Doomsday 2010 on: July 15, 2010, 12:47:03 am
I'm playing DD tendrils with Emrakul in Legacy right now and I think it's a great deck. 

However, I've played DDay in Vintage before and I think it's too fragile in the current environment.  Passing the turn in Vintage is a lot different from doing so in Legacy, because there are about a million things that your opponent can do to disrupt you (or win themselves), and then you simply lose.  The best use of Doomsday, IMO, is to set up a win the turn you cast it--but then it ends up costing 5-6 mana and being a multiple-card combo.  Leyline of Anticipation doesn't really solve this problem because most games it will not be in your starting hand, and then you're left with 4 pieces of garbage in your deck.

Basically, if you are passing the turn you might as well be casting Oath of Druids or Hermit Druid, both of which will usually win you the game with a single activation.

In combo, I would always rather win now than 1 turn later, and the cheapest unrestricted card that does that on its own is still Ad Nauseam.  I guarantee it will win you more games when you resolve it than Doomsday will.
21  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: m11 review on: July 07, 2010, 09:51:49 pm
If you want to bring back a Seal to kill off Leyline of the Void, the seal will never hit the graveyard. If you want to get it back to get rid of a tormod's crypt or relic, he will just crack it in response, you can´t bring it back against Ravenous Trap or Jixlid Jailer. How would you play this Killane?
By returning something like Seal of Cleansing, Titan can basically serve the same function as Angel of Dispair does in killing stuff such as Ensnaring Bridge/Platinum Angel. It doesn't counteract GY hate, but has marginal utility while still being able to advance your main game plan (dredging/making dudes), unlike Angel.
22  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Ritual Based Combo in Today's Metagame on: July 03, 2010, 02:14:33 am
I'm not a fan of Inky anymore, although if you really expect to see a shitton of StpS and similar removal then it's quite a beating vs any deck that runs U a decent vs the rest of the field. It's also good vs shops since it can't be welded, hit with Duplicant, or copied with Shaping Steel.
Inkwell can be copied with Sculpting Steel, because the latter says "choose an artifact in play" rather than targeting.
23  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Eastman's Deck] My Remora Vault deck/blog on: June 25, 2010, 03:01:11 am
I don't understand how waiting the first Remora out in the control mirror is bad. You both benefit from developing your mana base and you both accumulate your cards. The effect is symmetrical except he taps his lands.
This is assuming that your opponent does nothing while having Remora in play.  Ideally, your opponent will be casting spells while you fall behind, unless you play into it.
24  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Ritual Based Combo in Today's Metagame on: June 14, 2010, 09:01:47 pm
As for the IT/GWSx Hybrid Gandalf posted, it seems to run a lot of disruption with 12 spells, while losing some of the setup spells like Ponder and Top, that way I think it's lost some of it's resiliency.
I like to run a lot of disruption, because I tend to mulligan aggressively into hands like disruption+bomb or disruption+Bob.  Search spells are good but can sometimes lead to difficult mulligan decisions where you bank on drawing a certain kind of card.  That said, I would have liked to have found room for Ponder, if not Top, which I find rather slow and ties up mana.  But one could easily go -1 Duress, -1 Hurkyl's/Chain; +1 Ponder, +1 Top.
25  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Eastman's Deck] My Remora Vault deck/blog on: June 13, 2010, 01:26:49 am
I do appreciate that Bob and Remora provides a lot of density to the deck's draw spells.  Unfortunately, I feel that even when both cards are in play and working perfectly I am lacking flow.  The deck gets clogged, it doesn't have enough mana to cast the cards it draws, and even when it does have mana it will have the wrong spells to cast.  It's disappointing being in a "do something or lose" situation and having your Bob/Remora draw you extra copies of Bob/Remora.  At least other draw like Impulse can dig for something...
Would you suggest replacing Bob with an alternative, instant-speed, "chainable" draw package to complement Remora, such as Meditate or Intuition/Ak for example?  If you don't run Bob, how do you plan to ensure hitting land drops to feed the fish, and what stops your opponent from simply waiting it out?

2) I am a big fan of the storm kill.  It brings so much to the deck.
Would you be able to elaborate on how?  In general, I love the Tendrils kill in combo/control, because I find it so elegant, but I am curious as to what matchups it actually improves, and how many games it wins that Vault/Key can't.  I've also loathed drawing Tendrils ever since Brainstorm was restricted.

Lotus Petal is another such example of a card that I would be running even without Tendrils.
I'm not sure I agree.  Outside of decks like Gifts and Drain Tendrils (where it shines when going off with Yawg Will), I've always found Lotus Petal to be somewhat lackluster in control decks, excepting the occasional instance where, on the play, it allows first turn Drain against Stax, for example.  My issue is that I find myself wanting reusable mana sources, and the 1-shot use of 1 mana often doesn't seem worth the card given up.

As for the tertiary color, I am not sold that one is necessary. Although it does give you better artifact removal, you have to expose your non basics to wasteland to do so. Playing  {U} {B} lets you build up a stronger mana base and rebuild/hurkyls them. If you can have a line of play of hurkyl's recall you drop remora, the shops opponent will probobly be too far behind to catch up.
Playing 4x Misty or Tarn allows you to sideboard a basic land of your splash colour, so you don't even need to expose yourself to wasteland.  Therefore, staying U/B does not improve the mana base significantly.  

Unfortunately, the plan of "just rebuild/hurk them" no longer works very well in practice against many workshop builds.  Multiple Spheres, Lodestone Golem, and Tangle Wire make the EOT bounce plan very difficult to carry out.  In my testing I've found that actual artifact destruction is necessary to interact effectively with Workshop decks--counters and bounce simply don't do enough.

Furthermore, the additional hate against Oath and Fish is also very important.  Without efficient answers to Oath and Null Rod, these matchups can be quite difficult.  

So, I think it's clear that you sacrifice very little to run a third colour, and gain a great deal.
26  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Eastman's Deck] My Remora Vault deck/blog on: June 12, 2010, 01:34:03 pm
1&6. I agree with kooaznboi that a Green sideboard with Nature’s Claim is preferable.  Against a field of Tezz, Oath, Workshop, Fish, TPS, and Dredge, the following sideboards come to mind for each colour:

4 Nature’s Claim (Oath, Shop, Fish)
4 Leyline of the Void   (Dredge)
2 Yixlid Jailor (Dredge)
2 Hurkyl’s Recall (Shop)
2 Duress (Tezz, TPS, maybe Oath)
1 Forest (Shop, Fish)

4 Leyline (Dredge)
3 Ingot Chewer (Shop, Fish)
3 Gargadon (Oath)
2 Hurkyl’s (Shop)
2 Duress (Tezz, TPS, maybe Oath)
1 Mountain (Shop, Fish)

Since the Green board doubles up against Shop and Oath, you get two extra slots against Dredge, which greatly increases your chance of drawing hate.

Ingot Chewer and Gargadon both have advantages over Claim, but there are disadvantages besides splitting slots.  Chewer’s CMC can be painful with Confidant, especially in long games against Fish and Stax, while Gargadon does not stop Oath from comboing out with Vault/Key.

One thing that I would have liked to have been able to fit in to the boards is a copy of Darkblast to take out Welders and Confidants, but I couldn't find room (I might even want to run one maindeck).  I think that the off-colour basic, in combination with MD 4x Misty or Tarn, is very important against Stax and Fish for being able to reliably cast your sideboard cards against them without allowing them to disrupt your mana base. (It also allows you to cut one of your 2 maindeck off-colour duals for an additional basic or fetchland, which makes you stronger against Wasteland first game)

The weakness of both of these boards is a lack of creature removal against Fish, although this is somewhat mitigated by the large number of cards you have to destroy Null Rod.  As long as you’re able to keep Rod off the table, you should be able to race their creatures.

2. I probably wouldn’t bother including a Tendrils package.  Although I used to play Drain Tendrils and love that style of play, I don’t think you can justify the extra dead slot when your main focus is on Vault/Key.  I’m also unsure what matchups Tendrils would actually improve.

3. The bounce package you’ve posted looks good to me, with diverse CMC and lots of answers to different threats, as well as synergy with your draw engine.

4. I wouldn’t add Petal or Vault unless including Tendrils/ETW.  One-shot mana simply isn’t strong enough to justify the card disadvantage otherwise, especially since it can’t help to maintain Remora.

5. I agree that the planeswalkers are too slow and expensive.
27  Eternal Formats / Ritual-Based Combo / Re: Ritual Based Combo in Today's Metagame on: June 11, 2010, 01:54:21 pm
Since the subject of IT came up, the following seems relevant to the discussion of what direction current storm decks can take:
I just came up with the following list, which is not tuned or tested but basically illustrates what I think IT today would look like, with Arjan's suggestion of Bobs and 3x Hurkyls.  It's basically a hybrid of oldschool IT and newschool GWSx.

4 Force of Will
2 Thoughtseize
2 Duress
3 Hurkyl's Recal
1 Chain of Vapor

4 Dark Confidant
3 Intuition
2 Grim Tutor

1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Time Walk
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Necropotence
1 Mind's Desire
1 Tendrils of Agony

5 Mox
1 Mana Crypt
1 Lotus Petal
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
4 Dark Ritual
2 Cabal Ritual

4 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained Mire
3 Underground Sea
2 Swamp
1 Island
1 Tolarian Academy (debatable, but good synergy with Desire and sometimes with Intuition)

Sb (will vary, but rough possible breakdown):
~5 Ichy Hate
2-3 Stax
2-3 Fish
2-3 Control
2-3 Combo

Other possible inclusions are Twister, Tinker/Jar, and Bargain, as well as Ponder.  The list is pretty tight however, so I decided to focus on the Intuition/Will combo and supporting it effectively.  Keep in mind that Intuition has other uses as well.  It can get you Bobs, Fows, Duresses, Grim/Grim/Dt or Cabal/Cabal/Lotus (with Threshold).
Of course, as I said in the other thread, this list looks OK on paper but I have not tested it.
28  Eternal Formats / Workshop-Based Prison / Re: Sperling's 5cStax on: May 14, 2010, 01:20:38 am
Now that you've cut Tinker and the black tutors, do maindeck Balance and Ancestral, in combination with 2x Swords to Plowshares and 1 Ray of Revelation in the sideboard, really make it worth running the 5c mana base?  I think you've been taking 5c Stax in an interesting direction, but that seems to be moving it closer and closer to R/G. 
29  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: Article: Rule of Law: Maximizing Mishra's Workshop in Vintage on: May 13, 2010, 03:30:46 am
The mindsenser and Braids in the SB are an experiment in siding in non-artifact threats to nerf their anti-artifact hate.
If that's the case, why not side Choke or In the Eye of Chaos?  Both of these enchantments seem more devastating against Control decks, and Choke would be good against Fish, as well (which often packs creature removal, and will certainly side some to deal with your Golems).  Mindcensor seems rather weak to me, because against Stax I usually side Darkblast to take out Welders.
30  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Deck]RND-Tezzeret on: May 12, 2010, 08:57:45 pm
I'd like to make a point regarding the Duress/Thoughtseize vs. Spell Pierce debate, which I don't think has been mentioned yet.  Obviously there are certain situations and matchups where one is better than the other, but I think that one of the most important advantages of Spell Pierce is that it gives you tempo.  In the first few turns of the game, Piercing your opponent's play is like a Time Walk+Duress in a single card.  Conversely, if they try to play around Pierce, you also gain tempo.  Simply having 3x Pierce in your deck can put your opponent in difficult situations.

This advantage of Spell Pierce also makes it synergize well with Repeal, another tempo card.  This is what I see as the fundamental difference between GI's list and the RND build: 3x Spell Pierce & 3x Repeal makes RND Tezz a tempo-based control deck, while GI's build with Duresses and fewer repeals focuses on hand control, and resolving its own threats, rather than board control.  Consequently, GI's build is a more traditional combo/control approach like Tog.  So, I think it's not necessarily about which choice is better, but rather about the overall approach to what the deck is trying to accomplish.  Analyzing the difference between the decks by looking at what cards are swapped for what, and arguing over which of these card choices are better, is therefore a red herring.
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