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1  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Sin Prodder on: March 21, 2016, 07:35:22 pm
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I find it crazy that people could swear by Bob yet not give this the time of day

This is Bob, except it blanks every time you flip mana or a good card.  That's not good.
2  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: March 12, 2016, 08:46:08 am
cross posting due to high relevance, article on future of tmd:

http://mtgvintageadventures.blogspot.hk/2016/03/thoughts-on-change-of-ownership-of.html
3  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: March 02, 2016, 06:56:09 am
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paid membership

Sorry, I should've clarified a little.  I'm not talking about a subscription fee or anything.  I'm saying a one-time nominal of $1 or $5 or something.  Just enough to keep out the LCD of poster.
4  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: March 01, 2016, 10:38:57 pm
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As far as I'm concerned, status quo is not an option - there are just too many vintage players and potential vintage players avoiding the site

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In allowing sites like Facebook to get a handle on the community in any fashion, we weaken the relevance of this site.

These comments both define TMD in negative terms.

People here have suggested functionality and content they like, but a lot of this is already being done in lots of other places.  I haven't heard any consensus on why someone should come to TMD for X, where X is anything besides this used to be TMD.  Each reboot of this site has seen TMD's prestige as the place for vintage lessen.  Part of this is positive developments from other content producers.  The technical implementation will be important and relevant to the larger "what" that TMD becomes.  I'd just like to see more thoughts on the "what".


My 2c:

(1) I don't know if TMD can be a one-stop-shop anymore.  There are enough other quality pockets of Vintage online that maybe TMD could serve as an aggregator.  Its effectiveness there would be based on how well it integrates content (general magic news, decklists, tourney results, streams, articles, even key comments) from other places (and how well these are made searchable/tagable/linkable).

(2) At its apex, TMD was the place to have robust arguments about the format.  This seems to stem from equal parts community/site technics/moderation.  I think high-level discussion could be one of the "what" pieces for the next iteration, but changes are needed.  The only thing I've seen work online is paid membership.  Probably not a popular idea, but people behave better and invest their own quality when they're putting their money where their mouth is.
5  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: January 20, 2016, 04:35:59 pm
It's hard arguing against the Vintage champ, but I think you guys are really over-selling artifact removal vs. Belcher.  If you're on the draw against them, Dack is almost always irrelevant.  Given that the current versions are so counter heavy or have Defense Grid, the presumption that the removal becomes valuable after "stopping their major play" means you likely require 2 other key spells on your end before getting to Dack/Grudge.  Something like EE can potentially disrupt their manabase and can be played effectively for 2 mana; that's realistic.  However, grudge will cost 3 mana across two colors to significantly disrupt their mana.

I'm not saying these cards are completely dead.  And I do think Dack's filtering is huge vs combo, so the versatility is valuable.  But the idea that these cards are 'all stars' in this matchup is perplexing.  These lines of play seem wishful thinking compared to my experience.

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Tutors are better suited to things that proactively advance your game plan

I'd say as a general point this is true.  And I'm aware that the tempo loss is more important than ever before.  But, this build is mostly a control deck and much more than most other versions of Mentor.  The way the metagame is shaping up, this will intensify as Dredge, TPS and Tezzerator become more common than Merfolk, Delver and the mirror.  It just feels like the 75 is stretched pretty thin without the multiplicative power of black tutors.  And as per your point, Brian, nothing says you can't fetch Mentor with these when you're pressing advantage.

I'm not hard on this 2nd point, but at least right now I can see the value when going into a big event with a still settling metgame.
6  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: January 19, 2016, 07:23:21 am
Sorry, you're right about Grudge in the Tez matchup.  But it's cold comfort to an activated Belcher and Dack is much too slow to interact in either matchup.  It's not a dead card, but it's win-more after your real answers have done the work.
7  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: January 18, 2016, 03:07:55 pm
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GI, it sounds like you'd prefer to play something more like an orthodox Grixis Control list

Far from it.  In fact I even put the 'Bant' firmly in the nomenclature above the family photo.  I think the core here is fine.  And I like a lot of what red has to offer, but I'm sceptical if it may have outlived its value vs workshops.  Not really because of what this deck does, but more because of how many shops lists have evolved.  Obviously this is a ying-yang in terms of how you migh reposition this deck's win condition.

Maybe red is worth it just for what Dack offers across matchups.  But if Green & others can cover better for the shop matchup and Storm and Big Blue are larger metagame players, perhaps there are better options and maybe those are facilitated with silver bullets found with black tutors (especially now that DTT is a 1x).  But just spitballing here.
8  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: January 18, 2016, 02:14:09 am
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I think you are underestimating how critical Ancient Grudge and Dack are against both Shops and decks like Tezz or Belcher and overestimating how helpful the tutors would be given the inherent tempo loss to playing them.

I think the tempo issue is real and that tutoring is a fringe effort that resigns only to the most important plays.  I look to it ony as a way to better manage the 75 in a deck that already has a low curve.

Still, I think your characterization of red's impact is foolish.  Grudge and Dack are poor versus these two decks (Tez and Belcher).  Further, traditional MUD fears spot removal much less than it would months ago.  Grudge is a fine generalist card right now, but if you're going to play control, you need to really pick and choose.  Maybe red is the best support, but it doesn't seem to bolster the growing legions of storm and big blue.  If it does, it's REB and not the other cards mentioned.  Maybe MBR really is too reactive for the current meta.  If Mentor needs red, maybe it is too slow for now.

I'm imagining something that turns faster on a given mid-game turn and can use hurkyls/rebuild to win artifact matchups.
9  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: January 18, 2016, 12:56:16 am
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"Not Black"..."Not Red"

I vote for removing the negatives for something like MBR vs MBB (MentorBantX...).  I think this is a central design question and I'd like to hear more from Rich and Brian among others (Steve?)

There are very serious benefits to controlling the board with access to red.  BUT, in a metagame moving away from 4x Chewer, it may add value to consider how well green covers these sins while allowing 'slot savers' by running the black tutors.  Since there are a hefty number of flex slots and since the black tutors cut both ways by allowing you to fetch either a game ending bomb or Priest/Thalia/RestinPeace, can we revisit the control/combo divide?  Doesn't black enable rather hard-control silver bullet strategies while also letting you close down a snap>time walk finish?  It seems like a natural evolution of the archetype.
10  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] Nowadays on: November 30, 2015, 02:27:07 am
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To shortcut this whole article...Mental Misstep and Flusterstorm certainly help as well.
11  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: The actual effect of Restricting Chalice on: October 23, 2015, 06:49:44 am
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gkraigher

It's clear you have a preference for a specific style of in-game magic.  However, you should know that your ideas about 'skill' and 'balance' are quite different from others and I would say even quite different from the social norm of the format.

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You have to constantly be thinking

Yeah, some of us are into that.
12  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: DCI Ban: Paul Mastriano? on: January 31, 2015, 11:43:51 pm
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how's about you offer up some REAL evidence to these claims so many of you so definitively have before you all go forming your lynch mob

I heard primary evidence from someone who played him and Paul's G1 deck contained SB cards that were highly advantageous to the matchup.  It was a couple rounds in, so Paul could have known what he was playing.  And he didn't find out until multiple rounds later when Paul's list was posted for T8.

There's more, but TBH, given the preponderance of cheating in MTG your (anti) 'lynch mob' rhetoric is wearing pretty thin.
13  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / DCI Ban: Paul Mastriano? on: January 31, 2015, 01:02:34 pm
Does anyone know why Paul (Vintage Champ, Meandeck, Mr. Type4, etc) is on here for a 6 month ban?  There's a ton of names on this thing and I didn't even know this is how they disseminated this information.


http://magic.wizards.com/en/content/suspended-dci-memberships
14  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Mono Blue Control on: September 18, 2014, 09:27:54 am
I know this seems janky, but what about Vedalken Shackles?  It seems like it would be easy to drop, has synergy with the rest of the control elements and would be harder to remove than Sower and re-usable unlike Repeal/EE/Bomb.  It would probably fight with Batterskull for SB space, but it would give a lot of options.
15  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Dig through Time on: September 12, 2014, 10:53:15 am
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The thing with Delve is unless you build your deck around the mechanic and card

Bingo.  None of these cards are likely to take because medium-brokeness draw/search is not what's missing for most decks.  Hell, we have unrestricted Gush, what are people looking for?  If you take the slots needed both for this card and for the fetches and cheaper cantrips needed to support it you don't have much room left to beat Dredge and Shops and stop other blue decks.

Ie, the competition for this isn't FoF or Impulse, it's stuff like Gush and Timetwister.
16  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: The Best Game I Ever Played on: September 04, 2014, 10:51:36 pm
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Long story short, he start crying like a little b!t^h.  It was annoying, so I punched him in the face.  His mom came over, and she was a hawt MILF, and laughed that her kid was such a little b!t^h.  So, I nailed her on the table while he watched, told him his deck sucks, and that I was his new daddy.  I'm pretty sure he quit magic after that. 

Best game ever.


That was almost like an Adam Bowers story except with less elegant writing and more violence.
17  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Quickest Beatdown in Vintage on: August 22, 2014, 10:29:25 am
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I think what the OP is looking for is a way to kill via damage without being vulnerable at a certain choke-point. That is the fundamental weakness of fast combo decks: being susceptible to a single strike that dismantles the confluence of events required to develop the kill. For example, I can cast a Chalice of the Void @ 1 vs. Storm combo and pierce their entire strategy.

Right.  'Cause playing a deck with 35-40 1-drops is a great way to avoid that "piercing" CotV?

I can appreciate what desolutionist is trying to do here, and I have some respect for Elves.  But it really is a fool's errand.

Vintage has never had more strongly positioned silver bullets.  Recent printings have dictated that decks like BUG, Merfolk, UW and MUD have become viable (even favored?) metagame bulwarks.  Sure Oath, TVK.dec and storm are viable, but there is a ton of hate and you need to be a pretty slick pilot.

This search for replicating that last strategy with creatures has already been optimized in MUD (w/Greaves) and Delver, both of which can either goldfish or stop their opponent and often both.

Caverns is good, sure.  But it's a fig leaf when faced with spheres and wastelands on top of CotV.
18  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 20, 2014, 09:59:41 am
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Gifts is not a card that is particularly good at creating an advantage, it is a card that shines when it is lethal and only when it is lethal

I really don't understand this view.  Kowal basically said the positive version of this.  My take is that people really need to stretch out their spectrum of game-states.  If I have four mana, I ALWAYS want to resolve Gifts Ungiven.  You can do so much with the card, including a pile that will build an even game state or small advantage into a victory.  It will do this even rather late in the game when you don't have much gas left in the deck.

There are metagame considerations (eg, if your store is full of flusterstorm), but there is no lacking capacity in the card itself (at least not in this list).


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I got some funny looks the last time I tried to run 5 drains. Triple Tinker into Vault + Key + Rod of Ruin was pretty strong, though.

You ever meet the guy who optimized to 3x Ancestral Recall?
19  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League on: August 20, 2014, 09:37:05 am
From either anecdotal or following dailys, does anyone have a sense of how the pros who play vintage have been doing?

@Steve, any prediction on metagame?
20  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: 3rd at Eternal Extravaganza: A Tournament Report and Metagame Analysis on: August 13, 2014, 10:04:19 am
Welcome!

A couple thoughts...

(1) pillars might be better than RPS breakdown for understanding metgame composition.  Eg, if you lump Forgemaster MUD with blue 'control', you're doing it wrong.

(2) Lots of good info, but I was hoping for not just reporting, but synthesis.  What did you conclude about the data you collected?
21  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 12, 2014, 08:08:13 pm
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Re: Gift's Ungiven

Sorry to jump at this Z, but this whole part is pretty confusing.

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Many people confuse Gift's with card draw. While it'll net you two cards,

Actually you get two cards, but it only nets one card.  Also, the rest of the draw in the deck (accept for Ancestral and bad FoF piles) only nets that same amount.  It is absolutely card advantage.  Obviously it's broken because it's also tutoring.

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what it is more akin to is committing too early if it's not the right time to cast it

I can't see defending this claim.  Granted we're a long way from 4x combo gifts lists where they were set up to resolve Gifts early and often.  But Gifts is basically infinitely customizable to the game state.

This is also why I don't really agree with the Hold 'Em analogy.  In that scenario in Hold 'Em the key is whether your opponent has enough info or whether your hand is good enough.  With Gifts resolving your hand just gets ridiculously better, no matter how early it is.

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adds a layer of situational play to a deck that very much tries to keep that at a minimal

I'm hoping you can unpack that.  What it sounds like is that Gifts is a high risk/reward card, which IMO is besides the point.  Granted it's hard to resolve vs. fluster/pierce/etc, but it's certainly worth it.  And I can't imagine running FoF instead of it.


22  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Magic Online Vintage Dailies Results on: August 06, 2014, 09:35:52 pm
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BUG, like Delver, also has tremendous role flexibility.  BUG can be a beatdown deck or a control deck winning with DRS. 

BUG can play different roles, but in terms of its ability to adaptably move between them, I think it's far inferior to Delver.  The evasion of RUG creatures and the diversity of applications of lightning bolt really give the deck an edge.  I'd also take Preordain/Gush's ability to filter for the right cards compared with Bob/black tutors.

I'm not saying BUG isn't both powerful and flexible, but it's not as nimble as other options (I'd say Grixis is more nimble too).
23  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vote for Team New England for the Grudge Match 2014! on: July 31, 2014, 03:44:11 pm
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John Lessard, Andy Farias, Jesse Martin.
24  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Dack Slaver on: July 29, 2014, 10:33:53 am
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Mindslaver

My favorite: have them cast memory jar, put chain of vapor on stack and respond with jar, have them bounce everything and sac all lands, discard hand, leaving them with empty board/hand.

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What are some of the common gifts piles for this deck?

The beauty/harrow of Gifts is that it has so many combinations and it's truly difficult to use it optimally.  Generally they can be grouped as:

Mana (either lands or acceleration)
Value (slow build stuff like Time Walk, Planeswalker, Merchant Scroll, Brainstorm, etc)
Broken (game winning combos like TVKey or Yawgwill setups or just something that wins the game with your current hand)
Feed Welder (you can search for only 2 cards and send them directly to grave to enable welder)

25  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: First Vintage Premier Event MTGO on: July 16, 2014, 09:40:49 am
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I'm not a fan of Inuition/AK for a number of reasons

Ben, aren't you forgetting that AK pitches to FoW?  Your dislike comes more from past trauma than any rational grounding, I suspect.
26  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Aggressive Mining on: June 26, 2014, 07:46:11 am
Isn't this like a bad memory jar?
27  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: N.Y.S.E. Open II - Official Tournament Report on: June 24, 2014, 07:39:30 am
During periods of waning for vintage there have always been folks who 'keep the lights on'.  Just a quick note of thanks to Nick and others since they should enjoy the full revel as things come around again.

That Ari's article can make a claim that Vintage is the best format is one of those signs that things are in full swing.  Success has many fathers, but the work to keep tournaments going on the east coast is surely one of the big ones.
28  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Consult the Laboratory on: June 13, 2014, 10:41:08 am
Yeah, like this guy:
http://www.tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=11076&iddeck=80927
29  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: BUg Doomsday. Dark Ritual < Deathrite Shaman on: June 13, 2014, 07:59:04 am
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the realization that Deathrite Shaman and Dark Ritual do the same thing (get you to  {B} {B} {B} on turn 2)

I thought the entire point of ritual being useful is it allows threats before counter-measures are up?  Ie, turn 1 Doomsday or Necro, not turn 2.

It's a fine design choice to go with DRS in combo decks.  Soly says he's been loving more grindy versions like this.  But it's definitely a trade-off and it seems like one that may be worthwhile in a metagame full of mental missteps (ie, your advantage from Ritual isn't very big anyway).
30  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: You Know You've Been Playing Too Much Vintage When... on: June 08, 2014, 07:57:31 am
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while playing formats where Mana Drain isn't allowed.

I like to do this just to mess with legacy players.
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