TheManaDrain.com
March 26, 2019, 07:54:39 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
  Home Help Search Calendar Login Register  
  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 93
1  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Suggestions For Improving the Online Vintage Experience on: October 22, 2015, 03:50:11 pm
Heya Rich and Steve,

I gave this a read when I started ramping up to play again. I had to look up the play points thing... wow.

Anyway, I agree with all of the points. A year ago when I was still harassing them on Twitter, I was beating the drum that Vintage players need a certain type of consideration to help foster the format. I think you spelled out each of those points very nicely.

-Z
2  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: October 22, 2015, 03:47:05 pm
I think that there's no conceivable way that cutting Night's Whisper for Thirst for Knowledge could be considered a bad idea.

Nope. There's a lot that I need to catch up on since I took a year off (again), but that's so obvious that it hurts. The issue is that it will have ripple effects through out the deck, which also need to be considered given whatever else is out there to face.

And just like any other deck, once those determinations are made, it's time to weigh it against similarly paced blue-based control decks to see if it's just plain ol' worse.

But yeah, Night's Whisper as a card can go back into the 'maybe someday' bin.
3  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 31, 2014, 12:58:00 pm
Rich and I did. He was very difficult to get down in a reasonable amount of time. Whenever games were won, Keranos had nothing to do with it. Whenever there was a loss, there was a likely hood Keranos was stranded in the hand somewhere. We tested him pretty early on in the vetting process.
4  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Fetchlands Reprint Confirmed! on: August 31, 2014, 11:28:04 am
They're going to get crushed pretty hard.
5  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 31, 2014, 11:10:53 am
FTK is amazing if you can get him on the stack. Neither BUG or RUG run any non-FoW hard counters, so it's a 2 for 1 against them every time it hits the stack. Against UW variants, they generally have drain so it's not necessarily as strong.

Notion Thief is great against RUG and has an adorable interaction with Dack Fayden. You don't build around that combo, because there are better combos to accelerate, but it's certainly great when it happens organically.

The re-inclusion of Snapcaster Mage has been all around better. It gives the deck more explosive power, but lacking Baleful Strix against MUD is a minor downside. Still, MUD is too good of a matchup for that to really matter.

Here's what I've been running for a while before being sent out of town for work:

4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
1 Flusterstorm
2 Mana Drain

1 Jace, the Mindsculptor
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Mindslaver
1 Notion Thief
2 Snapcaster Mage
2 Goblin Welder
0 Baleful Strix

1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker

1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor

4 Night's Whisper
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Ponder
1 Brainstorm
1 Ancestral Recall

1 Fire/Ice
1 Lightning Bolt
2 Dack Fayden

1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Tolarian Academy
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Island
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island

SB:
1 Flusterstorm
1 Lightning Bolt
2 Pyroblast
2 Flametongue Kavu
3 Ingot Chewer
4 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Nihil Spellbomb

Now that I'm home for most of the week, I get to go back in to the fray. Sadly, I missed the Qualifier/Champs season, but it couldn't be avoided.
6  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Fetchlands Reprint Confirmed! on: August 31, 2014, 10:47:40 am
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2014/08/31/magic-the-gathering-39-s-khans-of-tarkir-unveiled-at-pax-prime-2014.aspx

7  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League on: August 21, 2014, 01:16:18 am
I think it's awesome to do this. This is great exposure for Vintage.
8  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League on: August 20, 2014, 04:13:06 pm
I would root for Zehrbus if he was in it, but unfortunately he is not.

LOL outside of Vintage players who've been around nearly a decade, nobody knows who I am. They got to go with more name recognition. Smile I wanted to get Webster in (David Ochoa).
9  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 20, 2014, 12:40:59 am
I've run "large" PRE's on MTGO for the past 3 years. They are a gigantic pain in the ass, to put it bluntly. Having sanctioned events run automatically by WotC (for whatever peanuts they were willing to throw at us) was a much more elegant solution to resorting to PRE's.

The biggest problem with PRE's is gathering prizes. I've never read the TOC, and frankly they really are subject to WotC discretion anyway, but I've always followed the consensus that you can not have a mandatory entry fee for PRE's. You can only have a suggested donation. Inevitably, you'll get some people that will donate the suggested amount, a very select few that donate more than the recommended amount, and a significant amount of "free-loaders". Also, the initial wave of support will appear positive, but over time, expect fewer and fewer people to actually donate. Sponsors (bots, mainly) largely believe that they are just wasting money in that their exposure is worthless. Maybe Vintage changes that equation a little bit, but I doubt it, especailly in a time where people are massively unloading their collections.

This covers every one of my concerns... it'd pretty much have to be free and it would have to come out of someones pocket. :/
10  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 14, 2014, 10:01:36 am
PM, hashswag... There is also a 8:30 AM Daily event, which is probably 10:30 PM your time?
11  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 13, 2014, 04:23:37 pm
Yeah, my hope was that we'd have regularly and easily researched metrics that WotC (Hi Lee) could use for larger events. I imagine they take proxy events with a grain of salt and really rely on what they see happening in the community and the few higher profile sanctioned events.
12  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 13, 2014, 04:10:58 pm
You know... TMD could do one if we could settle on a time, have TO volunteers, and get some prize support (Moxes?). We could also use the Teamspeak to coordinate and play out rounds. Thats how Hearthstone PREs are run every week.
13  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 13, 2014, 03:16:33 pm
There are enough people who are carrying the torches and pitchforks for the prize support. I don't choose that to be my battle, even I think it could use other work. I'm more concerned with bug fixes and the formats infrastructure and support. I really want there to be at least periodic top 8 events that aren't just dailys.

I don't hate dailys, but I don't exactly care for them either. It's not the prize support, it's the 3-0 and split or go 4-0 simplicity that throwing a ball of shit at wall in hopes that it will stick sometimes pays off. I don't even pay much attention to the results anymore. You see many people enter, go 0-2 drop for like 3 events, then win one out doing the exact same thing. I just don't find it revealing for any useful data. Hell, if Brainstorm were unrestricted, I could run my 2004 Keeper build in every daily for a week and I'd probably prize a few of them. It would even be among the datamining of the goldfish site if I attended the daily that had 23 people instead of 22. That doesn't mean my deck's any good, it just means I got the right pairings and draws that day.

Dailys are useful to test ideas out and great if you just want to play some Vintage with a somewhat respectable prize pay out. Even if we only fired one, the idea that we could have some periodic top eight events was enticing to me. It's at least the hope existing that they'll fire and that maybe they'd give us a better time slot that kept Vintage Online from being a bit of a bummer. Now with just dailys after the qualifier season culminates into the champs, it's going to be literally just as Coopes said: Great if you enjoy playing the game. It's not so great for prizes, sure, but more importantly to me, it's not so great in see results that I would find more useful.
14  Vintage Community Discussion / Community Introductions / Re: TMD on MODO on: August 13, 2014, 03:03:26 pm
I'll get those invites rolling once I'm off the company dime. For some reason, the version installed on my laptop doesn't want to update after today's patch.

personalbackfire:

15  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 13, 2014, 02:57:31 pm
Oh F*CK OFF. So the only bloody event is at 4:30am my time? What the f*ck is the point of having an online game if you don't give a rat's arse about anyone who isn't American?

I'm not sure what time zone you're in, but the silver lining is that there are now daily events at 2:30 EST, 6:30 EST, and 9:30 EST.
16  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 13, 2014, 01:05:19 am
I find it hard not to run Key Vault especially when you have Top to combo with Key and Black Tutors to find the combo but there is quite a bit of BUG Fish online.

Like I said, it worked out well enough. But once you get to the nuances of tuning, you really do crave more flexible slots.

Why Duress?  Life loss from Thoughtseize too much in combination with Nightwhisper?

The duress build was Kowal's original build. Rich and I opted not to use it for the time being.

Would Snapcaster be worth trying or is that just greedy trying to Snapcaster Night's Whisper would be too much life loss?

Funny you should mention that. Originally, I ran 1 Snapcaster to try to capitalize on just that. However, it ended up getting the cut. Going forward, Rich and I have added a bolt over a Fire/Ice and are playing with Snapcaster with a better result versus aggro-control. There's more to report once we iron out some details.

Like I said in the beginning, this is ever evolving. Smile
17  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 12, 2014, 08:49:21 pm
To reiterate, regarding Gifts, I don't see this as a black or white issue. NWCS is a deck that sets up for a win outside of it just going broken, and playing a Gifts at the wrong time affects a lot of options to achieve that set up by firing off too early. I don't run it because I don't want to draw a card that isn't always ready to go no matter when I draw it. I play the deck so that every card drawn is an option that goes towards the goal of dominating the games state, recovering from one, or winning from a dominant position. I find Gift's to be loose in those situation, especially when Graveyard manipulation isn't an option.

You gifts for good cards and if you don't achieve at least a virtual win from those you were able to get, you can find yourself with less in-deck options. Sometimes it sets up an insane Yawgmoth's Will and sometimes it absolutely neuters it.

I just haven't liked it that much in the list, but I would run it over FoF. I also haven't hated it, and have done some amazing things with it in the deck. I run neither also because at 4 CMC, neither card is Jace. In fact, we're playing with lists running a second Jace over the consideration of bringing Gifts Ungiven or Fact or Fiction back.

And Serra collector, those are all fine options. Preordain is a fine option. However, space is minimal. The deck already runs lean on counterspell quantity for a control deck (usually 1-3 less than other control decks), the core functionality of the deck takes up an unmodest 6 slots as it is, which puts other filtering cards as options to replace other draw and filtering cards. I can see very little situations where anything else deserves a slot over Ancestral, Brainstorm, Ponder, Sensei's Top, Night's Whisper, or Thirst For Knowledge.

Really, what people want to do is make it more broken, which is understandable. What we were going for was something more consistent. I've run every variety and they all do work beautifully, but the nuances of the harder matchups made us crave more consistency.

Also, closing minor points: Although they do draw cards, I do not consider a draw engine to be Jace or Gifts. I find them to be paths to victory, much in the same vein as Yawgmoth's Will. As fast as this format is, I find dominance after surviving the storm of the first few turns absolutely critical. This drives me to be very picky about cards that are hard to leverage that position. 4 CMC cards and cards that do nothing are tripping points to that.

For example:

Kowals list runs Slaver, Battlesphere, FoF, and Gifts. That's four cards that are not guarenteed to be effective on turns 2-3 (which I consider to largely be the momentum tipping point of this deck). That's not bad.

This list runs Slaver, Battlesphere, and Jace. Its 1 card better in that situation.

The list I ran with Vault/Key ran Vault, Key, Battlesphere, and Jace. That's back up to four cards, with the exception of whether Key can be leveraged with Top, Sol Ring, or Mana Crypt and whether the mana situation deemed it viable to do such.

I'm definitely not trying to speak with hyperbole about these decisions, but trying to explain my thinking of why I choose the slots that I do. I have very hard opinions, set in absolute granite, about some things in Vintage, but I believe these points to be reasoned and point-of-view driven. I'm surely open to a YMMV stance on Gifts and Vault/Key, as I've run those in the list just fine as well.

Great discussion guys, let's keep it going. Smile
18  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Vintage Premier Events Will Never Ride Again! on: August 12, 2014, 07:13:58 pm
According to confirmation via twitter of this announcement:

http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-online-announcements-august-12-2014-2014-08-12

Weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Premier Events will be eliminated next week. They will be replaced by an 11:30 AM PST (2:30 PM EST) daily event.

While the Vintage Qualifier week comes in the heels of this, followed immediately by the championship event, this will be it for the foreseeable future of Vintage Top 8 events.
19  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 12, 2014, 01:30:23 pm
Thanks for the comments, everyone. It's been nine years since I've written anything  lengthy on Vintage, so it's nice to see I can still write something somewhat enjoyable to read.

Re: Gift's Ungiven

Many people confuse Gift's with card draw. While it'll net you two cards, what it is more akin to is committing too early if it's not the right time to cast it. That would be like going all-in right after the flop in Holdem. Sometimes, it's great and will accelerate some victories, other times it's setting you up to remove some of your best in-deck options much too early. It's a very powerful card, but it adds a layer of situational play to a deck that very much tries to keep that at a minimal. I don't run it, some people do.

Re: Vault/Key

I did just fine running that combo. It'll work out fine a lot of the time. I explained why I prefer not to, but in a deck that really has it's available space limited by the decks core inevitable strategy, I wanted to save the 1 slot for another card I'd always want to see. Part of the decision to remove it was an influx of BUG Fish packing Null Rod in the online metagame.
20  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Should I buy in MTGO? on: August 12, 2014, 01:07:46 pm
Well, we know when VMA will be going off sale. But if you look at the MOCS schedule for 2014-2015, you see them bringing back VMA here and there.
21  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Should I buy in MTGO? on: August 12, 2014, 12:45:03 pm
The time slot of Premier events make them ridiculously hard to fire. We've been able to do it *once*.

And playing in daily events has a strange prize structure, but I think it's mostly okay. 8-mans have better EV.

However, this is starting soon:

http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/vintage-championships-2014-07-14

Qualifiers are daunting at 30 ticket entry.

However, assuming we can dump VMA packs for over 6 tickets:

Go 5-0, 15 packs (and an invite). Prize value is over triple the entry cost.
Go 4-1, 10 packs (and an invite). Prize value is over double the entry cost.
Go 3-2, 5 pity packs, just about break even.
22  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 11, 2014, 09:41:10 pm
Note: This is not a primer. It is not complete and is ever-evolving. What this actually consists of is anecdotal Vintage views, followed by where we've seen this archetype round out so far. It exists to answer questions and is expected to pose many more. This is a starting point for what I hope to be valuable discussion.

Background and Introduction

For an exhaustive and historical look at Control Slaver, read Rich Shay’s primer located here: http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=15900.0

When I came back to Vintage, one of the first thing I noticed about the modern breed of Vintage metagame was that decks were impacting the game by turn one to two at the latest if they were following an ideal plan. Gush would be online, Oath would be resolved, Dark Confidant would be on board, Bazaar would be triggering Dredgers, and Sphere effects would have been piled on to the board.

It’s for this reason that Vintage has seen such a surge in creature based tempo strategies. Where the common backbones of Legacy such as Stoneforge Mystic, Deathrite Shaman, and Delver of Secrets would have been outclassed by unrestricted Ponders and Brainstorms in Vintage, we find ourselves in the age where unrestricted creatures are now better than the unrestricted options in spells.

This has brought an interesting dynamic to Vintage, where the games were always capable of wide swings and impossible comebacks, are now largely following the Legacy mark of established tempo. Many decks including BUG Fish, the U/W Variants, and Merfolk exist to make your early game a nightmare by establishing an overwhelming advantage that they simply need to ride out.

What Vintage has to oppose these tempo-driven strategies is often degrees of linear strategy. MUD and Dredge can be shut down easily enough with the right draws in sideboarded games, but given enough turns to recover, they can crawl their way from behind. Control Oath can do a better job than it’s Burning cousin to actually force an Oath of Druids to resolve, but lacks a meaningful draw engine to provide it much reach into the late game, especially when it’s handing it’s opponents extra men to beat face with.

So where does that leave control?

In 2005, I posited that Control, by definition, should be a metagame deck. The card considerations should be reflective of the decks it expects to face. And that much was partially true for many of the control decks I saw amongst the Vintage metagame. While decks like Grixis control had Lightning Bolts to remove the more common threats in Vintage, with the ability to recast them and other broken spells with Snapcaster Mage, they either ran a low-impact draw engine or none at all. This means that it doesn’t have a good way to break out of the prison that is the top of the deck.

Control isn’t successful by riding the topdeck mode and answering threats on a one-to-one ratio, nor does it earn wins by not covering a large amount of ground of the decks landscape to execute one of its combo finishes. Even the stronger lists that contained Dark Confidant could fall flat after a short amount of time because of all of the removal that exists.

The reasoning is simple: All of the aggro-control lists are running Abrupt Decay, Swords to Plowshares, or Lightning Bolt because of, in large part at least, each other. When you run Dark Confidant out as one of only 5-7 creatures including your tinker target, you have to expect that by being it’s only real target, those removal spells will find them. You cannot win every counter war.

Also consider, that MUD is the elephant in the room. It’s a very large hammer that swings hard and fast. If you can’t deal with it, you find yourself playing very few turns without the benefit of playing creatures through Thorn of Amethyst and keeping your permanent count notably higher for Tangle Wire.

Control decks were still powerful Vintage decks in that they contained powerful cards in acceleration, Tutors, Tinker, Yawgmoth’s Will, and Time Vault as well as a respectable disruption suite. But control, as an archetype, was not as reliable as it once was.

The printing of Dack Fayden brought Control Slaver players new hope. It filled the role of a restricted Thirst for Knowledge in that you could dump your high-cost artifact bombs into the graveyard for Welder abuse. What it didn’t do was provide the card quantity that TFK did, nor dig immediately as deep. It served, to great effect, heavy influence on the board against MUD and the occasional out-of-the-hand theft of a Tinker’d out Blightsteel Collossus. But sadly, all we really saw out of Control Slaver builds were more control decks that were stretching themselves too thin in the face of tempo driven Dark Confidant engines, Gush-induced Elemental token-fests, Oath’d Griselbrands, or Stoneforge Mystics without summoning sickness.

That was until Ben Kowal, a fellow returning relic of Vintage, championed the Night’s Whisper draw engine. I talk to Ben a lot and I admit that I was skeptical of the draw engine. I really could not see past Gush and Dark Confidant being the best two at the time. I’d love to sit here and write that I saw it coming and I knew it all along, but I didn’t.

Kowal NWCS
2 Goblin Welder
2 Dack Fayden
2 Baleful Strix
1 Mindslaver
1 Myr Battlesphere

4 Force of Will
3 Mana Drain
2 Duress
1 Mental Misstep
1 Spell Pierce

4 Night's Whisper
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Gifts Ungiven
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
1 Fire/Ice

1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl

1 Library of Alexandria
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Strip Mine
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Misty Rainforest
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Island

SB:
1 Flusterstorm
1 Darkblast
1 Mountain
2 Yixlid Jailer
2 Massacre
2 Red Elemental Blast
3 Ingot Chewer
3 Grafdigger's Cage

It took him doing well with the deck, while I was frustrated with the overwhelming 50% neighborhood of win ratios of every deck I played. I’d scoured the entire gauntlet and tried nearly everything, exhaustively, in testing and playing, online and on the playmat.

With some moderate success with some control lists, I was really looking for something more. I was not used to walking into every Vintage match with that minimal of a confidence level. With Ben’s deck being something I could at least see myself piloting well, I crafted it up card-for-card.

The first five or so games I played, it piloted pretty well and saw a few small areas where I could make play improvements as I grew to understand the deck more and more. Soon my conversations with Ben Kowal tapered off and I set to make the deck my own, using his shell as a guide. I made some cuts and made some changes to the sideboarding to help against a questionable RUG Delver matchup.

I played the deck constantly and had finally felt I was operating under a control shell that gave me the same comfort I once had with the XcControl deck that I championed for so many years before. In testing against the gauntlet on the playmat locally, I’d never lost to any deck in the gauntlet. Online, I’d gone on to win a number of 2-mans, two 8-man events, and 2 daily events leaving me with a 20-2 record in prize matches, until splitting with Rich Shay in the finals. We played out the match, a very identical mirror, and I lost a very exciting 3rd game where we both threw each other into topdeck mode, trading evenly until the bitter end. And that end, I’d hoped, would have been my Tinker to summon my robot minions. His topdeck mode was better, holding Brainstorm. Brainstorm saw Yawgmoth’s Will. Yawgmoth’s Will eventually lead him to Time Walk and Dack Fayden, forcing my robotic general to betray me.

Rich and I immediately set about talking about the deck, its nuances, and card slots exhaustively for hours. He’d told me he had a similar track record with the deck. We knew this was the real deal. What started as conversation about what sideboard cards were necessary, what our disruption suite should look like, and overall deck composition, we ended that night with a nearly identical listing at 73/75 of the same cards between us.
What Night’s Whisper had done was given us Dark Confidant on loan, with a more immediate effect. To dig two cards deeper with a Bob, we’d have to go through two upkeeps. Two turns is a long time in Vintage and an even longer time when it eats fire and isn’t actively digging you deeper through the deck.

Enough about the background, on to the cards!

The Deck

//Deck Inevitability
2 Goblin Welder
2 Baleful Strix
2 Dack Fayden
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Mindslaver

The above are pretty self-explanatory about how they function. Baleful Strix pulls overtime in the main deck by allowing for minimalist removal, digging deeper into the deck, and finally as a re-usable Welder option in select cases.

While Myr Battlesphere serves as the way most games will be won, Mindslaver exists to finish the game out in an alternate manner given the board state. I have played without Mindslaver and have instead cut another card slot for Time Vault/Voltaic Key.

Vault/Key is a cost-efficient package that will close out games with tutoring and a superior board lead, which is very nice. The cost comes at drawing one completely dead card at times (which can be on par with Mindslaver) and one card that often does very little. Voltaic Key can be nice to generate extra mana with artifact acceleration or draw extra cards with Top. More often than I’d have liked, drawing one of the two cards in an opening hand without support to use them resulted in opening hands being a functional mulligan to 6. Even worse, it made already mulligan’d hands worse.

Even with a discard outlet in a resolved Thirst for Knowledge or Dack Fayden, Time Vault and Key do very little on their own, while Mindslaver or Myr Battlesphere provide a threatening presence while merely resting in the graveyard.

Goblin Welder is one of those cards that people tend to over-estimate in the early game, but can be absolutely devastating late game as a lead closer or even as the comeback kid. Still, nobody likes seeing these resolve or even remain on the board. Without a supporting cast of cards, I am more than happy using it as a Duress for Mental Misstep, knowing I have another one I can find later if I need to provide its abuse.

//Tutors

1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Tinker

This is all basic stuff here, but I’ll use this moment to talk about Merchant Scroll. One point that can be made in its favor is that it’s always live since it can get Fire/Ice. I am not a believer in that card without a Gush engine. With Night’s Whisper already a sorcery in the deck, it’s often been at odds with operating with the primary draw engine.

The ability to get Ancestral Recall is greatly diminished in the modern days of Vintage due to the presence of Mental Missteps in the early game and I’ve never been a fan of using it to get a counterspell, only to reveal to my opponent what he has to play around when I pass the turn. Where others are running the Homelands playable, I am running a second Mana Drain (as noted below) and have been quite happy with it.


//Disruption

1 Pyroblast
3 Mental Misstep
2 Mana Drain*
4 Force of Will

I started out running Kowal’s exact disruption suite. I never personally had any problems with it, but I found the times I was able to use Mental Misstep were absolutely critical and it was by sheer luck that I happened to have the one copy in my deck.

The one notable here is the singleton Pyroblast. This is a Rich Shay call that I completely got on board with. With removal suite being the FoW-removable, cycling, tapping Fire/Ice over the relatively narrow Lightning Bolt, we lacked a maindeck way of dealing with Jace, The Mindsculptor or Tezzeret. This filled that roll, while providing another way to force through threats by keeping the counter number at a lean ten.

//Anti-topdeck mode

1 Ponder
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Thirst for Knowledge
4 Night's Whisper
1 Brainstorm
2 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Jace, the Mindsculptor
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

Ponder, Brainstorm, Ancestral Recall, and Time Walk are obvious includes for any deck that can generate blue mana. Thirst for Knowledge is nearly just as obvious, being inexpensive to cast, at instant speed.

Jace is on the top-end of the curve and occupies that slot alone. Fact or Fiction is a good card, but it’s not Jace. It’s often a 4 CMC Impulse for a card you want that likely will come with a land, while the rest of them are relegated to the graveyard. This card is very good in redundant decks, like U/W, just like it was incredibly potent back in 2001 in Mono-Blue.

Gifts Ungiven is a card that can be used to great effect, but falls short in utility and potency to Jace. With Gifts being restricted, it’s not advantageous to build great Gifts piles into the deck and ends up doing something similar to Fact or Fiction.

I’ve spoken on the merits of Night’s Whisper at length, and find it a great source of card advantage. The engine is simply one where it provides an instant boost at a reasonable cost. The major difference in what I am running over the norm is a second Sensei’s Divining Top.

Top is a card that is relatively underrated in Vintage. Many games in Vintage can be viewed in terms where if both players can make it past the point where hands have been fired off, the player who sees the more impactful cards first will generally cement a lead. Having an early Top gives you so much more access to cards and decision trees that give you the higher likelihood of cementing that lead. While it doesn’t generate card advantage directly, it enables a key strategy of NWCS, which is to see as much of your deck as possible. It is incredibly difficult to lose a control match where you have a Sensei’s Divining Top and your opponent does not. And if you do lose, review that game and it’ll be a challenge to see where a decision tree did not go wrong.

//Removal

2 Fire/Ice

As the deck generally performs in a way that it needs to remain agile enough until it can execute its coup-de-grace kill, or establish resource dominance, Fire/Ice remains an ideal solution. With Dack’s ability to deal with artifact fatties and Baleful Strix serving as an attacker stall or removal magnet, the biggest threats in the format to worry about are ones which break those trends. Fire/Ice deals with Dark Confidant handily, as well as Delvers, Pyromancers, Deathrite Shamans, and most any hatebear. While Fire cannot kill a Trygon Predator, pre-board, NWCS is far from naked with Pyroblast and Baleful Strix.

It is of minor note that in the seldom occasion of getting a Dack Emblem, both Pyroblast and Ice serve to steal an opponent’s permanent.

Izzet Charm is also a fair card to run in that it also does two damage and pitches to Force of Will. I prefer Fire/Ice because it doesn’t force me to commit to red early on and the ability to cycle to tap down a creature or land on the opponents turn is pretty strong and reliable functionality, even if it doesn’t have the ability to be a UR-costed Spell Pierce.

Nihil Spellbomb is also a beautiful card to run, though I choose not to. It helps tremendously in the mirror and gives you a small out against Dredge game 1. The primary selling point is that it shuts off an opponent’s Yawgmoth’s Will (and Snapcaster Mage), but at a less immediate pay off. Where my second Sensei’s Top is in my list, Nihil Spellbomb would be in its place.

//Mana
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Emerald
3 Scalding Tarn
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Polluted Delta
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Island
1 Swamp
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Strip Mine
1 Library of Alexandria

The main noteworthy configuration of this manabase are the fetchlands. All of the fetches can find any of the dual lands, of course. Five of them can find the basic Mountain postboard, four of them can find the basic Island, and three of them can find the basic Swamp.

While blue is obviously the most important at its core, the ability to get a basic swamp enables the deck to execute its draw and tutoring plan against any deck packing a full complement of Wastelands.

Strip Mine falls in like with flexibility of answers, as it provides a rapid answer to a Library of Alexandria, Mishra’s Factory, and Cavern of Souls. I prefer that flexibility, but if I were to ever want to increase the colored source of mana, I would consider a third Underground Sea in this slot.

Library of Alexandria absolutely fits here. It doesn’t just win games on the draw, as this deck has plenty of ways to draw back up to seven mid-game. The deck does run 6 draw spells, a Jace, and a Welder/Strix.

//Sideboard

3 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Pyroblast
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Pyroclasm
1 Mountain
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Flusterstorm
3 Ingot Chewer
1 Shattering Spree

NWCS is a combo-control deck. A key to that assertion is knowing which of those roles you will take in a given matchup. Against something like Hatebears, you take a commanding role of the combo deck. That goes for any matchup where they can’t say no and aren’t immediately threatening to win. This means that the deck will have to be nimble enough to switch roles mid-game.

For example, if you are sitting on Nihil Spellbomb against Dredge, the plan shifts from ‘not dying’ to closing the deal before they can dig themselves out. Much is the same for MUD, in which case you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to cast spells first, then win with those spells.

General Matchups

I am not doing a sideboarding guide here because few decks are ever completely stock. Does this MUD list have Revoker? Does this Oath player run Tezzeret? Is this UW player on a FoF draw engine? Is the Caverns player a dedicated creature list like Humans or is it simply augmenting a Trinket Mage powered list?

What I can offer is some general tips here.

Vs. Control Oath – I’ve tested two, three, and four Grafdigger’s Cage against Oath and three is the number that NWCS can get away with. Game one revolves around plan A of Keeping Oath off the table, and plan B, going for a punch with Myr Battlesphere upon the first opening.  Game 2 affords you a little bit more time to overwhelm them with card draw, as they don’t run an engine themselves. Abrupt Decay is a real threat to your Cage plan, so don’t rely on it to be a silver bullet. It’s only there to buy you time.

Vs. Burning Oath – Much like the Control Oath matchup, except with many flavors being unable to say no. The offset is that they are a Tendrils deck and can go off in a blink of an eye. Being unable to deal with your threats reliably affords you to become much more aggressive with your game inevitability.

Vs. Snapcaster/Bob Control – You will see more cards than they do as long as you keep Bob under control and keep Snapcaster from trying to give Ancestral Recall another shot.

Vs. MUD – This matchup is already pretty solid pre-board, but the addition of such an onslaught of artifact destruction and the mountain for mana stability generally cements it. Unless they completely lock you out on Turn 1, you’ll be playing cards which are an incredible headache against them.

Vs. BUG Fish – This is one of the more tight matchups where the Mountain helps against the Wasteland barrage and cleans up with red removal backed up with the potent Flusterstorm against such a mana light deck.

Vs. RUG Delver – This matchup depends on a lot of big plays. Draw go isn’t a game that you can afford to play here, but the sideboard is loaded with many utilities to reset the board state. This deck is the only deck that will generally draw less blanks than you. Aggressively fetch to thin out the deck and try to avoid using Pyroblasts on Delvers and save them for Trygon Predator and Gush.

General Sideboarding

It’s generally easy to see what cards would be helpful from the sideboard to bring in. Where the challenge often lies is with what to cut from the maindeck. I’ve seen people play the list and bumble through sideboarding in ways that merely cut cards that are perfectly good for cards that are marginally better. Proper sideboarding is the cornerstone of winning all matches. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself when making those evaluations.

Mystical Tutor and Vampiric Tutor – Is the best game plan you have going to revolve around finding and resolving specific cards? Are you playing against a deck that can’t say no and the most direct route to Victory is to find Tinker? If this is the case, then these cards have obvious tremendous value. However, if the best route to victory is to establish resource dominance and to grind out card advantage, the card disadvantage tutors are a fair card to consider cutting.

Baleful Strix – Does this do anything in the current matchup beyond cantripping? You want a flying deathtouch creature against a great many decks. Against something that doesn’t care so much (Tendrils, Oath), this is likely a safe cut.

Mental Misstep – It’s safe to cut this against Workshops. You don’t care if they resolve Grafdigger’s Cage.

Pyroblast – Another obvious choice against decks with no red targets.

Dack Fayden – Is the inevitability of playing the Welder game a viable concept here? Obviously his thieving ability is good against MUD and the mirror, but how viable is this plan against BUG Fish when it’s easily removed, has no steal targets, and is feeding a very hungry Deathrite Shaman.

23  Eternal Formats / Online Tournaments / Re: Vintage Premier Event Will Ride Again! (Aug 10th) on: August 10, 2014, 05:18:29 pm
I'm in!
24  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Magic Online Vintage Dailies Results on: August 07, 2014, 09:14:58 pm
For what it's worth, its from when Curiousity was used.
25  Eternal Formats / Online Tournaments / Re: Vintage Premier Event Will Ride Again! (Aug 10th) on: August 07, 2014, 02:06:44 pm
The slow creep of Workshops have started back in! Remember - this sunday!

Play for free bot credit earlier if you can, then join the PE queue!
26  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Is anyone streaming vintage on MODO? on: August 07, 2014, 02:05:36 pm
Eh, I don't care about the archives. I am thinking that recording videos and putting them on YouTube with better narration is a better fit for me. I'll still stream, but that's more of a fun thing to me. If they take down my broadcasts or mute it, then whatever.
27  Eternal Formats / Online Tournaments / Vintage Premier Event Will Ride Again! (Aug 10th) on: August 02, 2014, 07:43:36 pm
The bug fixes will be in on August 6th. The Vintage qualifier season will be just around the corner. Vintage online play has suffered in the wake of all of the metagame warping bugs, but this will be the return of our beloved format! We will go for maxing this on out.

What: Vintage Constructed

Where: On Magic Online

When: Sunday, August 10 at 5:30PM Pacific, 8:30PM Eastern

Details here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/events-schedule-2014-06-30#vintagepremier

ENTRY OPTIONS   10 Event Tickets

Prizes:

Place   Prizes   QPs
1st   15 Vintage Masters booster packs   5
2nd   12 Vintage Masters booster packs   4
3rd-4th   9 Vintage Masters booster packs   2
5th-8th   6 Vintage Masters booster packs   1
9th-16th   3 Vintage Masters booster packs   0

28  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Days of Vintage Past: The Return of Control Slaver on: July 29, 2014, 02:30:14 pm
It is also worth noting that Strategic Planning dodges new printings such as Spirit of the Labyrinth! I quite like how people start dusting off their old cards.  Wink

As does other draw engines consisting of Dark Confidant. Spirit of the Bowie is generally only a fickle whore to Gush decks and storm decks. In this deck, the random cutesy hatebear dies to, in Rich's and my build, Fire/Ice's maindeck, Pyroclasm/Deluge, bolt sideboard. In Kowals, he has the Massacre card.

Also, hey Kerz and Razor!
29  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: mtgo player tournaments on: July 29, 2014, 02:21:39 pm
There's some guys I know in the PRE community, I expect that after the VOCQ season, they'll be firing off some Vintage PREs.
30  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: MTGO V4 on: July 27, 2014, 03:47:21 pm
When it glitches, do you get the one you wanted to draw and the other 2 shuffle? Or are you just running the gambit on a random draw if you choose not to shuffle?
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 93
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.08 seconds with 19 queries.