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1  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 23, 2014, 02:00:31 am
The Atog Lord makes an insightful analogy between FTK and Jace 2.0, but it is only a fair one insofar as Jace's -1 ability can be used without further mana.  Jace's +1 ability is exactly like Gifts in that further mana is usually needed to affect the board, i.e. to use the the new cards.  So Gifts is not inferior in that respect.
2  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Night's Whisper Control Slaver on: August 22, 2014, 08:11:52 pm
I would find room for a Trinisphere in the sideboard if Gush-based strategies are a problem.  It find it to the single best card for a Drain-based deck to combat Gush.  It can be very powerful in a Drain-based control deck, partly because it is so unexpected.  The card also serves well against Dark Ritual-based strategies.

As Zherbus knows, Orb of Dreams is another sideboard option against Gush-based strategies.  Though it probably wouldn't make the cut.

Would Izzet Charm be better than the second Dack Fayden?  Perhaps in the right metagame, it would be.
3  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: [Deck] Drain Tendrils on: May 16, 2012, 08:39:16 pm
If the graveyard hate increases, perhaps Tinker-Bot is an alternative win condition.
4  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Running out of good movies to watch... on: June 28, 2008, 09:49:20 pm
Re. sci-fi I like the George Clooney 'Solaris' (haven't seen the original) and 'Event Horizon'.
5  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: WU Tang Wizards (formerly UR Fish 2K7) on: October 06, 2007, 07:53:03 pm
You probably don't need anymore draw, but if you want a little more - and another tool in the Fish/aggro mirror - test Sky Hussar.  He's so fun!  If you're not desperate to bash down and more interested in taking control via Voidmage, tapping down two dudes is not overly problematic.  And he comes down late after drawing a heap for an alpha strike.

This deck plays a meager 16 mana sources and accelerating out a Hussar is not the game plan I'm going for.

-Eric Becker, Vintage Adept


Response: I presented the Hussar as primarily a perhaps unneeded but nonetheless interesting option for further draw, not beats.
6  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Lorwyn impact prediction - vroman on: October 02, 2007, 07:24:21 pm
I imagine Hoofprints of the Stag would find it difficult to compete for a slot with Decree of Justice or Meloku.
7  Vintage Community Discussion / Card Creation Forum / Re: Griffen Mount on: September 03, 2007, 08:07:40 pm
Does it have a power and toughness?

And {1} {W} {W} {W} {W} is a lot to spend for the proposed effect.
8  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: VOTE STEVE FOR THE MAGIC INVITATIONAL on: August 15, 2007, 02:42:43 am
+1

Good luck!
9  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: LORD OF THE FISH: RETURN OF THE FEINSTEIN (Waterbury Day 1 top 4 report) on: July 25, 2007, 10:53:29 pm
Thankyou for your very good report.

Did you consider playing Demonic Consultation?  I would play it.  In a pinch and at little cost you get the right two-drop, or a force, daze or swords to save the game.  Consulting for Time Walk also wins games otherwise lost.

EDIT: Furthermore, I notice Aven Mindcensor featured little in your report.  Did he do much?  Or do you simpy attribute his lack of impact to your not being paired up with GAT and more Flash?
10  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Premium Article] The Mean Deck Solution to the Vintage Metagame on: June 19, 2007, 09:01:32 pm
All I saw in the Mean Deck was the absence of synergy between Ritual and Scroll.  My guess, however, is that the cards work more in parallel than in tandem.
11  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Eudemonia 2007 Time Walk Tourney Results/pics on: June 19, 2007, 02:38:54 am
I live on the other side of the world and found this thread very entertaining.  Keep up the good work, guys.  Love the pics.
12  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: 9th with 3cc in Melbourne, Australia on: June 13, 2007, 07:21:15 pm
Final Standings:
1. Kennth Cheong
2. Tim Tai
3. Jason Scott
4. Neil Crompton
5. Anatoli Lightfoot
6. Weng-Sun Cheong
7. Bill Mladenoski
8. Jeffrey Chan


Jeffrey Chan
Pitch Long

2 Polluted Delta
2 Bloodstained mire
2 Floded strand
1 island
1 swamp
1 tolarian academy
2 underground sea
1 badlands
5 Moxen
1 black lotus
1 lotus petal
1 mana crypt
1 mana vault
1 sol ring
4 brainstorm
4 force of will
2 misdirection
4 dark ritual
3 cabal ritual
2 tendrils of agony
3 grim tutor
1 memory jar
1 yawgmoths will
1 demonic tutor
1 yawgmoths bargain
1 necropotence
1 infernal contact
1 mystical tutor
1 hurkyls recall
1 wheel of fortune
1 chain of vapour
1 vampiric tutor
1 minds desire
1 timetwister
1 tinker
1 ancestral recall
1 timewalk

Sideboard
Swamp
Bayou
3 xantid swarm
chain of vapour
rebuild
2 empty the warrens
2 thrashing wumpus
4 leyline of the void


Bill Mladenoski
Stax

4 mishra’s workshop
4 city of brass
4 femstone mine
3 wasteland
5 moxen
1 sol ring
1 black louts
1 lotus petal
1 mana vault
1 tolarian academy
1 strip mine
2 forilla shaman
2 karn , Silver Golem
4 goblin wlder
4 smokestack
2 crucible of worlds
4 tangle wire
3 chalice of the void
2 spere of resistance
1 ensnaring bridge
1 sundering titan
1 trinsphere
1 tinker
1 crop rotation
1 vampiric tutor
1 fastbond
1 balance
1 memory jar
1 triskelion
1 duplicant

Sideboard
4 bazaar of Baghdad
4 uba mask
4 tormod’s crypt
2 ensnaring bridge
1 duplicant


Weng-Sun Cheong

4 undergournd sea
2 bloodstained mire
2 flooded strand
polluted delta
2 island
swamp
watery grave
4 wasteland
black lotus
mox jet
mox sapphire
lotus petal
sol ring
timewalk
ancestral recall
vampiric tutor
4 force of will
4 brainstorm
4 duress
chain of vapor
mystical tutor
2 shadow of doubt
4 dark confidant
3 Erayo, soratami ascendant
darkblast
2 engineered explosives
3 stifle
4 dimir cutpurse
sword of fire and ice

Sideboard
3 Yixlid Jailer
3 extirpate
3 extract
2 diabolic edict
4 planar void

Anatoli Lightfoot
Icorid

4 ichorid
4 golgari grave troll
4 stinkweed imp
3 golgari thug
4 serum powder
4 leyline of the void
4 narcomoeba
4 bridge from below
4 urza’s bauble
3 land grant
2 dryia arbor
2 dread return
2 sutured ghoul
2 dragons breath
4 street wraith
4 cabal therapy
1 lion’s eye diamond
1 ancient grudge
4 bazaar of Baghdad

Sideboard
4 chalice of the void
4 Abolish
1 ancient grudge
4 Savannah
2 temple garden


Neil Crompton
Flash Hulk

Flash
4 Protean Hulk
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Karmic Guide
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Body Snatcher

4 Force of Will
3 Misdirection
1 Pact of Negation
4 Duress
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Chain of Vapor

4 Merchant Scroll
4 Summoner's Pact
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm

1 Elvish Spirit Guide
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Mana Crypt
4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
2 Underground Sea
1 Island
1 Swamp

Sideboard:
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Stifle
3 Chain of Vapor
3 Echoing Truth
1 Benevolent Bodyguard


Jason Scott
Ubastax

Mishra’s factory
3 barbarian ring
2 mountain
4 wasteland
strip mine
tolarian academy
4 bazaar of Baghdad
4 mishra’s workshop
3 null rod
4 goblin welder
4 chalice of the void
4 ensnaring bridge
4 sphere of resistance
4 smokestack
4 crucible of worlds
2 uba mask
tormod’s crypt
5 moxen
black lotus
sol ring
mana vault
mana crypt
trinisphere

Sideboard
3 triskelion
maze of ith
3 tormod’s crypt
4 leyline of the void
pithing needle
3 the tabernacle at pendrell vale


Timothy Tai

4 force of will
4 mana drain
2 circular logic
mid twist
4 brainstorm
3 intuition
4 accumulated knowledge
2 deep analysis
1 ancestral recall
1 gush
1 timewalk
1 yawgmoth’s will
3 cunning wish
1 rebuild
2 empty the warrens
2 psychatog
1 mystical tutor
1 demonic tutor
1 tropical island
3 undergournd sea
3 volcanic island
3 flooded strand
3 polluted delta
1 island
1 cephalid coliseum
1 black lotus
5 moxen
1 sol ring
1 mana crypt

Sideboard
Berserk
Echoing truth
Firestorm
Lava dart
Gorilla shaman
Artifact mutation
3 anicent grudge
2 red elemental blast
1 extirpate
3 yixlid jailer


Kenneth Cheong
TD: Oath

Demonic tutor
4 Force of will
4 Chalice of the void
4 thirst for knowledge
4 oath of druids
time walk
4 brainstorm
2 null rod
acroma, angel of wrath
gaea’s blessing
ancestral recall
4 forbidden orchard
life from the loam
2 mishra’s factory
vampiric tutor
crop rotation
4 mana drain
mox ruby
razia, boris arch angel
echoing truth
2 wasteland
stripmine
2 flooded strand
2 polluted delta
3 tropical island
2 underground sea
sol ring
lotus petal
black lotus
mox sapphire
mox Jet

Sidebaord:
2 Mishra's Factory
1 Life from the Loam
2 Simic Sky Swallower
1 Oxidize
2 Pyroclasm
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Extirpate
1 Pithing Needle
1 Energy Flux
13  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: 9th with 3cc in Melbourne, Australia on: June 11, 2007, 04:05:41 am
@ jakjakman

Thanks!

Platz's ability would have won me round 1 game 2 against Ichorid if I'd played correctly.  It was also relevant in round 4 game 2 against Gifts in presenting another permanant that HAD to be bounced (but again I misplayed so as not to make the most of this).  Otherwise it was irrelevant.  In general it presents an interesing strategic advantage in what threats I can be prepared to ignore and also how hard I can Scry late game.  And if I'd faced more combo Platz might have presented a better Tinker target than Collosus depending on the game-state.  She's really there for Ichorid (and for any late game where I've lost control, against burn or aggro say).  She is underwhelming but still interesting.  To be honest I don't really care for Collosus either or Tinker generally.  I'm not sure if I'll stick with them.  I put aside 3 or 4 slots for my win condition and choose them depending on the meta and how it's shaped the rest of my deck.  Decree might be good again in the coming meta, I'm not sure.

I don't plan to use any more Gush, but I must adapt my deck to address those decks that do.  I'm still unsure how best to do this.  It will become clearer as a metagame emerges.


@ Tobi

I'm working on making the lists available.  When I have them I'll post them on TMD or at the very least PM you with them.
14  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / 9th with 3cc in Melbourne, Australia on: June 10, 2007, 09:04:14 am
20 players compete in 5 rounds of swiss and a top-8 play off under the pre-Gush restricted list for a Mana Drain.  I predict the following metagame:

9 Combo (Flash/Long/Belcher)
8 Fish (UW, SS)
4 Ichorid
4 Stax
4 Control (Gifts, Slaver)
x aggro, Oath, Goblins, random

I am largely correct but for the low numbers of  Fish - people opt instead for the brokenness of the new Flash and Ichorid decks.  Others opt to give Gifts one last hurrah.

On the back of Zherbus's recent 5cc and much testing I metagame a list, consciously leaning on my maindeck and experience to win any control mirrors that might pop up - in the main I prepare for combo, fish, ichorid, and stax.

3cc pre-Gush

4 Brainstorm
4 Drain
4 Force

3 Duress
3 Chalice
3 Skeletal Scrying
2 Cunning Wish

2 Swords to Plowshares

1 Yawg Will
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Ancestral
1 Time Walk
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Mind Twist
1 Balance

1 Tinker
1 Collosus
1 Platz

8 SoLoMoxenPetal
4 Delta
2 Strand
3 Underground Sea
3 Tundra
2 Island
1 Swamp
1 Library of Alexandria

SB
1 Razormane Masticore
1 Echoing Truth
1 Gush
1 VT
2 Swords to Plowshares
2 Serum Powder
3 Serenity
4 Leyline of the Void

I was very happy with the deck's performance.  It was excellent all day but I wasn't quite up to it: I made a few crucial mistakes which narrowly cost me top 8 by second tie breakers.

Round 1 - Ichorid
G1
He opens and chalice for 0 buys him the little time he needs to race my gunning for Tinker-Platz.  He has lethal turn 3 but I concede in response to Therapy so as to deny him any knowledge of my deck.

G2
-3 Chalice, -2 Swords, -2 Cunning Wish, -1 Mind Twist, -1 Balance, +4 Leyline, +2 Serum Powder, + 1 VT, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Gush
I successfully bluff a naive, brutalised unfamiliarity with Ichorid: he doesn't board in a thing.  I mull for Leyline down to 6, 5...  At 4 I see Lotus, Tinker, Tundra, Brainstorm.  My God I should have kept.  After Brainstorm I would have had turn 3 Platz.  It's likely I would have survived till then - by this time he'd also mulled down to 4 and I was on the play.  But I mull to 3 because in Workstation only once in 50 trials did I fail to find Leyline via mulligan or Powders.  Either that environment is wildly distorting or I got really unlucky: I see no Leyline, only the lone Drain I feebly concede with.  I gotta work on my turn 0 shit.

Round 2 - Mono-red Uba Stax
G1
Turbo Tinker-Collosus is probably my best bet.  On the play I open with moxen and smash him down turn 2 after Wishing for VT.  I Force his Tangle Wire then his Welder but he drops 2 more Tangle Wire over the coming turns to tie up my dude long enough to beat down with the Karn and Wires he'd resolved.

G2
-3 Chalice, -1 Cunning Wish, -1 Mind Twist?, +3 Serenity, +2 Serum Powder
The use of Powders against Stax was extremely experimental for me.  The match-up generally played out like combo: if I could disarm his few key early threats I could draw ahead and win.  Serum Powder could help me find Serenity or if pressed serve as a mana source and Tinker fodder (not irrelevant given I board out Chalice).  The theory worked out in practice too.  I draw ahead early with Ancestral, Scry for 2, Wish for Ancestral, I get Library active, keep countering his junk, lay out lots of mana (including Powder), hardcast Collosus and smash in.  My draws are too good even to need Serenity.

G3
I fan open 5 mana, Collosus and Powder.  I Powder because I can.  My next 7 is gas and soon enough I Serenity his board and, after Wish, Swords his Welder.  I soon Will and finish with Platz and a full grip of counters.  The game is mine but I fuck up big-time by failing to notice his 2 Barbarian Rings and am completely sucker-punched by his 'despondent' offering of Black Lotus.  He melts my Angel and I'm left with no way to win.  We go to time and I feebly draw.


Round 3 - Gifts
G1
He opens with Library so I play for tempo and bait his Forces.  I have all the good cards.  By turn 2 or 3 I resolve in short order Lotus, Ancestral, Time Walk, Will, Mind Twist him to oblivion and get my own Library active.  I Scry up a storm and bash down with hard-cast Angel.

G2
-2 Swords, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Gush
Control mirrors have become strange.  He opens with 2 Leyline of the Void and no mana.  The Will and the Scryings must have really traumatised him.  This cuts off my draw but I consider myself 2 cards up and start planning for Tinker, which is already in hand.  My only mana is Lotus and I find not a whit more with Brainstorm.  With the remaining blue mana I attempt an Echoing Truth on his Leylines but he's quick to Force.  I could Force back but meh, fine by me, I'm another card up.  Neither of us draw mana for several turns.  I play a Chalice for 0 rather than discard (I can simply Tinker THAT away).  I move my hand over the only permanants in play and intone 'This is the void'.  Soon enough we both topdeck active Libraries and move into the second phase of the game.  I build up a critical mass and start baiting EOT.  I Wish for Echoing Truth again and dispatch his Leylines.  I start building for a moderate Will.  I achieve it and at its end Tinker away Chalice for Collosus, double Force in hand.  He goes for the win on his turn, dumping moxen and managing a Tendrils for 12 and 2 Time Walks.  I counter the Will though and beat down for the match.


Round 4 - Gifts
G1
He mulls to 6.  I open with Duress and knab Force, leaving Pearl and Scroll, because the Chalice for 0 I follow up with buys me enough time to untap and Drain it into Fact.  The script goes just so and I pull further ahead with the Ancestral I Brainstorm into.  Soon enough all I have is hope and a Will and it resolves though is meagre because of Chalice.  It still includes Ancestral and Duress, which knabs the Will he was holding.  He got greedy when I was ready to Will for any small gain.  Soon enough I Tinker and Collosus smashes in.

G2
- 2 Swords, +1 Echoing Truth, +1 Gush
He opens with land, Mox, Sol Ring, Scroll for Force.  I assume he has Recall in hand.  I open with Chalice for 0 trying to bleed out his Force.  He lets it resolve but it ends up doing a LOT of work for me over the course of this game, stunting his development to a pace sane enough for me to keep up and delaying his Will.  I get the feeling Gifts players aren't quite used to negotiating Chalice when wrapped in a control package.  He resovles Recall but fails to find a second land.  He's powering out Gifts after Gifts, forcing them through my Drains and Duresses with pitch counters, so I manage not to fall too far behind.  He drops Empty for 6 dudes but I untap, DT then Echoing Truth them.  He untaps with Scroll and DT in hand - I'd given him them instead of Will or Recoup.  He scrolls for Chain then passes.  His hope is to Chain my Chalice then Recoup Will.  I untap and play Chalice for 1 - ding!  He chains his tapped Vault and my Chalice for 0 but I return fire on his Sol Ring, leaving him now on only two lands.  I might have Wished for VT and cast that before Chalice for 1 resolved, virtually sealing the match, but I hold onto the Wish for some unknown reason and only see the play when its too late.  He gets out another 2 goblins and my life's getting low when I Will and finish with Platz in play (Collosus in hand), Tinkering away Chalice for 1 to get a better Will.  Time is called, and under pressure from the judge to speed up I end up VTing for Drain when I should have gotten Time Walk, which would have allowed for a tasty Scrying then an untap to present mana for counters.  Instead I Drain the Will he Recoups and he Drains back.  Stupidly I Scry down to -5 in response.  Um, Force isn't gonna help when you haven't any life to pay.  He simply chains Platz for the win.  If I'd just done NOTHING in the face of Will he might simply have ended the turn with a lot of goblins in play.  He'd sided out Tendrils, he later tells me.  So I could have just untapped and replayed Platz.  Though he might have gotten a counter out of the Will.  Not VTing for Walk was my big mistake.  I was counting on Draining into Collosus because I wanted to win, but I'd already won game 1 so by this stage should have just played for the draw in this game.

Round 5 - Slaver
G1
He opens with Underground Sea.  I Duress, he Brainstorms, then reveals land, Pearl, Welder, Slaver, Force.  I take Force.  He fails to play Welder for lack of red mana and passes.  I Mystical for Recall in my upkeep and throw it out there.  Yep, he'd put Drain on top.  He can't use the mana though.  So I untap and drop Chalice for 1, which resolves and seriously bones him.  Now I can safely Tinker, and grab Platz (Collosus again in hand).  Soon I Wish for Gush and all I have in play is Platz, Chalice for 1, and active Library.  It's an elegant image and GG.

G2
-1 Cunning Wish, +1 Gush
At some point he Mysticals for Ancestral and I let it resolve.  I have the Force but don't want to pitch Fact because at this point it's a better card - it costs more for a reason.  And he'd already Mystical'd for the Recall - I wouldn't Force Night's Whisper.  If I can just untap I can Duress then Fact.  He starts looking through his graveyard and I feign a worried expression and a mumble.  He takes his Recall to mark the all clear, goes all in with Lotus, DT, then Will.  To his amazement I Force.  I untap and we're pretty much both out of gas, except I rip Brainstorm and dig into Tinker.  He's got 2 turns to mise a solution.  He gets the Chain but I get the Drain.  GG.

I finish 2-1-2.  The deck was great but I stuffed up.  The deck goes long so it does give ample opportunity to make those mistakes.  And also improve your game.  I have to revamp it completely now for Gush.

(For the record the play off went as follows:

Oath > Stax
Flash > Ichorid
Tog > Pitch Long
Uba Stax > SS

Tog > Flash
Oath > Uba Stax

Tog and Oath split.)
15  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: Hot Vintage Tactic: Tinker for Platinum Angel on: May 30, 2007, 02:15:52 am
Decks can often find one answer, but can they find two.  Platz can be well paired with another must-answer (Chalice, say).  And even if reduced to a 'speed bump', she can still buy crucial time.  As a stand-alone strategy, though, Collosus is superior in my experience.
16  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Vintage: How to start? on: May 18, 2007, 01:17:07 am
- How important is Tinker->DSC here? I feel ETW would be better, though without moxen, getting an early stormcount up can be rather difficult.
- If I'd be playing against lot's of CS, Stax and Fish, would a maindeck Fire/Ice cut it? Obviously it sounds ok, but I was wondering if anybody had tested this and what their results where.

Tinker-Collosus is bad against Slaver.  (You might even try Thrashing Wumpus against your friend.)  Extirpate is good.

Fire/Ice is fine but if you want to storm for EtW (or Tendrils) then Lava Dart is better.  You can also Gifts for it and provided you have a Volcanic be guaranteed to kill a Welder or Confident.
17  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Force of Will on: May 11, 2007, 02:37:48 am
KirdApe3's original UW fish ran 17.
18  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - MaxxMatt : Zherbus = 4C-C : 3C-C on: April 26, 2007, 10:48:46 pm
I'd hazard a guess that the 4 Repeals were added by way of providing a form of board control that wasn't completely dead against decks like Gifts and Long (they can be 'cycled').  If you play "in a very 'Dork' heavy meta" I would much prefer Swords to Plowshares.

I've tested Street Wraith in 3cc (in numbers of 4 and 2) and found it suprisingly playable in spite of all the Scryings and fetches.  The life loss does force you to try and 'combo out' aggro with Balance/Twist/Will though, and although this approach has long been effective it is not always possible (or even optimal).  For a range of reasons I think Decree is finally a lot better than Wraith in 3cc.  I hate Brainstorming into Wraith - he gets in the way.  People don't play Repeal purely for the thinning effect so I don't think Wraith cuts it either on that score, at least in control where 2 life is sometimes more precious than a blue mana.  (Obviously in fast combo decks this is rarely the case.)  So if Wraith is to be used in control he has to sometimes be played to good effect, and next to Decree there he's way too clunky.  Such has been my experience anyway.  I'm still trying him (4 Wraith, 2 Decree) as part of a balls to the wall attack on Gifts and Long though.  I don't think he'll make the final cut though.  Anyone else tried him?

@Zherbus.  You’re playing red?  For what cards?  The only I’d really want is REB (and possibly Rack & Ruin for game 1 v. Stax).
19  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Future Sight spoiled: Street Wraith - 4 of in every deck? on: April 25, 2007, 08:15:30 pm
One disadvantage that should be noted is that Brainstorming into Wraith is not good - it reduces the true reach of Brainstorm.
20  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Poems on: April 24, 2007, 04:17:33 am
Go to Karakas.
21  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Poems on: April 20, 2007, 07:58:26 pm
Didactic Poem

John Forbes


I never liked
Cat Stevens much
           (apart from
           Matthew & Son)
until one day
I fell asleep on a bus
& woke up when it stopped
at a service station outside Murwillumbah–
the morning light was still clear
despite the humid air, with blue hills
& vivid green paddocks
& the kiosk radio playing Peace Train
   & that’s how I suddenly felt,
at peace with every cliche
they use like our senses
to keep us happy with / despite our philosophy
that fails just where success should begin
             because we can’t accept
             hippies buying Mars Bars
& the grace this surrender brings.



“THOUGHT IS SURROUNDED BY A HALO”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations 97

Gwen Harwood


Show me the order of the world,
the hard-edge light of this-is-so
prior to all experience
and common to both world and thought,
no model, but the truth itself.

   Language is not a perfect game,
   and if it were, how could we play?
   The world’s more than the sum of things
   like moon, sky, centre, body, bed,
   as all the singing masters know.

   Picture two lovers side by side
   who sleep and dream and wake to hold
   the real and imagined world
   body by body, word by word
   in the wild halo of their thought.
22  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - MaxxMatt : Zherbus = 4C-C : 3C-C on: April 18, 2007, 01:41:38 am
So you name Will or Tendrils then your opponent rocks your world with every other card in their deck.  That's exaggerated but contains an essential truth.  Meddling Mage can be great in Fish when he's backed up by additional proactive disruption (particularly mana denial) and a clock.  (Mage is best used to block their outs.)  3cc plays an entirely different game.  One deck wants to avoid the end game, the other survive into it, for instance.  Honestly, Drain is one of 3cc's MVPs.  Mage is good but I think you're severly misunderstanding 3cc's role as a control deck, trying to make it into a mid-range fish deck.  3cc is not EBA.  If you think it should be then you may just want to play a different deck.

PS @Zherbus.  Extirpate tears Manaless Ichorid apart.  You hit Nether Shadow and Ichorid in which ever order their appearance dictates.  Lesser threats like Ashen Ghoul and Mishra's Factory can be taken care of in time by Swords or Decree.  You generally need to see 2 Extirpates to win.  2 post-side (along with VT) gives you at least an even chance.  Mana Ichorid may be slightly trickier, though it gives you more time to find answers.  Innovations in Ichorid post-Future Sight may demand 3 Extirpates post-side - we'll see.
23  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - MaxxMatt : Zherbus = 4C-C : 3C-C on: April 17, 2007, 08:15:33 am
@ Zherbus

It's not an EtW, just an Echoing Truth for enemy EtW goblin tokens.  I agree with you in that I don't think it's correct in a control mirror for a deck to suddenly sideboard into aggro and throw everything into a few goblins.  It's like trying to win a control mirror with Tinker-Collosus.  I win a control mirror by being the better control deck.

Massacre is just a free Wrath of God against most Fishies.  I'm unsure if it's good enough.  It can certainly be a massive tempo play: wrath their board then Scry up a storm.  It's probably best when followed by a combo finish though.  I may prefer Old Man.  He just keeps on giving, plays best into the long game and poses a real problem for Fish decks.  If they leave or side in Swords or even Bounce to keep him at bay, the rest of their deck is weakened.  (The old Man Plan.)  I'm not attracted to Razormane Masticore because 5 is a lot to pay against a mana denial deck and he can rob you of resources if he's successfully answered.  With your old deck I had few problems beating Fish.  The 3 Swords post-board helped a lot.

The more I test Repeal the less I like it.  How many blue cards do you think is a minimum?
24  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - MaxxMatt : Zherbus = 4C-C : 3C-C on: April 17, 2007, 04:16:05 am
Zherbus, for what it's worth I think your intuition is right and that you're time will be well spent (well, as well spent as time on Magic can ever be).

Gifts packs Merchant Scroll and Slaver Welder (and Merchant Scroll) where 3cc packs Duress.  I think 3cc wins that fight in a meta where combo greatly out-numbers Stax.  And where Gifts and Slaver pack Gifts Ungiven (and Thirst) 3cc packs Scrying.  3cc can win that fight too with the right support.  '4 Duress is a good start', and 2 Cunning Wish and even an Extirpate can feed in as well.  (Cunning Wish is a card that can appear pathetically slow and weak but when used creatively with Scrying can push 3cc over the top.  Do you grab a removed Ancestral, VT for a bomb, Gush for card advantage, free mana and a Library closer to activation, or the removal which will actually result in the most 'Time Walks'?  Playing Wish, and tutors generally, is a big part of winning with 3cc.  This is the case with other decks too but they are likely more forgiving.)  Scrying draws mana as well as business.  A problem 3cc can face is that it may find itself precisely HAVING to draw more mana when other control decks can do just as well on less.  In this respect the card advantage it provides above Gifts and Thirst can sometimes be illusory.  Good building and playing tends to make the advantage real though.  (I suspect only 24 mana souces and 6 fetches helps.  3cc seems to have the best Fact or Fictions in Vintage.)

I'm not about to change the mana base.  And these business slots are, for me, non-negotiable:

4 Duress
4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain
4 Brainstorm
4 Skeletal Scrying
1 Time Walk
1 Balance
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Ancestral Recall

And I can't imagine cutting these.

1 Mind Twist
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mystical Tutor

All these cards have proven themselves to me time and again and won games.  This doesn't leave me a lot to play with.  I'll stick with the 2 Cunning Wish.  Every time I've cut them in place of more general removal like Repeal or even tech like Stifle or Remand I've missed them.  They can be important in helping you win control mirrors - getting you up to library or fetching a removed Ancestral or an Extirpate.  They're just too versatile - they can stop you from losing or hand you complete dominance.  So that leaves 2 Swords and your old win conditions, 3 Decree and an Old Man.  Perhaps I have to cut a Swords now given its irrelevance to Gifts and Long but God I miss it because I can't hope to draw into it now - I'll probably have to tutor for it - and my otherwise good Fish match-up just took a dive.  Doubly so if I cut Old Man of the Sea.  He was actually an incredible addition to your old build which took me a long time to appreciate: 4th win condition, 19th blue card, and what allowed Decree to push through any stand-offs.  He was the new 'Moat' whenever it mattered - Swords and counters could easily deal with the rest in time - and gave you inevitability against Fish and all sorts of aggro, and IN GAME 1.  He is still good for all these reasons.  He can't deal with Grunt but you can lean on Swords or counters there or hope to starve him out with Scrying.  Alas Gifts and Long will laugh at him.  Anyway here's what I'm currently trying, though I mix it up and Zherbus's original maindeck may STLL be better (more well-rounded).

3cc after Zherbus 17-04-07

24 Mana (16 lands, 8 accelerants)

4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
3 Tundra
1 Library of Alexandria (>> Strip Mine)

5 Moxen
1 Lotus Petal
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring

19 blue cards
(18 is tenable but 19 is better)

4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain
4 Brainstorm
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Mystical Tutor
2 Cunning Wish
1 Repeal (h8ing Chalice and Null Rod, 'Swords' #2, cycling v. decks that don't care)

12 black cards

4 Duress
4 Skeletal Scrying
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Mind Twist
1 Extirpate (Duress #5 v control, unexpected long term stratregic gains, h8ing fast Crucible-Wasteland, gives you a fighting chance v Ichorid G1)

5 white cards

1 Balance (uba bomb, if you lose after resolving this you messed up or got really unlucky)
3 Decree of Justice (cycles, suprise removal, permanents, versatile - 4/4 Angels will win it for you sometimes)
1 Swords to Plowshares

Sideboard

4 Chalice of the Void (combo h8, also beats Sligh and 10-land stompy!)
3 Serenity (resets Stax's board)
1 Massacre (or Old Man)
1 Extirpate
1 Echoing Truth (EtW tokens)
1 Disenchant (may not be needed given Repeals and ETuth)
1 Repeal (may not be needed - h8 losing to Chalice fo 0, Stax's Chalice for 2 must be answered)
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Gush
1 Vampiric Tutor

PS I suspect Trickbind will prove awful.  I'm interested in Abeyance or Orim's Chant as a Wish target, though.  Post-side I've also found 2 Shadow of Doubt fine v. Gifts.

@ Breathweapon

- Meddling Mage can be good in a supplementary role (as a 2-of, say).  Drain is better turn 2.
- Extirpate > Ichorid
- If you spend a card killing my soldiers, that's card advantage for me.
- The decks against which Angel will be good also attack your mana, making her hard to flip.  In other matches she's virtually a dead draw.
25  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - Keep her Confidant about 2007 on: April 15, 2007, 09:09:42 pm
Hi MaxxMatt,

Thanks for your responses.  I understand your aspirations as to managing your dual lands very carefully against Fish and Stax.  It sounds like a tight rope, mind you, but good luck to you.  I suspect it will be very hard if you fall behind.

I will not put Titan in play with an active Welder out.  For the same reason, I will not play Tinker for Titan against Fish, when they are possibly holding in hand StP and I'm not backuped by a conterspell.
This makes for quite a conditional win condition and another potentially dead card.  This is a risk that you think worthwhile.  I don't, I'm afraid.

Tapping out turn 1 for Confidant is less deadly than tapping out turn 3 for Crucible.  But they are not the options.  You might also tap out turn 1 for Duress then by turn 3 end-of-turn Scry for 2.  Would you tap out turn 2 for Confidant or leave Drain mana up?  There is a choke there and a risk.
26  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - MaxxMatt : Zherbus = 4C-C : 3C-C on: April 15, 2007, 08:47:18 pm
Why play this over Gifts?

3cc is a metagame deck and metagame decks are always viable.  Like Fish, a correctly metagamed control deck should give itself at least an even chance at beating Gifts (or 'the best deck').  Gifts as a card and as a deck is not so broken that no configuration of hate can beat it.  3cc has advantages over Gifts in that its Fish match-up is probably better. (By contrast, its Stax match-up may be worse, for instance.)

Generally 3cc offers strategic advantages in that it is largely unknown and so less intuitive for opponents to play against.  3cc should always be an 'ambush' (Zherbus).  It 'moves the centre of the board' by forcing a deck to do something it's not good at, be it answering a 'Moat' or rebuilding from scratch.  It makes good decks look bad by dismantling key components.  Decks today are highly vulnerable to this approach because thay are so focussed (largely due to Smmenen's influence).  3cc, by contrast, is highly resilient and posseses its own unique synergies (similar to Slaver).  Even more than Slaver it knows its role (control) with authority until the opposing deck has been disarmed.

I am still toying with some final slots but will post my full list in due course.  Zherbus's old list is still the best starting point.

I will say that I don't think Repeal is good enough.  It is inefficient in that (barring Chalice) you always pay more mana than your opponent, and only for a temporary solution too (though bounce can make your Drains more relevant, say, by giving you another shot at countering).  A deck without a combo finish needs permanant solutions, and it is not for 3cc to have a combo finish (beyond Will accumulating massive resouces) because such a finish dilutes one of 3cc's greatest strengths: a magnificent flow with next to no dead cards.  Though Repeal might flow well, it is, at best, a surgical instrument against Chalice or Null Rod making way for Will.  Such has been my experience.

Extirpate is very good.
27  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - Keep her Confidant about 2007 on: April 10, 2007, 08:11:40 pm
@MaxxMatt

Tinker-Titan can certainly win games against 'Pitch Long, TPS and good control'.  If that's your focus then fair enough.  But Titan can lose you the game against Stax and Fish.  Both of these decks attack your mana and you aid them in this cause with Titan.  Stax needs only a Welder and Fish only a Swords or bounce (or even a lowly Stormscape Apprentice in play) to negate your threat and put you dramatically behind.  These match-ups cannot be ignored in my judgement because they are traditionally difficult for 4cc.

I added as much control elements I can choosing them ONLY among the ones that effectively DO SOMETHING when I resolve them.

Dark Confidant resembles Crucible in this respect - it demands main phase mana and does nothing immediately.  For this reason I don't play it in control.
28  Eternal Formats / Miscellaneous / Re: [Deck's Discussion] - Keep her Confidant about 2007 on: April 08, 2007, 11:21:31 pm
Hi MaxxMatt,

I appreciate your efforts with an archetype that I like and consider viable despite conventional wisdom to the contrary.  You should certainly play the deck that you enjoy and can master and metagame the most.  I'm afraid I won't be taking cues from your list just yet, however.  I gave the deck an admitedly quick run and made some observations that I think would bear out over further testing.

Your deck has loosely the same draw engine as SS (Dark Confidant).  However, it doesn't have its more reliable mana base (only 3 colours), redundant threat base (Cutpurse and Erayo in concert with Confidant), and early disruption (making way for these threats, maindeck Duress especially).  Instead it has a number of bombs and a wishboard which tax the manabase too hard.  Sometimes you have the right colour and amount of mana in time, and sometimes you don't.  I experienced good old-fashioned colour screw more than I like to.

This deck includes a single Tundra purely for Balance, but the four Confidants and two Shamans reduce the utility and power of that card dramatically in my opinion.  I have a fetchland in play but my Tundra is in hand.  There are relevant inconveniences to having only one Tundra.  I would prefer to cut white and add Empty the Warrens in place of Balance, especially given the four Repeals.  (An Erayo might even replace a Shaman here too, though it is likely that a single Erayo is far too random and conditional.)

Your Tinker only has one real target, which I find limiting but not unacceptable, but what's more he can really wreck your own (highly coloured) manabase.  You can take all the care in the world but when backed into a corner your win condition of choice may turn on you and cause you to lose.

I'm aware of how Keeper can use Timetwister judiciously (in combination with Shaman, for instance) to gain a great advantage.  It can also serve as graveyard disruption and replenish the bombs you would tutor for.  For all that I still don't think it's worth it.  Even if I kept it I'd probably side it out most games, partly to keep Burning Wish useful.

You can't reliably use Burning (and Cunning) Wish in combination with Skeletal Scrying.  Nor can you reliably Wish for Pyroclasm and cast it that turn because of the double red colour requirement.  A three-cost Duress is bad.  You shouldn't need to Will twice.  And do you really kill via Tendrils that often?  By the time you have that much mana I'd imagine Tinker-Titan (or almost anything) would suffice.  I don't think Burning Wish is doing much.  It may be that Tendrils is sometimes needed to reverse the life loss that Confidants, Mana Crypt, and even Drain mana can cause, but that's its own problem.  I don't like steadily losing life in a deck that seeks to stretch the game out.

With Confidants over Scryings (and Decrees) you have too few Drain sinks, in my view, and too little incentive to Drain generally.  That is a major problem in deck design, I think.  Without maindeck Duress and effective combo hate post-side, I also think that fast combo decks will too easily ignore you.  For all these reasons I still believe that Zherbus's old 3cc maindeck (http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=22366.0) is superior.  I simply add to his sideboard of:

1 Gush
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Disenchant
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Serenity
4 Chalice of the Void

this:

1 Repeal (or Stifle)
3 Extirpate

Strange that a change of four in 75 cards over two years could prove adequate but I really think it does.

Are there any other current multi-colour control lists out there?
29  Vintage Community Discussion / Card Creation Forum / Re: Off-color Elemental Blasts on: April 07, 2007, 07:58:42 pm
It'd be cool if the green blast itself destroyed green spells and creatures.
30  Vintage Community Discussion / Card Creation Forum / Re: White Storm Hoser on: April 04, 2007, 09:46:24 pm
Your card is elegant in its simplicity and possibly even versatility.  By all means if you're happy with it, go for it.  But for my money I could never bring myself to play it as a storm hoser because it still suffers from the 'Stifle' flaw.  I tried to avoid that with my version by making it virtually uncounterable and cyclable.  Isn't Orim's Chant already a white storm hoser superior to yours?
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