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1  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: March 11, 2016, 01:11:18 pm
"Hate bears does show a unique attribute of Vintage. There is no other format in magic that a hate type deck can be good."

This isn't remotely true. Death and Taxes is a considerable part of the Legacy metagame, and it has shown up in Modern as well.
2  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: March 09, 2016, 11:35:18 pm
"Actually, I find what they did yesterday quite exclusive and pretentious"

So, Noah, let me make sure that I understand you correctly. You were watching a league of players hand-picked by Randy. The bulk of these players have won pro tours or are in the Magic Hall of Fame. Specifically, you were watching a match between two of the greatest professionals in the game today, who have become famous across the world. And these two players were playing decks that often cost over a thousand dollars to build online, and cost five figures to build in real life. And as you were watching these two Hall-Of-Famers shuffling up their decks, decks which in paper have a combined cost exceeding a year's tuition at Thayer Academy, that is when you decided that the exclusive and pretentious thing was their agreement to play blue decks. Is that, Noah, actually what you are saying?
3  Vintage Community Discussion / Non-Vintage / Re: Wyrmwood Legacy Open - Feb 27, 2016 Scholars in Bridgewater, MA on: February 08, 2016, 05:47:19 pm
I'm very glad to see you running tournaments again, ELD.
4  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Odd Oath on: February 07, 2016, 02:15:44 pm
Also, kudos on assembling a masterpiece, Rich.

Thank you. I appreciate it Smile
5  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Odd Oath on: February 03, 2016, 08:24:59 am
Being able to hardcast the Titan is very important. We can certainly Oath into a better monster. But Inferno Titan is much easier to cast than those better monsters.
6  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Odd Oath on: January 31, 2016, 01:58:49 pm
I agree, it is not easy to get the balance right. On the one hand, you want to have enough mana to hardcast your giant monsters at some point. On the other hand, being mana flooded doesn't work well with the plan of casting a two-drop. I agree that Academy might not be viable in this configuration. I'm going to think about how to adjust this.
7  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Odd Oath on: January 31, 2016, 12:27:36 pm
Yesterday, I played Odd Oath in the Magic: the Gathering Online Power 9 tournament. I went 6-1 in the Swiss. I lost in the top eight, losing to missing four Mana Crypt flips in a row (if I am recalling correctly). The deck performed very well and I felt it was strong against a number of opposing decks.

My one loss in the Swiss was to Dredge. I beat Tezzerator, Mentor, Oath, Shops, Painter, and UW Control.

Titania was underwhelming. Sun Titan was too situational. I played Inferno Titan over them and was very, very happy. I won a game by running him out on the second turn, right through my opponent's Red blast. I won another game by hardcasting him against an opponent at low life. And I won yet another game by casting him to kill a Jace. And there was never a game that I Oathed into him and wished her were something else. I think Inferno Titan has established himself as the tertiary creature, in addition to Void Winnower and Griselbrand.

And of course, Void Winnower continues to exceed all expectation. He's a very fast clock that locks out the opponent. I can't imagine wanting to cut him.

Mana Crypt was, as mentioned above, less than ideal. It might be time to cut that card, though I have not made a thorough study of possible replacement options. We already have Thoughtseize, Gitaxian Probe, and of course Orchards. Mana Crypt seems like it might just be too much.


And of course, here is the list that I played:



// Artifact Mana
1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Crypt // Probably needs to be cut

// Land
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Tropical Island
2 Polluted Delta
1 Island
1 Strip Mine // This has been better than Library
4 Forbidden Orchard
3 Mana Confluence
2 Flooded Strand

// Oath
1 Void Winnower // This card is a huge part of why I am on this deck
1 Griselbrand
1 Inferno Titan // Very good all day, as noted above
4 Oath of Druids
1 Dig Through Time // Prevents decking when cast before an Oath activation

// Disruption
2 Thoughtseize
3 Mental Misstep
1 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Pernicious Deed // I kept wanting to find this card; a second copy might be right
1 Mindbreak Trap

// Draw et al.
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dack Fayden
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Brainstorm
3 Gitaxian Probe
1 Ponder
1 Time Walk
1 Treasure Cruise // Sylvan Library is a better card, but the blue count is a concern
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will

// Sideboard
1 Abrupt Decay // To handle Containment Priest; would be Duress otherwise
2 Mindbreak Trap
4 Tormod's Crypt
2 Nature's Claim
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Steel Sabotage
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
8  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: UWR Monastery Mentor on: January 31, 2016, 01:29:37 am
Congratulations!
9  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Odd Oath on: January 27, 2016, 10:40:38 am

I made the deck last night, and played in a Daily today. I went 4-0. I streamed the entire thing, and the video should still be available to watch (twitch.tv/richshay). In the first round, I beat a Delver deck. Oath of Druids was, of course, excellent there. In the second round, I faced a Workshop deck. In round three, I won an Oath mirror. And in the final round, I faced Belcher and won. So, while I did not face Storm, I did defeat Belcher, which is not too dissimilar from the perspective of how this deck operates.


Did you go 4-0 because you played Oath well or did you go 4-0 because your oath targets were game winners? If you had simply run 3x Grislebrand would the results have been the same?


It is hard to be sure, honestly. But I think Void Winnower won me games that Griselbrand could not have won. Titania was lackluster.
10  Eternal Formats / Bazaar-Based Decks / Re: Dredge in 2016 on: January 23, 2016, 08:47:58 pm
Dryad arbor was a staple of the old Vintage version of Dredge. That was, however, before the current version of the deck arrived.
11  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Odd Oath on: January 23, 2016, 06:11:19 pm
It would have been named Space Oddity. But it was too depressing.
12  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Odd Oath on: January 23, 2016, 05:10:00 pm
Last night, I was thinking about something a few commentators were saying in the VSL. They were saying that the only viable decks in Vintage were Shop decks and Storm decks. If Vintage comes down to nothing more than picking between Storm and Shops, then we are not playing a very healthy format. Yet, despite the proclamations of some very excellent players, I do not believe that the format is nearly so narrow. I think that there is a lot more to Vintage than Dark Ritual and Mishra's Workshops.

Therefore, as a thought experiment, I wanted to create a deck that would be favored against Shops, favored against Storm, and not outright terrible against the rest of the format. The result was something I am calling Odd Oath -- an Oath of Druids deck with tools for fighting both of those decks. I took a lot of inspiration from the Kelly Oath deck, but I cut white and added (back) black.

// Artifact Mana
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt

// Land
1 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
1 Tropical Island
2 Polluted Delta
4 Forbidden Orchard
3 Mana Confluence
2 Flooded Strand
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Island

// Oath and Oath Targets
4 Oath of Druids
1 Void Winnower // Beats Storm
1 Titania, Protector of Argoth // Good against Shops
1 Griselbrand // Good against everything

// Planeswalkers
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Dack Fayden

// Disruption
2 Thoughtseize
3 Mental Misstep
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Pernicious Deed

// Draw and Search
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Dig Through Time
1 Brainstorm
3 Gitaxian Probe
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Time Walk
1 Sylvan Library
1 Yawgmoth's Will


// Sideboard
3 Duress
2 Mindbreak Trap
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Nature's Claim
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Steel Sabotage
1 Ancient Grudge


Against Shops, you'll note the robust manabase. We have two Dacks and a Grudge maindeck, as well as five artifact-removal spells to bring in after sideboarding. In addition, the card Oath of Druids is extremely good against Shop decks. Its power against Mishra has only grown stronger as Shops players have migrated to playing more aggressive, creature-based decks recently.

Against Storm, we are using a fairly standard Blue package in the main deck. The main difference is having two Thoughtseize. Attacking Storm through counter magic alone is not nearly as effective as fighting Storm through both counter magic and discard. In addition, Oath of Druids allows us to present a very fast clock to our Storm opponent. If Void Winnower arrives, most storm decks simply can't. Post-board, we get three more discard spells and a pair of Mindbreak Traps.

I made the deck last night, and played in a Daily today. I went 4-0. I streamed the entire thing, and the video should still be available to watch (twitch.tv/richshay). In the first round, I beat a Delver deck. Oath of Druids was, of course, excellent there. In the second round, I faced a Workshop deck. In round three, I won an Oath mirror. And in the final round, I faced Belcher and won. So, while I did not face Storm, I did defeat Belcher, which is not too dissimilar from the perspective of how this deck operates.

I don't know if this will be a real deck going forward. I haven't tested it enough to know that. And while going 4-0 in a daily is nice, it doesn't prove a deck to be good. At the very least, I can say that this deck is promising. It might be a great call if you believe that Vintage is being dominated by Workshops and Rituals.

Rich
13  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: January 18, 2016, 01:31:33 am
That's a great question, GI. At first, I refused to play the fourth color. Red seemed unnecessary. After all, Red was just there for Dack and Grudge; and other colors can handle artifacts reasonably well. Nature's Claim and Trygon Predator seemed sufficient.

Then I tested more against the Workshop decks. It turns out that Ancient Grudge actually is leagues better than the other options. In this environment, with the way Workshop decks are configured, getting that two-for-one at your convenience more than justifies the splash. Besides, having the Dack lets us more comfortably run the Gushes without choking on the cards quite as often.

Even without having any basic lands left, adding red significantly improves the Workshop match.

So, given that, I like Red as the forth color. If we cut the Red for Black, our Workshop matchup would get much worse. While Demonic Tutor is a great card, it isn't nearly as good against Workshops as an Ancient Grudge. And Black contributes nothing over Bant in the Workshop matchup except a worse manabase. For these reasons, I don't think that Black would be a great addition as long as Workshops are so popular. However, I could certainly be wrong on this. And I do see the value of discard spells as the metagame moves toward more Storm.
14  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: WotC cracking down on proxies, even in non-sanctioned events on: January 12, 2016, 08:11:33 pm
If a card with sharpie is a counterfeit, then whoever is making the Monopoly game really needs to be stopped.
15  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Monthly vintage at Gaming Etc. Superstore on: January 07, 2016, 03:51:01 pm
I'm planning to be there.
16  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: VSL Season IV Play-In Tournament Report on: December 23, 2015, 09:28:17 am
That was an amazing read, Nick. Thank you for doing this.
17  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: God of Vintage Series on: December 17, 2015, 12:55:49 pm
That's why MTGO is awesome.  Not only is power cheap, but you'll never lose to a cheat.

I can see the advertisements now. "Magic Online: you'll never lose to a cheat. Just misclicks, bugs, server crashes, and lag."

That was great.
18  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: December 16, 2015, 02:52:46 pm
Quote
did you neglect to kill the hangarback in game 2 because your ultimate plan was to race it with seeker?

Exactly. Drawing Dack was great, to be sure. But before drawing Dack, my plan was to use Seeker to race his Walker. Without Ravager or Jitte, I believe that would have been viable.
19  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: December 16, 2015, 10:29:51 am
Thank you! I appreciate hearing that Smile
20  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Vintage Super League: Who Would You Like to See? on: December 13, 2015, 01:33:03 am
I'm really looking forward to this, Nick!
21  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: Myriad Games Vintage - Saturday December 12th, 2015 on: December 11, 2015, 09:31:57 pm
See you there Smile
22  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] Fearless Workshops on: December 10, 2015, 10:57:42 pm
The Chalice restriction killed the soul of this format. Workshops were as much of a pillar of this format as were Mana Drains or Oath of Druids or Gush. Without being able to play the best card in the deck (yes, Chalice was secretly the best card in the Shops deck, even better than the namesake land) as a 4-of, the archetype is no longer able to compete consistently with the blue decks. The Chalice restriction is the worse thing to happen to Vintage diversity in recent memory. For shame, Wizards.

Did you watch the VSL play-in? Because it was Shops vs. Shops, Detwiler vs Ochoa, in an orgy of Mishras, Ravagers, and combat math. Your post is not only highly subjective ("soul of the format", Chalice being the best card in the deck, and Oath and Gush being pillars), but so skewed from objective reality that I must ask do you actually play the format in any type of competitive environment?

Well said, Matt. Anyone who watched the VSL Play In will have no doubt about the potency of Mishra today.
23  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: December 10, 2015, 03:57:37 pm
The only reason I have 3 Tropical Island instead of 2 is because the sideboard relies so heavily on Green mana to fight Workshops. I currently have two Trygon and triplex Nature's Claim. This means that being able to retain access to Green mana in the face of a barrage of Wastelands is vital. If the sideboard were shifted such that you didn't rely so much on Green mana to fight Workshop, then having only two is very reasonable. In fact, Brian's four-color build runs two Tropical Island and is less all-in on Green to fight Workshops.
24  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: Improving Bant Mentor on: December 10, 2015, 02:42:03 pm
Thank you for making this thread. This is absolutely worth discussing. Bant Mentor is extremely powerful, and can out-draw most of the other decks in the format.

Sylvan Library is correct as a two-of. You always want exactly one copy. Unfortunately, multiple libraries do not stack up well. So, I think that 3 is too many and 1 is too few -- leaving us 2 as the perfect number.

The one Snapcaster Mage has been excellent. Maybe more would be correct, but I count one among the not-cut-able cards. Likewise, I view 2 copies of Peordain as the floor on that card. While not nearly as powerful as other options, it does a fine job of smoothing the deck. Likewise, I could see having 3 copies of Gush. Lately, I've found myself choking on mana more often than I'd prefer. Cutting a Gush might be a way to mitigate this, while ensuring that we have enough mana for casting our spells.

I've tried both Jaces. I'm much happier with Big Jace than Little Jace. JTMS has been much better in my testing than JVP. Your results may differ. Whichever card is "better" in the general sense, JTMS has been better for me in this shell. I think that either 1 or 2 copies is correct.

SerraCollector, I tried Mana Crypt in the deck. It was much worse than I expected. Between the six Phyrexian Mana cards and the Sylvan Libraries and the 7 fetch lands, the damage just added up too quickly. Sol Ring might be okay, but Mana Crypt was very poor.
25  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: Free Article - Vintage 101: Power Nine Challenge 2.0 on: December 05, 2015, 10:19:44 am
Great. Thanks, folks.
26  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: Free Article - Vintage 101: Power Nine Challenge 2.0 on: December 04, 2015, 09:51:07 am
Leo, thanks for the link. If anyone knows how to stop Twitch from deleting my old streams, or how to send them to YouTube, please let me know.

Quote
Also, question to Rich Shay or whoever created his decklist: how did the 2 Sylvan Library end up working out? I tried Library in Vintage but never was too happy with it, re-arranging cards is fine but rarely impressive and 4 life to draw extra cards is more than it seems at first, especially without Dromoka in play. I haven't tested the deck yet, but I'm generally sceptical and umimpressed if it comes to Sylvan Library. Also, just 3 Preordain? I can't help myself, but it looks suboptimal.

Sylvan Library is the bee's knees. It's just that good. It's so good, in fact that, I am playing Green over Red. Red provides Red Blasts, Dack Fayden, Lightning Bolt, and better artifact removal. All of these strong arguments for playing Red. But I'm not even considering playing Red over Green. Why? Because of Sylvan Library. Sylvan Library is absurdly good right now. It's a combination of Ancestral Vision with Suspend 1 and a Sensei's Divining Top that pays for itself. Go ahead and try it. I think you'll see what I mean.
27  Eternal Formats / Online Tournaments / Re: MTGO Power Nine Challenge - November 28, 2015 on: November 29, 2015, 04:54:59 pm
That's great, Steve. Are you able to get both archetypes and matchup results? If so that could be a great font of information.
28  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: [Pandemonium] TO Report for 11/14 Mox Event on: November 22, 2015, 01:48:33 pm
This was a lot of fun. Thank you very much for making this happen.
29  Eternal Formats / Online Tournaments / Re: MTGO Power Nine Challenge - November 28, 2015 on: November 17, 2015, 09:53:24 pm
Quote
The 10 PP = 1 tix = 1 USD assumption is very, very weak.

Agreed. I have over 1,000 Play Points sitting useless in my account, and I certainly cannot use them as well as I could use 100 TIX.
30  Vintage Community Discussion / Community Introductions / Re: Holy crap what are you doing here on: November 13, 2015, 07:17:21 am
Hello!
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