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1  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Sin Prodder on: March 21, 2016, 10:42:51 am
Awful. Just play Browbeat.
2  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [SOI] Sigarda, Heron's Grace on: March 16, 2016, 05:00:12 pm
Is there any way it works in Oath as sb tech for the mirror and storm?

If you Oath first, your opponent can't Oath you and you can keep going. Same for storm. May not be better than Griselbrand necessarily. May be worth a playtest or two in a B. Kelly style Oath list? It IS eminently castable.
3  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: February 26, 2016, 06:50:34 pm
A way to format decklists nicely for forums posts, with a card preview.
4  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: February 25, 2016, 06:25:21 pm
fair points. I think there COULD be SOME rating system (there are many types) that would be beneficial. The genesis of my suggestion was frankly that I sometimes see combative/useless posts on TMD and want to report them somehow but don't because they probably aren't breaking the rules. A simple +/- per-post voting mechanism, with a "filter out negatively-ranked posts" option in my profile would make a big difference. The reverse would be true of promoting good comments. I imagine many forums software solutions these days have features like these.
5  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: TheManaDrain.com - New Direction? on: February 24, 2016, 01:28:21 pm
A reddit-ish reputation system would help a lot. There are many terrific and also many worthless contributors on here, so having a simple up/down vote system with some system with kudos for top performers and punishment for consistent detractors would be good. I would bet a lot of off-the-shelf forums software systems come with a feature like this nowadays.
6  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Eternal Masters Set and Other Leaks on: January 25, 2016, 05:44:44 pm
cards
+1 if you went "JESUS [card name] is that expensive now??" at more than half the cards in that list
7  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: WotC cracking down on proxies, even in non-sanctioned events on: January 12, 2016, 11:19:31 pm
I don't come to that conclusion at all.  Wizards and the DCI have long standing rules of what santioned tournament standards are, along with other rules for being a TO.

I see zero logic behind this being a move to eliminate the reserve list and print a vintage masters.  I could see a legacy masters, with cards like wasteland, force of will, rishadan port, and fetch lands that does not include cards from the reserve list.  

But drawing a conclusion that Vintage Masters is coming because a TO was told to play by the rules just doesn't follow reason.  

k, two things.
1. re: "I see zero logic." What about the logic I just laid out? It is a logic.
2. It's clearly a broader policy decision, not just one TO being told what to do. See https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/40kdsz/wizards_may_be_cracking_down_on_unsanctioned/cyvzi9d
8  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: WotC cracking down on proxies, even in non-sanctioned events on: January 12, 2016, 09:52:24 pm
um, I appreciate everyone's passion in getting pissed at this, and share that feeling in the short run -- it is definitely an obtuse move that will reduce tournament attendance and cause a few people to cash out -- but. . .

How is this anything but the final signal that they are GOING to print a paper Vintage and Legacy Masters? I mean why would they even think of this if they weren't planning on making a move in that direction. It's the next logical step after proving that vintage online is popular: enforce proxy rules at LGS's to discourage unproxied events so that people will be encouraged to buy paper vintage when it's available. They would have to do this ahead of the release to give it time to stabilize.

I mean they aren't stupid over at Wizards. Inefficient, clumsy, sure, but not stupid. And they mostly play magic and are passionate about the game. Anybody above a third grade reading level could predict this fallout. I'd give them more credit and say this announcement is a measured decision and that Vintage Masters is definitely on its way. Give it 18 months at most.
9  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Jori En, Ruin Diver on: December 30, 2015, 01:36:25 pm
also a really good T2-3 play against removal. T2-3 Jori -> win a fight over a bolt/swords and draw a card and keep her in play is superb.
10  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Jori En, Ruin Diver on: December 30, 2015, 10:31:33 am
it's not very hard to trigger this the turn she comes down, fyi. Turn 2 or 3 Jori -> Mox or Gush is a potent sequence.
11  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Jori En, Ruin Diver on: December 28, 2015, 03:50:13 pm
Cool card.

Please keep one thing in mind -- I think normally we forget this phenomenon: This card fuels itself, by drawing you into more spells to play. Self-contained engine cards are usually a lot more powerful than they seem in a vacuum. Jace (TMS and VP), Dack are examples of super powerful cards that were discounted for basically this reason, imo. Like, he seems like he has high "If you untap with this card, you basically win" potential.
12  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Finals Split at TPG on LANDSTILL OATH 12/5/15 on: December 21, 2015, 02:13:37 pm
Hey, check it. LSV covered this archetype on Channel Fireball! http://www.channelfireball.com/videos/channel-lsv-vintage-oath-of-druids-2/
13  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Wastes: Barry's Land is REAL? on: November 19, 2015, 02:31:18 pm

A card that does:
Pay 1 life, sac:  find a basic land

Will never be printed.  It's overpowered on every level.  Think about it for modern.  All 2 color decks would run 4 along with 4 on color fetch lands.  All multicolor decks would run 4 in standard.  All of them.  

You're stuck with terramorphic expanse and evolving wilds.  Maybe they will print a few more with different names.  

I wasn't suggesting that -- was suggesting a cycle of five lands that can find either a Wastes or an Island/Forest/Swamp/Mountain/Plains, so you could get a dual, a single type of basic, or a wastes with them. There's a chance they make this. More likely is a cycle of CIPT lands that add a normal mana or a wastes mana. If those have a land subtype as well, there's a chance they see vintage play given a powerful payoff. Like, "{U}[<>]: Sift" or something.
14  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Wastes: Barry's Land is REAL? on: November 18, 2015, 10:18:00 pm
Quote
If they print a wastes fetch (a "get a wastes or an island/forest/plains/swamp/mountain" cycle)

they have them already:  terramorphic expanse and evolving wilds.  


that's, ah, not the same, dawg. We have Flood Plain et al also but aren't referring to those when we say "fetch land". That phrase is reserved for CIP untapped fetches.
15  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Wastes: Barry's Land is REAL? on: November 18, 2015, 06:27:22 pm
If they print a ridiculous artifact with a <> in its cost, could see play in shops for sure (with wastes slipping into alternate land slots #3-4). If they print a wastes fetch (a "get a wastes or an island/forest/plains/swamp/mountain" cycle) and/or wastes duals that don't come into play tapped, and also some powerful wastes cards, this could slip into vintage definitely. Just have to wait and see.
16  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: [OGW] Wastes: Barry's Land is REAL? on: November 18, 2015, 04:54:24 pm
also because it's basic, you can have as many as you want in a deck, right? So in standard we'll see a green/wastes deck with 5-8 wastes, ramp, and a bunch of huge payoffs in them.
17  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] The Rise of Monastery Mentor on: November 03, 2015, 06:39:42 pm
Very cool.

Thoughts on Mentor with Remora? I don't see it mentioned in your article but it's put up good numbers at least historically.
18  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Mizzix of the Izmagnus on: November 03, 2015, 10:51:15 am
err... he said "can"
19  Vintage Community Discussion / Rules Q&A / Re: Speed of a concession on: October 28, 2015, 10:26:21 am
If you Probe someone and they reveal their hand, can they scoop it up and concede before giving you an opportunity to write it down?
If you mill someone out with Grindstone and they then concede, are you supposed to be able to give a look through the library before the next game?
If you Mindslaver someone and ask to see their sideboard, can they concede before showing it to you?

Basically, what's the "speed of information" with respect to a concession? In all of these cases, you're just asking to review publicly known information before closing the game. Not sure what you are entitled to.
20  Eternal Formats / Creative / Re: Boseiju. Community project. on: October 14, 2015, 02:37:34 pm
Try Cavern on Shaman for both Hexmage and Deathrite. Pretty neat.
21  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Congrats to Brian Demars on his SCG Open Win! on: October 04, 2015, 09:44:34 pm
http://www.starcitygames.com/events/031015_indianapolis.html
22  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: NEW TMD LOGO on: September 30, 2015, 05:52:13 pm
yes it's horrendous but doesn't it bring you back to c. 1998 design? It looks like it belongs on the cover of an Ion Storm PC game, or something. In a roundabout way it seems appropriate for a vintage magic the gathering web forum.
23  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: N.Y.S.E. Open IV - 13th-16th Prize Support on: September 12, 2015, 12:54:31 am
If they're duals, would be cool if they were Unlimited. They look a lot nicer, are more uncommon, aren't too much more expensive, and hold their price better.
24  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: The 2015 Eternal Weekend! $20,000+ in prizes! Philadelphia, PA! August 21-23! on: August 24, 2015, 11:51:01 am
big big big ups to Brian Kelly. Can't think of a more deserving victor. Probably the hardest-working, most talented, and most innovative Vintage specialist today. Congratulations!

25  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: The 2015 Eternal Weekend! $20,000+ in prizes! Philadelphia, PA! August 21-23! on: August 18, 2015, 08:53:04 pm
Off the wall question, but would anyone have room in their hotel for me to crash in Sunday night?  My flight doesn't leave until Monday morning and the other people I am staying with are leaving Sunday.  Refs if needed, I'm not really a random vagabond...  Wink

Also, anyone know if the preregistration email thing has been fixed?

I believe pre-reg email is fixed; I pre-regd on Friday and got both emails.

Confirmed, just got my email.

Would someone in the know please confirm that the prelim cannot be signed up for in advance and that we'll be able to pay on site the day of? Thanks.
26  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Treasure Cruise vs Dig Through Time on: July 23, 2015, 01:05:00 pm
Depends but usually DTT is better in those decks. If you have a bunch of one-of game-ending cards, with tutors to find them, and Dack to fill up your grave, you can chain DTT's pretty easily if you survive the first 3-4 turns with a stable board state and assemble an overwhelming position centered around one of your bombs. Cruise is best in a 'raw resource' synergy deck full of redundant stuff and throw-away cantrips and removal spells to fuel it. When your cards have high individual variance, like yours does, card selection is much more valuable than card access.
27  Eternal Formats / Northeast U.S. / Re: N.Y.S.E. Open III - Power Eight, Workshops & Bazaars Tournament - 6/26 - 6/28 on: June 28, 2015, 11:58:50 am
Nicks: you guys are champions. Thanks so much for the event.

Here's the archived stream: http://www.twitch.tv/cardtitan/v/6658882
28  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: UW Monastery Mentor Remora Gush on: April 04, 2015, 04:36:44 pm
Went 4-1 and then split the top 4 at TDG last Saturday with UWR Mentor Remora. There were around 30 people there. I beat shops three times, BUG tempo-control once, UWR Dig/Mentor once, and lost to Delver. This is honestly my favorite magic deck of all time. I think it's super, super good and love playing it.

My goal was to perfect the synergy between Remora and Mentor. I tried every variation I could think of with those two cards and arrived at this, which I think is pretty much solved:

3 Monastery Mentor
2 Snapcaster Mage

3 Mystic Remora
2 Sensei's Divining Top
3 Gush
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Preordain
1 Merchant Scroll
2 Dig Through Time
1 Ponder
1 Time Walk

4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
2 Flusterstorm
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Lightning Bolt
2 Swords to Plowshares

1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
4 Flooded Strand
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
3 Volcanic Island
2 Island

SB: 1 Hurkyl's Recall
SB: 3 Ingot Chewer
SB: 1 Swords to Plowshares
SB: 1 Wear // Tear
SB: 1 Mountain
SB: 3 Containment Priest
SB: 3 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 2 Pyroblast

The only cards I might play around with at this point are the 1 Preordain in the main and the 1 Swords in the sideboard. The Swords could be another Lightning Bolt, which can be slightly better. The 1 Preordain is the only 'necessary evil' card in there -- it's the 24th mana source 60% of the time, and an inefficient card filter the other 40% of the time. I'm never totally happy with it but the deck clunked out slightly too often without it for my liking and I don't really think there's another option.


Motivations: some context

To take a step back, my overall goal here was to figure out Mentor and maximize him. I found three powerful natural companions to him in preliminary testing, in Mystic Remora, Dig Through Time, and Mana Drain. The Dig synergy was explored already, proven, and more or less solved, I think (by Brian Kelly and Matt Murray, among others); the Mystic Remora synergy was tinkered with but not quite solved (by Kevin Cron and Bob Maher and others in this thread); and the Mana Drain synergy has been largely untouched (I'm working on that now, actually). Here I think I've made a good step towards figuring out the optimal Remora + Mentor deck.

The idea is that you just want a sheer volume of efficient, synergistic cards, and to trade one-for-one and two-for-one as much as possible as you out-draw your opponent and control the game to a very stable state. Once the game is completely stable, you land a Mentor and win very quickly after that, through cantrip, top, and counterspell synergies that no deck can effectively answer when behind. You almost never want to cast a Mentor without perfect protection, as he's not worth the investment if you're only going to squeeze one or two tokens out of him. The only exception to this is if you're against shops, or if you have like a turn 1 or 2 Mentor + Top, or something similarly quick and powerful (usually enabled by Lotus).

This differs quite a bit from the Dig variant, which has lower low-end power (with Probes and Preordains) and higher high-end power (with Dacks and Jace) and plays out (in my experience) with higher variance in shops and creature matchups but lower variance in blue matchups. I think they're about equally good, though -- I just prefer Remora as a personal preference. (For example I played Matt Murray on a Dig-oriented version with Jace and Dack; the games were very close and came down to topdecks on both our parts, basically. This was typical of my experience with the matchup.)


Card choices

Snapcaster + Bolt/Plow
I find this to be the best, most reliable way to handle shops and creature matchups. Snap is also a simply delicious secret sauce against other blue decks, turning your best cards into game-enders. And the dissynergy between Snap and Dig is negligible, I've found. Basically, if you're in a position where you're having a hard time choosing between snapping back an Ancestral or casting a Dig, you're probably just winning.

No Crypt, No Caverns, No Library
You almost never win before turn 5 or 6, so Crypt is almost never a good first turn play. But then why are you including Crypt if not to play it on turn 1?
Cavern is cute but not worth the dent in your mana when Gush is in your deck. You just don't cast Mentor when you have significant doubts about his longevity so the card is usually strictly worse than an Island.
Library was maybe the hardest cut of all but I think it's correct. I found the deck only ever lost games that I felt it could win at the deckbuilding level when it didn't draw its mana. Also, you almost always want to tap out every turn; I found in testing with Library that it was often correct to use it for mana instead of cards, given the strength of the deck's draw power. So while cutting Library loses you the "oops I win" factor against blue control decks (where you're favored anyway), the second Island is well worth the increased consistency.

Merchant Scroll, Mystical Tutor
I was very happy with around 56 of the cards for the longest time before coming to these two; they've turned out to be two of the best cards in the deck. Merchant Scroll is basically another Ancestral/Dig/Gush that can double as a Force or Fluster when you're feeling confident, and Mystical is usually a blow-out wincon that combos with Fluster, Ancestral, Time Walk, Snapcaster, and/or Dig to create hugely powerful game states that push you way ahead. Mystical even has significant utility against shops, by gaining you access to Swords or Hurkyl's. I love these two cards here.

Mystic Remora
Kevin's notes are well taken and I won't repeat them here -- but just wanted to confirm that this is a pretty decent card against shops, especially on the play. Around half or more of their hands will be forced to give you 2-4 cards off a Remora on the play, which is usually game-breaking. That, or they'll be forced to give you 3-4 turns to build out your mana, which is oftentimes even better.

Red cards
Definitely worth the splash. Chewer is very simply the best thing you can be doing against shops, and Pyroblast is approximately the best anti-blue sideboard card available and a welcome upgrade over Hurkyl's/Swords/Bolt.

One note: the one thing I really didn't explore much but which I think has potential is a black splash for Thoughtseize and/or Cabal Therapy. I tried one variant with Bobs and such but it didn't really work and I abandoned it early on. However I've been using Therapy/Probe/Mentor in Legacy to great effect and it might be worth exploring in Vintage. I think the tax on the mana is probably not worth it, generally speaking, but I would love to see if anyone could get it to work.


Let me know if you have any questions on deckbuilding or anything else. Thanks!
29  Eternal Formats / Blue-Based Control / Re: New Gifts, without Brainstorm or Thirst for Knowledge on: March 23, 2015, 09:41:29 pm
Agree with Vasu, I like the deck but just don't see the Delver matchup working out. Try 1-2 maindeck Bolts and try out Bob -- he's a surprisingly effective counterplay against Delver, especially on the play and/or if backed up by protection. Your main gameplan besides your ~15% chance of smashing them with a good draw is to race them by squeaking out a win on turn 4-5. You usually will win with zero mana in your pool and/or only 0-1 cards left in your hand and most of your yard exiled. Bob is great at building a critical mass/distracting their removal/slowing their attack during those early turns. Check the list I posted earlier in the thread for what I mean.

I wouldn't play that list now, since it's mediocre against Delver and bad against Mentor and I think those decks will be popular for the next few months at least. But if I had to I'd DEFINITELY add a Hurkyl's or two (huge oversight on my part -- should prob have one in the main in place of a Jace), and test the heck out of the Mentor matchup, tweaking the sideboard to accommodate it. Test against B. Kelly's list from the other day or the simpler lists from the VSL and you'll see it's an uphill battle.
30  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Top 4 Split with Mentor at Eternal Extravaganza 2 on: March 16, 2015, 04:34:20 pm
Sweet list, Brian. Some q's:
1. Did you try Remora? Thoughts?
2. No Treasure Cruise?
3. How was Probe for you on the day?
4. Did you consider Misdirection, Mana Drain, and/or Spell Pierce?
5. Have you tried out a second Top?
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