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31  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 26, 2012, 11:13:04 am
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Even without Breakthrough and Careful Study you can run Force, Misstep, Narcos, Fatestitchers and possibly the Sharuum engine which gets you to around 20 blue cards.

For the uninitiated, how does the clock for a 'blue' dredge list compare with the current fatestitcher builds?

If it stays earlier than turn 3 on average and has FoW/misstep, I'm going to be very worried about the format.
I have not tested it much recently, because once Mental Misstep was printed relying on Breakthrough and Careful Study became terrible.

It's amazing how much of an impact that little counterspell is making.
32  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] Vintage Avante Garde- Creatures! And a new Bant List on: January 25, 2012, 10:52:03 am
Steve and Paul were both very successful last year and both changed decks from event to event all year. I think this Vintage format is particularly enjoyable for those who enjoy playing a range of strategies.

Yeah, I agree.  It reminds me of 2007-2008 when you could choose from about five or six decks and have a reasonable chance with each.  Only, this is better.  Or at least, I hope it stays better with the printing of Grafdigger's Cage.
33  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / [Free Article] Vintage Avante Garde- Creatures! And a new Bant List on: January 24, 2012, 09:18:15 am
Here's a new DeMars article: http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/vintage/23481_Vintage_AvantGarde_Creatures_Creatures_Everywhere.html

Included is an updated Bant list from his recent top8 that looks really good to me.  It's an interesting article, you should check it out.  The Dredge bitching is kept to a real minimum!   Wink

Peace,

-Troy
34  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Rumors/Previews/mtg.com articles on: January 23, 2012, 09:25:10 am
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Cage will obviously make huge waves for Vintage, and Thalia will boost some fringe strategies, but I'm not compelled by this set.  Even from an EDH standpoint I think I can skip this one more or less.

This is the only other card I saw that may have implications for Vintage:

35  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: TO Report: The Council Open #1- TPG - Bloomsburg, PA - 01/21/12 on: January 22, 2012, 07:14:40 am
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2 Emrakul, the Aeons Turn
1 Blightsteel Colossus
2 Dragon Breath
4 Oath of Druids

Isn't it a little risky having 2 Emrakuls in an Oath deck?  You don't always hit a Dragon's Breath and Oathing an Emrakul into an Emrakul could really slow you down.  Is this list right?
36  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Podcast] SMIP #12: First Impressions of Dark Ascension on: January 22, 2012, 06:57:44 am
Dark Ritual decks are dead (something you might have wanted to mention in your podcast).  Gushstorm decks like The Tropical Storm are nowhere to be found.  So it seems RnD's focus on making creatures better is finally paying off, even in Vintage.

This is temporary.  I predict that, if the meta really does shift to creatures, then you will see alot more of these spell-intensive combo decks.  Shops are keeping them down now, but consider what happens if Fishy decks become more prevelant:
(1) Aggro/Fishy decks - Blowout for the storm deck.
(2) Blue control - Virtually a mirror.  You could use some boarding, but not much should be necessary.
(3) Dredge, Oath - Both stopped with Cage in board.
(4) Shops - You can dedicate 8-11 slots in your deck to this matchup, potentially...!

In other words:  since Storm beats Fish maindeck, and Cage lowers the sideboard space needed for other matchups, if aggro/fish ramps up, Storm might have the sideboard space to actually beat Shops.

I don't think a storm deck is going to play Cage.
37  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Podcast] SMIP #12: First Impressions of Dark Ascension on: January 20, 2012, 11:20:31 pm
Okay, finished listening.  Great episode.  I mean really, this was a great episode.  I hope people who have never played Vintage get to listen to this one because it will get anyone excited about the format.

To address you question of the week:  At first, the anti-creature tech is going to roll out slowly.  Fire/Ice and Darkblast are already here, but those numbers  are going to increase first (especially Fire/Ice).  When that proves insufficient, people will try to switch to Pyroclasm and/or Firespout.  Those will knock out anything short of Goyfs, Hellkites, and Batterskulls.  So if those two prove unworkable, then we might- we just might- see a resurgence of white for Swords and Balance.  Balance is the ultimate anti-creature card and it dodges all the free countermagic except Force. 

It's just interesting to me that since Time Spiral block debuted, creatures have gotten A LOT stronger, but it's taken this long for them to get strong enough for the solid majority of Vintage decks to care.  I mean, what kind of Vintage decks aren't going to play at least 8 creatures now?  Other than Oath, that is.  Dark Ritual decks are dead (something you might have wanted to mention in your podcast).  Gushstorm decks like The Tropical Storm are nowhere to be found.  So it seems RnD's focus on making creatures better is finally paying off, even in Vintage.
38  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Podcast] SMIP #12: First Impressions of Dark Ascension on: January 20, 2012, 08:01:41 pm
Wow! Another one so soon?  Can't wait to give it a listen, Stephen.  Thanks for the hard work Smile
39  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 20, 2012, 02:21:34 pm
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Do UB decks switch back to Vault/Key as its primary win condition?
I think this is a distinct possibility.  I see Grafdigger's Cage replacing Null Rod in the Shop and Fish decks that were running them.  On a somewhat related note I could see Shop decks being open to playing Metalworker based builds again and finding room for Grafdigger's Cage.
 

I don't think Cage will replace Rod or Stony Silence in Fishy decks.  It'll replace Chalice.  Chalice was used to fight Tinker by not allowing jewelry into play, but it sucked after turn 1.  Cage shuts off Tinker and is great after turn 1.  So Rod and Cage compliment each other nicely.  As for Vault/Key, it's a real possiblity blue decks go back to it rather than relying on Tinker so much.

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Do UB decks now default to starting with 4 FoW and 4 Mental Misstep, continue running Blightsteel Colossus, and work to fight Grafdigger's Cage?  
My first testing will be done this weekend.  I had already accepted Mental Misstep as a 3-4 of in my control decks because it proves so effective at battling other UB decks in addition to shutting down decks like Dark Times.  If Shop decks adopt Grafdigger's Cage I see Mental Misstep as being no longer situational.  The only drawback I ever saw in Mental Misstep is that it didn't have game against Shops.

I think the format was already well on its way to 4 Fow + 4 MM.  I also look for decks to play at least 4 more counterspells whether it's MBT, MisD, Spell Pierce/Snare, Flusterstorm, or Negate.  And a full compliment of Snapcaster Mage.

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Does Dredge now have to slow itself slightly by maindecking things like Nature's Claim or Ingot Chewer or the likes?
If Grafdigger's Cage catches fire and is maindecked by decks not playing Tinker or Oath of Druids I see Dredge suffering the most.  I think that Mental Misstep gets played more if this is the case, and my testing has proven that UB decks that maindeck one piece of grave hate and four Mental Missteps will snag a not insignificant percentage of game 1s from Dredge.  

They'll have to maindeck something.  Claims are probably the first thing they'll turn to.  Chewers are okay, but not as versitile in games 2 and 3.  

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Do Oath decks survive?
I think they do though I'm not sure in which incarnation.  I like the idea of playing a single Laboratory Maniac and ignoring the Grafdigger's Cage.  In fact, I will be brewing up some Oath lists that do just this.  Maybe Oath maindecks more artifact destruction, ignores Grafdigger's Cage, and continues playing dinosaurs.  I can also see them going back to the Vault/Key package.  


Sure, they'll survive.  Maniac Oath looks pretty cool since it can maindeck Cage as well and thwart Blue/Dredge players while advancing their own strategies.  Pretty cool.

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Do Shop decks make themselves susceptible to Mental Misstep and adopt Grafdigger's Cage as maindeck UB and Oath hate?  
I can see Shops dropping a lock piece, specifically Null Rod.  I don't blame them; I think Grafdigger's Cage does much more for less without a symmetrical effect.

After initially putting it in their main, MUD decks will switch the cages to the SB once the novelty and effectiveness wear off.  It's much better for them than LotV vs. Dredge, so they'll play it in some way, shape, or form.
40  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 18, 2012, 09:43:45 am
Sarah, your entire post fails to recognize just how central Tinker-DSC has become to blue decks in Vintage.  Go read any tournament report by any deck playing that combo.  It gets them out of every jam and utterly destroys any Fish deck they play.  Take out Tinker-Bot, and blue decks' paths to victory become much more fair.
41  Eternal Formats / Null Rod Based Aggro / Re: [Deck Primer]: Christmas Beatings on: January 18, 2012, 08:59:41 am
Vexing susher gives nice interaction on the stack :p But i'm not sure if CB really wants to compete on the stack, since it cannot have the same amount of counterspells. I see CB as an aggro deck with some static hate (null rod, chalice, thorn, wastelands/moons, now cage) and answers against most dangerous menaces, while providing a decent clock (in order to avoid opponent to recover).

Playing some counters as answers it's nice, but if you want to really interact with the stack competing against Big Blue, play blue.

Xouman is right.  The only reason to play Mental Misstep in XMas Beats is to fend off other Mental Misteps and hate cards like Nature's Claim and Chain of Vapor.  RG Decks aren't suddenly going to start packing all kinds of free counterspells to fight on the stack.  We're outclassed in that department. 
42  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 18, 2012, 05:40:56 am
No, it won't.  The three marquee cards of Vintage are Yawgmoth's Will, Tinker, and Time Vault.  They are legal in no other formats and they dominate Vintage.  They are hideously unfair and overpowered, but they are Vintage.  Two of those three are virtually useless against this card.  I am probably done with Vintage now, and I would assume others will do the same.

All Grafdigger's Cage is going to do is slow the game down by a turn while blue decks, Oath, and Dredge search out their artifact hate to destroy it.  Yargs, Tinker, and Bazaar are still going to be as broken as ever, just slower now which is great for the format.
43  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 03:57:41 pm
So, you would reveal cards until you reveal a creature. Then you try to put that card onto the battlefield, but can't. So it stays in your library, and all other cards are put into your graveyard. Then you advance to your draw step and draw your oath creature.

Draw Laboratory Maniac, Oath again and win.

That's a pretty cool deck idea!

That's a really good observation.  Not so much because Maniac Oath is the bee's knees normally, but because it is the one form of Oath that can still work reasonably well through a resolved Cage.  SnT versions need a two-card combo in hand to go off; Maniac can just do what it meant to do, at the same speed, with the added requirement of 2U and the ability to protect Maniac as he is cast.  That might be the best Oath can hope for.  That is to say, Cage doesn't interfere with Maniac Oath's game plan or slow it down at all; it just makes it a bit more cumbersome.

It also allows you to play your own Cage, thus slowing down your blue and dredge opponents.
44  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 03:51:13 pm
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The question is whether the card was designed FOR Vintage.

I understood the question.  And my answer was:

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I would see this more as an aswer to Birthing Pod than Snapcaster for Standard, Extended, and Modern.
45  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 03:37:18 pm
Trust me, they do.   

Please elaborate on this, since I think most of us are clueless into the design/development process at Wizards. My uninformed understanding is that they consider Vintage and Legacy but they don't test it extensively in things like the Future-Future League.

Stephen doesn't have to go through the entire Making Magic and Latest Development archives just to prove this to you.  If you want to know what RnD thinks of Vintage, pay attention to what RnD says.  There's all kinds of videos and articles out there about it.

Sooooo looks like I'm up to 4 Misstep 2 Ancient Grudge main for any Blue deck I play now. Ok. I can do that.
Seriously though what the hell is this shit. This is absolutely nuts.
Although it will create diversity..... could get pretty interesting.
Even though this makes me kind of angry, I also have to be happy that they're finally printing a card that will actually have a major skill testing impact.

Just bought 3  Embarassed looks like I can eat my own words

I'm not sure I'll be pre-ordering any.  Outside of Vintage, this is strictly a sideboard card.  Since Shards block, I can't think of any sideboard cards that held value beyond $5.  $10 is the going rate for cages right now, and that's not worth it IMO.
46  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 03:14:53 pm
I'm so curious whether the set designers literally had vintage in mind when they designed this card. It might have been for Snapcaster across many formats, but all these additional hoser effects and the fact that they affect almost all of the major vintage archetypes suggests otherwise.


I would see this more as an aswer to Birthing Pod than Snapcaster for Standard, Extended, and Modern.  But I'm sure they knew what it would do to Vintage.
47  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 02:23:36 pm
So, you would reveal cards until you reveal a creature. Then you try to put that card onto the battlefield, but can't. So it stays in your library, and all other cards are put into your graveyard. Then you advance to your draw step and draw your oath creature.

Draw Laboratory Maniac, Oath again and win.

That's a pretty cool deck idea!
48  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 01:55:28 pm
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Question, but does this also stops Mind's Desire and Cascade into creatures right?  Since they are "revealed/played" from the library?

I'm not sure how it works with Cascade since the creature would technically ETB from the Stack.
49  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 01:08:37 pm
This really is a fascinating card - look forward to building something fishy with it. I can imagine play this as a four-of, and Stony Silence as a four-of might be almost overkill (though Vault will certainly get a filip as a win condition) - a package of four Cages and four Phyrexian Revokers looks good though and also adds the flexibility of shutting down Auriok Salvagers.

Also: does this make random discard like Hymn to Tourach and Hypnotic spectre vaguely playable again? Might we see something akin to a Vintage port of Team America popping up?

Lots to ponder anyway - fantastic printing that is going to shake Vintage up for a long time...


Sadly my first online team testings show what this cards causes a lil dilemma. It looks like that it might make Fish/Salvager/Etc. viable again anulling  the previous Auto-losses like dredge, Oath and the like but does a Even better job in an Aggro-denial Deck that outclassed Fish Long ago and had great success using the former Fish-staple NullRod too: Workshop Aggro.

While i'm positive that Cage WILL replace Rod as THE denial staple per definition, Rod was much more of an symetrical card than Cage is. Shops are completely unaffected by it but remove all their remaining weaknesses: Dredge, Oath, Tinker and the  like. I doubt that this is the card Fish needed to Be viable again.

The Best idea for the near Future is to sidestep gamplans like tinker or will. Always needing bounce/trygon predator is a crutch. I have a new speedy Aggro-Combo deck in the Making for this predicted Meta, Titus^^

Actually, I think it will replace Chalice more than it replaces Rod in Fish Builds.
50  Eternal Formats / Null Rod Based Aggro / Re: [Deck Primer]: Christmas Beatings on: January 17, 2012, 09:28:56 am
I don't know yet what this card means for Christmas Beatings:



But it probably means we're gonna have to start running this card too:

51  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] The Guide To Vintage’s Landscape-Taking an Oath on: January 17, 2012, 08:43:40 am
A terrific and thurough artcle, Mark.  I almost hate to bring it up, but is there anything you'd like to add about Oath decks with the spoiling of Grafdigger's Cage?
52  Eternal Formats / Null Rod Based Aggro / Re: Noble Fish: GUW variants here! on: January 17, 2012, 07:40:21 am
Yep.  4 Cages and 4 Rods are the way to go now.  All we have to worry about it Time Vault.
53  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Grafdigger's Cage-Dredge Haters Unite... on: January 17, 2012, 07:38:59 am
You still can't afford to run fewer Dredge hate cards -- Dredge still can explode postboarding if you're ill-equipped to deal with it.

This card would most likely replace Tormod's Crypt or Relic of Progenitus in the SB slots.

Sideboard?  This will be a maindeck card.  It's right up there with Chalice of the Void and Null Rod.  In fact, one has to wonder if Agro decks should cut one or the other in favor of Grafdigger's Cage and then focus on just protecting it.  The best answer to Null Rod decks was always Tinker, and this card shuts it off.

Quick question -- does this stop Bridge from Below from producing tokens as well?

No, but since it stops Narcos, Bloodghasts, Therapies, and Dread Returns, it won't matter that it doesn't affect Bridge.

Greatly benefited: bomberman
Benefited: MUD, non snapcasters fishes (christmas beatings, TMWA, GW...)
Slighly benefited: delvertarmogush, landstill, confidant control
Slighly affected: storm decks, tezz, non ichorid grave decks
Affected: snapcasters, welder stax
greatly affected: ichorid, oath
unplayable: reanimator

Don't forget that Minus Six is big-time hosed by this.  Which is unfortunate, really.  It's a pretty fair deck as decks in Vintage go.  But that's life I guess.
54  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: [Results - Top 8] Morphling Cup Hanau, 06.01.2012 on: January 13, 2012, 09:58:46 am
Added a rough deck breakdown and player info. There were 96 players at tournament begin, one was DQed.

That looks like an awesome meta!  Elf decks, 2 Oath builds well represented, 14 Confidant control!!!  Amazing.  Smile
55  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: Meandeck Open Results -- January 8th, 2012 Columbus, Ohio - 34 Players! on: January 12, 2012, 03:26:45 pm
Right but which permutation of counterspells is best completely depends on what you are paired against that day. Flusterstorm and Mental Misstep are insane against some decks, trash against another.  It used to be that I could play counterspells and gain versatility while sacrificing efficiency and also agreeing to be a reactive than proactive deck.  Now rather than make counterspells versatile, they have chosen to make them narrow and efficient. I used to think that, because I was a better player than most of my opponents, I could pack my deck with versatile spells and this worked to my advantage. I was playing way more Nature's Claims and Fire/Ices in my Tezz decks 2 years ago (or whenever it was) because I felt like having versatile tools gave me an edge. Now because they have printed so many very narrow but very efficient spells, it feels like my flexible answers just aren't good enough anymore.   I feel like I'm being forced, to an extent, to decide who I want to blow out and who I want to be blown out by game 1.

Personally, I feel this is a great thing for Vintage.  It gives all types of decks (except rituals) some breathing space because there is no universal U/B/x deck deck that beats everything.  Now, every deck is vulnerable and that opens up the field for skilled deckbuilders who can take advantage of it.
56  Vintage Community Discussion / General Community Discussion / Re: Rumors/Previews/mtg.com articles on: January 12, 2012, 03:24:23 pm
Yep.  Quite neat.  Scorned Villager is another fine example of Magic art that represents women as sex objects rather than heroic figures like the men:

57  Eternal Formats / Global Vintage Tournament Reports and Results / Re: [Results - Top 8] Morphling Cup Hanau, 06.01.2012 on: January 12, 2012, 11:13:01 am
What an unconventional top 8!  Oaths!  Dredge!  Transmute Artifact and Dark Times!  Amazing.  What was the turnout?
58  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben on: January 12, 2012, 09:03:51 am
And having 2 Spell Snares in your deck is looking better all the time!
59  Eternal Formats / General Strategy Discussion / Re: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben on: January 12, 2012, 05:27:30 am
Blocks and kills Slash Panther without dying.  With Exalted, it can take down a golem on offense.  Nice little card.
60  Eternal Formats / Eternal Article Discussion / Re: [Free Article] Vintage Avante Guarde - Vintage Bant at Meandeck Open on: January 11, 2012, 02:38:42 pm
Always enjoy reading articles that try to break new ground! I was wondering whether we'd actually see GSZ in vintage, and whether Sylvan Library has been an overlooked card. The deck in the article is the type of deck I wouldn't mind trying out in an event.

I have to hand Brian a lot of credit.  It is pretty cool, IMHO, that he used such unconventional cards in his deck.  Sylvan Library hasn't been used in years!  I always had a fondness for the card, but haven't played with one in years.  I understand that it's starting to see some play in Legacy decks too.
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