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Author Topic: Article: The New MaskNaught  (Read 5225 times)
wuaffiliate
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2003, 01:27:03 am »

good read
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Thug
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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2003, 05:11:25 am »

Quote
Quote How much testing have you done with it so far, Koen?  I'm honestly just surprised--we've done alot of testing of this matchup pre-board, and the results are as stated.  It's not inconceivable that others will get different results, and I'd like to hear them.  Most games that Mask won came down to Dragon getting its animation spells and Intuitions Duressed/Unmasked, and stuck unable to find another before the 2-turn clock ran out.  That or Dragon dropped before it had enough mana to cast a reanimation spell--the turn's worth of mana that Dragon had to invest in dropping Bazaar ultimately killed it.  Again, this just happened a little more frequently than it DIDN'T happen.  As this would indicate, that means that playing is (of course) fairly big in the matchup--but Mask's disruption allowed it to break serve a few times, enough to give it a little edge.

I tested alot with a version splashing red, and also did a good amount of testing with a version with blue, and even a three-colour version. From this I concluded that wastelands improve the matchup dramaticly in Mask's favour. Compulsion often is too slow, but bazaar can easily outspeed the (somewhat slow) mask-nought combination.

It's strange that you call the Bazaar too slow, cause I found the totall opposite, Bazaar is the easiest way to outspeed mask, a Bazaar can simply lead to turn-two wins if you can find a dragon in time. The main problem for mask is that, even if it plays first turn Mask and Nought, it still takes two turns to kill.

I played 10 games the mono-black list versus dragon, and only won 2. One was because of a double mulligan made by Dragon, and one was caused by a first turn duress + mask + naught.

Quote
Quote As for splashing - I thought I wrote this into the article, but apparently people didn't read it closely enough - given that Wasteland is in alot of the best decks right now, there was a huge benefit of going to mono color.  

But Welder-MUD is probably the only deck that can use wastelands to their advantage in the matchup against mask. Keeper will need all their mana to deal will the threats mask can come up with, and if they start wastelanding it should almost be like a time walk for you. Off course this changes later in the game, and Keeper will probably have an easier time controlling you if you're splashing, but thats just a small disadvantage compared to the options splashing can provide.

An early wasteland does very little to Mask, or at least it did when I was testing it, and I even ran a higher curve because of Tainted Pact (Only got 2 Hymns though).

Koen
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Smmenen
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2003, 09:58:01 am »

Well, I don't think you can doubt my results against Shockwave in person - we also played ten games and I went 5-4-1.  It's obvious that I wasn't using a weak dragon opponent.  

Steve
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Saucemaster
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2003, 05:37:54 pm »

Quote
Quote It's strange that you call the Bazaar too slow, cause I found the totall opposite, Bazaar is the easiest way to outspeed mask, a Bazaar can simply lead to turn-two wins if you can find a dragon in time. The main problem for mask is that, even if it plays first turn Mask and Nought, it still takes two turns to kill.

I played 10 games the mono-black list versus dragon, and only won 2. One was because of a double mulligan made by Dragon, and one was caused by a first turn duress + mask + naught.

A couple points; 10 games, whatever the result, is too little to do more than give you a general sense of the matchup.  This would go for Steve's numbers against Shockwave, too, if that was all the testing he'd done (and similarly for me, if that's all the testing I'd done).  However, it is useful for getting the general "feel" of the games, and figuring out HOW decks are winning, if not how FREQUENTLY with any accuracy.  Which addresses the first paragraph I quoted.

It's not that Bazaar was always too slow at all.  Like you, I found it to be Dragon's best hope in the matchup, partly because Intuition is incredibly slow and WILL get Duressed.  But in those games where Bazaar DIDN'T win the game--the games that Mask stole from Dragon--it could almost always be traced to the virtual Time Walk that Dragon gave Mask by being forced to drop a non-mana producing land.  To summarize: Bazaar is one of Dragon's best cards in the matchup (because Mask doesn't have an answer to it except to race), but there are times when it's not quite good enough, and in those games Mask tends to break the "who goes first wins" trend that I observed in more general testing.

Again, this is my experience of the matchup.  I'd be interested in not just numbers (which we're not supposed to post anyway on TMD, right?) but in HOW THE MATCHUP PLAYED for anyone getting results that seem to differ from mine (and Steve's).  Honestly.  I'm not calling anyone's testing bad or inadequate, I'm actually interested to know what might be going differently.
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Thug
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« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2003, 07:40:57 am »

Quote
Quote Well, I don't think you can doubt my results against Shockwave in person - we also played ten games and I went 5-4-1.  It's obvious that I wasn't using a weak dragon opponent.  

I never did, but I doubt you would have won 50 games if you would have played 100.

Quote
Quote A couple points; 10 games, whatever the result, is too little to do more than give you a general sense of the matchup.  This would go for Steve's numbers against Shockwave, too, if that was all the testing he'd done (and similarly for me, if that's all the testing I'd done).  However, it is useful for getting the general "feel" of the games, and figuring out HOW decks are winning, if not how FREQUENTLY with any accuracy.  Which addresses the first paragraph I quoted.

The 10 games are the games I tested with this list, to see how it differs from the listes I did a lot more testing with. I think that those games have given me enough information to compare the matchup for both mask decks, and I found this list to have a worser matchup, and my deck barely could claim a even split with dragon. So that's how I concluded it, not just from 10 games.

Quote
Quote It's not that Bazaar was always too slow at all.  Like you, I found it to be Dragon's best hope in the matchup, partly because Intuition is incredibly slow and WILL get Duressed.  But in those games where Bazaar DIDN'T win the game--the games that Mask stole from Dragon--it could almost always be traced to the virtual Time Walk that Dragon gave Mask by being forced to drop a non-mana producing land.  To summarize: Bazaar is one of Dragon's best cards in the matchup (because Mask doesn't have an answer to it except to race), but there are times when it's not quite good enough, and in those games Mask tends to break the "who goes first wins" trend that I observed in more general testing.

I agree that Bazaar is dragon's best change, but I never found the missing landdrop to be of any trouble. So often dragon can just put down land + mox on the second turn and cast their animate. If there's any problem for dragon I think it would be finding the dragon, or having to mulligan too often too find bazaar.

I also tested the list against some other decks, and I was really missing any form of removal. I tested against some decks with cards like Moat and Platinum Angel, and too often these cards could come out just in time for them to survive.

Without pact you can't rely on drawing into a 1-of in the maindeck so I think the sidebaord most defenitly needs a good amount of removal.

Koen
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MoreFling
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« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2003, 10:03:01 am »

I'd just like to add that although the mask-list is good, I think the risk of outright losing 15% of the games through spoils is just too big a risk.

Also Steve, when did our format turn into big-balls risky business? I actually thought our format was about carefully playing around with powerful and swingy broken stuff...
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ScaldMonger
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« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2003, 10:24:51 am »

I was presented this list by Westredale just a few days before it was posted here, and of course proceeded to test it myself. I have always been a huge fan of this deck as well as the other versions of it. The single biggest problem with this deck and all it's various forms has still NOT been fixed. At best this is a second turn kill, and that's assuming your opening hand is straight combo peices and acceleration. Now lets all be more realistic for a moment...pulling even a third turn kill requires a decent amount of search, with an equally decent amount of disruption to punch through. Against many if not ALL of the more dominant T1 decks right now, they will have an answer to at least part of the combo or disruption ready to use. This could come in the form of Brainstorm to evade hard straight up hand destruction, or simply the fact that their combo is faster than yours, and can come out and straight out win on the first/second turn without even blinking an eye.

To put it bluntly, the deck never seems to have enough umph to finish off consistantly. It's difficult to explain without seeing it for yourself in testing, but the problem has been the same one in EVERY form of this deck, except for maybe Ninja Mask which just has more answers/options.

What I have said isn't anything new, but I think is a point that goes overlooked a little too often. Although it is an "aggro-combo" deck, the combo part of it is very easily disrupted and is slow, while the aggro part of it comes from the fact that you kill with a creature. This deck is almost impossible to consider aggro in any fashion, because unless you incorporate Nantuko Shades or another backup critter, only 4 of the creatures in the deck can be played without a Mask already on the table.

Anyone who has played the older Tainted Mask builds will tell you that trying out backup creatures was a fair waste of time. Hippie turned out to be very disappointing, Wretch was good for a little while, Negator's are very meta dependent-not awful though, and finally the big guy Lord of Tresserhorn....who is just a beast, unless of course you STILL can't find your way to the Masks in the deck.

This version I think was very disappointed to many people not because Spoils is bad, but because the deck still lacks a strong center. It's terrible to say, but I think this "combo" still hasn't found it's home yet.

Eh, could be worse- at least now we have a 14% potential to kill ourselves on the first turn of the game, instead of never hitting the combo at all =)\n\n

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Smmenen
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« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2003, 12:33:10 pm »

Dude, your criticism is of the combo itself - which is not a combo but a three turn attack combo.  

You are also missing the fact that this is an upper tier deck, which everyone must realize.

Steve
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Eastman
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« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2003, 01:29:09 pm »

I'm just really not impressed with the 'lose the game 14% of the time' thing...that decreases the decks overall performance in EVERY matchup by about 10%... which should be enough to keep it out of big wins. How is this drawback acceptable?
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Fever
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« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2003, 01:37:02 pm »

I dont think anyone considered Tainted Mask to be a tier 1 deck, though it wasnt too far off. However, the environment has sped up and the other top decks are much stronger than they were one or two years ago. That being said, this deck is not a huge evolutionary leap when compared to Tainted Mask, so how can you say its one of the top decks in the format?

Im not saying the deck isnt good, and im sure it is superior to Tainted Mask, but i am not convinced that an improved Tainted Mask build is good enough these days.
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MoreFling
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« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2003, 02:02:21 pm »

Quote from: Smmenen+Nov. 13 2003,18:33
Quote (Smmenen @ Nov. 13 2003,18:33)You are also missing the fact that this is an upper tier deck, which everyone must realize.

Steve
So where's the argument Steve? Why on earth is this a tier1 deck? It's slower then every combo deck in the metagame, wmud can pretty easily get a lock on it, and with spoils in it, you can even lose to sligh!
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Jacob Orlove
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« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2003, 02:27:18 pm »

He said "upper tier", not "tier one". It's a deck that can win games (and even matches) against many of the top decks in the format. It's not necessarily the best option, but any player can win with it, especially if they just have a lucky day.

You don't need to take this to your next tournament, but you might want to watch out for anyone who has masks and power, but not shops, drains, or bazaars. Or even just masks. Or, at a 5-proxy event, just random black stuff.

Like most creature decks, it's not dominant, but it can certainly win against unprepared opponents--and sometimes even against opponents who prepare.
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Akuma (gio)
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« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2003, 02:27:24 pm »

This deck is fast enough to beat WMud. A HUGE factor is who goes first. As a long time Mask player, I definitely see what the pluses of this build are. This build is better against the top tier "netdecks" just because of it's sheer speed. It can win before the opponent sets up (is allowed to set up).

However, this deck's combo is slow as hell compared to the other combo decks in the format. The fact that you need 2 attack phases to win makes the Spoils very iffy in the real world.

I heavily playtested Spoils when I saw the Mirrodin spoiler. In the end, I decided to leave the Tainted Pacts in my Mask deck because of consistency issues. Spoils is all or nothing, Tainted Pact can act like Impulse if need be.

I like the build Smmenen posted (we could still tune it a bit more as a community to make it better instead of arguing about petty things), but the outcome of games is greatly dictated by luck. If you are having a good day, this deck can be brutal, but if luck is not on your side, prepare to die a miserable death.
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Rico Suave
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« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2003, 02:46:16 pm »

You know, maybe it's just me, but that whole outright dying 15% of the time to Spoils is so far off.  

Technically, it is 15%, but technically in those circumstances you would have to be digging 20+ cards for a combo piece.  In reality, you would not have won even without casting Spoils, so the loss directly because of Spoils is much less than 15%.

Besides that, those of us who shuffle our decks don't get to 15% either.  

Just an observation of mine.
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Grand Inquisitor
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« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2003, 03:04:12 pm »

Quote
Quote which is not a combo but a three turn attack combo

Is it, or is it not a combo?  Did this sound contradictory to anyone else?

Quote
Quote , it is 15%, but technically in those circumstances you would have to be digging 20+ cards for a combo piece.  In reality, you would not have won even without casting Spoils, so the loss directly because of Spoils is much less than 15%

The problem with this argument is that you would have drawn something besides the spoils that could have won you the game.  Its not just the effect, but the replacement as well.  Regarding the 15%, it doesn't matter if its exactly 15, or 10, or whatever.  Its widely recognized that Spoils is inherently a high-risk card.  This means for those who are serious about winning: those who want to eliminate as many unknowns as possible, this card is sub-optimal.

Not having tested this, I'm not going to begin about what this says about the deck as a whole.  Saying its 'upper tier' doesn't mean anything to me.  There are probably upwards of 12 decks that are viable right now, assuming a low presence of long, or at least proper metagaming.\n\n

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Mykeatog
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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2003, 03:09:28 pm »

Quote from: Rico Suave+Nov. 13 2003,11:46
Quote (Rico Suave @ Nov. 13 2003,11:46)Besides that, those of us who shuffle our decks don't get to 15% either.  
wow.. can someone show me how to beat math?
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MoreFling
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« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2003, 03:12:55 pm »

Quote
Quote Technically, it is 15%, but technically in those circumstances you would have to be digging 20+ cards for a combo piece.  In reality, you would not have won even without casting Spoils, so the loss directly because of Spoils is much less than 15%.

Let's also note there are a ton of things that can still mess up your combo at this point, what then? Pack it up?
Also, I'd like to see some details of these observation, since I saw the opposite.
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Rico Suave
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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2003, 05:04:05 pm »

Quote from: Grand Inquisitor+Nov. 13 2003,15:04
Quote (Grand Inquisitor @ Nov. 13 2003,15:04)The problem with this argument is that you would have drawn something besides the spoils that could have won you the game.  Its not just the effect, but the replacement as well.  Regarding the 15%, it doesn't matter if its exactly 15, or 10, or whatever.  Its widely recognized that Spoils is inherently a high-risk card.  This means for those who are serious about winning: those who want to eliminate as many unknowns as possible, this card is sub-optimal.

Yes, that is true.  I was merely pointing out that there will be some times where it does what I described, which means it is less than 15%.

I'm not arguing for or against Spoils in the deck, just the percentages being thrown around.

Quote
Quote wow.. can someone show me how to beat math?

Those statistics take into account a complete randomization process.  In reality, decks are not completely randomized.

People on average just don't shuffle enough for that, even if their opponents shuffler their decks too.

Quote
Quote Let's also note there are a ton of things that can still mess up your combo at this point, what then? Pack it up?

Also, I'd like to see some details of these observation, since I saw the opposite.

You think it's lethal more than 15%?

The first deck I played when I saw Spoils was Mask, and then Longer.dec.  I didn't take note of how lethal it was in Mask, but in Longer I found of 40 recorded uses (there were more that weren't recorded), I was lethally killed 4 times, so about 10%.  Of course that doesn't count things like Brainstorm and other set-up, but it also doesn't take into account multiple Spoils in the same game.

I also remember 7-9 damage being average.

I just find the math curious, because it differs if a person sits down and plays it out.\n\n

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ScaldMonger
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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2003, 05:41:24 pm »

It was just a sidenote that now you can kill yourself 10-15% of the time, that wasn't the point of my reply. My point was that this "archetype" since it's rewordings has had the potential to be amazing. Since then, we have come up with an at best 2nd turn kill with a god hand and nothing standing in your way, and a search system that has the potential to kill you ~10% of the time on the first turn.

Furthermore, the deck itself has little to no mid-late game.

Quote
Quote Dude, your criticism is of the combo itself - which is not a combo but a three turn attack combo.  

You are also missing the fact that this is an upper tier deck, which everyone must realize.

yes my criticism is of the combo, but thats the deck....if you aren't going to use the combo to kill, well then you're relying on 4 Negators....and that can be downright frightening.

Morefling pretty much nailed it.
Quote
Quote So where's the argument Steve? Why on earth is this a tier1 deck? It's slower then every combo deck in the metagame, wmud can pretty easily get a lock on it, and with spoils in it, you can even lose to sligh!

Even the worst deck in the world has the potential to win...may it be island.dec or ITC, the point is they could all be upper tier or whatever you wanna call it, it just requires the right opponents.

OKOK so maybe thats a little silly, but you get it- just because this deck is better in some aspects than the tainted pact build, it also loses it's edge against sligh.
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kirdape3
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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2003, 05:56:33 pm »

Neither deck had an advantage against Goblins.  Goblins is too capable of setting itself up regardless for that.  Ankh Sligh can't beat either deck.

This deck actually wrecks (and by wrecks I mean destroys) the Chalice Keeper builds that have been floating around.  Welder MUD is horribly bad unless you can somehow defeat

It actually plays like the older Suicide builds that only have 12 creatures.  However, you have now Mask/Dreadnought/Negator instead of Negator/Shade/Reaver.
That's the closest analogy I have - you're playing a Suicide deck with a good kill as opposed to the older, slower kill coming from Shade.
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Smmenen
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« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2003, 07:40:09 pm »

That's exactly right.

Plus, it's a FULL TURN faster than the old masknaught.  

Finally, the math is not 15%.  It's 13%.  AND thats assuming you cast spoils, which you DO NOT DO every game.  So you really lose like 8% of the time you play a game.

Steve
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Jacob Orlove
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« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2003, 08:20:30 pm »

Quote from: Smmenen+Nov. 13 2003,19:40
Quote (Smmenen @ Nov. 13 2003,19:40)So you really lose like 8% of the time you play a game.

Steve
Welder Mud also loses games to "bad" shuffling--mostly from drawing too many lands after a stall, but sometimes from drawing no lands after the opponent double wastes. Yet, that's not a terrible deck, because it can do broken things quickly.

If people are willing to accept a fundamentally unhealthy mana base, why not accept a risky tutor? The benefits are clearly worth it in both cases.
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jntemp777
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« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2003, 03:01:05 am »

Another thing about Mask is that if there was a new rule restricting the number of restricted cards per deck(hypothetically let's say ~15), it simply would not slow the speed of this particular deck.  

I know a lot of players have been favoring this new type of restriction, but the only thing I can see slowing Mask would be the restriction of Spoils.  

Then the deck would run more Pacts.  The speed of the deck would still be pretty damn fast.  

I wonder if it is possible to slow the current speed of type 1.
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MisterShark
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« Reply #53 on: November 30, 2003, 02:13:04 pm »

I've just put the deck together and after playing 2 previous versions of Mask (Fever's build and Tainted), I've come to the conclusion that if the deck is going to be viable in my meta it's going to have to be as fast as possible, and the sideboard is going to be crucial.
With a check-mark in place for speed (bumped up a notch from the days of Pact to the present day Spoils), it's time to analyze the board.  As many have noted, WelderMud, TnT and Stax variants hurt the hardest.  I'm thinking about trying Contagions to take out the Welders and Metalworkers. Your Mask deck cannot afford to give up any tempo, so pitch-card freebie spells are the key to doing two things at once; laying out your win condition (and tapping-out in the process) while neutering your opponent's win condition or development towards that goal.  Unmask accomplishes this nicely in a proactive way.  But for the situations that demand a more reactive mode (opponent draws Welder/ Metalworker and plays it) Contagion should help.  That Welder/Metalworker MUST be taken out before he is useful and you can do it even tapped-out.
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