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Author Topic: Uba Stax  (Read 8379 times)
vroman
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« on: April 17, 2005, 10:32:23 am »

I made top 8 at Chicago yesterday. a lot of people were wondering how the hell my deck laden with crap rares succeeded. basically because Uba Mask is better than trinisphere in most match ups. my deck list is on starcity somewhere.

anyway heres the logic of why the deck works as best I can explain it.

Uba Mask 4
artifact
whenever a player would draw a card, they remove that card from the game face up. players may play cards removed from the game with Uba Mask this turn.

It sounds simple and irrelevent but it actually massively warps the game, in lots of versatile ways. There are 3 core things that happen when uba mask hits the table:

1. relative percentages of card types in the decks. very simply, the more non-permanents a deck plays, the worse they fare against uba mask. every time you draw an instant or sorcery that does not have an immediate application, you simply wasted your draw and you never see that card again. primarily this is effective against counter spell based control decks. every time they draw a force of will, its a dead card, bc they dont get to keep it during my turn.
By comparison my deck contains 56 permanents, virtually everything in the deck can be played as soon as its drawn regardless of the situation, so I very rarely draw dead with uba, while my opponent will miss out on all their gas.
this is what I call Uba in 'idling' mode. its just sitting there passively giving me card advantage.

2. draw/discard effects. the best way Ive found to abuse this feature of uba is bazaar of baghdad. if I have no cards in hand and activate bazaar w uba mask in play, I remove the top 2 cards of my library from the game, and can play them as normal, but dont have to discard anything, bc theres nothing actually in my hand. thus bazaar effectively becomes an uncounterable Thoughtcast every turn. then if I get multiple bazaars or a candelabra, I start drawing, 3, 5, 9 cards a turn. on the other hand, my opponents draw effects are screwed bc their decks are not designed to handle this weird bottle neck. trust me that casting brainstorm w uba mask in play is disastrous when you have cards in hand.
this is when I actively use Uba for my own advantage

3. goblin welder lock. probably the most powerful effect of uba mask is the welder lock. players have to pass priority during their draw step before going to their main phase. if they are revealing a non-instant and I have welder in play, I can weld out uba for something (ideally a different uba mask), and then they go to their main phase w their card removed from game, but nothing in play anywhere that says that cards removed from game can be played. By welding uba in and out, they effectively never draw a non-instant for the rest of the game, and since the instants they draw are probably counterspells, which are dead anyway under uba mask, its a lock.
this is when I actively use Uba to my opponents disadvantage

in summary uba mask doesnt look like much but it F-ing wrecks people. I draw insane amounts of cards and you draw none. seems good. theres also lots of other little synergy tricks I can get out of it that I dont have time to list here

also I experimented w some other nonstandard cards that people questioned:
citanul flute - this card is excellent. the ability to tinker for welder is swell. once flute resolves you will be serving up must-counters for the next 4+ turns. then late game you can fetch fatties. I recommend every workshop deck play it.
rifstone portal - this is just to dump to bazaar so my workshops and bazaars produce usable mana. its very nice to have under energy flux.
granite shard - this card is worth its weight in gold. I am definitely bumping this up to 3-4 in my board. cheap efficient sniping of welders, spirit tokens, fish 1/1s, pentavites, decree tokens, lackeys, etc.
artificers intuition - I added this bc its super efficient in fetching chalice and artifact mana. its a cool card but probably not worth playing as a 1of

I am going to rework my sideboard substantially to eliminate a lot of the narrow 1ofs.
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2005, 02:26:09 pm »

First off, congratulations on your SCG P9 victory!

I toyed around with playtesting Ubastax after the last SCG P9 in Chicago and have followed the deck's performance at various events since that time. I noticed that you've made a number of changes to it throughout the year, and wanted to inquire about how you arrived at the list you played yesterday.

Here are some of the questions that come to mind:

1) Why the abandonment of Riftstone Portal for Chicago?

2) Your Chicago list also lacks the presence of Black Lotus - was this a typo?  If not, that seems to depart from a fundamental of Type 1 deckbuilding...what was behind that decision?

3) You've played around with some other maindeck bodies such as Myr Enforcer, Pentavus and Triskelion. What made you move to the current creature configuration, and how did you feel the deck performed as such?

4) I may be misunderstanding the interaction between Uba Mask and Memory Jar, but wouldn't the Jar be a better choice over Wheel of Fortune? It would seem to have great synergy with your welders and you can power it out quickly with MWS and fast artifact mana - downside being that you also play Null Rod. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this.

5) You'd previously tried out stuff like Candelabra, Citanual Flute and Cap in the deck.  Have you found that these just didn't carry their weight as one-ofs?

Thanks!
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2005, 03:15:53 pm »

Yeah, wasn't, your's the deck that run 5 moxes and Null Rod? Isn't that extremely anti-synergistic?
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2005, 04:25:54 pm »

I have spoken to Robert, and the lotus was indeed a typo, as it was in his deck.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2005, 04:27:29 pm »

Yeah, wasn't, your's the deck that run 5 moxes and Null Rod? Isn't that extremely anti-synergistic?

Not if you are using your moxen to play Null Rod and then lock your opponent down while you use your Workshop to fuel more lock parts.  Null ROd is very strong against Control Slaver and the stax  mirror.  It only costs Two!
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2005, 04:37:32 pm »

Smennen is 100% right.  Here is just a small sample of KEY cards that rod shuts down other than the moxes.

More Played

Aether Vial
Mindslaver
Karn
Trike
Belcher
Jester's Cap
Pentavus
Tormod's Crypt
Phyrexian Furnace
Engineered Explosives

Less played but still good cards

Memnarch
Nevinyrral's Disk
Powder Keg
Gilded Lotus

I'm sure there are tons more.  It does all that, and it STILL slows down your opponent as well.  I've been playing Uba Stax on the side for a few months now, and its been playing great with rods for me too.  The only main difference between my deck and Vroman's deck were

-3 Mountain
-1 Barbarian Ring

+4 Volcanic Island


-2 Solemn Simulacrum
+1 Ancestral Recall
+1 Time Walk

-1 Wheel of Fortune
+1 Tinker

SB is very different, but thats metagame tuned.  His Mono red version is clearly stronger than mine, but Its just hard not to play recall and walk when you have them, it just feels like a shame not to run em. 
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2005, 04:40:56 pm »

Seriously, Uba Mask is a house.  It is REALLY strong against all archtypes, and if resolved first turn, it really says "you better be able to beat me with your current hand, and you can't cast draw spells".  Such a bitch to play against.

Our team tweaked some cards from Vroman's list, and have been riding this crazy powerful deck to T8's and the like... 
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2005, 04:51:39 pm »

The main time you will have problems, though, is if your opponent kills your welder, or resolves more than you.  They can mess around with your uba and piss you off.  That's why we were given fists.  Alternate win condition for annoying opponents.   :lol:
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2005, 05:32:25 pm »

I always found that Uba Stax gets destroyed horribly vs. 5c Stax... Especially the version that run multiple maindeck seal of cleansing... The reason behind this is that bazaar rarely stays in play long enough to take effect, and 5c stax has the ability to use smokestack more effectively. I also noticed that uba mask does nothing at all vs. stax because basically the 5c stax player removes ___ from deck, and almost always can play ___ , and is rarely affected sinse very few of its cards are situational reactive cards.

However, the deck has the advantage vs. drain decks which makes uba stax a real threat which I really like.
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2005, 08:15:00 pm »

I always found that Uba Stax gets destroyed horribly vs. 5c Stax... Especially the version that run multiple maindeck seal of cleansing... The reason behind this is that bazaar rarely stays in play long enough to take effect, and 5c stax has the ability to use smokestack more effectively. I also noticed that uba mask does nothing at all vs. stax because basically the 5c stax player removes ___ from deck, and almost always can play ___ , and is rarely affected sinse very few of its cards are situational reactive cards.

However, the deck has the advantage vs. drain decks which makes uba stax a real threat which I really like.

Hmm...Vroman beat both traditional 5c Stax (Roland) 2-0 AND a 5c Stax w/ 2 Seal of Cleansing maindeck 2-0 in the top 4 and finals respectively.
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2005, 08:21:03 pm »

You'll also want to see who went first.

I know with cronstyle stax, whoever wins the roll has a HUGE advantage.  Roland said he beat uba stax in the swiss, so I dunno.  I just know that with cronstax, going first is a 50% difference in terms of winning.  If you win the roll, you have like a 70-80% chance of winning regardless of the matchup.  If you lose the roll, it dips to like 40% against the best decks.  That's game one though and why kevin's board is so strong. 
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2005, 08:45:26 pm »

You'll also want to see who went first.

I know with cronstyle stax, whoever wins the roll has a HUGE advantage.  Roland said he beat uba stax in the swiss, so I dunno.  I just know that with cronstax, going first is a 50% difference in terms of winning.  If you win the roll, you have like a 70-80% chance of winning regardless of the matchup.  If you lose the roll, it dips to like 40% against the best decks.  That's game one though and why kevin's board is so strong. 

True, Vroman did go first both game 1's, but obv not game 2's...
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2005, 08:53:19 pm »

I also pointed out that with Stax, there is a huge difference between game one and games two and three. 

Game one with cronstyle stax has a crtain win percentage in game one but dramatically changes game two and three.  Vroman may well know sbing better or have a better sb. There are lots of factors at play.  It's not simple.   
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2005, 11:07:36 pm »

I must agree that Uba stax is good. After playing agianst it (In St. Luois, the day after Starcity's chicago), I decided to purchase a set of uba masks. If you can't beat-em join-em.   Smile The goblin welder lock possibility uba mask provides is great.

However I'm wondering if this deck is ideal for an increasingly welder/workshop dominated metagame. Against cronstax, 5/3 and Hypermud the deck seems inferior. Should this deck simply leave game one of these not-quite-mirror-matches to chance and hope to win games 2 and 3 for certain?
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2005, 11:31:06 pm »

Uba Stax is strong, but where are your answers to first turn Mindslaver?  I suggest 4 Elvish Spirt Guide + 4 Bind.

I wanted to add that Uba Mask effectively shuts down Brainstorm, Ancestral, Thirst for Knowledge, etc.  It is virtually impossible to play the cards off these draw spells on the same turn they are cast, even if they are permanents.  In effect, the card acts like a Chains of Mephistopheles (sp?) that has the additional advantages Vroman pointed to.  With Workshop and artifact mana Uba Mask is arguable easier to cast too.

Does Uba Stax really have a poor matchup against 5cStax, even the Welderless versions?  Wouldn't Welder be really good in that matchup?

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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2005, 12:14:44 am »

As a few people have stated from Team Ogre time and time again Uba Stax is a deck to be reckoned with which is obvious from the decks performance in the last few tournaments.  Robert Vroman has taken t8 appearances in the 2 SCGs that he has played in (1st and 7th) and also wrecked house for the most part at Origins as well.  He has won numerous pieces of power with it and Team Ogre and St. Louis continue to show what we have to offer to the Vintage World. It makes control quiver in their shoes and I don't really know what to say when you say 5c stax is a rough match for it.  Obviously not that hard considering his repeated performance with the deck.
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2005, 12:40:23 am »

I must agree that Uba stax is good. After playing agianst it (In St. Luois, the day after Starcity's chicago), I decided to purchase a set of uba masks. If you can't beat-em join-em.   Smile The goblin welder lock possibility uba mask provides is great.

However I'm wondering if this deck is ideal for an increasingly welder/workshop dominated metagame. Against cronstax, 5/3 and Hypermud the deck seems inferior. Should this deck simply leave game one of these not-quite-mirror-matches to chance and hope to win games 2 and 3 for certain?

No, it should add a second Barbarian Ring to the maindeck and dominate the Welder war with recurring, uncounterable removal. I don't know why he even bothered with the Lava Darts in the board, to be honest. Especially in the mirror, upping your mana count can be a huge boon, even if it is something dinky like ring. With Bazaars, Threshold shouldn't be much of a problem.

@Whatever Works (and please keep in mind 5c Stax is my baby): this deck does a MUCH better job of abusing Smokestack than Kron-style Stax decks. You run a more stable mana base, more permanents, and Goblin Welders.

Puck: Null rods  Razz  I like your style though.
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2005, 12:49:39 am »

This deck has been the bane of my tournament existence since inception. Razz The amount of permanents this deck can power out is just incredible, and you don't lose options if they blow stuff up because of Bazaar/Mask. Once everything is on the board, its just up to the player how to finish the opponent off, whether by Slaver lock, Stax lock, Strip/Cruci, Uba/Welder, whatever. Does anyone have silver bullets for this deck? In tourneys i've found all my solutions (R+R, Lava Dart, Hurkyls) to be subpar. It busts every control deck I run, outdrawing decks like Goth Slaver while systematically removing counterspells. I just don't know what front to attack this deck on.
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2005, 12:50:14 am »

It makes control quiver in their shoes and I don't really know what to say when you say 5c stax is a rough match for it.  Obviously not that hard considering his repeated performance with the deck.

This is a little like saying that Twelvepost had a good matchup against Ravager in Mirrodin Block Constructed on the grounds that Gabriel Nassif was able to repeatedly defeat Ravager decks.  Your post contained nothing of value.

I would say that Vroman's relatively large number of sideboard slots dedicated to the mirror seem to indicate that he fears 5-color Stax.  Then again, this could simply be symptomatic of that deck's enormous advantage when playing first in game one, signifying a hope that bringing in a lot of hate could make up for an unlucky die roll against a fairly popular deck (Auracon, this would basically be the strategy you suggested).  Regardless, Stax is certainly much less vulnerable to Uba Mask than most other decks, so a deck relying on that card will obviously have trouble against it.  Evidentally this problem isn't large as some had suggested, but nonetheless my (admittedly limited) testing would seem to point in the direction of the conventional wisdom that 5c Stax has a favorable matchup against Uba Stax in some degree.

The real question, though, should be, "How are Uba Stax's matchups against other popular decks different from Cron Stax's?"  Clearly Stax hates going second against combo, against which Uba Mask can be quite useful.  In general, the Mask seems to be a step in the right direction against most of Cron Stax's worse matchups without sacrificing much against its good ones, making it the Stax of choice for now, as best as I can figure.

@b-tings
Two Barbarian Rings maindeck might be a good idea if you expect a lot of Slaver.  But as I said, Vroman appeared to be doping his sideboard with answers to the Stax mirror, and Lava Dart is better than Barbarian Ring against that deck since uncounterability is not a factor.  I do think that given Ring's superiority against Slaver (and, to be fair, Cerebral Assassin) it should get the sb nod over Lava Dart, but I think that multiple maindeck copies is probably a metagame call.
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2005, 02:20:02 am »

i've been playing this deck for the better part of 2 months now, and it has performed amazingly well. vroman deserves the recognition, he's been at it for a long time now. i went 4-0 with it yesterday with it during the swiss of a library tournament on saturday 7-30, but unfortunately lost in the finals to gifts/slaver. i also split in the finals of a mana drain side tournament on sunday 7-31, uba stax has game against everything in the field. i can't recommend this deck enough.
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2005, 05:57:13 am »

I am not arguing that uba stax isnt good but I do feel there are some major bangwagon jumpers right now.  the deck wins one tourney and suddenly its the best deck out there.  Its a solid deck that had the right meta game choices.  Congrats for the win and making the right build but lets not say its the best when its only won one tourney.
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2005, 02:33:04 pm »

I am not arguing that uba stax isnt good but I do feel there are some major bangwagon jumpers right now.  the deck wins one tourney and suddenly its the best deck out there.  Its a solid deck that had the right meta game choices.  Congrats for the win and making the right build but lets not say its the best when its only won one tourney.

That's not true. The deck has been out there for a long time now. Vroman made T8 with it at the April SCG P9 (in Chicago, too), and it has been kicking up some dirt in Australia, with another 1st and 7th place, too, and it won a Ruby on April 30th. The deck was out there. People did not really relate to its power (except for the Australians, maybe). The problem is, I think, that this deck is the hardest deck to assemble in Vintage EVER. You need full Power, plus Shops, plus Bazaars. There are not many people who can do that even with ten proxies. That is the major barrier for this deck.

As for its power, I totally agree to emphatogen that this is also one of the hardest decks to hate, ever. You need Needle on Waste or Strip, Needle on Welder (to prevent Mask shenanigans) and maybe Needle on Bazaar or Ring, and Wastelands for the Workshops. And then you still get beaten down by Duplicant, Titan or Karn and Gorilla Shaman eats your mana base.

Basically, what I'd do is Needle on Welder, counter the Crucibles on sight and the Uba Masks if you can and hope like hell that you can win through Chalice, Shaman, Wastelands and Smokestack. If you get a second Needle, Wasteland or Bazaar or Ring should be your target. Or you just Jester's Cap the deck three times.

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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2005, 04:03:19 pm »

I've been playing this semi-seriously since i found a list online end of february or april or so.  It really is a great deck to play, and its fun.

The main difference in my deck is I  run 3 bridges MD instead of 3 rods, because our metagame is heavy fish here.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2006, 07:26:32 pm by yespuhyren » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2005, 06:14:08 pm »

@ nether void
1) the deck has enough mana that making bazaars tap is fairly irelevent. I originaly played it bc energy flux was huge in stl (even CS was playing it) and making shops and bazars tap let me play through the hate easier. since then Ive decided getting red mana was more important, so I played a red fetch in that slot. barbarian ring fills that requirement plus guns enemy welders, and threshold is real easy w bazaar.
2) I definitely seem to recall getting black lotus into play once or twice. whoever transcribed my list messed up.
3) myr enforcers would be best in a mud shop aggro deck that was maining n-rod for disruption. mine is not that deck. I decided n-rod was more important than trike and bus. karn gets shut off too of course, but hes just too damn good not to play. jens is perfectly suited for this deck. they fetch red mana which is key, plus 2 free cards for smoky to burn. with combo basicaly dead, duplicant is a solid main deck choice. piling on 4x after boarding just laughs at aggro. the lone titan is my random super fatty, itd be beter if I had tinker, but its still an awesome weld target. sometimes I dont even bother keeping him around to swing for 7, and just keep welding until all their lands are gone.
4) memory jar gets turned off by n-rod and is nowhere good as wheel. w uba mask wheel is a mind twist plus a one sided draw 7. uba + wheel is the most broken play in the deck. memory jar gives them their original hand back, so uba doesnt interact w it except for removing their cards instead of discarding them.
5) all those cards are good, but not as good as null rod.

@ yesuphryn
those are the exact changes I made when going from UR to R. I do get jealous whenever my opponent ancestrals or tinkers, but the deck is already maxed out on colored cards, and the basics shine.

@ smenen
yes, winning the die roll against roland and morrison was huge. I led against roland game 1 w: strip, mana crypt, chalice @ 0, trisphere. free game for me.
against morrison I led w: waste, emerald, chalice @ 0, chalice @ 1. another free game. against roland winning game 1 let me board out chalices to free up slots for extra hate like duplicants.
I usually board ubas out against stax and any deck that is 90+% permanents. when I board out uba I usually get rid of wheel too. if it cant One With Nothing the oponent, its not worth the risk.

@ btings
I havnt tested barbarian ring extensively yet. it wasnt much of a factor in chicago, but I only played against a few welder decks. I agree b-ring fits the permanents-only philosophy of the deck much better than L-darts, which alone is enough to convince me to atleast replace them in the board. Im not sure more are necesary main, as Ive found 5 to be the right number of basics.


about the sideboard:
3x v-heretic = obviously for the workshop mirror. except for Riddler w hannas custody, this card is a complete hoss against artifact based decks. plus its a win condition w welder to re-destroy their biggest card for damage.
2x lava dart = primarily for welder, but splash against fish/goblins. these will become b-rings.
2x orb of dreams = this is aimed squarely at oath to slow down mega hasters and give me a chance to kill orchards. its also good against storm combo. in the future Im going to start bringing this in against draingifts in order to survive their yawg will turn.
2x price of glory = I added this last minute for the draingifts deck, which I expected a lot of, but I only ended up playing it one round and never saw this card. its yet to prove itself.
2x duplicant = extra hate for aggro and oath
2x maze = see above but uncounterable and free.
1x uba = fill out the playset in the most favorable match ups. I moved this to side for an extra moxmonkey
1x null = see above
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« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2005, 06:26:07 am »

@Vroman

Have you ever tried using Null Brooch?  It seems like a good fit for the deck, as once uba mask is down and you basically have no hand, you can counter a non-creature spell every turn for only 2 mana.

Also, what about removing stuff for 4x gamble.  The card's tutoring ability seems like it can be used to fish out the needed lock components like a mask
« Last Edit: August 02, 2005, 06:30:53 am by yespuhyren » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2005, 09:20:12 am »

How does Uba stax do against an opposing Energy Flux. I would imagine really bad since it runs 4 Bazaars 4 Shops and Rods. Has anyone got anything on this issue or is of no importance since none of the top tier decks (except Oath) are able to run it.
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« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2005, 10:47:26 am »

about the sideboard:
...
2x duplicant = extra hate for aggro and oath
2x maze = see above but uncounterable and free.

With the mazes, did you find them effective since aggro and oath decks run 4-5 strips?

Nice job,

Bill
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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2005, 12:05:08 pm »

I've been boarding mazes in shop decks for about a year now, and they have on and off performances, but usually they're great, especially if you resolve a crucible.
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« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2005, 01:43:51 pm »

Mazes are awesome against just about everything, even with the 5 strip effects decks run.  Its gg against dsc.  How effective is the lone b-ring.  Isn't it kind of tough to fetch right away since the only draw in the deck are bazaar and wheel?
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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2005, 03:52:06 pm »

Ok, I'll take your word they're good vs Oath.  I just saw this happening:

Waste your Maze, they Oath up Akroma.  Waste Maze attack with Akroma.  You replay Maze with Crucible.  They Oath up 2nd Fattie, waste your maze, you die....

That's the problem with Maze, if they waste it, you don't get a use out and vs Large creatures that only need a few swings...
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