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Author Topic: [Premium Article] Meandeck Gifts  (Read 77142 times)
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« Reply #300 on: July 26, 2005, 06:44:19 am »

Stephen;

Your deck is really powerfull, and more and more people start playing it and the deck shows up in more and more T8's. Now I have a question for you: What are proper hate cards against Gifts? It deals with Extract, Extraction, Welder, Lock (Staxx) and many more, so what can I pack to hate this deck?
In the Eye of Chaos seems tech, but it sucks if you play alot of Instants yourself..

Greet,

Hugo
« Last Edit: July 26, 2005, 06:46:40 am by 49 Cents » Logged

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« Reply #301 on: July 26, 2005, 07:26:30 am »

@49 cent.

With a bit of luck, a quick Jester's Cap against any Gifts.dec all around, can prevent you from winning at all.
Any other hate spells, in the end, can be considered ONLY a card that usually shut up your winning plan for a while, but not completely at all.
OTOH, for this exact reason, your opponent would lose some time and deck's consistency in order to use THOSE hate cards against you; at this point, the equilibrium is re-established by a smart a foresighting game-style of the GIfts' player.


Jester's Cap could take out Burning, DSC and Cunning. At this point you could not win because all your Winning Conditions are un-reachable. With Cunning Wish number #2 you can avoid the flat autolose possibly putting Brainfreeze in your side.

On the other hand, playing with two Wishes maindeck, is so slow that I would prefer losing that damn match, easily winning the two others, rather then playing with the safeness of the #4 Winning Conditions. OTOH, Jesters is really unused and stopped by Peething Needle.








---------
I tried to change a couple of things, because I feel that the Steve's deck can perform better without playing with the DSC maindeck.

+1 Tendrils of Agony
+1 Death Wish
+1 Memory Jar
+1 Cunning Wish
-1 Misdirection
-1 Echoing Truth
-1 Merchant Scroll
-1 Darksteel Colossus

Side.
-1 ToA
+1 DSC
-x Metagame Cards
+x Metagame Cards



The Tendrils route is really safer and usually preferred rather than the DSC's one.
It is easy to set up.
It is better against Control.
It is bad only against Pillars & Combo.hate.

While Winning with Tendrils usually have an inherent elegant and cards' advantage based plan, winning with DSC, can tempt the player to play it "for the win", without Gifting out Brooken Things to set up "inevitability".

I really like these changes and I would appreciate a lot if someone else, over me, would try to win with it Wink


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« Reply #302 on: July 26, 2005, 09:38:14 am »

@49 cent.

With a bit of luck, a quick Jester's Cap against any Gifts.dec all around, can prevent you from winning at all.
Any other hate spells, in the end, can be considered ONLY a card that usually shut up your winning plan for a while, but not completely at all.
OTOH, for this exact reason, your opponent would lose some time and deck's consistency in order to use THOSE hate cards against you; at this point, the equilibrium is re-established by a smart a foresighting game-style of the GIfts' player.


Jester's Cap could take out Burning, DSC and Cunning. At this point you could not win because all your Winning Conditions are un-reachable. With Cunning Wish number #2 you can avoid the flat autolose possibly putting Brainfreeze in your side.

On the other hand, playing with two Wishes maindeck, is so slow that I would prefer losing that damn match, easily winning the two others, rather then playing with the safeness of the #4 Winning Conditions. OTOH, Jesters is really unused and stopped by Peething Needle.








---------
I tried to change a couple of things, because I feel that the Steve's deck can perform better without playing with the DSC maindeck.

+1 Tendrils of Agony
+1 Death Wish
+1 Memory Jar
+1 Cunning Wish
-1 Misdirection
-1 Echoing Truth
-1 Merchant Scroll
-1 Darksteel Colossus

Side.
-1 ToA
+1 DSC
-x Metagame Cards
+x Metagame Cards



The Tendrils route is really safer and usually preferred rather than the DSC's one.
It is easy to set up.
It is better against Control.
It is bad only against Pillars & Combo.hate.

While Winning with Tendrils usually have an inherent elegant and cards' advantage based plan, winning with DSC, can tempt the player to play it "for the win", without Gifting out Brooken Things to set up "inevitability".

I really like these changes and I would appreciate a lot if someone else, over me, would try to win with it Wink


MaxxMatt

I would never cut the Darksteel Colossus from the deck. Tinker-Colossus is just about the best silver bullet ever, it deals with a lot of problematic situations. It's not always possible to get the Gifts engine running and in those situations, resolving a Tinker for Colossus is all you need. How is the Tendrils kill easier to set up when compared to Tinker-Colossus? Colossus only takes one slot in the maindeck and it makes the deck so much better in a lot of situations, so why would you ever cut it? Also, the cards you want to add are pretty expensive and not that flexibel. I think one Cunning Wish might be ok, but I really don't like the other cards that much.
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« Reply #303 on: July 26, 2005, 11:12:32 am »

While Winning with Tendrils usually have an inherent elegant and cards' advantage based plan, winning with DSC, can tempt the player to play it "for the win", without Gifting out Brooken Things to set up "inevitability".

I really like these changes and I would appreciate a lot if someone else, over me, would try to win with it Wink
We all are trying to win with it. It's just that when the opportunity presents itself, we bust out an undestructible trampling 11/11 instead and go to town.

Once you are in a safe position to combo out, you can do either Colossus or Tendrils. The difference is almost negligible. What Tinker without Colossus does is that you have to Tinker for Memory Jar. Jar is very broken. I have Tinkered for Jar instead of DSC before. But Colossus is a safety net and an artillery field gun rolled into one shiny package. Two hits, you're down, or it catches any groundbased offense rolling at you. More like a riot shield than a safety net, really...

Ask yourself: If you have a first turn Tinker, what would you rather get? Memory Jar or Darksteel Colossus? You can win with both, but DSC is faster.

As for the changes themselves, Steve is spot on when he says "fit the deck to your needs". Some are killing with Colossus all the time, some are killing with Tendrils all the time. Some fit in Memory Jar (me), some go with more Tutors. Steve has given us the engine, which is Merchant Scroll + Gifts Ungiven. What you do with that is entirely up to you. I believe you could even build a mono-blue version with Recall/Relearn and beat down with Serendib Efreet if you really wanted. (It's not be the best version. But possible.)

As for the hate: I know Smmenen keeps saying otherwise, but Rootwater Thief is a real pain in the ass (Cap, too, but that's a bit slow), and to a lesser extent Tormod's Crypt as well. Both are shut down by the little happy Needle, which is good. In the Eye of Chaos shuts off the Gifts, but since Scrolls, Will, Tinker, Recoup, Walk and Will are sorceries, it shouldn't hurt too bad anway. If you combine Boil, Gorilla Shaman, Chalice, Duress and Wasteland into one single deck, you're golden. That amount of hate should do it.

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« Reply #304 on: July 26, 2005, 12:09:44 pm »

I was actually thinking of adding in two Cunning Wishes - but that is based entirely on theory and not playtesting. 
Can it be possible to make Wish engine instead of scroll ? It costs 1 mana more, instant speed, makes some maindeck slot's for techy cards...all you have to do is to move Recall to SB (I'm a heretic, burn me Wink )
Maybe this is not needed but it's an idea and you deal with ideas here...
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« Reply #305 on: July 26, 2005, 12:16:17 pm »

Can it be possible to make Wish engine instead of scroll ? It costs 1 mana more, instant speed, makes some maindeck slot's for techy cards...all you have to do is to move Recall to SB (I'm a heretic, burn me Wink )

I think you perfectly summarized why basing the deck on Cunning Wish would be a bad idea... Having 4 Merchant Scrolls allows us to run some silver bullets like Rebuild, Echoing Truth and even Fire/Ice in the maindeck, and thus have them readily accessible. Having to spend an extra mana to find them would sort of defeat their purpose. Besides, having to move Ancestral Recall to the SB = bad idea, Smile.

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« Reply #306 on: July 26, 2005, 01:26:37 pm »

If your personal playstyle is different, then it should be changed to reflect that if only because you will suffer for it if you don't. 


Could you please be a bit more specific? Changing the deck to suit my playstyle?

Does this mean

a) Changing this deck into Gobbos   la Moi?
b) Changing the maindeck removal spells to those I'd consider most appropriate for my meta?
c) Weaken the deck by taking some gas out for more security? (cos I suck and I'd better be on the safe side with those winning conditions?)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2005, 03:44:05 pm by verduran » Logged
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« Reply #307 on: July 26, 2005, 03:05:24 pm »

I would never cut Colossus, it a single card that makes all your tutpos more powerful since you can now fetch Tinker for the win. Gifts is nice, but often an early tutor for a Tinker followed by beatdown and scrolling for counters does the job.

Cunning Wish seems misplaced in the deck, it lacks all sort of synergy, what is the reason you want to try them out Steve?

- You don't have Scrying/Tog to turn them into regrowths.
- You (most likely) have to cut Bounce to make room, making scoll less of an answer
- There are hardly any instant that you could add to the sideobard that can handle thing Fire/Ice, Truth and Rebuild can't handle.

What do people think about the mirror, what could be done to improve it?
One of the first thing that come to mind is the adition of a Sundering Titan in the sideboard, it takes one more turn to go lethal, but it slows down your opponent and when it is bounced you opponent will most likely have no lands left.
Tinker Colossus simply is too slow in the mirror, and you might even sideboard them out for more counters. But with Titan Tinker once again seems worth the spot.

Koen
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« Reply #308 on: July 27, 2005, 09:56:40 am »

I think you perfectly summarized why basing the deck on Cunning Wish would be a bad idea... Having 4 Merchant Scrolls allows us to run some silver bullets like Rebuild, Echoing Truth and even Fire/Ice in the maindeck, and thus have them readily accessible. Having to spend an extra mana to find them would sort of defeat their purpose. Besides, having to move Ancestral Recall to the SB = bad idea, Smile.

Luiggi
Are silver bullets better then consinstency ? I remmember one deck, I think Yawgmoth's will was in the SB...All you do is to have 1 more mana for the instant speed and more free space for inovations (we all know how tight gift deck is)...I don't want to force the scrying's, but you should not dismiss them at that pace...
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« Reply #309 on: July 27, 2005, 10:37:33 am »

I don't want to force the scrying's, but you should not dismiss them at that pace...

You mean the Cunning Wishes? I don't recall you mentioning Skeletal Scrying...

The Merchant Scrolls actually make the deck a lot more consistent, since you can tutor for Gifts if you need to set up the combo, tutor for Mana Drain/FoW/MisD if you need counters to protect your win, tutor for Mystical Tutor if you want to just grab the Tinker, etc.

Bottom line for me: Merchant Scroll lets you grab the vast majority of targets you'd want to grab with Cunning Wish, but at a cheaper price, and it also lets you actually have those cards in the deck, so that you can draw them as well as tutor for them. I can see adding one or two Cunning Wishes in addition to the Merchant Scrolls, as Smmenen had suggested, but not outright replacing them.

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« Reply #310 on: July 27, 2005, 11:32:15 am »

Jeah, I ment wishes...well dunno about wishes and scroll's, that's too much tutoring for bounce or something (scroll > wish > bounce > use bounce).
Btw. you just said what merchant scroll can do, and cunning wish can all of that too...cheaper version, merchant scroll, is a sorcery...btw. we are not talking anymore about meandeck gifts...with cunning it would be a new gifts deck, am I right ?...I'm not saying it will add some power or anything, just making a point with  wishes..btw. You say you can draw some bounce or something threw the game, but that being in SB means that you will draw some other card's instead of maybe in that moment unneceserie bounce (draw maybe? or another preventive answer i dunno)
Btw. you must agree that bounce is just metagame sollution in this moment and having that slot free would make some things do better...or maybe not...
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« Reply #311 on: July 27, 2005, 11:52:57 am »

Yeah, of course I realize that Merchant Scroll is a sorcery and that Cunning Wish is an instant. Whereas generally we prefer instants to sorceries, if we want to set up our gameplan faster I like the Scrolls more, especially since you only need one Mox to cast them on turn 1, setting yourself up better, whether that means finding the Ancestral Recall, the Gifts Ungiven, a counter, or something else. They're better in my mind (and I think in most everyone else's mind) because they're just faster, sorcery or not. If you don't like them because they're sorceries then by all means play your version with Cunning Wish, Smile, but if, as you say:

we are not talking anymore about meandeck gifts...with cunning it would be a new gifts deck, am I right ?...

then you should probably discuss your ideas in a separate topic, since this one is specifically about Meandeck Gifts, that is built around Merchant Scroll.

As for the bounce, while it is a metagame solution, I don't expect Chalices to disappear from the format anytime soon, meaning that having access to something like Rebuild (which is also really good when going for the Tendrils-kill, by the way, making it important to the deck) or Echoing Truth is always a nice thing to have, though having 2 maindeck bounce spells might be overkill for some metagames. If anything I like what Koen did and change Echoing Truth into Fire/Ice, but preserving the Rebuild. At any rate, Merchant Scroll gives us easy/cheap access to whatever bounce we have.

Anyway, like I said, those are my reasons for liking Merchant Scroll. Feel free to disagree, but if you want to talk about a Wish-only version then this is probably not the place to do it in, since, as you say, it would be a completely different Gifts deck.

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« Reply #312 on: July 27, 2005, 12:01:41 pm »

I don't see anything wrong with discussing innovations to the deck presented in the same thread. While it's true that it would likely become a new deck once it got rid of its training wheels, it would still have as its starting point Meandeck Gifts. It's kind of like discussing Homo-sapiens in the context of a discussion about pre-historic man. The future IS relevant to the present is relevant to the past, and the three are interconnected.
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« Reply #313 on: July 27, 2005, 01:52:56 pm »

I'm not trying to stifle innovation or anything, don't worry, Smile. However, if a topic is called "Meandeck Gifts", and not "Gifts", then it narrows the conversation to a certain deck, right? In this case the Gifts build we're discussing is Steve Menendian's, that is based on Merchant Scroll, and that's what immediately set it apart from other Gifts builds like SSB or Gifted.fr. By removing the Merchant Scrolls you are fundamentally altering the way the deck works, as well as changing the whole deck structure. If you want to explore alternative Gifts builds, everyone's perfectly free to open a separate topic, much like WhateverWorks did with his High Tide Gifts build. If it were a small change then obviously it's not a problem, but It's not like we're just swapping 4 Scrolls for 4 Wishes, and other factors come into play.

Consider this: by turning Merchant Scrolls into Cunning Wishes you need to either: a) move Ancestral Recall to the SB, in order to be able to find it with your Wishes, or b) lose the massive tutoring-for-Ancestrall-Recall capabilities that Meandeck Gifts has. I'll just bring up in passing that Steve listed "tutoring for and resolving Ancestral" as one of the most important things the deck seeks to do...

EDIT: one other point I forgot to mention earlier is that Merchant Scrolls are reusable during your YWill turn, something very important when we're going for the win and want to grab a counter or two to defend that Colossus while he's swinging for two turns. This is obviously not possible with Cunning Wish, since they'll be RFG.

A further change accompanying the Scrolls-to-Wishes swap is that a copy of Gifts Ungiven and probably some of the other one-ofs in the deck will have to move to the SB as well, because the whole idea of running 4 Merchant Scrolls is being able to find any of the broken blue instants in your deck. If the only way of finding them (other than Mystical/Vampiric Tutor) is now Cunning Wish, you need to reconstruct the maindeck to take this fundamental change into account, and to have good cards to Cunning Wish for.

Again, no one's saying "Don't use Cunning Wish as the deck engine" (or at least I'm not), but asking a question like "Can it be possible to make Wish engine instead of scroll?", like monSt4r did, involves more than simply swapping 4 Scrolls for 4 Cunning Wish, and that really makes it an entirely different deck, as I'm hoping is obvious to other people besides me...

Luiggi
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« Reply #314 on: July 28, 2005, 10:27:59 pm »

I'm fairly new to vintage but have been playing magic for ten years and I'm a pretty good standard player.  I have a bunch of questions about the deck that I've tried to answer myself but have been unable to:  Why are people running 2 REB and 1 Pyroblast over 1 REB and 2 Pyroblast?  Isn't Pyroblast "the better one" because it's easily stormable?  Is running 1 Seasinger and 1 Old Man a realistic option?  It seems like being able to Gifts for both along with other hate cards or broken cards would be helpful.  Do you board in 1 Pyroclasm against Fish so the other is still a wish target or do you board in both?  If you board in both, is Steam Blast useable as another Gifts target, or does the player damage and increased casting cost make it far too inferior?  Is Psycogenic Probe a decent hate card, or is it too fragile?
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« Reply #315 on: July 29, 2005, 11:56:08 am »

Darkmage:

REB v. Pyroblast is pretty close to a toss up, but the thing that usually gets pointed to is this: When you target a blue permanent in play with REB it cannot be Misdirected but Pyro can.  I don't know if that is a good reason to prefer REB now, since the only deck I know that runs Misdirection is this one, and this deck has no blue permanents, but that is the reason usually pointed to.

Seasinger is a good deal worse than Old Man because Old Man can survive pingers (Icatian Javelineers or Grim Lavamancer) and can also block (if Kira is in play or just to deal with an extra creature).  I don't think the ability to put them both in a Gifts makes up for those disadvantages.  It wouldn't be unimaginable for a Fish deck to destroy all your islands, either, which would suck.  They could even Waste their own Island if it save a key creature at the critical moment.  Seasinger can grab Wild Mongrel though . . . hmmm.

I think most people only board in one Pyroclasm, although I could be wrong.  I don't think Steam Blast is great, mostly because of its casting cost (although the damage could be annoying in some circumstances as well).

I am tempted to say that if you are casting Gifts against Fish you are already winning.  That may not be strictly true but it is pretty close.

Psycogenic Probe seems to be along the same likes as Ankh of Mishra, a card that saw play in the last Sligh deck that was any good in T1.  Both punish Fetchlands, but I think Ankh will do more damage under most circumstances.  It does four on a Fetch and usually a couple more on regular land drops whereas Probe will do two on a fetch plus a few extra on Gifts and Tutors.  The only time this deck is likely to shuffle more than once in a turn is on a Yawg. Will turn.  And by then, it is too late.

Everyone:

Has anyone messed with really extreme solutions to 5cStax?  For example, sbing 1 Plains and 3 Serenity completely turns the matchup around, at least in my limited testing.  If 5cStax is really a close to "unwinnable" matchup than extreme solutions like these might be worth looking at.

Leo

Edit: correction after reading Seasinger more closely.
Edit2: correction after learning how to complete a coherent sentance
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« Reply #316 on: July 29, 2005, 01:51:49 pm »

Darkmage:

REB v. Pyroblast is pretty close to a toss up, but the thing that usually gets pointed to is this: When you target a blue permanent in play with REB it cannot be Misdirected but Pyro can.  I don't know if that is a good reason to prefer REB now, since the only deck I know that runs Misdirection is this one, and this deck has no blue permanents, but that is the reason usually pointed to.

Some builds of Fish here on the West Coast have been picking up one or two Misdirections. I'm not sure I agree with it, but it is out there.

If you're looking for an alternative to Pyroclasm, I would suggest Massacre, although my meta is not Food Chain or WTF heavy.
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« Reply #317 on: July 29, 2005, 03:36:04 pm »


Seasinger is a good deal worse than Old Man because Old Man can survive pingers (Icatian Javelineers or Grim Lavamancer) and can also block (if Kira is in play or just to deal with an extra creature).  I don't think the ability to put them both in a Gifts makes up for those disadvantages.  It wouldn't be unimaginable for a Fish deck to destroy all your islands, either, which would suck.  They could even Waste their own Island if it save a key creature at the critical moment.  Seasinger can grab Wild Mongrel though . . . hmmm.


How is Fish going to destroy all your islands?  I'm assuming the first thing you fetch out vs Fish is basic land...

Also, Seasinger can steal things like Darksteel Colossus or other fat that Old Man will never steal.
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« Reply #318 on: July 29, 2005, 03:51:09 pm »

Dante, I wouldn't say it is a big deal, but it is certainly possible.  Perhaps you keep a hand with Mox Sapphire and a basic Island and they have Strip Mine.  Perhaps you get a draw with only one fetch and several duals and he has the strip.  Perhaps he is has maindecked Crucible for some reason.  Perhaps you kept a one fetch hand but he got off to a very quick start and you were forced to fetch a Volcanic to Pyroclasm.  Perhaps you just kept a hand with duals but no fetches.  The deck does run 4 duals, afterall, and sometimes you will draw them.  Often you should mulligan them, of course, but if you get one with enough good stuff you might be correct to take the risk and keep it.

Again, these aren't likely scenarios, but they are probably not any less likely than the Misdirected Pyroblast scenario is these days.

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« Reply #319 on: July 29, 2005, 07:14:51 pm »

Sideboarding against Stax: I haven't tested the match-up because I am so unlikely to run into it, but I believe that a timely Rack and Ruin makes as much sense as Serenity and can more easily be boarded in. If you run a single Plains, you will have to go for 4 Flooded Strand, which makes you very vulnerable to Pithing Needle, and I don't like that. I'd much rather board in one or two Crucibles and a single Strip Mine of my own, because it gives you a better shot at Workshops and Crucible pretty much negates theirs. Sacred Ground could be another thing, but it is white and leads to the Needle problem again.

Pyroclasm: I usually board in both two and win via Tendrils against Aggro. Against Fish, it really depends on the build you face if you can afford to leave one in the board. Against WTF, I would, against U/W, not so much. When the creatures you will hit will die with high probability, board in two. If not, find something else, like The Abyss, which is really cool again, I reckon.

On a different topic, the maindeck: I have recently found that I don't like Fact or Fiction as much as I used to. I put a Sensei's Divining Top in its place, and I love it -- a lot. I know that FoF is a very good card and serves well as bait. I have had trouble with the mana cost, though. At four mana, I much rather have Gifts itself. If I don't have it or Merchant Scroll, Top sees almost as many cards as FoF for only one mana. Top also loves to be in an opening hand, where Fact or Fiction often looks bad, and those are enough reasons to play Top over Fact. Also, if the Top lands in your graveyard, replaying it is far easier than Fact due to the lower mana cost. And the many shuffle effects (10+) really push the Top -- forgive me the pun -- over the top.

Sure, it increases the vulnerability to Null Rod. But if I fear Rod, I'd much rather put Fact back in place of the Memory Jar I also run which fulfills much the same function as Fact: See a lot of cards in one turn. I put them in in a different order, but it makes perfect sense to envision Memory Jar in the Fact slot and Top instead of one Misdirection. Only when I had put Jar in did the Fact seem unnecessary, because it is really something you do not want to see in a Jar hand. Top is much better there, and the deck practically screams for it. An opening like Land, Sol Ring, Top is among the big ones, or even Land, Mox, Crypt, Top, Merchant Scroll. Top gives the deck some more early game (1st/2nd turn) action. At any later point, you don't want to play Fact: You want to Gifts, viz: Tutor up what you need. Don't be afraid to use Top's second ability! If you see two cards you want EOT, get them both. Either you shuffle the Top away, at which point it just becomes a reusable Brainstorm, or you draw it again next turn and you already know what is below it. It is a very solid card and supplements the deck well. I have even Tinkered it away, because it is a cheap artifact and sometimes all you got. But if you got it, sometimes that is already enough.

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« Reply #320 on: July 30, 2005, 12:05:24 am »

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Sideboarding against Stax: I haven't tested the match-up because I am so unlikely to run into it, but I believe that a timely Rack and Ruin makes as much sense as Serenity and can more easily be boarded in. If you run a single Plains, you will have to go for 4 Flooded Strand, which makes you very vulnerable to Pithing Needle, and I don't like that. I'd much rather board in one or two Crucibles and a single Strip Mine of my own, because it gives you a better shot at Workshops and Crucible pretty much negates theirs. Sacred Ground could be another thing, but it is white and leads to the Needle problem again.
The main reason to consider Serenity is Choke.  That card really grabs this deck by the nuts.  Rack and Ruin is expensive and doesn't get enchantments.  The Plains serves to get around Choke on its own as a non-Island and also lets you cast spells that answer the Choke directly.  I agree about Pithing Needle, though.  That is a concern.

Regardless, the issue may be moot, because few people are going to have 4-5 sb slots to dedicate to one matchup.  If 5cStax is that big in your meta you would likely be better off playing something that has a good matchup with it instead of dedicating most of your sideboard to beating it.

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« Reply #321 on: July 30, 2005, 03:24:13 pm »

Check out the post I made about the proper role of Gifts player against Stax in the 5c Stax thread.

I think that role is really the most important consideration in playing this deck.  Role is a complicated concept and easy to screw up.  You can know the correct role and still not execute it properly.  More likely, people don't know the correct role or the fact that often you want to try to seize both roles.  Role shifts during the course of a game and it is critical to know when and how that happens.
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« Reply #322 on: August 01, 2005, 01:08:09 pm »

Hi everyone,

After reading the last couple of pages in addition to the smmenen's nice article i have become pretty fond of this deck. consequently i started testing around with this and i think the maindeck is really tight and i'm not going to change anything about it.

As one can see on the last pages the sideboard has to be discussed. First of all we have to think about which cards may be sideboarded out before we can think about which cards can be sideboarded in. I guess the 4th Merchant Scroll, the 4th Gifts, Mystical Tutor and Fact or Fiction can be sideboarded out along with the 4th Brainstorm if the cards sideboarded in are that important. Cards that can fill these "open" slots should either destroy or at least slow down your opponent's game plan or support yours better. So what can we play in the freakin' sideboard?

First of all I'd suggest playing 2 Red Elemental Blasts or 2 Pyroblasts or 1 REB and 1 Pyroblast or whichever configuration you might prefer. Wink

Furthermore 2 Pyroclasms seem to be a very solid call as they clear the table from all sort of "fish-creatures" and small and quite nasty goblins. Advantage: you can survive a lot longer and you can destroy meddling mage this way which is really a big help unless the card named by the mage is darksteel colossus. Wink

2 Rack and Ruins should be very good two although i might even consider playing 3 of them. I haven't yet tested the matchup against Stax but Trinisphere, Smokestack, Tangle Wire, Sphere of Resistance and Crucible of Worlds can become areal issue, i suppose. As you mostly don't want these cards to be played against you or at least they shouldn't stay in play very long 3 Rack and Ruins might be really good. Then the only card you really have to counter is good old Goblin Welder as a Stax-player with an active Welder doesn't really care a whole lot about Rack and Ruin. Even though the Rack and Ruins can be tutored by means of Merchant Scroll, Mystical Tutor or Demonic Tutor i think that the Rack and Ruins should be played this often so that you don't have to depend on huge amounts of mana just to get the Rack and Ruind to your hand. Furthermore you then have the tutors to still be able to succesfully use your own game plan.

Another really good card is Boseiju, Who Shelters All as it simply wins several games for you. At first glance you might think that i simply slows you down but if you can resolve the Yawgmoth's Will with the Boseiju you really can ignore the "comes into play tapped"-fact.

Furthermore I'd suggest playing a single Blue Elemetal Blast as it kills a Goblin Welder when you didn't have either the Force of Will or the mana for the Drain open to counter this little goblin. As it can be tutored up one Blue Elemental Blast should be enough.

Additionally you simply should play the Tendrils of Agony. It's really awesome in this deck and furthermore it's quite obligatory as maybe your Colossus could get extracted, removed with a Swords to Plowshares or something similar. I'll simply not talk about a Jester's Cap as the deck simply dies to a Jester's Cap unless you're able to destroy it before your opponent has the mana to activate it or you can counter it. If both of these two alternatives are not the case you're simply dead as taking out the Colossus and the Burning Wish is enough to kill this deck.

I personally think that these cards should be the basis of our sideboard and it pretty much looks like this right now:

2 REB
2 Pyroclasm
2-3 Rack and Ruin
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 BEB

Further cards you might think about are Mind Twist - which can win the game for you in the control matchup -, Pithing Needle - haven't really figured out in which matchup it simply wins the match for you and therefore i hope you can tell me Wink -, Gorilla Shamans - which help against storm-combo -, Seasinger - which simply rock against Oath and Colossus-based decks.

Would be very happy if you shared your thoughts with me.

Greetings from Germany,

Cr0v4x

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« Reply #323 on: August 04, 2005, 04:03:07 pm »

has anyone tested crucible of worlds and strip mine in this deck?  although there may not be room for it, gifting for a strip mine among other lands with a crucible in play seems pretty nuts.  I would say you could cut one merchant scroll and a basic land for the two, although i have not really tested it yet.

just an idea.
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« Reply #324 on: August 04, 2005, 04:50:08 pm »

That works in decks like Goth Slaver that run Intuition and Welders, thus giving you a way of finding the Crucible and putting it into play even if your opponent decides to have it go to the graveyard from your Intuition. If you put Crucible + Strip into Gifts you have very few ways of actually finding the Crucible (Vampiric Tutor is the only surefire way to tutor for it, short of Giftsing for YWill, Recoup, Crucible and X), and throwing a Strip Mine into a Gifts stack without having the Crucible already in play seems like a waste (not to mention that cutting a colored mana source to add one lone Strip seems conterproductive). I think this is definitely better left for a deck like Goth Slaver, Smile.

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« Reply #325 on: August 05, 2005, 12:35:10 am »

Or the SSB variants that actually have Goblin Welder to make that plan work. 
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« Reply #326 on: August 05, 2005, 05:03:50 am »

I don't want to appear pedant or stupidly blatant, but there are plenty of ways to tweak the deck with minor changes to make room for CoW+Strips and play it even in the MG's configuration

Gifts for [card]Tinker[/card], [card]Stripmine[/card], [card]Demonic Tutor[/card], [card]Recoup[/card] and you would have at least two ways to go around counters and Tinker up your CoW with the Strip in the grave as well.

Add [card]Trash for Treasure[/card] in the deck and you would have far more combinations to achieve this slow lock without playing 4 Welders and 4 TFKs

Example. [card]Crucible of the Worlds[/card],[card]Stripmine[/card],[card]Trash for Treasure[/card][card]Recoup[/card]

From my point of view, the possiblity of being able to go with this "lock" is intriguing even if a bit overkill.

While I would not play this routing in my Gifts.dec ( the one with some Duresses and more Drawers ), I would think that a single CoW and a Single Stripmine can be added to the Steve's build without any problems. Cut Mis-D#3 for CoW and Fetch#6 or one of the worst mana accelerations for the Stripmine and you would have this deck ready to Strip all the opponent's lands as well as ready to win in other ways.




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« Reply #327 on: August 05, 2005, 06:32:01 am »

I don't want to appear pedant or stupidly blatant, but there are plenty of ways to tweak the deck with minor changes to make room for CoW+Strips and play it even in the MG's configuration

Gifts for [card]Tinker[/card], [card]Stripmine[/card], [card]Demonic Tutor[/card], [card]Recoup[/card] and you would have at least two ways to go around counters and Tinker up your CoW with the Strip in the grave as well.

Add [card]Trash for Treasure[/card] in the deck and you would have far more combinations to achieve this slow lock without playing 4 Welders and 4 TFKs

Example. [card]Crucible of the Worlds[/card],[card]Stripmine[/card],[card]Trash for Treasure[/card][card]Recoup[/card]

From my point of view, the possiblity of being able to go with this "lock" is intriguing even if a bit overkill.

While I would not play this routing in my Gifts.dec ( the one with some Duresses and more Drawers ), I would think that a single CoW and a Single Stripmine can be added to the Steve's build without any problems. Cut Mis-D#3 for CoW and Fetch#6 or one of the worst mana accelerations for the Stripmine and you would have this deck ready to Strip all the opponent's lands as well as ready to win in other ways.




MaxxMatt

why would one ever tinker for COW?  Why not go get slaver, DSC, Platz, etc?
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« Reply #328 on: August 05, 2005, 06:41:16 am »

On a different topic, the maindeck: I have recently found that I don't like Fact or Fiction as much as I used to. I put a Sensei's Divining Top in its place, and I love it -- a lot. I know that FoF is a very good card and serves well as bait. I have had trouble with the mana cost, though. At four mana, I much rather have Gifts itself. If I don't have it or Merchant Scroll, Top sees almost as many cards as FoF for only one mana. Top also loves to be in an opening hand, where Fact or Fiction often looks bad, and those are enough reasons to play Top over Fact. Also, if the Top lands in your graveyard, replaying it is far easier than Fact due to the lower mana cost. And the many shuffle effects (10+) really push the Top -- forgive me the pun -- over the top.

I've found that I love to see FoF in my opening hand.  If you get a decent hand and drop down to 3-4 cards, FoF will dig up some really broken stuff.  however, after playing a Gifts or two, FoF starts getting weaker and weaker.  If I end up with Ancestral in my opening hand or a topdeck or Brainstorm my first Merchant Scroll will frequently be for FoF rather than Gifts.
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« Reply #329 on: August 05, 2005, 09:19:43 am »

@doylehancock

Quote
why would one ever tinker for COW?  Why not go get slaver, DSC, Platz, etc?

...Because someone else, rather than you, asked for it?




In the end, I would suggest you to look among ALL the players playing Gifts.dec, not only the ones who write here that are the minority of the ones available in the world .
I faced some of them that surprised me Tinkering up a Mindslaver ( LemanRuss here on TMD ) or Duplicant in the Mirror match or other weird things ( such as Platz and/or CoW ).

Talking about CoW, it would be a nice addition IF you have to face or break or win a pletora of things like Mirror Matches, MonoU, Fish and some MW.dec.

It would be ALWAYS better to go for the DSC route if you are winning.
It would be ALWAYS better to go for other tools if you need to speed up or build your path for the victory.

From my point of view, CoW+Strip maybe a tools at least to try and not to dislike or regret without testing.




@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Quote from: Steve & other Gifts Players
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

How are you planning to gain an edge over your opponent playing the Mirror Matches?

If you are facing a player with skills comparable to your, which tools are you trying to fit in to win this game without relying on luck on draw?

Relying on the same tools ( maindeck and sideboard ) would not leave you any chances to use skills over luck.
Because of the intense testing of those matches done by me and my teammates, I would ask you if you have tested Shamans and CoWs+Strip in you sideboard.
Attacking the mana base and preventing the opponent from doing broken things with all that mana seemed to me a first possible thing to plan to switch the game and unbalance it in your favour.




MAxxMAtt









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