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Author Topic: The Perfect Storm: A Primer  (Read 16877 times)
Negator
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« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2005, 05:14:11 am »

Ok I understand. Another thing is Cunning Wish. I played it during at least during 6-7 months and realised that Merchant Scroll was just better. I almost never kill with Brainfreeze because I'm playing with 2 Tendrils of Agony. I don't understand why you want to play 3 kill condition maindeck. Anyway, you can't Gifts for a kill and you still fear Jester Caps. I know that you can Wish for bounce, draw and counter but Merchant Scroll do the same thing, but instead of Skeletal Scrying or Fact or Fiction, it will search Ancestral Recall. Instead of Misdirection, it will search Force of Will. Merchant Scroll has just not access to Echoing Truth, but he can fetch Chain of Vapor and Rebuild. Another advantage is that it's coverted mana cost is one cheaper. I really liked Merchant Scroll even if it is sorcery speed. I really don't like to have Cunning Wish in my hand except when I have a ton of blue mana, no black mana and 14 spells. What do you think about it?
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« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2005, 08:54:45 am »

@Negator.

I think that a lot of thoughts that are coming out from this ( good ) read that Negator13 proposed to us, is based on LittleExperience with the deck iteself and, sadly most of all, based on the use of some cards done by OTHER decks.

Before Smmemen put out his own Gifts.dec , NOONE tried to put Merchants in any decks.
Today, I heard about his insertion IN ALL THE DECKS that are available at now?

Understimated card?... NO!
Underextimated mechanic came from the past? ... NO!
I feel that anyone follow his idols, without thinking too much...
This is a sad thing to say but Magic is really "static" about " personal thinking"... Sad


Cunning Wish fit the TPS's structure BETTER than any other tools because it CAN do so many DIFFERENT things that Merchants CANNOT do in DIFFERENT matchups that is FOOLISH to regret is playing.

Wish grab solutions
Wish grab winner
Wish grab counters
Wish grab drawers
Wish avoid you from being killed by a single Jester's Cap
Wish protect you winning plans better than Merchant Scroll because of Instant's Speed
Wish draw you solutions better than Merchant Scroll because of Instant's Speed
Wish let you search for cards without caring of Tangle Wires
Double Wish is better than Double Merchant scrolls
Tapping out in you mainphase is usually worst than tapping out in the opponent's EoT
Wish can bait a Counter when the opponent is correctly figuring out what is your plan and it is good. Merchant does not.
Wish EoT for something + BomB + Protectionduring the next Mainphase usually equal "Win"
Merchant + Bomb + Protections is more difficul to plan, more difficult to realise and easier stoppable than the previous one.
Merchant can grab anything that Wish can grab ( with MINOR differencies ) but it is slower, sorcery speed and the deck's structure usually don't let you optimize a quick Merchant for something huge AND resolve the key spell you grab with her soon. It is a waste of time that don't fit the Control-Combo Winning plan of the deck.

Examples.
Your winning plan is ALWAYS to force your opponent to play with less cards than you because he HAD to counter your things in order to let himself winning.
Land Mox Merchant Scroll for something = I let him untap, draw at least a new card, better his hand/board position and left me with my pants down if I'm not able to resolve that spell.
Land Duress Pass, Land Mox Wish during EoT for Something AND BOMB during the next turn is usually THE quickest ( and NOT BROKEN ) way to produce advantage.





@Negator13.
I appreciated your work a lot.
It fits a bit my old one Wink
...A lot of time passed from that primer...


I can reassume our situation at now ( As many of my reports can confirm ).

--None is playing with Windfall/TimeSpiral/WheelOfFortune anymore.
--Anyone is playing at least 2 Gifts maindeck and Gift#3 in the side
--I would add Cunning Wish#2
--I would play with Red only if I had the Recoup/DSC plan in it.
--If I play with a bicolor version, I would play without the FranticSearch/TimeSpiral pair of spells but with more Instant Speed Drawers ( Skeletals, FoF, more Gifts and so on ).
--If I play with the Tri-Color Version is feel that 3 Duresses and a Recoup, with only one or two red sources are enough to support the single Maindeck Spell and the possibly ReB/R&R sideboard's addition
--I would play with 2 Maindeck Winning Conditions AND with 2 Sideboards' Tutors. The best winning conditions' configuration that I played until now for the 2c-deck is 2 ToAs and 2 Cunning Wishes ( with the DSC in side ).
--If you add red you can safely play with 1 ToA, 1 DSC+2 Cunning maindeck. I tried with a lot of satisfactions this configuration too: 1 ToA, 1 DSC, 1 Burning, 1 Cunning maindeck and 1 ToA, 1 Brainfreeze in my sideboard.





@@@@
Comparing TPS with Gifts to any other Gifts.dec with Mana Drains is a foolish and uncorrect way to approach the comparation.

While both of the decks use Gifts, they are INHERENTLY DIFFERENT decks with DIFFERENT GOALS and DIFFERENT STRATEGIES.

None of them win only by Gifting out things.
None of them auto-scoop if Gifts doesn't resolve.

TPS is the pinnacle of the good-combo deck to play.
Gifts.dec is the pinnacle of the good-control deck to play.

While TPS can  sometimes try to control more and combo less, Gifts can sometimes try to do the exactly opposite thing.

The presence of Gifts Ungiven in both the decks, is the ONLY point of contact of two opposite strategies.

Talking about the two decks in a mathematical language can help you realizing the the equation:
Drains : Rituals = Gifts.dec : TPS

is INCORRECT by definition

They have a different use of some of their same bombs
They have a different use of the same disruption spells
They have a different use of the same solutions
They have a different way to abuse of drawers
They have no reason to act like each other at all, even while if they can sometimes play the same game.

Play combo or play control.
Don't mind if you can exchange things sometimes.
You are still playing the same control deck or the same combo deck Wink






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« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2005, 11:40:41 am »

Also, C-Wish for things such as another draw, or the other game-winnng Gift's Ungiven is necessary. And, in TPS, you can get such a high storm count that you C-Wish for Brain Freeze, and Freeze some one out. I have done it(to belcher) and have seen if be done.
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« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2005, 02:45:59 pm »

I still dont understand why this deck isnt getting more play here in the states.

What is everyones opinion on Timespiral?

How many gifts should be ran in this deck?

What do you gifts for usually?

thanks.
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« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2005, 12:39:11 pm »

I still do not understand why it does not see play more period.

Timespiral i do not like because you can play it later in the game but that most of the time is to late and when you can play it early on you will miss the benefit of manauntapping.

I am still no big advocate of gifts in TPS. Perhaps i still do not see the use of the card but i think it slows you down considerably or you really have to build your deck around gifts. Primarily i am playing a dark ritual TPS, and not a gifts TPS. Losing valuable spells to playing an early gifts i think loses you more than it gains. Delaying your play for another turn possibly missing your land drop (as you do not play to many lands anyways) and having to play a mox or several other tempo cards to be able to play. People say that a resolved gifts will win you the game. It only does so if you build around gifts. On the other hand if you draw those cards without the gifts option to make them usefull they are dead cards most of the time, and those you really do not want in TPS. Every spell has to count. Dead cards, although good in some occasions, will eventually lose you games.

About wheel of fortune, i am a big fan of that card. You could basically have your opponent mulligan to a hand he doesnt want to mull to. It very well could set you up for the turn 2 win, or even for the turn 1 win. It mostly means when you resolve it you win, but timing with this card is of the essence. Playing it on the wrong time could lose you the game.

Cunning wish is a good card that makes your deck more flexible. It can find solutions, or get some instant you pitched to FoW back for the win.

Having tinker DSC is almost a must nowadays. It will win you so many games it is just silly, and it is always a possiblity when comboing goes to a dead end.

merchant scroll is just a terrible terrible card in this deck. It is way to mana intensive to play in TPS as it has way to few targets. Besides, i would not know what to cut for those.

As for brainstorm against duress in turn 1 when you do not know what your opponent is playing, you always go for the brainstorm at the end of his turn. You know what you are getting and perhaps setting yourself up for a turn 2 necro, twister or wheel for the win. If your opponent has the possibility to counter twice you just set it up some more. But in the end you will have more threats than he will. If you have the choice for an active mana drain or an active FoW, always go for the manadrain with the duress. It will cost your opponent 2 cards to counter something and he will not gain the tempo boost from the mana drain.

I know many people will not agree with me on several of these issues, but i have come to those conclusions over at least 10 versions of this deck and many good tournament results over the last 21 months.
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« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2005, 06:15:52 am »

Well BigMac, if you are not playing Time Spiral and Gifts Ungiven, what are you playing in you TPS build?¬  :lol:

I know you are playing Wheel of Fortune but I will be interested to see a deck list, could you post one?

Quote
merchant scroll is just a terrible terrible card in this deck. It is way to mana intensive to play in TPS as it has way to few targets. Besides, i would not know what to cut for those.

Ok, but Cunning Wish don't have more targets... Well Brain Freeze ok but I think TPS can work without it.

Cunning Wish can search:

Gifts Ungiven, Echoing Truth, Rebuild, Chain of Vapor, Misdirection, Brain Freeze and... Hurkyl's Recall.

Merchant Scroll can search:

Gifts Ungiven, Chain of Vapor, Rebuild, Force of Will, Mystical Tutor and... Ancestral Recall.

I agree Merchant Scroll isn't that great, but I think Cunning Wish too IMO. What do you generaly fetch with Cunning Wish? Gifts Ungiven?¬  Sad

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« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2005, 09:53:50 am »

In my current list, I can Wish for 4 different bounce spells, Misdirection, Brain Freeze, Scrying, FoF, or Gifts. Cunning Wish is the most versatile card in the deck. Merchant Scroll can get alot of things too, but what happens if you already drew Ancestral Recall? Scroll becomes very subpar. This isnt the only reason though. Smennen's Meandeck Gifts primer explains how he had to replace Duresses with MisD's to support the Scroll Engine. Simply put, Scroll doesnt work well with Duress at all. Lets say you had the following hand:

Underground Sea
Island
Mox Emerald
Scroll
Duress
2 Irrelevant Cards

If you wanted to Scroll up Ancestral and protect it, you would have the choice between playing turn 1 Island, Mox, Scroll for Ancestral, turn 2 Duress, Ancestral, or playing first turn Underground, Duress, turn 2 Island, Mox, Ancestral.

The problem is option 1 leaves you wide open to a Duress from your opponent, and option 2 leaves you vulnerable to a Wasteland.

In short, the underlying reason Scroll is bad really is its sorcery speed. In order to play it in a timely manner with protection, you will often need to leave yourself open to Duresses, Wastelands, etc, because Scroll, Duress, Ancestral is too mana intensive. MisD is the better card to pair with Scroll, but a bad card for TPS (maindeck anyway).

I have experimented with everything from 1 to 4 Scrolls MD in TPS, and I found them to be wholly substandard.
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« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2005, 11:07:24 am »

I still do not understand why it does not see play more period.

Actually it does, it's just that it seems to have totally fallen off the map in America. Probably because people think it's inferior to mana drain combo. The Swedish Vintage Nationals this weekend had 5 TPS decks in the T8, with two of them gunning it out in the finals. IMO it's been Tier1 for the last two years, with results to back it up too. The problem is that European results usually get far less attention than those of SCG P9, Waterbury and the likes.
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« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2005, 11:22:03 am »

Gifts can be inserted into an existing TPS skeleton with pretty much zero rebuilding and still be amazing. ¬ EoT Gifts for Demonic, Mystical, Vampiric and Lotus often just says "I untap and win." ¬ There are as many choices for solid Gifts piles as there are bombs in the deck, and that's a lot.

I don't see Merchant Scroll as a good fit, however.¬  A sorcery-speed tutor that costs two needs to fetch any card in the deck to be worth the space.¬  TPS is already tight enough.

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« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2005, 12:01:05 pm »

I still do not understand why it does not see play more period.

Actually it does, it's just that it seems to have totally fallen off the map in America. Probably because people think it's inferior to mana drain combo. The Swedish Vintage Nationals this weekend had 5 TPS decks in the T8, with two of them gunning it out in the finals. IMO it's been Tier1 for the last two years, with results to back it up too. The problem is that European results usually get far less attention than those of SCG P9, Waterbury and the likes.

Is there any coverage from that nationals to be found somewhere btw? I'd love to read about it. Also, I should probably start playing TPS again since every time I did, I got good results with it.
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« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2005, 03:06:34 pm »

These are 5 of my TPS builds that all at least made top 8.

http://www.themanadrain.com/forums/index.php?topic=23606.0

http://www.themanadrain.com/forums/index.php?topic=23163.0

http://www.morphling.de/top8decks.php?id=67

http://www.morphling.de/top8decks.php?id=79

http://www.morphling.de/top8decks.php?id=238
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« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2005, 03:39:50 pm »


THANKS!!
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« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2005, 11:19:35 pm »

I am currently running a deck that I call gifted tps.  I won 3 tourneys in a row with this deck.  When it started it had drains but I dropped the drains for duress.  I am only allowed 4 proxies so here is the list.

3 island
4 underground sea
5 fetch
1 volcanic
1 academy
1 mox diamond
1 mox ruby
1 mox pearl
1 mox jet (Proxy)
1 mox sapphire (Proxy)
1 lotus petal
1 black lotus (Proxy)
1 mana crypt
1 mana vault
1 sol ring
4 dark rituals
4 duress
4 FOW
2 gifts
1 Time spiral
4 brainstorm
1 ancestral recall (Proxy)
1 hurkyls recall
1 echoing truth
1 recoup
1 burning wish
1 tendrils
1 tinker
1 DSC
1 memory jar
1 will
1 bargin
1 necro
1 time twister
1 frantic search
1 demonic tutor
1 vampiric tutor
1 mystical tutor
1 minds desire

I think this deck is a pretty good deck (as the results show).  I ask that fellow TPS players give it a try and see what ya think.  Thoughts on the deck?
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« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2005, 11:33:34 pm »

Why does this deck die to Gifts?
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« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2005, 11:51:27 pm »

Why does this deck die to Gifts?

It's roughly the same speed as Gifts, and Gifts has much more and stronger disruption.  Granted, Duress is really good against Gifts, but it's just not enough. The biggest difference comes down to threats.  TPS is light on threats: the old adage of the deck is to resolve and protect one or two high quality threat (restricted card).  TPS doesn't put early pressure on Gifts, and Gifts has enough countermagic to win every "counter war"--i.e., it can outcounter one of TPS's threats with Force back, since TPS lets it pile up countermagic.  In addition, TPS isn't proactively trying to stop Gifts, and essentially lets Gifts goldfish.  In addition, Gifts has "sure thing" threats while TPS's threats are prone to fizzling out.  We've all seen Draw7s, JD's Desire, Necro, and even Bargain go wrong.  Gifts wants to play Will, which has no chance of going wrong once it resolves.  TPS also abuses Will, but it's not made for it like Gifts.  It can't resolve Will through 2 counterspells.
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« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2005, 03:45:51 am »

I playd both TPS and Gifts.dec
The ask done "Why TPS die to Gifts" is completely flawed by a wrong and incomplete logic behind his proposition.
I revealed, from my own tests against good TPS's and Gifts' players, that the matchup is pretty much a split and another more important feature consist on realizing that TPS and GIfts could both win regardless who is going first. TPS can disrupt and sometime run out of gas behind the good defences of Gifts and sometimes the well timed Duresses and FoWs are enough to stop the Gifts' threats.

JDIzzle, proposed strong arguments about the Gifts vs. TPS matchup, but they seemed all a bit "unilateral and unbalanced" to me to be considered, in the end, true.





Quote from: JDizzle
It's roughly the same speed as Gifts, and Gifts has much more and stronger disruption. 

Look at this words JDizzle. Are you sure that they are completely true?
During the first two turn of play, thanks to Dark Rituals, TPS can Duress away you FoW and then procede to resolve one of his many Non-Mis-D-able spells.
Gifts have to search for Gifts ( one turn ) and then resolve it ( another turn ) and then try to combo out in some ways ( another turn ). Thus, not considering that a single FoW or Duress can slow down your plan by other turns that are usually SO CRUCIAL, that are able to swing the game positively for TPS.

In second part you are saying that Gifts have stronger and much more disruptions. If you are going first and you are going to start with Sapphire, Land and Drain plus FoW, ready to beplayed, you have better disruptions to show to TPS during his first turns. On the other hand, in any other cases, you have only FoWs, to protect your self from his first Bomb, because Drains would be too slow for it and MIs-D are useful only in counter wars, but not alone and against Not-Misdirectionable Spells.

Speed is completely in favour of the TPS player IF he realize to play the correct role in this game.
No control plays and more aggressive choices to cut and compress at his best all the possible moves, playing around Drains and FoWs.

Without Duresses, that are out of the design structure of Steve's Gifts.dec, TPS is playing as against Old-Style-Keeper.dec.  No first turn Duresses, no defensive Brainstorms to keep in hand until the most efficient moment, no fear of early double protections. It is not a goldifish play, but from the perspective of a Gifts.dec, keeping and hand without a FoW is more than half than a loss against TPS.


Quote
Granted, Duress is really good against Gifts, but it's just not enough. The biggest difference comes down to threats. 

While the start is true, the conclusions seemed a bit fllawed from my point of view.
Which deck have more threats?

It is supposed to be TPS of course becuause of Necro, Bargain, Jar, ToA, Y Will, Mind's Desire, Gifts itself, Wishes, Additional Drawers ( FoF and/or Skeletal ), Some Draw7 if needed and so on.
It can search things with a lot of optimal spells: Demonic, Mystical, Wishes, Vampric, Tinker and the mini Tutors that are Braisntorms and Drawers themselves.


Gifts have the full set of Gifts, Ancestral and FoF
It can search for them via Merchants and the two restricted tutors.

Even Threats, in number, can be considered, from my point of view, not similar, if we compare the TPS' ones and the Gifts.dec ones .

While Gifts should resolve one of the Tutored Gifts to end the game as soon as he can ( usually not playing the DSC routine,which is more hatable by TPS thanks to his own Bouncers,  but playing with the Y Will-->Burning Wish--> ToA plan in mind ), usually TPS have more redundancy on choices available for his plan and threats ready to be played.

The Gifts plan is really mana intensive too. TPS usually stress the opponent's hand by playing Instant Bombs during opponent's EoT ( Gifts or Skeletals or FoF on turn 1 is common, thanks to Rites and Multicolor Mana Accelerations ) AND THEN playing some of the Game Ending ones ( Necro, Bargain, Mind's Desire, Y Will, other GIfts ).
If the Gifts player want to play a plan such as this one, it usually find himself  on playing a GIfts during opponent's EoT, hoping to resolve it AND THEN, if not resolved, it should play another tutor AND another Gifts that slow down his plan of an entire turn. Usually this Routine is really strong when helped by Mana Drains, but waiting to have them online, usually testify an unbalanced game from on side of the board.


Quote
TPS is light on threats: the old adage of the deck is to resolve and protect one or two high quality threat (restricted card). 
TPS doesn't put early pressure on Gifts, and Gifts has enough countermagic to win every "counter war"--i.e., it can outcounter one of TPS's threats with Force back, since TPS lets it pile up countermagic. 

If you do the needed math, TPS had at least 10-12 bombs and 5 Tutors to find the others ready to be played while GIfts had 6 bombs and 7 Tutors to find them.
Why are you considering TPS light on Threats?
Land Duress, Pass, Land Ritual Bomb isn't a good way to put pressure on a deck that have his Drain not playable yet?
If TPS doesn't play an aggressive game, it can be slowed down to death by any control deck.
If Gifts, would have Duresses maindeck, my words would have been different and the approach to this analisys really different, but in this case, the Gifts configuration that Steve plays, let TPS to have more chances to resolve of of his game ending spells more efficiently than Gifts does.


Quote
In addition, TPS isn't proactively trying to stop Gifts, and essentially lets Gifts goldfish.  In addition, Gifts has "sure thing" threats while TPS's threats are prone to fizzling out.  We've all seen Draw7s, JD's Desire, Necro, and even Bargain go wrong.  Gifts wants to play Will, which has no chance of going wrong once it resolves.  TPS also abuses Will, but it's not made for it like Gifts.  It can't resolve Will through 2 counterspells.

While it is true that really a few times ( one against one hundred? Sad ) you can play a quick Necro or an Unlucky Bargain or an all lands Jar or a useless huge Mind's Desire and fizzle out, you seemed not to take into account all the other 99% of the cases during which any one of these spells produce an immediate concession ( or a simple and quick won ).
In the end, they are not "unsafe".
They are only afflicted by a microscopical sistematical error.
All the other istances bring the smart TPS' player to win through them with ease.

Storm-spells go around counter walls, the huge amount of cards drawn by Necro and Bargain are usually enough to produce more threats compared to opponent's counters, Gifts is far more broken here than in Gifts.dec and there are a pletora of situations where you should "win small" because it is usually enough.

...In the end...
TPS IS the deck that is designed to abuse of Y Will, when needed.
It has more spells ready to be played from the grave and a lot of different game plans to abuse of it.
Even not having the need to pass through Burning Wish is crucial when valuating the different impact of the Will in both the decks.
In TPS is the strongest way to win after all the other tried paths.
In Gifts consist on the strongest way to win.





I wrote these words not to elect TPS as the "winner", but to eleve his winning rate to the percentage that he deserve.
Play against a Gifts.dec without Duresses maindeck and you can have the 50% of winning rate against TPS, weighting the value of the players facing each other.
Play against a Gifts.dec with Duresses and you can feel to br able to win a bit more than 50% of the games.


Regards,
MaxxMatt







 






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« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2005, 08:21:02 am »

heir heir Matt.

And take into account the good results i made with the transformational sideboard. That makes your match up against any deck better after boarding if only because your opponent doesn't know what to expect.

if you look at that together with the possible ground seal that would seriously hinder a gifts deck (as recoup would no longer be of use and playing a good gifts would be a lot harder giving the TPS player the chance to build his hand even better)

Those two aspects make gifts a lot better against slaver decks, fish decks with a lot of hate, stax (be it uba or traditional) as oath has a good match up against those.

This all just shows that TPS is not dead, it is evolving, just like all the other decks that are out there. It is a race that has no clear winners yet.

Fact is that gifts and TPS are hard decks to play well, and that off course could hold people back from trying to master it.
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« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2005, 10:24:05 pm »

I appolagize in advance if this question was already answered.

What do you guys think of Mana Drain in TPS?  I've seen it being ran in quanities of 0, 2, and 4.  It seems like it would help...but I maybe wrong.
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« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2005, 10:51:37 pm »

What do you guys think of Mana Drain in TPS?  I've seen it being ran in quanities of 0, 2, and 4.  It seems like it would help...but I maybe wrong.

I'm too lazy to read the entire thread, but I believe that Mana Drain TPS already exists as Meandeck Gifts.  Some adjustments need to be made if you want the deck to play Mana Drain, and Meandeck Gifts is adjusted for Mana Drain.
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« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2005, 12:03:47 am »

I was testing TPS against everything last night. It wasn't pretty. I found that for TPS would have to play a very risky game if it were to have a chance of beating Gifts. Usually, this involved passing the turn. I'm not sure what bombs you guys are resolving, but when I look at the deck, most of them involve passing the turn. An early Twister or Wheel, unless you have lots of juicy mana floating, gives an opponent the first crack. Bargain takes a while to actually land on the table, and then you have to have black mana up if you hope to realistically win that turn. Mind's Desire for anything less than ludicrous storm will just lead to the one hot spell being countered. Time Spiral was my favorite card to cast, since you'd have plenty of untapped lands.

I desperately want TPS to be good, because it seems like a thinking man's combo deck. However, the few times I was winning (and I played it very well, but also against very good players) involved the Rit, Rit, Rit, Tendrils, Tendrils kind of hands. Too often I was afraid of passing the turn because the threat density is low enough that I was afraid of drawing dead. If the deck can reliably go off on the fourth turn, I'd rather be running Gifts, where you cast your Dark Rits on their turn and bank the mana and there's more search and draw power.
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« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2005, 12:14:27 am »

A thinking man's combo deck would be deathlong...

So, how do we combat gifts? I have a lot of Gifts and CS in my meta....
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« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2005, 04:42:48 am »

I have not yet played against gifts but i think playing proactive would be the way to do it. Playing a first turn wheel or twister is a good play when you start and you have a FoW backup or a duress to start with. Your opponent Will then have a hand he cannot mulligan. But most of the time TPS builds up justlike gifts.  the difference is that gifts builds up through merchant scroll and gift and brainstorm, TPS builds up through brainstorm, draw seven, necro and bargain.

The beauty and the downfall of draw seven is you give your opponent seven new cards. They can be very good or they can be very bad. That is where duress comes in. Looking at a hand and then assessing how your tactic would have to be. But the main thing about draw seven is timing. Forcing a draw seven after your opponent has used several resources to optimise his hand is a good time to try and force it through. And most of the time you will be able to force through 1 of your early threats and as your deck is build for storm, youwill always have more advantage of a draw seven than any other deck besides belcher or deathlong.

A normal hand would consist of at least one threat, a FoW or duress, a brainstorm (perhaps ancestral), a ritual or artifact mana and 1 land. Then you still have 2 cards you do not know. those will probably include some more mana and/or a tutor.

another thing i seem to have that works well against control decks (and i think gifts is still control, very aggressive control but still control) is the oath sideboard. Ever since i started running that certain matchups have become so much easier, even when they know what my sideboard consists of. The beauty against gifts is the possibility to oath up a sundering titan. A lot of people have said it to be a bad creature because it lets you win later and thus gives your opponent a chance to win still. Again i say it is up to your own assessment if you board it in or not. But an early protected oath with a sundering titan will always leave them in trouble as they will lose lands, however you turn it. Losing it to block a DSC and they will lose even more lands, making it at least more difficult to win with that visit. Next to that i have my own DSC and an Akroma. Having my own DSC stalls the game a little bit as they will either have to win by tendrils (my deck is still better equipped for that) or get rid of my DSC. (meaning using resources to get rid of mine) I typically hope not to see Akroma as my first creature, if that happens it still can help you stall the game somewhat while still having done damage and being able to win with a less big tendrils.

Building my manabase to accommodate just my sundering titan seems odd. It indeed means my main deck is somewhat less powerfull as i do not have that many shuffle effects. But remember, when you start with land and brainstorm in you opponents endfase, you will have seen 10 cards which normally is enough to seal the game. You will have been able to either play a real threat (draw seven or tutor or necro or bargain or tinker) or draw into a duress or a FoW.

On a sidenote, unless i know my opponent does not play FoW (stax for example) i never play a turn one necro without a FoW backup or without duressing first. If i play it turn two with duressing opponent first it has a much better chance of success and so of winning the game. And in the end nobody will ask in how many turns you will have won (although it gives nice stories if you do it fast), just if you have won.

If you think about your play you can beat any deck with this deck. But remember you can lose due to very broken opponents play, as with any other deck. And as with any other deck your deck can stall out on you. If you did nothing wrong it can happen. It can happen to any deck.

I love this deck and will keep on developing it further along any line i see fit. As you can see with my five versions in this thread i will not hesitate to bring in any colour i see fit in helping me comboing out.
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« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2005, 04:49:52 am »

@Hi-Val.

Take into account that I'm referring to TPS ( the list under this line ) and MG ( the Steve's list, that it was supposed to be played by or against you ).

(27)
2 Island
2 Swamp
3 Undeground
2 Flooded
3 Polluded
1 Academy
4 Rituals
10 SoLoMoxCryVaultPetal
(16)
4 Brainstorm
2 Gifts
1 FoF
1 Skeletal
1 Ancestral
1 Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Necro
1 Bargain
1 Jar
1 Y Will
1 Desire
(4)
1 Demonic
1 Mystical
1 Tinker
1 Vamprici
(9)
4 Duress
4 FoW
1 Rebuild
(4)
2 ToA
2 Wish
Side. (15)
1 Brainfreeze
1 Echoing truth
1 Rushing river
1 Hurkyl’s recall
1 Rebuild
2 Misdirection
1 Hydroblast
1 Gifts ungiven
1 Skeletal scrying
1 Ebony charm
1 Tormod‚Äôs crypt ¬ 
1 Darksteel colossus
1 Mindtwist
1 Bosejiu

This is alist among the which, we are doing more tests.
More drawers, a few higher mana curve but a great number of solutions and threats.
I played the 2C-version because I don't feel the need of Recouping anything. Recoup would be the only maindeck Red spell of my choice ( with ReBs and R&R ) worth of considering for the Red addition.
If you need red to play safely, cut Duress#4 and add Recoup#1, cut Skeletal#1 and add Badlands#1.
Those changes are safe enough not to lose consistency and can gave you some "safer" playing choices.

I'm not proposing this list because it is "The-Perfect-List for The-Perfect-Storm.dec" but I feel like some of the choices that I heard someone continued to play, can be the real reasons behind the great percentage of game loss from you all.

Cards like Deeps, Frantic, Spiral, some odd Draw7s and other "nearly simmetrical spells" can be broken but, on the other hand, are too random and too unpredictable to be played safely, especially with a deck that sometimes have to win small surfing through counters and discard effects, like TPS is used to do.

I reassume the situation of a deck like this against our Tier1s.

Against Tog we have to face Duress, Drains, FoWs and, in the end Wishes, plus an elegant and quick draw engine. We usually split the games we played. The Tog's sequence: Duress+Drain+FoW+Intuition for drawers, usually can't let the TPS' player to explode, without broken hand. These games are usually lost. On the other hand, when TPS is on the play or when he can get online the "Gifts + Bombs" routine, one in the opponent's End Turn Step and another in his mainphase, there are few things that Tog can do.

Against C-Slavery we have to face CotVs, Drains, FoWs and Wishes, plus another quick draw engine and a faster clock. Our versions of C-Slavery are far more metagamized against Combo than the commonly used ones, so it is usually more difficult to win without proper sideboarding. Global bouncers for artifacts and a bit more reomovals can be swapped during game 2 and 3, shifting the results in a more positive perspective.

Against Gifts.dec we have to face Drains, FoWs, sometimes Mis-Ds ( especially if TPS is playing bad and Gifts.player is playing well ¬ Wink) and quick Gifts of course. In the end, it all comes down to speed. None of them can let opponent's resolve crucial spells, because it usually means death. Your Gifts aren't automatically game ending because they need a lot of mana to be optimized and win the game after his resolution. On the other hand, a lot of the TPS's bombs have the same drawback: a lot of mana to be optimized.

Maybe these are the approaches to the games that you should consider avoiding against these opponents.
And I'm not saying that it is simple to do.
Only that is a bit simplicistic saying that the TPS-Bombs always involve passing the turn.
If in the turn that I Pass, I resolved Duress and/or Brainstorm and or mana accelerations, I'm plenty of chances to Resolve Things during his End Step. From my perspective, this isn't "losing a turn", but can be reassumed to "playing preparing a deathly next turn".

In the end, the density of threats seemed to worry you.
The version that I proposed can help you resolve this issue.
It has more Instant Speed spells and a bit less Sorceries. While the good thing of having a lot of broken sorceries consist on their inherent power, the drawback is that usually you are not able to propose to your opponent a double threats and any opponent's good deck is usually able to handle one threat every turn. More instants let you go aroound Drains and FoWs with ease. Aside from Ancestral Recall, anyone of those spells isn't Mis-Directionable, so you have only to worry about FoWs during turn 1 and of Drains during turn 2. If you are going to force your opponent to deplete his hand in a quick manner, he would play defensively Gifts in order to recover from his bad position. During this process he would lose other resources and you could easily find a path to resolve some "real" bombs.

I'm not sure why you are saying that things like quick Necro and Bargains or Mind's Desire up to 5 are not "game ending".
From my perspective, Necro is the best one in a matchup against which I have not to worry about Duresses, because it is horribly Cheap and easy to resolve and protect. Draw 10-12 cards and you'll find a lot of ways to go to town and win.

Bargain is THE nuts. You can pass the turn or try to win as soon as he resolve as well. It usually doesn't count. If you pass and the opponent is going to resolve threats, simply draw 15-20 cards in a row ( maybe resolving OTHER spells while using it ) and you would easily have and undefeateble hand to show to him.

Mind's Desire is a tricky spell. Against Control decks is always THE spell that I want to have/tutor/search before any other. I usually hold the accelerations in my hand, if I'm going for it and a couple of artifact accelerations and a Ritual ( usually DEAD CARDS ) are totally transformed by Minds' Desire in BROKEN things. If you are going to resolve Mind's Desire, play istants through his resolutions. play Braisntorms, Ancestral, Wishes, Drawers and so on in order to MINIMIZE as much as you can the possibility to draw shit. It can happen, but it is really difficult to lose after a Mind's Desire. It is usually Overhelming for any control opponents. Even a bomb, plus a Protection, plus a Brainstorm and a couple of lands are usually enough to rearrange your hand and win. And it is ONLY a nearly decent Mind's Desire for 5...

Gifts, again from my perspective, is really BROKEN in TPS. You can play it easily during turn 1 or 2 anytime it is in your hand, thanks to Rituals. What to choose? You can play the commonly used Necro, Bargain, Lotus, Demonic routine, or 4 medium sized drawers, or a mix of protections and bombs if you have other useful cards in hand, or 4 tutors if you need to totally construct your game or a lot of mana accelerations if you have Mind's Desire or ToA or Y Will or anything you are going to find useful to start winning the game.

The decks that we are forcing to face each other ( TPS and Gifts ) are really complex. In the end, both of them wish that their winning plan could not be interacted too much by the opponent. On the other hand, usually Duresses and FoWs are quicker and stronger than Drains + FoWs in the first turns, while these last two are game ender in the middle game. So TPS is the one that is elected to play the aggressive role. It usually don't mind if the hurry that he can pose on resolving his thing is rewarded with overhelming wins.

Look at the density threats of the two decks.
Not counting Tutors ( that are usually not countered excluding strange game situations, where you are going to search for Storm spells for sure or while you previously check then opponent's hand, seeing some lacking elements ) you have those decks:

- 25 mana fonts against 27-28 mana fonts. In theory, the topdekcing is better in Gifts.dec. On the other hand, you can topdeck more Mis-Ds or Bouncers than TPS, so your dead draws are usually the same. TPS has the pros, to be abale to optimize shitty hand with tons of mana and a single Tutor thanks to Storm-Spells. Gfits cannot to this in a productive way.

- Ancestral, FoF and 4 Gifts and 1 Y Will should be compared to 2 Gifts 1 FoF 1 Skeletal 1 Ancestral 1 Timetwister 1 Necro 1 Bargain 1 Jar 1 Y Will 1 Desire. While the quantity is nearly ¬ in favour of TPS, the quality is totally in his favour for odd reasons.

-The protections that Gifts have available are 8 if compared to the opponent's possible threats and 11 if they are used to protect their own bombs. TPS has 8-10 protections both for their own bombs and opponent's one. If turn3 passed undisturbed, Gifts has more efficient protections, where TPS has quicker ones.

-Both TPS & Gifts can transform their Rebuild in Storm Enanchers, but TPS have a deck built around Storm and Gifts not. Gifts have to play Burning to grab is only ToA, while TPS can easily stall with accelerations and one of his ToAs and win without leaving the opponent the chance to counter his winner. Countering or Discarding Burning Wish would leave TPS this open and safe escape window.

-TPS has the chance to win through the right combination of his different winners ( ToAs, Brainfreeze and DSC during some games ) easier than Gifts, because of the redundancy of these winning spells. In a Storm Based Mirror match ( Gifts vs.TPS, during game 2 and 3, can be easily classified in this way ), the one who had more ToAs usually won because of the easier and the quickier access to it, after one of the resolved bombs.

-TPS can win on turn 1 or 2 while Gifts can win on turn 3 or 4. Average hands doensn't count in this statements. If you are going to value and weight the impact of the broken hands, while these ones can let TPS win in one of the two first turns, there are really few combinations for the Gifts.dec to do the same before turn 3 or 4. TPS is built to abuse of borken hands in a quicker way and it is built to have MORE broken hands, if compared to Gifts.

If we are only talking about medium or average hands, maybe the redundancy of Gfits.dec and the inherently connected slow start of TPS, usually let Gifts win against TPS.
On the other hand, in this matchup, we cannot take out the ability of the two deck to be overhelming and broken. By definition and by the presence of restricted cards in a greater number, it should happen more frequently to TPS.






If you are playing against A LOT of control and combo decks, I can suggest you to cut a Wish and add another spell of choices that can add speed and threats desnsity to TPS.
If you are going to play against a mixed metagame, where you have to face a lot of Hate.decs ( such as Fish, Chalices.dec, MW.dec and so on ) it is supposed to be better to play a more balanced deck, that can avoid you from autolosing to a random opponent's blind and broken start. The deck that I proposed to you usually AUTO-scoop to really few things and his consistency is one of the things that satisfied me more.



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« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2005, 06:45:51 am »

I've been playing TPS in my area and I have an insane matchup against the gift's player, I think the only thing you need to do, is;

1. Mulligan into mutiple Duress
2. DON'T PLAY YOU DRAW 7's EVER.

I play a build with only 1 gifts and none in board, for some reason its never TAHT good, and I always wish it was something that gives me card advantage, instead of what it is. Also the large number of gifts and Uba stax in my area means I play 2 Rebuild and 1 hyruls recall main.
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« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2005, 07:23:29 am »

I've been playing TPS in my area and I have an insane matchup against the gift's player, I think the only thing you need to do, is:

1. Mulligan into mutiple Duress

That is, of course, a start that a Gifts deck doesn't like to see. However, I really don't think it is aviable strategy. How often do you actually manage to have multiple Duresses in your hand? And how low do you go with your hand? Mulligan for one Duress is a strategy I can understand. That's like mulliganing into the Force against Belcher. But two Duress (incl. Tutors) is difficult to do in the first place... especially since only four or three cards in your hand will be not Duresses and at least one of them is mana. How do you plan on winning the game against Gifts with three business spells you have to topdeck the mana for?

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« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2005, 07:35:41 am »

I find that I have been avle to draw quite a few, I have even tutored up a few to protect my will etc.

Also, many times the gifts player keeps a fairly weak hand in the first game, which makes EVEN ONE duress insane and on the pplay you can often destroy their strategy.
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« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2005, 09:32:08 am »

Quote
Also, many times the gifts player keeps a fairly weak hand in the first game, which makes EVEN ONE duress insane and on the pplay you can often destroy their strategy.

In other words pray the opponent makes a mistake and keeps a bad hand?

I'm not doubting you know what you're doing with TPS, but it sounds like you're basing your Gifts plan off a limted number of games where you either got some lucky hands, or played against a poor Gifts player.
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« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2005, 10:40:13 am »

During my limited testing, I have found that it is important to be proactive against Gifts.¬  Whenever I tried to play the control game, I always lost.¬  That's one of the reasons I cut Misdirection from my sideboard.¬  I stood a better chance when I force Gifts to search for counters instead of draw.¬  Then again, I was only able to test against myself, so it's probably not a fair test.¬  I did play this deck in StarCity Chicago.¬  I played a deck similar to gifts (but had Merchant Scrolls, Gifts, Welders, Mindslaver).¬  I came close that round, but made a couple mistakes that cost me the round.¬  I didn't do well in the tournament (2-3) because it was only my second time playing combo in a tournament and I played only like five tournaments in the last two years.¬  Here is the decklist.

Lands - 13
1 Tolarian Academy
1 City of Brass
4 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
2 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
2 Island
1 Swamp

Mana - 15
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Emerald
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
4 Dark Ritual
1 Cabal Ritual

Counters - 8
4 Duress
4 Force of Will

Bounce - 2
1 Echoing Truth
1 Rebuild

Tutors - 7
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Burning Wish
3 Gifts Ungiven

Draw - 5
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm

Bombs - 13
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Yawgmoth's Bargain
1 Necropotence
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Tinker
1 Mind's Desire
1 Recoup

Win - 2
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Darksteel Colossus

Sideboard - 15
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Pyroclasm
2 Skeletal Scrying
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Seasinger
2 Chain of Vapor
1 Echoing Truth
2 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Rebuild

I stand by every card in the maindeck except possibly Echoing Truth.¬  This could probably be Cunning Wish if you insist upon it.¬  The sideboard needs work and I think has too much bounce.¬  I didn't test enough so my sideboarding stategy was not complete so my record wasn't so good.¬  I didn't expect to do well at the tournament, but I wanted to see what a SCG tourney was like (considering I live only 20 minutes away).¬  Against Gifts, I side out Echoing Truth, Vampiric Tutor, Mystical Tutor and bring in Skeletal Scryings and Tormod's Crypt.¬  I am unsure if I also side out Desire for the second Crypt.¬  The Crypt may not be a good idea, but like I said, I have limited testing.¬  I try to force as many bombs early as possibly.¬  If Mana Drain is up, I might try Gifts or Scry during his first main phase.
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« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2005, 04:49:31 am »

I am sorry if this is counterproductive to the thread, but could anybody give a link to a list of an unpowered TPS? Very little power and bazaars/drains exist in our country (Philippines) so most of the decks I face are stax/fish/slaverMUD (in short, artifact decks or random aggro).

I played TPS once as a budget build. It did well until I ran into multiple spheres of resistance. TPS can deal with trini easier (in my experience) than spere of resistance because the cost of rebuild will not change and hurkyl's recall will also cost 3.

I shifted to Sensei until Pithing Needle came out  Sad

So... I'm going back to TPS. I'd really appreciate it if anybody could help me out. And no, our country has no proxy tournies. Sad

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« Reply #59 on: August 08, 2005, 04:14:10 am »

I will not post a decklist Elias, however what you could do is look at lists and see what cards you are missing. If you are missing more than 15 to 20 cards  do not even try to make it in a budget version.

Most decks however can be made without power with replacements for those. The deck is not going to be as good as the original. It will have tougher matches and it will be slower. However the basics of the deck should stay the same so the winconditions stay the same.

I succeeded to make a almost reliable red black tendrils deck in Legacy, that is without power 9. With a lot of the vintage cards not available in legacy it is still possible to build a TPS deck, so with a lot of those cards available with only a few missing you should be able to make something close to the original. Just remember that if almost no power ia available in you region, the other decks will be so much slower as well and thus you have more time to set up.

Good luck with deckbuilding.
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