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Author Topic: [Premium Article] The Arcborn Virus  (Read 15651 times)
Smmenen
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2005, 07:54:33 pm »

I think it's a shame that Steve is busy and can not respond for himself in this forum. I'm sure we would all like to know how this deck can compete in a serious environment. He seemed very sure of himself in his article that this deck can "Win tournaments" and to me that means beat all the hate we mentioned somehow. I would like his explanations of how this can happen on a regular basis.

I did test the deck a few times and played a "two outta three" against my girlfriend's R/G beats deck and destroyed her for like 50 damage on turn three every game, but that was because she couldn't find Null Rod in any of those games, which I was lucky. I have Tendrils in my sideboard too, so I'm currently working on that kill mechanism.

Anyone do any testing at all?

I have had an immensely busy day and my week is going to be even moreso so don't expect further replies.

My answer is: it is a matter of degree. 

Magic is a game of percentages.  Ideally, you only have to be able to beat your opponent's percentages.  In reality, you only have to win a match.  I believe that this deck is capable of doing that accross the spectrum - including beating top decks like Control Slaver and Stax.    This deck is capable of winning matches against the best decks in the format.  Therefore, it is viable.  It may not be your absolute best deck choice - but the deck with the highest objective win percentages isn't usually the deck to play.  You play decks that are surprises, metagamed, and strong in your hands.

Many of you seem to want to place this deck in a category of unviable or viable.  That is a hardheaded and silly way of thinking about magic.  Magic is a game of degree and percentages in most cases.  This deck is viable and strong.  Just because it may not have a winning percentage against every top deck most of the time doesn't make it unviable and just because a resolved Chalice for 1 can be very strong, doesn't mean you automatically lose every game it happens.  There are too many variables to make such blanket statements true. 

For every time you come up with a hypo that says what happens if card X is in play, there is a countervailing hypo that says what happens if Suicide Virus does A, B, or C? 

Finally, this deck is alot different than long.  Long and other pure combo decks do not have an alternate game plan. If their combo stalls, you will only very infrequently see them win with Elvish Spirit Guide beats.  This deck applies pressure while it combos.  Long doesn't. 

I am confident that I can take AT LEAST 40% against the best Stax and the best Control Slaver.  Translated into a match, the variance is obviously going to be greater than your disadvantage which means you have a very good chance at winning the match.  When you SB and metagame your mainboard to fight your expected hate (remember I suggest running Gorilla Shamans maindeck in many metagames), then you can control your destiny. 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 08:13:14 pm by Smmenen » Logged
PipOC
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2005, 08:22:53 pm »

Why play this over wasp ironworks?  It has many of the same vulnerabilities, but as far as I can see it has many more strengths.

1) Recursion methods for countered threats, in welder and Myr Retriever

2) An equallly strong, if not stronger aggro game in the face of resolved chalices, spheres, etc.

3) Less vulnerability to opposing welders, since it doesn't have to put artifacts into the graveyard to have a truly effective aggro game.

4) Land based acceleration in the face of Null rod, Chalice for 0, and gorilla shaman.
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« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2005, 08:57:34 am »

I have heard people say this goldfishes turn 3-4... Isnt that way to slow for this type 1 metagame (even if it is kinda resilant...)

I tried a few games vs. meandeck gifts postboard... and the gifts player went turn 1 needle calling skullclamp, and the game was essentially over... lava dart hurts this deck like you couldnt imagine either... and shaman again is an issue... I wont even bring up energy flux (because it beats all artifact decks, and its probably to slow to influence matchup to much)...

With a 3 turn clock and lack of disruption how is this deck able to even have a chance vs. belcher/tendrils/etc.

However, Cloud of Faeries is a cool addition that is clever and made a horrible deck into a tier 2 quality deck that is still missing that "something" for it to really be where it wants.

Kyle L
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« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2005, 09:26:31 am »

This seems like a challenging and fun deck to play. Thanks for sharing it along with your evolution, Steven! While a lot of valid points have been brought up about what the deck sort of "rolls over" to, I think that this deck has a lot of potential if someone can find a way to give it a little more "oomph" by adding either disruption or resilience to hate. I personally like the concept (and style) of the deck, so I might very well try piloting the deck and seeing if I can overcome the hate that's out there with some innovations of my own. Smile
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« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2005, 11:12:06 am »

What you need to remember about this deck (or any similar) is that it is VERY and i mean very difficult to play. Some game choices will effect the entire outcome of the entire game... it's also extremely difficult to know the appropriate timing (when and what to play at what time) and then also keep in mind you have to think a lot more what the opponent might be holding due to the artifact hate that's out there. Just thought I'd point out that it's really important to know what one's doing when playing this deck.

Sidenote:

Congrats on your job Steve, good luck with everything! If you manage to get the time, message and we'll test some I'm still so confident that I can say I'm pretty sure my version is slightly better Smile
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« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2005, 12:28:28 pm »

I am confident that I can take AT LEAST 40% against the best Stax and the best Control Slaver. Translated into a match, the variance is obviously going to be greater than your disadvantage which means you have a very good chance at winning the match.

What does this mean exactly? The matchup is 60-40 in your opponents favor to begin with, but somehow this is turned into you having "a very good chance at winning the match" because actual gameplay has more variance? Would the reverse be true for your opponent, that having a good matchup against another deck is actually a drawback because gameplay variance turns it around? I agree that Type1 games are more swingy and less rock-paper-scissors like than other constructed formats, but it seems like you're saying that speaking of good/bad matchups is irrelevant in Type1...
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« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2005, 03:46:42 pm »

Magic is a game of percentages.  Ideally, you only have to be able to beat your opponent's percentages.  In reality, you only have to win a match.   I believe that this deck is capable of doing that across the spectrum - including beating top decks like Control Slaver and Stax.    This deck is capable of winning matches against the best decks in the format.  Therefore, it is viable.  It may not be your absolute best deck choice - but the deck with the highest objective win percentages isn't usually the deck to play.  You play decks that are surprises, metagamed, and strong in your hands.

Many of you seem to want to place this deck in a category of unviable or viable.  That is a hardheaded and silly way of thinking about magic.  Magic is a game of degree and percentages in most cases.  This deck is viable and strong. Just because it may not have a winning percentage against every top deck most of the time doesn't make it unviable and just because a resolved Chalice for 1 can be very strong, doesn't mean you automatically lose every game it happens.  There are too many variables to make such blanket statements true. 

For every time you come up with a hypo that says what happens if card X is in play, there is a countervailing hypo that says what happens if Suicide Virus does A, B, or C? 

I'm sorry, I dont buy this at all. If what your saying is true, then Suicide Black is viable, so is Stompy, and hell, so is that 6 year olds Fat Pack I'm playing against right now. Why? Because they can all win games to a degree and percentage. And sometimes they DO win games.

You also seem to be contradicting yourself, stating that a) "this deck can beat the best decks in the format" and then b) " it may not have a  winning percentage against the top decks". Maybe I'm paraphrasing too much, but the bolded line just sung out to me as a 'wtf?' Does it win or loose against Tier One decks? If it can compete (say averaging 50% against Tier One decks, or placing first at SCG/Waterbury/Gencon/etc), Virus is Tier One, otherwise it is just another Tier Two deck. From my testing, this is nothing more then a goldfish deck that gets stopped by at least 5 different kinds of Maindeck cards run by the top decks, all of which can be cast first turn.

And I dont think its hypothetically speaking to say "What do you do if they 1st turn Null Rod?" Because THIS PLAY HAPPENS. So does first turn Chalice for Zero/One. So does Force of Will, and Mox MonkeyREGULARLY. So what IS your gameplan against a Null Rod Steve? Until this deck, or a modified version of it, proves itself in a tournament setting against the big guns, you cannot change calling a kettle 'dark grey' when it IS black.
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Smmenen
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« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2005, 05:39:07 pm »

Magic is a game of percentages.  Ideally, you only have to be able to beat your opponent's percentages.  In reality, you only have to win a match.   I believe that this deck is capable of doing that across the spectrum - including beating top decks like Control Slaver and Stax.    This deck is capable of winning matches against the best decks in the format.  Therefore, it is viable.  It may not be your absolute best deck choice - but the deck with the highest objective win percentages isn't usually the deck to play.  You play decks that are surprises, metagamed, and strong in your hands.

Many of you seem to want to place this deck in a category of unviable or viable.  That is a hardheaded and silly way of thinking about magic.  Magic is a game of degree and percentages in most cases.  This deck is viable and strong. Just because it may not have a winning percentage against every top deck most of the time doesn't make it unviable and just because a resolved Chalice for 1 can be very strong, doesn't mean you automatically lose every game it happens.  There are too many variables to make such blanket statements true. 

For every time you come up with a hypo that says what happens if card X is in play, there is a countervailing hypo that says what happens if Suicide Virus does A, B, or C? 

I'm sorry, I dont buy this at all. If what your saying is true, then Suicide Black is viable, so is Stompy, and hell, so is that 6 year olds Fat Pack I'm playing against right now. Why? Because they can all win games to a degree and percentage. And sometimes they DO win games.

You also seem to be contradicting yourself, stating that a) "this deck can beat the best decks in the format" and then b) " it may not have a  winning percentage against the top decks". Maybe I'm paraphrasing too much, but the bolded line just sung out to me as a 'wtf?' Does it win or loose against Tier One decks? If it can compete (say averaging 50% against Tier One decks, or placing first at SCG/Waterbury/Gencon/etc), Virus is Tier One, otherwise it is just another Tier Two deck. From my testing, this is nothing more then a goldfish deck that gets stopped by at least 5 different kinds of Maindeck cards run by the top decks, all of which can be cast first turn.

And I dont think its hypothetically speaking to say "What do you do if they 1st turn Null Rod?" Because THIS PLAY HAPPENS. So does first turn Chalice for Zero/One. So does Force of Will, and Mox MonkeyREGULARLY. So what IS your gameplan against a Null Rod Steve? Until this deck, or a modified version of it, proves itself in a tournament setting against the big guns, you cannot change calling a kettle 'dark grey' when it IS black.

There was a tension in what I said and I'm glad you brought it out so I can clarify my points. 

I basically argued that magic is a game of percentages and that a deck isn't really viable or non-viable.  There is a tension between those two ideas.  They are related and so untangling them is not easy. 

Basically, I think we need to recognize that almost any deck CAN be viable if really three components are in place:
1) The deck is piloted by an expert 2) who has really put alot of time and energy into it and 3) has metagamed very well and tuned the hell out of it.

This gets a little bit complicated so bear with me. 

Let's take Keeper.  By Keeper I mean 3-5 color control that has white.  With such color depth and card quality depth, a dedicated enough player should almost always be competitive with 3-4 color control.  You can increase or decrease the colors as the metagame warrants.  You can shift your sb and mainboard around and metagame.  Zherbus could always keep keeper viable.

Now let's talk about mono blue.  Mono blue is one color yet I think it could always be competitive.  Blue is such a deep color that you could metagame intelligently and built a metagame optimal mono blue list that can compete.  I believe there is an objectively strongest mono blue list -but there are lots of ways to change it around to make it compete.  Some mono blue decks may want Disks, some keg, and both may want Chalice.  Some mono blues could use Thirst and others Phid.  You can run maindeck Old Man if you are afraid of Fish and you can run Engineered Explosives if you fear Oath.  You can run Control Magics, Pithing Needle, or all manner of other cards and if you test and tune and really learn the deck perfectly, there is a good chance that you can make the top tables at any major vintage tournament. 

I posted on this before, but I explained why I decided not to play mono blue at Gencon this year.  And it WAS NOT because I didn't think I could make top 8 with it.  I believe that I am skilled with many decks.  But there is no deck in Vintage that I am as good at playing as mono blue - and that is true for one reason.  In 2002 it was the only deck I played.  There was no other deck that I played for over a year.  And i have picked it up from time to time since to stay fresh. 

In retrospect, if I had played mono blue, I would have had an even better chance of making top 8 than I did, when you consider my matchups.  I played against Death Long.  Autowin. I played against Chalice Oath - He had no Drains and I could board in 4 Control Magics and ruin him.  I played against UW Fish.  I have Kegs, Phids, Back to Basics, Old Men and Morphling. Good luck White Weenie. 

I already stated the reasons why I didn't play mono blue - but I left out one important omission.

I believe that mono blue could have gotten me into top 8 but there is one thing a deck like mono blue cannot do: win a tournament.  Mono Blue could get top 8 but how would I navigate in a top 8 full of Welders and the best players playing the best decks?  Not really possible.  Does that make mono blue viable?  Sure.  But it isn't the best choice. 

Now let's talk about Stompy.  I saw a stompy player at the top tables of Gencon this year.  He played Kevin and should have beaten Kevin's Stax.  he had turn one Land Grant, Root maze and then men and he beat down and failed to Bounty of the Hunt Berserk the turn he could have won (according to Tracerbullet).  If he had beaten Kevin he could well have been in contention for top 8. 

Stompy and Suicide Black are terrible primarily because there is no reason for a really good player to work on it.  You will find much better budget decks in Europe than in the US because proxy environments kill the incentive (as well they should and I am glad of it) to build and tune great budget decks.  Wasp worked hard on R/G beatz and learned how to handle many of the best decks.  That doesn't mean it was his best choice, but he made it viable.

What I am saying is that if you work hard enough at it, metagame well, and learn the deck inside and out you can make almost any deck viable.

But there is a tension - sure it's VIABLE, but why should I play it?  I think that Suicide Virus is more than just viable.  I think it is a genuinely good deck. 

I think it is genuinely strong because it is so flexible.  You have two strong plans with fast clocks and you run lots of broken cards.  You also have huge flexibility.  You can build the maindeck almost any way.  I hate just posting decklists here because seeing a decklist will create a huge misimpression that one would not get from reading the article.  If you read the article it should be clear that I discuss what I think shoudl be in the deck but clearly explain that my list is only the one I'd play - but I suggest that you adjust for your metagame and I give you the tools to do that. 

I think this deck is STARTING from a much higher level than stompy, keeper, mono blue, or Suicide Black.  I think the deck is genuinely and objectively strong.  THe problem with the hate is that it doesn't really stop you from winning like hate does against real combo. 

Against Fish, just recurring Servitors is a huge pain the ass.  Chalice can be hit or miss.  Shaman can help alot.  Null Rod can be too slow and even if it isn't, you can still just drop Disciples and other men and just start pinging for one. 



This is something I warned you all against and instead of avoiding it, you have just transformed the debate.  The debate was whether this was viable or unviable.  Now the debate is whether this is tier one or "another tier two deck." 

You also say, let tournament success prove it.  Vintage isn't a format likely to prove whether a deck is truly capable of winning.  Remember the whole VHS v. Betamax?  The problem is that in Vintage, there is more at play than just how good a deck is.  The difficulty of play is a huge factor affecting whether a deck will perform.  TONS of people played GroAtog and Fish but still don't pick up Control Slaver or Gifts - they just prefer to stick with the easy decks.  People play decks that are popular and they see perform well elsewhere.  Dont look for that with this deck.   

You are also guilty of my admonition against stating that card X comes up regularly.  Vintage magic is only really that consolidated in the top 8s.  If you play in the swiss you are liable to see ANYTHING.   Vintage was really only that predictable late last year.  It hasn't really been that way since.  And slowing innovation and less clear top 8s mean that the metagame will only continue to disperse.  Relying on platitudes like you will see card X a certain amount of the time is a formula for closing the doors of your mind in Vintage of late 2005.   I am really curious as to what cards really "stops" you.  Null Rod KILLS meandeck Tendrils.  It does not kill Suicide Virus.  Such claims really underestimate the power of Disciple of the Vault and the cards involved.

Remember, Disciple is BANNED in two formats.  And it is really strong in this format with so much Welder, Lotus, and the like.  Decks do damage to themselves - it really doesn't take that much to beat with some small creatures for a few turn and double Disciple can create lethal damage very quickly. 

Final point.  I always seem to make the same error when it comes to these articles.  I write an article on Gifts and everyone thinks its a goldfish deck.  I write an article on this deck and everyone assumes its a goldfish deck. 

I can only do so much in one article.  This article was 18 pages and I didn't even feel it was comprehensive.  Do you think your premium dollars would be well spent if I spent three articles on this deck, one as a basic primer, one covering the control match and one covering Stax?  I did that with Long.  Twice.  And it never really seemed to make a difference.

I wouldn't have written an article on this deck if I didn't feel it was possible for you all to pick it up, enjoy it, and have a fighting chance.  There are reasons to play this deck beyond just the fact that it *can* win.  It's multiple pronged game plan makes it want to win.  If the game is close, I think most games will favor you simply because you have like 20 1/1 creatures. 

Turning three 1/1s sideways a turn with Disciple and the pressure of a combo deck is a strong strategy that can break games even when you've stalled the combo.

This is why this deck is good:
 They have to stop the combo.  And once they do that, they have to stop the Ravager.  And once they've done that, their still facing a swarm small men and plenty of damage with Disicple and their own cards.  Even recurring Juggernaut can't beat recurring Myr Servitors. 

As I said in the article:
Combo decks that don’t attack the opponent’s life total more directly can be interrupted and completely stalled out by a single solution. Even if this deck can’t combo out, it can still beat down and kill you within a few turns, at most.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005, 05:44:39 pm by Smmenen » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2005, 06:31:58 pm »

When you have to debate the meaning of viability to get people to play your deck, the deck is generally bad.


I still don't understand what your plan is vs. the hate cards I mentioned. Pray to <insert diety choice here> that you don't see them, or attempt to race them? Or in the case of null rod, go aggro.

Which is another thing. Yes this deck can go aggro, but it goes bad aggro. Poking away with disciples, faeries, and servitors is usually not going to go the distance fast enough. Yes, they can provided your opponent doesn't have any artifact hate (which they will post sb).

You say "people are so quick to put this in lose situations, but there are an equal number of win situations for virus". I disagree with this. Yes, there are win situations, but the lose situations far outnumber the wins. Chalice, rod, rack and ruin, oxidize, naturalize, and mox monkey are all run frequently, so you will be encountering them. Often.

Also, this deck is a bye for combo. You have absolutely no way to stop them. Your only chance is to win before they do, and as soon as figure out what you're playing, they'll go off as soon as possible, not giving you the time you need to kill.


Again, as Pip said, why this over wasP ironworks?
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Smmenen
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2005, 06:57:01 pm »

How could this deck even be viable?  It has no counterspells, no duress, no Chalice, and no lock components?  It dies automatically and unequivocally to Chalice, Null Rod, Nether Void, Trinsphere, Sphere of Resistence, Smokestack, Oxidize, Root maze, Metldown, Shatterstorm, Damping Matrix, Balance, Tormod's Crypt, Wastelands + Crucible, Disk, Keg, Back to basics, Force of Will, Mindslaver, naturalize, disenchant, Rack and Ruin, Energy Flux, Hurkyl's Recall, Rebuild, Oath, Tog, Goblin Welder, Gorilla Shaman, and Pithing Needle - all of which you will face turn one every game in every tournament.  This deck is slower than combo decks and not as aggressive as aggro - how can this pile even expect to win a match?  This deck loses to Fish, Stax, Slaver, Gifts, UR Fish, Chalice Fish, TPS, Deathlong, Uba Stax, Chang Stax, Cron Stax, Belcher, Oath, Tog, and Suicide black.  It might be parfait.  Maybe.  Why would you play this deck over stompy I don't know.  I don't understand how you can reasonably expect to beat  Chalice, Null Rod, Nether Void, Trinsphere, Sphere of Resistence, Smokestack, Oxidize, Root maze, Metldown, Shatterstorm, Damping Matrix, Balance, Wastelands + Crucible, Disk, Keg, Back to basics, Force of Will, Mindslaver, naturalize, disenchant, Rack and Ruin, Energy Flux, Hurkyl's Recall, Rebuild, Oath, Tog, Goblin Welder, Gorilla Shaman, and Pithing Needle. 

...

If I believed all of that, I never would have even written an article on the deck. 
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« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2005, 07:01:42 pm »

First let me say, that your reply to my comments is amazing, and I truly appreciate what you are trying to do. On both the Vintage 'growth' level (ie: This article on starcity), and the Mana Drain Community level. I go out of my way to allways read what you write with a clear head to try to fully understand your points. Very Well Done. I thank you Smile

But, in that regards, I also have the following points;

For every time you come up with a hypo that says what happens if card X is in play, there is a countervailing hypo that says what happens if Suicide Virus does A, B, or C? 

and...

In retrospect, if I had played mono blue, I would have had an even better chance of making top 8 than I did, when you consider my matchups.  I played against Death Long.  Autowin. I played against Chalice Oath - He had no Drains and I could board in 4 Control Magics and ruin him.  I played against UW Fish.  I have Kegs, Phids, Back to Basics, Old Men and Morphling. Good luck White Weenie. 

I already stated the reasons why I didn't play mono blue - but I left out one important omission.

I believe that mono blue could have gotten me into top 8 but there is one thing a deck like mono blue cannot do: win a tournament.  Mono Blue could get top 8 but how would I navigate in a top 8 full of Welders and the best players playing the best decks?  Not really possible.  Does that make mono blue viable?  Sure.  But it isn't the best choice. 

These points still seem to be contradictory to one another, and yet still disprove what you are trying to say. Hypo's don't win games. As you said, players and metas AND decks win games. I do NOT doubt your skill with mono-u, but at the same time saying "I played against fish, I can draw this/this/this" is just a denial of your latter point. You can draw those cards to beat said deck, and as such, x deck can draw null rod/monkey/Force/chalice to wreak Arcborn Virus; Can they not? The arguments you make about mono U winning are fundamentally the same that we make about Archborn Virus losing.

The last paragraph of the quoted above I will concede to. It is 100% valid, and accurate. It so perfectly shows why good players can metagame whole deck archetypes to Top8 finishes, but then not bring home the bacon. Accepted. Yet saying that Virus is difficult to play, thus preventing it from this possibility (and categorizing it in your Mono-U grouping) seems irrelevant. Deathlong and Gifts are both difficult to play, yet still see Top8's.

This brings me to my last argument, and I say this in pure good spirits. Please don't take offence Wink but I challenge you to Top8 with your monster at a 5+ round tournament, and prove me wrong.



Do you accept?  Mr. Green
« Last Edit: September 07, 2005, 07:03:44 pm by Sagath » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2005, 07:11:45 pm »

How could this deck even be viable?  It has no counterspells, no duress, no Chalice, and no lock components?  It dies automatically and unequivocally to Chalice, Null Rod, Nether Void, Trinsphere, Sphere of Resistence, Smokestack, Oxidize, Root maze, Metldown, Shatterstorm, Damping Matrix, Balance, Tormod's Crypt, Wastelands + Crucible, Disk, Keg, Back to basics, Force of Will, Mindslaver, naturalize, disenchant, Rack and Ruin, Energy Flux, Hurkyl's Recall, Rebuild, Oath, Tog, Goblin Welder, Gorilla Shaman, and Pithing Needle - all of which you will face turn one every game in every tournament.  This deck is slower than combo decks and not as aggressive as aggro - how can this pile even expect to win a match?  This deck loses to Fish, Stax, Slaver, Gifts, UR Fish, Chalice Fish, TPS, Deathlong, Uba Stax, Chang Stax, Cron Stax, Belcher, Oath, Tog, and Suicide black.  It might be parfait.  Maybe.  Why would you play this deck over stompy I don't know.  I don't understand how you can reasonably expect to beat  Chalice, Null Rod, Nether Void, Trinsphere, Sphere of Resistence, Smokestack, Oxidize, Root maze, Metldown, Shatterstorm, Damping Matrix, Balance, Wastelands + Crucible, Disk, Keg, Back to basics, Force of Will, Mindslaver, naturalize, disenchant, Rack and Ruin, Energy Flux, Hurkyl's Recall, Rebuild, Oath, Tog, Goblin Welder, Gorilla Shaman, and Pithing Needle. 

...

If I believed all of that, I never would have even written an article on the deck. 

I never said the deck wouldn't win. I said the deck is bad. Yes, you will win games. I'm not going to argue that, it would be pointless.
 You won't have to deal with all those hate card turn one every game, but you will have to deal with them quite frequently.

You've yet to answer why you would play this over wasP ironworks.
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2005, 07:38:53 pm »

I didn't answer alot of questions and I feel no need to start now.   You are entitled to your opinion.  You say the deck is bad.  Fine.  I think the deck is good.  That's fine with me and I see no reason and feel no need to leave it any different than that. 
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« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2005, 08:06:53 pm »

though I do want this deck to work (as I am looking for a new deck to play) I still dont know how it will work.

Since you (Steve) are bringing it to the type 1 table I trust this deck is awesome.  However, Comparing this deck to sui black is crazy.  Sui black doesnt fold to half as many cards as the virus does.

I am trying to make it more combo (fastbond, maybe minds desire, tendrils) and I will try to make the deck work.

I will do everything I can to make this deck tier1 but I dont know if its possible.

I hope to see this deck in some top 8s but if you arent running I doubt others will.  Keep in mind this is your article and your tweaked deck so unless you run it others will doubt its a viable deck.
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« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2005, 08:53:57 pm »

I still ask the question to everyone that has said this deck is bad and can not win matches, can not be viable and can not be piloted to be always good at tournaments to answer this one question:

Where in the world are your testing results?

I see a lot of people shooting off at the mouth saying this deck doesn't stand a chance. So why aren't you doubting Thomas' testing to have posts that actually prove the theories? I don't see any posts on match up analysis or anything of the kind, just banter.

I said I was worried about Null Rod when I commented on this deck. That is because I'm ignorant in 100% to how to pilot this deck well. So by looking at a decklist of cards that have a lot of artifact activation abilities I would of course automatically think of Null Rod. That doesn't mean I'm right in any way.

To say a deck outright sucks without testing it for some time is nothing more than ignorance and I'm sorry to see that a lot of posters on the site don't understand that. I don't even have a Full Members title yet and I understand that aspect of deck criticism.
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« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2005, 12:02:07 am »

I expected there to be knee-jerk reactions to this new combo deck. Given the previous track record of combo decks, it isn't any new surprise that people will rush to find the fatal flaw of the deck.

Example:
Draw-7- admitted to have too much of a random factor to be relied upon
Deathlong- Too many branches of decisions
TPS- That play stalled
Doomsday- One turn pass with extreme vulnerability
meandeck tendrils- opponents card kills it

These are all of the usual cookie-cutter responses. I agree with the previously mentioned fact that decks should be tested before the theorycrafting begins. Just because it doesn't have ritual,drain,or shop doesn't mean it shouldn't be given a chance.
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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2005, 08:58:41 am »

Steve:

First of all, since you wrote this article you should know you've stepped into a very controversial field... people already have their minds set on that any artifact deck except stax+slaver won't make it. I'm sure that at least half of everyone here only read half the article or read it through very quickly... you need to understand that a lot of players THINK they know so much. You'll never (and i mean NEVER!) be able to convince some of these, even if you are right... they refuse to listen to different opinions or widen their perspective... they can't and won't understand some things. Just trust me on this, I've tried a lot. Don't waste your time, just move on. Each time i play my deck on workstation, i hear stuff like "you're a noob, you suck, bla bla" but in the end, I'm almost always the one who's winning. This is the very downfall of especially American magic (the same as Osyp says ), no offense and I don't mean to judge all Americans here, but a lot of you think you can get so much for free without any work, and that you (yes you) are the best magic player, always right about whatever subject's discussed and without questioning or trying to learn you disregard other people's opinions and much else.

Look at japanese magic... possibly the strongest force in magic today. You know why they are so good now? Yes, they're smart but that's not all... they RESPECT AND TRY TO LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. If someone comes up with a very unorthodox idea over there, they don't just blow it off like a lot of American players do. If you want to get better at magic, you better start working on the inside of yourself first and don't judge others and/or their decks/articles. Besides, a true magic master doesn't underestimate players by status, cards, deckchoice or say "he's a noob"  (like people do at the magic workstation servers)  a good player doesn't need to do all that ***t, he should already know how good he himself is and focus on his own abilities.

So the bottom line is, DON'T argue or critisize something if you don't have statistics or something to back it up with. In this case, I'm a lot more willing to believe what Steve says (looking at his article) than some random kid that just says "your deck dies to null rod" or whatever. Until that kid has written a 20 page essay himself, his answer isn't worth anything to me.
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« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2005, 09:11:51 am »

You are right about others judging the deck but arent you judging the deck as well?  If others judge the deck as not good and you judge it as good wtf is the difference?

I didnt judge this deck before testing as well as reading the article twice.  Like I said I like this deck a lot but what happens when it gets sided on?  I have yet to win a game when null rod hits the board, pithing needle hits the board, or a timely rack and ruin.

bottom line I have done the testing and this is why I am going for a combo style deck.  how has your testing been?
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« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2005, 09:35:01 am »

My problem with the deck, even though I'm quite a fan of the card, is Artificer's Intuition itself. It's slowing your Affinity combo kill by a turn, and you could be playing your Arcbound Ravager or Disciple of the Vault, etc. instead.

Here is my new Affinity/Disciple deck, using the new Ideas Unbound:
Quote
// Lands
    2  Vault of Whispers
    4  Seat of the Synod
    4  City of Brass
    1  Tolarian Academy

// Creatures
    4  Frogmite
    4  Disciple of the Vault
    4  Arcbound Ravager
    4  Ornithopter

// Spells
    1  Timetwister
    1  Ancestral Recall
    1  Time Walk
    1  Wheel of Fortune
    1  Crop Rotation
    4  Thoughtcast
    1  Burning Wish
    1  Mana Vault
    1  Fastbond
    1  Sol Ring
    1  Lion's Eye Diamond
    1  Lotus Petal
    1  Mox Emerald
    1  Mox Jet
    1  Mox Pearl
    1  Mox Ruby
    1  Mox Sapphire
    1  Black Lotus
    1  Mana Crypt
    1  Memory Jar
    4  Skullclamp
    1  Yawgmoth's Will
    2  Genesis Chamber
    1  Tinker
    2  Ideas Unbound

// Sideboard
SB: 1  Ideas Unbound
SB: 1  Balance
SB: 1  Vindicate
SB: 1  Time Spiral
SB: 1  Tendrils of Agony
SB: 1  Mind Twist
SB: X Meta cards
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« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2005, 09:41:58 am »

I played against this deck the other night on MWS, and at the time I didn't know anything about it including the fact it was a Smmenen creation. So my recollection is somewhat fuzzy because I didn't think anything of it. From what I can remember I felt the deck was explosive when it clicked but it didn't click frequently. The games I lost to it (I believe it was two) I lost really bad really fast; however, the games I won (I believe it was 6) the deck lost because it couldn't stop me or it just seemed to peter out and act like a weak aggro deck. I am sure the guy who I was playing wasn't the best pilot of the deck, however, I wasn't playing any real hate either. In fact, I don't think a sideboarded or mulliganed a single game mainly because I was just playing for fun, and I felt the guy was testing his own creation. The decks I used weren't exactly all accepted as powerehouse decks either. I think it went something like Leviat.dec (2-0), Ninja Mask(2-1), and Dragon (2-1). Maybe the person piloting the deck would have made a huge difference, but by judging my success versus the deck and taking into consideration my lacks play, it would have had to of made a tremendous difference to change my first impressions of the deck.
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« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2005, 10:39:58 am »

I think it went something like Leviat.dec (2-0)

And that's the way, uhu-uhu, I like it..

Yeah, I've tested some games with Leviat.dec against this and I believe I did not lose a single game.. Energy Flux is so good..
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« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2005, 10:49:57 am »

Forgive my ignorance, but could someone remind me briefly what Leviat is? Is it the Replenish/Bazaar deck? Sorry for being off-topic.
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« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2005, 11:03:33 am »

Yeah it is. List(s): http://www.morphling.de/top8decks.php?id=288..
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« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2005, 11:16:04 am »

Quote
So the bottom line is, DON'T argue or critisize something if you don't have statistics or something to back it up with. In this case, I'm a lot more willing to believe what Steve says (looking at his article) than some random kid that just says "your deck dies to null rod" or whatever. Until that kid has written a 20 page essay himself, his answer isn't worth anything to me. 

I could write 20 pages about 5 color control using no basics and 4 city of brass.  I could have all the statistics in the world, but it is still glaringly obvious that there is a major problem with the mana base becuase of extremely common cards that are run in Type 1.  You don't need to playtest a few hundred matches to realize that this deck would suck against anything with 5 strips.

Likewise, you don't need to playtest Steve's deck a few hundred times to realize there are glaring weaknesses against many commonly played cards.  Just by looking at it you can tell its powerful and can see the speed, but you can also see its downfalls.
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Disburden
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« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2005, 11:50:22 am »

Quote
So the bottom line is, DON'T argue or critisize something if you don't have statistics or something to back it up with. In this case, I'm a lot more willing to believe what Steve says (looking at his article) than some random kid that just says "your deck dies to null rod" or whatever. Until that kid has written a 20 page essay himself, his answer isn't worth anything to me. 

I could write 20 pages about 5 color control using no basics and 4 city of brass.  I could have all the statistics in the world, but it is still glaringly obvious that there is a major problem with the mana base becuase of extremely common cards that are run in Type 1.  You don't need to playtest a few hundred matches to realize that this deck would suck against anything with 5 strips.

Likewise, you don't need to playtest Steve's deck a few hundred times to realize there are glaring weaknesses against many commonly played cards.  Just by looking at it you can tell its powerful and can see the speed, but you can also see its downfalls.

This might be true, but the same could be said that if you do playtest A LOT of games you may find ways to win those matchups with those threats, or before those threats hit the table. That was my point in what I was saying. I Think if people test a lot they would see some things they haven't seen before with the deck.
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« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2005, 12:10:02 pm »

Here's a post on Belcher that applies almost word for word to this deck as well:

The thing with Null Rod and Sphere of Resistance is that not that many decks run them. Null Rod has lately only been run in Uba Stax and some Fish builds, and Sphere of Resistance I've only seen in 5C-Stax lists like the one Roland Chang has used to much success lately.

In Uba Stax it's obviously a problem, and I guess that is actually one of Belcher's worst matchups because of it, Uba Stax's Chalices, etc. The thing is, as Smmenen and others have pointed out, Uba Stax is an extremely hard deck to build, especially in a zero-proxy environment like the tournaments I play in, which makes me much less worried about randomly getting paired against one. At a larger tournament, say one of StarCity's Power-9 events, I'd be much more worried about getting paird against Uba Stax, but even then not that much, since it's much more common to see Drain decks or other Workshop decks.

Against Fish, if they're even running Null Rods, there's a very good chance it won't come down until at least turn 1, since they typically only run a Mox or two and a Black Lotus. By the time it comes down we could've already won, or be in a position to win once we find our maindeck Oxidize.

Chalice, however, I do see as being a problem, but even then it's not that bad. We've got Land Grant to get our two lands, and we have lots of acceleration in each casting cost bracket: Moxes, Black Lotus, Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt and LED at 0cc; Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Tinder Wall and Dark Ritual at 1cc; Cabal Ritual and Grim Monolith at 2cc; and we even have Elvish Spirit Guide that is never affected by Chalice. Even with a Chalice for 0 down it's not the end of the world, since we can play our Moxes anyway and help get Threshold for Cabal Rituals. We also have Welders, that are huge against opposing Null Rods and Chalices, and we can just Weld in a Belcher if we discarded it. Sure, Chalice can be a pain, but it's not as devastating as against other decks, I think.

Maindeck artifact hate is also a problem, such as Rack and Ruin and Gorilla Shaman, but typically an opponent will need to burn a Tutor or spend a few turns trying to find it, by which point we could have very easily already won. A Shaman or Rack and Ruin in response to us activating our Belcher isn't too terrible, Wink.

The bottom line is: it seems that the cards that annoy us the most are all artifacts, and fortunately we have a lot of artifact hate at our disposal in the SB, and can probably put in more, if necessary.

Luiggi
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« Reply #56 on: September 08, 2005, 08:16:34 pm »

Not meaning to interrupt the flow of the conversation, but when you cycled through the Servitor in the article and you got two Lotus Petal, what did you really get?
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« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2005, 09:24:08 pm »

Quote
So the bottom line is, DON'T argue or critisize something if you don't have statistics or something to back it up with. In this case, I'm a lot more willing to believe what Steve says (looking at his article) than some random kid that just says "your deck dies to null rod" or whatever. Until that kid has written a 20 page essay himself, his answer isn't worth anything to me. 

I could write 20 pages about 5 color control using no basics and 4 city of brass.  I could have all the statistics in the world, but it is still glaringly obvious that there is a major problem with the mana base becuase of extremely common cards that are run in Type 1.  You don't need to playtest a few hundred matches to realize that this deck would suck against anything with 5 strips.

Likewise, you don't need to playtest Steve's deck a few hundred times to realize there are glaring weaknesses against many commonly played cards.  Just by looking at it you can tell its powerful and can see the speed, but you can also see its downfalls.


This might be true, but the same could be said that if you do playtest A LOT of games you may find ways to win those matchups with those threats, or before those threats hit the table. That was my point in what I was saying. I Think if people test a lot they would see some things they haven't seen before with the deck.

Thank you Disburden.  That's exactly what I have found.  I wrote this article so that the people who WOULD do that would enjoy the deck and hopefully win some crads and tournaments.  I knew that the response would be like this - but I felt compelled to inform the community just so the people who would take this deck and run with it could do so. 

Also, this thread illustrates the very reason why I think that publishing decklists from my premium articles is a TERRIBLE idea. 

The deck in the article was carefully explained as tentative and I strongly urged you to tune it to suit your metagame with the creatures I listed.   In most environments, you need at least two Shamans.  People look at the decklist without reading the article, play a few games and then conclude it is a pile.

In future, I may request that decklists not be posted or just not even link the article here for that very reason.  Posting a decklist without understanding how it works, having read my explanations and careful deck analysis is almost always going to cause a deck like this to face criticism that not as many people would raise if they read the article. 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2005, 09:32:16 pm by Smmenen » Logged
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« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2005, 12:46:28 pm »

 This is the problem, I find, from people that don't want to buy premium account on SCG. They rely on decklists and then proxy/ sleeve the deck, without any idea of how to play the thing, or metagame it.

 You simply can not rely on decklists posted on the Mana Drain to understand decks with very long in depth articles on Star City Games. I paid for premium MONTHS ago and have read at least 15 amazing articles since then. To me, that information was worth the 10-15$ I spent 4 months ago.
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« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2005, 03:36:26 am »

i´ve played the deck after and before  Smmenen´s article comes out, and cloud of faeries has been a so good inclusion!they are amazing! also, this deck die to a lot of cards, but it has about 3 alternative game plans, ravager, disciples, combo and also beatdown with faires disciples and myrs! i think is a good deck, with many sb choices, i´ll personally go with defense grids and a few overloads to beat null rod Razz
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