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Author Topic: To gift or to not gift  (Read 5312 times)
doylehancock
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« on: October 23, 2005, 06:10:15 pm »

It has come apparent that there are many different gift builds out there and many different views on TFK in gifts as well as Merchant Scroll.  Arguebly the best gifts deck is the Brassman’s list from the Vintage World Champs this year. Here is the link for that list
 http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgevent/vintage05/welcome

It is quiet different from Meandeck gifts (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/9963.html).  Meandeck gifts is known for having one hell of a mana base and packing up to 3 misdirections main.  Another argument over these two decks are whether the tendrils kill or the belcher kill is better.  Just last week Meandeck GOAT was unleashed by Randy Buelher (without Meandeck's permission).  The mana base is very scarey but the deck appears to be extremely aggro.  Here is the list he released http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/10640.html

I just played in a type 1 tourney for a box of Ravnica on Friday and showed up with my own version of Meandeck Gifts.  Here is the list.

1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
5 Moxen
1 Sol Ring

1 Darksteel Colossus

1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
1 Fact Or Fiction
4 Force Of Will
4 Gifts Ungiven
4 Mana Drain
3 Duress
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Echoing Truth
1 Vampiric Tutor   
1 Burning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
4 Merchant Scroll
1 Recoup
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Yawgmoth's Will
3 Island
2 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Tundra
1 Tolarian Academy

I ended up winning the box (beating Gifts Control on the way).  I never once killed with Tendrils.  I could have but I just decided to walk and kill with DSC.  The reasons I felt I won were because of duress and merchant scroll.  Merchant scrolling for Force of Will is great and duressing instead of misdirecting had its many advantages.

The questions I have for you all are

1)   What’s better Duress or Misdirection is a gifts built deck?
2)   Does TFK have a spot in gifts deck?
3)   If it does how many?
4)   What about Merchant scroll?
5)   Is GOAT worth the risk of the mana base?
6)   Tendrils or Belcher for the kill?

All of these are valid questions and look forward to your input
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2005, 08:31:21 pm »

To answer your questions:

1) I hate both... Duress makes you want a first turn Underground Sea too much, Misdirection is pretty useless unless you are playing against control and have counters to protect.
2) Maybe... IMO only if you are using Belcher or Time Vault.
3) Run 4 or none at all.
4) Don't like them, feels like I'm wasting a turn whenever I cast it, after you use the first one to get Ancestral the rest are too big of a tempo loss (to have to play them at Sorcery speed).
5) If you take the Buehler list and cut the Tundra for another basic Island, the manabase is fine, IMO.
6) I like Tendrils; Belcher is outdated anyways, use Vault/Fusillade, it's cheaper and better.

I'll post more about these answers later... I answered all of the questions based on the fact that I run MD GiftsOath.
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2005, 03:54:25 pm »

Ok, there are some pretty common misconceptions going around about Duress.

First - Duress, game one, isn't the best first turn play.  If you start with Underground Sea, Duress, you could easily find your opponent following up with Wasteland, Mox, Chalice of the Void for Zero, substantially removing you from the game (although now he doesn't have a Smokestack to add insult to injury).

So, game one, Duress should be used to force through mid-late game bombs.  If Ancestral Recall read " {U} {B}, Discard a card: Target player draws three cards.  This card cannot be countered by spells." would you still play it?  Of course.  Leave early Duressing to combo players.  The only time I would confidently Duress turn one is if my opponent hadn't yet played and I had a Mox Jet in my opening grip, allowing me to not cut off my supply of basics.

Duress is really an outstanding card, and the reason it doesn't see a lot of play is that the single black mana in the casting cost leads to strategic misplays - such as when (it can also lead you to try running a basic Swamp in your deck, which is most often a grievous mistake).

While I'm at it:
Merchant Scroll - this card really requires you to devote your deck to singleton blue instants.  Not quite a bad thing.  For one, reliably hitting Ancestral Recall in your first couple of opening turns is really something else.  Second; Merchant Scroll, in a properly built deck, runs like Demonic Tutor, only it can be played off an Island.  It also lets you run less than four Gifts Ungiven.  Some people claim this is far from optimal, but it's still a four-cc instant that can be a dead card in a hand without a way to ramp to four mana quickly.  Take this with a grain of salt though, as I'm not a devoted Gifts Ungiven player.

Thirst for Knowledge - "drawback" or no, this card reads 'Draw Three Cards.'  If you feel this isn't enough of an argument for the card in a fully-powered deck, try reading Andy Probasco's article, The Case for Thirst for Knowledge in Vintage Gifts.  Thirst is a solid card synergistic with the most common kill-enabler in Type One (Yawgmoth's Will) with a drawback negated by playing with cards you should be running anyways (Artifact Mana).

The only problem I would see is that 4x Thirst for Knowledge and 4x Merchant Scroll takes up a fairly large portion of your deck. <shrug>

« Last Edit: October 24, 2005, 04:03:11 pm by Revvik » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2005, 04:02:31 pm »

I have spoken against Duress in Meandeck Gifts before. It simply is an issue of mana. This, however, is not Meandeck Gifts and runs a manabase heavy on black, much like my own. For me, the answer lies in the middle and the metagame. Duress has the better overall score, even though it opens the mana base to disruption in the form of Wastelands. The more controllish you play, the better Duress becomes. The more control you face, though, the better Misdirection gets. You decide.

The question of TfK vs Merchant Scroll is difficult. While I like Scroll as a strong tutor, TfK offers great mana curve possibilites and strong draw. The number of Thirsts relies heavily on the artifacts you have in the deck. For example, if the above deck had Needles instead of Duress in the maindeck, TfK would without question be a certain inclusion. The verdict is uncertain for me; the instant speed of TfK is what pushes it over the top, so I advise a healthy mix. If I could, I'd run three each, but space is limited and at a premium, even if you don't run a secondary win like doylehancock did.

Question 5: The answer is -- do you need either? Does Gifts need a secondary kill at all? Doyle presents how a build without it can look (without Rebuild, even the Tendrils kill becomes nothing more than an auxiliary measure). Did he take a huge risk, or did he do some clever metagaming? One Swords ruins a lot.

I'll leave it at that for the moment, since my thoughts on Gifts feel like a fractal structure in my cortex. My deck for the weekend is built, but may be blown apart any minute by any freak gale that blows my way.

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doylehancock
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2005, 04:42:08 pm »

I agree after Chicago we will know alot more about Gift decks

I am expecting gifts to dominate and hope that happens.

I have been running meandeck gifts and my version of gifts (team sexboat gifts) for a while and I absoultely love those decks.  I have won countless tourneys (the two biggest were for 4 underground seas and for 1 box of Ravnica)

I like TFK but dont know if there is room for it.  If you run TFK you need to add in at least 3 artifacts to make the card good and thats a huge amount of cards.

Dozer I agree that first turn duress can be bad but it can also fish out a counter.

once again we will learn more on Saturday. 
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2005, 05:25:57 pm »

1) - 6)

The Oath-Gifts versus Gifts only debate is really quite simple in my eyes.  Basically, you take out the Merchant Scrolls (tutors to find Tinker) and add Oath of Druids (Tinker #2-5).  That's a pretty simple way to look at it, yes, but that's what it is.  The added benefit of Oathing your library and then casting Yawg's Will results in a sure win.

Having at least one Duress is good in almost all Gifts decks in my opinion.  With the added benefit of it being in your Gifts toolbox, you can Oath up your library and shuffle back Duress and Will with Reclaimation. Just in case you need to clear the way.

Tfk draw is nice but Oath, a bomb, is better.  There are no wrong threats.

Tendrils is still a fine kill.  So is Belcher, but you can't oath up a Charbelcher.
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2005, 05:33:22 pm »

What's the point of using a combo kill? If you have Will and your library is in your graveyard, you can go nuts and draw 100 counterspells to protect the colossus.
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2005, 06:00:10 pm »

It's a backup plan?  For example, when I piloted Oath-Gifts at Waterbury, I had Extract resolved on me first turn.  Sure, not everybody plays Extract, but it is one of many things that could kill your A game. 

Well, if you are already holding Will, than that is entirely different.  If you need to Oath to fetch Will and something like Academy to set it off, or Duress to nix the Swords, with Krosan Rec, then that is a different matter.
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2005, 06:54:44 pm »

It's a backup plan?  For example, when I piloted Oath-Gifts at Waterbury, I had Extract resolved on me first turn.  Sure, not everybody plays Extract, but it is one of many things that could kill your A game. 

Well, if you are already holding Will, than that is entirely different.  If you need to Oath to fetch Will and something like Academy to set it off, or Duress to nix the Swords, with Krosan Rec, then that is a different matter.

Because you don't have access to those counters once you pass your turn to do any damage whatsoever? If you have access to your entire library (resolved will) then why not just end the game?
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2005, 07:24:27 pm »

I don't know what you are talking about.  Obviously, if you can resolve Will, do it and win.  I'm talking about setting up Will and having a backup plan.  Having access to your entire library is the result of Oathing your entire library, casting Krosan Rec, then casting Will afterwards.
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2005, 07:49:05 pm »

1)   What’s better Duress or Misdirection is a gifts built deck?
2)   Does TFK have a spot in gifts deck?
3)   If it does how many?
4)   What about Merchant scroll?
5)   Is GOAT worth the risk of the mana base?
6)   Tendrils or Belcher for the kill?

1)  Depends on how the deck is built.  Duress works better in a slower plodding brassy type build, while MisD is far superior in the combo at a moments notice gifts.sm build.

2)  Quite simply no.  If you're gonna bother running TfK then just exploit it to the fullest and play CS.

4)  Gotta go with a resounding yes on this one.  Saying that it loses much of its effectiveness after you get Ancestral shows that you have no idea how to effectively utilize the card.  Its a tutor for every single card in your deck that matters, and frankly if you're getting Ancestral with it the majority of the time you really need to reasess how you are playing the deck.

5)  Nope, not in my opinion.  In my experience the reason Oath beat stax was two-fold.  First there was the whole Oath thing(which stax can easily take care of with a few board slots), but in addition to that it was because Oath was built on a rock solid monoU manabase.  Now that you drop the strong manabase you're left with only Oath which, now that this decks out of the bag, stax can handle easily enough.  Against CS, the only other matchup you give a shit about, switching to this build puts you in a strategic catch-22.  In order to utilize Oath effectively you have to change your basic strategy against CS, but doing so lessens the effectiveness of hte rest of your deck.  So you either play your normal gifts gameplan but now have 4 dead cards, or you focus on the oath portion and play an overall weaker strategy (that still isnt necessarily effective against CS). 

6) Tendrils, it plays more naturally into your Yawgs Will gameplan.
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2005, 09:05:46 pm »

1)   What’s better Duress or Misdirection is a gifts built deck?
2)   Does TFK have a spot in gifts deck?
3)   If it does how many?
4)   What about Merchant scroll?
5)   Is GOAT worth the risk of the mana base?
6)   Tendrils or Belcher for the kill?

1) Depends on how you want to play.  I like Duress

2) Thirst is Insane.  It generates Card Advantage somehting Meandecks list is lacking.  If your going to be playing in NE or another Control happy place I would take a look at some of Brassmans list.

3) Like said before its 4 or 0.

4)  I have a dieing hate for this card.  Even when I played Meandecks list I cut down to 2-3 and Brassmans I cut the 2 of them.  I hate Merhcant Scroll I think this is the biggest tempo lost and a waste of a card spot.  Maybe 1 at most but thats me.

5) GOAT is a solid deck with something going for it but I wouldn't change over to it just cause it was posted with a couple of solid reports.  Try out the deck and see if you like it because a solid player can make anything work.

6) Again its up to you either one is fine.  Depends on how you want to play.  I like Belcher cause I play 2 Land belcher so throwing one in a deck make smy day that much better.
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2005, 09:17:40 pm »

I have spoken against Duress in Meandeck Gifts before. It simply is an issue of mana. This, however, is not Meandeck Gifts and runs a manabase heavy on black, much like my own. For me, the answer lies in the middle and the metagame. Duress has the better overall score, even though it opens the mana base to disruption in the form of Wastelands. The more controllish you play, the better Duress becomes. The more control you face, though, the better Misdirection gets. You decide.
To elaborate on the Duress mana issue, it gets worse after you board, since now you need black and red mana, and Duress isn't very good as a topdeck, either. In lieu of both Duress and Mis-D, I've come to prefer Gorilla Shaman, which also handles a few other things like Chalice, Aether Vial, and to a lesser extent, Null Rod.
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2005, 04:37:29 am »

The questions I have for you all are

1)   What’s better Duress or Misdirection is a gifts built deck?
2)   Does TFK have a spot in gifts deck?
3)   If it does how many?
4)   What about Merchant scroll?
5)   Is GOAT worth the risk of the mana base?
6)   Tendrils or Belcher for the kill?

Here is my collected experience after testing both decks.
1 and 4) As long as you are running Merchant Scroll, you must run Misdirection as well. First turn Duress followed by second turn Merchant Scroll gives your opponent too much time, specially if your opponent begins. At his turn tree you must have Mana Drain mana up, you cannot be tapped out, not even to find a Force of Will. I'm not very found of Misdirection, but it gives you a tempo that Dures does not. I have however cut Misdirection number three in favour for Mind Twist which all on it's own wins duels. It should also be mentioned that I'm down to three Merchant Scrolls. The last one is taken out and instead I run a Vampiric Tutor.

2 and 3) I also cutted one Gifts ungiven for one Thirst. How often do you want two Gifts on your starting hand? Never I would say. One single Thirst is optimal since it is an alternative to get with Gifts, it can be found with Merchant Scroll if you have Coloss on your hand. Sure, Brainstorms works as well, but with Thirst you can generate card advantage. The deck cannot support four Thirst. You seldom want to discard moxen unless it is lategame (or if there is a Chalice or Null Rod out), you want to play them so you can play your Thirst as soon as possible.

5) I have discovered a huge disadvantage with GOAT. If you opponent also has a Coloss, there is a pretty high risk that he finds it quick enough and there you have two colosses staring at each other. Thus, you have to have some answere to that, which you don't have since there are enough dead cards in the deck already. Instead you have to go for the Tendrils kill which is highly risky if your opponent has counters. In the meantime you cannot play neither Burning Wish nor Yawgmoth's Will for anything but the kill leaving you with even more dead cards in the deck. Ordinary Meandeck Gifts has less dead cards and can support bounce or a single Cunning Wish. That, along with the more stable mana base makes me choose ordinary Gifts over GOAT.

6) Belcher is more or less useless on its own and hence you need Mana Severance as well = 2 MD spot = bad.
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2005, 04:51:42 am »

6) Belcher is more or less useless on its own and hence you need Mana Severance as well = 2 MD spot = bad.
I haven't had trouble using Burning Wish to fetch Severance.
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2005, 05:35:18 am »

I haven't had trouble using Burning Wish to fetch Severance.
Then you'r in the same position as I described above. As soon as you play Burning Wish for something but Severance, you'll get a dead Belcher in your deck = also bad. Compare that to Colossus. If your Tinker gets lost you have Recoup and Burning Wish to get it back and you can in rare cases hardcast Colossus. You must balance between brokenness and consistency, and Belcher does not give any extra brokeness compared to Colossus, only less consistency (if you have Severance in the SB).
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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2005, 05:47:49 am »

I don't think Belcher is quite as dead as you put it in that situation.

First, you can play it slow and Belch every turn. Especially later on when you've used a good number of fetch lands, you can still do a bit of damage without Severance.

Second, you can also Gifts out your remaining non-Volcanic Island lands to improve the chances of doing damage.

Third, you can use Colossus.
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« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2005, 08:11:21 am »

6) Belcher is more or less useless on its own and hence you need Mana Severance as well = 2 MD spot = bad.

Belcher is NEVER dead on it's own. Every turn you get to do 0-X dmg. While the potential for 0 is there, it comes up very rarely. Usually you get to belch them for 3-5 a turn, and smashing to the dome for 5 a turn isn't a bad thing.

Also, mana severance is also not dead on it's own. In the early game, it's a shitty card to have, yes. But in the late game it can clear out your lands so you get to top business spells, something that is clutch in control mirrors (although mana development is also pretty key).

What cards are dead on their own until you're ready to win are time vault and flame fusillade. At 4cc, the fusillade is way slow. So slow, in fact, that you get to do a whopping 1 damage with 5 mana sources out. Time vault is really shitty on it's own. You need to skip a turn to start using it. It's just as vulnerable as the belcher is, but both parts are completely dead if you draw them on their own.
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2005, 08:25:59 am »

why belch 3 or 4 turns for the kill when you can tendrils in one turn?  Or tinker for DSC and kill in two turns?

I dont see why you would want to belch over multiple turns, isnt the point to win?  Well if you are giving them more turns they are more likely to top deck an answer.
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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2005, 09:04:54 am »

@orgcandman
The most useful thing Belcher does is to ping Welders and Gorilla Shaman and other small creatures. That's pretty good, but seven mana for killing a Welder is very much. The point is, as you noticed, that the Severance is crappy in the begining. If you can spare a card in lategame you are winning anyhow. It's getting there that is the hard part and Severance won't help you. And yes, a five turn clock is at least two turns too much. as noticed above by doylehancock, Burning Wish is seldom used as a wincon. Nine times out of ten you abuse Time Walk rather than killing with it. It is just a secondary kill that  takes one sideboard slot. It is without doubt the most slot efficient wincon and on the same time it is least in the way in early game.

I must agree on Time Vault/Fusillade and you have above given clear reasons why the combo is perhaps the worst alternative of them all. Thanks.
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« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2005, 03:41:31 pm »

7) Which version of Gifts will top 8 at chicago?

8) will gifts win chicago?
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« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2005, 06:47:29 pm »

7) Which version of Gifts will top 8 at chicago?

8) will gifts win chicago?

You sure ask a lot of questions...and I can't help but notice that you post more about gifts than meandeck...and almost every single gifts thread has been started by you.

that being said, i am fairly certain that oath gifts will not win chicago, and most likely won't top 8, since...the midwest is where all the shops are at.
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« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2005, 06:50:49 pm »

7) Which version of Gifts will top 8 at chicago?

8) will gifts win chicago?

You sure ask a lot of questions...and I can't help but notice that you post more about gifts than meandeck...and almost every single gifts thread has been started by you.

that being said, i am fairly certain that oath gifts will not win chicago, and most likely won't top 8, since...the midwest is where all the shops are at.

this is because I play gifts.  I dont play other type 1 decks (CS a couple times) so why not talk about something you know?

I agree with the oath gifts but I think meandeck gifts and brassmans gifts should do great

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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2005, 02:56:16 am »

To answer the original questions first:

1)  I definitely agree that it depends on how you're playing the deck.  Duress is better stripping away threats/counters from an opponents hand and misdirection is better at getting your own spells through.

2)  I personally think that Thirst is perhaps the best unrestricted draw mechanic in vintage.  I cast my vote for it to be in the deck.

3)  If it's going to be in the deck, then I would say 3-4 (3 if you're going for something like a singelton skeletal scrying.)

4)  I like Merchant scroll in the deck, too.  The most obvious things that it does is to grab an Ancestral Recall/Brainstorm.  However, past that, it also can allow you to direct each game in a fashion that is suited to the situation; examples are needed for this.  If you're facing a control mirror, then merchant scroll can grab force of will or mana drain and dramatically strengthen your game.  It can also grab Gifts, as has been previously noted; for my gifts list, this is quite relevant, since I only play two of the card; this means that if I'm playing a matchup which requires me to win fast, I can tutor up gifts and do just that.

5)  I don't like MDGoat.  For one, the manabase is atrocious; secondly, it has no draw engine besides gifts ungiven and brainstorm.  In my experience with the deck, which, admittedly, is quite small, it can stall out much too easily.

6)  I think that overall, tendrils is a better secondary kill, but I believe that it requires MDGifts style build to be used correctly; my reasoning for stating that is my high disaggreeance with MDGifts.  My problem with the deck is that I feel it wants two opposing things:  large amounts of mana and lots of spells.  I have had, playing it, too many games where it took me too long to win because of one of the following:  I had to chain too many gifts together or I had to chain too many spells together and then ended up basically stalling out or I just stalled out.  Now, I know that some of the times I stalled out, it was my fault, however, I know that there were just too many times when that happened when I could do nothing about it for me to feel comfortable playing the deck.

7)  I think that Control Gifts (brassman gifts) will t8 at chicago.

8)  I think that Control Gifts piloted by a competent player COULD win chicago, but that it's nothing more than that.
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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2005, 11:45:02 am »

two words...letters....
                       

                       gg
                                                gifts=good

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« Last Edit: October 28, 2005, 12:04:44 pm by Jacob Orlove » Logged

TEAM OFF TWICE--WATERBURY CHAMPIONS

How's it feel to lose to a pokemon?

Team Nuts and Staff Off-Twice: Filling out 2-0 Match Slips Since......umm.........Foreve r.
dicemanx
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2005, 12:46:46 pm »

I have experimented with quite a few Gifts builds, including variations on Brassman's build and Meandeck Gifts.

The first thing I have to say is that a secondary kill of Belcher and Severance is entirely unnecessary. I rarely had any issues with running DSC and Tendrils as my two kill cards.

Regarding the issue with Merchant Scrolls, TfKs/Gifts, and Duress/Misdirection - I'm not entirely sure. I do however see that there are a lot of experts who are convinced that one way is better over another, and will go so far as to insinuate that others simply discount certain cards because they don't know how to play them optimally. Well, maybe they are right, but I really don't think that there is such a thing as an optimal version or even a best way of playing the deck. It is so heavily dependent on the meta/individual match-ups. For instance, I would totally want to be running TfK and Duress in any mirrors or against other control/control hybrids. I would also want to be running TfK/Needles if I anticipate lots of WGD, because frankly that deck will give Gifts fits. Needles are also quite good against Welders, and they help protect your mana base. I actually favor the idea of running Duress, TfK and Needle over running excessive numbers of Gifts and Scrolls, but I recognize the fact that the Meandeck version(s) are essentially something completely different, and *must* be played differently (ie much more agressively).  I view those decks as high risk high reward, while versions such as Brassman's give the player the option to play more conservatively and focus more on disrupting the opponent's game plan while always reserving the option to win "out of nowhere" so to speak, as the deck often does.

Another poster suggested that including a basic Swamp is bordering on being a grievous mistake. However, I think it's a necessary evil if you want to be black heavy and support Duress. I also disagree that Duress is always played optimally mid game or when you're ready to resolve a key draw spell like Ancestral. There are quite a few games where I want to resolve Duress early (many on turn 1), because I need mana open on turn 2 for TfK or Scroll or Gifts or even Mana Drain, or because I want to rip out an early draw spell from control/combo or a CotV/Null Rod from Fish. My expectancy is that if I am reaching the mid game I am very likely winning, because no deck in this format can match Gifts in terms of both card drawing and disruption. I need to get there first and Duress helps me achieve that.

I tried an interesting experiment this past week-end, piloting my build of Gifts to the finals:

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Lotus Petal
4 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Tolarian Academy
2 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
3 Island
1 Swamp

4 Force of Will
4 Mana Drain
2 Duress
1 Rebuild
3 Pithing Needle

4 Brainstorm
3 Thirst for Knowledge
2 Gifts Ungiven
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Burning Wish
1 Cunning Wish
1 Recoup
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Darksteel Colossus

Sideboard
3 Time Vault
3 Flame Fusillade
1 Echoing Truth
1 Rack and Ruin
1 Tendrils of Agony
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroclasm
1 Duress
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Coffin Purge

I decided to try the faster "full combo" in the SB. This led to a lot of confusion for some of my opponents, who were under the impression that I played Vault/FF main which could have affected their play game 1.  I tried this for a few reasons. First, I could circumvent any graveyard hate and draw into many "oops I win" hands. Second, I tend to go to time with the deck regardless of what I'm playing against if I happen to lose a game in the match. The SB simply gave me the advantage in all game 3s, because I could play very aggressively and draw into or search out a quick, immediate win.

Is this strategy good? Who knows, maybe in the long run it could prove to be terrible. But it seemed to net me some wins in the tournament, where I had to face some very good decks: 2CS, 1 WGD, 1 mono-U(!), 1 Stax, 1 Salvagers Oath, 1 U/W Fish (the really good Canadian build, not one of the cheap US knock-offs Smile). Looking at that line-up, it should be evident that Needle was stellar for me as well. Incidentally, I would normally run all 4 TfK, but I wanted a Cunning Wish in the main so that I could have some access to bounce spells or more disruption, so I ended up shifting one TfK to the SB as a Wish target. Post SB I would frequently move it back into the main once I could assess the importance of Cunning Wish game 2. If I had to do it again I might consider scrapping the Vault/FF plan and run some Boseijus in the SB for the mirrors and for CS; I would also add Darkblast and Gorilla Shamans for more disruption.

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sean1i0
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2005, 01:44:34 pm »

You mentioned it early in your post, but I don't believe you ever gave a definitive answer to this question:  How did the one basic swamp work out for you?
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dicemanx
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2005, 03:14:17 pm »

You mentioned it early in your post, but I don't believe you ever gave a definitive answer to this question:  How did the one basic swamp work out for you?

In this recent event that I mention it wasn't a factor, since I faced a lot of decks without wastelands. However, the Swamp never detracted from any games. The event where a Swamp was huge for me was SCGP9 Rochester where I managed 2nd place. I played a similar build, and had to contend with a ton of Wastelands and CoWs, along with Blood Moons (!). That event basically convinced me that a Swamp is mandatory if you are running Duresses. Again, against any decks not running Wastelands/non-basic hate, having a Swamp over an Underground/Island never factored into any games in that event.

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Without cultural sanction, most or all our religious beliefs and rituals would fall into the domain of mental disturbance. ~John F. Schumaker
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