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Author Topic: My thoughts about Gifts Control  (Read 5233 times)
kras2005
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« on: November 04, 2005, 01:48:09 pm »

Gifts Control:

This is the list I use:
Mainboard (60):

Artifacts (12):
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
2 Pithing Needle
1 Sol Ring

Artifact Creatures (1):
1 Darksteel Colossus

Creatures (2):
2 Gorilla Shaman

Instants (22):
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Brainstorm
1 Cunning Wish
1 Fact or Fiction
4 Force of Will
3 Gifts Ungiven
4 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor
3 Thirst for Knowledge

Sorceries (8):
1 Burning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Duress
1 Recoup
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Yawgmoth's Will

Islands (2):
2 Island

Lands (11):
2 Flooded Strand
1 Library of Alexandria
2 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island

Legendary Lands (1):
1 Tolarian Academy

Snow-Covered Basic Lands (1):
1 Snow-covered Island


Sideboard (15):
1 Darkblast
1 Pithing Needle
2 Rack and Ruin
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroclasm
1 Pyroblast
1 Rushing River
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 open slots

Explanations:

Pithing Needle:
This card is great. It disables a lot of irritating threats from your
opponent for good. It's great against: Bazaar, Welder, Maze of Ith,
Wasteland, Fetch, Psychatog, Strip Mine, Vial, Gorilla Shaman (post SB),
and even more, like random artifacts. Artifacts are never dead because
or Thirst for Knowledge. Sometimes you search Needle in your Gifts Stack.
This gets rid of all Land cards that annoy you. There aren't many, but
Maze of Ith of damn irritating.

Gorilla shaman:
This Monky is great against all Powered decks. I always hate to see a
monky on the other side of the table. He's very good versus staxx, Control
Slaver, and can when needed block a Goblin Lackey, Ninja, or Fat.

Fact or Fiction:
Some say you don't have to run Fact MB. Well, I've tried, but I still
like to play this MB. Okay, you have Cunning Wish, but Fact is often
a card to seach with Gifts. Against Control, you want cardadvantage so
gifting for: Recall, Fact, Thirst and Gifts is a very common thing.

Gifts Ungiven/Thirst:
Ofcourse, this is a no-brainer, but I want to discuss the amount of these.
I have tested a lot of combinations, and I've come up with this amount.
I see 3/3 showing up more and more lately and they are right.
This deck can support 4 Thirst, but does not like it. You really want to
discard an artifact after playing thirst. You don't need 4. 3 Gifts is
about the best combination. 2 is NOT enough. The deck is named after the
card, and you can't play 2 of them, because, as I've allready mentioned,
gifting for: Recall, Thirst, Fact, Gifts is very common. If you gifts for
gifts, you will never get the gifts in hand and then you have no gifts in
your deck anymore. That's not good, because you can't combo out easily
anymore. I never dislike drawing a gift.

Burning Wish:
I have rarely seen a list without Burning Wish. But because you will
sideboard this card out sometimes, so I'd like to mention it. B.Wish
is diverse. You can tutor for anything, and you can get your removed
Time Walk, but most of all, it is your SecondWinCondition.

Duress:
Yeah, well, this is difficult. I like Duress. He is good early-, mid-,
and lategame. You can use it to protect your win condition, a gifts,
a draw spell. Or you can use it to pick someone elses broken cards like:
Tinker, Y.Will, Smokestack, Mana Drain. I have tested this card in my
sideboard, but I get to like this card MainBoard every game. I never
dislike this card in my hand, and you need some way to beat Combo.

Library of Alexandria:
Old card, draw engine on his own. This card sees less play over time,
but I still think it's good. I have cut this card for an Island, a fetch
or a Boseiju but this card is superior to all three. In my meta control
is heavely played. Also, Thirst for Knowledge does like this card a lot.
When you have LoA in your openinghand, you can always find a way to
activate it once or more. But don't underestimate it, when you need to
lose your 7-cards-in-hand for a more important issue, then you must do
so. Also, if this thing gets wasted, fine, then I have saved my mana base.
I believe you need to play one non-colored-mana-source-land. And LoA
is better than: Strip Mine or Boseiju.

Underground Sea/Volcanic Island:
Again, this is only about the amount. As allready said above. My meta
contains a lot of Control, and Wasteland isn't played much. The only
reason not to play 4/4, is because you have the ability to search for
them if needed, you play Black Lotus, Lotus Petal, Jet and Ruby for
additional non-blue colorneeded mana sources. And ofcourse the fetches.
First, I played only 2 black, and 2 red cards MB, but because I play
Gorilla Shaman, and Duress lately, I have cut 2 Islands, for 1 Sea, and
1 Volcanic. You really notice the difference. The is another advantage.
Sometimes, I get wasted twice. On the same mana source. And haveing more
than 2 Seas/Volcs along is usefull. The only huge disadvantage is getting
a Blood Moon, or Back to Basics against you. And an urly wasteland, but
again, I don't get to see them a lot here.

Cunning Wish:
For those of you who are aware I have skipped Cunning Wish because I
wanted it to be last card to discuss. This is actually the last slot
I used. I like this card because it is, again, diverse. You always have
easy matchups, like turn1: Tinker-DSC. Force backup, and win 3 minutes
later. But the difficult Matchups and random games. You need answers
for things. Pithing Needle does not always help. Cunning Wish does.
He can be a finishoff, or a way to get yourself out of a Prison by
targetting Smokestack and Crucible. Cunning Wissh can recure instants
removed by Force of Will and Y.Will. The good thing about C.Wish, is,
that it can target instants in your sideboard, you would allready have
played otherwise. Like Rack and Ruin, Red Elemental Blast and Darkblast.
Cunning Wish > Echoing Truth. You play a (double) bounce SB so you
have the bounce ability and more.

I will now discuss my sideboard while also refere to Cunning Wish,
so this may get complicated because I jump from one card to another.
I will first discuss the instants:

Darkblast:
This card owns Control Slaver. It is so good versus Goblin Welder and
Mox Monky. And some random fish deck, but that isn't a bad matchup.
Darkblast also handles with Welders from Staxx. And it can now be
available in the first match only because of Cunning Wish. Darkblast
is reusable after the first time. You can Gifts for it, together with
Needle. Random Gifts are (postSB): Needle, Darkblast REB, Shaman.
The drawback is minor. The only bad thing that could happen is drawing
into y.will and burning wish. Darkblast can also clear a bad brainstorm.

Rack and Ruin:
Great card against Staxx. Almost the only reason it's here for. I don't
have much Staxx in my meta, but I'm always afraid to run into a Staxx-
deck and lose. Cunning Wish can target R&R, this is your most easy way
to get rid of some nasty Artifacts.

Red Elemental Blast/Pyrblast:
These two are here for the Control Matchup. It really smoothes your play.
You would want these to play only because everyone else does. You can't
stay behind. If your opponents packs these, then you must too.

Rushing River:
Bounce in your sideboard which can be targeted by Cunning Wish. River
can bounce two permanents. Needle is for all irritating Lands you can't
target with River. Good against Oath.

Skeletal Scrying:
This is a bit of randomness for your Cunning Wish. Scrying draws you a
lot. And is there for the broken randomness when drained a huge spell.
Good card, and can sometimes be used to switch in MB, if some MB spells
seemes to be a bad choise, while you don't have any other usefull SB
cards left.

Vampiric Tutor:
Not good enough for MainBoard. Is a great target for Cunning Wish and
is also good to Sideboard in against aggro, to get your Tinker ASAP.
Again, Cunning Wish can now serve as an answer.

Pithing Needle:
Extra power against Maze of Ith, Goblin Welder, Wasteland and Bazaar.
You will use Needle most times on these 4 cards.

Pyroclasm:
Target for Burning Wish and anti-aggro deck. Almost kills all FCG
creatures. While FCG isn't a difficul matchup, I have never lost to it.
Can also be used to kill Welders and Shamans.

Tendrils of Agony:
SecondWinCondition and important card. You use a few more cheap spells
than most other decks run, so you can empower this card with Shamans,
duresses and Needles. Don't remove this card, if you're not playing
FlameVault or Severance-Belcher. But this card is better than those
other options. Needles are played more and more. This isn't targeted
by Needle.

3 open slots:
These are used for your own meta. You can use them for Graveyard Removal,
hate or more Cunning Wish/Burning Wish targets. I'm not sure what I play
in these slots.


Cards Not To Play:
Merchant Scroll:
This card is pretty good. It tutors for a lot of cards. But it isn't that
good. Thirst > Scroll. You allready play M.Tutor and D.Tutor and a lot
of draw.

Misdirection:
Carddisadvantage. Duress > Misdirection. You allready have Force, Drain and
postSB ReB. I would rather play a Boseiju than Misdi. This protects your
cards better than Misdi.

White cards like Ground Seal and Balance (sb):
Don't f*ck up your mana base even more. They're not worth it. You rarely
want to wish for Balance, and you don't want to SB it in. Ground Seal
is a bit better, but I still don't like it. Two of them in your hand
doesn't improve anything, and you will SB this in, when up against
Wastelands, and when you do, you have trouble having colored mana on board.
Fetching for Tundra is only possible in your MainPhase. And when you play
Ground Seal, your Tundra will be wasted in responce.

FlameVault:
I don't think you need to FlameVault combo. 80 to 90% you win with your
11/11 trampler: Tinker! You have the advantage in the Control matchup,
because of Duress, Pithing Needle and Mox Monky. (I don't count CS right
now, only Gifts decks. There exists like 5 of them right now?) Is there
a matchup where you want FlameVault over DSC? No (maybe with the exception
of U/W Fish and BirdSh*t). I don't like dead cards. So I don't play with
that extra winner.


Matchup Analysis:

Control Slaver:
You have the advantage here. You are faster, less vulnarable and you have
a stronger KillCondition. You have some nasty cards MB for CS. Mox Monky,
Pithing Needle and Duress. Cunning Wish for Darkblast helps a lot. You
have more draw.

SB:
-2 Duress
-2 Gorilla Shaman
-1 Cunning Wish

+1 Darkblast
+2 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroblast
+1 Pithing Needle

ReB > Duress. Cunning Wish has lost it's best target: Darkblast. And Pithing
Needle handles Goblin Welder and Gorilla Shaman. You want Needle on Shaman,
and then yours won't work anymore.

Needle and Darkblast locks them down completely. After you've handled with
that, they won't have any way to remove your DSC. They shouldn't be winning
because you have more draw, maybe more counters. And when you resolve a gifts,
you should win, because you can gifts for: Needle, Darkblast, ReB and Pyroblast.
Or just a normal stack with Y.Will, Tinker, Recoup, Time Walk.


Staxx:
I haven't tested this matchup a lot, but it shouldn't be that difficult to SB.
I was thinking about:
-2 Duress
-1 Recoup
-1 Cunning Wish
-1 Lotus Petal

+2 Rack and Ruin
+1 Pithing Needle
+1 Vampiric Tutor
+1 Darkblast

Duress is near useless. Cunning Wish has lost its best target: Rack and Ruin.
And Recoup isn't that important. Once you are winning, you won't need Recoup 
to win. Just win because of the card advantage. Watch out for Wasteland, but
you have Pithing Needle. Which can serve as a permanent. Just as you Shamans
are. They are great. You can eat all nasty artifacts. Darkblasts gets rid
of opponents Goblin Welders and Shamans. Vampiric Tutor can get you Tinker
or Needle or Darkblast or Rack and Ruin or ...



MDGifts:
Mirrorlike. You should have advantage in the first match because of your
hate: Duress and Gorilla Shaman.

-2 Pithing Needle
-1 Lotus Petal
-1 Burning Wish

+1 Tendrils of Agony
+2 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroblast

Needle is near useless and Lotus Petal is a carddisadvantage. Duress,
Shaman and ReB's are great. Burning Wish will likely get you Tendrils,
so why not having it immediatly. You should be winning this. Cunning Wish
is also good because you can get all sorts of things.


Oath:
Oath is your worst Matchup. You have little tools to win this. You could
use your open slots in your SB to win this match.

-2 Gorilla Shaman
-1 Cunning Wish
-1 Burning Wish
-1 Mystical Tutor

+2 ReB
+1 Pyroblast
+1 Rushing River
+1 Tendrils of Agony

Shaman activates Oath, and can only target 6 cards (maybe if they're packing:
Chalices, you might want to leave them MB.) Burning Wish for Tendrils.
Cunning Wish can't get River anymore. River is important. So are your ReB's.


U/W Fish:
Can be very easy or very difficult. You should be winning because of your
brokenness which Fish is unable to. The greatest difficulty is that they
are using Swords to Plowshares. That decreases the chance you can easily
win with your colossus.

-2 Gorilla Shaman
-2 Duress
-1 Cunning Wish
-1 Burning Wish

+1 Pyroclasm
+1 Tendrils of Agony
+2 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroblast
+1 Darkblast

Shaman is near useless. ReB > Duress. Cunning Wish is slow and hasn't got
good targets. You want Pyroclasm and Tendrils MB so Burning Wish is cut.
Darkblast kills a lot, and can be used twice to kill Meddling Mage or Ninja.
Pithing Needle is for Wasteland and possible Vials. Establish control to
combo out with Y.Will-Tendrils.


TPS:
Combo is strange. It can be very strong, or very weak. Just hope they don't
draw good against you.

-2 Pithing Needle
-1 Burning Wish

+1 Tendrils of Agony
+1 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroblast

Needle isn't good. It can usually only disable one card like: Bargain or Necro.
Duress is great. So are your counters and Shamans to destroy their moxen.
Cunning Wish is diverse and Tinker is your PrimaryWinCondition! Only two ReB's
because they can't counter black cards like Ritual, Duress, Y.Will.


Random aggro and FCG deserve to lose ...

How did I create this decklist. Well, firstly, I was playing a whole lot
different decklist. But after the Dutch Championship last sunday I came to
the conclusion I was wrong and I shouldn't play Misdirections nor Phyrexian
Furnaces. And Gorilla Shaman and Pithing are very good.

Well, I did cut those cards right after I came home. And immediatly put
2 Gorilla Shaman, and 2 Pithing Needle MB. And I like Balance, Equilibria.
Right after I put Shamans MB, I put Duresses in too. They fit perfect. I
always liked the card, and it helps a lot matchups. It totally belongs MB.

Now, I play 4 Red and 4 Black cards. I had to change the Mana Base. 2 Islands
for 1 Underground Sea and 1 Volcanic Island. This may hurt yourself, but
against Control, it doesn't matter sh*t. There are only a few decks running
wastelands and you need to fetch your duals once. Why not fast, and be able
to fetch or draw another one. If you only run 2 duals each. Then you can't
afford to lose one, because you may get to do it without them.

I like Thirst for Knowledge. It helps all Control Matchups and can be played
a turn before Gifts. A thirst before Gifts is very strong. Plus, thirst
almost sais: Draw Three Cards. You can most of the time discard a artifact,
or lategame, you can discard 2 lands. Your Y.Will becomes even stronger of it
because ther are more moxes in it. And you can discard your DSC to it. Without
thirst, you would NEED a brainstorm to win if your DSC is at hand.

This deck doesn't run any dead cards. Ofcourse it has cards that aren't good
against specific other decks, but they are never completely dead. Needle can
be discarded to Thirst (so can any other card). Shaman can always eat some
moxen, or more. And when your opponent doesn't run moxen, then allready have
advantage. And Duress, yeah, well, your opponent could have no cards in
hand, but hae, then you have advantage allready. Cunning Wish can always be
cycled with Scrying for 1 (which is bad, because it isn't made for that).


This is the first time I write an artikel about a deck. I might be quite wrong,
but if you disagree with me. Please, please tell, so we can discuss and talk
about it. This is my opinion, and my meta.

For instance, does anybody has ideas about some great SBcards? I have had some
thoughts about these cards:
Tormod's Crypt (good Graveyard Removal)
Claw of Gix (Oath Hate, can only be used against Oath)
Coffin Purge (Cryt seems better, is Cunning Wish target)
Spawning Pit (same as Claw of Gix, I don't know which is better)
Gifts Ungiven/Thirst for Knowledge (I don't think you should play this SB,
                                    because you have them MB, and Scrying should
                                    be better.)
Blue Elemental Blast (Can't do better than Drain or Force. While Darkblast handles
                      Goblin Welder and Shaman.)

Greetings Kras
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Null Rob
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2005, 02:14:53 pm »

I know this has been discussed to death in another post, but I figured I should mention it once here only because you kind of ignored it:

Quote
FlameVault:
I don't think you need to FlameVault combo. 80 to 90% you win with your
11/11 trampler: Tinker! You have the advantage in the Control matchup,
because of Duress, Pithing Needle and Mox Monky. (I don't count CS right
now, only Gifts decks. There exists like 5 of them right now?) Is there
a matchup where you want FlameVault over DSC? No (maybe with the exception
of U/W Fish and BirdSh*t). I don't like dead cards. So I don't play with
that extra winner.


Actually, there are plenty of matchups (that are becoming VERY popular) where you want the FlameVault kill.  Against any aggro deck that can play an early, fast clock (i.e. FCG, Shop Aggro), against Stax, against any combo decks (TPS, GrimLong, 2-Land Belcher), and even against Oath, you want to have the FlameVault kill available to you; that way, you have the option of out-comboing them.  And, let's face it, you're not going to be able to build up a storm count of 10 for Tendrils of Agony against a deck where you are casting Brainstorm and your other draw spells on their turn to dig for answers.  Bottom line is, this is a 2-card combo that costs 6 mana (not that much for a Gifts deck) and wins RIGHT NOW.  Not 2 turns from now like Darksteel Colossus does.  Having the FlameVault combo in your deck lets you race a turn 1 lackey, turn 2 siege-gang + piledriver, turn 3 Warchief, and it lets you race a turn 1 Oath of Druids (which is a HUGE problem for this deck, as you mentioned).  Now, I'm not saying that you should absolutely run the FlameVault kill, but if those are the decks that you expect to play against, it should certainly be a consideration.
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2005, 02:18:23 pm »

you need to get super lucky to be able to resolve a rack and ruin against any competant stax player.  Stick with a cheaper kill card like echoing ruin.  its alot easier to get to 3 mana against a sphere of resistance/wasteland, then 4
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2005, 02:29:34 pm »

hmm....well first off why is ground seal (maybe sacred ground?) in this deck..or associated with this deck...

2. have you actually tested this against other "Metagame decks"? like seriously...(i'm guessing not, because workshop gives this deck a real run for the money)

At waterbury I ended up playing a somewhat similar build with maindeck RacknRuin and Maindeck shamaan (i love u null rob)....

Round two i played shop....
he strip/crucibled me turn two and i had echoing truth, so i drained it after I bounced it....a juggernaut swung me down to 3 after about 3 turns.....Eot I gifted for Rack and Ruin, Yawg will, Recoup and burning wish......After thinking for it for a while, he gave me the burning wish and recoup...
 ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ On my turn i b.wished for echoing ruin and ruined the juggernaut.....he played land go, I untapped, recouped echoing ruin and took out 2 chalices(1 and 0)...
next turn dropped lots of moxes and lotus and won the game which wouldnt of happened if echoin ruin wasnt in the board...

3. why the need for darkblast and the over-emphisized match-up v. CS.....
Gifts beats CS...Cs isnt very good any more, due to the mass amounts of gifts and (sigh) Darkblast....It really isnt that good....Engineered Plague wipes the board forEVER....it smashes fish and fcg....beats Wtf and birdshit...(you may laugh but I had to Play birdshit in the top 8 of waterbury..and it went into game 3 and i killed meddling mages with two EP....I wish someone would write a report *V.longbow*...) darkblast requries you to skip a card draw which is gifts WORST ENEMY!!!!...the point in gifts is to develop card advantage, answer whatever you play and then stabilize and drop a gifts NOT given.(unless 1st turn tinker sounds pretty good)...

4. Why cunning wish?
I tested with it and it really isnt that good...I wish that the wish was a card drawing spell when i draw it and then i get a card drawing spell and waste a bunch of mana while they play a threat....what it comes down to is that its a wasted slot...what are you afraid of..YOUR ENTIRE MD IS FULL OF ANSWERS!!! dont waste cards to go find answers when you already have them maindeck.....If you think about it, most of the time you're probably wishing for a RnR or a rushing river....wh not just play the RnR or Bounce card MD??
And what the hell is Vamp Tutor in the board gonna do for you...now thats 3 cards and two life for EXTREME card disadvantage. You might as well just play the vamp MD to find you the answers you need instead of wasting three mana and a wish....

5. Merchant scroll is a good card, just not in bunches. I play one so i can find the one ancestral or the one MD echoing truth...(or a needed gifts if it comes down to it...)
merchant scroll is blue so it's never a bad card and gets rid of the collossusss in hand when you go find tfk....

6. i like the 3/3 gifts/tfk (even though i play 2/4)....

All in all, it comes down to your own personal prefence...Ive been playing gifts for a good 4mos..and i personally like belcher severence...I post my list (3rd at waterbury and 1st at amox tourney, so no it isnt just another "random gifts deck with someone who doesnt know what they're talking about"...)....
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2005, 11:55:27 am »

you need to get super lucky to be able to resolve a rack and ruin against any competant stax player.  Stick with a cheaper kill card like echoing ruin.  its alot easier to get to 3 mana against a sphere of resistance/wasteland, then 4

super lucky?

Ok, let's break this down.

Assuming that Gifts is on the play:

It has 6 fetch, 2 Island, and 6 duals along with 10 artifact accellerants.  Probabilty suggests that it will have at least one artifact and at least two lands in the opening hand.

Therefore:
Gifts Goes

Land Mox

Stax goes:

A) Workshop, MOx, Stax - won't stop Rack and Ruin

B) Workshop Mox, Uba Mask - Won't stop rack and Ruin

C) Workshop, Tangle Wire - Will delay the Rack and Ruin a turn - must be followed up with Wasteland to even hope to keep them off 3.  A vain hope since they will undoubtedlydraw more lands

D) Mox Sphere of some sort.  Considering most Stax decks now run either no Sphere of Resistence or 3 Sphere and 1 Trinisphere, Sphere of Resistence will make Rack and Ruin cost more, but it likely won't stop it because the Gifts player can still play Brainstorm or one of the tutors to find something like Echoing Ruin.  Moreover, Sphere will slightly slow down the Stax player as well - depending on their draw. 

Even this play won't be enough:
Turn ONe;
Mox, Land, Sphere
Turn Two:
Workshop, Stax

Since the gifts player can just rack the Stax before it goes active

E) Mana, Null ROd - this is probably one of the strongest plays and it will keep the Gifts player off Rack and Ruin until turn three - forcing it to over extend its mana base.  If followed up with Wire or Stack (assumiing you can cast it with Rod in play), or multiple Wastelands if the Gifts player is unlucky enough to have not draw the better half of its mana base (the basics and fetchlands), then there is a chance, however remove, that the Gifts player might be cut off  Rack and Ruin

And of course, this stupidly assumes that the Gifts player can't Force of Will anything. 


Now, on the Draw:
Stax can do:
the same things;

A) Workshop, MOx, Stax.  This can certainly stop Rack and Ruin - but there are lots of ways that the Gifts player can still rack:

i) Mox, Mox, Land
ii) Mana Crypt Land
ii) Land, Mana Vault
iii) Black Lotus
Iv) Land, sol Ring

B) Workshop Mox, Uba Mask - Won't stop rack and Ruin

C) Workshop, Tangle Wire - Will delay the Rack and Ruin a turn -

But no one plays Tangle Wire on turn one on the play.


D) Mox Sphere of some sort.  Considering most Stax decks now run either no Sphere of Resistence or 3 Sphere and 1 Trinisphere, Sphere of Resistence will make Rack and Ruin cost more, but it likely won't stop it because the Gifts player can still Fetch- > Island, Mox 

Even this play won't be enough:
Turn ONe;
Mox, Land, Sphere
Turn Two:
Workshop, Stax

Since the gifts player can just rack the Stax before it goes active

E) Mana, Null ROd - Again, this is probably the strongest play since it stops thinks like Land, Sol Ring

F) Chalice 0
Thiis is just worse than Rod, except that it doesn't affect you.  It is probably the best bet for stopping Rack and Ruin, but once again, it assumes that your opponent doesn't have a FOW.  If they do, they can just unload their artifacts.  Or, they can let Chalice resolve and then drop basics and fetchlands meanwhile stopping any interim threat with Drain or Force until Rack and get online.

To say that these decks have to get super lucky is absurd.  These decks run Force of Will and should be well equipped to resolve Rack and Ruin either on the play or the draw assuming their mana bases aren't fucking horrible because they run all dual lands. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2005, 08:38:23 pm »


MDGifts:
Mirrorlike. You should have advantage in the first match because of your
hate: Duress and Gorilla Shaman.

-2 Pithing Needle
-1 Lotus Petal
-1 Burning Wish

+1 Tendrils of Agony
+2 Red Elemental Blast
+1 Pyroblast

Needle is near useless and Lotus Petal is a carddisadvantage. Duress,
Shaman and ReB's are great. Burning Wish will likely get you Tendrils,
so why not having it immediatly.
You should be winning this. Cunning Wish
is also good because you can get all sorts of things.



Just beacouse you can double walk with dsc picking walk you removed with recup or play a second yag.win if u played it agresively
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2005, 10:13:45 am »

Cunning Wish is a good card. It can win you games, though it can be absolutely useless. You could change the Cunning Wish for a Goblin Charbelcher and play Mana Severance in your SB. Or you can delete one other MBcard, and play Severance MB. It all depends on your meta and you own personal experience.

Withoug Cunning Wish, you have more SBslots open, so I will put Echoing Ruin and Deep Analysis in. I've removed those because Cunning Wish has better removal targets, and you can't play R&R, Deep, Crypt, Ruin and all sort of instants and sorceries in your SB.

I will be testing this.

Rack and Ruin can be resolved against the Stax Matchup. As Smmenen told us, there is a slight possibility you can't, but you would allready lose if you can't cast a spell for 3 mana.

You will win the control mirror if you just casted Y.Will and played Tinker and Time Walk. You don't need Burning Wish then, because you also play Recall and more draw so you will probably have 3 counters at hand. Using Burning Wish to get back a removed Time Walk is mostly only winning (and losing without) against aggro.

Greetings Kras
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2005, 10:31:16 am »

Yes but the difference is that you have a tendrils meandeck that in most cases is worst than burning, with burning you can play another will, double timewalk with dsc beacouse many times you dont play the biggest will ever

Tendrils in most of the cases is a dead draw, when burning is not so dead when you can recur something via recup

Even, if you are going to win with a big yaww. win with tendrils, having to burning for tendrils is not a big isue
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2005, 10:48:47 am »

No, no. I don't play a Tendrils MB. Besides, after casting Y.Will it is sometimes still difficult to cast a big tendrils on someone. Usually you have to pay five (1B and 1R) to cast Y.Will and after that, having 1R and 2B and even more colored and colorless mana is sometimes impossible.

I was thinking about this. There are a numbour of cards you absolotely have to play:
10 SoLoMoxenVaultCryptPetal
1 DSC

1 Recall
4 Brainstorm
4 Force
6 Gifts Ungiven/TfK
4 Mana Drain
1 M.Tutor

1 Burning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Y.Will
1 Recoup
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker

4 Fetch
1 LoA
8 Islands/Duals
1 SnowcoveredIsland
1 T. Academy

These cards are a MUST for this deck. Then we have these:
1 Fact or Fiction, well I've played without it, and I missed this card so much. This is also a MUST!

Does everybody agree with this?

And what else options have we got left? 7 slots.
Options:
Duress
Pithing Needle
Gorilla Shaman
Cunning Wish
FlameVault
BelcherSeverance
R&R
Skeletal Scrying
Merchant Scroll
Misdirection
Phyrexian Furnace
Bounce

Well, who thinks has the best options and do tells WHY you think your choises are best.

Greetings Kras
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2005, 11:09:26 am »

I think cunnig wish is a mistake.  Also the belcher kill does seem to be the best secondary kill.

I use to play with the tendrils kill but after more and more testing I have found belcher can pull games out that a tendrils wouldnt be possible.

I would use brassman's list from gencon maybe drop a scroll for a duress or a monkey.  that seems to be the best deck right now.
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2005, 11:38:59 am »

you need to get super lucky to be able to resolve a rack and ruin against any competant stax player.┬  Stick with a cheaper kill card like echoing ruin.┬  its alot easier to get to 3 mana against a sphere of resistance/wasteland, then 4

super lucky?

To say that these decks have to get super lucky is absurd.┬  These decks run Force of Will and should be well equipped to resolve Rack and Ruin either on the play or the draw assuming their mana bases aren't ------- horrible because they run all dual lands.┬ 

I'm in complete agreement.

Rack and Ruin is an AMAZING card, no doubts about it.┬  Although, just going land, mana vault, or land sol ring, isn't enough to play a rack and ruin - those should be removed from your list, or the word 'mox' added in.

If you're on the play, Stax can slow you down with sphere of resistance in those two cases.  On the draw, they don't work.

You also need Rack and Ruin in your hand in ADDITION to those cards, making it even more unlikely.

I'd say that you need to be lucky to get any of those combinations in your hand.
Couple the fact that NO ONE is going to put 4 Rack and Ruin in the SB, and you have even LESS chance of getting it.

But I am in agreement that decks should run Rack and Ruin to compensate for the amount of Stax we're going to see in the near future.┬  Stax is doing insane, and there's gonna have to be stuff to beat it.
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2005, 12:44:05 pm »

There are a numbour of cards you absolotely have to play:
6 Gifts Ungiven/TfK

I very much disagree with this. Everytime I tested the deck with less than 8 cards in this slot, I did not have enough early draw. I do not want to wait for my card advantage even with Duress in the deck. Regardless of playing Merchant Scroll or not, 6 draw spells plus Fact or Fiction were never enough for me. You should play at least 4 Gifts, because you have no reliable way to get it apart from Mystical and Demonic Tutor. Thirst may draw into a Gifts, but may not. You point out yourself that Gifts is the crucial card, so why don't you run four?

Also, the single Cunning Wish looks iffy. It combines 1 Echoing Truth, 1 Rebuild and 1 Vampiric Tutor into one slot, which is an interesting approach, and you use that freed-up space to tilt your deck towards the control matchup. What I don't like about it is that you can rarely play Echoing Truth EOT in preparation to "go off" to get rid of troublesome permanents like Meddling Mage, True Believer or Chalice 0. Especially in the Stax matchup, having only a Wish as a first-game solution will come back to haunt you, since you rely on thin air and Gorilla Shaman to get you through. Shaman is not enough, though, and won't help against the real guns of Stax or against Workshop.

Quote
This deck doesn't run any dead cards.

It runs Recoup, Burning Wish, Colossus, LoA and Cunning Wish. All of these are regularly unusable and call for a mulligan. (I for one don't want to see LoA in my opening hand when I'm on the play.) Even Shaman and Duress can be dead cards when you are in combo mode -- I know that a Gorilla Shaman is the last thing I want to see on my draw step in the turn I will combo out. You reduced the number of dead cards as opposed to a "standard" build with Truth and Rebuild by exactly one and gave yourself the ability to mana-screw yourself more often, both in terms of color and in terms of amount (since you do not have a two-drop).

To fully use the Land, Mox opening, you need to hold two of eight cards in your deck: 2 Duress, 2 Shaman, 2 Needle, Ancestral, Mystical (or have Demonic). And you often don't want to be running Needle blindly or Mystical right away, so your first Mox will almost always go unused. Sad, isn't it? You sacrifice some speed and the ability to shape your hand with Merchant Scroll for the one-drops Meandeck Gifts does not run. It is probably metagame dependent if this is a correct call or not, but I think you run a very weird utility mix. Cunning Wish is slower than M'Scroll, and if I can get direct access to the cards via Scroll I don't want Wish.

Also, what is the typical turn one play, what is the typical turn three play you want to have, barring any restricted shenanigans or UU on turn one? Meandeck Gifts wants 1st turn Brainstorm or Merchant Scroll (for Force, Gifts or w/e), 2nd turn Drain something, 3rd turn Gifts Ungiven (or Brainstorm + Tutor). That's the way I love playing the deck. Your deck wants 1st turn Duress or Shaman, opening itself up to Wastelands that way, 2nd turn Thirst, 3rd turn Gifts? Or how do you play it?


Quote from: Buttons
Although, just going land, mana vault, or land sol ring, isn't enough to play a rack and ruin - those should be removed from your list, or the word 'mox' added in.
[...]
Couple the fact that NO ONE is going to put 4 Rack and Ruin in the SB, and you have even LESS chance of getting it.

Two things struck me here: a) you side out 1-drop PERMANENTS against Stax? I can see siding out a Mox or Petal for fear of Chalice 0 on the draw, but Mana Vault and Sol Ring should never leave the deck.
b) I have 2 Rack and Ruin and 2 Rebuilds after boarding against Stax, in addition to 2 Echoing Truth and 1 Primitive Justice I can chose to play maindeck in the second game. That's enough to get one reliably (especially with Merchant Scrolls for Rebuild).

This is, btw, another problem of the Cunning Wish plan: You need to devote a lot of sideboard space for stuff you could otherwise pre-board. Looking at Kras' list again, it will roll over to Stax unless he makes Rebuilds available to the deck. Rushing River is to Cunning Wish what Primitive Justice is to Burning Wish: A useful spell to Wish for which you will rarely board in and which has a kicker that is annoying to pay, in the case or River even more so than with Justice.

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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2005, 01:04:00 pm »

Two things struck me here: a) you side out 1-drop PERMANENTS against Stax? I can see siding out a Mox or Petal for fear of Chalice 0 on the draw, but Mana Vault and Sol Ring should never leave the deck.
b) I have 2 Rack and Ruin and 2 Rebuilds after boarding against Stax, in addition to 2 Echoing Truth and 1 Primitive Justice I can chose to play maindeck in the second game. That's enough to get one reliably (especially with Merchant Scrolls for Rebuild).

Dozer
Quote

Sorry, maybe you misunderstood what I was saying.

On the draw, for instance, you can't just go:┬  Land, Sol Ring, Rack and Ruin

Because tapping the land for mana, you produce the Sol Ring, and you're a red mana short of Rack and Ruin's mana cost.┬  The same with the Mana Vault.

I probably worded it badly.┬  I wasn't talking about removing anything from the MD or SB.

I was saying that they should be removed from Smmenen's LIST of POSSIBLE WAYS TO PLAY RACK AND RUIN.

As in,

Quote
Now, on the Draw:
Stax can do:
the same things;

A) Workshop, MOx, Stax.┬  This can certainly stop Rack and Ruin - but there are lots of ways that the Gifts player can still rack:

i) Mox, Mox, Land
ii) Mana Crypt Land
ii) Land, Mana Vault
iii) Black Lotus
Iv) Land, sol Ring

There should be MOXES under Land, Mana Vault, or Land, Sol Ring.

Smokestack DOES stop those two ways (under Smmenen's ways for Gifts to still play Rack and Ruin with Smokestack on the board).

I.E.:

1st Turn Stax Play:┬  WORKSHOP, MOX, STAX
1st Turn Gifts Draw:┬  Land, tapped, SOL RING┬  [NOTHING else to do]
2nd Turn Stax:┬  Add a counter to Smokestack
2nd Turn Gifts:┬  Sacrifice something, denying you the ability to play Rack and Ruin.

You need either a Mox+Land+Mana Vault/Sol Ring+R&R (for a 1st turn draw Rack and Ruin)
OR you need a Land+Land+Mana Vault/Sol Ring+R&R (for a 2nd turn Rack and Ruin), both of which are very unlikely, as you're probably only going to have 2, and at the most 3 R&R in your sideboard, and getting cards that you only have TWO of in your deck in that scenario is really rare.┬  Let's count up the number of possibilities for a Rack and Ruin:

The first number is what you HAVE to have in this theoretical hand to play rack and ruin first turn.┬  The second number is what the total number of possibilites are with the played cards.┬  For instance, (1/60) would be an absolutely wonderful percentage, and if you ran a 60 card deck, you would get it EVERY SINGLE TIME.┬  As you only need ONE card to do it, and have 60 of them.┬  (7/7) is the worst possible, because you need ALL SEVEN cards to perform it, and only have SEVEN cards in your deck that can do it, so you wold need to draw an absolutely perfect hand.┬ 

I'm also assuming that this Gifts player only added in 2 Rack and Ruins, as we've already said no one would add in 4.┬  Even if you did, it wouldn't be anywhere CLOSE to the percentage that the Stax player has of getting out a Smokestack with his mana production.

I'm also not going to count lands, because they vary from build to build, and really, you can't do land-land, so it doesn't really matter regardless.

So the LOWER the percentage the better.┬  I.E. 7/7 100% is HORRIBLE.┬  You need 100% of your hand to be devoted to this thing, and you only have seven possible chances of attaining it.┬  By adding in an 8th way to get it, you've increased it to 7/8, 87.5%

I'm going to actually flip the statistics, so that my point is driven home more clearly.┬  87.5% looks alot better off than 12.5%.┬  So I'm going to change it, even if it means some inaccuracies, like with my 7/7 example, flipped it would be 0%.┬  Well, that's not right.

I'm putting a third number, also, which is a 60 to show that there are 60 total cards in the deck.

Also, everyone who is just brushing along this, please understand, these are not statistics on FULL DECKS.┬  Obviously a Stax player CANNOT in any possible way get a 77% chance of putting down a first-turn Smokestack.┬  Please read the entire post so that you can understand how the percentages work!

Also:┬  The Stax player doesn't need that EXACT hand.┬  If we went through all the possibilites, he could play:

Stax's Possibilites at FIRST TURN SMOKESTACK.

0)┬  ┬  Name of Cards Needed┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (Exact Number/Total Number/Deck Size)┬  ┬ (Percentage)

1)┬  ┬  Workshop, Mox, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/13/60)┬  ┬ (77%)
2)┬  ┬  Workshop, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
3)┬  ┬  Workshop, Sol Ring, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
4)┬  ┬  Workshop, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
5)┬  ┬  Workshop, Black Lotus, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
6)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mox, Mox, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (5/9/60)┬  ┬  (44.5%)
7)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (5/10/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
8)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (4/10/60)┬  ┬ (60%)
9)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (4/10/60)┬  ┬ (60%)
10)┬  Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, Land, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (4/10/60)┬  ┬ (60%)
11)┬  Mox, Black Lotus, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/10/60)┬  ┬ (70%)
12)┬  Mox, Mana Crypt, Land, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/10/60)┬  (70%)
13)┬  Mox, Mana Vault, Land, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/10/60)┬  (70%)
14)┬  Mox, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (4/11/60)┬  (63.7%)
15)┬  Mox, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (4/11/60)┬  (63.7%)
16)┬  Mox, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  (4/11/60)┬  (63.7%)
17)┬  Black Lotus, Sol Ring, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/6/60)┬  ┬  (50%)
18)┬  Black Lotus, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/6/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
19)┬  Black Lotus, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/6/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
20)┬  Land, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (3/6/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
21)┬  Land, Black Lotus, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (2/5/60)┬  ┬  (60%)

Gift's Possibilities at getting a FIRST or SECOND turn RACK AND RUIN.

0)┬  ┬  Name of Cards Needed┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (Exact Number/Total Number/Deck Size)┬  ┬ (Percentage)

1)┬    Black Lotus, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬  (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)
2)┬    RUBY MOX, Mana Crypt, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬ (3/4/60)┬  ┬ (25%)
3)┬    Mox, Mox, Mox, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬  (4/7/60)┬  ┬ (42.9%)
4)┬    Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬ (4/8/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
5)┬    Mox, Mox, Mana Vault, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬ (4/8/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
6)┬    Mox, Mox, Land, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬ (3/7/60)┬  ┬ (57.2%)
7)┬    Mox, Land, Sol Ring, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   (3/8/60)┬  ┬ (62.5%)
8)┬    Mox, Land, Mana Vault, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   (3/8/60)┬  ┬ (62.5%)
9)┬    Land, Mana Crypt, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   ┬ (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)
10)┬  Land, Land, Sol Ring, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬    (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)┬  ┬ (for turn 2)
11)┬  Land, Land, Mana Vault, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬    (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)┬  ┬ (for turn 2)
12)  Land, Land, Mox, Time Walk, RackAndRuin    (3/8/60)   (62.5%)   (for turn 2, technically)
13)┬  Land, Land, Mox, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬   (2/7/60)┬  ┬ (71.5%)┬  ┬ (for turn 2)
(The Last one is the best percentage here, but again, it's TURN TWO.┬  Stax has a greater chance of playing ANOTHER stax THIRD turn after you blow the one up than you do to ACTUALLY blow it up.)

And it's still NOT AS GOOD as Stax's FIRST TURN 77%!!!!

Not only does Stax have more outs (that is, nearly TWICE as many,) but the percentages are better.

Now, the percentages aren't as important as the number of outs the deck has at PRODUCING the desired product.┬  It's complicated, but I'll just explain it like this.

If you have 4 channels and 4 fireballs in a deck, you need at least one of each to win.
If you have 4 channels and 12 fireballs in a deck, you have almost doubled your chances of getting the win.┬  (sorta, not really, because you still need the channel, but now you've TRIPLED your chances of getting the fireball.)
If you have 16 channels and 16 fireballs, you've got really good chances of getting it, because you've quadrupled both elements, thereby not only giving you x4 a chance at getting your result, but exponentially, 4x4x4x4, meaning that you are x256 more likely to get your product than what you originally had, even if you call the things by different names.

For instance, instead of having 16 fireballs, which would be illegal, you would have 4 fireballs, 4 blazes, 4 disintegrates, and 4 lava burst.┬  Ravnica edition two was just printed, that gave you three new channels with different names.

Now, this is more complex, but it can be sustained easily by one simple fact:

Stax has TWENTY ONE POSSIBLE WAYS (and I probably missed a few) of bringing out a Smokestack on the FIRST TURN.

Gifts with R&R (regardless of how many of them you put in) has THIRTEEN POSSIBLE WAYS of blowing up the opponent's smokestack (unless the Stax player uses black lotus and a land) on the FIRST _OR_ SECOND turn.

Please do not get me wrong - I very strongly believe that Gifts SHOULD RUN R&R!

However, these are the actual statistics in determining who is more likely to get what they need, and it is HEAVILY in favor of the Stax player.

The reason I didn't do FoW+random Blue Card is for two reasons:
1)┬  That is WAY too much work, and wouldn't honestly affect the percentages, because then you have to give Stax another lock card as well.
2)┬  The extra blue card varies from Gifts deck to Gifts deck, because there is a different number of them in EACH deck.┬  The possibility of it is certainly more common than some of the ones I have up there, such as Mox+Mox+Mox=R&R, but I'm simply doing percentages on R&R and Smokestack.

I'm sorry for my post being confusing, but hopefully you understand what I mean now.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2005, 06:49:03 pm by Buttons » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2005, 03:27:33 pm »

I'm sorry for my post being confusing, but hopefully you understand what I mean now.

Yup. I just confused "list" and "decklist", thanks for the explanation. I will let you maths people battle it out... let me just add two thoughts on your post: I am not sure if such statistics are the way to win this argument, and if I were you, I'd stop using bold red text, because that is moderator's prerogative and makes your post look as if someone had to mod it -- twice.  Wink

Quote
I'm also assuming that this Gifts player only added in 2 Rack and Ruins, as we've already said no one would add in 4.

Rebuild is almost as good as Rack and Ruin in the Stax matchup, and the later the game goes, the better it becomes.

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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2005, 02:37:07 pm »

I don't like thoses maths, because you can't coun't all possibilities. The Gifts player can also have Force in hand.


I might be thinking about running 2 Scrolls again, because they are pretty good for yourself. Scroll does improve first turns and can search answers PRESB.


Greetings Kras
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2005, 02:42:51 pm »

I don't like thoses maths, because you can't coun't all possibilities. The Gifts player can also have Force in hand.


I might be thinking about running 2 Scrolls again, because they are pretty good for yourself. Scroll does improve first turns and can search answers PRESB.


Greetings Kras

Okay, two things:

1)┬  I just said I didn't factor in Force of Will for two reasons.┬  Please read my entire post if you want to understand why I use 'thoses maths.'

2)┬  Merchant Scroll, which is what I assume you're referring to, cannot fetch any mana accelerants or Rack and Ruin because it's RED.

I'm only doing percentages on a FIRST TURN smokestack and FIRST OR SECOND TURN rack and ruin.

I'll elaborate further on why I didn't do FoW+Random Blue Card:

If you give Gifts FoW PLUS a random blue card in their opening hand, IN ADDITION to the accelerants and rack and ruin, you have already, at bare minimum (that is, with a lotus) sucked up FOUR cards of the seven in the Gifts' players hands.┬  If you do it normally, like, let's say, (Land, Land, Rack And Ruin, Force of Will, Random Blue Card, Mox) You've sucked up SIX.

We're talking about SIX CARDS here.

While Gifts only can possibly run FOUR FoW's, with the _RESTRICTION_ of also having another random blue card in hand, Stax has no restrictions, and more lock cards.

I'll SHOW you what this looks like:

Gifts:

Force of Will┬  (RESTRICTION:┬  ADDITIONAL BLUE CARD)
Force of Will┬á (RESTRICTION:┬  ADDITIONAL BLUE CARD)
Force of Will┬á (RESTRICTION:┬  ADDITIONAL BLUE CARD)
Force of Will┬á (RESTRICTION:┬  ADDITIONAL BLUE CARD)
RackAndRuin
RackAndRuin

Stax:

Smokestack
Smokestack
Smokestack
Smokestack
Trinisphere
Cruicible of Worlds
Cruicible of Worlds
Cruicible of Worlds
Cruicible of Worlds┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Nothing::
Uba Mask┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Nothing::
Uba Mask┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Nothing::
Uba Mask┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Nothing::
Uba Mask┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Nothing::
Null Rod┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Sphere of Resistance::
Null Rod┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Sphere of Resistance::
Null Rod┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Sphere of Resistance::
Chalice of the Void┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Tangle Wire::
Chalice of the Void┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Tangle Wire::
Chalice of the Void┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Tangle Wire::
Chalice of the Void┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (or)┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ::Tangle Wire::
PLUS, if you FORCE OF WILL a lock component they have (or blow it up), they can RECUR it with:
Goblin Welder
Goblin Welder
Goblin Welder
Goblin Welder

Making Rack and Ruin almost worthless, because you already countered something, and couldn't counter the Welder, because SIX OF THE CARDS IN YOUR HAND are devoted to Rack and Ruin + (PLUS) + Fow+BlueCard.

That's why I didn't do Force of Will, because it actually gives the Stax player BETTER odds if you add in their other lock components.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2005, 06:16:42 pm by Buttons » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2005, 02:47:38 pm »

I get the math... they have a better chance at turn one Stack than you do of Rack.

The point isn't who can do it first.  It is all about board position and card quality. 

Against Stax, Gifts has a whole arsenal of tools to keep an opponent from locking the board.  Echoing Truth, Rebuild, Rack and Ruin, Mana Drain and Force of Will.  Rack and Ruin is good because it hits two important permanents at the same time, and save countermagic for later.  Rack and ruining a Smokestack and a Crucible is devastating in most situations and allows you to, in many cases, win the game on the spot.

It isn't the be all and end all of the match up... I still believe that Drain is.  But Rack and Ruin is definitely very helpful.
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Buttons
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2005, 03:04:22 pm »

I get the math... they have a better chance at turn one Stack than you do of Rack.

The point isn't who can do it first.┬  It is all about board position and card quality.┬ 

Against Stax, Gifts has a whole arsenal of tools to keep an opponent from locking the board.┬  Echoing Truth, Rebuild, Rack and Ruin, Mana Drain and Force of Will.┬  Rack and Ruin is good because it hits two important permanents at the same time, and save countermagic for later.┬  Rack and ruining a Smokestack and a Crucible is devastating in most situations and allows you to, in many cases, win the game on the spot.

It isn't the be all and end all of the match up... I still believe that Drain is.┬  But Rack and Ruin is definitely very helpful.

I completely understand that.┬  The point of me doing the numbers for Rack and Ruin vs. Smokestack was to show that Stax has a greater consistency in getting out a FIRST TURN Smokestack than Gifts does getting a FIRST or SECOND TURN RackandRuin.┬  The whole point of me doing that was to argue Smmenen's comment about how Gifts doesn't even have to get LUCKY to stop a smokestack, when in actuality, it DOES.

Furthermore, "Echoing Truth, Rebuild, Rack and Ruin" are sideboard cards.┬  Stax has those as well.┬  Do you want me to put those cards in, and have Stax put in their sideboard as well, with REB's and whatnot?

Mana Drain isn't even a factor, because unless you get land+Mox sapphire, it doesn't come into play until the SECOND TURN.┬  And that's not even if you play Rack and Ruin, which the scenario suggests you MUST.

And, once again, Mana Drain is only FOUR CARDS in your deck, which was the whole point of me putting Force of Will beside the lock cards in Stax.┬  Mana Drain would have an even BIGGER restriction, as it's TWO blue to cast.

It would look like this:

Mana Drain (RESTRICTION:┬  TWO BLUE MANA)
Mana Drain (RESTRICTION:┬  TWO BLUE MANA)
Mana Drain (RESTRICTION:┬  TWO BLUE MANA)
Mana Drain (RESTRICTION:┬  TWO BLUE MANA)

You can't possibly have TWO BLUE MANA out by the first turn unless you have two things:

1)┬  Lotus
2)┬  Mox Sapphire + Land

(I'm not even going to deal with Time Walk, because who would play Time Walk first turn with a Mox and a Land?  JUST for drain mana.  Seriously.)

Both of which are extremely rare.┬  Stax, on the other hand, can use ANY mana accelerants, not just Lotus or a specific Mox to put out threats.┬  Bottom line:┬  Mana Drain is LESS than a threat to a first-turn Smokestack.┬  But just in case you want to see the percentages on that:

Gift's Possibilities to stop FIRST TURN SMOKESTACK with MANA DRAIN:

0)┬  ┬  Name of Cards Needed┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (Exact Number/Total Number/Deck Size)┬  ┬ (Percentage)

1)┬  Black Lotus, Mana Drain┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (2/5/60)┬  ┬ (30%)┬  (RESTRICTION:┬  MUST BE ON THE PLAY)
2)┬  Mox Sapphire, Land, Mana Drain┬  ┬  (2/5/60)┬  ┬ (30%)┬  (RESTRICTION:┬  MUST BE ON THE PLAY)

And not only that, but there are ONLY TWO outs to get it, STAX has TWENTY ONE.

It's only 30%, because, unlike the other ones, in order for it to be successful, you need to be on the play, which is roughly half the time.

Compare this to the average of SIXTY ONE PERCENT for Stax FIRST TURN SMOKESTACKS.┬  That's more than half the time, just on PERCENTAGE, not even factoring OUTS which is *MORE* important.

While Gifts might have "A whole arsenal" to deal with Stax, Stax has, just in it's mainboard, more than Gifts can handle with it's hate.┬  That's not even counting the REB's (which handle the four (2x2) blue spells in the Gifts SB), in addition to whatever else Stax puts in it's SB to combat Gifts.

Like I said, stastically speaking, the Stax player has MORE chance of playing a SECOND smokestack SECOND turn than the Gifts player has of PLAYING a Rack And Ruin FIRST turn.

And that statement, in case you don't want to go through all the hub-bub aformentioned is extremely simple math.

The Stax player has FOUR Smokestacks...
The Gifts player has TWO Rack and Ruins...

If the Stax player can play *ONE* Smokestack easier than the Gifts player can play *ONE* Rack and Ruin,
Then not only can he play *FOUR* Smokestacks easier than the Gifts player can play *TWO* Rack and Ruins,
But he has more chance of casting a SECOND smokestack than the Gifts player can cast ONE Rack and Ruin, because there are DOUBLE the amount of SMOKESTACKS.

Theoretically, and stastically speaking, if the Gifts player ever plays ONE Rack and Ruin, the Stax player should be able to play TWO Smokestacks.┬  The "Destroy *TWO* Artifacts" is irrelevant, because no Stax player will EVER play TWO Smokestacks at the same time, especially when the threat of Rack and Ruin is prevelent.

In general, I'm just going to say, with the authority of simple math behind me, that Gifts DOES have to get lucky to stop a FIRST TURN Smokestack.

But, then again, I don't really need that authority, as anyone who has played with it or against it can tell you that.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2005, 06:45:19 pm by Buttons » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2005, 06:27:35 pm »

In general, I'm just going to say, with the authority of simple math behind me, that Gifts DOES have to get lucky to stop a FIRST TURN Smokestack.

But, then again, I don't really need that authority, as anyone who has played with it or against it can tell you that.

He's right. Every time I play Stax and board in R&R's, I still sweat over the fear of turn 1 Stax. Even on the play, and I run 4 R&R's in the board, which is extreme i know, but does *double* you're chance to even see an R&R in the opening.
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I actually had to explain to someone why Mana Drain was better than Counterspell. That was depressing...

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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2005, 04:43:57 am »

1)┬  ┬  Workshop, Mox, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/13/60)┬  ┬ (77%)
2)┬  ┬  Workshop, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
3)┬  ┬  Workshop, Sol Ring, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
4)┬  ┬  Workshop, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
5)┬  ┬  Workshop, Black Lotus, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/9/60)┬  ┬  (66.6%)
6)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mox, Mox, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (5/9/60)┬  ┬  (44.5%)
7)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (5/10/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
8)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (4/10/60)┬  ┬ (60%)
9)┬  ┬  Mox, Mox, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (4/10/60)┬  ┬ (60%)
10)┬  Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, Land, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (4/10/60)┬  ┬ (60%)
11)┬  Mox, Black Lotus, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/10/60)┬  ┬ (70%)
12)┬  Mox, Mana Crypt, Land, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/10/60)┬  (70%)
13)┬  Mox, Mana Vault, Land, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/10/60)┬  (70%)
14)┬  Mox, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (4/11/60)┬  (63.7%)
15)┬  Mox, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (4/11/60)┬  (63.7%)
16)┬  Mox, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  (4/11/60)┬  (63.7%)
17)┬  Black Lotus, Sol Ring, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (3/6/60)┬  ┬  (50%)
18)┬  Black Lotus, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/6/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
19)┬  Black Lotus, Mana Vault, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (3/6/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
20)┬  Land, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  (3/6/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
21)┬  Land, Black Lotus, Smokestack.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  (2/5/60)┬  ┬  (60%)

Gift's Possibilities at getting a FIRST or SECOND turn RACK AND RUIN.

0)┬  ┬  Name of Cards Needed┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ (Exact Number/Total Number/Deck Size)┬  ┬ (Percentage)

1)┬ ┬  ┬ Black Lotus, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬  (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)
2)┬ ┬  ┬ RUBY MOX, Mana Crypt, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (3/4/60)┬  ┬ (25%)
3)┬ ┬  ┬ Mox, Mox, Mox, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬  (4/7/60)┬  ┬ (42.9%)
4)┬ ┬  ┬ Mox, Mox, Sol Ring, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (4/8/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
5)┬ ┬  ┬ Mox, Mox, Mana Vault, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (4/8/60)┬  ┬ (50%)
6)┬ ┬  ┬ Mox, Mox, Land, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (3/7/60)┬  ┬ (57.2%)
7)┬ ┬  ┬ Mox, Land, Sol Ring, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  (3/8/60)┬  ┬ (62.5%)
8)┬ ┬  ┬ Mox, Land, Mana Vault, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  (3/8/60)┬  ┬ (62.5%)
9)┬ ┬  ┬ Land, Mana Crypt, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)
10)┬  Land, Land, Sol Ring, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)┬  ┬ (for turn 2)
11)┬  Land, Land, Mana Vault, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  ┬ (2/3/60)┬  ┬ (33.3%)┬  ┬ (for turn 2)
12)┬  Land, Land, Mox, Time Walk, RackAndRuin┬  ┬  (3/8/60)┬  ┬ (62.5%)┬  ┬ (for turn 2, technically)
13)┬  Land, Land, Mox, RackAndRuin.┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬  ┬ ┬  (2/7/60)┬  ┬ (71.5%)┬á ┬á(for turn 2)
There is something utterly wrong with this math or something utterly wrong with my interpretation of your numbers.

When you┬┤re on the play, the chance to have a four-of in your opening hand is 39.95%. On the draw this is 44.48%.

So the chance for MW.dec to drop first turn smokey is 40% minus the chance that they can┬┤t pay it, which is far too complicated for me to calculate. How do you get to those percentages of 77%??
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2005, 06:03:36 am »

It might also be reasonable to note that Stax mulligans more than control decks because it's more dependent on a good starting hand.
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2005, 08:14:34 am »

There is something utterly wrong with this math or something utterly wrong with my interpretation of your numbers.

When you┬┤re on the play, the chance to have a four-of in your opening hand is 39.95%. On the draw this is 44.48%.

So the chance for MW.dec to drop first turn smokey is 40% minus the chance that they can┬┤t pay it, which is far too complicated for me to calculate. How do you get to those percentages of 77%??

Okay, seriously, READ MY ENTIRE POST.

I put a HUGE BOLD ITALIC DISCLAIMER on it, in GREEN so that people wouldn't ask me stuff like that.

Quote
Also, everyone who is just brushing along this, please understand, these are not statistics on FULL DECKS.  Obviously a Stax player CANNOT in any possible way get a 77% chance of putting down a first-turn Smokestack.  Please read the entire post so that you can understand how the percentages work!

If you're going to critize anyone, seriously, READ WHAT THEY SAY.
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kras2005
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2005, 08:36:38 am »

Okay, Buttons, we all believe you are very good in maths. But this post was meant to discuss Gifts Control. Okay, Stax is an important matchup, but Stax is all I see the last 12 posts.

Does anybody has any other ideas for what cards to play together with cards you allways play?

Greetings Kras
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2005, 09:43:04 am »

my suggestions are run brassmans list from gencon with these minor changes -1 merchant scroll and -1 EE, +1 duress and +1 mox monkey

I think his build with these tweaks seems to own most decks.
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2005, 10:05:13 am »

It might also be reasonable to note that Stax mulligans more than control decks because it's more dependent on a good starting hand.

Mulligans give the chance of a first turn Smokestack BETTER statistics.  I hope I don't have to explain why.

Exactly my point Wink
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2005, 11:26:06 am »

It might also be reasonable to note that Stax mulligans more than control decks because it's more dependent on a good starting hand.

Mulligans give the chance of a first turn Smokestack BETTER statistics.┬  I hope I don't have to explain why.

Exactly my point Wink

Okay.  I thought you were saying that Stax had to mulligan more than the average control deck, therefore REDUCING it's chances of pulling out a first-turn smokestack because with each mulligan, the total number of cards in hand got progressively worse.

I deleted my post above, as I really don't see a need to have three posts with virtually the exact words (the quote) in them.
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kras2005
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2005, 12:56:26 pm »

Okay, I've tested Andy's list a lot. And that is the first list I really liked.

Anyway, what do you think about Gifts Oath? I tested it, but I keep drawing crap hands, I don't know.

Greetings Kras.
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« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2005, 12:51:29 pm »

Okay, I've tested Andy's list a lot. And that is the first list I really liked.

Anyway, what do you think about Gifts Oath? I tested it, but I keep drawing crap hands, I don't know.

Greetings Kras.

I think Gifts Oath is amazing personally. Mike Spencer (LouGodKingofDustBunnies) placed 5th at a tourney in Tewksbury to it. His T8 loss was to the eventual winner, and only after he Oathed up Collossus w/ only 1 card left in library on turn 2 (wasn't ready to try and go for the Krosan Rec-Yawg Will win). Other than the random things like that, I don't see the deck having to many consistency issues (let's face it, every deck has those random "crap, i lose" draws.)
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I actually had to explain to someone why Mana Drain was better than Counterspell. That was depressing...

Then they asked why Black Lotus was better than Gilded Lotus. I walked away.
LouGodKingofDustBunnys
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« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2005, 01:22:30 pm »

Gifts Oath can be very strong, even though kras does have a point...once in a while it has some ultra-shit-tastic opening hands. However, if you rip an Oath or a Gifts and resolve it, it matters not how good/bad the opening hand was...often time the deck will just win out of nowhere.

On that note, one or two random top 8's does not a good deck make. More testing, more playing of it at tourney's and the evolution of the decklist might.
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Scoops666
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« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2005, 01:30:49 pm »


On that note, one or two random top 8's does not a good deck make. More testing, more playing of it at tourney's and the evolution of the decklist might.

Agreed, but it is a good start, and does show that the basic skeleton has the potential for success. I agree that we're a ways away from the archtype being a Tier 1 contender, just that it's on the right track.
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I actually had to explain to someone why Mana Drain was better than Counterspell. That was depressing...

Then they asked why Black Lotus was better than Gilded Lotus. I walked away.
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