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Author Topic: Mattblog! for all things Matt  (Read 36063 times)
Matt
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« on: April 15, 2007, 12:27:11 am »

(I heard this is the place to make a "magic blog" so I will start that here I guess. I cannot promise anything much in the way of tech, so this is really more going to be a look through my eyes at the game.)

Tonight I went with some hopes to play in a Legacy tournament. I rarely have both the time and inclination to go to these (my Saturdays are usually busy) so I was extremely disappointed that none of the serious players showed and there weren't even enough crappy players to put an unsanctioned six-man tournament together.

Austin has a bit of a Legacy problem right now. For a long time, Thor's Hammer was the only place to play regular legacy. But a group of people including some players who disliked the way Thor's ran their business (legitimate complaints, all) opened a new store, to cater more towards the serious gamer - for example, unlike Thor's, they report their results to the DCI.

Thing is, though, there isn't enough of a Legacy scene in town to support two stores which both schedule their tournaments for the same time on the same day each week, so it's kind of a crapshoot whether either store's tournament will actually happen. There's been weeks where each store will get 5-6 players and what could have been a tournament turns into two non-tournaments. This is extremely frustrating, and I can't even help it by organizing a drive to get all the players to go to one location, because as I said I rarely have a Saturday evening free. I will suggest to the newer store (Battleforge Games) that they move their legacy tournament time. Even bumping it back one hour earlier would help - it would let someone go there and see if there's going to be a tournament, and if not, they have time to go try their luck at Thor's Hammer. Having both tournaments at 7:00 does not permit that.

FNM and draft and so on do not have this problem, being more popular.
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 12:48:12 am »

I was talking to Ephraim around noon and he said he had made a casual Type 2 deck. I decided, fuck it, I'll make one too so we can play. I decided aggro-control would be my weapon of choice, and decided to make a Pride of the Clouds deck, on the vague assumption that there were some decent fliers in the format, and some decent counters.

When I realized that both Flying Men AND Unstable Mutation were legal, I got excited. I tossed together a U/W contraption. It fared decently, though clearly untuned and replete with 8 1/1 fliers, which were about as weak as you think they are. The counters were good - Remand and Spell Snare did the heavy lifting. I ended up splashing red for Helix and Dead/Gone and possibly Lightning Angel.

I have not touched a type two deck since Torment was released, and not since Weatherlight before that. I did not know what to expect. Here is what I found:

-Those manabases hurt like hell. I had previously had dreams of playing four or five colors on the back of the lands, but even going to UWR meant I had room for maybe 3 lands that didn't hurt me.
-I got that itchy feeling again. The one that made me hate Type Two ever since I owned cards that weren't legal in it: that reminder crawling in my brain that I could be using other cards, cards that were perfectly fair and not overpowered, but simply because they weren't reprinted recently, they were denied me. Serum Visions was the one that stood out the most, but I was again inflicted with that feeling when I told Eph to use Wall of Roots - another strong but fair card that was for too long neglected, but has been given a reprieve.
-Spell Snare is really better than I thought - there's a lot more 2cc spells than I realized.
-I really hate how little there is to do on turn one in this format.

And most of all, I think part of the reason I just cannot get turned on by the format is that it's a case of nihil sub sole novum. The deck just felt like the world's greatest draft deck, and from watching other people play T2 games and reading the occasional T2 article...well the whole format just seems like a rehash of the same RG beats vs. UW control decks you were playing in 1996. Make a man, burn a blocker, attack. The decks just seem incredibly unexciting - they do nothing very dynamic. You're always paying full price for your spells, and you have to work hard for every little thing, like you have Jacob Marley's chains around your neck. This is I suppose the result of the "nothing tier 1, everything tier 2" formula Wizards has been using lately for cards' power levels. It seems like everything in the format is just a nice little utility card; there is very little real power to be had. Nothing very impressive is going on. This has crept into Extended too, to the point where pumping a doublestriker is what passes for a big play.

Sigh.
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2007, 08:39:10 pm »

Here is the timeline for Team Reflection's development of Hulk Flash for Legacy, which you'll no doubt find interesting:

April 21
Veggies posts that Flash has been unerrata'd. He shows us a Ravager/Disciple/Shield Sphere kill.
Rich posts a couple terrible Kiki kills using Saffi and Crypt Champion, but these are the first recorded use of Body Snatcher. Merchant Scroll and/or Intuition feature heavily in our builds.
More shitty kills from Rich. Thermopod?
Rich buys 50 Flashes. Even more terrible kills, all different from Rich. Kowal is hawking the Disciple kill with 3 Hulks main and Living Wish.

April 22
Rich posts about Josh's new kill, the Karmic Guide one with Teardrop Kami. Includes Safekeeper tech.
Veggies shows us how you don't need Kami. Rejoicing is performed.
I am skeptical about which kill is better, citing Pithing Needle and the need to not draw any combo pieces. I mention Pernicious Deed as an anti-hate catchall, some tech from my Tendrils days.

April 23
Rich says he was testing with Anusien. Muddle the Mixture was in here. Rich begins a love affair with Orim's Chant. He also decides Accumulated Knowledge doesn't belong.

April 25th
Bardo posts a link to http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=32817.0. The cat is sort of out of the bag.
Rich brainstorms about Living Wish boards. Quirion Dryad is mentioned as a 'man plan'.
I suggest a moratorium on any public discussion, even including not answering rules questions. Moratorium is quickly ratified.

April 26th
Rich comments, "Also, note that the "known" teams aren't even saying anything. Perhaps, like us, they're preparing decks."
Veggies posts results: Siding into Flash->Rector0>Form of the Dragon wrecked goblins. (Still Living Wish builds)
The Shifting Wall/Marauder tech is leaked onto TMD, cleaning up the Disciple kill from 11 cards to 9 minimum.
JR reports Team Trogdon made the finals with a Ravager, 8MirageTutor build. UG only.

April 27th
Rich reports Deadguy stomping all over Flash.
I find out there's a Mox tournament and begin preparing in earnest for it. Proxy up the deck. Worldly Tutor is clearly better than Living Wish.

April 30th
Some minor freakouts about that whole "Format Legality: Legal In May 20 Legacy" flap. How long ago that seems, now.
Rich suggests Commandeer as a way to win off the opponent's Flash. I start falling in love with Duress as a way to beat Trickbind, while Rich is still making love to Orim's Chant. After some minor testing with Anusien, I am utterly convinced.

May 1
Veggies posts a mirror-tweaked version, with maindeck Boseijus and Defense Grids and even FOF.
I realize that Body Snatcher has a relevant CIP ability and this convinces me that the Kiki kill is superior since it removes most of the "cannot draw combo pieces" restriction. Previously we had gone so low as to run Lat-Nam's Legacy.
We start running Lim-Dul's Vault. I start taking out Worldly Tutors for them, one at a time.
Volrath's Shapeshifter is brought up and rejected because Flash hits the yard after Hulk. We did not investigate its use as a way to combo around Meddling Mage.

May 3
Rich finally tries Duress: "On the other hand, WOW duress was good. I'd liked the idea of Chant better before. Now, I'm sold on Duress. It kept being amazing." I do the "I told you so" dance.
Rich posts a build with MD Confidant. Several of us express concern at the number of 4+cc cards and suggest Night's Whisper instead. Serum Visions and Sensei's Divining Top are also mentioned. I mention that I would prefer Predict as a 2cc card for the mirror, since it ruins the 8MirageTutor builds and is blue and is instant.
I note my preference for Benevolent Bodyguard, which is tech from IBA by way of Zilla (IIRC).

May 4
Rich rejects Impulse and Diabolic Intent, is still digging on Dark Confidant.

May 5
Rich suggests maindecking Extirpate. I played in a tournament, using Therapies in the side.

May 6
Nick Eisel's article goes live on SCG. Around now is when the big shift from Disciple to Kiki kills starts.

May 7
Extract as Kiki hate is brought up.
Show and Tell is brought up but doesn't really go anywhere. Pretty much everyone declines to go to the GP and the Hulk Project is abandoned.
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 10:16:38 pm »

LOL, I'm sorry for intruding on your blog (so delete this post if you'd like), but I couldnt help but notice alot of similarities to our team.

Our Flash thread (On our boards) ended up being 11 pages long with 327 replies.   It begins April 25 and has a TON of posts from Pat Chapin, me, Paul Mastriano, and many others evaluating alot of the same options you guys thought of.  One huge difference is that we settled on Sylvan Library and Living Wish lists mid way through.  It was only the week before the GP that I abandoned those lists for Disciple Kill again.   Demars played Sylvan Library and Living Wish still.  Other ideas that came up: Erayo and Volrath's Shapeshifter came up too (the Shapeshifte not to follow a failed flash, but as another pseudo flash with Cabal Therapy)
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 07:50:27 am »

EPIC's boards were similar.  We spewed out about 25 different lists that sucked before arriving at our GP list that cut Green for Red, specifically for Blasts and Clasm in the SB.  I was the Rich Shay, posting infini terrible wins (Saffi, Loyal Retainers, Essence Warden = Infinite Life!  Karmic Guide, Carrion Feeder, Saffi Eriksdotter, Academy Rector, Pandemonium is an instant win!).  Eventually we settled on the Kiki win with a maindeck Razormane Masticore to help fight Extract.  I never saw extract at the GP, but I won about as many games beating down with Razormane or Hulk as I did comboing out.
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 02:51:07 am »

So I got this package from Wizards. It's a cube about 4.5 inches on a side. I was thinking it was some kind of player rewards thing, but when I opened it, I found nothing but a soft stress ball in the shape of a brain. It's gray and has some letters written on it. I suppose it's some sort of code. I noticed the letters M, A, G, I, and C appear, so I took those out and ran the rest through the internet anagram generator, but I got no leads from that. Now I am at a loss.

I wondered if it was one of those "shifted" codes (A-->F, B-->G etc.) but the letters are not spaced into a sentence and the last one is EELG - very few words start with two of the same letter, and I can't think of any which are four letters.

I checked the packaging paper they filled out the box's volume with but it was blank. No card or other insert was given. What the fuck is this? Did anyone else get a similar thing?
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 08:24:01 am »

Apparently some other people did.  Here's the thread on Salvation:
http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php

Edit:  The words are GLEEMAX AT WIZARDS DOT COM written backward.
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 10:30:14 am »

I read the thread. I wonder if it's a "caging" thing. In any event, I'm gonna write a little poem as my response.

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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 12:50:30 am »

Tonight we had 10 people show up for Legacy. I wound up splitting for first with the following threshy/fishy/gro-y deck:

2 Quirion Dryad
2 Tarmogoyf
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Dark Confidant

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet

4 Serum Visions
4 Brainstorm
4 Sleight of Hand

4 Force of Will
3 Daze
2 Counterbalance

2 Wooded Foothills
2 Polluted Delta
4 Flooded Strand
4 Tropical Island
4 Volcanic Island
3 Underground Sea

SB: 4 Duress
SB: 1 Stifle
SB: 2 Pyroclasm
SB: 1 Rough//Tumble
SB: 1 Krosan Grip
SB: 1 Ancient Grudge
SB: 1 Hull Breach
SB: 2 Vedalken Shackles
SB: 1 Winter Orb
SB: 1 Cursed Totem

You might not know it to look at it, but this deck used to be Hanni's Dryad/Wee Dragonauts deck. I cut the Dragonauts for Confidants, subbed the two Goyfs I own over two Dryads, and took a heavy bat to the sideboard, but that's where it originally came from. Kind of how peanuts are related to poison ivy.


We have ten people. I think the deck breakdown was:

3 Goblins
1 4c Gro
1 UGW threshold
1 UW fish
1 Trinity Green
1 Turboland (no idea)
1 Knights!
1 Solidarity High Tide

Round one I played against Goblins. I fought hard game one, getting a gigantic Dryad, a Goose, and a Goyf all. -but he had too many chump blockers and finally overran my ability to clock him. Resolving two SGCs hurt.

Game two I boarded in 3 Clasms and Stifle and out 2 Counterbalance, 2 Daze. I started off okay, but eventually was falling behind. At one point I had two Goyfs to block and he had a huge army. If he had simply swung with everything and sacced two guys to SGC, he would have had exactly 9 damage through (my life totla), but I had two cards in hand (lands) and if either of them were burn, he would be completely wrecked. He chose not to attack, waiting one more turn - and I topdecked my final Clasm, taking out eight or nine guys, and letting me swing for 8, then 4 to win.

-2 Confidant
+2 Shackles

Game three I kept a risky trop/fetch hand, but played it perfectly if I may say so, and took him down. Next to us Woodrow narrowly edged out Erik's UW fish deck.

Round two my opponent was...ALSO GOBLINS. Fsck!

Game one he kept a slow hand and I took advantage of it. Game two he played Mountain, go, I played a land and Sleight of Hand. I had the choice between Dryad and Magma Jet. Reasoning that if he had had a Fanatic, he would have played it turn one, I took the Dryad. He untaps, plays a mountain, and casts Fanatic! Dammit! I force it, play Dryad, which goes the distance, backed by burn. In game two he is stuck on few lands, and gets hurt badly by Daze. Eventually I have a hand of Mongoose, Mongoose, Bolt, Clasm, Clasm. Yeah he ain't beating that.

Round three was against Kyle and his white Knight tribal deck, which was 2-0 so far. 19 Knights, 4 Vials, 4 STP, some equipment...you can picture it. 4 Crusade AND 4 Shared Triumph. Game one we fight viciously: he mulligans to 6 but has TWO stp for my two Confidants, which I was kind of counting on living. He resolves two enchantments and all his guys are 4/4s, too big to burn (about half his guys have pro:red too). When he resolved Jitte things started to get grim. I made a valiant struggle and the game came down to him having 4 life, 1 Jitte counter, one card in hand. I had a Bolt in hand and Goose on the board, so if he doesn't have a blocker then I win. But he Vialed in a guy and I scooped.

Next to us, Woodrow and Robin were playing. Robin played a turnabout and a Remand but Woodrow still did not figure out that he was playing Tide and played a Meddling Mage naming Vedalken Shackles and also a Needle naming the same. And yet he STILL won that game, then left the Needles and Plows in, and won AGAIN.

+2 Shackles
+1 Hull Breach
+1 Ancient Grudge
-4 Nimble Mongoose

My reasoning is that if even one enchantment hits, Mongoose does nothing but trade, so it was dead. He has 8 enchantments and tons of artifacts (Vials, Jittes, other equipment and as I was to find out, SB Chalices), so Hull Breach should be amazing and Grudge not bad either - killing Vial would be hugely important, plus Jitte. Game two is over fast - he is stuck on one land, and I go after him FAST with triple Confidant and a Goyf, killing on about turn 6.

Game three is a slow grinding for him. Twin Dryads hold off his 2/2s (I countered a Triumph), and some burn slows him down until I resolve Shackles. Counterbalance also screws him up, and Jet makes sure it connects every time. Eventually I grind him out of the game with Shackles, though he resolved a Chalice at X=1, but it probably hurt him more than me since it turned off STP. He had a Disenchant but I Forced it, and had my other Shackles anyway.

Round four is Woodrow, with an almost card-for-card copy of Bardo's UGW threshold deck. We ID then play it for fun - turns out burn is not just bad but atrocious, and Shackles is okay but the real powerhouse is EE, which he has and I don't. Loaming Shaman also ruins my Geese. Duress is surprisingly bad here.

So 3-0-1, split for first. Got some store credit. I liked my deck a lot, but the sideboard was atrocious. The Duress were awful and should only be read as basically combo hate slots. The Worb and Totem were completely useless and should have been a fourth Clasm effect and an EE or something (EE would have been really good in both my last two rounds). My enchantment & artifact removal suite was great though - two enchantment kills, three artifact, two are uncounterable, two pump Dryad. I liked that configuration a lot. I never used the Stifle but I can see where it would be good. Shackles were good but I wouldn't run more. Counterbalance was godly against Knights but weak elsewhere and it may get cut.
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2008, 05:38:52 pm »

So I was thinking: what is the worst card in Magic?

Now the natural response is to say "Sorrow's Path" and be done with it, but of course every card's value is situational. However, I realized something: some day, there WILL be a worst card, ever. And I know what that card is, and in fact it's already seen print.

Someday, Magic will end. It may be in a few years, it may not be for decades, but it can't last forever. The game may still have its players, but no one will be printing new cards. And when that happens, we'll have an official Worst Card:

When there are no more packs being made, and there are no more packs to open, Booster Tutor will be the worst card in Magic. It will be nearly totally unusable. Even One With Nothing can be a madness outlet, but Booster Tutor will do nothing at all. It will be a vanilla SPELL.
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2008, 05:47:18 pm »

Sorry's Path? I've died to that before, in an Academy-Donate-Mind Over Matter deck. That was, of course, before its power level errata. Glad Wizards fixed Sorrow's Path.
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2008, 06:30:10 pm »

Oh my pizza!  You're absolutely right.  I have three that I've been sitting on, waiting for a good opportunity to put them into a deck.  I had better get crack-a-lackin' before I'm never able to use them at all!
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2008, 11:11:43 pm »

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/askwizards/0508

So today's Arcana asks, "Why didn't they print a Spawnwrithe token?" And sure, they spat out some vaguely satisfying answer. But of course, the real answer is...

...because then no one would need to buy Spawnwrithe, the card! The token copies everything about it, so unless you were in a tournament, you'd probably just use four Spawnwrithe tokens AS Spawnwrithes.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2008, 11:11:55 pm »

This is now my draft blog.

//Drafted June 11th, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

Somnomancer
Medicine Runner
3 Juvenile Gloomwidow

2 Gloomwidow
Kitchen Finks
Wil-Leaf Cavaliers
Hungry Spriggan
Ballynock Cohort
Farhaven Elf

Rune-Cervin Rider
2 Drove of Elves
Wilt-Leaf Liege

Windbrisk Raptor

Shield of the Oversoul
Tower Above
Presence of Gond
AEthertow
Mercy Killing
Curse of Chains

10 Forest
7 Plains

SB: Tattermunge Duo
SB: Painter's Servant
SB: Gleeful Sabotage
SB: Thornwatch Scarecrow
SB: Strip Bare
SB: Gloomwidow's Feast
SB: Woodfall Primus
SB: Illuminated Folio
SB: Viridescent Wisps

P1P1 I opened Dusk Urchins and Kitchen Finks and nothing else of note. I took Finks, since partly I didn't think Urchins are that good, partly I thought the guy I was passing to DID think it was good and it would send him into black, but mostly I'm tired of playing black in this format. I got passed a Painter's Servant by some kid who didn't know it was tenbux, so I grabbed it to pay for the draft. Third pick was the Tattermunge Duo, but it became clear that G/W was coming to me more than G/R (although I think the Tattermunge Duo is the best Duo). P1P2 I opened the Liege. I had to pass on a lot of nice U/W stuff I would have liked - 2 Turn to Mist and a Chains when I had to take more men. I would very much have liked the 2/2 persist guy - Medicine Runner is way weaker.

The Raptor never once made it to play, in 3 tournament matches and seven or eight casual games between rounds. I should have maindecked the Sabotage. More combat tricks like Barkshell Blessing would have been highly welcome.

Round one I lost 2-0 to another G/W deck, game one by the G/W Witch and both games by Crabapple Cohort being too f'in big. I did get Drove of Elves going with Presence of Gond tokens, though.

Round two I ran over a weak U/B deck 2-1, dropping a game to a Gravelgill Duo with Helm of the Ghastlord on it that just kept getting in for 5. I sided in Painter's Servant over a Juvie with the intent to name "black" and turn off his Fear guys, but it didn't come up.

Round three was the most exciting, against a R/G deck. I won 2-0 but game two was close! Game one I just ran him over, he appeared stuck on too many costly cards. He did Firespout me, but only got a Drove and Medicine Runner, and he lost a red Cohort. Game two he got out the 5/2 persist guy, and I wasn't too worried, as I had a good offense going. But then he dropped Elemental Mastery on it. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the tokens didn't stick around, though! He played conservatively, mostly keeping the Mastery guy back to keep me from attacking. He did get in a few hits though. I managed to get Rider to start hitting him, and then got a Liege down, but with no cards in hand he peeled the Burn Trail and conspired it to take out my Liege (and subsequently a Spriggan with a wither counter on it). We traded some hits back and forth including two Finks bouncing off each other twice on subsequent attacks (although that might have been a casual third game). Eventually Rider took it home for me.

Primus and Raptor are too expensive for this archetype, I think. I almost never had seven or eight mana. They're meant for decks with more Farhaven Elf and Devoted Druid. Overall I had a good deck though, with plenty to do at all stages of the game. G/W was fun.
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 06:59:49 pm »

Back in time...

//Drafted June 4th, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

//1cc
Tattermunge Maniac
Intimidator Initiate

//2cc
Bloodmark Mentor
Mudbrawler Cohort
Tattermunge Witch
Medicine Runner
Vexing Shusher
Pila-Pala

//3cc
Kitchen Finks
Gloomwidow
Hungry Spriggan
Scuttlemutt
2 Tattermunge Duo

//4cc
2 Safehold Duo
Raven's Run Dragoons

Smash to Smithereens
Puncture Bolt
2 Giantbaiting
Presence of Gond
Burn Trail
Gloomwidow's Feast
Jaws of Stone

Sapseep Forest
7 Forest
7 Mountain

SB: Scar
SB: Elvish Hexhunter
SB: Medicine Runner

I opened Vexing Shusher and foil Ghastlord of Fugue. I went with the money card, not only because if I can get to four I might actually try to play them instead of just selling them off. P2P1 was Finks. Jaws in pack 1 ended up being terrible for me, although it WAS responsible for putting me in G/R over G/W so I can thank it for that.

This was way more aggressive than the usual RG draft deck in Shadowmoor. I eschewed the Ramp strategy and focused on the early beats, and I liked it wayyyy more - I had three Devoted Druids and ended up playing none of them, I wish I'd taken something better over them. Giantbaiting is really really good if you can Conspire it!

I went a little unorthodox - since I knew I had such a low curve, I went with only 15 lands. It worked out well - I never had too few, and in a few situations having two or three more business spells in my deck let me win that topdeck fight. Having so few lands made Jaws work poorly though, even when I could cast it.

I never got Pila-Pala + Presence of Gond working, sadly. This draft, I learned the power of Intimidator Initiate - I initially thought he was crap but after seeing him in action, I think I want one in every heavy-red deck from now on.
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 09:33:03 pm »

I thought today's deck was good but it ended up a very disappointing 1-2. I suspect I misbuilt the deck, although I think I drafted well.


//Drafted June 14th, 2008: 1-2 (0 byes)

2 Burn Trail
Puncture Bolt
Runes of the Deus
Trip Noose
Power of Fire
Presence of Gond

Pila-Pala
2 Devoted Druid
Juvenile Gloomwidow

Tattermunge Duo
Scuttlemutt
2 Hungry Spriggan
Gloomwidow
Lurebound Scarecrow

Drove of Elves
Mudbrawler Raiders

Crabapple Cohort
Scuzzback Marauders
Demigod of Revenge
Cultbrand Cinder

Morselhoarder

10 Forest
7 Mountain

SB: 2 Gloomwidow's Feast
SB: Scar
SB: 3 Blazethorn Scarecrow
SB: Gleeful Sobotage
SB: 2 Intimdator Initiate
SB: Juvenile Gloomwidow
SB: Manamorphose
SB: Sootwalkers
SB: Tattermunge Maniac

I had the Pila-Pala and both combo enchantments. I had Mana Reflection in the side which makes a funny infinite combo with Pila-Pala, heh. I had 3 mana ramping cards. I guess I didn't have enough fat. I think I built the deck stuck halfway between fast R/G (see my last R/G, with Spriggans and Giantbaiting and the smaller red guys) and slow, ramping R/G (Devoted Druid into Morselhoarder + other fat).

Round one I thrashed a U/B deck that milled me for 12 in one turn and beat me down to 4 while I struggled on mana, but he couldn't finish either job.

Round two I was up against a very very good U/W deck. I could have won game one but for my horrible play error. He attacked with a Silkbind Faerie while I had a Pila-Pala. I should have blocked, then used my Puncture Bolt to kill the faerie. Instead I used the Bolt FIRST, so he untapped the faerie to tap the Pila-Pala. Stupid stupid stupid. That faerie eventually got a Steel put on it and while 2 life swing per turn wasn't much, the tapping effect shut my huge men down for way too long.

For game two I sided in both Feasts along with Gleeful Sabotage, Scar, and Sootwalkers. He mulled to five, but I didn't have a hand which could capitalize on this. He did land a Silkbind which I Feasted, my Morselhoarder got Snared, and then I proceeded to draw Devoted Druid and FOURTEEN lands. His double Ballynock Cohorts and Steel'd Puresight Merrow ran me over. I don't know, was it extreme bad luck? Either way, it sucked.

The misplay was really awful since all the information I needed was on-board, but he had a really strong U/W deck even for the strong U/W archetype. I don't think I saw any card I wouldn't be glad to have. Armored Ascension, 2 Watchwings, 2 Ballynocks, Puresight Merrow, 2 Snare, Shielddare, Rune-Cervin Rider, Steel, Silkbind, Curse of Chains, Repel Intruders. The Works. It was like fighting a precon with a draft deck.

Round three was the pseudo-mirror. Nothing eventful happened, he had more fat than I did and I was also drawing pretty dead. My only real mistake here was that I forgot to check to see if I wanted to sideboard anything, which I probably wouldn't have, except maybe Scar.

I probably didn't have enough red sources for Demigod. I cast him off Morselhoarder twice. I don't think I ever had five mountains, except maybe in that 14-land game. I probably should have run more Blazethorns and fewer Spriggans, which seemed to die too often to a wither guy or something. It was a disappointing performance, but at least Demigod paid for most of it and I got a good trade in afterwards.

I can never, ever, ever seem to conspire Burn Trail unless I'm losing too badly for it to matter.
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2008, 11:08:48 pm »

FUCK YEAH! 3-0 tonight. I was at the gym when a voice inside me said, "Matt. Let me level with you: tonight, you must draft. I don't know what you'll do tomorrow and I don't care what you did yesterday, but you need to draft tonight." I wisely listened.

P1P1 I grabbed a Power of Fie, I forget over what other contenders. The guy to my right took forever to make his pick, because his pack SUCKED ASS. Probably the worst pack I've ever seen. He later informed me that he took Merrow Wavebreakers, which is a pretty sad first pick. I grabbed a Wicker Warcrawler...eh. Pick 3 he passed me a Burn Trail, which was hot. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go R/B or R/G. Then an evil smile crept across my face: neither! I picked up tons of hybrid cards, intending to run a mono-red deck with all the benefits of R/B. Late in draft, the guy to my right hated a Burn Trail from me, because his deck was already choking on great cards and he didn't need to take anything. I would dearly have loved a Puncture Bolt, but otherwise I ended up with a hilarious deck:

//Fisticuffs.dec

Intimidator Initiate (MVP)
Manaforge Cinder

Spiteflame Witch
3 Emberstrike Duo
3 Mudbrawler Cohort


Tattermunge Duo

Murderous Redcap
Sootwalkers
Mudbrawler Raiders
Horde of Boggarts

Scar
Power of Fire
Giantbaiting
Burn Trail
Flame Javelin
Poison the Well
Spiteful Visions
Ember Gale
4 Fists of the Demigod

13 Mountain
1 Swamp

SB: Traitor's Roar
SB: Smash to Smithereens
SB: Slinking Giant
SB: 2 Scrapbasket
SB: 2 Wicker Warcrawler
SB: 2 Manaforge Cinder
SB: Scuttlemutt

Check that shit out. Four Fists. Five cheap B/R guys. Fourteen lands! And yet it worked! The one swamp was for Spitelfame Witch's ability, although I suppose Manaforge Cinder does that job too. This deck was ultra-consistent and pretty fast, too. My 3cc slot was bare, but that's okay because (1) I don't always have 3 lands by turn 3, (2) third turn is usually Fists anyway.

Round one I was up against a B/R/u player, splashing for Biting Tether and probably something else. Game one was his to win - he cast Torrent of Souls and smashed me down, including with a Cinderhaze Wretch, but he forgot to untap the Wretch and hit my hand (which he could do twice thanks to Glen Elendra Liege). That let me untap, Flame Javelin him and activate my Initiate to get through. Game two he hit me, I hit him...til he Torrent of Souls again and ran me over with a 5/2 trample guy and 3/2 flying rare black thing. Too much evasion. I had the win if I'd had another turn - Ember Gale. Game three I won pretty ligitimately, knocking him down hard and fast. Poison the Well on his only Island cut him off from Tether, so that helped. He had a Gouger I wish I'd had.

Round two I was up against the guy who was to my right in the draft. He had maybe the best U/W deck I've ever seen. 2 Silkbinds, Trip Noose, U/W Liege, some Duos, Watchwings, multiple removal. Everything but a Steel. Game one was all his as he 2-for-1'd me twice, using Last Breath on my Power of Fire'd Cinder, and Snare on a Sootwalkers wearing a Fists. I sided in Smash to Smithereens and out Poison the Well. Game two I mulled to six, keeping a one-land hand. I TD the second...but never did get the third. I came out blazing: turn one Initiate, turn two Cohort, turn three Duo, turn four Cinder+your Faerie can't block. He had Faerie and Noose out, but was stuck on three lands for a long time. I kept increasing my board, getting Fists on a couple guys He eventually got a fourth land, and between two tap effects and a 1/3 my offense was way slowed. Still, I got in there, a bit at a time. Eventually I believe I won when I Javelined him, then uptapped,swung in (to tap his mana tapping down my guys) and Smashed his Noose for 3 to the dome.

Game three I kept a godly fast start. Turn one initiate, turn two Cohort, turn three Javelin his Knacksaw Clique, turn four drop a Fists and swing swing swing. He drew too many lands and lost, despite me royally fucking up and Redcapping his Parapet Watchers when he had WW open. Still, it let me get in for four with my 2/2s. Eventually I burned him out with Power of Fire.

PHEW! I couldn't believe I'd beaten that deck (I'd seen it all laid out during construction). I was on edge. Before we'd started I had filled out the results slip, predicting a 1-2 loss. Instead we had to revise it to a 2-1 win for me.

Round three was anticlimactic. I got the Cinder, Fists draw and just ran his slower nearly-mono-green deck over twice. Game one he was at 8, I had Poison and a Burn Trail in hand, ready to be conspired. But then he dropped Finks, which slowed me down a bit. Still, I got there. Game two was much the same, although it involved a Giantbaiting rocking house on on turn 3 or 4, hitting him for 4 and putting a counter on his Safehold Elite. I believe I sided Traitor's Roar in for Poison the Well since he had a number of big guys he'd surely be keeping back on defense.

Props go out to all the cards in my deck that I never ever drew not even once. Horde of Boggarts, Spiteful Visions: thanks for getting out of the way so better cards could come up. I also only drew Giantbaiting and Tattermunge Duo once each, and the Duo might have been in a friendly game 4 between rounds.
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2008, 11:35:15 pm »

3-0 again tonight although one was a bye. We had a crazy 11 man draft, and most people were not very happy with how their decks turned out. I know I wasn't (my Left was fighting me for red AND green), but much to my surprise, my deck wound up pretty good!

P1P1 was Jaws of Stone. P1P2 was HORRIBLE. I think I took Bloodmark Mentor, it was so bad. P1P3 was Firespout obviously. I may have packs 2 and 3 backwards.

//Drafted June 18th, 2008: 3-0 (1 byes)

Sootstoke Kindler (MVP)
Tattermunge Witch
Bloodmark Mentor

Tattermunge Duo (runner-up MVP)
Gloomwidow
Lurebound Scarecrow

Scrapbasket
Wildslayer Elves
Sootwalkers

Blazethorn Scarecrow
Crabapple Cohort
Scuzzback Marauders

Inescapable Brute

Silkbind Faerie

Safewright Quest
Gleeful Sabotage
Gloomwidow's Feast (LVP)
Flourishing Defenses
Scar
Puncture Bolt
2 Burn Trail
Firespout
Jaws of Stone

8 Mountain
7 Forest
1 Plains

SB: Ember Gale
SB: Viridescent Wisps
SB: Smash to Smithereens
SB: Poison the Well
SB: Blight Sickle
SB: 2 Intimidator Initiate
SB: Rattleblaze Scarecrow
SB: Manaforge Cinder


My spells were insane, but my creatures were only okay. Good enough though! As you can see by my sideboard, I thought I would be going R/B for awhile, but it wasn't to be.

Round one was a bye. I saw that one guy had double Blight. Nasty.

Round two was a headache, against another R/B. Game one I came out fast but he came out faster, with Ashenmoor Gouger followed by Fists. I took a hit from that then TD'd Gleeful Sabotage, shrinking the beast back down. I won a close race when he dropped the black 1/3 team-wither guy and Scarscale Ritual'd it. I popped it with P. Bolt and swung in for the win.

Game two was where the real headaches were. I again was faced with a large Fisted man (Sootwalkers), but when I went to Sabotage, he also had a Blowfly Infestation. I didn't want to wait a turn to get both with conspire so I took out the Fists. On his turn he dropped Grief Tyrant, and next turn I topdecked Flourishing Defenses! This made stuff weird. This took like 40 minutes to resolve when I attacked an Inescapable Brute into his Sootwalkers. We finally figured out, through a very careful walkthrough of the stack, that he could kill everything I had in play at the time stuff started dying, but NOT the tokens made by the triggers, which were still on the stack when the last Infestation trigger resolved. So I wound up with 7 tokens (plus I dropped a Crabapple Cohort). I won two turns later when he couldn't muster enough blockers and couldn't race me since I was at 20 yet.

Kudos to Jim Mason for being a levelheaded judge (he even dropped so he could be an impartial judge), listening to me walk through about fifteen triggered abilities.

Round three was exciting but not so nerve-wracking, against a U/W deck. Game one I kept a hand of Firespout and some more expensive cards, reasoning that I could sit back and not lose anything my Spout. When it came time to pop the cork, I lost a Gloomwidow, but my Crabapple survived. On the other side, down went a Faerie Swarm, Briarberry Cohort, and Somnomancer. He was left with a Mistmeadow Skulk, which I Scarred, then swung in for 4. That turn gave me the tempo to keep him on his heels. At one point I actually got my one white card out game one, tapping down a 4/3 Liege'd Somnomancer which let me get enough guys through.

I sided out Gleeful Sabotage and in Ember Gale.

Game two I had turn 2 Sootstoke and he played Fires of Yavimaya really well, letting me get in hits with large men. A Burn Trail took out a Liege and Somnomancer, and the big dudes just kept coming until he died.

Cards I never saw even once: Jaws of Stone, Bloodmark Mentor, Tattermunge Witch, Wildslayer Elves. Sootstoke is freaking GREAT with big men, although I don't know if he'd be so good in the speedy RB archetype (as exampled in last night's draft). Lurebound Scarecrow was definitely not at its peak in this deck, with few 1-2cc drops, but he did okay.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2008, 03:24:56 am »

Your 14 land 4 Fists deck blew my mind.

The deck is obviously crazy so I just don't understand why you'd play with fire (literally Razz) and go 14 lands.  The only way you're going to forseeably lose is landscrew.  Yes you can work on 2 lands but you don't really want to.  Then you're just dropping probably one spell a turn instead of flooding the board on turns 4-6.

Also 14 guys is a little low.  You really like the number 14 in this deck :p

With 4 fists and a giantbaiting you really want about 16 guys.

There are some spells I'm not crazy about that I would've considered cutting:

Spiteful visions: seems like a risky card.  You just want to overwhelm them.  A card like visions let's them draw to answers that can cripple you.  The two most commons answers that I see completely wrecking this deck are inquisitor's snare and consign to dream.  Both are commons and it looks like you didn't see either one during your rounds but they both wreck your tempo.  A card like visions increases the odds that your opponent will get to an answer like this before they die and stabalize.  Yes spiteful does damage, but if they can stabalize early and 2 for one you (since the odds of you having a guy enchanted are much higher in this deck than other decks) you could certainly lose a race.  Besides, you have so many finishers in this deck (the best ones being ember gale and flame javelin) that it just seems not worth it to include a finisher that can actually backfire on you.

Poison the well: this card is just not very good in the format.  It's nice against slow green decks, but you're supposed to run them over anyway.  Against alot of the popular archtypes they dump their hands very fast so a card like poison usually won't slow them down and instead just feels like a mulligan.

tattermunge duo: the controversial cut but he doesn't really need to be in here.  I'd much rather see a land in this spot or even a scuttlemutt.  Scuttlemutt is one of those cards that's solid in almost any deck because even in the decks that don't ramp up to bigger spells, they help you drop multiple little ones in the same turn.  Also you can do neat tricks with scuttlemutt usually.  This deck doesn't have any that are too exciting but you could randomly get there with mutt and ember gale.

Questionable ones:

Manaforge cinder.  He's great with fists obv but he doesn't do alot without fists.  Plus you'd rather have it on emberstrike duo every time.  He's good for the witch but I would've just played more swamps.  I would play 1 at most (as you did) but I think I would've found room for other things.

Giantbaiting.  A very solid card that works best as a breakthrough-type card but you don't really want to tap your guys here.  You only have 14 in your build and chances are to get the full effect out of the baiting you'd have to conspire, which means less attacking with your normal guys who could've been just as big if not bigger than those 4/4's because of your 4 fists.

Cards I would've liked to seen played:

Scuttlemutt.  Mainly for reasons I already stated, but he also fuels...

Wicker Warcrawler.  This guy is really underrated.  He's best in a deck that has trample or can clear blockers out of the way fast.  You have ember gale and initiate... this guy probably belongs main because of that and you can make a strong case for running both copies that you have sitting in the board.

Smash to Smithereens.  Very underrated card that usually hits something.  This deck is so good that you might've not had room for it but nonetheless it's one of the better cards no one plays main in the set.

So I guess I would've added + 2 swamps - poison the well and spiteful visions.  Then -giantbaiting, - tattermunge duo and -manaforge cinder for scuttlemutt and both wicker.  That would've been 16 lands and 16 guys.  I might've even cut one fists for another land or smash, but that's up in the air. 

Like I said the deck is totally crazy no matter how you build it, I just would've made the base more stable and played some different threats.

Anyway thanks for posting these.  I like to read other people's draft experiences with the set.  I'm actively studying the format because I need to get my draft game up to par as best I can before Nats and blogs like these let me see how other people utilize the cards.

Thanks again.

- Dave
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2008, 07:36:21 pm »

Thanks for the reply! Good to know someone is reading these...

14 lands felt about right, I think 15 would have felt too many - 14.333 is probably what the deck "wants". My guys, even with Fists, aren't very strong - my only way to win some matches is on speed. I can't afford to stall out on lands. I want to get to 4 lands and never draw another land after that.

I never actually drew Visions, but the logic was: I can knock them down to single-digits and them just chump block for the 4 or so turns it will take to finish them off. Visions is a burn spell here, nothing more. I don't know how successful it would have been in that role, but that was my logic. It's hard to remove - I think only two commons can do it (Hexhunter and Sabotage, both of which would be better spent killing a Fists of mine).

While I agree that Poison the Well is not good in the format generally, in this deck, it was phenomenal. It's a burn spell AND a time walk, possibly more if it color-screws them. I would have played another if I could have. This is literally the only kind of deck I would ever consider playing it, but here, it's great.

A similar story follows Manaforge Cinder. His main purpose in life is to be Fisted turn two and get in for like 9 before trading with something (or 6, chumped once, and then trade). I also needed to have more than one red 1-drop to power my very consistent three Mudbrawler Cohorts. Like Goblins of the Flarg in the original Sligh decks, he is there primarily to Fit The Curve.

Duo was stupendous. I'm really confused as to why you would suggest cutting him. 3/4 for 3 is exactly what this deck needs, not a lame 2/2.

I almost never got to 5 mana for Warcrawler. Don't think that I underestimated him - I took one P1P2! - but he just cost too much. I would have rather done Scrapbasket, which at least can wear a Fists well.

Smash is very good, and as you saw it was one of the only cards I sided in. It was competing with Spiteful Visions for the slot. It's not clear which is better. I know I liked Giantbaiting better than both. Giantbaiting's strength is that it either plays Improved Ball Lightning and gets in for 8, or it takes out some blockers without exposing your own creatures to loss. One of the big plays in this sort of deck is turn 1 red creature, turn 2 Cohort and swing for 3, turn three Giantbaiting and swing for 8, putting them at 9 life on their third turn.

If I had tried to slow down the deck, as many of your suggestions would do, I'm forced to fight on level ground with decks that have more raw power. Every card choice I made was made with the goal of avoiding doing that - playing Manaforge and Poison, playing only 14 lands, etc. You can't win with this kind of deck without a little luck, so you have to play to that luck.

In my experience, Fists goes really late. People just don't like R/B much, mainly because all its best creatures look so unimpressive on paper. Manaforge Cinder looks like ass, R/B has the -objectively- weakest Duo (mainly because the red ability overlaps with the red half of Fists), red has the second-worst Cohort (black's is just atrocious and I don't know why - did they leave off Wither or something?). I don't think this sort of Sligh-style deck can work every time; like the U/B milling deck, you have to get it uncontested or it won't work and will just shut down. It also doesn't help that black contributes almost nothing to this archetype - the only cheap beaters it has are Gravelgill Duo which is basically a slightly improved Severed Legion) and Faerie Macabre, which takes BB and therefore is not good. Intimidator Initiate is vital.
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2008, 11:03:17 pm »

P1P1 I took Demigod of Revenge, mostly to pay for the draft but it's pretty strong if I can cast it. Pack one also had a crazy set of U/B cards - Helm of the Ghastlord, Wasp Lancer, Inkfathom Witch, and Gravelgill Duo. I was glad not to be in U/B!

...or so I thought! [/foreshadowing]

My next pick was Inkfathom Infiltrator, and then Scar from a VERY weak third pack. I felt I was going well into black, but then a bunch of good U/W started showing up: Wasp Lancer, Thistledown Duo, Steel of the Godhead, and more. It dried up about pick seven, but I had a great core of cards for a mostly-blue deck.

P2P1 was Silkbind. I started seeing a lot of Watching Scarecrows and, in three consecutive packs, Turn to Mists. I grabbed what I could. Pack 3 I opened absolutely nothing for U/W, and no money rare, but I did see an Incremental Blight. Cursing myself for passing on like three Flasks earlier, I hatedrafted it.

When it came time to build the deck, I realized that Order of Whiteclay and Kithkin Shielddare were my only cards that actually wanted plains in the deck. I figured, shit, if I'm going to run a double-splash-mana card, Blight is way better than Whiteclay! So I switched the Whiteclay and Shielddare for Blight and Zealous Guardian (who also beat out Harpoonist in order to keep my white count high enough for my Watchwings, Duo, and Steel).

Of note was that someone could have had a very silly red deck. We saw two Power, two Pala, two Jaws and a Beseech all go by. Nutty. The guy to my left was kicking himself for trying to force white, which he abandoned. There were like four people all trying to go blue/white sitting together, but they all quit before I did, so I scraped up the goods in packs 2 and 3.

//Drafted June 24th, 2008: 3-0 (0 byes)

Zealous Guardian

Somnomancer
Inkfathom Infiltrator
Puresight Merrow

Wasp Lancer
Parapet Watchers
Silkbind Faerie
Thistledown Duo
Prismwake Merrow
Wingrattle Scarecrow

2 Watchwing Scarecrow
2 Wanderbrine Rootcutters

Merrow Wavebreakers

Deepchannel Mentor

Revelsong Horn
Steel of the Godhead
Helm of the Ghastlord
Illuminated Folio

Consign to Dream
Biting Tether
Incremental Blight
Turn to Mist

11 Island
5 Swamp

SB: Demigod of Revenge
SB: Cerulean Wisps
SB: Scar
SB: Kindscaer Harpoonist
SB: Whimwader
SB: Order of Whiteclay
SB: Kithkin Shielddare

I tried out Folio, since I hadn't ever played it before. It never hit play except R1G1 when I couldn't maintain two cards in hand due to a Helm'd Rootcutters and that 5cc rare U/B enchantment, so results are inconclusive. Scar never came in, nor did Wisps; I didn't feel a need for them. Whimwader and Harpoonist did come in during round one.

Round one was a very close three-game set against another U/B deck. I don't recall any particular interest except that game three I was stuck on one swamp with Blight in hand for awhile, and didn't draw a second until the turn my airforce finally ground him out anyway.

Round two I smooshed a fairly weak G/B concoction 2-0. Game one I came out fast with an airforce, and had Tether for his 9/9 Wurm. The board got clogged but he couldn't stop enough fliers. I think this was the game where I Steel'd my Silkbind. Game two was uneventful; he got stuck with too many 5-drops and not enough lands.

Round three was agaisnt a G/B/r deck with several Farhaven Elf.

I had a very tempting seven-card hand: Puresight MErrow, Inkfathom Infiltrator, Steel of the Godhead...but only 1 island! I had to mulligan to an iffy sixer, with AGAIN one Island, but now my 2-drop was Revelsong Horn. Luckily, I topdecked Island, Island, Swamp, giving me t3 Wingrattle, t4 Watchwing to slow his Medicine Runner offense, t5 Parapet Watchers and get in for 5. When he counterattacked with Mudbrawler Raiders and Medicine Runner; I blocked the 2/1 with Parapet. He cast Barkshell Blessing on the Medicine Runner, then conspired it to the same guy. I played Turn to Mist on my Watcher and then untapped, dropped a Rootcutters, and outpaced him. He never was able to block the Rootcutters in his very-greendeck, and one Gloomwidow did not keep my airforce at bay (since I had Revelsong to make my Wingrattle a 3/3).

Game two was uneventful. Turn two Puresight Merrow, turn three I topdecked Steel and that was basically it. When I added a Helm of the Ghastlord to my Merrow, he could do nothing but pray to get his Mercy Killing, which he did not.
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« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2008, 10:54:32 pm »

This draft went very poorly for me, maybe the worst yet. I opened a terrible pack 1 - it came down to Shield of the Oversoul or Elsewhere Flask (or Drove of Elves). I took the Shield. Things got more confused when I was passed a Flame Javelin, which I took over a Ghastlord of Fugue. In retrospect, this might have been a mistake. The reason, as it turned out, was that my right took a Deus of Calamity over it. He tried to straighten things out by cutting red very hard, and I didn't see any more decent red. I fell into U/W again, but it wasn't very good.

//Drafted June 24th, 2008: 0-2 (1 byes)

Somnomancer
Briarberry Cohort
Safehold Elite
Mistmeadow Witch
Puresight Merrow

Thistledown Duo
Prismwake Merrow
Ballynock Cohort
Parapet Watchers
Leech Bonder
Scuttlemutt

Raven's Run Dragoon
Barrenton Cragtreads
Kinscaer Harpoonist

Merrow Wavebreakers

Niveous Wisps
Barkshell Blessing
Curse of Chains
Turn to Mist
Armored Ascension
Spell Syphon
Advice from the Fae
Elsewhere Flask
Flame Javelin

8 Island
8 Plains

SB: Elsewhere Flask
SB: Seedcradle Witch
SB: Shield of the Oversoul

It has plenty of OK cards, but it's missing all the power stuff. No Steel, no Silkbind, no Aethertow. No rare bombs. The Seedcradle came very late, and I looked and looked for a Safewright Quest, but never saw one. I probably should have been the one to go U/B (my left took the Ghastlord and did well with it), or, failing that, G/W.

None of the matches or games was exciting. I mulliganed a lot - R1G1 to six, R1G2 to five (although I won this one!), R1G3 to six, R2G1 to six, and R2G2 to six which became five when I accidentally drew seven. Blech. Just an awful performance.
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« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2008, 11:00:31 pm »

An extremely weird deck tonight. I opened a Mirrorweave and $-drafted it, but then absolute trash started coming. My second pick was Farhaven Elf, for cryin' out loud, and Repel Intruders third. Having paid for the draft with the Weave, I decided to take a new direction when I saw a Prismatic Omen. When I got a second in pack 2, I started to push for 5cG, but never saw much worth playing in any colors but RGW.

//Drafted July 2nd, 2008: 1-2 (0 byes)

Runed Halo
Gnarled Effigy
Puncture Bolt
Power of Fire
Last Breath
Gleeful Sabotage
Mirrorweave

Safehold Sentry
Boggart Ram-Gang
Boggart Arsonists
Tattermunge Duo
Safehold Duo
Raven's Run Dragoon
Cultbrand Cinder
Blazethorn Scarecrow
Scuzzback Marauders
Morselhoarder
Grim Poppet

Devoted Druid
2 Safewright Quest
2 Farhaven Elf
2 Prismatic Omen

8 Forest
4 Mountain
3 Plains

SB: Raking Canopy
SB: Glamer Spinners
SB: Lockjaw Snapper
SB: 2 Gleeful Sabotage
SB: Torpor Dust
SB: Repel Intruders
SB: Ashenmoor Gouger
SB: Hollowborn Barghest

Wince if you must, I'll wait.

I lost round one to a terrible U/B deck, largely because I mulliganed to 6, then 5, then 5 again. This may have been my own fault for trying such a shaky premise, but I did win game 2 and brought him down to one life in game three.

Round two I got slapped around by a W/B deck. Not worth going into, apart from noting continuing mulliganing. Feh.

Round three I actually managed to win! In game one I dropped a Halo naming Faerie, which he remarked was probably good since he had 3 in the deck! Later his board was Scrapbasket, Lurebound Scarecrow naming black, and Faerie Macabre. When he attacked with the 4/4, I Last Breath on his Faerie, to which he responded by turning Basket black, Consigning his own Faerie, then replaying it post-combat. We all had a good laugh over that. I laughed even more when I untapped, attacked with everything, then post-combat Mirrorwove everything into Lurebound Scarecrows, wiping the board. I dropped a Sentry to follow and that got me far.

In game two he opened Briarberry+2x Sickle Ripper. I opened Farhaven into Power of Fire, which only got to kill a Tatterkite before he TD's Gloomlance. I untapped and dropped a Halo on his Rippers, which was cool. Grim Poppet finally wiped his Briarberry and Macabre off, then alongside Ram-Gang won a race when he drew nothing of importance.

This may be my last draft until Eventide comes out. It's been fun but it's starting to get repetitive.
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« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2008, 12:15:53 am »

A good draft night! Kevin (Anusien) showed up, since he moved here awhile back.

P1P1 Finks, then sometime in the next couple picks I had a tough choice: Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers or Biting Tether? I COULD have gone U/W off Finks and Tether, but I already had a great GW start...I went with Tether, because I really, really didn't want to pass it. It ended up working out, as you'll see below.

Pack two was great to me: 3rd pick Trip Noose, and like 10th pick Scuttlemutt. Not sure how that happened. I think this was the pack when I got a relatively-late Power of Fire, too (like 7th?).

Third pack, cracked a Wooded Bastion which played nicely in my deck.

We saw a lot of Savor the Moments  - I think there were five at the table! I wound up with two of them.

//Drafted July 9th, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

Somnomancer
2 Safehold Sentry
2 Safehold Elite

Kitchen Finks
Gloomwidow
Lurebound Scarecrow
Farhaven Elf
Scuttlemutt

Barrenton Cragtreads
Rune-Cervin Rider
2 Safehold Duo

Crabapple Cohort

Barkshell Blessing
Last Breath
Inquisitor's Snare
Trip Noose
Shield of the Oversoul
Aethertow
Power of Fire
Biting Tether

Wooded Bastion
7 Plains
7 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Island

SB: Woeleecher
SB: Kithkin Shielddare
SB: Flourishing Defenses

With Farhaven and Scuttlemutt to get my splashes, plus naturally drawing the island and mountain, I didn't have many problems with my splashes. I probably should have used 8 plains 6 forest, though.

Round 1 I ran over a regular, high-school kid playing G/R. He got mana screwed, I think he doesn't know bow to get a manabase built.

Round 2 I narrowly beat a mono-red deck packing double Jaws of Stone. In game three I lost a Lurebound when he Burn trailed both my green creatures away, getting a 3-for-1. I managed to claw my way back into it with Safehold Elite (post-persist) plus Shield of the Oversoul. I won the race against his four 1/X first strikers (he had the red Mentor) but only by going to 1 life. His deck was very good, including double Ram-Gang. His Wild Swings were fun - he was playing them as Stone Rains, trying to stall for his cheap guys to get more damage in. I do love a red deck!

Round 3 I won a looong game one by Tethering his Gond-man and using Power of Fire to win fights. Then I kept some dodgy hands in games 2 and 3 (and made one SB mistake, bringing Defenses in over Lurebound Scarecrow) and got beat. But in one of my prize packs I cracked a Profane Command and foil Auntie's Hovel, and that pack actually had Shriekmaw too which I needed, so whatEVER girlfriend!
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« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2008, 10:59:50 am »

I don't remember much of my draft and I don't have my deck in front of me, but a few thoughts:
There  is a lot of color matters theme in this set, and there is likely to be more.  While you can get away with a lot because of hybrid mana, a lot of cards get powered up based on the creatures you play.  This puts the hybrid creatures at a premium; I ended up having to play some pretty poor guys to get access to my colors.  I ended up with only 6 red guys, which meant I almost never had the opportunity to conspire Burn Trail.

P1P1: Kitchen Finks or Burn Trail?
I ended up picking Burn Trail because I felt it committed me less to a color.  I'm not sure this is right; I don't actually know how splashable Burn Trail is into most decks.  If you were going to be able to conspire it every game it's definitely ridiculous, but if you're just paying 3R for 3 damage, that's less exciting.  Puncture Bolt is better than that in a lot of cases, especially in a deck where almost all your guys hit for three anyway (like mine).  Burn Trail is committing you to RG a lot of the time, and Kitchen Finks can either go into RG, GW or UW.  I may also be bitter since I never cast Burn Trail and was low on guys.  Burn Trail might be the right choice (2:1 in favor by the people I've talked to), but I think that's true only if you get enough red guys.

Flourishing Defenses: I got two Defenses midway through Pack 2 (I think) and had the opportunity to pick up a third if I wanted it.  I passed on it, since I was already low on guys at the time.  They were very hit or miss for me; I think you only want one because a lot of the time you just need another guy in this format, and Defenses can be quite poor.  Also, Defenses was good in one match and quite poor in the other two.  I know Matt didn't even start his.  So how much do you need on your own to power up defenses?  Five cards?  More?  How much can you count semi token producers like Devoted Druid?
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« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2008, 06:44:07 pm »

Burn Trail doesn't lock you into anything, really. Besides the obvious RG and RB decks, I've also seen mono-red do well (Mark, my round 2 opponent, has a really sick deck) and even UR. I would also not feel bad about splashing red cards into UW, and obviously GW can splash red without too much trouble thanks to Farhaven Elf.

3R for 3 isn't spectacular but it's still perfectly playable removal. There's not a lot of true removal in this format (although you can still get by with smart play, letting your creatures and tricks act as removal).

I would still take Finks since it's P1P1. Finks doesn't go into quite as many decks, but it's goes into most, and it's a better card.

Defenses is not normally a maindeck sort of card, unlike Blowfly Infestation. If it is, it's usually a 23rd card. It can be hilarious in a slower RB deck, though, where you have tons of wither guys.

You're right about the color matters theme, which is why I was so shocked to see 10th pick Scuttlemutt. SM is not a card I would feel bad about first picking, although ideally it's more like 3rd-5th.
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« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2008, 08:41:12 pm »

My point was that Burn Trail is secretly two cards.  One is 3R for 3 damage, and the other is 3R and tap 2 guys to do 3 damage to two creatures.  If Burn Trail is better than Kitchen Finks, only the Conspired Burn Trail is.
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2008, 06:59:40 am »

My point was that Burn Trail is secretly two cards.  One is 3R for 3 damage, and the other is 3R and tap 2 guys to do 3 damage to two creatures.  If Burn Trail is better than Kitchen Finks, only the Conspired Burn Trail is.
Yes. Which is why Finks is the better pick.
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2008, 12:53:23 am »

Survival of the Fittest has always been one of my favorite cards - it's the most open-ended card in the game, and there's so many cool and interesting ways to use and abuse it. I'm always happiest when it's good. This thread will, at least for the time being, be about various Survival-related thoughts, especially focusing on its applications in competitive Legacy.
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2008, 12:54:17 am »

I haven't given Legacy too much attention lately, focusing more on 3xSHM drafts. But I've had a few ideas percolating, and I decided to start putting them into action.

One idea that made sense to me was to increase the use of EE in Survival. It made a natural kind of sense: Survival already had many colors of mana, but didn't necessarily want to use Deed, which typically hurts itself as badly as the opponent. I threw up a list that didn't overpopulate the 1cc and 2cc slots. The plan was to use EE@2 to keep Threshold down, then only drop Survival later, when both decks had been run low on gas (this plan had some flaws in practice but generally speaking it was okay). EE is a unique card in that it's board control which is useful against more than just creatures: EE would also help against Empty the Warrens tokens (generally a weaker matchup for Survival decks) and is just generally a useful card. The real bonus was that you could use Trinket Mage to find them, really increasing your access to removal, even without Survival.

The second big idea I had was to try to put Stifle/Nought into Survival. I figured the Stifles would also help in some of Survival's toughest matchups - storm combo and goblins. And having the biggest dude (who is ALSO fetchable with Trinket Mage) is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

The third bit of technology I wanted to assimilate was that I noticed that Doran, apart from being a fine beater on his lonesome, would help a lot of blue creatures I'd wanted to see make their way into Survival. Tradewind Rider is ridiculous with a Doran out, and he also gives a bonus to Trygon Predator (who also helps break down Counterbalance, another typical problem for Survival).

I put these ideas into a list and started testing it. It went okay, but certain aspects left me sour. Dreadnoughts were rarely making it into combat, and without something like the Vial trick, were too dead without a Stifle, so I cut them to 2. When this didn't help as much as I wanted (across the field), I tried dropping the six-card Stifle/Nought package for a Rofellos/Painter/Grindstone and three different utility guys, but the shine had worn off.

Then earlier today I saw on MTS someone link to a Survival deck splashing for Demigod of Revenge. While reviewing other possible hybrid cards, I ran across Cemetery Puca, and it clicked - here was a decent way to get my big dude purely through Survivaling! It's like the old Volrath's Shapeshifter, except not nearly as fragile, and easier on the mana, too (and more generally useful! how keen!). I added the Nought package back in, and here's where I stand now.

Originally the deck had Goyfs, Noughts, AND two maindeck Dorans, hence the name...

//BMOC Survival

4 Trinket Mage
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Tormod's Crypt/Pithing Needle

4 Stifle
4 Thoughtseize

4 Survival of the Fittest
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Genesis

4 Tarmogoyf
2 Phyrexian Dreadnought
1 Cemetery Puca

3 Eternal Witness
2 Shriekmaw
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Trygon Predator
1 Tradewind Rider

4 Birds of Paradise

4 Bayou
4 Tropical Island
2 Savannah
2 Forest
4 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills

SB: 4 Cabal Therapy
SB: 3 Kitchen Finks
SB: 1 Doran, the Siege Tower
SB: 1 Gilded Drake
SB: 1 Shriekmaw/Big Game Hunter
SB: 1 Harmonic Sliver
SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 Meddling Mage
SB: 1 Pithing Needle
SB: 1 ???

Possible manabase tweaks: -1 Bayou, +1 fetch or basic forest. I'm pretty sold on the Trop and Sav numbers.

The sideboard is still a first draft. Those are just (some of) the most likely candidates, in quantities which are basically educated guesses.

The Puca has solved a lot of my problems with Noughts being dead: a fifth Stifle effect, and Survivalable at that. He can easily copy a Shriekmaw if you need a 3/2 fear (he won't get the terror effect, however), but is usually even better becoming whatever the Shriekmaw killed, most commonly a Goyf. He can also be triggered by the EEs.

I miss Vial, but I simply can't squeeze them in without going to too few creatures.

I would have loved to fit Anger in - Tradewind woo, hasty 12/12 Puca doublepluswoo! - but I just can't. White is necessary for Harmonic Sliver (and is nice for a bunch of SB cards). If the R/W Hedge Mage from Eventide had the same abilities but been R/G (and mountains/forests instead of mountains/plains), it would be a very different story. Stomphowler is just too slow for what I need.


MATCHUPS

NEEDS MORE FOR GOBLINS

Goblins continues to slap me around (testing against a fairly stock mono-red list), except when I get Stifle/Nought or sometimes just a big ol' pile of Goyfs. This is the matchup where I most miss having Vial, which I've had four of in every other Survival deck since sometime in 2005. Not sure what's good here. Doran can turn Piledriver off, I guess. E.Plague could be run in the board but it seems like there should be better solutions.


BELCHER

Well this is about as good as Survival is ever going to get against Belcher. You can stop their Empty the Warrens easily, with Stifles and EEs. But Belcher is a ridiculous threat to you, since there's no cheap way to stop it. Even Trinket Mage-for-Needle is a turn 3/4 answer, as is Trygon Predator (turn 3 off BoP, turn four without. Survival doesn't matter because if you have Survival, you get Harmonic Sliver instead).

This was even worse before I got all the Thoughtseizes in there. Those help a ton, and are much better than Stifle if you're debating which land to fetch turn 1. It's not a pretty matchup but unlike most Survival decks, you aren't just conceeding game one.


DREDGE

Good news: BMOC is favored game one if you're running Tormod's Crypt in the main slot. They pretty much have to have the turn 1/2 kill, or else your Trinket Mage grabs their doom, which can be recycled with Witness for more laughs. Dreadnoughts clean out Bridges while Goyfs are huge clocks if they try to dredge. They should absolutely Therapy you naming Trinket Mage before anything else. If you happen to get Stifle/Nought turn 2, they have a hard time racing that. I'm not sure what you would bring in here; any extra Crypts you're running are obvious. Needle won't do much...Teeg or Mage might be good. Teeg stops their Dread Returns but nothing else, and Mage can name Therapy, DA, or Return. Most likely they'll be siding the combo kill out for Chains of Vapor and other such lovelies, if I understand their usual scripted gameplan, but at least Teeg&Mage are cheap, and more relevant than, say, Shriekmaw (if they're planning on reanimating some huge guy, Gilded Drake is better). Doran might come in, because he makes Ichorids look like shit.


ENCHANTRESS

This is the matchup where I've been most disappointed with BMOC's performance in general, and EE in specific. I know everyone and their mother and their mother's pokemon's tapeworm knows this already, but it's completely crucial to keep Enchantress effects off the table. Even one turn can be enough to draw into a second Enchantress into a Confinement into a Replenish and then you're sunk. This is one match where Deed would be unquestionably stronger. Luckily this matchup is not very common! Mostly I've been disappointed with how weak Trygon turned out to be: he needs to make combat damage, not just be unblocked, so Solitary Confinement prevents him from doing his duty, and his ability TARGETS, so Sterling Grove also is a pipe in his bicycle spokes. Ground Seal is also highly relevant, shutting off your Genesis and Witness recursion.

Another major problem is that you really want to be EEing for 3 AND 2 (which is your only way of nuking Argothians), which hurts you terribly. A quick Nought can make Elephant Grass look like crap, but runs face-first into Oblivion Ring and Seal of Primordium and Aura of Silence.

On the bright side, EE can basically ignore Aura of Silence, just as it ignores Sphere of Resistance and Chalice of the Void and Counterbalance: if you want to EE@3, declare X=1 with G, and pay the {2} extra with B and U. They can't even sac the Aura in response to try to fuck you up, since costs are determined before they have priority.


THRESHOLD

A very complicated match. Some notes:

--My testing was done against my personal build, which is four colors (no red) and has all kinds of goodies (MD Cbalance, EE, Spell Snare, Confidant). I imagine it's one of the more difficult thresh variants for Survival to go up against, which is good because I wanted to stress-test my new creation.

--Dark Confidant is one of their best cards against you, since there's no cheap, easy way to kill it (where's my green Fanatic, Wizards?!). EE is your best bet, about which more later. Luckily DC is getting rarer. Goyf is surprisingly weak, although obviously far from bad - just not The Best By A Mile.

--Both Thresh and BMOC will likely need some kind of card advantage to win. Thresh's main sources are Confidant (if they run it), Counterbalance, and you having dead cards because you're manascrewed. Your main sources are Survival and the Witness Protection Program (Trinket-EE-Witness).

--Threshold is definitely the beatdown, here, UNLESS they get early Counter/Top lock. If they do, they can either try to use it as cover for their offense (a good plan) or as a true lock (much worse plan). They need a clock on the board to properly use CBalance; given enough time, you have many ways to break out (nine plus Tradewind).

--Tormod's Crypt is thus highly relevant; shrinking their guys buys you two or more turns, on average. It's your #1 outlet to Mystic Enforcer in game one (if Drake makes the SB, he'll be better) and keeps their Mongeese reasonable. Goyfs mostly bounce or get Mawed, so that's not such an issue.

--EE breaks up CBalance, but only if you have time. A preemptive EE@2 can be good, but is vulnerable to their own EE@zero. If the Balance is already down, you need to remove it soon. This can be done by playing EE for X=3 with only two colors of mana (i.e. GGU) so that it's difficult to counter with the Balance itself, yet still will kill the Balance.

The problem, I've found, is that to do this with any kind of surety (barring Thoughtseize information), it's slow as balls. You want to 'overpay' to avoid both CBalance (if it's on the table) and also Spell Snare, but if you're tapping out, you're vulnerable to Daze. This makes a 'safe' EE require four open mana: two to get colors, one to overpay, and one for Daze protection. You'll yet need another mana if you intend to pop it the same turn (and this can be delayed by Daze, perhaps long enough for them to drop EE@zero).

--This is one of the worst matchups for your Noughts. They have tons of answers, starting with their counterwall, then CBalance@1 which gets them a nice 2-for-1, plus STP, and EE@1, and Krosan Grip & similar effects from the side. I would definitely side down to 1 or 0 (if zero, Puca leaves too obviously). This leads me to my next point...

--On the proper use of Stifle: it can be tempting to try to Stifle a Nought into play, but as noted, a good threshold deck hardly even blinks at a Nought. Therefore you should save your Stifles.

When to Stifle a fetch: rarely. This is a hand where you want to Stifle Thresh's first-turn fetch: land, land, Stifle, Survival, 3x anything else. You do this to keep them off both Spell Snare and Daze, to maximize your chances of resolving the Survival (Goyfs and other threats aren't as key).
Otherwise save Stifles for their EEs; one of their key plays is countering your EE (that you had to overpay for, to avoid their counters, leaving you short of the {2} needed to pop it) with their own EE for 0.

--FIN--

That's all I have so far. I'll post more if and when I develop it.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 01:14:35 am by Matt » Logged

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