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Author Topic: ***Vintage Adept Q & A: NOW TAKING QUESTIONS***  (Read 26898 times)
Demonic Attorney
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« on: June 05, 2009, 08:47:51 am »

I'm happy to introduce TMD's newest feature, questions and answers with the Vintage Adepts.  It will work like this:

When this thread is open, the community is welcome to submit questions for the TMD Vintage Adepts to answer.  The questions can be about metagaming, deck designing, play scenarios, or any other strategy-related topic.  Note that this excludes community-type questions, such as proposed revisions to the B/R list or opinions about whether the current state of Vintage is "fun" or "good."  Also, it would help if your question wasn't excessively narrow to the point where the rest of TMD can't benefit from the answer, like "What is your metagaming recommendation for the upcoming weekly tournament in Kansas?"

After we get a good group of questions to choose from, we'll close this thread and the Adepts will decide which question to answer first.  After a decision is made, the Adepts will take a few days to submit their answers to the question asked.  Once a good number of answers are collected, they'll be posted to a thread on TMD as a jumping-off point for the rest of the community to contribute their thoughts.  Once that thread runs its course, the Adepts will vote on the next question to answer, and so on.  Once we're out of good questions, another call for input will get made.

This is your chance to, essentially, get a custom-made article written on the topic of your choice by more than a dozen of the best minds in Vintage.  On behalf of the VA's, we're looking forward to your questions.

EDIT:  The Vintage Adepts who have committed to giving answers to questions posed by the community are:

Smmenen
The Atog Lord
ErkBek
Shock Wave
Eastman
ELD
forests failed you
Grand Inquisitor
marske
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Other community leaders may also contribute answers, but the above list has explicitly committed to coming onboard with this project.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 09:39:04 am by Demonic Attorney » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 04:19:55 pm »

Also some interesting questions, I like where this thread is going Smile

3. Sideboard scenario:  It's game 2 and you're playing against GWSx or ANT. You saw a Bayou game 1. Do you side in your singleton Darkblast for their Dark Confidants and expected Xantid Swarms? As the GWSx or ANT player:  Do you side in any number of Extirpate or Tormod's Crypt for the possible Darkblast, do you wait until game 3 if you see the Darkblast game 2 or do you not worry at all about it?
I don't know if it's allowed to respond briefly to questions posed, but I had to say this.

As for your first question in this scenario. It is highly unlikely that you see Bayou game 1. If a GWSx player plays Swarm they play the Bayou in the board too. As far as I know this is also true for ANT. You don't want to give away information g1 for the exact scenario you outline here.

Since Soly and I are both not Adept (I think we know GWSx best) I'd like to respond to the second question from the GWSx point of view. Take in mind that I don't run Bayou main, so this only applies to game 3.

I won't bring in Extirpate (which I believe to be a suboptimal sb card) or Tormod's Crypt for just the fear of Darkblast. Half the decks don't even run it in their board. Against decks like TPS where you can shut down their Will-victory-route it comes in, but that's not for Darkblast (which TPS probably doesn't run). You expect Drain decks to board in Darkblast. In that case you are the beatdown and you want proactive instead of reactive cards in your deck. A turn they use to play/dredge Darkblast does not advance their board/hand/gameplan which gives you more time to set up a duress protected win.
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 04:54:29 pm »

@Duncan,
I'm speaking just from my own point of view here, but I don't think this thread should have discussions going on about the questions posed already. What use would the VA's have in answering these questions when you guys already start discussing them ?

Stuff like you mentioned can easily be answered via PM and I'm sure the VA's will answer the questions in this thread to the best of their ability and if they're not sure about a deck (like GWSx) they'll consult with people that actually created or performed well with the deck.

I just want to state this is my personal view on this subject and in no way a decision coming from the staff or the VA's participating in this project.
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 06:38:50 pm »

There have been some excellent, intelligent questions thus far. Keep them coming. It will make for some interesting discussions in the near future.
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009, 06:47:01 pm »

Failed to read DA's post. Please delete.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 06:50:04 pm by ErkBek » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 07:21:40 pm »

I appreciate that people have views to offer on the questions asked, but I want to try having the Adepts give the first responses in an answer thread before opening the floor to the rest of the site membership.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 07:25:47 pm »

I appreciate that people have views to offer on the questions asked, but I want to try having the Adepts give the first responses in an answer thread before opening the floor to the rest of the site membership.

Maybe you should take the answers the adepts give to questions and turn them into their own threads so then other players could chime in but not clog up this thread too much.
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 07:33:24 pm »

Sorry if it was unclear in the OP, but that's precisely the plan.  This thread exists to advertise the Q & A project and, when unlocked, to collect questions from the community.  Answers, when posted, will appear in other threads specifically devoted to the question answered.
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 11:01:56 am »

There have been some excellent, intelligent questions thus far. Keep them coming. It will make for some interesting discussions in the near future.

I also wanted to emphasize how good some of these questions are. Please keep submitting questions. I won't be able to respond to every question the VA's pick, but I intend to try to contribute to a few of the questions, even though my name isn't listed above.
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2009, 03:00:06 pm »

1) You're playing this TPS list and your starting hand game 1 is this:

Time Walk, Tinker, Force of Will, Mana Crypt, Mox Pearl, Mox Jet, Vampiric Tutor.

Do you mulligan this hand?  What is your reasoning?


2) It's turn 3 with the above deck; You've just played Necropotence and need to restock your hand, due to a counterwar over your opponent's Yawgmoth's Will.  You binned your Tinker and the Ponder to play FoW and Misdirection.  You have Time Walk in hand, and Black Lotus, FoW, MisD, Ancestral Recall and Polluted Delta in the graveyard.  You're tapped out.  How many cards do you draw?

Question 2 might be better if you give a life total.
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 03:08:13 pm »

1) You're playing this TPS list and your starting hand game 1 is this:

Time Walk, Tinker, Force of Will, Mana Crypt, Mox Pearl, Mox Jet, Vampiric Tutor.

Do you mulligan this hand?  What is your reasoning?


2) It's turn 3 with the above deck; You've just played Necropotence and need to restock your hand, due to a counterwar over your opponent's Yawgmoth's Will.  You binned your Tinker and the Ponder to play FoW and Misdirection.  You have Time Walk in hand, and Black Lotus, FoW, MisD, Ancestral Recall and Polluted Delta in the graveyard.  You're tapped out.  How many cards do you draw?

In question 1 are you on the play or draw? Also for both questions what do you know about your opponent's deck? Is this pre or post-board? For question 2 whats your opponent's gamestate? (Cards in hand/whats in their grave/mana sources/what did they play the last 3 turns/etc.) I assume somebody would end up asking those questions since they're highly relevant so I may as well ask them to save time.
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2009, 10:15:43 pm »

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Your meta is a 20 man tourney on average, and certain players always show up, always with the same basic deck type.

Ichorid is rare, but it happens sometimes (sometimes in multiples) bit is not always there.

How much should I reserve my SB for that matchup?  Assume 5 round tourney with top 8.

(In this case, I am the guy always with a Shop Deck, sometimes Stax, sometimes SHop Aggro, often the Gilded Claw, but there's others who you can pretty much anticipate the deck they play.)

The deck types are Fish Builds, Oath, Dark Ritual.dec, and Shops.

If this question isn't awesome or worthy enough, feel free to disregard. I'm just chiming in.

I personally play small events just like larger ones, basically to prepare for the larger ones.  This means my SB is geared towards what I'd run when the money is on the line.  If you're having a hard time breaking into the winners circle, then warping your deck/SB is a fine way of learning how to win events.  If you're getting the lions share of success in your area, then working with the list you'll run at larger events will pay big dividends in the long term. 

As far as the dredge match up, I recommend having as few dedicated slots as needed, with multiple cards that are also good in other match ups.  In my Tez list, I run a Relic of Progenitus main, with a SB containing 2x Yixlid Jailer, 1x Pithing Needle, 1x Tormod's Crypt, and 3x Ingot Chewer.  Of these slots, only the Jailer is actually dedicated hate.  The other cards have uses in many other match ups, and get boarded frequently, especially with a Trinket Mage and 2x Tezzeret to find them.
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 12:02:34 am »

If you are an average vintage player, or a good player with limited experience, what deck would you play at tournaments with around 30 players.  The other players are just about all better than average players with more experience than you.  Dredge has been hated out of the metagame, so it is not an option to play.  Are there any decks that give a less experienced player an edge?  The metagame is pretty diverse, but fish, shops, and tez are the big players.
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 10:30:09 am »

When you say thread based, do you mean decks that have been talked about recently on forums?
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 10:39:40 am »

If you are an average vintage player, or a good player with limited experience, what deck would you play at tournaments with around 30 players.  The other players are just about all better than average players with more experience than you.  Dredge has been hated out of the metagame, so it is not an option to play.  Are there any decks that give a less experienced player an edge?  The metagame is pretty diverse, but fish, shops, and tez are the big players.

To piggy back on this as I feel I am in the same catagory as explained above. How does one get better, as I would really like to do, when I know no one that lives near me (Lakes Region, New Hampshire) that plays vintage, nevermind plays vintage on any sort of competetive level. I'm able to attend Myriad Games Vintage tournaments, which is the only time I get to play high level players and I feel my lack of experience and being able to play with people as knowledgeable as some on these boards hurts my performace. I have all the cards to make any competetive deck in Vintage with the exception of Power, Workshops, and Bazzars, which at Myriad can easily be proxied. Thanks everyone!

I guess as a final question if anyone reading here does live within driving range and would let to meet up to play and practice once or twice a month, please let me know or PM me.
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2009, 03:04:26 pm »

Okay, I think we've got enough questions to work with for now.  I'm closing this thread while the Adepts deliberate on which ones to answer first.  When this thread is re-opened, please note:  It is here for people to submit strategy-related questions to the Adepts, not for any other purpose.
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2009, 09:38:47 am »

Ok, we're looking for more good questions to continue this project.  Anyone can submit any number of questions, and the Adepts will make every effort to provide a comprehensive response.  This is your chance to get a custom-designed article on the subject of your choice, written by the format's best.  Don't miss out.
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2009, 11:16:32 am »

First off, I'd like to thank everyone that answered my questions last go round.  The different viewpoints helped me to analyze situations from different perspectives, even though some of the questions are no longer relevant.  A lot has changed since the first set of questions, and I hope the community can come up with some more interesting questions.

Here are my questions:
1. When playing against Drains, is it better to bait a counter with a less powerful spell or a spell with a lower CMC?  (Ex. - Your opponent only has three available mana.  After Duressing them, you know they're holding Mana Drain and Mystical Tutor.  Do you lead with TfK or Recall?  Or how about Confidant versus Gifts?  Do you just pass the turn?)

2. Based on scouting, you know your next opponent is playing Ichorid with CotV maindeck.  You're playing Tezz and are on the draw.  Do you keep a potentially busted hand filled with Moxen?  The hand is lacking bounce and counters and would almost assuredly roll over to CotV.

3. At what point is non-lethal Tendrils a good idea versus decks running Dark Confidant?  (Ex. - You're playing TPS, your opponent has a Dark Confidant in play with no way to kill/bounce it, they don't have a Top in play and they're at, let's say 13 life.  You can play a mini-Tendrils for five copies on your turn.  Do you go for it or wait a turn?)
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 11:28:13 am »

What happened to Storm's questions?  I was interested to see how people answered his question about people protecting their decks by giving out bad information about them.  I think I remember seeing smmenen admit to this a few times in old articles.
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2009, 11:39:30 am »

What happened to Storm's questions?  I was interested to see how people answered his question about people protecting their decks by giving out bad information about them.  I think I remember seeing smmenen admit to this a few times in old articles.

I think it's only showing up in the improvement forum for some reason.

EDIT: By the way, I've been guilty of this myself with Selkie-Strike in saying things like Fire//Ice and Darkblast really aren't that big a deal as I'll just drop Goyfs. Of COURSE those cards really damage Selkie-Strike's strategy. And OF COURSE I've tried to mis-lead people into thinking they don't LOL Wink.
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« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2009, 08:26:05 pm »

Question: How do you (and/or your team/partners) conduct your playtesting?
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« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2009, 09:03:22 pm »

What are the different tricks with Ancestral Recall?  What I am trying to ask is more than nifty tech-ish tricks, but preferred timing/plays as well as what would be considered correct usage of the card, i.e. turn 1 land pass, recall on upkeep.  I am just trying to get an in general feel of what the best of the best have to say about the best card in the game.  I understand my question is a bit open ended, but it is intentional as to leave room for even the most obscure answer/scenario as well as leading to examples on how to counter act seeing the card, like letting it resolve or not resolve or should i get into a counter war... blah blah blah.  Anyway, I cant wait to hear what you guys have to say.
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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 11:39:14 pm »

you are playing Oath. For the sake of arguement use the list in Elias' latest article. Here is your opener: Force, Ancestral, Vault, Key, Impulse, Thoughtseize, Rebuild (subs for wipe away in the decklist). No mana. You are in game one and don't know what your opponent is playing. Do you keep? Is the answer different on the play or draw? What if Force was a second Impulse instead?
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2009, 05:02:46 pm »

How important is the no proxy prize that some tournaments offer? Would you go down one or two moxen in your list if you thought you could get prize X? What would that prize have to be? And at what point would you say to someone who owned no power "play a budget deck, try to win prize X, its easier and you could make top 8 and do much better as well"
Does expected attendance and player pool make a difference to this?

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« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2009, 06:56:45 pm »

What is the minimum payoff for yawgs will that you would actually consider casting it.  For example, on the play, you open with Lotus, Mox Pearl, Mox Emerald, island, yawgs will, duress, time walk.  Do you duress, walk, and then yawgs for an additional turn?  The product of this is of course, you being 3 turns ahead of your opponent, but you have no cards in hand, and have to assume you'll rip business cards.

OR do you slow play it, and wait for your graveyard to really build before you play yawgs will.
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2009, 03:06:13 am »

What is the minimum payoff for yawgs will that you would actually consider casting it.  For example, on the play, you open with Lotus, Mox Pearl, Mox Emerald, island, yawgs will, duress, time walk.  Do you duress, walk, and then yawgs for an additional turn?  The product of this is of course, you being 3 turns ahead of your opponent, but you have no cards in hand, and have to assume you'll rip business cards.

OR do you slow play it, and wait for your graveyard to really build before you play yawgs will.

As a corollary to this, is it worth it to Yawg Will just to replay Ancestral? Obviously it's situational, but oftentimes I think it is and wind up second guessing myself on this play.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 03:10:04 am by MirariKnight » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2009, 03:13:47 am »

Why do most high caliber players tend to stray from playing Workshops?
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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2009, 07:08:34 pm »

I dont play workshops because I prefer to draw extra cards. And cast yawgmoths will.
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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2009, 12:39:52 pm »

Reading the opponent

if you are sitting down accross from an unknown opponent, or for that matter any opponent against whom you have no prior knowldge of what theya re playing and no personal knowledge to determine their archetype, what are the signals that you look out for to determine what kind or deck/archetype they are playing? I'm not looking for obvois signals here (turn 1 Workshop, turn 1 necropotence, etc...), but say they take thier first turn and don;t give what we might call an obvious signal- what are some key early signs of Tezz/Drains vs TPS for example, or BobTezz vs BUG Fish?
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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2010, 03:13:58 pm »

I have two questions for the Vintage experts.

The first one is related to deckbuilding, and especially building a mana base (for Tezzeret decks, but any generic advice would be invaluable). What are the metagame considerations when building your deck mana base ? How do you evaluate off-color Moxen and utility lands that happen to give colorless (or off-color) mana ? How many fetch lands are enough, and how do you choose them ?

The second one is about the mental game, and developing yourself as a better Magic player. How do you realistically account for luck ? Without going into lucky charms and four-leaves clover, there is a random element in our favorite game, and a couple bad draws one after the other can sometimes be enough to make you want to throw the towel. Those can take the form of excessive mulligans because of lack of mana with a well-built deck, successive god hands on the other side... I've noticed many people tend to remember the bad things that happen to them, but not so much the good ones (their own god hands or lucky topdecks...). Do experts take note of everything that happens in a tournament so they can realistically assess their good or bad fortune afterward ? Are their any mental tricks worth developing to cope with a perceived streak of bad luck ?
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