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Author Topic: The Dark Times Primer  (Read 145306 times)
rcwraspy
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« Reply #450 on: November 28, 2014, 01:15:58 pm »

There's a lot that spellskite won't affect. The aforementioned repeal for instance.

I agree not of this world is narrow and its inclusion is questionable, but if you're looking for a catch all to protect marit lage it's an option.
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TheWhiteDragon
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« Reply #451 on: November 28, 2014, 02:25:29 pm »

If repeal is rampant in your area, then add in some sylvan safekeepers between main and board.  More versatile, set it and for get it.  Or, just make another Marit.  Not that hard to get 2 with this deck, and you're gumming up their game in the meantime.  You also are adding pressure in the form of 5+ damage a turn with critters.  They aren't laying out answers to your spirits THROUGH your spellskite(s) in a deck that is repealing your Marit.  You also have 4 seize.  You can up or down the number of spirits and skites main if the meta calls for it (You have multiple sb and can squeeze in the extra skite/4th spirit somewhere if needed).  This deck also doesn't give a rat's about oath with 4 seize, 4 decay, 1 qasali, (3 spirit/4 needle if their win is grissel), 2 cage and rec sage in sb, and FOUR containment priest between main and board.  Oh, and the 3 wish are copies 2-4 of whichever 2cc spell solves your meta problem.

I not scared of repeal.
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« Reply #452 on: February 03, 2015, 08:53:57 pm »

Since this has somehow its roots in Dark Times I post it here. I have done plenty of testing, and played this list as often as I was able to. My last Tournament somehow was Bazaar of Moxen last year, but we all know, that sadly Vintage Tournaments are not that common any more.

Horobi came to the List as an answer to Abrupt Decay, when Bug Fish was the Mainplayer, and it did a good Job through his ability beeign a removal with Parasite and Hexmage. I cut out Dark Confidant, because I had the feeling he doesn't fit the speed Plan of the Deck. I tried out many alternative Engines like Read the Bones, Night's Whisper, and Skeletyal Skrying, but digging through Cards wasn't as good as just topdecking threats or solutions.

Toxic Deluge is a big solution in the current Meta game, as I am expecting to get with Mentor another creature based deck to show up. Also its decent against Delver and Humans, and can be used as Tinker Solution. Best thing is that its at least a Death's Shadow enabler.

Deluge and Mind Twist on its side are cards that make it difficult for aggro decks to catch up, and with post Treasure Cruise restriction Twist is not just filling his Delve that bad. It took me a long time, to cut Thoughtseize, but its performance was just underwhelming. So I came to Mental Misstep, which is pushing the cmc 1 Slots through opponents Misstep, and is solid against those StoPs, (Repeals) and at least Delvers. It also helps ramping through Rituals for a Mind Twist. Misstep is way better fot the Tempo than Thoughtseize, I also see Twist over Thoughtseize. Twist for 2 is pretty common, but it is also able to win the game nearly on its own, what a Thoughtseize could never do.

The Manabase took also a long time, the first rough sketch was playing all offcolor Moxen, but they became Petal, Crypt and Sol Ring, which are better in a mono color strategy. To play around opponents Wasteland, there is a Strip and a Stage, but the alternate aggro plan beside the Depths also helps a lot.

The List:

Manabase

4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Dark Depths
1 Strip Mine
1 Thespian's Stage
3 Bloodstained Mire
2 Verdant Catacombs
5 Swamp

1 Lotus Petal
1 Mox Jet
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Black Lotus

4 Dark Ritual

4 Vampire Hexmage
4 Horobi, Death's Wail
4 Hex Parasite
4 Death's Shadow

1 Demonic Consultation
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor

1 Necropotence
1 Yawgmoth's Will

4 Mental Misstep
3 Toxic Deluge
3 Mind Twist

SB: 4 Snuff Out
SB: 4 Sadistic Sacrament
SB: 2 Yixlid Jailer
SB: 4 Leyline of the Void
SB: 1 Helm of Obedience

As its pretty budget I guess this is where I start my Mtgo Vintage pool with. Hope this x=0 suiciding moves with Parasite are good to steer on the Software.

Greetings
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xouman
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« Reply #453 on: February 04, 2015, 05:44:11 am »

IMHO this the most coherent monoblack decks in a long time. Lots of playsets and powerful singletons, and a couple of well defined win conditions. I'm not sure that this deck is as powerful as other top decks, but looks solid.

Just a couple of things: 4 Urborgs are ok? being legendary could be a problem, and since you don't use wastelands its effect is not as important. And something as night's whisper will be also welcomed probably, without any manipulation you can lose matches after several turns drawing blanks.
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Random Noob
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« Reply #454 on: February 04, 2015, 06:35:22 am »

Urborg is somehow the land you want all the time, and often opponents are going to Waste it, and you will be happy to have another copy. Dark Depths as a 4 of since it comboes also with Parasites sometimes, so playing the many Depths make it a need to drop out Urborgs. I haven't the math laying around, but the 1st Turn Urborg, second Dark Depths into Hexmage %s are increasing pretty much when you play them as quads. The new legandary rule also helps a lot with the Urborg. Still the Manabase is not as solid like the ones players are used from Delver, but as a Ritual Deck you can have therefore explosive starts.

It can compete somehow with most decks, its still an uphill battle, but at least it is pretty budget. Marit Lage is a good win condition, and the deck is build to have a solid plan b.

Manipulation would be great, but as Pyromancer, Mentor, and creature heavy Decks like Humans are pretty common, those card drawing slots had to step aside for Toxic Deluge. I was a long time into Read the Bones which fits the Manacurve and was good in combo digging, but as a meta call I switched to Deluge, but this shift is still not set to stone. Deluge could still find ist space in the sb.
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MaximumCDawg
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« Reply #455 on: May 28, 2015, 11:17:43 am »

So if you havn't checked out the online vintage league that msg67183 is running, I ran this list in the first trimester.  My verdict: the list is trash against tempo-oriented blue decks that will counter your initial threats and then jam you with Delvers or planeswalkers before you can push back.  The lack of 1 cc discard is really, really painful in these matchups.  Mind Twist is too easy to counter because it realistically doesn't come online until turn 2 in most cases, and then you're casting it into Drain mana.  Without the information that Duress effects give you, you're at your blue opponent's mercy.

However, this kind of deck has some legs against slow control decks like Standstill.  If the opponent stumbles for a moment, this deck will resolve a threat, and most of its threats are game-ending.

Also, Horobi should not be a 4-of.  As awesome as it is with parasite, it is absolute garbage against Jace.
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« Reply #456 on: May 28, 2015, 04:33:32 pm »

I have seen there was a project, of the TMD Super League, but didn't notice it actually started yet. Thanks for giving the deck a try. Thoughtseize gives always useful informations. I tried out a set Thoughtseize, Missteps, and Night's Whisper, which made the Deck feel a bit speed up. You often have starts with Ritual, counter back Misstep, Thoughtseize, Night's Whisper. I feel that Mind Twist is some times overextent Mana investment, that ist just blocked by a Spell Pierce or Flusterstorm. I am unsure what the SB configuration should be, but I am giving Virulent Plague a try.

--Manabase--
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Dark Depths
4 Bloodstained Mire
5 Swamp
1 Strip Mine
1 Thespian's Stage
4 Dark Ritual
1 Mox Jet
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
--Critter--
4 Hex Parasite
4 Death's Shadow
4 Vampire Hexmage
3 Horobi, Death's Wail
--Black Goodness--
1 Imperial Seal
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Necropotence
1 Yawgmoth's Will
4 Night's Whsiper
--Control--
4 Mental Misstep
4 Thoughtseize


I am sketching around this SB:

4 Snuff Out
3 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Virulent Plague
3 Sadistic Sacrament
3 Toxic Deluge

The Deluge Maindeck were a try as a meta call, but I guess, you want more manipulation and speed forward, to find the gap where the clock can come through unanswered. The optimal printing would be a black Preordain, and I think Night's Whsiper comes nearest of all the unrestricted black card.

Greetings
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xouman
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« Reply #457 on: May 29, 2015, 02:07:24 am »

Just one stupid side question. Having black source, ritual, misstep, thoughtseize, whisper... isn't better to directly play tgz, and save ritual for T2? hopefully you will have a second land/mana source and you can play something besides whisper. otherwise you are wasting ritual just to draw cards on Turn 1 that you cannot play.
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« Reply #458 on: May 29, 2015, 10:31:52 am »

Maybe you should hold back the Ritual, while Horobi sits in hand, but most of the time you will draw your second land through the Night's Whisper, and with 2 Mana you almost can drop everything.
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TheWhiteDragon
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« Reply #459 on: May 29, 2015, 12:26:53 pm »

In my own testing, I've found hex/Horobi to not be so great.  Yes, he can come down as a one-sided wrath of god vs critter decks, but he can also be bunk.  Vs those same critter decks, I've seen main rods/silence shut down the hex and opposing mother of runes come to town to eat horobi.  Hex is also not too good at activating Depths.

I'm not a death's shadow fan because I've far too many times seen the shadow capped after I've put myself low in life for a big swing (decay anyone?), or just been bolted out in response (bolt/snap/bolt from delver for a bargain 4 mana).  The fact that it doesn't have evasion is the big nail though...the bolt/snap (block with snap)/bolt play is really devastating and gives them a turn to DTT for another bolt, electrolyze, or whatever.  Mentor and pyro tokens chump him all day too, which blows.

Dark Times suffers from a couple issues, in my findings.  I've extensively played variants of DT - from mono black to my GBW list posted somewhere here to my shopsdepths deck (which is still my favorite).

The thing that monoblack suffers the most from is being outclocked and outanswered.  Counterspells can be a problem, so you need ample discard (misstep is okay too). But blue will just outCA you, so you can't really trade discard for counters effectively many times. Speed can be matched with tendrils and sometimes dredge, because you do nothing to disrupt (other than discard).  The speed element for monoblack also comes in the most fragile card - dark ritual.  Misstep, chalice, fluster, spheres...all make ritual a terrible card in my experience.  SOMETIMES you get the turn 1 nuts...often times it gets stopped, dead behind spheres, or an early wad blown in hopes of disrupting/drawing more permanent sources of mana that don't come. It's a +2 mana black lotus, which is great, but just like shops decks have often cut lotus, it comes at the cost of losing permanent advantage.  I run lotus, but don't run ritual.  The speed bump it offers early is often the death of a pilot. A hand with land, ritual, +5 is RARELY as good as a hand with land, land, +5 that can cast all those 5 in subsequent turns.  Lastly, making a Marit only to be repealed, plowed, metamorphed, etc., is a huge frown.  In the case of metamorph, you basically have no way to win short of liliana (if they play NO other creatures).

My latest version has settled on BW.  I cut green, as much as I LOVE decays, to be more redundant in answers/threats.  Being able to run 4-of answers also cut the need for living wish (in my previously-posted BGW version) that grabbed a toolbox from the board (including a singleton stage/depths).  I wanted STRONG maindeck disruption to the biggest archetypes that either trump DT in speed or answers.  This fell to white with two cards:

Spirit of the Labyrinth
Containment priest

Spirit is a fast clock that chumps lodestones, nerfs CA, and stifles cantripy/delve/storm decks.  It does a lot for 2 mana. It makes your discard go the extra mile, because opponents can't ancestral/gush/etc to restock their hand and outcounter your threats.

Containment priest is the same cost, but handles "faster" matchups - dredge, oath.  It also stops the annoying tinker/DSC, snapcaster CA, and eats planeswalkers with its flash.  It also offers protections against Kuldotha grabbing duplicant/metamorph to whack your Marit.  It's better than null rod as far as a "shotgun-approach hoser" imo (though I still run rod and stony in the sb).

White also offers Stony silence, RiP, Balance (optional), and Serenity (LOVE this vs shops), so I felt that one color solved a lot of the problems monoblack faces.  Monoblack's biggest advantage is raw speed...and really it's not faster than some other strategies and doesn't have the engines to consistently assemble the combo on turn 2 always.  There's a reason so many pilots have failed to take down big things with it.

As far as CA, I think dark confidant is a must for DT.  All cards cost 2 or less, so it's virtually a cheaper, attacking, phyrexian arena (that gets around Spirit).  He's a 4-of for me.  He naturally plays into the secondary beatdown plan and will over time outperform whisper.  In a build with Spirits, it's also a no-brainer.

I'm not a fan of the 4x spoils tutor package (as many monoblack builds run) - I hate wiffing and dying to my own spell.  I prefer redundancy.  Instead of 4 hexmage, 4 depths, and a single thespian stage, I run 4 stages.  It just lets you naturally draw a combo more often, plus it is mana, and uncounterable.  Stage is highly underrated.  

The other additions in my deck come in the form of protections.  Plow sucks for Marit, and vs weenie decks, we need to slow the bleed if we draw bad and can't assemble the combo quickly.  So I run spellskites.  Some main, some sb for when they are really good.  I also run aether vials.  They dodge chalice@2 which can hurt a deck heavy on 2cc critters, make critters uncounterable, and are a nice surprise dropping an instant-speed spirit vs ancestral, jace's +0, etc.  I also run pithing needles.  Wasteland is as big a problem for the combo as is a plow, and needle is just crazy versatile.  It helps in the dredge matchup, opening more board space, and hits so many things that can be problematic.  I prefer it to revoker, because stopping moxen is not my goal, but hitting lands (LoA, Karakas, Waste, Strip, Bazaar) certainly is.  Lastly, I run MORE discard than 8, and run hymn to tourach.  That's a severely underrated card. Turn one TGZ, Turn 2 Hymn can completely cripple a player. It's cheaper and better than Mind Twist in some ways.  Twist takes better advantage of colorless stage mana, but more often I have BB on turn 2 and would rather the extra random card than waiting for my third mana on turn 3 for the same effect.

Absences in my list that typically appear in DT is null rod and wasteland.  I find stopping wastes with needle is just better then getting 2-for-1nd by wasting their waste and having them respond by wasting my lands.  Needle just hits so much more too, and I'm not going to be hosing them in mana, so waste really doesn't matter.  Rod is also out, because rather than stop their mana, I prefer to stop their spells, their CA, and their bombs.  Rod can also just whiff and cut me off my own moxen and lotus and spellskite, so it's in the sb for where it's really needed (bomberman, TV).

Here's the list, now that I've explained the choices:

// Lands
    1  Plains
    2  Scrubland
    3  Marsh Flats
    1  Karakas
    4  Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    3  Swamp
    4  Dark Depths
    4  Thespian's Stage

// Creatures
    4  Vampire Hexmage
    4  Dark Confidant
    3 [C14] Containment Priest
    2  Spellskite
    4  Spirit of the Labyrinth

// Spells
    1  Demonic Consultation
    1  Demonic Tutor
    1  Vampiric Tutor
    1  Black Lotus
    1  Mox Pearl
    1  Mox Jet
    2  AEther Vial
    3  Pithing Needle
    2  Duress
    4  Thoughtseize
    4  Hymn to Tourach (2)

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [C14] Containment Priest
SB: 1  Spellskite
SB: 1  Pithing Needle
SB: 2  Damnation
SB: 3  Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 4  Serenity
SB: 2  Null Rod
SB: 1  Stony Silence

The damnations are mainly vs mentor/pyro decks, and the occasional BUG/GW weenie deck.  Liliana/Gatekeeper of Malikir could fit in those slots too.  There is a bit of play in the final numbers, but I've found these counts to be most efficient in testing.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 12:35:10 pm by TheWhiteDragon » Logged

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Greolin
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« Reply #460 on: June 02, 2015, 10:51:16 am »

I've been running black green dark times for years now as my main deck. It's current incarnation looks like this. It just top 4'd a small event (20 or so people) and is pretty solid against most other decks. Sadly it has been years since this could be considered a budget deck

High times
4 verdant catacombs
3 bayou
3 Swamp
1 forest
2 urborg tomb of yawgmoth
2 thespian stage
3 dark depths
3 wasteland
1 strip mine
1 black lotus
1 mox jet
1 mox emerald
1 lotus petal
2 dark ritual

4 vampire hex mage
4 dark confidant
4 deathrite shaman
2 tasigur, the golden fang

4 thoughtseize
2 duress
1 demonic tutor
1 vampire tutor
1 demonic consultation
1 yawgmoth ' s will
2 Abrupt decay
1 pernicious deed
1 toxic deluge
2 liliana of the veil
2 Sylvan library

Sideboard
2 Abrupt decay
2 pernicious deed
2 sadistic sacrament
2 nature's claim
1 toxic deluge
4 extirpate
2 dismember

« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 10:54:27 am by Greolin » Logged
jmilia89
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« Reply #461 on: August 24, 2015, 10:10:15 pm »

Here is my current concoction I have built. So far it has held up surprisingly well in testing but needs some more tweeks. Any thoughts?
3 Hex Parasite
3 Vampire Hexmage
3 Dark Depths
4 Abrupt Decay
4 Dark Confidant
4 Thoughtseize
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
4 Living Wish
4 Bayou
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Life from the Loam
2 Crucible of Worlds
2 Sensei's Divining Top
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Cabal Pit
3 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Sylvan Library
1 Zuran Orb
1 Fastbond
1 Necropotence
1 Duress
2 Liliana of the Veil
SB: 2 Bojuka Bog
SB: 1 Wasteland
SB: 1 Thespian's Stage
SB: 1 Dark Depths
SB: 1 Vampire Hexmage
SB: 1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
SB: 1 Vesuva
SB: 1 Reclamation Sage
SB: 1 Hex Parasite
SB: 1 Toxic Deluge
SB: 4 Mindbreak Trap
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« Reply #462 on: March 16, 2016, 01:19:08 pm »

So here is my approach for meta adaption. I tested a lot with my mate, who made some bad timed 3-1s in the Daily that are not listed. At first I was like running Sad Sac as 3 of, or a toolbox around Petition, but as the Meta looks you are fine with Obeyline. This list is a pain in a blue players eyes, because all of that disadvantages it takes, but it topdecks very good into 1 Turn clocks. Obeyline is traditionally set, and yeah, guess with 20% Storm and Dredge you can do the boogie man role for them.

//Manabase
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Jet
1 Sol Ring
1 Shizo, Death's Storehouse
4 Dark Depths
1 Strip Mine
1 Thespian's Stage
8 Swamp
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Dark Ritual

//Disrupt
4 Leyline of the Void
3 Mind Twist
3 Mental Misstep
2 Thoughtseize

//Tutors
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Imperial Seal

//Critter
4 Death's Shadow
4 Hex Parasite
4 Vampire Hexmage

//Silverbullets
1 Helm of Obedience
1 Horobi, Death's Wail
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Necropotence

//Sideboard
4 Snuff Out
2 Illness in the Ranks
2 Pithing Needle
3 Sadistic Sacrament
1 Horobi, Death's Wail
2 Toxic Deluge
1 Diabolic Edict // To the Slaughter // Aether Snap


Boarding Plans are most times minus Obeyline which brings you decent options from the SB. Declaring those 5 Obeyline Slots Maindeck, opens the SBspace for specific cards, like Illness in the Ranks.

You are not into slow and grindy games, you want to find your time windows with this deck. Its really thrilling, and most of the games you are in a tough spot, but even blue doesn't have all the answers in a small time window.

If you are on paper and want to play budget, you can ship Mox for a Swamp and Lotus for Lake of the Dead(?).

Have fun!

Edit: a recent 3-1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLeLVMqABNo unfortunate game agaist Delver, but the Deck performed fine.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 08:39:24 am by Random Noob » Logged
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