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Author Topic: Vintage Affinity  (Read 23421 times)
voltron00x
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« on: August 18, 2013, 08:49:06 pm »

Before I start, I don't claim to be an expert on this deck, but I find it extremely interesting.  For history's sake, you may want to take a look at this:
http://morphling.de/search.php?type=3&app=10&sorting=DESC&search=genesis+chamber&sent=1

Genesis Chamber Workshop aggro goes all the way back to 2004, and has reappeared intermittently since then, with a single top 8 in 2012, and three top 8s in 2011 (all four being in Europe) before a top 8 at the NYSE event in 2013, with two top 8s immediately after and now another at an 80-player tournament at GenCon this weekend.  I'm hoping we'll see that list, to see if it is any different, but here's what the deck has looked like:

Maindeck (60):
Spells (47):
4 Arcbound Ravager
3 Frogmite
4 Genesis Chamber
4 Lodestone Golem
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
4 Memnite
1 Memory Jar
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Signal Pest
4 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
2 Steel Overseer
4 Tangle Wire
1 Thorn of Amethyst

Lands (13):
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Gaea's Cradle
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Wasteland


Sideboard (15):
2 Dismember
4 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
2 Thorn of Amethyst
2 Tormod's Crypt
3 Witchbane Orb

If you compare this to the 2012 list, you'll see that one was super aggressive and more like a Modern list, with Cranial Plating and a set of Steel Overseer and Contested Warzone.  That list was designed to win through swinging first and foremost, and in fact didn't even play four Skullclamp. 

This newer build is a bit more of a combo deck, but only partially committed to it, and partially in the more traditional Workshop world with Tangle Wire, a Wasteland, a Strip mine, and a partial commitment to Thorn of Amethyst. 

One thing that struck me is the low Mox Opal count, and two Gaea's Cradle.  Given the new Legend rule, both are better than ever, with Opal allowing you to splash powerful cards pretty easily.  For example, 3 Mox Opal, with a Black Lotus, and on-color mox, already gets you to 5 of each color, with 6 sources of blue (Tolarian) and 7 sources of green (2 Gaea's Cradle).  Green actually becomes the easiest as Cradle works so well with the deck anyway.

Testing and gold-fishing the deck made me want to go one of two ways. 

If you're going to keep Tangle Wire in the deck, my suggestion is to commit to that strategy a bit more.  Add another Cradle (they're insane) and 1-2 more Mox Opal, and consider playing a couple of Karn, Silver Golem (helps with your light mana denial strategy and also gets rid of Chalice of the Void from opposing Workshop decks, which is a pain in the butt, in addition to animating Wires and Genesis Chambers).  Alternately, play some number of Cranial Plating over Steel Overseer.

Alternately, you can dump the mana denial strategy altogether and amp up the combo aspect by layering another set of combos on top.  I played something like this today, and while my results (3-3, 6-6) weren't outstanding, I didn't play well in a couple of games and had some rough luck in others.  I think the deck is better than the results I put up based on testing... and it sure is a ton of fun to play.

4 Arcbound Ravager
3 Frogmite
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Memnite
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Signal Pest
4 Skullclamp
4 Genesis Chamber
2 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Sundering Titan
1 Tinker
1 Memory Jar
1 Time Walk
1 Mana Crypt
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
3 Mox Opal
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Ancient Tomb
3 Gaea's Cradle
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Tolarian Academy

Sideboard (15):
2 Dismember
3 Nature's Claim
4 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Tormod's Crypt
4 Witchbane Orb

4 Witchbane Orb may be too many, as despite it being very good, no one seems to be playing Burning Oath in any real numbers.  Obviously it is still excellent as it stops Hurks, Tendrils, Oath of Druids, etc.  Nature's Claim and Dismember were very good.  For fun, here's a list of cards I think could be sweet as cards to cast or fetch out with Forgemaster/Tinker:

Overrun
Overwhelming Stampede
Biorythm
Crop Rotation
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Ancestral Recall

Anyway, I'm not sure where this deck should even go.  It isn't a "Workshop-Based Prison" deck but I guess this is the best home.

If you're not familiar with how the deck works, in a nutshell it gets absurdly fast starts using fast mana, Workshops, and Gaea's Cradle, and then either wins through keeping the opponent off-guard and attacking (with Lodestone/Tangle Wire/Strip/Waste buying the couple turns you need) or by comboing out with Skullclamp and the tokens made by Genesis Chamber.  I like adding the additional combo aspect of Kuldotha Forgemaster, as it finds Memory Jar, Skullclamp, Blightsteel Colossus, or Sundering Titan.  Your mileage may vary depending on what's popular in your metagame.

So who's been playing with or experimenting with this deck?


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bactgudz
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 11:49:42 pm »

First some additional history:
This deck has received a great deal of influence from mtgo's Classic format.  Affinity Robots has been a top deck in Classic since 2011.

The list I played at gencon was the exact 75 I played at NYSE.  I split the finals of the 80+ man on Friday (2nd in swiss,6-1-0) and Top8'd the 48 man on Saturday (first in swiss,5-0-1).  The main variations I have tried in local events have tested the following cards in the main deck: Lotus, Karn, Silver Golem, City of Traitors, Thorn of Amethyst, Spine of Ish Sah...at least the way i play the deck, all of these have turned out to be suboptimal for the distribution of matchups currently faced larger events.

On Lotus:
I've tried lotus in place of both opal and Mana Vault, and asked myself every single time I cast these two if I'd rather have lotus.   I have very rarely wanted lotus over Mana Vault.  The 3 mana boost over 2 mana has not been that relevant and having the extra permanent for Ravager has been much more important.  Additionally, it mitigates the vulnerability of the mana base to Chalice on 0 and can bait out a Misstep.  For Opal, the count is much closer, but still swings in opal's favor due to it's permanence.

On City of Traitors:
I've tried these instead of the Waste and Strip and again ask myself this question each time I play the cards; the count is still in favor of having the extra little bit of disruption.

On Thorn:
The toughest matchup for me has tended to be dedicated Vault-Key decks, and these are in higher concentration locally than I have faced at the larger events of NYSE and Gencon...so locally i tend to play some number of Thorns in the main replacing Frogmites and/or Opal depending on the event.

on more Cradles and Opals:
I have yet to test this, it is important to note that NYSE was before the rule change.  With the current direction of the deck, I'm not convinced it makes that big of a difference...if you want to go bigger or spash colored cards, then sure I could see it.

On Karn, Silver Golem and Spine of Ish Sah:
The mana base can definitely support these cards, but in testing they just don't do what I want.  Karn gives you both aggression and minor disruption, but it takes a full turn of mana or comes out too late for my liking.  Additionally it makes your opponents removal and counters tempo positive; and when you are going off with chamber/clamp you want efficiency to build up the ravager/pest kill and are typically wanting to operate on 1-2 net mana per clamp activation.  Similarly, while Spine can handle problematic cards like null rod and chalice, I've found it easier to just play through them.  Testing in Classic (where Memory Jar is unrestricted) has taught us that the bar for 5+ mana is Jar (lists usually play 1 and never more than 2)...and Karn is no Memory Jar.

On the philosophy of the deck:
At first glance, this might look like durdle.dek...even in action with it's opening plays of say Pest, Memnite, Memnite go.   How can that possibly win in a format where decks can combo kill you turn 1-2?  The mantra I live by when playing this deck is that a win is a win and a loss is a loss; it doesn't matter if it happens on the matchup slip, on the die roll, on the mull, on turn 2, turn 4, or turn 8.  So let's examine each of these:

With the meta as it is right now, the majority of decks are trying to kill you through the red zone.  They are tempo based with a lot of counters that are orthogonal or tempo negative to your threats and removal that is tempo negative when targeting 0 and 1 casting cost dudes; and you have more dudes, and bigger dudes (with ravager and overseer), and dudes they can't block (pest, overloaded attack with a ravager); you have a better draw engine; and your tempo plays of Wire, strips, and Lodestone are rarely orthogonal to anyone's threats.  This deck getting 2 for 1'd with grudge or snap+sabotage is not as big a deal as some deckbuilders would hope since they typically traded 3 mana for your 2-4 and 1 card for your 2 when you have the far superior draw engine and mana production.  So on the matchup slip side of things, I feel the deck is pretty well positioned right now.

I've found that the die roll is more important than usual with this deck, but with the new play/draw rule we can try to control this a bit.  I actually played out the last round of the 48 man gencon event against Jordi for the top seed for this reason when there was a slight chance I wouldn't make the cut on a loss and a draw would likely put me at 6th or 7th.

On mulling: This is a fairly consistent deck, it has 8 4-ofs and a lot of cards that do similar things...I try to get hands that can do at least one of the following: (a) get clamp online (b) threaten at least 4 damage turn 2 (c) threaten at least 2 damage turn 2 with some disruption.   Again, these don't sound like strong plays in Vintage, and I hope people keep thinking that way Wink.

On the clock: Unlike most shops decks, you aren't trying to lock your opponent out of the game, you are simply putting up speed bumps with your wires, lodestones and revokers to get that damage in.  Think about why lodestone is so good, it is because it is disruption that assuredly contributes to your clock; that is what the deck is designed to do, make it certain that any speed bump you put in the way is directly translating into damage...not just sitting there on board hoping to build up more of a lock.  Additionally, you want your opponent to feel pressure from multiple cheap permanents in play and on the stack and have to make tough decisions about which ones to deal with...and you want the ways they deal with them to be tempo negative, this is one of the reasons that witchbane orb is such a strong sideboard card; hurkyl's sets your whole board back at least a full turn, which doesn't matter so much if you are playing against a tempo deck, but against a vault-key, burning long, doomsday, or oath deck this is what you need to avoid.
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 10:28:11 am »

If I wanted to make the deck more comboish I would play arcbound crusher or desciple of the vault, but desciple can make the mana tough since he isnt blue or green.  Crusher is pretty beastly for building up counters though. He also gets +1/+1 off your opponent's artifacts, which can counteract the disadvantage of chamber giving you opponent dudes against creature decks.  He also tramples.
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voltron00x
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 06:54:06 pm »

Good posts.


bactgudz:
Regarding Karn, it strikes me that he gets better with more Cradles as your ability to jam out more mana increases dramatically. 

I'm not sold on 1-2 Thorns or Steel Overseer, just seems like Cranial Plating may be better than either of those cards, or if Thorn is what's right, probably just play more of those. 

Then again, you keep doing very well with your list, so what do I know.

Witchbane Orb is excellent, I definitely would advocate playing four in the sideboard.

People not really knowing what the deck does definitely helps.  It was really obvious when I played Sunday who knew what my deck was doing, and who had absolutely no clue.  It's a shame there isn't a better way to jam more white mana as Stoneforge Mystic would be sweet with a Plating and SoFI (plus Skullclamp obviously).
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voltron00x
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2013, 07:00:20 pm »

This deck is really sweet by the way.  I don't think it is a gimmick or a joke.  An aggro/combo deck that has a good Workshop match-up is a pretty good spot to be in.  The only thing I'd worry about - locally to me - is that because Shops had been quiet, folks had slacked a bit with their Workshop hate, and thus we had a Mishra surprise party last Sunday.  While the deck can withstand some hate, when you're staring down, oh, 3 Ingot Chewers and an Ancient Grudge by turn three, life can still be pretty miserable.
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 11:16:52 am »

This is a good deck but it just seems weaker against opposing aggro decks than traditional shop decks would be.

I don't know if the trade-off is worth it.

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voltron00x
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 12:27:27 pm »

When you say "opposing aggro decks" what are you referring to?
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 04:01:49 pm »

I topped 4 last month with a similar Robot deck at our yearly Sanctioned Australian Masters (35 players). decks and videos here

The main thing I wanted to discuss is that I sided out the 4 Genesis Chamber all day.

Genesis Chambers don’t do anything in their own and I think they are not really terrible against any matchup. Also, I never really got that Clamp/Chamber draw engine chaining crazy draws. Note that I only ever played 8 rounds with the deck (and no playtesting whatsoever) so this may not be representative. I played against:
  - UnPow Red Deck 2/1
  - UnPow GW bears 2/1
  - Dredge 0/2
  - Oath 1/2
  - Grixis 2/0
  - Human 2/0
  - Grixis 2/0
  - Oath (same than round 4) 0/2

Chamber is symmetrical and it was certainly not broken against any of the creature decks (they are many creatures around nowadays) and game 2, I always sided them out to make room for the sideboard cards. For example against Grixis, in order to work better around their artefact hates, Chambers were cut for Wurmcoil Engine & Thorn of Amethyst.

My immediate thought after the tournament was that I should have played 4 Grafdigger’s Cage main deck instead of the 4 Genesis Chamber. Knowing that I only lost badly against Oath and Dredge this may sound obvious. Even now, it still think playing 4 Cages main deck may be a great option, adding some more disruption against cheap combo (Oath, Tinker, Yawg Will, Snappy), randomly slowing Dredge game 1, and worst case, it always makes cheap Ravager food. Also, playing with 4 Cages in the main would open 4 slots in the sideboard and that’s where it becomes very interesting!

The other good thing with cutting 4 Genesis Chambers is that you can now decide to cut 1 Gaea’s Cradle, save $150 and fit in a 2nd Wasteland instead. Strip effects were great all day. I was always happy to see them.

Other than that, I decided to run Cranial Plating over the 2 Steel Overseer. I wanted cards that do things immediately. I think Plating worked alright (remember I sided out the 4 Chamber all day, so Steel Overseer would have probably been less impressive anyway).

Frogmites were immediately cut out from my list since the beginning because I thought they were more suited to a pure combo/Disciple of the Vault type deck (I couldn’t name my deck “Affinity” anymore!). Also, the Frogmites don’t do much on their own, they hard to clamp away, so I decided to sleeve 2 Batterskull and 2 Phyrexian Metamorph instead.

It was a sanctioned tournament so I wanted to have a good answer to creature decks. Batterskull was broken all day.
Metamorph flexibility is just too good not to be played in a Workshop deck. Copying Tangle Wires, Revokers is always tech and being able to clone your creature or opposing creatures is often strong (read Battlesphere, Griselbrand….)

Before the tournament, I was working on a pure Affinity/Disciple deck. At the last minute I decided to drop the idea mainly because I didn’t want to scoop to Chalice of the Void & Stony Silence/Null Rod.

That Robot deck was not auto-scooping to the above cards and it was offering a good aggro/combo/prison mix so I liked the idea very much. Also, being able to play 4 Workshop along with a decent draw engine was definitely the icing on the cake.

Witchbane Orb was great all day. Against Oath, 3 extra Spawning Pit in the sideboard will definitely solve the matchup.

Last, I have to admit that playing & attacking with creatures was very alien to me and I misplayed terribly. I struggled all day with the good old “damage of the stack”, I never pumped up my Ravagers incrementally (I was only waiting for the very last all-in attack). More frustrating, I never named the correct card with any Revoker. I think that a little bit more play testing & reading can fix that easily.

I'll play the deck again.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 04:06:28 pm by tribet » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2013, 07:21:45 pm »

I thought they got rid of damage on the stack?  you can still respond to the blocking assignments I think, but you can't do the damage and then sac to ravager.
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 07:40:30 pm »

I think Genesis Chamber is solid in the deck though in some match-ups it does have to come out.  When I looked at the list at first, I was like, "No way is that card a real thing." Then I played against it in a tournament and my opponent had one of those "Shop, Mox, Chamber, Memnite, (token), Signal Pest, (token), Frogmite (token), Skullclamp, pass" hands.  The synergy with Ravager, Skullclamp, Signal Pest, Tolarian/Gaea's Cradle, and if you choose to play them, Tangle Wire / Cranial Plating / Forgemaster, is part of what makes the deck so sweet.  I actually hated the hands that didn't have Chamber or Skullclamp, which was part of my issue with the deck in testing and the tournament.  It seemed like people who were familiar with the deck just countered those and then 1-for-1'd me or executed their gameplan before I could win.
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 03:19:22 am »

I thought they got rid of damage on the stack?  you can still respond to the blocking assignments I think, but you can't do the damage and then sac to ravager.
Just being silly. I just meant other than Griselbrand, Emrakul and BSC I'm not really used to go through each attack step, the blocking, timing things properly, the pumping, the damages etc... I don't play enough MTG and never really played draft, standard, etc so I'm definitely struggling with this part of MTG rules. My brain still have old reflexes like "Damage on the Stack". The Ravager sacking and modularity abilities can be tricky and I certainly didn't master this.
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 03:03:35 pm »

I've been playing this deck for a few months casually and have been playing it in tournaments for a few weeks.  Nobody is packing specific hate against it, but I have been able to play around removal spells when trying to build a big ravager.  I tried going on the offensive a little more and played 4 vault skirges. Vault skirge seems to be key in the deck personally because it actually is very well suited in the format. It can't be mistepped because it has a converted mana cost of 2, it has evasion in flying, which is important when building up a big beater with ravager, and it has lifelink which makes racing very easy. Vault skirge having flying also gives the deck a better way to fight grislebrand. I don't know it is more correct to suit up the vault skirge to make it an 8/8 and risk a removal spell, but in racing situations I am able to simply block with the skirge and sac before damage to prevent the life-gain.  I would need someone with more experience in the format to make the decision.

I won my last local tournament with the deck, and before that went 4-0 into top four and lost. There doesn't seem to be any combo decks in my local meta, unless oath is considered combo, so I haven't yet had to deal with just losing on the spot.

I've made some small changes, but because I haven't been playing the deck against a more varied field, I probably ended up making cuts that I should not have made.  I was playing around with the idea of playing some basic islands and splashing master of etherium, but I'm not sure if I have enough sources. The singleton mox opal is because it is part of my 15 cards proxied, but also because chalice on zero has been a killing, so I don't know how much better it would make the deck.

Maindeck:
4 Arcbound Ravager
1 Sol Ring
1 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
1 Mana Crypt
4 Skullclamp
4 Genesis Chamber
4 Memnite
4 Mishra's Workshop
3 Steel Overseer
4 Signal Pest
4 Vault Skirge
3 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Frogmite
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Gaea's Cradle
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Opal
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Lodestone Golem

Sideboard:
4 Witchbane Orb
4 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Tangle Wire
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sphere of Resistance

My sideboard right now is just me trying to figure out what I want to do with the deck. I am playing around with contagion clasp for a few reasons. I can cast it off workshop, I can proliferate the +1/+1 counters from both ravager and overseer, its an artifact that I can theoretically tap to tangle wire, and if I have the spare mana, I can just keep tangle wire going.

edit:  was stupid and trying to go from memory, updated to real list.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 03:50:41 pm by Master Neo » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 03:45:09 pm »

You have 2 times 4 Genesis Chamber, what's the card it's supposed to be?

Also, no Sol Ring? It seems it would be better than a mox in your deck.

Did you try Cranial Plating?
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 03:56:33 pm »

I fixed the list above. I am not sure if I like cranial plating because I will probably lack the BB to move it at insant speed, and it also negatively interacts with arcbound ravager.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 11:05:38 am »

I wouldn't think of Plating as interacting with Ravager, I'd think of it as a complement: Plating beefs up your creatures for a very modest cost, without requiring you to sacrifice your board. Its ability to let you swing big without making a massive commitment was very valuable when I tested the deck.
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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2014, 07:59:07 pm »

I finished 1st (in the 5 rounds Swiss) last week-end with "Robots" deck. It was a Sanctioned event with 17 players and I collapsed badly in T8.

My list evolved from the original Genesis Chamber shell (see my post above from last August). You may find my latest thoughts on the archetype and its possible evolution in that tournament report.
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 01:33:14 pm »

One thing I feel is missing that makes the Modern Affinity lists strong is Manlands - they synergize really well with Ravager (in both directions - sacking them to ravager when you no longer need the mana, or putting ravager's counters on them if they try to kill it.) and work well with your overall game plan of "Dump all the cards in my hand ASAP and crush them through combat"  And we have access to a really strong artifact-manland that modern doesn't in the form of Mishra's Factory.  I definitely think Blinkmoth and Factory could be worthwhile instead of some of your other lands - you don't need THAT much mana to get going in most of these lists.

Also, I feel that Cranial Plating is a generally much faster threat than Steel Overseer - Overseer is the slowest of the three cards that "make my pile of 1/1 dorks into threats" (arcbound ravager, cranial plating, and steel overseer.)  Cranial plating adds its power to the board the same turn as when you cast it, and scales off both your artifact creatures AND your mana-artifacts.  Overseer doesn't have an impact until the turn after you play him, and the power increase only scales off your artifact creatures.  It's still good, but the cranial plating clock is much faster - turn 2 cranial plating can easily you can swing for 8+ on turn 2, threatening a turn 3 kill.
This kind of explosive draw doesn't even require specific hands - any hand that can cast a T1 lodestone (which means it has minimum 1 of your 7 mana artifacts) and also has a cranial plating will be swinging for 8 or more on turn 2.  With a lodestone in play.  Cranial is also best friends with Tangle wire, while Overseer isn't.

I'm not saying to cut overseers entirely, but Cranial plating imo is an automatic 4 of.  Cut a frogmite and some noncreatures.


Modern Affinity doesn't really care about the BB instant-speed too much either - it's nice when it happens and opens up some cute plays (mostly involving creature vs creature matchups), but it's hardly core to its function.  Its main function is that it provides an extremely fast clock.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 01:53:14 pm by sylverfyre » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 03:18:29 pm »

Also, I feel that Cranial Plating is a generally much faster threat than Steel Overseer - Overseer is the slowest of the three cards that "make my pile of 1/1 dorks into threats" (arcbound ravager, cranial plating, and steel overseer.)  Cranial plating adds its power to the board the same turn as when you cast it, and scales off both your artifact creatures AND your mana-artifacts.  Overseer doesn't have an impact until the turn after you play him, and the power increase only scales off your artifact creatures.  It's still good, but the cranial plating clock is much faster - turn 2 cranial plating can easily you can swing for 8+ on turn 2, threatening a turn 3 kill.

I think this depends..  I ran Vintage robots in Vintage for a few months awhile ago, and I was able to do perfectly well in my semi-powered meta with only Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors, no Factories.  I also looked at Plating, Ravager, and Overseer as the potential "GG" drops. 

Of the three, I think Plating is the best.  This deck dumps two to three creatures out very quickly, and supporting artifacts.  A plating on turns 2 or later usually gets equipped to a creature who can swing with it immediately, making it very good.  If your dorks are going to connect, this is awesome.  I liked it particularly because I also ran Ornithopters / Pests, instead of Vault Skirge, so you could really get going FAST this way.

Ravager is probably next.  He can't swing right away, but he starts building value against removal immediately and then he can be huge the following turn. 

Overseer is slowest.  He does nothing the turn he comes into play.  Now, once he gets going, he's going to end up doing more damage than Plating or Ravager because he starts turning each artifact into a point of damage every turn.  But, we're talking turn 4 or 5 when this starts happening. 

Based on the fact that this deck wants to win quickly with damage, I would go with Ravanger and Plating over the overseer, and run only one or two of him to add to your bomb count.  Or, if you don't have four Ravagers like me, run Overseer to make up the difference Smile
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bactgudz
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 04:02:05 pm »

Plating isn't bad, and overseer comes out in a lot of matchups.  From my experience though, they are both about as good as each other when they get active in a matchup, the conditions for them to be active are similar, and for the most part they are vulnerable to all the same removal.  So it comes down to which is better when you don't have the ability to take full advantage of them.
I've stuck with overseer over plating because:
1) you can't clamp plating
2) you don't get chamber dudes from plating
3) plating on an empty board is useless
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sylverfyre
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 04:51:23 pm »

Plating isn't bad, and overseer comes out in a lot of matchups.  From my experience though, they are both about as good as each other when they get active in a matchup, the conditions for them to be active are similar, and for the most part they are vulnerable to all the same removal.  So it comes down to which is better when you don't have the ability to take full advantage of them.
I've stuck with overseer over plating because:
1) you can't clamp plating
2) you don't get chamber dudes from plating
3) plating on an empty board is useless


1: True.  But we already have like 25+ creatures (the list im looking at has 30 not even counting blinkmoths/factories)
2: I'm unsold on genesis chamber tbh.  Modern lists don't run it and they are completely based on flooding the board with artifact creatures.  It doesn't seem to be great because it will often come down AFTER you've dropped half of your hand on turn 1.  On the other hand, modern lists might also not be running it because opposing creature decks benefit so heavily from it too, and that may be less of a concern here.
3: If you have an empty board playing this deck, you're probably about to scoop.  These lists are running 25+ creatures and skullclamp, after all.  Losing so many creatures is... not good.

Finally, I don't see how this deck doesn't just scoop to a null rod...  It turns off all 3 bombs and most of your mana.  Halp.

On colored mana:
I really am getting the feeling that we need to bring in colored mana here - either 1 color or 5c (glimmervoid/brass are the most likely)We have some glaring weaknesses, like Stony Silence/Null Rod, which can really only be answered with colored mana.  However, we'd need to adjust the manabase to have at least 12 sources of whatever color we're looking at, and that's... hard.

Colors I'm looking at mostly include Green (krosan grip or claim) or Blue (Power cards, Thoughtcast, and Spell Pierce/other counters)

Time walk seems particularly brutal in a deck like this which dumps creatures very fast then wins through the red zone.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 06:37:52 pm by sylverfyre » Logged
bactgudz
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 06:34:04 pm »

Plating isn't bad, and overseer comes out in a lot of matchups.  From my experience though, they are both about as good as each other when they get active in a matchup, the conditions for them to be active are similar, and for the most part they are vulnerable to all the same removal.  So it comes down to which is better when you don't have the ability to take full advantage of them.
I've stuck with overseer over plating because:
1) you can't clamp plating
2) you don't get chamber dudes from plating
3) plating on an empty board is useless


1: True.  But we already have like 25+ creatures (the list im looking at has 30 not even counting blinkmoths/factories)
2: I'm unsold on genesis chamber tbh.  Modern lists don't run it and they are completely based on flooding the board with artifact creatures.  It doesn't seem to be great because it will often come down AFTER you've dropped half of your hand on turn 1.  On the other hand, modern lists might also not be running it because opposing creature decks benefit so heavily from it too, and that may be less of a concern here.
3: If you have an empty board playing this deck, you're probably about to scoop.  These lists are running 25+ creatures and skullclamp, after all.  Losing so many creatures is... not good.

Finally, I don't see how this deck doesn't just scoop to a null rod...  It turns off all 3 bombs and most of your mana.  Halp.

Modern lists can't run skullclamp so genesis chamber is a lot weaker.  Chamber is what lets you clamp through your deck so consistently; without it you will likely only get a handful of activations in a chain.  Again, copies come out sometimes and builds can cut it down, but it's key to recognize that it pushes the deck in a different direction.  The direction that you seem to be going, adding man-lands, is consistent with this.  That type of build is likely more stable as an aggressive deck but less explosive when combo-ing since you have less chambers and earlier consumption of the land drop which is valuable to save in a clamp chain.

Never underestimate this deck's ability with a single 1/1 on the board, a topdecked skullclamp can be game; similarly top-decking a 1/1 with only a clamp on board is huge.  Here is a video of me beating active Jace+summoning sick devouted witness+top+key in a match when my board is only memnite+mana, no relevant cards in hand, topdecked clamp:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJkEPDRYR0U
@23:15

The density of creatures and strength of clamping so many 1/1's gives a strong line to the deck.  Again, plating isn't bad, but imho it's about as powerful as overseer and not as conducive to the flow of the deck when emphasizing chamber-clamp.  I'm not saying it can't go in different directions, but being able to clamp your bomb is pretty huge.  Plating can be better than overseer the turn it is cast if you have a signal pest on board or against something like toxic deluge, but every turn after that it is generally worse.  From my experience the times overseer's body mattered far outnumbered the times this was relevant.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 06:41:19 pm by bactgudz » Logged
sylverfyre
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 06:35:50 pm »

I guess that's me not really understanding how good the chamber-clamp combo is, then.  I stand corrected.
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sylverfyre
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2014, 02:53:57 pm »

Never underestimate this deck's ability with a single 1/1 on the board, a topdecked skullclamp can be game; similarly top-decking a 1/1 with only a clamp on board is huge.  Here is a video of me beating active Jace+summoning sick devouted witness+top+key in a match when my board is only memnite+mana, no relevant cards in hand, topdecked clamp:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJkEPDRYR0U
@23:15

Wow, just watched that match and I'm really impressed and extremely excited to play the deck now.

However, I feel like there's one thing I'm worried about that isn't addressed: What do you do about Mental Misstep?  Seems like EVERYONE has them now, and it seems like they can easily save them for your Skullclamps to slow you down heavily.  In your experience, when faced with losing your clamp, what's your goal - do you revert to playing it like a more straightforward aggro deck with some tax/disruption effects mixed in?

The normally "obvious answer" of bringing in your own misstep has the severe problem of diluting your creature base which greatly reduces the power of both Clamp and Chamber.

Also, what do you do against Null Rod?
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bactgudz
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2014, 06:42:13 pm »

Never underestimate this deck's ability with a single 1/1 on the board, a topdecked skullclamp can be game; similarly top-decking a 1/1 with only a clamp on board is huge.  Here is a video of me beating active Jace+summoning sick devouted witness+top+key in a match when my board is only memnite+mana, no relevant cards in hand, topdecked clamp:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJkEPDRYR0U
@23:15

Wow, just watched that match and I'm really impressed and extremely excited to play the deck now.

However, I feel like there's one thing I'm worried about that isn't addressed: What do you do about Mental Misstep?  Seems like EVERYONE has them now, and it seems like they can easily save them for your Skullclamps to slow you down heavily.  In your experience, when faced with losing your clamp, what's your goal - do you revert to playing it like a more straightforward aggro deck with some tax/disruption effects mixed in?

The normally "obvious answer" of bringing in your own misstep has the severe problem of diluting your creature base which greatly reduces the power of both Clamp and Chamber.

Also, what do you do against Null Rod?

At a very high level, there are three broad directions that the deck can go in:
1) Aggro control: lodestone, tangle wire, and revoker are your key pieces here.  A few quick threats chip away over a handful of turns with your disruption impeding the opponent's tempo.
2) Aggro swarm: signal pest, ravager, chamber are the key pieces here.  Swarm the board to put a 1-2 turn clock on the opponent
3) Combo: skullclamp, chamber, mana: draw enough of of your deck to establish a 0-1 turn clock with enough disruption to get to the next turn.

You look for an opening hand that gives you a solid initial line, I mulligan pretty aggressively, but don't be afraid to switch at a moments notice; it is dangerous to close your mind, there is a lot of synergy so switching gears comes naturally a lot of times.

On misstep: if they counter your clamp or pest, you may simply have to change lines.  The 2 life or mana they pay is not insignificant.  One of the strengths of the deck is that you have so many cheap quick threats that any tempo loss for the opponent almost always translates directly to damage.  It's not like a typical shops deck that tries to lock an opponent out and then find a way to win...it wants to put the way to win on board and keep the opponent off sufficient answers for long enough to win. Complimenting this, almost all of the answers to your threats are tempo negative to the opponent (their 2+ mana sources being used to take down a threat that likely didn't even consume one of yours); the exception in misstep is mitigated in part by the life loss.  You should also always be wary of misstep and try to bait it appropriately if you have the opportunity...but it's not back-breaking.

On null rod: It's definitely annoying, eliminates line 3) and impedes the ravager component of line 2).  The most annoying thing is the damage it does to your mana base, especially since it is usually accompanied by wasteland.  You should be patient if you see or suspect rod, rod decks won't kill you quickly.  I've even held back land drops to make sure i'm not shut out by rod+waste and can capitalize on each mana I generate. All in all, I haven't had as much trouble with it as one would expect to be honest.  This is because, the decks that play null rod are generally trying to win through the red zone and even with a null rod out you can typically amass a large board presence and overwhelm them.  If a deck like doomsday dropped null rod on you, you have no chance...but that just doesn't happen.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 06:51:04 pm by bactgudz » Logged
MaximumCDawg
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2014, 01:15:34 am »

Never underestimate this deck's ability with a single 1/1 on the board, a topdecked skullclamp can be game; similarly top-decking a 1/1 with only a clamp on board is huge.  Here is a video of me beating active Jace+summoning sick devouted witness+top+key in a match when my board is only memnite+mana, no relevant cards in hand, topdecked clamp:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJkEPDRYR0U
@23:15

These boys sure do like to shuffle their decks.
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sylverfyre
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« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2014, 01:29:04 am »

Hunted down your list, the only thing I'm gonna change for now is swapping Frogmites for Vault Skirges.
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bactgudz
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« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2014, 10:38:01 am »

Hunted down your list, the only thing I'm gonna change for now is swapping Frogmites for Vault Skirges.
Seems reasonable, I never test skirge. Let me know how it goes.
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sylverfyre
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« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2014, 03:55:29 pm »

Just goldfishing so far but skirge seems nice for being more easily clamped, and the flying is nice for overloaded ravager attacks.

Edit: Have tested in some matchups with my friend against Oath and Storm decks, and the Vault Skirge is performing quite nicely.  While I can see the frogmite being cool for very often being a 0-drop, having 2 toughness can be REALLY OBNOXIOUS when you don't have a second clamp or an arcbound ravager and you need to generate more cards.  Also, the flying and lifelink both seem extremely relevant in the current metagame I'm facing which has a notable number of creature decks which could pose annoying blockers such as Junk Hatebears, Merfolk, and Trinket Mages - You don't even need to test to see how flying lifelink is meaningful in matchups like that.

It's also been extremely relevant in one game that I had the Oath deck at under 7 life with griselbrand out, and had a ravager and a vault skirge + other dudes.  He couldn't attack with griselbrand for lifelinking damage without me block-sacrificing and swinging back for lethal, and he couldn't block for lifelinking damage for the same reason.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 03:55:23 pm by sylverfyre » Logged
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