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Author Topic: A Workshop line of play from TDG 10/19/13 Vintage tournament.  (Read 10361 times)
jyuj
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« on: October 21, 2013, 05:47:37 pm »

What do you think is the correct line of play for this situation?

You are playing a Workshop mirror match. You lost the die roll and both of you keep on 7. You have,

2 Workshops, 2 Sphere Of Resistance, 1 Tangle Wire, 1 Ancient Tomb, 1 Mox.

You are not 100% sure what your opponent is on, but you keep this hand thinking it can stall till you find a threat and it has two shops! *_*  


Turn 1- Your opponent opens, Workshop, Crucible of Worlds. You draw Thorn Of Amethyst and open, Mox, Ancient Tomb, Sphere of resistance.
Turn 2- They play a moxen and pass. You draw Tangle Wire and play Workshop, Tangle Wire
Turn 3- They are tapped down and play no land. You tap down, Mox, SoR, Wire. You draw City Of Traitors and play, Sphere of resistance, Workshop, Thorn Of Amethyst  
Turn 4- They are tapped down again, and play no land. You tap down, 2 SoR and draw Ancient Tomb.  

You have 3 cards in your hand, City Of Traitors, Ancient Tomb, Tangle wire. (Kinda bad draws, not hitting a threat) Your opponent has not played anything since his open so he has a hand full of 7 cards. Do you play the Tangle Wire to make sure your opponent is tapped down again? Or try to squeeze out more value from the Tangle Wire. Remember you have down 2 SoR and a Thorn. They could go, Mox, Tomb, Mox and be at 6 perms.   
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 02:32:27 pm by jyuj » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 06:38:14 pm »

As someone who has only ever played AGAINST Shops, I think I would play the Tangle Wire. It seems like the play that will allow you the largest amount of un-threatened time to try to draw your own threat.

Obviously, take my opinion with a grain of salt. I suspect the opinion of a Shops player would be more valuable to you, but perhaps mine will fuel some discussion.
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 08:03:46 pm »

This is a judgment call. It comes down heavily to the read you have on your opponent. Clearly, they don't have a land in hand but also have a high propensity to draw it as they have 1/10 lands leaving likely 17/50 in the deck. They kept the hand, so it must have had something worthy to it. My logic would be that their action leads us to think it was something like Spheres and Threats. Spheres are in our favor as long as they don't come with a 5/3 body. Therefore, the only lands we really need to fear is a Workshop jumping them to 6 (4+2) and Lodestone Golem, which drops the threat level to 3/50. They were on the play, so they have a low likelihood of holding multiple moxes to build with as well. If that is the case, we clearly want to pass the turn, as they can't add anything relevant unless it's Shop-Golem. I pass the turn so that I get max time out of the second Wire because my hand goes nowhere after it and the threat of 3 mana into 2 spheres is pretty low based on what could be played and the information provided.

Edit: the other side of the coin is that playing the wire is a guaranteed draw 2 with a chance at being 3 without exposing you to the Shop-Golem problem I mentioned before. I take the chance here but easily see the other side.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 08:08:25 pm by Samoht » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 09:02:59 pm »

I went the other way since the last thing I want while having no stack or chalice out is them slowly building out under the wire, leaving the shop up allows the possibility of the slow build even if its unlikely. But as Tom said, I don't think the other line is wrong, it's just weighing the outs and potential options.
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 10:18:52 pm »

I went the other way since the last thing I want while having no stack or chalice out is them slowly building out under the wire, leaving the shop up allows the possibility of the slow build even if its unlikely. But as Tom said, I don't think the other line is wrong, it's just weighing the outs and potential options.

They would have had to draw Runner Runner Mox for that to be a concern though, no?
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 10:06:15 am »

What do you think is the correct line of play for this situation? (Roughly based on actual events)

You are playing a Workshop mirror match. You lost the die roll and both of you keep on 7. You have,

2 Workshops, 2 Sphere Of Resistance, 1 Tangle Wire, 1 Ancient Tomb, 1 Mox.

You are not 100% sure what your opponent is on, but you keep this hand thinking it can stall till you find a threat and it has two shops! *_* 

Turn 1- Your opponent opens, Workshop, Crucible of Worlds. You draw Thorn Of Amethyst and open, Mox, Ancient Tomb, Sphere of Resistance.
 

Why am I playing a Sphere here?  To help him lock me out, if he has the Waste?  My line is Tomb, Mox, Wire.  I lock down his Shop, potentially stop him from resolving a threat, and I don't expose a Workshop.

Turn 2- They play a Mox and pass. You draw Tangle Wire and play Workshop, Tangle Wire.

At this point, my opponent has intimated that he doesn't have Waste/Strip-lock on me.  This is important.  I want to be in a position to drop the most expensive card in my deck, if I draw it, but I'm hesitant to just throw a Workshop out there.  I am tapped down under my Wire, as is he.  The following turn, I will have access to my Tomb, if I need it.  Even then, if my opponent is good enough, he may have held the Wasteland, as he's held under my Wire and he's looking to put out bad information.  At this point, I probably still play one Workshop, hold the second in hand, and play Thorn of Amethyst. 

I need to be able to cast my six drops, I don't want to push them out to seven.  He cast maindeck Crucible, which means that he's likely on Smokestacks.  Thorn will push an opposing Stack out to five.

Turn 3- They are tapped down and play no land. You tap down, Mox, SoR, Wire. You draw City Of Traitors and play, Sphere of resistance, Workshop, Thorn Of Amethyst 

At this point, my Wire fades to two.  In drawing City of Traitors, I am more likely to expose my second Workshop.  I don't want to do this, as he still has the ability to blow me out with a freshly drawn Wasteland/Strip Mine, but I need to be able to cast my threats, and if I have enough mana on the board, I may give myself another turn or two, whereas if I don't put the mana out there, and he draws the Wasteland/Strip Mine, I'm potentially going to be held under any Sphere effects that he may cast as he goes to town on the mana base that I didn't develop.

So, I play the second Workshop.  I then make a judgment call as to whether or not I want to play the second Wire.  I likely rely on my Thorn, decide not to cast the second Wire, and hope that he casts nothing on the following turn.

Turn 4- They are tapped down again, and play no land. You tap down, 2 SoR and draw Ancient Tomb. 

They have two tapped permanents.  I then draw my Tomb, play my Tomb, and cast my second Wire.  This Wire will hold him down for two turns.

You have 3 cards in your hand, City Of Traitors, Ancient Tomb, Tangle Wire. (Kinda bad draws, not hitting a threat) Your opponent has not played anything since opening up, so he has a hand full of 7 cards. Do you play the Tangle Wire to make sure your opponent is tapped down again? Or try to squeeze out more value from the Tangle Wire. Remember you have down 2 SoR and a Thorn. They could go, Mox, Tomb, Mox and be at 6 perms. Do you let them build up maybe to 6 perms?     

You never let your opponent have access to mana that you can deny him, reasonably.  Your hand has proven very weak in this game, and you're only saved by the fact that your opponent's hand has proven equally awful. 

Casting Spheres in this game is potentially awful.  You set up your own demise.  You will lock yourself under your Spheres if he draws a Wasteland/Strip Mine.  I'm very hesitant to do that, even with all the mana that I have.  His Wastes play through all your Wires and Spheres.  Any potential benefit that you net from him being unable to cast spells in that instant is negated by the long term inevitability that he has.  He will eventually draw mana after he has destroyed all of yours.

I don't cast the first Sphere until I let him untap with the Shop and the Mox.

What happened in this game?
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 10:49:48 am »

I agree very much with Propero. Casting Sphere T1 seems horrible and I have no idea why you would do that? The game looks rough if he has a Waste but when you play Sphere you deny yourself the opportunity to play your own Crucible. Care to explain your thought proces?
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 11:02:02 am »

What do you think is the correct line of play for this situation? (Roughly based on actual events)

You are playing a Workshop mirror match. You lost the die roll and both of you keep on 7. You have,

2 Workshops, 2 Sphere Of Resistance, 1 Tangle Wire, 1 Ancient Tomb, 1 Mox.

You are not 100% sure what your opponent is on, but you keep this hand thinking it can stall till you find a threat and it has two shops! *_* 

Turn 1- Your opponent opens, Workshop, Crucible of Worlds. You draw Thorn Of Amethyst and open, Mox, Ancient Tomb, Sphere of Resistance.
 

Why am I playing a Sphere here?  To help him lock me out, if he has the Waste?  My line is Tomb, Mox, Wire.  I lock down his Shop, potentially stop him from resolving a threat, and I don't expose a Workshop.

Turn 2- They play a Mox and pass. You draw Tangle Wire and play Workshop, Tangle Wire.

At this point, my opponent has intimated that he doesn't have Waste/Strip-lock on me.  This is important.  I want to be in a position to drop the most expensive card in my deck, if I draw it, but I'm hesitant to just throw a Workshop out there.  I am tapped down under my Wire, as is he.  The following turn, I will have access to my Tomb, if I need it.  Even then, if my opponent is good enough, he may have held the Wasteland, as he's held under my Wire and he's looking to put out bad information.  At this point, I probably still play one Workshop, hold the second in hand, and play Thorn of Amethyst. 

I need to be able to cast my six drops, I don't want to push them out to seven.  He cast maindeck Crucible, which means that he's likely on Smokestacks.  Thorn will push an opposing Stack out to five.

Turn 3- They are tapped down and play no land. You tap down, Mox, SoR, Wire. You draw City Of Traitors and play, Sphere of resistance, Workshop, Thorn Of Amethyst 

At this point, my Wire fades to two.  In drawing City of Traitors, I am more likely to expose my second Workshop.  I don't want to do this, as he still has the ability to blow me out with a freshly drawn Wasteland/Strip Mine, but I need to be able to cast my threats, and if I have enough mana on the board, I may give myself another turn or two, whereas if I don't put the mana out there, and he draws the Wasteland/Strip Mine, I'm potentially going to be held under any Sphere effects that he may cast as he goes to town on the mana base that I didn't develop.

So, I play the second Workshop.  I then make a judgment call as to whether or not I want to play the second Wire.  I likely rely on my Thorn, decide not to cast the second Wire, and hope that he casts nothing on the following turn.

Turn 4- They are tapped down again, and play no land. You tap down, 2 SoR and draw Ancient Tomb. 

They have two tapped permanents.  I then draw my Tomb, play my Tomb, and cast my second Wire.  This Wire will hold him down for two turns.

You have 3 cards in your hand, City Of Traitors, Ancient Tomb, Tangle Wire. (Kinda bad draws, not hitting a threat) Your opponent has not played anything since opening up, so he has a hand full of 7 cards. Do you play the Tangle Wire to make sure your opponent is tapped down again? Or try to squeeze out more value from the Tangle Wire. Remember you have down 2 SoR and a Thorn. They could go, Mox, Tomb, Mox and be at 6 perms. Do you let them build up maybe to 6 perms?     

You never let your opponent have access to mana that you can deny him, reasonably.  Your hand has proven very weak in this game, and you're only saved by the fact that your opponent's hand has proven equally awful. 

Casting Spheres in this game is potentially awful.  You set up your own demise.  You will lock yourself under your Spheres if he draws a Wasteland/Strip Mine.  I'm very hesitant to do that, even with all the mana that I have.  His Wastes play through all your Wires and Spheres.  Any potential benefit that you net from him being unable to cast spells in that instant is negated by the long term inevitability that he has.  He will eventually draw mana after he has destroyed all of yours.

I don't cast the first Sphere until I let him untap with the Shop and the Mox.

What happened in this game?


I agree with this. I thought the t1 Sphere was problematic but was just evaluating what was presented. Also, this analysis is exactly the sort of thing that people need to read before they say things like Shop decks have no decision trees and are linear.
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 11:47:57 am »

Turn 2- They play a Mox and pass. You draw Tangle Wire and play Workshop, Tangle Wire.

At this point, my opponent has intimated that he doesn't have Waste/Strip-lock on me.  This is important.  I want to be in a position to drop the most expensive card in my deck, if I draw it, but I'm hesitant to just throw a Workshop out there.  I am tapped down under my Wire, as is he.  The following turn, I will have access to my Tomb, if I need it.  Even then, if my opponent is good enough, he may have held the Wasteland, as he's held under my Wire and he's looking to put out bad information.  At this point, I probably still play one Workshop, hold the second in hand, and play Thorn of Amethyst. 

I need to be able to cast my six drops, I don't want to push them out to seven.  He cast maindeck Crucible, which means that he's likely on Smokestacks.  Thorn will push an opposing Stack out to five.

Prospero, I agree with everything you said here, but why would your opponent holding instead of casting the Wasteland be the next level play? I understand that holding a Wasteland could lead to a blowout in that it leads Mickey to believe that he can safely play lands when he really can't, but the advantage of Mickey's opponent is quite clearly their Crucible, which currently is not live. Maybe I'm not next level enough, but missing a land drop and thus delaying the Crucible-Waste lock a turn seems counter intuitive to me, why might that be the better play?
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 12:19:15 pm »

Prospero, I agree with everything you said here, but why would your opponent holding instead of casting the Wasteland be the next level play? I understand that holding a Wasteland could lead to a blowout in that it leads Mickey to believe that he can safely play lands when he really can't, but the advantage of Mickey's opponent is quite clearly their Crucible, which currently is not live. Maybe I'm not next level enough, but missing a land drop and thus delaying the Crucible-Waste lock a turn seems counter intuitive to me, why might that be the better play?

The chances at having two Workshops in your opener are slim.  If this board state were to come up again, the chances are strong that you don't have the second Shop.  Though, to be fair, there is a decent chance that you have at least one true threat, instead of the zero that Mickey's hand possesses.  

This means that if you were to walk into this board state that having your Workshop destroyed would be far more problematic than may initially be considered.  Losing that Shop could be devastating.  

The rule behind that is a simple one that nowhere near enough Shop pilots follow.  Use your Workshop to cast the critical card.  The critical card is the one that you need to resolve in order to win the game.  Don't just throw a Workshop out there to save two damage from a Tomb as you cast the Sphere.  Save the Shop for the Smokestack, Lodestone Golem, Steel Hellkite, Crucible, etc., that wins the game.  

By having an opponent miss a land drop, they telegraph to you 'It's really OK to play your Shop, I don't have the Waste effect'.  Think about it though; were they going to be doing anything that turn anyways?  

Consider the following points, from the perspective of Mickey's opponent:

1.  My opponent has resolved a Wire, which will hold back my development, as my Shop is tapped and will remain so for at least one turn, possible as many as two or three.
2.  My opponent has cast his Wire off a Tomb and a Mox.
3.  If my opponent had a Crucible, it would have been better to cast the Crucible.
4.  My opponent likely doesn't have a Crucible.
5.  My opponent sees that I have a Crucible on board and knows that he's going to have to worry about his mana.
6.  My opponent's board is held back from development by his Wire.
7.  Moxen are cast immediately in Shop mirrors in order to protect against Chalice of the Void.
8.  My opponent only cast one Mox on his first turn.  He likely doesn't have more fast mana, unless he draws it off the top of his deck.
9.  If my opponent draws Crucible, given that he exposed his Tomb instead of a Workshop, he will be able to cast it immediately.  There is nothing that I can do to stop this.  I can't play around this.  If it happens, it happens.
10.  The Wire at three means that my opponent is likely only able to cast a three mana spell if he plays his Workshop.  The chance at having a second Shop is slim.  He likely doesn't have another Shop or Tomb, but maybe a Factory/Waste.  
11.  I can't play as though I'm afraid of his three mana spells, as they shut down my whole game plan.  I am, however, afraid of his four mana spells.  He likely won't be able to cast that next turn.
12.  If I don't play Wasteland, I make him comfortable and telegraph that I don't have Wasteland.
13.  If he's comfortable, he may show the Shop, even though his Wire is holding him down.
14.  If I Waste his Shop, the Wire at two will hold down his Mox, leaving him in need of the Crucible that he has shown me he doesn't have, or another land that makes two or more mana in order to drop a threat.
15.  I can play my Wasteland again through my Crucible on the following turn, netting the Ancient Tomb as well.  His Wire will help hold him down.  
16.  By holding the Wasteland, I may make my opponent think that I'm mana-screwed.  This may lead him to cast a Sphere, which would help me kill him.

Mickey's hand should have had a threat and probably shouldn't have had two Shops.  It's not to say that it's wrong that it happened, just that the chances at having one Smokestack, Lodestone, Hellkite, etc., are better than having the second copy of a four-of in hand.

Mana flood happens, and the only way for Mickey to win is to carefully play through his opponent's Crucible.  Still, I'd want to hold the second Shop until I hit a real threat.  

So, that's why I think that holding the Wasteland might be the 'next level' play.  
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 12:23:57 pm by Prospero » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2013, 07:25:56 pm »

What do you think is the correct line of play for this situation? (Ruffly based on actual events)

You are playing a Workshop mirror match. You lost the die roll and both of you keep on 7. You have,

2 Workshops, 2 Sphere Of Resistance, 1 Tangle Wire, 1 Ancient Tomb, 1 Mox.

You are not 100% sure what your opponent is on, but you keep this hand thinking it can stall till you find a threat and it has two shops! *_*  


Turn 1- Your opponent opens, Workshop, Crucible of Worlds. You draw Thorn Of Amethyst and open, Mox, Ancient Tomb, Sphere of resistance.
Turn 2- They play a moxen and pass. You draw Tangle Wire and play Workshop, Tangle Wire
Turn 3- They are tapped down and play no land. You tap down, Mox, SoR, Wire. You draw City Of Traitors and play, Sphere of resistance, Workshop, Thorn Of Amethyst  
Turn 4- They are tapped down again, and play no land. You tap down, 2 SoR and draw Ancient Tomb.  

You have 3 cards in your hand, City Of Traitors, Ancient Tomb, Tangle wire. (Kinda bad draws, not hitting a threat) Your opponent has not played anything since his open so he has a hand full of 7 cards. Do you play the Tangle Wire to make sure your opponent is tapped down again? Or try to squeeze out more value from the Tangle Wire. Remember you have down 2 SoR and a Thorn. They could go, Mox, Tomb, Mox and be at 6 perms. Do you let them build up maybe to 6 perms?      

I think it would be helpful to know more about the opposing deck to answer this question.  I haven't studied what appear to be detailed and exhaustive analysis from Nick, but my chief concern would be letting my opponent resolve a threat here.  

Here appear to be the salient features of this situation:

* The opponent has just two perms, and 1 land (1 Shop)
* You have 3 Spheres (but only 2 that really matter in case they have a threat)
* They have a long term advantage, perhaps inevitability, by having resolved Crucible

Do you have any way to remove Crucible ala Ratchet Bomb, etc?

I would tend to assume, given this position, that the opponent doesn't have a Waste/strip effect, because if they did they could have begun mowing down your mana base.  Given that, I assume they are stocked with spells in hand.   Given that, I would tend to lean towards waiting to play the Tangle Wire, only because I don't think they can do much with 1 untap unless they topdeck a land.  I would probably play the second Wire the following turn.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 07:40:53 pm by Smmenen » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2013, 09:41:18 pm »

I think it would be helpful to know more about the opposing deck to answer this question.  I haven't studied what appear to be detailed and exhaustive analysis from Nick, but my chief concern would be letting my opponent resolve a threat here.  

Here appear to be the salient features of this situation:

* The opponent has just two perms, and 1 land (1 Shop)
* You have 3 Spheres (but only 2 that really matter in case they have a threat)
* They have a long term advantage, perhaps inevitability, by having resolved Crucible

Do you have any way to remove Crucible ala Ratchet Bomb, etc?

I would tend to assume, given this position, that the opponent doesn't have a Waste/strip effect, because if they did they could have begun mowing down your mana base.  Given that, I assume they are stocked with spells in hand.   Given that, I would tend to lean towards waiting to play the Tangle Wire, only because I don't think they can do much with 1 untap unless they topdeck a land.  I would probably play the second Wire the following turn.

Egad, we agree on a line! Although I would go further to add that the only thing they can do of note is to top deck a Workshop and play a Lodestone Golem. Everything else is pushed out by the 2+1 sphere effects.

Edit: Though you mean to say 3 permanents right? I see you note the land is a Shop but I'm pretty sure lands are still permanents.
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 10:14:15 pm »

I missed the Mox.  
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 10:39:19 pm by Smmenen » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2013, 10:33:45 pm »

You would have open double shop which would allow the golem play
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2013, 10:38:46 pm »

Yeah.  


Egad, we agree on a line!

Haha!  Which is ironic because this move is (in one sense) the opposite of your view of the correct line of play in the other thread.  

One of the things that's interesting about this play is that it puts directly into focus the point that there is sometimes a trade-off between long-term and short-term control.

In that respect, it's similar to the other thread, which I think poses a similar issue.  In both cases, the correct role is the control role.  But the question is how best to achieve it.   In the other thread, my view is you shift out of a pure control stance to set up a more dominant long term control position.  

A prison deck really puts this issue of role operation in the spotlight under bright beams.  

Sometimes a prison deck can achieve a complete asphyxian by given the victim a little breathing room in the near term.   Trying to go for a complete stranglehold in the near term might diminish or trade-off chances for a compete long-term vicegrip (wow, prison decks offer fantastic metaphors Wink)

Prison pilots are very familiar with these trade offs (as every person whose ever used Smokestack can attest - after all, it does nothing immediately).  So my superficial reading of Nick's post is surprising to me since his position seems to be "give no quarter." I would think that he'd subscribe to the view "know when to give a quarter," rather than such an absolutist stance.  I apologize in advance if I'm misreading Nick's position - I did not give it a careful read.


« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 02:39:46 am by Smmenen » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2013, 08:00:08 am »

I appreciate the apology, Steve.
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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2013, 09:18:11 am »


Egad, we agree on a line!

Haha!  Which is ironic because this move is (in one sense) the opposite of your view of the correct line of play in the other thread.  

One of the things that's interesting about this play is that it puts directly into focus the point that there is sometimes a trade-off between long-term and short-term control.

In that respect, it's similar to the other thread, which I think poses a similar issue.  In both cases, the correct role is the control role.  But the question is how best to achieve it.   In the other thread, my view is you shift out of a pure control stance to set up a more dominant long term control position.  

A prison deck really puts this issue of role operation in the spotlight under bright beams.  

Sometimes a prison deck can achieve a complete asphyxian by given the victim a little breathing room in the near term.   Trying to go for a complete stranglehold in the near term might diminish or trade-off chances for a compete long-term vicegrip (wow, prison decks offer fantastic metaphors Wink)

Prison pilots are very familiar with these trade offs (as every person whose ever used Smokestack can attest - after all, it does nothing immediately).  So my superficial reading of Nick's post is surprising to me since his position seems to be "give no quarter." I would think that he'd subscribe to the view "know when to give a quarter," rather than such an absolutist stance.  I apologize in advance if I'm misreading Nick's position - I did not give it a careful read.




It's interesting, but I think I'm actually very consistent in my positions. Efficient use of the cards in our hand/deck is my primary objective. In the other thread, we have a dominating hand that has the benefit of being amazingly reactive and are playing one of the most controlling decks in the format. I wanted to maximize what our hand could do. As I outlined, our #1 play there was to Drain, followed by DT for answer if they fight through it or Jace if they don't. If they just pass we can DT for pressure anyway on the next turn to try and extend our hand, but there was no need to force the action there and walk into a U counterspell then into Bob etc.

In this situation, we have a pretty dominating board presence and are only beat by a 6% chance to draw MW into having a LSG in hand. Those odds are so low that if we use a TW to cut them off, we give up a TW turn in 2 more draw steps that leaves them with the same odds but with 2 more draws. I'd rather give them the chance now to hit that small out and  buy the extra turn later.
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 08:04:26 pm »

I appreciate the apology, Steve.

So, by inference, I take it that my characterization of your position is not accurate.

I glossed my reading from:

Quote
You never let your opponent have access to mana that you can deny him, reasonably.

Could you elaborate on this, then?

How do you view the relationship between short term openings (for the opponent) vis-a-vis long term control as an experienced prison pilot?  What sort of rules of thumb do you follow?

Along those lines, do you ever just play a T1 smokestack instead of Spheres?  Or, more realistically, t2 Smokestack instead of more Spheres or Tangle Wire?  When playing Shops with Smokestack, I would sometimes play T2 or T3 Smokestack rather than more immediate lock components for that reason.

I'm just curious.  I see this issue (i.e. long term benefit v. short term costs) as one of richest areas of strategy discussion in the format.


Egad, we agree on a line!

Haha!  Which is ironic because this move is (in one sense) the opposite of your view of the correct line of play in the other thread.  

One of the things that's interesting about this play is that it puts directly into focus the point that there is sometimes a trade-off between long-term and short-term control.

In that respect, it's similar to the other thread, which I think poses a similar issue.  In both cases, the correct role is the control role.  But the question is how best to achieve it.   In the other thread, my view is you shift out of a pure control stance to set up a more dominant long term control position.  

A prison deck really puts this issue of role operation in the spotlight under bright beams.  

Sometimes a prison deck can achieve a complete asphyxian by given the victim a little breathing room in the near term.   Trying to go for a complete stranglehold in the near term might diminish or trade-off chances for a compete long-term vicegrip (wow, prison decks offer fantastic metaphors Wink)

Prison pilots are very familiar with these trade offs (as every person whose ever used Smokestack can attest - after all, it does nothing immediately).  So my superficial reading of Nick's post is surprising to me since his position seems to be "give no quarter." I would think that he'd subscribe to the view "know when to give a quarter," rather than such an absolutist stance.  I apologize in advance if I'm misreading Nick's position - I did not give it a careful read.


It's interesting, but I think I'm actually very consistent in my positions. Efficient use of the cards in our hand/deck is my primary objective.

That's surprisingly tactical, as a description of your primary objective.  Efficient use of cards is generally subordinated, in my game management, to strategic objectives.  Efficient use of cards is important, but not primary in my view.  I would permit inefficient use of cards if there are other, more pressing concerns, such as windows of opportunity, threats, or establishing key strategic objectives.

That may explain the difference of opinion between us in the other thread.  

Quote

In the other thread, we have a dominating hand that has the benefit of being amazingly reactive and are playing one of the most controlling decks in the format.

Nitpicking for a moment: I would not consider a hand of Duress, DT, Drain and Jace as being either dominating or amazingly reactive.   Only one of the cards in hand is an instant.  I'd hardly consider that 'amazingly reactive.' Flexible would be my characterization in that respect.   I would consider it a strong hand, but not dominating either.  

Quote

I wanted to maximize what our hand could do. As I outlined, our #1 play there was to Drain, followed by DT for answer if they fight through it or Jace if they don't. If they just pass we can DT for pressure anyway on the next turn to try and extend our hand, but there was no need to force the action there and walk into a U counterspell then into Bob etc.

In this situation, we have a pretty dominating board presence and are only beat by a 6% chance to draw MW into having a LSG in hand. Those odds are so low that if we use a TW to cut them off, we give up a TW turn in 2 more draw steps that leaves them with the same odds but with 2 more draws. I'd rather give them the chance now to hit that small out and  buy the extra turn later.

Exactly. As established, we agree on the Shop hand for the same basic reasons.  I further agree that this is a 'maximal' use of available resources.  

But I'm skeptical that the other hand is a 'maximally efficient' use of available resources for the same reasons I disagree with your line, for the reasons articulated by Grand Inquisitor.   I suppose it depends on what is meant by "maximize," and "efficient,' but the DT for Lotus play, while arguably less flexible, potentially maximizes all of your resources simultaneously in one synergistic play.    

By not playing DT you cut yourself off from the lines of play that GI and myself and others envisioned.  It's not clear which play actually preserves (or opens) the most lines of play.  But even then, maximizing lines of play is not the sum total of the analysis.  The strength of the lines of play, imo, has to be part of the calculus of "maximizing" your cards.  Saving DT probably maximizes a greater number of lines as an arithmetic fact, but may not open the strongest lines.  

But I understand where you are coming from, and the efficient use of cards is a legitimate way of viewing both situations from a consistent frame.

The way I view both situations is perhaps simpler, but also consistent: both scenarios bring into focus the issue of whether to give your opponent an opening to gain a longer term advantage.  In other words, both scenarios introduce a choice to take a short term risk for a long-term benefit.

In the Shop scenario, we both agree the risk is worth it.  In the Drain scenario, we don't agree.

Every decision has benefits and risks, and the question is usually whether the benefits are worth the risks.  Of course, that often hinges on probabilities which aren't easy to calculate on the spot.  Players resort to heuristics (like rules of thumb and pattern recognition) to make decisions in such real life situations.  One factor in our analysis is that we think the chances of them drawing a Shop is low.   In the other scenario, a number of players acknowledge the risk is that your opponent Drains DT and plays a Bob, but the benefit is that you set up an almost impossible to defeat play that will achieve pretty much complete control over the rest of the game.  

Both scenarios also bring into focus the other issue, which is "operationalizing" role.  Here, we both agree that an optimal control role is achieved by actually giving the opponent a small opening.  In the other scenario, we disagree on how best to pursue a control role.  

My disagreement with you in the other scenarios hinges not on what role to play, but on how to best achieve/pursue that role. I objected to is your characterization that such a move was moving out of a control role with your example of playing Fire on the opponent.   That's simply the wrong role, not just the wrong play.  

In my writings, I've re-conceptualized the "role" metaphor as a transmission metaphor.  Borrowing from it here, I described a control role as low gear, and the so-called "Beatdown" role as high gear.  The reason I used the transmission metaphor is that it better characterizes the fluid and dynamic nature of role in actual magic games.  Mike Flores' conception is overly static: a deck simply has to select a role in any given game.  Transmission suggests how decks move between gears during the course of the game, even turn to turn or play to play.

Sometimes achieving control requires a deck move into high gear.  This happens when a control deck plays Dark Confidant, Ophidian or Jayomdae Tome.  When Landstill taps down to play Standstill, it may be cutting off a Mana Drain, and thus moving from low to high gear for a moment, but that doesn't mean its moving out of a control role, it just means its doing something other than maximizing its ability to maintain control.  The decision of when to cut off a guaranteed counterspell for more possible, but not guaranteed counterspells, is not always an easy one.  In my Gush book I offer similar examples of whether to play Preordain or hold open a Spell Pierce.  There are situations when either play may be the correct move.  The DT for Lotus play may be such a move.

I could, however, be persuaded that your line is right.  Although GI characterized the DT--> Lotus line as "my play," I did not intend to stake out a position.  I simply said that I thought the play A-1 mentioned seemed like a "good plan."  that doesn't mean I thought it was the best plan.  I didn't think about it that carefully -- merely replied to a post someone had made.  I'm not sure why you or others started attributing that line to me.  It wasn't even my idea, and I offered an offhand comment about it.

That said, I think one thing that may incline me towards your plan is that the the chances of drawing a land and doing the exact same thing next turn are pretty good, and that, although "my" line has a huge upside, your hand may be sufficiently strong that you can grind out the win without going down that road.
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2013, 08:56:28 pm »

I think I was pretty clear with the line that was given and my description of it.  I find the explanation sufficient, and that's enough for me.
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2013, 09:11:28 pm »

I think I was pretty clear with the line that was given and my description of it.  I find the explanation sufficient, and that's enough for me.

Nick, I wasn't asking about the line of play.  You already answered that with more than sufficient detail.

Your analysis was specific to the scenario; My question was more general:

How do you view the relationship between short term openings (for the opponent) vis-a-vis long term control as an experienced prison pilot?  What sort of rules of thumb do you follow?

Along those lines, when might you play t2 Smokestack instead of more Spheres or Tangle Wire?  When playing Shops with Smokestack, I would sometimes play T2 or T3 Smokestack rather than more immediate lock components for that reason.
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2013, 10:43:28 pm »

Quote
Along those lines, when might you play t2 Smokestack instead of more Spheres or Tangle Wire?  When playing Shops with Smokestack, I would sometimes play T2 or T3 Smokestack rather than more immediate lock components for that reason.

When he is dropping out fastmana go for the Wire. When you can't cast Smokey if you would cast the Sphere before, cast Smokey. When he is just dropping a Land and you have enough Land available, cast the Sphere, then Wire, tapping Sphere into Wire, and then suck him up with Smokey.
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2013, 12:55:30 am »

Haha, you sound just like Vroman.   I think those general rules of thumb make sense.  

A hand like this illustrates the general issue:

Sphere,
Thorn,
Smokey,
Tangle,
Crucible
Ancient Tomb,
Shop

If we rigidly following the simple rule: "deny opponent max mana," then your sequence is probably (on the play) T1: Sphere, T2: Wire or Thorn. After all, playing T2 Stack does not increase the cost of spells or deny existing mana supply on your opponent's second turn.

But Stack may be the right play.  If they just play a land, then T2 Stack or Thorn seems more attractive than Wire, even though it technically does not tie up their mana as much as Wire here.

We can imagine the range of likely responses to T1 Sphere.  We can imagine a) Fetchland, or b) Fetchland --> basic land + Mox, or c) Fetchland --> basic land + Mox, Mox, and so on.   We can then decide what we view as the best sequencing responses to each possibility.  For (a), I would lean towards Stack or Thorn.  But as we move towards (c), I think you are probably right that Wire is more attractive, depending on various circumstances.  

I've always been intrigued by Workshop sequencing questions since the inception of the Stax archetype in 2003, which is exactly what the OP scenario brings into focus.  We can devise pedagogical hypotheticals to illustrates these principles in ways that are probably more insightful than those presented by the OP.  

The point is that there are situations in which taking a harder control role in the short term is not conducive to a stronger control role later, and allowing some opening for the opponent may be the optimal decision.  Doing a comprehensive analysis of the kinds of sequencing possibilities I've just hinted at would be a fascinating exercise/read.
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2013, 05:34:47 am »

I think that given that board state I would be very likely to dump it all into play, and here is why:  your opponent is mana screwed and sitting on a hand of all gas that he can't play because he doesn't have lands.  you are basically in a position where ANY land (not just a wasteland) is going to seal your doom really quickly because the opponent is going to be able to start casting cards that you can't actually answer.  I would probably just play to the out of drawing live cards that do something and hope that the Spheres and Tangle Wires buy enough time to mount a threat, and/or that he stays mana screwed for a while.  It seems like almost no matter what you can't beat a Wasteland, so why even bother playing around it? 
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2013, 09:33:22 am »

This was my first live "mirror" match. At this point I have topped with shops at a few events. I also have been brainstorming with Evan Hundermark, one of the best shop pilots on this coast. What Brian said in his post was my thought process. The first turn C.O.W  really hit me in the face. Right or wrong I learned a lot. After this round I played Nick and Raf . So needless to say I went to the preschool, high school and college of Mishra in one day. Thanks to Tom , Nick and Steve for the insight.
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2013, 12:10:07 pm »

It seems like almost no matter what you can't beat a Wasteland, so why even bother playing around it? 

+1,

also playing around of "what your opponent could have", prevents yourself from top decking into your own godmode. Rainy days are rainy.

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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2014, 12:28:42 am »

Thank you to everyone for responding to my post! (JP and Tom) Especially to Prospero for his very detailed explanation. I know that writing an expansive post, which you did not only once but twice, eats up a lot of time. Thank you for your dedication to vintage and to helping other Pilots.

I wanted to keep the identity of the players a secret as to not call anyone out on sub-optimal play, which we all fall prey to from time to time. I was the player who opened Mirsha's Workshop, Crucible Of Worlds. I thought my hand would be strong enough because I had a lot of action and Crucible Of Worlds protects me from waste effects while letting mine become game breaking. The rule I broke here is, "Don't keep a hand that has no clear way to 4 mana". This rule of course has exceptions but as Prospero pointed out, I should have just mulliganed.  

The general consensus from the OP is to wait on the Tangle Wire, because even if the opponent has another Mirsha's Workshop nothing important will be played. Also the chances of having 2 of 4 cards is low. We hold the Tangle Wire, netting more time to draw what is needed.  

I pass the turn so that I get max time out of the second Wire because my hand goes nowhere after it and the threat of 3 mana into 2 spheres is pretty low based on what could be played and the information provided.

I would tend to assume, given this position, that the opponent doesn't have a Waste/strip effect, because if they did they could have begun mowing down your mana base.  Given that, I assume they are stocked with spells in hand.   Given that, I would tend to lean towards waiting to play the Tangle Wire, only because I don't think they can do much with 1 untap unless they topdeck a land.  I would probably play the second Wire the following turn.

So, I play the second Workshop.  I then make a judgment call as to whether or not I want to play the second Wire.  I likely rely on my Thorn, decide not to cast the second Wire, and hope that he casts nothing on the following turn.

Prospero altered the line of play. Among some of the concepts that he demonstrated, like "Protect the Mirsha's Workshop", he found the same type of problem trying to squeeze more value out of a Tangle Wire. We can have general principles to guide play but each game state needs to be analysed to find which apply.    

I ended up winning the game from just finding more lands and playing out my action. I did not win with waste effects. This is what prompted the OP because I felt with better use of Tangle Wire my opponent would have had more time to find a threat or crucible of his own.

A hand like this illustrates the general issue:

Sphere,
Thorn,
Smokey,
Tangle,
Crucible
Ancient Tomb,
Shop

If we rigidly following the simple rule: "deny opponent max mana," then your sequence is probably (on the play) T1: Sphere, T2: Wire or Thorn. After all, playing T2 Stack does not increase the cost of spells or deny existing mana supply on your opponent's second turn.

But Stack may be the right play.  If they just play a land, then T2 Stack or Thorn seems more attractive than Wire, even though it technically does not tie up their mana as much as Wire here.

We can imagine the range of likely responses to T1 Sphere.  We can imagine a) Fetchland, or b) Fetchland --> basic land + Mox, or c) Fetchland --> basic land + Mox, Mox, and so on.   We can then decide what we view as the best sequencing responses to each possibility.  For (a), I would lean towards Stack or Thorn.  But as we move towards (c), I think you are probably right that Wire is more attractive, depending on various circumstances.  

I've always been intrigued by Workshop sequencing questions since the inception of the Stax archetype in 2003, which is exactly what the OP scenario brings into focus.  We can devise pedagogical hypotheticals to illustrates these principles in ways that are probably more insightful than those presented by the OP.  

Not knowing what deck you are playing vs the only correct open is Ancient Tomb, into Sphere Of Resistance. Without knowing what we draw, there is little else to say, because what matters with this hand, is being able to cast Smokestack while our opponent cannot cast Force Of Will. We want to get to that point as fast as possible.  
With the information given looking at A) It is definitely never correct to play Smokestack turn 2, just to walk into a Force Of Will, even if you only see FetchLand pass. Shops is a threat light deck, to throw away a Smokestack to a Force Of Will when we can Tangle Wire seems poor.

Add in information, if we draw a land, say for instance Mishra's Factory, in scenario A) there would be one correct line of play turn 2. Mishra's Factory into Thorn Of Amethyst. Which might bait out a Force Of Will and puts a lot of pressure onto the opponents game plan if they kept a hand with just one or two lands in it. If on their turn 2 they play no land or tap out, then we slam down Smokestack. If they play land pass, on our turn 3 we Tangle Wire. We now have three permanents to tap to the fad counters on our turn 4, so we don't lose any of our mana and at most they have one untapped land. With two sphere effects on board, now we slam down Smokestack.

In A), if we don't draw a land turn 2 things get spicy. The analysis can go on and on for A) depending on what you draw and they play. (Not to mention analysis for B) and C). )


Here is a pedagogical hypothetical starting 7 which showcases divergent lines of play.  

(I asked this question to a bunch of vintage players at an event recently)  

How would you open this hand on the play, vs an unknown?

Black Lotus
Sol Ring
Ancient Tomb
Mishra's Factory
Lodestone Golem
Sphere of Resistance
Steel HellKite
    
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2014, 02:11:36 am »

Edit: Nevermind, I misread the hand.
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2014, 08:23:46 am »

Factory, Sol Ring, Lotus, Sphere, Pass. Tomb, LSG. Hellkite.  2 draws obviously affect turns 2 and 3.
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« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2014, 09:32:40 am »

Workshop, Lotus, Hellkite YOLO
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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2014, 10:05:19 am »

Factory, Sol Ring, Lotus, Sphere, Pass. Tomb, LSG. Hellkite.  2 draws obviously affect turns 2 and 3.

This, unless you have that gut feeling that he could be on blue.  If that's the case, then you lead with the Tomb, which leaves a mana floating after the Sphere is potentially countered, allowing you to cast the Lodestone on turn one.

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