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Author Topic: Vintage Super League Season 2 Week 4-6 Predictions & Discussion  (Read 16377 times)
JACO
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« on: February 24, 2015, 12:56:25 pm »

As the other thread is a disaster zone, let's narrow the focus of a new thread to just be predictions and discussion for the Vintage Super League Season 2, Weeks 4-6 (starting tonight!). This can be what deck you think a player is on, how they will perform in this pod, etc.

I'll start us off and predict these deck choices (by Standings):
Eric Froehlich (R4 vs. Budde, R5 vs. Pikula, R6 vs. Shay) - Gifts variant
Chris Pikula (R4 vs. Buehler, R5 vs. Froehlich, R6 vs. Budde) - Landstill UR or URW
Steve Menendian (R4 vs. Scott-Vargas, R5 vs. Buehler, R6 vs. Martell) - MeanDeck Gifts 2015
Randy Buehler (R4 vs. Pikula, R5 vs. Menendian, R6 vs. Maher) - Gifts variant, either MeanDeck Gifts 2015 or Jamie Cano's Burning Gifts 2015
Luis Scott-Vargas (R4 vs. Menendian, R5 vs. Maher, R6 vs. Williams) - Gifts variant
Bob Maher (R4 vs. Shay, R5 vs. Scott-Vargas, R6 vs. Buehler) - Esper Confidant Mentor
Rich Shay (R4 vs. Maher, R5 vs. Martell, R6 vs. Froehlich) - URW Mentor
David Williams (R4 vs. Martell, R5 vs. Budde, R6 vs. Scott-Vargas) - Forgemaster Workshops
Kai Budde (R4 vs. Froehlich, R5 vs. Williams, R6 vs. Pikula) - URW Mentor
Tom Martell (R4 vs. Williams, R5 vs. Shay, R6 vs. Menendian) - Oath

What are your thoughts on this part of the season?

EDIT:
VSL Season 2 Week 4 Video Playlist on YouTube
VSL Season 2 Week 5 Video Playlist on YouTube
VSL Season 2 Week 6 Video Playlist on YouTube
VSL Season 2 Week 4-6 Decklists on WotC
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 03:57:39 am by JACO » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 01:52:03 pm »

Nice thread Jaco. I think everyone can agree, this is the week seasoned Vintage players have been looking forward to. If there's been a mixed reaction to the first few weeks of season two, it's perhaps down to the first season having raised people's expectations - and FRF and the B/R List change shaken-up format havnig gotten viewers excited for a new-look format they will only now get to see. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

Your predications look plausible - and would be a very healthy meta for anyone watching. I hope you're right. I somehow can't imagine Bob changing things up, but we'll see.

I'm definitely interested to see what Kai plays, as I've never really seen him express an affection for the format. It would be cool to see that change, if he picks up the right deck - and one that lets us check out his undoubted playskill.

Along with all the obvious new toys, I would definitely like to see Landstill represented - and you're right - Chris does seem the most likely to go for that. Seems like a solid choice if the format's gravtitating to resolving 3- and 4-costing stuff again.

Right then. Bring it on! There's pretty much nothing else I find as entertaining all week - although Germany's Next Top Model comes a close second. Smile



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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 02:13:03 pm »

LSV has been streaming a Mentor variant. I haven't watched it, so I don't know if he actually liked it or thought it was good enough, but I tought I'd share it.
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 03:22:13 pm »

Nice thread Jaco. I think everyone can agree, this is the week seasoned Vintage players have been looking forward to. If there's been a mixed reaction to the first few weeks of season two, it's perhaps down to the first season having raised people's expectations - and FRF and the B/R List change shaken-up format havnig gotten viewers excited for a new-look format they will only now get to see. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

Your predications look plausible - and would be a very healthy meta for anyone watching. I hope you're right. I somehow can't imagine Bob changing things up, but we'll see.

I'm definitely interested to see what Kai plays, as I've never really seen him express an affection for the format. It would be cool to see that change, if he picks up the right deck - and one that lets us check out his undoubted playskill.

Along with all the obvious new toys, I would definitely like to see Landstill represented - and you're right - Chris does seem the most likely to go for that. Seems like a solid choice if the format's gravtitating to resolving 3- and 4-costing stuff again.

Right then. Bring it on! There's pretty much nothing else I find as entertaining all week - although Germany's Next Top Model comes a close second. Smile





I think Kai Budde is the guy that invented the powerhouse that was Vintage Necro Trix and he mentioned owning the paper cards in his introduction.

I always feel that the first week is the best one because you get to see all the new decks. This week is even more exciting with the new cardpool.

I have no idea what each person is going to play but I'm pretty sure that we will still see Delver decks. There should be at least one person on Mishra's Workshop, especially if they play against CHris Pikula or Randy Buehler. Probably no dredge but I could see Tom Martell going at it again as a gamble that people will cut Dredge hate due to its bad performance. The fact that Steve Menendian tends to have pretty metagamed deck might makes it more possible.
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 03:48:08 pm »

LSV has been streaming a Mentor variant. I haven't watched it, so I don't know if he actually liked it or thought it was good enough, but I tought I'd share it.

Yeah, I don't think he'll be playing it though! It was a very hastily built (in my humble opion) Stoneblade deck with a couple of Mentors in. It was definitely not as tuned as any of the Mentor lists that have performed well so far or been posted here/elsewhere. Not to diss of course - know he's a very busy guy and it's great to see him brew in Vintage. Just think he will play something far more tuned (and without Stoneforge Mystic).
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 04:07:15 pm »

I can't see LSV playing his Mentor list either. A video series of it just went up on CFB where he gets trounced 0-2 by Delver decks.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 04:24:24 pm »

I'm thinking that LSV will be on a Gifts Control deck akin to Steve's Meandeck Gifts 2015. I don't really have any other predictions currently other than that Monastery Mentors will outnumber Delver of Secrets.
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2015, 07:59:08 pm »

In addition to the deck choices, I am quite interested to see sideboards, as they arguably more greatly reflect what the players themselves anticipate from their opponents.

In particular, it will be interesting to see to what extent people sideboard for Monastery Mentor instead of Young Pyromancer. I anticipate Electrickery will disappear, for example.
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 08:01:27 pm »

If it's shops and mentor ... then junk might be the way to go.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2015, 11:10:18 am »

Dr Shay,
Two scenarios arose yesterday where you Gush into a fetchland or with a fetchland in hand. In both cases, you played the fetchland rather than replay a Volcanic Island. Clearly you value the deck thinning the fetchland provides, and the protection against a random Strip Mine from the opponent. The alternative line also has its advantages; you limit the information your opponent has about your hand by replaying one of the lands you picked up. Your line is clearly superior against decks that run Wasteland, but I wonder if you consider it just to be better overall or by default, or whether the better line is situational.
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 12:54:35 pm »

In the games last night, one factor that led me to playing the fetchlands aggressively was the Delve spells. I play three Dig and a Cruise. In a blue mirror, being able to play those Delve spells sooner rather than later is an important factor. Moreover, you often want to chain one into the other, meaning that it is often good to fill your graveyard beyong seven cards. This all changes if you expect to see something like Nihil Spellbomb maindeck of course. But fueling Delve was a factor in my aggressive use of fetchlands. If I had Jace in my deck, or Top, I would have been more conservative with them.
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2015, 01:23:31 pm »

Wow what a week! VSL skeptics, are you not entertained? Smile

A much broader selection of decks, which I think partly also goes to show that that the B/R list changes, plus Fate Reforged have made for a more interesting format. For those who wanted to see some rogue deck action, the deck LSV and Kai are on looks like it should provide some real spicy viewing. Certainly, I didn't expect to see a hard cast Elesh Norn beating face (nor, it would be fair to say, did Steve!). So all in all, a really fantastic round of matches - so glad we are now seeing the VSL playing the shaken up format that we're all so excited about at the moment.

Thanks to all the players for giving their time and for serving up such a great mash up of decks. Brilliant stuff!

And congrats to Rich Shay on his PhD! Time to change my passwords.... Smile
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 01:46:26 pm »

I've had complaints about the V.S.L., but Lochinvar81's post yesterday definitely reminded me where this is all coming from, and it's a good place.  It was an important, albeit somewhat humbling, reality check.

I watched most of the V.S.L. coverage last night.  I missed the Pikula vs. Williams opener, but caught every other match.  I have to say, honestly, I'm impressed.  Players played at a very high level and continue to do the format a great service.  I thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw, from seeing Rich go nuts with U/R Delver, to seeing Chris win with Terra Nova, to seeing E-Fro pick up what looks like Martello, to seeing Elesh Norn wreck tokens (Steve looked a little floored after the match and I can't say that I blame him, I'd have been floored too).

My thanks to everyone participating in this event.  It certainly makes my Tuesday nights enjoyable.

Also, congrats to Rich Shay for a tremendous accomplishment; earning a PhD is a long road, and I'm glad to see that this phase is complete.  Congrats, buddy.
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 02:03:46 pm »

The one thing I didn't get from Steve's match is why he didn't blow Lotus up. I mean, he had 3 mana open (before and after the first Preordain). He could Wear/Tear the lotus and leave a Volc untapped for Pyroblast. But he preferred to Preordain.

My reasoning is that yeah, there was no way to know Elesh was there. But LSV already had 7 mana up. There was a lot of reason to think he could have a Grisel in his hand and that a land drop would bring a hardcasted Griselbrand. Blowing the Lotus would prevent that, since Steve had no outs for Grisel either. So I really think that, in spite of not knowing about Elesh, fearing a hardcasted Grisel would make blowing Lotus good on its own.

I can say I dislike the lack of Tasigur's in the lists this week hehe. Was looking forward to see that Tasigur Gifts Bomberman being played... Since, y'know, people lpaying VSL are gentleman enough to scoop to infinite.
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 02:21:18 pm »

The one thing I didn't get from Steve's match is why he didn't blow Lotus up. I mean, he had 3 mana open (before and after the first Preordain). He could Wear/Tear the lotus and leave a Volc untapped for Pyroblast. But he preferred to Preordain.

My reasoning is that yeah, there was no way to know Elesh was there. But LSV already had 7 mana up. There was a lot of reason to think he could have a Grisel in his hand and that a land drop would bring a hardcasted Griselbrand. Blowing the Lotus would prevent that, since Steve had no outs for Grisel either. So I really think that, in spite of not knowing about Elesh, fearing a hardcasted Grisel would make blowing Lotus good on its own.

I can say I dislike the lack of Tasigur's in the lists this week hehe. Was looking forward to see that Tasigur Gifts Bomberman being played... Since, y'know, people lpaying VSL are gentleman enough to scoop to infinite.

The problem with Bomberman is that when you have infinite mana but not infinite draw, it would be a real pain to play.
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2015, 02:31:17 pm »

The one thing I didn't get from Steve's match is why he didn't blow Lotus up. I mean, he had 3 mana open (before and after the first Preordain). He could Wear/Tear the lotus and leave a Volc untapped for Pyroblast. But he preferred to Preordain.

My reasoning is that yeah, there was no way to know Elesh was there. But LSV already had 7 mana up. There was a lot of reason to think he could have a Grisel in his hand and that a land drop would bring a hardcasted Griselbrand. Blowing the Lotus would prevent that, since Steve had no outs for Grisel either. So I really think that, in spite of not knowing about Elesh, fearing a hardcasted Grisel would make blowing Lotus good on its own.

I can say I dislike the lack of Tasigur's in the lists this week hehe. Was looking forward to see that Tasigur Gifts Bomberman being played... Since, y'know, people lpaying VSL are gentleman enough to scoop to infinite.
Basically what he says above. I was really close to playing it knowing they would scoop but the instances where I didn't have the game 100% locked up, but had infinite mana would be a pain and not really enjoyable for the viewers, watching me click a Lotus and a Bomberman repeatedly.
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2015, 02:46:14 pm »

The one thing I didn't get from Steve's match is why he didn't blow Lotus up. I mean, he had 3 mana open (before and after the first Preordain). He could Wear/Tear the lotus and leave a Volc untapped for Pyroblast. But he preferred to Preordain.

My reasoning is that yeah, there was no way to know Elesh was there. But LSV already had 7 mana up. There was a lot of reason to think he could have a Grisel in his hand and that a land drop would bring a hardcasted Griselbrand. Blowing the Lotus would prevent that, since Steve had no outs for Grisel either. So I really think that, in spite of not knowing about Elesh, fearing a hardcasted Grisel would make blowing Lotus good on its own.

I can say I dislike the lack of Tasigur's in the lists this week hehe. Was looking forward to see that Tasigur Gifts Bomberman being played... Since, y'know, people lpaying VSL are gentleman enough to scoop to infinite.
Basically what he says above. I was really close to playing it knowing they would scoop but the instances where I didn't have the game 100% locked up, but had infinite mana would be a pain and not really enjoyable for the viewers, watching me click a Lotus and a Bomberman repeatedly.

Also was Wizards not going to give you workers comp for the carpal tunnel you would have developed?

I played bomberman in a couple dailies and looping through something like infinite mana + top + explosives enough times so my opponent understood what was going on was brutal.
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« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2015, 03:00:02 pm »

Yeah, but once you have infinite mana but not infinite draw... there's not much you can do anyway, is there? So clicking through the motions, say, 10 times, wouldn't be that much of a pain. Unless you're like David Williams (I think) that said his computer was lagging.

But yeah, I guess Bomberman will always be under-represented on MTGO... which is actually why I'm not playing there for a while... it's the only deck I'd really want to play in Vintage right now.
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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2015, 03:00:21 pm »

Also, it was great seeing Dave show what Mentor is capable of.  Dropping Martell off at the salt factory was a nice bonus.
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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2015, 03:14:01 pm »

Oh man I was not comfortable or really up for either of my matches this week. Feel great to have escaped with two wins. 
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2015, 03:19:46 pm »

Quote
(Steve looked a little floored after the match and I can't say that I blame him, I'd have been floored too).

Yeah, I was shell shocked.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:29:32 pm by Prospero » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 06:42:08 pm »

decklists have been posted: http://magic.wizards.com/en/MTGO/articles/archive/vintage-super-league-season-2-decklists
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 07:32:45 pm »

Quote
Dave and I worked together.  He tweaked the Mentor list I designed.

We you guys working with Diophan?

Steve and I texted about mentor lists last Friday, and we had come to similar conclusions independently, but he started from his usual delver list and I started from mine. I believe Steve switched some bolts into swords after Friday, but otherwise I think his VSL maindeck is what he already had before our discussion. Dave's list may have drawn some more inspiration from mine; he said in chat that his list was very similar to mine.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 07:36:05 pm by diophan » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 07:35:36 pm »

After testing with Ryan I was persuaded to go all in on Swords rather than Bolts, but Kevin was also pushing in that direction, so it was a confluence of influences.

A bit more background:

I began my work on Mentor by honing in on and refining four lists:

1) A "Delver" Variant
2) A "big mana" version with 1-2 Caverns, Tops and more artifact acceleration
3) A version that looked alot like my Pyro Grow list with multiple Regrowths
4) Kevin's List (http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=47086.0 )

After speaking with you, I realized that your assessment probably most pertained to versions that look like (2).  

So, I made as my baseline the Delver matchup.  Although Kevin swears that his list has a strong Delver matchup, I was skeptical of the Workshop matchup, and concerned about variance (a fact that manifested in Bob's match against you).  

After a bit of tuning and testing, I discovered that (1), as I had tuned it, was crushing Delver in my testing with Diophan (beyond the parameters you had sketched out), so I then turned to focus on the Workshop matchup in testing with Dave, and then made a few adjustments for my expected trimester opponents, as did Dave.  Dave didn't have a chance to test the blue matchups, so he just trusted me to give him valid data there.  

EDIT:

On the larger questions about Mentor, I think that the Workshop matchup is not as good for Mentor as it is for Delver.  

As I've told some teammates, "Ingot Chewer + Trygon + Ancient Grudge is just a better formula than Ingot Chewer + Dack + Wear/Hurkyl's."  Ancient Grudge is probably the best anti-Workshop tactic, and Trygon is, in my view, better than Dack for reasons I've documented in my Delver primer.




 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:33:21 pm by Prospero » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 07:53:40 pm »

I had really wanted to play a Mentor list for this trimester. I was working on several ideas, but honestly, none of them were where I needed them to be in order to feel comfortable playing them. As I told Steve before, my problem with so many of the Mentor lists is that they were very dependent on having Mentor himself to function. Indeed, the Big-Blue mentor lists would have a considerable advantage if they had a quick Mentor. They would usually beat the Delver decks then. However, if a Mentor did not arrive by the second or at latest the third turn, they would be at a severe disadvantage.

When I saw Diophan's build, I was very impressed. It did a lot of things very well. I tested it a good amount and liked it. It is the best Mentor approach I have seen yet. It has the low-to-the-ground approach of Delver, and has the explosive powerful of Mentor himself.

Ultimately, I think that there are advantages to the traditional Delver approach over the Mentor approach. The Workshop matchup, as Steve indicated, is better for Delver. Ancient Grudge is better than Wear/Tear, and Delver himself is a very strong card. It wasn't an accident that I went to a full set of Delver for this week, alongside the six anti-artifact spells in the sideboard. Workshops would have been such a great metagame call for last week's VSL that I thought it would not be unlikely that one or more of my opponents would be on Workshops.

Another matchup that, in my testing, was better for Delver than Diophan  Mentor was Storm Combo. The Delvers themselves were relevant in that match, and having Bolt over Swords was as well.

That said, I think that the Mentor lists are much more capable of having a quick, explosive win than the Delver decks. It was a difficult call, deciding which deck to play this round. Steve, I'll be interested in what you think of your build in two weeks.
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 08:28:59 pm »

The way that I got to my Mentor list was taking my last version of Delver (from weeks 1-3), cutting Pyromancers for Mentors, Trops for Tundras, Trygons for Dacks, and then just testing it from there.  I quickly realized that Delver is really bad with Mentor since it doesn't trigger Mentor.  From there, I just tuned based upon further testing, and Ryan and Kevin persuaded me of the superiority of Plow over Bolt.  

I'm persuaded that this approach is stronger, in general, than the big mana Mentor versions because of the consistency and power of the Gush/Dig/Preordain/mana base shell, virtual card advantage, etc., all that good stuff.

Some of the specificities of my list were tailored to my opponents.

I am 100% behind this version of Mentor, but I played against an exceptional opponent last night, got a little unlucky (drawing 3 lands off Ancestral, for example), and made some subtle (and perhaps not so subtle) errors.  The most glaring mistake that I think caused me to lose game 1 was discarding Dig instead of Force #3 (or the Tundra) the turn I Gushed.  Had I done that correctly, I would have been able to Dig through all of the garbage I ended up drawing, and would have, I believe, consolidated my position.  
 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:34:34 pm by Prospero » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2015, 03:30:32 am »

Let's focus on the nice deck innovations. I for example have a question on the UWR Mentos lists. At first look they seem to be very similar to the established Delver lists, except that they just play Mentor as a threat instead of 3 Delver and 4 Pyromancers. Delver didn't trigger Pyromancer as well so what makes him still good in the Delver lists and not in the Mentor ones. I see, that one Monk token alone can be a serious threat, but aren't these lists end up digging for Mentor and then trying to protect him too often. Even Oath doesn't focus on Oath alone anymore and tries to diversify it's threat density with Show and Tell and/or Vault + Key. Wouldn't it be an option to play something like 2 Delver, 4 Mentor or 2 Pyro and 4 Mentor to diversify a bit. Or maybe even something like 3 Delver, 2 Pyro, 3 Mentor to have a threat occur on every point of the curve? Or is it all about playing the Mentor lists a different way but with the same card stock, so more controlish and then kill very quickly. Just asking.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 01:13:48 pm by Prospero » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2015, 03:52:26 am »

There are a lot of ways to build Mentor, so my answer to the question "why not run Pyro or Delver" pertains specifically to the "Delver" style Mentor variant.

First,as I noted, I tested Mentor lists with Delver, and being a creature was much more of a liability than it was in Pyromancer decks. Every Mentor token, as you noted, is much more powerful than Pyro tokens.  In fact, in one match, I joked that my Mentor token was superior to Ryan's Young Pyromancer. The result is that there is a much, much steeper cost to running creature spells, which cannot trigger Mentor.  Second, the role of cards like Delver is matchup specific - it's there for decks like Merfolk, Shops, and a few other things. Mentor's capacity to overwhelm renders the additional creatures less necessary. Mentor generates Tarmogoyfs.  Third, you don't actually need an early Mentor, because Mentor's creatures are so powerful, I've found that you don't really have to worry about being overwhelmed by Pyro tokens nearly as much as in the Delver mirror.  Mentor's creatures most often make favorable trades - such that just a few Mentor tokens can hold off a much larger force/army of tokens from Delver.  In one testing game, I don't think I got a Mentor into play until Turn 7, and I handily won.  I think it was this game that solidified my position that the conclusion Rich had drawn, that Mentor decks needed an early Mentor, was mistaken.  

In the latest So Many Insane Plays podcast, I compared Mentor to BSC, but, in the last few weeks, I realized that the better comparison is to Psychatog circa 2003. It's an overwhelmingly powerful creature that can come down and contend with much greater forces, and then turn into a very lethal victory quickly.  Those of you who didn't play Type I in 2003 probably won't appreciate the analogy, but I think it will resonate with many who did.  
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« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2015, 04:19:27 am »

In the latest So Many Insane Plays podcast, I compared Mentor to BSC, but, in the last few weeks, I realized that the better comparison is to Psychatog circa 2003. It's an overwhelmingly powerful creature that can come down and contend with much greater forces, and then turn into a very lethal victory quickly.  Those of you who didn't play Type I in 2003 probably won't appreciate the analogy, but I think it will resonate with many who did.  

I remember this time very good and I know that Psychatog was dominating the battlefield and in addition to that just outdrawing everything . So the analogy is very helpful for me to imagine until I come to my own deeper testing. Thanks for the detailed reply.
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« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2015, 01:24:00 pm »

No warnings will be issued for the comments that have been removed from this thread. 

With that in mind, I'd advise everyone who participates in this thread to adhere to the site rules.  Credit-grabbing and trolling will not be tolerated, by anyone.  Anything acrimonious that you may consider posting should either be dropped entirely, or sent via private message.

This thread is about the VSL.  Strict moderation for all deviations and infractions will be the standard moving forward.
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"I値l break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I値l drown my book."

The Return of Superman

Prospero's Art Collection
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