TheManaDrain.com
September 18, 2020, 08:54:11 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Probing Shops  (Read 4933 times)
jcb193
Basic User
**
Posts: 410


View Profile
« on: April 13, 2015, 06:50:54 pm »

Since the Workshops thread seems to be the least frequently updated, Iím just going to throw this out for kicks.  If nothing else, you can flame it.

So whatís worse than playing against Workshops?  How about getting probed too!
  
Iím going to start by saying this decklist is a little rough, and not thoroughly tested, but it has been winning more than itís been losing on MTGO, and I think there might be something to it. There are some major incompatibilities in it, but I think the advantage can outweigh the detriment.  If nothing else it catches your opponent off guard.

Iím not going to claim this decklist is a major revelation on the current archtype, as most workshop versions only skew by 4-6 cards anyway, but itís at least a different approach.  

Thoughts: When I first got back into vintage six months ago, I was toying with the concept of 3-ofs in shops.  A lot of my shops losses came from what I would call undesirable redundancies.  That second forgemaster, the second smokestack, the late game sphere.  Having 4-ofs obviously make for more consistent openings, but can also stunt the top deck phase or cause more mulligans.  I never proved the theory of 3-ofs, but with the addition of Gitaxian Probes, it makes it a little more viable, especially if you can get them to cantrip.

I originally ran 2 smokestacks in here (as a furthering of the ďChoose your own adventureĒ theme- essentially a deck that could go in a lot of different directions), but with mentor/delver tokens prominent these days, smokestack just feels too slow.  Even Crucible/Wasteland doesn't always get it done.  

Essentially this is Martello Shops with Gitaxian Probe and some different ratios.

4 Lodestone Golem
4 Gitaxian Probe
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
3 Kuldotha Forgemaster
4 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Sundering Titan  
1 Staff of Nin (I alternate this with Triskelion, love the card, but a little too inconsistent)
1 Duplicant
1 Batterskull (Dack-Resitant)/Wurmcoil (not Dack Resistant)
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Tangle Wire
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Trinisphere
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Black Lotus
4 Mishraís Workshop
4 Ancient Tomb
2 Cavern of Souls (I sometimes like four, I sometimes hate four)
2 Mishraís Factory
4 Wasteland
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Strip Mine

The reasoning for Probe:
Chalice, Sphere, Golem, Wasteland all become infinitely (infinitely!) better when you know your opponentís hand.  It reduces the frequency of decoy casting, and it even works well late game too. Not to mention, so nice to know whether you are casting into a Dack or not.  You no longer have to cast a lodestone crossing your fingers, and your chalices can become amazing.  It makes the perfect line easy.

The cons:
Yes, obviously Probe does not play nice with Chalice for 1.  But sometimes even worse is that it gives your opponent a target for Mental Misstep.  You might be tempted to keep hands that are mana soft because of the cantrip, and I donít recommend that.  You can rationalize this by saying that when they have to FoW, they will need to pitch something better than MM, but it still sucks to have a probe misstepped.  The probe doesnít lose much effectiveness late game (unless a Cotv for 1 is in play), but with all the artifact hate, Cotv doesn't seem to stick as well as they used to.  And typically your probes will be even stronger game 2-3, as missteps will likely be sided out.  Shops has a ton of cards that you donít want to draw mid/late game, and probe can still give you information, and ideally it cantrips.    I havenít found the loss of life to be crucial, though I confess I havenít tested it in the mirror match that much.  Shops variants are hard decks to test, as a lot of wins might simply come from the deck having a shops core, but I will say there were quite a few games when the probe altered my play in a good way.  And a few games where it was a dead draw.

Iím just throwing it out as something new to mess with.  It takes some of the randomness of shops out of the equation (chalice for 1 or 0, FoW or no?).  I've tested it in ~20 or so matches on MTGO, and it's done fine.  If nothing else you will have some totally whacked out games- it was fun to metamorph a pyromancer and then make tokens with probes.  I know this isn't the right decklist for it, but I can't stress enough how good it feels to land a probe on the play.  We MUD mages don't get that feeling, and let me tell you, it feels great!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 07:16:13 pm by jcb193 » Logged
desolutionist
Full Members
Basic User
***
Posts: 1130



View Profile Email
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 12:01:58 am »

Here's my thinking:

Since you're basically only going to play Probe on turn 1, it seems that Serum Powder would be better since it draws more cards.

But of course, knowing what your opponent has is somewhat valuable in a prison deck.  I'd imagine that maybe you could take it more blue with Tinker, Force of Will, Thirst for Knowledge
Logged

Join the Vintage League!
Dice_Box
Basic User
**
Posts: 53


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 05:01:11 am »

If your after the peek ability I would play Glasses of Urza.

My view on th the idea is that looking yourself out of a card and adding more dead draws later in the game. Already having to deal with dud draws, if I was going make a change to the deck I would add some number of Coercive Portal to smooth them out over adding more.
Logged
Meddling Mike
Master of Divination
Administrator
Basic User
*****
Posts: 1616


Not Chris Pikula

micker01 Micker1985 micker1985
View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2015, 06:54:34 am »

I think this is a terrible idea.

1) The anti-synergy is bigger than just Chalice @ 1, Spheres and Golems also make Gitaxian Probe awful. The gulf between a 1 mana and 0 mana is as wide as the Grand Canyon. Your most consistent mana source is also ineligible to pay for it. If another deck had Gitaxian Probe and was playing against you, they would probably sideboard out some/all of the probes because they are so bad when those cards are on the table.

2) The information gained by casting probe isn't as important for a shops deck. The decks that can best use probe are the ones throwing haymakers. Combo has a lot of hands that fall apart to a Force of Will. If you probe and see Force of Will you can hold off and wait for a piece of disruption or a bait spell. If you see Misdirection or mental misstep you can hold off on that Ancestral Recall. Shop decks aren't built on 1 punch KOs, they're built on presenting opponents with a steady stream of disruption and threats. Gonna counter my first turn sphere of resistance? Well, ok, but I've got this Lodestone Golem coming down next turn. Got a counter for that too? Well next turn there's a Forgemaster coming. I can do this all day and eventually you're going to run out of counters. Can you win the game before I do that? The information gleaned from resolving a probe will probably not change your gameplan much. You can't just sit around and NOT play a threat because they have Force of Will. Maybe you can play your lesser threat and hope that it gets countered instead or figure out what to play your chalice at with more certainty, but it's probably not that different from what you would be doing in the dark.

3) There's really no way for your deck to leverage any added value out of Probe. You have only 3 blue sources, so if you have extra mana lying around you're probably still taking damage to cast it. You don't have Yawgmoth's Will or Snapcaster Mage to recur it from the Graveyard. You don't have Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time to benefit from the filling of the graveyard. You don't have any storm spells or Young Pyromancer/Monastery Mentor that benefit from the additional free spells being cast. All the decks that run Gitaxian Probe are able to squeeze extra value out of it in these ways.
Logged

Meddling Mike posts so loudly that nobody can get a post in edgewise.

Team TMD - If you feel that team secrecy is bad for Vintage put this in your signature
Bill Copes
Adepts
Basic User
****
Posts: 925

I don't have an avatar. I am an avatar.

zebraturbosled
View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2015, 09:09:10 am »

If I wanted to know what my opponents hand was, I'd run the amazing, incredibule, duressing, Pyrostatic Pillaring poop prison.

Logged

I'm the only other legal target, so I draw 6 cards, and he literally quits Magic. 

Terrorists searching in vain for these powerful weapons have the saying "Bill Copes spitteth, and he taketh away."

Team TMD
jcb193
Basic User
**
Posts: 410


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2015, 10:46:17 am »

For me, in testing, the two biggest issues were chalice for 1 and mental misstep.  Because, otherwise, it usually seemed to cantrip effectively.  The MM seemed to be a little more of an issue, because not only have you optimized one of their dead draws, but you also stunt yourself. If you have a chalice for 1 out already, it didn't seem as horrible.  I was able to deduce this by seeing how much better the probe was in games 2/3, than game 1.  

- The life loss did not seem to be a major issue, nor did paying for the spell under spheres.  You're likely not casting more than 1-2 a game, so trying to sneak one single card under a sphere effect is not impossible.
- I don't think that shops can always play out its line irrespective of the opposing player (knowing whether you are casting a Lodestone into a Dack can certainly alter your play, just as easily as going the wasteland route when you opponent has 5 lands can too), and while we can pretend that a shops player never casts an unprotected Lodestone/Forgemaster,  there are plenty of times where you just throw it out there and cross your fingers.  Not every game goes sphere, sphere, wasteland, tangle wire, lodestone.
- The cantripping effect was very nice when it worked, as all of a sudden you were working with perfect information, and not stunting a crucial draw.  

Anyway, thanks for the comments.  I'm sure most of them are spot on.

If it wasn't for the prominence of mental misstep, I would be trumpeting this a little more, as I would love to go back to the 3-ofs theory with cantrips and see if I could pull it off.  

I've heard a few times on here that one of the mantras of shops is that you have to try your own thing out and see where it takes you.  This was an experiment, in an unlikely direction, that paid off better than I expected it to.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 12:56:51 pm by jcb193 » Logged
JarofFortune
Basic User
**
Posts: 356



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 11:02:03 am »

I think the main issue here that no one has mentioned is the effect probe has on mulligans. I'm not a shop expert, but from what I've picked up the opening hand needs to have early disruption and ideally some pressure. In the best-case scenario you will drop multiple lock pieces on turn one. Now, what happens when you have a shaky hand with a couple of probes? You have to send that hand back, because you don't know if those probes will draw you into mana, disruption, or a threat(which could easily be an uncastable 6-8 drop which is effectively a blank). Your hand will likely need a card or two from one of those categories, but with probe in the opener you never know which one you'll draw. This happens in blue decks, too, but that is somewhat offset by the fact that many blue decks have taken to running preordain, and that in some blue decks the downside of probe actually obscuring information from you can be offset by deck design(Running very few win conditions in a control deck, for example). The shop pillar can't afford those luxuries.  If the deck is actually good like you say it is then by all means keep playing it, but don't be surprised if people are skeptical(at least until you start putting up results with it).
Logged

The Auriok have fought the metal hordes for so long now that knowing how to cripple them has become an instinct. -Metal Fatigue
Prospero
Aequitas
Administrator
Basic User
*****
Posts: 4854



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 11:02:08 am »

Well, I've heard a few times on here that one of the mantras of shops is that you have to try your own thing out and see where it takes you.

This.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind when building decks and playing.  Anybody can copy a list from TMD, run it at a lesser percentage than the guys who built the deck, and snipe at others who are trying things.

Trying things is really, really important.  Is Gitaxian Probe bad in Shops?  I think so.  But that's not what this is about.  Everybody in this thread has been wrong before, and will be wrong again.  If you think it could be good, test it.  And if you think it is, prove us wrong and put up the results that show it isn't bad.  

And if it is bad, then scrap the deck, think about what you learned from the process, and keep moving on.  That reference that you created, by trying something new, is something that your detractors may not have.  And it may prove itself relevant, and vital, in some future deck construction.  

I've been working on something for three months now, and I think I finally have it just about right.  I tried some bad things in order to see where it went.  I learned a lot in the process.  Were the bad cards bad?  Yup.  But I learned some things, and incorporated the lessons I learned in building what I did.  I'm happy with it, and looking forward to breaking the deck out at a big event (that I can actually play in, and not spectate).

So, keep it up.  Keep trying things.  It's worth it.

Best of luck.

Logged

"Iíll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
Iíll drown my book."

The Return of Superman

Prospero's Art Collection
Wagner
Basic User
**
Posts: 820


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 01:08:52 pm »

If I wanted to know what my opponents hand was, I'd run the amazing, incredibule, duressing, Pyrostatic Pillaring poop prison.



I would really love for this card to be playable, it does so much in theory, but the cost is just too high.
Logged
Bill Copes
Adepts
Basic User
****
Posts: 925

I don't have an avatar. I am an avatar.

zebraturbosled
View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 03:43:18 pm »

I would really love for this card to be playable, it does so much in theory, but the cost is just too high.

Totally.  Seems like it would be fun to stick one of these vs. delver or some such, then metamorph it for the humor.  Add in a few Ankh of Mishra's and blammo.
Logged

I'm the only other legal target, so I draw 6 cards, and he literally quits Magic. 

Terrorists searching in vain for these powerful weapons have the saying "Bill Copes spitteth, and he taketh away."

Team TMD
nedleeds
Tournament Organizers
Basic User
**
Posts: 399


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2015, 10:39:31 am »

I think Probe might make mulliganing even more difficult. Deciding on your keep in shops is one of the toughest skills to master, you lean on math, and other heuristics derived from countless openers and games and lay it over your current matchup. Having an unknown makes it even tougher. The other counter point is the overwhelming ubiquity of Mental Misstep in blue decks, Chris pointed out last night how much it's crunching deck building space in blue decks. I have recently been considering not playing Sol Ring (Vault as well in Metalworker) because of how awful it is to turn on 3-4 of your blue opponents cards. You can argue whether or not it's ever right to Misstep Probe but I'd rather not chance it, especially in a blind field.
Logged
BC
Full Members
Basic User
***
Posts: 609



View Profile Email
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2015, 12:12:13 pm »

I would really love for this card to be playable, it does so much in theory, but the cost is just too high.

Totally.  Seems like it would be fun to stick one of these vs. delver or some such, then metamorph it for the humor.  Add in a few Ankh of Mishra's and blammo.

Vroman used to run this in the sideboard of Uba Stax during the Pitch Long era. It was pretty solid if you could land it.
Logged
rikter
Basic User
**
Posts: 139


View Profile Email
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2015, 12:15:20 pm »

Forgive the length, its been a quiet day at work!

I'm new to Vintage Shops but I am an experienced Legacy MUD pilot, and the reasons you don't play probe in Shops are, I believe, very similar to the reasons you don't play probe in Legacy either.

When I first started Legacy MUD, I was advised to run the probe to avoid getting blown out by going in on a turn 1 monoloth trinisphere type line, or something similar, and to help smooth out the deck a bit.

The problems with this line of thinking are:

1) There really isn't a whole lot of (or really any) fluff in either Shops or Legacy MUD that you can just cut. I can see from the list that you have cut the Thorns to make room for the probes, which to me seems like a pretty important 4 cards to cut! I don't have a ton of Vintage experience but from the competitive matches I have played, there is simply no way I would be comfortable cutting thorn, its too important to my plan.

2) Though somewhat less relevant in Vintage since you have blue sources, the loss of life from paying phyrexian mana can be an issue, between ancient tomb and mana crypt and also casting metamorph.

3) Lack of synergy with critical cards. Chalice on 1 is the obvious nombo, but phyrexian mana doesn't count towards trinisphere either. You also cant sac it to forgemaster, and can't cast it with Workshop. Also, probing under spheres eats up your mana so that it becomes harder to act on the information you get by following your probe with business. If you're probing turn 1 this is less of an issue, but on other turns the probe is (should be) pretty dead. I don't think it would be at all unusual for cycling probe to basically be giving your opponent a time walk, and if you don't cycle it now you just have a dead card.

I ultimately found that in Legacy, the probe acted sort of like training wheels...sure it helped in some situations, but ultimately it throttled the deck and I decided to cut it. Instead of playing probe I worked on my mulligan decisions and play lines/sequences (particularly when it comes to what constitutes a good bait card in a particular match up). I applied this same logic to my decision not to run it in Vintage either.

In Vintage you can try to play around certain cards, but I've found that if someone is even able to scrounge up the mana to pay for those problem cards in the first place, that things are probably not going all that great anyways...so rather than worry about looking at their hand, I'd just focus on piling on spheres and furthering my own plan. Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. Plus, having the thorns as bait is, to me, better than probing, because what happens when you probe and see force or drain? Now, instead of having possibly eaten a counter with thorn to free up the golem or whatever, you do....??? We aren't a deck that can afford to just sit around on a weak lock, its important to keep attempting to deploy threats.

As to Chalice, Sphere, Golem and Wasteland being better once you know their hand...

Chalice to me is a card that sort of plays itself game 1. G1T1 it comes out on zero (1 on the draw), and on future turns its more a function of board state and what I am afraid of more than anything else, though 99% of the time it's going to be at 0 1 or 2. G2 it gets a little more interesting, but after playing G1 you should know whether they have a deck where you dont want to chalice on zero, and if that's the case it's usually just a question of 1 or 2. Even if you can see what's in their hand, it might not be correct to use that info to set chalice!!! You need to consider the entire deck and it's threats; once you start thinking in those terms, the probe is unnecessary.

I pretty much always run out spheres unless its Shops mirror, or if I feel like the extra turn of damage/blocking from playing a creature now instead of sphering then playing the creature is what is necessary to win. Basically it's a product of board state though, not what's in their hand.

Golem gets interesting when they can actually cast spells. Then their deck and board become the deciding factors, but still, if they can already force or drain, passing the turn without attempting to deploy some disruption (wire, sphere, golem) is incredibly dangerous because if they hit mana and dig out even further its bad news. Even running it into a counter can be productive if it keeps them off end step card draw like Dig.

Wasteland use for me is primarily about board state; unless I need the mana to play out from under spheres, its going to get used. Even if they have backup lands, when you have spheres out wasteland is a quasi timewalk. Even if they Gush to save the land you've now double time walked them as far as their ability to cast further spells. I don't worry about a special land like Forbidden Orchard since against Oath 1) I expect to have my own creatures out anyways and 2) My plan is to keep them off oath in the first place by staying a step ahead with spheres and wires and mana denial and such (that advice courtesy of Roland Chang, who also put me on to not playing Cage in my 75).

I think you are better off having 4 extra pieces of disruption in the deck, and cutting the probes, for the reasons described above.
Logged
diopter
I voted for Smmenen!
Basic User
**
Posts: 1049


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2015, 12:28:59 pm »

Gitaxian Probe is a vital component of a Shops/Force-of-Will hybrid, which is a concept I've infi tried to make happen. It hasn't yet (I had to run hot garbage like Tezz Gambit) but that's one idea to throw your way.
Logged
Shax
Basic User
**
Posts: 247


0TonyMontana0 =twittername add me!

Braveheart+Shax
View Profile Email
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2015, 08:57:05 pm »

Shops with Gitaxian Probe at first seems great, until you come to the understanding that you take a nosedive in other Shop matchups.
Logged

Jesus Christ the King of Kings!

Vintage Changes: Unrestricted Ponder

Straight OG Ballin' shuffle em up tool cause you lookin' like mashed potatoes from my Tatergoyf. Hater whats a smurf? You lucksack? I OG. You make plays? I own deez. You win Tourneys? I buy locks. You double down? I triple up. Trojan Man? Latex. ClubGangster? I own it.Sexy mop? Wii U. Shax 4 President?
-Hypnotoa
Space_Stormy
Basic User
**
Posts: 187

Trinket Mage or bust!


View Profile Email
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2015, 01:44:27 pm »

I think Probe might make mulliganing even more difficult. Deciding on your keep in shops is one of the toughest skills to master, you lean on math, and other heuristics derived from countless openers and games and lay it over your current matchup. Having an unknown makes it even tougher. The other counter point is the overwhelming ubiquity of Mental Misstep in blue decks, Chris pointed out last night how much it's crunching deck building space in blue decks. I have recently been considering not playing Sol Ring (Vault as well in Metalworker) because of how awful it is to turn on 3-4 of your blue opponents cards. You can argue whether or not it's ever right to Misstep Probe but I'd rather not chance it, especially in a blind field.

Misstep still pitches to FoW so cutting Sol Ring isn't really that necessary to do.  Not like it is REB/Pyroblast you're trying to blank.
Logged

Tune in to coverage of The Mana Drain Vintage League! Sundays @ 9est/6pst: www.twitch.tv/hammybone
-Samuel Alaimo-
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.063 seconds with 20 queries.