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Author Topic: New Workshops player  (Read 4783 times)
Islandswamp
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« on: May 05, 2015, 06:22:52 pm »

Hello, I recently downloaded this 4-0 list. It's the first Shops deck I've ever played, and so far, I'm enjoying it a lot.

4 Kuldotha Forgemaster
4 Lodestone Golem
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
3 Phyrexian Revoker
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Sundering Titan
1 Wurmcoil Engine
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Sphere of Resistance
1 Staff of Nin
4 Tangle Wire
4 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Cavern of Souls
3 Mishra's Factory
4 Mishra's Workshop
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
4 Wasteland
3 Crucible of Worlds
1 Duplicant
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Grafdigger's Cage
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
4 Tormod's Crypt
1 Triskelion
This list was played by Montolio, and it seemed pretty good when he destroyed me with it one night in a Daily Event.

The reason I'm playing this deck, is that I'm trying to learn something new. Also, the other decks I've been playing (mostly Mentor, but some Oath) haven't been working that well for me. I know that they're good decks, but I've had some really unfortunate swings of variance lately, and I am excited to try what looks to be a consistent deck.

So far, I've had way more fun playing it than I thought I would. It's hard for me to not play my Force of Wills or Ancestral. If the end result is that I'm winning, than that is a good enough reason to play shops instead of counterspells.

I've won most of my matches in the tournament practice room, including several mirror matches. The thing is, that isn't really the best representation of how I'll do in the tournaments. I've always done well in the free-play rooms, but there is a higher percentage of highly-skilled players in the Daily Events.

I'm also writing my weekly article for PureMTGO on the subject of Mishra's Workshop decks. So, if anyone has any advice, or any useful info, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Now, I have a few questions. One of the mirror matches that I won last night, had me facing an opponent who was running a black lotus. My list doesn't call for one. I assumed that the reason that one might not want lotus is that since the mana isn't repeatable, and this deck has virtually no card-draw, the loss of card advantage from lotus was too important to make the tempo worth it. Is that a correct assumption? My lotus-playing opponent did win one game, where he played Wurmcoil engine on turn one with a Lotus,but other than that it didn't seem as good as it is in other decks.

What is the best version of a shops deck to play?

What kind of shops deck is mine? I've been calling it Forgemaster Stax.

Is there any card I should include in the sideboard to improve the mirror match?

This last question is probably dumb, but it's something I thought about. I read on here earlier that someone said to at least try or talk about ideas before dissmissing them. Lobotomy-effects are generally bad, because they don't affect the board. But, if you could either cast, or otherwise get into play (via forgemaster) a Jester's Cap (the original surgical extraction), you could say, remove all three Griselbrands from an oath deck, or take out three of four Ingot chewers and stop fearing the loss of your Lodestone Golems.

At six mana, something that is kind of narrow and doesn't affect the board, plus puts you down a card, probably isn't good enough. All I know is that when I was playing Oath, if someone Capped me, I'd just scoop (if I hadn't combo'd out yet).

I'm going to build martello shops, espresso stax, and terra nova at some point, just to play all of them. I'm really excited to get to play this deck. I liked it so much I traded in all my new-art Workshops for original Kaja Foglio ones, which cost twice as much online. 

Thanks.






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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 07:46:26 pm »

Jcap is sb tech that was used many moons ago.  It's still decent.  The only issue is that in a metalworker/forgemaster list, an opponent is likely to keep in/board in null rod effects which will hurt your cap plan.  But, as a one-of with the ability to tutor for it, it ain't bad as a sb option vs tendrils/oath decks.  Grabbing 3 ingot chewers is pretty weak, since you spent a card and a turn to grab 3 spells that don't stop the opponent from winning...so in effect, they get an ingot activation out of the deal.  I'd not use it as anti-hate, but it is a good combo crusher if you know your opponents are threat light.  Nice thing about forgemaster is they cant counter the cap and you can pop it the same turn you fetch it for the win.  Now if they have a threat in hand, it doesn't stop the game, but they need to put the card back and then go off (oath)...storm can still just win, but usually they just have 2 tendrils and a BSC.  If they have a mentor/tendrils build, you can at least cut them off one angle.
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 09:45:10 am »

This is the list I have been running and enjoy it.  I finished first at a side event for GPNJ and third in a non proxy event and faced a good mix of decks.  I feel that even though the Metalworkers are somewhat of a liability they can just win the game on their own with the Staff of Domination combo.  Mirror match Phyrexian Revokers are a little bit of a pain but they can't hit all the threats so I feel well positioned against opposing Shops decks.  It's hard for me to build a Shops deck and not auto include Black Lotus but I know it may not always be correct.  I have found that it usually helps to draw and even later in the game its not terrible.  I don't play online so I don't have the most amount of experience with the deck but when I get to play I usually do well for what that's worth.   

Main Deck (60)
Creatures (20)

2 Phyrexian Revoker   
4 Metalworker   
4 Lodestone Golem   
4 Kuldotha Forgemaster   
1 Duplicant   
1 Steel Hellkite   
2 Wurmcoil Engine   
1 Sundering Titan   
1 Blightsteel Colossus   
Spells (22)

1 Black Lotus   
1 Mana Crypt   
1 Mox Emerald   
1 Mox Jet   
1 Mox Pearl   
1 Mox Ruby   
1 Mox Sapphire   
3 Chalice of the Void   
1 Sol Ring   
2 Lightning Greaves   
2 Thorn of Amethyst   
4 Sphere of Resistance   
1 Trinisphere   
2 Staff of Domination   
Lands (18)

1 City of Traitors   
1 Strip Mine   
1 Tolarian Academy   
3 Ancient Tomb   
4 Mishra's Factory   
4 Mishra's Workshop   
4 Wasteland   
Sideboard (15)
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale   
2 Ghost Quarter   
1 Tormod's Crypt   
2 Thorn of Amethyst   
2 Dismember   
1 Phyrexian Metamorph   
1 Witchbane Orb   
1 Batterskull   
3 Grafdigger's Cage   
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Islandswamp
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 03:24:32 pm »

Metalworker seems cool.

For now, though, I'm going to stick to this martello shops build I just downloaded.

What exactly is precursor golem for? Sacrificing to Forgemaster, or do you use it offensively?

I've only activated Forgemaster a few times, but it generally ends in a win.

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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 07:08:32 am »

I don't run Precursor but I'm guessing it can be both offensive and targets for Foregemaster.  I have seen a few lists that run it but haven't heard why.  Dismember is a good sideboard card to take out other Lodestones, Foregemasters, or maybe hit a Mentor.
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 09:02:53 am »

Precursor is brought in against the mirror to boost the beat down plan. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 11:48:05 am »

Precursor is the nuts.  He gets blown out vs bolt/dismember/repeal/etc, but when the path is clear, he's a house.  5 mana for a "9/9" that can swing/chump all at once?  Vs shops that run few to no targeted removal, he can race a lodestone or swing for 6 while holding back a blocker.  And if the opponent runs dismember, he just whacked his own lodestone.  Vs the non-shop matchup, it's just too dangerous to run (a triplicated repeal is big hurts especially as you just ancestralled your opponent AND let them timewalk in a sense).  The artifact hate also does a number.  Kuldotha helps by giving it an extra use as fodder, but still risky.  I love it as shop hate though.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 11:53:11 am »

Workshop decks are deceptively hard to play optimally. The complexities tend to hide behind simple mechanics and deck building, but there are huge % points to be gained from understanding fundamentals and knowing how to pilot the deck.

Know your lines of play, and how they interact with each deck that is in the meta. This is a key skill because, unlike blue decks, once you have decided on the roll you are going to play, it is very hard to change.    

The raw power of the deck comes from a synergy, produced by the cards working in concert. The skill to express this power is in sequence. Knowing how to sequence the lock pieces is paramount to success. Here is a simple example. Sphere/Sphere/Tangle wire/The threat. This is the Left/Left/Dodge/Right Haymaker of Workshops. In this example, even if the opponent plays a land, Force Of Will is shut off.

Know when to mulligan. Here are some basic guidelines to evaluating a hand. Can you get to 4 mana? Am I playing VS a wasteland deck, can it handle a wasteland? Can it handle a Force, can it bait out a Force? Do I already have a dead card, Sundering Titan, so it is already on 6? There is more to it, but I hope that helps at least a little.

Try to develop a solid understanding of lines of play, sequence, and when to mulligan. Good Luck!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 11:59:46 am by jyuj » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2015, 07:56:01 pm »

Thank you for the advice. I wrote my weekly article for puremtgo.com about Mishra's Workshop-Prison decks. I think for the most part I'm getting the hang of the sequencing. Usually, if I've made the wrong play, I've lost that game. So, it's easy to take a loss and figure out which mistakes you made.

In my article, I mention playing a Forgemaster one turn, instead of an extra lock piece, because I wouldn't have been able to cast the Forgemaster next turn through another sphere without top decking two more mana. Well, that cost me the game when my opponent could tap out for a Nature's Claim on the FM.

I posted a link to my article in the Vintage articles section, I'm always up to discuss them. If you notice something incorrect, or anything you don't agree with, for example.
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2015, 04:54:11 pm »

I personally find the hardest lock peice to play optimally is Wasteland. Because mana can be tight I sometimes want to hand on to them but that can be the wrong line. Sometimes locking yourself out of mana is not that big a deal when you are knocking them back, but knowing when to make that call is in my view often the hardest line to see.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2015, 09:15:43 pm »

So, I've been winning maybe 70% or more of my matches in the tournament practice room. That, unfortunately, has given me a false sense of security. The competition in the daily events is much more difficult. Even so, I've crushed one game each time, and then kind of fallen apart.

I think my mulligan decisions need to be better, and I need to figure out how to play a little better. I'm not sure exactly what to do, because I do great a lot of the time.

I'll probably watch my replays to see what I could have done differently.
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 12:20:41 pm »

Anything that shines a light on vintage is great, especially articles that bring attention to the decks that have been forged by the Workshop masters of New York.  

The sequencing example in the article is a little off. You used broad strokes to explain it which is fine, but more detail is critical. The heart of what you explained is correct, but the optimal sequence turn one on the play is,

Mana Crypt, Sol Ring - This is important to fire off first, to see if your Sol Ring gets Mental Misstepped.

Thorn of Amethyst - This sequence puts the opponent into a hard place. They know that with one mana still floating, and without having played a land, the shop pilot could have more action on turn one. If you play the Workshop before these cards you are giving away the information that you COULD play a Lodestone Golem, or any other additional first turn lock piece.  

Workshop, Lodestone Golem.

With this sequence you can squeeze out more % points. Lets explain why. If you are playing VS a blue deck, the pilot might have a hand that can handle one sphere, but not two. To keep the example simple, the blue pilot kept, Mox Sapphire/Mox Ruby/Scalding Tarn/Island/Force Of Will/Ancestral Recall/Young Pyromancer.

The blue pilot might think they can beat just a Thorn Of Amethyst, so they let it resolve, also they don't want to pitch the Ancestral to Force. If you play the Workshop first, it telegraphs that you have another lock piece, with the wrong sequencing the blue pilot probably forces, knowing that two 'sphere affects' turn one will make the game very hard to win. These small % points are very important to get, if a Workshop pilot wants to go the distance in a large tournament.

You should point this out to your viewers, so they can understand that it takes skill, and experience to pilot Workshop decks optimally. For example I assume that, Clan Magic Eternal, read the article but didn't pick up on the problems with the sequencing. I guess BUG players have even less than "the 4-5 brain cells it requires to play", (Clan Magic Eternal words not mine) ........................ Welcome to shops.    
      
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 06:12:27 am by jyuj » Logged

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Islandswamp
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2015, 03:32:36 pm »

Anything that shines a light on vintage is great, especially articles that bring attention to the decks that have been forged by the Workshop masters of New York.  

The sequencing example in the article is a little off. You used broad strokes to explain it which is fine, but more detail is critical. The heart of what you explained is correct, but the optimal sequence turn one on the play is,

Mana Crypt, Sol Ring - This is important to fire off first, to see if your Sol Ring gets Mental Misstepped.

Thorn of Amethyst - This sequence puts the opponent into a hard place. They know that with one mana still floating, and without having played a land, the shop pilot could have more action on turn one. If you play the Workshop before these cards you are giving away the information that you COULD play a Lodestone Golem, or any other additional first turn lock piece.  

Workshop, Lodestone Golem.

With this sequence you can squeeze out more % points. Lets explain why. If you are playing VS a blue deck, the pilot might have a hand that can handle one sphere, but not two. To keep the example simple, the blue pilot kept, Mox Sapphire/Mox Ruby/Scalding Tarn/Island/Force Of Will/Ancestral Recall/Young Pyromancer.

The blue pilot might think they can beat just a Thorn Of Amethyst, so they let it resolve, also they don't want to have to pitch the Ancestral. If you play the Workshop first, it telegraphs strongly that you have another lock piece, with the wrong sequencing the blue pilot probably forces, knowing that two 'sphere affects' turn one will make the game very hard to win. These small % points are very important to get, if a Workshop pilot wants to go the distance in a large tournament.

You should point this out to your viewers, so they can understand that it takes skill, and experience to pilot Workshop decks optimally. For example I assume that, Clan Magic Eternal, read the article but didn't pick up on the problems with the sequencing. I guess BUG players have even less than "the 4-5 brain cells it requires to play", (Clan Magic Eternal words not mine) ........................ Welcome to shops.    
      

Thanks for the advice. I've had several people throw out some better lines than I chose. I was concerned with playing a sphere effect first, to either draw the FOW or allow the Lodestone to resolve unimpeded. You, and two other people pointed out lines that were even better.

I think that shows that there is a lot more to think about at first glance.

Regarding the comment about play-skill RE: Shops, I think that a lot of people get so frustrated at losing to the deck, that they tend to lash out. Also, if a player is experiencing any mana problems, and/or fails to draw their sideboard cards (I know this has happened to me) the shops player can get away with some loose play and still win. I had a guy beat me, even though he countered his own Sol Ring with Chalice, just because the deck is very powerful and I had fallen behind a little.

Playing the deck, I've come to the conclusion that winning matches can be very hard if the opponent has a good start, and in that case, you have to play very tight Magic.

Sometimes, things aren't very hard, You get a really strong hand, and you can just crush someone with lock pieces and Wastelands. The thing is, that is the same with any deck. I've lost to an opponent's turn one belcher, and in the last daily event my opponent hit me with a turn one Black Lotus into Energy Flux. I kept my hand with lots of lock pieces, Golem, and two Workshops, thinking I was golden. Unfortunately, I was on the draw, and I lost hard.

At some point, I'll write more about the deck. I'm still new to the format, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I write weekly articles, and the desire to produce content in the short amount of time I have sometimes causes me to miss things. I think in general though, my stuff is pretty good. I get mostly good feedback about it.

When I do get the chance to write about the deck again, I'll mention the examples that you and other people have pointed out. I really appreciate the help, and honest feedback. Frankly, without all the helpful people here at The Mana Drain, I'd not know half as much about the format. Every time I write about Vintage, I'm using these forums.

One thing that I realized I messed up on in the article that nobody has pointed out yet, is the difference between Workshops Prison and Workshops aggro. I did not know that Martello shops and various Forgemaster lists are grouped under the aggro heading, and decks like Espresso Stax are considered to be Prison decks.

Since I wrote the article, and posted this thread, I've been playing nothing but Shops. I never thought I would like it as much as I do, but I really enjoy it.

I've switched to playing Roland Chang's Shops list from the last Vintage champs. It had four Revokers in the main deck, and that is a card I always wanted more of in the last daily I played in. At worst it's a little bit of extra pressure, but usually it is a 2-mana Stone Rain on legs. Plus, it hoses Dack Fayden, and a lot of other stuff that has given me a hard time.

This is the list, for reference:

1 Black Lotus
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Chalice of the Void
1 Sol Ring
3 Sphere of Resistance
4 Phyrexian Revoker
4 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Trinisphere
4 Tangle Wire
3 Phyrexian Metamorph
4 Lodestone Golem
4 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Duplicant
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Sundering Titan
1 Strip Mine
1 Tolarian Academy
4 Ancient Tomb
4 Mishra's Factory
4 Mishra's Workshop
4 Wasteland


1 Sphere of Resistance
1 Duplicant
3 Crucible of Worlds
2 Dismember
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Tormod's Crypt
1 Witchbane Orb
2 Wurmcoil Engine

I didn't have two Wurmcoils at the time, so I am using a Batterskull in that slot until I pick up another one.

I love the dismembers, but I feel like the SB might want more dredge/oath hate in the form of Grafdigger's Cage.

Any advice or comments are welcome. Thanks again to everyone for helping out!
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2015, 06:35:51 pm »


You should point this out to your viewers, so they can understand that it takes skill, and experience to pilot Workshop decks optimally. For example I assume that, Clan Magic Eternal, read the article but didn't pick up on the problems with the sequencing. I guess BUG players have even less than "the 4-5 brain cells it requires to play", (Clan Magic Eternal words not mine) ........................ Welcome to shops.    
      

Haha seriously?  My statement was less an indictment on the individual skill of stax pilots but more a pointed reference to the fact the deck has so much power these petty percentage points you reference mean less than experience with almost any other archetype would.

First - your reference to fishing for a misstep is moot unless you believe they have a misstep and a force of will - not the hand you referenced.  The deck has *one* misstep target.  Playing it off the Workshop or the Crypt is completely irrelevant in regards to misstep - a blue player would be an absolute fool not to use it.

Furthermore, two separate pilots from this past Sunday night's DE played against my good buddy Cronin (who was playing stax - as more of a troll than anything).  The misplays we witnessed were beyond astounding, and the same dumb move was made by BOTH pilots.  The truly ironic part?  One went 4-0!

Play one (which both players made) was blindly attacking into a mishra's factory with a Lodestone while there was an active Crucible of Worlds on our side.  Really?  It didn't bother Mr. 4-0 Who went on to topdeck some wacky singleton big monsters.

The play of the guy in our 2-1 match for money though... that was something special.  I personally witnessed him play out the typical "Turn one Lodestone - Rawr"  with Multiple mox + Workshop play.  We kept a sub-par hand (to say the least) which led with a turn one factory into a Mana Vault into a Crucible(Love Josh.... he didn't play Trini for some reason main deck either hahaha).  The opponent untaps, and puts a metamorph on the stack.  Josh and I both freak out and cringe - thinking he would do what anyone who understood the Stax mirror would do: Copy the Crucible of Worlds.  Instead, he went on to surprise me with perhaps one of the sillier plays I have seen lately and copied his Lodestone instead.  And you guessed it, he evenetually lost the metamorph to a Factory.

The next card he played?  Strip Mine.  Go figure... Shops players.  Maybe not you, but they are out there, everywhere.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 07:47:53 pm by country_hillbilly » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 07:22:13 pm »

Guys, let's keep this above-brow.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2015, 09:24:24 pm »


One thing that I realized I messed up on in the article that nobody has pointed out yet, is the difference between Workshops Prison and Workshops aggro. I did not know that Martello shops and various Forgemaster lists are grouped under the aggro heading, and decks like Espresso Stax are considered to be Prison decks.
 

Not a big deal, Shops have a continuum all the way from the Trogdon aggro brews to the less aggro Stax and MUD lists. You mention Roland Chang, he has an interesting Dack Stax list from the recent Grand Prix Atlantic City http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=47710.0
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2015, 10:50:24 pm »


One thing that I realized I messed up on in the article that nobody has pointed out yet, is the difference between Workshops Prison and Workshops aggro. I did not know that Martello shops and various Forgemaster lists are grouped under the aggro heading, and decks like Espresso Stax are considered to be Prison decks.
 

Not a big deal, Shops have a continuum all the way from the Trogdon aggro brews to the less aggro Stax and MUD lists. You mention Roland Chang, he has an interesting Dack Stax list from the recent Grand Prix Atlantic City http://www.themanadrain.com/index.php?topic=47710.0

I ended up playing The Atog Lord the other day, and He starts playing cards, I think that we're in a mirror match until I see Goblin Welder. He got me in the Smokestack lock pretty quick.

I told him I thought the deck was cool, and he mentioned it was Roland Chang's list. I'm interested to try it, but I'd have to pull some strings to get all of the cards. Welders are cheap on MTGO, it's the Tabernacles and Mana Confluences that are 20 tix
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