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Author Topic: Dredge 101 - A Video Primer  (Read 3639 times)
ajfirecracker
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« on: December 25, 2015, 06:56:48 pm »

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwGy3yc_3RDTzjIuJFVE5_GYcQsWEz58d

I've created a new video series that explains the absolute basics of Dredge for new players. I show how the deck operates and how to perform mulligans. I also talk at length about what to name with Cabal Therapy and how to fight hate cards.
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2015, 12:45:50 am »

I've watched the videos on mulligans and hate so far and I thought they were excellently done and very informative for players new to the format or archetype. Thank you for producing quality content like this.
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 09:50:24 pm »

Great set of videos. My only objection is the lack of inclusion of Dragonlord Kolaghan. She has been a replacement for Flamekin Zealot for a majority of lists that I have seen.
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2015, 04:28:05 pm »

I really like the videos!  Smile

One thing I'd say is that naming Mental Misstep with a blind Cabal Therapy seems like a so-so play to me.  IMO if they had the Mental Misstep in hand, they would likely just MM the Therapy right away, without allowing you any informational advantage.
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ajfirecracker
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 04:39:07 pm »

Thank you for the kind words, everyone! I appreciate it.

Re: Dragonlord Kolaghan, I think that would be a very reasonable inclusion. I was just trying to show the absolute basics of "what does this deck even do?" in the first video, so I didn't want to delve too deeply into all the reanimation options. Arguably something like Chancellor of the Annex was already too much and shows my personal biases.

Re: Mental Misstep, I don't claim that it's always correct to name it or name Force when you have exactly 2 Therapies, but I do think it's sometimes right. The main thing is how developed the opponent is - if they're very undeveloped I would consider naming Misstep and if they're very developed I would lean towards Force. Anything in the big middle area I think you try to hit a business spell.
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2015, 05:03:00 pm »

My point regarding MM is more that I would think your opponent would just Mental Misstep the Cabal Therapy if they had it.  Maybe this is a mind game that some player play that I am unaware of, but I would think that most of the time if your opponent has a Mental Misstep to answer a Cabal Therapy, they'd fire it off just to go one-for-one and keep you off knowing the contents of their hand...
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ajfirecracker
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2015, 05:26:11 pm »

So the situation where they let the Therapy resolve is: the dredge player has exactly 2 Therapies, and the Misstep player has exactly 1 Misstep (and either doesn't have Force or is unwilling to use it on a Therapy). If the Dredge player was going to hit blindly, whether or not you Misstep doesn't matter. Either the first one hits blindly or the second does (whichever resolves). If the dredge player was going to miss blindly, whether or not you Misstep doesn't matter. Either the first one misses blindly or the second does (whichever resolves).

So what you're weighing as the Misstep player is the odds that they name Misstep versus giving them more information when they do actually name a card. They get to see your hand either way and get to blindly name 1 card either way. If you counter the first Therapy they gain information by the time they resolve a Therapy (they saw you counter it). If you counter the second Therapy their only resolving Therapy had minimal information. On the flip side, if they do name Misstep then that could be bad for the Misstep player because the second Therapy gets to name a known card (or be saved for a later turn).

I think that decision could easily come down either way without any weird mind-games.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 05:29:20 pm by ajfirecracker » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2015, 05:32:26 pm »

Most Dredge lists ignore Mental Misstep nowadays, having it only it Cabal Therapy, literally. I have never considered naming Mental Misstep for this reason.
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 05:47:39 pm »

The fact that Misstep (basically) only hits Therapy is definitely relevant. That's why the premise of naming Misstep requires that you have exactly 2 Therapies.
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 05:51:47 pm »

The fact that Misstep (basically) only hits Therapy is definitely relevant. That's why the premise of naming Misstep requires that you have exactly 2 Therapies.

I mean, the decks that think Misstep is so good against Dredge because they are in the mentality that Dredge plays Nature's Claim, Chain of Vapor, some removal like Darkblast etc. So when they bank on Misstep and hope it saves their Rest in Peace and Cage in play and we play a Serenity they pretty much cry.
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 10:02:24 pm »

I think you are entirely missing his concept here, Gotshall.
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 05:05:59 pm »

I think misstep is only a relevant card to name on misstep if misstep is live to other cards in your deck. If we apply the principle of naming cards that make you lose the game I think naming misstep is only right if you think that misstep will sink you.
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 05:36:17 pm »

I think misstep is only a relevant card to name on misstep if misstep is live to other cards in your deck. If we apply the principle of naming cards that make you lose the game I think naming misstep is only right if you think that misstep will sink you.

Exactly what I've been trying to say. Why name Misstep with Therapy when all they can counter IS Therapy....
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 07:16:47 pm »

Thanks for putting the work into these videos.  Another medium for teaching people how to dredge is always good.

I think misstep is only a relevant card to name on misstep if misstep is live to other cards in your deck. If we apply the principle of naming cards that make you lose the game I think naming misstep is only right if you think that misstep will sink you.

Exactly what I've been trying to say. Why name Misstep with Therapy when all they can counter IS Therapy....

There is a chance your opponent is leveling you, knowing you will not name misstep.  Therefore they will allow your first therapy to resolve with the intention of using misstep on your second therapy.  Although I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense for your opponent to do this, it's basically just giving you an opportunity for a blow out by naming misstep.

That being said I would never name misstep with my resolved therapy.  It's never a card we are afraid of, and is something they should've already used if they had one.

I think a big thing about therapy that wasn't really covered much is just the information it gives.  Do I need to therapy a second time, do I need to be aggressive and try to kill you this turn ect. are relevant questions that can be answered even if you don't hit on your first therapy.

We also have some information from our opponent before we cast our therapy, namely the mana sources they played and any spell they cast on turn 1.  For instance if my opponent plays a Badlands I'm thinking ritual all the way so on so forth.
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ajfirecracker
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2015, 03:26:33 am »

If you would literally never name Misstep with a Therapy, then I (as a Misstep player in this hypothetical) would literally never get blown out by letting you resolve it. As a result, when you personally have exactly 2 Therapies and I have exactly 1 Misstep, I should lean pretty heavily towards letting it resolve.

I get an information advantage on your Therapies and I never get blown out - great!

(The exception being if I can make you cast both Therapies rather than only 1 in situations where I would prefer you cast both, such as when my hand is lands+Misstep)

Let me try to flesh out a situation that I think illustrates my point.

I'm a Grixis Control player (in this hypothetical) and my opponent is a known Dredge player. Let's call him Jim. Jim always plays Dredge, and when I'm paired against him I mulligan heavily in game 1 looking for fast interaction.

My eventual Turn 1 play is basic Island -> Preordain, seeing Tinker and Jace the Mind Sculptor. I put JTMS on the bottom, drawing the Tinker. I play a Mox Ruby, and pass the turn with a 3-card hand of Tinker, Mana Drain, and Mental Misstep.

My Dredge opponent (who was on the play) gets a little bit of a slow Dredge, but positions himself to cast 2 Cabal Therapy on his second turn.

He puts the first Therapy on the stack. Do you counter with Mental Misstep here? I think I would lean very heavily against countering it. If I go to 2 cards in hand Tinker will be very near the top of the list in terms of cards my opponent would name. A 2-card hand in this situation could basically only win from a Tinker, Ancestral, or some other incredible card/combination. If I have an extra card in hand my opponent is much more likely to name something else, because Tinker is restricted and his field of concern is a fair bit wider. Tinker is definitely still high on the list of cards to name, but if he names Tinker blindly whether you counter or not is really not important.

An extra item to think about is what the Dredge player names against a 3-card hand in the blind in this situation, having seen only a mulligan to 4, a basic Island, a Preordain, and a Mox Ruby. I think Time Walk, Force of Will, Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, and then Tinker are the best options for a single Therapy, in roughly that order. I don't think Mental Misstep is anywhere near the top of the list, if you have exactly 1 Therapy.

So, using the typical "smart" play I use my Misstep to protect my Tinker and that makes it much more likely that the Tinker actually gets Therapied (probably close to 50/50 IMO). The play of waiting for the second Therapy to protect the Tinker and hoping to topdeck a mana source is vastly more likely to win the game. The counter to this is for the Dredge player to name Mental Misstep (or Force of Will) with the first Therapy, expecting to clear out any resistance and be able to resolve the second Therapy for a known card. Given how few cards the control player has, I think Misstep is a totally reasonable card to name. Force of Will + blue card + threat isn't a realistic concern (because you can beat any threat your opponent can play off 2 mana with no support), and it's extremely unlikely that they have something like Tolarian Academy + double card draw (something that could potentially win the game after you wipe out 1 known card).
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2015, 03:47:34 pm »

I don't agree with your conclusion from this scenario at all.  It's irrelevant whether they misstep my first or my second therapy.  I either hit the blind named tinker or I don't.  I don't really know how to put this any differently.  Gaining the additional information that they had a misstep in hand is almost completely irrelevant.

By letting my first therapy resolve I know my second won't resolve and I will wait to cast it until the next turn when I potentially have a better bang for buck with more bridges, or a better option in creature to sacrifice.

EDIT:  You also realize that tinker only beats you here if they have Grafdigger's cage or tinker+time walk (if I had 0 zombies).  In fact there are almost no cards other than grave hate that are beating you in the situation you've laid out.  They'd have to have ancestral into lotus+time walk+tinker or something else absurd.
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2015, 04:02:51 pm »

Why am I casting Cabal therapy if I am not trying to win that turn? He can tinker next turn but then I can still just kill him. The amount of information that the dredge player has he is very limited and I don't feel like I can definitely say if I therapy here. Did I flip any ichorids? Do I have any lands in hand to bring bloodghasts back? Did a narcomoeba flip? Am I casting the therapy from hand first or am I casting two from yard? Do I have any bridges that are triggering? The situations in which casting Cabal therapy and naming specific cards is very nuanced to what the dredge board state is. I'm not saying that no dredge builds will name misstep. If you are playing main board chains or claims then I think it's a viable naming option. If I'm casting a therapy to ensure my follow up dread return resolves I name cards that stop the dread return but if I'm just casting therapy to deconstruct their hand I think I care more about what cards they have that do damage to me or enable them to get out of the hole they are in. I can say personally for my list, I don't need to care about misstep because it only hits therapy, but I also play unmask in my build.
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2015, 04:41:29 pm »

If you would literally never name Misstep with a Therapy, then I (as a Misstep player in this hypothetical) would literally never get blown out by letting you resolve it. As a result, when you personally have exactly 2 Therapies and I have exactly 1 Misstep, I should lean pretty heavily towards letting it resolve.

I get an information advantage on your Therapies and I never get blown out - great!

(The exception being if I can make you cast both Therapies rather than only 1 in situations where I would prefer you cast both, such as when my hand is lands+Misstep)

Let me try to flesh out a situation that I think illustrates my point.

I'm a Grixis Control player (in this hypothetical) and my opponent is a known Dredge player. Let's call him Jim. Jim always plays Dredge, and when I'm paired against him I mulligan heavily in game 1 looking for fast interaction.

My eventual Turn 1 play is basic Island -> Preordain, seeing Tinker and Jace the Mind Sculptor. I put JTMS on the bottom, drawing the Tinker. I play a Mox Ruby, and pass the turn with a 3-card hand of Tinker, Mana Drain, and Mental Misstep.

My Dredge opponent (who was on the play) gets a little bit of a slow Dredge, but positions himself to cast 2 Cabal Therapy on his second turn.

He puts the first Therapy on the stack. Do you counter with Mental Misstep here? I think I would lean very heavily against countering it. If I go to 2 cards in hand Tinker will be very near the top of the list in terms of cards my opponent would name. A 2-card hand in this situation could basically only win from a Tinker, Ancestral, or some other incredible card/combination. If I have an extra card in hand my opponent is much more likely to name something else, because Tinker is restricted and his field of concern is a fair bit wider. Tinker is definitely still high on the list of cards to name, but if he names Tinker blindly whether you counter or not is really not important.

An extra item to think about is what the Dredge player names against a 3-card hand in the blind in this situation, having seen only a mulligan to 4, a basic Island, a Preordain, and a Mox Ruby. I think Time Walk, Force of Will, Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, and then Tinker are the best options for a single Therapy, in roughly that order. I don't think Mental Misstep is anywhere near the top of the list, if you have exactly 1 Therapy.

So, using the typical "smart" play I use my Misstep to protect my Tinker and that makes it much more likely that the Tinker actually gets Therapied (probably close to 50/50 IMO). The play of waiting for the second Therapy to protect the Tinker and hoping to topdeck a mana source is vastly more likely to win the game. The counter to this is for the Dredge player to name Mental Misstep (or Force of Will) with the first Therapy, expecting to clear out any resistance and be able to resolve the second Therapy for a known card. Given how few cards the control player has, I think Misstep is a totally reasonable card to name. Force of Will + blue card + threat isn't a realistic concern (because you can beat any threat your opponent can play off 2 mana with no support), and it's extremely unlikely that they have something like Tolarian Academy + double card draw (something that could potentially win the game after you wipe out 1 known card).

If you are letting my first Therapy resolve, I would name Force of Will if I was going to win that turn since you have no Mana up (aside from Ruby) or a card that beats me quickly (Tinker is literally the only thing I can think of from a Grixis deck). So like Lance said, the fact they have a Misstep doesn't matter, either they counter the first one and I cast the second one and win anyway.
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2015, 05:49:15 pm »

Keep in mind the Dredge player has only seen basic Island Preordain Mox Ruby.

The premise is that the initial Dredge is "slow" so presumably you're not winning that turn (or else the exercise is obviously moot).

I think it's entirely reasonable to name Tinker, but it's also reasonable to name a Vault/Key piece, Walk, Ancestral, and a few other cards. That field of cards narrows substantially after the Misstep is cast. As a result, casting the Misstep on the 1st Therapy makes it more likely that you lose your Tinker. I think that's pretty inarguable in this scenario. Maybe you personally would blind hit on the Tinker, and that's great for you, but if you name Misstep it doesn't just have to be Tinker. It can be Ancestral. It can be a Vault/Key piece. Whatever it is, naming Misstep gets you the second Therapy and shuts out the crazy topdecks. If you name Misstep, you don't have to blind hit.

The idea of naming Misstep is that even if it only ever hits Therapy, it is still sometimes the "card that beats you" by virtue of shutting down the second Therapy. If what you need to do to win the game is get a guaranteed Therapy resolution after seeing their hand, then refusing to do it because "they should have cast the Misstep" is just foolish. The Meddling Mage principle applies here - if Mental Misstep is the card that could potentially win them the game, just name it.
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2015, 06:18:02 pm »

We will just have to agree to disagree here. Like I said, if I'm not winning that turn, I name cards that make them able to race me, honestly I'm not afraid of Ancestral Recall, because the way I see it, in order for Ancestral to be game winning from a Blue deck (not Storm) they have to literally draw Time Walk, Tinker and something else broken. When you look at it that way, it whiffs quite a bit there.

If they happen to not be on a broken Vault Key Tinker deck and instead I see Gush, Young Pyromancer, etc, then I'm extremely happy because these matchups are pretty favorable.
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2015, 06:21:40 pm »

Playing the game expecting your opponent to make a misplay does not seem correct in the slightest.  The reality is if they have a misstep and I have only 2 therapies/ no way of winning that turn and no information on their hand other than island, preordain, Ruby I'm probably not getting anything out of their hand.  And if they mulled to 4 and that's all they did turn 1 I've probably already won the game.  Timetwister/grave hate or them chaning multiple spells are the only things that matter here.  I'm not naming tinker, and I'm definitely not casting my second therapy knowing it won't resolve.  Overall naming misstep will only decrease my win chance here since they are basically playing with only 2 cards already if it's one of their 3.
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2015, 06:41:57 pm »

Yeah, I think there's got to be an element of "agree to disagree" here. In the scenario I framed above I think it's 100% correct to name Misstep and if you miss blindly you just lose to topdeck land. Literally the only way you lose the game is if they get to resolve something insane, and it's within your power to make that not happen. The opponent holding the Misstep increases their odds of resolving their insane thing, and the more you protest that you would never name Misstep the more reasonable the line of holding Misstep becomes.
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2015, 06:51:27 pm »

Yeah, I think there's got to be an element of "agree to disagree" here. In the scenario I framed above I think it's 100% correct to name Misstep and if you miss blindly you just lose to topdeck land. Literally the only way you lose the game is if they get to resolve something insane, and it's within your power to make that not happen. The opponent holding the Misstep increases their odds of resolving their insane thing, and the more you protest that you would never name Misstep the more reasonable the line of holding Misstep becomes.

You just said you lose to something insane, Misstep is not insane, therefore I see no point in naming it.
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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2015, 07:42:53 pm »

You lose to something insane, and Misstep makes that more likely to happen. If you name Force of Will or Time Walk and see a hand of Mental Misstep, Tinker with 1 Therapy left, that Misstep is a Tinker you can't Therapy out. That's insane.

If you resolve Therapy with 1 extra Therapy, what are the outs? Mental Misstep + bomb is way more likely to occur than double bomb, both castable off 2 mana, both win the game. "Blindly guess something I'm afraid of" is 100% the right call with a single Therapy, but it's totally wrong with multiple Therapy.

Imagine instead of 2 Therapies you had 4 Therapies with your opponent on 2-3 cards. Your first card name would be something in the ballpark of Ravenous Trap, Force of Will, or their likely 4-ofs. I don't think there's any chance that your first card name is Time Walk or Tinker or anything like that. It's the same case here, just not as extreme. Your early Therapies when you have multiples are more about getting information and setting you up to strip their hand. That's exactly what naming Misstep against a small hand accomplishes.
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2015, 07:50:11 pm »

You lose to something insane, and Misstep makes that more likely to happen. If you name Force of Will or Time Walk and see a hand of Mental Misstep, Tinker with 1 Therapy left, that Misstep is a Tinker you can't Therapy out. That's insane.

If you resolve Therapy with 1 extra Therapy, what are the outs? Mental Misstep + bomb is way more likely to occur than double bomb, both castable off 2 mana, both win the game. "Blindly guess something I'm afraid of" is 100% the right call with a single Therapy, but it's totally wrong with multiple Therapy.

Imagine instead of 2 Therapies you had 4 Therapies with your opponent on 2-3 cards. Your first card name would be something in the ballpark of Ravenous Trap, Force of Will, or their likely 4-ofs. I don't think there's any chance that your first card name is Time Walk or Tinker or anything like that. It's the same case here, just not as extreme. Your early Therapies when you have multiples are more about getting information and setting you up to strip their hand. That's exactly what naming Misstep against a small hand accomplishes.

If I blind name and miss, and see Misstep and Tinker I wont cast a second Therapy if its my only one, that's common sense, usually tinker for Blightsteel isn't even enough to beat Dredge, you chump with a Zombie and then kill them the following turn. I literally cannot fathom a circumstance where I would name Mental Misstep with a single Cabal Therapy, I can say I've never named it, and probably never will.
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2015, 08:09:31 pm »

Only probably?  Very Happy
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kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
inkmothnexus
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« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2015, 09:04:42 pm »

gottshall, I think the point of the example is to think of the tinker as if it's a card that actually matters, whether by finding something like jar or by the dredge player not having blockers for colossus, as obviously if it doesn't matter it doesn't matter. in the described scenario of having 2 therapies versus their 3 cards and the first therapy resolving, the argument for naming misstep is pretty real, as it effectively guarantees that you get to take their best card.  you're balancing blind name plus guaranteed name if they don't have a misstep versus a guaranteed name if they do have it.
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Sullivan Brophy

NYSE III champion, vintage champs 2015 top 4.
vaughnbros
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2015, 10:56:42 pm »

The issue is that your opponent shouldn't be allowing you to resolve your cabal therapy in the first place.  There is no valid reasoning for it.  If you can construct a scenario in which it makes sense I'm all ears, but giving your opponent more information and the opportunity for a bigger blow out just seems horrid.  

Making a play banking on expecting your opponent to miss play just sounds even worse.  Against a competent opponent your therapy naming mental misstep my as well be therapy naming Questing Pheldagryph, it should be just as likely to hit.
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Space_Stormy
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Trinket Mage or bust!


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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2015, 11:10:12 pm »

The issue is that your opponent shouldn't be allowing you to resolve your cabal therapy in the first place.  There is no valid reasoning for it.  If you can construct a scenario in which it makes sense I'm all ears, but giving your opponent more information and the opportunity for a bigger blow out just seems horrid.  

Making a play banking on expecting your opponent to miss play just sounds even worse.  Against a competent opponent your therapy naming mental misstep my as well be therapy naming Questing Pheldagryph, it should be just as likely to hit.

I agree with this.  FoW is a safe name since your opponent is not likely to want to 2 for 1 themselves but hiding information by using a very narrow counterspell is super important.  Every person who has Misstepped a Gitaxian Probe can attest to this.
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ajfirecracker
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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2015, 12:10:27 am »

There are strong arguments against naming Mental Misstep and against letting a Therapy resolve when you have 1x Misstep in hand. Information advantage is simply not one of them. The whole premise is that there are 2 Therapies showing, so if you counter the first Therapy you are immediately going to get Therapized again. In either case, the Therapy player sees the Misstep player's hand and gets exactly 1 blind name (unless they name Misstep).
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kingneckbeard on MTGO

"I fully believe that if Dredge could play a transformational sideboard it would just win all the tournaments yet it just doesn’t have one because there is just nothing that it can play. It’d be awesome to completely ignore all those very specific hate cards people bring against you but how are you going to do that?" - Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
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